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Is Money The Root Of All Evil?
From the Archives
Originally published November 29th, 2010
1434 words - Reading time : 3 - 5 minutes
( 9 votes, 3.3/5 ) , 4 commentaries Print article
 
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Based on Francisco d'Aconia's monologue on money from Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged (1957).

 

So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked, what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and people able to produce them. Money is the material, shaped of the principle that those who wish to deal with one another, must deal by trade, and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters who take it from you by force. The value ascribed to money is made possible only by those who produce. When you accept money, in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction, that you will exchange it, for the product of the effort of others. Is this what you consider evil?

 

But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or brutes. Wealth is the product of our capacity to think. Is wealth created by the person who invents a motor, at the expense of those who did not? Is wealth created by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Wealth must be created before it can be looted or mooched. It is made by the effort of every honest individual to the extent of their ability. Wealth is only accumulated, by producing more than what is consumed.

 

A truly free market permits you to obtain for your goods and your labour, that which they are worth to those who volunteer to buy them, but no more. There are no deals, except those to mutual benefit, by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you, the recognition that people must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury. The common bond among us is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Voluntary exchange necessitates that you sell, not your weakness to another's stupidity, but your talent to their reason. It demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when we live by trade - with reason, not force, as our final arbiter - it is the best product that wins. This is the code of existence whose tool, and symbol, is money. Is this what you consider evil?

 

Money will not purchase happiness for someone who has no concept of what they want. It is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desire. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

 

Or, did you say it's the love of money, that's the root of all evil? To love a thing, is to know and love its nature. To love money, is to know and love the fact, that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among us. It is the person, who would sell their soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming a hatred of money - and they have good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it - they know they are able to deserve it.

 

Let me give you a tip on a clue to a person's character - the one who damns money has obtained it dishonourably; the person who respects it, has earned it.

 

Run for your life, from anyone who tells you, that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as we live together on earth, and need means to deal with one another - our only substitute, if we abandon trade, is the muzzle of a gun.

 

You may see a parasitism - those who live by force, yet count on others who live by trade, to create the value of their looted money. In a moral society, these are the criminals and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law - those who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims - then money becomes its creators' nemesis. Such looters believe it safe to rob the defenseless, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they themselves got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the destroyer wins over the creator - and then that society vanishes in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

 

Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from those who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favours - when you see people getting richer, by graft and by pull, than by work, when you see corruption, being rewarded, and honesty, becoming a self-sacrifice - and your laws, don't protect you against criminals, but instead protect criminals, against you - then you may know, that your society is doomed.

 

Whenever destroyers appear among us, they start with the money. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners, a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards, and delivers us into an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper, is a mortgage, on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those, who are expected to produce it.

 

You stand, in the midst of the greatest achievements, of the greatest productive civilization, and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its lifeblood - money. You look upon money, as the savages did before you, and you wonder, why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout our history, money was always, seized by looters of one brand or another, but the method remained the same: to seize wealth by force, and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, and deprived of honour. That phrase about the evil of money, comes from a time, when wealth was produced through the labour of slaves - Production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest. Through all those centuries of stagnation and starvation, history has exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, traders, shopkeepers - and as industrialists.

 

To have a country of reason, justice, freedom, production and, achievement, both our mind and money, must be set free. No fortunes by conquest, but only fortunes by work. Instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appears the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being - the self-made individual.

 

Such a person believes in the phrase, 'to make money'. They do not think of wealth as being a static quantity to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favour. Wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.

 

Until, and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which we deal with one another, then people become the tools of those who rule. Blood, whips and guns - or money. Take your choice! There is no other and your time is running out!

 

 

Mike Hewitt

Editor

DollarDaze.org

 

Mike Hewitt is the editor of www.DollarDaze.org, a website pertaining to commentary on the instability of the global fiat monetary system and investment strategies on mining companies. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are not intended to be taken as investment advice. It is to be taken as opinion only and I encourage you to complete your own due diligence when making an investment decision.

© 2007 DollarDaze

 

 

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I didn't say "money is the root of all evil". I didn't say "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil". Often misquoted as 'money is the root of all evil', it originates in the Bible, Timothy 6:10 (King James Version): For the love of money is the roo  Read more
carrierpigeon - 12/1/2010 at 5:11 AM GMT
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Mike Hewitt is the editor of www.DollarDaze.org, a website pertaining to commentary on the instability of the global fiat monetary system and investment strategies on mining companies.
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Having completed "Keep the Aspidistra Flying", I have now read all of the novels of George Orwell. I can say with such authority that this one may be his best. George Orwell was, first and foremost, a Socialist and this book is his examination of being a Socialist in a Capitalist world. His hero, Gordon Comstock, is mired in a dead-end job that is just middle-class enough to require proper dress and behavior but not enough to enable him to afford any but the most essential living expenses. We sympathize with him. Or at least we do until we realize that his disdain for the pursuit of money has pointed him in the opposite direction. He is so anti-capitalist that he purposely keeps himself in his lower state. He quit a previous job because it paid too much. He won't strive beyond his current status because then he would enter a higher social status. He is convinced of the righteousness of his beliefs even though he has bled his sister dry "borrowing" money from her over the years. She "lends" him the money because the family always had such high hopes for this erudite young man. Gordon complains, to those that listen, that money is the root of all evil yet he is so ready to be victimized by it. He complains to his girl-friend that she measures him by his net-worth. This isn't true but he can't see that the problem is that HE is measuring himself by his own net-worth. He talks the talk but can't walk the walk. Well, money leads to one disaster of his own making and ends up as the solution to another "disaster" of his own making. I'm sure the prospective reader would prefer to read the book to see how his story ends so I won't go into any more details here.

This novel is enjoyable on many levels. I found myself, like most, getting upset with Gordon Comstock for his self-destructive "nobility". I was ready to rant and rave about it until I remembered my post-college Bohemian days and realized that I went through such a stage myself. I'm sure many of us have and so I think there is a personal connection that will appeal to a lot of readers. For pure literary merit, this is a hard 20th Century satire to top. Orwell scared a lot of people with his futuristic novels "Animal Farm" and "1984". He tried to indoctrinate many a reader with his Socialistic essays including his half-novel/half-essay; "The Road to Wigan Pier". I have a feeling that he was poking fun at himself in "Keep the Aspidistras Flying". Maybe that's why it works so well.
I know what evil is but I still don't know what money is.


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I didn't say "money is the root of all evil". I didn't say "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil".

Often misquoted as 'money is the root of all evil', it originates in the Bible, Timothy 6:10 (King James Version):

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I merely see the wisdom in a belief in the inspired Word of God which no man can explain away by machinations and twists and turns of philosophical perspective.

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