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wolves don't use money - helen-louise
wolves don't use money
Argh. I need to get my tax return done this weekend. Well, I don't NEED to get it done until January 31st - but I SHOULD get it done this weekend, in case I find some of the paperwork is missing, or whatever. la la la la la, what fun that will be.

And conversation on irc just reminded me that I need to sort out a private pension, one of these days. Oh joy!

Dealing with money is the single worst thing about being an adult, imo. Financial things generally make me want to die. I can't really explain in words why... ok, here is a very vague, handwaving version.

Mostly what stresses me out about money is the lack of power that I have - not the lack of money, as I mostly have enough for my needs. It's the lack of power, the fact that it's not possible to do without money, to opt out of the system. I resent the fact that The Economy - which is a totally artificial construct - of the town, city, country, superstate and planet I live in/on all get imposed on me, externally & nonconsensually. I don't like nonconsensual laws that make no sense! They usually get dealt with by teeth! But you can't bite the Inland Revenue!

Most of the laws of the land & world make sense. Even if it sometimes frustrates the hell out of me, there's a reason why killing other people and stealing their possessions is normally illegal. I understand where those laws come from - they make sense on a personal and moral level. But money was invented almost arbitarily, as a system of "tokens" that you receive in exchange for goods & services, and that you can spend on goods & services. And it's inflated all out of importance to what it actually is. Look at the number of people who are unhappy or unhealthy because they don't have enough "money", or charities that do good work that can't afford to fund a project because of lack of "money", and all the people who have so much "money" they don't know what to do with it, and hoard it just to have, and/or spend it on houses they don't need or fast cars that'll destroy the environment. This artificial concept is a major part of our society, and you can't get away from it.

If this rant makes no sense to you, let me try to explain a little bit more. If it was just about receiving tokens in exchange for goods & services I perform, and passing the tokens on in exchange for goods & services I use, it wouldn't bother me. Taxes themselves fundamentally make sense - the state & local council provide services that I use, and it is only fair that I contribute towards that cost. That's all fine. It's the whole status symbol idea attached to how many tokens you have that bothers me - and the fact that to be happy - and, shockingly, healthy - requires that you have a certain baseline number of tokens. People's value is measured in terms of these fucking little tokens - not in terms of who they are or how they think or what they do or even how good the goods and/or services they make or perform are, but instead on how many tokens they can persuade others to give in exchange for their goods and/or services. That just doesn't seem right.

I wrote recently about what I'd do if I won a million pounds. After paying off the mortgage and having a holiday, all I can think of to do with the rest of the money would be to give it to people and charities who could use it. I'd be happy with £1000 or so to spend on frivolities. What else do I need it for? Having money for money's sake actually seems obscene to me. The only reason why I invest money for the future is because there will come a time when I am no longer able to perform services in exchange for my tokens, and will have to rely on the tokens I've banked up over the years. Money is only useful because it can be used in exchange for goods & services, and keeping a large sum of money that you do not intend to use, but just keep, so that you have it - that really does seem wrong.

Yeah, I know I don't understand economics or how the Stock Market works. I don't want to understand it. It's all artificial, and it makes no sense. Money is only useful because it's a placeholder for resources - yet it isn't like any other resource, because it's not finite. There isn't a set amount of money in the world that's divided (hugely unfairly) among people - instead, inflation means the total amount of money in the world keeps going up and up, and the amount of money you have is worth less and less. That makes no sense. Businesses that exist solely to create money confuse the hell out of me, because I honestly believe that money is only useful because of what you can do with it, and having money for money's sake is bizarre.

The over-riding impression I get whenever I'm forced to think about money for more than 5 minutes is it's not how my people would do things. We would have property held communally, and own only what we use or what is being kept for sentimental reasons. I think it's probably time for me to go & read "The Left Hand of Darkness", or "The Dispossessed" again, because I seem to be channelling whichever of those books has anarchists who do not have the concept of property ;)

But yeah. I hate money. I wish it would all go away and leave me alone.

And I'm pleased, because I have finally managed to articulate what it is that bothers me about the whole thing.

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Current Mood: naughty procrastinatory

4 comments or Leave a comment
otterylexa From: otterylexa Date: 7th January 2006 18:18 (UTC) (Link)
That makes sense.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 7th January 2006 18:32 (UTC) (Link)
How sensible you are.
From: evilref Date: 7th January 2006 19:17 (UTC) (Link)
I think it is possible to do without money - or at least to do without money for daily life. But the changes needed to do so and still live a comfortable life are probably a little scary for most people.

But that is why, in November, we were househunting for smallholdings with good RE potential. Becoming self-sufficient in food and energy is not so hard, except for dealing with transportation and communication.

But transportation and communication are both luxuries, that most people through most of human history have done without.

redbird From: redbird Date: 7th January 2006 20:07 (UTC) (Link)
It's The Dispossessed.

Money gets tangled with power, not only the power to opt out that you're talking about, but power over other people: there are people who want to be rich so they can be sure someone else will do all the shitwork and they won't even have to say "thank you" or know their names.
4 comments or Leave a comment