Saturday, 26 March 2011

Money.

A late Smoky-Drinky tonight.

One guy irritated everyone at first by persistently asking if we knew how many had been killed in the war in Libya. Nobody could answer. Well, Gadfly is certainly inflating civilian casualties caused by the UN while pretending he's not causing any. I fully believe our side are similarly 'adjusting' casualty figures. That's wartime propaganda and it means we can't know for sure how many lives this has cost so far, nor who took them. As with past wars, the true cost in lives will not be known until a long time afterwards.

But that wasn't his point. His point was in his next question. 'How much does each missile cost?' That was easy.

It was a little disturbing to realise that while the news doesn't tell us much about the lives lost, it takes great delight in telling us the price of every damn bullet and the value of all that hardware.

For politicians of all shades, life has always meant nothing in their pursuit of money. The newspapers used to take a different view because their readers, the general public, were more concerned about life than money. Not any more.

Look in any list of comments in any newspaper and it won't take long to find comments such as 'the cost to the NHS' or 'the money could have been used for [insert pet project]'. To hell with human life, all anyone - anyone- cares about now is money. There was a story about the Gloucester cheese-rolling game that's been cancelled again, and under that there was a comment to the effect of 'Should be banned anyway - costs the NHS money'. Oh, it's gone way beyond smokers, drinkers and fat people now.

People are not concerned with how many Libyans a Tomahawk kills. They are concerned with how much it cost to blow that thing up. That is how people think now. The newspapers merely reflect this.

A house is no longer a home. It's a pile of money that must get bigger no matter what. A car is not a box to travel in. It's a valuable thing that must not even be scratched. I used to paint mine with Hammerite when the rust grew out of control and once shrugged off the apologies of someone who backed into me with 'That's what bumpers are for'. In those days, they were chromed steel, not plastic, and dents could be ignored. I had also bought the car in question for £75 and kept it patched together for years. Ah, the days of stripping down a carburettor and replacing a head gasket...

Now, it's all about the monetary value of everything.

Every car I ever owned ended up sold for scrap, spares, or for a few quid. I never spent a lot on the next one, they wear out and they rust. Scratches? Out with the tin of paint and the brush, just to stop it rusting. I bought this house for £120K, I have around 50K left on the mortgage so if house prices halved and it's worth only 60K now, I can still sell and clear the mortgage. Investment? No, it's a big box that keeps the rain off. That's all it means to me.

I have never understood the money mindset. That's probably why I spent myself homeless in my younger days. From that I learned to stay out of debt but accumulating money has always seemed pointless. I haven't done a stroke of work since January because I've earned enough for this tax year and don't need any more. Work will fire up again in April. I have no loans, my only debt is my mortgage. I have a buffer of savings in case of hard times but I'll never accumulate enough to be called 'rich'. That, I suppose, is why I hadn't noticed the skewed news myself - the cost of missiles just goes over my head. It's brushed aside like adverts.

What I had been looking for is the cost in terms of life, and that's hard to find. There is much jubilation over the death of one of Gadfly's sons. Now, it's pretty clear that he was a particularly nasty chip off the old block and there won't be much wailing at his funeral, but consider - there is no concern at all over a human death and serious reflection over what the missiles cost. Am I the only one who thinks this is the wrong way round?

Money is all anyone cares about now. And yet money is the root of their enslavement. Borrow money and pay back more money even though the only source of money is the bank you borrowed it from. It's a trap, and it's a trap people don't just fall into. It's a trap they embrace with earnest desire. Money. Have to have more. 'Car' is not enough, it must be Bugatti. 'House' must be kept painted magnolia and clear of clutter for the buyers to view, for the entire twenty years you have it while waiting for the price to increase. Someone's sick? My taxes are paying for that, so let them die. War? Have you any idea how much those bombs cost? Make them count.

I don't understand the house people at all. Surely if house prices go up and you get more for your house, you'll just have to pay more for the next one? If a house cost a penny, I'd only get a penny for mine but I could buy the one next door with that penny, so nothing's changed, surely?

As for human life, well, nobody cares. The cheese-rolling is not a spectacle, it's a risk of injury that might cost the NHS money. Libyans being massacred? Yes, but it'll make the oil cheaper. Look at the uproar when garages failed to reduce petrol by one penny per litre. One penny. For a fifty-litre tank, that's a difference of fifty pence per fill. What does a fill cost now? Fifty quid? Sixty? Does fifty pence really make that much difference?

Meanwhile the winter payments to pensioners to help with heating costs have just reduced by £50-£100 each winter. This is life or death money, not 'shall I take a detour past the chip shop or not' money. Only Subrosa seems to have noticed.

We are told that the planet can be saved from global warming by handing over money. How? How does handing over money affect global temperatures? How does giving money to other countries keep them cool? Are they making parasols out of it? And yet when there's a winter that has brass monkeys wearing nut-nets all over the northern hemisphere, there's no money to help out with the costs of the massively increased heating bills.

Money should be a trading commodity that enhances the old barter system by introducing a universal bartering mechanism. That's all it should be. It should be a tool used by people, not a god to control them. Somewhere along the line it took over and now the survival of money is more important than the survival of the human race.

The money matters. The people don't.

14 comments:

JuliaM said...

"Scratches? Out with the tin of paint and the brush, just to stop it rusting."

They don't tend to rust now. Besides, a few dents and dings help enormously in the Ben-Hur chariot race that seems to be initiated at each roundabout.

It tells the other gladiators 'Don't mess with me, I've been round the block a few times'...

William said...

No you are not alone in your thinking. Money is simply the current control mechanism and very effective it is too.

No matter what the Gadfly has or hasn't done, unless you are part of his inner circle you will never know the truth, what is going on in Libya is as much an internal affair as Egypt's 'uprising' was. We should not be there as these islands are not under any sort of threat from Libyan internal strife.
I am not of the opinion we go get the people from these islands out. They have feet on the ground so they should be able to read the situation well enough long before it erupted into civil war. Same goes for any man made internal conflict. Natural disasters we should render whatever aid we can.

The Japanese took less than six days to repair a strategic road that was literally cracked in two and moved down a hill by the earthquake. They did this because the road was needed for the movement of aid into the worst affected regions. I really have no idea who gave the 'go' as the permanent repair was done by a private contractor but it doesn't matter. The important thing was to get the road repaired as it would make those suffering loss feel better quicker. The worry about the cost and who pays who could wait.

http://uk.gizmodo.com/5785430/japan-fixed-this-quake+damaged-road-in-just-six-days

Priorities the right way round.

Stefan Molyneux from freedomainradio makes a very persuasive argument about the master and slave relationship and why it works. In the old days the slave masters did everything for their slaves. They fed, clothed and housed them and even repaired them to make sure they kept producing income so the slave masters could live high on the hog.
Today the slave masters have realised that non of this is required. All they have to do is tell the slaves that they can exchange their cash for the protection of a state and they are free. So people hand over tax after tax moan and go out to earn more money to pay more tax in the belief that hard work keeps them free.
The slave masters don't want to kill too many producers which is why although there is a constant world war going on in the world but each part is only a 'little' war usually very one sided and usually instigated by 'people' from overseas. As horrific as the casualties are in Afghanistan the slave masters have lost less than 400 slaves. A tiny amount. The upside for the slave masters is the remaining millions live in a state of fear where they believe that Mr Taliban is in cahoots with Mr Alky Ada and Mr Gadfly and whoever the slave masters will decide is next to 'threaten' the land of the slaves and so the slaves will not revolt.....

As Hopper said "It's not about the food. It's about keeping those ants in line."

The hoppers of this world use money to keep the slaves in line. They are psychopaths and exist in a world where there is no humanity only masters and slaves. I get the sense there are significant numbers of slaves waking up because the current psychopaths really are the most stupid bunch ever to have been allowed out of the pram, they make the last lot look like Children's Mastermind contestants. The tipping point has not yet been reached but it is moving closer.
Perhaps the Mayans have it right with their calendar which reads that 2012 will see the end of manufactured lack or some such saying.
Perhaps the current slave master race are about to be put to the sword both figuratively and literally. All in all 2012 is shaping up to be a momentous year.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Broadly agreed, especially on the cars point. When and why did cars stop having nice chrome bumpers?

As to money generally, I like to spend less than I'm paid and put some to one side, always have done.

Tom Paine said...

Money *is* exactly what you say. It is the love of it that is the problem. I can't agree with you on cars. My Maserati is a great joy to me and - yes - I keep her in pristine condition at considerable expense, but that's just my choice as to what to do with the tokens of accumulated work I have available. I would drive her off a cliff to save my wife or children because they are human and the car (though I tend to anthropomorphise her a bit) is just my effort solidified in a fun form.

What you have hit upon here is the great lie that's being told in today's demo - that the Left puts people over money. As you note, all their compassion fades before the question of "the cost to the NHS" or what schemes of their own the cost of a missile could have been spent on. They never consider that the government took that money by force and that perhaps **all** possible uses of it are therefore morally tainted.

Socialism is a materialistic ideology. Today's marchers are simply demanding that their own financial interests be elevated by violence over those of people they don't like (the industrious, the thrifty, the lucky and the creative).

I smile at your indifference to money. Good for you. But it's an absurd system that incentivises a talented person to stop contributing because - afer a certain point - the proceeds of his effort will be stolen. The ceaseless fomenting of greed is - from the point of view of statist bandits - the only hope that we don't all adopt your approach.

John said...

William is correct about money being a control mechanism ("means of production and means of exchange"), and it becomes ever less valuable as they print more and more and one is left grasping for greater quantities to sustain the required standards the telly makes normal . . .

We seem to be on the verge of a new totalitarian era with the events in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere.
I suppose technology makes it inevitable.
Those who control are not always the wise, especially when they think they are?
There is certainly an agenda in place.

Anonymous said...

Usually within days of a natural disaster we're asked for donations to the relief fund. I haven't heard of such a fund to help Japan. I wonder if Japan let it be known that she would be insulted by offers of aid or does the world consider that Japan is rich enough to meet the costs of rebuilding and no aid was offered?

Like you, L-I, I've never understood the obsession with house prices which fails to acknowledge relativity.

Jay

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that instead of this being a "money vs life" comparison that it is an "our cost vs their cost" comparison? That is that it isn't costing us anything in lives so we don't focus on them we focus on what it costs us in monetary terms because that is the type of cost we have at this time. If there are British men and women coming home in body bags do you think the human cost will begin to get emphasis?

gladiolys said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly Mr Leg Iron.

It seems to me that our importance as human beings is measured by many, including our governments, in terms of economics - look at statistics which mention those who are "economically inactive" etc. There is no thought to what we bring qualitatively, in terms of kindness, creativity, joy, reliability and much more.

The problem with this "humans as economics" model is that as the number of us goes up, our value goes down... we're being inflated out of our humanity.

tober said...

Our house seems to be unique in that it's the only thing that 'must go up in price '.
Why ?
Anything else we buy goes down in price.
A car costing £50K new will be worth about half that after 5 years yet we demand that our house goes up in price after 5 years . Why should it ?
Oh and as to the cost of the bombs we're dropping in Libya. It's obvious that none of the 'experts' have ever served a day in the forces. These bombs are all worthless. Hundreds would have been scrapped anyway due to reaching their shelf life.
The ones being dropped ( inc the £1m tomohawks) will be the ones that were getting unstable anyway and would have been waiting for the scrapheap.

Anonymous said...

But money is addictive, isn’t it? And we’ve all been made addicts, to a greater or lesser degree, if only because in the modern world we literally, practically cannot survive without it. A subverted survival instinct is, after all, at the root of all addictive reactions – that’s why it’s so strong. These days, if we don’t have any money of our own, we have to go cap in hand to someone else (the State, family members, friends, banks) to give us some. And if we don’t do that we get slung out of our homes, and we starve. So all these things you mention in this article – the belief that it’s the most important thing in the world, the belief that it is the solution to all of life’s problems, the fear of someone else getting more than their fair “share” of it, the fear of losing it, the encouragement of others to join in – are all classic symptoms of addictive behaviour, no more and no less.

Of course, like all addictions, there are deeply addicted people and there are not-so-addicted people. Politicians and big businessmen are clearly very deeply addicted to the stuff – they already have easy access to as much of it as they like, but they still want more, and more, and more – again, classic addictive behaviour. “Normal” people were generally less addicted up until very recent times – they learned that their supply was finite, and so they learned to keep it under control. But promise of easy money in the form of quick loans, easy credit and over-inflated mortgages from banks, rich businesses and today even from the Government itself – all of them playing the same role as the “pusher” in any drug scenario – has ultimately made many “normal” people as addicted as the monied classes already were (which of course furthered that class’s own “stash.” It’s “big fish eat little fish” in the drugs game and always has been). Hence the self-righteous fury over how much other people “cost” them (e.g. the NHS and the benefits system), their obsession with the worth of their house (as you say, a meaningless figure in and of itself), the fact that millions of people every week spend hard-earned pounds on a lottery in which they have less chance of winning than they have of being struck by lightning (because “winning the lottery” is the “ultimate fix”), the in-fighting and grasping which so often occurs over inheritances and wills (because that’s often the only, or last, chance many people have of getting their hands on a substantial sum quickly) and, of course, why they know, almost to the penny, how much each bomb and bullet in any conflict is worth, but rarely what the cost of those bullets and bombs has been in terms of human beings wiped out or, indeed, saved.

Anonymous said...

a penny for your thoughts. not very saleable are they?

John said...

Hey, Anonymous, that's inflation! A penny used to be worth something.

I agree that money is a survival thing, but I don't really think it is to do with addiction, unless one really wants to say staying alive is an addiction.
Addictions are more towards being obsessive/compulsive behaviour. (Just understanding that can remove the smoking urge - don't tell Leg Iron.)
It's almost like a panic.
If you refuse to panic you can beat almost anything!
Inflation is more or less deliberate and very simple, as we know. Just create money from nothing. Own the printing press.

Anonymous said...

“unless one really wants to say staying alive is an addiction.”

Yeah, I guess that is what I’m saying, in essence. Or rather, I’m saying that they come from the same part of the psyche, and whereas one is necessary and good and essential for life, the other is the same instinct, but subverted by modern life, the availability of processed or artificial substances or things which offer the same sense of security or satisfaction, and by a complicated society which perceives as "needs" many things which in reality are actually just "wants." Money falls neatly between these two in today’s society – we do need it to survive, but it’s an entirely artificially-induced need, unlike food or warmth or shelter which we would all need whether money was around or not.

Of course, the word “addiction” is only ever used in a negative context, and so any suggestion that its roots are in a very vital part of our being which is designed to be directed towards “good” things is instantly rejected: “I can’t be addicted to money – I simply have to pay my bills and eat to live a decent life. That’s perfectly normal, isn’t it?” “I can’t be addicted to my children – it’s natural to feel that strongly about them,” “I can’t be addicted to my work – in today’s world you have to put in the hours to keep your job.” But then, as pretty much everyone knows, denial is in and of itself one of the prime features of addictive behaviour (with, perhaps surprisingly, the unique exception of those smokers who are addicted to nicotine – and I realise that not all smokers are. Now why hasn’t there been more research into that? But I digress…). The more vehement the denial, the deeper the addiction, as Anon at 06:03 indicates very clearly with an instant, totally dismissive reaction. There’s a complete rejection in those ten words which indicates that a raw nerve has been touched. Ouch!

To see addictions in action you have to watch the reactions of addicts not when they’re “under the influence” or feel secure that their supply lines are intact, but when their supply is withdrawn or threatened. That's the acid test (no pun intended!). Only then can you tell what they are addicted to and what they’re not. And the loss of, or threat to, a person’s money supply in most cases brings about emotional reactions which are almost identical to those experienced by a heroin addict deprived of his fix, an alcoholic deprived of the ability to get a drink or, to use a “good” example, individuals in a community faced with food shortages. There’s anger, outrage, self-pity, self-righteousness, desperation, extreme self-interest, worry and panic. All of which indicate that, somewhere deep inside the myriad human drives, instincts and emotions - and for all we may try to pretend otherwise - all are essentially coming from one and the same place.

Dioclese said...

Money is a concept. It does not actually exist. It is a theoretical medium of exchange that works because we all believe in it and accept it.

All of which is quite interesting when you think about it...

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