"If we lived back in 1945 and were told of all the marvelous technological breakthroughs of the past half-century, we would imagine that societies would now be living a life of leisure. Why has this not occurred? The reason is largely to be found in the predatory behavior that has enriched the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors." Michael Hudson.
Doesn’t this go to the heart of the matter? Not a heart that people typically feel beating in the depths of our multifaceted, slowly globalising World Culture, not the heart of any serious practical expectation or analysis of where we are and whither we might, or ought, to go, but isn’t this the crux of everything? Haven’t we allowed ourselves to become too blinded to what is possible if only ... if only some other things might fall into place, if only others could see things this way? Haven’t we thoroughly over-egged our half-baked cake? Haven’t we failed most miserably to keep things simple?
We are a frantic people running around in ever more complicated and interlocking circles just so we can eat and stay warm. Hunter-gatherers did a better job. With luck some of us get to enjoy it, yes, even enjoy holidays and gadgets. (What joy!) But the freneticism! The emotional exhaustion; the scraped-clean, bone dry, spiritual fragility; the absence of vision characterising our wild ramblings, all ring a discordant hollow, a dead note, a bewildering cacophony. It is in this tangle we are caught, it is this mess of directionless activity which blinds us.
I’ve been at a loss for a few weeks now, unable to put finger to keyboard, word to feeling, but not sure why. Everything is repeating like a drab groundhog day. The mantra-drone we emit almost autonomically has become quietly deafening. I can make no sense of the rattling chaos, like a baby stuck in the early stages of its development incapable of magicking order from the wastes of light and sound it must understand. At a loss, I’ve decided simply to point.
Between us and a proper understanding of wealth lies millennia of cultural detritus. We are so accustomed to measuring “value” monetarily we have mistaken money for the world. Money makes the world go around. It is no longer the Sun that is the centre of our system, it is money. We are enduring not a Copernican, but Goldman Sachsian Revolution. We have become money-tropic, money-centric, and are going mad on this misnoma. We have had, for some long time now, perhaps a century, the technical know-how to prioritise important things like health, dignity, trust and community above monetary wealth, but have failed to implement a change of direction. We fill our time with such inane chaff we hardly know up from down any more. Inflation, deflation, eternal GDP growth, job-loss recovery, job-loss growth. Why? Because money is the sun and moon of our world, its night and day, its turning, its growing, its beginning and end. And Money said, let there be light, and there was light, and it was metered. Money, like all levers to power, coallesces inexorably to itself and corrupts absolutely. Not just those who wield it, but all of us. We are sick in it, with it; breathing it out and in; imbibing, digesting and egesting it, as it rots us all to husks. Let’s get sick of it.
There is another way: Demote money. Demote the high priests of this sick religion. Relearn.