I’ve been struggling with the idea of money for a few years, and I’ve been able to conclude that the monetary systems of this world will not cease until they have destroyed every human being. That’s unless we can reveal money for what it really is: paper.
Money was originally a commodity, meaning it had value in itself (gold, silver, shells, etc. ), but as travel and bartering progressed, paper money was commissioned as a representative money. This money gained its value from the commodity it represented. Therefore, this paper money became a symbol for value. If you are not familiar with linguistics or semiotics, it is important to know that a symbol can be attached to several different connotations, which can compromise human beings’ perspectives, motivations, and behavior depending on how they communicate with this symbol or how the symbol is communicated to them.
In 1971, Richard Nixon, through several economic measures, revealed that US currency was in fact fiat currency, meaning it was not backed by a commodity. For years, Americans were lead to believe that the dollar was backed by gold, meaning money had real value (although I never really understood why shiny rocks held so much value either. I suppose all paths lead back to the main economic tool of profit, scarcity). No Gold Standard meant no real value, leaving us with bank vaults, wallets, and mattresses full of paper.
So if the US dollar, along with most world currencies, didn’t have any value then what’s the point? First, let’s remember that paper money is a symbol, a symbol which originally had the connotation of “commodity” attached to it, but like all symbols, it can have several connotations attached to it. With the paper dollar’s original connotation stripped away, we are left with the predicament of the symbol: the symbol had been compromised, so with no real commodity value, money has become a tool used to manipulate human perspective, motivation, and behavior.
It’s not real.
The most powerful people in this world aren’t rich because they have money; it’s because they have the power to control money, and with this power, they use money as a tool to control human energy for their own benefit. Money merely shadows the currents of human energy, but that energy is there regardless of money. Humans need to wake up and realize that every creation, good or bad, has been done with human hands, and we can continue to progress, innovate, and improve the quality of the human existence with our energy, independent from the compromised and corrupted symbol systems of money.
“But we need money; how will thing’s get done?”
To those asking this question, I pose you this counter question: What really needs to “get done”, and what is money’s role in this?
So what does need to get done. My answer: end the wars, stop poverty, save the environment, cure diseases, end racism, end classism, end sexism, educate our children, find clean energy, stop crime, end the prison industrial system, stop (real) drug abuse, etc.
When I look at this list of problems, I realize that all paths lead back to money. Money compromises the human existence. Money feels no human emotion. It forces us to fend for ourselves, turning us against one another. It feels no love. It feels no pain, fear, or hate, but it creates it. “Tough” business decisions may lead to a loss of jobs, foreclosed homes, or even a war, but business, markets, and money have no conscience towards the domino effect of anguish that they push into motion.
So, here’s my call to action: WRITE ON MONEY. Use pens, Sharpees, paint, whatever. Send it into circulation. Be creative, funny, political, enlightening, optimistic, informative, but most importantly help those who communicate with it realize that it’s only paper. Once that idea is made clear, we can begin taking exponentially faster steps towards a more relishable human existence.
Please Submit your bills to the blog for posting, and make sure to write the website on the back of your bills to direct others on how this project works. Or start your own write on money campaign. Either way, write on money!
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