Time and money are often “measured” and “manipulated” but both are just “non-sense” ideas. Neither can be seen, heard, felt, smelt, tasted, or experienced in any other way with our physical senses – which is how we perceive and interact with the world outside of us. Ideas (and “memes”) may be “contagious” but mostly exist only within our minds and not outside of our imagination.
“If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time.”
People often say that “time is money” is money – but it is not. Unlike money, time cannot be “saved” nor can anyone ever get “more” of it. Unlike either money or behavior, time can also not be “managed”. It takes (or costs) time to earn, “manage”, use, lose, and everything else associated with money. Time is sometimes thought of as being “spent” – but it merely passes whether or how it is “experienced”. Time is not constant. It seems to slow down or speed up depending upon what we are doing – and what our frame of reference (or “filter”) is. Even light travels at different speeds depending upon the different media it passes through. Unlike light, both times and money are essentially just ideas. The difference is that time tends to be thought of as linear or directional and money as circular or revolving. Both are also only illusions (and maybe even delusions) that exist in the minds of most people. Time, space, and even money are often useful – but only as attempts to “measure”, make sense of, and/or communicate ideas (rather than “realities”).
While time and money may sometimes appear to be substituted for each other in certain limited situations, they are neither related nor interchangeable. What is REALLY usually being substituted is the attention or effort of one individual for that of another. Putting another metal coin in the slot or the pocket, wallet, or bank account of another does not really give anyone any more time, let alone let them live longer (or better). What people have access to, how they experience life, and what they do with their time (“available”) is actually independent of money. It is only other people who insist that anyone else have, use, or need money. Like all other life on the planet, humans have and could again survive and thrive without it.
“Money” is frequently associated with people’s needs – but money is not what is actually needed. Money may be a means – and thus may be considered a tool that can be used, but it is not really a product (other than of the mind), even when exchanging it produces something needed. What is used as (official, legal) “currency” is almost never “money” (and has NO inherent “worth”).
All “value” is “relative” (compared to something else) – and subject to change. Value is also perceived subjectively differently by different people in different circumstances. Even fiat currency (which is only “worth” what those who print it, mint it, or simply enter into accounts and ledgers claim) fluctuates in “exchange value” – regardless of what is being exchanged, by whom, or what they (want to) believe.
In English, money is sometimes referred to as “bread” – even though it cannot be eaten. While most people think “money” represents what they can get by using it, it actually represents DEBT. It is merely a receipt, claim check, and IOU (I owe you) used when direct trade or barter is not convenient or practical. Currency and credit were originally evidence of having assets on “deposit” and an ability to “pay” with something “real” besides just a paper “note”.
Money is only an IDEA – but it is one that now permeates language, thinking, and culture. It is also VERY likely that the world will eventually not use “cash” anymore – and that most (indirect) exchange of value will be electronic in nature – subject to the approval of those who control the “money” of the world.
Going back to your example of tools, it’s important to realize that people don’t buy drills – they buy the holes that drills can make for them. The same is true for all other tools. People are really interested in the end result more than the means. Although human appetites often seem almost endless, ultimately, we have very few real needs or even desires. Everything we do (or buy) is really just a means to fulfill those few (basic) needs and desires. Money can NOT buy love, happiness, or MANY other things people try to use it for. While there is nothing inherently wrong with (using) money, the “need” for it is highly exaggerated. The world and almost everything else would still “go around” without it.
Money is merely a symbol – of artificial needs (that are exploited by others). The world economy is based upon debt, credit, and the perpetuation of scarcity, inequality, and unfulfilled (real or imagined) needs. Money tends to represent dependence and enslavement far more than wealth or freedom – regardless of how much or little anyone has.
Many people believe that money is, represents, or has (some kind of) energy. I think the only energy it has is the emotional one that people give it. With the invention of loans, compound interest, fractional reserves, and being able to just “create” money out of thin air with nothing to “back” it, money does not require any “work” to be “made”. What is does need is to continue circulating – because a person who only has money and not what others will give them for it does not really have anything at all. The game would be over – and they would be the “loser”. Money is an illusion. Someday, people will wake up and realize that “cash” is not “king” and that the “empire” is filled with hungry, naked people.
Money has no real “authority” or power – even as an instrument of debt (if people choose to not accept it). In the film “Titanic”, a man offers money to one of the sinking ship’s crew members in an attempt to buy or bribe his way onto a lifeboat. Rather than accept, the crew member shoots and kills him. His money or your life? Seems like an obvious, easy choice. Money has NO “REAL” use, value, or authority in much of (real) life.
Money is a promise – that is often unfulfilled. It is an instrument of DEBT. The Federal Reserve Bank prints and issues (NON-redeemable) “notes” (or promises to pay) that are regarded as “legal tender” – for DEBTS. It does NOT sell “money”. Money is a (tangible) commodity with inherent value that can be easily exchanged. Banks around the world have virtually NOTHING on “deposit” in “reserve” to back up or exchange for the currencies they create. National governments foolishly allow central fractional reserve banking systems to exploit and control them rather than simply assume control of their own “treasury”.
The United States Congress is forced to issue and sell government “bonds” to (foreign) investors (with promises to repay them with interest) in order to finance each Federal Reserve Note they receive (at an additional cost to the American public of 6 cents per dollar – that is never printed). It is IMPOSSIBLE to ever repay the (interest on the) loan, since even if all the “counterfeit” currency in the world were also collected, there wouldn’t be enough in existence to cover what is “owed”.
The only “backing” fiat currency has is the power of governments to tax (those willing or forced to pay). Civilian “casualties” are not just called “collateral damage” because people are uncomfortable talking about death and destruction, but also because the loss of life and property reduces the “assets” that can be taken, taxed, or borrowed against. The “full faith and credit” of a government is really no more than the people it purports to “represent” allow. Political and social revolution, upheaval, “backlash”, and “blowback” are often the result of demanding more than people are willing to give up or go along with.
If you look at Greece and Spain and other countries in Europe, you will see the future of the United States and the world – unless the assumed “authority” of money, banks, and even governments is challenged, disputed, and perhaps no longer “recognized” or accepted.
Banks do NOT print money for the public; they print it for their own profit. The love of money has been called the root of all evil. I do not think this has as much to do with greed, lust, envy, or coveting as it has to do with the identification and attachment to the idea(s) it represents. People often worship money – like an idol (of a false god). People do all sorts of things for and because of money that they would not do otherwise. Like power, money seems to be an addictive drug that tends to corrupt people.
Guilt is a result, “product”, or “invention” of social conditioning – and is mainly used, abused, and otherwise exploited and expected to control people. Implied or expected reciprocity is considered a major factor of influence over most people. Like money, reciprocity creates an artificial imaginary social debt – to which no one is considered “innocent”. All are considered “guilty” if they don’t do conform to social expectations (and manipulations). Many sales, conversion, and compliance techniques are based upon the “obligation” of people to reciprocate or feel guilty in one way or another.
What those who now say that “content” is “cash” really mean is that information presented and perceived as “valuable” can serve as a currency rather than that it is (or even re-presents) “money” any more than the worthless paper notes printed by banks (that people exchange anyway) does. The value of “content” depends upon the context – and how it is communicated. People may pay for content but content is not really cash – any more than receiving training, coaching, or advice is the same as producing a result.
Returning to the beginning, money often seems to perpetuate people’s needs more than fulfill them. To sell someone something usually requires first creating or making them aware of a “problem” in order for them to have any interest in the “solution” being offered. Money is a means without an end – or a bucket with a hole in it. Regardless of how the idea started, “money” may now be no more than a fraudulent scheme or scam to exploit, steal from, and enslave all those who “buy” in to the need for it.
In many ways, money is a form of slavery. The ONLY possible “financial independence” would be living and meeting ALL needs without money – because regardless of how much money someone may have, it is still DEPENDENT upon OTHER people accepting and exchanging it. Money requires other people – and cannot exist or be used independently.
Rather than focusing on “making” money, people would be better served “making” a difference, and “making” (and “mastering”) themselves. Money is essentially about relationships – and what a person becomes and/or understands as a result of it more than what it can do for them.
That’s my perspective. What’s yours?
© 2010, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.