Money is artiface. It started out as trust, as trade, as thrue-ith - way through the trees towards some meaningful, workable future. Money emerged as IOU's (bonds), and contracts, and agreements - representing a safe, guaranteed transaction, over time. The money changers where the Silk Road met the Roman Empire, exchanged people's Chinese silver for Roman gold, or other commodities, and for doing simply this, they took out a percentage for themselves. A kind of necessary theft.
Then the whole idea of borrowing capital came along, and people charged interest rates on contracts or paper money, meaning, (while implying that "growth" would ensue), that an addiction to growth was being installed - need to grow and grow - or else print more money - just to keep up with that rate of hmmmmm "interest." ("I'm INTERESTED in your trusted exchanges - I want to know MORE...").
But that was seemingly OK, because capitalism allowed people to easilly come into nice centralised bags of capital which they otherwise would never have produced by farming with a mule. So, they bought tractors, became more productive, and made society more money, (at the expense of the under-capitalised third world).
Not only fees, and interest rates, etc., are a kind of addiction, necessitating either growth or Ponzi-ism - but even productivity, (through technologies and systems), the drive to rise above entropy by using pools of capital and make more capital, is a kind of addiction to capital, requiring more and more growth, and/or Ponzi schemes.
Then, of course, those who benefited from all of this TREATING MONEY LIKE IT WAS A THING UNTO ITSELF, the rich, began separating from the expanding poor, within the country(s) and in the third world. But the whole system remained addicted to producing capital. What to do? There was "too much capital" - (in fact too little grassroots reinvestment, labour).
Solution: let the rich invest their capital into Wall Street, especially since GOVERNMENT ISN'T TAXING IT BACK, AND IS INSTEAD DEREGULATING THEIR LIMITATIONS, ALLOWING THEM MORE MEANS TO INVEST AND GAMBLE). Mind you, all this investment capital originally took the form of, e.g., SWEAT, BLOOD, SOIL, SACRIFICE, MORALS, CONSISTENCY, etc. Well, the rich all swarmed to make their bets and so created bubbles in Wall Street. When the bubbles popped, a few MONOPOLIES, (i.e., highly capitalised), made money off the whole boom/bust, but a lot of small investors took a loss.
This kept happening and soon the monopolies and banksters and 401k investors started praying for an even BETTER way to invest capital, and make MORE profit (capital). One way they found was to encourage people to take out mortgages they maybe couldn't repay. Then they bundled these together in bundles, and each said, "Hey! This stuff is as good as gold! I want to borrow against this bundle of crap assets and put that money on such-or-such a horse on Wall Street!
Not only that, THEY CREATED MAGICAL HORSES OUT OF THIN AIR, on which to bet. Not only that, investors and banks could borrow/invest 80x the actual said value of the bundles they held, since they banks been allowed to go from a 10x fractional reserve system, to A COMPLETELY GAMBLING/ADDICTION 80x system, and beyond - so a LOT more money was "created" by banks, to dump into these shaky gambles. (See "Glass-Steagal").
And, not only that, but insane, impossible, magical gambling options were created and offered, called derivatives. This meant investors could invest in "insurance" on bundles and investments that they didn't even own. Like buying insurance on a neighbour's house and collecting the money after it suspiciously burns down. NO CONNECTION TO REALITY - ONLY CONNECTED TO ME ME ME. Derivatives also included a holy host of all manner of other HYPERSPACE gambling options - such that more money than the world actually HAD was being wagered on completely idiotic hyperspace bets.
So, of course, it had to fall apart. The bubble burst, and the banks, etc., now owed money that the whole world couldn't afford to pay back. There just was not enough sweat, blood, labor, manufacturing, etc., to regenerate that kind of value. SSSSSSooooooo The banks were bailed out with funny money, Congress and the President bade their time in a game of HIDING the DEPRESSION from the public, and the demanding cry-baby banks made funny-money LOANS to "bail out" countries like Greece, and now US, "But only if you force your population into poverty, and give us all their money." Austerity. That's it in a nutshell.
The system of ever-expanding capitalism was it's own enemy. And, now we have joined monopolies of the west with monopolies of the east, and not allowed real value to bubble up from the people, by locking it in via "free trade" agreements - we have set a system where the structure won't be able to expand infinitely anymore - it is a closed system now. The people have scarcity to turn to. Therefore, we are for nothing but global turmoil.
(See 'companion piece': Commodities 101: WHY ARE EGYPTIANS HUNGRY?!? http://madman101.livejournal.com/834778.html (and also see economics posts via KEYWORD TAGS - although tags haven't been kept up to date at all).
Gold, and silver, the "original" moneys - may have been skimmed a little by the money changers, but their supply can only generally rise LINEARLY. So, you don't get the growth-addiction to expanding capital so much, as you get when interest rates are put on the borrowing of PAPER money. Interest rates, and all other deflaters down the line, can be kept up, and capital be made GEOMETRICALLY, because paper money can be printed out of thin air. (Because gold is linear, not geometric, we experienced "panics" every 20 years or so, which were due to expansionary interest rates on gold-backed-paper going too fast for gold supply to keep up with - but at least that was a break on the system).
The more this expansion occurs, the more borrowing and gambling separates from the true value of the contracts of trust - from the true sweat, blood, and LABOUR. Capital detaches from labour. Money detaches from reality. Money becomes Artiface. Sought as a false god of sorts. Even as a substitute for love, parental, familial, communal, spiritual. When money becomes a universal "Good", everyone believes only money talks, and only in money do we trust. "It's the one thing you can rely on." Ironically, that is completely untrue, ultimately.
I will later post about how most everything we think: is actually, or is based on, STATISTICS. Even numbers. The problem with statistics, and probability, is that it isn't THE THING ITSELF - it is an approximation, a conjuring of allegory: An always incomplete, partly superstitious, skeleton for SYMBOLism.
Well, money is never the thing itself - it is never the whole picture - it never conveys THE FULL ("FORMULA OF") OF ANY EXCHANGE. It may say that my crappy lawnmower is worth two ducks - and that means either/both is worth $20, but it doesn't get into how the ducks feel about any of this. It doesn't get into why my mower sucks, how I felt about that, or all the toxic oil it spills all over the place, injuring the environment. It doesn't convey the four arguments I had with my wife over the damn thing, or the fact that my wife is a vegetarian.
It doesn't begin to ponder whether those ducks may have believed in a Duck God, whether they are contaminated with salmonella, or whether they would have, if allowed to live, mated and lead to a line of evolution which eventually produced a Duck for President, which would have been a MAJOR improvement... It doesn't get into what is happening on the other side of the planet, involving issues of mowers or ducks.
It doesn't consider whether the best time to make the exchange of the mower with the ducks had already passed - or else it should occur when this planet calls that planet or when some Archbishop says whatever. It doesn't think about what the spirit of my father would have said about the exchange if he were here. And so forth.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: IT NEVER FULLY CONSIDERS ECONOMIC EXTERNALITIES AND SECONDARY COSTS: "Entropy."
Thus, money is but a symbol, greatly lacking reality as soon as it gets out the gate.
That is also the nature of trust or faith, and that is why it (money) always needs to be a more intimate thing, kept closest to its originators - not extracted into hyperspace, only to make these grassroots traders into slaves for the banksters.
Well, on top of that, you throw in multiplier-effect/ through-technology, fractional banking, interest rates, paper-currency-out-of-thin-air, consequent INFLATION, speculation on Wall Street, bubbles and extraction of surplus wealth/means, centralisation of capital into the hands of people who see it as a kind of subservient god, and the gambling away of funny-money, based on value-based-on-bad-credit, into impossible, highly risky bets in hyperspace, in conspiracy with a lot of other PRETEND money - and you see, at this point, that money has nothing to do with reality at all.
It has completely metamorphosed into artiface, where the best remaining avenues available, into which to further invest this artiface: IS INTO WAR, DECLINE, DESTRUCTION AND THE EXTERMINATION OF THE ORIGINATING ENGINES OF TRUE VALUE, i.e., destroying the people. "Well, we seem not to be able to make more of these dollar-numbers on our computers, out of thin air - but I know where we can get more of them! From the middle class! Same difference!"
Gold: In this sense, and at this point, gold becomes so scarce relative to paper/artiface, that it is sought by the rich as a proxy for the failing artiface, and so becomes worshipped, in a sense, as a false idol. This hubris now attaching itself to gold, by the upper crust, contributes to gold's rising relative value - but their manner of investing in it is as irresponsible as it was in short-term stocks. THE ONLY POINT OF BUYING GOLD SHOULD BE IN RETAINING ORIGINAL WEALTH/VALUE, and should NOT be seen as an avenue to future wealth-expansion.
How to invest in gold: You buy gold, you hold gold, period, and then you shun the market. You do not buy paper representations of gold, promises to deliver, etc. Ultimately, that way remains tragically linked to the fate of the paper currency via the markets. Should there be a "bubble-burst" in gold, your gold will be said to drop in value, but you will remain safe until the day a new currency is created, and linked to gold - and that will be a mother-load for you, time to cash in.
ANYWAY... People at the top of the capital-extraction, grow grow grow machine, are virtually bred to receive money, and to spend it on selfish things which don't usually do you or me much good. They are officially sanctioned parasites, for we have come to believe that it is the monopolies which create jobs - while, in fact, it is WE THE PEOPLE who not merely establish trust and original value, holding the true WEALTH OF NATIONS; AND who create the very DEMAND, which in fact IS WHAT CREATES JOBS! - but it is WE who originally CHARTER these businesses, through our government, to perform GENERAL WELFARE functions for our society. IT MUST BE RETURNED TO OUR ACTIVE PURVIEW TO TAX, REGULATE OR DISSOLVE THE MONOPOLY-ORIENTED CANCERS AMONGST THESE.
Well, when the rich come into more money, it is with ease and boredom. They are placated for a short time, like an addict. And, like an addict, they must dump more of this extracted capital into risky investments, just so they can make more money, and so relieve their symptoms momentarilly. Easy come, easy go. And, it goes into so many POSSESSIONS, like yachts, mansions, conspiracies, art, baseball cards, and various grades of SLAVES, (ultimately). (See my post/s about INDENTURED SERVITUDE, still simmering).
OK. Money grows on trees, for them, basically. It never ends. It is life itself. Like breath, it comes in, it goes out, it comes in, it goes out. Must always have more oxygen, more food. Burn, burn, burn that energy off. Dance and play, well ahead of the ENTROPY which is meanwhile consuming the rest of society. This is YOUR time, rich guy, and you are a GOD. See - this explains why the banksters, etc., surrounding Obama are just plain academic idiots - self-centered supply-siders.
And so, to the rich, money does not SEEM to be an artiface - it SEEMS to a be a GIVEN - a value-unto-itself, when in fact, at their level, it is an abstraction - a chimera - an extraction of the sweat and blood and toil and spirit of a great mass of poorer people. Whereas this mass once imbibed money with significant value, it is now perverted, and as free as the leaves to the rich.
"Printed on trees - why not?! That's what money MEANS, after all, old boy, pip pip."
But we, the unemployed, the unsettle, the off-tracked, the under-water, the homeless, the ill and disabled, the elderly, the children, the meek - we who toil in the muck left by money's rape, we had values down here, and we had community. We had limits. And dreams. There was never money on trees for us. And so, into money, we puts a GREAT DEAL of HUMAN value - and that - THAT - is what the rich, in all their naivete, is now trying to take away.
They don't know what they're doing. They can't deduce from tree-leave statistics what the TRUE economy will do next, because they all dance about on FALSE PREMISES. So, please, before the worst, get the hell off our lawn.
So - the dollar, up there in the trees, around those daft tree-trimmers, it is a given - cheap as air - a thing unto itself - and, essentially, an extension of the godliness of the rich. Artiface.
Down here, in the soil, "money" was real, but it did not substitute for life itself - for sweat and blood or toil - or LABOUR. We actually LIVED those values! It did not supplant the commons or reach into our every pore of being. It was valuable BECAUSE WE WERE VALUABLE, to each other.
And now it is being asked of us to chase this thing called money into a pit of no returns. Because we are told that this futile fugue, this flight of folly, this feeding of the great capital-eating machine, which has left nothing but fields of scarcity against which we, we the great mass of the poor and middle class, have ever had to prevail - this rote addiction to denial of the humane, the environmental, the spiritual - that this flight is THE thrue-ith way, the way of the rich, who only get richer, albeit fewer. This corruption is THE way.
And we are told to vote against our own interests, FOR the very politicians who facilitate our servitude. When all of this scheme that you are trying to peddle us now, which can only end in our own collapse, is precisely the OPPOSITE of what the dollar once meant - or, more precisely, what THIS DEMOCRACY ONCE MEANT.
I DON'T THINK SO.
The dollar bill is now a membership card to a club of institutions which have gone insane. Calling themselves people. Well, what will come of such superhuman power, but superhuman feudalism? What have these behemoths been transmogrified into, but CASTLES, which are now legally impervious to any serfly attacks? And, the people in those castles shall feed insatiably on our toil, henceforth.
And they will use all that extra capital, which once went into bubbles or hyperspace, into shouting louder than we, and guaranteeing themselves victory over every remaining inch of our Commons, and our Privacy. And they may claim that this is the moral, religious way. Money, after all, is laced with superstition of a temporal nature - why not now with godly ones?
And so, they will go on, gaining the world, while losing their souls - which is a functional equivalent of INSANITY. And you...
You may look at the face on the Almighty Dollar, and say, "I will do anything for this. I will steal. I will lie. I will stab my brother in the back. Because this is all that matters. This is the only thing you can rely on." But, no. That is the old way. That was the Roman way. And now, the Feudal way.
Will we all slouch to Rome, and imitate the false gods there, as held up by the Caesars - the Czars and the Super-Congresses. The Supreme Court Monarchs. The Super-PACs. The zombie banks and mega-corps? The quants and banksters - and all such other corrupt ninny thugs and priests who now rule the empire? There is no value behind that face of artifice.
Turn away. (It's become the face which the Founding Fathers turned away from). Stop obsessing. Stop dreaming. Dream the other way. Vote and make change. Dispossess the parasites. I am secretly Karl Marx.
So, always, to some degree: You work in an institution, you uphold its capitalisation, it's controlled havoc, you support its goals which may be achieved decades from now - even long after you are dead. You support these monopole goals, which ever discard the full needs and demands of environment, and you help to muck up the planet here and now, for these abstractions, backed by hyperspace bets, no doubt.
You push a pen back and forth. Or you carry files back and forth. Or, you are promoted from one room to the next. You basically do the same thing over and over again. And all you take home is a face full of artiface?
Over and over again, the same result. And then you die.
That way lies madness.
I've had to stay in bed and just dawdle this post out, because I was hit by difficulty yesterday morning, and I'm trying to pull myself out of it, before I get on with things. This has not been a deep relapse, though.