Sunday, July 01, 2007

What's wrong with money?

Many a truth is spoken in jest, and Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" is full of wry truths. Here's one about money on Planet Earth:

Most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small, green pieces of paper, which is odd, because on the whole, it wasn't the small, green pieces of paper which were unhappy.

It's odd how money seems more important than the here-and-now. Some would say that money changes real life for the worse, because it is a distorted representation of reality.

One solution is to try to amend the money system. This site reproduces the text of Richard Douthwaite's "The Ecology Of Money", a piece on money and community currency systems.

Another is to try to live without money, or nearly so, and instead have a more direct relationship with the land - for example, the Tinker's Bubble community in Somerset. I don't know whether the whole world can go that way - not everyone is so skilful, or can get hold of such lovely land and resources in such a relatively peaceful, prosperous and tolerant country; but to quote the poet Elizabeth Jennings, "sickness for Eden was so strong".

Meanwhile, the rest of us have to use some of our precious time, trying to prevent the value of our savings being stolen by inflation, and avoiding the worst consequences of an ill-managed economic system that, if it breaks down, could lead to a long period of hardship.

1 comment:

MattBehnken said...

Yeah money is the reason for so much suffering but the good it brings supposedly outweighs the bad