Money - helpful tool or root of all evil?

Is “plain money” a technical term for a special form of money? Because regular money does an excellent job at facilitating the trade of goods and labor.

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It actually does an excellent job at making rich people richer and at exploiting the poor. Many people don’t even have enough “regular money” to afford food or other basic goods. On a different scale, regular money is used by state leaders to impose their worldviews on poor countries.

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If you were a butcher and needed a haircut, but the only hairdresser in town were vegetarian, without money you would have to find a third person first who is interested in buying your sausage and who could offer something of value to the hairdresser. With money, you can easily pay the hairdresser without having to find this third person. In this example, money is a pretty innocuous thing.

I think what you actually have in mind is economic power. Money as such is nothing but an instrument.

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I agree.
Bitcoin really is a good example, that it is not the money (i.e. instrument), that matters. Right now it acts like any stock in enriching the rich.
In my opinion it’s human nature and not the money. E.g. why is caring for sick and old people in need of help valued less than fixing a broken car or why is it valued less to teach little kids the basics of social interaction and the principles of learning than it is to teach teens mathematics that are on their way to begin studies.

The money just represents the values a society has, it is not the value itself.

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I think it’s clear that money was a necessary invention, but it’s being misused ever since.

Money is like a knife. It’s not the knife that is evil, but the person using it as a weapon.

Or maybe money is like drugs. Created to help people, but then they got addicted and started abusing it.

Actually money is more like cancer. When it got the ability to reproduce by itself it exceeded it’s purpose and everything went south.

Define “regular money”! “Regular money” is central currency like Dollar/Euro/etc. Central currency enables power of a few over many. And it enables the EU, for example, to abuse African countries in order to enact some questionable measures. If the “regular money” Euro had no meaning in Africa, that abuse would not be possible.

What you actually have in mind is — unfortunately — irregular money in that it is not the rule, but the exception.

@paulakreuzer Your metaphors excel again! :+1:

But there’s no difference regarding BitCoin. That kind of currency accumulates wealth in a few hands as well. Might be, that the hands are different ones. Watching the performance of this currency to me seems to be a good example. If you have no money and no means to create BitCoin, you are even more lost and excluded from participation than with any central currency.

The money or the central currency are just used by people or the society. It is a mere expression of the value someone is putting into something.
The exploitation of Africa did not start with central currencies. In my opinion it’s a question of power and it works, because there are enough Africans profiting by this system.

And I don’t think, that people really abuse money. In my opinion people abuse other people and just use money as one of many other tools, just because people value money that much.

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I think that people do abuse money, when they hoard capital and bet on food and the like. Stock markets are a misuse of money. Money should be used to create value for the society rather than be an end in itself.

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Well, there was a time when humans managed to survive without it - and I miss those, to be honest. We’re dependant on colorful pieces of paper, and slices of metal bars.
This is what gets us outta bed (in my case 6:30 AM) and sends us to bed (in my case, 9:30 PM)… We are revolving around it…

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I know what you mean and share your feelings in a way; but is’nt it just an idea or rather a fantasy you are “missing”? In those times life expectancy was maybe 30 years and life had many other hardships.
And - speaking for me - it’s not so much the money, that drives me, but the things I want to have i.e. to buy with the money (like my FP).

Sure there is part idea and fantasy - cause I did not execute it (yet).

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True, but you can do that without money at all. You could also trade conserved food, for example. Let’s say you produce food conserves and want to trade in for coltan for whatever reason. You can bet on riding value of your food when a drought is causing hunger. Your food is now more valuable and you get more coltan. You do not need money to bet on others people’s needs or force your agenda on them.

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Did you personally experience these times? How can you miss those?
I don’t know very much about a time were humans lived and organized without money and we have no idea how that felt.
I think live back then might not have been struggle with work for 8 hours on five days, but really fighting for survival - 24/7.

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True, but at the same time I can’t print food or coltan (yet?). I also can’t put them in a virtual bank account and high-frequency-trade with them (unless I create a variable in a computer system that represents 1kg coltan or 1kg food, but that wouldn’t differ much from money).

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Well, itis just virtual money as well, that is high-frequency traded.
Money in that game is just a computer variable as well, if I get it right. :wink:

@BertG There is a few huge differences between bitcoin and most centralized currency–the main one is centralization. Bitcoin is not centralized, and is controled by it’s founders more than anyone–not a government. That’s a huge difference.

Another massive difference is that cryptos either use a lot more, or a lot less energy than centralized currency. Bitcoin uses far, far, far more. Ripple uses less, but is centralized by banks. Whats likely to happen imo is that crypto gets regulated out of existence for the most part, but certain ledgers and blockchains will stick around for banks and other large institutions to use.

People absolutely abuse money… Just look at American tax law…

@ben

For most of our evolution we didn’t have money, and no, we weren’t really fighting for our survival either–we survived as hunter gatherers on this planet far longer than we didn’t. A lot longer, like a few hundred thousand years, versus the last ten or twenty. We’re actually pretty well adapted to be hunter gatherers, and pretty poorly adapted for what we are doing now, biologically speaking anyway…

Anywhoo, barter–which led to money–got introduced something like ten thousand years ago, after we stopped being hunter gatherer’s, and started doing agriculture. This is also when patriarchy, war, hoarding, the concept of an “other”, government in the form of kings and queens, got introduced. Before that we were living in primitive communism, which wasn’t so bad, but not so great either. This is according to the first chapter or two of A People’s History of the World anyway…

This isn’t to say money is evil, or that we shouldn’t have split from that lifestyle. More that by examining how we did live peacefully with each other for so long, that maybe we could recreate such a society today, but with modern tech and so on. Essentially, we should work towards startrek…

Oh, and a caveat, for a lot of that time we were all happily hunting and gathering, one could argue part of the reason we didn’t fight each other is we were busy killing off the Neanderthals…

You’re sure about that?
I really have my doubts about that not fighting part. One thing to keep in mind is the much less dense population. But nevertheless, when tribes met, there were fights as well.
Not to mention, that there was less chance to fight each other, as the average lifespan was much shorter. :wink:

Money was needed at least, as soon, as production got diversified in a way that direct exchange did not work anymore. Things produced in teams or on a chain; I can’t imagine them in an exchange society.

Sure there’s a difference between bitcoin and centralized money.
Yet, both are misused, if you wish to call it that way. Who might have profited by the rising BitCoin exchange rate? I guess it’s the same people, that bet on currecies or rice etc.
So, in my opinion, there is no real gain in BitCoin and the like.
And I still would say that money is just the tool to abuse people. Take away the money and the abuse will still happen, though using other means. Think slavery. …

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Yes, I am. Most anthropologists would disagree with you there too. The vast majority of the time when they met they didn’t fight. Instead of fighting, they would simply split up and walk in different directions. Infighting with other humans was evolutionarily disadvantageous, and us not doing it is a lot of the we are the dominant species on the planet, and neanderthalls are extinct.

Mind you I’m talking about before fighting before money was a thing, or agriculture past cereal crops for that matter. This is most of our evolutionary history. We would fight, just Neanderthals, not other people. They were very similar to us, so much so that we could procreate with them, and did. Some people are part Neanderthal. It’s all in this book…

I mean, there are real bitcoins, but only because we put value in random hashes a computer generated now. It’s really bad if you think about it from an environmental standpoint–we’re essentially using fancy puzzles for computers as currency, at the cost of loads of watts…

Slavery didn’t start being a thing until we stopped being hunter gatherer’s though, around the neolithic revolution. If we don’t automate all production then you might be right, but that’s where we are headed anyway. And once we do, it’ll either be the rich kill the rest, or we all get everything…

Have you seen this?

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I really have the feeling, that we are not very much in disagreement in everything you are posting.
To the fighting part.
Sure you are right, but even nowadays, we usually don’t start a brawl when meeting, even when in disagreement. And cases where fights are taking place happened all the time. They happen with e.g. chimpanzees as well.

The environmental part of BitCoin is adding up to the fact, that in my opinion it is right now a tool for speculation like stocks, currencies and you name it.

If technolgy replacing all jobs is really the way we will go remains to be seen. It ultimately depends on there being enough energy to power all the machines doing the work and the sharing of money in such a way that the goods produced still find a market to be sold on.
I don’t expect me to live to see this development (at least to the end) to be honest. And I feel very lucky on that behalf. :wink:

If the rich will be able to kill the rest, they can only succed, if they are able to employ the poor to kill each other, as I fail to see the rich sitting at the buttons and doing that dirty work on their own. And if that’'s the way it is, well, I guess, than that’s what mankind deserves.
Otherwise the poor will rise and kill the rich; not that I expect that to solve any problems; unfortunately (see the French Revolution).

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haha man, yea I do too.

Some people will absolutely start a brawl when they meet you here. Come to Philadelphia before next sunday and where a Patriots jersey. I’d be shocked if you didn’t get into a fight with a stranger…

I guess when I said fight, I meant war kinda. Two tribes meeting and fighting was incredibly rare, people would fight inside tribes, but it usually wouldn’t result in death, or even injury, at least according to Harman…

It is a tool for stock speculation. However, certain other ones–such as ripple–are actually faster than the processes the banks were using to move money around, so those ones do have some intrinsic value past speculation.

How old are you? that MIT paper was predicting that we could start seeing high level jobs, such as doctors replaced within the decade…

The power will likely come from fusion, at least at first…

Ah but you forgot, everything automated, including the killing. You just have robots with AI’s doing it.

Or, you do it like Orwell did in 1984, carve up the world into three countries you control, and pit them in perpetual war with one another…

The French and American revolutions absolutely solved problems, and even though I’m a cooperative socialist, I will still take capitalism over feudalism any day… The main thing they accomplished was switching from feudalism to capitalism, which allowed for things such as civil rights, labor movements, some semblance of democracy, etc…

I ain’t saying I love it, fuck I’ll fight it tooth and nail, but I’ll take it over a king…

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