Time, money and the human continuum
I gotta tell ya people, despite a recent foreshortening of finances that involved lowering my personal allowance from $20 to $5 per week for spending money, Culture Vulture is more determined than ever to maintain delivery of the high-octane social commentary and community introspection that you have come to expect over the past couple of years. Because, well, I love you, and money be damned if it hampers my ability to express that love, even if said expression does freak a few people out.
I mean, after all, what is money? A blight on the soul of humanity? Undoubtedly. The root of all evil? Well, the full quote is, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” [1 Timothy 6:10] so perhaps we should peer into that.
So, what is money? At its most basic, money is the exchange of a portion of one’s personal time on Earth, in the form of either physical or mental labor, for a token of standardized value that can be exchanged for the produce of another individual’s personal time on Earth. (Bless you Ikea and Trader Joe’s.)
The concept of reciprocated labor is the basis of everything that defines us as human beings. After all, be we ever so motivated and talented, none of us as individuals can do everything necessary to maintain the lifestyle demands of our current technologically based society. So of course we willingly trade portions of our lives and labors upon the Earth to enjoy the benefits of our fellow travelers’ labors in the physical universe: I’ll do my best to make a weekly magazine look pretty, be informative and perhaps provide a heartfelt laugh, groan of contempt or sigh of agreement if you’ll prune my shade tree, tune up my car, fill the potholes on my street, tile my kitchen counter, play some rockin’ music or act in a TV show that makes me laugh or otherwise acknowledge my undeniable connection to the world outside myself.
The problem faced by any rationally compassionate person working toward the ethically positive evolution of our current society is that once one has allowed the value of one’s time and abilities to be translated into abstract, standardized numerical terms and exchanged impersonally between people who have no interest in the personal lives that they “own,” is that it becomes dismally possible for selfish, uncaring people to acquire rights to our efforts that have nothing to do with mutual respect or even mutual need.
Instead, the focus of our work becomes centered on maintaining the physical comfort of those who have little to no respect for the time and effort their lifestyle demands from the people doing the actual labor that allows them to maintain their privileged position in the physical continuum.
Which leads to global warming, religious terrorism, beached whales and horrifically bad pop music, i.e. Jason Mraz.
Like the Beatles said way back when, “All you need is love.” Stick with that and you can’t go wrong. Stray from that and you wind up with George W. Bush for president and Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor. Dedicated to Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Dave Brock and J.R.R. Tolkien.