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Letters from Down under

The Rule of Money

Submitted by Lindsay
Melbourne Australia!

Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfies not? Isaiah 55: 8

(11/2017) Countries are instantly recognisable by their icons. The Union Jack and lions for Britain, the southern Cross and the Sydney opera house for Australia, Maple Leaf and Mounties for Canada, and so on. There really do evoke the popular conceptions of the place, with some being specific to a particular time Ė the Hammer and Sickle or the Swastika for instance. And this is true for The United States Ė the Stars and Stripes, Coca Cola and Hollywood being the things that are the epitome of America.

Sometimes, though, a country is known for more than its icons. Sometimes there is an underlying motif so strong that it IS the country, the factor that dominates the life of every citizen. In Russia it used to be communism, and in your country it is money. The rise and rise of your love for it is history, and more than that, it is your true religion. In this, your title of the most church going nation in the world is correct. Just the symbol is wrong Ė not the cross but that curly sign with the bar through it, the $. Every day it has far more reverence given to it than all other symbols; it has become the golden calf, the shibboleth of every person in the country. It infuses every aspect of life, and very little life can be done without it.

You have become so used to it that itís need is taken for granted, and like all commonplace things, its hard to realise the tragedy it has produced. Forget unregulated guns, forget injustice Ė money has led you down the slippery slope of inequality, and that is producing so much pain in so many places that you will try anything to ameliorate it. Things like allowing a madman to be elected. I suppose you could be proud of being the only western nation that has ever achieved this state of euphoric imbalance, and while that is tragic, it wouldnít matter except that the fallout is producing catastrophe on an unprecedented scale around the world.

You see, your reputation is so great that if you adopt a certain way of doing things others will try it too. Even when those things are crazy. When the ultra-right begin to win power, when rational thought is subsumed by off the cuff tweets, then we all just want to escape.

At home the suffering is so enormous that in previous times and places barricades would be stormed and Marie Antoinette dragged from her silicon valley palace to le guillotine, but now we have the spectacle of wage slavery and underground scrabbling even as unemployment declines. This is Hitlerís ideal come to perfection, because no storm troopers or SS are needed. Algorithms now suffice.

Overseas governments have been bought or out-sourced, had their security burgled, or at the very least bullied. And no, this is not fantasy, itís documented and written up by a press that is generally more honest and forthright than most. Itís the stories from those caught up in this modern day plight, the pleas from communities left out and ignored, the people who thought it could never happen to them that they tell us about.

But it doesnít change the dysfunctional nation that has been created, because when money not only rules but decides what is good and what is not, then people, actual living human beings, no longer matter. Thatís the result of the rule of money. The haves and the have-nots in a ration of 98 to 1. An elite at the highest pinnacle possible, the rest spreading out like cheese melting down a totem pole. Money insulates them from reality, creates a wonderland where only good things happen, where power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and government is tweaked and moulded for their benefit.

And no one can do anything about it. Those that can, canít be bothered and really donít care. Those that might have are fighting among themselves, unable to produce anyone with the power and charisma that could set things back on course. Indeed, the only half way sane voice in all this has been ridiculed by the Democrats as being communistic. There is no one less deserving this appellation than Bernie Sanders, but he seems to have been the only person with an idea of what money actually is.

Those that have no hope of achieving redress are stymied by being unable to find anyone who can explain, ease their hurts, or take them seriously. The algorithm, that automated response insulating the upper echelons from responsibility, removes any sense of shame and the idea of caring. And this happened because presidents, too naive to understand and too seduced by the American dream, have been influenced by greed and slight of hand, the package put out by such famous people as Milton Freedman and Ayn Rand and touted by successive right wing think tanks. Money actually blinds its lovers to its disease carrying numbness.

Is there an alternative? Yes, there are ways of running a society where money is kept in its proper place, where it is not something in its own right, but simply a token, a means of facilitating trade. Not something to be accumulated for its own sake, when it can be used to generate more. The buying and selling of money is the ultimate sin, one that caused the money changers to be tossed from the temple. And, as the bible says, such love is the root of all evil, the evil you now live with every day, that blights all of society. The filthy rich are just that Ė filthy in their morality and respect for their fellow man. They have trashed your labour, reduced you to the the status of slaves.

Time to wave the flag of liberty again.

Lindsay,

Melbourne, Australia

Read Past Down Under Columns by Lindsay Coker