Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All Or Nothing

I'm really sick and tired of people accusing others of hypocrisy for trying to survive within a system that they don't support. I came across yet another example of this today. Click on the link, and scroll down to Knawhks' and Barakis' comments to see what I'm talking about. It's like telling a woman who's being raped by a much stronger assailant that she should either fight to her death or lie back and enjoy it. What the hell is wrong with you people? Are you trying to justify your "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality on the grounds that the few who refuse to play along willingly aren't martyring themselves to your satisfaction? Here's the thing; nothing changes until most of us want it to. It's no good pretending that you'll withdraw your support, later, maybe, once you can actually "do something". That chance will never come, unless you first withdraw your willing consent, and a lot of other people do likewise. Only then will it become possible to do anything about this. If you withdraw that consent, even if that's all you do, you are part of the solution. If not, you are the problem. Please don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. "There's nothing we can do," is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Money And The Illusion Of Objective Value

One common definition of money is: a symbolic representation of value. There is a hidden assumption contained in this idea; namely, that value is something objective. It's not. Clearly, we don't all value the same things. Most people do not value things like crack-dealing and human trafficking. But some do, obviously, or there wouldn't be so much money to be made from those things. One of the many destructive effects of using money is to render extreme value conflicts invisible.

Let's say I'm a seller of shoes. A customer enters my store and offers me money in exchange for my wares. I have no way of knowing how he acquired that money. For all I know, he may have kidnapped and sold a child for it. Let's say he did. In taking his money, I am essentially, although unwittingly, affirming that his act had value, and directly rewarding him for it.

The idea that value can be objectively represented is socially destructive and insane. It's also very convenient for psychopathic criminals, if the rest of us believe it can be.