Description of the monetary system
Let’s examine one of the oldest established orders still in use today: the monetary system. When we say the monetary system, we don’t mean native monetary policy, interest rates, the fractional reserve policy, central banks or any other component attribute. We refer to the absolute foundation of the concept, being a system of incentive acquisition and exchange.
Let’s ask the most fundamental question: why did we invent money?
Money is not a natural resource nor does it represent resources. Money and the monetary system is actually a social convention for managing scarcity and rewarding creation.
If a person grows a food product on a plot of land, that product is given a value one, based on how scarce the product is in the region, hence, the level of demand versus supply, and two along with the amount of labour and time spent to produce that product. Generally speaking, if a product is rare in the society then its value was raised. If the skill set needed by a person to cultivate that product is also rare in the community, then the value is increased as well.
This is the basic theory of value which you’ll hear in economics 101.
As harmless as this may seem on the surface, let’s now consider some of the unspoken negative retroactions of this system, namely the profit mechanism and its relationship to establishment preservation.
Problems and scarcity equals profit
Socially negative attributes of society become positively rewarded ventures for the industry. The more problems and scarcity there is, the more money that can be made off of attempts at solutions.
The more efficiency created in society, the fewer opportunities for monetary acquisition.
In other words:
There is very little intrinsic reward and hence the motivation to solve any currently profitable problem in existence.
The very nature of monetary reinforcement condones the perpetuation of problems.
For example, Energy is the cornerstone of our society. You would think that scarce and depleted oil supplies which are a common speculation, at this point in time Peak Oil, would be a dire concern given our current social dependence. Posing nothing but negative connotations. No, not in the short term. There is nothing the old companies want more than consistent scarcity.
The 2007-2008 speculative bubble and oil, which shut down schools, school buses and caused immense hardship for the lower classes, for both, home heating and transportation, is a classic example. If oil companies know, that they can make more money by having their items scarce, the propensity to deliberately limit production and disregard social concern, or simply be dishonest outright about available resources, is very high.
The same goes unfortunately for every other socially dire problem, such as environmental pollution. The more polluted our water tables and taps become, the more industry can compensate by offering profitable solutions.
This creates a perverse reinforcement of indifference to environmental concern by industry. The more damage there is the more money that can be made.
It is simply how the game is set up and the psychological ramifications are sick and profound.
Proof of this sick monetary system
Let’s consider the medical industry, which should be one of the most altruistic and progressive institutions we have, as our quality of life often depends on it. However, we need to realize the simple reality, that the medical establishment with its millions of employees thrives off of the sickness of the population.
The more problems solved in the realm of disease, the less money that can be generated.
For example the cancer industry. This is a massive multi-billion dollar a year industry, a trillion dollar industry with a very large number of people in employment. Suppose for a moment, hypothetically, that a cure for all cancers was somehow achieved and the method of treatment was simple and easy. In other words: there was no longer a way to make all of this money off of the illness by the medical establishment. Do you realize what would happen to the economy to the medical institutions? if that particular problem was actually given a viable solution?
And when you realize that, do you really think that the intent is to cure this illness?
It would also lay off tens of thousands of people. Keep in mind: it’s an establishment. The moment you have employees and everything, and even if you’re working initially for an altruistic cause, the moment you’re in the position of supporting a group, and the group relying on the institution, suddenly motivations change.
What if a company made a car that can last 80 years without service and also runs without the need for perpetual refuelling through battery technology. The aftermarket value of that car would be virtually zero. And billions of dollars will be lost due to the now obsolete consumer oil and auto service market industries.
Probably many of you know, that we have the technology now to create electric cars that can go 80 miles an hour for a thousand miles on one charge.
You might also know as a case in point that the White House during the Bush administration, which was, in fact, the oil cartel in power, made sure their corporate constituents in the oil industry were safeguarded against this new reality by helping to just get rid of the idea of itself – squashing it.
In fact, there is no reason why every single car sold could not be electric right now. They aren’t because social progress and human well-being are always second to monetary gain.
Social progress and human well-being are always second to monetary gain.
Also, if people cannot make money off of solving social problems they simply will not be done. Take a look at the horrid dire destitution of Africa, or simply the rampant and growing homelessness across the world. I think George Carlin actually put it best:
…have you ever noticed, that the only metaphor we have in our public discourse for solving problems, is to declare war on it… …we have the war on crime… …the war on cancer… …the war on drugs… …but did you ever notice, that we have no war on homelessness? you know why? Because there’s no money in that problem. No money to be made off of the homeless. If you can find a solution to homelessness, where the corporations and politicians can make a few million dollars each, you will see the streets of America begin to clear up pretty damn quick…
Often, when you think about these kinds of things, the word corruption comes to mind. Many feel, that these are ethical issues. But is it really corrupt for an energy establishment to want to limit supply artificially so they can make money? Is it really corrupt for a company to seek indifferent self-preservation at the expense of social progress? Actually, no, it isn’t. It is simply business as usual.
You should expect nothing less than this tendency. The profit mechanism creates established orders which constitute the survival and wealth of large groups of people. The fact is: no matter how socially beneficial new advents may be, they will be viewed in hostility if they threaten an established financially driven institution. Meaning, social progress can actually be a threat to the establishment.
To put it into a sentence:
Abundance sustainability and efficiency are the enemies of profit.
Progressive advancement in science and technology, which can solve problems of inefficiency and scarcity once and for all, are in effect making the prior establishments servicing of those issues obsolete. Therefore, in a monetary system, corporations are not just in competition with other corporations, they are in competition with progress itself.
That is why social change is so difficult within a monetary system. In other words: the established monetary system refuses free-flowing change.