Is Money The Root To All Evil?
I received an Email today and it was one of the most honest and inspiring emails I have read in awhile. In the Email there was a link to an article called "Is Money Destroying The World?" He takes some excerpts from "Atlas Shrugged" He writes about Ego and Greed, and America, The Home of The "Freebies and Slaved".
What was once the shining beacon of hope, leadership, and freedom around the world, is fast becoming a wasteland divided - with looters on one side, and the sheeple who willingly trade-in their pride, their dreams, and their honor as men - in exchange for hand-outs like social security, unemployment, and food stamps, referred to as "benefits" by the looters.
Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men/women able to produce them.
Money is the material shape of the principle that men/priniciple who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade, and give value for value.
Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men/women who produce.
When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into bread you will need to survive tomorrow.
Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men/women who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money.
Have you ever looked for the root of production?
To trade by means of money is the code of men/women of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more.
Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss – the recognition that they are not beats of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery - that you must offer them values, not wounds - that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods.
Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find.
And when men live by trade - with reason, not force, as their final arbiter- it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability – and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward.
Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent.
To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among people. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money – and he has good reason to hate it.
The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it. The person who respects it has earned it.
So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another – their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
These are excerpts from the book "Atlas Shrugged" and Mike Dillard.