In God/Money We Trust

I’ve been thinking a lot about money lately. Not the usual kind of money thoughts, like how come I don’t have more and where did what I had go, but wondering about the origins of the world’s dependence on money. How did humans create a situation in which some people starve and suffer horrible indignities because they don’t have enough money, and other people inflict that starvation and suffering so they can have a lot of money? Forget about graven idols, of all human inventions, money is the one people have turned into their God. It’s what we worship, what we depend on for our survival, what we wrap our lives around. How did we get into this money fix?

Trading probably began when human beings were going around in animal skins and learning to build fires. A spare animal pelt for a fresh haunch of deer, maybe. And I suppose in time they began to accept tokens that stood for things they had to trade. Little stones or sticks, maybe.

But somewhere between those early trades and today, the tokens became more important than the thing the token stood for. Then it became more important than the person who gave it or got it. How did humans let that happen? How did we go from a cooperative system of exchange to a crushing system that stifles creativity, destroys lives, and crushes spirits? I don’t mean the history of our monetary system, like the progression from using shells and beads to the gold standard to whatever the heck it is that we have today, I mean how did we forget the purpose of a medium of exchange? Surely the original purpose was not to wage wars and oppress masses of people so a few people could live in luxury.

I’m sort of sorry I started this whole discussion now, because I’ve thoroughly depressed myself, but maybe somebody else has a good answer. All I know is that the words “In God We Trust” on a dollar bill really mean that the dollar bill IS the God we trust.


4 thoughts on “In God/Money We Trust

  1. We’re thinking a bit along the same lines today. I’m temporarily living in a small rural town, and wonder when in the last century, farmers stopped growing one cash crop and now grow ONLY cash crops. They don’t grow their own sustenance any longer. Doesn’t that seem incomprehensible, that our growers don’t grow for themselves? They buy from a Stop & Shop that ships packaged food from thousands of miles. What a disconnect. It’s no wonder our food supplies are compromised.

  2. Hi,
    you have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.
    Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.When it’s a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.Money was invented so we could know exactly how much we owe.

  3. That may be the real crux of the problem. With all our industrialization and technology, humans have lost connection with the earth. Animals and plants aren’t our friends any more, and money has taken their place as our most valued entity. It’s going to be hard to breathe money, though, or survive by eating it and drinking it. But there seems to be an awakening all over the world that we have to get back some sanity and begin respecting all the other beings on our planet.

  4. I think it’s key to the issue. But, another element is that no one wants to work harder. Farmers especially worship the God of Convenience when it comes to their livelihood. Why dig a row by hand, even if it produces a better crop, when you can rent a big piece of petroleum-burning equipment to do it even as you sit on your fanny? Chemical spraying instead of weeding is something few farmers will want to give up. And what is convenience really? Laziness in disguise? Why else would someone push a live cow around with a forklift? There is truly no longer a deep and spiritual attachment to the Earth by those who work it for a living. Nature is a commodity. And that philosophy is a sin.

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