Money, Described As A System.
The Secret Of Systems, Part 4.
Money has always been a puzzling phenomenon, not surprisingly as it has many features that are truly paradoxical. The first is that something all but worthless – a piece of printed paper, for example – has a value attributed to it. Indeed, Rudolf Steiner in his series of lectures entitled ‘World Economy’, speaks of how in our modern age, what we use as money should actually have no intrinsic value at all.
In order to understand why this should be, and why this is pertinent to a system, I need to digress. It is, after all, my style. Because, in the same series of lectures, Rudolf Steiner speaks of the dissonant nature of value, which as you can appreciate, is closely bound to the concept of money. Here, he speaks of how the seller values the money he receives more than the product he sells. This can be explained in simple terms by saying that the seller can use the money he is paid to produce more of the things he sells. In short, he can produce another item to sell as well as live from the proceeds. There may be a little left over as well for a rainy day.
On the other hand, the money the buyer pays to buy the item is worth less to him than the item he has bought. If he has a business, he will have some skill that allows him to employ that item to his own profit. For example, a travelling salesman will find that he can pick up orders for this product, and with this, can buy as many as were ordered and having purchased them, sell them at a profit on his return. In this way, he too makes a living by serving others.
Every transaction fulfils this pattern. That is to say, the seller values the money he is paid more than the product he sells, for the buyer, it is the inverse. It must be clearly stated that in both cases, the money and the product are exactly the same. It is only the difference in circumstances and the individual capacities of the seller and buyer that make any change in their value.
The value a person gives to money has nothing to do with the amount of money in that person’s wallet. In the hands of an intelligent person, that money will have more value than in the hands of a stupid one. Wisdom, which is a capacity that is the domain of humans will increase the value of that money. Stupidity devalues it; put better, not infrequently it means there is no value associated with it at all. In this instance, it is merely squandered.
In either case, the point is that the amount of money is irrelevant. It is the person’s ability to put that money to good use that makes the difference. In the above case of seller and buyer, if both people are wise, the transaction will mean the money has the most value that it can possibly have. If both are stupid, the amount is reduced, almost to the point where the value of the money is nothing more than its face value. In this instance, there is no ‘added value’. This is the blunt end of the supermarket transaction where there is so little humanity that money really is only paper.
The real point of this post is to show that whilst money is merely the medium of transaction but the manner in which it is subsequently employed will demonstrate the true value of that money.
Money is, in and of itself, worthless. It is, in our day and age, printed, pressed or electronic. In every case, the face value of the coin is worth substantially more than the metal the coin is made of. In days of old, a coin would be worth the value of the metal it was formed with – but it must be stated that the value of that metal was largely a product of its scarcity. The very scarcity of gold made it an ideal substance for making money, because there was so little of it to go around meant it kept its value. In our modern age, this situation is very different – but this diversion must be tackled in my upcoming series on the metals.
As far as money goes, however, even in mediaeval times, gold had no true use beyond its being a metallic substance that had certain qualities. I’ll put it simply: you cannot eat it. In this respect, gold has no value save that it can buy you food. If a person has a loaf of bread in a world where there is no food, that loaf of bread will be worth a lot more than a bar of gold.
In the real world, gold is a lot scarcer than bread – and bread can be produced year after year given well maintained fields. But this stands as a warning to us all: allow those fields to become sterile and nothing will grow on them. That is when people will go hungry and things that cannot be eaten will lose their shine very quickly when tummies are empty.
In short, money in our day and age should not have a value. We live in a time where the challenges of society as a whole mean that a person should be employing their innate, unique abilities in the service of others. In this way, they can deliver services that others cannot, and in that those services help others, we arrive at the point where we started: with the seller valuing the money he is paid more than that which he is paid for. The more a person expresses their individuality – that is to say, the more they have developed their consciousness soul – the more they can offer others.
Value and quality are directly linked, the higher the quality, the higher the potential value to the right client. The problem in our day and age is that there are few such clients – for a client to appreciate what is offered to them must perforce be able to discern that which they are purchasing.
Money, Described As A System.
The point here is that money has no value. That is the key to understanding the nature of a system, and it is key to understanding the challenges that a system will bring on its tails. I will discuss such things in future posts; for now it is sufficient to realize that without a human to value it, money on its own is nothing.
Just as a system without humans is an empty hall where nothing happens. It can be the largest and most ornate hall on the planet, as tall and as wide as you can imagine – but without people, it is empty and contains nothing more than air. A system doesn’t even have that much.
The Secret Of Systems, Links To Other Parts In This Series:
Part 1: How Can Lidl Be So Cheap?
Part 3: A Different View Of Karma. (Published Privately).
Part 4: The Value Of Money.
Part 6: Thomas Hardy And Friedrich Nietzsche. (Published Privately).
Part 7: That’s Not Fair Play!
Part 9: When The System Bites Back.
Part 10: I Admit It: I Made A Mistake.
Please note that privately published posts are available to trusted friends without cost. The content is not intended for the general public and is restricted to those who can demonstrate that they understand the nature – and implications of – Rudolf Steiner’s scientific thinking. It is not for the unready.
In certain circumstances, pdfs of these posts are available on request; you may do so by leaving a comment. This will tell me if you can grasp the nature of the post you are enquiring about. The comment itself can be left unmoderated or deleted if requested.