Money and Materialism
If the world was seen as a tornado of ambitions and aspirations, a storm of motive and purpose with an imminent force driving people and things, what could that driving force be? Though there could be many, money easily champions as such a force in all its likelihood. From the corridors of power- the bureaucracy and the government- to the shabbiest corners of the society, money is only common everywhere. The world is, as if, hinged on the very concept of wealth and keeps swiveling with people moving on and about, craving for it.
The evolution of money can be traced back to the good old times of the Barter system, which was replaced by commodity money. By the end of World War II, most countries had adopted fiat currencies measured against the standard of US dollar. The fundamental purpose of money had always been to facilitate a medium of exchange and to act as a unit of account. However, with time, money has transcended borders of its need and assumed greater importance in everyday life. It has polarized humans into a hierarchy of class where the advantaged and a select few opportunists, having already climbed the strategic ladder of power and influence and have gone further to layout systems for the others to compete in. The ones faring well in these systems are bestowed with a standard quality of life: to cherish and celebrate the fruits of a consumer culture which in turn sustains mediocrities like themselves and feeds the gigantic hunger of those who pull the strings and built it in the first place. The ones who don’t make it through these traps fall out and spend their lives struggling for their survival and basic needs. Take money out of the equation, and this whole mechanism comes crumbling down. The sheer existence of human life and its purpose would start seeming useless without the vitality of money to it, so is the saturation of the materialistic view in our minds.
The fanaticism of all this is too vivid, it is like your existence and stature in the society is dependent on your wealth and not you. The world of today is plagued by neither poverty nor diseases, neither corruption nor crime, not even by terrorism, but by a tall and ever growing fanatical rush of money making, becoming more so of a cult. It has its believers growing in number day after day, wearing an over hyped label of quality of life, which again is measured only against one’ bank balance, car size brand tags. All the other problems facing us today are nothing but thorns born out of this treacherous new faith.
It is time to broaden our line of thought and think beyond the tags, especially when the distraction is so deceiving and illusive. It is for us to introspect what fairs as true happiness and joy, peace and satisfaction for us. It’s natural and easy to be found in the simplest of things. I remember a few lines from a movie, “Fightclub”, quoting them, “You are not your job; you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet.You are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
Money’s purpose is desirably important and its elimination is not something eternally possible. However, it shouldn’t be given the power of crushing innovation or even capitalizing on it. Power is after all nothing but a perception.Power can only hope to remain powerful as long as people want it to be.So as people work and work and work and one day die, their entire lives in the run for making money, will the sun of tomorrow bring any hope for change? It seems unlikely for now, since maybe, this is something that demands the most radical of ideas to soar up into the sky of humanity, humanity- which is already raging with sentiments of all kinds. However, history tells us that time has its way with things, people and ideas too. So will time deliver its promise? Only history that is yet to be made will tell.