“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money?”
Rand, Ayn. Atlas shrugged. 35th anniversary ed. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Signet,
Wow, it’s been a long while since I’ve written. I’ve been shockingly busy and distracted. My husband has spun up his business hardcore. That has taken up more of my time than I expected, which is good. My nephew also distracted me, which is fun. But enough distractions! Back to business… or writing as the case may be.
So many people state that capitalism is evil and corporations are soulless because they are run by greedy people and that money is the root of all evil. I disagree for so many reasons but I came to a another conclusion as to why it’s not evil. This happened in a very weird yet surprisingly appropriate forum. It was in Grand Theft Auto 5 online. I got into a very interesting discussion with a 24 year old man in a philosophical dilemma and he said to me “money corrupts.” I immediately disagreed with him.
I’ll start by saying GTA 5 is my first foray into the GTA world. I watched my husband play the other games and thought them rather silly. I do, however, enjoy the online game. I’ve met a number of people I enjoy speaking to (while running around the online world wreaking digital havoc.) Rockstar has a fantastic capitalist venture going with these games, but I digress, sort of.
The person I was talking to is often referred to as “the puppy” because he’s so much younger than us, but he sure has a head on his shoulders. My first experience with him was only about a month ago. We were simply playing the game and I all of a sudden heard a one sided “debate” he was having with someone in open forum and I needed to jump in. The puppy was holding his own as the person he was “debating” had no concept of reality, and having back up is always nice. Either way, I decided I liked him as he was intelligent and consistent even when the other person was combative, and at times verbally threatening. That’s hard to find in 20-somethings nowadays.
Now, I specifically bring him up because in talking with him, I ended up thinking about an old topic in a slightly different way.
If money corrupts, or is the root of all evil, then by it’s very nature, it corrupts everything whether you are rich, poor, or somewhere in between.
When does money corrupt a person? How much money must a person have before they are considered corrupted? So many pick on “the rich” as being the bane of all existence, that’s why I ask this question. My husband and I are simply comfortable in Calgary but feel downright rich in some places in the United States. Here in Canada, I expect to have hot water for every shower yet in parts of the world, clean water is impossible to come by. Rich is a matter of perspective, so when is a person rich, and then, when is a person corrupted by money? Who determines this? Is there a secret group out there somewhere that I’ve never heard of that sends out a monthly list? If so, I’d like to get on their mailer.
If money corrupts, or is the root of all evil, how does one maintain health? Are they not contributing to that evil by making money and then by spending it on groceries? It cannot be a healthy lifestyle if it begins through the use of the root of all evil. One cannot help the poor by giving the root of all evil as donations. Why would churches accept the root of all evil into their coffers?
Or is it that morality and ethics cannot be purchased, and money is simply the easiest mechanism to blame? Why blame the person for their actions? Blame something else, like money. The responsibility for morality, ethics and virtue can’t be my responsibility, can it?
“The Devil made me do it, I had no will of my own!”
People who say that money is the root of all evil get that quote wrong anyway. The Biblical quote that is so often corrupted is:
1 Timothy 6:10 (King James Version)
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
That is a different idea. In my opinion, money for the sake of money makes it valueless. The value of money is in what it can purchase, and it can’t purchase morals, ethics or virtue. That is the responsibility of the individual. An individual can be moral or immoral, ethical or unethical, whether they are rich or poor.
Money is a tool. It is the means to get from point A to point B. For some it is easier than others. Some have more than others, but it is not the evil that so many make it out to be. The poor wish to control the rich because the rich have money. They see them as greedy, but wish to take that money for themselves. So who is more corrupt - those who have money, or those who don’t and wish to take it through force and not earn it honestly?
What happened to “an honest days work for an honest days pay?” How did that become “I’m entitled to your wealth?”
Capitalists, those who produce, those with money, do not take anything by force but create wealth. They increase their wealth and the wealth of others, through moral, ethical actions. They do not make demands nor expect anyone else to do the work for them. Capitalists and the rich wish a free market and wish to be controlled by a free market. Those with very little (money, ambition, ethics, etc…) wish to have capitalists and the rich controlled, regulated, to have their hard earned money, their production of “evil” taxed away.
So, who is more corrupt? Those who create wealth, or those to uninspired to do more than create a system of entitlement and taxation? It’s easier to believe that money is evil and the cause of corruption than to go out make it, I suppose, but that does lead to problems. It leads to unearned resentment towards producers, and it leads to people who want an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work. It leads to taxpayer funded programs being called “entitlement programs” and the expectation that my $2 earned becomes their $2 legally pick pocketed.
Perhaps it is not money, but the lack of money and ambition that corrupts.
I'm a Canadian classical liberal (individual freedoms are important) who photographs stuff. I also happen to have few opinions about a few things. Read my stuff, you'll see what else there is to me.