Oct 10, 2017, 8:50:28 AM10/10/17
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In a movie, a man from New York moves to the country to buy a house from his wife's relatives. The house turns out to be haunted. The man confronts the relative under the claim that he wanted his money. The response is, “The money makes the world go round, home boy.”
The man from New York made a wrong argument. The problem is not that his relative wanted money, but that he sold him a defective product. This has implications for many other situations.
In seeing wrong things done in the name of money, some people decide that the problem is with money. They are met with the correct argument that their lifestyle is based on money, and that in attacking money they are hypocrites. There is however a correct way to address this problem.
Money is not the problem. Wrong ways to make money are the problem. We see confusion between a value and the misuses of the value. I have an education in economics from a conservative American university, and I am not against money. I am however against short-sigthed and destructive ways in which some people make money; and it is these, not money, that should be addressed.
We see a similar thing with beauty. Feminists attack beauty because there are some people who use beauty for wrong. The problem, again, is not with the value but with the misuses of the value. That unscrupulous plastic surgeons exploit women's insecurities to convince already attractive women that they cannot be beautiful unless they keep coming back for more treatments does not damn beauty; it damns the plastic surgeons. That some parents and school cultures attack girls whom they do not consider attractive does not damn beauty; it damns them.
We see the exact same thing with money. Once again, money itself is not the problem. The problem is the wrong way in which some people make money. If you are making quick buck by destroying what you have not created and what you cannot re-create, then you are doing a wrong thing. This does not damn money. It damns the people who do such a thing.
There are many ways to make money that are good. A person who makes money by computerizing the world is doing a right thing. A person who makes money by feeding people is doing a right thing. A person who makes money by building houses is doing a right thing. A person who makes money by producing valuable thought is doing a right thing. But the person who makes money by burning rainforest in order to make ranches that become useless in two years is doing a terrible thing, as is the person who poisons the air and the oceans when there are many better ways to provide for people's energy needs.
The correct argument therefore is not the one against money. The correct argument is the one against wrong ways in which money is made. Similarly, the feminists are confused about beauty. The problem is not with beauty but with misuses of beauty. A value is itself innocent of its misuses. The problem is the misuses of the value and not the value itself.
Is money a bad thing? No, it is not. However there are any number of ways to make money that are destructive. In wars, the victors at first get money by looting; but over the long run they lose money as there becomes less and less money to loot. And when people make money by doing wrong things, they are likewise destroying wealth in the long run. The rainforest turns into a wasteland, and rich and beautiful environments that people have not created and cannot re-create turn into mud plain.
The correct argument therefore is not one against money, but against wrong ways to make money. And when this correct argument is made, the people who make it are less likely to be labeled as hypocrites and more likely to actually make a correct influence in the world. Do not militate against money. Militate against wrong ways to make money. And that will result in a much more effective argument than what we see from any number of people who militate against capitalism.