Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pulling Out The Roots

"For the love of money is the root of all evil."

It is not money itself but the love of money that is the root of all evil. I've been saying that wrong for decades.

It is said that without money and the need to earn money the world would descend into chaos and sloth. I guess no one has looked around lately because we are in the midst of chaos and sloth already and we have money to chase.

The human is created in such a way that without a job or challenge or something to get up for every day we are not happy or fulfilled. We need employment and I don't mean just a job, but employment that offers challenge and fulfillment. A reason to get up every day.

Have you ever seen someone who has retired from work? They don't just stop. They don't lie around and do nothing, unless there is a serious illness and immobility involved. Retirees keep working -- in the garden, in the garage, in the house, and even in the work place. Retirees travel and invent and take on jobs at Walmart as greeters, pushing carts and answering questions and guiding shoppers to the right aisle (at least at Walmart men ask for directions -- and give them). Retirees check out all kinds of things they had no time for when they were working and chasing the almighty dollar -- and contributing to social security.

A recent movie, The Intern, starring Robert DeNiro is about a retiree who goes to work for a garment company in the factory where he was once middle management as an intern (that means without pay) and changes the life and the way the business worked. He had traveled and taken Tai Chi and done all the usual retiree things, but he wanted to get back to work and realized that being an intern (if he could get chosen) was his only option. No one would pay for his experience and expertise, but they would use him as an intern for free if he could be chosen.

The point is not that he found a way to become an intern or the changes he helped make, but that a man who had worked his whole life for a paycheck was willing to work for free to keep working. To be useful. To fulfill his life. People -- humans -- need employment to be fulfilled and to satisfy the needs of their personalities and souls -- and hearts. Even without money or the lure of money, people would continue to work and they would work at what makes them happiest and the most fulfilled, the calling of their hearts and souls.

Once the yoke of money is released there would be partying and excess because the slaves have been set free. Yes, money does make slaves of us all. That is the point of money, to enslave us, to chain us to someone else's agenda, to chain us to the grist mill of the economic wheel. I think of an old Star Trek episode where Bones, Spock, and Kirk are under cover on a planet where Llandrew rules.

The trio land just before the annual festival, the Day of Llandrew, where once a year the rules are gone and the people (usually the young people) are allowed to indulge all manner of excess. For one day they rape, cavort, get drunk, riot, murder, assault, and get into every kind of mischief. The Day of Llandrew is a kind of safety valve for their society, a time to let off steam when there are no rules and all perversions and devilry are allowed. A friend told me last night that it's like a new movie called The Purge and it certainly reminds me of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and stories and movies in the same vein where there are no rules but the rule of the mob.

Once there is no more money and no need for money and the traces are kicked over, there will be a time of no rules, except the rule of the mob, and the safety valve will be in full use. And just like the day after the Day of Llandrew, people will wake up and see what carnage and destruction they have wrought. There will be tears and regrets and everyone will go about their lives picking up the pieces and the real work will begin.

People need challenges. People need goals to work towards. People need work and adventure and employment and people will get to work.

Without money and the lash of money to keep them running after the carrot on the stick, people will dig in and do what makes them happy, what fulfills them. Those who have been forced into servitude for money will find ways to fit into the new society in other ways. Those who once dreamed of painting and sculpting and baking and sewing and gardening will dig in. They will fumble at first until they find their dusty skills and clean them off. They will be awkward and even throw a tantrum or two when they find they cannot perform with their old skills, but they will keep moving forward and practice, practice, practice until they begin to see the old glimmers of skill and artistry come to life and wink at them out of the darkness.

Not everyone wanted to be an artist or a seamstress or a baker. Some wanted to be furniture makers and architects and organizers. Some wanted to be farmers and drive trucks and work on railroads. Some liked digging ditches and repairing things. Some wanted to teach and sing and clean. Everyone is different. Dreams are as individual as the people and everyone would find their level, find their occupation. Things would shift about, but soon everyone would have a new direction and a new job. Yes, there are even those who enjoy picking up trash and cleaning up after others because they like to see order.

New communities would spring up and people would be drawn together to create new towns and new communities. People would step up to take over child care and teaching the young -- and the old. People would step up to help organize everyone and everything into the community. There are jobs for everyone and everyone would have a job. People would get down to the business of living, of creating communities, of moving into a very different and brighter future. There would be enough for all and little would be wasted after things settle down.

Yes, I believe in Utopia and I believe people are ready for it. It will take time for the culture shock to wear off, but the new world would be full of promise and opportunities and plenty for all to do.

Job satisfaction would go up because people would be doing what they want to do, what makes them happy and fulfills their heart's yearnings. There would be less ennui, less unhappiness, and fewer needs to go postal. Production would soar because it wouldn't be tied to quotas and piece rate but to satisfaction with the job to be done. Quality would increase because people would be making and doing what they are proud to do and the product of their work would be a source of pride, a gift of their talents and abilities and skills.

There would likely be less need for psychotherapy and psychiatrists and even medications to dull the pain of living because living would be a pleasure once a person finds his/her niche. Doctors and therapists who wanted to contribute would find other ways to contribute, other ways to heal the body and the mind. The mentally ill would be taken care of and there would be less need to medicate to treat because there would be fewer ills to treat. And there would be those who would fulfill their own dreams of working with and healing the mentally ill. There would be enough: enough people to do the jobs that needed to be done and enough food and shelter and people to tend to them. A job for everyone and everyone in a job they chose and looked forward to doing.

There would be runs on banks as it will take time for people to realize that the need for money is gone. There will be those unwilling to believe that money is no longer necessary and they would riot and want to break into banks, except the banks' doors would be open and people could come in and take out all the money they want. There would be scuffles over who gets more until people let it sink in that money no longer has a place in the world and is useful only as material for starting and maintaining fires and the coins could become jewelry or ornaments because they have no value outside of the metal that could be fashioned into more useful tools and objets d'art. Soon the rioting and hoarding would give way to other uses for the paper and metal leashes that chained us all to the grist mill of economic enslavement.

People might look at the way things had been done in the past and seek a new direction. Younger people are more suited physically to bear children. Young women are stronger and more full of life and promise when they are young and fresh, but young women might not be as ready to be mothers and raise children. Women find as they get older that the ability to be a good parent grows with time as does the desire to nurture children. Young women would give birth to children and the children would be placed in creches, nurseries to the uninitiated, and there would be men and women to care for the children. More mature women ready to be parents would go to the creche to choose children to raise and would take them home. All would be babies so there would be no need to warehouse the children, although the nurseries would be set up to nurture children until they are ready to be on their own, and they would be taken care of until they grew up enough to want to and were able to do things for themselves. At that point, they would be trained and their abilities and talents would be nurtured as well as they moved to the calling of their hearts and souls.

Growing children would be able to try out whatever interests them until they find what makes them happy. No pressure. No expectations except for the expectation that they would find their own personal niche. No vocation would be off limits and each individual would be given the opportunity to learn about and experience what each job would entail. No one would be forced to do anything that did not suit or fit with the individual's personality and talents. Soon they too would find their place and begin a life of their own with all the tools and support needed to help them on their way.

A woman who prefers to have children later in life would do so, but children born to younger women in the fullness of their fertility would be biologically preferable to the dangers to mother and fetus later in life. All possibilities would be explored for older and younger women who are still fertile. There would be no need to wait until they could afford children because there is no money involved and no need to make money. Builders would build houses and people would move into the houses that suited them best. Houses wouldn't be a status symbol or a function of caste or class, just a place to live, and all tastes and all designs would be accommodated.

It will take at least a generation or two to find and settle into the new world, and there would be growing pains, but eventually humanity will find a way. Humanity is adaptable and resilient and a world full of possibilities and hope will make the transition easier. We will find our way and the world will be better for it.

I look forward to the new world where there is enough for all and everyone has a place that is safe and comfortable where people are happier and more fulfilled.

That is all. Disperse.

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