What is money? What is evil? I heard someone say -perhaps out of confusion- that money itself is actually the root of all evil. You yourself may have heard this from someone at sometime in your life. It would seem that many people generally like to agree that money leads to character flaws and the dereliction of morally favorable behavior. But how does this idea explain all the people in the world who have attained large sums of money, yet behave perfectly fine? Going even further, how does this idea explain anyone with wealth who instead does good things for other people? Does coming in contact with millions of dollars immediately transform you into some sort of vampiric creature only out to quench your thirst for more? Is this where evil is birthed, in the perpetual quest for more and more? If you ask a millionaire for a dollar and they refuse, you might not entertain admirable ideas about them but does that make them evil? Do you give homeless beggars the left over change in your pocket? Does refraining from sharing and preserving ones’ own money make someone evil only under the pretenses that someone else is in dire need?
While reading Atlas Shrugged, I came upon a passage where one of my favorite characters from the book gives a speech about money. Francisco D’Anconia is an outstanding character and if I speak with any honesty, his character traits are ones that I seek in my own life. He’s by far one of the most dynamic characters out of a long list of “larger than life” characters from a truly epic novel. The concept presented in the book about money can be summed up this way, “Money is a tool or vehicle of exchange between individuals who produce various items or services in the real world and more importantly, it is utilized by those who wish to deal and exchange those items or services with one another.” (I’ll include a link for the speech below.)
After reading the speech given through Francisco D’Anconia, by Ayn Rand, I began to look at money -in the D’Anconia sense- as in fact just a tool. If we examine what a tool is, first we would agree that a tool is a material object that when wielded by a user, enables the user to better and more effectively achieve his goal, material or otherwise.. A mechanic might have to pick a particular wrench to achieve a specific goal, say replacing an old cars’ leaking intake manifold gasket. We choose tools constantly in life to further our own agendas, whatever or however they may be. There are simple tools in nature and now, there are ingenious tools here as well. Tools build upon themselves, they grow more complex and hopefully more useful the longer we humans inhabit the planet. Eventually, tools in the future will be more incredible than anything we can imagine right now.
To date, one of the most advanced tools is money. We might not recognize it as such but please do no be fooled about what it is or what it can do for you. If we adhere money to the confines above, we can see that it exhibits the same characteristics of a wrench or hammer in the sense that it aids a user in advancing through his agenda or endeavor.
The question of money being the root of all evil becomes absurd under such a definition. We now can see that money in a vacuum, can bear no connotation, neither positive or negative. Money is as the hammer. It can be used to repair a broken roof and in doing so, protect a family from the crueller side of nature. Most would agree this is a positive thing. This same hammer however can be used to smash in the skull and kill one’s enemy, but even more disturbing to note, one’s family member or loved one during a swell of drunken rage or emotional panic.
Money is the same as the hammer, inasmuch as it is subject to the will of the user. Pay special attention to a fellow user who insists that “money” itself is the root of all evil, for it is that person that can rationalize terrible things while using this very elaborate, all be it false scape goat.
As the last of the Five Great Emperors of Rome, Marcus Aurelius once wrote, “Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.” Money is not evil, just as the world is not. The world is a stage for good and/or evil and money is a tool for doing the same. There are no evil things, just evil people, evil thoughts. One must realize this and become aware of how they themselves are while on stage. Good day.
Song of the Day: The Flys – Got You Where I Want You (Katie Holmes was so damn hot in that video!!!)