Money and love

by Sylvain Poirier
(French original version)


The existence of money is necessary for the sustenance of a civilized society: if all sort of money was removed from a population, it could hardly survive for a long time. Most people need money to live, with no money one survives in poverty. Money determines the situation of a person: wherever he goes, whatever he does, if it has the money he can take it anywhere with him and thus find his happiness in all kinds of activities, leisure and organized entertainment he encounters. Who has no money, wherever he goes, whatever he does, he can often observe the happiness of others but can not himself take advantage of anything.

Its use is normally approved by the society, at least tolerated by the absence of any practical opposition.

The ideal would be that all men would equally be provided of it satisfactorily. However, this is not the case: the unequality of its distribution is amazing, a significant minority is deprived of it, a majority is in an average situation while a small minority has the privilege to be very heavily equipped of it in a way to enjoy it much more intensely than the ordinary mortals, with a total value comparable to the one of all others combined.

The existence of extreme fortunes also maintains numbers of poors in the dream to benefit of it suddenly, leading them for instance to regularly try their luck at Lotto, again and again for years, in a manner which in practice is not constructive because it restarts at any time to zero, not letting them ever increase their chances by the accumulation of attempts. This may ultimately more contribute to keep their whole lives in poverty, impoverishing them little by little.

By default of this, one can also be satisfied with a secondary ideal according to which its distribution and its possible absence would carry a moral value, it would occur in a fair manner. Some believe in such a Justice of destiny. However, it is already quite clear that those who are most filled of it are not always those who would need it most. So, instead of a share according to the need, we can still hope for a share according to merit and the moral value of beneficiaries. Here, unfortunately, it would be quite difficult to make objective statistics, so that everyone is finally free to make its opinion on the state of the current world vis-à-vis this issue, while others with a different opinion cannot easily argue.


Most fortunes have not been won at Lotto. However, among those who won there, 100% of winners have tried their chance.

Money is earned by the labour of work, and the comfort it provides is the counterpart quantitatively more or less rigorous although subjectively not equivalent, to a discomfort beared otherwise (or at least a usefulness provided to others), which somehow moderates the inequality of fates between those who were lucky enough to be able to work hard to earn a lot, and those that, involuntarily kept unemployed, had at least, instead of comfort, a sort of relief of a quiet and idle life. An advantage of money remains the margins of freedom of everyone to manage his budget, the ability to restrict it on the one hand to better free oneself on the other hand, so that any gain or loss remains the counterpart of an opposite element maintaining a relative justice on a global level.

If a rich happens to know of the misery of a poor and to have mercy, nothing prevents him from exercising his generosity to him, without pain abandoning a portion of his monetary surplus which he has no use of, to directly let the poor, with the greatest need of it, enjoy it. Such an act of charity can be implemented very easily, even trivially and automatically, by the virtue of the universally interchangeable character of money on different markets, regardless of the identities of both donor and recipient, any of their talents or skills, and their differences of tastes and needs. Such an act is universally honored by all religions as the virtue par excellence. It is moreover institutionalized in the name of the common good as a common practice, even in some extent made compulsory by the welfare state as a fundamental human right for the sake of egalitarianism. It is also optionally (but in a fairly widespread way) by the works of all humanitarian organizations. All political parties still include regularly in their electoral priorities the fight against poverty and unemployment, despite the fundamental inefficiency generally observed of any governmental attempts of action in this area.

However, as the the defects of its social functioning (which are the cruelty of his absence and the injustice of its distribution)keep disturbing our concience, many artists and novelists keep denouncing them over and over, at the border of confusion between the present defects of the money system and money itself, despite the visible strangeness of such a confusion of opposites. And even a few ideologues, considering its defects to be uncurable as inherent to the very concept of money, have come to condemn money as a social evil of the world that should be banned. It is not, of course, argued that from an individual viewpoint the comfort it provides to its owners would anyhow be wrong in itself. But the fact of benefiting it beyond a certain extent is only considered to be frivolous and insignificant, thus the desire for such excess may be considered somehow evil (especially considering that some others would need it more).

An excessive poverty mechanically generates hunger and malnutrition, that present physical signs of warning seen by everyone, regardless of the will of those who suffered, that can not be accused of playing comedy or show a simple whim. This objective sign of obviously unintentional suffering and expression of a biological undeniable necessity, happens in the context of a society which nevertheless has obvious means (above mentioned, and that, let's recall, have the advantage of not requiring any complex organization nor specific skills nor effort, nor devotion or special training of anyone, which deprives society of any pretext of impossibility this direction) to meet this need. This openly breaks the scandal, throwing on society an undeniable guilt, which raises the miserable to the rank of a victim of a cruel world, and gives him the right to cry to God for justice. And ifever, despite this scandal, the world would not promptly manage to satisfy this urgent need, the poor would be anyway assured that the worsening of his hunger would be also mechanically limited by an unintentional liberating death, which by itself will would also complete to reject any fault on this world that has left such a misery occur.

And what to say about this?

As money is basically a human, physical and social creation, its material core and its fundamental characteristics are likely to evolve with society and technology. It has thus a history, even if it still seems fairly monotonous, but its gradual conversion into permanently evolving new technologies brings the prospect of more fundamental changes. But especially now, while inequalities still exist, its volume (or the like) has increased considerably in our countries as a reflect of the increased productivity, following a general trend: thus, the poor situations themselves which were very miserable and quite widespread formerly have relatively well improved on average in developed countries.
All this suggests the hope that the miseries will also be reduced elsewhere in the future (except, of course, because of overpopulation, due to the physical limits of the resources of the planet).

For 200 years, almost nobody anymore believes material privileges to be of divine right.
According to current opinion, one does not bring one's fortune in paradise.

The state does not merely redistribute money, it also considers its more fundamental cause which is unemployment. It considers its duty to bring everyone to find a job, even though it can not control for this the decisions of employers. It considers this as such a vital and urgent task, that it sees good to spend a large part of its budget on education, testing and distribution of diplomas. This is an information aimed to at least let these candidates seem more attractive in the eyes of employers, and to remedy the possible mistakes of the first impression of a employer on a candidate during a job interview, which, though certainly interestingly, is not enough and may be misleading. Employers are actually interested to know more about what is behind their impression on someone.
No matter for the state how properly it would reflect or not a real benefit that an employer will get from this future employee, let alone that different employers are not looking for the same qualities in candidates, and that the real problem should be to know who will accept who in order that more or less everyone will find a job. No: the point is to uniformly raise the superficial view that all employers will uniformly have on all candidates who have passed the tests successfully, so to increase the chances of qualified candidates to be accepted by any employers (and the non-graduates by none, but fuck them). The purpose of this certificate, is to certify that candidates have demonstrated their good virtues and their good efforts to exhaust their prime youth when undergoing the weight of a mandatory school work (to ensure all have benefited of this treatment now matter how much they dislike it) of an extreme heaviness, in the image of the "real" work that is the normal negative counterpart of money. But it is even a harder work; not one wise enough to be really useful to anyone who pays for it, but a simulation of work, a gratuitous work useless to others. It is not freely chosen in its options, whose diversity and proportion of chosen subjects are quite miserable in comparison with the great diversity of possible jobs, and much less freely chosen depending on the tastes and capacities of everyone. It is mentally and morally exhausting, an exercise of work to pretend, for the fictive service of teachers who are not actually interested, but are only there to ensure the exercise of this work, this tedious labour operated for free.
But if such big fortunes of public money are spent this way for the sole purpose of organizing these exercises and provide certificates, it is not so much that the effectiveness of this method had been clearly established, nor even the existence of any genuine similarity of nature whatsoever between school work (and what it brings really to the pupils) and the future real work (useful to others and to be awarded by money) to which it is assumed to prepare (anyway, it would be very difficult to measure its effectiveness because of the lack of a diversity of samples with different orientations, that would be needed for comparison), than that it is the most effective, satifyingly powerful way to silence anyone who would dare suggest that the State would not have done everything possible to address the problem. For, regardless of whether it is really useful to anything or not, the one thing that interests us is to believe it, in the name of the fact that it would be absolutely inexcusable anyway to do nothing. Indeed, diplomas so hardly acquired contribute to help find work, but (according to some economists) it often happens that, contrary to what is usually assumed, this is less due to the fact that all this pain leading to diploma has improved the capabilities of the candidate, making him more productive, than the fact that having been invested in it successfully is an indiction of innate productive qualities that would not be so easily identifiable by employers otherwise.

It is easy to talk about money, to the point that it is the only term of this comparison has been explicitly mentioned.

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