Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Abolish Money" - We Can Learn So Much from the UK and Europe

This blog is not political.

On the other hand, politics affects the War on Terror.

Abolish Money!

An AP story reported that there's a protest on in London, England. The G-20 summit, attended by President Obama, is what drew the demonstrators. Either that, or we're looking at a colossal coincidence there.

At least some of the protesters are shouting "Abolish Money!"

I can almost sympathize: My household has bills to pay, and the grocery expects to be paid for the food we take. It would be so much nicer, if people would give me the things I want, because I'm such a nice guy.

But, that's not how things work.

Even the barter system involved the exchange of goods and services: and there's a reason why that's a minor part of just about everyone's economy by now.

And, yes: I know that there's more to the "Abolish Money!" crowd than that. I've done time in colleges and universities, and know about Marxism, socialism, and all that.

Back to the G-20 and "Abolish Money!"

Just See How Unpopular America is!

There's little doubt that some people just plain don't like America. America exists, is relatively prosperous, is a source of aid for many nations (yes, I know - foreign aid has strings attached, and is controlled by the military-industrial complex), and has a habit of sorting out bad situations.

That last is dependent on what one regards as a "bad situation." For those who believe that Iraq would be better off with Saddam Hussein in charge, and that Afghanistan was doing fine under the Taliban before those Americans messed it up: America is a danger to peace, love, and grooviness everywhere.

I think that the shouts of "Abolish Money!" are a reminder that anti-American sentiment pre-dated either of the Bush administrations; and that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not the only groups that quite simply don't like America, and the sort of individual opportunities this country offers.

We Can Learn So Much From [Insert European or Eastern Country]

I haven't heard that phrase, "we can learn so much from [the French, generally]" for decades. Cliches change.

I think the sentiment is still strong, in some circles: the idea that America is a rude, crude, unsophisticated place: desperately in need of culture and enlightenment. The people who believe this were, in my experience, convinced that they, although born in America, unlike the common sort: but that's another topic.

There's some truth to that assertion. Museums like the Louvre house collections of art from centuries past, and Europe abounds in monuments to great accomplishments. Europe's history is much deeper than America's - and there's something to be learned from that.

But, if America was ever a backwater, inhabited by unsophisticated people (like Franklin, Jefferson, the various Adams??): that was then. This is now. A thousand years from now, some other place may be where 'things are happening.'

Today, a great deal of technology and culture is being produced in America, Japan and India. What we're doing isn't exactly the way Europe does things: but it works.

Freedom to Complain: Enjoy it

If you live in a place that's run along vaguely 'American' lines, you're free to complain about the prosperity and freedom. And, if you've got the wherewithal, you can hop a plane to Paris, stake out a table on the Champs-Elysees, and discuss how revolting America is.

Assorted weirdness: In the news:

2 comments:

TJ said...

An effective way to abolish money is to counterfeit money until governments automate everything and provide basic life necessities freely.

http://groups.google.com/group/the-venus-project

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

TJ,

The effectiveness of your proposal is debatable, but it is certainly illegal and would quite likely have devastating effects on the economy - and people.

As for "...governments automate everything and provide basic life necessities freely...." - Sounds totally groovy and rad, but I suspect it would work as well as the worker's paradise did.

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Blogroll

Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.