Money - How Money changes our Value System?
Money as a standard for giving value should match with how human beings subjectively give value. If there is a mis-match, it may lead to those things being valued, which human beings actually do not value.
This is an interesting point in the sense, it addresses three questions that
1.How human beings give value to various things when money system is not there or in general?
2.How that valuation changes when money comes in between?
3.What changes have come to system when money is introduced?
I will address first question first.
For a human being giving a particular value to a particular thing depends on several factors like, availability of basic resources to him, his earning, his dependents, his sources of resources, his relationships with others around him, his own understanding, his mood at a time, culture he lives in, place he lives in, his preferences and several more. The value given by an individual varies with space, time and may differ for each individual.
We can see many examples:-
1.In general a human being first seeks happiness in material, which doesn’t give him continuity of it, then he starts seeking the same in relationships, where he starts seeing the possibility of continuity but due to lack of knowledge he is not able to ensure its continuity and ultimately he starts moving towards knowledge which can ensure its continuity. Intensity of happiness in respect to time in continuous with Knowledge, Long lasting in Relationships and Temporary in Material. When a human being is unresolved within, he searches for happiness in Relationships and when he is not able to find it even there then he searches it in Material.
2.Poor person may give more value to basic amenities, but a rich person may not.
3.When I am in good mood then I do not feel that need for material pleasures much. When I am in bad mood I resort on to material pleasures like movies, music, tasty food, roaming in market etc.
4.When I am alone the value of my friends increases for me.
5.When my relationships with others are going well then my dependency on material pleasures and external recognition and respect decreases. When relationships are not going well then my dependency on material pleasures increases.
6.Value of material pleasures for me also depends on my understanding. If my understanding is more then I give more value to relationships than material. I am more contended within.
7.The place, society and culture I belong to also contribute to the things I give value.
8.My ambitions, goals, things I consider important definitely contribute to what things I will give value in my life.
9.What things are considered to be important in society, by me and by others around me also alter my value system towards things.
10.I may give more value to a particular thing today but may not give it the same value tomorrow. Value of things changes for me with respect to time.
11.My valuation also changes with respect to space. A thing which is valued more in a particular place might lose its value at some other. Like if I am living in a very hot place then the value of cooler might increase for me than if I am living in a cooler place.
12.Such valuation measures are also different for different individuals. There is a variation on the basis of individuals too.
13.Same thing may have different value for me at different times. Like if I am feeling resolved within then I may value pizza less than when I am feeling contradictions within.
14.I may value Jalebi more when my stomach is empty than my stomach is full.
There can be several more. All these things give an idea of what all things a human being give value to, on the basis of different factors.
Coming to Second question:-
Money introduces a common valuation/price tag of commodities for all kind of people. Like for a poor person 100 Rs may be sustenance for 2-3 days but for a rich person it is probably nothing more than a cigar.
When money is introduced in the system then this valuation varies a lot. The basic problem which comes with money is that people start assuming that
Money = Resource, Money = Security
This is the basic misconception which gets associated with money. Money is a symbol and not the resource itself. If say after 50 years from now our lands become infertile, production decreases, global warming creates many more problems, pollution increases then what one can do with money. Money is nothing more than a piece of paper if resource is not available. Resources on earth are limited. Money as a symbol may be available in infinity but not the resource. When one starts assuming money as resource then he wants to accumulate more and more money so that he is assured of getting continuity of resource in his house. In this process he does not do any production work. His main intention is to accumulate more and more money than to produce anything. In this process he wants to indulge into production of those things which can fetch him more money. If we see in current society, the things which should not be valued much are being valued more. Like, diamond has no value as far as the living of an individual is concerned, but it is being valued more than potato, tomato and other basic things which are the basic requirements of a human being. Now people who are involved in production, distribution of diamonds and its jeweleries are earning a lot. So, more and more people now want to indulge into production of diamonds, because it will fetch them more and more money. There are two problems here, over-evaluation of a thing like diamond, which is happening actually due to lack of understanding of an individual and misconception in an individual that Money = Resource, which is also nothing but lack of understanding. Ultimately it boils down to the lack of understanding of an individual only.
Here one can see that the things which are not really valuable to an individual become more valuable to him when money is introduced in the system and standard of valuation becomes money.
One more misconception which comes along is
Money = Happiness, Money = Respect, Money = Relationships These misconceptions also make an individual to accumulate more and more money. The more money he has the more he feels that he has respect, security in relationships. The problem which comes here is, when it is assumed that Money can ensure Respect and Relationships then an individual needs infinite money.
Money = Power to exploit.
Money being a non-perishable resource can be used as and when required and also gives an opportunity and flexibility to owners of it to exploit a person who is involved in production of resources. Resources are perishable, but money is not. A person who is involved in production of say grains has his source of income from selling grains only. Grains are perishable, so after some time he may be ready to sell them for lower costs. A person who has money which is not perishable is more secure in terms of availability of resources.
Money = Variability in cost of living.
If we take an example of Hyderabad, here the cost of living has increased a lot in past some time. This is because a few set of people specially software engineers in Hyderabad earn more than many. They are ready to pay more. Due to which prices/rents of various things in Hyderabad have increased a lot in past few years. This causes problems to those who are not in software fields, like government employees. It is really difficult for them to survive in a place like Hyderabad now, so they start indulging into various bad practices like bribery. A person who has more money is ready to pay more because he has more paying capability, because of this prices of things shoot up. This brings variability in the cost of living in a particular place and others might not be able to sustain that. This is one more problem which comes up.
Money = Invention of many useless jobs just for money accumulation.
When a “symbolic resource” like money comes into picture then it gives rise to several such jobs which are totally useless and non-productive. Basic purpose of such jobs is just to accumulate more and more money without doing anything. One of such jobs is, Real estate business. They buy and sell lands, houses and other properties and make profit out of them. Share markets are one more example of it.
Money = Reduction of production.
More and more people now want to indulge into production of things which can fetch them more and more money. Most of such high paying jobs are useless and non-productive. When more and more people are getting involved into such kind of jobs so people who are involved in production of resources of basic needs are very less. This leads to lack of production in state/country which creates further more problem like interdependence, lack of self sufficiency, wars for resource accumulation.
Money = Overconsumption of resources, lack of sensitivity towards environment and nature. Leading to consumerism.
With money one begins to forget the real value of things, what all is required in order to produce things, who all are involved in production of those things which are in use, where the raw material of things I am using coming from, what production methodologies are being used and whether this product which I am using is maintaining balance in nature or not. This kind of system just increases consumerism. What it has produced is just a set of insensitive consumers.
Money = Promotes a life style which is not good for health
Nature has its own natural ways of production. When a man works in alignment with those ways it is good for his health also. Production in natural ways involves a lot of physical labor also which is required for the body. When this is not available in right amounts it creates several health problems which we already see. In current jobs there is no bodily exercise involved.
Money = Gives surface to centralization for power and monopoly. Gives rise to exploitation of people, long working hours and repetitive non-creative works.
This symbolic resource as money also gives opportunity to system to centralize the power and authority, which leads to several problems like slavery and exploitation. Mis evaluation of things is already there, like diamond being evaluated as more than grains. Over this when symbolic resource like money is also available then those who are involved in production of diamonds and owners of the production factory or mill get the power to exploit poor by giving them poor wages, selling products on higher costs, thus exploiting consumer also. Their major objective is to increase their profits. In such conditions they can make you work whatever they want, however they want and for as much time as they want. This leads to exploitation of people and long working hours. As a mater of fact those who are involved in production of say diamonds are only able to buy them.
One more example which can be given here is the example of software industry. They make you work for long hours, make you to do non-creative works and people do not have other options also.
Money = A lot of insecurity in system
When a system on monopoly/centralized power is created there comes a lots of insecurity. Owner can fire anybody anytime. Other jobs do not allow one to sustain. One becomes more and more bound to join big factories and become dependent on system.
Money = Migration
Most of the villagers migrate to cities to secure their living. It is not the only reason though for their migration, but yes definitely a major contributing reason. When cost of various things keep increasing villagers find it difficult to sustain their life in villages, they come under debts too and are bound to migrate to cities and join factories and mills. It leads to a lot of migration, further decrease in production of basic resources, over population in cities and increase in the number of consumers which further worsens the situation.
Money = Exploitation of nature.
More and more money accumulation requires factory owners, mill owners, farmers and many others to adopt non-cyclic ways of production in order to increase their production multi-folds. The means which they use to increase production of resources cause land, water, soil, air pollution.
Money = Dissatisfaction in Individual and Poor Relationships in Family
All above things start from misconceptions within. They lead to a complex lifestyle. It causes problems at the level of individual and also in family.
At the level of Individual:-
The basic assumption for adopting a complex lifestyle at the level of individual is that it will bring him more happiness, prosperity, respect and relationships. In reality it doesn’t happen. In this lifestyle a person is more indulged in material pleasures and measures happiness, respect, relationships in terms of material, which is not fulfilling to him himself and also not to others around him. A human being wants Happiness, Trust, Respect, Mutual Fulfillment in relationships all the time. This thing can not be ensured with material. There is no continuity of happiness in material. Respect due to material is always relative but a human being wants certainty, consistency and continuity of respect. Feeling in relationships on the basis of material is not consistent but a human being desires for continuity of feeling of being relatedness. In this way a complex, materialistic lifestyle doesn’t lead to satisfaction within.
On the other hand since complex lifestyle demands more and more material facilities, so it brings a lot of maintenance work also along with it to maintain those equipments and facilities. It requires more work and less free time is available to develop other higher faculties in man. Ultimately it leads to a vicious circle, in which a man stucks.
At the level of family:-
At the level of family complex lifestyle leads to poor relationships. One is more and more indulged into increasing and maintaining the lifestyle he is leading and thus lesser time is available with family members. Husband and wife both are working and they keep babysitters to take care of their children. They keep their children in boarding schools. They consider their children as a burden. Husband and wife, they themselves lack time to interact with each other. They go to office early in the morning and come late night. Since they do not spend much time at home so they eat outside which affects their heath also. They work for long hours since maintaining and increasing a complex lifestyle requires work for long hours. Ultimately it leads to disharmony at the level of family.
Ultimately we see that those who are involved in production of diamonds are earning in lacks and those who are involved I production of grains are suiciding. Those who are involved in production of diamonds are able to living luxuriously. Now they even indulge in agriculture. They buy lands and keep farmers as labors. Their main intention is to increase profit only. In course of this madness of increasing profits they adopt methods of production which are not good for land, water and air. They use several fertilizers, which pollute lands, kills insects and earthworms which help in increasing fertility of soil and loosening it. In long run soil keeps becoming more and more infertile. Ultimately if we see then we find that entire market and system is being captured by big companies, multinational companies, factories and many more and not even governments are not able to control them, rather are succumbing to them.
In the end one can say that with the introduction of money as a symbolic resource system has given surface to the madness of human being to increase pleasure, profit and comfort and it has ultimately lead to Pleasure Centric Psychology, Profit Centric Economy and Comfort Centric Sociology.
Ultimately the thing reduces to lack of understanding in an individual only. Only with Right Understanding in individual can the system change.
Subject: Money! - 25 September 2011
Totally agree with your article.Well articulated
by: Aarushi Hinduja
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