Money is God

Phillip Goodchild writes here about his book Theology of Money . Of note, he writes:

…Where God promises eternity, money promises the world. Where God offers a delayed reward, money offers a reward in advance. Where God offers himself as grace, money offers itself as a loan. Where God offers spiritual benefits, money offers tangible benefits. Where God accepts all repentant sinners who truly believe, money may be accepted by all who are willing to trust in its value. Where God requires conversion of the soul, money empowers the existing desires and plans of the soul. Money has the advantages of immediacy, universality, tangibility, and utility. Money promises freedom, and gives a downpayment on such a promise of prosperity.

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2 Responses to Money is God

  1. Burk Braun says:

    Hi, Darrell-

    “I discovered that just as the social form of empire is intimately related to monotheism, the social form of money is intimately related to the objectivity of truth sought by reason.”

    Isn't that a remarkable statement? That social structures drive religious concepts? Doesn't this directly imply that religious concepts are not true (not drawn on any kind of stable factuality, let alone a trascendent reality), but are imaginative derivatives of the reigning social paradigm? It sounds sort of like Marxism to me, where our spiritual consciousness arises from the means of production.

    “Part One of the book challenges the modern presumption of human freedom and rational mastery over both nature and religion. Freedom is undermined from both sides when the natural order is no longer compliant to our will in the ecological crisis and when human freedom is constrained by money.”

    Well, when were we every free? Never. For most of us, nature is far, far more compliant than it has ever been in the past, due to our technological mastery. That we are overdrawn on our ecological accounts is a separate and important issue, but for the average (first world) person, nature was never less of an issue than it is today.

    Similarly, money makes us free to do what we do best (or even what we like, in ideal instances) while getting what we need. It makes the social system dramatically more fluid, freeing many from being yoked to the land and able to exchange specialized expertise for the expertise of others, including life's necessities. Are we perfectly free, as in the womb? No indeed. But it is important to keep the proper standard of comparison in mind.

    “The hope upon which the modern world is based will soon collapse, and competition for increasingly scarce resources will significantly undermine the moral and political cooperation to which we currently aspire.”

    There's an uplifting theme! Count me a wild-eyed optimist, but I'm pretty sure we will do better than that, even if the cost to our silent copassengers in the biosphere is truly apocalyptic.

    “Once evaluative questions are merged with ontological questions, and one seeks for a source of truth and value to ground our thought and attention, then these are theological issues.”

    Once again, this assumes the theology has some ground to it. That it studies and interprets a “source” that is more than the projection of our own inner natures.

    “Capital growth begins with borrowing for investment”

    Nope- it begins with the government printing and issuing fiat money. And then it begins with someone saving enough by delaying gratification of needs so that the difference can be loaned out at interest. No loan exists without capital behind it (at least in fractional reserve amounts). So the ability to create and save/store tokens of obligation, whether grain, gold, or fiat money is the genesis of capital.

    “Production for the sake of profit replaces production for the sake of use.”

    But profit is nothing more than delayed use.. you can't take it with you after all. It is the concentration of delayed use tokens (capital) that allows technology to be leveraged into higher productivity, increasing wealth and living standards.

    Anyhow, I'll take a legal promissory note from a real person tenderable for real needs, over a spiritual one from an imaginary person for a nonexistent afterlife, any day. And I am sure that your church collection plate does the same.

    Best wishes and merry Christmas!

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  2. Darrell says:

    “Anyhow, I'll take a legal promissory note from a real person tenderable for real needs, over a spiritual one from an imaginary person for a nonexistent afterlife, any day.”

    And thus the title to the post.

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