Posts tagged ‘money’

October 4, 2012

The Money:Problem Ratio

Money is what God used to be. Good and evil have no meaning any longer except  failure and success. Hence the profoundly significant phrase, to make good. The Decalogue has been reduced to two commandments. One for the employers — the elect, the money-priesthood as it were –‘Thou shalt make money’; the other for the employed slaves and underlings– ‘Thou shalt not lose thy job.’

-George Orwell in Keep The Aspidistra Flying

In the same novel, Orwell also wrote: “Lack of money means discomfort, means squalid worries, means shortage of tobacco, means ever-present conciousness of failure — above all, it means loneliness.” Although a very timeless, not to mention precise, observation it is also a very naive perspective. Satirically Orwellian  in every aspect, but still, the degree of alienation of what success offers is almost as significant as the loneliness offered by inadequate personal funding. The concept of living day to day with a very limited amount of money will always create this multitudinous level of envy towards welfare states, a friend of mine came back from Germany and told me that, evidently, washing machines and television has been categorized as a basic need for the people there. Here in Indonesia that need is reduced to: “being able to excrete faeces in a hole or something resembling one” and even that doesn’t fare well.

I am not much of a socialist, the concept of shared wealth has always been some sort of ideal type for me in a way, but if that same concept supports the creation of trashpeople1; then perhaps it is a concept de manqué or inelegantly failed concept. A folly on the much larger concept of “taking care of those in need” which evidently somehow fails to pinpoint whom it is that actually has those needs. There was this lecture once in which the roles of the states of the worlds — whether major or minor — has transformed from individual states into a part of this array of global villages, in which each village is interconnected forming more practical means for communication, transportation, and — above all — policy. What isn’t explained is that this global village consists only of the top layer of the society, leaving the bottom feeders to stay in a foetal position and shivering. Kind of like the curdled butter when churning butter, the buttermilk stays on top while the butter clumps down in a vat made out of goat’s stomach devoid of air and light. Not unlike butter, when bad bacteria is introduced to the buttermilk while churning, the butter will also be affected. So when these top level global villaged some percent of society are introduced to new policies and models, the whole society must concur. When policy dictates that capital is the new threshold of happiness, then let it be so.

Of course we shouldn’t be naivete to go as far to say that “money can NOT buy you happiness” and that the joys of life includes sleeping near train tracks and under bridges. By the 9 circles of Dante’s Inferno, of course no! Capital is the core where joyful feelings reside, the actual warm fuzzy feeling that we are so privileged to touch, taste, smell, see, and hear. It is a bargaining position in respect for the lonely and wasted, a means to reach for a somewhat glorified state, a state unlike what we currently dread, what we have conditioned ourselves. Either in bankruptcy or in a secure job working 8 hours plus overtime without ever seeing the sun on weekdays, there is only delusional constructed  loneliness fuelled by the self-loathing created by the undeniable fact of serial wrong-choosing.

In the end, there are no wrong choices. Just misplaced fortunes. Fortunes accessible through the right dosage of option, chances, wants, and needs.


1 Trashpeople: people who exploits the fact that their lives are supported by the hard-working few in which they choose to become lazyfux1.1 because, what’s the point of trying harder? (unrelated to trash men, which in a very big way is of great significance in our society)

1.1 lazyfux: actually, yeah, just lazy fucks