In the consumer society, the individual is incapable to fulfill his/her necessary or vital needs on his/her and he/she is bound to rely on others. Our development model has taught us to disconnect ourselves from the system of Life. If one has money, it is possible to have whatever thing without having to care about where things come from and how. It is not necessary anymore to comprehend the environment that is around us nor to establish a balanced relationship with it. The disrespect towards the environment is not a malfunctioning of the system, but it is integrating part of it. All it matters is money, producing and consuming. All the rest can also be fine, as long as does not hinder production and consumption, or even better if it fosters them. In this order of things there is no distinction between necessary and superfluous goods, but only a necessary instrument: money. Money is the only measure for the values of things. Money is the instrument by which man sets himself free from the responsibility of understanding the Order of the Universe and the necessity of finding his own place in it.
We do not believe that it is possible to lead a free and just existence, by relying exclusively on money for the fulfillment of our vital needs. First of all because the money that we use is not ours anymore. Then the fulfillment of one’s own vital needs is subject to the rules of Nature and it cannot and it must not be subjected to the rules of market. It is a responsibility of every human and non-human being to understand the surrounding environment in order to survive. It was like that since immemorable times. There is nothing that can exempt us from this responsibility. Living without the comprehension of the surrounding world is a source of evil for us in a first place, and then also for the other beings who share this planet with us.
A free existence does not know any other obligations than the ones dictated by Nature. The only duty that every free living creature has is the fulfillment of the vital needs. When the only possibility of fulfilling this needs consist in the execution of other tasks, which have nothing to do with vital needs, on behalf of other individuals, who are not our friends, then one lives an existence that is not free, because a non-necessary activity becomes necessary and it is contracted a dependency on other individuals who are not interested in our well-being. It is the same position of circus animals, who are forced by individuals who have no care for their well-being, to perform in unnatural activities, just to eat enough not to die and get some blow less. Depending on others for the fulfillment of vital needs means nothing short than living in captivity. When the relationship of one creature to another is exclusively aimed at the fulfillment of vital needs, this relationship is not and can never be a free, honest and just relationship. Conversely, a relationship can be free, honest and just if it is not exclusively aimed at the fulfillment of vital needs, being these already fulfilled in an autonomous way.
Money is a tool, and as such it can be neither good nor bad. As any other tool, money has a value inasmuch as it can be useful. The problem starts when this tool becomes a mandatory and exclusive tool, i.e. when there is no other way of fulfiling one’s own vital needs besides money.
In the common imagery money gives security, because it protects from scarcity and from the consequent pain. Usually one believes that it is necessary to possess money to be protected from all misfortunes, to lead a secure existence, and eventually also achieving freedom. Actually money does not give any of these goods, and any advantage that it bestows is always an indirect advantage: there is money, and only through it, it is possible to obtain the good that one needs or desires. Just for this very nature of indirect good, money can never give security. The bond between money and the goods that it provides, and the bond between money and the individual that possesses it, do not depend on us. They are totally out of our scope. We do not have any control on the value of the money we possess, and we do not even control the amount of money that we are able to collect. Indeed money is in no way a measure of human work or human activity. The stereotype that money is a just reward for hard work must be extirpated from our minds.Working much does not guarantee to have much money. On the contrary, experience shows often the opposite: who works hardest are just the ones who have least money.
Since money is a tool and it can only be an indirect good, money exempts its user from the necessity to relate autonomously and without mediation with the surrounding world. What every walking, swimming, flying, and crawling creature has always had to learn for millions of years, it is not necessary to be learnt any more by the man who is part of the current economic system. If any animal has got to distinguish a situation of danger, understand where the most delicious fruits grow and which ones are poisonous, how to hunt and hot to build a den for the offspring, the human individual in possession of enough money does not have to learn all that. He must just secure a constant flow of money to his bank account in order to survive and nothing else matters.
Since we do not control neither the value of money nor the amount of money that we can collect, money plunges man in a situation of constant dependency. Money cannot give security, because security – in the sense that this word can have for beings who are anyway mortals, by definition insecure in their existence – can only be given by an understanding of the surrounding environment and of the dynamics through which it is possible to fulfill one’s own vital needs. Let us take for example food security. Food is the first vital need of every living creature. If one wants to eat an apple, one must understand where the apple comes from. And the apple does not come from a supermarket for 60 cents. But rather from a tree, which in turns grows from the earth, which in turn could generate trees thanks to the water, which in turn rains from the sky…and it can continue like this for long. In the long list of factors that allow the growth of the apple, there is not entry for money.
Surprisingly, the apple grows ripe for free.
Even more surprisingly, the apple grows ripe not for who has the best price to offer, but for who is hungry. It grows for those who love the Earth which generates apples, trees and the rest of living beings, ourselves included.
If one establishes a deep and loving relationship with Earth, Water, Rain, Wind and the other elements of Nature, then one has good chances of achieving security. This loving understanding of Nature cannot be taken away and it depends only on us. Being such, it makes us also free. On the contrary, if one relies exclusively on money for eating, one will not achieve neither freedom nor security: one will not be free, because one would be forced to work as giraffes in circuses in order to get the necessary food ration. One will never achieve food security through, because when money will be finished or the money one posses loses its value (i.e. the circus goes bankrupt), or the surrounding environment will be destroyed to an extent that not more food can be generated,one will not be able to eat any more. Differently from understanding of Nature, money can be taken away from us, and this brings further insecurity.
Paradoxically, far from guaranteeing security, money and the connected market are rather a cause of insecurity. The dynamics that are at the basis of market economy act a direction that is contrary to the one needed to achieve material security. If contrary to the education that we have received, we draw a line connecting the causes with the effects, we can realise that relying exclusively on money to feed ourselves fosters the destruction of Nature. For example, by buying the apple in a supermarket we support intensive agriculture Intensive agriculture as any other activity inside the current economic system, has the sole purpose of making use of natural resources in order to generate a profit. If a territory is exploited ruthlessly in order to generate a profit, this territory will be impoverished in the long run.
For the actual economic system destruction of nature is not considered a serious issue, as long as it does not hamper the profits of the involved companies. What is even more hideous is that such a destruction can even be a positive thing. Oversimplifying a bit, the greater the destruction of Nature, the lower the offer of necessary goods (i.e. apples) on the market, and higher their demand. Thus it is possible to sell necessary goods at a higher price and this can contribute to the growth of the economy.
The same mechanism can be observed with the most basic necessary good: water, which is funnily also the element of Nature that is mistreated most. Water, the very element that makes Life possible, has become the grave of every product that has already lived its monetary life. All wastes of human activities end up in water, to the point that the amount of drinking water has become to a fraction of what it was in the past. A shortage of drinking water can in principle be a problem, and it is a problem for many beings who die out of thirst or by drinking contaminated water. But from an economical point of view, the induced lack of drinking water has contributed to the economical growth, as it has opened up new business opportunities. If from the beginning of times, every living being could drink for free, today, thanks to the human destruction, in many areas of the world drinkable water has become a luxury that can be acquired exclusively through money. If Nature has not been destroyed and water sources contaminated, several companies (mostly french) would have not obtained a cent out out of water. The pollution of water has made the business of water possible.
In conclusion the paradox is that if one secure his/her food security of today by means of money, one contributes to his/her own food shortage of tomorrow.
Money can give the security of having a roof. But at a ridiculous prices. While any animal can build his/her den within some day, the human being, who claims to be the most evolved form of life, needs to work for nearly half of his/her existence in order to be in possession of a roof. What since an immemorable past was and had to be something affordable for everyone, today having a roof is prerogative of very rich people or a reward for those who choose a voluntary slavery of the debt for the rest of their life. This is not acceptable.
A free and stable existence can only come from the ability of producing ones’s own food, building a home and fulfilling the other vital needs in an autonomous way, without the mediation of money.If this can be achieved, then money can also be a useful tool. But Life cannot and must not be conditioned on the availability of the monetary resource. If this is the case, then Life loses the freedom that comes with Her.