from the GST series (three panels) at Synergetics on the Web

Money is amazingly influential to the extent it stands in for the real goods and services it might be traded for, and that’s the wealth, what it’s good for. Gold is worth something because it’s shiny, doesn’t corrode, is a good conductor. Beads. Jewelry. All forms of tradable item.

Currencies collapse. Money has value only because we can exchange it for something of actual value. What that boils down to is energy shaped to our life and living standards advantage in some way.

Money does not convert to electrical power absent power plants and batteries. Money does not convert into healthcare sans trained personnel and medical knowledge etc. etc. Money is uniquely worthless in terms of what it gets you when it becomes detached from what it represents, the promise of some kind of work on your or someone else’s behalf.

Saying our global microcosm, the planet, is solar powered, has little to do with the price of solar panels.

Life on earth runs on solar frequencies (photo-synthesis) and all those terawatts provide our heat source. Way beyond our ability to afford or create for ourselves as workers of the world.

The amount of energy coming to planet earth moment by moment, powering the water cycles, making hydropower possible, is nothing we could ever possibly pay for or pay back. Or daily energy budget is not a loan, and our using it is not debt accumulation. The Earth inherits its raw energy from elsewhere. We’re like a kitchen appliance plugged into the wall.

Combined with geothermal and fossil fuels from solar inputs passed, we have our energy base.

Any clear picture of the realities involved should start with subtracting humans and their money from the picture completely. Look, it all still works! A miraculous motherboard teaming with life, and no money in the picture. Whatever money and humans add to the circuitry, it’s not that critical to the ecosystem, which is ultimately the economy. Talk about inessential workers!

Humans add a lot of possibilities (such as the ability to think symbolically and to keep track of who owes who in terms of money) but the idea that all of value or economic worth traces to human labor and/or inventiveness, is a silly myth worth burying.

Our raw energy savings and daily income (P), plus our intelligence, our know-how (M), is responsible for our wealth in terms of life expectancy and living standards (MP). Money helps us keep track of this wealth and lets people hoard and restrict — part of our know-how (M). Customs and anthropology. Ethnicity. Our ability to pass the torch (education). Humans use dance (e.g. choreographed factory work, driving) and theater (e.g. politics, lectures, commercials) to keep their prospects alive. So-called “work”.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store