I’m thinking about money. There’s never enough of it, some people have far too much and don’t know what to do with it and we spend half our lives thinking about it, but what is it? I’m writing a story at the moment about the collapse of money; not the economy but money itself – a situation where money no longer means anything therefore nothing can be bought or sold.
In this scenario the banks have disenfranchised so many people that they’ve given up on making money and started to form small communities. In these communities resources are shared and the more people join the more resources are available. In the end the only people using money are the very rich who finally find themselves in deep doo-dah when money itself collapses and everything they own is suddenly worthless.
In a way this is a utopian vision but in another sense it’s something that could happen because of the way banks are going. It’s also been inspired by ‘Bullshit Jobs’
on how many jobs are pointless and despite being well-paid, serve no useful function at all. There are examples in every area of life but the one that often occurs to me is government; in my youth there used to be about 20 minsters in the cabinet but nowadays we seem to have a minister for almost every aspect of life. It’s a gravy train: it’s bullshit. Meanwhile those doing useful jobs – nurses, sewage workers, cleaners – find themselves being squeezed on every level. Caring doesn’t pay any more, and it’s not only in the ‘caring professions’ that caring happens – the chief objection to doing away with, say, ticket offices in stations is not that a machine could sell the tickets but that the staff deal with multiple unexpected human problems every day. As for doing away with guards on trains, the prospect is horrifying. A friend of mine who was once a guard told me of all the human situations he’d dealt with over the years, from dealing with drunks to helping deliver a baby. This society sucks, and why? Because nothing matters unless you can put a price on it. We need to do something about this, and I’m not convinced that electing a Labour government (though I really do want one) is the answer.
Answers on a postcard please (or comment below).