by Nic Olson
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? This blog introduction is so cliche it hurts.
Someone asked this question to a few friends and I while we were on a short road trip. I remember that everyone answered either poverty, war, or cancer. Except me. I was tired of their uninspired mainstream media answers, so I said I would change that feeling you get when you wear your socks to bed. When your leg and foot hair hurts. The same feeling that you get from painful hat hair, wearing long johns for too long, or in the female perspective when your head hurts from a long day of pony tailing. That was my answer, and I stuck to it. The creator of the question was not impressed that I didn’t want to change poverty, war or cancer, but that I wanted to change something so frivolous like a worldwide human annoyance: hair pain caused by long worn items of clothing. And that was it.
Rethinking the question a few years later and little has changed. I still hate that feeling you get when you wear your socks to bed. Where your ankle strands are screaming out for freedom from a cotton elastic prison. I would change it if I could, and it still might be the first thing I would ever change. I would be known for freeing the ringlets from oppression. My name would forever be known for providing the liberty of the hair follicle.
I never had the mental capacity to understand poverty, war or cancer. Usually when these topics are discussed, it is about how badly we need to rid the world of them. These three terrible murderers that the world has had since the beginning of man and that we would be perfect without. I think understand all this, but they have become mere concepts and little else. A world free of poverty or war isn’t even slightly viable if money still exists, and the elimination of cancer could happen even without a number with nine zeros behind it.
If I could change one thing in the world, after chronic hair pain, I would abolish money of any kind. I would rid the world of even the concept of money. I remember in elementary school, I once proposed this idea to a friend, a world without money. And he said it was impossible. He said that a world without money was not plausible where we are today. I disagreed and afterward likely went to the tire maze and peed in the murky puddles beneath. I was an intellectual.
I still hold true to this opinion. The abolition of money is no crazier a thought than the abolition of poverty or war, and would take a lot less research than the abolition of cancer. Eradicating poverty or war is an impossible thought if you consider the greed of mankind. Eradicating the idea of money would mean ridding the world of greed, and therefore poverty and war. Simple.
If I lived in village where every family provided one service or one product and these were given away freely, not traded for other products or services, but given away without question, it would work out ideally. If no one decided that providing their service was more difficult than that of their neighbours, and people got what they needed, content with no more and no less, it would work out. In theory.
I almost believe that if you disagree with me, you are a slave to the money-god. Tonight I finished the book ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying’ by George Orwell. Protagonist Gordon Comstock constantly talked about money worship, to a point where it was a strain to read the conversations he had with friends. He was a lower class man by choice, working in a cheap book store when he could just as easily have worked for an advertising agency and write advertisements for the man. His wealthier friend was a proclaimed socialist, but Gordon didn’t believe in socialism. He just didn’t want to live for money. He lived a wretched two years in semi-poverty where he constantly spoke of how he could never sell out to the money-god but attributed all his woes to his entire lack of money. Then, he knocked up his girlfriend, got married, got the advertising job to support his new family, and they lived happily ever after…
The entire time I knew Gordon Comstock, I related with him deeply. I felt as though the story was written about my mind half of the time. How he described his job, his cynicism and his overall mindset. I guess I should get a real job. Thanks George. But Gordon never did propose a world without money.
Regardless of how George Orwell’s fictional British character’s life panned out, I firmly believe that life would be perfect if the concept of money had never entered the world. Sarcasm aside, I plead with you to prove me wrong. Sarcasm not aside, I would love to believe that money was actually important, it would give my conscience a real break. Prove my naivety so that I can understand the truths of this world and get a job at an advertising firm, writing jingles for breakfast crisps.