So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor — your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?
Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions — and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.
To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury; for their gain, not their loss — the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery — that you must offer them values, not wounds — that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason. It demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. When men live by trade — with reason, not force, as their final arbiter — it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability — and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality — the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.
Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants. Money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
Only the man who does not need it is fit to inherit wealth ---- the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. However, you look on and you cry that money corrupted him -- Did it? -- Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir -- his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you. Loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you will scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
Or did you say that it is the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It is the person who would sell his soul for a nickel who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money — and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.
Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another, their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
Money demands of you the highest virtues if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem -- men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life -- men who apologize for being rich — will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt — and of his life -- as he deserves.
Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard — the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money — the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. When, however, a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law — men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims — then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men once they've passed a law to disarm them. However, their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. Then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs -- upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: "Account overdrawn".
When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, "Who is destroying the world?" -- You are!
You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization, and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its lifeblood — money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men's history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same -- to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed and deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves — slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody's mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers — as industrialists.
To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money — and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man's mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work. Instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being — the self-made man — the American industrialist.
If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose — because it contains all the others — the fact that they were the people who created the phrase "to make money". No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity — to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words "to make money" hold the essence of human morality.
Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters' continents. Now the looters' credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men - the industrialists - as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip ought to learn the difference on his own hide — as, I think, he will.
Click [ Here ] to learn more about Ayn Rand, her life and her philosophy.
Now some (MANY ??) readers might be surprised that I would even read, let alone RECOMMEND a book written by an atheist. Understand that obviously, I am NOT recommending this book for her insight into God, theology or matters of the Spirit. On these, she expresses either NO understanding at all or a very warped, childish view. In her defense, I might say that possibly -- based upon her probable expose to man-made RELIGION as opposed to REAL, true, authentic Christianity -- her views are justified, as I have expressed in many of MY own articles on this site. However, she DOES have insights into the realms of social, intellectual, and government circles which MOST of us as Christians DO NOT.
Keeping in mind the fact that this book was FIRST published in 1957, she shows a keen, prophetic insight into the degradation and degeneration of society and human morality/ethics and of the Goliath-like expansion of a smothering, all-consuming, leach/looter government that we are now experiencing, with conditions growing worse by the day, and NO hope of remedy in sight !!!
While I am CERTAINLY NOT implying that her book is an inspired "word of God' in the SAME manner as we consider the Bible to be, scripture DOES reveal that God CAN and sometimes DOES speak to and work through those who disbelieve in him and are even hostile and in opposition to Him !!
Take for instance Pharaoh of Egypt (both in Joseph's time and in the time of Israel's initial captivity), Baalak (a HEATHEN prophet), the King of Assyia, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (who God chose to humble and punish Israel) and King Cyrus of Persia (who God chose to help return Israel to her "promised land"). Click [ Here ] to read scripture verses.
God used the King of Assyria (a nation of unimaginable cruelty and immorality) to overthrow and take captive Samaria (northern Israel) because of their blatant and continual rejection of Him.
Nebuchadnezzar was a heathen king during the time of the dissolution of Judah (southern Israel), who God HIMSELF empowered and raised up as HIS servant. However, as we as a nation have done today, he forgot from where his power and prosperity had arisen, and began to believe that they were the results of HIS greatness and wisdom. God chose to correct him, as I believe that He is doing for US today.
The king uttered these words: "Is this not the great Babylon that I have built for a royal residence by my own mighty strength and for my majestic honor?" While these words were still on the king's lips, a voice came down from heaven: "It is hereby announced to you, King Nebuchadnezzar, that your kingdom has been removed from you! You will be driven from human society, and you will live with the wild animals. You will be fed grass like oxen, and seven periods of time will pass by for you before you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes." **** Daniel 4:30-32
In the case of EACH of these individuals, I believe that God would say:
"For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth." **** Romans 9:17
"I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength, and I give it to whomever I see fit." **** Jeremiah 27:5
You may learn more than you ever wanted to know about "Atlas Shrugged" at the Atlas Society. There is also a wealth of information about money and finances at: Mike Maloney, host of Hidden Secrets of Money.
You may also view a number of videos below:
Please go [ Here ] to learn Much, MUCH more about the "secret" of Wealth and Money.
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I want to VERY clearly clarify that God has NOT called me to wealth nor has He placed ANY desire to be "rich" in my heart. I do, however, desire VERY much to "PROSPER" in spirit, soul AND body !!
I also believe JUST as strongly that over the centuries, the so-called "church" has robbed God's people of the power and of the heritage that He has granted to ALL in Jesus Christ. It has substituted a mentality of want, guilt, deprivation, poverty and suffering for the glorious abundance of blessing that the Father wants us to have !! Instead, it has sold the People of God out to the "god of THIS world", Satan, in the name of DEAD RELIGION -- as opposed to the living reality of being filled with and walking in continual communion with the living spirit of God !!!
In our "religious UNreason", we have exalted the leeches and parasites of society and defamed those who, by hard work and industry, make it possible for society to function and thrive. I am NOT giving any tribute or applause here to those "whose god is the belly, they exult in their shame" (Philippians 3:19) -- who function ONLY out of covetous, avarice and greed. However, neither am I offering either commendation NOR sympathy to those CAPABLE individuals who stand on the street corners (either literally OR figuratively) with their hand out looking for someone else to do for them what they are UNWILLING to do for themselves !!
In my view, Christians have for too long, under the mistaken and misused guise of "love", and the destructive motive of guilt-pity-sympathy, been facilitators in the creation of the subculture of leeches and parasites that are today undermining our society. Neither Jesus Christ, His followers, nor the Bible (OT or NT) supports such a philosophy or doctrine !! It is one thing to help those who, by way of physical and/or mental condition, CAN NOT help themselves. It is quite another to render this help to those who WILL NOT help themselves, whose primarily malady is LAZINESS and SLOTH !!!!
In this parable, Jesus is commending His followers who used their talents to produce an increase (the dirty word is "$$$ PROFIT"), and chastising those slothful ones who merely "hide what they were given under a bushel" (Matthew 5:15,16). While the word "talent" here represents a measure of money, I believe that the principle could easily be extended to whatever "talents and/or abilities" that we are given.
Here, the REAL Jesus (the one ACTUALLY in the Bible) makes a VERY cutting and perilous (to the religiously naive) observation, that if you have not been faithful and trustworthy in the handling of your finances (MONEY), what makes you think that you are going to be entrusted with "heavenly riches" (rewards, NOT salvation -- salvation is FREELY given, apart from merit!) ??
I tell you, make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, so that when it runs out you will be welcomed into the eternal homes. The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you haven't been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust you with the true riches? And if you haven't been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon (the god of wealth). **** Luke 16:9-13
These verses below espouse an idea that would be eminently unpopular in today's welfare society, "If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat."
The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. **** Ephesians 4:28
I believe that the concept of "steal" is exactly the same whether you do it outright in the commonly accepted forms, or whether you "steal" as a leach living off of society and government subsidies. Either way, you are taking that which belongs to others and giving NOTHING in return !!
Aspire to lead a quiet life, to attend to your own business, and to work with your hands, as we commanded you. In this way you will live a decent life before outsiders and not be in need. **** 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12
We did not eat anyone's food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: "If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat." For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. **** 2 Thessalonians 3:8-12
In the following verses, although they do NOT deal DIRECTLY with the subject of "work or labor", DO outline Paul's view on EXACTLY who (what group of people) should receive help (charity, alms) from the church (SOCIETY).
Honor widows who are truly in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God. But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own, has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day. But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Reinforce these commands, so that they will be beyond reproach. But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. No widow should be put on the list unless she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. But do not accept younger widows on the list, because their passions may lead them away from Christ and they will desire to marry, and so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge. And besides that, going around from house to house they learn to be lazy, and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not. So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. For some have already wandered away to follow Satan. If a believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. The church should not be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are truly in need. **** 1 Timothy 5:3-16
He is writing regarding "widows" -- those women who were left alone through the death of their husbands. Basically, he lays out THIS policy. The ONLY widows that the church should help were those who were in the latter years of their life (at least 60 years of age), of excellent conduct, reputation, and record of "good works" - and had no one else to help them nor any other means of support.
Those with families should be helped (supported) by their families (which, after all, was their JUST responsibility), so that they would NOT be an undue burden on the church (on SOCIETY??).
The others should get on with their lives, remarry, and take their useful place in the church (SOCIETY).
Otherwise, the individuals being supported would ultimately tend to become lazy, running from here-to-there, making trouble, spreading gossip, and in general - being noisy busybodies.
Now if Paul is laying down such strict guidelines for rendering help to such a deserving group as widows, how much more should standards AT LEAST as strict apply to able-bodied young men and woman who are perfectly able and capable of working to support themselves and to be a contribution to the society in which they live ???
These verses proclaim, VERY clearly, that God expects QUALITY in the work that we do for Him (which in one respect, is ALL of our work), and that our "heavenly rewards" are going to be based upon that quality. The slipshod junk is going to be relegated to the fire, where it justly belongs.
The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, but each will receive his reward according to his work. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder's work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss. **** 1 Corinthians 3:8-14
I will venture to make the pronouncement that NO interpetation would have been more vigorously rejected by Thomas Jefferson and ALL of the signers of our Constitution than would the one above.
What Thomas Jefferson did, IN FACT say, is that The Creator (we must first believe that there ACTUALLY is one for the Declaration of Independence to have ANY meaning) endowed upon His creation of mankind EQUALITY within the limits mentioned.
These consisted of:
By inference, this would rule out ANY "class structure" whereby one group or class would have some "unalienable Right" to rule over or control another group. This, to be sure, was aimed DIRECTLY at the structure of the British government at the time, that is, the Monarchy or the "Divine Right of Kings and Nobility" to rule over the "lesser or lower classes". It would also rule out the "RIGHT" of the rich to rule over the poor, of the "intellectuals" to rule over the "common man", etc., etc., ETC.
I am QUITE sure that Thomas Jefferson knew -- as WE would ALL know today if we would merely, "insure that our brain was engaged before putting our mouth in gear" -- that ALL men (and women) are in NO WAY "equal" when it comes to physical beauty (or form), intelligence, physical agility and/or ability, talents, creativity, personality or a host of other qualities. As a matter of fact, it would no doubt be safe to say that each and every person is UNequal - possessing these qualities in a constantly varying mix.
It is a reflection of the "Smallness of Mind, Soul and Spirit" of MANY in positions of authority today that they would institute (or at least TRY to) such programs as have already been attempted AND instituted within much of the educational system. In many schools and classrooms, the philosophy is NOT to encourage those with exceptional talent to be recognized and excel as an inspiration to others. Rather, it is just the opposite !! The exceptionally talented are suppressed and held back so that the lesser talented (or perhaps those who are simply LAZY) will NOT be forced to notice that "they are NOT, in FACT, just like (equal to) everyone else" - and perhaps feel diminished. It is the, "Let us cut off the tops of the taller stalks so that we might ALL be 'equal'" syndrome !!!!
Rather than excellence (in whatever form or venue) being exalted and striven for, it is rather mediocrity, "equality" (in the basest sense of the word) and conformity that are held forth as the "Norm" and as THAT which is to be desired. Students would rather be accepted than to excel - they would rather be part of the prevailing "gang or cliché" than of the "honor student society". Those with ability, brains and talent - who seek to USE them - are ostracized as "nerds and misfits", while the trouble makers and the "social misfits and rejects" are glamorized as the "Kings of KOOL".
The accepted mentality becomes, "it is better to be popular than capable -- it is better to be just like everyone else than to excel and stand out as to who you are and what you do" !!!
Click [ Here ] for another exerpt from the same book, ""The Looters, Leaches, and Moochers Utopia".
Click [ Here ] to view Three EXCELLENT articles by C.S. Lewis addressing the above topic. Present Concerns -- Two Essays by C.S. Lewis -- "Equality and Democratic Education" and "Democracy - or - 'I Am As Good As You Are !!'".