18 Aug

“Money”, says Colin Beverly the Evil Corporate Rock Dude in the silver jumpsuit, “money, money, money! I love it!”.  The audience, a sordid collection of corrupt faces from the States, Europe, Japan and the Arabian peninsula, applaud with rigid enthusiasm.

Beverly is the villain in the obscure early 80s combo teensexromp and Punk Rock anthem – Get Crazy. Worth seeing for Malcolm McDowell’s brilliant performance as major rock god Reggie Wanker.  Sings his own stuff and it’s hilarious. Lou Reed does “Little Sister” for the finale. Under-rated.

Like most of us, I’m not like that. I don’t love money especially.  I understand what it is (kinda) and may love some of the things you need it to get, but I don’t love money, no.  I need money or think I do.

Money is the symbol we use for Nature’s resources. Our labour is one of those resources and generally we labour in exchange for money. We seek education and training primarily to increase our value on the labour market. Why? to ask a stupid question: because it means more bread to eat and less shit.

The lower the value of one’s labour the more shit you have to eat. This is (possibly) not necessary but it’s natural. Apes form hierarchies and enforce them by establishing and maintaining dominance over one another. But what about Techno-Apes in a democratic system? In a capitalist economy?

Picture, instead of a pyramid, a space in which things move in undulating spheres. Many spheres mean many centres. The spheres exert gravity and mostly gather in clusters. A few float solitary. And,  like a galaxy, the closer you get to the centre of this space the more concentrated the spheres. It is this main centre which forms, what we’d normally think of as the the apex of the pyramid: the richest, the most powerful.

But there are peripheral clusters of spheres. And there is a discretion to each which means that they maintain an oscillating distance from each other. Occasionally they collide but usually they’re more or less independent in day-to-day experience terms.

The rub is, the bigger you are, the more gravity you exert. So all spheres are affected from the outside by the Super Cluster at the centre: the Apex. Contrawise the peripheral clusters and sundry lone wolf spheres are much more numerous in number and collectively exert considerable gravitational force back, albeit diffuse. This tug between the smaller peripheral centres of power and the major centre is what characterizes this hypothetical universe.  It is the way I like to model modern civilization.

This is a vast improvement on the military-religious domination that preceeded it. In these societies, which it’s fair to regard as earlier models of civilization, one’s life was determinedly the same as the life of one’s parents.  There was but little room to move, hence no means to self-improvement.

How much room to move varied from place to place. In England, arguably the most open country in Western Europe, one had been able to rise into the aristocracy traditionally, but it was understood it took several generations of collective effort to do this. One had to demonstrate breeding before one was accepted as well-bred.

This matters not so much anymore. Many people says all sorts of things about Donald Trump. His breeding or lack thereof is only of interest insofar as he doesn’t appear to have any. What the Anglo-Aristocracy and its descendant: the American Oligarchy held then and hold now in good taste is something Mr Trump couldn’t give a rat’s arse about.  He doesn’t need to in a market econ0my. He needs balls, brains and luck. Or maybe just two.  Even one.

He knows it and flaunts it; this is the source of his celebrity.  This phenomenon, the self-made man, is familiar to Australians of course. As is the attendant display of Pharonic quantities of golden metal and the inevitable advanced pleasure model in well-endowed blondeness. Does Trump love money? Or does he love being a big shot? Methinks the latter.

Robert Holmes à Court, I read somewhere, once remarked that people who love money never make any.  I hope this is true because I intend to make money in a way I never have. Without the pyramid.  I’m innovating: my idea, my sweat, my reward or my punishment. Throw the dice with your fingers crossed.


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