Means Of Production

Entry by: Phidgers

8th April 2016
Means of Production

Hi, I'm money. I'm a means of production. Also, I don't exist. No, really, I'm completely imaginary. Like a unicorn. You can pick up a toy one sure, but it doesn't make you believe unicorns are real. Likewise, pick up a coin. Go on, have a good look. That's how I get represented, but it doesn't make me less imaginary. My physical avatar is worthless. You can't eat it or wear it, yet it rules everything. Cash is king, or so they say. These days, 'they,' is a word that encompasses everyone. I'm a fantasy that the whole world's bought into.

Like I said, I'm a means of production, even though I'm not real. You want a nice necklace? Go over to that lady who's in the jewellery shop. Invoke my name, hand over the worthless metal that represents me, and walk away with your product. Or, put some plastic in a machine and type a passcode. A number next to your name decreases, and a number next to the jewellery shop's name gets bigger. In the digital age, I'm even more ridiculous. Less physical, but somehow more palpable. I'm everywhere, all the time.

Yet, I serve a purpose. Take the idea of me away and then everything goes south. That lady at the jewellery shop won't be there when you go for your necklace. She can't get her slice of the money fiction, so she's at home. Or she would be if anyone had bothered to build that home. Like I said, means of production.

Everyone seems to love me. Can't work out why. A guy can go to bed with a shed load of me, his fiction told through stocks and shares. Next morning he gets up and boom! The stocks have crashed. That means some numbers have changed. It also means that his share of me has disappeared. He had loads of imaginary stuff and he could have anything. Now he has no imaginary stuff, and he doesn't get to keep his house any more.

It gets even sillier, you know. I'm there to help production, but I can torch it just as easily. For instance, people sit around in China, making steel. They're doing the same thing in Wales. But the people in China, they don't want as much of me for their steel as the people in Wales do. British steel doesn't get used, because other people are spending me on the Chinese stuff instead. So the Welsh workers, they lose their jobs. Thousands end up struggling, just because no one can agree how much of me to give up for steel. That's capitalism for you.

Capitalism, it'd make me laugh if it wasn't so depressing. Those folk worship me. They've got priests and everything. They call them economists. They work out why a number's good on one day, and then the same number's bad on another. They go on about the virtues of their system, sweeping the truth under the rug. When someone's winning at the game of capitalism, someone else is losing. Or more likely, lots of people. And it must be a game they're playing because, yes you guessed it, I'm make believe. A whole society, millions and millions of people, their system based on fantasy.

I'm the lifeblood of that system. All of the arteries of that way of life are made for me to flow through. Or clog up. Don't get me wrong, it could be beautiful. Money, a fake idea, bringing happiness to all. Give me to a chemist, he makes medicine. Give me to a farmer, he grows crops. But then you've got the clots. If I'm the lifeblood of the system, you don't want me to get clots. That's exactly what happens though.

I get stuck in the bank accounts of a select few. I build up there, starving the rest of the body, which is most of the general populace in this analogy. I damage the rich members of the fantasy too. They never get enough of me. Doesn't matter how rich they are, they always want more. They get depressed and angry because they don't know what to do with themselves. Other than make more money, which only makes them more angry and depressed. Round and round ad infinitum.

I really am like a god. I mean different things to different people. And some of them don't imagine themselves being benevolent with me. I'm not just talking about the drug dealers, the gangs, the smugglers and the like. There are those who like to sneak me to places like Panama, where others might not notice me. They love their factories, where I persuade people to produce things for them. But they hate giving me away, so they keep most of me. Their workers only get a tiny fraction of the dream, for breaking their backs for their masters. The rich blame the system. It's not their fault people are suffering. The thing is, they built it to be like that in the first place.

It could be different. The many could be valued more, a whole lot more. Their lives could be crushed less by the whims of the few. But those few are uncaring people, too attached to languishing in their jealous comforts. If the majority must struggle, suffer and die to prop them up, they can live with that. They already got what they wanted by using me, their means of production. Why should they bother to lift a finger to change things?

For them, the ends will always justify the means.