While I was reading excerpts from Atlas Shrugged last night, particularly The Meaning of Money, it struck me as eerily familiar. I asked myself, what gives money value? What is the root of production? Ayn Rand explains that money is made possible and given value only by the men (and women) who produce it. The root of production is not a man’s strength but a man’s mind.
A man’s mind is the root of all goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. -Ayn Rand
Keeping this in mind, the government bailouts, taxation, endless expenses for war, and the Federal Reserve all violate your right to your life. Of course we all know this, but Ayn Rand is able to describe our present and future through the moral meaning of money.
Watch money. Money is the barometer of society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half- property, half- loot.- The great Ayn Rand
Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all 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 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’ – Ayn Rand