Today’s topic might seem a bit off-topic for a nudist blog, but bear with me. Today I want to talk to you about money.
What is money? How does someone make money and why don’t they make m0re of it?
Many of us use it daily without fully understanding it, or without understanding it at all beyond how much of it they need for their day-to-day expenses.
So, here’s a thought – a truth at that – that will blow your mind:
Money is time.
This isn’t really anything new. Benjamin Franklin said “Time is money,” which is essentially the same – identity is commutative – though he used it in the context of trading. I think it applies everywhere, though.
Your money is not just any time. It’s your time. It’s the time you spent working at your job. It’s the time someone gave you in the form of money because you saved them their time by doing things so that they wouldn’t have to do them themselves. It’s time that you give to someone when they do you a service that would take considerably more time for you if you did it yourself.
Think about it. A baker saves you the time you need to bake your own bread – gathering ingredients and the work required to put them together and bake the bread – and so you pay him for it. A merchant saves you the time you’d need to buy your groceries (or whatever) directly from the farm/factory – and so you pay him for it. You pay your utilities because they save you the time you’d need to go fetch water from the nearest stream, source, or well; electricity saves you time in a wide variety of ways – light bulbs, for example, replace candles and petroleum lamps which had to be replaced much more frequently and required much more maintenance; and heating saves you the time you’d need to build a fire in the fireplace and the money (time) you’d need to get wood for that fire.
Some occupations are less obvious. How does a programmer like me save you time? Well, maybe I don’t save time for you directly, but I do for my clients. A simple program I made saves a client company several days each time they need to perform a certain task. Because it saves so much time, my company can charge a lot of money for it, even though it took a relatively short amount of time to make it. This in turn makes it possible for the client company to sell its product at a lower price – because even if we charge them a lot of money, it still took them far less money to make their product. Well – that’s what would’ve happened if the price of their product wasn’t regulated by the government, but that’s a whole different story. (And this is one example of how government regulation of the markets devalues your work, and therefore your time.)
What does all this have to do with nudism, or naturism if you prefer that word?
Think a little. You go to work. Say – for example – you work and you get paid $25 per hour. That $25 represents an hour of your life. It represents one hour of your time away from your wife and kids, away from whatever else you might be doing to realize your dreams, your life’s goals.
You can decide to give this $25 – this hour of your life – to charity, or to someone in particular who is in need, or for a present for someone and that’s perfectly legitimate. It’s very nice to be charitable when it doesn’t hurt you.
You probably wouldn’t feel very inclined to spend this money – this time – frivolously, much less throw it away, or spend it on something that might hurt you (substance addicts notwithstanding).
So, how would you feel about spending it on something that you don’t need at all, but everyone else says you should spend it on exactly that? In fact, most everyone else would be offended if you failed to spend your money – your time away from your family – on that very thing that you don’t need. Moreover, when you get this thing, you need to spend even more time to maintain it, including spending more money – more time – to buy the various substances required to maintain it.
Yes, I’m talking about clothes.
Most of the time you don’t need it, unless you live somewhere that is too cold most of the time. Yet you’re willing to spend sometimes even much more than an hour of your life on a single garment. Yes, buying it saves you the time you’d need to make it, but would you even bother making it if you could and if you didn’t absolutely need it? Sure, there is this fear that is present today, where people think that they absolutely need to be wearing some clothes, but that is an irrational fear. It’s fear of being ridiculed, or judged by others. While a certain mindset makes that fear justified because a person might be jailed for appearing naked in public, the reason for the existence of such a law/ordinance is itself irrational, because a naked person as such does no harm to anyone (and the purpose of law should be to punish those who harm others).
Someone would think “but what about the children”. My question is what about them? Hominids have lived for millions of years completely naked, and their children have ultimately built the civilization that we live in – from scratch. Children accept the world as they see it. If we present to them the world in which people are afraid of their own bodies, then we are conditioning them to be afraid of their own bodies. Seeing another naked person will definitely stir that fear, but is it the naked person harming that child, or the child’s upbringing? Clothing is relatively new in the scheme of evolution, like a fad diet that scares you into accepting it, and you only later realize that it’s disabling you.
Some of the items of clothing are downright dangerous. Shoes, for example, deform your feet and provide perfect conditions to turn your foot into breeding grounds of nasty bacteria (e.g. Pseudomonas, which can cause high fever, chills, confusion, shock and even tissue necrosis) and fungi (e.g. Tinea pedis, which can cause cracks in the skin that open the way for even more bacteria). Additionally, they interfere with your gait and wearing them consistently since early childhood can cause awkward gait and clumsiness.
Similarly, underwear – especially tight underwear – interferes with proper ventilation of your groin, which again creates great conditions for growth of bacteria and fungi. This can lead to urinary tract infections, from bacteria and fungi that you can transfer from your feet to your groin (your underwear, after all, has to come to your groin from all the way down at your feet, but other kinds of transfers are also possible). There they will further spread and wreak havoc on your body. Increased temperature around the groin due to lack of proper ventilation can further cause infertility in men by reducing sperm count.
That’s what clothes do to you personally, not even taking into account some more sensitive individuals to whom some clothes can cause contact dermatitis and allergic reactions, causing them to spend even more time on treatment. On a wider scale, clothes today are cheap, throwaway items. They are massively produced from cotton that is grown on ever-increasing surfaces of our planet, at the cost of (rain)forests that give us oxygen that we breathe. The speed at which clothes are produced, however, makes even this increased supply of cotton insufficient (making it a very lucrative plant for farmers), and it is mixed with polyesters which take a long time to biodegrade (20 to 200 years). Clothes that are donated end up back in shops because there is nobody who needs them and discarded clothes amount to over 10 million tons of waste annually in US alone. The cause? Cheap, low quality, throwaway, mass-produced clothes.
Clothes are maintained by being washed. How much detergent do you use monthly? Many people don’t even know. Many use way too much. Multiply whatever you use, though, by the number of households in your neighborhood, your town, your city, your country… All of that detergent is flushed into the environment when washing is done.
So, a huge amount of people worked a huge amount of time to buy a huge amount of clothes which they didn’t need, only to throw it all away in the end. All the while they had it, they worked huge amounts of time to buy detergent to wash this thing they didn’t need, which harms their environment and thus lays ground for future environmental problems. What purpose did all this clothing serve? Perhaps in a certain number of cases it protected the wearer from severe weather conditions. In a prevailing number of cases, it served no factual purpose, only an imagined one, of having to wear clothes in order to fit in with a society that thinks wearing clothes is a sign of civility and not wearing it is a sign of – exactly what? That is a topic I have already covered here.
To produce such a huge amount of clothes, people have spent huge parts of their lives at work. Now think what would happen if this same amount of people did in that time something more productive; something that didn’t cater to our fears; something that was factually useful. Although that probably wouldn’t be possible 100% of the time, it certainly isn’t possible when they are doing work that doesn’t factually make anyone better-off. Just consider that only 50% of these people held jobs producing food; let’s say a measly 0.01% figured out that they could bring cheap/free electricity to their poor village by building a windmill from scrap; or some small percentage of them became policemen, fighting crime; or they contributed to the geoengineering of places with extreme weather conditions; etc. There is no knowing what exactly would happen, but there are great many ways in which it could be much better than wasting away at a job making things that people only think they need.
Now, to answer the last two questions from the start of my blog. Sadly today government makes money. Out of nothing. And they do make more of it. More and more of it. You’d think that was great, because there’s more money to go around, but it is wrong to think so. The more money there is going around, the more worthless it is. For example, if you made your $25 back during the 20’s, it may have been enough to last you a month. Today if you made the same amount of money, you might find that it barely buys a decent lunch. And that’s because the government prints money (whereas before the Federal Reserve was established – through an act of congress, with the chairman being chosen by the president of the United States, so don’t tell me it’s a private bank – gold was used as currency, and gold can’t be printed), thus devaluing your time, making you spend more and more time at work in order to afford the same things.
So take care that these things are not the things that you don’t need.
(For a more-or-less systematic overview of money and what it is, I suggest watching Paul McKeever’s series Understanding Money & Banking on YouTube).