Mikazilkree Newsletter Signup Sign up for our email newsletter to receive the most recent news and articles directly to your inbox. In it he says: If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. Then there is the depressing phenomenon of wealthy heirs like the many Kennedys in politics today. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time.
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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? 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.
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. 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. What strength do you mean?
It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? 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 by 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. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. 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 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? If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him.
But 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 that mind that cannot match it. The verdict which 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 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? Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame.
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 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. 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. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it. 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.
In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But 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.
And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter. Watch money. 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.
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. 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. 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.
So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men.
Francisco D’Anconia on Money
Full of extreme ideas, some which perhaps do not appeal to most people. The men who try to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind? The men who think that wealth comes from the material resources and has no intellectual root or meaning, are the men who think—for the same reason—that sex is a physical capacity which functions independently of ones mind, choice or code of values. They think that your body creates a desire and makes a choice for you just about in some such way as if iron ore transformed itself into railroad rails of its own volition.
Francisco d’Anconia on Money
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? It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money.