If cash is King then the King is dead!

“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight”
Johnny Cash

The missus came back from a utilities company with worrying news. I trust her fully, but I couldn’t believe what she was telling me. Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that we meet most of our expenses with cash. Handling cash is one of the key things, in my opinion, that you can do to get on top of your money management.

Anyway as it turns out she had gone to pay a bill with cash, but was refused. The alleged reason was that they didn’t accept cash any longer. Cash is legal tender and to not accept it as payment is illegal in our country (that’s a whole other story). A few days later I had the same experience. They basically told me that I should direct debit and that they didn’t want cash on the premise for security purposes – blah, blah, blah.

This is a worrying trend that I’ve long predicted. The authorities hate cash. It’s dirty and expensive to produce. It creates a logistics issue ensuring cash is fluid. Like you need to move it around to ensure the circulation is appropriately distributed. Worst for authorities is that cash transactions aren’t traceable. They can’t easily steal a portion by calling it a tax. Worst still they don’t have a complete record of your movements, your expenditure and the level of control that they would have in a cashless monetary system. I also think that they hate having to deal with a human being face to face. Numbers on a screen don’t angrily complain about all the ways the utilities company is not doing what it is charging people for! Why deal with actual humans if you can work with non-threatening spreadsheets instead.

There is a more sinister concern that is probably the second reason I am pro-cash. Say for example there was no cash. Everything was electronic [some people think they would like that because they are technocrats that like the idea of their phone being their pocket money]. Before you jump on that wagon keep your mind open to the downside. To do anything in a world where paper money no longer exists you’d need an electronic bank account [sounds ok]. Now say the government gets even more totalitarian or fascist leaning than it is now and that is unacceptable to you so so you protest [what does this have to do with money?]. Well, the government responds by turning off your bank account and with no cash available it would be more than a minor inconvenience. You’re in deep shit Dorothy. It would be in a terrible situation. How would you eat, where could you live, how would you accumulate a non-physical e-money? It’s all just numbers on a screen now [oh!].

A cash based system gives you rights. It allows you to remain private. You have an ability to continue to transact with people in your local community to feed, cloth and shelter your family without an authority ever entering into it as a invisible third party. Once cash is gone you lose the right to life and must rely on the benevolence of the banking sector and the government.

Some people seem to think that if this fictional scenario played out that some underground currency would fill the gap for people that have been struck off the government books, but answer this – is it legal in your country to develop your own currency and trade it in your neighbourhood now? If you live in most countries in the world it is not just illegal there are serious consequences for printing an alternative to ‘legal tender’. The government and the banks are very aggressive about ensuring they are the only game in town.

So even if you are into tech you need to fight the death of cash. A cash based system however bad or unfair is [or however cool the electronic payment tools become] better than the alternative of a money based system without cash. True a moneyless world would be better, but with so little to gain and so much to lose the establishment would never let that dream become a reality without bloodshed.

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Don’t anticipate a book review from LeM (I’m afraid)

“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

I’d really like to do a book review on Russell Brand’s new book Revolution. It is right up my alley.

Brand is talking about toppling the elite designed and maintained system that doesn’t really work for anyone other than the owners.

Russell isn’t advocating chaos. He’s simply suggesting we could and should be thriving under a mutually designed system that fairly distributed resources, looks after people, takes care of the planet and protects the other species we share this blue rock with. Hear, hear mate. This resonates with me. I’m not so much anti-capitalist. More pro life and liberty for all.

Trouble is I won’t be doing a book review anytime soon. I reserved a copy of this book at the public library. 19 people in front of me means in a little less than 2 years I’ll get to read it. By then pretty much no point doing a review as anyone with a flicker of interest will have read it already. [In the meantime no spoilers please!]

As I said I am really interested in this book and this will all be old news by then, but I just can’t bring myself to go into town, find a shop and part with $40. Besides, its nice to have things to look forward to in life. Hopefully my loan of this book will neatly coincide with a beach holiday and pleasant weather out.

The abundance mindset: Part of the critical path of successful simple living

“The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it”

Henry David Thoreau

One of the things I recall about starting my journey in simple living is that off the bat I felt like a second class citizen.

I was focused on lack, on scarcity. Because a vast proportion of my money was saved I never had money for anything. I had a feeling that I was missing out. I was centred on lack of money to the extent that when people treated me like a hobo I felt hurt. At that point my clothes were substantially newer than they are today. There weren’t any holes in my shoes and I wasn’t a hair farmer. The joke if I’d noticed it was that guys and gals in flash corporate clothing that were treating me badly probably had less in the bank than I did (at that point a little over $100k).

My early experience of simple living was bitter sweet. On the one hand I was begining to harvet the benefits of frugality and minimalism. I was becoming aware of my economic slavery and I was seeing how little freedom I actually had. But, at the same time my self worth was taking a hammering. All because of my perceptions of other people’s behaviour towards me.

Slowly I began to see everything differently. By any modern western standard, and especially considering most people have less than $1000 in savings, I was very rich. I shifted away from a focus on poverty and scarcity in line with our family principles toward what I was grateful for, what I had and what I wanted in the future. This mental evolution changed my life.

Now I’m thriving in a simple lifestyle. I notice abundance in every area of my life. I feel blessed. I am intimately connected to living a more localised, quieter, and simpler life. I’m happier,and less hostile. I feel successful, clever and brave. When I’m on a train, a bus or out in a public space I freely shrug off peoples negative emotions. Truth be told I probably don’t even notice . I try not to judge their personal insecurity.

I smile because they may never know what they are missing if they keep living the corporate (or corporations) dream.

Life on the other side is better.

You’ll only discover for yourself if you are brave enough to give simple living a chance.

If you do try, give yourself a big head start by getting your head in the right space first.

House of Harmony – House of Horror

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay”

Sallust

Life is brutal. We get beaten down until we think, dress and act like everyone else. Random strangers physically or verbally abusing us over a square on the ground called a parking space. Our power tripping bosses project their emotional turmoil on us as they go through a divorce. The government, the media and big business uses silent psychological weapons on us that turn us into a confused fearful consumer. On top of all this we self police. Anyone out of line gets fingers pointed at them hushed whispers and muffled sniggering wherever they go. Being a pack animal this is quite a powerful controlling mechanism to have everyone tell you all the negative ways in which you are different from the norm. It’s all designed to get us to shut up, sit down, fall back in line and quietly pay our mortgage.

I’ve said before that you need to actively guard your mind against negative programming. You’re life will never get better if you live in fear, if you focus on scarcity, or if you let the external define who you are. The world is so overwhelmingly negative that it is really hard to define yourself on your inner coordinates by accident. We have to focus on what we want – simplicity, joy, abundance, wealth, health or we will be moving away from these outcomes. The whole structure of society is to move us away from these outcomes. Life changes once you realise that.

Many of us come home and suffer turmoil anew. Petty fights over lack of money, who’s turn it is to do the dishes, and when the garden will finally get pruned. The shit that gets dumped on us all day builds uo. It builds up to boiling point just as you come home. How many nights have you walked in the door to your house and unloaded a giant mountain of crap on our family?

But it doesn’t have to be like that. We decided to be a little brave. We decided to do things differently. We call our house the “little house of good vibrations”. Our walls were built to hold harmony and happiness. Happiness gets trapped in with the heat, but it leaks the bad stuff like a sieve. We programme each other with positive, enabling and exciting words and thoughts. “Take that grumpy thought and the person having it into the woods” we say to our son when he has a tantrum.  “Daddy needs go garden ’til he come back happy” he says in reply. We want our house to be a house of harmony. A safe atoll in a sea of panic, pessimism and the pathetically disempowering cultural narrative that pervades life in the west.

People will say I’d a house of harmony myself, “but my partner is so grouchy they’d never agree” or “but we are so poor!”.  To that I’d say change yourself. Make it so. See what happens.