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24/12/2011

Among Believers

 La version Français se trouve ici

 

Tax and Customs Administration                                                                       
PO Box 9100                                                                        
7100 HA WINTERSWIJK                                                                        
The Netherlands


                                                                        6 November 2006


Copy to : Prime Minister J.P. Balkenende and the Supreme Court

- Under fearful believers -

Reference:            64.57.502.V.XXXXXXXRe:             Writ of Execution

Dear Sir/Madam,

Are we but insignificant cogs in a big machine? A machine whose most important objective is to produce money, to grow and to make profit? Can we use this money to resolve social problems both at a national and an international level? Or has money actually become a key part of the problem? For instance, can famine, disease, education and environmental challenges be fixed with money? Nowadays, money has become a goal in itself, resulting in it leading a life of its own. In the Middle Ages, God was the answer to ‘all evils’, but that also meant that society was imprisoned by a religious elite who’d confiscated the exclusive rights to God. There’s nothing essentially wrong with God or money, but when they appropriate the most important role for themselves, this creates a certain type of world and we are made subordinate to the laws we dreamt up ourselves, whether they represent God, money or something else.

Just suppose I’m going to fool you that the moon possesses special powers and that every time you look at the moon you have to pay me 20 cents. Or you take out a subscription and pay ten euros a year allowing you to look at the moon as often as you like. This may be a ridiculous example which you’d never fall for, but with God and money we have succeeded in fooling ourselves and others into this. So why wouldn’t this work with the moon or the sun, especially when I have an army and a judiciary on my side, completely independent of course (but still completely dependent on the system, faith or science).

 

Is money in itself worth money?
If this were actually the case, then nobody would have to work anymore, which just wouldn’t work. Therefore, it’s vital that there are enough people, and governments of course, who believe that money in itself is worth money.


Is looking at the moon worth money?
In the end, it’s a question of what we want to believe, how convincingly it will be presented and what sanctions there may be for the unbelievers. Power and fear can imprison a society for centuries, even if nobody actually wants that. I don’t blame the Tax and Customs Administration for doing what it does; after all, that’s what it was appointed to do and even that was logical initially. Nonetheless, I think it’s important that we understand that we’re all in the same boat, and as long as we keep seeing each other as competitors and/or accomplices to defend our own interests, breaking through to a more sustainable and just world will continue to be impossible. A government which subordinates itself to a system that makes the rich richer and makes society increasingly dependent loses its credibility and breeds chaos and human impotence to change things for the better. This latter point is impossible because we have to remain subservient to the law that money in itself is worth money. Other priorities are eclipsed by this and will remain as such because making money is the most important ‘economic’ priority. As a result, we’ve created a Catch 22 situation: first make money, and then we can use that money to fix the problems. I don’t know how much longer we can continue to fool ourselves and each other with this little fairytale, but it just doesn’t work in practice.

 

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12/02/2011

Sacrifice