I do speak for the people, for a change. It has been said throughout history that money and religion were the root to all evil. It would be hard to deny it, both are responsible for most wars in this world. They are both about control and power, though they are both presented to us as our salvation. Well, are they our salvation? This is a message of hope, that you do not require money to survive, or to achieve your dreams.
I suppose you could have a completely different point of view about what money really means, depending on how much you suffered in your childhood and later on in life for a lack of it, or how much freedom you enjoyed because there was always plenty of money around you.
My opinion is that money does not really matter, depending on how you truly feel about it. For example, if it stops you from achieving whatever you feel you should achieve, then you’ve got it wrong.
There is no reason why money, or a lack of it, should ever stop anyone from achieving his or her own dreams. If you feel otherwise, you need a reality check, you need to learn to live, you need to learn what life is all about. Just take risks, there are always solutions over the horizon.
It has been my observation that people who always had plenty of money appeared quite peaceful, happy, laid back, and even beautiful. It’s like, they never had anything to worry about for most of their life, and it seems to show.
On the opposite side, where there was a lack of money, it was a living hell. Shouting, fighting, arguing, compromises, rage and anger. You could easily add an ABH (Actual Bodily Harm) or a GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm) to the mix, it would not be unexpected. Like if that sense of injustice could make you permanently ugly and incapable of thinking about anything else but your own misery.
This is called the path to self-destruction. We are reaching the root to all of this, what we are all about. It is my new found duty to change all that, to show some sort of a light, a way out. There is a way out, even if at first, it will not seem that way.
Peacefulness and happiness never come from poor families or failures. Genius, yes, it can. You are born genius whether you are rich or poor, and hopefully you have a good chance to use it to your own advantage and become rich one day out of it. But peacefulness, happiness, contentment? You can only hope to discover those once you’re rich, if it is not already too late by then.
There is a point of no return where you can never be happy no matter what, as if one could get used to be miserable and could never be anything else. Pessimistic one day, pessimistic for a lifetime. Miserable for too many years, misery for the rest of your life. You can only hope to find what you expect in life. And so, you can reach a point where what you will only be able to see, is a nightmare with no way out.
I am damaged beyond repair, I will never now find happiness in this lifetime. If I were to become rich tomorrow morning, I’m afraid, I’ll never be a new man, I would still be the miserable human being I am now. I would also be so cynical about it, I would be convinced that it would never last, and so, I could only possibly be rich for a little while, and then go back to normal, a life where everything is about money, every single argument, every fight, every sentence.
People are so obsessed with money, with getting out of their misery, that they can’t sleep at night anymore. Their dreams are larger than the universe, and at the end of it there is only disillusion. Is the only solution left, is to listen to Nine Inch Nails’ new albums, and feel something in between? Between feeling reaching some sort of freedom, or actually accomplishing something towards it? That would not do. You are significant, you can be as significant as you feel you should be. You would be surprised, you can get heard, you do make a difference!
Thinking otherwise, is the result of the capitalism system we grew in. You are reminded every time you open a magazine or watch the TV. Happiness is only possible when there’s plenty of money around. Freedom, or the feeling of it, without the finance to back it up, is a utopia.
Never mind that I have been at the height of my happiness when I had to count my pennies to buy a bag of chips, or crisps as they are called on this side of the Atlantic. I won’t go into my personal misery when I arrived in London 15 years ago. God I was happy then, but it had more to do with the fact that for the first time I was free to do whatever I wanted, free to go out every night in Central London, even though I could not afford the three pints of beer required for me to get off this planet.
I was never affected by money, the lack of it, or having a lot of it. There are always solutions presenting themselves when you drop everything to seek adventure and exploration. I suffered though from the people around me who could not think about anything else. It drives their mood, their whole existence.
I always thought that having money was some sort of an obstacle, because the risk of losing it is too great, and so you do not take any risk anymore. When you don’t have any money, you have nothing to lose, you can leave tomorrow morning for Los Angeles or Paris, like I did before, and not even think twice about it.
I used to be worried about the fact that my lifestyle of moving from country to country, after thinking about it for one long second, could leave me dry without a mortgage, a house, a flat, a car, or any other real asset. Now I feel free from not having any of those, because for me, moving country or going into space won’t be a problem.
I have nothing, so I can’t lose anything. I even sold my last book on eBay, these were desperate times. I appreciate that freedom, more than you could ever imagine, for what it gave me the chance to experience, living in so many different countries, and see for myself what those Belgians, for example, go through every day. (Nothing much to say about that I’m afraid, better commit suicide than live in Brussels ever again.)
And yet, I would love to have a bank account filled to the brink, to insure maximum freedom, so then I could really truly have anything I want, to go anywhere I want, China, Afghanistan, Iran. Really pursue this adventure and life of exploration I always desired, and only partially achieved, being so poor all the time.
It’s great I have done so much without any money, and yes, money should never stop anything or anyone. In my case, money never stopped me from achieving anything I always wanted to do, but it would have been much easier if I did have plenty of it, I would have done much more. But when you’re rich, it’s a different ball game. You cannot do what I have done, too many other things come into play.
I also feel that if I had plenty of money, people around me would be nicer, smiling, more emancipated. So then we could talk about philosophy instead of what we are going to do about the car. Fuck the car! I agree money might not necessarily bring happiness and make you happy, but I’m sure it cannot hurt, as the lack of it will most definitely bring you eternal misery, bring you to the brink of war.
Not everyone thinks like I do. Without money you might as well be dead, in certain circumstances where it drives your other half bunker and to the brink of insanity, as you will witness everywhere in every single household. One is usually obsessed with money or the lack of it, the other half does not care one way or another, because nothing truly depends on having plenty of money if you can take risks and do not care about any consequence.
What is money really? Well, you do learn early on in school that there was a time when money didn’t exist, and everything was just trade. You fish, you exchange your fish for butter, bread, carrots, etc. In Canada, listening to history, I often felt that there was no money at all. You had to sustain yourself with a few cows, a few chicken, a mill around the corner for the whole village, cut the trees for heating, water from the river (before the industrialization of course, now drink that water and you will die).
Self-sufficiency, with no need for money. That is what I often aspired to, self-sufficiency. However, I’m also realistic. I’m not sure if it would be possible nowadays to grow carrots in my backyard and survive that way. The taxes alone just for me to exist in one little square, would quickly bring me to prison.
Money is just a commodity, a currency. You give your fish away, you get money, and then you can use that money to buy something else. It is known that the richest people are getting richer, beyond belief, and the poorest people are getting poorer. I think it has always been that way, isn’t it? Boy, how poor we must be by now! And it is true, standards of living have only gone down since I was born.
I don’t really care. I am not one of those idealistic persons who feel that socialism will cure all our problems. I won’t deny that I am a capitalist at heart and that I dream to become filthy rich one day, whilst all my neighbors are dying in appalling poverty. Fuck them, I hate them all anyway and wouldn’t mind if another war was to eradicate them all.
I told you I always thought like an American President, as this is how they have always been thinking. Unfortunately, this is also how the presidents and leaders of communist and socialist countries have been thinking. And so, as they were getting richer, socialism and communism failed spectacularly.
I never really cared for poor people or rich people. I have no desire to help any of them. I was never moved by those dying Ethiopians, and I have never helped any charity. I always thought anyway that I have always been poorer than the dying Africans. Because they can still be happy, smile, while I always wanted to shoot myself, with debts larger than a continent. They never had any money, but I was in a worst shape, I was minus tens of thousand of pounds, with no hope to ever pay that back. I’m bankrupted now, for another five years at least. Don’t judge me so harshly, you are about to become bankrupt yourself. Just read the headlines.
And yet, I had dreams of saving the planet, and if I become filthy rich one day, it is most likely that I will help the planet one way or another. I always had at the back of my mind the idea of a string of companies covering just about everything, including banks and grocery stores, all non profit organisations. How successful would be a chain of grocery stores and banks working for no profit? It could easily destroy the economy and bring everyone in deeper shit. But got to be idealistic, and keep my desire to help humanity somehow. Got to be realistic, let’s go nuclear, because my electricity bill is way too high, I can’t afford it. You can’t quote me on that.
Money is a joke, a bad one. It reminds me of an episode of Sherlock Holmes, the Blue Carbuncle, where at the beginning they tell us the history of that rock. That, in its short life, that blue crystal had already cost the lives of something like a dozen human beings, because greed knows no boundary. And you can only laugh at it, because at the end of the day, it is only a rock, no matter how rare it is. Who cares to own it? What could it possibly change to one’s life?
I myself have no jewelry of any kind, I don’t even have a watch, and I don’t want one. I always managed to lose or destroy everything I ever had anyway, so I no longer value anything. I suppose I can sustain myself out of air, no one has yet put a price tag on that, selling it at high price around the corner. I can see though that we are getting there.
I digress, I’m not supposed to talk about my life here. I need to talk about money, what it means, what purpose it plays in mankind’s destiny. Though owning a blue carbuncle would be totally useless, having a bundle of money would give you the chance to tell your boss to fuck off, buy a yacht and live anywhere in the world on any ocean. Is there anyone on this planet who does not believe in God or religion who could refuse such freedom?
The thing is, there is only one thing on this planet that we are all seeking, our liberty to do whatever we want whenever we want. And as far as I know, money is the only thing that could bring you that kind of freedom. So I love money, because I love my liberty. And as a bonus, without money you are so restricted, you cannot wash as many times as you would like. You have to take cold showers, you have to worry about leaving the computer on, because dear me, it costs more monthly than cable. And all these little insignificant and petty things are what make everyone around you lose it completely and jump at your throat the second money is mentioned. We’re all living on the edge of insanity, and the lack of money is the first spark which will bring about the war.
So in conclusion, I love money, because I love my liberty, and money is what will lead me to freedom. I am aware that money is the root to all evil, that money has caused all wars on this planet since the very beginning of humanity, and I don’t care. I value my liberty too much to worry about any of this. I cannot help others to survive until I have myself found a way to survive, and surviving for me means my freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want.
I freely admit that I have done so without having any money, so it is not that necessary for anyone who is determined to lead the life one has set it to be. And if it happens that one day I become filthy rich and gain total freedom, I will then help humanity as much as I can, to reach the same state of euphoria. I’ll then distribute the class A drugs freely myself (only kidding).
Money is the root to all evil, and yet, it could very well be the path to total freedom. Why can’t we just print more? I remember asking that very question to my father when I was barely 4 years old. I’m not that dumb now. I have studied economics in college, finished with a perfect mark of 100% every year, and yet, I never understood anything about economy, which means, not many economists out there must understand what economy is all about. Frightening, when you think that understanding economy could mean eating bread tomorrow or not, and yet, no one on this planet understands how it works.
What is economy? What is the significance of money? Honestly, I don’t know, or more to the point, I don’t care. I just know that I always thought that one day I would have plenty of money, and that thought alone has sustained me all my life, even when I was the poorest moron alive. That’s why I never thought I was poor when I was. I guess this is the true meaning of the American Dream, in a world where none of us will ever have enough money to even afford a house.
I don’t have a million right now to buy a house, this is how much they cost these days. Something must have gone wrong with the economy, surely. I remember reading years ago that in Russia, where inflation went crazy one day, suddenly a loaf of bread cost 100 pounds instead of 40 pence. We’ve reached that point now, an ugly small house costs three million pounds. The 20 square meters alone, without the house, can cost a million. Good thing I don’t care to own a house right now, as I will never have the money to buy one.
It doesn’t matter, as long as I am still free to do whatever I want whenever I want. No need for money for that, you just need guts and be able to bypass your brain or conscience. Don’t think, just act! Leave it all behind, drop that bitch or that bastard you’re living with, never mind about those kids, someone will take care of them. Act irresponsibly for once, you are allowed! No one is expecting the world from you. Go on to explore all that this world has to offer, without thinking about any consequence. You will be held in higher esteem by the world for following such impulsivity.
Go for it! Now is the time, you have lost everything, or you are about to, so why not leave for the other side of the planet as you always wanted to? You don’t need money for that, for being that insane. Just feel the freedom, just go for it! I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. You might just change the world.
This article is an excerpt of the book “Destructivism, The Path to Self-Destruction”:
Roland Michel Tremblay is an author with six books published in France. He is a French-Canadian born in 1972 who has been living in London UK for 15 years. He can be contacted at this e-mail address: email@example.com
[DS added the video]
NIN: 1,000,000 live from on stage, Sydney 2.22.09 [HD]
Nine Inch Nails performs “1,000,000” live at the Soundwave Festival in Sydney, Australia, February 22, 2009.
Filmed by Rob Sheridan with the Canon 5D Mark II. Audio mix by Blumpy.