short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Am The Root of All Evil

I am everywhere: I infect your daily life; I appear at nearly every turn, at every transaction. My power is immense: I make decisions for you; I determine victories in war; I determine what is produced, what is not and who gets what. I overthrow governments, subjugate poor populations and exploit the natural resources of the planet, leaving environmental ruins in my wake. I am money. I am the new God.

My actual material make-up seems harmless enough. I most often appear as a mere scrap of paper, yet my shape takes many forms. I can appear as a bank statement, a check, a gift certificate,a winning lottery ticket,a plastic credit card, even a surreal maelstrom of billions and trillions of electrons that are fired across the planet every single day in a matter of seconds. I maintain an illusion of interest, an unbiased objective tool, a mere medium of exchange. But I am much more than that.

A geographical analysis of the world reveals how the operation of the current social organization that humans have chosen is structured to accentuate my power. Cities are located largely on sea ports, perfectly positioned to ease my movement from one port to another, from one country to another. Millions, perhaps billions, of miles of cables have been laid, satellites have been launched into orbit, and microwave communications have been developed in order to better accommodate my electronic flow.
Walk through the downtown section of any major city in the world and look up at the buildings. Not even a hundred years ago, the tallest buildings were churches of another faith. Now they are temples erected in my name: banks, institutions that produce absolutely nothing and exist only to further my power.

Christianity itself, the dominant ideology of the western world for the last millennium, has waned in the face of my new religious following. Historically, we know that early coins emerged from temples, and the word Moneta, “She who warns,” was the title of the goddess Juno, whose temple was used by the Romans as a worship to make coins.

People purchase goods with me, get paid for their work with me, and regularly invest me in order to increase my power. The word used to describe my system—Capitalism—is just another way of saying moneyism. People worship me every single day of their lives, not just once a week on Sunday. Large returns are a sign of my blessing.

The United States of America has declared itself the crusading paladin of my faith. America is the self-proclaimed protector of my sacred church: the free market. Any person, organization or country that holds views at odds with my religion will be destroyed in my name. The Cold War was largely a manifestation of this crusade.
Marx’s communism was the largest and most powerful heresy and therefore required obliteration to satisfy me. It’s not the authoritarianism of Marxism that was blasphemous. Many brutally authoritarian governments in Latin America have the blessing of my archangel, the United States. Even the ostensibly Communist countries, such as China, have my favor. It is heresy against me that is not allowed.

I have a way of perpetuating my power, even by those who remain unconscious of my power. I am a mere scrap of paper, yet I gain power in every time you use me. I am worthless unless I am transacted. This is the beauty of me—if you posses me, you must worship me. It’s like an addiction: once you join my system, you can’t exit. Consumerism breeds more consumerism.

My church is changing everything. Anything that is not ready to sell must be transformed into a commodity. Only then can I grow. The environment is worthless unless it is exploited, creating capital and thus enlarging my congregation. I care not for the destruction of ecosystems. I need only production and consumption.
I have changed the entire way society looks at itself. People used to grow food to eat, wove clothes to wear, and built shelters to live in. Now, everything is done for me. People don’t work with the idea that what they are doing is necessary to themselves and the commodity at large. They are merely fulfilling an individualistic need to worship me.

Even better, people are no longer human beings. They are mere cogs in my great machine. The more a person can conform to this reality, the more holy a person becomes and therefore receives more of my favors. People are referred to as “consumers” or “producers.” Read the newspaper. It never reports that “a human being died today.” No, instead it might report that “a doctor died” or “the President died” or “a police officer died.”People are defined by how well they worship me. Those that worship more are remembered more than those who worship very little. Bill Gates, my new high priest, is well known, but who is the guy on the downtown street corner? I do not care, and neither will you.

If I did not have this power, why is it that millions of people starve and billions go malnourished daily while the world produces more than enough food to adequately feed everyone? Why is it that a person must go without necessary medical attention merely for the fact that he or she hasn’t the means to properly worship me? I am so very powerful.

The most important element of this faith is the fact that it is nearly impossible for members of my religion to even envision a world without the father, the son and the holiest of ghosts: private property, money, and the so-called free market. Language has been constructed to discourage such an undertaking. Any words that were created to describe a society structured differently, without me, have been altered with negative connotations or have been forgotten—words like socialism, anarchism, collectivism, solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomy.

There have been heretics through the ages, such as Gerard Winstanley of England, Jean Varlet of France, Peter Kropotkin of Russia, Emma Goldman of the United States, and Che Guevara of Argentina, who have dared to dream, but I had them harassed, brutalized or murdered for their optimism. Just as heretics of the Catholic Church were erased from memory, so too, these prophets have been removed from the history books by my new inquisition.

I am God; I am money; and in God you will trust.

This essay was written by Hana Qashu, a student of mine in a senior-year Writing for Publication course I taught at a university in Jordan, and published in a collection of stories written by people living in the Middle East at the time. I thought folks in the West might find it interesting to see how a talented young girl in the Middle East thinks.


  1. Great Essay!
    Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  2. Such a profound statement too. God doesn't equal money but many act as though it does.

  3. It will not stay this way for very much longer, though.

  4. Val, Andrea, sorry I somehow missed your comments. Hana Qashu, who wrote this, was one of my talented students in an undergraduate (!) writing course in Jordan.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.