When I think of ‘peace’ it seems impossible to not think of ‘war’ and when I think of ‘war’ I think of ‘money’.
To oversimplify this over-simplified chain of thought I will state that money is the cause of a lack of peace in this world. But how does thinking this change anything?
Some people think we need war; that we need to route out evil and bad people, seek justice through force etc etc, but for some reason little of this sits well with me. For those that genuinely want to live in a world of peace, war and violence will not do; you can’t fight for peace, and for those that agree with this read on… (or if not, why not read on anyway…)
The thing to consider is that pretty much every time we spend money we are facilitating war. Wars are big business; just try and ponder how many billions of dollars/pounds are spent on weapons, armies and all the supporting institutions and services.
The reason we ‘unwittingly’ fund wars by simply spending money is that for most financial transactions there are layers of tax siphoned off the top; such as VAT here in the UK. There are also the corporation taxes that business have to pay, even if they sell things that don’t have VAT added, such as food; yes even buying ‘necessary’ food is contributing to war.
And then there is the issue of how more and more monetary transactions are done via the banks, and of course banks are the biggest of big businesses.
Previously it was only the larger transactions where we would employ our banks to assist, beginning with cheques and direct transfers. For the smallest transactions we would still use cash. Then along came Credit cards. Still cash was king when it came to smaller/micro transactions partly because of transaction fees and convenience.
Now we have Contactless cards and other clever tech-fuelled ways of making those micro-transactions quickly and easily.
We are sold on the benefits to us, but few of us seem to be aware of the drawbacks; did you know that the increased usage of Contactless methods of payment have seen an increase in micro transactions? For ‘businesses’ this might seem a good thing, but where has this increased spending power come from? It’s not that people suddenly have more money to spend because of Contactless. And then think who really benefits: the banks. Because for every transaction they siphon off a cut for themselves, and for each transaction, whether the items purchase are exempt from VAT or not, taxes will be paid.
So my point is, if you want to limit your facilitation in wars, only buy what you need. And when you do buy something, consider how you pay.
The word ‘need’ ends up being such a vague word because ‘society’, businesses, and their advertising all dictate a lot about what we need. Consider transactions big and small, consider how you are paying (and being paid). A simple life, therefore, of simple food and few material things, would be the most peaceful.
None of this overly-packaged gloss and hype, flashy this and snazzy that; because whenever you buy into that you are moving further away from a world of peace.
Additional addition about Contactless…
I was going to write about Contactless earlier this year when my bank casually sent me a new payment card with this facility… I contacted them to decline it and the ‘happily’ and promptly replaced it for me for one without this feature. I did this for a few reasons:
I wasn’t confident about the security of it; it seemed all to easy for someone to ‘swipe’ some money from me without me knowing – of course the bank would refund me because of this is one of the layers of ‘convenience’ they add to encourage us to use such a payment method.
This was also when I read up on how Contactless payment has caused a growth in micro-transactions; I also saw what kinds of micro-transactions people were making when I saw people using their new cards in shops… and I didn’t want to be ‘them’.
More recently I discovered this Youtube Video. I’m not sure what to make of this guy, Santos Bonacci, but there are some considerations for us all I think…
And then there are those of us who suspect/believe/think that there are people in this world, on both sides, who want wars to continue because of how much money they generate. It’s not only the money, but it’s how people on both sides know of no other way to live.
Thank you to Amor-Fati-Stock on deviantArt for allowing use of the picture.