The Epic Human Journey: Part 3, Endless Summer

The Green Back vs. The Rial

A single banknote can reveal a lot about the attitude of a nation.
ELLEN LEE

A single banknote can reveal a lot about the attitude of a nation.

Take Iran for example. On each 100,000 rial bill it says: “Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul.” Not exactly what you would expect from the most demonized state in the world, yet there it is plain for anyone to see if they want to look.

There is something altogether enchanting in those words, even if the realities on the ground don’t necessarily show it, something that we haven’t had here in North America for a long time. A culture with such a selfless and beautiful sentiment driving its core might actually outlast us all.

So what does our money here in North America say about us? On every American one-dollar bill it says “In God We Trust.”

But really? God? What God? Certainly not the Christian God who commanded us to cancel debts, turn the other cheek, show compassion to strangers and love one another as we love ourselves. Let’s be honest here. The God on our cash isn’t the God of Abraham, altruism, compassion or any derivation of those things. It’s the God of the self on our bills. Greedy. Whiney. Voracious. Selfish. Hungry. Never satisfied. Obsessed with its own importance. The money could just as easily say “ho ho ho.”

We shouldn’t be so sure of ourselves. If we’re going to face the financial, cultural and ecological tipping points ahead we might want to take a moment and consider what we’re worshipping each time we put a dollar on the counter.

Currently, all over the world, every truism, every belief, every foundational precept of civilization is being shaken, twisted and wrung-out in a desperate search for a truth that might keep us from ending up where it is that we’re likely heading.

So let’s ask ourselves: is this the only impulse upon which to build a civilization?

Comments on the article “The Green Back vs. The Rial”

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Anonymous

So, in Iran, the words in the bill reveal that that a "selfless and beautiful sentiment" drives the core of the national culture, even if the reality doesn't match those words.
But in the US, you see, the conflict between the reality and the words in the dollar bill must exposed for the falsehood they represent...
This childish bias and naiveté is painful to read

Creox

I would take the respective countries histories into account when reading the article. Iran hasn't invaded a country in hundreds of years....now who's naive?

tom danowski

Ya know. I think i might take another look at that God of Abraham you speak of.. Its been a long time since i opened up that book. After i went to college i found it so irrellevant. But now it seems like the only book that might have some answers.

tom danowski

Ya know. I think i might take another look at that God of Abraham you speak of.. Its been a long time since i opened up that book. After i went to college i found it so irrellevant. But now it seems like the only book that might have some answers.

Anonymous

On revolutionary Spain:

"Many of the normal motives of civilized life-snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.-had simply ceased to exist." George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia

"In most anarchist collectives money was abolished. 'Here in Fraga,' the local paper proclaimed in blazing pride, 'you can throw banknotes into the street and no one will take any notice. Rockefeller, if you were to come to Fraga with your entire bank account you would not be able to buy a cup of coffee. Money, your God and your servant , has been abolished and the people are happy.'" The Spanish Civil War by Antony Beevor

Anonymous

A lovely quote if it's on a banknote.
But did you know the recent 50,000 rial note pictures the nucleus of an atom and the legend, quoting their prophet, "If the science exists in this constellation, men from Persia will reach it".
Nuclear industry meets chauvinism meets geld.

Umunkita Nnarambia

Exactly the point: you can't take your mind off the dollar. Everything - I mean everything - is for you, a measure of the dollar. That is your eternal trap. You can't get over it, anonymous.

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