Ever since the lockdown started, I’ve been neglecting my Rabbit Rabbit posts. (The last is from March 2nd, and it looks like before that I struggled with consistency, too.) I’d picked up the phrase from a tumblr blog doing its best to spread good luck and blessings, and frankly my skimping out just won’t do, not in times like this.
It’s been stressful, and frankly I spent a lot of the past few months wondering why I’m getting punished, why my coworkers get treated a lot better than I do. The truth is the system is inherently rigged and I was set back by an alcoholic father, who refuses to make amends for what he did to my starting financial situation (or anything else, for that matter). So I’ve been increasingly advocating for burning the whole thing down and starting over.
I think Americans need to stop worrying about money as the only value of the human experience. Republicans especially will whine about “the economy” whenever someone wants to pass a safety net bill, but money is not the value by which life is judged. In fact, wanting money to have money is a bad thing. The average person doesn’t want a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars or whatever. They want what that can give them in the moment in a capitalistic society. Food, shelter, money toward their medical bills and other debts, travel, and so on, generally in that order. We want to be able to meet our needs, and I’ve come to believe we should do something about the middle man in that equation.
Maybe moving beyond money is ridiculous, so let’s change the way we look at it. Us Americans have a saying, “The Almighty Dollar”. (And, coincidentally, a pastor named Dollar, who is a televangelist.) Idea time: consider money as a means to an end, instead of the end itself. I kind of think this is part of the idea behind Medicare For All, which also dovetails with concepts like sovereignty and obligation.
For the novel I’ve been working on, one of the alien cultures believes, “Those who can, take care of those who cannot”. It’s baked into their society even if their current struggle is over who “counts” as a member, despite the existence of their empire. Children are in the legal care of nearby adults. Health care, food, shelter, and so on are not treated as “rights of the people” but as obligations of “those who can”. A clan elder is responsible for those his or her junior, just as an officer is responsible for those in their command. This responsibility is pounded in as something one expects when one gets older and starts their own career. And here’s the kicker: money is a recent invention for them. They don’t understand all the peculiarities that make currency and economy tick. And this has caused them problems.
The reason I write science fiction is because I want to present what I think we should be more like. I want to show people what’s possible, because it can be dreamed, even if it’s by that one radical you knew as a mousy little twerp in middle school.