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July 28th - Weekly Buy Nothing Day

Where is the value in money? Is it the fundamental value of the bits of paper and coin we all carry around with us every day? Is it the products we purchase with it? Is it our modern day faith in the imaginary value of money in a particular society? After all, most money today is nothing more than a collective agreement on information. Most money isn’t even represented by anything physical. It is simply lent into existence by banks and credit cards. Anyone with a saving account is committing usury, which is condemned by most of the world religions. Are we all sinners simply because we aim to put an objective value on things?… A value that becomes subjective immediately after being introduced to the market. Diminishing returns and all that.

When I buy nothing, am I really buying nothing? Are there different kinds of currency. Interaction, for instance… Or communication at all… Am I speaking to you in a certain tone of voice to get a response? To get a few bucks out of you? To get a favor? To get laid? How much more valuable is our social currency than our economic currency? Does taking one day a week to keep the wallet closed really save anything?

I argue yes, based on the fact that the meditative act of taking a break from spending causes me to think about these things.

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