My previous essay, “Quick course in the facts,” #166, opens further considerations that some of our citizens can argue over pointlessly. Distinction must be drawn between social utilities and commodities. Though money is often treated as a commodity, it belongs in the more fundamental category of utility. Water and electricity are vital commodities, their channels merely called “public utilities” though sometimes they are privatized, usually detrimental to human community in favor of certain social elites.
We can discern the really basic utilities as Money, Language, Force, Affection and Knowledge. Belief or Faith is a hybrid between affection and knowledge that is often held in place of knowledge, substituting for thought just as force can be attempted as substituting for any other utility or to obtain commodities. Salemanship or “public relations” manipulates belief with representation. Government can be reduced to salesmanship, reflecting a knowlege of consumer susceptibilities.
Speech is a Language event. Transactions of sale or purchase are Money events. Faith, as a subjective state or attitude, shares with the other five Utilities the power to urge or persuade and make things happen or not happen. To equate Speech with Money, as in the US Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” decision, reduces all Utilities to mere Commodities. This is an absurdity that can be appreciated and desired only by the wealthiest players in the economic game, a game which alienates economy from community. Only an insanely disordered elite can wish such a state of affairs.
Communities find ways to take care of their crazy members. Societies let their craziest members rise to dominate in positions of rule or powerful influence. Societies are subject to the denaturing effect of misrepresentation, such that many of it members misperceive mad people as the sanest, smartest among them. Community members are warmly nurtured is mutually stabilizing influences of good advice and example with much testing of ideas or procedures before adopting them.
To want to dominate others and get recognition for it is crazy, but it is not crazy to try to excel at some sort of activity and gain recognition for excellence. Excellence cannot be faked with money or force. That Supreme Court, five-man majority has tried to fake out the world. The Republican Party hopes to capitalize on that falsity and madness. I will not be misled, as the Tea Party has been, by poor thought, bad speech, the forceful appeal of false money, unscientific belief and cynical misrepresentations. As for the utilitarian relation between Speech and Money, to say political money is political speech creates “fiat speech” which is as doubtfully reliable, long term, as fiat money.