Assume that money cannot be printed arbitrarily and is anchored to gold, like it once was, and such gold currency was not debased by cheaper metals, like it frequently was throughout history, then money would simply be a medium of storing work. Whether that work is producing a pair of shoes or teaching someone to play the piano, for economic convenience money is used as a secure and durable way to store the value of work, so that it could be used fluidly in transactions among a multitude of people engaging in multitudes of transactions.

So, if money is the root of all evil, then would not work be the root of all evil? If not, then is evil simply associated with money's theft, debasement, or arbitrary fiat printing - actions which do effectively steal work from those who performed it, were paid by money for it, only the have the money become worth less, rather than store and preserve the value of their work.

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    The actual Bible quote is about the love of money, not money itself. biblehub.com/1_timothy/6-10.htm – Dave Apr 7 '15 at 18:52
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    Well, you're accepting 'money is the root of all evil', when that's highly disputable; I'd argue that money is one of the greatest civilizing advancements humanity has discovered. I also wouldn't tie money directly to work or labor... that was one of Marx's mistakes. A lifetime's effort might not be worth a dollar if nobody else thought that work was of value. – Ask About Monica Apr 7 '15 at 22:30
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    @kbelder Exactly, that's why what you mean isn't work. Of course your work is only worth what others are willing to pay for it. But being productive is an essential part of what it is to be human, according to Marx. Being productive isn't equal to working, which is the selling of one's own productivity. Ergo: No mistake Marx made here. Or at least you didn't point it out yet. – iphigenie Apr 9 '15 at 8:36
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    Although I commented many times,I agree with closing. I highly regret I had commented. It looks like here people like to link anything with such as good or evil or God stuff, in another term, religion. I am sorry to say – Kentaro Apr 9 '15 at 11:51
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    I mean that suddenly the questioner said that money is evil------------------why suddenly did he start it? I can not interact with metaphysic or whatever it is, I can no stand with them. – Kentaro Apr 9 '15 at 12:12

I think you moved a little bit too fast from money to work. As Marx pointed out, money itself is nothing but a medium, which can allow the trading of products between people who are not directly interested in trading their products.

For example, let's suppose that A's got some apples, B's got bananas and C's got strawberrys. Now if A wants a banana, B wants a strawberry and and C wants an apple, they can't actually trade their product, but with money they could. In this scenario, if they all start with 1 coin, they will end the trade with 1 coin. The point here, is not the accumulation of money, it is just a way to simplify the whole thing.

In capitalism though, money becomes the target, and work is the only way to get some money, if you don't have any good to sell. Now, this kind of work is alienating, without any doubt. Nevertheless, free work, the free production by the individual of what he wants (for exaple, art) is for Marx the activity which allow people to exercise their freedom, what makes them humans.

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  • Well, an artwork is actually a product in a money-based system. Of course, if your aim is to sell it, you will be in competition with other artists (you would be in the same market); nevertheless, this wouldn't be true in the society that Marx illustrates. – user14234 Apr 8 '15 at 9:14
  • Oh I see what you mean. I didn't mean to say that the artist is the only one who is actually free, but that if you are not forced to work, your work will not be alienating. You would produce anything you want, enriching society with your work. – user14234 Apr 8 '15 at 9:22
  • If I do have a good to sell, let's say an apple, then, unless I am a thief, I worked to pick the apple or bought it with stored work (money) or traded for it something else that required work to manifest, like an orange. Now, if I don't have an apple, money, or an orange to trade, is work, such as picking an apple or doing something else worth an apple, alienating? Why is the work of picking an apple alienating? I can see picking an orange to later trade for an apple as being indirect, but does indirect mean alienating? What if I get $1 for the orange and then buy the apple for $1? Alienation? – Guessed Apr 8 '15 at 14:36
  • According to Marx, work is alienating if you don't own the product of your work, which is what happens in capitalism. If you pick an apple and then you sell it, that's another thing. – user14234 Apr 8 '15 at 15:32
  • If my corn field produces 100 ears daily and I pick 10 to feed my family and 90 to trade for milk, meat, and cloth from other farmers and weavers, is my alienation from my 90 ears compensated by the naturalization of milk, meat, and cloth from others? Similarly, the folks alienated from their products - are they not compensated by naturalizing corn? What if I pick an apple and my neighbor picks an orange? Do we alienate/naturalize ourselves by trading fruit? I don't trust the honesty of the word alienation. It sounds like complaining about something that doesn't deserve one iota of sympathy. – Guessed Apr 8 '15 at 19:17

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