The manipulation and mis-conception of money
For all of us money is a nessecity, and without money nobody would last very long in todays' society. It is for the majority of the human race the only means of survival within the capitalist system. So you would think that with its' "life giving powers" and constant everyday use, money would be better understood by those most dependant upon it. Unfortunetly this isn't the case. It is not what money is or how it impacts on the whole of society, but how money can best be "made" by the individual, for the individual. Why? Greed is a factor, but the need to survive is probably the most accurate answer among those who have to work for it. The need to know what it is, is over shadowed by the need to have what it is. So what is it?
"something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment."
Money is any good or tokens that functions as a medium of exchange that is socially and legally accepted in payment for goods and services and in settlement of debts. Money also serves as a standard of value for measuring the relative worth of different goods and services and as a store of value."
What can we take from these definitions? Firstly that money is used as exchange. This we have already established (and hopefully experienced). Secondly, money is used as a relative measure of value. But what does this mean exactly? Money represents the value of a product in relation to that of another product. But what does this tell us? At first glance not much, other than its' use as an exchange. But within that answer there is the "missing link" as it were.
Money represents the value contained within a commodity. This value must be common to ALL commodities, yet different from the commodity itself in order for any intermediate exchange to work. So what do all commodities have in common?
Human labour power. This is how the working class can be exploited with little or no awareness with relative ease. H.L.P is, under the capitalist system, a commodity. It is bought and sold much in the same way as anything else on the market. What makes it unique (and expoitable) is that unlike other commodities it can produce more value than the value it was origanally bought for. Profit, then, is nothing more than what the buyer of H.L.P can take from the surplus labour of the seller of H.L.P. Simply by selling our productive capabilities for less than we create allows capitalism, and by extention, capitalists, to exploit the workers. And once more, it is through private ownership over the means to produce which leaves the majority with little choice but to enter into the "free market".
Wonder why you're still working the same amount of hours as someone from the fifteen hundreds despite the massive leap in technology? Ask the leaches that are slowly sucking us dry through thier manipulation and our misconceptions of money.