Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your “two cents” isn’t valuable.
Opinions are quite valuable. Ideas have real value. More value than currencies which are no longer in circulation. I’ve probably made a fortune off listening to the “two cents” of various people over the course of 10 years.
Why do you post “your two cents” online? In essence, you are effectively giving someone else “a piece of your mind.” Your ideas make sense to you. So much sense to you that you would give them away for free to other people.
It’s like tossing a coin in a community fountain, right? It is your contribution (with your little face on it) to trying to make some sense of the world. When you read other people, you do so to digest their contribution to understanding reality.
You come here or post a comment somewhere else. Maybe you keep the opinion to yourself. It is your two cents of sanity. Your perspective is quite valuable to you.
How much is your own perspective worth to you? Could you put a dollar figure on it? For some strange reason, your perspective is worthless in this world (like, say, a Confederate dollar), but a Federal Reserve dollar can buy you material things.
Are you following me?
Why is your “two cents” worthless? Why is the Federal Reserve note worth $5 dollars that has Lincoln’s face on it? There is some kind of connection here between opinions and currency.
Your little scrap of paper is worthless, but Lincoln’s $5 dollar bill can buy you lunch somewhere. His face is on the $5 dollar bill. It has the stamp of the Federal Reserve system on it.
Now think about this.
Why can the Federal Reserve notes buy you things? What is the secret of this magic piece of paper? Why does this piece of paper have economic power?
It has power (unlike the Confederate dollar) because it has power over your mind. You accept Lincoln’s $5 dollar bill as being worth $5 dollars. It is something you take for granted.
Have you ever really thought about it? Money is something that has purchasing power. It has purchasing power because it has legitimacy and authority.
Is the legitimacy and authority actually in the Lincoln $5 dollar bill? No, it is not. The legitimacy and authority rests solely in your own mind.
That’s why a U.S. dollar can buy things and a Confederate dollar can buy nothing. It is because the U.S. dollar has symbolic power over millions of minds. It is accepted as a legitimate currency.
If it lost its legitimacy over millions of minds, the U.S. dollar would be worth nothing. It would be just another defunct currency. There are all kinds of defunct currencies in the world.
The value of the U.S. dollar fluctuates because its legitimacy over millions of minds fluctuates on an everyday basis. The dollar could go down the tube quite fast if everyone stopped pretending it had symbolic power over their minds.
Why can’t the Confederate dollar buy anything in 2011? Simply because it has no symbolic power or legitimacy or authority. That is why it doesn’t have purchasing power in the American South.
The Fed has a monopoly on symbolic power, on legitimacy, on authority, on saying what has purchasing power. But it really doesn’t have a monopoly.
You could say that gold and silver has more value than a Federal Reserve note. If you can “exchange currencies” with your own mind, why can’t we just stop pretending the Fed’s money has anything in the way of symbolic power?
No one has to vote for Barack Obama. If Obama isn’t speaking to you on your own wavelength, he has lost legitimacy in your own mind. He doesn’t have narrative or symbolic power to get your assent to vote for him.
That’s really at the bottom of everything: narrative and symbolic power, telling stories, the aye or nay of the community, the aye or nay of the individual.
You can say “nay” to the Federal Reserve notes, “nay” to Barack Obama, “nay” to Wall Street, and “nay” to Hollywood at anytime. When enough people said “nay” to Newsweek, it was sold for a $1 dollar to Sidney Harman.
If Newsweek can lose its legitimacy and its value, then so can just about anything.