Money is power. Never forget that.

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Felix
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Felix » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:35 pm

I would guess that few people on this forum (as most are INTx) have much lust for "real power" and would rather be free to just do as they please.

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Ego
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Ego » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:37 pm

secretwealth wrote: I don't find such semantic quibbling terribly useful, do you?
It is more than simple semantic quibbling.
secretwealth wrote:When I say "power" I specifically mean the ability to not be under the power of other people.
Not being under the power of other people is not the same as being free.

I don't say this to criticize. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) that the difference between the two is a large part of the central message of ERE that Jacob has made an effort to communicate.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:41 pm

@Felix: Absolutely. I actually came back to add something along those lines. Specifically, I think what stopped me from really understanding (or caring about) the importance of money as a youth was exactly that fact, that I had no interest in "real power". What I didn't know yet was that freedom was also part of the "money-power spectrum".

jacob
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:46 pm

Maybe think of power as having two sides much like military technology can be divided into offensive (a sword) and defensive (a suit of armor) capabilities.

Having FI level money is like having a suit of armor. It's a defensive capability allowing you to avoid other people's attacks. Having millions is like having a sword. You can command other people to do what you want, as long as they aren't iron clad.

Chad
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Chad » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:51 pm

Our you could just go all offensive and go Mongol (horse, bow, almost zero armor). Kidding. The sword and armor example is probably a good way to think about it.

jennypenny
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by jennypenny » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:53 pm

Felix wrote:I just think that "power over yourself" (I think that's SW's definition here) and freedom are pretty similar things.
Yes, you don't need money, you can also get there through skill-building, but the money does help a lot, I think.
Based on SW's lifestyle, I agree that money is one of his most useful tools. That's why I didn't want to knock the OP.

In general though, I hesitate to give money too much credit. It's the difference between someone waiting x number of years to have enough money to feel free/powerful, or choosing to feel that way today. Why wait? There is also an undercurrent of control in this discussion that makes me uneasy. I guess I subscribe to one of Tolle's arguments that control is an illusion that can make us unhappy. I don't think money gives us as much control over our lives as some here think it does.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:54 pm

Ego wrote:Not being under the power of other people is not the same as being free.
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. To me, not being under the power of other people is exactly what freedom is. Can you clarify?

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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Chad » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:55 pm

jennypenny wrote: I guess I subscribe to one of Tolle's arguments that control is an illusion that can make us unhappy. I don't think money gives us as much control over our lives as some here think it does.
And, we were just starting to agree on things.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:56 pm

@Jennypenny and Ego: Would you have the same problem with this discussion if instead of talking about "money", we were talking about "control over resources"?

jennypenny
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by jennypenny » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:06 pm

Spartan_Warrior wrote:
Ego wrote:Not being under the power of other people is not the same as being free.
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. To me, not being under the power of other people is exactly what freedom is. Can you clarify?
I won't answer for Ego, but I think once you take the red pill, you're free. The rest is just arranging your life to match your idea of what freedom should look like.

Seneca
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Seneca » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:25 pm

Felix wrote:I would guess that few people on this forum (as most are INTx) have much lust for "real power" and would rather be free to just do as they please.
I think many on the forum wish to wield power over others, just maybe not directly through personal wealth (and probably only because most of us can't truly fathom being a centimillionaire or billionaire anyway).

What would you call advocating any and all political action, other than that which is to reduce government?

Seneca
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Seneca » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:26 pm

Spartan_Warrior wrote:
Ego wrote:Not being under the power of other people is not the same as being free.
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. To me, not being under the power of other people is exactly what freedom is. Can you clarify?
Freedom from others and freedom from self.

ERE is powerful because it intentionally encompasses both.

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Ego
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Ego » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:28 pm

Spartan_Warrior wrote:
Ego wrote:Not being under the power of other people is not the same as being free.
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. To me, not being under the power of other people is exactly what freedom is. Can you clarify?
Extreme example; Bill is under the power of no one (except maybe Melinda). Bill is not free to go for a run by himself around town.

Less extreme: Fred is under the power of no one thanks to $1m in investments from his corporate gig. The spectre of inflation is so terrifying to Fred that he will never be free to enjoy life.
Last edited by Ego on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:29 pm

@Jenny: I suppose I'm thinking of "free" in more of an actual, physical sense than in terms of psychological state or a sense of agency. You seem to be thinking more along the lines of the latter when you say things like "waiting x number of years to have enough money to feel free/powerful, or choosing to feel that way today".

I took the red pill years ago, but here I am still doing labor that doesn't interest me under terms I don't control. Why? Because I lack sufficient power--that is, control over/access to the resources I need. "Arranging your life to match your idea of freedom" is exactly what requires power, as anyone still stuck in the so-called accumulation phase knows all too well.

I do agree that the amount of power needed to achieve "freedom" can be generated by other means than money (e.g. self-sufficiency, producing rather than consuming, etc).

@Seneca: "What would you call advocating any and all political action, other than that which is to reduce government?"

*Smacks forehead* Well, this was an interesting discussion while it lasted. :lol:

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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:30 pm

Aren't you guys simply discussing the difference between freedom-from and freedom-to?

Felix
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Felix » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:34 pm

Seneca wrote:
Felix wrote: What would you call advocating any and all political action, other than that which is to reduce government?
On par with the one aiming to "reduce government". (Come on, you knew that would be my answer :-) No need to start this here. ;) )
Last edited by Felix on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

secretwealth
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by secretwealth » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:35 pm

@jacob Yes, they are. Hence I think it's a semantic debate not worth getting into.

@jp: Your desire to distinguish between power from money and power from ideology is useful and important, but unrelated to the distinction between freedom and power that others in the thread are trying to make.

Also, I rarely do this, but this is an important and very personal thread to me. Any more references to libertarian vs. socialist ideological debates will get deleted. It's entirely unrelated and you know it.

Felix
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Felix » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:37 pm

There's freedom in terms of mindset (internal freedom) and freedom from others (external freedom). I think what SW aimed at was external freedom.

secretwealth
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by secretwealth » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:40 pm

Yes, there's freedom from yourself (i.e. mindsets that are holding you back) and freedom from others. I feel like I achieved freedom from myself before I discovered ERE when I realized there was more to life than academic prestige. Which may explain why the ideological side of ERE is less interesting to me personally than the more practical side's focus on skill mastery, capital accumulation, and low expenses.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Money is power. Never forget that.

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:47 pm

secretwealth wrote:Any more references to libertarian vs. socialist ideological debates will get deleted.
Just have to say I personally hate seeing comments like this even more than I hate the sounding of the ideological war horns... I remember the blissful days when I didn't even know this forum had moderators.

(Note I'm not saying the threat shouldn't have been issued, merely that I hate seeing it.)

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