Day 32 Wayne’s Journal 2
When Arjun first told me he’d arrange for work, I assumed he had read my resume and he’d get me in with a bank. I didn’t take long to find out that there are no banks here. There is money, which I thought meant there had to be a banking system. But none of the Bios I talked to has any idea who mints it. The Zoës won’t say. It isn’t important, they say. The money is just a cipher for hours worked. How many hours or what work, again no one is saying. I get “paid” whether or not I work, though I’m sure if I refused to work, there would be questions. It’s a stipend. But the stipend easily covered my expenses the first week after I settled in. I never ran out, but I found out that if I did, everything was free for the asking.
“Then what’s the point of having money?” I asked the clerk at the Hardware store, Alex. “It prevents theft,” he said. I thought that odd. The owner of the store, Tillie, heard us talking. “What are you on about?” she said. Alex shuffled off. I suspect he and Tillie don’t see eye to eye on this. I asked her about the money system. “It keeps people honest, which isn’t the same as preventing theft, Alex,” and she said the last in a shout to Alex’s back. “The money is there because it reminds us that things do have value, and that in the end, all value is derived from effort of some kind. It’s there to help you manage your resources, too. But value is not the same as worth. We’re not returning to that world. One person is worth the same as another; no one is worth more than anyone else. Our King washed the feet of his disciples.”
“I remember that from the Gospels. During the Passover meal.”
At that moment, Tillie and I were no longer strangers. That’s the way things work here. It’s like some old-timey TV show or something. I can’t put my finger on it. Banking was a business where you made friends slowly. We built trust over many years of solid deals. And trust only went so far. Lawyers backed everything up and put it all in writing.
This, on the other hand, seems almost Marxist. Tillie says it’s simply Apostolic.