Quote of the day—Francisco d’Anconia

So you think that money is the root of all evil?

Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor–your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?

Francisco d’Anconia
From Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
[I have a silver round on my desk that was a gift from son James a few years back that sums it up far more succinctly than Rand’s character did:


Get your round here.—Joe]


14 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Francisco d’Anconia

  1. The actual quote is “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil”. It makes a difference.

      • Not speaking for him, just putting in my two cents worth. Typically when I hear people making that distinction, they are using it as a shorthand to distinguish between people that simply use money as a medium of exchange, and attempt to accumulate some (save and invest) in order to weather the normal ups and downs of life, vs. those that attempt to amass very large amounts of money, just because they love money and the power and control it bring, and they desire it without regard to the means used to acquire it or the consequences of their actions. It’s a way to distinguish between the admirable and simple gradual wealth gained through fair work, vs the destructive lust for more, More, MORE!!! money and power and control, making money by any means.
        It’s the difference between Bill Gates and the former CEO of Enron (an admittedly imperfect example, but it hopefully illustrates the point).

    • Keep in mind that Joe didn’t post Francisco D’Anconia’s entire statement on the matter at hand*. Later in the same statement, Francisco D’Anconia addressed your point directly:

      Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money – and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

      *Even the most avid fan of Ayn Rand’s works must concede that brevity is not among the virtues of her body of fiction.

      • It is the difference between love and lust. One is productive, the other destructive. Anti capitalists (haters of Mankind) of course would keep us confused over what is an obvious difference. The saying would be more clear if it were;
        “The lust for money is the root of all evil”
        But even that misses the mark because the root of ALL evil is not lust for money. There are other roots of, or routes to, evil. For clarity, we could alter if further;
        “Lust for money is a sure path to hell on Earth”

        The left likes to hate money because they lust for it, and they project that lust onto everyone else. In other words; the left’s relationship with money (and the productivity it represents) is very much like Ted Bundy’s relationship with women.

  2. Off-topic, but $65 for a coin with a metal value of $20 is a bit much.

    • Is a dollar for a piece of paper that cost 1/10 cent to print, and is backed by the promises of politicians a better deal?

      • Since I can spend the dollar on a dollar’s worth of goods, or, for that matter, spend 20 of them to acquire the same mass of the same metal… yes.

        $45 is a fairly hefty seigneurage.

        • So it is, and if you wanted bullion coins, Eagles make more sense. In this case, you’re paying a premium for an art object. I might want one; unlikely I’d want more than one.

          As for “a dollar’s worth of goods” — you forgot about inflation. I read not long ago (where? von Mises? Neil Smith?) that a tailor-made suit costs the same today as it did for a Roman, in gold. In funny money (a.k.a., “legal tender”) it’s a very different story.

          • Yes, and a 1911 costs essentially the same, in gold, as it did in 1911, and 1945, and 1960, and 2000.

            Its an art object, not an investment hedge. The bracelets cost a few dollars to make, but are significantly higher markup if you look at it simply on an investment basis.

      • It sure looks that way. The other side isn’t shown, unfortunately. But they also shown the 1/10th oz gold one, both sides.
        Makes me wonder if the other dealer is a reseller who marks things up by 250%.

  3. I think I will stick with junk silver. They would make a nice present for someone though.

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