Thursday 19 May 2011

Money as the measure of cultural decline


If money - actual coinage and notes - is any kind of measure of cultural health: then England is finished.


1. Five pound notes feature an unknown nonentity called Elizabeth Fry...

Elizabeth who? Who Fry? - apparently a prison reformer, whatever that might be.

In other words, the government is using money as a form of 'consciousness raising' to promote the 'achievements' of... well, 'A Woman'.

(Florence Nightingale had already been used on money - at least everyone had heard of her.)

Thus EF is celebrated alongside other British people of achievement featured on notes such as Isaac Newton, Shakespeare, the Duke of Wellington, Adam Smith, Charles Darwin... Elizabeth Fry !



2. The small denomination coins have been recently re-designed in a way that is inefficient, ugly, pretentious in a childish way, in fact just plain vulgar.

Is this what national coins of the realm, legal tender, ought to look like?

Using each coin to make part of a larger design!!!

Stupid, stupid, stupid.


3. The coins are so badly manufactured that different versions or dates of coins, supposedly of the same value, vary widely in size, shape, thickness, edging.

Slot machines nowadays reject about half of coins because they are ... well, rubbish.


Put you hand in your pocket and pull-out some money.

There it is for you to see, undeniable: the decline of England.


(Oh yes, and why were the smallest denomination coins of 1p and 2p not abolished when the currency was 'redesigned'? The currency has so inflated since decimal coinage was introduced in 1971, that the 5p coin in 2011 is worth les than 1/2p (halfpenny) which was the smallest denomination coin of 1971. So the 1p coins which are still in frequent use - especially as so many things are priced at x pounds 99 pence - is worth less than 20 percent of the smallest denomination coin of 1971...)



dearieme said...

"If money - actual coinage and notes - is any kind of measure of cultural health; then England is finished." Thank goodness that no-one takes punctuation to be a kind of measure of cultural health.

Bruce Charlton said...

@dearieme - If you are going to point-out punctuation errors/ idiosyncracies on this blog, you're gonna have your work cut-out!

Alex said...

There are lots of ways in which the 'cultural health' of a society can be damaged. Those who have the power to alienate the residual aesthetes and make the kingdom worse, do so by asinine means. They cause meretricious money to be coined, insist that tacky postage stamps be issued, change by arbitrary fiat hallowed signs and symbols, substitute meaningless terms for comprehensible English in official documents, inflict foreign weights and measures on stupefied shoppers....alas, one could go on and on.

dearieme said...

I had hoped that you might defend it as "ragtime punctuation".

The Crow said...

What's a random semi-colon among friends? Each has his quirks: altogether too many full colons and trailing dots being mine...

England is finished? My dear fellow, whatever leads you to such a conclusion? O.K. I get it. No need to repost your entire blog :)

Bruce Charlton said...

Actually, the reorgainization and renaming of the counties in 1974 was certainly an early sign: my county of Somerset (capital of Anglo Saxon England, for a while) became "Avon" - which is not as bad as Clackmannanshire becoming... "Central"; Rutland disappeared.

Worst of all, northern Yorkshiremen (proudest of all English counties?) were told that they lived in... Cleveland!

It was the re-naming (not the new boundaries) that was so gratuitously aggressive.

We knew then we were up against it, and that the ruling class loathed us.

It has just taken them a while to demoralize us to the present level - which is very, very demoralized indeed.

Wurmbrand said...

Is it that they just don't love their country?

S. Thompson said...


Are you saying that in these technologically advanced times the England can't make a particular coin in a uniform manner? In fairness, I haven't used slot machines for a while so maybe I'm not as aware of this as I should be. I would have thought older coins would be more irregularly manufactured as less automation would be involved.

Bruce Charlton said...

" I would have thought older coins would be more irregularly manufactured as less automation would be involved."

Yes - you *would* have thought so, I agree: yet the contrary evidence is there for all to see!

EvelynM said...

I had no idea that merrie old England was just as far along the path to perdition as is the United States. I started losing faith in the future when U.S. postage stamps were honoring Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson. And now we have a stamp that shows not the worthy and venerable Statue of Liberty in NY harbor, but a cheesy copy in Las Vegas. Learning this, did the post office tear them up? Of course not.

Brett Stevens said...

You're waxing Nietzschean here: with a decline in aesthetics, architecture and art comes a decline in the design of everyday items.

Not surprising that money was one of the last things to go, since our society adores it so much.

Unknown said...

What do you think about this theory Bruce?:

Modern cultural decline might lead to a point where people, en mass, are completely cut off from proper spiritual satisfaction while the desire for novelty, that modernity pushes, has reached a critical point where it rejects itself and then the combination of this, along side a large underground counter counter culturalism, explodes out--taking over the mainstream media like the left has done, and that finally this leads to the West's repentance.

Bruce Charlton said...

I would have expected this already to have happened, if it was going to happen.