Why inflation is bad for people's souls

It was a little miracle that we don’t pay much attention to. Of those that happen every day, right under our noses, but that we despise because we mix them with the basket of normality. The miracle is not always accompanied by the bursting of heavenly fireworks. Or healing a leper. Sometimes the miracle is manifested in the simple gesture of opening a book.

In fact, these little miracles happen whenever a book finds its ideal reader. And believe me, every book (and even these daily chronicles of mine) has its ideal reader. Which is rare. Which is special. The only comparison that comes to mind at this hour is that of a castaway throwing bottles into the sea. The miracle lies not only in finding a bottle with a message inside, but above all in letting yourself be touched by that message.

But, returning to the cold and expensive cow, these days I took the virgin book from the shelf and started reading it. It was a collection of chronicles by Gustavo Corção. Already in the first text the miracle was present. In a text written 60 years ago, Corção talks about the importance of abandoning books and lessons to admire the blue birds that land in our backyards. No, the irony does not escape me. Ah, if Corção could only imagine what the blue bird has become!

Suddenly, Corção starts talking about inflation, economic instability, those things. Although it’s strange to see the author of “Lessons from the Abyss” talking about economics, I open the dirty bottle of sand. At first, the text stirs up everything I know about the subject. Not that it’s much, but it’s enough. In a flash, I remember everything I read in Mises and Roberto Campos and several other liberal, libertarian and even (argh) Keynesian authors.

I had never, however, read an interpretation spiritual of an economic phenomenon over which we individuals have no control whatsoever. And that is precisely what Corção offers us: a spiritual interpretation of inflation. He says that the economic instability resulting from the volatility of prices causes in man a permanent state of anxiety. This anxiety makes him ignore the reality he lives in to focus on everything he thinks he could do to fight abstract percentages on the front pages of newspapers.

Then the money, which was only meant to be a means exchange, becomes the very meaning of life. Weakly, we believe that the accumulation of money is necessary to protect ourselves from inflation and the scenario of instability that surrounds us. And it is in this belief that we often sacrifice our soul in order to achieve a better life that, no matter how many trailing zeros that accumulate in our bank account, it never really gets better. .

“The instability of the currency, as a material cause, contributes to form the environment of moral instability, the atmosphere of the game, of easy profit, of the ‘better life’, of the coup. (…) And so it becomes clear that the dynamism produced by currency instability is a fever, a false progress that shakes institutions and corrupts souls”, writes Corção. He concludes the text by referring to the “cult of money” that today seems normal and even admirable to us.

Reflection is good, difficult and necessary. But unfortunately it does not offer us a way out. Maybe because there is really no way out. As I said earlier, we are powerless in the face of monetary policies, many of which were made even before we were born. It remains for us, therefore, to react in the best way to this fever. And it seems to me that being aware of it is a good start.

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