FOLLOW THE MONEY

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DESTRUCTION OF CONCHA ACUSTICA, 2014 MANAGUA NICARAGUA, GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT

AT THE TIME OF DESTRUCTION OF THE CONCHA ACUSTICA IT WAS REVEALED THAT A CONTRACT HAD BEEN SIGNED WITH FOREIGN POWERS TO BUILD A HOTEL ON THE SITE. THE WHOLE AREA RECENTLY RAZED TO MAKE SPACE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

WE ALL KNOW THIS PHRASE AND REALIZE IT IS SO TRUE, AND YET STRUGGLE WITH THE GRIP IT HAS ON OUR LIVES.

WE AS ARCHITECTS KNOW FOR AN ESTABLISHED FACT WE CAN NOT BUILD WITHOUT THE BLESSING OF MONEY AND THE CLIENTS THAT EMPLOY US.
MY NIECE RECENTLY CHALLENGED ME ON THE FACT I LIVE IN A MONEY WORLD. OH SO TRUE.

UTOPIA HAS ALWAYS INTERESTED ME. THE PLACE WHERE THE HIERARCHY OF MONEY DOES NOT EXIST AND EVERYONE IS PART OF THE BLESSED RIGHT OF BEING A HUMAN.

I RECENTLY READ ABOUT THE TILLAMOOK NATIVES ON THE OREGON COAST . MOST OF US KNOW TILLAMOOK FOR THE CHEESE. THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF THE TRIBE WAS FAMILY GROUPS OF 25 THAT HAD LEADERS, MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS ,THE POOR AND SLAVES. DECISIONS WERE MADE WITH THE LEADERS CONSULTING THE MIDDLE GROUP. DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? DISPUTES WERE SETTLED WITH ARBITRATION INVOLVING PAYMENTS

THEY LIVED IN WOOD LODGES . FISHING HOLES WERE OWNED AND GUARDED. THEY RAIDED THEIR SOUTHERN NEIGHBORS FOR SLAVES AND SOLD THEM TO THEIR NORTHERN NEIGHBORS.

THIS SUGGESTS MANKIND IN THE NATIVE STATE WAS CONSUMER ORIENTED AND MEAN, BUT DID NOT HARM THEIR ENVIRONMENT. NOW WE HAVE THE WORLD WITH ALL THE SAME INATE CONSUMER DRIVE AND MEANNESS THAT IS TRASHING THE ENVIRONMENT.

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A SILICON VALLEY FRIEND WHO IS TYPE “A” PERSONALITY , AN ENGINEER, A WHEELER DEALER , AND HAS A TON OF MONEY. CLAIMING THAT IT IS JUST HUMAN NATURE THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT ACCUMULATING MONEY. STATING THAT IF YOU TOOK ALL THE MONEY AWAY FROM EVERYBODY AND STARTED WITH A CLEAN SLATE, THE ORIGINAL MONEY PEOPLE WOULD RISE TO ACCUMULATE MONEY AGAIN.

I SAW THAT IN NICARAGUA WHEN THE LAND WAS CONFISCATED FROM LAND BARONS AND GIVEN TO COOPERATIVES. EVENTUALLY THE LAND BARONS CAME BACK AND BOUGHT IT BACK FROM THE COOPERATIVES.

YAHOO FINANCE STATED THAT THE RATIONALISTS THAT ARE CREATIVE INSIGHTFUL PROBLEM SOLVERS AND IDEA GENERATORS ARE PROGRAMED TO BE FINANCIALLY REWARDED. THEY LEAD ALL OTHER CATEGORIES, THE SECOND GROUP BEING A GUARDIAN CATEGORY SECTOR THAT LIKES STRUCTURE AND RULES . THE THIRD AND FOURTH GROUPS ARE EQUALLY INEPT AT BEING REWARDED FINANCIALLY , BEING THE IDEALISTS THAT ARE CHARITABLE THAT DESIRE SELF EXPRESSION AND ORIGINALITY AND THE FOUTH GROUP OF ARTISANS THAT ARE FREE SPIRITED AND LIKE TO PARTY.

MY FORMER SON IN LAW STATED HIS DESIRE IN LIFE WAS MONEY. AND HE BOUGHT GOODIES AND EXPERIENCES WITH IT THAT HE PSYCHOLOGICALLY NEEDED.
THERE ARE TV SHOWS BASED ON DISCOVERING LOST TREASURES OF GOLD. EVERY KID RAISED ON THE IDEA OF BEING RICH. THE LOTTERY, LAS VEGAS, THE STOCK MARKET. LAND INVESTMENTS, GENTRIFYING, ALL AIMED AT PRODUCING MONEY.

THERE ARE NOT PROGRAMS ON LIVING CHEAP, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT PUSH BUYING NEW AND SUPPORTING THE CAPITALISTS IDEAL OF HAVING A BUNCH OF THE LATEST NEW STUFF.

THERE ARE TV PROGRAMS ON LIVING OFF THE LAND, BUT WITH A TELEVISION CAMERA FOLLOWING THEM AROUND AND BECOMING FAMOUS? NOT REAL. INFORMATIVE, BUT NOT A WAY OF LIFE.

EDUCATION WAS SUPPOSED TO RISE ABOVE MONEY AND BE A PLACE WHERE MORALS, ETHICS, AND SKILLS, WERE DEVELOPED TO BETTER THE PLANET.

WHAT HAS OCCURRED IS THAT WE HAVE A SOCIETY SO BENT ON GETTING THE MOST AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WE POISON OUR WATER SUPPLY WITH FRACKING , CONTAMINATE OUR FOOD BY DEVELOPING CROPS WITH BUILT IN IMUNE SYSTEMS THAT POISON US, OVERFISH OUR OCEANS, PAVE AND POLLUTE OUR SOIL, CONTAMINATE OUR AIR, TORTURE ANIMALS.

THE USA MEDICAL SYSTEM RELIES ON CHEMICAL MEDICINE TO CURE HEALTH PROBLEMS AND DOES NOT ENCOURAGE FOODS AND NATURAL WAYS OF HEALING. ONLY THE WELL INFORMED AND FINANCIALLY SOLVENT CAN AFFORD HEALTH FOODS. I RECENTLY LEARNED THAT DRUG COMPANIES ENDOWED SCHOOLS TO TEACH MEDICINE AND ELIMINATED ALL CLASSES TEACHING NATURAL WAYS TO CURE. FOLLOW THE MONEY. NO MONEY IN NATURAL CURES.

CIVILIZATIONS HAVE TRIED UTOPIA, BUT HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED. THE NEXT CATEGORY BEING WORLD GOVERNMENT. THAT HAS AND IS IN DIFFERENT FORMS BEEN TRIED AND HAVE REMNANTS TODAY LIKE THE UNITED NATIONS. WHAT IS SUCCEEDING ARE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.

IN MY LIFETIME, THE TRANSITION FROM THE LOCAL GOCERY STORES TO MEGA CHAIN GOCERY STORES. NOW CONNECTING ALL OF AMERICA. I AM NOW LIVING IN THE HIGH DESERT THAT WAS ONCE ISOLATED, NOW HAVING WALMART, HOME DEPOT, MARSHALS, DOLLAR TREE, STARBUCKS, VONS, BIG 5, MC DONALDS , JACK IN THE BOX, BUGER KING, SIZZLER, BANK OF AMERICA, WELLS FARGO, CHASE, CHEVRON, UNION OIL ETC.

THIS IS NOT THE EXCEPTION, GO ANYWHERE IN THE USA AND IT IS THE SAME STORY. THEN TAKE A TRIP TO MEXICO, NICARAGUA, ENGLAND, JAPAN, CHINA AND MANY OF THE SAME CHAINS ARE THERE AS WELL. THIS IS GLOBAL MERCHANDISING.

THAT IS WHY IN 2009 WHEN THE CRASH CAME, THE BANKS GOT TOGETHER WITH THE GOVERNMENTS TO KEEP THINGS STABLE. THIS POINTS TO HAVING TO COOPERATE TO SURVIVE FINANCIALLY WHICH MAKES FOR A GLOBAL WORLD BASED ECONOMY. SO THE THING THAT BRINGS THE WORLD TOGETHER IS MONEY. HOW REASSURING?

MY FATHER ALWAYS POINTED OUT THE WORLD WOULD COME TOGETHER IF THERE WAS A COMMON ENEMY. THE MARTIANS THE BIG THREAT IN 1950. NOW IT IS THE NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST THAT WILL WIPE US OUT IF UNLEASHED. I HEARD RECENTLY THAT THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION HAS NEVER BEEN GREATER THAN NOW. INTELLIGENCE KEEPS US FROM BLOWING UP, AND IF YOU READ ALL THE SCARY STUFF ON ALMOST PUSHING THE BUTTON ON ATOMIC WAR, YOU REALIZE THE PRECARIOUS STATE WE ARE NOW IN.

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THE FIVE LARGEST COUNTRIES’ ECONOMIES SELL THE MOST ARMS. WHERE DOES THAT LEAD THE WORLD? THEY MAKE A LOT OF MONEY DOING SO, BUT EQUIP THE WORLD FOR DESTRUCTION?

COOPER UNION, A FREE TUITION ARCHITECTURAL SCHOOL SINCE THE FOUNDING, NOW HAVING TO CHARGE FOR TUITION TO SPONSOR THOM MAYNE’S NEW BUILDING DESIGN.

CALIFORNIA DISMANTLING OF THE BEST UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, THAT WENT FROM TOKEN TUITION IN 1960 TO $13,000 AND WITH DORMITORY LIVING CONDITION REACHING $33,000 FOR NINE MONTHS THESE DAYS.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL SAY? THE MOTIVATION IS MONEY, AND LEFT UNCHECKED, WILL EVENTUALLY DESTROY. THERE IS NO CONSCIOUSNESS. MORALS ARE ABANDONED. LIKE A SNUFF MOVIE, WHERE THEY CAPTURE A PERSON AND MAKE A MOVIE OF KILLING THEM. IN 1965 A MOVIE IN DEMAND.
THE VIEWER, PROMOTER, MOVIE MAKER SHOULD ALL BE ANNIHILATED. JUST LIKE THE FORCES DRIVING DECISIONS THAT DESTROY THE GOODNESS OF THE WORLD. REGRETTABLY THIS IS MANKIND ON A GLOBAL SCALE AT THIS TIME. SURE THERE ARE VOICES YELLING ABOUT ALL THIS CORRUPTION AND MAKING ATTEMPTS TO PLEAD FOR SANITY. BUT THE MONEY IS TOO POWERFUL AND OUT OF CONTROL.

HAS THIS NOT BEEN THE NATURE OF MAN FOREVER? YES, BUT THE METHODS TO DESTROY ARE GREATER NOW, GLOBAL CIVILIZATION POISED TO PUSH THE BUTTON.

ARCHITECTURE IS BUILT WITH MONEY, SO ARCHITECTURE IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. THE FIRST ITEM TO DISCUSS ABOUT AN ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT, THAT EVERYONE PAYS ATTENTION TO, IS HOW WILL THE ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT BE FINANCED AND HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST? WHETHER IT IS A HOUSE OR A CITY, MONEY DRIVES . I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT AN ARCHITECT SHOULD KNOW WHERE THE MONEY IS COMING FROM AND WHAT PURPOSE IT WILL SERVE.

ARCHITECT ALBERT SPEER DID DRAMATIC LIGHTING FOR HITLER NAZI RALLIES AND PROPOSALS TO BUILD BERLIN OVER. SPEER ENDED UP BEING THE MINISTER OF ARMAMENT AND CLAIMED NOT TO BE AWARE OF THE ATROCITIES . CONSIDERED TO BE THE SUCCESSOR OF HITLER, BELIEVING IN GERMANY RULING THE WORLD. HE BARELY ESCAPED THE GALLOWS . GIVING 80% OF HIS BOOK SALES MONEY TO JEWISH CHARITIES OF HIS BEST SELLER “INSIDE THE THIRD REICH “. HE PRODUCED A LITERAL GREEN GARDEN OF EDEN WHILE IN PRISON FOR 20 YEARS.

THE CONTROLLING FORCE OF THE WORLD, IS MEGA CORPORATIONS. TAKE A LOOK AT THAT ARCHITECTS, BEFORE YOU UNCONDITIONALLY FOLLOW THEIR ORDERS.

HAVE A MERRY CONSUMER SEASON.

GLEN

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4 comments

  1. are you alive?

    nobody wants to talk about money and architecture. yet every architect that i know can not stop talking about money in architecture. how strange? maybe it is because they do not want to go on record about discussing money. or are they are above discussing the monetary side.

    glen

  2. Now that the consuming season is coming to a close (although, as I write this, I realize that the post xmas sales are still on today), maybe someone has energy enough to spark the conversation? Although I am clearly not a $ expert, I wonder how to motivate the money people to make real money off social and environmental responsibility? Are these goals forever mutually exclusive? Also, the problem with the current $ evaluation system is the cost analysis and tracking of costs is limited. Longterm damage to the planet, humans, etc. is not part of all equations. It needs to be automatic. We need to change our math.

  3. I think architecture can be used to reform the system. I am not an expert in architecture or financial systems. I dream of simple structures that are both usable for housing and examples of possible societal structures.
    These are really complex problems. Greed is at the root of these issues. Reducing fear for the greedy will help them be more comfortable changing. Taking advantage of their need to hoard could be considered.
    Glenn, your “Common Enemy” comment is pivotal. Suppose we found something new that all the power holders wanted terribly? They would surely struggle to attain it. If said thing were only attainable by successfully utilizing the resource of human labor, and creating a kind environment for people to produce the pieces required, the human condition could be improved on a global basis.
    I know this sounds idealistic and utopian, but I am willing to be wrong. What’s the harm in imagining a brighter tomorrow? I think the key lays in a structure so simple it explains itself. Something fractal that when packed together correctly with many other pieces it reproduces itself on a larger scale.
    Say that Space holds the desired thing (keep in mind this is conjecture), and the power elite can only get there by building an amazingly enormous structure that creates a platform at the edge of the atmosphere or beyond. Let’s call it a ladder. A ladder that requires countless rungs. Rungs that can be produced reliably by the old, the children, the feeble, and the rest safely without harm to the environment and without slave labor. If folks could be compensated for their piece work, we might find that humanity really rallies to build the ladder!
    I know this is not a workable solution, but perhaps it might spark a thought. I continue to believe in the overall goodness of humanity and will continue to work on solutions.
    Lucia and Glenn….thank you for making your movie. It inspired me and I turn people on to it all the time. I would love to help with anything I can if you find yourselves in Austin, TX. Glad to be a part of the discussion.
    Ike

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