The Bible says that love of money is the root of all evil, but the Bible is mistaken. Most people don’t love the money itself, we love what money can do, which is get us what we want. People forget that money is a symbol of power, but it does not always add up to power itself. As Machiavelli pointed out, gold will not always procure good soldiers, but good soldiers will always procure gold. What we want is power, of which money is the symbol.

It is true that whoever has the most money gains some ability to write the laws. But someone with real power can turn other peoples’ currency into play money overnight. Being raised in the South, I saw tons of Confederate money when I was younger. Those dollars were a reminder that it’s not really about who has the money, it is about who has the power.

There probably isn’t one factor we can locate as the root of all evil, but love of power comes close. More precisely, it is the love of domination that seems to silence the voices of decency within us and to awaken the demons that live in every cellar of every soul. It is not money per se, but wanting to be seen and recognized as superior that closes the gates of heaven and opens the gates of hell. Maybe that’s what the Bible is really trying to say.