beginning of a paper I'm writing, check it out if you want, just lookin for some feedback \t Think of the thing in the world that has the most influence over the greatest amount of people’s thoughts and actions. What comes to mind? Certainly religion, with its vast numbers and promises of everlasting bliss and paradise must wield the most power over what people do and what they strive for over the course of their lives. It seems like an apt answer. Throughout history more people have died in the name of religion than for any other purpose. Even today many people believe that this life is not their only one, and that what they do in this world will influence their standing in the next. However, as our world becomes increasingly secularized, religion is beginning to play a much less prominent role in influencing people’s principles and values, and therefore their actions and decisions as well. So, what is it then? Is it power? Is it an intangible emotional force like love or compassion? \tPerhaps it has not always been true, but today it is difficult to deny that money is the thing that dictates the most about what typical modern people do on a daily basis and that it has the most influence over the major decisions in people’s lives. Indeed, the profit motive--not in the economic sense of the word, but rather the sociological--is the force that drives people to build their lives around ensuring that they have the greatest amount of money possible at any given time. Our entire economy is essentially built on its acquisition and subsequent relinquishment during the process of consumption. However, money is more than just the basis for the standardized exchange of goods and services--it is a part of our culture, its significance deeply engrained in the collective human psyche. In the United States money is possibly the most important and empowering thing a person can have, and such an attitude is the norm in many places around the world. But is this mentality healthy? Many people in the world have enough money to meet their basic needs, and yet their desire to acquire more rarely ceases, often at the expense of others. But in a world with a finite amount of resources--and not to mention capital--shouldn’t the goal of a global economic system be collective human survival? Is such an objective, one that seems to becoming increasingly crucial to achieve even possible? Currently a very small portion of the global population consumes a vast majority of the planet’s resources, a trend enabled and perpetuated by the world economic system. However, many argue that this is the best we as a civilization can do. It’s a paradox that deserves at least a closer look. \tThere is a considerable amount of injustice and suffering in our world. What is unclear is how closely intertwined money, how it influences human actions, the attitudes we as a society have towards it, and perhaps even its very existence are with the global rate of human progress. It is indeed impossible to determine a net sum of good or bad that money has been responsible for in the history of its existence. But analyzing and studying money, the power it has over our thoughts and actions, and where that power comes from may give us insight into how we should go about attempting to achieve the best possible world for the greatest number of people. Perhaps it is time to see if the present global socioeconomic system can stand up to a critical evaluation that adheres to the utilitarian standards that its proponents base their declaration of monetary supremacy.