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Kaunisto Profile
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Faces of money


With US excited about Harriet Tubman, let's talk about who should get their faces on bills (or coins). Or is there any need to honor anyone with this custom created by ancient monarchs.

I see three logics of choosing:

1. Statesmen

The most common and traditional option, you have the most influential and/or respectable leaders of your country on bills.

2. Famous and influential

Besides ones included in the above, you could choose people of cultural importance, authors and artists and various kind of activists.

3. Role models

This is rare, but I think modernly realistic idea: money could feature exemplary and inspiring people, even if they didn't personally accomplish great things.

(Additionally there's options of having current monarch or no people at all.)


The first option has the problem US is trying to deal with: you'll likely have only people from the historically dominant part of population and no women or minorities. That's not to say I entirely oppose this option, it's a solid logic for representing the history of your country.

The second option is what I'm really used to. Finland had two sets of bills with persons on them, first 1955-1986 and second 1986-2002 (with one change at 1993). The older that I barely learned to know had statesmen: our first president, 7th and 8th (during presidency and after) and a 19th century statesman responsible for creation of Finnish currency (as separate from Russian empire's).
But the latter set of bills, used through my youth, features people from variety of areas: our most successful Olympic athlete, an author, an architect/designer, our national composer, compiler of our national epic and an 18th century statesman/philosopher.
On this it can be noted that the 10 people featured in Finnish bills included no women.
Possibly due this background, I favor this option, despite it having in lesser scale the same problem as first.

It would be interesting to have the third option. It would give a chance to make a set of bills to represent all groups of population and it would be more humanist and less nationalist. I don't know if there's any country to have adopted this idea; likely not, with half of first world in Euro.


As for US and Harriet Tubman, I don't think it a good idea. It feels too much like having a token woman and token black, as she's chosen by different standards than others in dollars (whether it's logic 2. or 3. is arguable). And even worse idea is having two (or more) people in same bill, especially if they are not somehow related. At the least they should put the Women's Suffrage women behind Tubman and have Hamilton and Jackson share 10$ (if you can in modern view approve keeping Jackson).

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Apr/26/2016, 16:35 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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I really wish governments would stop putting people on permanent structures. It just causes trouble when new regimes take over. Google removal of statues in South Africa. If there were no memorials to people, and their memories were honoured only in museums and books, people would be forced to learn about them without causing destruction when they don't want to honour them anymore.
Apr/29/2016, 8:31 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re: Faces of money


Strangely I can't remember any example of removing statues in Finland. I would imagine there'd have been something around 1809 when Russians took over or at 1918 civil war.

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Apr/29/2016, 13:16 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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It's ridiculous to move a society's history for future generations, just because one generation is pissed off with their circumstances. My feeling is: if you don't like your circumstances, change them. If you're attending a university that has a statue that offends you, move to another university. You don't have the right to not be offended. If it were fair to expect to not be offended, then I would spend my life being offended by other people's stupidity.
May/2/2016, 10:14 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re: Faces of money


You know my feeling: if you don't like your circumstances, whine and complain.
emoticon emoticon

But, I'd argue that statues that are most often removed don't really represent "society's history". They are typically of previous regime/generation. They are icon of an era, often in many ways notable era, but a short one in historical perspective. An extreme example would be Nazi Germany.

I agree that historical monuments should be preserved, even if the subject is in modern view unacceptable or monstrous. I don't see that statues always continue to honor the person the way they originally did; rather they remind of that person and era.
But I also think it takes long time for something to be considered "historical".

One can ask how anything can remain long enough, if every generation may remove statues of the previous. I on the other hand ask, does a single generation/regime have the right to leave such marks in everyday scenery and view of history; or does that require approval of people over several generations.

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May/2/2016, 14:48 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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I think all historical structures should be left alone, no matter what the current politics. Even statues of dictators, or tyrants should be left standing so that at least future generations have an idea of the relative importance of the person, or the ideology in their society's history. If we remove a structure because it is offensive, we're removing important artefacts for historical research.
May/3/2016, 13:51 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re: Faces of money


What about rebuilding lost ones? Where it's possible without removing what's replaced them.
Like recreating (some of) the ancient seven wonders. Or I think it'd be cool to rebuild the statue that Colosseum is named for.

To me it's sad how in Finland since WWII buildings - such as one I live in - have mostly been designed as temporary, to last 100 years or less. After couple hundred years, it's likely this country has more buildings made in 19th century than 20th.

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May/3/2016, 15:16 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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Ours is the same. And with all the students now demanding that all signs of previous governments be removed, it wouldn't surprise me if they started tearing down government buildings. I agree. They should rebuild the old seven wonders, and they should repair all the existing buildings to their former glory, the ones in Greece and Rome for example.
May/4/2016, 10:02 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 


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