"Do you wish to know when that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading
is done, not by consent, but by Compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing --
when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by
work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming
self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make
terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot."
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Atlas Shrugged, P. 385 (1957)