Thursday, August 27, 2009

History of money

Many people think that money has always existed and therefore it always will


Human beings have lived on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years of years without using money.

When they were hungry they ate.

When they were thirsty they drank.

Whatever was available to anyone was available to everyone

It wasn't paradise, because food was scarce, and growing populations were eventually forced by this scarcity into a competitive struggle for life

First came the invention of agriculture, and the consequent need to defend the land or property on which crops were grown
Although this gave communities more stability and growth, agriculture and animal husbandry could not by themselves supply everything which they needed too develop cultures.

For this they needed to associate with other communities and pool their resources.

But in the new culture of property there was never again to be such freedom to take whatever was available

And so we began the exchange of products known as trade.

And although some quite advanced bronze age societies managed to trade very well by using barter (e.g Egyptians), it was a supremely awkward way to conduct transactions

With the advent of the Iron Age, cheap metal was for the first time plentiful, and coinage was slowly introduced to facilitate the trading process
Civilisation has since grown up on the back of this trade, whose sophistication was made possible by the invention of money.
To the modern mind therefore, civilisation relies money
This is a misunderstanding
In fact it is mainly trade which relies on money

Civilisation relies on distribution of material goods certainly, but distribution is not the same thing as trade just as to give is not the same as to sell

Modern industrial society has given us the means to free ourselves forever from that scarcity which has always dogged our forebears

Money is no longer a necessary or logical feature of society, and only a tiny minority benefit from its presence

Over the course of history many things become obsolete

Question when will money?

Possibly when society breaks down from the incoherence of current policies which benefit the few

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

What kind of civilizations are you speaking about? Not the really old ones, or yes? I mean the ones of which we hear as myths, or did they start out just the same? Were they not taught by Masters from the very beginning?

Or are you just speaking of the cave-men?

Let me know please! :) Thank you!