The Coin of the Realm

Even money, itself, has been corrupted by money.

David Korten
Money is a mechanism for control.
‐David Korten

There is no understanding our current situation without, first, understanding money.  In this section, we’ll discuss the history of hard currency, as well as its original nature and purpose.  This understanding is a critical foundation for knowing how our current system works vs. how the Founding Fathers intended for it to work. Later, we will explore how we came to be where we are now, where that is, exactly, and how we have the ability, with recent developments, to radically restructure the way the human race conducts its affairs.  We all know something has to give, don’t we? So, let’s look at things as they are, rather than as we’ve been led to believe they are.

Money came about in a simple enough fashion.  As we can all imagine, the barter system leaves much room for improvement.  It was awkward, at best, and impossible, at worst. If we consider the subject, in depth, however, we will discover that money wasn’t so much a new development, as we are all taught and as it would appear.  No, money was more of an inevitability than a revolution.  It was a natural next step, a minor innovation .

In case it isn’t perfectly obvious, our money today bears little resemblance to the currency of historical times.  In order to consider its place and function, we must, as always, consider environment. Until quite recently, the world’s economy was one of scarcity. All labor was either powered by humans or by animals and our technology was, well… candlepower. We had no way then, as we do today, to increase production above that very basic level, using only basic tools.  These days, though, our factories can turn out vast quantities of all manner of goods.  They can do that with very, very little human labor, too.  The only reason we use labor, now, as much as we do, is as much political as it is a matter of very cheap labor still being very cheap labor.  Ultimately, though, almost all labor will be replaced by machines.  That’s our reality.  But, we’ll talk about that, later.  For now, let’s get back to old-school money.

Money, in its earliest forms, was simply another traded commodity, itself.  It could have been anything, really, within certain parameters.  Firstly, money was something that was easily carried, when compared to, say, fence posts or iron ore.  Secondly, money needed to be universally desired and in demand.  So, for us, money was gold and silver.  For the Aztecs, it was cacao beans.  For the American natives, along the eastern seaboard, it was wampum.  The important thing to note about early forms of money is that they were all highly‐coveted trade goods.  So, all early forms of money had intrinsic value. If a person didn’t spend their money, they could still use it for some other purpose.  Moreover, the only way such money could ever lose value is if more of that particular product became available on the market.  Inflation wasn’t really a thing, in other words.  Neither was deflation, unless real world forces made products more or less valuable.

The reason we say money was sort of a small, inevitable step was because money was simply the most universally accepted good of substantial value, which also happened to be small and easily divided.  In a famous example, during the American colonial period and into the revolution, there was a shortage of hard currency.  So, as a result, whiskey took the place of official currency.  Any debts could be paid with whiskey, even taxes.  It was our money, in every respect.  It’s evident, then, that money simply sprang out of the barter system as a natural result.  It wasn’t any sort of brainstorm.  Money just sort of happened. What happened, next, though, is a completely different story.  We shall explore that, later.

Money made sense, once.  But, that was a very long time, ago…