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View Diary: Morning Feature: Animal Spirits, Part IV - Conclusion and Critique (Non-Cynical Saturday) (91 comments)

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  •  Existential argument? (6+ / 0-)

    Well, that's entirely true, but most cultures have always had a 'means' of trading for something for something.  Beads were traded for land in early American bartering (wampum), cattle to a groom's family from the bride's family, things we deem valuable even if it is only a piece of paper.  

    •  Beads are a good example (4+ / 0-)

      but cattle are really worth something.

      Society can't function without money, but pretending it's real is just ... well, pretense.

      •  Seashells are an even better example. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orinoco, plf515, DBunn, NCrissieB, FarWestGirl

        There's value in having collected them and then carried them to where there are none, but the still extant shell mounds on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts attest to the fact that there were many more shells than people needed to trade other stuff.  So, they were essentially worthless.  And that's the best money.  Otherwise if the money has an intrinsic worth people will hoard it and withdraw it from circulation--much as the medieval churches did by covering their domes with gold leaf.
        All the gold the Spaniards stole from the Americas disappeared within a few years.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 06:05:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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