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Before money, people had to keep their promises or trade on good faith. That is to say, that you gave something of yours to another person, because you trusted that other person to give you of his own, equally.
|"At the potlatch, gifts repay guests for witnessing the week's events |
with nonstop feasting, singing, dancing, and gift-giving."
- Shirley Collingridge, Wordsmith
Whenever trust is lost, the only way to have trade is by force and violence. Money is an intermediary to the threat of violence. When you cannot trade by trust, but you are forced to trade regardless, by other parties, then one way to mask the actual violence inherent to the trade, is by using an actual item that represents the promise of trading back to you goods of equal value.
Whether it is a sack of wheat, the ancient Babylonian Shekel, or a coin or a note, as we know money today, it is always a promise that disagreement to do trade will lead to violence. But, it is also an empty promise, because the value of the money is always decreed by those who rule by violence. They change the value of the currency according to their own needs. Even a sack of wheat, can in one hand represent life itself, and in another hand, represent nothing, at all.
In other words, say you give me an apple, and I give you a note that says that I must give you something of unknown value back, for that note. Why would you accept such a blatant scam? Because the other party forces you to do so, using violence and the threat of violence. The only value remaining to you is the trade that you can do with others, who are under the same threat and have the same-styled notes of promise that you do.
This argument, claiming that money is nothing but a weapon, may not seem obvious, at first. Ask yourself the following questions: