In society, we have a major dependency on money to keep this economy afloat. Often times, money causes such stress in people’s lives for those who don’t have much of it. My inquiry groups question was, “what is money’s connection to humanity?” I guess what we are really asking is more so, what and why, money has become so important to our society. My two focus points in entering this large question are: What would happen if money never developed in our society? And If we still used trade system how would that affect our advancement in technology?
The first question I attempted to answer upon my ‘listening’ process was “what would happen if money never developed in our society?” This was a little tricky to answer especially because there is no definitive, general consensus to this question, given that it’s hypothetical. One post I found about this question was “…society would split itself into various Groups/Sects based on Profession and then there would be exchange of Raw Material, Grocery, Clothe, Precisions Stones and Goods…. the people who know farming/carpentry/blacksmiths/potters etc would probably be at a greater advantage compared to others. It would be a world that would justify certain social inequalities that exist today…” (N, 2013). Another man spoke about the 1960’s mince experiment conducted by John B. Calhoun. In this experiment, the mice were provided with anything they needed all the time and lived blissfully and easily. Then one day some mice went mad and because aggressive and cannibalistic. After these less stable mice weeded themselves out, there population was left to the few calm and gentle minded mice who then reproduced and rebuilt the population with what would basically be a highly intelligent bread of mice. There could be many pros and cons to both of these situation but one article I came across by a man named Viswanathan, was about the eight components of an economy that would be in contrast to todays society, if the world didn’t have money. These eight components are: Matrix Problem leading to high cost of transaction, multiple grades, verification of authenticity, things get spoiled and hence savings become impossible, banks will die, transfer of money will get really hard, taxation and data collection will be real problem, indivisibility problem. Each of these components is very important in in our economy today.
My second question of this idea was even harder to answer, being that there is not way to actually test this theory, and it is mainly just ideas and hypotheses. An article written by Andrew Beattie says, “Bartering is a direct trade of goods and services – I’ll give you a stone axe if you help me kill a mammoth – but such arrangements take time. You have to find someone who thinks an axe is a fair trade for having to face the 12-foot tusks on a beast that doesn’t take kindly to being hunted. If that didn’t work, you would have to alter the deal until someone agreed to the terms.” This example shows that the process of bartering is one that takes time and acquaintances and knowing the people well. Money however, isn’t thought about with such great details. You simply want something, and you use money to get it. As far as trade affection technology, I believe it may have an affect on how quickly our society develops new technologies. Given the amount of times it takes to make exchanges and deals with people for needed materials and recourses, the speech of this process would most likely drag behind the rate of which new idea and projects of people develop. This would in turn theoretically slow down our technological advancement of society. But who is to say that is a bad thing? Aren’t there many people today who wish for a less technology-involved society? If we had never switched to a money based economy, maybe we wouldn’t know any different and me more happy and content with a world less focused on technology.