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November 02, 2012



That was a good interview.
So, the recent book, David Graeber's "Debt," surprised me by overturning the myth of "original barter." It seems that Adam Smith snuck this into the culture, with a parable of some primitives who begin to specialize one in hut construction, one in making bows, one in weaving cloth and so on. Sometimes the cloth weaver didn't need another bow but the bow maker required cloth, so they were stuck, unable to barter, until the invention of money. In real life, such primitives might give the cloth away, knowing they'll be repaid someday, or work on a true communist basis, "from-each-by-ability-to-each-by-need", or perhaps take on a formal IOU. If an IOU can be transferred, that's credit-based money. So I have some hope that we can transact without dollars OR barter, although some social cohesion and trust would be a big asset there.

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