When listening to finance news, I always get overwhelmed by jargon that makes no real sense to my untrained ears. Wading through “below-zero interest” or “negative inflation” on daily bases, I have now concluded that money, through its prolonged institutionalize, has given birth to pseudo-complexity that psyches us into not being able to think about it in simple terms.
Money is actually a social and very humane construct. Since we have been able to comprehend continuity of our existence in time (oops, that reads as bad as Economic Review!) i.e. since we realized that we live for a long period of time, we needed an instrument to park our effort over time. This is necessary because we can’t consume all the fruits of our labour immediately, so we need a mechanism to store them for future.
Money is just a social contract between all of us, whereby we allow each other to park our efforts of today and recall them as and when needed.
Money must have started as a simple social agreement; but, over the years, it has become so complex that it defies holistic comprehension and thus has become a force that humans accept without questioning its fundamentals. This has allowed money to be agnostic to human social values.
If a soldier risks life for the nation or criminal sells drugs on the street, both efforts can get converted into same money that either can use in future. Hence, for conversion to money, value of effort is governed not by human value system but by market, making money get exclusively linked with demand-supply mechanism.
What people want and is in short supply is valued higher and thus converted to more money. As the key to value of money is in what-people-want and its-availability, concept of money has shifted from social agreement to a malleable entity that can be exploited for personal gain by playing with demand and supply. So, all efforts are now aimed at tweaking public demand and controlling the supply by any means. This has turned money into an absurd force that has made our planet a madhouse where there is a demand for a million dollar perfume and yet a million people have no supply of water.
Lacking a tool that grants any merit to acts aimed at collective good, each of us are tuned to be self-centric, making the social contract of money backfire. With money turning into the most powerful incentive, it is now a no-hold-barred world. Demand is created by playing with the gratification circuits of human mind without considering its impact on the society while supply is controlled without any consideration for the well-being of humans affected.
Money, once a simple social contract, is no longer getting defined by human beings, but it is now defining human beings. This incredible empowerment granted to a mere concept is a great example of how we, humans, are incapable of questioning a system in place. What the mechanism of money has created is a value-less world that can’t hope to remain stable for a long time.
We need to be aware that money is just a mere tool of transaction that we use. It is neither the best or nor irreplaceable. We can always rework on the way we park our efforts for future use if we realize the short comings of existing concept.
Modern technology is already changing the way we look at money. Let us find a new and innovative solution for our transactions that can better reflect humane social values. We need a new form of money that can follow humanity to replace this monster that is forcing humanity to follow it.