Where does money come from?
Updated: May 13, 2021
What actually is money?
Hello fellow Protagonists,
The practical answer to this question is simple. In the UK the Royal Mint stamps coins and the Bank of England prints notes (currently through De La Rue if you want to get really technical).
For those who read The Daily Buff will know that this is not the angle we are going to take with this question of where money comes from.
Money is only the measurement of wealth, not wealth itself.
It is like asking where meters come from. They didn't come from anywhere, somebody invented meters in order to measure distance. Just like inches, miles and furlongs had done before it.
A meter isn't real. I cannot physically give you a meter, though I can give you a meter of a certain good, like carpet, slabbing, or cookies. I could also show you a meter using a tape measure.
Money is just as real as meters.
Money is not real, though I can give you money. Showing you a 5 pound note is the equivalent of showing you a meter using the tape measure.
We have to create notes (and digital balances on your mobile banking app) in order to show you what a pound is, as otherwise it wouldn't exist.
We have made the unreal, real.
Imagine a parallel world where meters are our currency. I can trade a meter of one good for a meter, or many meters, of another good. This may sound absurd but is basically the same thing as our English pound.
Where did you think the word pound comes from? It comes from the Latin Libra Pondo meaning balance or weight of a pound. We decided to use weight as our measure rather than distance, for simplistic reasons.
Over time weight was no longer used, except for pic n mix sweets!
So the original method of measuring money no longer exists and another format has been created, invented out of thin air. Only this method cannot be shown like a meter on a tape measure.
The pound is now only measured by its own perceived value against goods and other currencies.
So returning to money helping us to measure our wealth. The problem with this is that wealth is a seriously subjective concept. One person may feel wealthy where another person would not.
Our Oxford dictionary defines wealth as "An abundance of valuable possessions or money".
This definition feels like a bit of a never ending cycle. That money is created as a unit of measurement to be able to have an abundance of money.
I have recently seen a term suicasual meaning "for its own sake" which sums this up greatly. It's almost like money exists so that we can see how much money we have.
We use money as a measuring tool to see how much money we have.
It is clear that we needed a way of being able to hold onto purchasing power in order to buy goods without having to drag crates of chickens around to trade. If we received no money in today's world we would be in difficulty.
This quick post is here to note how It is also worth seeing money for what it is.
And that is the unreal made real in order to measure itself, against itself.
And they call us crazy!
GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun)
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