> A major argument of the book is that the imprecise, informal, community-building indebtedness of "human economies" is only replaced by mathematically precise, firmly enforced debts through the introduction of violence, usually state-sponsored violence in some form of military or police.
> A second major argument of the book is that, contrary to standard accounts of the history of money, debt is probably the oldest means of trade, with cash and barter transactions being later developments.
People seem to naturally pledge loyalty and do favors for each other, it makes sense that “debt” would be a primary medium of exchange.
If anything, barter is more complex than a promise, as without money how do you evaluate the value of a sheep vs a bunch of grain or some service? Is building a wall worth more or less than sex? How do the two match up against the sheep? How do you trade for fractional value?
The big difference innovation was the organized trading of debt and shares of enterprises a couple hundred years ago. The rest is probably been a thing since cavemen.
...except maybe in the discipline of history, some of whom love to overestimate the greatness of past individuals.
It also sounds like you are worshiping some kind of idol of the token of exchange. One main function of law is to allow for promises far more complex than any simple transaction.
Sure. If defining a word by what it is and then applying that definition to past people is “worshiping” an “idol”. I would call it “adhering to” a “definition”.
Fact: History, as a written corpus, pins the “invention” of a lot of things on white people, when Arabs, Chinese, or Mezoerican people “invented” those “fundamental economic tools” thousands of years before. Stock and debt being good examples.
In fact, this is the standard history of money. It's been a long time historians are aware of this and im the 1920s Allyn Young was already complaining about economists talking about barter as the historical foundation of economy.
Sadly, the story about barter is still being taught today in curriculum of economics because it's part of the classical narrative.
Although to be fair the author points out that credit was ubiquitous and there were spot and future markets for most commodities, and it was an mostly an endowment economy with little or no production.
The invention of "bank money" (money that only exists in ledgers) was an optimization of this as it no longer required the movement of the debt carrier (money) across large distances but rather movement of information about debts. This was the foundation of Banking in Italy and it helped kick off the Medici families domination of Florence and the gains made from moving information (rather than the costs of moving money) improved European trading and funded the Renaissance.
People and governments try to cheat the system by debasing the debt carrier and reducing its value, or by acting as middlemen in the exchange of debt carriers (currency converters, brokers, etc.). Inflation has sunk more than one large empire.
The monomaniac obsession about inflation doesn't really make sense from and economic point of view. It comes from the Chicago school of economics, thanks to the charisma of Milton Friedman and how his political views resonated with the mindset of the cold war, but IMHO it doesn't bring much to the comprehension of the world.
But I'm not sure you were answering to the right comment anyway.
Indebtedness to each other is the appropriate state of humans in community.
The NAP comes from libertarianism, which is as far as you can get from anarchism.
Anarchism means free cooperation between people with no transcendental rule apart "everyone is equal", while libertarianism (and the NAP) means "private property is paramount".
Anarchism was born in the 19s century as a part of the socialist movement, while libertarianism is an alt-right movement which grew in the US during the cold war, as a reaction to socialism.
(I suspect your downvotes are from mudslinging with 'adolescent' and 'utopian', which sort of clash with/give the lie to your air of dispassionate analysis)
Has there been ANY war a modern nation state has ever waged that hasn't been framed as self defense?
(Seriously, I wonder in what world some people live. Violence is everywhere.)
I've taken flack for writing footnoted HN & G+ posts, even Mastodon toots. I can take the flack.
Bibliographic citations emerged for reasons. Those reasons. remain.
"EARLY DEPOSIT BANKING", Meir Kohn: https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/sites.dartmouth.edu/dist/6/116...
"Bagehot was a Shadow Banker: Shadow Banking, Central Banking, and the Future of Global Finance": https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2232016
While I do appreciate the role of a proper citation, I'm reluctant to do it for blog posts (as opposed to my actual papers) both because it's time consuming and because for most people, links are a more natural and readable format.