Money as Insulation

We have allowed money to become a commodity, when it used to be a token of a relationship.

In earlier, smaller societies it was easier. You had something I needed, but I didn’t have anything you needed, so money was used as a token of that imbalance. It was personal. That money might be passed on, but I carried the obligation. At some point, I would come back into contact with that money, and be required to deliver something I had in recognition of that first transaction.

It has a beautiful symmetry to it. Today of course, with the size and nature of markets, the relationship disappears. The money has gone emotionally cold. Money no longer signifies a personal relationship.

It seems a shame. The power now sits with the brokers and owners of a commodity. The money signifies nothing other than a quantity. There is no relationship between the person who has the mortgage, and the person who deposited the money that enabled the loan.

At one level I appreciate this is romantic nonsense, but at the same time I still think it is to be regretted. When the brokers and traders derive power from something they had no hand in generating, and which reperesents no personal risk or investment, we’ve lost a human dimension of money.

Our economy will make sense to me when we bring people back into it.

(Charles Eisenstein writes beautifully on this in Sacred Economics)

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