Money and how it is used to calculate the value of wealth and even the worth of the people we interact with makes it one of the most destructive and dangerous components of contemporary life.
Without realising they are doing it many people look upon every facet of life and consider it in terms of its financial value, what it might cost, or what it would cost to have it themselves.
Very few od us follow the financial markets or observe the way that the economic system works – whether that be the ‘financial economy’ or the ‘real economy’ itself. But what may be one of the great mysteries of the world is the process that has led money and the possession of it to become the most important factor governing the way that we conduct our lives.
Just as many great ideas have the power to help and improve lives, the creation of money as a unit or medium of exchange passed its point of best use and was evolved or developed to become something that it should never have or was never intended to be.
Money was quite literally a practical way of making the exchange of goods or services work effectively when those engaged in that exchange didn’t necessarily want either the goods or the products or the services that the person they were exchanging with could immediately offer them in exchange for their own.
Money was literally a way of giving a universal value to anything that any person could provide so that they could exchange it for what they wanted from anyone else, and also became a way to transfer value or to exchange over great geographical distances.
Had the development of money stopped there or somewhere very similar, the World would now be and would behave very differently from the way that it does today.
Money itself has never changed. But the way that money is perceived by people has.
Money is now treated as and believed by people to be a thing in its own right.
Yet nothing has changed. Money is still nothing other than the medium of a system to provide universal exchange for services and goods.
Yes, there will be plenty who read this blog who possess lots of money or the means to accumulate it who will read this and quickly conclude that what I’m saying is absolute rubbish.
Money is not real. But the belief that it is make the consequences and the impact of that belief real for all.
Decades of money creation and the use of economic theories and practises such as the FIAT system and the neoliberal push for ‘free markets’ that never look after the interests of others as they theoretically should, have led to the creation and development of the financial economy.
The financial economy is a theoretical system that has been made real by the belief placed in it. Because of the benefits that can be gained by those who ‘play’ it and propagate it, the financial economy has been prioritised and championed above the real economy. Whereas the real economy represents the real world of business and the exchange of labour and goods. The real economy is the basis upon which everything money or financially orientated should work.
Whilst an economist could easily draw up and describe the models of how the monetary, economic or financial system works so that it looks like and can be presented as being very real, money is literally being created out of thin air.
The anger with a self-serving system of this kind that is directly responsible for much of the inequality that exists around the World is palpable amongst all of those who understand and care about what is going on.
The anger against the system has led very intelligent people who are disenfranchised from the system, to search for, develop and launch what they present to us as alternative monetary systems that work fairly because the work in a different way,
Cryptocurrencies – of which bitcoin is probably the best known – are the result of this process.
The intrinsic problem that all cryptocurrencies currently have is that in the process of their creation, they have adopted the most fundamental flaw that all units of currency are currently built on: They are valued as something or a thing to be possessed that itself has value, when cryptocurrencies or currencies of any kind never have been and never will have genuine value of their own.
Yes, you can become financially rich by buying and then selling Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency that has been listed on an exchange. But the process that leads to gains or losses in cryptocurrency value are little more than luck. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is not a science and any gains you make through a crypto transaction simply means it was just your time to experience a win. Much like spread betting or investing through hedge funds, investing in cryptocurrency is at best nothing more than making a bet. This is no way to run or influence a system that will affect everyone in the World.
The value of Bitcoin and all forms of currency is the belief that underpins them. Their value is directly related to the confidence that investors have to buy them. Nothing more. So, the moment that something shakes that belief, like Elon Musk floating a comment on social media about how Bitcoin mining isn’t very green – the value of this ‘currency’ begins a downward journey towards the floor. It is only then that you can really begin to recognise the true value of what currencies are worth in themselves. Currencies are worth nothing and no more.
Strange as it may sound, this blog is not an argument against the use of cryptocurrencies. There is no question that money and currency use and the legal and ethical value set that underpins their use must be improved as we head deeper into the 21st century and increasingly use the technology that we have available.
A problem for us all is that the entire monetary system is itself flawed but is being deliberately manipulated by people who understand the system well and continue to engage in dangerous practises without any consideration for the consequences and impact upon others. We need comprehensive change.
Because it is legal or the law allows those employed in financial services and in the banking sector to engage in the practices they have been for many years if not decades before, it does not necessarily make what they do morally or ethically right.
For anyone who has spent time studying law or the way that government works, they will soon realise and understand that the law has a habit of being very late to the party. On its route to get there it is often distracted by self interest or the interest of those with influence.
This manipulation of the deck is something that we can no longer afford if we are to all live in a world which is fair and driven to ensure that the poorest members of society can sustain themselves and that a basic self-sufficient life is something that everyone can easily and comfortably afford.