Gradualism in Economics

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Gradualism in Economics

Unread postby fidelio » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:11 pm

I recommend the book Debt: The First 5000 Years by the anthropologist David Graeber. The founding myth of the study of economics is that primitive barter gradually morphed to money-based systems and then to credit, but as Graeber tells us:

'The problem with this version of history? There's not a shred of evidence to support it.'

His conclusions on the history of money are startling, fascinating, and indeed very relevant to 'The Human Question.'
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Re: Gradualism in Economics

Unread postby paladin17 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:29 pm

fidelio wrote:I recommend the book Debt: The First 5000 Years by the anthropologist David Graeber. The founding myth of the study of economics is that primitive barter gradually morphed to money-based systems and then to credit, but as Graeber tells us:

'The problem with this version of history? There's not a shred of evidence to support it.'

His conclusions on the history of money are startling, fascinating, and indeed very relevant to 'The Human Question.'

Maybe you can describe in short what his alternative concept of this question would be?
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Re: Gradualism in Economics

Unread postby D_Archer » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:09 am

so debt is primary.

How was debt established?, by force or was there uneven trade/barter etc first?

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Daniel
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Re: Gradualism in Economics

Unread postby fidelio » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:15 pm

D archer, you should really read the book, and for starters, read Amazon reviews and summaries of it. The practice of debt is as old as human beings. Only when it was systemized by the first agrarian empires, through taxes, do we start to see something like markets. As a member of this forum, I assume you know what events inspired these empires. From the third chapter called 'Primordial debt':

"The firsty kings were sacred kings who were either gods in their own right or stood as privileged mediators between human beings and the ultimate forces that governed the cosmos... Why was cattle so often used as money? The German historian Bernard Laum long ago pointed out that in Homer, when people measure the value of a ship or suit of armor, they alwasy measure it in oxen - even though when they actually exchange things, they never pay for anything in oxen. It is hard to escape the conclusion that this was because an ox was what one offered the gods in sacrifice. Hence they represented absolute value. From Sumer to Classical Greee, silver and gold were dedicated as offerings in temples. Everywhere, money seems to have emerged from the thing most appropriate to the gods."

He earlier explains how in some places rules started money systems in order to take care of their armies. They would each of their soldier some money, and then tell all the people they had to pay a certain amount of this money to the state every so often. You do the math.
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Re: Gradualism in Economics

Unread postby D_Archer » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:53 am

fidelio wrote:D archer, you should really read the book, and for starters, read Amazon reviews and summaries of it. The practice of debt is as old as human beings. Only when it was systemized by the first agrarian empires, through taxes, do we start to see something like markets. As a member of this forum, I assume you know what events inspired these empires. From the third chapter called 'Primordial debt':

"The firsty kings were sacred kings who were either gods in their own right or stood as privileged mediators between human beings and the ultimate forces that governed the cosmos... Why was cattle so often used as money? The German historian Bernard Laum long ago pointed out that in Homer, when people measure the value of a ship or suit of armor, they alwasy measure it in oxen - even though when they actually exchange things, they never pay for anything in oxen. It is hard to escape the conclusion that this was because an ox was what one offered the gods in sacrifice. Hence they represented absolute value. From Sumer to Classical Greee, silver and gold were dedicated as offerings in temples. Everywhere, money seems to have emerged from the thing most appropriate to the gods."

He earlier explains how in some places rules started money systems in order to take care of their armies. They would each of their soldier some money, and then tell all the people they had to pay a certain amount of this money to the state every so often. You do the math.


So it was force, that seems to be human nature, the stronger extort the weaker.

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Daniel
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Re: Gradualism in Economics

Unread postby fidelio » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:32 am

Not exactly. It has to do with the massive trauma of the breakup of the polar configuration.
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