Here’s an article on the standard back story up to present day of the rapidly disintegrating social contract we call “money.”
It’s good to remember that what might have been of value in the past has run out of agency — however it may be that this back story itself is an illusion!
See David Graeber’s massive volume Debt: The First Five Thousand Years, the chief takeaway of which, for me, was the idea that debt is a good thing, when we see it as social glue: in village life, where everybody is always gifting to everybody else, “I owe you one” becomes ubiquitous. Here we’re not talking about exchanges as quantified transactions, made possible with the invention of “money,” but as the social fabric created and maintained by continuous give-and-receive within community. When money gets involved, that’s when we can assign numbers to each side of a transaction and say, “I owe him a debt, and after I pay it back I can wash my hands of that person. Our exchange will be complete.”
Here’s a September 6, 2011 interview with Graeber, which just happened to take place only eleven days before Occupy started in Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011! (Remember that brilliant flash in the pan that got instant press, expanded quickly to other cities and towns, and then got ruthlessly squashed in a coordinated police action all across the country only months later?)
Graeber himself was one of the founders of Occupy, and is the person credited with the phrase, “the 99% vs. the 1%.”
So yes, what IS true wealth?