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A world without money

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I have no academic papers or historical research view on what I’m about to post, although I will find some, but I was reflecting on my discussions of revolutions in humanity.  In particular, the second age of humankind, when we invented money as a control mechanism.

Before this seismic change, money didn’t matter.  We shared beliefs that allowed us to live together in relative peace, but the creation of money changed the balance of humanity.  Some of us became more powerful, whilst others weaker.  In fact, the biggest change between the first age and the second age is that it is no longer muscle that wins.  It’s brains.

Money is just a myth, invented by the powers that be to control the masses.  This is a truism that is explored over and over again on Ted Talks, in the movies, in the media and in life.

Think about it.   Ancient tribes didn’t care about money.  They cared about food, shelter and basic human needs.  There is a tribe in the Bay of Bengal that no one visits, because they attack any sign of humans.   I’m sure they don’t have money.

The reason I’m writing this is that I’m wondering about the future of money.  If money is a myth, created by governments to control the masses.  Then what happens if we have no money in the future?

That is an idea put out there by Gene Rodenberry, the creator of Star Trek, and seems to be supported by libertarians who want money without government.  What is the point of money without government  when the whole point of money is to create an unfair distribution of wealth in society.  By creating an unfair distribution of wealth, you create those who are controlled and those who are controlling.  Those who are controlling gradually concentrate their wealth into the smallest number of hands.  This is why 8 men today have half of the world’s wealth.  Just 8 men.

Without money, what are we?  All equal?  But some must surely be more equal than others.  That is the point of government, wealth and the uneven distribution of wealth.  It is part of being human.

The futuristic vision of Star Trek is that the acquisition of wealth no longer drives humankind.  IT is the betterment of humanity through exploration and knowledge.  What is the point of that?  Without wealth, we have no leaders.  Without wealth, we have no drive.  Just ask the Norwegians or other countries where everyone has a basic income guaranteed.  If you need not work for shelter, food and fun, then why would you work?

OK, OK, I’m going off on a tangent but the core of humanity is power.  Power is gained through the accumulation of wealth but, before money was invented, power was gained through the gravitas and muscle of the alpha males of our colonies.

Could you imagine if we stripped the world of money and wealth and, tomorrow, returned to a world where wisdom and muscle ruled?  Where would Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan be?  What would happen to Africa and the suffering nations of the Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and other countries?

Stripping the world of the wealth focus and monetary controls could be an interesting future nirvana … or it could be anarchy and destruction.  What’s your view?

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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