The easy way out
Posted Nov 6, 2012 10:17 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: The easy way out
Parent article: Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)
What do you think money is?
There are two types of money. I think you are mixing two different issues:
- Intangible stuff treated as property
- Coupon for tangible property
Think land ownership: what can be more tangible than piece of land? Yet when you "own" it in reality you have only intangible piece of paper (or even some numbers in some register somewhere without any paper whatsoever). As long as your paper is backed by something real (land, coal, whatever) everything is fine (historically money were backed with gold).
When US declared default money stopped being coupons for tangible goods and become just numbers on some computer. This happened many times in the history of world (well, computers are new, "just some numbers" are not) and the end result is always the same.
Do you think intangible money should be abolished too?
It does not matter what I think. The "hallucinogen money" will be abolished. The question is not if, but when and how.
Then why should the special marks in government-printed money be so special?
Oh, that. The only difference: the mighty army is still ready to receive them and in turn is ready to punish anyone who does not like to receive them. As long as that's the case they'll stay more viable than an alternatives.
So should we abolish all currencies?
Why? There are thousands of more tangible replacements waiting in the wings. Of course till inevitable collapse of the currency (printed by private institution BTW) these replacement can not start actively spreading, but when that happens some of them will win. Of course there people who try to replace "hallucinogen money" with absolute unsubstantial money, but I doubt these will last long (again: it was tried many times in the history of world and such abominations typically last for a few years, often much less then year).
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