Imagine being able to deconstruct the vast subject of economics into three major principles or theories. The first theory is that the global population has a duty to the global economy. This viewpoint holds that the economy lives and dies based on the habits of the peoples of Earth. If we want economic prosperity – if we want the economy as a whole to continue to exist – then it is up to the individual consumer to step up and perform his or her worldly duty of infusing said market with capital. It doesn’t matter if this capital is in the form of hard currency, digital monies, or even debt; all have been assigned this task of supporting the monetary ecosystem of the world. The outcome, according to this belief, is that when all take this responsibility equally then all will gain from the resultant booming enterprise.
The second theory is that the economy is something that we can all postulate upon, but in the end we are simply unable to understand a system of such complexity. The economy, due to its massive scale and intricacy, leads to speculation being the height of our analytical capability and no outcomes be predicted with accuracy. The best humans can hope for is to assert small measures of change that will positively impact the relationships between markets; in so doing, only small glimpses of what may or may not work can be perceived and nothing more. There are no concrete solutions and the bedrock may shift at any minute under the feet of mankind.
The final approach to conceptualizing such an elusive beast is the idea that the economy is only as real as our belief in it and the system of monetary transaction it employs. Currency has shifted so much in recent history, from metals to paper to digitization. Even now, new approaches to transactional payment are being utilized, such as bitcoins and even time itself as a method of payment.
While these theories represent an oversimplification of the issues surrounding a global economy and monetary transactions, it nonetheless achieves its goal of forcing individuals to reconcile the futile, backwards, and unequal nature of traditional methods of currency. As we progress towards a future in which technology will continue to play more and more of a crucial role and nanobots blur the line between organic and robotic existence, can we remain so trivial as to exchange meaningless tokens of value? As humanity evolves, so must its monetary system. t is the hope of many for civilization to one day surpass the “need” for currency altogether. For once we recognize that it is a truly altruistic endeavor to motivate ourselves with philanthropy, we can hope as a species to ascend toward the next echelon of existence. Our focus on the trivialities of social station can be redirected to resolving the true crises of our transformation into better creatures: hunger, climate change, exhaustion of our natural resources.
What could this new-found freedom that comes from a new purpose provide? Abstention from harming others (indicative of choice) while cultivating community.
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one . . .”
~ John Lennon, “Imagine.”