This idea may sound strange to you – or it may not. What I mean is that money has no intrinsic value anymore. It is not valuable in itself. And this is shown by a practical fact – interest rates are so low they barely exist.
Let me rephrase that. Money, in itself, is not something people value anymore. And this is one of the many important facts they are not aware of.
Let me back up for a couple of centuries (practically no time at all) – and speak of something that was all-important then – Capitalism. Which meant the joint impact of Money (Capital) and Technology. Money, back then, was very important – and one’s social standing was expressed in terms of the income one had – so much a year, based on a given interest rate.
Sounds quaint, doesn’t it? But in fact, everyone was preoccupied with preserving their capital, if they had any. Or in getting some, and passing it on to their offspring, if they did not.
I am reminded of a woman I know whose financial strategy was to buy homes that needed fixing – fix them, and then rent them out. Originally, she would fix them and sell them – and make nice profit. But that no longer worked, so she rented them out instead. She got her money back, with interest – but it took much longer.
Her son, an adolescent, was unhappy with this arrangement. He wanted to sell the houses, and get rid of them. Taking care of them was too much trouble, he thought. His mother asked him about the future – how would they live after the houses were gone? But he was not interested in thinking about this – the future, for him, was not something he thought about. He could not imagine owning anything of value that would last.
For him, and I suspect, for most – questions of value had no meaning. In this included the value of Money. You spent it as fast as you got it – and not only that, before you got it – by borrowing as much as you possibly could.
Nothing else made much sense. Everything was based on the ephemeral value of everything – including Money. Although they would never put it this way, in so many words – everything was an allusion – and they had to make our way, as best they could, through an illusory world – where everyone was faking it.
The slightest mishap – and the whole edifice, the whole house of cards would come tumbling down. We should keep the timeline in mind here – it takes a long time to build a society – even a global society – but no time at all to destroy it.
Which is what we seem to be doing now.