I think my main take-away is that spending 2.5 months slowly reading through a book about the history of money makes money start to feel really really fake. I mean I already knew it's a human construct that we all collectively agree to give meaning to, and which would otherwise have no objective worth, but the whole thing is just feeling a little more ridiculous now.
Anyway: this is a good book! And very interesting! Does a good job of challenging some assumptions that the field of economy is based on, which tend to ignore the complicatedness of human relationships in favour of equations based on rational self-interest. Also the myth of barter.
It was fascinating to read the anthropology/history about the ways various groups of humans throughout time and space have approached concepts of debt, trade, cash money or lack thereof, etc. A good reminder that our current understanding of these things is by no means obvious, universal, or the best way to do things.
I wasn't expecting this book to come out nearly so strongly in critique of modern capitalism at the end as it did. I remember this being a popular book when it came out, and North America as a whole is pretty pro-capitalism! So that was a bit of a surprise. Though maybe it shouldn't have been given that the 2008 financial crisis formed the impetus for the author to write this book.This entry on Dreamwidth | comments