Why was money invented in Anatolia around 600 BC? What is the purpose and function of money? What are the origins of money? We will explore these questions and review several theories of the origin of money with the help of David Graeber's thoughtful, sweeping anthropologically-informed history Debt: The First 5,000 Years.
Before there was money, there was debt.
Topics to be discussed include:
- The myth of barter as the origin of money
- The three functions of money: medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value
- The Credit Theory of Money
- The State Theory of Money (Chartalism)
- Primordial Debt Theory
- Philippe Rospabé's theory of the origin of money which requires an anthropological understanding of "human economies" which rearrange social relations. This is the theory of the origin of money which Graeber values most.
This is the second of three sessions on this subject. The first session on Graeber's book on Debt was held on April 6th. The third session on Graeber's book on Debt will be held on May 18th.