A few years ago I posted concerning the identity of the “Last God” in Heidegger’s later works, identifying the last god as Janus, the two faced god of currency, and therefore as the origin of the global financial system. Janus was substituted with Caesar, of course, then with Christ and various other things since, but another two-faced entity, technology, was what made currency believable, and in the turn (kehre) is what has made people lose faith in currency and the financial system as it is today.
Enter 2020 and COVID-19. The US has already hit a record unemployment rate and some of the least grim predictions are predicting it will take generations to exit the coming depression. None of that is necessary, credit and debt are social constructions, not bullets, and a pandemic is in many ways the opposite of a war. They’re also completely arbitrary, we can have any financial system we choose.
One thing is fairly certain though. It won’t be the one we have, because it would be against the interests of over 95% of the world’s population, and we would need a consensus to reestablish it. This will be crushing for the US, where 70% of those who are employed work for the financial/insurance etc. industries. The US, in reality, makes very little but money. They’re a nation of accountants for the rest of the world, and a different financial system will put the country out of business. The idea that the wealthy could somehow ‘force’ a return to the current system is laughable simply because they would no longer be wealthy, and would have lost the power that goes with that under the current system.
So the good news is we have a chance to start over. To create a monetary system that doesn’t fail due to massive inequalities and compounding debt that inevitably leads to indentured servitude, or slavery under any other name. Those societies have existed, one of the largest of which was the Akkadian/Phoenician/Assyrian society. It’s worth studying exactly how they did run their societal and individual finances. Credit was available at the market insofar as you were a member of society, and not repaying (by bringing goods to market or providing services) was noted on a public ledger, embarrassing those in too much debt without good reason (such as spending decades building King David’s house — good reason to be in debt until it was finished). Every so often the ledger was reset at the whim, basically of the ruler, and everyone started again with their credits and debits zeroed out. Blockchain based ledgers have a similar capability -they’re public unlike our current bank ledgers, they can’t be tampered with, and exchange is public and in the open, making criminality on any scale close to impossible.
Of course, the Akkadian system was wiped out in the first recorded genocide in western history, that of the Assyrians by the armies of Alexander the Great. As one of the first known imperialists, it’s convenient that he destroyed one of the few things that can make imperialism difficult, by removing the possibility of long-term lingering debt that inevitably leads to slavery in one form or another.
Personally he paid dearly for the genocide. Within 3 days of returning he was poisoned, the active substance used remains largely unknown. However the servant who gave Alexander the poisoned food was the son of a great friend of Aristotle, who also happens to be the person we know of most likely to know of a deadly substance unknown in general society,and the person that first pointed out that wealth inequality leads to an unstable economy and to indentured servitude.
The lesson from that part is simple, don’t fuck with the most intelligent person you know.