I hear you, but that’s just not the history. Real Braudel ‘Wheels of Civilization,’ or anything by former Euro designer Bernard Lietaer. Market moneys were biased toward transaction. They replaced the empire’s money because they were not precious metal, and couldn’t be hoarded. Yes, they worked alongside long distance precious metal currencies. But they led to an unparalleled increase in locally generated wealth and economic activty.

When monarchs made local currencies illegal, wars broke out to defend them. Central currencies changed the emphasis in geopolitics from city states to nation states. True, monarchs ended up dependent on those running the chartered monopolies they endorsed, but at least they got to negotiate for a share of the spoils.

So we ended up with corporations like Dutch East India and British East India, which were private, but had the full backing of the nations chartering them (and their fleets). Whether it was a good deal for the monarchs can be argued — but I don’t think the monarchs would have made it as long as they did without them.

Mathematically, the infinite growth of a finite world — even a finite lifespan — doesn’t seem possible. Nor necessary. We can develop new technologies and resources with an economy optimized for circulation and the velocity of money instead of capital appreciation. I don’t see how rewarding capital, but not land and labor, will promote the productivity you are envisioning.

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Author of Team Human, Present Shock, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, and host of the Team Human podcast http://medium.com/team-human

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