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The Ascent Of Money Has Lead To The Ascent Of Man

1326 words - 5 pages

“The ascent of money has lead to the ascent of man.”
The greatest question many have sought to answer is the creation vs. evolution debate. How did we get here? Were we created or did we evolve randomly? Are we the product of purposeful intelligence or are we the result of countless mistakes? Does it even matter? The story of money is similar to the story of humanity. Was money created or did it evolve. If it was created we can assume it will die. If money evolved then we can assume the future is unknown. In his book, The Ascent of Money a financial history of the world, Neil Ferguson historic analysis of money answers many of these questions. Ferguson believes money essentially mirrors mankind, magnifying back to us our progress, failures, values and weaknesses.” (The Ascent of Money, 358) The history of money shares many similarities to the history of man; Ferguson parallels between finance and Darwinism, illustrating the natural mechanism of our financial ecosystem that evolves, creates, competes, and dies.
Money has evolved with the times and is a reflection of the progress of man. Early money was itself a physical commodity, grain, gold or silver. During the vital stage, more symbolic forms of money such as certificates of deposit, bank notes, checks, letters of credit, bonds and other forms of negotiable securities came into prominence. Social development transformed money in to a trust, “In God We Trust' it says on the back of the ten-dollar bill.” (The Ascent of Money, 27) Today money is faith in the person paying us and belief in the person issuing the money he uses or the institution that honors his money. This trust has no end it can be extended to a greater number of individuals.
The establishment of money freed individuals from dependence on land as an essential resource for production and freed commerce from the need to barter and trade. Money, in essence is trust in society. Before money, the ability of two individuals to interact socially and economically was impossible. Money provides a common language. The introduction of money allowed exponential growth of production, trade and consumption for all human needs. Money has a social power. It eases transactions. It helps society efficiently use its resources and create resources. It unites us more than it divides us.
As inhabitants of planet finance we financial organisms are in constant competition with one another over limited resources. The earth is an ecosystem, and the rules of nature are similar to the rules of economics. Ferguson believes there are “certain times and in certain places, certain species may become dominant. But innovations by competitor species, or the emergence of altogether new species, prevent any permanent hierarchy or monoculture from emerging.” (The Ascent of Money, 350-351) Similarly, the many financial and technological innovations have developed our views on morality, justice, humanity, and destination are all natural mechanism of our...

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