Thursday, June 29, 2017
When the money stops working
In the United States we aren't even familiar with the concept. There are parts of the world where that's not just an intellectual idea, but a fact of life. Currencies collapse. What had value one day has none the next. Just ask anyone who's got a mattress stuffed with old Soviet Union currency.
Even in the rest of the world, currency collapse is mitigated by the fact that not all currencies collapse at the same time. Places where the local script is worthless tend to use more sound money instead. While your country may officially operate on the Trashistan Ruble, it really runs on American Dollars, or Euros.
What happens in a world wide currency collapse? We don't know for sure, as the world has not seen that in a very very long time, not since the so called modern era. There is evidence to suggest what might happen. Take Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. Their money was essentially worthless. How did people without access to International currencies survive? They relied on interpersonal relationships. If you have a limited resource, be it gasoline or apples, who are you going to deal with? Before the collapse you dealt with whoever had money. After, you end up dealing with your brother's wife's cousin because he has chickens and firewood.
Barter may be part of the deal, but relationships with people is important. Humans spent most of their existence on the planet as part of tribes. It comes natural to us. In times of crisis we revert to our more basic natures. It makes sense that we'd do what we can to work with and strengthen our tribe, even if we no long use the term.