The Origins of Money - HipCrime Vocab

the HipCrime Vocab is a source of many in-depth essays analyzing power in our society, where it came from, how it is distributed, and the ways in which the systems enforce control.

What’s a hipCrime?
Well you committed one when you opened this blog. Keep it up, it’s our only hope!

The author just completed an insightful and dense series The Origins of Money, and at ten posts, I have to say I’m relieved that’s it come to an end :p

This latest post is a recap of key takeaways of The Origins of Money.

Money emerges when one class is able to impose obligations on the rest of society.
The Origins of Money - the HipCrime Vocab

Money is a very tangible example of power in everybody’s lives, and as this article goes on to explain that’s the original purpose for money, power and control.

Money has no value in and of itself. It is not the thing that matters, but the ability of one section of the population to impose its standard on the majority, and the institutions through which that majority accepts the will of the minority. Money, then as a unit of account, represents the class relations that developed in Egypt (and elsewhere), and class relations are social relations.
The Origins of Money - the HipCrime Vocab

We live in a time of incredible wealth disparity between a very small percentage of the population and the rest of the world. Increasingly the life of an average human is getting worse, while those in the dominating classes amass so much wealth and power they have been able to drive the policies of governments all over the world.

…the rise of class society and inequality took place alongside the emergence of money, whereby money played a key role in establishing, maintaining and exacerbating inequality and class division in societies.
The Origins of Money - the HipCrime Vocab

We need to understand oppression in our modern world, so that we can eventually work together to dismantle the systems that serve only the few and replace them with systems that serve everyone, equally, out in the open.

The Unit of Account and the Means of Exchange need not be the same. In fact, for most of history they weren’t! In the Middle Ages, prices were denominated and taxes assessed in a common unit of account (e.g. livres tournois), but hundreds of different coins churned out by dozens of mints were used to pay them (such as the Piece of Eight or Louis d’Or).
The Origins of Money - the HipCrime Vocab

Both of those sides of the fight (bringing down and raising up), require a significant amount of research and planning, otherwise we risk replacing systems of oppression, with more systems of oppression.

Debt servitude appears to be the earliest form of mass slavery. While slaves were often captured prisoners of war in primitive cultures, their numbers were necessarily limited because having too many hostile foreigners living among your society and doing its essential chores would be dangerous (if not outright suicidal).
The Origins of Money - the HipCrime Vocab

Before you rise up, educate yourself to understand what it is you’re fighting against and fighting for, the HipCrime Vocab should be a key part of your education.

In our society, money has multiple uses: means of exchange, store of value, unit of account, and settlement of debts. That these things are all embodied in a single item we call “money” is not a natural phenomenon but a feature of capitalist credit money which allows this system to function as it does. That invention took a long time and it’s probably not over yet.
The Origins of Money - the HipCrime Vocab