Why is money better (easier) than barter?

Occassionally, you hear people complain about money, (“unnatural”; “root of all evil” etc.). There are even, small communes where people experiment with #barter economies. Barter is fine, when you have a simple society, and a simple market.

But, for (say) the production of a television, barter does not suffice. Think: what makes up a television? Oil (for the plastics), sand (for the silicon), copper (for the wiring inside, and for the power cable), those bits require  purchasing from very different people/corporations, in differing quantities, and at different prices. Try to account for that (and for the wages for the #workers involved, in all stages of #production.) in the list price.

“The labour required to drill for oil cost me, the oil baron,  all of 10 chickens (which means I have to acquire chickens from somewhere, before I can drill for oil: barter-banking with livestock? Let’s not go there.)” (leaving out the wear and tear on machinery, their depreciation)

“And I, the plastics manufacturer, will end up paying the oil company 10 chickens, for the resource I need for my product), my labour force is made up of vegetarians, so I can’t pay them with chickens, and raw unprocessed plastics won’t work either: what use do they have for that?  instead I paid them in lettuce. Where I got the lettuce is a whole other complication, let’s skip that for now (I need to pay my workers on time, so I can’t always wait until my plastics have all been used by the next manufacturer in the chain. Besides that, a next manufacturer makes TV sets, how many does a person need? Or how many can they store in their house? And how did they pay for that house? Did they build it themselves? And where did they get the bricks etc? 

Sometimes my resurces get bought up by a toy maker, or by the makers of park benches/garden furniture (which is particularly useless in high rise buildings).

Talking about appartment buildings (high rise): how would those be paid/built in a barter #economy? (or in the Soviet Union)
Etc, but you get the idea


Published by


I am an author & an anarcharchist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s