Is Love the New Money?
There are many very interesting conversations about money and the economy. I am not an economist nor a money expert. The housing crash of 2007 piqued my interest in what the heck was going on. Having jumped down the rabbit hole for the past 14 years there are a ton of interesting and wide-ranging perspectives and debates. For some folks, the goal is to accumulate money. Money represents wealth that can be measured and is a way to have access to and subsequent control of something. Other folks see money’s function as merely a tool or technology for exchange. Of course, both views are valid and can be held concurrently. Ultimately, it’s up to the person’s intent, awareness and use of money. Which is similar to having and using a hammer or several types of hammers for a project. Whether the hammer is used for demolition or building; perhaps for both phases of a project.
History of Money:
Let’s first look at the historical premise of money. Money is basically a technology that allows an “exchange.” Historically it is goods, services and labor. It allowed us to move from using a barter system that operated within the time and space limit of now and person to person. With the advent of money, we are able to store and transfer value to another time, place and form, e.g., labor for groceries etc. For example, the value of the work we have done today can now be saved and later exchanged at a future time and another space. Money has taken many forms, there have been beads, shells, sticks, gold, silver, paper money and most recently the 1/0’s of digital accounts. And now emerging are the software crypto tokens/blockchain environment. However crypto tokens are not recognized as actual currencies due to laws and regulations.
Let’s look at the underlying premise of value in an exchange. Value is simply something that a person wants or needs. If the person does not want the service, goods, labor or money then it has little or no value to that person. Thus, value is dependent on each party’s needs, wants, perception and interpretation of their respective sense of value. Furthermore, value depends not only on each parties’ view of value but also on the context of their relationship. The parties’ relationship is embedded in context of time, space and form (as noted above). Value is also relative to the historical, technological, cultural, philosophical, ideological thought. Example, the relationship of an individual purchasing a life insurance, which involves the product (contract), agent, insurance corporation and upon death the fulfillment of the contract to the beneficiary. Value is quite complex when embedded in their relationship and in the larger contexts of culture and each parties’ beliefs, personal values, and relative to time, space and form. One wonders if there is ever a case for a standard of reliable measure that is consistent outside of the contexts of relationship, time, space and form (of value)? However, underpinning value is relationship. When exchange moved beyond the face-to-face bartering, money became a technology/tool/agent in which to execute an exchange event. This then separated the buyer and seller in that each could exist in different spaces and time yet still interact. However, intermediaries became part of this exchange in the forms of administration such as attorneys, accountants, escrows, banks, insurance, etc. were required in some way to validate each party and their respective value. With the crypto environment the new thing is “kyc” (know your customer) requirements. For example, using the Coinbase exchange to buy and sell cryptos with fiat money, requires validating your identity and bank account so that there is an assurance of a good faith exchange.
Economy: History, Class and Function.
Economy at its foundation is merely the study of behavior focused on the “interactions of exchange relative to value.” Humans existing as small tribes of hunter gatherer, “sharing” was the economy of survival. The sharing economy continued throughout the subsistence agrarian experience. However, with agricultural prosperity gave rise to the development of villages to cities/centralization. With the development of urbanization, money took on the characteristics of scarcity and a subsequent method of control. Thus, scarcity and control become established in the forms of societal classes which represents or reflects their function in society. The class/function are of royalty/authority, warrior/enforcement, administration/taxation (regulation/rules/laws), merchants/involving storage transportation and retail, creator/producer/provider/farmer that actually manufactures goods, provides service or grows food. Lastly, the slaves/labor that actually toils in the factories, fields and cogs of commerce. Since subsistence survival, i.e., efficient food production is no longer a primary driving force. Gold and silver become firmly established and formalized in the human condition of urbanization. Gold and silver function as a more efficient technology to exchange property and wealth amongst the higher functional classes. And silver and fiat become the money of merchants and pheasants. Money also emerges as a representation of wealth that further denotes the ability to control, i.e., to control access to goods, services, labor and resources. The ability to transfer both money and control through space and time becomes paramount amongst the societal classes of producers, merchants, administrators, warriors and rulers of the centralized cultures known as cities, kingdoms, nations, empires and corporations. And hence the notation: Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of merchants, fiat is the money of pheasants and debt is the money of slaves. “The one with the most money, wins” and “debt is a special kind of hell.”
Money as technology for exchange:
Money is a technology that has evolved to meet the necessity to become more efficient and to exert more effective methods of control. It is fairly straight forward to see the progression of the forms of money as increasingly efficient technology; form beads and shells, to gold and silver, to fiat paper, to I/O’s of digital money and now perhaps crypto. Currently via economic sanctions, de-valuation of currencies, access/freezing assets and the ability to use bank/money exchange platforms; such as SWIFT are tools/technologies of control.
Credit and Debt:
Credit is your worthiness before you borrow money and debt is your obligation after you borrow money. Debt, is an interesting concept and that has evolved. Debt is a money technology that enables the ability to obtain value from the future and use/spend it today at a cost, known as the interest of the loan/debt. Interest is simply the cost attributed to the lender. These costs include the loss of use of that money during the time of the loan, a risk calculation if the loan is not repaid, an administration fee and profit for the lender. Debt, initially required an existing asset that was secured as collateral. For example, if one had both a reputable history and promising future, e.g., credit history with solid earning potential and a reasonable down payment (skin in the game) this could be appraised to be an acceptable risk for a loan/debt. Also underpinning the concept of debt, rest on the relationship between the parties. This is in the form of a promise. Historically it was just an agreed arrangement sealed with an oath and handshake; perhaps between kings or between two of the same class. And slavery, the owner who provides a means of existence and the slave provides the labor for the profit. The loan contract outlines specific appraised collateral, down payments, timeframes and obligations. However, debt is a “good faith” promise between two parties. Part of a debt promise include consequences which are intrinsically a threat (fear) that if not fulfilled by one of the parties, the other party has the moral authority to inflict consequences as noted in the agreement, on the party which broke their end of the contract. However, that’s not all. The debt contract has no teeth without the ability to enforce the consequences. Hence fear and enforcement; perhaps enforced by military or administratively via law and civil forfeiture or some other means such as physical harm as with loan shark debts or harm of public reputation or incarceration.
Interest rates and derivatives:
Two recent interesting events concerning debt; low cost of debt (interest rates) and derivatives. Low-cost debt and negative interest rates encourage folks to buy more things and take on more debt; “it’s what keeps the economy growing.” Generally, the thought is buying today is less expensive and next month due to inflation (increasing appraisal of an asset), i.e., your purchasing power will be less. The issue is what items are going to hold or increase in value? Many folks will buy a new car, but the car will most likely decrease in value. Another example, buy a new home and it may or likely increase in value but that depends on a host of factors. But many folks do not consider if we are in an inflationary (money purchases less) or deflationary (money can purchase more) phases of a cycle; but this also depends on what is being purchased. Perhaps an investment of education during a recession is a great investment, but that depends on the potential employment opportunities that are forecast and embedded in the larger phases of the economic cycles. For corporations and the wealthy, low interest rates present the opportunity to take out a low interest loan in anticipation that the purchased investment will likely go up in value more than the cost of the interest paid. Such as in the case of stock-buy-backs and in this case, it’s also a provides a method to drive up the valuation of their assets. The issue here for these wealthy investors, is to cash out of these stocks prior to a crash. Then invest the profits on an undervalued asset that will likely increase in value. Such is the game for folks that can afford the investment game.
As for the monetary economic folks, issuing credit (debt) is a method to put (print) more money into circulation and thus reportedly to keep the economy afloat. (Sidenote: Credit, liquidity crisis, quantitative easing are terms that essentially denote debt). However, the issues are that most of this money gets stuck in assets that become over valued and thus the money is not circulated in the economy. And the other issue is the potential that all this new money is actually worth less (devalued) because there is more of it; ala increased inflation or valuation of traditional asset classes. To the uninformed, this looks like they have more wealth because they are looking at the number of dollars. But in actuality the whole economy is in an inflationary phase and therefore each dollar actually has less purchasing power. The unmentioned fear in an inflationary environment, is how does one determine “what is its real value, or what is valuable?” Has value become unknown relative to a “standard measurement,” i.e., world reserve currency US dollar? Perhaps we are already previewing unknown value evidenced by the volatility of various markers in different sectors. And seeing both inflation for essentials and deflation for the non-essentials. It is fairly clear that there are asset bubbles as seen in the rapidly increasing value of the stock market, commodities and housing prices. The problem is if you don’t own these assets, then you are losing purchasing power due to inflation (i.e., the de-valuation of your labor, services and goods) relative to your increasing essential “cost of living” expenses. One has to wonder what are the real values of the items in the “everything bubble?”
The other unacknowledged issue, especially for folks that are not invested in assets is what is to become of the “public debt management” concerning the loose monetary policies relative to the fiscal policy for the taxpayer? (See monetary versus fiscal policies). Historically, the thought is that the taxpayer shoulders this public debt because they are the ones who have received the benefit from more credit/debt/money in the economy. Or should that be the concern of monetary policy makers of the central banks or perhaps the wealthy and corporations that benefited in the form of increased asset valuations?
There is a growing recognition that “money ain’t everything.” Folks are recognizing that quality of life, e.g., health, wellbeing, quality food, safety, relationships and community are perhaps more valuable than money. There are all sorts of perspectives, which are interesting and by some notions are horrifying. However, they are certainly above my pay grade of being merely an armchair spectator.
Derivatives, specifically speculative derivatives are debts in the form of IOU’s (basically it’s money from the future). And it’s value is a speculation of what it might be in the future. Subsequently this “speculative future value” is then considered a collateralized asset that can be further leveraged. So, there is an initial real asset that is collateralized to secure a debt/IOU/loan. However, this debt can also be seen and sold as a collateralized asset in the form of a derivative. These derivatives are further bought and sold as a promised IOU’s/collateralized assets (often bundled together). These derivatives are nested within the bigger derivative like “nested dolls.” But only the solid tiniest doll is real and the subsequently larger dolls are mere shells that are relying on the promise of innermost doll as the real asset. The problem is at some point these speculative derivatives become a systemic risk in that there is very little actual existing asset in which to cover the counter party claim to the real asset. When these speculative derivatives become large enough and if/when there is a claim on the real asset, the derivatives risk collapsing the entire credit/debt system due to being in actuality a very small portion of real asset that has become an “over-promised” (leveraged) IOU. The thought is, if the derivative system collapses, the speculative value of these “bubble” debt assets will instantly vanish; causing an un-imaginable tidal wave of confusion and chaos especially in the financial and banking sectors. And who knows what will happen in the day-to-day economy of merely going to the grocery store.
Faith and Belief…De-coupled?
The current state of value, money, debt and economy is built on a foundation or premise of faith and belief; “In God We Trust.” Additionally, faith and belief have the underpinnings of a sense of integrity, honesty, fairness and righteousness. However, the problem is that faith and belief has perhaps been “de-coupled” via economic theory, monetary and fiscal policies, administration of and regulations (including standards of measurement and calculations) about “money” from actual goods, services and labor. Despite this seeming de-coupling, exchange will continue and therefore an economy will continue in some form. The question is, how will a new form of exchange re-establish faith and belief (confidence) in the new economy? Perhaps the raging economic question of our time, is what happens when there is no longer faith and belief in money which is the basis of our current economic system? What will be the new money and/or will there be a reset of the system? There are a host of other questions of why, when, where and how will value, exchange and the economy continue to evolve (or devolve)? The interesting question is, will a new economic paradigm evolve and how or in what form will faith and trust/belief/confidence be re-established? There are rumors of a gold-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC).
In a sense, we are currently in a world war. For some it is about moving from a petrol based US reserve currency to a multi polar world where there is no single world reserve currency but geo-political regional currencies. However, the war is of an ideological nature. The battle grounds are: What is the nature of value, how will value be exchanged, who controls or is there even a need to control the exchange system and how does the global populous participate in this economy relative to their respective lot/class in life? Of course, no matter what, there will always be some form of value, exchange and economy. Remember, economics at its root is merely the study of human behavior concerning “exchange” between each other, i.e., an exchange/trade relationship amongst the seller and buyer. Whether it is a dozen eggs for a gallon of milk or a few dollars for a car or bitcoin for gold.
Centralization of society allowed humans to develop all kinds of wonderful technology, arts and culture that greatly enhanced the human condition. However, on the other side we have also developed some horrific destructive technology and for the less fortunate, horrific life conditions. Perhaps (and again) we stand at a time in the human experience that we can destroy ourselves or save ourselves.
Crisis and Opportunity:
In psychology when a person comes to this point in time or at a fork in the road, they often get stuck in the dichotomy of the dilemma; either/or and this or that; which path to take? In extreme presentations, there is the appearance of erratic and irrational “crazy” behavior. It’s not that the person is inherently crazy but that it is a seemingly crazy situation of dilemma with no perceived acceptable way out and the person does not know what to do. From the survival brain there are the 5 F’s; fight, flight, freeze responses to immediate danger; while food and fornicate are the responses to an insidious longer-term danger. But if the perceived threat overwhelms one’s capacity to function. Then they often appear anxious and hyper-vigilant; or in extreme cases, appear as disorganized, psychotic, paranoid or depressed and suicidal because it all seems hopeless chaos. By taking a step back and conducting a deeper look the underlying dynamics leads to some understanding and formulation of the whole crazy situation. The place to start, is to determine the founding premise. If a person can zero in on the premise, then the resulting perception, interpretation and manifesting crazy behavior and situation begins to make sense and becomes logically coherent based on the founding premise. Thus, the examination of the premise must be investigated and understood if there is hope for a remedy and the ability to navigate towards what? In psychology, ultimately it’s navigating towards a higher level or order of functioning. Which is essentially being able to evolve or transcend the dilemma, the dichotomy or dissonance. One does not avoid nor go around, but must go through the uncomfortable experience in an honest and truthful manner. This process need not assess blame nor shame. But must involve integrity and openness in order to come to knowledge, understanding and wisdom. This requires the ability to hold concurrently both ends of the dilemma, dichotomy or dissonance until the transcendence occurs. The holding both ends concurrently is not an easy task when getting whiplashed to and fro. This holding, involves being able to move from a limited “either/or” mindset to an encompassing mindset of “both/and.” Followed by the ability to mindfully center into the eye of the hurricane and abide. In this abide is where intuitive insight will emerge and the path will unfold towards transcendence. Even after the initial transcendence, it takes a while to become familiar with the new level of function and its capacity. The key is formulating the question. If you want useful answers, you must ask useful questions and then patiently wait for the answer(s) to reveal themselves.
So how do we navigate out of the seemingly crazy economics we are seeing? There are basic options. Do nothing and continue to be in a whirlwind of chaos that will presumably end in apocalyptic destruction of modern economics. Another to revert or devolve to a former level of functioning (perhaps Madmax tribalism and barter). Or another that has three sub parts. Sub-part A is to stop, take a few deep breaths and assess the immediate and ongoing environment. Basically, to remain calm yet aware in the face of crisis. Sub-part B, is to take a step back and focus on the analysis of the what, why, when, where of the situation and how it came to be, i.e., a historical and dynamic view of the evolving premise and conclusions relative to their various environmental, social, ideological, resource contexts. Sub-part C, uses this historical knowledge and understanding to mindfully wonder the “what ifs?” The process of knowledge and understanding leads to skillful questioning and wondering. However, one must be receptive and able to appreciate insight, recognize wisdom of the insights in order to navigate opportunities toward transcendence.
In crisis counseling you learn that crisis or chaos is merely an indication that something is no longer working. After you listen to the client’s story thereby gaining an understanding of the dynamics (why, what, when, where and how) of the crisis/chaotic situation. Then do things like a SWOT analysis (strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats). An analysis of the environment to determine risks and resources to develop strategy. Lastly is execution, which is underpinned by inspiration, motivation and summoning courage/belief to take the steps toward navigating transcendence to a higher ordered understanding, functioning and capacity.
A Seed of Change:
First, let’s compare love as money compared to gold, fiat currency and digital assets. Gold is scarce, but what if we discovered that there was an abundance of gold. That there was enough gold on the planet for every person to have 1000 pounds of gold. How valuable would gold be? Hazard to say it would be seen as a burden. Fiat currency (paper notes) has been considered a light weight substitute for gold and is/was tied to gold. But with the current “printing” of paper money, it’s seemingly abundant and perhaps decreasing in value as more is printed. Currently, we have a widespread adoption of the innovation of electronic bank accounts, credit/debit cards and payment ability via cell phones and such. The most recent offerings are block chain ledgers, crypto currencies and NFT’s (non-fungible tokens). The electronic, digital and crypto currencies are lighter than air. Their cost associated with the storage, exchange and transfer of these assets are miniscule compared to storing, carrying and exchanging gold. And compared to paper money, banks with tellers, ATM’s and drive-up windows are coming to pass as inconvenient and slow. Currently digital transactions via credit, debit and digital technology are widely accepted. In the case of decentralized (defi) or peer-to-peer cryptos and blockchain platforms; banks, bank accounts, electronic/wired transfers are not needed. An evolved infrastructure of blockchain, crypto and NFT transactions would no longer require banking, an exchange or middle person nor even a brick-and-mortar physical infrastructure.
This new disruptive technology presents an interesting conversation of the inherent value of digital, cryptos, blockchain and NFT and their proposed scarcity and security. At this point, the case for this new technology centers around the efficiency, utility and functionality to store, process, and securitize exchange events. The parameters of privacy/transparency of an “exchange event” between two parties continue to evolve. Essentially this new money technology is “software.” The software is fast, low cost and can be used primarily according to its functions. As a ledger, an exchange platform and as a token of/for exchange, i.e., money. The ledger is used to maintain a transparent record, and for contracts, titles of ownership. And other innovations are being developed. The platform for exchange can be centralized or decentralized and even be closed (limited as in only for governmental or banking entities) or open for anybody to participate. And tokens are in two forms. The crypto coins, basically like a form of digital money. And the second form is applied innovations such as NFT’s (a simple way to think about NFT’s as tickets with the right of ownership and/or access to something like a movie, baseball game etc., which are essentially a contract. But with the further application of being smart. And smart meaning that it’s an execution of software that automatically does the execution of the contract). The main downside for crypto currencies and blockchain technology is that it is dependent upon energy resources, access to and the development of the technological infrastructure aspects which include electricity, internet, exchange platforms, wallets, security/confirmation, innovations, integration etc. And the adoption or generalized use throughout the planet’s population and economies (remember context). The current discussion and debate of the scarcity of the tokens and security of blockchains continues to evolve but seems to trend along with the notion that it’s just an electronic/digital form of “paper money” and thus can be hacked, monitored and manipulated via the amount produced, liquidity, circulation, velocity, popularity, etc.
Sovereignty versus Control:
The discussion and debate about the privacy and transparency is further underpinned by the notion of individual sovereignty versus corporate and/or government over lordship. Sovereignty is about one party’s ability to freely participate in this new technology (without permission or intervention or regulation from an outside third party). With sovereignty and self-determination carries the burden of sole responsibility and due diligence to engage in an exchange with another party. This type of exchange harkens back to the concept of a barter system but with the additional twist of digital/software exchange technology.
Historically and currently, there are control interests in the form of tax, monitoring, security, fee and regulatory aspects of an exchange event. An exchange occurs in the context of the geo-political and regulatory environment. This environment historically is based on royal and ordained authority and subsequently the taxation, regulation for the protection country and of its citizens. Underlying the control and authority doctrine is the presumption that the populace is unable to be sovereign and self-determined because they are an unworthy class, unable, uneducated, unrighteous etc. And/or perhaps it would be too dangerous to those currently in authority/control. The emerging “software” exchange technology brings into sharp focus the transparency or privacy issue because of its revelatory aspects. This is an issue for parties wishing to remain in control and to hide nefarious relationships. For others, transparent blockchain ledgers inherently provide full view so that tax, monitoring, security, fee, regulatory and relationships can be applied equally and without the ability for manipulation.
If manipulation occurs, the event would be difficult to cover up or be in full view on the blockchain ledger and give clue to the tax, fee, regulatory or administrative interests and their relationships. It is at this level where the difference and discussion of a centralized blockchain verses a decentralized blockchain (defi) or peer-to-peer blockchain exchange environment is where the geo/political/corporate ideological war is occurring. Both centralized and decentralized blockchain can be transparent, however they differ in terms of controlling authority. In a centralized environment, controlled by the central banks or centralized control of the blockchain and they have the ability change parameters and to limit a person’s ability to participate. Versus in the decentralized environment, the individual would be self-determined whether or not and to what extent they would engage and participate, i.e., be sovereign. (see: Vertiasum and Reggie Middleton).
In general, this new software money levels the playing field and presumes that both parties are solely responsible for their own due diligence. In application, everyone has the ability to engage in the crypto and blockchain environment presuming they can navigate and afford the game. Perhaps this is nothing new. Perhaps it’s the same old “pay to play” but in new clothing. However, there is the adoption of the technology problem. Perhaps in order to hot start this adoption will be in the form of “a digital universal basic income” via central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued in cooperation with their respective governments so that folks can become acquainted and accustomed to this new technology.
Presently the big player in this environment is Bitcoin mainly because it was the first mover and is most talked about. However, this emerging environment is potentially much larger with many more jockeying for notoriety and utilitarian purpose/use. Regardless each crypto/blockchain community has the task to ensure all parties operate within the bounds and parameters of their community ethos. Perhaps this digital environment provides the ability to ensure or validate integrity, honesty, fairness and thus re-establishes faith and belief of a righteous exchange between parties. In theory, transparency also reduces the ability of smaller sub groups within the community to manipulate the community at large. Changes to the community and its parameters can be by transparent participatory discussion about the merits of proposals in relation to the community’s functions/protocols, mission and values. An individual or a group within the community can try to make changes but are free to leave and participate in or start another crypto community. The community premise is basically operating on a known set rules that are written on the stone tablets of software. However, it is actually participatory; it is the actual use and adoption of this new money technology which will determine a new reality…but this is nothing new. Those that can afford the knowledge, skills, understanding and have the resources are the ones that get to play in any community. The digital or on-line social/community experiment/experience has been evolving from the early bulletin boards. There are innumerable forums and groups on all kinds of social and special interest digital platforms. The major difference between blockchain and social/interest groups are that the ledger protocols are canonized software versus the judgment of moderators and system administrators.
From a higher perspective we are seeing that the community experience is going multi-dimensional. Where in the past, depending on one’s geo/political region and class, you could only operate in the one currency and exchange embedded in that environment. The most recent offering is the “digital metaverse.” In the digital metaverse a person can buy a virtual reality set-up or perhaps a neuro-link and a NFT token/ticket in order to participate in the immersive digital metaverse. This digital space is not the first nor will be the last frontier of multi-dimensional experiments/experience. Throughout the ages, the spiritual adventurers, saints, shamans, meditators, sadhus, psychotic, hypnotized, psychonauts, poets, writers and lovers have touted alternative realities. This is likened to the shattering of a holographic crystal. Each shard of crystal is a fractal that can be seen from ever more facets but also contains and reflects a core reality. As we continue to push the bounds of consciousness; what is yet to be revealed within our view of an ever-expanding horizon? However, there is still the task at hand, “what the hell are we going to do here, now and in the next few years?”
Is Love the new money?
Let’s consider the question of “what if…love is the new money?” Let us examine the premise “love is the new money.”
Love is valuable, abundant and infinite (Is this not self-evident?). Love can be easily and freely exchanged. There are no or very little costs, it’s instant and has no limits of space, time or dimension and as such is infinite. What if love collapses or compresses space, time or dimension? Or does love expand space, time and dimensions? What happens if love does both?
What if sharing is the rediscovered economy that harkens back to survival and barter? And giving becomes the rediscovered form of wealth to ensure survival. That is, the ability to freely give or gift something of value as the new standard or measurement of wealth. That exchange is primarily a direct relationship that involves agreeing to a mutually determined value without a 3rd administrative party except to note it on a ledger of blockchain, or via karma and/or akashic record. Perhaps, value could be something that is mutually life enhancing for both parties. It could be a talent, skill, art, a song, an experience, a healing, helping another person, teaching or whatever? Remembering, economy is the study of human behavior concerning exchange. Exchange is economics, what if the exchange of love (e.g., compassion and benevolence) was in the form of “acknowledging and sharing” and not in the buying and selling of love under the concepts of scarcity, the abusive forms of sex, slavery or even perhaps the romantic concepts of marriage, etc.? What if, sharing was not only love, compassion, benevolence but also include talents, skills, spare resources, innovations etc. in a transparent or “open source” environment? What would happen if we operate this new economy at our local environment/ecology? I wonder if our relationships, neighborhoods and communities might thrive. I wonder if we shared at the global level; what would happen on geo-political level? What would happen at the ecological planetary level? What would happen for each soul? What if we recognized the unity of each other as simply another soul on our planet? It might not be easy, but could it be better than another alternative or what we have now?
So, let’s presume love is the new money. Love is valuable, it creates happiness, joy, health, well-being and wealth. Love is abundant and infinite. A person can simply create love with just a thought, a feeling, a song, a piece of art or a small act of kindness etc. At times, love seems to be in short supply, but does it have to be and who decides to produce more love? Love can be exchanged freely and in a twinkling of an eye. It can be exchanged across time, space and dimensions; although we may need to work on our consciousness and entanglement abilities (see consciousness and entanglement, coming soon).
Can love be stored? What is the benefit and cost of love stored? Perhaps a characteristic of love is that when it is freely and frequently shared; the velocity of love increases exponentially (velocity is the number of times a dollar is exchanged and results in increased return on investment (ROI) each time it is shared. If there are little or no costs nor barriers to exchange along with a rapid adoption rate (search “diffusion of innovation”), does the velocity of love go beyond exponential to quantum?
I wonder if love is the new money, sharing is the new economy, giving is the new wealth; AND using an efficient exchange technology of defi (decentralized) blockchain, cryptos and NFT’s, what happens? Are these the tools that help re-establish and validate our faith and belief that we can make righteous exchanges with integrity, transparency, compassion and benevolence for all on the planet? I wonder, what could we do at the various levels of participative economies, i.e., at the local, regional, society, cultural and planetary spheres?
It seems the key is for us to decide that love is the new money, sharing is the new economy and giving is the new wealth. Furthermore, with merely conscious intent and entanglement, can we quickly change, participate and create life enhancing reality on the planet?
Admittingly, I’m comparing apples with oranges. There is the distinction between the thing itself “money” and its “function” which are two different or separate things. For example, a vase is a thing in itself. Its function is another thing. The function of a vase is to hold flowers. However, a pencil holder can also hold flowers and thus have the same function as a vase. But a pencil holder is a different thing than a vase.
In mathematical terms the logic follows: if A = B = C, then A = C.
In this essay, A = Money is spiritual. There is a function of how money works (spiritual), but the money itself (a thing) conforms to empirical principles which means it can be measured repeatedly in the same way, i.e., money can be counted by specific increments/denomination of bills.
If B = Spirituality and C = Love. Love and Money are both spiritual. So, A = C.
However, if we look at function properties of money or love, then A ≠ C for the following reasons.
Money is a thing in itself. It can be measured in specific increments which is accepted by all people across the board. Ten U.S. dollars can be exchanged at a set rate for another fiat currency such as the Yen or Euro.
Love, on the other hand, is not measured in exact increments but in terms of a qualitative exchange between parties. It is a relationship, involving an exchange that has qualitative aspect (for example, both parties are “happy”) and thus spiritual in nature (Rabbi Daniel Lapin). Furthermore, for example a love letter or thoughtful note sent via snail mail, by text or voice mail transcends space and time.
Bottom line, you can’t go to the grocery store and pay for your eggs and flour, shampoo or toothbrushes with Love.
However, if we are talking about love in terms of social currency in the terms of “economy,” to mean “specifically a system of interaction and exchange of goodwill and benevolence.” Is this not similar to the “in God we Trust” and “in the full faith and credit of the state of US beings on the planet (not the federal reserve note, i.e., US dollar)?
Religions have advocated love as the way we should interact with our fellow human beings. However, in various community experiments and history, the community’s love distribution system failed. Probably because someone who didn’t feel like they received their due, i.e., they didn’t feel loved or cared for or that someone wanted more than their fair share, i.e., greed.
Gary Chapman notes in the 5 Languages of Love, different people feel loved in different ways. For some, service (doing things for a person) is their way of showing love. For others, giving words of affirmation (honey, you did a great job or I love you), gifts (presents not just at Christmas time), or time (spending time with a person and listening and sharing an experience with them) is showing love. And then there is the physical love.
“Love is the new money” does blur the lines between the love (that is ethereal and basically spiritual in nature and its function which can’t be easily measured). And money that can also be viewed as spiritual in nature but has the physical characteristics that can be measured, accounted in set increments just like silver and gold coins. So, I am comparing apples to oranges.
Love and Defi:
However, we now have the technology of de-centralized blockchains and cryptos that are seemingly both rather ethereal (digital software) and in some measure can transcend space and time. And can function as an exchange relationship/capacity and like money can be measured and accounted in set increments. Thus, I wonder, what would happen if we had a “Love Blockchain with Love Tokens and Love NFT’s.” What if integrity, benevolence and compassion for the planet and its beings was the ethos (prime directive)? Perhaps decentralized transparent blockchain/smart contracts/artificial intelligence (AI) hosted, processed and was the repository. Perhaps it could be a library of innovative technology and the processor of mundane interactions/exchange(s). These innovations could a bridge and manner of exchange (relationship) between parties who are in different space, time and other dimensions. Side note: AI is an efficient technology that uses algorithms to process large amounts of information and make decisions according to its software. However AI is not able to process integrity, creativity, gracefulness, ethics, common sense nor emotions such as love, fear, etc. Nor will AI be able to ponder the existential meaning of life and determine meaningful purpose or existence. The central question and discussion of AI; do we use AI as a technology for control or liberation?
NFT’s could be useful and efficient to do several things. First, they could certify the validity of both the source, fair exchange and tracking of resources such as innovative ideas, seeds, food, coffee, minerals, etc. so that each creator/farmer/producer, processer, transporter and merchant could receive fair/appropriate compensation, i.e., be happy and confident of and in the processes of exchange.
Secondly, at each stage of exchange could be a “tithe” at 1% via an NFT (tithe is more appropriate because it is considered voluntary verses taxed that is often considered nonvoluntary). The buyer at each stage could indicate their choice of what this tithe would be earmarked for via their selected NFT. The buyer would simply scan/Q code their desired NFT; which would immediately send, track and be both a support and acknowledgement via the NFT tithe to their choice of a benevolent project for the planet and its beings.
Third, it would be an immediate record of the buyer’s tithe. And if desired, the buyer could also pay/contribute/donate more money than the 1% tithe. Perhaps the tithe that is more than 1% could be to off-set their 10% annual planetary tithe. Maybe 0.5% of their annual 10% tithe would be for the “general government” tithe fund to support federal and regional programs. This type of tithe/support structure could be more equitable for both individuals and corporations while also incentivizing benevolent and efficient innovations.
And finally, an NFT type of platform could also act as a meritorious planetary acknowledgment system (e.g., social credit) that would encourage competitive innovation that values enhancement of diverse life for all on the planet. Thus, a publicly acknowledge innovative solutions that pragmatically address challenges of the planet and its citizens. This functionality of NFTs would be directly acknowledging and supported by the populous via an individuals’ sovereign ability to choose via tithe’s NFTs. The NFT tithe infrastructure would have minimal administrative costs and be more directly applied. It would also be easy for those projects to establish a direct relationship to thank, provide updates and solicit continued engagement with their supporters/benefactors.
This type of tithing would eliminate the need for the IRS and a host of administrative intermediaries (and perhaps sometime in the future, even political representatives) thereby increasing exchange efficiency. This type of NFT tithing would directly support innovative and benevolent projects. And would be more representative than the legislative pork barrel funding (taxing) we currently have; especially related to the military industrial complex (MIC). Perhaps the MIC would see the need, benefit and wisdom to turn their swords into plowshares.
This type of social involvement has several benefits as noted above. But underpinning this structure, acknowledges that it is society and its individuals that command a greater social/planetary intelligence than the current representative, bureaucratic and bourgeois corporatism of our current political structure. Thus, restoring faith, belief and confidence in humanity at large. Conceptually, I believe that this can be done. However, I have no idea about the innovative technology nor civil administrative realms and will leave this up to the younger generations and individuals such as Vitalic Buterin. The youth with their hearts and minds are the ones that we must inspire and support; for they are our future.
Endnote: Realizing that this discussion harkens to the ideas of utopia and Pollyanna dreams. There have been the utopian ideas, communities and social experiments. Some of these communities and experiments have failed horrifically such as in the cases of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple and David Koresh and the Branch Davidians and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh just to note a few. However, other chaotic experiments such as Woodstock, Rainbow Gatherings and the Kumbh Mela offer seeds of hope that folks can come together with twinkling possibilities. These are more than mere musings of “what if?” It is with conscious intention of planting seeds to challenge our spirit, imagination and future heritage. I believe that we are ready to germinate something new. Perhaps we are moving from a few mystics wondering around in the garden. To recognizing that we are all mystic gardeners growing and co-creating with mother earth to bring forth an abundant heaven on earth.
If gold is the money of kings,
silver is the money of merchants,
fiat is the money of pheasants,
debt is the money of slaves,
Surely, love is the money of souls.
Peace, love and light!
Vertiasum and Reggie Middleton