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Barter and the origins of money

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Via Chris Bertram, this post from David Graeber is one of the best blog posts I’ve read in quite a while, and invokes a strong desire to read his book. There are many possible choice quotes here, but I’m partial to Russell Arben Fox‘s selection:

what economists are basically doing in telling the myth of barter, is taking a kind of behavior that is only really possible after the invention of money and markets and then projecting it backwards as the purported reason for the invention of money and markets themselves. Logically, this makes about as much sense as saying that the game of chess was invented to allow people to fulfill a pre-existing desire to checkmate their opponent’s king.

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