Reader RT asked some very interesting follow-up questions on my Telegram channel to my latest Didactic Mind podcast, related to the issues of what money is, what it does, and why inflation is so evil. The follow-up questions have to do with how money came to be, what it is today, and a set of ancillary questions about political economy and the possiblities of European energy independence:
Weren't money established as a means to pay taxes, among other things? I guess it would be historically defendable and one way of centralizing power in the hands of state was to remove the right to coinage of local lords, at least here in Europe. It also raises the interesting question if cryptocurrency is money.
There is a political dimension to economy and I can understand Europe's desire to be independent from Russian energy supplies as much as possible (although why to be dependent on the US?). Autarky is hardly achievable goal but still… That leads to the question what domestic resources Europe has (.e. coal) and if or to what extent they could replace Russian or American gas? From this point of view even the so called green energy has a merit if it is managable. This question arises due to the fact Europe was a rich continent even before importing Russian gas and there is no guaranty that in 2 generations Russian government will still be as reasonable as it is today.
This is a wide-ranging series of questions encompassing a very large number of different questions and ideas, so the resulting podcast is quite a bit longer than my usual Domain Query responses. Essentially, my views are:
Money evolved originally as a way of smoothing out transactions, rather than as a way to pay taxes - and indeed taxation in the ancient world depended largely on products and labour, rather than hard currency;
While it is true that governments around the world try to centralise the production of money as a way of preserving their own power, it is still possible to find examples of private entities that can issue their own money;
European energy independence from Russia is indeed possible, but that would require having the political will and means to extract Europe's own, quite bountiful, energy resources, which I do not see as likely at all these days;
The European dependence on Russian energy that we see today, did not happen by accident, nor by malicious design, but rather because of very rational incentives created by European labour markets and political developments;
Green energy is by no means an effective or useful replacement for fossil fuels - these methods are much less efficient, productive, and useful, and are actually themselves quite dirty in their own ways;
There is simply no way to replace fossil fuels with so-called "green" energy on any reasonable scale, without using nuclear power, which comes with its own issues and problems;
The entire "green energy" agenda is based on a lie about so-called "man-made global warming", where the people telling the lies have cause and effect completely backwards;
Here's the podcast. As noted at the beginning, be sure to join my Telegram channel if you have not already done so, as the questions you see above are an example of the kinds of intelligent discussion that you will find in that channel. (Along with the inevitable parade of tactical minutiae, pawsitivity, hot girls, and general shitposting - it is a channel by men, for men, after all.)
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