Going cashless. An ancient idea?

in #money5 years ago (edited)

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Some states are gradually going cashless so they can reduce the incentive to commit crime or as a means of tackling bribery. It seems to me, that the idea of going cashless is not that entirely young..
"Not contented with this, he resolved to make a division of their movables too, that there might be no odious distinction or inequality left amongst them; but finding that it would be very dangerous to go about it openly, he took another course, and defeated their avarice by the following stratagem: he commanded that all gold and silver coin should be called in, and that only a sort of money made of iron should be current, a great weight and quantity of which was but very little worth; so that to lay up twenty or thirty pounds there was required a pretty large closet, and, to remove it, nothing less than a yoke of oxen. With the diffusion of this money, at once a number of vices were banished from Lacedaemon; for who would rob another of such a coin? Who would unjustly detain or take by force, or accept as a bribe, a thing which it was not easy to hide, nor a credit to have, nor indeed of any use to cut in pieces?"
The above mentioned citation is from Plutarch's Lives (1859) by Plutarch (edited by John Dryden and Arthur Hugh Clough).

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Really nice article and I hope you have more like this. I have often thought that if you think you have an original idea it is because you haven't looked back far enough to see who actually came up with it first. Bartering was another form of cashless society that people give a lot less credit for than it deserves, because it values all commodities equally (at least according to individual's needs and not an arbitrary or controlled price/index).

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