It was the spontaneous emergence of money (Gold and its surrogate, silver) into the marketplace circa 1500 BC in Egypt that allowed for the emergence of a free market in goods and services. People were no longer dependent upon handouts from the Pharaonic state.
They could produce a surplus and trade it with others, knowing that what they received in exchange would store a stable value over time. This was not just a feature of gold that elevated it above barter or indirect barter (media of exchange); it was what made it money.
From this money-fuelled free market emerged the concept of individuality. This is the small, but vital, one-step back from Jayant Bhandari’s “recognition of the sanctity of the individual”, and the vital one-step forward for the evolvement of human society.
Intellectual advances (as opposed to technological advances) are not caused by conceptualisations being given practical application; that reverses cause and effect. First is the practical application and then comes the attempt to intellectually understand the result. It was money’s emergence into the marketplace with the resultant instantaneous and dramatic increase in the efficiency and preciseness of trade that brought to light the fact that individuals had unique needs and wants.
The emergence of money created the growing awareness that people did not have to remain serfs, living on handouts from the state. It gave the world the nascent understanding that people had their own desires, hopes and dreams.
It was money that propelled humanity out of the Stone Age and into the beginnings of the modern world.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, the refusal by governments to allow money to circulate is forcing the world away from the concept of individuality and back toward the collective as represented by its original constituent tribal parts.
Hostility between different peoples is the upshot.
The enforcement, via immigration, of a mingling of tribes, while simultaneously destroying cohesion by banning the circulation of money will end in a bloodbath.