The emergence of Gold from the temples of Egypt, c.1500BC, marked the beginning of the first Golden Age.
Not only was the marketplace introduced to a precise measure of value, but, and more importantly, it gained a secure storage for that value. Where is the incentive to create surplus value if there is no means to store that value? Why would anyone bother?
‘Making money’ would verge on pointless were that money not able to stably hold its value into the future. This is money’s primary function. Many, many things can be used as a medium of exchange, and have been (salt, cows, goats, paper etc.); only money can stably hold value over time. This is the function of money that allows the accumulation of capital necessary for investment and economic growth.
The emergence of Gold was the beginning of widespread prosperity and marked humanity’s entry into the modern era. The use of Gold for capital accumulation spread quickly. Not only the Phoenicians, but the whole eastern edge of the Mediterranean came alive with commercial activity, and trade.
Along with the accumulated capital from the increase in wealth creation came leisure. From that stemmed literature, music, poetry, theatre, art, etc. From these activities arose the need for a more nuanced and extensive language. New concepts always lead to an expanded and more vigorous language. What is a word but the encapsulation of a concept?
All these giant leaps are derivatives of Gold.
But there was an even grander elevation of the human condition. From that accumulated capital, came lending and borrowing and the need for honesty. No one would lend money to a person who was known to be dishonest.
The concept of reliability and trust, already in existence in a rudimentary form from such shared experiences as the hunt, became magnified a thousand-fold. To be known as a man of honest dealings introduced the concepts of honour and integrity.
These were just some of the ripple out effect from the introduction of Gold.
Today, there is no need to describe the inevitable results of the withdrawal of Gold’s blessings. They can be seen wherever the gaze falls. Not only is capital being destroyed, but language and culture are degrading fast.