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Speculative Element of Currency


   Instruments are neutral; man's choice gives the instruments their ethical character. All social institutions are social instruments and are governed by this rule. Currency is one such pre-eminent social institution.

   The more powerful an instrument, the greater is its capacity to be misused. When we see a social instrument vastly misused, we can understand it is a great instrument, and man by his choice can render it a great positive instrument. Presently currency is one such.

   Institutions grow by coming into contact with higher planes. They grow, thus, in their usefulness and complexity. The highest of planes is the human mental resourcefulness. Money started as a medium of exchange, became a preserver of excess individual energy as well as excess social energy, thus acquiring the capacity to overcome Time, acted as a transmitter of acquired capacities from generation to generation, served as a vehicle of creating private property that gave the people a sense of physical security even as the nomad when settled down in a place developed sentimental attachment to his village, was at the basis of creating the institution of market, enabled local chieftains to expand their territories into wider kingdoms, acted as a catalyst to create arithmetic and today it is an unconscious instrument to globalise trade through computers. In this journey money enabled man to cheat another, become lazy, exploit the weak, pass falsehood and dishonesty to posterity, organise man's selfishness, develop fear of adventure, expand cheating beyond his own home village, help bandits to rob in a greater measure, and speculate in the widest possible way to man's utter ruin that destroys the very system of monetary exchange.

   In all social institutions we see similar characteristics of both positive and negative nature. Society first develops its instruments as institutions. It serves a positive role. Man's resourcefulness gives the institutions a negative character that quickly spreads in the society. When the negative nature begins to hurt the very system and through it the society, the collective self-awareness starts curbing the negative traits of the institution. It passes through the grades of physical, vital, mental, spiritual levels.
A time comes in the maturity of the society when it is capable of curbing the negative effects of an institution by its values, i.e. by its spiritual capacities. Then that institution sheds that particular negative character. Shaw said flogging could not be abolished as long as persons are available for a few shillings to flog. Farms in some parts of India refrain from cash crops because of widespread prevalence of theft. Theft of farm produce is unknown in USA. As the society matures in its cultural values, its institutions shed their negative character.

   Speculation that imparts instability to currency is somewhat curbed by regulations in the West. By extending the same measure of regulations to the Asian countries, future crises can be avoided, at least to the extent the West has escaped it. There is further scope to tighten the regulations even in the West. Government legislation is the vital control. Individual's right choice is the psychological control. That way we can work from both ends.

   In the measure currencies shed their capacity to speculate, the society develops sustainable abundance. If community currencies that are in existence, say to 2% can play a role, curbing the speculation can raise that role to 5% which means 25 times as great as the former.

story | by Dr. Radut