Money operates today without a known quantity to define and stabilize its value. Compare it to the length of a yard or a meter. Everyone can know with certainty the length of an object because we have yardsticks and meter sticks. We call them “rulers” because they settle any dispute about length wisely, efficiently, and amicably. The situation is the opposite with money. No one knows the value of any money in the world. We all guess. We would never dare fly in a plane whose instruments did not accurately show altitude and speed. Yet we live in a world with the most important instrument of self-government undefined, namely, money.
You can experience the consequences of undefined money with the board game, Cooperation: The Wealth of Nations Game. It is a simulation that allows you to play by rules for four different kinds of economies; Barter: the beginners’ game, Majority Rule: the socialist game, Making Money: the capitalist game, and Autonomy, the expert tournament game. Autonomy combines the best of the other three types and shows how an economy with money denominated in hours of work can produce an economy better than any we have known up to now, one that makes a good life possible for everyone everywhere. You can play Cooperation on your computer by downloading it free, that’s right at no cost, from this site. Click here. Cooperation Version 3.2.4. The file is 3.5MB zipped. The game contains tutorials on how to play. You can also download instructions for Barter, the beginners’ game by clicking here. Barter Instructions. The file is 1.2MB zipped. Download instructions for Majority Rule, Making Money, and Autonomy here: Majority Rule, Making Money, and Autonomy instructions (18KB). Download a Word document explaining the Economics of Cooperation: The Wealth of Nations Game here. The Economics of Cooperation (25KB zipped).