Money & Debt: Crash Course World History 202
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Money & Debt: Crash Course World History 202

August 29, 2019

Hi, I’m John Green. This is Crash Course World
History and today we’re going to make it rain. We’re going to talk about money, the stuff
that makes the world go ’round. I’m not very good at making it rain. MFTP: Mr. Green! Mr. Green. I’m sorry, but
money doesn’t make the world go round. It’s actually conservation of angular momentum.
It’s the same thing that allows, like, figure skaters to turn in circles. John: Look, me from the past. I know you came
in fourth for physics, among all “C” students in the entire state of Alabama in the 1994
state academic decathlon tournament, but that doesn’t actually make you good at science. [Intro] So, here is what economic textbooks say about
money. In general it has three functions: medium of exchange, unit of account, and store
of value. And its first function is by far the most important. Like, this is a quote from my actual, physical
high school econ text book: “In primitive economies, food might be traded for clothing,
or help in building a house might be exchanged for help in clearing a field. But exchange
today in all economies — market as well as command — takes place through the medium
of money.” A couple things about that quote, first off,
primitive is a cringe-y word. Secondly, a market economy is basically all economies
these days, and a command economy is what we called the Soviet Union’s economy back
in the eighties. Anyway, money is very important to history–like,
our old friend Adam Smith thought that, quote: “property money and markets not only existed
before political institutions, but were the very foundation of human society.” Ehh, he
was pretty into economies, so he was probably a little biased toward money, but it is important. Smith also thought that before there was money,
there was barter, but barter could be cumbersome; like if I make cheese and you make shoes,
and you’re lactose intolerant, then barter breaks down because I need shoes, but you
don’t need cheese. Then I have to live like a hobbit and get this very powerful ring,
it’s like, really stressful, I end up having to go to Mordor, it’s just very complicated. So, Smith’s ideas that rather than adapt to
shoelessness, humans created a commodity that they would agree upon ahead of time could
be used in exchange, and that commodity is money. Yes, these are all ones. Stan, I forgot to mention this, but you are
buying lunch today. Now, we generally think of money as like coins,
or later, bills, but the material of money is arbitrary. Smith wrote: “In all countries,
however, men seem at last to have been determined by irresistible reasons to give the preference,
for this employment, to metals above all other commodity.” A sentence that shows you why
we didn’t teach him in Crash Course Literature. But of course, it’s really inconvenient to
like, weigh and measure metals every time you wanna buy or sell something, so people
hit upon the idea of making coins with a standard size and weight. Now, Smith is probably right
that coins are much more convenient than bartering, right? Like, especially if the main store
of value in your community is something like cattle. I mean, let’s say you still need a
pair of shoes, well, they aren’t worth an entire cow; trading in partial cows… fairly
messy. It’s also very bad for the cow’s health, and the cow loses a lot of its value, because,
you know, it’s no longer living. So that all makes sense, but it’s problematic
when Smith universalizes that observation by claiming that as a matter of convenience,
every prudent man in every period of society must naturally have endeavored to create money. Smith — man of the enlightenment that he
was — is positing that the creation of money is part of human nature. Like, in the second
chapter of Wealth of Nations, Smith explicitly says that the division of labour is the, quote:
“consequence of a certain propensity in human nature … to truck, barter, and exchange
one thing for another.” But yet, no! Like, what made sense for eighteenth
century city and town dwellers like Adam Smith doesn’t necessarily apply to like, all human
beings over the course of many millennia. And if you don’t believe me, you can just
ask anthropologists. They love to talk about this stuff. So, here’s the fascinating thing to me: when
you look at places where the social order is not based on money, we find that people
actually don’t barter at all. So David Graeber’s book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” surveys
the literature of anthropology and discovers that in societies without money, people don’t
actually barter, but they do find ways to exchange. He quotes an anthropologist named
Caroline Humphrey, who concluded: “No example of a barter economy, pure and simple, has
ever been described, let alone the emergence from it of money; all available ethnography
suggests that there has never been such a thing.” Now, that’s not to say that barter doesn’t
exist or that it never has, I mean, I just traded Stan two copies of my book Paper Towns
for the candy left in this pinata. Big money, no whammies. Two things of Sweet Tarts?! Stan!
That’s not fair. Alright, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. So, according to Graeber, barter was reserved
for trade between strangers, even enemies. For most of human history, humans lived in
small communities, and in those small communities, most exchange took place using forms of credit.
Basically, when people know each other well, they’re willing to trade with the future expectation
that what one gives today will be repaid at some future date with something of roughly
equivalent value. So in small, localized communities, everyone is in debt to everyone else, and
there’s no real need of physical money, like coins, as a way of keeping a count, because,
you know, you remember when someone owes you forty barrels of beer, or whatever. We see this historically in the early civilizations
of the Fertile Crescent, where the basic monetary unit was the shekel, and one shekel’s weight
in silver was the equivalent of a bushel of barley. Money in Ancient Sumer was actually
created by bureaucrats in order to keep track of resources and move things back and forth
between departments. But that doesn’t mean that silver actually circulated freely. Graeber
writes: “While debts were calculated in silver, they didn’t have to be paid in silver.” So while some people seem to think that money
is naturally backed by precious metals, usually gold or silver, that doesn’t seem to have
been the case. It was enough to establish that something was worth a shekel or a fraction
thereof, and then trade for something of equivalent value — meat, or whatever else, without actually
having to have the shekels change hands. And this was especially helpful in economies
where taxes and payments to workers were both in grain, rather than money. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So, first, Graeber
blows our minds by telling us that Adam Smith was all wrong about money evolving from barter
societies, but what about credit as the precursor to money? I mean, it’s basically saying that credit
cards aren’t an advancement so much as they’re a return to the glorious past, except instead
of trust, there are like, large, faceless corporations with the power to sue you. So the essence of credit is debt, and at least
according to Graeber, that’s the glue that holds social orders together, at least, if
you consider debt at its heart, to be about obligation. At least one of the things that
binds us together as a community is the recognition that we owe our neighbors something and that
they owe something to us in return. It’s like keeping your lawn mowed so that you can keep
your neighbor’s property value high. It doesn’t make sense to have a lawn — they’re expensive
and time consuming, and you can’t eat grass. But you take care of your lawn for the same
reason your neighbors take care of theirs. Out of the sense of mutual obligation. But money changes our understanding of those
obligations, right? Because once we’re able to put a price on our obligations, we can
make them transferable, which wouldn’t be possible without money. Like, for instance,
it allows you to hire someone to mow your lawn for you, but Graeber argues that money,
especially in the form of coinage, also may chattel slavery, possibly. So in West African social orders before the
arrival of Europeans, money was used, but only for weddings, funerals, and other activities
that like, cemented human relationships. And the money largely had symbolic value. But
when Europeans arrived, they introduced monetized trade into the system, and in the process,
transformed that system. Money was no longer about transferring value to solidify relationships
between individuals and families; it was about quantifying debt and also making it transferable. So, Graeber’s theory links money as we know
it to slavery and war, like, coins began to be used in India, China, and the soon to be
Persian province of Lydia, almost simultaneously, all around 600 BCE. And in Graeber’s view,
this happened because this was a period of time that saw a shift from earlier forms of
honor-based warfare, like, what is described in the Iliad, to a new, more state-based warfare. Armies started fighting over things like territory
and resources, rather than, like, kidnapped wives. So in a– oh, it’s time for the open
letter! But first, let’s see what’s inside my globe
today. Oh, look, it’s a molten core of nickel and iron! Can–can you turn into coins? Oh!
Stan! Look how rich I am! Virtually. Thought Bubble’s clearly much better at making
it rain than I am. An open letter to honou-based warfare. Dear Honor-Based Warfare, um, I guess now
is the time in the video that I have to tell you that I don’t entirely agree with Mr. Graeber.
Like, with the Iliad we were telling ourselves a story about why we went to war, right? We
went to war not for resources, but for glory. Honor. Now, I don’t want to sound cynical
and disbelieving, but we still tell ourselves those stories. These days, the President rarely
goes on TV and says, “You know why we’re going to go to war? We need resources.” No, we still
say it’s about honor and ideas and standing up for the defenseless, and et cetera, which
is all about as historically convincing as the Iliad. In short, honor-based warfare,
I’m not entirely convinced that you, you know, exist. Best wishes, John Green. Anyway, so in all three of these governments
in India, China, and Lydia, they were pretty small scale, especially compared to the empires
that would soon come, but they built their power on professional armies that needed to
be paid, and coins were a great way to pay them. It just works much better than like,
trying to split up the plunder among everybody. The plundering method of payment is just like
a garage sale. The people who get there early get all the good plunder, and then the rest
of the people, they’re just left dividing up, you know, old clothes. Also, in Graeber’s view, states began to encourage
the use of coins because of the uncertainty of war — like, violence creates uncertainty
for merchants, and decreases the likelihood that they will accept payment in the form
of some kind of trust-based credit arrangement. And soldiers aren’t known for accepting credit
as payment, either, because, you know, soldiers are keenly aware that they might die soon.
So, according to Graeber, this combination of war and state-building led to the rise
of coinage. And then in order to keep paying soldiers, rulers, like, say, Alexander the
Great, needed to continue their conquests. So you need an army in order to have an empire,
and your army only likes to be paid in coins. Now, you can seize some sweet, sweet metal
plunder and then melt it down and make coins, but with an empire-sized army, that’s not
gonna cut it. You need more silver. Where are you gonna get new silver? Mining. Nope,
Stan, not miming, I said “mining”, don’t ever put mimes in Crash Course again. So now you need a steady supply of miners;
fortunately, you’ve conquered a bunch of people, so you have lots of prisoners of war, and
now you have slavery. This military-coinage slavery complex was
described explicitly in the Arthashastra, a political guidebook written by Minister
Kautilya for the Mauryan dynasty, that made it clear that coins and markets sprung up,
above all, to feed the machinery of war. He wrote: “The treasury is based upon mining,
the army upon the treasury; he who has the army and the treasury may conquer the earth.” And Graeber says that China followed a similar
pattern: he writes, “The same fractured political landscape, the same rise of trained, professional
armies, and the creation of coined money largely in order to pay them.” So, if money is a creation
of the state and its military, then it follows that when the state fails, as it did in Europe
after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, coinage largely disappears. And that’s exactly
what happened, actually, but of course, that doesn’t mean that transactions failed to take
place or that trade completely disappears, but it did decline a lot. And in situations
like that, people often revert to the virtual credit systems that we talked about earlier:
the ones that rely more on personal connections than on like, state enforcement. So Adam Smith’s origin myth of money — that
it derives from people’s natural desire to make barter more convenient through the creation
of a medium of exchange — really doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. I mean, there are clearly
examples of an alternate history where production and exchange work okay without actual coins
or bills changing hands. It’s kind of like today, actually — money works as long as
there is some form of trust and a way to make people meet their obligations. People used
to feel obligated because failure to meet their obligations would hurt their standing
in their small, localized communities, and now we meet our obligations because otherwise,
like, people take our houses or whatever. But while we have evidence that money, as
we conceive of it today, isn’t necessary for exchange, it IS necessary, or, at least, very
useful, for states, and I think states are probably good. Oh, maybe not, I’m not positive. I just like
the internet so much; I don’t think we would have the internet without states. So I wanna be clear that I don’t entirely
buy Graeber’s version of history. I might be wrong, of course, but I’m not convinced
that coins necessarily lead to slavery. And I don’t think that ancient slavery is really
comparable to the chattel slavery that we saw in the Americas. But I do think that it’s
important to look at alternative points of view when it comes to history, even when you
don’t agree with them. It’s helpful to understand that there’s more than one well-argued point
of view in the world. And I do think Graeber very effectively challenges the idea that
human beings are like natural, rational, economic actors who wouldn’t be possible without money.
And in the face of overwhelming anthropological evidence, at least this much is true: money
is not the product of human nature; it’s the product of human actions, like the formation
of governments and markets. In short, and I know this will disappoint
some of the economics majors out there: ultimately, I think my mom was right. We aren’t made of
money. Thanks for watching, I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is made with the help of all
of these nice people. I didn’t want to do the credits without my globe. And it exists
because of your support through Subbable is a voluntary subscription service
that allows you to support Crash Course directly. We want to thank all of our Subbable subscribers;
thanks to everyone for watching. As we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.


  • Reply Mo Kiani May 12, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    It seems to me very silly to say that money is a product of human action as opposed to human nature, as if the two are mutually exclusive.

  • Reply J-MAC PRODUCTIONZ May 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    This is like blue’s clues but with history 😂 its great

  • Reply Lemuel Ogabang May 17, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Evil is the root of all money.

  • Reply Defs Feelblessed May 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Cripto much?

  • Reply Brian The Fanboy May 31, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Especially if you are wait for it. The Mongols.

  • Reply Giovanni Victoriano May 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    lol XD lmao

  • Reply Jessica Lee June 2, 2018 at 12:56 am

    The "credit systems" are described a little too formally. It wasn't necessarily that you would make shoes and someone would promise to later give you one pair-of-shoes worth of cheese – rather that you would make shoes whenever people needed them, and people would bring you cheese whenever you needed it, and as long as that was relatively fair and even, nobody would complain. It was the members of communities helping to provide for each other's needs as those needs arose, with whatever specialized skills or production they had. Otherwise, each person would need to have each skill, to make every type of item, and that's just a waste of effort for a species that already gets direct mental and physical health benefits from positive interactions with each other.

  • Reply Zak Silva-Sampaio June 2, 2018 at 6:29 am

    this is still my favourite single episode from these guys.

  • Reply Poppy Cokkk June 9, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Thanks john

  • Reply Meaney2415 June 14, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    THE CHEESE!!! to die for.

  • Reply Serene Doge July 7, 2018 at 5:23 am

    “Khajiit has wares, if you have coin.”

  • Reply Christopher Bales July 10, 2018 at 5:23 am

    After watching this i kinda feel like the point is moot…. money is a placeholder for debt. (and an easy placeholder at that.) Debt has always existed, and thus "money" has been an easy explanation for owing someone something. I.E. the barter system.

  • Reply Brian Hutzell July 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    “It’s helpful to understand that there is more than one well-argued point of view in the world.” – John Green
    In college, my favorite classes were those in which intelligent people with differing points of view all contributed to the discussion. Those classes sometimes made my head spin, but I much prefer that to the alternative of being force-fed ideas with which I am not allowed to disagree.

  • Reply Luis Aldamiz July 22, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    But you see what seems pretty clearly to be MONEY (not coins yet) in the form of gold already in the Late Chalcolithic, when for example the Bell Beaker phenomenon (or macro-culture or trade network or religious sect of cider-drinking archers or whatever) spread through half of Europe: they typically carried with them golden spirals perfectly appropriate to be cut in bits with their typical triangular knives made of copper. This is just an example, I'm sure that money in form of less standardized valuable stuff (gold, silver, copper, salt, grain, cattle, furs, etc., but mostly gold and silver) was used 2000 before the Lydians: it was used for trade, it was used probably to pay for services, armies and even slaves, much as the Vikings (Varangians) later on would use furs (among other items) for trade in Russia in a very standardized manner.

    Coinage is a further development but money, i.e. standardized items that are exchanged in certain areas, be them furs, gold or cattle, existed at earlier times for sure and was not established in most cases by the state but by looser networks of more individualist agents, "Viking-style". It's surely incorrect to address the development of money ignoring this.

    Also I strongly doubt Africa (all Africa?, that's a huge claim!) did not use money of one type or another (for example cawry shells). In fact gold dust was actively used in private interactions in Mali (gold nuggets were all for the Mansa but private actors retained the gold dust).

  • Reply Connor Stinnett August 1, 2018 at 3:38 am

    Hank seems to age backwards😂

  • Reply IFCGaming August 5, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Im sure somewhere in this video there's room for an Adam Smith qoute or two.

  • Reply Dragonfly August 7, 2018 at 6:03 am

    I will make all the money I can

  • Reply TheMindSpeaks August 7, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    I like Jhon's 'me from the past'

  • Reply Fergal Downes August 25, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Heya buddy, good stream that you have here. Will check back again soon.

  • Reply Famicom Nintendo September 2, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    The sun from Mario Bros 3 lol

  • Reply Famicom Nintendo September 2, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    You create coins, make them legal tender than use them to pay your army. Then you also accept those same coins! as an acceptable form of payment of taxes. So the king can get back some of it's coins to pay it's soldiers.

  • Reply Bryan Lim September 9, 2018 at 6:48 am

    John, there can't be molten cores in the centre of the Earth, considering that the Earth is flat!


  • Reply Peter Bard September 10, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    These videos are great but what happened to the other guy

  • Reply DaveyB September 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    If money is composed of a scarce resource (whilst susceptible to fluctuations) it has inherent value. The gold in ancient coins is inherently valuable, different to the face value for the convenience of the economy and trade, but still worth something if you melt it down. If a state is sufficiently secure it can then tie representations of value to these resources. Where it breaks down is somewhere like Venezuela. The Petro cryptocurrency has value only if stakeholders have confidence in the currency to represent barrels of oil. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan people there is no confidence the government can honour the promise, and unlike gold, physically trading actual barrels of oil for goods isn't feasible for obvious reasons.

    It might seem primitive but a gold (or rhodium, platinum, diamond etc) standard is essential for societies that begin to doubt the ability of the state to come through on their promise. It's a house of cards, but the banks being too big to fail, I'm guessing they have this angle figured out because we're all screwed if they do. I think that's what makes the early modern period and beyond (Florentine and Venetian bankers onwards) very different to the more ancient periods.

  • Reply Gamingmeows32 September 25, 2018 at 3:03 am

    actually watching this while taking notes for income tax class, how coincidental!

  • Reply jimrayner100 September 26, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    What I don´t like is that he is so hard with scientists from centuries ago. He can now apply all the knowledge that we gained until now. I mean their viewpoints are heavily influenced by the times their lived in and to hold that against them is a bit silly

  • Reply Bill Peschel September 29, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Basing your lecture on David Graeber's "Debt" is a terrible idea, judging from the reviews on Amazon that point out its flaws in reasoning and history. For example, at 7:50, you're discussing his theory that before 700 BCE the world had "honor based" warfare — whatever that is — and then afterwards large nations which required money to pay its soldiers. This will come as a big surprise to the Egyptians who were field armies of 20,000+ men seven centuries before Graeber's timeline. And armies have always fought over resources and wealth.

    So, despite your disbelief in "honor based warfare," you still teach the rest of Graeber's thesis as if it is right? Why

    Another thing to consider: barter systems only work on a very small scale. Dunbar's number holds that a community of 150 is the maximum limit for a barter-based society, because that's about all the human mind can keep track of. More than that, and what do you use? Debt, in the form of metal-based coinage. Hammurabi’s Laws specifically identify the number of minas and shekels charged for various offenses. Shekels were a unit of weight, so if you had to pay a fine for, say, hitting a free man (one-third of a mina), you paid in metal which was weighed. Which is the same as a coin, only without the bother of stamping and minting one, right?

    Oh, God, so you're not buying Graeber's thesis, either, so why are we here listening to you blather on about it? Why didn't you warn us that you're not teaching what is commonly accepted history, but an "alternative history" that logically doesn't work?

    What a shame.

  • Reply Zlatan Ibrahimovic October 7, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    money is a promise

  • Reply Aadit Nistala October 9, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    4:24 John Flexing with his books

  • Reply Feydan IO October 17, 2018 at 11:24 am

    OMG CC!!!!!

  • Reply Raina Lane October 19, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Murica : For (O) Honor (I) of People (L)

  • Reply Sarthak Jaiswal October 22, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Jammu and Kashmir is part of India not part of Pakistan Please show correct maps

  • Reply Константин Миронов October 22, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    I am from Russia, we also mow the lawn at our summer cottages, but not because of the obligation to our neighbors. we just have grass, not lawn, and grass can grow to human growth. and still in it snakes live.

  • Reply KozzyUA October 22, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Map on 7:46 wtf dude?
    Why do you support the occupation of the Crimea?

  • Reply Oleksandr Andriychuk October 23, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Why do you support the occupation of the Crimea?

  • Reply Вадим Д October 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Crimea is Ukraine

  • Reply Rita Mapfumo October 24, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Please do one on Independent Africa

  • Reply Timothy Schellin October 24, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    "It is important to look at alternative points of view of history, even if you don't agree with them" If only we could get more people to do this

  • Reply Mr ZXCCXZ October 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Круто, продолжай

  • Reply YOURGODIS NOWHERE November 1, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Ewww dude! Try cleaning off the back of that laptop! It looks like someone watched porn and jizzed on it.

  • Reply Igor Orlov November 3, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    7:47 WTF John Green? Crimea is Ukrainian territory. Why does this peninsula not match the color with the color of Ukraine?

  • Reply cannon fodder November 3, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Hey jon do you think if people where provided with bace needs food an shelter and education they will Inevitably want more And the lower cost Of their needs Would increase The spending habits of their wants If so Over the long term went that increase overall profits And spending I know I'm an odd guy But throw me a bone

  • Reply E'raan Lue November 16, 2018 at 2:58 am

    I'm pretty it's Dr. Graeber.

  • Reply Julie Labrouste November 26, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    "He's pre-capitalist, a figure of the Enlightenment. What we would call capitalism he despised. People read snippets of Adam Smith, the few phrases they teach in school. Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is. But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be. And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits."

    – Noam Chomsky on Adam Smith, "Class Warfare", 1995, pp. 19-23, 27-31

  • Reply TopHatTaco November 27, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Money is a necessity for progress

  • Reply mo. ack November 30, 2018 at 1:09 am

    Love the Skyrim references

  • Reply Nathan Bradford December 16, 2018 at 10:54 am

    “Adapt to shoelessness” 😂 Please make more history videos! I find them fascinating. Thank you all.

  • Reply Quickdraw Chev December 22, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Hmmm. I don't think thats a fair value for the Wabbajack.

  • Reply Someone Else January 7, 2019 at 3:10 am

    I do help my neighbors, though I rarely need anything in return. It's good to live among people who feel they owe me. Just in case.

  • Reply YouGottaMineDeep January 14, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Learning the history of money is more interesting than economics

  • Reply Jeff Huynh January 14, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Is it too much to ask for a third series?

  • Reply A Neal January 18, 2019 at 3:04 am

    25 shmecklessss

  • Reply Joseph Hargrove January 23, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    It sounds like your point about the lessened reliance on money in Western Europe after the fall of Rome fits Graber's hypothesis . This is demonstrated by the rise of Feudalism, with its rigid social structure based on agriculture, its emphasis on the individual's obligations to those around them, and the extreme locality (most people never strayed more than 10-15 miles from the place of birth and probably death) of the lives of most people living then. You don't need a lot of money when you cover your obligations with a percentage of your harvest or your labor. Your obligations may be seen as debts but their satisfaction is clearly not barter. And since a similar system evolved in pre-modern Japan, we have the beginning of a trend.

    richard hargrove

    Esmerelda Weatherwax: “They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”
    – Terry Pratchett. Equal_Rites

  • Reply AnarchaMaenad January 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    You should read Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin.

    I think you’ll enjoy it.

  • Reply Zach Darr January 29, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Oh honor based warfare. Anyone else hear the song war pigs playing in the background as he says war machine? Lol

  • Reply kuntamdc February 8, 2019 at 2:14 am

    Would the internet exist without States? Would crash course exist without States?

  • Reply Sirius Putsch February 16, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    This is my first CrashCourse comment (I've done CC Biology, Anatomy & Phyisiology, Chemistry, Philosophy, and CCWH1), and I just want to say, having just finished CCWH1, that I love this new World History series. Thank you so much for the in depth lectures, and I've added three books already to my Goodreads, To-Read list: The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (by James C Scott), Society Against the State: Essays in Political Anthropology (by Pierre Clastres), and Debt: The First 5,000 Years (by David Graeber).

  • Reply JR Hermosura March 17, 2019 at 6:36 am

    We went to war countless times and continue to do so and will continue to do in the next countless times when all that we have been fighting for is endless in the core of our planet.

  • Reply SUDHIR PATEL March 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    People go to war out boredom or love or disgust over neighbors or ideology or inheritance or the desire for dominance or…

  • Reply Abdusattor Sattarov March 27, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Omg, I want kids from you! Best professor ever!

  • Reply Eduardo Ramirez Jr April 1, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    My neighborhood is a lazy sob, so I make sure I cut the grass of adjoining property.

  • Reply Wesley Van Overmeiren April 17, 2019 at 6:23 am

    I'm a simple man, I see the dragonborn, i like

  • Reply Supera Spanish and ESL Classes April 26, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Stan did him dirty on that barter

  • Reply Joshua Sykes May 28, 2019 at 3:44 am

    I've never considered this. Thanks John!

  • Reply Мирослав Лазов May 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Work goes better after watching some crash course in the break. 😀

  • Reply huy taing June 1, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Ur one ignorant fool. the world is flat.. round my bs… money is nothing k.. illusion. it dont exist. just numbes!!! what a joke!!!

  • Reply Big Kim June 3, 2019 at 1:43 am

    why is there so much nut on the back of his laptop

  • Reply Black Vito - Moneyology & Philosophy June 5, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Very intriguing

  • Reply Aleksander Gamanyuk June 9, 2019 at 10:33 am

    5:18, do you support the occupation of Crimea, WTF???

  • Reply Aaron Sternhagen June 14, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Did anyone else JUST realize that John Green is a famous author!?

  • Reply Анна Dolganova June 27, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Paper towns is sooooo strange

  • Reply Nebojša G. June 28, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    To be fair to Graeber, he concedes that war was always about resources, it's just that
    the rise of professional armies exacerbated the costs and destructiveness of war to such an extent that it profoundly transformed society.

  • Reply Average Johnson July 4, 2019 at 2:09 am

    12:33 lol

  • Reply Cok van Gaalen July 5, 2019 at 11:47 am

    THI Special "Clowns in panic "6-2-19 Lucid

  • Reply Noah Mucci July 7, 2019 at 5:48 pm


  • Reply Kfroguar July 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    I've seen this episode several times and only just now noticed the Skyrim reference at 4:53.
    Also the wabbajack is definitely not worth a daedric Warhammer. Even if you are a warrior.

  • Reply H 2671 July 12, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    What is that painting at 10:06?!! It's amazing!

  • Reply Hari Kamaraj July 13, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Dude! Clean your laptop 😛

  • Reply Arwed Mett July 16, 2019 at 6:08 am

    It seems illogical that money comes from war. Why would you pay your soldiers in coins if you cannot be sure that they can exchange them? I think it makes more sense that money comes from trade or in general working with other humans whom you cannot trust. Sure if you live in a small village where everybody knows everyone you probably do not need money. However people in that small community who do not like each other, will probably not help each other. Therefore money introduces a nice way to let these people work together without them having to be friends.

  • Reply 1 inthestove July 16, 2019 at 9:09 am

    The global markets are about to find out the most important function of money is store of value…

  • Reply 1 inthestove July 16, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Currency exists because the government deems it so. And they have guns. lots of guns. However this is artificial demand for gov. currency because we are forced to accept it as legal tender. And the game is heavily in their favor because they (the fed & the banks) control the amount of currency in circulation… see money illusion and fractional reserve lending. The real question is what would the free market choose as money?

  • Reply Ice Cold July 19, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Money, like all other financial instruments, represents a credit in favor of the holder equal to the value of the instrument.
    The debtor, in the case of money, is society: for my services, society owes me.

  • Reply Birth Certificate July 24, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    "Currency of mass Depreciation"

  • Reply Dylan Derouin July 27, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    What one gives today is paid back for in some form on a later day – throw in some creativity and willingness to experiment and that's how a species climbs the food chain lol

  • Reply Trevor Reid July 31, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Bartering on credit is still bartering.

  • Reply James Richie August 1, 2019 at 1:26 am

    David Graber's work is so good!

  • Reply philip puhlman August 3, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Interesting, his computer has written on it "This machine kills fascists" what is that about?

  • Reply John Marston August 5, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    That laptop says “This machine kills fascists.”

    He’s either using the term fascist interchangeably to mean dictator or he’s the most ill informed communist I’ve ever seen.

  • Reply Benoit Homeschooling August 6, 2019 at 4:33 pm


  • Reply Benoit Homeschooling August 6, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    he is really good

  • Reply Conner Clark August 7, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    09:58 those boyes are T H I C C

  • Reply Manos Mpoliotis August 11, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I can't have enough of your videos andI love the sticker on your laptop, thank you for putting it there, greetings from Greece.

  • Reply Michael McCorquodale August 18, 2019 at 2:54 am

    I love this channel, but how could you not discuss the origin of bank notes, the gold standard and fiat currency while covering a topic like this? It's just a suggestion.

  • Reply Jade Brown August 19, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    John needs to practice raining his money

  • Reply Matt S August 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    … I should probably go take care of my lawn then…

  • Reply Joe L August 22, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Uhm, Mr. Green, Mr. Green, can't lactose intolerant individuals still eat cheese as the lactose in some cheese could be lower than it's 🥛 counterpart? Also if you were a cheese maker needing shoes, wouldn't you notice a market opportunity to make a product to barter with those with lactose problems?

  • Reply Joe L August 22, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Uhm, Mr. Green, Mr Green, if the shoes you want are have a leather component and you have a 🐄, could it be like some value extraction in transforming cow hide to leather shoes?

  • Reply Jonathan Jones August 25, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Haha! the dragonborn took an arrow to the knee.

  • Reply Shaduru SSW August 25, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Anyone else got the publicity of "El Toro" in this video? XD

  • Reply Jack Luger August 28, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Money is the best

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