Catholic and Islamic thinkers saw labor as the key component of value. Islam goes farther, declaring that any attempt to place value on abstract numbers (i.e. paying interest) is a sort of idolatry. I'm proposing one more step. Treat everything, animate or inanimate, carpenter or car, as activities instead of things. Treat everything as a source of labor. Why is a carpenter worth money? Because he works for you, doing things you can't or won't do. Why is a car worth money? Because it works for you, doing things you can't or won't do.In fact a verb-like monetary unit has been around for a long time, but it quietly died in the US in January of this year. The International Reply Coupon or IRC is still around in most countries. It is pure verb within a narrow realm. One IRC is guaranteed by all participating countries to represent the base cost of sending an airmail letter to another participating country. This is not the same thing as currency exchanges. You always pay the same for an IRC regardless of which country you send it to; and each country must honor an IRC for its own airmail postage regardless of present postage rates or currency values. The action of sending one airmail is the value of the IRC. I remember the IRC fondly from my ham radio days. If you wanted a ham in Poland to send you a QSL card verifying your contact, you'd send him a QSL of your own along with a couple of IRCs to compensate him for postage. Companies dealing across borders sometimes used IRCs as a universal currency for small amounts: you might send ten IRCs to purchase a magazine. If we're ever going to set up a more verbish system, or even a more sane system, post offices would be a good backbone. Most POs ran savings and checking systems, often called Giro. The system disappeared here in 1966, but still works in many countries.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.