In the scramble for surviving resources, survivors may develop a domestic mode of production in which currency will be displaced by barter for exchanges of subsistence goods and a system of fixed allocations may be established. Currency is likely to be confined to the prestige sphere, or for obtaining particularly lumpy goods, and probably will consist of precious metals and gems.
From the article I posted a link to above. That’s the researchers conclusion based on studies of prior events, history may not repeat but it often rhymes.
A few rifle cartridges for a few eggs, some batteries for a blanket, boot repair in exchange for a few pounds of salt, that is subsistence type bartering. It will likely occur between neighbors or those in close proximity very early following a collapse. Later, once some order and security and a means for dispute arbitration exists, then in peasant marketplaces set up for trading subsistence type goods. Hand to mouth existence stuff, small quantities of silver might be useful here.
Lumpy goods/services would be things like medical services, land or homes, multiple head of cattle, getting your 1000 gallon propane or diesel tank refilled, a new tractor, or a winter’s worth of split firewood. Prestige is power within the group, clan, or community, the ability to influence people and get favorable outcomes in disputes. It might be fun to fantasize about the stupid rich people or clueless community leaders begging you to take their luxury items in exchange for a loaf of bread, but it’s not very realistic. At least some of their pre-collapse prestige will carry over initially and they’ll be trying to organize people and resources, whether you’re seen as one of the organizers or one of the organizees (is that a word?) depends on your prestige.
And there’s going to be black markets, even during the siege of Leningrad when some had resorted to cannibalism there was still food for purchase if you could afford it. If you want larger quantities of rationed or contraband items, or extra ration cards, this is probably where you’ll need to shop.
If you can afford to pay cash for expensive prestige/lumpy goods now, without using payment plans or insurance or credit, and you want to be able to continue to do so following a major societal collapse, that’s where gold is likely to be your best bet. This is how I see it paying out in a sudden societal collapse anyway, within a few weeks some structure (not necessarily good) will start to take shape out of the chaos.
Statistics: Posted by Matte — Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:10 am