“I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of fifty pounds.”
This is the statement written on a fifty pound note, a promise by the Bank of England. A similar thing is written on the Pakistani notes (Bank Daulat Pakistan hamil haza ko mutalaba par ada karega) and on all the other currencies.
All of you might be more learned than me, but as far as I am concerned, I have absolutely no idea
1. What a pound or a rupee or a dollar is?
2. If I go to the Bank of England and demand fifty pounds or ask the Bank Daulat Pakistan for rupees, what would they say?
3. If the said bank chose to pay me, what would I get?
4. If everyone else knows the answer to the above questions, why was I never told?
5. If most of the other people do not know these answers, why don’t they ask?
6. If someone asks me for fifty pounds, I just give him the promissory note for fifty pounds and we all consider it as giving fifty pounds. Isn’t that actually like saying that I have no clue what fifty pounds is, so take this note and go get it from the Bank of England?
7. If there are actually a large number of people who, like me, don’t know these things, isn’t it strange and very discomforting that the whole world is running on a concept which most of us don’t know the first thing about?
8. Is the whole world running on a strange idea that all of us have just decided to agree upon and the importance of having a large number of such promissory notes is totally dependent on the fact that the others agree on its importance?
9. If yes, don’t wise people say that the distinguishing quality of truth is that even if no one believes it or accepts it, it still remains the truth?
10. If this definition is true, is money a lie?
Yes, I know, maybe I am going crazy. But can you blame me?