second prize 2017
What would modern money and society look like had we accepted Plato’s, rather than Aristotle’s monetary ideas? Plato feared that using gold domestically would lead to greed, corruption and vice. So he envisioned a dual monetary system – a local token currency for each country and a metal currency used internationally by all. Nonetheless, he did not specify how such a dual system would actually function and support virtue.
We design an exchange system where each individual’s exchange rate of gold for tokens is based on their own “justice score”. The justice score would not be a purely monetary evaluation, but an eclectic indicator encompassing the social, political and economic justice of one’s actions. It would incentivise everyone to be morally conscious, but also encourage them to be generous since society can reward them. Thus, rich merchants will strive to be virtuous and do good with their wealth.
Finally, had such a system been adopted during the introduction of the Euro, all nationals of different countries would have had a personal exchange rate of the local currency to the euro. This would have promoted moral behaviour and eliminated persisting stereotypes and wealth differences based on nationality. Thus, individuals’ own morality would dictate their image before the greater European community. If this were the case, perhaps now we could have been living in a more righteous and objective European society.