As we know that human society relies on specialization to achieve the maximum benefits, exchange sure becomes a mean way for people to make livings. Thinking about several hundred years ago, when values of goods were not those numbers in the banks’ system, even not paper money we use daily, there were plenty forms of exchanges existed. In the beginning, we trade directly with goods, like a sheep for some clothes. Then we found shells which were pretty rare back in ancient times as money to wipe out the uneven exchanges, breaking them down to smaller fractions. Then we experience heavy minerals such as copper, silver, and gold. For all those history, people were seeking to an efficient way to exchange. Which leads us to a conclusion, that exchange has been one of the most vital elements of human society.
If you think, there must be some objectives to be exchanged to do the value trade; you are wrong. Unexpectedly, human labors are also means to exchange. Observed even from the early time, people see the value of labor. Your work grants your goods that were promised. From peasants to mercenaries, the labor force was admitted and valued. However, it wasn’t always exchanged when you do the work for yourself. For example, farming in your own land to grow crops, cleaning your own house to keep it running. These labor were also valued but not exchanged. On the other hand, these doesn’t dismiss the importance of labor in the system of exchange. If non-labor was ever involved, there wouldn’t be any good for people to exchange. Simply, no production, no exchange. It is clear that no matter in any currency, from shells to bank accounts, the exchange itself is the trade of labors, the value human produced through working.
In the modern age, people invented brilliant means to exchange, making it much more efficient and easier. However, we also witness environment and culture connecting with it. In the lecture video 5.1, many interesting ways were introduced. American families in the west coast got higher social status when they produced more food. It was viewed as a reciprocal way to exchange, said the author. That is, it entails the exchange of goods and services between two parties, and these exchanges are made to satisfy material needs and also leads to solidification of social relationship. This gives the exchange a new meaning among not only goods. At this moment we can extend our definition of the word – exchange.
After all, The exchange system is a great invention that human deal with the complicated values that valued by different people. However, it has created a somewhat uneasy life for those who lack the skills needed. For These people, complications and hardships of the life they fear can be resolved by hard workings. And the different systems in the exchange is a benefit associated with the production and distribution of their society and culture. The existence of exchange is better for human beings and helps build a better world.