Wealth of Nations is written by Adam Smith, who laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. He was also wrong about bartering.
We all believe that money and currency exist as a more convenient way to trade instead of bartering. Because how do you determine how many bottles of milk is worth a lamb chop? Adam Smith wrote that trade existed first as barter, and money was created to make it more convenient to trade.
This is incorrect. This is a myth of Adam Smith’s invention.
Human history has never shown any signs of people who barter unless they first traded with money. They bartered when money was not readily available.
Interestingly, the origin of the word ‘barter’ is the Old French word ‘barater’, which means “to cheat, deceive”.
In freeganism, we try not to barter, because barter works only when you’re conscious of monetary value. Instead, we freely give and freely receive.
Still, I do want to read Wealth of Nations after I’m done reading The Moneyless Manifesto (click to read the free book by Mark Boyle).