"And the more they rely on exchange, the more they specialise, which makes exchange still more attractive. Exchange is therefore a thing of explosive possibility, a thing that breeds, explodes, grows, auto-catalyses."
Trading with other humans meant we can focus on a job with increasing specialization and rely on them to supply us with other things we may need as an exchange. This drove innovation and human productivity and is completely opposite to the idea of sulf sufficiency that is seen time and again in authoritarian regimes.
MORE IDEAS FROM THEBOOK
"This is the extraordinary feature of markets: just as they can turn many individually irrational individuals into a collectively rational outcome, so they can turn many individually selfish motives into a collectively kind result."
It was the nouveau riche merchents that drove and financed the anti slavery movement in the 1800s while the old money looked on with indifference, just as it is the new money of entrepreneurs and actors that funds compassion for people, pets and planet.
"There was nothing special about the brains of the moderns; it was their trade networks that made the difference – their collective brains"
We owe our progress as a species to the advent of trade which drove all the innovations.
“Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a rule. Though the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress. This is the fact-based worldview.”
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