money. enterprise. choice.
One of the most powerful artifacts that the evergreen people made was money.
They made money as a token of value that was not itself valuable. This money – these tokens of value that were not themselves valuable – were powerful, because money empowered the evergreen people make exchanges indirectly, store surpluses indefinitely, and transfer surpluses to others to use for a time, to be returned to them, plus more, in time.
Money made enterprise possible for the evergreen people on a larger scale, and with more diversity of choice. It gave them more, and gave them the power to keep making more, always moving towards a future of more that was better, created by design to be beautifully fit to function, and authentically right for the times.
For the evergreen people were a people of time, and of changes over time, and for the evergreen people, prosperity was an inflection point in time, a moment when possibilities selected from the future were transformed into a history of prosperous adaptation to life’s constant changes.
If good possibilities were selected, they made a happy history of having enough jobs, money and stuff.
The evergreen people saw finance as the lens through which they as a society looked into their future, and decided which possibilities for making prosperous adaptations to life’s constant changes in the present could, should and would be evolved through enterprise in the moment.
The evergreen people also saw that finance was not for everybody. The future is an uncertain place. Exciting, and also, for many people, a little bit frightening. Filled with hints and shadows of possibilities, some of which would be fantastic, many of which can never be. How could they choose? Some choices would make a happy history. Others could become a disaster. How would they know? They saw that it takes special skills, and special training, to navigate through the uncertainties and choose the right possibilities.
They trusted financiers expert in the skills of finance to navigate the possibilities for them.
The financiers they trusted most were the evergreen stewards of their society’s evergreen savings, who made evergreen investments in evergreen enterprises. These evergreen stewards invested in enterprise cash flows, directly, to generate cash flows that supported good stewardship, indefinitely. They saw that enterprise flourishes for a time, and then fades over time, through a form of social contract with popular choice that changes over time, as times change and people make new choices to adapt to changing times. They constructed legal contracts for investment in enterprise that were designed to fit inside the social contract between that enterprise and popular choice.
The evergreen people knew that the future was both uncertain and filled with possibilities. They knew that experts were needed to navigate those uncertainties and possibilities. They knew those experts needed to be accountable to them, the people, for the choices that they made on the people’s behalf.
They used their universities as places to connect evergreen enterprises seeking financing with evergreen stewards seeking enterprises to finance, as knowledge centers and fiduciary spaces that were also hubs for outreach and inclusion of the people in evolving community standards of prudence to guide their stewards in choosing which enterprises to finance, and the terms on which to provide that financing.
This was key to the success of their evergreen framework and process and places for financial decision-making. Each financing was created by design specifically to fit the needs and opportunities of the enterprise being financed, guided and supported by civic engagement in evolving community standards of prudent stewardship.
As we have observed, these evergreen people were people of the law. They used the law to enforce adherence of their evergreen stewards to community standards of evergreen prudence. They imposed a fiduciary duty on their evergreen stewards. This duty bound their steward to loyalty, prudence and competence. Breaches of duty by evergreen stewards were punished under the law.
In this way, these evergreen people kept their economy evergreen, adaptively evolving, always moving towards an evergreen future of more that is better, created by design in an evergreen present to build an evergreen history of always having enough jobs, money and stuff.
And they were happy.