"The source and root of all monetary evil is the government monopoly on the issue and control of money. If we are ever again to have sound money it will not come from government. It will be issued by private enterprise."--Friedrich Hayek SYNOPSIS Money is one of the great inventions of humanity, along with such other developments of human ingenuity as agriculture, art, contract, insurance, language, law, markets, music and science. Money evolved gradually through usage, tradition, and imitation, in the same manner as the evolution of language, law, and markets. The principal characteristic of money is that it is a medium of exchange. Ideal money would be acceptable as payment anywhere in the world; it would hold its value, and would be a reliable unit of account for recording the assets and liabilities and the profits and losses of individuals and businesses. As early as ancient Greece and Rome, rulers seized upon the fact that monopoly control of money enabled the state to