What follows is simply a collection of doubts, questions, hints without any organic sense (yet?). The intention is to provoke a discussion about the meaning and the implications of introducing a monetary system in RW.
It has been stimulated by the recent scripts which add some kind of money management to RW. If it sounds like I am occasionally criticising them, I apologise in advance; this is not my intention at all, as I owe to them the push to think about these matters in the first place.
So, what money means, could mean, should mean in a context like RW? I assume different players will have different perspective, and I think sharing them would be useful. Some questions follow trying to elicit some answers, new questions, and also criticisms.
1) What a money system could make possible which is currently not possible in RW or at least easier which is currently hard?
2) Does a money system necessarily implies an economy? This question may seem vague, and probably is; it is tied to the previous, though: would a money system stir something (some activity, some relationship, something) which would be impossible or very hard to stir without? Caveat: not in general, but in the RW context as it is now and/or as we can suppose it will evolve.
3) Does an economy necessarily implies a separate, abstract, money system? would be barter not enough? Again, not in general, but in the RW context.
4) Can a money system / economy ignore social / community expenses / incomes and still make sense?
5) Shall a money system / economy be tied to a specific economic theory (say, capitalism or socialism) or this should be left to the 'rulers' (say, server admins) to decide depending on which policies they choose to implement or enforce? (In fact, the systems I have seen implemented so far in RW scripts, tend to be rather on the socialist side or at least of a State capitalism, which makes 4) even more important).
6) CAN it be general enough to leave the door open to such a diversity?
7) This is rather specific and I am trying to be provocative here! Is a "free market" possible in a context like RW? (as it should be quite evident, "free market" is largely a myth in any economic context of decent complexity. See also the note at the end of 5) ).
8 ) This is very specific and might be a study case for 5), 6) and 7): I have seen in several occasions the so-called "law of supply and demand" (or however it is worded in English) referred to. Now, this law is also largely a myth or, at least, it has some value only in small and rather restricted and isolated economic contexts. of which RW might be an example. How should a monetary / economic system deal with it? Should it enforce it or should it leave to the "free market invisible hand", if it can exist?
I think I have put enough meat on the grill by now. Awaiting your reactions... M.