Some time ago I read Saifedean Ammous' The Bitcoin Standard and since then he has come up with a new book that examines the current monetary system in more depth: it shortcomings and advantages, too. He approaches it via the Bitcoin framework and approaches it as if its another form of software.
One of the key parts to understand about the evolution of monetary systems is that one of the reasons to shift away from gold standard was its lack in salability across space which fiat manages to do well.
Gold used to be the vehicle in which value was stored, not because its shiny, but because it's indestructible and society having accumulated it for thousands of years it was the least inflatable commodity averaging 1-2% new supply per year. When storing value became possible it allowed us to think beyond our immediate needs, plan for the future. This is the process of lowering time preference and Saifedean's one key argument is that it is closely linked to the advancement of civilization.
If gold was the hardest money why it was abandoned?
Gold was the most salable commodity across time (maintained and increased its value) yet it isn't salable enough across space due to transportation costs to satisfy the need for increasingly global trade. Gold being a physical commodity, it was also vulnerable to government regulations which allowed governments and central banks to take control of gold, force payments by unbacked notes and discontinuing withdrawals back to gold. Such shenanigans allow reckless government spending to finance wars, for example.
Bitcoin mining is a fair market process where everyone has the same rules. Mining fiat though is a peculiar game and it happens, not by printing new notes, but creating credit. When a loan to a house is given, that's also the creation of new money units. But when new supply is created, it devalues the existing supply. So the way to get ahead financially in fiat standard is to gamble your money in stock market or to get into as much (cheap) debt as possible and buy hard commodities that increase in value more than inflation. The drawback with this is that you are always living on razor edge one missed payment away from bankruptcy.
Saving used to be not to spend your gold coin, knowing it'll hold its value into the future, then it became government bonds, and now when bonds yield negative real returns, stock market indexes are the new "savings" target – but that's not actually saving, because it's taking risk on the stock market. In a fiat standard there's no option to save money without watching it getting devalued.
There are many more implications given in the book that come with inflationary monetary policy like consumerism (which is often misattributed to capitalism only), construction, diet, agriculture etc. yet I think the most horrific reality is the debt slavery and being forced into such system by a threat of violance.
Luckily a fix exist, and that is saving into the hardest money there is: Bitcoin.
Well, that's some of my thoughts about the book thus far 100 pages in. I can highly recommend this book accompanied with The Bitcoin Standard – if you haven't read that already, you should.
Saifedean also has his own podcast, big recommendation for that, too. You can actually pirate both of the books – he promoted the pirate links on his own Twitter, lol. You can find it by scrolling his Twitter.