Darius Razgaitis: Monetary Units of the Universe
"The Universe - some information to help you live in it... ...5 MONETARY UNITS: None.
In fact, there are three freely convertible currencies in the Galaxy, but none of them count. The Altairian Dollar has recently collapsed, the Flainian Pobble Bead is only exchangeable for other Flainian Pobble Beads, and the Triganic Pu has its own very special problems. Its exchange rate of eight Ningis to one Pu is simple enough, but since a Ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles along each side, no one has ever collected enough to own one Pu. Ningis are not negotiable currency, because the Galactibanks refuse to deal in fiddling small change. From this basic premise it is very simple to prove that the Galactibanks are also the product of a deranged imagination."
This comes from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe," the second installment of Douglas Adams' science fiction collection "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." This is an excerpt from an example of the Hitchhikers Guide talking about the situation with money in the Galaxy on page 243 of the complete collection of "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide."
Lisa Thelen: Money in 'Gulliver's Travels'
In Jonathan Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels,' Gulliver finds himself
in the land of the Houynhnms and the Yahoos, where he is brought to terms with the corruptions of human behavior. One of the many contrasts made between humans and the Houynhnms, a race of upstanding virtue and goodness, is the presence of money in human society. When Gulliver describes human life to the Houynhnm leader, he explains that the use of money, most often a valuable metal, is to purchase clothes, housing, land, and food. Since Swift's work is a satirical look at humanity, he explains that the more money you have, the nicer goods you can buy; he humorously writes that a lot of money can even get you your "choice of the most beautiful females." The Yahoos, who are basically humans, only more repulsive in their physical appearance and behavior, also have a certain substance that could be considered money. They dig up shining stones and store them, a reflection of what the Houynhnm leader calls the human trait of avarice. The Yahoos' money, however, apparently is only a store of value and is not used as a unit of exchange, as it is with humans. It is implied, from the leader's responses to Gulliver, that the Houynhnms do not have any monetary market, and that they live in a socialistic community where all work is shared. They supply all goods from their own land, and all participate in the labor force for the production of goods. But the conspicuous absence of any specific description of the economy leads the reader to question it, and wonder if perhaps Swift could not conceive of a money-less economy that could be successful. Swift's satire attacks the avarice of man, suggesting it is caused by money, but he presents no viable alternative, suggesting that unfortunately, there is none.
Swift, Jonathan. 'Gulliver's Travels.' The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume I. 2000.