Key excerpt from del Mar's book 'History of Monetary Systems' (c.1895) that comments upon what I view as a thousands of years old conflict between forces that see "money" as a lawful human construct, and forces that see "money" as otherwise. From the Preface:
If in view of the existing monetary conflict, the reader should be led to inquire whether this is a " monometallic" or " bimetallic '' work, the answer is, It is neither. These terms, and many others employed in the monetary literature of to-day, the author regards as misleading. They involve doctrines which are fallacious, and defeat a correct comprehension of this difficult subject, by pro- moting the discussion of false issues, or the adoption of make-shift or mischievous measures. Monometallism and bimetallism both imply that money consists of a metal or metals, and that this is what measures value. The implication is erroneous ; the theory is physically impossible. (Value is not a thing, nor an attribute of things; it is a' relation, a numerical relation, which appears in exchange.) Such a relation cannot be accurately measured without the use of numbers, limited by law, and embodied in a set of concrete symbols, suitable for transference from hand to hand. It is this set of symbols which, by metonym, is called money.
In the Greek and Roman republics it was called (with a far more correct appre- hension of its character) nomisma and nummus, because the law (nomos) was alone competent to create it. The number of the symbols may be limited, but rudely ; the limit may even — though equitably it should not — be left to the chances of conquest or mining discoveries, still, repeated experiments prove that it is the number of the symbols that definitively measures value, not the quantity or quality or merit of the materials of which they may be composed,...This is quite a forceful logical and mathematical argument made by del Mar that properly, at least here in the West, "money" is solely an authorized legal construct used for exchange. But many people today, even though they live here in the West, simply WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS, and zealously cling to the non-Western beliefs that "money" is either properly thought of as a "debt" of some sort or otherwise and more popularly a weight of a metal.
Our history DICTATES that here in the West, "money" is nomisma, or a medium of exchange solely based on the DICTATES of the authority of our civil law. Those who assert otherwise are some sort of interlopers or usurpers of our Western traditions and advocates of lawlessness.