In Obelisk, the disaster to blame for the state of the game isn’t so much the invention of money, rather it’s a system of extraction and materialism difficult to challenge, since it’s enshrined in the rules of the game. The obelisks in the game can’t be reasoned with, they remove the slippery complexities of human judgement and relationships in order to assign value to humans and to smooth the path for war and enslavement. The NPC’s are just trying furiously to get some pie in the sky, and the ground is collapsing.

Thinking of this great passage from Debt-

To understand what had changed, we have to look, again, at the particular kind of markets that were emerging at the beginning of the Axial Age: impersonal markets, born of war, in which it was possible to treat even neighbors as if they were strangers. [...] It was this, in turn, that allowed human life to seem like it could be reduced to a matter of means-to-end calculation, and hence something that could be examined using the same means that one used to study the attraction and repulsion of celestial bodies.