Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#5 Some Great Follies of the Present World, their exposure, understanding and remedies.

The dictionary regards folly as
1, the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense,
2. a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity: the folly of performing without a rehearsal.
3. a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure. 

4. Architecture. a whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, etc.: found especially in England in the 18th century.
5. follies, a theatrical revue.
6. Obsolete. wickedness; wantonness.
We'll probably take most of these except the 4th definition into this discussion.

Let's start with a list of current follies from a perspective congruent with that projected by E. C. Riegel:

1. It is folly ever to expect the organization issuing the money to spend it the way you want. They are spending the money, so what business is it of yours how it is spent? In fact, your continued pressure to get them to buy something you want usually results in you getting something other than what you expected.

2. All political action is folly (following from the above and sort of like the kids in the back seat complaining about the way their father is driving. It's his car, he bought it, so they'll just have to suffer the ride).

3. It is folly to feed a cancer that will just grow until it kills the patient (in this analogy, most people have no idea that money is food to everything through trade, even though the connection is obvious from the purchases they make for their daily needs.)

4. Follies concerning money include everything that fails to recognize money's essential role in SPLITTING-BARTER. Much else people think about money is also utter foolishness.

5. The people want what makes sense to them LOCALLY not globally. They care not for what is happening on the other side of the planet, as how could they? As long as they can continue living their lives and growing their prosperity, that's all that concerns them. Therefore, any program to try and get people to have some political global awareness is complete and utter folly, as it is asking people to think and behave in ways that have nothing to do with their daily lives; trade does matter, politics does not. (Likewise, senseless appeals to generate guilt or fear in “educated” people's consciousness are without any foundation in fact and should therefore be rejected.)

6. Acceptance of usury is the ultimate folly because the interest demanded by the lender was not created and therefore can never be fully repaid. The other side of this coin is that those living from interest believe they are doing society a favour by lending their money at interest (usually referred to as yield), when in fact economically they are not even entitled to what must be dishonestly extracted from others, since that interest money they are paid was not created. Most of these people, as is quite well known by the rest of society and generally resented, live spoiled, empty and foolish lives that are presently sold as images of success to be emulated by others; foolishness chases fools.

7. It is folly to believe that ANY financial legislation anywhere can have any positive economic validity or benefit whatsoever. In fact most if not all of it is negative, beginning with the LEGAL TENDER LAWS which must be challenged and abolished for the foolishness they are (these laws are similar to a law proposing that an English statute yard and a metre are of the same length; legislation cannot make it so and to the degree it distorts reality, such laws are lies!).

8. Here's another great folly, that humanity is a creature that must undergo periods of war to survive and improve through evolution, as there are too many of us for the earth to sustain, etc. The myth includes such rubbish as that civilizations are ephemeral while barbarism has been the rule and eventual swings back and forth are merely the course of Nature. Doubtless many near the summit of present conditions believe this and doubtless there are too many of us for the present evil system to sustain and therefore EVERY popular utterance of the word “sustainability” must be challenged for it is THEY and their system they seek to sustain regardless of what the local people everywhere really want.

9. Another related folly is the belief that the present system's follies can be repaired by returning to economic methods used in the past when it supposedly worked better. Many people without reliable data to prove it, promote things like this as a means to achieve price stability.

These are some follies that are accepted BLINDLY without much question, by just about everyone, some of them are spouted especially from those who are PAID spokesmen (and spokeswomen) for them. Such follies as austerity measures to pay off the public debt to the bankers are promoted. That's like feeding cancer. We complain about government budget deficits when governments are merely doing what everyone else has been forced to do; live on credit, which is debt that in many cases, especially that of the governments around the world, can never be repaid.

The solutions promulgated, since those promoting them are also blind, are just more of the same, piling up more unpayable debt until the debt service eventually kills the host economy, and eventually themselves into the bargain (though they imagine wrongly that they will somehow survive the chaos and live through the chaos they have deliberately caused to rule the world! Yet another folly!) Our complaints are foolish, so is our political action. What is the saying? “Money talks.” Whose money? Which money?

Those of us who are awake to the realities of these follies are in roughly the role of an economic oncologist; how best to treat the economic patient, in this case the whole world's economy, eradicate the cancer and make sure it never returns. The first thing we must do is to identify what constitutes economic cancer. It isn't usually what we think. Remember, just about everything you know was based on messages and information that someone else PAID for in the sincere hope that you would believe it. Just because someone said so does not make it so. That's our first clue.

Whose money is it anyway? Certainly not yours or mine. All the currencies around the world proclaim their origination with some government or more exactly some central bank which OWNS all those notes. Our particular national money proclaims a couple other foolish things too; that we trust in God, when we in fact do not (at the very least a lie and at the most a blasphemy), and that this “money” is “legal tender for all debts public and private” (a legal contrivance protecting a national monopoly on the money creating power). These central banks proclaim who owns the money.

So what is it to you or me? Better question than it seems. So what if we're using their money? We've accepted that it was government money, which it really isn't. It's Federal Reserve money, all lent by the PRIVATE central bank that was established (again after many tries before, which figured in most of our wars, if not all of them). It matters because that money usually enters the economy through government spending, the rest “trickles down” through the member banks to the smaller banks which are supposed to lend it to people like us.

The process involves fractional reserve banking, which basically enshrines the age old cheating done by gold warehouse keepers in ancient times and makes it part of everything thereby secreting it from most people's awareness. Remember folks, this folly is very old, going back easily thousands of years. Just because it was of long standing does not make it anything other than it always was; a few people cheating the rest of the people out of what did not originally belong to them. Farmers especially know this one particularly well.

So it matters whose money it is because THOSE WHO CREATE MONEY DO THE BUYING. Let that point sink in. Those who BUY do get what they want, whether it's what you want or not. That's one of E. C. Riegel's key contributions to the study of money and central to his conception of money. From it, can be traced many of the root causes of the world's great 21
st century challenges.

All national / political money, that is all the money anyone has ever seen or used now for at least 100 years, is BORROWED into existence with a debt component attached to it known as interest. That interest is an uncreated part of the money that must be extracted from others in a competition for an artificial scarcity, in order for the debt to be repaid. Since there is really never enough money around, even in times of inflation, or hyper-inflation, these debts will never be repaid. In fact, were they to be repaid in full, all the money in the world would disappear.

But, the chief point here is that since you did not create the money you use, it came from elsewhere, you are not really BUYING in the sense of choosing what YOU want, but of choosing from a huge variety of the same things that someone else bought; the government, the banks, their friends in corporations on whose boards they sit, monopolies created by government edicts that preserve them in power for long periods of time.

There are many examples right around us, such as the widespread use of internal combustion engines running on petroleum by-products. If you were really the buyer, perhaps you'd prefer something else and there very well might be other competitive alternatives that would naturally spring out of unfettered demand. Likewise all the wires we see everywhere hanging overhead, conducting electricity from power stations to remote customers; was this really the best or only solution to people's electrical energy needs? Would you or I have perhaps bought something different?

Most of the world's problems are due directly to who is doing the buying, thus generating the demand for certain products. When governments are allowed to do the buying, they seek things that promote their own self interest and desire for self improvement (the basic human drives mentioned by Riegel) in things that promote empires, the military, wars abroad, public surveillance, vast sectors dedicated to spying and covert black-ops, technologists playing around with very dangerous ways to kill millions of people, the police state, etc.

Oh yes you might say, but the governments pay out most of their budget to people on pensions or in need. Well guess what? That indicates right there that government policies result in economic failures which do not fully satisfy the needs of the people. Therefore if the government didn't cover for their economic failures, even in what we consider good times, during a phony financial bubble, and just let people starve without money, they might have a revolution on their hands.

But it isn't even the government's fault; they're doing what they think they have to do, and until we wake up, their policies will blindly go on leading to natural disasters, wars, famines, genocide and destruction of the planet.

We need to have a revolution in our minds concerning government. We tend to associate many of the ideas we have about government with something more ancient called sovereignty, which in most places at one time resided in a king or some tribal leader, who made all the decisions, right or wrong, for the entire community. We make other foolish associations based on this word; sovereign individual, sovereign economics, sovereign statehood, etc. None of these things have any reality in our daily lives. They may at best be yearnings. Until we face the fact that unless the money creating power is restored, not to Congress, as the framers of the Constitution in their ignorance inscribed therein, but to US as individual human beings, nothing will change. That portion of the Constitution too must be removed, as it is akin to asking Congress to determine the course of the planets!

If sovereignty means anything it means the individual human being must assume more responsibility and have less need for government. Those who would judge us as ungovernable are fascists. Our grandfathers went to war and shot them. Now they enter our institutions and demand favour and uncritical acceptance of their schemes and ideas. Who paid them? Where did the money come from? Someone bought them. In modern parlance, those in secure positions, bought and paid for by “special interests” who have always beguiled governments down the corridors of time, secure favourable rulings and treatments form a government that grows deeper and deeper in debt to them. When the government collapses, they swoop in and try and seize the property that was ensnared in their debt. It's going on in Europe right now and it will happen here and everywhere soon. It's the cancer that must be eradicated before it kills us all.

So right now, it is the governments who make the decisions concerning what to buy. If governments are doing the buying, what does that make us? How can it be otherwise that we are viewed either as chattel tax slaves or useless eaters? E. C. Riegel's view of money turns matters on their heads; it is not in fact governments or central banks or businesses who should be creating the money and spending it, but rather each individual human being, AS AN INALIENABLE RIGHT!

Riegel also rejects the right of any organization, whether business or government, to create money. He cites this as the obvious and primary cause of inflation. By taking the origination and buying power of our money back, which is really what everyone the world over will want once they realize who has had the money creating power and what that has accomplished (plenty of wars, other devastations, etc), we change just about everything else, as there is no longer any food to feed the cancer that produces excess government intrusion into our private lives everywhere, promotes great imbalances in wealth (which were the products of government sponsored monopolies), caused wars because wars are expensive (and are financed by those who profit from the bloodshed of others), and generally contributed to great man-made natural disasters (Fukushima and the Gulf of Mexico disaster to name but two latest and greatest).

In #2 The Price of Gold in Value Units, an alternative was proposed, a PRIVATE decimal money system (we have to give Alexander Hamilton credit for something, I suppose), that would be introduced based on the price of an ounce of gold and would thereafter be equated with that price but never subject to it. We further state, after some reflection, that in order to kill the cancer, we must set up a wall against it, which shall be the exchange of all currencies for Value Units, based on the price of an ounce of gold, not at its faked “spot” price, but at a price where bullion normally trades above spot. As Professor Greco correctly surmised, that previous essay really described a Value Unit in terms of dollars. It was done as an exercise in using a series of price levels generated by choosing the decimal stacks as 100, 1,000 or 10,000 Value Units to an ounce of gold. For the example of 1,000 VU's = an ounce of gold, when a transaction involves VU's the price of an once of gold should remain near 1,000 VU's regardless of what that price is in dollars, euros, etc. But any VEN will want a wall between the VU transaction world and all other transactions. Likewise and in particular due to the enactment of recent financial laws, there is no reason whatsoever for any VEN to hold dollars or any other currency.

So, how does one buy into the Value Unit world? One buys gold (or silver) bullion with one's dollars (or euros or something else) and delivers the gold or silver bullion to the account of his local Independent Exchane (IE) and then the VEN in turn gives him how many ever VU's can be purchased with his gold and silver. The IE's retain the precious metals to exchange back into dollars or other currencies at whatever price gold might be upon that exchange transaction. There will be no discrimination against any currency as long as a valid trading platform for it in relation to gold exists.

Why gold? Because people are foolish and will chase what they believe to be a long lasting safe store of value that will protect them from inflation and deflation. None of the contemporary commentators on the subject have studied the relative price increases (inflation) that were entirely due to the importation of gold into Europe from the New World during the 16
th century. Doubtless they know little or nothing about how the flows of silver were artificially created and then stopped, were used by bankers in ancient times because they refused to give up usury and sought to manipulate trade. This is why any money of the people must go worldwide else the present practitioners of usury would just go somewhere else and start up their cheating, swindling business model and continue to promote war as their vehicle for expansion.

There is nothing new under the sun. Most of that 16
th Century New World gold ended up in the vaults of the money lenders who enticed monarchs into borrowing money at interest to pursue stupid and bloody wars over things that people will fight and die for which cannot be proved with any certainty. Insanity! And we are encouraged to go back to this? Utter folly!

But that does not mean that a new money system could not be based on gold as the only fungible commodity for money. We could have a “gold backed” money in this way, except that the price of gold would fluctuate in whatever way the gold brokers in London might want it to go, while the Value Unit would remain the same. In any case, the VU would end up attracting to itself, as the force of gravity, all the gold on earth! And in whose hands would it end up? In the people's hands, where it belongs. If the people are doing the buying and gold is what they want then they shall get what they want, after all he who holds the gold makes the rules.

Whatever happens inside the trading world opened up by a VEN, a Value Unit which is in fact not backed by anything but what it buys, prices for everything would tend to stabilize along certain predictable relationships among common commodities, things people really want to buy, beginning with the basics of life. There is also of course the biggest advantage of all; if you are too poor to have any money the VEN will give you some to start out with. There will be much more on this key topic to follow.

David Burton


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