Thursday, February 21, 2013

#0 Gordon Comstock reading The Babylonian Woe

After E. C. Riegel's works, perhaps one of the most important is The Babylonian Woe (1975) by the independent Canadian researcher David Astle. Though this is a difficult read, and difficult to hear perhaps too, nevertheless its study is most rewarding as nowhere else does one get the straight facts concerning the ancient linkage between banking and the military industrial complex. This was always the primary power connection. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution made by one Gordon Comstock (of course, this might not be his real name because Gordon Comstock is the main character in George Orwell's novel of social criticism, Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)). Whomever, he gets off the track and ends thinking that he has done 13 episodes when there are only 12. Oh well.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
 

FINIS

Sunday, February 17, 2013

#15.6 Bill Still's Reports 69 and 70

2013-1-21: #69 Greece Conference 

The Jeckyl Island movie is about to be released. Greece as the front line on whether a currency based on debt can continue. He runs down the latest news on this subject, describes a conference held in Greece.

2013-2-17: #70 - State of the Union 2013

Still runs down current events, targets the lending to create money model, consistent with our message. Quantitative easing continues. Major networks on verge of collapse due to debt, but banks buy off everyone they can; monetary economics is owned by the Fed and the big banks. Of course Still resonates his concerns with reference to the Constitution, to what the government has allowed to have done to itself, still believes that government issued debt free money spent “in the public interest” makes the most sense, etc.

Friday, February 15, 2013

#24 A Rigorous Definition of Usury

Usury – Ludwig von Mises Institute:

Usury is a term which originally was used to denote the charging of interest, but is also used to express the charging of excessively high interest rates. Usury is derived from the Latin term usura which means "money paid for use". One of the first commentaries on usury can be found in Aristotle's Politics where he expresses his disdain for the practice by saying:

The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural use of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term usury, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money, because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of making money this is the most unnatural.”

Aristotle, Politics

See also: Interest

In the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, lending money at interest was a sin for Christians. Usurers, people who lent money at interest, had been excommunicated by the Third Lateran Council in 1179. Even arguing that usury was not a sin had been condemned as heresy by the Council of Vienna in 1311-12. Christian usurers had to make restitution to the Church before they could be buried in hallowed ground. They were especially detested by the Franciscan and Dominican orders, founded in 1206 and 1216.

The word usury has been used on this blog to signify one thing and one thing only; upon the creation of money by the agency of a loan at interest, the created money is not enough to pay back the interest, the money wherewith to pay which was not created. We're going to address situations that may look like usury but are not. We are going to insist that within the present banking system, where money is created out of nothing (by FIAT) through a loan at interest (where the money to pay the interest was not created), that a condition exists that can be definitively called usury; the taking back of more than was originally created.

We may examine the following interesting definition: noun, plural usuries.
1. the lending or practice of lending money at an exorbitant interest.
2. an exorbitant amount or rate of interest, especially in excess of the legal rate.
3. Obsolete . interest paid for the use of money.
Origin: 1275–1325; Middle English usurie < Medieval Latin ūsūria (compare Latin ūsūra ), equivalent to Latin ūs ( us )

Exorbitant amount or interest? How about any interest? But what exactly is interest? And more importantly, what is not interest, but represents something else? Legal rates? Who decides what's too much interest and why? Obsolete? To who?

We're going to discuss a wide range of concerns in this post, beginning with the point of issuance of money, that should adequately demonstrate the major differences between the proposed Value Unit and present day currencies. 

In the present day system, money is issued by central banks as loans to the governments they supposedly serve, though it's really the other way around; governments become the perpetual debtors who must serve the needs and demands of banks and the corporations that sprang up around them (Thomas Jefferson warned us but we paid no heed). The amount of money issued is created, whether out of nothing or backed by gold or silver, makes no difference. All money issued by governments is unbacked since they do not intend putting back for sale into the market an equal amount for what they buy.  It is permissible for individual human beings to do this, it is not for governments.  They aren't individual human beings and have no inalienable right to issue money whether they have it or not. For each unit created interest is charged. The money to pay this interest is not created; the eleventh marble: $A does not = $A+(X%)$A where $A is the money created and X the interest demanded. This results in a perpetual (forever) artificial scarcity in the money supply; no matter how much money is created in this way, as the principal, the money issued, plus the interest, from money not issued, must both be repaid. Yet, under such a system, were all the money to be paid back, it would extinguish all the money on earth and demand even more of that which was never created, the eleventh marble, to repay the debt.

The result is a situation of perpetual debt slavery to the central bankers, and frankly to every last bank in the system that goes along with the same business model, because they are all involved in the process of both the creation and destruction of money. Many, perhaps most bankers, just don't know any better, because banking is one of those institutions that has changed very little for thousands of years. We must always be mindful of the fact that some people who are bankers are caught in the system through their own failure of critical examination of the business models they accept as the normal premises to do business. To the extent they remain ignorant, they are themselves caught. Would they know any better, those with any ethical consciences would resign and just walk out, as they would realize they were involved in a fraudulent activity and that sooner or later public scrutiny would find them out.

In this particular instance, demanding repayment of that which was never created, the issues are both perfectly rational and of monstrous consequences; the banking model as it presently exists is intended to benefit the bankers at the expense of everyone else, as a gang of parasites upon the rest of society. Their tactic to stave off discovery is to get their debtor puppet, the government, to front for them. After all, they have a monopoly on the control of money and FORCE society into using it by the legal tender laws, which are nothing other than the grant of a monopoly on trade to these same people. What did they do or who are they, that they deserve this favour from the rest of society?

The charging of interest on created (issued) money is bad enough, compounding of interest by banks makes the essential problem worse (geometrically grows the eleventh marble!), as also the accordion effects of fractional reserve banking, which functions both at each bank and among the range of banks radiating out from the central banks; the national banks and the local banks, all in their turn borrowing money from the central bank (or they may do so) and then perform the same lending at interest, each bank contributing to the push and pull (the booms and busts of banker caused business cycles, economic bubbles that grow and burst, which are credit cycles) of the money supply, affected, my friends, entirely by the range of interest rates, set to begin with by the central banks.

The business model of the banking system is such that loan defaults result in foreclosures, the lenders get to own the property that formerly belonged to the borrower. Also in this model, defaults on loans expose the fractional reserve system to loss of funds supposedly held in trust (fiduciary responsibility) for its customers, a clear fraud exists (breach of fiduciary responsibility supposedly corrected by deposit insurance); that these banks created many times more money than they had in reserves, such that when the lending goes bust, since the finance function is tied directly to the function of clearing transactions of trade, the whole system goes bust. That is what is going to happen eventually.

By direct comparison, the proposed Value Units are issued by the indigent (“red inkers”) or those on pensions, all the rest must be bought into existence. The proposed Value Unit would have to trade independently of all major currencies AT A FIXED VALUE AT A SPECIFIC POINT IN TIME, measured in a commodity that is readily traded; gold and silver bullion. This does NOT mean that any existing Value Units would be backed by precious metals, as will be explained. Anything could be bartered for Value Units as well, especially labour, but in none of these cases is any new money created within the VEN. New Value Units do enter the system other than by being issued by the “red inkers” when they are bought with the only things that can buy them; gold and silver bullion.

We want it to be absolutely understood right up front that anyone buying Value Units, does not receive a scrip for some supposed “real money” that still belongs to the buyer, being warehoused for them in the vault (or more likely the accounts) of your local IE. Oh no, the Value Unit is a real yardstick capable of determining any value, and stands independently apart from that with which it is exchanged. You buy them with gold and silver bullion like this:

An IE member (an A or B member), presents evidence of gold or silver bullion having been deposited in the account of the member's local IE. We expect that some of this can actually be set up to be transacted on-line. The IE responds by crediting the member's account with the appropriate number of Value Units, based on the prices of gold and silver at the time of sale, compared with the prices for gold and silver bullion at the Value Unit's inception.

Deposit gold / silver bullion – Credit IE gold & silver
Debit IE X # Value Units – Credit member's account X # Value Units
Debit member's account (.001)X # Value Units = Credit IE (.001)X # Value Units

There will be accounts for gold and silver bullion set up with qualified dealers for each IE as they will all operate independently. The financial details of these accounts will be transparent to any IE member. We're going to take some time right now to explain their function.

We say that Value Units must be bought unless a member qualifies to create them and everyone gets some free at the beginning. Those Value Units that are bought, which will be the vast majority, require the interposition of the gold and silver bullion dealer, who in some cases will be associated with the local IE by having some of its employees as A members. To repeat, the purpose of having only gold and silver bullion as the sole means of direct purchase into existence of Value Units is so that no IE ever needs to hold any currency.

The sole purpose of the gold and silver bullion on account for each local IE is to generate dollars, euros, yen, whatever, with which to satisfy local “legal tender” especially as regards payment of taxes. For anyone who thought for a single moment that the purpose of a Value Unit based monetary system is to evade taxes, think again. Those who may home school their children or place them in private schools must still bear the cost of the local public education system. Yes, we know what the government has done and still does (with those behind them who put forth their “big useless plans”) which will ultimately fail. But in the meantime, taxes must be paid. The rule to follow is to pay unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.

What happens then, since there is no direct exchange between dollars and Value Units? Everything having to do with taxes is figured in applicable currencies (dollars, euros, yen, what have you) based on what Value Units those currencies would trade for in terms of gold and silver bullion on the last day of the tax period. Then, knowing the taxes that must be paid, the IE member makes a transaction with the IE, selling Value Units back to the IE (extinguishing them) for silver and gold with which to buy Caesar's currency, with which to pay the taxes. The member gets a check from the gold / silver dealer with which to pay his taxes in the local currency. Once people know where their local IE's gold and silver are going, maybe they will care more about how much their governments are costing them.

As for anything bartered for Value Units, price levels for these trades would be entirely set by the local markets. The allowed forms of finance, all of which must rely on money that has already been created, will be discussed. There is never a shortage of money created by demanding back more than was contracted. The buyer always knows the terms of the credit contracts he engages in and the prices for things he buys are directly affected by his decisions; to buy on credit or save up for the purchase, all of course subject to the satisfaction of the seller's terms of sale. The Austrians referred to this as “time preference,” which we will recall is the tendency of people to prefer satisfaction of wants sooner rather than later. We're saying instead that where a buyer must resort to credit contracts, the meaning is that the price for something at any given point in time, depends on the money one has to make the purchase. The buyer's payment, or schedule of payments, represents the final price the buyer will pay.

We can state right here that any credit contract describing a schedule of payments without a final settlement date is automatically a bogus or unlawful contract.  Any financing that requires a financial entity to extend credit to enable a business to settle prior obligations -refinancing- that is without a final settlement date is likewise bogus.  The entire schedule of payments must represent the final cost to the buyer to settle a purchase with the seller, or said contract is invalid.  

Also, since all finance operations are separated from clearing transactions of trade in the VEN, the various finance businesses would be responsible for their own exposure to risk of default without crashing the entire system. They may take on too much risk and go under, but the transaction system, the VEN and all the money in it, will remain unaffected. There will not be any ripple effect, as has and will occur in the case of the present banking system when it fails.

Of late, one person who really understands the position the banking sector must be in is Michael Rivero, who on the date of writing this, 8 February, 2013, is saying that rule by debt slavery is just as illegitimate as rule by divine right or any other claims to rule, that humanity has OUTGROWN these follies. We believe this is the correct view forward. Again, our message resonates with Rivero's; ours is that we should all prepare to “come out of her, my people” and into a newer, better system for transacting business. We have to think of a time when we will not even be willing to accept their money for any terms of trade including being paid in it for our labour.

Usury, for our rigorous definition then, directly involves the issuance of money. It can affect loans of money too. If money is created at interest, the following results:

Debit Central Bank $A new money – Credit Government $A new money
Debit Government $A(X%) - Credit Central Bank $A(X%) interest

Note that $A did not exist before it was lent as debt to the government. The money to pay X, the interest, was never created. Also in compounding interest the number of these,
Debit Government $A(X%) - Credit Central Bank $A(X%) interest

could be infinite.

The rigorous definition of usury is therefore to demand back that which was not created and using indebtedness on default to acquire property that formerly did not belong to the lender. The former is fraud, the latter is theft, the basis of the whole business, a lie; that it is possible to repay that which was not created. All other matters concerning laws that would supposedly temper whatever amount of uncreated money is demanded back in repayment, are rendered both erroneous and irrelevant.

Debt under the Value Unit system.

In the proposed VEN, the term chosen, the credit contract, describes what it is and what it concerns; 
1) an agreement between a buyer and a seller concerning terms of sale,
2) the extension of credit by the seller to the buyer, 
3) the final price being the total of all payments by the buyer to the seller. 

These are standard commercial transactions and employ no usury because nothing more is being demanded back than was delivered, the only difference was that the buyer had to pay a higher price (perhaps a much higher price) because he didn't have the money to buy the product at what would have been for him a lower price on the day of the purchase. The difference in price the buyer pays is accordingly called by the Austrians, his “time preference.” We prefer to say that all such appeals to credit represent whatever incomplete ability to pay in full today with a promise to pay in full later, usually results in a higher price, through a series of instalments over time, because the buyer didn't have all the money at the time of sale. What is always inferred in such an agreement is that the buyer pays for his purchase using this credit resulting in a higher price.

Of course, the prudent buyer saves up enough money to make the purchase in full and receives his purchase at a lower price. There is also a time difference expressed here; the frugal buyer must wait to enjoy the object of his desires, while the buyer who opts for a credit contract has it now. If that object is a tool which produces something the buyer thinks he can readily sell during the time it would have taken to save up the money, perhaps the difference in time matters.

Under a Value Unit system, there are only exchange accounts, which are demand deposit, checking accounts. Time deposits, savings accounts, will not be offered by any IE within the system because no IE will ever be engaged in lending money. Savings could be money you decide to leave in the exchange account to stack up, or it could rest somewhere in a safe place at home as Value Unit exchange notes and coins. In any case, these are stores of value (pools of liquidity) that curiously enough tend to keep prices down, because they are taken out of circulation for as long as they are saved and not spent. There has been a complaint in the past about alternative currencies not circulating, but what is not as clearly understood is the need to get certain pools of liquidity; savings, started. No alternative to existing currencies stands a chance of acceptance without being able to hold its value in savings over long periods or to finance really big purchases.

Within the VEN, anything of value can be bartered for Value Units, without however increasing the number of Value Units in circulation. We can further differentiate between, 

1) those items or products that have a specific price denominated in dollars (or something else) or those things encumbered by a previously existing debt expressed in dollars (or something else) and 

2) those items that are free of any previous pricing which can be priced in Value Units. Into the latter category might be anything intended to barter for Value Units including labour and services as well as local produce, crafts, tools, etc.

Interest and Profit

Now, we're going to discuss interest on a loan. If the loan creates money, the interest comes out of money that has not been created, which we have rigorously defined, with E. C. Riegel, and right here as usury. But how about all other loans with money that has already been created? We probably never think about it, but we should; when we see a price on something posted in a store, it is made up of the retailer's cost of goods and a markup for the retailer's profit. Types of stores have ranges of profit from as low as 2% or 3%. Certain markets, the found value markets (flea markets, antique stores, estate sale stores, foundation run used clothing stores, etc.), are capable of generating profits in the several hundred percent. Generally the smaller the profit, the larger the scale of the enterprise must be to survive. 

In an article appearing on the von Mises Institute website, 14 December, 2005 by author Glen Tenney, we read,

"Certainly, we all enjoy the constitutional protection of freedom of contract, but the state [Alabama in this case] has decreed some contracts as unlawful or immoral, and payday loan agreements are immoral on their face."

the words of one Mike Skotniki, who made his money on the time preferences of others; selling high interest payday loans. For instance, Skotniki might say to a guy named Smith, “I'll lend you $100 cash today for a post dated check for $120 that I'll cash in two weeks, after you get paid.” Skotniki can only do this maybe 25 times a year as long as Smith retains his $50 a week job (and presumably Smith has other jobs or makes more than $50 a week and is only willing to pay up front for the time advantage of having his $100 cash today rather than in two weeks' time. Skotniki must also have the cash to begin with, he is not lending uncreated money and of course Smith will hopefully not be paid in borrowed money, so all the money involved has already been created. The transactions look like this:

Debit Skotnicki $100 – Credit Smith $100
- 2 weeks later -
Debit Smith $120 - Credit Skotnicki $120

In 25 credit contracts, over about a year's time, Skotniki has loaned and received $2,500 and has made $500 from Smith paying for his time preference. Skotniki's return is a straight 20% Of course maybe because Smith has this money ahead of time, he is able to turn a deal to make so much more money that paying Skotniki his 20% on this money is more than counterbalanced. Skotniki has certain risks, but what he is really selling is time, which is a real commodity after all. But what would most people prefer to see? We'd prefer that Smith saved up enough money so he wouldn't need to pay Skotniki for it, as it is perceived that what Skotniki is doing is a form of loan sharking. But Skotniki isn't asking more back than has already been created, Skotniki is just having Smith pay, whether we think exorbitantly or not, for having his money ahead of time.

Self-financing labour.

Now recall what E. C. Riegel said about self financing labour, it's similar. Let's say that you are an A member who gets hired to do something for a B member of your local IE. You have some kind of contract for work that you have agreed to be paid in so many Value Units, etc. You take that contract back to your IE and somewhere on that contract is going to be a phrase indicating how far from the day you start work that you will be paid and then the IE does something interesting; it automatically forwards that sum in Value Units to that B member ahead of time, as if they are being paid up front the float to pay you the agreed upon price for your labour contained in the contract.

Labour contracts within the VEN will be the means of self financing the float during each pay period. The B member is basically borrowing your Value Units from the day you begin work to the day you get paid, when they have to pay you back. The B member also pays the minute transaction fee and you too will pay it when you deposit your check or Value Units are transferred directly into your account on the day you get paid. Should they continue to honour their contract for however long they agreed to it, this same automatic float would apply, month after month. This was not an idea unique with E. C. Riegel. There were some other German economists associated with the city of Berlin, who described similar arrangements. Notice that this money is the only kind that will be created for a limited time (the time from the first day of work in any period, to the date paid) and that when one's employers in the B member pay you, that same money is extinguished. Notice also that the amount of money created is exactly as called for in the labour contract, to be paid how many ever days from the first day of work, all of course without interest. The sums on either side are trimmed however by paying back the one tenth of one percent transaction fees.

A string of these short self financing of labour arrangements creates opportunities for all B member businesses to take advantage of this float between the first day of work and the pay date, offering the time advantage of the money at negligible cost. This is one of E. C. Riegel's most outstanding and revolutionary ideas, the ramifications for workers and professionals the world over are tremendous; employers will want to treat you better when they are being paid up front to hire you. They will feel obligated to do their best for you as an employee and everyone in this system will earn a reputation. 

Types and Nature of Credit Contracts

In simplest terms, a credit contract is a contract to supply credit within the VEN. The four types are:

1) credit contracted by an A member from a B member : Credit extended to a business customer.
2) credit contracted by a B member from another B member : Credit extended from one business to another business. 
3) credit contracted by a B member from an A member : Credit extended to a business by an individual; an investment.
4) credit contracted by an A member from another A member
Credit extended to an individual by another individual (personal loan).

A few ground rules for E. C. Riegel finance would include that no more money is created than is absolutely necessary to finance a deal, a sale, a transfer of property from the contractor (lender) to the contracted (borrower). It usually works out so that the buyer is getting the product ahead of time; his time preference. Ahead of what time? Ahead of the time it would have taken for the buyer to save the money to make the purchase at the time with all the money to satisfy the seller. This is what the Austrians called “time preference,” meaning the buyer was making a preference for the product ahead of the time he would have had all the money to actually pay for it. The buyer is getting a deal; the buyer gets the use of whatever it is that's bought right away. That may matter. But what is the result? The buyer must pay a higher price for the product received ahead of time. What we prefer to admit is that the buyer didn't have all the money to buy it when he bought it; he bought what he couldn't afford. What could the buyer do if he had to have it without fully paying for it at the time of sale? The buyer must agree to a higher price for the product, payable in terms acceptable to both the buyer and the seller.

Is this raising of price usury? Not at all. It's proved entirely by the law of identity; A = A. Thus:

A is not A+(X%)A

Any amount of money lent does not equal the same amount of money plus any additional percentage of that money as interest. However,

A, the value in a product or service IS A, its value in money, no matter how much money that is. Or put another way, anything you have is precisely worth to you the cost of buying it, whether that was retail or twice the retail price.

If a man buys a refrigerator from a company or another man, and takes delivery tomorrow, but he doesn't have the money to buy it, he agrees to a schedule of payments that might after all result in the eventual price paid for the refrigerator being twice its retail (cash) price. That's the price of time extended by the seller to get more of his money back and it usually works. But the seller is never asking more of the buyer than he believes the buyer will bear, because the value to the buyer will always reside in the refrigerator, no matter what he pays for it. It doesn't matter whether the man paid 675 for something he could have bought for 395, the fact is that no more money was ever created than was absolutely necessary to settle the deal. In fact none was created because the buyer eventually had to come up with all the money to satisfy the seller's terms. That's going to be one type of standard credit contract within an IE. Notice that the IE does not get involved in any of this finance business, it merely certifies that the contracts satisfy the rules.

Right here, we contrast this proposal with the current model which allows the business in charge of accounts and transfers to lend money, which it is in fact creating to satisfy a purchase. The lender demands back what was not created at the moment the loan was made in the form of interest and the lender's ability to lend is based rather loosely on the total value of their customer accounts; so called reserves. It is well to separate forever the value transfer business of exchange from the finance business of making loans.  Besides which, and I wish more would understand this, when you put your money into a bank, that money becomes part of their reserves, not yours.  What part of this do you not understand?

Lending money between members works like this. For example, the price a man agrees to pay for having 100 Value Units (VU's) today is paying a lender 10 VU's today and 100 VU's in a week. The lender gets paid up front 10% of the loan and gives the borrower 100 VU's. In a week, the borrower pays the lender 100 VU's. What was the difference between placing the difference, the increase, the interest, in front, rather than expecting it to be paid in a week along with the principle? The difference is that this “earnest money” paid up front for the rent of the 100 VU's was the borrower's to begin with, so that money had already been created. The man lending the other his 100 VU's is lending money that already belongs to him, it was not created when lent. He has received a mere tenth of his money back up front, so he is risking a 90% loss of his 100 VU's and will have to be content with the 10 VU's he has from the borrower in case of default. But the lender knows the man and he knows the man's credit record within the IE. That credit record follows an account whether the member moves to another IE or not and is always available to potential lenders. The standard avenues for gaining better credit apply; paying off your loans on time. This would be an acceptable credit contract and those engaging in this kind of financial servicing would be earning time value for their money without increasing its supply.

Debit 10 VU's A member (Smith) – Credit 10 VU's A member (Jones)
Debit 100 VU's A member (Jones) - Credit 100 VU's A member (Smith) 
Debit 100 VU's A member (Smith) – Credit 100 VU's A member (Jones)

(We would like to suggest that the IE could have a more positive effect on the way people manage their money rather than being adversarial as banks have to be due to their business model and methodologies. For example, the technology certainly exists that would allow certain amounts of a member's account to be held in escrow against the claims of lenders. Their monthly statements would show exactly how much money was available to save or spend and how much was in escrow and who the creditors were, their payments, etc.) 

David Burton

FINIS

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

#23 The Significance of Shangri-La

In a previous post, I wrote, “We in the VEN community intend to be the Shangri-La that was to be there until the appointed time, to offer to mankind a way out of his age old miseries.” The reference was to the speech of the High Lama in the famous movie, Lost Horizon. I still find it relevant to today's world situation and current events:

We have reason. It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La.
It came to me in a vision, long, long, ago.
I saw all the nations strengthening, not in wisdom, but in the vulgar passions
and the will to destroy. 
I saw their machine power multiply until a single weaponed man
might match a whole army.
I foresaw a time when man, exulting in the technique of murder,
would rage so hotly over the world that every book, every treasure,
would be doomed to destruction.
This vision was so vivid and so moving that I determined to gather together
all the things of beauty and culture that I could
and preserve them here against the doom
toward which the world is rushing.
(pause)
Look at the world today! Is there anything more pitiful?
What madness there is, what blindness, what unintelligent leadership!
A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other,
propelled by an orgy of greed and brutality.
The time must come, my friend, when this orgy will spend itself,
when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword.
Against that time is why I avoided death and am here,
and why you were brought here.
For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life.
And it is our hope that they may find it here.
For here we shall be with their books and their music
and a way of life based on one simple rule: Be Kind.
(pause)
When that day comes, it is our hope that the brotherly love of Shangri-La
will spread throughout the world.
(pause)
Yes, my son, when the strong have devoured each other,
the Christian ethic may at last be fulfilled,
and the meek shall inherit the earth.

Peace! Really!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

#0 Looking Back and Forward by Spencer Heath MacCallum

Source - http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/maccallum1.html

Beginning the 24th paragraph of Spencer MacCallum's wonderful piece we read,

About this time [1970's?], a couple of interesting projects unfolded. The first was discovering the rigorously free-market monetary ideas of E.C. Riegel. He had been a friend of Popdaddy's, living in Greenwich Village, in the last stages of Parkinson's Disease when I met him. On a hunch that his papers might contain valuable ideas, knowing that Popdaddy endorsed his ideas on money, I kept in touch with the family who received his papers on his death in 1955. Ten years later I was on hand to save them from being dumpstered.

Here then, we have another remarkable instance of treasures being saved from oblivion. The Scarlatti harpsichord sonatas and the Bach Brandenburg Concertos are similar treasures, as are many of the unpublished works of Franz Schubert.

Almost ten more years went by, and I showed an essay from them to Harry Browne, who in his best-selling You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis (Macmillan 1974), called it "The best explanation of the free market I've seen." A flurry of requests for the essay encouraged me to systematically examine all the papers and eventually edit and self-publish two books from them, The New Approach to Freedom (1976) and Flight from Inflation: The Monetary Alternative (1978). From Riegel I came to respect the notion of an abstract unit of value whereby exchange might be facilitated by simple accountancy among traders in the market. Issue of new units would be by traders monetizing their future productivity, then redeeming them as they offered goods or services competitively in the market.


Updating this idea, what I am proposing that we should do is to open up the issue of new units (Value Units) to individual human beings (traders by implicit regard in the market) who would not just monetize their future productivity, but in the case of the retired and elderly, military veterans or the disabled, to monetize their past productivity, much of which may well have been stolen. Were a monetary system to emerge that would stand apart from any and all governments, there would have to be a means of transition into such a system, such that those marginalized by the present system, would see a future for themselves and their younger relatives and be able to participate in it as far as possible. [It is fair to point out to the public at this point in time, that the Founder of the RMES, Mr. Laurence Gilbert, believes that this would add too much inflation and destroy the purity of his monetary system, therefore he rejects it.]   

Inasmuch as political governments are not traders in the market, they would have no place in such an exchange system.  

Governments act by law which as Bastiat maintained was FORCE. Governments do not produce anything anyone would not rather buy from someone else if they had the opportunity, especially if that opportunity were close at hand rather than far away. Governments also do not bargain, they take by FORCE and they spend on things that benefit them rather than those they supposedly govern.

Should such a unit of account [the Value Unit] come to be preferred over legal tender for its constancy, political governments would no longer be able to deficit-finance. Not being traders, they would have no issue power, and having no issue power, they would have no means of watering the money supply. This is radical thinking, but I have fostered interest in it whenever opportunity has arisen. Riegel's material is on a website and soon will be on another.

Neither of those websites at this writing (2013) were mine, therefore this is a third website devoted to Riegel's ideas and what we can make of them for ourselves at this point in history. We are sincerely grateful for Spencer MacCallum's contributions. After all, if he had not saved Riegel's work from oblivion, we wouldn't be writing this.

David Burton

#0 The Monetary Economics of E. C. Riegel

Source - http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2009/09/monetary-economics-of-ec-riegel.html

Documented failure of e-gold - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-gold

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#20.2 A Preliminary Standard for Value Unit (VU) Exchange Notes & Coins

Here is the link to #20 (now, with this post, #20.1) the previous post in this series.

We got some preliminary feedback, generally positive, on what was shown in #20.1. Sometimes it takes something visual to get the idea across, and we'll give you more in this series. [29 April, 13: Since then, we have received more feedback and a new series of designs will appear here soon.]  The proposed Value Unit is to be money, every bit and in the same sense that any national or supra national currencies are money. Of course there are the hard headed out there who say things like, after the people get so sick and tired of using money in all its paper forms, they will demand a return to gold and silver. These people have been sold the other side of the bankers' own convenient dialectic, because the bankers know damn well who controls the market for gold and silver; they do.

Nevertheless, we are designing a monetary system that does use gold and silver as a means of acquiring useful money, that can transact business anywhere it becomes accepted. Why? Because physical gold and silver cannot fly to distant places to buy things that money can buy. In all senses, gold and silver (and copper too) are medieval conveyances of value and were themselves as artificial as suggesting that 7 she goats = 3 steers ready for slaughter, is a reliable means of measuring value. People do not measure value that way; they use their knowledge of prices and the money they have and work it out, one deal at a time, each and every day.

On this blog, we have been discussing the major flaws in the present money system (matters the present system has no intention of correcting). We have lately heard more people equating what's wrong with the present money being FIAT money backed by nothing [4-29-13: According to Riegel, all government issue is unbacked whether supposedly backed by gold or silver or not because the government being a buyer cannot be a seller without competing with private production and thus becoming a communist regime as an inevitable consequence.]  and that in order for things to be right with the world, there would have to be far fewer people [4-29-13: This too seems an inevitable consequence of government issue under genuine usury.]. Tell me, which people did you have in mind? Tell me, if you can, in all the instances you know of where FIAT money was issued, was any other method but fractional reserve banking / financing used? Were there anyone other than bankers or governments issuing these failed FIAT moneys?

Yes, you can certainly say that in all past instances where FIAT money was issued, that money eventually failed. You cannot infer that the reason was that it was FIAT money any more than you can reasonably say that the old gold, silver and copper based money ever worked for all people during the times it was used, when it clearly did not benefit all the people, but those who had the most gold and silver, again the bankers. [4-29-13: Riegel said that even when they were the only recognized money, gold and silver coins were only capable of transacting a fraction of the normal business and that further we recognize that commodities have a tendency to store rather than circulate, just another reason why we move forward in our representations of value from a commodities based system.]  Nevertheless one hears all kinds of endless baloney about gold and silver representing independence and freedom, etc. when in fact all these precious metals represent is another addiction to commodities, the value of which is under someone else's control, not yours.

Why Gold & Silver Bullion Right Now

Before we go on to consider E. C. Riegel's views on money, we need to cover exactly why those with extra money right now SHOULD be purchasing at least some gold and silver bullion coins. Precious metals really represent votes of “no confidence” in the present monetary system. What one is doing when one buys gold or silver bullion is to place one's purchasing power out of the present monetary system, literally out of the market that is enabled by a particular currency. One hears incessantly about preserving one's wealth, when what one is actually doing is putting one's wealth on ice. Wealth, as will be recalled, is that capable of producing income. There are some who make money lending gold and silver bullion, but those people are certainly not you or me. When inflation is anticipated, well inflation is built right into their system anyway, if you leave your money (what you think of as your money, which is really their money, as has lately been proved in Cyprus) in a bank (their bank, not yours.), it will dwindle in purchasing power and certainly anything they pay you to keep it there will not cover inflation. And what of a bank holiday? No, there hasn't been one since 1933, but that doesn't mean it can't happen again. Cyprus happened after I began writing this, so please pay attention.

What would you do if one day the powers that be decided to halve the value of each dollar? That's a 50% devaluation, and they do it ostensibly to make their debts worth less to pay back, just as was done in Weimar Germany.  In the process people lose their savings and the Middle Class, the bastion of rational civilization everywhere, is  crushed.  All prices instantly double, and they may even demand that all loans now pay double the quantity of dollars demanded. Think that can't happen? How many other astonishing things that you thought might not happen have you seen in your lifetime already? The fact is that you do not control their monetary system AT ALL. You all use it, calling the money you have yours, when it isn't even yours.

The reason people should be buying SOME gold and silver coins is that the present monetary system, which refuses to give up its power or excesses, all traced back to usury, fractional reserve banking and central bank issue of money, will fail, just like all the other cases have failed before. Whether it be this year or next or five years hence, really doesn't matter. Their system will fail. What will you do then? Those with gold and silver imagine that their money will be accepted as they think everyone will want to take their gold and silver for something really valuable, like food, water, shelter, clothing, basic medical supplies, etc. We never know, it might be that ready to eat meals will end up being the best barter instrument in a time of universal chaos. But all this could be avoided with a little common sense, starting with knowing what money really is and what it isn't.

E. C. Riegel recognized that the issue was NOT whether money was created by FIAT, but WHO got to create it. We have had three, and more, grand experiments with bank credit created money in the United States; the 1st and 2nd Banks of the United States and then the Federal Reserve system. The first two failed and the third has really failed already, but nobody has bothered to take them down yet. Who created the money in all three cases? The bankers. It is a mathematical certainty that just as these previous banks failed, and their money with them, the third experiment doing exactly the same thing the previous banks did, and practising what all banks have ever done down through history, will also fail, not because the money was created by FIAT, but because of who created that money. There is also the problem of inter-connected promises to pay; the great worldwide Ponzi scheme that could crash in a day and take the financial system and most governments down with it.

I'll repeat that ALL the arguments expressing disgust for FIAT money play right into the hands of the people who control the markets for precious metals and they happen to be the same people who control the issuance of bank credit; the two sides of the same monetary dialectic.  My suggestion, a very good one, if some people had paid attention, was in effect to fuse the two sides of the same dialectic and thus extinguish both sides. This is accomplished by using gold and silver as the only mediation between Value Units and any other money, but thereafter using the stability of an independent yardstick, the Value Unit, as the measure of value in commercial transactions of all kinds; money in all the usual forms we see used today.[4-29-13: By this is understood that after VU inception, there is a distinct departure from the Value Unit and precious metals, as metals prices are determined elsewhere.  This is entirely in keeping with Riegel's proposal that after the Value Unit is launched based on its Figure 1, that thereafter the Value Unit would maintain its stability regardless of what the basis does after the VU's inception.  This seems a difficult concept for some.]  

Buying some gold and silver in the event that not if, but when the present system finally crashes, is these days a reasonably sound decision. Some would think that buying a gun and ammunition makes even more sense. Some are placing their bets on heirloom seeds, not even planting them, but buying them to barter with others when times get really tough.

Now, one has the Bill Stills out there, who talk about giving the power to issue usury free money back to the US government, to Congress specifically, since that's where the Constitution IN ERROR vested the power, and that we could expect the government to issue debt free money by FIAT and spend it into the economy for things that the government deems “in the public interest.” Then it is suggested the government merely taxes the rest back and some special agency set up by the states and the Federal government jointly works out whether or not too much money was being created, etc. All the usual rules dealing with bank reserves and fractional reserve lending get to continue.

Come on, Bill. Tell me, what exactly are these things the government would buy “in the public interest?” How about the military budget, Bill? How about all the surveillance? How about all the various wars on this or that, people, practice or thing?

No, there must be a separation between government and money, else they will control the buying and have the say, not us. We intend on making a lot of things very different and one of the biggest objectives is to divorce the people from monetary dependence on their governments, by offering an alternative to government money. People want an end to inflation, but prices for things are constantly changing as they need to do to represent economies of production or scale. But for a price for something in common use, like a litre of milk or gasoline, to fluctuate in price so dramatically, as happened famously in Weimar Germany, when they tried to make reparations payments in inflated currency, one usually has to look at other historical causes, not the simplistic and frankly ignorant view that it all has to do with the means of exchange being created by FIAT.

This is a lot like saying that all the great wars were fought for religious reasons, when history reveals again that the principal factors in making war were those who financed it, and that goes back ultimately to at least Babylon. So one must be careful about uncritically accepting such glib statements as “wants are unlimited, means are scarce” that may tell you nothing important about anything.

Design

Designing the next money is going to become an occupation, because the number of obverse (front) designs will be almost unlimited, while the reverse (back) designs maintain a simple set of design rules. Right at the moment these are proposals only because no one person or group of interested persons has come forward with any better suggestions. I'm sure there will be some.

As I was pondering this business having completed a set of designs for the reverse (back) sides of these VU Exchange Notes, I saw that for openers there would be a need for a generic series that any particular geographical area could use to get started. What follows then are the generic designs for the eight proposed Exchange Notes. I should add that not all of these would be made available at the beginning. Perhaps only the first four at first. So here they are:

The 1 VU Exchange Note
The 5 VU Exchange Note
The 10 VU Exchange Note
The 20 VU Exchange Note
The 50 VU Exchange Note
The 100 VU Exchange Note

The 500 VU Exchange Note

The 1000 VU Exchange Note
[There is currently no note in this design series]
 
The obverse (front) of each of these generic designs has the following characteristics:

1) They all indicate “The People of” a place as identifying the IE.
2) They all show the denomination in the lower right corner in BIG numerals.
3) They all display a circle inside which are the words “MEMBER IVES” which signifies that the note is recognized as legitimate by the International Value Exchange Society. This body, which is to be a B member in all established IEs, of course does not exist yet. It needs to be established, as at this time a committee of interested people, then over time it can grow into the SERVANT organization of all the local IEs.

I want that thought to sink in. We are not interested in replacing one overlord with another of our own making. One who saw the reverse (back) designs said, “so this is going to be worldwide money.” He thought the map of the world might bring to some people's minds the idea of a New World Order or Big Brother, etc. No, we are asserting that THEY do not own the world, that by our creation of the Value Exchange Network (VEN), we are taking our world back from THEM. The IVES is to be organized as a unicameral policy body with a revolving head similar to the way the Swiss Federal Council operates, but of course we will have many more members, one from each IE. As was said before, the IVES cannot and will not initiate policies that have not been tried by at least three of its IE members, for universal application across the VEN.

If you've noticed, we want to create something that obtains its power and backing from the ground up, rather than from on high raining down. Percolate up economics is what we have in mind, not trickle down. One reason why the present system is failing and why it will eventually fail completely, is that you simply cannot operate an efficient monetary system where most of the money is in the fewest hands. That limits trade all across the board and everywhere. Instead the only new money allowed will be from the “red inkers” below. [Laurence Gilbert denies it, but he mentioned “red inkers in #1 on this blog.]

Once one, an A member, has achieved a level of income, savings and resources above the level of subsistence, they are no longer eligible to create money as they will have enough. However, if ever there would come a time where failure happens, one would have a right to subsistence as part of the very fabric of the way the system works. We can say again that this will mark the end of collectivism, socialism and all other schemes to nanny people around who really would be better off with a real chance at an independent livelihood.

David Burton

Monday, February 4, 2013

#22 Le fait de répondre à quelque chose de Opération Révolution France

4 Février 2013

ON NE PAIE PLUS !

Quand nous serons 3 millions de signataires dans le monde, nous nous engageons à ne plus payer…

STOP À L’IMPOSTURE FINANCIÈRE DES BANQUES

http://stoppaying.wesign.it/fr

Nous ne voulons plus payer ce système de dettes odieuses privées et publiques qui nous asservit, entraîne des destructions écologiques, lamine les principes démocratiques et les droits sociaux, entretient les communautarismes, provoque les conflits militaires et conduit aux guerres civiles.

Nous ne voulons plus payer ni la corruption des États ni le totalitarisme des marchés boursiers qui répondent à la contestation par la coercition, avec des politiques dites sécuritaires (en réalité de surveillance et de répression policières) et appuyées de discours de plus en plus déshumanisants, ouvertement xénophobes, racistes et fascistes, à travers les bandes armées et les milices mafieuses qu’ils favorisent.

Nous disons NON !…

… Car nous voulons bâtir avec nos propres moyens une société répondant à nos aspirations légitimes, contre les gouvernements à la botte du commerce international.

Dès maintenant nous construisons des solidarités concrètes, nous ré-inventons, découvrons et renforçons des modes d’échanges équitables et horizontaux.

STOP AUX DETTES ILLÉGITIMES SIGNÉES PAR NOS POUVOIRS CORROMPUS

Nous refusons de payer pour les droits inaliénables, qui n’ont par conséquent aucune raison légitime d’être marchandisés et payés.
Nous refusons de payer pour l’accès aux biens communs et aux services publics élémentaires (logement, éducation, santé, communications, culture, transports, eau, chauffage, électricité, etc.).
Nous refusons de payer pour des politiques de grands projets inutiles qui démantèlent les droits sociaux gagnés grâce aux luttes menées par nos aînés.

OUI À UN SYSTÈME SOLIDAIRE ET COOPÉRATIF ENTRE TOUS LES HUMAINS

Nous disons NON pour sortir de l’isolement : OUI nos refus individuels se conjuguent !

Chacun de nous est rejoint par d’autres, ce qui nous conduit à s’organiser et à nous rassembler dans un réseau toujours plus large, plus efficace, dans une intelligence collective.

Nos situations sont différentes, nos raisons de ne plus payer le sont également : certains s’engageront à ne pas payer les transports, d’autres les frais de santé, d’autres les crédits, d’autres les loyers, d’autres un peu tout cela à la fois… avec le soutien de tous ici, et avec le réseau de ceux qui refusent de payer l’inacceptable.

NOUS N’AVONS PLUS BESOIN D’EUX !

Nous nous passons de leurs logiques de profits injustes et de conflits désastreux. Nous sommes prêts à construire ensemble un autre monde, pacifique, ouvert, responsable.

En signant cette pétition, nous exprimons aussi notre volonté d’être mis en relation avec les signataires proches de nos lieux de vie pour faire cause commune, construire des alternatives et préparer notre refus de payer par un acte de désobéissance civile de masse.

As translated by bing ...

"WE PAY MORE!

When we get 3 million signatories in the world, we no longer pay...

STOP at the SHAM financial banking http://stoppaying.wesign.it/fr we want more pay this odious debts private and public system that enslaves us, causes ecological destruction, lamine [sic] democratic principles and social rights, maintains the communalism [sic], causes the military conflicts and led to civil wars.

Want more pay the corruption of States nor the totalitarianism of the markets that meet the challenge by coercion, with policies tell us safe (in reality, surveillance and police repression) and supported by more dehumanizing speech, openly xenophobic, racist and fascist, through armed gangs and mafia-like militia that they promote.

We say no!... Because we want to build on our own a company meets our legitimate aspirations, against the Governments controlled by international trade.

Now we build concrete solidarity, we re - invent, discover and strengthen trade fair and horizontal modes.

STOP the debt illegitimate signed by our powers CORROMPUS we refuse to pay for the inalienable rights, which have therefore no reason legitimate to be marchandisés and paid.

We refuse to pay for access to common goods and basic public services (housing, education, health, communications, culture, transport, water, heating, electricity, etc.).

We refuse to pay for major projects unnecessary policies that dismantle social rights earned through the struggles carried out by our elders.

Yes to a mutually supportive and cooperative system between all humans we say no to get out of isolation: Yes our individual refusal combine!

Each of us is joined by others, which leads us to organize and to bring together us in a still broader, more effective network in a collective intelligence.

Our situations are different, our reasons for not to pay are: some commit to not pay transportation, other health costs, other credits, other rents, other a little while that both... with the support of everyone here, and with the network of those who refuse to pay the unacceptable.

WE NO LONGER HAVE NEED OF THEM!

We spend their logic of unfair profits and disastrous conflict. We are ready to build another world, peaceful, open, responsible.

By signing this petition, we also express our willingness to be put in touch with close signers of our living environments to make common cause, build alternatives and prepare our refusal to pay by an act of mass civil disobedience.

This little message was so loaded, that rather than putting my comments into line with the translation, I gave you the rough translation first. Of course I did not sign their petition and I will explain why.

ON NE PAIE PLUS !

“WE PAY MORE!” Referring to a decision taken for the people to pay more when they have little and are losing even that.

Quand nous serons 3 millions de signataires dans le monde, nous nous engageons à ne plus payer…

“When we get 3 million signatories in the world, we no longer pay...” Why give them your identities? You do not owe them that. If you decide not to pay then simply refuse to pay, “come out of her, my people” and have no more to do with them. Do it by the millions and their system will fold.

STOP À L’IMPOSTURE FINANCIÈRE DES BANQUES

http://stoppaying.wesign.it/fr 

“STOP THE BANKS FINANCIAL FRAUD.”

Who will care about the bankers fraud when it is exposed as it will be anyway and millions of people suddenly figure out what has been going on for all of their lives, their father's lives, their grandfather's lives, all just the same, with war for profit into the bargain; our sons are lost while they grow rich? Let nature take its course. Meanwhile build something for yourselves that will outlast and overtake their system. 

Nous ne voulons plus payer ce système de dettes odieuses privées et publiques qui nous asservit, entraîne des destructions écologiques, lamine les principes démocratiques et les droits sociaux, entretient les communautarismes, provoque les conflits militaires et conduit aux guerres civiles.

“We do not want to pay any more [to or into] this system of public and private odious debts which enslaves us, draws away [causes in a derogatory way] environmental destruction, rolls [as if to flip them aside] democratic principles and social rights, maintains communitarianism [collectivism], causes military conflicts and driven to [drives people to] civil wars.” 

It looks like we understand the same factors. 

Nous ne voulons plus payer ni la corruption des États ni le totalitarisme des marchés boursiers qui répondent à la contestation par la coercition, avec des politiques dites sécuritaires (en réalité de surveillance et de répression policières) et appuyées de discours de plus en plus déshumanisants, ouvertement xénophobes, racistes et fascistes, à travers les bandes armées et les milices mafieuses qu’ils favorisent.

“We do not want to pay any more either the corruption of States or the totalitarianism of the stock markets which answer protest by coercion, with security said policies (in reality of surveillance and suppression police) and supported by speeches more and more déshumanisants [dehumanizing, actually applied to the people with this viewpoint], openly xenophobes, racists and fascists, across the armed bands and mafieuses [mafia] militias that they [states or bankers] favour.”
 


What does the medical practitioner tell you when you are about to get a shot? “Hold still and just relax.” The bankers have the states as their abject debtors who put YOU the people up as collateral for their debts to the bankers in case they could no longer pay the INTEREST on their loans. So the bankers are using their creature, the state (yes, their CORPORATIONS which masquerade as states], and they will be coming for the people to get their hands on their stuff and they expect the police to continue to support them even though the police are being paid in banker money, all created as debt, that will never belong to them, that in fact their rulers could care less about the police who protect them. But certainly they have paid mercenary armies, the mafia militias spoken of. These goons are paid far more than the average police officers. And of course all these people believe themselves to be above the law that affects the rest of us.

Nous disons NON !…

… Car nous voulons bâtir avec nos propres moyens une société répondant à nos aspirations légitimes, contre les gouvernements à la botte du commerce international.

“We say no!...... Because we want to build on our own a company [that] meets our legitimate aspirations, against the Governments controlled by international trade.” 

Whose permission do you need? In fact whose permission do you need to start boycotting their corporations, their stores, their fees and taxes, their rules, their everything? What are they going to do when millions walk out on them and then turn on them to deliver the justice that surely comes to those who have maintained their positions in society through lies, cheating and stealing, going back now many hundreds of years? Oh yes, we are certain that as events in Iceland proved, when the people finally say they've had enough and do something, things happen the way the people want. Remember I said in a previous post that when one looks back over the 20th century, the wars needed those who would willingly go to war and fight against people who they didn't even know personally, those who were in all likelihood their closer blood relatives, etc. etc. But force them to make the first violent move, else there could be disaster.

Dès maintenant nous construisons des solidarités concrètes, nous ré-inventons, découvrons et renforçons des modes d’échanges équitables et horizontaux.

STOP AUX DETTES ILLÉGITIMES SIGNÉES PAR NOS POUVOIRS CORROMPUS

“Now we build concrete solidarity, we re-invent, discover and strengthen trade fair [fair trade] and horizontal modes. ILLEGITIMATE DEBT SIGNED BY OUR CORRUPT POWERS, STOPS.” 

You could stop it all, but then what would you have? You must build that concrete solidarity yourselves without expecting anything new or better from those who have only practised lies, cheating, stealing and deception for many hundreds of years now, so they are very good at all of it. The proposed solution is the Value Exchange Network (the VEN) made up of probably eventually thousands of local “horizontal” Independent Exchanges (IEs) scattered throughout the world. It's not that free and fair trade cannot be had, it's that it has never been in the right hands to begin with. Technology being what it was, this may have been the best that could have been hoped for, but certainly now we could all do better. Again, decide to “come out of her, my people” and begin to start talking among yourselves about making a fresh start by building something yourselves. 

Nous refusons de payer pour les droits inaliénables, qui n’ont par conséquent aucune raison légitime d’être marchandisés et payés.


Nous refusons de payer pour l’accès aux biens communs et aux services publics élémentaires (logement, éducation, santé, communications, culture, transports, eau, chauffage, électricité, etc.). Nous refusons de payer pour des politiques de grands projets inutiles qui démantèlent les droits sociaux gagnés grâce aux luttes menées par nos aînés.

OUI À UN SYSTÈME SOLIDAIRE ET COOPÉRATIF ENTRE TOUS LES HUMAINS

“We refuse to pay for inalienable rights, as a result with no reason legitimate to be marchandisés and to pay. We refuse to pay for the access to common property and to basic utility (accommodation, education, health, communications, culture, transport, water, heating, electricity, etc).

We refuse to pay for policies of big useless plans which dismantle social rights earned thanks to conflicts led by our elders.

YES IN A COOPERATIVE AND UNITED SYSTEM BETWEEN ALL HUMAN BEINGS”

The word marchandisés is related to the word marchand which is trader. It is close to the English word merchandise which is to be used by a merchant, a trader, and in this case to turn people into things that can be traded or perhaps discarded if they have no more commercial value. This is the traditional way all those way above our heads view us. But let's take a look at what this activist thinks is inalienable and we'll recognize something else.

We have said that inalienable rights rest with each individual human being and that they extend to life, liberty and property. We earlier heard this same activist claim that communautarismes communitarianism, which let's face it folks is just the same as collectivism, communism, etc. is an evil, but somehow these common properties and basic utilities are or include (accommodation, education, health, communications, culture, transport, water, heating, electricity, etc). Well, come on folks, which would you rather have, since you can't have both, either some “common property” that no one takes care of anyway because it doesn't belong to anybody, or the money you need (as a real inalienable right, since it stems directly from YOU) to buy subsistence in a monetary system (the Value Unit rather than the dollar, euro, etc.) that allows you to rise to buy and own properties that can and would be your own? In fact you might look closer at some of these “common properties” and ask yourselves what they are really worth, especially education.

Then we have this remarkable statement: We refuse to pay for policies of big useless plans which dismantle social rights earned thanks to conflicts led by our elders. Yes, yes; big useless plans. What could those be? Might those be some “holier than thou” activities carried on by all those “really smart” people who went to those “special schools” and have all those swell jobs up in Paris, while the petits Bernard et Claudine dans le pays, can jolly well conform or ... go off somewhere and die quietly and not disturb their big useless plans. Attention, mes amis, those plans had nothing to do with you except to turn you into a thing, something to be treated like cattle and milked just the same and disposed of when your usefulness TO THEM was at its end. So that was and is their goal. Problem is, for them. There's far more of us than them.

Nous disons NON pour sortir de l’isolement : OUI nos refus individuels se conjuguent !

Chacun de nous est rejoint par d’autres, ce qui nous conduit à s’organiser et à nous rassembler dans un réseau toujours plus large, plus efficace, dans une intelligence collective.

We say no to get out of isolation: Yes our individual refusal combine! Each of us is joined by others, which leads us to organize and to bring us together in a still broader, more effective network in a collective intelligence.

Well, collective intelligence may be preferable to collective stupidity.  

Nos situations sont différentes, nos raisons de ne plus payer le sont également : certains s’engageront à ne pas payer les transports, d’autres les frais de santé, d’autres les crédits, d’autres les loyers, d’autres un peu tout cela à la fois… avec le soutien de tous ici, et avec le réseau de ceux qui refusent de payer l’inacceptable.

NOUS N’AVONS PLUS BESOIN D’EUX !

Our situations are different, our reasons for not [refusing] to pay are: some commit to not pay transportation, other health costs, other credits, other rents, other a little while that both... with the support of everyone here, and with the network of those who refuse to pay the unacceptable.

WE NO LONGER HAVE NEED OF THEM! 

Yes, but the question is one of authority; theirs. Do they need you? They need you to pay them, to keep up their jobs, their lives, their plans, etc. Otherwise as far as they are concerned, you might as well ... go off somewhere and die quietly. Stand up then and really admit that you don't need anything from them, that you are prepared to get together to make sure that each one of your inalienable rights; life, liberty and property is not taken from you by FORCE. Otherwise you are exactly as they say you are, nothing better than cattle to be milked and slaughtered at their command. There's no idea like the VEN that can solve the problem and begin to turn things around on them. 

Nous nous passons de leurs logiques de profits injustes et de conflits désastreux. Nous sommes prêts à construire ensemble un autre monde, pacifique, ouvert, responsable.

En signant cette pétition, nous exprimons aussi notre volonté d’être mis en relation avec les signataires proches de nos lieux de vie pour faire cause commune, construire des alternatives et préparer notre refus de payer par un acte de désobéissance civile de masse.

We spend their logic of unfair profits and disastrous conflict. We are ready to build another world, peaceful, open, responsible. By signing this petition, we also express our willingness to be put in touch with close signers of our living environments to make common cause, build alternatives and prepare our refusal to pay by an act of mass civil disobedience.

Well, OK, but it really promises nothing. because they hold all the important strings, making you one of their slaves or puppets. Better to leave them and start building your own thing. Then if they object or try and shut you down by FORCE, you will know then with whom you are dealing. Meanwhile, why show your cards? Why sign anything that can and will be used against you in the future? Start thinking about the VEN instead. There will be much more soon that will give you an idea of what this alternative monetary system looks like and how and why it works. Build a better future for yourselves and your children instead of losing life, liberty and property in direct clashes with their hired goons. E. C. Riegel said that political activism was a waste of your time and energy. He was right. All that political structure that you see does not and cannot ever belong to you because the state is the debtor of the banks. It's their money, not yours and it's their government, not yours. It's time to wake up to these realities and dare to do something else.

David Burton