Thursday, September 26, 2013

#51 Comments on Riegel's Understanding of “The English Tradition”


E. C. Riegel's words were written better than 60 years ago when it would have been customary for any American to regard what we inherited in terms of institutional structures from England more than anywhere else (even though much of our modern educational system derives from Prussia), even though from our perspective of deeper research we can now trace the forms all the way back to ancient Babylon. Nonetheless in one paragraph, Riegel succinctly nails the whole situation as it exists now in 2013: 

Throughout the ages the devices of cunning men have turned money to their nefarious purposes. Money, beginning with private enterprise as a means of escaping the limitation of barter soon developed the cheat to exploit the honest trader who in an effort to protect himself turned to government for protection, only to find that now he had two thieves, the private money changer and the political plunderer working hand in glove against him. By this combination the money changer gained the prestige of political sanction through legislative license and the state secured a deceptive device for laying taxes upon the citizenry. It was and remains a vicious alliance.

But it is not our greatest enemy. The greatest enemy of mankind is ignorance of the inherent money power in all of us. When the realization of this comes to man he will, like Sampson, push down the walls of his prison.

We'll break all this apart for emphasis:

Throughout the ages the devices of cunning men have turned money to their nefarious purposes.

Riegel acknowledges, as do we, that evil men (and women) exist and have nefarious purposes. Nefarious by common usage is an adjective (typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal, synonymous with wicked, evil, sinful, iniquitous, egregious, heinous, atrocious, vile, foul, abominable, odious, depraved, monstrous, fiendish, diabolical, unspeakable, despicable, poisonous, etc. Since commerce with such as these is injurious to oneself, why does one persist in dealing with them? Instead, shouldn't people of this sort be brought to everyone's attention, exposed for what they are and then perhaps shouldn't these exposures result in some huge class action lawsuits? If you have been paying attention and have acquainted yourselves with Mark Passio's review of his Homework from his seminar on Natural Law, then you understand the situation. Most people are contented sheep to their own slaughter, mindless of the cunning men with their nefarious purposes, who have always been there, plaguing the human race, treating us like cattle to be herded and slaughtered at their will. 

Money, beginning with private enterprise as a means of escaping the limitation of barter soon developed the cheat to exploit the honest trader 

Some will no doubt account the words “honest trader” an oxymoron, there is no such person, they are all dishonest. If that's the case then perhaps we are all dishonest or perhaps made dishonest by a system designed to control and deplete us. In any case we have never had anything resembling an honest measure of value with which to say, how is the worth of my labour or this artifact of electro-mechanical engineering to be valued? Further, who but one in a thousand knows how the honest trader must operate in order to make a living? How many people know that wealth is anything producing income? Anything! How many people know what they are truly worth? We presume that there remain the world over enough people to carry on honest trade, that such considerations are met in the day to day activities of common business. 

[the honest trader] who in an effort to protect himself

Protect himself from what, from whom? From being ripped off and losing his livelihood, that's what. From whom? The money lender / money changer, who else?

[the honest trader] who in an effort to protect himself turned to government for protection,

Yes, the biggest protection racket in the world, no mafia has anything on any government. But unknown to the honest trader, the government is already in debt to the same people he is, so there aint gonna be no protection from them.

only to find that now he had two thieves, the private money changer and the political plunderer working hand in glove against him.

They would be true too as their interests must coincide as they both live off the proceeds of the third obstacle to freedom, the corporation. All corporations (including central banks) are creations of the state -at whatever level- and represent favours to special interests who are free to operate, as it were, behind the scenes and beyond public view or censure. Such bodies are also given “limited liability” by the states for any injurious activities they may cause. Turning such things around and nullifying “limited liability” would automatically place state officials as well as corporate bosses on the hook for any damages done by their creatures, the “legal fictions” or “legal persons.”

By this combination the money changer gained the prestige of political sanction through legislative license and the state secured a deceptive device for laying taxes upon the citizenry. It was and remains a vicious alliance.

This is the state of things as they exist today for the vast majority of humanity; a slave to some state or some bank, neither of which have any intention of ever letting go of you. This amounts to people believing that they actually have a right to own other people. Let that thought sink in.

In the days when the word “money” meant only gold and silver and copper coins, the English government undertook merely to define the pound and its fractions and to stipulate the weight and fineness of the metal to be contained in each coin and to stamp the seal of the state thereon as a certification of fidelity. This did not imply issuing money. The metal had to be brought to the mint by the private owner and for a charge (seigniorage) it was stamped and returned to him.

This was exactly how the original American mint under the organic Constitution was set up. All the money (gold and silver only) was private and the government could create none of it. The biggest problem the Constitution brought into practise and policy was that the government could borrow money, something Thomas Jefferson and others opposed and to which ultimately we must all agree. For any government to borrow money implies a debtor position for that government with the creditors calling the shots. The only ones we want our governments to be in debt to are We the People, not some bank. That's the situation we're in now. Riegel acquaints us with a little history:

The Bank of England sprang from a deal that a group of private bankers and merchants made with the crown and to lend to the government at an agreed interest rate and the rehabilitation of defaulted loans previously made by some of the bankers. By this charter, the bankers secured the right to depart from metal money and to have paper money made legal tender. Paper money was called “bills of credit” and this terminology carried over into our monetary vernacular.

The particulars are really astounding.

1. To begin with all money back then was gold, silver or copper, which meant -as it always does- that those in control of commanding quantities of these metals own the market for them and can thus determine not just their price in common trade, but their availability to the market they make; they can choose for their own reasons to supply or deny to any quarter they please. On the side they also had speculators who made money on the rises and falls in precious metals prices. These people are the literal economic parasites as they make money on nothing. This also goes on today.

2. My emphasis. The English government had previously borrowed from some bankers before the establishment of the Bank of England and had decided that they could no longer pay their bills -they could no longer tax anyone for these metals as they were probably not in the country in sufficient quantities after years of civil war- so they defaulted on their loans.

3. The English government supposedly needed money to operate -no doubt fixing the roads was at the top of their list of things to spend borrowed money on- so a deal was struck which gave a certain gang of respectable looking thugs control of English money through holding the government hostage to debt slavery -making them once again take up their formerly defaulted loans too- and then allowing these thugs to issue paper that would be cheaper to use as money than all metals and would allow them to puff and pull the economy to gain control of more and more of people's real assets, what did not formerly belong to them. Thus the Bank of England was born and with it central banking, state money issue as debt, and our present system which dates back to ancient Babylon, but of which very few understand its operations, or even see its prominence, hence as some Asian friends reminded me, we call it Mystery Babylon; that which was, was not and returned again, before going to its destruction. Our message and mission remain, “come out of her, my people.”

Following the English tradition the American colonies and later the states proceeded to establish a money system on the premise that money is a creation of private enterprise but that it is the proper function of government to define the unit just as it defines weights and measures.

There were three kinds of money in the colonies. First there was specie; gold and silver coins of various kinds, sizes, etc. that through barter traded into the economy. Second there were issues of the colonial governments which were literally fiat paper money spent into the economy. The colonies made this paper good for payment of taxes and to the extent that it was taxed back and reissued, inflation might have been delayed. Some of these issues were purportedly backed by silver or gold though they were not usually convertible into specie and Third there were “bills of credit” issued by merchants. These were often the most reliable as they could be converted into things held by these merchants on bearer demand. What we would find hard to understand is that price was a mater of barter just as whole barter always is. For example, the price you paid for a saddle might be different were it paid for in silver, in colonial paper or in merchants' bills. That's the way things were done back then.

The clause “to coin money and regulate the value thereof” which is generally quoted as the government money power is, in fact, not the enabling clause at all. The issue power resides in the clause “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” It is not generally recognized that the power to borrow is the power to issue when the borrowing is from banks.

This is entirely due to banks all operating as fractional reserve lending institutions. In our proposal the VEN features lending institutions (people or businesses) that must operate under 100% reserve conditions, where all money must be created / issued beforehand and all loans must self liquidate into whatever good or service was originally purchased and financed. Anything else is dishonest.

This is the power [issuing power] exercised by private borrowers as well as governments. The borrower secures the right to issue checks against a credit and thus increases the money supply. The instrumentality of the borrow-issue process is the private banking system, but the private banking system is subject to laws and regulation of government.

The usual bank borrower, whether it be for a car loan or mortgage, is creating / issuing money that he will pay back and then some (the interest) with money that was already created elsewhere, thereby cancelling the money created. Except for the interest, this is normal credit clearing. The government never does this because it hasn't anything with which to sell back to us for what it issued (bought) from the economy. Taxes are barely sufficient to cover the interest on the debt which grows constantly. Government spending is thus the source of all possible price inflation and this flaw in the system means that every and all “public” currencies have the general tendency to inflate to Weimar meltdown eventually. We are ever closer to that scenario despite the general deflationary tendencies apparent in an economy where more and more people have less and less money.

Thus it is seen that the money mechanism, under the concept borrowed from England, is a contrivance that is both political and private but is strictly neither. It is a hybrid, and its name is finance. Compounded from both political and private interests, it compromises both private enterprise and public service. It confounds students of money and causes them to take sides for either the banking end or the government end when in fact a plague should be put upon both their houses. 

Finance, we will recall, is being able to buy something you can't afford, because you haven't the money to buy it on the date of purchase. Governments should rely on public taxation for ALL their money and not borrow any but from the public, not through any bank. Obviously were this done, more people would know what the government (in all its wisdom) fathomed spending your money on, since it would really be yours, and would stop it. The right to make a corporation, which had been a power of the king, was not formally given Congress or the President in the Constitution and therefore, despite what various courts have said over the years to the contrary, the power to incorporate is not granted and all effects to the contrary are thus unconstitutional and unlawful! Hence, since we agree ... 

Control over money should be denied to both government and banks.

If you agree with this statement, please join us. Riegel reminds us that ...

Finance is the evil genius that brings discredit upon both the state and private enterprise and raises the threat of fascism and communism.

Perhaps less luridly we would suggest that finance has a place in an economy to provide for situations where one wishes to exercise a “time preference,” but that it should be involved neither with funding government or compromising the core monetary function of transaction clearing. The fact is that all banks regard your money on deposit as their money and have deposit insurance in case some of your money gets lost in their business. Our proposal is that any money in your account is always yours and not subject to the claims of anyone's loans. There is hence no need of any insurance since all the money on account in any of our exchanges will be yours. Let all that sink in too.

It is financism that is at fault for all the evils blamed upon capitalism and the democratic form of government.

Riegel here coins a term, financism, which roughly implies that the way out of not being able to afford what you want is to go into debt for it, so much that you allow your very money to be borrowed into existence with the demand to pay back that which was never created; the interest. No matter how much money is ever created by this means, the debt rises until it's no longer payable. We note again that the English government got itself into debt prior to the Bank of England, defaulted on these loans and then when the bank was proposed, all these defaulted debts were once again accepted as legitimate and payable and this time a regime of unbacked paper money was created to puff and pull the economy according to the banker's whims as they always stand supreme in such a system.

Financism has created a debt-money system where under the producer of wealth is required to gain the assent of parasites and pay interest tribute for the power to negotiate production and distribution and where under the government is perverted 

Almost everyone nowadays regards their government as perverted and a few regard the officeholders as perverts too. It was all done during the closed sessions of the founders as they made up the US Constitution, whose very reason for existence is to allow the government to borrow money, to interfere in commerce, etc. all the things necessary which would allow the “English tradition” of financism to come right over and plant itself here on American soil. And so it did. It is up to all fair minded people to recognize that the US Constitution was not perfect, that it was in fact devised to make the government a prisoner of various nefarious purposes intended from the beginning by certain cunning men.

Finance which is the creature of the unholy wedlock between banker and state cannot be solved by either partner dominating or consuming the other. The only solution lies in the people denying the power of both over industry, and their assertion of their own money power. The debt-money system where under the private enterpriser is obliged to pay tribute to and be subject to control by a non-producer, whether that be government or private banker, must be boycotted.

Note what Riegel said, he is not saying anything other than what we have been saying. The debt money system is any and all “public” money and by implication anything claiming a valuation therein. Private enterprise is obliged to pay taxes and licensing, submit to rules, regulations, etc. while the corporation goes exempt from all of these. Boycott the corporations wherever possible and please stop working for them, expecting them to come to your rescue when you need them, etc. Producers can be anyone, they can be someone who knits sweaters as well as someone who makes things, grows things, etc. a babysitter can be a producer. Our sense of things is that governments and banks ultimately produce nothing. Boycotting is saying no to them and wherever possible turning to someone or something else for whatever you need. Our intention is to offer an alternative system that shall survive theirs which is built on frauds.

Only our private “inertia-tive” delays our emancipation.

Riegel must have been in a mood to coin words; inertiative as the reverse of initiative. We acknowledge that what lies at the base of people's inertia are the kinds of ideas and attitudes Mark Passio discovered. Perhaps it's worth restating that whenever anyone decides to attend to The Great Work, that one does so in service to truth first (truth as the ultimate authority) rather than in direct service to their fellow men (and women) who very often can not even see the worth of what you are doing.

But it [the vicious alliance between the private money changer and the political plunderer] is not our greatest enemy. The greatest enemy of mankind is ignorance of the inherent money power in all of us. When the realization of this comes to man he will, like Sampson, push down the walls of his prison.

The question is, knowing that we are as Sampson, which means knowing that we have strength though we are in chains, can we push down the walls of our prison without killing ourselves?

David Burton
venlead2013@aol.com

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