Sunday, April 1, 2012

#6 NOT OUR PROBLEMS! where Value Units differ from currencies.

These presentations provide required reading by Thomas H. Greco Jr.:
The Butterfly Economy: How communities are building a new world from the bottom up

This satirical ad appeared recently and inspired reflection on the differences between Value Units and currencies, and here I am using Thomas Greco's definition of currencies as typically representing a third party debt or I.o.u. that a seller accepts as payment from a buyer. That third party is usually the party of issue, the originator of that money, the Federal Reserve in the case of US dollars, other central banks for other national or regional currencies.

But before we get into it, we're not letting any presently issued national or bank issued currency off the hook. Under the strict logic of E. C. Riegel's “in your face” observations, we view all of them the same, as ultimately illegitimate issues of money. Not only do we question the legitimacy of government or bank issued currency as money, but we also view with equal opprobrium all such presently circulating financial instruments. So if you are currently using any of them, you are part of the romantic fiction (that's saying the same thing twice) that we presently live in.


The reason people are apathetic is not that they are given nothing to do, although many have nothing to do, but because of the present economic system. No, the main reasons people are apathetic is because they have been told monstrous fairy tales about who and what they are and how they should live and otherwise conduct themselves that fits someone else's controlling criteria. People have come to believe in these myths without even bothering to question them else they would easily see what they are.

The feeling of not having any viable individual authority over anything eventually drives one naturally to apathy. After all, if it really doesn't matter, because someone better and brighter than I is in charge, making all the decisions and knows what to do, then so what?

The ideas surrounding the Value Unit and a full function Value Exchange Network (VEN) on the other hand, should spur most people to imagine ways to empower themselves within a separate circuit of trading interests and growing as more people gravitate to a system that will be honest, reliable and without the frauds and flaws underlying the present failing system. Moreover, we expect that our supplementary system will outlast all the other competing systems, as it will not be subject to inflation; trading within the spheres created by VU exchanges will tend to find optimum price levels because little else but intrinsic differences in value between everyday commodities will be operating; when a price falls it will represent ether a fall off in demand or a relative abundance and conversely as prices rise. Normal economic functions apply without any intervention required and in fact all such interventions intentionally favour someone's interests who are usually not even part of the exchange.


Sometimes confused with lack of ambition, this too is the result of the realization for many that they live in a rigged system, or at least their particular personal situation seems arrayed against them. The present system offers them nothing more than a form of slavery, so “why bother” becomes a widespread way of life.

The personal empowerment that comes from monetary emancipation provides many opportunities unheard of in the present system. The proposed VEN will determine who can and cannot create money and thereby square the field against any foolish enough to pass themselves off as “persons” when in fact they are merely invisible “bodies” or “fictions.” Many romantic notions will have to die the sure death they deserve; bald faced lies, such as that governments can be trusted to do much of anything of any good without local support and assistance form the people who will be most affected. Make no mistake, a Value Unit will be valuable from the first time it is accepted in a sale. It's acceptance will grow based on the honesty with which business can be transacted at every level. More and more people will no longer rely on the present system and as they wean themselves off of it, and we all must, it is hoped we will be able to accomplish more and have more productive lives.


Often identified as a “me first” attitude that can literally project other people as objects to be used as one does inanimate objects, this is essentially a form of narcissism that is deliberately fed by the popular commercial corporate culture, as are the psycho pathologies that are their natural counterparts.

We see the drive for personal advancement as natural and an inalienable right of being human, that the present system greatly discourages this natural human aspiration in ways the VEN does not. Future successes the VEN will promote will be those where their drive for personal advancement is best served by providing useful goods and services of all kinds to more and more people rather than becoming just another factotum in a monstrously overstaffed, inefficient and irresponsible governmental or corporate “system”, agency or bureaucracy.

As one accepts the fact of gravity, one accepts the rules that imply that ANY human enterprise above a certain size becomes both inefficient and irresponsible with respect to the people as individuals and natural groups; families, tribes, nations, etc. as well as the hazards such monstrous organizations pose to the natural environment. This implies that the best course forward is to accept and apply practical advantages to anything that is local, entrepreneurial and private and where trade is conducted worldwide between right sized economic elements determined by agreements among private individual human beings operating from one autonomous local area to another.

This is quite literally and exactly the opposite of the organizational schemes dreamed up and foisted upon the world by the present doomed system and by those bigger fools behind the scenes who often amuse themselves with thoughts of personal godhood and grandeur at the expense of “the masses” and the “useless eaters.”


It goes without saying that only those who bother to find out really know much about anything. The system is rife with ignorance masquerading as information, containing germs of concocted propaganda usually intended to get you to buy something or vote for something or somebody. Specifically the present system does not reward anyone for knowing anything of any real consequence.

In stark contrast, the VEN promotes ideas about how to tackle anything and everything that is genuinely worth doing and provides the means to screen out that which does not contribute. The VEN promotes the application of useful knowledge which may have been purposely neglected by the system as unlikely to produce the profits required to service investment capital, etc. None of this is a problem for us, since our trading model is not based on impossible fictions concealing financial rip-offs.

Loss of Identity

One's loss of identity begins with loss of control over one's free and accessible ability to trade; the control over the creation of one's own money, which we posit as an inalienable right of each individual human being, living within a community of equal human beings and NOT permitted any phony “body” or “government” impersonating a human being. The present system could care less about your loss of identity, in fact it wants to subvert it and submerge it within the identity of a corporation, state, or something that's actually an artificial creation that cannot be seen, yet is held up and defended by deadly FORCE. Let fools work for and otherwise follow fools.

The VEN requires nothing other than the good will and continued productivity of its members and it doesn't matter whether they live next door or are around the world. Identity of individuals and communities is promoted rather than submerged and potential trading partners are more quickly identified through a growing network of exchange that shall build up around the VEN.

Absence of Individuality

While there are certainly corporatist individuals made to seem like some kind of modern day heroes, the better to convince more people to keep trying to climb the slippery glass slopes of corporatocracy in hopes of actually possessing and enjoying something; consuming on a grand scale becoming synonymous with success, these people all become one in the same; they eventually lose and have no individuality. Indeed, individuality becomes a kind of curse one is cautioned to avoid. Most courses in corporate management in fact have been satirized as equal to having one's backbone tactically removed one vertebrae at a time. The proof that this is so is the monstrous fact that most corporate people are lost even caring for themselves properly once out of a corporate job. They have no basic skills and in most cases care not to acquire them.

Individuals make contributions to the rest of us out of all proportion to who they were in real life, the Mozarts and Teslas. One can't say the same for corporations or governments. The basic unit of society is the fully mature adult human being, regardless of status. We've tried things their way, slavery to them in one form or another, for a very long time, long enough, and war too. A New World Order? They have nothing to offer but an old world chaos which they will bring about and which shall destroy them. We say, no more, thank you! Yes, for a while it might be hard, we'll certainly have to help each other out and grow our generosity and kindness, but It would serve humanity far better to let individual human beings be who they are to be, rather than trusting any of that to some higher authority, which frankly speaking, has no basis or right to our trust.

Greed & Gluttony

The former is the result of personal insecurity (real or imagined) the latter the habit of dreamers (who are happiest when they get others to join them too). There are any number of avenues where these deadly sins are courted. We've also just mentioned sloth, the “why bother” mentality. There are others. Pride of thinking one's on the winning side, even with all the other things wrong with it; the sin of pride which goes before a fall. Envy of others, the wish to get even or surpass them in goods or grandeur. We admonish everyone to start getting over it and finding out who and what you are instead; becoming yourself, the valuable individual you are, not what anyone else thinks you should be.

A False Sense of Empowerment

People are often swept up by popular movements, populism, all sorts of fine bromides the system actually uses to turn one group against another to maintain political control of concocted tensions. Do not allow yourself to fall into one of their Hegelian dialectic soups and waste your valuable time and energies on causes or politics. E. C. Riegel was emphatic about this; it's a waste of time without the inalienable right to create money and trade. Do not fall for all the sappy hope-mongering by those without hope, as there's always some sinister agenda to empower them, not you.

The Value Exchange Network (VEN) strives instead to establish real empowerment based on what people actually do for each other, what they make or grow locally, basic services provided locally, how best essentials are made available locally to those in need, etc. We believe that only individual human beings really matter, that all the other organizational fictions don't really do anything without the consent of individual human beings and often do things poorly (often intentionally) or ineptly (part of the problem with them structurally which they cannot fix). However it is, we must adapt a consciousness that what we decide to do and how well is our decision. Real empowerment always begins with each individual recognizing their unique value.

Manipulative Behaviour

Another deadly sin is deceit. People are actively encouraged to lie, steal and cheat by a system built on frauds. A system so conceived and constructed cannot help but reward those who are best at deceiving others. In truth, such people usually have nothing inside and would love to fill their emptiness, but after a while … even suicide seems preferable to some of them.

Nothing about an VEN is complicated or difficult to understand, nor is there anything hidden in a bunch of fine print. We encourage honesty by dealing honestly.

Superficial Values

When I was young, the commercial world was fond of fads. They still are. The system rewards anyone who moves goods for them, no matter what they are. A system based on hidden trusts, deceit and lies, theft of purchasing power, etc. cannot be expected to generate anything but questionable values that reflect the vulgarities of bigness and oligarchy rather than the individual lives of diverse people.

The VEN is best established locally then regionally, by state, country, etc.; a bottom up organization. There would be an international VEN whose members were chosen by those Independent Exchanges (IE's) operating at lower levels. We will begin with basic values established in each community through trade of basic goods and services.

Lack of Spirituality

The spiritual dimensions of life, whatever they may be, certainly have nothing in common with the present economic / monetary / financial system ... nothing. In fact, they are antithetical if the “spiritual” dimension is congruent with basic rational ethics. You cannot start something on the basis of lies, deceit and fraud and expect it ever to produce anything that's really good or of any ultimate value. It is neither logical nor reasonable to think otherwise and yet we live under a system which routinely defies both logic and reason.

The VEN hopes to become more actively involved in promoting interest in the fine arts and other businesses that project articles and artefacts reflecting the varied “spiritual” dimensions of life.

Environmental Destruction

The past few years have provided more than adequate testimony to the inability of governments or corporations to deal with natural disasters of their own causing. We no longer wish to listen to the flood of public announcements requesting us to conduct our lives so as to be “sustainable” within someone else's environmental agenda; corporate sponsored or government funded through more debt money. We aren't to blame! Matter of fact we refuse to accept any blame whatsoever for anything environmental! We know what's going on and we didn't buy it. In fact, since it may take a very long time to feel the effects of the Gulf of Mexico disaster or the Fukashima disaster, we should hope to preserve enough memory of such events, so as not to allow ourselves to accept any pronouncement from any public official regarding corporate or government efforts to clean up any of their messes. They don't and they wont.

Had things been organized to operate in smaller units, instead of built to satisfy the insatiable greed of those who are so big to fail, we may never have experienced these terrible global nightmares. Bigness and globalism caused the problems, not us. We say, let nature take its course.

Racial Tension

Another political trick of the established system is to get different races or nations (or people with different religious beliefs) in various places to hate each other for one thing or another so that hopefully they can start up some nice little war or “peace keeping” mission that needs supplies etc. to keep it going. Ever bothered to think of who gets contracts to supply all those military bases around the world? These are things governments buy because they are the issuer of the money, not you or I. The people who make money from a war, supply all that armed forces require to maintain the conflict or manage it and keep it going for as long as possible; the longer the war, the more profitable it is, not for you, but for them. In the past, they had 30 year wars, 100 year wars. The technology for killing and supplying groups of armed killers were certainly different, but the basic financial and other contracts that were in the background of all such conflicts have never really changed, neither have the traditional arrangements between governments and financiers and of course firms, families and certain privileged individuals have remained predictably the same over many centuries. Yes folks, we didn't get where we are today just yesterday.

It is high time for all people everywhere, no matter what race they are, to wake up to this crucial divide and conquer tactic and consciously work against it. The greatest weapon we have against it is for people of good will of all races and nations to agree to see the monster behind the curtains, and until a certain justice is possible, agree to work and trade amongst each other literally on the most basic levels of sharing and trading the necessities of life. This new outlook is possibly easier to foster among people who have known poverty longer. We shall see.


There is a kind of looking after oneself and one's own affairs that is a natural part of self awareness and responsibility. We each exercise our natural responsibilities over a fairly small area and although some would be “rulers of the world” would think otherwise, the natural level of available control over any situation of any kind anywhere is limited. The limiting factor is sometimes called a black swan or an event of that name or kind. Natural limiting factors are good things, they should be respected.

But instead, it is our contention that the underlying factors of the present system promote a kind of self-centredness that is foolhardy, careless, full of hubris, almost never kind, in fact driven to a kind of manic zeal for greater power over nature and especially over other human beings, who are usually treated as mere objects to be manipulated, cast off or destroyed, as if by a child's whim which becomes the norm for those in positions of power and authority. “Maturity? Oh, that's for old people, and best that they die off too, and as quickly as possible, so we don't have to provide for them, because you know old George Carlin was right, we really don't give a damn about you.”

No VEN can or would work without people caring about what happens to each other member of the exchange. It's just that simple.

Murder & War

Murder has many motives, most of them in one way or another connected with the deadly sins. We haven't mentioned anger yet. Most people think it's perfectly all right to become or stay angry when it really isn't. The normal state is not to be angry at anything at all. Anger is reserved for what must be fought, to set injustices right, to reset the balances. But personal anger is a deadly sin that can eventually lead people to think it worthwhile to take another person's life. They begin by assuming they can take the lives of the unborn, the newly born, the aged or disabled. Yes, there's always some malice involved in the temperaments of those engaged in such practices.

War on the other hand, a theatre of mass murder, is promoted time and again by those who would supply such campaigns and their financiers who always make money while other people die. Warmongers and their helpers in the yellow jingoistic journalism of the day, all have blood on their hands, the endless rows of crosses on countless military cemeteries beg the answer to the question, for what or for whom exactly did so many die? Forget all the sappy nationalistic claptrap! The answer is obvious, staring you right in the face; they all died for the bankers and those who supplied the means and materiel of war. We frankly want nothing to do with such people!

Impoverishment for Others

Where a system is based on debt that can never be repaid, a debt that grows exponentially based on its faulty premise; that it has any right whatsoever to be paid interest with that which was never created in the first place, the basic mathematical impossibility irrefutably established by E. C. Riegel, it inevitably produces economic losers. Participation in such a system automatically leads to the impoverishment of somebody since such a system is incapable of ever satisfying the needs of everybody. It's a mathematical impossibility.

Because this is so, the most prudent action is to work against it and to move away from it as quickly as you can. Assume the financial system is the Titanic and you're on it. You need a place on one of those lifeboats but there aren't any. So start making them! Take whatever political action you deem necessary, especially at the local level, but be advised that E. C. Riegel believed, and we agree, that political action is a waste of both time and strength, that until the present banking and financial system falls, or is taken down in the process of political collapse brought on by insufferable public outrage, nothing beneficial can be hoped for.

In the meantime, we favour adopting Thomas Greco's Butterfly Economy as a basic concept worldwide in every local community. Let them think whatever they like, and as far as possible let us have a fair parting of ways, as E. C. Riegel saw as inevitable, since one could never maintain the romantic fiction of the present system once hyper-inflation sets in. We expect the present system will be destroyed by it. Meanwhile we hope to build an alternative stable vehicle for exchange that will maintain its value by disallowing all hindrances to its primary functions and legitimate issuance.

Continuous & excessive use could render a permanent state of indifference to the welfare of those around you.

Indeed it could, and indeed it does, and all present currencies are just the same in this regard, because relative to what money can buy, they are all kept artificially scarce and those who rightfully should have the only legitimate right to create money are denied it, while those who already have far too much of it are given the power, the monopoly in fact, to create more of it.

The present system purports to support and promote a “New World Order”, when in fact what they have in mind is an Old World Order based on outright fraud in the banking and financial sectors and everything presently having to do with money and markets. From there they basically manage to attempt to gobble up everything else and use governments to enforce their will against the rest of us. If you support them, why would you care one whit about another human being? Since everything is commercialized and everything has a price, which they manage to control, people are inevitably treated with about as much respect as tortillas and can be bought and sold as cheaply by the system. I remind everyone that the old system which is still in place always involved war, banking, gold and slaves … oh yes, and drugs too, and it still is.

We noticed in one video that Professor Greco had some difficulty when confronted by a worker in the Pacific Northwest who wanted the means to support himself outside the system. Only a few there be these days who can achieve that. It is best to tell people this so that they begin to understand the shackles of slavery under which they live. Look at your chains people; the pieces of coloured paper in your wallets which are nothing but some private bank's notes, they don't belong to you. No doubt many of you have outstanding bills, credit scores which are merely numbers allowing you to be a good risk to borrow even more of their money so you are never free of them. Everything their money buys is in turn affected by them.

A Value Unit is something that's yours as long as you use it: it only exists to complete split-barters between people engaged in trade of real goods and services. Will there come a time when more trades including rooms for rent are handled in Value Units? Only time will tell.

David Burton


No comments:

Post a Comment