Friday, May 3, 2013

#28 Why This Blog Was Down For Two Months

Attention Laurence Gilbert, your time is up !

Before we disclose the details, we insert a lengthy quote from Murray Rothbard's 1962 paper entitled The Case for a 100% Gold Dollar, along with embedded commentary, to set some records straight:

To those advocates of independent paper moneys who also champion the free market, That would certainly be us. I would address this simple question: “Why don’t you advocate the unlimited freedom of each individual to manufacture dollars?” We do not advocate the unlimited freedom of each individual to manufacture money. If dollars are really and properly things-in-themselves, why not let everyone manufacture them as they manufacture wheat and baby food? They are not really and properly things in themselves. They are the means to split barter and their quantities are created and destroyed as needed to carry on trade. It is obvious that there is indeed something peculiar about such money (fiat money). For if everyone had the right to print paper dollars, everyone would print them in unlimited amounts, the costs being minuscule compared to the almost infinitely large denominations that could be printed upon the notes. Note that Rothbard is setting up a straw man, since neither we, nor anyone else who is truly advocating a responsible alternative to current monetary systems, advocates unlimited fiat money creation as policy. Clearly, the entire monetary system would break down completely. It would, and under certain regimes in the past, it did; notably Germany in the 1920's.

If paper dollars are to be the “standard” money, then almost everyone would admit that government must step in and acquire compulsory monopoly of money creation so as to check its unlimited increase. This has not worked so well, has it? We have always believed that money must originate and be destroyed in the process of trade between producers / traders / people. We offer to make certain transitional exceptions to this however, recalling that the American Republic was born with the institution of slavery yet to resolve, and ended up resolving it in favour of everyone being a slave to the state's creditors; the 14th Amendment. Yes, we are aware of many things and they are interconnected.

There is something else wrong with everyone printing his own dollars: for then the chain from production of goods through “purchase” of money to “sale” of money for goods would be broken, and anyone could create money without having to be a producer first. He could consume without producing, and thus seize the output of the economy from the genuine producers. Ah, but this has always gone on, even during times when nothing but silver and gold were considered money. Rothbard and the rest of the “gold bugs” are liars if they claim otherwise. Those who lived off the productivity of others were called nobles, these days we call them the elites. In the vast majority of cases, the poor are poor and remain poor because they were deliberately kept out of the economy by the larger units of production or absentee property owners called limited liability corporations who used all kinds of advantages to eliminate their competitors. I'd also point out the flaw in Rothbard's analysis, that producers per se were and still remain the victims of traders who never produce a thing, but purchased the produce of real producers, like farmers or small manufacturers, for sale to others. The money the producers received, whether gold, silver or paper, was then used to split the barter for things they produced to obtain things they needed in return. In any case, whether the money was “backed” by some intervening commodity or not, whatever form it takes, the money the seller has from the sale of his goods or services to the buyer was “backed” by nothing other than his goods or services. If a gold bug tries to tell you something else, he is a liar.

Government’s compulsory monopoly of dollar-creation does not solve all these problems, however, and even makes new ones. For one thing, as E. C. Riegel said, it makes the government the chief buyer in the economy, a buyer that produces nothing and takes everything it needs by FORCE of taxation, which as far as my English speaking friends need recognize is that the words taxes and takes look very similar. This is why we do not want any government to be creating money. This is how we eventually bring an end to all war everywhere. I think that's a fairly big issue that people like Gilbert and Greco seem to care far less about than they should.

For what is there to prevent government from creating money at its own desired pace, and thereby benefiting itself and its favoured citizens? Indeed, and you can count on it doing so as that is in the nature of the organizations as presently constituted. Why should anyone believe their government can or would act more morally than they would themselves? What is the basis for this excessive trust? There is none. To believe there is, is quite honestly to join those who look back nostalgically to a time they presume was better (when it really wasn't) and that the solution to all our current problems rests with getting all of us to go back there as quickly as possible. This is an irrational position, which shall be both indefensible by nature and reason; the truth is the ultimate authority.

Once again, non-producers can create money without producing and obtain resources at the expense of the producers. Furthermore, the historical record of governments can give no one confidence that they will not do precisely that —even to the extent of hyperinflation and chaotic breakdown of the currency. Or something even worse; sending of one's sons and daughters to die in a never ending series of wars designed to profit the government's chief friends in the military industrial banking complex.

But here we shall point out, one might hope once and for all, that the first sentence, as often as it appears (and it does often in other contexts), is a deliberate misstatement of the facts and history of money's creation and instantly brands Rothbard a clever liar. If you've told one lie, why wouldn't you tell another? Specifically, non-producers DID create money without producing and obtained resources at the expense of the producers. These people were Ayn Rand's honest traders, the middlemen of trade and transport of goods and services since classical times (Greece and Rome) in the West. The same pattern held true in East Asia too. A general paper on this subject has just been added to this blog.

Why is it that historically, the relatively free market never had to worry about people wildly setting up money factories and printing unlimited quantities? If “money” really means dollars and pounds and francs [note, these are the national fiat currencies of today, all issued as debt instruments.], then this would surely have been a problem. But the nub of the issue is this: On the pristine free market, money does not and cannot mean the names of paper tickets. Money means a certain commodity, previously useful for other purposes on the market, chosen over the years by that market as an especially useful and marketable commodity to serve as a medium for exchanges. History is told by the victors. Rothbard's assumptions of a pristine free market are also illusions and hence his demand for a full gold standard is an idealism, which as we will continue to maintain, is the basis for much evil in the world.

No one prints dollars on the purely free market because there are, in fact, no dollars; there are only commodities, such as wheat, automobiles, and gold. In barter, commodities are exchanged for each other, and then, gradually, a particularly marketable commodity is increasingly used as a medium of exchange. Finally, it achieves general use as a medium and becomes a “money.” This is not really what happened. Neither gold nor silver were ever freely chosen, else the crowned heads of Europe, etc. would not have been stamped on these coins. But as we said, Rothbard is a clever liar.

I need not go through the familiar but fascinating story of how gold and silver were selected by the market after it had discarded such commodity moneys as cows, fishhooks, and iron hoes. We might excuse his ignorance if he'd never read The Babylonian Woe and many other sources which explain quite clearly the connections between ancient international banking and finance, gold and silver brokerage and mining by slaves, and war and war making power. Before gold and silver were impressed and imposed upon the world by FORCE, there were certainly other things used to keep track of split barter in international trade terms; ships full of grain, pottery, cloth, spices, oils, wine and other produce, etc.

And I need also not dwell on the unique qualities possessed by gold and silver that caused the market to select them—those qualities lovingly [sic] enunciated by all the older textbooks on money: high marketability, durability [?], portability [?], recognizability [it can be faked but usually wasn't], and homogeneity. Like every other commodity, the “price” of gold in terms of the commodities it can buy varies in accordance with its supply and demand. Since the demand for gold and silver was high, and since their supply was low in relation to the demand, the value of each unit in terms of other goods was high—a most useful attribute of money. Actually scarcity is an irrelevant attribute of money. This scarcity, combined with great durability, -gold is not that durable- meant that the annual fluctuations of supply were necessarily small—another useful feature of a money commodity. No, it's clear Rothbard hasn't a clue and like most gold bugs, advocates an illusion based on an idealism, an ideology based on a nostalgia for a world that was just as wrong as our present one. Want a return to that kind of world? For the vast majority life back then was nasty, brutish and short. Everyone had to work longer hours too. I think we can do much better. But we'll let Rothbard ramble on a bit more.

Commodities on the market exchange by their unit weights, and gold and silver were no exceptions. When someone sold copper to buy gold and then to buy butter, he sold pounds of copper for ounces or grams of gold to buy pounds of butter. On the free market, therefore, the monetary unit—the unit of the nation’s accounts—naturally emerges as the unit of weight of the money commodity, for example, the silver ounce, or the gold gram.

In this monetary system emerging on the free market, no one can create money out of thin air to acquire resources from the producers. Money can only be obtained by purchasing it with one’s goods or services. The only exception to this rule is gold miners, who can produce new money. But they must invest resources in finding, mining, and transporting an especially scarce commodity. Furthermore, gold miners are productively adding to the world’s stock of gold for non-monetary uses as well.

This is about the way the world looked during the Middle Ages and before. Few people had any money (gold and silver coins) because they were serfs living as part of the land to be used by the owners who were in most cases not the producers, as the serfs were. These big landowners, Lords, managed to exchange what their serfs produced and obtained things they wanted to improve their own living standards, including arms to protect their property or hound their serfs. Little or no thought was given over to the livelihoods of the serfs. As we showed in our John Galt series, they only considered a serf's wages what would be enough food to keep them alive and nothing more.

Let us indeed assume that gold has been selected as the general medium of exchange by the market, and that the unit of account is the gold gram.

He's making a perfectly good schoolbook assumption into a supposition for instrumental significance without indicating its true origins; in ancient times both gold and silver were enforced on populations by military FORCE (just as a certain European power attempted to do to its former American colonies, which is why we really fought the Revolutionary War). And then, what is a grain, a gram, a pound anyway? Who decides? Indeed who decides how much of this “money” will circulate as gold and silver coins and who determines their value?

What will be the consequences of complete monetary freedom for each individual? What of the freedom of the individual to print his own money, which we have seen to be so disastrous in our age of fiat paper? Rothbard conflates the monetary freedom of individual human beings and of states, which are two quite different things. We think he did so deliberately in order to further obfuscate the issues. Nevertheless

First, let us remember that the gold gram is the monetary unit, and that such debasing names as “dollar,” “franc,” and “mark” do not exist and have never existed. This is another conceit of the gold bug, to deny the existence of what presently exists in favour of their precious metal, which has enslaved the world, not made it free (Christians, please read your Bibles!). A piece of paper with a bunch of numbers, pictures and letters on it may not exist to a Rothbard, but until they go away, they are real items and function the same as any money would. Fact is Mr. Rothbard, people have and would kill for them! If they weren't money, that would be pretty stupid, wouldn't it? Hey, gold bugs, wake the f**k up! You're being deliberately skewered on the horns of their monetary dialectic.

The problems with money are not related in any way whatsoever to what the money is made out of. Again, anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed or a liar. But understand that even the misinformed or prevaricators have their right to a fair argument ... and must accept the consequences for being shown up to be liars,  fraudsters or some other kind of clown.

Suppose that I decided to abandon the slow, difficult process of producing services for money, or of mining money, and instead decided to print my own? What would I print? I might manufacture a paper ticket, and print upon it “10 Rothbards.” I could then proclaim the ticket as “money,” and enter a store to purchase groceries with my embossed Rothbards. In the purely free market which I advocate, I or anyone else would have a perfect right to do this. And what would be the inevitable consequence? Obviously, that no one would pay attention to the Rothbards, which would be properly treated as an arrogant joke. The same would be true of any “Joneses” “Browns,” or paper tickets printed by anyone else. And it should be clear that the problem is not simply that few people have ever heard of me.

Emphasis mine. An arrogant joke, did you all get that? This is what they think of anything other than their own money game, which is really still based on gold and silver and controlled by their metals brokers in places like London and New York, as the other dimension in their dialectic, which consists of all the fiat national currencies and their paper securities markets at the other end. As far as you are concerned, they want you only to consider their either (Keynesian) / or (Austrian) solutions ... and nothing else. Rothbard concludes,

If General Motors tried to pay its workers in paper tickets entitled “50 GMs,” the tickets would gain as little response. None of these tickets would be money, and none would be considered as anything but valueless, except perhaps a few collectors of curios. And this is why total freedom for everyone to print money would be absolutely harmless in a purely free market: no one would accept these presumptuous tickets.

Our money is “presumptuous tickets” right now. His answer is gold and silver only. Who controls gold and silver? Certainly not you or I, but certain “brokers” headquartered in far away offices that have nothing to do with the everyday lives of you or I. So, just to remind you all, to them, it's either their stamped gold and silver coins, which shall circulate only among those who have them, or their “presumptuous tickets” which they back up by FORCE. They could and have in past backed up either system by FORCE, so where is the difference? To find a way out of this dialectic was part of the reason for starting this blog.

Our Silence for 2 Months

Now, just why did we go silent in late March and what has changed since? Those who have been on this blog before will doubtless see a few changes. We will no longer be speaking of a monetary unit called a Riegel, nor shall we embrace anything called an Riegel Monetary Exchange System (RMES), because at the bottom of Laurence Gilbert's website, it says;

© 2007 - 2012 Laurence Gilbert and - All Rights Reserved. All copy including terms, names and symbols on this website is explicitly reserved except as noted including but not limited to the following: Riegel Exchange, Riegel Exchange Center, RMES, Riegel Monetary and Exchange System, Riegel Exchange System, Riegel ( as the name of the monetary unit ), R ( as the symbol for the Riegel monetary unit). The R symbol on Laurence's site has a strikeout line through it.

After many absent and silent months, I sent Laurence an e-mail asking him to take a look at this blog and he responded, whereafter I wrote back the following, his words in blue mine in black. I'm including all of this for the sake of complete transparency, here's my e-mail of 3 March, 2013:


In the manner of a conversation ...

Hi David, no time to go into this in any detail. But again, in reading your works noted, I see discrepancies in understanding and application of the Riegel as 'money', as defined by E.C. Riegel.

Pardon me, but who decides what that is? Do you? Who are you? Are you going to teach me or scold me?

In #21 for just one instance, you note that A Members will receive 200 Riegels. It does not work that way David.

Why not? Many mutual credit systems operate that way, in fact Riegel suggested it as a means of getting things started.

Riegels DO NOT exist, period, UNTIL an exchange takes place and an A-Member creates them in the act of "buying" a good or service.

[This is actually counter to what he said regarding money in accounts that had not yet been spent, but I'm really quibbling here.]

Riegels are information, that is all. Cash and coin are only representations in physical shape/form of this information that is and must be already in existence BEFORE they can enter the market arena, where both A and B members will use them in the community until such time as the originator sells the equivalent amount of Riegels he/she created back into the community and that amount of Riegels is then redeemed and taken out of circulation.

I get that, maybe actually for the first time in my life after listening to one of your talks [from] last October. The would be buyer puts up for sale or barter certain services or goods and based on this is given the right to buy into existence Riegels that did not exist which show up for the first time in the hands of the seller, but initial priming was I believe still one of Riegel's ideas.

That is why I keep telling you that you cannot "buy" Riegels into existence, for anything or any reason, no matter how benevolent one's intentions. This would crash the Riegel System quickly through fraud and/or inflation.

My reasons are both benevolent and political and they must be. You must be thinking that Riegel's system can be brought into being as some pure systematic ideal, which is why you cram away at the software when you should be applying yourself elsewhere. Keep at it and I believe you shall fail. What have you if the internet goes away, what then of your software? There are other reasons more obvious that you may have already failed. But we'll get back to this. Meanwhile,

For instance, you say:

The first 200 Riegels are free to everyone who becomes an A member. After that you pay a transaction fee

That is not correct David. People bring their OWN credit/credit worthiness to the table. NOTHING is given to them by the RE itself, least of all any 'money'/Riegels. They are given an initial limit of minimal "credit" whereby they can then create up to that much money/Riegels as A-Member Buyers.

All right. Actually the free up front Riegels may be a minor point, except that it does matter, because it involves human psychology not idealistic economics and anyway Riegel himself recommended it and it is used by many credit clearing alternatives. In your October show I noticed someone mentioned the “gimmie attitude” among the American public. I have another explanation for this attitude; they are exhibiting the natural reaction of those who were trained to accept things being stolen from them; time, value, possessions, etc. The public is jaded far more than you suspect and will grow increasingly disgusted with all money except gold and silver. Do you want that? Keep going in your obstinate direction and you will have unwittingly aided in that progression.

When even this once important point relative to monetary creation and credit are not fully understood, then the doors are opened for all kind of other misunderstandings and potentially destructive processes.

I understood some of them when I wrote what I wrote and can and will stand behind everything I said. There are ways to build into the data modelling and functions many things that would prevent these things and prevent them from happening more widely throughout the system.

Your whole section previous to the quote used under the heading of "The A member Exchange Account" is full of flawed statements. Statements put forth as RMES FACTS, which they are not.

I understood at this point that you had set yourself up as an authority. Even though I stated what I did as certainty, they were only proposals, as indeed [is] everything of this nature on [this] blog as everyone knows who has an ounce of sense that no Riegel based system exists yet. By the way, you could have refuted what I said easily enough by writing something clear and convincing and I would have posted it in sequence. But you have already made up your mind, and will allow no one else to have a peek at your glorious creation until it's done and then you expect the world to come crawling to your door when it is. [The world] will not, because you have worked out of sequence [Organizing people must come first]. All you'll have proved, if anything, is that there is some new internet toy with a Riegel brand on it that you hope to sell. That's all bit-coin is after all. That too will fail, because it is far too complicated for anyone to use.

[Bit-coin was recently hacked, it's value and reputation may now be irrevocably damaged. It had many flaws anyway, chief among them being a built in scarcity model that made a bit-coin into just another means of making a bet on the inflation going on in the national currencies, without providing a really useful trading solution, more mere making money on money. The bit-coin bubble was predicted.]

You've introduced terms and ideas such as "red inkers"; indigence / indigent; you've created both the mindset and reality of "classes" of 'money' creators, giving this a negative connotation whether you realize it or not, the very thing we DO NOT want to see happen;

This is a political reality. I want you to see something. We are at a crossroads in history, transitioning from one reality to another. There are always those in this world who seek a pure ideal solution and cannot stand the transition that's required to get people from here, where there are pensions, etc. to a time when all that will no longer exist because the Riegel market will have made it all unnecessary. We have at least two generations to transition from one set of ideas to another. Are you following me? [Apparently he was not.]

you are GIVING 'Riegels' to people to "stack up" against the future ( exactly opposite of the very basic creation principle of 'money' and it's definition as espoused by E. C. Riegel; and on and on David.).

You are an idealist Laurence. Wake the f**k up! We have millions of people to transition from here to there. Where are they going to get sufficient money to buy really big items like houses, farms, ranches, factories, capital equipment, etc? All that stuff is expensive by any terms and you're going to have to account for it some way or another. Think of it this way, if economics were physics, you understand quantum mechanics very well while you're quite shy on general relativity which I am more familiar with. [The analogy was probably poor because I am questioning the worth of general relativity far more these days.]

FACTS: without the "credit" to go into debt in an exchange, there could/would be NO money.

Agreed! So the establishment of community credit is an important policy matter, a proposal to which was made.

Money is created at the point of exchange by a Buyer who DOES NOT have any money. Since the Buyer/Creator MUST also redeem the money he/she created, the whole process mandates a process seeking equilibrium, or a "0" balance. It is the circulation of "existing" money that allows 'B' Members to utilize Riegels for some time within the community and help it to flourish. Money DOES NOT want to be "stacked up for the future".

In that case, dear boy, tell me just how does one ever find the money to buy something really expensive and useful like a car or a home?

You have put to pen some really awesome ideas and possible processes David, much of which will be very very useful. But again, you DO NOT need to be making statements as fact regarding how the Riegel System will function and be setup without discussion.

Oh no, you're quite mistaken. All you ever needed to do was respond in writing and we would have discussed it in the open as honest men would rather than clandestinely as you may have [preferred].

AGAIN, to state, while writing, that this or that MAY be such and such a way is one thing. But you should not be stating things as fact, part and parcel, as a done deal, concerning the planning, setup and functioning of the Riegel Exchange.

Fine, then I suggest we get started THERE (the planning, setup and functioning of the Riegel Exchange) rather than on some silly software project that will have to be worked out differently anyway. You're putting the cart before the horse. [Of course, I have received no reply and he continues on with his demo, as if it ever comes up it will really win anyone's approval, including mine. I was also quite concerned that he might have entered into some partnership agreement with the software company that he may have been working with. He seems to be pleading for the public to underwrite his internet time so he can launch. Perhaps he's met his Waterloo. Well, no matter. I believe the message has been properly delivered. Caveat emptor!]

The Riegel System is mine David, not yours or anybody else's.

If it is yours, and I intend to prove otherwise, than we are doomed since you will fail. Everyone I showed your stuff to agreed with me. [Fortunately some of us may come up with something else that will find wider acceptance than this cheap toy.]

This stated in the sense that I am the Founder of this and the controller of it's launching until such time as ALL of the kinks and processes of it have been worked out to my satisfaction that it has not been subverted in any way in it's creation from the absolute first-line-of-defense-basics of a proper monetary/exchange system as E. C. Riegel lays forth, at which time the Governing Board, or such, will MAINTAIN it thereafter.

So to borrow a phrase from a movie, “it's like your wiener.” A Governing Board? So you want us to walk out of one system run by a Governing Board into another one run by another Governing Board? You know what? Because you are being secretive, you likely didn't even see the obvious. [Riegel mentioned a governing board too, but at the time he was writing he made no effective criticisms of corporations or corporate governance, etc. He simply assumed without further research that the banking model would work, when in fact it is part of the problem. This blog is not a memorial to E. C. Riegel, it is looking for a solution that's larger than Riegel imagined, and in any case much time has passed since, during which much relevant information has risen to the light of day.]

Once all of it's critical By-Laws are written in stone beyond any possible negative manipulations being introduced by anyone, I step out of the picture. Not until. This is my brainchild, and it WILL come forward that way, or not at all, not as a 'Riegel Exchange' system anyway.

I see. Well, who are you, Mr. Founder? You, who can take someone else's ideas, from a guy who died when I was 3 years old, and then claim they are yours to implement on your own as you see fit and then they will be released to the world? You are either very sick or a dreamer or both. If you were more humble, you'd be willing to get interested parties together and hammer out a standard for a system that could be implemented widely and suit the needs of diverse people. But no, you have to be some Ayn Randish kind of super artist who feel themselves uniquely called to bring about ... Come on back down to earth and start accepting the fact that you are a nobody just like me.

If I must remind you, it has been copyrighted since early 2007. I truly want to work WITH you David, but nothing should be put out as there as a RMES FACT when it has not even been discussed with me.

Again, I was unaware that you were devising a machine for sale. If that's all it is. I assure you there will be few if any takers.

If you wish to bring forward your own 'monetary system' then please feel free to do so. But it will not be a 'Riegel' Exchange System, or any variation thereof as documented by copyright since January 2007.

A competing machine? Gilbert's Riegels vs. Davemarks? No, I wont compete. [No, but perhaps you out there will, and I will be among you, participating in your markets where and if they benefit me, same as in any market. When I took up these ideas, I believed -apparently quite wrongly to some involved in this business of trying to come up with a reliable alternative to the present monetary system- that E. C. Riegel's ideas were to be discussed widely, and ideas for putting something together to represent them would be reasonable and possible. One does put forth one's ideas as if they are convinced of their soundness, otherwise why put them forth at all? The battleground of ideas permits any to stand forward and challenge anything written or stated. These are position papers, not legal documents. But then Laurence said ...]

You know that you do not come into any business as an employee say, then start going around to potential clients stating that the company is going to do this or that, or making your own deals, without clearing it with the company. THAT is exactly what you are doing David, and as much as I like you and value you, I am not a happy camper.

Again, I did not know that you were my employer or that I was in any way an employee or trespassing. Here's what I have to say about all that, Mr. Founder. You want me to hang that fiction around your neck as a token of derision far and wide, do you Mr. Founder? I can, but wont if my terms are met, and yeah I'm dealing with this exactly as a General would, because you and I both know the stakes are quite high, or I suppose you'd prefer us crashing back into a medieval system dominated by gold and silver coins, where most of us are dead and those who aren't are slaves? :

1. I have put my blog to sleep, though I shall be adding to it in the meantime. Based on some of the things I have learned from your last October radio presentation, I will change things, especially concerning credit clearing and gold and silver trading, which I know you instinctively despise, and for good reason, but as I said, I am not an idealist and you shouldn't be either. Why? Because idealism is evil. My blog will go live again in sixty days, by which time we will either be friends and brothers to move forward as mutual champions or ... I will make sure that you are so discredited in the liberty and truth movements that well, it's your choice, best friend or worst nightmare. You can start by being nicer to me, by not talking down to me or anyone and not losing patience when you are not adequately understood.

2. I showed your webpage, and your email to some close to me who have been following the progress of my blog for months if not years. Some had even suggested that you were some kind of loser and that I was best ditching you. There was much laughter at your expense too. Here was one response, echoed widely. “He's the Founder of a cult seeking funds for building something based on someone else's ideas that are probably bogus.” Get that? You aren't helping popularize E. C. Riegel's ideas, just the opposite. “What he intends on building is his based on this assertion: © 2007 - 2012 Laurence Gilbert and - All Rights Reserved. All copy including terms, names and symbols on this website is explicitly reserved except as noted including but not limited to the following: Riegel Exchange, Riegel Exchange Center, RMES, Riegel Monetary and Exchange System, Riegel Exchange System, Riegel ( as the name of the monetary unit ), R ( as the symbol for the Riegel monetary unit ). Let him prove it. He has thirty days from the date he is told to produce evidence to any who ask.

That was from an attorney friend of mine who regards intellectual property law as worse than garbage, its claims as property are increasingly suspect. Intellectual property law, which is a curse from the French Revolution, allowed middlemen to control the sale and distribution of the ideas of others. But after all, if you sell someone something, who are you to tell them how they can or should use it? It's their property since they bought it. They can even try and reproduce it if they think they can, that's competition. A copyright goes against all of this and is on the wrong side of history; you look dumb for using one!. [It's actually worse than that, as was pointed out to me by my associates. What Gilbert has done by copyrighting his material is indirectly placing a dollar value on it in THEIR dollar based marketplace; Gilbert is a traitor to all honest attempts to reform the monetary system and he could of course now be bought out in dollars, tomorrow. Thus friends, this man has already sacrificed E. C. Riegel's name as used for a unit of monetary exchange and Riegel's name for association with a monetary reform purpose, moving forward. Returning to my e-mail ]

But hell Laurence, I'm not even going to bother asking you for proof of copyright, as these days intellectual property rights stand squarely in the line of fire of the liberty and truth movements, who would be among your earliest subscribers. Want to really piss them off? Want me to point out the obvious, so more people notice?

So my second term is that you abandon copyrights to all you have claimed; remove the notice from your website and everything else. You might as well stop begging for dollars on the same screen as you advocate something to replace them too; looks really tacky. [He did actually remove this.] And the colour combo on your site really sucks too, looks really unprofessional. Take care of all of this as appearance is important, especially if you are selling a product that you are claiming is yours.

3. Clean up your act before daring to talk to me or anyone else in your tone of voice. Who are you anyway? You have to be persuasive, rational and most of all, kind. I know you think I've been difficult to see the simplicity of the credit clearing of accounts, I've now seen that, and you have my thanks, but now that we can deal with cats and dogs, we need something that captures oxen and elephants. You will simply have to consider what I am suggesting or something better. How does one refinance a house, buy a farm, do anything that requires a lot of money? If that's not exactly the core of the Riegel system, then it requires appropriate extension or it will not compete in the real world. Understood? [Apparently not.]

I asked you once before to do certain things with your article on gold/silver relations. Your changes were not nearly sufficient and you continue to espouse that whole process as part of the RMES in your discussions. If you wish to be a part of all of this going forward, and I really do want you as such, then you will REMOVE all of that and and all other wording in any other articles related as RMES/Riegel Exchange.

That's your demand? Mine is to answer the needs of the questions posed. Frankly, if your ideal of the Riegel system can't answer them, then what are we doing all this for? Are you conceiving of something that is fit for the management of candy stores, but of little else? I'll tell you something Laurence. If that's all it is, then fine, you just go right back to wasting your time on your software demo and I'll leave you alone and we can pretend that all this is just some weird hobby for those with too much time on their hands, instead of about something important.

Facts not previously discussed with me and approved by me, from ALL of your articles. I want all such disinformation concerning the Riegel System removed, and quickly.

Well fine, I just shut it all off for now. But now do I bow down and kiss your feet oh Pope of Riegeldom? I want you to think hard about what you say and the way you say it. I'm not your enemy, and do not want to be, but don't make me into one, because if you do, I assure you my disappointment and disgust will spread. [It already has. Those who read my words believed I was being way too kind.]

The time to begin to take this all forward is now finally here David. But it will be done by and through me with my explicit approval.

Talk soon,


All hail, Laurence! There was much laughter at your expense around the room. Here was my original reply with a few additions:

All right, Lawrence. I had no idea that you owned these concepts or thought of them that way.

[Pathetic! And oh, by the way, I think Spencer Heath MacCallum, whose life and work I truly admire and without whom none would even know of E. C. Riegel, would be quite interested in what has transpired.]

All I was attempting to do was create a forum, which I guess you did not want to participate in, to suggest what you thought, and maybe you couldn't or whatever.

[Because you set yourself up as the creator and developer of a pure system based on someone else's ideas. Rather than trying to include anyone else in your august deliberations, you arrogated to yourself the awesome responsibility of determining what a pure Riegel system should be. Tell me, Mr. Founder, what will you do when there is a resounding silence following the announcement of your demo because 1) it is yours so that's like begging to use Gilbert's Riegels 2) it probably doesn't work, 3) it has too many set in stone features that make it useless.]

I put a lot of work into [this] blog, but it almost doesn't matter now even though I have received [more than] 3,000 hits to date from many places around the world. I certainly could be mistaken about a lot of things, like whether you or [Professor] Greco have an ounce of integrity, God help us!

[Here's the skinny on Greco, he's a coward!!! He's a professor, he's part of the establishment. I've now read a few of his dull books which skirt the basic issues of how to support an entire economy. I recall how he answered a frantic questioner in Tacoma about the prospects for alternative money paying for rent, food and utilities. Greco basically said he couldn't help him. Now I'll let it get closer to home. The other day my 25 year old daughter, who lives with me, discussed her “mid life crisis” of feeling that life the way it was going was getting increasingly pointless and that few people saw any great future and everything seemed headed downhill and maybe life under such circumstances wasn't really all that worth living, certainly not worth bringing more children into. No, she's not suicidal, but a push or shove and many more vulnerable people might be. You doubt this is important to me?]

I guess you have always had your own agenda.

[Maybe I want to know what Laurence's agenda is, it deserves a critical view, if not mine, then why should I entertain his criticisms of my work? It has to be mutual, man to man, as I'm nobody's fool.] [At the time this is being posted I no longer care very much what his agenda may have been.]

Maybe we can work together, I still hope so.
I still hope so. [I did when I wrote this. I waited, hoping for some reply, which never came.]

But I think the best thing for me to do is to make the blog invisible within the next few days. One way or another, it will be back up in sixty days, make that the first week of May. I'll go back into the woodwork and pretend that I don't exist. For sixty days.

I'll take a look at your demo when it comes up, if it ever does. [There was a registration page showing two levels, a “broker” and a “full member” requesting way too much information for a demo. Beware!]

[I believe that when something takes a really long time -this has taken him years-, maybe you're going about it the wrong way. This is certainly the case here. You have to get definitions and functions and organization all down first, have people on the ground in various locales able to contribute to the basic ideas and plans, before you can be sure anything will be accepted and even then.]

You have been pretty exclusive about such matters as a governing body for such an organization.

[Maybe others of us out here are finished with anything like a central authority about anything, OK? Sorry, that and much else really pissed me off.]


And I really do hope for the best for you anyway, hope we can work these things out. I'm giving you time, but not forever.


Well, time has come and gone and some people, doing whatever they seemed pre-programmed to do, continue doing whatever it is they are doing, discrediting the name and ideas of a truly remarkable autodidact economist, whose ideas might still save the world. It falls to some, and believe me I've known quite a few, computer programmers and IT techies, who assume that a computer program they have in their head without any written documentation, will run fine the first time and solve all the world's problems (and provide them with steady employment; ah yes, we know full well all the games IT techies and computer programmers play). A big well known computer company makes the same claim in their slogan, “let's build a smarter planet.” Hey stupid, the planet is a lot smarter than you are. There was a demo up there, Riegel-Mart. At the bottom of the page it said,

Welcome to the RiegelMart™ Demo. The RiegelMart Demo site is the online educational version of the soon coming RiegelMart™ online exchange site. The money unit of RiegelMart is the Riegel™.

We invite you to join us above on the right [sic] by simply registering with us. [Providing your personal information for nothing.] You will be emailed your login information shortly thereafter. Join us today and begin to experience the truth about 'money' [!?!] and how you can experience real financial freedom [!?!] just by doing simulated personal exchanges here on our Demo site. The real thing is coming soon. [Play a game first, then the real thing comes along and it's still a game, a patented trademarked game, how tacky!]

RiegelMart is a subsidiary of the Riegel Exchange System™, a new alternative monetary system which places the power to issue and control money back into the hands of the people, where it belongs. The RES™ is the first alternative currency system that truly is "Of, For and By the People.” [Seriously, is any sane person going to fall for this baloney? How can something that personally belongs only to Mr. Founder ... who has and will founder some more ... possibly be "Of, For and By the People?” Seriously, does Mr. Founder realize that the vaunted Constitution of the United States, by whatever assertion made by its defenders, was created in secret by a select group of men? How then could such a thing be “of, for and by the people?” Are we jaundiced yet? I'm sorry to say that much I surmised about this fellow certainly must be true and possibly a whole lot more, but it does us no good belabouring this. Water seeks it's own level; if you can't fly with eagles you do whatever with turkeys, etc.]

For more information about the RES, visit our main information site at:

So this is the answer, the solution, etc.? Well, go take a look, if it ever appears again, but don't divulge more about yourself than you absolutely feel you can. Hell, since it's only a game, why not stick it with phony information just to have a look. Meanwhile, what a cheap disgrace to the fame and reputation of E. C. Riegel!

Adjustment of Terms

The trademark issues being what they are, all references to Riegels as money are now Value Units (the Symbol might be a V with a superimposed U) and the RMES will now be called the Value Exchange Network or VEN for short. We will use E. C. Riegel's ideas for membership in local exchanges which shall be called Independent Exchanges or IE's. Each IE will encompass a geographical area that will begin when three accredited individuals step forth to assume the responsibilities of an IE. These will be spelled out. But of course if anyone has anything contrary to say, they may do so.  These names are all subject to change as more people put their heads together to decide what they shall be called.

We discussed among ourselves whether we should AGAIN offer Laurence Gilbert the opportunity to respond and participate in this forum. One fellow made this comment and insisted I make it part of this post:

At the very least, anyone resorting to a copyright for something like this has made a huge tactical blunder, unless his original intent was to profit from an invention that rightly belongs to someone else. For all I know, Riegel may be public domain, in which case Gibert's assertion of copyright might not even exist or is bogus. If that's all true, then the man is clearly a liar. In any case, he has no comprehension of the seriousness of what he has done or of our present situation, of the financial positions most people are in these days. There is no way he would ever win my vote of confidence to lead anything of importance. He's clearly demonstrated to me that he's a loser who is not playing with a full deck.”

So my associates regard Gilbert as a traitor, whereas right now I only regard him as a clown. Their disgust with him easily exceeded mine and on a motion to allow Laurence a floor on this forum, every vote but mine went against him. It was however agreed that we could not reasonably exclude him from joining and trading through one of our IE's if one opens in his local area, after all, we do not discriminate on that basis; even fools deserve a life.

However all that may be, we do extend the opportunity to participate in this forum to anyone else. All they need do is submit their remarks to me at and after careful review, since Laurence insists, this is MY blog, not his, I will post them where they appropriately fit in with the idea of putting together what hopefully shall continue to amount to some equivalents to the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, not as apparently The Founder would prefer that, once all of it's critical By-Laws are written in stone beyond any possible negative manipulations being introduced by anyone, as if that were even enforceable, unless clearly understood by people on the ground, not on the internet, I step out of the picture. Not until. This is my brainchild, and it WILL come forward that way, or not at all, not as a 'Riegel Exchange' system anyway. So people, we are perforce required now to discuss our ideas ... using different terms.

Notice of this blog post shall be conveyed to many fine and conscientious members of the Liberty and Preparedness communities worldwide, etc.

David Burton


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