HomeArticleMoney Is Made Up And We Can Change The Rules Whenever We Want

Money Is Made Up And We Can Change The Rules Whenever We Want

Have you ever noticed how online capitalism cultists who condescendingly tell socialists they “just don’t understand economics” are always unable to lucidly defend their own understanding of economics?

If you’ve never pressed such a character to clearly and concisely explain what it is you “don’t understand” using their own words, I highly recommend that you try it, because it’s one of the funniest things in the world. If you keep interrogating them about each aspect of their belief system, demanding that they explain exactly what it is they know and how they know it, they will invariably end up getting frustrated and telling you to listen to this or that economist if they don’t rage quit on you altogether first.

It’s really fascinating how consistent this experience is; talk to other online leftists about it and if they’ve ever really engaged the argument they’ll have had the same experience. Someone who truly understands something will be able to clearly and concisely tell you in their own words what they know and how they know it, and someone who strides in talking down to you about how you “don’t understand economics” is certainly claiming to know something, but when you really plunk them down and interrogate their understanding you will always find it to have been a lot of empty bluster. They don’t understand their own position, they’ve just listened to a bunch of capitalists explaining their position to them in an assertive tone and assumed it must be unassailably correct.

This happens because in our profit-driven society, capitalism cultists are unaccustomed to having to defend their positions rigorously. They tend to gravitate toward tightly insulated echo chambers where their beliefs are not challenged with any degree of depth, and our systems completely support them in this. Richard D Wolff has said that in the entire time he was obtaining his PhD in economics through Harvard, Stanford and Yale, he was never assigned a single word of analysis written by Karl Marx to read as part of his education. Echo chambers rule our world.

Rigorous debate is permitted as to what precise flavor of capitalism would best suit this civilization, but the question of whether capitalism should remain the driving force behind our behavior as a species at all is largely verboten in mainstream discourse. This is why those who have been most heavily indoctrinated into the faith think of money and economics in much the same way we think about forces of nature and the laws of physics. The idea that money must continue to function in more or less the way it’s been functioning since our birth is taken as some sort of unbreakable principle that’s been inscribed upon the fabric of reality, and not just a bunch of made-up concepts invented by human beings.

But that’s exactly what they are: money and economics are conceptual constructs invented by people. They have no solid existence of their own; they exist only inside the human imagination. They are only as true as we agree to pretend they are. Money is a collective belief system we all agree to participate in, and we are free to collectively alter how it operates in any way at any time.

When I talk about the fact that money has no real value outside of mental narrative, I often get people mistaking this for a conversation about fiat currency as opposed to something more tangible like gold-backed currency, but that’s not what I’m pointing to here. It’s true that currency backed by bureaucratic fiat has more of its existence in the narrative world than currency backed by some non-conceptual physical resource, but it’s also true that even if we were using actual gold coins as currency, those coins would only have as much value as people collectively agree they have. If no one agreed that gold is worth anything (or silver or cryptocurrencies or whatever), then as far as trade goes it would be worthless.

What I’m getting at here is that together as a collective we have complete improvisational freedom with money and value. If enough of us decided tomorrow that peach pits are the new form of currency, then that would immediately be the case, solely because we collectively decided to re-write the rules in that way. All the imaginary numbers in the bank accounts of the billionaires would immediately be worthless, and presumably the new plutocratic class would be the peach farmers.

What this means is that there is no actual legitimacy for claims that instituting any form of socialism or communism would be some kind of theft from those who have wealth. It would not. Because the rules of money and how it operates are a collective belief system that is being actively maintained by the belief of the collective, we are free to collectively cease believing those beliefs and replace them with a system which we collectively agree would serve us better.

That’s what’s so funny about the rugged individualism which upholds capitalism while decrying collectivist models: capitalism is collectivism. It’s a collective improvisation being performed by the collective, at the consent of the collective. It only exists because we collectively participate in it. If the collective wants to switch to another form of collectivism that doesn’t let people starve and die for not having enough imaginary numbers in their bank accounts, the collective is free to change the rules of its collective improvisation.

Wealth only exists where it exists and how it exists because we’ve all agreed to pretend that’s the case, and we are free to collectively cease pretending this at any time. If enough of us decide to cease pretending that Jeff Bezos’ money is worth anything, we are within our sovereign right to do so. We didn’t steal anything from Jeff Bezos, we just changed the rules of the game we’ve all agreed to play. We decided we don’t believe the conceptual constructs which make Bezos immensely wealthy, and that we believe different ones instead.

The super rich are acutely aware that the only thing holding their respective kingdoms together is our collective belief in the story that wealth works a certain way and exists in certain places, which is why they continue feeding us these stories in the form of propaganda. They can’t have us awakening to the realization that we are free to completely rewrite the rules of money, and they certainly can’t have us awakening to the realization that we are also free to rewrite the rules of power.

Power, like money, also only exists in the way it exists because we collectively agree to pretend that that’s the case. We could collectively decide tomorrow that nobody takes orders from any part of our official government anymore, and our government would immediately lose all of its power. This is why so much energy goes into keeping us propagandized into belief in official narratives: narrative is the only thing keeping this empire afloat.

And that’s exactly why we haven’t changed things already: we are being ceaselessly manipulated into keeping our minds jacked in to the matrix in which money and power exist in their current iterations. But we do have the ability to unplug ourselves, and if enough of us do this, we can change the world into something unrecognizably sane and healthy.

And we had better hurry up and do so. As I’ve said previously, what I mean when I say “capitalism” is the current system dominating our world today wherein human behavior is driven as a whole by the pursuit of capital. The current system of profit-seeking and competition as the primary determining factor of what humans are doing on this planet.

Profit-chasing as the driving factor in human behavior is what got us into the ecological mess we are in right now. As long as it remains profitable to destroy the environment and human behavior is driven by profit, then humans will continue destroying the environment. Inevitably. This will have to happen.

So for purposes of this conversation it’s actually irrelevant whether capitalism enthusiasts believe the current system is “real capitalism” or not, whether you believe the markets are “free” or not, or whether or not you prefer Austrian over Keynesian models of economic theory. Since we’re talking about any system where profit-chasing and competition drives human behavior at mass scale, we are necessarily talking about whatever pet definition of capitalism you happen to prefer.

We’re going to have to move to something drastically new if we’re to survive the existential crises on our horizon as a species, both environmental and the steadily growing risk of nuclear war caused by capitalist imperialism. It will necessarily have to look like something that’s never been tried before, because any deviation from our trajectory toward self-destruction will necessarily need to include a deviation from all the old behavior patterns which got us here.

For this reason, all the mindless bleating capitalism cultists do claiming “socialism has never worked” is completely irrelevant: nothing we’ve done has worked, that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in now. Something radically unprecedented is needed, so it necessarily cannot look anything like the capitalist order which has brought us to the brink of armageddon.

But we absolutely do have the freedom to create such a radically unprecedented world. There’s nothing solid stopping us, just the fairy tales of a few sociopathic manipulators being funneled into our minds. The door’s not locked. It’s not even closed. There’s just a screen blaring “DON’T LOOK AT THAT DOOR” at us all day long. We are perfectly free to stand up together, and walk outside.

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Latest comments

  • Caitlin,
    I agree that the modern education system is an echo chamber, but I don’t agree with anything much else in your article. Glancing rather hastily through all the prior comments, I don’t see much that I agree with, except bits of what Clint and Bill Rice say. Regarding your comment that “capitalism cultists” can’t defend their opinions in their own words, I would like to say: “Try me.” I can refer people to great writers, too, because the great writers can usually go into more detail that I can, but I can have a go.
    You might think now that money is made up and that it is just whatever we agree it is, but I think you will find if you go deeply enough into it, that that is propaganda put out by the Keynesians. When Keynes put forward his theories and they swept the academic world, partly it was because it provided an excuse for the employment of lots of boys who had studied statistics in the government, finding out all the figures that the government had to find out if it was going to micromanage the economy. I think another reason that the Keynesian won the academic contest, in the short term, was that there was a real danger of bloodthirsty Russian Communism sweeping the world, and the people in charge wanted to avert that.
    Another factor, which you may not be aware of, was that there was a bush school of economics called Social Credit or Douglas Credit, which became rather influential at that time among uneducated people, particularly those who still took Christianity seriously. It was originated by an English ex-military officer named C. H. Douglas. I know about it because my father believed in it, and was always lecturing me about it. I could never quite get it. When later I studied Keynesian economics in high school and a bit in university, I was able to identify some of the mistakes that Douglas and his supporters made. I could never quite get Keynesian economics either, and later I got into libertarian circles and found out about Austrian economics, so was able to identify some of the mistakes that Keynes made – or that his supporters made. Keynes may not have been a nice man, but he was a genius.
    What I meant to say here is that the Douglas Credit people were pressing for a form of inflationism, which would probably have quickly led to disaster, but which would at least have had the virtue of being open, so that people could understand it. The Keynesian system does the same thing behind closed doors, with the use of fancy words to confuse the public (like medical terminology), and allows the bankers and the top politicians to exercise a degree of control over the mad tendencies of ordinary politicians. At least, it did. What with Modern Monetary Theory, the degree of more-or-less-responsible control appears to be fading. Keynes’s “long run” (he dismissed concerns about the long-run deleterious effects of his inflationary systems by saying that in the long run we would all be dead) has arrived.
    I know that C. H. Douglas made a considerable splash, because Ludwig von Mises mentions him in passing in his magnum opus, “Human Action.”
    Keynesians like to brush over weak bits of their story with jokes. When you hear an economist telling jokes, look carefully, because he may be hiding something important. I gather that Say’s Law disproves an important point in Keynesian economics, but Say’s Law has been so carefully hidden that I couldn’t explain it to you beyond the formulation that “supply creates demand,” which doesn’t really tell us much.
    I gather that there was once a great controversy between two great English economists, Riccardo and Malthus, in which one of them argued that the benefits of modern industry would eventually accrue almost entirely to the landlords. This has turned out to be true, with the added wrinkle that the ultimate landlord is the central government. But this is one of the important issues that is artfully hidden from the public today.
    Getting around to your point about money being whatever we say it is, and how we can abolish fortunes by just agreeing that Bill Gates’s money isn’t money any more, it is true that something like this is done in international affairs, where any government that the U.S. Government happens to dislike may have its accounts in U.S. dollars frozen, and it is apparently considered very generous of the U.S.A. if, after negotiations, it agrees to unfreeze the accounts again. There is no mention that freezing an account is stealing. The government could certainly steal Bill Gates’s money as well, but it wouldn’t go down too well with a lot of much tinier people like me, because they could perfectly well take ours as well.
    Actually, when our present civilisation began, the form that money eventually took was gold and silver coin, and it took this form because people knew that the wealthy and powerful would pay well in other things for those metals, because they could be used to make very attractive plate and jewellery. Then some bright spark, said to have been the King of Lydia, hit on the idea of making coins of a standard size, and a system of money was born that has often been corrupted but has never been bettered.
    If you want to see how this can work, research the term, “trade coins.” These were recognised coins that circulated in parts of the world where there was no stable central government. The greatest, I think, was the Maria Theresa thaler, which was “restruck” (i.e. minted by governments other than the original one that invented it) right up until the 1980s, for trade in the Arab world. I learned about this from coin collectors: they often know a great deal about the history of money, but they don’t talk about it, because apparently nobody asks them.
    Beyond that, I could no doubt go on forever, but I’ll close by criticising your comment that one Richard D. Wolff was never asked to study Marx as part of his education in economics. I agree that modern education often seems to leave out the fundamentals and the great writers, but Marx? All he did was to take the Christian moral code (good is bad and bad is good), excise it from all the magic stories of Christianity (Jesus, Mary, Pontius Pilate, St. Paul, and all the lesser figures and their Arabian Nights adventures), and pretend that it is scientific. Most people are smart enough to see through the magic stories of Christianity, but it takes some ability in abstract reasoning to see that the moral code is faulty as well. So a lot of serious working-class people, and a lot of shallow people from other classes got together and supported a doctrine that led to an enormous amount of bloodshed and injustice.

  • Wrote about this here https://medium.com/bigger-picture/money-for-nothing-395d486ced07 and here https://davidsperorn.medium.com/ among other places. Caitoz is completely right. Money is
    just a story, and one that is destroying all life on Earth. “When you realize that under capitalism,, a forest isn’t worth anything until it’s cut down, you start to see where the ecological crisis comes from.” Adam Hastie Jayek

  • Caitlin, would you please get this broken comment component fixed! The indents are just unacceptable.

  • I hope I may be forgiven for the shameless self-promotion, but I wanted to provide a link to my Substack newsletter, which is specifically dedicated to exploring questions like those posed in this article. It is called Fundamentals of Money:

    https://joshsidman.substack.com/

  • It’s interesting to note that gold only has such a high value because of the amount that is stored in huge vaults, surrounded by all sorts of security devices and armed guards, doing nothing. If it had much more real use beyond making golden hats for monarchs and teeth for coke dealers it’d be out there serving it. Yet, hundreds of poor people still slave their lives away poisoning the planet and polluting water suppiles mining it for heavy ingots that do nothing. It’s the same with the virtual money that people seem to think is stored in off-shore bank accounts. There are no safes or strong rooms, there are no big bank HQs staffed by lots of bank clerks. Nearly every one is no more that a brass plate on a wall or door, alongside dozens more brass plates. There are no mountains of $100 bills or fifty pound notes there’s just a record in on a computer screen that says there is. As Catlain suggests we’re all mugs for believing gold is worth anything beyond its limited practical use and even bigger mugs for believing there’s any more cash about on a fiscal paradise island than the locals use at the shops.

    • …good points…not only does current gold mining wreak havoc on mother nature, the consequences of past gold mining are lurking forever…[see ‘2015 gold king waste spill disaster’ which poisoned the beautiful animas river near beautiful durango, colorado…ugh..]

      …many republicrat-level nitwits still blow about, ‘returning to a gold standard’…we’ve never had an honest [100% backed] ‘gold standard’.. gold was used as ‘reserves’ in our ‘fractional reserve system’ the same way treasury bonds, etc., are used today as ‘reserves’ by the banking cartel member$ in this stinking fraudulent monetary order under which we are effectively enslaved…

  • Please read my article about Changing the Story of Money, on Medium https://medium.com/bigger-picture/rewriting-the-rules-of-money-5314b8c7d50c

  • I wish I knew who to attribute this to…

    The problem with forcibly seizing the assets of, say, Jeff Bezos is that his net worth of $161 billion does not mean he has that in cash. That’s the worth of everything he owns, including stock in his own company.
    And the problem with seizing THAT is that it isn’t real. It’s based on confidence and what people might conceivably pay for it. And if you just seize it, that confidence tanks. And then that wealth evaporates.
    The problem with capitalism isn’t that there’s a bunch of old dudes sitting on hoards of cash. It’s that they’ve collectively created a system by which they have ludicrous social and economic power based on the PROMISE of hoards of cash that don’t exist. They have created a social stratum in which debt is money.
    That’s why the exhortation is to SEIZE THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION, not GO GRAB ALL THE MONEY. Because the money isn’t real, and the need to go out and get it is blinding people to the fact that it doesn’t need to exist.

    • There is absolutely no reason why we can’t have a global economy based on abundance and cooperation rather than scarcity and competition. As Caitlin has stated so many times, it is only a matter of individually and collectively deciding to free our minds from the dominating narrative.

  • It’s already happening. It’s name is Bitcoin.

    The only way this planet and its economic systems get away from and escape the controlling college-educated pseudo-intellectuals that think what they think is what is best for everyone,..is a decentralized system.
    This is what BTC presents. This is what DeFi presents.
    It’s a brave new world and its going digital.
    That’s why the pseudo-intellectuals despise BTC.
    It’s out of their control so they will attempt to create rules curtailing it,…but,…its too late. Institutional and corporate buying has already begun.
    Institutions and corporation own this government all governments on this plant.

    The Great Reset is not what these college-educated pseudo-intellectuals think it will be. Nope,…there will soon be a reverse in economic and fiscal power.
    It’s a brave new world and Gen X and Gen Y will be the beginning of a new paradigm shift on this planet.
    A few micro bursts will be needed but all will be okee -dokey.

    • Cryptocurrencies are still currencies. Bitcoin is still a currency. It is only worth what the next person thinks it is worth.

      Moving to bitcoin seems to me to be conceptually like moving to the euro in 1999. Sure, control of the bitcoin supply is decentralized, but it is still another made-up kind of money to use in the economic system.

      Can you explain how moving to this or any other new currency will change our economic system to help average people have better lives and reduce harm to the planet?

      • When money become a standard measure, like the kilogram, meter, hour, day. When it can’t earn interest and no central bank can create more of it out of thin air. Then and only then will it become a medium of exchange to allow the developer of software programs to exchange his labor in developing that software program for groceries produced by the labor of farmers. How many groceries and be bought for one hour of software development labor wi bee the on;y thing that needs to be established and they only thing that is variable. Gambling on currency would come to an end because you would never win, nor would you ever lose.

        • The allure of bitcoin appears to be the absence of a mechanism to significantly expand the money supply. Huge amounts of computing power are dedicated to the task, yet very little bitcoin is created. Similarly for the other cryptocurrencies.

          No central bank can create more of it out of thin air, but that which is in virtual existence now was created out of thin air and remains as 1’s and zero’s stored in computer memory.

          Every enterprise in the capitalist economy seeks to take a profit from its operation. That is, it seeks to receive more money for its output than it spends to produce that output. The question arises, where does that money come from? If there is X money supply, perhaps expanding by 1% per year from the combined computing power creating it, but enterprises strive to accumulate 2% profit on their land, labor and capital costs, then there will not be enough money to accumulate that profit. The total of profit and interest on debt instruments across the economy will be restricted to to the expansion of the money supply.

          Now, some of my gold standard supporting friends tell me that the profit will be made by the increased value or wealth in the economy from the work directed by the capitalists. That is fine and good as far as reckoning that wealth will increase. But that does not explain how profits can be taken. So the alternative, with a stagnant money supply, the immutable law of demand and supply would indicate that the alternative and correct answer is that deflation would occur.

          But what happens when deflation occurs? Well, the capitalist economy crashes, as it did in 1929. There is a very good reason for this. When prices decline, it becomes the rational choice to delay purchases so that the money one holds will buy more of the goods and services offered in the economy than at present. The inevitable drop in demand, however, must drive some enterprises out of business so that there will be less wealth in the economy.

          In other words, my belief is when money supply expansion becomes nigh impossible, the economy becomes a zero-sum game-the result being that wealth creation ends.

          Show me how I am wrong.

          • All I can say is that the value of the dollar remained at 1/20th an ounce of gold until 1934 when FDR in order to ameliorate the depression changed the standard to 1/32th of an ounce of gold in order to put more money into circulation to “stimulate” the economy, and it remained at that value until 1972 when Richard M. Nixon uncoupled the value of the dollar from gold altogether and the value of the dollar then plummeted reaching a value of 1/2000th of an once of gold in 2008.

            You may say that linking the value of the dollar to gold is what caused the depression, but if you read the histories starting with the banking crisis of 1907, you will see that these depressions were always carefully calculated to provide and advantage to the banking industry. The 1907 crisis was created to convince the American public that they needed a central bank, that was not part of the federal government, a private corporation, in order to provide stability to markets.Then in 1913 on December 23, when nearly all of Congress had gone home for the Christmas holidays the Federal Reserve Act was passed with only Charles Lindbergh Sr. orating a dissent.

            So fixed value currency worked for a long time and people who earned a dollar this year could expect that dollar to buy the same equivalent amount of goods the next year. Once currency became a fiat currency, people who earned a dollar this year could no longer expect that dollar to buy the same equivalent amount of goods the next year. This leads to demoralization and the unwillingness of people to make the effort to work harder in order to have greater purchasing power, because they quickly come to understand that the increased purchasing power they thought they had accrued is an illusion and evaporates as quickly as they earn it.

            So there is a psychological element to the value of currency that needs to be factored in as well. A stable currency if what builds confidence in purchasing power and what encourages people to make the effort to acquire that purchasing power.

            • But to the main (or at least first) point. How will there be money in the economy for profits if the money supply is stagnant?

              And, yes, the value of the dollar was pegged at $20/oz. gold, but there were significant increases in the money supply as significant amounts of gold were extracted from California, the Black Hills and the Klondike over many years and added to the money supply. That sort of expansion of the gold supply is not happening these days.

    • …the value of what you probably call ‘money’ [dollars, pounds, etc..] is derived from government forcing us to use it…[for taxes, fees, fines, government itself using it as their ‘unit of account’ in contracts, etc. ad nauseam] …money is a creature of law and i believe that the right to create money and issue money is a function of government…i believe as william jennings bryan wrote, ‘[money creation] is a part of sovereignty and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than can the power to make penal statutes or levy laws for taxation.’

      …from what i understand, the bitcoin system uses as much electricity as switzerland while capable of transacting only a miniscule percentage of current transactions…

      …i sense bitcoin is being used and abused by the worst of the worst scumbags…

      • Your assessment of the basis of the demand for money is unassailable.

  • “Money Is Made Up And We Can Change The Rules Whenever We Want”
     
    I’ve got an even better subject for either unifying or un-unifying both the woke and the un-woke members of the Bewildered Herd, and it even has a similar title.
     
    All Languages are Made Up of Made-Up Words And We Can Change The Meanings of Made-Up Words Whenever We Want
     
    Go for it, Caitlin and Tim!
     
    Just think about the possibilities. Each herd member will “use” words that other heerd members commonly use, but each will have their own personal dictionary of “meanings” of those words, depending on the particular circumstance. Everybody speaking the same “language” will still “recognize” those words as “English” or “Russian” or “Chinese” etc., but because those words (many times systemically important words such as male, female, boy, girl, boy, man, girl, woman, terror, terrorist, freedom, freedom-fighter, peace, war, police-action, police-state, democracy, republic, tyranny, dictator, dictatorship, racist, sexist, fascist, hate, hate-crime, riot, insurrection, protest, genocide, degrees of murder, mass murder, money, values, value, etc. ad infinitum) have, in the case of the US, 333,000,000 possible “meanings”, Perpetual Confusion (PC) will reign and, more importantly, organization to produce Real Systemic Change will be impossible. Whenever there is some effective organization starting to taking place, “influencers” will jump into the discourse and start declaring that the commonly-used words of the discussion aren’t being used correctly — that they actually have different meanings than people think they have. Then the discussion is reduced to an argument about the meanings of words. PC reigns and the sprouts of Real Change are killed.
     
    If herd members cannot even agree on the meanings of important words, just stop typing, sit back, hug your loved ones and enjoy what’s coming with eyes wide open.

    • Oh, What to Do, What to Do?

      Hitler showed how easy it is to manipulate the public through propaganda. And now, with the censoring and how only the mainstream line is presented, repeated, and repeated. People end up believing what is assumed to be true, to be true, I say at the risk of sounding redundant to the hurrying reader. Everywhere it is presented as an unassailable fact, like the necessity of the vaccine, over and over everywhere. Watch a video of George Orwell near his end (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k_ptxWsadI)

      That is all it takes to totally brainwash the public. How can we ever break through this? They will always find a plausible explanation for whatever is revealed. That is a trait that they have sharpened and refined from having been lying probably from a very early age.  People who have endured sexual abuse as children often resort to lying compulsively and ingeniusly as they feel guilty though association with the perpetrator. They are experts at deflecting blame away from themselves. Sometimes they will launch an attack on their protagonist to redirect the focus on them. I have known some people like that, very smooth operators, living off the gullibility and innocence of the multitudes. People are easy prey for talented sociopaths. Look for some real human characteristics beneath their charismatic sheen  when encountering one of these charming bastards. They make great politicians.

      Why is everything going to hell in a handbasket right now? Because we have allowed injustices to be perpetrated consistently for centuries and have not organized sufficiently to put an end to it. It is easy to see how everyone who hasn’t tried to resist as activists is complicit. 

      When one contemplates how it came about that slavery finally ended in the USA  after the Civil War in 1865, one must realize that slavery had been banned almost everywhere else by the early 1800’s, and the USA was almost last to do this, but that dishonor goes to Brazil who had slavery all the way up to 1888. There are various theories as to how this came about, the main ones being financial advantage for some to end slavery and the other is out of a sense of morality, so what occured was trading unsightly naked slavery for wage slavery, which often created even worse conditions for the x-slaves than when enslaved.

      Risking the possibility of sounding arrogant I might suggest that capitalism, materialism tends to not only breed corruption, but also makes people somewhat superficial and hence, easy to manipulate. How many times has humanity fallen for their trojan horse tricks, like advertising using ddt on your head to rid yourself of mites, or doctors recommending smoking cigarettes, and now, a microchip in your hand that will make keys and passwords obsolete as well as being able to detect disease in one’s body, even before it starts. It doesn’t cost much or hurt, just give us your freedom, but that’s not even in the fine print, as perhaps it seems unnecessary to state the obvious, that most people seem to overlook. Aldous Huxley could see through it back then,1958 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alasBxZsb40).

      Or how clever, to create an impossible existential dilemma like having to choose between one’s civil liberties against health security. Most people would rather live no matter what, even if they have to live as slaves. After all, no one knows how many slaves actually committed suicide. One can only speculate. “How did slaves respond to the suffering they were forced to undergo? While some slaves did choose suicide, the rates appear to be surprisingly low. This is consistent with suicide rates for Africa and for people of African descent living in other areas of the world, and further supports the theory that a low suicide rate is an element of African culture.” (https://scholarworks.montana.edu/xmlui/handle/1/1654).

      At least the slaves knew they were enslaved. Now, with mental manipulation, people believe that they are free and will fight in wars to preserve their delusion of being free. Slavery with chains is really out of style. It’s much cooler to have slaves who think that they are free. We have lived being enslaved to the dollar. But now, the enslavement will be much more thorough, sleek, and clean. Everything will look good on the surface, all the horrors that make this picture possible are kept behind closed doors and in empty fields. It’s scary stuff. It’s possible that many people don’t have the courage to look at something terrifying and prefer to imagine that it couldn’t really get that bad, even though modern history is full of horrors. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVlhBS8VrbY).

      Controlling minds, that is what makes atrocities so acceptable. Forcing me to be injected by the corrupt government is clearly tyrannous, yet people don’t even see what seems so obvious. If they are protected from the virus since they have been vaccinated, why must they insist that I have to be vaxxed and consider me a threat to them without it. It seems it doesn’t even matter if it doesn’t make any sense. This is zombieism when illogical ideas are conceived of as true. We shouldn’t have to wait for historians who probably will never exist to tell us that propaganda has turned many humans into human looking zombies and that tyranny was perpetrated without the public even noticing.

      You may have no clue as to what you could do about it, so you feel comfortable  as well as helpless, staying home watching things evolve and hoping for the best. But you could step into your power and confront the monumental challenges by finding a niche in the solution puzzle that we all must create. Like organizing locally, localization, growing food communally to keep everyone in food, etc. Being a longtime radical anarchist activist, I have very ambitious strategies in the process of manifesting since I feel compelled to resist and search for an effective response. utopiacornucopia.org.

  • When I glance at the MSM and see that celebrity X has just sold their other home for $18.4 million or that Mr Y is the newest billionaire, I throw up a little in my mouth.

    • Mon cher Jean; ne lisez pas les grands journaux – mauvais pour la sante!

  • “…existential crises on our horizon as a species, both environmental …”

    Really? What do you know that I don’t? You can’t be defending “CO2 as the problem”, so what is it? Thanks.

  • “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take away from them the power to create money and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.” (attributed to josiah stamp)

  • …most people i’ve met are WORSE than ignorant about ‘money’: …i.e. they are burdened by false ‘understandings’…gee, i wonder why…

    …ask someone about the nature of ‘money’ [what gives money it’s ‘value’?, etc.] and you’ll get a kaleidoscope of responses…[small wonder, there has NEVER been an honest, thoughtful, thorough, public discussion about ‘the money’!…not here in the US anyway!..gee, i wonder why.. ]

    … thoughtful monetary historian/monetary realist, alexander del mar, [alas, a gold bug] sums it up for me in around 1910 … “[something characterized] by public authority and named or understood in the laws or customs: that its palpable characteristic was its mark of authority; its essential characteristic, the possession of value, defined by law; and its function, the legal power to pay debts and taxes and the mechanical power to facilitate the exchange of other objects possessing value…”

    …btw, the late steve zarlenga is the greatest monetary historian/monetary realist of whom i am aware…any others have a favorite?…[pretty slim picking$, i agree…gee i wonder why…] 😉

    • David Graeber’s Debt: the first 5000 years is a fine look at the history and pre-history of money and debt from an anthropological viewpoint.

      And looking at money as a means of attaining status: Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class.

  • The answer is this:

    Respect life.
    Respect yourself.
    Respect your fellow humans.
    Respect the world we all live on.
    Respect the universe.
    Be reasonable.
    Be flexible.
    Be harmonious.
    Behave at all times in accordance with the above.

    And then things will sort themselves out.

  • “For this reason, all the mindless bleating capitalism cultists do claiming ‘socialism has never worked’ is completely irrelevant: nothing we’ve done has worked, that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in now.” True enough, but it’s easy to point out what hasn’t worked, the various aspects of the mess we’re in and, in a sense, have always been in. It’s much, much harder to envision a viable and implementable alternative to current neoliberal, imperial capitalism. Sad to say, more constructive thinking in this regard can be found in the recent Davos rhetoric (yes, from the very assholes who brought us to this precipice) than on blogs like this one and their often off-the-wall comments. All that can be found here and in similar venues is repetitious, increasingly strident, increasingly tiresome deconstruction, coupled with amorphous dreams of a sudden mass enlightenment or revolutionary uprising of “the people.” Do these valid but obvious criticisms, joined to vague, far-fetched fantasies, constitute the best thinking we non-elites have to offer? Don’t we realize that it’s not enough, not close to enough, to keep punching up at our neoliberal overlords, when we lack the foggiest idea of what we’d do if we got lucky and knocked the bastards out?

    • “Sad to say, more constructive thinking in this regard can be found in the recent Davos rhetoric (yes, from the very assholes who brought us to this precipice) than on blogs like this one and their often off-the-wall comments.
       
      What was the “more constructive thinking” that came from the minds of the assholes at Davos?

      • Check out the short videos (2021) from the Davos foundation on YouTube, and you’ll see proposals being made, to cite only one example, to change the structure of private corporations to expressly include the promotion of human and environmental health, to be prioritized over short-term profit seeking. You’ll also find acknowledgments that neoliberal capitalism, as we’ve known it, is essentially dead post-pandemic.

    • Newton,

      I have enjoyed your posts over the years. At first, I misunderstood your position but have grown to respect it. You articulate a much needed sentiment and while it appears
      that you are talking in the wind, God can hear you. You are also one of the few people who are known to have read and comprehended the work of Edward Bellamy.
      The world is born of ideas. In order to create a world, it must first be envisioned in the mind. The current hellscape is the product of a vision and plan conceived
      and executed by members of the ruling class. The Mont Pelerin Society to be specific. Those people had a vision of the world they wanted to create and it took them
      a few decades to build it and it is a utopia for beneficiaries of that world vision. The purpose of all of the noise is to keep people from dreaming so that they keep
      enforcing the existing reality.

      I am you and you are me.

      • So good to know one is not alone. Thanks, THOUGHTPOLICE. I needed the encouragement and expression of solidarity more than you know.

      • What I really want to know is how some folks get their own pictures next to their screen names in the comments instead of the automatic doodles.

  • As if modern economics had a thing to do with economy. Modern Monetary Theory is a pie in the sky fantasy that attempts to serve both capitalist and socialist interests, while claiming to be capitalist.
    Economy is a natural organic result of human association. If left free, what few economic problems arise are quickly and organically corrected. The only things that can really disturb it are natural disaster and government interference. When human beings pretend to understand precisely how it works, and so pretend they can “manage” it, that’s when the SHTF. They may as well pretend to manage the Earths orbit. Capitalism in its current form pretends its a party to free enterprise, while doing every thing possible to control it. Socialism does NOT pretend to be a party to free enterprise, and like modern capitalism, believes the economy can be managed. Well guess what, it can be managed, just not by any particular gang that thinks it can. We collectively manage a free enterprise economy without any guidance from on high at all. Always assuring that the best product is available at the best price, precisely where it’s needed most. If we were only allowed to do so. An essay by Leonard E. Read called “I pencil” at least partially explains how natural and organic an economy is.

    • JWK,

      1. This is Neoliberal theology.
      2. When you say Socialist you actually mean Capitalist.
      3. Capitalism is a Global system. There are no competing ideologies. They all exist within the framework of Capitalism.
      I am you and your are me.

      • I just use the names as they currently and incorrectly are used. If you own a shovel you are a capitalist. You combine your labor with that capital to produce a hole in the ground from which you hope to gain from, even if its just planting a shade tree. All economies are capitalist. They have been since the first human picked up a rock that fit their hand and got themselves some chow, or ran off a predator.

    • “Always assuring that the best product is available at the best price, precisely where it’s needed most.”

      Not in my experience. Many of the “best products” at the “best price” have disappeared from the market in my lifetime. For instance: true canvas shirts, cotton chambray work shirts, bib overalls with button fly, Plymouth Horizon with the Dodge engine (40 mpg in 1987), Bombay Gin which is apparently still made but not widely available (not the inferior Sapphire kind), Murphy’s Irish Stout (maybe only in Cork) Jack Daniels four year old whisky, etc. Superior products for their price that the market does not supply. My guess is so that alternative products are introduced to increase profits.

      • Not in your experience because your economy IS managed. Left alone some of these products might disappear anyway, but as long as there was sufficient demand the product would be available. in a free market, we control the economy collectively, without any intent or thought to do so, simply by buying the product we need or want at a price we can afford and are willing to pay. Couldn’t be more democratic. Not enough votes for Bombay Gin, no more Bombay Gin. More votes for Beefeater, more Beefeater. I doubt I’m spelling it right, but I became a fan of Rajanpur Gin several years ago, and alas, can’t find it now. With liquor I blame that on grocery stores putting liquor stores out of business. Getting of subject here.

        • I understand the ideology. I just don’t see that happening in real life. And there will never be a pure free market, so I guess orthodox free-market believers will never have it tested.

          • Given the eminent collapse of the fiat currency debt based world wide economy, it might just happen. Either that or we are subjected to even more control over our lives.

  • “how about a system where the rule$ apply equally; PARTICULARLY with respect to money creation and issuance… [i.e. i propose TRANSPARENT, pro-rata issuance of newly-created money/some portion thereof…]”
    These are good, necessary first steps. But how much money will be created and at what rate? Population growth? Certainly not gold or other natural resources will be used to control money because they all have a history of price manipulation, especially gold.

  • Japan is the canary in the capitalists’ coal mine. Keep an eye on it at all times.
     
    Just as it is impossible to contain liquid hydrogen in an un-vented steel tank at room temperature without that tank eventually exploding as a result of the “natural” physical properties of hydrogen and steel at room temperature, I say that the constrained internal “pressure” of the present Japanese capitalist system will likewise “naturally” increase until the Japanese people are literally forced to either have more babies, or, more importantly, import more people, thereby increasing the population and causing “economic growth” which is, again, right or wrong, the present fatally-flawed criteria of judging the success or failure of an economy.
     
    The explosion must inevitably occur or the fundamentals that form the “foundation” of the present economic system must be replaced. (Unfortunately, those people or corporations that benefit from, or, more importantly, are invested in, the present system will do, as Mario Draghi has put it, “whatever it takes” in their financial and political power to keep the system exactly as it is in order to prevent or infinitely delay the realization of losses on investments– the economic equivalent of the hydrogen tank exploding.) Let me explain why those are the only two possibilities without any reference to “money”.
     
    The life-expectancy of each generation determines or restricts the total number of generations that can be alive at any moment. As long as a 2-child-per-couple rule is followed, a stable population will be reached (assuming no early deaths) in a relatively few decades.
     
    However, I can not over-emphasize enough that all of the “stuff” produced by the individual members of each generation — the homes and contents, the tools, capital equipment, technology and, in particular, the labor-saving devices– do not die with their creators! All of these things are passed on to (inherited by) the next generations.
     
    This means that if the inheritances passed on from the dead generations are “built to last a thousand years”, the succeeding generations do not have to produce any of these vital things for themselves. (I’m going to ignore all forms of money, including gold, fiat, credit, IOUs, etc. as inheritances.)
     
    Therefore, the succeeding generations can do something else rather than spend their lives re-creating all that stuff. They’ve got spare time on their hands. And this leads us directly to the ultimate question for all of humanity at any moment in time, including today. What will that “something else” be? In other words, just exactly how are all these inheritances — these investments for the future; these opportunities; this inherited capital equipment — going to be used (to be “cashed in” or further invested) by their living beneficiaries in the present economy?
     
    Over many thousands of years there has always been living among the populace a very small number of very powerful, vastly-wealthy people who have, in one way or another, inherited, and therefore owned, a large percentage of all the stuff, including the land, and, “naturally”, those few people wanted to have a “return” on their inheritances (investments). “Naturally”, they did not “invest” the stuff that they had inherited in anything that they did not believe would end up increasing the value (the size) of their inheritances/investments. Stated differently, they did not allow anyone to benefit from (to use) their stuff/inheritance/investment unless that anyone gave back to them (the owners of the inheritances) something of greater size (value). The difference in size (value) between what was used and what was returned eventually came to be called profit, return, or interest.
     
    The vast majority of the people of past and present generations were (are) born with very little or no inheritance/investments. That is, very little has been bequeathed to them by their similarly-poor ancestors.
     
    And, therefore, with all of the aforementioned fully in mind, all we now have to do is study the history to observe the result (humanity’s previous “answers” to the aforementioned ultimate question) of an ancient system in which, over the centuries, very few people have owned and controlled the vast amount of stuff, including capital equipment, labor-saving equipment, natural resources, etc.
     
    As of today, human beings’ “answer” has been to create over 7 billion people (many of whom have been, and still are, essentially slaves); more and more stuff; more and more war; and to suffer all of the increasingly-horrible consequences of those “answers”. In short, even though those answers may not, and probably were not, the results that were consciously intended or expected by the beneficiaries of inheritances over the ages, they were, under such a system, literally the only ones possible.
     
    And, therefore, absolutely all of the economic/financial/monetary/political acrobatics and juggling and churning and outright lying that are being performed by the governments and central banks of the world at the present time are the one and the only way to prolong a fatally-flawed economic system that has in the past proven beyond any shadow of doubt that it required, and still requires, both a wildly-expanding population and gigantic, vastly destructive, real wars — both of which, by “whatever it takes”, providing the inheritances from perhaps-long-dead generations to their present beneficiaries, the “profit” that their beneficiaries demanded through the generations, and continue to demand now, or else.
     
    Speaking of “or else”, the above is the reason for the “whatever it takes”, future-taxpayer bailouts of the TBTF banks a few short years ago. Elite VIPs Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, etc. were absolutely correct when they said that the financial system (again, of a very few people owning the vast majority of wealth) would have “failed” had those VIPs not done what they did. However, doing what was done has steered the capitalist system into what is essentially a laboratory experiment in the nature of economics. At the very least, one would have to say that what the Elite’s central-bank slaves have be doing since the “financial crisis” a relatively few years ago is “flying by the seat of their pants”. Or, as Lord Jacob Rothschild put it shortly after the bank bailouts:
    “The six months under review have seen central bankers continuing what is surely the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world.”
    http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160819/1044443930/rothschild-gold-dollar.html
     
    Unfortunately, to ensure humanity’s long-term survival, the “failure” of that fatally flawed system is precisely what must happen and the sooner the better, because the drums of irresistibly-profitable, capitalist-system-prolonging, human-race-eradicating wars are being beaten harder and harder as I type.
     
    Experimental negative interest rates, together with the necessary experimental abolishment of cash, is a last-ditch, now-fully-conscious effort by the inheritance/investment-owners to strip-mine some more profit from the no-inheritance owners, momentarily relieving the present system’s naturally-increasing pressure and thus momentarily delaying the need for yet another astronomically-expensive war. But almost as if by the intentional design of an “invisible hand”, even these desperate, experimental measures will not garner enough profit for inheritances/investments. When the fear (“pressure”) of impending loss inevitably becomes too great for the capitalist system’s un-vented economic tank (a human population that is not growing rapidly enough) to contain, the world will once again explode into full-scale, all-out war — the ultimate expression of the human animal’s “profit motive” (aka greed) — the foundation of the present economic system.

    • So, you’re a supporter of the Green New deal, where we peacefully exterminate the vast majority of humanity? The humane way?

      • Actually it will be a combination of war and green new deal which will doom many to their death.

    • Good comment. Though long, easy to follow and interesting.

    • Shorter, Clearer.

      1. The value of money is zero.
      2. It is based on faith.
      3. It cannot grow. If you put 4 people into a room and give them each a dollar no matter what they do, the number of dollars will remain unchanged.
      4. What we call growth is re-distribution. Using the same example 4 people in a room with a dollar each but now one charges the other three a penny per transaction,
      after some time, one person will have all of the money and the others will have very little or none.
      5. The system crashes when all of the money has been transferred from the other three people to the one person. This is the flawed logic at the heart of the system.
      6. A billionaire is effectively a person who owns everything. There are lots of creative ways to keep the game going See (War Is Peace), but they all involve figuring out
      politically viable ways to give money back to the people who have none that is the situation. This is the ultimate situation of every crash.
      7. Everything else is shadow theater.

      • “1. The value of money is zero.”
         
        What is your definition of the word “value”?

        • ISHKABIBBLE,

          1. Newspeak words have different meanings based on context.

          2. “Value” has three common meanings: There are more but they overlap.

          (a) Monetary value: As a unit of measure such as inches.

          (b) There is value based on Judgment: Theological value based on faith or lack thereof.

          (c) There is personal usefulness.

          3. My original comments encompass all three definitions. The specific statement you highlight does not include (a).

  • I have a friend, a gentle, genius Asperger’s fellow, who did, indeed invent a perfect, non-predatory, equal opportunity currency system that was beautiful, elegant and totally functional out of the gate. In his innocence, he happily released his system to the public, knowing he had just elimintated the curse of financial psychopathy. Assholes in black suits showed up on his door step and hauled him off to prison for 5 years. He was already in his 60s when they dragged him away. He survived prison but the currency did not. THAT is why you can’t just ignore them. They won’t allow it. You must be prepared for war, because they will attack you.

  • Brilliant, Caitlin. Now, expand your thinking; deepen it and then refine it. You’re gnawing around the edges of a workable alternative to capitalism. Keep tellin’ it.

  • two months after the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States, the world is faced with a multitude of crises. The US is heading for a geopolitical confrontation against China and Russia. The effort to contain the rise of China by trying to forge an Indo-Pacific alliance, or even a global NATO, has been answered with the formation of a military alliance between China and Russia. And the financial oligarchy, centered in the City of London, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley, is trying to postpone the inevitable collapse of the transatlantic financial system by pumping anywhere between 30 and 50 trillion dollars into the “Great Reset” of the Green New Deal, which will be the end of industrial nations and, if implemented “successfully,” would lead to a gigantic population reduction

    • You mean food distribution disruptions causing starvation and food riots, war leading to more deaths and lack of power freezing many in epicenters of green like Germany. Not to mention deaths from this trojan horse RNA induced altering of the humane system which will kill millions in the years ahead. Stuff likecthat will come together to kill billions. Mass graves may just be the new thing in a generation.

  • Another apparent move to advance the green new deal of deportation.
    Cleaning House: Another GOP ‘Fixer’ Found Suicided after investigation into Leaking Nuclear Plants, Bribes

    By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor on Mar 18, 2021 01:43 am
    Raw Story: The death of a longtime Ohio lobbyist who was charged in a nearly $61 million bribery scheme is being investigated by authorities after a passerby found him in a car in a wooded area this Monday. Lobbyist Neil Clark, Defendant In Ohio Nuclear Bailout Case, Found Dead At 67 https://t.co/ZI6iYlTGiD pic.twitter.com/K0zj02U4vO — WOSU […]

  • One must be willing to be knowledgeable of competing economic systems and not fall in love with one over tthe other since all economic theories are just that theory. Same can be said about political theories of governing as well. Most people are incapable of stepping back and not getting overly invested in their economic or political beliefs.

  • In my humble opinion these articles are worth reading:
    ~
    Conspiracies R Us by Donald Jeffries!
    https://donaldjeffries.wordpress.com/
    ~
    The U.S. Pivot to Asia: Cold War Lessons From Vietnam for Today by Ms Cynthia Chung!
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/03/17/us-pivot-to-asia-cold-war-lessons-from-vietnam-for-today/

  • Caitlin, I have this ‘n that to say about this article:
    1) Thank you so very much for explaining this so clearly and simply.

    2) I myself follow post-Keynesian economics, aka Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), and nothing you’ve said contradicts what is taught there. In fact, I bet the economists I listen to would appreciate your explanation.

    3) I came to the same realization about power right before the 2020 election. I started telling people to STOP VOTING. If no one participated in their scam, it wouldn’t work any more, and we wouldn’t be willing stooges.
    One person answered me on a chat line: “What would happen to us if we didn’t vote!”
    I answered, “What would happen to THEM if we didn’t vote?”
    I think that that’s the much more important question.
    I still believe that we need a general strike of the polls. Simple, inexpensive, and effective.

    • For the moment in the UK we still have paper ballots and a pencil, and instruction to mark one ‘X’. If you don’t like the system, don’t abstain! Spoil your ballot! Write on it exactly what you think and put it in the box. Spoiled ballots are counted!

  • Introducing the Usury Free dollar, UF$ and the idea of a Peoples’ Bank.

    It is said that the Rothschilds fortune is around $500Trillion (± $100Trillion).

    World population = 7,400,000,000 http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
    $500,000,000,000,000 ÷ 7,400,000,000 = roughly UF$67,000 each

    The concept is that we should share out this $500 Trillion Rothschild fortune equally between all members of human race (including the Rothschilds!!) ~ giving an immediate initial UF$3,000 each for every child, woman & man. This would be backed up by the real wealth/treasures belonging to the human race but now fraudulently amassed via usury by the Rothschild Dynasty. This UF$3,000 would NOT be a loan & would not ever have to be paid back. This is part of YOUR personal share of our combined wealth & treasure currently held in safe-keeping by the Rothschilds. Let the treasure stay there with them for the time being until we decide what to do with it or enough people want to redeem their UF$ money for a portion of the wealth in which case we instruct the Rothschilds to open the vaults & release wealth to the value of UF$ offered. These redeemed UF$ would be cancelled since that wealth would then have been distributed.

    However, let the remaining UF$473.6 Trillion pot remain unredeemable for say 10 years while global infrastructure upgrades for necessary things like drinking water, food & shelter for all are undertaken with these UF$s, along with clean energy R&D + installations, et c. In order to enable a stable paradigm shift, let ‘The Venus Project’ have portions of the pot for their needs along with ‘Ubuntu Contributionism’ & any other inclusive co-operative mutually beneficial groups aiming for a resource-based economy to demonstrate their money-free philosophies in action so they may be compared & lessons learned by all.

    Therefore, UF$3000 available for each person to spend now pending printing &/or credit card manufacture. The other UF$64,000 entitlement of each person would be invested for 10 years on their behalf within the infrastructure global pot.

    “If it’s no good for all, it’s no good at all.” – Cherokee proverb

    ~

    Please no longer say there isn’t any money for this that or the other. Let’s get on with it.

  • In reference to an article in the Smithsonian about diseases that control the mind.
    No doubt something of this sort is affecting the minds of those who control the world by means of their wealth and negatively afflicted minds to spread poverty and therefore enhance the success of the disease. But, of course, since their minds are under the control of a foreign influence they will do all they can to ensure that nothing is ever accomplished toward limiting the the spread of the disease.

    • P.S. the Smithsonian is still debating whether or not to post my comment on the article; they, like Nature mag are actually purveyors of falsehoods for the demonically possessed well-to-do.

  • I say we make Sand-Dollars our new currency. Each Sand-Dollars could be exchanged for a $100 Federal Reserve Note or the equivalent in any other currency currently in use in the world.

    Sine there aren’t many sand dollars on the beaches of the world any more, because of destruction of the habitat in which the sand dollars once grew, this would create incentive to restore the ecosystems where these Sand-Dollars once grew and thrived so that a new class of people can acquire wealth and power and restore that ecosystem in the process.

    Once people have accumulated enough Sand-Dollars we could then change to Acorns was the new currency, that can be exchanged for $1 Federal Reserve Notes or the equivalent in any of the world’s other major currencies, which would lead to the replanting of Oak Trees so that more acorns are produced.

    The process could be continued until all of the world’s ecosystems are once again healthy and vibrant.

    A silly idea, but now that I wrote it, I wonder if that might work.

  • Real Capitalism no longer exists. So-called Capitalist economies are hybrids of Capitalism and Socialism. But our problem is the corrupt people who manage the system and exploit others who become victims of greed, fraud, robbery, exploitation and indoctrination. Money or wealth is the dominant power (the god) of all systems and advanced societies. This is why the world’s great Liberator Yeshua said that His followers must aim their revolutionary tactics at the monetary system. As soon as they start doing that they become threats to the government which calls them traitors. That is what happened to Yeshua and His followers who were secretly arrested, tortured and executed one by one, starting with the ringleader. Criticizing, complaining and condemning is only the first step towards revolution. Read more of this here: http://www.wisdompage.com/2013%20Articles/Molyneaux%20essay.pdf

  • I will just have to say I don’t agree with anything written here. These are my points. Just for the record I was a Ron Paul state delegae 2x before I quit the Republican party. His two foundational pillars of his campaign if you want to call them that, were 1. Iraq war is wrong, imperialism is wrong (This was 2004 remember and he was alone in his no vote) 2 End the Fed. He was strong on the need for sound money and the Fed is a Private cartel which only really benefits the TBTF banks.
    That all said this article is all wrong because socialism is all wrong and here is why I believe this so. And please don’t get mad , we all must consider different views. If you can point out why I am mistaken then do so. I will benefit as well as everyone.
    As a pretext, everything I say will be based on certain principles so if you disagree look here first. 1.My main principle would be that Human intelligence is the driving force, the power behind everything we find in our world today. Our great achievements are from our intelligence as well as our great failures and why Caitlin has to write the articles she does. 2. Our intelligence is based on logic and reason as we attempt to tie information together is a way that reflects what we see as ‘reality’ 3. We are creatures who posses ‘Emotions’ 4. We as humans still consider the ideas and mysteries of ‘spirituality’ as a part of our ‘reality’ 5. Our great intellect (the human intellect) is housed in a black box, housed yet again in the ‘self’ housed yet in our limited perspective as one person, thus it is limited in perspective and understanding, we make ‘errors’ we all do, and we can ‘lie’ is it so suits us for any reason selfless or selfish. 6. We as individuals spend our lives using two things; a. Time b. Energy. These are parameters that define in many ways our position and condition in life. 7. ‘Power’ is a force that affects us all and ‘Power’ is highly prized because it can ‘produce’ as do time an energy. Power is what we as humans strive for. It is ‘Advantage and Leverage’ in terms of ‘Time and Energy’ It is a source of good and evil. 8. Our primary goal as humans is to ‘Survive’ as in expend enough ‘Time and Energy’ to produce enough (x) so we can consume energy to get us through time. We all must ‘eat’. 9. We are all individuals, autonomous in a biological sense and our primary conduit of how we spend our ‘Time and Energy’ is our ‘Intellect’ 10. We have no reason to ‘Trust’ the intellect of ‘others’. We can if we ‘choose’ to though considering Point no. 5 we should not be compelled to. This is the basis for what we call ‘Freedom’. 11. We Humans here on planet Earth at this point in time are limited and hindered in our ability to process information Intellectually in sync. ; see points 5 and 10
    Please just let me stop here and say that believing any of the item above makes me neither a Liberal or Conservative. These are just elemental facts to me. Perhaps I am wrong, please show me where. None the less this is what I believe as an individual. I suppose it is how you interpret the dynamics of the variables as to how you view the world. Is my list complete? If it is then I would have all I need to point out where Caitlin is in error.

    Para 5: “The idea that money must continue to function in more or less the way it’s been functioning since our birth is taken as some sort of unbreakable principle that’s been inscribed upon the fabric of reality and not just a bunch of made-up concepts invented by human beings.”
    Reply; Money is not a “made-up concept” or a “unbreakable principle” it is a mechanism or medium for trade as opposed to barter. It is a mechanism or medium for savings. It is a mechanism or medium for fracturing assets or division of assets into very mall fractions. It is a mechanism or medium to ‘conserve’ Time and Energy. if Joe spends his ‘Time and Energy’ raising pigs and Jill spends her ‘Time and Energy’ raising chickens they could barter but who will spend their ‘Time and Energy’ herding their animals to where? And what if there are others spending their ‘Time and Energy raising pigs and chickens? What if there is a densely populated area with lots of people ‘Producing’ many things through ‘Time and Energy’ and you don’t really know what you want until you see it. So we also now have competition where money helps chop ‘Time and Energy’ down by fractions of energy and time. You can’t trade half a chicken unless you want to spend the time and energy cutting it up, then it is still inconvenient. So ‘Money’ it is a mechanism to trade, save, divide and conserve .Time and Energ’. Is this not the ‘Power’ we strive for? Is it just a “made-up concept” or is it a function of our ‘Intelligence’ to allow us to conserve time and energy to we might ‘survive’.
    Or as Caitlin says; “They are only as true as we agree to pretend they are. Money is a collective belief system we all agree to participate in” So Is money a ‘belief system’ or does it have a real world advantage (power)?

    Para 7, 8 “if we were using actual gold coins as currency, those coins would only have as much value as people collectively agree they have. If no one agreed that gold is worth anything (or silver or cryptocurrencies or whatever), then as far as trade goes it would be worthless.”
    Reply, True perhaps if we “agree” (use our intellect) and decide so. Still this does not state the ‘advantages’ of money and why we would give up those advantages?
    “If enough of us decided tomorrow that peach pits are the new form of currency, then that would immediately be the case, solely because we collectively decided to re-write the rules in that way. All the imaginary numbers in the bank accounts of the billionaires would immediately be worthless”
    Reply. Metals ( gold, silver) are not the chosen medium because of a ‘belief’ system. They have ‘Advantages’ over peach pits. Again ‘belief’ is not the ruling factor here after thousands of years. This has been an exercise in the application of human intelligence and logic. Also the “billionaires” are invested in fiat and are outside for good or bad the realm of ‘money’ Rules in the money world do not necessarily translate into the fiat world of ‘currency’. Which has more basis in ‘Power’
    Para 9 “What this means is that there is no actual legitimacy for claims that instituting any form of socialism or communism would be some kind of theft from those who have wealth. It would not. Because the rules of money and how it operates are a collective belief system that is being actively maintained by the belief of the collective, we are free to collectively cease believing those beliefs and replace them with a system which we collectively agree would serve us better.”
    1. Reply. The last sentence still maintains that we operate under some type of ‘Belief system’ which we do not. Rather we have all accepted ‘intellectually’ over thousands of years that metals are the basis for a ‘medium’ that serves to our ‘advantage’ Yes we do accept or ‘Believe’ this. This belief though was born of an intellectual application. My concern here is what is the cart and what is the horse. Is the adoption worldwide of metals through the human intellect as a medium that serves an advantage in conserving time and energy the horse? Or do we adopt a new ‘Socialism’ and from there ‘decide’ what cart ( money) we will use. Is this placing ‘politics’ and ‘ideas’ in front of the non-political and functional system on ‘money’ adopted over the last thousands of years by the human intellect. The first sentence then is suspect as certain ‘ideas’ and the politics that serves them would dictate how you money functions as medium, savings, division, etc. This would affect your ‘wealth’. I would also say here it would affect your ‘freedoms’ in the sense that money as a medium is a very fundamental tool close to the time and energy base of the individual. This is a positioning of ‘Power’ at a fundamental level by a segment of the population with ‘ideas’. The question then is where did these ‘ideas’ come from and why should we submit, see points 9 & 10 above.
    Para 10. quote “That’s what’s so funny about the rugged individualism which upholds capitalism while decrying collectivist models: capitalism is collectivism.” Reply, Individualism is our freedom and our right as we attempt to ‘survive’ again see points 5,9,10 and 11 above. Here she uses “collectivist” in two differtent senses then equates them. One would be an ‘Idea’ of “collectivist models” the other would be the intellectual endeavor by the collective of ‘humanity’ in choosing and using metals as a medium by every people throughout the world. This I want to say here is the very foundation of capitalism. It is very simple, you have the medium of exchange that serves a common purpose for everyone and you the individual get to manage the wealth you have as an individual in the manner you choose (intellectually) as is you prerogative without being subjected to the ‘Power’ other might hold over you. This is called ‘Free market’. Who you exchange ‘wealth’ with and when and where and why are up to you. Should they not be? Is there something I don’t know?
    Another important point here, very important. Capitalism is not the root of evil in the world. See points above 11, 5, 7 etc. and interjecting certain ‘Ideas’ ie, socialism, communism will not change points 11, 5, 7 etc.

    Quote
    “It’s a collective improvisation being performed by the collective, at the consent of the collective.”
    This is not an “improvisation” it is an intellectual adaptation it is not about “consent” it is based on intellectual logic.
    “It only exists because we collectively participate in it. If the collective wants to switch to another form of collectivism that doesn’t let people starve and die for not having enough imaginary numbers in their bank accounts, the collective is free to change the rules of its collective improvisation.” Somehow Caitlin wants to paint our ‘money’ as something built on sand that could just ‘change’ As if a medium accepted for thousands of years should yield to ‘ideas’ which must be seen for what they are intellectual theories. I feel at times she crosses between money and fiat currency. They are not the same. Here in her next para she says. “Wealth only exists where it exists and how it exists because we’ve all agreed to pretend that’s the case, and we are free to collectively cease pretending this at any time. If enough of us decide to cease pretending that Jeff Bezos’ money is worth anything, “ This all makes perfect sense if we are talking about the fiat dollar and Central Banking. It would not apply in my mind to Gold, silver as these take ‘Time and Energy’ to bring to use and thus why they are used as a medium. So if you consider this. I believe Caitlins beef should be with Central Banks not Capitalism which something we all simply share as we are all entitled to manage our lives and our wealth how ‘we see fit’. I am sure soon Caitlin will shortly be screaming about ‘Authoritarians’
    para 12 “The super rich are acutely aware that the only thing holding their respective kingdoms together is our collective belief in the story that wealth works a certain way and exists in certain places, which is why they continue feeding us these stories in the form of propaganda. They can’t have us awakening to the realization that we are free to completely rewrite the rules of money, and they certainly can’t have us awakening to the realization that we are also free to rewrite the rules of power. Reply, Two things here, now she is talking money again? You can’t continually substitute one for the other, fiat currency and Metal money. Yes you could rewrite fiat currency, Money real metal money no. Capitalism was built on the ideas of an honest medium and the management of your personal capital or wealth produces by your ‘Time and Energy’ Please don’t blame Capitalism for the evils and failures of Fiat Currency. Earlier she had said, “Wealth only exists where it exists and how it exists because we’ve all agreed to pretend that’s the case,” Again she is somehow equating fiat wealth with wealth from productivity. Which would be all the time and energy you spent all those long years at work,The savings from your time and energy spent producing. This is your wealth. Do others have a right to it? For the common good? Other Individuals whom you must submit to because of their ‘Power’? REALLY?
    Next para 13, “Power, like money, also only exists in the way it exists because we collectively agree to pretend that that’s the case. We could collectively decide tomorrow that nobody takes orders from any part of our official government anymore, and our government would immediately lose all of its power.” Again this is about human intelligence, ‘Power’ exist for many reasons but to think the world will change tomorrow and that principle points like I listed above will stop applying because we say so is silly. Quote, “we are being ceaselessly manipulated into keeping our minds jacked in to the matrix in which money and power exist in their current iterations.” This is where she always goes wrong. The “matrix” can be seen in points above see in particular the last one, 11. This is simply the fruits of the human intellectual environment as it is now. This is why I come here endlessly and pitch for a ‘Collective Intelligence’ – Shared intellectual power.
    Caitlin sees capitalism as, “the current system dominating our world today wherein human behavior is driven as a whole by the pursuit of capital” This really makes no sense and creates a false enemy with a equally false solution, Socialism, Communism. The system dominating the world is Individual Intelligence and individuals attempting to survive. What we need is a transition from a World based on Individual Intelligence to a world based on a Collective Intelligence. This will change everything and it is not communism ( just a wrong idea in a world still dependent on Individual Intelligence, ie there will always be a individual or group of individuals at the top making DECISIONS for everyone else) and it will not bring power down upon or over the ‘people’ It will give them power.

    • People didn’t have to barter half-pigs or half-chickens, they could owe each other. Money may well have come about as a way for kings to feed their armies – by requiring taxes in money, and paying soldiers with money, people would eagerly provide soldiers with whatever they wanted.

    • I tried to make it to the end, I really did, but it was too much to swallow.
      ~
      I’ll trade you my river rocks for your dissertation. Is it a deal?
      ~
      For what it is worth I support the honorable Dr. Ron Paul and I appreciate his wisdom.
      ~
      Do or die moment is upon us.
      ~
      I hope you have a good partner.
      ~
      BK

      • It is really kind of embarrassing really. Never eat anything bigger than your head and never make your comments larger than the article. Basically I feel she is rotating back and forth between money and currency so she can blame capitalism for the ills of fiat. Also Socialism is not the Earth shattering Change she constantly tells us we need. Thanks Bro.

        • Clint – I really tried and I will go back again and read it all because I won’t deny I was enthralled as I read it…..I just couldn’t make it to the end. But I’ll try again.
          ~
          Best to you,
          Ken

    • We already have collective intelligence; how many people do you know who could conceivably have the skills and knowledge of every single trade and science to totally recreat the world all by themselves?

    • Clint,

      1. I am confident that your ideas make sense to you —
      2. This does not mean that you are wrong, you are trying to say something but are unsure how.
      3. What you have done is made a poor attempt to communicate Neoliberal ideology.
      4. What you have stated comes out as illogic nonsense based on the points you stated they contradict one another.
      5. You will be able to see if you read back to yourself what you wrote one sentence at a time and then think about the implications.

      • Dear Thinkpol, I don’t recall seeing you here before today. I have read several of your comments and you seem to be 1. Not given to outrage leak and 2. making sense. Glad to see your comments.

  • An artist called Boggs made money, but never made money at it, despite his works becoming highly sought after. A fascinating perspective on the nature of money.

    “Sitting in a Chicago diner in 1984, the artist Stephen Boggs began doodling on a paper napkin as he consumed a coffee and a doughnut. He started with the numeral 1, then transformed it into the image of a dollar bill.

    His waitress, impressed, offered to buy it. Mr. Boggs refused, but presented it in payment for his 90-cent tab. The waitress handed him 10 cents in change.

    An idea was born.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/arts/design/jsg-boggs-dead.html

    Or for a two minute video, Boggs’ Bills: Money as Art | Secret Life of Money:
    https://youtu.be/LQ5x2-VUGXI

  • “Money and economics are conceptual constructs invented by people…They are only as true as we agree to pretend they are. Money is a collective belief system we all agree to participate in…”
    .
    There are many people today who don’t want to agree to participate in this old legacy system of commercial contrivance. They are forced to participate in it. Or, they move into alternatives like cryptos that will either one day be crushed out of existence by governmental decree, or the whole system just taken over by governmental decree. There is little actual agreement to the old system, but forced participation.
    .
    “If enough of us decided tomorrow that peach pits are the new form of currency, then that would immediately be the case, solely because we collectively decided to re-write the rules in that way.”
    .
    We could do this. We could turn whatever we wanted into a shareable system of value-for-value. But today we can’t even get the majority of people in the World to take off these damn useless face cloths, let alone tackle something like the World’s Sacred Monetary System.
    .
    “Power, like money, also only exists in the way it exists because we collectively agree to pretend that that’s the case.”
    .
    Or, ‘Power, like money, also only exists in the way it exists because’ it BENEFITS THE “RIGHT” PEOPLE. Which is the governing standard for EVERYTHING, ALWAYS.
    .
    “We are perfectly free to stand up together, and walk outside.”
    .
    But, but, but… what if it’s not SAFE out there! Horrors! Landru, SAVE US!

    • You wrote: “There are many people today who don’t want to agree to participate in this old legacy system of commercial contrivance. They are forced to participate in it. Or, they move into alternatives like cryptos that will either one day be crushed out of existence by governmental decree, or the whole system just taken over by governmental decree.”

      Cryptocurrencies are still currencies. Moving to bitcoin is a little like moving to the euro, another made-up kind of money to use in the economic system.

    • Lol. Isnt that truth.

  • Money is debt and debt is guilt.

    I am sure everybody sends you links all the time. 😉

    I urge you to read David Graeber’s ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’ to get a fresh perspective on money.
    Because we really have forgotten what money is and that has devastating consequences.

    And yes, here is yet another link of the late David Graeber explaining why, when it comes to money, we have got it all wrong.

    • Debt. Failing to live within your means aka the desire to want more than your lifes allotment. But but but….I dont get enough to live and other people have more than me. Its not fair. Yep, life is unfair. Get rid of debt and learn to be happy wherever life drops you. That is how you kill capitalism.

      • Please explain, Khatika, how it’s possible to live within your means if the very money that you use is usury based and borrowed into existence [with compound interest] on your behalf? It’s like drinking sea water to quench a raging thirst and can only end in madness and death. Exponential growth of interest debt is interesting, don’t you think? https://commodity.com/data/debt-clock/ Usury plain and simple. That’s the enemy. Look it in the eyes and get angry enough to do something about it. Remember, money is made up and we can change the rules whenever we want…

  • Socialists and libertarian capitalists (not to be confused with today’s “crony capitalism”) can agree on many subjects. I maintain a “printing press” that CAN and DOES print infinite amounts of fiat currency has given us most of the world’s wars and “interventions.” It has also made possible the Police and Surveillance State world Orwell predicted. For example, if America’s government could only fund operations equal to tax-payer receipts much of the misery America has inflicted on the world would not have been possible. It is this relatively-recent move to fiat creation (a world where massive deficits don’t matter) that made all of this even more likely. It also made possible the rampant inflation that, as Ron Paul says, is actually “the cruelest tax” on families. And this inflation is NOT contained or mild. The Powers that Be changed the way inflation was calculated to help ensure they could keep printing as much “money” as they needed. That’s also why they rig the gold and silver “markets.” (BTW, preserving this fiat “petro dollar” standard is also why the ruling prince of Saudi Arabia can literally get away with pre-meditated murder).

    • With the advent of electronic money transfer and storage, the description of the Fed “printing money” has played out. Kind of like the “broken record” metaphor referring to annoying repetition, it is in the very least obsolete. We need a better metaphor.

      • The thing about bitcoin that might not have been realized by it’s creators is that it, like everything else, is bound by limits.
        ~
        You see it takes a lot of mathematical algorithm energy to mine them there bitcoins and soon enough the energy it takes will overwhelm the construct itself, and the POOF – it will be gone in a heartbeat.
        ~
        That is why a gold or silver coin in the hand is worth so much more than a bitcoin that could get lost in a landfill as a buried hard-drive……
        ~
        Everything is limited until you get too far down the rabbit hole.

        • And then, when you get too far down, well then you will either be killed or you will get some humility.
          ~
          River Rocks for sale, but I really don’t want to part with them. Here – I have some fiat money. If you got some good rocks you will barter with me I’ll give you some fiat currency, but I could also give you something else, and if I do that, I reckon it ain’t a taxable transaction.
          ~
          No phones allowed.
          ~
          So who really owns the debt????? – I think it is null and void. It is fixing to be.

        • Bitcoin by the way thought they were being “smart” in keeping a fixed limit changing over time in steady flux for the currency, but let me remind you that it is a mathematical construction and nothing but that. Perhaps it is better than fiat, but like all other forms of currency for the last few centuries it just has ended up as a tool for those who already have more than any one human being deserves.
          ~
          I wouldn’t touch a bitcoin with a ten-foot pole, but if I pulled a fish out of the river, then that would make a good meal for the evening.
          ~
          I said a long time ago that one definition of “freedom” is to have no debt, and that is precisely why I have time to type this just now. I’m happy to give away what I have and I will. I already have. I could give a flip about money. What I care about is love.
          ~
          Love is the bottom line.

        • Right on !!! If you don’t hold it…You don’t own it

    • Yep

  • I appreciate Caitlin mentioning the concepts of money and gold and silver. I won’t get into a debate over socialism vs. capitalism, but would like to highlight what I think is a very important fact about our world: Namely, the “value” or concept of gold and silver as “real money” HAS largely disappeared among the masses. I maintain this change in sentiment happened by design. It happened because our rulers needed to be able to “print” as much fiat “money” as they needed if they were to continue with the “Status Quo” system. This fiat money-printing system makes possible immense wealth among”crony capitalists,” but also makes possible ever-expanding governments (from local to national levels). This leads to more authoritarian governments in my opinion. Once upon a time (and not that long ago), most world inhabitants DID view gold and silver as “real money” and could and did use it in daily economic transactions. This is certainly not the case today. Today, gold and silver are dismissed as “pet rocks” and the few people who still believe in them are dismissed as economic “kooks.” The greatest untold investigation in the mainstream press deals with how the “markets” for gold and silver are brazenly rigged … and why such recurring operations are so necessary. If some people still believe in “following the money” to get to the root of any nefarious activity, they need to start with the effort to deligitmalize “history’s money” … all to protect a system that is now really based on fiat “Monopoly money.” A system that has become increasingly evil the more absolute control these players have obtained. Basically, real money that can’t be printed would have limited the ability of would-be totalitarians to obtain more control, and to eliminate so many liberties.

  • Making “money” out of debt is the problem. It works well at first, but it’s a total drag in the longer term, so debt has to be repudiated periodically. We are there.
    It’s The Debt, Stupid https://tomluongo.me/2021/03/17/its-the-debt-stupid/
    It Is Time To Remove The Debt Barrier To Economic Growth
    https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/03/15/it-is-time-to-remove-the-debt-barrier-to-economic-growth/
    (Russians Kill Everybody https://www.johndayblog.com/2021/03/russians-kill-everybody.html )

    • I think half the idea of ever-expanding debt is precisely to keep everyone in debt, keep us all on the treadmill, even if it is a drag on overall wealth and prosperity.

      • I agree.
        ~
        I also believe per the 14th Amendment which states the following:
        ~
        Section 4.
        The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

        ~
        Therefore, I think the debt of the Fed, which formed after a coup, is null and void for the citizens of the US of a, but I’m sure it will take a Constitutional Convention to strike this into the law of the land.
        ~
        Time for something better. I got my plan and Tejas is part of it.
        ~
        BK

        • The Brits paid out tons of money to compensate former slaveholders. Needless to say, no such luck for former slaves.

          • That is why the United Kingdom needs to go by the wayside.
            ~
            So obvious your momma thinks it.

  • There’s really nothing in this article that’s new to me. It is precisely what I’ve been saying, in somewhat different words, for a long while. However, it is still good, every now and then, to see someone else saying them.
    The problem is not with what would be best for us as a species, but in how to get others to change their thinking. On a one-to-ten scale of greed, I suspect that most humans have a rating close to nine. Many may never get to a point where their greed comes into play – they are just trying to hold on, if they can – but they would gladly change places with those they envy.
    Were I emperor for a day, i would change as much as possible – and I would make it law tht we replace all bibles with the lyrics of John Lennon’s song, Imagine. He wrote that song over 40 years ago (you’ll never convince me that he wasn’t way ahead of his time). Millions, if not more, love that song. But few ever actually investigate the lyrics, the meanings, nor do many ever internalize the concepts.
    So, until we can find a way for the majority of people to actually understand and commit to the better way than what we now have, things are likely to get even worse before there is a chance that they may get better (and as good as they can be).
    Let’s hope that humanity does finally learn. I can’t see it happening in the little time I have left to my life. But, I do hope that the majority of those reading this will stop and consider that there are better ways to live our lives, ways that should be fun and happy and productive both to the individual and to all of humanity.

  • Hm. You’d have to change the minds of the people who enforce the status quo with weapons. Not impossible, but tricky.

    • I mean, Christianity overthrew all the Roman idols except those little metal discs with faces on them. The next step is clear in principle but not in practice.

    • I don’t think there are a “people” who enforce the status quo. I think it is just a few individuals. Specific individuals. Individuals who could easily be named. Well, lets name them.
      ~
      OK, not all of the names on this list are intent on harm, but some of them perpetuate harm whether they realize it or not.
      ~
      Here – how about I just provide a simple link:
      ~
      https://www.forbes.com/billionaires/
      ~
      I’m thinking a bunch of those on the list live miserable lives and they feel unhappy most days and I’m sorry for that. I’m thinking many of them do not have the sort of existence and those are probably the ones who have a chance to help things out for the better. The thing is, to get on that list, you most likely have an addiction to money, and ain’t it obvious – it is all an illusion when you are on your death bed.
      ~
      When you are on that bed, you will likely ask yourself – have I helped or did I cause harm? Like everything else it is on a spectrum, but sadly, most of the ones on that list have caused too much harm. I wonder if they can be forgiven?
      ~
      For some of them, I think they need to meet the snakes Saint Patrick kicked out of Ireland and they need to meet them face-to-face. Odds are in most of the meetings the outcome will be a snake wrapped around the neck of the offender.
      ~
      I won’t dig up my river rocks, but I have no faith in FIAT currency.
      ~
      BK

      • You have no faith in fiat currency? Really? So you refuse payment in dollars, pounds and so on? Go on, I bet you have a fair bit of faith that you’ll be able to spend the money you get on the stuff you need or want, even if the value may be unstable, and that can apply to non-fiat currencies too.

        • Ian – I don’t know why I’m wasting my time typing this, but if you have an alternate to fiat currency, them I’m all ears.
          ~
          All you are doing is accusing me of using a system of which I have no choice but to use. I’m not going to live in a fucking cave or be a hermit and I’m done responding to your nonsense.
          ~
          I hope I have made myself clear you pompous a-hole. Accusing of me of using something which I have no choice than to use cause it is the only option, is sort of like being a pompous purist who has so much more to learn, but probably will never ever get any more enlightenment cause your skull it too thick and your troubles stole your childhood.
          ~
          That’s how it seems to me Ian, but thanks for teaching me a word many weeks ago. I’ve used it to my advantage.
          ~
          River Rocks for Sale!
          ~
          *
          ~
          payment NOT accepted in fiat

        • In fact, lets take this thought process a bit deeper into the hole.
          ~
          1. I have no faith in fiat currency.
          2. I care about my family.
          3. I have to use fiat currency to get the things my family needs.
          4. Some dudes unfortunately get named Ian.
          5. When a prick named Ian pisses you off with pompous nonsense, I encourage you to wrap a metaphorical snake around Ian’s neck.
          ~
          I have no faith in fiat currency, but I do have faith in myself and my Lord knows that!
          ~
          BK

          • Your number 1 and number 3 seem contradictory.
            I bet you have quite a lot of faith that the dollars you earn today will be accepted as payment tomorrow, and that their value – the amount of stuff you can buy with them – will be more or less the same a year hence.

            • Nope. Wrong again Ian.

              • You genuinely worry that your dollars will be worthless tomorrow?

            • Ian. You don’t know what faith means do you?

        • Come on Ian. Come down with me a little further deeper in the hole.
          ~
          What do you have faith in Ian….rhetorical, cause I already know you pompous one you.
          ~
          Go study the dictionary and leave me alone.
          ~
          Otherwise, lets go deeper in the hole. You and me.

          • OK, I’m typing fast and I’ll make this quick in a slim way.
            ~
            Ian got befuddled and chose to come down the hole a bit more.
            ~
            Ian is no more in my mind.
            ~
            River Rocks for sale!
            ~
            Here is another good word for you out of Webster’s 3rd New International Dictionary, abridged version, which I have in my hands – or I did just a moment ago. Anyhow, let me look up the word………..
            ~
            Here it is: Page 559, middle column, cuspidal point
            ~
            It ain’t the word, I had in mind, but it will do for the moment…..man, I can’t believe our country has a so-called ruler who truly is a Delaware dimwit.
            ~
            OK, I’ll post another word from another page in the fine heavy small-print book sitting in my lap as I now prove I ain’t a robot!
            ~
            Pretty much everything is imaginary, and imagine this, at the same time it ain’t. If you can sense it, then it ought mean more, then some stupid celestial body outside our ability to understand light-years away.
            ~
            So, I have more faith is something that is real versus something that is fiat!
            ~
            Bah-humbug!
            BK

            • should of been “unabridged”
              ~
              Man, I just love the snakes! I am one. Born in the year of the Snake and proud of it!

  • Some day the United States ” federal reserve notes ” will not be worth anything outside of these United States. The rest of the world is getting wise to the schemes, manipulation, and evilness of this system. The sooner it is gone the better!

    • Some day the notes will be meaningless everywhere.
      ~
      The sooner the better.
      ~
      BK

    • Wonderfully concise and accessibly-formatted.

      Ja – at this rate (munnee printing) it shouldn’t take long to reach “Weimar”.
      And then everyjuan will ask “how could this have happened …”.

  • You’re one of millions that have pointed out the obvious about money and power. Ho hum.
    What, exactly, is the system you propose?
    Is there a book, a tweet, a site that lays it out clearly?

    • At the top of US paper money it says “Federal Reserve Note”. A Note is debt. It is not money. How does a “Federal Reserve Note” get created? Someone or an entity has to go into debt. Pay off all debts, no exceptions, and no money would exist.

      • Some would say money is debt, and debt is money. An IOU is a form of money; in a small enough community, I can use your IOU to me as payment to someone else. US dollars are the same idea, backed by the US government/treasury or whatever. ‘Society’ owes me stuff to the value of however many dollars, and ‘society’ will give me stuff to that value in the expectation that the same dollars will be accepted by others.

        • And if they kept the debt notes within one country the damaged might be contained! Next time!

    • “Creature from Jekyll Island ” from G.Edward Griffin is a good start !!!!

      • ….griffin’s concise narrative in the suppressed ‘American Empire-An Act Of Collective Madness’ is great…mins. 6-22….

        …although griffin’s past troubles me and i believe he is a ‘gold bug’…

    • …money is ‘the great scoreboard of life’…how about a system where the rule$ apply equally; PARTICULARLY with respect to money creation and issuance… [i.e. i propose TRANSPARENT, pro-rata issuance of newly-created money/some portion thereof…]

      …but first people need to understand the hideous reality of who creates our money and how they do it NOW…in my experience most people have some ignorant, foggy notion that ‘the government prints the money’…they are unaware of the reality: that a cartel of functionally private ?foreign banks control the issuance of US ‘public’ money.. and with it the control over ‘the marketplace’…the marketplace of politics/politicians, the media marketplace, the medical marketplace, the legal marketplace, the education marketplace, food, etc. ad nau$eam…

      …check out steve zarlenga, ellen brown, bill still, jerry voorhis’ ‘out of debt, out of danger’, ?ryan zimmer’s ‘renaissance 2.0 financial empire’, the alliance for just money [AFJM]

  • Posted to Caitlin Johnstone
    March 18, 2021

    Let’s try to “get to the heart of matter”. If we agree that capital is defined as the “medium of investment and exchange”, it really doesn’t matter the form it takes, so long as people accept the medium through which objects and conditions of perceived value can be acquired, produced and exchanged. If we agree the production and acquisition of all physical objects of perceived value, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, transportation, communications, etc., require a medium of exchange, then we have a rational starting point to compare and evaluate the different theories of economic and social order.
    Simply put, there are only two forms of “capital” (regardless of whether the capital takes the form of paper money, elemental metals, or some other object of perceived value). “Equity” capital is derived from investment and production. It is earned through the creative application of human energy and initiative. “Debt” capital is derived from fiat money creation, leverage, and theft of honestly earned private property. No other forms of capital exist.
    For illustration, let’s look at the independent business owner who invests 20 years of her life building a company that profitably delivers a product or service that customers choose to purchase. If the for-profit venture is successful, the owner builds honest “equity” in her business. This is a distinct form of capitalism at work. There is no theft or fraud involved, only a voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange. It is the owner’s free choice to use her mind, body and time to build her business. It is the customer’s free choice to buy her product or service, or not. The relationship is voluntary, transparent and free of third-party influence or manipulation.
    By comparison, let’s look at how the Wall Street or London investment banks exploit their privileged access to “debt capital” to acquire corporations, drive-out small competitors, and consolidate their control of major industries. Now we are getting to the “heart of the matter”. These investment banks are owned by the same financial power structure that owns and operates the private central banking system. These unaccountable financial elites have the Western world in a socio-economic death grip, literally. Through their control of every government and major industry sector, the central banking predators and their parasitic government enforcers suck the life blood from humanity. Corporate “debt” capitalism thrives on government regulatory tyranny, debt-exploitation of the working class, and manipulation of the weak who can’t provide for themselves.
    Corporate “debt” capitalism is antithetical to the concept of anarcho-capitalism, which conceives a free society based on peaceful co-existence and voluntary exchange. Anarcho-capitalists generally believe in the sovereign rights of the individual and peaceful self-determination. It is a life philosophy that values self-ownership, integrity, private property, and personal responsibility, while most collectivists view violent force as a morally justifiable means to a preferred philosophical end. Not to be confused, it’s important to note that collectivists dominate both the right and left ends of the political spectrum.
    There was time in history when a large percentage of Americans (never the majority) yearned to be free, and just wanted to be left alone. No more. Today, most people are looking for a free pass from the pain and suffering of life. The power structure that controls America has convinced the masses to yearn for something that has never existed, and never will. There is no utopian condition which permits those who cannot or will not be self-reliant to live at the expense of others. Compassion and voluntary charity can fill the humanitarian need if we are inspired and guided by the better angels of our nature, while coercive charity is a specious and evil narrative that can easily tickle the ear, but is highly destructive of our individual sovereignty.
    We must accept that life will always be messy and painful, and that personal freedom and self-determination without personal responsibility is unattainable. Life provides a wonderful opportunity for every person to express the decency, kindness and sense of justice that resides in all of us. We cannot rely on the State, regardless of its structure or form, for the solutions that humanity so desperately needs. The State will always promote hostility, division, hatred, theft and war. Haven’t we had enough of that?
    Charlie Beall

    • “Capital” and “investment” are more narrowly defined in economics. Though the value of capital and investment is generally is reckoned in terms of money, the capital and investment itself is in goods that are devoted to the production of other goods. An enterprise invests by building a factory, installing machinery and control systems, etc. The capital stock includes the “means of production.” The money, the medium of exchange is an accounting system used to track the value of the capital investment in an enterprise.

      • Thorough and detailed is your description, no doubt with simplicity at its core. This economy you describe serves not only those with power and influence today but also can be applied by those aspirants with meager assets willing to take risk with varying degrees of success to build their own wealth. Growth the driving force is required to sustain the model.

        When those with power and influence ascertain that growth is not in their interest they will attempt to render the medium of exchange meaningless. Dominating the means of production with unlimited capital in the form of technology and slavery requires no investment.

    • Capital can be machinery or technical know-how.
      Money is basically a measure of their market value.

  • …love your writing/thinking, caitlin…

    .. .i assert money [it’s ‘value’] is a construct of law….therefore, we should all be treated equally as to ‘money’…PARTICULARLY as to who gets to use it in ‘the first round of spending’…

    • With respect DANA, I think it is too late for the “first round of spending”.
      ~
      Who decides how it is spent?
      ~
      Sorry, it has already been a failed experiment and it is simply time to get back to our roots if we can figure out a way to do it upon the planet we have spanned so successfully up to this point in time. I hope our “success” won’t also be our doom – cause you know in a petri dish at some point the consumers outweigh the supply of nutrients and then they all die a very rapid death – unless, I suppose some start eating the neighbors, but I don’t know about you – that ain’t in my DNA. I won’t do it.

      • …how could it be ‘too late’?… i believe you will find that an honest, transparent, egalitarian, etc. system of ‘money’ [western bias] creation/issuance has NEVER existed…furthermore thi$ $ubject has never even been honestly discussed in public in our lives! ..

        • I’m good with that DANA. My DNA is what it is, but I suspect you and I are relatives not too many generations removed. That is my guess and maybe later on we will figure it out.
          ~
          Peace and Thanks!
          ~
          BK

  • Well, well, Caitlin. You’ve been reading Marx. Good for you.

  • Spot on Caitlin. Money is just a token of value that we agree to use and the free market economy is just a 500 year experiment with money that we agreed to participate in. A dangerous one, as it turns out.

    The ‘liberal’ market economies that emerged in Europe in the 17th Century abandoned the constraints of land based (feudal) political economies granting those with chattel money wealth the freedom to plunder common natural and social wealth without accounting for or paying for the costs. This accounting trick enabled the colonisation of Asia, Africa, America and Australia, the development of weapons of mass destruction and the degradation of societies and ecosystems on a global scale.

    It also made a few powerful men rich.

    Piecemeal actions will not fix this. It will be necessary to transform our whole economic system in a way that fully accounts for and internalises these costs that have been ignored, as externalities, for so long.

    The way to achieve this is with New Money but it wont be easy.

    Out natural and social wealth is vast while our chattel wealth is puny – compare the universe to a ton of gold.

    No one ‘owns’ it and no one accounts for it. We’ll need 1000 trusted ‘climate science’ type models, 50,000 new public institutions and millions of new jobs, just to begin. But money is magic and with good will and wise work it is possible that this could all be done. New money and good accounting might save the planet and bring health, wealth and happiness to all.

    We may choose to keep the $, ¥, £, €, ¥, ₽, ₹, etc. for chattel wealth and create two new currencies, say Ecos (E), for natural wealth and Cultos (C) for cultural wealth.

    The price of the international reference ‘product’ (aka Big Mac) would then be, say $2E12C6, paid in either $’s E’s or C’s at ‘fair play’ exchange rates. Our mobile phones would calculate payments in any mix of currencies and register the exchange.

    • Gracious. Sounds like you have fallen into the MMT trap in believe that FIAT is unlimited.
      ~
      Seems that way to me and I read what you typed, but maybe I’m wrong.
      ~
      I don’t want to use my effing phone to pay for anything.
      ~
      I want to pay with river rocks.
      ~
      Or, I have a bit of gold.
      But not much.
      Oh no, I don’t want to be a TARGET!
      ~
      BK

      • Do you keep river rocks in the river bank?

        • Damn that is a good idea.
          ~
          Did I ever tell you about the websites I had a long time ago that talked about “battery banks”?
          ~
          I think Elon Musk that made up billionaire who only uses leverage to make more ad infinitum must of ready what I said or he and I were thinking alike. I don’t care for his style, and I’m going to find my old battery bank ideas and republish them one way or the other, but it probably won’t happen until after the year of the reckoning.
          ~
          Yes Ian, god is gracious, and the river rocks reside on the river bank. They have been there since the old days and the river rocks on my property are mighty old cause the river I live near by is one of the oldest in the land!
          ~
          Ian – lets have a debate sometime or better yet, do you play bridge?
          ~
          Ha, ha.
          ~
          Ken

          • My mum was a bridge champion, but I never had any interest.

            • Your mum is probably the partner for me, but I’m sure there is another like her, but maybe not so good as she was!
              ~
              I’m sure she was a wonderful mother. Really. I feel that in my bones.
              ~
              Come on Ian. We can get it done, but you get you a partner and I’ll find a bridge partner.
              ~
              Man, I’m thinking about your mum!

  • You’re right of course it’s all in our minds, just like it is in theirs; just another extension of controlling the narrative. What they have is priceless, what we have is worthless; the very reason why it has been so important to keep us from ever being able to put an independent value on our own lives. That’s why we must hold ourselves worthy at all times.

    • What is it that they have LYNN that is “priceless”.
      ~
      I think all they have is bad will.
      ~
      Will is free, so have any of it that you want I suppose, but bad will results in bad outcomes and I’d just assume not go down with the ship.
      ~
      Your friend,
      Ken

  • Economics is SOFT science. It is prone to political thinking and when merged with political philosophy, economics is tool for harm wielded by those already with economic means beyond anything that would ever have been considered “fair” when humans used to organize in smaller groups. Sort of like how Darwin’s theory was so misconstrued for the sake of the few who relished blood, war, and suffering all for their perceived “gain” to the top of the trash heap of humanity I reckon.
    ~
    The coup in the US of a, as someone already mentioned, occurred in 1913 after the meeting at Jekyll Island of the coast of effing Georgia. Since then we have had bigger and better wars, eventually gold was confiscated, and then eff-it, who needs a backed currency by anything more than “faith”, i.e. FIAT. Effing fiat and mathematical constructs give us bitcoin ad infinitum and it all approaches complete randomness as infinity and zero are approached with no reference. The rest will be history – the end of it.
    ~
    You know I told several folks, ain’t nothing gonna change with Biden….and now I realize I was wrong. It has gotten worse. Who was the “genius” behind Biden’s absolute schoolboy stupidity in his remarks on Russia? I want to know that. Who the hell thought that showed any statesmanship – it was the rambling of a dimwit. I’m sick of it and I can’t believe the relic of the DNC is still around.
    ~
    Get rid of them, then audit the Fed, the get rid of the fed, then get rid of the RNC, and then abandon the made up city of DC for the sake of our children’s future. Faith is NOT unlimited and the cup overflows. We need a fresh start.
    ~
    Yours truly and pissed off I am,
    BK

    • It seems you still have faith in gold-backed currency.

      Gold is of little more real-world use to any of us than is bitcoin, perhaps with the exception of filling tooth cavities. It’s longer history as a conceptual construct of money and exchange does not exempt it from it’s status as money being a made up construct.

      • Your wrong Rockhill.
        ~
        BUT – Gold is better than thin-air numbers……FIAT is a tool of oppresors.
        ~
        I’d like to propose that river rocks be considered currency. I will pay for them with fiat, but lucky for me, I’ve got tons of them in my own yard!
        ~
        Your wrong Rockhill – don’t jump to conclusions in your mind.
        ~
        By the way, the word I intended to use up above was “reverence”, but I’ll be damned, the word “reference” is what got typed, and in fact, I think that might even be a better word for it when fools play around with concepts such as “0” and ♾️ without realizing that they will NEVER figure it out. None of us will, and that is why I advocate for humility.
        ~
        Please don’t assume things about my thinking and please sometimes you have to read carefully and other times you have to read between the lines.
        ~
        BK

        • Oh and lastly in response to Ian on another article.
          ~
          You are damn straight rabbits are mean in the hole, and yes, I think that is a big cause of all our troubles presently.
          ~
          Sometimes it is better to run from the rabbit than try to fight it, but other times it is kill or be killed when one dares to go into that never-ending hole. Like a BLACK HOLE – you likely will never come out, but if you do, who knows where the hell you will find yourself.
          ~
          Personally, I think we should study more about our own bodies that we can sense directly than celestial bodies that are just too full of imaginary mathematics that is FLAWED at the most extreme edges of the abyss.
          ~
          Ah, this seems to be how it often goes after Saint Patrick’s Day. Oh well.
          ~
          BK

        • I have a gold coin in my house. It is nice to look at from time to time. But what use is it? I could shim up a a table leg to keep it from wobbling, I suppose, if it needs just that thickness. Or I could exchange it for Federal Reserve Notes and someone would sell me enough food that I could eat for awhile. Were I a skilled smith, I could beat it into foil and cover my roof with it like some places do with their capitol domes, but that would not extend the life of the roof. Otherwise, as an object it is just as useless as any other currency. Maybe I should cover the roof with dollar bills? It is only valuable as long as the made up conceptual construct of monetary value is current throughout the population.

          I wish you well. May you pile up as much gold as you desire. I already have more of it than I will ever use.

          • My vote is that you find a skilled smith to beat it into foil. You would be amazed how thin gold can go. You could probably cover your whole roof with it, and let me tell you, that would be sweet!
            ~
            Don’t cover your roof with fiat currency cause paper never lasts, but use the fiat you have to get some gold and then do with it as you wish.
            ~
            Personally, I’m still pushing for this river rock currency that just occurred to me based on your earlier feedback and thanks for that!
            ~
            Ha, ha.
            ~
            Peace,
            BK

    • “Economics is SOFT science.”
      Soft it may well be, but what does it have in common with sciences like chemistry or physics?

      And in what way does money, or maybe just fiat money, lead to it all approaching randomness? The distribution of wealth and power, within or between countries, doesn’t see in the least random to me.

      • Answer your questions yourself.
        ~
        Does that answer your questions Ian?
        ~
        If you want to know more of my thinking, click on my name above.
        ~
        BK

        • I’d say economics has little if anything to do with science, soft or hard. And I completely fail to see what you’re getting at with your talk of randomness. Big banks, oligarchs, and so on get richer, while most of us get poorer. I don’t see much randomness there.

          • What is random is the ones, the few individuals amongst them, who have gotten all the spoils. Cause the littlest difference would have resulted in a different outcome, and so they ought not be so full of themselves and they ought use what they have for the better of everyone.
            ~
            Problem is doing this might refute their whole lives of striving for more to be successful and the big irony is when they are on their death bed they most likely will realize how wrong they were and how much more better they could have been.
            ~
            Oh well. The sooner they are dead the better is what I think.
            ~
            Ian, I doubt we would be good bridge partners. I need a female partner for bridge and I’m still looking, but I know she will present herself when the time is correct. I can’t wait, but meanwhile, I’ve got nothing to complain about and I’m just trying to give away my bounty cause I know I can’t take it with me.
            ~
            Peace,
            BK

    • “Schoolboy stupidity” for sure. You’d think at some point “our” political “culture” could level off a bit on inanities & insanities, but somehow manages to up the ante.
      Putin responded that the U.S. President was likely projecting, but “I wish him good health”.
      Clever, classy, and a bit devilish that one.
      ~
      And on a related note, the Brits accuse Asma al-Assad of terrorism. More projection. And Asma is
      very classy, in the gracious way.
      ~
      What a fucked-up thing for Biden to say.
      ~
      I think in probability that the very vast majority of the people who pass for a political class in both the States & across the pond can’t hold a fricken candle, intellectually or morally, to the likes of Putin and Asma al-Assad.

      • Herr Gregory Herr –
        Thank-you for your response.
        I agree with your sentiment in the last paragraph.
        ~
        Honestly, gold can be foiled down to the molecular level and still have integrity, and so with one gold “ounce” of a coin, one could probably create a foil plenty enough to cover the roof of a small house and still have some left over. It might even be functional and that is what it is all about at the end of the day I think. If you can combine functionality with aesthetics then consider yourself a special “engineer” who might have some worthwhile ideas. (…….
        ~
        Have you ever been to a facility that performs “plating” – I have. I’ve been to so many industrial facilities I consider myself blessed this way. Anyhow, all you do is dip the object to be plated in a bath solution and then “wa-la” – you have a fine metal coating on the cheap, and sometimes it is even better than if you use the pure metal – it can add desired properties. Just get your parameters correct if you want it to work as designed.
        ~
        In fact, sometimes it ain’t about how much you have, it is about what you do with the little that you can hold in your own two hands. I’d just assume wield tools I can hold in my own hands and between my legs if need be and in my lips if it is called for and its not too heavy.
        ~
        Peace to you and truly I desire peace for all of the folks in the Middle East – especially those who reside in Yemen, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. They deserve peace and I think it is on the way for them. I won’t just say this here, I’ll say it to anybody I meet. I’ll spread the word of Peace.
        ~
        All the best Herr Gregory Herr,
        BK

  • Important and sensible argument. To see a real-life illustration of this, just spend some time watching a group of children at play: a few leaders & winners will naturally emerge in whatever activity they’re engaged in. If the activity is enjoyed by enough kids they’ll likely return to it again & again, cementing the role of one or a few children as “leader”, “best” etc. But, eventually some of the non-winners tire of the game, they find a new game, perhaps one where they’re less likely to be at the bottom of the totem pole. So they leave and start a new activity with new rules and new dynamics. As a parent and teacher I’ve watched this same pattern play out countless times. I see no reason why the same can’t happen on a larger scale with grown-ups, as Caitlin suggests. We just need enough people to wake up and realize the future is in our hands, or at least it should be!

    • Marxists have been saying this for over a century. The working class must realize its own power and use it.

  • You wrote: “[T]hose who have been most heavily indoctrinated into the faith think of money and economics in much the same way we think about forces of nature and the laws of physics. ”

    In 1898, Thorstein Veblen wrote about the disappointing turn of economists towards framing economics as a science similar to physics. In an essay entitled, “Why is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?”** he argued that the trend of modeling economics after physics, with rigid laws (and which led to modern mathematical modeling in economics) was misguided. Rather, he said, economics would more appropriately modeled after evolutionary biology. And, BTW, Veblen published the most entertaining book on economics ever: “The Theory of the Leisure Class.”** It is available on line as a free PDF download. That is where the terms “leisure class” and “conspicuous consumption” originated, for instance.

    *Full text of “Why is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?” https://archive.org/stream/jstor-1882952/1882952_djvu.txt
    **PDF download of “The Theory of the Leisure Class” https://shifter-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/thorstein-veblen-the-theory-of-the-leisure-class.pdf

    • I think it was Veblen who wrote about how development is deliberately sabotaged in order to maintain class power.

  • Nice Idea on the money thing but the American people can not even figure out, much less do anything, about weraing a flippin mask that is doing much more long term harm to the majority of them than not. So getting these same people to deal with money? LOL, NO CHANCE

    • You sound like a science denier. Science deniers are not worth anything.

  • I am going to drop a recommendation here, but not a prescriptive economics. Rather, an anthropological history of money and debt. “Debt: the first 5000 years” by David Graeber

    He traces a history of the invention and spread of money and debt from the point of view of an anthropologist. Most significant to me (and I do have a degree in Economics) is that he argues there is no evidence whatsoever for the creation myth of money as having been invented to displace systems of barter. Rather, he says, money developed from conquest, imperialism and slavery. And he argues that money was not first used for buying and selling at all, because markets had not yet been invented.

    He answers some of the questions I had about money after completing the course of study in economics, questions not answered in “Money and Banking” class. That is, what is money and how is it we value any of it?

    Money is only worth what people agree it is worth. I am not so interested in what form of money, for stacks of gold coins are of no more utilitarian value than stacks of paper money or a high score in the LARP game of electronic banking, i.e., 1’s and 0’s representing a bank balance stored in computer memory.

    • Along those lines money is not a function of wealth. Tangible assets are what survive money fluctuations. The only way to take actual wealth from the rich is to remove their tangible assets worldwide. A truly monumental task for any government. Changing from capitalism or socialism will not change the dynamics of money.

      • On that we can agree! Wealth such as control of land, timber, mines, farm fields, buildings. We have learned to measure wealth in terms of money, but the money itself is not the wealth.

      • You are misunderstanding what socialist revolution is. In Russia, they DID confiscate the tangible assets of the wealthy. That is the whole point of revolution. Mere reformism does nothing. That is elementary as ABC.

        • The smart ones saw it coming and transfered their wealth out of the country or had it diversified worldwide.

  • So Caitlin it is quite obvious to me that you do not have a degree in economics. Money is not evil but simply a reflection of the faith in a system, economy, country etc. Thus stable systems fluctuate less that unstable systems. Australia vs Zimbabwe for example. Thus you see a move to tangible assets when the currency becomes unstable. Art is skyrocketing along with property values right now. Also people buying up physical gold and silver. Money operates the same regardless of the economic system whether socialist or capitalist. It is all about confidence. If national currencies fail, local and black market currencies will appear.

    • A degree in economics can be a severe impediment to understanding economies.

  • Yes, everything you say seems correct to me. But I was hoping for another way at the end of the article. Can you elucidate on that please?

  • “Wealth only exists where it exists and how it exists because we’ve all agreed to pretend that’s the case.”
    I beg to disagree. Wealth exists because it’s been extracted from us, and because it’s protected by armed force in the form of police, security agencies, guards, and so on.

    Of course, if we all collectively cease agreeing that Bezos owns Amazon and we need money to live, the whole edifice crumbles into dust. But how likely is that? Are the oligarchs going to admit that their all too real power and wealth rest on a collective agreement and nothing more? Or will their wealth and power have to be taken from them?

    • You are still stuck in the “money” box. As Caitlin writes, if the collective agreement became trading in peach pits, the oligarchs money and related power would dissipate into oblivion overnight.

      • Only if everyone – everyone! – agrees to use peach pits. If the government continues demanding dollars (or pounds, etc) as payment for taxes and wotnot, people will continue trying to acquire dollars.

  • Yes, the curse of the world is the Federal Reserve (private bank) and all the central banks most under the auspices of a few psychopathic trillionaires – Rothschild, etc. I have always thought the real axis of evil is the Rothchild’s, Rockefellers, and the Vatican.

    • Just look at the dollar bill, it’s so full of the occult/deepstate that it drips with blood…

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