Commodity or Debt Money?
Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 4, 2015
“The great question which in all ages has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it.” – John Locke – First Treatise of Government
Power, as John Locke inferred, is an omnipresent force in the world. The strong, from the creation of mankind, have ruled over the weak, subjecting them to various degrees of oppression. Although many believe the worst is behind us with the end of slavery and serfdom, this may not actually be the case. For the modern Big Bank/Big State/Big Business marriage, known as Crony Capitalism, has increased the elites’ control over the weak through the power of leveraged debt. This subtle form of coercion (through the fear of debt collectors harassment, mortgage defaults, and bankruptcy proceedings) forces many people into the purposeless quagmire of long hours, loads of stress, and yet little real ownership. In effect, today’s indebted people do not work to own anything but merely work to service debt. This, however, is historically little different than the slave or serf was also coerced into working without owning. No wonder Solomon once wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Whereas Slavery was a Physical Matrix of control and Serfdom was a Feudal Matrix of control, what should we call the financial subjugation of society? I termed it the Financial Matrix and I believe it’s the elites most powerful matrix of control yet. Why? Because few people even know it exist let alone know how to resist it. While a slave knew he was enslaved physically and a serf knew he was trapped on the lord’s land, few comprehend that debt traps a person to the financial lords. In other words, a person in the Financial Matrix is enslaved and yet believes he is free; in consequence, escaping the web of debt is very difficult because he is not even aware he has been captured. The elites, on the other hand, understood quickly the benefits of the masses feeling free while actually being entrapped by their lack of financial literacy. The Financial Matrix, in other words, ensured the masses worked harder and longer than slaves or serfs were while reaping little longterm rewards. Simply looking at the statistics of the average person’s wealth at 65 is enough to demoralize anyone. How can the masses work that long and have so little to show for it? Simply put, a lack of financial literacy entraps them into the Financial Matrix the benefits the elites and breaks the masses.
The economist Henry Macleod highlighted the power and influence debt money has had upon society when he noted, “If we were asked – Who made the discovery which has most deeply affected the fortunes of the human race? We think, after full consideration, we might safely answer – The man who first discovered that a Debt is a Saleable Commodity.” The importance of Macleod’s statement cannot be overemphasized because until the reader understands its underlying message, he will think I am exaggerating the effects of debt upon people’s freedoms. Nonetheless, no less an authority than Ludwig Von Mises (one of the early members of the Austrian School of free market economics), pointed out the key differences between commodity money and debt money. Mises defined money as simply society’s most in demand commodity (typically silver or gold).
The free market has never chosen paper bank notes as its money of choice freely. Hence, when the banking system discovered they could make debt a saleable commodity, it needed to partner with the State and use its “monopoly of force” to coerce society into using debt money through passing legal tender laws. Not surprisingly, the States gladly accepted the cheap debt money created out of nothing by the Big Banks and then forced society to do the same. This is a win for the Big Banks (massive interest profits) and a win for the States (massive increases in power from access to funds) and a massive loss to society in increasing debt and inflation while decreasing the people’s freedoms. As a result, the Financial elites now control the State and the State controls society (the same old story of the strong oppressing the weak) through the Financial Matrix’s system of control.
Author Felix Martin noted in his interesting book Money, “For credit to become money, sellers must also trust that third parties will be willing to accept the debtor’s IOU in payment as well. They must believe that it is, and will remain indefinitely, transferable – that the market for this money is liquid. Depending upon how powerful are the reasons to believe these two things, it will be easier or harder for an issuer’s IOUs to circulate as money. It is because of this third critical element of transferability that money issued by governments, or by the banks which governments endorse and backstop, is thought to be special. Indeed, there is an influential school of thought – known as chartilism – which argues that governments and their agents are the only viable issuers of money.”
Martin, although brilliant in his historical analysis, is an apologist for the Financial Matrix and supports Statism in monetary matters (State intervention into society’s money). Thus, it’s not shocking he supports the State’s role in legalizing and supporting the creation of debt money. In reality, the State must get involved if debt money is to survive in society, for no one would accept the bank notes without the State’s unnatural coercion. Again, this is nothing less than State coercion over society to for the benefit of the strong (Financial and Political Elites) over the weak (the masses). Interestingly, however, when the State collapses the paper banknotes return to their true value – nothing. State force, in other words, is the only thing that props up the value of the fiat paper notes. A true commodity money, as Mises points out, does not need State intervention to prop up its value because it marginal utility is determined by the market, not a dictating State. All the State needs to do in a free market system is define the amount of gold and silver in its monetary unit. Then, the State should ensure the weights and measurements remain unchanged. Of course, the marginal value of the monetary unit will change as the production and consumer demand for money changes, but the standard itself should never change.
The money supply will change slightly as more gold is discovered, but not anything close to the amount it changes in the Financial Matrix. For instance, the total value of the gold and silver mined during the entire time the Spanish controlled its South American colonies was approximately $250 billion. In comparison, the Federal Reserve increased the money supply by $250 billion in digitized debt in just one day during the 2008 Great Financial Crisis. What took the Spanish State over 250 years to accumulate, in other words, the Federal Reserve accomplished in mere milliseconds! Disastrously, the State’s “monopoly of force” is no longer used to ensure justice for its citizens, but rather to ensure Financial Matrix injustice. How do you win an argument against a person who has a gun pointed at your face? No matter how logical or reasonable your position is, the person with the gun always gets his way. In a similar fashion the State always wins an argument regardless of how illogical its position is. 🙂 Does the reader now understand why its absurd to surrender control of the money supply to the Big Banks/Big States Financial Matrix?
Banker apologist, Felix Martin, concluded, “If money was such a powerful invention – such a revolutionary force for the transformation of society and the economy – the next question is obvious. It is one posed with brilliant clarity by the father of English political philosophy. It is to the perennial battle over who controls the money that we therefore turn next.” Martin, in reality, has posed the wrong question. And, when someone asks the wrong question, he rarely receives the right answer. The real question is – why does anyone need to control the money supply? Why not let the market determine the commodity, quantity, and price of money just as it should all other commodities? Isn’t this the definition of a free market and freedom for the people? A free market is where no one controls the supply or price of any commodity within society; instead, the marketplace (consumers) determine demand, supply and price based upon the sum of the individual valuations.
We are fast approaching the end of the road and we only have one fork remaining. Down the current path is the Hayekian road to serfdom while the last for is the path returning to freedom. Unfortunately, most people spend their whole life working for money, all the while, remaining ignorant as to what money is and how personal debt controls them. LIFE Leadership has vowed to right this wrong by by sharing the Financial Fitness Program principles of financial literacy with the masses. I can think of no better way to fulfill my God-given purpose than to take the principles Laurie and I learned to break free from the Financial Matrix and teach them to others. It’s time for LIFE Leadership to set millions of financial captives free!