"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." ~ John Stuart Mill
Neo, Call the Architect
Exclusive to STR
January 15, 2007
'Winds from the east' Mist coming in'. Like something is brewin'' About to begin' Can't put me finger' On what's in store, But I feel what's to happen' All happened before.' ~'Bert,' Mary Poppins I've been contemplating the nature of money. Spending many a bleary-eyed hour pouring over the words of Rothbard, Mises, Rockwell, and the vast array of pundits on Lew's site (not to mention this one), one leans toward thinking about the topic from time to time, you might say. Lately, I must admit to plugging into the podcasts of none other than Alan Watt, perhaps the most renowned authority, within the alternative media anyway, on ancient texts, secret societies, the new world order, the global elite, and what have you. Even for many of the hard-bitten readers and contributors of STR, Watt's dialog might fly over like a lead balloon. Pretty disturbing and challenging stuff to digest no matter how far down the rabbit hole you find yourself. Nevertheless, only the foolish would dismiss his insights out of hand. The man certainly does his homework -- except when it comes to Austrian economic theory. You see, Watt states frequently that the very concept of money came into being as a concoction of devious minds as a mechanism of social control. To those unable to grasp the reality that money nevertheless became such, and never performed this function more fully than it does today, kindly return to Helicopter Ben's kiddy pool. Whenever Watt claims that money poisoned the socio-economic well from the very beginning, I want to scream, 'Hello, Regression Theorem!' Watt himself speaks approvingly of barter from time to time. Watt fails to realize that a common medium of exchange will and must come into existence over the course of a growing barter system (which is essentially what Mises' theorem demonstrates). So here we have money inevitably growing from voluntary human interaction, and it also being the ultimate engine of social control by some pretty nefarious types--for instance, Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild said, 'Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes its laws.' I'm sure he meant it in a nice way, though. Lately, a recurring thought bothers me. Let me digress for a moment. Lew Rockwell pointed out some time ago that a Constitution more or less acts as a memo to government--'Note to self: don't become tyrannical.' The point being that no matter how many checks and balances painstakingly constructed, no matter how many rights unambiguously left to the states and to the people, a Constitution ultimately takes a bureaucratic bludgeoning by those in power hoping to do what all bureaucrats and power-hungry miscreants do: expand their reach, do more 'good.' No document of government can hold back the tide of tyranny even when that government initially is not the interpreter of the text. It will make itself the sole interpreter of its own limits of power, by force of arms if necessary. Putting it another way, self-interest by those seeking to benefit from the levers of power in time destroys all checks, all balances, and ultimately, any protection of individual rights. Where I'm going with this: I wonder if money itself must undergo an inevitable cycle of decay just like a well-written constitution. Money organically comes into being through indirect trade. Self-interest eventually leads to some cabal of diabolical fruitcakes turning the medium of exchange into a mechanism of burdening the trusting and na've with debt, warfare, and servitude. The system grows like a cancer until the ghost of Murray Rothbard flushes the big economic toilet, fire and brimstone falls from the sky, dogs and cats live together, and back to the barter system we go for those able to sit the whole thing out. A system of slavery, controlled collapse, some other ugly unmentionable stuff, and then back to square one. Neo, call the Architect. I think he's about to press the reset button.