Fans of Central Banking Have an Achilles Heel
Most of my writing about the gold standard is about how it works, and how the paper dollar standard doesn’t. A casual conversation I had with someone recently underscored that there is an even stronger argument.
Our opponents, those who support central banking and irredeemable paper money, have to make two cases. One is to defend the theory and practice of central banking, that central bankers are wise and honest and that their debt-based paper money works. They have to argue that the dollar does everything you want money to do, such as hold its value, enable proper accounting, encourage savings, support a stable economy, etc. Well, they can go through the motions and fool the ignorant.
The other is that they have to defend the use of force against innocent people.
Central planners constantly run into the problem that people are not willing cogs. We don’t want to be jammed into the machine where directed. The central planners never have our best interest at heart. Quite the contrary, they seek to sacrifice our property, liberty, goals, and well-being. Supposedly it serves some sort of public good, though it’s never the good of any particular member of the public.
Anyways, no one ever goes along voluntarily. Central planners have to pass laws, in order to do whatever good to us that they feel needs doing. Safely backed by the law, they need not worry about our petty little concerns. They can force the unwilling to obey, under threat of loss of property, liberty, and ultimately life.
If you don’t agree with this, think about what will happen if you refuse to pay your taxes. It may take a few years, but sooner or later, armed agents of the government will come to arrest you. If you don’t want to be arrested, they will force you into handcuffs. If you are able to fight that off, at some point they will shoot you dead.
In the case of irredeemable paper money, there are several ways that the government forces people to use it. One is the capital gains tax on gold. Another is the legal tender law. There are others.
The economic arguments for irredeemable paper and central banking are fallacious and often frivolous. We can and should confront every falsehood, every logical error, every misrepresentation of the gold standard and its defenders. We must also make the affirmative case for the benefits of the unadulterated gold standard.
However, we have one more weapon. It demands to be used, when the context is appropriate. Our adversaries are confessing to the very failures of their system. If paper scrip were truly superior to gold, people wouldn’t need to be forced to use it. When a bully can’t prevail in an argument using reason, he becomes violent. Our monetary opponents are bullies. They resort to force, which is their moral failing.
This is their Achilles heel, and it’s even more important than their economic errors.
At best, central bank advocates are Machiavellians, seeking to use people as a means to their own ends. At worst, they are little Hitlers and Stalins, rationalizing their actions with the tired cliché “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”
We need to strip their veneer of respectability. Many people will get that, even if they don’t understand monetary economics.
You are cordially invited to The Gold Standard: Both Good and Necessary, in New York on Nov 1. There hasn’t been a real recovery from the crisis of 2008, and there won’t be until we return to the use of gold as money. At this event, you will hear Andy Bernstein present the moral case for capitalism, and Keith Weiner present the case for the gold standard as the monetary system of capitalism.
I whole heartedly agree with this. The veneer of respectability will wear off when the system crashes and burns. It just beats me that there is not more demand for silver and gold from the investing public in the west.
Agree absolutely, human failing and corruption is slowly placing a noose around the CBs IMF BIS and GOVs they are digging their hole in the sand of history it is interesting watching it unfold yet so predictable.
Will there be video or audio from the debate for people who cannot make it to NYC
Amen, Amen, Amen Keith!
Great article and keep up the good work & speaking out. A war like this is won one person at a time!
Let’s all hope the Swiss referendum passes on November 30th and gets this gold ball rolling! This whole US government is like Hitler and Stalin and lying right through their teeth to the public for a very long time and the public is complacent and greedy for “things”.
When this collapses it will be a good thing in my opinion to really wake people up so they will stop listening to all the lies and stop electing dumb asses to office and also give of their selves, their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for Liberty for all. It’s all right there in the Declaration of Independence.
Thanks for your comments.
rosslm888: I am not sure at this point. Will announce something if we do it.
modom46: Be careful what you wish for, collapse may look a lot like 476AD! I hope we can win one person at a time, then two, then four, then eight… If we can win a few million, then I think there will be real change. Until then, as you say, why should a politician promise sound money to voters who just want free goodies? :-/
Yes sir … yes sir. Excellent words… I printed out the second and 3rd paragraph and hung them on the wall.
History tells us those in power relinquish it very reluctantly…
It’s that rising uncomfortable feeling of helplessness as things all over the earth seem to be crashing into each other.
Although I suspect it’s just too gloomy of a forecast (except for Kunstler, Quinn and others!) I’m amazed that it’s an area Martinsen, Denninger, Hunter and the collection of brave realists don’t dare wander.
when the grid goes down (the ultimate population control) stocks, bonds, bitcoin, Teslas and Ipads (I-reverythings) will be so many fond memories. The rule of law will be a concern as strong as food on the table.
The importance of your well-chosen words is not just salient, it is ABSOLUTELY essential to the battle for people’s political & economic freedom. The informed comments of your readers attest to a growing understanding among a small segment of the populace. The challenge is that the “fiat” (force) behind our fiat currencies has had centuries to covertly evolve, not just in the USA, but in all major financial centers of the world.
So here’s the hard part: Those who design, control and exert this force are not the elected officials of any government, nor are they the military, nor the police, nor the media, nor the learning establishment or media. Those institutions are merely their naive or malignant tools for exerting force, and each has been infiltrated and corrupted to a distrubing degree. So we now face a world in which the controllers are entrenched, emboldened, and hidden in plain sight.
The greatest danger to our freedoms and our ability to fight to keep them is that our enemy (the “takers”) are also the “givers.” They dispense media nonsense, political correctness, false flag fear, jingoism, food stamps, Byzantine rules and regulations, as well as the pervasive projection of physical threat (drones, riot police, swat teams, IRS, CIA, NSA, the Fed, etc.) – all woven deep into the fabric of the American (or whatever nation’s) consciousness. So, many of us cheer on their tools, thinking they represent our good. They do not!
Benjamin Franklin said it best: Those who would exchange freedom for security… shall have neither.
And Yoda was also right, may the Force be with us. Spiritual force is the natural possession of the people, and cannot be taken away, only subverted and perverted, diluted or forgotten. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened to the majority. The good guys don’t have secret trillions, nor black space ops, nor friends in high places. The bad guys do. They currently control the High Ground, although they do so through a bizarre ( reputedly satanic/Nazi) belief system which I call the “Low Ground.”
So this will have to play out, and may take a long time to resolve.
In the meantime, I say to all of us with an inkling of what the f#@k is going on, please keep speaking out, keep learning, and be prepared to take a stand. “Liberty or death” seems like a quaint historic platitude. It is not. Are we, the well fed, well entertained, and well coddled, prepared to stand beside our Founders? I pray that we are, and am personally trying to develop my character in order to make Thomas Jefferson proud. He’s rolling in his grave right now….
At bottom it’s quite simple, that’s why we talk in many aspects of life (not just money) about the gold standard: we then mean a pure unadulterated unfakable true measure that sets the standard for everything else. The only thing you can put over against it is false, fake, diluted, corrupted, and destined to perish, since reality always overcomes self-delusion sooner or later.
Yes, yes, yes ……….. Alas, there is no easy solution to any of it. The fundamental problem was clearly identified way back in 1976. In the words of Howard Beale (Network, 1976), the problem is that
“All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. … What is finished… is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It’s the individual that’s finished. It’s the single, solitary human being that’s finished. It’s every single one of you out there that’s finished, because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It’s a nation of some 200-odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-that-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings, and as replaceable as piston rods… The whole world is becoming humanoid – creatures that look human but aren’t. The whole world not just us. We’re just the most advanced country, so we’re getting there first. The whole world’s people are becoming mass-produced, programmed, numbered, insensate things… ”
Howard Beale also identified one of the primary means by which all this mass delusion is being generated and sustained, namely the tube, the television. As he put it (he was an anchor),
“We’ll tell you anything you want to hear, we lie like hell…. Television is not the truth. Television is a goddamned amusement park…. , you’re never going to get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell. We’ll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, or that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker’s house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don’t worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he’s going to win. We’ll tell you any shit you want to hear. We deal in *illusions*, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds… We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even *think* like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing! *WE* are the illusion!”
As for a solution, Howard Beale thought he had one:
Howard Beale: So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I’m speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF…
I want you to go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
Howard Beale: …I want you to get mad. I don’t want you to protest, I don’t want you to riot, I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression, the inflation, the Russians, or the crime in the streets. All I know is that first… You’ve got to get mad.
Alas, even though the people appeared to get mad for a while, they lacked the depth of insight and moral conviction that would sustain them. Instead of unplugging from the matrix world of television and illusion, paradoxically and perversely, Howard Beale’s warnings only served to draw them more deeply in.
The movie’s portrayal of this process and dynamic, unfortunately, is depressingly realistic. The vast majority of people are simply too lazy and apathetic to participate in a revolution of social and political understanding and consciousness. Instead, they want to be entertained and amused. As Aldous Huxley put it, they have come to love their servitude, and it is hard to see what it will take to change that.
Put another way, what Achilles Heel? These people are butt naked.
So what? Do they care?
I don’t think they do. Why? Because the public, by and large, does not care. Besides, the laws are already in place, as is the infrastructure of the surveillance state, and the police have been prepared and militarized. The velvet glove can, and will, be removed from the iron fist, as their ongoing grip on power demands.
Depressing thought, but realistic. What happened to Lincoln, Kennedy, Ron Paul, and the Occupy movement, to name a few, speak volumes in this regard.
I’m not sure I get the full picture of why gold is so necessary. I guess most people that are symphatetic to gold wants a free market in provision of liquidity. But I’m not sure gold would be the winner. It is safe but it is without yield. It would have its uses like today, probably even a larger use but would it take over the entire market for money? Why? Todays money has value because of the assets backing it. As I have seen you write before Keith, without the assets at the central bank the currency would be worthless. Why must assets that are used for issuance of money necessarily be gold? Or would gold/silver/copper itself circulate, that just doesn’t seem practical enough in todays electronic world.
The gold itself need not circulate much. Most transactions have always worked on credit — people in Mesopotamia and Egypt exchanged pieces of paper with a claim to grain, not the grain itself. People keep a tab at the bar and used to do so at the general store. You can easily agree to cancel the amounts with anything else you both agree to. You only need to actually exchange the underlying to extinguish a claim very infrequently, usually with parties with who you have no ongoing relationship (or don’t trust).
The point is not whether it is practical to carry gold coins.
The point is whether there is honesty. Gold is the means, honesty is the goal. Even with gold people can circulate false claims to the underlying, but the fraud entailed is easier to discover, just as minted coins are more practical than weighing and assaying yourself. Diluting the coins is either very public and/or very punishable.
Thanks for answering. I think I can agree wuth most of what you wrote but I’m still left wondering why the market wouldn’t choose other assets also as backing for currency.
It has and it would. In most ancient societies they used gold and silver and grain: that’s why the smallest measure of gold is a grain (the inch was also based on 3 grains of barley). Agricultural debts had high-interest but could also be canceled. Most commercial finance was done with silver and such debts were not canceled by debt jubilees, b/c it would have undermined commerce and foreign trade. Copper and other metals (nickel) have also been widely used. In all pre-modern societies land and/or cattle were considered the only true assets, because they had yield (!), whereas metal was judged to be barren. The word capital comes from “heads” of cattle, capital stocks.
Paper assets are a different story, since they can be multiplied infinitely and are only as good as the political forces enforcing the claims: that is why there is a natural arbitrage between long-term paper (like bonds) and gold.
In ancient custom you often see different currencies depending on the context and the time horizon: long-term for gold assets, silver for commerce and annual tithes or imposed taxes, grain for the day-to-day village economy, and copper or farthings for day-to-day or weekly charges or manufactured articles.
There is no earth element more perfect to be money than gold, it is relatively rare, and does not decline (rust, corrode etc.…). Gold money does yield when government and the elite banking cartel grifters do not confiscate it all. Just natural plain old human innovation and productivity progress produce a natural deflation that makes the purchasing power of savings increase, which in itself is yield. If it makes perfect money and the people have preferred it for thousands of years, why not just let it be as per the guidelines of our constitution? Everyone educated knows fiat always fails, and democracy can only last at best for 200 years. That is why we are supposed to have a republic with gold money! Our forefathers were wise and educated to set it up for us, and now look what deviating from that is causing!
Bob, I think you make an interesting point about gold yielding by deflation. But if for instance equity was backing a currency the yield would likely be a lot higher.
Thanks for your further comments. I am in between things in NYC at the moment, so I thought I would post links to two things I wrote about why gold: