Legal Ownership Of Money

I have run the idea of the legal ownership of money past a number of the people that have been responsible for my own awakening. But I have received no response at all.

The idea is getting no milage at all.

Yet, I don’t see how this concept is not the lynchpin of the entire construct.

The Kenynesians decry the glut of savings and argue for greater state intervention and centralisation. The Austrians decry the debasement of the currency and decry state intervention and the centralisation of power.

Neither theory however, takes into account the fundamental asymmetrical exchange brought about by the unilateral ownership of the currency.

Of course, the Austrians are closer to the mark because in advocating sound money they effectively advocate greater power for individuals and entities to freely interact. But as far as I can tell, even Austrians are not explicitly in favour of full unencumbered ownership of money by society.

The nature of money is the single fundamental construct upon which everything else is built. Politics, taxation, Collateralised Debt Obligations or Credit Default Swaps are all derivatives of the nature of money. Politics does not influence the nature of money but rather exploits it. Similarly, fiscality or any of the fancy credit instruments mentioned above, have no bearing on the nature of money. Quite the contrary rather. They exploit it.

Politics could of course take the upper hand in advocating a different monetary system. This would entail however taking some rather uncomfortable if not dangerous positions against rather powerful and entrenched interests.

In my view therefore, the fundamental reality of the exchange of something we own outright for something we do not own and owe interest on, is the ultimate driver of all political, economic and social development.

Not only that.

But the continuous exchange of something that is intrinsically valuable (skills, ideas and time) for something that arithmetically does not maintain its original value of exchange (money), must arithmetically and necessarily result in the concentration of wealth in the hands of the ultimate owner of the currency. Thus this is a dynamic that can only result in the concentration of power and the full dependence of society on a progressively ever more pervasive and obtrusive state with all the concomitant ramifications regarding personal liberty that entails.

The ultimate owner of the currency has successfully drawn a boundary around society. Regardless of what happens within that boundary at the political, economic or social levels, the owner of the currency will always and everywhere expand the amount of money and credit in circulation. Thus, regardless of what happens within the boundary, the owner of the currency will enjoy an increasing revenue stream fuelled by compound interest calculated on an ever increasing quantity of money and credit.

This monetary construct therefore, thoroughly neutralises the political process. Political infighting between the right, the center and the left is therefore but a distraction, albeit a very useful distraction. In fact, the greater the political polarisation becomes and the more complex regulation and fiscality become, the greater is the resultant revenue stream for the ultimate owner of the currency.

In this context, wars, famines, humanitarian interventions, economic depressions, unemployment and crisis are an absolute manna for the ultimate owner of the currency who stands to gain regardless the underlying conditions. The greater the activity, the more strident the politics and the larger the dislocation, the greater the revenue stream becomes for the ultimate owner of the currency.

This monetary system is arithmetically skewed to impoverish. It cannot be otherwise. Granted the time line may be rather long but the result is arithmetically inevitable and preordained.

This monetary system cannot contemplate prosperity for all because this would inherently distribute profit in the hands of the many.

The arithmetic of this monetary system are geared towards concentration. Politics has no bearing whatsoever in changing this fundamental dynamic. Politics only serve to bring about ever greater regulation, intervention and complexity thus driving ever greater profits towards the owner of the currency. And the evidence is everywhere.

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11 Responses to “Legal Ownership Of Money”

  1. Richard Says:

    Read the writings of E.C.Riegel
    Then read it again and again and again…and again.
    Money is a concept. It is the mathematics of exchange.
    Ask yourself the question, “who controls mathematics?”
    Mathematics is the language and the music of the Universe.

    The Surprise Weapon PRIVATE ENTERPRISE MONEY A Non-Political Money System
    (http://www.mind-trek.com/treatise/ecr-pem/intro.htm)

  2. pat00donnelly Says:

    The difference between what is and what ought to be?

    There is no perfect solution. You seem to be concerned that there is insufficient equality of access? You are correct. Those who have, influence the system they designed….

    Land taxes should be accurate enough to make land almost valueless? The large amount of tax from cities would then enable dole for all residents of that city. A minimum payment, with income taxes only on earned and unearned but not statutory income. As productive land would soon be too expensive for those not using it effectively, they will give it away to someone who wants to pay the taxes on it….. Everyone has a minimum income, even any gorilla or parrot that can create and access their file intelligently.

    Banks are limited like other Finance corporations, to capital, equity and borrowed, of say $1Bn. No more! Markets like small smart participants!

    All public service will be paid well, but they will wear video and sound 24 hrs a day… all electronic comms available to internet…. No term of more than three years, max three terms per life!

    Markets can be made honest, but never will be!

    • guidoamm Says:

      I fully agree there is no perfect solution.

      As far as keeping a system honest goes, I agree it is a tall order for humans in general.

      I suppose that if I were to make a suggestion, my solution would revolve around shifting the responsibility for one’s well being back unto the individual.

      Effectively I see human development as a breathing system. We go through long bouts of centralisation and decentralisation of power. I see the last great bout of decentralisation and growing liberty to have taken place from the enlightenment of the 1600s till the end of the 1800s.

      I believe that since 1900 we are today fully in a bout of centralisation of power.

      The essential difference I note, is that we moved from physical control of people to a form of control that allows physical movement and a degree of personal choice that is however fully circumscribed by the only form of interaction sanctioned by the state i.e. money.

      Whether you travel to Patagonia, to Timbuktu or to Siberia, you must make use of a variety of money that is inherently not your personal property once it is acquired.

      So, whereas in the 1600s we controlled people physically with walls and chains, today we allow a large degree of physical freedom but we mandate that wherever one goes and whomever they decide to interact with, they must make use of state sanctioned money. But since the exchange value of money is not guaranteed, the more one works and trades, the poorer he/she becomes.

      In this system, individuals can only hope to postpone the time of their ultimate destitution but cannot avoid it. So, for example, engaging in lateral transactions like buying property or creating a company, pushes back in time the preordained result of destitution. Lateral transactions may even allow some individuals to ascend within the pyramid thus getting closer to the vertex and pushing much farther back in time their ultimate fate but, in fact, only very few individuals can entirely avoid the ultimate outcome.

      I suppose that my intention is not so much to change this system for another but to make people aware of the reality of our condition.

      Truth be told, I am myself at once conflicted, disillusioned, hopeful, confused and angry and don’t know from one day to the next what, if anything, could be or should be done.

      For now, I merely observe and try to point out what I perceive is the reality.

      • pat00donnelly Says:

        When a revolutionary distributes farm land to landless peasants, they soon sell out for a few coins…

        Law making has to become an unusual event, with massive bias against new law, as it always transfers rights to those who make laws. Even in Ancient Greece, people sold themselves into slavery, as they do today… Always desire is stoked by the lure of cheap plentiful debt!

        Make medicare, basic housing, welfare and education to primary level, universally free. But restrict lending of all kinds and make interest restricted to 5% pa All economies will shrink as a result, but the growth thereafter will not disappear as easily as it does at present. True, it will be a subsidy to the stupid, but somehow the elite will survive, if they are elite and not just criminal!

        Abolish 90% of all laws. Use tech to ensure the fewer public servants are fully accountable with web cameras everywhere, but on private premises.

        Stop protecting people by making them afraid of living a full life!

  3. Roger Glyndwr Lewis Says:

    Guido, you state the problem succinctly and clearly as usual. For the initiated the problem could not be clearer but solutions are mopre difficult as many proposing them do so with a clear gaming strategy of their own in place. I am yet to meet an ´austrian´ who is not a Gold Bug or indeed a Keynsian who is not a statist.
    Democratisation of money is key and your proposal of ownership of money is a very broad concept and what your detailed suggestion of how ownership would be defined is not clear from your current piece.
    I think we need to look at the addiction to growth and how growth and usury drives the dynamic of the present inherently unstable Economic cycles. Keens work on the Minsky instability hypothesis is very helpful here again in as much as it helps define the problem.
    As you correctly state the problem for the rest of us is not a problem for the issuer of FIAT currency, Bank reserve money is not the same as the spending tokens the rest of us are forced to accept.

    I think that usury or Interest in the broadest sense is the real problem. In a sense the outing of FIAT currency as intrinsically worthless over time is the objective in fostering resistance against the present monetary hedgemon.

    I suspect that some of the models from the 1950’s which were adopted by the big anti trust busting initiatives in the US will show the level of Political commitment necessary to break up the current stranglehold on western Economies by the ´´To big to Fail Banks´

    Putin and Russia along with China and the BRICS are seeking to establish a Bi Polar system with alternative settlement of international trade outwith the Dollar ( Petro Dollar) clearly this is causing geo political tension. It was ever thus that Capitalism does not foster competitive markets especially in its most important product.Money production.

    Keep the faith Guido they say the Darkest hour is just before the dawn?

    • guidoamm Says:

      Personally, I have to believe that a system that contemplates full unencumbered ownership would only foster greater growth than what we have now. From my basic grasp of arithmetic, I think that when opportunity is placed in the hands of the many, development occurs along much more productive lines than when a central power decides who should get the opportunity to do something.

      I think that the open source movement is probably a good example of what we could expect from a system that contemplates full ownership of one’s efforts and results.

      So, I don’t see our “addiction to growth” as an issue either way. Quite the contrary. It is the human desire to improve our condition that drives innovation and growth.

      Many counter my argument with the old refrain that government is needed to look after those who cannot look after themselves. From the empirical point of view, it is clear that individuals and communities can be counted upon to provide assistance and succour those in need. Even at a time when the United Nations and various government sponsored entities purport to bring aid and relief to the poor, the displaced and the dispossessed, you can still find hundreds of individuals that giver their own time and marshal private resources to provide assistance to those that the government screws over or overlooks.

      It is in my opinion a fallacy to say that we need a central power to provide for the defenceless and the needy. Once this train of thought is entrenched in the public psyche, then it becomes a matter of sophistry rather than rationality to establish whom is defenceless and whom may be needy.

      Similarly, those that counter the argument for the need of greater personal responsibility by pointing out the depredations that people suffered during, for example, times of individual money issuers as was the case during the latter half of the 1800s in the nascent USA, completely miss the point. Their argument of central control is a misdirection because we have effectively foregone a system based on liberty and personal responsibility where individuals may indeed have been conned occasionally, in favour of a system where one central power continually and pervasively conns everyone by dangling the carrot of “growth”. A growth, I might add, that is shown empirically and arithmetically to be no such thing and is instead a mechanism for the transfer of real wealth.

      • Roger Glyndwr Lewis (@RogerGLewis) Says:

        Guido my point about Growth is to do with the need for 3% growth to sustain the interest on debt based money. With respect to how people can manage resources more effectively as autonomous communities, I need no convincing of that. For me though money needs to be detached from usury and debt. This is quite different from Credit and commerce and human social and trading interactions which do not need Capitalism, a state or a centralised money ´´Authority´´public or private. Money creation belongs in the commons. There are lots of fallacies pertaining to private ownership as well Guido. Mutualism is a profound driver of progress and inclusion, by its nature Private ownership is exclusive. For a future money, industry and commerce one has to think outside of the old paradigms and consider how best to harness the potential within societies without a doubt monetary reform or actually the re invention of something quite different from Money as we have known it as well as a Political Economy quite different to those we have known as well.
        On Future potentials I like this take on the future from James Burke.

        • guidoamm Says:

          Indeed. Money should merely be a vehicle of exchange that maintains the value of what is exchanged. Thus, money should offer full ownership. If you exchange your time and skill for 8 hours a week and receive money in exchange, that money must maintain the value of your effort.

          But this can only happen if you own outright the money you receive.

          Personally, I cannot see a world where personal property does not exist.

          Private ownership is not perfect. But attempts at mutualism have not yielded desirable results even within communities that sprang up with the intention of instituting mutualism. I think for example of the Damanhoorians who, in my mind, have reached the greatest development in communal living. But even they had to backpedal on the question of private ownership of some things.

          Mutualism seems to work best when communities live in commune with nature as is the case of certain primitive tribes in the Amazon basin notably. Mutualism seems to be viable there. But, I am uncertain of viable communities of individuals that produce goods and services where mutualism has been thoroughly successful?

          • Roger Glyndwr Lewis (@RogerGLewis) Says:

            Hi Guido,

            Are there any successful societies that you can point at today? How one distinguishes between Private ownership of limited resources and how one defines personal ownership of personal goods is not really a very subtle distinction but one which is often missed. Henry George makes the distinction very clearly and without a commons ultimately you will be left with the haves and have nots. In a world where there is potential for all to have and there to be no have nots one has to re think a lot of certainties which we hold dear. How private/personal ownership of money answers the problem of giving everyone a fair crack of the whip in respect of the fundamental means of production is a question I would like to hear your answer to.

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