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urbanspaceman



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 325
Location: London , UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: What is money? Reply with quote

What is money?

The recent passing of the bailout bill is enough to make us plunge into deep emotional depressions, far ahead of any world-wide financial ones, and reel in horror at the brazenness of all time greed, corruption, and duplicity in politics. Wealth is being transferred towards the upper classes at an ever increasing rate, towards a kind of centralized global feudalism.

Many of us on this forum are aware of the problem. We've watched documentaries like "The Money Masters", "Money and Debt", [ http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936&ei , http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279&hl=en ] and read articles with similar themes that expose how money can be used to control and steal wealth from others. But knowing the problem is only half the work we need to do. If we are going to start educating others about what's going on, I've certainly found people will turn off if you don't also give them a positive solution. What you get is "oh, so the world's going to shit, thanks for telling me, buddy!" and they don't want to hear any more. And rightly so. I want to encourage other posters to start focusing on the positives, on how to turn the slide toward global feudalism around. If the current money system is being used for evil, what is our model for making it good, fair, and healthy?

Buried under the market detail of the "Globalist Crash-Con-omics" thread, I humbly asked "What is money?", and encouraged Fintan to do an audio on this topic, which he said he might. I hope you do, Fintan. I think we need to have a solid definition of "what is money?" if we are going to offer solutions.

Some might say money is evil in itself, and that's the problem, but I don't quite accept that. Money is a tool, like a hammer is. You can use it to build a house, or use it to kill someone, so in a way its morally neutral on its own. If we banned hammers because of the danger of them being used as murder weapons, we would also be homeless. So getting rid of money altogether is a throwing-the-baby-out solution. Returning to a bartering system completely is very limiting (what if you want to buy a loaf of bread and all you have is a Ferrari?), so money, used ethically, does allow for more freedom. But the big question is: how is money used ethically?

The short answer, I suggest, is that a money system is ethical if the money in circulation equals wealth. It doesn't matter what the form of money is, as long as it equals the wealth that really exists, and in effect wealth is what is being traded. Many people are fooled into thinking money and wealth are the same thing, which they are not. Money SHOULD be a representation of wealth. This of course leads us to a more difficult question: What is wealth?

In the final analysis, wealth is not a tangible thing exactly. Wealth is another word for well-being. If I have more freedom, more love, more pleasure, more free time, more satisfaction, more beauty, and more enlightenment, I have greater well-being, and therefore I am wealthy. It seems very philosophical and abstract, but that is what wealth really is in hard fact. Some economists will talk about products -- material things -- and how having them or the ability to make them is what wealth is about. This is partly true, but only indirectly. Material goods are great, but only as far as they add freedom, beauty, pleasure, and enlightenment to our lives. If a product TAKES AWAY freedom, beauty, pleasure, and enlightenment from you, it's hard to call yourself wealthy for having it!

Another poster reminded me of 2 parables, "Stranded on the Island of Salvation" and "The Kingdom of Moltz", [ http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1549 , http://www.svpvril.com/pdffiles/Schiff_King_Moltz.pdf ]which attempt to explain by analogy the evils of the current money system. The later is a pretty good explanation of why inflation is a deception by those issuing the money in order to steal wealth. The "Island of Salvation" parable isn't quite as convincing for me, as it argues that a bank issues $1000 (for example), and charges interest, that interest can never ever be paid back because only $1000 exists. It doesn't take into account that more money can be created (healthily, fairly, and morally, and without inflation) as long as there is something of wealth to back it. For example, you may pay money to see a band or a stand-up comic, and you are paying for the entertainment or the fact that a talented comedian made you laugh. It's something that makes you feel good, increases your well-being, and you are richer in genuine wealth terms for seeing it, so such a thing can be represented or exchanged for money (in other words, money doesn't have to be backed by gold, or represent tangible goods, it should represent anything that increases human well-being). So these illustrations show how money can be used for evil, but I don't accept money is evil by nature. I think a healthy money system leads to a freer society, since it increases one's choice in trading with others, so it CAN be used for good and to increase wealth WITHOUT stealing wealth from others.

I'm not someone who's read much about economics. A lot of financial jargon is intimidating to me. But I do like reading philosophy, and I like to tackle the big questions, and that's how I'm coming at this discussion.

A relatively quick search on definitions of wealth through Google, and I came across a few articles by Canadian economist Mark Anielski. Here's an economist who talks plainly in a way I can appreciate and understand. In this paper he asks "where might we look for examples of communities committed to sustaining genuine wealth and the good life, both in the past and present age?". That's what I'm asking too. What's the counter-system to the current one? Is it returning to an older way of doing things, or does it need to be completely novel?

from http://www.anielski.com/Documents/Anielski%20Good%20Life.pdf

Quote:
Robert Kennedy, in a 1968 critique the economic progress indicator, the Gross National Product (GNP), noted that “it [GNP] measures everything, except that which makes life worthwhile.” He meant that while the GNP may measure the money-value of all goods and services traded in the economy, it fails to measure the things that genuinely contribute to our well-being, like the strength of our marriages, the health of our children, the quality of their education, the joy of their play. Neither does GNP account for our wisdom, our compassion, nor our relationship with each other or our devotion to our country.” Yet, these are all surely qualities of “genuine wealth” that should be accounted for.
...
If we were to hold up a “Genuine Wealth Mirror” to our North American communities, what might we see? We would see many positive things, like longer lives and good friendships. But we would also see many genuine wealth deficits. For example, my neighbours often complain about lack of quality of time with their kids (because they work too hard trying to earn a living wage) and crushing financial debt loads, like mortgages (which incidentally comes from the French meaning “a pledge unto death”). They speak about job insecurity in an economy which Harvard economist Juliet Schor calls a “squirrel cage of capitalism.” A further genuine wealth diagnosis reveals liabilities like: high suicide rates, obesity, Ritalin for kids, Viagra for men, alcohol, drug and junk food addictions.

Our Genuine Wealth Mirror would also show unprecedented levels of financial debt. The average U.S. and Canadian household debt load now eclipses annual average household income. Add to this the growing government and corporate debt, and in the U.S., the growing trade deficit, and we see how debt sucks the life energy from society as more production and more consumption is required just to service the interest payments.

Moreover, interest on debt is one of the world’s most powerful instruments for redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich. Those with just a bit too little to get by wind up paying much more for their home, college education, or car because of the interest payments. Those with a bit more than they need, can “rent” their extra money out for interest, thus getting richer without having to do any extra work.

And even if we personally choose not to borrow money, we can’t escape the consequences of the debt system. German economist, Margrit Kennedy, has estimated that between 30-50% of the costs of all goods and services in the German economy are imbedded interest costs. The numbers are undoubtedly the same in the U.S. and Canada. That means that up to half of our work week is spent simply paying the interest on our own indebtedness, on government indebtedness through taxes, and on business indebtedness through our purchases. Surely, this is not a model of the good life and building genuine wealth?
...
But can we find such examples of the honouring of genuine wealth and the good life in today’s world? In 2003 I journeyed to Stockholm, Sweden and to the Italian region of Emilia Romagna find out.
...
Emilia Romagna [in Italy] is also economically prosperous, with one of the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Europe. This is due to a highly successful co- operative economy comprised of over 15,000 businesses enterprises that are networked through cooperative business associations. Highly entrepreneurial, there is one enterprise for every ten citizens. The economic model and philosophy of Emilia Romagna is unique balancing the principles of competition (efficiency), equity (fair distribution) and solidarity or cooperation (sharing and reciprocity). In addition, there is a profound sense of reverence and relationship to the fertile land of the Po River valley that these people have farmed for more than 2,000 years.

Professor Stefano Zamagni, former dean of economics at Europe’s oldest university, the University of Bologna (est. 1087), is one of the key architects of the Emilia Rogmana cooperative economic model. Over dinner with Stefano and his economic historian wife Vera, he noted that central to Emilia Rogmana’s quality of life is a shared sense of responsibility, amongst all citizens, for a balanced economy that encourages entrepreneurship and efficiency while recognizing the inherent strength of cooperation in matters of both commerce and social welfare. Indeed, cooperation is evident wherever you turn in Emilia Romagna and the results are a more trusting and cohesive community.

While these genuine well-being outcomes may be hard to measure quantitatively the quality of life is evident on people’s faces and their love of food. When I asked Emilia Romagna’s Finance Minister Flavio Del Bono how they are measuring their social capital, he simply noted “we aren’t” and said simply “come, see and experience Emilia Romagna for yourself; enjoy our food and hospitality.” It was all the evidence I needed to be convinced that Emilia Rogmana is a modern example of a good life economy and a community dedicated to building genuine wealth.


If more people know what a healthy economy is, what money and wealth is [or should be, rather], would there have been more protests about the bailout? Would they have been fooled or confused less easily? Would they have known instantly how damaging pumping $850 billion (unbacked by any real wealth) into the economy might be in the near future?
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Fintan
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are killer posts by Hawkwind, Jerry Fletcher,
Cracrocrates and Ozregeneration
--which lay bare
the roots of money and the financial trap into which
we are currently locked:

Quote:
THE ROOTS OF MONEY

Hawkwind:
The trap is found in the 14th amendment of the constitution....
a contract forced on you at birth, involuntarily, bound by your acceptance of a "birth certificate".
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=328#328

Jerry Fletcher
After a few lost months, a million links, and a lot of reading, I came to the conclusion that the origins of the media psyop we refer to as 'western culture' could be seen in the cultural 'explosion' of the 15th century Florentine Renaissance which was fueled by the 'rediscovery' of classical antiquity.

Emerging on the heels of the Venetian Empire, which made the wealth of global trade available to the privileged residents of the Mediterranean, the 'discoveries' of 'Ancient Rome' and such supported the validity of the new social institutions introduced during this period, namely, banking, academia, and 'Roman Style' civil government.

I came to the conclusion that much of work toward instituting the institutions of western humanism was done by members of the extremely influential and powerful Medici Family from Florence.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=28361#28361

Passport In International Law:
A document issued to a neutral merchant vessel, by her own government, during the progress of a war, and to be carried on the voyage, containing a sufficient description of the vessel, master, voyage, and cargo to evidence her nationality and protect her against the cruisers of the belligerent powers.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=582#582

There's the matrix again - just look through the gold fringed window. Who knew 'courtroom drama' was actually some kind of freaky pirate fantasy role playing game? Would have been nice if they mentioned they were also putting together a Law of the Sea, that it would only exist in the 'minds of man', and that they were going to use it to subtly take over the world.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=632#632

Ozregeneration
I've been researching this and other related subjects for about 12 months now via articles and audios, and I think I could keep going for the rest of my life and still not get totally on top of what is going on. But as of this moment, I believe there are a few people who have quite a handle on what has gone down.

Now as far as the Certificate of Live Birth goes, the most knowledgable researcher in this area would probably be Barton Buhtz. Based on a report he wrote, Barton gave a couple of radio interviews (they are no longer accessable) which explained the whole Certificate process. Now from these audios I put (as best I could) together a flow chart in MS Word of this process if you are interested.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=327#327

5th Floor ________ Political Law
4th Floor ________ Statutory Law Courts
3rd Floor ________ Common Law Contract Constitution
2nd Floor ________ Commercial Law Interaction amongst people
1st Floor ________ Natural Law
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=371#371

In the 1930’s Federal legislation provided for legislation of babies through “Applications for Certificates of Live Birth”. Some implied that this was so government workers could get maternity leave with pay. The States pushed for registration of cars through “Applications for Certificates of Title” and for registration of land through “Applications for Deeds of Trust”. We forget that the original Land Patent Titles that were presented to private enterprise and private Individuals had no prior and superior claim.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=465#465

Bankruptcy lasts for 70 years. Original declaration of bankruptcy was declared in 1789, which had to do with the U.S. taking over the bankruptcy of the colonies. 70 years later brought it up to the Civil War and began the second period of bankruptcy. The only available assets were the freehold land in the south. So the Federal government waged war on the south to gain the land to put up as surety for the bankruptcy, otherwise the Bank of England would foreclose on the loan and taken everything. 70 years later brings it up to 1929-30 and the debt still hadn’t been paid off. So for the third period of bankruptcy, the people were put up as surety for the bankruptcy via the birth certificate. So for another 70 years period of bankruptcy the people’s labour has been put up as surety. During this time the debt HAS been paid and from 1999 the people are no longer required to be slaves to the debt. Hence from that point on we are able to use our exemption account.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=635#635


These are some of my understandings of what our courts and laws are all about. This is only my understanding and should NOT be taken as legal advice.

It is all commerce and ever statute, every act, has a monetary value (bond) attached to it.

It is all about balancing the books.

No body needs to go to prison and the only reason you do is because you have consented.

Never go to court unless you have first settled the matter administratively first by getting agreement between the parties concerned. Once this is done then it is basically 'rubber stamped' in court. Further, by doing so, you then have settled the matter both on the private side (administration/paper work) and the public side (court).
Facts are made up of well plead facts and assumed facts.
When you plead not guilty, you are pleading not guilty to the well plead facts (defendant is JOE BLOGGS, car was on such and such road in the city of WONDERLAND), as well as the assumed facts (living breathing soul Joe Bloggs is the same corporate JOE BLOGGS).
By pleading not guilty, you are the debtor.
By being the debtor you have lost in court before you begin.
By pleading guilty you have agreed that you are the corporate JOE BLOGGS.
The courts (now that they are no longer common law courts) do not deal with living breathing souls, they only deal with dead speaking coporate entities.
Truth can only be brought into courts colourably (so as not to let the cat out of the bag one presumes)
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3554#3554

Cracrocrates
HOW DID THE MEDICI'S GAIN INFLUENCE & WEALTH IN THE FIRST PLACE ? Imperialism (the Crusades)? Did they create THE WORLD'S first fractional-reserve bank, or something ? or were they the pope's first pimps...like the stereotypical (italian ?)mob
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=28379#28379

Kasparov makes the point that Roman numerals make it impossible to do multi-step calculations (or even addition/subtraction) and the Roman system has no "zero," so how did they do all those astronomical and architectural computations if believing the mainstream historical timeline. Also looks at progress in science and technology conflicting with the mainstream timeline.

Kasparov questions population figures older than 500 years using mostly info from Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. He's also as critical as I am of the "plague explanation" for population decline.
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=28613#28613

Quote:
The above posts are drawn from these threads

History: Fiction or Science?
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1081

Country or Company?
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=51

See Also:
money myth$ : $alvation i$land
http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1549

_________________
Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.


Last edited by Fintan on Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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atm



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



atm
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urbanspaceman



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That video is very good summary, atm, I haven't seen that one before.

And Fintan, you've planned some interesting seeds there, but I don't quite follow the whole thesis. You may have to spell this out for us slower folks!

***

Before I comment on that, I want to first reiterate my point from above. Understanding the financial trap (as Fintan calls it) is only half the work. Proposing a better way is the rest. If we only go around telling people "Well, it was only a matter of time, we're all fucked!" doesn't necessarily help people. I worry about us, in battling the manipulating fear-mongers, becoming fear-mongers ourselves, and only focusing on the PROBLEMS of the world. Most people don't want to hear ONLY about the bad shit in the world. Would you blame them? Who wants to be around negativity all of the time, no matter how bad things get?

Expose the trap, yes, but also explain how to escape it. Simply telling people they are trapped, and leaving it there, is almost cruel, don't you think? I hope we have the brains and the creativity on this forum to figure out an escape plan for others.

***

I feel I have a grasp on money created from debt (and how this devalues the currency, and how this transfers (ie.steals) wealth from the lower to the upper classes). But in the video above, and perhaps implied by Fintan's post (I'm not certain, though, we'll tease that out later) there's the message that money is debt, plain in simple, and perhaps it's always been from the beginning. I'm not sure I believe that argument. It seems to me that there is some money in the system that represents real wealth, things from my labour, to produced goods, to works of art, etc. It appears the vast majority is based on debt today (I have no idea how much, or how it can be calculated), but some of that money is not debt based -- in other words, things of value that contribute to the well-being of society are being traded with money, but that percentage is getting smaller and smaller (I suppose one could argue, it's gotten to the point where the percentage of non-debt based money is down to 0%. Is that possible? Is that where we are now?).

The gist of your post Fintan, as far as I can gather, is that the banking industry going back to the Medicis stole wealth by creating money out of debt, and this process continued by others in the world banking industry by turning everyone in world into debtors. Is that what you are saying?

I don't get the point about the Medicis altering history (if that's the implication), or what it has to do with them venerating Greek and Roman culture. (And Roman numerals means the Romans couldn't build the buildings they did. A far-fetched argument, if you ask me). I'm all for questioning history and I have many views on the subject that are outside the mainstream, but I hope we don't resort to Fomenko's timeline (which is pretty absurd, from what I've read).

Certainly this might take us into a territory quite far outside economics, but I guess into history, philosophy, and psychology, and how the financial picture ties into Western values, spirituality (lack of?), materialism, and the never-ending abyss known as greed that humanity can fall prey to.

Again, this is all cool, I'm interested in understanding all sides of the trap, but I don't want to go over it endlessly without discussing how we, as a society, escape this trap.
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fourth horsemen



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thia may help a little...



...Sure helped me.

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James D



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Urbanspaceman said:
Quote:

Understanding the financial trap (as Fintan calls it) is only half the work. Proposing a better way is the rest.


Maybe this would work :-
Quote:

http://www.globalideasbank.org/site/bank/idea.php?ideaId=904

There was a time when people were so convinced that the earth was flat, that the idea that it was round was inconceivable.

Likewise today, the idea of a community or region issuing and using its own currency and running its own bank may seem just inconceivable.

But it has happened.

The Worgl Schillings

In the early 1930s the small town of Worgl in the Austrian Tyrol, suffering like every other town in Europe and America from the Great Depression, took the unlikely step of issuing its own currency.

Its burgomaster, Michael Unterguggenberger, faced an empty treasury, because the unemployed citizens could not pay their taxes; roads and bridges needed repair and parks needed maintenance, for which the town could not pay; and idle men and women earned no wages.

He recognised that all three problems could be solved if he could find the connecting link.

That link was money. The three problems coexisted because no one had any of it, and his simple solution was to create money locally.

He issued numbered 'labour certificates' to the value of 32,000 schillings, in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 schillings, respectively. These became valid only after being stamped at the town hall, and depreciated monthly by 1 per cent of their nominal value.

It was possible for the holders to 'revalue' them by the purchase, before the end of each month, of stamps from the town hall, in the process creating a relief fund.


The depreciation not only encouraged rapid circulation, but also the payment of taxes, past, current and upcoming. These taxes were used to provide social and public services.

At the end of each year, it was required that the notes be turned in for new ones. No charge was made for the transaction if the required stamps had been affixed. Subject to a 2 per cent deduction, the town also undertook to convert the labour notes into Austrian schillings.

To facilitate this conversion at any time - and thereby provide a cover for the relief certificates - the trustees deposited at the local Raiffeisen Bank (credit union) an amount in Austrian currency equivalent to the issued local currency.

The money was loaned out to trustworthy wholesalers at 6 per cent interest. Interest thereby flowed back into the town treasury, yet further facilitating transactions with the 'outside' world.

Wages paid in the new money

The burgomaster put this money into circulation by paying 50 per cent - later raised to 75 per cent - of the wages of the town's clerical and manual workers in the new money.

The workers found that all businesses in Worgl accepted the currency in payment and at face value, and the notes returned to the parish treasury as dues and taxes. Economically, there was no inflation, and politically, the money was unanimously acceptable to all the municipal parties.

Because it was a depreciating currency, it circulated with rapidity, boosting the local economy. Also, not only did people merely pay their current taxes in the currency, but also discharged their tax arrears. Further, many paid their taxes in advance because it was financially advantageous

[...]


And central banks don't like it so it must have something good! Laughing
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ManAtTheWindow



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a most welcome thread and I'll look forward to studying all of the links that Fintan posted. Plenty of food for thought there.

Similarly, the clip from "Zeitgeist: Addendum" posted by atm provides a clear insight into the inherent slavery that goes along with the present money system.
In my (provisional) opinion, the problem with the financial system is that the financial system is the problem.
At least, that is my starting point as I set out on this journey of discovery. If I find compelling evidence that warrants a revision of my opinion, I'll be open to that.

I'm an artist and, like urbanspaceman, I'm looking at this subject from a primarily philosophical angle -- I have no professional financial experience or ambitions. All I really want is to be part of a healthy, self-sustaining culture that is not subjected to tyrannical demands to pay taxes to the psychopathic parasitical plutocrats who regard the rest of us as slaves. Defining this culture might be a lifetime's work in itself but this thread is a vital part of that process.

Zeitgeist has its critics but I feel that its lucid and perceptive sections on money matters are bang on target. I part company with its assertion in the addendum that technology has the answer to all of our problems. Yes, technology is important, but there have been happy, sustainable and prosperous cultures all over the globe that did not depend on electric lights, solar panels or internal combustion engines for their sense of wellbeing. Technology can only solve material problems and humanity needs more than just material resources in order to be fulfilled.
Nevertheless, from reading Alcohol Can Be A Gas, it seems to me that the technology already exists for everybody on the planet to be able to satisfy all of his/her own energy requirements in a sustainable and ecologically balanced way. The real obstacle to realising this potential is the oppressive and repressive hand of beneficiaries of the corrupt money system.

Message to humanity - "You're not drowning because you can't swim. You're drowning because the Man has got his foot on your head."

I have a feeling that the spiritual aspect of the concept of wealth has been ignored for too long and at great ultimate cost. The Anielski article seems to recognise this. The money system doesn’t. There is no monetary value that can be assigned to the joy of spending time with your children as they grow up but the money system instead forces parents to labour, effectively as slaves, to repay debts that are extorted by usurers and collected by their henchmen. I don’t think anybody’s well-being is increased by this process but a lot of money changes hands.

However, I'd better read all of the material linked above before I comment any more.

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urbanspaceman



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really good posts from you guys. Ah ha, I didn't know that clip atm posted was from a version of Zeitgeist. It's been a while since I saw the original, so I didn't recognize the voice over.

Took me a while to get through the full documentary, and it's generally very good. Can't argue with the basic premise it that the current system is rotten and it is impeding the psychological health and growth of the human race. And, unlike the first movie, it does spend a good deal of time offering solutions, which is great. Although the ending was a bit like a cheesy feel-good Michael Jackson video (anyone remember "Can You Feel It!"?), I appreciate the sentiment and the bold optimism of Jacque Fresco.

But like MATW, I do have strong objections to the technology-only solution to the problem. Ask yourself this: would abundant resources automatically erase people's lust for power over others, would it eradicate jealously, envy, pettiness? Would abundant resources automatically cultivate compassion, the love for your fellow man? I think it is naive to believe that everyone in the world is a repressed Saint, and it's only social systems that hide the fact. There seems to be a lack of psychological understanding there.

Don't get me wrong, Fresco has a lot of inspiring ideas. I agree that current technology could eradicate poverty worldwide -- this is something Bucky Fuller claimed many years ago (the 70s?), and this is very exciting and a reason to hope. It would alleviate many of our global ills. But Fresco goes a bit off the deep end. Resource abundance would make obsolete all prisons, all laws, all elitism, all social class, all politicians, all merchants, all competition, and all money? And to top it off, it's the scientists and technicians that should run everything?

If I were to compare his vision to a healthy eco-system, it doesn't seem to share it's balance of qualities, and his future is a bit one-sided. I recall at least one biologist mention that nature is a combination of co-operation AND competition. There is hierarchy, but not CRUSHING hierarchy.
So it's not that competition is evil...it's when there's ONLY competition. It's a dualistic solution that says "pick a side", when the answer, to my mind, is to restore balance.

I'm not sure I'd want scientists solely running the future. Their moral fortitude and use of logic didn't quite get them on the sane side of the AIDS issue or the Climate Change issue. The vast majority toed the party line just like any obedient church goer. Can we solely blame the failure of science in these matters on the money system? The irony is, is that although most religion is bunk, religion is still the only arena in society that attempts to cultivate charity, compassion, and human growth within, so leaving morality completely to science and social engineering is half baked. Science is only as moral as individual scientists, and Fresco is mistaken to believe all of them are as caring and compassionate as him.

So I question the notion that money is the whole problem, and that we can live without it in a global society. I also question the claim in Zeitgeist that ALL money is created out of debt. (Tip: a rule that's served my well over the years, whenever someone makes and "all-ness" statement, using words like all, always, every, none, or never, it's almost always wrong. In truth, such a statement can only be true if it refers directly to the totality of all that exists). I just listened Fintan's audio on the other thread [ http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4711 ] , and if I'm understanding the figures Fintan mentioned, $60 trillion world wide is the 'real' economy, but the money supply is something like $2000 trillion, meaning 3% of money is backed by things of real value, 97% is 'invented'. Someone correct me if I'm wrong and I don't get this, but that means although the current system is mostly fraud, there's still a tiny bit (relatively speaking) that isn't. If that 97% of fake money could be removed, if interest could be outlawed, the economy would eventually be restored to health again. So let us say MOST of the money supply is debt.

I share Fresco's vision that we can get ourselves out of this social pattern of forced scarcity. But this would not automatically get rid of the desire to trade with others for things we want and do not have. Thank goodness in that future we would no longer have to struggle for energy, food, or shelter, but we still still may want goods or services beyond that that may for some unforeseen reason, still be scarce. Access to great works of art, to the world's best doctor, to some coveted experience, I don't know, but even in an resource abundant world I can still see the desire to trade, and if there's efficient trade there's some kind of money. It's interest and excessive debt that are the evils, not the use of money.

Someone echoed a similar point on a another forum to that effect:

Quote:
Certain aspects of the Venus Project idea, like widespread automation, will eventually be realistically achievable (to a gradually increasing degree), but other aspects, like the "elimination of money," are just horribly misguided (at best). Even after everything we buy and sell today is given to us on a silver platter by our robotic underlings (hopefully not overlords Wink ), we'll still find use for trade, and so it follows that there will be use for money. [ http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?p=1744476 ]


James D, I really enjoyed your post. I think you've highlighted 3 key ingredients to a fair money system, which people had rediscovered in that small Austrian town:

1) Interest-free money.
2) Local monitoring and control.
3) High circulation and frequent exchange of money for items of real value (ie. things that directly contribute to well-being).


The first 2 points reminds of Bill Still's lectures in "The Money Masters". He emphasizes that the main reason for the War of Independence AND the American Civil War had to do with Americans issuing their own local interest-free money.

Quote:
The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George the III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the Revolutionary War.
- Benjamin_Franklin


And Lincoln, after refusing to finance the war using money from the banks at 36% interest, issued interest-free Greenbacks.

Quote:
"... (we) gave the people of this Republic the greatest blessing they have ever had - their own paper money to pay their own debts..."
-Abraham Lincoln


True this was money based on debt, but at least with no interest the debt could eventually be paid back. An article in "The London Times" responded to the Greenbacks ominously:

Quote:
"if that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in th history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed, or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe."


So you're right, James D, if international bankers hate it, it must be good for everyone else!

So money must be interest-free, and must be tightly monitored and controlled by the people in the community. Outsiders should not be involved in the creation of a currency.

The third point, to keep the circulation high, is for the first time making sense to me (!). It's a way to keep money connected to the things that are valued in a community, that it is supposed to represent. The point of money in the first place is to make trade of WELL-BEING easier, but once money is hoarded or left sitting it becomes disconnected from those things that contribute to well-being. The more disconnected it becomes, the more a banker can FOOL others about what it represents...the banker can PRETEND that a stack of paper actually represents food, raw materials, labour, etc, in some unseen place. By keeping it circulating, hopefully trade of REAL THINGS occurs more often, not just the trading of MONEY ITSELF, which only serves those in the bloated financial industry. So a slow depreciation was an interesting way to encourage that (in the Austrian town). Bill Still's suggestion in the "The Money Masters" was to use a currency for taxes, and that would guarantee circulation.

In the past year I've done a fair amount of research on Ancient Egypt. Thought by some historians and believers in the Bible as the land of tyrannical Pharaohs, The Greek Historian Herodotus has this to say about them 2500 years ago:

Quote:
Of all the nations in the world, the Egyptians are the happiest, healthiest, and most religious


True the Egyptians had slaves, but many aspects of the culture show them to be sophisticated, technologically advanced (especially in architecture and medicine), and in harmony with nature. In my estimation, they were enlightened in ways we are only beginning to understand.

So what did Egyptians do for money?

They had no paper money or stamped coins (except under Greek rule). But they had an interesting system that kept their money tied to the goods they represented.

Quote:
The ancient Egyptian economy, based on redistribution and reciprocity, set prices in units of value that referred directly to commodities. At first, for the purposes of exchange and trade, the Egyptians calculated the value of goods and services in units that were directly related to the necessities of life. Later, the calculation was made in terms of the weights of metals, such as copper or silver, though rarely did these metals ever change hands. Rather, their weight was used as a reference for value. For the most part, the ancient Egyptians never conceptualized the use of money.
...
Uniformity was also assured through the use of tokens or tallies. During the Middle Kingdom at Uronarti, ceramic tallies have been unearthed in the shape of a standard loaf of bread.
...
Sometimes, these wages were very large. In one example from the Middle Kingdom, an expedition leader received five hundred loaves of bread a day as his ration. However, large sums such as these were probably not paid out in actual loaves of bread or jars of beer. This would undoubtedly be far too much for the expedition leaders personal consumption. It seems more probable that this sum of bread was actually a unit for measuring commodities.[ http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/prices.htm ]


Quote:
Three features of Ancient Egypt combine to make a unique economic system:

1. They had no coinage
2. They had no merchant class
3. Depending on their wealth, they could trade for all of the necessities and a wide range of luxuries.

Coins did not arrive in Egypt until after the Greeks. Although every purchase involved the trade of one item of merchandise for another the system worked surprisingly well. The deben was their monetary unit and it functioned much as the dollar does in North America today to let customers know the price of things, except that there was no deben coin. A deben was approximately 90 grams of copper; very expensive items could also be priced in debens of silver or gold with proportionate changes in value.

Since seventy-five litters of wheat cost one deben and a pair of sandals also cost one deben, it made perfect sense to the Egyptians that a pair of sandals could be purchased with a bag of wheat as easily as a with chunk of copper. Even if the sandal maker had more than enough wheat, she would happily accept it in payment because it could easily be exchanged for something else. The most common items used to make purchases were wheat, barley, and cooking or lamp oil, but in theory almost anything would do.

Unlike the Greeks and Romans, the Egyptians did not see trade as a legitimate way to get rich. Merchants were simply servants employed to find and deliver merchandise; they were paid for their labor but did not expect any additional profit. Temples and wealthy noblemen had them scour the country for whatever was needed. If in the process they picked up a surplus in some things they were made available for trade to the general population. Items were simply priced according to the cost of production. Over the centuries there were adjustments in relative value but these were fairly minor.

Most Egyptians were agricultural workers and so their pay was whatever they produced less taxes, rent, etc. Those on salary would receive most of their wage in wheat which they could either eat or exchange for other items.[ http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/economy.htm ]


If you had a currency that equalled loaves of bread, wouldn't this help prevent things like inflation, since you were always reminded of the real value of your currency? Might it be more difficult for a banker to declare out of the blue that a loaf of bread now equals 1/10 of a loaf of bread?
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Dr. Evil



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 83
Location: Deep in the heart of Cheney country.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
urbanspaceman wrote:
If you had a currency that equalled loaves of bread, wouldn't this help prevent things like inflation, since you were always reminded of the real value of your currency? Might it be more difficult for a banker to declare out of the blue that a loaf of bread now equals 1/10 of a loaf of bread?


This is a great thread urbanspaceman, thank you for starting it. What you said there really made me think about value. Value of the currency itself and the things we value that the currency provides. I'm a beginning web application developer for a company that provides data services for banks and one of my projects at work involves redoing a form for people to apply for internet banking. This project got me thinking today about how we are moving away from "seeing" our money leaving us disconnected from how money affects our day to day lives. For many people they most likely rarely come in contact with their money these days. From the gas pump to picking up groceries to a restaurant for lunch all we have to do is swipe our debit/credit cards and away we go.
Even though greedy jackals caused this current global financial situation, I can hope that it causes all humanity to collectively look at their lives and truly look at how money affects us all.

_________________
“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” - Albert Einstein
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atm



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Posts: 3862

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: The Creature of Jekyll Island Reply with quote

Watch, listen, take notes, learn.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8484911570371055528

atm
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urbanspaceman



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 325
Location: London , UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good presentation. It's been mainly Griffin and Bill Still, 2 fiscal and religious conservatives, that have been vocal about the corrupt money system for almost 20 years.

They're on record disagreeing with each other on how to fix the corrupt system. Both say to get rid of the FED, which, once you know the history and what it really does, is the obvious thing to do. After doing that, Griffin suggests returning to gold backed money. Still doesn't agree with this, as he suggests that we (or rather the government representing us) issue are own money (not the banks) and use that money for taxes to keep it circulating.

I agree with Still that gold-backed money is not a great solution. In this audio, Griffin seems to imply that gold has 'real' value, and gives the example that in the Roman Empire you could buy a nice outfit with a gold coin, and today you could buy a nice suit with it, so essentially it hasn't changed it's value. Not withstanding the problem that gold can be hoarded and be made scarce by the rich, and that perception about the amount of gold backing any currency can be manipulated (ie. you can lie about how much gold you have in order to pump more paper money in), it's not gold that has real value, does it? Can you eat gold, can you cloth yourself in gold, is it an energy source? Gold was probably chosen at one time because it was desired for its beauty, and that you can make pretty jewelry with it. But it has little more innate value than paper.

The problem is really one of oversight, to make sure the money in circulation actually represent things of value. Bill Still, being a patriot, believes returning to the American system as it was founded is the answer. A political system, though, is only as good as the people running it and the values they hold.

So I was always scratching my head after these presentations, because although they exposed the Money=Debt scam, they never defined what wealth and money (backed by something OTHER than debt) was.

Wealth is really an abundance of well-being. Health, wisdom, love, beauty, power, freedom. If you have those things in high measure, you are wealthy. So then what is money? It wouldn't be quite right to say that money, when used ethically (as in early ancient Egypt, as I mentioned above, where that value of money barely changed over hundreds of years) is a direct representation of wealth (because some of these things are hard to measure). What money should be, or can be, is a representation of the units of human energy that directly create health, wisdom, love, beauty, power, and freedom.

What's extremely difficult is insuring that the money you have in circulation actually mirrors this flow of wealth-enforcing human energy. The money masters are the ones that have figured out how to direct that flow towards them, hoard some of it, and throw the rest of it into an abyss. They literally suck the well-being from everyone else. Sounds like a pretty good definition of the devil, isn't it? The well-being sucking force!

The more I think about that little Austrian town James D mentioned, the more it seems to have good solutions in it. Keep the control local, keep the money circulating...that's at least a good start, and is slightly more satisfying to me than the solutions proposed by Griffin and Still.
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PatrickSMcNally



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

urbanspaceman wrote:
Bill Still, being a patriot, believes returning to the American system as it was founded is the answer.

The system of the 19th century was totally unregulated and involved money loans backed not by 10% but by less than one in ten thousand. It was able to last for that time because more and more conquests of territory in the west maintained a constant pattern of economic growth. That growth had to slow down after the North American continent was occupied, and since the 1960s the growth of US business on a global scale has also gone down. There can be no going back to an older era.

urbanspaceman wrote:
The more I think about that little Austrian town James D mentioned, the more it seems to have good solutions in it. Keep the control local, keep the money circulating...that's at least a good start, and is slightly more satisfying to me than the solutions proposed by Griffin and Still.

It's hard to see any benefit in penalizing people for trying to save money. That's what that proposition amounts to. When people are required to spend money to avoid losing it, they can never save anything.
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