Deflation Made Simple II
The Story of Real Money (Entry 189)
One could stop here having demonstrated where Western civilization went afoul in its own discovery and invention, but this would be a great injustice to the precious gift that our founding fathers once bestowed on our nation and Western civilization in general and the struggle of all true Americans to hold on to which most Americans once held dear — what we ignore at great peril to a way of life that once served us so well.
Indeed, some would contend that history is a thing of the past — no longer a concern of the present — and that a New World Order is upon us.
If it were true, that such an Order is upon us, then how would it likely play out? Would the logical outcome not be that of a rigorously constructed human ant hill on the order of ancient Indian society — a sort of hierarchical caste system in which the bottom serves the top to the chagrin of everyone with a different idea in between? In such a society from where would the opposition come to mismanagement and the arrogant decadence toward which all human society is naturally prone in the absence of sufficient checks and balances.
The Indian caste system did not fall from within it was defeated from without. Arrogance at the top led to lethargy at the bottom. The system was thereby weakened and became prey to outside predators. And, it remains today, however, transformed! Indeed, in the proposed New World Order with a centralized global government there would be no one sufficiently powerful to say no, when defiance were what was needed, as there would be only one top with no external competition. This is the promise of one world government.
Why should we stand aside while similar arrogance seeks to build a new caste system in the name of equity, inclusion, and diversity. This is not an eid that any Muslim would ever want to celebrate, let alone a Christian, or a freedom loving atheist. It would result in human misery on a scale to which plantation slavery would pale in comparison.
No, technology is not the answer to all of humanity’s woes. It is neither the beginning, nor the end of all human value. Rather, it is a relentless effort on the part of humanity to control its environment and each other. Technology is a story of control and manipulation with occasional important breakthroughs that can even bring liberation. No, technology is not science. Science simply explores and discovers. It does not invent; it has no purpose per se. It is simply who we are; it is part of human nature. Alas, the manipulation of technological invention is quite the opposite of the creative free spirit that advocates of a New World Order are falsely promoting.
Yes, technology can bring us much good, but it can just as well bring us much harm, and we must treat it with caution. Others have explored such folly far more colorfully than I even care to imagine. So, please do not rely on me as the final word in such matters. Have you read the fictional (or was it a non-fictional) biological dystopia of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), the fictional (or was it a non-fictional) authoritarian society of George Orwell’s 1984 (1949), or the more recently conceived fictional cyberworld (or is it contemporary reality) of Lana and Lilly Wachowski — the Matrix (1999). The imagination of human, free, voluntary market agents is limitless, and good literature reflects well the reality of its age.
In the end, if we do not come to grasp with the essence of who we are — each born with his own free will answerable only to his God or gods, and his fellow human beings in a state of nature that is forever changing, then I fear that we are lost. Our constraints are no less real than our imagination. Our ever changing state of nature is subject to certain rules that are not easily bent, and that provide us with sufficient order so that chaos does not reign. An important goal to all of us should be to understand which of these rules are immutable in the moment of our experience and which are not. We humans are genetically wired, if only little more than that of a primitive worm, and gravity is very real. And, cultural understanding that does not take these rules into account is no understanding at all.
Now, you may reject or embrace the notion of God — truly I do not care. What is important is that you understand that you are only one voice among many, and that you never take it upon yourself to speak for us all without our fully informed consent. This is to say, that we know what you know, and that what you know that we do not is not a part of your calculation when it is we who are affected by your decisions on our behalf.
We, humans, are unique, and our story is long enough, at least, that we have some idea about the nature of who we are, and what works and does not work with the passage of time. That we not allow ourselves to be fooled by the élan of the moment to which we are forever susceptible. We have such a treasure of knowledge to hold us at bay from such foolish vagary — a treasure that we have been accumulating, if not in writing, then in oral traditions, ever since we first began to reflect on ourselves and the world about us.
Technology, although it has the power to help us overcome certain constraints by allowing us to manipulate still other constraints, is in its essence about manipulation — the destruction of old constraints, or the creation of new constraints to render old constraints less binding — to achieve specific ends. It is the opposite of freedom — namely, the feeling of being content within the constraints already given, many of which, by the way, we should want to preserve — not destroy. We have only to look deeply into the universe to understand how truly threatened our puny, but magnificent existence, truly is. Without doubt, it is amazing that we have survived the destructive nature of creation that it is about us. Then too, should this not be revealing in regard to the permanence of certain rules about our own existence?
In the end, there are things to which we can turn to technology for solutions. There are others things for which technology is no solution at all.
Cambitas, for example, was not invented; it was discovered in the voluntary market place of free exchange and human interaction. As we have seen, the realization of promeritum had a much more difficult struggle, but it, too, was discovered — not invented.
Cambitas-ex-nihilo and its pretended, forward-looking buddy promeritum-ex-nihilo, on the other hand, were clearly invented — the former, as we have observed, in Paris, France, and the latter in London, England. Money-ex-nihilo was then, as it is now, a contrived perversion — a vulgar, distasteful, manipulative invention — of a fundamentally wondrous, human discovery.
History teaches us, if you have been paying attention, that without cambitas and promeritum the free-market place could never have evolved and flourished in the manner that it was once able. What is left to show in these few pages is the repeated destruction in which cambitas-ex-nihilo and promeritum-ex-nihilo have resulted, and our relentless struggle to overcome this destruction and prevent it altogether. It is a struggle in which we are still engaged, and in which we must and can still be victorious.
With no shame and continued steadfastness, I continue to remain skeptical about the future of cryptocurrency as a viable alternative to specie for the reasons already given (Image 11 and Entry 140), but cryptocurrency comes in many forms, and I must confess that I am researching my remaining doubts as I continue this historical account. This is not to say, however, that cryptocurrency does not have its place.
Finally, I would like to conclude Part III (Part I and an extended version of Part II for those who are still catching up) with the death of Louis XIV and the appearance and later expulsion of John Law as a momentary, leading figure of French finance. In Part IV, coming up very soon, we will examine cambitas, promeritum, and their ex-nihilo perversions from the point of view of the Northwest Atlantic — namely us, or perhaps better stated, what is left of our once glorious republic. Truly, it is difficult to find a very accurate name of who we are today — perhaps, the USA?
So, let us first conclude our account of money-ex-nihilo during the final years of France’s Sun King, and then on to John Law!
In liberty, or not at all,
Roddy A. Stegemann, First Hill, Seattle 98104