What Money Is

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anarkst's picture
anarkst
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What Money Is

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, look at the people he gives it to.”

                                                                                       Yiddish  Proverb

Economists tell us that money represents the value of goods and services, that money is a ‘store of value,’ and that it even serves as an ‘exchange medium.’  But, do you know what that cash in your wallet actually is? 

As all wealth is essentially accumulated labor-value, the conversion of labor-value to its money-form came to represent the value of human labor contained within an asset, commodity, or service.  This conversion, though, serves to disguise the true nature of labor-value, as labor can no more genuinely be converted into money than can any other form of true value (e.g., family).  

If money did not exist, and you could only trade your labor, in kind, would you find yourself toiling for all the parasitic institutions that now take a cut of your earnings?  Among other things, money disguises your labor, takes it out of your control, while making its theft practically undetectable.

If it was possible for a true free market to exist, then the value of one’s labor would be determined by what that labor would bring in exchange (another’s labor) at any moment in time.  The attempt to fix the value of labor through conversion to its money-form (beneficial for third-party trade), interferes with market forces, and thus becomes one of most important methods implemented by the owners of money (capital) in preventing those who have only their labor to sell, from securing the best deal the market may offer.

As noted above, the conversion of labor-value into money, which, in theory, acts as a ‘store of value,’ ironically, makes the very antithesis possible.  In other words, if you are paid in money instead of another’s labor, then, is it not much easier to siphon off a portion of your labor-value?  You better believe it is!    

Capital owners just steal it outright, while governments, having equally large gonads, take their cut right off the top of what remains (wage deductions).  Refusing to be outdone, other institutions find all kinds of inventive methods to whittle away at your meager earnings.

Money, as a ‘store of value,’ also presents other problems.  The powers that be have historically abhorred money (cash instruments) because, inflation/deflation aside, it can not appreciate in value.  So, if the vast majority of the human race has whatever wealth they possess in money-form, their wealth is relatively ‘fixed,’ even if deposited in interest bearing accounts.

Being that the wealthy have their accumulated labor-value in asset classes which have appreciation potential, not only do they accumulate their wealth by appropriating it from those who actually produce it in the first place, but further add to it by fixing the value of everybody else’s wealth in money, the kicker being that they then use this money for their own enrichment by (think, banking) loaning it to customers who trade back the same money plus interest (again, generally somebody else’s labor-value).

So the banking system has turned your labor-value into money so they can loan out your accumulated hard work to another and get even more labor-value in return.  This is the abstraction of money, simply an incredible scam that turns human labor into a medium that is manipulated to benefit of the very few. 

As becomes painfully apparent, the conversion of labor-value into money facilitates the exploitation of one man over another.  Without money, only a reversion to slavery or serfdom would allow one human being to expropriate the labor of another.  

So, next time you come face to face with that Federal Reserve Note in your wallet, realize exactly what it is, an insidious method to steal as much of your hard earned labor-value as is possible.  And that’s only part of the story…  

 

 

 

Thomas Hedin's picture
Thomas Hedin
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Re: What Money Is

and when given a solution to the problem, the people fight tooth and nail to defend the current system and it's by design properties to transfer all the wealth from the producers to the non producers.

 

John99's picture
John99
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Re: What Money Is

A potential new money system???

It's worth a look and addresses the problems mentioned above:

http://www.digitalcoin.info/

anarkst's picture
anarkst
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Re: What Money Is

John99 writes:

A potential new money system???

It's worth a look and addresses the problems mentioned above:

The problem stems with the institution of money itself.  And this gets down to the real issue, the problem(s) with all human institutions. Reality suggests the organisation of human society is for one purpose, the exploitation of one man over another (with rare exceptions).  If this is the case, I believe that we must attempt to understand the true nature of these institutions so that we can, at the very least, defend ourselves against them.  

Money was simply one example.  Essentially, they are all the same.

Crash's picture
Crash
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Re: What Money Is
John99 wrote:

A potential new money system???

It's worth a look and addresses the problems mentioned above:

http://www.digitalcoin.info/

Hi there,

Digital coin seems like a bit of a dissapointing solution from the creator of such a marvelous film as Money As Debt:

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-2550156453790090544#

The claim is that digital coin goes further than LETS. I would say it falls short of LETS cos in a LETS each individual human ownes the money supply. In Digital Coin, the big producers become the gatekeepers of the currency. It seems better than the current system because there is no interest/usury. It is also better because money supply is more closely related to economic activity which is where it should lie, but it does not wholly solve the ownership issue.

I am not saying that LETS in its current state is perfect, but its principles, being universal/individual ownership of the money supply, no interest and proper economic measure, are. It just needs some modernisation, perhaps, or a little evolution oin order to implement it more widely. I like Paul Grignon's attempt to do this here with digital coin, but it fails with the ownership part of the equation.

hugs,

Crash Xh

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
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Re: What Money Is

IMHO what is needed is a debt free note like Lincoln's greenbacks. A government issued note that carries no debt (interest) and is backed by gold and silver would be a good start.

DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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Re: What Money Is

Money should be a public utility to conduct commerce and to provide the necessary means to for sovereign nations to implement financial policies that benefit the people.  Today, in most nations, money is a tool for usury by the elite few that own all of the money and charge us fees to simply use it to pay taxes and buy the things we need.  

anarkst wrote:

So, next time you come face to face with that Federal Reserve Note in your wallet, realize exactly what it is, an insidious method to steal as much of your hard earned labor-value as is possible.

Well said anarkst - I totally agree.  Federal Reserve notes are used as money but they are nothing more than a promise to pay with more Federal Reserve notes, which of course are also promises to pay.  Does anyone seriously think that the banks or Federal Reserve will ever honor their promise to pay with real money?

We remain mired in the financial dark ages because people do not understand even the most basic mechanics of money.  A financial resurgence will only take place if people take the time to understand that we are enslaved by a gigantic Ponzi scheme and that viable alternatives exist.

We pay income taxes, have a national debt and are beholding to the banks because we choose to; albeit through ignorance.  There are no logical reasons for any of this, we have been conditioned to accept it without question.  The Austrian and Keynesian economic theories help perpetuate the usury be excluding the most basic fundamentals of debt based money from their pesudoscience bunk.

Larry          

anarkst's picture
anarkst
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Posts: 121
Re: What Money Is

DrKrbyLuv writes:

"Money should be a public utility to conduct commerce and to provide the necessary means to for sovereign nations to implement financial policies that benefit the people.  Today, in most nations, money is a tool for usury by the elite few that own all of the money and charge us fees to simply use it to pay taxes and buy the things we need."

Let's assume that the government did control money as a public utility.  No interest, no usury, less taxes, money spent into circulation, so on and so forth. Although this may solve several problems with the morally bankrupt use of money, it does not address the problem with the existence of money, in and of itself.  

You might suggest that we need to have a method by which the chicken farmer can purchase shoes from the shoemaker when the shoemaker is flush with chickens.  Perhaps the shoemaker needs carrots.  So, you have literally hundreds (thousands now) of types of labor which need to be converted into an exchange medium.  How can that happen?  

The answer is that it can not in any real way.  It does occur because the need to have money is more important than the need for the individual laborer to receive what his labor is worth at the time he offers it to the marketplace.  This is the primary reason that money is a scam.  Only after the magic of converting labor-value into its money-form, can the next level of thievery take place, described by DrKrbLuv.

Although free markets can not really exist, you can approach this ideal.  Only by being able to offer your labor to the market at that time when it will return the appropriate price, will the value of the product be closest to it's actual value.  This is one of the major reasons why the price of just about everything sold out there is so incredibly distorted.

Our so-called market economy is anything but.  TPTB distort every facet of the relationship between producer and consumer with the express purpose of funneling the proceeds right into their own pockets.  The richest 99.99% of all humans produce zero wealth.  It's the greatest story never told.

Thomas Hedin's picture
Thomas Hedin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 28 2009
Posts: 815
Re: What Money Is

Let's assume that the government did control money as a public utility.  No interest, no usury, less taxes, money spent into circulation, so on and so forth. Although this may solve several problems with the morally bankrupt use of money, it does not address the problem with the existence of money, in and of itself.

It solves what is wrong with our money.  It does not solve what is wrong with our society, but the majority of what is wrong with our society is caused by what is wrong with our monetary system.

John99's picture
John99
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
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Posts: 490
Re: What Money Is

Crash wrote,

Hi there,

Digital coin seems like a bit of a dissapointing solution from the creator of such a marvelous film as Money As Debt:

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?doci...

The claim is that digital coin goes further than LETS. I would say it falls short of LETS cos in a LETS each individual human ownes the money supply. In Digital Coin, the big producers become the gatekeepers of the currency. It seems better than the current system because there is no interest/usury. It is also better because money supply is more closely related to economic activity which is where it should lie, but it does not wholly solve the ownership issue.

I am not saying that LETS in its current state is perfect, but its principles, being universal/individual ownership of the money supply, no interest and proper economic measure, are. It just needs some modernisation, perhaps, or a little evolution oin order to implement it more widely. I like Paul Grignon's attempt to do this here with digital coin, but it fails with the ownership part of the equation.

Crash, As I recently saw an interview with the creator of 'Money As Debt', and 'DigitalCoin', where he invited constructive criticism, I sent him your response (anonymously) along with the link to the LETS website.

Here is the response from Paul Grignon:

"Hi John,

This is a mistaken impression.  
Anyone who could get others to accept their credit could issue Credit Coin.  For example, a babysitter could spend self-issued Credit Coin at the local stores if the local parents would accept it as change from the storekeepers.
pg 6  

Credit Coin could be issued by anyone as a contractual claim upon whatever the Issuer produces or provides in services. However, any given Credit Coin would have to be specifically accepted by the acceptor.  Non-acceptance is the default.
Acceptance of anyone's coin has to be opt-in and so you can try to spend all the Credit Coin you want but, unless you have arranged for your desired circulation to accept your Credit Coin, no one will take it.  
If you are a member of a current LETS system in which credits are kept as accounts, (and someone has to do the bookkeeping) you still have to have your credit accepted in order to go into the debit side. So there is no essential difference between the two situations, you must still have trust to trade now on future delivery.
The difference is that peer-to-peer transfer of secure digital objects*  renders bookkeeping and thus accounting costs and transaction fees unnecessary. It also allows total anonymity.  That is why I say it goes further than LETS.
And, each user of the system can add whomever they want to their accept list,  without the others having to.  Like the social networks that have spread so fast, this would create an entirely "organic" growth structure all created by free choice and requiring no organization or center at all.
However, how do you know who to trust to still be in business tomorrow?    Whose "money" do you need for sure every month?   Whose  "money" would be most reliable to keep its value?    Whose services are in most steady demand?    The answer is usually big corporations and government.
Given that individuals would have the freedom to create their own Credit Coin, so also would corporations and governments and if theses entities adopted the system,  the CC=buy/sell PC automated evaluation market would have to be established. Posting offers to buy and offers to sell on this market would be entirely voluntary.   And trading would be anonymous by default.
Each type of Credit Coin would have to be clearly identified by Issuer and would have to be traded so that the total number of buy and sell offers is known.   This last piece of information, and the history of it should provide a wealth of information for evaluating the Issuer's performance because it would be a measure of actual demand relative to company spending, providing no opportunity make things look better by fudging the books. •(i.e.  unique serial numbered delivery contracts redeemable for real goods and services from specific suppliers)
Please send my response to those who would be interested.
I'm very glad to hear that people are interested.   I may not have it all thought out and I welcome feedback.
The power for major social change lies 
1. in the ability to refuse anyone's Credit Coin. In addition to boycotting products, we could also boycott a corporation's credit by not letting it flow through us.  
2. enforced 100% recycling of "money" via the fact that an Issuer can only realize a profit by spending it.
Paul
DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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Posts: 1995
Re: What Money Is

Hi John, thanks for the Paul Grignon explanation...good stuff.

Larry 

 

anarkst's picture
anarkst
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Joined: Jul 1 2009
Posts: 121
Re: What Money Is

I appreciate what Paul Grignon is saying, but there is no way you can get around the problem of the relatively of labor-value unless everybody is self-employed, issuing credit coins for their own products.  My question is, how does one become an employee/employer without the system breaking down?  Who would set the value of labor in that case?

I see the attempt at searching for a purer form of money analogous to looking for a corruption-free political system or a holier religion.  It  is not the form of money/politics/religion that counts, but instead, the nature of human beings.  Once the abstraction (of money, politics, religion) takes place, human nature gains its stride.  We have seen this played out again and again throughout history.

 

 

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