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Real Monetary Reform

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Message Steven Lesh

2. if money really is debt, if it is compensation for delaying immediate consumption of wealth to which to holder of money would otherwise presumably have been entitled, should / can that debt, contrary to the laws of thermodynamics - i.e. to the universal law of entropy, the fact that "wealth rots" - be allowed to live and grow forever as it is passed from generation to generation?

3. if the whole purpose of the Industrial Revolution was to replace human labor in the production of material wealth with machinery powered by inanimate energy and money from employment is the only means most of those people have for obtaining what they need to live, what are we going to do with the people so displaced?

It is this last question which most urgently needs to be answered. For most of the last century, the answer has been economic sabotage, waste and war. For those lucky enough to still be employed or to have some other access to money, these have been the only acceptable solutions to maintaining a social and economic order which allows them to continue accumulating money, to continue accumulating obligations of future generations to supply themselves or their posterity with real wealth should they ever need or want to finally consume it, i.e. to continue accumulating debt.

It is either the height of ignorance or the depth of cynicism to tell the unemployed - after more than a century of assaults on the labor market by mechanization, automation and now off-shoring -- they should 'get a job'.   It is the height of irrationality to develop the potential to produce almost unlimited wealth and then deny the people an economy nominally serves the means to purchase that wealth.  

It is pointless self-deception to pretend that debts which can't be repaid somehow will be - debts that have been compounding since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; debts Wall Street's bankers and financial engineers have taken to preposterous new heights with their 'creative accounting' and financial engineering.   In an interview discussing a purported effort to "help the economy" Dr. Michael Hudson - someone who ought to know - observed:

It's not to help the economy at all. That's the really important thing. When they say the economy, they mean--the Fed means its constituency: the banks. And the banks' product is debt. And that's what they're trying to produce. *4

  In another interview, Hudson-- explains "Wall Street's product is debt, and it makes its money off debt." *5    And as he never tires of repeating, "Debts that can't be paid, won't be." *6   It is just a question of HOW they won't be.

Since 2008 the governments in the United States and other (once) developed nations have spent trillions of dollars and more than four years attempting to maintain the fiction their banks and financiers have been creating wealth and not debt.   Advances in science and technology, once focused on genuine wealth creation, are more and more focused on military coercion, on maintaining a global "Empire of Debt"*7 based upon exponentially increasing sums of money-denominated government debt.     Is this really the best use a civilization can make of the gifts bestowed by its science and technology? Is the purpose of life for a fortunate few to continue acquiring yet more money, more debt, more claims on the lives, labor and wealth of the living and of generations yet unborn?  

Or is, as the psychologist Carl Jung suggests ""the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."*8? If so what, if anything, should society reasonably expect in return from those who want little more than the opportunity to fulfill that purpose?

1-       Hyman Minsky, (1986 / 2008), "Stabilizing an Unstable Economy", (McGraw-Hill), p. 49,

2-       Frederick Soddy, "THE INVERSION OF SCIENCE and a Scheme of Scientific Reformation", LONDON HENDERSON, 66 CHARING CROSS ROAD, 1924, p. 16.

3-         Frederick Soddy, "Money Reform as a preliminary to All Reform", Address to the Birmingham Paint, Varnish & Lacquer Club, January 12th, 1950. p. 7.

4-       Michael Hudson, "New $600B Fed Stimulus Fuels Fears of US Currency War", click here

5-       Michael Hudson, click here

6-       Michael Hudson, http://michael-hudson.com/2012/04/debts-that-cant-be-paid-wont-be/

7-       The title of a book by Will Bonner and Addison Wiggin

8-       John Kozy, "The History of Knowledge: Darkness in the Academy", http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31302

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Steven Lesh is a retired software engineer with a life-long interest in economics and history and an undergraduate degree in the latter.
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