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#1 2012-10-15 02:52:49

From: The Land of Guilty by Default
Registered: 2011-02-23
Posts: 5,892

Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money

'Fiat' is money with no intrinsic value beyond whatever an issuing government is able to enforce. When it enjoys a monopoly as currency, fiat inevitably turns the free market functions of money inside out.

Instead of being a store of value, the currency becomes a point of plunder through monetary policies such as quantitative easing.

Instead of greasing society as a medium of exchange, the currency acts as a powerful tool of social control. The second harm is far less frequently discussed than inflation, but it is devastating. The personal freedoms that we know as "civil liberties" rest upon sound money.

In his classic book The Theory of Money and Credit (1912), the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises argues, 'It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically, it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights.'

Yet the best solution to the harms caused by fiat is often dismissed even by staunch free market advocates; namely, allow the private issuance of money that freely competes with fiat as currency.

This would involve removing all prohibitions, other than fraud, abandoning monetary controls such as legal tender laws and all reporting requirements. In turn, this might well eliminate the Federal Reserve, although people would be free to accept whatever money they wished.

In his invaluable book What Has Government Done to Our Money? the Austrian economist Murray Rothbard addresses the strange reluctance to consider private currencies, 'Many people, many economists, usually devoted to the free market, stop short at money. Money, they insist, is different; it must be supplied by government and regulated by government.'

(Note: Technically, the currency is generated through a banking cartel with government support.)

History frowns upon that theory. Before the United States Mint issued its first coin in 1793, the 13 colonies were awash with an assortment of currencies that included both private and government-issued ones. Current fiscal reality also frowns on this.

Privatizing zealot Martin Durkin calls the idea of government guaranteeing the quality of money 'the sickest joke in economic history. Governments have always robbed their subjects by debasing the currency, but this abuse, in recent years, has burst all bounds of decency and sanity.'

But focusing upon economics and efficiency can miss the reality of how a currency monopoly is intimately connected with the violation of traditional civil liberties.

A key reason Mises viewed sound money as a necessary protection of civil liberties is that it reins in the growth of government.

When a government prints money without the restraint of competing currencies -- even if the restraining "competition" is a gold standard - runaway bureaucracy results. Wars are financed; indeed, it is difficult to imagine the extended horrors of World War II without governments' monopoly on currency.

A white-hot printing press can finance the soaring numbers of prisons and law enforcement officers required to impose a police state. That is why government holds onto its monopoly with a death grip.

In The Theory of Money and Credit, Mises observes, 'The gold standard did not collapse. Governments abolished it in order to pave the way for inflation. The whole grim apparatus of oppression and coercion, policemen, customs guards, penal courts, prisons, in some countries even executioners, had to be put into action in order to destroy the gold standard.'

(Note: Mises addresses "sound money," which is distinct from private money, but both forms of currency would serve the function of putting a severe brake on a government's ability to swell.)

Another way a currency monopoly threatens civil liberties is by permitting government to monitor virtually all transactions through the financial institutions with whom it maintains an intimate partnership.

Total surveillance is a prerequisite to total control, which is what the government wants to establish as quickly as possible. For example, prior to establishing the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) in 1996 - a form that financial institutions submit to the U.S. Treasury - banks were required to automatically report any transaction over $10,000. Now any activity deemed "suspicious" is vulnerable.

The monopoly facilitates a vicious attack on privacy and has become a main building block of the American surveillance state.

As libertarian Mark Hubbard stated, 'Civilization is a movement toward privacy, a police state the opposite, and tax legislation has become the legislation of our new Big Brother states.'

Much of the tracking is a pure money grab, but it is also an attempt to ferret out and punish "unacceptable" behavior, like dealing in drugs or politically dissenting. Indeed, it is criminally naive to believe the government will not use these massive and valuable data to target its critics.

Thus, people can be discouraged from speaking out. Controlling the information, however, means controlling the currency. Otherwise, anyone could mint gold coins in the middle of the night and release them covertly into the wild.

Equally, a currency monopoly allows the government to impose social policies that punish and control categories of people. For example, as long as banks function as an arm of the government, they will refuse to open accounts for people without state-issued identification and Social Security numbers.

Thus, the "undocumented" are effectively barred from the monetary transactions that are part of everyday life. By contrast, counterculture financial institutions often require little more than a username and a password to deposit funds. No wonder some politicians are pushing agencies like Bitcoin to open up their data to close government scrutiny.

The currency monopoly is vital to both the rise of a police state and the targeting of individual civil liberties. In arguing for a free market in currencies, it is important to claim the moral high ground by stating and restating what should be obvious: Civil liberties require sound money. And nothing ensures the quality of a commodity as surely as competition.

Wendy McElroy
Contributing Writer, The Pursuit of Happiness

mmm....shiney! wrote: House prices are the leading indicator of what???????????

Yippe-Ki-Ya wrote: gubmint meddling  lol


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#2 2012-10-16 01:25:40

Silver Stacker
From: 昆士蘭
Registered: 2010-11-15
Posts: 16,000
Trades :   102 

Re: Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money … currencies

"15 Fundamental Problems with Fiat Currencies" by Ron Hera

2. Coercion – Coercion characterizes fiat currencies because most people would not accept them unless forced to do so against their will. In the United States, for example, the replacement of gold-backed money in 1933 required the use of legal force (criminal penalties of $10,000, ten years in prison, or both) to compel U.S. citizens to accept irredeemable Federal Reserve Notes in place of gold certificates.

Fiat currencies are immoral because they are forced on people against their will and contrary to their self interest and because they are a mechanism for legalized theft through currency debasement. Monetary monopolies extract economic rents by holding hostage the rights of individuals to freely exchange value for value.  Central economic planning, redistribution of wealth and concentration of wealth undermine economic activity and encourage a culture of entitlement. Since fiat currency schemes are the source of exorbitant power, they engender extreme moral hazard, produce cronyism and corruption and foster a culture of corruption.

The woolgrower's target shall be the good thriving of his flock and its pastures, and so of himself and those whose livelihoods depend on his enterprise.
"The Woolgrower's Companion", 1906.


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#3 2012-10-16 03:06:34

Silver Stacker
From: The rocks
Registered: 2012-05-23
Posts: 9,610
Trades :   36 

Re: Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money

I essentially posted this on another thread (where I cross referenced to this one) but I think it was wasted there so here is a tweaked version.

Although it may be better to go back to first principles it is probably simplest to start by quoting a bunch of famous people who have a clue:

Vladimir Lenin wrote:

The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.

John Maynard Keynes wrote:

The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.

Milton Friedman wrote:

Inflation is taxation without legislation.

Alan Greenspan  wrote:

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.

Friedrich August von Hayek wrote:

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.

Sir Josiah Stamp, former President, Bank of England wrote:

Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen they will create enough to buy it back.

James A. Garfield, President of the United States wrote:

Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.

Can you see the common element? Quite simply the best way to get the opposite of all of these things and to increase our civil liberties is to return to sound money. Paraphrasing Mises "It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it is an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments and the banking cartel supported by the government".

"Ideologically, sound money belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights."

I (and others that I know) stack for the purpose of aiding the return of sound money, thereby removing these negative, distorting, immoral, anti-liberty effects at the heart of our current system. If you haven't already realised, many of the articles and comments posted on these forums are effectively about how the current system is unsustainable and will collapse. (Some authors advocate that such a collapse is mathematically guaranteed although I still withhold judgement.)

Some people seem to be aware of all this and yet they continue to bang the same old 'wealth accumulation through negatively geared residential property' drum. The standard methods they propose are fundamentally doomed however and the people who will suffer the most are most likely those who get in last. Further, even though exploiting the system for your personal gain has become a popular, main stream way for many people to suck the wealth of others to themselves, some of us have moved back to the old ways of acquiring wealth – namely work hard and/or work smart to make better products/services just like the good ole capitalist system encourages and rewards naturally.

To me, this is why "stackers" seem to be on a different ideological planet to those people who buy gold/silver under the simple 'Permanent Portfolio' style approach. I have no issues with people wanting to do the PP-style investments but I don't see the need for them to bang on about how great it is to exploit the Ponzi debt fuelled schemes to steal other people's property by stealth. It is the antithesis of the sound money agenda.

PS Numis, traders and dealers are different kettles of spiced ham of course - and some people can fall into multiple "pigeon holes".

Last edited by bordsilver (2012-10-16 17:21:10)

The only good tax is a repealed tax.


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#4 2012-11-26 14:09:39

Registered: 2011-05-24
Posts: 4,832
Trades :   

Re: Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money

Fiat currencies are actually nothing more than 1 example-instrument of government and its interest groups.
Take for ex the Bretton Woods gold standard. It was just another such example-instrument. Why? Simply because the redeemability of the currency in gold was a privilege granted to governments and its institutionals. Others weren't allowed to use the redeemability.
Wiping out fiatcurrencies won't avoid the theft. Gold standards can be manipulated just like fiat currencies.
There is only one real solution, that is taking away all the privileges of govt. In other words: make it a bunch companies like any other. That have to compete and cant force customers to pay for whatever at a forced-upon price.

Silver won't save you if you act as clueless and careless as with your bank account.
Get in- not disinformed. Last is easiest, visit & Co and hurry to their bullion shops.
Futures: … ilver.html #9
Central Banks inflict you less gold and fiat: … tners.html #19


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#5 2013-03-09 22:09:10

Silver Stacker
From: The rocks
Registered: 2012-05-23
Posts: 9,610
Trades :   36 

Re: Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. wrote:

No Government has ever said:
   - because we want to go to war we need to abandon central banking
   - because we want to go to war we must abandon inflation and the fiat money system.

Governments always say: we must abandon the gold standard because we want to go war. That alone indicates the restraints that hard money places on Governments.
In the old days, kings simply clipped the coins, kept the shavings and the spent the coins back into circulations at the same nominal value. Once they have it, they guard this power jealously.

The only good tax is a repealed tax.


#6 2016-06-30 22:31:30

Silver Stacker
From: The rocks
Registered: 2012-05-23
Posts: 9,610
Trades :   36 

Re: Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money


Have anyone seen one of the small/micro-parties pick this up in their policies?

The only good tax is a repealed tax.


#7 2016-06-30 22:44:34

Silver Stacker
From: Australia
Registered: 2011-04-07
Posts: 7,479
Trades :   57 

Re: Civil Liberties Rest Upon Sound Money

bordsilver wrote:


Have anyone seen one of the small/micro-parties pick this up in their policies?

That would be one way to lose votes.

Now stacking: World Junk Silver Coins.
Swap your older, worn, dirty fractional silver coins for fiat, .999 rounds or legal tender. 
Individual coins, mixed lots or bulk. 
Not looking for Australian, bent, holed or damaged coins, thanks!


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