“REVOLUTIONS ARE ECONOMIC”
Today’s the anniversary (not exactly) of the day when dozens of men signed their death warrant to what I consider to be the most concise universal statement of human rights in history if there ever was one, Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Consent of the governed: what’s not to understand? Nature’s God: he defers to the reader’s own spiritual experiences. This shot across the bow isn’t the nebulous Constitution. It’s unapologetically direct: The King did X, and we’re doing Y.
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
But if TJ were alive today on this anniversary, surrounded by millions of Red/Blue citizens of the empire who neither read nor care about this founding manifesto, to see that the King is not an ocean away but is rather your neighbor in a TSA uniform, I suppose he might agree on one edit: When They do G,We do g. I’m a voluntaryist, and by that I mean when we alter or abolish, let’s build governments by consent rather than coercive Government.
Individuals operate by incentives, and feedback is necessary for economies to improve. After all, Mises named his economic treatise Human Action and his methods praxeology, the study of individuals making decisions according to value and time preferences. Contrast this with the Keynesian top-down, fixed-formula-based, prescriptive approach. If civilization is what we seek, then no human relationship should be without consent, and no service ought to be communized: not education, not security, not dispute resolution, nothing. And certainly not currency. Are you keeping up with me, Tea Party? I’m just getting started; let me talk about political change...
Yur doing it wrong. Granted, I made my own journey from conservative roots to 9/11 nationalism, then to Atlas Shrugged, the crash of 2008, the original Tea Parties, to Ron Paul, to Austrian Business Cycle Theory, then to finally asserting that John Galt was an anarchist (not a Republican!) and the Ayn Rand Institute is simply controlled opposition. If he were alive today, he wouldn’t be running for Libertarian chair, either. He’d be an Agorist. What’s that? Let me explain what real change is about...The Marketplace.
Yur doing it right! Agora is the greek word for the open market, and yes it’s that simple. As much as one might like to rescue the term Capitalism, I must alert you it’s a straw man set up by Karl Marx and places far too much importance on materialism. It’s ancient, cynical, and an incomplete explanation for the creation of wealth. In truth, classes only exist because there is a State. Say that to a Progressive and watch her head explode! If you think you’re going to win- over the zombie populace with Capitalism apologetics, you’ve already conceded ground to the collectivists and corporatists. Also, don’t allow any economy to be called a free market until you’ve removed the most communist thing a government could do: establishing a monopoly on currency. Don’t defend any “free market” economist like Milton Friedman or the vested interests from Wall Street who allow this camel’s nose under the tent. Look to the Austrian School, instead, for an understanding of money and credit.
How could an engineer design a machine if the value of an input oscillated wildly over time, not from predictable phenomena but rather from rank lab error? How could an entrepreneur plan his budget if the unit of account changed in value daily, not from anticipated market phenomena but rather from the agenda of a planning board called The Federal Reserve? If one champions the free market as the solution to social problems, he must allow free competition in everything, especially money and interest rates, or else set up the market to “fail” and authoritarians to win favor of the masses. I quote my addition to the Mises.org wiki:
An Alternative Currency, generally speaking, is a money circulating without official recognition or enforcement by a State, in contrast to Legal Tender which does. Users of an Alternative Currency might prefer accepting it not only for economic advantages (such as speculation in precious metals) or privacy advantages (such as the digital currency Bitcoin) but also for its political protest impact on the Legal Tender monopoly of the official State currency.
Murray Rothbard defined a money simply as the most marketable of commodities, and that’s what the Silver Dime Card project is about. You can audit The Fed, you can end The Fed, but why not start by ignoring The Fed? If we provided a quick guide to the market price of silver, what would people circulate if left to their own devices? It’s about rediscovering the price system based upon a few universal barter items, in this case silver, for the not-so-distant future when all fiat currencies collapse. I know that we Americans are disconnected from the days of negotiations and market prices. We could use some practice in catallactics. I’ll admit that even at our favorite agorist gatherings like the Porcupine Freedom Festival the most renegade of us still stumble over exchange ratios of dime cards to FRNs to gyros, but it’s good practice. By getting a running start on barter culture, we hope to reduce the level of ugliness between people during the transition to a free(r) society. Then we’d be ready to advance to Bitcoins or gold- backed debit accounts, an existing market solution currently prohibited to Americans.
True, buying stacks of laminated pre-1965 US silver dimes isn’t the best wealth preservation strategy. Leave that to our friends at Roberts & Roberts Brokerage
, Silver Circle
, American Open Currency Standard
, and the late Liberty Dollar
and Del Valley Silver
. Our dime cards, along with Shire Silver, are simply smaller-valued compliments to bullion transactions. And retrofitting a vending machine, The Moneylith, to dispense silver, gold, and Bitcoins isn’t the best retail strategy, but it shows how ridiculously serious we are. To bring it all together, there’s our free Silver Calculator barter app for iPhone and Droid, now multi-lingual, multi-national, multi- coin, and over 10,000 downloads. More than anything, our flashy and irreverent Silver Dime Trading Cards are cultural kindling. There’s the “Bastiat 2012” group in France already making “dime” cards to supplant the dying Euro. You put these tools into peoples’ hands, you change the culture, you win. (At least with the ones who matter.) Politics? A Pyrrhic victory, at best.