Usury Hells Fuel and Mans oppressor.
Counsel for the people charge usury of its crimes.
Notes with links to sources.
The Emperor's Mint then is in this same City of Cambaluc, and the way it is wrought is such that you might say he hath the Secret of Alchemy in perfection, and you would be right! For he makes his money after this fashion.
He makes them take of the bark of a certain tree, in fact of the Mulberry Tree, the leaves of which are the food of the silkworms,--these trees being so numerous that whole districts are full of them. What they take is a certain fine white bast or skin which lies between the wood of the tree and the thick outer bark, and this they make into something resembling sheets of paper, but black. When these sheets have been prepared they are cut up into pieces of different sizes. The smallest of these sizes is worth a half tornesel; the next, a little larger, one tornesel; one, a little larger still, is worth half a silver groat of Venice; another a whole groat; others yet two groats, five groats, and ten groats. There is also a kind worth one Bezant of gold, and others of three Bezants, and so up to ten. All these pieces of paper are [issued with as much solemnity and authority as if they were of pure gold or silver; and on every piece a variety of officials, whose duty it is, have to write their names, and to put their seals. And when all is prepared duly, the chief officer deputed by the Kaan smears the Seal entrusted to him with vermilion, and impresses it on the paper, so that the form of the Seal remains printed upon it in red; the Money is then authentic. Any one forging it would be punished with death.] And the Kaan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure in the world.
With these pieces of paper, made as I have described, he causes all payments on his own account to be made; and he makes them to pass current universally over all his kingdoms and provinces and territories, and whithersoever his power and sovereignty extends. And nobody, however important he may think himself, dares to refuse them on pain of death. And indeed everybody takes them readily, for wheresoever a person may go throughout the Great Kaan's dominions he shall find these pieces of paper current, and shall be able to transact all sales and purchases of goods by means of them just as well as if they were coins of pure gold. And all the while they are so light that ten bezants' worth does not weigh one golden bezant.
Furthermore all merchants arriving from India or other countries, and bringing with them gold or silver or gems and pearls, are prohibited from selling to any one but the Emperor. He has twelve experts chosen for this business, men of shrewdness and experience in such affairs; these appraise the articles, and the Emperor then pays a liberal price for them in those pieces of paper. The merchants accept his price readily, for in the first place they would not get so good an one from anybody else, and secondly they are paid without any delay. And with this paper-money they can buy what they like anywhere over the Empire, whilst it is also vastly lighter to carry about on their journeys. And it is a truth that the merchants will several times in the year bring wares to the amount of 400,000 bezants, and the Grand Sire pays for all in that paper. So he buys such a quantity of those precious things every year that his treasure is endless, whilst all the time the money he pays away costs him nothing at all. Moreover, several times in the year proclamation is made through the city that any one who may have gold or silver or gems or pearls, by taking them to the Mint shall get a handsome price for them. And the owners are glad to do this, because they would find no other purchaser give so large a price. Thus the quantity they bring in is marvellous, though these who do not choose to do so may let it alone. Still, in this way, nearly all the valuables in the country come into the Kaan's possession.
When any of those pieces of paper are spoilt--not that they are so very flimsy neither--the owner carries them to the Mint, and by paying three per cent, on the value he gets new pieces in exchange. And if any Baron, or any one else soever, hath need of gold or silver or gems or pearls, in order to make plate, or girdles, or the like, he goes to the Mint and buys as much as he list, paying in this paper-money.Now you have heard the ways and means whereby the Great Kaan may have, and in fact has, more treasure than all the Kings in the World; and you know all about it and the reason why. And now I will tell you of the great Dignitaries which act in this city on behalf of the Emperor.........
- Tabula exemplorum, (13th century) as quoted by Till Düppe, The Making of the Economy: A Phenomenology of Economic Science
The national debt has, in fact, made more men rich than have a right to be so, or, rather, any ultimate power, in case of a struggle, of actualizing their riches. It is, in effect, like an ordinary, where three hundred tickets have been distributed, but where there is, in truth, room only for one hundred. So long as you can amuse the company with any thing else, or make them come in successively, all is well, and the whole three hundred fancy themselves sure of a dinner; but if any suspicion of a hoax should arise, and they were all to rush into the room at once, there would be two hundred without a potato for their money; and the table would be occupied by the landholders, who live on the spot.
Wall Street Owns The Country
This is a nation of inconsistencies. The Puritans fleeing from oppression became oppressors. We fought England for our liberty and put chains on four million of blacks. We wiped out slavery and our tariff laws and national banks began a system of white wage slavery worse than the first. Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master. The West and South are bound and prostrate before the manufacturing East. Money rules, and our Vice-President is a London banker. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The [political] parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us. We were told two years ago to go to work and raise a big crop, that was all we needed. We went to work and plowed and planted; the rains fell, the sun shone, nature smiled, and we raised the big crop that they told us to; and what came of it? Eight-cent corn, ten-cent oats, two-cent beef and no price at all for butter and eggs-that's what came of it. The politicians said we suffered from overproduction. Overproduction, when 10,000 little children, so statistics tell us, starve to death every year in the United States, and over 100,000 shopgirls in New York are forced to sell their virtue for the bread their niggardly wages deny them... We want money, land and transportation. We want the abolition of the National Banks, and we want the power to make loans direct from the government. We want the foreclosure system wiped out... We will stand by our homes and stay by our fireside by force if necessary, and we will not pay our debts to the loan-shark companies until the government pays its debts to us. The people are at bay; let the bloodhounds of money who dogged us thus far beware.
- "What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there." -Gertrude Stein, Everybody's Autobiography (1937), ch. 4
- Keen may well equally have replied to Krugman that he was not even wrong?
- they were cosmopolitan and international;
- they were close to governments and were particularly concerned with questions of government debts, including foreign government debts, even in areas which seemed, at first glance, poor risks, like Egypt,
“As Paul Ricoeur has”“noted:”“It is striking that Plato contributed to the construction of Euclidian geometry”“through his work of denominating such concepts as line, surface, equality, and the similarity of figures, etc., which strictly forbade all recourse and all allusion to manipulations, to physical transformation of figures. This asceticism of mathematical language, to which we owe, in the last analysis, all our machines since the dawn of the mechanical age, would have been impossible without the logical heroism of Parmenides denying the entirety of the world of becoming and of praxis in the name of the self-identity of significations. It is to this denial of movement and work that we owe the achievements of Euclid, of Galileo, modern mechanism, and all our devices and apparatus (Ricoeur 1970:201-202; also in Sahlins 1976:81-82n.21)”
Recollection of the famous passage in The Theory of Economic Development
(Schumpeter, 1934,p. 74) should suffice:The banker […] is not so much primarily a middleman in the commodity ‘purchasing power’ as a producer of this commodity […] He stands between those who wishto form new combinations and the possessors ofproductive means. He is essentially a phenomenon of development, though only when no central authority directs the social process. He makes possible the carrying out of new combinations, authorizes people, in thename of society as it were, to form them. He is the ephor of the exchange economy. In other words – as Schumpeter wrote in his ambitious and unlucky
Business Cycles credit creation is the monetary complement of innovation
(Schumpeter, 1964, p. 110):
Steve Keen Quoted here today http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-loophole-allows-banks-but-not-other-companies-to-create-money-out-of-thin-air/5501623
Quines Two Dogmas of empiricism gives many insights to the limitations of technocratic faith systems.
´´ As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries — not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits18b comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. Let me interject that for my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer’s gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise.´´
Most of all I like Rupert Sheldrakes, ” 6 mins 50 quoting Thomas Mc Kenna he says
”Give us one free miracle and we´ll explain the rest”
And the Pragmatist in me inspired by C S Pierce my favorite modern philosopher and one of the finest logicians that has come down to us says this.
CHARLES SANDERS PEIRCE: In order to
reason well …. it is absolutely necessary to possess … such virtues
as intellectual honesty and sincerity a
nd a real love of truth (2.82). The cause [of the success of scientific
inquirers] has been that the motive which has carried them
to the laboratory and the field has been a craving to
know how things really were … (1-34).
[Genuine inquiry consists I in diligent inquiry into truth for truth’s sake
(1.44), … in actually drawing the bow upon truth with in
tentness in the eye, with energy in the arm (1.235).
[When] it is no longer the reasoning which determines wh
at the conclusion shall be, but … the conclusion which
determines what the reasoning shall be … this is sham
reasoning…. The effect of this shamming is that men
come to look upon reasoning as mainly decorative….
“The House will forgive me for quoting five democratic questions that I have developed during my life. If one meets a powerful person–Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler–one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.”
Tony Benn Commons Hansard [16 Nov 1998: Column 685] Volume 319 Debate on: European Parliamentary Elections Bill , from 7.20 pm
Satisfying the demands of the persona is the fundamental human enterprise
Wells endorses Jung’s concept of the persona, which he regards as susceptible of education. “Beneath the material processes of economics lies the social idea; its driving force is will. The clearer the idea, the better organized the will in the personas of our species, the more hopeful and successful the working of the human ant-hill.”
Wells proposes that there are three fundamental types of persona that differ in many ways, but in particular in their attitude toward property: (1) the peasant; (2) the nomad; (3) the priest. “The first type is acquisitive, tenacious, and preservative; the second is rapacious and consumes; the third professes to be more or less aloof from possession and gain, and to carry on the service of the community for satisfaction of a quite different type.” Wells seriously entertains the proposal of Frederick Soddy that the “money manipulator” may be “a new type whose primary delight is domination and oppression through relative gain” but concludes that if this is so, “the conception pervading this book . . . is unsound” and “[t]here is nothing for it but . . . a class war against the rich and the able . . . and beginning again upon a different ground plan, with whatever hope is left to us, amidst the ruins.”
At the start of this talk Schumacher tells a joke, it goes like this,
A Surgeon and Architect and an Economist are discussing whose is the oldest of their three profession. The Surgeon starts stating well gentlemen surely it is mine after all God when he created Adam then made Eve by taking a Rib from Adam a surgery I would say.
The Architect speaks he frowns and laughs, surely dear Mr Surgeon you must see that God at first created The World and he did this out of Chaos surely you must admit that this precedes surgery and is indeed an act of Architecture.
The Economist shakes his head and thumps the table around which they sit triumphantly. And who do you suppose created the Chaos?
expressed in money, is called “prices,” while the value of money, expressed in goods, is
called “value.” p.49 (Commercial Capitalism) Quiqqley shows how Bankers make the distinction and real power lays in the Value of money and not the prices of goods.
These granaries are followed by those in Mehrgarh in the Indus Valley from 6000 BC. The ancient Egyptians made a practice of preserving grain in years of plenty against years of scarcity. The climate of Egypt being very dry, grain could be stored in pits for a long time without discernible loss of quality. The silo pit, as it has been termed, has been a favorite way of storing grain from time immemorial in all oriental lands. In Turkey and Persia, usurers used to buy up wheat or barley when comparatively cheap, and store it in hidden pits against seasons of dearth. In Malta a relatively large stock of wheat was preserved in some hundreds of pits (silos) cut in the rock. A single silo stored from 60 to 80 tons of wheat, which, with proper precautions, kept in good condition for four years or more.
We are thus aligned with the
position pointedly formulated by Graeber: ‘money has no essence. It’s not
“really” anything; therefore
, its nature has always been and presumably always
will be a matter of political contention’ (Graeber 2011, 372). As demonstrated by
Ingham ‘the mainstream, or orthodox, tradition of modern economics does not
attach much theoretical importance to money’ (
Ingham 2004, 7).
Studying this paper on the ontological aspects of Bitcoin, today I will be reading some of Olegs other work on FIAT money as well.
Sourced from this blog here for anyone else who is interested.
Such is, substantially, Socialism’s theory of Capital and Interest.
Not only do we affirm, in accordance with this theory (which, by the way, we hold in common with the economists) and on the strength of our belief in Industrial development, that such is the tendency and the import of lending at Interest; we even prove, by the destructive results of economy as it is, and by a demonstration of the causes of poverty, that this tendency is necessary, and the annihilation of Usury inevitable.
In fact, Rent, reward of Capital, Interest on Money, in one word, Usury, constituting, as has been said, an integral part of the price of products, and this Usury not being the same for all, it follows that the price of products, composed as it is of Wages and Interest, cannot be paid by those who have only their Wages, and no Interest to pay it with; so that, by the existence of Usury,
Labor is Condemned to Idleness and Capital to Bankruptcy.
This argument, one of that class which mathematicians call the reductio ad absurdum, showing the organic impossibility of lending at Interest, has been repeated a hundred times by Socialism. Why do not the economists notice it?
Do you really wish to refute the ideas of Socialism on the question of Interest? Listen, then, to the questions which you must answer: –
1. Is it true that, though the loaning of Capital, when viewed objectively, is a service which has its value, and which consequently should be paid for, this loaning, when viewed subjectively, does not involve an actual sacrifice on the part of the Capitalist; and consequently that it does not establish the right to set a price on it?
2. Is it true that Usury, to be unobjectionable, must be equal; that the tendency of Society is towards this equalization; so that Usury will be entirely legitimate only when it has become equal for all, – that is, nonexistent?
3. Is it true that a National Bank, giving Credit and Discount gratis, is a possible institution?
4. Is it true that the effects of the gratuity of Credit and Discount, as well as that of Taxation when simplified and restored to its true form, would be the abolition of Rent of Real Estate, as well as of Interest on Money?
5. Is it true that the old system is a contradiction and a mathematical impossibility?
6. Is it true that Political Economy, after having, for several thousand years, opposed the view of Usury held by theology, philosophy, and legislation, comes, by the application of its own principles, to the same conclusion?
7. Is it true, finally, that Usury has been, as a providential institution, simply an instrument of equality and progress, just as, in the Political sphere, absolute monarchy was an instrument of liberty and progress, and as, in the Judicial sphere, the boiling-water test, the duel, and the rack were, in their turn, instruments of conviction and progress?
These are the points that our opponents are bound to examine before charging us with scientific and intellectual weakness; these, Monsieur Bastiat, are the points on which your future arguments must turn, if you wish them to produce a definite result. The question is stated clearly and categorically: permit us to believe that, after having examined it, you will perceive that there is something in the Socialism of the nineteenth century that is beyond the reach of your antiquated Political Economy.
P. J. PROUDHON.
Review of The Tyranny of Usury
- 126 ff
The book advocates a socialist society in which work is performed to satisfy the needs of all rather than to generate profit for a few. A key chapter is “The Great Money Trick”, in which Owen organises a mock-up of capitalism with his workmates, using slices of bread as raw materials and knives as machinery. Owen ’employs’ his workmates cutting up the bread to illustrate that the employer — who does not work — generates personal wealth whilst the workers effectively remain no better off than when they began, endlessly swapping coins back and forth for food and wages. This is Tressell’s practical way of illustrating the Marxist theory of surplus value, which in the capitalist system is generated by labour.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
Steve Keen in Forbes again
I do agree with this comment though.
Jon Cloke a month ago
Unusual for Forbes to have an economist who actually knows what he’s talking about! Steve Keen is the original economic Cassandra, a man whose clear vision and massive understanding makes him extremely unpopular with the men and women of establishment economics.
If he has one flaw, though, Steve continues to be a rational functionalist in that he believes that capitalism can be made to work properly if the mainstream of economics can be brought to its’ sense and heterodoxy and modern monetary theory can achieve its’ rightful status as the victor over the graven idols of neoclassical economics generally and the gibberish of austerity in particular.
But it isn’t that mainstream economics is incapable of thinking rationally, it’s that it’s well-paid not to by the power structures that make a lot of money out of the system as-is; banks as intermediaries, pareto optimalities, supply and demand, equilibria, are and always have been unworkable theoretical abstracts that hide the inequalities of power which renders the system unworkable. Banks are not only powerful originators, they work on the IWBHYWBH principle, I Won’t Be Here You Won’t Be Here. So the powerful financial incentives of the managerial super-classes to keep destabilizing the system in pursuit of short-term financial interests will eventually overwhelm any and all efforts to stabilize it…
- Theory of Interest , Etymology.
- Consider case Barclays football, prenier leaugue.
- Is Interest ever questioned? Is it conflated with Inflation
- "cause to be interested, engage the attention of," c. 1600, earlier interesse (1560s), from the noun (see interest (n.)). Perhaps also from or influenced by interess'd, past participle of interesse.
- interest (n.)
- mid-15c., "legal claim or right; a concern; a benefit,
advantage, a being concerned or affected (advantageously),"
from Old French interest "damage, loss, harm" (Modern
French intérêt), from noun use of Latin interest "it is of
importance, it makes a difference," third person singular
present of interresse "to concern, make a difference, be of
importance," literally "to be between," from inter-
"between" (see inter-)
+ esse "to be" (see essence).
The sense development to "profit, advantage" in French
and English is not entirely clear.
The earlier Middle English word was interesse (late 14c.), from Anglo-French interesse "what one has a legal concern in," from Medieval Latin interesse "compensation for loss," noun use of Latin interresse (compare German Interesse, from the same Medieval Latin source).
Financial sense of "money paid for the use of money lent" (1520s) earlier was distinguished from usury (illegal under Church law) by being in reference to "compensation due from a defaulting debtor." Sense of "personal or selfish consideration" is from 1620s. Meaning "business in which several people are interested" is from 1670s. Meaning "curiosity, feeling that something concerns one, appreciative or sympathetic regard" is first attested 1771. Interest group is attested from 1907; interest rate by 1868.
- usury (n.)
- c. 1300, "practice of lending money at interest," later, at excessive rates of interest, from Medieval Latin usuria, alteration of Latin usura "payment for the use of money, interest," literally "a usage, use, enjoyment," from usus, from stem of uti (see use (v.)). From mid-15c. as "premium paid for the use of money, interest," especially "exorbitant interest."