Democracy is Dependent on Money with Intrinsic Value
Totalitarianism is Dependent on Money That Has No Intrinsic Value
Champions of Money as simply a Unit of Account from Martin Armstrong to Kenneth Rogoff to Larry Summers to Christine Lagard are now all debating the various virtues of money being simply a Unit of Account.
Martin Armstrong tops them all by claiming money has never been a store of value. His two main arguments are that A) China "rose from the ashes" (whatever that means) without the use of gold. Yes, it rose to become an absolute Totalitarian Dictatorship. And B) Even when gold was money it "fluctuated in value." Yes, things with intrinsic value can fluctuate in value. That should be obvious even to a child. That doesn't mean they have no intrinsic value.
Larry Summers and Kenneth Rogoff argue that as long as money has even some physical form - that tiny bit of intrinsic value (the value of private storage) prevents the state from having absolute control over the economy through the use of negative interest rates. Yes, True. But is giving the State absolute control over the value of money Desirable?
There is a reason that Thomas Jefferson declared that Money is "Gold and Nothing Else." He was fluent in ancient Greek both in terms of he language and the history of Classical Greece.
Democracy was invented in Ancient Greece in about 500 BC. The Bimetallic Gold and Silver standard of money was invented a century earlier in Lydia (present day Turkey.) Alphabetic language was invented three hundred years before that in Phoenicia. (present day Lebanon.)
Democracy means Power (Kratos) to the Private Citizen (Demos.)
It was a radical idea, never before attempted in human history. Power to the Private Citizen.
It never would have been conceived if it weren't for the inventions of Alphabetic Language and Gold as Money with Intrinsic Value.
Alphabetic Language moved the ability to perform economic ACCOUNTING into the hands of the Private Citizen. Before that, only the Scribes of the State were able to master the Language that recorded transactions and ownership. All wealth had to be stored by the State (usually at the local Temple) and recorded by State Scribes.
When the Phoenicians invented Alphbetic Language, suddenly the equivalent of Ancient Corporations sprung up throughout the Mediterranean, and Private Trade began to flourish, because accounts could be accurately recorded by Private Citizens. Contracts drafted by Private Citizens were created. Storage units owned by Private Citizens were constructed.
But Trade was cumbersome under the Barter System.
The Alphabetic Language reached Lydia in about 700 BCE. By 650 BCE the Lydians had developed the first bimetallic system of Gold and Silver Money. This system converted a nation of warriors into a nation of SHOP KEEPERS (according to Heroditus.) What this meant was that the mechanism by which wealth was accumulated and stored was shifted from the State to the Private Citizens.
Athens soon after adopted the bimetallic system of Gold and Silver Money. For gold they used Electrum Staters from Kyzikos which they valued as Gold. For silver they used local Silver mines from which they produced their famous Owl Coinage (The Owl being the symbol of Athena.)
True Democracy in Athens flowed naturally from the empowerment of the Private Citizen both through the advent of Alphabetic Language and the invention of Gold and Silver Coinage. The Athenians were tremendously adept and developing both systems and incorporating them into the fabric of their society. Democracy became the first system of Government wherein absolute power lay with the private citizen. Alphabetic Language in Athens blossomed into Philosophy and Rhetoric which enable citizens to elect leaders through the force of argument rather than the force of arms. And Gold and Silver Coinage allowed the citizen to retain control over their own resources and gain wealth through private enterprise rather than just force of arms.
Many Athenian philosophers wrote Philosophical Treatises on the paramount importance of these cornerstones of Democracy.
Aristotle, for example, analyzed in great detail the importance of Gold as Money with Intrinsic Value as a foundation for Democracy.
He realized that wealth that operated as a basis for trade that could be privately stored, accounted for, and held its form and value over time gave the Private Citizen tremendous Power over its Government.
Two Thousand years later Thomas Jefferson understood the same.
Now this very notion is being questioned by philosophical ignoramuses who, whether knowingly or not, are making the case for converting our Democracy into a Totalitarian Nightmare.
Hopefully, they will be defeated.