Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Intangible Money Only Benefits the Fascist State. GOLD BENEFITS DEMOCRACY
Aristotle, though out of fashion in some circles, was a pretty bright guy. He lived at the absolute height of Athenian Democracy; which, not coincidentally, coincided with the absolute height of Athenian Philosophy.
Of course many great Athenian Philosophers preceded Aristotle. Parmenides, Heraclitis, Socrates and Plato to name some of the giants. But by the time of Aristotle almost every Athenian private citizen attended a rigorous school in the tradition of one or more of these philosophical giants.
Aristotle was distinguished from most other philosophers in that he sought to answer questions regarding the workings of the physical and societal world - especially biology, drama, politics and economy. In many respects he was the first art critic and economist.
And like most Athenians, he realized that Democracy was in many ways an amazing and important advance over Totalitarian or Plutocratic rule.
He wondered: How had this advance come about?
Aristotle did not have the available information to understand the history of alphabetic language, so he did not deal with this development that was so important in putting the power of rhetoric and accounting into the hands of the private citizen.
But Aristotle did have a fairly well developed sense of the history of trade and money. And he set out not just to analyze money, BUT TO ANALYZE MONEY'S ROLE IN HELPING TO BRING ABOUT THE ADVENT OF DEMOCRACY.
This is so important. Many people challenge Aristotle's treatise on GOLD AS MONEY. But what they fail to understand is that his treatise is really on the IMPOTANCE OF GOLD AS MONEY IN FORMING THE BASIS OF DEMOCRACY.
In a most cogent analysis he says that money, as a common measure of everything, makes things commensurable and makes it possible to equalize them. He states that it is in the form of money, a substance that has a telos (purpose), that individuals have devised a unit that supplies a measure on the basis of which just exchange can take place. Aristotle thus maintains that everything can be expressed in the universal equivalent of money.
He explains that money was introduced to satisfy the requirement that all items exchanged must be comparable in some way.
Within such frame work, Aristotle defined the characteristics of a good form of money:
1.) It must be durable. Money must stand the test of time and the elements. It must not fade, corrode, or change through time.
2.) It must be portable. Money hold a high amount of 'worth' relative to its weight and size.
3.) It must be divisible. Money should be relatively easy to separate and re-combine without affecting its fundamental characteristics. An extension of this idea is that the item should be 'fungible'. Dictionary.com describes fungible as: "(esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind."
4.) It must have intrinsic value. This value of money should be independent of any other object and contained in the money itself.
He concludes that only GOLD expresses all of these characteristics.
AGAIN: What most people miss in this analysis is that Aristotle has formulated what money must be in order to provide the MOST BENEFIT TO THE PRIVATE CITIZEN, which is to say the most benefit to DEMOCRACY.
It must ENDURE, UNCHANGING, WITH INTRINSIC VALUE in order that the PRIVATE CITIZEN can guard his PRIVATE WEALTH, ENDURINGLY, UNCHANGINGLY, WITH VALUE, AGAINST THE VICISSITUDES AND WHIMS OF THE STATE.
Obviously, if money is only to benefit the Totalitarian or P;utocratic State, then money need only be whatever the STATE DECREES is should be, simply as a UNIT OF ACCOUNT.
The point is not what money can be. It's what it should be to benefit the private citizen if we wish to maintain a democracy.