Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mathew Forstater — Alan Watts got it. So did Alexander Del Mar

Alan Watts, best known for bringing Eastern philosophy to Western readers, had a better understanding of money than most economists. In an essay entitled “Wealth versus Money,” he writes that money is a unit of measurement, like acres measure units of land. You can run out of land, but you can’t run out of acres. Here’s the passage from his essay:
'It was just as if someone had come to work on building a house and…the boss had said, “Sorry, baby, but we can’t build today. No inches.” “Whaddya mean no inches? We got wood. We got metal. We even got tape measures.” “Yeah, but you don’t understand business. We been using too many inches and there’s just no more to go around.”'
This is similar to Alexander Del Mar’s distinction between a unit of measurement and the thing it measures. Del Mar wrote that, “Money is not pieces of merchandise any more than…minutes are pieces of clocks.” Or Warren Mosler’s admonition that money is how we “keep score,” and the idea that we can run out of money is as absurd as the idea that the scorekeeper in a football match can run out of “points”: Peyton Manning threw another touchdown pass? Sorry, no points left, we can’t increase the Broncos’ score!
Mathew Forstater
lifted from FaceBook

Great find!

23 comments:

F. Beard said...

Or Warren Mosler’s admonition that money is how we “keep score,”

Actually, mostly how well some legally cheat others via a government-backed counterfeiting cartel for the sake of the banks and the so-called creditworthy.

Ben Johannson said...

I've thought for some time now the logical conclusion is we live in a post-monetary economy.

David said...

"The New Britain movement proposed four basic changes in the social order. The first was Social Credit, based on the economic philosophies of Major Douglas, Ezra Pound, and Frederic Soddy, who had realized that money was an abstraction, a mere measure of such real wealth as land, food, and clothing."
Alan Watts In My Own Way

There is an interesting connection between Pound and Del Mar also. Pound discovered Del Mar's work in 1950 and considered his ideas so important that he spent considerable energy trying to getting A.D.M.'s books back in print. Pound's publishers were for the most part profoundly uninterested, but his tenacity eventually resulted in some of Del Mar's books being reprinted. Were it not for Pound, Del Mar would be even less known than he is today.

Matt Franko said...

But the gold and silver were REAL David...

So this is interesting where you have people like Pound who see at some level the 'abstraction' and identify the REAL ie 'land, food, clothing'

What was Pound's relationship with gold and silver?

iow if you could re-write Watt's sentence there: "who had realized that money was an abstraction, a mere measure of such real wealth as land, food, and clothing and silver and gold." Then his work is of no help imo...

the way I interpret DelMar is he repudiated the authority of silver and gold, (ie he read Aristotle/Plato on 'nomisma' and was on board) BUT he still advocated for silver as he couldnt come up with an alternative system back then that could do the job like we have today due to the advancement of Information Technology since Del Mar's late 1800's...

imo without FULL repudiation of the authority of the column 11 metals, you cant understand what we are doing with systems like the USD system today... Warren terms this vestigial moronhood a "gold standard mentality"...

there are a lot of people out there still who are in love with/subject to the column 11 metals... those of this human remnant are acting as a major impediment to our being able to advance our knowledge about the current USD system to the others and they need to be strongly confronted imo...

rsp,



Matt Franko said...

Here's a piece on Pound that sounds like it could have been written by F. Beard with its references to "theft", etc...

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Hartley-Ezra-Pound-on-Money.html

"Here's the rub. If money supply grows faster than the amount of things made, then theft is taking place. The thief creates extraneous dollars and spends them first: at the time when the rest of us expect a dollar to be worth a certain amount. By the time the thief's dollars have been absorbed into the economy, we notice our dollars are buying less. This is inflation. The thief has dipped into our savings and traded with shoddy bills.

What happens when money supply shrinks compared to things made? Then a new characteristic of money emerges. Things made don't always last — take bread for instance. A baker must sell his bread in a matter of days, otherwise it's lost. Money isn't bound by such considerations. A thief can horde money until the baker's goods rot, then buy his bakery at a huge discount.

The “thief” in both these examples holds a special place in society: he controls the supply of money and “future money” called credit. Controlling money supply is economic power; it is a sovereign privilege. The people who really control a nation control its money supply. [1]"


ALL WRONG under our USD system... moron monetarist pov "quantity not price" garbage...

F. Beard said...

Actually Franko, Pound nails it in that statement with regard to inflation, money hoarding and deflation.

F. Beard said...

And btw Franko, greed IS a form of idolatry according to Paul's writings:

Colossians 3:5
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. [bold added]

I suggest you CONTINUE to read Scripture, as Paul did, lest you lose what you think you have.

Tom Hickey said...

Greed is one of the seven cardinal sins in Christian theology.

One of the big three for Sri Ramakrishna: lust (kam), anger (krodh), greed (kanch). The literal meaning of kanch is money.

It's one of the big two for Buddha — grasping (craving, lusting after) and clinging (attachment, greed).

Greed (lobh) is one of the five thieves in Sikhism.

In all theological traditions, sin is separation from whatever the ultimate principle is called. This breaks the wholeness and results in alienation based on attachment to something partial and illusory.

In the Sufism of Al 'Arabi, idolatry (shirk) is worshipping anything unworthy of worship. In Islam, shirk is polytheism, but for Sufis, it is attachment to anything other than ultimate reality, all difference being merely phenomenal and not actual. This is also the view of Vedanta, same idea expressed differently.

The basic principle of perennial wisdom is that is you "own" anything, even what you consider as yourself, you can't "own" everything, i.e., know reality, which is the source of abiding fulfillment.

Matt Franko said...

F,

You are over thinking it (as usual)...

Just read the words here:

http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/col3.pdf

nekrOsate
make-YE-DEAD

oun
THEN

ta
THE

melh
MEMBERS

umwn humOn
OF-YOU(p)

ta
THE

epi
ON

ths tEs
OF-THE

ghs
LAND earth

porneian
PROSTITUTION

akaqarsian
UN-cleanness

pathos
EMOTION passion

epithumian
ON-FEELing desire

kakEn
EVIL

kai
AND

tEn
THE

pleonexian
MORE-HAVing greed

hEtis
WHICH-ANY which-any

estin
IS

eidOlolatreia
idolatry

di
THRU because-of

ha
WHICH which(p)

erchetai
IS-COMING

hE
THE

orgE
INDIGNATION

tou
OF-THE

theou
God

epi
ON

tous
THE

huious
SONS

tEs
OF-THE

apeitheias
UN-PERSUADableness stubbornness

etc.....

F, Paul is NOT defining WHAT is 'idolatry' here by listing these behaviors, 'idolatry' is DEFINED ALREADY as 'offering devine service' so what Paul is saying is to NOT do ANY of those above listed activities (btw NOT just 'greed') IF those activities are being conducted as part of an act of offering divine service... THAT is what this scripture means...

Paul didnt want these people who may have wanted some additional balances of state currency to be going over the local temple of the 'god of wealth' or whatever and praying to the stone idol image there anymore... THAT IS ALL...

F, "greed" is 'pleonexia' which is SIMPLY defined as 'more-having', it DOES NOT mean 'idolatry' there is another Greek word for that ...

What are you saying? that if a person desires to save some balances of state currency, ie "more-having" some state currency, for a rainy day that just by that simple act they are offering divine service to the creation rather than the Creator and they are going to hell? LOL!!!!

All of these people featured in the TV show "Hoarders" are going to hell???? LOL!!!!!

F, you are going about this THE HARD WAY...

Paul teaches thru 'rote' methods, read the words and seek to simply believe them AS THEY ARE, Paul does NOT teach a 'creative thinking' process...

rsp,

F. Beard said...

Ephesians 5:5
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [bold added]

What are you saying? that if a person desires to save some balances of state currency, ie "more-having" some state currency, for a rainy day that just by that simple act they are offering divine service to the creation rather than the Creator and they are going to hell? LOL!!!! Franko

Of course I'm not saying that and never have. The Biblical ideal is investment but some saving may be necessary to buy an investment (Proverbs 31:16) and SOME liquidity is justified too.

Matt Franko said...

F,

"...WHO... IS... AN... IDOLATOR..."

The word 'idolator' here is a modifier of the word "MAN" and NOT a modifier of the alleged word there "covetous".

Paul had no authority to re-define the Greek language.... Paul USED the Greek language...

Paul is NOT saying that the alleged word 'covetousness' there is now 'idolatry' all of a sudden...

These are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORDS that are well defined in the Greek language.... dont over think this...

Here is that scripture:

http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/eph5.pdf

You can see that your translation that you are using is now translating the same word "pleonexia" in Colossians 3:5 as "greed" is now translating THE SAME WORD 'pleonexia' here in Ephesians 5:5 as 'covetous' these are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT things....

so btw your translation you are using there is garbage btw and is probable leading you astray to a great extent...

Look, all Paul is saying is that no person who is conducting themselves in those lifestyles as part of a system that is offering divine service to some pagan god's idol image has a future allotment in the Kingdom of Christ and God....

DUH! Why would they? BY DEFINITION they are pagan idolators! Why would they have an allotment in Christ if they are led to not believe in Christ and rather be down at the pagan temple worshiping the god of whatever???

and btw I missed the "hell" part here from Paul for these people too btw... where is Paul threatening people with "hell" here if they are not making the alleged correct "freewill" choice to not go down to the pagan temple of whatever????

All Paul is saying is that these people's allotment is not in Christ... so what for them???? That is all...

You are over-thinking all of this...

Dont belive me, here is another direct explanation from Paul which is better any day:

"5 For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords,
6 nevertheless for us there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is, and we through Him.
7 But not in all is there this knowledge. " 1 Cor 8

No threatening of "hell" is forthcoming from Paul here btw....

Not all had/have this knowledge at this time its not that big of a deal imo as far as mankind's ultimate salvation.

Get over it... rsp,

F. Beard said...

I said nothing about Hell, Franko. Where are you dragging that from? The same place as you drag your strawman positions that you attribute to me? Or do you equate inheriting the Kingdom of God with escaping Hell?

Btw, covetousness and greed are nearly synonymous.

Matt Franko said...

If you think all mankind has to do is close down the banks and convert bank accounts to postal savings accounts or whatever and then all of a sudden we will have economic justice you are seriously deluded...

Covert over to something you term "ethical money" (which is a non-scriptural term btw...) and everything is all of a sudden going to be righteous on earth and we will say goodbye to economic injustice again you are here seriously UNDER-thinking it...

rsp,

F. Beard said...

If you think all mankind has to do is close down the banks and convert bank accounts to postal savings accounts or whatever and then all of a sudden we will have economic justice you are seriously deluded... Franko

There you go Franko, strawmaning my positions again.

For one thing, I've never said the banks should be shut down; instead I've said they should be made 100% private.

For another, I advocate restitution with new fiat for the entire population and the equal distribution of the common stock of all large corporations. And also land reform ala Leviticus 25.

As for deluded, I read the Bible daily as I have firm hope in this:

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32 New American Standard Bible (NASB)


You, otoh, appear to be trying to make Scripture fit your beliefs rather than let Scripture transform your mind.

David said...

Matt, I would not presume to vouch for either Pound or Watts, both of whom have certain aspects to their biographies that I wouldn't wish to try to defend. I only wanted to point out that there was at least a whiff of monetary literacy among the avant garde literati in the first half of 20th century. Most of them weren't capable (or interested) in going too deeply into the matter, and some of them made a pure muck of it. Pound, it must be admitted, often had questionable political judgement, but his literary acumen was usually excellent. His early recognition and fierce support of several important literary figures including James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway is acknowledged but perhaps not fully appreciated. Pounds advocacy for Del Mar is usually viewed as an aspect his crankishness (or craziness). I don't agree. I think his basic instinct about the importance of the money system was spot on, even if his thinking on the subject may not always have been.

As to Del Mar, I think you are basically correct. His political position in the late 1800's was to simply remonetize silver which had been effectively de-monetized in 1873 due to a clause mysteriously inserted into the mint code. He had no interest in so-called "free silver" and he didn't join the greenback movement, although he admitted that it was a perfectly legitimate form of money. His reasoning was that mankind had a lot of experience with the bi-metallic system and society wasn't yet ready for a pure nomisma system.

Matt Franko said...

David,

"His reasoning was that mankind had a lot of experience with the bi-metallic system and society wasn't yet ready for a pure nomisma system."

Right I could see him thinking this way... To do that system (which btw I look at as our current system...) I think you need very good communications channels which although we had the telegraph back it the late 1800s this system just wasnt good/robust enough to overcome the metals system which after 2,000 years was really dug in and ingrained in humans (still is with MANY..)

Once we came up with global real time comms, the metals were finished imo at the national level... that took all the way until 1971 with the space technology...

So we are getting this system back finally but it is taking waaay too long for me anyways... many still suffer under the authority of these metals and the rest are morons who think "we are out of money" and are completely lost and disgraced... this wouldnt be so bad if these two cohorts didnt comprise 99.999% of our ruling class.

rsp,



Tom Hickey said...

Entrenched ideas die hard because they have become cultural rituals and social institutions. Certainly, money is a prime example.

But as the use of cash dwindles and the use of digital forms of money increases, e.g., credit cards, online banking, etc., people will become more accustomed to money as a unit of account rather than as a token. But we are still in the totem and taboo stage regarding money as a fetish.

Matt Franko said...

F,

"to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;"

imo this probably describes you, but not me.

"Disciple" or in Greek 'mathetai' means 'learner'... imo some (perhaps like yourself) have to become 'learners' in the context of the Greek 'mathetai' ('secondary school student') apparently.

Paul never uses the word "disciple", I'm under Paul's teaching... I'm not a 'learner' in the context of the word 'mathetai'.

I think perhaps you (and many others) are though... you apparently have to 'learn' via this process of a 'mathetai' which to me looks like "the hard way"...

Its like 'rote' vs 'creative thinking'.... you seem to be a 'creative thinker' in all of this.

I'm just able to read what Paul writes and simply believe it as it is written (ie 'rote')... as opposed to most others like yourself who seemingly just cant leave it at that...

All for His purpose anyway.

Bottom line for me, Paul taught this:

http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1ti6.pdf

"10 For a root of all of the evils is the fondness for silver, which some, craving, were led astray from the faith and try themselves on all sides with much pain.
11 Now you, O man of God, flee from these things" 1 Tim 6

No mention here of any "ethical money" or whatever (this is where you are over-thinking it...)

Lets just confront and rebuke and hopefully suppress this evil supporting "metal-love" that Paul identifies here and see what happens... that is as far as the scripture goes...

Roger Erickson said...

That still begs the question of why our current electorate, net economics profession, and politician owners do NOT get it.

We won't get anything until they do?

F. Beard said...

That still begs the question of why our current electorate, net economics profession, and politician owners do NOT get it. Rodger Erickson

In 2 words, Biblical ignorance, especially of the Old Testament.

Progressives have shot themselves in the foot by rejecting the Old Testament since it concerns itself far more with social justice than it does with the alleged right of homosexuals to fornicate in public*.

You've been hoodwinked into giving up an extremely powerful weapon for social justice!

*Since two or more witnesses were required before someone could be executed.

F. Beard said...

No mention here of any "ethical money" or whatever (this is where you are over-thinking it...) Franko

Have you ever heard of initiative, Franko?

You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?

“And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”
Luke 12:56-59 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

I suspect you've evolved your strange beliefs because you conflate inheriting the Kingdom with escaping eternal damnation. They are NOT the same! All believers will escape damnation but only SOME will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Btw, what is your denomination so I can be forewarned when I look for a congregation to worship with?

Matt Franko said...

F,

I'm (obviously) outside of current orthodoxy...


F,

No 'intiative' here:

http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/luk12.pdf

btw it is a rhetorical question He is asking there imo... He knows why...

F. Beard said...

He knows why... Franko

Most likely ignorance of Scripture, which is your problem too.