Flaxscrip & Hempscrip
JCT: I found this great article I think I'd like put on the record.
>Article #108101 (108145 is last): >From: Dan Clore <email@example.com> >Newsgroups: alt.society.anarchy,alt.anarchism,alt.fan.noam-chomsky, >alt.philosophy.objectivism,alt.philosophy.debate, >alt.society.conservatism,alt.community.local-currency, >alt.politics.economics,alt.politics.socialism,talk.politics.theory, >sci.econ,alt.politics.radical-left,alt.fan.rawilson >Subject: ::: Flaxscrip & Hempscrip ::: >Date: Thu May 13 01:31:38 1999 >by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson > >Flaxscrip was first introduced into Discordian groups by the >mysterious Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C., in 1968. Hempscrip >followed the year after, issued by Dr. Mordecai Malignatus, K.N.S. >(In the novel, taking one of our few liberties with historical truth, >we move these coinages backward in time and attribute hempscrip to >the Justified Ancients of Mummu.) > >The *idea* behind flaxscrip, of course, is as old as history; there >was private money long before there was government money. The first >revolutionary (or reformist) use of this idea, as a check against >galloping usury and high interest rates, was the foundation of "Banks >of Piety" by the Dominican order of the Catholic Church in the late >middle ages. (See Tawney, _Religion and the Rise of Capitalism_.) >The Dominicans, having discovered that preaching against usury did >not deter the usurer, founded their own banks and provided loans >without interest; this "ethical competition" (as Josiah Warren later >called it) drove the commercial banks out of the areas where the >Dominicans practiced it. Similar private currency, loaned at a low >rate of interest (but not at no interest), was provided by Scots >banks until the British government, acting on behalf of the monopoly >of the Bank of England, stopped this exercise of free enterprise. >(See Muellen, _Free Banking_.) The same idea was tried successfully >in the American colonies before the Revolution, and again was >suppressed by the British government, which some heretical historians >regard as a more direct cause of the American Revolution than the >taxes mentioned in most schoolbooks. (See Ezra Pound, _Impact_, and >additional sources cited therein.) JCT: This all jives with what I've heard about though I wasn't aware that the Dominicans ran their own interest-free system.
>During the nineteenth century many anarchists and individualists >attempted to issue low-interest or no-interest private currencies. >_Mutual Banking_, by Colonel William Greene, and _True Civilization_, >by Josiah Warren, are records of two such attempts, by their >instigators. Lysander Spooner, an anarchist who was also a >constitutional lawyer, argued at length that Congress had no >authority to suppress such private currencies (see his _Our >Financiers: Their Ignorance, Usurpations and Frauds_). A general >overview of such efforts at free enterprise, soon crushed by the >Capitalist State, is given by James M. Martin in his _Men Against the >State_, and by Rudolph Rocker in _Pioneers of American Freedom_ (an >ironic title, since his pioneers all lost their major battles). JCT: What a lot of books on the subject of money reform I'd never heard about.
>Lawrence Labadie, of Suffern, N.Y., has collected (but not yet >published) records of 1,000 such experiments; one of the present >authors, Robert Anton Wilson, unearthed in 1962 the tale of a >no-interest currency, privately issued, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, >during the 1930s depression. This was an emergency measure by certain >local businessmen, who did not fully appreciate the principle >involved, and was abandoned as soon as the "tight-money" squeeze >ended and Roosevelt began flooding us all with Federal Reserve notes. JCT: We have such examples in Canada too. The most famous of which were the scrip notes issued in Raymond Alberta during the Great Depression by some Socreds which were redeemable firstly in the general store and which helped them whether the financial drought.
>It is traditional among liberal historians to dismiss such endeavors >as "funny-money schemes." They have never explained why government >money is any less hilarious. (That used in the U.S. now , for >instance, is actually worth 47 percent of its "declared" face value). >All money is funny, if you stop to think about it, but no private >currency, competing on a free market, could ever be quite so comical >(and tragic) as the notes now bearing the magic imprint of Uncle >Sam -- and backed only by his promise (or threat) that, come hell or >high water, by God he'll make it good by taxing our descendants into >the infinite generation to pay the interest on it. The National Debt, >so called, is of course, nothing else but the debt we owe the bankers >who "loaned" this money to Uncle after he kindly gave them the credit >which enabled them to make this loan. JCT: Yes, that's the true injustice. That Government would give the license to create and loanshark money to private corporations and then get in line to borrow and tax us to pay the beneficiaries of the money plates the interest.
>Hempscrip or even acidscrip or peyotescrip could never be quite so >clownish as this system, which only the Illuminati (if they really >exist) could have dreamed up. The system has but one advantage: It >makes bankers richer every year. Nobody else, from the industrial >capitalist or "captain of industry" to the coal-miner, profits from >it in any way, and all pay the taxes, which become the interest >payments, which makes the bankers richer. >If the Illuminati did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them >-- such a system can be explained in no other way, except by those >cynics who hold that human stupidity is infinite. JCT: I too believe that the beneficiaries of the system understand how they're taking advantage of the rest of us with it.
>The idea behind hempscrip is more radical than the notion of >private-enterprise currency per se. Hempscrip, as employed in the >novel, depreciates; it is, thus, not merely a *no-interest* currency, >but a *negative-interest* currency. The lender literally pays the >borrower to take it away for a while. It was invented by German >business-economist Silvio Gesell, and is described in his _Natural >Economic Order_ and in professor Irving Fisher's _Stamp Script_. JCT: This was where a negative feedback loop replaced the usual positive feedback one of interest. Sure it worked but would have worked well without any feedback at all.
>Gresham's Law, like most of the "laws" taught in State-supported >public schools, is not quite true (at least, not in the form in which >it is usually taught). *"Bad money drives out good" holds only in >authoritarian societies, not in libertarian societies.* (Gresham was >clear-minded enough to state explicitly that he was only describing >authoritarian societies: *his* formulation of his own "Law" begins >with the words "If the king issueth two moneys ...," thereby implying >the State must exist if the "Law" is to operate.) *In a libertarian >society, good money will drive out the bad.* JCT: I've argued the same thing, that LETS good money (referred to as the lesser bad money) drives out the bad money, (referred to as the better money).
>This Utopian proposition -- which the sane reader will regard with >acute skepticism -- has been seen to be sound by a rigorously >logical demonstration, based on the axioms of economics, in _The >Cause of Business Depressions_ by Hugo Bilgrim and Edward Levy. JCT: LETS makes the same demonstration. Once people can use local currency, they do and stash their federal in the bank or pay down their debt.
>[footnote] >Economists can "prove" all sorts of things from axioms and few of >them turn out to be true. Yes. We saved for a footnote the >information that at least four empirical demonstrations of the >reverse of Gresham's Law are on record. JCT: Only four? I can show you thousands where the use of LETS currency drives the federal into its vaults.
>Three of them, employing small volunteer communities in frontier >U.S.A. circa 1830-1860, are recorded in Josiah Warren's _True >Civilization_. The fourth, employing contemporary college students in >a psychology laboratory, is the subject of a recent Master's thesis >by associate professor Don Werkheiser of Central State College, >Wilberforce, Ohio. [Appendix Vau of The Illuminatus! Trilogy] JCT: Thank you Dan for much enlightening information.
>The Website of Lord Werdgliffe: >http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/index.html >Welcome to the Waughters.... >The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page: >http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/necpage.htm >Because the true mysteries cannot be profaned.... >"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" JCT: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" to you too. -------------------------------
Flaxscrip & Hempscrip #2
>Article #108276 (108320 is last): >From: "PGreenfinch" <JeVERDIER@wanadoo.fr> >Date: Mon May 17 05:29:06 1999 >It will be difficult to convince me to lend interest free, except to >somebody I want to help. And that would be for a minimal amount. JCT: This is a standard error in banking. Because you don't want to lend out your hard-earned financial security and expect some reward, you've assumed that banks are lending out your hard-earned savings. They are not. They lend out new money. For those who are familiar with this, does it not make sense to seek savings deposits banks wont' even lending out and pay interest on them unless the benefit is getting people to believe that they're borrowing other people's savings? Then guys who don't understand what's going on will fight to keep interest because they think it's their money being loaned out at risk. His money never left his account and there was no real risk.
>I would not put the bulk of my piggy bank in interest-free >investments. Well, I guess I am unethical. Shame on me! JCT: No, you aren't unethical. Maybe immoral but you weren't told. We are never talking about your money in our discussions of loans. We're always talking about the new money that the banks create. Why should guys who print it get to charge interest like guys who earned it? But if they didn't induce the guys who earned it to deposit it, then everyone would know they're borrowing new money that no one has saved up and they might resent the $300,000 price tag on a $100,000 house.
>My real question is: >Do you know a lot of nice ethical people ready to lend interest free? JCT: I have. I know many religions do amongst themselves. I know many families who do. I just want to extend this kind of friendly family credit to the whole world through one big system. And even though you won't get extra money to buy extra food, you will end up with extra food for the same money as it starts to buy you more and more as technology gets better and better.
>If so, I am ready to borrow from them, and praise them for being so >ethical. JCT: We've all heard this. Sure, as soon as you join a LETSystem, they are ready to lend to you interest-free and will appreciate being praised for being so ethical.
>Although I would prefer to borrow at a negative interest. >Well, maybe it is what would happen if I spend all and forget to >repay. Will these these nice ethical people lend me some more then? JCT: Sure, just like they'll keep lending to old people and mentally retarded people not caring if they die in the negative. If you choose to have your scorecard end up in the negative with the retards and you aren't retarded, your grandchildren will still think you were. -------------------------------
Send a comment to John Turmel