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Bryan's Cross Of Gold Speech

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Someone on this board defined money as "a store of value". Only in the Goldbug Disinformation Handbook.

As author and American monetary reform veteran Byron Dale says in "The Secret of Oz": "These goldbugs treat gold money as religion. They don't have to understand it, they just know it's got to be true." And that's why it's so hard to make headway against the gold mantra. Because really, truly, goldbugs don't have a plan, they don't know how it would work and they haven't read monetary history. I've had conversations with people on this board who have made the statement that gold money has worked great every time it's been tried! Well, worked for whom?

Everyone should read William Jennings Bryan's famed "Cross of Gold" speech given at the 1896 Democratic National Convention. He provides the most eloquent answer to this question in American history. It was so powerful that it propelled the 37-year-old backwater Nebraska Congressman from relative obscurity to the Presidential nomination on the 5th ballot -- the youngest nominee it our history.

As Bryan said, you "will search the pages of history in vain to find a single instance where the common people of any land have ever declared themselves in favor of the gold standard. They can find where the holders of fixed investments have declared for a gold standard, but not for the masses have."

Gold never favors democracy, republics, or elective governments, etc. It always favors plutocracy.

To put Bryan's speech in context. After Lincoln's assassination the bankers had been able to kill Lincoln's debt-free greenback money and then started on killing silver money, eventually succeeding in 1873, known as the Crime of '73. With gold being the only money, now the bankers started contracting the money supply unmercifully. By 1886, the money supply had been contracted by 84%. Only $6.67 per capita remained in circulation. Thousands of farms were foreclosed on. Farmers from Ohio marched on Washington, the first such political march in American history. The people suffered terribly from the deepest depression that ever hit America, far deeper than the "Great Depression" of the 1930s.

People wanted more money in the system. They understood. This was the biggest political issue during the Presidential races. By 1896, people were mad enough so that a broad coalition was formed to support the addition of simply allowing people to bring silver bullion to the mint and have it coined into money. "Free Silver" was their motto. It was into this realm that young William Jennings Bryan ascended to the national stage.

Here is Bryan's speech:

“I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity. Never before in the history of this country has there been witnessed such a contest as that through which we have passed.

“When you – turning to the gold delegates -- come before us and tell us that we are about to disturb your business interests, we reply that you have disturbed our business interests by your course .

“We say to you that you have made the definition of a businessman too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a businessman as his employer.

“The attorney in a country town is as much a businessman as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis.

“The farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, is as much a businessman as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain.

“The miner who goes down 1,000 feet into the earth and brings forth the precious metals is as much a businessman as the few financial magnates who in a backroom corner the money of the world.

“We come to speak for this broader class of businessmen.

“We are fighting in defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned. We have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded. We have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came.

“We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!

“What we need is an Andrew Jackson to stand as Jackson stood, against the encroachments of aggregated wealth.

“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe it is a part of sovereignty and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than can the power to make penal statutes or levy laws for taxation.

“Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business.“

“They ask … why it is we say more on the money question than we say upon the tariff question, I reply that if protection has slain its thousands, the gold standard has slain its tens of thousands….

“When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and that until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.â€

“If they tell us that the gold standard is the standard of civilization, we reply to them that this, the most enlightened of all the nations of the earth, has never declared for a gold standard, and that both the great parties this year are declaring against it.

“More than that, they will search the pages of history in vain to find a single instance where the common people of any land have ever declared themselves in favor of the gold standard. They can find where the holders of fixed investments have declared for a gold standard, but not for the masses have.

“They tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard. We reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city of the country.

“We care not upon what line the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good but that we cannot have until some other nation helps us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has.

“If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.â€

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Someone on this board defined money as "a store of value". Only in the Goldbug Disinformation Handbook.

As author and American monetary reform veteran Byron Dale says in "The Secret of Oz": "These goldbugs treat gold money as religion. They don't have to understand it, they just know it's got to be true." And that's why it's so hard to make headway against the gold mantra. Because really, truly, goldbugs don't have a plan, they don't know how it would work and they haven't read monetary history. I've had conversations with people on this board who have made the statement that gold money has worked great every time it's been tried! Well, worked for whom?

Everyone should read William Jennings Bryan's famed "Cross of Gold" speech given at the 1896 Democratic National Convention. He provides the most eloquent answer to this question in American history. It was so powerful that it propelled the 37-year-old backwater Nebraska Congressman from relative obscurity to the Presidential nomination on the 5th ballot -- the youngest nominee it our history.

As Bryan said, you "will search the pages of history in vain to find a single instance where the common people of any land have ever declared themselves in favor of the gold standard. They can find where the holders of fixed investments have declared for a gold standard, but not for the masses have."

Gold never favors democracy, republics, or elective governments, etc. It always favors plutocracy.

To put Bryan's speech in context. After Lincoln's assassination the bankers had been able to kill Lincoln's debt-free greenback money and then started on killing silver money, eventually succeeding in 1873, known as the Crime of '73. With gold being the only money, now the bankers started contracting the money supply unmercifully. By 1886, the money supply had been contracted by 84%. Only $6.67 per capita remained in circulation. Thousands of farms were foreclosed on. Farmers from Ohio marched on Washington, the first such political march in American history. The people suffered terribly from the deepest depression that ever hit America, far deeper than the "Great Depression" of the 1930s.

People wanted more money in the system. They understood. This was the biggest political issue during the Presidential races. By 1896, people were mad enough so that a broad coalition was formed to support the addition of simply allowing people to bring silver bullion to the mint and have it coined into money. "Free Silver" was their motto. It was into this realm that young William Jennings Bryan ascended to the national stage.

Here is Bryan's speech:

“I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity. Never before in the history of this country has there been witnessed such a contest as that through which we have passed.

“When you – turning to the gold delegates -- come before us and tell us that we are about to disturb your business interests, we reply that you have disturbed our business interests by your course .

“We say to you that you have made the definition of a businessman too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a businessman as his employer.

“The attorney in a country town is as much a businessman as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis.

“The farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, is as much a businessman as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain.

“The miner who goes down 1,000 feet into the earth and brings forth the precious metals is as much a businessman as the few financial magnates who in a backroom corner the money of the world.

“We come to speak for this broader class of businessmen.

“We are fighting in defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned. We have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded. We have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came.

“We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!

“What we need is an Andrew Jackson to stand as Jackson stood, against the encroachments of aggregated wealth.

“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe it is a part of sovereignty and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than can the power to make penal statutes or levy laws for taxation.

“Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business.“

“They ask … why it is we say more on the money question than we say upon the tariff question, I reply that if protection has slain its thousands, the gold standard has slain its tens of thousands….

“When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and that until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.â€

“If they tell us that the gold standard is the standard of civilization, we reply to them that this, the most enlightened of all the nations of the earth, has never declared for a gold standard, and that both the great parties this year are declaring against it.

“More than that, they will search the pages of history in vain to find a single instance where the common people of any land have ever declared themselves in favor of the gold standard. They can find where the holders of fixed investments have declared for a gold standard, but not for the masses have.

“They tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard. We reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city of the country.

“We care not upon what line the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good but that we cannot have until some other nation helps us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has.

“If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.â€

he favoured the indebted as opposed to the prudent

and he seems like a fruit cake

Bryan opposed Darwinism for two reasons. First he believed that what he considered a materialistic account of the descent of man through evolution undermined the Bible. Second, he saw neo-Darwinism or Social Darwinism as a great evil force in the world promoting hatreds and conflicts, especially the World War.[20]

In his famous Chautauqua lecture, "The Prince of Peace," Bryan warned the theory of evolution could undermine the foundations of morality. However, he concluded, "While I do not accept the Darwinian theory I shall not quarrel with you about it."

Charles W. and William J. Bryan

One book Bryan read at this time convinced him that neo-Darwinism (emphasizing the struggle of the races) had undermined morality in Germany.[21]Bryan was heavily influenced by Vernon Kellogg's 1917 book, Headquarters Nights: A Record of Conversations and Experiences at the Headquarters of the German Army in Belgium and France, which asserted (on the basis of a conversation with a reserve officer named Professor von Flussen) that German intellectuals were social Darwinists totally committed to might-makes-right.[22]

Bryan also read The Science of Power (1918) by British social theorist Benjamin Kidd, which attributed the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche to German nationalism, materialism, and militarism which in turn was the outworking of the social Darwinian hypothesis.[23]

In 1920, Bryan told the World Brotherhood Congress the theory of evolution was "the most paralyzing influence with which civilization has had to deal in the last century" and that Nietzsche, in carrying the theory of evolution to its logical conclusion, "promulgated a philosophy that condemned democracy... denounced Christianity... denied the existence of God, overturned all concepts of morality... and endeavored to substitute the worship of the superhuman for the worship of Jehovah."[24]

By 1921, Bryan saw Darwinism as a major internal threat to the US. The major study which seemed to convince Bryan of this was James H. Leuba's The Belief in God and Immortality, a Psychological, Anthropological and Statistical Study (1916). In this study, Leuba shows that during four years of college a considerable number of college students lost their faith. Bryan was horrified that the next generation of American leaders might have the degraded sense of morality which he believed had prevailed in Germany and caused the Great War. Bryan then launched an anti-evolution campaign.[25]

Ever Hopeful

A November 1924 cartoon depicts Bryan with his brother, Charles, sitting on a log marked "Almost the Solid South" looking at the sun marked "1928" where more hope might come for them. Charles was the losing Democratic nominee for vice president in 1924.

The campaign kicked off in October 1921, when Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia invited Bryan to deliver the James Sprunt Lectures. The heart of the lectures was a lecture entitled "The Origin of Man", in which Bryan asked, "what is the role of man in the universe and what is the purpose of man?" For Bryan, the Bible was absolutely central to answering this question, and moral responsibility and the spirit of brotherhood could only rest on belief in God.

The Sprunt lectures were published as In His Image, and sold over 100,000 copies, while "The Origin of Man" was published separately as The Menace of the theory of evolution and also sold very well.[26]

Bryan was worried that the theory of evolution was making grounds not only in the universities, but also within the church itself. Many colleges were still church-affiliated at this point. The developments of 19th century liberal theology, and higher criticism in particular, had left the door open to the point where many clergymen were willing to embrace the theory of evolution and claimed that it was not contradictory with their being Christians. Determined to put an end to this, Bryan, who had long served as a Presbyterian elder, decided to run for the position of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, which was at the time embroiled in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. (Under Presbyterian church governance, clergy and laymen are equally represented in the General Assembly, and the post of Moderator is open to any member of General Assembly.) Bryan's main competition in the race was the Rev. Charles F. Wishart, president of the College of Wooster, who had loudly endorsed the teaching of the theory of evolution in the college. Bryan lost to Wishart by a vote of 451-427. Bryan then failed in a proposal to cut off funds to schools where the theory of evolution was taught. Instead, the General Assembly announced disapproval of materialistic (as opposed to theistic) evolution.

According to author Ronald L. Numbers, Bryan was not nearly as much of a fundamentalist as many modern-day creationists, and is more accurately described as a "day-age creationist":

William Jennings Bryan, the much misunderstood leader of the post–World War I antievolution crusade, not only read the Mosaic “days†as geological “ages†but allowed for the possibility of organic evolution— so long as it did not impinge on the supernatural origin of Adam and Eve.[27]

[edit] Scopes trial: 1925

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan chat in court during the Scopes Trial

Congresswoman Ruth Bryan Owen, Bryan's daughter

In addition to his unsuccessful advocacy of banning the teaching of evolution in church-run universities, Bryan also actively lobbied for state laws banning public schools from teaching evolution. The legislatures of several southern states proved more receptive to his anti-evolution message than the Presbyterian Church had, and passed laws banning the teaching of evolution in public schools after Bryan addressed them. A prominent example was the Butler Act of 1925, making it unlawful in Tennessee to teach that mankind evolved from lower life forms.[28]

Bryan's participation in the highly publicized 1925 Scopes Trial served as a capstone to his career. He was asked by William Bell Riley to represent the World Christian Fundamentals Association as counsel at the trial. During the trial, Bryan took the stand and was questioned by defense lawyer Clarence Darrow about his views on the Bible. He was asked questions with no known answers, such as the population of China 5000 years ago (which the Bible does not address) and if the fish in the sea were drowned in the flood. The questions were designed to force him to admit that he did not know, or to guess wildly, or to add questionable explanations to things of the Bible.

The national media reported the trial in great detail, with H. L. Mencken using Bryan as a symbol of Southern ignorance (despite him not being from the South) and anti-intellectualism. In a more humorous vein, satirist Richard Armour stated in It All Started With Columbus that Darrow had "made a monkey out of" Bryan due to Bryan's ignorance of the Bible.

After the judge retroactively expunged all of Bryan's answers to Darrow's questions, both sides closed without summation. The jury quickly returned a guilty verdict with the defense's encouragement, as their aim was to take the law itself to a higher court in order to challenge its constitutionality. However, the state supreme court reversed the verdict on a technicality and Scopes went free.

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An alternate heading for this thread ........

The ruling elite have been upset by prudent people choosing to protect their wealth outside of the politically controlled system since 1896 ......

Ruling elites have hated independant thinkers for a long time it seems .....

Edited by LuckyOne

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he favoured the indebted as opposed to the prudent

and he seems like a fruit cake

I get the impression he was in favour of the producers of wealth rather than rentiers

Obviously that's going to clash a bit with your preferences

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I get the impression he was in favour of the producers of wealth rather than rentiers

Obviously that's going to clash a bit with your preferences

Challenging observation.

The question that I have is how an entrepreneur is going to produce marginal wealth without the support of capital from those who have been able to accumulate it in the past?

I believe that the private sector (either the current accumulator of capital or the inheritor of previously accumulated capital) is better at rationally allocating capital than a confiscatory government.

If the beneficiaries of previously generated capital misallocate that capital, they are back to square one and have to generate new capital.

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Well, then you don't believe in representative government.

You believe in plutocracy. Just to be clear.

Challenging observation.

The question that I have is how an entrepreneur is going to produce marginal wealth without the support of capital from those who have been able to accumulate it in the past?

I believe that the private sector (either the current accumulator of capital or the inheritor of previously accumulated capital) is better at rationally allocating capital than a confiscatory government.

If the beneficiaries of previously generated capital misallocate that capital, they are back to square one and have to generate new capital.

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
Well, then you don't believe in representative government.

You believe in plutocracy. Just to be clear.

Why do you keep presenting this false dichotomy?

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Challenging observation.

The question that I have is how an entrepreneur is going to produce marginal wealth without the support of capital from those who have been able to accumulate it in the past?

With a great deal of difficulty

The entrepreneur is going to have to start by creating for him self or replacing, ex nihilo, all the capital he needs for a venture

The creators, accumulators and distributors of capital that is produced by human endeavor, are therefore making a contribution to wealth creation and are wealth creators- workers, if you like.

To jump over a few hurdles here, i use the term 'rentier' to refer to the group that accumulates without contributing directly or indirectly to production - an example of such a person might be somebody who rides on unfair tender laws or accumulates land to await a price rise or charge for something that is not produced and cannot be replaced by others; a parasite

My usage may be very slightly nonstandard, but i feel it chimes well with the intended meaning of the word, when it is used.

I believe that the private sector (either the current accumulator of capital or the inheritor of previously accumulated capital) is better at rationally allocating capital than a confiscatory government.

If the beneficiaries of previously generated capital misallocate that capital, they are back to square one and have to generate new capital.

No argument from me there - though remember, not everything that is colloquially called capital is produced at all by anyone.

edit to add - your question is well placed and thoughtful

Edited by Stars

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Well, then you don't believe in representative government.

You believe in plutocracy. Just to be clear.

And how do you strike a balance in the rights available to those who have already generated capital, those who wish to generate capital and those who require a confiscation of capital from others to live?

True representative government strikes a fair balance between all three groups. Bullying by the ruling elite (either on the left or the right) creates an unproductive and unfair imbalance.

Plutocracy is a meaningless, outdated and inflammatory concept that has no place in a modern democracy that is always trying to find a balance in the claims of groups of people in different circumstances upon each other.

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Wow! Tough audience.

Don't you want to learn from history lest you have to repeat the mistakes made in the past?

There's a big bad group of banker folk out there who want to keep you in the dark and return you to servitude.

am not sure it really is bill still, sounds more like a bill shill.

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Wow! Tough audience.

Don't you want to learn from history lest you have to repeat the mistakes made in the past?

There's a big bad group of banker folk out there who want to keep you in the dark and return you to servitude.

Tis true.

Nothing special about gold.

How about some freedom?

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Lambast Bryan if you want for his Christianity, but I see no argument against his anti-gold money stance.

An interesting debate technique, but way off point and not germane.

Bryan made a mistake, in my opinion, for going in this direction, but he felt compelled by conscience to do it. That was his choice and it was hardly a nutty theological position to take at the time.

he favoured the indebted as opposed to the prudent

and he seems like a fruit cake

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With a great deal of difficulty

The entrepreneur is going to have to start by creating for him self or replacing, ex nihilo, all the capital he needs for a venture

The creators, accumulators and distributors of capital that is produced by human endeavor, are therefore making a contribution to wealth creation and are wealth creators- workers, if you like.

To jump over a few hurdles here, i use the term 'rentier' to refer to the group that accumulates without contributing directly or indirectly to production - an example of such a person might be somebody who rides on unfair tender laws or accumulates land to await a price rise or charge for something that is not produced and cannot be replaced by others; a parasite

My usage may be very slightly nonstandard, but i feel it chimes well with the intended meaning of the word, when it is used.

No argument from me there - though remember, not everything that is colloquially called capital is produced at all by anyone.

edit to add - your question is well placed and thoughtful

Very fair answers. Thank you.

I suspect that we agree much more than we disagree.

The role of a democracy is to resolve the areas where people disagree. The electorate's collective opinion of the solutions will naturally vary over time.

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Wow! Tough audience.

Don't you want to learn from history lest you have to repeat the mistakes made in the past?

There's a big bad group of banker folk out there who want to keep you in the dark and return you to servitude.

and what is it that 'you' advocate for protection at the end of 'your' film bill? was it silver dollars and gold?

I know that returning to the gold standard would be playing into their hands but that is a far cry from an individual opting out of the system and buying gold coins.

True, goldbugs advocating a return to the gold standard do not fully understand the bigger picture but as individuals holding gold they are still in a good position with their wealth protected. As you point out, if the bankers have taken these centuries to amass so much of the worlds gold then they are hardly going to see it become worthless are they?

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The only things that stop gold functioning as a "store of value" are bankers, criminals, politicians and "free men". The problem is that free men don't do to well when the other 3 are in charge, gold has always revealed this inequality, usually by design.

Greed, fear and power vs self determination, it always comes down to this. It is controlled through artificial rarity allowing the greedy to hoard it, the criminals to build wealth and politicians to use it for ambiguous ideological purposes. Golds worth is that it exposes the weakness' of the "free man" and just as with midas, delivers the punishment of reality. Only the truly free man can value it, not in hoarding, not for building wealth and not for use against others but to value it for what it is, a metal of great significance to human culture.

In a truly free world, anything can be a store of value, gold being a king amongst kings for its eternal yet limited qualities. The only true store of value is energy, labour and life. When the free man can value their labour without having to compete with greed, fear and power, gold will return to its rightful place, in the hands of those that "value" it for pleasure and function not as a base of "worth", which can only ever be found within ourselves.

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Tis true.

Nothing special about gold.

How about some freedom?

but it is special. It is special because those pulling the strings have decided so. Since the bankers have spent so many years collecting it all then gold is not likely to be anything but special in our lifetimes.

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You know I'm happy to participate in a discussion if that's really what's going on. If not, then I'll quit.

Striking a balance is hard. There is no turnkey formulae. That's why we elect people -- in this country -- to an upper and lower house. Unfortunately, at this point plutocracy (no it's not an outdated term at all) has way too much influence. Therefore the Congress seems unresponsive to the average person. The average person sees hundreds of billions going to banks and a pittance to the rest of us.

Plutocracy is a good general term to make people realize that the various "isms" are the real irrelevancies. Communism, socialism, fascism; these are all fingers on the glove of the hidden hand of plutocracy. The good guys vs the bad guys in this human "race" are the plutocrats on one team and the democrats (small "d") on the other.

I'm all for incentive driven capitalism -- society just can't advance without it -- but what we have now is much more towards monopoly capitalism bordering on plutocracy. Unless we understand that, we'll be fighting ghosts.

And how do you strike a balance in the rights available to those who have already generated capital, those who wish to generate capital and those who require a confiscation of capital from others to live?

True representative government strikes a fair balance between all three groups. Bullying by the ruling elite (either on the left or the right) creates an unproductive and unfair imbalance.

Plutocracy is a meaningless, outdated and inflammatory concept that has no place in a modern democracy that is always trying to find a balance in the claims of groups of people in different circumstances upon each other.

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The only things that stop gold functioning as a "store of value" are bankers, criminals, politicians and "free men". The problem is that free men don't do to well when the other 3 are in charge, gold has always revealed this inequality, usually by design.

Greed, fear and power vs self determination, it always comes down to this. It is controlled through artificial rarity allowing the greedy to hoard it, the criminals to build wealth and politicians to use it for ambiguous ideological purposes. Golds worth is that it exposes the weakness' of the "free man" and just as with midas, delivers the punishment of reality. Only the truly free man can value it, not in hoarding, not for building wealth and not for use against others but to value it for what it is, a metal of great significance to human culture.

In a truly free world, anything can be a store of value, gold being a king amongst kings for its eternal yet limited qualities. The only true store of value is energy, labour and life. When the free man can value their labour without having to compete with greed, fear and power, gold will return to its rightful place, in the hands of those that "value" it for pleasure and function not as a base of "worth", which can only ever be found within ourselves.

Would an alternate view be that the only way for "free men" to possibly get on an equal footing with those who control and run our world be by repudiating money as a store of value?

I am a bit confused as to why my decision to own gold is not the ultimate in self determination. Owning gold gives me a sense of having more control over my family's destiny than owning bits of paper issued by the ruling elite.

If you can't beat them, join them ......

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Bravo!

Very fair answers. Thank you.

I suspect that we agree much more than we disagree.

The role of a democracy is to resolve the areas where people disagree. The electorate's collective opinion of the solutions will naturally vary over time.

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You know I'm happy to participate in a discussion if that's really what's going on. If not, then I'll quit.

Striking a balance is hard. There is no turnkey formulae. That's why we elect people -- in this country -- to an upper and lower house. Unfortunately, at this point plutocracy (no it's not an outdated term at all) has way too much influence. Therefore the Congress seems unresponsive to the average person. The average person sees hundreds of billions going to banks and a pittance to the rest of us.

Plutocracy is a good general term to make people realize that the various "isms" are the real irrelevancies. Communism, socialism, fascism; these are all fingers on the glove of the hidden hand of plutocracy. The good guys vs the bad guys in this human "race" are the plutocrats on one team and the democrats (small "d") on the other.

I'm all for incentive driven capitalism -- society just can't advance without it -- but what we have now is much more towards monopoly capitalism bordering on plutocracy. Unless we understand that, we'll be fighting ghosts.

My questions might be aggressive but I am truly trying to understand your point. Apologies if my style appears to be too dogmatic.

The crux of my question is this : If I choose to remove part of my family's wealth from the control of the political elite by renting space in a vault in Switzerland and putting a few kilos of gold in the vault, how does that make me a plutocrat?

I am trying to maintain some equality in the power relationship between me and the government / monetary authorities that I cannot do by any other means that I can think of apart from owning physical gold. I am also trying to ensure that an overinvestment in money does not result in massive downward social mobility for me and my family.

I am not suggesting for a moment that the gold standard is the best solution for a monetary base. I actually think that it would be catastrophic.

I see my personal ownership of gold as being libertarian rather than plutocratic.

Edited by LuckyOne

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If I could comment in reverse order.

1. I'm all for having gold as an investment and even coining gold into legal tender. The problem is when you get in a gold-only monetary system.

2. The way humanity gained a measure of freedom started with -- please know that I am walking into the lion's den in quoting British history in this space -- your King Henry 1, son of William the Conqueror, who granted the Charter of Liberties, the precursor of the Magna Carta. This began to decentralize power and start humankind on a long march out of serfdom where human effort and ingenuity became monetizable into class mobility. Now if devolve back into plutocracy, then our democracies are truly shells and meaningless. Many believe we are already there. I prefer to believe that we still have significant freedoms that are worth working to protect and expand.

Would an alternate view be that the only way for "free men" to possibly get on an equal footing with those who control and run our world be by repudiating money as a store of value?

I am a bit confused as to why my decision to own gold is not the ultimate in self determination. Owning gold gives me a sense of having more control over my family's destiny than owning bits of paper issued by the ruling elite.

If you can't beat them, join them ......

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
My questions might be aggressive but I am truly trying to understand your point. Apologies if my style appears to be too dogmatic.

The crux of my question is this : If I choose to remove part of my family's wealth from the control of the political elite by renting space in a vault in Switzerland and putting a few kilos of gold in the vault, how does that make me a plutocrat?

I am trying to maintain some equality in the power relationship between me and the government / monetary authorities that I cannot do by any other means that I can think of apart from owning physical gold. I am also trying to ensure that an overinvestment in money does not result in massive downward social mobility for me and my family.

I see my ownership of gold as being libertarian rather than plutocratic.

The devil is in the detail I suppose. Owing a gun does not make you a murderer, but it would facilitate murder if you chose that path.

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If I could comment in reverse order.

1. I'm all for having gold as an investment and even coining gold into legal tender. The problem is when you get in a gold-only monetary system.

2. The way humanity gained a measure of freedom started with -- please know that I am walking into the lion's den in quoting British history in this space -- your King Henry 1, son of William the Conqueror, who granted the Charter of Liberties, the precursor of the Magna Carta. This began to decentralize power and start humankind on a long march out of serfdom where human effort and ingenuity became monetizable into class mobility. Now if devolve back into plutocracy, then our democracies are truly shells and meaningless. Many believe we are already there. I prefer to believe that we still have significant freedoms that are worth working to protect and expand.

Your starting position was :

Someone on this board defined money as "a store of value". Only in the Goldbug Disinformation Handbook.

I believe that when we are somewhere between 18 and 25 or so, our wealth is our ability to generate income based on a complex function of opportunity, luck, education, family support, looks, height etc. Over time, we earn income and convert that wealth into money. When we reach a certain age, our capacity to translate our initial wealth into money deteriorates (from around 45 to around 75 depending on the nature of our initial wealth function). The future wealth function decays versus current wealth over time.

I do not believe that money fulfils the requirement that it be a store of value and that gold makes up a proportion of a better portfolio to protect the transformation of our initial wealth function into assets.

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