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The parable of the cards

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The Money Changer
From the Archives : Originally published June 04th, 2003
1706 words - Reading time : 4 - 6 minutes
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Category : Fundamental





A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain;
And drinking largely sobers us again.
-- Alexander Pope

Not long ago I published an article that criticized a Nevada bill to mint silver coins. I charged the bill with mistake or fraud as a fiat money scheme dressed up in silver.

THEN IGNORANCE STOOD UP

That article drew an astonishing number of responses - some questioning and intelligent, some appallingly ignorant, and some outright rude. Amazingly, some of the most ignorant and rude came from people who (I take it) fancy themselves the friends of silver, gold, and sound money. The Internet, it seems, has not made people wiser or more knowledgeable. It has only made propagating ignorance faster and more efficient. As Will Rogers observed, "The trouble with people is not what they don't know, but that they know so much that just ain't so."

ANCIENT WISDOM

No matter how long one studies money, certain fundamental principles remain clear. Chief among those stands this principle, that any sound and honest money must offer value for value, or it will defraud the many and enrich the few. There are, in fact, only two schools of monetary thought. The fiat money school believes that money is whatever somebody declares it to be. In their view, money in itself is valueless; only artificial social convention gives it value. The sound money school believes that all money should offer value for value. Money itself must have value in the marketplace, independent of social or government artifice.

Another principle Aristotle (among others) had already recognised in ancient times is that unrestricted usury (the taking of interest) is impossible with a sound money system. The fiat system that presently rules us is backed by nothing, of course, but debt. All our money is borrowed into existence, and that single fact determines the entire system and predicts it will inevitably unfold into instability, tyranny, and poverty.

SYSTEMS, NOT PARTS

Now systems are built of articulated members. What would you think of a mechanic who knew all about carburettors and brakes and air conditioners and transmissions, but had never seen all the parts assembled together into an automobile? Or a chef who had only studied food in cans, but had never prepared a meal? If we only study the members without studying how they fit and work together, we understand only disconnected, unarticulated facts, unrelated to the whole system. We know everything about the parts but nothing about the whole.

Fiat money never appears as an isolated phenomenon. It is not merely a single evil conspiracy to suppress silver and gold, as some seem to think (having drunk too deep at the Internet's Pierian spring). Seeing only that, they've got it all wrong. Rather, fiat money aims always to achieve control over a whole society, indeed, the whole world. It will inevitably enslave a people and transfer all assets into the hands of a few.

Miss this point and you do not and cannot understand fiat money. Like war and death, fiat money always walks hand in hand with debt, usury, income tax, oligarchy, big government, militarism, and, in the end always produces tyranny and impoverishment. Fiat money is not just an isolated enactment, but the jugular vein of a system.

THE PARABLE OF THE CARDS

Now hear the parable of the cards.

It came to pass that five men, strangers all, took ship for a distant land. And whilst the ship was in the way, a fierce storm overtook it, and it sank, and all aboard drowned, save the five passengers, who swam to a desert island.

And when they awoke, they traversed the whole island, and found fruit and game in abundance, but very little in the way of entertainment.

Wherefore the first stranger, whose name was Everyman, said to his companions, Industry, Finance, and Government, Go to! Truly, we will die of boredom in this place long before starvation gets us. Let us therefore play a game of cards!

And Industry and Finance and Government did smile on Everyman, and rejoiced at this pleasant suggestion. But then sadness overcame them, and their countenances darkened, and Industry said, "Alas, cards have we none."

Now the fifth stranger, Banker, stood eavesdropping in the coolness of the shadows, and when Industry discovered they had no cards, Banker stepped forward, out of the shadows, and whispered, Let not my brothers be downcast, neither let them fret for want of cards. For behold, said he, pulling a deck of cards from his pocket, See, cards have I in abundance, and I will lend freely, upon execution of certain necessary mortgages, notes, and encumbrances upon all your real and personal property.

And lo! The countenance of Everyman, Industry, Finance, and Government did brighten, and they rejoiced with one another, for they were simple men, and trusted themselves to Banker. For behold, said they, doth he not desire our good, and will he not freely lend us all things, even cards?

Then Banker did lend Everyman, and Industry, and Finance, and Government thirteen cards apiece, but upon this condition, that Everyman and Industry and Government and Finance might borrow the cards for but one hour only, and at the hour's end each must return to Banker fourteen cards or forfeit. And in return for the thirteen cards they were lent, every player did execute certain necessary mortgages, notes, and encumbrances upon all their real and personal property.

And Banker had them.

And Banker knew it, but Everyman, and Industry, and Finance, and Government had not a clue.

And lo, the hour did end, and Everyman had but ten cards, while Government, Industry, and Finance were possessed of fourteen apiece, and with great shew of sadness and brotherly commiseration Banker did dispossess Everyman, and foreclose upon him, and did take his duffle bag, and all his coconut shells, and his flip-flops, and all his clothing, until Everyman stood naked under the sun, as in the day he was born, without a card to his name, and verily, he was out of the game.

Yet were not Government, Industry, and Finance downcast by Everyman's loss, for in their haste to play cards, they forgot his need, and heeded not the warning of his downfall. So they clamoured to Banker, Give us cards again, that we may play, and make merry, and while away our time in this desert place.

And Banker came close, and said, Brothers, gladly will I lend again, only give me mortgages, notes, and encumbrances upon all your real and personal property. And they did execute the same.

And Banker did lend seventeen cards to Industry, and to Finance, and to Government, demanding at the hour's end the return of eighteen cards apiece. And lo, they did play, and when the game was over, alas, Industry had but fifteen cards, and Government and Finance had eighteen.

And so Banker did foreclose upon Industry, and did take his duffle bag, and his pocket knife wherewith he made clever things for his brothers, and his sandals, and all his clothing, until Industry stood naked under the sun, as in the day he was born, without a card to his name, and verily, he, too, was out of the game, and busted clean flat.

And Government and Finance must play yet again, and Banker must lend to them, and he did, and they did, and Finance met the same fate as Everyman, and Industry, and they gathered themselves together, naked and wretched, under a palm tree, watching Banker and Government play the last hand. And lo, Banker did win, and took from Government all he owned.

Then Government joined Everyman and Industry and Finance, naked under the palm tree, and they lamented the low estate whereunto their borrowing had brought them, and knew not what next to do.

Then Government asked, Brothers, why sit we here idle? For although we be poor, mayhap have we something left we may offer as collateral, and yet play cards again. And the others said, Yea, and Amen, but what else have we?

And they approached Banker right humbly, and gat them down on their knees, and entreated him, saying, O Banker, we have nothing left for collateral, but lo! in the future we will once again have stuff, and between now and then we will have stuff, and we will gladly execute in your favour mortgages, notes, and encumbrances on all our future stuff, but only lend us cards, for the boredom of this place surpasseth all bearing, and our souls are like to expire within us if we cannot play cards, and what availeth us life or liberty without cards?

And Banker smiled a great smile, and welcomed this offer, and did cheerfully and quickly offer for their signature mortgages, notes, and encumbrances on all their future stuff, and they did sign.

And Banker dealt out cards, and again they played. And in the course of time and cards, Banker did own all the future stuff of Everyman and Industry and Government and Finance. Verily, Banker did own it all, all their goods and their lands and their labours, and their children's labours, and their children's labours, world without end. And Banker waxed fat.

And Everyman and Industry and Finance and Government were glad, and did honour to Banker, and rejoiced to serve him, for verily they loved playing cards, and indeed, unless they served him, how else could they get cards?

Here ended the Parable of the Cards.




Franklin Sanders

www.the-moneychanger.com


Reprinted with permission from The Moneychanger. Franklin Sanders lives on a farm in Middle Tennessee by choice, deals in physical gold & silver, and has been writing and publishing The Moneychanger for nearly 26 years. In 1993 he wrote Silver Bonanza for Jim Blanchard. Last year he published "Why Silver Will Outperform Gold 400% and & The Professional Trading Secrets That Will Make the Most of Your Silver & Gold Investments," still available at www.the-moneychanger.com/order/publications.phtml.

You can sign up for Mr. Sanders' free daily e-mail commentary on gold & silver at www.the-moneychanger.com, and download your free portfolio calculator to keep up with your gold and silver investments.






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Franklin Sanders lives on a farm in Middle Tennessee by choice, deals in physical gold & silver, and has been writing and publishing The Moneychanger for nearly 26 years. In 1993 he wrote Silver Bonanza for Jim Blanchard. Last year he published "Why Silver Will Outperform Gold 400% and & The Professional Trading Secrets That Will Make the Most of Your Silver & Gold Investments," still available at www.the-moneychanger.com.
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Please let me take this a step further if I may... because I see an opportunity to highlight a particular concern of mine.

Let us ignore for the moment that Government and Industry are not powerless tools of the Banker. They exert considerable influence over Everyman in their own right. And by exercising these, can secure for themselves a much more favorable position than that available to Everyman. In time Government and even Industry would lie under the tree all day with Banker sipping coconut milk while Everyman collected the coconuts for everyone.

Once deprived of everything, Everyman and his impoverished friends will likely not stand by idly under the coconut tree naked and watch Banker's depraved consumption of all that they once owned. As history has shown, they will rise up and take it back, and by force of numbers overcome their oppressors.

And there was a time when this may have even held some sway with Banker (as well as Government and Industry). Since Everyman represents the majority of the population, they represented the majority of power. When sufficiently motivated, Everyman and his friends could take up their pitchforks and rifles and transform into an undeniable force, capable of overthrowing Banker, Government, and even Industry should the need arise. This helped Everyman to keep the others in check.

But then Industry gave birth to Technology - a boon to Industry and Everyman which delighted Banker and Government no end. Government, with funding provided by Banker, consigned Industry (and regulated it) to use Technology to help mitigate the threat of Everyman, even while Everyman was basking in the joy of Technology. They made better and better weapons. After all, Banker and Government could not have their privileges undermined at any moment by hoards of adequately armed Everymen.

"I like not the way that Everyman is looking at us. Government, you must force Industry to surrender his pocketknife so that we may make pointy sticks together. Tell Everyman that we need these sticks for defence in case the Island is invaded. These pointy sticks we will use to prevent Everyman from taking back his clothes and shoes. For without these assets we will have nothing to lend". And it was so.

Then Banker did rejoice - doubly so, for when he realised that not only had he gained ownership of all things present and future, and ensnared Government and Industry to do his bidding.... but they had created for him Technology - a wondrous grandchild that has succeeded not only in increasing their profits but ensuring their safety and position. In time Government, Industry and Technology distracted Everyman sufficiently from even being aware that any of this is going on.

When Everyman finally looks up from his iPad and sees what Banker has done it will be too late.

They may take up their pitchforks and rifles once again. But this time Banker and Government need not even put down their coconut flavored cocktails or raise an eyebrow. Technology has given them the means to put down a revolution at the push of a button - literally. Drones and missiles could easily combat any uprising. A myriad of surveillance technologies could predict and undermine such an event well before it got off the ground. The controlled media would de-moralise, de-motivate and alienate its supporters. Electronic banking would easily cripple its funding.

Banker and Government probably feel more comfortable than they ever have in all of history. Lucky for us they still think they need our approval... at least on the surface, for now.

Ironically, the efforts of Everymen themselves, working with Technology, employed by Industry, at the whims of Government and under the control of Banker, who may ultimately be their own undoing. A tragedy to make Shakespeare envious.
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Please let me take this a step further if I may... because I see an opportunity to highlight a particular concern of mine. Let us ignore for the moment that Government and Industry are not powerless tools of the Banker. They exert considerable influence  Read more
dom1971 - 4/28/2017 at 7:14 AM GMT
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