I got the following comments from Dave Harrison @ Trade With Dave.
It seems to me that Dave has a talent for getting to where the intellectual action is so it is doubly useful for me to reply to his observations.
Dave Harrison commented on About
Hello Andy: I have found your writings to be quite informative and look forward to reading more. I have learned a few things for sure and found your description of the transformation from Keynes to MMT particularly enlightening and a refreshingly new take that really highlights the craftiness of the Clintonian ethic.
Here’s a question for you. Isn’t your statement “You are responsible for everything that has gone wrong” essentially Marxist in nature. Isn’t it the equivalent of Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” or Sartre’s “No Exit” in that “you” are responsible and in the absence of forgiveness, then “you” must transfer the accountability over to the state because “you” simply cannot carry the burden of Sartre’s “Hell is other people” or the Hegelian “Other” or the quantum nature of Rosenthal, Soros’ reflexivity or Shaw’s Pygmalion. http://tradewithdave.com/?p=15109
I’ve written extensively about this thesis on my blog. You can simply search “Marx” or “existentialism” or “Isaiah Berlin” or “Sartre” to see that I have a consistent dialogue along these lines at http://www.tradewithdave.com so my assertion should be fairly clear.
I really like where you are going with your ideas. I feel that you are bridging a gap that is intentionally being created but that is easily filled in with technology within a framework of triple entry accounting and means testing of everything. I have written quite a bit about Mervyn King’s Divorced Currency Model and would be curious to learn if you believe that it jives with your democratization of money meme.
‘You are responsible for everything that has gone wrong. After all, this is a democracy so in the final analysis you must be’.
Although the idea that financialised capitalism socialises losses and privatises profits has only relatively recently become popular, the truth underlying this meme is anything but recent. In fact it has always been fundamental to the way that Germanic societies are structured.
I know you have written on this and related topics on a number of occasions, pointing out in particular that we are often reminded of our share of the public debt but not of public assets. You have also observed that financialisation as it is unfolding has the purpose of irreversibly removing publics at large from access to the sovereign wealth of their respective nations. If we look at the mass privatisation programs in Greece etc. this seems self evident.
There has always been sovereign debt but no sovereign wealth, at least not in the sense of the physical wealth of the nation. The ‘fiat’ money argument, that the monetary value of our collective wealth has some relationship to the value of the actual national territory has been debunked over and over again, so we don’t need to labour the point. A dollar note cannot be taken into the Federal reserve and traded in for a piece of the Grand Canyon. But neither could a piece of Gold.
In this polity we have never had a collective relationship to sovereign wealth intermediated by the state. Instead, the state arbitrates and guarantees a private relationship to sovereign wealth.
Our form of government is like the management in a casino. In a casino the management will not guarantee you a win on the tables. That is a private matter. (Between you and whom I wonder?). However, they will guarantee that you are not attacked on your way out of the door and relieved of your winnings, (well sometimes anyway). And they certainly guarantee that they will make you pay if you lose! And of course they take a cut of every piece of the action.
But perhaps most importantly in the casino if you lose it is your fault. Of course, every so often one or more aggrieved punter can be heard to shout; ‘the tables are rigged!’ but everyone thinks ‘Well they would say that wouldn’t they?’.
A share of the national debt has always been guaranteed to every citizen but a share of the the national ‘gain’ collectively or individually has not- the contract we have with our government does not include the national sovereign wealth. It is important to emphasise that this is not a modern phenomenon, neither is it temporary or open to negotiation.
By way of illustration let’s do a thought experiment. Say you wanted to divide the American real estate up between its citizens. And it worked out for the sake of argument that everyone got a hundred acres each. What would happen to those generations that came after? Would they be excluded or would there have to be a reallocation? If there was a reallocation what about the fact that some of the previously allocated land would have been improved and increased in value while some had not. How would you account for this? the only way would be to INTRODUCE MONETARY VALUE AS A MEANS OF COMPARISON!
Any attempt to get a purchase on the actual physical wealth of a nation and we fall through a side door and back into the world of money which we have previously agreed has no relationship with the actual physical territory! (Sorry about all the exclamation marks- they are meant to indicate laughter on my part)
We have no part of the nation by virtue of our citizenship. We have no part of the nation by virtue of our ownership of money. So what does ‘nation’ and ‘economy’ confer on us?
The ‘national economy’ is in reality a virtual territory with virtual boundaries and virtual resources. All of which support the virtual existence of its citizens. The nation is an abstract dream kingdom whose physical presence is a little piece of coloured rag fluttering in the breeze and a piece of paper in your pocket….It is a substitute for real territory, for a relationship with real territory; for a real existence. In a world where we had a real relationship with physical territory there would be no such thing as an ‘economy’ and a ‘nation’. We would not need them.
Here we have our citizen in his 100sq ft apartment chewing on mangetout imported from Kenya and strawberries from Portugal, tip tapping on his mobile device told where he can and cannot walk what he can and cannot look at… Divorced from the land he stands on, paying money for a place to sit down.
This is where control really comes from. This is the source of oppression. Not Marxism, not paternalism. The Dream Kingdom – the national economy.
And the religion of the Dream kingdom is Democracy. And Democracy is really just another brand.
Brands are created and managed to provoke a reflex, a response in the marketplace. Corporations want immediate positive thoughts to be provoked by a brand, not time rationally thinking about what each branded product actually can or cannot do for you. If brand creation and management are successful the consumer should think about the successful brand and not the product itself at all.
Democracy as a brand concept is widely regarded as something to do with elections, civilisation, ‘why we are better than them’, ‘why I am lucky to live here’ etc. There are parallels to this in the world of mass produced food. For instance ‘Farm fresh’ is a brand concept
‘Farms’ and ‘freshness’ are both real things. But ‘Farm Fresh!’ is a brand concept. ‘Farm fresh’ although it refers to farms and freshness, in fact has nothing to do with either of them. The relationship is inferred in the consumers mind
In exactly the same way ‘Freedom’ and ‘will’ are both real things; but ‘Free Will’ is a brand concept sold to us like soap powder….
‘Try New American Democracy! Now with added ‘Free Will!’
(For ‘whiter whites’?)’
Back to the Democracy Brand concept. Ask the question: what are the specific instances of democracy that make up the brand concept?.
They are: Classical Greek democracy and Modern Capitalist democracy or more accurately
Mediterranean slave democracy and
Germanic land democracy.
are the real precursors that the Democracy Brand is based on.
Actual examples of democracy need the following things to exist:
A free resource
An agreement to exploit that resource
A set of secondary agreements to support the initial agreement
|MEDITERRANEAN SLAVE DEMOCRACY||GERMANIC LAND DEMOCRACY|
|‘FREE’ RESOURCE||People in Asia Minor and surrounding areas (otherwise known as ‘victims)||Catholic Church land in N Europe|
|AGREEMENTNegative Liberty||To be free to kidnap, rape, murder etc members of slave races||To be free to obtain land by means of deceit, robbery, barter etc|
|SECONDARY AGREEMENTSPositive liberty||Not to kidnap rape murder another citizens slaves without permission from the state||Not to decieve rob or barter for another citizens land without permission from the state|
You will notice the references to ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ liberty. This disposes of Isaiah Berlins supposed dichotomy between them. Laughably, Berlin tries to source part of his argument in ‘classical’ thought as though it really has anything to do with it. No doubt Berlin would argue that we can only really understand the Big Mac by referencing mediaeval circus culture based on the observation that Ronald McDonald is a clown.
With regards to your comments on Mervyn King and Divorced Money I take it as further evidence that as I say, ‘Trade With Dave’ gets to where the action is at. I think the evidence and your analysis absolutely confirms the creation of Democratised Money.
Now I have got a question for you:
Why is nobody else waking up to this?