As I write this, it’s still Murray Rothbard’s birthday. Rothbard, of course, is the world’s first professed anarcho-capitalist (he coined the phrase) and hence a man we here at TDV celebrate warmly and with vigor.
One of the greatest sins of the many the state has committed against humanity has been convincing people that money needs to be defined, issued and controlled by the state. The state has convinced people that money is what the state says it is, as opposed to what the market (the people) pick as the most reliable and useful unit of exchange and store of wealth. As Rothbard put it: “government is powerless to create money for the economy; it can only be developed by the processes of the free market.” But there’s a reason the state wants you to think otherwise:
“Money…is the nerve center of the economic system. If, therefore, the state is able to gain unquestioned control over the unit of all accounts, the state will then be in a position to dominate the entire economic system, and the whole society.”
Wealth is the continual result of the process of value addition and as such it can be and constantly is created. But it is not created when more money is printed or not even necessarily when more platinum, gold, silver and nickel is mined. Wealth is created when individuals put their minds and muscles into transforming the enviornment to satisfy other people’s wants, sometimes revealing wants they didn’t know they had as the free market produces all sorts of new things that improve the material quality of life. Wealth is created by all of us pitching in to serve each other for individual gain.
I’m tempted to say currency is just one a handy token that represents real wealth. But Rothbard would surely scold me for being so dismissive. After all, he wrote:
“Money is a commodity…not a useless token only good for exchanging; …It differs from other commodities in being demanded mainly as a medium of exchange.”
Testify, Murray! The monopoly currency that the central bank whips up and government forces us to use may be “money” in the legal sense (i.e. backed by the guns of the state)…but not money in the real sense (i.e. chosen by the market). No, the “money” government makes us use is essentially trillions of tiny straws that the central bank uses to suck away our purchasing power via the chicanery of inflation. Again, Rothbard:
“…if government manages to establish paper tickets or bank credit as money, as equivalent to gold grams or ounces, then the government, as dominant money-supplier, becomes free to create money costlessly and at will. As a result this ‘inflation’ of the money supply destroys the value of the dollar or pound, drives up prices, cripples economic calculation, and hobbles and seriously damages the workings of the market economy.”
Once a central bank gets going, monetary supply inflation and interest rate manipulation are bound to be used. And they eventually wreck the economy and the whole monetary system will have to be scrapped. We’ve had 100 years of the Fed monopolizing money and inducing tumors in the economy (along with all those government regulations on doing business). We’re at the endgame now.
But you don’t have to worry. At least not if you have the Austrian school on your side. And here at TDV, you do! The analysis and advice that basic and premium subscribers get are informed by the extensive writings of Murray Rothbard and the entire Austrian school of economics. In honor of the birthday of this great man, why not give yourself an Austrian-type gift? Click here to find out more about subscribing to the TDV weekly newsletter…and start taking advantage of the inevitable end of the state monopoly on money.
Gary Gibson Editor, The Dollar Vigilante
- Murray Rothbard versus Milton Firedman and the Enduring Legacy (economicpolicyjournal.com)
- Outlawing Jobs: The Minimum Wage, Once More (flyoverpress.wordpress.com)
- Repudiate the Federal Debt (lewrockwell.com)
- How Anarcho-Capitalism Would Work (txwclp.org)
- classical-liberal: Libertarian Reading List The top section… (politicalcrazyness.tumblr.com)
- A Misesian Century? (lewrockwell.com)