Fiat Dollars: Fake Authority

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Institutions /

Fiat Dollars : Fake Authority
(It’s magic!)

Money emerged as a commodity that could substitute for other commodities in free market situations: carry a sea shell or a bit of gold instead of a whole sheep or a whole barn with you.

Modern governments print paper money. For a while they said that they had the equivalent in gold safe somewhere: it’s even easier to carry the paper than the gold. True enough: so long as you can trade the paper for the gold when you want to.

Ultra modern governments, the United States, for example, put a stop to that. No, now the government owns everything: including all of the gold. Citizens just get the paper: and a lot of words. More promises from a government that lied at its birth.

This is called fiat money. Do you know the word? It’s from the Latin of the Catholic Bible: Fiat lux. And God said, Let there be light.

God made light by magic: the government makes value by magic. Who would want gold when they can have magic?

Now, this is stuff that my son, bkMarcus, talks about. So do some of his favorites: Gary North, for example (and they get it from Rothbard who gets it from Mises). I say it today to wed it to a Knatz.com perennial: actually, a couple of Knatz.com perennials: authority: expertise: understanding.

As my piece on Understanding says,

The sergeant can make you understand him;
there’s no way for you to make the sergeant understand you.

You give the government gold, the government gives you paper. You give the government genius, the government gives you … some illiterate cop! Some stupid lawyer. Some nitwit judge, doctor, teacher …

Ultra modern governments don’t just print money by fiat: they issue everything by fiat: money, authority, expertise … understanding.

I spent this morning in a conflagration with a state bureaucrat who didn’t understand a word I said, asked me questions without making any attempt to listen to my answers … I asked to see her supervisor. The supervisor came: She’s the expert, the supervisor told me. Oh. She’s the best I’m gonna get.

After Jesus was arrested at the begging of the Jewish Temple and the Jewish crown, Jesus was sent to the highest authority Rome had to offer in Jerusalem: Pontius Pilat. See? Pilat would understand Jesus by fiat: from Caesar.

In the eleventh century, Peter Abelard tried to suggest (through universities, foolish man, through the Church) that the things of our experience were real. He might as well have tried to tell Pilat. But see? The Church! the universities! had authority! They had it by fiat.

More later, but you already see where it’s going.


You give the government your life: the government gives everyone death.

2004 09 24

bkMarcus and I have had an exchange of emails since I posted the above. One of his today is fabulous through and through. I cite part:

Who’s always the biggest borrower in every stage of history? The king. (Or whatever form of government you have.) The banks lend to the kings, who go are always going broke in their wars, etc. The banks now have a political interest in the survival of their debtor governments. The governments now have an interest in the survival of their creditor banks. This is where the fraud becomes governmental. Kings and congresses keep the banks from going bankrupt during a run. Banks keep kings and congresses from going broke.

What happened first in England, then on the continent, then eventually over here, was that the government eventually took over the entire banking system. It’s a fraudulent form of private enterprise that has been “socialized” in the name of the State. What seem to be private banks now aren’t really private. They’re arms of government, just like utility companies and labor unions.

(By the way, it’s illegal for grain warehouses to do exactly what it’s legal for money warehouses to do.)

2004 11 20

A recent bk email I was cc’d on makes reference to fiat professions. There were teachers before any state got into the education game. Teaching was a natural profession. There were healers before any state started licensing doctors. Some such healers even called themselves “doctor,” had one or more degrees from one or more universities. Once the culture demands that you have a note from your doctor while the state decides who your doctor may be, it’s a different game. It’s the game of fiat professions: professions turned parasitic.

@ K. 2004 09 22

Society Social Order Institutions

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in institutions. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s