FROM STATE TO WORLD OPERATION
THE LOCAL BEGINNING OF A POTENTIALLY UNIVERSAL SYSTEM, DEVELOPING ECONOMIC UNION WITH POLITICAL ISOLATION
The world is accustomed to political money systems, all of which are established by the power of the state - without understanding of such systems by either the people or the statesmen. To establish a money system by rational processes, and through the voluntary cooperation of its users, is without precedent. People do not want to understand money; they merely want to use it. This is consistent with their attitude toward all utilities. They expect the specialist to understand the theory or philosophy or science of the utilities they use; they desire merely to enjoy them. This attitude is a necessary corollary of the practice of specialization of labor for the production of greater wealth.
This outline of the valun system was not written with the expectation that it would be read and understood by all prospective members of Valun Exchanges. The hope, on the contrary is that it will convince those persons who have the quality of leadership for this great human project. Such leadership will cause the mass to follow, for they love to follow and go places. To tell the common man that he has within him the power to create money is interesting; to tell him that he can be assured of control over his economic and political affairs is fascinating, but to explain the innards of the new gadget that is to thus serve him is boring.
Every money system that has thus far existed has been faulty and adverse to the interests of the people. But they have been handed to them as finished tools; they had only to use them; and they have always avidly done so. Likewise, they will use this valun system without understanding it, once it can be used to ring a cash register.
While a private movement cannot have the prestige of a government project, we must still count on the only power that we can exert - and that is the power to inspire confidence. Faith springs eternal. Men yearn to place their faith in other men. Those of us who will dedicate ourselves to this grandest of all projects for humanity must by the earnestness and persistence of our pleading inspire our fellow men with confidence in our integrity and in our judgment.
We have one great advantage. That lies in the fact that any one can try the valun system without its costing him anything. Assume that we make the membership fee the nominal sum of 1 valun and that we estimate the check clearing charge at 3 cends and deliver to each member a book of 100 checks. Thus the total charge would be 4 valuns with nothing paid down and the four valuns to be the first debit on the member's account. Thus there is practically no sales resistance once we reach the point where we can actually begin enrolling.
These four valuns would be debited to each account and credited to the account of the Treasurer of the Exchange. Thus the Exchange would open with a credit balance - and this would be its working funds to carry it until there is more demand for check books by new or old members. It should be noted that the Exchange itself would have no money creating power, but would operate on a credit balance.
No capital is to be invested in the Exchange; and no deposits are to be made to open a check account. In fact every account opens with an overdraft, due to the membership and check book charges. No funds are required beyond the funds needed to promote the project to the point of actual opening. For this we must depend upon voluntary contributions; or we can borrow funds payable out of the Treasurer's account when established.
OUR GREAT ADVANTAGE
Another great advantage we have is that we don't have to win elections, or convince the majority, before operation. The valun system is only for those who want to come into it. There is nothing to argue about, as in a political project whereunder it is proposed to impose a plan or a system upon those who do not favor it. Those who like it can come in; those who don't can stay out.
How many are needed to make an Exchange function? This is not easy to answer. It depends to some extent upon how compact the membership is, and also how varied are the lines represented. It also depends upon how much the enrolled membership is "rarin' to go." It would seem advisable, however, not to undertake operations unless there is assurance that at least one quarter of the members' business can be done in valuns.
When we get our first Exchange in successful operation we will have conquered the earth - because there will be no stopping the spread of the system. The publicity for the idea - which in the promotion of the first Exchange will require effort - will come automatically after operation. It will then pass into the realm of vital news; and the press and radio of the entire world will report on the experiment. Nothing could be such big news as the fact that a community of private enterprisers had solved the age old money problem and found the key to prosperity and the doom of collectivist philosophy and war propagation.
The promoters of the first Valun Exchange should concurrently promote the Valun International Trading Union which could actually start trading on a dollar basis before the valun is available. It should have a monthly or weekly publication devoted to promoting the valun idea and to mutual trading among members of the V.I.T.U. It should carry advertising cards of members, bidding for trade - and thus will be developed an acquaintance among these members who would be potential valun members in the first Exchange. If located within the state of the first Exchange, they would be prospective Class A members. If located elsewhere, they would be prospective Class B members.
The V.I.T.U. would unify all persons who may be interested in the valun movement; and would consolidate such interest behind local efforts to establish branch exchanges. Thus class B members would graduate into Class A members of local Exchanges, and the spade work for enlargement of the system would go on continuously. When justified, editions in other languages would be printed.
To serve as a unifier of all nationalities there should be selected - say from the language Esperanto - a limited lexicon of words commonly used in commerce and these should be translated into all languages so that valun members of all tongues may trade with each other without difficulty. Having broken the bounds of political money isolation, we should lose no opportunity to expand our system and unify trade.
All the Exchanges in the United States, and in other nations, will be federated through the Central Board of Valun Exchanges which would authorize each new Exchange. It could be made up of five delegates elected by the Board of the first Exchange - one to retire in favor of a delegate from each succeeding Exchange until each Exchange shall have one delegate on the Central Board. This has the potentiality of becoming a world federation of peoples on the economic plane; with one language of trade, and abolishing all international money changing.
What will such a unifying system lead to? Here is plenty of room for the play of imagination, but one can conceive of only good resulting.
The ultimate result may be not only the complete abandonment of the political money system but also a coordination between the valun system and the political system for tax collecting purposes. Certainly if the present cumbersome and deceptive and oppressive tax system with its many nuisances could be unified and made automatic, it would not only reduce the tax burden but make it less bothersome. This could be accomplished by attaching to the check charge a pro rata amount to cover national, state and local taxes. It would distribute the cost of government on the basis of capacity to pay, since one's check writing capacity would, with certain exceptions and modifications, be a definite indication thereof. Since corporations merely distribute the cost of their taxes in the cost of their goods, it would seem advisable to make all taxes direct and individual. If such coordination should come about, it would necessarily imply the right of the membership of the Valun Exchange to approve the rate - and thus would be had an additional control over government expenditures, to say nothing of the restraining influence that would come from the abolishing of all hidden taxes.
[Note from David T. Freeman: This alternative money system must not be used to "collect" any "taxes" - otherwise it will most likely end up being destroyed, and put us back where we started! One of the ultimate goals/results should also be to eliminate all "taxes," not to assist in "collecting" (stealing) them. For a detailed explanation of why, and the alternatives, I strongly recommend reading all of the Reports, particularly #16: Tax Education for Everyone.]
Another tendency that would result from the valun system would be not only a decline in trade isolationism but also a spur to political isolation; and perhaps when we think the matter through, this is just as we would have it.
TRADE A UNIFIER
Men divide in political concepts, in religion, in social customs and racially - but unite naturally on trade. There is nothing snobbish in trade. Trade is an undeclared but inextinguishable democracy. Peoples of the highest culture trade with those of the lowest; and distance is no barrier. There are no clashing ideologies in trade. It has but one common motive - self advancement or profit.
Governments do not contribute to this unifying influence that is common with all peoples in all parts of the world. On the contrary, they interfere with it. Their greatest separatist implement is their separate national money units. To this is added their tariffs, their subsidies and their embargoes. Lately they have come to use trade as an implement of economic warfare. Governments are trade disturbers and creators of international friction.
If trade is a unifier and promoter of wealth and interdependence, while governments are separators, disturbers and provokers, should we not strive for political isolation and economic union?
There is no more need for ambassadors or other government representatives in other nations, than there is for churches to send plenipotentiaries to each other. They are but spies, provocateurs and intriguers. Trade does not need them. Trade found its way around the world before the diplomatic idea was invented. What services they may render to tradesmen and travelers can be better rendered by private agencies - such as have no power to ensnare peoples in quarrels and intrigues.
Intervention of any kind by one government in the affairs of another nation is undemocratic, presumptuous and indefensible. All wars are negotiated by diplomats. If governments had no contact with each other, the provocative background could not be laid and private industrial and financial interests, and war mongers, would have no tool for international exploitation.
Reciprocal trade agreements for reduction of tariffs and negotiation of most favored nation agreements have no merits. Tariff is a method of taxing the citizenry, and nothing else. While it is designed to benefit special interests, and is one of the poorest forms of taxation, it nevertheless is nobody's business but the nation that applies it. It cannot injure any other nation. No nation needs to have tariffs because another nation has them. A free trade nation is not adversely affected by the tariff walls of other nations.
The delusion that one people dare not cast off political control over commerce until others have done so, is a trick that preserves political power over all. This conspiracy of all politicians against all peoples makes each people confront a world wide bind that frustrates their aims of freedom. Unless a people is intelligent enough to deal singly with its own politicians, and their hidden industrial supporters, free trade can never come. No single people controls the politicians of all nations, but the politicians, internationally united back of the reciprocity or conference idea, thwart each people.
There is no such thing as "cheap foreign labor." An American laborer, in ratio to what he produces, is paid no more than any other laborer. The same is true of differing wage standards within the nation. There are merely different standards of production - and low standard production localities can compete with high standard production localities only in things where there is some natural local advantage. However, if any nation wishes to set up tariff barriers against the bugbears of "cheap foreign labor" and "foreign dumping," it is its own affair and justifies no reprisal.
Tariffs, subsidies, embargoes and patents contribute nothing to the economy. Arguments presented in support of them are synthetic logic designed to serve the special interests that use the economic power of governments for their private advantage. Government can contribute absolutely nothing to the economy of the nation by intervening in trade, domestic or foreign. It is only an irritant, a perverter and a debaser.
But trade interferences are the minor evils of government. Its major evil is its war making power. To escape this evil will be our greatest victory. We come at long last to the way out - for the valun system, once it gains such general acceptance as to entirely displace the political money system, will write the doom of Mars. Nothing could be more obvious than that peoples do not spontaneously rise against each other. They must be agitated by demagogues - but this is not enough. The demagogue must be in control of the government money power before he can effectuate his demagogy. All agitators first strive to get into political power - because, with that, comes the money power of government. Before the war precipitation the demagogue professes to be a man of peace, and is interested in military preparedness only "for defense." Even the cost of this he dares not reveal to the citizen. He does not raise it by taxes; he "borrows" it - which is a method of creating money that the constituency does not understand.
In the mean time the diplomats start the pot boiling - and in due time comes the incident that precipitates the war. Both before and during the war the public is not permitted to find out the cost of the war - and is even deluded into believing that it is profitable. For instance, our national income after federal taxes was, in 1941, $88 bns; in 1942 - $104 bns; and in 1943 - $112 bns. Thus our net income after paying Federal taxes has risen in these three year, $24 bns. Thus the war has paid a per capita dividend of about $200 - although, according to conservative estimates, it will actually cost each of us about $3,000. Of course, that we are profiting from the war, is but an inflationary illusion; but, like the other shocking revelations that will come to us after peace, it will be too late to do anything about it. That is the game of war that politicians play through the political money power.
War is purely a politicians' game, and there is no natural basis for it. There is no people that wants to make war on any other people; and, to bring a people into war, their own politicians must first deceive them and ensnare them. There is one way and one way only that this politicians' game of war can be defeated. This is to deny to government the money creating power, through which it frees itself from citizen control. We have heard war referenda advocated. It has never been tried - and would be a great embarrassment for war mongers - but it is conceivable that even this might be successfully maneuvered by a clever politician if he still controlled the money power. Take away his money power, however, and you have imposed upon him the unbeatable referendum. It would mean that every penny of expenditure - cash, pay-as-you-go - would have to be asked of and paid by the citizen. Thus every step would require his approval. There would be no camouflage, no illusion - and propaganda would have met its neutralizer. This is the war panacea; the formula for perpetual peace. Monetary disarmament is the only effective disarmament.
So we who are engaged in promoting the valun system are furthering a world trade unifying and perpetual peace movement, however unconscious of this grand aim we may be. Every step forward we take, tends toward world economic union and political isolation and toward the curbing of government power to pervert domestic and foreign exchange and promote war.
Money freedom knows no barriers; knows no bounds. It presses on to unqualified freedom. Once man gains money mastery, there is no power that can thwart him. He will inevitably reduce government to the status of a public utility designed to render specified services, and not to control his destiny. He will unleash his natural powers of wealth production and bind the evil forces of adversity and war.
Democracy, to be effective, must be implemented with
the money power. Once the money power goes democratic,
everything goes democratic. There can be no autocracy or
aristocracy - in either government or business - when the
individual's money power is exerted. The will to work
and win and the will to peace is in every man. Give him
the money tool and he will carve his destiny and the destiny
of the world - a brotherhood of peace and plenty.
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