A. Mitchell Innes: “What is Money?”

The notion that no one mayknows anything at all about how an economy works is shown by this article from May 1913. Excerpts from What is Money? by A. Mitchell Innes. Attempts to demonstrate the notion that money is nothing other than a form of debt. I don’t have any view on this other than to note its existence since I have only just come across Innes through one of his modern day advocates. I’m not even sure I know what follows if any of this is true.

 I have made this rapid survey of early coinages to show that from the beginning of the rise of the art of coining metal, there is no evidence of a metallic standard of value, but later history, especially that of France up to the Revolution, demonstrates with such singular clearness the fact that no such standard ever existed, that it may be said without exaggeration that no scientific theory has ever been put forward which was more completely lacking in foundation.

The official values were purely arbitrary and had nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the coins.

The general idea that the kings wilfully debased their coinage, in the sense of reducing their weight and fineness is without foundation.

Now if it is true that coins had no stable value, that for centuries at a time there was no gold or silver coinage, but only coins of base metal of various alloys, that changes in the coinage did not affect prices, that the coinage never played any considerable part in commerce, that the monetary unit was distinct from the coinage and that the price of gold and silver fluctuated constantly in terms of that unit (and these propositions are so abundantly proved by historical evidence that there is no doubt of their truth), then it is clear that the precious metals could not have been a standard of value nor could they have been the medium of exchange.

Adam Smith’s position depends on the truth of the proposition that, if the baker or the brewer wants meat from the butcher, but has (the latter being sufficiently provided with bread and beer) nothing to offer in exchange, no exchange can be made between them. If this were true, the doctrine of a medium of exchange would, perhaps, be correct. But is it true?

Assuming the baker and the brewer to be honest men, and honesty is no modern virtue, the butcher could take from them an acknowledgment that they had bought from him so much meat, and all we have to assume is that the community would recognize the obligation of the baker and the brewer to redeem these acknowledgments in bread or beer at the relative values current in the village market, whenever they might be presented to them, and we at once have a good and sufficient currency. A sale, according to this theory, is not the exchange of a commodity for some intermediate commodity called the “medium of exchange,” but the exchange of a commodity for a credit.

It is here necessary to explain the primitive and the only true commercial or economic meaning of the word “credit.” It is simply the correlative of debt.

Credit is the purchasing power so often mentioned in economic works as being one of the principal attributes of money, and, as I shall try to show, credit and credit alone is money.

The really important characteristic of a credit is not the right which it gives to “payment” of a debt, but the right that it confers on the holder to liberate himself from debt by its means—a right recognized by all societies. 

For many centuries, how many we do not know, the principal instrument of commerce was neither the coin nor the private token, but the tally, a stick of squared hazel-wood, notched in a certain manner to indicate the amount of the purchase or debt. The name of the debtor and the date of the transaction were written on two opposite sides of the stick, which was then split down the middle in such a way that the notches were cut in half, and the name and date appeared on both pieces of the tally. The split was stopped by a cross-cut about an inch from the base of the stick, so that one of the pieces was shorter than the other. One piece, called the “stock,” 6 was issued to the seller or creditor, while the other, called the “stub” or “counter-stock,” was kept by the buyer or debtor. Both halves were thus a complete record of the credit and debt and the debtor was protected by his stub from the fraudulent imitation of or tampering with his tally.

The labors of modern archaeologists have brought to light numbers of objects of extreme antiquity, which may with confidence be pronounced to be ancient tallies, or instruments of a precisely similar nature; so that we can hardly doubt that commerce from the most primitive times was carried on by means of credit, and not with any “medium of exchange.”

We know, of course, hardly anything about the commerce of those far-off days, but what we do know is that great commerce was carried on and that the transfer of credit from hand to hand and from place to place was as well known to the Babylonians as it is to us. We have the accounts of great merchant or banking firms taking part in state finance and state tax collection, just as the great Genoese and Florentine bankers did in the middle ages, and as our banks do to-day.

In China, also, in times as remote as those of the Babylonian Empire, we find banks and instruments of credit long before any coins existed, and throughout practically the whole of Chinese history, so far as I have been able to learn, the coins have always been mere tokens.

There is no question but that credit is far older than cash.

There can be little doubt that banking was brought to Europe by the Jews of Babylonia, who spread over the Greek Colonies of the Asiatic coast, settled on the Grecian mainland and in the coast towns of northern Africa long before the Christian era. Westward they travelled and established themselves in the cities of Italy, Gaul and Spain either before or soon after the Christian era, and, though historians believe that they did not reach Britain till the time of the Roman conquest, it appears to me highly probable that the Jews of Gaul had their agents in the English coast towns over against Gaul, and that the early British coins were chiefly their work.

The monetary unit is merely an arbitrary denomination, by which commodities are measured in terms of credit, and which serves, therefore, as a more or less accurate measure of the value of all commodities.

Money, then, is credit and nothing but credit. A’s money is B’s debt to him, and when B pays his debt, A’s money disappears. This is the whole theory of money.

On no banking question does there exist more confusion of ideas than on the subject of the nature of a banknote.

The quantitative theory of money has impelled all governments to regulate the note issue, so as to prevent an over issue of “money.” But the idea that some special danger lurks in the bank-note is without foundation. The holder of a bank-note is simply a depositor in a bank, and the issue of bank-notes is merely a convenience to depositors.

Future ages will laugh at their forefathers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, who gravely bought gold to imprison in dungeons in the belief that they were thereby obeying a high economic law and increasing the wealth and prosperity of the world.

A strange delusion, my masters, for a generation which prides itself on its knowledge of Economy and Finance and one which, let us hope, will not long survive. When once the precious metal has been freed from the shackles of laws which are unworthy of the age in which we live, who knows what uses may not be in store for it to benefit the whole world?

Noticing the death of the History of Economic Thought

The History of Economic Thought, as with all forms of history at the present time, is on its last legs. This is a post I put up on the Societies for the History of Economics (SHOE) list last week (July 23).

I am actually replying to two different postings, the first one from quite a while ago now, which was the death notice of one of HET’s greatest names, Donald Moggridge. I had assumed that after the two-line notice something more substantial would appear but it seems not. There must have been some notice taken somewhere else, but I just wish to say how much I appreciated the phenomenal effort that must have been required to edit Keynes’s Collected Writings. I will merely tell my own small story which was that there was some part of the thirty volumes that I came across that worried me enough not to pursue some line of inquiry until I had been to the Library at Kings to see what the original had actually looked like. And I was pleased in one sense – but disappointed given what I had intended to write – to find that the passage as printed was exactly as found in the original. I am no Keynesian, but Keynes was served astonishingly well by the work that Don Moggridge put in to edit his writings and his correspondence. The History of Economics has lost a great scholar.
Let me also note here how shallow economic theory has become due to the abandonment of its history by economists worldwide. “The inconvenient aunts locked away in garretts” discussed by Andrew Reamer are the many astonishingly deep analyses of the operations of an economy that are found in so many of the great works of economic theory that are not only no longer read, but no longer can be read. I have merely scratched the surface in my pursuit of the economics of John Stuart Mill, whose Principles, in my view, provides a better understanding of how an economy works than any of the textbooks we mass produce today. I therefore would like to support and endorse the views of Andrew Reamer, assuming I have understood him correctly, and can only wish that a new generation of economists will increasingly rediscover the lost treasures of our economic past. If economists are not scandalised by the economic policies which are being introduced around the world today, and do not say so in public, then really what is the point of any of what we are doing in writing the empty articles that pour out of our modern economic journals?
This was the post that had been sent by Andrew Reamer.

Although neoclassical economics relies on assumptions that should have been discarded long ago, it remains the mainstream orthodoxy. Three recent books, and one older one, help to show why its staying power should be regarded as a scandal.


Self-regarding economics departments at prestigious academic institutions no longer bother to teach the history of economic thought – a field that I studied at Yale University in 1977, forever compromising my academic career. Why was the topic abandoned – and even shunned and mocked? Students with a skeptical turn of mind would not be wrong to suspect that it was for scandalous reasons (as when, in past centuries, inconvenient aunts were locked away in garrets).

The four books reviewed here each uncover parts of the scandal. Three are brand new, and the other, The Corruption of Economics, first appeared in 1994 and was re-issued in 2006. Its principal author, the American economist Mason Gaffney, kept his remarkable pen flowing until passing away last summer at the age of 96.

You don’t often see an article as pointed as that and it was very welcome to me. But I have remained the only person who has entered into this discussion. I think it is interesting and worth continuing with but no one is willing to put their hand up any longer. Everywhere careers are too fragile to buy into any such controversy. And this was the note put up on June 23 announcing the death of Donald Moggridge.

I write to share the sad news that Donald E. Moggridge died peacefully in Toronto on April 10, 2021. Don was the main editor of The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes (1970-1989) as well as the author of biographies of Keynes (1992) and Harry Johnson (2008). Although subscribers to the SHOE list will know Don as a pre-eminent historian of economic thought, he was also a noted economic historian with a specialty in British monetary policy.

Perhaps there was no more to say, but perhaps there was. Anyone who has done work on Keynes must be extremely grateful for the painstaking efforts that went into the thirty volumes of the Keynes Collected Writings. I might add that I am such an outcast that Andrew Reamer has not bothered to write to me either, although I wrote to him offline on two occasions. And that I find just plain rude.

Vaxxination and the core principle of conservative thought

Let me turn to what is apparently the single most important issue in the world, getting everyone vaxxinated against Covid. People are reluctant/hesitant because no one knows what the long-term effect of the vaccines will be once they have been injected. Let me take you to one of the few other sites that have the same concerns: Thanks to Social Marketing, You Will Be Assimilated. There we find this:

They really, really, want us to get vaccinated. Whom do I mean when I use the word “they”?

Well, for starters, there’s the government. All Western governments, in fact, even that of Hungary. “They” also includes the major media, Big Tech, the MSM, the universities and secondary schools, and all major philanthropic organizations.

All of them are pushing relentlessly for all citizens to submit to the injection of an experimental medical treatment that uses messenger RNA, and whose long-term side effects are completely unknown.

For as far back as I can remember, I have never experienced such a relentless full-court press by all social and political institutions in pursuit of a single goal….

There is only one possible outcome from the point of view of the vax pushers. You may be “hesitant”, but you cannot make a decision not to get the jab, and they will prod you and punish you until you do.

Anyway, you can go to the link. With Catallaxy gone, there is one less site in the world arguing for caution, which is the core principle of conservative thought.

PLUS THIS: There are still some out there trying to raise an alarm: Covid-19 Vaccine Analysis: The most common adverse events reported so far.

As of July 19, 2021 there were 419,513 adverse event reports associated with Covid-19 vaccination in the U.S., with a total of 1,814,326 symptoms reported. That’s according to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database…. The following is a summary of some of the most frequent adverse events reported to VAERS after Covid-19 vaccination. (It is not the entire list.)

You can go to the link to see the “summary” but that is only a partial list of what has happened immediately. What will be the effect two or three years from now? No one knows because no one can know. And by then, will there be anyone around who will tell you?

AND NOW THIS: Alan Jones column ended by Daily Telegraph amid controversial Covid and anti-lockdown commentary.

The Daily Telegraph has ended Alan Jones’s regular column amid controversy about his Covid-19 commentary, including calling the NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant a village idiot on his Sky News program. There has been apparent tension inside News Corp Australia between the anti-lockdown Sky After Dark commentators like Jones and Andrew Bolt and the Holt Street newspapers, which have been promoting vaccination and criticising the “freedom” protest in Sydney….

“Have a look at Sky News YouTube, Sky News Facebook and Alan Jones Facebook and you can see. The same column that I write for the Tele goes up on my Facebook page. “The public can check it for themselves. 35 years at top of the radio – and I don’t resonate with the public? Honestly.”

You are either for Vaxxination or you will be cut down and cut off.

A new dark age on its way

The tearing down phase is well on its way. The re-building stage will never occur. There is also this as well but that’s just local. It is the anti-capitalist ignoramus envy that will create the disasters, of which this is just one example.

In 1994 the ANC inherited the strongest economy in Africa, with excellent infrastructure, including cheap, reliable electricity. The ANC has wrecked it all. We have continual blackouts; the passenger railways are crumbling into ruin; most of the municipalities are dysfunctional, with appalling water supply and sewage running in the streets; South African Airways is bankrupt; the economy is crippled; deep poverty is widespread, and unemployment is at 43 per cent (including many who have given up looking for work). This tragedy has been caused by systematic corruption, a bloated government, ruinous racial laws and a relentless assault on private enterprise. Violent crime alarms the rich and terrifies the poor. The ANC government responded to Covid-19 with a clumsy and callous lockdown. A team of actuaries showed that many more South African lives would be lost by the lockdown than by the virus. The ANC ignored them. The country was a tinderbox waiting for a spark.

Covid may be the excuse but the underlying mission to destroy our wealth-creation process and become the New Cuba is everywhere. With the Soviet Union, its fall was encouraged by the existence of the United States. Now there will be nothing around to show the way.

Experimental science and covid

From: the AAPS. Sounds like a dissident group of doctors who are actually concerned about human freedom as well as our health.
Subject: AAPS Supports the Right to Decline COVID-19 Vaccine

In response to the Joint Statement by the American Medical Association (AMA) and others supporting mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all health care workers, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) issued a Statement in Support of the Right of All, Including Medical Workers, to Decline Medical Intervention:

“The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) declares that all human beings have the right to liberty, which they do not forfeit when they serve the sick or the disabled. The ethical commitment to protect others does not require workers to surrender their bodily integrity and self-determination….

“Risks and benefits differ in individual patients and differing circumstances. Achieving a stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—premature because studies are not scheduled to be complete before the end of 2022—does not confer safety or effectiveness. FDA-approved products have frequently been withdrawn….

“The Joint Statement recognizes only a medical exemption, and omits mention of a religious exemption though many workers object to receiving these products based on their religious beliefs. Medical exemptions are virtually never recognized for the COVID vaccines because there is improper denial that they cause harm to anyone.

“Long-term effects of these novel, genetically engineered products cannot possibly be known at this point. These could include autoimmune disorders, antibody-enhanced disease, infertility, cancer, or birth defects….

“AAPS favors insistence on fully informed, truly voluntary consent for all medical intervention. This includes full disclosure of all risks, and a diligent effort to identify and track risks…. Our medical organizations should be advocating for free and open discussion and opposing censorship….

“Without freedom, there is no safety for either workers or our patients.”

AAPS president Paul Kempen, M.D., Ph.D., adds the following observations:

  • As of mid-July, 30 million people have recovered from COVID-19 in the U.S. and have natural immunity. Vaccination of these persons confers only risk with little to no benefit, yet these mandates do not exempt them.
  • Serious side effects have been identified, including paralysis and inflammation of the heart muscle, which may not resolve and may cause death.
  • As variants multiply, “booster” shots may be required, with increasing risk of allergic phenomena.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has represented physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto, everything for the patient.

There is then also this: THERE’S MORE TO DEATH THAN COVID-19.

Breathless headlines featuring ‘the Virus” are beginning to fade into a chronic undercurrent of fear thy neighbor for he might be bearing the gift of Covid. What you won’t see in the headlines are stories about a more pervasive and ultimately more lethal virus: a growing disregard for others and devaluation of life. Rampant homicides are disheartening enough, but more shocking is the shifting morality in medicine. 

News headlines gave the impression that the newly instituted Covid rules were designed to save lives, yet we soon learned the lockdowns, masking, school closures did more harm than good. Meanwhile—in plain sight—government-sanctioned sacrifice of the elderly was taking place. In 5 “progressive” states, Covid-positive patients were discharged from hospital isolation units and returned to their nursing homes where they comingled with uninfected residents. Of course, many more residents became ill. It didn’t make the headlines that half of Covid deaths were in nursing homes and 80 percent of deaths were in those over 65. This might have encouraged more policies that protected our elders and allowed the younger folks to carry on with their lives. To date, the news has not reported any apologies to the families of the victims of government and medical incompetence.

In 2020, many hospitals in the United States considered guidelines that would allow doctors to withhold CPR from Covid patients, ignoring the patient’s wishes. Our neighbor to the north, Quebec had actually issued such an order lasting from April to September 2020. Bless the paramedics on the front lines who complained and had the order lifted.

Age-related rationing is alive and well. The ethics advisor to 78-year-old President Biden, Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, author of the utilitarian “Complete Lives System” of  medical care, chose age 75 as his personal benchmark for ending life. This is so wrong. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Whether mentally sharp or in declining health, older people give texture and context to our lives. Reflecting on older folks reminds us that in their lifetime innovations have gone from puttering around in a car to rocketing to the moon. And Dick Tracy’s comic book two-way wrist radio is now a commonly worn Apple watch. 

The behavior of bureaucrats and the medical establishment during the Covid “crisis” laid bare the dismissive treatment of elders. And an uncomfortable question hangs in the air: was the nursing home debacle a conscious attempt to cull the herd? After all, Medicare chews up 15 percent of the federal budget and 25 percent of Medicare dollars are spent in the last year of the patient’s life. According to the 2019 Medicare Trustees report, the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund will be depleted in 2026—a short 5 years away. 

If this form of population control sounds un-American, remember that our country seriously engaged in eugenics, marked by 75 years of Supreme Court-approved forced sterilization. The abortion industry has devolved from a time when a woman was mortified to have an abortion to where clinics are advertised on highway billboards. The quest for clean air has gone from encouraging recycling and renewable energy to suggesting that human depopulation is the only way to save the planet. 

Human concern in medicine has taken a back seat to marginal scientific ethics and perhaps, secret agendas. We have become numb to the experiments using fresh aborted fetal tissue to create “humanized mice” that sprout various human organs. This slow walk to the edge of medical ethics has allowed science to go in grotesquely anti-human directions. Jointly with Chinese government funding, United States researchers created viable embryos that are a mix of human and monkey cells (a “chimera”). With funding from the Chan Zuckerberg [Mr. Facebook] Initiative, researchers tinkered with male rats so they could deliver live babies via Cesarian section. 

Sadly, physicians have become willing participants in the government’s borderline coercion by not informing themselves about early treatments for Covid or the side effects of the experimental vaccine. Federal and state governments are bribing, cajoling, and subjecting us to door-to-door pressure to take an injection of a product that could be killing us in numbers not seen before. Serious reactions include miscarriages, Bell’s palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, blood clotting disorders (including brain clots), and anaphylaxis. Bizarrely, the White House is challenging colleges to vaccinate its entire campus, despite sometimes fatal heart inflammation after vaccinations in young adults (who have infinitesimal risk of significant Covid illness). 

It appears we are guinea pigs in a grand experiment. The elderly were the casualties of Phase I. As the post-vaccine bodies pile up, the Nuremberg Code’s principle is being ignored: The experiment must be stopped if continuation would result in injury and death.

The problem is we have not yet identified is just what experiment exactly is in progress and who the subjects of this experiment are.

Why nihilism was a problem for Nietzsche

That there are people who don’t think nihilism is a problem, and that a time may very well come when no one feels nihilism is a problem, is precisely why nihilism was a problem for Nietzsche.

Nietzsche prized human greatness above all else. To achieve human greatness, he thought, there must be problems and there must be people who care about them. That’s because greatness results from overcoming problems.

What all problems have in common is suffering. Suffering, therefore, is good, not in itself, but because it’s a necessary condition for greatness. But the modern world, Nietzsche thought, is in the process of eliminating suffering by creating a world of abundance, security, and comfort.

For reasons I won’t go into, Nietzsche believed that eliminating suffering requires the elimination of meaning as well. However, eliminating both meaning and suffering requires human beings for whom the absence of meaning isn’t a problem – since otherwise they’d suffer from it, and then suffering wouldn’t have been eliminated.

Under those conditions, there would be no more human greatness, because no one would suffer and there would be nothing to overcome. Nietzsche hoped that a certain type of person will continue to suffer from the absence of meaning, approach it as a problem, and achieve greatness by overcoming it.

In short, nihilism is a problem for Nietzsche because if we become used to it, there will be no more human greatness. The question then becomes: Why is the absence of human greatness a problem?

That, I think, is something Nietzsche believes you just either get or don’t get, depending on your personality. To someone with a robust love of life at its most intense, the value of human greatness is self-evident. To someone who prefers security to intensity, the absolute value of human greatness is somewhat less than self-evident.

“Like it or not, we are becoming a communist country”

Meanwhile, TRUMP SPEAKS: ‘Like it or Not, We’re Becoming a Communist Country… We Are Beyond Socialism’.

The 45th President of the United States addressed the Turning Point Action Convention over the weekend when he weighed-in on the Democratic Party’s platform for the country; saying America is quickly “becoming communist.”

“Like it or not, we are becoming a communist country. That’s what’s happening. We are beyond socialism. When you have no press, when you have no press that you can talk to, that’s how a communist country begins. They have no press,” said the former President.

A communist society where the largest businesses hand in glove with governments seek to control both production and communication. You will be free to conform with their dictates. Other than at the periphery – we are the periphery – nothing else will be allowed.

Wait till we have vaccine passports.

The counter-position for why people do not want to take the vaccination shot

A very interesting video picked up here: The Other Side of the COVID Vaccination Argument, Video. Actually, it is the other side of what is heard everywhere else, except here.

You might also find this of interest: Covid-19 Vaccine Analysis: The most common adverse events reported so far. Comes with a truly terrifying list.

“Positive [covid] tests as they are counted today do not indicate a ‘case’ of anything”

The real question is why are we still in lockdown? From Why Is The CDC Quietly Abandoning The PCR Test For COVID?

Numerous epidemiological experts have argued that cycle thresholds are an important metric by which patients, the public, and policymakers can make more informed decisions about how infectious and/or sick an individual with a positive COVID-19 test might be. However, as JustTheNews reports, health departments across the country are failing to collect that data.

Here are a few headlines from those experts and scientific studies:

1. Experts compiled three datasets with officials from the states of Massachusetts, New York and Nevada that conclude:“Up to 90% of the people who tested positive did not carry a virus.”

2. The Wadworth Center, a New York State laboratory, analyzed the results of its July tests at the request of the NYT: 794 positive tests with a Ct of 40: “With a Ct threshold of 35, approximately half of these PCR tests would no longer be considered positive,” said the NYT.“And about 70% would no longer be considered positive with a Ct of 30! “

3. An appeals court in Portugal has ruled that the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2, and therefore any enforced quarantine based on those test results is unlawful.

4. A new study from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, found that at 25 cycles of amplification, 70% of PCR test “positives” are not “cases” since the virus cannot be cultured, it’s dead. And by 35: 97% of the positives are non-clinical.

5. PCR is not testing for disease, it’s testing for a specific RNA pattern and this is the key pivot. When you crank it up to 25, 70% of the positive results are not really “positives” in any clinical sense, since it cannot make you or anyone else sick.

So, in summary, with regard to our current “casedemic”, positive tests as they are counted today do not indicate a “case” of anything. They indicate that viral RNA was found in a nasal swab. It may be enough to make you sick, but according to the New York Times and their experts, probably won’t. And certainly not sufficient replication of the virus to make anyone else sick. But you will be sent home for ten days anyway, even if you never have a sniffle. And this is the number the media breathlessly reports… and is used to fearmonger mask mandates and lockdowns nationwide.

Scamdemic is a word I have come across that may really represent what we have been through. Also discussed here: CDC Seems To Tacitly Admit PCR Tests Can’t Differentiate Between COVID And The Flu.