Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What Are Your Values?

To build upon earlier posts, and on topics of a more humanistic and moral level, I would like to clarify our "human value system" and its relationship to the international monetary and financial system (IMFS).

As certain writers lately (Cathal H., for example) have implied, there is a spiritual or religious connection to systems such as Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc... As one looks at the definitions of these "systems" (assuming we can at least agree that they are indeed systems of a sort) we find several interesting definitions of the kinds of systems they are:

capitalism: an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

communism: a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Our definitions appear to agree that each is a system, but are they theoretical, governmental, economic, social, cultural, some or all of the above, or  ... something else? Is their lowest common denominator that they are merely "systems"? Cultures are systems. Religions are systems. Political systems are of course systems. But our systems above seem to tie political, cultural, economic and governmental/organization/social elements together.

I would argue that the common thread is that these are "value" systems. To some extent, we could call them "belief "systems, but that more accurately describes religion (and therein lies the religious connection which Cathal relates to). But religions are indeed value systems, as well as belief systems - they are closely related.

When asked, "What are your values?" How do you reply? The Capitalist answers one way, the Socialist another, and so on. With religions, values tend to seek a moral norm. But a Nihilist or an Anarchist will have different values than say, a Muslim. Again, as a culture what are our values? As a people, or as members of the human race, what are our common values, beyond self-preservation?

Capitalism stresses that it is an economic system, because the importance of capital in private hands is at its core - a value statement. Capitalism favors private capital acting under the "invisible hand" of free markets. Is Capitalism truly at the foundation of our international monetary and financial system today?

Are the Chinese people and their government truly Communist in nature? What about Russia? How has our global value system impacted these cultures? How has it impacted their traditional systems? I ask these questions to make the point that our world today has changed and the old labels no longer fit. Once you conclude that the old labels are "value system" labels (as I hope you will) you will no doubt see the world as converging into a global "value system" (with notable cultural, religious and moral exceptions). 

Once accepting that value systems define our cultures, our attitudes, even our beliefs and virtues, we must accept that we denominate value with currency. Even the proponent of altruism denominates value in the currency of selflessness and generosity. But altruism hardly exists in our world today. What we denominate value in, for the most part, is our chosen "money". It is the essence of our modern valuation system, because our lives, our very existence depend upon it. Our quality of life is measured by it. People are judged by how much or how little of it they have or make.

The world wasn't designed this way. People made the world this way. Collectively, the world decided that a handful of bureaucrats and privately held banks would together create our money based on .... wait for it ... something other than their own best interests? Really?

Yes, my friends. If logic prevails, I would argue that the way we value ourselves, our time, each other, our labor, our relationships, our material possessions, our lifestyles, our free time - nearly everything - is based on the best interests of the IMFS banking elite.

So, what ARE your values? And are they truly yours, or has the world adopted the values of the IMFS banking elite? Look at the world around you to see the answer. Think upon this as you filter the current events of endless color revolutions, the rise of Trump, TBTF bailouts, opportunity and income inequality, the rise of financialization, exponential debt and derivatives, global stagflation and moral hazard, through this lens.

In the future, let's look at past alternatives to our continuously evolving global value system, and the future alternatives that are reacting to its inevitable decline. Gold, as a benchmark for "money value" instead of "the best interests of the banking elite" is at the core of both.

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