Okay, let’s continue being serious for a moment about GOLD. The gold phenomenon, as I like to call it, is very closely tied to the events that led to where we are today, which can accurately be described as a cluster fuck, but on a planetary scale. If we take this disease that is killing the human race (because our idiocy has become a disease) and boil it down to the simplest possible explanation, it would be this: When we developed trade and commerce and an economy, it was good – very good; we shouldn’t forget that the human race went from being little more than a handful of half-starved nomads always moving and looking for food to having excesses, luxuries, slaves, titles, position and properties in the span of a couple of thousand years. After 250,000 years of looking for food and water all the time, this was the blink of an eye. Civilization, as it were, was gourmet fare for the human ego, which ate it up with gusto; the way only we can: by gorging on what felt good now without giving a second thought as to…well, as to anything. We just kept heading in the direction of MORE! Why should anyone think that we could run out of anything – the first 3,000-4,000 years after the Neolithic revolution was phat! There was plenty for everyone, in fact we wouldn’t come up with the concept of poverty for some time; remember, you have to be free to be poor and you would be surprised at the percentage of the human race that were slaves and for how long. We acted without thinking, planning or considering the consequences. Doesn’t that sound familiar? It was the same 12,000 years ago. We may have airplanes and computers but we have not curtailed our insatiable appetite for irresponsibility by even a little. You can count on a human being to fuck something up, and that we did, especially when we picked a metal: gold, to be the raw material for this new thing we called MONEY. Money was such an incredibly addictive and irresistible goodie that it simply froze our minds. No one and I mean no one thought about or worried about what we would do when we ran out of gold. Maybe there was some ignorance involved, but anyone who has ever been in charge of anything since we’ve had money had to have known that people multiplied, quickly, but not gold, in fact every year, it became just a tiny bit more difficult to find new gold. We didn’t need to pinpoint a specific year, but just knowing that at some point in the future it just wouldn’t work anymore because there would be more people needing to use money than there was gold to be money was enough to act on. It’s typical of us. Right now, even at this stage of our descent into who-knows-what, if by some chance a huge asteroid made of pure gold were to pass within range of our rockets and we lassoed that planet-sized nugget of the stuff that dreams are made of, anchored it to the moon, took its measurements, and started to figure out exactly how much hold was on the asteroid, we would get to “more than what we need right now” and just stop counting. Why bother? We hit our nut! We filled up the hole that we made! We would, and we all know it. We would have gold orgies and the filthy rich would become indescribably rich and be happy, and the poor and downtrodden would still be poor and downtrodden but happy because they would still have that shitty job that barely paid them enough to live on – the one that they lost at some point between 3 years ago and today. We would continue to ignore half of all of us – the ones that there was never enough for in the first place and they would continue to starve to death because even though our own stupidity is killing us, we don’t want to change because change requires thinking and actual work and those things make our brains hurt – unless there’s money involved.
So we ignored the math and based our wealth on gold. Fine, so how did the whole wealth thing work? How was new money made? Up until possibly the 1960’s (that’s a guess, but I think a good one) for there to be new money, there had to be new wealth. This requires a quick recap of the history of human wealth. If you recall, the wealth of the world and of nations had always been food, which may very well remain as the only real thing of value in human history, and then we came up with the concept of money to use as a medium of exchange because it was simply too cumbersome and tedious to trade in food directly. We chose gold as the material from which we would make the money that would represent the wealth (food) and be much easier to carry and transact since it is a soft metal and easily formed into coins. Then we got so used to dealing and transacting gold, that we forgot it only represented wealth and, just as Aristotle warned, we confused it with wealth – but no one said anything, we just took it as a given that gold was the wealth of the world and when food came up in conversation, it would quickly be referred to as a commodity, usually in the futures market – yes, futures, as in; not yesterday or today, but the future, you know that thing that we can not predict but for some strange reason can buy and sell. This continued and evolved until trade and commerce became so widespread (because we love to fuck and reproduce like rabbits) that a sub-category of money had to be created: currency (including paper money). The first bank notes appeared sometime in the 16th century of thereabouts, in Scandinavia (That’s an interesting story, remind me to write about it sometime.) and it caught on quickly. By the 19th century, paper money was in common used and was valued at par with gold because they were redeemable for gold at just about any bank. During all this time, gold was wealth. Paper notes were portable representations of gold and therefore notes were only printed based on how much gold there was. At some point we realized that the amount of gold was finite; that’s when wealth became a privilege and we began to acquire it by using war or theft or fraud, you know good old fashioned proven techniques. Then, all of a sudden, just like that: there was no more new gold. That was it. All the money there was, was all the money there was, but the human progress train didn’t notice, it kept right on going. Oh Shit! What do we do now! There’s no more gold to make more money! If people find out, it will be a freaking disaster! What to do? What to do? It didn’t take us very long, we figured: what the heck, if we’ve screwed the pooch, then let’s screw it properly! Nobody said anything, not a word, then, suddenly (and I mean suddenly) in August of 1972, the President of the United States of America went on the air (TV and radio) early in the morning, before the markets opened and rattled off a list of “executive decisions” which included: “a 90 day freeze on prices and wages, an immediate 10% import surtax and the severing of the link between the dollar and gold (meaning that one could no longer want into a Federal Reserve bank with a $20 and walk out with however much gold that got them). It got a little attention at the time, it’s getting A LOT of attention now. That single act literally killed the concept that we know as money. The price of gold was fixed in dollars and the US dollar is the reserve currency of the world (gold being the official currency). Here’s the part that we MUST understand if we are to survive this. The link between the dollar and gold was cut, not because of any of the reasons given (which don’t matter); it was cut because WE RAN OUT OF GOLD and someone at some point realized that there were more bank notes floating around that there was gold, not much, but just enough to blow the whole thing to kingdom come if anyone found out. They didn’t have to do it, they chose to do it because the alternative was to do what we’re going to have to do shortly: build a new economic infrastructure. They figures, what the heck? Nobody knew what was going on, it would take YEARS before the decision would begin to stink as it does today, so they cut the link between gold and the dollar and the wealth that was gold stopped at however much there still is. That did not stop us from propagating our species however and developing technology and adding more people every year to that exclusive club made up of people addicted to excess and other people’s envy. We continued forward and our economy GREW. (Screeching record sound) Wait a minute; didn’t I just say that we had run out of gold? How could our economy grow if there was no new gold? No new gold, no new money, remember? But there was new money. Crisp and freshly printed dollars were pouring out of the US mint and currencies all over the world continued to be incrementally printed and introduced into circulation. But how could anyone get away with this? It was easy, we printed money based on new gold that was BORROWED (it also didn’t exist, because there was no actual gold to borrow, that was just how they did the math). This fictitious quantity of borrowed gold didn’t exist; therefore the convertibility of paper currency to gold HAD to be cut – because there wasn’t enough gold, get it? This new “way” of printing money based on the assumption that if there were gold that could be borrowed, we would, but there isn’t, but we would if there were, so we’ll act as if we did and print money based on the value of this new DEBT. And there is was, that’s how the DEBT was born. We owe nobody approximately 52 trillion dollars worth of “borrowed” gold, which never existed but was used to print currency that was spent as legal tender. It was made possible because our banks created this money by issuing, buying and selling LOANS. In some part of our non-functioning brains, it could be said that these loans were what created the “borrowed gold”. At first, loans were made by banks with our deposits; yes, the loan that you had for your car or for anything, 25 to 30 years ago was actually other people’s money, deposited at the bank that gave us the loan. They had permission to do this and, after all, we weren’t using the money, we deposited it, remember? Very quickly however, the banks didn’t need our money, the money that they created by lending out our money and charging interest on it was re-deposited by the banks, and by the 1980’s, they didn’t need our deposits. They were making new money left and right, lending out larger and larger portions of this gold that doesn’t exist to themselves and then transacting money on that DEBT. Our governments told us, “don’t worry about it, we’re good for it, trust us.” Maybe this is why it’s called fiat currency, because fiat means “authority” in the dictionary (sic), but authority is the basis for credibility and credibility is the foundation of trust. You see, the root morpheme fiat also forms part of two words that came from Latin and are used by romance languages: confiar; which is Spanish for TRUST and fiar: which is also Spanish for TO EXTEND CREDIT TO, TO LEND. Wow, is all of this a coincidence? I don’t think so. Am I a conspiracy theorist?; hardly. This is simply what we did. When we ran out of gold and we borrowed the gold that we would need if the gold actually existed, but it didn’t, so the only way to get away with it was to treat the DEBT as real. This would make the “borrowed gold” real, as it were. And they did, and we bought it and theydid it more and we bent over and took it all.
This “debt” that took Greece and Italy from our world (because they are no more) is not real, but it is killing us and it might just succeed. Now if you’re thinking, if it’s not real, then it can’t kill us, then you get detention and here’s why. It’s like WATER.
WATER? Yes, water. We need water in order to survive. Without water, we die, quickly, of dehydration, this is a commonly known fact and the visual image that comes to mind is of a person in a hot and arid place like a desert, dropping dead from the thirst. Scratch that image for a moment and replace it with this one: You are in a life raft, floating in the ocean, lost and adrift. You are the sole survivor of a shipwreck and you’ve been out at sea for two days now, in the raft, in the sun with no provisions left. You start to get thirsty, very thirsty. You become delirious and suddenly you realize Wait a minute! I’m floating in an ocean of WATER! You laugh and you drink and drink and drink and 8 to 10 hours later, your kidneys shut down and you die, of what is essentially DEHYDRATION, because it’s not really WATER, it’s SALT WATER. Oh, they’re both wet, but the salt water is poison and will kill you. The DEBT is our salt water. We ran out of fresh water and just began drinking that salty debt water up in our delirium for more. If you can imagine some math to convert salt water to debt and establish a parallel between the time it takes salt water to kill a person and the time it will take the debt to kill what’s left of the human race, you could say that we’re in the 6th hour of the last 8 hours of our life as we know it. If we keep drinking the salt water for 2 more hours, we DIE, but if we stop drinking the fucking salt water we will have landed on a sandy beach with a beautiful fresh water spring nearby and we will LIVE.
I want to LIVE and I think that you do too. Please, stop drinking the salt water, it’s NOT REAL WATER. If we stop feeding this nightmare called the debt and stop believing that it’s real, then we can just throw away the civilization that we broke and BUILD ANOTHER ONE. After all, whose planet is this, ours or the debts?
We can do better.