Ever since I first heard of the liberty mission, and long before I joined up I knew that people of a non statist mindset liked alternate currencies. Be it barter, gold, silver, or bit coin.
I freely admit that bit-coin is an idea that is a bit beyond me, I understand the concept and most of the science behind it. To me the most important thing about it is that it appears to be working as governments tie themselves in knots to try to defeat, play down, outlaw or obscure this currency.
Even when I was a militant socialist legal tender laws seemed dangerous and absurd to me. These laws meaning that if one refused to accept US$ within US jurisdiction one would face persecution, oops, I mean prosecution at the hands of the federals. What makes this currency so important that you have to threaten people to assure its continued use? Who makes this stuff and why?
Well, people much smarter than me with infinitely more resources have done extensive research, deconstruction and analysis of our fractional reserve banking system and in short the whole system is a giant scam. A humongous evil “conspiracy” whose audacity and complexity beggar belief.
Clearly the current system cannot be allowed to continue, personally I think it was designed to fall apart to be replaced by something else. As to what that something else is? That’s up for debate, but the bulk of proposals out of governments lean towards creating a bigger, less transparent, more corrupt system than what we have now.
There are some people who rejoice the coming collapse of our financial system within the libertarian community because theoretically this allows the possibility of the creation of a more sustainable currency based on gold and silver. Personally I think this scenario has some pitfalls as well.
Example one, lets say that the federal reserve gives in tomorrow, Ben Bernanke does a press conference where he dumps all of his dirty secrets on a table and says, “screw you, screw you, screw you, you’re cool, and screw you I’m out!” As a result of this congress votes to establish a new currency 100% backed by gold and silver.
Well I would like to ask this, who has the gold and silver? Sure there is plenty of it in individual hands. I like to think I have an ample supply of silver, but who controls the big stockpiles of precious metals? Most of the largest stockpiles are controlled by the same villainous banksters and government agencies who controlled the federal reserve system.
This will likely mean that they will continue to wield inordinate power. With the ability to fund or defund whatever projects strike their fancy. It will not be quite as elastic as it was before with the ability to create infinite cash out of thin air but that power will remain with the banking authorities and it will probably be a matter of months until bills of credit or paper gold is being used and the whole rotten scheme is back up to full speed.
Now if you think that statement is going to make me enemies in the liberty movement, watch this!
There is not a finite supply of gold, countless times I have heard that there is only just so much gold in the world, this is a fallacy, and one backed up by very little info. Three things to bear in mind, first of all gold doesn’t wear out, there is very little industrial consumption of the stuff, especially when compared to silver. Secondly there are mines all over the globe which are cranking out hundreds of pounds of the stuff every day. Third we have been mining gold since shortly after the dawn of humanity and despite what treasure map salesmen might say relatively little of it has wound up at the bottom of the ocean or buried in some remote location.
I do not believe that gold is the ultimate totem of the end of statism that many people believe it is. I believe that it is valuable and that in the event of the emergence of lib par that it would be a handy thing to have around as it is now. But I want to firmly state that in my opinion gold is only slightly less vulnerable to banker manipulation and government shenanigans than paper or other fiat currencies.
So where does that leave us in the search for currencies to eclipse the might of the state? I think the best answer is usually the simplest, and that answer is to have a basket of currencies. Some will probably be fiat, some commodity based, more and more probably being something encrypted and secure like bit coin. I say let the chips fall where they may. Anytime free and fair trade is handicapped by some random bureaucrat saying. “Your transaction must be in our currency or else we will punish you,” that is not a service that does anyone any favors in the long term.