Reader Feedback on "Pure Transaction"

After reading you "Pure Transaction" blog entry I have one question and one Observation:

Question: Would you flesh out your "banks are not helpful" comment?
I think it relates to the barter idea but I'm not sure.

Long Winded Observation: :^)

Pure barter is a great idea, theoretically. But it requires that all people
accept the notion that whoever approaches them for whatever services they provide are of some direct or indirect benefit to them. That requires an understanding of basic economics that must have been instilled at a very early age. If I agree to repair my neighbors computer or fix his sons car, or put a new roof on the guys house that overheard a converastion I was having about roofs, I am expecting that I can also get what I need from someone else in the same manner. It is a fantastic idea and one I have fantasized about from time to time. (Heinlein wrote a novel I read when I was in my 20's that described this world beautifully, just can't remember the title). BUT, we are so entrenched in the idea of money as a measure of work/value that it is unlikely in the extreme to happen. The barter systems that I've seen so far all are a Kind of a tax evasion scheme, (services are still measured in any variant of 'barter dollars', that may as well be cash). They must do this because the are not wide spread and just cannot live in a monetary environment.

The Socialist ideal is that ultimatly everyone works at thier absolute best for the betterment of everyone around them. (a pipe dream for all except maybe ants and bees).
Pure barter would fall under the far right mentality. It is to a lesser extent unlikely, but none the less improbable, simply because people would need to think more about what the value is of themselves, and that of society to them, in order to comprehend the benefit. It is far easier to focus on the notion of money. Additionally those who wish to aquire power would find it far more difficult to do so.

I have recently, grudginly accepted the possiblilty of, the idea that people are becoming 'sheep like'. They do very little thinking about how the world works beyond the Movie they want to see, or the Dinner they want to eat, or the car they want to drive, or how taxing the rich will help them. This mentality is what permits the few to control the many and introduce monetary measures in the first place. Reagan was the exception to this, and is the reason why I resist fully accepting the 'Sheep like' theory. I still hold onto my faith in peoples reasoning ability.

Money is not necessarily a problem, but it does put the onus on all of us to be more aware of what those in governement are doing and act accordingly.

My personal political bent is Libertarian. So I spend alot of time being frustrated. :^)


My response:
Thank you.
I don't think barter is practical for everything. But more of it would be better I think. And definitely getting away from Banks. At least for the time being, it's not required to carry any sort of debt. Still puzzling through it.

Banks take more out of the system than they put in. A lot more. I believe they thrive on subterfuge and have carefully and methodically indoctrinated the general populace with poisonous thinking. "Without us the economy would grind to a halt... doom! Boo!" So, if 200 colonists land on a new world, they can't get anything done unless there is a Banker in there, they would have us believe.

Oddly, I'm living in the socialist dream. It's real for me. A quaint Mormon neighborhood where no one is left behind. Women who have given birth have meals delivered. Yards are unfenced and create communal parks. People in the three block radius are carefully and rigorously taken care of. The HUGE difference, which must never be forgotten is that it is VOLUNTARY. I gladly give 10% of my income plus fast offering. It is a delight. But I don't have to do it.

I am suspicious of anything that is done by force. If Social Security is so damn great, then why not make it voluntary? All these crap-tastically managed government schemes (yes, pejorative) are all just involuntary insurance programs. More to come on that.

More Reader comments:

Thank you for your time. I've always enjoyed these types of dicussions, (My wife calls them arguments. She rolls her eyes and sometimes kicks me under the table whenever I engage in them. :^) ).

I agree that banks are unecessary on a small scale. However, when a monitary based society reaches a certain critical mass it become almost a requirement. What if you needed to pay someone you did not know through the mail, or to complicate matters through electronic transfers?. You need some sort of central store to keep your money in to facilitate these things. Checks and EFT's need to be trusted in some way,... so these services are provided for in the form of banks. Then there is the matter of loans to do whatever it is you need more money for that you do not have. Our economy is based on currency, so the transfer and accounting for it are necessary. The Barter system removes all of this, but we would necessarily need to drop the whole idea of currency.

Banks are supposed to be private organisations, so in a free market, you can take your money to another bank if you don't like the current one,... it keeps people honest. But introduce an element into the mix that is all but immune to our wishes, and you now have a chance for that element to do what I think you describe. Too much reporting to said element about what we are all doing with our money, (a supremely personal thing given what money is and is used for), and we sacrifice liberty and personal freedom, subordinating ourselves to its will. This information is nobodys business but ours and those that we trust with that information. If banks were treated like the business's they are, abuses of the trust they enjoy would occur no more often that any other business. Those abuses could be easily handled in a healty society.

I recall a story that was recently related, (I thinks it was Rush Limbaugh), about the early days of the colonists. They originally tried a Socialist type of society where all people were supposed to work collectively, for the good of all. So they stored all of the food in common stores that all could take from. Housing and other needs were collectively build and maintained, or stored for all. But it soon became apparent that there were an unacceptable number who did not pull thier weight. They scrapped the Socialist system in favor of a more capitolist one, (Capitolist is not quite right, but the actual name I want escapes me at the moment). Each person or family was given land that was thier personal property, that they could do with what they wish to produce what they needed for themselves. This was a better system that rewarded productive participation and obviously punished laziness. I am completely certain people still willingly gave food, help and support to those in need. BUT, people could still directly appreciate the fruits of thier labor for themseleves. Work harder and they live better. So far as I know, money and banks were completely unecessary.

They still, however, lived in a currency based society on a global level. If they needed/wanted goods and services from foreign countries, it was required to have thier currencies. So I suppose it was inevitable that our fledgling union would have developed the first bank locally to establish our worth in the global market and inevitably move our society in a similiar direction.
With reguard to your community, I think it is more the Capitolist system that the Socialist one, and is an admirable one to boot!.

I don't know if you are familiar with the "Free State Project", . But essentially they are trying to gather together 20,000 liberty minded and politically active people together in one state that can sway that state to become more in line with what our founding fathers envisioned. This is an encouraging endeavour along the lines of what we have been discussing.



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