AmMerc: Economic Liberty


But [what] if you could take power away from the Fed simply by using an alternate currency?

Free Lakota Bank website.

Phrased alternatively, on any FTF deal where you did not have a specific need for Federal Reserve notes, why wouldn’t you take gold, silver, or other alternative tender?

Other than lack of imagination, that is.

51 responses to “AmMerc: Economic Liberty

  1. Going to real money divorces us from the surveilance of the US government and severs us from US government retaliation against us through taking fiat currency by direct debit.

    Going to precious metals for money has far reaching benefits.

    • “….severs us from US government retaliation against us….”
      =============

      “Pat, PAT!!!, wake up man, you’re dreaming again!”

  2. So how do you bootstrap this?
    The medium of exchange needs to be decided upon and be unique and not easily reproduced.
    You have to have a cadre of merchants willing to accept it as a medium of exchange.
    The medium has to be easily divided into fractions of a whole.

    • US silver “junk” coins are already functional coins, can be bought at coin dealers in bulk, and raise eyebrows the least. You don’t need to decide upon a coin type or merchant acceptance in advance in some centrally planed homogenous manner. It’s already legal to ask about a “cash discount”; just ask your mom-and-pop merchants about a “silver discount”. Suppose you go to a range to shoot twice a month. Ask the range if they would accept silver coins for rentals and ammo purchases. Get people used to thinking about prices in multiple currencies, like people who live near borders do. To begin with the range may accept it as a novelty, for advertising, or because they semi-agree with you. If they get enough traffic in silver they will keep enough around to make change with at all times, and that’s the definition of merchant acceptance.

    • I’m really liking my “talk the gun ranges and gun stores into accepting US silver coins” idea. Collect all the taxes the state demands. Check with your accountant, but if a merchant accepts value in trade equal to a US dollar, the government wants to collect the tax for a dollar, and demands the books be kept in dollars. So do that, collect that tax, and pay it. Keep all the price tags and cash registers and business books in US Dollar amounts just as they are now. Post a set of prices on the wall that is the buying power of US silver coins as measured in US dollars. One silver dime = $X FRN, one silver quarter = $Y FRN, one silver ounce = $Z FRN, etc. Keep a scale so the customer can weigh the silver change instead of counting it by coin type. Post a simple Excel spreadsheet for download from WRSA that prints out this poster given yesterday’s silver price close from whatever exchange.

  3. The love of money (not money itself) is said to be the root of all evil.

    Surely the love of fiat currency is evil coupled to insanity.

  4. …and for not FTF, there’s Bitcoin. http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

    >Awaits luddite firestorm<

    • Bitcoin is worth investigating. I liken it to virtual digital PM’s, with no possibility of ever holding metal coin in-hand. There won’t be counterfeiting, but users need to have a pretty high level of sophistication to use it. A really neat idea.

      Then there are pre-1965 US coins.

      • I liken it to virtual digital PM’s

        I like it to prepaid UPS shipping labels. The use value of Bitcoin is to transmit information about ownership and value from here to there in a common measurement unit. If Bitcoin is not acting as currency or information transportation, it has no jewelry or electronics use value like gold and silver do. Don’t use Bitcoin as a store of value in the long term, don’t hold it in bulk. Instead, use it to transfer gold to sellers and stuff to buyers.

  5. Pat,

    Your point about the lack of surveilance is the most sound reasoning that I’ve read regarding this subject thus far. Value is certainly important, but privacy (which I am constantly assured that I have no right to by the Left) and anonymity hold, and should, a high place in the coming years.

    Sorry, gentlemen, the argument that we will bleed the monster dry by way of subverting his currency is sorely lacking, and for obvious reasons. They print more, and more importantly, they get away with DOING it. There is no drawback for them to do so.

  6. Here is what I’ve done to help this project along. First I organized a cartel to buy bulk silver directly from the mint (NW Territorial Mint – generic 1oz rounds cost less when purchased in qty 50 or more). Had about six or seven guys buying some every month for a year. So, all my friends have silver now.

    Now, when giving money to friends try to give them silver. I continue to favor 1 oz generic rounds, local coin shop has a box full of used ones that they sell for $1.75 over spot. (The mint price was $1.33 over spot for new ones). When I owe a friend some money I try to pay them in sliver.

    Next: going to buy 1/4 oz. rounds with a few buddies. With silver pushing $40 the 1oz’ers are too big for every day transactions.

    That says a lot about real inflation. When I was a kid dimes and quarters were silver and traded at face value. Today a Washington quarter is worth $5.87 in melt-value, not 25c. That’s a 2348% increase in it’s value, or a corresponding decrease in the value of the dollar.

    • Daniel K Day

      Jackson, How was your delivery time from NW Territorial Mint? I just took a look at reviews at Gold Dealer Reviews and buyer satisfaction was pretty low. Deliveries were very slow – a lot of people quoted 4 months. This is not intended to be a flame, I’m just asking on the basis of the entries I saw.

  7. Utah recently made gold and silver legal for commerce, and for paying amounts owed to the state…

  8. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WEIGHT
    from http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/secession-and-money/
    can’t argue with that – good reasoning.

    sources abound…

    http://www.sunshinemint.com/

    Custom Minting

  9. addendum -
    But forget about the debit idea – value for value at time of transaction with no counterparty risk is the only reasonable approach. None of the “gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today” nonsense inherent with paper or digital promises.

  10. Jimmy the Saint

    One reason to consider not doing business with tribal banks is that the transactions would be subject to tribal law. Not necessarily that bad a deal if you are of the tribe, but potentially dicey if you’re not.

    As far as using their currency goes – so long as you trust the assays, go for it.

    • As Tribal Law improves, the desirability of their money, and doing business on their land will also improve. The first landed Tribe to enforce a good legal code will have a huge advantage in gathering human and economic capital, especially as the Fed attempts to collapse Nation and various States.

  11. I sense the Spirit of Russel Means at work here!
    What a beautiful thing!
    The only concern I have is, what’s to keep fedgov from seizing/stealing all records and assets and shutting this thing down by force. The have done it repeatedly whenever any alternate to their fiat currency is offered among free and consenting adults. See National Commodity and Barter Association as an example.

    • “…what’s to keep fedgov from seizing/stealing all records and assets and shutting this thing down by force.”
      =====

      There ya go.
      They kick doors in, kill people, kill dogs, steal your stuff, torture and cage you, and every other atrocity you can think of.

      Why in the world won’t they steal your savings?

      Go on, put ALL your eggs in that basket, it’ll make it easier for them to carry them home.

      Remember, lead weighs more than gold.

      • This is called “war”. There is no better way for a Tribe to distinguish themselves than to defy a nation in defending themselves and their investors.

        Will the Lakota go that far to protect your silver account from the IRS as long as it stays inside their borders? The Swiss got where they are in banking doing just that.

        Asking people for a Social Security Number to open an account seems like a bad first step.

        Cheers.

  12. The Lakota silver ounce is a bit more costly than the Silver Eagle price I am currently getting so outside of political source I don’t see the benefit to the user. I have found little problem with informed people accepting a Silver Eagle or US 90%, other silver coins are less well received simply due to familiarity.

  13. A separate economy is required. A separate economy though will require laws, and agreed upon arbitration of those laws. Otherwise, one will end up with the problems of a black market, which is might makes right.

    One of my law professors pointed out the only reason there is violence in the drug trade is because the authority removed from them the protection of the courts. Thus, when one of them gets ripped off on a deal they have no choice, due to existing outside the law, but to go enforce their rights upon the party that wrong them.

    Or to put it simply: think about what traffic laws would be like if God made all the common law and courts disappear. Where would you get rightful compensation from a tort case involving that person who rammed into you for failing to stop at a red light? You would have to go seize it.

    Too many people think of law with regards to liberty protection and crime. Most legal practice deals with business and civil matters because people scam others everyday. So how are you going to impose your contract that was violated by a liar? Shoot him up? Chaos does not engender economic stability. There will have to be a means of legally enforcing contracts and civil issues because as one is separate from the economy, one is also separate from the courts.

    • Sorry Aesop, anarchy isn’t going to work.

      Even the founding fathers did not go willy nilly into war with the English Empire. They had things established provisionally while the conflict was ongoing.

      Even the IRB of Michael Collins time had provisional courts and laws established. They even dealt with creditors and their consumers. Even the modern Marxist IRA has courts. The English call them kangaroo courts, but that is where the famous knee capping punishments come from.

      Even the Russians had a provisional government called the Soviet, which is what the Bolsheviks hijacked to acquire dominance.

  14. This is nice—you’re just plain wrong instead of only insulting. About almost everything, but it’s still an improvement. There’s plenty of gold and especially silver around; just check the numbers. Plus, being divisible, it could increase in value by orders of magnitude and still be usable.

    You had half a sentence right…”A currency could be Monopoly dollars or Chucky Cheese tokens,”

    Right. What’s important is that everyone handling the item decides that they want to use that item. Squash would be a poor choice since it’s so easy to grow and doesn’t keep its form too long. So probably, not a ton of people would use squash as a currency. Interestingly though, in an isolated enough community over a short period of time, it would serve fine. Monopoly dollars or Chucky Cheese tokens could likewise work fine in a limited enough context, but in really wide use they would have problems of their own, so probably not a lot of people would use them.

    Now—”so long as the value is absolutely tied to and redeemable in PMs (or some other commodity) that holds value.”

    This doesn’t even read sensibly, since you’ve got two values holding, apparently firmly. I wouldn’t say such a thing is impossible, but it means nothing currency-wise, since either could replace the other.

    But where it’s really wrong is in the suggestion that value, let alone of two items, can somehow exist outside of the judgment of an individual. And of course it can’t, since basically that’s what value IS. A currency of any sort is for the ostensible use of denominating widely dissimilar values in a single item that has fairly constant–or at least agreed to–value across a wide range of individuals.

    Notice that no matter how wide the range, even if it included every person alive, it still wouldn’t change the nature of the value itself being exclusively the judgment of (a large group of) individuals.

    Or the short version—that last part is some collectivist bullshit, alright.

  15. “Right now you have a wallet full of Treasury notes whose actual value is exactly nothing.”

    Oh. Then send me all of yours. I’ll pay the postage and you’ll have a bit more space.

    “Nowhere did I suggest that value exists outside individual judgement.”

    Okay; sorry then. I was just reading long comments yapping about systemic values. I guess I forgot to heat up the lemon juice.

  16. Cassandra (of Troy)

    Be advised that, according to their latest catalog, Smoky Mountain Knife Works has not only the Lakota coin but many others in solid copper.

    http://www.smkw.com

    Cassandra (of Troy)

  17. Daniel K Day: Yes, it was a little slow. I don’t think it was four months, I’d say three. They always delivered a little earlier than the time the quoted though. And they paid shipping and used FedEx ground, who are easy to deal with (if you aren’t there, because you do have to sign for it. So they leave a note and you can adjust their return time by calling).

    I wasn’t in a big hurry, because our plan was to dollar cost average for a year. We never paid over $20 per 1 oz coin (round). So, it was a couple years ago.

  18. Well, alright then.

    Aesop and Jim Klein are deadlocked in a debate so erudite, and so eloquent and filled with rapier wit that most of the rest of us cannot understand it. Ego trumps all, transparently.

    Get over yourselves and offer hard value for the furtherance of Liberty, or just, please, excuse me for being a dolt. And don’t bother trying to deflect each of your snarky ripostes, with which your exchanges are replete. It’s too obvious where your priorities lie. What might have been a fair discussion of valid ideas devolved quite quickly into that described above.

    I admit to being unable to contest with either/both of you in these matters, but I know a pissing contest when I read one.

    • Good words, .06, but of course I’d say this IS about Liberty. You see, I believe (know, really) that the battle has ALWAYS been individualism versus collectivism. The rubber meets the road when it comes to the nature of value, which is what this really is about.

      If you and I wanna use squash to denominate our values, then it works. And so it is across the society, which is my point. It was also Ron Paul’s point recently, when he pointed out that a gold standard isn’t necessary; what’s necessary is that the denomination–like anything else–be freely determined by free individuals.

      Aesop, with whom I’m not even arguing about this any more, is saying that because something worked in the past, that therefore it’s the best way to go forward. I don’t even dispute that, but the important point is that whatever happens (in all aspects of our lives) be freely determined by willful individuals, as opposed to forcefully imposed on those individuals by some imaginary collective.

      “The battle has ALWAYS been individualism versus collectivism.” I am defending the individualist POV and Aesop (as he does on most matters) is defending the collectivist POV. Please rest assured that any such discussion is indeed highly relevant to Liberty.

      • First, nobody is arguing that individual States shouldn’t have whatever ol’ currency they want. Or at least I’m not. Quite the contrary, I take the principle even further, by not arbitrarily denoting the group involved, either by numbers, by borders or by any other factors…except of course that they choose currency C.

        “Unvarnished curiousity requires that I ask you how more than two individuals can all freely agree on valuation.”

        Interesting you ask, since you seem to believe that millions can. So please pay attention to the answer: “LITERALLY, THEY NEVER DO.” Not even two, let alone more than two. If two people actually viewed two items as precisely equal value, there’d never be a trade, would there? Why expend the effort? This, even as everyone’s afraid to say, “I’m doing this for myself.” No wonder their minds are a hodgepodge of contradiction, eh?

        So, do you get it? Two people NEVER have exactly the same valuation—this is my point and it’s even one you pretended to concede earlier. I say “pretend” here because this question belies it. You SAY you recognize that valuing is a wholly individual act, but then you explain how reasonable it is to have some unified valuation or something, in a currency.

        Two people having exactly the same valuation would imply two people that are identical, and no two people (or any two objects BTW) are literally identical. They are only identical with regard to various attributes, and in the case of humans, precise valuation ain’t one of them.

        All I’m ever arguing about anything is, “So let’s stop pretending that what isn’t, is.” This is why, with regard to identifying the nature of a volitional organism, liberty is so important. Grass is important to a horse, too.

        • I’m saying what I’m saying, not what you say I’m saying. I’m not arguing against any hard-backed currency; makes a ton of sense to me. I’m talking about the part you’re not making so public…that you imagine coercive support for whatever genius currency you–and what, enough particular people?–come up with.

          And that’s alright anyway; go for it. Anyone who swallows that other men ought to force which currency they use, probably deserve whatever currency those other men force. Sort of the story of our time, eh?

    • When you write sensibly without showing your erudite ass, I understand completely.

      I have always understood the utility and sound policy of actual currency (not fiat tokens) backed by hard commodity. I didn’t need you to explain it to me, but that isn’t what either of you have been doing.

      And Jim, it isn’t “collectivism” for a group of free individuals to agree upon the value of a convenient unit of trade and its validation by common standard in, say, gold. It is collectivism to have fiat tokens manipulated by an oligarchy, but I don’t think that’s what Aesop wants or is describing.

      The problem here, as I see it, is that the two of you can not agree (or even debate meaningfully) whilst sparring from positions made irreconcilable by ego, pride and, in Jim’s case, a piercing but single minded idealism inconsistent with human nature. You’re right, Jim. It’s just that very, very few individuals are capable of living as you would have them do. And there is no proof, outside your theory (excuse me, your fact based insight), that your modality would produce the kind of world you think it ought to do.

      Aesop is not a collectivist, except in the eyes of an anarchist. Jim is not an anarchist, quite, but he is an idealist seeking to liberate us from delusions of group identity and other fallacies. That looks like anarchy to a pragmatist.

      I hope my poor efforts have it all cleared up for you now, my dear compatriots.

      • very, very few individuals are capable of living as [anarchists]

        There has never been a stable anarchist settlement in all of recorded human history. The anarchists are always running away to the frontiers from the large majority of non-anarchists who enslave them. This is a failure of the anarchists to do effective self-defense.

        Aesop is not a collectivist, except in the eyes of an anarchist.

        Either one is a collectivist or an anarchist, there is no middle ground, no gray area. A little bit of government is as nonexistent as a little bit pregnant. See Spooner.

        • So since every form of government isn’t anarchy

          Yes!

          they are therefore all collectivism

          Yes!

          to which you are unalterably opposed.

          I have to leave open the possibility of changing my mind due to new
          information…but there are so many strikes against collectivism which would have to be falsified I’m not sure what that new information could look like.

          It’s extremely beneficial to know [...] your underlying goal.

          Liberty. Where it is not legitimate for men to force innocent men to do anything at gunpoint, and when they try it provokes an effective self-defense response which puts the Bad People in prison. This means homosexuals can fornicate on their front lawn in plain view. But since nobody is prosecuting their neighbor’s lifestyle, you are free to be a straight while male Christian with a traditional churchgoing two parent family. This was the original sales pitch for “limited government”. The difference is, I actually want that result, whereas most people want the communist religious dictatorships of the New England colonies.

          • > > Liberty. Where it is not legitimate for men to force innocent men to do anything at gunpoint, and when they try it provokes an effective self-defense response which puts the Bad People in prison.
            >
            >That definition of “liberty” exhorts men to leap off of cliffs and fly, with only the unfortunate existence of gravity and a demonstrable lack of wings to caution against it.

            Howzzat? Are you saying it is legitimate for men to force innocent men, or are you saying that it shouldn’t provoke an effective self-defense response?

            I mean really, what the hell is the charge here? How does a guy claiming that liberty is about the illegitimacy of men forcing other men and the innocent men having an effective self-defense response, somehow translate into leaping off a cliff in defiance of gravity? Gettin’ a little carried away there, don’t you think?

            The only semi-sensible translation I can see, is that you’re saying it’s impossible to have an effective self-defense response against thugs. Is that the point?

          • We were having a nice, concrete discussion about facts we can both observe in the world and make disprovable statements about — but with this latest reply your signal faded to TV snow. This reply is the opposite of concrete and the opposite of disprovable. It doesn’t raise specific disputes with any of my claims, or point out where I got facts wrong. I’m not sure what your reply means. I suspect this reply means nothing at all. Could you do it over, please?

          • Cassandra (of Troy)

            Anonymous/19Nov12@14:00,

            “This means……plain view.”

            That’s the selfish Hobbesian definition of anarchy which was/is responsible for its perennial rejection as it dismisses the rights of others. If said couple can engage in the activity, then I can collect urine & feces in 5gal containers & drench said couple & under the rule that nobody but those on the receiving end of my ‘gift’ has a problem w/ it both acts are okay, right? Same for the guy who likes to blast his tunes at all hours of the day/night, everyone should either just shut up & enjoy the music or wear era muffs/super-insulate their homes/build high, thick walls to lessen the impact of their ‘neighbor’s’ activities, right?

            Cassandra (of Troy)

          • Cassandra (of Troy)

            Aesop/20Nov12@15:15,

            “That definition……against it.”

            If there’s no force involved, what harm w/ exhortation? Those stupid enough to heed that exhortation (imo) have the unalterable right to fling themselves off cliffs/high buildings, blow a hole thru their noggins, drink drain cleaner, or do whatever they want IF their acts don’t ACTUALLY hassle others. Those who dislike those acts for ‘reasons’ other than them occurring on THEIR property (again imo) should have NO say about the commission of those or just about any other act. If someone’s into coprophagia & doesn’t ‘share’ their predeliction w/ those who find it repulsive, as far as I’m concerned he/she can chow down but if they want to force me/others to witness same by doing so publicly then there’s gonna be some major problems.

            Consideration of others is imo the cornerstone of successful civilization, & that doesn’t necessarily mean that whatever offends someone should be outlawed strictly for that ‘reason’. If Adam & Steve or Barbara & Brenda want to walk down the avenue holding hands w/ an occasional smooch just like ‘straight’ people do it’s fine by me, should they want to go further however they should be considerate & remove themselves where they can express their desires unencumbered.

            I leave you/others alone until you/others want me around & also the reverse, seems simple enough to me.

            Cassandra (of Troy)

        • Cassandra (of Troy)

          Anonymous/18Nov12@12:42,

          “Either one is……See Spooner.”

          Not necessarily. One can have enough govt to do the things that’re beyond the abilities of the individual (natl defense, border control, external trade route patrol, etc.) while largely leaving those things individuals can & should do to be done by them. What fouls that proposition up is when the individual begins to equate want /w need (typically the affliction of females/children) & whether by intent or inertia stops holding govt to that specified role. As w/ most things, it’s simply a matter of will that’s the problem, & until people are willing to get up off their back-ends & do what’s been proven to be in their best interest nothing’s going to change & the age-old patterns will be reprised repeatedly.

          Cassandra (of Troy)

  19. The total of all the gold ever mined, everywhere in the world, at market price, is approx. $10T. US GDP right now is >$15T. So even if we throw in silver, pearls, and coconuts, along with whatever fraction of worldwide gold you could get, you’d never, ever, ever have enough specie to run so much as a mall on a weekend.

    That’s a non-problem, the price of gold will rise and adjust to match however much trade is being done in it. Gold will be divided and counted as finely as necessary to provide as many decimal points as people want. There are lots of gold atoms.

    Similar to data encryption standards like DES and AES, Bitcoin is a software protocol for communication that resists thieves. When BetterBitcoin gets invented, the value of OldBitcoin will fall to zero because people will stop using it. Don’t be left holding a huge amount of Bitcoin because you were mistaken that Bitcoin was a way to store value. It isn’t, it’s a way to communicate transfers of value.

    If you want gold or bananas, then hold gold or bananas, not currency. You don’t hold a vault full of stamps, you buy stamps as needed in small quantities and stick them on envelopes. The purpose of a stamp is to prove you’ve done something, and so is a Bitcoin.

    The purpose of currency is to help you trade ten minutes of plumbing repair to some other guy for a hamburger right now. You don’t want the currency, you want lunch. The other guy wanted the leak fixed, and the hamburger stand guy wants who knows. Everyone in town works this multi-way trade problem out by trading in a common unit. The unit’s major use value is that it is hard to produce more of it; over short terms of a week or two the total stays almost constant. That’s why seashells worked for currency, they are hard to collect and hard to counterfeit.

    • Unfortunately, the naked assertion that there is enough precious metal to revert all transactions to specie runs counter to all available historical experience worldwide for the last 150+ years.

      Imagine if after you split up all the gold above ground to cover all the transactions, the pieces were too small to be practical. If you had that problem, then you should use silver and copper to carry smaller values, which is what really happened.

      We stopped doing it because the abject shortage of circulating capital crashed the economy.

      Nonsense. Politicians go off the gold standard because they want to tax via inflation, which most people don’t understand is a tax. Also, money is not capital, it is money. Capital is a resource you use to produce things in a factory. Except for jewelry and electronics, gold is not something you use in a factory, like coal or iron or human labor. You are confusing the map (currency) with the territory (things of value such as beans, bullets, and band-aids).

  20. “…in Jim’s case, a piercing but single minded idealism inconsistent with human nature.”

    Aw, damn…now you let the cat out of the bag! The thing is, you got it backwards—what I’m talking about IS human nature. What you’re talking about is what they’ve learned.

    Don’t get me wrong—what you say is right, as things are and as humans currently live. Yes, this has happened and no way do I pretend it hasn’t. If I’m not mistaken, that’s why we’re all here. I’m just trying to explain what has gone wrong, why it has gone wrong, and what the hell is going to happen if we don’t get it right. All that, plus a drop of what getting it right involves.

  21. “Don’t get me wrong—what you say is right, as things are and as humans currently live. Yes, this has happened and no way do I pretend it hasn’t. If I’m not mistaken, that’s why we’re all here. I’m just trying to explain what has gone wrong, why it has gone wrong, and what the hell is going to happen if we don’t get it right. All that, plus a drop of what getting it right involves.”

    Pure hubris, which the “gods” despise. Equal footing with Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, the Diamond Sutra, Bodhidharma and many more, known and unknown? Many have tried to lead humanity out of illusion. I do not fault your motive but your method and your expectations.

    This is probably not the forum for a quest such as yours.

  22. I’m not trying to lead humanity. I’m just pointing out the truth to individuals. Huge difference, that is. Maybe that’s why all the “leaders of humanity” inevitably fail, and why we are where we are. I don’t wanna lead anyone; I just wanna love my wife, run my business and maybe grow a crop or two. But a ton of people, coming from all sides, think that I, and a zillion people like me, shouldn’t be allowed to do what we wish. They believe we should be forced to do as they wish. I know that’s not you, so I’m not sure exactly what your gripe is.

    Hubris? Lemme know when you’ve got, “False.”

    As to whether this is the forum for my quest, or one of them anyway, it is until CA requests that it not be. If it’s any consolation, I agree with you about my method. I fault it too, but since I haven’t figured out anything better, I just call ‘em as they are. And no, I have no false expectations.

    Believe me, I understand the frustration with idealism. I’ve dealt with it my whole life. The thing is, unless the principles get straightened around, the details don’t amount to a hill of beans. That’s why they never have and why men keep living the same tragedies over and over again.

    • “As to whether this is the forum for my quest, or one of them anyway, it is until CA requests that it not be.”

      Not trying to censure you, Jim. Not my place nor my inclination. Just a suggestion that you’re working the wrong room….

      “The thing is, unless the principles get straightened around, the details don’t amount to a hill of beans. That’s why they never have and why men keep living the same tragedies over and over again.”

      Sadly true. An d makes my point, that this is human nature, not just some constructs imposed upon us. Generally the same for all cultures in all times… the same foibles appear. And many a saint/wise man has appeared to offer a better way. I would suggest that they have all made incremental but glacial improvements in human understanding and behavior.

      Without Jesus insisting that each and every individual is precious in the sight of God and likewise capable of salvation, we likely would not have the Declaration of Independence, to tie 2000 years of history up neatly in one sentence! But it took nearly 2000 years and untold error and blood along the way. And, once again, human weakness has dropped the ball, possibly the most precious gift ever given us.

      Many a monk has sat silent in supreme discipline for years without achieving enlightenment. Do you think that merely telling people that they are free in and of themselves, and completely capable of self governance and sustenance is going to ignite a spark that will “straighten out the principles”?

      Unfortunately, right now the details are too overwhelming and pressing… as they usually are.

      Press On Regardless, my friend.

      • One more thing:

        The reason that “men keep living the same tragedies over and over again,” is, simply, that the young cannot learn from their elders. The impulses and imperatives of each decade of living (lack of experience) preclude the acceptance of advice and insight from parents and other elders who should be role models. If anything, current technology, media, youth worship and marxist “deconstruction” have only made the “age gap” exponentially worse.

        If you could go back to your twenties, knowing what you know now, would you? Be not hasty in your answer………..

  23. “Do you think that merely telling people that they are free in and of themselves, and completely capable of self governance and sustenance is going to ignite a spark that will ‘straighten out the principles’?”

    Why, no. Do I sound that optimistic? Besides, you can’t tell anyone anything that matters; they have to discover it for themselves. Mostly, I write to check myself anyway.

    We have no disagreements except possibly that I believe this was all learned. I’m not sure why you think all the good stuff is learned (as from Jesus) while all the bad stuff is just our nature. Basically, I think pretty much the reverse.

    Not much of a disagreement, I know, but it may be relevant. Besides, there’s not a whole lot of fun in disagreeing with a thoroughly reasonable guy like you.

  24. ” I’m not sure why you think all the good stuff is learned (as from Jesus) while all the bad stuff is just our nature.”

    Because, if it were not for fallible human nature, no correction or enlightenment would be necessary. In addition, all of human culture and ‘progress’, moral and technological, is learned.

    “Basically, I think pretty much the reverse.”

    Please tell me that you don’t mean that humans are basically good and that all “the bad stuff” was learned from Jesus and all the saints and sages, because that’s how that reads….

    “Besides, there’s not a whole lot of fun in disagreeing with a thoroughly reasonable guy like you.”

    I’ll take that as a compliment of a high order, coming from someone who strives for reason and truth as faithfully as do you. Thank, Jim. Right back to you…

    Jon

  25. No, no…I just meant that the bad stuff is learned, that’s all. And IMO, obviously so. There could be no natural inclination to be an idiot, since it would serve no useful function. Physically, our organs develop to serve our survival and reproduction. Idiocy works against that.

    Nope, I think it’s clear that the BS was inculcated over the millennia as a means of some people to rule over others. Using some wild notion, usually in the form of a “higher cause,” serves that function just beautifully. That’s why I believe this was all ultimately caused by the “intellectuals.” It’s one of the unfortunate side-effects of being able to abstract the counterfactual.

    Also, there’s fallible as in “capable of error” versus fallible as in “driven to err.” I think the former is our nature, not the latter.