Prince Nikola III Zrinski thaler minted in Gvozdansko castle, Croatia, in the early 16th century (until 1534)
Money can be very useful. Money allows for reliable access to things of value.
Paper money only has value when there is an organization enforcing it’s value. If the organization ceases to function to enforce the value of the paper money, the paper money has no value, like with the Confederate Dollar
when the Confederacy
collapsed or a casino’s tokens when the casino stops operating as a business.
The enforcing of the value of money involves force, like arrests, evictions, repossessions, foreclosures, levies, garnishments, and so on. When there is a revolution, like in Cuba, or when the US invaded Iraq
or Vietnam or Korea etc, then that new pattern of force can change the possession of property (through a new redistribution of wealth as well as destruction and death) and will influence the enforcement of the prior currency systems of organized violence, similar to when the Union army defeated the US Confederate army and the prior currency system of the Confederacy
ceased to operate.
In summary so far, currency systems are systems of organized violence. Even when dictators (called kings) instituted systems of claiming various amounts of wealth from various other people, the establishment of a particular new currency as the “lawful money” or “coin of the realm
” was based on the actual operation of organized violence upon which the claims of tax liability were enforced.
No one already wanted to give up a bunch of livestock or produce for a little shiny coin or a casino token accepted at any of the dictator’s court outlets. The masses gave up those useful things for currency because of the threat of violence if they did not pay taxes or other tribute and the only way to pay those taxes was to buy the coins or tokens or currency of the dictator from the dictator’s outlets and at the exchange rates set by the dictator.
Obviously, a competing dictator or operation of a currency system of organized violence could influence or even overthrow a particular currency system, as when the US Confederacy “seceded.” Actually, “seceded” may be the terminology used by the winner of that dispute. Maybe the Confederacy was attempting to continue to operate under the Articles of Confederation
from 1777 while the Union was claiming authority under the later Constitution of 1789. Maybe “secede” was a term that the Union used to label their colonial target’s “disloyalty,” like if the UN
invaded China on the basis that China was seceding from the UN without getting proper permission from the UN. Or, consider if the UN invaded the US based
(allegedly) on the US threatening to secede or withdraw from the UN.
So, why is it that the various currency enforcement systems of organized violence have used various substances as the selected material for minting a “coin of the realm?” Silver and gold have long been used as currencies. These substances were relatively durable (at least if alloyed with other metals) and were also rare. That is, it was not easy for just anyone to find a lot of gold, at least not in the places where gold was used as a currency. When large new sources of gold and silver from the American continent upset exchange rates in Europe, such as the California gold rush
around 1849, new currency systems that did not use those substances were naturally explored, developed, and established.
The value to the operators of the system of organized violence was that access to the gold mines could be monopolized. The military dictators could assemble an army and take over all of the local mines in the area, then strictly limit the supply of minted “coin of the realm.” They would strictly limit the supply because they were the only ones with the technology and organization to monopolize access to the mines, to melt the metals and mint the coins, and of course to force the populace to exchange perfectly good livestock and produce for little casino tokens or coins of the realm or lawful money.
Next, unlike casinos, which may operate against other nearby casinos, governments violently discourage competition. Governments create criminal codes that criminalize unlicensed racketeering (AKA unlicensed taxation as in extortion) as well as unlicensed creation of money (counterfeiting). These criminal codes are enforced by organized violence. Similarly, if someone tried to “break in” or trespass on the government’s mines and steal some unminted metal, that would be punished by organized violence, such as prompt execution.
Once the consistent nature of all currency systems and governments is clear, there is the additional subject of propaganda. Just as governments can declare that a neighboring geographical region is attempting to secede and must be annexed to insure for the freedom of the populace there, like if the UN announced that it is invading or occupying or “liberating” the US in it’s entirety (or even just Texas, like the US previously “liberated” Texas from Mexico), governments can also declare unlicensed operations of organized violence to be criminal, corrupt, evil, immoral, and so on.
One of the most universal taboos of propaganda would be propaganda itself. While organized violence is terrible (according to propaganda), nothing is quite so vile as propaganda. Anti-propaganda propaganda is essential for most any other propaganda to be accepted. If the masses go around creating and publicizing competing systems of propaganda, that can be very unfavorable for the economic interests or national security of a particular operation of organized violence.
Once propaganda is monopolized, then various branches of propaganda can announce that they are unrelated. For instance, the churches and the media outlets can all issue statements declaring the separation of church and media. Further, the government and the public school system can issue statements that they are entirely isolated operations.
Actually, propaganda may not even really focus on certain issues. Propaganda has to be believable, like the saying “a war to end all wars” or “peace-keeping” missiles.
However, if the masses can be distracted and confused in regard to enough issues of hysterical drama and controversy, then it may not be required to indoctrinate the masses specifically to be morally repulsed (ashamed/terrified) by any mention of the possibility of the existence of propaganda. The masses may be adequately trained to be reactively outraged about new revelations (press releases?) concerning how a particular currency system has been discovered to be a racketeering fraud from the start or how a particular government has been accused of being an operation of organized violence from the start or how a particular politician is accused of being corrupt or manipulative or just a little bit too pre-occupied with PR and public perception. The masses, in order to be properly influenced or governed in terms of their perceptions and behaviors, can be propagandized about morality, criminality, spirituality, and so on.
Finally, consider the global diamond cartel DeBeers
. They may have used deceit and blackmail and violence and so on to establish and maintain control of the supply of diamonds worldwide. They hired Edward Bernays
(a famous propagandist) to help them place their products in movies, even having movies written around the entire subject of an emotionally-moving scene in which the handsome leading man presents a huge diamond to the female lead actress as he asks her to marry him (the actor). After dozens and dozens of movies repeating a female lead actress being receptive after being offered some large piece of diamond jewelry, then Bernays arranged to have the actresses (and eventually the British royalty) to wear elaborate diamond jewelry at press events where the media photographers would be photographing them in their diamonds.
Of course, it is all a scam (as in an advertising campaign or propaganda campaign). Diamonds were not widely available until recent centuries. There is no inherent connection between romance or getting married or sexual receptivity. The connection was indoctrinated on to the masses of movie-goers and then swiftly accepted by the culture overall.
Similarly, if DeBeers had the military capacity to dictate to the various governments of the world that those governments owed DeBeers taxes of 75 million carats of diamonds per year, that would be a lot like how kings dictated systems of currency on to their target populations. DeBeers could then dictate the exchange rate between “officially acceptable” units of diamonds relative to ounces of gold, barrels of oil, or bushels of corn.
Again, that pattern precisely parallels the origin of all currency systems of organized violence. Dictators say if the standard of value is gold or diamonds or whatever thing for which they control the supply, such as crude oil. If the dictators can maintain a system of organized violence to enforce the exchange rate that they set, then that exchange rate persists.
Examples of German and Austrian Thalers compared to a U.S. quarter (bottom center)
In closing, let’s review the origin of the word “Dollar.” It refers to a particular amount of silver.
“The Thaler (or Taler or Talir) was a silver coin used throughout Europe for almost four hundred years. Its name lives on in various currencies as the dollar or tolar. Etymologically, “Thaler” is an abbreviation of “Joachimsthaler”, a coin type from the city of Joachimsthal(Jáchymov) in Bohemia, where some of the first such coins were minted in 1518. (Thal is German for “valley”. A “thaler” is a person or a thing “from the valley”. In 1902, the official spelling was changed from Thal to Tal.)”
Below is the image of the currency of an organization that previously operated a sovereign currency system of organized violence which no longer functions independently. That organization is called the United States of America, which was functionally superseded by the Federal Reserve in 1933:
This is a silver certificate which was, at least in the 1910s, redeemable for a Silver Dollar (coin) from the United States of America and it's outlets.
The above image is from an article I wrote in 2005 in which I detailed the future of the US economy as rising fuel prices would continue to rise and eventually would “pinch” (or pop) the economy, thus slowing credit trends (borrowing and lending), decreasing real estate prices and stock prices, and other producing predictable results as indicated therein (which have been manifesting in precise accord with what I indicated). See: http://www.financialsensearchive.com/fsu/editorials/2005/1217.html