All that Glisters is not Gold…

DISCLAIMER — This Blogpost’s soundtrack:

Oh Freedom by the ASBC Male Chorus:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

………  – by J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

A peculiar phenomenon continues to sweep sustainability-oriented communities aware of the supposed impending collapse of fiat currencies (like the US Dollar, Euro, Yen, Renminbi, Russian Ruble, British Pound, etc.):  spurring calls for a return to currencies backed by precious metals, in particular gold and silver.  

As I see it: ‘Gold & silver bugs’ are, for the most part, a misguided short-sighted selfish bunch of anachronistic greedy patriots, who’re living in denial of the underlying semiotic and thus socio-economic and environmental realities of the resource exploitation industry.  It should come as no surprise that some of the most active promoters of gold and silver hoarding are also active fear-mongers.   Conservatives and progressive liberals alike, and even states (like Utah, that known bastion of… nvrmnd), are succumbing to their blistering lack of co-creative imagination. Starting with an overview of aspects of this growing phenomenon, I will share my (perhaps irrelevant, but whatever) views regarding this more-dark-than-glittering matter…


Some basic background:

1922 gold-redeemable certificate.  Source:

It used to be so that if you had gold (or silver), you could deposit it with goldsmiths for safekeeping and in exchange you received a signed receipt guaranteeing that you could retrieve it.  The value assigned to that note was “backed by the gold in the goldsmith’s vault”, and this made it possible for one to use the note for payments.  This ‘gold standard’, as well as similar ‘silver standard(s)’ were later watered down (only a portion was covered in actual gold), abandoned during war times, and eventually abandoned altogether.  After WW2, a “gold exchange standard” had many countries fix their exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar, with the price of gold set fixed at about $35 per ounce, so that, implicitly, all currencies pegged to the dollar also had a fixed value in terms of gold.

38 years of gold-dollar exchange bull***t (data till 2006)

France reducing its dollar reserves, trading them for gold from the U.S. government, combined – most importantly – with extreme Vietnam War costs, led U.S. President Richard Nixon to end the direct convertibility of the dollar to gold in 1971.  There wasn’t enough gold to back the money that was being created to support the war effort.  Gold in dollars thus began to soar, which really only meant that the dollar lost its purchasing power.  The same phenomenon is happening now due to insane fiat money creation to fill the holes of a collapsing system-wide pyramid scheme…    Anyhow, 1971 was the end of any semblance of a gold standard.  After that the creation of money became a complete scam: created at will out of thin air, with its effective purchasing power managed through hokus-spokus Fed manipulations of exchange rates and interest rates.

The last 10 years of gold-dollar exchange bull***t (data till May 11, 2011)


“Permit me to issue and control the money of the nation and I care not who makes its laws.” — Mayer Amsched Rothchild, a prominent 18th century European banker.

“The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live.”     — Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy (Russian Novelist and Philosopher, 1828-1910)

Just like the goldsmith lent out promissory notes for non-existent gold at interest (which happened as far back as the Roman empire…), today’s banks play the trick even one step further: by considering every loan given as a deposit.  Funny-clever.   The money you get as a loan from the bank was created out of thin air (as debt, to be repaid with interest), yet once created (as debt) continues to be used as if it were real, “of value”, asset-backed.  The gist of this game is known as “fractional reserve banking”:  banking whereby the bank does not retain all of a customer’s deposits within the bank.  Funds received by the bank are generally on-loaned to other customers.  This means that available funds are only a fraction (called the reserve ratio) of the quantity of deposits at the bank.  Because most bank deposits are treated as money in their own right, fractional reserve banking increases the money supply and banks are said to create money.   Read the following excellent article that explains this de facto (Ponsi-scheme-style) SCAM in more detail:

–> ‘The Wall Street Ponzi Scheme called Fractional Reserve Banking – Borrowing from Peter to Pay Paul  by Ellen Brown, as published by (Jan. 3, 2009):

The Greater Deception.

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”  — Thomas Jefferson

Some folks, like the libertarian US-Constitutionalist Texas Senator Ron Paul, would like to reinstate the gold standard, and abolish the IRS, the Federal Reserve (which is neither ‘federal’ nor a reserve) and taxes on wages.  Check out, for instance, this interview he gave in 1988 (he still campaigns for the same):  He makes very good points, BUT… you have to stay within the confines of a conventional economics discussion…  Have fun with that…

For me, the issue goes far beyond the battle between the fiat money printers (and its war-mongering banking scam, operated by the Federal Reserve and allied banksters) and the supporters of an asset-backed “new” financial system.  But you have to dare contemplating what MONEY actually “is”, or… “does”.

The Much Greater Deception…

Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave” —  Leo N. Tolstoy

I don’t know a better book about the semiotics of money.

My understanding of money was greatly influenced by the epic book ‘The Power of the Machine’ by Alf Hornborg, professor and chair of the Human Ecology Division at Lund University, Sweden.   (Published by AltaMira Press in 2001, ISBN-10: 9780759100671, ISBN-13: 978-0759100671) In this book Prof. Hornborg argues (from the book’s own description:) that “we are caught in a collective illusion about the nature of modern technology that prevents us from imagining solutions to our economic and environmental crises other than technocratic fixes.  He demonstrates how the power of the machine generates increasingly asymmetrical exchanges and distribution of resources and risks between distant populations and ecosystems, and thus an increasingly polarized world order.  The author challenges us to reconceptualize the machine- industrial technomass [the ‘Technosphere’]-as a species of power and a problem of culture. He shows how economic anthropology has the tools to deconstruct the concepts of production, money capital, and market exchange, and to analyze capital accumulation as a problem at the very interface of the natural and social sciences. […]”

Hornborg points out that ‘money’ is basically a ‘machination’, which acts akin to other modern machines in regards to its ability “to make matter move” over long distances, and so forth.  I don’t know a better book about the semiotics of money.

What I walked away with from reading this must-read is that money is a language, a verb perhaps, that operates at the center of this modern technological finance-driven civilization: it has one sign that in and of itself represents nothing.  [while the word ‘apple’ signifies an actual apple, 1 dollar signifies nothing specifically, except whatever is “worth a dollar”, a notion that only makes any sense within this modern perceptual system that ascribes “monetary value” to things and activities in order to facilitate exchange within the social framework that subscribes to this modus operandi.]   Whether this sign is denoted as $, £, €, or what not, is irrelevant.

If the currency is backed by precious metals, the money base growth speed is limited by mining constraints (ore deposits, know-how, technology, willing cheap labor (hint hint), and time), which combined slow things down significantly enough to make extremely expensive massive war efforts, for instance, not sustainable beyond a very short period of time.  But that’s really about it.  When gold becomes ‘money’ through the choice to perceive it as such [It really is just an inert metal, folks, get a grip.], then it suddenly facilitates economic exchange in exactly the same way as (fiat/non-asset-backed) paper money does. Its movement primarily communicates faith in the monetary system itself.

Modern ‘money’ is nothing more than a socio-pathological communicative disorder which BINDS anyone who ‘buys into’ it TO its apparent functionality, while this act of participation BLINDS one FROM the reality of the actual exchanged symbolic codes between relations.

I had to mull over my last sentence a couple times… I wish I had the above book handy, as it’s been many years since I read it, and there’s tons of quotes in it that would elaborate on this topic I’m barely touching upon here.  See if I can put this in another way, to put in terms easy to relate to:

If: I accept to be paid, “compensated”, in some currency (euros, dollars, sea shells, gold coins, pot, plastic smurfs, it doesn’t matter as long as it is “legal tender”) for whatever it is I do or produce, then/as such I submit to the modern financial paradigm (a choice of acceptance); then/thus:  this acceptance (a contractual agreement, a de facto form of bondage) boils down to choosing to participate in the paradigm of equating aspects of reality with numerical (“monetary”/”financial”) values.  In this act, interconnections / relations are severed:   The Earth, alive and imbued with spiritual and locally specific significances, instead of fostering relations between the innate intelligence of people and those of rocks, plants, animals, and subtle presences, is reduced to perceived-as-dead mere ‘tradable commodities’: a.k.a. RESOURCES.  And every other aspect is subjected to the same reductionist paradigm as well:  Animals become perceived as mere “livestock” or “wildlife resources” and even people are viewed as “human resources”,  all subjected to cost-benefit analysis and the convincing trap of so-called “resource management”.  

It may seem that “buying a bottle of wine”, for instance, is merely an exchange of “value”:  say “$8” for a bottle of French organic ‘Naked Earth‘ red wine (currently on sale across from The Market), AS IF this “money” somehow “paid for” the labor and resources involved in its production and transportation, my labor (in $) exchanged for the labor (in $) of others.  Yet “your” $8 could be an hour, a half hour or less than a minute of your labor wage, depending on your socio-economic status.  The wine’s “actual value”, financially speaking, is basically self-referential, de facto EMPTY.  Nothing ‘actual’ or ‘real’ (ever!) is expressed in money.  Everything’s been paid already.  Author Mary Croft makes some awesome statements regarding this in her famous exposé, “HOW I CLOBBERED. EVERY BUREAUCRATIC. CASH-CONFISCATORY AGENCY. KNOWN TO MAN … a Spiritual Economics Book on $$$ and. Remembering Who You Are“, click to download the pdf:

Sure you help balance accounts with your “payment”, but really what you’re doing is much closer to voting for the continuation of the system involved.  “$8” ultimately says nothing about what it is or what it took to make it, “$8” ultimately simply communicates that you’re not interested in relating to actual reality.  And even if you want to relate to actual (experiential / energetic / alive / electric / multidimensionally conscious) REALITY, participation binds you into “participatory blindness”.

Morpheus: “The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”  
Morpheus: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.”
………………………………………………………. — The Matrix (the movie, Part 1)

It appears so that money is a ultra-crafty sorcery-like lubricant that keeps the modern machine cruising forward, which works extremely fast and accelerates easily with fiat currencies in use, yet still damn fast on asset-based currencies anyhow.   

New Agey types (of the “money is whatever you decide it is” persuasion) are bound to disagree with me on this, but as far as I can tell what ‘money’ mentally means to you has no bearing on the actual process it keeps in motion.   You may think of money as energy, as information, “green energy”, light, “love in action”, as power, as whatever you goddamn please to believe to make you feel better – (and some ways may serve YOU more than others), but the bottom line remains: within the modern paradigm of reducing things and activities to numerical monetary abstract value, money still IS what it DOES: it simply transfers power over other people’s labor, while making it very easy and convenient to deny various aspects of the dynamic that brought you whatever it is you believe just paid for.

 “The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing.  The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight-of-hand that was ever invented.  Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin…  But if you want to continue to be slaves of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers continue to create money and control credit .”  Josiah Charles  (English Economist, President of the Bank of England in the 1920’s, at one point the 2nd richest man in Great Britain, 1880-1941)

“For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.”  — Jonathan Swift (Irish Author and Satirist of prose, 1667-1745)

“Consenting to slavery is a sacrilegious breach of trust, as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness”  — John Adams (2nd US President (1797-1801), 1735-1826)

The modern monetary system boils down to a slavery system, but not in that those who have more money are akin to the masters and those who have less akin to the slaves.  Going beyond what’s hinted of in the above quotes:   The monetizing paradigm itself is the ruler and those who submit to it are its de facto slaves.  Rich or poor makes no difference.  With asset-based currencies it’s the same deal, but close examination will make the miners appear as the slaves, as without their exploitation the scheme wouldn’t even take off.  That’s perhaps why “Dinosaur Conservatives”, with their historical tendency to omit matters of labor exploitation and the history of slavery in their analysis, have an easy time imagining returning to the gold standard.  It sure looks dandy with this blind spot.  How so-called liberals fall for this crap is beyond me, though…  

Gold bugs conveniently ignore the mining realities…

 I certainly have never heard a gold standard proponent point out that the only way to make gold as currency work is to pay those who mine the gold much less than what they produce.  Otherwise you can never even get it into circulation ‘as money’.  Plain and simple.   Exploitation (de facto slavery) is the foundation on which monetary systems are built.   It seems to matter little whether the exploitation occurs at the early stage of labor-intensive money-creation in the form of precious metals, where laborers slave away for grams on the kilo of gold (generally leading to cutting corners on environmental and social standards), or through a more elaborate way of asymmetrical siphoning of purchasing power from one group of people to another through (social-power-imposed) wage differentiation, and on a larger scale through (monetary-policy-imposed) interest rates, etc. (also generally (on a macro-scale) leading to cutting corners on environmental and social standards).

The system is rotten.  So, gold and silver bugs, go ahead, look the other way, and stock up on on all that glitters for some doom and gloom crappy future… If you do, you’re ironically actually co-creating such a messed up reality with precisely your choices.

Currency names and their manipulated exchange rates are mere distraction is a con game of perception management.  Those who promote “buying gold or silver” as a way to secure purchasing power are being smart in the sense that “value” (primarily hard labor) is “stored” in precious metals simply due to what it takes to create it.  Since both gold and silver will always be valued for the making of jewelry, it’s likely to remain a tradable commodity when a fiat currency (fancy pieces of paper with some numbers on it) become obsolete (a con game that’s bound to end soon).  But that’s true for anything desired by anyone, from seeds, grains, foods to services such a hard labor, healing skills, massage, woodworking, etc…  If you think about it, it become clear that the main reason precious metals are currently being promoted is for short-term financial speculation:  it assumes the continuation of the overarching paradigm.  Precious metal “investors” are in the first place investing in the continuation of a de facto slavery system.   This puts a whole new and much deeper twist on the idea of “controlled opposition”, doesn’t it?  Jeff Rense, Alex Jones, Henry Makow, Ron Paul,… you name ‘m… all running gold and silver sh*t ads like they’re saving the world… 

So, what do I propose instead?  

Nothing.  I’m just blogging for the hell of it ’cause I have yet to meet a person who’s actually interested in getting to the bottom of things.  I think expressing how I see things is a ultimately a totally pointless waste of time, but I don’t know what else to do…  And since this site barely gets much traffic anyhow, I suppose it really doesn’t even matter.  Whatsoever.  Anyhow…

First of all, my view is that: to make any sense of this mess, you have to step outside the realms the debate is held in (if there were a debate, that is.  For an actual debate I might be in the wrong country, certainly in the wrong state…).   A semiotic/anthropological approach like Prof. Hornborg’s is helpful, but I would go all the way to views about the Evolution of Consciousness, as a starting point, and eventually proceed to Energy Medicine.  Take for instance the stages of consciousness evolution mapped out by the Mayans, according to Mayan Scholar Johan Calleman and the late Ian Xel Lundgold:   – click image to enter site and enlarge image.

I terms of money, the planetary finance system is still power-based.  Attempts to make it more ethical are running into various obstacles, some of ‘m legal (National cycle: law), some of ‘m identity-based (Tribal / Cultural / National cycles).  Yet just as the U.S. Constitution proved incapable of keeping power in check (corporate personhood, international finance, militarization, etc.), ‘ethics’ as an organizing principle will become more important than ‘power’, and in turn conscious co-creation: the active dreaming-the-world-into-being spoken of in some shamanic cultures (including the emerging subculture within modern society) will be abided by by ever more people.

So, instead of grasping for some bygone era by trying to maintain the idealistic mechanisms set forth in the U.S. Constitution (*), or the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights (**), or whatever legal construction intended to keep abuse of power under control, as well as not getting stuck on attempts to impose some sort of ethics through rewards or punishments (pay extra for more polluting packaging, the idea of carbon credits, etc. ), jump straight into universal conscious co-creation.  How about money as gratitude?  Decentralized banks with every artists who feels so inspired free to create “money” to express gratitude with when “buying” something.  Instead of the motivation of “making money”, the motivation of service, of taking pride and joy in contributing to the good of others.  Some uninspiring industries would likely disappear.  Doing something better would be much more appealing than “cheaper”, as that would really only mean fewer people feeling grateful.

Every job a volunteer job.  Why not?

We’ve pulled it off before.

(Besides, what’s the alternative, really?)

Nevermind.  Monday morning I’ll go back to my day job, chat on the phone, do all kinds of robotic tasks and sit in front of computer screen in a climate-controlled room without out-facing windows under fluorescent lights… for much longer than I would do as a volunteer.  I can give it all kinds of fancy spins, but ultimately it would still come down to FEAR: of hunger, of residence-less-ness (For truth-seekers home-less-ness is a given, house-less-ness not an issue), of lack of [fill in the blank], etc..  I am a slave…

“The best slaves in the world are those who think they are ‘free’.” – Goethe.

A really bad slave.


SOURCES Accessed in the process of writing this blogpost: {Shakepeare quote} {Tolkien quote} {image} {image}

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All that Glisters is not Gold…

  1. Pingback: Spring Snows, Lightning, Radiation Data, Moving Out of my Car, & Ancient Tree Healing Energies… | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

  2. Pingback: CryptoRevolution In Progress? [Bitcoin Music & Documentary Videos, Etc.] | Allegedly Apparent Blog

Thank you for commenting. Your comment won't show until approved. Sometimes that can take awhile. - mvb

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s