Skip to comments.A Polymath to lead us: Aristotle would end the Federal Reserve
Posted on 12/22/2014 7:34:05 PM PST by Dave Jr.
A Polymath to lead us: Aristotle would end the Federal Reserve
by David Schlabach
As the world teeters on the brink of an economic Armageddon, what would Aristotle, if he were here, suggest that we do? In this article, Ill humbly attempt to use the very same tools used by Aristotle- Logic, reason and deduction (albeit not quite so skillfully) to present a clear cut view on how Aristotle would tackle the problem(s) of the national debt, world debt, usury systems, financial meltdowns and reform the banking and monetary systems. The views of the great philosopher Aristotle are particularly important because the entire structure of his thought had an enormous and even dominant influence on the economic and social thought of the high and late Middle Ages, which considered itself Aristotelian.(1) If here today, Aristotle would abolish the Federal Reserve and call for a complete overhaul of the usury based money system and replace it with a debt free currency. Let us now examine the ill effects of usury upon the global financial systems and how we may use Aristotelian logic and perspective to help ameliorate these ills. Currently, we find ourselves in the midst of a moral, economic and spiritual crisis: avarice has become the accepted norm; old conventions, ancient traditions and destructive idiosyncrasies have placed earth and its inhabitants squarely on the edge of a precipice. Usury, the practice of multiplying money through the charging of interest, which has been condemned from time immemorial, and the fractional reserve system are now the accepted Modus Operandi of modern finance. Usury has only grown larger through the ages; today it takes monstrous forms and manifests as behemoths with monikers like the Federal Reserve system,the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund,The Bank of England, Goldman Sachs, etc . Usury promotes a means of wealth acquisition that is unnatural, namely obtaining wealth as an end in itself. We have lived through these depressions and recessions, and they have revealed to us that the system which we have been handed is fundamentally flawed.(2) Our national debt is currently around fifteen trillion dollars in the U.S. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg; practically all other countries around the globe are in a similar situation. This debt makes us slaves; by its very definition slavery implies being born into debt; any child born in the U.S.A. automatically assumes 135,000 dollars of debt to the Federal Reserve System. How would Aristotle handle this situation? Aristotle would abolish usury, reform the money system and reestablish a system of honest exchange based on natural law. Verily it would take a polymath like Aristotle, an intellectual titan and philosopher king to solve this great dilemma and thus remove this albatross from around the neck of humanity. Conversely, perpetuating these old institutions will be our undoing unless we as a people awaken en masse to the deception now being perpetrated. For Aristotle, the legitimate end of money is as a medium of exchange but not as wealth or as a store of value.(3) Of all the outmoded institutions, the monetary system (and the resultant interest on our currency which becomes a tool to enslave us) is perhaps the most taken for granted. It is just accepted by everyone without a second thought, in an almost quasi-religious fashion; no one seems to concern themselves with the role that money plays in their lives. The middle years of the 20th century produced a barrage of depressions and recessions; many people began to wonder if perhaps the entire system that they were victimized by should not be scrapped.(4) However, it isn't money per se that is to blame; quite the contrary, money as a medium of exchange has been indispensable to the advancement of civilization. Rather the blame is to be placed upon the multiplication of money i.e. the act of usury, placing interest on a loan. To quote Aristotle: Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural. When Christ overturned the money changers tables at the temple, he was literally responding to the very same forces which now plague us. Let us look at the beginnings of Banking and usury to trace the footsteps of these money changers down through history and we may discern a common thread,connecting banking of antiquity to the behemoth it has morphed into today. The practice of charging interest has a long and sordid history. Going back nearly four thousand years, the practice of usury has been universally condemned by nearly every major faith, from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity; and of course it was also reviled by most western philosophers as well. The legendary Hindu lawmaker Vasishtha forbade the higher castes from participating in usury; only the lower castes could practice it. Aristotle gives two different accounts about the nature of money however, he only ascribes to one: a means. Money can be a means to an end, this is its natural function; it cannot be an end in itself, because this is unnatural. A thing cannot be both a means and an end. John Ruskin, 19th century economist and critic felt the same as Aristotle. Ruskin said: THERE IS NO WEALTH BUT LIFE- Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the function of his own life to the utmost, has always the widest helpful influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others.(5)
Among western philosophers, Aristotle was not alone in his condemnation of it. Plato felt that usury also carried with it the inevitable struggle between the rich and poor classes; he also felt that the issuer of these loans; moreover, people who made their living off of usury, should be reviled by decent folk. Plato also condemned it on the basis of its ill effects on society in general and not on the inherent injustice to the individual. Even Plato, who was arguably quite the elitist, cautioned against usury, because within it laid the seeds of a civilizations demise. Cicero stated in no uncertain terms that usury was hateful to mankind and Cato felt that it was as heinous a crime as murder. Seneca felt that it was the selling of time as a commodity, while Plutarch was convinced that money lenders or money changers" were to be reviled as the lowest of the low. These opinions were merely the reflections of the people, albeit enhanced by these great minds; never the less it was the general consensus of the populace at the time. The Old Testament seemingly echoes the sentiments of Aristotle and his cronies. In the book of Exodus we read if thou lend money to any of my people being poor, thou shall not be to him as a creditor, neither shall ye lay upon him usury. Similarly in Leviticus: if thy brother be waxen poor, and his hand fail with thee; then, thou must uphold him; as a stranger and a sojourner shall he live with thee. Take thou no money of him or increase, but fear thy God that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shall not give him thy money upon usury, nor give him victuals for increase. And again in Deuteronomy: Thou shall not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury; unto a foreigner thou may lend upon usury, but unto thy brother thou may not lend upon usury. Although the Old Testament roundly rejects usury between Jews, it curiously holds the opposite view when the loan was between Jew and gentile. Aristotle explains that actions are necessarily and fundamentally singular. For Aristotle, the individual human action of using wealth is what constitutes the economic dimension. The purpose of economic action is to use things that are necessary for life (i.e., survival) and for the Good Life (i.e., flourishing). The Good Life is the moral life of virtue through which human beings attain happiness. (6) Martin Luther said: the rogues eye of greed, which sees only the neighbors need; not to relieve it, but to make the most of it and get rich at his expense. All such fellows are manifest thieves, robbers, and usurers. So, usury is bad and the people of yesteryear seemed to understand this. Today, however, people seem to have an almost religious reverence for the institution of money, no one seems to concern themselves with the role that money plays in their lives. Aristotle's thought is shown in his discussion of money; he recognizes that the growth of money greatly facilitated production and exchange. He sees also that money, the medium of exchange, represents general demand, and "holds all goods together." His mentors advocated communal property while Aristotle was a staunch defender of private property. Aristotle felt that in the absence of communal property, often people became jealous and would often covet their neighbors possessions. Money was a way to ameliorate this problem. The lifeblood of any nation is its currency; it is the prerogative of the state to coin and mint currency so that money works for the people. It does so because it is squarely in the hands of their government. Not so with consigning the issuance of money to a privately owned central bank/and or cartel. Aristotle felt that making money from money was unnatural and his scathing criticism of the unscrupulous money changers should cause us to reflect upon our current day institutions: The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, etc.; Aristotle characterized the moneychangers as kapelos , i.e.hucksters and considered their livelihood a parasite on society. Thomas Jefferson said in 1816: If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. When we look at the world today, replete with recessions, depressions, the boom and bust, stagflation, etc., we might ask ourselves just what is going on? Why are we facing a 15 trillion dollar debt anyway? Who do we owe? Do we just owe ourselves as many like to say? With all of the resources available to the government, why can't our politicians bring this debt under control? Why do so many Americans have to work at low paying jobs, often with both parents struggling at dead end jobs just to get by? One thing that happens during times of economic downturn is a great transfer of wealth. Wealth doesnt just go away during these calamities, it simply changes hands from the poor to the rich. We are constantly hearing the same mantra from our pundits and lawmakers, pay down the debt they drone. Yet it is debt that underpins the whole crooked machine; without debt there would not be any money in circulation at all, because money is debt and debt is money. The nasty truth is that we have to borrow money at interest from the federal reserve to pay the interest we already owe. Sounds like a harebrained scheme? You betcha. This is a cul-de-sac of perpetual debt that cannot ever be re-payed-thats the whole idea. Aristotle would be appalled at the juggernaut of doom we have succumbed to; he was well aware of the dire consequences of this unnatural begetting of money from money. In 1864, after the civil war, we embarked as a nation into new and uncharted territory monetarily: we began the debt based money system. Reparations of War demanded it. This began the cycle of boom and bust-supposedly a natural consequence of using a debt based system. We are continually told that recessions and depressions are "natural", that they are a part of the "cycle". This is pure poppycock- recessions and depressions are a device for the Money hucksters to continually parasite real wealth (land, cars and tangibles) from the populace because they cannot pay the bankers back money which is fictional and has no real value. There has never been a more ingenious system of fleecing the people of what should be, by Aristotelian standards, naturally theirs. Thus any talk today of paying off the national debt without a total reformation of the banking and monetary system is an impossibility. Incessant harping about the gargantuan size of this ticking time-bomb will never yield results; rather the reform of the banking system along lines drawn by Aristotle, Jesus and other innumerable great minds from our history will suffice. The Federal Reserve building sits on Constitution Ave., right across from the Lincoln Memorial. At first glance, it seems very Federal when in fact it is neither Federal nor a Reserve; it is a bizarre quasi-governmental hybrid. However, all the shareholders of the federal reserve bought into it a long time ago. This stock is not publicly traded. What Banks belong to this exclusive group of insiders? Rothschild Bank of London Warburg Bank of Hamburg Rothschild Bank of Berlin Lehman Brothers of New York Lazard Brothers of Paris Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy Goldman, Sachs of New York Warburg Bank of Amsterdam Chase Manhattan Bank of New York (8)
Aristotle would be shocked that money has drifted so far from it's intended purpose. Aristotle viewed money as a natural way for people to exchange value. In the very beginning of Politics he emphasizes economic concerns in relation to the family. the family is the association established by nature for the supply of man's everyday wants proclaimed Aristotle. Seeing that the state is comprised of households, men and women join together partly for economics reasons. And one of the primary elements in the household is the acquisition of wealth. The further money drifts away from its intended purpose the more volatile it becomes. Aristotle did not believe in excess but in moderation, and it was his contention that the household should be the primary component in the economy of the state. Money should serve this quite natural function of allowing men and women to come together to form households and generate enough wealth to live a comfortable life and no more. Aristotle felt that the amount of property which is needed for a good life is not unlimited.Further he defines riches as a number of instruments to be used in a house or a state. Wealth consists in having access to and the use of property, not hording unlimited amounts for oneself. This is a perversion of wealth and unnatural, and inevitably leads to the downfall of civilization. For it is this very unnatural appetite for the acquisition of unlimited wealth that ultimately leads to a states' self destruction. The natural law as a force is very closely aligned with the idea of the collective unconscious as postulated by the late Carl Jung. It is the evolutionary intelligence guiding the race. If we look back at the history of the world empires, we see a common feature: They all rose to prominence because of some grandiose vision shared by one and all. And then they fell. But why did they fall? The reason is over abundance and excessive wealth led to their demise. For as Aristotle rightly observed, this over accumulation is unnatural and therefore it is doomed to fail. When frugality is lost, all is lost; this is the very skill that has enabled humankind to exist for the last 150,000 years. All of the past masters were aware of the fact that the higher nature of man is to be developed and nurtured and that frivolous pursuits, debasing amusements and the unnatural, over-accumulation of wealth is a slippery slope that past empires have found is a bobsled to ruin. Speaking of exchange through money, Aristotle says "it is worthless, and because it is not useful as a means to any of the necessities of life, and, indeed, he who is rich in coin may often be in want of necessary food..." Aristotle says people become avaricious and pursue money for its own end because of confusion between the instruments of money (in exchange) with things that can actually be used (7) The simple truth of natural wealth has been handed down to us through the ages by past masters like Aristotle, it is sheer folly to disregard his advise. Human kind may very well have to dwell on this planet for many aeons yet to go. With our current philosophy of greed as the raison d'etre ; we are currently traversing this dangerous path. The time has come on planet earth for real change. Politicians are no longer what is required to guide humanity. We need a polymath like Aristotle to guide us. Scientists, futurists, geniuses and savants are now required to lead the race. Enlightened humans beings like the philosopher Kings as envisioned by Plato are now necessary; nothing short of this lofty goal will suffice. World War III looms on the horizon; power mad oligarchs now control our destiny in a Orwellian fashion. The current trend towards globalization can be a curse or a blessing. It is quite true that all men are really brothers and we are perhaps bound by divine mandate; either knowingly or unknowingly, we are all a piece of the continent as so eloquently said by John Donne. And as such, we are bound by a social contact with one another; thus the state. And the primary function of the state is to facilitate not only our safety, but our share of the good life. For it is the resource of leisure time that is of the utmost importance to one seeking the good life. This good life does not consist of a life of hedonism, but rather the cultivation of skill, wisdom and virtue that can only be realized through a contemplative lifestyle. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were all aware of the development of the inner man as the primary goal of human existence. And money in the natural sense as described by Aristotle is a means to help facilitate these needs of man. A one world state that serves as a means to this end would be desirous indeed. But a totalitarian police state ruled by power mad oligarchs would be quite the opposite. So the trend towards globalization, global governance, one world government and the one world currency that inevitably will emerge could either be good or bad. Logically, this concept of one currency makes sense. It would reduce the money made by hucksters in the business of currency trading, parasites who make their livelihood swapping yen for dollars one day and then rubles for pesos the next; this practice smacks of the unnatural multiplication of money i.e. making money from money that Aristotle so loathed. It defies logic, however, to suppose that our antiquated systems based on debt could not be overhauled and transformed into a system of natural exchange in which the people would benefit instead of the International banking cartels/globalist profiteering hucksters. The old story that has been perpetrated down through the ages that money was merely a replacement for the bartering system has been roundly refuted by a number of researchers. The truth is that the fabled land of barter from which money sprang is pure myth and has no basis in reality. In fact, hat anthropologists discovered was quite amazing; there was actually a moral basis for economic exchange in which people borrowed from one another when they were in need. The myth we have been handed, states that if Graybeard wanted an ox but had chickens, he would offer Jeremiah some chickens for his oxen. In reality, when Graybeard needed an oxen, Jeremiah would just give him one until Graybeard could repay him with an oxen. There was much more brotherhood and sharing amongst neighbors and friends that has been supposed by the like of Adam Smith and others who have tried to justify profiteering down through the ages. Taking the fact that honest money based on a solid moral foundation is not only possible but mandatory if we are to live the life that has been carved out for us by both natural law and divine mandate, in summation we must conclude that Aristotle would reason that this system of honest money with a moral basis be achieved once again. The oligarchs, profiteers and tyrants that perpetrate this would like us to believe that the system based on debt is our only choice. They would have us believe that being in debt is the natural condition of man. Would not Aristotle find this not only unreasonable but morally reprehensible? One can therefore deduce that since the natural condition of man is freedom and not slavery, that any system of money based upon that premise (of slavery as natural) is illogical and therefore unreasonable. If here today to lead us, Aristotle would abolish this unnatural and unholy system of deceit and thus avert the calamity the looms on the not too distant horizon.
(1) Rothbard, M. N. (1995). An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (Vol. 1). Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Elgar Ltd. (2) Pack, S. J. (2010 ). Aristotle, Adam Smith and Karl Marx; on some fundamental issues in 21st century political economy (p. 109). N.p.: Edward Elgar Publishing. (3) Ellis, W., & Aristotle, s. (1885). Politics. Middlesex: Echo. (4) Boyle, D. (2002). The Money Changers: Currency reform from Aristotle to eCash. London: Earthscan Publicatios (5) Meikle, S. (1994). Aristotle on Money. Phronesis, 39(1), 26-44. (6) Younkins, E. W. (2005, September 15). ARISTOTLE AND ECONOMICS. Montreal, 158. (7) Herry's Journal. Retrieved March 2, 2012, from http://herrylaw.blogspot.com/2009/01/aristotles-views.html (8) Kah, Gary. En route to global occupation. Layfeyette, LA: Huntington House, 1992.
Oh, you mean you’re new here? SHOCK.
Aristotle probably would have used some more paragraphs.
“Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.”
Sounds like the sophistry we here today from ‘liberals’.
“the birth of money from money” is inaccurate. The USE of the money- it’s combination with hard work, wisdom, knowledge, insight- is what ‘births’ more money.
It’s like describing animal husbandry through only one sex (speaking of ‘liberal’ views...)
The Bible says it best: “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Very good rough draft. Keep up the good work.
I suggest you include “the theory of social credit” by Mr. Louis Even in your good library. One suggestion:
“Aristotle, an intellectual titan and philosopher king...”
Aristotle is the founder of Western culture. Thus, he is too valuable to be referred to as a ‘giant’ or a ‘mammoth.’ And he is too wise to be considered a “king”, since his goals were to inspire scholars beyond politicians, such as physics majors, mathematicians, psychologists, epistemologists and theologians.
I think the only people I know of who disapprove of Interest, are Muslims.
As the world teeters on the brink of an economic Armageddon,
When the dollar is rising and gold is falling — it means the world is getting financially healthier. The writer doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
All feudalists and other socialists disapprove of an economy using interest to allocate capital.
They’d prefer the government jack-boots distribute it.
So did the Catholic Church, the Church of England, and Protestant denominations for many years.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that laws against “usury” began to be lifted across the US
Powerful stuff, but, uh...I think u might need some more paragraphs..?
No, it most certainly does not.
I am more interested in what Socrates would have said about the IRS—he was the wisest of the Greeks—that or Plato—Aristotles teacher. Or even Alexander the Great, Aristotle’s student. He would have used military power and treat them like the Gordian Knott.
When the dollar is rising and gold is falling it means the world is getting financially healthier.
No, it most certainly does not.
I have stated conventional wisdom—at least as far as the USA is concerned. That is to be more precise I would have said “When the dollar is rising and gold is falling it means the USA is getting financially healthier. “”.
Please explain your unconventional wisdom.
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