-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Web of Debt
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 07:01:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
To: Ripple users <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some thought provoking and chewy material here.
I believe that our current position is that Humpty Dumpty is broken,
and cannot be put back together again.
The reason for this is that it doesn't matter how much credit = money
is created by credit institutions even when re-capitalised by States -
there are simply not enough creditworthy people left. The toxic
combination of the mathematics of compound interest on debt, and
absolute private property in land has done what it always has done
throughout history, and has concentrated wealth in the hands of the
few to such an extent that the system has collapsed.
As Chris W points out above, there isn't really any difference between
Public and Private - both are sets of legal protocols which connect
individuals together through the creation of institutional
Organisations which impose themselves "one way" through force of law -
(in France) contrats de mandat - upon the largely unwilling people. We
either suffer from the legal protocol of the State and central
planning, or from a legal overlay of "finance capital" consisting of
the Twin Peaks of Debt and Equity - two conflicting claims over the
same productive assets.
I believe that there is now emerging another - partnership-based -
approach involving consensual "two way" agreements or (in France)
"contrats de societe" . Our "Anglo" system is predicated upon imposed
contracts - French jurisprudence extends to the consensual agreements
with which many societies -eg the Japanese and Islam - are familiar.
I advocate Systemic Fiscal Reform. What I mean by this is the
abolition of all imposed taxes on earned income and their replacement
with consensual levies on privilege. Also the abolition of means-
tested or no benefits, and their replacement with a national Dividend
payable by right to all citizens from a National Equity.
Firstly, the privilege of exclusive private use of the Commons of land
- I agree wholeheartedly with Henry George's analysis here, and
advocate a levy on exclusive rights of use of location (as opposed to
money's worth invested in a location...)
Secondly, there is the privilege of exclusive rights of use of the
Commons of energy - whether renewable or non-renewable. Here I would
add an additional carbon levy to a levy on enclosure of renewable
Thirdly, I advocate a levy on the privilege of limitation of
liability. This would be made on the GROSS revenues of any "For
Profit" entity whose investors benefit from limiting their liability.
In many cases this would also act as a levy on "enclosed" Intellectual
Property, and the "Intellectual Capital" of individuals accumulated
knowledge and experience.
These mechanisms are all simple, inescapable, and (I would argue) fair
at a fundamental level. They apply a tax on unearned "rent" extracted
In this way we may rebase the tax system in a form to which most
people will consent, I think. These taxes and levies then form the
base for the direct issue by Treasuries of credit. There is no need
for Central Banks or any other banks as intermediaries, and there
never has been. But there is a need for banking as a service. ie the
management of bilateral creation of credit.
Credit costs nothing to create, but in order for a credit creation and
clearing mechanism to work it requires a framework of trust. In fact,
the economic value provided by banks IS trust - they provide an
implicit guarantee that the borrower's credit is good, and they back
this guarantee with a proprietary pool of capital and an interest
charge which covers their costs, defaults and (historically) a
handsome profit/rent which has been shamelessly and unsustainably
I believe that the enabling mechanism for a new generation of finance
lies in a partnership-based framework or protocol which will enable
both direct Peer to Peer credit and direct Peer to Peer investment.
The Carnegie Institute recently published this article of mine on the
The networked society I envisage has no more "organisations". Instead
it will consist of an organic network of consensual framework
agreements within which individuals will self organise to agreed
Property will cease to be an "object" to be transacted, and instead
becomes a relationship within which individuals share the fruits of
A partnership-based enterprise model is optimal, I believe. Capitalism
will be hoist by its own petard, because profits to rentiers are
actually INEFFICIENT, and those enterprises who pay them will be
outcompeted by cooperative enterprises (whether formerly private or
public) who do not,because they operate "Not for Loss" as what Dr
Yunus of Grameen Bank calls Social Businesses.
This recent presentation of mine in Bristol went down reasonably well
in that respect
In conclusion, I think that we are very close to a decentralised peer
to peer market operating system, and that this is capable of spreading
virally because the proposition to users is so compelling.
(a) Peer to Peer Credit - mutual risk sharing leading to interest free
but not cost free credit used for the circulation of value and the
craetion of productive assets;
(b) Peer to Peer investment - mutual revenue sharing leading to
reasonable and secure returns from productive assets in common
ownership but with private use.
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