In ancient times, wealth was determined by knowledge. Let me briefly explain: knowledge was passed along from master to apprentice, to develop a
certain skill set. Therefore, knowledge was the basis for experience and practice to evolve into a certain trade. Hence, knowledge is wealth.
This process continued for untold centuries, until (one could argue) the publication of An Inquiry into The Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations
(WN) by Adam Smith in 1776. I will be honest, this work is very long and far from an easy read, so I will try to simplify it into two points:
production and self interest. Smith eloquently argues that a nation’s wealth is not based off gold or trinkets [treasury] but off production only.
Or what a nation has the capacity to produce [production capacity]. On page 572, Smith briefly mentions the infamous ‘invisible hand’ which many
scholars have many interpretations of, but basically is an attempt to describe greed and the possibility it offers for social benefit.
Undoubtedly, this work (WN) fueled the revolutions of the time period after its publications, or the ousting of monarchies for other forms of
governments. Also Smith elaborated the idea of specialization to the masses. Which went against the basic framework of knowledge is wealth
(apprenticeship). This is because specialization requires little working knowledge due to the tedious nature of ‘tasks’ replacing the actual
process. Oddly, this new mindset actually made society less productive on an individual scale, namely because each worker is now less knowledgeable
of the over all process due to specialization of certain tasks.
What Smith did was make a brilliant point that material objects [products] are not wealth, but only the ability to produce said objects and then
destroys the knowledge base for making such products by championing the notion of specialization. Do not get me wrong, specialization in large part
led to the industrial revolution, but also created less productive individual workers in favor for achieving economies of scale. Although
corporations technically existed before (WN) publication, it behooved their popularity tremendously.
Let us fast forward to post WWII. First off, (you will have to take my word for it, as a dissertation would be needed to prove) the Bretton Woods
Agreement (Accord) was doomed to fail as nothing can have a fixed price in a free market economy for an extended time period (fluctuation of supply
and demand). This failure was used, in large part to: further confiscate gold into fewer hands and more importantly justify our current monetary
system, including the dictatorship the Federal Reserve has on our economy. Now, to explain the main point of this post: Fait currency.
The first historical evidence (as I sure that even the Sumerians also fell for this) we have of fait currency is the Roman Empire, which tried and
failed repeatedly to institute a fiat system. An economy based off of salve labor (as the Romans had steam power, but the special interest refused to
leave behind the extremely profitable practice) and fiat currency eventually led to the complete collapse of the Roman empire in the 5th century. I
hope everyone sees the similarity between slave labor interests and oil interests today.
Today we base wealth off of fait currency (Literally now I’m afraid, little more than digits on a computer screen). Not even specialization
[production], which although a far cry from knowledge – is much more efficient and stable. Here is where we tie the lose ends: in the past hard
work was paid for with knowledge and then knowledge was utilized to ‘earn a living’. Today our hard work is utilized to ‘earn a living’ and
not much knowledge is passed to those involved in production. This is because 99% of businesses are based on pyramid schemes. In this system
knowledge is power, not wealth. There must be levels of knowledge so that decision making flows down while information flows up, to aid decisions,
therefore providing a basis for income levels. So basically what has happened is knowledge is no longer a reward for labor, but only compensation.
This had made the average person reliable on others for income and almost completely obliterated the entrepreneurial spirit which has guided humans
for untold millennia. There is a reason why so many small businesses fail everyday, because our economic system is not suited to support them (taxes,
regulation, start-up costs, competing with economies of scale, etc).
We accrue debt to pay for educations that are almost completely useless. A bachelor’s degree is no more than a foot in the door to merely interview
for a job. The experience most of us get on the job is not actually knowledge, but a particular corporation’s outlook of production. More people
have careers based on contacts than merit. Most of upper management of our lovely corporations could not make decisions without the bottom-up
movement of information from those supervised. Our notion of knowledge has been hi-jacked and replaced with mere information flow.
Fait currency cannot be a store of value, for one simple reason: inflation. The fact that $1 without investment will be worthless tomorrow than it is
today, completely eradicates its role as a store of value. How TPTB pulled this one I will never understand. Today we toil for compensation that is
here today and gone tomorrow, a lesson I am afraid we will never learn. There’s so much more to say but this is a thread on ATS not a book, but
that’s what posts are for.