Ayn Rand said, "...money is ... the base of a moral existence." We wrote a bit about this yesterday. Her context, in part, follows:
Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values." ("Francisco's Money Speech." An excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Capitalism Magazine. Last accessed: January 18, 2008.)
She is speaking against, among other historical examples, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order 6102 of April 5, 1933, seizing the gold the American's citizens had in their personal possession. (by Jacob G. Hornberger. Freedom Daily. The Future of Freedom Foundation. January 19, 2007.) Gold was backing up the currency at the time. The U.S. was on the Gold Standard. Gold could not be printed. There were no alchemists producing more gold. It had to be mined, refined, and purchased. Since gold was more fixed than printed paper and since the U.S. had to redeem paper money for gold at a fixed weight and purity, the money supply remained more fixed itself. The supply in circulation could go up and down depending upon people's saving and spending habits at any given time, but the number of dollars that could be redeemed for an ounce of gold remained fixed. So, supply and demand and the prices of things didn't fluctuate due to centralized planning to regulate the supply of dollars available to banks to lend out and put into circulation and for people and businesses to put into collateral assets. Before central economic planning, prices were seen as changing more solely due to so-called market forces.
Also, the government bought up all the gold at $20.67 and then offered it on the international market at $35. A dollar was suddenly worth less than it had been.
Roosevelt's rationale was based upon the premise that the government is of, by, and for the people. The government collectively belongs to the people, etc. However, it must always be remembered that the government as it was constituted and still remains, is based upon coercion. Unenlightened democracy does not guarantee the absence of coercion. Also, the U.S. government is not a pure or direct democracy. It is democratic only to a point for the very reason that its people are not enlightened as Jesus sees enlightenment. It was originally designed to be a limited, representational, democratic, capitalistic, republican confederation based upon separation of powers and an elaborate system of checks and balances and with amendments guarantying certain civil liberties enumerated in the first ten amendments, called the Bill of Rights, and also the non-enumerated rights reserved to the states and people.
The debate in such matters is usually over where to draw the lines of power. The issue is usually over who is to be trusted. The absolute emperors, monarchs, and Popes had often proven disastrous. The so-called mob had often been spurred into a thoughtless frenzy as well. What regulates? The anarchists want regulation left to the individual. This is Jesus's position as well. Of course, Jesus says righteousness is the self-regulating force. He defines righteousness in such a way that the fullest individuality exists at the same time that the fullest collectivity exists. That is the state of God. That state is perfectly harmless and perfectly beneficent. It is at once profound, sublime, simple, and complex. The harmlessness and beneficence requires the absence of coercion on the part of human beings. The spirit of coercion does the separating. Those closest to the spirit of pure voluntary harmlessness and beneficence are finally left indistinguishably close to the perfect, who is God.
Now, Ayn used the term "objective" concerning a fixed number of dollars being pegged to an ounce of gold held in reserve. She was talking about dollars being the medium of exchange and by virtue of the peg, more dependably understood. In other words, she was talking about at least that portion of the rules of the game not being subjected to arbitrary changes in the middle of the game. Within her context, that made sense to her. However, it necessarily precluded the full context of Jesus.
She didn't believe in the spirit. She wanted to depend upon the value of money. She was a secular-humanist individualist. Her standard cannot be shared by Christians, even though Christians certainly agree that the "arbitrary setter of values" is the closely-held, secretive, private monopoly that is the Federal Reserve, with the other central banks, most notably still in Europe. The Christians agree that the system is a devious, treacherous scheme. It is not open, honest, or direct. It will be abolished.
The real rules are being revealed. The truth, the best way to run the Earth and the house of humanity is being revealed. The best way for two people to be toward one another is as Jesus was toward each person. That's the microeconomics of it. The best way for all the rest of humanity to be toward each single individual is exactly the same. There is one group. That's the macroeconomics of it. Therefore, systemic depravation is wrong. Shock economics, as with what Paul Volker did under Jimmy Carter at the behest of David Rockefeller, is wrong. The various fiscal and monetary policies and practices of the government and private bankers are all futile, unnecessary, and wrong.
A medium of exchange is not needed in a giving economy. Each person gives and receives from the others who likewise give. This raises the issue of the lazy. That's the wrong perspective.
The lazy don't exist because they just can. They exist because of the entire social and cultural view they experience. Giving and laziness don't come in an otherwise vacuum. Taking unfair advantage of others comes in a world that includes all the evils we see, hear, and feel, etc. People have been abused and broken. People are still doing this to one another. That breaks the spirit that is the opposite of laziness. It can and does also set others to a frenzy of false perfectionism for image sake (self-image and how they want to be acceptable under the standards set down by capitalist marketers — wholly artificial; wholly contrived, impossible, and unwholesome in the end).
Ayn Rand advocated for a certain point of view. That worldview precluded the higher spirit. It called and still calls people only to go so far to liberty (which she inadequately defined), which stopping short leaves the door open to simply turning around or more so circling back. If the call though is to turn away from the spirit of harm that is selfishness and people heed and don't fall away again, then there will be no hypocrisy. The result will be everyone gladly giving and receiving.
The only thing that prevents this is people just not choosing it. They spin around taking their cues from all sorts of others who are doing likewise. All they need to do is look at Jesus. He didn't spin around taking his cues from other people. He showed spinning isn't required for establishing one's nature. He took the root of God who is righteousness that is unselfishness. He said to the people to radically change. Choose a new center, core, root, etc.
People say it isn't human nature. They say you can't change human nature. At the same time, they are all advocating that everyone else change to their way of thinking.
There was a man who killed but then came to realize the error of his ways. He repented. For the rest of his life, he did everything he knew God asked of him. Did his nature change?
Contrary to the capitalist's teaching, people aren't incentivized just by the prospect of accumulating money or gold or material possessions. Many people would love to work in a world where the consensus is giving and sharing so that everyone rises and not where people believe it is fine or good to gain money, material, power, and control by selfish means and ends leaving others behind in a wake of death and destruction.
The whole thing comes down to who is the self. The self of Jesus took in as much of God as God allows. Jesus was prepared to cover everyone. God has made it so only those who accept the covering are covered in the end. Jesus said that God shares all with him. Jesus defines God to us in this way.
I know he is absolutely right. There is no doubt in my mind. I am also absolutely positive that God worked miracles through Jesus. Thousands saw it with their own eyes. Thousands experienced miraculous healing. Yet, in spite of even that, the selfish refused to follow. In spite of Jesus totally demolishing their hypocritical logic, they wouldn't follow. There he was with the power over storms, able to calm the waters or do the opposite. Yet, when they taunted him as he stayed there nailed to the cross for their sakes, he forgave them. Yet today, we still have people who hate him.
So, where is Ayn Rand? Did she read the Gospels? What had happened to her that she was scornful, bitter, and mocking of real righteousness? Something hardened her. For some reason, she was too hard and refused to soften enough. What was it that she wanted to continue doing that under Christianity she would have restrained herself from doing? What evil was it?
It's always there. It is always something that has its clutches dug in and to which the person likewise clings rather than giving and sharing, being completely thoughtful as Jesus was as thoughtful as possible. No one was or is more thoughtful. Certainly Ayn Rand was not.
It must also be remembered that honorable people don't need a peg to metal. They don't even need money. Money is the invention of the dishonorable. It is a system for the conscienceless. People of true conscience don't refuse the hungry for want of a medium of exchange. Conscience is the real value. It's the real money. You aren't to charge your child for coming to the table. God doesn't do it. You aren't to send your child away hungry when you have a choice.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)