Friday, April 3, 2009

A Clue?

Many of the founding fathers hated central banks and were vocal critics of them, Ben Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, as well as the later presidents, such as Andrew Jackson. Anyone today who writes against central banks in general, and specifically the Federal Reserve, always quote these men. Well, lately I've been wondering how the hell did they know it was such a bad idea? They lived over 200 years ago. How did they have such wisdom? No one really ever writes about that and googling it didn't prove too successful. Some videos I have seen do talk about the Revolutionary war instead of being about the tea tax was against the money makers (a common term applied to the people who own and run the private, central banks). Those docutmenaries often quote Benjamin Franklin saying that the colonies were so propesrous because they printed a Continental currency and only printed enough as a means to facilitate trade. [This paragraph is the very, very short verison of the story.]

The documentaries do explain why the Federal Reserve is bad, etc. But still no one evers trully examines how the hell people like Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson knew. I've heard the founding fathers were well versed in philosophy, as it is supposedly apparent in their writings. Well, I'm a philosophy student, although still only an undergrad, and I have never read any philosophical text that talked about banking. So I was still confused.

Today, however while trying to find a link to the six part video Credit as a Public Utility, I found this quote:
"The most hated sort [of wealth getting], and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange but not to increase at interest. And this term interest [tokos], which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Whereof of all modes of getting wealth, this is the most unnatural.” - Aristotle
Alas, an explanation! Well, at least a clue anyway. Apparently, one I have to go back very far and two into obscure and little known texts. (I have at least two works of Aristotle on my bookshelf.) Of course, I being everso curious am now wondering, "Well, how did he know?" I do enjoy trips down the rabbit hole, but apparently I have a very long way to go.

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