return to top page FREE MARKET ECONOMICS Anton Pinschof
People often find it hard to grasp the concepts of free markets, capitalism, banking and capital. A free market can and should exist without banking and capitalism. But capital is always needed. And like naturally circulating blood it must circulate without clotting or haemorrhaging. Free markets would be flourishing everywhere if human activity had not been infested with interest-bearing monopoly money issued by unelected powers for their own profit...which is the essence of capitalism and the banking system that supports it.
In an article entitled A Market Economy without Capitalism Werner Onken makes it clear that the two things in the title, 'market economy' and 'capital' can be separated. That these two terms have been so firmly linked in the public mind is a major propaganda victory for the monopolists and their armies of speculators. But writers like Silvio Gesell and Werner Onken provide the practical strategic reply to this sleight of hand and mind.
All this is particularly relevant where primary products are traded, locally or globally. There is no earthly reason why producers and traders need get into compound debt and the survivors thereby pushed to needless expansionism of holdings and volumes and distances and purely financial profits. Nor need they get into the specialisation that destroys domestic diversity and any lasting economic profit.
Finance and Economics can be separated out because most volume growth is only a reaction to pressure from investors and banks for growth of their own capital, which is a confidence trick of metaphysical dimensions as well as an ecological disaster.
The organic farming movement need never ultimately sacrifice its ethical quality to that sacred mystery: Growth. The dogma on economies of scale is not a response to any real consumer demand; it is an excuse for supply-side dictatorship, driving prices down towards the abyss and not letting peasants and markets freely exist anywhere, while pseudo-economy grows like cancer.
If farmers were not disappearing like flies in September developed countries could supply all their domestic markets as could countries like Argentina and others now labelled as under-developed. Only the pseudo-money is a hindrance, because it costs too much and then keeps disappearing. So only expansionists can stay in the market, yet all those gross shiploads of exotic produce (including grain) have only increased net hardship both in exporting and in importing countries. Many do both, thus compounding the stupidity.
Eventually these underlying economic questions will have to be discussed by organic farming organisations. And in this debate, understanding these 100-year-old proposals for anti-monopoly monetary systems can be instructive, because so many people are presupposing that our so-called economic system is God-given. It is not. It is driven by pure abstracted mega-finance, not real resources and real needs, and is neither ours nor God-given.
Naturally those who get away with the capital profits think God is blessing them. But farmers and agronomists and the dogs in the street know it is a curse on Earth and all its life forms.
To summarise, there is living, flowing capital, and there is dead, sterile capital serving the few and driving them mad into the (Faustian) bargain. The living sort just goes to market and comes home again and bothers nobody. It is the doctrinal "ism" that usurps reality with what is just a part of reality.
A king should be the poorest in the country serving only the general interest. But nowadays Capital proclaims "l'Etat, c'est moi" whilst getting so fat that the market and the nation starves. In this context, to organise as organic farmers is merely organising to improve the quality of the crumbs that fall from the high table. We should also seek to secure for ourselves an invitation to the table.
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P.O.Box 36, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0BS, England
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