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Re: <nettime> Live Your Models
morlockelloi on Thu, 5 May 2016 04:02:06 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Live Your Models


Maybe I'm missing something, but exchanging some gold (or BC) for some oranges or sex does not create a debt relationship. It's unclear how possessing an asset implies debt.

Debt can exist without any obvious exchange medium in sight. You can owe somebody oranges, sex, or diamonds. Some of these will depreciate (oranges and sex), some won't. Some debt enforcement modes will require a vig from the debtor, so if you owe 10 oranges today, it will be 20 oranges next month. Or 2000 if you are unlucky. Rotting (inflation) of oranges is of now interest to your creditor, as he will send Cheech to collect. Cheech always delivers.

Viewing debt as a currency feature does not make sense, as it misrepresents the social phenomenon as a technical one.

Storing and saving value in instruments that local fiefdoms cannot snatch has definite benefits. If the mechanism to move this value is immune to the local fiefdom reach, that also has definite benefits. The argument that this can be used to evade fair (or less fair) taxation is valid and needs addressing. But the argument that inherent non-inflationary nature of the exchange instrument is evil is not.

It is naive to assume that "I am lending you 10 BC, and you must repay me 10 BC" is a technical issue; it is not. It's a convenient sleight of hand to automatically ascribe technical features of the currency and crude numbers to the social contract. There is nothing natural or given that the debt of 10 BC today is also debt 10 BC next year. Following that logic, borrowing an acorn requires repayment by 2000lb oak tree in few years. For 10 BC (today) to be equal 10 BC in one year, the creditor needs Cheech. If Cheech works for you, that debt may be equal to 3 BC next year.

The BC cat is out of the bag. Sooner or later it will be possible to freely move and hide non-inflationary exchange value, forever, and it's unlikely that anything can stop that. Cash is making a comeback. What is needed are mechanisms to keep the society from devolving into your favorite dystopia, without counting on turning this wheel back. It may mean elaborate non-monetary taxation and eventual abandonment of the very concept of money (after all, Star Trek was based on that.) But stopping the free currency movement and storage is not on the menu.


On 5/4/16, 13:55, Florian Cramer wrote:

    But gold has hardly any intrinsic value - even less so than in the past
    as it is no longer the best material to fill dental cavities - so it
    boils down to a token of exchange, and hence for assets and debt.
    Otherwise, you're just sitting on a pile of metal.

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