The Natural Economic Order/Part IV/Introduction

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The human mind is baffled by the abstract, and money hitherto has been wholly abstract. There was nothing with which to compare it. There were, indeed, various kinds of money, metal and paper; but as regards the most important aspect of money, namely the forces regulating its circulation, these different varieties were identical, and this brought the mind of the monetary theorist to a standstill. Equal things are not comparable, and, offering no hold for the intellect, inhibit the act of conception. The theory of money stood before a blank wall, utterly unable to move on. In no country was there, or is there, a legally sanctioned theory of money upon which the administration of money could be based. Everywhere the monetary administration is guided by purely empirical rules for which nevertheless, it claims absolute authority. Yet money is the foundation of economic life and public finance; it is a tangible object, the practical importance of which fires the imagination as does scarcely any other; an object, moreover, that has been known to, and indeed artificially produced by mankind for 3000 years. Consider what this means: In one of the most momentous of public and private interests we have for 3000 years acted blindly, unconsciously, ignorantly. If further proof were needed of the hopelessness of so-called abstract thinking, it is here.

With Free-Money, as described in this book, the situation is radically altered. Money has ceased to be abstract. Free-Money for the first time supplies the point of comparison for an examination of money. Money has found a background; it has become an object with colour tones and limiting surfaces. Give me a fulcrum, said Archimedes, and I can move the world from its axis. Given a point of comparison, man can solve any problem.

Free-Money supplies the plumb-line for the construction of the theory of money, a plumb-line by which all departures from the vertical immediately become apparent.