Currency collapse is hardly something new. Especially when that currency is backed by nothing. In G. Edward Griffin’s seminal work, The Creature From Jekyll Island, he states that once the “business of banking” by fiat began:
This led immediately to what would become an almost unbroken record from then to the present: a record of inflation, booms and busts, suspension of payments, bank failures, repudiation of currencies, and recurring spasms o economic chaos. (pg. 184)
Since this story of banking is so oft-repeated, there are also a fair number of examples of how prosperity — or at least stability and self-sufficiency — was restored afterward. In nearly every case, it came from desperate, but determined individuals who shrugged off the shackles of central banking, and either returned to the currency they used previous to government hijacking, restored pre-money barter systems, or created something entirely new.
The modern-day, planet-wide collapse of fiat currencies is providing additional real-time examples of how forsaken citizens are taking matters into their own hands. Let us look at just the two most affected: Greece and Spain.
It is a travesty that the nation where democracy and gold-backed coinage was first developed should become the poster child of a whirling black hole of debt and dependency brought on by autocratic rule. Regardless, despite the austerity riots filling city streets to make demands, there are indications that some communities are finished with demanding anything from a provably corrupt government that is literally foreign to their best interests.
The video below illustrates the rebirth of diverse means of exchange such as time banks, barter networks, barter currency, and “priceless” commodities in Greece:
The Daily Mail reports on a town of 3,000 called Villamayor de Santiago, where “rebellious” locals have reintroduced the peseta in a project to thwart the failing euro after inflation has driven up the price of essential goods 43 per cent. The cost of bread is up by 49 per cent, milk 48 per cent, and the price of potatoes is up 116 per cent. All while a third of this small town is out of work.
Around 30 shops in the historic town, 75 miles south-east of Madrid, started accepting pesetas last month after urging customers to dig out any old notes and coins they had forgotten about.
News quickly spread, and shoppers from neighbouring villages and towns have been flocking there to spend the old currency.
After a one-month field test, the enthusiasm for the plan has ensured its renewal. Meanwhile, four other Spanish towns have reintroduced the peseta, as the country goes through an employment crisis worse than that of Greece, and the country’s credit rating has been knocked down another two notches.
The two modern examples of Greece and Spain, echo America’s own colonial history. Following China, America was the second location in the world to test fiat currency at the behest of the British Empire. The story is fully recounted in Chapter 8 of The Creature From Jekyll Island and is well worth a full read, but the salient point is that once colonists were repeatedly subjected to hyperinflation and depression through the overprinting of money, as well as having been subjected to broken promises and tyrannical rule by the Bank of England through the removal of coins, barter became a means of exchange and survival. Tobacco was the first commodity, but nearly anything of intrinsic value served equally well in restoring a semblance of power to individuals as a means for their self-determination.
Later, the colonists who disobeyed government dictates brought out their limited supplies of hoarded coins and re-built from the ground up using sound economic principles. Those colonies which used sound money, such as Massachusetts, won trade from fiat-money colonies like Rhode Island.
As Griffin states:
After the colonies had returned to coin, prices quickly found their natural equilibrium and then stayed at that point, even during the Seven Years War and the disruption of trade that occurred immediately prior to the Revolution. There is no better example of the fact that economic systems in distress can and do recover rapidly if government does not interfere with the natural healing process. (pg. 160)
And Ben Franklin proclaimed that King George III taking away the ability of the colonies to create their own currency was the true reason for the Revolutionary War:
The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the prime reason for the Revolutionary War.
And this is the good news: what’s old seems to be new again; citizens within collapsed economies are once again turning their backs on centralized international government, ignoring their unjust policies, and instead are returning to the far simpler and more logical means of self-sufficiency and prosperity — their own inherent community strength built upon real production and trade between individuals. In short, decentralization.
Americans would do well not to forget that the actions taken by individuals in other severely collapsed countries are those also entrenched in America’s history. Let us all observe closely, then, how the first dominoes that have fallen in the latest cycle of depression are choosing to right themselves; for it would be at our peril to ignore history, and the momentum that already has pushed others toward the same foregone conclusion.
Our forgetfulness is perhaps the root cause of our repeated inability to sustain ourselves, until another collapse scenario forces us to take action.
For an instructive case study in the risks imposed on nations by international banking interests, as well as how anyone can survive the inevitable aftermath, please view the story of Argentina below: