Douglas Carswell

04 APR 2017

Fiat money serves the oligarchs

Yesterday, Bitcoin's price jumped after Japan legalised it. I'm all for currency choice. But why should governments get to decide what currency we can use in the first place?

Today, when every major currency is managed by central banks and backed by nothing more than government fiat, it's easy to think money and the state are intrinsically bound together.

But they're not. Money developed organically. It filled a market demand for a means of exchange. It emerged solely because prehistoric people wanted to trade with each other.

Ruling elites took over money as a short cut to parasitism. Control over the means of exchange equals control over trade – and the ability to seize wealth by stealth.

In the past, ruling regimes would clip the coinage to increase their share of the wealth – usually to fund wars. But that's nothing compared to the scale of currency debasement today.

Our central banks now openly set targets for inflation. Money manipulation is still used to fund governments – only now it's used to help politicians buy votes by raising spending without raising taxes.

Private currencies like Bitcoin have caught on as an alternative to depreciating fiat money. So it's hardly surprising that governments have tried to restrict its use.

In my new book, Rebel, I make the point that parasitic monetary policy leads to inequality. I also set out the solution. To defeat the oligarchy, currency needs to be set free.

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