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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 18, 2011 1:00am-2:15am EDT

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not child or children rorer lampert and everything is different then cemented languages that are related to arabic and hebrew including the ethiopian the languages. if you know, those and at the ethiopian restaurant, one way to have fun is to mention words from arabic or hebrew and they will say that is like my word. that is me winging it on what language is like again africa. [laughter] . .
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>> yeah, i suppose. how is that? >> well come i think what you're referring to is that english has 170,000 words and you're not supposed to say what that number is. is that she need an english word? i don't know. it is a different word from was. i don't care. if you look at the oxford english dictionary and go one, two, three comments 170,000 word words. it is true if you look at one of these isolated indigenous languages company do not have 170,000. how many is hard to say because you are not one of them -- you are not one of those people. the person who combated the word list is threatened michigan. they didn't get all of them, but it is probably some tens of thousands.
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the fact of the matter is that even within the tens of thousands you got your synonyms, shades of meanings kind of a lot of what are considered words in english aren't. and so for example, we had to work worthless. if you look at the oed, there is the word roots, not referring to your great aunt, but ruth means mercy. it's not a word. it just happens to be in there because somebody put it there. that is not a word in a real sense. if we subtract down and talk about how many words the typical english-speaking college graduate knows, then you get closer to that 30,000, 40,000. so it's that way, but certainly the larger developed languages do have vocabularies because you can catch them all in these big dictionaries. and also, words for us don't go out of style because you can capture them in dictionaries. with an indigenous culture,
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there'll be a word used for hundreds and hundreds of years that drops away and nobody remembers that at all. that certainly doesn't happen with us. so i think that's the answer to the question. >> i think that's it. so if we can give a round of applause to the doctor. [applause] >> coming up next on booktv, david graeber, author of "debt: the first 5,000 years" discusses the impact of debt in the world over thousands of years with doug henwood, the author of trans fat and and "after the new economy." this is just over an hour.
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[applause] >> ico intimidated by the 5000 or just by starting with a very mundane five seconds ago in historical timeframe had some questions. i had times a few weeks ago when i had something i often do from "the new york times," a piece about the debt limit. the reporter explained, you think pieces are too too called in journalism, reported to explain the parties were fighting over the moral high ground. they didn't see very much more evidence at that point, but there's also an interesting point that was inadvertently been made by the reporter a thing, but an awful lot of discourse about morality and austerity from which frequently follows the bursting of the
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buckle is presented as a program of moral renovation. certainly bubbles in the past, the followed by periods of self-flagellation, what were we thinking kinds of things? david come you read a lot about debt and morality. there's a whole lot of around that. how did that, which conventionally is that it has been narrowly defined economic think they can direct up with issues of morality? >> well, we don't know because it seems to have happen so early is almost beyond the reach of the historical record. the very earliest documents seem to already have been conflated. i mean come in hebrew and same script, the word for debt and guilt are the same word. it's a really curious thing because in almost all the ancient religions, and they all want to restart the same way. it's like plato's republic starts, what is justice?
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is it not a matter of pay your debts? they immediately conclude that doesn't work in the rest of us try to figure out if not back him up and what? world religion starbase amorality is just that. it is the same thing. but then they say, wait? that doesn't really work. for the dems varies a lot. for example, the sanskrit text end up including that of recognizing you don't owe is actually the way you resolve in the bible is all about forgiveness for debt cancellation becomes a metaphor for true morality. the interesting thing is they feel they have to start that way. the conclusion i finally came to is that the only way to explain it is they are stuck with this language because that's the language than power at the time. we don't know what people in mesopotamia or ancient india were talking about when they argue in partisan politics.
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we have this language and left of their political debates that we don't really know anymore what exactly they were. the language of debt forgiveness languishing redemption was the everyday language of politics and got swept into the small language and its been left of us ever since. i think the reason why is because data for this kind of a moral trap. the language of power. people in power always discover that it's the easiest way to take a situation of pure arbor thierry island authority and make it seem like the victim is to blame in the mafioso understand that you have power over somebody, just conquered them. easiest thing to do as they come you guys owe us your lives because we didn't kill you. we are going to demand this ending something that can't possibly pay. and they are going to a nice
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guy. the next month, definitely no. suddenly you have the moral high ground and they have to run around feeling rotten about themselves. the only way to reply to that essay who's supposed to do here, which is in fact the people almost invariably did and what we discovered is actually a very effect of way of reframing power relations to make it seem like they are disclaimed, to the extent that probably most people ever lived i would just have been told they were debtors at some point in their lives. it's also the focus of the vast majority of insurrections and rebellions of our world history. moses to me once that there is basically one revolutionary program, canceled the debts and redistribute the land in that order. so that reply, who was what to do, it does happen all the time. but what you say that, of course use the language of data.
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people are stuck with the argument about what is stacked in who owns what to whom? a great moral philosophies start with that language if only to then try to train men and take it away. >> you mention the jubilee. i think back in 1998, he suggested we have a jubilee year every five that, which disqualified him as a president. but that tradition, you know, certainly christian morality is very prominent in politics, but that little bit seems to disappear. >> is interesting, isn't it? the other part where he argue the federal reserve system of money creation is actually the first divine system of money creation because make enough money and giving it to s., lake reproduces the divine act of creation. it's like not a materialist thing. you understand money and send
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there. >> comes from credit to believe. deeply wrapped up with matters of faith. >> he just took a little too seriously for the people in charge. >> another element of religious traditions have found on users and now that seems to be productive as well. what happened quite >> that's an interesting story. in fact, one of the things that came out when i was researching come i guess you can say is one of my major discoveries of history seems to flow back and forth during periods dominated by virtual credit lines and peers were golden sub will assume what money is in work coins or some other material object from actual metal is being used in everyday transactions. the funny thing is we think this world of virtual credit money is completely unprecedented. completely in ancient mesopotamia to get most things
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that credit. coinage was only invented maybe two dozen years after the first accounts we have, for example, compounded interest rates or something like that. however, in periods where you have credit as the main form of money, it is hard to think of money as something, which is quite set in stone as it is in periods where people are actually in physical stock. this understatement is a social creation and usually there's some mechanism to make sure the whole system doesn't go crazy. for example, periodic cancellation, mesopotamia would often cancel all debts on taking power. all right, new king, new world, new society. we will just start over. that became institutionalized in the cycle and the bible. in the middle ages, which the another. a virtual credit buying it reverts to not surely forgiving
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when bullion dominates for maybe 600 d.c. two maybe 680. what the middle ages, world goes back to credit systems and once again finds vast cosmological overarching institutions designed to protect debtors. in this case, islam and maybe christianity. christianity was strip dared. along with other things that usually came along with it. it was considered critical as to where society didn't polarize and split apart. the rise of the economic system we have now come which comes after 1492 when bullion comes to thing back into europe again. actually, most in depth in china, but sweeps through europe on the way. they go back to an idea that money really is gold and silver. they change the idea of what money is.
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and interest sort of worms its way back in. it's interesting how they did it. the notion of interest actually goes back to latin interest, interest rate. but it actually meant originally was a penalty for late payment. so the idea was for renting money, you could charge people for not returning something by the date they said they would because it was assumed that if these people be merchants and starts a commercial outcome if you have the money, you'd be putting us in profitable enterprise. so it would be going to maybe 5% a year. thus they get to you in the penalty. that was laid out leaders. >> yeah, some italian bankers invented complex derivative instruments to disguise pizza financial innovation goes back a very commit very long way.
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>> mortgages were another way to do it. you can't officially charged interested you can say okay, i'm buying your house and renting it back to you. >> now we do that reasonably. funny coming after the word that blinked and from goldman sachs has hired a defense attorney. we did have this recent riots of profligacy, yet it seems like the ones that are being honest to pay their debt to society are not the profligate ones. the profligate ones are still living high, collecting interest. >> well, you know, all right. this is my reading. there's the obvious answer, but deaths are social constructs and deaths between which people have always been a little different. even between poor people and each other they tend to help each other out, but deaths between rich and poor are kind
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of different. that's where the exact plurality of temporally comes in. as i would say, rich people can be incredibly generous and forgiving when dealing with each other as we recently saw in 2008. not so much when dealing with that. and this has always been true. the funny thing though is that why we seem to be experiencing another turn of the cycle. this is one of the major conclusions. we have virtual gold and silver on the issue world back to credit money and turning again. in 71, officially the dollar is completely detached from gold. so we've had plastic replacing currency and most everyday transactions. they had financial inflation of
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capital and we've had the rise of 401(k)s and mortgages. suddenly everyone saves the third world. on all fronts, you seem to be moving towards both an ideology of credit and the actual use of virtual money. >> the american public is in love with these. it's the only thing saving us when the wages for completely stagnating. but the problem was when you go into. you have two problems. one is how to prevent the whole thing from spinning out of control. money is just an iou, just a problem. what is to keep people from making any crazy promise. even more, what is to prevent people from falling into debt traps and becoming enslaved. that was the great. throughout most of history, the terrible moral disaster that was the society apart was a small%
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of the population enslaved everybody else by trapping them and people were forced to sell off members of their family into slavery, often ultimately sell themselves. now, there were always mechanisms to prevent that from happening. the jubilees come into usery love, various other things. buddhists, for example, in the middle east and believe abolishing interest but instead it is action is supposed to be saving people from the local loan sharks. the first pawnshops, buddhist temples in the franciscans adopted in europe. now, what did we do this time around? while true cover only 40 years into what will be probably a 500 year cycle of history rings true. you can't necessarily expect to understand what's going on. >> president bachmann will bring
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back the gold standard. >> yeah, what normally happens is you protect some sort of institution to protect debtors. he did exactly the opposite. the first global administrative system because you have the high enough, trade bureaucracies, wto, e.u. and not various financial institutions. know what these guys do? instead of being there to protect debtors, they protect creditors and make sure nobody ever defaults, which economically is insane. >> can you see with the imf should be forced with a surplus of creditors, not editors. >> exactly, they turned it around. can't actually studying mesopotamian -- >> any moral institute. >> yeah, personality and there's reality. yes, so what they did is exactly
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the opposite of what historically would imagine they should've done. the result was predictably catastrophic. in the third world debt crisis and now latin america, east asia has lucier liberated themselves from the eye of mass, do not basically, the same thing is happening here. in fact, another point i was like to make is that idea of the terrible debt crisis, where one's% or 2% against a creditor class and the second insight is anyone else. look at the way most are living. most people are in debt, working jobs they would otherwise never want to be in in order to pay back those stats. as aristotle reserves magically whisked into the president, he would not take the distinction between renting yourself out to someone else to work for them and selling yourself to work for them as being more than the legal niceties. he would conclude most people.
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>> and may have been catastrophic for the debtors. they certainly were, but they've been very good for creditors. if we go back to the first modern debt crisis and austerity scheme come to new york city for his crisis in 1975, the bankers essentially took over the city cut back on social spending, cut back on the public sector and were quite conscious that if we can get away that there's any reports of volatile and iron ore of high expectations, we can do this anywhere. there was an op-ed in "the new york times" in 1975 but said those words. but succeeded. and then you go to the 80s and that was used as a lever to open up economies, open of trade and finance, privatization. it is liberalism. reminds me that one of the more lucid moments he said money has one face, that of abbas. for the creditors have been very successful over the last 40 years, 35 or 40 years in using
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debt to enslave an impoverished and increasing their own wealth and power. do you think there luck is running out? been a,, thousand eight let the cat out of the bag because they can do this partly because people are still following the moral reality of a boolean-based money system, whereby it seems like that's have to be paid. what everybody discovered in 2008, they basically blew up their insistence at ensuring complete greed is that ads don't have to be paid if their deep enough. that's the lesson of a virtual credit money system. if money is an iou, what is to have greater moral standing than any other promise? perhaps with the idea that the argument with the if you don't pay her debts, the whole economic system will fall apart. in fact, the economic system did
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fall apart. they didn't have to pay their debts even then. so as a result, i think people realize there was a moment of lucidity right after the crash. in fact, people were willing to rethink almost anything. i remember even the economist ran a headline that said capitalism: was it a good idea? last night that lasted about a month and then they put a band-aid and said okay, move along, move along. but mandates fall and it's starting to happen. people came to the realization that the lines they've been telling us for all these years is nonsense. market doesn't run itself. nobody can possibly believe that at this point in debts don't really have to be repaid. if they can make 13 trillion or whatever the dark economy of money that was finagled away, well, they can make that sort of
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money in debts disappear, there is no reason they couldn't do federal debt. it is all a political thing. it's a question of what is the most power. let's realize that, democracies can mean anything. everybody has to say over that and that's exactly why you see these movements in spain and greece. that's what they're essentially saving and framing it to go back to grassroots democracy. >> the dominant political discourse consumed at the altar of the need to type their belts and give up medicaid so that rich bankers can get another jag wire. there doesn't seem to be any significant challenge. maybe falling apart or showing signs of fraying. >> it depends where you bar appeared in europe, they're ahead of us in terms of the austerity. we see what might well look like an earring house. i've been told by friends recently and grief that is god to what it was like in argentina
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in 2001 when politicians basically couldn't go to the restaurant without paying false noses because people would just attack them. politicians can't go out on the street anymore. i think that might well have been. >> a couple of economist added european record over the last four years show that austerity problems lead to a surge of rights. speaking of an economist, and in their marvelous little icy hearts, they long have the view that money is very insignificant. there are whole lot of almost clich├ęs in the economic profession. i think it was john stuart mill has said there's nothing that could be more insignificant than money. the idea that money is neutral, dominates mainstream. wherever did that idea come from? >> it is really odd because as nothing to do with when
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economist asked to do. there's a sense of all economies are barter economies. money is whereby we make it more convenient, but it's not important. look away, look away. again, one of those nothing to see here moments. it goes back to adam smith actually. there is a fascinating story that we all learn about where money is supposed to come from. originally there is barter and everybody says i give you 20 cents for that cow when you see i don't need that right now. eventually come either you hit on something that i need so you have to have money. we all learn this. in fact, been an anthropologist is kind of a personal professional pet peeve because we've been looking for 150 years. if there's any place or what we did that, would've found it now. it's not true. they do lots of other things,
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but they never do that. it's amazing considering there aren't that many things that nobody ever does. [laughter] there is one. occasionally, people you hate for each assistant kill and steal their stuff. but in a society now, the question is why. the real reason is because money is credit. credit is a social relation in our economist had a problem with credit. [inaudible] >> exactly. i mean, in order to constitute economics as it may domain unto itself, there's history of human activity where people are just thinking about stocks. were never just thinking about status or you have to create a sphere where people are just thinking about stuff, which is what economists were doing. anna smith and people like that came from across what he thought he really should build to walk into the butcher baker and clicked on your cash and take your stuff, what have you never
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see that guy again and not need to know his name, which was not way it worked at the time. it's not for the bonilla vince of the butcher or a bakery that rather self-interest. the crazy thing is i wasn't true at the time. people were asking favors of butchers and bakers all the time. there was a feeling they shouldn't. >> i was a time when britain with a bunch of money nuts who didn't believe in cornyn at the time. >> they have a problem credit money is getting out of hand. i thought everyone should be using actual coins, but they didn't have the means to make them. in the 1830s and 40s they produce enough cash that people could go to the store and just buy them. for a long time, shops had to produce their own money. now, why does adam smith told a story? if you think about it, it makes no sense. here is the sky coming years as neighbor. he wants his cow. he says that some chickens, the
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guy says no. well, these guys are neighbors in a small nihilistic community, but they only interact on the spot trade. something right now and walk away. what sense does that make? this guy is your neighbor. in fact, that's a really happens. you walk up and say hey, nice cow. the guy says he like it? don't even think about giving me anything bad. now you owe him. so you know, my son is really in love with their daughter. whatever you may come up with. so you actually have the informal credit system. but again, that involves things like my son is in love with her daughter come which falls outside economics. so the action is the story where everybody does stuff on the spot and then he comes then as a way to facilitate that.
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but that money arises from the basis of swapping stuff. >> eisai and a lot of precapitalist, traditional societies, money didn't serve that much of an economic. >> i call it human economy. >> no value in the way we think of money now. >> yeah, because he defined casher things like cache and staples of society. you don't find markets, though. if you look at what some. want to was something very much like money. >> they invented wampum, but the request beads come which seems to have been received a sort of a token of goodwill, a gift of where exotic exchange for use of race. they didn't actually think they were selling it. but that's another story. but they actually tried to
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manufacture status in using it to trade to the era coy. it was white and purple beads made from claims. the thing was wampum was the goaltender in new york and massachusetts, so coleman has used it to each other. cash come as i was saying is hard to come by, but there is no record of any iroquois oral khon kaen using it to trade with each other. maybe peaceful from different tribes. instead, the user to make treaties, make promises, arranged marriages and to pay fines. which is kind of a giveaway of what happens at the origins of money. what is money? money as a system where you can make a portion of comparisons. you can say 27 of these equals three of these. it's hard to see how that could come out with a system of gift
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exchange, where you say nice cow. if somebody gives you something back, which you think is not worth your cow come you might think the guys a cheapskate. you might make fun of them, but she will figure it a mathematical formula for exactly how cheap you think he is. money seems to emerge when people are really angry. so comes out of penalties and fines. if you have a fight and he catches your eye out or killed your brother, that's when they say that's 27 housewares. how many silver plates, i wanted it that. so that's the circumstance where you have exact proportions. in fact, it's very clear. i was looking about plot codes for they could put a price that every single object in the average house, even though at that time there were no markets you can buy most of those things. it was all for paying penalties. >> you mention in passing there were no states, so there were no
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markets. was thinking of milton friedman who cowrote a book, something like 600 pages of monetary history, in which pledged allegiance with the money was insignificant matter. the one exception is the mistake then there is screws things up. the great depression is the federal reserve screw things up. none of the other fundamental issues, inequality or reckless speculation or any of that pain, massive increases in productivity without having the need to purchase and produce, none of that is just how the federal reserve screw to. but you save repeatedly through the book that there are no markets without face. >> not that we know. or insofar as there are, the markets are centered in state, the go beyond them. but even then they operate
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completely different means. where you have truly dateless societies, they are brought in from outside. and that's a fascinating thing because it flies in the face of customize thinking and he spent a hundred years thinking about the division of markets and governments. that is the big political stakes. it's a big historical argument. it's a false dichotomy. in fact, you don't find markets for the town of state or even really vice versa you could argue. >> that has worked out so well. >> they have a system of credit money called imaginary money because it didn't really exist, but everyone continue to use roman denominations of currently to credit transactions. so like schilling and tons and so forth i'll go back to the
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money that charlemagne intended to make, but never actually did. i think he meant in some of the larger denominations who never got around to it was still used as money, pretty much. >> something changes with capitalism and money. you can draw these long parallels with credit money versus commodity money and say these things have been around for a thousand years. the system in which he produced the market is different than what went before it. how this money would be the difference? what is said about capitalism money different than others? >> at first you have to look at the continuity. in order to see the differences i think. i think that one of the interesting things is in certain ways that actually is quite similar to the situation in the empires, where money really comes out of the need to pay
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soldiers, coins, money. you've credit systems as they say much earlier. so there is this statecraft you see in india, china, traces of increase, what there's all these techniques of profit-seeking through government war. in the interesting thing about capitalism is thank you still have a relationship between giant empires, warmaking states and money. but on the idea of money should be gold and silver and gold and silver tends to dominate specifically in intense empire. at the same time, there is a strange hybrid relationship between the merchant and the warrior. i mean, we don't really have a price inc. the nail on the head when he tried to make the distinction between markets and capitalism. they do have military operations.
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this is a growing consensus of historians. but they develop independently of circumstances, especially within state or between them. but what the ultimate market system, according to byrd is a commodity to money has to another commodity. cmc prime is the famous formula. you know, it's a way if you have chickens and you want a cow, you can go about doing that to the medium of money. now capitalism is more amnesty, using monies to get more money gorgeous and to end prime. there's a point on that. you could well make an argument that rather than being an extension of the market or a tentacle to the market, which is what we are now taught to think, in fact, capitalism is
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parasitical. what happens when people with a lot of money who want to turn them into more money ally with heads of state or powerful, political authorities to create monopolies you can separate the logic of the market to turn it into mcm. you need monopolies of one sort or another in order to do so. so that is a great example of what happened in your throat almost all of its history from the han dynasty of these. china was the ultimate anti-capitalist market. the markets much more developed than anyplace else in the world at the time. these markets were tightly controlled by the government insisting that the government, who ordered various commodities and kept prices from getting out of hand. they did the opposite of what a monopolist would normally do to manipulate prices and make money in the market. what happened in europe according to the battalions and systems analysis people are kind
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of coming out of this tradition, was that lots of little princes fighting it out in all these cracks and holes for merchants to grab a hold of autonomous city state, where they could make their own laws. the italian city states came first. so these financiers had a huge political advantage because they're all competing for resources and eventually started granting them these incredible novelistic advantages. so capitalism is from a strange alliance between the warmaking state in the financiers who ultimately profit off the dl. >> how difficult they got further and prior figure japan? >> is interesting. as i say, a lot of it only kind of passes through and goes straight to asia. dozes stanch history because really they turned back from credit money to gold and silver bullion money starts before the americas are in rented.
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even more importantly, it starts happening in china. the reason the cisco first of market populism, which is something that happened when markets become autonomous. in china come it happen because the mongols had used the system of paper money. paper money starts and they can't suppress it in the government starts doing it themselves. so they had this paper money. becomes associated with this system, where people are static in certain occupations as some people soldiers, some craftsmen, very popular than the ming revolution overthrew the mongols, they try to maintain the system. nobody likes it. there's all this independent silver mining peasants who were underweight and create this alternative economy, which is
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independent of the government. finally the government says okay, fine. we'll get rid of all the cast death. you can pay your taxes and silver. we won't even quite money anymore. then they want to get as much solar to the country to keep taxes down. the problem is there is a much sobering china and a basic go through japan in about 20 years. they look around for new sources of silver when the conquistadors happen to stumble into the new world. people have estimated that the liberian colonies would never have been viable economically. not for the fact that there was this enormous demand for silver coming out of china, which is eventually what the experts end up going. now, a lot of that money passes through europe, but becomes the basis for credit services. the iberian governments, people
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use paper money based on this bullion trade and that's what causes the massive inflation in europe, which really paves the way for capitalism. it appeared after the black death, people were doing fairly well in europe economically. one of the great ironies of history. basically declares this played a little bit in terms of population. and suddenly reaches shootout. the number of holidays is like the easiest way to see what's going on. i always say if you want to see how the class struggle is going to predict your time and place, look how many days people have to work. in the 1450 and much of europe, it was like maybe half the day of your holidays and they spend it on great carnivals and public celebrations of various kinds. suddenly, with the infusion of the bullion, there is a huge inflation and it's not just
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caused by gold and silver coinage because most of it was just passing through. we allocate all the capital that to emerging bourgeoisie and those wages are a metaphor for what people and laborers, really sets the streets for creating capitals. >> i guess we conclude this part. since we are thinking in the long view, it's been 40 years in a week and we've been living in this world of perfect peer credit money. we have another 460 years to go? or is this the end of the credit phase? >> now, it's getting a little tighter, but not that much tighter. >> alright. i think ready for some questions.
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anyone? >> t. want to take this? >> richard. wait for the microphone. >> i haven't read the book. there are a number of references to current seat in the old testament. in a mean comment but much quoted verse about eye for an eye tooth for tooth is at least what i was taught was not, you know, you get your eye gouged out, it is a monetary transaction that there is value that is owed. and then there are other references to other monetary transactions in which its money is supposed to credit, you know, shackles or some type of currency that is stored value.
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and that's about 3000 years old? >> something like that. well okay, you're basically saying shackles for currency has? that's the thing. we just assume not. but if there were shackle coins, we would have found it. in fact, it shows up almost simultaneously in china, india and eastern mediterranean sometime later. now, the reason why it's confusing is that we are used to assuming when people talk about denominations of money is actually something physically there. sometimes there was. people who. people who have sobering occasion. but he begins in the ancient middle east as a certain measure used for everything else. now, the question is how people were actually paying each other. the thing i thought was the big giveaway was that the
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seminarians actually didn't make scales accurate enough. they have the technology to do so, but they didn't bother making scales accurate enough to measure out 10 units of silver would've been required to buy pots and pans and things like that. so somehow they got them in some other way. if you look at what happens in lots of markets around the world, they have a credit system. the use silver use silver as a way to nominating and shackle as a way. the wii systems come from a fashion system used in temples. it is the amount of silver that corresponds to the amount a worker will eat in the month of grain. so what starts as a measure. but in fact, a dollar as the same thing. you could have a coin that's worth exactly a dollar, but as mitchell said, no one has ever touched the dollar anymore than anyone has ever touched a pound. >> where is that holy trinity of
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money in the exchange store value? >> economist tend to assume medium comes first. do people assume that it starts at a count, credit theorists almost consider crackpots. they're not crackpots, but considered off to the side and interesting substring of economics, definitely not mainstream accepting archaeologists and historians since all evidence indicates the airway. [laughter] [inaudible] >> yes, but what? you don't need currency. you pay them green usually. thing assumptive measurement, you can pay anything that they'll agree to be paid. >> is it true the salary comes -- as your mac >> it is true, but they didn't just pay them insult.
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>> richard. >> you talked briefly about the imf and around the same time a virtual money in the 1970s, a lot of things people used to -- in the third world people used to pay for are now monetizing its actually have been really rapidly and suddenly over the last 30 years. he talked about this in your radio interview. what i want to ask when in mention the question is brought into my mind was how much of that had to be imposed by the force of the state and how much of that was just markets spreading sort of on their own accord? you say there's no markets about the state. should i be viewing this as a creation of new markets? or is it a different way of looking at something arty going on? >> it's a really interesting history. one way we've been able to reconstruct what happened in the far passes flicking a history of of the colonial world because even though the economist had this theory that money would
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arise spontaneously in the charter list. it deceives money saves money as accounting imposed by the state ought to taxation was considered marginal, what those guys did when they went in the world was exactly what they said. i spent some words in madagascar into his crate clear. the first thing they said is, we are going to have been economically financing colony and you always a lot of money for the cost of the expedition we outfitted to conquer you. these armies don't come cheap. we are going to impose a tax and you have to pay back in the money we will now coin. and they actually called it the moralizing tax, teach them the value of work come in the educational tax is sometimes called us to pay for education, which they didn't provide much
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as. [laughter] the idea and they were very careful about this. they said, we need to make sure people after they pay tax, and they have to work on the plantation or grow pineapples or coffee or whatever it is, get them in the market, but we have to make sure they have money left over because then we set up shops and bring the shopkeepers. but make sure they have announced that they can start buying lipstick and parasols and candy is a nice little things and get hooked. this is very self-conscious. i read about this all the time. they knew what was going on. they were onto with the administrators were doing. for many years, a lot of them just refused. they would pull all the money left over and sacrificed their ancestors did not go near the shops at all. but eventually, after centuries,
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a century, how much can you keep up resistance and that's the only game in town? was to understand what was going on, they were trying to create markets, particularly labor markets in this case. you can realize one of the great mysteries if you believe the adam smith version of history where money comes from, spontaneously created from below was why did ancient kings want money -- taxes and money about? they can just grab the gold and silver money. they've got all the money. why did they need more? the new stamp your picture on it and say okay, everybody give it back. doesn't make a lot of sense. however, if you try to create a market and particularly a market to pay for soldiers, and makes perfect sense that the big problem you have this year's 40,000 guys. how you feed them? the eat everything within a mile or two of living.
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you've got to employ another 40,000 people to feed all those guys unless you take little bits of gold and silver, which is what they'll be leading anyway, so they are used to do. stamp your picture and say okay, everyone has to give him back. suddenly employ everyone in the kingdom is people providing soldiers with things they want or need. but at the same time, the marketplace to use cash tend to develop around military operations. [inaudible] >> the 1970s and the more recent time, a lot of these states are most neoliberal and most much write things that previously had not been, were actually not directly in the colonial rep, like parts of africa in the postcolonial era. and yet they still moved into, you know, dusted policies and no
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longer had free services offered by the state before that. how did that happen? >> largely to the imf. there was unorthodoxy simply imposed. correctly. i mean, can i turn to madagascar. madagascar aside to why some accounts are a violent revolutions in the last 20 years. the first one that i put in power thought he was actually running the place so you into the imf, which they kick out the previous north korea, but knew enough about he kicked out that guy. the new guy was like a brain surgeon or some thing. went to the imf inside, well, you know, name one country that did what you say and is now rich. and i said shut up and do what you're told. he said no. he signed the inf treaty. if you don't have an imf treaty the world will give you money.
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if you don't get american economy can't get extra credit. so basically it is the economic equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb in the place. people died. they had the power to do that. >> we go back to good new york city fiscal crisis. they have to start charging tuitions to the university, free of their referendums in 1847 making that day. felix as i know this is not fiscally important, but it's important for shock value. as margaret thatcher said, we need to remake people's souls. there's a bit of soul remaking going on. >> that's why think the jubilee would be helpful because it would do exactly the opposite. it would be of real shock value, but with tightness after two decimate we learn that money sent sent to remake. it can be reshuffled any old way. let's bring them home. >> thanks so much. that was really great.
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quick question, is that an invention that is really neat and someone came upon one and is used throughout the world? or is it something that is permanent everywhere sowing your research dg finds a hawaii comes to mind is a place that wasn't involved in the world economy until much, much later. did you discover whether with 1778? isn't something everyone does for something that spreads? and if not, decide about the possibility of the doubtless society? >> that depends how strictly you want to define that term. when i think of that, i think of the moral obligation that has been by numbers and violence to put it somewhat less poetically. it's an obligation which can be exactly quantified, which is
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personalized. it's not between two people, but between whoever the debt is owed to you can transfer. now, there are definitely places that do not have quantifiable and transferable obligations. i don't think it's a human universal. he think it's a potential human universal and that it's a concept that could be easily understood in any context. it's sort of like money. you'd be hard to eliminate money of any sort. if you imagine money as a way of comparing values for things in a proportional fashion, it's an idea anybody could understand easily enough. it doesn't seem to occur absolutely everywhere that people make proportional calculations. but once it's there, it's hard to imagine it will be completely gotten rid of. the key thing is not to say many 10 people that promises to each other, even involving material
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things, therefore that is universal because you assume the rest of the package naturally flows out of it and i don't think that the case. >> we have time for one brief question and answer. >> sensor just coming out of the housing crisis -- >> we are? [laughter] >> good luck to everybody else. we saw the easy access to debt pushing up the idea of increased value. do you have any more anecdotal anecdotes over the same same thing has happened? >> easy access to caddick, buying houses, but it was based on -- >> you mean the fluctuating system? >> scans are prevalent in all of human history. [laughter] yes, that is why you have these as economic regulation. the debt trap is something very
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easy to fall into. you look in almost anywhere. people with lots of money will figure out ways to trap people in debt. if you think of the rebellion idea as a way of manipulating the market, with institutions are there, people always try that kind of thing. and hence one reason why religious codes are so strict about ensuring that it doesn't happen. the idea you could have a market and people will not fall into that is utopian. i think of the utopian argument as one where you say how things should work in that it doesn't come you say the individuals are to blame. well, the economic system is built for individuals as they actually exist in individuals who set up the system will both make scans. >> okay, i think that's it. [applause]
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[applause] >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals this month:
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>> what do you think? do you think olmstead did as well but the other architects that came along in his life? theater very good relationship with the one he died. >> h. h. richter said. richerson died at 45 or something. >> i don't think he ever found a partner who you work with as well as fox and integrated designs and also thought as much about -- box brought to the table prospect park. it was originally supposed to be two separate pieces of land, with a bridge between them. boxes when he said it's not only think think about the landscape, or provide landscape. i think olmstead had these kind of division of labor partnerships. he got along with them well, but
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he was going to design structures and think about landscape. some of these folks had such massive egos that he was going to design a bridge that looked however he felt the breach of book. olmstead designed and there weren't that many bridges to design. >> yes, i think a lot of interesting other topics came out. the chicago world fair to me was amazing because he was this guy who is now in his 80s? >> would've been a 70s. >> late 70s, yeah.
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