Monday, November 14, 2011

A Redux Request: Hakim Bey on Money

Black Sun Gazette | Peter’s talk was on money, specifically, a long historical view of money viewed through magickal / hieroglyphic lens. Like a lot of people I know and a lot of people I hear, he claims that he saw the whole economic collapse coming about a year ago. This is either an example of 20/20 hindsight on a massive scale or the collapse was that obvious to see coming over the horizen. I tend to believe the latter. Mostly because of something that Mr. Wilson himself said. “An important key to understand reality is economics.” People that tend to understand reality tend to understand economics- at least in the larger strokes. Still, I think it will forever confuse me why people like Mr. Wilson don’t do something with this knowledge. He claims that if he had a million dollars last year he could have twelve millions today. It’s not so much that I doubt the veracity of this claim so much as I lament it staying in the stage of the unverifiable. Money may not be wealth, but it can get you some very useful commodities like cigarettes, guns, food, land, housing, etc.

Mr. Wilson points out that “the Stone Age knows starvation but it does not know poverty.” In other words, there might be a famine, your village might get raided, there might be crop blight, but the village will either thrive together or starve together. The Stone Age knew starvation, but it did not know a parasitic ruling class gorging itself while masses outside starved to death. Money, Mr. Wilson says, begins as Sumerian clay tokens shaped into the tradable commodities (oxen, barrels of wheat, bars of silver, etc.). Records of debt (at usurious interest rates up to 33.3% annually) were kept by (who else?) the scribes and priests of the temples who at that time monopolized the art of writing. This kept not only the peasantry and laboring classes in debt peonage, it also kept the merchant class in thrall to the temple. Peter has considered the anthropological facts about money alongside the more mytho-poetic evidence existing from the time, such as the Babylonian creation myth of the war between Tiamat and Marduk, and the legends of Staghorn and Gilgamesh.

Clay tablets existed in ancient Mesopotamia. Specie, that is coinage, did not. This is an invention of the ancient peoples of Asia Minor and the Greek Islands. Here we see money gaining a more explicit religious and magickal quality. Gold was plentiful in this area, and is also a malleable metal easy to imprint with both words and images. When temple sacrifices of the local bull cults became so popular that not everyone could get a piece of bull, an ingenius method was reached to give every pilgrim a symbol of involvement in the ritual- the temple token. Rather than a piece of bull, pilgrims were given a small piece of gold with a bull impressed on one face. The two sided coin comes later with an image on one side and a caption on the other. Money becomes qualitatively more magickal with this step, uniting the image and the word into a talismatic object which has a value unrelated to its real value as commodity. It is no longer simply a magickal document recording debt and / or wealth. It is a magickal object whose value comes from belief. As Peter points out: All money is fiat money. Gold has no inherent value. It’s shiny, and makes cool jewelry and all that, but it is not what the anarcho-capitalist types will have you believe, a universal medium of exchange. Sure, it holds value over millenia (particlarly with regard to silver), but there is not reason to use gold more than say, diamonds or uranium or coal or any other commodity in limited supply. Quoth Mr. Wilson: “Money is proof that magick works, it is perhaps the only proof.”


14 State AG's Sign Letter Threatening Media Outlets With Prosecution For Reporting On Hamas

foxnews  |   More than a dozen state attorneys general signed a letter to media outlets such as the New York Times and Reuters, putting t...