Green Island Letters

Another in the Deeper Truths series

David Graeber - radical alternative economics genius - or deep state disinfo agent??

- a letter to Robin Upton and Unwelcome Guests regarding their various laudatory references to David Graeber and his exceedingly well-propagandized book Debt: The First 5000 Years

Dear Robin et al,
I just came across your Unwelcome Guests site recently, and there's a lot of interesting shows. I've been aware of 'the deep state' idea you speak much of for many years now after listening to and reading, among many others, many of the people I see interviewed or featured on your shows.

One of the things that got me started on my way out of 'the box' as I started thinking of it many years back (1st book, They're Building a Box, and You're In It) was the money and debt stuff, way back in the late 1980s in Canada, when the PM of the time, Mulroney, and his finance minister Michael Wilson, suddenly 'discovered' Canada had a 'massive national debt!!' that meant a ball and chain around our poor wee babies' feets for years and years and decades and decades (you nasty selfish people!!) if we didn't immediately start to act responsibly and pay for our collective sins and (liberal tax/borrow and spend) profligacy through various 'austerity' and 'pay down the debt!!!' schemes, etc etc (which are still underway 30 years later, oddly having 'paid down the debt' not at all, although having paid approx twice the value of the debt in 'service charges' and certainly imposing massive austerity and cutbacks to degrade and destroy a once quite strong but now dead-thing-walking 'democracy' in Canada over the same time). It all sounded like BS to me, and I did some research and had an article questioning the validity of the scare-mongering published in what was, at the time, a somewhat 'progressive' (really 'progressive' as Canada once was, not the pretend-progressive that dominates today) public policy journal in Canada (Policy Options). And I've been working on it ever since, along with getting informed about the various other 'deep state' things, and a great deal more the last 10-15 years or so since the internet became the great and massive research tool it has become, of which there was nothing remotely like back in my parts of Canada in the 80s and 90s before I came to Thailand in 94, where I still am.

I tell you that just to establish that, when I offer the following comments, it is from a position of long years of research and well-developed ideas I speak, I do know what I'm talking about here. (my latest gathering of my thoughts on the overall situation, including the money-debt stuff, are all here - Democratic Revolution Handbook - a book I just finished a few months ago, in which the things I say below are spelled out in much more detail in 3 related chapters in the first section, and much else I don't talk about in this short letter tying money and everything else together)

Anyway, back to where I was - I was listening to one of your shows ( Capitalism and banking and what could come next), and followed back to your David Graeber '5000 Years of Debt' stuff, about which you at UG seem quite impressed, as have many others of course been quite impressed, and had a bit of a listen to some of the shows.

Like everyone else who's paying attention to what goes on in the world, I heard of Graeber when the Debt book was published, but unlike most, I had enough understanding of both modern debt and the 'history' of modern debt to listen critically to what he was saying, and had some serious doubts about him from the start after listening with first some mild amazement at what he was saying, followed by the kind of disbelieving laughter one might have if the major news organisations started pushing some character telling us that, holy cow Batcitizen, it turns out Darwin was all wrong all along, and we really need to start thinking seriously about Creationism!!, or something equally ludicrous, and checking the calendar to see if this was originally broadcast on April 1 or something.

Now, putting various things together, what seems quite probable to me is that Graeber is probably a very well done and presented agent of the 'deep state', whose purpose is to lead people away from one of the central lies they live under - one of the core walls of 'the matrix', if you want another analogy.

The basis, or most important 'reveal', of Graeber's entire thesis that 'there never was any bartering!!!' is just demonstrable nonsense, to any person with their brain engaged, as obvious really as the 'Huh!!??' reaction to the exhortations of all the Emperor's courtiers (and, importantly, wouldbe courtiers, a 'deep thinking' idea) to unquestioningly bow and praise the naked emperor's imaginary Wonderful New Clothes!! to those with eyes open and brain engaged - but nonsense with a very serious purpose, and very, very well sold to a public which has increasingly over the last 30 years, been very largely rendered completely unable to manage any kind of critical thinking when blasted with any kind of 24/7/365 'full spectrum' corporate state/press propaganda (reference such things as the widely spread belief in the obvious lies and nonsense of the 911 'official conspiracy theory', or the eyebrow-popping ludicrousness of the assertion of 'Russian aggression Putin wants to take over the world OMG!!' more recently, or 'we're all going to die if YOU don't get your measles vaccination right NOW you anti-science nutcase terrorist!!', etc etc). Sadly and very worryingly, this includes a very large segment of the 'progressive-liberal' 'left', such as it is anymore, who really should know better, mindlessly following and parroting their 'pretend-alt' leaders. (note - I don't think you guys at UG are 'pretend', you do too much 'talking about 'real' reality' stuff the 'real pretend' people try to cover up and gatekeep, I just suspect some too-little-critical-examination following of some misguided, shall we say, libertarian ideas has made you susceptible to the massive full spectrum propaganda drive telling us all how Great and Wonderful!! Graeber's ideas were/are - more anon)

Bill Abram, one of Canada's earliest and greatest monetary reformers, from an interview recorded shortly before he died:"..... money is just .. an intellectual form of bartering. .. in a community, if you need something and I've got it, we can share it, but on a national scale, we need to have tokens that can register a value, and we can barter with the use of these tokens we call money ..." (at approx 33 minutes)

Brain-engaged feet-on-the-ground response to 'there never was any bartering you silly children!!': When you go to a store and give them money and get something in return - what have you just done? You wanted something from them, they were willing to 'trade' if you had something they wanted, which you did, and you swapped, or bartered, using what I call a modern and advanced 'commonly accepted bartering tool', aka this thing we call 'money'.

You can't get around it.

Since we started living together in communities and different people started making different things according to their different interests/talents in a diverse society to supply the needs and wants of their communities, we have always bartered, and always will, a few small exceptions here and there notwithstanding, and Graeber's (and others) attempts to explain this away through various clever but ultimately shallow and sophistric prevarications can't change this simple fact, for anyone able to stand on their own feet and resist the exhortations of the emperor's courtiers to praise his great new clothes (often followed by his bullies of various sorts who make clear they'll pound your head a bit if you get smart) and just laugh the nonsense away, like, for example, we laugh away the often apparently well-reasoned and cleverly presented case for creationism. (Imagine trying to point to the existence of a few 'atheist' colonies in the past to 'prove' nobody ever believed in any 'god'... same thing as trying to point to a few 'gifting' societies in the past to 'prove' we never bartered)

Graeber's 'argument' that we have no historical records 'proving' people bartered, so therefore several thousand years of 'lived reality' is just some kind of 'creationist' type story that we have to stop believing, is as shallow and irrelevant to the critical, able-to-question mind as saying we have no proof people walked forwards rather than backwards for most of human history - and look at all the clever things I have assembled to prove people actually walked backwards through most of history!!! You don't need to 'prove' the obvious, nor do people spend a lot of time writing on stone tablets about the most common things in their lives, and if we don't have a great body of 'proof' that people wiped their asses after shitting 2000 years ago, it does not mean they didn't.

Bartering - mutual exchange of things between people - is as natural as eating, and with few exceptions, we all, every one of us, do it every day of our lives in many ways, utterly countless transactions every day everywhere of someone saying some version of 'I want that I'll give you this for it, do you accept? No? Let's barter then - what do you want?'. The fact it's a bit more formalized in most places, with the barter 'price' already set in terms of the common bartering tool, in no way changes the basic fact of a bartering-type transaction taking place (and in many, many small markets all over the world, the price is not set, but is negotiable - and what is that dickering about the price of something, or trading something for something, if not bartering?

(and given Graeber's *very* (**very!!** really) loose use of 'fact' in many, many other things he asserts in the book, I would very strongly suspect that if I had the time and inclination to go looking, I'd find all kinds of references to bartering in 'historical references' 'proving' that bartering was indeed widespread and common - his book is absolutely full of half-truths and exaggerations and outright nonsense such as 'bartering is a myth' on virtually every page, and when you understand this kind of thing is going on by someone out to prove some point, the likelihood they are simply not talking about or acknowledging things that disprove their point is very much on the table; I won't make this an even longer letter by making a list of Graeber's sophistric dissembling around 'facts', but if you want to talk, I could do so readily, given the number of such things I have noticed in even my quick perusals of his writing)

(and to turn one of his sophistries on its head, the very existence of coins going back thousands of years can be seen as a pretty suggestive proof that people *were* bartering - if you're not bartering, what do you need a commonly accepted bartering tool, which is what coins basically are, for? He's right of course to say it's very difficult to 'barter' the pair of shoes I made as a shoe craftsperson for some of your milk, or exchange for any other things at the market, but that difficulty is not 'proof' bartering was not occurring or that people just made stuff to give away (a quite stupid idea really, completely contrary to all 'lived experience', but obviously with so many people believing the obvious nonsense that a plane crash and small fire made the WTC buildings fall, simply being 'stupid' etc is no obstacle to widespread belief when you have a very able fraud-con collective and highly suggestible and gullible public) - again to offer a more logical explanation based on countless years of 'lived reality', that difficulty is very obviously why in early days some of our very clever and innovative human ancestors developed various forms of 'commonly accepted bartering tool' for use as early markets started to form, whether shells or storable grains or eventually pretty and valuable-because-rare metals, which quickly advanced into various denominations of a commonly accepted bartering replacement tool called 'coins' able to deal with varying values of things people wanted to trade or obtain, so 'the market value' of my shoes might be 100 pennies, and somebody would give me 100 pennies, and I could use 5 of those pennies for your milk, and etc etc.

But the use of such a 'commonly accepted bartering exchange commodity' was and is still bartering, exchanging something I have for something you have that I want - just using the common bartering tool of the coins to get around the problem of exchanging my shoes for your meat pies when my shoes are obviously much more valuable or you don't even want shoes, etc. The fact our long distant ancestors invented a 'common bartering tool' to make the bartering process easier does not in any way cancel the basic fact that we are bartering, it just eases payment once we decide what the exchange will be - indeed, given human ingenuity and inventiveness, it would be highly amazing if they had NOT developed a common bartering tool, now aka 'money', but still just a way to facilitate bartering among people with things they want to sell or obtain).

But coinage again, as useful as it was and is as a 'common bartering tool', has limits, and for a fuller understanding of what is going on in our own times, we need to jump forward to the 1600s or so - the later middle ages and early days of the 'modern' world - to the beginnings of modern banking - you have probably seen the story somewhere, goldsmiths began giving out 'deposit slips' to people who deposited gold with them for safekeeping, and the pieces of paper could be transferred instead of the gold - and then some of these goldsmiths got the idea that they could make up pieces of paper claiming to have more gold than they had to 'loan' to others, and even charge interest on the loan of gold they did not have, which was the birth of modern 'paper money' banking back in the 1600s or thereabouts.

This practice of 'loaning' gold they did not actually have was of course fraudulent, but when you see it through a more inclusive filter, you realise it was also a very innovative 'invention', a big step forward for human society, as a way to increase the 'money supply', which until this time was limited by the amount of 'hard valuable commodity' coinage available (sure there would be 'credit' available, but only in local and limited situations where everyone knew everyone - not very useful in large markets where most trading was done, where strangers were buying and selling). And this ability to expand the 'money supply' beyond the actual available 'hard commodity coinage' in turn enabled new enterprises to begin that needed money to start - when your 'money' was some form of hard barter exchange tool such as coins, then your growth was pretty much limited to the supply of coins, but when you could use paper supposedly exchangeable for gold, you could have a much larger 'money' supply, as long as you could get the people involved to believe they could exchange that paper for gold but never actually all come looking at once. And this new 'credit money' tool became available just as the renaissance was blooming, with scientific discovery and many new inventions based on that science, and a growing and better educated 'middle class' looking for better lives and the latest 'mod cons', and it was a kind of 'perfect storm' of new ideas and ambitious entrepreneurs with a growing market and the 'new money' available to fund their dreams not limited by the actual 'gold' in their society - and the industrial revolution was the result.

I get into a lot more explanation in my book, but as a notable aside, I've come to see that this was also the beginning of capitalism - the creation by the bankers of the day of a kind of philosopher's stone, able to make valueless paper assume the value of gold. A very, very powerful tool, a tool like any other tool able to be used for good or evil purposes, depending on who controls it. Obviously a lot of very good things happened during the decades this 'perfect storm' was occurring, in terms of scientific and technological advances, the beginnings of the creation of the modern transportation and communications infrastructure central to our modern world, and the governmental bureaucracy to oversee such things in at least a quasi-democratic fashion, including some regulations on the paper money - but of course like any powerful tool in the wrong hands, the expanded credit-money made a lot of bad things happen as well, given the natural predatory instincts of some humans, but that's for a different discussion - I simply wish to note here the 'discovery' that, in the right circumstances, pieces of paper could be used as a 'common bartering tool' - and although actual 'real metal' coins have limitations of supply, pieces of paper are in limitless supply, thus when used with some care, a much larger 'common bartering tool' market can be supported. Imagine trying to score a sports game, but only allowed to use some type of hard commodity, rocks of a certain color or lucky rabbit's feet or whatever - people could try to control this commodity, or the score keepers might not get enough of the things for a high-scoring game - but how much better when they moved to a simple 'put a mark on paper!!' system. Very much the same kind of transition from 'hard commodity bartering tool' to 'paper pretending to be hard commodity bartering tool'. Obviously a powerful innovation - and subject to serious misuse in the wrong hands. And our banking system which controls the paper money which the modern world runs on has been in the wrong hands since its inceptions.

And then leaving out a LOT of other stuff in this short examination of Graeber's Debt book, I'm going to jump ahead to modern times (the last 100 years or so), when nobody even pretends the paper is exchangeable for gold anymore, it's just a kind of honor system, based on government regulation, we all believe the numbers on the paper or in our bank accounts have the values claimed, and use those values in the great modern market to do our daily bartering.

And almost nobody understands what a massive golden goose this has become for the banking cartel, as a way to transfer the lion's share of the wealth produced by millions of hardworking people to the rulers.

As demonstrated, and 'affirmed', repeatedly by Graeber and various others, the general belief, however, is that when 'debt' is created, it is created by the loaning of already existing money - in other words, more or less legitimate loans - if you have some money in your pocket and loan it to someone else, that's a legitimate loan.

BUT - when you are simply banging numbers into a computer, creating new credit out of thin air, as the modern banks do, and then 'loaning' it to someone else, and demanding not only repayment in **real** money, but **interest!!** on that money you have just created ex nihilo - well, those who control the computers into which you can bang those numbers pretty much have the ultimate power in a society which has become completely based on the very false god called Money.

Again I want to emphasize - theoretically this is a great system, and not theoretically but in actual fact one of the most powerful tools ever invented - and it is now controlled by a small group of people who use that power to give themselves power and control over our societies, a significant part of the exercise of that power being the completely imaginary basis of it - the 'hard infrastructure' of all types which form the wealth basis of any society is of course very real and tangible, but the 'money' we use as a 'common bartering tool' in any transactions involving that 'real wealth' is simply imaginary, but as powerful an imaginary tool for controlling people as 'God will do bad things to you if you displease Him!!' once was, and still is for many, for controlling people.

And that is what Graeber is hiding, or diverting attention away from, with his Debt book, which does not mention a word of what I have just described, but is probably the single most important 'unknown truth' of our times, the fraudulent basis of all money-based power in the western world, all based on a fraud, as the great power of the church over the last couple of thousand years has been based on an utter lie and fraud, perpetuated by a small group of powerful people to maintain and increase their own power. As we passed through the renaissance and age of science and technology in the 17 and 1800s, the power of technology - based on the new false god of money, began a serious challenge to the power of the church, and now in western societies has pretty much replaced it. So this very condensed history brings me to -

Point B - The second and even more important 'reveal' about Graeber et al - and I suspect the true reason for this widely promoted legerdemain of the rulers (nothing to see over there folks, don't even think about {{shhhhh!! That Which Will Not Be Named!!}} - look here look here at the Amazing Tricks We're Performing For You!!) - is that although they talk about money and debt a lot, they never, never address the most essential truth of modern money, that any honest and intelligent researcher would have to have right at the very top of things that must be talked about when we talk about modern 'debt' - virtually all of our modern 'money' is actually simply credit, created out of thin air by the commercial banking cartel, as debt. And almost nobody understands this, which is why they continue to get away with a fraud as massive as the god fraud, but with even more disastrous results for humanity the last 100 years (and when you get the religious loons facing off with the money fanatics, all hell really breaks loose, as we see in the mid-east the last few decades)

Leading to the essential question that lays wide open the massive fraud of our times, the great collusion by all senior authorities in our society, politicians, media people, academics - why, in a supposedly 'sovereign' democracy, would 'we' allow a private business cartel, a business cartel controlled by very obviously very avaricious and moral-and-ethics-free criminals interested ONLY in maxing their own takings and power, to control this great power?? - when we understand that this thing we think of as 'money' is simply a great credit-accounting system, a points system pretty much the same as the scoring of a sports contest, where 'money' is created simply by banging numbers into a computer and our daily transactions nothing more than shuffling these numbers around from one account to another - why would a 'sovereign' government allow a private business cartel to control this great credit accounting system, and then (as a 'sovereign government') even more ludicrously go through the utter farce (and fraud) of 'borrowing' that 'money' at 'interest' running up huge national debts, when a **sovereign** government could simply create the same credit-aka-'money' in exactly the same way, with neither debt nor interest to worry about?

Graeber talks a lot about 'government debt' and related things, but not EVER does he talk about the way that debt is created, as essentially 'credit' masquerading as 'new money' created by commercial banks, when the governments in question could create exactly the same money, debt and interest free - and thus the essentially 'odious' nature of all government debt, and a great deal of 'compound-interest-based' debt, imposed on people too utterly clueless, too brainwashed by decades of corporate state media lies and gatekeeping and propaganda, to have any idea of what is going on.

(the 'talking points' libertarian response that governments are controlled by stupid venal politicians who would create too much money for nefarious purposes leading to terrible inflation and debasement of the value of the money supply (Weimar Germany Weimar Germany OMGOMG!!) has more or less the same credibility as the first claim that there never was any bartering; I explain it again in more detail in the book - but for a clear example of how nonsensical the claim is, in Canada, we have had 'finance ministers' for 40 years whose main claim to fame was their role as 'Responsible Managers of the Public Purse!!', with great determination to do whatever it took to 'pay down the debt!!' and 'reduce spending!!' - to cast them as stupid venal politicians who'd go crazy creating money is as stupid and disconnected from reality as casting G Bush as a great intellectual president or something (and also ignoring the fact that, in Canada at least, the elected government actually could command the Bank of Canada to print/create as much money/credit as it wanted, but although it very judiciously used the Bank of Canada for just that purpose from the 1930s until the 1970s, during which time great socially valuable spending was done while accruing no notable debt, it changed policy in the 1970s and has not been using the Bank of Canada for the last 40 years, instead following the utterly lunatic (and fraudulent) policy of allowing the banking cartel to create the same money from the same place and borrowing it at interest.

A 'feet on the ground' examination of 'reality' over the last 35-40 years or so shows very clearly that we do indeed have massive out-of-control money creation the last few decades with the attendant inflation and currency degradation and other problems - and guess who has been controlling the money-creation process during this time? - the private banking cartel, of course, as they were once again set in charge of money during the 70s, as they had been before the 1930s, drunk and insane with their power .... another great perverse capitalist lie, to do something through their banks as crazy as this out-of-control money creation, and then have the libertarians start screaming about THE GOV DID IT THE GOV DID IT!! - don't get me started ...)

Anyway - that, to me, would seem quite obviously to be the entire point of Graeber's book and the very great propaganda push he received from all 'public voices' when it was published, and why it seems clear he is a disinformation agent of the rulers, who are of course these days the people with the Big Money, among them, probably at the head of the line, the international banking cartel - to get people looking away from that most fundamental question, and start thinking thoughts about big ancient but quite effective machines with a big knife-like blade and rolling heads and stuff.

It is very clear why these questions cannot be allowed in the public debate, this door must be kept very firmly closed and the lights very firmly off and the public kept very, very much in the dark about all of this - and yet over the last few years with the internet smashing a huge hole in the control of information the rulers formerly had, a LOT of people have been getting this stuff figured out, and asking these questions, and more and more people are starting to wonder about things the rulers very much need them NOT to be wondering about. I would suspect that the rulers have been getting a bit concerned about this information getting some real traction in 'the masses', which could mean some serious problems for them (French Revolution style problems for a really, really pissed modern peasantry already quite restless and angry for many money-related reasons suddenly finding they have been massively stolen from and lied to not just by banks, but by the governments, and media, they had had at least some trust in), and have been taking some serious steps to divert attention away from this essential fact of our modern money system. So they create and give big promotion to things like Graeber talking about 'debt', an idea which of course everyone understands in its most basic and brutal manifestations, but spreading a big layer of horseshit over the door leading to the real 'truth' of *how* that debt orginates, and the real story of how all government debt, and a very large share of 'private' debt, is a massive fraud. (you can gauge the level of the push of this disinformation, when they have both the mainstream corporate Ministries of Truth AND the major so-called 'alt' media all praising him, saying this is the final word on debt, you need look no further everyone!!)

I would note again, as a Canadian, that one of the 'leading progressives' (now very much revealed as 'pseudo') in Canada, Margaret Atwood, performed exactly the same 'look over here, children, look over here, nothing to see over there, move on move on I have a WONDERFUL story to tell you!!' 'service' for the rulers a few years ago, being featured on the highly prestigious Massey Lectures on the CBC Ideas show talking about debt, and doing exactly the same thing - not a WORD about the 'odious' and fraudulent nature of most modern government debt, of how, since the 1970s, our government has been allowing the commercial banking cartel to create credit as interest-bearing debt, which our supposedly sovereign government then borrows at interest, completely unnecessarily as it could create exactly the same credit through our Bank of Canada as it did from the 1930s to the 1970s, debt and interest free, and how it then follows that the entire program of cutbacks and 'austerity' the last 30 years has been a complete con and massive fraud from start to finish - it was her job to cover that up, and as a 'well-respected' progressive, few if any would question her.

(as with Graeber, Ms Atwood was given instant adulation throughout both the corporate and 'pretend alt' media for her wonderful {sarc} exploration of this important topic - not a WORD of critical examination such as I suggest above concerning the origin of most modern debt, or wondering why such an important tool is left in avaricious corporate hands rather than being the public service it should be in a democracy (it actually brings to mind the 911 situation, when within minutes the stories were being implanted in the public mind that the plane crashes and fires caused the collapses, and bin Laden did it, etc etc, and ALL people allowed a 'public voice' in both corporate and (pretend) alt media were pushing the official conspiracy theory, as they still are - same with Graeber and Atwood, instant implantation in the public mind from all 'allowed' public voices of how great these books were, great revelations, not to be questioned or criticized (and as an included corollary - if such great experts going into such detail about the history of debt are/were not talking about something (i.e. where the money comes from in the first place, created out of nothing by commercial banks, who charge interest on it, etc) - well, we don't need to wonder about it, busy children, nothing to see there move along folks - back to your hivephones and shopping and gossip, your momma tells you all you need to know!!)

Anyway, I won't go on, the things I talk about are easy enough to check out if you care to, there are many, many refs in my book, and I'd be happy to respond to any questions you might have. I haven't had time to go through all 700 of your shows, so some of this may be complaining about things you have already done, but I did note in the first Graeber show you also had G Edward Griffin talking, a Libertarian who has understood the problem to some extent, but has the 'anti-government' libertarian perspective in terms of what to do about it, which I believe is wrong for two main reasons, aside from the explanation above about what the 'credit-money' system is really all about: (a) we do need government as a collective (democratic) defense from those who would be our warlord rulers and very much need us wandering around alone and ignorant and defenceless as easy prey for their ready-for-violence armed gangs, but of course it has to be a truly democratic government of, by and for informed, engaged citizens, which we certainly do not have now, and have only ever gotten close to in the past, at least in the English speaking countries - again, a lot more about it in my book, and (b) the 'gold standard' is no solution, basically because if we can't control the bankers and rulers and their manipulation of the 'fiat money'-credit-accounting system, we won't be able to control their manipulation of gold prices etc - only a true democracy of informed, engaged citizens exercising 'true' democratic power is going to get things things properly sorted.)

(another quite crazy thing Griffin and other libertarians talk about is 'the great commie collectivists globalists conspiracy to take over the world OMG!!!' - I dismantle this completely idiotic but widespread idea, along with some related ideas that need some light shone on them, completely in another essay, It's not 'the left' trying to take over the world and shut down free speech and all that other bad stuff - it's 'the right'!! )

I'll also respond briefly and pre-emptively before I finish to a common and very mistaken idea these libertarians start off with, the idea that 'printing money is inflationary and debases the currency', which is as fallacious as the idea we never had bartering, or getting god mad will make bad things happen for you!!

First - Within the somewhat wonderlandian 'rules' of our current system, it is true that too much 'money printing' can indeed create problems for a currency, and we need to be aware of this and try to prevent it as long as we are playing this silly but powerful game. BUT - even within the current system, we also need to understand that as a society grows in population and things available to buy, you need more 'money' just to stay even and keep the market functioning at optimal capacity, so the blanket statement that 'printing money debases the currency' is as wrong as saying drinking that beer will make you an alcoholic!! Moderate drinking does not make you an alcoholic, and with money, the problem is not the existence of 'fiat money', or 'printing' it, but allowing a private business to control how much of this 'money'-credit is created, and, more importantly, allowing them to charge 'interest' on money-credit created ex nihilo - and all exacerbated by allowing them to create such credit-money for their own purposes, notably 'printing money' (really, even in the current system, 'creating credit') for all kinds of inflation-creating speculation, inflation already systemic from creating even normal credit as interest-bearing debt.

A democratic government overseen by an informed, engaged citizenry understanding and overseeing the credit system and using it for 'the common weal' rather than maxing the profits of the controlling cartel would not create credit for speculation, and would not charge interest on credit created out of thin air, and thus controlled, such a system could work very smoothly, with long-term stability and minimal inflation, for the benefit of society as a whole. But again, of course, the essential requirements are an informed, engaged citizenry and a democratic government actually working for the people rather than a pretend-democratic government actually working for the elite oligarchy, which are just pipe dreams at the moment.

But the modern problem is *not" 'fiat money' or the 'printing' thereof, which is actually a very powerful tool which could be used for very good things if it was truly understood and used for such purposes, the problem is the oligarchy which is using control of the credit system to maintain and increase their own power in various ways.

- and secondly and much more fundamentally important, this notion of 'printing too much money' is only a problem when you don't really understand the nature of our modern **credit** system, 'credit' which is NOT the same as 'hard money'. Our modern 'money' system is quite comparable to a sports game, where the scorer creates points for a team out of thin air, and then when the game is done, and the win-loss recorded, the scoreboard is just reset to zero. We don't talk about 'banking' the points when the game is over, or paying interest on the points, or 'making sure we borrow enough points before the game', or 'OMG, we only bought 20 points for the game, and the score is 12-8, so we have to call off the game for lack of points!!' or fretting about 'the points supply' - all obviously ludicrous statements, but all things we are conned into taking seriously when it's 'money' we're talking about, 'money' which originates from exactly the same place as the sports scores, so the 'money-actually-credit' 'supply' is whatever you need it to be - or whatever those manipulating it to control the clueless peasants deem it to be.

As are the ideas that we can have 'too much' money!!, or 'the bank closed because there was a bank run and they ran out of dollar bills so everyone lost their savings!!' wonderlandian non sequiturs when you understand what is really going on. When the people controlling the credit system are creating credit out of thin air as needed, then there need never be a shortage any more than there is ever a shortage of points for the sports game, and it's just straight mafia-style theft imposed on a helpless public to charge interest on such credit.

But if the system was managed fairly, for the good of the people and country, then everything could run smoothly - like a sports game runs smoothly because everyone keeps an eye on the scorekeeper, and any attempt to create unearned points for one team would immediately be challenged. (a nice analogy - when we're young, we're taught not to get Santa mad or we won't get presents!! - as we get older, we learn Santa is a fairy tale - but the belief is cleverly and firmly morphed into the 'real' belief that we better not get the 'real' God mad, or he really will punish us!! - do as you are told, bigger children, you do NOT want God on your case!! - and today, we're trained that 'money' is somehow gold, and therefore limited in quantity and charging interest is justifiable, but that system long ago morphed into the credit system, which has no shortages, and is created out of thin air so interest is NOT justifiable - but like simple peasants, we believe in whatever god we're trained to believe in, no questions asked, Believe Your Priests Peasants or God Will Get You!!!! - one will send you to hell, the other will take your house. More tangents, but it's a big complex Gordian knot world we're dealing with, and all important things are related to all other important things ...)

People today have no idea of the actual 'pretend-gold from paper' nature of the great credit-accounting system (aka 'banking') we use today, so those who manage it can manipulate the issuing of credit in basically any way they want as the peasantry is too ignorant to challenge the most brazen of lies, and have figured out all kinds of ways to do so for their personal power and gain - the most obvious of which is, of course, simply maintaining the old fiction that they are 'lending' you some form of 'real already existing gold' when you get a 'loan', and therefore calling it 'debt' and charging 'interest' are perfectly normal and acceptable 'business' practices - when in fact these 'loans' and 'interest' are the basis of a massive scam, a massive con job to keep 'the peasants' endlessly chained to the great capitalist assembly line matrix churning out wealth for the rulers to claim as their own.

Well, much, much else could be talked about, but this is not the space and I've gone on much longer than planned already - but those are at least some of the first lights you need to turn on to start exploring the nonsensicalness of the notion that 'printing money is inflationary!!'

Again, there are much more detailed explanations of these things in my book - but you should consider talking to people like Ellen Brown (Web of Debt) or Bill Still (The Money Masters) or perhaps Stephen Zarlenga of the American Monetary Institute (not a gov org, unfortunate name) for some much better, and very much needed, information for your listeners about the fraudulent nature of most modern debt and the utter insanity of allowing a private business cartel to control the most important fundamental institution of credit creation and control in a modern democracy, rather than the 'deep state' disinformation of Graeber et al.

Dave Patterson
Ontario, PEI, Thailand
Green Island
GI poster


Robin answered a few days later:

Dear Dave,
Interesting to hear from you. Having read quite a lot of what you've written, I remain impressed by David Graeber and consider it highly unlikely that he is a "deep state disinfo agent".

As for why, I think his 5000 years is evidence of his sincerity, since its core proposition is threatening to TPTB and I don't think they would have sanctioned an expose of debt as NOT a law of nature, but a social agreement backed by (often clandestine) violence. This is a very important idea and for me at least, he put it out there well.

You write that "Since we started living together in communities and different people started making different things according to their different interests/talents in a diverse society to supply the needs and wants of their communities, we have always bartered, and always will". Are you ignoring one of his points, that a pair of gifts =/= bartering? I understand his book as a warning against the idea of "all v. all", competition over collaboration.

You write "Bartering - mutual exchange of things between people". Well by that definition, sure, people always bartered, but I prefer the "truck (=swindle) and barter" definition that says that bartering is a process of self-maximisation, which is different from my understanfing of mutual gifting. I am of a similar position to Graeber on this - I see the distinction as clear and important.

You are correct that there are important aspects about the modern money system which he doesn't emphasise - notably, its fiat nature, which puts control of the money system squarely in the hands of a tiny unelected minority. I don't see that as evidence of insincerity, since these aspects are well treated elsewhere, and the book is focused on debt. IIRC, he doesn't make any particularly sweeping and naive recommendations about how to get out of the current bind that is the money system -- if he had done so, then I would have given more importance to your points about his omissions.

So, to summarise, I understand that you are exorcised about the fiat nature of money, something that I have more or less continually commented upon for the last few years. However, I take the view that Graeber may have his own reasons for not emphasising it - perhaps because he wanted to give make larger points, which apply even in the case of gold-backed money. I don't see this as strong evidence that he is a "disinfo agent". I believe his claim that there is approximately zero historical evidence of barter inside (=/= between) communities, and see this as a powerful indication - considering the story about money evolving naturally from barter - of the determination of our would be economic overlords to perpetuate their fraud through disinformation. His claim that money is inevitably backed by violence seems to me an important one, and an idea that it seems unlikely that TPTB would like to put out there.

Good to hear from you,


P.S. UG restart probably imminent. I'm working on it today.


Well, I considered this response to be somewhat inadequate, and started a short response, which, as my short things have a habit of doing, turned into a somewhat longer-than-intended response, so again I decided it would be easier to read as a webpage of its own.

Which can be found here - A bit more on bartering and related things - for anyone interested.

More of Dave's letters and other stuff
Dave Central - The View from Green Island