15 December 2010

The American Open Currency Standard(AOCS)

I am a big fan of real currency and recently while checking around for silver rounds and other metal rounds, I found something new(God/Goddess bless the internet). Before I tell you about it, let me speak, briefly(if that is possible), about 'real currency'.

'Real currency' to me is using a commodity of value to trade for another commodity. The 'greenback'(US Dollar), you hold in your pocket is a 'real currency', in that it is physical and has a value, however its actual value is far lower then you think it might be. Take a $20 US Dollar bill, is it worth $20 dollars? Yes, it is in that everyone would willing accept it for $20 dollars of commodities. No, it isn't, in that without the Federal Reserve in existence, it would only worth the ink and paper it is printed on, far less then the 'face value' of the 'bill'.

My personal preference for 'real currency' are silver rounds. My reasoning is that I like to exchange silver, rather then use Federal Reserve Notes(FRN's), and gold and platinum are too high in 'value' to exchange whereas silver, traditionally, has been pretty low so that a quick trip to the store for less then $20 in commodities is possible. Copper has started to rise in the lower value, so I may start exchanging in those soon for my currency needs.

So, I found the American Open Currency Standard(AOCS) website, and started reading about it. I'm member of the now defunct Liberty Dollar, the largest private currency competitor to the Federal Reserve Note, and so I'm happy to see the AOCS picked up where the Liberty Dollar(LD) left off. Rather then being a producer/distributor of a currency however the AOCS is similar to a trade association in form. The purpose of the AOCS is to create a system of standards upon which people can reliably exchange currencies.

The nice thing about the AOCS is that they offer, as the LD offered, a market rate for the price of silver in relation to the FRN. A lot of people have a problem with this 'market valuation' that both the AOCS and LD have, because they have far too long relied on other people telling them what their currency is worth. Let me try to give an example of this.

Currently the AOCS standard exchange rate is 1 oz silver to 50 FRN's. The New York market exchange rate(the rate most people use to value silver, which is silly because the rate is based on 5000 troy oz exchange, not on an oz for oz exchange) is roughly $30 dollars. What this means is that an individual can exchange their 30 of their FRN's and get 1 oz AOCS approved silver. They can then turn around and, merchant/individual willing, exchange that 1 oz approved silver for products or services equal to 50 FRN's.

It takes one with very little math skills to see that 30 to 1 back to 50 is not an equal formula. And this is where most people stop thinking. The path from 1 back to 50 is not equal and so someone is losing value somewhere.

Firstly, when two people exchange something they agree that in the exchange the items being exchanged are of equal value, if it weren't then they wouldn't be exchanged in the first place. So, just because one exchanges 30 FRN's for 1 oz AOCS silver and then exchanges it again for 50 FRN worth of goods or services, doesn't mean that someone is losing value, if  they were they wouldn't exchange.

Secondly, if you exchanged 20 apples for 1 orange, you are going to make sure you get something of equal value for that orange. Value isn't determined by markets, or by groups of people, value is determined by two individuals exchanging one thing for another thing. A man with 1,000 gallons of water is a millionaire in a desert where there is very little water, but he is Joe Shmo when he is near a fresh lake. In this way, a man who accepts a 1 oz AOCS silver in exchange for 50 FRN's value of products and services isn't losing value, because -when- the market fails, he have more value then a man holding the 50 FRN's. More to the point, it puts the man holding the AOCS silver at an advantage because he has a storage of value and as not subject to inflation, market collapse, or any other factors which might cause him to lose value. Is that worth the additional 20 FRN's of value that he appears to be losing?

The long held quote is that 'bad money chases out good money', which is to say that in order to get people to use good money an incentive needs to be made to get them to use it. For example we see people buying AOCS silver and trading it for AOCS market rates as a way of incentivizing people to use AOCS silver currency. When the Bob the Builder takes in the ounce of AOCS silver for 50 FRN's he is giving a discount for his services to get something he values more then the FRN. He can then turn around and exchange that AOCS silver for 50 FRN's to another AOCS member, or he can take the 'loss' and exchange it for most of its value at 30 FRN. Most likely he will keep the AOCS till he can find someone willing to exchange 50 FRN's for it, or near that value.

The 1 oz of AOCS silver once spent into the market place now has a value of 50 FRN's, and it will maintain that value, assuming the market never changes(which it will of course, but not in the short term, at least roughly 45 days). Others who believe in market standards will accept the AOCS silver for 50 FRN's because they believe that a currency based on value is superior to that of someone who values valueless currency(FRN's). Those who don't accept the AOCS silver for value will continue to hold on to valueless currency.

Ask yourself, which has more value, 30 FRN's or 1 oz of silver?  Look at the long picture, if your are saving FRN's, what are you saving? Pieces of green inked paper which currently have value only because someone says it has value. If you were saving silver, you are saving something that will always have value, not because someone says it has, but because it always has had value.

I say this not to scare people, but rather to make them aware of the danger of saving FRN's of the long period. When the market crashes, when hyper-inflation hits, when the bubble bursts on the FRN, will you be holding valueless paper, or will you be holding something that historically has always had value? Me, I'm saving silver who's value is objective, not paper who's value is subjective.

08 December 2010

Panarchy: The Courts and Crime!

I was recently having a discussion with a statist and opened their eyes to the idea of panarchy. When I told her how she could have her government that takes from its members and gives it to other members while I have another form of government that upholds the ideas of life, liberty, and property, she asked me a question I wasn't prepared for at the time. Her question was, how would crimes involving two different subjects work?

I wish I would have had a brain storm at that moment but hindsight is always fifty-fifty. Afterward I gave it some thought, and I realized the answer is in our reality already.  What happens when a member of one nation-state(America) commits a crime against another member of another nation-state(Canada)? The rules between both example nations are similar, or at the very least have similar priniciples.

Before we begin, this is all theory, since we today don't have panarchy, and is more or less a mental exercise to show that non-territorial governments along side each other can work.

My government and hers, for example, both might hold life, liberty, and property in high regard, such as American and Canada. What defines life, liberty, and property, may be different, the history of both is different. Today when two nation-states have an issue with each other they send members to try to hash it out and fix whatever the problem is. So under panarchy, or non-territorial governments, so too would they send members to hash things out, the only alternative is violence, which is unacceptable.

Governments who have members sharing the game geographical area would most likely have 'treaties' between each other, which might dictate how they solve problems between each other. Of course two differing ideological based governments, might not be able hash things out. In that case, one solution would be to try the case in both government's courts, with the defendant having to serve out both sentences in order to maintain good standing in both governments.

What happens with the sentence is diametrically opposed to each other, such as a penalty of death? You have to remember that you have the choice of which government to choose from, just as you do with religion. It is because of this option, that people will tend to go with governments that have ideals that most people believe in. This creates a open-market on everything, including justice, an as such, most governments, as they currently do, do not have death penalties, so you most likely wouldn't see any government turning to death as a punishment. Of course this doesn't answer the question, does it?

If two governments had two different punishments for the same crime, you'd most likely see the government with the most reasonable punishment having more people, and therefore those with less people would find themselves soon out of the government business.

Currently people who are convicted of 'serious' and 'non-serious' crimes are put in cages, however this punishment for both the criminal and the victim, where in the victim has to pay for the criminal to be in jail as well as the original crime. Putting people in cages doesn't appear to work very well, look at the number of people in prisons world wide, and then look to the rates of recidivism. Granted some of the recidivism rate can be blamed on a number of other factors, such as the difficulty of ex-cons obtaining good paying jobs, the profits of illegal activities, and many others, however if putting people in cages worked, then why is the rate so high?

To the point that if two governments had two different punishments for the same crime, the guilty would have two sentences to serve, providing that the guilty wish to maintain relationships with people in those governments. I have no doubt that during business with people who haven't served their sentence would have some type of negative effect on those who choose to do so. More totalitarian governments might make it a severe crime to do business with them, however more life, liberty, property governments might resort to ostracization as a method of getting people to 'do the right thing'.

So basically put, the answer to how would two non-territorial governments, using an panarchy method, would solve problems between different subjects similarly that current territorial governments do, through negotiation and talking out the problems.

04 December 2010

The Road Block Toward Panarchy

In my previous post I talked about how to get to Panarchy from our current anarchy. I glossed over some details in such a way as to leave you perhaps not understanding well how to get there from here.

Often times we hear those who are against the idea of self-governance(be it voluntary governace or actual self-governance), is you need to work within the system. In the past the idea has been to change territorial government from one kind to a different kind of territorial government. The amount of time and effort to do so, in my opinion, has been wasted. No real change has been made in actually changing forms of government. Perhaps it is because you are trying to change someone's government to something different and you will find that most human beings object to change.

So instead of changing someone's government to something they don't desire and are likely to rebuke it, let us take their existing government and instead of changing its form, make only minor changes to it. The changes of course are so small that they don't effect someone's 'choice' of government, in so much as it just changes how their government exists. By this, as I explored before we take the concept of the 'political party' and change it to a 'political government'. Such a change is so small to be imperceptible.

As we know there exists in the territory of the United States a so-called two party system. This system states you are either in group A or group B, and there exists no other party then them. While it's not true, many "states" have several smaller parties within their "borders", these smaller parties are road blocked from gaining any real 'political power' by the big two. Both parties have made any possibility of any party of any national size, difficult at best, impossible at worse. Each "state" has different rules about how a new party is to be created, and only a handful of people within that "state" to move the idea forward and often times no party can meet the requirements that the big boys have setup to protect their de facto monoplay.

It would appear to me that this is the first big road block to panarchy, since I envision that any real change will be at the local level, where there might be more boots to kick it ahead. No matter the size, a 'political party' wants its voice to be heard. Often times you'll hear that people don't change parties because party X doesn't have a chance, again because of the formation of rules that favor the major parties. So all 'political parties' are not treated equal, that is the first thing that needs to be changed. This change comes in either two ways, one would be just changing the existing rules, the other would be moving courts to strike down the rules.

The first path would seem more improbable due to the fact that those who make the rules are representatives of the big boys and like anyone with a coercive market monopoly, are unlikely interested  in changing the rules that would force them to compete. The second path would require either money or time to bring cases against the current existing rules into so called 'courts of law'. Either path would require individuals to form together into a group.

It would appear that several different such entities exist already. Coalition For Free and Open Elections  principals match the goals of such a one issue group. It would be by all appearances however that this group is failing in its principals due to any real activity, as can be witnessed by their various minutes reports. It is good to see that the majority of the main parties are represented in this group, it is sad to see that they aren't working together much to move forward toward the goal.

Free and Equal(F&E) is another group that appears to be doing the same job as the Coalition is doing and by appearances is really active. Another aspect to F&E is that they have a commercial operation for consulting for candidates. This might make F&E, the one group to support for changing the rules.

I don't see the need to re-invent the wheel so using either group as a starting point to cooperation between individuals would seem to me to be a way to go. Having a large organization as a partner in attempting to allow for 'party governments' is a step in the right direction. However, if our goal is local 'party governments' we need to keep our focus locally. 

Most of the existing 'political parties' are just that, parties not governments. One could co-op a party to turn it into a government, but this is unlikely to be successful, again the fear of change. Some 'government' leads the charge by creating a 'political government'. One founded on the ideas of liberty and freedom would appeal to most people, and allow the most members to join it. I think that most governments would want to keep a list of  its members, specifically names, mailing addresses at the minimum. In this day and age perhaps e-mail addresses as well, however being a private person myself, I might not want to give that information out. Asking for it isn't a crime.

The 'government' ought to be friendly toward 'parties' and 'governments'. A local coalition might be a good way to get things moving toward removing the road block of being a 'full party'.

In summary, the road block that we hit first is the 'political party' block by the big guys. To solve that block current rules that restrict equal access to being parties would need to be removed. This could be done by having current representatives work towards it, which is unlikely. The other path would be the courts, which would require groups of groups working together across the "state" to challenge these rules. If you can't find  people who of the same mindset the first step is to create your own 'political government' and start opening roads to other 'political' groups with the idea of free and open party systems.

01 December 2010


For more information on Panarchy, please see the Panarchy Website. I recommend as a primer the article from Paul Emile De Puydt.

There comes a time in everyone's life that a new idea is interjected into one's life that changes it dramatically. I had one of these occur to me today.

Today while cruising the world wide web I found the idea called 'Panarchy'. The idea summerized, briefly, is a government for everyone by their own choosing. I can not live under the current government that I am forced to live under. There being no better form of 'cancer' to move to. The idea is that instead of tearing down existing governments, against the will of others, in order to create the world in our own images. We instead create our own governments that can exist side by side between each other. This is currently done at many different levels today. Municipalities coexist with each other, counties coexist with each other, States coexist with each other, Federal governments coexist with each other.

Most governments have more in common then they have different. Most of the governments that one might create for one's self would have common themes. In the land mass called the United States, you'd see governments that support the rights of life, liberty, and property. That believe that violating these rights is criminal, and those who violate these rights are punished. So we aren't talking about governments that would be dramatically different from each other.

There might be pockets of smaller governments that have at its core ideas that are dramatically different, however they would be subject to the same forces that all governments are, that being the force of economics. If the people of the Socialists Regime are unable to fund the government they like, then they would be for ever be insignificant and powerless against larger ones.

This sounds impossible to start, you say? Is it really? Don't we already have in place certain governmental functions that could see to such a system? Do you register to vote? Your 'voter registration card' could be your new ID card.

When a Enforcer of Laws contacts you, you show them your 'Political Membership Card' and he could instantly call up your political branch of Enforcer of Laws, and run your ID as he does today. Based on that he could issue his ticket or whatever to you and you'd take it to your local Enforcer of Laws to be processed in whatever way they handle such affairs.

I say to anyone that is a naysayer to such an idea is to view the idea in a similar context. Imagine for example the four existing political parties being governments on to themselves. I for one don't believe there to be much difference between the Democrats and Republicans, however imagine both parties getting everything they ever wanted, within reason, but doing so as to make both political followers happy, instead of constantly fighting against each others ideology. Then you have the Libertarian party who's founding had the same goals as the roots of the big two parties founding. however in the current light appear to be nothing more then 'Republican Lite'. The fourth party is the all the other smaller parties, the non-parties, and so called 'independents' who we could all agree currently have no voice, but should be allowed to.

So, reader, how do we get from here to there? Perhaps the biggest and best way is to remove the rules that stifle the creation of  parties. The big two parties have long since created roadblocks to stop the formation of new parties, to make people think there can only be two parties anymore, and a litany of other complaints, as well. Create rules that abolish the rules that de facto allow only two parties. As David toppled Goliath, if every smaller party made it a priority to get these rules removed, then we could see them removed.

Once this roadblock is removed then we have set the stage for the formation of political independence. It starts at the local level, as all things should. We could see a reformation of local governments that would create rules not to bound people, but to bind the governments. It would be up to the local political parties to create an environment that is conducive to everyone getting what they want via their own political power. Once local freedom has been created, then we can see similar changes to the regional power within a state via the same process of freeing people from one single government to multiple parties. From there it would be very simple to change the State government as well, and move on from there to a Federal level, however I think that thinking beyond the local level at this moment is premature. Like all experiments, we should try them at a local level first.

Step out of yourself for a moment and view your existing idea of government from this point of view. Instead of your local 'representatives' constantly infighting about which way to go, they would be able to go both ways utilizing their own parties funds as they see fit. Rather then your local 'representatives' representing you, they'd be representing the party. We'd see the reformation of local governments to a 'united nations' kind of concept, except here we would hope to see more freedom then we see tyranny, it is hoped. The number of seats on our councils would change from being territorial to one of political power, so that each party has equal representation, in a one party, one vote, kind of system.

It isn't a perfect idea, we don't have perfect human beings, and the world isn't perfect, but none the less shouldn't we try to obtain perfection for all, rather then the current system of one size fits all?

For more information on Panarchy, please see the Panarchy Website. I recommend as a primer the article from Paul Emile De Puydt.