'Thieves Emporium': Part 5 – The One Gets Away
By Max Hernandez - August 09, 2015

Continued from last week

Synopsis: After the devastating Coro raid, Special Agent Weidemeyer must close the second half of his trap. If he is to stop a new and more effective counterfeiting organization from glowing out of the ashes of the one he just destroyed, he must kill or arrest everyone who understands how the old one used the Internet to distribute their bogus bills. Only a few targets still remain at large…

The One Gets Away
Part 5

"Father, I'm confused," said twelve-year-old Arnold Wilson Parker II, known to his acquaintances and family as Junior.

"Not uncommon. At your age. Not at all," answered his father, expecting to begin a discussion of the world's most confusing subject.

"Yes, sir," answered young Parker. He was home from Exeter and his father could see all the signs of budding puberty. Well, a father had to be ready for these sorts of questions.

"Can I help?" he prompted.

"Yes, sir." After a short hesitation, the boy blurted out, "It's about money."

"Good stuff. Money. Good," said Parker with some relief. On that subject, at least, he was quite ready to talk. On the other, well, he was still not all that sure of himself.

"Yes, sir. What is it?"

"Money?" asked the father, surprised by the esoteric nature of the question. His son, after all, was little more than a child.

"Yes, sir. Some of my friends say it's dollars, others say gold. Which is it?"

"This is what you boys talk about?"

"In Social Studies, sir."

Well, at least boys were still boys, thought Arnold. Aloud, he said, "Profound question, son. Tough, too. Profound and tough. What does your teacher say?"

"He won't give us an answer."

"Shows good sense."

"I don't understand."

"Never mind. It's simple, really. Simple. Money is what people think it is."


"Not easy to understand. Like all great truths. Even when you state it. Ambiguous. Subtle. But still true."

The boy looked very confused so Arnold paused, letting the words sink in while he decided where to start.

"Know the definition of money, son?"

"No, sir. Sorry, sir. We haven't gotten to that yet."

"Teacher needs to get on the ball."

"Yes, sir."

"Money is anything used regularly for three-party transactions."

The boy looked back in uncomprehending silence.

"Suppose you give me a sack of wheat. For a week's work. I take it, I eat it. What we did was trade. Barter. Just a trade. No money changed hands. None. See that?"

"Yes, sir. Wheat isn't money."

"No. Didn't say that. When it's only traded between two people, it isn't money. But suppose, instead of eating it, I give it to my landlord to pay my rent. It's still wheat, right?"

"Yes, sir."

"But not a trade. A three-party transaction. My landlord is really getting the wheat from my employer. I'm just the go-between. Passing it along, so to speak. Then wheat is money. See the difference?"

"No, sir. Sorry."

"Enough of the 'sorry,' boy. Don't be sorry. Never be sorry. Never. Do what you have to. But never be sorry. Never."

"Yes, sir. Sor-. I mean, yes, sir."

"Think about the second example. Doesn't matter what my employer gives me. Only matters that I know how much of it my landlord will take for rent. See that?"

"Yes, sir."

"Can be anything. Shells. Pretty stones. Tobacco. Gold. Colored paper. Anything. Doesn't matter. As long as everyone accepts it, it's money. See that?"

"Yes, sir. I think so, sir," the boy said with a smile. "So which is it? Gold or dollars?"

"Right now, today, if you try to buy groceries with a lump of gold, will the cashier take it?"

After a thoughtful moment, the young man answered "I don't think so."

"No, he won't. Not officially, anyway. Might pocket your gold and pay for your groceries himself. But the store won't take it. Right?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you see why?"

"No, sir."

"They don't keep their accounts in it and can't pay their bills with it. Can't pass it through. No three-party exchange."

The boy just looked back in silence.

"Try a three-party transaction with gold, you get turned down. Right?"

He got a nod in response.

"So, is gold money? I mean right now. Today."

"No, sir."

"Right. Because right now, today, it won't be accepted for a three-party transaction. What will be?"



"So gold's not money?" asked the child.

"Not today, it's not," answered the older man. Then, after a pause to let his son think about the point, he asked, "Want a trick question?"

With a smile, the boy nodded. Father always made trick questions easy.

"Will dollars be money tomorrow?"

The smile vanished. Father hadn't come through this time. The young Parker was at a loss for the right answer. There was a pause while he considered trying to guess, but decided against it. With Father, guessing was rarely a good idea.

"I don't know," the boy admitted.

"Good. Right answer. No one can predict tomorrow. When it comes, how will you find the answer?"

"Buy something?"

"Right. And, tomorrow, if you do the same thing, but they won't take dollars, only gold, will dollars still be money?"

Junior took a second to be sure of his answer, then said, "No."

"Right. What would be?"


"Smart boy. Money is what people say it is. And sometimes, people change their minds. So money is not always the same thing. Today, the answer to your question is dollars. But, tomorrow, it might be gold."

Junior became pensive, trying to digest a difficult concept. He had just been told that a rock of his existence, one of the framing members of his world, was not solid. That was a scary idea for a twelve-year-old to accept.

"Father," he finally asked, "that can't really happen, can it? Gold can't really become money someday, can it?"

"Yes, son. Afraid it can. But don't worry. It won't. Not as long as I have anything to do with it, it won't."

* * *

Eddy* sat alone in his battered Civic by the edge of a warm New Jersey parking lot. Balanced on the dash next to him, a homemade Yagi Wi-Fi antenna connected him to the Internet through a small cafe on the other side of a busy highway. Around him, a crowded parking lot provided cover. His laptop sat open on his lap, powered by the same inverter that ran his antenna amplifier.

He was in his car rather than the cafe because what he was doing was illegal. The extra separation gave him a better chance of escaping if anything went wrong. As most members of his family could have told him from personal experience, always have a good get-away plan when dealing with the law.

Two years ago, Eddy quit college because he ran out of money. The loans ended when he was still six months short of graduating. With thousands of dollars of debt, he learned that 90 percent of a computer science degree only got you food stamps. Alone, depressed, and almost on the street, one of his uncles gave him an IP address and told him to visit the site.

Now he was working on his graduate degree, free and clear.

Thank you, FUNNY MONEY*.

Now he was logged on to order another shipment of bogus bills. Everyone else must be doing the same thing, though, because the site was taking forever to complete his order.

While he waited, he rested his eyes on the cafe across the street. Without warning, two sedans sped up to it and stopped in the fire zone. Six clean-cut men in business suits jumped out and ran through the front door, guns drawn.

Eddy knew what a raid looked like, though he had never seen one. Until now, that is. Jerking the remote antenna off the dash, he shoved the laptop to the floor, slid over into the driver's seat, and backed quickly out of the parking space. Seconds later he was exiting the far end of the Stop & Shop lot.

Meanwhile, agents from the two cars moved quickly through the cafe, targeting everyone with a computer. A third sedan blocked the rear exit, ready to catch anyone who tried to leave by that route.

All those without computers, including any employees, were identified, logged, searched, and sent home. But possession of a laptop got the owner a free ride to the new Federal Building. Three customers, along with their laptops, made the trip. The cafe's computers and router also went, as did the manager. The building was searched, then closed for the rest of the week. Finally, the suits left.

And Eddy, now sitting comfortably in front of his TV, decided it was time to do something else for a living. But what?

* * *

"Father, can silver be money, too?" asked Junior Parker.

They were sitting at the informal dining room table, the one that overlooked the veranda and the Rockies. At one end sat the boy's mother, thin and straight, leaning over her soup at just the proper angle. At the other sat his father, Arnold Wilson Parker. And, as usual, Junior was in the middle.

The question caught both parents by surprise. Arnold was pleased by it, his wife much less so. The interest his son had shown in money earlier in the week was something Arnold hoped to encourage, so this question was a blessing. If the boy was ever to grow into the job his father planned for him, that interest had to be encouraged.

Turning to his son, he said "Of course, Junior. Anything can-"

"Not at the table" interrupted his wife, not shrilly, but with the razor in her voice. Arnold turned to see her looking back at him, the displeasure on her face masked by the tight smile she used for appearances. He knew that face all too well.

When they decided to marry, he had not known of her proclivity for the proper. She had been a young woman then, attractive in many ways, in particular because of her family connections. Those contacts still held, as did her looks. And her determination to raise her son to fit in with the right people. Learning correct manners, including the social skills, was high on her list.

Most of the time, he simply acquiesced to her demands. The proper schools, the proper friends, the proper sports. Usually, he accepted her control of the boy's upbringing. But this was different. Curiosity was hard to cultivate in a young man. For whatever reason, his son had shown some interest in economics. That had to be encouraged, not squashed. Ignoring his wife, he turned back to Junior.

"Yes, of course it can-" he began.

"Junior, honey," his wife interrupted again, "didn't you just get a new computer game?"

The boy knew what was coming. Nodding silently, he waited.

"Why don't you and James go play with it?" James, their servant of many years, knew the drill. Stepping forward, he assumed the role of babysitter for the storm that was to come. Quietly, the boy slipped away from the table and, under James's reassuring hand, left the room.

When both were out of earshot, she turned back to her husband. Arnold was prepared for her assault. Eyes flashing, she hissed, "I will not have my son raised in the gutter."

"Money is not filth," he responded, the familiar retort slipping out easily.

"It's base and ugly-"

"It runs the world."

"You will not encourage my son to wallow in it."

"How'd we get all this?" he asked, gesturing around in a wide sweeping motion.

"A vulgar necessity. Talk about it in the toilet, if you have to, but not at the dinner table!"

Stupid cow, Parker thought. But she wasn't, not really. Stupid women don't graduate from Vassar, no matter how rich they are. In his less angry moments, he saw that her limitations lay, not in intellect, but in depth.

His wife was just another soccer mom. Richer than most, but still as limited as the rest of that class. Her life's objective was ease and comfort for her son and herself. To her, money was for buying another chateau on the Riviera. But nothing more. She made it vulgar because she used it only for base purposes.

Of course, she supported the correct boutique charities. Social standing required it. But the idea of using money for a greater good, of using it to force noble goals on a society that would otherwise not undertake them, that had never occurred to her.

No, she was not stupid. Just shallow.

Well, his son mattered to him, too. He couldn't allow the boy to be subsumed by the vapid and simple. This was one battle he would not give up on.

"Strike when the iron's hot. Have to. When there's interest. Can't wait," he tried again.

"No," she shot back. "There is a time and place for everything. You must learn that."

"He must understand money. Must."

"Why? So he can be a good accountant? I will not have my son be a damned bookkeeper."

Well, at least we agree on something, thought Arnold.

"It's not about keeping track of it."

"What then?"

"Making it and using it."

"So? You run the presses. Just print more. See? Is that so hard?"

Yes it is. If you want people to keep accepting what you print, that is. But how to explain it to a cow? How could he show her that they were all at the mercy of the public? If everyone stopped using the dollars he printed, just stopped, it was all over. That money controlled the people who held the guns. If those men and women couldn't spend their pay, she would be dead. Our whole society would be. The dollar brought order. Without it, humanity would sink into a new dark age. And most of us would die.

He had to work for the only alternative. A unified world, with no more nuclear war. Hell, no more war anywhere. Peace. For the first time in humanity's history, peace everywhere. And it was so close. Just within his grasp.

His son had to learn how to control people with money. Not just for his own sake, but for the future of the world. Had to.

But how do you tell all that to a cow, even a smart one?

*See Appendix for a list of characters and a glossary.

* * *

To continue reading, click here: Part 5. Previous installments of Thieves Emporium are available here: Introduction/Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Thieves Emporium is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle and in epub format from Smashwords or Nook. Max Hernandez welcomes comments and feedback and can be reached at MaxHernandez@protonmail.ch.

© 2012-2015 Max Hernandez. Reprinted with permission.

  • Jim Johnson

    The price of Peace is Empire? While, as a country, we have acted as one, we now face truly becoming so. To reset, it will require more than genius. Liberty is a collaboration of Heart. I think we are up for it, and now have the tools to see it through.

    • The price of Peace is Empire? …. Jim Johnson

      How about … the cost of mass public peace is private exclusive acceptance of stupid collapsing empires, JJ? Such would then suggest private exclusive systems are leading cogs in all SCADA Command and Control Administrations …… Virtual Sector Programs?

      I may then wholeheartedly agree with …

      While, as a country, we have acted as one, we now face truly becoming so. To reset, it will require more than genius. Liberty is a collaboration of Heart. I think we are up for it, and now have the tools to see it through.

      ….. to boot/reboot/reset whatever is required?

      • Don Duncan

        “…whatever is required?” Isn’t that the most important question ever asked? If by reset you mean “achieve enlightenment”. The second most important question: “How does enlightenment survive?” I believe societies enjoyed peace and freedom. What happened? Why did they abandon it?

        • Jim Johnson

          History will record our effort at ‘self-government’ successful only once we have grappled with the long-entrenched forces that swoop in and play havoc in economies of all nations. We have yet to see the nation fought for in the Revolutionary War. Can it be done? Probably not. I only know I will die trying to see it through.

        • Bill Ross

          “What happened?”

          peace, prosperity and “rule of law” made people fat and complacent, far from subsistence survival, losing vigilance (and educational, media subversion), so the survival hits of the predators / barbarians who view the productive as “low hanging fruit” did not become survival threatening enough (just a tax) until their “costs” pass the tipping point of re-evolution (majority perceives the “problem”, close up and personal). Not long now.

          • Don Duncan

            Many people are waiting for the collapse, hoping it will bring progressive change. I doubt it. It is hard to teach when there is blood in the streets. Emotion/irrationalism block out reason. That’s not my modus operandi but it is with most. When I am frightened my cognitive functions kick into high gear. I like to avoid putting myself in tight spots by planning, but I don’t enjoy complete control, nobody does.

            Most will not “perceive the problem” but will perceive the effects, and react violently, in a knee-jerk fashion. This is where the voices of reason, the intellectuals, need to help the public understand the principles of voluntarism.

          • Bill Ross

            “Emotion/irrationalism block out reason”

            exactly!, making them unfit, triaging each other, leaving the sane who manage to “stay out of the crossfire”, to rebuild.

            That is why Machiavelli, in “The Prince” stated that the very first, mandatory step for wannabe “rulers” is to first learn to control your OWN passions, to place your intellect “in control”. All is lost without personally developing this “survival trait” (ability to CHOOSE correctly):


            That is “why” they provoke us so, attempting to provoke an emotional over-reaction (disproportional response) that they can spin as “crime” and, such irrationality is “why” they (self-alleged / defined “sane”) must be “in control” (to pretend to deal with problems of their own creation / provoking).

  • davidnrobyn

    “Smart boy. Money is what people say it is. And sometimes, people change their minds. So money is not always the same thing. Today, the answer to your question is dollars. But, tomorrow, it might be gold.”
    Sam, you forgot a key factor in your “subtle” definition: the reason people “say” the dollar is money is because the FedGov has a gun held to their heads demanding that they accept it in transactions. That’s all. If those (legal tender) laws were revoked, OR if it became obvious to a critical mass that the gov is running a scam, people would “change their minds” in a heartbeat. Except for the cows, of which there are many. But even they’d learn soon.
    What’s the scam? I’m glad you asked. It’s substituting that which is NOT money for that which IS.
    NOW we need a definition, don’t we?
    Your definition excludes the free market, which is what Parker fears above all else. In order to arrive at a proper definition of money, you must include a free market IN MONEY, which we haven’t had in a long time.

    • Max Hernandez

      If I may jump in here for Sam, please explain something to me. Is it your contention that the entire world economy has been, since 1971 (or 1933, or 1913, or 1694, take your pick) operating without money? And, as nearly as I can tell, also mostly without barter, right? So what do you call the type of economy that has been in existence since then, this strange beast that uses neither barter nor money?

      Humanity needs something to facilitate three-party transactions. Without that ‘thing’, we would all be condemned to a tribal existence because specialization of labour would be practically impossible. You can play whatever games you want with definitions, but, for my ‘money’, that ‘magic’ substance, the one that allows civilization to exist, is always best called ‘money’.

      Are we using the U.S.Dollar for that ‘magic substance’ right now because we are forced to? Maybe. But the point is irrelevant as far as its definition is concerned. Whether pushed into using a particular candidate for it by force or not, money is what the marketplace chooses it to be.

      • Don Duncan

        Max & david: Your definitions are not mutually exclusive, just incomplete. Money can be stable or unstable. But it is still money. I recognize (call) dollars money, even though I have no respect for, or confidence in fiat currency. I use it because I live in society, and society mistakenly, ignorantly, uses it. I am forced to use it, not by law, but because most people won’t accept my gold. I am forced to exchange some gold intermittently so I can enjoy commerce.

        Gold was money, isn’t now, but might be someday. It is a store of value. As paper always goes down, gold always goes up, relative to paper. But gold does not go up in value, it is stable, relative to goods/services, i.e., over a decade, it will buy more dollars, but not more goods/services.

        • Max Hernandez

          You are giving me some of the reasons why the marketplace should choose gold for the money it uses. And they are good ones. But I can also give other good reasons why the marketplace should use fiat or Bitcoin. Which, if any, of these three it chooses depends on real-world factors such as government actions, ease of use, stability of supply, etc. The subject is addressed to some small degree in Appendix 9 for which there is a link above.

          The point is that if you attempt to preempt the market decision by demanding a dogmatic definition for ‘money’, you only paint yourself into a corner where your analysis will not longer work.

          • Don Duncan

            Is a regulated market a market? Or are only free, unregulated markets, markets? If the latter, then the market always chooses correctly, in the long run. Incorrect choices are made every second, punished, and changed. However, if you want to include coercion as a “real-world factor” of the market, I would disagree. Coercion is a fundamental mistake in social interaction that is intuitively rejected. It can only be accepted on an abstract level because the everyday (real world) experience of it is abhorrent to most. People need to be indoctrinated (brainwashed) into accepting it.

            In a market no one can demand anything, especially acceptance of a definition. However, all good (useful) definitions are tight, specific, concepts. This facilitates communication. Without clear definitions people can argue forever when they agree because they are using a word differently, unknowingly. This happens frequently today because people are sloppy in their thinking. It also allows dishonesty, as in “It depends on how you define, ‘is’.”

          • Max Hernandez

            When was the last time someone told you to use dollars for money or they would shoot you? In the case of most people, including me, the answer is never.

            The use of physical force in markets in the United States is very rare. Government action in the selection of what to use for money comes primarily from non-coercive actions such as making and accepting government payments only in FRNs and supporting a banking system that handles only that form of money. At the moment, enforcement of legal tender laws play a trivial part in this effort, though that may change in the future.

            You can see this now in those markets that are ‘black’ because of the goods they sell. In the U.S., they use almost exclusively FRN’s, not because they have to, but because they choose to. To the best of my knowledge, none of them use gold for more than a trivial portion of their transactions.

            In fact, as the experience in such countries as the Soviet Union has shown, the use of force is ineffective at determining what the market will use for money. Any attempt to seriously enforce legal tender laws against the desires of the market will only move commercial transactions underground and cause the ‘legal’ market dry up.

            I used the definition above because money is discussed throughout the book and that definition fits the corporeal world that most people see every day. Since this book was written as a primer for them, that was a critical factor. If you don’t want to accept my definition, fine, but be aware that part of the book will make no sense to you if you use a different one.

          • Don Duncan

            When was the last time someone put a gun to your head? I have never had that experience, but I know, as all libertarians who obey stupid laws, regs, and official policy, that the gun is implied, always present. Most do not allow themselves to think about it. I have to explain it slowly, carefully, step by step, and even if my example is convincing, I know that by tomorrow they will have suppressed the memory. Facing the reality of a totalitarian culture is stressful. The modus operandi of day to day survival in such situations is to repress the emotion of fear. If one does not it drains energy wearing the body/mind down. Ask any soldier who has seen combat.

            This creates obedience. And mass flag waving, “my country, right or wrong”, because it reduces stress and helps one blend in for protection. Also, cultural norms, even in a voluntarist society, would be followed by many to satisfy the need to be social.

            My apology for forgetting to give my definition of money: A medium of exchange. I find it helps me understand how fiat currency that while inherently unstable, and doomed to collapse, still exists. A medium of exchange, any medium of exchange, is so superior to barter that this fact allows even inferior money to exist for long periods. The average is about 40 years. But after failure we see no awakening of the masses. Just as revolutions over throwing governments bring about no awakening. If the source of the suffering is not understood, in fact is blamed on individuals, instead of systemic political/social failure, then any revolution will be a waste of lives and time. Any “reset” will be bogus. The mixed economy of socialism and capitalism will stumble on, with capitalism building wealth for the socialists to steal.

            The socialists will keep dragging down our species as long as they are not challenged ideologically. They have utilized philosophy to rationalize theft and they have not been answered with philosophy, at least not with the masses. The Daily Bell is helping change that. Art, especially movies, can do it faster, but it needs to be backed up with deology. Ideology is the foundation of culture.

          • Max Hernandez

            Many good points, thank you.

            What is the difference between your ‘medium of exchange’ and ‘money’ as defined in the piece above? I have always felt that a ‘medium of exchange’ was, by definition, anything used in a three-party transaction.

            As to your other thoughts, I disagree on one point. Challenging any coercive hierarchicy (socialist, fascist, theological, etc.) through ideological attacks won’t change anything over the long-term. The cycle of revolution followed by centralization and eventual tyranny will just continue, as it has for thousands of years.

            But creating a new tyranny-proof world will break that cycle. Technology, in the form of the Internet, has given us the chance, albeit briefly, to do just that. The workings and implications of that ‘New Badlands’ is the subject of Thieves Emporium.

            I hope you will continue to read the series.

          • Don Duncan

            Yes, Max, in a 3 party transaction “anything” may be used as money, even if temporarily (just that transaction). After the Revolutionary War, hard money was scarce, thanks to govt. “continental paper”. Farmers started using whiskey as money. It worked fine until Hamilton put a 10% tax on whiskey to pay the national debt. Hence, The Whiskey Rebellion Washington sent troops to quell. What irony, eh? Did Washington ever understand why he was fighting? What happened to “no taxation without representation”? There was a fatal flaw in that slogan. It should have said: “No Taxation”. And that’s where we come to ideology. Without intelligent, informed revolution, no improvement will result.

            I want a tyranny proof world also. I want to break the re-ocurring cycle of institutionalized violence. But that requires understanding ourselves, our nature as fundamentally rational beings. If we contradict or attempt to deny our rationality by adopting coercion as a fundamental principle of social interaction, we will fail to prosper or have peace.

            I do not know where bigness, i.e., centralization, is practical. I know the market, i.e., the unregulated free market will sort out what works when & where. I know that political power does not trump rights. The Framers of the Constitution did not know it. That’s why the Constitution was doomed from the beginning.

            Technology is a physical manifestation, an extension, of our rationality, our mind. It is not automatically beneficial. It is a tool that may be used to enhance life or to destroy life. The Atomic Bomb and the ‘net were meant to be weapons of control but they were developed into a source of energy and communication. Either one may yet be used resulting in species extinction or increased social control. It depends on the user. It depends on the prevailing ideology of the culture with the tech. The tool’s use will be determined by the philosophy, the ethics, of the user. And that ethics (moral code) can come from brainwashing, cultural indoctrination, or it can come from reasoned self interest determined by the individual. We can chose to be used/user, or neither, a sovereign, self governing.

            I am hooked on your series. Can’t wait for the next chapter.

          • Max Hernandez

            Thank you for your kind words regarding my humble writing efforts.

            As to some of your other comments, technology is not organizationally-neutral. Personal computing, cryptography, cybercurrencies, the Internet, big data, etc. have destroyed the middle ground in our body politic. There was a time when coercive hierarchies such as governments allowed distributed power structures such as local protest groups to exist because they knew they didn’t have the capability to stamp them out, but that time has past. Now governments have the technical capability to control it all and will soon insist on doing so.

            At the other end of the spectrum, the technologies mentioned above are complex and, at the interfaces, badly organized and unpoliceable. The results are cracks in the government’s digital armour through which determined individuals can move to build an new digital Galt’s Gulch. It is happening right now. The development of that conflict and speculation about where it is headed are the subjects of Thieves Emporium.

          • Bill Ross

            “government actions” is not a market phenomena, they are suppression of free (uncoerced) market functioning.

      • Praetor

        The more interesting thing is the future, not the past. When we go to digits or hand/thumb prints or some other magic of the technological age, what do we call it then. We have no more paper, plastic, no wallets to pull out of our pockets to make that connection to the market place. It seems to me that will be the strange beast that uses neither barter nor money and that has never happened before, at that point it will be a strange new world, and one of total control. So, what would you call that?

        • Max Hernandez

          Please continue to read the serial. It makes exactly that point, one that is compatible with the definition given above. Money does not have to be a physical thing. It can be a ledger entry or a cryptographic function. The point is that, if ownership of a ‘tokin’ is passed in a three-party transaction, then that ‘token’ is money regardless of its physical status. No three-party transaction? Then it’s not money.

          The strange beast that has never happened before is cryptocurrency. But that still falls under the above definition of money. Unfortunately, there were too many other technical issues that I had to cram into the book, so I ducked discussing Bitcoin and used a form of digital gold instead.

          • Praetor

            Yes, I understand, what its called will be of no importance, it will more than likely come down to, as the serial story tells, will the people except the new form of money, without it being a physical thing of exchange, this will be new, even with plastic cards, you still must do something physically material to exchange for something physical material, of what I’ve read of this new technology, you just walk in the doors of an establishment (business), they know how much money you have in your bank account, because of that plastic card, so you walk in grab what you want and walk past the scanners and your account is debited. I being of some age, can not fathom the sociological or the psychological ramifications of such a system, in my mind it would seem like stealing, walk in take and walkout. The people excepting such a system is the big factor and the control they acquire is worrisome. I’ll keep reading!

        • Bill Ross

          I fear that involving technology in money and distribution thereof, results in instant collapse of civilization once conflict or nature (EMP, solar eruption) takes it down and people have become habituated to no other “allowed: medium of exchange.

      • davidnrobyn

        I know about money’s solving the problem of coincidence of wants, so you needn’t start from square one. You’re using two terms that should be called something else: Money, and the US Dollar. What passes for “money” these days is really “currency”. “Money” has the attribute of being a store of value. The so-called “US Dollar” doesn’t have that attribute. As far as “US Dollar” is concerned, it should be called the Federal Reserve Note, or FRN. The term “US Dollar” has a definition. The use of that term by the authorities (not necessarily by yourself) in referring to the FRN is fraudulent.

        “…money is what the marketplace chooses it to be.” I agree. But in the case of the FRN, the marketplace didn’t do the choosing. The choosing was done for us by our betters.

        As an aside, people speak of substituting “paper” for metal. “Paper” is not what’s being offered. The government printing press doesn’t print paper per se, it prints documents. This is the scam. A document’s value is not in itself, but in what it refers to, in the information contained. The dollar “bills” or Federal Reserve “notes” (both of which terms indicate debt) make a promise to pay. In the case of the dollar bill, it’s 371.25 grains of silver or 1/20.67 ounce of gold. In the case of the FRN, it’s…nothing.

        Whether paper, base metal (in the case of coins), or computer entries, the FRN is a document which promises to pay nothing. To quote Ben Bernanke, FRNs can be created in unlimited quantities “at essentially zero cost”. This is not a characteristic of an item of value. That is, it doesn’t fit the definition of a scarce resource. The marketplace only assigns values to items which have this attribute of scarcity. This is why, in your (excellent) story, the FedGov was willing to summarily execute those attempting to cut in on its monopoly. They wouldn’t do this to gold miners. On the contrary, they’d stand ready to buy their product.

        BTW…JFK, like your fictitious characters, found out how serious the FedGov is about protecting its monopoly.

    • Bill Ross

      I attempted to answer this omission, above.

      • davidnrobyn

        Thanks, Bill. I attempted to answer on my wife’s computer, but didn’t want her moniker on the post. I’ll try below.

        • Bill Ross

          I have a friend who is terrified to let me use his computer, lest I post and taint his name with my heresy. We trust each other a great deal, but, apparently not enough for him to “take the risk”, despite the fact I NEVER breach my word nor trust (except to liars / manipulators who get “trade in kind”).

          • davidnrobyn

            Ha! Bill, you remind me very much of a good friend of mine. That’s a great compliment, btw. You’re not really him posting under the name Bill Ross, are you? πŸ™‚

          • Bill Ross

            Well, the shrinks would claim I have “multiple personality disorder”, since, who I am and what I choose to do is totally dependent upon the environment and circumstance I find myself in.

            I just “don’t compute” to them because, I have “self volition” (adaptability) as opposed to “fixed traits” which vexes them no end (such as my “professional” “enemies” in the courts who have no shortage of dastardly “opinions” which view me falsely classify me as “limited / unfree”)

            And, so far as them “getting to know their enemy” (me, predict), good luck.

            I am honored that you have “mistaken me” for a particular (not me) friend.

  • jackw97224

    As James Ewart pointed out in his book: Money, there IS money and there are things used AS money. One must be clear that money is defined by its meeting criteria and that which fails to include all the criteria is NOT money but a thing masquarading as such..

    My 2 cents: When people speak of “money” it is well to keep in mind the characteristics of real money:

    1. easily transportable
    2. easily divisible
    3. resistant to physical and chemical damage.
    4. store of value, not subject to severe inflation
    5. intrinsic value, a use beyond just a claim check or place holder, sustains life
    6. universally recognized and accepted, i.e. people must have confidence in it
    7. rarity, not easily found, discovered or synthesized.
    8. difficult to counterfeit and efficiently analyzed
    9. defined in writing, full disclosure
    10. easily measured for weight and purity or authenticated
    11. It should not be easily monopolized

    • Max Hernandez

      Thanks for the wish list. It’s great for that purpose, but, as a definition, it is not very practical. If you insist on using it, most of the world will ignore you. In fact, most of the world (including me) won’t even know what you are talking about for items 5, 9 and 11.

      The islanders of Yap used large round stones for years and considered them money, but they didn’t satisfy 1 or 2.

      For two+ years, the nation of Germany conducted business even though the money they used violated 4.

      And almost the entire world considers what they are using today to be money even though it violates 3 and 4.

      Go ahead, make up whatever definition you want, but the one you just gave is going to leave you standing all by yourself.

      To be useful, a definition must, first and foremost, be practical.

      • jackw97224

        If you read Ralph T. Foster’s book: Fiat Paper Money, you will discover that while people used various objects for their
        “practicalness” they ultimately came to the conclusion that such objects were failures. As I recall, Foster lists 434 national currencies that collapsed between 1900 and 2010. Practicality lead to financial debacles for lots of people. To each his own and like many others, I am just a messenger. History shows repeatedly that ignorance is bliss but it leads to the abyss.

        • Max Hernandez

          I agree with you that the market (‘people’ in your post) changes its mind about what makes good money. It did so in the past on many occasions when choosing to change from gold to debt, including fiat debt. But the economic rules that govern their actions, regardless of which medium they use for money, are the same. This book attempts to explain those rules to the average reader who doesn’t understand the issues at hand and show how they contribute to the growing tyranny that is overtaking us all.

          • jackw97224

            In fact the history of fiat currency catastrophes prove that the majority is wrong in its choice of what it uses for
            money. The evil of fiat currencies is like so many commie/socialist schemes; initially the game of getting something for nothing goes unnoticed but eventually truth catches up and then the majority or taught the error of their
            ways. It is better to learn the lessons that history has so amply supplied than to repeat the error and suffer the punishments. As Thomas sowell said: β€œThe
            most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.” People sink or swim based on the quality of their decisions of “what is best.” The point is that people have chosen poorly as regards “money” and history proves their mistakes by the economic catastrophes attendent such choices. A nation’s history, success/failure, can be traced by the quality of their choice of “money” and the leaders who control their “money.”

  • Hey You

    Rather than making any statement about money, my suggestion is to consider three “governments” operating in a specific (limited) geographic area. Many people consider competion to be good, so such an arrangement might be optimum. If on a 4th year, a resident could choose (vote) for the government by which he/she would be governed for the next 4 years, there could be some very unusual considerations and some rather revolutionary actions. Think about it.
    There is really no reason that a person needs to be tied into specific governmental processes because of an accident of birth. In fact, many people take the initiative to seek better conditions. Unfortunately, many such decisions are based less on long term evaluations of societies than on immediate material benefits.

    • Max Hernandez

      Why only three? Why not a dozen? Or a hundred? Or one for each of us?

      Because, until this century, God has always been on the side of the big battalions. Because of the advantage conferred by size, larger governments ate the smaller ones. You were big or you were obsequies or you were gone.

      The contention of Thieves Emporium is that cyberspace has changed that formula. Now ‘governments’ consisting of just one individual can exist and even thrive by hiding in a digital world beyond the reach of even the biggest predatory nation.

      Suddenly, the world is a very different place.

      I hope you will continue to read the serial with an open mind.

      • Hi, Max H,

        With particular and peculiar regard to …

        The contention of Thieves Emporium is that cyberspace has changed that formula. Now ‘governments’ consisting of just one individual can exist and even thrive by hiding in a digital world beyond the reach of even the biggest predatory nation.

        …… would all here in agreement with you in that premise practically already exist and be thriving and drivering such digital worlds beyond the reach of even the biggest of predatory nations?

        Immediately then are cyberspace places new orderly disorderly world order playgrounds with Live Operational Virtual Environments for Global Operating Devices . And is a LOVE for GOD, but not in any standard way of thinking of the concept/perception of the simple meaning as conveyed in those few complex words, not the novel ubiquitous arena that realises and presents superior imagination via virtual means and memes as the APT ACTive product to replace the past with futures optioned in greater intelligence supply with advanced security provision?

        Is that where all and IT is headed?

        • Max Hernandez

          You ask a difficult question, one that I don’t think I can easily answer in a blog post. Perhaps the best way for you to understand my position on the matter is to keep reading the serial.

          • πŸ™‚ ….. Such careful serial communications protocols are what IT driven futures and options and derivative are all about, Max, and a practical nightmare of a smarter program for traditional and establishment systems of operation to try steer and significantly influence in any way of their self-serving for continued unchanged survival choosing.

            In Live Operational Virtual Environments and all of those Novel Model Places too within IT and CyberSpace, Smarter Worded Orders Command and Control Deaf, Dumb and Blind World Leaderships and Capital Oligarchs in the Thrall and Service of the Catastrophically Intellectually Challenged?

            And what is an answer anyway but just a temporary solution for a perceived problem which the future changes to something else and quite different to spend time and space rearranging to something else quite different again ….. and further and later on, to something else quite different yet again …… ad infinitum, bringing everything virtually full circle and back to the beginning to start everything afresh again with a considerably greater intelligence leading.

  • Bill Ross

    “That money controlled the people who held the guns. If those men and women couldn’t spend their pay, she would be dead. Our whole society would be. The dollar brought order. Without it, humanity would sink into a new dark age. And most of us would die.”

    So, they have knowingly bait and switched REAL money, based on something REAL such as gold just so they can command the production of the productive in coerced (forcefully suppressed alternative medium of exchanges) trade for “empty promises”. By this “service”, the productive are held in servitude, forbidden to trade without the counterfeiters getting their cut by the medium of fake currency, equated with money.

    Money is the lifeblood of civilization, the means by which the productive signal “trade goods available” at asking price and consumers (may be inputs to other production) signal “trade goods required” at bid price and, they haggle until price discovery and negotiation is mutually consensual.

    Add counterfeiting (QE, to infinity and beyond) and currency (by laws of supply and demand) becomes worthless. Producers would be foolish to trade at “any price” in terms of worthless currency. Barter (real for real) is the only remaining civilized (peaceful) trade option. Those who are not productive (do not engage in honest, mutually agreed trade) are left with three options: die, forcefully or fraudulently steal from the productive, making them extinct, ending up in a barbaric “war of all, against all”.

    So, when the lifeblood (transporting trade nutrients throughout) of civilization is debased, civilization becomes anemic and dies due to lack of ability of the productive to add value to fake money which is valueless.

    As to the proposed definition of money: “A three-party transaction … As long as everyone accepts it, it’s money”

    Have issues with “everyone”. Replace by “everyone involved in a voluntary chain of trades, using it as a medium of exchange”
    “Everyone” implies “no exceptions”, a monopoly, unachievable and foolish to try.

    resulting in:

    “An n-party (n > 2) transaction, with each trader bartering their goods / services for the medium of exchange… As long as everyone involved in the chain of trade accepts the medium of exchange, it’s money (to them)”

    So, in reality it is possible to bypass the fiat monopolists and create networks of productive who are willing to trade goods / services with producers of other goods / services. This is the basis of operation of the “community currency” movements, which may save the bacon of some, “come the collapse”.

    • Bill Ross

      So, the ability to freely choose “medium of exchange” if “allowed”, IS…

      – tolerating “freely chosen terms of association” which is part of general “freedom of association” which also includes “freedom to NOT associate”

      – acknowledging “property rights” which includes “ability to freely choose what for and at what value” you are willing to trade YOUR property.

      If the ability to freely choose “medium of exchange” is “NOT allowed”, this IS a violation of the above basic “rights” that our ancestors shed much blood and treasure to establish AND, codified in the “rule of law”, now rationalized away by “predators on the bench”, who serve themselves and cronies and, NOT “we, the people”:


  • Food for further thought and APT ACTion and Proaction/HyperRadioProActivity, Max and Daily Bellringers, …. http://www.rt.com/news/312021-us-journalist-grant-baltics/
    and valid enough to be perfectly true confirmation of the premise ….. In Live Operational Virtual Environments and all of those Novel Model Places too within IT and CyberSpace, Smarter Worded Orders Command and Control Deaf, Dumb and Blind World Leaderships and Capital Oligarchs in the Thrall and Service of the Catastrophically Intellectually Challenged? ….. shared earlier.

    Fun and Great Gamesplay for none but the Smart Brave and Stalwart Lionhearted:-)