Oct

11

I find these Nock quotations strangely up to date and can only wonder how Nock would feel today.

"Many no doubt remember the "new economics" hatched in the consulship of Mr Coolidge, whereby it was demonstrated beyond question that credit could be pyramided on credit indefinitely and all hands could become rich with no one doing any work. Then when this seductive theory blew up with loud report in 1929, we began to hear the economics of scarcity, the econ of plenty, notions about pump priming and disquisitions on the practicability about a nations spending it self rich."

"Ever since 1918 people everywhere have been thinking in terms of money, not in terms of commodities and in spite of the most spectacular evidence that this thinking is sheer insanity. The only time i was ever a millionaire was when I spent a few weeks in Germany in 1923."

"Money does not pay for anything, never has, never will. It is an economic axiom as old as the hills that goods and services can be paid for only with goods and services."

" No one is has seemed the least aware that everything which is paid for must be paid out of production, for that there is no other payment. Another strange notion pervading whole peoples is the state has money of it's own and no where is this absurdity more firmly fixed than in America. The state has no money. It produces nothing. Its existence is purely parasitic maintained by taxation."

"The sum of my observations was that during the last 20 years money has been largely diverted from its function as a mere convenience, a medium of exchange, a sort of claim check on production and has been slyly knaved into an instrument of political power."

"The inevitable consequences are easily foreseen; one not need to speak of them; but the politician, like the stockbroker, can not afford to take the long term point of view on anything."

[From Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, by Albert J. Nock].

Stefan Jovanovich draws the parallels further:

The leverage in the stock market came from the call loans; in our present crash the leverage came from the CDOs and MBSs. In both cases the source of the demand for the loans themselves was the imbalance in world trade, and the refusal of the country wanting to manipulate the exchange value of its currency (the U.S. then, now China) to let exchanges in monies flow as freely as trade in goods and services. However, for Nock to write in the 30s that "money has been largely diverted from its function as a mere convenience" is a breathtakingly willful distortion of American political economic history. The debates between the parties after the Civil War were about little else than the subject of "money"; why else would William Jennings Bryan have become the first political celebrity in our history simply for merging Christianity with the "money question"?

Jeff Watson adds:

Albert Jay Nock influenced me more than any philosopher, Ayn Rand included.. I have assembled a collection of downloads of some of his better works for your enjoyment.


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