I did a little bit of hunting and scratching around in response to a comment by meema on one of my earlier posts. I am still new enough at this that I get a big thrill from each comment.
I hunted around for a quote that I improperly remembered. The quote I was searching for involved Marx, wealth and the means of production. My faulty memory locked onto something like: "Wealth resides in the control of the means of production." Wrong, wrong and more wrong.
In fact, Marx was far less interested in the nuts-and-bolts of production than he was about the abstraction we call "Money". "Capital is in the first place an accumulation of money and cannot make its appearance in history until the circulation of commodities has given rise to the money relation." Link
Marxism is blind to interpersonal relationships. It is like polarized light that is 90 degrees out-of-phase with their world view. They cannot see it. They admit that they cannot see it. "...wealth itself is a social relation, not just an accumulation of things. For example, if you owe someone a favour, then that is something personal between the two of you (and not a social relationship)..." That is baffling, personal is distinctly different than social?
Marx knew early on that theft by coercion, dishonesty and deceit is far easier to accomplish when the object of your theft is an abstraction. It is easier to steal money than things (although the USSR stuck it to the Ukraine in the 1930s). It is also far easier to steal in crowds than in one-on-one relations. A cynic would conclude that Marxist economics is far less concerned about efficiencies of scale than about the efficiencies of large scale theft.
|Stalin removed every article of food from the Ukraine in the early 1930s in an effort to stomp down dissent. Millions of people died in the resulting famine. The survivors greeted the Nazi invasion in WWII as their saviors.|
Inflation:The theft by coercion, dishonesty and deceit becomes even less contentious when the object is an abstraction of an abstraction. Inflation diminishes the purchasing power of money over time. It is a slow motion tax on savings. That is, it is the theft of money (an abstraction) over time. A slow boiling of the frog.
The Marxist of the 21 Century learned their lessons well.
Menno Simons:One of the quirks of the Amish/Mennonite/United Brethren cluster is that they believe that acts of charity should be personal. They perceive that it is far better to personally feed a homeless person or assist a village in Africa in drilling a well than to just throw money into a collection basket and let somebody else actually do the deed. Jesus had the power to command the blind man's eyes to open, but he spit in the mud, mixed it with his fingers and smeared it over the blind man's eyes. THAT is personal. (John 9:6)
Money certainly facilitates three way and four way trades. I may have something the fine people at Everwilde Farms in Sand Creek, Wisconsin (source of my spinach seeds) can use, but it would take an inordinate amount of time to figure out what that is and to negotiate an exchange rate.
I see that I need to stay partially plugged into the money system.
But unplugging from the money system reduces the silhouette that the Marxist can draw a bead on. I can become smoke and shadow.
So I am fascinated by wealth that is not vulnerable to inflation, wealth that is not denominated in dollars. My family, my fruit trees, my garden, the seeds I save from my garden, the relationships that I now have time to grow, and the skills I intend to learn.