Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Truth in the Coin Shop" by Jeffrey Tucker

Here is an insightful little essay by Jeffrey Tucker, written just a couple months before the Big Crash in 2008, when this essay would have been denounced and scoffed at by Respectable Economists and Politicians Who Know Best - even though Tucker's logic is unassailable.  But when it comes to The State, logic doesn't matter.  Statism is a kind of competing religion, which makes the "IN GOD WE TRUST" motto on American tokens and paper currency very clever.  Faith in The State has been shaken since the Big Crash, but its priests in Washington continue to exhort the faithful to bow down and pray the Keynesian rosary.

You can download two collections of Tucker's lively and thoughtful columns free of charge from the Mises Institute: the delightfully titled Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo (in which Truth in the Coin Shop is found), and It's a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes.  His latest work, A Beautiful Anarchy: How to Create Your Own Civilation in the Digital Age is not available for free, but can be had here at a very reasonable price, both in digital and in paperback formats.  I have not read it yet, but look forward to doing so.  He also speaks on this short video analyzing Ayn Rand's 1937 novella Anthem.

Not only is Mr. Tucker a great writer and free-market economist of the Austrian School, he is also a Christian of the Roman Catholic tradition and a defender of traditional music and liturgy.  He is the editor of The Chant Cafe.

So enjoy this taste of "Truth in the Coin Shop" and feel free (indeed, feel free, dear reader!  Don't you love the sound of that?) to follow the link to read all of it:

You are uptown in a shopping district of a small community, and you pass by the meat shop, the wine shop, the coffee shop, two churches side by side, a coin shop, an antique store … and hold it right there.

A coin shop? This is irresistible, because, as implausible as this may sound, all political truth can be found in a coin shop. And not just political truth: you find in here the story of the whole of modern life on exhibit, and learn more from looking than you find in a multivolume history.
There they are on display: coins from all lands. Why are they worth more than the coins in your pocket? Because they are old? That's part of it but not the essence of it. There are some new coins here that are also just as valuable as the old ones.
What is critical is that they are made of gold and silver. You can pick them up and tell the difference. They are heavy. Stack them and let them fall on each other, and they make a different sound from the coins that usually rattle around in your pocket.
It strikes everyone and anyone immediately. Somehow these coins are "real"; the coins we use today are not. But what does this really mean? And what does it imply?  Continue here.

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