To the liberal (and Marxian) ideal of a boundless
increase In production and consumption we contra-pose
the conservative (and socialist) ideal of a thoughtful and
cheerful existence, which naturally requires as its foundation
a sufficient supply of the necessaries of life, but seeks
and finds its main fulfillment in very different values.
Autarchy, self-sufficiency, I.e. adequate domestic
sources for the supply of raw materials, is a necessary
antecedent to the satisfaction of the main demand of a
socialist national economy the safeguarding of the
food, clothing, and shelter of the community.
Abandonment of the international gold standard will
be an essential preliminary to autarchy, for so long as the
foreign world can have any influence on our currency
(which is the 'blood5 of economic life), no really independent
national economy is possible.
Efforts to make our national economy independent of
the rest of the world will be facilitated by simplifying the
lives of our fellow-countrymen. Under the capitalist
system a great many "daily needs' are artificially
developed by advertisement.
Simplifying life would not
mean a 'relapse into barbarism,for culture is not dependent
upon luxury or upon the gratification of needlessly
created wants. In a true fellowship no one would
make a to-do about the satisfaction of such needs while
any of his fellow-countrymen were going hungry from
lack of work.
The preponderant part that money plays in contemporary
economic life is due to the circumstance that, in
addition to fulfilling the tasks of being a medium of exchange
and a standard of value, money is also a commodity,
being in most countries dependent on gold, a
commodity which is privileged over all other commodities
by having assigned to it by law a fixed value.
This peculiar commodity-character of money as dependent
on gold, and the concentration of the extant supplies
of gold in the hands of the great financiers, enable these
In all States where gold is current coin, or at least the
standard of currency, to exert a decisive influence upon
the economic life of the States concerned, an influence
whose danger has repeatedly been disclosed by the events
of post-war political life.
The commodity money-gold
has, moreover,a peculiar quality which attaches to no
other commodity, namely the power of increasing itself
through interest accruing while it lies idle and its owner
does nothing at all.
This quality of gold is not natural but artificial. The
natural purpose of money is to facilitate exchange.
Money Is (i) a means of exchange, (2) a measure of
value. Since in a large and complicated economic unit,
barter becomes impracticable, the producer sells his
goods, receiving in exchange, not goods of corresponding
value, but a 'certificate, a 'token', of the value of what
he has sold. He accepts this token being confident that
therewith he will be able to buy a corresponding
amount of other goods. He does not primarily wish to
exchange commodities for money, but commodities for
Confidence in the purchasing power
of the monetary certificate or token which he accepts,
gives this token its value, makes the token 'current coin5
(or current notes) . All currency is therefore sustained by
the confidence of the owners of the current coin and of
the mass of goods ready for exchange.
Only in a circumscribed
economic system, where the circulation of
money and the circulation of goods are not exposed to
the influence of outside forces, is it possible to make sure
that the quantity of money and the quantity of goods
shall be in an appropriate relation each to the other.
Excerpts From Germany Tommorrow by Otto Strasser ...