During the Advent Season last year, while writing a series of essays in a continuing exploration of the content of a new framework of analysis which this writer has been exploring during fifty years of independent research and publication, it became evident that we cannot separate the two items, Peace and Prosperity, unless we want to make them both weaker and unrealizable. Nor is it reasonable to expect that any idea will ever be implemented just because it is good and a beautiful idea. In a democratic polity, especially, it takes comprehensive work to translate ideas into practice. It takes much discernment and deliberation. More specifically, it takes work to convince our fellow citizens and our congressional representatives to translate appropriate ideas into laws of the land, so that every citizen will pay allegiance to them. These ideas sprang from the opportunity of addressing them, all together, in a “Madison Document.”1
A Proposed Congressional Joint Resolution for Peace and Prosperity
This is a proposal, in two parts, to the Congress of the United States of America to open a road to Peace and Prosperity at the same time. Is anything else more needed in this world? These are not personal, idiosyncratic ideas. One part of the proposed resolution has already been endorsed by the renowned MIT Professor Noam Chomsky;2 the other has been encouraged by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Fed).3 To appreciate the value of the Fed’s response, it is important to keep in mind that, traditionally, this Agency has strenuously kept the world of politics at bay in the past; instead, quite surprisingly, and quite properly, the Fed apparently wants this proposal to come from "state and federal representatives."4
Dear Reader, do study these proposals. Participate in the discussion. They are fundamental; they go to the root of things.
Above all, it is essential to keep in mind that this resolution is not going to be approved by Congress if only a few people endorse it. The US Congress is going to pass this resolution, and thus set the world on the path to fundamental change, if it does reach the stage in which it does indeed represent the collective mind of We the People.
The following words, of course, are not cast in concrete. The proposed resolution to be eventually presented to the Congress of the United States may be clothed in a hundred different forms. Presumably, all that needs to be preserved is the spirit of these proposals.
The modalities of the formal presentation of these proposals to the United States Congress are also fully open to discussion and eventual approval.
A RESOLUTION FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY
People work in high spirits, if they know that their work for peace leads to prosperity and that their work for prosperity leads to peace. Since the two efforts are directly related to each other, but the tools to achieve each goal are different, the two issues have to be treated concurrently but separately in a coordinated mental approach.
Section 1: Steps toward Peace
We call upon the President of the United States to implement these steps:
- The United States Congress reaffirms our Doctrine of No First Strike;
- The United States Congress requests that the Government of North Korea stop developing new armaments and new ballistic missiles—and proposes that it be admitted to the commonwealth of nations. This is a call for an eventual Pact of Mutual Non-Aggression;
- The United States Congress will encourage the formation of a stream of volunteers, duly approved by the Government of North Korea, to be self-financed guests of North Korea, to function as explicit guarantors of this Pact of Mutual Non-Aggression.
These are the initial essential steps to move toward peace with North Korea. In a broad framework of analysis, it is possible to conceive of many other essential components of a just and durable peace in the world. As pointed out elsewhere,5 this writer would like to start with the creation of a Department of Peace and proceed with the creation of Swat Teams for Peace and Justice. Focusing on immediate problems, an important list of details provided by David William Pear is certainly to be worked out.6
Section 2: Steps toward Prosperity
We call upon the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (hereinafter, the Fed) to implement these steps:
- That the Fed issue loans ONLY for the creation of real wealth;
- That the Fed issue loans at cost;
- That the Fed issue loans only to individual entrepreneurs, to corporations with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and /or Consumer Stock Ownership Plan (CSOP) in their constitutions, as well as to public authorities wielding taxing powers.
If these marginal reforms in the procedures for the creation and distribution of money are approved by the Congress of the United States, the second proposal for the stability of the monetary system will have a much better chance of being implemented both nationally and internationally. This is a proposal to systematically and voluntarily reduce to zero all outstanding debt every seventh year.
We fully realize that our nation will succeed in achieving Peace and Prosperity only if other nations achieve Peace and Prosperity as well; therefore, it is proposed that the US Congress call upon other nations to adapt these steps to their needs at the earliest possible moment.
These proposals are so simple that they might appear to be obvious. This reaction will have to be accepted with elation, because the most difficult thing to discover is the obvious. The obvious is buried under layers and layers of rationalizations accumulated in the course of the centuries (see, e.g., Gorga, 2017a). In fact, these recommendations spring forth from a new framework of analysis, whose central aim is to shift the focus of attention away from governments in order to return the power to the people—where it originally resided.
Let us briefly look at the intellectual background of both proposals at closer range.
Background on Resolution for Peace
Professor Noam Chomsky has examined the proposed steps for peace with North Korea and, in a personal communication with the writer of November 18, 2017, has found them to contain ”Good ideas, and feasible I think.”7 The proposed steps are designed to unblock the current dangerous deadlock with North Korea. They are outlined in two essays titled respectively:
- “Why Don't We Hear This Question: What Does Kim Jong-un, North Korea's Supreme Commander, Want?”
Much is written about North Korea and its current leader. Much of it is used to denigrate. Much of it is obfuscated by ideology. These approaches are hardly harbingers of peace. If one is interested in peace, one will ask: What Does Kim Jong-un, North Korea's Supreme Commander, Want? The answer is surprisingly simple, but far from simplistic. North Korea wants to be respected on the international scene. If one is of the opinion that every nation on earth deserves respect, ways to accommodate the current demands of North Korea will easily come forward. Deep respect to every person on earth, the essay makes it clear, is given and received only through the exercise of economic justice—both nationally and internationally. Thus are the twin issues of peace and prosperity interlocked, automatically confirming the validity of Pope Paul VI dictum “If you want peace, work for justice.”
- “A Modest Proposal for Peace”
A little digging into the current atmosphere in international affairs reveals a mostly concealed reality. If North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear capability as a condition for peace negotiations, one has to investigate what happened to the nations that accepted such a condition. Governments of Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan were destroyed soon thereafter. Governments can no longer be expected to deal honorably with each other. People have to take matters of interest to them into their own hands. Hence, the modest proposal of creating a steady stream of civilians from all nations of the world to be honored guests, at their own expenses, of North Korea to guarantee the sanctity of the accords reached and to be reached.
These essays can be found in Gorga, 2017b and Gorga, 2017c.
The pivotal portion of this proposal is the suggestion that private citizens must become guarantors of the peace, thus regaining powers and responsibilities they exercised in olden times before governments monopolized all the public energy of private citizens.
There is no place for violence in a civilized world; a civil society restricts opportunities for violence.
Background on Resolution for Prosperity
A document that gathered together four essays published in Mother Pelican: A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability8 during 2015 was presented to Dr. Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve System on December 15, 2015. This document is titled “Two Proposals in the Form of Two Petitions Designed to Stabilize the Monetary System” (Gorga, 2015).
The petitions themselves can be found here and
As an incentive to investigate the richness and coherence of the texts, an overview of the four essays included in this document is given here. The essays were titled respectively:
- “The World of Economics Since 2008”
In the words of Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics and New York Times columnist, “Hardly any economists predicted the 2008 crisis,,,, More significant, many and arguably most economists were claiming, right up to the moment of collapse, that nothing like this could even happen.” There is a “crisis” in economics, in other words. This essay points out that this mental discipline has been in a state of crisis ever since the publication of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776). Philip Pilkington, a brilliant British economist, specifies that “Mainstream economics moves forward not through logical development and integration, but through forgetting.” The crisis continues. And the crisis is not simply a theoretical problem. The crisis is the cause of the confusion that controls current monetary issues, whereby periodic financial debacles devastate the economic stability of most countries in the world. With the help of a new paradigm named Concordian economics, this essay outlines the core of the two proposals mentioned above that are designed to assure monetary stability by controlling debt and by creating and distributing money to the benefit of all.
- “(Rationale of Two Petitions): Curb the “Animal Spirits” of Mankind?”
If we want to curb the “animal spirits” of speculators, we are doomed to fail. To win, we would need to change human nature. This is an impossible task; it is not a task for humans. Besides, the entire conception of “animal spirits” is rooted in a Darwinian conception that has been fully discredited in most disciplines, but it still reigns supreme in economics. The primary function of the Fed should not be to work against the “animal spirits” of mankind, but to work with its natural allies, namely entrepreneurs and local bankers who are primarily interested in creating a monetary system that offers steady credit at steady cost.
- “Expected Effects of Two Petitions”
The ultimate expected effect of the two petitions is to change the 5,000 years-old monetary paradigm from the current one in which money controls people, to one in which people control money. Many other intermediary effects will also result, the most important of which, perhaps, is the change in our conception of money from the “source of all evil” to the realization that it is a common good. This change will occur because, if money is created and distributed as recommended, there will always be sufficiency of money. It is the conception of scarcity, overall, that is the mother of all evil. The conquest of scarcity is not going to be a rhetorical effect, but a real one, because with the recommended procedures for creation and distribution of money, the avoidance of two destructive practices, waste and consumer credit, will become feasible; conversely, real wings will be given to the twin angels of entrepreneurship and innovation.
- “Toward a Systematic Reduction of Debt”
It is necessary to keep in mind that the ongoing alternative to the voluntary, rational, systematic reduction of debt is catastrophic financial collapse of the monetary system. With the separation of real wealth from monetary wealth, which is one of the central results of Concordian economics, it becomes apparent that at times there is no real wealth to back up debt, but only a set of accounting zeros. Thus, when the knowledge of Concordian economics becomes common, it will become more acceptable to destroy debt, because it will become apparent that, many times, this accounting operation involves little more than the destruction of zeros. In any case, the need for a systematic reduction of debt is far from a novel idea. It is an adaptation of the Seven-Year Mosaic Jubilee (Gorga, 2008). This is the injunction of which we are forcefully reminded every time we fervently recite the (uncorrupted version of) Our Father.
These essays were republished in Econintersect (Gorga, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c, 2016d). Econintersect is one of the Top 100 Sites for Enlightened Economists.9
In a second letter to the writer dated September 14, 2016, Ms. Jean Durr, of the Public Affairs Office of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, suggested that these proposals should be presented to “state and federal representatives.”10
The implementation of the proposed reform in the operation of the Fed will not avert the incoming financial crisis, unless it is joined by the Jubilee Solution concerning outstanding debt. This proposal reproduces the spirit of Mosaic laws concerning the cancellation of debts among Israelites every seven years.
The implementation of these reforms will dissolve the severity of the otherwise unavoidable incoming crisis. Let the behemoths of international finance fall one after the other, if credit is available to Main Street through local banks, the stability of the monetary system of the nation will be secured.
The pivotal portion of this proposal is the suggestion that local bankers become arbiters of a fully decentralized monetary policy.
More. With the implementation of this proposed change in the operation of the Fed, we abandon a 5000-year-old paradigm in which money controls people—the rich are controlled by money no less than the poor—and we inaugurate an intellectual and practical monetary system in which people control money.
Since these recommendations are based on a universal monetary policy, all nations of the world are invited at the earliest possible moment to adapt to their needs these rules for the creation and distribution of money.
For a full evaluation of these proposals, please see the writer’s work on Concordian economics,11 Somism,12 and Relationalism.13
It is recommended that both resolutions be passed jointly in rapid succession and at the earliest possible moment.
The common ground that these two sets of proposals share is perhaps the element to emphasize at this point. The common call is the call to private citizens to stop relying passively on governments and governmental agencies. To reduce overbearing burdens on governments, private citizens ought to perform all the traditional duties they can—and perhaps create inventive new ways to intervene in public affairs as well—before calling for assistance from governments.
Debt and Zero
Debt and zero are two powerful instruments of our daily living. As all tools, they acquire value by their use. They can be used for good as for evil purposes.
Debt that is repaid helps the creditor as well as the debtor. Both people put to use another incredibly versatile tool invented by human beings: money. Money that sits in the pocket of a rich person is useless. Money springs into action when it is used. Lending money to enterprising people is a valuable activity—which carries with it a responsibility. The creditor has the responsibility to entrust money to creditworthy people, people who are capable of repaying the debt. Money should never be lent out with the knowledge that the debtor cannot repay the debt. Money should never be lent out with the intention of enslaving people—as, to mention its most egregious case, English money lender did with Indian Maharajas.
But no matter the good intentions of lenders and borrowers, the future is unpredictable and good intentions can turn foul. At that point, discernment is required. When debt cannot be repaid, is the enslavement of the debtor the only solution? Mosaic Laws offered a creative response. On the seventh year, do cancel all debt and start anew.
Today this solution, the Jubilee Solution, appears to be inconceivable—unless you really enter into the understanding of both economics and zero. The value of zero is best acquired through its synonym, nothing. One of the full books by this title goes into the rich details, whose core provokes this question: Why did Europe prohibit the use of zero for about four hundred years? Wise authorities were right. With unscrupulous addition or subtraction of zeros in accounting books, people can commit incredible mayhem.
The systematic reduction of zeros, which expresses the wisdom of the Jubilee Solution in relation to debt that definitely cannot be repaid, assures that zeros are used for good.
To see this result clearly, we have to remember that wealth is a relative value. If two people have $1 million each, they are equally rich. If one spurts to $10 million, the other feels “poor.” Until he too acquires $10 million. If the additional $9 million represents an increment of real wealth, everyone will be better off. But what happens when there is no, or minimal, addition of real wealth over time? What happens when the addition is only an addition of zeros? Then the opportunity arises to return the accounting books for both rich people to $1 million, and they will feel—and be—equally rich.
- See, mymadison.io.
- Chomsky, N. 2017. Personal email communication with the writer, November 18.
- Durr, J. 2016. Public Affairs Office, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Personal communication with the writer, September 14. Available at 1drv.ms.
- See, Gorga, 2017c.
- In Comments to Gorga 2017c.
- See n. 2 above.
- For Mother Pelican: A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability, see Mother Pelican.
- For Econintersect, see Econintersect.
- See n. 3 above.
- For Concordian economics, see Concordian economics.
- For Somism, see Somism.
- For Relationalism, see Relationalism.
The writer wishes to express his gratitude for sharp editing by his son Jonathan and powerful editorial suggestions by Dr. Stephen M. Krason.
Gorga, C. 2008. “The Economics of Jubilation - Blinking Adam’s Fallacy Away.” Available at SSRN or doi.org.
Gorga, C. 2015. “Two Proposals in the Form of Two Petitions Designed to Stabilize the Monetary System” (Gorga, 2015). Available at 1drv.ms.
Gorga, C. 2016a. “The World of Economics Since 2008,” Econintersect, August 13.
Gorga, C. 2016b. “Should we Curb the ‘Animal Spirits’ of Mankind?” Econintersect, September 7.
Gorga, C. 2016c. “The Expected Effects of Petitions to Improve the Monetary System.” Econintersect, September 28.
Gorga, C. 2016d. “Toward a Systematic Reduction of Debt.” Econintersect, October 12.
Gorga, C. 2017a. “Inadvertent Errors 1517 - 2017.” Econintersect, November 7.
Gorga, C. 2017b. “Why Don't We Hear This Question: What Does Kim Jong-un, North Korea's Supreme Commander, Want?” OpEdNews, April 28.
Gorga, C. 2017c. “A Modest Proposal for Peace.” OpEdNews, November 14.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carmine Gorga is president of The Somist Institute. The mission of the institute is to foster sensible moral leadership. He is a former Fulbright scholar and the recipient of a Council of Europe Scholarship for his dissertation on “The Political Thought of Louis D. Brandeis.” By inserting Hoarding into Keynes’ model of the economic system and using age-old principles of logic and epistemology, in a book and a series of papers Dr. Gorga has transformed the linear world of economic theory into a relational discipline in which everything is related to everything else—internally as well as externally. He was assisted in this endeavor by many people, notably for 27 years by Professor Franco Modigliani, a Nobel laureate in economics at MIT. The resulting work,
The Economic Process: An Instantaneous Non-Newtonian Picture, was published in 2002 and has been reissued in a third edition in 2016. For reviews, click here. During the last few years, Dr. Gorga has concentrated his attention on the requirements for the unification of economic theory, policy, and practice calling this unity Concordian economics. He is also integrating this work into political science, which he calls Somism, and culture in general, which he calls Relationalism.