on the Shoulders of Midgets
by Simon Black: Tell
Me Again… Which of These Nations Is Communist?
the father of classical mechanics and progenitor of nearly every
technology we use today, was easily one of the top 10 most influential
minds in all of human history
so much so that even Albert Einstein
kept a picture of Newton in his study.
achievements were so momentous that when he died in 1727, he was
buried with the honors normally reserved for a king. His body lay
in state for four days at Westminster Abby, and his pallbearers
included two dukes, three earls, and the Lord Chancellor.
Yet as accomplished
as he was, Newton credited the brilliant scientists and philosophers
who came before him, acknowledging that his insights would not have
been remotely possible without the foundations laid by great thinkers
Archimedes, da Vinci, Descartes, etc.
In a personal
letter to a colleague in 1676, Newton famously remarked If
I have seen further it is by standing on [the] shoulders of giants.*
No doubt, all
great ideas flourish by expanding upon the works of others. Unfortunately,
so do terrible ones. And one of the worst ideas in history that
continues to play out today is the grand experiment of fiat money.
The idea is
simple. Rather than allowing money to be scarce and have intrinsic
value, our fiat system grants power to a tiny elite to conjure money
out of thin air. Presumably, if the ones in control are smart, honest
guys, then everything should be fine.
Fiat was a
total failure right from the beginning. When unbacked paper currency
was originally introduced in the 11th century by Emperor Renzong
of the Sung dynasty, nasty inflation quickly followed.
The Yuan dynasty
later adopted the same tactic of printing paper money without restriction,
and they, too, suffered severe hyperinflation.
In fact, upon
visiting China from Europe, Marco Polo remarked in his writings
with incredulity how [a]ll these pieces of paper are issued
with as much solemnity and authority as if they were of pure gold
and indeed everybody takes them readily. . .
the rest of the article
© 2012 Sovereign Man
Best of Simon Black