Establishing a Natural Economic Order Through Free-Land and Free-Money by Silvio Gesell, a Founder of the 1919 Bavarian Soviet Republic

Author: Borruso, Silvano
Year:2014
Pages:656
ISBN:0-7734-1574-2
978-0-7734-1574-4
Price:359.95
Gesell’s thesis is that: the form of money inherited from the ancient world embodies a never solved practical contradiction between the functions of medium of exchange and the storing of value. This contradiction is at the basis of usury, and with it of all social disorders from the unemployed proletariat to war. His solution: Free Money, shorn of its function as store of value and reduced to pure medium of exchange.

The last part is a general theory of interest based on Free Money, which clinches all the previous arguments.

Having bared the source of the scourge of usury, Gesell furnishes abundant material for thoroughly judging economic theory and practice. His orderly array of arguments is of unanswerable cogency. Anyone who has read The Natural Economic Order
cannot help admitting that is the most extraordinary book on economics ever written.

Reviews

“Silvio Gesell was a radical critic of the then rising socialist central state planning economy as much as of the capitalist market-oriented one, and of their legitimized theories and ideologies…The world urgently needs a basis for an economy that places man in harmony with nature, not against it…[the author] is in a position to contribute to this.”

-Prof. Em. Bernd Senf, Berlin School of Economics


"... is a welcome in a period of economic crisis, when rival economic theories are again under scrutiny, and could be useful for the search of an alternative to the current monetary and land-property system. ... this new English translation opens the way for reflections, debates and further work, last but not least the empirical validation of Gesell's intuitions." - Prof. Riccardo Soliani, Universita degli Studi di Genova

Table of Contents

Preface by Bernd Senf
Preface by Karl Walker
Translator’s Note

PART ONE: ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CONTROL THE DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY
INTRODUCTION
ONE: Aim and Method
TWO: The Rights to the entire Fruits of Labour
Summary
THREE: How Ground Rent eats into the Fruits of Labour
FOUR: Freight Costs, Ground Rent and Wages
FIVE: Social Conditions, Rent and Wages
SIX: Accurately defining Free Land
SEVEN: Third Class Free Land
EIGHT: Third Class Free Land, Rent and Wages
NINE: Technical Improvements, Rent and Wages
TEN: Scientific Discoveries, Rent and Wages
ELEVEN: Legislation, Rent and Wages
TWELVE: Tariffs, Rent and Wages
THIRTEEN: The Fruits of Labour on Free Land as reference Point for the Entire Wage Scale, up to the highest Salaries
FOURTEEN: Interest on Capital, Rent and Wages
FIFTEEN: Overview of the Results of this Study
SIXTEEN: Rent of raw Materials and building Sites in Relation to the general Law of Wages
SEVENTEEN: First general Outline of the Law of Wages
Figure 1: The Price of agricultural Land

PART TWO: FREE-LAND
INTRODUCTION: Free Land, solid Guarantee of Peace
ONE: The Meaning of “Free Land”
TWO: Free Land Finances
THREE: Free Land in real Life
FOUR: How Land Nationalization works
FIVE: What is the Claim for Land Nationalization based on?
SIX: What Free Land cannot do

PART THREE: METAL AND PAPER MONEY
INTRODUCTION
ONE: Money reveals its Nature
TWO: Indispensability of Money and Public Indifference towards the Material it is made of
THREE: The So-Called Value
FOUR: Why Money can be made of Paper
a) The Fact
b) The Explanation
FIVE: Security and Cover of Paper Money
SIX: What should the Price of Paper Money be?
SEVEN: Can the Price of Money be determined Precisely?
EIGHT: Why does Paper Money have a Price?
NINE: Factors that influence Supply and Demand
TEN: The Money Supply
ELEVEN: Present-Day Laws of Money Circulation
TWELVE: Economic Crises and their Prevention
THIRTEEN: Monetary Reform
FOURTEEN: Cashless Circulation?
FIFTEEN: A Standard for the Quality of Money
SIXTEEN: Why the So-called Quantitative Theory of Money fails
SEVENTEEN: Gold and Peace?
EIGHTEEN: Is the Gold Standard Compatible with domestic and international Peace?
Figure 2: Trade Boom
Figure 3: Trade Boom and Crisis

PART FOUR: FREE-MONEY
INTRODUCTION
ONE: Free-Money
Description TWO: How the State issues Free Money into Circulation
THREE: Managing Free-Money
FOUR: Statistical Basis for Absolute Currency
FIVE: Laws of Free-Money Circulation
SIX: Summary
SEVEN: Free-Money tested
A. The Shopkeeper
B. The Cashier
C. The Exporter
D. The Manufacturer
E. The Usurer
F. The Speculator
G. The Saver
H. The Member of a Cooperative
I. The Creditor
J. The Debtor
K. The Proudhonian
L. The Interest Theoretician
M. The Crisis Theoretician
N. The Value Theoretician
O. The Wage Theoretician
P. The Banker
Figure 4A: German-Spanish Balance of Trade: Surplus of German Export
Figure 4B: German-Spanish Balance of Trade: Deficit of German Export
Q. The Exchange Agent
SIX: International Valuta Association
Figure 5: Stabilising International Exchanges with Iva Notes

PART FIVE: FREE-MONEY THEORY OF CAPITAL AND INTEREST
ONE: A Story of Robinson Crusoe, Touchstone of the Theory
TWO: Basic Interest
THREE: Carrying over of Usury to Merchandise
FOUR: Carrying over of Usury to So-called Physical Capital
FIVE: Completing the Free-Money Theory of Interest
SIX: Previous Attempts at explaining Interest on Capital
Theories of Fructification
Theories of Productivity
Theories of Utility
Senior’s Abstinence Theory
Theories of Work
Theories of Exploitation
SEVEN: The Components of Gross Interest
EIGHT: Pure Interest a Stable Magnitude

APPENDIX

EDITOR’S COMMENTS

BIOGRAPHY AND REVIEWS

INDEX