#3. Your Two Cents

Why does this have purchasing power?


Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your “two cents” isn’t valuable.

Opinions are quite valuable. Ideas have real value. More value than currencies which are no longer in circulation. I’ve probably made a fortune off listening to the “two cents” of various people over the course of 10 years.

Why do you post “your two cents” online? In essence, you are effectively giving someone else “a piece of your mind.” Your ideas make sense to you. So much sense to you that you would give them away for free to other people.

It’s like tossing a coin in a community fountain, right? It is your contribution (with your little face on it) to trying to make some sense of the world. When you read other people, you do so to digest their contribution to understanding reality.

You come here or post a comment somewhere else. Maybe you keep the opinion to yourself. It is your two cents of sanity. Your perspective is quite valuable to you.

How much is your own perspective worth to you? Could you put a dollar figure on it? For some strange reason, your perspective is worthless in this world (like, say, a Confederate dollar), but a Federal Reserve dollar can buy you material things.

Are you following me?

Why is your “two cents” worthless? Why is the Federal Reserve note worth $5 dollars that has Lincoln’s face on it? There is some kind of connection here between opinions and currency.

Your little scrap of paper is worthless, but Lincoln’s $5 dollar bill can buy you lunch somewhere. His face is on the $5 dollar bill. It has the stamp of the Federal Reserve system on it.

Now think about this.

Why can the Federal Reserve notes buy you things? What is the secret of this magic piece of paper? Why does this piece of paper have economic power?

It has power (unlike the Confederate dollar) because it has power over your mind. You accept Lincoln’s $5 dollar bill as being worth $5 dollars. It is something you take for granted.

Have you ever really thought about it? Money is something that has purchasing power. It has purchasing power because it has legitimacy and authority.

Is the legitimacy and authority actually in the Lincoln $5 dollar bill? No, it is not. The legitimacy and authority rests solely in your own mind.

That’s why a U.S. dollar can buy things and a Confederate dollar can buy nothing. It is because the U.S. dollar has symbolic power over millions of minds. It is accepted as a legitimate currency.

If it lost its legitimacy over millions of minds, the U.S. dollar would be worth nothing. It would be just another defunct currency. There are all kinds of defunct currencies in the world.

The value of the U.S. dollar fluctuates because its legitimacy over millions of minds fluctuates on an everyday basis. The dollar could go down the tube quite fast if everyone stopped pretending it had symbolic power over their minds.

Why can’t the Confederate dollar buy anything in 2011? Simply because it has no symbolic power or legitimacy or authority. That is why it doesn’t have purchasing power in the American South.

The Fed has a monopoly on symbolic power, on legitimacy, on authority, on saying what has purchasing power. But it really doesn’t have a monopoly.

You could say that gold and silver has more value than a Federal Reserve note. If you can “exchange currencies” with your own mind, why can’t we just stop pretending the Fed’s money has anything in the way of symbolic power?

No one has to vote for Barack Obama. If Obama isn’t speaking to you on your own wavelength, he has lost legitimacy in your own mind. He doesn’t have narrative or symbolic power to get your assent to vote for him.

That’s really at the bottom of everything: narrative and symbolic power, telling stories, the aye or nay of the community, the aye or nay of the individual.

You can say “nay” to the Federal Reserve notes, “nay” to Barack Obama, “nay” to Wall Street, and “nay” to Hollywood at anytime. When enough people said “nay” to Newsweek, it was sold for a $1 dollar to Sidney Harman.

If Newsweek can lose its legitimacy and its value, then so can just about anything.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. “the legitimacy and authority actually in the Lincoln $5 dollar bill? No, it is not. The legitimacy and authority rests solely in your own mind.”

    Americans are the victims of a bait-and-switch con. (By the guess whos?)

    For pretty much all of human history, gold has been money. Why?

    Well, what is money?

    Money is a medium of exchange and a store of wealth. It must be fungible (one unit is like another) so you can trade it easily; it must have intrinsic value so that you’d trade for it just because you want it; it must be incorruptible so it doesn’t go bad over time in order to store your wealth. It also must be rare and hard to get so gov’t doesn’t devalue your wealth by flooding the market with the medium of exchange for its own benefit.

    Consider: Maybe you have a crop of tomatoes, more than you can use, but you want boots. So you could take your tomatoes to the cobbler for trade. But what if he doesn’t want your tomatoes, but wants milk for his child? And what if the guy with a cow doesn’t want your tomatoes or the cobbler’s boots but wants fish for dinner?

    Bartering doesn’t work too well because it all gets too difficult to meet the wanters with the suppliers.

    But, say you have some tomatoes and you trade with the guy who has a gold mine. He wants tomatoes because you can’t eat gold. You want the gold because it’s pretty and will make a nice present for your girlfriend. You could also make wire with it and many other things. So you trade your tomatoes for gold.
    You then take your gold to the cobbler and trade for boots. The cobbler wants the gold because he can use it to make fancy designs on his boots. He, however, decides, instead, to take the gold to the guy with the cow for milk.
    The cow guy doesn’t need gold right now but knows a fisherman who wants it to make fishing line. So the cow guy takes your gold KNOWING he can trade it for the fish he he wants, from someone else.
    The fisherman takes the gold, decides not to make fishing line, but invest with the goldmine guy so he always has a sure supply of golden fishing line.

    The society now has, with gold, a way of facilitating trade to get the product to the person who wants it, even if that person doesn’t have something that YOU want (except for gold, which you want because you know you can trade it for something you do want with someone else, who will take the gold because he knows he can trade it with a 3rd person, and so on.)
    So gold acts as a medium of exchange.
    Now think about your wealth of tomatoes. If not eaten, or traded to someone who WILL eat them, they go bad. But gold never goes bad. Trade your today’s tomatoes for gold means you can buy tomatoes from someone else when you’re too old to garden.
    So gold is a storage of wealth.

    Now for paper. Gold is hard to carry around. What if you could put your gold with someone you trusted, and he’d give you a receipt to come get it anytime you want. You might trade the *receipt* with the cobbler. He knows he can take your receipt and get your gold tomorrow. No worries. So the cobbler then trades your paper with the cow guy, who also knows he can get the gold, if he wants. And so on.

    But, remember, paper is not money. Paper only *represents* the money. Gold is money, because gold is fungible, useful, indestructible and rare.

    AHHA! Now comes the bankster scam. Convince everyone you are trustworthy so they will put their gold in your vault and take your receipt. THEN make more receipts than you have gold and spend them for tomatoes and boots and fish. If you are sly about it, no one will be the wiser. Even make “loans” of pieces of paper you printed, telling everyone there’s gold to back it up, and take interest on the paper you printed. Soon, you, bankster, will own EVERYTHING.
    This is what the Jews learned in all their centuries in Europe as usurers, as Money Masters. They became bankers and said “trust us.” With banking came this ability to print money and buy real things like TV stations and movie studios, which is how they, 2% of the population, have come to wield so much power.
    The banksters got the Federal Reserve Act passed which brought on the Great Depression (through a long series of events I’m not going to go into, this post already becoming TL:DR). The Great Depression gave FDR cover to confiscate the people’s gold and switch it for paper.
    The gov’t LOVES paper as it can be printed at will, sneakily devaluing the people’s wealth, which is another way of taxing, with the benefit that most people don’t know what they’re doing.
    So the gov’t and Fed work together. Gov’t wants unlimited money to buy votes, Fed banksters want unlimited ability to print money to control society.

    And here we are, us, the progeny of the Founders, waking up on this continent to find ourselves homeless, just as Thomas Jefferson warned:
    Quotation: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

  2. Author Tom Clancy (great books, horrible neo-con values) wrote that it’s all about “confidence”. Just as Hunter says. It’s about perception. Maybe Hunter’s right and we can build confidence in better things than what we have today. Mental secession.

    Barb, I’m not actually thinking the wrong way. I do understand the gold vs. currency situation. My point with my “two cents comment”, was that with gold at $1,600 dollars per ounce, today’s perverted market would only yield you 1/80,000 of an ounce for two cents. I tried to illustrate how sick the world has become and the uselessness of a floating dollar.

    And I know you weren’t picking on me. 🙂

  3. Everytime you have read another opinion … you have listened and analyzed the “two cents” of another people. You have evaluated their “two cents” to see if it made any “sense” to you.

    There seems to be connection between opinions and money. Maybe there is a connection between minds and money. Who knew?

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