Continuing to Ponder and Ruminate

by R. Nelson Nash

In last month’s issue of BankNotes newsletter, I wrote an article entitled Something to Ponder. As a result, for all month long, I have been doing a lot of pondering and have concluded that this is a vast undertaking that should be practiced by everyone.

Why are people—you and I—behaving the way we do? When considering how people think—which is the root cause of behavior—it is easy to conclude that our world is dominated with absolute nonsense and, as a result, irrational behavior.

Several years ago, I was conducting an Infinite Banking Concept Seminar in Western Colorado. The sponsor of the event assembled his audience and said. “The Infinite Banking Concept is all about how you think. It’s all about how you think. It’s about how you think!”—and then he introduced me. It was such an effective—and truthful—way to start the seminar that I adopted the phrase in all speaking events and it is expressed—or implied—in all writing that I do.

To make sure we don’t get off track in this forthcoming series of articles that I will be offering maybe a good place to start the subject at hand is with definitions— just what is pondering all about? It is a very special dimension of thought process. Merriam-Webster says. “to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply.” Of course, all other definitions offered are slight variations of this one, so let’s just go with this one.

Closely allied with ponder is the word ruminate. Relying on Merriam-Webster again, “to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly.” Understanding the meaning of this word and engaging in this action is extremely important if we are going to make any progress in our lives because of what I described in the second paragraph of this article. We need to be able to recognize nonsense when it appears and dispense with it immediately!

At the end of last month’s BankNotes article, I alluded to a forthcoming follow-up article about pondering. And so, after a month of engaging in my own recommendation I have decided that “a follow-up article” just won’t suffice for such a vast subject. It is going to have to be an on-going work for the rest of my life. Lots of articles. Maybe it will end up becoming a book. Who knows? We shall see.

You may remember that Leonard E. Read—the one who established The Foundation for Economic Education—was my friend and mentor. He led me to 61 years of passionate study of the Austrian School of Economic thought. Leonard wrote for busy people. You could read one of his articles in fifteen minutes or so—and “chew” its subject for a week. He would cause you to think! To ruminate!

Some months later a new book of his would appear. It would be a compilation of those articles that he had written over an arbitrary time frame, all of which followed a general theme.

Dr. Clarence B. Carson was my second mentor and special friend. I met him through The Foundation for Economic Education, also. He was a historian and wrote from an economic point of view. His book, The World in the Grip of an Idea made a profound effect on my life. It was first published serially—one chapter per month—in The Freeman, a monthly journal of FEE. I think it took a couple of years in this format to complete it. And then it became a hard cover book. I’ve read it at least four or five times.

This idea that Carson addresses has lots of common names, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Group Think, Democracy, etc. You name it. Maybe we could call it “Monkey see, Monkey do.” All of them have a common characteristic— “Top Down Thinking.” Within the animal world it is easily observed that there is a “pecking order.” One animal dominates the community in which it lives, and all the others just submit to the “leader.” Are we all that more advanced than the animals?

With this foundation of pondering and ruminating let’s get started with just one phenomenon that is vital to us in the financial world—the matter of “Fractional Reserve Banking.

Huesus Huerta de Soto on page 118 of his book, Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles writes “…that the nationalization money and the central bank’s regulation of the banking system and its laws governing it have been incapable of maintaining a stable financial system that avoids economic cycles and averts bank crises. Thus, we may conclude that the fractional-reserve banking system has failed as well, even though it is backed and protected by a central bank.”

What is not acknowledged here is the fact the fractional-reserve system is all one gigantic LIE! If such an activity is properly classified, then behavior changes. Why were there no challenges?

deSoto continued “… even though it is backed and protected by a central bank.” In the USA we call it The Federal Reserve Bank. THAT IS AN EVER-BIGGER LIE! It is not Federal. There is no reserve. It is not a bank. It is a cartel of deceptive banking people—and citizens do not have the courage to challenge them with truth!

This all reminds me of a story that Leonard Read told. “There was this man who was totally convinced that the prevailing explanation of our solar system was wrong. That the earth was the center of it all and that the sun and the moon orbited around it. The earth was revolving on an axis that rested on the back of a giant turtle.

Someone asked him ‘What is the giant turtle resting on?’ ‘An even bigger turtle.’ he replied.

“So, what is that turtle resting on?’ “An even bigger turtle than that—you see, it’s turtles all the way down!’”

And so, we have lies that are supported by even bigger lies.

If we change the word—turtles—to LIES, then the analogy is complete. My observation is that we live in a world of lies. This is particularly true of our financial world. On our website, www.infinitebanking.org, under the Resources Tab there is a recommended reading list. There are over 150 history books that support my belief.

Learning how to recognize a lie—and how to effectively challenge it—is a skill that we all need to accept as a lifetime work.

Ponder on! Ruminate! We will take up another lie next month.