By Way of Introduction
Socialist economy requires Socialist finance; never pour new wine into old wine bottles. The lessons of the previous century, including the gradual market reforms and downfalls of Socialist regimes, have demonstrated the justification for a proper form of Socialist Monetary Policy (SMP) to compliment existing Socialist economic policies. The international financial system of Liberal Capitalism has grown increasingly volatile since the death of Bretton Woods and the rise of Fiat Currencies. The Gold Standard, like the Silver Standard in the late 19th century, has proven itself to be too inflexible and incapable of adjusting to changes in overall economic conditions. This fact alone contributed to the rise of “Monetarism,” “Supply-Side Economics,” “Derivatives,” “Cryptocurrencies” and the more recent “Modern Monetary Theory” as Liberal Capitalist attempts to fill in the financial void since the 1970s.
The Value of all Currencies around the world still remains at the mercy of financial markets and commercial banks that decide their Price according to the Incentives of Supply and Demand. This set of arrangements have not bode well for past Socialist nation-states, where they have been forced to enact market reforms that eventually brought about their demises towards the end of the 20th century. Even the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the other powerful Socialist nation-state besides the former Soviet Union, had to make compromises with its Currency, the Renminbi. Although Socialism continues to be advocated in the West and maintained in various parts of the developing world and former Eastern Bloc countries, the lessons of those years have yet to be studied with financial insight from a Socialistic worldview in mind.
For Liberal Capitalist regimes and the Western world in particular, the current financial and monetary policies have proven to be unsustainable to the point of being ridiculous. Capital has grown so abstract that it is now possible to speak of a separate economy all unto itself and is virtually unaffected by the realities of actual national economies. It has also become so easy to create in absurd quantities that all the problems of Inflation and rampant Depreciation have not been properly addressed in regards to the growing Sovereign Debts of whole nations. Today, all nations are becoming overburdened by an accumulating deluge of Debt. The effects of Debt, even in spite of attempts at renegotiation through refinancing, continue to impact whether the quality of life in any nation thrives or stagnates.
This fact alone has not prevented all sorts of people from advocating for a return to the Gold Standard and others to promote Modern Monetary Theory. The difference between both proposals are nil; they represent attempts to resurrect some aspect of Bretton Woods, refusing to address questions related to the accumulation of Debt and the US Dollar persisting as the World Reserve Currency. If there has never been enough Gold in existence to sustain the economies of the world in the 1970s, there will never be enough to sustain the world in the 21st century. Conversely, MMT continues to a naïve attempt to create Capital without realizing the importance of monetary policy and without knowing that there is far more to the concept of Currency than the ability to create it out of nothing. And at the same time, there are those who promote Cryptocurrencies without realizing that financial power has always been backed by the powers of the State. It also does not help that Cryptocurrencies still require excessive amounts of electricity and some form of access to the World Wide Web (WWW), the Internet used by billions of people around the world to ensure the existence of a digital Blockchain.
All of these proposals, in addition to never addressing the problems of Interest Rates, Debts and the abstractions of Capital, will never advocate for Currencies to be backed by the physical, mental and spiritual strength of the people who constitute the nation-state. None of them are willing to address the issues of Deindustrialization, Globalization, Climate Change, Automation, Demographics Decline and Economic Stagnation, especially where the issue of Currency is apparent and unavoidable. Continuing to operate within the Liberal Capitalist framework of finance is senseless for those interested in any form of Socialism.
Concept of The Work-Standard
It is because of the past fifty years of economic history that The Fourth Estate is proud to introduce the concept of the Work-Standard.
The Work-Standard marks the first serious attempt at proper conceptualization of a financial model to serve as SMP (Socialist Monetary Policy). It advocates for the Currency issued by a Socialist nation-state to be pegged to the Value of the Work exerted by the national economy. The Value of Work is affected by the productivity of the national economy in the production of goods and services. The greater the Work-Productivity and the fewer expenses there are as Work-Intensity, the more Money can be allowed into circulation by the Central Bank.
By stressing everyone in the nation-state to commit physical, mental and spiritual energy into a life-long Vocation as Economic Civil Servants of the State, they generate the Life-Energy required in the creation of “Work.” This “Work” is registered by the Central Bank and uses that information to convert it into Money. The Money can then be allocated by the State for the flourishing of the nation-state. The Price of the Money will always be affected by the Quality of the Work that ultimately enabled it to have any Value. Inferior Qualities of Work leads to Currency Depreciation and vice versa, requiring a disciplined work ethic and inherent social values.
The Work-Standard remains arguably the only Currency Standard to emphasize the need to realize “Economic Socialization” as opposed to “Economic Liberalization” in the financial realm and the economic realm. Economic Socialization is not just a fiscal or monetary policy; it is that and more.
Forays into Unrealized and Untapped Potential
While this may seem like a straightforward presentation of the Work-Standard, there is far more to the concept itself than what has been described. The details surrounding its intended functions and designs are multi-faceted, crossing into various fields and disciplines unrelated to the enacting of fiscal and monetary policies. Every aspect of the nation-state is affected by Money in some capacity or another and why certain forms of Work tend to contribute more than others. The great challenge is far more than a matter of providing the most accurate information through the most reliable technologies. There is an ontological factor that affects whether anyone, no matter who they are, will be able to realize their fullest potential.
It is more than just an organizational or governmental issue. It is an issue that affects the lives of everyone as they live their lives and do wonderful in the service of all for all. Everyone has their talents, their contributions, their talents, their aspirations. The need to ensure that everyone will be able to coordinate and cooperate through Economic Socialization remains an important area of interest for the Work-Standard.
Those interested in learning more about the Work-Standard and its ongoing conceptualization should consider consulting the SMP Compendium on The Fourth Estate. Although the SMP Compendium has yet to be completed, all of the basics behind the Work-Standard have already been laid out in enough detail.