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The WMail Newsletter Essays
Volume III - Issue #19: January 2002

"Virtual Tea Party"

        Thorstein Veblen documented 'Conspicuous Consumption' a hundred years ago, and for the most part, that is still what drives the U.S. (think: modern or Western) economy. You don't need a new car, nor a TV set another six inches bigger than the last one, nor the newest, latest sports equipment – but if you don't put all that stuff on your charge card, then the economy will collapse. The current economy is built on the principle of 'Virtual Money'.

        Before America existed, men would learn a trade by apprenticing themselves to a member of a guild, working for next to nothing while in training, eventually fulfilling the contract and becoming a journeyman or an independent businessman, and eventually making deals with apprentices of their own, and so on. A similar procedure was the indentured servant, who would receive passage to the New World, to be paid off by certain work for a finite time, after which they would have fulfilled the contract and become free and independent persons.

        The Oligarchy entices you all with goods and services that you do not need, and you agree to pay as much as 25% interest per year on ephemeral pleasures and goods designed to break right after the warranty expires. You are indebted to the Oligarchy, held in absolute thrall to them in no different fashion than the indentured servant of two hundred years ago. Except there is no end to the modern 'contract'.
        (Everybody whose charge cards all have a zero balance this month, raise your hands. I thought so...)
        Nothing much has changed in 200 years, except the invention of the plastic credit card to take care of the accounting.

        The money that you owe on your personal credit cards keeps you under the thumb of the Oligarchy. If some bad thing occurs and your credit card accounts are closed, you will be very upset because you are no longer a member of the Consumer Class. (The poor imitate the Virtual Money Game, loan sharks take advantage, and Organized Crime often profits instead of the Oligarchy – same game, different fiefdom!)

        The problem is that the Oligarchy keeps raising the ante, so that consumer debt is presently $1.6 trillion [Oct 2001 G19 Report], which is UP 37% since 1996! Do the math: the Oligarchy will reap a minimum of $250 billion dollars this year because you are trained very well to live outside your income. This is $850 per year from every man, woman, and child in America, or more to the point: $1700 for every worker – a hidden tax that you hand over to the Oligarchy merely because they want it. [On top of your share of the National Debt, which is $20,700; the interest on the total $5.9 TRILLION figure is paid to the Oligarchy!]
        No actual value is produced from this arrangement, no labor activity occurs, but the Oligarchy – the proverbial 'company store' – reaps usurious profit, and nobody can stop the machinery.
        Want to know the truth in your case? Add up the little note on every year-end charge card bill – gas, credit, department store – plus your year-to-date mortgage interest and the year's interest on your car payments. Add it ALL up! You hand this amount over to the Oligarchy every year for the privilege of living on credit, for the fleeting use of Virtual Money.

*          *          *          *
        I do not figure that readers of WMail are yet large enough in number, nor committed enough to Objective Reason, to pull a John Galt and stop the Engine of The World, which function the concept of Virtual Money serves.
        But wouldn't it be cool if you were one of the Bostonians of 1773 who decided to protest British policies and dressed up as Native Americans [Mohawks] and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.
        But those of you who choose to participate in this proposed Virtual Tea Party will have stood up as those Colonists did, making a political statement as well as freeing your Selves from servitude to the Oligarchy.

        So here is how the Virtual Tea Party works: Very simply, pay off all credit cards forthwith, and cut all but one (the cheapest, for emergencies) to pieces. Pay down your mortgage, with double or triple payments. Do not buy a new (or used) car or other major appliance or fancy toy until you can pay cash for it.

        Who knows how many millions of Virtual Rebels it will take to participate thus to break the back of the Oligarchy, but even in small numbers, a Stand For Independence will have been taken, and you will be one of the Rebels, and you don't even have to dress up in feathers and red paint. BUT you will have bragging rights as a participant in the Virtual Tea Party, plus the money you save – and remove from the coffers of the Oligarchy – is yours to keep.

        Eliminating all Virtual Money from your personal and business finances will remove you – the person sitting in your chair, and your family and friends and co-workers who participate – from unending enslavement by the omni-powerful Oligarchy. And when this job is done, you will stand as a Free Individual.
        And the Free individual is duty bound to free others, to Empower. Pass it on...

        For as Dr. Martin Luther King jr said: "Until all are free, none are free."

[copyright 2002 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

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