Denationalisation of Money

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Denationalisation of Money.qxd:Layout 1F. A. Hayek

1. The government monopoly of money must be abolished to stop recurring bouts of inflation and deflation.
2. Abolition is also the cure for the more deep-seated disease of the recurring waves of depression and unemployment attributed to ‘capitalism’.
3. The monopoly of money by government has relieved it of the need to keep its expenditure within its revenue.
4. Abolition of the monopoly of money would make it increasingly impossible for government to restrict the international movement of men, money and capital that safeguard the ability of dissidents to escape oppression.
5. These four defects – inflation, instability, undisciplined state expenditure, economic nationalism – have a common origin and a common cure: the replacement of the government monopoly of money by competition in currency supplied by private issuers who, to preserve public confidence, will limit the quantity of their paper issue and thus maintain its value. This is the ‘denationalisation of money’.
6. Money does not have to be ‘created’ legal tender by government: like law, language and morals it can emerge spontaneously. Such ‘private’ money has often been preferred to government money, but government has usually soon suppressed it.
7. So long as money is managed by government, a gold standard, despite its imperfections, is the only tolerably safe system; but it is better to take money completely out of the control of government.
8. In a world governed by pressures of organised interests, we cannot count on benevolence, intelligence or understanding, but only on sheer self-interest to give us the institutions we want. The insight and wisdom of Adam Smith stand today.
9. The proposal is not a minor technicality of finance but a crucial reform that may decide the fate of free civilisation.
10. The urgency of competition in currency requires to be demonstrated to the public by a Free Money Movement, comparable to the Free Trade Movement of the 19th century.

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