Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
Lew Rockwell.com
April 7, 2011

David Dees artworkLook up the phrase “a unique form of domestic terrorism” on a search engine and you will turn up a story about a man whom the US government is trying to cage from now until the time of his death.

And his crime? His unique form of terrorism? He minted silver and copper coins and sold them. In other words, he did what innumerable entrepreneurs from the beginning of time have done. He attempted to provide consumers with a store of value. No one was forced to buy. He met a market demand, and that’s it.

Whom did he hurt? No one. Unlike illegal drugs, which the government bans on grounds that it doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves, these silver coins did not endanger their users. They only gave people an option on what to do with their money. Did the proprietor attempt to claim that these were legal tender for monetary exchange? No, he sold them for what they are.

Could people use them for money? Yes, but people can use anything for money: shoes, shells, flash drives, or books. Whether something is money or not depends on the intentions behind the exchange. Do you acquire something to consume it? It is not money. Do you acquire something in order to trade it for something else? In that case, it takes on money-like properties.

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It is wholly understandable that people have doubts about the future of the paper dollar. Many people are seeking alternatives, in their own financial interest. What this proprietor did was provide something that turned out to be a possible alternative to the dollar. And for that, and that alone, he is being hounded and destroyed.

His name is Bernard von NotHaus and he is 67 years old. In the course of the proceedings, he was called every name imaginable. He was called a crook, a terrorist, a crank, and a crazy man. What he actually did, however, should be fully legal and encouraged in any nation, in all times and all places.

A nation that is confident about its money’s future would not fear currency competition. A nation with a dying money uses every possible means to crush the competition. That is precisely what is happening in the case of the so-called Liberty Dollar.

What’s striking here is that no one believes there is any reason to argue the point. It is obvious to his persecutors that he is a criminal. “He’s playing on a core idea of the radical right, that evil bankers in the Federal Reserve are ripping you off by controlling the money supply,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “He very much exists in the world of the anti-government patriot movement, whatever he may say. That’s who his customers are.”

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