At the Mises site, there is published an article by Hans Hoppe, entitled “Banking, Nation States, and International Politics: A Sociological Reconstruction of the Present Economic Order.” I focus on one section:
While it is in everyone's economic interest that there be only one universal money and only one unit of account, and man in his pursuit of wealth maximization will not stop until this goal is reached, it is contrary to such interest that there be only one bank or one monopolistic banking system. Rather, self-interest commands that every bank use the same universal money — gold — and that there then be no competition between different monies, but that free competition between banks and banking systems, all of which use gold, must exist.
While reading this, it struck me: there is a parallel to this and the medieval order – a period in history when law was relatively libertarian and governance was quite decentralized. I took a crack at capturing the parallel, with changes noted in red:
While it is in everyone's political interest that there be only one universal ethic and only one ethical yardstick, and man in his pursuit of liberty maximization will not stop until this goal is reached, it is contrary to such interest that there be only one king or one monopolistic state. Rather, self-interest commands that every king use the same universal ethic — natural law defended by the Church — and that there then be no competition between different ethics, but that free competition between kings and states, all of which use the Natural Law defended by the Church, must exist.
To summarize my modifications:
Economic = Political
Money = Ethic
Gold = Natural Law defended by the Church (the Universal Ethic)
Unit of Account = Ethical Yardstick
Wealth maximization = Liberty
Bank = King
Banking System = State
My modified paragraph describes quite well the medieval order. So it got me to thinking further…the context of Hoppe’s words is his description of the development of money in the market; this was driven by the desire for maximizing economic efficiency. In my modified paragraph, I find maximized liberty.
In neither case do we find perfection – either a perfectly efficient market or a perfect liberty. Nothing done by imperfect humans can be perfect. But in both cases we find maximum choice, maximum possibilities. In both cases we find examples of the maximum (economic efficiency / liberty) afforded to man on earth.
There is a story to be told here. Maybe someone has written it; if so, I welcome a link. In any case, I will think about this some more.