The fact that this Austrian theory has been taught now for nearly a century and a half is an indication of how gullible economists are willing to accept a fantasy at odds with all historical records from everywhere in recorded world history.
To start with, silver and other metals are not at all of uniform quality. Counterfeiting is age-old, but individualist theories ignore the role of fraud - and hence, the need for public authority to prevent it. Wherever money is involved, fraud is omnipresent.
The West has no strong government checks to prevent a wealth-addicted oligarchy from emerging to make itself into a hereditary aristocracy.
By "democracy", Biden means oligarchy. And by "autocracy" he means any government strong enough to prevent a financial oligarchy from taking over government and society and imposing neoliberal rules - by force.
Today's neoliberal economic mainstream has created a fairy tale about civilization existing without any regulatory oversight or productive role for government, and without any need to levy taxes to provide basic social services such as public construction or even service in the military. There is no need to prevent fraud, or violent seizure of property - or the forfeiture of land tenure rights to creditors as a result of debts. But as Balzac noted, most great family fortunes have been the result of some great theft, lost in the mists of time and legitimized over the centuries, as if it were all natural.
That is what occurred in the West, in Rome. And we are still living in the aftermath. Throughout the West today, our legal system remains pro-creditor, not in favor of the indebted population at large. That is why personal debts, corporate debts, public debts and the international debts of Global South countries have mounted up to crisis conditions threatening to lock economies into a prolonged debt deflation and depression.
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