Stephen David Mauldin
6 min readNov 15, 2020

“Zero Money”: First Principles Thinking About Monetary Value

Change the Money, Change the World (11)

Part 2 (B) — Free market forces vs crime against humanity

“Zero Money” contemplates the first principle of scarcity in money maintaining a self-correcting balance of market forces free from impositions of governance. Earlier, I have made the proposition: at the highest register of objective function, money as a unit of account tracks the nominal value of money in the medium utilized. At the register of money as a medium of exchange, is accounted the nominal value of prices of goods and services, which in turn determines wage rates. The nominal value of prices and wages fluctuate in accord the market forces that are infinitely complex, and so not within the knowledge of any individuals or parties or sitting national government, let alone a private business such as the Federal Central Bank. It entails a minimal to maximal amount of human hubris to impose any governance. That imposition assumes a knowledge superior to the power of natural market forces.

I have not only defined scarcity as an absolute subjective conception of monetary value, I assert that governance at the register of reflected subjectivity, of individuals, determines how well the absolute subjective conception of scarcity manifests value in objective reality. Scarcity is a first principle for monetary value, while governance of the monetary medium and its supply may display more or less allegiance to that principle. “Keynesian” economics abandons that principle, while proponents of the Austrian school uphold it as axiomatic. Simply put, governance is a choice between market forces and hubris.

The results of governance, of minimal to maximal hubris, can be judged by positive or negative outcomes. A subjective/objective idealistic ontology foundational to an idea of money, metaphorically described as “Zero Money”, supports a minimalist intervention, particularly by not violating the first principle of scarcity for maintaining value. This violation occurs by expanding the supply of the monetary medium. This is how degradation of value occurs, how much degradation depends on the degree of expansion of monetary supply from a baseline amount.

In the metaphor of “Zero Money” the principle of scarcity is illustrated by the set [[0]]. That same set theory symbolism represents Consciousness. The meaning of this is, that for consciousness-in-itself, a phenomenal idea is simultaneously an epiphenomenon in objective reality. A complete exposition of the set theory structure of the subjective/objective idealistic ontology to which I adhere was provided earlier:

In that discussion of set theory, I illustrated the manifestation of multiplicity “M” from absolute subjectivity, Consciousness, meaning all multiplicity in objective reality. The objective substantiation of value “V”, the governance of the subjective idea of scarcity, is a particular manifestation of multiplicity in objective reality:


When this new set V is placed as a new element in the set of absolute subjectivity containing the empty set, the result is [[V,[0]],[0]]. The result of governance of V is positive or negative to some degree. The set theory representation of Consciousness is [[{+1,…[0]},{-1,…[0]}],[0]],[0]]. For the absolute idea of scarcity manifested as true monetary value, I assert a theoretical position related to the Austrian school. Consequently, the +1 true outcomes are represented as those from Austrian Economics AE, and AE with all its subsets:

{+1,…[0]}={AE, …[0]}

So a disruptive new economic paradigm, in agreement to the Austrian school, is predicated on a truth relationship to the first principle of scarcity manifesting positive outcomes. In direct opposition to a new paradigm, are the -1 false outcomes of “Keynesian economics” KE, and KE with all its subsets:

{-1,…[0]}={KE, …[0]}

Again, from an earlier proposition: “nature is an absolute subjective reality that is qualitatively true, and furthermore … this unitary Consciousness manifests a potential for the objective reality of multiplicities”. The first principle of truth being that which is by nature timelessly true, in this case applies to the allegiance to value as an epiphenomenon of absolute scarcity. In following Badiou, the “event” of a disruption manifesting in the empty set, [0], of the “Keynesian paradigm”,{KE, …[0]}, becomes truly that “event” from a future anterior perspective. Varoufakis’ brave new world awaits a period of allegiance to the axiom of value supported by the Austrian school proponents and others who see the possibility of the actualization of that “event”. As anticipated, for later discussion, the “Event” in this case is the advent of a decentralized technological medium for monetary value. The period of allegiance is one of politics and protest.

The significant current question is: why has this systematic failure persisted such that it has become part of our economic culture. Is it not initially a decision of bad governance in abandoning the gold standard, first by issuing gold back currency in greater supply than was actually backed by gold, then compounding that debasement of the currency by decoupling the currency from gold altogether? Why has that worked since the Nixon administration imposed the fiat dollar on the world? Has it not only been possible through a hegemonic economic bullying of the world backed by military power, itself the major source of deficit spending?

At the root of this cultural edifice, the current economic paradigm, is simply the hubris of ignoring the free market perspective. This is essentially the abandonment of first principles thinking about value as an epiphenomenon of natural law — of absolute scarcity, to be best approximated in our choice of a monetary medium, and by exercising good governance. Basing the economy on the value of gold was a governance that supported sound money. It benefited the world economy with a stable unit of account, with the dollar as its reserve currency. But the peg to gold was violated, and world of true men and women has been sacrificed in abdicating monetary power to the United States. Absolute power corrupts, and the rest of the world now sees the result of relinquishing sovereignty over their own wealth.

In a free market perspective, each person or collective is free and independent in contributing to the economy, and to all the information relevant to the whole of society, even though nobody, and certainly no government, has full knowledge of all the information. Assuming an understanding of that full knowledge and imposing a monetary policy based on that supposedly stable situation, is simply an opportunity for greed, if not just an outcome of ignorance. Every time a government plan restricts or stimulates market exchange, ignorance is substituted for whatever is the actual state of affairs, or more likely its an opportunity for profit created by a criminal faction of the populace. The free market is the operation of the absolute subjectivity of nature, and thereby best approaches truth in monetary value, and so truth in prices and wages.

As to China, for example, controlling a monetary and fiscal policy was profitable for an elite cabal: abandoning natural manufacturing competition to determine prices and wages, and instead financing low cost imports from China, was an investment opportunity for banks and Wall Street. The only real loser was millions of American manufacturing workers, consumers for those lower price goods. With a loss in wages. those imports were relatively more expensive for displaced workers in the long run. The investors did well, however. A trade war for a supposedly unfair trade deficit is a deflection of blame to the Chinese. It is a political con-game. It offers no actual solution to the coming problems for restoring equitable prices and wages.

For over 80 years, mainstream “Keynesian” economists managing the Fed on behalf of its shareholders, in lockstep with politicians, have imposed government managed economies based on debt and credit manipulation. Growth through inflation has had endless cheerleaders in other private banks, and on Wall Street. Growth from stock prices only benefits those with means to be investors. However, also came debt, always dangerous inflation, and progressively deeper recessions from repeated increases in spending, mostly for the military industrial complex rather than for services directly to the rest of society. This spending has been funded by tax dollars, or debt accrued through “too big to fail” government legislated bank policies for the “lendable” portion of the peoples’ deposits — then, in desperation, by massive printing of fiat currency. This is a false substantiation of value, arguably a crime against humanity.

Change the Money (1) Preamble — Monetary value true by nature

Change the Money (5) Introduction (1) — Zero Money & First Principles

Change the Money (8) Part 1 (A) The technological solution

Change the Money (10) Part 2 (A) The Naming of the Beast

Change the Money (12) Part 3 Ending Inflation and embracing deflation

Stephen David Mauldin

DOB 1946 Retired Counseling Psychology M.S. Consciousness Studies — Interests: Citizen Diplomacy, Digital Currency