Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some thoughts about gold and the future of humankind

Some thoughts about gold and the future of humankind

By Sergio U. Dani (*)

What use is gold? Gold, as any rare substance, has a high trade value. Even though gold has no real intrinsic or absolute value, it can be traded for any thing, at elusive rates. Gold has no face value. Gold is no national currency; it is international currency. Gold is pirates’ preferred currency. Gold is war currency. No matter how dirty its origins it can always be melted and laundered into “pure gold”.

The increasing departure from the dollar standard in international transactions, the increasing adoption of other national currencies and the revival of the gold standard should not be seen as coincidental. Instead, the adoption of the gold standard should be viewed as a deliberate response of some astute world players against dollar devaluation and the rise of new, perhaps more competitive players.

International adoption of gold standard is likely to dwarf nations and their people, and to facilitate international crimes, wars, and the continuing domination of world wealth and peoples lives by just a handful of astute people.

This scheme constitutes no novelty in the context of wealth-building schemes of historical record. In the 16th century, Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro promised Atahualpa his freedom, in return to the Inca Empire gold and silver . It proved to be an empty promise; Atahualpa was killed just after 20 tonnes of gold and silver had been handed over to Pizarro and his men.

The human toll of gold looting or gold mining throughout history has been largely overlooked, even in our times (1). This has serious consequences, because we live in a global, highly finance-oriented society, in which human life is not as valuable as gold.

There is no such thing as “enough gold” for all. If world’s official gold holdings of some 36,000 tonnes were to be equally distributed to the total world population of some 6 billion people, each person would have a share of 6 grams of “pure gold”. What use is 6 grams of “pure gold”?

In spite of continuing mining, there will never be enough gold on Earth, so gold is for the rich, which most people aren’t. International gold prices are kept under control by a handful of rich or very rich people, the very same people who control or manipulate the fake investment markets. Therefore adopting the gold standard would be as worthless as investing in gold stock markets.

Yet some people, corporations and governments use gold to convey the illusion – or sentiment – they are stronger than they really are, better than their counterparts who do not have gold or the control thereof. Thus the ownership or control of gold stocks and their prices provide a psychological basis for the exertion of power; they convey the illusion or sentiment of strength, stability and power that can be used to shape social life and human history.

Perhaps these people are unaware that not much is left to be traded for gold in a world filled with poverty and collapsing life-bearing structures. In such a world, gold may have limited future as a commodity or a symbol of stability, power and strength. The ultimate or practical basis of strength, stability and power in hard times has always been – and will increasingly be – something that has life-bearing intrinsic value. I can’t think of anything other than climate, land, water and knowledge – I mean unpolluted air, farming land, drinking water and valuable scientific education, which are becoming increasingly rare, much rarer than gold, for that sake.

You cannot breath, eat or drink gold, yet the stupid, the corrupt and the weak – be that any person, family, community, nation, state, country, economic block whatsoever – will trade life-bearing, increasingly rare assets such as unpolluted air, fertile land, pure water, and even one’s own life for gold.

While stupidity is common because it is inborn with the human – hopefully even this inborn error can be treated by medicines such as good information, good education and good science – and weakness demands protection which is scarce, one might believe that gold is bound to be used by those handful of people who have it, or those handful of people who have control of it, to dominate the stupid, the corrupt and the weak.

It is thus irrefutable truth – realized by some astute investment bankers, corporate tycoons, politicians, military and by jurists hardly at all – that gold can be turned into a sophisticated instrument of domination. This situation is likely to persist, unless stupidity (not the stupid), corruption and weakness (not the weak) be eliminated from our planet, or until stupidity, corruption and weakness eliminate us from the planet (2).

Gold shines up as a sign of absolute value. But nothing else than human life should have absolute value in any human culture. Gold, the pirate’s preferred currency, the war currency, the currency of the rich, is bound to increase the gap between the rich and the poor. However in the long term, even the rich will be affected by the devastating effects of unequal distribution of wealth, because rich and poor share the same planet and the same future. Therefore more humane solutions have to be found. Maybe we could have a better lot if “life standards” were adopted instead of (or as) “gold standard”.


(*) Writing from Goettingen, Germany, on June 11th, 2009, for the AlertaParacatu.

(1) Recent examples of looted gold or gold gained in exchange of human lives include the holocaust gold and the Marcos gold (see “The September 11 Commission Report”, published by J.P. Heidner in:, the Congo gold (should there be any doubt, ask AngloGold Ashanti) and the Kinross/Blood Stained Gold (Blood Stained Gold, the DVD documentary, can be downloaded from The gold itself cannot be found in Paracatu; it is being sent regularly to Canada and other places in the world. Instead of gold, there is a huge tailings impoundment with thousands of tones of toxic arsenic left behind by Kinross Gold Corporation as a gift for the 90,000 people of Paracatu, to the plight of future generations.).

(2) For those who don’t believe in that stupidity and weakness can eliminate us, I recommend a look at the fossil records of our extinct ancestors in Africa and the conditions that made them disappear. I recommend the reading of one of Phillip Tobias’ articles: Tobias, PV. 1997. Evolution of brain size, morphological restructuring and longevity in early hominids. In “Principles of Neural Aging”, pp. 153-171, Elsevier Science, 1997, ISBN 0444823298.

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