tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Counterfeiting in America - The history of an american way to wealth

Counterfeiting in America - The history of an american way to... by Lynn Glaser
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Apr 01, 08

bookshelves: crime, history
Recommended for: criminally sane artisans
Read in January, 1980

After having just reviewed "The Beast of Jersey" & "The Man with the Candy" it's a relief to review a 'crime' bk that doesn't involve rape, torture, & murder. I had to add "history" to my bksheleves just so I cd ameliorate the 'crime' label here a bit - even though in my personal library my history bks are mostly shelved under "politics" - I don't have a history section.

Whether this is a particularly great bk on the subject of counterfeiting or not I can't say. It's the only one I've read. I certainly learned alot from it, I found it fascinating. Before I read this, I had no idea that money wasn't always as standardized as we know it today. There were monies produced by individual banks, it was easy to counterfeit & there was so much counterfeiting that there were whole bks to be consulted when receiving money to determine whether the money was really issued by a bank or not.

As a political/philosophical issue counterfeiting is of special importance. People criticize the money produced by the Federal Reserve Bank as being worthless b/c it's not backed by gold or anything else more valuable than POWER. As far as I'm concerned, money is money if & when it's accepted as tender - whether it's legal or not. If "Love 22" dollars (or whatever they're called) are accepted as money in resort towns filled w/ Deadhead shop workers then so be it. We accept what we accept as money b/c there's a large system backing it.

I had a rubber stamp made that claimed that what it was stamped on is money backed by rare ideas. Marcel Duchamp made a certificate to pay off a dentist. I had a rubber stamp made that reads COUNTERFEIT - esp to be stamped on money. The purpose? To call into question how we determine value. Wd I rather have the Duchamp certificate or the money that wd pay off a dentist? The Duchamp has more rare ideas behind it & that's what I value. Money I have little of, rare ideas I have plenty of. Am I poor? According to a documentary I watched recently about the Navaho, a Navaho is poor not when they lack material well-being but when they lack FAMILY.

In capitalist society money is valued above all else. People w/ no money & a huge quantity of rare ideas are garbage to the normal capitalist. Put on an expensive suit & rip off the masses & you're a god. &, as another rubber stamp I've had made reads, "When Money's God, Poor People are the Human Sacrifices". Counterfeiting may be a crime, but it can also be a useful tool for rearranging the power structures - & we can certainly use a change.
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