Tag Archives: Economics

Shamcher’s First Book: Distribute or Destroy

This English translation of Shamcher’s first book, Distribute or Destroy, was first released in 1936, after the success of the Norwegian version. Now republished in paperback and kindle, the book is an overview of the economic theories popular in the Depression, as the western world looked for answers to the dire economic problems. For more info go to the Book Website.

distribute or destroy kindle cover

DISTRIBUTE OR DESTROY

Experimental Economic Theories: An Energy Theory of Wealth, Technocracy, Social Credit, Stable Money and Barter Systems

by Shamcher Bryn Beorse (Brynjolf Bjorset)

Now, almost 100 years since some of these theories were first drafted, we can look with fresh eyes at the ideas that were emerging in those tumultuous times after the first World War.

Rapidly increasing production power, expanding industrial output and the revolution in electric power met both left- and right-wing political ideologies in an arena of war debt and post-war shock.

The Great Depression caused economists the world over to re-examine the economic cycles of the century past. New fermenting ideas were everywhere.

Combining the work of various “heretical” economists into one accessible volume, this book by Brynjolf Bjorset (aka Bryn Beorse) leads up to a tested Scandinavian economic experiment: Nordic Clearing, which was established during the Depression as a bridge to a new applied economy. Behind it was a radical overview dedicated to rethinking the nature of money, particularly in the climate after WWI.

When asked to outline the basic work of the best known new economists of the day who offered an assessment of the situation of poverty in the midst of plenty, Beorse produced Efter Oss Kommer Overfloden (After Us the Glut), his world economic survey (published by Aschehoug in Norway in 1934.) It was immediately translated into English, and released in Britain and the US as Distribute or Destroy, subtitled A Survey of the World’s Glut of Goods with a Description of Various Proposals and Practical Experiments for its Distribution.

This is the book that brought the young civil engineer, Brynjolf Bjorset, on to the world stage as a firebrand economic thinker who applied radical theories for the greater good.

ISBN: 978-0-9783485-6-4

Page Count: 170
Binding Type: Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Alpha Glyph Publications

Leave a comment

Filed under 1930-1940

The Future is (Still) Ours

Jim Dempsey added this inspired and thoughtful comment which I felt should be foregrounded here in the archives.

After reading this post I decided to purchase the book The Future is Ours.

It was extremely interesting and covered the banking system, money, inflation, deflation and basic stabilizing the economy but with a focus on allowing all citizens to have enough money/buying power as they needed to get by. This current economic crisis that began in 2008 is very relevant to the discussion in the book. It is clear that some of the solutions in the book are based on economic theories and are used to varying extent in our current economy. Likewise infrastructure spending is recommended as a mechanism to increase the money supply when excess capacity exists, but no money in the system to access this capacity. It is quite interesting because economics is about human energy or ability and the interaction between humans in the utilization of their energy or goods/services is the essense of economics.

In the quotes and theories section of the book Shamcher has questions and then answers them. One is: “How do most of us want it to be?” The answer is “Prosperous, adventurous, unrestricted, secure. We want opportunities for realizing our abilities and resources. We want free choice in every walk of life, no shortages in our stream of supplies, good and happy neighbors”

Economics is about people not money. Economic instability creates imbalance and can cause problems for all society. We need to work towards economic balance for all this will allow our minds to be free to explore more important areas of human existance.

The chapter quoted in this blog on clearing centres was of extreme interest to me. While Shamcher discusses inflation, deflation, deficits, surpluses, money supply, etc. and the associated solutions to a balanced system. The clearing system discussed above was interwoven into the discussion and its benefit of minimum inflationary impact on the money system was very interesting.

But more interesting was the idea of a mechanism for people/businesses to get credit for goods/services and use these to access others goods/services through a clearing system. I recognized this as a way to generate an economy and not being dependent on the money supply. How many communities are money poor but human energy rich and if these energies could be tapped through a clearing system described in this posting we could allow people/businesses to access the goods/services they require in exchange for their goods/services therebye rejuvenating the community and its economy.

Another quick thought is look at developing countries and specifically places like Afganistan or Iraq or any other country in distress. Many of the problems stem from lack of jobs which creates money to purchase the goods/services needed to survive. A bank where people could deposit goods/service credits and exchange with others for their requirements would create an economy from the human energy in these places. Likewise it would strengthen the community as they would be creating most of their needs internally.

Another interesting quote from Shamcher in the book is: “The scientific method can be used to explore the the atom, but let it be applied to human affairs and at once the pressure of …. party loyalty, of nationalism, or merely of established customs prevent the acceptance of valid conclusions. It is the full revelation of the spirit of science, and the fact that it envisages all of civilization and not merely useful gadgets that will bring us to the age of science. To call on present science for help is futile. To call on politicians, lawyers, clergymen, economists, is equally futile until they have learned, from science perhaps, the spirit and method of research.”

The interesting thing about this quote for me is that it suggests that we have to understand research the concept of critical thinking and looking at the facts and coming to a conclusion that makes sense.

The “Future is Ours” discusses the facts and issues trying to create understanding. There is so much that needs to happen in the world and the process of faciliating this is through researching and understanding topics and coming to balanced approachs that can be tested and adjusted helping stablize humanity.

Within the context of the above context I am currently interested in two areas of research and development:

1. The clearing bank model: I am interested in more information on this topic with the goal of fully understanding the various models available. I then plan to develop a framework for these type of bank(s) that could be used to start actual banks. I then hope to start a bank of this type and work with others to do the same. If anyone has further information on these types of banks from the past or current models please let me know.

2. The second area is the topic of research and development or the scientific model. More specifically this is an area I have been interested in a while in conjunction with some reading I have been doing of Harold Innis works on communication and media as well as some thoughts regarding frameworks for creating venues for dialogue on topics for those interested in researching and developing thoughts and projects in specific areas of human/planetary/universal interest.

Again I have a similiar idea of development of a framework for dialogue on topics through multiple medias that could help progress thought and development patterns influencing social/human development. The “spirit and method of research” Shamcher quotes aligned with the ideas regarding dialogue and information that have been percolating in my mind lately.

If anyone has any interest in either of these areas or ideas please feel free to contact me for further discussion. I have started writing on # 2 and plan on working on #1 in the near future, further information will be available somewhere on the internet as they progress. I can be reached at jim.dempsey@shaw.ca.

1 Comment

Filed under Economics, Energy, OTEC, Shamcher

Full Employment and Inflation

From the Appendix to Every Willing Hand, Shamcher’s book advocating full employment for all which is particularly relevant today.

A concluding word about inflation. If full employment were, as so often alleged, bound to generate inflation, amending the Employment Act to give it real teeth might have little point. But two recent developments have brought that gloomy thesis into the most serious question — first, the ample demonstration that inflation now tends to occur even without full employment, and second, the not unrelated shift of informed public opinion into favoring an incomes policy of some kind to help maintain price stability. Thus full employment need no longer carry such burdens as do not, properly speaking, belong to it.

More than that, however, it is here submitted that a program of guaranteed full employment along the lines suggested would not only not feed inflation but actually be the best cure for inflation. This is asserted for two reasons in combination. First, the ceilings on employment and on consumer spending that would be imposed under this approach would choke off upward demand spirals almost entirely. That is the built-in “mechanical” aspect. It would limit “demand pull” directly, as already emphasized, and indirectly it would also moderate the wage-demand side of the “cost push” by holding down the prices that make up the worker’s cost of living. Second, there is the psychological point that cannot be proved but that should appeal to common sense-a point that would arise from the very fact of the government’s readiness to commit itself in this unprecedented way. An agreement on the part of the government to assure a total market adequate for business prosperity, and to assure continuous full employment for labor, should be enough to persuade business and labor leaders to agree to abide by some reasonable set of price and wage guidelines.

Those who blame inflation on the incurable wickedness of Big Business or Big Labor or both often seem unaware of how far the behavior of both has been caused by the malfunctioning of our economy — its cyclical instability combined with secular weakness — the inevitability of which is precisely what needs to be denied. Once the government stood ready to assure continuously adequate total demand for products and for workers, (1) all businesses would have more chance to spread their overhead costs and hold prices down; (2) management in areas of administered pricing could logically give up planning for extra profits in boom times to cushion losses in future slumps; and (3) union leaders would feel less pressure to demand extreme hourly wage rates on the one hand, or annual pay guarantees on the other, to fortify their members against the return of unemployment.

To put this in context — as these words are being written, the country is deep in President Nixon’s economic Phase II. Whether this experiment with a Wage Board and a Price Commission will, be followed soon by selective permanent legal controls or by some other incomes policy is impossible to say. But what the government commitments proposed in this article would in any case contribute, when it comes to resolving the ultimate hard-core part of the “cost push” phenomenon, is to open the door as wide as possible to achieving essential results by voluntary cooperation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Shamcher

To SAM: Sufis, Economics

28 Dec 66
My dear Sufi Ahmed Murad Cheleby Baker Sam Lewis,

Thank you very much for letter. Yes, I know Cecil Gibbings, he must be 84 by now and still going strong. He is first to be highly recommended for being a rector, a priest, a vicar in the English Church and a sufi, much appreciated and initiated in Murshid’s rank by Hazrat Inayat.

What I am now going to say must not be repeated: As with so many, these initiations and his strenuous life and fine intentions have gone to his head so he has found time to denounce and damn a lot of innocents such as both Maheboob, Ali Khan, Musharaff and Vilayat, who all, whatever they have done or not done, benefit nobody by becoming victims of damnations. Many apparent prophets have indulged in damnations. The best that can be said about it is that it is superfluous, a waste of sound, a waste of thought forms, a waste of breath. Also, he concocted on his own a sort of agenda for a “sufi order” in which Mrs. Duce’s Meher Baba outfit was the only USA sufi group worth mentioning in his view. I wrote him nicely and bleakly telling him about US Sufis without even mentioning Mrs. Duce or Meher Baba. We both know these two persons well, the dragon, and the dragon’s innocent victim. You should have seen me with Meher Baba! His four mighty bodyguards were ready to devour me. But Meher retained his composure. That is one thing at which he is good.

Yes, I am writing the White House regularly about Vietnam and Red China. Those who have the solution mostly say nothing. I talk for them, always beginning by praising the President and his utterings for they deserve praise. But here in the US we have the most exquisite men to do the job that needs be done — except that these men are not used. But I write again and again, more patient, more sweet each time, now pretending that some of these men may have been sent already (since they have disappeared from their homes) etc. etc. These are men who personally know the great figures — Mao tze Tung. Lin Piao, Liu Shao Chi, Ho Chih Minh. There is no communication, none whatever, except through already trusted friends — at this point. Officialdom is nonsense.

Social Credit–not a good name now. John F Kennedy was rising from ignorance to a good grasp of the main principles, until he uttered “The myth of the Federal Budget”. So true, but I asked Seymour Harris, his tutor and senior advisor to the Treasury if it wasn’t too blunt. “No no, just right! It had to be said.” US economists now are social crediters in the right sense as those Canadians (simple) in Alberta were years ago, but you do not now have to go to Canada to learn about what is now more developed here at home. Douglas, the creator of Social Credit was much of a Babbitt, too, fond of simple mathematical formulae which did not at all fit the complex economic structure (more advanced math may be used discernedly) and refused to go to Canada to see what was really then better than him, afraid he would be embarrassed. I still have a better overall view of economics of any country but less knowledge of details, than most. But if I am appointed anywhere I can collect, digest and use the details toward solution. It is a complicated instrument, not to be played with.

Shamcher

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1960-1970, 1966, Inayat Khan, Sam Lewis, Sufi

To SAM: Ali Khan, also Social Credit

What happened to Gavin? What happened to Gavin!
8 August 1966

My dear Sam S.A.M.

Yes, in my present financial condition I could finance three of the books you mention and I was planning to send a check along with this letter but more fair would be to just wait for your bill which may be slightly higher due
to taxes and postage etc. At first I had imagined you wished to sell me superfluous, used sufi books which I would have welcomed, but now we may achieve the Same by you loaning me the books you buy with my assistance when you have finished with them temporarily. At such time I could have them for two-three months, but we should agree first which books would be so disposed, since I already have a few.

Musharaff Khan, while here, laid open many movement points by statements to my wife or myself which have provided welcome opportunities for me to exchange letters with him about the Hazrat Inayat message in relation to the more ancient traditions of the East, Ali Khan and some of his idiosyncrasies, and Vilayat and his special mission, all of which must have caused considerable headache for good Musharaff but he had it coming and his answers have been rather desperate. Truth is, the senseless quarrels initiated by Ali Khan have kept highly important parts of Hazrat lnayat’s message frozen and unknown and now Musharaff, who is rather an innocent in these matters, has the beautiful but urgent chance of repairing Ali’s mistakes by embracing Vilayat — the best of their crew but not enough in himself. Well, we’ll see.

A new mureed here is Mr. Taylor recently of Alberta who confirmed my impression that Eberhart and Manning, Alberta Social Crediters, good, honest and astute men who had carried to great success, against tremendous odds, the weak but basically true id [sic] as of social credit. Douglas, its “inventor” and champion was not very clear or wise, and his “equations” were never accepted in Alberta, luckily, nor was he ever willing to go to Alberta and see the only practical application of his theories, though he was invited while I was in London with him.

Best of all, blessings granted and accepted

Shamcher Bryn Beorse

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1960-1970, 1966, Inayat Khan, Sam Lewis, Sufi

It’s Not Enough to Sit There

Should we talk about it at all? Or should we keep meditating upon the light? One sufi, the same Sam Lewis, said, “In order to be a masterful sufi, in order to become really a light, you have to go into the darkness and fight the darkness.” Its not enough to sit there and meditate upon the light and do all these things. Well, if you are concerned mainly with yourself and your progress, that’s all you can do. but if you understand the reality of the whole flowing universe, you are not satisfied with helping yourself, you must bring everybody with you. As it is said in the Buddhist scripture, before the Buddha can go up to heaven he had to have the whole humanity with him. Well this is sufism essentially. It has been expressed as a difference between sufism and yoga. That isn’t quite true anymore because the better yogis also have this view, you must have the whole humanity with you.

So a real yogi or a real sufi isn’t the least bit interested in doing phenomenal things. He is interested in bringing humanity forward – by delving into dirty economics, war-mongering, energy, food supplies.

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)

1 Comment

Filed under Energy, OTEC, Sam Lewis, Shamcher, Sufi

Letter to Governor Brown

BRYN BEORSE
2539 Durant # 3
Berkeley, CA 94704

2 April 1980

Dear Governor Brown,

You are quite right quitting the silly primaries but that doesn’t mean you won’t be president this time. You are the only candidate so far with a clear stand on nuclear. That alone may draw half the voters to you alone, if sufficiently strongly emphasized — in the last 4 weeks before the election. A man like Walter Cronkite or one like Jack Anderson, if they appeal to you and if they will, by stressing this fact in appropriate fashion on TV and in the press many times a day for 4 weeks is enough to turn half of the voters or more from any “winner” to you. More important: People who would not have voted will come out or the woodwork and vote.

I have tried to reach you through my friend Russell Schweickart. I don’t know if he has conveyed my messages.

I am a graduate from 67 countries’ sciences and idiocyncracies and have been able to reach any American audience, make it stand up and whizzle and scream in face to face with me, or making them phone or write by mass effect when I talk on radio or TV, more now at my age of 84 than before. Therefore I have delusions as to what the public likes and will do. Russell once said you would commit political suicide by following my advice. Wilson Clark, present on that occasion, said no, he thought I was right.

Another of your brilliant ideas was military draft for the over 50. In World war II I had to browbeat my way into the services at 44, finished up at 49, a better soldier and airman than when entered at 44, drafted and published the brilliant plan to kidnap Hitler, put him down in a Scot apple orchard and let talk to his heart’s desire to newsmen. The British Cabinet was enthused, but Franklin Roosevelt turned us down with: “No, the Germans must be beaten so they know it.” To which British general C.C. Fuller replied “The 56% of Germans who never voted for Hitler do not need that lesson. The rest cannot be taught and do not matter.” But Roosevelt was the boss. Apart from this , the British had a dogma: All people on critical missions must be under 35. They came to change that dogma right around. You are right that the over 50 (or over 40) should be drafted. And I can tell about that — and other viewpoints you may have.

I don’t think we can risk another four years with either Carter or Reagan. We need above all to start an energy policy now. We have 10 non-polluting, cheap, fast-to-build energy systems ready to go with no more research required. This is my specialty. I am an engineer, worked on OTEC (Open Cycle) since 1948, know the nine other ready systems too. We may chose one, six, all ten, whatever Carter has had all the chance to see, learn and act. He hasn’t understood.We may go down to chaos — pull the whole world with us. Except if you…

Thank you
Bryn

PS: The inflation is 70% energy-caused. My top economist friends: Dr. John H.G. Pierson, ret. UN Advisor, Harvard’s John Philip Wernette — Leon Keyserling — can handle all that.

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1975-1980, 1980, Energy, OTEC, Shamcher