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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Sunday, January 08, 2006

More Greene, Mutual Banking Stuff, at Libertarian Labyrinth

At Libertarian Labyrinth, Shawn Wilbur has traced the influences behind the 18th century Massachusetts Land Bank back another century. He links to William Potter's 1650 pamphet, A Key of Wealth, or a New Way for Improving of Trade, lawfull, easie, safe, and effectuall: shewing how a few tradesmen agreeing together may (borrow wherewith to) double their stocks ... without ... paying any interest ... in such sort as both they and all others ... who are in a way of trading, may ... multiply their returnes ... and so, as the same shall tend much to ... inrich the people of this land. And that's only an abridged version of the title, which is actually over a page long.

He links to Edwin R. A. Seligman's mention of it in "Curiosities of Early Economic Literature":

This particular volume is of additional interest because we know that a copy—perhaps the same copy that is here exhibited to you—was brought to the American Colonies and gave the impulse to the first and short-lived banking experiment in Massachusetts, in 1681.

Andrew McFarland Davis, in chapter one of Currency and Banking in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, likewise traces an obscure 1681 land bank experiment at least in part to Potter's inspiration.

Meanwhile, the Greene editing project continues apace. $25 to Shawn's PayPal account gets you on the preorder list for

the Mutual Banking, PT. 1 volume of the Blazing Star Library. This latter will be a hand-bound hardcover book, containing Equality (1849), Mutual Banking (1850), and Mutual Banking (1870), a bibliographic essay, some additional notes from the Fragments (1875), and probably a few other odds and ends.

More volumes are also in the planning stages:

A second volume will include the parallel edition, a new critical aggragate edition, material by Proudhon, William Beck and Edward Kellogg, and, hopefully, the Palladium articles, together with more interpretive material from me. A third volume will collect as much of the debate surrounding Greene's banking works as I can assemble.

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