Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Homer Orpheus Campbell and "Socialized Money"

The Current Observations blog recently featured the entire text of a 1933 bit of money crankery called Socialized Money, by Homer Orpheus Campbell.

The work is presented as "the evidence of a crime, displayed neatly for everyone to see." "If you ever wanted an inside look as to why things are the way they are, read on." It's probably not so bad as that, although the work is a bit hard to follow, so some varieties of misunderstanding are probably to be expected. Campbell, it seems to me, is sufficiently anti-Soviet, anti-Federal Reserve, individualist and explicitly pro-private property to satisfy the audience this was likely republished for.

What caught my eye was Campbell's use of
William Batchelder Greene's Mutual Banking, apparently through the 1927 Vanguard Press collection, Proudhon's Solution to the Social Problem, which included an edition of Mutual Banking nearly identical to the 1946 Modern Publishers (or 1975 Gordon Press) edition, along with Charles Dana's Proudhon's Bank of the People, and some material by P.-J. Proudhon himself. Campbell's solution varies considerably from that of Greene, being a state-bank scheme, but parts of it are clearly in the same tradition as Edward Kellogg's work, which Greene adapted to his own libertarian ends. There is a bit of tax crankery to go with the money crankery. Socialized Money was published the year after
A New Economic Principle: Introducing the Net Worth Tax, Having for Its Object the More Equal Distribution of Wealth and Incidentally the Democratizing of the Capitalistic System, and although Campbell's money appears to be tied to "net worth" in much the same way similar currencies have been tied to real estate or other capital, there is a rather obscure "deferred taxation" scheme included with which I think I'll wrestle a bit more before I venture to comment more fully.

Campbell appears to have written only three pamphets, the third being Our Unused Resource, published in Seattle in 1960, just a few years before his death.

Give this stuff a look.

1 comment:

Don Bangert said...

Thanks for the link. I wanted to drop you a note to let your readers know that the book has fourteen chapters in all. I had to interupt the posts because of a "glitch" with my scanner. When I get it fixed, I'll post the remaining chapters.