Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Such is the title of an immortal work by Charles Mackay, published 180 years ago – 1841 – in London, England.

We are in 2021, and the world is subject to a new “Madness of Crowds”. The present “Popular Delusion” of our world, in this 21st Century, is – without any doubt – its fascination with Bitcoin and its fellow “crypto-currencies”:

It is utterly useless to argue with those who are subject to the Delusion presented by Bitcoin et al. Bitcoin presents a Delusion that is impermeable to Reason.

A good part of our world, especially the “more-developed nations”, are under the spell of this delusion, thanks to the ubiquity of the Internet.

Bitcoin and its fellows, are truly technological wonders, no doubt about that.

I need not repeat all the great things said about the Bitcoin technology.

I accept their security, their confidentiality, their ubiquitous presence at any instant, wherever there is availability of Internet. All this is excellent.

That Bitcoin and its fellows are the greatest and most pervasive of all the Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds that have ever manifested themselves to humanity, arises from the fact that Bitcoin and its fellows do not relate to anything tangible, and at the same time, they are immediately accessible to the world through the Internet.

Bitcoin and its fellows are related, psychologically, to Witchcraft, which had a great following in past centuries. Whereas belief in Bitcoin is a positive hope for the safe possession of personal wealth and its magical growth, the belief in Witchcraft brings with it fear and loathing. But fundamentally, they are both “Popular Delusions” – Bitcoin instils hope of monetary safety and the desire for rapid growth of personal monetary fortune, and Witchcraft instils fear of evil spirits. Both Bitcoin and Witchcraft have no relation to personal merit or personal demerit; by which I mean that with Bitcoin, you can believe yourself wealthy, without having done a stroke of any productive work or created any productive idea. And by fear of Witchcraft, you can nurse a fear which has no ground in Reality.

In order to place Bitcoin and its fellows, in the context of “Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds“, I present the “Contents” part of the Index to the book I mention:

1. Money Mania – The Mississippi Scheme

2. The South Sea Bubble

3. The Tulipomania

4. The Alchemists

5. Modern Prophecies

6. Fortune-Telling

7. The Magnetizers

8. Influence of Politics and Religion on the Hair and the Beard

9. The Crusades

10. The Witch Mania

11. The Slow Poisoners

12. Haunted Houses

13. Popular Follies of Great Cities

14. Popular Admiration of Great Thieves

15. Duels and Ordeals

16. Relics

So now, in this 21st Century, humanity is subject to the greatest ever of the “Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds” registered over the past thousands of years.

Technically, Bitcoin and its fellows are marvels of technology. But as far as humanity is concerned, they are nothing more than Delusions accepted by the Madness of Crowds.

Bitcoin and its fellows have granted a monetary value to the possession of these electronic digits – because that possession protects the owner of a Bitcoin, or of a tiny part of one Bitcoin, from theft.

OK: So a Bitcoin worth say – $50,000 US Dollars – is yours, only yours and cannot be stolen from you. And your Bitcoin may be worth even more, much more, in the near future. What’s to object about that?

The BIG QUESTION, which is never mentioned at all, is “What is the worth of what the Bitcoin is worth?”

Let us say that Bitcoin is quoted at $50,000 US Dollars. A big deal, you say.

I demand a clarification: “Define a US Dollar, or any other currency in existence in the world today.”

The correct reply would be: “A US Dollar is an electronic digit, created in the US, by an institution called the “Federal Reserve Bank of the US of A.”

All other currencies are created in the same way, by the Central Banks of their respective countries.

All “money” in the World today, is nothing more than electronic digits!

L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz” describes a scene in his book, where Dorothy and her companions, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, are spectators of an impressive scene at a theatre in the Emerald City of Oz, when suddenly Dorothy’s pet dog, Toto, pulls aside a curtain which hides the Great Magician, who is pulling ropes and wires to present a frightful scene to the newcomers to Oz. Toto reveals it was all a FRAUD!

I attribute value to a good cup of coffee, to a good lunch, to fine clothes and ten thousand other things. But I just can’t bring myself to value an ELECTRONIC DIGIT, whose value does not relate to something tangible at all. Nor does the fact that millions of others DO value an electronic digit and are willing to part with Dollars (themselves only electronic digits) inspire any desire at all, on my part, to “own” such an impertinence as a Digital Bitcoin.

And – Pray tell! – what happens to the thousands of Dollars which a Bitcoin is supposed to be worth, the day that the Federal Reserve goes “Belly-up” and ceases to exist? And further, when the Dollar collapses, as it most certainly will, all other currencies in the world denominated in Bitcoin will be worth exactly NOTHING, as the Dollar is the currency that underpins all other currencies – The Russian Ruble and the Chinese Yuan perhaps excepted.

Someday, a book will be published, on the subject of “The Greatest Popular Delusion and the Madness of Crowds Who Believed in the Bitcoin Myth.”

Written by Hugo Salinas Price for In This Age of Plenty ~ August 24, 2021

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About admin

Please allow me to introduce myself; I am Jeffrey Bennett, President of Kettle Moraine, Ltd., the parent of Sierra Madre Precious Metals. I have been married for 52 years with two children and four grand-children, a veteran of Viet Nam, student of history (both American and film), and was host for fifteen years of Perspectives on America on the alternative airwaves, covering such subjects as, health and wellness, news, political satire, education and editorial commentary on current events through the teaching of history, and Protecting Your Wealth. In early 2018, I took a several month hiatus to complete some family business but returned to airwaves April 17, 2018). At the age of ten, I sat in a bank-vault in the Citizens Bank of Mukwanago, Wisconsin with my grandfather going through bags of old American Peace dollars, hand-selecting each coin as dated rolls of 20 coins were carefully put together and rolled. Learning of the history of these beautiful pieces of Americana, I asked my grand-father, "Why are we doing this?" to which he replied, "Because someday they are going to do the same thing with the silver in our money that, that (S.O.B.) Roosevelt did with gold in 1933." It took only six-years for his prediction to come to pass at the hands of a disciple of Roosevelt's... and what will a Federal Reserve 'dollar' purchase today - and what will that old 90% Silver Peace Dollar purchase? Although at the age of ten, there was little understanding of the meaning of it all, over the next half-century I became well-versed on the subject matter. During this summer of my education, I began to purchase silver coins as a collector and some small, international gold coins two years later - not an easy feat in the shadow of the Roosevelt confiscatory policies of 1933. Although those policies remained in effect until the mid-1970's, it was not until 1991 that I found that one could make a living providing precious metals and collectible, historic numismatic coins to a willing and concerned clientele. It was also during that year, that I began a relationship with one of the first Trust companies to give the public access to gold and silver as part of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) - and Kettle Moraine, Ltd., founded in 1995, but have ceased providing service due the the intense change-over of the provider. In November 2011, after a 15 month broadcast on another network, I returned to the airwaves with my then revamped program, Life, Liberty & All That Jazz, and for over a quarter-century, I have been proud to serve the family of listeners of my numerous broadcast programs for physically-held precious metals for investors and collectors alike. On March 23, 2020 I launched my brand new - appropriately named program, The Edge of Darkness on the Republic Broadcasting Network, and thus continue to  remain available to our long time clients and their families. Ah yes - find out what "inter-generational" wealth provision has done for our clients over the past three decades. Don't buy the sizzle of that steak until you understand the cost! In other words, don't buy the bull being dispensed by the 'rare coin' pitchmen until you understand the full story. We, at Sierra Madre Precious Metals, will be proud to serve your needs.
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