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22/October/2002

The benevolent ruler

Hugo Salinas Price

Mencius (or Meng Tze as he is known in China) was a Chinese philosopher who lived in the IV Century B.C. His master was a grandson of Confucius.

Mencius believed in the fundamental goodness of human beings. He gave as an example of that latent goodness, the case of a toddler who wanders close to a deep hole. “There is no one,” said Mencius, “who will not be quick to remove that child from danger and put him in a safe place. This is a demonstration of  the natural goodness of the human being.”

Mencius stressed the importance of furthering benevolence among humans. He said: “Let us imagine a mountain covered with a dense forest. In the quiet forest live all sorts of animals. Crystal clear brooks flow down the mountainside. For the villagers at the foot of the mountain, it is a delight to visit the mountain. If they begin felling trees and go on to deforest the mountain, it will become a harsh, dusty and bare rock; the bare mountain is the image of a society from which benevolence is absent.”

The plan to introduce silver by degrees into circulation in our country, Mexico, is a plan that puts the benevolence of our rulers to the test.

When the governed enjoy a silver currency, they have tranquility and peace guaranteed by the possession of money of enduring value. Each has his own future in his hands, as a result of the permanent value of silver: the center of gravity of each, is within himself; neither the individual, nor the country itself, is alienated from its center of gravity.

The silver coin is a reality, not an abstraction like paper (fiduciary) money that is irredeemable in metal, be it silver or gold. Mental illness is the failure of the mind to relate coherently to reality. When the money that a nation uses is nothing more than an abstraction, psychic illness spreads, the population loses its bearings and disorder prevails in all aspects of life. In a word: society becomes alienated.

The ideas that seduce mankind today are not benevolent. Real money of silver or gold is rejected because it implies benevolence on the part of the rulers, and today’s ideas are not benevolent, they are malevolent – “evil wishing”. The governed are not to be offered “tranquility and peace”, rather they are offered fraud and pillage. The attitude that prevails today amongst rulers and the intellectuals that cater to them, is that the governed are to be administered, in order to improve them. We are not accepted such as we are, rather there is a desire to see us made differently, to put us into a mold that they, the rulers, consider better.

All of us are aware of divorces, ever increasing in number. What is the reason for so many divorces? The reason is that couples do not want to accept each other as they are; each wants the other to be different and better than he is. There is a lack of benevolence, tolerance and forgiveness.

The constitutions of nations do not explicitly state this desire to improve the governed. Indeed, so far was this desire from the mind of the great Thomas Jefferson, that he coined those words in the Declaration of Independence, “that among these Rights, are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, today, the desire to improve the governed underlies all policy, and it is malevolent. 

An example of benevolence: a great king of Thailand, who was deeply loved by his people and whose memory is cherished even today among the Thai people, founded the city of Bangkok. His first decree was as follows: “First, I decree that all Thai people shall be happy, and Second, I decree that in Thailand there shall be no other money except gold coin.” What a simple thing is true greatness! (By the way, Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia, that was not colonized by Europeans)

Let us contrast this with the experience of the country neighboring Thailand, Cambodia, where the communists came to power possessed by the idea of radically changing everything. Their boss applied a program of “return to point zero”, that is to say, the uprooting and destruction of absolutely everything to do with the history, culture, economy and ideas of the Cambodians, in order to build upon a “clean slate” that perfect society, the pure uncontaminated Communist State. We all know of the monstrous killings carried out on Pol Pot’s orders, but perhaps we do not realize that he thought that by killing he was working to improve the Cambodians.

In order to place silver into circulation, little by little, we require first of all benevolence on the part of our rulers. They must love Mexico, and not harbor the wish to make of Mexicans what we are not and cannot be, nor desire to reduce us to the level of cattle, simple units subject to public administration, to total fiscal control, to massive indebtedness, to “globalization”, to junk currency. Unfortunately, to govern, today, means everything but to love Mexicans as they are and want to be. The result: an increasing divorce between rulers and governed.

We quote historian Jacob Burckhardt: “It is good to realize the irresistible might with which evil at times spreads over the world.” (“Force and Freedom”) 

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Hugo Salinas Price, World Riba Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2012.
Hugo Salinas Price, World Riba Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2012.
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