Bio – Very Brief:
Richard Kotlarz has worked for over 20 years as a technician in the fields of engineering consulting, industrial testing and product design. He has combined this with a wide range of other life experience, including military service in Vietnam, work in human services, political activism, and the building of a deep-in-the-woods earth-sheltered homestead. His background, however, does not include significant professional experience or academic credentials in the area of economics. He has, rather, come to his interest and learning in the subject as a common citizen with a personal mission to understand and resolve the larger issues in the world around him. This has produced a unique approach to economics, as well as other subjects, which is rooted in intuition and common sense. It challenges the assumptions of both orthodox and “alternative” discourse from the outset. He is currently involved in efforts to distill the fruits of that quest in a number of outreach efforts, among them the making of a box-office movie that will lay bare the emperor-has-no-clothes heart of the perverse monetary principle which is consuming the world and all the life in it. To be sure, this is deep and unflinching in its look at all this implies, but it is not Armageddon mongering (though it does not dismiss dire perspectives). It is in the end a turning over of the question, so to speak, to reveal a breathtaking new vision on the other side.
Bio – Extended, with philosophical background (from intro to proposed book):
Nominally, this is a treatise about economics and money. In reality, it is a step in a very personal journey. I have no qualifying expertise or credentials in the subject. My resume “boasts” two college intro courses in economics, a marginal business of five years duration, virtually no financial estate, and bad credit. My foray into the subject began with only native intuition and a childlike delight in discovery. One who approaches the study of an established discipline from such an angle ingests over time the same points of knowledge as the on-track student, but his understanding is not necessarily ruled by the orthodox assumptions that are dictated by the gatekeepers of the craft. There is a native discernment developed whereby the founding “truths” of the discipline are not swallowed whole, but scrutinized as to whether they indeed are truths. This can make all the difference.
I am a quintessential baby boomer and child of my time, and this inquiry is an intensely idiosyncratic expression of that identity. I have always been a person of intense mental activity with a consuming interest in diverse aspects of life, and have tried to live that out in a ‘60’s-and-beyond personal quest. As one who kept faith with the spirit, though not the excesses, of the Cultural Revolution, I woke up one day wondering where everyone else went. By the early ‘90’s, living deep in the woods along the Canadian border, my head was exploding with acquired knowledge and experiences, but no answers; and certainly little inner peace. In fact the more I ruminated, the less I knew, and a profound burnout set in. Over a prolonged period, I tried to block out the din of head noise and immersed myself in the resolution of personal health problems, a simple backwoods lifestyle and metaphysical contemplation.
I began to experience a fascination with the realization that we live in a three-dimensional realm of consciousness, and that perhaps this was the point of departure that was being overlooked as the point of departure for my understanding. I began to draw triangles and constructs from triangles, and assign values and ideas to the legs and vertices. Being computer illiterate, and I imposed upon my stepson, who was studying computer graphics in college, to translate some of my thoughts into simple drawings. The process was unsatisfactory, so there arose the resolution to return to college to acquire the skills needed to translate inner thoughts into outer expressions. Accordingly I majored in Technical Illustration and Graphic Design, with a Model Building emphasis, and tried to integrate with my studies a personal agenda of learning more about economics and developing writing skills.
At one point in the education process, I wrote a term paper which was an attempt to distill the essence of this three-dimensional obsession (which hopefully will be expanded into a book in the not-to-distant future). For purposes of this discussion, the premise can be stated minimally as follows:
In the three-dimensional plane of consciousness which we inhabit, everything that exists objectively, subjectively or potentially can and must be described in terms of three-dimensional ideas, or Triune Concepts, to be properly understood.
We can picture the mental structure of Triune Concepts as being an equilateral triangle (or a mountain) having a base and an apex. The points at each end of the base represent the opposing poles of a Paradox. The apex represents the unifying point of Oneness, or Transcendence.
Paradox is the apparently self-contradictory polar nature of life.
Transcendence is the abiding point of consciousness which is beyond explanation, yet recognizes truth in Paradox, and represents a quantum step up from dualism to a holistic level of being. It perceives sublime oneness in diversity, divergence and contradiction. It is another name for wisdom.
Demagoguery is the splitting of the Paradox for non-Transcendent or non-analytical purposes.
It is not strictly necessary for the reader of this treatise to consciously absorb this “Triune Concepts” premise to understand the ideas delineated hereinafter. Just understand that the process taken to this degree of conscious definition did represent a unique (as far as I knew then) approach to knowledge, and that it constituted a conceptual architecture upon which the ideas in this book are built. It is the proverbial “method to my madness.” It is also, in my view, the key to cutting the Gordian knot on the impasse which currently binds up the “dismal science.”
So how is this relevant? The Economics 101 course opened with the assumptions of orthodox economic thought. In the light of my triune mindset, those assumptions and/or the subsequent thought processes appeared to be egregiously flawed. For example, we were taught that economics existed on two levels; i.e., that of “macro-economics” and “micro-economics,” each with its own set of rules, parameters and theories. Furthermore, we were told that the distinction between the two should never be confused. Nevertheless, the sequence of thought conveyed through the curriculum commenced to thoroughly muddle the distinction, and that same confusion is compounded in the public discourse.
One way this manifests is that contemporary economic “wisdom” tends to talk about the Federal economy as if it were a “business,” with concomitant issues such as “spending,” “budgets,” and “deficits.” We are scolded endlessly about how we must live within our “means,” as if those “means” were not the real potential of the tangible economy, but rather the abstract monetary credits pulled out of thin air and assigned artificially to it. The Federal economy is not a business! It is ideally the sovereign macro-economic regime in which businesses operate (notwithstanding the fact that it has effectively become a private business in the portfolio of an extra-national oligarchy due to the abdication by the government of its constitutional responsibility for money creation and regulation to the “Federal Reserve System”). What is more, “spending,” “budget” and “deficit” are microeconomic terms, and have no application whatsoever to macroeconomic parameters.
Macro and micro principles and language are commonly lumped together in inappropriate ways, most often by using micro-economic terms for macro-economic concepts. The evident effect is to obfuscate the money creation fraud that is taking place at the macro level.
If one approached the subject with a consciousness that is sufficiently grounded in triune reality, one would immediately recognize that the macro/micro dichotomy represents in actuality the poles of a paradox. It follows from that realization that the terms of the dialogue need to be properly defined, matched and contrasted in juxtaposition to the that fact. From there the whole discussion unfolds quite naturally in a concise and orderly manner that hardly even resembles current normal science or the popular econo-speak. Among other logical conclusions, one eventually awakens to the reality that the so-called “Federal debt” is a contradiction in terms, and a readily dispelled fiscal bogeyman.
This is just a glimpse into the nature of problem. If it seems confusing now, the subject will be expanded in a methodical step-by-step manner further on. Suffice it to say that the fatal defect in the current economic dialogue is not primarily any dullness of mind, paucity of effort, or lack of good faith brought to bear on the issues. The problem is, rather, the largely fallacious assumptions which undergird the discipline, the mis-definition, inadequate lexicon and faulty linking of terms of the dialogue, and the failure to generated sound and meaningful cultural imagery on the subject. All this is compounded by a demagogic thought process that systematically bifurcates economic issues into irreconcilable sides, rather than transcends them in a holistic triune-dimensional vision.
Before proceeding further, some acknowledgements are in order. In an essential sense, the procession of history is woven around the thread of economic history, with a special emphasis on its monetary aspect. This truth is almost totally overlooked in a cultural mythology dominated by the gaudier narrations of wars, rulers and empires. Even histories of social evolution don’t quite pick it up. Fortunately, there has been a thin line of scholars, thinkers, churchmen and activists which have kept the dim torch of that knowledge tenuously burning and relayed through the years. It is apropos to acknowledge several who have been instrumental in my awakening. The first is Alexander Del Mar (1836-1926), who is considered by many to be the greatest monetary historian of all time. He was the organizer and director of the US Bureau of statistics, and an actual participant in some of the monetary intrigue of his time. Modern monetary science would be relatively adrift absent his contribution.
Two others are Carl H. Wilken and Charles Walters. Wilken (now deceased), a farmer from Iowa, was regarded as a founder of and the principle advocate for raw materials economics. For a decade, he, along with a handful of close associates, gave more testimony to various Congressional committees than all other non-governmental witnesses combined, and were largely responsible for establishing the principle of structural price parity for raw material and industrial production as the foundation for the economy and the effective backing for the dollar, which in turned was the now unacknowledged factor in pulling the United States out of the Depression, financing WWII, and providing the impetus for post-war recovery. Walters is an economist, journalist, past president of the National Organization for Raw Materials, the founder and editor emeritus for the newspaper Acres USA, the Voice of Eco-Agriculture, and the author of several books. Among other things, he is the chronicler of the legacy of Wilken and associates. His publications of 30 plus years have been a critical doorway into my personal awakening to the subject of economics and monetary science.
Finally I would acknowledge contemporary monetary historian Steven Zarlenga. He and I were for a brief period of time in long-distance contact at the beginning of our respective quests, and exchanged nascent thoughts and research materials. Since then he has gone on to great heights of scholarship, and the authorship of an epic volume which I deem to be the definitive work on the monetary issue for our time. In contrast, my path led through political activism and the distracting vicissitudes of an unsettled personal life. Still, I would aspire to construct some meaningful body of thought upon his scholarly foundation in the by and by.
I have come to realize that we all owe a debt on the monetary question to a long line of public figures from our historical past. This is often quite apart from the virtues, crimes and exploits commonly attributed to them. In fact, it may not be too much to say that their monetary insight and dedication at providential times has made the whole difference in the preservation of this nation. This will be explored in the book as the story unfolds.
I would express appreciation for sources in holy writ, as well as philosophical and metaphysical literature, which have provided orientation, inspiration and manna for the mind and spirit through some trying and formative times. These include, but are not limited to; the Bible, Eastern religious traditions, aboriginal American spirituality, anthropologist Carlos Castaneda, American seer Edgar Cayce, German scholar, philosopher and spiritual scientist Rudolph Steiner, and American transcendentalists Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Finally, I would acknowledge a debt to every farmer who lovingly tills the soil, every workman who earnestly crafts his vision, every vocalist who passionately sings his song, every artist who captures the elixir of beauty, every child who evokes a smile that lightens the day to gladness, every broken-hearted soul who holds fast to the will to persevere, and every of the countless unheralded others who keep the world turning on its axis. The burden that has been heaped upon the daily lives and dreams of ordinary folk by economic mendacity is of unimaginably crushing magnitude, yet there is an indomitable spirit in humanity that stubbornly refuses to be overcome. A sea of blood cries from the ground on this matter, and it is time that it be met with an answer.
Charles Dickens opened his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with perhaps the most famous of all literary curtain risers (after “In the beginning,” that is), i.e. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, . . .” He was referring specifically to the nascent-industrial England of 1775, but the same could have been said more or less of any place or epoch. Indeed, civilization of the modern era has stretched this dichotomy to the uttermost.
We live in a cornucopia of exfoliating progress, possibilities and richness that fairly beggars the imagination. In the last short century or two mankind has plumbed the depths, spanned the heavens, opened the floodgates of material production, developed vast technological capabilities, shrunk the world into a global village, exploded the boundaries of artistic expression, enacted sweeping social and political reforms, unlocked the atom, mastered incredible techniques for healing, and approached the mysteries of the creation of life. Yet, for all of that, it may be fairly asked if we are not approaching the brink of the incomprehensible suicide of civilization, or even the destruction of earth itself, through one or a number of many possible avenues, be it the spontaneous unraveling of the ecosystem, the overwhelming of the last barriers to infectious pandemics, the revitalization of class, ethnic, racial or religious intolerance, the grinding exigencies of agricultural, industrial and service labor, snowballing monetary indebtedness, the ever more maddening pace and dehumanization of modern life, the exhaustion of material resources, the collateral consequences of an imperialist New-World-Order hegemony, nuclear holocaust, or spiritual degeneration.
What are we to think of this impossibly contradictory state of affairs? The meaning, in my view, is that mankind has evolved to the breaking point of the paradoxical nature of existence in this three-dimensional realm of consciousness. The juxtaposed “best” and “worst” of times are in actuality not contradictions, but rather an expression of the poles of the overarching paradox. It has been humankind’s wont through the ages to deal dualistically with his dilemmas by dividing them; by pitting one side against the other; by demagoging the issue. The time of reckoning has come where, upon pain of annihilation, that is no longer an option. Our only freedom is to transcend our problems to a wholistic and fully three-dimensional consciousness.
There is a phenomenon in chemistry known as a “super-saturated solution.” This is a state in which salt is dissolved in a solution at a concentration which is greater than 100% of what it can theoretically hold, yet it remains dissolved. This occurs because there is no grain of salt in the solution to form a There is a phenomenon in chemistry known as a “super-saturated solution.” This is a state in which salt is dissolved in a solution at a concentration which is greater than 100% of what it can theoretically hold, yet it remains dissolved. This occurs because there is no grain of salt in the solution to form a pattern to organize its precipitation. If even the tiniest grain of true form is added in, like magic the excess salt in the solution begins spontaneously to precipitate into a crystal which replicates and amplifies the pattern contained in the initial seed grain.pattern to organize its precipitation. If even the tiniest grain of true form is added in, like magic the excess salt in the solution begins spontaneously to precipitate into a crystal which replicates and amplifies the pattern contained in the initial seed grain.
The state of the macro-political climate at present is analogous. The energy in the hopes, fears, debates, activism, anxieties, heroics, seeking and prayers of the People around the world about the present state of affairs constitutes a mighty socio/economic/political super-saturated immersion. There is a pervasive angst-ridden existential searching out there about having to find a new and better way. Many issues are raised, some which venture tantalizingly close to the next core truth, but we remain yet at a collective loss as to what precisely the problem is, and what exactly can be done about it. If the seed crystal of a true awakening can be sown into the public consciousness, what would precipitate out would be breathtaking. This is no mere metaphor, but a principle of real power and change.
To contribute to the discovery and formulation of that seed grain is the precise purpose of my personal quest. Accordingly, I have established a process, “A New Seed Dialogue,” to facilitate the pursuit of that goal. It is an attempt to seek a fresh perspective on the issues of our times by challenging the assumptions, terms and images of the common debate, and establishing an open-ended worldview outside of it. The reader is invited to participate. The nature of the seed grain is triune, and encompasses many areas of inquiry.
It is the hubris of our times that we fancy ourselves modern sophisticates who think “outside the box.” This is a culture-wide presumption that intellects of all stripes, hues and abilities are heir to, whether of “conservative,” “liberal,” “alternative,” “hardnosed realistic,” “airy-fairy spiritual,” or whatever bent. It includes alike the rankest amateur, as well as the most venerated expert. I would argue that in critical ways “the box” has never been more hermetically sealed than it is now. The reason is that we are not sufficiently reckoning with our own enculturation and participation in our civilization’s mental stumbling blocks. I say this, not with a critical eye to any particular other person, group or point of view, but as commentary on the besetting state of humanity at present. It behooves all of us (no exceptions), then, to reexamine our own most basic and heartfelt assumptions “to the joint and marrow” in any matter we take on. I daresay the process will be challenging to all persons and persuasions, and it will require heroic intellectual honesty, moral courage and letting go of ego attachment. It will no doubt provoke occasion for much consternation, yet it is the acerbic cup we are obliged to imbibe if we are to persist as a race.
To state the crux of the matter more specifically, we as a people have not come to a realization of the true nature of money; the proliferation of financial sophistication of all stripes notwithstanding. Money is like the wind. It blows through our lives and we feel the buffeting therefrom, but know not whence it comes, nor whither it goes. We put up our sail in whatever niche to catch its currents to power our craft, but it is become an ill wind, and we know not where it is taking us; whether individually, or as a civilization. Human evolution has reached a reckoning where we must at last answer the simple, stark question – “What is Money?”
From the enigmatic wisdom of Don Juan Matus, as related by Carlos Castaneda, comes; “For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.” This is a path with heart. You are invited for the journey.