who don't want to consume it or in some way cause others to consume it. Gold is in process of consumption when it is in use as currency.
Mutual banking might or might not cause gold to lose its pre-eminence as the most thoroughly constituted value. If it should do so, then some other commodity more constantly demanded and uniformly supplied would take the place of gold as a standard of value. It certainly is unscientific to impart a factitious, monopoly value to a commodity in order to make its value steady.
Other things being equal, the rate of interest is inversely proportional to the residual increment of wealth, for the reason that a low rate of interest (except when offered to an already bankrupted people) makes business active, causes a more universal employment of labor, and thereby adds to productive capacity. The residual increment is less in the United Kingdom, where interest is low, than in the United States, where interest is high, because other things are not equal. But in either country this increment would be greater than it now is if the rate of interest were to fall.
If gold became as abundant as copper, legislation, if it chose, could maintain its value by decreeing that we should drink only from gold goblets. If the value were maintained, the volume of money would be greater on account of the abundance of gold. This increase of volume would lower the rate of interest.
A voluntary custom of selling preferentially for gold would not be a monopoly, but there is no such voluntary custom. Where cattle are used voluntarily as a medium of exchange, they are not a monopoly; but where there is a law that only cattle shall be so used, they are a monopoly.
It is not incumbent on Anarchists to show an analogy between a law to require the exclusive consumption of hand-made bricks and any law specifying that the word Dollar in a bond shall imply a certain quantity of gold. But they are bound and ready to show an analogy between the first-named law and any laws prohibiting or taxing the issue of notes, of whatever description, intended for circulation as currency. Governments force people to consume gold, in the sense that they give people no alternative but that of abandoning the use of money. When government swaps off gold for other commodities, it thereby consumes it in the economic sense. The United States government purchases its gold and silver. It can hardly be said, however, that it purchases silver in an open market, because, being obliged by law to buy so many millions each month, it thereby creates an artificial market.