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INSTEAD OF A BOOK.
 

AN INDISPENSABLE ACCIDENT.

[Liberty, June 28, 1884.]

The persistent way in which Greenbackers dodge argument on the money question is very tiresome to a reasoning mortal. Let an Anarchist give a Greenbacker his idea of a good currency in the issue of which no government has any part, and it is ten to one that he will answer: "Oh, that's not money. It isn't legal tender. Money is that thing which the supreme law of the land declares to be legal tender for debts in the country where that law is supreme."

Brick Pomeroy made such an answer to Stephen Pearl Andrews recently, and appeared to think that he had said something final. Now, in the first place, this definition is not correct, for that is money which performs the functions of money, no matter who issues it. But even if it were correct, of what earthly consequence could it be? Names are nothing. Who cares whether the Anarchistic currency be called money or something else? Would it make exchange easy? Would it make production active? Would it measure prices accurately? Would it distribute wealth honestly? Those are the questions to be asked concerning it; not whether it meets the arbitrary definition adopted by a given school. A system of finance capable of supplying a currency satisfying the above requirements is a solution of what is generally known as the money question; and Greenbackers may as well quit now as later trying to bind people to this fact by paltry quibbling with words.

But after thus rebuking Brick Pomeroy's evasion of Mr. Andrews, something needs to be said in amendment of Mr. Andrews's position as stated by him in an admirable article on "The Nature of Money," published in the New York Truth Seeker of March 8, 1884. Mr. Andrews divides the properties of money into essentials, incidentals, and accidentals. The essential properties of money, he says,—those in the absence of which it is not money whatever else it may have, and in the possession of which it is money whatever else it may lack,—are those of measuring mutual estimates in an exchange, recording a commercial transaction, and inspiring confidence in a promise which it makes. All other properties of money Mr. Andrews considers either incidental or accidental,

and among the accidental properties he mentions the