Books and documents:
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà, Brauli Tamarit Tamarit.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Magdalena Grau, Agustí Chalaux.
Part I. Towards a rational monetary system.
- Empiricism and «science».
- The monetary system: a metric system.
This Part I of our essay is to be placed within the discipline we call
mercologics, that is «the market science», and is dedicated
to the study of the monetary systems, with a will to attain the maximum
objectivization of this matter.
But monetary systems, as a social reality, not a natural one, and on
top of that totally invented by man, cannot be studied from a rigidly
mercologic viewpoint. It is necessary to broaden our outlook and to embrace
its evolution and its interrelation with the other multiple and complex
realities and human creations, if we are to attain a complete and global
understanding of the nature of the monetary systems.
For this reason, our scientific, objectivating approach to the monetary
systems, will necessarily be of an interdisciplinary kind, in the sense
that we shall resort to historical, ethnological, sociological... standards,
in order to attain a reconstruction of the birth, development, transformation
and social functions of these systems, besides the exclusively market ones.
1. Empiricism and «science».
The word science enjoys nowadays a great distinction, and, for
this reason, it is used quite often improperly. It seems that, just saying
that something is scientific justifies it.
But, besides that, science is a very extensive matter, it is a large
sack where a great multitude of things can be put. There are the formal
sciences and the empiric sciences, the experimental and the non-experimental
sciences, natural sciences and social sciences...
In the face of this custom, we support the principle of always defining
exactly the sort of knowledge which is under consideration every time.
We hope then to be forgiven for introducing some brief thoughts on the
different approaches to the reality that man is able to control.
In the first place there is the empiric or experiential knowledge,
sprung up directly from the actual experience of the object (whether it
is external or internal to the subject). It is an actual knowledge of the
actual things we try out, without any further work of the abstract sort:
in it the subject takes priority on the object, because he puts his whole
being in the experience, in such a way that the same object is tested,
and therefore known, in different ways by different people. There are,
besides, two sorts of empiric knowledge: the phenomenal one -that is, referred
to realities of physical appearance, tested through the senses- and the
noumenal one -that is, referred to metaphysical realities, tested in a
purely spiritual way-.
In the second place, there is logic: actually this is not knowledge,
as it is completely cut off from actual experience. Logic is rather an
instrument to work on knowledge, of a completely auxiliary character, limited
to supplying abstract structures and forms, void of actual contents, but
which may later be filled with any empiric information. Therefore logic
is neither objective -because it does not concern any actual object-, nor
subjective, because it does not depend on any given subject-. It is simply
Finally we have the empiric, phenomenal pro-experimental knowledge,
which includes two main phases: there is, in the first place, the application
of the logic instrumentation to the data of the empiric-phenomenal knowledge.
This is handled and processed according to logical operations, and goes
from being an actual knowledge to being a knowledge abstracted from actual
reality: it is no longer an odd and subjective experience, but the handling
of these experiences through abstract operations which can be repeated
by any subject. This implies a very important step towards objectivization,
as it allows to leave out the subject. In the second phase, however, it
is attempted to compare the knowledge abstracted from reality with reality
itself: it is the pro-experimental phase. The more exact and complete this
experimental test, the higher will be the degree of objectivity of the
knowledge finally attained (even if it will never be possible to reach
a 100% objectivization). The most objectivizing test is what we shall call
experimentation, and consists of creating, in a voluntary and controlled
way, the conditions in which experience will be able to demonstrate the
validity of the hypothetic statements which we have obtained from reality
in the previous phase. But this is not always possible, and often it is
necessary to wait for these conditions to appear spontaneously in
reality itself; we shall then call this an experiment.
After this summary, we must add that we limit the use of the word science
to the following meaning, very exact and limited: science is «that
part of the phenomenal pro-experimental empiricism which consists of the
enunciation of laws implied in a given number of experimental tests, already
carried out». For an easier reasoning, however, in this essay we
shall use often the word science in its usual extensive and vague meaning;
in this case, we shall always put it between quotation marks.
Having come thus far, we may ask ourselves: within which of the types
of knowledge just described are to be put our musings on the monetary systems?
The answer: any consideration on mercologic matters in general, and monetary
matters in particular, may nowadays become empiric phenomenal, but it will
be difficult for it to find an exact experimental test, for lack of a suitable
metric system of the elementary phenomena under consideration.
As far as the less specifically mercologic aspects are concerned, more
of the sociologic kind (history, social functions... of the monetary systems),
it must be pointed out that these disciplines, in themselves, find great
difficulties to become experimental.
2. The monetary system: a metric system.
All along our approach to the monetary systems we shall discover that
they are, basically, metric systems, perhaps the first ones invented by
man, about 10,000 years ago. Their market purpose is to measure the elementary
market phenomena, the changes in their main pervalency, their exchange
But on top of that they have, originally, another function of a great
social importance: they are, from a given moment, documentary systems,
through monetary instruments which leave a record of every elementary exchange
On finishing our trip through the history of the monetary systems, we
reach a basic conclusion: that the monetary systems of the last 4,000 years
have lost their main features previously pointed out: they have become
anti-metric and anti-documentary.
Because of the serious market and social consequences of this fact,
it is an urgent task to substitute the present monetary system through
one more rationally suited to what should be its specific function. Being
inspired by the primitive monetary systems, we shall suggest a modernization
to take advantage of the modern telematic technology: we shall define again
a very agile and feasible monetary system, for a rational management and
a metric-documentary knowledge, and therefore also pro-experimental, of