Opium not as interesting as money for the parliament, even as…

pound-749763

Reading various Blue Books and the like, parliamentary reports. This one on the East India Company struck me as typical, though the clipped coins distraction is of course curious enough to make the distraction distracting. I recall that Jacques Derrida writes on clipped coins in his essay Given Time, and George Caffentzis has a fascinating book on Locke: Clipped Coins, Abused Words, Civil Government: John Locke’s Philosophy of Money, both of which repay reading in the light of this old evidence from 1832. A certain smuggler-trader called Davidson is giving evidence to the parliamentary committee.

The casual racism, that the committee was more interested in dollars and silver than the opium trade – which as Marx of course recalls, was a vicious and vengeful trade – and as carried on by what is called the Country Ships, or Country Trade, which means those private traders not in the employ of the East IndiaCompany but often doing the work of its servants or agents, its officers, who made their cut on such up-country ventures, from Clive on.

90% of the cargo cotton and opium.

The dollar is clipped

It does not thereby lose in value (since weight in silver still applies)

Holes in the coins – sometimes for stringing, but often they are punched and clipped (the idea is that you clip a bit of each of a dozen coins and melt the bits up into a new coin, or you punch out the middle, as circle or square, and use it as a smaller denomination coin). Eventually this clipping, and punching, practice defeats the denominations, and weight reasserts its interest.

Which all for me is interesting and if you think its ancient stuff, just look in your pocket and see – the British two pound is a punched coin, with gold rim, silver (alloy) middle, the Australian 50 cent piece is clipped on all sides, as is the Brit 20p and the Indian 5 paise, Danish 1, 2 and 5 krone have holes, the Thai Bhat reminiscent of the counter punched ones (and for a time was very useful in cigarette machines in England, a healthy killing made by arriving with pockets full of Bhat when travelling to pommie). Also various denominations of the yen, oh and I see the new British pound is a tribute to the clipped coin too – OK, look again at the pound pictured above, I call it, the contemporary British pound coin is in effect a silent tribute to the age-old bastard opium trade, in the memory of Walter Stevenson Davidson Esquire, giving evidence below:

 

Do you happen to know whether Advantage has been taken of the Removal of that Restriction from the Import of British Manufactures into China from India?

I have heard it stated to be so; I have understood that it has been done profitably.

What particular Species of Manufactures?

I really cannot enumerate them.

They have not been to any great Extent?

No, I think not; principally by the Officers of Ships. I should think not to an Extent sufficient much to attract the Attention of the great Houses in India.

What were the chief Articles consigned to you for Sale in China by your Constituents?

The chief Articles were Cotton and Opium; they formed, I think, upwards of Nine Tenths of my Consignments.

What were your Returns?

Besides the Supercargoes Bills on the Indian Government, when they drew, I remitted very largely in Sycee Silver, the Production of China, in Tutenag, and many other Articles.

Any in Dollars?

Sometimes in Dollars. We were occasionally compelled to remit in Dollars, owing to the Difficulty of smuggling the Sycee Silver; but never resorted to that Mode, I think, when we could obtain the Sycee Silver.

The Dollar in China is very much beaten and broken, is it not?

Constantly cut and clipped in all Directions; it almost ceases to be a Dollar when it has circulated in China; there it is weighed as Silver; all Payments are made by Weight.

Is the Dollar, in consequence of this beating and breaking, diminished in intrinsic Value in China?

The Moment the Dollar is clipped it cannot be said to diminish in Value, because it will be taken afterwards just for its Weight in Silver, although it be punched and clipped through and through.

 

(citation: ‘Affairs of the East India Company: Minutes of evidence, 25 June 1830’, in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 62, 1830 (London, [n.d.]), pp. 1156-1164. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/lords-jrnl/vol62/pp1156-1164 [accessed 28 March 2018].)

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MythGeographies – walking stuff

this came through today, and is interesting enough to recycle. I hope they will not mind, given a certain promotional tone, I suspect not. Dunno exactly how or why the connection came, but through the Marx Trot, and very welcome.

 

Dear John, welcome to Mythogeography (under its cover name).
We hope you will enjoy (and join in) the exchanges on MG FB.
If you want to understand the multiple ideas that keep mythogeography in motion, then please read this – http://www.triarchypress.net/mythogeogeography.html – and for more deep background have a look at this www.mythogeography.com . If walking is your thing – http://www.triarchypress.net/on-walking.html and http://www.triarchypress.net/walkings-new-movement.html And if you enjoy movies, for an extended exploration of mythogeography please watch the three parts of this, starting at – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdEYlYJpkl0&feature=related .

One of our recent projects is our counter-tourism initiative; the details are here – http://www.countertourism.net/

Best wishes,
Mytho, Crab Man, ‘Phil Smith’ and all at Mythogeography

www.mythogeography.com

Yale radio project latest

Just in:

“This week Ellen Carey talks about her beautiful and ground breaking work, and Rob Green articulates the downfall of the art economy and closing of his gallery while Jessica Backus from Artsy sees a global upswing in art sales and Zlatko Kopljar compares the artist relationship to the capitalist system as similiar to the Stockholm syndrome – where long term hostages start bonding with their captors and acting like them.

More artists and theorists are here talking about what they love, which is why I love doing this.

As always, the archive can be seen here and to hear it on itunes and download to your phone, click here,”

– the new additions are these on the list below. ​​

Jessica Backus
Ellen Carey
Thomas Dreher
Diana Shpungin
Rossella Emanuele
Zlatko Kopljar
Rob Greene
Davide Cantoni

Zurker the Zucker(berg) punch…

Still a lot to be worked out but OK, why not gamble on FB not even being here in 8 years (as reported in the SMH today) and join this other (maybe nicer) pyramid scheme social networking site. I’m happy enough to say my invite is from Stewart Home – so get in early enough and it might not fall over on you – link page here: http://www.zurker.co.uk/i-226925-yvgyvoykwn

read some more work

From Heather Morrison, some useful links:

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine searches over 30 million documents (most are free to download):
http://www.base-search.net/about/en/

If you don’t find a free copy, consider asking the author to make their work openly available through an open access archive. In my experience, authors appreciate hearing about this interest in their work.

There are more than 2,000 open access archives available – you can find a list here:
http://www.opendoar.org/

A large percentage of academic authors will have an institutional repository available. There are also a number of subject repositories, including PubMedCentral, arXiv (physics), RePEC (economics), the Social Sciences Research Network, and E-LIS for library and information science.

If the author has no other repository available, there is a free service called My Open Archive:
http://myopenarchive.org/

To find out if the author has rights to self archive, look up the Sherpa RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving:
http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/

Most publishers allow authors to self-archive their own work, whether as preprint (before refereeing) or postprint (author’s own copy, after peer review).

There is also a growing body of born open access materials. I cover the growth of OA in a quarterly series which I call the Dramatic Growth of Open Access:
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/search/label/dramatic%20growth%20of%20open%20access

 

Heather Morrison
http://pages.cmns.sfu.ca/heather-morrison/
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com

Treasure trove of Phamperletts…

A treasure trove (nicked from Chris at 56a):

 

http://kmfreepress.wordpress.com/ has some paginated ready to print PDFS on all sorts of things:

But there are loads more at ZineLibrary.net, Zabalaza, and others places  (although not as classy as KM Free Press, of course). KM Press texts were made in InDesign with Booklet plug-in. Super easy!du

ORGS.

`
A chit chat tonight with a comrade – now a note to self for later:
`
Seems some people have had a hard time seeing democratic centralism and meeting procedure as anything like fun. :)
`
I was a peripheral participant in a thing called Open Polemic long ago. I think that is the way. Unfortunately it was too soon codified by people I like, with a structure I do not want to sign up for – even if I think its fine if other people do. I find myself half way between the CPGB, Mao’s principles, and the anarcho-comms. Is this something that can be distilled?
`
The CPGB offer rules: Here
`
but so do the anarchos: If you have seen David Graeber’s book on Direct Action, and the whole wobbly hands meeting procedure thing, plus the soon to be released Occupations Handbook, from AK Press, you’ll soon be well sick of rules. Usually a technique for closing down imagination or delegating/appropriating power to the inner clique of first name basis friends.
`
Maoist organizing is a long term drawn out learning, criticism and self-criticism. I’ll dig out the texts…
`
but maybe not tonight. Though it is important…
`
Lynne Segal, socialist-feminist from Sydney Push, perceptively said: ‘when the excitement of finding a new collective voice begins to ebb, everyday politics becomes a far more discouraging, even tedious affair, a matter of competitive interests and conflicting alliances’ Segal 2000:19 in ‘Only Contradiction on Offer’ in “Women: A Cultural Review” 11:1/2:19-36.
`
Maybe we need to keep a step ahead of that resigned-to-it tone, but also must recognize the constraints – which are perhaps best dealt with through Joy, and thought-crime.