northanger (northanger) wrote,
northanger
northanger

tronti, refusal, braudel & capitalism

massive link & note dump, ignore. expands this post. recreated hodological notepad order.

[+] The Strategy of the Refusal
[+] LS Tronti Index
[+] LS Symposia
[+] Tronti Blogweave
[+] Upcoming Symposia: Gayatri Spivak (17-April)
[+] Spivak

[+] The Strategy of the Refusal (Tronti)

 • This article develops a concept that has been fundamentals to autonomous politics in Italy - the concept of the working class refusal - The refusal of work, the refusal of capitalist development, the refusal to act as bargaining partner within the terms of the capital relation.

 • Operai e Capitale = Workers and Capital

[+] Autonomist Marxism

 • Autonomism, or Autonomist Marxism is a left wing political movement and theory. Autonomism (autonomia) emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist (operaismo) communism + Autonomist Marxism is a "bottom up" theory: it draws attention to activities that autonomists see as everyday working-class resistance to capitalism, for example absenteeism, slow working and socialisation in the workplace.

[+] Love and Rage
[+] Antonio Negri

[+] Punk & Autonomia

 • self-valorisation

 • escape capital's discipline

 • "The history of capitalist forms is always necessarily a reactive history: left to its own devices capital would never abandon a regime of profit. In other words, capitalism undergoes systemic transformation only when it is forced to and when it's current regime is no longer tenable" (Hardt, Negri, 2000 p.268)

 • It was the violent refusal of technological restructuring in the post war period by the Italian Industrial working class which led the originators of Operaismo to examine capital's use of technology as a means of social control and domination.

[+] Mario Tronti

 • backbone of autonomist Marxism

 • Tronti’s capitalist inversion

 • "class first, then capital"

 • capital’s struggle to subjugate labour was understood as a perpetual attempt to subsume within itself the latter’s creative power, harnessing it in the form of innovation

 • methodology :: understanding the varying historical forms that class composition took

 • Worker struggles forced capitalists to reorganize production, Tronti claimed, meaning that society itself was being reorganized along the lines of factory life in order to enable the control of workers that had revolted within the factory.

 • This was the moment that Marx called “real subsumption”, leading to the creation of a “social factory”: …at the highest level of capitalist development, the social relation becomes a moment of the relation of production, the whole of society becomes an articulation of production; in other words the whole of society becomes an extension of the factory and the factory extends its exclusive domination over the whole of society”.

 • “labour is the measure of value because the working class is the condition of capital”

 • If labour has the power to determine its antagonist in the production process, then it “has only to look at itself in order to understand capital. It has only to combat itself in order to destroy capital. It must recognize itself as a political power, and negate itself as a productive force”.

 • autonomists began to refuse Stakhanov as a labour model

[+] Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov
[+] Stakhanovite

[+] Fragments

 • ...at each moment each phase is perfect in its incomparable singularity, the fruit is perfect, but no more perfect than the flower.

 • Perhaps because banality here is born of extreme distances, of the monotony of wideopen spaces and the radical absence of culture. It is a native flower ... ("America", Jean Baudrillard)

 • The law of the poem is in fact to make sure, following a rigorous procedure, that nothing remains of it. This is why it contrasts sharply with the discourse of linguistics, which, for its part, is a process of the accumulation, production and distribution of language as value.

...the faint fresh flame of the young year flushes
from leaf to flower and flower to fruit...

'In Swinburne's lines', says Ivan Fonagy, 'we feel the breeze passing, without the poem expressly mentioning it'....
("Symbolic Exchange and Death", Jean Baudrillard)

 • The operation is a calligram that Magritte has secretly constructed, then carefully unraveled. ("This Is Not a Pipe", Michel Foucault)

[+] Lyotard and Baudrillard, while worlds apart in many regards, merge on this point: the desirability of escaping the containment of a totalizing system driven toward (and beyond) its own assumptions. In Lyotard's words: "Being prepared to receive what thought is not prepared to think is what deserves the name of thinking" (Inhuman 73).

[+] Labour becomes productive only by producing its own opposite.

[+] Let us begin with Adam Smith's last thesis which alone would suffice to wreck the treatment of the problem of reproduction in classical economics. Smith's basic principle is that the total produce of society, when we consider its value, resolves itself completely into wages, profits and rents: this conception is deeply rooted in his scientific theory that value is nothing but the product of labour. All labour performed, however, is wage labour. This identification of human labour with capitalist wage labour is indeed the classical element in Smith's doctrine. The value of the aggregate product of society comprises both the recompense for wages advanced and a surplus from unpaid labour appearing as profit for the capitalist and rent for the landowner. What holds good for the individual commodity must hold good equally for the aggregate of commodities. The whole mass of commodities produced by society-taken as a quantity of value-is nothing but a product of labour, of paid as well as unpaid labour, and thus it is also to be completely resolved into wages, profits, and rents.

[+] Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

[+] The 18th-Century French encylopedist Denis Diderot presented the first factories as miniature societies where every worker had a defined and dignified role. But his contemporary, the British economist Adam Smith, wrote that "the man whose life is spent performing a few simple operations ... generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become." Although crudely dismissive of those who earned their livings in industry and raising the question of why Smith so fervently supported the division of labor in free-market economies, his remark foreshadowed less patronizing portrayals of factory life. After all, people's most basic beliefs demand respect for the skills they develop and the work they accomplish. Thus, Genesis teaches, "In the sweat of your brow, you shall eat your bread." But Ecclesiastes adds, "There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works." Indeed, of all the writings excerpted in the Oxford book, the most moving questions are posed by Bertolt Brecht and George Orwell: Who built the pyramids? And what of those "on whose backs civilization after civilization rested generation after generation {but} have left behind them no record whatever"? These questions cut to the core of what people mean by the "dignity" of work -- some sense that a person's contribution is remembered, respected and rewarded.

[+] Marx is so eager to overthrow Hegel, his desire of putting him back on his toes is so strong that he makes his the old Theological pretence that the reason of being (God) was at the beginning, which is merely a regression as far as Hegel is concerned. He is merely replacing God by the so called, just as fallacious, Economy. The word Economy has taken the place of the word God. To Marx, the beginning is the supreme cause and everything develops from there. He is plainly placing at the beginning Economy and its laws (Thou shall earn your daily bread at the sweat of your brow.) .It is because the reason of being is at the beginning that laws of History can exist whereas for Hegel, they don’t; only a logic of negation and of conflict are at work. Hegel is consistent .If the world is a knowledge, logic therefore takes place in the world, unlike formal logic which only occurs in thought. For Hegel, the law of History itself is the negation of all laws.

[+] However, by framing a three-class social structure for capitalist society Marx is not entirely satisfied and he takes a step back to pose the following fundamental questions: "What constitutes a class? - and the reply to this follows naturally from the reply to another question, namely: What makes wage-labourers, capitalists and landlords constitute the three great social classes?" Marx is aware he is going round in circles, for, he argues, the answer seems to be the same as before. For what makes these three great classes - wage-labourers, capitalists and landlords - form classes is: "At first glance - the identity of revenues and sources of revenue. There are three great social groups whose members, the individuals forming them, live on wages, profit and ground-rent respectively, on the realisation of their labour-power, their capital, and their landed property."

[+] Mill's ideas on individual liberty are not intended to be universal; foreign populations and the lower classes in his own society are excluded. Instead "individualism" is for the bourgeoisie with a nod toward the vanishing aristocracy. This is not surprising since "the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e...The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relations" (Elster, p. 302). So although the full enjoyment of "individual liberty" is not meant for most in the society, it has become an idealised value of capitalism. No matter what their function or class, every person in a capitalist society seems to feel he or she can aspire to be a fully-developed individual even if never enjoying that liberty in his or her day-to-day lives. Such has been the success of the concept of individualism as a prime propaganda tool. Though Mill clearly states individual liberty is for the exceptional few, since the ideals of these few become the dominant ideals of the entire society, the myth that everyone in a capitalist society can enjoy the fruits of individualism is sustained and reinforced.

[+] Jean Baudrillard
[+] Jean-François Lyotard
[+] Calligram
[+] Guillaume Apollinaire (#10780-APOLLINAIRE)
[+] Economic Rent
[+] Rent Seeking

[+] Braudel's Whacky French Definition

"AXSYS (ultimate capitalist entity)" - yes, that's according to Braudel's (whacky French) definition of capitalism (State-supported suppression of the market economy) - actually an excellent qabbalistic discovery. AXSYS = NATURE also highly intriguing.

[+] AxS:001 Axiomatic Systems (incorporated).6 The ultimate capitalist entity (first (true (meta)model) to realize perfect identity with its own product).

[+] These examples of trans-isthmian routes, from the few kilometres separating adjacent seas to transcontinental routes between oceans, show that the concept can be applied over a whole range of scales, and that similar models can be applied to each. Routes across the European peninsula, beginning with the “Amber routes”, also fit into this description (as Fernand Braudel pointed out). This nesting of route-segments within larger routes, each evolving within its own logic of connections, forms a complex pattern of fractal development. Trans-continental routes (often following rivers) became axes of urbanisation and economic development, and feeder routes developed in relation to them. The development of new routes often bypassed formerly important areas and resulted in their relative decline.

[+] Given these differences and division, it is not surprising that organisations such as the World Bank prefer to desegregate countries of the basin and to organise them around more immediately significant economic or geographical units. As Fernand Braudel’s path-breaking The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (first published in 1949) points out: "It would be difficult to recognise any unity in this dense, composite and ill-defined world [i.e. the Mediterranean]...other than that of being the meeting place of many peoples, and the melting-pot of many histories" (Braudel 1992: 171).

[+] Important as this revisionism of historical approach has been, it does not require any great rethinking of the concept of time. In contrast, Fernand Braudel suggested that the past could be approached on three 'levels' - and each 'level' requires a different approach to the study of history + Braudel's tripartite approach is generally known as the 'Annales school' and remains somewhat controversial among historians.

[+] Many tales tell of a lemurian hyperstition composed of numbers that function as interconnected zones, zone-fragments, and particles. With Stillwell's epoch-switching discovery of the Numogram - and subsequent mapping of this 'digital labyrinth' - it became possible to compile cartographies of these zones, in which numbers distribute themselves throughout tropics, clusters, and regions. The zones thus function as diagrammatic components of flat cosmic maps (variously charting systems of coincidence, nebular circulations, spinal nestings, and the folds of inner/outer time). Amongst numerous systematizations of occult cartography that of Chaim Horovitz (direct descendant of the infamous 'mad rabbi of Kiev') is especially remarkable. Based upon lemurian digital relics extracted from the Mu-Archive, it enables the conversion of numogram-zones (and sub-zones) into cascade-phases, accessed through numerical 'doors.' The Horovitzean phases constitute qabbalistic groupings or cross-sections of the pandemonium population (simultaneously numbering the impulse-entities and defining their collective 'tone'). Those critics who seek to reduce Horovitz's work to an 'immensely indirect rediscovery of Pascal's triangle' fail to appreciate either the true antiquity of 'Pascal's' system or the machinic novelty of it's Horovitzean reanimation. Systematic issues concerning the Numogram Gates have been separated out from the other interconnective features of the zones. It has been known since the dawn of occult cartography that every Zone supports a Gate, and that their corresponding channels spin the web of esoteric fibres. All sorcerous cultures involve themselves in the exploration of these paths. A Sarkonian mesh-tag is provided for each zone as a key to Axsys-format and Crypt-compatibility.

[+] Important as this revisionism of historical approach has been, it does not require any great rethinking of the concept of time. In contrast, Fernand Braudel suggested that the past could be approached on three 'levels' - and each 'level' requires a different approach to the study of history [long duration, social time, individual time] + Braudel's tripartite approach is generally known as the 'Annales school' and remains somewhat controversial among historians.

[+] (Delanda Special) Hierarchical institutions are the easiest ones to analyze, since much of what happens within a bureaucracy in planned by someone of higher rank, and the hierarchy as a whole has goals and behaves in ways that are consistent with those goals. Markets, on the other hand, are tricky. Indeed, the term "market" needs to be used with care because it has been greatly abused over the last century by theorists on the left and the right. As Simon remarks, the term does not refer to the world of corporations, whether monopolies or oligopolies, since in these commercial institutions decision-making is highly centralized, and prices are set by command. I would indeed limit the sense of the term even more to refer exclusively to those weakly gatherings of people at a predefined place in town, and not to a dispersed set of consumers catered by a system of middleman (as when one speaks of the "market" for personal computers). The reason is that, as historian Fernand Braudel has made it clear, it is only in markets in the first sense that we have any idea of what the dynamics of price formation are. In other words, it is only in peasant and small town markets that decentralized decision-making leads to prices setting themselves up in a way that we can understand. In any other type of market economists simply assume that supply and demand connect to each other in a functional way, but they do not give us any specific dynamics through which this connection is effected.

[+] (Delanda Special) Ferdinand Braudel has shown, as far back as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, institutions with the capability of exercising economic power (large banks, wholesalers, long­distance trade companies) were already in operation. and fully coexisted with feudal institutions as well as with economic institutions that did no have economic power, such as retailers and producers of humble goods. Indeed, Braudel shows that these complex coexistances of institutions of different types existed before and after the Industrial Revolution, and suggests that the concept of a "capitalist system" (where every aspect of society is connected into a functional whole) gives a misleading picture of the real processes. What I am suggesting here is that we take Braudel seriously, forget about our picture of history as divided into neat, internally homogeneous eras or ages, and tackle the complex combinations of institutions involved in real historical processes.

[+] (Delanda Special) Much as skills were replaced by commands in the shop floor, so were prices replaced by commands at the management level. (This is one reason not to use the term "markets" when theorizing big business. Not only they rely on commands instead of prices, they manipulate demand and supply rather than being governed by them. Hence, Braudel has suggested calling big business "anti­markets"). {6} Keeping in mind the actual complexity of historical processes, as opposed to explaining everything by the "laws of capitalist development", is crucial not only to understand the past, but also to intervene in the present and speculate about the future.

[+] (Delanda Special) Much has been learned in recent decades about these details, thanks to the work of materialist historians like Fernand Braudel, and it is to this historical data that we must turn to know what we need to model synthetically. Nowhere is this need for real history more evident that in the subject of the dynamics of economic power, defined as the capability to manipulate the prices of inputs and outputs of the production process as well as their supply and demand. In a peasant market, or even in a small town local market, everybody involved is a price taker: one shows up with merchandise, and sells it at the going prices which reflect demand and supply. But monopolies and oligopolies are price setters: the prices of their products need not reflect demand/supply dynamics, but rather their own power to control a given market share.

[+] (Delanda Special) Yet, even those thinkers who make economic power the center of their models, introduce it in a way that ignores historical facts. Authors writing in the Marxist tradition, place real history in a straight-jacket by subordinating it to a model of a progressive succession of modes of production. Capitalism itself is seen as maturing through a series of stages, the latest one of which is the monopolistic stage in this century. Even non-Marxists economists like Galbraith, agree that capitalism began as a competitive pursuit and stayed that way till the end of the nineteenth century, and only then it reached the monopolistic stage, at which point a planning system replaced market dynamics. However, Fernand Braudel has recently shown, with a wealth of historical data, that this picture is inherently wrong. Capitalism was, from its beginnings in the Italy of the thirteenth century, always monopolistic and oligopolistic. That is to say, the power of capitalism has always been associated with large enterprises, large that is, relative to the size of the markets where they operate.

[+] Braudel went on to become an exponent of of history on an even broader scale and on a wider scope: 'total history' and 'global history'. He wrote multi-volume works on world history + The argument Braudel was making was that 'events', the subject matter of traditional history, were relatively insignificant in history, and individuals, even those as apparently powerful as Phillip II of Spain, were severely limited and constrained in what they could do by broader, and deeper structures beyond their control. In the Preface to the 1st edn of The Mediterranean, Braudel wrote that statesmen such as Phillip II, 'despite their illusions [were] more acted on than actors'. (p.19). In a famous and often quoted phrase, Braudel wrote (also in the Preface to the 1st edn): 'the history of events' was merely the history of 'surface disturbances, crests of foam that the tides of history carry on their strong backs'. He noted that the history of events is 'the most exciting of all, the richest in human interest, but also the most dangerous.'... 'Resounding events are often only momentary outbursts, surface manifestations of ... larger movements and explicable only in terms of them.' (p.21) For Braudel, therefore, the outcome of the struggle for supremacy in the Mediterranean World - the example he chose for his study to demonstrate a wider point about the course of human history - was the result, not of events such as battles such as Lepanto or the actions of individuals such as Phillip II, but was the outcome of the longer term structures - political, social, economic and geographic - which he analysed in the first two parts of his book. Thus, the hero of Braudel's book is not King Phillip II of Spain, but the Mediterranean Sea itself. [Braudel's Mediterranean is a world unresponsive to human control]

[+] As important as 18th century England is in economic history one cannot possibly reduce the entire economic history of the world to a supposed transition between feudalism and capitalism happening there after 1750. To end this brief excursion with another quote, this one involving the actual date of birth of capitalism (that is, not the "mode of production" but the start of the proliferation of antimarket institutions in the population of European commercial institutions: "I am therefore inclined to see the European world-economy as having taken shape very early on; I do not share with Immanuel Wallerstein's fascination with the sixteenth century ... For Wallerstein, the European world-economy was the matrix of capitalism. I do not dispute this point since to say central zone or capitalism is to talk about the same reality. By the same token, however, to argue that the world-economy built in the sixteenth century on its European site was not the first to occupy this small but extraordinary continent, amounts to saying that capitalism did not wait until the sixteenth century to make its first appeareance. I am therefore in agreement with the Marx who wrote (although he later went back on this) that European capitalism -indeed he even says capitalist production- began in thirteenth-century Italy. This debate is anything but academic".

[+] One further point on capitalism concerns its origins. Wallerstein seeks the origins of the capitalist world system in the feudal breakdown of the agrarian society of Northern Europe in the sixteenth century. Braudel is less concerned with questions of origins, but would certainly place a European world economy much earlier, perhaps in fourteenth-century Italy. Braudel is equally uncomfortable with Max Weber and any attempt to tie capitalism to the Protestant reformation (see Stanley Engerman's essay in this project). Again, his first line of attack would be to point to all of the developments in the Italian city states that long pre-dated Luther and Calvin.

[+] A generation later, the equally celebrated French historian Fernand Braudel complained, "All historians have opposed this tenuous theory, although they have not managed to be rid of it once and for all. Yet it is clearly false.

[+] Florence saw the origins of capitalism.

[+] The Christian prohibition on usury eventually provides an opportunity for bankers of another religion. European prosperity needs finance. The Jews, barred from most other forms of employment, supply this need. But their success, and their extreme visibility as a religious sect, brings dangers. The same is true of another group, the knights Templar, who for a few years become bankers to the mighty. They too, an exclusive sect with private rituals, easily fall prey to rumour, suspicion and persecution. The profitable business of banking transfers into the hands of more ordinary Christian folk - first among them the Lombards. + During the 13th century bankers from north Italy, collectively known as Lombards, gradually replace the Jews in their traditional role as money-lenders to the rich and powerful. The business skills of the Italians are enhanced by their invention of double-entry bookkeeping. Creative accountancy enables them to avoid the Christian sin of usury; interest on a loan is presented in the accounts either as a voluntary gift from the borrower or as a reward for the risk taken. Siena and Lucca, Milan and Genoa all profit from the new trade. But Florence takes the lion's share. Florence is well equippped for international finance thanks to its famous gold coin, the florin. First minted in 1252, the florin is widely recognized and trusted. It is the hard currency of its day.

[+] Florence :: fem. proper name, from L. Florentia, fem. of Florentius, lit. "blooming," from florens (gen. florentis), prp. of florere "to flower" (see flourish). The c.1700 "Dictionary of the Canting Crew" defines Florence as a slang word for "a Wench that is touz'd and ruffled." This was also the It. city name, which became in O.It. Fiorenze, in modern It. Firenze.

[+] florin :: 1303, from O.Fr. florin, from It. fiorino, from fiore "flower," from L. florem "flower" (see flora). The 13c. gold Florentine coin was stamped on the obverse with the image of a lily, the symbol of the city.

[+] flor·in :: 1. A guilder. 2. A British coin worth two shillings. 3a. A gold coin first issued at Florence, Italy, in 1252. 3b. Any of several gold coins similar to the Florentine florin, formerly used in Europe. [Middle English, from Old French, from Old Italian fiorino, from fiore, flower (from the lily on the coins), from Latin flōs, flōr-, flower.]

[+] The pound sterling maintained its intrinsic value — "a fetish in public opinion" Braudel called it.

[+] Gold coinage was re-introduced to Europe in 1252 when the city of Florence began minting gold coins known as the florin.

[+] Fernand Braudel's rigorous differentiation (and even opposition) between capitalism and the market economy, with 'pro-market anti-capitalism' functioned as a guiding slogan.

[+] The most critical conclusion of Fernand Braudel's stupendous three volume study of the history of capitalism is that there is a fundamental distinction between markets and the capitalist order (or "system of the anti-market" married to the state). Capitalism proper belongs to the politically privileged upper and core zone of an overall system, establishing a monopolistic / oligopolistic superstratum upon the diffused and selectively exploited substratum of market activity. The popularity, spontaneous innovation, and relative disorder of markets makes them inconsistent with the geostrategic economic initiatives and industrial planning favored by the state (functions that are entrusted to politically well-connected large-scale businesses). Under the conditions of organized capitalism 'the market' is associated primarily with the meta-commerce of stock-trading, whilst 'marketing' is reduced to a specialized sub-function of large-scale business activity.

[+] Since Marx is most responsible for consolidating ‘capitalism’ as an object (even if, as Gillian Rose insisted, he himself never used the term), the Marxian critique merits specific attention. The fact that the subsequent critiques of Marx’s own analysis, by Boehm Bauwerk, Schumpeter, Wittfogel, Hayek, Braudel, Deleuze and Guattari, Lyotard, and - most arithmetically incontestable - by the ‘transformation problem’ raised by Marx himself in the 9th chapter of Capital Vol. III, suggests that the hyperstitional work accomplished by the Marxian project was not to be undone by mere conceptual refinement or traditional criteria of logico-mathematical refutation. Once ‘capitalism’ was conjured into manifestation as a hyperstitional object, it was no longer to be dispelled by anything less than a right-wing cultural revolution, a project that has consistently exceeded the capabilities of capital’s advocates (who have consistently fallen back upon reactionary alternatives, most prominently: Christian religiosity).

[+] Again I need to start by slightly changing the parameters of the relation between capital and life. In the first place, I want to point out that capitalism, as Deleuze and Guattari argue in the Anti-Oedipus, drawing amongst others from Braudel, is the result of long term contingencies and accidents and that modes of capitalization – exchange, trading, commerce – existed before industrial capitalism. From this standpoint, capitalism is not an end product of the human species. The human species, in other words, cannot be considered as the agent capitalism. It is no longer possible to dismiss the impact that sciences such as endosymbiosis, chaos theory and cybernetics have had on the notion of agency. I am trying to say that this agency is not entirely anthropomorphic, but has to include assemblages of biocultural and biotechnical stratification that feed on a kind of increasing social subjection and machinic enslavement of the human species. Yet this enslavement and subjection are not to be seen in moralist terms. Capital is neither intrinsically good nor evil. In Spinozist terms, capital interests above all seem to clash with those of the human species. Yet, this clash cannot be understood without reference to desire – assemblages of joyful and sad passions. It may be important here to remind ourselves of Deleuze and Guattari’s question: why do humans desire their own enslavement?

[+] Fernand Braudel
[+] Annales School (la longue durée)
[+] Delanda Special (poetpiet)
[+] Florence (#13638-FIORENZA & #3122-FLORENCE)
[+] Medici
[+] Florin
[+] goblin etymology (florin)
[+] Godless Florin
[+] Capital/Hyperstition

[+] Ragnar Frisch (#13977-FRISCH)

He made a number of significant advances in the field of economics and coined a number of new words including econometrics and macroeconomics. His 1926 paper on consumer theory helped set up Neo-Walrasian research. He formalized production theory (1965). In econometrics he worked on time series (1927) and linear regression analysis (1934). His 1933 work on impulse-propagation business cycles was one of the principles behind modern New Classical business cycle theory. He also played a role in introducing econometric modeling to government economic planning and accounting. He was one of the founders of the Econometric Society and editor of Econometrica for over twenty years.

[+] Econometrics
[+] Macroeconomics

[+] Lombards (#9397-LOMBARDI)

 • The Lombards (Latin Langobardi, from which the alternative name Longobards found in older English texts), were a Germanic people originally from northern Europe that entered the late Roman Empire.

[+] Lombard banking is a historical term for a type of banking developed in the Middle ages, especially in the prosperous northern Italian region of Lombardy (hence the name) and neighbouring southern France (notable the city of Cahors, hence also known as cahorsins in French, as well as lombards). It was based on the principle of the pawn shop, as still meant by the Dutch word lommerd, and the same etymology persists in the names of various banks (unless named after some family). The origin of the whole thing was the catholic prohibition on making profit from money 'without working' as a sin.

[+] Lombard NOUN: 1. A member of a Germanic people that invaded northern Italy in the sixth century a.d. and established a kingdom in the Po River valley. Also called Langobard. 2. A native or inhabitant of Lombardy. 3. A banker or moneylender. ETYMOLOGY: Middle English Lumbarde, from Old French lombard, from Old Italian lombardo, from Medieval Latin lombardus, from Latin Langobardus, Longobardus. See del-1 in Appendix I. Sense 3, from the prominence of Lombards in 13th-century banking.

[+] del-1 — DEFINITION: Long. Derivatives include linger, Lent, longitude, lunge, longshore, linguiça, eloign, elongate, longevity, oblong, prolong, purloin, dolichocephalic (Having a relatively long head with a cephalic index below 76) & dolichocrania (Having a relatively long skull with a cranial index of 74.9 or less).

[+] The pawnbroker's symbol is three balls suspended from a bar. The three ball symbol is attributed to the Medici Family of Florence, Italy, or to the House of Lombard, a banking family in medieval London, England. According to legend, a Medici employed by Charles the Great slew a giant using three bags of rocks. The three ball symbol became the family crest. Since the Medicis were so successful in the financial, banking, and moneylending industries, other families also adopted the symbol. Throughout the middle ages, coats of arms bore three balls, orbs, plates, discs, coins, and more as symbols of monetary success. Pawnbrokers (And their detractors) joke that the three balls mean "Two to one, you won't get your stuff back". Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of pawnbrokers.

[+] Dialogues of Three Templars on Political Economy, chiefly in Relation to the Principles of Mr. Ricardo ([The] London Magazine, Vol. IX, 1824) (author: Thomas De Quinscey)

[+] TEMPLARS. Frederick II.'s persecution of their order was one of the main causes of his excommunication in 1239; and his last will en-joined the restoration of their estates. Their property was scattered over every country of Christendom, from Denmark to Spain, from Ireland to Cyprus. Before the middle of the 13th century Matthew Paris reckons their manors at 9000, Alberic of Trois-Fontaines at 7050, whereas the rival order of St John had barely half the latter number. Some fifty years earlier their income from Armenia alone was 20,000 besants. Both in Paris and in London their houses were used as strongholds for the royal treasure. In the Temple in London Hubert de Burgh and the Poitevin favourites of Henry III. stored their wealth; and the same building was used as a bank into which the debtors of the foreign usurers paid their dues. From the English Templars Henry III. borrowed the purchase money of Oleron in 1235; from the French Templars Philip IV. exacted the dowry of his daughter Isabella on her marriage with Edward II. To Louis IX. they lent a great part of his ransom, and to Edward I. of England no less than 25,000 livres Tournois, of which they remitted four-fifths. Jacques de Molay, the last grand master, came to France in 1306 with 150,000 gold florins and ten horse-loads of silver.' In the Spanish peninsula they occupied a peculiar position, and more than one king of Aragon is said to have been brought up under their discipline? ' The wealth of the Templars was due not so much to their territorial possessions as to the fact that they were the great inter- ut ssu as oans on Templars who made the exchange of money with the East possible. It is easy, indeed, to see how they were the ideal bankers of the age; their strongholds were scattered from Armenia to Ireland, their military power and strict discipline ensured the safe transmission of treasure, while their reputation as monks guaranteed their integrity. Thus they became the predecessors, and later the rivals, of the great Italian banking companies.

[+] TEMPLARS. See L. Delis!e, " Memoire stir Ies operations financieres des Templiers " in Memoires de l'Institut national de France, t. xxxii. To take interest (usury) was of course unlawful. The method of circumventing this seems to have been that the mortgages paid to the mortgagors a nominal rent which was used towards the reduction of the debt. The difference between this and the real rent represented the interest. See Ancient Charters, Pt. i. Pipe Roll Soc., London, 1888), edited by J. H. Round, p. 94 note. A document throwing a vivid light on the banking methods of the Templars and Hospitallers is a charter of Margaret, queen of the English, A.D. 1186, from the abbey of Fontevrault, printed in Calendar of Documents, France (London, 1899), vol. i., ed.

[+] TEMPLARS. On the 6th of February 1304 Boniface's successor, Benedict XI., once more confirmed all the Templars' privileges; while Philip, for his part, appointed Hugues de Peraud receiver of the royal revenues and, under pressure of the disastrous campaign in Flanders, in June granted a charter exempting the order from all hindrances to the acquisition of property. Two years later the king took refuge in the Temple from the violence of the Paris mob,' and so late as the spring of 1307 was present at the reception of a new Templar .2 Yet for some two years past the king had been plotting a treacherous attack on the order.

[+] TEMPLARS. His motives are clear: he had used every expedient to raise money, had robbed and expelled the Jews and the Lombard bankers, had debased the coinage; the suppression of the Templars would at once rescue him from their unwelcome tutelage and replenish his coffers. He cherished also another ambition. The question of an amalgamation of the great military orders had often been mooted; the project had been approved by successive popes in the interests of the Holy Land; it had been formally proposed at the Lyons council of 1274, only to be rejected by the opposition of the Templars and Hospitallers themselves. To Philip this scheme commended itself as an opportunity for bringing the orders under the control of the French crown; there was to be but one order, that of the " Knights of Jerusalem," of which the grand master was always to be a prince of the royal house of France? Clearly, it only needed an excuse and a favourable opportunity to make him attack the Templars; and, once having attacked them, nothing short of their entire destruction would have been consistent with his safety.

[+] Thomas de Quincey
[+] Knights Templar in England

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