A Brief Description of Everything
by Buckminster Fuller
by Buckminster Fuller
HAMILTON VS JEFFERSON
In the decades immediately following America's successful
1776 revolution, a group of political strategists led by
Alexander Hamilton persuaded the Congress of the United
States that it was not the intention of the founders of
the republic that their government should have any capital-
wealth-initiating capability [public monetary system].
Wealth, they maintained, was a mysterious reality that
emanated exclusively from inherited fortunes and the
private ventures of large landowners. There were no
government or public inspections of the nature of their
wealth other than the self-evident land and the publicly
registered deeds of ownership.
All the U.S. Government's financial needs, said the
Hamiltonians, must be underwritten by funds from these
for the first time exclusive, self-accredited, wealthy
individuals, loaned to the government through the wealthy
citizens "banks," and must be repaid to their banks by the
government with funds raised by taxation from the people.
DEBT VS WEALTH
And this exclusively negative, politically sustained
interpretation provides the legal precedent for today's
limited liability privilege of bank's and insurance
corporations to loan out at interest to humanity (as
government of individuals) the very same earnings and
savings deposits that humanity had entrusted to the banks
and insurers for safekeeping.
Unauthorized by the depositors and unbeknownst to them,
the banks have been loaning out the deposits of the
borrowers themselves. Thus the banks are "justified" by
precedent in paying exclusively to themselves the interest
earned on the deposits.
DECEPTION VS BIOLOGY
Since the deposited monies are not biological, those monies
cannot actually multiply in physical-energy fact. The
"interest" earnings were predicated historically on the use
of cattle as currency -- a real currency that did indeed
multiply its numbers biologically.
That present paper and metal money cannot multiply the so-
called earnings of interest on it, means automatic increase
of the number of dollars in respect to the true wealth of
life-support items for which the money is exchanged. Thus
interest charges on non-biological money automatically
deflate the value of the money.
The banks' continuing escalation of discount and interest
rates progressively devalues humanity's commonwealth equity
while siphoning over the deposited wealth into the banks'
credit accounts, so that the depositors' realized funds of
later years have only a fraction of the buying power they
had commanded at the time of deposit.
The banks of 1970 have all but abandoned their specious
representation, popularly advertised until the time of the
1929 crash, that suggested that the individual's consistent
bank-deposited savings would continually grow, ultimately
to provide handsomely for the individual's old-age needs.
But the myth persists as a popular concept and as a
psychological drive [especially with stock-market bubbles].
CRASH & DEPRESSION
The American banker's "wealth bluffing" poker hands were
"called" for the first time in the 1929-1933 stock-market
crash and Depression. Their empty-handedness occurred
(1) the banks themselves had no real wealth, and
(2) the banks had used the depositors' funds as investments
elsewhere in "non-liquid cash" ventures.
These frozen resources brought about unmeetable "runs" and
bankruptcy of the banks.
After Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, the U.S. government
reopened the "banks" with public knowledge of the fact that
the people's deposits were now being guaranteed only by the
people's government, and not by the bankers or by private-
The banks and their managers, "owners," and employees were
then put under stiff government regulation. Thus the U.S.
Congress and administration socialized the banking system,
but without saying so in a forthright manner. The people's
government, and not the bankers, became the guarantor of
The reestablishment of the "banks" were restored by the New
Deal only because people were accustomed to placing their
savings in the safekeeping of banks, considering them less
subject to robbery than when hidden under mattresses. The
Roosevelt administration found it easier to yield to this
popularly conditioned reflex than to re-educate the people
on economics. The public of 1933 knew little or nothing of
the Alexander Hamilton fiscal coup of a century earlier.
THE WARFARE STATE
The U.S. Reconstitution Finance Corporation -- which
rehabilitated and refurbished the prime industrial
production corporations such as U.S. Steel -- plus World
War II further confused the socioeconomic issues that were
already too complex for omni-specialized society to
Most of the humans who remember the great crash bankruptcy,
which peaked to a 5,000 failed-bank crescendo in late 1932,
are now dead, and the New Deal's invention of non-banker
banks, with postal-clerk status bank employees, has been
perpetuated and transformed, through enormous political
maneuvering and obscure economic semantics.
As a consequence, the bank stockholders have succeeded in
regaining their debt-exploiting prerogatives, thereby
running the U.S. national debt  to a record $400
billion "owed" to them on the books with intensely
interesting "interest" to the banks, insurance companies,
and their bond-buying customers. The annual interest on
this is [was] $21 billion. [The U.S. national trade debt
is now over $6 trillion with respectively preposterous
BANKRUPTCY & SOVEREIGNTY
The U.S. national-debt service of $21 billion interest was
equal, pre-Nixon, to one-half the value of all the monetary
gold in the world. With the U.S. dollar in 1972
realistically deflated 50 percent by true world-market,
international-trading value, the Nixon $21 billion
public-debt interest is [was] annually equal in value only
to one-eighth the world's monetary gold.
This obscurely managed, complex system of wealth now
promises again to bankrupt the U.S. people, whose
presidential elections can only be won through corrupting,
multimillion-dollar TV-time-buying campaigns [and electronic
manipulation of privately controlled, proprietary vote-
counting machinery]. This could bring about the end of a
sovereign United States and swift emergence of its people
as world citizens.
Unnoticed among all the world-political-crisis news, the
155 largest industrial corporations born and developed in
the United States had committed 80 percent of their wealth
to operations outside of the United States. They have gone
"world"; they have their own world inter-accounting, which
transcends politico-economic sovereign accounting.
FEUDALISM VS COMMONWEALTH
In order for a world-around democracy to prosper, world
society must learn how to prosper; world society must learn
how all this came about.
We discover that, historically, the exclusively agricultural
accounting system now being ineptly applied to the word
industrialization began with a sovereign's claim to the
lands established by his conquering "deeds or arms."
Public recognition of the claims was secured by the
sovereign's continued and ever-increasing armed might. The
sovereign of his or her assignees then issued paper deeds
to great lands to pay for the armed deeds of their
comrades-in-arms who became the lords of all the conquered
lands other than the king's.
This landlordism, or land ownership, was originally
dispensed from deeds of war. Then the great landlords
loaned or sold parcels of their lands to share-cropping
farmers who had to pay the landlord a tithe, or rent, and
"interest" out of the wealth produced by nature within
which to store the grains collected in the basket (fiscus
is Latin for basket; thus the fiscal year is that which
winds up within the basketed measuring the net grains
The real pay-off, or course, was in regenerative metabolic
increments of the botanical photosynthetic impoundment of
Sun radiation and hydrocarbon molecules' structuring and
proliferation through hydrogenic and biological inter-
Obviously none of this natural, wealth-regenerating and
multiplying process was accreditable to the landlords.
COERCION VS COOPERATION
Yet the sovereigns and landlords imposed themselves by force
into the metabolic wealth-harvesting and sharing equation
even earlier in history.
Nomadic tribal herders -- after wandering the seemingly
infinite wilderness for millions of years, as their semi-
domesticated cattle led them to verdant pastures -- found
the once free, open land being gradually claimed,
proclaimed, and patrolled by the most powerful armed
warlords, who suggested that the herder needed "protection"
for their defenseless flocks and herds, which were
tantalizingly stealable wealth.
The roving, sword-brandishing strongmen imposed their
"protection" on all comers within their realms and battled
with other strongmen to increase their respective
Finally, the herders were forced to "buy" the lands they
roam from the lords who sold the herders their "own"
special ranches. The ranches were sold at prices far beyond
the herders' total savings in skins or total livestock
value, so the landlords "loaned" the herder the down-payment
purchasing price to acquire the ranch while the lord took
back, and held as collateral, a number of heads of the
INTEREST & CAPITAL
From collateral, the lord took as "payment in kind" both
the annual reduction in total purchase price and -- to cover
"interest" -- the young cattle bred seasonally.
The word capital (capita in Latin, originally referring to
heads of cattle) was thus derived. The herder hopefully
earned (i.e. bred) enough additional heads of cattle
eventually to pay off the landlord in kind.
In later millenniums the herder could sell his cattle in
exchange for the landlord's inanimate, non-herding money in
the form of coins and thus repay the landlord or traffic in
other goods, all of which had fallen prey to the landlord's
During the interim the cattle deposited as collateral
continued to breed, and the newborn cattle became basic
"interest" claimed unilaterally by the landlord and
appropriated exclusively to his own account.
THE BIRTH OF MONEY
Metallic coin money was invented only four millenniums ago
when ships capable of sustaining sea commerce were
It became impractical for traders to carry aboard ship
cattle with which to negotiate, so coins with patterns of
sovereign conquerors gradually became negotiable.
Both phonetic spellings and coined money were the
"inventions of necessity" of the Phoenicians. Overseas
traders needed negotiability written words with which to
contract long-term trading arrangements between people who
never came into direct contact with one another and knew
little or nothing of the language, conditions, and resources
prevailing in the mystically far-apart lands of those with
whom they traded. The Phoenecian's phonetic alphabet
provided graphic symbols for sounds, and thus made
possible the spelling out of any language's sound words.
After a millennium or so of high-seas battling, of sea
lords, such as the Vikings (Veekings) and other great
pirate-fleet operators who imposed their "protection" on
great empires, the Veeking Phoenicians, or Fenecians,
became the Benetians of Venezia.
Shakespeare's merchant of Venice, and this attempt to
substitute human flesh for live cattle flesh as collateral
for the banker's trade "accommodations," dramatizes the
nonsense of equating that which is biologically productive
and the "protector's" non-productive metallic money.
Society no longer equates the "protection"-imposing
racketeer with the banking establishment. But this long-
ago, muscle-warped concept of wealth, and the unjust and
lethally conclusive way in which it was established ("to
whom this and that belonged"), was developed over the
millenniums in just this manner.
THE DEATH OF MONEY
Considered independently of yesterday's dubious claim, the
Exclusively biological premises of the agrarian era are
utterly inapplicable to the new, inanimate, industrial
The difference is that existing between failure-prone,
local agricultural metabolics and the never-failing
eternally inter-regenerative, radiation-mass-radiation-mass
recycling that characterizes the fail-proof metabolics of a
universe and its increasing availability to humanity aboard
Only through the human mind does the inexhaustible cosmic
wealth become increasingly available for local terrestrial
evolution. This harnessing of eternally inexhaustible
energy into human-task powering can be factually accounted
for as part of the irreversibly amplifying inventory of
ENERGY & INFORMATION
The commonwealth of Universe consists entirely of:
(1) physical energy, either in its associative phase as matter,
or in its disassociative phase as radiation (both of which
phases are eternally and completely inter-transforming
without any overall loss by the universe), and
(2) abstract, weightless metaphysical laws, knowledge of which,
and know-how to employ which, constitute humanity's most
Since first, the physical cannot "wear out" or decrease and,
second, the know-how can only increase, wealth, consisting
entirely and only of the physical and metaphysical, can
WASTE VS EFFICIENCY
Throughout the multi-millions of years of humanity's known
presence aboard planet Earth -- until the inception a
century ago of applied science's conversion of water-wheel
and steam-engine power through electro-magnetic
regenerators distantly delivered by wire to electric-motor
driven or heated or refrigerated tools -- 99 percent of the
total energy consumed and used by humanity was consumed as
food to power both humans and domestic animals.
In the U.S.A., in 1971, only 1 percent of all the energy
consumed was in the form of food to support muscle-
accomplished work, while 99 percent of the energy was
consumed by inanimate power-driven tools and electro-
Twenty percent of all the inanimate energy was consumed by
automobiles; that is, the American automobiles consumed
twenty times as much energy as that going to feed
Americans. In America, at all times, 2 million cars are
halted at stoplights with their engines running. This
means that the equivalent of 200 million horses are
jumping up and down going nowhere.
While human metabolic processes are far from 100 percent
efficient in converting food energy to realized foot-
pounds of work, humanity's ignorant, sheepish waste of
both its muscle power and technological power is
Mechanical efficiency is expressed in relative percentages
of work realized per units of energy consumed: water wheels
are 90 percent; fuel cells, 80 percent; jet engines, 60
percent; turbines, 30 percent; reciprocating engines,
But as operated, all the work that humanity gets out of its
technology is 5 percent of the potential 100 percent energy
consumed. Only one-twentieth of all the energy consumed by
humanity-produced physical work is either useful or
Out of every 100 barrels of petroleum distributed and
consumed by world society today, 80 barrels are completely
wasted, going into powering machines and processes that,
averaged overall, are 80 percent inefficient.
Scientific calculation shows that the amount of time and
energy invested by nature to produce one gallon of
petroleum, "safety deposited" in subterranean oil wells,
when calculated in foot-pounds of work and chemical time
converted into kilowatt-hours and at the present commercial
rates at which electricity is sold, amounts to approximately
$1 million per gallon of petroleum as cosmically developed
prior to its discovery and exploitation by humans.
When humans discovered the petroleum, they wrongly assumed
that it was absolutely free and belonged to the finder.
Humans take into account only the cost of pumping,
processing, and distributing oil. Anyone should be able to
sell a million dollars for fifty cents!
Only cosmic costing [ecological taxation and distribution]
properly accounts for the entirely biological evolution and
cosmic inter-transformative regeneration in general, as
well as for the parts played gravitationally and
radiationally in the astro-totality within which our
minuscule planet Earth and its minuscule star, the Sun,
are inter-functionally secreted.
Cosmic costing makes utterly ludicrous the selfish and
fearfully contrived "wealth" games being reverentially
played by humanity aboard Earth.
Fortunately, the Sun does not demand for all the energy
that it delivers by radiation to Earth in the overall
cosmic scheme, which is trying to make humanity a success
despite its overwhelming ignorance and fear.
The stars -- the Sun -- are trying to tell humanity to awake
and prosper and to consciously assume the important cosmic
responsibilities for which it was designed. Since
realization and fulfillment of that responsibility involve
evolutionary discovery by humanity of the cosmic stature
of its mind and the inconsequentiality of its muscle, the
planting of humans on Earth may not bear fruit.
AWARENESS OR OBLIVION
When Universe is developing important functional
dependencies, she does not put all her embryos in the same
locale. So poor is the probability of self-discovery by
humans of the infinite potential of the mind and the
relative triviality of muscle power that nature must have
planted a myriad of humanity seedlings on a myriad of
The first manifestation that humanity may make good on
this planet is the serious introduction of cosmic costing
into the mainstream deliberations of Earthians.
It completely eliminates the economic validity of
bankruptcy accounting, except when humans make the mistake
of trying to hoard or withdraw critical "capital" assets
from productive functioning. It is akin to attempting to
withdraw one of the stars from the celestial system. Into
what universe, other than the cosmic totality, may the
star be transferred?
Every atom and electron is an essential part of the
eternally regenerative, ergo totally inexhaustible,
(but always locally ebbing and flooding),