- Silvio Gesell
Silvio Gesell (born
March 17 1862in Sankt Vith(now Belgium); died March 11 1930in Oranienburg) was a German merchant, theoretical economist, social activist, anarchistand founder of Freiwirtschaft.
Silvio Gesell's mother was
Belgianand his father came from Aachen. Silvio was the seventh of nine children.
After visiting "Bürgerschule" (the "poor man's high school", a school which low-income children could visit to receive a basic education) in Sankt Vith, he attended Gymnasium in
Malmedy. Being forced to pay for his living expenses from a young age, he decided against attending a university and received work for the Reichspost, the postal system in the German Empire. He did not like this profession, so he decided to start an apprenticeship as merchant under his brother in Berlin. Then he lived in Málaga, Spainfor two years, working as a correspondent. He then returned to Berlin involuntarily to complete his military service. Following this, he worked as a merchant in Braunschweigand Hamburg.
In 1887, Gesell moved to
Buenos Aires, where he opened up a branch of his brother's business. The depression in Argentina, which hurt his business considerably, caused him to reflect upon the structural problems caused by the monetary system. In 1891, he released his first writing on this topic: "Die Reformation des Münzwesens als Brücke zum sozialen Staat" (German for: "The reformation of the monetary system as a bridge to a just state"). He then wrote"Nervus Rerum" and "The nationalization of money".. He gave his business to his brother and returned to Europein 1892.
After an intermediate stay in Germany, Gesell moved to
Les Hauts-Geneveysin the Swiss canton Neuchâtel. He established a farm, in order to finance his living expenses while continuing his economic studies. In 1900, he founded the magazine"Geld- und Bodenreforn" ("Monetary and Land Reform"), but it failed as it had to be canceled in 1903 for financial reasons.
From 1907 to 1911, he was in Argentina again, then he returned to Germany and lived in the
vegetariancommune "Obstbausiedlung Eden", which was founded by Franz Oppenheimerin Oranienburg, north of Berlin. Here, he founded the magazine "Der Physiokrat" ("The Physiocrat") together with Georg Blumenthal. It had to be canceled in 1914 as World War Ibroke because of censorship.
In 1915, Gesell left Germany to return to his farm in Les Hauts-Geneveys. In 1919, he was called to take part in the
Bavarian Soviet Republicby Ernst Niekisch. The republic offered him a seat in the "Socialization Commission" and then appointed him to the "People's Representative for Finances". Gesell chose the Swiss mathematician Theophil Christenand the economist Ernst Polenskeas his assistants and immediately wrote a law for the creation of Freigeld. His term of office lasted only 7 days. After the bloody end of the Soviet Republic, Gesell was held in detention for several months until being acquitted of treasonby a Munich courtbecause of the speech he held in his own defense. Because of his participation in the Soviet Republic, Switzerland denied him a return to his farm in Neuchâtel.
Gesell then moved first to
Nuthetal, Potsdam-Mittelmark, then back to Oranienburg. After another short stay in Argentina in 1924, he returned to Oranienburg in 1927. Here, he died of a pneumoniaon March 11, 1930.
Gesell was married to Anna, née Böttger, and had 4 children with her. His relationship to Jenny Blumenthal, née Führer, bore another child. He also had relationships with Wanda Tomys and Grete Siermann. He tried to bring all of these women together on one property, but this attempt failed.
Gesell had earned quite a fortune by exploiting the Argentinian economic depressions. He also received support from private donators, for example
Paul Klemm, one of the richest men in Romaniaat the time. This allowed him to concentrate on his economic studies in his later life, without having to worry about financial matters. Villa Gesell, a seaside town in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina was founded by (and is named after) his son Don Carlos Idaho Gesell.
Gesell was an ethical vegetarian. He considered himself a
world citizenand believed Earthshould belong to all people, regardless of race, gender, class, wealth, religionand age and that borders should be made obsolete.
Gesell founded his economic thoughts on the self-interest of people as a natural, healthy motive to act, which allows the individual to follow the satisfaction of his/her needs and to be productive. The economic system must do justice to this pre-condition, otherwise this system would undoubtedly fail. This is why, Gesell called his proposed economic system "natural". This stance put him in a clear opposition to
Karl Marx, who called for a change in the social conditions.
Taking selfishness into account, Gesell called for free, fair business competition with equal chances for all. This included the removal of all legal and inherited
privileges. Everyone should rely only on his personal abilities in order to make a living. In the "natural economic order", which he aimed for, the most talented people would have the highest income, without forgery by interestand rent charge. The economic status of the less talented would also improve, because they wouldn't be forced to pay interest and rent charge. According to Gesell, this would lead to an equalization between the poor and the rich. Further, there would be more means available to help the poor, because the higher average incomewould mean that everyone would have enough money to spare what is necessary to help
* Gesell, Silvio. The Natural Economic Order Revised edition. London: Peter Owen, 1958.
*Full text of [http://www.utopie.it/pubblicazioni/gesell.htm The Natural Economic Order]
* [http://www.geldreform.de/ Money reform] A number of online text related to money reform and interest free money, in several languages.
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/01/18/cneuro18.xml Germans get by without the euro] The
Chiemgauer, a Bavarian scrip, gains acceptance:
Austria's Tyrolean community of Wörgl launched a scheme based on [Gesell's] theories, in 1932, reputed to have slashed unemployment at the height of the Depression. It was watched by Keynes and Irving Fisher, who saw a fast-depreciating currency as a possible answer to the 1930s "
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Silvio Gesell — Johann Silvio Gesell (* 17. März 1862 in Sankt Vith (Rheinprovinz); † 11. März 1930 in der Obstbau Genossenschaft Eden bei Oranienburg) war Kaufmann, Finanztheoretiker, Sozialreformer und Begründer der Freiwirtsc … Deutsch Wikipedia
Silvio Gesell — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar … Wikipedia Español
Silvio Gesell — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gesell. Silvio Gesell Jean Silvio Gesell (né le 17 mars 1862 à Saint Vith aujourd hui en … Wikipédia en Français
Silvio-Gesell-Tagungsstätte — (Вупперталь,Германия) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: Schanzenweg 86, 4 … Каталог отелей
Villa Silvio Gesell — Villa Gesell Basisdaten Vollständiger Name: Villa Silvio Gesell Lage … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gesell — puede referirse a: Arnold Gesell, psicólogo estadounidense especializado en el desarrollo infantil. Silvio Gesell, alemán, teórico de la libre economía. Villa Gesell, población argentina fundada por Carlos Gesell, hijo de Silvio Gesell. Esta… … Wikipedia Español
Gesell — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Arnold Lucius Gesell (1880 1961), amerikanischer Kinderpsychologe Carl Eduard Gesell (1845–1894), deutscher Orgelbauer Carl Ludwig Gesell (1809–1867), deutscher Orgelbauer Claudia Gesell (*1977), deutsche… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gesell — may refer to:; Places: * Villa Gesell Partido, Argentina * Villa Gesell, capital city of Villa Gesell Partido ** Asociación Deportiva Atlético Villa Gesell, soccer team founded there; People: * Arnold Gesell * Claudia Gesell * Silvio Gesell … Wikipedia
Silvio — may refer to: * Silvio Berlusconi, Italian politician, entrepreneur, media proprietor * Silvio Dante, fictional character on The Sopranos * Silvio Gazzaniga, Italian sculptor * Silvio Gesell (1862 1930), economist * Silvio Orlando, Italian actor… … Wikipedia
Silvio — ist ein männlicher Vorname, der „Mensch des Waldes“ oder einfach „Waldbewohner“ bedeutet. Herkunft Italienischer, lateinischer Vorname, abgeleitet von Silvius, Silvanus und Sylvester (lat. silva=der Wald), Ableitungen: Silvino, Silvin, Sylvio… … Deutsch Wikipedia