PRABHUPADA: Money is not required. You require things. Just like instead of money, you are getting papers. Money means gold. Where is gold? You are cheated. Money means gold. So instead of possessing gold, you are possessing some paper, written there, "hundred dollars." And you are such a fool, you are satisfied. You are being cheated. Bank's check and currency notes, you keep it in your..., "Oh, here is my money." Is that money? Just see.
DEVOTEE: They only do that to make it easier for them, because they've got so much money that they can't carry it...
PRABHUPADA: That's all right, but actually it is not money. You are befooled. You are such a fool that you accept a piece of paper as money. Therefore I say you are rascal. That is my business. If I say "Government, give me gold," and government has passed law, "No, you cannot possess gold," that means cheating. How I shall keep gold, that is my business. First of all you give me gold. It is due to me. But you are giving me paper. That means cheating is begun from you.
HARIKESA: How will the government decide what my gold is and what his gold is? How does the gold get distributed?
PRABHUPADA: Gold coins. Formerly there was gold coins. We have seen in our childhood gold coins, silver coins. There was no paper.
HARIKESA: But you have to do something to get it.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. I will have to do something. That is another thing. But why you are cheating me? Instead of gold, you are giving me paper. Formerly... You have seen in KRSNA book that one fruit man came, and Krishna was taking some grain. It was falling down. So that was the... A fruit man come, and you give him a packet of grain. Then whatever exchange is possible, the fruit man gives you fruit. That's all.
PUSTA KRSNA: That is called bartering.
PRABHUPADA: Bartering. So there is no need of money. Similarly, you go to another shop. You get. So you produce your food, and in exchange, in barter, you get all things, other things. Somebody is producing something, somebody is producing something. But it can be done. Suppose I am a blacksmith. You want some work from me. So you say that "I'll make this instrument for me." So I say, "You give me one kg paddy." So you give me one kg, I prepare you, so your necessity is fulfilled. Now I have got so much paddy. Now, I may go to purchase something else because I am blacksmith, so grains will be used for my eating, and for, say for ghee, I take the same grain somewhere. So where is the money need of?
HARIKESA: It's very difficult to cheat in that system. It's very difficult to cheat.
HARIKESA: In a system of bartering it's very hard to cheat.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. There is no cheating. Everyone is simply simple, honest. And here the government begins cheating. He is engaging you to hard work day and night and paying you a piece of paper, where it is written "one hundred dollars." That's all. This is your society, cheating and cheater. That's all.
HARIKESA: People have a hard time understanding that point, because with a hundred dollar note you can buy things.
PRABHUPADA: Therefore I say you are all rascals. You do not know. If I say, the government may arrest me that I am infusing people in a different way. But that is the fact.
HARIKESA: So a government's duty would be to abolish this false standard of money, and then automatically...
PRABHUPADA: Yes. Government's only duty is that government gives me land and I pay tax: "Whatever I produce, take one fourth." Finish. All taxes. If I don't produce, there is no tax. That's all. That is the business between the government and the public. That's all.
HARIKESA: If the public are giving like one quarter of a perishable item, what does the government do with that? Let's say they were growing some vegetables, so they give one quarter of that to the government. What would the government do with that? They've got so many tons of vegetables.
HARIKESA: And everybody is taken care of, because they are growing it.
PRABHUPADA: After all, vegetable will be eaten by somebody. So let government distribute there. Vegetable, grains, fruits, milk, ghee, yogurt, natural produce—they will be used by somebody. The government may store and distribute, those who are in need. That's all.
PUSTA KRSNA: Maybe somebody is only producing gold or gold plates, or somebody is producing something that isn't food. So he would give that to the government.
PRABHUPADA: Well, gold plates, that is not a necessary thing. He can eat on plantain leaf, natural production. That is luxury. So when people live simple life, the luxuries will no more be required.
PUSTA KRSNA: Let's say the government is building some wells or some roads. They could feed the people who are doing that, shudras who are doing that.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. Shudras, that "You dig this well and take your food." That's all. Work will go on. At the present moment I require one scissor. I can go to the blacksmith and pay him some grain. He will give me. Now they are producing, Krupp Company in Germany, millions of razors, millions of scissors. Now they will have to find market, where to sell. And as soon as he goes to sell in India, the British government—"No, no. You cannot sell." Then he becomes angry: "Oh, all right." He declares war.
PUSTA KRSNA: So complex.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. This is going on. "These Britishers do not allow me to go there? All right, kill them." That was the Hitler policy and Kaiser's policy, to kill British Empire. They did it. They were successful. But they were also killed. This is going on, unnecessary. Why you produce so much razor and scissor? And then find out market, and when there is competi tion, there is anger, there is enviousness, there is fight, one after another, one after another. Where is peace? Why do you produce so many unnecessarily? Why do you produce so many cars, when there is scarcity of power, and fight with Arabians? Therefore it is called anartha, unnecessary. Anarthopasamam sakshad bhakti-yogam adhokshaje [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6]. As soon as people will be devotee, they will not require unnecessary things. They will be satisfied, simply bare necessities of life. That is peaceful condition. You create unnecessary needs of life, and then there is competition, there is hellish life, the factory, and then the factory man requires wine to forget his hard labor, so on, so on. Then he becomes thief. He become rogue. This is your society. How you can expect peace?
PUSTA KRSNA: The only solution is Krishna consciousness.
PRABHUPADA: That's it, only solution.
HARIKESA: It also seems like the only government that would work would be the Vedic government. Varnashrama-dharma is the only thing that will work. PRABHUPADA: Yes. Krishna conscious government means Vedic government.
PUSTA KRSNA: We have histories that for millions of years such governments were working successfully. Now, for a few thousand years, they squabble, this type of government, that type of government.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. No, first of all, the government is cheating. He is giving me paper in the name of money, and forcing me to accept it.
HARIKESA: That seems to be the root cause of...
PRABHUPADA: Yes. Government is taking labor from you. You ask, "If you pay me three hundred dollars, then I shall work." "All right, I shall give you. Work." Then what is that three hundred? I print and pay you, and you rascal, you accept it, three hundred dollars. What is that three hundred dollars for government? Printing press. And you are so rascal, "Yes, I have got now three hundred dollars." This is going on. This is artificial inflation. Why there is inflation? Now you have got three hundred dollars without any hard labor. And when you go to purchase—I haven't got three hundred dollars; you have got—"All right, I shall pay this price." So price is increased because the seller will see: "Who pays me large price?" So you have got unnecessary money. You offer him large price. So I am poor man; I could not purchase. This is going on.
HARIKESA: There was once a few plots exposed, how some governments were ruined because foreign governments were printing up money just like their money, and shipping it in.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. Yes. I have seen it. I have seen it during last wartime. One Chinese man was coming to one of my friends, my business friend. So he would give, immediately coming, a bunch of notes, maybe ten thousand.
PUSTA KRSNA: Indian notes?
PRABHUPADA: Yes. And a list of goods. He was his purchasing agent. So that bunch of notes was printed in China. You see? And he brings it and gives to a merchant here, and he gives him real goods, and he takes it out. This is inflation.
DEVOTEE: Could he spend that money?
Prahupada: Yes. I print ten thousand dollars' worth currency note, and I give you, and I take actual goods from you, anywhere.
HARIKESA: The government is doing that all the time. They take contracts from people.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. That is going on. Therefore price is increasing daily. Formerly British government, in the beginning, to prove their honesty, as soon as you go to the currency for changing, they will offer you, "You want coins or paper currency?" So if you think that paper currency will be convenient, you can take. Otherwise, if you want coins, they will pay you.
PUSTA KRSNA: Gold coins.
PRABHUPADA: Yes, gold, silver, whatever you want. That was the... Now this is stopped. You cannot ask now gold coins and silver coins. Whatever government will give you, you have to accept. Where is honesty?
DEVOTEE: Srila Prabhupada, in South Africa they have a coin called the Krugerrand. And one rand is worth one hundred cents, one rand of paper money. But one rand gold is worth about seventy-eight rand.
PRABHUPADA: Just see.
DEVOTEE: It's constantly going up and down, the price. Hundred and eight.
PRABHUPADA: Everything mismanaged, cheating.
HARIKESA: So until the top man is Krishna conscious, this cheating will basically continue.
PRABHUPADA: Who is the top man? Everyone is top man. Instead of one king, now you have got one hundred kings. The minister, the secretaries, the under-secretaries, the deputy minister, and so on, so on, so on. So there was only one unfortunate king. Now you have got three dozen kings, and you have to maintain them like kings. This is going on.
HARIKESA: They can pay them with their phoney money.
PRABHUPADA: And they are seeking this post because they know that without doing anything, money will come. That's all. And as soon as you approach some minister, he will ask you, "All right, give me an application." And after six months' reminding, he will say, "No, it is not possible."
PUSTA KRSNA: Yes. Because so many people have to apply for any one post. That's a fact. Then he will put his son there.
PRABHUPADA: All rogues and thieves.
HARIKESA: So actually it is not possible to change the...
PRABHUPADA: Change—if they become Krishna conscious.
HARIKESA: But the system itself is defective. How can...
PRABHUPADA: No, the defective system will be corrected when you become Krishna conscious. Just like in your past life you had so many defects. Now it is corrected. That is practical.