22. Currency, Exchange and Tax
Under my system, it is labour which is the current coin, not metal. Any person who can use his labour has that coin, has wealth. He converts his labour into cloth, he converts his labour into grain. If he wants peraffin oil, which he cannot himself produce, he uses his surplus grain for getting the oil. It is exchange of labour on free, fair and equal terms—hence it is no robbery. You may object that this is a reversion to the primitive system of barter. But is not all international trade based on the barter system?
H., 2-11-’34, p.302
Then every village of India will almost be a self- supporting and self-contained unit, exchanging only such necessary commodities with other villages where they are not locally producible.
My experience tells me that in order to make Khadi universal both in the cities and villages, it should be made available only in exchange for yarn. As time passes I hope people will themselves insist on buying Khadi through yarn currency.
Swaraj through Charkha,1945, p.5
Labour, as a matter of fact, is as much money as metallic coin. If some put their money in* any particular concern, you put your labour in it. Just as without money your labour would be useless, so also the money in the world would be perfectly useless without labour.
H., 2-2-’34, p.2,6
Self-sufficiency does not mean narrowness. To be self-sufficient is not to be altogether self-contained. In no circumstances would we be able to produce all the things we need. So though our aim is complete self-sufficiency, we shall have to get from outside the village what we cannot produce in the village; we shall have to produce more of what we can in order thereby to obtain in exchange what we are unable to produce.
Khadi- Why and How, 1959, p. 166
Just as gold and silver emerge as coin from the mint, so Khadi alone should emerge from a yarn bank.
H., 7-7-’46, p.209
In my part of India shells and seedless dried almonds were used as coins accepted by the people and the State treasury. They had no intrinsic value. They were measure of people's deep poverty. They could not afford the lowest metal coin. Five shells would buy them a little vegetable or a needle. I have suggested a measure which will not be a mere token but which will have always an intrinsic value which will also be its market value. In that sense it will be an ideal measure. For the present and by way of experiment I have suggested a warp length of a single thread of yarn as the lowest measure and to be used in dealings principally with the spinners and generally with Khadi lovers. The spinners Can have all their daily wants supplied as against fixed quantity of yarn. Stores will need to be maintained by the *A.I.S.A. in combination with the A.I.V.I.A. and ultimately with those who will give their cooperation. As I conceive it, the system can be worked only if it is decentralized. This is not its demerit but merit.
H., 18-1-’42, p.5
Payment (of tax) in labour invigorates the nation. Where people perform labour voluntarily for the service of society, exchange of money becomes unnecessary. The labour of collecting the taxes and keeping accounts is saved and the results are equally good.
H., 25-3-’39, p.65