(The end of the dollar—click to enlarge)
Devotee: There was one question I had, Śrīla Prabhupāda. You have written in the third volume of the First Canto different instructions for the age of Kali, how there'll be compulsory marriage and so on and so on. And you mentioned about the gold standard, that this is very bad, this artificial standard of monetary exchange.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. It is very bad.
Devotee: In the future this is something that we should try to correct.
Prabhupāda: You should introduce coin, real money.
Devotee (2): Real gold coins. No paper.
Prabhupāda: Anyone has got money... It is fact. And what is this nonsense, keeping some paper and thinking that he has got money? How cheating it is going on, from government's side. And therefore artificial inflation. You can print, so the price is increased. Because you haven't got to pay him real money—you print and pay him—and he will ask, "Give me this money. Then I'll supply." "All right, take." You print and pay.
Devotee: It's definitely a means that the government has for controlling. Because they can withdraw money, pull it back out of circulation by increasing the interest the banks give, or they can get more money in...
Prabhupāda: Anything done artificially.
Devotee: Yes. They control the amount of money, interest on loans. It's all standardized from what they call the Federal Reserve system. This was introduced during the Depression by the bankers.
Prabhupāda: Whatever they do, when you receive money in the paper it has no value. Bad money. It is bad money. It is not good money.
Devotee: Actually, most purchasing in America is done on credit now. Even a step beyond paper money is credit—no money, buying on no money; loans.
Prabhupāda: That is in India also.
Devotee: We don't find these things in Vedic culture too much. Now one thing is...
Prabhupāda: There was never paper money.
Devotee (2): No. They used to...
Prabhupāda: That barter system: "You have got rice; I have got something else. So I give you something; you give me something."
Devotee (2): But isn't inflation still possible even with coins? Even if you have gold coins, isn't inflation still possible?
Prabhupāda: No, gold is acceptable by everyone.
Devotee: The main point is the barter system.
Devotee (2): Yes, well its value is recognized by what it can... by its purchasing power.
Devotee (2): So you can alter... Say, you like have one gold coin. You can alter what it...
Prabhupāda: No. If you introduce real metal coin, then there will be no inflation.
Devotee (2): There's only a certain amount of metal.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. The exchange... The more demand, more price. So suppose here is a spectacle. I am demanding ten rupees. So both of you are customer, and you are asking for this spectacle. Then I am increasing my price. So if you can pay me by printing paper, you'll accept any price. That means artificially price is increased. Is it not?
Devotee (2): So the idea is that with coins the man who has the goods, he can't...
Prabhupāda: Therefore... Suppose he has got ten coins, you have got ten coins; I am wanting fifteen coins. So there will be no competition. I have to accept either from you or you, ten coins.
Devotee (2): Right. Because there's only that much money.
Prabhupāda: But if I increase price and if you print... If you have got power to print, "All right. Take fifteen coins, er, fifteen rupees." But you print and pay me. But if the gold, the coin, is there, you cannot increase on that.
Devotee (2): He can't increase the price of the product, and the man who got... 'cause there's only a certain amount of money there.
Prabhupāda: But I can increase the price, provided you pay me. But by printing, it is easier. But if you have to collect coins, that will be difficult, so there will be no artificial increase of...
Devotee (2): Yes. Coins is a check...
Devotee (2): ...on charging too much.
Prabhupāda: That is wanted. And these rascals, they are artificially printing paper as money. And I am a rascal; I'm demanding more because I have got customer.
Devotee: The difference between Vedic culture and... the Kṛṣṇa conscious culture and the modern culture is very, very dramatic, very big difference. So the transforming of society...
Prabhupāda: And besides that, if we concentrate in farm project there will be no need of exchange, because I'll be satisfied with my products, that's all. There is no need of exchange. Whatever I need, I get in my farm.
Devotee: Weaving, cloth.
Prabhupāda: Everything you get. So I haven't got to go outside for exchange. If you are satisfied in your farm, I am satisfied, then where is question of exchange? There is no need of artificial... So this banking, "fanking," everything will collapse automatically. There is no money, who is going to keep money in the bank?
Devotee (2): Who needs it?
Prabhupāda: (laughs) So this artificial way of banking, that will be also collapsed.
Devotee (2): This is revolutionary.
Devotee: It's very hard for the mind to...
Prabhupāda: No, simply do this.
Devotee: Such a dramatic transformation of society.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Whatever it may be... We should be satisfied locally by our food, by our cloth, by our milk. That's all. Let the whole world go to hell. We don't care. If you want to save yourself also, you do this. Here is an example. Just see. If you want artificial life, city life, and hellish life, you do. But we shall live like this. This is the ideal life.
Devotee (2): But still, we're going out to attract people to come to our life-style.
Devotee (2): We're still going out to attract people to come and live like us.
Devotee: Well, even more than that, we know that we have the secret to real life, so it's our duty to actually... Just like you say...
Prabhupāda: That is preaching. That is preaching.
Devotee: ...the surgeon, he must cut.
Devotee: The doctor must...
Devotee: ...save the patient. It's his duty.
Prabhupāda: No artificial dealing. Purge out.
Devotee (2): When one actually has the power, he can do that.
Devotee (2): So by our preaching now, we have to try and establish a Kṛṣṇa consciousness government first through the democratic system.
Devotee: You said, "Think in terms of the whole world, not just one nation. That is our preaching." So you are training us to think very big—global.
Prabhupāda: We keep the ideal style of life. You learn, and do it. I am not encroaching upon your independence, but if you want to be happy, you follow. This is our process. Āpani ācārī prabhu jīveri śikṣāya. You be happy, very ideally, and people will learn. But this can be possible only on the basis of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you make minus Kṛṣṇa consciousness this thing, it will never be possible. Then it will not be possible. All these scheme will be successful if there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Devotee (2): Only if the chanting and prasādam is there.
Prabhupāda: Prasādam, Deity worship, devotional life. Then it will be all right.
Devotee (2): Yes. Gandhi could never implement his program. It was a failure.
Prabhupāda: Nobody can do. They simply... Even... What is that? Marx? He could not. There is no real attraction. Artificial, by force. Here the real attraction is Kṛṣṇa. So other thing he doesn't mind: "Let there be little inconvenience. I don't mind."
Devotee (2): A devotee is actually getting a higher taste. He's getting some real enjoyment, so he doesn't care for the other things.
Prabhupāda: So unless there is enjoyment he cannot stick. But that enjoyment is Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee (2): Just that chanting is enough. It's just so much nectar.
Prabhupāda: No, everything—Deity worship, chanting, kīrtana, preaching, publishing, distributing—everything.
Devotee: This requires superintelligence. Just like, say, in Los Angeles there are two hundred devotees. It is taxing our brains how to give proper engagement to every one of them.
Prabhupāda: Well, this engagement is: "Go and sell books." That engagement is already there.
Devotee: Yes, but some are not qualified, some householders...
Prabhupāda: It is not the question of quality, of... It doesn't matter whether he sells one book or hundred books. It doesn't matter. Let him be engaged, that's all.
Devotee: That's what I'm saying. To find the proper engagement, the best utilization of every man's...
Prabhupāda: This is very good engagement, very good engagement. Go door to door. I don't mind if you no sell. But you have gone. That's all. I don't mind. It is not business, that "Because you could not sell anything, your salary will be dismissed." No. There is no such question.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Bhuvanesvara, January 21, 1977)