Category Archives: Geo-politics

To Jab or not to Jab, That is the Question

I published this article yesterday on Medium. Today I’ve been notified that Medium has suspended it because it was “found in violation of the Medium Rules,” nothing specific, just the usual boilerplate. I have no idea what the find objectionable about it. Everything in the article is factual and correct.
Regular followers of my site may find in it echoes of previous posts, but this article is mostly new, an expanded and much improved version of what you may have seen here before. I hope you will take the time to read it.
— thg

Daniel Pinchbeck is an author, journalist, publisher and self-described “bohemian outsider.” I’ve known Daniel for several years, we’ve corresponded on and off, and in 2009 he interviewed me and recorded my views on “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization,” views that I expressed in my newly published book by that same name. Daniel is a brilliant thinker and prolific writer whose knowledge covers a broad scope, and he digs deep when researching topics of fundamental and universal concern. For those reasons, I tend to pay attention to what he says.

I was surprised to read in his recent newsletter that he had chosen to take one of the experimental Covid injections. His rather lengthy essay, From Vacillation to Vaccination: Why, despite uncertainty, I got the Johnson shot, cites many diverse sources of information that he has consulted in weighing the pros and cons of the various options, and then describes his somewhat contorted process of reaching his decision. He raises all of the pertinent questions about the pandemic, its cause(s) and official reactions to it, the likely motivations of the various actors, and their eventual outcomes and long term consequences. He provides numerous useful links for any who wish to become more fully informed.

As I read through his essay from start to finish, it occurred to me that one’s decision to take the injection or not is less a matter of the “science,” and more a question of one’s particular values, attitudes and beliefs, which are, for better or for worse, heavily influenced by each person’s cultural conditioning and the information sources they are aware of and choose to follow. That is something I know from my own experience, having had my own mind-changing “wake up call” that pulled me out of the “matrix” more than 45 years ago. Am I on the right track now? I think so but I’m no longer so adamant in my beliefs and I have a greater tolerance for ambiguity. I try to keep tabs on my internal compass of conscience and compassion by daily meditation, and I remain open to hearing different points of view. I think my conclusions are correct, but I acknowledge that I may be wrong, and that is why I refrain from telling others what to do. I can share information that I think may be important, and I may give advice when asked, but I will not presume to decide the proper course of action for someone else.

In regard to the subject at hand, I will never coerce anyone to take off their mask, nor will I do anything to prevent them from being injected if that is their choice. Uncertainty is a constant in life and everyone has a right to decide what the right choice is for them. It is my responsibility to take care of myself as best I can based on what I know, and it is your responsibility, likewise, to take care of yourself. I will never knowingly put others in jeopardy, but I cannot allow your fears or mine to damage my personal integrity.

Despite the many alarm bells about the various Covid injections that Daniel acknowledges and references in his essay, he went ahead and took one anyway. There are three things that appear to have ultimately tipped the balance for him. First, I detect a sense of helplessness and resignation in his statement that, “Perhaps one reason I finally acquiesced, sadly enough, is my sense that we have gone too far down this road at this point to be able to pull the brakes.” That is difficult for me to fathom, coming from someone I’ve long considered to be a free thinker who has for a long time demonstrated courage in swimming against the current.

Second is his need to be perceived as a responsible member of mainstream society, which he reveals in saying, “Even though the vaccines are leaky and imperfect and I don’t trust the entire apparatus that creates them, I also desired to participate in society and do my little part.” His part in what, what does it mean to participate in society, to go along to get along? Many scientific studies of human behavior have revealed that people will, more often than not, disregard the evident facts and choose to do what everyone else is doing, especially when the group behavior is prescribed by some authority figure.

Third is his fear (of fear) regarding the possible impact of Covid on himself or others. He says, “I didn’t want to be afraid that my failure to get a vaccine would cause my mother, or other elderly people, to get sick, or that I would get a more severe case of the Delta variant in the next months — considering its hyper-infectiousness, nearly everyone is going to get it at some point.” That final point indicates that he believes that asymptomatic people can spread the illness and that nearly everyone is going to get it anyway, So what that boils down to is a “cover my ass” move, as if to say: “I did what I was asked to do so when you catch the illness and die it will not be my fault.”

At the same time, Daniel tried to hedge his bets by seeking out the particular variety of injection that he thinks may be less dangerous because it is more conventional and not an mRNA treatment like the others. He says: “I find it a bit ironic that I finally got vaccinated just as we discover that the vaccines may be more dangerous and of much less value than was originally touted. In fact, one of my main reasons to avoid the shot was concern over ADE, particularly when it comes to the experimental mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. That is why I chose the less popular Johnson & Johnson one, which relies on more traditional mechanisms, even though I had to spend a day asking in pharmacies around Manhattan to find it.” ADE stands for Antibody-dependent Enhancement, a phenomenon where the presence of antibodies makes a disease worse.

Many people, examining the same information as Daniel, have made different choices. One need not be totally against vaccinations to reject a specific injection or treatment. When it comes to bodily sovereignty, everyone’s personal choice needs to be respected. In the wake of the Nuremburg Nazi war crime trials, as well as some notorious medical experiments and studies that were conducted by American scientists, the principle of “informed consent” became established as the rule for any medical study or procedure. In one such case, prisoners, soldiers, and mental patients were intentionally infected with syphilis without their knowledge or consent.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “informed consent” is both an ethical and legal obligation of medical practitioners in the US and originates from the patient’s right to direct what happens to their body.” In considering the questions of personal choice, vaccine mandates, and medical passports, the question before us is this: Shall we allow our present fear to drive us backward into that dark realm of inhumane coercion? Who, after all, owns your body?

As I approach my 85th birthday, I know that statistically I am in the high risk group, but I’m also aware that the human immune system, having evolved over thousands of generations and tens of thousands of years, is the most powerful defense we have against disease. My own personal immune system has been informed and trained by a severe case of the Hong Kong flu in 1968, a disease that reportedly caused over one million deaths worldwide, and by a bad case of typhoid while I was in India in 2007, and by numerous colds and sinus infections over the years, not to mention all of the usual childhood diseases that we all experienced when I was in my early formative years in the 1930s and 40s. So I’m inclined to trust my immune system now. I will take reasonable precautions to keep it strong and to avoid pathogens that might cause serious disease. I believe that if I do fall ill to this infectious disease I will survive it, as the vast majority have, especially if I can get access to proven treatments that if administered early can help me to recover. And if I don’t survive it, so be it, I’m ready to accept my mortality and embrace my fate.

I trust my natural immunity more than I trust experimental inoculations that were rushed through the development process that usually requires much more extensive testing and takes from 5 to 10 years to complete, and I trust it more than I trust the present global power elite that seem intent on getting every person on the planet to accept inoculation and to conform to whatever further dictates they care to impose in advancing their plan for a “Great Reset,” a plan that sounds benign until you look deeper into it. Is all this really about protecting public health? Do huge pharmaceutical companies that are given immunity from liability put my health and yours ahead of their profits? Their past record of frequent malfeasance causes me to greatly doubt that they put anything ahead of profit maximization. I also have serious doubts about the safety of these inoculations. The numbers of adverse effects and deaths from the various “vaccines” that are being reported is extremely troubling. In a recent presentation at the America’s Frontline Doctors summit, Dr. Lee Merritt, reported the numbers that have been compiled by the CDC’s own Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and they are staggering. One must wonder why the vaccination program has not been halted in the face of such a miserable record, and why any informed person would agree to be a “guinea pig” in such an experiment.

As far as spreading the virus to others, The World Health Organization itself has now concluded that asymptomatic spread of the disease is “very rare.” That being the case, why have we not been advised to isolate the ill and let the healthy go about their business? If and when I do manifest symptoms, I will then act according to common sense and self-isolate to avoid spreading disease to others.

But most importantly for me it comes down to this: Life is more than breath and pulse, flesh and blood, muscle and bone. The fear of death inhibits true life which goes beyond the physical aspect; it is spiritual — free, adventuresome and spontaneous, and open to unknown possibilities. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). And this same essential truth, from the more secular point of view has been stated by W.H. Auden: Life is the destiny you are bound to refuse until you have consented to die. I pray that whenever fear arises, I might find the courage to push through it, embrace my destiny, and choose to truly live.

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How to Fix Money, Banking, and the Economy, and Usher in a New Convivial Civilization

The jungle reclaims its own

It is clear that governments and banking corporations have long colluded in creating the present system of money, banking and finance that dominates economies around the world, and that they have no interest in making the kinds of changes that would reduce their power or share the wealth more fairly. As I have described it before, the banking cartel has been given the privilege of creating money out of thin air as debt and charging interest for its use, while the central governments get to spend as much as they want for whatever they want without regard to their limited tax revenues or the popular will.

In a recent interview, Prof. Richard Werner confirmed that fact and also explained that banks have been buying the wrong kinds of assets with the money they create, and that is why programs of “quantitative easing” (QE) have failed to achieve the outcomes he intended when he proposed them.

He argues, as I have, that we need more small banks that direct their money creation power toward small enterprises that will use the funds for productive purposes and strengthen their local economies. But the long term trend has been in the opposite direction, toward fewer and bigger banks that direct funds toward big corporations and capital funds that use the money for asset purchases, and toward central governments that use the money to acquire massive amounts of weaponry and conduct military adventures and destructive wars around the world.

But our most pressing need is to eliminate the growth imperative that arises from banks creating and lending money at compound interest. Since interest on money created as debt accrues with the passage of time and causes the debt to grow, the money supply is never sufficient for all loans to be repaid, so additional loans must be made in order to keep the money supply from shrinking and causing recessions or depressions. Since the money supply always lags behind the total amount owed, the economy is stimulated toward artificial and wasteful expansion of economic output. Not all increases in GDP are beneficial, and some are downright destructive. The production and use of weapons of war, for example, add to GDP but provide nothing to satisfy basic human needs or desires, and actually result in the destruction of existing infrastructure and death and misery for the people who happen to be on the receiving end.

If the necessary changes cannot be expected to come from the top of the economic and political pyramid, then they must emerge from the grassroots. Achievement of a steady state, equitable, peaceful and environmentally friendly economy requires deep restructuring of our systems of exchange and finance, and a shift away from debt finance and the increasing size and power of corporations and national governments.

As I’ve argued before in my articles and books, banks are supposed to perform two essential functions, the exchange function and the finance function. In the exchange function they should provide flexible short-term interest-free lines of credit to active buyers and sellers that are ready, willing, and able to provide goods and services to the market immediately or in the near term. This, in effect, monetizes the value of each business’s goods inventories or their capacity to provide valued services in the short run. As an adjunct to providing them with short-term exchange credit, banks should also provide them with credit clearing services in which their purchases are offset by their sales. This is precisely the sort of service that has been provided since 1934 by the Swiss WIR Bank (founded originally as the WIR Economic Circle Cooperative), and by the scores of commercial trade (or “barter”) exchanges that have been operating around the world.

In contrast to the exchange function, the finance function requires long-term credit instead of short-term credit. In performing the finance function banks should not create new money but should reallocate the temporary surplus funds of savers to entrepreneurs who will use it for productive purposes like capital improvements that increase their capacity to produce and distribute needed goods and services, and not for speculative and non-productive asset purchases. Further, they should provide these funds, not as interest-bearing loans, but as temporary equity that, unlike debt, causes the providers of funds to share both the risks as well as the rewards of business enterprise, and does not cause the growth imperative. If the equity stake of the bank is temporary instead of permanent, that will prevent the endless accumulation of vast pools of capital and will make capital a servant to productive enterprise rather than its master. Such equity shares that banks would administer on behalf of their depositors (savers) should expire after the original funds have been repaid to the savers along with a reasonable share of the profits that have been earned during the period of the agreement.  

By making these simple changes in the kinds of banks we have, and way money and banks work, we can eliminate the endless expansion of debt, the inequitable distribution of power and wealth, the erosion of democratic government and the despoliation of the environment, and usher in a new more peaceful civilization.

If existing banks are unwilling to make these changes, or if existing banking regulations do not permit them, they can be implemented by other organizations that are entirely outside the banking system. The commercial trade exchanges mentioned earlier have, for more than 40 years, been facilitating the exchange function by providing credit clearing services to small and medium sized businesses, and are classified by the US government as “third party record keepers” that are not subject to banking regulations. By making some minor improvements in their operations and by networking them together, trade exchanges can evolve the exchange function in ways that can provide a worldwide web of exchange in which interest-free credit is locally controlled but globally useful.

Likewise, the finance function can be, and is, increasingly provided by small investors directly to entrepreneurs without involving banks by using innovative mechanisms like crowdfunding, community investment funds, and direct public offerings. By providing investment funds to SMEs and cooperatives in the form of equity shares, interest-free loans, or revenue shares, they can help rebuild local economies in ways that make communities more resilient and self-reliant, and most of this can be achieved by private enterprise without the need to enact any new laws or regulations.

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The Great Asset Grab

One does not need to scratch very deep beneath the surface to see what is actually going on in the world or why it is being done. Look around, which companies have been thriving through the “pandemic,” which business have been shut down or forced into bankruptcy, who is buying up residential real estate in every city, who is the biggest owner of farmland in the United States?

In a recent interview with Greg Hunter, my friend and long time correspondent Catherine Austin Fitts clearly and concisely explains what I’m calling The Great Asset Grab  This brief excerpt sums it up.

Investment advisor and former Assistant Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts contends CV19 and vaccines to cure it are all part of the “Going Direct Reset.”  Fitts explains, “This is so simple at the root.  The central bankers are using the government to shut down the main street economy, and then they are going direct and injecting money into the private equity firms and Wall Street who are running around the country buying things.  Think of this as a leverage buyout of the world.  We are being purchased with our own money.  Also, we are liable.  If you look at all the debt the government is issuing, our assets are liable for that debt.  This is a continuation and consolidation of the financial coup that we have been taking about.”

It is all part of the Great Reset that World Economic Forum founder and its mainstay, Klaus Schwab has been promoting, and gives real credibility to his contention that, in the New World Order, “you will own nothing…,” adding, “and you will be happy.” Well, I will not be happy living as a powerless farm animal or house pet. Will you?

Fitts and her team have also provided some forms to help you resist demands that violate your rights. Visit Solari.com and/or click the links below.  

Employer & School Disclosure Forms for Covid-19 Injections

Form for Employees Whose Employers Are Requiring Covid-19 Injections

Form for Students Attending Colleges or Universities Requiring Covid-19 Injections

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The Relentless Rise of Corporate Power

big-umbrella

Did you know that after winning independence from the British Empire “…our country’s founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society. 

Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end. The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused)…

  • Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
  • Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
  • Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
  • Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
  • Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
  • Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

Read the whole story, Our Hidden History of Corporations in the U.S.

You might also wish to consult David Korten’s excellent book, When Corporations Rule the World, and Thom Hartmann’s Unequal Protection: The rise of corporate dominance and theft of human rights.

To be entertained while being informed and inspired watch the movie, They Live.
TheyLive1
Obey, Consume, Stay asleep, Watch TV, Submit, Conform

There is a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to put an end to corporate personhood and re-impose reasonable limits on corporate powers.
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.”    — Move to Amend

I consider huge transnational corporations to be the malevolent aliens among us. The small elite class of humans who control them are using these corporations to shape a global neo-feudal dystopia in which they will be absolute masters over the rest of humanity, the Earth, and all of its resources. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people remain complacent and blind to this reality, but it cannot exist without our complicity. You don’t need special glasses to see the truth, just open your eyes, don’t be afraid to inquire, trust your own senses, and think for yourself. The way toward a better future for ourselves, our children, and our posterity lies in reducing our dependence upon all of the social, economic, political and subsidiary systems and structures that have been utterly corrupted, and working together to empower ourselves and our communities to be more self-reliant and masters of our own destiny.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
            — William Ernest Henley.

Newsletter May 2021. Upcoming podcast series on “Our Money System,” and other news

In this issue:

  • Upcoming podcast series
  • Conversation with Tim Jenkin, Edgar Cahn, et al
  • Latest post–How, Then, Shall We Live? — What we might learn from the Amish
  • Markets and finances in today’s world
  • U.S. foreign policy, the primary threat to peace
  • Travel plans

james-morden-VeChXhxN8DI-unsplash_______________________
Upcoming webinar series

I will be conducting a free three part webinar series for the Henry George School of Social Science. Here is the description and registration link:

Our Money System – What’s Wrong with it and How to Fix it
A critical look at money & credit, their political and economic implications, and innovations that are making conventional money obsolete.

About this event

HGS_WebinarIn this webinar series, renowned monetary reformer Thomas Greco Jr., will present our system of money and banking, how it has evolved, why it is problematic, and where it is trending. The series will also look into past, present, and future exchange and payment alternatives, like Depression-era script, local and private currencies, commercial trade exchanges and LETS systems that apply the “credit clearing” process, and the more recent emergence of crypto-currencies and blockchain ledgers and their potential role. It will include discussion of how these have evolved, their advantages, limitations and future potential and what needs to be done to take them to scale.

The speaker, Thomas H. Greco, Jr., is the author of The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. For more than 40 years Mr. Greco has been studying, writing and lecturing and advising on the subjects of money, exchange, and political economy. His distinctive insights into these subjects and his innovative approaches to a more equitable and sustainable economy have made him a sought after speaker and advisor worldwide. His full bio can be viewed here.

Topics

  • WHAT is money?
  • WHY do we need money?
  • WHAT is wrong with our money system?
  • Can we live without money?
  • How can business be conducted without money?
  • What are the economic, social and political implications of monetary policies and systems?
  • What is the likely impact of present day monetary innovations?

May 21 – Session 1 will provide an overview of the present system of money and banking, how it has evolved, how and why it is problematic, and where it is trending. Mr. Greco will talk about the interest-based debt-money system, how it causes the growth imperative and the politicization of finance and exchange, and the political and economic consequences of its continuation. He will outline the fundamental concepts of exchange and finance and the principles upon which sound and sustainable systems are being developed. Participants will be asked to read or listen to some specific materials in preparation of the subsequent sessions.

June 4 – Session 2 will be a more interactive webinar that will provide ample opportunity to discuss whatever questions have been evoked by the previous session and the assignments. These might include topics like inflation, depressions, asset bubbles and busts, the savings and investment functions, and government responses to shocks like the 2008 financial crisis and the more recent pandemic. This will lead into a discussion about possible solutions to the problems that the present system causes, and the role of local currencies and other alternatives for the exchange of value.

June 18 – Session 3 will concentrate upon past, present, and future exchange and payment alternatives, like Depression-era scrip, local and private currencies, commercial trade exchanges and LETS systems that apply the “credit clearing” process, and the more recent emergence of crypto-currencies and blockchain ledgers and their potential role. It will include discussion of how these have evolved, their advantages, limitations and future potential and what needs to be done to take them to scale.
Please note that each session will start at 6 PM Eastern Time (3 PM Pacific and Arizona time), and end at 7:30 PM (4:30 PM).

Register Now!

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Conversation with Edgar Cahn, Tim Jenkin, et al

I was recently the featured guest on Taking Back Our Economy, a podcast series hosted by the Community ExchangeEdgar-Cahn-photo-600x599 Alliance. In this episode I discuss principles of exchange, the various kinds of systems that have been tried, and what needs to be done to realize their full potential, with Tim Jenkin, founder of the Community Exchange System, Edgar Cahn, founder of Time Banking, Anitha Beberg, Christine Gray, and Martin Simon.

You can tune in to the discussion on YouTube at https://youtu.be/BtIG9YLySD4.

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My latest post: How, Then, Shall We Live? — What we might learn from the Amish

While most of us have been caught up in the high-tech, consumerist, debt-ridden rat-race, there are certain groups that have been thriving on low-tech, low-consumption, earth-friendly, cooperative approaches to living. Notable randy-fath-Amish-Cramong these are the Amish communities which are characterized by their strong social bonds and mutual support. In the present chaotic times as we struggle to reinvent civilization there may be something important to be learned from the Amish. Read about it here.

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Markets and finances in today’s world

The biggest players in money and markets today are central banks and central governments. Their market interference is massive and largely overrides the effects of other market player’s actions. If you have not already done so, please read my article, Money and Finance Have Now Been Completely Collectivized.

One complicating factor that market analysts and investment advisors universally fail to mention, and probably do not even recognize, is the withdrawal of large segments of the population from the work force, and from the “old civilization.” In my view, a new civilization has been emerging for decades from the bottom upward and that process is now accelerating as people lose faith in the dominant centralized financial, economic, and political systems and structures. The new civilization is being built on relationships of trust that already exist among family members and friendship groups and within local business and political circles. As corruption, malfeasance, and errors in the dominant centralized structures become more egregious and apparent, this process is bound to accelerate further until the old systems become irrelevant. My “Walking Away…” series of articles (Part I, Part II, Part III) articulates in more detail my thoughts about that.

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U.S. foreign policy, the primary threat to peace

Two or three years ago in my efforts to gain a deeper understanding of the political dynamics of the Middle East I came across Graham E. Fuller, a Middle-east analyst and former CIA operations officer. Reading his book, Turkey and the Arab Spring, gave me an appreciation for the pivotal role the Turkey plays in the region and in the Muslim world generally. Since then I’ve been following Fuller on his website and on Facebook.

In his recent editorial, US primacy is a self-fulfilling threat generator, Fuller provides an excellent overview of US government foreign policy and the US role in the world. In it, Fuller states:

I have no wish to launch into a litany of American sins, failures, or mistakes by omission, or more often commission, that have by almost any measure been disastrous for so many foreign countries “visited” by U.S. military operations. The list is long and well known — Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, indirectly in Yemen in most recent times. He then nicely summarizes the essence of US foreign policy, saying, “…it’s hard to get off that enemy list when you actively assert your independence from Washington.”

The editorial is brief and well worth reading. You can find it on Fuller’s website.

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Travel Plans

As spring passes and summer begins, we wonder about the possibilities for travel and tourism to return to anything like normal. Will “vaccine passports,” testing, and/or masking be required to travel? If so, what form will those passports take, paper certificates, digital apps, chips embedded under the skin? Will governments impose quarantine requirements for people entering their country, as many have been doing for more than a year? If one does travel abroad, what are the chances of being stuck there and not allowed to leave?

Considering all that, it seems unlikely that I’ll be doing much traveling this year.

Stay alert, keep learning, and seek your inner peace,

Thomas

Truth, Propaganda and the Media

Today I received a link from a correspondent in Ireland that featured this Dilbert cartoon.

I think that clearly sums up the the main thing that divides people in today’s pandemic world. There are those who still trust “the system,” including the media, the government and medical establishment, and those who don’t. Each faction has their own good reasons for their position. What can possibly bridge the divide?

Ultimately, I think it comes down to emotion. People believe what they want to believe and will hold fast to that belief until the weight of evidence becomes sufficiently dissonant to flip them. That threshold level is different for different people. We also are inclined to screen out evidence that runs counter to our preconceived notions and to add more weight to evidence that supports them, this is known as “confirmation bias.” Then there is the fact that competing interests send out messages that are designed to promote their particular agenda. This is the stuff of advertising and propaganda, and those that have a bigger megaphone tend to drown out competing messages. Thus the battle for freedom of speech continues and becomes ever more crucial.

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The New Reformation?

Luther-Nailing-ninety-five-theses
The election of Donald Trump was just a symptom of a major shift of civilization. In this essay, Mike Krauss (http://thekrausscommentary.com/) compares it to the Reformation of the sixteenth century.  It seems an apt analogy.

From Martin Luther to Donald Trump: Reading the Signs of the Times


Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Thesis in 1517. Some histories record that he nailed them to the door of the chapel of the Wittenberg Castle. His challenge to the monolithic authority of the Catholic Church in Western Europe  set off an upheaval among the governing class and peoples of the European continent that was not only religious, but was also political, cultural and intellectual.
 
That upheaval did not follow immediately on Luther’s bold action, but erupted about four years later as the Church banned citizens of all the nations from espousing, defending or disseminating Luther’s ideas, and hardened the division into what would become the Reformation and Counter Reformation, decades of strife and bloody conflict within and between the peoples and nations of the continent. Lives were unspeakably brutalized. Property was confiscated and families destroyed. Mobs desecrated or destroyed churches and pulled down or defaced their statues and relics. Justice was whatever princes and popes said it was.
 
In the end, Europe was changed and the course of western civilization altered, as more democratic norms of government gradually displaced centralized royal and ecclesiastical power and the rule of law grew stronger.
 
It is tempting at this remove to compare Donald Trump’s 2015 ride down the escalator in his cathedral to capitalism, Trump Tower, to Luther’s arrival on the scene. But with Trump, the reaction of the monolithic governing class was immediate, as they recognized the power of Trump’s challenge to their authority and mounted a fierce counter attack. It has become as brutal as that of the 16th century, as the Counter Reformers now seek to politically, socially and economically excommunicate, exorcise, punish and destroy utterly Trump and any vestige of his American Reformation.
 
Now as then, the opposing sides in the contest use the same language of centuries of a shared “faith” to claim the moral high ground, with this difference: Trump’s reformers just want to be left alone by controlling, centralized authority to live their lives as they think best, while the statist counter reformers demand conformity to their “civic virtues,” and take no prisoners in an all out war to regain and retain power.
 
Where is this leading? In the short term, to fascism and repression. The counter reformers have seized both the government and the means of communication of an entire nation. This contrasts with the Protestant Reformation; in that, as the printing press came into wider use at that time, the ideas of Luther and other reformers were more widely circulated than had ever before been possible. New technology aided the Reformation. Now in the United States, new means of communication serve the Counter Reformation and the governing class. For the foreseeable future there will be only the “party line” heard in the United States. 
 
But even the dullest of ears will by now have picked up the incessant, preening moralizing of the counter reformers. Completely self sanctified and utterly un-self aware, these elites are likely to drive the Biden administration. Biden is not strong enough to resist.  He may not want to.
 
 “Joe Biden, Savior of the Republic” may be the story Biden has going in his head. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to establish a domestic surveillance agency with authority to define any reforming thought, speech or action which challenges the governing class as “domestic terror,” the modern equivalent of heresy.
 
There is one element to this conflict today that was not present in that of 16th century Europe and is entirely modern and American: race. The resentments of some whites on the right and some blacks on the left are equally poisonous and capable of overcoming any hope of reason and accommodation among the warring parties.
 
American liberalism, the former church of the secular left is dead, having collapsed under its own failures. The two greatest failures have been the decades long reduction of the mostly white middle class, its wealth redistributed to a permanent governing class of corporate overlords and their political retainers; and the simultaneous creation of a mostly black, permanent underclass, consigned to the apartheid landscape of American cities which liberal policy created, islands of white prosperity in a sea of mostly black poverty.
 
Until these twin failures of the governing class are remedied a time of conflict and turmoil in America is inevitable,.
 
Trump simply called out the reality of the decadence of the American governing class, as Luther called out that of the Medieval Church.  Leading up to Luther’s challenge, Pope Sixtus IV began the practice of selling Indulgences to wealthy sinners  –  ecclesiastical get-out-of-purgatory- free cards  – the way Congress sells legislation to lobbyists. Pope Alexander VI enforced celibacy on the priesthood but was the father of seven  (!) children, operating with the same hubris on display daily in the American governing class today: “rules for thee, but not for me.”
 
Hubris invites nemesis: then Luther, now Trump.
 
In the weeks ahead there may be a period of relative calm, as the people wait and watch. But it won’t last long. As the government of the American Counter Reformation becomes steadily more repressive, authoritarian and fascist, it will run up against something Luther did not have to help fuel his Reformation: a people with the experience of centuries of democratic government, the protection of individual liberties and the rule of law.
 
This conflict will not be resolved any time soon.

And this assessment, That’s All Folks, from former Congressman Ron Paul, provides another take on the matter. And his latest essay, When Fascism Comes, It Will Be Wearing a Mask, spotlights actions by the Biden administration that look a lot like a counter-reformation.

Let’s see if we can find ways to enjoy the ride and take advantage of the opportunities to build a better world.

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Sovereign or Slave? How perversion of the money power has decided the issue—until now!

As I indicated in my previous post, No democracy when government has the money power, E. C. Riegel, more than 75 years ago, explained, better than anyone else I’ve encountered, the nature of money, its fundamental function, and the history and consequences of its politicization, and outlined a way of transcending the perverse and dysfunctional system that we have lived under for far too long. His work is perhaps best summarized in his book, Private Enterprise Money, from which I quoted. I continue here with further quotes that elucidate the key points of sovereignty, money and government.

Riegel’s solution involved the organization of credit clearing circles that he called “Valun Exchanges” that would be joined together in networks for exchanging goods and services. He argues, as I do, that it is the individual person that is sovereign, not any king, emperor or government, and that the power to issue money, therefore, also resides in the individual. When we realize that money is really only short-term credit, it becomes clear that it is in our power as individuals to give it or withhold it as we go about our daily business of exchanging the value (goods and services) we produce and consume.

In Chapter 9 of his book, Riegel proposes that the Valun Exchanges be organized on a “state-wise” basis. He observes that:  “The sovereign power of the citizen rises to the state government; and from there it is delegated upward to the federal government, and downward to subdivisions. We are, first of all, citizens of our respective states; and this implies citizenship also in local and national governments.” p. 139

He then recounts the history of the union of the American colonies after their separation from British rule and argues that: “The advantage in abolishing this multiplicity of monies [of the various colonies] was obvious, but the implications involved in surrendering the money issuing power to the federal government was not comprehended. The gain to all in uniformity of money unit was visualized; the loss in sovereignty thereby suffered, was not.”  p. 140

From this point onward, I will let Riegel’s words speak for themselves. All page number refer to the printed edition.

“We now realize that the money power of the private citizen is in fact his sovereignty; and that in yielding it he yields his sovereignty. Thus the transferring of the money power from the states to the federal government was the transferring of the citizens’ sovereignty to the national government, and the reducing of the state to the status of a subordinate. p. 140

“The political money system implies that the citizen will abate his natural money issuing power, and make the criterion of his exchanges and the regulation of the money system entirely dependent upon the government that he recognizes as the money power. By making the federal government the sole money issuing power, the individual states transferred the fealty of their citizens to the national government, because they became thereby dependent upon its money power. The citizen having thus had his fealty transferred to the national  government—it was taken from the state governments—and the latter are now dismayed by the increase of federal power and the commensurate subordination of state power.”

“What has actually transpired is a reversal of the intent of the federal plan whereby the national government was to be dependent upon the states for grants of power. The national government, through its money power, is now supreme and in reality holds the state governments in subjection to it. Federal fiscal policy now determines the bounds of state sovereignty. It took many years to reveal this structural weakness because, in the earlier days of the federation, the economy depended more upon the private issuance of money through the banking system, and thus federal fiscal power was dormant. The policy of the federal government up to 1932 was to leave to the banks the function of supplying money. During the Jackson administration, with the abolishment of the United States Bank, government participation in money supply reached its lowest point—with the government confining itself to the mere minting of gold and silver coins at a seigniorage charge to any one who brought the metal to the mint.” pp. 140-141.

Money Power Is Sovereignty
The states, to recapture their independence and sovereignty, must look to their citizens who, in turn, must assert their sovereignty by exercising their inherent money power. It was right that the states should have surrendered their money power; but they should have surrendered it to their citizens, and not to another government. At the time the federation was formed the nature of the money power was not understood; and it was not realized that it is the essence of sovereignty. But we know now that it is and if we wish to preserve the federation and also home rule, we must now deal intelligently with the money power.

While the states have surrendered their money power, their citizens have not. The citizens have merely failed to exercise their natural powers against which there is no prohibition in either state or federal constitutions. This is not a political issue – requiring legislation or repeal of legislation, or constitutional amendments, or any official action – but it is, nevertheless, a profound political movement; because, as the people assert their money power, their natural intimacy with their state and local governments asserts itself – since there is no other power that can step between. Today, the federal government stands between the citizen and local government, and thus alienates him.

If our states are to develop their individuality and counter the stereotyping influence of a monetary dictatorship, if local government and private enterprise are to work out their natural virtues, if democracy is to prevail in business and government, and if our federal republican system is to survive, we must meet our problems by dealing with their fundamental causes – the political money system.”

To accomplish these broad and vital aims, the Governor or some other public official should take the leadership of this cause within his state. In the absence of this, leadership must be taken by private citizens. It offers an incomparable opportunity for public service.”

While the money issuing power is inherent in every man, it can be realized only by a pact among many. Therefore, the individual is helpless, and organized action is necessary. The method of organizing a Valun Exchange should be no different from organizing any other cooperative movement.” pp. 143-144.

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Orthodoxy and the meaning of events

Orthodoxy and the meaning of events is the title of an article recently published by Richard K. Moore, author of Escaping the Matrix: how We the People can change the world, and numerous insightful articles that are helpful in making sense of the present state of our world.

Here are some excerpts:

When something dramatic happens, we want to know what it means. We want answers to questions like: Why is it happening? How important is it? What will happen next? Where is it heading? What does it all mean?

In the mainstream narrative, the orthodox narrative, a clear meaning is always provided, right along with the news of the dramatic event itself. Like on the morning of 9/11, when the video of the explosions was first being shown, there was already a banner going across the screen: America under attack by Al Qaeda. And soon after: They want to destroy our democracy. 

This prompt assignment of meaning to an event has an important psychological effect. The first plausible explanation someone hears tends to fix in the subconscious, and resists being displaced by later explanations. That’s why the orthodox meaning is provided promptly, is repeated endlessly, and is reinforced from a variety angles by the various media genre, such as news broadcasts, talk shows, official announcements, comedians, documentaries, interviews, newspapers, etc.

It is easy to see why followers of the mainstream media would consider themselves to be well informed citizens. On any big public topic, they know what it means, and from that framework they can discuss this or that development from a knowing perspective, with a sense of knowing what they’re talking about. 

The world of the mainstream narrative is to a large extent a closed universe. Its stories and their meanings cover the whole scope of ‘what’s important’ and there’s no room for alternative explanations to find a place there. If a contrary explanation emerges from some non-mainstream source, there are many reasons why the explanation will be dismissed. First: ‘We already have an explanation for that’. Perhaps next: ‘Who are you that thinks you know better than the world’s experts?’ Every source that is non-mainstream is automatically suspect.

Moore goes on the say that:

In the orthodox world big changes always come as a response to some unexpected crisis (eg Pearl Harbor, 9/11, WMDs, 2008 collapse, COVID). A crisis is identified, it is given a meaning, and changes are announced. And then another crisis comes along, and again we get big changes. Each crisis comes with its own little meaning story, unrelated to the meaning of the crisis that came before or the one that comes after. Society stumbles along, it seems, always responding to unexpected crises. 

If someone observes that there is a pattern in such sequence, they are dismissed as paranoid or a “conspiracy theorist,” and that “conversations of any significant kind are nearly impossible across the boundary of the orthodox bubble.”

So much of each person’s worldview is based on the trust they have in the sources of the information they regularly consume, whether is MSNBC, Fox News, the BBC, New York Times, the Washington Post or other long established sources with big reputations. But it has been well documented how the media channels throughout the world have been gradually absorbed into a few mega-corporations, and how the owners of those channels use them in the process of Manufacturing Consent to the demands of the elite class that they represent, and their power has become greatly enlarged in the years since Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, described it in their book by that name. That, and other aspects of the decline of western civilization since the 1970’s is also well documented in a video I watched recently titled, HEIST Who Stole the American Dream.

Richard Moore’s article concludes with his views on how people with differing beliefs about reality might talk with one another in a productive way. I strongly recommend that readers take the time to digest the entire article which can be found on Moore’s website.

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2020 August Newsletter — The Great Reset is now underway

My August newsletter has been sent out a few days ago by email to my list. Here are the contents:
In this issue:

  • First, something to amuse and brighten your day…
  • Now, on a more serious note…
  • What to do…?
  • Clarifying and filling in the picture…

You can read the entire newsletter here.

And, here is a more extensive consideration by Chris Talgo of the Great Reset that is being put forth by the World Economic Forum:  What is the Great Reset?

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