Tag Archives: democracy

Can governments and banks be trusted with the money power?

As governments around the world struggle to manage their soaring debt burdens, the wisdom of E. C. Riegel rings ever more true. The masters of the political debt-money regime are pressuring Cyprus to confiscate part of the savings of their citizens, and Greece and other countries to impose budgetary cuts that burden the poor and middle class. Argentina wants to grab their people’s savings by nationalizing their pension funds. All the while, the purchasing power of national currencies shrinks as governments inflate them to enable deficit spending.

Riegel’s call for monetary freedom must no longer be ignored. –t.h.g.   

LET FREEDOM RING THE CASH REGISTER

[by E. C. Riegel, written circa 1940s]

Old Liberty Bell rang out the political freedom that we cherish. But unless we learn how to make freedom ring the cash register, bureaucracy will ring down the curtain on our liberties.

What is the strange power that makes the government at Washington grow stronger and our state and local governments grow weaker while the people suffer the torment of war and the travail of insecurity and the shadow of dictatorship falls across the land? It is the same power that oppresses the people of all the world — the political money power.

The political money power is the power of national governments to buy the people’s sweat and blood with scraps of paper – paper that falls like a blotter upon our production and our freedom. Each day our

wealth diminishes and more of our liberties vanish. Inflation that threatens to bring chaos is just around the corner. As our sons bleed and our mothers weep, the same grinding power throws its pall over other lands.  Yet our chains are paper – paper money that, through our ignorance, binds us to the treadmill of our own destruction.

We can be masters of our destiny; we are all powerful, if we but realize it. In each of us resides the power to assure liberty, prosperity, security and peace. In each of us lies the money power, which, when springing from us, is democratic and virtuous; when springing from government is authoritarian and vicious. As we liberate our inherent money power we curb the political money power, for the more we use our self-created money, the less we need political money. Thus we defeat dictatorship. Thus we reconstruct the shattered world on a free democratic basis. Thus we save civilization.

Parchment freedoms are but taunts and mockeries without money freedom. A people dependent upon their government for money is a subject people regardless of the form of their government. No people can declare their independence and govern their government unless they assert their money freedom. A government that is not dependent upon its people for money supply is a tyranny regardless of its professions. Government must be made to beg the people for money; the people cannot be sovereign while petitioning government for money. The citizen must command both government and business through his money power. Political democracy is a delusion without economic democracy and economic democracy can function only through the power to issue money – the power to ring the cash register – the power to support and the power to withhold support. To prevent political dictatorship the citizen must himself be a dictator. To prevent centralization of power, power must be reserved by the people. Money power is sovereignty; without it democracy is impossible.

#     #     #

From Money Freedom, organ of The Private Enterprise Money Movement.

More monetary wisdom from E. C. Riegel, including his book, Private Enterprise Money, can be found at http://www.newapproachtofreedom.info/, and via my website https://beyondmoney.net/.

— Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

America’s shrinking democracy

Prof. Peter Dale Scott is an astute observer of social and political phenomena. In his recent article, The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American Democracy, he provides what I think is a very useful analysis of the present crisis in American government, which has serious implications for money, banking, and the shift toward a sustainable economy.

Here is an excerpt:

I would like in this essay to go further and propose a framework to analyze the on-going forces underlying all of the most important deep events, and how they have contributed to the political ascendance of what used to be called the military-industrial complex.  I hope to describe certain impersonal governing laws that determine the socio-dynamics of all large-scale societies (often called empires) that deploy their surplus of power to expand beyond their own borders and force their will on other peoples. This process of expansion generates predictable trends of behavior in the institutions of all such societies, and also in the individuals competing for advancement in those institutions. In America it has converted the military-industrial complex from a threat at the margins of the established civil order, to a pervasive force dominating that order.

With this framework I hope to persuade readers that in some respects our recent history is simpler than it appears on the surface and in the media. Our society, by its very economic successes and consequent expansion, has been breeding impersonal forces both outside and within itself that are changing it from a bottom-up elective democracy into a top-down empire. And among these forces are those that produce deep events.

I am far from alone in seeing this degradation of America’s policies and political processes. A similar pattern, reflecting the degradation of earlier empires, was described at length by the late Chalmers Johnson:

The evidence is building up that in the decade following the end of the Cold War, the United States largely abandoned a reliance on diplomacy, economic aid, international law, and multilateral institutions in carrying out its foreign policies and resorted much of the time to bluster, military force, and financial manipulation.

But my analysis goes beyond that of Johnson, Kevin Phillips, Andrew Bacevich, and other analysts, in proposing that three major deep events – Dallas, Watergate, and 9/11 – were not just part of this degradation of American democracy, but played a significant role in shaping it.

As author Michael Lind has observed, there have for a long time been two prevailing and different political cultures in America, underlying political differences in the American public, and even dividing different sectors of the American government.  One culture is predominantly egalitarian and democratic, working for the legal consolidation of human rights both at home and abroad. The other, less recognized but with deep historical roots, prioritizes and teaches the use of repressive violence against both domestic and Third World populations to maintain “order.”

To some extent these two mindsets are found in all societies. They correspond to two opposing modes of power and governance that were defined by Hannah Arendt as “persuasion through arguments” versus “coercion by force.” Arendt, following Thucydides, traced these to the common Greek way of handling domestic affairs, which was persuasion (πείθειν) as well as the common way of handling foreign affairs, which was force and violence (βία).”

Writing amid the protests and riots of the 1960s, Arendt feared that traditional authority was at risk, threatened (in her eyes) by the contemporary “loss of tradition and of religion.” A half century later, I would argue that a far greater danger to social equilibrium comes now from those on the right who invoke authority in the name of tradition and religion. With America’s huge expansion into the enterprise of covertly dominating and exploiting the rest of the world, the open processes of persuasion, which have been America’s traditional ideal for handling domestic affairs, have increasingly tilted towards top-down violence.

This tilt towards violent or repressive power is defended rhetorically as a means to preserve social stability, but in fact it threatens it. As Kevin Phillips and others have demonstrated, empires built on violent or repressive power tend to rise and then fall, often with surprising rapidity.  Underlying the discussion in this essay is the thesis that repressive power is unstable, creating dialectical forces both within and outside its system. Externally, repressive power helps create its own enemies, as happened with Britain (in India), France (in Indochina) and the Netherlands (in Indonesia).

Read the full essay here.