Publisher’s Note: Vermont historian, currency expert, and thespian Jim Hogue writes here on the history of “all wars as bankers’ wars.” Incredibly timely and important analysis. […]
What is wealth? Wealth comes from the sun, the soil, water and labor. Without sunlight, rich soil, pure water, and constructive labor there is no basis for wealth.
What is poverty? Poverty is not having enough food, shelter, clothing, clean air, water, and constructive labor to produce goods and services.
For 700 years tally sticks were used as a way to measure and share the wealth that was generated from the sun, soil, water and labor. Colonial scrip was another method as were United States greenbacks and various other currencies that were created outside of the banking system. Commerce could be carried out either by cash transactions, mutual credit, barter, or cash. There was indebtedness, of course, as you could read about in “Debt, the First 5000 Years” by David Graeber. He explains how debt and war became entangled since the formation of the Bank of England.
“Starting from our baseline date of 1700, then what we see at the dawn of modern capitalism is a gigantic financial apparatus of credit and debt that operates – in practical effect – to pump more and more labor out of just about everyone with whom it comes into contact, and as a result produces an endlessly expanding volume of material goods. It does so not just by moral compulsion, but above all by using moral compulsion to mobilize sheer physical force. At every point, the familiar but peculiarly European entanglement of war and commerce reappears . . . The national debts of England, France, and the others were based in money borrowed not to dig canals and erect bridges, but to acquire the gunpowder needed to bombard cities and to construct the camps required for the holding of prisoners and training of recruits. Almost all the bubbles of the eighteenth century involved some fantastic scheme to use the proceeds of colonial ventures to pay for European wars. Paper money was debt money, and debt money was war money, and this has always remained the case. Those who financed Europe’s endless military conflicts also employed the government’s police and prisons to extract ever-increasing productivity from the rest of the population “1
In 1694 the Bank of England was formed, and, in the western world, currency creation became a function and privilege of banking rather than society. Banks became the beneficiaries of creating money. This is seigniorage.2 Banks decided who got the money because all money was created and issued by them as debt. From that time forth, commerce was possible because merchants and suppliers and builders and farmers had to borrow money from banks in order to enter the game of commercial life. In effect, the bankers became the sovereigns.
Debt became a belief system in itself. Gold and silver remained currencies as well as standards and belief systems. So if you had gold in your back yard you could harvest it when you needed funds. Otherwise you had to beg, borrow or steal unless you had the cash on hand.
In the event that you made money (profit) from an enterprise, you could risk it via a stock market which was set up for that purpose. You could also lend it to a bank (which is called making a deposit) and earn interest from the bank. The bank creates loans based on the amount of money deposited and upon its reserves, while the deposits remain in the bank as liabilities (because a deposit is the bank’s liability to the depositor). A loan is an asset for the bank because a loan is the borrower’s liability to the bank, for which the bank charges interest. This is banking. On the grand scale the same thing happens with billions at stake. The amounts are incalculable because derivative bets are placed on the success and failure of the loans. As you may have noticed, when the too-big-to-fail banks lose their bets, the tax payers are on the hook. And the big banks’ directors, CEOs and presidents are beyond prosecution. This is further proof that the big banks are sovereign. (Recall the orders to Obama and Holder from Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan to cease and abandon all prosecutions for bank fraud – prosecutions instigated as a result of the bank fraud investigations concerning the 2008 collapse.)
Wars are usually fought over resources and territories – territories that either possess the resources or are a route by which the resources are shipped. Enter banking when the territories, the resources, and the shipping of the resources are monetized. The plans to acquire them are monetized first. The entrepreneurs and/or conquistadors borrow the money from banks or investors in order to harvest the resources, claim the territories, and set up means of transportation and commerce. If the banks like the idea, they monetize it with a loan. Given that the people from whom the resources and territories are acquired don’t usually surrender their resources and territory voluntarily, there is a war. The bankers often instigate the war and then monetize (lend money to) both or all sides so that they can collect on as many debts as possible. The payment of debt by the losing side is called reparations. Rebuilding what their constabulary has destroyed is the jewel in the bankers’ crown, especially if the defeated country was not previously in their web of debt, which is usually the case.
The examples that follow demonstrate this. They show the history of several wars, and how they were conceived or why they were fought and even prolonged.
One other common practice of the big banks must be explained first in order to show the modus operandi at work. This is called the “economic hit” as you know if you have read the works of John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
The economic hit is the method that the bankers use to achieve their goals without a war. It begins with a series of persuasive actions to convince the mark that a loan is beneficial. If the mark doesn’t buy it, then arms are twisted leading to intimidating actions that happen before the president of the targeted country boards an exploding plane, as happened to Omar Torrijos of Panama. It happened the other day (November 10, 2019)3 to Evo Morales in Bolivia (not to mention the mechanical fault in the tail rotor of his helicopter earlier in November). In the cases of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran the persuasive economic hit was not in the cards. These countries were firmly outside of the web of debt. Syria and Iran still are, and hence the flummery and propaganda that spew relentlessly from the media and the masters of war.
The War of Independence
Your textbook in school probably explained to you that the War of Independence was fought on the principle of “Taxation without Representation” and, specifically, because of the Stamp Act. I beg to differ, along with Benjamin Franklin who wrote: “The refusal of King George III to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution.”4
It’s not that there weren’t multiple causes, but the fact that Franklin, along with several others,5 claimed that the Currency Acts of 1751 and 1764 were the prime causes should make one realize that there were monetary forces at work. The colonies were by no means united in revolutionary zeal, and a concession by the crown to allow Franklin’s invention of colonial scrip would probably have taken away the perceived need for secession from England. The purpose of a colony was never to benefit the people who settled it. The purpose of a colony was to create income and goods for the mother country. In the case of the American colonies, it was for those entities that put up the money, such as The Virginia Company of London. They put up the money for the Mayflower and thereby indebted the pilgrims to servitude. That servitude ended when the colonies created their own paper money (bills of credit) a hundred years later. Never had the world seen such rapid growth in productivity. This was outside of the banking system, so loans to the British banks could not be paid back in specie or in pound notes. Knickers in a twist, the bankers eventually persuaded the crown to limit (in 1751) and, in 1764, to prohibit the issuance of this money. A severe contraction of the money supply was the inevitable result, grinding production to a halt throughout the realms of agriculture, government, education, transportation, business, housing, and commerce of all kinds. In a word, poverty. When the Brits comprehended that their colonies couldn’t pay the British troops, the Brits amended the Currency Act of 1764 in 1773; but it was too little too late. That “long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object” persuaded the founding fathers to “provide new guards for their future security.”
The War of 1812
The currency contest between Hamilton’s national bank (chartered in 1791) and Jefferson’s ideas of public money continued for the next several years. The charter for the national bank was not renewed in 1811 because the bank “wound up largely under foreign (British) ownership and control.”6 Two thirds of the bank ended up under British control. When congress voted to close it, the Rothschilds stepped up to the plate because public money was, and still is, anathema to the international bankers. Nathan Mayer Rothschild said, “Teach those impudent Americans a lesson. Bring them back to colonial status.”7 And: “Either the application for the renewal of the charter is granted, or the United States will find itself in a most disastrous war.”8 Nathan got his war and his bank: the second Bank of the United States in 1816. He had learned something from his father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, (aka Bauer) whose most famous quote is, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money, and I care not who writes its laws.” 9
Andrew Jackson vs the Bankers
The struggle among the bankers and the advocates of public money went on apace until the bankers’ ultimate victory: the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913. The intervening period proves the bankers’ zeal to reach their goals, and proves the point, above, made by Mayer Rothschild. Along with Jefferson, Paine and Franklin, Andrew Jackson understood that a central bank was the enemy of general prosperity and democracy, as well as being, in itself, a powerful government from abroad. Echoing the principles of Thomas Jefferson in his veto of the 1832 Bank Charter he wrote:
“ . . . It [the Bank] enjoys an exclusive privilege of banking under the authority of the General Government, a monopoly of its favor and support, and, as a necessary consequence, almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange. . . .
 . . . It appears that more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners and the residue is held by a few hundred of our citizens, chiefly of the richest class. . . .
 . . . The entire control . . . would necessarily fall into the hands of a few citizen stockholders. . . . There is danger that a president and directors would then be able to elect themselves from year to year, and without responsibility or control manage the whole concerns of the bank . . . . It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.
 Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country? The president of the bank has told us that most of the State banks exist by its forbearance. Should its influence become concentered, as it may under . . . such an act as this, in the hands of a self-elected directory whose interest are identified with foreign stockholders, will there not be cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace and for the independence of our country in war? . . . But if any private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers . . . it can not be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence.”10
. . .” Controlling our currency, receiving our public monies, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would be more formidable and dangerous than a naval and military power of the enemy.”11
On January 30, 1835, Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate Jackson. There is no proof of a conspiracy of banksters, but Lawrence had “patsy” written all over him. Both guns in working order misfired, and Lawrence spent the rest of his life in a mental institution.12
The War Between the States
The motivations and cast of characters are complex and controversial. Suffice it to say that the Confederate States wanted to secede, and the North didn’t want them to. The great paradox is that Lincoln advocated a national bank (see the National currency Act of 1863 and the National Bank Act of 1864), which issued bonds as debt. And, at the same time, his Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, created the United States Notes (Greenbacks), which were a debt free, publicly issued currency.
Another paradox was, on one hand, Lincoln’s belief in a central bank, and, on the other, his knowledge of the corruption and greed of which bankers were capable. Add this to the suspicion concerning foreign owners of these banks, and to the fact that Britain generally leaned toward the South, while British bankers (via The Morgan Bank) offered to lend money to Lincoln (at preposterous interest rates). Note this quote from honest Abe:
“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.” Abraham Lincoln 13
Bankers were not (nor are they now) influenced by nationalism, race, politics, or religion. That is why they lend money to both sides of a conflict. It was the Morgan Bank in New York (infused with money from European banks) that made the loan offer to President Lincoln. The British government favored the South because they wanted two weaker countries, and Parliament may have felt threatened by the growing industrial power of the United States. The bankers, however, were just doing their job.
Another historical fact that belongs in this time frame, and that will become of crucial importance throughout history, is that Czar Alexander II of Russia was an ally of Lincoln and of the cause of emancipation. The serfs in Russia gained their freedom by means of The Emancipation Edict of 1861. For this Czar Alexander II became known as The Great Liberator.14
How Central Banks Fund Our Age of Endless War — THE ARTFUL DILETTANTE
The 20th century was the century of total war. Limitations on the scope of war, built up over many centuries, had already begun to break down in the 19th century, but they were altogether obliterated in the 20th. And of course the sheer amount of resources that centralized states could bring to bear in war, […]How Central Banks Fund Our Age of Endless War — THE ARTFUL DILETTANTE