A recent video portrays real-life clashes between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators at events in California. As demonstrators yelled, damaged and stole signs and banners, and chased one another, it all seemed somewhat absurd.
But it also showed the sincerity of people, willing to stand outside in the extremely hot weather in order to seek a better life for themselves and their loved ones.
They have been propagandized into a climate of polarization and hate by those in power, while they might better find common ground and unite against their real enemy, which they have not yet identified.
The two-party system promotes and maintains the political division. It is interesting that, while enriching themselves through insider trading, both parties have no problem agreeing to spend billions on the war machine, and raising the military budget every year.
Yet they cannot agree on establishing any meaningful programs that would relieve the fleecing of Americans by corporate giants or help curtail the destruction caused by climate change.
While most Americans experience increasing poverty, growing debt, and decline in the standard of living, the right wing of the political spectrum blames the left, and the left wing blames the right.
Many blame immigrants and the rising population of minority races that threaten to outnumber the white descendants of the settlers who initially built the country (often on the backs of the minority races).
The Spread of Censorship and Propaganda
Amidst this division, Americans are also losing their constitutional right of free speech and are subjected to non-stop propaganda by the mainstream media. Those who disclose government crimes, like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, are subjected to persecution and prosecution by the government. John Pilger, an independent journalist, in addressing government propaganda, describes the coverage of the Ukraine war: “The news from the war in Ukraine is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission. I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda.”
Real journalists (as well as everyday citizens) are now being censored by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and are forced to find new internet outlets for their articles and videos. In the support of this censorship, social media platforms grant government authorities status that enables “censorship of discourses that challenge government-imposed narratives.” The large corporations that own these social media platforms are acting as agents of the U.S. government and the financial interests that control it.
We must ask ourselves, who is behind this propaganda and censorship that prevents Americans from learning the truth and speaking out against government-imposed narratives? Why does government ignore the needs of its people, engage in war and allow destruction of the planet? In answering this question, we can look to a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: “Terrorism, War and Bankruptcy are caused by the privatization of money, issued as a debt and compounded by interest.”
Centralized Power Is Created
Throughout much of history, money has been created and issued by private banks as debt with interest. The history surrounding banking in this country has been a series of ups and downs, bank runs and closures, with control shifting between states and the national government, and the framework strongly influenced by the financiers who acquired huge profits during the decades of westward expansion and the absorption of immigrants. Almost 12 million people immigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1900.
By 1904 a network had been established, involving “concentration, alliance and interdependence of the great financial, commercial and industrial interests of the United States.” In 1912, a congressional committee, known as the Pujo Committee, investigated the money trust.
A money trust was defined as “an established identity and community of interest between a few leaders of finance, which has been created and is held together through stock-holding, interlocking directorates [small groups of the same men serving as directors on several different boards], and other forms of domination over banks, trust companies, railroads, public service and industrial corporations, and which has resulted in vast and growing concentration and control of money and credits in the hands of a few men.” [Emphasis added.]
The Pujo Committee Report concluded in 1913 that a community of influential financial leaders had gained control of major manufacturing, transportation, mining, telecommunications and financial markets of the United States. It found interlocking directorates, with 180 individuals acting as directors in 112 corporations. It also discovered that a system known as “Bank Ethics” prohibited competition among banks and firms.
Resulting Failure by the Government to Heed Warnings
Less than a year after this ominous warning by the Pujo Committee, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913. The stated purpose of the Act was “to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system.”
The United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, gave Congress the authority “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.” Despite this power and privilege of money creation granted to Congress, the Federal Reserve Act provided for a system of 12 regional banks (the Federal Reserve System) to be owned by private banks, and gave private commercial banks the power, privilege and authority to create and issue nearly all of the money—by creating loans.
They enacted the exact “privatization of money, issued as a debt and compounded by interest” that Napoleon warned causes “Terrorism, War and Bankruptcy.” They also ignored a further warning by Napoleon: “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes.”
So, what is the “situation” in our country right now? Our country is in a state of perpetual war. The national debt is at $30.9 trillion, bankruptcies have grown dramatically since 1980. “Between 1980 and 2004, bankruptcies [per capita] grew at an annual average rate of 7.6 percent a year. As of 2004, the filing rate was…more than four times the 1980 rate and nearly 80 times the 1920 rate.” [Emphasis added.] The police have been militarized to the extent they are waging war on citizens. Napoleon was right. We are witnessing terrorism, war and bankruptcy.
Maintaining the Power
To what extent are the bankers controlling the situation? Obviously, the bankers select the recipients of their loans when they create new money. They also serve on the corporate boards of the corporations where they loan most money.
Their accumulated wealth from interest allows them to invest in stock as well. And let’s remember that the Pujo Committee found that they operate under a system of “Bank Ethics” that prohibits them from competing with one another. Thus, they form cabals and work together to control the “situation” and the inflationary prices.
Ownership of more than 50% of the shares in the largest corporations have been traced to just 30 owners, the majority of which are banks and financial institutions. Banks invest in tankers, pipelines, utilities, mines, metal warehouses, and other physical commodities, such as oil, natural gas, aluminum and other industrial metals, as well as own or control businesses like power plants, oil and gas pipelines, and commodity warehouses. Banks encourage and profit from wars.
Asset management companies like Blackrock, Vanguard invest in corporations on behalf of their clients—both individual and institutional. They presently control Big Pharma and mainstream media. These two companies, combined with State Street, are the largest single shareholder in almost 90% of all S&P 500 firms.
The obvious goal of the banks and asset management companies is to secure profits and income for themselves or their clients. With profit motives as their main concern, they are not likely to support any programs that would interfere with their profits.
Other control mechanisms of the bankers and the wealthy elite include the use of tax-exempt foundations to shape government policies. A study done on tax-exempt foundations found that “certain large foundations have exercised a profound influence upon the formation of government policy, by funding and directing institutions that provide policy advice to the government.”
Areas of influence include “education, the media, and public broadcasting.” Foundations often own businesses, and have trustees of the foundations serving on the board of directors of the businesses. The basic reasons these foundations are created by the super-rich are “to preserve wealth and revenue from taxation; and to protect the ownership of business companies from being purchased by competitors.”
Loss of Public Influence on Government Policy
Recent studies have shown that public opinion has almost no effect on the political process. What does have an effect is money. Over a five-year period 200 companies spent $5.8 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions to influence legislation. In return they netted $4 trillion in subsidies and support:
By category, the types of bank-controlled industries that contributed the most to influence government policy over a ten-year period included finance ($4.29 Bil.), communications ($3.50 Bil.), energy ($2.93 Bil.), agribusiness ($1.21 Bil.), and defense ($1.26 Bil.).
Political contributions in support of candidates are made by these entities to both major political parties. Both parties are lobbied as well. Money buys the candidates, just like it buys everything else. The bankers, in control of nearly every business in the U.S., make sure that they own the candidates from both parties. If you feel like your government does not care what you think, you have every reason to feel that way.
So let’s recap the present situation. The government censors free speech that contradicts its propaganda. Banks profit from all the main industries and control the government to make sure legislation does not harm their profits. Government policies thereby reflect the greed and psychopathy of those who control the situation.
A study of wealth inequality concludes: “Wealth concentration at the very top now exceeds the peak of the Gilded Age.” Meanwhile, the things that increase constantly in the U.S. are poverty, homelessness, mental illness, average cost of rent, real estate investment by Bill Gates and Wall Steet, average cost of housing, suicides, cost of health care…and the list goes on.
The Need for Regaining Control
Charitable and other organizations devoted to improving public policy work to relieve some of the suffering of those who do not benefit from the policies promoted by the banks and the government.
Organizations—some local and some national—promoting peace, climate justice, animal rights, clean water and air, healthful food, better working conditions, higher wages, affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, anti-racism programs, end of mass incarceration, free or affordable health care, improved mental health care, improved agriculture practices, free education through the university level, and many other social reforms, probably number in the tens of thousands.
All of those who work with these organizations need to understand that those who have created the “situation” in our country are not about to change anything that will affect their own “profits.”
Until the present monetary system—that allows bankers to create money as loans and direct and control investments—is changed, there will be no change in those social issues. We do not control the government policies. The moneyed “elites” do.
As Warren Buffett said: “There’s been class warfare for the last 20 years, and my class has won.” The class war has actually been going on for more than 20 years. The actions of Congress in 1913 set the stage for Buffett’s class to win.
Remember that the purpose of the Federal Reserve Act was to provide a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. The Constitution also empowered Congress to regulate the value of the money it was empowered to create. The graph below illustrates the decline in the value of the dollar’s purchasing power from 1913 to 2011:
It should be obvious that Congress has completely failed to carry out its constitutional responsibilities to create money and regulate its value. It has left the privately owned Federal Reserve System to enhance the profits of its corporations instead of carrying out its duties.
The Fed has created periods of depression and recession through its manipulation of the money supply—including the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession in 2008. Recessions and depressions cause massive loan defaults, and the banks then collect the collateral that secured the loans. In other words, they create a massive transfer of wealth.
Our government has in the past created debt-free money. The most commonly recognized occurrence was during the Civil War when President Lincoln authorized the printing and issuance of Greenbacks. This avoided the necessity of borrowing from banks, and enabled the funding of the nation’s defense.
All the post-war progressive populist movements of the late 19th century demanded more debt-free greenbacks to fund the nation’s infrastructure, roads, utilities, libraries, schools and hospitals that would have provided millions of badly needed jobs. Unfortunately, the banks once again regained the upper hand and caused the greenbacks to gradually disappear.
First Steps Toward Working Together
It is time for all those protesting our social ills to understand that we must unite to take back control of our country from the banks. Occupy Wall Street in 2011 was a widespread movement that recognized the need to do that, but was ultimately crushed by the government.
We must demand that our government act responsibly in the creation of money. If the present system is allowed to remain, it can only have a bad ending—particularly when looking at the state of the government debt:
The people of this nation need to ignore the misguided political organizations and instead unite and organize to re-engage in the class war destroying our world, and take back control of our government and public policy.
Until that is done the quality of life on this planet will continue to be degraded by greed.
There is hope as a nascent international movement of groups is seeking to take back their nations’ sovereignty, and take back their monetary systems from the global banking cartel.
The United States Green Party’s Banking and Monetary Reform Committee has solutions to change the system. There is also a list of about 100 organizations that are working toward ending the polarization in the country, and offers sources for assistance in ending divisiveness. We do not have much time to turn things around. But our continued existence depends on it.
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About the Author
Rita Jacobs is a retired lawyer, former IRS employee, an anti-war activist and monetary reform activist.
Rita is a co-founder and present co-chair of the United States Green Party’s Banking and Monetary Reform Committee, and also a member and former co-chair of its Peace Action Committee.