“Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory,” John F. Kennedy said in an address to the UN General Assembly in 1961. “It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer concern the great powers alone.
“For a nuclear disaster, spread by wind and water and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war — or war will put an end to mankind.
“It is therefore our intention, to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arm’s race, but to a peace race. To advance together, step by step. Stage by stage. Until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.
“Let us call a truce to terror,” Kennedy went on. “Let us invoke the blessings of peace. And, as we build an international capacity to keep peace, let us join in dismantling the national capacity to wage war.”
Two years later, as you know, Kennedy was murdered on national TV for the entire world to see.
Who knows how serious he was about his path to peace, or how it would’ve panned out. Or, whether or not his plan to “dismantle” the military-industrial complex was part of the motive behind his assassination. Since him, though, to great disaster, no president has uttered stronger words against the rogue military-industrial complex.
Fast-forward to today, and we see, all around the world, the result of such silence against the war machine…
Recently, as the latest example, Putin warned a group of Western journalists that the world is being pulled “irreversibly” toward war.
Now, we’re not exactly fans of authori-Putin, but he is the only one who seems to want to talk about the Totalitarian Tip-Toe by Western powers seeking, as usual, to stir [expletive deleted] up.
With WWIII potentially staring us in the face, and our “leaders” uttering not a word, we think Putin’s worth lending at least an earlobe.
You would think that such an explosive press conference, with many Western journalists in attendance, held at the International Economic Forum would — at the very least — warrant a 30-second mention on the nightly news. But, of course, what Putin had to say doesn’t fit the distractifying narrative of the day. So no airtime for the Russian bear.
“The ‘Iranian threat’ does not exist,” an exasperated Putin told the journalists, “but the NATO Missile Defense System is being positioned in Europe.
“That means we were right when we said that their reasons are not genuine, they were not being open with us. Always referring to the ‘Iranian threat’ in order to justify this system. Once again, they lied to us.
“Now,” he went on, “the system is functioning and being loaded with missiles. As you [journalists] should know, these missiles are put into capsules, which are used in the Tomahawk long-range missile system. So, these are being loaded with missiles that can penetrate territories within a 500km range.
“But we know that technologies advance, and we even know in which year the U.S. will accomplish the next missile. This missile will be able to penetrate distances of up to 1000km, and then even further. And from that moment on, they will start to directly threaten Russia’s nuclear potential.
“We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger — this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.”
NATO, as you may know, is little more than the lapdog of the elite. It’s a Cold-War era apparatus which provokes crises in order to justify its existence. The more terror attacks in the world, the more cheers and beer-clinking at NATO. It thrives on chaos.
It should’ve been abolished 25 years ago, when the Cold War was officially over but, instead, it began manufacturing terror when it couldn’t find any and now operates more like an international mafia racket than a “security alliance” between nations.
To wit: “In 1998,” Thierry Meyssan writes in his article The Twilight of NATO, “NATO waged its first war against a tiny state (presently Serbia) which posed no threat whatsoever. The United States deliberately created the condition for the conflict, forming the Kosovar terrorist mafia which operated from the Turkish base of Incirlik, organising a terror campaign in Serbia, then accusing the Serbian government of repressing it with disproportionate force.”
NATO then began absorbing countries formerly in the Warsaw Pact — an old defense treaty among Soviet allies, created in response to the organization’s integration of West Germany into the Old Boy’s Club.
“When the expansion efforts finally reached Ukraine,” Jacob G. Hornberger writes on the Future of Freedom Foundation’s blog, “NATO strived to absorb that country as well, which it came very close to doing thanks to a pro-U.S. coup that had all the earmarks of a successful CIA regime-change operation. Absorbing Ukraine into NATO would have meant U.S. bases, troops, tanks and missiles on Russia’s border and the U.S. takeover of Russia’s long-time military base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.”
Russia, of course, wasn’t going to let this happen, so this led to Russia annexing Crimea and the Ukrainian crisis.
Over the years, in short, NATO and Western powers have, under the guise of “spreading democracy,” pushed countries into chaos then snapped up vast oil reserves, oil pipelines, opium fields, and mineral deposits.
Yet another satisfied customer of “freedom” and “democracy”
Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex enjoyed no-bid contracts and strategic positioning around the world. And, let’s not forget, banksters, through the implantation of central banks, were given control of the “democratized” country’s monetary systems, too.
War is the health of the State. Monopolized currency is the blood.
Conflict and controlled chaos is, of course, the nexus of how the Establishment keeps this racket in place. But it would be impossible without monopolistic control of the money supply.
Under a sound monetary system, it would be much more difficult, for example, for the U.S. to throw untold amounts of money to arm and train “moderate rebels” who behead children.
“Members of an American-backed rebel group in Syria,” Katie Zavadski reported earlier this week in The Daily Beast, “beheaded a young child in a grisly execution video.
“The footage surfaced early Tuesday of members of Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki and a captured child in Handarat, near Aleppo. The young boy, who appears to be prepubescent, is then executed on the back of a pickup truck.”
With sound money, again, governments are forced to have restraint, since the money must either be taxed or loaned by (mostly) willing parties. With the Federal Reserve System, though, there’s no need. The solution is to simply borrow against the future and do whatever pleases the Establishment with the money.
And it’s the oldest trick in the book…
“It is the government’s monopoly over the money supply that allows it to resort to inflation as a form of raising revenue,” Henry Makow writes in his article, The Federal Reserve as an Instrument of War. “Kings and queens, by secretly reducing the amount of gold in coins they issued to the public, could use the gold held back to pay for their own pet conquests. Slowly the public would discover that the coins they were using had less gold than the amount indicated on their face. Their value would be bid down, and the coin-holding public would bear the costs in lost purchasing power.
“The Federal Reserve,” Makow goes on, “has helped underwrite continued American military expenditures, even after the World Wars. As of 2009, ‘Defense’ accounts for 23% of all American Federal spending. And therefore, the gargantuan size of the American Federal debt is related to the continuation of American military interventions abroad.”
Also, as we now know, the Federal Reserve wasn’t limited to throwing money at just one side of the war. Makow goes on:
“Most of us naively assume that the Federal Reserve only underwrote the American war effort. This is not the case. In World War II, the Lend-Lease program was used to ship supplies worth $759 billion in 2008 to other countries involved in the war. Some of these countries, such as Soviet Union and China, cannot be considered friendlies. Even more bewildering is the fact that the inflated dollars churned out by the Federal Reserve managed to find their way into Nazi Germany, through American private ‘investments.’ Once we discard the myth that Germany recovered after World War I like a punching doll, it appears that the rearmament of Germany was largely the effort of American ‘investors’ investing the new American dollars produced by the Federal Reserve.”
Today, we invite Lew Rockwell to expand on how central banks and their thieves “from up high” allow, in our names, the murdering of innocent people, the destruction of modern cities and governments, and the fire sale of entire countries.
And why the freeing of money is the most important issue of our time.
War and Inflation
[Note: The following is an excerpt from a speech made by Lew at the Future of Freedom Foundation‘s conference on “Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties,” on June 6, 2008, in Reston, Virginia.]
The U.S. central bank, called the Federal Reserve, was created in 1913. No one promoted this institution with the slogan that it would make wars more likely and guarantee that nearly half a million Americans would die in battle in foreign lands, along with millions of foreign soldiers and civilians.
No one pointed out that this institution would permit Americans to fund, without taxes, the destruction of cities abroad and overthrow governments at will. No one said that the central bank would make it possible for the U.S. to be at large-scale war in one of every four years for a full century. It was never pointed out that this institution would make it possible for the U.S. government to establish a global empire that would make Imperial Rome and Britain look benign by comparison.
You can line up 100 professional war historians and political scientists and talk about the twentieth century, and not one is likely to mention the role of the Fed in funding U.S. militarism. And yet it is true: the Fed is the institution that has created the money to fund the wars. In this role, it has solved a major problem that the state has confronted for all of human history. A state without money or a state that must tax its citizens to raise money for its wars is necessarily limited in its imperial ambitions. Keep in mind that this is only a problem for the state. It is not a problem for the people. The inability of the state to fund its unlimited ambitions is worth more for the people than every kind of legal check and balance. It is more valuable than all the constitutions ever devised.
The state has no wealth that is its own. It is not a profitable enterprise. Everything it possesses it must take from society in a zero-sum game. That usually means taxes, but taxes annoy people. They can destabilize the state and threaten its legitimacy. They inspire anger, revolt, and even revolution. Rather than risk that result, the state from the Middle Ages to the dawn of the central banking age was somewhat cautious in its global ambitions simply because it was cautious in its need to steal openly and directly from the people in order to pay its bills.
To be sure, it doesn’t require a central bank for a state to choose inflation over taxes as a means of funding itself. All it really requires is a monopoly on the production of money.
Once acquired, the monopoly on money production leads to a systematic process of depreciating the currency, whether by coin clipping or debasement or the introduction of paper money, which can then be printed without limit. The central bank assists in this process in a critical sense: it cartelizes the banking system as the essential conduit by which money is lent to the public and to the government itself. The banking system thereby becomes a primary funding agency to the state, and, in exchange for its services, the banking system is guaranteed against insolvency and business failure as it profits from inflation.
If the goal of the state is the complete monopolization of money under an infinitely flexible paper-money system, there is no better path for the state than the creation of a central bank. This is the greatest achievement for the victory of power over liberty.
The connection between war and inflation, then, dates long before the creation of the Federal Reserve. In fact, in America, it dates to the colonial era, and to the founding itself. The fate of the Continental currency, printed massively during and after the Revolutionary war, for example, was a very bad omen for our future, and the whole country paid a very serious price. It was this experience that later led to the gold clause in the U.S. Constitution. Except for the Hamiltonians, that entire generation of political activists saw the unity of freedom and sound money, and regarded paper money as the fuel of tyranny.
Consider Thomas Paine: “Paper money is like dram-drinking, it relieves for a moment by deceitful sensation, but gradually diminishes the natural heat, and leaves the body worse than it found it. Were not this the case, and could money be made of paper at pleasure, every sovereign in Europe would be as rich as he pleased…. Paper money appears at first sight to be a great saving, or rather that it costs nothing; but it is the dearest money there is. The ease with which it is emitted by an assembly at first serves as a trap to catch people in at last. It operates as an anticipation of the next year’s taxes.”
But the wisdom of this generation, subverted by Lincoln, was finally thrown out during the Progressive Era. It was believed that an age of scientific public policy needed a scientific money machinery that could be controlled by powerful elites. The dawn of the age of central banking was also the dawn of the age of central planning, for there can be no government control over the nation’s commercial life without first controlling the money. And once the state has the money and the banking system, its ambitions can be realized.
Before the creation of the Federal Reserve, the idea of American entry into the conflict that became World War I would have been inconceivable. In fact, it was a highly unpopular idea, and Woodrow Wilson himself campaigned on a platform that promised to keep us out of war. But with a money monopoly, all things seem possible. It was a mere four years after the Fed was invented under the guise of scientific policy planning that the real agenda became obvious. The Fed would fund the U.S. entry into World War I.
It was not only entry alone that was made possible. World War I was the first total war. It involved nearly the whole of the civilized world, and not only their governments but also the civilian populations, both as combatants and as targets. It has been described as the war that ended civilization in the 19th-century sense in which we understand that term. That is to say, it was the war that ended liberty as we knew it. What made it possible was the Federal Reserve. And not only the U.S. central bank; it was also its European counterparts. This was a war funded under the guise of scientific monetary policy.
Reflecting on the calamity of this war, Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1919 that “One can say without exaggeration that inflation is an indispensable means of militarism. Without it, the repercussions of war on welfare become obvious much more quickly and penetratingly; war weariness would set in much earlier.”
There is always a price to be paid for funding war through the central bank. The postwar situation in America was a classic case. There was inflation. There were massive dislocations. There was recession or what was then called depression, a direct result of capital dislocation that masked itself as an economic boom, but which was then followed by a bust. The depression hit in 1920, but it is not a famous event in United States economic history. Why is that? Because the Federal Reserve had not yet acquired the tools to manufacture an attempt to save the economy. Instead, neither the Fed nor Congress nor the President did much of anything about it — a wholly praiseworthy response! As a result, the depression was brief and became a footnote to history. The same would have happened in 1930 had Hoover not attempted to use the government as the means of resuscitation.
It is the central bank, and only the central bank, that works as the government’s money machine, and this makes all the difference. Now, it is not impossible that a central bank can exist alongside a gold standard, a lender of last resort that avoids the temptation to destroy that which restrains it. In the same way, it is possible for someone with an insatiable appetite for wine to sit at a banquet table of delicious vintages and not take a sip.
Let’s just say that the existence of a central bank introduces an occasion of sin for the government. That is why under the best gold standard, there would be no central bank, gold coins would circulate as freely as their substitutes, and rules against fraud and theft would prohibit banks from pyramiding credit on top of demand deposits. So long as we are constructing the perfect system, all coinage would be private. Banks would be treated as businesses, no special privileges, no promises of bailout, no subsidized insurance, and no connection to government at any level.
This is the free-market system of monetary management, which means turning over the institution of money entirely to the market economy. As with any institution in a free society, it is not imposed from above, and dictated by a group of experts, but is the de facto result that comes about in a society that consistently respects private-property rights, encourages enterprise, and promotes peace.
It comes down to this. If you hate war, oppose the Fed. If you hate violations of your liberties, oppose the Fed. If you want to restrain despotism, restrain the Fed. If you want to secure freedom for yourself and your descendants, abolish the Fed.
[Ed. note: The full speech is on Lew Rockwell’s blog here. Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail] is founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and author of Speaking of Liberty]
Founder, Ludwig von Mises Institute