Posts Tagged ‘economic growth’

A very short history of coups d’état in the U.S.

6 October 2013

It is time for me to put in my 2 cents on this matter, as the political scene continues to be quite extreme.

It is common in history to think of political coups as being accomplished by killing (assassinating) the existing government leader.

For some reason, this line of reasoning is not followed in the United States. All assassins were lone nuts or extremists, not associated with any political opposition group. This seems to me to be highly silly.

In this, I follow the analysis of Bill Still in his 2010 documentary “The Secret of OZ.” Many others looking into this have come to the same conclusions, and include the Kennedy assassination in the same group as the others. The attempted assassination of Andrew Jackson in 1835 is also usually included in this list, as it was overtly political. The only presidential assassination which does not fit this pattern was the William McKinley shooting, but it definitely is part of this subject.

Four Presidents killed; one political issue.

The attempt on Jackson’s life was made on 30 Jan 1835.

Lincoln was taken out on 14 April 1865.

Garfield was wounded on 2 July 1881 and died of complications about a week later.

William McKinley was shot by an anarchist on 6 Sept 1901 and died a week later.

Teddy Roosevelt was wounded by a man who claimed to be avenging the death of McKinley on 14 Oct 1912.

And Kennedy was taken down on 22 Nov 1963.

What is the issue that ties all these deaths and attempts together?

Who controls the money supply?

It can be established that public (government) control of the money supply can lead to a prosperous economy that grows stably.

Still’s film cites Roman coinage, English tally sticks, and Colonial Scrip as examples of government-issued money that fostered economic growth and general prosperity.

The Founding Fathers were aware of the usefulness of Colonial Scrip, and started the Revolution majorly on demands from England that all debts be paid in gold, which was scarce in the colonies.

During the conflict, the colonies printed “Continentals,” a paper money, to get by during the war. This was undermined by massive English counterfeiting. When time came to write the Constitution, the rampant inflation caused by the counterfeit Continentals was still on everyone’s mind, and the Constitution only allowed the federal government to mint coins, not print paper money.

From that time until today, a largely unpublicized political battle has raged over what body would be allowed to issue paper money in the U.S.

Timeline of the Money Wars

The early Congress was persuaded to create a private bank in 1782 to issue paper money. This bank, the Bank of North America, inflated the money supply, so Congress killed it in 1785.

The next privately-owned bank allowed to issue money was chartered for 20 years in 1791. Thomas Jefferson (among others) didn’t like the idea. As time went on, it become more and more clear that it was a bad idea. After Congress refused to renew the charter in 1811, the British attacked Washington D.C. in 1812.

This pressure eventually resulted in a new private central bank being chartered for 20 years in 1816. During this period, Congress came under the thumb of private banking interests, and renewed the bank’s charter in 1836. However, Andrew Jackson vetoed the renewal.

So the bankers secretly declared war on the American people. When they could not get a new private central bank, they started the Civil War, hoping to divide the new nation and thus defeat its will to be financially independent. Lincoln printed “greenbacks” during the war, and intended to continue this practice. When it was clear the war would not divide the country, Lincoln was taken out in the spring of 1865.

After this, Congress, still firmly in the pockets of the banking interests, was persuaded to reduce the money supply in the United States, causing a depression. The Coinage Act of 1873 was passed to take silver coins out of circulation. In response to this suppression, a “greenbacker” movement was born, and also a “free silver” movement. Garfield supported these causes.

He was taken out on 2 July 1881 after being in office only a few months.

European banks continued the pressure by again demanding payment in gold, as England had done prior to the revolution. This resulted in a “panic” in 1893, and massive loss of wealth by small banks and farmers.

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan ran on an anti-banker platform. The bankers defeated him with a rumor-mongering campaign. This allowed them to pass the Gold Standard Act of 1900.

But the populace was still anti-banker and supported Teddy Roosevelt. He was shot in October of 1912 but survived.

However, Woodrow Wilson was pushed into signing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, and we still have that system today. (The Federal Reserve is a private bank that issues all paper money in the United States.)

It is believed that Kennedy had plans to change this system. Since he was taken out, no President has seriously talked about it, though it is obvious to the public that the banking sector remains largely corrupt.

Coup D’état: Accomplished

For all intents and purposes, the banking interests won in the United States in 1913. They consolidated their power with the Kennedy assassination in 1963.

There has been much written and said about who these people really are, where they come from, what they want, and to what extent their power reaches. I just call them “criminals.” That’s basically all they are. They want to get rich without working, because they can’t work, they can’t invent, they can’t dream of anything bright or beautiful. They are locked in cages of their own designing; they have no business running a nation or a bank. The sooner we learn to handle them, the better our futures will be.

The Myth of Progress

6 September 2012

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.
Adam Smith – Scottish propagansist, died 1790. From his book …The Wealth of Nations.

We are all familiar, I trust, with the paradigm of “progress.” In this case I am thinking, in particular, to the concept of economic growth based on mechanization of both capital and labor.

History tells us that the idea surfaced as part of a period known as “The Enlightenment” which started around 1650 and seems to have been an attempt by Western power brokers to enlist the intellectuals of the time to re-frame their propaganda in terms of “pure reason” as opposed to tradition, faith or revelation. This implicitly tells us that tradition, faith and revelation were being tossed out as valid sources of political or economic power – and knowledge.

The first attempt to “rationalize” human conduct, and the power brokers’ new paradigm of “progress” was a concept usually termed by the intellectuals “enlightened self-interest.” This was proposed to be the most obvious motivation of the human being, and the vital force behind the implementation of “new” technologies like steam engines and the division of labor (factories).

Globalization presumes sustained economic growth. Otherwise, the process loses its economic benefits and political support.
Paul Samuelson – American liberal economist, died 2009.

The paradigm of “progress (economic growth)” is being sold to the public on the basis that it will result in personal benefits to them (per the doctrine of enlightened self-interest). But it relies on intense consumerism, constant (but superficial) innovation, and empty propaganda to drive it, and those activities aren’t sustainable.

Say a being, or group of beings, wants a universe to play in. They go about creating one. And then they have it. Or do they? One amongst them somehow convinces most of the others that this universe isn’t good enough. That they shouldn’t be content with it. If this tactic works, everyone gets busy “improving” their playground, instead of playing in it.

Maybe they have convinced themselves that this new activity is “fun.” But if one of them slacks off and tells the others, “Hey I just want to play for a while,” he will be rejected by the others, won’t he? So what do you have now? A playground, or a prison?

Discontent is the first necessity of progress.
Thomas A. Edison

Take a single individual. He wants a house to protect him from the weather. So he builds one. And now he has it. But someone comes along and convinces him that this house is not good enough. The furniture looks old-fashioned. He should really add a porch. He needs to expand his garage. His appliances use too much energy and need to be replaced. He really needs a TV in every room. And then he needs to change them all to flat screens. And then he needs to change all those to high definition. And then he needs to add a stereo sound system. And then he needs to change that into surround sound. And by the way, he now needs a new car that looks cool and gets better mileage because it’s controlled by a computer.

So he takes all his “old” stuff and puts it in his attic, so there is room for his new stuff. Then he expands his attic so it can hold more old stuff. And he puts more old stuff in it, so he can get more new new stuff.

Then one day he is sitting peacefully in his beautiful house watching 5 TVs at the same time, while playing two video games and multitasking for his two jobs using his new fiber optic internet connection when he hears a creak, then a crack, then a crash. And before he knows it, he has been buried alive by the contents of his attic. May he rest in peace.

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
H. L. Mencken – American writer and humorist, died 1956.

Progress, or Death?

Is this real progress? Or is this a kind of hectic suicide?

What is missing in this paradigm?

Here is one way to look at what is missing: The concept of completing a cycle of action.

When something is DONE, you can stop doing it and move on to something else! Novel concept?

If you need an environment, build one. Then stop! It’s DONE. Now move on to using that environment for whatever you built it for. Finished doing that? Good! Now you can think up a new game and play that for a while.

Progress may have been all right once, but it went on too long;
Ogden Nash – 1959 (from a poem)

Our current paradigm of “progress” traps us in the “start (create)” portion of the cycle. And we just keep creating stuff. Over and over and over. Creating more and more and more stuff.

What is one of the biggest challenges of modern industrial societies? TRASH!

Why do we throw away the things we make after using them for, like a year or maybe two? Most things we make will last for anything from a few years to several lifetimes if you maintain them. So why are we so bent on throwing things away? Doesn’t it seem a little crazy to you?

What we have is a “civilization” that refuses to acknowledge the completion of cycles of action. It worships at the altar of “start!”

This can only work, with physical objects, if you are just as good at un-creating things as you are at creating things. Oops. They don’t teach that in school!

The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation, but false progress.
Sydney J. Harris – American journalist, died 1986

True progress

There IS a workable paradigm of progress. But it does not apply to physical growth. It’s not that physical progress is never appropriate. It’s just that it needs to be balanced.

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
Lao Tzu

There IS something that beings can “grow” to their hearts’ content: Ability.

You can never have enough ability. You can work on an ability for lifetimes, and still find ways to improve it. For those who want a game that never ends, this is your game. The game of growing ability. In this game lies true progress.

Ability includes the ability to un-create and re-create at will. These are abilities we have lost that need to be regained. These are abilities we need in order to free ourselves from the prison of “progress” in the physical world.

The best road to progress is freedom’s road.
John F. Kennedy

Most quotes courtesy of http://www.brainyquote.com.