The history of mankind is really the history of power. The unspoken part of this fact is that money and wealth (not the same things) are prime components of power. Physical power is an important component, but knowledge and wisdom are equally important components. Numerical superiority of a civilization or culture is a part of the physical component, but persons require sustenance, and so land, resources and production of food and goods (types of wealth) is needed to maintain numbers. There must also be some mechanism of governments that administer, legislate and adjudicate among the people.
So the important components of national power are 1) Land; 2) Resources; 3) People; 4)Wealth (tangible and intangible): goods, services, products, produce, knowledge, ideas, inventions, industry, cultural, moral, ethical and religious strengths; 5) Governmental Organization: Physical structures of governance in local, regional, state, national and international tiers of legislative, judicial and executive (administrative) authority.
One might well ask, “What about the power of money?” Doesn’t that fit in somewhere? And that is what this essay will attempt to clarify.
“And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.” – Lord Acton
Lord Acton accurately defined the situation that few men today can fathom, yet ignore at their great peril. The aristocratic, top-down private control of money must eventually clash with the ideals of political and social democracy.
Money is a rather nebulous and ill-defined substance in our world. It has been kept that way deliberately by those who have traditionally wielded power, in order to perpetuate and extend their power, and deny real power to the people, or commonweal.
Money is a social or commercial convenience tool that temporarily serves as a substitute for wealth, in order to transfer wealth (goods, services, land, resources, labor) between citizens or corporate entities, such as cities and states. Money is not wealth itself, although commodities that are used as money have commercial value, and are therefore forms of wealth. We must repeat, money and wealth are not the same things, and those who pretend they are do so for purposes of personal gain and profit. Bernie Madoff showed us how profitable monetary deception can be, and he was small potatoes if measured by the current poney powers.
Money is also not Capital, although the terms have been used interchangeably by people who should know better, and probably often do. Economic terms are deliberately obscured, as noted economist John Kenneth Galbraith once noted:
“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.
Sovereignty, and who has it, is the issue here. Yet the word has almost been lost from popular dialogue, so vague has its meaning become in the minds of most citizens. Sovereignty means the right or power of choice, or ultimacy of free-will choice. Either men are free to choose for themselves, or someone else (a state, patriarch, or tyrant) will choose for them.
The entire human saga has been one to liberate man from some form of political or economic slavery or exploitation by other individuals or groups. Had it not been for the age old campaign to keep people ignorant on the subject of money, our US Constitution might have been sufficient in its checks and balances on power to insure that the battle for real self-rule or self-governance might have been won. It was indeed a partial victory, but the great unsettled question was that of money. Who should issue, regulate and control the volume and value of the money was left largely unsettled.
It is true that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution reserves the right to issue (coin) money to congress, but it left many crucial issues undefined or unresolved. Thus the first great divisive power struggle was over money, and the establishment of a private banking monopoly in the form of The First Bank of the United States.
Thus the views of Alexander Hamilton, who led the efforts to establish the bank, and Thomas Jefferson, who opposed it, became the nucleus for the two-party political system in the USA. The Hamiltonian Federalists favored the private banking monopoly and eventually evolved into today’s Republican Party, while the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans opposed the bankers and a strong central government, and evolved into the Democratic Party of today. Continue reading
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