"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!" ~ Ludwig von Mises
Going Down With the Ship
Column by Paul Hein.
Exclusive to STR
In 1939, a movie entitled “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” made its debut, to critical acclaim. It was the story of an idealistic young man who went to Washington to fight corruption and cronyism.
One of the first things our young Congressman did, however, was to propose a government purchase of some land in his own state, for a boys’ camp. The government would eventually be repaid with funds raised by the boys themselves. Our reformer had barely set foot in Washington, in other words, before proposing a measure which sounds unconstitutional, and benefits a small group in his own state. Some reform!
In the movie, the idealistic—and naïve--Smith is tricked into proposing this land scheme, beneficial to some of his colleagues who own land in the area, which leads to his being charged with corruption and profiteering. In real life, there is probably no need for trickery. Power corrupts. If one knows nothing more about politics than that, he knows a lot. Many newly elected Congressmen may have arrived in Washington over the years, filled with great ideas of benefit to the country, but are seduced by the almost palpable power and prestige attached to their position, and dare not risk losing it by opposing the entrenched powers-that-be, who are, in fact, likeable, pleasant, charming people, whom you would be most reluctant to offend or scandalize. That’s what makes them so dangerous.
Today even the ever-apathetic John Q. Public is awakening to the fact that something is dreadfully wrong. He wants to do something about it. And—surprise!! There are a gaggle of candidates who promise reform, like Mr. Smith. And I have no doubt that many of them sincerely mean it. There’s a good chance they will be swept into office on the basis of their sincere promises to clean up the mess. They will fail.
There’s nothing complicated about it. It’s money, (im)pure and simple. Power, too, but power flows from money. And there’s an awful lot of money, or what passes for it.
The old saying has it that whoever pays the piper calls the tune. Congress--the entire government--is financed by the individuals owning the Federal Reserve. Many have pointed out that foreigners “own” U.S. debt, suggesting that China, Japan, etc., have bought Uncle Sam’s bonds, and thus, have a stranglehold on our economy. True enough, but they bought those bonds with dollars, which were created not by Congress, but by banks in the U.S.
If “power corrupts” is the fundamental truth of politics, the corresponding truth of banking is that what we call money comes from a single source--the banking system--which creates it as a loan which can never be repaid without more borrowing. Principal is loaned, but principal PLUS interest must be repaid. For society as a whole, this is impossible.
This is a simple and obvious truth that is unperceived by those occupied with minute scrutiny of the trees, while oblivious to the forest; i.e., economists. The system is bound to collapse, but when it does, it will not be from the efforts of idealistic new congressmen, who will probably remain unaware of the ultimate fundamental source of our civilization’s demise.
The function of banking, when seen in its essence, is the transfer of wealth from the producers of wealth to the producers of “money.” Wealth is produced by the sweat of the brows of its producers; money is “produced” with the stroke of a pen, or, nowadays, the touch of a computer key. As long as workers continue to labor in return for the numbers written by bankers, the former will grow poorer, and the latter richer. The interest earned on the money created from thin air by bankers amounts to hundreds of billions every year. This provides them with a comfortable--to say the least--life, and the wherewithal to finance a government which has become addicted to the narcotic of easy credit.
No Mr. Smith is going to Washington to change that! He will either be corrupted into the system, or unaware of it. There is much too much at stake to permit some wet-behind-the-ears congressmen to rock the boat in which the entrenched powers have been cruising comfortably for decades. That ship may be the Titanic, but no one will admit it is sinking until their feet get wet.