September, the 27th, 2011: An email arrives from Bruno, a fellow We Are Change activist. “Join Forces with Occupy LA?” Because the New York Occupation had received mixed coverage from the Networks I was only vaguely aware of what was going on. It seemed like a good-enough idea: get a tent, some supplies, and camp outside the Los Angeles City Hall where authorities and Elitists can experience the worldwide polarization between society and its ruling governments.
“To hell with the Elite” I thought to myself, gleaming at the chance to obliterate any lame, ill-conceived concept of tyranny. It was time people were awakened from their trance. Bruno is a good man; his judgment was all that was left to seal the deal. My emailed response stated quaintly: “I’ll be there.”
Ah, but grievances: the very reason for protest. Mine were many, and catastrophic, and contrary to whom I already knew would be at this occupation: Communists and Statists, public union members and immigrants demanding “free” everything. It was time to educate people on why they should cease their support for the Monster.
“A Monster?” someone had asked me. Yes indeed, everyone at Occupy Los Angeles had seen this Creature before the eviction came. On one of those long, boring days, well into the occupation, an artist named Scott Olsen stopped by and took advantage of a 20-foot high wooden barricade which was set up to stop us from defacing the park fountain. When he was finished, a menacing, purple-skinned, multi-tentacled beast was revealed for all of us to learn from. Its name upon a concrete crown said Federal Reserve Bank.
As Christ might have foretold to John, the Creature held the power to give measurement to weights and credit, and with that, all the resources needed for aggressive expansion. “The Fed” – as the modern incarnation of central banking is known – was an often discussed topic here at the Occupy. Once, an anti-bankster advocate named Mary Mark came by and gave a lecture about the issue. “The People’s University,” which consisted of a white, plastic tarp, was much different than her job as a teacher in the local area.
We discussed how the bank remained as a silent entity in its near hundred years of existence. How Henry Ford once remarked that if the People ever discovered its true mechanics there would be a “revolution before tomorrow morning.” It only took many decades after Ford’s death that he would become partially vindicated out on the front grass of LA City Hall.
Responding to my question about how far back in history the banking dynasties go, Ms. Mark referenced a book called Babylon’s Bankers, by Joseph P. Farrell, dealing with the ancient alchemy between money and a brainwashed society. “The Rothschilds actually claim descendancy from one of these bankers” she said, adding that it was “just a claim. Just heresy.” “We are conspiracy theorists” I assured her.
A well-educated gentleman named Alejandro jumped in: “They were the descendants of the Nobles who wrote the Magna Carta in the year Twelve-Fifteen” he said. Alejandro had declared his sovereignty from the United States Corporation, another nebulous subject he knew much about. These were the kind of discussions I planned to evoke while camping out here. Not just a definition of freedom. Not just an interpretation of liberty. But a discovery of what it meant to actually be free.
Recognition of the criticisms put forth against the Fed is a good place to start on this journey. They are widespread, and damning. Leftist commentators frequently report on First World banking policies in the Third World, referred to over there as economic terrorism. Over here, Austrian economists like Ludwig von Mises explain the need for market control regarding currency and interest rates. Eager conspiracy theorists also speak on this subject, explicating the most valid and verifiable conspiracy of all time. Honest researchers and journalists have just stood back, reiterating the basic facts.
None of us are alone on this crusade. There are many out there – and some here at the Occupy – that are anticipating the Creature’s demise. Another opponent is history. Despite being popularized by that collective, interactive brain known as the internet, the information which has exposed the Fed is dated like the battle itself. Author and lecturer G. Edward Griffin did a marvelous job documenting it all in his 1994 book, Creature from Jekyll Island. I was fortunate that a local library had a copy on the shelf.
The battle against central banking goes back to the founding of our Republic. Jefferson, Madison, Paine: All Enlightened men who believed that it would wreak havoc in a Free Society. Although unpopular in the Occupy camp, Ron Paul is in line with this tradition and remained a champion against monetary tyranny. As such, his Presidential candidacy is almost always advocated on one of my many signs, much to the dismay of others. At a Paul rally in 2008, Griffin stated that “Ron Paul is the only candidate who can win for America.” Au contraire to my fellow Occupiers, I tend to agree with him.
Orwell observed that everything follows once “Two & Two” is allowed the correct summation. So here’s the first ‘Two’: A State, by definition, is sovereign. It has boundaries in which its administrators can legally operate. The primary responsibility of the State (and in my opinion, its only justification) is to uphold the Natural Law – commonly referred to as Due Process – and to punish its abusers. However, the primary function of States, as with any government that facilitates it, is to forcibly collect taxes from the citizens (sometimes called stealing) and to distribute the wealth in one direction or another; hoping that the allocation will be noble, and righteous, and “good.”
This function also happens to be its main disadvantage. Government is, as libertarianism explicitly points out, a monopolization of force, consummated by a piece of paper stating the authority as an absolute. The Founding Founders always intended, therefore, of minimal government, reasoning that truly free individuals resented such controls. After all, how often does someone wish his or her neighbor were caught stealing? Or telling someone else how to raise their child?
The articulation from Austrian theorists argues that central government planning in the economy will always end with mismanaged funds, and, eventually, runaway inflation; that happening once governments start appropriating more money than they have actually taken in. With the help of some crafty machinations, the State can also use credit – not actual currency, which is defined as a medium between desired commodities – to finance their endless, mindless programs, this at the expense of enormous deficits. Griffin correctly labels the process of inflation and loss of purchasing power as a “hidden tax.”
Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations that "the statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capital, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which can safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatsoever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had the folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it." Smith believed that taxation was only for contribution to a state that granted protection to those enjoying their wealth – not to give the wealth.
This is because governments don’t run businesses. They run states. When markets can no longer afford to pay either bills or employees, it has to readjust finances. In contrast, when governments can no longer pay for their programs or employees, it just prints more money. Credit is debt. And debt is expected to be paid off by future generations. When not kept on a short leash, government’s ability to tax and to allocate becomes a boated, debt-ridden monster that can artificially afford anything from welfare to warfare.
But the scenario is much worse in today’s world. Putting the other ‘two’ in this equation is the fact that our government now employs a private, offshore corporation to finance state programs. Recent alternative media attention has exposed the Fed for being an agency that operates completely independent of the U.S. government (the resources of which technically depleted since the Civil War) and revealed the central bankers for what they really are: A group of International financers who are allowed to use our namesake in purchasing worthless government treasury bonds. They are now granted with the near-limitless power of creating new money while being allowed to carelessly place it into the economy.
Ostensibly, the purchase of our Treasury Bonds is an IOU on behalf of the government, as every dollar printed is legally binding tender, also known as a receipt. Don’t think so? Look again. The bills displaying the faces of our ex-Presidents say “Federal Reserve Note” – not U.S. dollar. If you decide to call anyone with an expression of your disgust, don’t expect the Fed to return the call.
These “Banksters” are an anomaly in an otherwise simple equation that should always equal four. Instead, our representatives say it equals five, leaving us absent a great truth that hides a Fascistic smile. Along this path to financial tyranny, greedy politicians decided that it was morally acceptable for unborn generations to bear the encumbrance of paying back a secretive cartel of unaccountable, unelected bankers. Some-trillion dollar number, and counting. "I wish it were possible” Thomas Jefferson was said to have desired, “to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution – taking from the Federal government their power of borrowing from privately-owned corporate banks." Don’t worry. The things our government pays for are inexpensive, like Military Empires (sarcasm noted).
A majority here believe the Creature should be given tighter chains; plenty others wanting it killed. Despite, however, being told about its uncanny ability to consume economies, many others were still willing to drink endlessly from its magnanimous nectar, which tasted oddly like cheap paper.
Milton Friedman was correct in one of his last interviews given in 2006. “Socialism, used to mean, the ownership and operation of the means of production. Nobody gives it that meaning today.” Not at all. Socialism today has become symbiotic with out-of-control Statism, as most of the Occupiers here will demonstrate. “May I please have some free education? How about free health care? $50 an hour? Please”: the usual diatribe heard from about 80% of the Occupiers. Begging to the Master (corporate parasites that feed off the wealth of a population raped by State power) for some-sort of mercy. Embarrassingly ignorant considering that the quality of everything dramatically goes down while the deficit goes up.
Socialism has become a bastardization of its former self, similar to an underserving corporation which has no place in a truly free enterprise system. Well-intentioned Communists will forever stand incorrect on economics. Some people are more successful in trade; others will always toil harder for longer hours. In a free society, we have the right to experiment in the market to see which best fits us. “No difference,” I would tell the many interviewers in the park, “between a greedy union and a greedy corporation.” To give it one last analogy: If I steal money from the reader of this article, and give it to one of my friends, that does not make that person a capitalist. And always remember, corporate welfare outspends social welfare 5-1.
The raid on Occupy Los Angeles took place on November 29th. A reported 1200 officers stormed the City Hall just after midnight and made nearly 300 arrests. Scott Olsen’s mural has since become the subject of ownership. Does the city own it, or the People? The last I heard, we were getting it preserved. Scott Olsen’s depiction of the Monster Bank held some sound advice: “Take the Power Back.” Much like the mural itself, that seems to be completely natural.