Money As Religion

I Can’t Get You Out of My Head

Part 3 Money Changes Everything

Directed by Adam Curtis

Links to Part 1 and Part 2

Film Review

Part 3 of I Can’t Get You Out of My Head concerns the gradual handover of political power from elected official to banks and financial institutions. Curtis traces this process to Nixon’s 1973 decision to abolish the gold (and silver) standard. Once currencies ceased to have any fixed value, power began to shift to banks (who create the vast majority of our money*) and currency traders. For Curtis, one of the most significant cultural events of the seventies was the publication of a Russian emigre’s 1974 book It’s Me Eddie. The main theme of the novel is that Americans mistakenly believe they are free when they’re really simplified robots controlled by the rules of money.

The 1973 oil embargo (which caused oil prices to skyrocket) reinforced the popular sense that elected officials had lost control over government.

Nixon, who was naturally paranoid, was aware from the onset of his presidency that there were intelligence insiders at the White House plotting against him.** This led to his decision to tape record all his Oval Office conversations, providing ammunition for opponents who forced him to resign. 

Meanwhile in China, Mao’s fourth wife Jiang Qing (see Part 1 Where Has Democracy Gone?) was briefly the most powerful woman in the world. Beginning in 1971, Jiang lost control of the Red Guards, which broke into warring factions. Mao, in turn, removed her from power and exiled troublesome Red Guard leaders to the desert and the provinces. Determined to succeed Mao, Jiang allied herself with three other party officials to form the Gang of Four.

Deng Xiaoping, who would succeed Mao in 1977, immediately had them arrested and imprisoned.

For me, the most interesting segment of Part 3 concerns the discovery by Kerry Thornley, co-founder of Operation Mindfuck (see Part 1 Where Has Democracy Gone?) that many of the individuals New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison implicated in the JFK assassination were involved in the Watergate break-in. Thornley ultimately decided he had been manipulated by intelligence operatives to start Operation Mindfuck and spread phony Illuminati conspiracy theories.


*Contrary to popular belief, private banks create 97-98% of the money in circulated with government creating the 2-3% that exists as notes and coins. See 97% Owned

**Russ Baker probably gives the best account of the conspiracy by Bush Sr intelligence operatives to bring down the Nixon presidency by undertaking a bungled burglary at the Watergate Hotel and implicating Nixon in the operation. See Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last 50 Years*

All Wars are Bankers’ Wars

john adams quote

All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars

Michael Rivero (2013)

Film Review

The purpose of war, according to this brief documentary by radio host Michael Rivero, is to force central banks on countries that try to issue their own money.He makes a compelling argument, illustrated by numerous historical examples. The film’s main value, in my view, is in dispelling common misconceptions about where money comes from. Contrary to popular belief, western democracies don’t issue the money they use to run government services. They borrow the money at interest from privately owned central banks. In the US, this private central bank is called the Federal Reserve.

The American Revolution

Rivero begins by quoting Benjamin Franklin, who saw George III’s Currency Act as the main trigger for the American Revolution. The Currency Act prohibited colonists from using colony-issued currency. Instead they were required to use English bank notes. The latter were borrowed at interest from the England’s private central bank, the Bank of England. This interest payment amounted to a de facto tax on each and every financial transaction.

After the Revolution, the new American government returned to issuing its own currency. This ended in 1791, when Alexander Hamilton persuaded Congress to appoint a private central bank to finance government services. The First Bank of the United States was funded (at interest) by the Bank of England, which was controlled by Nathan Mayer Rothschild.

The War of 1812

Plagued by inefficiency and corruption, the First Bank of the United States was so unpopular that Congress ignored Rothschild’s threats and refused to renew its charter in 1811. Rothschild, whose control over British money enabled him to control both the economy and Parliament, had warned that Britain would declare war to re-colonize the US unless Congress renewed the charter. Although the US won the War of 1812, they were forced to charter the Second Bank of the United State in 1816 to repay their massive war debt. American’s second central bank lasted until 1832, when voters returned Andrew Jackson to a second term based on a campaign promise to shut it down.

The Civil War

From 1832-1862, the so-called “free banking era,” all banks were state charted. In 1862 Lincoln created a national system of banks to fund the federal government and issue currency. When he authorized the US Treasury to issue $150 million in interest-free “greenbacks,” the London Times called for the destruction of the US because of the major threat this posed to the global economy (i.e. international bankers). To punish Lincoln, England and (and France) would provide financial and material support to the southern Confederacy.

Government-issued currency ended for good in when the Wall Street banks conspired with Woodrow Wilson to create a permanent (private) central bank. The Federal Reserve Act was  written in secret by the US banking establishment and rammed through Congress during the 1913 Christmas recess.

World War I and II

According to Rivero, World War I was also a banker’s war, intended to punish Germany for the strict limitations it imposed on its central bank. At the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to repay all the war debts of the other European countries, even though Germany hadn’t started the war.

Crushed by this war debt, the only way Hitler could salvage the German economy was to abolish Germany’s central bank and return to interest-free government-issued currency. This move, which infuriated international bankers, resulted in rapid Germany re-industrialization when the rest of the developed world was mired in deep economic depression. It was lauded internationally as the “German miracle.”

Meanwhile in 1933, American bankers and industrialists plotted a “Bankers’ Putsch,” an attempted military coup against Roosevelt. Their goal was to install corporate fascism in the US, along the lines of Mussolini’s government in Italy. General Smedley Butler, the war hero they enlisted to lead the coup, foiled it by exposing it to the House McCormick-Dirkson Committee. The largely pro-business committee instituted a cover-up, until journalist John Spivac uncovered their secret report in 1967.

Breton Woods

In 1946, following World War II, forty-four nations signed an agreement at Breton Woods New Hampshire for the US dollar to replace the British pound as the world’s reserve currency. This was done with two stipulations: 1) that the US dollar would be redeemable for gold at a price of $35 an ounce and 2) that the Federal Reserve wouldn’t issue more dollars than they could redeem in gold.

Because the Federal Reserve is a private banking network, the federal government has no control whatsoever over the quantity of US dollars they issue. In 1971, it became obvious that the Fed was issuing far more dollars than it could redeem (the vast majority of money the Fed creates is electronic money – only about 3% is in notes and coins*). When France asked to redeem its dollar reserves for gold, Nixon unilaterally suspended the gold standard agreed at Breton Woods.

The Birth of the Petrodollar

At this point the US dollar became a “fiat” currency, theoretically back by nothing. In reality, it was backed by oil, through a complex agreement whereby the US agreed to “defend” countries (i.e. not destabilize or declare war on them) if they committed to buying and selling oil in dollars, aka “petrodollars.”

According to Rivero, the US invasion against a long list of Muslim countries is an indirect result of this agreement. Islam prohibits lending money at interest. As Rivero points out, none of seven Muslim countries retired General Wesley Clark has identified as targets for US military aggression (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon) had private central banks prior to US invasion and occupation.**

Historical Inaccuracies

Apart from several minor historical inaccuracies (eg the purpose of Executive Order 11110 that John Kennedy signed in 1961 and Nixon’s alleged pledge of the National Park system as security on US debt), the film serves as an excellent introduction to the hidden role played by private banks in issuing and controlling the global money supply.

 


*See 97% owned
**Retired General Wesley Clark first revealed the existence of this campaign to conquer the Middle East and North Africa during a Democracy Now interview in 2007.

photo credit: Serfs UP ! Roger Sayles via photopin cc

Also posted at Veterans Today