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Katherine Yurica

Originally Published by the Yurica Report

The First Prince of the Theocratic States of America

It happened quietly, with barely a mention in the media. Only the Washington Post dutifully reported it.[1] And only Kevin Phillips saw its significance in his new book, American Dynasty.[2] On December 24, 2001, Pat Robertson resigned his position as President of the Christian Coalition.

Behind the scenes religious conservatives were abuzz with excitement. They believed Robertson had stepped down to allow the ascendance of the President of the United States of America to take his rightful place as the head of the true American Holy Christian Church.

Robertson’s act was symbolic, but it carried a secret and solemn revelation to the faithful. It was the signal that the Bush administration was a government under God that was led by an anointed President who would be the first regent in a dynasty of regents awaiting the return of Jesus to earth. The President would now be the minister through whom God would execute His will in the nation. George W. Bush accepted his scepter and his sword with humility, grace and a sense of exultation.

As Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court explained a few months later, the Bible teaches and Christians believe “… that government …derives its moral authority from God. Government is the ‘minister of God’ with powers to ‘revenge,’ to ‘execute wrath,’ including even wrath by the sword…”[3]

George W. Bush began to wield the sword of God’s revenge with relish from the beginning of his administration, but most of us missed the sword play. I have taken the liberty to paraphrase an illustration from Leo Strauss, the father of the neo-conservative movement, which gives us a clue of how the hiding is done:

“One ought not to say to those whom one wants to kill, ‘Give me your votes, because your votes will enable me to kill you and I want to kill you,’ but merely, ‘Give me your votes,’ for once you have the power of the votes in your hand, you can satisfy your desire.”[4]

Notwithstanding the advice, the President’s foreign policy revealed a flare for saber rattling. He warned the world that “nations are either with us or they’re against us!” His speeches, often containing allusions to biblical passages, were spoken with the certainty of a man who holds the authority of God’s wrath on earth, for he not only challenged the evil nations of the world, singling out Iraq, Syria, Iran, and North Korea as the “axis of evil,” but he wielded the sword of punishment and the sword of revenge against his own people: the American poor and the middle class who according to the religious right have earned God’s wrath by their licentiousness and undisciplined lives.

To the middle class he said, “I’m going to give you clear skies clean air and clean water,” then he gutted the environmental controls that were designed to provide clean air and water. The estimated number of premature deaths that will result: 100,000.[5] He said to the poor and to the middle class: “I’m going to give you a prescription drug program, one that you truly deserve.” Then he gave the drug industry an estimated $139 billion dollars in increased profits from the Medicare funds and arranged for the poorest of seniors to be eliminated from coverage, while most elderly will pay more for drugs than they paid before his drug benefit bill passed.[6] After that he arranged for the dismantling of the Medicare program entirely, based on the method outlined by his religious mentors.[7] He said to the people of America, “I’m going to build a future for you and your children,” then he gutted their future with tax breaks to the rich and a pre-emptive war against Iraq, and the largest spending deficit in history.[8]

This article is the documented story of how a political religious movement called Dominionism gained control of the Republican Party, then took over Congress, then took over the White House, and now is sealing the conversion of America to a theocracy by taking over the American Judiciary. It’s the story of why and how “the wrath of God Almighty” will be unleashed against the middle class, against the poor, and against the elderly and sick of this nation by George W. Bush and his army of Republican Dominionist “rulers.”

How Dominionism Was Spread
The years 1982-1986 marked the period Pat Robertson and radio and televangelists urgently broadcast appeals that rallied Christian followers to accept a new political religion that would turn millions of Christians into an army of political operatives. It was the period when the militant church raised itself from centuries of sleep and once again eyed power.

At the time, most Americans were completely unaware of the militant agenda being preached on a daily basis across the breadth and width of America. Although it was called “Christianity” it can barely be recognized as Christian. It in fact was and is a wolf parading in sheep’s clothing: It was and is a political scheme to take over the government of the United States and then turn that government into an aggressor nation that will forcibly establish the United States as the ruling empire of the twenty-first century. It is subversive, seditious, secretive, and dangerous.[9]

Dominionism is a natural if unintended extension of Social Darwinism and is frequently called “Christian Reconstructionism.” Its doctrines are shocking to ordinary Christian believers and to most Americans. Journalist Frederick Clarkson, who has written extensively on the subject, warned in 1994 that Dominionism “seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of ‘Biblical Law.’” He described the ulterior motive of Dominionism is to eliminate “…labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools.” Clarkson then describes the creation of new classes of citizens:

“Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment [to] blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.”[10]

Today, Dominionists hide their agenda and have resorted to stealth; one investigator who has engaged in internet exchanges with people who identify themselves as religious conservatives said, “They cut and run if I mention the word ‘Dominionism.’”[11] Joan Bokaer, the Director of Theocracy Watch, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University wrote, “In March 1986, I was on a speaking tour in Iowa and received a copy of the following memo [Pat] Robertson had distributed to the Iowa Republican County Caucus titled, “How to Participate in a Political Party.” It read:

“Rule the world for God.

“Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology.

“Hide your strength.

“Don’t flaunt your Christianity.

“Christians need to take leadership positions. Party officers control political parties and so it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership positions whenever possible, God willing.”[12]

Dominionists have gained extensive control of the Republican Party and the apparatus of government throughout the United States; they continue to operate secretly. Their agenda to undermine all government social programs that assist the poor, the sick, and the elderly is ingeniously disguised under false labels that confuse voters. Nevertheless, as we shall see, Dominionism maintains the necessity of laissez-faire economics, requiring that people “look to God and not to government for help.”[13]

It is estimated that thirty-five million Americans who call themselves Christian, adhere to Dominionism in the United States, but most of these people appear to be ignorant of the heretical nature of their beliefs and the seditious nature of their political goals. So successfully have the televangelists and churches inculcated the idea of the existence of an outside “enemy,” which is attacking Christianity, that millions of people have perceived themselves rightfully overthrowing an imaginary evil anti-Christian conspiratorial secular society.

When one examines the progress of its agenda, one sees that Dominionism has met its time table: the complete takeover of the American government was predicted to occur by 2004.[14] Unless the American people reject the GOP’s control of the government, Americans may find themselves living in a theocracy that has already spelled out its intentions to change every aspect of American life including its cultural life, its Constitution and its laws.

Born in Christian Reconstructionism, which was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony, the framers of the new cult included Rushdoony, his son-in-law Gary North, Pat Robertson, Herb Titus, the former Dean of Robertson’s Regent University School of Public Policy (formerly CBN University), Charles Colson, Robertson’s political strategist, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, the late Francis Schaeffer, and Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, the world’s largest television network, plus a virtual army of likeminded television and radio evangelists and news talk show hosts.

Dominionism started with the Gospels and turned the concept of the invisible and spiritual “Kingdom of God” into a literal political empire that could be taken by force, starting with the United States of America. Discarding the original message of Jesus and forgetting that Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” the framers of Dominionism boldly presented a Gospel whose purpose was to inspire Christians to enter politics and execute world domination so that Jesus could return to an earth prepared for his earthly rule by his faithful “regents.”

How Machiavellianism, Communism, Secular Humanism and Neo-Conservatism Inspired a New Militant and Evil Anti-Christian Religion
In the fifties and sixties, right-wing Christians worried about communists and communism taking over the world. Along with communism, another enemy to Christianity was identified by ministers. In 1982, Francis Schaeffer, who was then the leading evangelical theologian, called Secular Humanism the greatest threat to Christianity the world had ever seen. Soon American fundamentalists and Pentecostals were seeing “humanists” everywhere. Appearing on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club show, Schaeffer claimed that humanism was being forced on Christians; it taught that man was the “center of all things.” Like communism, secular humanism was based on atheism, which was sufficient enough for Schaeffer to conclude that humanism was an enemy to the Kingdom of God.[15]

“The enemy is this other view of reality,” Schaeffer spoke emotionally. Citing the Declaration of Independence as his authorizing document, he said:

“Today we live in a humanist society. They control the schools. They control public television. They control the media in general. And what we have to say is we live in a humanist society….[Because] the courts are not subject to the will of the people through elections or re-election… all the great changes in the last forty years have come through the courts. And what we must get in our mind is the government as a whole, but especially the courts, has become the vehicle to force this view on the total population, even if the total population doesn’t hold the view.”[16]

Schaeffer claimed that the major “titanic changes” to America occurred since 1942:

“If you don’t revolt against tyranny and this is what I call the bottom line, is that not only do you have the privilege but [you have] the duty to revolt. When people force upon you and society that which is absolutely contrary to the Word of God, and which really is tyranny…we have a right to stand against it as a matter of principle. And this was the basis upon which the founding fathers built this country.”

The appeal to evangelicals went further. On April 29, 1985, Billy Graham, the respected and world famous evangelist, told Pat Robertson’s audience on the 700 Club show that:

“[T]he time has come when evangelicals are going to have to think about getting organized corporately….I’m for evangelicals running for public office and winning if possible and getting control of the Congress, getting control of the bureaucracy, getting control of the executive branch of government. I think if we leave it to the other side we’re going to be lost. I would like to see every true believer involved in politics in some way shape or form.”

According to Schaeffer, Robertson, and Billy Graham, then arguably the three most famous and influential leaders in the American protestant church world, “God’s people” had a moral duty to change the government of the United States.[17]

Significantly, at the time, many other fundamentalist ministers were identifying communism and secular humanism as religions. However, the equating of a political ideology on the one hand, and a philosophy that rejects supernaturalism on the other hand, with religions was not accidental.[18] It allowed the preachers to revile an economic-political system as well as a philosophy as false religions, even demonic religions, which Christians should reject at any cost.[19]

Underneath the pejoratives, however, there was a grudging admiration on the part of Pat Robertson and the other politically astute Dominionists, for they saw that a political agenda that wrapped itself in religious robes had the innate power to explode exponentially into the most politically dynamic movement in American and world history.

The result of the new religion was that by the year 2000, thirty-five million Americans would declare war on the remaining 245 million. Karl Rove, President Bush’s political advisor, told the Family Research Council in 2002, “We need to find ways to win the war.”[20] One is tempted to respond, “Wait a minute, they’re in power so why do they need to continue the war?” That is the salient question. The answer is frightening.

Starting with a simple idea, Robertson perceived the enormous advantage of placing an otherwise unacceptable political theory into a religious context. By doing so it would stand Christianity up-side-down and end American democracy.

A Machiavellian Religion Was Born
American Christianity had already seen extremes. For Dominionists, perhaps the single most important event in the last half of the twentieth century occurred when the Reverend Jim Jones proved that the religious would follow their leader to Guyana and even further, to their deaths. That fact could hardly have escaped the notice of even the dullest of politically minded preachers.

Indeed, Jim Jones’ surreal power over his congregants leaps out from the grave even today. If a man desired to change the laws in America—to undo Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal for instance, and allow corporations the unbridled freedom they enjoyed prior to the Great Depression (which included the freedom to defraud, pillage, and to destroy the land with impunity on the way to gathering great fortunes), what better way to proceed than to cloak the corruption within a religion? If a few men wanted to establish an American empire and control the entire world, what better vehicle to carry them to their goal than to place their agenda within the context of a religion? Jim Jones proved religious people would support even immoral political deeds if their leaders found a way to frame those deeds as “God’s Will.” The idea was brilliant. Its framers knew they could glorify greed, hate, nationalism and even a Christian empire with ease.[21]

The religion the canny thinkers founded follows the reverse of communism and secular humanism, it poured political and economic ideology into a religion and that combustible mixture produced “Dominionism,” a new political faith that had the additional advantage of insulating the cult from attacks on its political agenda by giving its practitioners the covering to simply cry out, “You’re attacking me for my religious beliefs and that’s religious persecution!”[22]

But how could a leader get away with a religious fraud that barely hides its destructive and false intent?

Jim Jones’s history holds the answer. He not only proved the obvious fact that people are blinded by their religious beliefs and will only impute goodness, mercy, and religious motivations to their leader, but Jim Jones proved the efficacy of the basic teaching of Machiavelli: a leader must only appear to have the qualities of goodness—he need not actually possess those attributes.

In fact, Machiavelli taught that it is dangerous for a leader to practice goodness. Instead, he must pretend to be good and then do the opposite. Machiavelli taught that a leader will succeed on appearances alone. A good leader puts his finger to the wind and changes course whenever it is expedient to do so. Machiavelli wrote this revealing passage that could be applied not only to false religious leaders but to a false President:

“Alexander VI did nothing else but deceive men, he thought of nothing else, and found the occasion for it; no man was ever more able to give assurances, or affirmed things with stronger oaths, and no man observed them less; however, he always succeeded in his deceptions, as he well knew this aspect of things.”

“Everybody sees what you appear to be, few feel what you are, and those few will not dare to oppose themselves to the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them; and in the actions of men, and especially of princes, from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the means.” (p. 93)

Chillingly Machiavelli advises his readers:

“Let a prince therefore aim at conquering and maintaining the state, and the means will always be judged honourable and praised by every one, for the vulgar is always taken by appearances and the issue of the event; and the world consists only of the vulgar, and the few who are not vulgar are isolated when the many have a rallying point in the prince.” (p. 94)

Machiavelli also wrote how to govern dominions that previous to being occupied lived under their own laws. His words eerily reflect the Bush Administration’s decisions on how to rule Iraq:

“When those states which have been acquired are accustomed to live at liberty under their own laws, there are three ways of holding them. The first is to despoil them;[23] the second is to go and live there in person; the third is to allow them to live under their own laws, taking tribute of them, and creating within the country a government composed of a few who will keep it friendly to you. Because this government, being created by the prince, knows that it cannot exist without his friendship and protection, and will do all it can to keep them. What is more, a city used to liberty can be more easily held by means of its citizens than in any other way, if you wish to preserve it.” (p. 46)

However Machiavelli has second thoughts and follows with this caveat:

“…. [I]n truth there is no sure method of holding them except by despoiling them. And whoever becomes the ruler of a free city and does not destroy it, can expect to be destroyed by it, for it can always find a motive for rebellion in the name of liberty and of its ancient usages…”[24] (p. 46)

(The above quotes are from The Prince in the original Oxford University Press translation by Luigi Ricci, 1903; revised by E. R. P. Vincent, 1935)

Machiavelli’s books, The Prince and The Discourses are not abstract treatises. Christian Gauss, who wrote an important introduction to the Oxford edition, called them by their rightful name: they are in fact a “concise manual—a handbook of those who would acquire or increase their political power.” Gauss tells us that a long line of kings and ministers and tyrants studied Machiavelli, including Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin.

How Can Evil Deeds Be Reconciled With Christian Beliefs?
It’s important to understand that the founders of Dominionism are sitting on the horns of a moral dilemma: How can a leader be both good and evil at the same time? For if biblical moral proscriptions are applicable to him, he will certainly suffer some form of censure. And if proscriptions are applicable, the leader could not lie to the citizenry with impunity or do evil so that “good” could be achieved. The answer to the dilemma of how a Dominionist leader could both do evil and still maintain his place of honor in the Christian community lies in the acceptance and adoption of the Calvinistic doctrine that James Hogg wrote about in The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. (W.W. Norton, N.Y. 1970.)

This novel, published in 1824, is concerned with psychological aberration and as such, anticipates the literature of the twentieth century. The protagonist is a young man named Robert, who drenched in the religious bigotry of Calvinism, concluded that he was predestined before the beginning of the world to enter heaven, therefore no sin he committed would be held to his account. This freed Robert to become an assassin in the cause of Christ and His Church.

Fifty years ago a variation on the concept was expressed disapprovingly as, “Once saved—always saved.” In this view, salvation had nothing to do with “good works or a holy life.” A drunk who had a born again experience would be among God’s chosen elect whether he stopped drinking or not. But the logical extension of the reasoning is the idea that Christianity could have within itself not ex-sinners but active sinners: as Christian murderers, Christian pedophiles, Christian rapists, Christian thieves, Christian arsonists, and every other kind of socio-pathological behavior possible. As we have sadly witnessed of late the concept is broadly accepted within the American churches.

But the Dominionists needed the aberrant extension of Calvinism; they believe as did Calvin and John Knox that before the creation of the universe, all men were indeed predestined to be either among God’s elect or were unregenerate outcasts. And it is at this point Dominionists introduced a perversion to Calvinism—the same one James Hogg utilizes in his The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner—its technical name is “supralapsarianism.” It means essentially that the man called from before the foundation of the world to be one of the elect of God’s people, can do no wrong. No wonder then observers noted a definite religious swing in George W. Bush from Wesleyan theology to Calvinism early in his administration.[25]

How comforting the Calvinistic idea of a “justified sinner” is when one is utilizing Machiavellian techniques to gain political control of a state. It’s more than comforting; it is a required doctrine for “Christians” who believe they must use evil to bring about good. It justifies lying, murder, fraud and all other criminal acts without the fuss of having to deal with guilt feelings or to feel remorse for the lives lost through executions, military actions, or assassinations.

If this doctrine seems too wayward to believe as it might have done had I not heard a recent interview with a Pentecostal minister—rest assured the twisted doctrine is horribly alive and thriving in America today.

The interview conducted by Brian Copeland a news talk show host for KGO, San Francisco on September 5, 2003, was with the Reverend Donald Spitz of Pensacola, Florida who is involved with a Pro Life group in Virginia and with the Army of God. The occasion was the execution of Paul Hill, another Pentecostal minister who murdered a doctor and his body guard outside an abortion clinic. Hill was caught and convicted of the crimes. Spitz admitted that he was Paul Hill’s spiritual counselor. He said Hill died with the conviction he had done the Lord’s work. Spitz who approved of the murder said, “Someone else is going to handle the publishing of Paul Hill’s book On How to Assassinate.”

Spitz believed that Hill was completely justified in murdering the physician because, according to him, “twenty-six babies’ lives were saved by the killing.” When Copeland pointed out that the scheduled abortions for the morning of the murders would have simply been postponed to another day—and that the lives of the fetuses were only extended for a day or so, Spitz refused to accept the argument.

Not surprisingly, Spitz opposed the use of birth control methods. Copeland asked, “If a woman is raped should she be forced to carry the fetus to term?” Spitz said, “Yes.”

“What if the pregnancy will kill the mother?” Spitz replied that under no circumstances could “the baby be killed.” When Spitz was asked, “Why haven’t you gone out and killed an abortionist?” he replied calmly, “God hasn’t told me to do the killing.”

The Neo-Conservative Connection with Dominionists and Machiavelli
I suspect that most Americans have never heard of Machiavelli, nevertheless, it should be no surprise to us that Machiavelli has been accepted, praised, and followed by the Neo-Conservatives in the White House and his precepts are blindly adopted by the so-called “Christian” Dominionists. Kevin Phillips tells us in his masterful book, American Dynasty that Karl Rove, political strategist for President George W. Bush, is a devotee of Machiavelli, just as Rove’s predecessor, Lee Atwater had been for the elder Bush.[26] In fact, there has been an incredible effort to dilute the immoral implications of Machiavelli’s teachings. Today’s best apologist for Machiavelli is one of the most influential voices in Washington with direct connections into the oval office.

Michael A. Ledeen was a Senior Fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a counselor to the National Security Council and special counselor to former Secretary of State, Alexander Haig in 1985. His relationship with Pat Robertson goes back at least to the early 1980’s.[27] Like Robertson, Ledeen was an advocate for military intervention in Nicaragua and for assistance to the Contras. (Ledeen was also involved in the Iran-Contra affair.)[28]

Today, in 2004, Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute and according to William O. Beeman of the Pacific News Service, “Ledeen has become the driving philosophical force behind the neoconservative movement and the military actions it has spawned.”[29]

Ledeen made a number of appearances on the 700 Club show during the 1980’s. Always presented as a distinguished guest, Robertson interviewed him on April 30, 1985 and asked him on this occasion: “What would you recommend if you were going to advise the President [Ronald Reagan] as to foreign policy?”

Ledeen responded:

“The United States has to make clear to the world and above all to its own citizens, what our vital interests are. And then we must make it clear to everyone that we are prepared to fight and fight fiercely to defend those interests, so that people will not cross the lines that are likely to kick off a trip wire.” (Emphasis added.)

If Ledeen’s advice sounds ruthless and Machiavellian—it may be because it is Machiavellian. (By definition his statement presupposes the existence of something or several things that are life threatening to the nation by the use of the word “vital.” Yet Ledeen asserts that which is life threatening must be made manifest or defined. If an interest must be defined, then it is not apparent; yet the nation will nevertheless ask its sons and daughters to fight and die for something that is not apparent. Therefore, whatever “interests” Ledeen wanted to be defined, cannot have been vital interests, which are apparent—so in reality he advised the President to call discretionary interests vital—which is a lie.)

Be aware that Ledeen is in complete accord with Machiavellian thinking. And so is Pat Robertson.[30] Robertson agreed to virtually every nuance Ledeen presented. In fact, it’s not clear which of the two first proposed invading Syria, Iran and Iraq back in the 1980’s,[31] a refrain that also echoed in the reports of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), one of the major homes for neo-conservatives in 2000. Both Ledeen and Robertson targeted the same nations that PNAC lists as America’s greatest enemies in its paper, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (published in September 2000.)[32]

In 1999, Ledeen published his book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago. (Truman Talley Books, St. Martin’s Griffin, N.Y. 1999.) Here is a sample of how Ledeen smoothes rough edges and presents a modern Machiavelli:

“In order to achieve the most noble accomplishments, the leader may have to ‘enter into evil.’ This is the chilling insight that has made Machiavelli so feared, admired, and challenging. It is why we are drawn to him still…” (p. 91)

Again, Ledeen writes:

“Just as the quest for peace at any price invites war and, worse than war, defeat and domination, so good acts sometimes advance the triumph of evil, as there are circumstances when only doing evil ensures the victory of a good cause.” (p. 93)

Ledeen clearly believes “the end justifies the means,” but not all the time. He writes “Lying is evil,” but then contradictorily argues that it produced

“a magnificent result,” and “is essential to the survival of nations and to the success of great enterprises.” (p. 95)

Ledeen adds this tidbit:

“All’s fair in war . . . and in love. Practicing deceit to fulfill your heart’s desire might be not only legitimate, but delicious!” (p. 95)

William O. Beeman tells us about Michael Ledeen’s influence. Writing for the Pacific News Service he says:

Ledeen’s ideas are repeated daily by such figures as Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz…He basically believes that violence in the service of the spread of democracy is America’s manifest destiny. Consequently, he has become the philosophical legitimator of the American occupation of Iraq.”[33]

In fact, Ledeen’s influence goes even further. The BBC, the Washington Post and Jim Lobe writing for the Asia Times report that Michael Ledeen is the only full-time international affairs analyst consulted by Karl Rove.[34] Ledeen has regular conversations with Rove. The Washington Post said, “More than once, Ledeen has seen his ideas faxed to Rove, become official policy or rhetoric.”[35]

Leo Strauss the Father of Neo-Conservatism
Leo Strauss was born in 1899 and died in 1973. He was a Jewish scholar who fled Germany when Hitler gained power. He eventually found refuge in the United States where he taught political science at the University of Chicago. He is most famous for resuscitating Machiavelli and introducing his principles as the guiding philosophy of the neo-conservative movement. Strauss has been called the godfather of Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” More than any other man, Strauss breathed upon conservatism, inspiring it to rise from its atrophied condition and its natural dislike of change and to embrace an unbounded new political ideology that rides on the back of a revolutionary steed, hailing even radical change; hence the name Neo-Conservatives.

The father of neo-conservatism had many “spiritual” children at the University of Chicago, among them: Paul Wolfowitz and Abram Shulsky, who received their doctorates under Strauss in 1972. Harry V. Jaffa was a student of Strauss and has an important connection to Dominionists like Pat Robertson as we shall see below. However, Strauss’s family of influence extended beyond his students to include faculty members in universities, and the people his students taught. Those prominent neo-conservatives who are most notable are: Justice Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, Irving Kristol and his son William Kristol, Alan Keyes, William J. Bennett, J. Danforth Quayle, Allan Bloom, John Podhoertz, John T. Agresto, John Ashcroft, Newt Gingrich, Gary Bauer, Michael Ledeen and scores of others, many of whom hold important positions in George W. Bush’s White House and Defense Department.

To understand the Straussian infusion of power that transformed an all but dead conservative realm, think of Nietzsche’s Overman come to life. Or better yet, think of the philosophy most unlike Christianity: Think of pure unmitigated evil. Strauss admits that Machiavelli is an evil man. But according to Strauss, his admission is a prerequisite to studying and reading Machiavelli: the acknowledgement is the safety net that keeps the reader from being corrupted. One is tempted to talk back to Strauss and point out an alternative: the admission could be the subterfuge that keeps a man from being ridiculed and rejected for espousing Machiavellian methods.

In one of the most important books for our times, Shadia Drury’s Leo Strauss and the American Right, undertakes to explain the ideas behind Strauss’s huge influence and following. Strauss’s reputation, according to Drury, rests in large part on his view that “a real philosopher must communicate quietly, subtly, and secretly to the few who are fit to receive his message.” Strauss claims secrecy is necessary to avoid “persecution.”[36]

In reading Strauss, one sometimes encounters coded contradictory ideas. For example, Strauss appears to respect Machiavelli because—as he points out—in contrast to other evil men, Machiavelli openly proclaimed opinions that others only secretly expressed behind closed doors. But we have just noted that Strauss teaches that secrecy is essential to the real philosopher. Strauss concluded, some would say that Machiavelli was after all, a patriot of sorts for he loved Italy more than he loved his own soul. Then Strauss warns, but if you call him a patriot, you “merely obscure something truly evil.”[37] So Strauss dances his way through the Machiavellian field of evil, his steps choreographed with duplicity and it’s opposite. The reader cannot let go.

In Strauss’s view, Machiavelli sees that Christianity “has led the world into weakness,” which can only be offset by returning the world to the ancient practices of the past. (Implied is not a return to the pagan past, but rather a return to the more virulent world of the Old Testament). Strauss laments, “Machiavelli needed …a detailed discussion revealing the harmony between his political teaching and the teaching of the Bible.” [38]These statements of Strauss, by themselves, were sufficient to send neo-conservative Christians to search for correlations between Machiavellianism, radical conservatism and the scriptures.[39]

Strauss’s teaching incorporated much of Machiavelli’s. Significantly, his philosophy is unfriendly to democracy—even antagonistic. At the same time Strauss upheld the necessity for a national religion not because he favored religious practices, but because religion in his view is necessary in order to control the population. Since neo-conservatives influenced by Strauss are in control of the Bush administration, I have prepared a brief list that shows the radical unchristian basis of neo-conservatism. I am indebted to Shadia Drury’s book (Leo Strauss and the American Right) and published interviews for the following:

First: Strauss believed that a leader had to perpetually deceive the citizens he ruled.

Secondly: Those who lead must understand there is no morality, there is only the right of the superior to rule the inferior.

Thirdly: According to Drury, Religion “is the glue that holds society together.”[40] It is a handle by which the ruler can manipulate the masses. Any religion will do. Strauss is indifferent to them all.

Fourthly: “Secular society…is the worst possible thing,” because it leads to individualism, liberalism, and relativism, all of which encourage dissent and rebellion. As Drury sums it up: “You want a crowd that you can manipulate like putty.”[41]

Fifthly: “Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat; and following Machiavelli, he maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be manufactured.”[42]

Sixthly: “In Strauss’s view, the trouble with liberal society is that it dispenses with noble lies and pious frauds. It tries to found society on secular rational foundations.”

Strauss’s Student, Harry Jaffa on the 700 Club with Pat Robertson
For four days in 1986, from July first through the fourth of July, Pat Robertson interviewed neo-conservative Dr. Harry Jaffa, a former student of Leo Strauss, on the 700 Club show. The topic was the importance of the Declaration of Independence. Joining with Jaffa was Robertson’s own man, Herb Titus, the Dean of CBN’s School of Public Policy. This series of interviews was one of the most important philosophical moments in the development of the political agenda and political philosophy of the Dominionists.

Robertson found in Harry Jaffa, the champion he needed, whose reasoning would influence how the Constitution should be interpreted by conservatives and would provide a “Christian” view of the establishment of the United States that excluded the secular social contract view. Harry Jaffa would influence both Clarence Thomas (who would be appointed to the Supreme Court by President George Bush senior in 1991) and Antonin Scalia (who would be appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan on September 26, 1986).

During the four days of interviews Jaffa and Titus agreed that the Declaration of Independence was the premier document and it superceded the Constitution. Titus said, “The Declaration…is the charter of the nation. It is what you might call the articles of incorporation, whereas the Constitution is the bylaws. The Constitution is the means by which to carry out the great purposes that are articulated in the Declaration.”

Robertson asked: “Let’s assume that eighty percent of the people are just totally immoral, they want to live lives of gross licentiousness and they want to prey on one another, that’s what they want and they want a government to let them do it. How does that square with the Declaration of Independence and its consent of the governed?”

Titus said, “Even the people can’t consent to give away that which God says is unalienable.”

Robertson then asked, “The principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, how far have we gone from it and what can we do to redress some of these problems?”

Jaffa responded cryptically:

“I’d say that today, for example in the Attorney General’s [Edwin Meese’s] warfare with the liberals on the Supreme Court, in his appeal to original intent, he appeals to the text of the Constitution. Jefferson and Madison said together in 1825, ‘If you want to find the principles of the Constitution of the United States, you go first to the Declaration of Independence.’”

First, Jaffa means by the term “original intent” that the Constitution must be interpreted according to what it meant when it was originally adopted. It is a revolutionary and brilliant idea that will allow the Dominionists to effectively repeal most of the judicial decisions made in the last century. [43]

econdly, if we take Jaffa and the Dominionists at their word and go to the Declaration of Independence, we can see just how radical the conservative revolution and Dominionism are. The only portion that is ever quoted publicly are these words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

The quote stops in the middle of the sentence—the part that is never quoted is this:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Dominionism then, takes its authority to overthrow the government of the United States from our own Declaration of Independence. By the time all Americans wake up to the Dominionist’s intent, it may be too late.

Though Harry Jaffa speaks with a high minded sense of political righteousness, Shadia Drury exposes his Machiavellian side. Like Strauss, he “clearly believes that devious and illegal methods are justified when those in power are convinced of the rightness of their ends.”[44] Jaffa and Robertson saw eye to eye on more than one topic: for instance, Jaffa like his host Pat Robertson, found Oliver North to be a hero (and by extension Michael Ledeen) when both North and Ledeen went around the law to provide military aid to the contras.[45]

How Dominionism Stealthily Swept Over America
Within a period of twenty to thirty years beginning in the 1970’s, Dominionism spread like wild fire throughout the evangelical, Pentecostal and fundamentalist religious communities in America. It was aided and abetted by television and radio evangelists. More than any other man, Pat Robertson mobilized the millions of politically indifferent and socially despised Pentecostals and fundamentalists in America and turned them into an angry potent army of political conquerors.[46]

But it would be a mistake to limit Dominionism to the Pentecostals and fundamentalists alone: conservative Roman Catholics and Episcopalians have joined and enlarged the swelling numbers.[47] Robertson, like other media preachers, used every form of communication: television, radio, books and audio tapes available for sale. One book stands out. Originally published in 1982 and written with Bob Slosser, a key Robertson loyalist, Pat Robertson’s The Secret Kingdom soared on the bestseller charts. It underwent four printings during its first year. By 1984 Bantam published a mass paperback in cooperation with Thomas Nelson, the original publisher. (Though the book has since been revised, my quotes are from the original version.)

However, it was the Pentecostals and fundamentalists who made up the core of Robertson’s audience. To a people who were largely uneducated and who often remained ignorant even if they went through college because of their fear of becoming tainted by the “world and worldliness,” Dominionism came as a brilliant light that assuaged their deep sense of inferiority. Pentecostals in particular could take comfort from the notion that no longer would the world think of them as “Holy Rollers” who danced in the “Spirit” and practiced glossolalia. This time, they would be on top—they would be the head and not the tail—and the so-called elite, the educated of the world, would be on the bottom.

A new world was coming. To help the transition along, Pat Robertson, along with other pastors, evangelists and churchmen, founded schools, universities and colleges throughout the United States to train “Christians” how to run for office, how to win, and how to manage the affairs of government after they gained office. To get an idea of how successful the plan was, Robertson’s Regent University now has a $100 million endowment. After watching the Dominionists takeover the Republican Party and observing their ruthless methods, it is indeed apparent that Machiavellian principles are the fuel running their “How to Manual.”

Starting with a class of only twelve in 1985, Robertson began his Journalism Department at CBN University where 800 other graduate students were earning Master degrees in a fully accredited institution. Later Robertson changed the name of CBN University to “Regent University”—based on Dominionism’s teaching that the national government of America and governments of the world will be ruled by Dominionists, who will act as regents on an interim basis, that is, until the true King—Jesus Christ—will return to earth again and gratefully accept His Kingdom from the hands of His faithful regents.

The Dominionist Plan: Today Control the USA, Tomorrow the World
Significantly, Dominionism is a form of Social Darwinism.[48] It inherently includes the religious belief that wealth-power is a sign of God’s election. That is, out of the masses of people and the multitude of nations—wealth, in and of itself, is thought to indicate God’s approval on men and nations whereas poverty and sickness reflect God’s disapproval. The roots of the idea come from a natural twist of an Old Testament passage, which I discuss below. Essentially there were two elements necessary to establish Dominionism among Christians who previously believed helping the poor was a mandate of Christianity.[49]

First, Old Testament law had to be accepted as an essential part of a Christian’s theology.

Secondly, the Christian had to undergo a second conversion-like experience that went beyond being born again and demanded not only a commitment to reestablishing the Old Testament legal structure but required the implementation of that law in the nations of the world (including the U.S.) based upon a different understanding of the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20).[50] Under this concept Dominionists are to go into all the world to take dominion and “make disciples” teaching the disciples to “observe all” that Jesus “commanded.” All nations under Dominionist’s teaching are to convert to biblical laws, which are ranked superior to secular laws that were not God given or God directed and are found wanting. The Christian therefore must be willing to overthrow all laws that are secular.

In other words, a measure of one’s spirituality rested upon the individual’s willingness to accept the concept of taking dominion over not only the people of America, but taking dominion over the people of the entire world. From Dominionists’ actual words, the taking of America is perceived as a violent act. Ben Kinchlow who co-hosted CBN’s 700 Club with Pat Robertson told an audience, “We need to grab the American dream by the short hairs and snatch it back to where it was originally designed to be.”

As Robertson wrote approvingly in his book, The Secret Kingdom, the kingdom of heaven “suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” He explained, “Zealous men force their way in. That’s what it means.” (Page 82.)

What “Dominion” Means
There were an estimated 110,000 Pentecostal and fundamentalist churches in America in the 1980s. Robertson taught them—through his vast television network and through his books—that the role of the Christian is to rule over the wicked. Dominionism’s purpose is to create theocrats (a Christian class of rulers). But in order to successfully place only certain Christians in positions of power, Dominionism divides Christian believers into classes based upon political ideology and certain hot point issues such as the privatization of Social Security and Medicare, freedom to decide on medical procedures with ones own physician, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, freedom of the arts, and certain rights like the right to a fair trial and protection from governmental intrusion into the privacy of marriage and adult associations.

The believers who are destined to rule are called the “elect,” and are separated from those believers who do not and will not accept the predestined superiority of the chosen ruling class. A Christian who raises his voice against the “elect” could be labeled a “false prophet or a dreamer of dreams,” and therefore, according to the Deuteronomic law “shall be put to death.”

Placing his own words in the mouth of God, Robertson wrote in The Secret Kingdom:

“It is clear that God is saying, ‘I gave man dominion over the earth, but he lost it. Now I desire mature sons and daughters who will in My name exercise dominion over the earth and will subdue Satan, the unruly, and the rebellious. Take back My world from those who would loot it and abuse it. Rule as I would rule.’” (p. 201.)

On his 700 Club television show (5-1-86) Robertson said:

“God’s plan is for His people, ladies and gentleman to take dominion…What is dominion? Well, dominion is Lordship. He wants His people to reign and rule with Him…but He’s waiting for us to…extend His dominion…And the Lord says, ‘I’m going to let you redeem society. There’ll be a reformation….We are not going to stand for those coercive utopians in the Supreme Court and in Washington ruling over us any more. We’re not gonna stand for it. We are going to say, ‘we want freedom in this country, and we want power…’”

Charles Colson, the former Special Counsel to Richard Nixon, who was called “Nixon’s Hatchet Man,” pled guilty to charges in the Daniel Ellsberg case during the Watergate Scandal. He served a prison sentence, and started a prison ministry afterward. Pat Robertson has called him “the most brilliant political strategist in the world.” Over the years, Colson made many appearances on the 700 Club. On one occasion, he laid out the battle lines:

“It always has been a conflict between the kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. When you really look at what Jesus is saying, He is saying the time is fulfilled, repent and believe, the kingdom is at hand. And He is calling for the kingdom of God to rule over the affairs of man. And so inevitably there’s going to be a conflict.” (The 700 Club 5-21-86)

Robertson said on his program the 700 Club (5-13-86):

“We’ve sat idly by long enough and said, ‘Well religion and politics don’t mix.’ Don’t you believe it. If we don’t have moral people in government then the only other people that can be in government are immoral. That’s the only way it goes. Either you have moral people in there or you have immoral people.”

On another show (5-7-86) he revealed a partial list of changes the Dominionists planned for America:

“We can change the government, we can change the court systems, we can change the poverty problem, we can change education…We can make a difference.”

Who Rules? And Who Are to Be the Ruled?
In an earlier section, I discussed the principle held by both Machiavelli and Leo Strauss that religion is necessary as a tool for a leader to control the masses. If conformity—not dissent is required, then religion is the power tool of choice, for it will insure a controlled populace. We’re about to examine its uses, its ingenious gifts and its powers, in this and the following sections. Be aware that Dominionism is in fact, a brilliantly executed road that leads to total power.

In his book, which tended to be more formal and less expansive, Pat Robertson began the listing of those Americans not fit for public office:

“Obviously the drunk, the drug addict, the lustful, the slothful do not have the discipline to rule the earth and to correct its evils.” (p. 82)

“If we remain unrighteous, the Bible says, we will miss the kingdom.” (p.83)

Then he quoted Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) (p. 83)

If “Secular Humanists are the greatest threat to Christianity the world has ever known,” as theologian Francis Schaeffer claimed, then who are the Humanists? According to Dominionists, humanists are the folks who allow or encourage licentious behavior in America. They are the undisciplined revelers.

Put all the enemies of the Dominionists together, boil them down to liquid and bake them into the one single most highly derided and contaminated individual known to man, and you will have before you an image of the quintessential “liberal”—one of those folks who wants to give liberally to the poor and needy—who desires the welfare and happiness of all Americans—who insists on safety regulations for your protection and who desires the preservation of your values—those damnable people are the folks that must be reduced to powerlessness—or worse: extinction.

Dominionists determine who is among God’s elect—not solely by a religious experience such as being born again, but by a political determination of whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, a liberal or a conservative or simply a person who questions the deeds of Dominionist political figures. The politics of exclusion, including bigotry, is in fact wide spread throughout the United States.

Take, for instance, Sean Hannity’s remarks to Time Magazine, “You can play golf with liberals, be neighbors with them, go out to dinner. I just don’t want them in power.”[51] Or take Ann Coulter’s assertions: “Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason.” Or, “Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.” (It turns out that every single “liberal” in the country is a member of the Democratic Party and therefore is a traitor.)[52]

The Machiavellian nature of the Dominionist cult explains why Bill Clinton who is a Christian believer was attacked so viciously for his sexual folly but Newt Gingrich, Bill Livingston, Henry Hyde, Strom Thurmond and scores of other Republicans escaped the punishment of public ridicule, verbal abuse, and humiliation for the same sexual peccadilloes. (It appears only Democratic “liberals” must be held to the fire of biblical standards and biblical punishments because as we all know, they are “unregenerate from the beginning of time.”)

Robertson’s book acknowledges that his followers, the “Christian” army raised up for political purposes are the elect chosen to rule. Robertson’s transcribed television interviews and dialogs give shocking evidence to the legitimization of greed, hatred, violence and cruelty by members of the various fundamentalist branches of the American clergy and by elected officials of the Republican Party, which can be cited as evidence that Dominionism is not a Christian religion—that above everything else, Dominionism is synonymous with Machiavellianism: the ends justify the means. Under Dominionism, true Christianity is a target to destroy, not a goal to achieve.

Who Lives and Who Dies? How Justice Scalia Would Expand the Death Penalty
In one of those peculiar moments when a host on television seems to have a disconnect with his guest, I realized that Pat Robertson was using “code” with Herb Titus, his “guest” on the show on May 27, 1985. Titus was the Dean of CBN University’s School of Public Policy and was a known Christian Reconstructionist (Dominionist) who had written position papers arguing that government has exceeded its authority by requiring individuals such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers to be licensed by the state. Robertson, himself, revealed what the School of Public Policy was teaching on a later show (July 5, 1985). “What are we going to teach them? We’ll teach them the foundation of our government. We’re going to teach them how to win elections.”

This exchange with Titus occurred on May 27, 1985:

Robertson: “We have with us today Constitutional authority, Herb Titus. Herb . . . . How about the biblical concept of war? You know there are many people who don’t think we should ever fight wars and yet we’re talking about brave men who died for freedom.” (Emphasis added)

Titus: “Well I believe the scripture is very clear that if you are attacked by evil whether within the country or outside the country, that it’s the duty of the civil authorities to defend the nation and the people of the nation from evil whether it comes from an aggressor outside or an aggressor inside. We can see that in Romans 13 for example.”

Curious about the meaning of what was being said, particularly since Robertson had asked a question about war, and Titus’ answer included war against one’s own population, I looked up Romans 13. I had always read this passage to be St. Paul’s concept of a good government providing beneficial services to the governed and I restricted its meaning to only a lawfully constituted government that rules justly.

But read Romans 13 in the light of Machiavelli’s and Leo Strauss’s discourses on religion and its uses by a political leader, and one glimpses the danger that Dominionism represents to the American people and to the American way of life. For it can be read to mean that any lawful government is ordained by God to execute retribution and punishment upon those who challenge (resist or rebel against) unjust policies of a government. When read this way, it takes on a new and sinister meaning. Or, it can be read to mean that once a new government of the United States of America has been established under biblical law—then no citizen will have the right to resist it or rebel against its edicts. In other words, the Declaration of Independence will no longer be applicable to the regency established by the Dominionists. This is how Romans 13 reads in the New English Version:

“Every person must submit to the supreme authorities. There is no authority but by act of God, and the existing authorities are instituted by him; consequently anyone who rebels against authority is resisting a divine institution, and those who so resist have themselves to thank for the punishment they will receive. For government, a terror to crime, has no terrors for good behaviour. You wish to have no fear of the authorities? Then continue to do right and you will have their approval, for they are God’s agents working for your good. But if you are doing wrong, then you will have cause to fear them; it is not for nothing that they hold the power of the sword, for they are God’s agents of punishment, for retribution on the offender. That is why you are obliged to submit. It is an obligation imposed not merely by fear of retribution but by conscience. That is also why you pay taxes. The authorities are in God’s service and to these duties they devote their energies.”

This section, if taken literally as fundamentalists are apt to do, appears to prohibit any kind of resistance against the policies of a government, including peaceful protests, petitions, and writings. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appears to endorse that position, for he quoted this same Romans 13 passage in his article, “God’s Justice and Ours,” to prove that Christian doctrine states “government—however you want to limit that concept—derives its moral authority from God.”[53] Government is not only the “minister of God” but it has the authority to “execute God’s wrath.”

The power of the sword is surely the power to kill or maim and certainly the power to intimidate. Scalia believes the power of the sword in this passage is “unmistakably a reference to the death penalty.”

At this point, Scalia demonstrates the absolute brilliance of the judicial rule created by neo-conservatives that requires a judge to determine the “original intent” of the writers of the Constitution. As Scalia himself describes it, “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead…It means today not what current society…thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”[54] Once the original thinking is determined, the judge can enforce the Constitution only as a document that is bound by the time zone in which a particular passage was written.

When I first read articles by authors who were exposing the Dominionists’ intention to extend the death penalty to cover “crimes” like adultery, rebelliousness, homosexuality, witchcraft or effeminateness, I found the death penalty extension goal to be laughable. It couldn’t be done in America.

I was wrong. I now realize that we are very close to seeing the Dominionists achieve their goal. All they need to do is to appoint a majority of judges who will adhere to the “dead Constitution” construction rule of Scalia (or what Harry Jaffa called “the original intent” construction rule). At the point when the Dominionist’s control the judiciary—that judiciary can roll back America’s body of legal jurisprudence to a century or more ago as Law Professor Patricia J. Williams pointed out.[55]

Scalia spilled the beans in his article, “God’s Justice and Ours” when he explained how he would determine whether the death penalty is constitutional or not. His reasoning goes like this: since the death penalty was “clearly permitted when the Eighth Amendment [which prohibits ‘cruel and unusual punishments’] was adopted,” and at that time the death penalty was applied for all felonies—including, for example, the felony of horse-thieving, “so it is clearly permitted today.”[56] Justice Scalia left no doubt that if the crime of horse stealing carried a death penalty today in the United States—he would find that law constitutional.

All a willing Dominionist Republican controlled congress need do to extend the death penalty to those people who practice witchcraft, adultery, homosexuality, heresy, etcetera, is to find those particular death penalty laws existing as of November 3, 1791, and re-instate them. No revolution is required. That’s why the battle over Bush’s judicial appointments is so crucial to the future of the America we know and love. And that’s why the clock is running out on freedom loving Americans.

Scalia himself appears to be a Dominionist, for he believes that Romans 13 represents the correct view— that government authority is derived from God and not from the people; he asserts his view was the consensus of Western thought until recent times. Like Pat Robertson, he laments that the biblical perspective was upset by “the emergence of democracy.”[57] Taking his cue from Leo Strauss, Scalia argued, “a democratic government, being nothing more than the composite will of its individual citizens, has no more moral power or authority than they do as individuals.” Democracy, according to Scalia, creates problems, “It fosters civil disobedience.”[58]

As Patricia Williams wrote: “God bless America. The Constitution is dead.”[59]

Dominionism’s Theocratic Views
What would a “reconstructed” America look like under the Dominionists? K.L. Gentry, a Dominionist himself, suggests the following “elements of a theonomic approach to civic order,” which I strongly suggest should be compared to the Texas GOP platform of 2002, which reveals that we are not just talking about imaginary ideas but some things are already proposed on Republican agendas.[60] Dominionism’s concept of government according to Gentry is as follows:

“1. It obligates government to maintain just monetary policies ... [thus prohibiting] fiat money, fractional reserve banking, and deficit spending.

“2. It provides a moral basis for elective government officials. ...

“3. It forbids undue, abusive taxation of the rich. ...

“4. It calls for the abolishing of the prison system and establishing a system of just restitution. ...

“5. A theonomic approach also forbids the release, pardoning, and paroling of murderers by requiring their execution. ...

“6. It forbids industrial pollution that destroys the value of property. ...

“7. It punishes malicious, frivolous malpractice suits. ...

“8. It forbids abortion rights. ... Abortion is not only a sin, but a crime, and, indeed, a capital crime.”[61]

The fourth item in Gentry’s list, “abolishing of the prison system and establishing a system of just restitution” has been worked on extensively by Dominionist Gary North, who holds a doctorate degree in Economics. North has written volumes of books, essays and articles, (many of which falsely predicted that the year 2000 computer problem would bring down modern civilization.) He is most famous among Dominionists for reconciling economic theory with Old Testament passages.

Gary North describes the ‘just restitution’ system of the bible, which happens to reinstitute slavery, like this:

“At the other end of the curve, the poor man who steals is eventually caught and sold into bondage under...

Richard C. Cook

"They make a desolation and call it peace." -Tacitus

Was Alan Greenspan really as dumb as he looks in creating the late housing bubble that threatens to bring the entire Western debt-based economy crashing down?

Was something as easy to foresee as this really the trigger for a meltdown that could destroy the world’s financial system? Or was it done, perhaps, "accidentally on purpose"?

And if so, why?

Let’s turn to the U.S. personage that conspiracy theorists most often mention as being at the epicenter of whatever elite plan is reputed to exist. This would be David Rockefeller, the 92-year-old multibillionaire godfather of the world’s financial elite.

The lengthy Wikipedia article on Rockefeller provides the following version of a celebrated statement he allegedly made in an opening speech at the Bilderberg conference in Baden-Baden, Germany, in June 1991:

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during these years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government which will never again know war, but only peace and prosperity for the whole of humanity. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in the past centuries."

This speech was made 17 years ago. It came at the beginning in the U.S. of the Bill Clinton administration. Rockefeller speaks of an "us." This "us," he says, has been having meetings for almost 40 years. If you add the 17 years since he gave the speech it was 57 years ago—two full generations.

Not only has "us" developed a "plan for the world," but the attempt to "develop" the plan has evidently been successful, at least in Rockefeller’s mind. The ultimate goal of "us" is to create "the supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers." This will lead, he says, toward a "world government which will never again know war."

Just as an intellectual exercise, let’s assume that David Rockefeller is as important and powerful a person as he seems to think he is. Let’s give the man some credit and assume that he and "us" have in fact succeeded to a degree. This would mean that the major decisions and events since Rockefeller gave the speech in 1991 have probably also been part of the plan or that they have at least represented its features and intent.

David Rockefeller at Harvard in 2006

Therefore by examining these decisions and events we can determine whether in fact Rockefeller is being truthful in his assessment that the Utopia he has in mind is on its way or has at least come closer to being realized. In no particular order, some of these decisions and events are as follows:

The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations has led to the elimination of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs as well as the destruction of U.S. family farming in favor of global agribusiness.

Similar free trade agreements, including those under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, have led to export of millions of additional manufacturing jobs to China and elsewhere.

Average family income in the U.S. has steadily eroded while the share of the nation’s wealth held by the richest income brackets has soared. Some Wall Street hedge fund managers are making $1 billion a year while the number of homeless, including war veterans, pushes a million.

The housing bubble has led to a huge inflation of real estate prices in the U.S. Millions of homes are falling into the hands of the bankers through foreclosure. The cost of land and rentals has further decimated family agriculture as well as small business. Rising property taxes based on inflated land assessments have forced millions of lower-and middle-income people and elderly out of their homes.

The fact that bankers now control national monetary systems in their entirety, under laws where money is introduced only through lending at interest, has resulted in a massive debt pyramid that is teetering on collapse. This "monetarist" system was pioneered by Rockefeller-family funded economists at the University of Chicago. The rub is that when the pyramid comes down and everyone goes bankrupt the banks which have been creating money "out of thin air" will then be able to seize valuable assets for pennies on the dollar, as J.P. Morgan Chase is preparing to do with the businesses owned by Carlyle Capital. Meaningful regulation of the financial industry has been abandoned by government, and any politician that stands in the way, such as Eliot Spitzer, is destroyed.

The total tax burden on Americans from federal, state, and local governments now exceeds forty percent of income and is rising. Today, with a recession starting, the Democratic-controlled Congress, while supporting the minuscule "stimulus" rebate, is hypocritically raising taxes further, even for middle-income earners. Back taxes, along with student loans, can no longer be eliminated by bankruptcy protection.

Gasoline prices are soaring even as companies like Exxon-Mobil are recording record profits. Other commodity prices are going up steadily, including food prices, with some countries starting to experience near-famine conditions. 40 million people in America are officially classified as "food insecure."

Corporate control of water and mineral resources has removed much of what is available from the public commons, and the deregulation of energy production has led to huge increases in the costs of electricity in many areas.

The destruction of family farming in the U.S. by NAFTA (along with family farming in Mexico and Canada) has been mirrored by policies toward other nations on the part of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Around the world, due to pressure from the "Washington consensus," local food self-sufficiency has been replaced by raising of crops primarily for export. Migration off the land has fed the population of huge slums around the cities of underdeveloped countries.

Since the 1980s the U.S. has been fighting wars throughout the world either directly or by proxy. The former Yugoslavia was dismembered by NATO. Under cover of 9/11 and by utilizing off-the-shelf plans, the U.S. is now engaged in the military conquest and permanent military occupation of the Middle East. A worldwide encirclement of Russia and China by U.S. and NATO forces is underway, and a new push to militarize space has begun. The Western powers are clearly preparing for at least the possibility of another world war.

The expansion of the U.S. military empire abroad is mirrored by the creation of a totalitarian system of surveillance at home, whereby the activities of private citizens are spied upon and tracked by technology and systems which have been put into place under the heading of the "War on Terror." Human microchip implants for tracking purposes are starting to be used. The military-industrial complex has become the nation’s largest and most successful industry with tens of thousands of planners engaged in devising new and better ways, both overt and covert, to destroy both foreign and domestic "enemies."

Meanwhile, the U.S. has the largest prison population of any country on earth. Plus everyday life for millions of people is a crushing burden of government, insurance, and financial fees, charges, and paperwork. And the simplest business transactions are burdened by rake-offs for legions of accountants, lawyers, bureaucrats, brokers, speculators, and middlemen.

Finally, the deteriorating conditions of everyday life have given rise to an extraordinary level of stress-related disease, as well as epidemic alcohol and drug addiction. Governments themselves around the world engage in drug trafficking. Instead of working to lower stress levels, public policy is skewed in favor of an enormous prescription drug industry that grows rich off the declining level of health through treatment of symptoms rather than causes. Many of these heavily-advertised medications themselves have devastating side-effects.

This list should at least give us enough to go on in order to ask a hard question. Assuming again that all these things are parts of the elitist plan which Mr. Rockefeller boasts to have been developing, isn’t it a little strange that the means which have been selected to achieve "peace and prosperity for the whole of humanity" involve so much violence, deception, oppression, exploitation, graft, and theft?

In fact it looks to me as though "our plan for the world" is one that is based on genocide, world war, police control of populations, and seizure of the world’s resources by the financial elite and their puppet politicians and military forces.

In particular, could there be a better way to accomplish all this than what appears to be a concentrated plan to remove from people everywhere in the world the ability to raise their own food? After all, genocide by starvation may be slow, but it is very effective. Especially when it can be blamed on "market forces."

And can it be that the "us" which is doing all these things, including the great David Rockefeller himself, are just criminals who have somehow taken over the seats of power? If so, they are criminals who have done everything they can to watch their backs and cover their tracks, including a chokehold over the educational system and the monopolistic mainstream media.

One thing is certain: The voters of America have never knowingly agreed to any of this.

John Hoefle

Globalization is genocide. What else would you call a policy whereby trillions of dollars are spent to bail out the banking system, trillions of dollars are spent on war, and people are deliberately starved by a combination of financial policy and food cartel machinations? It is a decidedly anti-human policy, intended to restore what the London-centered international financial oligarchy sees as the natural order of things: itself on top, and everyone else expendable.

Globalization is a policy explicitly designed to destroy the nation-state. The globalizers claim that the nation-state is archaic, that it has failed, and must be replaced with a more ``modern'' form of world management--but that is a lie. The nation-state, and specifically the form of republic established by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, is the highest form of political organization ever designed by man, one specifically designed to promote the General Welfare of all citizens.

The great irony is that what the ``modernizers'' are pushing is actually a far older, repressive system designed to protect the elite and keep the peasants in line. Were we to do what these modernizers propose, we would set the world back more than 250 years, to the days when the British Empire ruled, and the United States was a gleam in Ben Franklin's eye.

- The Nation-State -

How do you build a nation-state? You build cities with all the necessary infrastructure: power, water, sewage facilities, housing, transportation systems, schools, hospitals, libraries, cultural facilities--all the things you need to make the population productive. You create industry to produce goods and employ the people. You have agriculture in the surrounding areas to feed the cities. You build up its transportation systems so people can get around, and move goods efficiently. You build the transportation and communications grids necessary to move people and goods between cities. And above all, you have an educational system in which students can re-experience the great scientific and philosophical breakthroughs from the past, so that they may make the new breakthroughs required for the future.

The greatest asset any society has is the power of reason of individual human minds, for it is from those minds that the scientific and technological discoveries are made which increase the productive power of human labor. Societies which nurture this process succeed, and societies which do not, fail. A nation-state organized around these concepts is the most powerful, and most modern, form of political structure possible.

Look at globalization from this standpoint. One of the primary tenets of globalization is to move production to the areas where labor is cheapest. This is presented as a benefit, when in fact it is a highly destructive race to the bottom. Paying people fair prices for their labor is an essential component of a stable society. Families must have sufficient income to cover their basic expenses (with extra to put away as savings), and the time and money to pursue intellectual and cultural interests. People should not have to work all the time just to make ends meet--it's bad economics as well as bad social policy.

Additionally, moving production from areas of higher technological levels to areas of lower technological levels actually reduces the economic benefit of that production. Far from making the world more productive, globalization has made it weaker.

So who benefits? The corporations obviously benefit because it increases their profits, and the bankers benefit because they can extract more money from these corporations; but these benefits are an illusion, a short-term boost in profit at the expense of the long-term degradation of the planet. It is a form of economic cannibalism.

This cannibalism is deliberate, a policy designed to reduce the carrying-capacity of the world in order to reduce population levels. Contrary to Malthusian propaganda, the reason for this is to prevent the nations of Asia, Africa, and Ibero-America from developing their potential and taking their rightful place in the world.

For centuries, the European-centered oligarchy, located at various times around the Roman, Venetian, Spanish, British, and other empires, has viewed the world as its playground, and they want to keep it that way. They view the world's natural resources as theirs, no matter where they are located, and they will not tolerate nations interfering with their ``rights.''

The history of the world is replete with examples of governments being overthrown, and national borders redrawn, to protect these imperial looting prerogatives. Were these nations to develop themselves along the lines of the United States, these oligarchs know, it would change the balance of power globally, knocking these pompous jackasses off their lily-white thrones. No longer would the City of London and its satellites be able to dictate global policy.

Not only that, but with higher standards of living, including better nutrition and proper education, these so-called Second and Third World countries would produce populations more capable of scientific and technological breakthroughs of their own, including in the field of nuclear power. The technologies of the nuclear era would help smash the oligarchy's control over crucial raw materials such as petroleum and strategic minerals.

Faced with these prospects, the oligarchy launched a full-scale assault on the United States and other nation-states, under the euphemism ``globalization.''

- Globalization -

The aim of globalization is to ensure the domination over the planet of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system. That is to be accomplished by the bankers and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, using methods of which the evil Lord Bertrand Russell said, they might be unpleasant, but what of it. Or, as Dick Cheney might put it: So what?

Their goal is a dramatic reduction in global population, through a combination of famine, disease, war, and financial warfare. This effectively destroys a nation's ability to develop into a sovereign nation capable of resisting imperial designs.

Examples abound. Wars are very efficient ways of killing large numbers of people, as we have seen in several African countries, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, the former Yugoslavia, and in western Asia, to name just a few.

The British are masters at organizing such wars, provoking both sides to get the war going, selling arms to both sides, and blocking attempts to stop the fighting. Disease is another big killer, as the devastation of Africa by AIDS, malaria, and other killer diseases attests.

Famine is a similar weapon, as we discuss in detail elsewhere in this issue. In areas like Africa, long a European colonial subject, the combination of wars, famine, and disease has virtually destroyed the continent, especially in Black Africa.

Financial warfare serves a similar purpose. The manipulation of raw materials prices by the banker-run ``free markets'' allows the commodity cartels to pay low prices to the producing nations, while charging high prices to the consumers, gouging both in one operation.

Even more insidious are the repeated assaults on national currencies launched by the Western financiers, of which the late-1990s ``Asian crisis'' and the long-running Ibero-American debt crises are indicative. Hook a nation on debt (payable in dollars), force it to devalue its currency through financial warfare, then bankrupt it by forcing it to devote an ever-increasing share of its GDP to repaying that debt, thereby making it increasingly impossible to fund the sorts of large-scale infrastructure projects needed to build a nation.

The cumulative effect of these policies over decades destroys the fabric of these nations. Local oligarchies develop which are loyal not to the nations, but to their colonial overseers. These local oligarchies actively sabotage attempts by the citizens to put their nations back on track, much in the same way that the Anglophiles in the U.S. Establishment fight the efforts of the LaRouche movement to return the United States to the principles of the Founding Fathers and Presidents Lincoln and FDR.

Look at what has been done to the United States. Once the greatest industrial power in the world, the United States has been reduced to importing most of our manufactured products. This was not imposed upon us by China or Japan; we did this to ourselves, as nominally American corporations moved their production overseas, either by outsourcing or building new plants where labor was cheap.

Thanks to our failure to move to a nuclear economy, we are more dependent upon the London-centered oil distribution cartel than ever before, and we routinely import food from countries whose own populations do not have enough to eat. Far from benefitting from globalization, we are its greatest victim, a shell of our former selves, increasingly dependent upon a London-centered cartel system for the necessities of life, while our own economy collapses.

This is deliberate genocide, and it must be stopped if the world is to avoid collapsing into a new Dark Age. We must reject the archaic repression of the British Empire and its co-genocidalists, and use the power of the modern nation-state to rebuild the world.


James P. Tucker Jr.

The Trilateral Commission—one of the three most powerful globalist groups in the world—held closed-door meetings right here in Washington, D.C. from April 25 to 28. True to form, those members of the media who knew about the meeting—or were themselves participants in the proceedings—refused to discuss what went on inside or report on the attendees. Luckily, AFP’s own editor, Jim Tucker, was on the scene to bust this clandestine confabulation wide open.

Luminaries at the Trilateral Commission meeting in Washington expressed confidence that they own all three major presidential candidates, who, despite political posturing, will support sovereignty-surrendering measures such as NAFTA and the “North American Union.”

“John has always supported free trade, even while campaigning before union leaders,” said one. “Hil and Barack are pretending to be unhappy about some things, but that’s merely political posturing. They’re solidly in support.”

He was referring to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Mrs. Clinton, they noted, held strategy sessions as first lady on how to get Congress to approve NAFTA “without changes.” As president, they agreed, she would do no more than “dot an i or cross a t.”

Candidate Obama has not denied news reports in Canada that his top economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, assured Canadian diplomats that the senator would keep NAFTA intact and his anti-trade talk is just “campaign rhetoric.”


While they are confident they can deal with any “potential president,” the Trilateralists paid huge tribute to Ron Paul in an equally large twist of irony, by expressing alarm that he is causing “significant future damage.”

They expressed concern that Paul’s rallies have attracted multitudes of young people who are getting “their political education.” They want Republicans to pressure Paul to drop out now and stop his education rallies. This assignment was given to Thomas Foley, former U.S. House speaker.

The reasons Paul’s “education campaign” strikes fear into Trilateral hearts are obvious. Paul would refuse to surrender an ounce of U.S. sovereignty to an international organization and TC wants world government.

Paul would immediately bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan and from 130 UN “peacekeeping” missions around the globe. TC wants to enjoy war profiteering and global power. Paul would abolish the federal income tax while the TC wants to pile on a global tax payable to the UN.

The formal agenda was loaded with everything Paul and American patriots detest: higher taxes, more foreign giveaways, more immigration, both legal and illegal, into the United States and “engaging Iran,” among others.


The Trilaterals got down to real work on Saturday, April 26, with a high-powered panel called “U.S. Foreign and Domestic Policy: Broad Outlines for a New Administration.”

It was presided over by journalistic pimp David Gergen, who will write nothing about TC in his magazine, U.S News and World Report. Also participating were Kenneth Duberstein, former White House chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan; Strobe Talbot, president of the Brookings Institution and former deputy secretary of state; and Joseph Nye, former assistant secretary of defense. Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and long-time Bilderberg leader, was present and listed as a participant. But a TC staff member crossed his name out. Some speculated he had throat problems.

This panel had these orders for the next president: increase foreign aid across the board because “America does not pay its fair share,” pay up the arrears in UN dues, allow as many immigrants into the United States as want to come and provide “amnesty” for illegal aliens already here.

Little, if anything, was said about the fact that American taxpayers pay one-fourth of the UN’s operating costs and one-third of the cost of 130 “peacekeeping missions” or the fact that immigrants from South America depress wages here and the average immigrant family costs the government thousands of dollars a year in welfare, health and other “benefits.”

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank and another long-time Bilderberg boy, largely echoed these views in a sweetheart “interview” by another journalistic strumpet, Lionel Barber, editor of The Financial Times, who will obediently report nothing.


There were “subgroup” meetings on “climate change,” “water and sanitation” and “migration and development.” Every nation, especially the U.S., should spend big bucks to fight “global warming,” they agreed. The United States should spend more “because Americans cause the most pollution,” one argued. Americans should send more money to Africa so natives can drink clean water and scrub themselves, they said.

Antonio Garrigues Walker, chairman of Garrigues Abogadas y Asesores Tributarios, joined Peter Sutherland, the UN secretary-general’s “special representative on migration and development,” to call on the United States to not only allow unlimited immigration, but to throw more money at Mexico and other impoverished Latin countries. It was, somehow, their “right” to have more U.S. dollars. Sutherland is chairman of British Petroleum and Goldman Sachs International. He is also a long-time Bilderberg leader.


Bill Emmott, another kept journalist, spoke on “the rise of Asia” at a reception-dinner held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Emmott, former editor of The Economist, will report nothing.

Sunday morning, Robert Blackwill, former U.S. deputy national security adviser for Iraq, led a panel discussion on “engaging Iran and building peace in the Persian Gulf Region.” For the first time, there was dissent. Blackwill tried to rationalize the invasion of Iraq. Others doubted that Saddam Hussein was connected to the 9-11 terrorist attacks or was a nuclear threat. Blackwill said the military option remains but he hopes diplomatic efforts succeed.

Other participants were Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations, which functions as the propaganda ministry for TC and Bilderberg; Volker Perthes, head of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and Hitoshi Tanaka, former Japanese deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.


More foreigners demanded more U.S. money at a lunch panel called “European and Asian views on U.S. Foreign and Security Policy.” Participants were Elisabeth Guigou, a member of the French National Assembly and former minister for European affairs and Han Sung-joo, former minister of foreign affairs for South Korea.

An afternoon session addressed “global health” with more calls for American tax dollars. A major voice in this cause came from Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of Global Development Programs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates has attended at least one Bilderberg meeting.


John Negroponte, U.S. deputy secretary of state, addressed the evening dinner on “U.S. foreign policy perspectives.” Again, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were rationalized and an invasion of Iran held out as a possibility.

The Monday morning finale addressed the Global Financial Crisis involving these luminaries: Robert Kimmitt, U.S. deputy secretary of the treasury; Martin Feldstein, former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; David Rubenstein, managing director of The Carlyle Group; Naoki Tanaka, president of the Center for International Public Policy Studies and Sir Andrew Crockett, president of JP Morgan Chase International.

Among them, there was much talk of the U.S. government’s “duty” to “intervene” on behalf of “financial institutions under stress.” Little or nothing was said of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are losing their homes because financial institutions lured them into buying houses they could not afford.

Throughout the weekend, no American voices were heard objecting to the demands on their country. Instead, there were smiles, nods and applause.

The Trilateral Commission: North American Group 2008

Thomas S. Foley North American Chairman
Peter Sutherland European Chairman
Yotaro Kobayashi Pacific Asia Chairman
Allan E. Gotlieb North American Deputy Chairman
Herve De Carmoy European Deputy Chairman
Han Sung-Joo Pacific Asia Deputy Chairman
Lorenzo H. Zamibrano North American Deputy Chairman
Ainijrzej Olechowski European Deputy Chairman
Shijuro Ogata Pacific Asia Deputy Chairman
David Rockefeller Founder And Honorary Chairman
Paul A. Volcker North American Honorary Chairman
Georges Berthoin Chairman European Honorary
Otto Graf Lambsdorf European Honorary Chairman
Michael J. O’Neil North American Director
Paul Revay European Director
Tadashi Yamamoto Pacific Asia Director


Madeleine K Albright The Albright Group LLC Washington, D.C.
Graham Allison Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Cambridge, Mass.
Richard L. Armitage Armitage International Washington, D.C.
James L. Balsillie Co-Chief Exec. Officer, Research in Motion Waterloo, Ontario
Charlene Barshefsky Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering Washington, D.C.
Alan R. Batkin Eton Park Capital Management New York, N.Y.
Lael Brainard The Brookings Institution Washington, D.C.
Doug Bereuter The Asia Foundation San Francisco.
C. Fred Bergsten Peterson Institute for Int’l Economics Washington, D.C.
Catherine Bertini Syracuse University Syracuse, N.Y.
Robert D. Blackwill Former Deputy Asst, to the President Washington D.C.
Dennis Blair, USN (Ret.) Institute for Defense Analyses Alexandria, Va.
H. Blanco Mendoza Private Office of Herminio Blanco Mexico City
Stephen W. Bosworth Dean, Tufts University Medford, Mass.
David G. Bradley Atlantic Media Company Washington, D.C.
Harold Brown Center for Strategic and Int’l Studies Washington, D.C.
Zbigniew Brzezinski Center for Strategic and Int’l Studies Washington, D.C.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell President Global Development Program Hinton, WV
Louis C. Camilleri Altria Group, Inc New York, N.Y.
Kurt Campbell CEO Center New American Security Washington, D.C.
Raymond Chrétien Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP Montreal, Quebec
William T. Coleman III Cassatt Corporation San Jose, Calif.
Timothy C. Collins Ripplewood Holdings New York, N.Y.
Richard N. Cooper Harvard University Cambridge, Mass.
F. Gerald Corrigan Goldman, Sachs & Co. New York, N.Y.
Michael J. Critelli Pitney Bowes Inc. Stamford, Conn.
Lee Cullum “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” Dallas, Texas
H. Lawrence Culp, Jr CEO of Danaher Washington, D.C.
Gerald L. Curtis Columbia University New York, N.Y.
Douglas Daft The Coca Cola Company Atlanta, Ga.
Lynn Davis The RAND Corporation Arlington, Va.
Arthur A. DeFehr Palliser Furniture Winnipeg
André Desmarais Power Corporation of Canada Montréal, Quebec
John M. Deutch Mass. Institute of Technology Cambridge, Mass.
Jamie Dimon JP Morgan Chase & Co. New York, N.Y.
Peter C. Dobell Parliamentary Centre Ottawa, Ontario
Wendy K Dobson University of Toronto Toronto
Kenneth M. Duberstein The Duberstein Group Washington, D.C.
Robert Eckert Mattel, Inc. El Segundo, Calif.
Jessica P. Einhorn The Johns Hopkins University Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey Epstein J. Epstein & Company, Inc. New York, N.Y.
Dianne Feinstein U.S. Senate (D-Calif.) Washington, D.C.
Martin S. Feldstein Harvard University Cambridge, Mass.
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. Swiss Re America Holding Corp. Washington, D.C.
Stanley Fischer Bank of Israel; frmr president, Citigroup New York, N.Y.
Richard W. Fisher Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Dallas, Texas
Thomas S. Foley Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Washington, D.C.
Kristin J. Forbes Associate Prof. of Int’l Management Cambridge Mass.
Michael B.G. Froman Citigroup Inc. New York, N.Y.
Francis Fukuyama The Johns Hopkins University Washington, D.C.
Dionisio Garza Medina ALFA Mexico
Richard A. Gephardt Former member House of Reps. (D-Mo.) Washington, D.C.
David Gergen Harvard; Editor, USN&WR Cambridge, Mass.
Peter C. Godsoe Scotiabank (ret.) Toronto, Ontario
Allan E. Gotlieb Bennett Jones LLP Toronto, Ontario
Bill Graham Canadian House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario
Donald E. Graham CEO of The Washington Post Company Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey W. Greenberg Aquiline Capital Partners, LLC New York, N.Y.
Richard N. Haass President, Council on Foreign Relations New York, N.Y.
James T. Hackett Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Texas
John J. Hamre Center for Strategic and Int’l Studies Washington, D.C.
William A. Haseltine Haseltine Global Health, LLC Washington, D.C.
Richard F. Haskayne University of Calgary Alberta
Charles B. Heck Senior Adviser, Trilateral Commission Washington, D.C.
Carlos Heredia International Affairs Mexico
Carla A. Hills Hills & Company, Int’l Consultants Washington, D.C.
Richard Holbrooke Perseus LLC New York, N.Y.
Karen Elliott House Dow Jones & Co. & Wall Street Journal Princeton, N.J.
Alej. Junco de la Vega Grupo Reforma Monterrey, Mexico
Robert Kagan Carnegie Endowment for Int’l Peace Washington, D.C.
Arnold Kanter The Scowcroft Group Washington, D.C.
Charles R. Kaye Warburg Pincus LLC New York, N.Y.
James Kimsey Founding CEO of AOL Washington, D.C.
Michael Klein Citigroup Inc. New York, N.Y.
Steven E. Koonin British Petroleum London
Enrique Krauze Editorial Clio Libros y Videos, S.A. de C.V. Mexico City
Robert Lane Deere & Company Moline, Ill.
Fred Langhammer The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. New York, N.Y.
Jim Leach Former U.S. Representative (R-IA) Washington, D.C.
Gerald M. Levin AOL Time Warner, Inc. New York, N.Y.
Winston Lord International Rescue Committee New York, N.Y.
E. Peter Lougheed Bennett Jones, Banisters & Solicitors Calgary, Alberta
Roy MacLaren Former High Commissioner to the UK Toronto, Ontario
John A. MacNaughton Frmr CEO Canada Pension Plan Invest. Brd Toronto, Ontario
Antonio Madero San Luis Corporacion, S.A. de C.V. Mexico
John Manley McCarthy Tétrault LLP Ottawa, Ontario
Sir Deryck C. Maughan KKR Asia, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. New York, N.Y.
Jay Mazur Union of Needletrades, Textile Employees New York, N.Y.
James Moore Canadian Parliament Ottawa, Ontario
Marc H. Morial National Urban League New York, N.Y.
Heather Munroe-Blum McGill University Montreal, Quebed
Brian Mulroney Ogilvy Renault Montréal, Quebec
Indra K. Nooyi PepsiCo, Inc. Purchase, N.Y.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Cambridge, Mass.
David J. O’Reilly Chevron Corporation San Ramon, Calif.
Meghan O’Sullivan Former Deputy National Security Adviser Washington, D.C.
Richard N. Perle American Enterprise Institute Washington, D.C.
Thomas R. Pickering Consultant, The Boeing Company Arlington, Va.
Martha C. Piper The University of British Columbia Vancouver, B.C.
Richard Plepler Executive Vice President, HBO New York, N.Y.
Joe Ralston, USAF (Ret) The Cohen Group Washington, D.C.
Charles B. Rangel U.S. House of Representatives (D-N.Y.) Washington, D.C.
Susan Rice Brookings Institution Washington, D.C.
Hartley Richardson James Richardson & Sons, Ltd. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Joseph E. Robert, Jr. J.E. Robert Companies McLean, Va.
John D. Rockefeller IV U.S. Senate (D-W.V.) Washington, D.C.
Kenneth Rogoff Center for Int’l Development, Harvard Cambridge, Mass.
Charles Rose The Charlie Rose Show, PBS New York, N.Y.
Irene B. Rosenfeld CEO Kraft Foods Northfield, Ill
Dennis Ross Ambassador Counselor and Ziegler Washington, D.C.
David M. Rubenstein The Carlyle Group Washington, D.C.
Luis Rubio Center of Research for Development Mexico City, Mexico
Arthur F. Ryan Prudential Financial, Inc. Newark, N.J.
Jaime Serra SAI Consulting Mexico City, Mexico
Dinakar Singh TPG-Axon Capital New York, N.Y.
Anne-Marie Slaughter Princeton University Princeton, N.J.
Gordon Smith Centre for Global Studies, U. of Victoria Victoria, B.C.
Donald R. Sobey Empire Company Ltd. Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ronald D. Southern ATCO Group Calgary, Alberta
James B. Steinberg LBJ School of Public Affairs, U. of Texas Austin, Texas
Jessica Stern Program on Terrorism & the Law, Harvard Cambridge, Mass.
Barbara Stymiest RBC Financial Group Toronto, Ontario
Lawrence H. Summers Harvard University Cambridge, Mass.
John J. Sweeney AFL-CIO Washington, D.C.
Strobe Talbott The Brookings Institution Washington, D.C.
George J. Tenet Georgetown Univ., former CIA Director Washington, D.C.
John Thain New York Stock Exchange, Inc. New York, N.Y.
G. Richard Thoman Columbia University New York, N.Y.
Paul A. Volcker Wolfensohn & Co., Inc., frmr Fed. Res. Chair.New York, N.Y.
William H. Webster Former CIA Director Washington, D.C.
Fareed Zakaria Newsweek International New York, N.Y.
Lorenzo H. Zambrano CEMEX Monterey, Mexico
Ernesto Zedillo Former president of Mexico; Yale Univ. New Haven, Conn.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman Chairman, U.S. News & World Report New York, N.Y.
William T. Coleman, Jr. Lifetime Trustee, Trilateral Commission Washington, D.C.
Henry A. Kissinger Lifetime Trustee, Trilateral Commission Washington, D.C.
Robert S. McNamara Lifetime Trustee, Trilateral Commission,
frmr pres., World Bank; frmr sec.of Defense; frmr pres., Ford Motor. Washington, D.C.
David Rockefeller Founder, Lifetime Trustee, Trilateral Comm. New York, N.Y.


Patricia Barbizet CEO Artemis Group, France
Dermot Gleeson Chairman, AIB Group, Ireland
Elisabeth Guigou French National Assembly, France
Nigel Higgins Senior Partner N M Rohschild & Sons, UK
Jerzy Kozminski President & CEO Polish-American Freedom, Poland
Thomas Leysen CEO Umicore, Belgium
Manfred Bischoff Chairman, SNCF, France
Arpad Kovacs Pres. State Audit Office Hungary, Budapest
Friedrich Merz Member of the German Bundestag, Germany
Pietro Modiano Mng. Director CEO Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy
Hans Reisenhuber (returning) Member of the German Bundestag, Germany
Jeroen van der Veer Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell, The Netherlands


Helga Zepp-LaRouche

The fiery letters of an unprecedented human catastrophe already stand flickering on the wall, and it will be fatal for the world as a whole, if we do not succeed immediately, in the coming days and weeks, to declare globalization a failure, and to set everything into motion to double agricultural production capacity in the shortest possible time!

This is of the utmost urgency: Since October 2007, there have been food riots in over 40 nations. According to Rajat Nag, managing director general of the Asian Development Bank, 1 billion Asians (!) are already at serious risk from the hunger crisis, and in Africa, Ibero-America, and among the poor on the other continents, an additional 1 billion face the same fate. But according to Jacques Diouf, head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), since December his organization has been unable to raise 10.9 million euros (!) in order to purchase seed for poor farmers in developing countries. The rich states are simply not willing to support the developing countries with money, seed, and investment in infrastructure, Diouf told an FAO conference on Latin America in Brasilia in mid-April.

Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, pointed to an additional aspect of the crisis; namely, that the use of food for biofuels is a ``crime against humanity.'' In order that we might fill our gas tanks with ethanol with clear ecological conscience, people in the Third World must starve (and also die). Speaking of the resulting food riots, Ziegler said, ``These are riots of utter despair by people who fear for their lives, and who, nagged by deathly fear, take to the streets.''

And that's only the beginning. Because, as long as the current policy of the ``rich'' nations--i.e., the free-trade doctrine of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Union Commission, and so one--continues, the food cartels and speculators will take advantage of the conditions created by the escalating systemic crisis of the world financial system, to maximize their profits and to feed price inflation, without the farmers reaping any benefit therefrom. And if the world's central banks continue their practice of using tax revenues in an attempt to make up for the speculative losses of private banks, then we are going to see hyperinflation like Weimar Germany spread around the globe.

Under these circumstances, the entire planet will be swept by the storm winds of food riots, until humanity descends into a new dark age of chaos, gang warfare, and climbing death rates--or, until justice and life with human dignity is established for all human beings on this planet.

- The Oligarchy's Malthusian Axioms -

For the year 2050, the UN forecasts a population growth of 33%, that is, from the current 6.7 billion to approximately 9 billion human beings. The demand for food will rise correspondingly, and if we add the approximately 2 billion who are currently undernourished, then a doubling of food production is a good rough measure on which we can orient our planning efforts.

One would be hard put to find another issue which more effectively unmasks the oligarchical axiomatic state of mind, as this one. The U.S.-Eurocentric outlook regards the prospective population growth as a threat, bringing with it the challenge of mass immigration of poor people into the developed countries, and the struggle to secure raw materials (most of which are located in the poor countries). This viewpoint was most recently expressed by Michael V. Hayden, U.S. Director of Central Intelligence, at a speech at the University of Kansas. He asserted that this growth will occur chiefly in the nations of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, places where this population growth cannot be sustained economically, thus leading to a heightened danger of violence, rebellion, and extremism. This same oligarchical axiomatic outlook underlies the unspeakable strategy paper issued by five retired generals, who count as the first among the six primary challenges to the world community, population growth and the unequal distribution of the demographic curve in the various continents. This poses the greatest threat to prosperity, responsible government, and energy security, these generals say. The model for this neo-Malthusian, imperial world-view is the infamous National Strategic Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200), drafted by Henry Kissinger in 1974, which declares all raw materials around the world to be a U.S. strategic security interest.

The truth is, that the oligarchical model which Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and George Shultz set into motion on Aug. 15, 1971, with the end of Roosevelt's Bretton Woods system and of fixed currency exchange rates, thereby systematically guiding the economy into the direction of unregulated free trade, has now completely failed. This 1971 paradigm-shift away from production and into speculation--unregulated credit generation in the so-called offshore markets such as the Cayman Islands, where 80% of all hedge funds are headquartered--ushered in the emergence of today's casino economy.

Since that time, step by step, each new precedent has gone in the direction of the neo-liberal model: the creation of the eurodollar market; the 1974 oil price swindle; the 1975 hardening of ``IMF conditionalities''; the assaults by the Carter Administration, beginning in 1976, against ``mercantilist tendencies in the developing countries''; Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's 1979 high interest rate policy; the policies of ``Reaganomics'' and ``Thatcher economics'' in the 1980s, including the mergers and hostile takeovers typifying a process of ever greater cartellization; Alan Greenspan's invention of miraculous ``creative credit instruments'' following the Crash of 1987; and the unfettered globalization following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the transfer of industrial production into ``cheap production countries''--all these were further mileposts in the same direction.

- Behind Today's Hunger Catastrophe -

It is in this context that we must consider today's exploding hunger catastrophe. Formerly, since 1957, the European Economic Community's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) had been designed to supply the population with sufficient foodstuffs at reasonable prices, so that farmers had an appropriate income and agricultural production could be increased. But with the introduction of unfettered globalization, other, entirely different criteria took precedence. With the 1992 agricultural reform, consumer price reductions were instituted, for example: beef farms 20%, grain farms 30%, and milk farms 15%. But there were no provisions for corresponding compensation to the farmers. Instead, they were offered financial assistance tied to compliance with ``ecological criteria.''

The farmers had been talked into this deal with the argument that they ``must hold their own on the world market,'' i.e., they must be able to compete with cheapened production abroad. In practice, however, it meant that many farmers had to shut down completely, while others could run their farms only as a part-time occupation, such that a career in farming became unattractive for the young generation, resulting in the loss of many family farms.

This trend in the direction of free trade was escalated by the so-called Uruguay Round, the final negotiation session of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), which ended their former practice of considering the rules of agricultural production from the standpoint of food security, and instead bound themselves to the strict rule of free trade, and thus to the food cartels' demand for maximization of profit. Since that time, millions of farms have gone bankrupt, and the process of cartellization has taken hold to such an extent, that in five months, the FAO has been unable to pull together a pitiful 10 million euros so that, in the midst of this hunger catastrophe, the poor countries might be able to sow seed--seed which is controlled by only three companies!

The replacement of GATT--which still had the form of a multilateral agreement among states--by the World Trade Organization, a supranational bureaucracy with far-reaching independent powers, portended a further round of deregulation, abolishment of all trade barriers not bound by collective bargaining agreements, and ``harmonization'' of member-states' standards. The chief beneficiaries of these measures in the direction of free trade, were, once again, the food cartels. Since then, completely anonymous WTO boards of experts have enjoyed the right to impose penalties on violators against free trade, without these ``experts'' being obliged in any way to account to voters for their actions.

For the European Union, the Agenda 2000 and the agricultural reform of 2005 further stepped up the tempo in the direction of reduction of surpluses (and thus the destruction of foodstuff reserves and exports). Instead of setting fair producer prices which could cover production costs, compensatory payments were made for leaving land fallow--``set-aside'' policy--and for completely arbitrary environmental protection measures. And so, the trend toward sell-offs of independent family farms proceeded apace.

Former German Economics Minister (and later Consumer Protection Minister) Renate Künast, and Agriculture Minister Franz Fischler, were correct when they spoke of a systemic change being introduced with this agricultural reform. Fischler cynically observed at the time, that the compulsory price reductions would also bring about a reduction in the intensity of cultivation, because the farmers would not have any money left for fertilizer or pesticides.

A bit later, some farmers fared better financially for a while, because of the EU subsidies for cultivation of plants for biofuels--but with the above-mentioned catastrophic consequences.

And it should be pointed out that the pioneer in the use of foodstuffs for the production of ethanol, was Benito Mussolini. Under the WTO and EU Commission regime, production capacity was reduced in the industrial nations, while at the time, the developing countries were forced to export cheap foodstuff in order to earn cash to repay foreign debt--and this, frequently, even though their own population was not adequately supplied with food. And so, today, the economic and moral bankruptcy of this system of British free trade and Manchester capitalism is plain for all to see.

Fortunately, there is also resistance against the genocidal policies of WTO and EU free trade. In recent weeks, French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier and German Consumer Protection Minister Horst Seehofer have begun a campaign aimed directly against the EU policies. Barnier started a European-wide campaign in defense of the CAP, a policy which some free-trade fanatics (such as David Spector, an Associate Professor at the Paris School of Economics, and the Financial Times) are demanding be completely abolished, despite the hunger crisis. Barnier attacks the idea that the poorest countries should export food to the rich countries, as a total departure from reality, since it is precisely such a policy which has ruined subsistence agriculture and local production in the poorest countries. Instead of this, Barnier demands that Africa, Latin America, and Asia likewise institute their own CAPs--i.e., a protectionist parity system.

- Emergency Measures Needed Now -

There can be only one answer to the obvious bankruptcy of murderous free trade: We need a worldwide mobilization for the most rapid possible doubling of agricultural production. The WTO itself must be dissolved, immediately.

Leading up to the FAO conference in Rome on June 3-5, all means, including unconventional ones, must be made available for enabling the FAO to set a program into motion to increase agricultural production worldwide. This must include a new ``Green Revolution,'' as well as medium-term measures for the expansion of infrastructure, the building up of food-processing industries in developing countries which do not have them, and for water management.

The topic of a new and just world economic order must be put onto the agenda. In view of the existential significance of this issue for the future of all humankind, a special session of the UN General Assembly must be convened on this theme. The New Bretton Woods system, and a New Deal for the entire world, in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt--measures which many heads of state and economists have been calling for--must immediately become the subject of an emergency conference of heads of state, who must decide upon a new world financial system which would permit all nations to develop. The building of the Eurasian Land-Bridge must be agreed upon as the keystone for reconstructing the world economy.

In the U.S. Declaration of Independence--which the Schiller Institute's founding conference in 1984 adopted as its charter by making it applicable for all nations of this world, by just a few wording changes--it says:

``We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.''

This Declaration of Human Rights must hold true still today--for all human beings on this planet. What we need today, is men and women who fight with passion and love for the idea of a just world order, one in which the community of nations can live together in peace and human dignity. Life, Liberty, and Happiness mean, above all, that all people have enough to eat and that poverty is abolished--something which we have all the technological means to bring about. Whether we can make this vision into reality, or whether we instead speed humanity into collapse, is how each one of us will be measured by history.


Du Won Kang
Epoch Times
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CHANTILLY, VA—While over a hundred of the most influential people in the world are believed to gather at the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, for several days (June 5–8) all the major media, except for the Epoch Times, are apparently silent about it. The event is an annual gathering of the Bilderberg Group.

Former Secretary of State Madelin Albright, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, Henry Kissinger, Vernon Jordan, and others were seen by witnesses and some of them were confirmed by others just outside of the hotel. Photos and videotapes were taken of them. (See the websites operated by Alex Jones at the bottom of this report that have posted some of the videos and photos.)

Alex Jones, syndicate radio talk show host and documentary film maker, says that he invited the Washington Post, the Fairfax Times, and asked 16 million listeners of the Coast to Coast AM radio show to call on the press to cover the event. But no major media showed.

ALEX JONES: Syndicate radio talk show host and documentary film maker, Alex Jones, visits Chantilly, Virginia to document the events around the secretive Buiderberg Meeting and to protest against them. Photo taken on Sunday, June 8. (Du Won Kang/The Epoch Times)

"This is a criminal group. They're involved in very bad things," said Alex Jones, referring to the Bilderberg Group.

He said, "They violate the Logan Act. The federal law says that they can't come here and discuss policy with private interest in secret because we have the right to know. The only place they can discuss things in secret is in national security meetings, in the Congress, or in the Capitol, and that's amongst themselves ... This is illegal what they're doing … That's why we have moles inside reporting to us what's happened."

He continued, "This isn't about the federal government. This is about private interest meeting with members of the government, outside of the government, violating federal law, and the Logan Act. We are here because this is a criminal summit … These are globalists. They want one world government. They want to reduce liberty."

Alex Jones is also the producer of Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement.

When asked about evidence for Bilderberg Group's influence over U.S. Presidential candidates, he said, "From our sources, they decide who they like best and they put their weight behind him. These people own the media. They own the big corporations. They've got trillions of dollars together. And when you get the nod from the big boys, you tend to get the support ... Do they have total control over society? No. Do they have total control over the candidates? No. But they're steering it. They're massively influencing it."

'WE ARE CHANGE': Luke Rudkowski (L) and John Paul Harkins ® are members of who visited Chantilly, Virginia to protest against the Bilderberg Group. Photo taken on Sunday, June 8. (Du Won Kang/The Epoch Times)

The Washington Post published an article on June 9 with headline, "Obama Adviser Faces Scrutiny Over Mortgage Deals." It reports that James A. Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO, is leading Sen. Barack Obama's vice-presidential search process, and that Johnson is a member of the American Friends of Bilderberg.

Jim Tucker, co-founder of American Free Press (AFP), has been investigating the Bilderberg Group for over a quarter of a century. His research on the Bilderberg Group was highly praised by participants of the protests at Chantilly. He is the author of Jim Tucker's Bilderberg Diary (2005).

GROUP POSE: People who came to Chantilly, Virginia to protest against the secret meeting of the Bilderberg Group pose for a photo on Sunday, June 8. (Du Won Kang/The Epoch Times)

Jon Ronson, author of Them, describes the Bilderberg Group for CNN several years ago:

"Many members of the Bilderberg see themselves in much the same way as the conspiracy theorists see them: as shadowy figures out to influence world events. They see themselves as wise globalist centrists. Many of the anti-Bilderberg conspiricists see themselves as twigs in a tidal wave of globalization; they see themselves as nationalists. World government is what Bilderberg are into—the idea of a global community and a 'one world order.'

"The Bilderberg Group sees themselves as head hunters. They'll get an up and coming politician who they think may be President or Prime Minister one day and as globalist and industrialist leaders, they try to influence them. Bilderberg secrecy hulks back to Henry Kissenger who loves the idea of working in the shadows. The secrecy gives rise to conspiracy theories."


Stephen Lendman

In a new article, economics professor Richard Wolff explains the current crisis in Marxian terms. It "emerged from the workings of the capitalist class structure. Capitalism's history displays repeated boom-bust cycles punctuated by bubbles. They range unpredictably from local, shallow and short to global, deep and long." Clearly we're now in one of the latter and potentially the worst ever.

Wolff states that recurring crises and chronic instability come with capitalism, and only "social change to a non-capitalist class structure" will bring relief and stability. He explains how we got here:

-- since the mid-1970s, real wages haven't kept up with inflation;

-- "computerization of production displaced workers;"

-- production and service jobs (including high-paying ones) have been offshored to low-wage countries; and

-- "capitalists end(ed) the historic (1820 - 1970) rise of US wages" in real terms.

It gets worse. They increased productivity through technology and pressuring workers - to work harder for less pay and fewer benefits. "In Marxian terms, the surpluses extracted by capitalist employers - the difference between the value added by labor and the value paid to the laborer - rose. In capitalist class structures, each capitalist is better off the more surplus is exploited from employees. The last 30 years realized capitalists' wildest dreams."

Marx indeed was right, and his reward has been to be unfairly maligned. He explained capitalism's destructive contradictions and condemned the "free market" as anarchic and ungovernable. It alienates the masses by preventing the creation of a humane society. It produces class struggle between "haves" and "have-nots," the bourgeoisie (capitalists) and proletariat (workers). It exploits the many so a few can profit.

He predicted what's clear today. Over time, competition produces a handful of winners in the form of powerful monopolies or oligopolies controlling nearly all production, commerce and finance. Exploitation increases. Successive crises erupt, and ultimately abused workers react - according to Marx with an inevitable socialist revolution because a system this inequitable can't endure, so it won't.

Wolff explains more in his incisive analysis and in discussion on-air with this writer. "Stagnant wages traumatized (workers and destabilized families) accustomed to rising consumption afforded by rising wages." As a result, more family members work, put in longer hours on their jobs, assumed unmanageable debt to keep spending, have exhausted its limits, are now defaulting on their obligations, and so are corporations in as much or greater trouble.

It's a familiar story. "Bust followed bubble followed boom, once again" - but this time it's a whopper. As Wolff explains:

"The key point (is) since the mid-1970s, US corporate boards of directors took three interconnected steps" that got us to today. "They effectively froze workers' real wages, (cut benefits), extracted much more surplus from their increasingly productive workers, and....distributed (it in) cumulatively unsustainable" ways. This type system is "fundamentally crisis prone" and unworkable.

Wolff proposes a socially responsible one that is. He wonders if policy debates today will "ignore or deny (the) class structural basis" of today's crisis. If so, are we condemned to keep repeating this boom and bust cycle "with all the personal, familial, political, economic and cultural losses they inflict" - and in the end see capitalism fail anyway as it will.

A Systemic Crisis That's Bad and Worsening

Exhibit A - On December 5, Market headlined the bad news: "Payrolls plunge by stunning 533,000 in November." The alternate household survey showed a 673,000 decline. According to the Labor Department, it's the steepest job loss in 34 years, and even greater ones may be coming for an extended period as the systemic crisis worsens.

Only three other times in the past 58 years have payrolls shrunk by over 500,000 in a month. Since January, a reported 1.9 million jobs have been lost, but the real toll is far higher, and the worst is still ahead.

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research said the latest data brought the three-month job loss to 1,256,000, the largest three-month toll since the period ending February 1975 although losses in years like 1949 and 1958 were larger relative to the size of the labor force. Manufacturing and construction have been hardest and longest hit, but of late the service sector has been "imploding," according to research firm MKM chief economist Michael Darda. He added: "As the service sector goes, so goes the US economy."

Economist John Williams runs the "Shadow Government Statistics" web site and explains how government data are manipulated, corrupted and unreliable to make them look better than they are. Along with much more analysis, he reverse-engineers GDP, inflation and employment for more accurate readings and a truer picture of economic health.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate rose from 6.5% to 6.7%, and September and October job losses were revised sharply higher by 199,000. Over the past three months, payrolls have shrunk by an average of 419,000 per month compared to 82,000 a month early in the year. In addition, total hours worked fell 0.9% in November, the drop is 2% for the last three months for the sharpest three-month decline in any period since the data's 1964 inception, and the average workweek fell to a record-low 33.5 hours. In addition, so-called "underemployed" temporary and involuntary part-time workers hit a 12.5% rate, up sharply from 11.7% in October.

According to Moody's economist Ryan Sweet: "The labor market capsized in November." We're "seeing a very broad-based decline in payrolls" as all sectors were affected except education, health services and government. The crisis is clearly deepening - before large expected auto industry and supplier layoffs even with a Washington bailout.

The Labor Department report masks the true gravity of the jobs picture that Williams shows on his site. BLS calculates it by business and household surveys, produces a monthly employment report, and states in a section titled Reliability of the Estimates: "The confidence level for the monthly change in total employment is on the order of plus or minus 430,000 jobs."

The report plays other numbers games as well. In recent ones, more jobs are imputed for new firms than in the same months last year. A "birth/death model is also manipulated to color the picture brighter (at 143,000 for the September - November period compared to 117,000 for the same three months last year), anyone working an hour or more in the current period is considered employed, and interviewees aren't asked if they're unemployed.

Uncalculated are many people without jobs wanting work, many of whom are long-term unemployed who gave up after months of fruitless trying. Also omitted are part-time workers who prefer full-time employment. BLS plays a cynical numbers game and presents an unreliable employment picture. It's way more dismal than it reports so it hides it.

Williams corrects it by including what BLS leaves out, and through November reports unemployment at 16.5% or more than double the manipulated government data. In addition, he calculates the November job loss at around 873,000 or nearly two-thirds greater than the flawed BLS numbers.

He does the same thing with GDP, the real value of goods and services produced. When adjusted for his higher inflation calculation, it's lower than official reports. More inflation means higher prices, not increased output, but Washington tries to hide it. Williams' data showed a negative GDP reading in 2000, and it remained there except for briefly turning positive in early 2004. Through Q 3, he has it at over - 3% and falling, and at the rate it's happening, it should be considerably below that reading by Q 4 and way below official figures that barely acknowledge a deepening recession.

And it's happening at a time wages are declining, benefits are being lost, a record number of Americans use food stamps (31.5 million, up 17% from a year ago), homelessness and poverty are rising, and only a third of laid off workers are eligible for jobless benefits that even when gotten can't support a family.

The Latest Data Confirm the Grimmest Forecasts

Besides unemployment, it's all grim, worsening, and what JVB's chief economist William Sullivan calls "economic nuclear winter" with most reported numbers the worst in years or decades for - production, the service sector, retail sales, consumer spending, capital expenditures, housing, durable goods orders, construction, factory orders, virtually every economic report in an endless dismal stream all pointing precipitously down. Economist and business professor Peter Morici told the Wall Street Journal that "the threat of a widespread depression is now real and present."

The latest reported percentage of mortgage holder delinquencies is more proof. It hit a record 6.99%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association ( MBA). The number of mortgages somewhere in the foreclosure process also reached a new high as home prices and demand are falling and greater numbers of owners are being pressured given mounting job losses in a weakening economy. Subprime mortgage holders are in the most trouble with more than 20% of them (for the first time) seriously delinquent in Q 3.

The MBA also reported a record 1.35 million foreclosed homes in Q 3, or a 76% increase from the same 2007 period. MBA's chief economist Jay Brinkmann stated: "We have not gone into past recessions with the housing market as weak as it is now, so it is likely that a much higher percentage of delinquencies caused by job losses will go to foreclosure than we have seen in the past." The report is based on 45.5 million mortgages, about 85% of the total number of first mortgages nationwide.

The latest retailers report is also weak. It shows "a Crisis in All Aisles," according to the Washington Post, as "shoppers stow credit cards" and retailers posted their worst November sales in over 30 years. They were down 2.7% compared with the same month last year, the second consecutive negative month, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

A recent Citi Investment Research (CIR) analysis sees at least a 5% consumer spending decline during the holiday season due to tighter consumer credit. According to CIR economist Kimberly Greenberger, "The bottom line is that consumers are genuinely concerned about their personal financial health and they are cutting back voluntarily." A Consumer Reports survey also showed that more than half of shoppers plan to rely less on credit this Christmas.

Overall, the economy is contracting at the sharpest rate since the 1930s, and before it's over may surpass the worst of those Depression years no matter how manipulative the camouflage. We're in unchartered territory, conditions are very grave, and their affect on many millions will be hugely destructive.

The toll showed up in the latest Business Roundtable's quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Index. It took its biggest ever drop to 16.5. It stood at 78.8 in Q 3, and it's lowest ever previous reading was 49.3 in Q 1 2003. Anything below 50 indicates contraction.

Budget Crises Are Impacting Cities and States Nationwide

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "states are facing a great fiscal crisis." At least 41 have shortfalls in their budgets for this and/or next year, and the numbers are huge. For FY 2009, it's around $77 billion and likely to rise as conditions worsen. Municipal governments are as bad or worse off at about $100 billion or more in the red. It impacts all services including essential ones for the needy, and their numbers will rise going forward.

California is often a bellwether for the nation and not a good sign for what's coming. On December 1, governor Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency, cited a $28 billion shortfall, and compared the state's condition to an accident victim bleeding to death. He wants an austerity budget to deal with it at a time such a measure will worsen it. It's an ongoing state problem, now aggravated by the deepening crisis, and according to one report, unless huge budget cuts are passed, California may run out of money by February or March 2009.

All sorts of draconian measures are proposed with bipartisan support except that Republicans want stiffer ones - cuts in education, health care, and help for the needy; regressive sales and other tax increases; less environmental protection; thousands of state employee layoffs; and tax breaks for business as "economic stimulus."

In addition, for the second time since the Great Depression, California may pay vendors with IOUs. In a December 1 letter to legislative leaders, State Finance Director Mike Genest said the state "will begin delaying payments or pay in registered warrants in March" unless an $11.2 billion deficit is closed or reduced. After approving its budget less than three months ago, California is fast running out of money - and so are dozens of other states.

Schwarzenegger warned that warrants may have to be used as a promise to pay (with 5% interest based on state law) because credit markets are tight, and it's getting too costly to borrow. Controller John Chiang said state cash reserves will decline to $882 million by February and will be a negative $1.9 billion by March. Tax collections have been hammered the result of the collapsing real estate market and the nation's third highest unemployment rate at 8.2%. Chiang summed up the problem by stating: "We're just barely hanging on right now" and need major help immediately.

State budget crises was the central theme of the December 2 National Governors Association meeting at which Obama was asked for federal aid to offset up to a $180 billion shortfall over the next two fiscal years. He offered help but made no promises beyond saying he'll propose a massive stimulus package that he hopes to sign soon after taking office. "Make no mistake," he said, "these are difficult times, and we're going to have to make hard choices in the months ahead. I won't stand here and tell you that you'll like all the decisions I make. You probably won't."

Neither will auto workers as Congress and the Big Three conspire against them along with UAW boss Ron Gettelfinger who earlier sold them out. On December 5, The New York Times headlined: "Democrats Set to Offer Loans to Carmakers." The leadership said they'll "provide a short-term rescue plan" and expect to vote on it shortly in a special session.

AP reported that it will amount to about $15 billion in loans while The Times said details aren't available "but senior congressional aides said that it would include billions of dollars in short-term loans," enough to last until Obama takes office. After that, further aid will likely be in stages as a way to extort maximum rank and file concessions and signal what's ahead for all working Americans - sacrifice, austerity, lower wages, fewer benefits, and the continued erosion of their living standards, now accelerating during the systemic crisis.

What's good for General Motors, as they say, is bad for its workers, and here's what they'll face:

-- plant closures as the industry significantly downsizes;

-- tens of thousands of permanent layoffs;

-- greatly reduced wages and benefits - well beyond what they earlier sacrificed; last year the UAW leadership sold out the membership by accepting a "transformational" agreement; it slashed wages in half to $14 an hour, established a two-tiered wage and benefit arrangement (for new and current workers), cut health benefits and pensions, and let the Big Three off the hook entirely for their retirees' health care;

-- a likely government trusteeship with power to revoke union contracts for huge new concessions; Gettelfinger signaled he's willing; the UAW leadership (and other union bosses) care more about their status, high pay, and special perks, not the protection of union jobs, their pay, and benefits;

-- an accelerated dumping of higher-paid senior workers to be replaced by lower-paid new ones; and

-- an overall hostile environment for powerless workers forced to give up generations of hard won gains, accept pitiful little, or get nothing at all.

Over the past five years, UAW ranks have shrunk from 305,000 to 139,000 through plant closures, buyouts and early retirements. General Motors now announced that it will close another 11 North American plants and eliminate staff in them. Ford and Chrysler have their own plans along with suppliers that will shrink in numbers and size.

The Threat of Future Deflation

Most economists see deflation (not disinflation) as more stubborn and harder to correct than inflation. It also may lead to depression. A textbook definition runs along the lines of falling prices, usually from a lack of money or credit, but it's also caused by less spending, either personal, government or by business in the form of investment. Serious side effects follow - rising unemployment and falling GDP (output) with the danger of a persistent downward spiral.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard considers the prospect in his latest December 6 article titled: "Deflation virus is moving policy test beyond the 1930s extremes" (with a response showing) the frontiers of monetary policy being pushed to limits that may now test (the) viability of paper currencies and modern central banking."

Nations are hurtling toward zero interest rates "so what next if the credit markets (won't) thaw?" Think Japan's lost decade even though (so far) depression has been avoided.

But Japan is one country. Today's problem is global, so if depression is coming "we are all going down together." No deus ex machina will save the day, including from China that's very dependent on foreign markets.

Fed chairman Bernanke calls his solution a "technology....a printing press, that (can) produce as many US dollars as (we) wish at essentially no cost." Is he right or wrong? "The world's fate now hangs" on his judgment during a "far more serious (crisis) than the Great Depression," according to Michel Chossudovsky. All measures undertaken so far haven't worked, and in his judgment, "contribute to a further process of destabilization of the financial architecture."

Evans-Pritchard is also worried. "Once the killer (deflation) virus becomes lodged in the system, it leads to a self-reinforcing debt trap - the real burden of mortgages rises, year after year, house prices fall, year after year. The noose tightens until you choke. Subtly, it shifts wealth from workers to bondholders. It is a reactionary poison. Ultimately, it leads to civic revolt. Democracies do not tolerate such social upheaval for long. They change the rules."

Bernanke claims the Fed can "expand the menu of assets that it buys" and thus never run out of tools. It may or may not work but at what price. Perhaps short-term relief for much greater trouble ahead - either a deflationary or hyperinflationary collapse.

In late November, Nobel laureate Robert Mundell and others warned that without an immediate reversal of Fed and Treasury policies, America faces disaster ahead. Bernanke himself warned in a 2002 speech: "The best way to get out of trouble is not to get into it in the first place." Nonetheless, he cheerled "Greenspan's easy-money stupidities from 2003 - 2006, (then himself contributed to) debt debauchery."

Evans-Prichard thinks his monetary blitzkrieg "greatly reduce(s) the likelihood of a catastrophe." He also says: "History will judge."

Henry Kaufman on the Root of Today's Crisis and How It Will Change the Way America Does Business

Now age 81, Kaufman is a highly regarded economist once nicknamed "Dr. Doom" for his interest rate forecasts during the 1970s and early 1980s. He formerly was a Salomon Brothers managing director and executive committee member before heading his own firm, Henry Kaufman & Company. He recently addressed a group of international bankers on today's crisis and followed up with a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

He explained that "There have been more than a dozen financial crises since the end of World War II. The aftermath of each was transitory, and markets rebounded rather quickly." The current crisis is different, and at its root is decades of ballooning debt. Especially since 2000, nonfinancial debt outpaced nominal GDP growth by nearly $8 trillion, or more than double the 1990s gap.

While debt rose, savings shrank, but buying power stayed resilient through credit card availability, mortgage refinancings, and no shortage of willing lenders. From 1960 to 1990, nonfinancial debt grew at around 1.5 times nominal GDP growth while savings averaged about 9% yearly. From 1991 to 2000, debt outpaced GDP by 1.8 times and savings declined to 4.7%.

Since 2000, however, borrowing soared twice as fast as GDP, a housing bubble resulted, households got maxed out on credit, while savings shrunk to around 1.4% and more recently to zero. Kaufman believes that to regain our economic health, we have to kick our addiction to debt and start saving again.

He also cited what he calls the most profound long-term effect of the credit crisis - the radical financial industry concentration to a dominant 15 firms holding over half of the nation's nonfinancial debt (held by households, nonfinancial companies and government). "These are the very firms that played a central role in creating debt on an unprecedented scale through a process of massive securitization via complex new credit instruments (and that) pushed for legal structures that made many aspects of the financial market opaque."

Kaufman says these giants "will limit any chance for the US to move toward greater economic democracy" because they're riddled with conflicts of interests from their multiple roles "in securities underwriting, in lending and investing, in the making of secondary markets, and in the management of other people's money. Through their global reach, (they also) transmit financial contagion even more quickly (and) when the current crisis abates, the pricing power of these huge financial conglomerates will grow significantly, at the expense of borrowers and lenders."

This crisis "will usher in profound and lasting structural, behavioral and regulatory changes," for better or worse, and he lists some important ones:

-- "international portfolio diversification has been undermined;" it failed to weather the test of the current crisis;

-- "risk modeling will lose popularity" - for options and other complex financial derivatives "that are useful for dynamic hedging under normal circumstances," but these don't exist now and won't going forward;

-- "financial concentration will gain even greater momentum and influence;" this is the "most profound long-term consequence of the current credit crisis; in the years ahead, the influence of these financial conglomerates will be overwhelming;"

-- "the end of an era of ballooning nonfinancial debt" that's been a key US economic growth driver for decades; this trend will continue for some time;

-- "US government borrowing will continue to swell, at least for a few years;"

-- "Americans will begin to save again;" and

-- "regulatory reform of financial markets (is coming and) will carry high stakes;" it will become a "major political contest" between "embedded interests."

Down but not out is his message, so when the current crisis ends, it will be business as usual for larger more dominant financial giants. Given the gravity of things, the prospect for global depression and near certainty that the crisis will be protracted and deep, his outlook will unfold in very troubled waters and won't at all serve the public interest.

Today's problem is survival at a time it's daunting for millions and impossible for too many others, while lawmakers, the Treasury and Fed give trillions to banksters who caused the whole mess and billions more to the auto giants and other troubled industries and companies while public America goes begging.


Damien Millet and Eric Toussaint

The G20 summit that brought together major industrialised and emergent countries in Washington on 15 November 2008 is a dismal failure. The international financial crisis is deep indeed, stock markets lost close to 40% of their capitalisation in October 2008, financial markets are awaiting decisions by the States in order to develop remedies against a dark future. The international media spotlights were on Washington for this mid-November weekend. And yet…

Yet what happened in Washington? A sorry show, a script that lacks any credibility, but few spectators seem to care. In detective films it is seldom the case that the keys to the Court of Justice be given to arch criminals. Yet this is what the G20 summit is planning to do.

Since the debt crisis of 1982, major industrialised countries have strongly promoted the neoliberal economic measures that the IMF and the WB were imposing on DCs. In the 1980s and 1990s the South was crushed by debts because of the fall of commodity prices and a steep rise in interest rates; it was forced to reform its economy to be able to service the debt: it introduced wild deregulation, massive privatisations, opening of markets to the greater benefit of corporations in industrialised countries, cuts in public service and social budgets … It was claimed that the source of evil was too much State intervention, and the influence of the State on the economic sphere had to be reduced at all costs, even - or rather especially - when it attempts to stand up for the interests of the majority.

For Third World populations, the remedies imposed by the IMF, the WB and later the WTO, at the request of leaders of countries in the North were worse than the disease. Anti-IMF riots multiplied, for instance when the price of bread doubled overnight. With the notable exception of a few left-wing governments, often placed under strong pressure to bring them back to compliance, most governments of the South applied these measures without flinching. Presented as a prime requirement to the creation of wealth, economic deregulation was extended to the whole planet. Private financial institutions were then free to invent more and more complex financial products with a view to ever-increasing profits, turning a blind eye to actual economic consequences. Mind-boggling financial packages were set up without any public control, and of course any concern for morality. As long as it was possible, the dark side of deregulation was hidden behind enticing growth figures, without letting on that the growth thus paraded benefited only the richer segment of the population and that what was actually achieved was a staggering growth of inequalities.

Then the time came when it was no longer possible to claim that the bride was beautiful when her dress was soaked in blood. The international financial crisis started in August 2007 and intensified in 2008. Major banks (Northern Rock, RBS, Bear Stearns, ING, Fortis, Dexia, UBS and so many others), big insurance companies (AIG), mortgage associations (Freddy Mac, Fannie Mae) called on the State for help and the State often complied and bailed them out. But instead of taking advantage of the situation and retrieving control of those runaway machines, the State left decision-making power to those who had led the global economy to its current impasse.

This G20 summit shows that lessons have not been learned. The old demons of the past are still with us. The IMF and the WB, though further delegitimised by the failure of the measures they have enforced for 25 years and by the governance crisis they have experienced over the last years (Paul Wolfowitz' forced resignation as president of the WB, Horst Köhler and Rodrigo Rato resigning from the IMF, the recent investigation concerning Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF), are still at the heart of the proposed solutions. WTO negotiations aiming at even more economic deregulation, while we have just witnessed the utter failure of this policy, are again on the agenda. While IMF loans could no longer find clients, Hungary, Ukraine and Pakistan have volunteered. Contrary to denials by concerned institutions, the same intolerable conditionalities are still the order of the day: as counterpart for the latest loan Hungary had to decide, among other things, to suppress civil servants’ 13th month bonus and freeze their salaries. Japan even proposed to supply the IMF with USD 100 billion so that it could increase its loans and carry on its fateful activities. Moreover the meeting that was intended to find a global solution to the current crisis was not held in the contexct of the United Nations but in the limited context of the G20. So the very promotors of an unfair and unsustainable model are asked to rescue this model. The only solutions that were put forward protect the interests of major creditors. Populations and poor countries as usual were not consulted.

When faced with such an inconsistent and ill-conceived script, one cannot but hope for a final twist that would introduce a measure of justice and ethics into all this. This final twist can only be found in social struggles all over the world to bring about a radical change in economic choices. And if the film should end as dismally as it started, there is a strong chance that the audience will be highly dissatisfied and make it known to the twenty directors in the most vehement manner ...


Shamus Cooke

After hearing that the media was referring to the weekend gathering of the G-20 as “Bretton Woods II”, the White House immediately began a coordinated attack on expectations. The economic summit that was to fix the deepening economic crisis was raising hopes too high (Bretton Woods was the 1944 conference that re-organized the world capitalist system after WWII).

Bush: “This problem did not develop overnight and it will not be solved overnight”.

Media outlets rightly interpreted this — and other statements — to mean that little or nothing would be accomplished.

After learning about the announced “successes” of the summit, working people will likewise conclude that nothing of importance had occurred. And this after Bush urgently declared, "Billions of hardworking people are counting on us."

What was accomplished?

The only real accomplishment of the meeting was that no fighting took place (publicly), and that all 20 participants signed their names onto a common document. World tensions are in fact so strained that this really does constitute a form of success.

But when one browses through the lengthy joint statement, what is most noticeable is the lack of substance. Even though the document includes an “action plan” with “immediate steps” to be taken, the already-vague content is dulled with such words as “should," “recommended” and “as appropriate," which appear in nearly every sentence. For example:

“Regulators, supervisors, and accounting standard setters, as appropriate, should work with each other and the private sector on an ongoing basis to ensure consistent application and enforcement of high-quality accounting standards.”

The entire document is equally painful and ambiguous. The New York Times correctly stated: “Though the proposals were cast as ambitious reform, they mainly reflected steps that the countries were already undertaking."

These vague steps include: “higher regulatory standards," “promoting stability” and “exercising effective risk management” at financial institutions.

Why was more not more accomplished?

The answer to this was given by the Western corporate elite’s most intelligent publication, the Economist:

“… as urgency fades and the negotiators drown in complexity, national interest may gain at the expense of collective safety… international rules require enforcement, but nation-states demand sovereignty.”

These words echo the insight of Karl Marx 150 years ago, who pointed out that capitalism was an international system that contained a contraction due to the competing interests of each nation state. Although governments always claim to be acting impartially, real corporate interests are at stake -- most notably the pursuit of profits -- competing against the corporations of other nations, represented by their own “impartial” governments.

During times of economic crisis, these “national” interests become increasingly desperate and competitive, a reality all too present at the G-20 summit.

The same contradiction prevented the recent WTO talks from being successful, and as the world economy spirals downwards, it will have a similar effect on all multilateral discussions. Every country has an interest to push the effects of the crisis on to other, and use whatever methods available to push up domestic growth rates (the accumulated profits of each country’s mega-corporations).

The urge to expand profit was what helped deepen the current crisis, since US banks used all sorts of schemes and accounting tricks to gain leverage over their international competitors; a trick they learned from the Japanese banks prior to Japan’s recession of the 1990s — known as “the lost decade."

The European countries at the G20 summit were hoping that the US would agree to specific regulations that would end these practices, which essentially give the US a trade advantage — in financial instruments such as packaged toxic mortgages— over the rest of the world. The vague response of the document, combined with Bush’s repeated preaching about the “free market," put the issue at a stalemate.

Bretton Woods II ?

So why cannot the international community cooperate like they did at the original Bretton Woods conference?

In short, the world situation is far different. The Bretton Woods institutions were set up during WWII as soon as the Allies sensed they were going to win. But these “negotiations” were mostly dictates from the US, which was the only country not financially ruined or physically smoldering. As such, the Bretton Woods institutions — World Bank and IMF — strongly favored the US first, its European lackeys second, and the rest of the world last.

The world today has not one power, but many. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy correctly pointed out, “America is still the number one power in the world…is it the only one? No, it isn’t.”

The “emerging economies” are demanding some real power, which the Bretton Woods institutions do not allow. Changing these structures are not in the interests of the US and European corporations. Although the G-20 document calls for more countries to play a bigger role in the IMF, the timetable for accomplishing this was not labeled as an “immediate action,” but a “medium-term action,” meaning that it could be put off indefinitely. The US mega-corporations that ultimately make these decisions are unwilling to make concessions that will adversely affect their profit margins. Strained tensions internationally will thus be further stressed.

Under today’s conditions, a Bretton Woods type of agreement will not emerge from roundtable discussions, but from next round of wars, the winner of which will set the standard at Bretton Woods II.

In 90 days the G-20 will reconvene and Obama will replace Bush as the chief US negotiator; he will be representing the same corporate interests, ensuring that nothing fundamental is done about an economic crisis that affects more ordinary people every day.

A necessary conclusion must be drawn: the world capitalist system is in a crisis that the ruling class cannot fix. Likewise, nothing will be done to actually help working class people unless we demand and fight for it ourselves. But points of unity already exist among us: stopping further Wall Street bailouts, ending war, creating jobs, saving and expanding social programs, stopping foreclosures, extending unemployment benefits, and most important, bailing out working people by taxing the super rich! A broad coalition organized around these issues would be far more powerful than the handful of elites currently represented by the two party system.

Richard C. Cook

November 15, 2008

The G20 is meeting today in Washington , D.C. , to discuss the world financial crisis, its causes, and what can be done about it. But this won’t help the people of the U.S. who have been victimized by their own financial system.

The stated objectives are to find ways to stabilize and reduce speculation in the financial markets and make financial transactions more transparent, more efficient, and more international in scope. But this is also a revolt by the nations of the world against over-reliance on the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. What we are likely to see over time is a multi-currency regime that includes the Euro and one or more Asian currencies as well.

But the conference will not address the real causes of why the world is heading into a global recession or why the U.S. economy in particular is in such dire straits. Nor will the meeting lresult in redress of the staggering level of bankers’ criminality abetted by the U.S. government in the creation of the financial bubbles whose collapse is underway.

The real problem is that the world is locked into a debt-based financial system run by the world’s banks, where the only way currency can be entered into circulation is through lending. It’s been massive amounts of completely irresponsible lending which have leveraged the bubbles against much smaller amounts of tangible value.

The GDP of the entire world is $55 trillion. This is dwarfed by speculative lending in the derivatives markets of ten times that amount--$525-$550 trillion. No nation has clean hands in this travesty. The governments of the world and the central banks have allowed it to come into being.

Within the U.S. , reliance on money-creation through bank lending has been the problem since the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. At that point the U.S. monetary system was privatized. The case has been the same with all the other nations which have private banking systems that control their central banks. The granddaddy is the Bank of England which dates from 1694.

The creation of the Federal Reserve System marked the start of a century of world war. This is hardly a coincidence. Indeed, the central banking system encourages wars and lives off them, because it is war and the threat of war that is most profitable to a system where the more money governments borrow the more profits the banks make.

All this started with World War I, which was largely financed by the British, French, German, and the U.S. banks. Events have continued in that vein through today, where the nations of the world are armed to the teeth and global finance capitalism tries to increase its control everywhere to the detriment of workers, national economies, and the environment.

To try to fix the crisis through bailing out the system, we are now seeing in the U.S. and Europe levels of government borrowing that have not been experienced since World War II. The purpose is to recapitalize a financial system that has destroyed itself through its own greed and folly. But all this does is defer the bill to future generations who have to pay the enormous compounded interest charges this borrowing entails. Interest on the national debt in the 2009 federal budget is over $500 billion. Every man, woman, and child in the nation is a victim of this crime.

The situation is so bad that many people believe the U.S. may even be in danger of defaulting on its gigantic national debt sometime in 2009.

Meanwhile, the failed financial system is dragging down the world’s producing economy with it, and the bailouts won’t change that situation. Combined with the financial crash has been a collapse in consumer “demand.” In other words, consumers, who are maxed out on their credit, no longer can borrow enough to keep the wheels of the economy turning.

But the reason they must borrow for consumption is that earnings are not sufficient for people to buy what they need to live. This is why in the U.S. there has been an outcry, including with the Obama campaign, for new government job-creation programs. Every day there is another proposal by progressives for new government spending, which, of course, will have to be financed by even more government debt.

So when are we going to learn how to introduce purchasing power without debt? How did we ever come to believe that the only way to create money is through a bank inventing it out of thin air? In the past few weeks we have had a number of Nobel-prize winning economists chip in with their suggestions of what to do, but none have addressed the obvious question of what the alternatives may be to bankers’ debt-based currency.

If we look at history, we see other ways governments have used their powers to create money. Indeed, until the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the U.S. was a kind of laboratory of alternative methods of money-creation.

If we go back to colonial days, the American colonies used a variety of means to introduce currency into circulation. In Virginia , plantation owners received tobacco certificates when they deposited their product at public warehouses. The certificates then circulated as currency.

In Pennsylvania the government ran a land bank which paid cash to land-owners for liens on property. The interest paid for the costs of government without any taxation of citizens.

In Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, governments spent paper money directly into circulation. The money received value by then being accepted by those governments, after it circulated within the economy, in payment of taxes.

Other forms of currency were Spanish dollars, Indian wampum, and IOUs. There was also a flourishing barter trade.

The system worked. By 1764, the American colonies formed one of the most prosperous trading regions on the planet. When asked why, Benjamin Franklin said it was because of colonial scrip—i.e., their paper money. When the British Parliament outlawed it through the Currency Act of 1764, an economic depression followed. It was the underlying cause of the Revolutionary War.

During that war, the Continental Congress issued the famous Continental Currency. What likely caused that money to inflate was extensive British counterfeiting, not being used to excess by our national government.

Once the nation became independent, a U.S. mint was founded so individuals could bring in gold or silver and have it stamped into coinage free of charge. New discoveries as with the California and Yukon gold rushes or better methods of extraction from ores resulted in economic booms. From then until coinage lost its value after the Federal Reserve System was established, precious metals were a major part of the U.S. monetary system that included not only coinage but also gold and silver certificates.

In 1791 and again in 1816 Congress passed legislation for the First and Second Banks of the United States . These banks were dupicates of the Bank of England whose purposes were to fasten on the U.S. the same type of debt-based monetary system that was the driving force for the British Empire . Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, and Martin van Buren were among those who saw these banks as a Trojan Horse for financier tyranny. The split between pro- and anti-bank forces was the origin of the two-party system within the United States .

When Jefferson became president in 1800 he refused to borrow from the bank and balanced the federal budget for eight consecutive years by cutting military expenditures. Andrew Jackson took similar action in 1833 when he withdrew federal funds from the bank and paid off the entire national debt. It was recognized back then that fiscal responsibility was an effective means for keeping the government out of the control of the bankers and their political friends.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln refused to borrow from the banks. Instead he financed the war through income and excise taxes, sale of war bonds directly to citizens, and issuance of the famous Greenbacks. This came about in 1862 when Congress authorized the government to spend $450 million in paper Greenbacks directly into circulation. Congress also introduced tangible value into the economy by what was then the very wise policy of transferring huge amounts of public land to the railroads and to citizens under the Homestead Act.

During the late 19th century, ordinary citizens were not so stunningly ignorant of the politics of money as they are today. People recognized the Greenbacks for having saved the union. A Greenback Party was formed that elected representatives to Congress and ran candidates for president.

Greenbacks remained in circulation, and as late as 1900 still made up a third of the nation’s monetary supply, along with coinage, gold and silver certificates, and national bank notes. Also, many other business entities, including the “company stores” owned by mining companies, issued their own paper scrip that was part of the circulating currency. For example, in a pamphlet on monetary reform written by American poet Ezra Pound in the 1930s was an illustration of paper money his grandfather issued from his lumberyard in Michigan in the late 1800s backed by board-feet of lumber payable on demand! Of course barter trade continued and still exists today among industrial firms.

But the bankers were on the move. In 1863 and 1864 Congress passed the National Banking Acts which drove the extensive system of state-chartered banks, including some owned by state governments, out of existence. By the early 1900s, the power of the bankers had coalesced under the New York banking trust led by the J.P. Morgan and Rockefeller financial interests.

The bakers struck in 1913 just before the Christmas recess when many Congressmen had already left Washington for the holidays. The Federal Reserve Act had actually been written by bankers from Europe who were allied with the Rothschild interests. Congressman Charles Lindbergh, Sr., father of the aviator, called the Act “the legislative crime of the ages.” Later President Woodrow Wilson, who signed the Act, said he had “unwittingly ruined my nation.”

But the deed was done. The Federal Reserve System created the first major financial bubble through World War I spending, followed by a depression, then created and burst the stock market bubble whose collapse started the Great Depression in 1929. President Franklin D. Roosevelt took over credit creation through low-cost government lending in the 1930s but had to use World War II to achieve full employment because by then the government was totally locked into the Keynesian tax-and-borrow credo of public finance.

The bankers began their comeback in the 1950s and consolidated their power in the 1970s under the heading of “monetarism,” which is the philosophy of trying to control the economy through raising and lowering of interest rates. This travesty—which is really institutionalized usury—is as familiar to us today as the water a fish swims in. We don’t even notice it. Yet it’s this system that has ruined the world. Ever since the 1970s, every period of economic growth in the U.S. has been a bank-created bubble followed by a crash and a recession.

We had the inflation of the 1970s created by the government-induced oil prices shocks, followed by the Paul Volcker crash of 1979-83 when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates above twenty percent and caused the biggest downturn since the Great Depression.

During the later Reagan years we had the merger-acquisition bubble followed by the recession that brought Bill Clinton to office in 1992. Then we had the bubble of the mid- to late-1990s that ended with the crash of 2000-2001.

Next, instead, of rebuilding an economy that had been devastated by export of our best manufacturing jobs to China and other cheap-labor countries, the Federal Reserve under chairman Alan Greenspan, with assistance from the George W. Bush administration, created the biggest bubble economy in history, with the housing, commercial real estate, equity, hedge fund, derivatives, and commodities bubbles all blowing up at the same time and leaving us with the mess we are in today.

What has happened during the Bush administration has been the greatest crime against the public interest in U.S. history. Its effects are only starting to be evident.

Of course in the face of so many disasters, the credit markets have imploded, and governments don’t know what to do except recapitalize and restructure them but without taking action to address the deep systemic problems with the producing economy. And while the Europeans may have blown the whistle on U.S. excesses through the G20 meeting, this country still faces disaster.

Yes, Wall Street is killing Main Street , and no one has come up with an answer except suggestions for the bailouts and some New Deal-type programs in an environment that is much worse even than in the 1930s. For one thing, most of what we consume today is produced abroad. For another, family farming has been ruined. In a pinch, our nation could no longer even feed itself.

But the amazing thing is how easy it would be to salvage the situation if the government took the simple step of treating credit as what it really is—a public utility like clean air, water, or electricity, not the private property of the banking system. In fact the banking system and the politicians they own have stolen and abused this fundamental piece of the social commons.

Banks have no legal right to work against the public interest. Every single bank that has ever existed has operated under a public charter. The Constitution gives Congress—i.e., the people’s representative government—authority to regulate interstate commerce. It also gives Congress the right and responsibility to control the monetary system.

So why doesn’t Congress do it? Why does Congress sit passively and stare when Federal Reserve chairmen such as Alan Greenspan or Ben Bernanke sit before them and mumble nonsense about markets and interest rates and inflation and the rest of a made-up system whose main result is to funnel the wealth of the economy upwards into the hands of the financial elite?

In my writings I have advocated several measures Congress could take immediately to remedy the catastrophe we are facing:

Congress could authorize direct expenditure of government funds for legitimate public expenses, as was done with the Civil War-era Greenbacks. Contrary to bankers’ propaganda, the Greenbacks were not inflationary then and would not be inflationary now, because they would be backed by tangible economic production of goods and services. What has been inflationary has been the debt-based currency which, since it was introduced in 1913, has caused the dollar to lose 95 percent of its value. Greenback-type spending is contained in the proposed American Monetary Act, developed by the American Monetary Institute.
Congress could authorize a national infrastructure bank that would be self-capitalized and would lend money into existence to state and local governments at zero percent interest. Legislation for such a bank has been introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Congress could authorize dividend payments to citizens as advocated by the Social Credit movement founded by Major C.H. Douglas of Great Britain decades ago as a means of monetizing the net appreciation of the producing economy. Dividends exceeding $1,000 a month could be issued from a national dividend account without recourse to taxation or borrowing. Such a concept is related to the Alaska Permanent Fund which paid over $3,200 to each state resident in 2008 and to the concept of a basic income guarantee advocated by proponents of the negative income tax in years past.
Congress could utilize dividend payments once they were spent, possibly in the form of vouchers for necessities of life like food and housing, to capitalize a new network of community savings banks that would provide low-cost credit to home purchasers, students, small business people, and local farms.
I worked in the U.S. Treasury Department for 21 years and learned first-hand the history and operations of public finance in the U.S. I have seen the disastrous results of the debt-based financial system and how it has driven our nation, government, and people into bankruptcy. I have also seen how these simple measures of monetary reform would be easy to implement and would begin to turn the situation around within weeks or months.

All it takes is political will and a determination to challenge the death-grip the financial elite has had on our economy for a century.

We can be quite certain that these vital issues will not be addressed by the summit of the G20 meeting in Washington today. If anything, these meetings are likely to render the grip of private finance on the peoples of the world even tighter than before.

But sooner or later change must come. For the immediate future people could fight back by doing everything possible to get out of debt, convert their cash reserves to tangible holdings, and start their own local currency and barter systems. But for real change, a monetary revolution is required.


Fidel Castro Ruz

Bush seemed happy to have Lula sitting to his right during dinner on Friday. On the other hand, Hu Jintao, whom he respects for the enormous market in his country, the capacity to produce consumer goods at low cost and the volume of his reserves in US dollars and bonds was sitting to his left.

Medvedev, whom he offends with the threat of locating strategic radars and missiles not far from Moscow, was assigned a seat rather distant from the White House host.

The King of Saudi Arabia, a country that in a near future will produce 15 million tons of light oil at highly competitive prices was also sitting at his left, at Hu’s side.

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and his most faithful ally in Europe, could not be seen close to him in the pictures.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who is rather disappointed at the present architecture of the financial order, was far from him looking embittered.

The President of the Spanish Government, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a victim of Bush’s personal resentment attending the conclave in Washington, I could not even see in the television images of the dinner.

That’s how those attending the banquet were sitting.

Anyone would have thought that the following day there would be a profound debate on the thorny issue.

On Saturday morning, the press agencies were reporting on the program that would unfold at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Every second was covered. There would be an analysis of the current crisis and the actions to be taken. It would start at 11:30 a.m. local time. First, there would be a photo op, or “family picture” as Bush called it, and twenty minutes later the first plenary session would start followed by a another one in the second half of the day. Everything was strictly planned, even the fine sanitary services.

The speeches and analysis would last approximately three hours and 30 minutes. Lunch would be at 3:25 local time, immediately followed by the final declaration at 5:05. One hour later, at 6:05, Bush would be leaving for Camp David to rest, have dinner and have a pleasant sleep.

Those following the event were impatient to see the day going by and trying to know how the problems of the earth and the human specie would be dealt with in such a short time. A final declaration had been announced.

The fact is that the Summit’s final declaration was worked out by previously chosen economic advisors, very much in line with neoliberal ideas, while Bush in his statements prior to the summit and after its conclusion claimed more power and more money for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other world institutions under strict control of the United States and its closest allies. That country had decided to inject 700 billion dollars to bailout its banks and multinational corporations. Europe had offered an identical or even higher figure. Japan, its strongest pillar in Asia, has promised a 100 billion dollars contribution. In the case of the People’s Republic of China, which is developing increasing and convenient relations with Latin American countries, they are expecting another contribution of 100 billion dollars from its reserves.

Where would so many dollars, euros and pound sterlings come from if not from the deep indebtedness of new generations? How can the structure of the new world economy be built on paper money, which is what is really circulating in the short run, when the country issuing it is suffering from an enormous fiscal deficit? Would it be worthwhile traveling by air to a place on the planet named Washington to meet with a President with only 60 more days left in government and signing a document previously designed to be adopted at the Washington Museum? Could the US radio, TV and press be right not to pay special attention to this old imperialist game in the much-trumpeted meeting?

What is really incredible is the final declaration adopted by consensus in the conclave. It is obviously the participants’ full acceptance of Bush’s demands made before and during the summit. Some of the attending countries had no choice but to adopt it; in their desperate struggle for development, they did not want to be isolated from the richest and most powerful and their financial institutions, which are the majority in the G20.

Bush was really euphoric as he spoke. He used demagogic phrases which mirror the final declaration.

He said: “The first decision I had to make was who was coming to the meeting. And obviously I decided that we ought to have the G20 nations, as opposed to the G8 or the G13. But once you make the decision to have the G20 then the fundamental question is, with that many nations, from six different continents, who all represent different stages of economic development, would I be possible to reach agreements, and not only agreements, would I be possible to reach agreements that were substantive? And I’m pleased to report the answer to that question was, absolutely.”

“The United States has taken some extraordinary measures. Those of you who have followed my career know that I’m a free market person –until you are told that if you don’t take decisive measures then it’s conceivable that our country could go into a depression greater than the Great Depression.”

“[…] we just started on the $700 billion fund to start getting money out to our banks.”

“[…] we all understand the need to work on pro-growth economic policies.”

“Transparency is very important so that investors and regulators are able to know the truth.”

The rest of what Bush said goes more or less along this line.

The final declaration of the summit, which takes half an hour to read in public due to its length, is clearly defined in a number of selected paragraphs:

“We, the leaders of the G20 have held a first meeting in Washington, on November 15, in the light of serious challenges to the world economy and financial markets…”

“[…] we should lay the foundations for a reform that will make this global crisis less likely to happen again in the future. Our work should be guided by the principles of the free market, free trade and investment….”

“[…] the market players sought to obtain more benefits failing to make an adequate assessment of the risks and they failed…”

“The authorities, regulators and supervisors from some developed nations did not realize or adequately warned about the risks created in the financial markets…”

“…insufficient and poorly coordinated macroeconomic policies as well as inadequate structure reforms, led to an unsustainable macroeconomic global result.”

“Many emerging economies, which have helped sustain the world economy, are increasingly suffering from the world brakes.”

“We note the important role of the IMF in response to the crisis; we salute the new short-term liquidity mechanism and urge the constant reviewing of its instruments to ensure flexibility.”

“We shall encourage the World Bank and other multilateral developing banks to use their full capacity in support of their agenda for assistance…”

“We will make sure that the IMF, the World Bank and other multilateral developing banks have the necessary resources to continue playing their role in the solution of the crisis.”

“We shall exercise a strong monitoring of the credit agencies through the development of an international code of conduct.”

“We pledge to protect the integrity of the world financial markets by reinforcing protection to the investor and the consumer.”

“We are determined to advance in the reform of the Bretton Woods institutions so that they reflect the changes in the world economy to increase their legitimacy and effectiveness.”

“We shall meet again on April 30, 2009, to examine the implementation of the principles and decisions made today.”

“We concede that these reforms will only be successful if they are based on a serious commitment to the principles of free market, including the rule of law, respect for private property, free trade and investment, efficient and competitive markets and effectively regulated financial systems.”

“We shall refrain from erecting new barriers to investment and trade in goods and services.”

“We are aware of the impact of the current crisis on the developing nations, especially on those most vulnerable.”

“We are certain that as we advance through cooperation, collaboration and multilateralism we will overcome the challenges and restore stability and prosperity to the world economy.”

This technocratic language is beyond grasp of the masses.

The empire is treated courteously; its abusive methods are not criticized.

The IMF, the World Bank and the multilateral credit organizations are praised despite the fact that they generate debts, enormous bureaucratic expenses and investments while supplying raw materials to the large multinationals which are also responsible for the crisis.

This goes on like that until the last paragraph. It’s a boring declaration full of the usual rhetoric. It doesn’t say anything. It was signed by Bush, the champion of neoliberalism, the man responsible for genocidal wars and massacres, who has invested in his bloody adventures all the money that would have sufficed to change the economic face of the world.

The document does not have a word on the absurd policy promoted by the United States of turning food into fuel; or the unequal exchange of which the Third World countries are victims; or about the useless arms race, the production and trade of weapons, the breakup of the ecological balance and the extremely serious threats to peace that bring the world to the brink of annihilation.

Only a short four-word phrase in the long document mentions the need “to face climate change.”

The declaration reflects the demand of the countries attending the conclave to meet again in April 2009, in the United Kingdom, Japan or any other country that meets the necessary requirements --nobody knows which- to examine the situation of the world finances, dreaming that the cyclical crisis with their dramatic consequences never happen again.

Now is the time for the theoreticians from the left and the right to offer their passionate or dispassionate criteria on the document.

From my point of view, the privileges of the empire were not even touched upon. Having the necessary patience to read it completely, one can see that is simply a pious appeal to the ethic of the most powerful country on earth, both technologically and militarily, in the era of economic globalization; it’s like begging the wolf not to eat up little red riding hood.


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