By Ronald Glenn
Notes From the Conservative Underground is an ongoing section here at America’s Right, featuring the written manifestation of Ron Glenn’s observations on the conservative movement, gleaned from sources found everywhere between short-wave radio to mainstream commentary, between random discourse with concerned everyday Americans to planned discussions with people and officials plugged into grassroots organizations nationwide.
You Talkin’ To Me?
William Grigg, a conservative commentator I highly recommend, gave a startling interview on Radio Liberty recently concerning the defensive position assumed by the Federal Reserve. The question he presented is how far the Federal Reserve will go to protect itself. I use the interview as a springboard for further discussion. Very few Americans take the question of who should run the money system seriously enough to believe the antagonisms will ever go beyond the level of a screaming match.
History shows this is not always the case. The battles over central banking are legendary. George Washington, America’s first president, became involved in a struggle about whether America should have a central bank. The leader of the pro-banking side was Alexander Hamilton, a man always depicted in my history classes as the leader who most powerfully represented the forces in favor of a strong federal government. Of course he was also depicted as aristocratic and pompous, despite his heroism in the Revolutionary War.
However, the battle of largest proportions occurred during Andrew Jackson’s presidency in the 1830’s. Several assassination attempts were made against him because of his opposition to the renewal of the Bank of the United States, established in 1816 under a twenty-year charter.
Guess what? Jackson thought the Bank of America was unconstitutional because it was a private bank that had authority over the currency system of the United States and issued our current version of fiat currency. He wanted “hard” money, based on gold or silver. As a result, the fight to re-charter the bank was the central issue in the presidential election of 1832. Jackson won.
But, alas, only temporarily.
Fast-forward to 1963 and the successful assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I was told by politically minded adults throughout my childhood that, if there were a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, it came from the factions within the government that would not tolerate Kennedy’s opposition to the CIA, Israel, and the Federal Reserve. As it turns out, while still perhaps a stretch, there is some evidence of the latter — on June 4, 1963, he had signed Executive Order 11110 to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to lend money to the United States at interest. This privately owned bank would soon have been out of business.
Private bankers are not only an American problem. Fiat currency was one of the biggest reasons–perhaps the only reason–for the collapse of the western Roman Empire. Under the Emperor Diocletian, the Roman Empire was divided into the western and eastern empires around the year 300. The western empire ran fiat money, the eastern empire did not. The western empire lasted only another 100 years, the eastern a thousand. After all, an army paid in worthless currency is not an army for long. In fact, years later, Gen. George Washington would worry about just that during the American Revolution, as his army was paid in nearly worthless Continental currency. And he had reason to worry: history shows that societies do not endure in peace–and certainly not in war–when they rack up endless debt, and then attempt to pay that debt by debauching the currency.
So back to the question at hand: how far will the Federal Reserve go to protect its interests? The most dangerous answer is that the Federal Reserve would employ agent provocateurs. These are trained professionals who incite social unrest for political purposes. The Federal Reserve claims that terrible chaos will ensue if its cannot remain at the helm of the American banking system. You’ve heard Ben Bernanke. There will be panic on Wall Street, and money will dry up for businesses because all confidence will be gone. Agent provocateurs play on the fears of mob psychology by infiltrating groups that may be in a state of hysteria already and then pushing the groups into acts of violence during mass protests. The theory behind use of these agents is that the public always has a greater yearning for order than for justice. The call to abolish the Federal Reserve is a call for justice. A call to keep it is a call for order.
At the least, the Federal Reserve will rig some banking disaster that threatens to shut down the system. The American government has given them so much power, that it could be used to destroy the very institution that created them. If they go down, we all go down, and the Federal Reserve would rather see us all go than live without them.
I can only imagine the pressure Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is under to head off an audit of the bank, not to mention its closing. He would lose the right to print the currency for the most powerful nation in the world. How far one go to keep that much power?
Regardless of its merits, the whole argument about President Barack Obama’s birth is beginning to take on an entirely different look than it did when this controversy began. This story is no longer just about where he was born or some technical, constitutional question about birth as a natural-born citizen. This issue has the odor of what happened to the lives of leading Communists throughout the twentieth century.
When they climbed the ladder of political success within the ranks of the Communist system, they had an increasing need to reinvent their lives. They changed their names. They rewrote their childhood exploits into myths of high order and, most importantly, stomped on anyone who said their version was not true.
Stalin had many myths made about himself, but he also had a lot to hide (he held up banks early in his career to collect money for the Bolshevik party, for example), and those who knew the truth had a lot to fear from him. The more Obama’s life story is analyzed, the more questions arise. The idea of his birth outside the United States–again, regardless of the merits–may be more of a distraction now than a help. Many of those who are interested in this story say he is actually trying to hide the identity of his biological parents. I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s not the point.
The point is, this is the price paid when a politician wishes to write his own mythology instead of letting others create it out of their own imaginings. People told stories about Abraham Lincoln because they really admired him. Stalin told stories about himself to make people love him, even when he was arresting them and stealing their property.
Be aware of the difference.
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.