Political De-Centralization: the Model for Western Rejuvenation

Europe 1300

As the modern secular nation state becomes increasingly totalitarian, European history provides the model for the political reconstruction of the Western world. The above historical map of Europe circa 1300 should be the ideal for those opposed to the corrupt and now bankrupt nation state and the system of international political and financial governing bodies and organizations that seek the elimination of all regional and local sovereignty.

The map shows that Europe at the time and for many years afterwards was comprised of numerous political configurations – principalities, duchies, confederations, city states. Instead of a few centralized nation states that currently dominate the landscape, Europe was, for the most part of its history, politically decentralized which explains not only the Continent’s tremendous economic growth, but also its unparalleled cultural achievements.

Monarchical style governance was the most popular form of rule during the period and, despite the negative modern bias against kings and queens, there was far greater personal freedom than there has been in the “democratic age.” More importantly, warfare, when it was conducted, was far less destructive in loss of life and that of wealth and property than the horrific contests which have since taken place. Moreover, the monarchical age was one of metallic money which proved to be difficult to manipulate by the political classes.

Political and economic theory has long since shown that decentralization results in greater individual liberty and economic growth. A multitude of independent states and sovereignties is a far better check on tyranny than the supposed “checks and balances” of modern constitutional democracies. Even the much celebrated “separation of powers” concept adopted by most constitutional republics has not prevented the rise of the “total state.”

Numerous states provide the opportunity for the oppressed to “vote with their feet” expatriating from draconian regimes. The threat of population drain and thus a reduction in the tax base is a far superior check on state power.

A number of small states makes it unlikely that a fiat paper money system, in which the world currently suffers under, would emerge. It would be extremely difficult for a dominant monetary authority to coerce and get a multitude of states to agree to accept a single currency outside of their control. Even the Euro almost failed to come into existence, and had Europe been more decentralized the “Euro experiment” would have never been attempted.

Unfortunately, under the current ideological mindset, the breakup of the nation state into smaller units does not seem likely. Social change typical occurs after there has been an ideological shift and the present dominant political paradigm is that of statism. However, an economic collapse or the continuing fall in living standards could lead to the breakaway of regions from their nation-state overlords.

Those opposed to the current world order need to redirect their efforts away from “reform,” electoral politics, or lobbying for favorable court decisions and instead focus on the development of organizations, the forming of alliances and relationships whose end result is the creation of new autonomous entities outside the hegemony of the nation state.

As farfetched as the idea of a decentralized world might seem to be, there has been some recent examples of it. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the separation of the Baltic states shows that no matter how impregnable a regime may appear, political disintegration can happen. The severe economic crisis that led to the fall of Soviet Communism could take place in the United States or in any number of European regimes.

While the nation state is in perilous financial position, it will not relinquish its power voluntarily. The politically-connected financiers will do whatever it takes to keep the system afloat and will use any upcoming economic crisis to accelerate their drive for a New World Order. If a politically decentralized world is to come about, the groundwork for it must be now laid.

Lord Acton’s famous words about political centralization should be the mantra for those who seek a more peaceful and prosperous world devoid of the tyrannical nation state: “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

Secession and the Antifederalists

R.H. Lee

Richard Henry Lee, leading Antifederalist

One of the most exciting political developments in recent years has been the secessionist movement which has flourished among a number of American states and across the globe in places such as Venice and Scotland. The common thread in nearly all these movements has been opposition to the modern nation state which secessionists believe has become totalitarian and now hopelessly bankrupt.
Many secessionist groups draw their inspiration from American history in particular the country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, and the southern states’ valiant attempt to secede from the Union in the 1860s. While secessionists have pointed to America’s past for much of their inspiration, one group which they seem to have ignored, has been the Antifederalists.

The “Antifederalists” was the term given to those opposed to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. They were not an insignificant segment of the population and consisted of such luminaries as Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Richard Henry Lee, who wrote under the pseudonym of the “Federal Farmer.” Still under-appreciated to this day, Lee’s political thought equaled, if not surpassed, those of the more celebrated Founding Fathers.

The Antifederalists correctly predicted that the Constitution would usurp the sovereignty of the individual states and become a highly centralized national state. Moreover, they saw that it granted too much power to the executive branch.

A number of historians believe that at the time most Americans opposed ratification and had it not been for some shrewd and, quite frankly, underhanded tactics by their opponents, the Federalists, the Constitution would not have been ratified. Patrick Henry certainly thought so when he wrote: “Let me say, sir, that a great majority of the people even in the adopting states have been shockingly misled.”*

More than two centuries later their fears have turned into grim reality. History, however, is written by the victors and the Antifederalists and their perspicacious views have been largely forgotten.

For secessionists, the Antifederalist literature should be a prime reference point to be repeatedly invoked to justify their cause. For secessionists to succeed, the battle of ideas must be first won, and the writings of the Antifederalists provide ample ammunition for those who seek to break away from the corrupt and tyrannical nation states which dominate the globe.

The future of human liberty and economic well being depends on the success of the secessionist movements. The political parties of the world be they “liberal” or “conservative” have no interest in scaling back the size and scope of the state. Any chance of real reform through the current political system is hopeless since it is rigged to enrich the power and pocketbooks of the political elites.

Thus, all efforts – whether on a practical or an “intellectual” basis, which strengthen the secessionist cause – need to be encouraged and supported by those concerned about the future of freedom. Participation in politics or the electoral process is futile and counterproductive as the Antifederalists long ago recognized: “But, remember, when the people once part with power, they can seldom or never resume it again by force. Many instances can be produced in which the people have voluntarily increased the powers of their rulers; but few, if any in which rulers have willingly abridged their authority.”**

The globe’s ruling regimes will simply not allow their power to be undermined. Most likely, if secession becomes a reality, it will come only by the use of force and loss of life. The powers-that-be will not relinquish their control peacefully.

However, as daunting as state power appears to be, it can be negated by a coterie of committed and dedicated individuals. The advantage that secessionists possess is that they do not seek conquest, but simply wish to be left alone, free from tyrannical rule. Such a position is appealing and, if properly articulated, will garner public sympathy and support.

For those across the globe who are contemplating the weighty and possibly dangerous action of secession, the words of one of the Antifederalists’ mentors should be remembered:

Whenever any . . . 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.
[From the Declaration of Independence]

 

*Paul Douglas Boyer. The Original Counter-Argument: The Founders’ Case Against the Ratification of the Constitution Adapted for the 21st Century. Copyright Paul Douglas Boyer, 2013, p. 250
**Kenneth W. Royce. Hologram of Liberty: The Constitution’s Shocking Alliance with Big Government. Javelin Press, 2012, p. 63
Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

 

Mario Draghi’s Continuing War on Europeans

draghi III

Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), is continuing the financial war that he and his fellow central banksters have been waging on the peoples of the world with his latest round of monetary measures. In an unprecedented, but not unexpected move, Mario the Moneyprinter announced that the ECB will drop its deposit rate from 0 to -0.1% (“negative interest rate”), in effect, charging banks for leaving their funds with the ECB. The other significant measure is the creation of a 400-billion-Euro “liquidity channel” for banks to encourage lending.

Ostensibly, the measures are intended to keep the supposed European recovery from stalling and to stave off any potentiality of “deflation.” Price inflation in Europe has supposedly fallen to 0.5% which is well below the ECB’s target of 2%. Moreover, the Eurozone’s growth rate for the first quarter was an abysmal 2% while the official unemployment rate remained at nearly 12%.

None of Draghi’s measures, which in actuality boil down to money printing via bank credit expansion, will accomplish their stated goals. Such polices, to one degree or another, have been tried before and ultimately lead to hyperinflation, the destruction of the currency and depression. This, however, assumes that central bankers’ primary goal is to “fight deflation,” reduce unemployment or promote growth. It is not.

The principle objective of every central bank is the preservation of the banking system and the governmental authority which privileges it. Unemployment, price inflation, booms and busts are at best secondary concerns for central banksters.

Central bank “self preservation,” however, comes at a tremendous social cost – the impoverishment of everyone outside of the banking-governmental orbit. The creation of a “liquidity channel,” Quantitative Easing, ZIRP, or whatever other term the economic spinmeisters use are attempts to hide the fact that central banks create money out of thin air which ultimately results in the transference of wealth to the banking and governing classes of society. This is how the global ruling elites maintain their power and how, in the United States, a world empire is financed.

While the redistribution of wealth via monetary policy enrich the politically-connected financial elite, there are other baneful consequences. Money printing leads to the depreciation of the currency which manifests itself into a rise in overall prices. Naturally, central banksters and the clueless financial press blame general price increases on other factors – “oil price shocks,” “speculators,” “greedy” businessmen – when, in fact, it is the inflationary actions of the central banks.

While central banks do not (as of yet) use bullets and guns to conduct policy, their actions are still destructive of peoples’ well being and, for those who oppose the United States empire, quite deadly. It is undeniable that nearly every single financial crisis that has taken place since the inception of central banking can be traced to their policies.

It is, therefore, unlikely that central banksters would deliberately sabotage the financial system. While they, of course, would suffer a lot less from a collapse than the general public, a hyperinflationary event and, or, a currency crack-up would threaten their power and lead to a search for alternative monetary paradigms. They, thus, will seek and to do all in their power to continue the existing fiat monetary order.

While Draghi admitted in 2012 the he would do “whatever it takes” to save the Euro, it can be assured that he will not implement a policy of sound money based on gold and silver. While such a move would begin a general recovery, it would also mean the end of Mario the Moneyprinter’s career as a central planner where he would then have to find productive employment in the real world.

In what should make every European tremble, Mario the Moneyprinter promised more of the same if conditions do not improve: “Are we finished? The answer is no. We aren’t finished here. If need be, within our mandate, we aren’t finished….” Unfortunately, Draghi, in this case, is a man of his word and as things deteriorate, which they certainly will, there will be more money printing. Until the power relationship of central banking is understood, and meaningful action is taken to dismantle central banking and prohibit state involvement in money, Mario Draghi’s war on Europeans and the rest of the world will continue.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

 

The World Bank and Rising Food Prices

world bank

A recent World Bank report warned of rising global food prices as if a study (no doubt an expensive one) is needed to explain what everyone who buys food or, for that matter, any commodity, is keenly aware of. “Food price shock,” the report cautioned, “can both spark and exacerbate conflict and political instability, and it is vital to promote polices that work to mitigate these effects.”

Naturally, the report fails to explain the real reason for increases in food prices. Like the lies, distortions, and half truths which used to emanate from the Soviet news agency, Pravda, the World Bank report misleads its readers citing “increasing weather concerns,” “import demand” pressure from China, and “geopolitical tension in the Ukraine” for the escalating food costs.

All of this, of course, is nonsense spoken to bamboozle the public and the naïve financial press who will swallow just about anything that a governmental authority shovels out.

The fundamental reason for skyrocketing food prices is the massive amount of money which has been issued since the start of the financial crisis by the likes of the World Bank, IMF, the Fed, Bank of England, and the ECB.

Not surprisingly, the report contradicts itself. Despite the reasons that it gives for the sharp rise in food prices, it admits that the supply of food worldwide is at an all time high: “. . . prices increased despite bumper crops in 2013 and continued projections of record grain harvests and stronger stocks expected for 2014.” It added that even the political turmoil in the Ukraine “have not disrupted exports so far.”

So, if supply is at record levels and demand has increased only significantly in China, what accounts for the massive price hikes across the globe? Simple: money creation.

The report, and others like it, speak of the devastating effect that high food prices have on the poor and impoverished. Instead of pointing the finger at themselves or the other international inflation generating agencies, the World Bank has in the past called for income redistribution which never help the poor, but just line the pockets of politicians and enlarge the balance sheets of the banksters.

Without the unprecedented money creation of the past half dozen years, food prices would have fallen. Instead, the trillions printed have done inestimable harm to the world’s economies while the banking and financial sectors have seen record “profits.”

If the World Bank was truly concerned about the impact of higher food prices, it would immediately fold up shop, call for the liquidation of all central banks and advocate a return to honest money based on a commodity be it gold or silver. Moreover, any bank or financial institution that did not maintain a reserve requirement of 100% would be shut down, charged with fraud and embezzlement while its perpetrators would be rounded up either scourged, tarred and feathered, or, at the very least, face a life time of hard manual labor.

Such measures are more than justified after what has taken place over the past decade and all of the mischief and ruination banks have committed throughout history. These or any other meaningful punishments will also act as a deterrent to anyone contemplating such nefarious activity in the future.

The solution to rising food prices is straight forward, however, its implementation is the problem. To achieve a sound monetary order, public opinion must be shown and then persuaded that the cause of most of the current financial difficulties stem from central and fractional-reserve banking practices. Until a majority is convinced of this evil, things will most likely not turn around.

Unfortunately, until food prices go a lot higher, or there is another crisis or general collapse, no significant alteration of the present fiat monetary system will take place. Nor can it be assumed that as things get worse, a “new system” or a “reform” of the present one will be necessarily better. Under the current statist ideological conditions, it will more than likely be a lot worse.

In sum, erroneous World Bank reports on escalating food prices will continue to be released.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

The Consumer Spending Myth

consumer spending

There is no bigger misconception held among the financial press and within academia than that of consumer spending. A typical example of this comes from a recent Reuters release entitled: “Strong Consumer Spending, Factory Data Buoy U.S. Growth Outlook.” The first sentence of the article reads, “U.S. consumer spending recorded its largest gain in more than 4½ years in March . . . reinforcing views the economy was regaining steam.”

The supposed importance of consumer spending as a gauge of economic well being is a modern notion ushered in during the Keynesian Revolution which took place in the 1930s. J.M. Keynes, a British economist, mistakenly believed that the Great Depression was the result of a “lack of aggregate demand.” Thus, demand had to be stimulated (mostly through government spending) to revive a moribund economy.

Keynes’ theory has, unfortunately, held sway ever since despite being contrary to what had been believed up until that time and the many of criticism of it since.

An individual’s income can be distributed in one of three ways: it can be spent, saved, or held in cash. If individuals do not spend and decide to save more of their income, it will have no negative economic impact. In fact, the increased savings will expand the capital base which will provide the vital means necessary for lengthier periods of production, a situation that will eventually generate more and cheaper goods – granted there is no artificial increase in the money supply.

If income is kept in cash (checking accounts, bills, coins, stuffed in mattresses), money is taken out of “circulation,” so to speak, which will eventually lead to an increase in the purchasing power of the monetary unit – a scenario rarely seen in the modern era, but one which would be of tremendous benefit to just about everyone especially retirees and those on fixed incomes.

The manner in which individuals divert their income, therefore, has little if any effect on output. Historically, this ratio has remained relatively stable with only gradual change over time.

Furthermore, consumption always takes place as long as there is life. One “consumes” without even walking out of the house – turning on lights, running water, eating, etc., – are all consumption activities. If there was a sudden drop off in purchases, it would not lead to a recession. Some retail sectors would likely suffer, however, it would only be for a short period until entrepreneurs adjust to the new saving and consumption patterns.

Instead of consumer spending, there are more accurate areas to “measure” economic performance.

First, the trend of overall prices: are prices falling or rising? If prices continually rise, it is the result of money creation (inflation) by the central bank – in America’s case, the Federal Reserve.

Second, the tax burden – what percentage of income is taken by the state? There are many pernicious effects of high taxes, the most damaging is that they sap an economy of the capital necessary for production and employment.

The personal savings rate is often overlooked as a barometer of economic well being. A low or negative rate of savings indicates, among other factors, that income levels are not sufficient enough for individuals to save. The individual savings rate in most Western nations is abysmally low and under current monetary and economic policies will remain so.

All three areas of Western economic life show negative trends: prices have continued to rise due to the central banks massive money creation to bail out, in part, the banking and financial sector. Taxes remain confiscatory and have not been cut in any meaningful way. And, the personal savings rate has hovered around zero.

Until the idea of consumer spending has been debunked as a meaningful index of economic conditions, the public will be continued to be misled by the actual state of market affairs. When more accurate indices of economic conditions are looked to, then the notion of what constitutes real prosperity and or economic recovery will have different connotations. Applying such indicators to current reality shows a stark and gloomy contrast to the rosy portrait of things that consumer spending enthusiasts so often espouse.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas