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“Inflation,” Properly Defined

What Is Inflation in Economics? Definition, Causes ...

The use or rather misuse of language has always been an effective tool of politicians to enact their agendas.  George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” brilliantly showed, in his day, how language was being manipulated for all sorts of totalitarian measures:

Political language — and with variations this is true of all  political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful
and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase —
some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin, where it belongs.*

Since its publication in 1946, matters have only gotten worse.  For example, in today’s parlance words such as “racism,” “discrimination,” “fascism” have lost all meaning and are usually used by the Left to smear its political opponents.

In the sphere of economics, examples abound of the misuse of terms and concepts all of which advance the interests of the politically-connected elites, technocrats, governments, and the banking establishment at the expense of everyone else.  One of the most glaring examples which, after the financial collapse in 2020, has now become more prominent in daily life, has been the meaning of the word “inflation.” 

Inflation, at one time, and properly understood meant an increase in the money supply; it did not mean an increase in prices.  A rise in prices was and still is, the result of inflation.

The meaning of inflation, however, has been deftly misused by the world’s monetary lords to cover their own nefarious machinations.  By deliberately changing the term it deflects the focus of their activities which can thus be blamed on others – greedy businessmen, oil cartels, workers demanding higher wages, etc.

Since central banks have complete control of the money supplies of the world, when inflation is properly understood its cause can be directly traced to them, which may lead to some inconvenient – for the banksters at least– inquires such as: “How did they attain such power and privilege?”

Redefining inflation has been done to disguise and shift focus away from the actual cause of what America and many economies of the Western world are now experiencing in the startling rise in both producer and consumer prices.  This is the result of the central banks’ expansion of the money supply to mind-boggling proportions purportedly to fight the corona plandemic, but in reality it has been done to offset the financial implosion which began in late February/March of 2020 before the unnecessary and destructive lockdowns began.  The lockdowns and closing of the economies gave cover for the Federal Reserve and central banks to create vast amounts of money and credit to salvage, and then re-inflate a bubble in the stock and asset markets.   

An accurate account of the matter will show that the financial collapse of the system really began in the fall of 2019 as the “repo” market began to meltdown, causing the Fed to intervene with injections of “liquidity” to keep interest rates from spiking.  However, just like the meaning of inflation has been corrupted, so has the narrative of the financial collapse of 2020 been purposely skewed.

As a separate discipline, economics developed in large part in reaction to British Mercantilism of the 18th century.  Economic theory was used by authors such as Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations to debunk the system of regulations, taxes and subsidies that the British government imposed.  Such economists, as did later schools of thought, most notably the Austrians, used economic thinking and its terms to expose the baneful effects of government intervention, fiat money, and the benefits of free trade. 

Over time, however, most economists became corrupted and instead of acting as a check on state power, became champions of regulation, central banking, and all sorts of social engineering schemes.  Economists were paid for their sell out with cushy positions and jobs in the state apparatus to manipulate language and doctrines. 

Today, an inflation rate of 2% is regarded by Fed officials as good for the economy and something monetary policy should try to achieve.  Previously, a rise in prices of 2% was seen for what it was – a loss of purchasing power hurting the middle and lower classes the worst while benefiting the wealthy.

For those who seek to rid economics or, for that matter, all the social sciences of deliberately misleading language and terms, George Orwell’s works are indispensable.  It is, therefore, incumbent for truth seekers of all persuasions to do so not only for their own benefit, but to maintain the sage author’s legacy.

*https://libcom.org/files/Politics%20and%20the%20English%20Language%20-%20George%20Orwell.pdf

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

A Look Back at Nixon’s Infamous Monetary Decision

A half century ago one of the most disastrous monetary decisions in U.S. history was committed by Richard Nixon.  In a television address, the president declared that the nation would no longer redeem internationally dollars for gold.  Since the dollar was the world’s reserve currency, Nixon’s closing of the “Gold Window” put the world on an irredeemable paper monetary standard.

The ramifications of the act continue to this very day.  America’s current financial mess, budget deficits, the reoccurring booms and busts, the decline of living standards (particularly the middle class), all have their genesis with Nixon’s infamous decision in August, 1971.

Abandoning the last vestiges of the gold standard was the culmination of a long-term goal of the banksters, politicians, financial elites, and deceitful economists.  The first step was the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913 whose primary purpose was to allow its member banks to inflate the money supply without fearing the consequences – bank failures/panics, bank runs, recessions/depressions.  The Fed could, and still does, through the control of the money supply enrich itself, the government, and its aligned financial elites at the expense of the public at large. 

The next step on the road to monetary debasement was Franklin Roosevelt’s  draconian measure of outlawing the private ownership of gold.  This was not only an unprecedented and outrageous attack on private property, but it also eliminated gold redemption of dollars domestically, which gave the Fed unlimited power to print money without fear of its notes being redeemed.

The specious justification for the law, enacted shortly after the start of FDR’s first tyrannical term in office, was to fight the Great Depression.  Of course, the measure did nothing to mitigate the Depression which, in fact, was not caused by Americans’ ownership of gold, but rather the Fed itself and its wild inflationary policies throughout the “Roaring 20s.” 

FDR’s action, like Nixon’s, demonstrated how much the power of the presidency had expanded.  It shows again the flawed and frankly naïve argument put forth by Constitutionalists and conservatives of every ideological persuasion that the celebrated “separation of powers” theory that supposedly checks the aggrandizement of federal power could not prevent the audacious acts of FDR and Nixon.   Despite what is taught in social sciences courses, a true gold standard is a greater protector of individuals’ economic well being and, ultimately, their political liberty than any legislation, bills of rights, or constitution ever penned.  Hard money limits state power!

The primary reason why President Nixon closed the Gold Window was to fund the nation’s “guns & butter” economic and social policies which had begun under his predecessor Lyndon Johnson.  Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and his escalation of the war in Vietnam caused the Fed to print vast amounts of money which began to drain the Treasury of gold. 

While U.S. citizens and financial institutions could not redeem dollars for gold, foreign central banks could.  The U.S.’s inflationary policy to fund its domestic and foreign objectives was why the Gold Window was closed.  In effect, the U.S. was reneging on its commitment which had been in place since Bretton Woods.  It was not as President Nixon announced as part of his new economic policy initiative entitled “The Challenge of Peace,” “to take action necessary to defend the dollar against the speculators.”* Instead, it was the type of monetary chicanery that banana republic’s often pursue. 

Culturally, the eradication of hard money was part of the transformation of a mature, frugal, hardworking, and future-oriented people into an infantile, self-absorbed, dysfunctional, and hedonistic collection of individuals.  While many consequences of this change could be cited, one of the most telling is that America has gone from a creditor nation (in 1971) to a debtor nation within a couple of generations.  Not only has the national debt exploded (which now exceeds $30 trillion!), but personal and corporate debt are at dizzying heights.    

At this point, a reversal of President Nixon’s decision would do little to confront the immense problems which the U.S. economy faces.  A “Great Reset” of the economic system is in order, but not the kind envisioned by the world’s financial elites. 

An honest-to-goodness reset would begin with a return to a metallic monetary standard where all national currencies would be redeemable in gold/silver.  Such a move would put a real check on banks’ ability to create money “out of thin air.”

The return of prosperity will only come about when gold is again a part of the monetary order and reasserts its critical role in the limitation of central bank power.

*Richard M. Nixon, “Address to the Nation Outlining a New Economic Policy: ‘The Challenge of Peace.’”  The American Presidency Project.  15 August 1971.

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws?pid=3115

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

Gold and Latin: Twin Pillars of Western Rejuvenation

Gold Coinage of the Latin Monetary Union

After Brexit, there has been a growing number of voices within the European Union and among various nationalistic groups arguing that English should be replaced as the official language since now only Ireland and Malta retain English.

The loudest quarter calling for a change has come from the French who, not surprisingly, want their own tongue to become the lingua franca of the EU.  Eric Zemmour, a French conservative commentator, asserts, “I think this is the time to launch a counter-offensive in favour of French, to recall that French was the original language of EU institutions.”*

A return to French, however, has its difficulties with other nationalist groups particularly those from the EU’s dominant economic power, Germany.

An interesting and most logical solution to the seemingly intractable problem has been suggested by an article in the magazine Le Figaro,** which calls for a return to Latin as the EU’s lingua franca. 

Why Latin?

A return to Latin makes the most sense since the Romance languages of the EU nations – Italy, France, Spain – developed out of Latin, and the Germanic tongues contain a large amount of Latin words in their vocabularies.  It would thus be relatively easy to bring back Latin as an international language. 

Latin has a long and successful history stretching back to Antiquity as the language of law, commerce, science, and religion.  Latin fostered social cohesion among ethnic groups and cultures while it facilitated the exchange of ideas and customs.   

While Latin is par excellence a lingua franca, an international monetary system based on gold would accomplish many of the same benefits for the economies of Europe (and for that matter the world) that Latin has done for communications and interrelations.  Many of the same arguments which have been applied to Latin can be used for a metallic monetary order. 

Why gold?

A one-world commodity standard allows for integration and the extension of the division of labor since all prices are expressed in terms of gold/silver.  Costs, too, would be calculated in terms of one general medium of exchange which makes economies more efficient.  National currencies, fully backed and redeemed in gold, would do away with the cumbersome exchange ratios which currently exist. 

Just as important, a monetary order based on a gold standard would make it extremely difficult for governments and central banks to inflate the currencies which ultimately leads to the dreaded boom and bust cycle.  The inability to create “money out of thin air” would reduce governments’ debt-creation powers since central banks could no longer monetize debt by simply printing money and expanding credit.

With an inexhaustible supply of paper money that can fund and underwrite any state project, government power and control over the economy and social life has grown exponentially once the gold standard was eliminated. A world on a gold standard would reduce state power.  The vast social engineering schemes and war making capacity have been made possible through unrestrained money printing and debt creation. 

If the nations of Europe would adopt a gold standard, it would attract foreign capital since creditors would be assured that their investments would not be debased through inflation.  Domestic savings, too, would sizably increase which would generate an authentic economic boom based on wealth generated not by money printing, but through the abstention of consumption – savings. 

Gold and Latin are both “natural” mediums which do not require state largesse and involvement for their use.  Artificial monolithic political constructs like the EU and monetary institutions like the IMF and World Bank, which are nothing less than engines of inflation, are unnecessary under a monetary order based on gold. 

It would be difficult to deny that gold and Latin did not possess Providential qualities.  The amount of gold in the world and its inherent qualities have made it the “perfect” medium of exchange.  Its supply is not too plentiful nor too scare while its qualities – durable, portable, divisible – satisfy all the qualities that a money requires. 

That Rome and its language would rise and become the greatest empire to have existed which paved the way for the spread of Christianity and the development of European civilization is not by happenstance.  Latin bounded Rome and its provinces together no matter how far apart geographically and culturally.  Some authors have noted that the appearance of the Savior came at the time of the Pax Romana – “the Roman Peace” – which provided the perfect conditions to accomplish His mission.

While modern man vainly seeks to create unity through the dictates of the State with its countless laws and regulatory agencies to enforce them, there exists institutions and gifts of nature which if used can provide a natural universality.  For a just social order to be attained, the most sublime human language must once again return to its place of prominence while the most honest and efficient money ever used must again become the world’s general medium of exchange.  

*Tyler Durden, “French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe’s Official Language,” Zero Hedge, 17 March 2021.  https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/french-call-replace-english-latin-europes-official-language

**https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/et-si-la-langue-officielle-de-l-union-europeenne-devenait-le-latin-20210208

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

Can Feudalism Save the Western World?

Late Medieval France

It is both surprising and infuriating that many conservatives, libertarians and those on the Right describe today’s political and financial order as “neo-feudalism.”(1)  Surprisingly, because many of these commentators are trained academics(2) who should know better and infuriating, since feudalism and the glorious age which it reigned – the Middle Ages – if rightly understood and not denigrated could provide a paradigm for the reconstruction of the present social order after its inevitable collapse. 

Many compare today’s political and economic configurations of vast wealth disparity and totalitarian democratic nation-states whose latest, and probably most egregious, abuse of power has been the lockdowns and compulsory face-mask edicts to combat a supposed deadly virus, with the conditions which existed under feudalism.

This is false.

Feudalism, and for most of the era which it existed, was characterized by political decentralization with little financial concentration of wealth.

Feudalism can be described as an arrangement between lords and monarchs with their underlings – vassals, dukes, earls, princes, counts, marquises, knights – in exchange for services.  “Feudal tenure, whatever its minor adaptations,” writes medieval historian Carl Stephenson, “was essentially military because the original vassalage was a military relationship.”(3)

In return for military service, the vassal would receive a “fief” in the form of land, money, goods, or other benefits.  “[A] fief,” Stephenson describes, “was the special remuneration paid to a vassal for the rendering of a special service.” 

The relationship, unlike what modern commentators would have many believe, was not one-sided.  While the vassal swore allegiance to his lord, the latter was obligated to provide his vassal with agreed upon “payment.”  If the lord failed to fulfill his obligation, the vassal was free to break the agreement and find another lord. 

The vassal, to receive his due from the lord, had to “faithfully give aid and counsel so that in every way the lord may be safeguarded as to person, rights, and belongings,” while the lord “has a reciprocal duty towards his faithful man.  If either defaults in what he owes the other, he may justly be accused of perfidy.”(4)

The feudal relationship between lords and vassals had immense consequences – mostly positive – for medieval life.  It helped shape the social order which impacted all aspects of society such as law, the political order (such as it was), war-making, and economics.  The arrangement between lord and vassal was not really “political” as in the modern sense; it was more of a “contractual relationship” than that of power. 

Lords and vassals and, for that matter, monarchs, did not create law or legislation but were subjected to the (natural) law.  There was no monopolistic justice system, but a number of courts which were for the adjudication of disputes where cases could be appealed to different courts for redress. The myriad of public legislation regulating every aspect of modern man’s life, where most laws are not even read by legislators until they are enacted was, happily, not a feature of the Middle Ages. Law had to be “discovered” and based on custom and tradition in which all sectors of society had to abide by. 

The feudal arrangement between lord, monarchs, and their vassals, where all had to live according to the law resulted, throughout the Western world, in a diffusion of power.  Professor Stephenson illustrates how this effected France for centuries:

France, obviously, had ceased to be a

state in any proper sense of the word.

Rather, it had been split into a number

of states whose rulers, no matter how

they styled themselves enjoyed the

substance of the regal power.(5)

 

The idea and reality of monarchial absolutism, which characterized the early modern era and which nation states would build upon for their own aggrandizement, was not part of the medieval period.  In many areas, authority was held by dukes, princes and earls not based on political power, but one of trust, loyalty and contract. 

The most vilified institution of the Middle Ages was serfdom.  Yet, compared to the present epoch where the working classes are largely indebted, have had their individual liberties curtailed, and now many are dependent on the welfare state for their financial survival, could serfdom be worse? Charles Coulombe contrasts:

The serf, like laborers everywhere and

at all times, had a hard life.  He also could

not be forced off the land, worked about

30 days a year for his lord (as opposed to

the average American’s 167 for the IRS),

and could NOT work on Sundays and the

30-odd Holy Days of obligation and certain

other stated times.  One may compare that

to any current job description one wants to.(6)

The amount of taxation and its legitimacy in a society is ultimately determined by ideology.  And, the ideology of the era frowned on taxation and those that were laid were done so grudgingly.  It was the institutional framework of feudalism which limited taxation to the benefit of the social order.

Private property was considered sacrosanct and the violation of it an egregious offense.  In the medieval world, taxation was a “sequestration of property” which the monarch only had the right to tax when it had “become traditional.”  “The rights to property possessed by every individual member of the community,” according to historian Fritz Kern, “are an absolutely sacred part of the whole absolutely sacred legal order; the criterion of the rights in property of the individual as well as of the State is the good old law.”(7)

Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages: I. The Divine Right of Kings and the Right of Resistance in the Early Middle Ages. II...

While many other passages could be cited, the existence of state power in feudal times is almost the polar opposite of the political situation which exists in the world today. It is inconceivable that the draconian measures taken by governments in response to the phony pandemic, which has ruined countless lives and allowed monetary authorities the world over to assume unseen power and control, could have never taken place during the Middle Ages.

Instead of naming the current age “neo-feudalism” it is far better categorized as “neo-Progressive,” a term which describes the era of American history at the beginning of the 20th century.  The Progressive Era, despite the façade of supposed regulation of Big Business, was really the start of American corporativism – a cozy alliance between the State and Big Business to protect the latter, especially the financial sector, from competition.  Each successive generation saw this alliance become stronger leading to today’s situation of mega bailouts for the 1% at the expense of the middle class.

The learned detractors of feudalism who mischaracterize it are doing a great disservice to those who are seeking solutions to the myriad of social and economic crises which the Western world faces.  The prime lesson that can be gleaned from feudalism is the diffusion of power.  Attempts at reform of the current totalitarian democratic social order or the creation of alternative political parties to challenge the entrenched, corrupt, political order will result in failure.

Instead, all activities, movements, and more importantly, intellectual arguments should be directed toward the break-up of the nation state. Brexit, the recent victories of pro-independence parties in the Catalan elections, and the nascent Texas secession movement – TEXIT – should be encouraged and supported. 

Happily, the pages of history provide a paradigm of a decentralized social order which thrived for nearly a millennium.  Instead of bashing it, feudalism should be embraced and its principles incorporated into modern political discourse.

(1) The latest smearing of feudalism can be seen in Charles Hugh Smith, “The Coming Revolt of the Middle Class,” Zero Hedge, 28 January 2021.

(2) As an example, see Paul Craig Roberts, “Are We Brewing a New Feudalism?”  Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy. 16 April 2020. 

(3) Carl Stephenson, Mediaeval Institutions: Selected Essays, ed. Bryce D. Lyon (Ithaca, NY.: Cornell University Press, 1954, Cornell Paperbacks, 1967), 217.

(4) Carl Stephenson, Mediaeval Feudalism, 4th ed. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Great Seal Books, 1960), 20.

(5) Stephenson, Mediaeval Feudalism, 78.

(6) Charles Coulombe, “”Monarchist FAQ.” Tumblar House.

(7) Fritz Kern, Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages, trans. S.B. Chrimes (New York: Frederick A Praeger Publishers, 1956), 186.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

A Warning of Economic Collapse

Eleison Comments by His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson

Traditional Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson’s latest missive should be a wake- up call for those who naively believe that the worst is behind for the US and Western economies after the March financial sell off and the long-anticipated implosion of the bubble economy.  His Excellency asserts that the US and much of the world are on a financial precipice:

At this moment the United States has been brought to the brink of a tremendous

economic crisis, and with the USA, the rest of the world.*

Bishop Williamson contends that it has not only been the response to the virus, but more importantly, the response to the bursting of the financial bubble, created by the Fed, which will ultimately lead to a cataclysmic collapse:

By 2019 as the public was more and more hooked on fantasy money, the

Fed’s public balance sheet took off into complete unreality, seven trillion dollars

and counting, and it is now crashing the real economy with the corona-panic,

then ‘paying’ the crash debts that everybody gets into with its unreal trillions, but

turning the whole world into real slaves.

The bishop’s brief analysis of the history of the Fed is right on as he explains that the central bank has been the engine of monetary mischief since its inception:

These money men had promised that the Fed . . . would solve the problem

of reoccurring economic crises. . . .  It did nothing of the kind.  On the contrary,

it made them even worse, like the Great Depression of 1929 and the years following,

and now the Depression of the 2020s which risks making 1929 look like a picnic, and

risks stripping the United States of its prosperity and enslaving its liberty by making all

American citizens into debt-slaves. The middle class will soon be no more.

One quibble: Bishop Williamson rightly sees the problem of the money supply controlled by “private individuals” (central banksters):

It is not normal for private citizens to control their State’s money because they risk

doing so in their own interests, and not for the common good.

Yet, the alternative – State control – is no better and, under “democratic conditions,” maybe even worse considering the State’s horrific record in the debasement of money, the creation of booms and busts, hyperinflations, the destruction of savings, etc.

The only economically sound, morally defensible monetary system is one based on gold/silver where money and credit cannot be created “out of thin air” and where competing gold and silver producers vie with one another to produce the “best money.”  Such a system requires no central bank while fractional-reserve banking is prosecuted as fraud.  The creation of money is what is mined out of the earth not government and central bank fiat.

America’s current financial condition has ominous parallels to ancient Jerusalem before its destruction by the forces of Vespasian and Titus.  A couple of years before its final destruction, a Roman army, under Cestius Gallus, had stationed troops under the walls of Jerusalem posed to launch an assault.  Yet, Gallus did not attack and ultimately pulled back.  This was a clear fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy about the city’s destruction:

And when you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified: these things must first

come to pass, but the end is not yet immediately.  [St. Luke Ch. XXI; vs. 9]

 

And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army: then know that

the desolations thereof is at hand. [Ibid., vs. 20]

Rome’s hesitation – a clear result of Divine intervention – gave Christians a chance to escape the coming conflagration which many wisely took advantage of:

Then let them that are in Judea, flee to the mountains: and let them that

are in the midst thereof depart out: and let not them that are in the

countries, enter into it. [Ibid., vs. 21]

Destruction of Jerusalem

50. The First Jewish-Roman War; the destruction of the ...

Since the March lows, Americans have been in a situation not unlike the denizens of ancient Jerusalem.  The relief programs and bailouts of businesses (mostly large corporations and banks) has staved off an even greater downturn, however, this has come at a tremendous cost as the Fed has had to print trillions, the consequence of which will mean either a collapse of the dollar or, at the very least, a dramatic loss in its purchasing power.      

At present, it does not appear that the US has much time before the final unraveling of the economy takes place.  The current debt levels and the new debt that will have to be created to maintain the status quo will lead to a monumental monetary crisis.    

Many have interpreted Jerusalem’s fall as a punishment for its sins.  Likewise, the coming collapse can also be seen as retribution for the US’s crazed monetary and fiscal policies which have bankrupted the nation while enriching the few at the expense of the many. 

While Jerusalem’s destruction had little reverberations on the wider Roman Empire at the time, the demise of the dollar will have global implications since it is the world’s reserve currency.  Like those who heeded the Divine prophecy two millennium ago the present generation should take Bishop Williamson’s words to heart and prepare for the coming financial storm.

*His Excellency Richard Williamson, “Economic Reality,” Eleison Comments, 12 September 2020.  https://stmarcelinitiative.com/eleison-comments/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

On the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day and the Coronavirus Scamdemic

VE Day Coronavirus

The iconic Champs-Élysées and its Arc de Triomphe stand eerily empty before V-E Day ceremonies Friday in Paris.

This month (May 8th) marks the 75th anniversary of “V-E Day” when German forces unconditionally surrendered to the “Allies.”  Numerous articles, essays, and monographs have appeared commemorating the anniversary and while all are mostly laudatory, some have acknowledged that the outcome had its “drawbacks.”

By any objective rendering, for Western Civilization WWII was an unmitigated catastrophe whose reverberations continue to this day.  Forty-three million troops were senselessly killed between American, British and Continental forces while 38 million civilians perished.  Europe’s current demographic nightmare had its unfruitful seeds cut down with the depopulation of the Continent’s finest for the maniacal aims of the world’s power elites.  Not only the loss of life, but the destruction of property and the cultures upon which they were built have been incalculable.  Although the US emerged in the post-war world as the dominant economic and political power (as its mainland remained unscathed from wartime destruction), its participation in the conflict was a titanic geopolitical blunder.

The defeat of Germany and Japan, which would have not come about without US military might, left vast power vacuums in Eastern Europe and the Far East that Soviet Russia and Red China ruthlessly filled.  Half of Europe would fall behind the Iron Curtain, subjected to fierce political repression and debilitating socialistic economic planning.  In Asia, Communist regimes sprang up with the assistance of China and the Soviet Union which America attempted to counter in Korea and Vietnam at a staggering cost to its domestic economy and social tranquility.

Even after the fall of Soviet Communism, the US’s supposed lethal enemy, America maintained its empire as its “defense” spending continued to escalate beyond all reasonable levels which has led, in part, to the decline of domestic living standards of nearly all except, of course, for the politically well-connected. Not only has military adventurism bankrupted the country, but there is now “blowback” from the countless enemies either real, imagined, or contrived – created by US overseas meddling.  Moreover, the nation’s military-industrial and security complex has turned on its own citizens with spying, surveillance, and data gathering that would be the envy of Stalin’s Cheka. Yet, it was US participation in WWII which cemented the nation on its ruinous course as global policeman.  This was predicted and feared by “isolationists” at the time which is why they so courageously fought to keep the country neutral.

While the peoples of the world suffered from the Apocalyptic-like destruction of the war, certain groups did gain.  The benefactors were obvious – Stalin and the Soviet state which was given free reign in Eastern Europe; the US military and security industrial complex which had a world empire to police; Chinese Communists, with Imperial Japan decimated, it left little opposition for them to gain control in China and beyond.  For almost everyone else, even the so called “victors,” WWII was a Pyrrhic victory at best.

For the remainder of 20th century American history, US entry into the Second World War proved to be the catalyst which led to the immense cultural, economic, and political changes, which many conservatives, libertarians, and traditional-minded people at the time and afterwards opposed.  Yet, it was US participation in the war which meant that all of those changes would become permanent.  Harry Elmer Barnes, who was a keen social theorist and wrote extensively in sociology, clearly understood the effects of US entry into the war:

Drastic changes in the domestic realm can also be attributed to the impact of our

entry into the second World War.  The old rural society that had dominated

humanity for millennia was already disintegrating rapidly as the result of

urbanization and technological advances, but the latter failed to supply adequate

new institutions and agencies to control and direct an urban civilization.  This

situation faced the American public before 1941 but the momentous transformation

was given intensified rapidity and scope as a result of the extensive dislocations

produced by years of warfare and recovery.*

Harry Elmer Barnes Harry Elmer Barnes

While every sector of American life was unalterably changed, the most ominous took place in the political order.  Although the federal government had begun to expand during the Progressive Era, its scope and involvement in society drastically accelerated during and after the war.  Barnes, holding many libertarian beliefs, observed the totalitarian features of the post-war nation:

The complex and cumulative aftermath of [WWII] has played the dominant role in

producing the menacing military pattern and political impasse of our time, and the

military-industrial-political Establishment that controls this country and has sought

to determine world policy.**

The rise of America to world power status diverted attention and scarce resources away from the domestic front, which further exacerbated social and economic changes.  The societal strife would become more and more acute as the nation’s overseas commitments mushroomed, as Barnes incisively explains:

The social problems of an urban age were enlarged and intensified, crime increased

and took on new forms that became ever more difficult to combat, juvenile

disorganization became rampant, racial problems increased beyond precedent, and

the difficulties of dealing with this unprecedented and complicated mass of domestic

issues were both parried and intensified by giving primary but evasive

consideration to foreign affairs in our national policy and operations.***

While domestic problems received less attention as the American empire expanded, foreign lands which held different patterns of social order or had non “democratic” forms of government, were targeted for “regime change,” even if they had taken no hostile action toward the US:

. . .  the results of [WWII] already indicate that this produced drastic and possibly

ominous changes in the pattern of American relations to the rest of the world.  We

voluntarily and arbitrarily assumed unprecedented burdens in feeding and

financing a world badly disrupted by war. . . .  The United States sought to police the

world and extend the rule of law on a planetary basis, which actually meant

imposing the ideology of our eastern seaboard Establishment throughout the world,

by force, if necessary. . . .****

Had the US remained neutral as the isolationists and American First supporters had pleaded, the world today would be markedly different – undoubtedly freer, more prosperous, and likely more peaceful.  Since every society is governed, in part, by its understanding of the past, the post-WWII world is built on a lie.  The lie, of course, was that the attack on Pearl Harbor was unprovoked and that the Roosevelt Administration had negotiated in good faith with the Japanese in the months and years leading up to it.

While not recognized at the time and even today the outcome of WWII ushered in the totalitarian nation state which would become a permanent and intimate fixture in the lives of its citizens.  There was no appeal to its dictates and as the decades rolled on it accrued unthinkable power over the society and economy.  It attempted to solve every social and economic problem or inequality (most of which it created) and in each action enhanced its power and control dramatically.

The corona scamdemic may be the state’s greatest power grab yet.  Besides the infringement of civil liberties, the shut down has been adroitly used to cover for the titanic economic collapse which began in the weeks prior to the draconian response measures.  Actually, the financial breakdown began last September with the Fed’s “repo” operations.

All of this has been quietly and deliberately forgotten by the financial press and under the cover of fighting the virus, the Fed and the rest of the world’s central banks have expanded their power and control of financial markets to unprecedented levels, making a mockery that the economy is in any sense “capitalistic.”

The adage that “history is written by the victors” has never been more apparent than in regard to V-E Day, however, the coronavirus scam has shown once again that the consequences of the day and the war which it commemorates are now being ominously fulfilled.

*Harry Elmer Barnes, “Pearl Harbor After a Quarter of a Century.”  In Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought.  Vol. IV, 1968, p. 11.

**Ibid., pp. 9-10.

***Ibid., p. 11.

****Ibid., pp. 10-11.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

Memo to The Donald: Cut Tariffs NOT Rates

trump tariff

So far, President Trump’s economic response to a potential coronavirus outbreak and a further stock market sell off has been expected – calls for more interest rate cuts and an additional round of monetary stimulus.  For the stock market, economy, and the virus itself, neither measure will have their desired effect and, in fact, may exacerbate things.

Further rate cuts and more money printing will not alleviate the situation since it has been the Federal Reserve’s recent “repo operations” which has pushed the market to its unsustainable highs.  For President Trump’s re-election hopes, the current “correction” better be short lived since he has repeatedly boasted about the stock market and has tied its success with the supposed health of the economy.  He will pay a political price if the market continues to tank and brings the economy down with it.

While President Trump and economic nationalists have bashed China for its trade practices, they are now going to see first hand how dependent the US and the West are on Chinese exports, as supply chains are disrupted over the coronavirus.

A Bloomberg article describes China’s weakest factory activity ever recorded:

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index plunged to 35.7 in

February form 50 the previous month, according to data received by the

National bureau Statistics on Saturday, much lower than the median

estimate of economists.  Both were well below 50, which denotes

contraction.*

The expected reduction of Chinese goods will mean higher US domestic prices, however, the increase in prices can be offset somewhat not by rate cuts, but by tariff reductions, or, better still, elimination of duties on imports.  Increasing the money supply or cutting interest rates, which is what Trump, the market, and 95% of economists favor, will only mean higher prices for dwindling imports as greater amounts of money will chase fewer goods.

In the President’s comments on the coronavirus and the stock market plunge, he has repeatedly cited other nations’ (Japan, Germany) – lower interest rates as a policy that the Fed should pursue.  Apparently, the President is not aware that recent data out of Japan has shown that the economy shrank at an annualized rate of 6.3% for the fourth quarter of 2019 while the German economy only grew at 0.6% last year.**  Low rates have not helped either economy or anywhere else where they have been foolishly tried.

What President Trump, world policy makers, and central bankers do not understand, whether deliberately or from willful ignorance, is that the artificial suppression of interest rates and money printing does not lead to economic growth. Instead, prosperity can only come about by the arduous process of saving (abstention from consumption), which provides the means for capital formation, which leads to production.  Employment, wage growth, and income are also ultimately tied to savings.  For the creation of wealth, there is no way around this elementary economic principle – one that few profession economists comprehend.

For saving and investment to have their most efficacious impact and for individuals to engage in such sacrificial behavior, a sound monetary order must be in place.  Unfortunately, ever since the US went off the gold standard internationally in 1971, its monetary system has grown increasingly unstable.

If the Trump Administration would eliminate, or at least reduce significantly, tariffs, it would more than likely induce China to do the same.  The benefits of lower import prices for the millions of out of work Chinese due to the coronavirus shut downs would be a tremendous help and would also boost America’s export industries.  Such action would show to those who elected him that Donald Trump was not a typical politician, but one who thought outside the box.

While it did not cause the Great Depression, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 contributed to its severity.  If the recent sell-off is indeed the beginning of the long anticipated bust, following a supposed decade long expansion, then policy makers should do all in their power to alleviate the coming suffering.  The reduction of tariffs not only on Chinese goods, but those the world over would be a step in the right direction.

Let us hope that someone will convince Donald Trump that tariff reduction and not rate cuts will help Americans better deal with the troublesome and potentially economic and socially devastating coronavirus.

*China Posts Weakest Factory Activity on Record,” Bloomberg News, 29 February 2020.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-29/china-feb-manufacturing-pmi-at-35-7-est-45-0

**Megumi Fujikawa, “Japan’s Economy Shrinks Faster Than Expected.”  Market Watch.  16 February 2020.  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/japans-economy-shrinks-faster-than-expected-2020-02-16;  “German Economy Stagnates as Eurozone Growth Hits Seven-Year-Low,”  The Guardian,  14 February 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2020/feb/14/german-economy-stagnates-growth-eurozone-gdp-business-live

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

Pope Francis the Taxman

Bergoglio Marxist

 

On the heels of calling for a Marxist economic conference this coming March (“Economy of Francesco”), Jorge Bergoglio (a.k.a. “Pope Francis”) has once again opined on financial matters.  The purported head of the Catholic Church has now designated “tax cuts” as sinful behavior on a par, apparently, with stealing, lying, and adultery:

Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people,

often justified in the name of investment and development.*

Bergoglio did not mention what category of sin advocacy for tax cuts falls under – venial or mortal.  Maybe the details of how such a policy ranks in offending Divine Justice will be hammered out at the upcoming Economy of Francesco Commie confab!

In Bergoglio’s collectivist mind, those who try and keep their wealth from the ravenous demands of the State are somehow denying the poor their just due:

Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, which should be paid in taxes to

fund health care and education accumulate in tax haven accounts, thus

impeding the possibility of the dignified and sustained development of all

social agents.

What Bergoglio and his fellow socialists do not understand is that tax cuts lead to economic growth, whether they are for higher or lower income groups.  The less wealth that the State confiscates, the more is available to be used for saving and investment – two keys to economic growth.  The rich do not horde their money but expand and create businesses which leads to more and better paying jobs for lower income groups who supposedly Bergoglio wants to help.

The poor will only be uplifted by greater production where more goods and services are available at lower prices.  Redistribution of income via taxation does not create new wealth, but simply transfers existing wealth from the productive class.  Moreover, taxation has the deleterious effect of making individuals produce less since their efforts are siphoned off at the point of a gun.  More taxation means less production and, thus, less and more expensive goods for the poor.

Of course, this is basic economic theory that any sane person can understand unless one has matriculated to a Western university or college or pays attention to economic ignoramuses like Jorge Bergoglio!

Bergoglio’s constant attention to the plight of the poor along with other social issues (“climate change,” the environment, immigration) does not align with the vision that the Entity, which created the office that Bergoglio currently holds, had in mind.  On at least two occasions, He counseled His followers to focus their attention on spreading the “good news” instead of earthly concerns:

For the poor you have always with you:  but me you have not always.  [Mt. 26:11]

 

Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou, and preach the kingdom of

God.  [Lk. 9: 60]

While the Church has always sought to protect and help the poor, widows, orphans, and the downtrodden, its primary mission is to preach the Gospel.  Since the time of the Second Vatican Anti-Council, 1962-65, and especially during the “reign” of Pope Francis, evangelization has been condemned and, like tax cuts, is now considered sinful activity.

Bergoglio’s criticism of tax reduction is, no doubt, aimed at the Trump Administration’s plan for an additional round of tax cuts.  Tax reduction, however, without cuts in government spending will further explode budget deficits which are now even beyond sustainable.

Without corresponding spending reduction, tax cuts will mean that the Federal Reserve will have to make up for the short fall with further money printing.  One cannot have Big Government and tax cuts simultaneously.  The inevitable monetary crisis will, unfortunately, be blamed on tax cuts and will play into the hands of Bergoglio and his fellow travelers.

That Bergoglio spends most of his time as a social justice warrior instead of the supposed “vicar of Christ” on earth shows the state of the modern Church.  Worse, when he does speak on matters of faith, his words and actions are riddled with heresy.

For all those concerned, it is best that “Pope Francis” should be ignored not only for the falsehoods he spreads about Christianity, but also as a social theorist.  His pronouncements on the latter will only lead to further impoverishment of the poor and the rest of society while inciting class conflict between those who seek to keep their wealth and those who want to confiscate more of it.

 

*https://www.teaparty.org/tax-the-rich-pope-francis-calls-for-global-wealth-redistribution-427517/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

The Constitution IS the Crisis

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A Review of Murray N. Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 5The posthumous release of Murray Rothbard’s fifth volume of his early American history series, Conceived in Liberty, is a cause of celebration not only for those interested in the country’s constitutional period, but also for the present day as the nation is faced with acute social, economic, and political crises.  The fifth volume, The New Republic: 1784-1791, stands with Boston T. Party’s 1997 release, Hologram of Liberty, as a grand rebuttal of the cherished notion held by most contemporary scholars, pundits on the Right, and, surprisingly, many libertarians who believe that the US Constitution is some great bulwark in defense of individual liberty and a promoter of economic success.

ConceivedInLiberty4in1 Volumes 1-4

Rothbard’s narrative highlights the crucial years after the American Revolution focusing on the events and personalities that led to the calling for, drafting, and eventual promulgation of the Constitution in 1789.  Not only does he describe the key factors that led to the creation of the American nation-state, but he gives an insightful account of the machinations which took place in Philadelphia and a trenchant analysis of the document itself which has become, in the eyes of most conservatives, on a par with Holy Writ.

What Might Have Been

While Rothbard writes in a lively and engaging manner, the eventual outcome and triumph of the nationalist forces leaves the reader with a certain sadness.  Despite the fears expressed by the Antifederalists that the new government was too powerful and would lead to tyranny, through coercion, threats, lies, bribery, and arm twisting by the politically astute Federalists, the Constitution came into being.  Yet, what if it had been the other way around and the forces against it had prevailed?

It is safe to assume that America would have been a far more prosperous and less war-like place.  The common held notion that the Constitution was needed to keep peace among the contending states is countered by Rothbard, who points out a number of instances where states settled their differences, most notably Maryland and Virginia as they came to an agreement on the navigation of the Chesapeake Bay.  [129-30]

Without a powerful central state to extract resources and manpower, overseas intervention by the country would have been difficult to undertake.  Thus, the US’s disastrous participation in the two world wars would have been avoided.  Furthermore, it would have been extremely unlikely for a Confederation Congress to impose an income tax as the federal government successfully did through a constitutional amendment in 1913.

Nor would the horrific misnamed “Civil War” ever take place with its immense loss of life and the destruction of the once flourishing Southern civilization.  The triumph of the Federal government ended forever “states rights” in the US and, no doubt, inspired centralizing tendencies throughout the world, most notably in Germany which became unified under Prussian domination.

In a failed attempt in 1786 to enact an impost tax under the Confederation, Abraham Yates, a New York lawyer and prominent Antifederalist, spoke of decentralization as the key to liberty as Rothbard aptly summarizes:

Yates also warned that true republicanism can only be preserved in small states, and

keenly pointed out that in the successful Republics of Switzerland and the

Netherlands the local provinces retained full control over their finances.  A taxing

power in Congress would demolish state sovereignty and reduce the states, where

the people could keep watch on their representatives, to mere adjuncts of

congressional power, and liberty would be gone.  [64]

Antifederalists, such as Yates, had a far greater understanding of how liberty and individual rights would be protected than their statist opponents such as Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.  The Antifederalists looked to Europe as a model, which, for most of its history, was made up of decentralized political configurations.  The Federalists, on the other hand, got much of their inspiration from the Roman Republic and later Empire.  There is little question that an America, with the political attributes of a multi-state Europe, would be far less menacing to both its own inhabitants and to the rest of the world than what it has become under the current Federal Leviathan if the Constitution never passed.

Speculation aside, historical reality meant that America would be fundamentally different than it would have been had the Articles of Confederation survived, as Rothbard points out:

The enactment of the Constitution in 1788 drastically changed the course of

American history from its natural decentralized and libertarian direction to an

omnipresent leviathan that fulfilled all of the Antifederalists’ fears.  [312]

Limited Government Myth

One of the great myths surrounding the American Constitution – which continues within conservative circles to this very day – is that the document limits government power.  After reading Rothbard, such a notion can only be considered a fairy tale!

The supposed “defects” of the Articles of Confederation were adroitly used by the wily nationalists as a cover to hide their real motives.  Simply put – the Articles had to be scrapped and a new national government, far more powerful than what had existed under the Articles, had to be created as Rothbard asserts: “The nationalists who went into the convention agreed on certain broad objectives, crucial for a new government, all designed to remodel the United States into a country with the British political structure.”  [145]

In passing the Constitution, the nationalist forces gained almost all they had set out to accomplish – a powerful central state and with it a strong chief executive office, and the destruction of the states as sovereign entities.  The supposed “checks and balances,” so much beloved by Constitution enthusiasts, has proven worthless in checking the central state’s largesse.  Checks and balances exist within the central government and is not offset by any prevailing power, be it the states or citizenry.

There was no reform of the system as it stood, but a new state was erected on the decentralized foundation of the Confederation.  Why the idea of the founding fathers as some limited government proponents is a mystery.

The Chief Executive

As it developed, the Presidency has become the most powerful and, thus, the most dangerous office in the world.  While its occupants certainly took advantage of situations and created crises themselves over the years, the Presidency, especially in foreign policy, is largely immune from any real oversight either from the legislature or judiciary.  This was not by happenstance.  From the start, the nationalists envisioned a powerful executive branch, and though the most extreme among the group were eventually thwarted in their desire to recreate a British-style monarchy in America, the final draft of the Constitution granted considerable power to the presidential office.

As they did throughout the Constitutional proceedings, the nationalists cleverly altered the concept of what an executive office in a republic should be, by subtle changes in the wording of the document as Rothbard incisively explains:

[T]he nationalists proceeded to alter . . .  and exult the executive in a highly

important textual change.  Whenever the draft had stated that the president ‘may

recommend’ measures to the Congress, the convention changed ‘may’ to ‘shall,’

which provided a ready conduit to the president for wielding effective law-making

powers, while the legislature was essentially reduced to a ratification agency of laws

proposed by the president.  [190-91]

As if this was not bad enough the office was given the ability to create departments within its own domain.

In another fateful change, the president was given the power to create a

bureaucracy within the executive by filling all offices not otherwise provided for in

the Constitution, in addition to those later created by laws.  [191]

The totalitarian federal agencies that plague the daily lives of Americans were not some later innovation by the Progressive movement or New Dealers, but had been provided for within the document itself.  The efforts of those opposed to the various social welfare schemes of the past, which have been put into effect through the various Cabinet departments, have been in vain since the power was given to the Presidency and has been taken advantage of by nearly all of its occupants.

Rothbard’s analysis of the chief executive office is especially pertinent since the nation is once again in the midst of another seemingly endless presidential election cycle.  The reason that the office has attracted so many of the worst sort (which is being kind) is because of its power.  If elected, the ability to control, regulate, impoverish, and kill not only one’s fellow citizen, but peoples across the globe is an immense attraction for sociopaths!

A Coup d’état and Counter Revolution

Rothbard makes the compelling case that the Constitution was a counter revolution, which was a betrayal of the ideology that brought about the Revolution:

The Americans were struggling not primarily for independence but for political-

economic liberty against the mercantilism of the British Empire.  The struggle was

waged against taxes, prohibitions, and regulations – a whole failure of repression

that the Americans, upheld by an ideology of liberty, had fought and torn

asunder. . . .   [T]he American Revolution was in essence not so much against Britain

as against British Big Government – and specially against an all-powerful central

government and a supreme executive.  [307]

He continues:

[T]he American Revolution was liberal, democratic, and quasi-anarchistic; for

decentralization, free markets, and individual liberty; for natural rights of

life, liberty, and property; against monarchy, mercantilism, and especially

against strong central government.  [307-08]

There was, however, always a “conservative” element within the revolutionary leadership that admired Great Britain and wanted to replicate it in America.  It was only when there was no alternative to British political and economic oppression that they joined with their more liberal-libertarian brethren and decided for independence.

Conservatives did not go away after independence, but would continue to push for an expansion of government under the Articles and finally, after most of their designs were consistently thwarted, did they scheme to impose a powerful central state upon the unsuspecting country.

Yet, they would not have triumphed had a number of key liberal-libertarians of the revolutionary generation moved to the Right during the decade following independence.  Rothbard shows why he is the master in power-elite historical analysis in his discussion of this tragic shift, which would spell the death knell to any future politically decentralized America:

[O]ne of the . . .  reasons for the defeat of the Antifederalists, though they

commanded a majority of the public, was the decimation that had taken place in

radical and liberal leadership during the 1780s.  A whole galaxy of ex-radicals, ex-

decentralists, and ex-libertarians, found in their old age that they could comfortably

live in the new Establishment.  The list of such defections is impressive, including

John Adams, Sam Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Rush, Thomas Paine, Alexander

McDougall, Isaac Sears, and Christopher Gadsden.  [308-09]

As the country’s elite became more statist and as political (Shays Rebellion) and  economic (a depression) factors played into their hands, conservatives seized the opportunity to erect on America a powerful national government:

It was a bloodless coup d’état against an unresisting Confederation Congress. . . .

The drive was managed by a corps of brilliant members and representatives

of the financial and landed oligarchy.  These wealthy merchants and large

landowners were joined by the urban artisans of the large cities in their

drive to create a strong overriding central government – a supreme government

with its own absolute power to tax, regulate commerce, and raise armies.  [306]

Conclusion

The Mises Institute and the editor of the book, Patrick Neumann, must be given immense credit for bringing this important piece of scholarship into print.  Once read, any notion of the “founding fathers” as disinterested statesmen who sublimated their own interests and that of their constituents to that of their country will be disavowed.  Moreover, The New Republic:1784-1791 is the most important in the series since the grave crises that the nation now faces can be traced to those fateful days in Philadelphia when a powerful central state was created.

Volume Five shows that the problems of America’s past and the ones it now faces are due to the Constitution.  The remedy to the present societal ills is not electing the “right” congressman, or president, but to “devolve” politically into a multitude of states and jurisdictions.  For the future of liberty and economic well-being, this is where efforts should be placed and Murray Rothbard’s final volume of Conceived in Liberty is essential reading if that long, arduous, but much necessary task is to be undertaken.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

posted 02-10-’20

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis Calls Marxist Economic Summit

index

Pope Francis and his mentor

As if there needs to be further evidence that the current occupant of St. Peter’s Chair in Rome is a Marxist, the announcement of an upcoming conference at Assisi entitled the “Economy of Francesco” should convince any skeptic otherwise.

In his invitation letter to “young economists and entrepreneurs worldwide,” Bergoglio sets the agenda for the Leftist confab quite clearly which is virulently anti-market, a call for massive redistribution of wealth, and a reordering of the current economic systems of the world with a healthy dose of climate change nonesense:

. . . a different kind of economy: one that brings life not death, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, humane and not dehumanizing, one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it.*

While Bergoglio’s Marxist credentials have been firmly established, his blashemous  actions and words has a growing number outside of “sedevacantist circles” calling him a heretic.  The legitimacy of “Pope Francis,” however, is more fundamental than him being a manifest heretic, but his standing as a legitimate pope is invalid since his ordination as a priest and his consecration as a bishop came under the new rites of Holy Orders instituted in the wake of the Second Vatican anti-Council (1962-1965).

The mastermind behind Bergoglio’s summit is professor Luigino Bruni and from his comments he sounds more radical than the Argentine Apostate, if that is possible.  Professor Bruni wants to use taxation as a weapon to “redistribute income and wealth from the rich to the poor.”*

Bruni, a professor of political economy at the Italian University, LUMSA, and the author of a number of books, basis his advocacy for redistribution of wealth on the Scriptures:

[T]he Bible has many words to offer our economic life and ideas [with] the transformation of wealth into well-being.**

It appears that the good professor’s Bible is missing the Seventh Commandment of the Decalogue which solemnly states: THOU SHALL NOT STEAL!  In no legitimate commentary ever written on this Commandment is there an exception made for the confiscation of wealth from the well-to-do to be given to the poor.  Probably just an oversight on the Professor’s part.

Because they are blinded by socialistic ideology, Bruni, Bergoglio, and the likes of Bernie Sanders cannot see that the growing wealth inequality which they complain about is not the result of “capitalism,” but is the outcome of the monetary policy of the world’s central banks.  This, along with tax policies which hamper innovation and shield the entrenched financial class from competition, is why financial elites are able to maintain and increase their power.

Central bank policy of suppressing interest rates and of money printing allow banks and financial institutions to receive “free money” which they can invest and speculate with at zero cost.  The boom (actually a bubble) in asset prices on Wall Street is a demonstration of how wealth disparity takes place.

If Bergoglio really meant to reform the present system, he would call for the abolition of central banking and a return to “hard money.”  Under such an order, banks and financial institutions become wealthy on their ability to make prudent investment decisions subjected to profit and loss.  A free market in banking is the antithesis of the current system of credit expansion and money printing.

Not only have Bergoglio and his cohorts abandoned the Faith, but they have also overturned the Church’s long-held condemnation of socialism and have ignored many of its own outstanding thinkers on financial matters.  From the Scholastics to the School of Salamanca through the Jesuits and the great Cardinal Cajetan, who finally taught the proper doctrine on interest rates, the Church has produced scores of eminent economic thinkers in its long history.

index 1

School of Salamanca

Ever since socialism reared its ugly head as a social system of thought, the Church has warned of its dangers even its more milder forms as Pope Pius XII wrote, “No Catholic could subscribe even to moderate socialism.”  Since Vatican II and especially under Bergoglio’s regime, however, Leftist ideas of all sorts have been warmly embraced.

At the heart of socialism, be it Marxism or its equally pernicious variants, lies envy which became a part of the human condition with the fall of man.  While once condemned, envy has been turned into a virtue by the likes of Bergoglio.

While such ideas may sound appealing to human sensibilities, they will not pass the Divine Judge who knows the thoughts and souls of all His creatures even those of supposed popes.

*Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2019/documents/papa-francesco_20190501_giovani-imprenditori.html

**Jules Gomes, “Pope Francis Convenes ‘Anti-Capitalism’ Summit,”  Church Militant.com, 15 January 2020.

Antonius Aquinas@antoniusaquinas

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