Tag Archives: WWII

The Gold Standard: Protector of Individual Liberty and Economic Prosperity

goldstandard vs.    the-bill-of-rights

 

 

The idea of a constitution and/or written legislation to secure individual rights so beloved by conservatives and among many libertarians has proven to be a myth. The US Constitution and all those that have been written and ratified in its wake throughout the world have done little to protect individual liberties or keep a check on State largesse.  Instead, in the American case, the Constitution created a powerful central government which eliminated much of the sovereignty and independence that the individual states possessed under the Articles of Confederation.

While the US Constitution contains a “Bill of Rights,” the interpreter of those rights and protections thereof is the very entity which has enumerated them.  It is only natural that decisions on whether, or if such rights have been violated will be in favor of the state.  Moreover, nearly every amendment which has come in the wake of the Bill of Rights, has augmented federal power at the expense of the individual states and that of property owners.

History has shown the steady erosion of individual rights and the creation of “new rights” and entitlements (education, health care, employment, etc.) which have occurred under constitutional rule.  Instead of limitation on government power, constitutions have given cover for the vast expansion of taxation, regulation, debt, and money creation.

While taxation has always been a facet of constitutional governments, it has been the advent of central banking and with it the elimination of the gold standard which has provided the means for the state to become such an omnipresent force in everyday life.  Irredeemable fiat paper money issued by central banks has also led to the entrenchment of political parties which has allowed these elites to create and subsidize dependency groups which, in turn, repeatedly vote to keep the political class in office.

Without the ability to create money and credit, the many bureaucracies, regulations, and laws could neither be created or enforced.  This would mean that the vast and powerful security and surveillance agencies could not exist or would be far less intrusive than they currently are.  With commodity money, debt creation would have to be repaid in gold, not monetized as it is currently done through the issuance of paper currency.

Just as important, it would have been next to impossible for the two world wars to have been fought and carried to their unimaginable destructive ends.  None of the populations involved would have put up with the level of taxation necessary to wage such costly undertakings.  Few of the wars which followed (most of which have been instigated by the US) could have taken place without central banking.  Nor could the level of “defense” spending – currently at a whopping $717 billion for fiscal year 2018 – be financed if the US was on a commodity standard.*

Under a gold standard, governments would have to rely on taxation alone.  Since citizens directly feel the effects of taxation, there is a “natural level” that it can be raised.  Punitive tax rates usually lead to a backlash and potential social insurrection which strike fear in the hearts of political elites.

Recent projections by the Congressional Budget Office again demonstrate that constitutional government provides little restraint on spending.

If present trends continue, the federal government will spend more on its interest serving its debt than it spends on the military, Medicare, or children’s programs.  It is also expected that next year’s interest on the debt will be some $390 billion, up an astonishing 50 percent from 2017.** And, for the entire fiscal year of 2018, the gross national debt surged by $1.271 trillion, to a mind-boggling $21.52 trillion.***

At one time, economists used to speak of the pernicious effects that “crowding out” had on an economy.  Since the onset of the “bubble era,” talk about deficits has almost dropped out of financial discussions.  Yet, the reality remains the same: public spending and borrowing divert scarce resources away from private capital markets to unproductive wasteful government projects and endeavors.

For those who seek a reduction in State power, defense of individual rights, and economic prosperity, the re-establishment of a monetary order based on the precious metals is the most efficacious path to take.  Such a social system would not require elaborate legislation or fancy proclamations of man’s inalienable rights, but simply a return to honest money – gold!

*Amanda Macias, “Trump Gives $717 Billion Defense Bill a Green Light. Here’s What the Pentagon is Poised to Get.”  CNBC.com 14 August 2018. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/13/trump-signs-717-billion-defense-bill.html

**Nelson D. Schwartz, “As Debt Rises, the Government Will Soon Spend More on Interest Than on the Military.”  The New York Times. 25 September 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/25/business/economy/us-government-debt-interest.html

***Tyler Durden, “US Gross National Debt Soars $1.27 Trillion in Fiscal 2018, Hits $21.5 Trillion.” Zero Hedge.  2 October 2018.   https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-02/us-gross-national-debt-soars-127-trillion-fiscal-2018-hits-215-trillion

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

The United States of Hubris

hubris of empire

If anyone should have any questions about whether the United States of America is not the most aggressive, warlike, and terroristic nation on the face of the earth, its latest proposed action against the supposed rogue state of North Korea should allay any such doubts.

Last week, the US circulated a draft resolution which it intends to present to the UN Security Council that would give the American Navy and Air Force the power to interdict North Korean ships at sea to determine if they were transporting “weaponry material” or fuel and that US forces would be given “the right” to use “all necessary measures” to “enforce compliance.”*

Not surprisingly, Nikky Haley, the blood-thirsty and incompetent American Ambassador to the UN, has enthusiastically backed the resolution, utterly clueless of its ramifications if passed, the most horrific of which would be the igniting of WWIII.  Trump’s selection of the neocon mouthpiece as UN Ambassador has been a disaster on several fronts: first, it was an early and quite telling sell out of his political base whom he promised an American First foreign policy of less belligerency and intervention.  Second, Haley had no foreign policy experience and has made a fool of herself internationally on more than one occasion with her inane statements.

That the US is even considering such a provocative scheme once again shows the hubris which exists within its vast corridors of power.  Any other country which would suggest such an audacious act would be rightly condemned, ostracized, and labeled as a rogue state.  Yet, it is US lawmakers, policy wonks, and the CIA/NSA-directed American press corps that charge others (mostly those who do not kowtow to US dictates) of “terrorism.”

This year, as of yet, North Korea has not been responsible for a single death of a foreign national.  Nor has the tiny communist state ever used a nuclear weapon against an enemy like the US did with its immoral and hellish destruction of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the conclusion of WWII.

On the other hand, since the start of the Trump Presidency, US-backed forces have been responsible for the deaths of some 3700 civilians in Mosul, Iraq.**  This is not to mention its murderous armed strikes in Yemen and Afghanistan.  Nor is American aggression limited to direct military action, but its arms supply sales to despots and its puppets has escalated tensions and makes conflicts that do break out much more brutal.

Fortunately, for the future of global peace, US hegemony is coming to an end.  The nation is hopelessly broke while its welfare/warfare economy is beyond reform and faltering badly which means that when the inevitable collapse does happen, it will mean the end or a serious pull back of the Empire.  A similar situation took place in Great Britain in 1945 after it took part in another senseless global conflict which liquidated the British Empire once and for all.

Any sober thinking realist would recognize the deteriorating societal and economic conditions at home, yet because of the collective hubris embedded in the political class, American bellicosity continues.

The last hope of changing US overseas affairs in a peaceful direction was Donald Trump who throughout the campaign spoke of an American First foreign policy which garnered widespread support.  Within Trump’s foreign policy statements, however, there were many troubling ones: call for increased defense spending, “wiping out ISIS,” updating the nation’s nuclear arsenal, putting an end to the North Korean “problem.”  The encouraging words about non-intervention and getting along with Russia were quickly scuttled while the militaristic side of Trump’s campaign rhetoric has won the day.

History is replete with examples of hubristic regimes which appeared invincible and everlasting, but quickly fall with severe and quite nasty retribution from their enemies.  While the US goes about the world threatening, bombing, and destabilizing those it does not like, it too, possibly in the not too distant future, will face the deserved wrath of those it has humiliated and terrorized.

*David E. Sanger, “U.S. Seeks U.N. Consent to Interdict North Korean Ships.”  New York Times.  6 September 2017.

**Adam Johnson, “Corporate Media Largely Silent on Trump’s Civilian Death Toll in Iraq.”  Fair.  19 July 2017.  http://fair.org/home/corporate-media-largely-silent-on-trumps-civilian-death-toll-in-iraq/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump

Trump - Wilson

It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month one hundred years earlier that an American president led the nation on its road to empire.  President Trump’s aggressive actions and all of America’s previous imperialistic endeavors can ultimately be traced to Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to bring the country into the First World War on April 6, 1917.

This month, therefore, should be one of national mourning for the decision to enter that horrific conflict changed America and, for that matter, the world for the worse.

Had the US remained neutral, the war would most likely have come to a far quicker and more politically palatable conclusion, however, the entry of America on the Entente side prolonged the conflict and extended its economic and political destruction to such a degree that the Old Order could not be put back together again.  The great dynasties (Germany, Russia, and especially Austria) were ruthlessly dismantled at the conclusion of WWI by the explicit designs of Wilson which left a power vacuum across Central Europe.  The vacuum, of course, was filled by the various collectivist “isms” which produced the landscape for another global conflagration even greater than WWI.

For America, after a brief revival of isolationism and non-interventionist sentiment throughout the land, the country, led by another ruthless and power-mad chief executive, provoked and schemed its way into the second general European war within a generation, this time via “the backdoor” with Japan.  A second US intervention, making the war global, could not have come about had there been no WWI, or if that war had ended on better terms.

After the Second World War, the US emerged as the world’s dominant power with bases across the globe and entered into a string of never ending hot and cold wars, regime changes, destabilizations, assassinations, bombings, blockades, and economic sanctions that have continued to this very day and hour.  Quickly after the war’s conclusion, the American media, academia, and the security and military industrial complex had to invent the myth that the Soviet Union and the US were of equal military might which turned out to be a blatant lie.  After being decimated in WWII and its adherence to unworkable and economic destructive socialistic planning, the Soviet Union could never produce the wealth necessary to maintain a global empire as the US did, and still does.  The “Soviet threat” was always a ruse to get gullible Americans to vote for and support greater and greater “defense” spending.

Besides Ron Paul and to a far lesser extent his son, Donald Trump was the only viable candidate who spoke of taking a new, less interventionist foreign policy which is why he was able to garner so much support from millions of empire-weary Americans during the presidential campaign.  He rightly called the Iraqi War a “disaster,” spoke of getting along with Russia, and the US’s commitment to NATO should be rethought, among other refreshing comments on foreign affairs.

In one of the most memorable and hopeful passages of his Inaugural Address, the new president championed non-intervention abroad:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

Unlike Ron Paul, however, Trump had no grounding in a true America First foreign policy.  While critical of his predecessors’ foreign policy decisions, Trump was not opposed philosophically to the US Empire or saw it as the greatest threat to world peace which currently exists.

Without an ideological basis against American globalism, Trump was easy pickings against the threats and machinations of the Deep State.  Without a refutation of the ideology which drove Wilson and all of his successors to promote military adventurism abroad, Trump will be little different than his imperial predecessors and with a personality that is thin-skinned, impulsive and unpredictable, Trump could, God forbid, become another Woodrow Wilson.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com