“July 4th is really about Monetary Reform”: The 21st Century Money Question
“July 4th is really about Monetary Reform”: The 21st Century Money Question
Posted July 5, 2018
This is a sort of guest blog, albeit posthumous, by the late Stephen Zarlenga, founding Director of the American Monetary Institute. The blog is actually a compilation of three July 4th messages by Stephen (2016, 2010, 2009), all of which have been very popular. Yesterday, July 4, 2018, AMI sent out this compilation to supporters, in memory of Stephen Zarlenga and the late Robert Poteat (another AMI director). The messages also serve as a reminder of the history of American monetary reform—and why we still have much to do to level the U.S. economic playing field, which has mostly operated and still operates on a confused and fraudulent money and banking system.
All three July 4th messages are lyrical and entertaining and each touches briefly on an aspect of monetary reform. The three messages and their separate topics are:
1. Fourth of July realities from 2016: the American Revolution and why we’re still not fully free
2. July 4th 2010 Message from the AMI: economics as a failed profession
3. AMI Fourth of July Message from 2009: the American Monetary Act [later the NEED Act]
I have edited these messages slightly, mostly to remove outdated organizational material.
Thanks to AMI directors for allowing me to post these messages.
AMERICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE
Dedicated to the independent study of monetary history, theory and reform
“Over time, whoever controls the money system controls the nation”
Stephen Zarlenga, Director (1941-2017)
Popular July 4th Messages
by Stephen Zarlenga
(2016, 2010, 2009)
1. “Fourth of July realities” from 2016
July 4th is really about Monetary Reform, isn’t it?
4th of July! And we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of a mad Brit king. So let’s proudly remember the victory a small group of dedicated, courageous men and women achieved against the world’s most powerful military of their time, in a struggle even more difficult than the present one is made to appear.
Their victory was extremely improbable at best, as they seriously pledged their lives to fight for its success. And as events and battles were fought, the possibility of a favorable outcome grew even smaller. But at the right moment, help from France turned the tide and the British were defeated.
The financial miscreants were defeated militarily, but not monetarily. For soon after the Constitution was ratified, in 1791, the first Bank of the United States, a privately owned and privately controlled central bank, was put through Congress by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, modeled on the private Bank of England. The gang around that bank was more dangerous than King George III, and the Hamilton people thereby insinuated into the New World forces representing the most evolved secular form that evil had attained in the Old World — a privately controlled Central Bank. Thanks a lot, Hamilton – you know what you can do with your Broadway musical!
Jefferson fought the bank, helping to bring it down, and Burr killed Hamilton over public insults (Gore Vidal’s novel “Burr,” said Hamilton had accused Burr of incest!); but privately issued money gained a foothold in America. It’s still here, in control of our monetary system. It’s the root cause of most of our social and economic problems. Whenever it caused crises in the past, our government had to come to the rescue. Its latest atrocity is the current monetary, banking and economic crisis, threatening to harm the entire world economy, wrecking the lives of billions in the process.
The bankers’ madness must end now — we must complete the monetary part of our declaration of independence. This crisis gives us the only opportunity to reform our monetary system and eliminate the private creation of money; to eliminate the insane privilege banks have been given to create our money supply when they extend loans; to eliminate using debt for money; to establish our nation’s full sovereignty. To give the bankers what they deny to us – to give them justice!
Our book, The Lost Science of Money contains our research results to date, drawn from a study of over 800 monetary books and sources. The first 23 chapters focus on the monetary case studies from Aristotle forward. The final chapter summarizes what those studies teach us, and how that can be applied to solving today’s dilemma with a comprehensive monetary reform plan.
While the French played a key part at the start of our nation, their gift to us of the Statue of Liberty still plays a crucial role for us. The liberty she symbolizes does not exist in our nation. It never really has. The Statue has always been a symbol encouraging us towards the possible. I love that statue, and when I lived in New York, I often anchored my motor boat under it. Some of my fondest memories are of those times as the sun set over New Jersey, reflecting off the still standing Twin Towers; or anchored under the spectacular fireworks display there during the bicentennial celebration.
This continuing crisis for many millions of our people gives an important opportunity to reform our monetary system and eliminate the privilege banks have to create what we use for money, when they extend loans; to eliminate their power to cause financial crises and obscenely concentrate wealth into undeserving hands.
2. July 4th 2010 MESSAGE from the AMI
Dear Friends of the American Monetary Institute,
Hopefully you’ve celebrated this July 4th Independence Day in good style. AMI people went to Chicago’s Oak Street Beach. We kept an upbeat attitude, despite the serious problems our nation faces.
We remembered the importance to peoples around the earth, of our forefathers declaring independence from old world tyranny. We inspired a revolution in France. Later, thanks to France’s gift, our Statue of Liberty served as a beacon inviting peoples to our shores; including my parents and grand parents from Italy. They achieved the American Dream – owning a home and educating their kids.
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights provided some safeguards and checks and balances that held anti-democratic and anti-human forces at bay, and separated government from religion, the misuse of which had caused so much pain in the old world. But unfortunately, because the founders as a group did not understand the nature of money, they allowed corrupt monetary beliefs and practices of the old world to gain a foothold on our shores, starting with the establishment of the privately owned 1st Bank of the U.S. in 1791 (detailed in Ch. 15 of The Lost Science of Money book). As with all major banking legislation here, fraud was involved.
This privatization of the money power is an “original sin” of our system, from which most of our social problems arise. Though the Constitution expressly forbade the establishment of an Aristocracy here, my neighbor President Martin Van Buren would write “The MONEY POWER (he always capitalized it)… when firmly established, was destined to become the only kind of an Aristocracy that could exist in our political system.” That aristocracy, through concentration of wealth and power and various financial tricks, is in the process of destroying the checks and balances which had offered protection. Witness the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to finance and thereby control elections.
Economists willingly embraced the pernicious errors allowing the financial establishment to control our nation, by confusing credit for money. WHY? Salaries and position, and tenure:
“What makes all doctrines plain and clear? About two hundred pounds a year. And that which was proved true before, proved false again? Two hundred more.” – Samuel Butler’s Hudibras on Economics said it all.
Clearly, “economics” is a failed profession, with rare and sometimes great individual exceptions. Indeed, Jamie Galbraith in testimony before the Senate Judicial Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, recently wrote: “I write you as a member of a disgraced profession” and he suggested they put the fear of Congress into the financial operators who brought down the world economy. But in general, economists focusing on theoretical, mathematically dominated thinking, ignoring factual results, are unable to make course corrections to public policy. And too many Congressmen, including the financial committees leadership, were too close to the economic wreckers to propose real reform.
The financial “reforms” they are arguing over now do not fundamentally address the main problem – a privatized money system based on using private credit instead of government money. This special privilege always leads to an obscene concentration of wealth, which then can overcome the regulations.
Thus at the recent meeting of G20 countries, they proposed a double-whammy to kick the World’s economies while they’re down, calling for “fiscal consolidation” and ‘re-capitalization’ of banks. Both would have the effect of putting less money into the economy while taking more money out of the economy – and they’re so deluded, they claim to be expecting ‘growth’ to come from these conditions of monetary drought and deflation. Along with that recurring delusion, we see the ongoing illusion that the ‘remedy’ for debt-ridden citizens, businesses and governments is to load them up with more debt(!) We say “deluded” as the only other explanation would be that they’re deliberately trying to collapse the economies.
3. AMI Fourth of July Message from 2009
A July 4th message to friends of the American Monetary Institute,
Dear Fellow Americans, and friends around the Earth,
This 4th of July as we proudly celebrate our declaration of independence from the tyranny of a mad Brit King, lets remember the victory a small group of dedicated, courageous men and women achieved against the world’s most powerful military of their time.
It was a victory that appeared extremely improbable at best, as they pledged their lives to fight for its success. And as events and battles were fought, the possibility of a favorable outcome grew even smaller. But at the right moment, help from France turned the tide and the British were defeated.
Defeated militarily, but not monetarily. For soon after the Constitution was ratified, in 1791 the 1st Bank of the United States, a privately owned and privately controlled central bank was put through Congress by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, modeled on the private Bank of England. The gang around that bank were more dangerous than King George the 3rd; and the Hamilton people thereby insinuated into the New World forces representing the most evolved secular form that evil had attained in the Old World. Thanks a lot Hamilton!
Jefferson fought the bank, helping to bring it down and Burr killed Hamilton over public insults; but privately issued money had gained a foothold in America. It’s still here, in control of our monetary system. It’s the root cause of most of our social and economic problems. Whenever it caused crises in the past, our government had to come to the rescue. It’s latest atrocity is the current monetary, banking and economic crisis, threatening to take the entire world economy down into depression, and destroy the lives of billions of people in the process.
It must end now. This crisis gives us our only opportunity to reform our monetary system and eliminate the private creation of money; to eliminate the privilege banks have to create our money supply when they extend loans.
The American Monetary Act…is legislation which fundamentally reforms the private CREDIT/DEBT system now wrecking our nation, replacing it with a government MONEY system.
HOW: The Federal Reserve becomes incorporated into the U.S. Treasury. Banks no longer have the accounting privilege of creating our money supply. All their previously issued credit is converted into U.S. Money through an elegant and gentle accounting change, which has been described as brilliant by a former officer of the NY Fed. The banks are held accountable for this conversion. New money is then introduced by the government spending it into circulation for infrastructure, starting with the $2.2 trillion the engineers tell us is needed to properly maintain our infrastructure over the next 5 years. Infrastructure will include the necessary human infrastructure of health care and education.
Banks are encouraged to continue lending as profit making companies, but are no longer allowed to create our money supply by loan making activity.
Thus, The American Monetary Act nationalizes the money system, not the banking system. Banking is absolutely not a proper function of government, but providing the nation’s money supply is a key function of government. No one else can do it properly. Talk of nationalizing the banking business may really act like a poison pill to block real reform.
Despite prejudice against government, most people are surprised to learn that history shows government has a far superior record in controlling the money system than private controllers have. And yes that includes the continental currency, the Greenbacks and even the German Hyperinflation; which by the way took place under a completely privatized German central bank!
WHO: The American Monetary Institute, organized in 1996 as a publicly supported charitable trust, is the leading U.S. think tank on monetary history, theory and reform.
WHY: Because the crisis our present malformed banking and money system has caused is crying out for reform, not merely regulation. It has visibly brought the world economy to its knees; it has concentrated wealth to unacceptable levels, and it now places the future development of humanity at risk.
WHY? Considering the nature of modern weapons systems, leaving the same people and families in power risks the survival of the species. Some of them watching the past 16 years, must realize that. Lets hope they do the right thing. But lets not depend on it! I mentioned that the French played a key part at the start of our nation. Today their gift to us of the Statue of Liberty still plays a crucial role for us and for humanity. The liberty she symbolizes does not exist in our nation. It never really has.
The Statue has always been a symbol encouraging us towards the possible. I love that statue and when I stayed in New York, I often anchored my motor boat under it, and some of my fondest memories are of those times as the sun set over New Jersey, still reflecting off the Twin Towers; or anchored under the spectacular fireworks display there during the bicentennial celebration.
Friends, we are all under pressure in this environment. Stress will cause illness unless you act. Action will destroy fear! Good action towards truth will change the world. Join with us to understand the nature of our money system, how it should be structured and how we citizens can effect such change. That’s what our country’s founders would be doing now if they were of our time. That’s what men and women of good will, can be doing now!
Well that’s it for now. Get in touch! Stay in Touch! Read the book. Come to the conference!
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!
Overcoming U.S. Political Tribalism in 2018: ARE THERE ANY MODELS?
Overcoming U.S. Political Tribalism in 2018: ARE THERE ANY MODELS?
Open Letter to Chris Hayes (MSNBC) and Amy Chua (Yale University)
Posted June 18, 2018
Thanks to Chris Hayes (MSNBC All-in) and Amy Chua (Law professor, Yale University) for the nourishing and inspiring podcast on political tribalism. For those who missed it, I recommend giving it your full attention. It will make you feel part of history in a positive, active way.
PODCAST (June 12, 2018): Debating the Concept of Tribalism
Here’s some further thoughts for participatory history…
To Chris and Amy:
As a 67-year old grassroots organizer and public policy strategist (food-and-farm), I would love to hear some follow-up to your conversation, continuing where you left off:
— Are there any models for getting out of this political tribalism?
— Getting back to the “formula” and “apparatus” of our current model.
My experience has been that most Americans don’t really know how to have good group discussions about public policy. Even many of my food justice colleagues seem to think that executive orders are the best way to make public policy (just call up the mayor, governor, or president). So I hope you don’t mind some suggestions for continuing this conversation about models for self-governance—a very necessary conversation, in my opinion, and long overdue.
Debating Political Tribalism
Podcast #2 – The Iroquois League
When I first learned the details of the Iroquois League (in 2015), I kept asking everyone I knew, “Did you know…..?”
Did you know that
— Women’s councils set the agenda for men’s councils?
Usually the women included a short list of preferred outcomes.
— The Iroquois League had a 5-year sunset clause?
This means it was a living document, making it easy to amend every five years, but also testing the commitment of all members. The fact that the League persisted for 500+ years before European interference is a testament to its stability.
— The League funded the three pillars of its formula–well-being, righteousness, and popular sovereignty?
In other words there was a basic income for being a citizen with responsibilities for governance and community health.
No one knew. Many had learned in high school or in college that the Iroquois consulted with the founding fathers. But the details were either not taught or were not remembered as valuable.
As a strategist, I sometimes argue with myself about which one of those mechanisms, by itself, would make the biggest difference in manifesting our American ideals for everyone. They all seem so impactful and solve numerous problems embedded in our current apparatus. But then I think, why put myself through that mental torture and artificial exercise? Why not advocate for all three, and more — as codified in the Great Law of Peace, the original model for a grassroots democracy and the longest-lived such democracy? Why can’t we have all of it—the full vision of peace, well-being, liberty, justice, and sovereignty for all?
Attached is my complete list of the apparatus that implements the Iroquois League’s formula. It would be great to hear a real nuts & bolts conversation about these mechanisms, as compared to the U.S. apparatus and formula to which we are accustomed.
Inviting a Haudenosaunee expert to join you on the podcast would be especially dynamic, not to mention healing. As various Haudenosaunee people have written (in Basic Call to Consciousness) and spoken (in recent speeches), the descendants of the Iroquois League have offered to train the United Nations and anyone else who is interested in how they created and maintained a grassroots democracy that has lasted for hundreds of years.
Attached are some resources available to us today, in 2018, for connecting with living Haudenosaunee people and organizations—including a brand-new exhibit on Haudenosaunee women at the Seneca Art & Culture Center in Victor, New York.
Debating Political Tribalism
Podcast #3 — Recent add-on mechanisms
A third podcast could discuss some of the recent innovations for a more participatory democracy, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. These are considered add-ons or amendments to existing structures and constitutions. Here are just a few:
— Participatory budgeting is a particularly effective mechanism, especially at the local level (school board, municipality, ward, library district)
— Constitutions that have recently added “rights of the Earth” or “rights of nature” (Iceland, Colombia)
— Truth and reconciliation processes, restorative justice
— Public banks (state, county, municipal)
— Sovereign money (national)
— Food policy councils, sustainability plans, equity departments (state, county, local)
Debating Political Tribalism
Podcast #4 — A National Book Club
I would really love to do a year-long national book club where we take the time to discuss all of these in detail, followed by a Constitutional Convention. Anybody in?
IROQUOIS CONSTITUTION: Formula, Apparatus, Resources
The model that would have the most impact on an American audience would be the Iroquois League’s Great Law of Peace. If I understand statements by living Iroquois organizations and Haudenosaunee people, the Great Law of Peace is still operational. But most Americans don’t know the details of how the Iroquois League informed the U.S. document—and what was omitted (both in the formula and the apparatus). Some of these omissions created numerous contradictions in the American psyche, culture, and public infrastructure, which burden us today, sometimes invisibly.
a. The Apparatus
Most of these basic structures are codified in the Great Law of Peace and discussed in great detail in Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas. “Gantowisas” is defined variously as clan mothers, government women, indispensable women. If I have understood Prof. Mann’s book correctly, the clans embody the positive aspects of tribalism as described by Prof. Chua in the original podcast.
Bicameral self-governance for 500+ years
Women’s councils + men’s councils
— 100% inclusion: all adults
— Living document (ease of amendment): 5-year sunset clause
Responsibilities of women’s councils:
— Set the agenda for men’s councils (including preferred options)
— Appoint and remove chiefs
— Initiate and end war
— Funded sovereignty: basic income
— Reciprocal economics: gift economy (absence of “bullyboy” economics)
— Distribution hubs: clan mothers
— Women: farming
— Men: forestry, hunting, fishing
— Full personal liberty for all
— Legal identity, record-keeping: clan mothers
b. The Formula
These two paragraphs from Prof. Mann’s eye-opening book (Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas) present a succinct comparison of the formula for the United States with the formula for the Iroquois League.
pp. 212 -13
“It is interesting to me that, in all of the debate furiously raging ever since Bruce Johansen’s Forgotten Founders (1982) rubbed academia’s nose in the fact that the authors of the U.S. Constitution had been strongly influenced by the Iroquoian Great Law, few have noticed the main disparity between Iroquoia and the United States. It was not the political presence or absence of women, or trial by jury, or a standing army, or any of a dozen other, readily spotted political differences that marked the distinction. It was, instead, the failure of the Founding Fathers also to adopt and adapt the Iroquoian system of grass–roots economics that complemented its political base of Ne” Gashasde”’sa’ (popular sovereignty).
“The true failure of the resultant hybrid lay in the unthinking assumption by the Founding Fathers that European war-lord economics and Haudenosaunee Ne” gashasde”’sa’ could operate in harness without the plunder economics of Europe throwing the political system of Ne” Gashasde”’sa’ into disarray. By furthermore ignoring the sibling principles of Ne” Sken’no” (Health) and Ne” Gai’ihwiio (Righteousness) as practical tools of economic prosperity (as opposed to mere moralistic pieties), the Founding Fathers sabotaged hopes for real participatory democracy by writing the proprietary economics of Europe into their Constitution. It is this mismatch of popular but unfunded sovereignty bound to the naked exploitation of capitalism that is short-circuiting American Ne” gashasde”’sa’ today, subverting the political will of the people through the undue economic pressures exerted by a financially privileged elite. No such unbalancing access was possible in the prototype, however, for the clan level where Ne” Gashasde”’sa’ was fomented was also the level at which the confederated economy was managed. Power, will, and weal did not trickle down in Iroquoia; they percolated up.”
— BOOK: Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas (2000), by Barbara Alice Mann (Bear clan, Seneca), Prof. – Humanities, Univ. of Toledo. So far as I can tell, no other resource provides the level of detail that is included in Prof. Mann’s book about life in the Iroquois League.
— BOOK: Basic Call to Consciousness (2005), ed. by Akwesasne Notes
Includes 1977 speech at United Nations (Geneva): Haudenosaunee Address to the Western World
— WEBSITE: Iroquois Constitution, an English translation, by Arthur C. Parker (Seneca)
Prepared by Gerald Murphy, The Cleveland Free-Net, the National Public Telecomputing Network.
— MUSEUM: Ganondagan—Seneca Art & Culture Center (Victor, NY)
— HERITAGE CENTER: Ska-nonh—Great Law of Peace Center (Liverpool, NY)
— BOOKLET: Neighbor to Neighbor, Nation to Nation: Readings about the Relationship of the Onondaga Nation with Central New York, USA (revised 2014). Published by Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON), a project of the Syracuse Peace Council. 79 pages.