17/03/08 "Global Research" -- - March 17 is St. Patrick's Day, when people of all national origins raise a glass and declare, "Today we're all a bit Irish!" This may be truer than we know. The Irish were driven to
Debt Drives the Irish to
A short review of the history of the Irish in North America reveals that few were here before 1845, when a disease struck the potato crops of
"Debt Slavery" Replaces Physical Slavery
This form of "debt slavery" or "debt peonage" was not just an accidental development of history. It was a deliberately-planned alternative to the slave arrangement in which owners were responsible for the feeding and care of a dependent population, and it is still with us today. Although European financiers were in favor of an American Civil War that would return the
Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery destroyed. This, I and my European friends are glad of, for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan, led by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a means to control the volume of money. To accomplish this, the bonds [government debt to the bankers] must be used as a banking basis. . . . It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that.3
A system of "debt peonage" is inextricably linked to a banking system in which money is issued privately by bankers and lent to the government rather than being issued as "greenbacks" by the government itself Today the "European plan" has evolved into the private central banking system, and it has come to dominate the economies of the world. A private central bank creates money simply by printing it or entering it as an accounting entry, then lends it to the federal government in exchange for government bonds or debt. Private commercial banks create many more dollars in the same way, advancing money created as accounting-entry loans without even incurring the cost of a printing press. Except for coins, the entire U.S. money supply is now created as a debt to private bankers.4 Banks create the principal but not the interest necessary to pay back their loans, so more money is always owed back than was put into the money supply in the first place. More loans must therefore continually be taken out to cover the interest, spiraling the economy into increasing levels of debt and inflation, in a futile attempt to repay principal and interest on a debt that is actually impossible to repay. The result is "debt peonage," and it has systematically reduced the people to working for the company store, bound to their corporate masters for the food, shelter and health care formerly provided by slave owners under the old physical-slave system.
The Colonial Alternative: The
This is not the only way to run an economy. Until 1913, when the Federal Reserve Act was passed, the European system of debt peonage competed with what was called "the American system" – debt-free government-issued dollars generated by provincial governments to pay their expenses. This "greenback" system was not actually used in the
Benjamin Franklin and others maintained that the chief reason for the American Revolution was that Parliament forbade the colonies from issuing their own money. Paper money issued by the Revolutionary government got the colonists through the Revolutionary War, but the British heavily counterfeited this money as a deliberate war tactic, and by the end of the war it had been inflated so much that it was nearly worthless. Fear of inflation led the Continental Congress to completely omit paper money from the Constitution, which does not say who can issue paper money or under what circumstances. The private banks filled the breach, and by 1913 the
Today, the pyramid scheme of lending 10 dollars and requiring 11 back has resulted in the very inflationary spiral the Founding Fathers feared. The money supply is inflated with more and more debt, shrinking the value of the dollars paid to workers and propelling larger and larger portions of the population into debt peonage. If the government were to issue its own money rather than borrowing from banks that issued it, and if this money were used to pay for real goods and services (roads and bridges, sustainable energy development, health services, and the like), demand and supply would remain in balance and inflation would not result. A government with a properly designed and monitored system of publicly-issued money could fund itself without taxes, inflation or debt.
Publicly-owned banks are also called "national" banks or "nationalized" banks – the very thing that threatens the private banking system in
1. "Irish Banks May Need Life-support as Property Prices Crash," www.telegraph.co.uk (March 13, 2008).
2. "Irish in
3."Hazard Circular," 1862, quoted in Charles Lindburgh, Banking and Currency and the Money Trust (Washington D.C.: National Capital Press, 1913), page 102.
4.See Ellen Brown, "Dollar Deception: How Banks Secretly Create Money," www.webofdebt.com (July 3, 2007).
Ellen Brown, J.D., developed her research skills as an Attorney practicing civil litigation in