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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/23/15

Banking: The New Feudalism

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Hear ye, hear ye, people of America. Put aside your petty vanities and jealousies, awake from your slumber, get up off your knees, stop hiding behind locked doors, and think for a minute about what we have accomplished and failed to accomplish.

America is a world leader, but not without flaws. We are a product of the past as much as any other nation. Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that it was self-evident that all men were created equal. Where, when and how did inequality arise? He also wrote that the purpose of government was the Safety and Happiness of the people. Democracy was an experiment that has failed miserably, especially in light of the technological advances and material output of the past century. What is the missing piece? Under monarchy we were subjects. Today we are subjects of the banking system. The banking system is a root cause of wars, past and present.

People think that monarchy and feudalism ended with the rise of mercantilism, the industrial revolution, democracy and the creation of a middle-class. I would argue that feudalism still exists, but has taken a more nefarious form. The establishment of slavery in the New World, as well as conditions of child labor into the 1920's was the lineage of feudalism. The New Deal attempted reforms, but it has failed. Child labor is still common in many parts of the world. The crisis of overworked and underpaid is epidemic in America. The recurrent financial crises are symptoms of our "New Feudalism".

Under old feudalism, the peasant was tied to the land and the land was tied to the nobility. The new system of bondage allows people freedom to move about from parcel to parcel, but through the thirty year mortgage, or rent lease, we are still peasants bound to a debt contract from which there is no escape. New Feudalism has also been described as The FIRE Economy: Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. Monopolies are bad. Oligarchies are worse.

If we unwind the clock to when time began, we find Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. Everything was free for the taking. Native Americans lived in a simple state of nature up until 300 years ago. History has recorded many great civilizations, as well as a European wave of terror on paradise. Columbus wrote in his journal of the Natives, "They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance." Obviously the 'savages' had long ago accomplished the "Safety and Happiness" that Jefferson wrote in the Declaration. In fact, it can be argued that the inspiration for the American Revolution was the Native Americans themselves. The Articles of Confederation were based on the political system of the Iroquois confederacy. The use of the word 'chief' in our lexicon is no accident: chief of staff, chief of police, commander in chief, etc.

Native Americans did not have banks, or deeds, or charters. Of course they had agreements between tribes, concepts of ownership of territory and property, but none of the cumbersome legal tradition that monarchy created. Why? Because Native Americans were never someone else's subject. Our legal tradition stems from disagreements between the Pope, Kings and Nobles. They each contributed to the legal tradition to serve their self-interest through centralized authority. Documents like the Magna Carta attempted to establish reciprocal rights as a method of defense. In context, democracy in the New World was a very radical idea. The fear of centralized authority was paramount. When we re-established a system of centralized authority with the Constitution, it could only pass because of the personal trust of Washington and the formalization of the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, the effort was for naught. Unwittingly, they gave the remnants of feudalism new life. We are all now peasants in The FIRE Economy. With paper money and a centralized bank we now have infinite inflation and infinite debt. Gold as a currency was a failure, but currency as numbers is worse.

A lot has been said recently about whether corporations are people. They are not, but it does highlight how faceless despotism has become. We are ruled by a nonsensical flow of numbers. The best way to understand the problem is to follow the math, instead of following the money. Following the money will lead you to crimes and corruption, but to understand the system, you need to follow the math. Crimes and corruption are symptoms of the system. Volatility creates desperation.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same can be said for a financial system. If one person is in debt, then everyone must be in debt or at risk. That was why COMMONWEALTH was the goal. Today, people pay a mortgage for most of their working lives. When they pass on, the property will transfer to someone new, who will pay again for years. Excluding brief breaks, the banks own most of the property in perpetuity. "We The People" are simply the fodder of a banking balance sheet. We are peasants.

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Steve grew up in a family business, was a history major in college, and has owned a small business for 25 years. Practical experience (mistakes) have led him to recognize that political rhetoric and educated analysis often falls short of reality. (more...)
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