Occupy Wall Street? Occupy the Banks! Seize the Fed!

William Bass @ Occupy Seattle! Rally & March. Foto by Syd Fredrickson, Saturday 8 October 2011.

William Bass @ Occupy Seattle! Rally & March. Foto by Syd Fredrickson, Saturday 8 October 2011.

Occupy Wall Street?
Why stop at the door?
Occupy the Banks!
They made us all poor.
Seize the Fed!
Think we’re dead?
We’re far from beat!

The Occupy Wall Street protests are spreading across America. They’re growing in number. Other demonstrations for causes specific to different local and regional areas are merging into the national tapestry of Occupy Wall Street. Now protestors gather in the nation’s capital for Occupy Washington, D.C. A loose, leaderless web of networks with many different causes, there is one overarching theme: people are fed up with “corporate greed.” Even some individual military personnel, both veterans and those still in uniform, from different branches came out in support of the demonstrations. One old Army veteran posted one of his buddies from the Marine declared he “didn’t fight for Wall Street, but for America.”

The United States of America at its worse is a schizophrenic place. It is a constitutional democratic republic on paper with a once vibrant and prosperous economy. As such America is a beacon of hope and admiration for much of the world. The best aspects of America continue to inspire people. There is, unfortunately, the nightmare side of America with its muddied racism, genocide of Native American Indians, massive penal system, great economic disparity, out of control intelligence agencies, CIA torture in secret prisons, multitudes of military bases scattered across Earth, and gruesome clandestine medical and biochemical weapons experiments.

Our United States is also part of a growing global empire in the making. As such the U.S.A. is also the bastion of finance capitalism where corporations and big banks dominate and influence politics. The political machinery is deeply corrupted by the Corporatocracy and not just in the nation’s capital. The money gamers heavily dominate the so-called pillars of democracy, the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. What results?

This impacts state governments as well as county, town, city, parish, and other municipal governments. The international realm is affected. Large corporations own the mainstream mass media, the so-called guardians of truth. Large universities and much of academic research and development depends on corporate power and are manipulated by corporate largesse.

This is how it works. In finance capitalism many businesses operate with various degrees of, let’s face it and call a shovel a shovel and not a rake or a hoe, with various degrees of dictatorship. People have their rights and freedoms, yes, and as such rights pertain to the political sphere where they are generated, upheld, and protected. Our freedoms fall under different umbrellas: constitutional rights, civil rights, human rights, etc.

Yet the moment one walks through the door into the workplace, either physically or virtually, one surrenders their rights to the dictatorship of “the Boss.” Your “rights” exist in name only and must be upheld in a court of law. Otherwise you are told how to dress or not dress, what hair styles to have or not have, when to go to the restroom, and pressured to vote a certain way or worship a certain way, or get paid less because of your age or gender or sexual orientation, or else, “hell, go get yourself another job if you don’t like it here.”

The corporate power structure has conditioned us to accept such impositions on our liberties. The “Puppet Masters” who control the money power have achieved an end run around the institutions of nation-states to dominate all the rest of daily life. Eventually their power became so great they infiltrated and corrupted governments at all levels in many countries.

Corporations now have constitutional rights of personhood. Corporations dominate the American workplace and marketplace. People who work usually work for a company, even if it is the company they founded. Even solo entrepreneurs and small business owners leverage the tools of incorporation to protect themselves. Now we have large transnational and multinational corporations dominating not only our work and market places but also our political institutions.

Corporations as concepts are not bad or good. They are business entities designed and constructed for business purposes. Corporations are tools. Except they’ve become imbued with rights and protected by government and all the agencies at government disposal from the Supreme Court to local municipal police. Corporations have become too big for their britches and have gone insane. They need to be stripped naked and reconstituted as organizations whose sole purpose is to conduct business in the marketplace and not engaged in politics.

Big Banks are corporate entities. Even the Federal Reserve System, or simply “the Fed,” is an incorporated entity. The Fed is the central bank of the United States. Although on paper an equal in relationship to the central banks of other countries, the Fed dominates the global and national landscape. Its primary partner is the European Central Bank from the European Union. These central banks interlock with one another to form the international central banking system. Above the central banks sit the BIS, the Bank for International Settlements. It is the central bank to the central banks. The BIS was set up by the central banks to help govern them but are in fact owned by the various central banks.

And that’s not all. The BIS along with interlocking nation-state regimes set up the Financial Stability Board (FSB) above them. The FSB in turn works not only with the central banks but also with the economic and financial bureaucracies of the various nation-states, in particular the G7 and G20. Short for “Group of Seven” and “Group of Twenty,” the “G’s” represent the nation-state regimes with the largest and most influential economies. Furthermore, the FSB works closely with yet a third chain of command in this interlocking global financial empire, the so-called Bretton Woods Three (BW3).

Nominally part of and thus under the United Nations Organization, the Bretton Woods Three is named after the resort town in New Hampshire where Allied representatives came together to create a new economic world order toward the end of the Second World War. They are the World Bank Group (WBG), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Some of the names have changed during the evolution of this global financial system, and that’s what we call them today. We also call this system the “international bank cartel,” for they behave as such while denying they are a cartel, and its champions and leaders “banksters.”

The World Bank Group alone is further divided into the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Association, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the World Bank Institute. It is headquartered inside the U.S.A., as are the Bretton Woods Three and the UN itself.

What’s missing here in this complex of overlapping hierarchies? The answer is Big Wall Street Banks and their allied financial giants in other countries. The banksters on Wall Street, in the City of London, and elsewhere own their central banks. The Federal Reserve System is 100% owned by Wall Street in a complex tether designed to deflect visibility into such “ownership” and thus accountability. The Big Banks also dominate the smaller banks and businesses of Main Street.

Just as the Big Banks of Wall Street own the Fed and other central banks, the central banks own the Bank of International Settlements and thus the Financial Stability Board. They also have ownership in the BW3 and influence the G7/G20. Bottom line: the “Titans of Wall Street” and their allies around the world own the international central banks and through them the BIS and the FSB. Furthermore these monster banks exercise enormous influence on UN organizations including the BW3 and the G20. These banks also control companies from giant corporations down to small businesses via the loans made out to them.

And there’s infighting. It’s not all monolithic. It’s not communist. The biggest banks love to swallow up as many rivals as they can, sucking in commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies into one deregulated black hole of consumption. Behind the Big Banks is the Euro-American superwealthy families control the bulk of the shares of these large financial institutions as well as the big corporations that also borrow from these banks. At the level of the superrich it becomes a game, leveraging other people’s money and generating money from essentially nothing, exploiting labor and destroying the environment deluded by the mistaken belief their massive acquisitions of wealth will protect them from the collapse of civilization and the biosphere.

These supranational organizations, including the central banks, the BIS and FSB, the UN, the G7/G20, and the BW3 all remain above the laws of any one nation-state, can not be taxed, pay no taxes, and set their own rules to benefit themselves. None of them are democratic, transparent, accountable, or even capitalistic or socialistic. They are corporatist and reflect the integration of private corporations and public government under a monopoly that on paper looks diverse but networked together.

This form of human organization has a name, fascism. It is fascism with a little “f” to distinguish it from the blatant, ultranationalist Fascist political parties that so tarnished themselves in the Second World War. It is a fascism cloaked in the trappings of democracy such as “free elections,” cloaked in the mirage of capitalism with so-called “free markets,” and in some cases cloaked in the mantel of “socialism” with “government services for the people.” Little-f fascism does not even use the term “fascism” for itself but shies away from it all together, preferring instead to make de facto emperors out of presidents, prime ministers, and central bank chairmen. It’s all “nod, nod, wink, wink” “in the national interest” “for the public good.”

This is empire not by military conquest of territory followed by economic exploitation of colonies. That model was finally killed in the Second World War as an ultimate failure. Instead this is empire by the creep of financial control into all areas of life.

We have a creeping dictatorship growing slowly and patiently, expanding its powers across the planet by taking over first the banks, then the corporations, then the military-industrial-intelligence complex, and by infiltrating governments from the international and national level down to the local municipal levels dominate individuals and families by controlling jobs, the work place, the market place, the banks, the lenders, the borrowers, credit, debt, cash, coin, the machinery of printing and minting, and yes, the many branches and institutions of government at all levels.

The banksters control money. They own the money. A U.S. Dollar is a Federal Reserve Note. Even when the banksters cry for governments to bail them out, it is not merely to save their skins but to entrap the naïve and the well-meaning public servants within governments deeper into their web of deceit. Our government has to borrow the very money it bears the cost to print, mint, distribute, collect, and destroy from the central bank, from the Fed. On the international side the U.S. government borrows heavily from other nations, especially China.

So massive and deep is the Federal debt that it is often noted the majority of “revenue” raised by the IRS through taxation goes to pay off the interest on the debts to the Fed and to China. (China is a different model, a central bank under government control, its government being a Communist dictatorship in bed with crony capitalism disguised as a peoples’ republic. Which is why government control of the money power means nothing unless government is transparent, democratic, and accountable.)

We could instead, for example abolish the Fed or put it under Federal control such as within the Department of Treasury. We can set up public banks at all levels from Federal to local. We can regain control of our money and our monetary policy. We can determine and set a standardized fixed measure of value for money rather than let it float against other currencies or peg it to limited commodities.

Until then We the People of Earth are to some degree all slaves to the invisible global empire of the banksters.

We the People of Earth, not just of America, or Europe, or any one country, even China, must take control of our money. We must institute radical reforms, truly radical and revolutionary reforms, to establish public control over the money power similar in principle to civilian control over the military power. Such public control means placing all financial institutions under either direct public governance or within private enterprises regulated by government agencies in the public interest. This must be done in ways that are transparent, accountable, and answerable to the people in a democratic manner.

The anti-austerity demonstrations and riots in Europe and elsewhere, the demonstrations for freedom earlier this year in Wisconsin, and now the Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Washington, D.C. protests are part of the leaderless revolution. Activists and analysts began to recognize bits and pieces of it, and this movement is diverse. It ranges across the right and the left from the Tea Party to the Coffee Party. It ranges from Libertarians championing individual freedoms to Socialists trumpeting social responsibilities. Such extremism on the fringes gave rise in turn to the “Extreme Middle” as those in the Center rise up with a mix of both.

In the late 1990s we saw a flowering of the Anti-Corporate Globalization Revolts. The terror attacks of 9/11 and the resulting Global Long War on Terror squashed the anti-globalization movement, rearranged the socio-political-economic landscape, and sped up the creep of a global empire masquerading as an alliance of independent, democratic nations. Even so, their was David Korten’s astute observation we have arrived at the tipping point for “a Great Turning,” where we can turn from global empire to world community. Paul Hawken shined a light of hope, encouragement, and action upon the more than two million and growing activist groups of all kinds networking together without any single leader or ideology to challenge the tyranny of governments and corporations and make the world a better place. Hawken called this network of networks rising up from among the common people “Blessed Unrest.”

The alternative was clearly spelled out by Jarod Diamond as planet-wide collapse of a now-global civilization entering the same phases experienced by every preceding local and regional civilization in collapse.

We human beings, we the people, We the People of Europe, We the People of America, We the People of every land and every country, We the People of Earth, spearhead this unrest! Let us work together, resolve our differences and disagreements, and confront serious global challenges threatening to wipe us out. Let us cooperate and face head-on what many of us do not want to see, the real possibility of global collapse. Our planetary civilization stands at the brink of an abyss.

One of the very first things we must do is to take control of our money. And as you do so know full well that cash and coin, what we call money, is not true wealth. Money has little value. Yet it is the control of money which provides the keys to leveraging the creation of value to generate assets and build wealth, a wealth accessible to all in a fair and regulated market place where people can openly engage in business with one another to support themselves, their families, their communities, and exercise wise stewardship of our common, shared resources.

Yes, our air, our water, our soil, our minerals, our airwaves, our forests and oceans and deserts and wildlife, our energy, even our Internet. We are one species on one planet sharing one biosphere. We move together through one solar system in one galaxy among a multiverse of possibilities. Yes, our multiverse appears infinite and vast. Our galaxy alone overflows with abundance, as does our solar system. Earth has many rich resources, but all of them are finite, and yet many of them, if properly stewarded, are sustainable.

It begins with the money. Follow the money if you like. Don’t let the overlapping intricacies of the Global Empire of the financial elite and their allies in power stop you. This battle demands our constant vigilance. It goes far back in time.

In the pre-Revolutionary British Colonies in North America the original imperialists were giant transoceanic corporations and pirates with a King’s Charter in hand. They traded in furs, tobacco, and human slaves and plundered what they couldn’t or wouldn’t buy. During and after the American Revolution there was a serious rift among the Founding Fathers over whether or not to establish a European-style central bank. Presidents George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and even John F. Kennedy all had their different battles with the Big Banks and their cronies in Big Business. Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were assassinated in office. On an on from the earliest attempts of “money powers” to control the governments of early states to within the U.S.A. the Banker’s Coup of 1913 to the Business Plot of the early 1930s.

The Banker’s Coup in stages accomplished two goals. One, it established the Federal Reserve System as a private central bank owned by “the Titans of Wall Street” but misrepresented to the public as a Federal network of twelve independent banks. In addition, the tax regime of the Internal Revenue Service was set up as the infamous IRS. This was also disguised to the public. The IRS was and is still presented as “Internal” when it collected taxes upon monies earned externally as well, “Revenue” instead of legalized theft, and “Service” as if such robbery by a government that could create its own money as needed without taxation was indeed of service to people and their families and businesses. The U.S. didn’t need a national income tax system until a central bank was finally and successful established by the banksters and their allies in Congress and the White House.

The Business Plot was a coup attempt by Eurocentric Nazi and Fascist sympathizers among the Big Wall Street Bankers to overthrow “communist” FDR. The plotters conspired to install a popular retired Marine officer as a benign dictator. The Marine in question, however, was two-time Medal of Honor recipient Major General Smedley D. Butler. A man of tremendous integrity and courage, he refused, blew the whistle, and faced Congress.

Although the U.S. government saw fit to bury the plot during a time of economic turmoil, domestic upheaval, and growing wars abroad, Smedley Butler returned to his Quaker upbringings and became a Pacifist. In 1935 he published his famous book, War is a Racket in which he described his personal experiences invading countries and waging war on behalf of American corporations and Wall Street banks cloaked in the name of American liberty and democracy.

Sound familiar?

Occupy Wall Street is a beginning. A great place to take a stand and move forward from!

Move on from there. Let’s move forward to tearing down the system of the capitalist class, the system abusing, exploiting, and underestimating us, and building a new democratic socialist system of sharing, caring, and contribution.

Green Party members march thru Olympia, Washington to Occupy the State Capital., Monday 28 November 2011.

Green Party members march thru Olympia, Washington to Occupy the State Capital., Monday 28 November 2011.

"Why Stop @ Wall Street?" William Bass in Downtown Seattle for Occupy Earth, Saturday 15 October 2011.

“Why Stop @ Wall Street?”
William Bass in Downtown Seattle for Occupy Earth, Saturday 15 October 2011.

Let’s sing it, shout it one more time:

Occupy Wall Street?
Why stop at the door?
Occupy the Banks!
They made us all poor.
Seize the Fed!
Think we’re dead?
We’re far from beat!


William Dudley Bass
October 2011
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: For greater research and detail of analysis with proposal of long overdue and thus by necessity radical economic and financial reforms to help prevent Collapse and instead transform Civilization, see the following articles posted to this blog:

  1. “Restructuring the Human Economy,” <http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2008/12/restructuring-human-economy.html>.
  2. “Tearing into the Second Great Depression,” <http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2008/12/tearing-into-second-great-depression.html>.
  3. “Corporate Power in a Planetary Democracy,” <http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2010/01/corporate-power-in-planetary-democracy.html>.
  4. “Collapse is a Choice,” <http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2011/04/collapse-is-choice.html>.

Comments from this particular blog post:

SophiaD said…

William, this is the most in depth and specific political writing I’ve seen from you and I really appreciate it. Thank you for putting your passion, rigor, vigor, and zest into such a piece (sic) that is historical and informative yet making it not one iota boring. Right on! Love and respect, SYD here on <October 7, 2011 11:58 PM>.

NOTE: This, the above article was first posted to my blog At the Brink with William Dudley Bass on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at <http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-occupy-banks-seize.html> and is reprinted here by me. Thank you.

Copyright © 2011, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.


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