We need to establish public control of the money power. We must transition away from central bank currency such as Federal Reserve Notes to printing our own currency. Money is currently dominated and controlled by the international central banking system and national tax regimes. In the United States that means the Federal Reserve System, the Big Banks, and even the IRS. Our money is controlled, dominated, and even owned by private interests among the Global Financial Elite and their Allies behind the facade of the Fed and our banking system. Even our Department of Treasury and many government regulators are beholden to the central banks and transnational financial institutions that dominate Wall Street and thus Main Street.
Our money is not truly “our” money. Not yet. The principle of civilian control of the military power serves as a model to apply.
On June 23, 2010, American President Barack Obama relieved General Stanley McChrystal of command of global Allied forces in Afghanistan. It was a quick and decisive stroke by a President often criticized for prolonged deliberation or by war hawks as “not man enough.” The sacking of McChrystal has been compared to President Abraham Lincoln’s firing of General George B. McClellan in the U.S. Civil War and of President Harry Truman firing General Douglas MacArthur in the Korean War.
While a clash of values and personalities was clearly behind the ouster of McChrystal, Obama made it absolutely clear it was bigger than that, indeed bigger than the war that loomed over all. In his speech today in the White House Rose Garden, Obama declared McChrystal’s behavior and choices “undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.”
History is yet to determine the wisdom of Obama’s action. Historians with few exceptions lean strongly in favor of both Lincoln and Truman’s actions. McClellan’s action or rather, lack thereof as he dreamed of being in the White House himself would’ve further undermined the Union war effort and squandered Union advantages. MacArthur desired to conquer North Korea and allied with Taiwan attack China including atom bombing Chinese cities. These actions would’ve triggered all-out war on a horrific global scale with the Soviet Union and Red China over the Koreas and crashed an economy still recovering from the Second World War.
Regardless of all that, what is clear is the principle of civilian control of the military. With that in mind, it does not matter if the civilians were wrong and the generals correct regarding different strategies and tactics. The principle of civilian control of the Armed Forces is itself at stake in a constitutional democratic republic, not the correctness of one’s opinions and judgments.
Imagine if it was the other way around, if we had military domination of the civilian government or if the military ran or was the government rather than We the People. In many countries the Armed Forces either control or used to control the government, or was the government, or exercises undue influence over the government. We can point to the many military dictatorships that exist or used to exist in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Today we have three more oblique examples: 1) Pakistan, nominally a parliamentary democracy and a very unstable one with excessive military domination of government including the threat of coups, 2) Myanmar/Burma, where the military junta is allowing a return to civilian democracy but only under its armed and watchful eyes while engaged in repression of ethnic minorities such as the Karens, Kachins, and the Rohingya, and 3) China, where the People’s Liberation Army is heavily entrenched in its hybrid communist – predatory capitalist economy and operates as quasi-feudal overlords of factories and industries in many far-flung regions.
Here in America we do have the infamous military-industrial-surveillance complex, and civilians still dominate the U.S. national security state. We can say the reverse has occurred with corporate control over both government and the military, especially as the U.S. Armed Forces were and still are sent into foreign countries to protect economic and financial interests and to help quell labor insurrections at home at the behest of Big Business. Still, civilian control of the military is preeminent.
We need something similar for American money, and indeed ideally for the money of every country. To be clear, we do not need corporate domination of our armed forces and its civilian commanders, and that certainly needs to be address and rectified. By civilians in this case I define as responsible to the public interest as We the People.
As I write in my book where I go into greater detail, the Money Power must be brought under public control, i.e. governments especially at the national and international level must regain control of the people’s money, including the control and regulation of the currently independent central banking system as well as the marketplace. Our governments, representing the people and serving the public commonwealth, must recapture the ability to coin, mint, and print money as it needs without interest and without taxation. This is a public function taken over by the private sector at the expense of humanity, the middle class, and the poor in particular. The Corporatocracy and the Banksters have succeeded in conquering much of the world’s economic and financial systems this way.
The money power has to be brought under public control. To function in a matter to engender trust, allow for visibility, and encourage audits, this public control will be transparent. This system can be managed by the checks and balances between the public institutions of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches. As established up top, a similar working model is civilian control of the Military Power as it exists in the United States, India, Canada, the European Union, Australia, and Japan.
All central banks of the various nation-states including the Federal Reserve System and the European Central Bank would be abolished as independent and quasi-independent institutions. They shall be reformed and brought under government control and accountable to the public.
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization will be abolished and/or reformed and brought under government control with democratic bodies accountable to the public in charge. First we have to start in our own home countries, for us here in America that’s the United States.
There is much work to do. Ultimately, as one primary way to meet our numerous global challenges as a species to not just survive but thrive, we must find healthy ways to reintegrate our human economy with the environment of our planet. This means our economy with our (yours and mine) financial assets and liabilities has to exist in reality as we consider the impact of economic relationship to natural resources, energy, to the biosphere, to climate change and disruption, and to life.
William Dudley Bass
Friday 5 October 2012
Shoreline & Seattle, Washington
Copyright © 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.