by Santiago Roque Alonso
Translated from Spanish
by Carol and Jorge Topete
Carroll Quigley, author of Tragedy and Hope — considered by some sectors of the North American continent as "the bible of globalization" — states in his book:
"…the powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank… sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world." (p. 324.) (Emphasis added.)
In another passage of his work, Quigley explains that the heads of the Central Banks mentioned above do not constitute "substantive powers in world finance", but function as simple agents or delegates of "the substantive powers of the world", which are no other than "these investment bankers" who, as a general rule, "remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated banks." Finally, the author defines the true dimension and the scope of the "autonomous" powers saying that these "formed a system of international cooperation and of national dominance that was more private, more powerful, and more secret than that of their agents in central banks." (Emphasis added.)
As was expressed in the prologue of the book How the World Really Works, by Alan B. Jones, and what Carroll Quigley described in 1966, the practical and historical terms took many by surprise and roused the curiosity of some, although it had already been anticipated clearly and fearlessly in 1931 by Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno. Even more, the vision of reality that Pius XI mentions in that historical moment has acquired a quasi-prophetic dimension in our days, because it is—under the generic and apparently inoffensive euphemism of "globalization"— already being fulfilled today, that which was warned about seventy three years before.
After following and studying the world's events in the last five years—since the first edition of How the World Really Works of Alan B. Jones (in 1977)—as well as the experience obtained in this period for the diffusion of the ideas and concepts related to the "international imperialism of money" in seminaries, panels, and conferences, I have decided to include in this new edition of the book a brief commentary about the previosly mentioned encyclical. I consider that the latter constitutes a decisive key — setting aside the beliefs and religious feelings of the reader— that contributes to expanding a comprehension of the events and a broadening of the situations documented in this excellent book of Alan B. Jones.
Purpose, structure and content of the encyclical
The purpose of the encyclical was the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII in 1891 that Pius XI called "the Magna Carta of the Social Order". Among the goals of this encyclical Quadragesimo Anno were:
To remember the great good that Rerum Novarum had promoted.
To explain certain doubts of the teachings of the above mentioned encyclical and the completion of the the development of some of its points.
To discover the root of the social disorder of that time.
To show the only way for salvific restoration and the reform of the Christian morals.
And for this purpose the encyclical puts together a theme in three large groups:
I. Benefits of the encyclical Rerum Novarum.
II. The authority of the Catholic Church in social and economic matters.
III. The profound changes that have developed since the time of Leo XIII.
In the third part, Pius XI compared the capitalistic and socialistic systems from the time of Leo XIII with that of his own time, pointing out the defects and excesses of both ideologies. At the same time he informed the world clearly and publicly of the development of a new political entity "the international imperialism of money."
The system of economic capitalism and the right order
Pius XI reaffirms the conception of Rerum Novarum. It is superfluous to say that capitalism is the economic system characterized so energetically by Leo XIII. It consists of an economy in which some contribute the capital and others the labor and in which "Neither capital can do without labor, nor labor without capital" (Paragraph 53), that which is not condemnable of itself nor is it a vice by nature. Since the capitalistic system is not intrinsically bad, one can try to improve it and to regulate order.
Capitalism is damnable "when capital hires workers, that is, the non-owning working class, with a view to and under such terms that it directs business and even the whole economic system according to its own will and advantage, scorning the human dignity of the workers, the social character of economic activity and social justice itself, and the common good" (101). That is to say, when the economic order violates the right order, when it serves the exclusive ends of capital's arbitrary will and the spirit of gain or utility. This deviation or degeneration is not a characteristic of the capitalistic system, but it originates from the moral disorder and when human egotism abuses the idea of liberty, it causes the social order to become totally uncontrollable.
The defects and excesses of capitalism during the period of 1891-1931
As no other Pope before him, Pius XI critically points out using very harsh words, without euphemisms, the defects and excesses that characterize the development of capitalism in the years 1891 to 1931. If we should limit ourselves to mention them just as simple facts of the past, we would be confusing or hiding the truth.
In a constrained synthesis, the principal concepts pointed out by Pius XI are the following:
1. The "immense power and despotic economic dictatorship" (105)—resulting from the accumulation of wealth and the birth of enormous powers in the hands of a few—constitutes the most significant change. That is, obviously, the monopolistic capitalism which is dominant today has displaced the competitive capitalism not even taking into account its real existence, or its theoretical ends.
2. That the tyrannical exercise of the economic domination is made through "financial capitalism" which, in terms of the power of the political theory, is known as "plutocracy" or the government of the rich or the ones who have more wealth. The instrument of domination that is utilized, the Pope points out, is "credit." This is obtained from the banks.
If this was true seventy-three years ago, it is an unquestionable truth even more so now, in our times, particularly for the people of Argentina and for the majority of countries of the world who are subjected to the pillaging and to extinction as the consequence of payments to the "national or exterior debt."
Pius XI defines it with great clarity, in what is probably the most vigorous passage of the encyclical, that can only be found with difficulty in other similar documents: "This power becomes particularly irresistible when exercised by those who, because they hold and control money, are able also to govern credit and determine its allotment, for that reason supplying, so to speak, the lifeblood to the entire economic body, and grasping, as it were, in their hands the very soul of production, so that no one dare breathe against their will." (Paragraph 105).
3. That the cause of the extraordinary concentration of power that has resulted, resides in the "unlimited freedom of struggle among competitors" (107). The Pope does not condemn competition, but the unlimited freedom of the competition, because it is a reflection of the law of the jungle encouraged by liberalism, which necessarily leads only to the survival of the "strongest...; and this is often the same as saying, those who fight the most violently, those who give least heed to their conscience" (107).
4. Such "accumulation of might and of power" has created three types of conflicts:
In first place for the economic predominance or hegemony.
Then, in order to take possession of the "political power" or government there is a fight among groups that concentrate the wealth in order to seize control of the State or other institutions of the state. Consequently, they abuse their influence in the economic conflicts for the benefit of their particular interests.
Finally, the different states or nations fight among themselves with the purpose of promoting the respective interests of their enterprises which already control the "public power."
5. That "individualist spirit" is responsible for the "deadly consequences" that plague the social and economic order: "Free competition has destroyed itself; economic dictatorship has supplanted the free market; unbridled ambition for power has likewise succeeded greed for gain; all economic life has become tragically hard, cruel, atrocious" (109).
To this the Pope adds that the State, which should find itself "free from all partiality and intent upon the one common good and justice" and that "it ought to sit on high like a queen and supreme arbitress, free from all partiality and intent upon the one common good and justice," instead has become itself a "slave, surrendered and delivered to the passions and greed of men" (109). This description is a painting of the present situation and could not have been expressed more succinctly and with such exactitude as the Pope has done here.
6. Finally, that in the fight for power among nations "two different streams have issued from the one fountain-head: On the one hand, economic nationalism or even economic imperialism; on the other, a no less deadly and accursed 'internationalism' or 'international imperialism of money' for which, his country is where profit is" (109). (Emphasis added.)
"The international imperialism of money": a political entity
With the names "internationalism" or "international imperialism of money," Pius XI refers to the imperialism managed by what normally is known as international financial capital.
The Pope characterizes such imperialism as a real and concrete "power" born as a consequence of the concentration of the world's wealth in the hands of a few and the enslavement of the public powers or governments which is wielded in a despotic, tyrannical, arbitrary or dictatorial form through the absolute appropriation of money and credit. In fact he is referring to an entity not only economical but also essentially political, with which he introduces a new political category in this realm, which—in spite of having existed seventy-three years—is ignored as if it did not exist at all.
In this sense and from the moral perspective, Pius XI points out the absolute lack of scruples of the "international imperialism of money," applying to it the Latin proverb "ubi bene, ibi patria," that is to say: "where it is the fortune of a man, there is his fatherland." In this way he describes an attitude of pure selfishness, lacking of any interest, responsibility, compromise, roots or loyalty for the nation of origin or for the one that has received him as a guest.
On the other hand, the analysis of the "international imperialism of money" from the political and geopolitical point of view, demonstrates that it constitutes a political entity characterized by the following particularities:
1. That this power is performed on a worldwide scale, but it is not tied to any specific national State, nor identifies with any specific political or national power. This power is "denationalized" and for that reason Pius XI surely qualifies it explicitly as "international".
2. That its origin and nature is different from the one of the nations and is alien to the elements constitutive of any State, since its essence is rooted in the extraordinary concentration of wealth and of money in the hands of a few—a worldwide financial elite and of international corporations consolidated in an oligarchic-plutocratic net—and not in the factors or elements that traditionally become a National State and of which it lacks by itself: territory, population, armed forces, judicial jurisdiction, currency, etc. In other words it is a power "without territory" and "without population" on which to settle and to exercise its sovereign jurisdiction.
3. That the seat of its residence or territorial settlement, if it has one, is always circumstantial and temporary and it is determined by the guaranties of physical security offered to it by the State that hosts it.
4. That, in consequence, it is a supranational or transnational private political entity without territory or population, that surges in the world arena usurping or subordinating the national States, which execute the role of mere instruments at the service of a greater and more important power and eliminate resistance that oppose that power.
5. That the nucleus of this ideological-operative system of this supranational or transnational political entity consists in the combination of double powers in international relations—one formal (state) and other real (the one exercised by it) —; in a radical liberalism; in the elimination of borders of the national states; in the standardization of the "democracy" as the universal political regime obedient to the international oligarchy and plutocratic will; in the direct or indirect control of the multilateral institutions of credit, of the emission of currency of international payment (the dollar) and of the largest part of the world-wide commerce, as well as the so called "external debts" of the debtor countries —practically there are no countries free of debt— and, finally, in the utiliza-tion of the means of communication as the definite tool to alter and to shape the world vision and the psychology of the public, imposing on the States, the societies, and the individuals paradigms of conduct generally permissive in relation to the values and morals of traditional society.
It is in this way for example, that the nature of the "international imperialism of money" desires to dominate and manifest with unlimited power, the so called "Rothschild's formula"—attributed to the founder of the gigantic banking and financial network that carries his name (Meyer Amschel Rothschild)—that says: "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws." In turn, Paul Samuelson — one of the most influential monetary economists of the Twentieth Century —complements it from the practical point of view with a second formula that is more modern, and based on Rothschild's formula, which says: "I don't care who writes a nation's laws… if I can write its economic textbooks."
This quote reinforces the claim of the first one and justifies a subsequent claim, and from the point of view of economic theory; what is simply an act of power. In second place, by means of the the operation of a gigantic cultural and educational propaganda apparatus that controls all the means of communication and attempts to dissimulate before the public the brutality with which Rothschild consecrates "money" in its diverse forms, especially through loans and debts, using these as instruments and mediums of power and domination —is both concrete and real.
Continuity of Doctrine
The definition introduced by Pius XI on the "international imperialism of money," was not an isolated or an accidental voice inside the Catholic Church. It was explicitly ratified under the same name by John XXIII on the sixtieth anniversary of Rerum Novarum (1961) and later by Paul VI in 1971.
In the first case, John XXIII, thirty years afterwards—in the middle of the post-war years —returns to the very grave denunciations of his predecessor, confirming the continuity of his words and accentuating with clarity what appeared to be a systematized normality: the subordination of the public powers to the economic interests.
1. Encyclical Mater et Magistra of John XXIII
"36. Hence, as the Pope remarked so discerningly,'economic domination has taken the place of the open market. Unbridled ambition for domination has succeeded the desire for gain; the whole economic regime has become hard, cruel and relentless in frightful measure', determining the submission of the public power to the interests of group, and ending in the international imperialism of money." (Emphasis added.)
Later Paul VI must have realized that this power was so large in size and monstrous in its consequences that directly and without euphemisms attributed its origin, through the relationship of cause and effect, to "liberal capitalism" and called that imperialism a "dictatorship."
2. The Encyclical Populorum Progressio of Paul VI (1967)—Liberal Capitalism
"26. But unfortunately, upon these new conditions of society has been built a system that considers profit as the chief spur to economic progress, free competition as the guiding norm of economics, and private ownership of the means of production as an absolute right, having no limits or concomitant social obligations. This unbridled liberalism paves the way for a particular type of tyranny, rightly condemned by Our predecessor Pius XI, for it results in the "international imperialism of money." (Emphasis added.)
As it can be observed, both Popes ratified and gave continuity to the wholesome doctrine of Pius XI regarding the "international imperialism of money." But their human wisdom would not be sufficient if it were not inspired by the Holy Spirit and was not grounded on the Words and the Deeds of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Any consideration made concerning "money" cannot omit that inexorable mandate (and at the same time a theological dilemma): "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon" (Matthew 6:24).
Mammon is "personified in the manner of a god". Also, it is the personification of money and wealth—greed for money and material possessions. St. Paul defines: "For the love of money is the root of all evil…" (I Timothy 6:10), because it is not just a material power, but like the worship of any false god, produces a perverse moral illness — malignant and extremely corrosive.
As a consequence it is the theological dilemma expressed by Our Lord Jesus Christ that the love and service of God is absolutely contradictory with the love and service of money (Mammon). Therefore, the works produced by the love of God, are also opposite and contrary to the ones produced by the love of money or Mammon. There is no possibility of coexistence between the power of God and the money power, because no one can serve two masters.
For that reason we agree with the opinion of Professor Jordan Bruno Genta, when he affirms that: "The social question that, nowadays, has acquired world-wide dimensions, is resolved in the decisive theological question set up between Christ the King and the managers (owners) of the wealth of the world."
Santiago Roque Alonso
(The second and final part of this article will be published in our next issue.)