THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CLIQUE
August 17, 2008
Reprinted from WISCONSIN REPORT July 13, 1978
It’s amazing! They’re alive! They can still holler and moan. The libertarian businessmen got their feelings hurt and are coming out of hibernation to tell me how naughty I am to refuse to kneel at the altar of their guru, Ludwig von Mises.
We never heard a peep from them when we told them their sons and daughters were being mentally seduced and abused in the schools. We never heard a peep from them when we documented how sociology was being used to build up hate between parent and child, husband and wife, black and white, worker and employer, rich and poor. We never heard a peep from them when we have asked them to help inform others about regional government, or help those who are carrying the personal and financial burdens of the very real war for survival we are in. We never heard a peep from them when we explained how universities are being used to take over communities. We never heard a peep from them when we commented on the quackery of the National Council on Drug abuse in drug abuse programs. We never heard a peep from them when we told about citizens asking the legislature for an investigation of regional government. We never heard a peep from them when regionalizers began busing children across the city and county for schooling. But NOW hear the libertarians cackle.
St. Ludwig has been rejected! Come, we must defend his honor! Tell that naughty lady she has to take it all back.
Why? Why have those libertarians suddenly come to life? What is it they care about? What is there to protect for those who will not protect their homes, their friendly relationships, their constitutional government? What do libertarians care about?
Could it be they are afraid their pornography, fornication and adultery license is being threatened? Are the afraid we might not sanction the actions of those who behave like barracuda in business? Are they afraid they might not be congratulated for putting grandma to rest if she gets to be a pest? Are they afraid we might contradict them when they tell children that pot smoking, abortion, and perversion are precious human rights? Here is what some libertarians are saying:
1- If you are truly an advocate of individualism you have, by your denunciation of Von Mises in the June 8, 1978 WISCONSIN REPORT, denied yourself access to the greatest mind in the field of free enterprise. There is no question that Von Mises has done more to destroy the economics of socialism, totalitarianism and controlled economy than any other single free market thinker.
2- Your out-of-context misinterpretations and misrepresentations were quoted from a little known and now out-of-print pamphlet. Read again if you are for liberty and individualism. Keep up the good work if you’re a totalitarian. –You are winning.
3- For the past year I have read with interest and often amazement your various columns – interest due to the unusual philosophic content in a small, local publication – amazement due to the obvious lack of contextual perception and the often convoluted logic you use to attempt to justify your position, particularly as regards libertarians. Your column of June 22, 1978 is the latest unfortunate example.
4- It must be remembered that the principle tenet of libertarianism is, ‘do not coerce’, which is the opposite of coercion and provides only for defense, not initiatory force for any reason.
5- It has been proven innumerable times that corporations can only persuade by offering value in a free society. Only in league with government can corporations force people into molds. . . Your latest column once again indicated an appalling lack of knowledge of the difference between government and economic power.
ANSWERS TO LIBERTARIAN COMMENTS
1- If you were truly an advocate of individualism you wouldn’t need Von Mises to provide you with justification. An individual who has to argue about his ‘right’ to individualism has lost it already. He is like the virgin who gives reasons for maintaining her virtue. There is always an excuse to give in. Once she deliberates she is lost. The teaching of economics may be fine to help students prosper in businesses or professions, or in managing their personal finances; but don’t betray them by telling them their very freedom depends on the teachings of economics. And above all, don’t assign them a Chamber of Commerce defender like Von Mises, who has declared the terms of surrender—proof that totalitarianism is more productive—long before the battle has been lost. So much is done by machines at present that it would not be difficult to contrive ‘proof that managed men are more productive than self-controlled men. As soon as the ‘system’ can prove freedom is economically useless, Von Mises was ready to surrender:
we maintain is only that a system based on freedom for all workers warrants
the greatest productivity of human labor and is therefore in the interest
of all the inhabitants of the earth . . .
“It is not on behalf of property owners that liberalism favors the preservation of the institution of private property. It is not because the abolition of that institution would violate property rights that the liberals want to preserve it. If they considered the abolition of the institution of private property to be in the general interest, they would advocate that it be abolished, no matter how prejudicial such a policy might be to the interests of property owners.” The Free And Prosperout Commonwealth P. 22 & 30.
2- Misquote? No way! If you would like to forget The Free And Prosperous Commonwealth and call it an obscure and out-of-print pamphlet, I can understand your emotions. However, the date in the copy I used was 1962. Von Mises was a big boy by that time—in the area of 80. If he had wanted to repudiate it, he could certainly have done so. Incidentally, I don’t call a 207 page hardbound volume a ‘pamphlet.’ Concerning your hope that I quoted Von Mises out of context, that I misinterpreted and misrepresented, I suggest you scout the libraries and find yourself a copy of the book. You will find the quotes I gave you to be the same in meaning whether in context or out. You will also find that when Von Mises wrote the book in about 1927, his only criticism of the League of Nations was that it was not strong enough to alter national boundaries. He expressed the hope “that from these extremely inadequate beginnings a world superstate really deserving of the name may develop . . .”
3- I am not at all surprised that the libertarians are unaware of the fact that they are participating in a scenario that was written a long time ago. J. S. Roucek, editor of a book called, Social Control which was published in 1947 explained the phenomenon: “Social control is usually such that its effectiveness is in direct ratio to the lack of awareness on the part of the controlled that they are being controlled.”
4- About the principle tenet of libertarianism, “Don’t coerce.” – It’s a real clinker. Sure leaves the door open for almost any kind of vice you can think of. That’s the trouble with philosophy. The philosophies are all dreamed up to achieve some particular result in the mind of the philosopher. He wants some simple rule to cover all cases. From the time of Plato the main purpose of philosophy has been to deceive. Plato admitted it, but most of the present day ‘intellectuals’ try to pretend they are contributing something of value to ‘all mankind.’
It is one thing to study philosophy to discover what people thought at various times and to protect yourself from being sold shopworn mental goods; but it is quite another to put your mind in jeopardy by allowing yourself to be totally ruled by someone else’s pickings off the dump heap of philosophy. I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings, but Comte thought of renunciation of physical coercion long before any of the libertarians: “The Sociocratic Constitution demands of the proletariate that it renounce all violence as reactionary and anarchical. Where a struggle is unavoidable it must be limited to the refusal to cooperate, and in this, numbers may triumph over wealth, if their grounds of complaint deserve the sanction of the spiritual power.”
Notice it is only the proletariate (common people) who are supposed to renounce violence. The temporal power is allowed to keep a little coercion in reserve in case it is needed. Its general policy is to be that of: “rewarding the good, rather than punishing the bad: It will prefer creating capitalists to reducing them to poverty, and therefore will extend the practice of gifts, without absolutely renouncing confiscation, even in perpetuity.” Positive Polity, Vol. IV. P. 293
5- World Economic Development is rule by a clique. From the building of the railroads with the depression that followed, and the scandals of the land grant colleges to the destruction of independent medicine and education, I believe it can be shown that before government interferes with business, health, education, or the people and their property, a powerful business clique interferes with government. It has been the same clique since the late 19th century.
Ludwig von Mises was part of that clique because for nearly thirty years he was adviser to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. It was a good position to be in to promote his goal of a world superstate.
In the years before WWII the International Chamber of Commerce was putting pressure on countries all over the world to give up their sovereignty in favor of world economic control. It worked in cooperation with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and International Business Machines through its president, Thomas J. Watson.
When you say, “Only in league with government can corporations force people into molds,” you give the impression that you are ignorant of the fact that it has already happened. The thing to do now is think about how to get out of the situation, not philosophize about it.
A congress of the International Chamber of Commerce was held in Copenhagen on the eve of the invasion of Poland. Watson of IBM “presented the proposal for an expert plan for world economic development and adjustment, which was the final appeal of the International Chamber for world peace—a peace based upon the acceptance of procedure and policies which would have rendered unnecessary the movement of armies across frontiers and which would have substituted therefore the increasing movement of goods, services, and capital. “ Merchants of Peace, P. 133
the Carnegie Endowment, Watson, and the International Chamber of Commerce
were demanding as the price of peace was a sort of world communism under
their control. The Copenhagen Congress set up the following conditions
under which it said peace would be possible. It recommended:
“That the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America each collaborate, insofar as this is not the case already, with their own leading businessmen in a thorough study of the economic and financial condition of their individual countries with respect to their national needs and their possible contribution to the world’s economic:
“that when these countries shall have completed their surveys, their economic experts meet for the purpose of formulating a plan of adjustment which will give all countries of the world a fair opportunity to share in the resources of the world.
“For the accomplishment of this purpose the facilities of the International Chamber of Commerce are available if desired.” Merchants of Peace P. 134
The Chamber kept an office in Stockholm throughout WWII as a center of postwar economic planning. On Nov. 10, 1939 plans for its Committee on International Economic Recovery were drafted at the first wartime meeting of the Chamber’s governing council, which was held in Amsterdam. Forty delegates attended from twenty-one countries, including nations at war with each other. One participant commented:
“To see Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Germans sitting around the same table at this moment was a bit uncanny, but somehow it struck me as indicative of the Chamber’s fundamental strength.” Merchants of Peace, by George L. Ridgeway, P138.
Among those who had a large part in the Amsterdam meeting and in activities to force international economic control and accounting were Thomas J. Watson of IBM and Winthrop Aldrich, Chairman of the Rockefeller-controlled Chase National Bank. (Aldrich was a brother-in-law of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.). James T. Shotwell of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was also involved.
The Economic Development clique, spearheaded by the International Chamber of Commerce succeeded in selling the idea of the United Nations to the nations of the world. This gave the Chamber of Commerce the opportunity for direct interference with the lives of the people in all countries through its participation in the Economic and Social Council.
“The altogether unique provision in the UN Charter for representation by nongovernmental organizations at the Economic and Social Council opens to voluntary institutions a direct channel of influence. The International Chamber of Commerce, representing business and trade associations in sixty-four countries is a pioneer among these nongovernmental organizations. It has a forty-year record of collaboration with governments in promoting practical programs for the expansion of world markets . . .
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“Today the participation of the International Chamber of Commerce in the work of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and its agencies offers an opportunity for a fresh approach along the lines of the joint Carnegie-ICC world economic survey, the ICC Copenhagen proposal, and the ICC code of fair treatment for foreign investors. There is need for the formation by an international commission of experts of a plan for world economic development based upon world trade expansion . . . “The twentieth century has developed institutions for planning, coordinating, and even regulating many spheres of activity in the world market.” Merchants of Peace P290.
Even in the United Nations the business clique interference with government preceded the government interference with businesses, education and individuals.
Reprinted from WISCONSIN REPORT July 13, 1978