There Is No Freedom Without Truth
Paul Craig Roberts“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.” — President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a five-star general in charge of the Normandy Invasion and a popular two-term President of the United States. Today he would be called a “conspiracy theorist.”
Were Ike to be issuing his warning from the White House today, conservative Republicans like Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) would be screaming at Ike for impugning the motives of “the patriotic industry that protects our freedom.”
Neoconservatives such as William Kristol would be demanding to know why President Eisenhower was issuing warnings about our own military-industrial complex instead of warning about the threat presented by the Soviet military.
The presstitute media would be implying that Ike was going a bit senile in his old age, a tactic the presstitutes used against President Reagan as he struggled to end stagflation and the Cold War.
By January 17, 1961, when Eisenhower issued his warning in his farewell address to the American People, it was already too late. Cold Warriors had had their hooks into the American taxpayer for 15 years after the end of WW II, and the military-industrial complex had replaced “mom and apple pie” as the most venerated and entrenched US interest. The Dulles brothers ran the State Department and CIA and overthrew governments at will.
The military-industrial complex had learned that regardless of the protestations of high-ranking military officers, no cost-overrun, no matter how egregious, went unpaid. Armaments industries and military bases were spread all over the country and were important considerations for every senator and many congressional districts. The chairmen of House and Senate military appropriations subcommittees and armed services committees were already dependent on campaign contributions from the military-industrial complex and for cushy jobs should they lose an election.
The Cold War was a profitable business that served many, and that is why it lasted so long.
There was never any threat of the Red Army invading Europe. Stalin declared “socialism in one country” and purged the Communist Party of the Trotskyist element that preached world revolution. An accommodation could have been reached, except that for the first time ever the military-industrial complex saw that it could keep the war business going for decades and perhaps forever.
George F. Kennan predicted that should the Soviet Union “sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean,” another adversary would have to be invented. “Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the “Soviet threat” was replaced with the “Muslim threat” and the “War on Terror” took over from the Cold War. Despite a succession of false flag attacks and warnings of a “thirty years war,” a few thousand lightly armed jihadists were an insufficient replacement for the Soviet Union and its thousands of nuclear ICBMs. It was an uncomfortable notion that the “world’s only superpower” could not dispose of a few terrorists.
So we are back to the Cold War with Russia. The propaganda is fast and furious. “Putin is the new Hitler.” “Russia invaded Ukraine.” Russia is about to invade the Baltics and Poland.” “Putin is a corrupt multi-billionaire.” “Putin is scheming to recreate the Soviet Union.” These accusations become headlines despite US military spending being a dozen or more times higher than Russian military spending and the Russian government expressing no hegemonic aspirations.
Eisenhower’s sucessor, John F. Kennedy, realized that the military-security complex was a threat, but he underestimated the threat and paid for it with his life when he stood up to the military-security complex. In stating this fact I have joined Eisenhower as a conspiracy theorist. (For a hair-raising account of the threat posed to President Kennedy by General Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, read chapter three in Richard Cottrell’s book, Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe.)Conspiracies are real. There are many more of them than people are aware. Many government conspiracies are heavily documented by governments themselves with the official records demonstrating the conspiracies openly available to the public. Just google, for example, Operation Gladio or the Northwoods Project. These conspiracies alone are sufficient to chastise those uninformed Western peoples who go around saying, “our government would never kill its own people.”
Perhaps Russian studies provided my introduction to government conspiracies against their own people. I learned that the Tsar’s secret police set off bombs and killed people in order to blame and arrest labor agitators. I was skeptical of this account and wondered if it was a reflection of left-wing bias against Tsarist Russia. Some years later I asked my colleague, Robert Conquest, at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University if the account was true. He replied that the story is true as is known from the released secret police files that are part of the Hoover Institution’s archives.
False flag attacks are used by governments in order to pursue secret agendas that they cannot publicly acknowledge. If President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had said: “We are going to attack Iraq and a half dozen other countries in order to exercise hegemony over the Middle East, steal their oil, and clear the path for Israel to steal the entirety of the West Bank of Palestine, diverting taxpayers’ resources from serving the American people into the pockets of the armaments industries and spilling the blood of your parents, spouses, children, and siblings, even the American sheeple would have resisted.
Instead, following the famous advice of Hitler’s chief propagandist, they said: “Our country has been attacked!”
Generally speaking, an observant person with a bit of education can recognize a false flag attack. However, few people pay attention beyond what the official media says, and the media no longer investigates and questions but simply repeats the official story. Therefore, only a few realize what has really happened, and when these few open their mouths they are discredited as “conspiracy theorists.”
This method of control might be wearing thin. There have been so many false flag “terrorist attacks” in the 21st century that there are now thousands of experts labeled as “conspiracy theorist.” For example, the 9/11 Truth Movement consists of thousands of high rise architects, structural engineers, demolition experts, nano-chemists, physicists, firefighters and first responders, civilian and military pilots, and former high government officials. Collectively these experts represent far more knowledge and experience than the 9/11 Commission, which did nothing but write down whatever the government told the commission, NIST, a collection of people whose incomes and careers depend on the government, and the presstitutes who can barely manage arithemetic, much less the mathematics of controlled demolition.
The neoconservatives, who conrolled the George W. Bush regime, called for a “New Pearl Harbor” so that they could begin their wars of conquest in the Middle East. A
“New Pearl Harbor” is what 9/11 gave them. Was this a coincidence or a Gulf of Tonkin or a Reichstag fire or a Tzarist secret police or Operation Gladio bomb?
The charge, “conspiracy theory,” is used to prevent investigation.
9/11 was not investigated. Indeed, as many experts have pointed out, there was a conscious effort to remove and destroy the evidence before it could be investigated. The 9/11 families had to lobby and protest for a solid year before the Bush regime consented to the totally controlled 9/11 Commission.
The Boston Marathon Bombing was not investigated. A scripted story was issued and repeated by the media. The San Bernardino shootings were not investigated. Again, a pre-scripted story took the place of investigation.
The success of false flag attacks in the US led to their use in the UK and France. The Charlie Hebdo affair was not investigated and the official explanation makes no sense. The story has been closed with all the loose ends dangling. For example, why did a French police official investigating the crime allegedly commit suicide in his police office in the early hours of the morning, and why was his family denied the autopsy report? What happened to this disappeared story? Why did the police finger a third participant in the attack as the “getaway driver” who had an iron clad alibi? If the police were so totally wrong about this member of the gang, how do we know they are right about the two men they shot to death. How come alleged perpetrators of “terrorist attacks” are always killed before they can talk? How come the only story we ever get is what the government says? How can people be so gullible after the Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Gladio, etc.?
Apparently the Charlie Hebdo attack was insufficient for the purpose, and now France has had what is called “the Paris attack,” an even more unbelievable event, evidence for which is missing. This false flag attack was too much for Kevin Barrett who assembled a collection of skeptical essays from 26 people into a book, Another French False Flag: Bloody Tracks From Paris To San Bernardino.
Twenty-four of these contributors do not believe the official story. Does this make them “conspiracy theorists,” or does this make them brave souls who are concerned that Reichstag fire type events are replacing Western civil liberty with fascist police states?
Ask yourself, why are those trying to preserve liberty denounced?
What incentive does contributor A.K. Dewdney, Professor Emeritus at the University of Western Ontario, author of ten books about science and mathematics, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does Philip Giraldi, former CIA case officer and Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does Anthony Hall, Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, whose latest book has been endorsed by the American Library Association as “a scholarly tour de force,” have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does Mujahid Kamran, Vice Chancellor of Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan, a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of numerous awards, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does Stephen Lendman, syndicated columnist and host on the Progressive Radio News Hour, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does Alain Soral, one of France’s public intellectuals, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
What incentive does Robert David Steele, former CIA Clandestine Services Officer, have to be a conspiracy theorist?
The neocons’ whores in the Western media who call these people “conspiracy theorists” are so stupid and unintelligent as to be unqualified to express any opinion.
Dear Western Peoples, if you wish to be able to walk down the streets of your cities without being accosted by police, demanded to present identity papers, searched, detained indefinitely or assassinated without due process of law, if you wish to be able to express your opinion about “your” government and its use of your tax payments, if you wish to be able to discuss current affairs or your personal affairs without being recorded by the NSA or the equivalent in your own country or by both, if you wish to be able to act on your moral conscience and to protest the violence the West applies to Muslims and others unfavored by powerful Western interests, such as Palestinians, if you wish to live in the freedom that was achieved in the West after centuries of struggle, wake up, find time from less meaningful pursuits to become aware of what is being stolen from you. It is late in the game. If you do not stand up for truth, you will have no freedom as there is no freedom without truth.
Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world. Indeed, I could almost say that he is the only economist in the world. Almost all of the rest are neoliberals, who are not economists but shills for financial interests.
If you have not heard of Michael Hudson it merely shows the power of the Matrix. Hudson should have won several Nobel prizes in economics, but he will never get one.
Hudson did not intend to be an economist. At the University of Chicago, which had a leading economics faculty, Hudson studied music and cultural history. He went to New York City to work in publishing. He thought he could set out on his own when he was assigned rights to the writings and archives of George Lukacs and Leon Trotsky, but publishing houses were not interested in the work of two Jewish Marxists who had a significant impact on the 20th century.
Friendships connected Hudson to a former economist for General Electric who taught him the flow of funds through the economic system and explained how crises develop when debt outgrows the economy. Hooked, Hudson enrolled in the economics graduate program at NYU and took a job in the financial sector calculating how savings were recycled into new mortgage loans.
Hudson learned more economics from his work experience than from his Ph.D. courses. On Wall Street he learned how bank lending inflates land prices and, thereby, interest payments to the financial sector. The more banks lend, the higher real estate prices rise, thus encouraging more bank lending. As mortgage debt service rises, more of household income and more of the rental value of real estate are paid to the financial sector. When the imbalance becomes too large, the bubble bursts. Despite its importance, theanalysis of land rent and property valuation was not part of his Ph.D. studies in economics.
Hudson’s next job was with Chase Manhattan, where he used the export earnings of South American countries to calculate how much debt service the countries could afford to pay to US banks. Hudson learned that just as mortgage lenders
regard the rental income from property as a flow of money that can be diverted to interest payments, international banks regard the export earnings of foreign countries as revenues that can be used to pay interest on foreign loans. Hudson learned that the goal of creditors is to capture the entire economic surplus of a country into payments of debt service.
Soon the American creditors and the IMF were lending indebted countries money with which to pay interest. This caused the countries’ foreign debts to rise at compound interest. Hudson predicted that the indebted countries would not be able to pay their debts, an unwelcome prediction that was confirmed when Mexico announced it could not pay. This crisis was resolved with “Brady bonds” named after the US Treasury Secretary, but when the 2008 US mortgage crisis hit, just as Hudson predicted, nothing was done for the American homeowners. If you are not a mega-bank, your problems are not a focus of US economic policy.
Chase Manhattan next had Hudson develop an accounting format to analyze the US oil industry balance of payments. Here Hudson learned another lesson about the difference between official statistics and reality. Using “transfer pricing,” oil companies managed to avoid paying taxes by creating the illusion of zero profits. Oil company affiliates in tax avoidance locations buy oil at low prices from producers. From these flags of convenience locations, which have no tax on profits, the oil was then sold to Western refineries at prices marked up to eliminate profits. The profits were recorded by the oil companies’ affiliates in non-tax jurisdictions. (Tax authorities have cracked down to some extent on the use of transfer pricing to escape taxation.)
Hudson’s next task was to estimate the amount of money from crime going into Switzerland’s secret banking system. In this investigation, his last for Chase, Hudson discovered that under US State Department direction Chase and other large banks had established banks in the Caribbean for the purpose of attracting money into dollar holdings from drug dealers in order to support the dollar (by raising the demand for dollars by criminals) in order to balance or offset Washington’s foreign military outflows of dollars. If dollars flowed out of the US, but demand did not rise to absorb the larger supply of dollars, the dollar’s exchange rate would fall, thus threatenting the basis of US power. By providing offshore banks in which criminals could deposit illicit dollars, the US government supported the dollar’s exchange value.
Hudson discovered that the US balance of payments deficit, a source of pressure on the value of the US dollar, was entirely military in character. The US Treasury and State Department supported the Caribbean safe haven for illegal profits in order to offset the negative impact on the US balance of payments of US military operations abroad. In other words, if criminality can be used in support of the US dollar, the US government is all for criminality.
When it came to the economics of the situation, economic theory had not a clue. Neither trade flows nor direct investments were important in determining exchange rates. What was important was “errors and omissions,” which Hudson discovered was an euphemism for the hot, liquid money of drug dealers and government officials embezzling the export earnings of their countries.
The problem for Americans is that both political parties regard the needs of the American people as a liability and as an obstacle to the profits of the military/security complex, Wall Street and the mega-banks, and Washington’s world hegemony. The government in Washington represents powerful interest groups, not American citizens. This is why the21st century consists of an attack on the constitutional protections of citizens so that citizens can be moved out of the way of the needs of the Empire and its beneficiaries.
Hudson learned that economic theory is really a device for ripping off theuntermenschen. International trade theory concludes that countries can service huge debts simply by lowering domestic wages in order to pay creditors. This is the policy currently being applied to Greece today, and it has been the basis of the IMF’s structural adjustment or austerity programs imposed on debtor countries, essentially a form of looting that turns over national resources to foreign lenders.
Hudson learned that monetary theory concerns itself only with wages and consumer prices, not with the inflation of asset pricessuch as real estate and stocks. He saw that economic theory serves as a cover for the polarization of the world economy between rich and poor. The promises of globalism are a myth. Even left-wing and Marxist economists think of exploitation in terms of wages and are unaware that the main instrument of exploitation is the financial system’s extraction of value into interest payments.
Economic theory’s neglect of debt as an instrument of exploitation caused Hudson to look into the history of how earlier civilizations handled the build up of debt. His research was so ground-breaking that Harvard University appointed him Research Fellow in Babylonian economic history in the Peabody Museum.
Meanwhile he continued to be sought after by financial firms. He was hired to calculate the number of years that Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico would be able to pay the extremely high interest rates on their bonds. On the basis of Hudson’s work, the Scudder Fund achieved the second highest rate of return in the world in 1990.
Hudson’s investigations into the problems of our time took him through the history of economic thought. He discovered that 18th and 19th century economists understood the disabling power of debt far better than today’s neoliberal economists who essentially neglect it in order to better cater to the interest of the financial sector.
Hudson shows that Western economies have been financialized in a predatory way that sacrifices the public interest to theinterests of the financial sector. That is why the economy no longer works for ordinary people. Finance is no longer productive. It has become a parasite on the economy. Hudson tells this story in his recent book, Killing the Host (2015).
Readers often ask me how they can learn economics. My answer is to spend many hours with Hudson’s book. First, read the book through once or twice in order to get an idea of what is covered. Then study it closely section by section. When you understand the book, you will understand economics better than any Nobel prize-winning economist.
Treat this column as an introduction to the book. I will be writing more about it as current events and time permit. As far as I am concerned, many current events cannot be understood independently of Hudson’s explanation of the financialized Western economy. Indeed, as most Russian and Chinese economists are themselves trained in neoliberal economics, these two countries might follow the same downward path as the West.
If you put Hudson’s analysis of financialization together with my analysis of the adverse impact of jobs offshoring, you will understand that the present economic path of the Western world is the road to destruction.