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Political Economy

by Nordica Friedrich and Niki Raapana, March 14, 2004 updated May 16, 2005 (still under construction)

Here's another version of what was happening in 1896 between the parties. Speech by William Jennings Bryan Cross of Gold, July 9, 1896. Bryan, a Democrat, argues for the silver standard and against the gold standard, which he calls a tool of the foreign banks. "And now, my friends, let me come to the paramount issue. If they ask us why it is that we say more on the money question than we say upon the tariff question, I reply that, if protection has slain its thousands, the gold standard has slain its tens of thousands. If they ask us why we do not embody in our platform all the things that we believe in, we reply that when we have restored the money of the Constitution all other necessary reforms will be possible; but that until this is done there is no other reform that can be accomplished./ Mr. McKinley was nominated at St. Louis upon a platform which declared for the maintenance of the gold standard until it can be changed into bi-metalism by international agreement. Mr. McKinley was the most popular man among the Republicans, and three months ago everybody in the Republican party prophesied his election. How is it today? Why, the man who was once pleased to think that he looked like Napoleon -- that man shudders today when he remembers that he was nominated on the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. Not only that, but as he listens he can hear with ever-increasing distinctness the sound of the waves as they beat upon the lonely shores of St. Helena."

There's a reason why this page was so late in coming. Our desire to obtain more than a limited understanding of modern economics started only after we found out there is an entire field of study called communitarian economics. We came under the local direction of an international economic development plan in 1999 and decided we needed to know what a land management plan was. It was in early 2000 that we found ours originated with an obscure group called the Communitarian movement. The communitarian founder also fathered the new science of socio-economics. By 2001, we determined the communitarian philosophy is the synthesis in the dialectical theories of Hegel and Marx. Communitarians and Marxists alike claim to represent a more moral, socially equitable philosophy.

TRUTH OVERLOOKED:THE LEGACY OF LIST by Gwydion M. Williams. "Friedrich List was the other notable German economist besides Karl Marx. In the 19th century, this was the standard view. And 20th century events have been much more in line with Listian expectations than with those of Karl Marx or Adam Smith. Yet somehow List gets ever more wrapped in obscurity."

Free Trade is about Creating a World State by Peter Myers, August 2, 2001; update June 17, 2005.

"(1) Rochard Cobden: Richard Cobden was the leading public advocate of "Free Trade" in Britain 150 years ago. The Repeal of the Corn Laws removed the tariffs on grain; as a result, cheaper American grain (wheat, barley etc) flooded Britain, and forced the small grain-farmers there to leave the farms and go to the towns, to seek work in the factories, or to emigrate.

Cobden's real motives are revealed in this speech:

"... I look further; I see in the Free-Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe, - drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace. ... I believe that the effect will be to change the face of the world, so as to introduce a system of government entirely distinct from that which now prevails. I believe that the desire and the motive for large and mighty empires; for gigantic armies and great navies ... will die away; I believe that such things will cease to be necessary, or to be used when man becomes one family, and freely exchanges the fruits of his labour with his brother man. I believe that ... the speculative philosopher of a thousand years hence will date the greatest revolution that ever happened in the world's history from the triumph of the principle which we have met here to advocate". [Richard Cobden, Speeches, (London, 1870), vol. I, pp. 362-3].

Cobden's goal is more political than economic. He advocated "Free Trade" because he thought that it would lead to the world becoming "one country".

BOOK REVIEW Globalization ideologues have no clothes The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli, May 7, 2005 in the Asia Times, Reviewed by Gary LaMoshi.

In the ACL's opinion, the most moral, socially equitable system is that of political economy, the original economic system adopted by the first government of the United States. The American system of political economy was protective, and firmly based in our national power to print and coin our own money (we hope). There's a lot to learn here, the idea for a national bank is an unsolved mystery, especially since we were just reminded how the Marxist platform urges for creating a state controlled national banking system. We're going to proceed very cautiously down this path, it looks like it is also the slipperiest trail. Finding authors who write outside the dialectic is difficult, and finding a lawyer or an economist who thinks outside the dialectic is nigh to impossible. But it's easy enough to recognise someone outside the confines of rigid and dogmatic Marxist non-rhetoric, someone who bases their "theory" of society, law, or economics on observation and not solely upon what they've been taught about the vision, because they are the ones who usually makes some sort of sense.

To balance our historical studies we're going to access materials provided by Catherine Austin-Fitts. We know her hunt for the money will teach us the harsh truth about current economics, and her former position with HUD and as a private owner of Hamilton Securities (currently involved in important civil litigation) gives her credibility and authority most "conspiracy researchers" don't have. We want to study Solaris-Where Is the Money? right along with our steps back into time. Historical research is difficult when you don't have access to original documents or books published before the 1900s. It's sometimes very difficult to get to the "truth" about historical events, but Fitt's work is CURRENT and she can teach us how to take back economic control over our communities, right now! Fitts is a Wall Street financial player, she knows how to request audits of our local tax dollars, and she wants to show us all how to find out where our money goes. She's created a unique solution to the robberies, and she has a way we can start voting with our pocketbooks too. Another great current source is Doug Noland at

It didn't take us non-economists long to see that we enjoy studying the history of economic principles and systems when it's presented the way Friedrich List and Frederic Bastiat wrote about it, based on observations of actual economic practices. We already don't much trust the Marxists to tell us the truth, so we prefer to approach this area by studying men who were original thinkers who thought and wrote from outside the dialectic. It is especially interesting to see how economists like List, a German, and Bastiat, a Frenchman, discussed the reality of the British-dominated global market in the 19th century, while the London Marxists only discussed economy within the confines of their impenetrable, socially evolved dialectic.

Where to find books on political economy

The Library of Economics and Liberty.

Economic Theory & Demography at

Economic Dimensions of National Security, a books and documents list posted by the Naval War College.

What we're reading

Frédéric Bastiat : Economic Harmonies (1850)

Friedrich List : The National System of Political Economy (1841)

Eliot Janeway : Economics of Chaos: On Revitalizing the American Economy (1989)

Jeremy Bentham : Principles of International Law.

American Patriots Past and Present : Time Bomb, The Criminal Conspiracy to Create Chaos, Sovietize America, and Unleash the Horrors of 21st Century Totalitarianism (2002):

Page 171: "There are no "human rights" or economic rights: these are phony rights. There is no right to food, clothing, a home, education, a job, medical care, a minimum wage, a "fair price," adequate protection for the economic fears of disability, old age, etc. Paul L. Poirot writes, 'The framers of the Constitution would have been astonished to hear these things spoken of as rights. They are not immunities from governmental compulsion, on the contrary, they are demands for new forms of governmental compulsion. They are not the claims to the products of one's own labor, they are, in some if not in most cases, claims to the products of other people's labor.'"

[And later on the same page:] Human rights or economic rights are a triple threat to a free society. On the economic side, the gravest threat is that productive enterprise will be so burdened and impeded by high taxes, prohibitions, red tape, and controls that industry will stagnate. Without the products of industry, social programs of any kind become empty promises. New political powers and functions increase the cost of government and drain manpower from farms and factories into administrative bureaus... Artificially pegged prices and wage rates interfere with the normal market process of gearing production to the maximum satisfaction of customer wants."

What others were saying about List and Bastiat

Library of Economics and Liberty's Memoir, abridged from Friedrich List, ein Vorläufer und ein Opfer für das Vaterland (Stuttgart 1877) :

As might have been expected, the 'National System' was vigorously attacked immediately on its publication; but such was the demand for it that three editions were called for within the space of a few months, and translations of it were published in French, Hungarian, and some other foreign languages. The principal objection raised against it was that the system it propounded was not one for the benefit of the whole world, but simply for the benefit of Germany. This List never sought to conceal. His avowed object was to free Germany from the overwhelming manufacturing supremacy of England, and on this subject some of his ablest opponents admitted that his was the best practical essay.

Karl Marx mocked Bastiat in a letter to Frederick Engels in 1858 :

Of all recent economists, Monsieur Bastiat with his Harmonies économiques [French title] represents the very dregs of fatuity [stupidity] at their most concentrated. Only a crapaud [frog, slang for Frenchman] could have concocted an harmonious pot-au-feu [soup] of this kind.

Disagreements among political economists

Friedrich List stressed building up the strength of home agriculture and industry prior with protective tariffs, and not allowing imports to exceed local manufacturing. The protectionist branch of political economics claims that a nation cannot enter the global market as an equal trader if said nation is dependent and deluged with cheap and vital necessary commodoties. From Sampson's translation of The National System :

Any tariff system which completely excludes foreign competition is injurious.' But 'the productions of foreign manufacturing industry must only be permitted to supply a part of the yearly national consumption,' and 'the maintenance of the foundation of the national industry at home must ever be the unvarying object of a nation's policy.

Frédéric Bastiat believed tariffs were an unnatural government interference. From the Dean Russell translation of The Law :

The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property ... In meddling with the balance of trade by playing with tariffs, the government thereby contracts to make trade prosper; and if this results in destruction instead of prosperity, whose fault is it?

Opposition to British imperialist ideology

List on laissez-faire capitalism, from The National System :

It is this theory, sir, which furnishes to the opponents of the American System the intellectual means of their opposition.... Boasting of their imaginary superiority in science and knowledge, these disciples of Smith and Say are treating every defender of common sense like an empiric whose mental power and literary acquirements are not strong enough to conceive the sublime doctrine of their masters.(Freeman 1992)

Bastiat on socialism, from Economic Harmonies :

What makes the great division between the two schools is the difference in their methods. Socialism, like astrology and alchemy, proceeds by way of the imagination; political economy, like astronomy and chemistry, proceeds by way of observation.

Different approaches to values in economics

Norton Garfinkle explains Communitarian Economics :

Communitarian philosophy provides a value-centered guide to defining society’s common goals. Communitarian philosophy holds a centrist position on the social order that mediates between totalitarianism and libertarianism. Totalitarianism argues that the collectivity in the form of the nation state has superior needs and objectives and that individuals exist only to serve these collective needs. Libertarianism argues that the autonomous individual stands at the center of the philosophic universe and the larger community can make no legitimate demands on the individual except those necessary to maintain civil order. Communitarians seek to mediate the tension between these two forces of extreme autonomy and extreme centralized authority based upon their understanding that societies remain healthy only so long as they effectively provide a balance between the centrifugal forces of autonomy and the centripetal force of centralized authority.

Communitarian economics insists that economic policies depend critically on the common purposes to be achieved. These common purposes must be founded on the core values of the citizens of the community.

List on the theory of values, from The National System :

In the course of the daily controversy which I had to conduct, I was led to perceive the distinction between the theory of values and the theory of the powers of production, and beneath the false line of argument which the popular school has raised out of the term capital. I learned to know the difference between manufacturing power and agricultural power. I hence discovered the basis of the fallacy of the arguments of the school, that it urges reasons which are only justly applicable to free trade in agricultural products, as grounds on which to justify free trade in manufactured goods. I began to learn to appreciate more thoroughly the principle of the division of labour, and to perceive how far it is applicable to the circumstances of entire nations. At a later period I travelled through Austria, North Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, France, and England, everywhere seeking instruction from observation of the actual condition of those countries as well as from written works. When afterwards I visited the United States, I cast all books aside—they would only have tended to mislead me. The best work on political economy which one can read in that modern land is actual life. There one may see wildernesses grow into rich and mighty States; and progress which requires centuries in Europe, goes on there before one's eyes, viz. that from the condition of the mere hunter to the rearing of cattle—from that to agriculture, and from the latter to manufactures and commerce. There one may see how rents increase by degrees from nothing to important revenues. There the simple peasant knows practically far better than the most acute savants of the old world how agriculture and rents can be improved; he endeavours to attract manufacturers and artificers to his vicinity. Nowhere so well as there can one learn the importance of means of transport, and their effect on the mental and material life of the people.

Bastiat on the objects of political economy, from the Introduction to Economic Harmonies by Dean Russell :

"The subject of political economy is MAN.... [who is] endowed with the ability to compare, judge, choose, and act; which implies that men may form right and wrong judgments, and make good and bad choices..... This faculty, given to men and to men alone, to work for each other, to transmit their efforts, and to exchange their services through time and space, with all the infinite and varied combinations thereby involved, is precisely what constitutes economic science, identifies its origin, and determines its limits..... The objects of political economy [the actions of men in the exchange of their goods and services] cannot be weighed or measured..... Exchange is necessary in order to determine value..... Owing to ignorance, what one man values may be despised by another..... A man's happiness and well-being are not measured by his efforts, but by his satisfactions, and this also holds true for society at large..... It may happen, and frequently does, that the service we esteem highly is in reality harmful to us; value depends on the judgment we form of it..... In an exchange society, man seeks to realize value irrespective of utility. The commodity he produces is not intended to satisfy his own wants, and he has little interest in how useful it may be. It is for the purchaser to judge that. What concerns the producer is that it should have maximum value in the market..... It is in vain that we attempt to separate choice and responsibility."

Dean Russell on Bastiat :

In his Harmonies, Bastiat felt that he had made a major contribution to political economy by his definition of value. He felt that his concept should reconcile the conflicting opinions of all economists—including even the socialists and communists! He introduced the subject by making a sharp distinction between utility and value. Under utility, he listed the sun, water, and undeveloped land. According to him, none of the gifts of Nature have any value—until human effort has been applied to them. While he specifically rejected the labor theory of value, he may well have endorsed it unknowingly under another name—service.

Political economy and global Marxist economics

Economic Depression and the New World Order by Center for Research on globalization.

It's taken us a while to understand that Marxist economics are based only on their holistic, globally projected vision of human social evolution. After sufficent conflict and resolution, Marxism promises a society that will eliminate all forms of lust for power, greed, gluttony, deciet, embezzelment, perversity, manipulation, et. al. Finally, once mankind has achieved "perfect" communism, the top totalitarian leaders will give over their total police state contol of all state commerce, down to the lowest local, neighborhood level. It's only the transition to pure communism that appears so violent and horrific, and we're never supposed to discuss or study the actual shortages and bread lines under communist-world-bank regimes. We're only allowed to believe in the theorectical vision that we're all working "together" to achieve. The citizen of the world wants to "save the world." The citizen of a nation wants to sustain their local business and commerce. Guess who the current system supports.

The original Marxist idea was that a central global government with "public" control of world commerce and political systems will help humanity evolve into a more wonderful world. For instance, the London-trained Bolsheviks claimed to be creating a more moral Russia, where all workers were trained to naturally evolve into "world citizens" who put the needs of the global communist collective before their own. That's why after 70 years of Soviet rule there are no criminals in Russia. The former KGB spies and communist party leaders who kidnapped, enslaved, tortured and killed all those Russian, German, Ukrainian, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian people are now all holistic reformers. The former reds are a new breed of green, they've socially evolved into world citizens assisting America and the planet to create a sustainable and equitable global economic system. It's a lot like militant Israeli's claims to a religious devotion to global peace and security. Even presidential candidate John Kerry will tell you they live in the only "democracy" in the Middle East. It's not about land, water, or oil, it's really about liberating the suffering Arab world....right? In 2004, claiming to be a "liberal internationalist" (what List termed a cosmopolitan) means you are a more holistic person than backwards Americans or Arabs who insist on protected sustainable national commerce, whereas 200 years ago siding with the British free traders in the U.S. meant you were a traitor to your own country.

Leon Trotsky on the power of American "capitalism" in "Disarmament and The United States of Europe," (1929, reprinted in 1945 for the International Comintern):

"In connection with this perspective, the leaders of the Commitern may once again repeat that we are unable to see anything ahead except the triumph of American capitalism. In much the same way, the petty bourgeois theoreticians of Narodnikism (Russian Populism) used to accuse the pioneer Russian Marxists of failing to see anything ahead except the victory of capitalism. These two accusations are on a par. When we say that America is moving toward world domination, it does not at all mean that this domination will be completely realized, nor, all the less so, that after it is realized to one degree or another, it will endure for centuries or even decades. We are discussing a historical tendency which, in actuality, will be criss-crossed and modified by other historical tendencies. If the capitalist world were able to endure several more decades without revolutionary paroxysms, then these decades would unquestionably witness the uninterrupted growth of American world dictatorship. But the whole point is that this process will inevitably develop its own contradictions which will become coupled with all the other contradictions of the capitalist system. America will force Europe to strive for an ever increasing rationalization and at the same time will leave Europe an ever decreasing share of the world market. This will entail a steady aggravation of the difficulties in Europe. The competition among European states for a share of the world market will inevitably become aggravated. At the same time under the pressure of America, the European states will endeavor to coordinate their forces. This is the main source of Briand's program of the United States of Europe. But whatever the various stages of the development may he, one thing is clear: The constant disruption of the world equilibrium in America's favor will become the main source of crises and revolutionary convulsions in Europe throughout the entire coming period. Those who hold that European stabilization is assured for decades understand nothing at all of the world situation and will inevitably sink head first in the swamp of reformism.

If this process is approached from across the Atlantic Ocean, i.e. from the standpoint of the fate of USA, then here too the perspectives opened up resemble least of all a blissful capitalist idyl. The prewar power of the United States grew on the basis of its internal market, i.e. the dynamic equilibrium between industry and agriculture. In this development the war has produced a sharp break. The United States exports capital and manufactured goods in ever greater volume. The growth of America's world power means that the entire system of American industry and banking-that towering capitalist skyscrapers resting to an ever increasing measure on the foundations of world economy. But this foundation is mined, and the United States itself continues to add more mines to it day by day. By exporting commodities and capital, by building up its navy, by elbowing England aside, by buying up the key enterprises in Europe, by forcing its way into China, etc. American finance capital is digging with its own hands powder and dynamite cellars beneath its own foundation. Where will the fuse be lit? Whether it will be in Asia, Europe or Latin America-or what is most likely in various places at one and the same time that is a second-rate question.

The history of American economics

America, for those who forgot, is that former British colony that pulled off the biggest coup against British global economic control in the history of the Imperial British Empire. The American Revolution was a revolt against British controlled commerce and trade. As we at the ACL have learned the hard way, American economic history is the primary subject necessary to studying and comprehending all American history. If we do not see the connection with the present U.S. policy of open free trade, or we are not able to compare the modern IMF or WTO to the reasons for the American Revolution in the first place, we're not even really studying our true American history.

No matter how many British scholars tell us otherwise, the heros in American history are still men like Washington and Lincoln who fought wars to protect our country from disolving back into Imperial colonies. Faced with the order to establish and preserve a "free" country, these U.S. presidents knew their power to sustain our individual and national liberty lay only in our ability and determination to stand united against the Imperialist globalists and the advocates of British free trade policies. Our American heros used the power in our national union to defend us against the destructive policies of the global merchants, even though the global merchants had very strong representatives living in the U.S. who never stopped agitating against it. Like every key area of American history, the 1787 Constitutional Convention is shrouded in controversy with many of the U.S. founders arguing against the inclusion of a federal Bill of Rights. The most interesting aspect is that BOTH the strong federalists and the democrats claimed to represent "we the people," and everyone involved said their principles were devoted to protecting Americans from the re-formation of a monarchial system of government. The Federalist Papers are key documents for attempting to understanding all the internal debates over the proposed constitution.

The Americans again defeated the British in the War of 1812, but American history is now written almost entirely from the British-merchant's perspective, as is seen by the description of the 1811 "War Hawks" at :

In truth, British violations of American neutral rights (impressment, blockades, ship seizures and others) exerted little direct impact on the South and West. The core of the War Hawk agenda was expansion. Correspondingly, New England and New York shipping and commercial interests-the people most directly impacted by the neutral rights violations-strongly opposed the war. They disliked losing ships to the British, but realized that war would completely shut down commerce.

The ensuing Thirty Year Tariff War between the industrial north and the agricultural south is another area that will require a lot of ACL attention if we are ever to uncover the whole truth to our nation's history.

The Missing Case for Free Trade by Paul Craig Roberts, Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2004 on

We do know our best presidents properly used the constitution to protect the nation, and every one of them had to swear to exercise their constitutional based powers to preserve the union. Both Washington and Lincoln knew we had to control and coin our own money. The internal opposition camps under Washington (Hamilton v. Jefferson) were established almost immediately, and it's possible that the dialectic was either part of some of the original Framer's ideology, or it's equally possibile that the dialectical synthesis was what motivated American national politics from the very birth of the nation.

The U.S. National Bank was one of the first creations of the newly elected constitutional government, and it was targeted by opposition from its inception. For the first century our nation was caught in an internal struggle over who should control the money and therefore control the economy. The U.S. had a surplus in the national treasury under the original National Bank and the use of strong national tariffs. After Jackson refused to renew the Bank's Charter, the national surplus ended, and by 1836 a depression loomed. The agricultural south (and later the west) opposed the stiff tariffs and accused the industrial east for the high cost of domestic supplies. The War of Secession was fomented in the debates over a national bank and national tariffs. American economic history is entirely a history of this "battle."

By 1862 Lincoln was forced to create the first revenue bill to pay for the building civil war brought against the Union by the Southern leaders agitating for secession. The war tax was repealed in 1872, but it was reintroduced under the Wilson Tariff Act of 1894 (; see also U.S. Code Title 15, chapter 1, Section 8). This is the turning point in American economic history, and here's an interesting historical overview of the leaders during the "Gilded Age" (1890 to WWI). Like most modern historical overviews, President McKinley's two terms are reduced to one paragraph describing his high tariffs and the expansionist policies of his administration during the 1898 Spanish-American War. His assasination by one of Emma Goldman's Fabian trained socialist-anarchists is referred to lightly as the act of a "crazed anarchist," and the ascension of Teddy Roosevelt to the presidency is presented as the crowning moment of American's evolution into an Empire.

Obviously we need to study the National Bank and national tariffs in much greater detail, especially since so many American researchers are convinced both were used by the global elites to destroy our national economy. Perhaps we will find evidence that the first national bank was corrupted under Jefferson's and Albert Gallatin's (Secretary of the Treasury) international democratic policies in 1801. Then there's the fact that President Andrew Jackson hated the National Bank and there are details to be learned about why he refused to renew its charter, but he was also the one who sent List to Paris and to Hamburg in 1830 as an American Counsel.

Woodrow Wilson was elected in 1912 after Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote. The Tariff of 1913 replaced the revenue lost by tariffs with a tax on private incomes. Ever since 1913 our nation's money has been created and controlled by a private corporation called the Federal Reserve Bank (Federal Reserve Notes) which since 19 supported by our personal income taxes. Our money is collected by the "Feds" private enforcement arm called the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), neither of which are actual branches of the U.S. government operating under legally established constitutional limitatations (see WTP's detailed constitutional objections to these entities).

Regardless of how little we know about the actual history of American political economy, our observations of current events tell us that today the expert opinions used by U.S. presidents and the U.S. Congress to determine national economic policy are based directly on suggestions made by the Communitarians, the United Nations, the Rothschild's Bank of England, and the London School of Economics (a Marxist school created by the British Fabian Society).

Ever wonder how the Rotshchild family gained control of the Bank of England? We accidentally found this innovative modern British Economic Solution, which also happens to have an easy to read history of how Nathan Rothschild bought the Bank of England by manipulating the English bond market on the London Stock Exchange after Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

We're going to find comparisons of Marx and Engels' brief rebuttals to List and Bastiat with their lengthy rebuttals against British capitalism, and in the process we're hoping to find out more about what happened to (or what corrupted) the U.S. National Bank.


ECO 54 at Long Island University.

Skewed Incentives to Liberalize International Trade, Production and Finance by Leslie Elliot Armijo, Reed College, Oregon, October 11, 2001.


copyright © 2001-2004, Niki Raapana and Nordica Friedrich (The Anti-Communitarian League)