Democracy has no more persistent or insidious foe than the money power, to which it may say, as Dante said when he reached in his journey through Hell the dwelling of the God of Riches, Here we found Wealth, the great enemy. That enemy is formidable because he works secretly, by persuasion or deceit, rather than by force, and so takes men unawares. He is a danger to good government everywhere.
The truth seems to be that democracy has only one marked advantage over other governments in defending itself against the submarine warfare which wealth can wage, viz., Publicity and the force of Public Opinion. So long as Ministers can be interrogated in an assembly, so long as the press is free to call attention to alleged scandals and require explanations from persons suspected of an improper use of money or an improper submission to its influences, so long will the people be at least warned of the dangers that threaten them. If they refuse to take the warning they are already untrue to the duties that freedom prescribes.
The late Lord Bryce in Modern Democracies (1921).
This book tells the story of who caused the slump and how they caused it, and it directs attention to two simple steps that can be taken to save our farmers and traders.
No greater mistake can be made than to suppose that the present slump in commodity prices is due to blind economic forces. The depression from which we now suffer is due to an artificially induced variation in the purchasing power of money. In these pages will be found ample evidence in support of this statement. The quarter from which the trouble is coming is indicated, and the amazing manner in which the machinery for monetary control of the world was established is traced out. The story of the slump is essentially a story of men and their motives. Some of those motives, such as declarations of hostility to the British Empire, and action inimical to it, are matters of open public record: others are a matter of speculation.
The facts set out rest upon unimpeachable authority, and the sources are given throughout. Any reader who has access to a large library can verify them all for himself, and by a little research would doubtless uncover much additional matter supplementing and confirming what the present author has assembled.
Nevertheless, one may search in vain through the newspaper press, through the utterances of public men, through practically the whole current literature of today, for any reference to these central, pivotal facts governing the whole world price level and the financial and economic situation today. Why this silence ?
The answer is that the most potent forces in the world today are forces that do not work in the open. They could not work in the open: for if they did mankind would not for one instant tolerate their continuance. It is essential for the success of their plans that the people of the world should be unaware of the chains that have been made to enmesh them.
A small number of persons in different countries have shown by their utterances that they are well aware of what is taking placeor, rather, has been taking- placefor the chain of events extends back over a long period of time.
Three-quarters of a century ago Disraeli told Britain's House of Commons that the world is governed by very different persons from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.
In a recent interview, General Ludendorff, chief of the German General Staff through the war, declared that the world today is ruled by secret supra-national powers, the same diabolically clever wire-pullers that brought about the last cataclysm. [Ed Grey and the British Foreign Office]
In the London National Review six years ago Mr. Arthur Kitson wrote about Our Invisible Rulers; and in other articles has expounded this same theme.
In giving evidence before a United States Congressional committee in 1926, Mr. Western Starr, head of the United States Farmer-Labour Party, declared that unless a certain group of men, whom he referred to as these old men of the sea, had their power curbed the world would be plunged into another war, compared with which the last war would be like a Fourth of July picnic.
More cryptically, but none the less significantly, Sir Josiah Stamp, one of Britain's foremost business men and economists, has expressed the opinionremarkable as coming from a director of the Bank of Englandthat money, after having brought civilisation to its present level, may well actually destroy, society. When the reader has digested the facts herein assembled this statement may fall less incredibly on his ear.
It is impossible to maintain our country, in a state of security unless we face the facts and conform to reality. Our national peril is that we are ignoring all the vital facts of the situation. Our enemies are none the less real because their ways are hidden ways. But they are a thousand times more insidious. What the war failed to do they seek to accomplish, and their ambition is to shatter in bankruptcy and ruin the once-splendid fabric of the British Empire.
Okiwi Bay, Croixelles.