The Law • Frederic Bastiat (c1850)

The Law

Frederic Bastiat


When a reviewer wishes to give special recognition to a book, he predicts that it will still be read “a hundred years from now.” The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850, is already more than a hundred years old. And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed. Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before–and immediately following–the Revolution of February 1848. This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism. As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic.

The Law is here presented again because the same situation exists in America today as in the France of 1848. The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France are now sweeping America. The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr. Bastiat are–word for word–equally valid today. His ideas deserve a serious hearing.

The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.

Life Is a Gift from God

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life–physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production–in other words, individuality, liberty, property–this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

What Is Law?

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right–from God–to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend–even by force–his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right–its reason for existing, its lawfulness–is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force–for the same reason–cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups. Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces? If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

A Just and Enduring Government

If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, non-oppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable–whatever its political form might be. Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread. We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.

The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities.

The Complete Perversion of the Law

But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results? The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.

A Fatal Tendency of Mankind

Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing. But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man–in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.

Property and Plunder

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain–and since labor is pain in itself–it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.

This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.

Victims of Lawful Plunder

Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter–by peaceful or revolutionary means–into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it. Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws!

Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution–some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.

The Results of Legal Plunder

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

In the first place, it erases from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them. The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.

The Fate of Non-Conformists

If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that “You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests.” If you lecture upon morality or upon political science, there will be found official organizations petitioning the government in this vein of thought: “That science no longer be taught exclusively from the point of view of free trade (of liberty, of property, and of justice) as has been the case until now, but also, in the future, science is to be especially taught from the viewpoint of the facts and laws that regulate French industry (facts and laws which are contrary to liberty, to property, and to justice). That, in government-endowed teaching positions, the professor rigorously refrain from endangering in the slightest degree the respect due to the laws now in force.”(1)

Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.

I could prove this assertion in a thousand ways. But, by way of illustration, I shall limit myself to a subject that has lately occupied the minds of everyone: universal suffrage.

Who Shall Judge?

The followers of Rousseau’s school of thought–who consider themselves far advanced, but whom I consider twenty centuries behind the times–will not agree with me on this. But universal suffrage–using the word in its strictest sense–is not one of those sacred dogmas which it is a crime to examine or doubt. In fact, serious objections may be made to universal suffrage. In the first place, the word universal conceals a gross fallacy. For example, there are 36 million people in France. Thus, to make the right of suffrage universal, there should be 36 million voters. But the most extended system permits only 9 million people to vote. Three persons out of four are excluded. And more than this, they are excluded by the fourth. This fourth person advances the principle of incapacity as his reason for excluding the others.

Universal suffrage means, then, universal suffrage for those who are capable. But there remains this question of fact: Who is capable? Are minors, females, insane persons, and persons who have committed certain major crimes the only ones to be determined incapable?

The Reason Why Voting Is Restricted

A closer examination of the subject shows us the motive which causes the right of suffrage to be based upon the supposition of incapacity. The motive is that the elector or voter does not exercise this right for himself alone, but for everybody. The most extended elective system and the most restricted elective system are alike in this respect. They differ only in respect to what constitutes incapacity. It is not a difference of principle, but merely a difference of degree.

If, as the republicans of our present-day Greek and Roman schools of thought pretend, the right of suffrage arrives with one’s birth, it would be an injustice for adults to prevent women and children from voting. Why are they prevented? Because they are presumed to be incapable. And why is incapacity a motive for exclusion? Because it is not the voter alone who suffers the consequences of his vote; because each vote touches and affects everyone in the entire community; because the people in the community have a right to demand some safeguards concerning the acts upon which their welfare and existence depend. The Answer Is to Restrict the Law

I know what might be said in answer to this; what the objections might be. But this is not the place to exhaust a controversy of this nature. I wish merely to observe here that this controversy over universal suffrage (as well as most other political questions) which agitates, excites, and overthrows nations, would lose nearly all of its importance if the law had always been what it ought to be.

In fact, if law were restricted to protecting all persons, all liberties, and all properties; if law were nothing more than the organized combination of the individual’s right to self defense; if law were the obstacle, the check, the punisher of all oppression and plunder–is it likely that we citizens would then argue much about the extent of the franchise? Under these circumstances, is it likely that the extent of the right to vote would endanger that supreme good, the public peace? Is it likely that the excluded classes would refuse to peaceably await the coming of their right to vote? Is it likely that those who had the right to vote would jealously defend their privilege? If the law were confined to its proper functions, everyone’s interest in the law would be the same. Is it not clear that, under these circumstances, those who voted could not inconvenience those who did not vote?

The Fatal Idea of Legal Plunder

But on the other hand, imagine that this fatal principle has been introduced: Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few–whether farmers, manufacturers, shipowners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so. The excluded classes will furiously demand their right to vote–and will overthrow society rather than not to obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will then prove to you that they also have an incontestable title to vote. They will say to you: “We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax. And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law–in privileges and subsidies–to men who are richer than we are. Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man’s plunder. To obtain this right, we also should be voters and legislators in order that we may organize Beggary on a grand scale for our own class, as you have organized Protection on a grand scale for your class. Now don’t tell us beggars that you will act for us, and then toss us, as Mr. Mimerel proposes, 600,000 francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw. We have other claims. And anyway, we wish to bargain for ourselves as other classes have bargained for themselves!” And what can you say to answer that argument!

Perverted Law Causes Conflict

As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose–that it may violate property instead of protecting it–then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing.

There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues–and only two–that have always endangered the public peace.

Slavery and Tariffs Are Plunder

What are these two issues? They are slavery and tariffs. These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed the character of plunder.

Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty. The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.

Its is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime–a sorrowful inheritance of the Old World–should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union. It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society, a more astounding fact than this: The law has come to be an instrument of injustice. And if this fact brings terrible consequences to the United States – where only in the instance of slavery and tariffs–what must be the consequences in Europe, where the perversion of law is a principle; a system?

Two Kinds of Plunder

Mr. de Montalembert [politician and writer] adopting the thought contained in a famous proclamation by Mr. Carlier, has said: “We must make war against socialism.” According to the definition of socialism advanced by Mr. Charles Dupin, he meant: “We must make war against plunder.” But of what plunder was he speaking? For there are two kinds of plunder: legal and illegal.

I do not think that illegal plunder, such as theft or swindling– which the penal code defines, anticipates, and punishes–can be called socialism. It is not this kind of plunder that systematically threatens the foundations of society. Anyway, the war against this kind of plunder has not waited for the command of these gentlemen. The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. Long before the Revolution of February 1848–long before the appearance even of socialism itself–France had provided police, judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. The law itself conducts this war, and it is my wish and opinion that the law should always maintain this attitude toward plunder.

The Law Defends Plunder

But it does not always do this. Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim–when he defends himself–as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder, and it is of this, no doubt, that Mr. de Montalembert speaks.

This legal plunder may be only an isolated stain among the legislative measures of the people. If so, it is best to wipe it out with a minimum of speeches and denunciations–and in spite of the uproar of the vested interests.

How to Identify Legal Plunder

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law–which may be an isolated case–is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

Legal Plunder Has Many Names

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole–with their common aim of legal plunder– constitute socialism.

Now, since under this definition socialism is a body of doctrine, what attack can be made against it other than a war of doctrine? If you find this socialistic doctrine to be false, absurd, and evil, then refute it. And the more false, the more absurd, and the more evil it is, the easier it will be to refute. Above all, if you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out every particle of socialism that may have crept into your legislation. This will be no light task.

Socialism Is Legal Plunder

Mr. de Montalembert has been accused of desiring to fight socialism by the use of brute force. He ought to be exonerated from this accusation, for he has plainly said: “The war that we must fight against socialism must be in harmony with law, honor, and justice.”

But why does not Mr. de Montalembert see that he has placed himself in a vicious circle? You would use the law to oppose socialism? But it is upon the law that socialism itself relies. Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.

To prevent this, you would exclude socialism from entering into the making of laws? You would prevent socialists from entering the Legislative Palace? You shall not succeed, I predict, so long as legal plunder continues to be the main business of the legislature. It is illogical–in fact, absurd–to assume otherwise.

The Choice Before Us

This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

  1. The few plunder the many.
  2. Everybody plunders everybody.
  3. Nobody plunders anybody.

We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.

Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).(2)

The Proper Function of the Law

And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law–which necessarily requires the use of force–rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution–so long searched for in the area of social relationships–is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.

Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law–that is, by force–this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization–justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?

The Seductive Lure of Socialism

Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.

Enforced Fraternity Destroys Liberty

Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: “Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity.” I answered him: “The second half of your program will destroy the first.” In fact, it is impossible for me to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot. Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.

At this point, I think that I should explain exactly what I mean by the word plunder.(3)

Plunder Violates Ownership

I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance–as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it–without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud– to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.

I say that this act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere. When the law itself commits this act that it is supposed to suppress, I say that plunder is still committed, and I add that from the point of view of society and welfare, this aggression against rights is even worse. In this case of legal plunder, however, the person who receives the benefits is not responsible for the act of plundering. The responsibility for this legal plunder rests with the law, the legislator, and society itself. Therein lies the political danger.

It is to be regretted that the word plunder is offensive. I have tried in vain to find an inoffensive word, for I would not at any time–especially now–wish to add an irritating word to our dissentions. Thus, whether I am believed or not, I declare that I do not mean to attack the intentions or the morality of anyone. Rather, I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of the suffering.

Three Systems of Plunder

The sincerity of those who advocate protectionism, socialism, and communism is not here questioned. Any writer who would do that must be influenced by a political spirit or a political fear. It is to be pointed out, however, that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant in three different stages of its growth. All that can be said is that legal plunder is more visible in communism because it is complete plunder; and in protectionism because the plunder is limited to specific groups and industries.(4) Thus it follows that, of the three systems, socialism is the vaguest, the most indecisive, and, consequently, the most sincere stage of development.

With this explanation, let us examine the value–the origin and the tendency–of this popular aspiration which claims to accomplish the general welfare by general plunder.

Law Is Force

Since the law organizes justice, the socialists ask why the law should not also organize labor, education, and religion. Why should not law be used for these purposes? Because it could not organize labor, education, and religion without destroying justice. We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force. When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

Law Is a Negative Concept

The harmlessness of the mission performed by law and lawful defense is self-evident; the usefulness is obvious; and the legitimacy cannot be disputed.

As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.

But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed–then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills; the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare, to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.

Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.

The Political Approach

When a politician views society from the seclusion of his office, he is struck by the spectacle of the inequality that he sees. He deplores the deprivations which are the lot of so many of our brothers, deprivations which appear to be even sadder when contrasted with luxury and wealth.

Perhaps the politician should ask himself whether this state of affairs has not been caused by old conquests and lootings, and by more recent legal plunder. Perhaps he should consider this proposition: Since all persons seek well-being and perfection, would not a condition of justice be sufficient to cause the greatest efforts toward progress, and the greatest possible equality that is compatible with individual responsibility? Would not this be in accord with the concept of individual responsibility which God has willed in order that mankind may have the choice between vice and virtue, and the resulting punishment and reward?

But the politician never gives this a thought. His mind turns to organizations, combinations, and arrangements–legal or apparently legal. He attempts to remedy the evil by increasing and perpetuating the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. We have seen that justice is a negative concept. Is there even one of these positive legal actions that does not contain the principle of plunder?

The Law and Charity

You say: “There are persons who have no money,” and you turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with milk. Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from a source outside the society. Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in. If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody. But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money. It does not promote equality of income. The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons. When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder.

With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.

The Law and Education

You say: “There are persons who lack education,” and you turn to the law. But the law is not, in itself, a torch of learning which shines its light abroad. The law extends over a society where some persons have knowledge and others do not; where some citizens need to learn, and others can teach. In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this transaction of teaching and learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge. But in this second case, the law commits legal plunder by violating liberty and property.

The Law and Morals

You say: “Here are persons who are lacking in morality or religion,” and you turn to the law. But law is force. And need I point out what a violent and futile effort it is to use force in the matters of morality and religion?

It would seem that socialists, however self-complacent, could not avoid seeing this monstrous legal plunder that results from such systems and such efforts. But what do the socialists do? They cleverly disguise this legal plunder from others–and even from themselves–under the seductive names of fraternity, unity, organization, and association. Because we ask so little from the law–only justice–the socialists thereby assume that we reject fraternity, unity, organization, and association. The socialists brand us with the name individualist.

But we assure the socialists that we repudiate only forced organization, not natural organization. We repudiate the forms of association that are forced upon us, not free association. We repudiate forced fraternity, not true fraternity. We repudiate the artificial unity that does nothing more than deprive persons of individual responsibility. We do not repudiate the natural unity of mankind under Providence.

A Confusion of Terms

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

The Influence of Socialist Writers

How did politicians ever come to believe this weird idea that the law could be made to produce what it does not contain–the wealth, science, and religion that, in a positive sense, constitute prosperity? Is it due to the influence of our modern writers on public affairs?

Present-day writers–especially those of the socialist school of thought–base their various theories upon one common hypothesis: They divide mankind into two parts. People in general–with the exception of the writer himself–from the first group. The writer, all alone, forms the second and most important group. Surely this is the weirdest and most conceited notion that ever entered a human brain!

In fact, these writers on public affairs begin by supposing that people have within themselves no means of discernment; no motivation to action. The writers assume that people are inert matter, passive particles, motionless atoms, at best a kind of vegetation indifferent to its own manner of existence. They assume that people are susceptible to being shaped–by the will and hand of another person–into an infinite variety of forms, more or less symmetrical, artistic, and perfected. Moreover, not one of these writers on governmental affairs hesitates to imagine that he himself–under the title of organizer, discoverer, legislator, or founder–is this will and hand, this universal motivating force, this creative power whose sublime mission is to mold these scattered materials–persons–into a society.

These socialist writers look upon people in the same manner that the gardener views his trees. Just as the gardener capriciously shapes the trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, vases, fans, and other forms, just so does the socialist writer whimsically shape human beings into groups, series, centers, sub-centers, honeycombs, labor corps, and other variations. And just as the gardener needs axes, pruning hooks, saws, and shears to shape his trees, just so does the socialist writer need the force that he can find only in law to shape human beings. For this purpose, he devises tariff laws, tax laws, relief laws, and school laws.

The Socialists Wish to Play God

Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon. The popular idea of trying all systems is well known. And one socialist leader has been known seriously to demand that the Constituent Assembly give him a small district with all its inhabitants, to try his experiments upon. In the same manner, an inventor makes a model before he constructs the full-sized machine; the chemist wastes some chemicals–the farmer wastes some seeds and land–to try out an idea.

But what a difference there is between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his elements, between the farmer and his seeds! And in all sincerity, the socialist thinks that there is the same difference between him and mankind!

It is no wonder that the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator’s genius. This idea–the fruit of classical education–has taken possession of all the intellectuals and famous writers of our country. To these intellectuals and writers, the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.

Moreover, even where they have consented to recognize a principle of action in the heart of man–and a principle of discernment in man’s intellect–they have considered these gifts from God to be fatal gifts. They have thought that persons, under the impulse of these two gifts, would fatally tend to ruin themselves. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange.

The Socialists Despise Mankind

According to these writers, it is indeed fortunate that Heaven has bestowed upon certain men–governors and legislators–the exact opposite inclinations, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the rest of the world! While mankind tends toward evil, the legislators yearn for good; while mankind advances toward darkness, the legislators aspire for enlightenment; while mankind is drawn toward vice, the legislators are attracted toward virtue. Since they have decided that this is the true state of affairs, they then demand the use of force in order to substitute their own inclinations for those of the human race.

Open at random any book on philosophy, politics, or history, and you will probably see how deeply rooted in our country is this idea–the child of classical studies, the mother of socialism. In all of them, you will probably find this idea that mankind is merely inert matter, receiving life, organization, morality, and prosperity from the power of the state. And even worse, it will be stated that mankind tends toward degeneration, and is stopped from this downward course only by the mysterious hand of the legislator. Conventional classical thought everywhere says that behind passive society there is a concealed power called law or legislator (or called by some other terminology that designates some unnamed person or persons of undisputed influence and authority) which moves, controls, benefits, and improves mankind.

A Defense of Compulsory Labor

Let us first consider a quotation from Bossuet [tutor to the Dauphin in the Court of Louis XIV]:*

“One of the things most strongly impressed (by whom?) upon the minds of the Egyptians was patriotism…. No one was permitted to be useless to the state. The law assigned to each one his work, which was handed down from father to son. No one was permitted to have two professions. Nor could a person change from one job to another…. But there was one task to which all were forced to conform: the study of the laws and of wisdom. Ignorance of religion and of the political regulations of the country was not excused under any circumstances. Moreover, each occupation was assigned (by whom?) to a certain district…. Among the good laws, one of the best was that everyone was trained (by whom?) to obey them. As a result of this, Egypt was filled with wonderful inventions, and nothing was neglected that could make life easy and quiet”(5)

Thus, according to Bossuet, persons derive nothing from themselves. Patriotism, prosperity, inventions, husbandry, science–all of these are given to the people by the operation of the laws, the rulers. All that the people have to do is to bow to leadership.

A Defense of Paternal Government

Bossuet carries this idea of the state as the source of all progress even so far as to defend the Egyptians against the charge that they rejected wrestling and music. He said:

“How is that possible? These arts were invented by Trismegistus [who was alleged to have been Chancellor to the Egyptian god Osiris]”.

And again among the Persians, Bossuet claims that all comes from above:

“One of the first responsibilities of the prince was to encourage agriculture…. Just as there were offices established for the regulation of armies, just so were there offices for the direction of farm work…. The Persian people were inspired with an overwhelming respect for royal authority.”

And according to Bossuet, the Greek people, although exceedingly intelligent, had no sense of personal responsibility; like dogs and horses, they themselves could not have invented the most simple games:

“The Greeks, naturally intelligent and courageous, had been early cultivated by the kings and settlers who had come from Egypt. From these Egyptian rulers, the Greek people had learned bodily exercises, foot races, and horse and chariot races…. But the best thing that the Egyptians had taught the Greeks was to become docile, and to permit themselves to be formed by the law for the public good.”

The Idea of Passive Mankind

It cannot be disputed that these classical theories [advanced by these latter-day teachers, writers, legislators, economists, and philosophers] held that everything came to the people from a source outside themselves. As another example, take Fenelon [archbishop, author, and instructor to the Duke of Burgundy]. He was a witness to the power of Louis XIV. This, plus the fact that he was nurtured in the classical studies and the admiration of antiquity, naturally caused Fenelon to accept the idea that mankind should be passive; that the misfortunes and the prosperity–vices and virtues–of people are caused by the external influence exercised upon them by the law and the legislators. Thus, in his Utopia of Salentum, he puts men–with all their interests, faculties, desires, and possessions–under the absolute discretion of the legislator. Whatever the issue may be, persons do not decide it for themselves; the prince decides for them. The prince is depicted as the soul of this shapeless mass of people who form the nation. In the prince resides the thought, the foresight, all progress, and the principle of all organization. Thus all responsibility rests with him.

The whole of the tenth book of Fenelon’s Telemachus proves this. I refer the reader to it, and content myself with quoting at random from this celebrated work to which, in every other respect, I am the first to pay homage.

Socialists Ignore Reason and Facts

With the amazing credulity which is typical of the classicists, Fenelon ignores the authority of reason and facts when he attributes the general happiness of the Egyptians, not to their own wisdom but to the wisdom of their kings:

“We could not turn our eyes to either shore without seeing rich towns and country estates most agreeably located; fields, never fallowed, covered with golden crops every year; meadows full of flocks; workers bending under the weight of the fruit which the earth lavished upon its cultivators; shepherds who made the echoes resound with the soft notes from their pipes and flutes. “Happy,” said Mentor, “is the people governed by a wise king.”. . .”

Later, Mentor desired that I observe the contentment and abundance which covered all Egypt, where twenty-two thousand cities could be counted. He admired the good police regulations in the cities; the justice rendered in favor of the poor against the rich; the sound education of the children in obedience, labor, sobriety, and the love of the arts and letters; the exactness with which all religious ceremonies were performed; the unselfishness, the high regard for honor, the faithfulness to men, and the fear of the gods which every father taught his children. He never stopped admiring the prosperity of the country. “Happy,” said he, “is the people ruled by a wise king in such a manner.”

Socialists Want to Regiment People

Fenelon’s idyll on Crete is even more alluring. Mentor is made to say:

“All that you see in this wonderful island results from the laws of Minos. The education which he ordained for the children makes their bodies strong and robust. From the very beginning, one accustoms the children to a life of frugality and labor, because one assumes that all pleasures of the senses weaken both body and mind. Thus one allows them no pleasure except that of becoming invincible by virtue, and of acquiring glory…. Here one punishes three vices that go unpunished among other people: ingratitude, hypocrisy, and greed. There is no need to punish persons for pomp and dissipation, for they are unknown in Crete…. No costly furniture, no magnificent clothing, no delicious feasts, no gilded palaces are permitted.”

Thus does Mentor prepare his student to mold and to manipulate–doubtless with the best of intentions–the people of Ithaca. And to convince the student of the wisdom of these ideas, Mentor recites to him the example of Salentum.

It is from this sort of philosophy that we receive our first political ideas! We are taught to treat persons much as an instructor in agriculture teaches farmers to prepare and tend the soil.

A Famous Name and an Evil Idea

Now listen to the great Montesquieu on this same subject: “To maintain the spirit of commerce, it is necessary that all the laws must favor it. These laws, by proportionately dividing up the fortunes as they are made in commerce, should provide every poor citizen with sufficiently easy circumstances to enable him to work like the others. These same laws should put every rich citizen in such lowered circumstances as to force him to work in order to keep or to gain.” Thus the laws are to dispose of all fortunes!

Although real equality is the soul of the state in a democracy, yet this is so difficult to establish that an extreme precision in this matter would not always be desirable. It is sufficient that there be established a census to reduce or fix these differences in wealth within a certain limit. After this is done, it remains for specific laws to equalize inequality by imposing burdens upon the rich and granting relief to the poor.

Here again we find the idea of equalizing fortunes by law, by force.

In Greece, there were two kinds of republics, One, Sparta, was military; the other, Athens, was commercial. In the former, it was desired that the citizens be idle; in the latter, love of labor was encouraged.

Note the marvelous genius of these legislators: By debasing all established customs–by mixing the usual concepts of all virtues–they knew in advance that the world would admire their wisdom.

Lycurgus gave stability to his city of Sparta by combining petty thievery with the soul of justice; by combining the most complete bondage with the most extreme liberty; by combining the most atrocious beliefs with the greatest moderation. He appeared to deprive his city of all its resources, arts, commerce, money, and defenses. In Sparta, ambition went without the hope of material reward. Natural affection found no outlet because a man was neither son, husband, nor father. Even chastity was no longer considered becoming. By this road, Lycurgus led Sparta on to greatness and glory.

This boldness which was to be found in the institutions of Greece has been repeated in the midst of the degeneracy and corruption of our modern times. An occasional honest legislator has molded a people in whom integrity appears as natural as courage in the Spartans.

Mr. William Penn, for example, is a true Lycurgus. Even though Mr. Penn had peace as his objective–while Lycurgus had war as his objective–they resemble each other in that their moral prestige over free men allowed them to overcome prejudices, to subdue passions, and to lead their respective peoples into new paths.

The country of Paraguay furnishes us with another example [of a people who, for their own good, are molded by their legislators].(6)

Now it is true that if one considers the sheer pleasure of commanding to be the greatest joy in life, he contemplates a crime against society; it will, however, always be a noble ideal to govern men in a manner that will make them happier. Those who desire to establish similar institutions must do as follows: Establish common ownership of property as in the republic of Plato; revere the gods as Plato commanded; prevent foreigners from mingling with the people, in order to preserve the customs; let the state, instead of the citizens, establish commerce. The legislators should supply arts instead of luxuries; they should satisfy needs instead of desires.

A Frightful Idea

Those who are subject to vulgar infatuation may exclaim: “Montesquieu has said this! So it’s magnificent! It’s sublime!” As for me, I have the courage of my own opinion. I say: What! You have the nerve to call that fine? It is frightful! It is abominable! These random selections from the writings of Montesquieu show that he considers persons, liberties, property–mankind itself–to be nothing but materials for legislators to exercise their wisdom upon.

The Leader of the Democrats

Now let us examine Rousseau on this subject. This writer on public affairs is the supreme authority of the democrats. And although he bases the social structure upon the will of the people, he has, to a greater extent than anyone else, completely accepted the theory of the total inertness of mankind in the presence of the legislators: “If it is true that a great prince is rare, then is it not true that a great legislator is even more rare? The prince has only to follow the pattern that the legislator creates. The legislator is the mechanic who invents the machine; the prince is merely the workman who sets it in motion. And what part do persons play in all this? They are merely the machine that is set in motion. In fact, are they not merely considered to be the raw material of which the machine is made?”

Thus the same relationship exists between the legislator and the prince as exists between the agricultural expert and the farmer; and the relationship between the prince and his subjects is the same as that between the farmer and his land. How high above mankind, then, has this writer on public affairs been placed? Rousseau rules over legislators themselves, and teaches them their trade in these imperious terms:

“Would you give stability to the state? Then bring the extremes as closely together as possible. Tolerate neither wealthy persons nor beggars.

If the soil is poor or barren, or the country too small for its inhabitants, then turn to industry and arts, and trade these products for the foods that you need…. On a fertile soil–if you are short of inhabitants–devote all your attention to agriculture, because this multiplies people; banish the arts, because they only serve to depopulate the nation….

If you have extensive and accessible coast lines, then cover the sea with merchant ships; you will have a brilliant but short existence. If your seas wash only inaccessible cliffs, let the people be barbarous and eat fish; they will live more quietly– perhaps better–and, most certainly, they will live more happily. In short, and in addition to the maxims that are common to all, every people has its own particular circumstances. And this fact in itself will cause legislation appropriate to the circumstances.” This is the reason why the Hebrews formerly–and, more recently, the Arabs–had religion as their principle objective. The objective of the Athenians was literature; of Carthage and Tyre, commerce; of Rhodes, naval affairs; of Sparta, war; and of Rome, virtue. The author of The Spirit of Laws has shown by what art the legislator should direct his institutions toward each of these objectives…. But suppose that the legislator mistakes his proper objective, and acts on a principle different from that indicated by the nature of things? Suppose that the selected principle sometimes creates slavery, and sometimes liberty; sometimes wealth, and sometimes population; sometimes peace, and sometimes conquest? This confusion of objective will slowly enfeeble the law and impair the constitution. The state will be subjected to ceaseless agitations until it is destroyed or changed, and invincible nature regains her empire.

But if nature is sufficiently invincible to regain its empire, why does not Rousseau admit that it did not need the legislator to gain it in the first place? Why does he not see that men, by obeying their own instincts, would turn to farming on fertile soil, and to commerce on an extensive and easily accessible coast, without the interference of a Lycurgus or a Solon or a Rousseau who might easily be mistaken.

Socialists Want Forced Conformity

Be that as it may, Rousseau invests the creators, organizers, directors, legislators, and controllers of society with a terrible responsibility. He is, therefore, most exacting with them: “He who would dare to undertake the political creation of a people ought to believe that he can, in a manner of speaking, transform human nature; transform each individual–who, by himself, is a solitary and perfect whole–into a mere part of a greater whole from which the individual will henceforth receive his life and being. Thus the person who would undertake the political creation of a people should believe in his ability to alter man’s constitution; to strengthen it; to substitute for the physical and independent existence received from nature, an existence which is partial and moral.(7) In short, the would- be creator of political man must remove man’s own forces and endow him with others that are naturally alien to him.”

Poor human nature! What would become of a person’s dignity if it were entrusted to the followers of Rousseau?

Legislators Desire to Mold Mankind

Now let us examine Raynal on this subject of mankind being molded by the legislator:

“The legislator must first consider the climate, the air, and the soil. The resources at his disposal determine his duties. He must first consider his locality. A population living on maritime shores must have laws designed for navigation…. If it is an inland settlement, the legislator must make his plans according to the nature and fertility of the soil….

It is especially in the distribution of property that the genius of the legislator will be found. As a general rule, when a new colony is established in any country, sufficient land should be given to each man to support his family….

On an uncultivated island that you are populating with children, you need do nothing but let the seeds of truth germinate along with the development of reason…. But when you resettle a nation with a past into a new country, the skill of the legislator rests in the policy of permitting the people to retain no injurious opinions and customs which can possibly be cured and corrected. If you desire to prevent these opinions and customs from becoming permanent, you will secure the second generation by a general system of public education for the children. A prince or a legislator should never establish a colony without first arranging to send wise men along to instruct the youth….”

In a new colony, ample opportunity is open to the careful legislator who desires to purify the customs and manners of the people. If he has virtue and genius, the land and the people at his disposal will inspire his soul with a plan for society. A writer can only vaguely trace the plan in advance because it is necessarily subject to the instability of all hypotheses; the problem has many forms, complications, and circumstances that are difficult to foresee and settle in detail.

Legislators Told How to Manage Men

Raynal’s instructions to the legislators on how to manage people may be compared to a professor of agriculture lecturing his students: “The climate is the first rule for the farmer. His resources determine his procedure. He must first consider his locality. If his soil is clay, he must do so and so. If his soil is sand, he must act in another manner. Every facility is open to the farmer who wishes to clear and improve his soil. If he is skillful enough, the manure at his disposal will suggest to him a plan of operation. A professor can only vaguely trace this plan in advance because it is necessarily subject to the instability of all hypotheses; the problem has many forms, complications, and circumstances that are difficult to foresee and settle in detail.” Oh, sublime writers! Please remember sometimes that this clay, this sand, and this manure which you so arbitrarily dispose of, are men! They are your equals! They are intelligent and free human beings like yourselves! As you have, they too have received from God the faculty to observe, to plan ahead, to think, and to judge for themselves!

A Temporary Dictatorship

Here is Mably on this subject of the law and the legislator. In the passages preceding the one here quoted, Mably has supposed the laws, due to a neglect of security, to be worn out. He continues to address the reader thusly: “Under these circumstances, it is obvious that the springs of government are slack. Give them a new tension, and the evil will be cured…. Think less of punishing faults, and more of rewarding that which you need. In this manner you will restore to your republic the vigor of youth. Because free people have been ignorant of this procedure, they have lost their liberty! But if the evil has made such headway that ordinary governmental procedures are unable to cure it, then resort to an extraordinary tribunal with considerable powers for a short time. The imagination of the citizens needs to be struck a hard blow.” In this manner, Mably continues through twenty volumes. Under the influence of teaching like this–which stems from classical education–there came a time when everyone wished to place himself above mankind in order to arrange, organize, and regulate it in his own way.

Socialists Want Equality of Wealth

Next let us examine Condillac on this subject of the legislators and mankind:

“My Lord, assume the character of Lycurgus or of Solon. And before you finish reading this essay, amuse yourself by giving laws to some savages in America or Africa. Confine these nomads to fixed dwellings; teach them to tend flocks…. Attempt to develop the social consciousness that nature has planted in them…. Force them to begin to practice the duties of humanity…. Use punishment to cause sensual pleasures to become distasteful to them. Then you will see that every point of your legislation will cause these savages to lose a vice and gain a virtue.

All people have had laws. But few people have been happy. Why is this so? Because the legislators themselves have almost always been ignorant of the purpose of society, which is the uniting of families by a common interest.

Impartiality in law consists of two things: the establishing of equality in wealth and equality in dignity among the citizens…. As the laws establish greater equality, they become proportionately more precious to every citizen…. When all men are equal in wealth and dignity–and when the laws leave no hope of disturbing this equality–how can men then be agitated by greed, ambition, dissipation, idleness, sloth, envy, hatred, or jealousy?

What you have learned about the republic of Sparta should enlighten you on this question. No other state has ever had laws more in accord with the order of nature; of equality.”

The Error of the Socialist Writers

Actually, it is not strange that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the human race was regarded as inert matter, ready to receive everything–form, face, energy, movement, life–from a great prince or a great legislator or a great genius. These centuries were nourished on the study of antiquity. And antiquity presents everywhere–in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome–the spectacle of a few men molding mankind according to their whims, thanks to the prestige of force and of fraud. But this does not prove that this situation is desirable. It proves only that since men and society are capable of improvement, it is naturally to be expected that error, ignorance, despotism, slavery, and superstition should be greatest towards the origins of history. The writers quoted above were not in error when they found ancient institutions to be such, but they were in error when they offered them for the admiration and imitation of future generations. Uncritical and childish conformists, they took for granted the grandeur, dignity, morality, and happiness of the artificial societies of the ancient world. They did not understand that knowledge appears and grows with the passage of time; and that in proportion to this growth of knowledge, might takes the side of right, and society regains possession of itself.

What Is Liberty?

Actually, what is the political struggle that we witness? It is the instinctive struggle of all people toward liberty. And what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world? Is it not the union of all liberties–liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of travel, of labor, of trade? In short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism–including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self- defense; of punishing injustice?

It must be admitted that the tendency of the human race toward liberty is largely thwarted, especially in France. This is greatly due to a fatal desire–learned from the teachings of antiquity– that our writers on public affairs have in common: They desire to set themselves above mankind in order to arrange, organize, and regulate it according to their fancy.

Philanthropic Tyranny

While society is struggling toward liberty, these famous men who put themselves at its head are filled with the spirit of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They think only of subjecting mankind to the philanthropic tyranny of their own social inventions. Like Rousseau, they desire to force mankind docilely to bear this yoke of the public welfare that they have dreamed up in their own imaginations.

This was especially true in 1789. No sooner was the old regime destroyed than society was subjected to still other artificial arrangements, always starting from the same point: the omnipotence of the law.

Listen to the ideas of a few of the writers and politicians during that period:

SAINT-JUST: “The legislator commands the future. It is for him to will the good of mankind. It is for him to make men what he wills them to be.”

ROBESPIERRE: “The function of government is to direct the physical and moral powers of the nation toward the end for which the commonwealth has come into being.”

BILLAUD-VARENNES: “A people who are to be returned to liberty must be formed anew. A strong force and vigorous action are necessary to destroy old prejudices, to change old customs, to correct depraved affections, to restrict superfluous wants, and to destroy ingrained vices…. Citizens, the inexible austerity of Lycurgus created the firm foundation of the Spartan republic. The weak and trusting character of Solon plunged Athens into slavery. This parallel embraces the whole science of government.”

LE PELLETIER: “Considering the extent of human degradation, I am convinced that it is necessary to effect a total regeneration and, if I may so express myself, of creating a new people.”

The Socialists Want Dictatorship

Again, it is claimed that persons are nothing but raw material. It is not for them to will their own improvement; they are incapable of it. According to Saint- Just, only the legislator is capable of doing this. Persons are merely to be what the legislator wills them to be. According to Robespierre, who copies Rousseau literally, the legislator begins by decreeing the end for which the commonwealth has come into being. Once this is determined, the government has only to direct the physical and moral forces of the nation toward that end. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the nation are to remain completely passive. And according to the teachings of Billaud- Varennes, the people should have no prejudices, no affections, and no desires except those authorized by the legislator. He even goes so far as to say that the inflexible austerity of one man is the foundation of a republic.

In cases where the alleged evil is so great that ordinary governmental procedures cannot cure it, Mably recommends a dictatorship to promote virtue: “Resort,” he says, “to an extraordinary tribunal with considerable powers for a short time. The imagination of the citizens needs to be struck a hard blow.” This doctrine has not been forgotten.

Listen to Robespierre: “The principle of the republican government is virtue, and the means required to establish virtue is terror. In our country we desire to substitute morality for selfishness, honesty for honor, principles for customs, duties for manners, the empire of reason for the tyranny of fashion, contempt of vice for contempt of poverty, pride for insolence, greatness of soul for vanity, love of glory for love of money, good people for good companions, merit for intrigue, genius for wit, truth for glitter, the charm of happiness for the boredom of pleasure, the greatness of man for the littleness of the great, a generous, strong, happy people for a good-natured, frivolous, degraded people; in short, we desire to substitute all the virtues and miracles of a republic for all the vices and absurdities of a monarchy.”

Dictatorial Arrogance

At what a tremendous height above the rest of mankind does Robespierre here place himself! And note the arrogance with which he speaks. He is not content to pray for a great reawakening of the human spirit. Nor does he expect such a result from a well-ordered government. No, he himself will remake mankind, and by means of terror.

This mass of rotten and contradictory statements is extracted from a discourse by Robespierre in which he aims to explain the principles of morality which ought to guide a revolutionary government. Note that Robespierre’s request for dictatorship is not made merely for the purpose of repelling a foreign invasion or putting down the opposing groups. Rather he wants a dictatorship in order that he may use terror to force upon the country his own principles of morality. He says that this act is only to be a temporary measure preceding a new constitution. But in reality, he desires nothing short of using terror to extinguish from France selfishness, honor, customs, manners, fashion, vanity, love of money, good companionship, intrigue, wit, sensuousness, and poverty. Not until he, Robespierre, shall have accomplished these miracles, as he so rightly calls them, will he permit the law to reign again.(8)

The Indirect Approach to Despotism

Usually, however, these gentlemen–the reformers, the legislators, and the writers on public affairs–do not desire to impose direct despotism upon mankind. Oh no, they are too moderate and philanthropic for such direct action. Instead, they turn to the law for this despotism, this absolutism, this omnipotence. They desire only to make the laws.

To show the prevalence of this queer idea in France, I would need to copy not only the entire works of Mably, Raynal, Rousseau, and Fenelon–plus long extracts from Bossuet and Montesquieu–but also the entire proceedings of the Convention. I shall do no such thing; I merely refer the reader to them.

Napoleon Wanted Passive Mankind

It is, of course, not at all surprising that this same idea should have greatly appealed to Napoleon. He embraced it ardently and used it with vigor. Like a chemist, Napoleon considered all Europe to be material for his experiments. But, in due course, this material reacted against him.

At St. Helena, Napoleon–greatly disillusioned–seemed to recognize some initiative in mankind. Recognizing this, he became less hostile to liberty. Nevertheless, this did not prevent him from leaving this lesson to his son in his will: “To govern is to increase and spread morality, education, and happiness.”

After all this, it is hardly necessary to quote the same opinions from Morelly, Babeuf, Owen, Saint-Simon, and Fourier. Here are, however, a few extracts from Louis Blanc’s book on the organization of labor: “In our plan, society receives its momentum from power.”

Now consider this: The impulse behind this momentum is to be supplied by the plan of Louis Blanc; his plan is to be forced upon society; the society referred to is the human race. Thus the human race is to receive its momentum from Louis Blanc. Now it will be said that the people are free to accept or to reject this plan. Admittedly, people are free to accept or to reject advice from whomever they wish. But this is not the way in which Mr. Louis Blanc understands the matter. He expects that his plan will be legalized, and thus forcibly imposed upon the people by the power of the law:

“In our plan, the state has only to pass labor laws (nothing else?) by means of which industrial progress can and must proceed in complete liberty. The state merely places society on an incline (that is all?). Then society will slide down this incline by the mere force of things, and by the natural workings of the established mechanism.”

But what is this incline that is indicated by Mr. Louis Blanc? Does it not lead to an abyss? (No, it leads to happiness.) If this is true, then why does not society go there of its own choice? (Because society does not know what it wants; it must be propelled.) What is to propel it? (Power.) And who is to supply the impulse for this power? (Why, the inventor of the machine– in this instance, Mr. Louis Blanc.)

The Vicious Circle of Socialism

We shall never escape from this circle: the idea of passive mankind, and the power of the law being used by a great man to propel the people.

Once on this incline, will society enjoy some liberty? (Certainly.) And what is liberty, Mr. Louis Blanc?

Once and for all, liberty is not only a mere granted right; it is also the power granted to a person to use and to develop his faculties under a reign of justice and under the protection of the law.

And this is no pointless distinction; its meaning is deep and its consequences are difficult to estimate. For once it is agreed that a person, to be truly free, must have the power to use and develop his faculties, then it follows that every person has a claim on society for such education as will permit him to develop himself. It also follows that every person has a claim on society for tools of production, without which human activity cannot be fully effective. Now by what action can society give to every person the necessary education and the necessary tools of production, if not by the action of the state?

Thus, again, liberty is power. Of what does this power consist? (Of being educated and of being given the tools of production.) Who is to give the education and the tools of production? (Society, which owes them to everyone.) By what action is society to give tools of production to those who do not own them? (Why, by the action of the state.) And from whom will the state take them?

Let the reader answer that question. Let him also notice the direction in which this is taking us.

The Doctrine of the Democrats

The strange phenomenon of our times–one which will probably astound our descendants–is the doctrine based on this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator. These three ideas form the sacred symbol of those who proclaim themselves totally democratic.

The advocates of this doctrine also profess to be social. So far as they are democratic, they place unlimited faith in mankind. But so far as they are social, they regard mankind as little better than mud. Let us examine this contrast in greater detail.

What is the attitude of the democrat when political rights are under discussion? How does he regard the people when a legislator is to be chosen? Ah, then it is claimed that the people have an instinctive wisdom; they are gifted with the finest perception; their will is always right; the general will cannot err; voting cannot be too universal.

When it is time to vote, apparently the voter is not to be asked for any guarantee of his wisdom. His will and capacity to choose wisely are taken for granted. Can the people be mistaken? Are we not living in an age of enlightenment? What! are the people always to be kept on leashes? Have they not won their rights by great effort and sacrifice? Have they not given ample proof of their intelligence and wisdom? Are they not adults? Are they not capable of judging for themselves? Do they not know what is best for themselves? Is there a class or a man who would be so bold as to set himself above the people, and judge and act for them? No, no, the people are and should be free. They desire to manage their own affairs, and they shall do so.

But when the legislator is finally elected–ah! then indeed does the tone of his speech undergo a radical change. The people are returned to passiveness, inertness, and unconsciousness; the legislator enters into omnipotence. Now it is for him to initiate, to direct, to propel, and to organize. Mankind has only to submit; the hour of despotism has struck. We now observe this fatal idea: The people who, during the election, were so wise, so moral, and so perfect, now have no tendencies whatever; or if they have any, they are tendencies that lead downward into degradation.

The Socialist Concept of Liberty

But ought not the people be given a little liberty? But Mr. Considerant has assured us that liberty leads inevitably to monopoly!

We understand that liberty means competition. But according to Mr. Louis Blanc, competition is a system that ruins the businessmen and exterminates the people. It is for this reason that free people are ruined and exterminated in proportion to their degree of freedom. (Possibly Mr. Louis Blanc should observe the results of competition in, for example, Switzerland, Holland, England, and the United States.)

Mr. Louis Blanc also tells us that competition leads to monopoly. And by the same reasoning, he thus informs us that low prices lead to high prices; that competition drives production to destructive activity; that competition drains away the sources of purchasing power; that competition forces an increase in production while, at the same time, it forces a decrease in consumption. From this, it follows that free people produce for the sake of not consuming; that liberty means oppression and madness among the people; and that Mr. Louis Blanc absolutely must attend to it.

Socialists Fear All Liberties

Well, what liberty should the legislators permit people to have? Liberty of conscience? (But if this were permitted, we would see the people taking this opportunity to become atheists.) Then liberty of education? (But parents would pay professors to teach their children immorality and falsehoods; besides, according to Mr. Thiers, if education were left to national liberty, it would cease to be national, and we would be teaching our children the ideas of the Turks or Hindus; whereas, thanks to this legal despotism over education, our children now have the good fortune to be taught the noble ideas of the Romans.) Then liberty of labor? (But that would mean competition which, in turn, leaves production unconsumed, ruins businessmen, and exterminates the people.)

Perhaps liberty of trade? (But everyone knows–and the advocates of protective tariffs have proved over and over again–that freedom of trade ruins every person who engages in it, and that it is necessary to suppress freedom of trade in order to prosper.)

Possibly then, liberty of association? (But, according to socialist doctrine, true liberty and voluntary association are in contradiction to each other, and the purpose of the socialists is to suppress liberty of association precisely in order to force people to associate together in true liberty.)

Clearly then, the conscience of the social democrats cannot permit persons to have any liberty because they believe that the nature of mankind tends always toward every kind of degradation and disaster. Thus, of course, the legislators must make plans for the people in order to save them from themselves.

This line of reasoning brings us to a challenging question: If people are as incapable, as immoral, and as ignorant as the politicians indicate, then why is the right of these same people to vote defended with such passionate insistence?

The Superman Idea

The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority. They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority.

The Socialists Reject Free Choice

Please understand that I do not dispute their right to invent social combinations, to advertise them, to advocate them, and to try them upon themselves, at their own expense and risk. But I do dispute their right to impose these plans upon us by law–by force–and to compel us to pay for them with our taxes.

I do not insist that the supporters of these various social schools of thought–the Proudhonists, the Cabetists, the Fourierists, the Universitarists, and the Protectionists–renounce their various ideas. I insist only that they renounce this one idea that they have in common: They need only to give up the idea of forcing us to acquiesce to their groups and series, their socialized projects, their free- credit banks, their Graeco-Roman concept of morality, and their commercial regulations. I ask only that we be permitted to decide upon these plans for ourselves; that we not be forced to accept them, directly or indirectly, if we find them to be contrary to our best interests or repugnant to our consciences.

But these organizers desire access to the tax funds and to the power of the law in order to carry out their plans. In addition to being oppressive and unjust, this desire also implies the fatal supposition that the organizer is infallible and mankind is incompetent. But, again, if persons are incompetent to judge for themselves, then why all this talk about universal suffrage?

The Cause of French Revolutions

This contradiction in ideas is, unfortunately but logically, reflected in events in France. For example, Frenchmen have led all other Europeans in obtaining their rights–or, more accurately, their political demands. Yet this fact has in no respect prevented us from becoming the most governed, the most regulated, the most imposed upon, the most harnessed, and the most exploited people in Europe. France also leads all other nations as the one where revolutions are constantly to be anticipated. And under the circumstances, it is quite natural that this should be the case.

And this will remain the case so long as our politicians continue to accept this idea that has been so well expressed by Mr. Louis Blanc: “Society receives its momentum from power.” This will remain the case so long as human beings with feelings continue to remain passive; so long as they consider themselves incapable of bettering their prosperity and happiness by their own intelligence and their own energy; so long as they expect everything from the law; in short, so long as they imagine that their relationship to the state is the same as that of the sheep to the shepherd.

The Enormous Power of Government

As long as these ideas prevail, it is clear that the responsibility of government is enormous. Good fortune and bad fortune, wealth and destitution, equality and inequality, virtue and vice–all then depend upon political administration. It is burdened with everything, it undertakes everything, it does everything; therefore it is responsible for everything.

If we are fortunate, then government has a claim to our gratitude; but if we are unfortunate, then government must bear the blame. For are not our persons and property now at the disposal of government? Is not the law omnipotent? In creating a monopoly of education, the government must answer to the hopes of the fathers of families who have thus been deprived of their liberty; and if these hopes are shattered, whose fault is it?

In regulating industry, the government has contracted to make it prosper; otherwise it is absurd to deprive industry of its liberty. And if industry now suffers, whose fault is it?

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? In giving protection instead of liberty to the industries for defense, the government has contracted to make them profitable; and if they become a burden to the taxpayers, whose fault is it? Thus there is not a grievance in the nation for which the government does not voluntarily make itself responsible. Is it surprising, then, that every failure increases the threat of another revolution in France?

And what remedy is proposed for this? To extend indefinitely the domain of the law; that is, the responsibility of government. But if the government undertakes to control and to raise wages, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to care for all who may be in want, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to support all unemployed workers, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to lend interest-free money to all borrowers, and cannot do it; if, in these words that we regret to say escaped from the pen of Mr. de Lamartine, “The state considers that its purpose is to enlighten, to develop, to enlarge, to strengthen, to spiritualize, and to sanctify the soul of the people”–and if the government cannot do all of these things, what then? Is it not certain that after every government failure–which, alas! is more than probable–there will be an equally inevitable revolution?

Politics and Economics

[Now let us return to a subject that was briefly discussed in the opening pages of this thesis: the relationship of economics and of politics–political economy.(9)]

A science of economics must be developed before a science of politics can be logically formulated. Essentially, economics is the science of determining whether the interests of human beings are harmonious or antagonistic. This must be known before a science of politics can be formulated to determine the proper functions of government.

Immediately following the development of a science of economics, and at the very beginning of the formulation of a science of politics, this all-important question must be answered: What is law? What ought it to be? What is its scope; its limits? Logically, at what point do the just powers of the legislator stop?

I do not hesitate to answer: Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle to injustice. In short, law is justice.

Proper Legislative Functions

It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property. The existence of persons and property preceded the existence of the legislator, and his function is only to guarantee their safety.

It is not true that the function of law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our wills, our education, our opinions, our work, our trade, our talents, or our pleasures. The function of law is to protect the free exercise of these rights, and to prevent any person from interfering with the free exercise of these same rights by any other person.

Since law necessarily requires the support of force, its lawful domain is only in the areas where the use of force is necessary. This is justice.

Every individual has the right to use force for lawful self-defense. It is for this reason that the collective force–which is only the organized combination of the individual forces–may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose.

Law is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized. Law is justice.

Law and Charity Are Not the Same

The mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect persons and property.

Furthermore, it must not be said that the law may be philanthropic if, in the process, it refrains from oppressing persons and plundering them of their property; this would be a contradiction. The law cannot avoid having an effect upon persons and property; and if the law acts in any manner except to protect them, its actions then necessarily violate the liberty of persons and their right to own property.

The law is justice–simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this.

If you exceed this proper limit–if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic–you will then be lost in an uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?

The High Road to Communism

Mr. de Saint-Cricq would extend his philanthropy only to some of the industrial groups; he would demand that the law control the consumers to benefit the producers.

Mr. Considerant would sponsor the cause of the labor groups; he would use the law to secure for them a guaranteed minimum of clothing, housing, food, and all other necessities of life. Mr. Louis Blanc would say–and with reason–that these minimum guarantees are merely the beginning of complete fraternity; he would say that the law should give tools of production and free education to all working people. Another person would observe that this arrangement would still leave room for inequality; he would claim that the law should give to everyone–even in the most inaccessible hamlet–luxury, literature, and art.

All of these proposals are the high road to communism; legislation will then be–in fact, it already is–the battlefield for the fantasies and greed of everyone.

The Basis for Stable Government

Law is justice. In this proposition a simple and enduring government can be conceived. And I defy anyone to say how even the thought of revolution, of insurrection, of the slightest uprising could arise against a government whose organized force was confined only to suppressing injustice.

Under such a regime, there would be the most prosperity–and it would be the most equally distributed. As for the sufferings that are inseparable from humanity, no one would even think of accusing the government for them. This is true because, if the force of government were limited to suppressing injustice, then government would be as innocent of these sufferings as it is now innocent of changes in the temperature.

As proof of this statement, consider this question: Have the people ever been known to rise against the Court of Appeals, or mob a Justice of the Peace, in order to get higher wages, free credit, tools of production, favorable tariffs, or government-created jobs? Everyone knows perfectly well that such matters are not within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals or a Justice of the Peace. And if government were limited to its proper functions, everyone would soon learn that these matters are not within the jurisdiction of the law itself. But make the laws upon the principle of fraternity–proclaim that all good, and all bad, stem from the law; that the law is responsible for all individual misfortunes and all social inequalities–then the door is open to an endless succession of complaints, irritations, troubles, and revolutions.

Justice Means Equal Rights

Law is justice. And it would indeed be strange if law could properly be anything else! Is not justice right? Are not rights equal? By what right does the law force me to conform to the social plans of Mr. Mimerel, Mr. de Melun, Mr. Thiers, or Mr. Louis Blanc? If the law has a moral right to do this, why does it not, then, force these gentlemen to submit to my plans? Is it logical to suppose that nature has not given me sufficient imagination to dream up a utopia also? Should the law choose one fantasy among many, and put the organized force of government at its service only? Law is justice. And let it not be said–as it continually is said– that under this concept, the law would be atheistic, individualistic, and heartless; that it would make mankind in its own image. This is an absurd conclusion, worthy only of those worshippers of government who believe that the law is mankind. Nonsense! Do those worshippers of government believe that free persons will cease to act? Does it follow that if we receive no energy from the law, we shall receive no energy at all? Does it follow that if the law is restricted to the function of protecting the free use of our faculties, we will be unable to use our faculties? Suppose that the law does not force us to follow certain forms of religion, or systems of association, or methods of education, or regulations of labor, or regulations of trade, or plans for charity; does it then follow that we shall eagerly plunge into atheism, hermitary, ignorance, misery, and greed? If we are free, does it follow that we shall no longer recognize the power and goodness of God? Does it follow that we shall then cease to associate with each other, to help each other, to love and succor our unfortunate brothers, to study the secrets of nature, and to strive to improve ourselves to the best of our abilities?

The Path to Dignity and Progress

Law is justice. And it is under the law of justice–under the reign of right; under the influence of liberty, safety, stability, and responsibility–that every person will attain his real worth and the true dignity of his being. It is only under this law of justice that mankind will achieve–slowly, no doubt, but certainly– God’s design for the orderly and peaceful progress of humanity. It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion–whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government–at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty.

Proof of an Idea

And does not experience prove this? Look at the entire world. Which countries contain the most peaceful, the most moral, and the happiest people? Those people are found in the countries where the law least interferes with private affairs; where government is least felt; where the individual has the greatest scope, and free opinion the greatest influence; where administrative powers are fewest and simplest; where taxes are lightest and most nearly equal, and popular discontent the least excited and the least justifiable; where individuals and groups most actively assume their responsibilities, and, consequently, where the morals of admittedly imperfect human beings are constantly improving; where trade, assemblies, and associations are the least restricted; where labor, capital, and populations suffer the fewest forced displacements; where mankind most nearly follows its own natural inclinations; where the inventions of men are most nearly in harmony with the laws of God; in short, the happiest, most moral, and most peaceful people are those who most nearly follow this principle: Although mankind is not perfect, still, all hope rests upon the free and voluntary actions of persons within the limits of right; law or force is to be used for nothing except the administration of universal justice.

The Desire to Rule over Others

This must be said: There are too many “great” men in the world–legislators, organizers, do-gooders, leaders of the people, fathers of nations, and so on, and so on. Too many persons place themselves above mankind; they make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it.

Now someone will say: “You yourself are doing this very thing.” True. But it must be admitted that I act in an entirely different sense; if I have joined the ranks of the reformers, it is solely for the purpose of persuading them to leave people alone. I do not look upon people as Vancauson looked upon his automaton. Rather, just as the physiologist accepts the human body as it is, so do I accept people as they are. I desire only to study and admire.

My attitude toward all other persons is well illustrated by this story from a celebrated traveler: He arrived one day in the midst of a tribe of savages, where a child had just been born. A crowd of soothsayers, magicians, and quacks – – armed with rings, hooks, and cords–surrounded it. One said: “This child will never smell the perfume of a peace- pipe unless I stretch his nostrils.” Another said: “He will never be able to hear unless I draw his ear-lobes down to his shoulders.” A third said: “He will never see the sunshine unless I slant his eyes.” Another said: “He will never stand upright unless I bend his legs.” A fifth said: “He will never learn to think unless I flatten his skull.”

“Stop,” cried the traveler. “What God does is well done. Do not claim to know more than He. God has given organs to this frail creature; let them develop and grow strong by exercise, use, experience, and liberty.”

Let Us Now Try Liberty

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations! And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.


  1. General Council of Manufacturers, Agriculture, and Commerce, May 6, 1850.

Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.

  1. Translator’s note: At the time this was written, Mr. Bastiat knew that he was dying of tuberculosis. Within a year, he was dead.
  2. Translator’s note: The French word used by Mr. Bastiat is spoliation.
  3. If the special privilege of government protection against competition–a monopoly–were granted only to one group in France, the iron workers, for instance, this act would so obviously be legal plunder that it could not last for long. It is for this reason that we see all the protected trades combined into a common cause. They even organize themselves in such a manner as to appear to represent all persons who labor. Instinctively, they feel that legal plunder is concealed by generalizing it. But sincere or insincere, the intentions of persons are not here under question. In fact, I have already said that legal plunder is based partially on philanthropy, even though it is a false philanthropy.
  4. Translator’s note: The parenthetical expressions and the italicized words throughout this book were supplied by Mr. Bastiat. All subheads and bracketed material were supplied by the translator.
  5. Translator’s note: What was then known as Paraguay was a much larger area than it is today. It was colonized by the Jesuits who settled the Indians into villages, and generally saved them from further brutalities by the avid conquerors.
  6. Translator’s note: According to Rousseau, the existence of social man is partial in the sense that he is henceforth merely a part of society. Knowing himself as such–and thinking and feeling from the point of view of the whole–he thereby becomes moral.
  7. At this point in the original French text, Mr. Bastiat pauses and speaks thusly to all do-gooders and would-be rulers of mankind: “Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.”
  8. Translator’s note: Mr. Bastiat has devoted three other books and several articles to the development of the ideas contained in the three sentences of the following paragraph.

Sacred Destabilization • Part Seven: Antinomian Infiltration of Western Civilization

By Eric • September 3, 2022

Artist’s depiction of the Red Flag used by the “peasant class” in the onset of the French Revolution

“We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country, of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.”

Karl Marx


This is Part Seven. The Sacred Destabilization will tie components of the Occult to “Secret Societies” – clubs of the elite/political/donor/ruling class – to the neoliberal, internationalist, corporatist oligarchy which rules over the resources. Power is possession of the Resources. Control. Law. Force. Self-anointed divinity. There is nothing motivating the Big People from ever relinquishing their power. Though, they masquerade in duplicitous behavior, with promoting agendas of “Diversity, Inclusion, Equity” once called Equality. They state they are fighting inequality. Yet to fight this ghost, they work to eliminate QUALITY. In America, some ten years ago we called it the “pussification of America.” The fuckery has been turned up quite a notch. The quality of your life. Of your children’s lives. And your posterity after that. And they are doing so for they know the competent, capable people are their greatest threat to the stability of their control. And since the promise of dystopia via “the New Normal” – there is an Acceleration underway.

Waddesdon Manor – a Rothschild house

The powerful have co-opted the political utopian ideologies of the Left to weaponize against the capable, competent people of the West – in order to bring about the fall of the threat of any competition. Critical Theory and Political Correctness are at the heart of the scheme.

Kassel in 1783, the capital of the Protestant state of Hesse, of which Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel was one of the high-ranking figures linked to the Bavarian Illuminati.

Let us move through this history…

Sabbatean-Frankism to Destabilize Reality

The word “Radiance” from the Zohar was also interpreted into English as “Illuminate” – this is the root of the chosen name, Illuminati. In Sabbatean-Frankism, “who permits the forbidden” later became the Illuminist “do as thou wilt” the expression of their “religious” feeling. That is their tactic. They don’t advocate a Satanic kingdom. They gently steer you that way by questioning the existence of God, by demanding “sexual liberation,” “independence” for women, “internationalism,” “diversity” and “religious tolerance.”

The original insignia of the Bavarian Illuminati: the owl of Minerva, symbolising wisdom, on top of an opened book

Adam Weishaupt was not, he said, against religion per se, but rather against the way it was practiced and enforced. His thinking, he wrote, freed “from all religious prejudices; cultivated social virtues; and animated them with a deep, realizable and immediate sense of universal happiness. To achieve this, it was necessary to create “a state of freedom and moral equity, free from the obstacles imposed by subordination, rank and wealth.”

Weishuapt was given the task of adapting the ritual and rites of Illuminism for use of initiation into the Grand Orient Masonry. He also lived in Frankfort, Germany. Mirabeau introduced the Duc D’Orleans and his friend Talleyrand to Weishaupt who initiated them into the secrets of Grand Orient Masonry. By the end of 1773 Phillipe, Duc D’Orleans had introduced the Grand Orient Ritual into French Freemasonry. By 1788 there were more than two thousand lodges in France affiliated with Grand Orient Masonry and the number of individual adepts exceeded one hundred thousand. Thus the Jewish Illuminati under Moses Mendelssohn was introduced into Continental Freemasonry by Weishaupt under the guise of Lodges of the Grand Orient. The Jewish Illuminati next organized secret revolutionary committees within the lodges. Thus the revolutionary underground directors were established throughout France.

Initiation of an apprentice Freemason around 1800, an engraving (ca. 1805) based on that by Gabanon on the same subject dated 1745

Antinomian Spirit

  • Turn to sin, sin is holy, sin brings about the return of Yawweh
  • Adultury, pedophilia, incest, prostitution is acceptable
  • Blackmail, espionage, sabotage, usury, theft are acceptable
  • Fraud, deceit, lying, manipulating are acceptable
  • Inversion of all that is wholesome; family, gender roles, values, morals, ethics, reality itself

“Whiteness” – as displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC in 2020. Rather – antinomian? Critical Theory running rampant.

French Revolution

“Revolution is a blow struck at a paralytic. … When the debt-grip has been firmly established, control of every form of publicity and political activity soon follows, together with a full grip on industrialists, [both management and labour].  The stage is then set for the revolutionary blow.  The grip of the right hand of finance establishes the paralysis;  while the revolutionary left hand that holds the dagger and deals the fatal blow.  Moral corruption facilitates the whole process.”

-Captain A.H.M. Ramsay: The Nameless War

The French revolution was a period of major uprising and upheaval for France, between 1789 and 1799, when the people fought for greater equality and representation against the ‘ancien regime’ – a long-standing system where the monarchy, aristocracy and Catholic Church held absolute power and privilege over ordinary people. The period was chaotic and brutal as France fought internally as well as with other nations in the struggle for a fairer constitution. During this time, the monarchy was overthrown, the Church disestablished and France declared a republic, sending Louis XIV and his despised Queen Marie Antoinette to the guillotine. Thousands more were executed at the guillotine, which became an enduring symbol of the events of the time. The revolutionary ideas unleashed by the French Revolution – among them liberté, egalité, and fraternité, influenced countries and peoples far and wide, setting up a new model for what revolution looked like and the powerful effects it could achieve. It sent shockwaves of fear through the British establishment, who inflicted harsh punishments on those who sought to protest or campaign for reform in the coming decades.

epresentation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 painted by Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier in 1789. His depiction includes the “eye of providence” and also the red Phrygian cap, two symbols associated with freemasonry.

During the early days of the French Revolution (1789 – 1799) the red flag was adopted by the Jacobins (the more extreme revolutionaries), and was presented as their statement of a willingness to die as martyrs to the cause. During the Reign of Terror (1793 – 94) it came to symbolise the martial law of the people in their fight against oppression. The red flag became part of the development of new national emblems for France (including the republican cockade), and was soon taken up by revolutionaries elsewhere.

In 1785 a courier was galloping madly on horseback from Frankfort to Paris carrying detailed information regarding the World Revolutionary Movement in general, and instructions for the planned French Revolution in particular. The instructions originated with the Jewish Illuminati in Germany and were addressed to Grand Master of the Grand Orient Masons in France. The Grand Orient Lodges had been established as the revolutionary underground by the Duc D’Orleans after he, as Grand Master of French Masonry, had been initiated into the Jewish Illuminati in Frankfort by Mirabeau. The courier was struck by lightning while passing through Ratisbon, and killed. The documents he carried fell into the hands of the police who turned them over to the Bavarian Government. A record of historical events told in chronological order connects the House of Rothschild with the Jewish Illuminati in Frankfort and the Illuminati within French Free Masonry known as the Grand Orient Lodges.

After the secret documents found on the body of the Courier had been read by the police, the documents were passed on to the Bavarian Government. The Bavarian Government ordered the police to raid the headquarters of the Illuminati. Further evidence was obtained which exposed the wide-spread ramifications of the World Revolutionary Movement. The Governments of France, England, Poland, Germany, Austria and Russia were informed of the International Nature of the revolutionary plot, but as has happened repeatedly since, the governments concerned took no serious action to stop the diabolical conspiracy. Why ? The only answer to this question is this : The power of the men behind the world revolutionary movement is greater than the power of any elected government.

After various governments failed to act on the information made known by the Bavarian police in 1785, the sister of Marie Antoinette wrote her personal letters warning her of the revolutionary plot; the connection of the International Bankers; the part Freemasonry was destined to play, and her own danger. Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) was the daughter of the Emperor Francis I of Austria. She married Louis XVI of France. She just couldn’t bring herself to believe the terrible things her own sister told her were being plotted by the Illuminati. To the repeated warnings sent by her sister, Marie Antoinette wrote long letters in reply. In regard to her sister’s claim that evidence had been obtained that the Illuminati operating under the guise of Philanthropic Freemasonry planned to destroy both the Church and State in France, Marie Antoinette replied : “I believe that as far as France is concerned, you worry too much about Freemasonry. Here it is far from having the significance it may have elsewhere in Europe.”How wrong she proved to be is a matter of history. Because she refused consistently to heed her sister’s repeated warnings she and her husband died under the guillotine.

Another piece of evidence which connects the English Jewish moneylenders with the plot to bring about the French Revolution was unearthed by Lady Queensborough, author of “Occult Theocrasy”.  While doing some research work she read a copy of “L’Anti-Semitisme” written by a Jew named Bernard Lazare and published in 1849.  With the leads obtained from this book Lady Queensborough claims Benjamin Goldsmid, his brother Abraham, and their partner Moses Mecatta, and his nephew Sir Moses Montifiore, were Jewish financiers in England who were definitely affiliated with their continental Jewish brethren in the plot to bring about the revolution in France.  Further evidence was found to tie Daniel Itsig of Berlin, and his son-in-law David Friedlander, and Herz Gergbeer of Alsace in with the Rothschilds and the plot. 

What’s coming – or already here?

It has been recorded how the Jewish Rabbis claimed the power to interpret the secret and hidden meanings of the writings of Holy Scripture by special revelation obtained through Cabala. Claiming to have such powers was of little avail unless they had an organization, or instrument, in their hands to put the inspiration they claimed to have received into effect. The money-lenders, certain High Priests, Directors, and Elders decided to organize a very secret society to serve their evil purpose — they named it “The Illuminati”. The word Illuminati is derived from the word Lucifer, which means Bearer of the Light, or Being of extraordinary brilliance. Therefore the Illuminati was Organized to carry out the inspirations given to the High Priests by Lucifer during the performance of their Cabalistic Rites. Thus Christ is proved justified when he named them of the Synagogue of Satan. The Supreme Council of the Jewish Illuminati numbered thirteen. They were, and still remain, the executive body of The Council of Thirty Three. The heads of the Jewish Illuminati claim to possess superlative knowledge in everything pertaining to religious doctrine, religious rites, and religious ceremonies. They were the men who conceived the Atheistic-materialistic ideology which in 1848 was published as “The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx.

Origin of the Left v. Right Political Spectrum

Painting of the French parliament (unknown)

The modern usage of the political terms left and right comes from the French Revolution of 1789 when supporters of the king stood to the president’s right, and supporters of the revolution to his left.

This split between liberty and authority and split between individualism and collectivism AKA “social equality and inequality” (or more generally between liberalism and conservatism; AKA “left” and “right”) has defined the political left and right since its first usage in the French press of the time.

An example of The System’s disdain for anything “right-wing” – a clear contortion of reality; suggesting health, wellness,stamina, strength and conditioning will cause “wrong think”

A simple way to see this is in terms of classical government types: The French Revolutionaries wanted a more liberal democracy (where both liberalism and democracy are the ideologies of liberty and equality) and that the aristocracy wanted a more aristocratic form of Monarchy (the ideology of hierarchies, order and authority). So those who want Democracy, Liberalism, Equality, and Liberty are “to the political left” of those who want Monarchy, Conservatism, Authority (Illiberality), Hierarchy (Inequality), Tradition, and Order.

Karl Marx & 1848

Karl Marx said as much In the Communist Manifesto of 1848, in which he called for the abolition of the family. The family was already absent among the proletariat, Marx and his co-author Friedrich Engels wrote, and among the bourgeoisie, the family was a mere “money relation.”Most importantly, Marx said that communism would ensure that children would be educated by the state and not by their parents. Communists, he wrote in the Manifesto, would “rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.” The making of the “New Man” was the priority, and the family was an obstacle.

Karl Marx is related to the Rothschilds

Bolshevik Revolution

Who Financed Bolshevik Revolution?

The top Communist leaders have never been as hostile to their counterparts in the West, as the rhetoric suggests. They are quite friendly to the world’s leading financiers and have worked closely with them, when it suits their purposes. The Bolshevik revolution actually was financed by wealthy financiers in London and New York. Lenin and Trotsky were on the closest of terms with these moneyed interests both before and after the Revolution. Those hidden liaisons have continued to this day and occasionally pop to the surface, when we discover a David Rockefeller holding confidential meetings with a Mikhail Gorbachev in the absence of government sponsorship or diplomatic purpose.

One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. However, the planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States. Furthermore, the Rothschild Formula played a major role in shaping these events.

Jacob Schiff – the Financier

Jacob Schiff was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Co. He was one of the principal backers of the Bolshevik revolution and personally financed Trotsky’s trip from New York to Russia. He was a major contributor to Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign and an advocate for passage of the Federal Reserve Act.

The Russo-Japanese War

This amazing story begins with the war between Russia and Japan in 1904. Jacob Schiff, who was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had raised the capital for large war loans to Japan. It was due to this funding that the Japanese were able to launch a stunning attack against the Russians at Port Arthur and the following year to virtually decimate the Russian fleet. In 1905 the Mikado awarded Jacob Schiff a medal, the Second Order of the Treasure of Japan, in recognition of his important role in that campaign.

The Manufactured Revolutionaries

During the two years of hostilities thousands of Russian soldiers and sailors were taken as prisoners. Sources outside of Russia, which were hostile to the Tsarist regime, paid for the printing of Marxist propaganda and had it delivered to the prison camps. Russian-speaking revolutionaries were trained in New York and sent to distribute the pamphlets among the prisoners and to indoctrinate them into rebellion against their own government.

When the war was ended, these officers and enlisted men returned home to become virtual seeds of treason against the Tsar. They were to play a major role a few years later in creating mutiny among the military during the Communist takeover of Russia.

Leon Trotsky – the Triple Agent

One of the best known Russian revolutionaries at that time was Leon Trotsky. In January of 1916 Trotsky was expelled from France and came to the United States. It has been claimed that his expenses were paid by Jacob Schiff. There is no documentation to substantiate that claim, but the circumstantial evidence does point to a wealthy donor in New York.

He remained for several months, while writing for a Russian socialist paper, the Novy Mir (New World) and giving revolutionary speeches at mass meetings in New York City. According to Trotsky himself, on many occasions a chauffeured limousine was placed at his service by a wealthy friend, identified as Dr. M.

The doctor’s wife took my wife and the boys out driving and was very kind to them. But she was a mere mortal, whereas the chauffeur was a magician, a titan, a superman! With the wave of his hand he made the machine obey his slightest command. To sit beside him was the supreme delight. When they went into a tea room, the boys would anxiously demand of their mother, “Why doesn’t the chauffeur come in?” (Leon Trotsky: My Life, New York publisher: Scribner’s, 1930, p. 277)

It must have been a curious sight to see the family of the great socialist radical, defender of the working class, enemy of capitalism, enjoying the pleasures of tea rooms and chauffeurs, the very symbols of capitalist luxury.

Overthrow of the Tsarist Regime

On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia. Thousands of socialists, Marxists, nihilists and anarchists attended to cheer the event. The following day there was published on page two of the New York Times a telegram from Jacob Schiff, which had been read to this audience. He expressed regrets, that he could not attend and then described the successful Russian revolution as “…what we had hoped and striven for these long years”. (Mayor Calls Pacifists Traitors, The New York Times, March 24, 1917, p. 2)

In the February 3, 1949 issue of the New York Journal American Schiff’s grandson, John, was quoted by columnist Cholly Knickerbocker as saying that his grandfather had given about $20 million for the triumph of Communism in Russia. To appraise Schiff’s motives for supporting the Bolsheviks, we must remember, that he was a Jew and that Russian Jews had been persecuted under the Tsarist regime. Consequently the Jewish community in America was inclined to support any movement, which sought to topple the Russian government and the Bolsheviks were excellent candidates for the task.

However, there were also strong financial incentives for Wall Street firms, such as Kuhn, Loeb and Company, of which Schiff was a senior partner, to see the old regime fall into the hands of revolutionaries, who would agree to grant lucrative business concessions in the future in return for financial support today.

Trotsky’s arrest

When Trotsky returned to Petrograd in May of 1917 to organize the Bolshevik phase of the Russian Revolution, he carried $10,000 for travel expenses, a generously ample fund considering the value of the dollar at that time. Trotsky was arrested by Canadian and British naval intelligence, when the ship, on which he was traveling, the S.S. Kristianiafjord, put in at Halifax. The money in his possession is now a matter of official record. The source of that money has been the focus of much speculation, but the evidence strongly suggests, that its origin was the German government. It was a sound investment.

Trotsky was not arrested on a whim. He was recognized as a threat to the best interests of England, Canada’s mother country in the British Commonwealth. Russia was an ally of England in the First World War, which then was raging in Europe. Anything, that would weaken Russia – and that certainly included internal revolution – would be, in effect, to strengthen Germany and weaken England.

In New York on the night before his departure Trotsky had given a speech, in which he said: “I am going back to Russia to overthrow the provisional government and stop the war with Germany.” (A full report on this meeting had been submitted to the U.S. Military Intelligence. See Senate Document No. 62, 66th Congress, Report and Hearings of the Subcommittee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 1919, Vol. II, p. 2680.) Trotsky therefore represented a real threat to England’s war effort. He was arrested as a German agent and taken as a prisoner of war.

Trotsky’s mysterious release
With this in mind we can appreciate the great strength of those mysterious forces both in England and the United States, that intervened on Trotsky’s behalf. Immediately telegrams began to come into Halifax from such divergent sources, as an obscure attorney in New York City, from the Canadian Deputy Postmaster-General and even from a high-ranking British military officer, all inquiring into Trotsky’s situation and urging his immediate release.

The head of the British Secret Service in America at the time was Sir William Wiseman, who, as fate would have it, occupied the apartment directly above the apartment of Edward Mandell House and who had become fast friends with him. House advised Wiseman, that President Wilson wished to have Trotsky released. Wiseman advised his government and the British Admiralty issued orders on April 21st, that Trotsky was to be sent on his way. (“Why Did We Let Trotsky Go? How Canada Lost an Opportunity to Shorten the War”, MacLeans magazine, Canada, June 1919. Also see Martin, pp. 163-164.) It was a fateful deecision, that would affect not only the outcome of the war, but the future of the entire world.

President Woodrow Wilson – the Fairy Godmother

It would be a mistake to conclude, that Jacob Schiff and Germany were the only players in this drama. Trotsky could not have gone even as far as Halifax without having been granted an American passport and this was accomplished by the personal intervention of

President Wilson.

President Woodrow Wilson was the fairy godmother, who provided Trotsky with a passport to return to Russia to “carry forward” the revolution… At the same time careful State Department bureaucrats, concerned about such revolutionaries entering Russia, were unilaterally attempting to tighten up passport procedures. (Antony C. Sutton, Ph. D.: Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, published by Arlington House in New Rochelle, NY, 1974, p. 25)

Robert Minor’s Deelighted

In 1911 the St. Louis Dispatch published a cartoon by a Bolshevik named Robert Minor. Minor was later to be arrested in Tsarist Russia for revolutionary activities and in fact was himself bankrolled by famous Wall Street financiers. Since we may safely assume, that he knew his topic well, his cartoon is of great historical importance. It portrays Karl Marx with a book entitled Socialism under his arm, standing amid a cheering crowd on Wall Street. Gathered around and greeting him with enthusiastic handshakes are characters in silk hats identified as John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, Morgan partner George W. Perkins and Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.

Deelighted – This cartoon by Robert Minor appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1911. It shows Karl Marx surrounded by enthusiastic Wall Street financiers: Morgan partner George Perkins, J.P. Morgan, John Ryan of National City Bank, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Immediately behind Marx is Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.

What emerges from this sampling of events is a clear pattern of strong support for Bolshevism coming from the highest financial and political power centers in the United States; from men, who supposedly were “capitalists” and who according to conventional wisdom should have been the mortal enemies of socialism and communism. Nor was this phenomenon confined to the United States.

The British Betrayal

Trotsky in his book My Life tells of a British financier, who in 1907 gave him a “large loan” to be repaid after the overthrow of the Tsar. Arsene de Goulevitch, who witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution firsthand, has identified both the name of the financier and the amount of the loan.

“In private interviews”, he said, “I have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord Alfred Milner in financing the Russian Revolution… The financier just mentioned was by no means alone among the British to support the Russian revolution with large financial donations.” Another name specifically mentioned by de Goulevitch was that of Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador to Russia at the time. (See Arsene de Goulevitch: Czarism and Revolution, published by Omni Publications in Hawthorne, California, no date; rpt. from 1962 French edition, pp. 224, 230)

It was one thing for Americans to undermine Tsarist Russia and thus indirectly help Germany in the war, because Americans were not then into it, but for British citizens to do so was tantamount to treason. To understand, what higher loyalty compelled these men to betray their battlefield ally and to sacrifice the blood of their own countrymen, we must take a look at the unique organization, to which they belonged.

The Round Table Agents

In Russia prior to and during the revolution there were many local observers, tourists and newsmen, who reported, that British and American agents were everywhere, particularly in Petrograd, providing money for insurrection. One report said, for example, that British agents were seen handing out 25-rouble notes to the men at the Pavlovski Regiment just a few hours, before it mutinied against its officers and sided with the revolution. The subsequent publication of various memoirs and documents made it clear, that this funding was provided by Lord Alfred Milner and channeled through Sir George Buchanan, who was the British Ambassador to Russia at the time.

Round Table members were once again working both sides of the conflict to weaken and topple a target government. Tsar Nicholas had every reason to believe, that since the British were Russia’s allies in the war against Germany, British officials would be the last persons on Earth to conspire against him. Yet the British Ambassador himself represented the hidden group, which was financing the regime’s downfall.

The Red Cross’s Military Mission

The Round Table Agents from America did not have the advantage of using the diplomatic service as cover and therefore had to be considerably more ingenious. They came not as diplomats or even as interested businessmen, but disguised as Red Cross officials on a humanitarian mission. The group consisted almost entirely of financiers, lawyers and accountants from New York banks and investment houses. They simply had overpowered the American Red Cross organization with large contributions and in effect purchased a franchise to operate in its name.

The 1910 [Red Cross] fund-raising campaign for $2 million, for example, was successful only, because it was supported by these wealthy residents of New York City. J.P. Morgan himself contributed $100,000… Henry P. Davison [a Morgan partner] was chairman of the 1910 New York Fund-Raising Committee and later became chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross… The Red Cross was unable to cope with the demands of World War I. and in effect was taken over by these New York bankers. (Sutton: Revolution, p. 72)

For the duration of the war the Red Cross had been made nominally a part of the armed forces and subject to orders from the proper military authorities. It was not clear, who these authorities were and in fact there were never any orders, but the arrangement made it possible for the participants to receive military commissions and wear the uniform of American army officers. The entire expense of the Red Cross Mission in Russia, including the purchase of uniforms, was paid for by the man, who was appointed by President Wilson to become its head, “Colonel” William Boyce Thompson.

William Boyce Thompson – the American Tsar

Thompson was a classical specimen of the Round Table network. Having begun his career as a speculator in copper mines, he soon moved into the world of high finance.

He refinanced the American Woolen Company and the Tobacco Products Company;
He launched the Cuban Cane Sugar Company;
He purchased controlling interest in the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company;
He organized the Submarine Boat Corporation and the Wright-Martin Aeroplane Company;
He became a director of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railway, the Magma Arizona Railroad and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company;
He was one of the heaviest stockholders in the Chase National Bank;
He was the agent for J.P. Morgan’s British securities operation;
He became the first full-time director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the most important bank in the Federal Reserve System;
He contributed a quarter-million dollars to the Red Cross.

When Thompson arrived in Russia, he made it clear, that he was not your typical Red Cross representative. According to Hermann Hagedorn, Thompson’s biographer:

He deliberately created the kind of setting, which would be expected of an American magnate: established himself in a suite in the Hotel de l’Europe, bought a French limousine, went dutifully to receptions and teas and evinced an interest in objects of art. Society and the diplomats, noting that here was a man of parts and power, began to flock about him. He was entertained at the embassies, at the houses of Kerensky’s ministers. It was discovered, that he was a collector and those with antiques to sell fluttered around him offering him miniatures, Dresden china, tapestries, even a palace or two. (Hermann Hagedorn: The Magnate: William Boyce Thompson and His Time, published by Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1935, pp. 192-93)

When Thompson attended the opera, he was given the imperial box. People on the street called him the American Tsar. And it is not surprising, that according to George Kennan, “He was viewed by the Kerensky authorities as the ‘real’ ambassador of the United States.” (George F. Kennan: Russia Leaves the War: Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1920 published by Princeton University Press in Princeton, NJ, 1956, p. 60)

Funding Both Sides

It is now a matter of record, that Thompson syndicated the purchase on Wall Street of Russian bonds in the amount of ten million roubles. In addition, he gave over two million roubles to Aleksandr Kerensky for propaganda purposes inside Russia and with J.P. Morgan gave the rouble equivalent of one million dollars to the Bolsheviks for the spreading of revolutionary propaganda outside of Russia, particularly in Germany and Austria. It was the agitation made possible by this funding, that led to the abortive German Spartacus Revolt of 1918.

At first it may seem incongruous, that the Morgan group would provide funding for both Kerensky and Lenin. These men may have both been socialist revolutionaries, but they were miles apart in their plans for the future and in fact were bitter competitors for control of the new government. But the tactic of funding both sides in a political contest by then had been refined by members of the Round Table into a fine art.

Subjugation of Independent Republics

Towards the middle of the twentieth century, the Colonial Era started winding down, and independent republics started coming up. Starting from 1920 to 1970, huge economic assets were created in more than forty or so countries under the tight control and supervision of their own watchful governments. Though there were complaints about some level of mismanagement of the funds, overall trillions of dollars worth of economic assets were created in these countries, these assets being off-limits to every Colonial Power.

Every war that happened during this period, every coup that took place were aimed at knocking down these republics one after the other and sucking their economic resources into the un-maintainable, wasteful Western Economic Lifestyle based on faulty economic theories. After thirty such countries were knocked down, the process of divide and rule and plunder was christened with a nice-sounding name: “Privatization and Liberalization”. The theoretical framework of this was proposed by none other than the Chairman of the Bank of England around 1971. The final frontiers in this process of knocking down the country’s economic resources were Russia and India. Excerpts from GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance.


Going beyond the economic mechanisms involved in Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto is the aim to dissect these other attributes of the West; Patriarchy, Gender dynamics, race, faith, culture, history.


Hungarian communists managed to establish a Hungarian soviet for a short time in 1919. They quickly realized that the way to completely change society was to destroy the most important civil society institution, the family. Its culture and education commissar, George Lukacs, therefore instituted a system to instruct young children into sexual perversions.

Lukacs’s biographer described it this way: “Special lectures were organized in schools and literature printed and distributed to ‘instruct’ children about free love, about the nature of sexual intercourse, about the archaic nature of bour­geois family codes, about the outdatedness of monogamy, and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasure. Children urged thus to reject and deride paternal authority and the authority of the church, and to ignore precepts of morality.”None of this went down well with the typical Hungarian, needless to say, and the Hungarian soviet lasted only 133 days.

Luckas escaped with this life and influenced a group of neo-communists academics in Germany that we know as “the Frankfurt School.”

Frankfurt School theorists

The Frankfurt School

All the tensions within the German academic community which accompanied the changes in political, cultural and intellectual life in Germany since 1890 were reproduced in the Institute for Social Research from its inception in Frankfurt in 1923. These changes were widely diagnosed as a ‘crisis in culture’. By this very definition the ‘crisis’ was deplored yet exacerbated. The Institute carried these tensions with it into exile and when it returned to Germany after the war and found itself the sole heir to a discredited tradition the inherited tensions became even more acute. These tensions are evident in the work of most of the School’s members, and most clearly, self-consciously and importantly in the work of Theodor W. Adorno.

Three of their most famous scholars were Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse. One of their key intellectual contributions was the idea that it was the family that created the authoritarian character. The patriarchal father created in his children the desire to obey and submit to authority.

The single, most important organizational component of this conspiracy was a Communist thinktank called the Institute for Social Research (I.S.R.), but popularly known as the Frankfurt School.

In the heady days immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it was widely believed that proletarian revolution would momentarily sweep out of the Urals into Europe and, ultimately, North America. It did not; the only two attempts at workers’ government in the West— in Munich and Budapest—lasted only months. The Communist International (Comintern) therefore began several operations to determine why this was so. One such was headed by Georg Lukacs, a Hungarian aristocrat, son of one of the Hapsburg Empire’s leading bankers. Trained in Germany and already an important literary theorist, Lukacs became a Communist during World War I, writing as he joined the party, “Who will save us from Western civilization?” Lukacs was well-suited to the Comintern task: he had been one of the Commissars of Culture during the short-lived Hungarian Soviet in Budapest in 1919; in fact, modern historians link the shortness of the Budapest experiment to Lukacs’ orders mandating sex education in the schools, easy access to contraception, and the loosening of divorce laws—all of which revulsed Hungary’s Roman Catholic population.

Fleeing to the Soviet Union after the counter-revolution, Lukacs was secreted into Germany in 1922, where he chaired a meeting of Communist-oriented sociologists and intellectuals. This meeting founded the Institute for Social Research. Over the next decade, the Institute worked out what was to become the Comintern’s most successful psychological warfare operation against the capitalist West.

Lukacs identified that any political movement capable of bringing Bolshevism to the West would have to be, in his words, “demonic”; it would have to “possess the religious power which is capable of filling the entire soul; a power that characterized primitive Christianity.” However, Lukacs suggested, such a “messianic” political movement could only succeed when the individual believes that his or her actions are determined by “not a personal destiny, but the destiny of the community” in a world “that has been abandoned by God [emphasis added-MJM].” Bolshevism worked in Russia because that nation was dominated by a peculiar gnostic form of Christianty typified by the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. “The model for the new man is Alyosha Karamazov,” said Lukacs, referring to the Dostoyevsky character who willingly gave over his personal identity to a holy man, and thus ceased to be “unique, pure, and therefore abstract.”

This abandonment of the soul’s uniqueness also solves the problem of “the diabolic forces lurking in all violence” which must be unleashed in order to create a revolution. In this context, Lukacs cited the Grand Inquisitor section of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, noting that the Inquisitor who is interrogating Jesus, has resolved the issue of good and evil: once man has understood his alienation from God, then any act in the service of the “destiny of the community” is justified; such an act can be “neither crime nor madness…. For crime and madness are objectifications of transcendental homelessness.”

According to an eyewitness, during meetings of the Hungarian Soviet leadership in 1919 to draw up lists for the firing squad, Lukacs would often quote the Grand Inquisitor: “And we who, for their happiness, have taken their sins upon ourselves, we stand before you and say, ‘Judge us if you can and if you dare.’ “

The task of the Frankfurt School, then, was first, to undermine the Christian legacy through an “abolition of culture” (Aufhebung der Kultur in Lukacs’ German); and, second, to determine new cultural forms which would increase the alienation of the population, thus creating a “new barbarism.” To this task, there gathered in and around the Frankfurt School an incredible assortment of not only Communists, but also non-party socialists, radical phenomenologists, Zionists, renegade Freudians, and at least a few members of a self-identified “cult of Astarte.” The variegated membership reflected, to a certain extent, the sponsorship: although the Institute for Social Research started with Comintern support, over the next three decades its sources of funds included various German and American universities, the Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia Broadcasting System, the American Jewish Committee, several American intelligence services, the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, the International Labour Organization, and the Hacker Institute, a posh psychiatric clinic in Beverly Hills.

Similarly, the Institute’s political allegiances: although top personnel maintained what might be called a sentimental relationship to the Soviet Union (and there is evidence that some of them worked for Soviet intelligence into the 1960’s), the Institute saw its goals as higher than that of Russian foreign policy. Stalin, who was horrified at the undisciplined, “cosmopolitan” operation set up by his predecessors, cut the Institute off in the late 1920’s, forcing Lukacs into “self-criticism,” and briefly jailing him as a German sympathizer during World War II.

Lukacs survived to briefly take up his old post as Minister of Culture during the anti-Stalinist Imre Nagy regime in Hungary. Of the other top Institute figures, the political perambulations of Herbert Marcuse are typical. He started as a Communist; became a protégé of philosopher Martin Heidegger even as the latter was joining the Nazi Party; coming to America, he worked for the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and later became the U.S. State Department’s top analyst of Soviet policy during the height of the McCarthy period; in the 1960’s, he turned again, to become the most important guru of the New Left; and he ended his days helping to found the environmentalist extremist Green Party in West Germany.

In all this seeming incoherence of shifting positions and contradictory funding, there is no ideological conflict. The invariant is the desire of all parties to answer Lukacs’ original question: “Who will save us from Western civilization?”

Perhaps the most important, if least-known, of the Frankfurt School’s successes was the shaping of the electronic media of radio and television into the powerful instruments of social control which they represent today. This grew out of the work originally done by two men who came to the Institute in the late 1920’s, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin.

After completing studies at the University of Frankfurt, Walter Benjamin planned to emigrate to Palestine in 1924 with his friend Gershom Scholem (who later became one of Israel’s most famous philosophers, as well as Judaism’s leading gnostic), but was prevented by a love affair with Asja Lacis, a Latvian actress and Comintern stringer. Lacis whisked him off to the Italian island of Capri, a cult center from the time of the Emperor Tiberius, then used as a Comintern training base; the heretofore apolitical Benjamin wrote Scholem from Capri, that he had found “an existential liberation and an intensive insight into the actuality of radical communism.”

Lacis later took Benjamin to Moscow for further indoctrination, where he met playwright Bertolt Brecht, with whom he would begin a long collaboration; soon thereafter, while working on the first German translation of the drug-enthusiast French poet Baudelaire, Benjamin began serious experimentation with hallucinogens. In 1927, he was in Berlin as part of a group led by Adorno, studying the works of Lukacs; other members of the study group included Brecht and his composer-partner Kurt Weill; Hans Eisler, another composer who would later become a Hollywood film score composer and co-author with Adorno of the textbook Composition for the Film; the avant-garde photographer Imre Moholy-Nagy; and the conductor Otto Klemperer.

From 1928 to 1932, Adorno and Benjamin had an intensive collaboration, at the end of which they began publishing articles in the Institute’s journal, the Zeitschrift fär Sozialforschung. Benjamin was kept on the margins of the Institute, largely due to Adorno, who would later appropriate much of his work. As Hitler came to power, the Institute’s staff fled, but, whereas most were quickly spirited away to new deployments in the U.S. and England, there were no job offers for Benjamin, probably due to the animus of Adorno. He went to France, and, after the German invasion, fled to the Spanish border; expecting momentary arrest by the Gestapo, he despaired and died in a dingy hotel room of self-administered drug overdose.

Benjamin’s work remained almost completely unknown until 1955, when Scholem and Adorno published an edition of his material in Germany. The full revival occurred in 1968, when Hannah Arendt, Heidegger’s former mistress and a collaborator of the Institute in America, published a major article on Benjamin in the New Yorker magazine, followed in the same year by the first English translations of his work. Today, every university bookstore in the country boasts a full shelf devoted to translations of every scrap Benjamin wrote, plus exegesis, all with 1980’s copyright dates.

Adorno was younger than Benjamin, and as aggressive as the older man was passive. Born Teodoro Wiesengrund-Adorno to a Corsican family, he was taught the piano at an early age by an aunt who lived with the family and had been the concert accompanist to the international opera star Adelina Patti. It was generally thought that Theodor would become a professional musician, and he studied with Bernard Sekles, Paul Hindemith’s teacher. However, in 1918, while still a gymnasium student, Adorno met Siegfried Kracauer. Kracauer was part of a Kantian-Zionist salon which met at the house of Rabbi Nehemiah Nobel in Frankfurt; other members of the Nobel circle included philosopher Martin Buber, writer Franz Rosenzweig, and two students, Leo Lowenthal and Erich Fromm. Kracauer, Lowenthal, and Fromm would join the I.S.R. two decades later. Adorno engaged Kracauer to tutor him in the philosophy of Kant; Kracauer also introduced him to the writings of Lukacs and to Walter Benjamin, who was around the Nobel clique.

In 1924, Adorno moved to Vienna, to study with the atonalist composers Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg, and became connected to the avant-garde and occult circle around the old Marxist Karl Kraus. Here, he not only met his future collaborator, Hans Eisler, but also came into contact with the theories of Freudian extremist Otto Gross. Gross, a long-time cocaine addict, had died in a Berlin gutter in 1920, while on his way to help the revolution in Budapest; he had developed the theory that mental health could only be achieved through the revival of the ancient cult of Astarte, which would sweep away monotheism and the “bourgeois family.”

By 1928, Adorno and Benjamin had satisfied their intellectual wanderlust, and settled down at the I.S.R. in Germany to do some work. As subject, they chose an aspect of the problem posed by Lukacs: how to give aesthetics a firmly materialistic basis. It was a question of some importance, at the time. Official Soviet discussions of art and culture, with their wild gyrations into “socialist realism” and “proletkult,” were idiotic, and only served to discredit Marxism’s claim to philosophy among intellectuals. Karl Marx’s own writings on the subject were sketchy and banal, at best.

In essence, Adorno and Benjamin’s problem was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz had once again obliterated the centuries-old gnostic dualism dividing mind and body, by demonstrating that matter does not think. A creative act in art or science apprehends the truth of the physical universe, but it is not determined by that physical universe. By self-consciously concentrating the past in the present to effect the future, the creative act, properly defined, is as immortal as the soul which envisions the act. This has fatal philosophical implications for Marxism, which rests entirely on the hypothesis that mental activity is determined by the social relations excreted by mankind’s production of its physical existence.

Marx sidestepped the problem of Leibniz, as did Adorno and Benjamin, although the latter did it with a lot more panache. It is wrong, said Benjamin in his first articles on the subject, to start with the reasonable, hypothesizing mind as the basis of the development of civilization; this is an unfortunate legacy of Socrates. As an alternative, Benjamin posed an Aristotelian fable in interpretation of Genesis: Assume that Eden were given to Adam as the primordial physical state. The origin of science and philosophy does not lie in the investigation and mastery of nature, but in the naming of the objects of nature; in the primordial state, to name a thing was to say all there was to say about that thing. In support of this, Benjamin cynically recalled the opening lines of the Gospel according to St. John, carefully avoiding the philosophically-broader Greek, and preferring the Vulgate (so that, in the phrase “In the beginning was the Word,” the connotations of the original Greek word logos—speech, reason, ratiocination, translated as “Word”—are replaced by the narrower meaning of the Latin word verbum). After the expulsion from Eden and God’s requirement that Adam eat his bread earned by the sweat of his face (Benjamin’s Marxist metaphor for the development of economies), and God’s further curse of Babel on Nimrod (that is, the development of nation-states with distinct languages, which Benjamin and Marx viewed as a negative process away from the “primitive communism” of Eden), humanity became “estranged” from the physical world.

Thus, Benjamin continued, objects still give off an “aura” of their primordial form, but the truth is now hopelessly elusive. In fact, speech, written language, art, creativity itself—that by which we master physicality—merely furthers the estrangement by attempting, in Marxist jargon, to incorporate objects of nature into the social relations determined by the class structure dominant at that point in history. The creative artist or scientist, therefore, is a vessel, like Ion the rhapsode as he described himself to Socrates, or like a modern “chaos theory” advocate: the creative act springs out of the hodgepodge of culture as if by magic. The more that bourgeois man tries to convey what he intends about an object, the less truthful he becomes; or, in one of Benjamin’s most oft-quoted statements, “Truth is the death of intention.”

This philosophical sleight-of-hand allows one to do several destructive things. By making creativity historically-specific, you rob it of both immortality and morality. One cannot hypothesize universal truth, or natural law, for truth is completely relative to historical development. By discarding the idea of truth and error, you also may throw out the “obsolete” concept of good and evil; you are, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “beyond good and evil.” Benjamin is able, for instance, to defend what he calls the “Satanism” of the French Symbolists and their Surrealist successors, for at the core of this Satanism “one finds the cult of evil as a political device … to disinfect and isolate against all moralizing dilettantism” of the bourgeoisie. To condemn the Satanism of Rimbaud as evil, is as incorrect as to extol a Beethoven quartet or a Schiller poem as good; for both judgments are blind to the historical forces working unconsciously on the artist.

Thus, we are told, the late Beethoven’s chord structure was striving to be atonal, but Beethoven could not bring himself consciously to break with the structured world of Congress of Vienna Europe (Adorno’s thesis); similarly, Schiller really wanted to state that creativity was the liberation of the erotic, but as a true child of the Enlightenment and Immanuel Kant, he could not make the requisite renunciation of reason (Marcuse’s thesis). Epistemology becomes a poor relation of public opinion, since the artist does not consciously create works in order to uplift society, but instead unconsciously transmits the ideological assumptions of the culture into which he was born. The issue is no longer what is universally true, but what can be plausibly interpreted by the self-appointed guardians of the Zeitgeist.

Thus, for the Frankfort School, the goal of a cultural elite in the modern, “capitalist” era must be to strip away the belief that art derives from the self-conscious emulation of God the Creator; “religious illumination,” says Benjamin, must be shown to “reside in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson.” At the same time, new cultural forms must be found to increase the alienation of the population, in order for it to understand how truly alienated it is to live without socialism. “Do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones,” said Benjamin.

The proper direction in painting, therefore, is that taken by the late Van Gogh, who began to paint objects in disintegration, with the equivalent of a hashish-smoker’s eye that “loosens and entices things out of their familiar world.” In music, “it is not suggested that one can compose better today” than Mozart or Beethoven, said Adorno, but one must compose atonally, for atonalism is sick, and “the sickness, dialectically, is at the same time the cure….The extraordinarily violent reaction protest which such music confronts in the present society … appears nonetheless to suggest that the dialectical function of this music can already be felt … negatively, as ‘destruction.’ “

The purpose of modern art, literature, and music must be to destroy the uplifting—therefore, bourgeois — potential of art, literature, and music, so that man, bereft of his connection to the divine, sees his only creative option to be political revolt. “To organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics and to discover in political action a sphere reserved one hundred percent for images.” Thus, Benjamin collaborated with Brecht to work these theories into practical form, and their joint effort culminated in the Verfremdungseffekt (“estrangement effect”), Brecht’s attempt to write his plays so as to make the audience leave the theatre demoralized and aimlessly angry.

The Adorno-Benjamin analysis represents almost the entire theoretical basis of all the politically correct aesthetic trends which now plague our universities. The Poststructuralism of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, the Semiotics of Umberto Eco, the Deconstructionism of Paul DeMan, all openly cite Benjamin as the source of their work. The Italian terrorist Eco’s best-selling novel, The Name of the Rose, is little more than a paean to Benjamin; DeMan, the former Nazi collaborator in Belgium who became a prestigious Yale professor, began his career translating Benjamin; Barthes’ infamous 1968 statement that “[t]he author is dead,” is meant as an elaboration of Benjamin’s dictum on intention. Benjamin has actually been called the heir of Leibniz and of Wilhelm von Humboldt, the philologist collaborator of Schiller whose educational reforms engendered the tremendous development of Germany in the nineteenth century. Even as recently as September 1991, the Washington Post referred to Benjamin as “the finest German literary theorist of the century (and many would have left off that qualifying German).”

Readers have undoubtedly heard one or another horror story about how an African-American Studies Department has procured a ban on Othello, because it is “racist,” or how a radical feminist professor lectured a Modern Language Association meeting on the witches as the “true heroines” of Macbeth. These atrocities occur because the perpetrators are able to plausibly demonstrate, in the tradition of Benjamin and Adorno, that Shakespeare’s intent is irrelevant; what is important, is the racist or phallocentric “subtext” of which Shakespeare was unconscious when he wrote.

When the local Women’s Studies or Third World Studies Department organizes students to abandon classics in favor of modern Black and feminist authors, the reasons given are pure Benjamin. It is not that these modern writers are better, but they are somehow more truthful because their alienated prose reflects the modern social problems of which the older authors were ignorant! Students are being taught that language itself is, as Benjamin said, merely a conglomeration of false “names” foisted upon society by its oppressors, and are warned against “logocentrism,” the bourgeois over-reliance on words.

If these campus antics appear “retarded” (in the words of Adorno), that is because they are designed to be. The Frankfurt School’s most important breakthrough consists in the realization that their monstrous theories could become dominant in the culture, as a result of the changes in society brought about by what Benjamin called “the age of mechanical reproduction of art.”

“Entertainment” Replaces Art

Before the twentieth century, the distinction between art and “entertainment” was much more pronounced. One could be entertained by art, certainly, but the experience was active, not passive. On the first level, one had to make a conscious choice to go to a concert, to view a certain art exhibit, to buy a book or piece of sheet music. It was unlikely that any more than an infinitesimal fraction of the population would have the opportunity to see King Lear or hear Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony more than once or twice in a lifetime. Art demanded that one bring one’s full powers of concentration and knowledge of the subject to bear on each experience, or else the experience were considered wasted. These were the days when memorization of poetry and whole plays, and the gathering of friends and family for a “parlor concert,” were the norm, even in rural households. These were also the days before “music appreciation”; when one studied music, as many did, they learned to play it, not appreciate it.

However, the new technologies of radio, film, and recorded music represented, to use the appropriate Marxist buzz-word, (see box) a dialectical potential. On the one hand, these technologies held out the possibility of bringing the greatest works of art to millions of people who would otherwise not have access to them. On the other, the fact that the experience was infinitely reproducible could tend to disengage the audience’s mind, making the experience less sacred, thus increasing alienation. Adorno called this process, “demythologizing.” This new passivity, Adorno hypothesized in a crucial article published in 1938, could fracture a musical composition into the “entertaining” parts which would be “fetishized” in the memory of the listener, and the difficult parts, which would be forgotten.

Adorno continues,

“The counterpart to the fetishism is a regression of listening. This does not mean a relapse of the individual listener into an earlier phase of his own development, nor a decline in the collective general level, since the millions who are reached musically for the first time by today’s mass communications cannot be compared with the audiences of the past. Rather, it is the contemporary listening which has regressed, arrested at the infantile stage. Not only do the listening subjects lose, along with the freedom of choice and responsibility, the capacity for the conscious perception of music …. [t]hey fluctuate between comprehensive forgetting and sudden dives into recognition. They listen atomistically and dissociate what they hear, but precisely in this dissociation they develop certain capacities which accord less with the traditional concepts of aesthetics than with those of football or motoring. They are not childlike … but they are childish; their primitivism is not that of the undeveloped, but that of the forcibly retarded. “

This conceptual retardation and preconditioning caused by listening, suggested that programming could determine preference. The very act of putting, say, a Benny Goodman number next to a Mozart sonata on the radio, would tend to amalgamate both into entertaining “music-on-the-radio” in the mind of the listener. This meant that even new and unpalatable ideas could become popular by “re-naming” them through the universal homogenizer of the culture industry. As Benjamin puts it,

“Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art. The reactionary attitude toward a Picasso painting changes into a progressive reaction toward a Chaplin movie. The progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert…. With regard to the screen, the critical and receptive attitudes of the public coincide. The decisive reason for this is that the individual reactions are predetermined by the mass audience response they are about to produce, and this is nowhere more pronounced than in the film.”

At the same time, the magic power of the media could be used to re-define previous ideas. “Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Beethoven will all make films,” concluded Benjamin, quoting the French film pioneer Abel Gance, “… all legends, all mythologies, all myths, all founders of religions, and the very religions themselves … await their exposed resurrection.”

Critical Theory

Hence, the task of the Frankfurt School was sociological analysis and deconstruction of the ruling-class narrative as an alternative path to realizing the Marxist revolution.

We are told “free sex” is “progressive and modern.” In fact, the Sabbatean sect has indulged in wife sharing, sex orgies, adultery and incest for more than 350 years. They also promoted interracial sex. Many of the intellectuals that were at the Frankfurt School were openly Sabbatean-Frankist.

Scholem told his friend Walter Benjamin of his attraction to “the positive and noble force of destruction,” and declared that “destruction is a form of redemption.”

The philosophical tradition of the Frankfurt School is associated with the philosopher Max Horkheimer, who became the director in 1930, and recruited intellectuals such as Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse.

In addition to Hegel, Marx, and Weber, Freud became one of the foundation stones on which the Frankfurt School’s interdisciplinary program for a critical theory of society was constructed.

The purpose of critical theory is to analyze the true significance of the ruling understandings (the dominant ideology) generated in bourgeois society, by showing that the dominant ideology misrepresents how human relations occur in the real world, to legitimate the domination of people by capitalism.

Through Freud’s influence, the “incest taboo” would become an issue of fundamental concern to the Frankfurt School. Freud’s theories were excessively concerned with sex and even incest, which is reflected in Sabbateanism.

The Radio Project

Artistic depiction of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds

Here, then, were some potent theories of social control. The great possibilities of this Frankfurt School media work were probably the major contributing factor in the support given the I.S.R. by the bastions of the Establishment, after the Institute transferred its operations to America in 1934.

In 1937, the Rockefeller Foundation began funding research into the social effects of new forms of mass media, particularly radio. Before World War I, radio had been a hobbyist’s toy, with only 125,000 receiving sets in the entire U.S.; twenty years later, it had become the primary mode of entertainment in the country; out of 32 million American families in 1937, 27.5 million had radios — a larger percentage than had telephones, automobiles, plumbing, or electricity! Yet, almost no systematic research had been done up to this point. The Rockefeller Foundation enlisted several universities, and headquartered this network at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Named the Office of Radio Research, it was popularly known as “the Radio Project.”

The director of the Project was Paul Lazersfeld, the foster son of Austrian Marxist economist Rudolph Hilferding, and a long-time collaborator of the I.S.R. from the early 1930’s. Under Lazersfeld was Frank Stanton, a recent Ph.D. in industrial psychology from Ohio State, who had just been made research director of Columbia Broadcasting System—a grand title but a lowly position. After World War II, Stanton became president of the CBS News Division, and ultimately president of CBS at the height of the TV network’s power; he also became Chairman of the Board of the RAND Corporation, and a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s “kitchen cabinet.” Among the Project’s researchers were Herta Herzog, who married Lazersfeld and became the first director of research for the Voice of America; and Hazel Gaudet, who became one of the nation’s leading political pollsters. Theodor Adorno was named chief of the Project’s music section.

Despite the official gloss, the activities of the Radio Project make it clear that its purpose was to test empirically the Adorno-Benjamin thesis that the net effect of the mass media could be to atomize and increase lability—what people would later call “brainwashing.”

Soap Operas and the Invasion from Mars

The first studies were promising. Herta Herzog produced “On Borrowed Experiences,” the first comprehensive research on soap operas. The “serial radio drama” format was first used in 1929, on the inspiration of the old, cliff-hanger “Perils of Pauline” film serial. Because these little radio plays were highly melodramatic, they became popularly identified with Italian grand opera; because they were often sponsored by soap manufacturers, they ended up with the generic name, “soap opera.”

Until Herzog’s work, it was thought that the immense popularity of this format was largely with women of the lowest socioeconomic status who, in the restricted circumstances of their lives, needed a helpful escape to exotic places and romantic situations. A typical article from that period by two University of Chicago psychologists, “The Radio Day-Time Serial: Symbol Analysis” published in the Genetic Psychology Monographs, solemnly emphasized the positive, claiming that the soaps “function very much like the folk tale, expressing the hopes and fears of its female audience, and on the whole contribute to the integration of their lives into the world in which they live.”

Herzog found that there was, in fact, no correlation to socioeconomic status. What is more, there was surprisingly little correlation to content. The key factor — as Adorno and Benjamin’s theories suggested it would be — was the form itself of the serial; women were being effectively addicted to the format, not so much to be entertained or to escape, but to “find out what happens next week.” In fact, Herzog found, you could almost double the listenership of a radio play by dividing it into segments.

Modern readers will immediately recognize that this was not a lesson lost on the entertainment industry. Nowadays, the serial format has spread to children’s programming and high-budget prime time shows. The most widely watched shows in the history of television, remain the “Who Killed JR?” installment of Dallas, and the final episode of M*A*S*H, both of which were premised on a “what happens next?” format. Even feature films, like the Star Wars and Back to the Future trilogies, are now produced as serials, in order to lock in a viewership for the later installments. The humble daytime soap also retains its addictive qualities in the current age: 70% of all American women over eighteen now watch at least two of these shows each day, and there is a fast-growing viewership among men and college students of both sexes.

The Radio Project’s next major study was an investigation into the effects of Orson Welles’ Halloween 1938 radioplay based on H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Six million people heard the broadcast realistically describing a Martian invasion force landing in rural New Jersey. Despite repeated and clear statements that the show was fictional, approximately 25% of the listeners thought it was real, some panicking outright. The Radio Project researchers found that a majority of the people who panicked did not think that men from Mars had invaded; they actually thought that the Germans had invaded.

It happened this way. The listeners had been psychologically pre-conditioned by radio reports from the Munich crisis earlier that year. During that crisis, CBS’s man in Europe, Edward R. Murrow, hit upon the idea of breaking into regular programming to present short news bulletins. For the first time in broadcasting, news was presented not in longer analytical pieces, but in short clips—what we now call “audio bites.” At the height of the crisis, these flashes got so numerous, that, in the words of Murrow’s producer Fred Friendly, “news bulletins were interrupting news bulletins.” As the listeners thought that the world was moving to the brink of war, CBS ratings rose dramatically.

When Welles did his fictional broadcast later, after the crisis had receded, he used this news bulletin technique to give things verisimilitude: he started the broadcast by faking a standard dance-music program, which kept getting interrupted by increasingly terrifying “on the scene reports” from New Jersey. Listeners who panicked, reacted not to content, but to format; they heard “We interrupt this program for an emergency bulletin,” and “invasion,” and immediately concluded that Hitler had invaded. The soap opera technique, transposed to the news, had worked on a vast and unexpected scale.

Little Annie and the “Wagnerian Dream” of TV

In 1939, one of the numbers of the quarterly Journal of Applied Psychology was handed over to Adorno and the Radio Project to publish some of their findings. Their conclusion was that Americans had, over the last twenty years, become “radio-minded,” and that their listening had become so fragmented that repetition of format was the key to popularity. The play list determined the “hits”—a truth well known to organized crime, both then and now—and repetition could make any form of music or any performer, even a classical music performer, a “star.” As long as a familiar form or context was retained, almost any content would become acceptable. “Not only are hit songs, stars, and soap operas cyclically recurrent and rigidly invariable types,” said Adorno, summarizing this material a few years later, “but the specific content of the entertainment itself is derived from them and only appears to change. The details are interchangeable.”

The crowning achievement of the Radio Project was “Little Annie,” officially titled the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer. Radio Project research had shown that all previous methods of preview polling were ineffectual. Up to that point, a preview audience listened to a show or watched a film, and then was asked general questions: did you like the show? what did you think of so-and-so’s performance? The Radio Project realized that this method did not take into account the test audience’s atomized perception of the subject, and demanded that they make a rational analysis of what was intended to be an irrational experience. So, the Project created a device in which each test audience member was supplied with a type of rheostat on which he could register the intensity of his likes or dislikes on a moment-to-moment basis. By comparing the individual graphs produced by the device, the operators could determine, not if the audience liked the whole show — which was irrelevant—but, which situations or characters produced a positive, if momentary, feeling state.

Little Annie transformed radio, film, and ultimately television programming. CBS still maintains program analyzer facilities in Hollywood and New York; it is said that results correlate 85% to ratings. Other networks and film studios have similar operations. This kind of analysis is responsible for the uncanny feeling you get when, seeing a new film or TV show, you think you have seen it all before. You have, many times. If a program analyzer indicates that, for instance, audiences were particularly titilated by a short scene in a World War II drama showing a certain type of actor kissing a certain type of actress, then that scene format will be worked into dozens of screenplays—transposed to the Middle Ages, to outer space, etc., etc.

The Radio Project also realized that television had the potential to intensify all of the effects that they had studied. TV technology had been around for some years, and had been exhibited at the 1936 World’s Fair in New York, but the only person to attempt serious utilization of the medium had been Adolf Hitler. The Nazis broadcast events from the 1936 Olympic Games “live” to communal viewing rooms around Germany; they were trying to expand on their great success in using radio to Nazify all aspects of German culture. Further plans for German TV development were sidetracked by war preparations.

Adorno understood this potential perfectly, writing in 1944:

:Television aims at the synthesis of radio and film, and is held up only because the interested parties have not yet reached agreement, but its consequences will be quite enormous and promise to intensify the impoverishment of aesthetic matter so drastically, that by tomorrow the thinly veiled identity of all industrial culture products can come triumphantly out in the open, derisively fulfilling the Wagnerian dream of the Gesamtkunstwerk—the fusion of all the arts in one work.”

The obvious point is this: the profoundly irrational forms of modern entertainment—the stupid and eroticized content of most TV and films, the fact that your local Classical music radio station programs Stravinsky next to Mozart—don’t have to be that way. They were designed to be that way. The design was so successful, that today, no one even questions the reasons or the origins.

Creating “Public Opinion” & The “Authoritarian Personality”

The efforts of the Radio Project conspirators to manipulate the population, spawned the modern pseudoscience of public opinion polling, in order to gain greater control over the methods they were developing.

Today, public opinion polls, like the television news, have been completely integrated into our society. A “scientific survey” of what people are said to think about an issue can be produced in less than twenty-four hours. Some campaigns for high political office are completely shaped by polls; in fact, many politicians try to create issues which are themselves meaningless, but which they know will look good in the polls, purely for the purpose of enhancing their image as “popular.” Important policy decisions are made, even before the actual vote of the citizenry or the legislature, by poll results. Newspapers will occasionally write pious editorials calling on people to think for themselves, even as the newspaper’s business agent sends a check to the local polling organization.

The idea of “public opinion” is not new, of course. Plato spoke against it in his Republic over two millenia ago; Alexis de Tocqueville wrote at length of its influence over America in the early nineteenth century. But, nobody thought to measure public opinion before the twentieth century, and nobody before the 1930’s thought to use those measurements for decision-making.

It is useful to pause and reflect on the whole concept. The belief that public opinion can be a determinant of truth is philosophically insane. It precludes the idea of the rational individual mind. Every individual mind contains the divine spark of reason, and is thus capable of scientific discovery, and understanding the discoveries of others. The individual mind is one of the few things that cannot, therefore, be “averaged.” Consider: at the moment of creative discovery, it is possible, if not probable, that the scientist making the discovery is the only person to hold that opinion about nature, whereas everyone else has a different opinion, or no opinion. One can only imagine what a “scientifically-conducted survey” on Kepler’s model of the solar system would have been, shortly after he published the Harmony of the World: 2% for, 48% against, 50% no opinion.

These psychoanalytic survey techniques became standard, not only for the Frankfurt School, but also throughout American social science departments, particularly after the I.S.R. arrived in the United States. The methodology was the basis of the research piece for which the Frankfurt School is most well known, the “authoritarian personality” project.

In 1942, I.S.R. director Max Horkheimer made contact with the American Jewish Committee, which asked him to set up a Department of Scientific Research within its organization. The American Jewish Committee also provided a large grant to study anti-Semitism in the American population. “Our aim,” wrote Horkheimer in the introduction to the study, “is not merely to describe prejudice, but to explain it in order to help in its eradication…. Eradication means reeducation scientifically planned on the basis of understanding scientifically arrived at.”

Ultimately, five volumes were produced for this study over the course of the late 1940’s; the most important was the last, The Authoritarian Personality, by Adorno, with the help of three Berkeley, California social psychologists.

In the 1930’s Erich Fromm had devised a questionnaire to be used to analyze German workers pychoanalytically as “authoritarian,” “revolutionary” or “ambivalent.” The heart of Adorno’s study was, once again, Fromm’s psychoanalytic scale, but with the positive end changed from a “revolutionary personality,” to a “democratic personality,” in order to make things more palatable for a postwar audience.

Nine personality traits were tested and measured, including:

  • conventionalism—rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values
  • authoritarian aggression—the tendency to be on the look-out for, to condemn, reject and punish, people who violate conventional values
  • projectivity—the disposition to believethat wild and dangerous things go on in the world
  • sex—exaggerated concern with sexual goings-on.

From these measurements were constructed several scales: the E Scale (ethnocentrism), the PEC Scale (poltical and economic conservatism), the A-S Scale (anti-Semitism), and the F Scale (fascism). Using Rensis Lickerts’s methodology of weighting results, the authors were able to tease together an empirical definition of what Adorno called “a new anthropological type,” the authoritarian personality. The legerdemain here, as in all psychoanalytic survey work, is the assumption of a Weberian “type.” Once the type has been statistically determined, all behavior can be explained; if an anti-Semitic personality does not act in an anti-Semitic way, then he or she has an ulterior motive for the act, or is being discontinuous. The idea that a human mind is capable of transformation, is ignored.

The results of this very study can be interpreted in diametrically different ways. One could say that the study proved that the population of the U.S. was generally conservative, did not want to abandon a capitalist economy, believed in a strong family and that sexual promiscuity should be punished, thought that the postwar world was a dangerous place, and was still suspicious of Jews (and Blacks, Roman Catholics, Orientals, etc. — unfortunately true, but correctable in a social context of economic growth and cultural optimism). On the other hand, one could take the same results and prove that anti-Jewish pogroms and Nuremberg rallies were simmering just under the surface, waiting for a new Hitler to ignite them. Which of the two interpretations you accept is a political, not a scientific, decision. Horkheimer and Adorno firmly believed that all religions, Judaism included, were “the opiate of the masses.” Their goal was not the protection of Jews from prejudice, but the creation of a definition of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism which could be exploited to force the “scientifically planned reeducation” of Americans and Europeans away from the principles of Western civilization, which the Frankfurt School despised. In their theoretical writings of this period, Horkheimer and Adorno pushed the thesis to its most paranoid: just as capitalism was inherently fascistic, the philosophy of Christianity itself is the source of anti-Semitism. As Horkheimer and Adorno jointly wrote in their 1947 “Elements of Anti-Semitism”:

“Christ, the spirit become flesh, is the deified sorcerer. Man’s self-reflection in the absolute, the humanization of God by Christ, is the proton pseudos [original falsehood]. Progress beyond Judaism is coupled with the assumption that the man Jesus has become God. The reflective aspect of Christianity, the intellectualization of magic, is the root of evil.”

At the same time, Horkheimer could write in a more-popularized article titled “Anti-Semitism: A Social Disease,” that “at present, the only country where there does not seem to be any kind of anti-Semitism is Russia”

This self-serving attempt to maximize paranoia was further aided by Hannah Arendt, who popularized the authoritarian personality research in her widely-read Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt also added the famous rhetorical flourish about the “banality of evil” in her later Eichmann in Jerusalem: even a simple, shopkeeper-type like Eichmann can turn into a Nazi beast under the right psychological circumstances—every Gentile is suspect, psychoanalytically.

It is Arendt’s extreme version of the authoritarian personality thesis which is the operant philosophy of today’s Cult Awareness Network (CAN), a group which works with the U.S. Justice Department and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, among others. Using standard Frankfurt School method, CAN identifies political and religious groups which are its political enemies, then re-labels them as a “cult,” in order to justify operations against them. 

The Public Opinion Explosion

Despite its unprovable central thesis of “psychoanalytic types,” the interpretive survey methodology of the Frankfurt School became dominant in the social sciences, and essentially remains so today. In fact, the adoption of these new, supposedly scientific techniques in the 1930’s brought about an explosion in public-opinion survey use, much of it funded by Madison Avenue. The major pollsters of the 1980s-1990s—A.C. Neilsen, George Gallup, Elmo Roper—started in the mid-1930’s, and began using the I.S.R. methods, especially given the success of the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer. By 1936, polling activity had become sufficiently widespread to justify a trade association, the American Academy of Public Opinion Research at Princeton, headed by Lazersfeld; at the same time, the University of Chicago created the National Opinion Research Center. In 1940, the Office of Radio Research was turned into the Bureau of Applied Social Research, a division of Columbia University, with the indefatigable Lazersfeld as director.

After World War II, Lazersfeld especially pioneered the use of surveys to psychoanalyze American voting behavior, and by the 1952 Presidential election, Madison Avenue advertising agencies were firmly in control of Dwight Eisenhower’s campaign, utilizing Lazersfeld’s work. Nineteen fifty-two was also the first election under the influence of television, which, as Adorno had predicted eight years earlier, had grown to incredible influence in a very short time. Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne — the fabled “BBD&O” ad agency—designed Ike’s campaign appearances entirely for the TV cameras, and as carefully as Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies; one-minute “spot” advertisements were pioneered to cater to the survey-determined needs of the voters.

This snowball has not stopped rolling since. The entire development of television and advertising in the 1950’s and 1960’s was pioneered by men and women who were trained in the Frankfurt School’s techniques of mass alienation. Frank Stanton went directly from the Radio Project to become the single most-important leader of modern television. Stanton’s chief rival in the formative period of TV was NBC’s Sylvester “Pat” Weaver; after a Ph.D. in “listening behavior,” Weaver worked with the Program Analyzer in the late 1930’s, before becoming a Young & Rubicam vice-president, then NBC’s director of programming, and ultimately the network’s president. Stanton and Weaver’s stories are typical.

Today, the men and women who run the networks, the ad agencies, and the polling organizations, even if they have never heard of Theodor Adorno, firmly believe in Adorno’s theory that the media can, and should, turn all they touch into “football.” Coverage of the 1991 Gulf War should make that clear.

The technique of mass media and advertising developed by the Frankfurt School now effectively controls American political campaigning. Campaigns are no longer based on political programs, but actually on alienation. Petty gripes and irrational fears are identified by psychoanalytic survey, to be transmogrified into “issues” to be catered to; the “Willy Horton” ads of the 1988 Presidential campaign, and the “flag-burning amendment,” are but two recent examples. Issues that will determine the future of our civilization, are scrupulously reduced to photo opportunities and audio bites—like Ed Murrow’s original 1930’s radio reports—where the dramatic effect is maximized, and the idea content is zero.

Espionage & the Office of Strategic Services

Part of the influence of the authoritarian personality hoax in our own day also derives from the fact that, incredibly, the Frankfurt School and its theories were officially accepted by the U.S. government during World War II, and these Cominternists were responsible for determining who were America’s wartime, and postwar, enemies.

In 1942, the Office of Strategic Services, America’s hastily-constructed espionage and covert operations unit, asked former Harvard president James Baxter to form a Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch under the group’s Intelligence Division. By 1944, the R&A Branch had collected such a large and prestigious group of emigré scholars that H. Stuart Hughes, then a young Ph.D., said that working for it was “a second graduate education” at government expense. The Central European Section was headed by historian Carl Schorske; under him, in the all-important Germany/Austria Section, was Franz Neumann, as section chief, with Herbert Marcuse, Paul Baran, and Otto Kirchheimer, all I.S.R. veterans. Leo Lowenthal headed the German-language section of the Office of War Information; Sophie Marcuse, Marcuse’s wife, worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Also at the R&A Branch were: Siegfried Kracauer, Adorno’s old Kant instructor, now a film theorist; Norman O. Brown, who would become famous in the 1960’s by combining Marcuse’s hedonism theory with Wilhelm Reich’s orgone therapy to popularize “polymorphous perversity”; Barrington Moore, Jr., later a philosophy professor who would co-author a book with Marcuse; Gregory Bateson, the husband of anthropologist Margaret Mead (who wrote for the Frankfurt School’s journal), and Arthur Schlesinger, the historian who joined the Kennedy Administration.

Marcuse’s first assignment was to head a team to identify both those who would be tried as war criminals after the war, and also those who were potential leaders of postwar Germany. In 1944, Marcuse, Neumann, and Kirchheimer wrote the Denazification Guide, which was later issued to officers of the U.S. Armed Forces occupying Germany, to help them identify and suppress pro-Nazi behaviors. After the armistice, the R&A Branch sent representatives to work as intelligence liaisons with the various occupying powers; Marcuse was assigned the U.S. Zone, Kirchheimer the French, and Barrington Moore the Soviet.

In the summer of 1945, Neumann left to become chief of research for the Nuremburg Tribunal. Marcuse remained in and around U.S. intelligence into the early 1950’s, rising to the chief of the Central European Branch of the State Department’s Office of Intelligence Research, an office formally charged with “planning and implementing a program of positive-intelligence research … to meet the intelligence requirements of the Central Intelligence Agency and other authorized agencies.” During his tenure as a U.S. government official, Marcuse supported the division of Germany into East and West, noting that this would prevent an alliance between the newly liberated left-wing parties and the old, conservative industrial and business layers. In 1949, he produced a 532-page report, “The Potentials of World Communism” (declassified only in 1978), which suggested that the Marshall Plan economic stabilization of Europe would limit the recruitment potential of Western Europe’s Communist Parties to acceptable levels, causing a period of hostile co-existence with the Soviet Union, marked by confrontation only in faraway places like Latin America and Indochina—in all, a surprisingly accurate forecast. Marcuse left the State Department with a Rockefeller Foundation grant to work with the various Soviet Studies departments which were set up at many of America’s top universities after the war, largely by R&A Branch veterans.

At the same time, Max Horkheimer was doing even greater damage. As part of the denazification of Germany suggested by the R&A Branch, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany John J. McCloy, using personal discretionary funds, brought Horkheimer back to Germany to reform the German university system. In fact, McCloy asked President Truman and Congress to pass a bill granting Horkheimer, who had become a naturalized American, dual citizenship; thus, for a brief period, Horkheimer was the only person in the world to hold both German and U.S. citizenship. In Germany, Horkheimer began the spadework for the full-blown revival of the Frankfurt School in that nation in the late 1950’s, including the training of a whole new generation of anti-Western civilization scholars like Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas, who would have such destructive influence in 1960’s Germany. In a period of American history when some individuals were being hounded into unemployment and suicide for the faintest aroma of leftism, Frankfurt School veterans—all with superb Comintern credentials — led what can only be called charmed lives. America had, to an incredible extent, handed the determination of who were the nation’s enemies, over to the nation’s own worst enemies.

The Aristotelian Eros: Marcuse and the CIA’s Drug Counterculture

In 1989, Hans-Georg Gadamer, a protégé of Martin Heidegger and the last of the original Frankfurt School generation, was asked to provide an appreciation of his own work for the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He wrote,

“One has to conceive of Aristotle’s ethics as a true fulfillment of the Socratic challenge, which Plato had placed at the center of his dialogues on the Socratic question of the good…. Plato described the idea of the good … as the ultimate and highest idea, which is supposedly the highest principle of being for the universe, the state, and the human soul. Against this Aristotle opposed a decisive critique, under the famous formula, “Plato is my friend, but the truth is my friend even more.” He denied that one could consider the idea of the good as a universal principle of being, which is supposed to hold in the same way for theoretical knowledge as for practical knowledge and human activity.”

This statement not only succinctly states the underlying philosophy of the Frankfurt School, it also suggests an inflection point around which we can order much of the philosophical combat of the last two millenia. In the simplest terms, the Aristotelian correction of Plato sunders physics from metaphysics, relegating the Good to a mere object of speculation about which “our knowledge remains only a hypothesis,” in the words of Wilhelm Dilthey, the Frankfurt School’s favorite philosopher. Our knowledge of the “real world,” as Dilthey, Nietzsche, and other precursors of the Frankfurt School were wont to emphasize, becomes erotic, in the broadest sense of that term, as object fixation.

The universe becomes a collection of things which each operate on the basis of their own natures (that is, genetically), and through interaction between themselves (that is, mechanistically). Science becomes the deduction of the appropriate categories of these natures and interactions. Since the human mind is merely a sensorium, waiting for the Newtonian apple to jar it into deduction, humanity’s relationship to the world (and vice versa) becomes an erotic attachment to objects. The comprehension of the universal—the mind’s seeking to be the living image of the living God—is therefore illusory. That universal either does not exist, or it exists incomprehensibly as a deus ex machina; that is, the Divine exists as a superaddition to the physical universe — God is really Zeus, flinging thunderbolts into the world from some outside location. (Or, perhaps more appropriately: God is really Cupid, letting loose golden arrows to make objects attract, and leaden arrows to make objects repel.) The key to the entire Frankfurt School program, from originator Lukacs on, is the “liberation” of Aristotelian eros, to make individual feeling states psychologically primary. When the I.S.R. leaders arrived in the United States in the mid-1930’s, they exulted that here was a place which had no adequate philosophical defenses against their brand of Kulturpessimismus [cultural pessimism].

However, although the Frankfurt School made major inroads in American intellectual life before World War II, that influence was largely confined to academia and to radio; and radio, although important, did not yet have the overwhelming influence on social life that it would acquire during the war. Furthermore, America’s mobilization for the war, and the victory against fascism, sidetracked the Frankfurt School schedule; America in 1945 was almost sublimely optimistic, with a population firmly convinced that a mobilized republic, backed by science and technology, could do just about anything.

The fifteen years after the war, however, saw the domination of family life by the radio and television shaped by the Frankfurt School, in a period of political erosion in which the great positive potential of America degenerated to a purely negative posture against the real and, oftentimes manipulated, threat of the Soviet Union. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of the young generation—the so-called baby boomers—were entering college and being exposed to the Frankfurt School’s poison, either directly or indirectly. It is illustrative, that by 1960, sociology had become the most popular course of study in American universities. Indeed, when one looks at the first stirrings of the student rebellion at the beginning of the 1960’s, like the speeches of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement or the Port Huron Statement which founded the Students for a Democratic Society, one is struck with how devoid of actual content these discussions were. There is much anxiety about being made to conform to the system—”I am a human being; do not fold, spindle, or mutilate” went an early Berkeley slogan—but it is clear that the “problems” cited derive much more from required sociology textbooks, than from the real needs of the society.

The simmering unrest on campus in 1960 might well too have passed or had a positive outcome, were it not for the traumatic decapitation of the nation through the Kennedy assassination, plus the simultaneous introduction of widespread drug use. Drugs had always been an “analytical tool” of the nineteenth century Romantics, like the French Symbolists, and were popular among the European and American Bohemian fringe well into the post-World War II period. But, in the second half of the 1950’s, the CIA and allied intelligence services began extensive experimentation with the hallucinogen LSD to investigate its potential for social control.

It has now been documented that millions of doses of the chemical were produced and disseminated under the aegis of the CIA’s Operation MK-Ultra. LSD became the drug of choice within the agency itself, and was passed out freely to friends of the family, including a substantial number of OSS veterans. For instance, it was OSS Research and Analysis Branch veteran Gregory Bateson who “turned on” the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to a U.S. Navy LSD experiment in Palo Alto, California. Not only Ginsberg, but novelist Ken Kesey and the original members of the Grateful Dead rock group opened the doors of perception courtesy of the Navy. The guru of the “psychedelic revolution,” Timothy Leary, first heard about hallucinogens in 1957 from Life magazine (whose publisher, Henry Luce, was often given government acid, like many other opinion shapers), and began his career as a CIA contract employee; at a 1977 “reunion” of acid pioneers, Leary openly admitted, “everything I am, I owe to the foresight of the CIA.” Hallucinogens have the singular effect of making the victim asocial, totally self-centered, and concerned with objects.

Even the most banal objects take on the “aura” which Benjamin had talked about, and become timeless and delusionary profound. In other words, hallucinogens instantaneously achieve a state of mind identical to that prescribed by the Frankfurt School theories. And, the popularization of these chemicals created a vast psychological lability for bringing those theories into practice. Thus, the situation at the beginning of the 1960’s represented a brilliant re-entry point for the Frankfurt School, and it was fully exploited. One of the crowning ironies of the “Now Generation” of 1964 on, is that, for all its protestations of utter modernity, none of its ideas or artifacts was less than thirty years old. The political theory came completely from the Frankfurt School; Lucien Goldmann, a French radical who was a visiting professor at Columbia in 1968, was absolutely correct when he said of Herbert Marcuse in 1969 that “the student movements … found in his works and ultimately in his works alone the theoretical formulation of their problems and aspirations [emphasis in original].” The long hair and sandals, the free love communes, the macrobiotic food, the liberated lifestyles, had been designed at the turn of the century, and thoroughly field-tested by various, Frankfurt School-connected New Age social experiments like the Ascona commune before 1920. (See box.) Even Tom Hayden’s defiant “Never trust anyone over thirty,” was merely a less-urbane version of Rupert Brooke’s 1905, “Nobody over thirty is worth talking to.” The social planners who shaped the 1960’s simply relied on already-available materials.

Eros and Civilization

The founding document of the 1960’s counterculture, and that which brought the Frankfurt School’s “revolutionary messianism” of the 1920’s into the 1960’s, was Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, originally published in 1955 and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The document masterfully sums up the Frankfurt School ideology of Kulturpessimismus in the concept of “dimensionality.” In one of the most bizarre perversions of philosophy, Marcuse claims to derive this concept from Friedrich Schiller. Schiller, whom Marcuse purposefully misidentifies as the heir of Immanuel Kant, discerned two dimensions in humanity: a sensuous instinct and an impulse toward form.

Schiller advocated the harmonization of these two instincts in man in the form of a creative play instinct. For Marcuse, on the other hand, the only hope to escape the one-dimensionality of modern industrial society was to liberate the erotic side of man, the sensuous instinct, in rebellion against “technological rationality.” As Marcuse would say later (1964) in his One-Dimensional Man, “A comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom prevails in advanced industrial civilization, a token of technical progress.” This erotic liberation he misidentifies with Schiller’s “play instinct,” which, rather than being erotic, is an expression of charity, the higher concept of love associated with true creativity.

Marcuse’s contrary theory of erotic liberation is something implicit in Sigmund Freud, but not explicitly emphasized, except for some Freudian renegades like Wilhelm Reich and, to a certain extent, Carl Jung. Every aspect of culture in the West, including reason itself, says Marcuse, acts to repress this: “The totalitarian universe of technological rationality is the latest transmutation of the idea of reason.” Or: “Auschwitz continues to haunt, not the memory but the accomplishments of man—the space flights, the rockets and missiles, the pretty electronics plants….”

This erotic liberation should take the form of the “Great Refusal,” a total rejection of the “capitalist” monster and all his works, including “technological” reason, and “ritual-authoritarian language.” As part of the Great Refusal, mankind should develop an “aesthetic ethos,” turning life into an aesthetic ritual, a “life-style” (a nonsense phrase which came into the language in the 1960’s under Marcuse’s influence). With Marcuse representing the point of the wedge, the 1960’s were filled with obtuse intellectual justifications of contentless adolescent sexual rebellion. Eros and Civilization was reissued as an inexpensive paperback in 1961, and ran through several editions; in the preface to the 1966 edition, Marcuse added that the new slogan, “Make Love, Not War,” was exactly what he was talking about: “The fight for eros is a political fight [emphasis in original].” In 1969, he noted that even the New Left’s obsessive use of obscenities in its manifestos was part of the Great Refusal, calling it “a systematic linguistic rebellion, which smashes the ideological context in which the words are employed and defined.” Marcuse was aided by psychoanalyst Norman O. Brown, his OSS protege, who contributed Life Against Death in 1959, and Love’s Body in 1966—calling for man to shed his reasonable, “armored” ego, and replace it with a “Dionysian body ego,” that would embrace the instinctual reality of polymorphous perversity, and bring man back into “union with nature.” The books of Reich, who had claimed that Nazism was caused by monogamy, were re-issued. Reich had died in an American prison, jailed for taking money on the claim that cancer could be cured by rechanneling “orgone energy.”

Primary education became dominated by Reich’s leading follower, A.S. Neill, a Theosophical cult member of the 1930’s and militant atheist, whose educational theories demanded that students be taught to rebel against teachers who are, by nature, authoritarian. Neill’s book Summerhill sold 24,000 copies in 1960, rising to 100,000 in 1968, and 2 million in 1970; by 1970, it was required reading in 600 university courses, making it one of the most influential education texts of the period, and still a benchmark for recent writers on the subject. Marcuse led the way for the complete revival of the rest of the Frankfurt School theorists, re-introducing the long-forgotten Lukacs to America. Marcuse himself became the lightning rod for attacks on the counterculture, and was regularly attacked by such sources as the Soviet daily Pravda, and then-California Governor Ronald Reagan.

The only critique of any merit at the time, however, was one by Pope Paul VI, who in 1969 named Marcuse (an extraordinary step, as the Vatican usually refrains from formal denunciations of living individuals), along with Freud, for their justification of “disgusting and unbridled expressions of eroticism”; and called Marcuse’s theory of liberation, “the theory which opens the way for license cloaked as liberty … an aberration of instinct.” The eroticism of the counterculture meant much more than free love and a violent attack on the nuclear family. It also meant the legitimization of philosophical eros. People were trained to see themselves as objects, determined by their “natures.” The importance of the individual as a person gifted with the divine spark of creativity, and capable of acting upon all human civilization, was replaced by the idea that the person is important because he or she is black, or a woman, or feels homosexual impulses. This explains the deformation of the civil rights movement into a “black power” movement, and the transformation of the legitimate issue of civil rights for women into feminism. Discussion of women’s civil rights was forced into being just another “liberation cult,” complete with bra-burning and other, sometimes openly Astarte-style, rituals; a review of Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics (1970) and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (1971), demonstrates their complete reliance on Marcuse, Fromm, Reich, and other Freudian extremists.

This popularization of life as an erotic, pessimistic ritual did not abate, but in fact deepened over the twenty years leading to today; it is the basis of the horror we see around us. The heirs of Marcuse and Adorno completely dominate the universities, teaching their own students to replace reason with “Politically Correct” ritual exercises. There are very few theoretical books on arts, letters, or language published today in the United States or Europe which do not openly acknowledge their debt to the Frankfort School.

The witchhunt on today’s campuses is merely the implementation of Marcuse’s concept of “repressive toleration”—”tolerance for movements from the left, but intolerance for movements from the right”—enforced by the students of the Frankfurt School, now become the professors of women’s studies and Afro-American studies. The most erudite spokesman for Afro-American studies, for instance, Professor Cornell West of Princeton, publicly states that his theories are derived from Georg Lukacs.

At the same time, the ugliness so carefully nurtured by the Frankfurt School pessimists, has corrupted our highest cultural endeavors. One can hardly find a performance of a Mozart opera, which has not been utterly deformed by a director who, following Benjamin and the I.S.R., wants to “liberate the erotic subtext.” You cannot ask an orchestra to perform Schönberg and Beethoven on the same program, and maintain its integrity for the latter. And, when our highest culture becomes impotent, popular culture becomes openly bestial. One final image: American and European children daily watch films like Nightmare on Elm Street and Total Recall, or television shows comparable to them. A typical scene in one of these will have a figure emerge from a television set; the skin of his face will realistically peel away to reveal a hideously deformed man with razor-blade fingers, fingers which start growing to several feet in length, and—suddenly—the victim is slashed to bloody ribbons. This is not entertainment. This is the deeply paranoid hallucination of the LSD acid head. The worst of what happened in the 1960’s is now daily fare. Owing to the Frankfurt School and its co-conspirators, the West is on a “bad trip” from which it is not being allowed to come down.

The principles through which Western Christian civilization was built, are now no longer dominant in our society; they exist only as a kind of underground resistance movement. If that resistance is ultimately submerged, then the civilization will not survive—and, in our era of incurable pandemic disease and nuclear weapons, the collapse of Western civilization will very likely take the rest of the world with it to Hell.

The way out is to create a Renaissance. If that sounds grandiose, it is nonetheless what is needed. A renaissance means, to start again; to discard the evil, and inhuman, and just plain stupid, and to go back, hundreds or thousands of years, to the ideas which allow humanity to grow in freedom and goodness. Once we have identified those core beliefs, we can start to rebuild civilization.

Ultimately, a new Renaissance will rely on scientists, artists, and composers, but in the first moment, it depends on seemingly ordinary people who will defend the divine spark of reason in themselves, and tolerate no less in others. Given the successes of the Frankfurt School and its New Dark Age sponsors, these ordinary individuals, with their belief in reason and the difference between right and wrong, will be “unpopular.” But, no really good idea was ever popular, in the beginning.

Make Love, Not War

Anti-Vietnam protest in America – Marcuse coined the phrase, “Make Love, Not War”

Marcuse didn’t stop there. He emigrated to the United States in the 1930 to escape Hitler, and while here wrote an influential best seller in 1959, Eros and Civilization, which is seen as a founding document of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. Marcuse was very clear why the revolution was important—to destroy the family. He wrote:

“The body in its entirety would become . . . a thing to be enjoyed—an instrument of pleasure. This change in the value and scope in libidinal relationships would lead to a disintegration of the institutions in which the private interpersonal relations have been organized, particularly the monogamic and patriarchal family.”

The New Age Paradigm Shift

The Frankfurt School’s original 1930’s survey work, including the “authoritarian personality,” was based on psychoanalytic categories developed by Erich Fromm. Fromm derived these categories from the theories of J.J. Bachofen, a collaborator of Nietzsche and Richard Wagner, who claimed that human civilization was originally “matriarchal.” This primoridial period of “gynocratic democracy” and dominance of the Magna Mater (Great Mother) cult, said Bachofen, was submerged by the development of rational, authoritarian “patriarchism,” including monotheistic religion. Later, Fromm utilized this theory to claim that support for the nuclear family was evidence of authoritarian tendencies.

In 1970, forty years after he first proclaimed the importance of Bachofen’s theory, the Frankfurt School’s Erich Fromm surveyed how far things had developed. He listed seven “social-psychological changes” which indicated the advance of matriarchism over patriarchism:

  •  “The women’s revolution;”
  •  “Children’s and adolescents’ revolution,” based on the work of Benjamin Spock and others, allowing children new, and more-adequate ways to express rebellion;
  •  The rise of the radical youth movement, which fully embraces Bachofen, in its emphasis on group sex, loose family structure, and unisex clothing and behaviors;
  •  The increasing use of Bachofen by professionals to correct Freud’s overly-sexual analysis of the mother-son relationship—this would make Freudianism less threatening and more palatable to the general population;
  •  “The vision of the consumer paradise…. In this vision, technique assumes the characteristics of the Great Mother, a technical instead of a natural one, who nurses her children and pacifies them with a never-ceasing lullaby (in the form of radio and television). In the process, man becomes emotionally an infant, feeling secure in the hope that mother’s breasts will always supply abundant milk, and that decisions need no longer be made by the individual.”

Moving Forward

The Frankfurt School devised the “authoritarian personality” profile as a weapon to be used against its political enemies. The fraud rests on the assumption that a person’s actions are not important; rather, the issue is the psychological attitude of the actor—as determined by social scientists like those of the Frankfurt School. The concept is diametrically opposed to the idea of natural law and to the republican legal principles upon which the U.S. was founded; it is, in fact, fascistic, and identical to the idea of “thought crime,” as described by George Orwell in his 1984, and to the theory of “volitional crime” developed by Nazi judge Roland Freisler in the early 1930’s.

When the Frankfurt School was in its openly pro-Bolshevik phase, its authoritarian personality work was designed to identify people who were not sufficiently revolutionary, so that these people could be “re-educated.” When the Frankfurt School expanded its research after World War II at the behest of the American Jewish Committee and the Rockefeller Foundation, its purpose was not to identify anti-Semitism; that was merely a cover story. Its goal was to measure adherence to the core beliefs of Western civilization, so that these beliefs could be characterized as “authoritarian,” and discredited.

For the Frankfurt School conspirators, the worst crime was the belief that each individual was gifted with sovereign reason, which could enable him to determine what is right and wrong for the whole society; thus, to tell people that you have a reasonable idea to which they should conform, is authoritarian, paternalistic extremism.

By these standards, the judges of Socrates and Jesus were correct in condemning these two individuals (as, for example, I.F. Stone asserts in one case in his “Trial of Socrates.”) It is the measure of our own cultural collapse, that this definition of authoritarianism is acceptable to most citizens, and is freely used by political operations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Cult Awareness Network to “demonize” their political enemies.


The Origin of the Political Terms Left and Right

Sacred Destabilization • Part Six: Interlude

By Eric • August 26, 2022

Early masonic engraving of Jewish freemasonry, B’Nai B’rith

One must understand that if one were in power, to secure such power in the most absolute terms, those with the power have the resources to propagate the weakening of the powerless, destroy them, all but bury them into the ground. The powerful are proponents of revolutionary spirit – as long as the target of this energy is used by the weak, to decimate the strong. As the strong are the only ones with the inherent abilities to eliminate the powerful, to come into power.

Embellished upon within the Kabbalah is the Sacred Geometry. This may also be called Sacred Proportion.

Stone Masons in practice utilize geometry and physics to build. The union of the practicality of functional geometry with the taboo-rich nature of Freemasonry – Sacred Geometry emerged – and it is used to this day far beyond symbols engraved in stone (to come in Part Seven).

Freemasonry had its organic roots as proper stone masons then evolved to include members of polite society – aristocracy, nobility – as the lure of the “secret society” was especially attractive taboo in a much stricter religious Europe centuries ago.

Within Judaism, in order for the messiah to arrive, the temple must be rebuilt. The Third Temple of Solomon. This stern belief emanated from freemasonry known as “The Great Work”.

We must also observe the aspect of the All-Seeing Eye. This is being realized by the surveillance apparatus or “Global Brain”, a term which reappears in academia, amongst the think tanks and in the tech sector repeatedly.

The aim of Zionism: achievement to bring the world under the kingdom, court and temple in Jerusalem, the center of the world, for the light amongst the nations to thrive. is to be guided under an augmentation of ideological international socialism called communitarianism.

The practice of religious and moral antinomianism is the method to disintegrate society, via the works of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory philosophy.

The inversion of reality as we know it, the clown world, is on purpose.

We must also take into account what “the Left” is. What does this mean? Where does this come from? And the Right? Is there any difference now?

We will explore these topics going forward.

Infiltration by Sabbatean-Frankism into Occult Societies

Jacob Frank travelled to Frankfurt, Germany. He arrived in the city home to the House of Rothschild, the emerging global central banking dynasty.

Adam Weishaupt formed the Orden der Perfektibilisten (Order of Perfectibilists), on May 1st, 1776. This came to be known as the Illuminati of Bavaria.

There is much disagreement and conflicting literature and debate as to whether Weishaupt, Frank and Rothschild ever met and plotted together. This would be fascinating given the official community organizer Weishaupt of an organization with aspirations to subvert the elite secret societies of Europe, Frank the “Messiah”, the man carrying on and expanding the ways of antinomianism – and having these ways – (ie, the sexual degeneracy, the rejection of God’s word, etc} – permeate into the rituals that these secret societies have (see Bohemian Grove, or the discourse on the film Eyes Wide Shut). To have a desire to infiltrate the hidden world of the elite with a perverted form of mysticism as an intrigue – cap it off with the Ashkanazi Rothschild family’s amassing wealth and connections to powerful members of monarchies, nobilities and aristocracies – this is possible this happened with those three men pulling the strings.

It does not matter. It does not matter for one thing can be ascertained from the speculation:

A complex oligarchy of wealthy Jewish families has evolved over generations across the globe – wealth that is determined by the control of our planet’s resources. And this network has continued to evolve, benefiting from the deeds performed by powerful men and women that are members of a supernumerary plethora of secret societies.