December 24, 2010

Learn the Lessons of Hitler's Amazing Rise to Power

World War I involved all of the world's great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers.

The German Empire began to mobilise on July 30, 1914. The countries in alliance with Germany, the Central Powers, were Belgium, Serbia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania.

The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during WWI. The key members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire.

The war began with the Austrian attack invasion of Serbia on July 28, 1914, in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Austrian Empire followed with an attack on Serbian allies Montenegro on August 8. On the Western Front, the two neutral States of Belgium and Luxembourg were immediately occupied by German troops as part of the German Schliefen Plan. [Of the two Low Countries, Luxembourg chose to capitulate, and was viewed as a collaborationist State by the Entente Powers: Luxembourg never became part of the Allies, and only nearly avoided Belgian efforts of annexation, at the conclusion of hostilities in 1919.]

The United Kingdom declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, following an "unsatisfactory reply" to the British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral. On August 23, Japan joined the Entente, which then counted seven members.

On May 23, 1915, Italy entered the war on the Entente side and declared war on Austria; previously, Italy had been a member of the Triple Alliance but had remained neutral since the beginning of the conflict. In 1916, Montenegro capitulated and left the Entente, and two nations joined, Portugal and Romania.

The U.S. Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. The United States declared war on Germany on the grounds that Germany violated American neutrality by attacking international shipping and because of the Zimmermann Telegram that was sent to Mexico. The U.S. entered the war as an "associated power", rather than a formal ally of France and Great Britain, in order to avoid "foreign entanglements".

The direction of the war changed on April 6, 1917, with the entrance of the United States and its American allies. Liberia, China, Siam and Greece also became allies. After the October Revolution, Russia left the alliance and ended formal involvement in the war, by the signing of the treaty of Brest Litovsk in November effectively creating a separate peace with the Central Powers. This was followed by Romanian cessation of hostilities, however the Balkan State declared war on Central Powers again on November 10, 1918. The Russian withdrawal allowed for the final structure of the alliance, which was based on five Great Powers: United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy and Japan.

More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in WWI. More than 9 million combatants were killed, due largely to great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the second deadliest conflict in Western history.

When the war ended in November 1918, many new States were formed over the ruins of the Central Powers. By the end of the WWI, four major imperial powers—the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires—had been militarily and politically defeated. The latter two ceased to exist. The revolutionised Soviet Union emerged from the Russian Empire, while the map of central Europe was completely redrawn into numerous smaller states. The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict.

The European nationalism spawned by the war and the breakup of empires, and the repercussions of Germany's defeat and the Treaty of Versailles led to the beginning of World War II in 1939.


[Source] [Source]

Third Reich: The Rise (1 of 6)


The German Hyperinflation, 1923

By Eric deCarbonnel, Market Skeptics
December 18, 2009

Before World War I, Germany was a prosperous country with a gold-backed currency, expanding industry, and world leadership in optics, chemicals, and machinery. The German Mark, the British shilling, the French franc, and the Italian lira all had about equal value, and all were exchanged four or five to the dollar. That was in 1914. In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado.
"My father was a lawyer," says Walter Levy, an internationally known German-born oil consultant in New York, "and he had taken out an insurance policy in 1903, and every month he had made the payments faithfully. It was a 20-year policy, and when it came due, he cashed it in and bought a single loaf of bread"...
More than inflation, the Germans feared unemployment. In 1919 Communists had tried to take over, and severe unemployment might give the Communists another chance. The great German industrial combines -- Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, Stinnes -- condoned the inflation and survived it well. A cheaper Mark, they reasoned, would make German goods cheap and easy to export, and they needed the export earnings to buy raw materials abroad.

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying.
Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks.
"If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."
The presses of the Reichsbank could not keep up though they ran through the night.

The flight from currency that had begun with the buying of diamonds, gold, country houses, and antiques now extended to minor and almost useless items -- bric-a-brac, soap, hairpins. The law-abiding country crumbled into petty thievery. Copper pipes and brass armatures weren't safe. Gasoline was siphoned from cars. People bought things they didn't need and used them to barter -- a pair of shoes for a shirt, some crockery for coffee. Berlin had a "witches' Sabbath" atmosphere. Prostitutes of both sexes roamed the streets. Cocaine was the fashionable drug. In the cabarets, the newly rich and their foreign friends could dance and spend money. Other reports noted that not all the young people had a bad time: their parents had taught them to work and save, and that was clearly wrong, so they could spend money, enjoy themselves, and flout the old.

The publisher Leopold Ullstein wrote:
"People just didn't understand what was happening. All the economic theory they had been taught didn't provide for the phenomenon. There was a feeling of utter dependence on anonymous powers -- almost as a primitive people believed in magic -- that somebody must be in the know, and that this small group of 'somebodies' must be a conspiracy."
When the 1,000-billion Mark note came out, few bothered to collect the change when they spent it. By November 1923, with one dollar equal to one trillion Marks, the breakdown was complete. The currency had lost meaning...

But although the country functioned again,
the savings were never restored, nor were the values of hard work and decency that had accompanied the savings. There was a different temper in the country, a temper that Hitler would later exploit with diabolical talent. Thomas Mann wrote:
"The market woman who, without batting an eyelash, demanded 100 million for an egg, lost the capacity for surprise. And nothing that has happened since has been insane or cruel enough to surprise her."
It was the custom for the bride to bring some money to a marriage; many marriages were called off. Widows dependent on insurance found themselves destitute. People who had worked a lifetime found that their pensions would not buy one cup of coffee.

Pearl Buck, the American writer who became famous for her novels of China, was in Germany in 1923. She wrote later:
"The cities were still there, the houses not yet bombed and in ruins, but the victims were millions of people. They had lost their fortunes, their savings; they were dazed and inflation-shocked and did not understand how it had happened to them and who the foe was who had defeated them. Yet they had lost their self-assurance, their feeling that they themselves could be the masters of their own lives if only they worked hard enough; and lost, too, were the old values of morals, of ethics, of decency."

Learn the Lessons of Hitler's Amazing Rise to Power

The German Hyperinflation, 1923

By Eric deCarbonnel, Market Skeptics
December 18, 2009

Before World War I, Germany was a prosperous country with a gold-backed currency, expanding industry, and world leadership in optics, chemicals, and machinery. The German Mark, the British shilling, the French franc, and the Italian lira all had about equal value, and all were exchanged four or five to the dollar. That was in 1914. In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado.
"My father was a lawyer," says Walter Levy, an internationally known German-born oil consultant in New York, "and he had taken out an insurance policy in 1903, and every month he had made the payments faithfully. It was a 20-year policy, and when it came due, he cashed it in and bought a single loaf of bread"...
More than inflation, the Germans feared unemployment. In 1919 Communists had tried to take over, and severe unemployment might give the Communists another chance. The great German industrial combines -- Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, Stinnes -- condoned the inflation and survived it well. A cheaper Mark, they reasoned, would make German goods cheap and easy to export, and they needed the export earnings to buy raw materials abroad.

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying.
Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks.
"If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."
The presses of the Reichsbank could not keep up though they ran through the night.

The flight from currency that had begun with the buying of diamonds, gold, country houses, and antiques now extended to minor and almost useless items -- bric-a-brac, soap, hairpins. The law-abiding country crumbled into petty thievery. Copper pipes and brass armatures weren't safe. Gasoline was siphoned from cars. People bought things they didn't need and used them to barter -- a pair of shoes for a shirt, some crockery for coffee.Berlin had a "witches' Sabbath" atmosphere. Prostitutes of both sexes roamed the streets. Cocaine was the fashionable drug. In the cabarets, the newly rich and their foreign friends could dance and spend money. Other reports noted that not all the young people had a bad time: their parents had taught them to work and save, and that was clearly wrong, so they could spend money, enjoy themselves, and flout the old.

The publisher Leopold Ullstein wrote:
"People just didn't understand what was happening. All the economic theory they had been taught didn't provide for the phenomenon. There was a feeling of utter dependence on anonymous powers -- almost as a primitive people believed in magic -- that somebody must be in the know, and that this small group of 'somebodies' must be a conspiracy."
When the 1,000-billion Mark note came out, few bothered to collect the change when they spent it. By November 1923, with one dollar equal to one trillion Marks, the breakdown was complete. The currency had lost meaning...

But although the country functioned again,
the savings were never restored, nor were the values of hard work and decency that had accompanied the savings. There was a different temper in the country, a temper that Hitler would later exploit with diabolical talent. Thomas Mann wrote:
"The market woman who, without batting an eyelash, demanded 100 million for an egg, lost the capacity for surprise. And nothing that has happened since has been insane or cruel enough to surprise her."
It was the custom for the bride to bring some money to a marriage; many marriages were called off. Widows dependent on insurance found themselves destitute. People who had worked a lifetime found that their pensions would not buy one cup of coffee.

Pearl Buck, the American writer who became famous for her novels of China, was in Germany in 1923. She wrote later:
"The cities were still there, the houses not yet bombed and in ruins, but the victims were millions of people. They had lost their fortunes, their savings; they were dazed and inflation-shocked and did not understand how it had happened to them and who the foe was who had defeated them. Yet they had lost their self-assurance, their feeling that they themselves could be the masters of their own lives if only they worked hard enough; and lost, too, were the old values of morals, of ethics, of decency."


Then along came Hitler to solve the nation's problems (Source: WikiAnswers):

One of the biggest weaknesses in German political life in the 1920s and early 1930s was the absence of an effective, competently organized, 'mainstream' right-wing political party. This encouraged the rise of a strange, weird and anti-democratic party.

Between 1930 and 1933, Hitler's rise to power was very rapid.
In 1928 the Nazis only had 12 out of 580 seats in the Reichstag; in 1930, when the effects of the Great Depression hit Germany hard, the number rose sharply to 107.

From a political point of view, there was a sea-change in Germany in 1930-33.
It's worth being cautious about the high school/college view of Germany smarting obsessively in 1919-33 under the Versailles Treaty and straining at the leash to undo it. In politics, most voters are much more concerned with basic everyday issues -- like jobs, for example.

The Lessons of Hitler’s Amazing Rise to Power!

By Robin A. Brace, UK Apologetics
Originally Published in 2006

"Five years prior to Adolf Hitler becoming German Chancellor, the National Socialists were considered almost a joke, rejected by 97% of German voters..."

How was it possible for Adolf Hitler to achieve power in Germany so suddenly?

In the 1928 German Election, the Nazi Party only achieved 2.6% of the national vote, this means that an amazing 97% of Germans clearly did not want Hitler to be their Chancellor. The Nazis were looked upon as a fringe party and were almost a joke—yet just five years later Hitler was Chancellor of Germany! How could this have happened?

The liberal Weimar government of 1919-1931 were certainly committed to democracy, unfortunately they were also weak, often rudderless and they presided over widespread and unprecedented corruption right across German life. Being a liberal democracy, widespread corruption did not unduly worry the Weimar architects, but it worried and upset many German people who longed for a return to a respect for law and order right across the land and right across German life.

Of course, as we know, it was a major economic crisis which finally opened the door for Hitler. When Weimar failed, people did not want another liberal democracy, which they blamed for the moral confusion and chaos of German life.

Germany had been greatly affected by the repercussions of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. In 1931, five major German banks crashed. From its former position of being a great nation, Germany actually became—by far—the weakest nation in Europe and actually weaker than most African countries!!

Confusion and chaos were now no longer simply of a moral nature, but were of a devastating economic sort, which saw thousands of unemployed men forming lines to receive a tiny handout that could never be enough to feed their families. Many committed suicide; others simply abandoned their families.

Panic gripped thousands of Germans, and they cried out for a strong leader who could lead them out of this chaos!


Both Communists and National Socialists prospered in this climate in which the common people powerfully rejected the whole concept of a liberal democracy.

Order Out of Chaos?

In the 1932 election campaign, Hitler put himself forward as the strong and decisive leader which the Germans had been longing for. As many have commented, all the Nazi Party really offered was order, discipline and authority since they had not drawn up any detailed policies; however, it was indeed the order, discipline and authority which the Germans were longing and craving for! Moreover, the Nazis made it clear that, when elected, they would form a dictatorship—not a democracy, but this, again, was exactly what the people wanted!

So it was economic catastrophe which turned the Nazis from a party which 97% of Germans had rejected in 1928 to a major party just 4-5 years later. In 1932, the Nazis had 37% of the vote—the biggest single German party. German leader Hindenburg originally did not want Hitler to be chancellor because he believed that he would bring even more chaos.

It was thousands of bankers and businessmen who petitioned for Hitler to become chancellor. They longed for stability, security and a return of confidence to German business life, and they saw Hitler as the strict no-nonsense disciplinarian who could provide it. The only strong radical alternative to Hitler were the communists who were obviously absolute anathema to bankers and businessmen!

Many more moderate German conservatives thought they would be able to control Hitler when he went into government through the processes of parliament, but what nobody had accounted for was National Socialism's zeal in changing laws and bringing in new laws to suit themselves and to radically change German life.

There is no doubt that Hitler did stabilise all of German life and brought new economic confidence to the ravaged land. For this achievement, ordinary Germans wholeheartedly threw themselves behind Hitler and the Nazis.

What is the lesson of all this?

Five years prior to Adolf Hitler becoming German Chancellor, the National Socialists were considered almost a joke, rejected by 97% of German voters, but when economic disaster struck, the people—in their tens of thousands—simply wanted a strong leader amidst a sea of watery ineffectual liberals! They were prepared to accept some really dangerous and offensive policies just in order to get a strong and dynamic leader elected—we should never think that this could never happen again!

It has been said that those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

Modern Britain, Europe and much of North America is being paralyzed by politically-correct permissive liberals. Concerns about "civil liberties" with its desire to protect criminals and illegal immigrants, and the push to eradicate the last vestiges of censorship and national pride, are being aggressively pushed forward by people who were encouraged and persuaded to revere arch-atheists Marx, Freud and Nietzsche in the universities of the 1960s-1980s.

The trend has been quietly going on and growing for several years, and this will surely eventually lead to a powerful right-wing backlash as ordinary people grow increasingly sickened at the moral corruption and erosion of former strongly Christian-influenced standards! The moral weakness of liberal governance means that parents are no longer even allowed to impose their own standards in bringing up their own children.

If the West should hit a major economic crisis which should lead to thousands or even possibly millions losing their sources of income, a huge backlash will be certain indeedat such a time and in such a climate, a powerful right wing leader will be sought. This could be extremely dangerous for the whole world and could even lead to global conflict...

Third Reich: The Fall (1 of 6)

September 13, 2009

No Private Property Rights Under Totalitarianism

Headed to National Socialism

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., LewRockwell.com
July 12, 2009

It was common on the left to intimate that George W. Bush was like Hitler, a remark that would drive the National Review crowd through the roof but which I didn't find entirely outrageous. Bush's main method of governance was to stir up fear of foreign enemies and instigate a kind of nationalist hysteria about the need for waging war and giving up liberty through security.

Hitler is the most famous parallel here, but he is hardly the only one. Many statesmen in world history have used the same tactics, dating back to ancient times. Machiavelli wrote in his Art of War advice to the ruler: "To know how to recognize an opportunity in war, and take it, benefits you more than anything else."

But what's the point of studying Hitler's rise to power unless it is to learn from that history and apply the lessons?

One lesson is to beware of leaders who come to power in troubled times, and then use foreign threats and economic crises to bolster their own power. Unless we can draw out lessons for our own times, history becomes nothing but a series of dry data points with no broader relevance.

Certainly Bush used 9-11 to consolidate his power, and the neoconservative intellectuals who surrounded him adopted a deep cynicism concerning the manipulation of public opinion. Their governing style concerned the utility of public myth, which they found essential to wise rule.

The main myth they promoted was that Bush was the Christian philosopher-king heading a new crusade against Islamic extremism. The very stupid among us believed it, and this served as a kind of ideological infrastructure of his tenure as president.

Then it collapsed when the economy went south and he was unable to sustain the absurd idea that he was protecting us from anyone. The result was disgrace and the empowering of the political left and its socialistic ethos. The talk of Hitler in the White House ended forthwith, as if the analogy extended only when nationalist ideology is ruling the day.

What people don't remember is that Hitlerism was about more than just militarism, nationalism, and consolidation of identity politics. It also involved a substantial shift in German domestic politics away from free enterprise, or what remained of it under Weimar, toward collectivist economic planning.

Nazism was not only nationalism run amok. It was also socialism of a particular variety.

Let's turn to The Vampire Economy by Guenter Reimann (1939). He begins the story with the 1933 decree that all property must be subject to the collective will. It began with random audits and massive new bookkeeping regulations.

Manufacturers in Germany were panic-stricken when they heard of the experiences of some industrialists who were more or less expropriated by the State. These industrialists were visited by State auditors who had strict orders to "examine" the balance sheets and all bookkeeping entries of the company (or individual businessman) for the preceding two, three, or more years until some error or false entry was found. The slightest formal mistake was punished with tremendous penalties. A fine of millions of marks was imposed for a single bookkeeping error. Obviously, the examination of the books was simply a pretext for partial expropriation of the private capitalist with a view to complete expropriation and seizure of the desired property later. The owner of the property was helpless, since under fascism there is no longer an independent judiciary that protects the property rights of private citizens against the State. The authoritarian State has made it a principle that private property is no longer sacred.

The rules begin to change slowly so that enterprise could no longer make decisions in the interest of profitability. The banks were nationalized. The heads of major companies were changed. Hiring and firing became heavily politicized. The courts ruled not on justice but on political priorities. It was no longer enough merely to obey the laws. The national will must trump economic concerns:
The capitalist under fascism has to be not merely a law-abiding citizen, he must be servile to the representatives of the State. He must not insist on "rights" and must not behave as if his private property rights were still sacred. He should be grateful to the Fuehrer that he still has private property. This state of affairs must lead to the final collapse of business morale, and sound the death knell of the self-respect and self-reliance which marked the independent businessman under liberal capitalism.
Price controls were next, enforced intermittently, and with them grew up a large gray economy, with businesspeople spending more time getting around the rules than producing wealth. "To increase his prices a dealer must have a special permit from the Price Commissar. A request for a price increase must first be certified to by the group leader; it must be accompanied by a detailed statement of necessity and other pertinent data, such as production and distribution costs."

State production mandates were next. Goods were to be produced according to political goals. "Backed by the General Staff of the army, Nazi bureaucrats have been able to embark upon schemes which compel the most powerful leaders of business and finance to undertake projects which they consider both risky and unprofitable."

Bankers were required to act as state actors. "Under fascism, big bankers, formerly independent – except, of course, ‘non-Aryans’ – have become State officials in everything but name. They are often in high and influential positions, but they are all members of the compact, centralized State machine. Their independence, their individual initiative, their free competitive position, all the principles for which they once fought fervently, are gone."

If you think that the parallels stopped after Bush left power, consider this passage from Reimann:
"The totalitarian State reverses the former relationship between the State and the banks. Previously, their political influence increased when the State needed financial help. Now the opposite holds true. The more urgent the financial demands of the State become, the stricter measures are taken by the State in order to compel these institutions to invest their funds as the State may wish."
Once the banks were forced wholly under the control of the government, they became the means by which all property became subject to the state:
"The totalitarian State will not have an empty treasury so long as private companies or individuals still have ample cash or liquid assets. For the State has the power to solve its financial difficulties at their expense. The private banks themselves, the financial institutions which previously dictated the terms on which they were willing to lend money, have built up the system of siphoning off liquid funds. This financial system is now utilized by the totalitarian State for its own purposes."
So it was for the stock market, which was regarded as a national asset. Speculation was forbidden. Public companies were entirely subject to bureaucratic rule. Order replaced the old spontaneity, while speculation of the old sort became an entirely underground activity. The largest companies didn't entirely mind the course of events. "The disappearance of small corporations gives rise to a tendency among small investors not to risk their capital in new competitive enterprises. The larger the big corporations grow and the closer they become connected with the State bureaucracy, the fewer chances there are for the rise of new competitors." So too for insurance companies, which were compelled to buy government paper.

The tendency toward ever more economic regulation resulted not in socialism, as such, but fascist planning. "The fascist State does not merely grant the private entrepreneur the right to produce for the market, but insists on production as a duty which must be fulfilled even though there be no profit. The businessman cannot close down his factory or shop because he finds it unprofitable. To do this requires a special permit issued by the authorities."

The national demand for "stimulus" replaced private decision making entirely, as businessmen were required to produce and avoid any economic downturns that might embarrass the state. "The Nazi government has expressly threatened the private entrepreneur with increased State coercion and reduction of personal rights and liberties unless he fulfills adequately the 'duty to produce' according to the State's demands."

But stimulus could not and would not work, no matter how hard the party officials tried, because the very institutions of private property and competition and all market forces had been overwritten.
The totalitarian regime has annihilated the most important conservative force of capitalism, the belief that private property ought to be a sacred right of every citizen and that the private property of every citizen ought to be protected.Respect for private property has penetrated the spirit of the people in all capitalist countries. It is the strongest bulwark of capitalism. Fascism has succeeded in destroying this conservative force... People still have to work for money and have to live on money incomes. Possession of capital still provides income. But this income is largely at the mercy of State bureaucrats and Party officials."
Reimann sums up:
"In Nazi Germany there is no field of business activity in which the State does not interfere. In more or less detailed form it prescribes how the businessman may use capital which is still presumably his private property. And because of this, the German businessman has become a fatalist; he does not believe that the new rules will work out well, yet he knows that he cannot alter the course of events. He has been made the tool of a gigantic machine which he cannot direct." The Nazi regime represented not a unique evil in history but rather a now-conventional combination of two dangerous ideological trends: nationalism and socialism. We know both all too well.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. is founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and author, most recently, of The Left, The Right, and The State.

September 12, 2009

26 Similarities Between America and Nazi Germany

Three Forces Destroying the America We Know

By Brannon Howse, Christian Worldview Network
Originally Published in January 2008

Even the most nominally aware person knows all too well that our nation—and the world—is engulfed in a major economic catastrophe. Thanks to the variety of factors at work, some observers have characterized it as the perfect economic storm.

Yet this drama is a mere thunder shower by comparison with a far more devastating potential that threatens to wreck not just the American dream but the entire American ideal. If this maelstrom reaches its full power, liberty and justice for all—to say nothing of the pursuit of happiness—will be wiped from the face of the earth.

A perfect cultural storm is developing from the convergence of three forces, any one of which would seriously harm our way of life. But together they portend the near certain doom of the most cherished American values.

Socialism, pagan spirituality, and pragmatism have come together over the last several decades to produce a cataclysm waiting to happen.
  1. Socialism imposes the redistribution of wealth and private property through an all-powerful, freedom-robbing central government.
  2. Pagan spirituality embraces the worship of nature along with occult practices and beliefs.
  3. Pragmatism proclaims that the truth or worth of an idea is based solely upon the results it brings (pragmatists believe that truth is relative, situational, and that a desired end justifies any means required to reach it).
All three of these political, spiritual, and intellectual systems have taken a dominant place in the American worldview.

Doomsday - Again

It's been said that if we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. There are those who have even compared the rumblings in America today as similar to those in pre-Nazi Germany of the 1930s.

While I don't buy the notion that our government might be ready to establish concentration camps, the storm clouds heading this way have brought ideas into our public policy, laws, and national consciousness that bear a frightening resemblance to what has gone before—in the worst of times.

This same collection of worldviews laid a foundation for the atrocities and godless government of Hitler's Germany.

Adolph Hitler, you'll recall, established the National Socialist German Workers' Party. He also bought into what I call One World Spirituality, a merging of the three worldviews of evolutionary humanism, Hindu pantheism, and occultism.

Atheism in America is no longer in vogue among our "intellectual elite." It's being replaced by the far more insidious pantheism—insidious because it is more acceptable to the masses than outright disbelief in God.

Pantheism is on track to become the dominate worldview in America and around the world in very short order.

Similar Is As Similar Does

Please understand that I'm not sensationalizing when making these observations. First Chronicles 12:32 says men of the tribe of Issachar were called wise because they "understood the times and knew what God would have them to do."

To help you make your own assessment of the situation, I've distinguished 26 benchmark issues that clearly define the intensity of the tempest that is nearly upon us. And yes, there are obvious comparisons with the growth of Nazism in Germany. I will point them out unabashedly because it's only reasonable to say so if something that looks similar to an earlier, dangerous historical parallel actually is similar. After all, storm warnings, by nature, foretell bad news.

As you read through my list, I invite you to understand the times and prepare to respond with a Biblical worldview.
  1. Hitler outlawed school prayer in Germany.

    In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court did the same for us.
  2. Hitler eliminated Christian holidays in the schools first by calling Christmas "Yuletide."

    Most American public schools now call Christmas vacation a "winter break."
  3. Hitler took Easter out of schools and instead honored that time of year as the beginning of spring.

    It has likewise become common for schools in America to refer to time off at Easter as "spring break."
  4. Hitler controlled the Church using intimidation and threats.

    A half-century ago, U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson promoted a bill that included an amendment for using the Internal Revenue Service to remove the non-profit status of a church that speaks against the election of any specific political candidate.
  5. Hitler enticed thousands of pastors to promote paganism in their congregations.

    Neopaganism is one of the fastest growing religions in America, doubling every 18 months according to a June 2008 article in The Denver Post. Many American church-goers practice paganism such as "Christian" yoga, contemplative prayer, and walking a labyrinth. As evidence that church doors continue to open further to aberrant beliefs, a 2008 survey found that 57% of evangelicals do not believe Jesus Christ is the only way to God.
  6. Hitler was an environmentalist and vegetarian.

    Marriages performed by the Nazi state frequently included blessings of "Mother Earth" and "Father Sky." Today Americans increasingly accept radical environmentalism, pantheism, and the celebration of Earth Day.
  7. Hitler was fascinated by eastern mysticism.

    Today an increasing number of American pastors encourage their followers to become "mystic warriors."
  8. Hitler believed in reincarnation. He even convinced SS officers that by murdering millions of Jews and other "undesirables," they were allowing them to get on with the reincarnation process and come back more quickly in an advanced status.

    Americans increasingly accept the idea of reincarnation as well as good and bad karma.
  9. Hitler's holocaust killed between 8 and 11 million Jews and non-Jews.

    Americans have killed an estimated 50 million babies since abortion was legalized through the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973. According to a July 7, 2008 article on worldnetdaily.com: "An abortionist who claims to have destroyed more than 20,000 unborn children and who once was Hillary Clinton's OB-Gyn says he is doing 'God's work' when he terminates a pregnancy… He admits that abortion kills a human soul."

  10. Hitler killed 270,000 handicapped people through active euthanasia.

    America and the courts are rushing toward the same with the murder of individuals such as Terri Schiavo. Oregon voters passed their Death with Dignity Act in 1994 and re-affirmed it in 1997. Washington state voters legalized doctor-assisted suicide on November 4, 2008. In December 2008, a Montana judge ruled terminally ill residents of that state have the right to physician-assisted suicide, and "death with dignity" is gaining acceptance in other states as well.
  11. Private schools were abolished by Hitler and all education placed under Nazi control.

    There is constant pressure from federal and many state education authorities to require that Christian schools use state-mandated, humanistic textbooks. The Home School Legal Defense Association is fighting numerous battles at any given time to prevent parents from loosing the right to educate their children as they see fit. In August 2008, a federal district court ruled that the state of California university system may choose not to recognize the diplomas--and thereby deny college entrance to--students who attended a school using textbooks that express a Biblical worldview in the areas of history and science (i.e., Christian schools).
  12. Hitler prevented dissenters from using radio to challenge his worldview.

    Many powerful liberals in America have made clear their intent to reintroduce the "Fairness Doctrine" that would require conservative and religious radio stations to offer equal time to anti-Christian, anti-conservative worldviews.
  13. Pastors who spoke against Hitler's worldview and his murderous regime found themselves on trial and frequently imprisoned for "Abuse of Pulpit."

    In America, hate-crime legislation has the potential to criminalize Christians and pastors who speak out against the homosexual agenda.
  14. Many Christians in Germany justified their allegiance to Hitler through a belief that "their duty to God was spiritual; their duty to the state was political."

    Many American Christians now have bought the lie that their worldview can be divided between the secular and the sacred—the politician has one area of responsibility, the pastor another, and never shall the two meet. Yet the Bible teaches that all issues are fundamentally spiritual.
  15. Hitler outlawed the cross and replaced it with the swastika.

    Today many churches and Christian colleges and universities have willingly removed the cross from their buildings. Numerous court cases sponsored by the ACLU have required the removal of the cross from public grounds. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the Ten Commandments cannot be posted on public grounds for religious purposes.
  16. Hitler was fascinated with Friedrich Nietzsche and distributed his writings to his inner circle.

    Nietzsche promoted Nihilism, the belief that life has no meaning; and he is best known for his position that "God is dead." Nietzsche is presently one of the most widely read authors by American college students.
  17. Hitler exploited the economic collapse of Germany to take over as dictator and usher in his brand of socialism.

    America's financial crisis has given liberals in both political parties the opportunity to grow the size of government and implement freedom-robbing socialism at lightning speed.
  18. Hitler was obsessed with globalism.

    Many of America's most powerful political leaders are willing to subjugate American sovereignty to contemporary globalism.
  19. Many Germans responded to Hitler by retreating into neutrality.

    Today most Americans prefer to remain neutral on moral issues that they think don't affect them personally.
  20. On trial after World War II, Hitler's henchmen used the defense that they had not broken any laws. True, they had not defied the laws of Germany since those had been re-written to fit the goals and objectives of Hitler. The Nazi leaders were nevertheless found guilty because the courts at the time recognized a "law above the law."

    Yet now the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the law of nature and nature's God by claiming that as society evolves, morals evolve, and so the law, too, must evolve.
  21. Calling upon Darwinian evolution, Hitler convinced the German people that purging millions of people was acceptable because of the need to create a pure race; also referred to as eugenics.

    American students across the board have been educated in Darwinian evolution because the Supreme Court has ruled that creation cannot be taught in our schools—even if both creation and evolution are taught side by side.
  22. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood in America, became acquainted with the doctors and scientists that had worked with Nazi Germany's eugenics program and had no quarrel with the euthanasia, sterilization, abortion and infanticide programs of the early Reich. Sanger even published several articles in Birth Control Review that reflected Hilter's White Supremacist worldview.

    Planned Parenthood now grosses one billion per year.
  23. In Germany, pastors often cited Romans 13:1-2 to encourage Christians to obey the Nazis.

    Today in America, many pastors have a false view of Romans 13:1-2 and have convinced millions that to disobey governing authorities is to disobey God. This poor training would facilitate Christians here doing just as the German Christians did if faced with similar challenges.
  24. Germans accepted socialism to avoid pain.

    Today's Americans are rejecting capitalism in exchange for government-sponsored "free" healthcare, education and countless other government handouts.
  25. Hitler embraced all of the three worldviews of evolutionary humanism, Hindu pantheism, and occultism.

    Many Americans accept what I call One World Spirituality, which is an amalgamation of the three worldviews.
  26. Hitler expanded and centralized Germany's healthcare system.

    America is rushing toward government-sponsored, national healthcare. We already have a form of this in Medicare and Medicaid.

    As Melchior Palyi explained, "The ill-famed Dr. Ley, boss of the Nazi labor front, did not fail to see that the social insurance system could be used for Nazi politics as a means of popular demagoguery, as a bastion of bureaucratic power, [and] as an instrument of regimentation."
If the church in Germany had truly acted like the Church of Jesus Christ, if Christians had understood and lived out a Biblical worldview, Germany would never have accepted Hitler. I believe he would have been rejected and overthrown within weeks of his true worldview coming to light.

Most American church members today are simply reflecting the culture instead of correcting and changing it. If we are to quiet the brewing storm, apathy, political correctness, and intellectual laziness must be replaced with a passion for Biblical truth, sound reasoning, logic, and the desire to lead.

Becoming a leader does not mean you must be on the radio, give speeches, or even stand up in front of a group. An effective influencer leads through his or her actions and lifestyle. Lovingly defending and proclaiming truth in a world bent on political correctness is being a leader. Even in private conversation, leadership can take the form of lovingly correcting someone's false beliefs or ideas.

America needs Christians now more than ever to take the lead. If not, the perfect storm is ready, and annihilation is what it portends.

September 4, 2009

A Final Global Empire Will Arise

Behold He Cometh

By Herman Hoeksema (1886 - 1965)
© 1969 Reformed Free Publishing Association

The Devil Is Retrained from Uniting the World Powers Until Shortly Before the End of Ages

The period of "a thousand years" referenced in the book of Revelation is to be applied to this entire dispensation until the time shortly before the Second Coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. This is because of the simple reason that the order of the book of Revelation is not chronological, but rather idealogical. Repeatedly, the book follows the development of the world to its very end from a certain point of view in order, and it then resumes the drawing of the same picture from a different viewpoint.

The "thousand year" time period of Revelation must be fulfilled before the devil can be permitted to deceive the nations which live on the "four corners of the earth." This reign of Christ with respect to the world is such that, almost until the very end, the devil shall be bound with respect to Gog and Magog so that he cannot deceive these nations and gather them for battle against the camp of the saints, the Church, the body of Christ, the True Israel of God.

In harmony with all Scripture, "Israel" is to be taken in the New Testament sense of the word. The vision of the restored Israel, of which Ezekiel chapter 38 and 39 speak, has been realized in the Church of the new dispensation. It is "the camp of the saints." It is "the beloved city." It is Christianity in its widest sense as it exists and develops in the new dispensation and as it corresponds to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. It is represented in the text as being situated in the center of the earth; and around it, on the four quarters of the earth, outside of the pale of history, are nations that remain pagan.

Gog and Magog are heathen nations in distinction from nominal Christendom. The nations of Gog and Magog, which are on the four corners of the earth, I would identify as the people (as a whole) who in the new dispensation never played a part in the history of the world, but which in our very day are waking up. I refer to the overwhelmingly strong non-Christian world: the nations of China and Japan, the great and strong multitudes in India; the followers of Confucius and Buddha and of Islam and Brahmanism; and the millions of Africa and of the islands of the sea. The elect also are gathered from these pagan nations into the Church; however, as nations they remain distinctly heathen.

The Christian nations are the historical powers, and Gog and Magog are hitherto apparently asleep. The devil, the prince of this world, is restrained from employing these forces against the Church, the beloved city, the camp of the saints, the new Israel of God. However, near the end of this dispensation, the devil shall be "loosed a little season" to gather the nations to battle against the Church before Christ returns in the clouds of heaven.

From Revelation chapter 17, we learn that the first result of the deceptive influence of the devil upon the heathen nations, Gog and Magog, is that they shall join into one great world power with the central anti-Christian kingdom. For "one hour," for "a little season," the world power shall realize its greatest ambition and a strictly universal empire shall be established, of which also the heathen but civilized nations form an integral part.

From a purely humanistic viewpoint, this future one-world power will be a glorious kingdom, and thoroughly humanistic it will surely be—religiously, scientifically, socially, industrially and politically. However, it will be anti-God, anti-Christ, and anti-Church; for the devil, named Satan, is the opponent, the adversary of Christ, and the adversary to the cause of God in the world.

The Devil is Securely Bound Until the End of the Ages With Respect to the Heathen Nations

During this present dispensation, the devil is bound in regard to the nations of Gog and Magog: in the vision of Revelation chapter 20, the angel overpowers the devil and securely binds him with the chain, casts him into the bottomless pit, locks the pit, and sets a seal upon him.

The devil, therefore, is very securely bound, and he is bound with respect to the heathen nations in order for the gospel to be spread throughout the nations.

Scripture teaches that the devil is bound in such a way that he cannot marshal the heathen nations of Gog and Magog to battle against the Church, the beloved city, or, if you please, against the Christian nations. In this very period of his restraint, the devil may do many things, both among the nominally Christian nations and among the people who are called Gog and Magog: he may go about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, as he actually does. However, until near the end of this dispensation, he is prevented from deceiving the heathen nations so as to gather them to battle against the camp of the saints, the Church, the elect of God.

We can easily surmise what it would mean if these heathen nations were permitted to unite and marshal their tremendous forces against the nominally Christian nations: the Church would have no place in the world, no room for development. However, the devil is bound with respect to them until near the end of this dispensation.

The deception of the devil must work out till the bitter end. At the time near the end of this dispensation, under the influence of the so-called mission work of the anti-Christian unclean spirits, the heathen nations indeed shall be awakened out of their prolonged slumber, becoming conscious of their power and quickly adopting the anti-Christian civilization.

In other words, the heathen nations shall be civilized and they shall become conscious of their power; and they shall, for a time, join forces with the beast and the false prophet to form one great world empire. Nevertheless, they shall remain pagan in every respect, and though they give their power to the beast for "one hour," for "a little season," this cannot possibly last.

The Final War Will Be Between the Nominally Christian World and the Heathen Nations

The future combined one-world power of the nominally Christian nations and heathen nations cannot last, because ultimately the ten kings shall hate the whore and shall make her desolate and naked and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire (Revelation 17:16). Therefore, shortly before the end of this world, the devil's final deception of the nations shall take place.

The heathen nations and the nominally Christian world will ultimately gather as separate forces for the last war, which will be a world war in the strictest sense of the word.

Looking upon the nominally Christian world, which in fact will be an anti-Christian civilization, the heathen nations shall do as the nations of the old dispensation did with respect to Jerusalem; that is, they shall say: "Let us go up to Jerusalem; let Zion be defiled; let our eye look upon Zion!" And again the Lord will use the hostile spirit of the heathen nations to destroy the anti-Christian power and eat the flesh of the great whore.

In Revelation chapters 16 and 17, there mention is made of ten kings who as yet have received no kingdom, but shall receive power as kings for one hour with the beast: their dominion shall last but "one hour" with the beast; that is, "a little season." In Revelation chapter 20, the reference is evidently to the same going forth of the devil to the nations, the kings of the whole world that live on the four quarters of the earth, to deceive them and gather them for battle.

It is especially Gog and Magog that look upon all Christendom, no matter how apostate, as the beloved city, even as the heathen nations in the old dispensation considered earthly Jerusalem to be the city of God no matter how apostate and wicked it had become. The nations of Gog and Magog, in compassing about and coming to battle against Christendom in its widest sense, certainly intend to destroy "the beloved city," the cause of Christ, and to make paganism supreme in the world. In this, they reveal their wickedness and become ripe for the judgment. God nevertheless uses them to inflict His judgments upon the anti-Christian world.

The final result of this anti-Christian influence will be that the nations thus affected will unite their forces for war, the last war that shall ever be fought on earth. However, they will never touch the camp of the saints: the people of God shall look for the coming redemption, which shall then be very near.

The True Israel of God Shall Experience Great Tribulation Before Christ Returns

This future one-world power, this kingdom of man under Satan, shall be complete: it shall be a kingdom which has sway over all the universe, over all men, over all the powers of creation. It shall be a kingdom in which man worships his own work and in which the devil is lord supreme.

This world power to come shall lay down the rules for religious life in particular: it shall tell all men how they must worship and what they must worship. It shall be a new system of thought and religion, with a new creed, universal in its scope and, at the same time, with a new god. That new god will be the devil incarnate, the great world power, whom all shall admire and worship and for whom all shall erect an image in order that they may worship the same.

At this time to come, there still shall be saints of the Most High on earth: the remnant of the seed of the woman still shall be there; they shall not yet be taken to heaven. And, of course, they will refuse to go along with all this beautiful and worldwide movement. They will refuse to adopt the philosophy; they will refuse to wonder at its great signs; they will refuse to adopt its religion; they will refuse to worship the beast and the dragon.

The Church will refuse to worship the beast; therefore, the saints cannot be tolerated, and they must be discovered so that this great universal kingdom of the devil may be rid of them. It is certain that the difference between the followers of antichrist and the followers of Christ shall be there and that this difference shall be very obvious. The false prophet, the power of false science and philosophy and religion, shall see to it that the distinction is very public and evident to all so that only his followers may share in the blessings of this great kingdom.

Just as only the followers of Christ shall share in the blessings of the kingdom of God, so also the followers of antichrist only shall reap the benefits of this universal world kingdom. The rest, who do not have the "mark of the beast," shall be excluded and boycotted in every respect.

All things shall be under the control of this great and universal world power: the very necessities of life shall be in its power. It can surely allow or prevent buying and selling according to its good pleasure. The saints of Christ who do not worship the image, and who refuse to receive the mark of the beast, shall not be able to do business; they shall not be able to buy or to sell. They shall not be able to live along with this great society. They shall not be able to buy the necessities of life. They shall be outcasts, mocked at, held in derision, thrust aside, ousted from society, and killed.

Those shall be terrible days. They shall be more terrible than any form of persecution that the children of God have ever experienced. There shall be no place for them on earth. So terrible shall those days be that many shall fall who appeared to be children of the Most High, and the very elect would not be able to resist were it not for the fact that the days shall be shortened.

Conclusion

The devil is in the world already: he works in the world; he has made many bold attempts already to reach his culmination; and his final manifestation will be the consummation of a long process of development. In the devil's last attempt to oppose God’s plan, he simply will realize his own kingdom, or he will attempt to realize it, and boldly set it up.

The devil, to whom the kingdoms of the world belong, shall succeed in combining all his kingdoms under one head and inspiring them all with the same principle. All the signs of the times point to such a tremendous global power, to such a league of the nations that has control over all things, to such a unity of all religion in which man is exalted and the Christ of the Scriptures is blasphemed.

The dragon's power and authority itself is limited: it is well that we bear this in mind, for it is to our comfort. It assures us from the outset that the power and authority of this anti-Christian kingdom, however great, is not unlimited and that Christ, who has all power, is mightier than antichrist.

Why are we given a complete picture of the anti-Christian Kingdom in the book of Revelation? So that we might clearly recognize it when it is revealed. And what then must we do when we see it is come? Must we oppose it. You may ask, "Must we fight it with the sword?" That, of course, is completely impossible. It will come. It must come. And to oppose its coming is entirely vain. Its coming is irresistible. And the battle is not one of the sword.

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints, that in all these times they remain faithful and refuse to deny the Christ and that they wait for the day of His coming.

God created a world that should glorify Him and be consecrated to Him, but that world tore itself loose from Him and refused to glorify Him. Man has now developed the kingdom of the world without God, and God allows this kingdom of the world to develop to its full extent.

Although man has fallen away from Him, God nevertheless allows man to exercise dominion over the earthly creation and to bring to light all the hidden powers and talents of creation to their fullest degree. In this kingdom we have the anti-Christian beasts described in the book of Revelation, which represent the highest development of the sovereignty of man apart from God, and under the devil they shall develop all the powers of creation without God.

This kingdom to come is the climax of the development of the man of sin: it is the kingdom of man, of the creature, without God, without the seven. And therefore his number is 666, the number of man indeed. You may see him rise before your very eyes in the world of today. Hence, we must watch and pray that we may not fall into temptation. We must be faithful unto the end.

It is not our calling to resist the coming kingdom of antichrist, for that is impossible. We cannot prevent its coming; however, we must watch and be prepared. Here is the patience of the saints; here is wisdom. We must know how it will come so that we may recognize its coming and be faithful even unto the end.

God grant that we may be found watching in that day so that we may not be allured by all the beauty and fascination and by the Christian appearance, strength and stability of this world kingdom to come. Let us not be allured by the signs and wonders of the false prophet, but let us remain faithful even unto the very end so that no one may take our crowns.

"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." --Luke 17:26-30

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” --John 16:33

"I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." --Matthew 28:20


Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day. --Psalms 25:5

It is our duty and our privilege to wait upon the Lord in service, in worship, in expectancy, and in trust all the days of our lives. Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding. We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
In both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,
And of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers,
Walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the fathers fell asleep,
All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

For this they willingly are ignorant of,
That by the Word of God the heavens were of old,
And the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store,
Reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,
That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness;
But is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
But that all should come to repentance.


But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;
In the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,
And the elements shall melt with fervent heat,
The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,
What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
And the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to His promise,
Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Therefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,
Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;

Even as our beloved brother Paul also,
According to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things;
In which are some things hard to be understood,
Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest,
As they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before,
Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
Fall from your own stedfastness.

But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

--2 Peter Chapter 3


September 3, 2009

The Weimar Hyperinflation? Could it Happen Again?

By Ellen Brown, Global Research
May 20, 2009

“It was horrible. Horrible! Like lightning it struck. No one was prepared. The shelves in the grocery stores were empty. You could buy nothing with your paper money.” – Harvard University law professor Friedrich Kessler on the Weimar Republic hyperinflation (1993 interview)

Some worried commentators are predicting a massive hyperinflation of the sort suffered by Weimar Germany in 1923, when a wheelbarrow full of paper money could barely buy a loaf of bread. An April 29 editorial in the San Francisco Examiner warned:
With an unprecedented deficit that’s approaching $2 trillion, [the President’s 2010] budget proposal is a surefire prescription for hyperinflation. So every senator and representative who votes for this monster $3.6 trillion budget will be endorsing a spending spree that could very well turn America into the next Weimar Republic.”
As in Weimar Germany, money creation in the U.S. is now being undertaken by a privately-owned central bank, the Federal Reserve.

In an investment newsletter called Money Morning on April 9, Martin Hutchinson pointed to disturbing parallels between current government monetary policy and Weimar Germany’s, when 50% of government spending was being funded by seigniorage – merely printing money.

However, there is something puzzling in his data. He indicates that the British government is already funding more of its budget by seigniorage than Weimar Germany did at the height of its massive hyperinflation; yet the pound is still holding its own, under circumstances said to have caused the complete destruction of the German mark. Something else must have been responsible for the mark’s collapse besides mere money-printing to meet the government’s budget, but what? And are we threatened by the same risk today? Let’s take a closer look at the data.

History Repeats Itself – or Does It?

In his well-researched article, Hutchinson notes that Weimar Germany had been suffering from inflation ever since World War I; but it was in the two-year period between 1921 and 1923 that the true “Weimar hyperinflation” occurred. By the time it had ended in November 1923, the mark was worth only one-trillionth of what it had been worth back in 1914. Hutchinson goes on:
“The current policy mix reflects those of Germany during the period between 1919 and 1923. The Weimar government was unwilling to raise taxes to fund post-war reconstruction and war-reparations payments, and so it ran large budget deficits. It kept interest rates far below inflation, expanding money supply rapidly and raising 50% of government spending through seigniorage (printing money and living off the profits from issuing it)...
The really chilling parallel is that the United States, Britain and Japan have now taken to funding their budget deficits through seigniorage. In the United States, the Fed is buying $300 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds (T-bonds) over a six-month period, a rate of $600 billion per annum, 15% of federal spending of $4 trillion. In Britain, the Bank of England (BOE) is buying 75 billion pounds of gilts [the British equivalent of U.S. Treasury bonds] over three months. That’s 300 billion pounds per annum, 65% of British government spending of 454 billion pounds. Thus, while the United States is approaching Weimar German policy (50% of spending) quite rapidly, Britain has already overtaken it!”

And that is where the data gets confusing. If Britain is already meeting a larger percentage of its budget deficit by seigniorage than Germany did at the height of its hyperinflation, why is the pound now worth about as much on foreign exchange markets as it was nine years ago, under circumstances said to have driven the mark to a trillionth of its former value in the same period, and most of this in only two years?

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar has actually gotten stronger relative to other currencies since the policy was begun last year of massive “quantitative easing” (today’s euphemism for seigniorage). Central banks rather than governments are now doing the printing, but the effect on the money supply should be the same as in the government money-printing schemes of old. The government debt bought by the central banks is never actually paid off but is just rolled over from year to year; and once the new money is in the money supply, it stays there, diluting the value of the currency.

So why haven’t our currencies already collapsed to a trillionth of their former value, as happened in Weimar Germany? Indeed, if it were a simple question of supply and demand, a government would have to print a trillion times its earlier money supply to drop its currency by a factor of a trillion; and even the German government isn’t charged with having done that. Something else must have been going on in the Weimar Republic, but what?

Schacht Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

Light is thrown on this mystery by the later writings of Hjalmar Schacht, the currency commissioner for the Weimar Republic. The facts are explored at length in The Lost Science of Money by Stephen Zarlenga, who writes that in Schacht’s 1967 book The Magic of Money, he “let the cat out of the bag, writing in German, with some truly remarkable admissions that shatter the ‘accepted wisdom’ the financial community has promulgated on the German hyperinflation.” What actually drove the wartime inflation into hyperinflation, said Schacht, was speculation by foreign investors, who would bet on the mark’s decreasing value by selling it short.

Short selling is a technique used by investors to try to profit from an asset’s falling price. It involves borrowing the asset and selling it, with the understanding that the asset must later be bought back and returned to the original owner. The speculator is gambling that the price will have dropped in the meantime and he can pocket the difference. Short selling of the German mark was made possible because private banks made massive amounts of currency available for borrowing, marks that were created on demand and lent to investors, returning a profitable interest to the banks.

At first, the speculation was fed by the Reichsbank (the German central bank), which had recently been privatized. But when the Reichsbank could no longer keep up with the voracious demand for marks, other private banks were allowed to create them out of nothing and lend them at interest as well.

A Story with an Ironic Twist

If Schacht is to be believed, not only did the government not cause the hyperinflation but it was the government that got the situation under control. The Reichsbank was put under strict regulation, and prompt corrective measures were taken to eliminate foreign speculation by eliminating easy access to loans of bank-created money.

More interesting is a little-known sequel to this tale. What allowed Germany to get back on its feet in the 1930s was the very thing today’s commentators are blaming for bringing it down in the 1920s – money issued by seigniorage by the government. Economist Henry C. K. Liu calls this form of financing “sovereign credit.” He writes of Germany’s remarkable transformation:
“The Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, at a time when its economy was in total collapse, with ruinous war-reparation obligations and zero prospects for foreign investment or credit. Yet through an independent monetary policy of sovereign credit and a full-employment public-works program, the Third Reich was able to turn a bankrupt Germany, stripped of overseas colonies it could exploit, into the strongest economy in Europe within four years, even before armament spending began.
While Hitler clearly deserves the opprobrium heaped on him for his later atrocities, he was enormously popular with his own people, at least for a time. This was evidently because he rescued Germany from the throes of a worldwide depression – and he did it through a plan of public works paid for with currency generated by the government itself.
Projects were first earmarked for funding, including flood control, repair of public buildings and private residences, and construction of new buildings, roads, bridges, canals, and port facilities. The projected cost of the various programs was fixed at one billion units of the national currency. One billion non-inflationary bills of exchange called Labor Treasury Certificates were then issued against this cost.

Millions of people were put to work on these projects, and the workers were paid with the Treasury Certificates. The workers then spent the certificates on goods and services, creating more jobs for more people. These certificates were not actually debt-free but were issued as bonds, and the government paid interest on them to the bearers. But the certificates circulated as money and were renewable indefinitely, making them a de facto currency; and they avoided the need to borrow from international lenders or to pay off international debts. The Treasury Certificates did not trade on foreign currency markets, so they were beyond the reach of the currency speculators. They could not be sold short because there was no one to sell them to, so they retained their value.

Within two years, Germany’s unemployment problem had been solved and the country was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries were still out of work and living on welfare. Germany even managed to restore foreign trade, although it was denied foreign credit and was faced with an economic boycott abroad. It did this by using a barter system: equipment and commodities were exchanged directly with other countries, circumventing the international banks. This system of direct exchange occurred without debt and without trade deficits. Although Germany’s economic experiment was short-lived, it left some lasting monuments to its success, including the famous Autobahn, the world’s first extensive superhighway.
The Lessons of History: Not Always What They Seem

Germany’s scheme for escaping its crippling debt and reinvigorating a moribund economy was clever, but it was not actually original with the Germans. The notion that a government could fund itself by printing and delivering paper receipts for goods and services received was first devised by the American colonists. Benjamin Franklin credited the remarkable growth and abundance in the colonies, at a time when English workers were suffering the impoverished conditions of the Industrial Revolution, to the colonists’ unique system of government-issued money. In the nineteenth century, Senator Henry Clay called this the “American system,” distinguishing it from the “British system” of privately-issued paper banknotes. After the American Revolution, the American system was replaced in the U.S. with banker-created money; but government-issued money was revived during the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln funded his government with U.S. Notes or “Greenbacks” issued by the Treasury.

The dramatic difference in the results of Germany’s two money-printing experiments was a direct result of the uses to which the money was put. Price inflation results when “demand” (money) increases more than “supply” (goods and services), driving prices up; and in the experiment of the 1930s, new money was created for the purpose of funding productivity, so supply and demand increased together and prices remained stable.

Hitler said, “For every mark issued, we required the equivalent of a mark’s worth of work done, or goods produced.”

In the hyperinflationary disaster of 1923, on the other hand, money was printed merely to pay off speculators, causing demand to shoot up while supply remained fixed. The result was not just inflation but hyperinflation, since the speculation went wild, triggering rampant tulip-bubble-style mania and panic.

This was also true in Zimbabwe, a dramatic contemporary example of runaway inflation. The crisis dated back to 2001, when Zimbabwe defaulted on its loans and the IMF refused to make the usual accommodations, including refinancing and loan forgiveness. Apparently, the IMF’s intention was to punish the country for political policies of which it disapproved, including land reform measures that involved reclaiming the lands of wealthy landowners. Zimbabwe’s credit was ruined and it could not get loans elsewhere, so the government resorted to issuing its own national currency and using the money to buy U.S. dollars on the foreign-exchange market. These dollars were then used to pay the IMF and regain the country’s credit rating. According to a statement by the Zimbabwe central bank, the hyperinflation was caused by speculators who manipulated the foreign-exchange market, charging exorbitant rates for U.S. dollars, causing a drastic devaluation of the Zimbabwe currency.

The government’s real mistake, however, may have been in playing the IMF’s game at all. Rather than using its national currency to buy foreign fiat money to pay foreign lenders, it could have followed the lead of Abraham Lincoln and the American colonists and issued its own currency to pay for the production of goods and services for its own people. Inflation would then have been avoided, because supply would have kept up with demand; and the currency would have served the local economy rather than being siphoned off by speculators.

The Real Weimar Threat and How It Can Be Avoided

Is the United States, then, out of the hyperinflationary woods with its “quantitative easing” scheme? Maybe, maybe not. To the extent that the newly-created money will be used for real economic development and growth, funding by seigniorage is not likely to inflate prices, because supply and demand will rise together. Using quantitative easing to fund infrastructure and other productive projects, as in President Obama’s stimulus package, could invigorate the economy as promised, producing the sort of abundance reported by Benjamin Franklin in America’s flourishing early years.

There is, however, something else going on today that is disturbingly similar to what triggered the 1923 hyperinflation. As in Weimar Germany, money creation in the U.S. is now being undertaken by a privately-owned central bank, the Federal Reserve; and it is largely being done to settle speculative bets on the books of private banks, without producing anything of value to the economy. As gold investor James Sinclair warned nearly two years ago:
“The real problem is a trembling $20 trillion mountain of over-the-counter credit and default derivatives. Think deeply about the Weimar Republic case study because every day it looks more and more like a repeat in cause and effect . . . .”
The $12.9 billion in bailout funds funneled through AIG to pay Goldman Sachs for its highly speculative credit default swaps is just one egregious example. To the extent that the money generated by “quantitative easing” is being sucked into the black hole of paying off these speculative derivative bets, we could indeed be on the Weimar road and there is real cause for alarm.

We have been led to believe that we must prop up a zombie Wall Street banking behemoth because without it we would have no credit system, but that is not true. There is another viable alternative, and it may prove to be our only viable alternative. We can beat Wall Street at its own game, by forming publicly-owned banks that issue the full faith and credit of the United States not for private speculative profit but as a public service, for the benefit of the United States and its people.

Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from “the money trust.” Her eleven books include Forbidden Medicine, Nature’s Pharmacy (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker), and The Key to Ultimate Health (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com.

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