Can There be Another Major General Smedley Butler?

Prior to the disclosures about “Economic Hit Men” by John Perkins, we had the attempted coup by 24 wealthy businessmen and financiers to overthrow the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and replace it with a fascist government. If not for the good conscience of Major General Smedley D. Butler, who was assigned the task of raising a 500,000-man army (and paved the way for modern-day Jackals), history could have been much different.

Was this attempted coup a conspiracy or simply corporations trying to eliminate the competition to achieve the risk-free trade? For all practical purposes, what’s the difference?  When the Federal Reserve picked their name, they did it with the full intent of misleading the public to believe they were part of govt. Private companies never just act for philanthropic reasons. The Fed may have been started back in 1913 to solve a liquidity problem, but with the powers they knew were headed their way, I’m sure their wheels were spinning as they went to bed each evening at the Jekyll Island Club.

Many people try to promote the idea of a grand conspiracy, as if the normal corrupt dealings of corporations and govt are not enough to shock people. After all, the best way to discredit something is to radicalize it. Others, like Martin Armstrong, believe the people in govt are not smart enough to manage their way out of wet paper bag, much less coordinate some grand conspiracy. Armstrong, who I believe will go down in history as the most insightful economic thinker that no one has ever heard of, writes extensively about the single-mindedness of those in govt throughout history – preservation of their jobs, perks, and power is their primary motivation. In a recent post he stated:

“This is a patch-work of government mismanagement as always. This is not some grand conspiracy that transcends generations. These people are not that smart and there is no collective consciousness in government. That is reserved for human kind – not government.”

In my humble opinion, there seems to be a fine line between a grand conspiracy and profit-at-all-cost with Corporatism. The govt may not be smart enough (motivated and/or lacks the means), but the business people who manipulate them are, so what’s the difference when you have corporatism? We know that bankster banks conspired to manipulate LIBOR, currencies, muni bond offerings, and much more. What’s the difference if it’s govt, corporations, or a consortia of the two?

How can the “collective consciousness” not exist in govt when it is also composed of humans? Just because govt employees lack the direct means to conspire against consumers to make more money, it doesn’t mean they don’t seek their own way to use their collective leverage to get their share of the rent. In fact, without the willful collusion of govt, the unproductive rent-seekers would be neutered.  Is there a difference in damage between a series of predictable and unconstrained short-term money grabs, and a “grand conspiracy that transcends generations”?


Thinking back to the motivations of the men that tried to overthrow the Roosevelt administration, one has to wonder, can a conspiring group of businessmen and financiers find an immoral military leader to pull off a coup today?  God knows there are way more than 24 corrupt businessmen and bankster banks to finance the operation, and the NSA has certainly proven they would not have any problem finding corruptible/misguided military leaders. Wait a minute – isn’t that what we have now? Whether the coup is formal or simply an alignment of immoral motives, the end result is still the same.

A more interesting question might be, what if there was a military leader that actually believed in the Constitution more than corporatism and his pension, AND you had a group of major businessmen/financiers that believed the opposite of the fascist/monetarist or socialist/Keynesian’s that want to control this country and the world? In the age-old battle between too much govt and too little govt (i.e. Keynes vs. Friedman) , it would seem that after swinging to one extreme over the last 100 years, the pendulum is due to swing toward a more sustainable system. The next post will highlight some of the components of a sustainable govt.

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