American Oligarchy,
J.P. Morgan,
Bankers' Coup Creates Federal Reserve,
Morgan's Fed Finances World War I

excerpted from the book

Gods of Money

Wall Street and the Death of the American Century

by F. William Engdahl

edition.engdahl, 2009, paperback

Money is nothing more and nothing less than a political creation, a promise to pay between two or more parties, enforced, to a greater or lesser degree by the power of a state. Ultimately money, especially in a world where money is a pure paper commodity - fiat money so-called - is a question of "confidence," confidence ultimately in the "full faith and credit of the Government of the United States of America." And that confidence has been backed always, ultimately, by military power, political power, power to buy or control the lawmakers and administrators - Presidents, Congressmen, judges.

The edifice that has developed within the United States over the course of the past one hundred and fifty years is one where an inordinately powerful small circle of international bankers, the powers of Wall Street and the money center banks allied to it, has shaped the lives of the American public, prepared them for wars far from American shores, literally controlling what people buy and produce and most dangerously, even what they are allowed to think.

American historian Carroll Quigley in his book 'Tragedy & Hope'

The aim of the international bankers was nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in at frequent private meetings and conferences.

a memo, discreetly circulated among England's wealthy aristocrats and bankers, in 1862, in the early months of the American Civil War

Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and all chattel slavery abolished. This I and my European friends are in favor of for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan, led on by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages... It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we can not control that. But we can control the bonds and through them the bank issues.

Henry Kissinger

If you control the oil, you control entire nations. If you control the food, you control the people. If you control the money, your control the entire world.

former Goldman Sachs Wall Street banker

[The culture that dominates Wall Street is] completely money-obsessed... Money is the way you define your success... It's an addiction.

The nation's first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton. In 1791 ... proposed the establishment of a Bank of the United States, modeled on the privately-owned Bank of England.

... The Bank of the United States was used to deposit US Government revenues from its tax collections and to issue bank notes to increase the money supply as the Bank saw fit. The Bank had a capital stock of $10 million, with 80% of the bank being owned by private investors.

... The US Government in effect handed over to private bankers control over its money and agreed to pay those bankers interest to boot on money it borrowed.

... In 1816, Congress ... created the second Bank of the United States, based on the same principles as the First bank.

... The Second Bank of the United States also permitted only 20% of its stock to be held by the Government, with 80% of shares -- the control -- in private ownership.

... The new Bank thus had the power to control the entire fiscal structure of the country.

... The Second Bank was controlled by Nicholas Biddle, a wealthy Philadelphian and the bank's President after 1822. He and his shareholders renamed it the Bank of the United States.

... The dominant figure in the policy council of the Bank of England at that time was Nathan M. Rothschild, a close ally of US Bank President Nicholas L Biddle, and a major shareholder in the Bank of the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln, in the 1860s during the course of the Civil War

Money is the creature of law and creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as an exclusive monopoly of National Government. Government possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by taxation and otherwise, heed not and should not borrow capital at interest as the means of financing governmental work and public enterprise.

The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government's greatest creative opportunity. By adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied.

The taxpayers will be saved immense sums in interest, discounts; and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprise, the maintenance of stable government and ordered process, and the conduct of f the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own Government. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.

President Abraham Lincoln used the powers of the Constitution to convince Congress to authorize the issue of interest-free Legal Tender Notes in the amount of $150 million ... backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States Government.

Under Lincoln, the Legal Tender Notes were issued by the US Treasury. The Notes paid no interest but were to be used for "all debts public and private except duties on imports and interest on the public debt. They came to be nicknamed "Greenbacks" for their distinctive design and color.

During the course of the Civil War, the volume of these government-authorized Greenbacks in circulation was increased to $450 million.

... The Greenbacks allowed Lincoln to finance war costs independent of London or New York bankers who were demanding an exorbitantly high interest rate - as high as between 24% and even 36%. Lincoln's Greenbacks financed the war and avoided entangling the Union in large war debts to the private bankers, something that made him bitter enemies in London and New York banking circles.

The Times of London - in an editorial clearly written on behalf of the City of London bankers -
about President Lincoln's Greenback issuance

If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of civilized governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, shot down in cold blood in a Washington theatre just five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

... persuasive evidence suggested that Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had been hired for the job by Judah Benjamin, Treasurer of the Confederacy. Judah Benjamin was a close associate of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), British Prime Minister and an intimate of the London Rothschilds.

... Lincoln was viewed as a threat to the Rothschilds' established order of things, and his assassination would be viewed as likely to weaken the United States, assisting the Rothschilds and their New York banking allies to take over its postwar economy.

In 1934 a Canadian attorney named Gerald G. McGeer obtained highly sensitive information about the identity of John Wilkes Booth ... it showed that John Wilkes Booth was a mercenary working for the international bankers.

Canadian attorney Gerald G. McGeer, in a speech to the Canadian Parliament, reported in the Vancouver Sun, May 2, 1934

Abraham Lincoln, the murdered emancipator of the slaves, was assassinated through the machinations of a group representative of the International Bankers, who feared the United States President's National Credit ambitions. There was only one group in the world at that time who had any reason to desire the death of Lincoln. They were the men opposed to his national currency program and who had fought him throughout the whole Civil War on his policy of Greenback currency.

What would-later come to be known as the American East Coast Establishment had its origins in [an] internationalist banking-centered group of powerful New York and East Coast families.

A syndicate of New York and London international banks pushed through [Congress] the Specie Resumption Act in 1875.

... The Specie Resumption Act specified that ... all Greenbacks in circulation could be redeemed for gold specie. The Resumption Act was a major step towards bringing the US economy under the control of London and New York international bankers because they controlled the lions' share of the world's monetary gold in private hands.

George 'Divine Right' Baer, JP Morgan railroad executive in 1902

The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given control of the property interests of the country.

Following a major economic Depression beginning in 1873 ... powerful American industrial and banking families grouped around J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller concentrated the wealth and control of American industry into their own hands.

... the Morgan and Rockefeller interests deployed fraud, deceit, violence, and bribery - and they deliberately manipulated financial panics. Each financial panic, brought about through their calculated control of financial markets and banking credit, allowed them and their closest allies to consolidate ever more power into fewer and fewer hands. It was this concentration of financial power within an elite few wealthy families that created an American plutocracy or, more accurately, an American oligarchy.

Whether it was called an oligarchy or a plutocracy-government by a wealthy "class" - the real power in the spectacular rise of the American Century at the end of the 1890s did not rest democratically in the hands of the majority of / citizens. It did not even lie in the hands of a broad, educated and growing middle class. Power, together with control over the nation's economy, was being ruthlessly centralized in the hands of the wealthy few, every bit as much as it had been in the days of Imperial Rome.

[In the late 1800s an American] oligarchy used its immense economic power, often secretly and in coordinated fashion, to orchestrate events that generated waves of bankruptcies and severe economic depressions, even panics. The emerging American oligarchy cynically corrupted and co-opted state legislatures, governors, US Congressmen, judges, newspaper editors and even Presidents to serve their private interests. Those interests were served by wars their captive press helped trigger, wars from which that oligarchy profited while thousands of young Americans perished for causes they knew nothing about.

By the 1880s two colossal groups had emerged within the United States' wealthiest families. Initially they were bitter, hated rivals. In the end they became allies, not out of love but out of practicality, in one of the greatest concentrations of financial and industrial power ever seen. The two families, Rockefeller and Morgan, created a combination of wealth and control so powerful in its influence over the economic and financial life of the United States at the beginning of the 20th Century that Congressional critics named it the Money Trust.

Following the American Civil War, right up to the end of the 19th Century, the United States Treasury recognized silver as well as gold as monetary metal. The monetary system was, in effect, a bi-metallic system. Silver existed in abundance in the Western United States.

However, the influential New York bank syndicate, headed in the 1890s by the House of Morgan, took the opposite position. They saw gold, especially in light of their close ties to leading London banks, as their best road to dominant power over the money supply of the United States. Supplies of monetary gold were controlled by a handful of New York banks and by the financial powers of the City of London - above all, by the banking group of Lord Rothschild.

The New York bankers wanted no competition from silver. Their banking allies in the City of London, the heart of the world gold standard at the time, wanted America exclusively on a gold standard where their influence would be vastly greater. London's New York banking allies - J.P. Morgan, along with Rothschild's US banking agent, August Belmont, and others in New York finance - shrewdly used their London banking associates to control American credit markets to their own exclusive advantage and to the distinct disadvantage of the general American public.

The Panic of 1893 was manipulated by [J.P.] Morgan interests, in collusion with August Belmont [the Rothschild's agent in the US] to end the role of silver and to consolidate the gold of the nation into the hands of the private New York banks. In the course of manipulating several financial panics, the same bankers also gained unprecedented control over the nation's steel and railroads - the heart of the economy.

By the end of the 1890's [J.P.] Morgan and [John D.] Rockefeller had become the giants of an increasingly powerful Money Trust controlling American industry and government policy. There was little room for the actual practice of democracy in their world. Power was the commodity of their trade. It was the creation of an American aristocracy of blood and money, every bit as elite and exclusive as the titled nobility of Britain, Germany or France - despite the Constitutional ban on titled nobility in America. It was an oligarchy, a plutocracy in every sense of the word - rule by the wealthiest in their self-interest.

Some 60 families - names like Rockefeller, Morgan, Dodge, Mellon, Pratt, Harkness, Whitney, Duke, Harriman, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, DuPont, Guggenheim, Astor, Lehman, Warburg, Taft, Huntington, Baruch and Rosenwald formed a close network of plutocratic wealth that manipulated, bribed, and bullied its way to control the destiny of the United States. At the dawn of the 20th Century, some sixty ultra-rich families, through dynastic intermarriage and corporate, interconnected shareholdings, had gained control of American industry and banking institutions.'

The list of American fortunes built on fraud, corruption and bribery of government officials was long. It included the most famous names in America, men who donated money to the nation's museums, endowed its finest universities like Princeton, Yale, Harvard with professorships, or had buildings and sometimes entire universities named after them. In this way, they created the image of philanthropy and "good works" while the reality was quite different.

A wave of mergers at the end of the 19th century engulfed most of US manufacturing, resulting in a few hundred huge corporations dominating the landscape. The biggest trust was Northern Securities Corporation of New Jersey; it was the umbrella enclosing 112 corporations worth $22 billion in assets and it was controlled by J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.

Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed his "Square Deal" between management and labor.

... The "Square Deal" established the principle of Presidential intervention in certain strikes and it made for good press, while [Theodore] Roosevelt, the Rough Rider, continued his backroom deals with J.P. Morgan and company.

... Teddy Roosevelt ... was a shrewd politician who sensed which way the winds of change in the country were blowing and masterfully exploited it to retain Republican control of the Executive.

The 1900s would be misleadingly labeled the beginning of he "progressive era" in American politics. In reality the oligarchic families controlling the nation's wealth were beginning to become more sophisticated about how they projected their image. None was more shrewd in that endeavor than J.P. Morgan. No American business giant of that day could hold a candle to the greatest fraudster and swindler in American financial history at that time - Junius Pierpont Morgan.

The panic of 1893 was caused by a run on gold engineered by the bankers themselves. The powerful winners that emerged from that panic were [J.P.] Morgan, along with James Stillman, then head of National City Bank in New York - the bank of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust-and a handful of brokerage houses led by [August] Belmont and Kuhn Loeb & Co.

... Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, along with J.P. Morgan and his fellow Wall Street bankers, all donated heavily to Republican William McKinley, who was elected in 1896 in a sound defeat of silver advocate [William Jennings] Bryan.

... McKinley's election as US President in 1896 was the result of a secret meeting between the Rockefeller and Morgan Wall Street factions... With McKinley, the presidency was in a safe pair of hands as far as the interests of Morgan and Rockefeller were concerned.

McKinley was re-elected in 1900 on a gold standard platform. Thanks to the Panic of 1893, the bi-metallic silver faction had been destroyed and the way was clear for Morgan and a tight circle of New York and allied London banks to take over the finances of the United States.

... By 1907, the Morgan and Rockefeller financial groups were ready to launch their next financial attack on the country's economy - what came to be called the Panic of 1907. This was to be the needed final push to their greatest coup of all - passage in 1913 of the Federal Reserve Act in which a largely unwitting US Congress turned control of its power to print money over to a consortium of private bankers.

Passage in 1913 of the Federal Reserve Act - a largely unwitting US Congress turned control of its power to print money over to a consortium of private bankers.

The [1907] panic had been carefully fed by false rumors deliberately planted by [J.P.] Morgan cronies in newspapers they controlled, including The New York Evening Sun and The New York Times.

... [Theodore] Roosevelt, who had campaigned on the nickname "trust-buster," was deeply entrenched with the Money Trust, especially to the Morgan interests. In October 1903 Roosevelt had invited J.P. Morgan to the White House for a private discussion, and secretly corresponded with railroad mogul E. H. Harriman over political appointments and campaign contributions.

The gullible [American] public was told of a "heroic and courageous rescue of the nations' banking system by the selfless J. Pierpont Morgan [Panic of 1907]. One of the few men who was not convinced of the altruistic motives of Morgan, Rockefeller and their Wall Street cronies was the pro-silver Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Bryan declared, "Blame the unscrupulous financiers who have piled up predatory .wealth and who exploit a whole nation as high finance."

[J.P.] Morgan, [John D.] Rockefeller and the elite interests behind the Money Trust ... were determined to use the panic [of 1907] and the crisis atmosphere to move forward their most audacious plan yet - capturing from the Federal Government of the United States its power to coin print and control the supply of money. Their plan was to create a national bank [Federal Reserve] in the private hands of bankers J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller and friends.

Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette in 1908

A group of financiers who withhold and dispense prosperity, deliberately brought on the Panic [of 1907]

In 1908, a year after the creation of [Senator Nelson] Aldrich's National Monetary Commission the most powerful bankers in America met in highest secrecy to draw up plans for the greatest financial and political coup d'etat in the history of the United States. The plan was to rob from the US Congress its constitutionally mandated powers to create and control money. The coup was to usurp those Constitutional powers in order to serve private special interests, even at the expense of the general welfare of the population of the United States.

The men who drew up the plans to take control of the nation's money were no ordinary bankers. They were a breed apart within the American banking world.

They were primarily international bankers who patterned themselves on their London cohorts. The bankers who orchestrated "the money coup" included j. Pierpont Morgan; German émigré Paul Warburg of the New York private bank Kuhn Loeb & Co.; August Belmont & Co.; J.& W. Seligman & Co.; Lee, Higginson & Co., and others. In London these international bankers called themselves "merchant bankers." In New York they preferred the title "investment bankers.

International bankers [are] not loyal to any fixed national space. Their world [is] not a particular nation state, but wherever their influence [can] alter events to their financial advantage.

... Control of money [is] the bankers' strategic goal. Control of countries through control of their central or national banks [is] essential to their power. Ultimately, the elite cabal of international bankers [seeks] nothing less than control of the entire world as their goal and purpose.

Henry Kissinger, 1970s

Control the money and you control the entire world.

Political manipulations, buying of politicians and judges, financing of coups to eliminate an uncooperative sovereign [or] a head of state, all to make way for governments more amenable to bankers' dictates.

Before the end of the 19th Century, unregulated investment banks, which became the international banking firms such as J.P. Morgan, Kuhn Loeb, Lazard Frères, Drexel and a small number of others, were free to organize the largest financial dealings for building of the national railroads and for financing the expansion of large industry across state boundaries.

Because they were not regulated or restricted to state boundaries, these banks made their fortunes by organizing capital, largely from London and Paris banks, to finance the huge costs of building America's railroads. These were America's international bankers."

In this elite world of international finance at the end of the first decade of the 20th Century two giants, one British and one American, stood well above the rest of the international banking elite - Nathaniel Lord Rothschild's N.M. Rothschild & Co. and J. Pierpont Morgan's J.P. Morgan & Co.

The creation of the Federal Reserve System was designed to establish control over the United States money system by [J.P.] Morgan and a small circle of private, allied, international bankers in New York.

Under a system of fractional reserve lending, the value of a bank or an entire banking system rests on one ethereal value-depositors' confidence. The essence of fractional reserve banking drives banks to lend to the maximum to maximize earnings until credit excess leads to a market collapse. Because the bank lends funds it does not own, the credit mechanism leads to creation of money ex nihilo - out of nothing - through simple bookkeeping entries.

The election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 was the work of a small group of men who engineered a split in the Republican Party by financing a third party, the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose" party for its Presidential candidate former Republican President Teddy Roosevelt.

It was [J.P.] Morgan and [John D.] Rockefeller money that put 'reform' Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the White House in 1912. Since 1898 when Wilson was president of . Princeton University, he had been promoted into national politics by a powerful group of bankers.

... When the Morgan group decided that [Woodrow] Wilson would be more likely to pass an essentially Republican national bank act into law than would a Republican President, they orchestrated a national media campaign around Wilson.

... On December 23, 1913, the day before Christmas Eve, the Federal Reserve Act, also known as the Glass-Owen Bill, was passed by Congress with scarcely a debate. The Republican controlled Senate pushed the bill through when many members of the US Congress were home for the Christmas holiday. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law one hour after it was passed by the Congress.

... The key provision of the Federal Reserve Act stipulated that decisions of the Federal Reserve were not to be ratified by the President, or anyone else in the Executive branch of the United States Government or the Congress. Instead, buried in the legislation was the granting of total power over the monetary policies of all US banks in effect to the privately-owned New York Federal Reserve Bank and its directors -the most powerful names on Wall Street of the Money Trust.

... The way was now clear for the Federal Reserve and the private bankers controlling its policies to create economic boom periods, mobilize the economy for wars, and to create deflationary recessions and depression.

... The most essential use value inherent in the new Federal Reserve was that it allowed private banks ... to take risks never before imagined. Their ventures - no matter how risky - were now backed by the "full faith and credit" of the Government of the United States of America and its unwitting taxpayers.

In 1899 the British had fought a war with the aid of Cecil Rhodes, a highly eccentric British mining magnate, in order to wrest control of the vast gold riches of the Transvaal in South Africa away from the Boer settlers. South African gold had given the city of London a new lease on life.

... Rhodes was convinced that the gold and minerals of South Africa would be sufficient to guarantee that the City of London would be the world's unchallenged financial center for decades to come.

[Cecil] Rhodes and [Alfred] Milner and an elite circle of Empire strategists founded a secret society in 1910 whose purpose was to revitalize a flagging British imperial spirit. The society, many of whose members were graduates of All Souls College at Oxford University, would secretly steer the strategic policies of the British Empire up until the end of the Second World War. They called their group the Round Table. a reference to King Arthur's medieval table surrounded by his select knights.

The very rich avoided most taxation by protecting their wealth in new tax-exempt 'charitable' foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, created the same year as the income tax. The passage of a broad-based tax on income would allow Wall Street to finance the war [WWI] through issuance of US Treasury bonds, so-called 'Liberty Bonds' whose debt service would be assured by the taxpayer.

[J.P.] Morgan served as intermediary for His Majesty's Government [Britain] in arranging purchases of munitions, arms, uniforms, chemicals, in short all that would be needed to wage a modern war in 1914. As Financial Agent for the British Government, J.P. Morgan & Co. not only organized the financing of war purchases and decided which companies would be the suppliers, but it also set the prices at which the equipment would be supplied. Not surprisingly, corporations directly in the Morgan and Rockefeller groups of companies were the prime beneficiaries of Morgan's astute purchasing.

Thomas W. Lamont, a partner in J.P. Morgan, in a speech before the American Academy of Political and Social Science in Philadelphia, April 1915

[W]e are turning from a debtor into a creditor... We are piling up prodigious export trade balance .... Many of our manufacturers and merchants have been doing a wonderful business in articles relating to the war [WWI]. So heavy have been the war orders running into the hundreds of millions of dollars, that now their effect is beginning to spread to general business.

... [The] question of trade and financial supremacy must be determined by several factors, a chief one of which is the duration of the war. If...the war should come to an end in the near future...we should probably find Germany, whose export trade is now almost wholly cut off, swinging back into keen competition very promptly.

... [Another factor that] is dependent on the duration of the war, is as to whether we shall become lenders to foreign nations upon a really large scale... Shall we become lenders upon a really stupendous scale to these foreign governments?... If the war continues long enough to encourage us to take such a position, then inevitably we would become a creditor instead of a debtor nation, and such a development, sooner or later, would tend to bring about the dollar, instead of the pound sterling, as the international basis of exchange.

In 1934 ... Senator Gerald Nye, a North Dakota Progressive Republican, held hearings to investigate the role of the munitions industry and finance in dragging the United States into the First World War.

Nye called the war industries "merchants of death." He was especially critical of DuPont and other large chemical and munitions dealers, claming that they were willing to sacrifice American soldiers in order to make larger profits from sales.

From the time of its official entry into the European war in April 1917 until the signing of armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918, the United States Government lent the European Allied Power ... $9,386,311,178. Britain received the lion's share of $4,136,000,000. France got $2,293,000,000.

The Full Faith and Credit of the United States of America, backed by the new Federal Reserve, was being mobilized to defeat Germany. The $9 billion, however, did not go to London or Paris. Rather, it went directly to American industries, most of which were tied to either the Morgan group, Kuhn-Loeb, or the Rockefellers, to pay for war supplies to the Allies.

On April 13, 1917 Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to promote the war [WWI] domestically and to publicize American war aims abroad. Under the leadership of a journalist crony of Wilson named George Creel, the CPI combined advertising techniques with a sophisticated understanding of human psychology. It marked the first time that a government disseminated propaganda on such a large scale. It was in every sense a precursor of the world depicted by George Orwell in his novel 1984.

Creel was joined at the CPI by one of the shrewdest propagandists in American history, a young Viennese-born naturalized American named Edward Bernays. Bernays brought with him intimate knowledge of a new branch of human psychology which had not yet been translated into English. He was the nephew and literary agent in American for Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

Using Creel's muckraking journalism and Bernays' Freudian psychology with its analysis of unconscious needs and drives - the Government's Committee on Public Information assaulted the unwitting American public with a calculated barrage of lies, jingoistic epithets demonizing Germans, coupled with horrifying images allegedly showing German soldiers bayoneting Belgian babies, and other manufactured atrocities. These images and symbols were fed continuously through the mainstream media in order to whip the American public into a pro-war frenzy against a nation, Kaiser Germany, which posed no actual threat to it.

... Creel and Bernays were joined at the CPI by anglophile journalist and close Wilson adviser Walter Lippmann. As a young Harvard graduate, Lippmann had been recruited to be a link between Wall Street interests around Morgan and the British secret society, the Round Table, which had been agitating England to L prepare for war against Germany since its founding in 1909.

Lippmann's biweekly column in the New York Herald Tribune was syndicated in hundreds of local newspapers across America, making him one of the most influential pro-British voices in the country. His columns were critical to winning the allegiance of the educated middle class, a sector that would otherwise tend to be neutral or against war.

But it was Bernays' unique, perverse genius for fusing mob psychology and mass media techniques to manipulate specific human emotions on a large scale. He had learned these keys to influencing human behavior through the work of his uncle, Sigmund Freud.

Applying those insights on a mass scale, the Committee on Public Information achieved extraordinary results within months, orchestrating the American public into a mass frenzy in favor of war. With Bernays' genius in full play, the Freudian view of human nature was combined with what became Madison Avenue advertising techniques; the results were deployed by the CPI in the service of war.

... CPI [Committee on Public Information] propaganda consciously appealed to the emotions, not to the mind. It was heavily influenced by Bernays' adaptations from Freud. Emotional agitation was a favorite technique of the CPI strategists who understood that any emotion may drained off and re-directed into any activity by skillful manipulation.

Harold Lasswell, University of Chicago, after World War I

So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate.

Harold Lasswell, University of Chicago, after World War I

A handy rule for arousing hate [during war] ... use an atrocity. It has been employed with unvarying success in every conflict known to man.

In 1927, [Harold] Lasswell [University of Chicago] wrote a book length study, Propaganda Technique in the World War, analyzing the work of [George] Creel, [Walter] Lippmann and [Edward] Bernays in detail. He shared their conviction that in a democracy, the population could not be trusted to act as the elites wished and must be emotionally manipulated to do so.

The extraordinary techniques of mass manipulation of opinion during World War I greatly assisted the transformation of America into a democracy - by outward appearance - ruled deceptively by a plutocratic elite in its own self-interest.

Edward Bernays in his book 'Propaganda', 1928

It was ... the astounding success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind.

Edward Bernays in his book 'Propaganda', 1928

The American government developed a technique which ... was new... the manipulators of patriotic opinion made use of the mental clichés and the emotional habits of the public to produce mass reactions against the alleged atrocities, the terror, and the tyranny of the enemy. It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace.

By the time the Peace of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, Great Britain and the British Empire - including India, Canada and the Commonwealth nations - had spent a total of 11 billion Pound Sterling, or $54 billion, on executing the war against the German and allied Central Powers.

... The British people paid 36% of the war costs in the form of taxes. The other 64% was borrowed, mainly from the United States Government, through the agency of the Federal Reserve.

... It was the end of the British Empire as the banking metropolis of the world... England was choking on her war debts. The public debt of the United States expanded by some 2,500% during the war from $1 billion in 1913 to more than $25 billion by the end of 1919. The debt was financed by the sale of Government bonds via the Federal Reserve to the private bond dealing banks led by J. P. Morgan, Kuhn, Loeb and Wall Street, at a stunning profit to the latter.

The First World War changed the status of the United States ... from that of a debtor nation to the world's greatest creditor nation, a role filled formerly by England.

... One major aim of the backers of the Federal Reserve - displacing London as world money market - had been achieved.

The gold standard was still the basis of foreign exchange. The small group of international bankers - now led by New York banks - who owned the gold, controlled the monetary system of Western nations.

Gods of Money

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