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Monday, January 10, 2005

Book Review!

I wrote this on the train last night after finishing the book:

My overextended train trip has given me the opportunity to finish reading the book The Creature From Jekyll Island, by G. Edward Griffin, published in 1994. The book explores America’s money system and its history. The book’s major purpose is to call for the abolishment of the Federal Reserve System.

At times the book reads as a fascinating and well-documented history; at other times it seems more like an ideological screed based on highly-selective sources. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the book is that the author starts with a set of postulates quite different from mine, (or Michael Ruppert’s, for example), yet arrives at almost the same conclusion—that the country and indeed the world are being run by a small and secretive cabal with actual goals far different from their stated ones. Griffin’s postulates, or maybe core beliefs, seem to include:
• Free markets are at the core of the best economic systems;
• Big government is bad;
• Socialism is totally evil (I’ll have to review definitions of socialism—I think he generally means something more like Stalinism than what I think of with socialism)

A few other attitudes come through in his writing which suggest that he’s very much on the right-wing libertarian side of the political spectrum. Still, he strongly condemns the current system and both major parties for their continuing support (and hiding) of it.

Regardless of his starting points, or what he thinks are the worst features of our current system, or where he thinks the cabal is leading us (he claims it is a UN-led one-world government), his indictment of the current system as totally corrupt and immoral seems very sound. The Federal Reserve Notes in my wallet ARE funny money, backed by nothing of value except the threat of force from the US military and police forces. Money gets created “out of nothing,” as he says, every time a loan is made by a bank, and each such loan further devalues the currency. He points out again and again how throughout history certain monetary schemes have been deemed “too big to fail,” requiring government interventions which have in the long run have been even more catastrophic than if the scheme (bank or currency) had been allowed to fail. And our current system of the Federal Reserve, Treasury notes, and the dollar is far larger than any of the previous schemes. It too is deemed “too big to fail,” but the chances are almost 100% that it WILL fail in the next few years, or else be prevented from failing by some scheme that will prove equally catastrophic (albeit with perhaps different victims).

Anyway, stuck here on my late train I can’t look up the references in the book or see if Griffin has any updates (like a web site), but I’ll try to do that soon.