The Historical Framework of Globalization
January 3, 2011
by Dr. James Polk
Our era is largely defined by two highly interlinked concepts: globalization and the so-called “war on terrorism.” As geopolitical-economic operatives, both concepts complement each other as significant means to specific ends; both shape important aspects of our daily lives and determine form and content of much that passes for public discourse. Particularly in Europe and in the United States, populations are kept vigilant to the “clear and present dangers” ostensibly posed by “international terrorism” through mnemonic icons of troop movements in Central Asia and/or strategically deployed bomb plots that are purportedly thwarted “just in time” by our intelligence services. As if copied from the lecture notes of Carl Schmitt, a totalitarian “enemy” has been constructed which can conveniently be called back into service at a moment’s notice should public memory begin to fade.
Globalization has proceeded by means of three distinct but clearly interwoven interpretations and representations of the world in toto: as the sociopolitical “cosmopolitan moment”  (to borrow a term coined by Seyla Benhabib) of the globe as the embodiment of our lifeworld; as the stage of operations for multinational corporate/financial interests; and as the battlefield on which incited conflicts are seen as requiring comprehensive, global solutions which are to be achieved through a New World Order. In its current development, the construct of a unified world is largely synonymous with the ideal world government as envisioned in the Sociocracy of French philosopher Auguste Comte in the 19th century , in which international bankers and elitist think tanks determine and execute public policies.
Implied in this global ideal is of course the complete dissolution of the nationstate as such through the gradual but de facto irreversible integration of individual nations into the totalitarian framework of the political, economic, and chief judicial/juridical entities operating on a global scale (most significantly the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, and the World Trade Organization).
The philosophical roots of this integrative process can be found in the determinant factors that led to the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended Europe’s horrendously brutal Thirty Years War. The treaty also buried the eius regio, quius religio principle and reinstated the tolerance of Protestants as spelled out in the Peace of Augsburg (1555), the revocation of which under the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II in the Edict of Restitution (1629) prompted the vicious counter-response from Protestant nobility in Austria and Bohemia. The terms of the peace accord also radically limited the territory and power of the Holy Roman Empire and acknowledged the sovereignty of the many principalities that constituted the realm of German influence, with France and Sweden entrusted as guardians of the peace.
But the Treaty of Westphalia was of major importance for one other significant reason. The councils of minds at Münster and Osnabrück were able to establish through rational discourse the concept of a peace accord based on the primacy of reason and rules of law that transcended warring national interests and belief systems, effecting in a truly Kantian sense the regulative idea of attainable peace as a principle of reason to guide all actions of the parties involved, and to which all participants, nolens volens, were to submit. This is clearly evident in the way various clauses in the treaty assumed a meta-normative role. The treaty thus paved the way for an era of secularized thought in which the rule of law and political negotiation served as instruments of conflict resolution and as guidelines of national sovereignty based on principles of reason.
Parallel to the development of international principles of cosmopolitan conduct in our own time such as those found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes of the Geneva Convention, economic and financial interests have exploited both the judicial codices formulated in international agreements and the juridical measures that now in many cases supersede pre-existing national laws through increasingly totalitarian bodies such as the World Trade Organization.  It is the power embodied in the domains of concentrated financial interests that today are in the process of transforming our lifeworld and realms of experience in previously unimaginable ways.
Silently, and carefully hidden from public scrutiny, a coup d’état occurred in 1913 in the United States of America. The results of this bloodless coup are being felt today on a truly global scale. With careful, detailed planning, representatives of the most powerful financial institutions in both Europe and the United States succeeded through the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act (also known as the Glass-Owen bill) in radically and permanently altering the foundations of the nation as a whole.
Through the creation of the Federal Reserve system, the financial interests that conceived, wrote, and implemented the Glass-Owen bill took away the authority of the United States government as theoretical representative of the citizens of the country to print our own currency and placed that authority in the hands of a private banking cartel. According to Article 1, Section 8 of the American Constitution, it is Congress to whom the power is given “to coin money” and to “regulate the value thereof.” The Federal Reserve Act of course interprets this power quite literally as the coinage of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters; it is, however, the creation of money in the form of bank notes that lies at the heart of the act. When the government requires money, the United States treasury writes out IOUs in the form of U.S. treasury bonds, which it then sells to the privately owned Federal Reserve system in exchange for a Federal Reserve check. In reality, the “Federal” Reserve bank simply enters the corresponding numbers on its computer keyboard, once as a liability, and once as an asset. In other words, the numbers are created by the Federal Reserve out of nothing, for which it then demands repayment with interest. The funds are then credited to the government’s account, from which all the various bills are then paid. It is in that exact moment that “money” as such is created by the Federal Reserve bank out of nothing. But there is one additional trick used by all banks operating on the Federal Reserve system: fractional reserve lending. This scheme allows the bank to multiply the amount of money it lends to clients tenfold without having the actual funds in reserve to back it up. This entire scheme has allowed the hidden owners of the private “Federal” Reserve system to effectively extort money from the American people in the form of IOUs, also known as treasuries, which then must be repaid with interest.
The legal anchoring of this scandalous system in the Glass-Owen bill in the United States was only the beginning. Like other central bank signatories to the Bretton-Woods Agreement (and thereby to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund), the US Federal Reserve system is able to control the amount of money in circulation through several mechanisms, for example by raising or lowering interest rates and/or the minimum reserve requirements of banks in the fractional reserve lending system. Through the enactment of the Federal Reserve system, the essence of money has become debt. Through the creation of debt, money comes into existence in the system. It thus becomes obvious that it is never in the bank’s interest that clients, borrowers, actually pay off their debts because that would leave the banks without interest payments. When the borrowers happen to be sovereign nations, for example from the developing world, or now the United States and a number of countries in Western Europe, the interest payments earned by the banks easily go into the hundreds of billions. This is extraordinarily profitable for banks who have been able to “sit in on” the negotiation of peace accords (through which terms of surrender and repayment of damages are settled) and international trade agreement deliberations to regulate global commerce and finance.
World War I and its outcome provide a very enlightening example of just how this has been accomplished. The terms forced on Germany through Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles laid the foundations for the consolidation of the enormously powerful financial interests in London, New York, Frankfurt, and Paris, which had been instrumental in pushing through, by hook and by crook, the Federal Reserve Act in the United States. (It should be noted that these are the same financial interests which also did their part to push the nations into military conflict in the first place. The focus here however remains restricted to the genesis and perpetration of the private central banking cartel as such and its connections to the current financial crisis and the war on terrorism.)
The horror of World War I quickly led to the realization that the global community of nations should not allow a recurrence of such cruelty, and that universally recognized and accepted principles of conduct were needed to guarantee international peace and harmony. Such principles of good will, intentionally redolent of the terms set out by the Peace of Westphalia, could only be implemented through a common general will or global consent. In other words, a League of Nations, a Völkerbund in the strictest Kantian sense, was needed to define and implement internationally valid principles of humanitarian, indeed cosmopolitan conduct to benefit the entire human species and our lifeworld.
It was this positive impulse among other things that led the participants in the “war to end all wars” to found the “Covenant of the League of Nations.” The agreement encompassed 26 principles to which the 58 member states committed themselves. But the most central problem confounding the ideals of the League was the fact that the agreement was predicated on significant economic interests that essentially doomed the treaty to failure from the start. The League was based on the status quo as defined by the victors of World War I, who, as simultaneous representatives of ostensibly “national interests” did everything in their power to ensure the richest gains possible for the elite bankers working behind the scenes in New York, London, Paris, and Frankfurt. And the means to this end were found in the terms of reparation payments they then forced on Germany. An article featured in the May 31, 1922 issue of the New York Times outlined the most salient demands being made on Germany by the Allied entente powers:
“The Reparation Commission called on Germany to consent to the following undertakings before May 31:
1. Reduce expenditures and balance the budget.
2. Halt the increase of the foreign debt and the growth of paper money in circulation.
3. Accept a light supervision of her efforts in that direction.
4. Take measures to prevent the further flight of capital and to get back $2,000,000,000 spirited out of the country in the last two years.
5. Assure the Reichbank’s autonomy from politics.
6. Resume publication of Government fiscal statistics.” 
Attentive readers will immediately note the unmistakable parallels to the demands (“austerity measures”) frequently imposed on developing nations through the international monetary fund in its policy proposals formerly known as “structural adjustment programs,” including demands for the privatization of the banking system, or to use the phrase introduced by “Fed speak,” to guarantee the banks’ independence (“autonomy”) from politics. (In corrected translation, this is the simple demand that this private banking cartel as the sole source of phony money should be allowed to perpetrate its debt-based currency scam without any supervision or control by the people or their representatives.) A gamut of conditions imposed by the IMF has consistently led to widespread domestic hardship and economic crises within the nations in question, because the interests and well-being of the general population are often clearly at odds with the IMF programs being implemented. Joseph Stiglitz put it this way:
“The IMF is pursuing not just the objectives set out in its original mandate, of enhancing global stability and insuring that there are funds for countries facing a threat of recession to pursue expansionary policies. It is also pursuing the interests of the financial community. This means the IMF has objectives that are often in conflict with each other. The tension is all the greater because this conflict can’t be brought out into the open: if the new role of the IMF were publicly acknowledged, support for that institution might weaken, and those who have succeeded in changing the mandate almost surely knew this. Thus the new mandate had to be clothed in ways that seemed at least superficially consistent with the old.” 
And it is precisely this extraordinary expansion of the power of the private bank cartels that was central to much of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering during and after World War I. In a very enlightening essay published in Foreign Affairs in 1936, Leon Fraser brought the true hidden agenda of the banking elite into selective public view:
“The truth was that the experts [i.e., of the second Young Commission - jp] seized the occasion of the new reparation adjustment as an excuse to repair a long recognized gap in the international financial fabric. The organization which they proposed had functions not connected with reparations, and these ostensibly secondary functions were, in the inner consciousness of the originators, the predominating motives for its establishment. By some of the members — in particular those connected with commercial banking — the institution was envisaged as an instrument for opening up new fields of world trade by means of fresh extensions of credit [...] While there was no unanimity about the opportuneness of creating more credit, all experts agreed that the Bank could fill one obvious hiatus in the financial organization of the world, namely provide a center for central bank collaboration and for corporation to improve the international monetary mechanism.” 
The bank Fraser was referring to, of course, is none other than the central bank of all central banks, the Bank for International Settlements, with headquarters in Basel.
Louis McFadden, former banker-turned-congressman from Pennsylvania, condemned the hidden motives and operational methods of the Versailles Treaty in no uncertain terms. McFadden took particular aim at the Bank for International Settlements, which took charge of the gold Germany was required to deliver in reparations payments. Writing with reference to Grotius’s theory of just settlements of military conflicts (De Jure Belli ac Pacis), McFadden argued that the Versailles Treaty had in fact been negotiated in bad faith, with the “House of Morgan” and the usual suspects from the clique of international bankers being the prime beneficiaries of the reparations bonds, and that substantial aspects of the treaty had been worked out in the financial centers of London well in advance of the actual negotiations in Paris. McFadden prophetically augured the long-term consequences of the treaty as laying the “foundation for the renewal of a dozen wars that are legally justifiable.” 
The consolidation of economic and financial power in the West at the end of World War II made possible the ensuing rapid and encompassing globalization of inchoate trends already visible in the League of Nations platform. The establishment of the United Nations in 1945 as well as the foundation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as stipulated by the outcome of the Bretton-Woods Agreement (1944), contributed substantially to the international system of currency and finance of a distinctively Anglo-American character. This meant in particular that the central banks of all member nations were largely to adopt the modus operandi of the Federal Reserve system. The printing of national currencies, once the privilege of sovereign governments, was to be replaced by the system of government bonds or IOU issuance, which would then be lent or sold to the private banking cartel (spearheaded by the country’s respective “central-bank”) in exchange for currency notes — with interest due. The outcomes of two world wars, in which a private banking cartel had ultimately written the terms of economic and financial surrender, had forced the vanquished into participant roles in the greatest scam in human history: the creation of money out of thin air through debt, with interest payments in permanent flow to the elite sphere of private bankers — all on a global scale.
Many of the newest investment vehicles and resources discussed in growing numbers of studies have so successfully interlocked the political realm with the corporate/financial that a clear separation is no longer possible. Nevertheless, among wide segments of the populations in many countries, voting citizens are still convinced of the sanctity of the elected office. Such convictions are based on false advertising, and the voters have failed to see the fusion between capital and the successful campaign/office tenure regularly performed behind the smoke and mirrors screens of the mass media. In a number of important instances, even opposition/protest movements have been bought and staged.  Yes we can! Si, se puede! should now be seen as the pitiful chants of all those who fell for the change they believed in. Change came in the form of continued bailouts for Wall Street banks, with the former head of the New York Federal Reserve placed comfortably by Obama himself on the throne of the US treasury, immune from critique and reprimand, despite his urgent e-mails to the legal counsel of AIG urging silence in response to congressional queries on the extent of the Fed’s bailout funds funneled into the pockets of Goldman Sachs. (Of course at the time these revelations became public (on the Internet!), the mainstream media was busy convincing the semi-conscious public of the importance of the then-and-now whereabouts of Tiger Woods’s genitalia.) It’s been all business as usual. But the teary-eyed and desperate seem to fall for the Hollywood hype every time: He’s the ONE!
The schematic procedures carried out by the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO often acquire an outright absurd character. Such was the case in the often-cited structural adjustment program developed for Bolivia in the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) Policy Framework Paper for 1998 – 2001. In exchange for much-needed IMF loans, Bolivia was required to transfer the “rights” of the Cochabamba water system to the private firm of Aquas de Tunari, a subsidiary of the International Water Ltd. / Bechtel Corporation consortium. (Bechtel gained international notoriety under the George W. Bush administration as the recipient of generous no-bid military “reconstruction” contracts in Iraq.) The privatization of the water supply meant that prices for this necessity of life increased by more than 300%, becoming unattainable for many families. With public outrage and potential violence on the horizon, a report authored by World Bank experts advised: no public subsidies should be given to ameliorate the increase in water tariffs in Cochabamba. 
Recent machinations by the World Trade Organization have also led to precarious globalization strategies. According to Greg Palast, an internal report sent to his office at The Guardian revealed actual threats directed at the leftist government of Brazil if the country continued to refuse to sign the Financial Services Agreement of 1999. This agreement formed the international legal basis for the deregulation of so-called “financial products,” specifically derivatives such as “credit default swaps” and “mortgage backed securities,” which then led to the global financial meltdown.
The pattern of crisis followed by a ready-made plan for a global solution has been persistent since the early 1800s, when European banking elites pulled out all the stops in order to establish a central bank on American soil. These were the same structural interests which eventually led to the passage of the Glass-Owen bill. And it is within this pattern that the origins of the current financial crisis are also to be found, specifically within the highest echelons of the Federal Reserve system.
Subsequent to the September 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., the Federal Reserve was “forced” to lower interest rates to a minimum in order to avoid a potential collapse of a number of important services and industries. This move enabled the decision by all branch banks nationwide to make credit easily available, particularly for home mortgages. Two years later, the entire country was in a house-buying frenzy with visions of homes increasing in value year after year until the end of time. Many buyers bought two or three in the hope of “flipping” them into untold thousands in profit.
The foundations were laid for the initialization of a previously unknown financial instrument — BISTRO (Broad Index Secured Trust Offering) — developed in the think tanks of J P Morgan. At the speed of electronic funds transfers, BISTRO enabled unimaginable exponential profits through “credit default swaps” which the “House of Morgan” then divided up into packages and sold by the thousands to interested parties among corporations, banks, insurance giants, and investment funds worldwide. As the German magazine Der Spiegel so accurately put it, “bank managers and central bankers were the capitans of this ship, among them superstars such as J P Morgan manager Blythe Masters and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.” 
Attentive observers of financial history should recognize the concrete developmental pattern at work here. A putatively well-founded expansion of credit and a corresponding economic boom are followed by a sudden retraction of credit and an implosion of the markets. At the core of our current crisis is the banking industry and its ability to create money and derivatives out of thin air. The collapse was predictable, and in all likelihood carefully planned. No sooner had the collapse of 2008 begun than the directors of America’s leading banks began to issue ultimatums to the American people through their own representative, Henry Paulson (former CEO of Goldman Sachs), as the Secretary of the Treasury. If bank coffers were not replenished with ample public funds, Americans would soon wake up to martial law on the streets of many major cities.
And promptly, the see-no-evil representatives in Washington came to the rescue of the global financial elite, all at the expense of tax payers, and ultimately also at the expense of national sovereignty. Concomitant demands for “global solutions” to this admittedly global problem were promptly put on the national and international agenda by the G20 and by leading economists such as Kenneth Rogoff. The U.S. Congress recently ratified a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s financial system, and thereby granted increased authority to the Federal Reserve. On a global scale, financial and economic experts from around the world are in the process of developing fundamental revisions to the Basel Accord (Basel III) within the framework of the Bank for International Settlements. 
At the same time, the Federal Reserve’s late-2010 announcement that it would initiate a second round of “quantitative easing” in its efforts to free up credit and relieve financial institutions of moribund assets led to more vociferous calls for a new global reserve currency to replace the ailing dollar. The Federal Reserve’s decision to increase liquidity by printing more dollars is already seen as a potentially fatal mistake by many skeptics particularly in China, which holds an inordinately large sum of US dollars in its reserve currency trove. Russia and China, among others, have already agreed to a bilateral exchange of goods and services by using their own currencies, without the US dollar as intermediary.
Unavoidable inflationary pressures guarantee that the days of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency are numbered; this outcome does not bode well for the people of the United States, who very likely will see martial law if and when prices for daily necessities such as gasoline skyrocket beyond what is affordable. As the chief operative for all the clandestine forces intent on seeing a one-world government in control of the planet, the Federal Reserve has been actively destroying the US currency as an instrument of national sovereignty. And in close collaboration with the “Fed,” working groups within both the United Nations and the IMF have published key position papers in which a new global currency is proposed, to be printed or coined expectedly by a global central bank. 
The global “war on terror”
Accompanying the increased authority of global instruments such as the IMF, the WTO and the Bank for International Settlements, an international surveillance network is fully in the making with far-reaching consequences for individual life and liberty. At particular risk today is the integrity of the Internet as the last bastion of uncensored information exchange. With every publicized “cyber attack,“ whether a reality or an ad hoc creation, new demands go out for increased security measures and legislation to control both form and content online. New key supranational concepts such as “Al Qaeda,” “terrorist networks” or “suspicious money transfers” are now in common use in public discourse and enable the implementation of unprecedented military/political control measures and surveillance strategies over ordinary citizens. The readiness of governments worldwide to adopt anti-terror measures that are potentially inimical to all forms of individual freedom is predicated on the questionable acceptance of the official explanation offered by the US government and its intelligence services for the events that transpired on 9/11. The paucity of critique, particularly among mainstream US media, of the implausible official narrative of all that transpired on 9/11 is itself sufficient evidence of a thoroughly top=down controlled American press.
The analyses of David Ray Griffin and Steven Jones (among many others)  of multiple inconsistencies and sheer impossibilities in the official explanation of the 9/11 attacks provide clear evidence that there were and are far more sinister plots at work than what the American public is ready to believe. Answers to the inevitable cui bono? question point to the long-term beneficiaries of global control which will ultimately allow for no exceptions.
The pattern is always the same. Present a crisis of epoch proportions, and offer solutions on a global scale which ultimately consolidate the interests of a New World Order, one as envisioned by Auguste Comte, with bankers and a select intellectual elite in complete control. The Federal Reserve system should be seen for what it is – the agency of an international group of banking elites who are hell-bent on obtaining a global government, with a single system of universal justice, a single currency, and an all-encompassing surveillance network as guarantors of a fail-proof, totalitarian, neo-feudalistic regime. Thanks to the efforts of this same global elite, the United States is in its last throes and will eventually succumb to the constraints its leaders have willingly adopted within the context of globalization.
As admirable as perpetual peace might be under a system of benevolent reason, with the sanctity of all terrestrial life on earth foremost in mind, the concrete historical track record of those most actively engaged in bringing the ideals of this New World Order into full fruition suffices completely as a reason to reject their goals.
Elite bankers in the United States and Europe conceived and enacted the Federal Reserve system as a major stepping stone toward eventual global governance of a neo-feudalistic society. The continuing global economic crisis was also conceived and implemented as a further essential tool in bringing about a one-world government controlled by bankers and their intellectual shills sitting in crucial positions and calling the shots — qui custodiet custodes?
The “Fed’s” covert policies and clandestine machinations are accelerating the “need” and “demand” for a global currency to replace existing national currencies. In previous eras, the implementation of such plans and intentions would have been deemed high treason and appropriately punished; in today’s parlance, it should most properly be categorized as an act of terrorism.
Deeply influenced by both the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and twentieth-century phenomenology, James Polk pursued his graduate studies in philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin, where he received his PhD for work on Kant and Heidegger. He is the author of Am Horizont der Zeit and The Triumph of Ignorance and Bliss – Pathologies of Public America.
1) Benhabib’s understanding of cosmopolitanism and its implications for human societies is presented in Another Cosmopolitanism (Berkeley Tanner Lectures), Robert Post, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) and in The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents, and Citizens (The Seeley Lectures), (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
2) Auguste Comte, System of Positive Polity, transl. Richard Congreve, (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1877).
3) See in particular Michel Chossudovsky, “The Global Economic Crisis: An Overview,” The Global Economic Crisis. The Great Depression of the XXI Century, ed. Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, (Montreal: Global Research Publishers, 2010) 3 – 60.
4) Edwin L. James, “Reparations Issue Now Up To Bankers,” New York Times, 31 May 1922.
5) Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002) 206 – 207.
6) Leon Fraser, “The International Bank and Its Future,” Foreign Affairs (New York: Council on Foreign Relations) vol. 14, number 3 (April, 1936), p. 454.
7) Louis T. McFadden, “The Reparations Problem and the Bank for International Settlements,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 150, Economics of World Peace (July, 1930), p. 53 – 64.
8) Michel Chossudovsky, “Manufacturing Dissent: the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites. The People’s Movement has been Hijacked,” Center for Global Research, September 20, 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca
9) IMF Bolivia Public Expenditure Review. www.wds.worldbank.org
10) The original Spiegel text: “Bankmanager und Zentralbanker waren auf diesem Schiff die Kapitäne, darunter Superstars wie die JP Morgan-Managerin Blythe Masters und der Ex-chef der US-Notenbank, Alan Greenspan.” (translation j.p.) “Der größte Diebstahl aller Zeiten – wie Finanzjongleure die Welt in eine Krise stürzten, die noch lange nicht beendet ist,“ Der Spiegel, number 47 (November 11, 2008) p. 47.
11) See Ellen Brown, “The Towers of Basel: Secretive Plan to Create a Global Central Bank,” The Global Economic Crisis. The Great Depression of the XXI Century, ed. Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, (Montreal: Global Research Publishers, 2010) 330 – 342.
12) See in particular the International Monetary Fund paper entitled “Reserve Accumulation and International Monetary Stability” prepared by the Strategy, Policy and Review Department (April 13, 2010) and the United Nations’ “Report of the Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System” (September 21, 2009).
13) See especially David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press, 2007); idem., The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press, 2004); Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones et al., “Active Thermite Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31.