Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Ring of Power and the World Economy

"One ring to rule them all
One ring to find them
One ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them."
From "The Fellowship of the Ring" by J.R.R. Tolkien

I cut my fantasy reading teeth on "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" when I read the books way back when I was in the 7th grade. These might seem like difficult books for a 7th grader to read, but I was a voracious reader and these books posed a challenge both to my comprehension of the English language and my imagination. It took the making of the movies, excellently done under the direction of Peter Jackson I might add, and perhaps a more adult point of view, to really consider the parallels between this fantastic tale of good versus evil and modern economics and politics.

The ring of power, for those who do not know, was a magic ring created by Sauron to control all the other rings of power which had been produced in Middle Earth. The rings of power gave the bearers the strength to rule over their peoples, (elves, men and dwarves) but the one ring gave Sauron the power to rule over the minds of the bearers of the other rings. When the ring was cut from Sauron's finger in the war against the last alliance, (between elves and men) Sauron lost his form, but a great part of his malicious spirit remained with the ring.

The ring of power easily corrupts the hearts of men. One who would desire to do good, who would desire to bring order and coordination for the greater good, would end up spreading chaos and destruction. It derived its power from hatred and fear. It made men and mortal creatures despair and could therefore make them quiver and quake and bow before the bearer of the one ring. Of course, the wearer of the ring of power becomes very arrogant and when he is challenged his anger seethes. The anger is used to destroy and that is how good intentions bring about destruction.

In this world we may not have rings of power, but we do have powerful corporate entities. Those who rule over these corporations have the means to rule over many people and influence much in political matters. Some of the most powerful corporations involve the energy, pharmaceuticals and weapons sectors. There are also very influential corporations in the communications, information, transportation, agricultural and chemical sectors. These corporate interests have been known to form alliances and cartels to maintain their power and influence. They have tied in to many industries of lesser influence, but they wield their "rings of power" over their business sectors with great zeal and have turned governments into their enforcement arms to make sure their will is done.

There is a corporate interest that rules over all other corporations. It uses its awesome power to bring them all together and in darkness bind them, so to speak. That corporate interest is the banking sector. The ring it wears is the ring of currency control. It is the power of monopoly over the commodity called legal tender. The central banks of the world have come together to form an economy of debt, and they have indebted even the largest of corporations and the greatest of governments using their ability to force common folk and businesses to accept their paper, to artificially set interest rates, and to lay claim to properties, commodities and other real wealth they never earned through default. The Federal Reserve System of the United States of America is the most powerful of these central banks. It wields the might of this ring of power without regard to the harm it might be doing the good people of the world.

In J.R.R. Tolkien's work, Sauron becomes impotent when his ring of power is unmade. This is done by throwing the ring into the volcano where it was created. One way the monopoly of currency can be unmade is to throw it into the volcano of big government where it was created. An audit of its wealth can show us where all our money has gone. It will show us just how much control the central banks exercise over corporate interests, particularly in the financial sector. This, along with the repeal of legal tender laws, would set up an environment of growth where the multitude determines the directions of markets. It would set up an economy much more stable than what a few wealthy elite can come up with. It would set up an economy where your voice is important, for you would be voting with your dollar which is worth something, not your vote which is worth less than the machines which count votes.

Reversing the damage that has been done by central banking might seem like a daunting task at first, there will be some pain and the elite who run them will want to twist the knife, but we must be brave. The economic landscape would likely look bleak for a time, but soon those who wish to profit in the new economic environment will plant the seeds which will grow new green shoots. The world of the free market will be a world where what you have is owned by you, not the bank. You won't have to worry about losing your home should you lose your job. It will likely be a world where you will be protected not by a huge central government full of greedy politicians working for corporate interests and trying to take advantage of the least influential common folk, but by a community of individuals who care for their fellow human beings and wish to see all prosper in a stable economic environment.

There are a couple of important lessons we can take from "The Lord of the Rings" that seem incredibly difficult for mankind to learn. The first is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The second is that in order to rid the world of tyranny, the power the tyrant wields must be neutralized. The power the modern day tyrant wields is the monopoly power over currency. A big central government will do its best to protect those with this power as they benefit from such power. But the little folk can still triumph. With a little education the true nature of the Federal Reserve as a privately owned central bank can be exposed. A multitude of voices raised for a singular purpose cannot be ignored even by the most corrupt politician. End the Fed.

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