When People Are Pushed Too FarAfter the Allies reneged at Versailles on all of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points upon which the 1918 armistice was agreed, Germany was dismembered and looted under the auspices of the lackluster Weimar administration. At a time when the people looked for inspired leadership to rebuild the fiber and morale of the nation, they were saddled with a collection of largely ineffective mediocrities, craven and servile to the victorious powers and concerned primarily with preserving their own material situations and security. The nation's grievances against the forces that had been let loose to pick the carcase clean are vividly summarized in the points spelled out below. Does the list sound familiar? Interestingly, a tide of extreme-right-wing nationalism is reported to be sweeping through European youth currently in a comaparable reaction against today's spineless European Union leaders, who demonstrate repeated failure to represent the interests of the people who elected them. Well, we all know what happened last time.
Guidelines of the German Federation
to Abolish Interest Slavery
(Translated from German)
Presented in Public Debate in Wagner Hall, Munich, 11 April 1921
The German Federation for the Abolition of Interest Slavery, hereinafter called "The Federation," demands the following:
(1) We demand the nationwide discontinuation of interest payments, which is nothing more than robbery of the nation on behalf of global finance.
(2) Specifically we demand revocation of the privilege given a certain private corporation, namely the Reichsbank, to print money anywhere in the country.This revocation should be accomplished through the nationalization of the Reichsbank.
(3) We demand nationalization of all those banks that no longer perform their valid socioeconomic task of facilitating the circulation, movement and transfer of money. Those banks have ruthlessly taken command of our economic life. They are extorting tribute from the productive sector of our economy in the form of ever-increasing interest.
(4) We demand adequate compensation for the devaluation of savings on behalf of small pensioners. The devaluation that resulted from the government’s finance and tax policies has ruined everyone.
5) We demand specifically that the economic independence and future of Bavaria not be jeopardized by the assignment of our priceless natural resource, waterpower, to private finance capital.
(6) We demand that the State undertake the development of water resources by utilizing our own labor resources. The State should create the necessary monetary instruments through its own financial authority. These instruments will be covered by income from the power plants that are built.
(7) We demand that the State use its national assets and taxing power for productive undertakings, not to provide necessary collateral for borrowing money.
(8) We demand restrictions on the raising of capital by corporations. Joint stock corporations should use their profits to increase their productive capacity and nothing else. They should not be allowed to pay unprecedented dividends while at the same time assuming unprecedented debt. These massive amounts of new (borrowed) money represent more debt, demanding additional interest that can only lead to increased inflation.
The Federation rejects the imputation that its demands are "utopian" and "designed to spread unrest among the people." The recovery of our national economy can be achieved only by discontinuing national debt service, is vitally important for everyone. Therefore, it is not "utopian." Whatever public unrest exists is created by the opponents of economic recovery and by no one else. It is true that individual selfish interests will be harmed here and there, but discontinuation of interest payments is a necessary act that can no more be avoided than can a life-saving operation be avoided on account of the associated discomfort.
The Federation insists that the national economic crisis demands a solution! The havoc wreaked by our financial policies is affecting the entire nation! These failed policies aggravate all our social problems. At present, our government cannot satisy the private need for credit. An effective program would entail a complete abolition of interest, for which there is historical precedent. At present, interest rates are left to the unrestricted demand of the lenders.
A solution to the present crisis can be found only by requiring the lender to share risk as well as profit. The lender should not receive a blanket guarantee on investment plus other ever-increasing charges plus the constant unearned growth of wealth through fixed interest.
The Federation proposes the liberation of all Western nations from their stupendous indebtedness. The abolition of interest slavery is the necessary prerequisite for the solution of ever country’s crisis, not just Germany’s crisis. We have proposed a plan to end the titanic struggle now raging between Labor and Capital in favor of the freedom to work and produce. Our plan shows how to accomplish this without undermining the acquisition of wealth through individual effort, industriousness and intellectual achievement.
Only by abolishing interest slavery can Germany achieve reconciliation in a nation torn by class conflict. It can be achieved only by putting an end to the unearned income that is derived from the possession of money. Our greatest social task is the abolition of interest slavery. This responsibility to abolish interest slavery towers above all other issues of the day. It is the only solution to the greatest problem of our time.
The abolition of interest slavery will deliver us from global Capitalist domination. It will accomplish this while avoiding both Communist destruction of the human spirit and Capitalist degradation of labor. The abolition of interest slavery opens the way to a truly social economy, by liberating us from the overwhelming domination of money. It opens the way to a state based on creative work and genuine accomplishment.