"Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge." CICERO
In 1930-31, Father Charles Coughlin gave a series of radio sermons, later transcribed into a book, By The Sweat of Thy Brow (The Radio League of the Little Flower, 1931). Father Coughlin defined labor as a fundamental human right, as did Union General (and Congressman) James B. Weaver (A Call To Action, 1892). Wrote General Weaver:
"All men have a natural right to a portion of the soil; and as the use of the soil is indispensable to life, the right of all men to the soil is as sacred as their right to life itself.
The child... comes into this world clothed with all the natural rights which Adam possessed when he was the sole inhabitant of the earth. Liberty to occupy the soil in his own right, to till it unmolested as soon as he has the strength to do so and to live upon the fruits of his toil without paying tribute to any other creature, are among the most sacred and essential of these rights; and any state of society which deprives men of these natural and inalienable safeguards, is an organized rebellion against the providence of God, a conspiracy against human life and a menace to the peace of the community."
Father Coughlin, while acknowledging that "labor" includes creative and intellectual labor, limits his definition to the bulk of laborers: miners, farmers and factory workers:
There is not one item in life which is independent of the laborer. Identified with every gold coin which is sent on its mission of wealth; intimately related to every locomotive which moves freight and produce and human beings across our continent; back of every airplane that skims past the skyline and over the clouds, there is some human being who has delved into the earth to fetch forth the gold, to fabricate the engine, and to spin for us the silken wings which fill the sky.
He then goes on to stress that work is a human right, based on "the law of self-preservation which the Creator of human life has so impressed upon every individual that it supersedes every other law and annuls every man-made legislation which unreasonably comes in conflict with it." Coughlin's "three fundamental
notions of life" are:
1) Man is a social citizen.
2) He and every other citizen has the right to preserve his life.
3) The primary law of physical preservation is essentially connected with labor.
Where Money Is King
But mass consumption cannot keep up with mass production. As the machinery has improved, two contrary things occur:
(1) the laborer is not as necessary, since the machine can do ever more of his labor, and
(2) since the laborer is no longer as necessary, he becomes seasonally unemployed and cannot so easily afford (consume/purchase) the items of mass production. Coughlin is ahead of his time when he urges that there be less hours worked by those already employed so that all may be employed. The "radio priest" also condemned the vast gap in wealth between the few ultra rich and the masses of workers just struggling to provide for themselves and their families. (Quoting from Pope Leo XIII: "the concentration of many branches of trade in the hands of a few individuals, a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke that is little better than slavery itself.") Coughlin is not a communist nor a socialist, but he does urge that a living wage must be paid to all workers.
Money, says Coughlin, is "substantially related to labor." Man is a social citizen (see point #1, above). Each citizen is a unit of a nation "whose social duties obligate him first to the political family of his fellow citizens." (This does not imply no obligation to mankind in general, but the first obligation is to "the political family of his fellow citizens.") It follows
from this that the ultra rich cannot use their great wealth in a manner contrary to the general good of their countrymen.
So how can these ultra rich (the one-third of one percent who control half the wealth of the country) commandeer "the many billions of American dollars made by American laborers" and expend them "building factories and creating industries abroad"? Coughlin warns that eventually "these foreign nations will be our competitors," that eventually they will force down the wages paid to American workers. Add to this the billions of dollars sent abroad as foreign aid:
...American money to the extent of eighteen billion dollars loaned abroad since [World War I]. From the year 1920 to 1928 foreign loans amounting to 14.5 billion dollars were publicly offered and accepted. Since that date other loans have been negotiated privately... Add to this the 12 billion dollars of a government war loan. And the result is, that Europe and South America owe us today at least 30 billion dollars, the interest on which these nations are now unable to pay...
If gold or money is substantially related to labor, then the exportation of American gold in such abnormal and stupendous quantities is equivalent to the exportation of sixty billion hours of American labor valued at 50 cents an hour [1930 rates], or enough to keep approximately 30 million workmen busy for one whole year.
Yes, says Coughlin, here on earth the ultra rich own their wealth; but they are the stewards of that wealth. He quotes from St. Thomas Aquinas:
"The temporal goods which God permits to a man are his in regard to property. But in regard to use they are not his alone, but others also who can be sustained by what is superfluous to him. If the individual owner neglects his social responsibilities, it is the duty of the State to enforce their observance."
What is the morality of "those Americans who made their money by the sweat of the brows of American laborers and then expend tremendous portions of it in foreign countries to build up competitors in the industrial market against their fellow citizens"?
American money has been (and is being) exported abroad where it "will compete in neutral markets with our own industries."
"Scribes" Have Wrought Desolation
Almost 2500 years ago, it is recorded "that a condition somewhat similar to ours was extant... among the Jewish people. For personal reasons their leaders preferred to be blind to the situation, thinking that they could quell the disturbance in the public mind by the childish trick of crying, 'Peace, Peace': when there was no peace. (Jeremias 8:11)"
"The scribes [journalists] who depended for their livelihood upon the great men of the nation were content to remain silent lest their revenues be revoked. In fact they even co-operated in this childish diplomacy of propagating the lie 'Peace, Peace': when there was no peace."
"No wonder, therefore, that the prophet expressed himself in unmistakable language when he wrote that 'the lying pen of the scribes hath wrought our desolation.' (Jeremias 8:8)"
"A similar circumstance has arisen today. The modern scribe or journalist or publisher... too often finds himself openly partisan at the expense of honesty and brazenly optimistic at the expense of truth as he comforts himself with the sophistry that all the news is not good for the people. Only that news is good which benefits the apostles of privilege."
Internationalism: An Old Trick
Internationalism is a recurring scheme favored by those wanting to hog wealth and power. Alexander the Great was imbued with political internationalism "when he desired to Persianize the entire world... So was Augustus Caesar. So was Napoleon whose secret ambition was to make the world his footstool and France his throne." And so did Adolph Hitler seek eventual world conquest for his Third Reich. And so does/did international communism seek world conquest. Communism according to its founder, Adam Weishaupt, from whom Karl Marx drew his inspiration... is necessarily identified with atheism... This is the first tenet of communism...
The second general belief of communism is expressed by the word 'internationalism.'
Internationalism is "a heresy which strikes at the root of patriotism and prosperity: and aims not at elevating all peoples to the standard of American living, but rather at the leveling of our standard to the common denominator of foreign misery."
Loathsome Re-birth of Internationalism
"The most loathsome after-birth of the [First] World War has been the revival of this internationalism which in its last analysis is nothing more than universal class rule. On the one hand the Soviet desires to control the entire world by the military arm of an enslaved laboring class. And on the part of certain captains of industry and finance there seems to be a determination to rule the universe through the agency of wealth."
"Identified both with the League of Nations and with the World Court... is this new Colossus called the International Bank." In the minds of many, the birth of the International Bank is a story into which is woven "the J.P. Morgan Banking Company... the Bank of England; [and] the names of certain gentlemen in our Federal Reserve Bank... Acting in collusion, these men succeeded in
lowering American money to 3.5 percent; then exported more than 500 million dollars in gold to Europe..."
"Now that our gold has been poured into Europe, these same international bankers of Wall Street and of Washington are anxious that our nation shall surrender its independence by becoming a member of 'The Permanent Court of International Justice of the League of Nations.'"
(Coughlin's "International Bank" may or may not be the same as the "Bank for International Settlements." Since Coughlin is speaking circa 1930 of a "new Colossus called the International Bank," it seems likely he is referring to the Bank for International Settlements. In Charles Higham's highly-recommended book on how corporate America continued doing business with Nazi Germany, even during World War II -- Trading With the Enemy: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949 --
background is given on the Bank for International Settlements (BIS):
"The Bank for International Settlements was a joint
creation in 1930 of the world's central banks, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Its existence was inspired by Hjalmar Schacht, Nazi Minister of Economics and president of the Reichsbank." The BIS turned into "a money funnel for American and British funds to flow into Hitler's coffers and to help Hitler build up his war machine.")
Abraham Lincoln's Warning to America
Just before he died, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to a close friend in Illinois. Here is part of what he is reported to have said:
Yes, we may all congratulate ourselves that the [Civil War] is nearing its close. It has cost a great amount of treasure and of blood. But I see in the near future, a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.
As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.
Extrapolating from Coughlin's analysis, with its 1930s
perspective, we now know that in the struggle between the two "evil empires" -- International Communism and International Corporatism -- the latter appears to have triumphed. The lust for wealth, power and world conquest is not something "brand new," but its current disguise of benevolence and "'Peace, Peace': when there is no peace" is new. Do not be deceived; beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.
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