Charles Burris Webpages

  • My Educational Philosophy

Respect Is Key To Learning

by Charles A. Burris

From the time of Socrates, teaching has been one of the most noble and enriching professions, enabling one’s students to pass through life bearing the mark of their intelligence while building the foundations of self-esteem.

The primary purpose of education is the search for and dissemination of truth. The methodology used to discover truth is based on critical literacy. The role of the educator, therefore, is to facilitate critical literacy within one’s students through rigorous exercise and discipline, leading to cultivation of the intellect and maturity.

"The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers," observed Allan Bloom, "not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worthy of consideration."

Education is concerned with the discernment of truth, not the voicing of momentary whim constituting subjective opinion.

By the Socratic method of divergent classroom discussion and investigation, instruction must capitalize on both the cognitive (thinking) and affective (emotional) aspects of students in order to prepare them to become fully integrated members of society.

As a history instructor I face this challenge on a daily basis. My high school students must make an emotional connection with the factual material being studied. And they do not get that from reading boring accounts of historical events from state-mandated texts, sapped of the richness of narrative and vision. Students stumbling and fumbling, like cheerless robots, to hurriedly answer the tedious section review questions of a text’s chapter before the bell sounds at the end of a period is not learning. It is a rote process of going through mechanical motions like a trained seal.

The behavioral conduct of an educator is to nurture maturity within one’s students by maximizing self-discipline and the internalization of responsibility. Students must be made to face the fact that actions have consequences. Education cannot be held hostage to disruption or extortion by nihilistic gangsters or unremorseful barbarians – purposeless and lacking any semblance of civility or conscience.

In a stimulating, vigorous classroom environment, with rules and procedures clearly defined and equitably enforced, and with the full consideration of the rights of each student, the search for truth can proceed, if there is a mutuality of respect by those present.

Respect is critical to the success of this endeavor. An extremely wise and sagacious teacher, Jim Goss, carefully pointed out to me that "respect is a verb." It is not a passive noun but something that must be actively fostered and eventually earned. Respect – for oneself, one’s mind, body, parents or teachers – is a prime ingredient of self-esteem.

Accordingly, respect for individuality and inclusive diversity within the classroom is the recognition that only under a climate of freedom can development of internal standards of conduct be possible.

An effective educator must possess the realistic expectations and temperament to meet the challenge of providing the vital motivational structure for learning during a student’s developing years.

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge," noted Albert Einstein.

As someone who has had this profound pleasure of appreciating teaching from both sides of the lecture podium, I offer these reflections, however disinterested, as prudential wisdom tempered by experience.


Charles Burris is a graduate of the University of Tulsa (Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science) and has been teaching at the Memorial High School and Engineering Academy since 1993.

Before becoming an educator he was involved in over thirty electoral and ballot petition campaigns for third party/independent candidates throughout the country.

Burris is widely published in such journals as Critique, The Oklahoma Constitution, The Franklin Auditor, The Council for Holocaust Education Newsletter, The Des Moines Register, The Tulsa World, The Tulsa Tribune, The Tulsa Sentinel, and is a featured columnist at, one of the top 20 political and economic opinion websites in the United States.



Please read these pages carefully and completely. They are very important.

A significant part of your grade evaluation for this course will depend upon your daily class participation in discussions. In addition to regular attendance, each student is expected to come promptly to class on time fully prepared to discuss in depth all assigned readings for that day.


Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore, II, c. 80 B. C.

Without the past there is only the present. And when there is only the present, there is no future.

Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority

How can you (as a person) know where you are going unless you know where we (as a civilization) have been? Who you are is who we were. This is the importance of studying history in helping to you to discover yourself, your past, and your future.

The historian is one of the guardians of the cultural heritage of humanity. He or she is also an interpreter of the development of mankind.

In carrying out these functions as students of history, you will aim to compose accurate accounts and analyses of selected portions of the past. From these accounts and analyses (or from the original primary sources themselves), you will endeavor to search for the truth.

On the basis of your knowledge you will also seek to provide credible explanations of the development of contemporary events, thoughts, beliefs, and institutions.

Your historical method will consist of ANALYSIS –the testing of historical sources for authenticity and the selection of particulars from the authentic materials; and SYNTHESIS – the putting together of particulars into a narrative or exposition that will stand the tests of critical method.

"The tradition of the West is embodied in the Great Conversation that began in the dawn of history and that continues to the present day. Whatever the merits of other civilizations in other respects, no civilization is like that of the West in this respect. No other civilization can claim that its defining characteristic is a dialogue of this sort. No dialogue in any other civilization can compare with that of the West in the number of great works of the mind that have contributed to this Dialogue. The Spirit of Western Civilization is the spirit of inquiry. Its dominant element is the Logos. Nothing is to remain undiscussed. Everyone is to speak his mind. No proposition is to be left unexamined."

Robert Maynard Hutchins, The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education.

Logos is an ancient Greek term. It means reason as expressed in human speech. The Greeks believed reason to be the controlling principle in an orderly, harmonious universe (cosmos).

The faculties of reason (conceptual thought) and language (propositional speech) are what distinguish human beings from other creatures.

Accordingly, man is described as “the rational animal.” As philosopher Mortimer Adler points out in his book, The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes:

". . . man is the only talking, the only naming, declaring or questioning, affirming or denying, the only arguing, agreeing or disagreeing, the only discursive animal."

Philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand develops this idea further in her book, For the New Intellectual:

"Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food, and the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch – or build a cyclotron – without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.

"But to think is an act of choice . . . Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs, or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival – so that for you, who are a human being, the question ‘to be or not to be’ is the question ‘to think or not to think.’

"Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think – not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment . . . Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality."

Human beings are capable of abstract thought, the transcendence of their immediate environment, and the emancipation from the perpetual present.

In one of the most important books of the 20th Century, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, historian Carroll Quigley elaborates on this crucial idea of abstraction:

"Both man and universe are dynamic, or changeable in time, and the chief additional complexity is that both are changing in a continuum of abstraction, as well as in the more familiar continuum of space-time. The continuum of abstraction simply means that the reality in which man and the universe function exists in five dimensions; of these the dimension of abstraction covers a range from the most concrete and material end of reality to, at the opposite extreme, the most abstract and spiritual end of reality, with every possible gradation between these two ends along the intervening dimensions that determine reality, including the three dimensions of space, the fourth of time, and this fifth of abstraction. This means that man is concrete and material at one end of his person, is abstract and spiritual at the other end, and covers all the gradations between, with a large central zone concerned with his chaos of emotional experiences and feelings.

"In order to think about himself or the universe with the more abstract and rational end of his being, man has to categorize and to conceptualize both his nature and the nature of reality, while, in order to act and to feel on the less abstract end of his being, he must function more directly, outside the limits of categories, without the buffer of concepts. Thus man might look at his own being as divided into three levels of body, emotions, and reason. The body, functioning directly in space-time-abstraction, is much concerned with concrete situations, individual and unique events, at a specific time and place. The middle levels of his being are concerned with himself and his reactions to reality in terms of feelings and emotions as determined by endocrine and neurological reactions. The upper levels of his being are concerned with his neurological analysis and manipulation of conceptualized abstractions. The three corresponding operations of his being are sensual, emotional or intuitive, and rational.

"The sequence of intellectual history is concerned with the sequence of styles or fads that have been prevalent, one after another, as to what emphasis or combinations of man’s three levels of operations would be used in his efforts to experience life and to cope with the universe."

Early Christianity, influenced by Greek philosophy, borrowed the term “Logos” as a symbolic representation for Jesus Christ. Logos was the divine wisdom manifest in the creation, government, and redemption of the world. It was identified with the Second Person of the Trinity.

"In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was made nothing that has been made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness grasped it not. There was a man, one sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness concerning the light, that all might believe through him. He was not himself the light, but was to bear witness to the light. It was the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him He gave the power of becoming sons of God; to those who believe in His name; who were born not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we saw His glory – glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father – full of grace and truth."

The Gospel of John 1, 1-14

With this Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian intellectual inheritance (in addition to the various elements offered by the barbarian Germanic tribes and the Muslim world) Western civilization has developed as “logocentric” or reasoned speech-centered.

From the time of the Protestant Reformation, particular emphasis has been placed upon the written word as a means of transmitting and recording knowledge, away from the earlier “art of memory” or oral tradition of classic Greek and Roman antiquity.

“Printing was to bring about the most radical alteration ever made in Western intellectual history, and its effects were to be felt in every area of human activity,” noted James Burke in his excellent book, The Day The Universe Changed.


Down through history and all over the world, education has had two great goals: to help people become smart (WISDOM) and to help them to become good (VIRTUE).

“Good” can be defined in terms of moral values that have objective worth – values that affirm our human dignity and promote the good of the individual and society.

The primary purpose of education is the search for, and dissemination of, knowledge. The method used to discover knowledge is based upon critical literacy.

Practitioners in every field of disciplined inquiry develop a special terminology. In this class we will use many of the concepts of philosophy in our day-to-day discussions. Philosophy employs the basic terms ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic. Ontology deals with the ultimate nature of being: nature, the Universe, and divine transcendence (God). Metaphysics deals with the nature of ultimate reality. Epistemology deals with the nature of knowledge and knowing. Axiology deals with the nature of values. Ethics examines moral values and the rules of right conduct, while aesthetics deals with values in beauty and art. Logic deals with the nature of reasoning, and is concerned with the requirements of correct and valid thinking that enable us to frame correctly our propostions and arguments.

Therefore, in our search for knowledge in this class, here are the key discussion guidelines which will always shape our contributions to the “Great Conversation:”

1. There is a truth, an objective reality.

A material world exists that is independent of, and external to, the mind of the knower. The basis for understanding reality is found in a world of objects and in the perception of these objects. All objects are composed of matter. Matter must be encased in a form and has to assume the structure of a particular object.

Human beings can know these objects through their senses and their reason. As historian Carroll Quigley pointed out above, knowing is a process that involves two stages: sensation and abstraction. First, the knower sees an object and records the sensory data about it, such as color, size, weight, smell, or sound. These sensory data are sorted out in the mind into those qualities that are always present in the object and the qualities that are sometimes present in the object. As a result of the abstraction of the necessary qualities of an object (those that are always present), the learner comes to a concept of the object (for example, a dog). Conceptualization occurs when the mind has abstracted the form of the object and has the object as belonging to a class (dogs). Objects are classified when they are recognized as having qualities that they share with other members of the same class but not with objects that belong to a different class (for example, dogs and tacos). When we know something, our knowledge is always about an object. The concepts that we have in our minds are true when they correspond to those objects as they really exist in the world.

As philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand has stated:

Existence exists – and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and the one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as a consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.

Reality is that which exists; the unreal is merely that negation of existence which is the content of a human consciousness when it attempts to abandon reason. Truth is the recognition of reality; reason, man’s only means of knowledge, is his standard of truth.

Therefore we will critically reject SOLIPSISM – the theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only thing that exists; POLYLOGISM – the theory holding that the logical structure of the human mind is different due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social or economic class, or national origin; CULTURAL RELATIVISM – the theory holding that the subjective moral judgments of individuals are completely derived from the customs and mores of the society in which they live. There is no universal truth. There is no basis for any claim that one culture is morally superior to another; and NIHILISM – the theory that existence is senseless and meaningless, and that there is no objective ground of truth.

2. No person, group, or organization has the whole picture of the truth.

Therefore we will critically reject all absolute or final authorities. We can claim that a statement is established as knowledge only insofar as the method used to check or verify it gives the same results regardless of the identity of the checker or that of the source. QUESTION AUTHORITY! There can be no special pleading in the search for truth. The question of who is right is a small one beside the question of what is right.

3. No one of us is totally exempt from error.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes. QUESTION AUTHORITY! Sometimes error alone can point to the truth and therefore deserves our respectful treatment. Socrates knew, after a lifetime of unceasing labor, that he was ignorant. Now every high-school student knows this.

4. Every person of good will has some aspect of the truth, some vision of it from the angle of his or her own experience.

Therefore everyone in this class has something significant to contribute. Freedom of belief is always to be respected by everyone; but freedom of knowledge is not. There is a difference between belief and knowledge. Knowledge is concerned with objective reality independent of the observer and not the voicing of momentary whim constituting subjective opinion. You must use your intelligence to prove what you know. Be willing to give proper weight to the various pieces of evidence you collect. Acknowledge your own prejudices or biases and the effort to eliminate their effects. Determine to make only such conclusions or inferences as are justified by the evidence.

5. Courtesy Is Contagious!

Please do not interrupt someone else when they are speaking. Allow each person time to finish what they have to say. Some people may be extremely shy, and need all the encouragement we can give them just to say a few important words.

6. This class is always concerned with your dignity, worth, and sanctity as a person.

All individuals and their life experiences are unique. This respect for individuality and diversity is the recognition that only under a climate of academic freedom can development of standards of conduct be possible. Civility is the recognition that how we conduct ourselves – our respect for the humane consideration and rights of others – is what distinguishes us from the robot on the one hand, the savage on the other. One does not necessarily have to accept, approve, or condone the beliefs and actions of other class members in order to maintain a constructive dialogue of shared communication in pursuit of the truth. This is the idea of the “Great Conversation.”

7. Through free, open, and critical discussion and analysis, the aspects of the truth held by the many can be formed into a consensus closer to the truth than any of the sources that contributed to it.

8. This consensus is a temporary approximation of the truth, which is no sooner made than new experiences and additional information make it possible for it to be reformulated in a closer approximation of the truth by continued discussion and critical analysis.

9. Thus our picture of the truth advances, by successive approximations closer and closer to the whole truth without possibly ever reaching it.

10. This method of disinterested reflection and inclusive diversity has been attacked and challenged by all kinds of conflicting views and outlooks based on narrowness, bigotry, and rigidity. But critical literacy has been the major source of strength of our civilization’s religious, philosophical and scientific knowledge.

  • My Webpage and Film: The Importance of Movies in Exploring Our World

This website has hundreds of exceptional feature motion pictures, penetrating documentaries, and significant short subjects. Film provides an exceptional window on the past which shows how people lived and loved, what they believed and thought important in their lives. One of the most regrettable things I have noticed since I first began teaching is how many young persons will not watch movies older than themselves. I believe this irrational aversion or prejudice needs to be alleviated and overcome by discovering cinematic treasures which have impacted the lives of countless millions. With this goal in mind I urge you to begin to explore the wonderful world of classic films.

My Three Favorite Poems

Poem #1: If— By Rudyard Kipling

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Poem #2: Aftermath, By Siegfried Sassoon

Have you forgotten yet?...

For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,

Like traffic checked a while at the crossing of city ways:

And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow

Like clouds in the lit heavens of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,

Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.

But the past is just the same—and War's a bloody game...

Have you forgotten yet?...

Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz—

The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?

Do you remember the rats; and the stench

Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench—

And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?

Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack—

And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then

As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?

Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back

With dying eyes and lolling heads—those ashen-gray

Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...

Look up, and swear by the slain of the war that you'll never forget!

Poem #3: Ozymandias, By Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away

Why Johnny Can't Think

The Politics of Bad Schooling

by Walter Karp

(from Harper's Magazine, June 1985)

The following books are discussed in this essay:

A Place Called School, by John I. Goodlad

The Good High School, by Sara Lawrence Lightfoot

Horace's Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School, by Theodore R. Sizer

High School: A Report on Secondary Education in America, by Ernest L. Boyer and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, by the National Commission on Excellence in Education

The Great School Debate: Which Way for American Education?, edited by Beatrice and Ronald Gross

The Challenge to American Schools, edited by John Bunzel

The Troubled Crusade: American Education 1945-1980, by Diane Ravitch


Until very recently, remarkably little was known about what actually goes on in America's public schools. There were no reliable answers to even the most obvious questions. How many children are taught to read in overcrowded classrooms? How prevalent is rote learning and how common are classroom discussions? Do most schools set off gongs to mark the change of "periods"? Is it a common practice to bark commands over public address systems in the manner of army camps, prisons, and banana republics? Public schooling provides the only intense experience of a public realm that most Americans will ever know. Are school buildings designed with the dignity appropriate to a great republican institution, or are most of them as crummy looking as one's own?

The darkness enveloping America's public schools is truly extraordinary considering that 38.9 million students attend them, that we spend nearly $134 billion a year on them, and that foundations ladle out generous sums for the study of everything about schooling--except what really occurs in the schools. John I. Goodlad's eight-year investigation of a mere thirty-eight of America's 80,000 public schools--the result of which, A Place Called School, was published last year--is the most comprehensive such study ever undertaken. Hailed as a "landmark in American educational research," it was financed with great difficulty. The darkness, it seems, has its guardians.

Happily, the example of Goodlad, a former dean of UCLA's Graduate School of Education, has proven contagious. A flurry of new books sheds considerable light on the practice of public education in America. In The Good High School, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot offers vivid "portraits" of six distinctive American secondary schools. In Horace's Compromise, Theodore R. Sizer, a former dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, reports on his two-year odyssey through public high schools around the country. Even High School, a white paper issued by Ernest L. Boyer and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, is supported by a close investigation of the institutional life of a number of schools. Of the books under review, only A Nation at Risk, the report of the Reagan Administration's National Commission on Excellence in Education, adheres to the established practice of crass special pleading in the dark.

Thanks to Goodlad et al., it is now clear what the great educational darkness has so long concealed: the depth and pervasiveness of political hypocrisy in the common schools of the country. The great ambition professed by public school managers is, of course, education for citizenship and self-government, which harks back to Jefferson's historic call for "general education to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom." What the public schools practice with remorseless proficiency, however, is the prevention of citizenship and the stifling of self-government. When 58 percent of the thirteen-year-olds tested by the National Assessment for Educational Progress think it is against the law to start a third party in America, we are dealing not with a sad educational failure but with a remarkably subtle success.

Passive, Docile Students

Consider how effectively America's future citizens are trained not to judge for themselves about anything. From the first grade to the twelfth, from one coast to the other, instruction in America's classrooms is almost entirely dogmatic. Answers are "right" and answers are "wrong," but mostly answers are short. "At all levels, [teacher-made] tests called almost exclusively for short answers and recall of information," reports Goodlad. In more than 1,000 classrooms visited by his researchers, "only rarely" was there "evidence to suggest instruction likely to go much beyond mere possession of information to a level of understanding its implications." Goodlad goes on to note that "the intellectual terrain is laid out by the teacher. The paths for walking through it are largely predetermined by the teacher." The give-and-take of genuine discussion is conspicuously absent. "Not even 1%" of instructional time, he found, was devoted to discussions that "required some kind of open response involving reasoning or perhaps an opinion from students.... The extraordinary degree of student passivity stands out."

Sizer's research substantiates Goodlad's. "No more important finding has emerged from the inquiries of our study than that the American high school student, as student, is all too often docile, compliant, and without initiative." There is good reason for this. On the one hand, notes Sizer, there are too few rewards for being inquisitive." On the other, the heavy emphasis on "the right answer ... smothers the student's efforts to become an effective intuitive thinker."

Yet smothered minds are looked on with the utmost complacency by the educational establishment--by the Reagan Department of Education, state boards of regents, university education departments, local administrators, and even many so-called educational reformers. Teachers are neither urged to combat the tyranny of the short right answer nor trained to do so. "Most teachers simply do not know how to reach for higher levels of thinking," says Goodlad. Indeed, they are actively discouraged from trying to do so.

The discouragement can be quite subtle. In their orientation talks to new, inexperienced teachers, for example, school administrators often indicate that they do not much care what happens in class so long as no noise can be heard in the hallway. This thinly veiled threat virtually ensures the prevalence of short-answer drills, workbook exercises, and the copying of long extracts from the blackboard. These may smother young minds, but they keep the classroom Quiet.

Discouragement even calls itself reform. Consider the current cry for greater use of standardized student tests to judge the "merit" of teachers and raise "academic standards." If this fake reform is foisted on the schools, dogma and docility will become even more prevalent. This point is well made by Linda Darling-Hammond of the Rand Corporation in an essay in The Great School Debate. Where "important decisions are based on test scores," she notes, "teachers are more likely to teach to the tests" and less likely to bother with "nontested activities, such as writing, speaking, problem-solving or real reading of real books." The most influential promoter of standardized tests is the "excellence" brigade in the Department of Education; so clearly one important meaning of "educational excellence" is greater proficiency in smothering students' efforts to think for themselves.

Probably the greatest single discouragement to better instruction is the overcrowded classroom. The Carnegie report points out that English teachers cannot teach their students how to write when they must read and criticize the papers of as many as 175 students. As Sizer observes, genuine discussion is possible only in small seminars. In crowded classrooms, teachers have difficulty imparting even the most basic intellectual skills, since they have no time to give students personal attention. The overcrowded classroom inevitably debases instruction, yet it is the rule in America's public schools. In the first three grades of elementary school, Goodlad notes, the average class has twenty-seven students. High school classes range from twenty-five to forty students, according to the Carnegie report.

What makes these conditions appalling is that they are quite unnecessary. The public schools are top-heavy with administrators and rife with sinecures. Large numbers of teachers scarcely ever set foot in a classroom, being occupied instead as grade advisers, career counselors, "coordinators," and supervisors. "Schools, if simply organized," Sizer writes, "can have well-paid faculty and fewer than eighty students per teacher (16 students per class without increasing current per-pupil expenditure." Yet no serious effort is being made to reduce class size. As Sizer notes, "Reducing teacher load is, when all the negotiating is over, a low agenda item for the unions and school boards." Overcrowded classrooms virtually guarantee smothered minds, yet the subject is not even mentioned in A Nation at Risk, for all its well-publicized braying about a "rising tide of mediocrity."

Do the nation's educators really want to teach almost 40 million students how to "think critically," in the Carnegie report's phrase, and "how to judge for themselves," in Jefferson's? The answer is, if you can believe that you will believe anything. The educational establishment is not even content to produce passive minds. It seeks passive spirits as well. One effective agency for producing these is the overly populous school. The larger schools are, the more prison-like they tend to be. In such schools, guards man the stairwells and exits. ID cards and "passes" are examined at checkpoints. Bells set off spasms of anarchy and bells quell the student mob. PA systems interrupt regularly with trivial fiats and frivolous announcements. This "malevolent intruder," in Sizer's apt phrase, is truly ill willed, for the PA system is actually an educational tool. It teaches the huge student mass to respect the authority of disembodied voices and the rule of remote and invisible agencies. Sixty-three percent of all high school students in America attend schools with enrollments of 5,000 or more. The common excuse for these mobbed schools is economy, but in fact they cannot be shown to save taxpayers a penny. Large schools "tend to create passive and compliant students," notes Robert B. Hawkins Jr. in an essay in The Challenge to American Schools. That is their chief reason for being.

"How can the relatively passive and docile roles of students prepare them to participate as informed, active and questioning citizens?" asks the Carnegie report, in discussing the "hidden curriculum" of passivity in the schools. The answer is, they were not meant to. Public schools introduce future citizens to the public world, but no introduction could be more disheartening. Architecturally, public school buildings range from drab to repellent. They are often disfigured by demoralizing neglect--"cracked sidewalks, a shabby lawn, and peeling paint on every window sash," to quote the Carnegie report. Many big-city elementary schools have numbers instead of names, making them as coldly dispiriting as possible.

Stamping Out Republican Sentiment

Public schools stamp out republican sentiment by habituating their students to unfairness, inequality, and special privilege. These arise inevitably from the educational establishment's longstanding policy (well described by Diane Ravitch in The Troubled Crusade) of maintaining "the correlation between social class and educational achievement." In order to preserve that factitious "correlation," public schooling is rigged to favor middle-class students and to ensure that working-class students do poorly enough to convince them that they fully merit the lowly station that will one day be theirs. "Our goal is to get these kids to be like their parents," one teacher, more candid than most, remarked to a Carnegie researcher.

For more than three decades, elementary schools across the country practiced a "progressive," non-phonetic method of teaching reading that had nothing much to recommend it save its inherent social bias. According to Ravitch, this method favored "children who were already motivated and prepared to begin reading" before entering school, while making learning to read more difficult for precisely those children whose parents were ill read or ignorant. The advantages enjoyed by the well-bred were thus artificially multiplied tenfold, and 23 million adult Americans are today "functional illiterates." America's educators, notes Ravitch, have "never actually accepted full responsibility for making all children literate."

That describes a malicious intent a trifle too mildly. Reading is the key to everything else in school. Children who struggle with it in the first grade will be "grouped" with the slow readers in the second grade and will fall hopelessly behind in all subjects by the sixth. The schools hasten this process of failing behind, report Goodlad and others, by giving the best students the best teachers and struggling students the worst ones. "It is ironic," observes the Carnegie report, "that those who need the most help get the least." Such students are commonly diagnosed as "culturally deprived" and so are blamed for the failures inflicted on them. Thus, they are taught to despise themselves even as they are inured to their inferior station.

The whole system of unfairness, inequality, and privilege comes to fruition in high school. There, some 15.7 million youngsters are formally divided into the favored few and the ill-favored many by the practice of "tracking." About 35 percent of America's public secondary-school students are enrolled in academic programs (often subdivided into "gifted" and "non-gifted" tracks); the rest are relegated to some variety of non-academic schooling. Thus the tracking system, as intended, reproduces the divisions of the class system. "The honors programs," notes Sizer, "serve the wealthier youngsters, and the general tracks (whatever their titles) serve the working class. Vocational programs are often a cruel social dumping ground." The bottom-dogs are trained for jobs as auto mechanics, cosmeticians, and institutional cooks, but they rarely get the jobs they are trained for. Pumping gasoline, according to the Carnegie report, is as close as an auto mechanics major is likely to get to repairing a car. "Vocational education in the schools is virtually irrelevant to job fate," asserts Goodlad. It is merely the final hoax that the school bureaucracy plays on the neediest, one that the federal government has been promoting for seventy years.

The tracking system makes privilege and inequality blatantly visible to everyone. It creates under one roof "two worlds of schooling," to quote Goodlad. Students in academic programs read Shakespeare's plays. The commonality, notes the Carnegie report. are allowed virtually no contact with serious literature. In their English classes they practice filling out job applications. "Gifted" students alone are encouraged to think for themselves. The rest are subjected to sanctimonious wind, chiefly about "work habits" and "career opportunities."

"If you are the child of low-income parents," reports Sizer, "the chances are good that you will receive limited and often careless attention from adults in your high school. If you are the child of upper-middle-income parents, the chances are good that you will receive substantial and careful attention." In Brookline High School in Massachusetts, one of Lightfoot's "good" schools, a few fortunate students enjoy special treatment in their Advanced Placement classes. Meanwhile, students tracked into "career education" learn about "institutional cooking and clean-up" in a four-term Food Service course that requires them to mop up after their betters in the school cafeteria.

This wretched arrangement expresses the true spirit of public education in America and discloses the real aim of its hidden curriculum. A favored few, pampered and smiled upon, are taught to cherish privilege and despise the disfavored. The favorless many, who have majored in failure for years, are taught to think ill of themselves. Youthful spirits are broken to the world and every impulse of citizenship is effectively stifled. John Goodlad's judgment is severe but just: "There is in the gap between our highly idealistic goals for schooling in our society and the differentiated opportunities condoned and supported in schools a monstrous hypocrisy."

Phony Reforms

The public schools of America have not been corrupted for trivial reasons. Much would be different in a republic composed of citizens who could judge for themselves what secured or endangered their freedom. Every wielder of illicit or undemocratic power, every possessor of undue influence, every beneficiary of corrupt special privilege would find his position and tenure at hazard. Republican education is a menace to powerful, privileged, and influential people, and they in turn are a menace to republican education. That is why the generation that founded the public schools took care to place them under the suffrage of local communities, and that is why the corrupters of public education have virtually destroyed that suffrage. In 1932 there were 127,531 school districts in America. Today there are approximately 15,840 and they are virtually impotent, their proper role having been usurped by state and federal authorities. Curriculum and text. books, methods of instruction, the procedures of the classroom, the organization of the school day, the cant, the pettifogging, and the corruption are almost uniform from coast to coast. To put down the menace of republican education its shield of local self-government had to be smashed, and smashed it was.

The public schools we have today are what the powerful and the considerable have made of them. They will not be redeemed by trifling reforms. Merit pay, a longer school year, more homework, special schools for "the gifted," and more standardized tests will not even begin to turn our public schools into nurseries of "informed, active and questioning citizens." They are not meant to. When the authors of A Nation at Risk call upon the schools to create an "educated work force," they are merely sanctioning the prevailing corruption, which consists precisely in the reduction of citizens to credulous workers. The education of a free people will not come from federal bureaucrats crying up "excellence" for "economic growth," any more than it came from their predecessors who cried up schooling as a means to "get a better job."

Only ordinary citizens can rescue the schools from their stifling corruption, for nobody else wants ordinary children to become questioning citizens at all. If we wait for the mighty to teach America's youth what secures or endangers their freedom, we will wait until the crack of doom.

Continuity of Government - 2018;

Professor Peter Dale Scott talks to Lew Rockwell about the Deep State and Continuity of Government (COG);

National Security and Double Government; by Professor Michael J. Glennon;

The National Security Act of 1947;

Top Secret America, Washington Post award-winning investigation project

Raven Rock Mountain Complex;

Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center;

Cheyenne Mountain Complex;

Continuity of Operations;

Eisenhower Ten (E-10);

Designated Survivor TV series;

Operation Mockingbird;

The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein

The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know, by Professor James F. Tracy

The CFR, the CIA, and the Banks, by Charles Burris

Who Rules America: Power Elite Analysis, the Deep State, and American History, by Charles Burris

For additional background resources on the Deep State and Continuity of Government (COG) see:

Continuity of Government? by Congressman Ron Paul;

Continuity of Government: Is the State of Emergency Superseding Our Constitution? by Professor Peter Dale Scott;

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11, by Professor Peter Dale Scott;


The Hidden Government Group Linking, JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 911, by Professor Peter Dale Scott;

The Fates of American Presidents Who Challenged the Deep State (1963-1980), by Professor Peter Dale Scott;

9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics, by Professor Peter Dale Scott;

The Amageddon Plan, by James S. Mann;

National Emergency Powers, by Harold C. Relyea;

State of Emergency and “Continuity of Government”: What is the Real Reason the Government is Spying on Americans?;

Context of '1971: Subcommittee Uncovers Computer Surveillance System in Military’s Domestic War Room';

Context of 'September 9, 1975: Emergency Planners Accused of Spying at Congressional Hearing';

"The Constitution After Watergate," by William F. Swindler, Oklahoma Law Review article;

The American Deep State -- book list;

Let’s Talk About the American Deep State;

Deep State and the CIA Media Matrix;


National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive;

REX 84;

Rumsfeld Updated Army’s Continuity of Operations Plan before 9/11;

Senate Report 93-549

National Emergencies Act;

Executive Orders;

Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness;

Fema Continuity of Operations;

Tulsa Continuity of Government Plan;

Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – Stanley Kubrick Feature Film;

Secrets of War: The Cold War: The Strangelove Factor – Documentary.

Here is the great Dr. Gary North with a personal biographical memoir on economist Ludwig Von Mises, the obstacles Mises faced in his amazing life, how the incredible matrix and interconnections of simultaneous yet disparate world events impacted with the life and career of Mises, and through it all, Mises' intransigent devotion to integrity and principle.

Ludwig von Mises did not have an easy life. His career was blocked by a series of brick walls. Here were the main ones:

1. No appointment to a paid position at the University of Vienna

2. World War I

3. The untimely death of his most influential advocate

4. The Nazis

5. Starting over at age 59 in a new country

He was able to get around all of them.

Today, he is more famous than he ever was in his lifetime. He has far more disciples. Go to for more on his tremendous legacy and impact on the world of today.

Albert Jay Nock, perhaps the most brilliant American essayist of the 20th century, and certainly among its most important libertarian thinkers, set out to write his autobiography but he ended up doing much more. He presents here a full theory of society, state, economy, and culture, and does so almost inadvertently. His stories, lessons, observations, and conclusions pack a very powerful punch, so much so that anyone who takes time to read carefully cannot but end up changed in intellectual outlook. One feels that one has been let in a private club of people who see more deeply than others. This is truly an American classic.

What does one need to know about politics? In some ways, Nock has summed it all up in this astonishing book, the influence of which has grown every year since its publication. This edition is supplemented by a sweeping introduction by Butler Shaffer, a scholar who has written many books in the Nockian tradition. Nock was a prominent essayist at the height of the New Deal. In 1935, hardly any public intellectuals were making much sense at all. They pushed socialism. They pushed fascism. Everyone had a plan. Hardly anyone considered the possibility that the state was not fixing society but destroying it bit by bit. And so Albert Jay Nock came forward to write what needed to be written. And he ended up penning a classic of American political commentary, one that absolutely must be read by every student of economics and government.

Mencken was one of the greatest journalists, editors, and prose stylists of the 20th Century. His incomparable books and essays made him one of the most controversial and acclaimed authors of his time.

Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson understood "The Monster". But to most Americans today, Federal Reserve is just a name on the dollar bill. They have no idea of what the central bank does to the economy, or to their own economic lives; of how and why it was founded and operates; or of the sound money and banking that could end the statism, inflation, and business cycles that the Fed generates. Dedicated to Murray N. Rothbard, steeped in American history and Austrian economics, and featuring Ron Paul, Joseph Salerno, Hans Hoppe, and Lew Rockwell, this extraordinary new film is the clearest, most compelling explanation ever offered of the Fed, and why curbing it must be our first priority. Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan is not, we're told, happy about this 42-minute blockbuster. Watch it, and you'll understand why. This is economics and history as they are meant to be: fascinating, informative, and motivating. This movie could change America.

This fiery monograph shows a side of Murray Rothbard not seen in his theoretical treatise: his ability to employ "power elite" analysis to understand the relationship between money, power, and war. Rather than allow the left to dominate this approach to history; Rothbard shows how wealthy elites are only able to manipulate world affairs via their connection to state power. Those mainstream historians might deride Rothbard's history as a "conspiracy" approach, Rothbard himself is only out to show that world affairs are not random historical forces but the consequence of choices and paths chosen by real human beings. Here he gives the grim details of how a network of banks, bond dealers, and Wall Street insiders have both favored war and profited from it. The contents of this volume include a long and thoughtful introduction by Anthony Gregory and an afterword by Justin Raimondo.

Witten by Murray Rothbard, this essay discusses and celebrates the life and work of one of the great creative minds of our century: Ludwig von Mises.

Here is a magisterial book for today and the ages, one that inspires awe for both the subject and the author who accomplished the seemingly impossible: a sweeping intellectual biography, constructed from original sources, of the 20th century's most astonishing dissident intellectual. It has the apparatus of a great scholarly work but the drama of a classic novel. Ludwig von Mises’s colleagues in Europe called him the “last knight of liberalism” because he was the champion of an ideal of liberty they consider dead and gone in an age of central planning and socialism of all varieties. During his lifetime, they were largely correct. And thus the subtitle of this book. But he was not deterred in any respect: not in his scientific work, not in his writing or publishing, and not in his relentless fight against every form of statism.

Born in 1881, he taught in Europe and the Americas during his century, and died in 1973 before the dawn of a new epoch that would validate his life and ideals in the minds of millions of people around the world. The last knight of liberalism triumphed. Jorg Guido Hulsmann, professor of economics at the University of Paris (Angers), tells the full story of his dramatic and inspiring life and contributions – and in the course of it, provides not only a reconstruction of the history of the Austrian School of economics of which Mises was the leading expositor, and not only of the entire history of economic thought on the Continent and the United States, but also of the political and intellectual history of the 20th century. Virtually everything in this book is new, a result of ten years of combing archives in five countries but of an unprecedented access to the voluminous Mises’s papers and to those of Mises’s colleagues, written by an author who himself is a master of the discipline and all the languages involved (German, English, and French). And though the book is huge (1,200 pages) it reads like a great novel, with a fast pace and high drama. "This a magnificent work of scholarship," writes historican Ralph Raico, "not only definitive on Mises's life and works, but also brilliantly delineating the Vienna of the time, the development of the Austrian school, the place of other thinkers like Hayek, and Mises's contributions to American and world libertarianism. "Even for those who believe they know something of Mises’s life, it is a story told here for the first time.

We learn of Mises’s background from a newly ennobled Jewish family, his comprehensive early education, his war experiences and how he was nearly sent to his death, his revolutionary monetary treatise, his struggles as a young academic, his turn against socialism, his fights with colleagues, his love for ideas, his stand against national socialism, his flight from Vienna and Geneva, his life in the United States, and legacy.

The masterpiece first appeared in German in 1940 and then disappeared, only to reappear in English in 1949. It was a sensation, the largest and most scientific defense of human freedom ever published. As is well known, Mises's book is the best defense of capitalism ever written. It covers basic economics through the most advanced material. Reading this book is the best way you could ever dream up to learn economics. Every attempt to study economics should include a thorough examination of this book.

Murray N. Rothbard's great treatise Man, Economy, and State and its complementary text Power and Market, are here combined into a single edition as they were written to be. It provides a sweeping presentation of Austrian economic theory, a reconstruction of many aspects of that theory, a rigorous criticism of alternative schools, and an inspiring look at a science of liberty that concerns nearly everything and should concern everyone. From Rothbard, we learn that economics is the science that deals with the rise and fall of civilization, the advancement and retrenchment of human development, the feeding and healing of the multitudes, and the question of whether human affairs are dominated by cooperation or violence. Economics in

Rothbard's wonderful book emerges as the beautiful logic of that underlies human action in a world of scarcity, the lens on how exchange makes it possible for people to cooperate toward their mutual betterment. We see how money facilitates this, and allows for calculation over time that permits capital to expand and investment to take place. We see how entrepreneurship, based on real judgments and risk taking, is the driving force of the market.

This gives a succinct account of Rothbard’s view of the state. Following Franz Oppenheimer and Albert Jay Nock, Rothbard regards the state as a predatory entity. It does not produce anything but rather steals resources from those engaged in production. In applying this view to American history, Rothbard makes use of the work of John C. Calhoun. How can an organization of this type sustain itself? It must engage in propaganda to induce popular support for its policies. Court intellectuals play a key role here, and Rothbard cites as an example of ideological mystification the work of the influential legal theorist Charles Black, Jr., on the way the Supreme Court has become a revered institution

Read how the path-breaking research of that exemplary scholar Murray N. Rothbard has shattered forever the court history consensus on that seminal period in American history.

This book applies Austrian business cycle theory to understanding the onset of the 1929 Great Depression. Rothbard first summarizes the Austrian theory and offers a criticism of competing theories, including the views of Keynes. Rothbard then considers Federal Reserve policy in the 1920s, showing its inflationary character. The influence of Benjamin Strong, the Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, was especially important. In part, his expansionary policy was motivated by his desire to help Britain sustain the pound. Strong was close friends with Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England. After the 1929 crash, Herbert Hoover followed an interventionist policy that prefigured the New Deal. He favored keeping wage rates high and thus contributed to rising unemployment. Against the popular stereotype, Rothbard shows that Hoover was not a partisan of laissez-faire.

As the Sherlock Holmes of economics, Rothbard solves the mystery of banking. Readers of The Mystery of Banking will find that money and banking are, contrary to what the book’s title might suggest, no longer a mystery to them. Textbooks on money and banking are often prolix, dull, and confusing, but Murray Rothbard explains the essential issues in a step-by-step fashion. How does Rothbard proceed? The key to the book is that, following his mentor Ludwig von Mises, he integrates monetary theory with the basic principles of value theory that apply to all goods and services. He begins with a discussion of supply and demand. Once you understand how prices are determined in a free market, you are in a position to understand how the same principles apply to the demand and supply of money. With his characteristic clarity and incisiveness, Rothbard explains the origins of money. Mises’s regression theorem shows that money had to originate as a commodity. Rothbard next shows how banking got started. He shows the difference between loan banking and deposit banking. Fractional reserve banking allowed credit expansion, but so long as there was no central bank, inflation of the money supply was limited.

Rothbard was not only an outstanding contributor to Austrian monetary theory but a great economic historian as well. He offers a detailed account of how central banking developed in England and Scotland. Central banking made massive inflation possible. In even greater detail, he discusses the banking history of the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readers who absorb his account will learn how the Federal Reserve System promotes monetary instability and the business cycle. Rothbard concludes by showing how we can return to a sound monetary system, based on the gold standard. If you follow Rothbard’s step-by-step explanation of money and banking, you will learn the key principles that will enable you to understand the financial economy today.

  • An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought: Volumes I and II -- Books by Murray N. Rothbard.

Volume I: Economic thought Before Adam Smith. This is one of Rothbard’s most important scholarly works. In the first volume (Economic Thought Before Adam Smith), Rothbard traces the history of economics from the ancient Greeks to Adam Smith; and in the second volume (Classical Economics), he discusses British classical economics, the French school of classical liberalism, and Marxism. Rothbard rejects the Whig view, according to which the history of economics is a story of constant progress. To the contrary, he sees economics as a battle between two conflicting schools of thought. The correct one explains prices through subjective value: this approach culminates in the Austrian School. The other view explains prices by cost, especially labor cost.I n the first volume, Rothbard stresses the great contributions of the Spanish Scholastics to the subjective tradition. Other great subjectivists included Turgot and Cantillon. Unfortunately, Adam Smith’s labor cost theories became the dominant view, especially in Britain. Rothbard regards Smith as largely a retrograde influence on economic theory.

Volume II: Classical Economics. The second volume contains a brilliant critique of Ricardian economics, showing the constraints on theory entailed by Ricardo’s static and pseudo-mathematical method. Ricardo’s successor John Stuart Mill is the object of a devastating intellectual portrait. Marxism is subjected to a merciless demolition, and Rothbard shows the roots of this system in metaphysical speculation. The French classical liberals such as Bastiat, on the other hand, contributed to the subjectivist school. A further highlight of this volume is a discussion of the bullionist controversy: the views of the Banking and Currency Schools receive extensive analysis.

There's never been a better time to remember the revolutionary and even libertarian roots of the American founding, and there's no better guide to what this means in the narrative of the Colonial period than Murray Rothbard. For anyone who thinks of Murray Rothbard as only an economic theorist or political thinker, this giant book is something of a surprise. It is probably his least known treatise. It offers a complete history of the Colonial period of American history, a period lost to students today, who are led to believe American history begins with the US Constitution.

Rothbard's ambition was to shed new light on Colonial history and show that the struggle for human liberty was the heart and soul of this land from its discovery through the culminating event of the American Revolution. These volumes are a tour de force, enough to establish Rothbard as one of the great American historians. It is a detailed narrative history of the struggle between liberty and power, as we might expect, but it is more. Rothbard offers a third alternative to the conventional interpretive devices. Against those on the right who see the American Revolution as a "conservative" event, and those on the left who want to invoke it as some sort of proto-socialist uprising, Rothbard views this period as a time of accelerating libertarian radicalism. Through this prism, Rothbard illuminates events as never before. The original four volumes were published in the 1970s, but the odd timing and uneven distribution prevented any kind of large audience. They were beloved only by a few specialists, and sought after by many, thanks to their outstanding reputation. The Mises Institute is pleased to be the publisher of this integrated edition This single volume covers the discovery of the Americas and the colonies in the 17th century, the period of "salutary neglect" in the first half of the 18th century, the advance to revolution, from 1760-1775 and the political, military, and ideological history of the revolution and after.

The Panic of 1819 was America's first great economic crisis. And this is Murray Rothbard's masterful account, the first full scholarly book on the topic and still the most definitive. It was his dissertation, published in 1962 but nearly impossible to get until this new edition, the first with the high production values associated with Mises Institute publications.The American Economic Review was wild for this book when it appeared: "Rothbard's work represents the only published, book-length, academic treatise on the remedies that were proposed, debated, and enacted in attempts to cope with the crisis of 1819," the reviewer wrote. "As such, the book should certainly find a place on the shelf of the study of U.S. business cycles and of the economic historian who is interested in the early economic development of the United States."

And specialists have treasured the book for years. It is incredible to realize that some American historians think of Murray N. Rothbard as the author of this book and nothing else! Rothbard tells the story of a disaster that could not be attributed to some specific government blunder. It seemed to originate from within the economic system itself. Its cause was not obvious to observers at the time. Confronted with something new, the panic engendered much discussion and debate about possible causes and remedies. As Rothbard observes, the panic provides "an instructive picture of a people coming to grips with the problems of a business depression, problems which, in modified forms, were to plague Americans until the present day." The panic of 1819 grew largely out of the changes wrought by the War of 1812, and by the postwar boom that followed. The war also brought a rash of paper money, as the government borrowed heavily to finance the conflict. The government depended on note-issuing banks spread throughout the country. All of this put tremendous strains on the banks' reserves of specie held against such notes. This would inevitably lead to suspension of specie payments in some parts of the country in 1814.

Freed from the shackles of hard money, the suspension of specie led to a boom in the number of new banks started in the country, and a subsequent boom in note issuance. The war altered the economic pattern of production in a way very different from what would have evolved in the absence of war, and thus it placed the economy on a sandy foundation, vulnerable to distress when the war ended. Indeed, it was in this boom phase that the New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1817 — born in a bubble. So, when peace did come, the revival of foreign trade began to reverse some of the trends started during the war. Swelling imports led to falling commodity prices. "The influx of imports spelled trouble for war-grown manufacturers, especially textiles, which suddenly had to face the onrush of foreign competition," Rothbard notes. For the modern reader, this paints an all-too-familiar scene: the plight of the domestic manufacturer — one that continues to bedevil steel, lumber, and others today.

As with all economic phenomena, however, there is crisis for some and opportunity for others. Exporters, for example, would thrive. There were many cranky and contradictory remedies proposed, and Rothbard reviews each one. But in the end, there was no widespread confusion on what caused the downturn. Instead, it was widely known that false prosperity is a very dangerous thing. It always turns to bust. Bad legislation failed to pass, the government embarked on no New Deal planning, and there was no great reflation. Precisely because there was no intervention, the panic ended quickly and peacefully.What we have here, then, is not only a dazzling historical account — the research here is deep and thorough, and the prose a model of exposition; it also points the way to how all economic downturns can and should be handled. For that reason, The Panic of 1819 offers important lessons for us today.

In For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, Rothbard proposes a once-and-for-all escape from the two major political parties, the ideologies they embrace, and their central plans for using state power against people. Libertarianism is Rothbard's radical alternative that says state power is unworkable and immoral and ought to be curbed and finally abolished. To make his case, Rothbard deploys his entire system of thought: natural law, natural rights, Austrian economics, American history, the theory of the state, and more. It is relentless, scientific, analytical, and morally energetic—a book that makes an overwhelming case. To make his case, Rothbard deploys his entire system of thought: natural law, natural rights, Austrian economics, American history, the theory of the state, and more.

Society without the nation-state? Rothbard shows that this is the way for peace, prosperity, security, and freedom for all. In the entire history of libertarian ideas, no book has more successfully combined ideological rigor, theoretical exposition, political rhetoric, historical illustration, and strategic acumen. Rothbard poured a lifetime of research and all his intellectual energy into this project and he succeeded in writing a classic. He cut no corners and pulled no punches.In subject after subject, this book is informative, bracing, and challenging. It also features the characteristically clear writing style for which Rothbard is famous, which stemmed from his organized thinking and passionate drive to teach and change the world.

Murray Rothbard's greatest contribution to the politics of freedom is back in print. Following up on Mises's demonstration that a society without private property degenerates into economic chaos, Rothbard shows that every interference with property represents a violent and unethical invasion that diminishes liberty and prosperity. First published in 1982, The Ethics of Liberty is a masterpiece of argumentation, and shockingly radical in its conclusions. Rothbard says that the very existence of the state — the entity with a monopoly privilege to invade private property — is contrary to the ethics of liberty. A society without a state is not only viable; it is the only one consistent with natural rights.

Few economists manage to produce a body of work that boasts a serious following twenty years after their deaths. Murray N. Rothbard is a rare exception. More than two decades since his passing, his influence lives on, both in the work of a new generation of social scientists, and among a growing number of the general public. One reason for Rothbard’s continuing popularity is his ability to reach across disciplines, and to connect them: unlike many contemporary economists, who specialize in increasingly narrow fields within the science, Rothbard’s research agenda was expansive and interdisciplinary, covering most of the social sciences and humanities.

Rothbard identifies a movement he calls the “Old Right.” This was a libertarian movement that included Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and John T. Flynn. It was in part a reaction to American entry into World War I, and this group joined with revisionist historians like Harry Elmer Barnes in challenging the Versailles war guilt thesis that placed exclusive blame on Germany for the war.

The Old Right also strongly opposed the New Deal, because of its statist and bureaucratic tendencies. This opposition led the group to ally with conservative Congressmen who also opposed Roosevelt. The Old Right cemented its alliance with Congressional foes of the president by joining forces with isolationist critics of Roosevelt’s efforts to bring America into World War II.

After the war, the Old Right was derailed by an interventionist group of anti-communist crusaders, who called for a global war against communism. Libertarian ideas would have to go by the wayside, this group held, owing to the exigencies of the struggle. William F. Buckley, Jr., the founder and editor of National Review, played a key role in imposing the new mindset and excluding the remaining figures of the Old Right, such as Flynn. Rothbard was himself involved in this conflict and he is able to tell from the inside the sorry tale of Buckley’s machinations

In 1986, a remarkable party was held on Murray Rothbard's sixtieth birthday, and papers written in his honor were presented. Two years later the book was released. It contained many wonderful essays--both scholarly and humorous--on his work and life. At last it is back in print. Essays by Armentano, Arnold, Block, Christiansen, Garrison, Hoppe, Kirzner, North, Pasour, Ron Paul, Ellen Paul, Yeager, Den Uyl, Gordon, Machan, Jeffrey Paul, Holcombe, Osterfeld, Ekirch, Raico, Richman, Doenecke, Kephart, McCaffrey -- and JoAnn Rothbard as well as Margit von Mises (yes, she was there!)

In perusing the essays in this volume, one reads over and over of Rothbard's enthusiasm, his optimism, his zest for life, and especially his sense of humor. He was an enthusiast for many things—Austrian economics, libertarianism, politics, chess, German Baroque church architecture, jazz, and watching sports. He was never depressed—always optimistic—even when, as Ralph Raico writes, optimism seemed unrealistic.

  • The History of Economic Thought: From Marx to Hayek -- Murray N. Rothbard lecture series.

1) Ideology and Theories of History.

History is not an inevitable march upward, as concluded in the 1830s. That determinist view put the stamp of approval on everything past and present. It permeates economic history. It ignores the great moral choices. History is a race between state power and social power.

The Whig theory of history implied that you do not lose any knowledge. It always just builds. Yet that is not true for history, science, or economics. Economics collapsed with Adam Smith. Most economists denied the role of price in determining cost. Few understood time preference.

Rothbard thinks Hegel is a nut.

2) The Emergence of Communism.

The roots of Marxism were in messianic communism. Marx’s devotion to communism was his crucial point. Violent, worldwide revolution, in Marx’s version made by the oppressed proletariat, would be the instrument of the advent of his millennium, communism.

All visions of communism include certain features. Private property is eliminated, individualism goes by the board, individuality is flattened, all property is owned and controlled communally, and the individual units of the new collective organism are in some vague way equal to one another.

Marx’s portrayal of raw communism is very like the monstrous regimes imposed by the coercive Anabaptists of the sixteenth century. Marx never explains how a system of total greed becomes transformed into total greedlessness. Marx’s poems reflected militant atheism. A hatred of God as creator greater than himself apparently inspired Marx.

3) The Pre-Austrians .

Richard Cantillon was quite Misesian before Mises. He wrote of utility theory and the entrepreneur’s uncertainty in the 1970s. Cantillon was a great money practitioner. He became a bank and banker to the Jacobite Stuart line and to John Law who launched paper money inflation.

Turgot became finance minister in 1774, but laissez-faire ideas failed. Turgot was Rothbard’s favorite character in the history of thought. He wrote well under time pressure. He wrote of wealth and capital theory and even of Austrian time preference theory and the law of diminishing returns.

Cantillon and Turgot preceded Adam Smith, but were not mentioned by Smith. Smith made waste and rubbish of 2,000 years of economic thought. The French theorists were lost. Smith deviated from laissez-faire in practically everything. Malthus got his anti-population stuff from Smith.

Hume was a great writer while a confused pre-Friedmanite thinker. He thought fractional reserve banking was fraud.

John Stuart Mill originated much of the Ricardian system like the law of comparative advantage. Mill was one of the inventors of libertarian class analysis which proclaims that the only class conflict comes from the state. Mill and Marshall reestablish Ricardianism. That really ushers in the 20th century.

4) Menger and Böhm-Bawerk.

Carl Menger, 1840-1921, founded Austrian economics. Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk was the most important student. Weiser was his brother-in-law, but was fairly pre-Keynesian. Mises was the great successor to Bohn-Bawerk.

With Adam Smith, and with especially Riccardo, we shift toward the theory which still plagues us to the present day – namely that the real determinant of value, of prices, is not consumer subjective utility, but objective labor pain – labor toil.

Menger in Austria, Jevons in England, and Walras in Switzerland created the Austrian discussion of marginalism. Menger brought back the scholastic tradition, the praxeological method of focus on individual action, entrepreneurship, time, structure of production, and the fact that the expected values of the consumers determine the value of the factors of production that entrepreneurs are willing to invest in.

Menger and Bohm-Bawerk were steeped in natural law and natural rights and Aristotelian epistemology in general. That’s a very different tradition than either the Germans or the British.

Marx essentially gave up the labor theory of value. He had to admit that profits tend to be equalized on the market. Marxists would shift the debate whenever faced with defeat. There is no one to tell us what Marx thought he meant by value. The entire Marxian canon is essentially a prophetic religious movement of a weird kind.

5) Mises and Austrian Economics.

The essence of Austrian economics is based on the analysis of individual action. In other words, it is about individuals doing things, having purposes and goals and pursuing them. Other schools of economics deal with aggregates, groups, classes, wholes of one sort or another, without focusing on the individual first and building up from there.

Austrian economics builds on an earlier French and Italian tradition, really beginning with the Spanish scholastics in the 16th century, and then proceeding on in France with Cantillion and Turgot in the 18th century. Economics not only predated Smith by several centuries, but also was much better than Smith.

It seems not to be an accident that labor value came from Scotland because Scotland was the classical home of Calvinism, and Calvinist doctrine is that labor is a key thing. Everybody is doomed to work and consumer enjoyment is evil. Three fallacies are embedded in the British classical school: labor theory of value, aggregate class struggle of shares of income, and a focus on nonexistent, unreal, long-run equilibrium. Additionally, Ricardo totally divided macro from a micro sphere. There is no talk about entrepreneurs.

Subjective value theory, individuals making their valuations in marginal units, preferences are ordinal (by ranking), and economics is more a philosophic subject, not mathematical, are four Austrian issues.

Capital takes time. Interest is determined by a person’s time premium rate on present goods immediately available. The entrepreneur is the key figure in the profit and loss system.

Mises healed the micro-macro split, by applying the marginal utility theory to money. The only thing an increase in the money supply does is to dilute the purchasing power of the money unit. First receivers of new money benefit to greater degrees than final recipients. Money must originate out of the free market, not by government edict. Fractional reserve banking is fraud.

Mises created his Austrian theory of the business cycle. Increasing the central banking supply of money not only causes inflation, but also causes other disturbances. Mises singlehandedly stopped Austrian inflation in the 1920s, stopped it from becoming hyperinflation. He also warned about the Great Depression. Prices were being kept level, but they should fall in free markets due to increased productivity (as they do in computers).

6) Hayek and His Lamentable Contemporaries.

The Nobel award to F.A. Hayek in 1974 went directly against the tradition of that prize to go only to mathematical forecasters, left-liberals, and government central planners. Not only was Hayek’s work pioneering, but it is also the only correct analysis of business cycles past, present and future since they began in the mid-18th century.

Initially, various economists concluded that the boom-bust cycle must be deeply rooted within the free market industrial capitalist system. The blame must rest with free market capitalism, said Marx and Keynes. Government spending was to make up for some depression in the private sector. Too little spending created unemployment. Too much spending created inflation. However, this Keynesian concept has failed.

Another group said that it is the government-controlled fractional reserve banking system that is the cause. As far as this goes, it is accurate.

The problem was that when an inflationary credit expansion was pumped into the system, it not only tended to raise prices, it did something worse. It distorted the production system. It caused over-investment in construction and capital goods and under-investment in consumer goods. The recession becomes necessary medicine to the real evil – the boom.

In the normal course of events, prices don’t remain constant, they fall. The Austrian theory was the only one that predicted and could explain the Great Depression. But the fashion changed. Austrians were dropped. Keynesians thrived. Keynesians wanted government spending and deficit spending. In the 1920s there was no theory going on. There were simply institutions.

The only explanation Rothbard has for the number of Misesians who shifted over to Keynes was sellout. Looking at the money factor or the economic factor explains the shift. Keynesianism is filled with fallacies. Government has to use statistics to plan. Strip government of statistics, they can’t do anything.

Fischer and Mitchell viewed themselves as intellectuals who were above class struggles and divinely appointed to plan everything for society. It was a naked grab for power. The Invisible Hand of Planning is about these social scientists. So, Keynesianism is still around, but they have nothing to say.

The master teacher of American economic history covers money and banking in the whole of American history, to show that the meltdown of our times is hardly the first. And guess what caused them in the past? Paper money, loose credit, reckless lending standards, government profligacy, and central banking

When will we learn? When people understand the cause and effect in the history of these repeating calamities

In a complete revision of the standard account, Rothbard traces inflations, banking panics, and money meltdowns from the Colonial Period through the mid-20th century to show how government's systematic war on sound money is the hidden force behind nearly all major economic calamities in American history. Never has the story of money and banking been told with such rhetorical power and theoretical vigor.

Here is how this book came to be. Rothbard died in 1995, leaving many people to wish that he had written a historical treatise on this topic. But the the archives assisted: Rothbard had in fact left several large manuscripts dedicated to American banking history.

In the course of his career, meanwhile, he had published other pieces along the same lines, but they appeared in venues not readily accessible. Given the desperate need for a single volume that covers the topic, the Mises Institute put together this thrilling book. So seamless is the style and argument, and comprehensive is coverage, that it might as well have been written in exactly the format.

Keynes's famous volume outlining the failure of the Treaty of Versailles and the anticipation of another European war emerging out of that diplomatic disaster.

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was written by the English economist John Maynard Keynes. The book, generally considered to be his magnum opus, is largely credited with creating the terminology and shape of modern macroeconomics. Published in February 1936, it sought to bring about a revolution, commonly referred to as the "Keynesian Revolution", in the way some economists believe. Especially in relation to the proposition that a market economy tends naturally to restore itself to full employment after temporary shocks.

Regarded widely as the cornerstone of Keynesian thought, the book challenged the established classical economics and introduced important concepts such as the consumption function, the multiplier, the marginal efficiency of capital, the principle of effective demand and liquidity preference.

Henry Hazlitt did the seemingly impossible, something that was and is a magnificent service to all people everywhere. He wrote a line-by-line commentary and refutation of one of the most destructive, fallacious, and convoluted books of the century. The target here is John Maynard Keynes's General Theory, the book that appeared in 1936 and swept all before it.

In economic science, Keynes changed everything. He supposedly demonstrated that prices don't work, that private investment is unstable, that sound money is intolerable, and that government was needed to shore up the system and save it. It was simply astonishing how economists the world over put up with this, but it happened. He converted a whole generation in the late period of the Great Depression. By the 1950s, almost everyone was Keynesian.

But Hazlitt, the nation's economics teacher, would have none of it. And he did the hard work of actually going through the book to evaluate its logic according to Austrian-style logical reasoning. The result: a 500-page masterpiece of exposition.

Here is Rothbard's mini-biography of Lord Keynes, one that makes use of all modern research to reconstruct Keynes's life and works in a way that is absolutely devastating. We read about his schooling, his secret societies, his political associations and sponsors - as well as his intellectual shifts and dodges throughout his life.

To put it mildly, Keynes was not the genius liberal of his reputation. He was shifty, duplicitous, and manipulative from beginning to end, and his deliberately obfuscating economic theory reflects those traits.

When the newscasters go on about how Keynes saved us and will continue to do so, it would be good to be armed with the truth about the man who reconstructed economics as he saw fit. You will be alternately amazed and outraged that the thoughts of this man have inspired government policy for so many decades. In fact, as Murray demonstrates, that explains so much about what is wrong with government policy.

Murray Rothbard writes with spunk and verve in this investigative report.

The Crash of 1929 -- documentary.

This PBS documentary outlines how the Federal Reserve inflationary monetary policies of the 1920s facilitated a stock market bubble economy, creating a false sense of prosperity and affluence. The economic boom of the Roaring Twenties was built on massive credit expansion and malinvestment, creating distortions in the business cycle.

A global economy, energized by technological change and unprecedented flows of people and money, collapses in the wake of a terrorist attack .... The year is 1914.

Worldwide war results, exhausting the resources of the great powers and convincing many that the economic system itself is to blame. From the ashes of the catastrophe, an intellectual and political struggle ignites between the powers of government and the forces of the marketplace, each determined to reinvent the world's economic order.

Two individuals emerge whose ideas, shaped by very different experiences, will inform this debate and carry it forward. One is a brilliant, unconventional Englishman named John Maynard Keynes. The other is an outspoken émigré from ravaged Austria, Friedrich von Hayek.

But a worldwide depression holds the capitalist nations in its grip. In opposition to both Keynes and Hayek stand not only Hitler's Third Reich but Stalin's Soviet Union, schooled in the communist ideologies of Marx and Lenin and bent on obliterating the capitalist system altogether.

For more than half a century the battle of ideas will rage. From the totalitarian socialist systems to the fascist states, from the independent nations of the developing world to the mixed economies of Europe and the regulated capitalism of the United States, government planning will gradually take over the commanding heights.

But in the 1970s, with Keynesian theory at its height and communism fully entrenched, economic stagnation sets in on all sides. When a British grocer's daughter and a former Hollywood actor become heads of state, they join forces around the ideas of Hayek, and new political and economic policies begin to transform the world.

As the 1980s begin and the Cold War grinds on, the existing world order appears firmly in place. Yet beneath the surface powerful currents are carving away at the economic foundations.

Western democracies still struggle with deficits and inflation, while communism hides the failure of its command economy behind a facade of military might. In Latin America populist dictators strive to thwart foreign economic exploitation, piling up debt and igniting hyperinflation in the process. In India and Africa bureaucracies established to end poverty through scientific planning spawn black markets and corruption and stifle enterprise.

Worldwide, the strategies of government planning are failing to produce their intended results. From Bolivia and Peru to Poland and Russia, the free-market policies of Thatcher and Reagan are looked to as a possible blueprint for escape. One by one, economies in crisis adopt "shock therapy" -- a rapid conversion to free-market capitalism.

As the command economies totter and collapse, privatization transfers economic power back into entrepreneurial hands, and whole societies go through wrenching change. For some the demands and opportunities of the market provide a longed for liberation. Others, lacking the means to adapt, see their security and livelihood swept away. In this new capitalist revolution enlightened enterprise and cynical exploitation thrive alike. The sum total of global wealth expands, but its unequal distribution increases, too, and economic regeneration exacts a high human price.

With communism discredited, more and more nations harness their fortunes to the global free-market. China, Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe, and Latin America all compete to attract the developed world's investment capital, and tariff barriers fall. In the United States Republican and Democratic administrations both embrace unfettered glob alization over the objections of organized labor.

But as new technology and ideas drive profound economic change, unforeseen events unfold. A Mexican economic meltdown sends the Clinton administration scrambling. Internet-linked financial markets, unrestricted capital flows, and floating currencies drive levels of speculative investment that dwarf trade in actual goods and services. Fueled by electronic capital and a global workforce ready to adapt, entrepreneurs create multinational corporations with valuations greater than entire national economies.

When huge pension funds go hunting higher returns in emerging markets, enterprise flourishes where poverty once ruled, but risk grows, too. In Thailand the huge reservoir of available capital proves first a blessing, then a curse. Soon all Asia is engulfed in an economic crisis, and financial contagion spreads throughout the world, until Wall Street itself is threatened. A single global market is now the central economic reality. As the force of its effects is felt, popular unease grows. Is the system just too complex to be controlled, or is it an insiders' game played at outsiders' expense? New centers of opposition to globalization form and the debate turns violent over who will rewrite the rules.

Yet prosperity continues to spread with the expansion of trade, even as the gulf widens further between rich and poor. Imbalances too dangerous for the system to ignore now drive its stakeholders to devise new means to include the dispossessed lest, once again, terrorism and war destroy the stability of a deeply interconnected world.

  • Commanding Heights:: The Battle for the World Economy.

Visit the PBS website devoted to COMMANDING HEIGHTS and discover full transcripts of the programs, interviews, biographies, a glossary, and how you can even view the programs on your computer.

Episode 1: The Battle of Ideas

The Battle of Ideas identifies how the world, for much of the 20th Century, first moved toward more government control and then began to move away. The Program focuses on the struggle between two economic thinkers, John Maynard Keynes, whose ideas on government intervention dominated much of the Twentieth Century, and Friedrich von Hayek, whose free-market ideas were largely ignored until the economic crises of the 1970s forced political leaders to rediscover them. In the 1980s, the simultaneous emergence of the governments of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the U. K. and President Ronald Reagan of the U. S. set the stage for a worldwide capitalist revolution – one that will be tested by economic turmoil in the future.

Episode 2: The Agony of Reform

The Agony of Reform explores the failure of government-controlled economies in the 1980s and how new leaders embraced the ideas of reform and “shock therapy” – a rapid conversion to free-market capitalism. The program focuses on how reform played out in Russia, the eastern bloc, Latin America, India, and other countries as they lived through the upheavals of rapid change, coping with both the new freedoms and the new issues of privatization, deregulation, and the shock of free-wheeling competition.

Episode 3: The New Rules of the Game

The New Rules of the Game tracks the explosive growth of the new world economy from the 1992 presidential campaign to the present. Examining the promise and the perils of the global economy, the film focuses on the story of President Bill Clinton’s embrace of free trade, the threat of global contagion, the sometimes violent debate over globalization, and the issues facing the Bush Administration and the United States in the 21st Century. It tackles the impact of free trade on the developing world and on Americans, the sometimes perilous effects of globalized economies, and the critical questions for the future – including the challenge of bringing the world’s poor into the era of global growth.

Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What's more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history, arguing that the evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. As Ferguson traces the crisis from ancient Egypt's Memphis to today's Chongqing, he offers bold and compelling new insights into the rise--and fall--of not just money but Western power as well. .

Inside the Meltdown -- Documentary.

The FRONTLINE film investigates the causes of the worst economic crisis in 70 years and how the government responded.

This book started as research into trying to understand some things my Dad told me. When I was first writing on the subject, I contacted several publishers and was politely told, by the one that answered, they "didn't want to take on Skull & Bones." An article of mine was published online at, which was well received. From that article and a friendship with Antony Sutton — came this book. The Internet has become an astounding force whose cultural and political realities are still to be understood and it's power is forcing change that continues today—with an unknown ending. The Internet has allowed uncensored national discussion, engendered understandings and energized a potent plebeian power whose creativity is countering the secretive sophism that ruins our republic and economy through covert corrupt means.

The question remains: will the dreamscape that enthralls vast numbers continue its hoodwink, and will our children wake up slaves in a mean, technologically locked-down fascist state, or will they continue to slumber in the propaganda and hidden corruption of the celebrity-laden delusion of the contrived virtual reality friendly fascism that the secret societies have created around us — or will the Internet and other factors bring about a revival of our civic heritage and liberty.

The most important thing that I would like folks to understand from this work is that the secrecy of these organizations is not good for our Republic. These secret societies are historically foreign-based and do not care about this country. Their ends justifies the means Zeitgeist leads to massive corruption and the "institutionalized sociological" excess of "elite deviancy." Where a certain few believe that they are beyond the law and then through corrupted political and economic power — act above the law, through whatever means at their disposal. One question this book examines is whether there is any truth in the age-old lore of the conspiracy theory of history — are we are dealing with a multi-generational, necromantic, synarchistic phenomenon? Have secret societies created a national security state apparatus to beguile us hoi polloi of our economic, civic and spiritual integrity? Do these secret societies create and play both sides in controlled conflicts to produce outcomes to further their New World Order millenniumist designs?

Porch brethren are requirement for a secret society to work and many in these organizations, magickal and fraternal are unawares of any deeper motivations of the elite leadership of the group. It is when these secret organizations with members in high political office exert their influence towards goals unknown and/or unbecoming that we citizens should take notice — and action. Mysticism and fellowship are not bad and evil things. They are just like any thing. It is what people do with them ... their actions that do ill or good in this world. Secrecy and our Republic do not mix. Our children's future is what we leave them.

After 16 books and 25 years in basic research I thought I'd heard it all ... the world was a confused mess, probably beyond understanding and certainly beyond salvation - and there was little 'l could do about it.

Back in 1968 my Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development was published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In three substantial volumes I detailed how the West had built the Soviet Union. However, the work generated a seemingly insoluble puzzle - why have we done this? Why did we build the Soviet Union, while we also transferred technology to Hitler's Germany? Why does Washington want to conceal these facts? Why have we boosted Soviet military power? And simultaneously boosted our own?

In subsequent books, the Wall Street series, I added more questions - but no answers. I had more or less arrived at the conclusion that there was no rational answer that could be proven.

Then a year or so ago I received an eight-inch batch of documents - nothing less than the membership lists of an American secret society. Glancing through the sheets it was more than obvious - this was no ordinary group. The names spelled Power, with a capital P. As I probed each individual a pattern emerged ... and a formerly fuzzy world became crystal clear.

The book you will read here is a combined version of a series reporting on this research. Each volume builds on the previous volume in a logical step-by-step process.

These volumes will explain why the West built the Soviets and Hitler; why we go to war, to lose; why Wall Street loves Marxists and Nazis; why the kids can't read; why the Churches have become propaganda founts; why historical facts are suppressed, why politicians lie and a hundred other whys. This series is infinitely more important than the original Western Technology series on technological transfers. If I have a magnum opus, this is it.


Phoenix, Arizona

July 30, 1983

From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not effected by the oil industry. The story of oil is the story of the modern world. And this is the story of those who helped shape that world, and how the oil-igarchy they created is on the verge of monopolizing life itself. TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES

The 20th century was the century of oil. From farm to fork, factory to freeway, there is no aspect of our modern life that has not been shaped by the oil industry. But as the "post-carbon" era of the 21st century comes into view, there are those who see this as the end of the oiligarchy. They couldn't be more wrong. This is the remarkable true story of the world that Big Oil is creating, and how they plan to bring it about.

This book is the only accurate account I have seen of what really happened with the price of oil in 1973. I strongly recommend reading it. -- Sheikh Zaki Yamani "Former Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia"

I recommend this book to all who wish to know how the world is really run, what are the systems behind the sub-systems we perceive in the daily media and what are the antecedents of the present global political dilemmas. -- Dr. Frederick Wills "Former Foreign Minister, British Guyana"

This book is definitely not for the fearful or inattentive reader. It goes to the fundamentals... an extraordinary work that sheds lights on the problems of our society. -- Col. Fletcher Prouty, USAF (ret.) author of The Secret Team: The CIA in Control of the World

This Book is a Gripping Account of the Murky World of the Anglo-American Oil Industry and its Hidden Role in World Politics.

William Engdahl takes the reader through the history of how seven giant oil companies - five American and two British - developed a controlling grip on the world's economy unprecedented in history. This is no ordinary history of oil. It is a history of global politics, more precisely of global geopolitics - how control of strategic geographical pivot regions first British and later American interests to control in large part the world economy.

The book sheds light for the first time on such events as the 1973 oil shock - a sudden 400% rise in the price of the world's most essential commodity in a matter of weeks. What William Engdahl reveals, with flawless documentation, will shock most people. The implications are even more devastating. He also documents how oil played an essential role in the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union, in the rise and fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, in the US occupation of Iraq and countless other events not normally understood in such a light.

Contents: Ch. 1. The Three Pillars of the British Empire. Ch. 2. The Lines are Drawn: Germany and the Geopolitics of the Great War. Ch. 3. A Global Fight for Control of Petroleum Begins. Ch. 4. Oil Becomes the Weapon, the Near East the Battleground. Ch. 5.Combined & Conflicting Goals: U.S. Rivals Britain. Ch. 6. The Anglo-Americans Close Ranks. Ch. 7. Oil and a New World Order of Bretton Woods. Ch, 8. A Sterling Crisis and the Adenauer-de Gaulle Threat. Ch. 9. Running the World Economy in Reverse: Who Made the 1970's Oil Shocks? Ch. 10. Europe, Japan and a Response to the Oil Shock. Ch. 11. Imposing the New World Order. Ch. 12. From Evil Empire to the Axis of Evil. Ch. 13. A New Millennium for Oil Geopolitics.

About the Author

F. William Engdahl is author of the best-selling book on oil and geopolitics, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, has been published in eight languages. He is one of the more widely discussed analysts of current political and economic developments, and his articles and analyses have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and well-known international websites. In addition to discussing oil geopolitics and energy issues, he has written on issues of agriculture, GATT, WTO, IMF, energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning the first oil shock and world grain crisis in the early 1970's. His book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulationdocuments the attempt to control world food supply and populations. He is a winner of the ‘Project Censored Award’ for Top Censored Stories for 2007-08.

A history of the oil war must wait. The war is not over. Contemporary records can be set down by observers in different countries. From many such incomplete reports future historians may round out the story. Origins of the struggle have been studied by several men, most of them Europeans. They described the rivalry among the Powers over petroleum riches of Russia and the Near East in the period immediately following the Great War. No one, apparently, has attempted to bring the record down to the present. Since 1925 the battle lines have shifted. The struggle for Russian resources has grown more bitter. Another Mosul dispute is in the making. The Mexican situation has completely changed. There are new and more important fronts. In Venezuela and Colombia, Great Britain is maneuvering for position dangerously near the Panama Canal. The British Government is directly involved. It owns and directs the most aggressive company in this international competition. While British companies help drain diminishing reserves of the United States, Great Britain excludes American companies from most of the petroleum lands of the Empire.

Here is information on War Plan Redthe US contingency war plans against the British Empire in the early 1930s. However, the researchers poorly researched the political-economic background for this possible war. Although little known to the general public today, this is a topic of which I have been familiar with since the 1970s through the fascinating works of journalist Ludwell Denny. Denny wrote two excellent books during this period, We Fight For Oil (1928), and America Conquers Britain: A Record of Economic War (1930). Both are available on my MHS webpage. This possible war between the British Empire and the United States was not as farfetched as many would believe today with the on-going mainstream media propaganda of “the special relationship.”

Murray Rothbard touched slightly on these matters in his seminal Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy.

The conflict was essentially based on economic warfare between Britain’s Royal Dutch-Shell (headed by Sir Henri Deterding) versus Rockefeller’s Standard Oil empire (headed by Walter Teagle). Deterding later threw in with the Nazis, as did Standard Oil with I. G. Farben. Four good follow-up books are F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order; Glyn Roberts, The Most Powerful Man in the World: The Life of Sir Henri Deterding; Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi American Money Plot 1933–1949; and James Pool, Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler’s Rise to Power 1919–1933.

Review by Ralph Raico. Ira Levin's gift is no longer what it once was, to judge from his recent Son of Rosemary and his Sliver a few years back. Still, we are permanently in Levin's debt. For decades he produced some of the most exciting and intelligent page-turners in the business — A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil. Like his Broadway hit, Death Trap, these were all turned into movies. Rosemary's Baby, brilliantly directed by Roman Polanski with a superb cast, was understandably omitted from the American Film Institute's recent list of the 100 greatest American films — otherwise, there might not have been room for Jaws or Dances with Wolves. However, the best work of Levin's creative period was never filmed at all. It is This Perfect Day.

This Perfect Day belongs to the genre of "dystopian" or anti-utopian novels, like Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984. Yet it is more satisfying than either. Not only is its futuristic technology more plausible (computers, of course), but the extrapolation of the dominant ideology of the end of the twentieth century is entirely convincing. And from the children's rhyme at the beginning: Christ, Marx, Wood, and Wei, Led us to this perfect day…. to the thrilling denouement some 300 pages later, the novel is practically the ideal-type of a good read.

The action begins in the year 141 of the Unification, the establishment of global government, which finally led to consolidating all the world's super-computers into one colossal apparatus lodged deep below the Swiss Alps. Uni-Comp classifies and tracks all the "members" (of the human Family), decides on their work, residence, and consumption goods, whether they will marry and if so whether they will reproduce, and everything else.

Egalitarianism and altruism are all-pervasive. "Losing's the same as winning" is one of the catch-phrases drilled into kids. "Hate" and "fight" are the dirty words — only a very sick member would utter such a shocker as, "Fight you, brother-hater!" Genetics has progressed to the point where skin color (tan), body shape (unisex), and facial features (brown slanted eyes) ran mostly be programmed. Scientists are busily at work rooting out the biological basis of aggressiveness and egotism and implanting docility and loving kindness in their stead. The aim is to have this compassionate race expand across the universe, and space exploration is another of the Family's unifying collective goals.

While awaiting the final solution to the individualist problem, Uni subjects every member to monthly "treatments." The injections include vaccines, contraceptives, tranquilizers as prescribed, and a medication that reduces aggressiveness and limits the sex drive to a lackadaisical once-a-week encounter. All of this is mediated by super-caring Psychotherapists, who constantly monitor the members' mental health.

Enter Chip — official name Li RM35M4419 — the hero, not just "protagonist" of this novel. From the start two things distinguish Chip. First, one of his eyes is green, genetic science not yet being foolproof. Second, he has a grandfather, Papa Jan, a throwback to pre-U times, who bestowed the nickname "Chip" on the lad after his own granddad, a fearless cosmonaut. Papa Jan perplexes Chip: Often he says things in such a way that he seems to mean the opposite of his words. On a family trip to the world's greatest tourist attraction, Papa Jan — who worked on the construction of UniComp — shows Chip the real Uni, not the pastel proxies on inspiring display.

As he grows up, Chip keeps having heretical thoughts. Something about the uniformity of design in apartments and public buildings is vaguely disturbing. Even the pictures on the wall go against the grain — always one of a handful that includes Christ Expelling the Money Changers, Marx Writing, and Wei Addressing the Chemotherapists. But the monthly treatments quickly submerge such troubling ideas.

Chip is discovered by a small group of dissidents, misfits like himself who have found a way to minimize the effects of the treatments. They meet in secret, spending their time cursing Uni, pairing off for "untreated" sex, and most depraved of all, smoking tobacco. To persuade Chip to trick Uni into giving him reduced treatments, they introduce him to the concept of "consent": "Your body is yours, not Uni's." But Chip has had the Family's philosophy drummed into him — there are no ethical or political conflicts, only medical problems, questions of mental health or illness. He argues with himself. "As if consent had anything to do with a treatment given to preserve one's health and well-being, an integral part of the health and well-being of the entire Family!" Uni, after all, has provided everything he's ever had, his food, his clothes, his education; it even granted permission for his conception. Try to trick Uni? Just how sick is he?

This is as much of the splendidly inventive plot as can decently be divulged. It's not really giving anything away to say that Chip will somehow withdraw himself from the Family, and that, in the end, he will keep his destined date with the real UniComp.

Ira Levin's great book cries out to be filmed. Yet who in Hollywood could be trusted to direct This Perfect Day in the spirit in which it was written? The name Mel Gibson comes to mind.

In the documentary, A Class Divided, An elementary teacher teaches tolerance and observes discrimination and shows how easy it is to instill feelings of dislike and inequality into young children and by extension for adults as well. .

The book tells the shocking true story of how United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was the savior of our Republic from a fascist plot by Wall Street plutocratic militarists in the early 1930s.

Author Jules Archer is featured in The History Channel documentary, The Plot To Overthrow FDR, a concise summary of this exceptional book. This program is available for viewing on my MHS webpage.

For more on Butler and the attempted 1930's fascist coup d'etat against FDR, see my Listmania! book and video list, Smedley Darlington Butler.