- Sean Bresnahan of the Thomas Ashe Society Omagh discusses the fiat monetary system, its implications for Irish freedom and its relevance to the wider anti-imperialist struggle.
‘Give me control of a Nation’s money supply and I care not who writes her laws’ – Amschel RothschildThe monetary system in its current guise (fiat currency married to fractional reserve banking) represents a largely unseen usurpation of national sovereignty, an unrivalled, though hidden, attack on the Irish people, in effect reducing them to slaves. The mechanics of modern banking have created an advanced form of slavery, in which both people and countries entire chain themselves through debts which can never be fully ‘repaid’ – no matter what ‘austerity measures’ may be introduced in a futile attempt to rebalance the equation.
‘The nature of the connection goes much deeper than simply the occupation by foreign troops. It is therefore necessary to resist the forces of the connection in whatever form they manifest; to broaden the scope of the national movement to include a conscious, organised economic resistance to the laws of imperialist economics which are keeping our country underdeveloped’ – Eire Nua 1971
Only an Ireland prepared to confront and face down usury can hope to prosper in the future. This is a matter of foremost national importance yet something almost never spoken of, other than on the fringes of political debate. Sure more important concerns are before us, be it benefit reform, abortion, gay marriage or a host of other socially divisive issues, themselves worthy of debate but used in reality as a means to focus attentions elsewhere, beyond where prying eyes should venture.
‘Ruling by fooling is a great British art’, perfected to the point where most remain unaware of the true manner in which we are governed. The reality of economics in their current state is that every cent or penny issued has an immediate debt attached to it through interest, which can only be ‘paid’ through the issuing of yet more ‘money’ – itself creating interest and attaching to debt and debt again in an endless cycle. Such debt can never be repaid and is the instrument that holds whole societies – including our own – in bondage.
It matters not whether you consider yourself socialist, republican, democrat or whatever, without an understanding of modern money mechanics, how this system arose and why, the notion of an independent Ireland is no more than a pipe-dream, a soundbite on the written page but meaningless in effect beyond that. Unless we’re prepared to open our eyes to the truth, to attune to the reality debt is slavery – whether in a capitalist system or a socialist system – whether in a divided Ireland or a United Ireland – then all the well-meaning discussion of what kind of society and what kind of Republic we would like to establish remains good intention and no more.
The key to the Republic then is not liberalism or socialism – or any ‘ism’ (though many of their features may be of use to our wider struggle). The key to the Republic is sovereignty. We must work to engender a fully-mapped, expansive definition of this concept and how it applies to the cause of Irish freedom, a definition that makes clear sovereignty is not about territory alone but pervades every strata of society, from the political to the cultural to the economic.
The notion of the self as sovereign – free and independent – in accord and in line with the sovereignty of the people and the Nation – must be the keystone on which the Republic is built. The task at hand is to build a Republic where people not corporate profit are the priority, a New Republic in which we the people hold power, we the people receive the benefits of our labour, we the people retain permanent control of our sovereign, indefeasible destinies as free men of the commonwealth.
Only a Republic born of an arrangement that holds freedom as highest priority – of both the individual and the community – is worthy of the name. Anything less is no more than a province of empire. The first duty of the Republic should be to dismantle the insidious financial apparatus of imperial capital, for a Republic that does not control the supply, import and export of money – to hold and ensure the permanence of the above in trust for the people – is not a Republic at all. Occupation is about more than territory – likewise so is sovereignty. The writ of the money power must be brought to an end.
It’s not though about being ‘isolationist’ – it’s about that Republic being an example to other communities, countries, federations or whatever, of how affairs can be ordered to work for people not power. The Irish Republic can be the vehicle through which the good and the worthy within man can be made real, it can become an example to other peoples in struggle against oppression around our world today.
In such a ‘New Ireland’ power would belong to the citizenry in a truly sovereign arrangement, in which the private money-issuing banking houses would no longer have control. It wouldn’t matter if you were Unionist, Nationalist, Marxist or Martian, under such a constitution we would be free, in every sense of the word.
It is then the sovereign Republic for which we strive – not reform of the status quo, not our seat at the table, nor a more just or humane version of British partition. Not even Irish Unity under a 32-County Free State. No. We are out for the Republic, the sovereign Irish Republic declared in 1916, whose flame still burns in the hearts of the people, those for whom our martyred heroes fought and died – we who remain to finish the task.
‘We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible’ – 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic