I had always been curious on why supposedly capitalist bankers supported Vladimir Lenin’s destruction of Russia and his proposal for a communist state. It doesn’t make sense that people who believe in the free market (e.g., bankers) would support a man who openly wants to destroy the Free Market. Why would they do that? The evidence and literature is out there (I’ve read some of it. Other books are available for free in .pdf format. Those I will not read. I can’t stand .pdf books).
One line of argument is that Capitalism and Marxism are not fundamentally opposed to one another. In this sense I agree with Karl Marx that Capitalism dialectically leads to Marxism. More to the point, both systems have the same anthropology: they both reduce man’s existence to economic factors (We enlightened moderns ridicule the ancients for believing that “gods and powers” ruled the world. But this is the same mentality of the academy today: instead of “gods” we have unseen “forces,” Smith’s “invisible hand”). So one could argue that it is not contradictory for Wall Street bankers to financially support Lenin’s war against the Tsar.
That’s true but that doesn’t explain why they did it. I have some suggestions:
* Socialism, perhaps not as evident in its more raw, communist forms, has long yearned for a banking apparatus that could control the currency. Initially, this meant that the State should control the banks and the currency, and a few of the English Socialists advocated that. The more perceptive Socialists realized this wasn’t good enough, for what would happen if a country suddenly became hard-line nationalist and religious in outlook? More perceptive oligarchs like the Schiffs, Rothschilds, and Rockefellers saw the value in having control over a currency in a statist fashion, but by an institution that transcended the state (e.g., The Federal Reserve).
Fr Matthew Johnson writes in The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism, and Orthodoxy,
The revolution of 1905 was a direct result of the war, as the liberal press went wild attempting to link the loss to Japan with the “backwardness” of the system. Such propaganda was heard loud and clear in western capitals. The Russian government had long been considered the most threatening competitor to the British Empire As a result, the financial interests surrounding the House of Rothschild had slated Russia for destruction.
Jacob Schiff, long a student of the Rothschild mind and the beneficiary of her largess, loudly demanded Russia’s defeat. This question desperately needs to be dealt with, not least for the reason that the entirety, without exception, of “Russia historians” refuse to deal with it, so tightly bound are they to the robber baron foundations and their endless fronts for grant disbursements. Why, exactly, did the greatest capitalists in the world support, finance and wage a relentless propaganda campaign in favor of the communist revolutionaries? Author Eustace Mullins, a longtime student of that connection, gives a clue:
These Americans “of the finest temper” chose Lenin to do their work because he had outlined the plan they wanted in “The Threatening Catastrophe” in September 1917. “1. nationalization of the banks.” Ownership of capital which is manipulated by the banks is not lost or changed when the banks are nationalized and fused into one state bank, so that it is possible to reach a stage where the state knows wither and how from where and at what time millions and billions are flowing. Only control over bank operations providing they are merged into one state bank will allow, simultaneously, with other measures which can easily be put into affect the actual levying of income tax without concealment of property and income (66).
In other words, the communist program has always been in the interest of the bankers, so long as the communists can be kept under control. To completely standardize the Russian system — which did not have a central bank — was important if the massive wealth (both potential and actual) of the country was to be controlled. The massive economic success of Alexander III and St. Nicholas II was too titillating for the world’s oligarchy. Again,
Although Jacob Schiff’s personal agent, George Kennan, had regularly toured Russia during the later part of the nineteenth century, bringing in money and arms for the Communist revolutionaries (his grandson said that Schiff had spent $20 million to bring about the Bolshevik revolution) more concerted aid was called for to support an entire regime. Kennan also aided Schiff in financing the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905; the Japanese decorated Kennan with the Gold War Medal and the Order of the Sacred Treasure. In 1915, the American International Corporation was formed in New York. Its principle goal was the coordination of aid, particularly financial assistance to the Bolsheviks which had previously been provided by Schiff and other bankers on an informal basis. The new firm was funded by J. E Morgan, the Rockefellers and the National City Bank. . . (64-5).
The connections between the Schiff, Rockefeller and Rothschild interests and the Bolsheviks — actually all Russian revolutionaries of whatever stripe — are generally suppressed by mainstream academia. It is no surprise that the successors of these same capitalists, such as the Rockefeller Foundation cult or the Carnegie Institute, fund the majority of research that takes place in America’s hallowed halls.
Famous British historian Nesta Webster writes in her Surrender of an Empire:
Had the Bolsheviks been, as they are frequently represented, a mere gang of revolutionaries out to destroy property, first in Russia, and then in every other country, they would naturally have found themselves up against organized resistance by owners of property all over the world, and the Moscow blaze would have rapidly been extinguished. It was only owing to the powerful influences behind them that this minority party was able to seize the reins of power and, having seized them, to retain their hold of them to the present day. (102)
And further, Anthony Sutton, fellow at the Hoover Institution, writes in his Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution:
In brief, this is a story of the Bolshevik revolution and its aftermath, but a story that departs from the usual conceptual straitjacket approach of capitalists verses Communists. Our story postulates a partnership between international monopoly capitalism and international revolutionary socialism for their mutual benefit. The final human cost of this alliance has fallen upon the shoulders of the individual Russian and the individual American. Entrepreneurship has been brought into disrepute and the world has been propelled towards inefficient socialist planning as a result of these monopoly maneuverings in the world of politics and revolution. (102).
Nevertheless, the revolution of 1905 was a prelude to the later revolution, and funded by the same people for the same final goal: the complete standardization of the Russian state and therefore, the complete transparency of Russian financial transactions. In other words, standardization means control. The ultimate capitalist, as well as the ultimate communist gnosis is the complete concentration of all productive forces under the control of a single, unified body. In this case, the Rockefellers, Schiffs and Warburgs, as well as Lenin, who was their agent, had identical interests.
(Another side-note on social nationalist economics)
Nationalizing banks and industry is always tricky. Hayek pointed out in The Road to Serfdom that federal governments rarely have the knowledge to anticipate future economic factors; meaning, there will always be a shortage or glut of various materials. This is particularly true in liberal democracies, but it is not as true in Social Nationalist countries (like Russia, China, Belarus, and in a much weirder sense, Venezeula).
A free-market apologist will quickly respond that a social nationalizing will never produce the economic marvels of a Bill Gates. Sure, you might rescue 40% of the people from poverty (as much as I don’t like him, that is precisely what Chavez did, along with reducing the infant mortality rate by 20%!), but the economic geniui will never be able to reinvest that capital.
Yeah, I guess that’s true. Oh well. However, when countries nationalize the currency and the banks, they make themselves independent of the World Bank, IMF, and other devious oligarchies. This means when George Soros wants to topple currencies in a region (for instance, southeast Asia), countries who are independent of world markets avoid that catastrophe (like China).
Unfortunately, nationalizing the banks has about the same long-term appeal as having a strong defense budget: it does tighten the economy and is their primarily to preserve the country for temporary threats. Fact of the matter is at this moment in history nationalist countries are under open attack by the world oligarchs. Why else do liberal rags like Time Magazine and conservative rags like The Weekly Standard equally demonize Putin, Lukashenko, al-Assr of Syria, and others (or in another time frame, Milosevic)? Countries that stand against a unified world market, countries that say “Our heritage, culture, and faith are more important than letting George Soros topple countries simply so an oil pipeline can pass through”–these countries will always be under attack, and it doesn’t matter from whom: liberal and conservative are united in their opposition.
And this is partly why I don’t think every country should be a free-market anarcho-capitalist regime. If you are threatened by enemies on every side who openly plot your country (and heritage and faith–Obama’s advisor Zbignew Brzrzenski openly called for the destruction of the Russian church; Clinton’s defense minister Cohen cheered as he bombed Serbian churches), then decentralized governments simply won’t work. They won’t last.
Personally, I have an anarchist streak in me (not in the “bombs and beards” sense, to quote Tolkien), but I know that simply won’t work.