The “French Connection” of Austrian economics: Debunking usury by applying Bastiat’s concepts

By The Transparent Unicorn for Real Currencies and The Transparent Unicorn

A sometimes forgotten strand of Libertarianism flourished in 19th-century France, one that represents an important link between 18th-century English free-market economists such as Adam Smith and the classic Austrian school founded by Carl Menger. One of the most illustrious representatives of this French school of laissez-faire economics, and certainly the one most closely associated with Libertarian views, was the economist, politician, and polemicist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850).

Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850), French political economist

Bastiat’s writings are worth reading for their clear-headed and prescient debunking of Socialism and Keynesianism avant la lettre. Moreover, Bastiat’s witty and concise style is more enjoyable than, say, Ludwig von Mises’ often stodgy prose.

Bastiat’s famous essay “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas” (What is seen and what is not seen) is rightly regarded as a masterpiece which anticipates many tenets of modern Austrian economics. By focusing on the unseen “third party”, Bastiat shows that State intervention and lawmaking only displace money or otherwise direct the transfer of wealth, but do not create new wealth.

Similarly, in Capital and Interest, Bastiat’s justification for interest evokes the time preference theory later put forward by Menger and Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. In “Maudit Argent!” (What is Money?), Bastiat also makes a key distinction between what he defines as useful wealth, referring to things that directly contribute to our well-being (such as food, clothing, and housing), and money, the latter being only a symbolic representation of real wealth, and goes on to show how a lack of awareness of this distinction can lead to terrible economic blunders.

Of course, Bastiat, as a proponent of the Illuminati deception that is Libertarianism, mixes a small amount of subtle but poisonous disinformation with a good deal of truth. It should come as no surprise to learn that Bastiat was a high-ranking Freemason, like his contemporary and political nemesis, the noted socialist theorist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Indeed, the fact that Proudhon and Bastiat, who debated fiercely in the French National Assembly, probably took part in the same occult rituals only adds to the mounting evidence that the elites control both sides of the socialist/capitalist dialectic.

One of the most cherished lies of the Austrian School is its defense of usury. Indeed, interest is one of the main tools by which bankers have enslaved humanity, and over the last few centuries they have recruited the best economists to justify this practice condemned by all Abrahamic religions. In this article, I propose to debunk Bastiat’s justification of usury, with the additional twist that I will do so using Bastiat’s own methodology for the most part.

Capital and Interest: Bastiat’s justification of usury

Bastiat’s essay Capital and Interest is based on a series of examples through which he makes the case that the lender should be compensated by the borrower for the time during which the former could not make use of his capital. This argument, which is essentially the same one advanced by later Austrian economists, can hardly be disputed: indeed, there would be absolutely no economic reason for James to lend his tool to William for a year if he is not compensated in some way. Furthermore, this is a voluntary transaction, which William may evidently refuse if he does not think it is advantageous for him; thus, as Bastiat remarks, James’s compensation is “naturally limited” by William’s self-interest.

So far, so good. But Bastiat then points out that, whereas most people will agree that such a compensation is perfectly just in the case of the lending of tools or materials, many will object that in the case of money, which does not produce anything by itself, it is immoral. However, since money is merely a symbolic representation that functions as a transitory substitute for real values (as explained in What is Money?), Bastiat argues that it is pure sophistry to treat interest differently in the latter case.

There are, in fact, at least two important distinctions to be made between physical capital (useful wealth such as tools and materials) and financial capital, which is monetary credit advanced to a borrower, but Bastiat ignores them, and therein lies the essence of his subtle but deadly deception about usury.

Let us review these distinctions, one at a time.

No justification for charging interest on financial capital

Bastiat’s examples always involve physical capital whose creation (or accumulation) require a significant amount of work. Whereas it is logical and just for the lender to be compensated in such cases, it is difficult to justify why a monetary loan, which in the modern banking system is created at the time it is loaned by punching a few keystrokes on a computer, should be compensated. The bank is essentially crediting the borrower based on his reputation and ability to pay back the loan. In fact, we can say that it is the community which is crediting the borrower, and the bank is merely an intermediary providing a service. The “time preference” justification is hardly valid in this case, since the bank is not really loaning its own capital and a fair compensation should merely cover the bankers’ administrative charges and salaries.

It may be argued that Bastiat’s experience under the gold standard was different and that the banks would have been, in fact, risking their own capital in a “hard money” system. However, this would be only partially true under a fractional-reserve banking system, which was already prevalent at the time. In any case, 20th-century Austrian economists, aware of the perceived inequities associated with modern banking, have addressed these issues by proposing a return to a gold standard. Essentially, the idea is to bring back the symbolic representation of money into the physical world: by basing the currency on a commodity such as gold which is scarce and difficult to extract, it is easier to justify charging interest on monetary loans.

But Bastiat himself tells us that money is only a symbol, not to be confused with useful wealth. If this is the case, why are Austrian economists trying to confuse the issue? Moreover, using gold (or a similar scarce commodity) leads to an artificial scarcity of credit: the amount of money loaned is restricted by the amount of gold available. Austrians would make the case that this is preferable to human control of the money supply. To be sure, a monopoly on the issue of a symbolic currency leads to all kinds of abuse, as can be seen with our modern fiat currencies. But it does not follow from that observation that it would be advantageous to tie the money supply and the economic activity of a community to the amount of gold available. The only entities that would benefit from this situation are those that own most of the gold.

What is not seen: the third party in the lender-borrower transaction

In order to justify interest as a just compensation to the borrower, Bastiat insists that the loan is a free voluntary transaction between two mutually consenting parties. But what about the third party, the one Bastiat claims is always forgotten by classical economists in What is seen and what is not seen? Austrian economists will object: there is no third party directly involved in this transaction, so they should not have a say. But is this really the case?

If, as in Bastiat’s examples using physical capital, William borrows a tool from James, and James accepts an additional wood plank as compensation, then indeed one can hardly claim that the community is affected by this transaction. In fact, society may potentially globally benefit from the increased efficiency of labor brought by the loan of a tool, a benefit which Bastiat is right to point out.

But when a) the only thing exchanged is a symbol of wealth, whose only value resides in its being accepted as a means of exchange within a community, and b) this symbolic representation of wealth can only be created by one economic actor (for instance, in a currency monopoly), or at most a few participants (such as private banks), and furthermore c) the time compensation, or interest, must also be paid using this monetary symbol, then yes, the rest of society is indirectly involved in such a transaction, because society at large has now involuntarily become the “third party” from which the monetary units necessary to pay the interest must be extracted.

If he were true to his own principles, Bastiat should therefore remind us that the community, the third party in this transaction, does not necessarily benefit from a transaction involving the lending of financial capital: in fact, the borrower’s incentive to capture some additional monetary units to pay the interest simply leads to a heightened competition for the monetary units circulating in the community. In the end, the lender gains, and the borrower may gain (if he calculated properly and used his loan shrewdly), but these gains are necessarily made at the expense of the rest of the community.

Even if the loan eventually leads to an increase in productivity (for instance, if the borrower uses the money to acquire new machinery), it will still bring, as a side effect, an increased competition for the monetary units in circulation, and an unwanted transfer of wealth from society at large (the third party) to the lender. Would a community consent to such a transaction, if it were allowed to express its opinion? Probably not, if it could see the effects of this transaction.

At the very least, a third party which is aware of the unseen effects of interest paid on a monetary loan would likely want to know what the borrower intends to do with the loan and whether it could also indirectly benefit from that loan (for instance, with a gain in productivity). Indeed, it is probably a growing societal awareness of the unseen effects of usury on symbolic wealth that led to the universal prohibition of usury observed in Abrahamic religions, as well as to some of the principles governing Islamic banking.

Conclusion

Bastiat’s dishonest justification for usury ignores two valuable concepts that he introduced himself, namely that money is only a symbolic representation of wealth, and that we should always keep in mind the “third party” and the unseen effects of an economic transaction. By taking into account these concepts, we have shown that, contrary to Bastiat’s claims, interest on a monetary loan has much broader implications for the community than interest on purely physical capital such as tools or materials, and that there is hardly any valid justification for compensating the lender of a symbolic currency created effortlessly.

Let us heed the words of Frederick Soddy, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who emphasized this distinction between “real” and “virtual” wealth:

“Debts are subject to the laws of mathematics rather than physics. Unlike [real] wealth, which is subject to the laws of thermodynamics, debts do not rot with old age and are not consumed in the process of living. On the contrary, they grow at so much per cent per annum, by the well-known mathematical laws of simple and compound interest … It is this underlying confusion between wealth and debt which has made such a tragedy of the scientific era.”

I, Pet Goat II: The return of the Cosmic Serpent?

“I, Pet Goat II”, a recently issued short animation film which, under the guise of a story about “the fire at the heart of suffering”, takes “a critical look at the events of the past decade that have shaped our world”, has drawn a lot of attention as a highly esoterically charged work of art that is teeming with clues about the occult aspects of our reality and the hidden history of mankind. Indeed, the seven-minute animation, the first and so far only production of Canadian-based company Heliofant, is not only breathtaking in its artistic conception but also replete with unfamiliar symbols, so much that several viewings are required to appreciate its richness.

Not surprisingly, several bloggers and videobloggers took notice of this video and attempted with various degrees of success to convey their interpretation of the movie. Among others, the well-known website Vigilant Citizen has presented his analysis, which I recommend reading.

In this article, I wish to explore the occult dimensions of the movie and propose an interpretation of symbols which have been, in my view, neglected or left unexplained by others. For this reason, I will not attempt an exhaustive frame-by-frame exegesis; interested readers are referred to Vigilant’s article mentioned above and to the Youtube videos uploaded by “thebarcaroller”.

The title “I, Pet Goat II” refers to the story read by George W. Bush in a Florida school on the morning on 9/11. The choice of this particular story hints at the ritualistic aspects of the 9/11 terror attack, as documented here and here. The letters “I, Pet Goat II” themselves refer graphically to 9/11, with 9 characters in “I, Pet Goat”, followed by “II”. Furthermore, the title intimates that we are the true “pet goats”, the brainwashed prisoners of the matrix who are destined to become heroes.

Sun symbolism and Gnostic undertones in the “Lily” scene

A pivotal scene begins at 1:13, when the character Lily takes the spotlight. Lily sits in a golden circle accompanied by a dot of the same color, representing the Heliofant logo which is also seen on Obama’s left cheek (1:07). The circle (without the dot) is also visible on the cheeks of Lily and Juan “Pepito” (3:31).

As others have pointed out, the name “Heliofant” can be interpreted as meaning something akin to “he who makes the sun [Gr. helios] appear or shine [Gr. phant]”. The animation of the “Heliofant” logo in the credits, which shows the dot above the “I” moving towards the “O” and illuminating it, supports this interpretation (6:56). In Hindu tradition, we usually see the dot inside the circle. This symbol illustrates a kind of cosmic sexual union, with the circle representing the “Mother Earth” or feminine principle, whereas the dot or “bindu” depicts the sun or masculine principle. Thus, in the “Heliofant” logo, the dot moving towards the circle and illuminating it evokes the return of a cosmic force associated with the sun. The circle may also symbolize the cosmic serpent, or Ouroboros, eating his own tail, a theme which we will revisit later.

Lily realizes that the apple is not hers and drops it, leading to the apple splitting in two halves at Obama’s feet and blossoming into a lotus. This is a crucial passage which sets in motion the dramatic events depicted in the animation, a fact that is not lost on Obama. The lotus, a sacred flower in several ancient traditions, is a type of water lily that symbolizes resurrection or spiritual illumination. Moreover, the lotus was associated with the sun in Egyptian mythology because it bloomed by day and closed by night. The lotus was even believed to have given birth to the sun.

Originally, the lotus was the flower of Lilith, who is also identified with Ishtar or Astarte, the Sumero-Babylonian Goddess of creation. Although Judaism has given her an unenviable reputation, Lilith is associated with Sophia, the Great Mother, in Gnostic traditions. Lily’s decision to drop the apple, which represents the knowledge of the duality of Good and Evil (symbolized by the Masonic checkerboard), is therefore a transparent allusion to the episode that took place in the Garden of Eden, with unmistakable Gnostic undertones.

In Yogic and Tantric traditions, the lotus is associated with the fourth primary chakra or Anahata, which is located in the heart region. Interestingly, this chakra also represents the union of the male and female principles. Thus, Lily’s gesture, and the ensuing flowering of the lotus, alludes to the union of opposites (male/female, good/evil), a nondualist or monist perspective which is prevalent in Hinduism and in certain Gnostic strands.

In the video, the opening of the fourth chakra is symbolized not only by the lotus, but also by the fire emanating from the heart of the Christ-like figure (2:43). Similarly, the resurrection theme evoked by the lotus is reinforced by the imagery of the swallows fleeing the destroyed mosque (at 3:06), and by the scarab crawling on Aali’s face (3:21). Swallows represent resurrection and rebirth in the Christian tradition, but were also associated with the souls of the dead in Egyptian mythology, whereas “the scarab was the emissary of the sun, symbolizing light, truth, and regeneration”.

Spirals, vortices, and the mysterious Vril force

A feature that has been mostly overlooked by commentators is the recurrent spiral motif. Spirals and vortices are found in the eyes of the hypnotized goat (at 0:09), in the sky above the Statue of Liberty aka ”Lady of Helotry” (2:28), and in the shape of the clouds surrounding the nuclear mushroom (3:14). Most noticeably, perhaps, the “hand from the sky” that points toward the phallic-shaped tower appears in a vortex-like structure (4:34). These vortices and spirals, which are presented as one of the basic patterns of the cosmos in the enigmatic “spiritual guidebook” OAHSPE, are also prominent in the teachings of free energy proponents Viktor Schauberger and Walter Russell. Readers may also remember the mysterious spiral that appeared in the Norwegian skies as Obama received his Nobel Prize in 2009.

These vortices are all seen turning or opening in a counterclockwise fashion (the spiral above the Statue of Liberty is seen as closing in on itself through clockwise rotation, hinting at a prior counterclockwise opening). This peculiar detail is related to an obscure esoteric tradition. Although it is not entirely clear whether the swastika generally relates to this pattern, the counterclockwise Nazi swastika is definitely linked to the cult of the “Black Sun” and to the Vril, the secret force that is associated with the spiral pattern. It is worth mentioning that the splitting of the apple dropped by Lily (1:33) is another feature associated with the Vril : according to Willy Ley, author of Pseudoscience in Naziland, “the secret of the Vril could be found by contemplating the structure of an apple, sliced in halves”, a meditation practice promoted by anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner.

Not coincidentally, the young Sufi dervish dancer is also seen whirling counterclockwise (5:20), suggesting that the esoteric traditions of Islam share a belief in this secret force, a claim endorsed in part 44 of the series “The Arrivals”, a must-see segment which hints at a deep connection between the events of 9/11, the sun cycle, and the cosmic spiral/vortex.

Neither Christ nor Antichrist, but ancient solar deity

Debates have raged online as to the identity of the Christ-like character appearing in the animation. Some tend to see him as a representation of “Christ consciousness”, whereas others vehemently insist that he is the Antichrist. But both sides apparently fail to note certain incongruences. On the one hand, this Christ-like character is evidently an enemy of the Satanic hierarchy, as shown by his annihilation of the terracotta-like army of office workers and assorted bureaucrats (5:05), an episode which leads to the hurried flight of Illuminati sorcerer Drako. On the other hand, he attracts many followers who are ostensibly still trapped in the duality which dominated the age of Pisces (symbolized by the striped fishes jumping to their death on his boat), but he seems indifferent to their presence. He is obviously not the Messiah they expected: he belongs to a different era and to a different paradigm.

In fact, there are several clues suggesting that I, Pet Goat II illustrates the return of a very ancient solar deity. Besides the Heliofant logo itself and the allusions to the “Black Sun” cult mentioned above, the Christ-like character bears many similarities to the Egyptian god Horus (usually identified with the rising sun), such as traveling in a boat guided by the jackal-headed Anubis. In addition, he is only awoken from his trance-like state by the rays of the rising sun, and is later seen seemingly worshipping the Sun (6:45).  The allusions to sun worship and to ancient cosmic forces are instantly recognizable when comparing the cover page of Mark Pinkham’s well-known Gnostic synthesis “The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom” with an iconic image from I, Pet Goat II (4:07). Note the counterclockwise spiral motive, which originates from the fourth chakra region, corresponding to the “burning heart” of Christ/Horus.

Other elements in the video support this interpretation, such as the labyrinth with an obelisk in its center, evoking both the spiral vortex and the “dot in center” cosmic sexual union (5:28), and the DNA-like intertwined strands, representing fertility, standing under a six-petal rosette which is a symbol of spiritual awakening considered to be the Christian equivalent of the lotus (4:52).

The final sequence, in which the Pyramids are destroyed by the sun’s rays under the watchful eye of this Christ-like figure who himself bears a pyramid on his forehead (beginning at 6:30), apparently echoes the words of Aleister Crowley: “In the Aeon of Horus the dualistic approach to religion will be transcended through the abolition of the present notion of a God external to oneself. The two will be united. Man will no longer worship God as an external factor, as in Paganism, or as an internal state of consciousness, as in Christianity, but will realize his identity with God.”

Conclusion

All things considered, I, Pet Goat II does deliver a positive message: that of resurrection, rebirth, and spiritual awakening under a new paradigm. But it also foretells of destruction, death, and suffering for those who are still prisoners of Drako’s matrix in any of its guises: control of the governmental and political apparatus, economic and financial domination, organized religion, and above all the trap of dualism.

Although the video is laden with blatant Illuminati symbolism, it does not appear to promote an Illuminati agenda. On the contrary, it ruthlessly exposes Drako’s control over the human mind, portrays mighty presidents as mere puppets, and lays open the secrets of 9/11. However, it also seems to hold a very dim view of institutionalized religions, and its Gnostic and New Age undertones may be unappealing, to say the least, to many viewers. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Gnostic beliefs are said to be diametrically opposed to those of the Illuminati, according to John Lamb Lash.

Christians, especially those wedded to the exoteric aspects of their religion, may experience enormous difficulties in relating to the message of this animation, as it portends drastic changes in their worldview. However, as much as some would prefer to ignore it, the disturbing message of I, Pet Goat II cannot be dismissed lightly, not only due to its artistic brilliance, but because its makers, or more likely those who commissioned the film, are without doubt occult masters in possession of a vast repository of secret knowledge of a highly sophisticated level, whose vision should be taken very seriously.

The Conspiracy is Spiritual in Essence

By The Transparent Unicorn for Real Currencies and The Transparent Unicorn

Many alternative media bloggers and commentators often feel uncomfortable with addressing the “politically incorrect” aspects of the war the elites are waging against humanity. They would prefer to focus only on the technical or material aspects, such as the mathematical instability of our monetary system, or on possible reforms of the political system, which they consider to be the core issues.

On the one hand, their arguments are sensible. It is possible to objectively demonstrate, for instance, that our monetary system is dysfunctional and mathematically unstable regardless of who controls it. Moreover, by doing so without referring to subjective viewpoints, the argument is made more accessible to a wide variety of readers, regardless of their religious or political views. In that sense, bringing in a spiritual or ideological dimension may indeed dilute the message and render it less palatable to some people.

On the other hand, this approach leads to a narrow perspective whose usefulness is limited to topics that are accessible to mathematical inquiry. It ignores the inextricable connections between money, power, economic theories and political ideologies. In fact, it is artificial to try to separate the monetary issues from other aspects. Some of us may prefer do it out of intellectual convenience but in reality everything is tied together.

The truth is that the Zionist-Pharisaic-Talmudist-Kabbalist-Sabbatean-Satanist conspiracy (acronym ZPTKSS) is spiritual in its essence. The end goal of these evil forces is to corrupt humanity.  Of course, humans always had the potential to be corrupted, but these ideologies are justifying and glorifying this corruption by emphasizing the love of money and material possessions, by focusing on terrestrial glory instead of spiritual development, on mechanical sexuality instead of love, and, most importantly, on the desires of the ego instead of those of the Creator.

These latter aspects could perhaps be safely ignored if the ZPTKSS conspiracy had only corrupted our monetary system. But this is far from being the case. Science has been hijacked and used to promote Kabbalist concepts such as the Big Bang and Darwin’s natural selection that were already anticipated by the Zohar in the 12th century. Vaccines were probably a medical fraud from the very beginning. Culture, art, and music have been debased, especially in the last century, to appeal to our lowest instincts. Moral values have been perverted by Satanic tenets. All sorts of social institutions, from families to governments, have been affected, perhaps irrevocably in some cases.

Now, it will be pointed out that without control of the monetary system, the ZPTKSS assault would have been ineffectual. Therefore, the argument goes, by focusing our efforts on the monetary issues, we can ensure that the conspiracy will be rooted out. Of course, if ZPTKSS did not dominate Money Power, it would not have had the means to influence the entire society with its ideas.

Nevertheless, this argument is dangerously misguided. It is precisely because of the ideologies and moral values that it promotes that ZPTKSS and its adherents went on to dominate Money Power and world politics, not the reverse. Indeed, it is because of this ideology that there is a Money Power.  It is a symptom of the ZPTKSS domination that we live in a world where usury is not only accepted but justified, and where the virtual representation of wealth under all its guises (gold, fiat currencies, shares, bonds) controls real labor and productivity, instead of merely facilitating it. People must not only understand what is wrong about our monetary system, but also realize that there should not be a Money Power in the first place.

In order to achieve this, we must fight this battle on two fronts: 1) to educate people about monetary issues and to try to change the system, but also and equally importantly 2) to get them to realize how their values have been distorted and inverted so as to make them willing servants of Money Power. Addressing only the technical and mathematical aspects of our monetary system while ignoring the prevalence of materialistic values will only get us halfway there.

Doubtlessly, some readers will interpret this essay as consisting merely of “racist” rhetoric under another guise and criticize what they consider to be a demagogic attempt to blame a particular group of people. But this is a grave misunderstanding.

In the end this is not about Zionism, or Jews, or Jesuits, or Satanists, it is about humanity “rediscovering” truth and finding its moral compass. But the truth is that we are currently waging a spiritual war with powerful forces that are bent on enslaving us. In order to do this, they must first prevent us from becoming spiritually aware.

Clearly, if we want to win this war, our first assignment is to identify the enemy and understand its strategies. This is a fundamental requirement for any combatant, whether he is involved in a war on the physical plane or on the spiritual one. To avoid any confusion, it is worth reiterating that the advocacy of violence, racism, or supremacist ideologies must be condemned: in fact this plays right into the enemy’s hands by focusing on purely physical aspects. But ignoring the spiritual dimension of this war, or refusing to acknowledge the true nature of the enemy, is akin to marching to the battlefield wearing blinders, with a result that is all too predictable.