The Basic Struggle

The Establishment: Finance, Business, Politics

Written by Nick Hodge
Posted February 21, 2013

To understand the United States today, it is necessary to know something about the Establishment.

Most citizens don't realize it exists. Yet the Establishment makes its influence felt from the President's Cabinet to the professional life of a young college teacher who wants a foundation grant. It affects the nation's policies in almost every area.

The News & Courier, Charleston, S.C.

Dear Outsider,

Those words were printed in 1961. Not much has changed since.

I'd bet money that you've at least considered the existence of an Establishment, even if you don't fully believe it exists.

That 1961 newspaper article defined the Establishment like this:

The Establishment is a general term for those people in finance, business and the professions... who hold the principal measure of power and influence in this country irrespective of what administration occupies the White House.

You've seen how this group affects the country and you personally: your liberties, finances, and way of life.

You're unhappy with it, maybe even fed up. But you can't quite put your finger on what “it” is. "The system"? "Debt"? "Banksters"? "Corporatism"? "Corruption"?

It's very tough to identify and to describe. It's like being asked to define the “Kingdom of God,” or to define “justice.” Both these things are difficult, if not impossible, to do.

Indeed, there are multiple world religions — and sub-sets of those religions — trying to identify and describe and define God. We still fight wars over it. Same for defining “justice,” which has led to one of the most respected professions in the world: lawyers and judges.

Yes, it's hard to pinpoint the Establishment. But it isn't hard to see its real-world consequences and implications (more on those below). The News & Courier put it like this:

The Establishment is a bloc of power and opinion... An Establishment man can be as liberal as Walter Reuther and as conservative as Dwight D. Eisenhower. This is the range of thought and action within which the Establishment operates. The Establishment is FOR foreign aid, for integration, and for that bundle of soft internationalist policies common to the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. It is a loose working alliance of the near-socialist professor and the internationalist Eastern banker. The Establishment controls the great foundations which support research and graduate study. Thus, it is able to determine the direction of thinking in many of the nation's universities.

Thus, it controls the ways future leaders of industry, finance, and politics are taught. It holds influence over the philosophies, thought processes, and rationales they'll use to assess the world... make decisions about it, justify those decisions, and convince others they're right. 

I'll offer this as a quick reference to bring this 50-year-old article into modern times.



Alma mater

Barack Obama

U.S. President

Columbia / Harvard

Mitt Romney

Presidential Contender, Governor


George W. Bush

Governor, U.S. President

Yale / Harvard

Ben Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman

MIT / Harvard

Timothy Geithner

Secretary of the Treasury

Dartmouth / Johns Hopkins

Hank Paulson

Former Secretary of the Treasury, Current Investment Banker

Dartmouth / Harvard

Lloyd Blankfein

Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs


Jeffrey Immelt

Chairman & CEO of GE

Dartmouth / Harvard

David G. Bradley

Owner of Atlantic Media Company (The Atlantic, National Journal)

Harvard / Georgetown

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.

Chairman & Publisher of The New York Times

Tufts / Harvard

This, of course, is only a small sample. It would take pages to list the top positions held by Establishment alum, from the heads of government agencies to the corner offices of banks, media, retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, agricultural, or any other industry you can name. And sometimes they switch. 

It's important to identify what the Establishment is and what its goals are. As you can see, they hold the highest roles in business and government, and so they determine rules, laws, and processes that affect and limit you every day. They know them inside and out, and they operate on both sides — sometimes the regulator, sometimes the regulated. And it's tough to mess up because there's no script; they make it up and change it as they go (bail out banks, make corporations people, ban short selling, etc.).

They're also in controlling positions in media on both sides of the political spectrum, which polish it all over and serve it to us in digestible little bites so it's easier to swallow. That's how a payroll tax increase on every American gets branded as a "Fiscal Cliff deal." Some deal... (Next they're going to make sequestration sound like it's bad for you so they can give more money to their friends.)

This has been acknowledged by respected Anti-Establishment scholars, historians, and politicians for years.

Harvard alum, Georgetown history professor, and Bill Clinton mentor Carroll Quigley wrote in 1981 that the goal of the Establishment was “to unite the world, and above all the English-speaking world, in a federal structure,” and that “this goal could best be achieved by a secret band of men united to one another by devotion to the common cause, and by personal loyalty to one another. Both felt that this band should pursue its goal by secret political, and economic influence behind the scenes, and by the control of journalistic, educational, and propaganda agencies...”

Democratic Congressman and 1980 presidential candidate John R. Rarick warned the Establishment is “dedicated to one-world government, financed by a number of the largest tax-exempt foundations, and wielding such power and influence over our lives in the areas of finance, business, labor, military, education, and mass communication-media... Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also finances and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high level decisions for converting the U.S. from a sovereign Constitution Republic into a servile member of a one-world dictatorship. Its main goal is still to create a one-world government by destroying the freedom and independence of all nations, especially the United States.”

Rear Admiral Chester Ward wrote, “The most powerful clique in these elitist groups have one objective in common — they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty of the national independence of the United States. A second clique of international members in the CFR comprises the Wall Street international bankers and their key agents. Primarily, they want the world banking monopoly from whatever power ends up in the control of global government." 

And Pat Robertson concluded in 1991: “The goals of the Establishment are somewhat strange... At the central core is a belief in the superiority of their own skill to form a world system in which enlightened monopolistic capitalism can bring all of the diverse currencies, banking systems, credit, manufacturing, and raw materials into one government-supervised whole, policed of course by their own world army."

It's about controlling the world's money supply — and controlling you in the process. 

This isn't Left vs. Right or Conservative vs. Liberal; it's Establishment vs. Anti-Establishment.

It's Us vs. Them.

The March of Tyranny

This was understood by a small newspaper over half a century ago:

What is the significance of all this? It is that a very big and varied country is dominated by one section and one grouping within that section. The Establishment is the real power behind foreign aid, for instance. It is the voice calling for a bland bipartisan approach to national politics.

I'd add that it's the power that creates stock market bubbles, which enrich the Establishment and burst on the Anti-Establishment.

It's the power that creates housing programs for people who can't afford them, securitizes and profits from the loans, then bails out the banks (Establishment) while upending the lives of ordinary citizens (Anti-Establishment) when the ruse is up.

It's the power that controls the currency, decouples it from precious metals, and profits from interest on dollars that are worth decreasingly less.

It's the power that wants to take away trophies and prizes for school children, ensuring as much equality and homogenization as possible.

It's the power that attacks the small farmer to ensure the success of big agribusiness.

It's the power than bans naturally occurring drugs to profit from the sale of chemically engineered ones that kill hundreds of thousands of people per year.

It's the power that tells you to work hard and save and you'll get ahead (but you never do). It's the power that says to send your kids to a four-year school, then profits from their student loans while they can't find jobs. 

It's the Insiders. The Wizard behind the curtain. It's about more for them and less for you. 

Left and Right vs. You

Are You an Outsider?

I'm sure you've noticed these examples — and probably plenty that I haven't addressed yet.

If so, you're part of the Anti-Establishment. You're a part of a growing movement of like-minded people that see the existence of this inside group, and don't like it and don't want to be a part of it.

You're an Outsider.

And as that tiny newspaper tells us:

There is an anti-Establishment consensus in this country. It is made up of the conservative right wing... militant anti-communists and foes of a strong central government.

This consensus finds expression in both parties in Congress – the one and about the only institution the Establishment cannot control. It has wide popular support at the grassroots level. But it's at a disadvantage because it lacks national press voices above the level of the small or middle-sized daily newspaper.

The basic struggle in this country is between Establishment and anti-Establishment forces; between pro-central government forces... and the limited government believers.

In a sense, this is a struggle as old as the American Republic – the struggle between Alexander Hamilton, the centralizer, and Thomas Jefferson, the states righter. It is a struggle that the broad mass of Americans can never give up if they do not want to surrender their liberties and direction of the country to a power elite.

Welcome to The Outsider Club

If you fear for the disappearance of liberty... you're an Outsider. If you can't get off the rat wheel, despite doing everything you've been told to do... you're an Outsider. If you can't understand why America jails more people than any other country, but fails to prosecute politicians and bankers for their crimes... you're an Outsider.

If you're one of:

  • the 50% of Americans who can't afford to save for retirement, or

  • the 58% of private workers with no pension coverage, or

  • the 60% of workers with savings and investments worth less than $25,000, or

  • the 77% who believe we should cut defense spending, or

  • the majority of Americans with “little or no confidence” in U.S. banks, or

  • the 86% who disprove of the current Congress, or

  • the 75% of Americans who want congressional term limits, or

  • the 52% who believe government should not favor any particular set of values, or

  • the 50% of Americans who think today's youth will be worse off than their parents...

You're an Outsider.

I am, too.

In a nutshell, you're an Outsider because you're not part of what George Carlin called the “Big Club.” He summed it up beautifully in one of his last televised specials in 2005, saying:

It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that.

I’m talking about the REAL owners, now. The REAL owners, the BIG WEALTHY business interests that control things and make all the important decisions — forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. YOU DON’T. You have no choice. You have OWNERS. They OWN YOU. They own EVERYTHING. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they’ve got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear.

They gotcha by the BALLS. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want — they want MORE for themselves and less for everybody else.

But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They DON’T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting FU*K*D by a system that threw them overboard 30 fu**in’ years ago. They don’t want that.

You know what they want? They want OBEDIENT WORKERS. OBEDIENT WORKERS. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly sh*ttier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re comin’ for your SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. They want your f**kin’ retirement money. They want it BACK. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it.

They’ll get it ALL from you sooner or later — ‘cuz they OWN this fu**in’ place. It’s a big CLUB. And YOU AIN’T IN IT. You and I are NOT IN the big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe — what to think — and what to buy. The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care.

Good honest hard-workin people — white collar, blue collar — doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-workin people CONTINUE — these are people of modest means — continue to elect these RICH C*CKS*CKERS who don’t GIVE a f*ck about them. They don’t give a f*ck about you, they don’t GIVE A F**K ABOUT YOU. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU — AT ALL. AT ALL. AT ALL. You know? And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care... that’s what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their a**holes every day.

Because the owners of this country know the truth — it’s called the American Dream... ‘cuz you have to be asleep to believe it.

Carlin nailed it — except for that first sentence: “It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got.”

You should appreciate what you've got, but you should never be satisfied with it. You should strive to secure and improve it. And you should do this on your own, as an Outsider who's not part of the system.

I also think things will get better, but it depends on the coming together of like-minded people and the awakening of the herd. We've seen this over the past few years with the advent of the Tea Party and Occupy movements, but they have failed to coalesce under pressures from the Establishment... A movement — an awakening — is upon us.

The Money of Politics, the Politics of Money

The government, or, more precisely, politics, isn't the root cause of these problems. It is the tool that makes them possible.

The Economic Policy Journal ran a piece this week by Gary North, who described the Establishment like this (parentheses mine):

Who are they? They are men of influence and wealth who gain a lock on this wealth through political power. They use economic leverage — debt — recklessly because they can protect themselves from losses by means of political leverage: government bailouts. Some of them lose, but as a class they do not.

The key to their economic position is their unseen political manipulation. They are the masters of backroom politics.

New York City and Washington, D.C. — Wall Street and the Beltway — are where the anointed exercise their rule. This mirrors the circles of power in England: Oxford, Cambridge, and the City of London, a legally separate jurisdiction from the city of London.

Bankrolling the American power elite are fewer than a dozen large banks, mostly in New York City. They have an insurance company: the Federal Reserve System (created by Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan in 1907) . Bankrolling the British power elite — called the Old Boy Network — is a similar system of banks. Their insurance company is the Bank of England, which is the model for the FED.

The power elite's members do not sit in the cigar smoke-filled rooms of the history textbooks. Most of them do not smoke these days. Indeed, their non-smoking status is one mark of their superior status. But, just like the old political bosses, they depend on politics for their position. That is their Achilles heel. By becoming dependent on politics to protect themselves from free market competition, they will eventually overplay their hand. They will bet the farm — and ours — on a busted flush. Imploding debt will remove them from the scene.

Why do I believe this?

To answer this, I begin with North's three laws of bureaucracy.

1. Some bureaucrat will inevitably enforce an official rule to the point of imbecility.
2. To fix the mess which this causes, the bureaucracy will write at least two new rules.
3. Law #1 applies to each of the new rules.

This is a convenient way to express the principle set forth by Ludwig von Mises in his essay, "Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism." Each attempt to fix the problems caused by a previous government intervention creates new problems.

Mises also argued that socialism is inherently irrational, because it destroys the market for capital goods. It destroys market pricing. He wrote that in 1920.

And here we are, a century later: The Establishment is as strong as ever, the people are weaker than ever before, and the entire system is under strain.

There are 46.7 million Americans — 15% of the country — on food stamps. Establishment bank JP Morgan runs this program, and has made nearly a trillion dollars doing so in the last decade.

Bankers' Table

It would take you over 500,000 years to count to $16.56 trillion, the current total of our national debt.

Nobody's saving for retirement. Social Security will be gone in a few years. A system has been created that sets you up to fail, to work hard and pay taxes and raise children and buy stuff... but to never get truly financially ahead. Your spending, debts, and interest paid enriches them, not you.

Ordinary citizens — Outsiders — are being fined, arrested, or jailed for doing things as nefarious as storing junk on their property, growing gardens, sharing digital files, and expressing their Constitutional rights.

Insiders, on the other hand, have been caught laundering money for drug cartels and terrorists (HSBC), manipulating LIBOR (20 major banks), stealing and losing clients money (Jon Corzine, MF Global), and giving firearms to Mexican drug lords who then used them to kill innocent people (your own Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder... this ball got rolling long before Obama, by the way, but he's been no help).

Try doing any of those things and not getting a knock on the door from our now militarized police force (a topic for another essay).

Over the past 50 years, they've put Establishment foxes in charge of the Outsider hen house. Over 400 former SEC employees have represented private clients (banks) for SEC business in the last decade. Tim Geithner was offered the CEO post at Citigroup before the collapse in 2007.

And it's like this across the board...

The lady who wrote the ObamaCare legislation, Elizabeth Fowler, now works for Johnson & Johnson in their “government affairs and policy group.” Insiders like John Block work for the Department of Agriculture and then go to work for big agribusiness companies, or industry groups, or law firms that represent them. Insiders like Mike Anway learn the ropes as congressional staffers, serving members on the House Ways & Means Committee, then use their experience as lobbyists showing other insiders how the system works.

If you call it out or try to stop it... you become an Outsider. They try to silence you by charging you with one of the thousands of laws they've penned. They call you a traitor or say you're giving away sensitive information.

Martin Luther King, for example, was routinely harassed by the FBI and labeled a terrorist. Modern examples include Julian Assange (first attacked by politicians, then his funding sources cut off by banks), and Bradley Manning (a U.S. Army soldier who's been in Federal custody since 2010 for blowing the whistle on illegal defense activities).

Political examples include Ron Paul, an Outsider, who is perpetually marginalized by both political arms of the Establishment. Media examples include American Max Keiser, the most watched newsman in the world, though you won't find him on any national network because he calls bankers “banksters” and politicians “criminals.” 

Just Getting Started

If you're still with me, know that I could fill countless pages with these examples.

But even more important are the implications these Insider activities have on us and our way of life — and what we're going to do about it.

First and foremost, there needs to be a place where we can come together and discuss these things. I'm calling it The Outsider Club. It will be a place to call out the Establishment and the things they're doing. It will also delve into why. It will show you how to exist independent of the system, to plan your own finances and manage your own investments. It will give you the tools you need to create a real-world financial skillset.

The Outsider Club will present information about how to thrive as an Outsider:

  • Knowing your rights
  • Minimizing taxes, debt, and expenses
  • Managing your own finances
  • Being more self-reliant
  • Accomplishing what you want to accomplish

The awakening is just getting started.

Look for more info on The Outsider Club very soon.

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