John Rockefeller said, “Competition is a sin.”
G. Edward Griffin:
“Absolutely! All of his biographers quoted him on that. So they began to look for ways to eliminate their competition, and of course, if they couldn’t beat them in the open marketplace, which was the old way of eliminating competition, now they were looking for new ways, and that was to form monopolies and cartels – to go into joint ventures with competing firms so that they could no longer compete on price or markets, patents and processes. They would come together and form a cartel, and then they wouldn’t have to compete and they could share the market. Well, that was what was happening at the turn of the century; and lo and behold, when you look at these men sitting around the table at a clubhouse on Jekyll Island, all of a sudden you realize, “Oh my gosh, the Federal Reserve System is a CARTEL.” And that is exactly what it is. It is not a government agency. It is a cartel no different than the banana cartel, the oil cartel, or any other. It just happens to be a banking cartel. That is the second thing that emerges from the study of what happened on Jekyll Island.”
Interview with G. Edward Griffin, Author of ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island’ (Secretive Creation of the Federal Reserve System)
Interview by Victor Thorn & Lisa Guliani
April 2, 2004
WING Spotlight Interview: G. Edward Griffin (The Creature from Jekyll Island)
by Victor Thorn & Lisa Guliani
Victor Thorn: There’s an old saying that I’m sure we’ve all heard. It goes: “Follow the money.” And that’s exactly what we’re going to do with G. Edward Griffin, who wrote quite possibly the best book ever about the Federal Reserve System. It’s called The Creature From Jekyll Island – and that’s what we’re going to do – follow the money. To truly understand the way the world works,the first thing we have to do is understand money. That’s at the core of everything. The controllers, the elite that run the world, use money as the stranglehold over all of us – via money and the creation of money. In my book, The New World Order Exposed, I devoted four or five chapters to the Federal Reserve System, but after reading Mr. Griffin’s book, I was very humbled by everything he knows. Mr. Griffin starts off this book by saying that the Federal Reserve System is not federal, it has no reserve, and it’s not even a bank. It’s really fascinating how intricate and involved it is and how crucial the Federal Reserve and the creation of money is to the people who run not only this country, but the world. Mr. Griffith, why don’t you tell us how you became involved with researching the Federal Reserve?
G. Edward Griffin: Well, I’m just a guy that got interested in recent history. I never was much interested in history when I went through school, but when I got into the real world, I began to see things around me that went counter to what I had thought was reality. So I began to do some research and got into all of these upstream topics at a very early age. Basically, I’m a reader. I read books and I interview people and I dig into library archives. I love to go through microfilm and a lot of old documents. It just seems to be the pond I was meant to swim in. So, a long time ago, I got into this business of being what they now call a researcher and a writer. But basically, I’m just an investigator. I dig these things up and I write books on them, and much to my amazement, people actually buy the books and read them and tell me they like them – which really is amazing to me, because some of these topics, like the Federal Reserve System, sound as though they’re pretty dull and boring.
My job has always been to get people into the topic a little bit so they can realize that it’s not so boring after all. The Creature From Jekyll Island is a second look at the Federal Reserve System – that is really like a “whodunit”. It’s a mystery story of what they’ve done with our monetary system. I just began to write books and produce television documentaries – very low budget things because I funded everything. I never did anything for the networks or the major stations. I always did everything for my own edification where no one else could tell me what to do or what to say or what slant I had to take. My job was to tell it the way I saw it. So I’ve been doing that since about 1960. And I formed a little company a few years after that called “American Media” that is still very much alive and well. We produce educational documentaries, we publish books, and we produce audio recordings. We have a name as far as our marketing arm is concerned. It’s called “The Reality Zone”.
Of late, I’ve become very concerned with the practical side of these things. For years, I have been writing and speaking on all of the things I find that I consider to be problems in our society – things which do not look well for the future of America. So I had been one of these people who went around saying, “Gee everybody, don’t you see what’s going on? Don’t you care about the future? Let’s do something about it.” So I’ve been pointing with alarm for a lot of years, and it finally dawned on me that it really doesn’t make any difference what we know about these problems if we don’t do anything about it. And that led me to the question: what is it that one can do about these things? And up until that time, I had been pretty much following the line that, well, if we are just informed, the truth will set us free. And it finally dawned on me: that is a myth. The truth alone is not going to set anybody free. Truth is often shackled in chains by a tyrannical system. It’s up to the people who know the truth to get off their chairs and do something about it.
Victor Thorn: We’ve spent a lot of time speaking about that very point. We’ve said: We already know what’s going on. We know what’s wrong, we know what needs to be changed, but if we’re all in front of our computer screens or in front of our televisions and not doing anything about it, then it’s exactly like you said. Nothing is going to change.
G. Edward Griffin: Reading another book or attending another seminar or sending carbon copies of letters or emails around to our friends – while that’s all very good and exhilarating, it still doesn’t change anything. So about two years ago, I began to change my orientation. Out of that came an organization which we call Freedom Force International. The purpose of this organization is to actually show people how they CAN do something to turn events around. How they can not just be complainers, but actually become “doers”.
Lisa Guliani: Mr. Griffin, in an earlier writing, you discuss that the best chance we have to change the system is through its weakest point – which is public opinion. Can you address that?
G. Edward Griffin: That sounds like one of my earlier writings, and I really question that today. There’s no doubt in my mind that we do need to change public opinion, because as long as the public doesn’t realize there’s a problem, as long as they support the programs, for whatever reason they think these programs that are devastating to our freedom – that they think are necessary – for example, to protect us against terrorism, or necessary to protect us against drug dealers, or necessary to protect us against crime, or necessary to protect us against child pornography – all these excuses that are thrown out to convince people that these increasing rules and regulations in our lives are “necessary” for our own good. As long as people buy into that nonsense, it’s going to continue. So I’m really not saying that public opinion is not important. But what I would like to add to that now is what I was mentioning a moment ago – that once we’ve got public opinion on our side, then what?
Just having the majority of people or a large number of people coming from the same point of view does not translate into political action unless those people are smart enough and dedicated enough to get involved in political action and translate their political opinion into actual deeds. What I’m really talking about is that our nation (or any nation) is really controlled by what sociologists call the ‘power centers of society.’ The power centers are those groups and organizations through which people work and act, and in many cases they actually think homo sapiens are a kind of herd animal. He has this “herd” instinct. We have leaders and we seek leaders and we follow leaders. And leaders pretty much tell us what to do. In many cases, they tell us what to think. If we are led to believe that consensus is important, and if somebody does a poll and they say “Well, 60% of the population is all for this measure,” we have a tendency because of our nature, to say, “Well, if 60% of the population is for it, it must be okay. I should be for it, too.” That’s the way people think. So, what I’m driving at is that the collectivists who have really captured control of most of the governments of the world today have done so not by military means, and they don’t even represent a large percentage of the population.
They represent, in most cases, less than three percent of the population – and in some cases, even less than one percent of the population. Yet, they can dominate the whole nation because they are in control of the power centers of society. I’m talking about the political parties, labor unions, church organizations, schools – all the organizations that add up to the sum total of power in a nation. And if you’ve noticed, in many cases these organizations have leadership with a point of view or an agenda which is totally removed from the point of view of the rank and file members. And the members often wonder, “How did this guy get to be the president?” Or, “Where did these people on the board of directors come from? They don’t represent me and my way of thinking.” Well, this happened because there were people who had an agenda for many decades now. They’ve known that in order to put their political views into place and to dominate a society, they had to control those power centers. They use their energies, their time, and in many cases, huge amounts of money in order to capture control of the power centers. The reason I mentioned that is because I believe the best way – the only way – to reverse this trend is to recapture control of the power centers. Public opinion is important, yes. But it is NOT the complete formula because unless we can convert public opinion into actual control of the power centers of society, we are not going to win. And that is the whole purpose of Freedom Force International.
Victor Thorn: One of the first steps we need to take is to abolish the Federal Reserve System, and you concur with that in The Creature From Jekyll Island. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the first page in your book, where you said about the Federal Reserve – it’s not federal, there is no reserve, and it’s not even a bank. What does the Federal Reserve represent and how did it become so powerful?
G. Edward Griffin: We could spend hours just talking about that. Let me take it from a sort of fundamental point of view here. First of all, it might be beneficial to explain why I called the book The Creature From Jekyll Island. A lot of people think that seems like a contradiction of terms. I just had a smog check here and I was talking to a mechanic. He asked me what I do for a living and I said I write big, boring books. He said, “Yeah? Well, what was the latest book you’ve written?” I said it’s called The Creature From Jekyll Island and his eyes lit up and he thought it was a sequel to Jurassic Park. Then I said that it was a second look at the Federal Reserve. And he got this very puzzled look on his face. He didn’t understand how a book on the Federal Reserve could be called The Creature From Jekyll Island, which is one of the reasons I chose that title. I wanted to catch people’s attention and make them wonder. So let me explain very quickly. Jekyll Island is a real island. It’s off the coast of Georgia, and it was on that island back in 1910 that the Federal Reserve System was created. When I got into the research, I realized that this was strange.
You would expect that something like the Federal Reserve, which we’ve all been taught to believe is a government agency of some kind. You’d think that it would have been created in Washington, D.C. in some kind of a committee room. But no, it was on Jekyll Island back in 1910. Furthermore, I discovered that the island in those days was privately owned by a small group of billionaires from New York City. People like J. P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, and their business associates. It was a private social club called The Jekyll Island Club. This is where the families of these very wealthy people went to spend the cold winter months. They got out of New York and went to Jekyll Island. They had some beautiful cottages there and they’re all there today, by the way – if anybody wants to go look at them. They’ve been preserved. And I thought, well, isn’t it strange that the Federal Reserve was created at a meeting on Jekyll Island? And then I discovered that the meeting was conducted under conditions of extreme secrecy. I can assure you that very few wars of history were plotted under greater conditions of secrecy than this meeting. All of these things were ringing bells in my mind. I thought, what on earth is going on? You know, when something’s done in secret, there’s usually something to hide. And I thought to myself, what on earth were these people trying to hide? So that’s what really triggered my imagination and my curiosity, and so I started to dig into it. You know what I found? I found out what they were trying to hide. That’s what my whole book is about.
I discovered that all of the important things that we need to know, in my opinion, about the Federal Reserve System could be traced to that meeting on Jekyll Island – and in terms of the things that they were trying to hide from public view. Now, what were those things? It’s hard to summarize this. First of all, we have to realize that the Federal Reserve was offered to the voters back in 1913 when it was actually passed into law. It was offered to the voters as a solution to a problem. The American people were deeply concerned in those days about the concentration of financial power into the hands of a small group of powerful banking and investment firms on Wall Street. In those days, they used to call that conglomeration the “money trust”. That was what you’d find when you dug into the newspapers of the period and looked in the editorial section.
You’d find a lot of editorials condemning the “money trust”. People knew that there was too much power in the hands of a few people, so there was a clamor for legislation which was supposed to break the grip of the money trust. And the Federal Reserve Act was offered as the solution to that problem. So, we start off with the assumption that the Federal Reserve Act was to put control of the monetary system and the banking system back into the hands of the people and to break the grip of the money trust. All right, the first thing they were trying to hide at that meeting was the fact that the Federal Reserve System was written BY the money trust. The people who attended that meeting were the epitome of the money trust. These were literally the wealthiest men in the world. When you added up the wealth which was controlled by the seven men who went to that meeting, in accordance with the estimates of the writers at that time – this is not my estimate – they estimated that these people either controlled directly or indirectly through the banking firms that they represented, approximately one-fourth of the wealth of the entire world.
Victor Thorn: Isn’t that incredible?
G. Edward Griffin: Yes. We’re talking about the J. P. Morgan dynasty, the Rockefeller dynasty, Kuhn Loeb & Company, the Rothschilds from Europe, and the Warburgs from Germany and the Netherlands. These were the people who were represented at that meeting, and they are the ones who created the Federal Reserve System – supposedly – to break the grip of the money trust. So, the first reason for the secrecy was to hide the fact that this was like asking the fox to build the hen-house and install the security system. One of the persons who attended that meeting wrote an article for The Saturday Evening Post some years later and he explained, quite openly that had the public known at the time precisely who was writing this bill, they would have rejected it. So that, you see, was one of the reasons for the secrecy. But we can learn other things about that meeting, too. I mentioned a moment ago what firms and enterprises were represented. This is extremely important.
Another interesting thing is that, prior to this meeting, or at least to this period in history, these firms were competitors. Prior to the turn of the century, they were struggling for dominance in the financial markets of the world. They were spilling blood all over the battlefield in New York and Paris and London, vying to be dominant in the financial markets. And here they are, sitting around the table on Jekyll Island in the seclusion of this very exclusive clubhouse, coming to an agreement. And the reason that is significant is because it was precisely at this time in history that a major change was going on in the way America was doing business. Prior to that time, free enterprise competition was reigning supreme, and that’s the reason – in my opinion, at least – America surpassed the rest of the world in a very short period of time. It went from a very crude, rugged frontier type of nation and became a highly industrialized and affluent nation because of free enterprise competition. At the turn of the century, people like Rockefeller and Morgan and Carnegie had decided that since they were at the top of the heap, they didn’t want any more competition. They wanted to put an end to competition.
Victor Thorn: John Rockefeller said, “Competition is a sin.”
G. Edward Griffin: Absolutely! All of his biographers quoted him on that. So they began to look for ways to eliminate their competition, and of course, if they couldn’t beat them in the open marketplace, which was the old way of eliminating competition, now they were looking for new ways, and that was to form monopolies and cartels – to go into joint ventures with competing firms so that they could no longer compete on price or markets, patents and processes. They would come together and form a cartel, and then they wouldn’t have to compete and they could share the market. Well, that was what was happening at the turn of the century; and lo and behold, when you look at these men sitting around the table at a clubhouse on Jekyll Island, all of a sudden you realize, “Oh my gosh, the Federal Reserve System is a CARTEL.” And that is exactly what it is. It is not a government agency. It is a cartel no different than the banana cartel, the oil cartel, or any other. It just happens to be a banking cartel. That is the second thing that emerges from the study of what happened on Jekyll Island.
Victor Thorn: Tell us about Paul Warburg and how he was a front man for the Rothschild family and how he essentially masterminded this and patterned it after the German Reichsbank.
G. Edward Griffin: Paul Warburg was born in Germany, he was a naturalized American citizen, and he was very knowledgeable in European banking. We must remember that the Federal Reserve System was modeled very closely after the Bank of England. It was what the textbooks call a “central bank”. That’s just a code word. It doesn’t really mean anything. It’s not a bank at all, but if you want to look it up in a textbook or an encyclopedia – you’ll find it under the phrase “central bank”. What it basically is, is a cartel – it’s a partnership between the government and the private banks. I might add, before I jump off of that topic of the cartel, in the case of the Federal Reserve, the cartel went into partnership with the federal government – and cartels like to do that because only governments can enforce the cartel agreements. See, without government involvement in a cartel, there’s no way for the cartel members to make sure that the other members stick with the agreement. So what are they going to do if one of the oil producing countries decides they want to lower the cost of oil because they want a larger share of the market?
There’s nothing that the other countries can do to force them into line unless, of course, you pass an international law and call it a trade law and now you can get the United Nations involved and enforce the cartel agreement for oil or whatever – fish or who knows what. In this case, the banking cartel was very eager to get the United States government into the contract so that all of the banks – once they were in the cartel – had to follow the cartel agreements or else they would be violating the law and then the police could be brought after them. That was a way of enforcing the cartel agreements. I emphasize this because most people don’t realize that cartels always have an affinity to government to enforce their cartel agreement. I’m a little bit off the track. It was Paul Warburg who was a master at all of this. I think he had more experience with this central bank mechanism than all of the rest of them put together. So he was the technician – but also, we mustn’t forget that all throughout his business career he maintained a close relationship with his brother, Max Warburg, who was head of the Warburg Banking Consortium in Germany and the Netherlands. Not only that, he was a senior partner in Kuhn-Loeb & Company, which was one of the giant investment firms in New York, and as such they handled the financial affairs of the Rothschilds. So, he was well-connected at several different levels, as you can imagine. Paul Warburg is really the role model for the Little Orphan Annie caricature called “Daddy Warbucks”. Everybody at the time knew that Paul Warburg was “Daddy Warbucks”.
Victor Thorn: Let me ask you this. You mentioned that the five primary forces at that time were the Morgans, Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Warburgs and Kuhn-Loeb. Today, if we had to name the dominant forces in the banking industry, or those people who are really pulling the strings of the rest of the world, how much different would it look today – or would there be any difference – than it looked in 1913?
G. Edward Griffin: Well, it’s really hard to quantify that. I believe it would look pretty much the same except for one shift. In 1913, the Morgans were the dominant American banking influence. Before I say anything more, you should know that J. P. Morgan was really – most biographers say and have said of him – that he was probably an agent of the Rothschilds. The Rothschilds had a very strong, very effective tactic of doing business through other organizations that were thought to be independent. They developed this tactic over the decades in Europe when there was a lot of anti-Semitism, and so the Rothschilds, of course, being Jewish, found that if they wanted to gain dominance in a market that was anti-Semitic, they certainly couldn’t do it directly themselves.
So they worked through agents who were thought to be independent, and in some cases, agents who were thought to be anti-Semitic – which was kind of clever. J. P. Morgan was often thought of as being anti-Semitic, but the record is now clear that he was an agent of the Rothschilds himself. So, in any event, in 1913, it was pretty clear that J. P. Morgan – The House of Morgan – was the dominant banking influence. But today, that seems to have shifted to the Rockefellers. There’s no doubt in my mind today that the Rockefellers are the dominant banking force in the United States. The Rothschilds, I believe, are still very powerful – although they continue to operate behind the scenes so that nobody really focuses on them. They like the public to think that they’re just a bunch of playboys and they dabble in the markets. But in reality, I think from what I can see, the Rothschilds are still very, very powerful in all of this.
Lisa Guliani: Mr. Griffin, could you please discuss the 16th amendment to the Constitution and whether or not you think it should be repealed?
G. Edward Griffin: Well, that’s a topic that’s a little beyond my expertise. A lot of people are of the opinion that the 16th amendment to the Constitution was never properly ratified and I’ve seen the documentation to prove that – and it’s very convincing to me. However, I think that trying to reverse that on the basis of the technicality that it wasn’t properly enacted in the first place is a mistake. I think that if it were to go before the States today and they were given a chance to ratify it, they probably would. In other words, we’re back to the question that was brought up earlier. We need to change public opinion. I think that the 16th amendment has been so well accepted over the years that there’s probably some legal argument somebody could make that it’s now grandfathered into place. I don’t like the 16th amendment any more than anyone else, but I think the way to get rid of it is not on a technicality, but on the principle that it’s wrong. Let’s assume that it was properly ratified. Now, what do we do about it? I think we still need to get rid of it – not because of a technicality, but because it’s based on fallacious principles.
Lisa Guliani: I’d like to also ask you about NESARA. Are you familiar with that?
G. Edward Griffin: Yes, I’m quite familiar with NESARA.
Lisa Guliani: There is quite a controversy on the internet about NESARA. Is NESARA a trap or a potential solution to our problems?
G. Edward Griffin: My opinion of NESARA is that it is NOT the solution to the problem at all. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a trap, although it could be. But that would imply motives to the promoters, which I don’t think would be justified. But I certainly do not see it as a solution, primarily because, although it has a lot of good-sounding phrases to it, and although it is very critical of the Federal Reserve, and although it does have a lot of good things going for it, the one thing it doesn’t have is a real solution. And by that I mean, what the proposed solution of NESARA is, is to take away the power to create money out of nothing – take that power away from those big, bad bankers and turn it over exclusively to those nice trustworthy politicians. In other words, NESARA does not focus on the fact that the Federal Reserve System creates money out of nothing, it focuses only on the fact of WHO does it. It doesn’t make any difference who does it – it shouldn’t be done at all by anybody. I don’t think that politicians can be trusted any more than bankers.
Victor Thorn: Mr. Griffin, if you were sitting in Washington, D.C. right now in the Oval Office, what would be the first two or three things you would do?
G. Edward Griffin: Well, the first thing I would do is go on television and tell everybody what’s on my mind. I would want to try and explain to people what I’m going to do. I wouldn’t just do it. I’d explain WHY I’m going to do it first, explain what my principles are and what I believe the proper function of government is. And then I’d say: if you folks like what I’ve just said, then I’m going to go ahead and implement it. And if you don’t like what I’ve just said, then you better elect me out of office.
Victor Thorn: what would be the first two or three things you’d implement?
G. Edward Griffin: Boy, I’ll have to think about that one. The first two or three things – it would be like a kid in a candy store. I don’t know – that’s a good one. Can I think about that for a while? I’m tempted to say, “Abolish the Federal Reserve.” But as I said in my book, we can’t do that overnight. It needs to be stepped out, because it would certainly destroy the economy to just abruptly abolish the Federal Reserve. There are a lot of things out there I’d like to see change, but in all honesty, I don’t think they can be done overnight.
Victor Thorn: Let me ask you this question: I was talking to an economist the other day and I asked him a fairly vague question: “How close or how realistic is the possibility that the bottom could really drop out of our economy?” He said it is, in fact, a real possibility. What are your views on that?
G. Edward Griffin: My view on that is kind of complicated. First of all, as I said in my book, I believe that what is happening to our monetary system is disastrous to the future of the country. It’s a disaster to the monetary system. I don’t see how it could survive without falling apart. It’s a disaster to the freedom issue. I don’t see how people can continue to have this system and maintain their personal freedoms. I’m really alarmed about that. I believe that sooner or later, the bubble has to burst. Now, let me qualify that by saying – and I think I said this in the book – there is one condition under which we would not have a collapse of the monetary system. That would be a condition in which no one would dare say that we had one. In other words: totalitarianism. If we had no freedom of speech, no freedom in the marketplace, no freedom to buy or sell as we wished, then all of the forces of supply and demand would be paralyzed. Under those conditions, there would be no collapse of the monetary system.
There would just be slavery. And what concerns me is we may be moving into that scenario. I believe, for example, that the Federal Reserve is manipulating the market. I’m convinced that there are mechanisms they are using. They’re using the hidden taxation of inflation, and the creation of money out of nothing to sustain the stock market to create the ILLUSION of continued prosperity. That is a terrible thing, when you can intervene in the free market like that and literally paralyze it. So what I’m concerned about is that we are moving very close into a condition where it might be comparable to the Soviet Union twenty years ago. If we had lived in the Soviet Union twenty years ago, no one would have said that they were having economic problems because the official line from the state was “everything is improving”. They had five-year plans, ten-year plans, everything’s on target, employment is up, prosperity is up; the value of the rouble is up. All the official pronouncements were positive and nobody DARED say that they were lies. I think we’re coming to the point – if we aren’t there already – where we’re looking that kind of a thing smack in the face.
Lisa Guliani: You mentioned earlier an ideology called “collectivism”. The CFR is guided by this ideology and they believe the best way to bring about change is by engaging in war. Let’s talk about the three pillars of collectivism.
G. Edward Griffin: Well yes, I would like to do that very much because that “ism” is what we stress in my organization, Freedom Force International. I believe that it’s not enough to just know what we’re against. We have to know what we’re FOR in a struggle like we’re in today, because history is so full of examples of people who have risen up against some tyrant or some system which they found unbearable – and at great cost in blood and treasure, they’ve overthrown the heinous system and they’re all so happy until five years later – or maybe not even that long – they find out that they merely replaced the system with one which is just the same (or maybe even worse)! And that happens over and over again in history because people only focus on the things they don’t like. They don’t really have any idea of what they want. They don’t have any positive goals or principles of their own. And so, at Freedom Force, I believe that it’s very important to have a creed. What do we believe in? What are our goals and principles?
In answering that question, I believe we have to come face-to-face with the recognition that in the western world today, the political conflict between ideologies is not between liberals vs. conservatives, left-wingers vs. right-wingers, or socialists vs. capitalists. All of these words which really defy clear definition – everybody uses those words with a little different thought in their mind as to what they mean – they cannot be defined where everybody agrees on it. I think when you cut through all of that verbiage and all of the emotional attachments we have to those words, you wind up with just two ideologies in the western world today. And that is, individualism vs. collectivism. And the western world today is in the grips of collectivism. Collectivism can take many forms. Socialism is a form of collectivism. Nazism is a form of collectivism. Communism is a form of collectivism. They’re all variations of collectivism, and if you know what collectivism is, you can spot them. Even if they don’t have a name, you can have your favorite candidate standing up and saying, “Vote for me!” And he’ll come up with some political nostrum and if you recognize it, you’ll say “AHH! That’s collectivism! He’s a collectivist!” And he may not even know it. So what is this thing called collectivism? I’ve identified actually five philosophical foundations for collectivism, three of which are probably the most important. Three of them are very easy to recognize.
The other two require a little more analysis. By the way, when you take these pillars of collectivism and you turn them upside down, they’re the pillars of individualism. So we find that on these five points, the world is divided. You either have to be one way or the other, if you’ve given any thought to it at all. The most important thing that people will recognize is that collectivists believe that the group is more important than the individual — that the individual must be sacrificed, if necessary, for the greater good of the greater number. Now that is at the core of all of the mischief of collectivist systems such as Communism, Nazism, Socialism, or Fascism. If you look at any of those, you’ll find the underlying belief that the numbers are important – that if we can justify that this particular deed is good for a greater number, then we can sacrifice the smaller number. It’s simply a question of a head count. And under such a system, there really is no foundation for individual rights because nobody has a right if the greater good of the greater number is served by denying that right. I’ll give you an example. I think everyone is beginning to recognize today that we didn’t get into WWII as a result of a surprise attack by Japan. For years, everybody denied that.
They thought that was a scandalous concept for people to suggest that President Roosevelt and people high in the military and in the State Department of the American government would stand by and not only allow the Japanese to attack, but to goad them into it, to encourage them. What an awful thing to suggest! Well now, of course, all the history has come out, the smoking gun has been found, and there aren’t many of us today that even question that anymore – although a lot of people still haven’t heard it. But the defenders of the Roosevelt regime today don’t say that he didn’t do this or that they didn’t do that. What they say today is, “Well, yes it’s true, but he was justified in doing so because it was for the greater good of the greater number.” It was worth sacrificing a mere two or three thousand American lives at Pearl Harbor in order to wake up the nation to the necessity of getting into the war and fighting against Hitler at a time when it was easier to do than later. In other words, it was okay to lead three thousand people to their death in order to get us into a war that was for the greater good of the greater number.
Victor Thorn: And the same rationale is applicable today.
G. Edward Griffin: Oh, it’s definitely applicable today. Of course. You see, nobody could talk about it during WWII because they were living through it. Now, you know, because its history, we can talk about it. Well, it’s happening in the war on terrorism, too – but you can’t talk about it today because people are too emotionally involved in it.
Victor Thorn: If you had a crystal ball right now, what do you see happening to our country and our world in the next six months to a year – up to say, the 2004 election? What do you see happening in the Middle East?
G. Edward Griffin: Well, my crystal ball doesn’t work too well. I think I’ve got a pretty good hold on the long view, but I’ve always been very bad on the short view because things are always happening that are surprising. But I do know that if there is no change, things are going to continue as they are now going. That’s pretty obvious. And the change I’m talking about is a change in public awareness. Right now, it seems that the greater majority of the American people are solidly following the concepts of their leaders – even though it’s pure collectivism – from top to bottom. They don’t understand that and they’re being fooled. They don’t have the information like we’re talking about. Therefore, they are unable to make intelligent decisions about what is right and what is wrong. As long as that condition continues, then we are going to continue to follow the policies of the people who presently control the government. And that does not look too good. I think that the goal of the present government is to continue to expand their military presence throughout the world. They have written about this. They want to establish what they call “Pax Americana”, similar to “Pax Romana”. In other words, they see themselves as leaders of a new Roman Empire to dominate the world. Beyond that, they see that as a stepping stone to being the most influential voice in the creation of a world government. That’s the ultimate goal for them all. They want to be the top dogs in that world government. That’s where we’re headed, and unless we can turn it around, I’m afraid we’re going to find ourselves locked up in a world government based on the model of collectivism. And I can assure you, we’re not going to like it.
Lisa Guliani: Do you think Americans have the stomach for freedom that our ancestors once did?
G. Edward Griffin: I think they do, although a lot of us have been taught in our schools, as I was, to be very suspicious of freedom. I think a lot of people have no faith in freedom. They’re afraid of freedom because they haven’t thought it through. They think, I should have the freedom to choose what color socks I want, but when it comes to freedom in the banking industry or freedom in the market, that’s too complicated. We’ve got to have government controlling that.
Lisa Guliani: They don’t want the responsibility.
G. Edward Griffin: Yes, I think people have been trained to do that, educated to do that – but now we talk about the stomach and the heart. I think when you come down to push and shove, when the issues become clear, most Americans will definitely take a stand for freedom.