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- A Manifesto For Paleo-Progressives -
by Mark Walter Evans
Email: markwalterevans (nospam) sbcglobal.net
04 Apr 2007
- An Exposition of an historic Movement, and a definition of a term describing a profound, & venerable current of American Radicalism -
-- How does one define “Paleo - Progressive?”
* Paleo-Progressives are a substantial, although unsung, unrepresented, unorganized, and hitherto undeclared and scattered flock of politically aware liberals and radicals within the American body politic, throughout history, even until Now.
* It is an old, and pronounced tendency within what was formerly known as the “Progressive Movement” before the New Left came on the scene in 1962.
* Paleo-Progressivism was the dominant tendency within the pre-Marxist, and non-Marxist-Leninist wing of what academics generally call the “Old Left.”
Paleo-Progressivism has deep roots in American history. Paleo-Progressives remember Jefferson’s hope and vision of America as a peaceful, insular, happy, enlightened, prosperous, and educated nation of free-holders living in villages, towns and cities – of a cultivated continent of orchards, fields, and farms, of yeomen farm-families dwelling safely, at peace with the world and shining a beacon of freedom and hope to the rest of mankind.
Paleo-Progressives are for clean, efficient, ship-shape government. They are against graft and corruption on all levels. They are not ashamed to be called “petty-bourgeois Reformists” by Marxist-Leninists. Paleo-Progressives are Jeffersonian democrats with a small d.
As such, they are against Militarism, and American Imperialism abroad, since Jefferson declared his enmity towards “standing armies.”
In the present, Paleo-progressives want to end the war in Iraq, and passionately oppose the insane drive of the BushLeague and the Neo-cons to open a second Front in the “War On [of] Terror,” by nuking Iran.
In the present, every single Paleo-Progressive in America, and those of their number who have become exiles abroad because they have given up hope that America can ever be reformed, wants to end the War in Iraq, Now, and bring the boys and girls in uniform home, Now.
Paleo-Progressives accept the principle of the Class War, not out of doctrinaire, Marxist Cant, but because it is self-evident. Paleo-Progressives are egalitarians, and want there to be a level playing field. They loathe racism and sexism, ageism and class-ism -- and every other tool of leverage that the ruling class utilizes to keep the People separate, and locked in ideological prison camps.
Paleo-Progressives in general are not Marxists, though some have certain "Old-Left" American Socialist Party tendencies. They remember Eugene Debs. They are able to square Lincoln's language in the Gettysburg Address, about government "…of the People, by the People, and for the People," with the term
"Socialism." -- In the Realm of Ideas they are the same Animal.
Paleo-Progressives are generally not Luddites. In general, they are not against technology. They are for Progress. That's inherent in their internal constitution. However, they are vehemently opposed to the abuse and misuse of science and technology against the People by the minions of the power elite.
Paleo-Progressives tend to be both Bohemian and “Culturally Conservative," at the same time. They love their families, and are into “family values.”
Paleo-Progressives tend to be pacifists. They heartily reject the Marxist- Leninist notion that the end justifies the means. They love and honor all sentient beings, including plants.
Paleo-Progressives, often it seems, have not stopped to examine why they believe in Progress, as such; they just do. It’s just born in ‘em. Few of them have ever given the matter the introspection, consideration, and analysis that it deserves.
Most Paleo-Progressives have never read “The Idea of Progress – An Inquiry Into It’s Growth and Origin” by J. B. Bury, Dover Books. Perhaps they should.
Perhaps, if they did, they might be able to examine their own unconscious assumptions, and evolve to the next stage of political consciousness.
Paleo-Progressives are realistic about the U.S. Federal Constitution. They recognize that the Constitution is a flawed document, a compromised document that was drafted by a mixed assembly of Yankee proto-Industrialist Hamiltonians and Southern slave-owners and tidewater planters.
Paleo-Progressives are just a little curious about what Patrick Henry actually said, for four to five hours a day, for twenty days running, in the Virginia House of Burgesses, when he was arguing against the ratification of the Constitution…Apart from warning that the Constitution would lead to an "Imperial Presidency," common knowledge is slim on this point. Problem is, these speeches are buried in the archives of the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.
Historically, Paleo-Progressives read Charles Beard’s “An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution,” and were aware of his thesis. Some read “The New Nation” by Merrill Jenson, and developed an appreciation for the Articles of Confederation; Paleo-Progressives are against "Yankee Imperialism."
Paleo-Progressives also love Freedom more than any form of "Government." – In this sense, they may be said to have strong libertarian tendencies.
Paleo-Progressives dig Patrick Henry, and remember what he said about Liberty and Death. And Yes, we all know and agree:
George W. Bush is a War-monger, and serial killer.
It is because the BushLeague are ideological Fascisti who are bent on taking away our precious heritage of Freedom, that We Declare Our Opposition to George W. Bush, and his financial "base" on Wall Street. He is the first President ever, to declare, in Public, that the Constitution is "Just a God-damned Scrap of Paper."
For this reason alone, Paleo-progressives, in the Present, are not against the Constitution. They are realists; and realize sometimes W means what he says. Therefore, Paleo-Progressives are, to a man - to a woman, for the Constitution. They love and Believe in the Bill of Rights, and are willing to make their stand on it.
They realize that, in the present situation, both documents are a hedge, a rallying cry, and a hopeful Point-in-Common across the Great Divide of the American political Spectrum, in stopping the general downward spiral to Fascism in America that is being engineered by the BushLeague – i.e., that desperate faction of Wall Street capitalists who are using W as their current front-man and stooge.
George W. is not the Problem; he is a Symptom.
In every generation of American history, the Paleo-Progressives have opposed all aggressive Wars, and every Imperialist foreign entanglement.
Historically, Paleo-Progressives bore the burden of the memory of the conclusion that Jefferson came to late in life, regarding the flaw in the Constitution:
- That it did not allow the Treasury to monetize paper, and issue non- interest-bearing bills of Credit, and further, that it did not allow the separate States to create credit monies within their own jurisdictions - bills and notes - as they had been permitted to do under the Articles of Confederation.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: "The issuing power of money should be taken from the banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies."
“Paleo-Conservatives” derive from the tradition of the Tertiam Quids – the four Southern gentlemen, monetarists [Gold bugs] who had been friends of Jefferson and held on to his Hard Currency stance of the 1790s. The Tertiam Quids of the Age of Jackson, who later became Confederates, represent the ideological forebears of the Old Right -- the Paleo-Conservatives, who are Monetarists to this day. This is some of the etiology of the Old Right tradition in the American body politic. Thus we have forward-looking "Progressive" Jeffersonians and "stand pat," "Conservative" Jeffersonians, to this day.
A highly enjoyable and readable study of the history of this parting of the ways; is in the book, “The Age of Jackson,” by the young Arthur Schlesinger Jr., written as a doctoral thesis at Columbia in the post-War period, when he was sowing his political wild oats.
The Paleo-Progressive Current and tendency in American politics and economics is the Stream of Consciousness that followed after Jefferson, and comprehended his Epiphany, acquired late in life, that the Treasury should be empowered, by an Amendment to the Constitution, to emit
“Non-interest-bearing Bills of Credit.”
Write that down. Memorize it. Comprehend it. Let it become a Mantra.
Historically, Paleo-Progressives have always had certain Jacksonian tendencies, though the educated amongst them realize that Jackson was the Ronald Reagan of his day; an old, malleable, war-horse and Indian killer who loved to nap and lounge around drinking mint juleps on the back porch of the White House.
Still, Paleo-Progressives retain a fondness for Jackson, the man who opened up the front door of the White House to the common people from the West, and who fought the Bankers in Philadelphia grouped around the Second Bank of the United
States, and won. Also, Paleo-Ps remember Jackson because he loved to party. Paleo-Progressives have always loved a good party. [Small p]
The "Problem" in America is Systemic
Jackson fought the Second Bank of the United States, which was the central holding company of the North American plutocracy of his day; he pulled the plug, and nixed the renewal of its Charter. But he did not solve the problem. In point of fact, Jackson did not have a clue as to what the solution was.
It was Abraham Lincoln, who was forced, out of necessity, to monetize paper during the Civil War, who realized and fulfilled the solution that Jefferson had realized late in life as the Solution to the Money Question.
During the Civil War, beginning in 1862, Lincoln authorized the printing of four hundred and forty million dollars worth of Fiat Paper Notes; in order to pay the salary of the Soldiers, the bills due for purchase of war materials, et cetera. They were known subsequently as the “Lincoln Greenbacks.”
Further series of these notes ceased to be issued after 1863, when the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, from the banking family of the same name, pushed through the National Bank Act of 1863. -- Against the will of Lincoln, that Act was railroaded through Congress by the conservative elements in the Republican Party.
Abraham Lincoln said simply that he could not fight two wars at the same time. He wrote and spoke to the effect that he fully intended to resume the practice of Creating Credit; non-interest-bearing notes, In the Name of the People, after the war was over; but then something happened at the Theatre one night and he was not able to accomplish that end.
For the rest of the Nineteenth Century, and on into the Twentieth, there remained a radical, ”left-wing”, “Green-back,” remnant within the folds of the Republican Party. This element was purged from the Party in 1918, because it had been opposed to America entering the Great War.
Historically, in the late nineteenth century, the bulk of the Paleo-Progressive tendency in the United States – known as “The Western Progressives” united around the Issue of Currency Reform and joined the Greenback Party in the 1870s & 1880s. This evolved into the People’s Party – the Populist Party - of the 1890s. Of which, Jack London, in his youth, was a member…
[A Necessary Foot-NOTE: this movement was a far cry from the holocaust revisionist, crypto-Nazi, so-called ”Populist Party” of today, which is a shill, set up by the plutes to corral, contain, and discredit any genuine populist potential in the present.]
These parties were primarily Western [trans- Allegheny] in their origins and electoral base. They represented the current that had slowly evolved from Jefferson through Jackson, on into Lincoln. William Greider describes this movement in his book, Secrets of the Temple.
Greider wrote, in the chapter entitled, "Democratic Money":
“The central element of the Populist Plan, a democratized monetary system, was… an audacious redefinition of money — money was a contract with the future, not an obligation with the past. A free society could determine that contract itself, in a democratic manner, and fulfill its terms, independent of the demands imposed by the old wealth accumulated from past enterprises. In short, the national government could create money and invest it with a social purpose-promoting greater equality — because government was the ultimate guarantor of the future. The new money created by government, the Populists reasoned, would be free (save for the cost of printing and handling), yet valuable. Where did its value come? From everyone—from the mutual consent given by all, and so all should share it’s power.” – Secrets of the Temple.
- Just understand those words, if you would! -
The common thread of this radical tradition was Money – the fight over who would control the Issuance of It - the Congress, the Representatives of We the People – or Private Corporations, Banks.
In the Nineteen-teens, beginning in North Dakota, an Agrarian Revolt began. It was fully rooted in this tradition – the trans-Allegheny grain belt tradition of the struggle of the People to regain their Sovereignty over the Issuance of Money, through the Congress, the Representatives of We, The People.
This movement, called the Non-Partisan League, achieved complete and stunning, if only regional, success in 1916 in North Dakota. They were able, in just one year of intensive organizing, to take over the State government of North Dakota and to enact a radical five-point platform that included a People’s Bank, the Bank of North Dakota, which issued low-interest loans to farmers and free-holders, at two per cent per annum.
The Methodology of the "League" was very simple:
(1) They had a five-point Platform, which they all agreed on.
(2) They ran citizen’s candidates in every county, city, town and hamlet, who were totally committed to this Platform,
(3) They all agreed, beforehand, that they would work to elect any politician who would concur with all of the points of the Platform,
(4) … And that they would work to remove every elected official who would oppose the Platform.
Oh, there’s one more thing; to wit, Upon taking control of the reins of the State government in 1916, the assembled, newly elected legislators enacted all five points of the Platform, in one session.
This was all done within the Republican Party, by the way, the more radical of the two parties (pre-1918) at the time. Ha!
When, in the course of time, the fervor & enthusiasm of this movement – the original “Political Prairie Fire” [Check out the book by Robert Morlan] -- spread over the border into Minnesota, the Movement took on the name the of “Farmer-Labor Party,” which was founded by a Committee which included Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., the father of the aviator.
It was, quite consciously, an attempt to build that Union of Farmers and Workers that Lenin said was necessary to make any Revolution successful. It was not a movement that inclined towards the violent overthrow of the government, however. It was a pacifist movement.
In the ‘twenties and ‘thirties of the last Century, many urban intellectuals, and Paleo-Progressives east of the Alleghenies actively allied with this Radical current in the West, in the hope of building a Third Party that could topple the strangle hold of the oligarchy in the citadels of finance in the east.
Such men of the Left generally coalesced in third-party formations such as the 1924 Progressive Party of Robert LaFollette, Sr., and the Farmer-Labor Association – in the American Mid-West. They were all big fans of Eugene Debs.
Paleo-Progressives were not, and are not “New Deal Democrats” - an appellation that has appropriately been co-opted and appropriated by the self-described “Hamiltonian” LaRouchies.
During the era of F.D.R., Paleo-Progressives were united in their perception of Roosevelt as a friendly, but disingenuous front-man for the interests of the bond-holding class, a man who had been groomed, and chosen by his team-mates on Wall Street to save Capitalism during a period of extreme crisis.
Paleo-Progressives of that era also favored the construction of roads, dams and bridges, the improvement of the infrastructure, and putting the unemployed to work; but they did not agree with the programs that F.D.R. enacted - the multiplying of alphabet agencies that were, in reality, Delaware corporations; quasi-private fascist corporations.
Paleo-Progressives wanted the Government to take over banking, the railroads, the hydro-electric plants, and the armaments industry, but they advocated that this be done by spending “New Money" – Lincoln Greenbacks -- not by the
expedient F.D.R. employed to further his programs -- of floating endless issues of interest-bearing Treasury bonds, that increased the National Debt exponentially.
Paleo-Progressives, during the 1930s, wanted the government to function cleanly, and efficiently in the interest of the People – All of the People – for the Common good. – They wanted the Government of We, the People, to exercise Dominion over Credit. That is, to wrest it away from the Banks and holding companies that then owned -- and currently do own, and run the Government.
During the period at the very beginning of the New Deal, one of the most penetrating, clear, and succinct on-going, weekly editorial analyses of just what was wrong with the New Deal, can be found by reading the weekly editorials of Walter W. Liggett, editor and publisher of the Mid-West American, of Rochester and Minneapolis, Minnesota, available on microfilm, from the Minnesota Historical Society.
Jerry Voorhis, the radical Congressman from Whittier California, who was Richard Nixon’s first hit on his rise to power, was another articulate exponent of this same current of “Old Left” Paleo-Progressive populism in the ‘thirties and ‘forties, even within the fold of the Democratic Party itself.
In the present time, unconscious Paleo-Progressives contain within their scattered legions many social and political sub-groups. They come with a wide spread of tendencies:
Some are classical, academic Liberals of the old Ivy League schools of the Eastern Seaboard.
Some are urban, intellectual Blacks; some are rural, freedom-marching, progressive Black Baptists.
Some are rural back-to-the-land types -- the remnants of the ‘Sixties -- Some of theses are Greens; some are self-described "Left/Populists" or "Socialists"…
Some call themselves "Progressive Democrats;" some have "Libertarian/Socialist" tendencies…
Some are Chicano radicals who favor the building of alliances with the Zapatistas in Chiapas…
Some are pro-Life, "Cultural Conservatives;" who remain, in economics, either Jeffersonian, or Socialist. Some of these are liberal, even evangelical Christians; some are Jewish.
Some are even so unconscious of what they really are, that they regard themselves as “Conservatives,” of various tendencies…
All of these groups contain people with threads of Paleo-Progressive Consciousness. They should put aside whatever divisions divide them, and unite as a bloc.
It is my hope that All Paleo-Progressives will come out, and shake themselves, and realize who and what they are, and take the field. Once more, it is time for a Revolution in America. If the People lead, the leaders will follow…
The Question is: - Will it be a violent Revolution that the Oligarchy can put down violently, exterminating many good people in the process =OR= will it be a non-violent, Gandhi type Revolution, with the eyes of the World watching, engaging in mass sit-ins and shut-downs of the Institutions at the center of political, and economic, and military power on Wall Street, and in Washington, D.C., until such Institutions are altered and changed forever, and re-structured to operate in a non-predatory manner -- in the interest of We, The People?
If such a Movement is to be effective, it must work lawfully, and peacefully and by the means of Law.
As I discern them, Paleo-Progressives represent a non-violent, yet radical, element within the body politic.
In the hope that there may yet be a non-violent Revolution, I humbly present an Amendment to the Constitution that fixes the Systemic flaw in the charter -- one flaw that has plagued the American polis ever since the Framers drafted the Document in 1787.
That flaw was the loop-hole whereby Hamilton, Morris, & Co. were able to sidetrack the document, and set up the First Bank of The United States, a privately owned Joint-Stock Company, modeled on the Bank of England, whose building graces Wall Street to this day.
It was the Federal Reserve Bank of it’s day - a Private Corporation overseeing the Creation of Credit, to the monumental benefit of a few, rich, privileged families who were the Joint-Stockholders.
Let us study, and remember the Methodology of the Non-Partisan League, and let us go forth and engage in non-violent Revolution…
“ DRIVE THE MONEY-CHANGERS OUT OF THE TEMPLE!! “
Hey! Didn't Franklin Delano Roosevelt say that?
"...But he didn't Mean it."
I said that.
Mark Walter Evans,
Money and Credit – Congress Asserts Power To Coin Money, and Emit Bills of Credit
[SECTION 1.] The Congress hereby asserts the power, granted in this Constitution, to coin money, and to regulate the value thereof. -- And further, to emit non-interest- bearing bills of credit directly through the Treasury Department (on the Credit, and in the Name of the People).
[SECTION 2.] The Congress hereby authorizes the Treasury to issue a sufficient quantity of “dollars” to purchase back the capital stock of the Federal Reserve Bank from the current private owners, by eminent domain.
[SECTION 3.] The Federal Reserve Bank shall henceforth be subsumed into the Treasury, and function as a Sub-Treasury Central Bank of issue. Henceforth they shall be one institution, and be called, formally, the Treasury of the Commonwealth of the United States of America, or commonly, “The Treasury of Commonwealth.”
[SECTION 4.] The Treasury of Commonwealth, as the fountainhead of Credit-Creation in the nation, shall henceforth issue as Money only non-interest-bearing Notes, and Mint coins of pure Specie, stamped with their weight and fineness. The books, accounts and records of the Treasury shall continually be open to public scrutiny.
[SECTION 5.] The Treasury of Commonwealth shall honor, and continue to pay (by means of non-interest-bearing notes, and checks) the interest on all outstanding U. S. Treasury Securities, as they come due. There shall be no further issues of Treasury Securities, or Bonds.
[SECTION 6.] The State Treasury departments, of each of the fifty States, are also hereby empowered, by the same creative principle (formerly given by charter to banks) to create Credit within their own jurisdictions, in the form of checks, signed by the State comptrollers, in accordance with appropriations made by the State legislatures, for the purpose of maintaining State institutions, infrastructure, and salaries.
[SECTION 7.] In accordance with the provisions of this Article, all banks and financial institutions in America shall receive new charters from the Treasury. The Treasury shall henceforth have the unique and sole power within the nation to create Credit – a function formerly granted by the government (and thus erroneously delegated) only to Banks. Henceforth private banks may charge interest, to service accounts.
[SECTION 8.] In Sum, this Article defines, and enhances the powers granted to Congress and the Treasury, under Article I, Section 8, Clause 5, of this Constitution. Furthermore, it amends and modifies Article II, Section 10, Clause 1, to empower State Treasuries to create (a limited amount of) non-inflationary Credit, in the form of checkbook money - in order to meet the pressing needs of the states.
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