Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here.  (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)
Introduction: This program features the work of Eric Johnson, who has written an important, perhaps definitive, piece on the counter-culture fascist propaganda film Thrive.
The advance of fascism features a burgeoning array of media and organizational phenomena that direct people of more “progressive”--even “hip” orientation  in the direction of bigotry and right-wing totalitarianism.
In particular, anti-Semitism–denying that it is anti-Semitic–has become something of the “flavor de jeur” for much of the so-called progressive sector. The clouding of minds  with mysticism has accelerated this trend, particularly among the young.
A recent issue of the San Jose Metro–a free weekly paper in the Southern Bay Area–featured Mr. Johnson’s incisive analysis. This important article dissected the fundamentals of Thrive.
The brainchild of Proctor & Gamble fortune heir Foster Gamble, the film fuses New Age mysticism and cult “free-energy” mythology with Old Age anti-Semitic ideology pinning the world’s troubles on the Rothschilds and Jewish control of the financial industry. (Gamble himself holds forth on various subjects in the film itself.)
In addition to Gamble himself, “Thrive” presents the fascist ideology of G. Edward Griffin , a prominent John Birch Society theoretician. (The origins of the John Birch Society are detailed in AFA #11 .) In addition to his doctrinaire racism, demonizing the likes of Martin Luther King, Griffin tags the Federal Reserve System as a manifestation of the “Zionist” financial cabal.
The most outlandish of the fascisti whose “thinking” is featured in the film is David Icke . A former soccer player, Icke has reinvented himself as a political guru, disseminating the view that the world’s power structure is controlled by “reptilian shape-shifters” who pose as humans, eat young children and, somehow, are part and parcel to the international financial conspiracy advanced by Griffin, Gamble and company.
Another of the old-line fascists whose ideology is contained in the film is Eustace Mullins , although his influence is upon Gamble’s theoretical outlook, rather than in “Thrive” itself. An unabashed admirer of Adolf Hitler, Mullins is among the seminal fascist ideologues to tab the Fed as an outcropping of the “international Jewish banking conspiracy.”
Not surprisingly Icke , Mullins  and Griffin  have been extolled by the so-called “Truthers.”  Both have also been featured on the program of former Fox pundit Glenn Beck .
Interestingly and significantly, the movie promulgates the anti-tax, right-libertarian ideology of the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. (Von Mises is Foster Gamble’s ideological guru.)
In FTR #‘s 756 , 758 , 759 , we noted the profound influence of the Austrian School of economics on “The Paulistinian Libertarian Organization,” Ron and Rand Paul, Edward Snowden, the Tea Party and “the shutdown faction” of the GOP. In FTR #‘s 760 , 764 , 770 , 785  we noted the profound influence of the Austrian School on the development of Bitcoin.
In FTR #763 , we noted the influence of the Austrian School on Pierre Omidyar, Glenn Greenwald’s financial angel.
In addition to the New Age mysticism, the film’s cache among “progressives” is strengthened by the inclusion of the likes of ra  Deepak Chop ra , Amy Goodman  and environmentalist (and Baskin & Robbins heir) John Robbins .
This, in combination with the dumbing-down of America, has fueled the popularity of “Thrive.” Not surprisingly, the film has garnered a considerable following among the “Occupy” movement, according to author Johnson.
“Thrive” appears to be among the most successful manifestations to date of counter-culture fascism , adding something of a bohemian flavor to the old adage that anti-Semitism is “the socialism of fools.”
(Author Peter Levenda , among others, has chronicled the overlap of alternative religions such as Satanism with fascist and Nazi elements in his book Unholy Alliance . The alternative religious connection/New Age phenomenon is central to the success of works like “Thrive.”)
Program Highlights Include: Repudiation of the film by many of its participants, including John Robbins and Deepak Chopra; review of some of the key personalities and features of the Austrian School of economics, embodied in the person of Ludwig von Mises; review of the anti-democratic theories of Friedrich von Hayek; review of the anti-democratic philosophy of Hans Hermann-Hoppe; detailed review of the links of von Mises, et al to the milieu of Edward Snowden; review and supplemental discussion of the possible role of Friedrich von Hayek as a German intelligence operative in World War II.
1. Eric Johnson sets forth key aspects of the ideology lurking behind the touch-feely New Age aspects of the film, as well as details about the people peddling those viewpoints.
EXCERPT: Thrive, a two-hour documentary that has gone viral since its release on the web in November, sells itself as an optimistic vision of a utopian future marked by “free energy,” freedom from oppression and spiritual awakening. But on its way to depicting a dream-world utopia, Thrive delivers a dark and dishonest version of the real world and espouses a blend of paranoid conspiracy theories and right-libertarian propaganda.
The Santa Cruz couple who made the film, Foster and Kimberly Carter Gamble, build their tale around an undeniably poetic idea: that there is a secret pattern to be found in nature, and that we can learn from it. . . .
. . . In the film’s second section, Gamble sets out to show exactly how and why the government and its sponsors are duping us. This section probably accounts for its burgeoning online popularity with the Occupy movement and its supporters. (For the record, I count myself among that audience segment.)
Bringing in progressive heroes such as Vandana Shiva and Paul Hawken to recount the more or less well-known crimes against humanity perpetrated by the likes of Monsanto and Exxon-Mobil, Thrive makes the familiar, and justifiable, case that huge corporations have too much power, are largely corrupt and pose a threat to society.
But then, once again, the filmmakers jump the tracks of rationality. This is where the film should go political, but instead it plays the conspiracy card. And not just any conspiracy, but the granddaddy of them all: that a handful of families control the world and plan to enslave humanity.
In his soft voice, the gray-haired, blue-eyed Foster Gamble says, sadly: “As difficult as it was for me, I have come to an inescapable and profoundly disturbing conclusion. I believe that an elite group of people and the corporations they run have gained control over not just our energy, food supply, education and health care, but over virtually every aspect of our lives.
“When I followed the money, I found it going up the levels of a pyramid.” (As the torus symbol dominates Thrive’s first section, the pyramid dominates the second.) And at the top of this alleged pyramid of evil: the Rothschilds.
Not everyone watching this film will know that this argument has been around, and been discredited, for decades. Apparently, the desire to find someone to blame for all the world’s problems spans generations. And the Rothschilds make a pretty good target.
Are the Rothschilds very, very rich? Undoubtedly. Are the members of this family doing the work of Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? Mostly not. Are they all-powerful puppet-masters who secretly rule the world? Are they descended from a race of snake-people? Do they eat children? Um ... no, no and no.
Are they Jewish? Well, yes. And it must be said: The argument made in Thrive precisely mirrors an argument that Joseph Goebbels made in his infamous Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew: that a handful of banking families, many of them Jewish, are running the world and seeking global domination.
Foster Gamble inoculates himself against charges of anti-Semitism, stating flatly: “This is not a Jewish agenda. Let me be clear.” But while he scrubs out the openly anti-Semitic aspects of the disgraceful idea, the rest of it haunts the film.
And, once again it must be said, when describing symbolism used by his imagined Dark Lords of the Universe, Gamble does not hesitate to note that the Sign appears on the building that houses the Israeli Supreme Court, which he erroneously claims “is funded entirely by the Rothschilds.”
To prove his economic theory, Gamble invites G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jeckyll Island, which recounts the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, a historical moment which Griffin claims was orchestrated by the “global elite who want to control the world and create a New World Order.”
One of several veteran conspiracy mongers who appear onscreen in Part Two of Thrive, Griffin is a longtime leading member of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society, a fact not mentioned in the film. For those who may have forgotten—the John Birchers practically invented the modern conspiracy theory.
Founded in 1958 to carry on the work of the anti-Communist crusader Sen. Joe McCarthy, the Society went on to battle the Communist conspiracy we now known as the Civil Rights movement, and its leader, whom many of them referred to as “Martin Lucifer King.”
Then the Birchers focused their energies on revealing the existence of a Satanic (literally) group they called the Illuminati—a cadre of powerful families that secretly rule the world.
While Griffin may be the most far-right pundit to appear in Thrive, he is not the most far-out. That would be David Icke, although it would be impossible to know that from the interviews that appear in Thrive.
Icke’s role in the film is to explain the economic theory behind a common banking practice known as fractional reserve lending. He does this in less than two minutes, with the help of South Park–style animations, as though explaining the theory of relativity to an attention-challenged second-grader. And of course, he makes the practice appear sinister.
For a more sympathetic portrayal of the practice, see George Bailey’s bank-run speech in It’s a Wonderful Life: “You’re thinking of this place all wrong, as if I had the money back in a safe. The money’s not here. Your money’s in Joe’s house, that’s right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Makelin’s house, and a hundred others. You’re lending them the money to build, and then they’re going to pay it back to you as best they can.” That’s fractional reserve lending.
Point of fact: Without fractional reserve lending, almost nobody reading these words would ever be able to own a house. You would need to raise not only a down payment but the entire value of a home in order to purchase it. (Or be born with a fortune, as was Foster Gamble, whose grandfather founded Procter and Gamble.)
At any rate, Icke’s brief explication carries the day for Gamble, who concludes that with this banking ploy, “We inevitably become debt-slaves to a ruling financial elite.”
Icke then goes on to explain, in a minute or two, how banks caused the current recession purposely, in a plot to get their hands on all of the nation’s real property—a devious plot that has been “going on for centuries.” Again, as with many conspiracy theories, there’s a pretty big grain of truth to that.
According to the film’s website, this is David Icke’s area of expertise: “Icke reveals that a common formula—‘problem-reaction-solution’—is used by the elite to manipulate the masses and pursue alternative agendas.”
But a glance at Icke’s own website reveals that this is not his primary area of inquiry. Icke, it seems, is bringing the work of the John Birch Society into the New Age, furthering its study into the Illuminati. Like the Birchers, he swears he is not an anti-Semite, yet his site is rife with attacks against the “Rothschild-Zionists” who have, among other things, surrounded President Obama.
Icke’s innovation is that he tells the ancient conspiracy lie in the language of a self-help guru. “The Illuminati are not in my universe, unless I allow them in,” he says. “And then, I give them power. They’re frightened, frightened entities.”
It’s telling that Icke uses the word “entities,” because Icke believes the Illuminati, the people running the world, are not people at all. David Icke, the man championed in Thrive for his insight to economics, spends most of his intellectual energies showing that the world’s leaders, from Queen Elizabeth to Bill and Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, are not human, but are members of “bloodlines” descended from an interplanetary cadre of evil, godlike human/snake hybrids he calls “Reptilians.”
Two minutes into a video on his site titled “Demonic Possessed Reptilian Rulers,” Icke explains how these creatures do their black magic. Over images of George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama moving in super-spooky slo-mo, Icke says: “What [the Reptilians] are doing in effect, through the secret societies they’ve set up, is manipulating these bodies into power. But in doing so, they put themselves into power, because they’re controlling the mental and emotional processes of these vehicles.”
To put it another way: He isn’t one of those right-wing “Birthers” who believe Obama’s an alien. He believes Obama’s an alien.
In another video, “The Arrival of the Reptilian Empire,” Icke explains that “outside of visible light, [the Reptilians] feed off human energy, off human emotions.” And in the three-dimensional world, they feed off people. Literally. The video features an interview with a cohort named Alex Collier, who, in high dudgeon, says: “There were 31,712 children disappeared in the last 25 years in the United States. These children were food.” . . . .
. . . He [environmentalist John Robbins] says that in private correspondence, he learned that his friend [Foster Gamble] was being influenced by the ideas of Eustace Mullins, whom he calls “the most anti-Semitic public figure in U.S. history.”
Foster Gamble did not respond to an email request for an interview, but there is certainly evidence in Thrive that Mullins’ views influenced him. One of the central features of the film is the supposed revelation that the Federal Reserve Bank is a criminal enterprise; Mullins is the man who gave birth to that theory, in his 1952 book, The Secret of the Federal Reserve.
The following year, Mullins published his most notorious tract, “Adolf Hitler: An Appreciation,” which praises the fuhrer for his crusade against the “Jewish International bankers” who were attempting to take over the world. In subsequent books, Mullins argued that the Holocaust never happened and that the Jewish race is inherently “parasitic.” Incredibly, Mullins also insisted until his death that he was not an anti-Semite. . . .
. . . . Most of the solutions Thrive puts forward will resonate with its target audience of spiritually inclined progressives: stay informed, shop local, eat organic, avoid GMOs, etc. But not all. Given the troubling complexities of part two, I was only slightly surprised to find that one of the values of the future Thrive depicts is “little or no taxes.”
No taxes. Sounds good—but does that mean no public libraries? No state parks? No public transportation? How about roads? Social Security? Haven’t the Gambles seen what this kind of anti-tax rhetoric has gotten us? Doubled tuitions at the University of California, huge Reagan-era-style cuts in social services, decaying infrastructure.
Near the film’s conclusion, Gamble reveals the source of his anti-tax position, reverently introducing a man he credits with providing him with his Core Navigational Insight for the future: Ludwig von Mises. He does not mention that von Mises is the touchstone of right-libertarians, so-called anarcho-capitalists and radical Republicans such as Michele Bachmann, who quipped last year that she reads von Mises on the beach.
Gamble does lay out the core of von Mises’ philosophy of “non-violation, in which “nobody gets to violate you or” (ahem) “your property.” That philosophy translates into three rules: no involuntary taxation; no involuntary governance; and no monopoly of force.
In case anyone misses the point—that the state must wither so that man can be free—Gamble shares von Mises’ opinion that like Communism, fascism and socialism, “democracy wrongly assumes the rights of the collective, or the group, over the rights of the individual.”. . . . .
. . . . .Last fall, the acclaimed environmentalist and nutrition guru John Robbins was invited to the home of his friends Foster and Kimberly Carter Gamble, near Santa Cruz, to view the Gambles’ just-completed film, Thrive. Robbins, who makes a brief appearance in the film, says he was “overwhelmed” by what he saw.
“There were parts I liked, but there were other parts that I just detested,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to be rude—we were there with our families—so I just didn’t say anything.”
Thrive, which was released online in November, had its theater debut in March, and is now touring the country, is an uncanny hodgepodge of pseudo-science, Utopian fantasy and veiled right-wing conspiracy theory. Strangely, it also includes onscreen interviews with a number of bona fide progressives, environmentalists and spiritual leaders.
In addition to Robbins, author of the groundbreaking Diet for a New America in 1987, the film features conversations with Deepak Chopra, the superstar self-help author; Paul Hawken, the green entrepreneur and environmental economist; Elisabet Sahtouris, the evolutionary biologist and philosopher; Duane Elgin, the futurist and author of Voluntary Simplicity; Vandana Shiva, the physicist and advocate for sustainable agriculture; and former astronaut Edgar Mitchell.
In the months since the film’s release, Robbins says, he has been in communication with all of these folks. He wasn’t surprised to find that many of them agreed with his assessment of the film.
While they might have hoped the film would just disappear, Thrive has become something of a web cult phenomenon—by some estimates it’s been seen by more than a million people. And now they have decided to speak out.
Robbins, Chopra, Hawken, Sahtouris, Elgin, Shiva and Mitchell recently issued a statement saying that they have “grave disagreements with some of the film’s content.” . . . .
2. Gamble’s ideological mentor Ludwig von Mises is one of the main theoreticians of the Austrian School, along with Friedrich von Hayek. Friedrich Hayek’s ideological disdain for the poor and democracy helped created the current far right dominated political dynamic across the Western world.:
Bill Black is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Originally published at
Libertarians are profoundly anti-democratic. The folks at Cato that I debate make no bones about their disdain for and fear of democracy. Friedrich von Hayek is so popular among libertarians because of his denial of the legitimacy of democratic government and his claims that it is inherently monstrous and murderous to its own citizens. Here’sfrom a libertarian professor based in Maryland.
[W]hen government uses its legal monopoly on coercion to confiscate one person’s property and give it to another, it is engaging in what would normally be called theft. Calling this immoral act “democracy,” “majority rule” or “progressive taxation” does not make it moral. Under democracy, rulers confiscate the income of productive members of society and redistribute it to various supporters in order to keep themselves in power.
In order to finance a campaign, a politician must promise to steal (i.e., tax) money from those who earned it and give it to others who have no legal or moral right to it. There are (very) few exceptions, but politicians must also make promises that they know they can never keep (i.e., lie). This is why so few moral people are elected to political office. The most successful politicians are those who are the least hindered by strong moral principles. They have the least qualms about confiscating other peoples’ property in order to maintain their own power, perks, and income. In his bestselling 1944 book, ‘The Road to Serfdom,’ Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek described this phenomenon in a chapter  entitled “Why the Worst Get on Top.”
But von Hayek’s critique of democratic government has proven to be the most monstrous blood libel of the post-World War II era – falsely declaring that democratic government must end in tyranny and the mass murder of its own people.
The political scientist Herman Finer … denounced [The Road to Serfdom] as “the most sinister offensive against democracy to emerge from a democratic country for many years.”
The economist, in a reminiscence of Hayek published last December, was more dismissive still. “Where are their horror camps?’ he asked, referring to right-wing bugaboos like Sweden, with its generous welfare spending. Almost 70 years after Hayek sounded his alarm, ‘hindsight confirms how inaccurate its innuendo about the future turned out to be.”
Why the Worst Get on Top – in Economics
Economists claim that their work should be evaluated based on predictive success. Von Hayek was made a Nobel Laureate in 1974, three decades after his prediction that democratic states were headed to tyranny and mass murder of their own citizens. In those three decades of experience in the nations he focused on (Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) – and the forty years since his award – this happened in zero nations. He is batting zero for 70 years in roughly 30 nations with, collectively, thousands of elections. What he claimed was inevitable has never occurred.
Wesley Marshall and I are writing a book about why, disproportionately, economics bestows its top honors on those who fail their own purported test of success (predictive ability). This is the only field of academic study in which this occurs. We are trying to answer von Hayek’s question, but it his own field – “why the worst get on top.” Why do the von Hayeks of the world, the very worst of economists, “get on top?”
I recently wroteabout the spectacularly bad timing of a libertarian who chose the 70th anniversary of D‑Day (a product of exceptionally competent government planning) to denounce democratic government as incapable of planning and invariably leading to tyranny and the mass execution of its own workers and CEOs. As “support” for this claim the columnist presented the cartoon version of The Road to Serfdom that General Motors spread via pamphlet – this the day after General Motor’s admissions about the quality of its cars and the indifference to the safety of everyone on the roads by its senior managers and attorneys.
Why von Hayek and Milton Friedman are the Patron Saints of Plutocracy
It is telling that libertarians’ economic hero, writing what they claim was his single best chapter, “Why the Worst Get on Top,” invariably proved wholly and grotesquely incorrect about the certainty of tyranny and mass murder. Worse, since the time von Hayek wrote his chapter, the democratic governments he demonized have ceased the worst abuses against their own citizens, such as forced sterilizations. The worst abuses – mass torture and murder – have been committed by fascist regimes that von Hayek supported such as Pinochet in Chile. When we ask why von Hayek receives a Nobel Prize and remains Glenn Beck’s hero we cannot explain the results based on facts and predictive success (failure). Instead, we must look outside the realm of reality and enter into the realms that von Hayek glorified – ideology and greed.
Von Hayek received his Nobel Prize because he was so willing to be so wrong about so many things. His blood libel about the democratic governments of “the West” was useful to another group in which “the worst get on top” in far too many cases – “imperial” CEOs. Von Hayek legitimizes that which cannot be legitimized through real economics, reality, ethics, or logic – plutocracy. Von Hayek and Milton Friedman are the patron saints of plutocracy.
Von Hayek’s Denunciation of Democracy Rests on His Disdain for the Poor
Von Hayek argues that there are three reasons why democratic government inherently leads to the elevation of the “worst” to the “top” – and by the “worst” he means murderous tyrants. Von Hayek begins Chapter 10 with the famous quotation from Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Democratic government, of course, is consciously designed to prevent the creation of “absolute power” by the state or private entities. Von Hayek, therefore, has to argue that a democratic system of government designed to prevent the creation of absolute power will invariably produce absolute power.
The third component of the totalitarian troika is the “most important negative element.” These are the murderous bigots motivated by “hatred of an enemy … the envy of those better off.”
Von Hayek is Blighted by his Bigotry
What we are reading, of course, is the class hatred and bigotry common to minor Austrian aristocrats like von Hayek who were born in the 19th century. (The “von” was removed from all Austrian family names by statute when he was a young adult.) The idea of democratic rule by what he viewed as his inferiors appalled von Hayek. The fact that this kind of naked bigotry in this passage that I have quoted at length is viewed by his libertarian devotees as von Hayek’s finest work reveals the depths of libertarian hate for and fear of democratic government.
Von Hayek’s Other Predictive Failures
Under von Hayek’s theories, progressive and socialist candidates should be the great enemies of public education, for education would dramatically reduce their core “uneducated” group. For the same reasons, they should avoid at all costs teaching students how to engage in critical thinking and should instead spread nationalism/patriotism memes (such as American “exceptionalism” and flag pins) and spread racist propaganda attacking racial and ethnic minorities. The opposite is true. They should oppose legal protections, e.g., against job and housing discrimination. It is conservatives and European-style “liberals” who fought against public elementary and secondary education and the land grant colleges. It is conservatives who wear flag pins and claim that any acknowledgement of U.S. misconduct is unpatriotic. It is U.S. conservatives who to this day adopt variants of the racist “Southern strategy,” engage in state-sponsored homophobia, and oppose anti-discrimination laws. Von Hayek predicted that progressives would deny science. The cartoon version of his book portrays the government as preaching that the earth is flat. The reality is that it is corporate CEOs who lead the anti-science campaigns such as global climate change denial.
If You Object to an Economic System in Which “The Worst Get on Top” You are not “Envious”
Von Hayek tips his hand and dogmas when he uses the phrase “envy of those better off” and conflates it with virulent racism. Von Hayek assumes away the reality that all too often in business “the worst get on top” by the foulest means. Opposing their becoming “better off” through leading “control frauds” is not “envy” – it is justice, and it is essential to a well-functioning economy, society, and polity.
Von Hayek implicitly assumes that corrupt CEOs will not control and abuse any political system. Assume solely for purpose of analysis that von Hayek were correct that it demagogues can manipulate the three unethical groups he identifies and seize control of government. Under his own logic CEOs can use the seeming legitimacy, power, and wealth of “their” corporations to serve directly as these demagogues or fund and control proxy demagogues that will serve their interests. They have vastly greater economic resources and they have the expertise that comes from advertising to run propaganda campaigns. They also had tremendous expertise in the era von Hayek was describing in “divide and conquer” strategies in the colonies that would be easily translated into efforts to split workers along ethnic lines. The alliance of elite and poor whites in the U.S. South against the freed slaves is a classic example of how such a coalition can provide dominant political power for roughly a century. Under von Hayek’s own assumptions the “inevitable” result should be plutocracy through crony capitalism with anyone who complains about the resultant inequality denounced for being “envious” of his moral and intellectual superiors.
Why the Worst (CEOs) Get on Top: Accounting Control Fraud is a “Sure Thing”
I have explained this point enough times that I will simply direct any new readers to the scores of articles that explain why this is true. I also stress how important the “Gresham’s” dynamic is in explaining why such frauds can become epidemic and why such epidemics drive our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. The least ethical CEOs “get on top” in such a world and they produce plutocracy, massive inequality, and crony capitalism. Von Hayek wants progressives to declare unilateral political disarmament while the most corrupt CEOs dominate our economies and our political systems. Von Hayek’s blood libel about progressive, democratic government is a classic example of Frédéric Bastiat’s warning:
When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
What a wondrous irony it is that three ultra-rightists, Lord Acton, Bastiat and von Hayek, should combine so perfectly to explain our current plight in which plunder by elite CEOs has become “a way of life.” CEOs do not yet have “absolute” political power, but their power and corruption is rising steadily and has become so great that they are able to “plunder” with impunity. That impunity arose because von Hayek’s disciples were able to use his anti-democratic bigotry and failed economic dogmas to “create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes [plunder] and a moral code that glorifies it.” Von Hayek was one the principal framers of that immoral moral code that glorifies plunder by CEOs. Libertarians glorify von Hayek’s bigoted glorification of elites as our moral superiors who have a right to rule and plunder our Nation. Tyler Cowen calls plutocracy and pervasive plunder a “hyper-meritocracy,” but it is a rule by the most unethical for the most venal of purposes and it is the greatest enemy of merit and justice.
3. On a speculative note: Eddie the Friendly Spook’s economic and political theories are fascist and fundamentally opposed to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. His belief that we must get rid of Social Security and bring back the gold standard are propagated by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the ideological font of Snowden’s political idol Ron Paul.
Arguably the most famous member of the Austrian School of Economics that spawned and dominates the Ludwig von Mises Institute is Friedrich von Hayek. An immigrant from Austria, von Hayek was ostensibly an “anti-Nazi.” In 1944, he published The Road to Serfdom, a muddled ideological tract which attacks the New Deal of F.D.R. Begun well before the Canaris memo, von Hayek’s work has been a staple of GOP/Underground Reich propaganda ever since its publication, as well as a foundational element of revisionist history.
We present a document  drawn up by the head of German military intelligence (the Abwehr) in 1944. Abwehr chief Admiral Wilhelm Canaris notes that undercover propaganda assets in the United States should be utilized to generate anti-Roosevelt sentiment and help his electoral defeat in the 1944 elections. The Third Reich viewed the defeat of Roosevelt as consummately important.
We wonder if von Hayek–ostensibly one of the “anti-Nazis” cryptically referred to at the end of the document below, was one of the Third Reich’s undercover propaganda and psychological warfare assets among the Allies. The Road to Serfdom was heavily publicized by The Readers Digest in the Unied States.
We are also of the considered professional opinion that the Ludwig von Mises Institute is an important element of the Underground Reich.
“Directive of the German High Command on Political Warfare in the U.S.A.”
The following directive was issued by the Chief of the Intelligence Division of the German High Command, Admiral Walter Wilhelm Canaris, in 1944. The document lays bare the basic German strategy of scaring the U.S.A. with Bolshevism . . . .
SECRET STATE MATTER
March 15, 1944
At a meeting of the representatives of the Foreign Office, the Security Division, (“SD”) and the Department of Defense (“Abwehr”), the following resolutions were adopted for unified action by all our agents in foreign countries:
Utilize to the fullest extent all available possibilities in neutral and enemy countries, in order to support our military efforts with political and propaganda campaigns.
- Our goal is to crush the enemy’s plan whose object is to destroy forever the German Reich militarily, economically, and culturally.
The new regulations put into effect by the political leaders for the dissolution and disintegration of the enemy bloc should be carried out more intensely. We must do our utmost to create a state of confusion and distrust among our enemies. Such a state of disunity would enable us to sue for a quick separate peace with either side. While it is true that the efforts made in that direction have failed so far due to the implacable hate policy of Roosevelt and Churchill, it does not mean that some day, under different conditions, the unnatural front of our enemies could not be broken. Roosevelt’s electoral defeat this year could have immeasurable political consequences. . . .
. . . . Right now, the chances for a separate peace with the West are a little better, especially if we succeed, through our propaganda campaignand our “confidential” channels, to convince the enemy that Roosevelt’s policy of “unconditional surrender” drives the German people towards Communism.
There is great fear in the U.S.A. of Bolshevism. The opposition against Roosevelt’s alliance with Stalin grows constantly. Our chances for success are good, if we succeed to stir up influential circles against Roosevelt’s policy. This can be done through clever pieces of information, or by references to unsuspicious neutral ecclesiastical contact men.
We have at our command in the United States efficient contacts, which have been carefully kept up even during the war. The campaign of hatred stirred up by Roosevelt and the Jews against everything German has temporarily silenced the pro-German bloc in the U.S.A. However, there is every hope that this situation will be completely changed within a few months. If the Republicans succeed in defeating Roosevelt in the coming presidential election, it would greatly influence the American conduct of war towards us.
The KO-leaders abroad and their staffs have innumerable opportunities of constantly referring to Roosevelt’s hate policy. They must use in this campaign all the existing contacts and they should try to open up new channels. We must point to the danger that Germany may be forced to cooperate with Russia. The greatest caution has to be observed in all talks and negotiations by those who, as “anti-Nazis,” maintain contact with the enemy. When fulfilling missions, they have to comply strictly with instructions. [That would include the “anti-Nazi” von Hayek–D.E.]
4. According to a biography of Hayek (Friedrich Hayek: A Biography; Alan O. Ebenstein; 2003, p. 128.):
The Road to Serfdom was received positively when it was published in Britain in March 1944. The war was not yet over, but it was now a question of when, not if, Nazi Germany would be defeated. Hayek gave his impression of the book’s reception in England when he said later that he could “feel only gratifiation” at the success The Road to Serfdom had in Great Britian. This, while “very different in kind” than in the United States, was “quantitatively no smaller...On the whole, the book was taken in the spirit in which it was written, and its argument was seriously considered by those to whom it was mainly addressed.” He became famous in Britain as a result of the work. The Road to Serfdom was reviewed in leading papers, journals, and magazines. The initial print run of 2,000 copies sold out within days. According to British intellectual historian Richard Cockett, Hayek’s publisher, Routledge, ordered an immediate reprint of 1,000 copies, and in the “following two years they were to be engaged in a losing race to satisfy the huge public demand for the book.” Because of the wartime paper rationing, Routledge could not print as many copies as it wished. The summer following the work’s release, Hayek complainingly referred to is as “the unobtainable book.”
There is a small question of his exact intentions for the book — what sort of impact he intended. He wrote to Routledge on May 30, 1943, that he had completed a “semi-popular” work, and perhaps even more significantly wrote on August 9, 1943, “I have made a special effort to get it ready rather earlier than I expected as I believe that there are many signs that the time is becoming rather favourable for the reception of the book of this kind and I am especially anxious not to miss the opportune moment. I believe you will find it worthwhile making an effort to get it out before the winter”. Much of this was, however, merely the promotion that any author engages in with his publisher. In an April 1945 speech, Hayek mentioned that he did not expect more than a few hundred people to read the book.
5. It’s pretty clear that Hayek both wanted to make an impact and really did make that impact. Almost immediately–with the help of “leading papers, journals, and magazines”, at least in the UK.
For the US elections in 1944, the timing and of the exposure of The Road to Serfdom was pretty significant. The UK edition was published in March of 1944. In the US it wasn’t as readily accepted in the media, but, with a glowing review by on . It was similar to the review Hazlitt gave to :
Remembering Henry Hazlitt
Mises Daily: Friday, July 27, 2007 by Bettina Bien Greaves
Henry Hazlitt was one of a very special breed, an economic journalist who not only reported on economic and political events in clear and understandable language, but also made contributions to economics.
When I arrived at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 1951, I was just a neophyte in the freedom philosophy. Hazlitt was a trustee, author of the bestselling Economics in One Lesson, and for several years an editor of the fortnightly free-market-oriented news-commentary magazine, The Freeman, predecessor of FEE’s The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty.
But he was easy to approach; his manner was pleasant, not aloof or overbearing. He was of average height. His features were regular, and he wore a mustache. He dressed appropriately for a journalist working in midtown Manhattan in his day — in suit and tie. He was modest, always thoughtful of others, and one of the kindest and most gracious men I have known. His friends called him Harry, and in time I too came to call him Harry. I was proud to have him as a friend.
Hazlitt lived an active life as a newspaperman. He belonged to several literary societies, attended their luncheons, and met the leading authors and intellectuals of his day. He admired, he once said “almost idolized,”, whom he briefly succeeded as editor of The American Mercury. Hazlitt frequently debated prominent politicians on the radio: Vice President Henry Wallace, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and US Senators Paul Douglas and Hubert H. Humphrey. He came to know practically all the conservatives and libertarians of his day, not only Mises and Anderson, but also, among others, FEE founder Leonard E. Read, Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, John Chamberlain, William F. Buckley Jr., Lawrence Fertig, Sylvester Petro, F.A. Hayek, and Ayn Rand.
In 1938 Hazlitt reviewed for the New York Times the English translation of Mises’s, describing the book as “the most devastating analysis of socialism yet penned.” Mises was then in Switzerland, but the two men corresponded briefly. Then in 1940 Hazlitt received a telephone call from Mises, newly arrived in New York. Hazlitt was dumbfounded: “It was as if John Stuart Mill had risen from the dead!”
Mises, a refugee from war-torn Europe, had been forced to leave his home in Vienna, Austria, a comfortable position in Geneva, Switzerland, and the academic world of Europe where he was well known. He and Hazlitt soon became the best of friends, and “Lu,” short for Ludwig, found a special place in Hazlitt’s heart and mind.
Hazlitt’s Helping Hand
When Mises phoned Hazlitt, Mises was trying to start a new life in the United States. Hazlitt was always willing to help his friends. Through contacts in the State Department, he helped Mrs. Mises’s daughter to escape Nazi-occupied Paris (this was before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when the United States was not yet at war). He asked his friend Benjamin Anderson, who had associates at Harvard University, to help Mises find a teaching position. Harvard wasn’t interested. Hazlitt arranged a dinner for Mises with Alvin Johnson, director of the New School for Social Research, where many European victims of Nazism had received positions. But when Johnson told Hazlitt that Mises was “too extreme,” Hazlitt realized that Johnson only hired socialists.
By Hazlitt’s arrangement, Misesseveral editorials for the New York Times. The Rockefeller Foundation gave Mises a grant for several years, enabling him to write and . Mises soon obtained a position as visiting professor with the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration. Then Hazlitt brought him to FEE, and Leonard Read hired him as economic adviser.
In the 1950s Mises’s NYU graduate seminar in economic theory was held in Gallatin House diagonally across Washington Square from the apartment where Hazlitt lived with his wife, Frances. Hazlitt felt sorry for Mises having to speak every Thursday evening to a small group of students who were tired after working all day at their regular jobs. So to buck Mises up, Hazlitt began attending the seminar. The topics varied from year to year — epistemology, history, Marxism, capitalism, monopoly, interventionism, monetary theory, and socialism. Mises frequently cited historical illustrations and amusing examples.
“Interestingly,” Hazlitt said later, “what I found was, no matter how many times I would go, no matter how often I heard in effect the same lectures, there would always be some sentence, some incidental phrase or illustration that threw more light on the subject.“ On one occasion, laughter broke out. Mises: “The Soviets censor bad books.” And then proudly with a twinkle in his eye: “My books!“
Hazlitt considered himself especially lucky in counting Mises and his fellow noted Austrian economist(1899–1992) among his friends. Hazlitt had, of course, known both for many years through their writings, but it was only after he reviewed their books that they met and became friends. When F.A. Hayek’s came out in 1944, Hazlitt reviewed it for the Times, calling it “one of the most important books of our generation.” The book became a bestseller. Hazlitt’s review attracted Hayek’s attention, and in 1947 he invited Hazlitt to attend the important first meeting of the free-market-oriented society he was organizing, later internationally known as the Mont Pelerin Society.