Guest Post: The U.S. Monetary System And Descent Into Fascism An Interview With Dr. Edwin Vieira
Submitted by David Galland of The Casey Report
The U.S. Monetary System And Descent Into Fascism An Interview With Dr. Edwin Vieira
The following interview with Dr. Vieira was conducted in early June of 2011 for the subscribers of The Casey Report
– but after careful consideration, we decided that the content is so
important; it needs to be shared with a wider audience. Feel free to
pass it along.
The Casey Report
more than thirty years, Edwin Vieira, Jr., has practiced law, with emphasis on
constitutional issues. In the Supreme Court of the United States, he
successfully argued or briefed the cases leading to the landmark
decisions Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, Chicago Teachers Union v.
Hudson, and Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which
established constitutional and statutory limitations on the uses to
which labor unions, in both the private and the public sectors, may
apply fees extracted from nonunion workers as a condition of their
He has written numerous monographs and articles in
scholarly journals, and lectured throughout the county. His most recent
work on money and banking is the two-volume Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution
(2002), the most comprehensive study in existence of American monetary
law and history viewed from a constitutional perspective.
He is also the co-author (under a nom de plume) of the political novel CRA$HMAKER: A Federal Affaire (2000), a not-so-fictional story of an engineered crash of the Federal Reserve System, and the political upheaval it causes.
His latest book is: How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary... and Constitutional "Homeland Security," Volume One, The Nation in Arms.
first met Dr. Vieira at our Casey Research Boca Raton Summit and were
sufficiently impressed to want to hear more, and to share more, of his
work with readers of The Casey Report.
Before kicking things off, I’d refer readers to Dr. Vieira’s in-depth
and excellent paper, "A Cross of Gold," as that provides a more detailed
analysis on how the corrupt U.S. monetary system might transition into
something more honest and effective.
Getting started, from a
big-picture perspective, technically speaking, is the current U.S.
monetary system actually constitutional?
EDWIN: Well, technically speaking, factually speaking, legally speaking, no. In a word, no.
DAVID: Why not?
There are two levels to consider. First, there's the straight currency
level – what is supposed to be the official monetary unit. Then there is
“other,” which I distinguish as different from the official monetary
unit because the Constitution doesn’t prohibit private parties from
creating media of exchange for their own uses, as long as those media of
exchange are non-fraudulent and they’re operated in an otherwise honest
But the official unit of currency is supposed
to be the dollar, and I'll tell you exactly what a dollar is – it's
371.25 grains of silver in the form of a coin. That was determined as a
historical fact in 1792. Actually the dollar was adopted before the
Constitution was even written. It was adopted by the Continental
Congress under the Articles of Confederation, the so-called Spanish
milled dollar, which was the actual unit that was circulating then,
because there had been essentially no coinage under the various colonial
regimes in colonial America. So that's the dollar unit.
we have that now? The answer is, "Well, essentially, no." First,
obviously they are not coining a true dollar, they coin a Liberty Silver
Dollar, but that's 480 grains, not 371.25 grains. And you have various
gold coinage with dollar denominations on it, but those dollar
denominations have no real relationship in terms of market exchange
ratio to a silver unit of 371.25 grains.
So the short answer is
that within the coinage system we don’t have what we're supposed to
have. We have silver coins, we have gold coins, but they’re not properly
weighted or regulated. And then, of course, we have these base metallic
coins, which have no constitutional status at all – at least with
respect to being legal tender for their face values. So on the coinage
side, we have a mélange and a mess. At least there is some silver and
gold coinage, but it doesn’t meet the constitutional requirements.
the other side, the so-called official paper money side, the
Constitution does not provide for official paper money. What it does
address are two provisions; the first, dealing with the states,
specifically says, "No state shall emit bills of credit." As a word of
explanation, bills of credit were the founding fathers' terminology for
This is interesting because the paper currency
they actually used and emitted were bills of credit that promised to pay
something, typically gold and silver coins, specified on the face of
the bill. So even those types of paper currency, fully redeemable paper
currency, were outlawed for the states because the states had emitted
them in vast excess. That was the historical basis for the outlawry.
turning our attention to Congress, you need to recall that Congress
only has the powers that are granted to it. You don’t look in the
Constitution for prohibitions on Congress's authority and assume that it
can do everything that isn't prohibited. You look for delegations of
authority, and you assume that anything that hasn’t been delegated is
If you look at the original draft of the Constitution
in the Constitutional Convention, the Federal Convention of 1787, it
said, "Congress shall have the power to borrow money and emit bills on
the credit of the United States."
That language was taken from
the Articles of Confederation. The Congress operating under those
articles had the power to borrow money and emit bills – emit paper
currency – and they did it. They emitted the so-called continental
currency from which came the phrase "not worth a continental" because
they emitted so much of it that it depreciated very close to
At the Constitutional Convention, you had people in
attendance who had been members of the Continental Congress. They had
been members of various state legislatures. These were the leading
political figures in the country. They had to a large extent been the
ones who had emitted continental currency or had emitted various state
bills of credit. So this was a question that wasn't in some way alien to
them as they had been involved in it only a few years earlier.
the first draft of the Constitution was put forward with the same power
that the Continental Congress had, and there was a debate. You look at
Madison's notes, and it was a rather vociferous debate, and they threw
out the words "emit bills," so that now that provision of the
Constitution says, "Congress shall have the power to borrow money on the
credit of the United States." It says nothing about emitting bills.
by hypothesis, if the power is proposed and then stricken from the
final version, it doesn’t exist, right? You don’t need to be a Harvard
law school graduate to understand that.
So we look at those two
provisions of the Constitution: One explicitly prohibiting the states
from emitting bills of credit, because otherwise the states would retain
that power. And the other with respect to Congress, where they didn’t
grant the power, even though the power was proposed to be granted and
that proposal was overruled, and so it wasn't granted. Based on that it
is clear, I would say, that there is no power in Congress or in the
states to issue bills of credit.
What we have now is something I
think goes almost beyond the bill of credit, though it’s not really fiat
currency because the Federal Reserve note, according to the statute, is
supposed to be redeemed in "lawful money." So in principle one could go
back to the Federal Reserve Bank or one could take it to the Treasury –
both have the obligation of redemption – and you could exchange a
Federal Reserve note for one of these base metallic coins now in
circulation. So, I guess it still could be called a bill of credit in
the sense that you can actually receive some coinage, but what is the
coinage that you receive?
Interestingly, we had an example of this
type of problem in the period around the Civil War. During the Civil
War and just after, the Union Government issued “greenbacks” – legal
tender U.S. Treasury notes – and that was the first time that the
government had purported to issue any kind of paper currency under the
They did it once again under a wartime emergency –
and for a short time, those things were not redeemed because the
government was not paying out gold except as interest on bonds. They had
to suspend specie payments during the war, but the Supreme Court upheld
the constitutionality of that issuance of those greenbacks, I think
erroneously, but they upheld it specifically on the basis that the
greenbacks were to be redeemed in the constitutional currency of gold
All right, so even the furthest extent of error that
has been made by the judicial system, with respect to paper currency,
was premised on that paper currency being a true bill of credit in that
it would be redeemed in the constitutional coinage of the country.
if you look at the Federal Reserve note, you have a number of problems
with it: Number one, it's not issued by the Treasury. It's issued by
this banking cartel. No Federal Reserve note can come into existence
unless one of the 12 regional banks, each of which is a private
corporation, goes to the Board of Governors with certain assets defined
in the statute and asks the Board of Governors to generate Federal
The Board of Governors can't generate Federal
Reserve notes on its own, neither can the Treasury. So these things are
being generated by a private corporation, and they’re not redeemable as a
matter of law in the official constitutional silver or gold currency of
the country. So they probably have four or five constitutional strikes
against them. Especially if you look at the difference between U.S.
Treasury notes and Federal Reserve notes. Treasury notes were always the
product of some specific statute enacted by Congress, where Congress
would say that so many millions of dollars' worth of these notes are to
DAVID: Right, and emitting those notes obviously falls within their right to borrow money.
Well, assuming that that's what they’re doing – and that was the
Supreme Court's decision in the legal tender cases after the Civil War –
they said, well, that’s a form of borrowing money. It really isn't
because it's a form of generating money. You don’t borrow money when you
generate money – the concept is nonsense – but even assuming that
that's the case, Congress has the power to borrow money and they specify
a certain amount of money.
Well, they haven’t specified a certain
amount of money to come out of the Federal Reserve system ever. There's
absolutely no specification – that's all left to the whim of the
Federal Reserve banks. So assuming that Congress had the power to
generate Treasury notes, they would do it in a controlled fashion by
telling us exactly how much is supposed to come out with each emission.
Here they have purported to delegate this power to a consortium of
private bankers, so this is like six or seven strikes. This is worse
DAVID: And at this point,
you really cannot redeem your Federal Reserve notes for anything
anywhere. I mean, you can trade them with other people for other goods,
and then you can take them to the bank and redeem them in base metal
coins worth a fraction of their face value.
Well, initially Federal Reserve notes were required to be redeemed in
gold, and then that was removed in '33 and '34 with the gold seizure. So
now we have notes that, as John Exter used to say, are an IOU-Nothing
Currency – because with respect to the banks and with respect to the
Treasury, they owe you nothing, and if you go into the marketplace, you
may be able to get whatever someone will give you for them, but you have
no legal right to demand any particular amount of anything.
redeemable currency, by law, is a currency that has a requirement that
the issuer redeem it in something that is specified, a certain weight of
gold, a certain weight of silver, whatever. So at one time, Federal
Reserve notes were redeemable currency.
Now, I suppose, as I said,
they’re not a fiat currency because you can get this base metallic
stuff for them, but the constitutional requirement, assuming that you
could have a bill of credit at all, would be that it had to be paid in
the constitutional coinage unit. So this is the problem.
Constitutionally, the thing is a first-class mess.
So you’ve got eight strikes or so against this currency,
constitutionally speaking, and yet the situation persists. Why hasn’t
there been a successful challenge to the system in the courts?
Looking at challenges that have come up over the years, I would start
by looking back to the '30s, because in the '30s you had two events. The
first was a gold seizure followed by the second, the prohibition of
gold clauses in contracts.
You had one set of cases that came up
to the Supreme Court dealing with the prohibition of gold clause
contracts, and one can only look at those and shake one’s head and say,
"Well, this is just, you know, fraud, complete double talk, nonsense."
And interestingly enough, they never took on the gold seizure. They
never decided a case on the gold seizure, even though cases were brought
to them. They refused to hear them, and I think the reason was even
they knew they couldn't figure out how to justify that one, how to
Subsequently, you’ve had attempts by people to
challenge the Federal Open Market Committee in particular, because the
Federal Open Market Committee of course is composed not only of the
members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
arguably, because they’re appointed by the president and confirmed by
the Senate, you could say they’re officials of the government, although
that's an open question that's never really been decided. But the other
members of that committee are representatives of the private Federal
Reserve regional banks, about which there have been a number of
challenges brought on the ground that you can't allow private parties to
participate in that kind of a committee – a committee that is
essentially making governmental monetary policy.
Every one of
those challenges has been thrown out without reaching the merits.
They’ve been thrown out on some kind of standing ground – either the
courts have refused to hear them at all, or they’ve thrown them out on
what I would call tangential grounds, really not getting to the merits. I
think the ultimate reason for that is probably out of fear or prudence,
depending on how you want to characterize it.
I mean, if I'm a
judge and somebody comes to me with one of these cases and says, "I want
you to overturn this entire monetary structure by knocking out this
important provision or that important provision," I say to myself,
"Well, yes, I guess I could do that, legally speaking. I can write an
opinion saying that this provision of the law is unconstitutional and
it's no longer effective."
But then what happens?
write, in my opinion, an order to Congress to pass a particular statute
to correct that situation, so although I can throw a judicial monkey
wrench into the gears, I can't do anything to prevent the disaster that
will then occur as a result of blowing up that mechanism. Ergo, wearing
the hat of a judge, I'm going to stand back and not get involved but
rather leave it to Congress to solve, if possible.
But once you start down that path where you have, let's say, a certain
amount of elasticity on when you follow the Constitution and when you
just look the other way, doesn’t that set the stage for all sorts of
gyrations and further miscarriages of justice and even fraud? As Doug
Casey has commented on numerous occasions, at this point the country is
being operated on a very corrupt basis.
EDWIN: Well, I agree with him 100%. After the Civil War, in the Knox v. Lee
legal tender case, the Supreme Court could have said, "Yes, we
understand this was done during the Civil War, but it’s
unconstitutional, and you can't continue with this. And so any contracts
that were made in this illegal money will be revalued in constitutional
money." If they had taken that position back then, they could have
worked it all out because they did just that for the confederate states.
confederate states were considered to be an illegal operation entirely,
a criminal rebellion. The confederate states generated a huge amount of
paper currency, and a number of cases came to the Supreme Court after
the Civil War dealing with the enforcement of contracts in the
confederate states that had been made implicitly or explicitly in
confederate money. What were we going to do with these contracts?
the Supreme Court said, "Well, to the extent the contracts were for an
illegal purpose, such as supplying arms to the Confederate Army, then
they were void, but if it was a contract to buy wood or something from a
farmer or whatever, these people were forced into using that currency
because that's where they were, they had no choice, and we will simply
revalue those contracts and enforce them for their fair worth, that's
just simple equity."
They could have done the exact same thing
with respect to the greenbacks of the Civil War – saying that the
greenbacks were unconstitutional and let's never do this again. But they
didn’t, and as a result set a precedent, and one precedent leads to
another, and that's precisely why we're here.
The same thing
during the 1930s with the gold clause cases: They could have declared
that statute unconstitutional right then and there because nothing had
yet happened, but they played this game in the Supreme Court.
So, the Supreme Court ducked crucial issues and allowed precedents to
be set for the creation of a monetary system that is clearly
unconstitutional and, importantly, unsound. So here we are today, with
everything totally screwed up. Do you think the monetary system now
operating in the U.S. – and around the world, for that matter – can
survive as is? Or is it going to have to change, and relatively soon?
Well, it’s going to have to change, raising the questions, “In what
direction and under whose control?” Historically, the United States has
seen each one of these faulty systems go into self-destruction mode,
followed by the government ratcheting things up to the next-higher
Thus the First Bank of the United States was followed by
the Second Bank of the United States, neither of which was really a
central bank. They were just private banks that operated as fiscal
agents for the government. And there were a lot of state banks, and
these all went into some kind of failure mode.
Along comes the
Civil War, and they come up with the National Banking System, which was a
cartelization of banks tied into the U.S. Treasury, so they moved it
from the level of individual banks – that might have been state
chartered or chartered by Congress but were nevertheless essentially
separate private entities – into a cartel structure that had a direct
connection to the Treasury.
Now that direct connection to the
Treasury was that those banks had to buy U.S. Treasury bonds, and then
they would deposit those with the Treasury, and they'd get 90% of the
value of the bonds back in currency, which they could then use for their
own private purposes. That system didn’t work because at that point in
time, people were not interested in amassing ever greater federal debt,
and the expansion of that banking system depended upon amassing ever
greater amounts of federal debt.
Well, that system goes into
crisis and what do they do? Do they correct it? No, they go to the next
level and give us the national lender of last resort, the Federal
Reserve System. Essentially improving the cartel structure. That thing
lasts only from 1914 to 1932, about 20 years, before it collapses. Does
Roosevelt solve this problem by dealing strictly with fractional
reserve? No, he raises it to another level by expanding the powers of
the Federal Reserve System and taking gold away from the American
That lasts until after World War II, at Bretton Woods,
when the United States Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve
note become the World Central Bank and the World Central Reserve
Currency, as a matter of fact, and how long does that last? Until 1971,
right? By then, so much gold has left the country because of the
profligate policies of Congress, especially the war in Vietnam and
Johnson's War on Poverty, that Nixon finally has to stop gold redemption
Which brings us to the present, and we are again back in
crisis mode, and what are they telling us? "Oh, we've got to go to the
next level. We've got to create a New World Central Bank." Maybe this
will be the IMF or whatever, but we are going to expand the thing to the
next level until we have the final blowout. Because this is what
they’ve always done.
DAVID: It seems to
me that once the U.S. government starts talking about a global currency
that Americans will finally say, "No, enough, we're just not going
there.” For a lot of reasons, nationalism and because of the negative
examples being provided by the failing experiment with the euro?
I have long been shocked at the depth of the apathy of the American
people, I have a hard time believing they would turn our currency over
to the IMF or any international body. If you agree, doesn’t that mean
that we could be at the point now – in this crisis – where it's not
going to go any further? That the madness stops here?
Yes, I was not saying that their plan will work, rather I was just
restating what their plan is. I don’t think it's going to be successful.
The euro gives us a good example of why it's not going to be
successful. Also, they have another difficulty; to set up a system of
this kind, they’re going to have to pass some serious legislation to tie
us into some kind of world currency system.
DAVID: Which will never happen.
That's right. Can you imagine what the deadlock would be in Congress
over that? So actually we have an opportunity here. The door has finally
opened for some serious monetary reform because the other side has come
essentially to a dead end.
DAVID: Because they can't keep amassing ever-increasing amounts of national debt. We're reaching the limit on that.
That's right. So here we are, and now the question really comes back to
whether there are enough people in America who understand this and are
willing to take the appropriate steps to start putting in some
I don’t think this can be done from the top down. I
don’t think Congress is going to solve this problem, and certainly the
bankers are not going to give them the right legislation to solve this
problem. It has to be solved from the bottom up.
DAVID: Bottom up?
beauty of the constitutional system is, we have these intermediate
political bodies called the state governments that have certain reserved
constitutional authority. They haven’t been exercising it for a long
time, but it's there, and part of that is monetary, and interestingly
enough this has already been decided by the Supreme Court. It's not as
if I'm inventing this idea.
After the Civil War, we had a similar
situation. Before they went back to gold redemption, you had
depreciating legal tender Treasury notes circulating, and there was gold
and silver circulating as well. That had not been withdrawn from
circulation, so in the first case of this kind, the State of Oregon had a
law that required that its taxes be paid in gold and silver coin and
someone tried to pay in legal-tender Treasury notes on the theory that
Congress has made these legal tender for all debts and therefore that
overrides the laws of the State of Oregon requiring payment of taxes in
gold and silver.
Well, the case gets all the way to the Supreme
Court and the Supreme Court says "No, wrong. The states have residual
sovereignty.” They are sovereign governments, except to the extent that
they’ve surrendered certain powers to the national government, and one
of the powers they have not surrendered is the power of taxation – one
of the basic governmental powers. I guess you could include borrowing
and spending, so forth and so on, but they have the right to perform
basic governmental functions, taxation being one of them.
state determines for its own purposes it needs to tax in gold coin and
silver coin or bullion, then the state can do it and Congress has
nothing to say about it. From which it would follow that step number one
would be for a state to start saying, "We’re going to tax or spend or
borrow," or whatever, in gold coin, silver coin, gold bullion, silver
DAVID: Recently there was legislation in Utah defining gold as being legal for settling debts and so forth. Correct?
Well, there's a statute that just came out in Utah, which I would call
more of a “making a statement” statute than a substantive statute,
because they recognize the United States gold and silver coin as legal
tender. Well, they have no choice – it is, that's constitutional. The
statute merely recognizes that people can make contracts, enforceable
contracts using gold and silver coin, and that's also their right. But
it's the first time that a state has actually stood up and said
something about monetary policy. Even so, a journey of a thousand
leagues begins with a single step, right?
Looking at the descent of the dollar and its steep downtrend since 2002
– against other currencies and, of course, gold – one can’t but wonder,
how much further can it fall before you get a real crisis? One that the
government won’t be able to deal with?
Based on the historical
precedent you mentioned, it just continues to go down until it reaches
the point they have to come up with something else. Given the strong
probability that, in time, the Fed is going to have to step back in with
another round of quantitative easing, do you think that could be the
trigger for the bottom falling out from under the dollar?
I think so, because of the large percentage of debt required to finance
the government at this point – I think it is now running around 46%.
Victor Sperandeo has done some work on hyperinflations and found that
apparently once that number gets over around 40-41%, that's the end.
to his work, in every big example of hyperinflation since the French
Revolution, that number is apparently the tipping point on the
rollercoaster. You’ve gone over the top, and now gravity takes over and
down you go to the bottom. They can't stop the thing. So we're now at
46%, at least it was on the 12th of May, 46%, and it doesn’t seem to me
there's any will or intelligence in Congress to correct this, and it's
not going to be the Federal Reserve that corrects this, it's going to
have to be done legislatively.
Of course, the government could do
something radical to correct the situation – there is always the
“if-then” type analysis, but assuming that they don’t take radical steps
to correct it, which seems a safe assumption, that’s the direction
we’re heading in.
DAVID: So we could already be over the top on this, as far as this is concerned.
Yes, that’s the fear – and once we're over the top, that's the end of
the game. The rollercoaster goes to the bottom. There's no stopping it.
Interesting in this whole discussion is that the U.S. has been the
driver in the global adoption of the monetary system we now have,
starting with Bretton Woods and then when Nixon stopped gold
redeemability. At that point, everybody just sort of went along,
continuing to use the U.S. dollar as a de facto reserve currency. But
all of a sudden, today, you look around and can’t help realizing the
problem is global in scale, leaving none of the paper currencies as a
viable alternative. Are there any conceivable solutions to a crisis of
EDWIN: If you want to go back to a
sound currency system and a sound political system – and by sound
political system, I mean one in which the political powers can't
manipulate money – then it has to be tied to some free-market commodity,
right? Historically the two that have worked have been gold and silver,
and that actually is the constitutional standard, so unless we want to
change the Constitution, we have to work with that.
will work, so we can do that. The mechanism for doing it is the
question, and as I say, it's got to come through the states. Looking at
this from the investor's point of view, I don’t know if there are good
investments in the collapse of Western civilization. Which is what we're
DAVID: A lot of people think that if you own gold, enough gold, that you'll come out of this okay. What is your general view on that?
In the hyperinflationary event, if you held something like 15% or 20%
of your total portfolio in gold and the rest of it goes to zero, you
won't gain anything but you will not lose anything. That said, my
interest has never really been in this from an investment point of view,
except investment in a political sense.
Looking down the road in
an attempt to see what this country will look like if we go through a
hyperinflationary event – and if out of that doesn’t come a sound
currency and restrictions on the government's power to manipulate money
and credit – it appears to me that what could emerge is a first-class
fascist police state.
restricting the government’s ability to manipulate the money also
restricts their ability to do everything that they are currently?
Putting in those restrictions would then limit them from being involved
in so many parts of the economy, as they now are. Obviously, in a
monetary system built around sound money, they couldn’t keep spending
money at this level.
EDWIN: That's right. If you
have a system based on real money, we would not have this elephantiasis
of government. So that was the great failure of the Supreme Court not
asking, "Wait a minute, if we let them have this, where will that lead?"
They didn’t look down the road. Maybe they did. Maybe that's what they
wanted. Maybe they were extreme nationalists of the Hamiltonian view of
"The more power the better," but an intelligent person will look and
say, "Wait a minute, we can't put these powers into the hands of mere
DAVID: So do you really think a collapse of the Western civilization is avoidable at this point?
EDWIN: No. That's what I'm worried about.
It seems avoidable if the politicians acknowledged the reality of the
situation and dealt with it accordingly, but do you see any hope that
it's politically likely?
EDWIN: Well, I'm going
to give it a year or two to see what the states start doing here. We're
seeing more and more resistance, at least verbally, coming out of state
legislatures and even out of some state governors to various
encroachments by the people in Washington. We’ve seen some push-back in
the healthcare area, TSA, and then there's this business with illegal
immigration, and now some states are beginning to talk about monetary
There's not too much the states can do about TSA. There's
probably not too much they can do about healthcare, because that would
have to be decided in the courts, and god knows that's a wasteland.
Immigration is kind of back and forth/up and down, but on monetary
reform, if a state passed the right statute, they could potentially
bring that about within 30, 60, or 90 days. Especially if they put in
one of these electronic gold/electronic silver type systems, which is
DAVID: How could it work?
Within 90 days of the passage of the statute, you could have everybody
in that state with electronic gold debit cards dialed into the price
structure in all of the supermarkets and so forth. People could
essentially opt out of the Federal Reserve System if they wanted to.
DAVID: So watching the states for a hopeful plan is something we can do.
EDWIN: That's right, and if they don’t do it within the next year or 18 months, then I would begin to become very pessimistic.
Since we’re talking about being pessimistic, let’s talk a bit about the
real dark side of all of this – namely that it appears to many that the
U.S. is in the early stages of becoming a police state. Supporting that
view, there are things I thought I’d never see in my lifetime,
institutionally sanctioned renditions and torture, Guantanamo, the
recent Supreme Court ruling that police can kick down your door based
upon hearing what they consider to be a suspicious noise – the list of
things the government is doing these days goes on and on, including the
current blatant attempt to assassinate Gaddafi. So where do you think we
are on the scale from 1-10, 1 being perfect liberty and 10 being
full-on police state?
EDWIN: About 6-1/2 to 7,
because they’ve set up the principles for it. You don’t have to have the
police breaking in every day to have a police state, you simply have to
have the judiciary saying, "If they break in, we'll let them do it."
It's the principle of the thing. The NKVD didn’t arrest everybody in
Stalin's Russia, but the principle was in place so they could arrest
anybody, and that's the problem.
If you type “police brutality”
into Google or some other search engine, how many YouTube hits do you
think you'll get? Huge number, right? And they become more grotesque
every day. If I were a Supreme Court justice, I might look at this and
say, "This is the real problem in the country," but of course those
people live in an ivory tower, so they don’t know or perhaps care about
reality. If they did, they would know enough to know this is becoming a
So, as a Supreme Court justice, would I want to give
them a principle that allows the police to solidify and expand that
kind of oppressive behavior? And the answer would have to be, "No, I
don’t." The Constitution could never have foreseen this or allowed for
And yet they allow for it. Now, either this is the biggest bunch of
idiots that has ever been assembled in judicial robes in the history of
humanity, or there's some other agenda going on here.
DAVID: Assuming that they are not complete idiots, what could that other agenda be?
In my view, and I've written about this for years, the people at the
top levels of government understand that their monetary system is
inherently flawed. That we're on the Titanic, in a sense, and they know
that this ship is going to sink. They don’t know when, but they know
when it sinks, they’re going to have a huge amount of economic
dislocation, social crisis and civil unrest to the level of revolt.
they started developing this police state mechanism in the hopes of
keeping the lid on the garbage can when the monetary system breaks down.
The upper echelons of the judiciary have been going right along with
this because they know what the program is. This is obvious. No one in
his right mind would stand by and allow the sort of excesses we’ve seen.
the other day, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth
Amendment doesn’t apply at all because you can sue the police after
they’ve mistakenly broken into your home. But when they break into your
home and they kill you, then what?
DAVID: Not a lot of recourse then.
Right, like that poor ex-marine that was shot 60 times in Arizona, and
he's dead – now what, can he bring a lawsuit? Have we lost our minds? I
mean, you don’t have to be a Harvard-educated lawyer to know that this
is insanity. This does not rise to the level of just mere error. No one
in his right mind can write these kinds of opinions, which means that
either they’re insane, which I don’t believe, or they have another
agenda, and the judicial opinions are simply camouflage – they’re
propaganda to convince us that "Oh well, this is all right" because
Judge Flapdoddle told us that it's all right.
Likewise, when you look at what's been going on with the government’s
spending, which is clearly insane, I mean, who would have thought they
could even conceive of running a $1.5 trillion annual deficit?
EDWIN: And going up.
And going up, and planning on this continuing well into the future. In
your paper "A Cross of Gold," you mentioned that all told, the U.S.
government’s total outstanding obligations at this point add up to
something like 200 trillion dollars?
EDWIN: Yes, that's Professor Kotlikoff's, at Boston University, figure, not mine.
So it’s hard to draw any other conclusion than that the government is
operating in a complete fantasy. That everything is completely off the
rails. Then you look at the judiciary and some of the things they have
approved and looked the other way on, and it sure begins to look like
fascism to me.
You and I see it, a lot of our readers look at it,
but most people are so passive about it. Everybody is so quiet, and
there is nobody making any waves – is that because it's too late? Before
you answer, I'll give you just a quick anecdote that I think makes the
I was at a party not too long ago with a bunch of young
people, and we were talking about some topic that was mildly
controversial, and one of them said, "I’d love to look up more about
that online, but I don’t want it to be part of my permanent search
record.” So, the youth of America already have it in their heads that
anything they do online is being monitored and will be in their search
records forever and accessible to the government.
Back to my
question, have we reached that stage where people are quietly huddling
behind the doors of their houses, trying to keep a low profile so the
government will leave them alone?
the current state of things, I'm sure there are a lot of people
deliberately deciding to adopt a low profile, politically or socially. A
lot of this has to do not so much with politics but what your neighbors
or your coworkers will say about you, right? If you tell them something
that is actually happening in the world, you will be labeled a
conspiracy theorist; they’ll look at you as if you're crazy.
what about the activists? At a certain stage, the great mass of people
will look around for leadership figures. When the economic crisis comes,
they’re going to want someone to tell them how to get out of it.
They’re not going to know the answers themselves. The question is, will
there be activists, leadership figures, proposing the right solutions –
and how soon will they come along?
That's why I look at this Tea
Party Movement, using that in a generic sense, an indication of the
ground swell of discontent that's out there. There's a huge amount of
that, but at this point it's not particularly directed. Of course the
establishment is trying to co-opt it, with Gingrich and others trying to
claim that they’re leadership figures in this movement, and that
deflects it from the direction in which it ought to go.
contrast, you do have the Ron Paul-type movement. I mean, look at Ron
Paul as an example. This is not a charismatic figure. He's a very
diffident individual, a very shy individual, not someone that you could
possibly imagine as a man on a white horse in a political sense. He
certainly has had very little real effect in Congress. He's been the
gadfly, he's been the critic, but he hasn’t put in any legislation of
consequence that has been passed. He's made a lot of noise about the
Federal Reserve, but he's constantly being blocked by the real power
structure in Congress in terms of getting anything done there. Yet
nevertheless a whole political movement has essentially crystallized
I look at him as the surfer on the wave. The surfer is
not the important thing, the wave is the important thing. The surfer
would be nowhere without the wave. That wave is out there, and it's just
waiting for the right surfer. He's the first one that's come along, but
there will be others, perhaps some state governor who is actually
competent, and he looks at this monetary system and he says, "To hell
with this. Here's what we have to do," and they put in that alternative
currency statute, the proper one, not the kind of statement that was
made in Utah, but a proper functioning one. In which case he will become
the next president of the United States, and then we will see what will
DAVID: Any time the states try
to go their own way on issues that the federal government doesn’t like,
the federal government starts to threaten them with losing their highway
funds or education funds, or whatever. Isn't that part of the problem?
Well, it certainly is part of the problem, and that's why you're going
to have to have some real leader in the state who is going to say, "We
have priorities, and our first priority is correcting the monetary
problem, the currency problem, and we'll worry about those federal
education funds later. In fact, what we may do is stop paying some money
to the federal government."
Unfortunately, once you allow the
federal government to have the kind of influence they now have over the
states, the states have essentially rolled over. So, at some stage, they
have to say no.
That's why I say that at some point down the
line, if we see nothing happening on the state level – if we see these
bills being put in and being constantly defeated, and no one comes
forward to take leadership on these issues – well, I'll throw up my
hands and say, "We just don’t have the leadership group, we don’t have
the Patrick Henrys, we don’t have the Thomas Jeffersons, we don’t have
the Sam Adams, we just don’t have those people anymore, and that's the
But I don’t believe it will come to that. We have over 300 million people in this country, we can't find a few hundred?
Well, we will certainly keep an eye on the states for somebody to show
up one of these days. Governor Christie in New Jersey seems like a
pretty sound guy.
EDWIN: I want to see just two
things, because there are two things of real consequence right now in
terms of the major powers of government historically and in terms of
political philosophy. Those two things are the power of the purse and
the power of the sword. In order to continue spending at the levels it
now is, the government has to maintain control over the monetary system,
and it has to have some kind of control over military and police force.
our Constitution, those two powers are supposed to be ultimately in the
hands of the people. We're supposed to have a free-market-oriented and
-controlled monetary system based on gold and silver, so the politicians
really do not have control over the purse. They have to come to us and
ask for taxes. They can't manipulate the money and use inflation as a
hidden tax. We've lost that. We failed to assert it – let's put it that
On the other side, we see this police state developing, with a
centralized Department of Homeland Security in Washington that has
tentacles reaching down into every local and state police force. This is
completely contrary to the Constitution because the Constitution tells
us that the thing that's necessary for the security of a free state is
what? A well-regulated militia. And what is a well-regulated militia?
It's composed, as the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776 said even
before the U.S. Constitution, of the body of the people – the people
organized in a certain way. Think of Switzerland.
Well, we've lost
control over those two key elements, and until we get them back, we can
only continue down this road to the full-blown police state. So in
sizing up any politician, I'd start by asking them these two things:
“What are you going to do in the state to return us to a system of
constitutional currency with an alternative system in this state because
we can't do it in Congress?” And, number two, “What are you going to do
to revitalize some kind of state militia structure, perhaps using
Switzerland as the model because they’ve been very successful over the
years, so that we are no longer under the control or answerable to Janet
If the states can’t regain control over those two
things, the rest of it is a waste of time. If you don’t have control
over the high ground, as the military people would say, then you’ve lost
the battle. Education funds, transportation funds, all the rest of this
stuff is not even icing on the cake if you let the federal government
continue to have those two powers.
They took power over the money a
long time ago, and they have been systemically organizing this police
state since well before 9/11; in fact, the plans for the Patriot Act
were drawn up before 9/11. They understand where the high ground is, and
that's why if you are a state politician and you can't answer those two
questions – if you don’t tell me that those are your number one and
number two priorities – forget it, we'll look to somebody else for
DAVID: It seems to me that
unless and until there is some sort of a push-back on the state level,
the situation is going to grow increasingly dangerous, looking for a
trigger, so to speak. Much in the way the Arab Spring blew up almost
overnight. People looked at that and said, how did that ever happen?
These are some of the most oppressed people in the world, ignorant and
backwards and everything else, and all of a sudden they are in the
streets, risking their lives for more freedom. So, it would seem that
it's just a matter of time before we see something akin to an American
EDWIN: Oh, I think so, yes. It's
just terrible to think that we have to take second seat to the Egyptians
in the promotion of liberty. Not to criticize the Egyptians, but Egypt
has never been considered to be a country that philosophically was in
the forefront of that area.
Speaking of Egypt, I think the jury is still out on whether the military
will allow the freedom movement there to take power. The Saudis are
falling all over themselves to give the Egyptian military money, as is
the U.S. government, so it would appear that we're now trying to
solidify their power.
EDWIN: Please don’t say “we” when referring to the people in Washington. Don’t include me in that list.
(laughs) Doug Casey often says the same thing. And on that note, I’ll
sign off by thanking you very much for your time. Let’s do it again some
For those of you who wish to hear more from Dr. Vieira, James Turk of the GoldMoney Foundation recently posted a video interview that you may find of interest. Here's the link.
- advertisements -