T Nation

Question for Thunderbolt


I really don't know what to make of these:

"It is not to be doubted, I know with absolute certainty, that the separation of the United States into two federations of equal powers had been decided upon well in advance of the Civil War by the top financial power of Europe." -- OTTO VON BISMARCK, Chancellor, Germany.

"The United States were sold to the Rothschilds in 1863." -- EZRA POUND, "Impact."

"As a result of the war...the money power of this country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated into the hands of a few and the Republic is destroyed. I feel more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of the war." -- PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

History is not my specialty, so if you (or any other highly knowledgeable person) can weigh in, I would greatly appreciate it. What do you make of these? I only want to learn the truth.


Where did you get these quotes?


Here is an excerpt from a column by Mark Steyn that addresses these types of ideas in general, though not these specific ideas:

[i]But not in the movies. In Hollywood, The Bourne Ultimatum is the template: Every plot has a government agency or well-connected corporation behind it. And anyone who doubts the influence of the medium should consider that a substantial proportion of the population now watches the news like a movie. The World Trade Center got taken out? Interesting. Who did it? Mohamed Atta and a gang of Saudi males? Yeah, yeah. But what's the plot twist? Who really did it? Someone in the government, right? The planes were switched in mid-flight and the passengers were "disposed of in the Atlantic Ocean" (Prof. A. K. Dewdney of the University of Western Ontario), and voice-modification technology was used to fake the phone calls to loved ones, and Flight 93 was "taken out by the North Dakota air guard" (retired colonel Donn de Grand Pre), and anyway everyone knows fire can't melt steel (Rosie O'Donnell), so Bush must have done it, and, if you don't believe me, ask yourself why World Trade Center Tower 7 had to be destroyed.

And, if you point out that having a bunch of planes hijacked and replaced by Predator drones and the crew and passengers dumped over the Atlantic would seem to be a big enough conspiracy that somebody would have leaked something by now, if only to get a book deal, well, that just shows how cunning it is. Or that you're in on it. There have always been conspiracies, of course, but today there's only one, with the same relentless message: The bad guy is us, our government agents, our cabinet officials, our corporations. America is one unending director's cut of The Usual Suspects, with Karl Rove as Keyser Soze. And yes, yes, I know Rove is supposed to have "left" the White House, but doesn't that strike you as a bit convenient?

This sensibility is something worse than mere liberal bias. It corrodes reality itself. To the old question "Who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?" a nation answers, "You're right: My eyes must be lying." For there is nothing so naïve as a reflexive cynic. So back we troop to that weary Bourne from which, apparently, we can never return. I saw a trailer for yet another movie the other day. Tom Cruise sneering, "Do you want to win the War on Terror?" New film, same plot. [/i]

The correct way to view these sorts of things is laid out in the middle paragraph: Just think about how big and complicated such a conspiracy would have to be, and if it involves more than a a couple people or more than a one-time action, be very skeptical.


By simple Google. We're doing inflection points and concavity in a class I teach and I was illustrating this with relative war potential of the Great Powers in 1913. One thing led to another when I came across the Bismarck quote.


I'm guessing the first refers to Europe wanting it's cheap, slave-picked cotton from the south.

The second I've got no idea.

And the third seems like your basic free-but-regulated-market anti-trust speech to me.

TB, you have any solid answers?


Sadly, I have none - the only place that shows traffic in the quotes are websites talking about the role of the "Illumnati in the Civil War" and "Lincoln as Jew Warmonger" - and having never heard of the quotes before, I didn't exactly take them seriously after the Google search.

It's hard not to take the basic idea as low-grade manure - more nonsense from the looney-libertarian-meets-anti-Semitic-conspiracy nexus we have seen far too frequently.

That's my take - HH, do you have other sources to follow up with?


I'm more interested in what text books you use to indoctrinate your kids.


Where in the holy dog piss does Abe Lincoln get off worrying about the Republic? Honest Abe did more to destroy the Republic than anyone except FDR.



scratches head However do these threads end up in a stupid pissing match?



More libertarian revisionism - amusing, but still incorrect.


LOL!! Yeah, we read the Communist Manifesto, and then a little Ayn Rand to balance things out.

How DOES one indoctrinate kids in a math class? You're in academia so you should know more about this than anyone.


I can't find the Bismarck quote anywhere but on conspiracy sites either. It would be nice if the bastards sourced things. My bad.

The Lincoln quote seems genuine.

All this came about because I was using The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (Paul Kennedy) and his data about war potential, inflections, and so on. Trying to make things a little more interesting for the kids...

I will shut up now.


Are you kidding me? Jeez, I actually used to think you were squared away. Just because a libertarian believes it doesn't make it untrue. Besides, I buy into it and I'm not a big L Libertarian. I refused to sign their stupid non-aggression policy. Besides, I think the bulk of them are Jacobins in waiting. In any case, by calling Lincoln anything but a tyrant, then you must subscribe to the idea that he had to burn the village to save it.



The reason I asked is because the question you posed (perhaps from some text book) is laden with state propaganda ("relative war potential of the Great powers"). I always question the reasons why authors feel the need to put "official" state statistics as part of students' learning. The information provided may or may not be correct and or be misrepresented and could thus lead students to have a distorted view of reality.

As a person who makes a living in measurement I feel it a responsibility to call into question where such measurements come from and how could anyone realistically measure it. Yes, I know it's borderline pedantry.


Then I suppose I subscribe to that idea. In times of Civil War, terrible measures must be taken. He saved this country, whether you think he did it in a good way or a bad.

And he most certainly wasn't the one to vastly expand the power of the executive. He did circumvent some Congressional and Judicial checks, but he didn't do it legally or make it common practice.


He didn't save this country at all. All he did was preserve the notion that the federal government has the right to impose its will on the lesser states. Why shouldn't a state be able to cede from a union? The states had to ratify the constitution individually and were not imposed upon by the federal government so they should be able to break from the union in the same fashion democratically.



Youre so sick dude..


Much as I revere our Founding Fathers, I have to question why (1) they did not forbid paper money; (2) forbid all taxes and fund using user fees; (3) say explicitly that any state reserves the right to withdraw drom the Union, for any reason whatsover.

I did find the Bismarck quote. Its from a French magazine circa 1921, where the author of a book about Bismarck alleges the statement.


Funny you should mention that. I often hear people talk about how the founders had never considered secession and thus left the men of the time unprepared during the civil war. This is bunk. Alexander Hamilton was dealing with the threat of NORTHERN secession, particularly with the impending election of Thomas Jefferson. Northern federalists were not pleased. There were serious fears of the negative aspects of the French Revolution spilling over onto American shores. There were even Jacobin clubs in Philadelphia.

Hamilton had demonstrated his willingness to go against the Federalists by allowing force to be used to retain the North if need be. He argued this up to the morning of his death. To him, secession would bring about a weakening of the Constitution, and he would have done anything to preserve it.

There is certainly a good argument allowing secession. I am still personally split with the idea. All I know is that I would certainly hate to see it happen. All this said, if the damned fedgov actually followed the Constitution and federalism was not being subjugated by D.C. then there'd be no need to speak of secession in the first place.



he saved his government, not his country.