By Rev. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp.
He’s done it again! Father Fahey tells it how it is – and though written in the 1940s, it’s as relevant now, if not more, than it was then, as we see the negative impacts of the controllers of the money systems over the international macroeconomic landscapes.
This is not an extensive coverage, nor the definitive work on the complex subject given in the title; yet it is an excellent introduction to, and brief overview of, some key issues related to the control of the monetary systems and its ramifications on our society.
The nine chapters are:
- Demand for Monetary Reform in England;
- Political, Economic, and Financial Principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas;
- Functioning of the Gold Standard Monetary System;
- National Finance and the Gold Standard;
- International Trade and the Gold Standard;
- Effects of the Gold Standard System on Human Life;
- Outline of Principles of Monetary Reform; and
- The Full Return to Order.
Most useful is the chapter on the “Political, Economic and Financial Principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas” as “…the organisation of family life, in view of providing its members with sufficient material resources, is, though secondary, a very important element of economics. As Saint Thomas points out, a sufficiency of material goods is necessary for the virtuous life of the average human being.”
Then regarding the role of money, the Doctor-Saint tells us that it is the duty of the state to see that money or exchange medium is a stable measure of value. Unfortunately, this is now far from being the case. “‘It is true’ writes Saint Thomas (Comment. In Ethic., Lib. V, Lect. IX), ‘that it is the same with money as with other things, namely that one does not always get what one wants for it, because it is not always endowed with the same purchasing power, that is, it is not always of the same value. But, nevertheless, matters should be so arranged that it should be steadier in value than other things… As a measure used for estimating the value of things, money must keep the same value, since the value of all things must be expressed in terms of money. Thus exchanges can readily take place and, as a consequence, communications between men are facilitated.’”
When discussing usury, Father Fahey quotes various authors, including Professor Soddy: “The evils of genuine usury in the Middle Ages through the shortage of the precious metals and the insufficiency of the medium of exchange, cried aloud to heaven for redress. But the genuine usurer did at least give up what he lent and that for which he received interest, whereas the banker does not….It is bad enough to be in the grip of the money lender who does lend his money, but it is a million times worse to be in the grip of the pretended money lender who does not lend his own money but creates it to lend and destroys the means of repayment just as fast as the debtors succeed in repaying it.”
Then he provides a similar statement of Sir Reginald Rowe, “It is the large variations in the rate of interest brought about in the past by the international scramble for gold, which seems to me largely responsible for present day evils, including a world continually at war. Internally they are the machinery of alternate inflations and deflations, an alternation which hits everybody except the dealers in money who profit on balance either way. Thereby the trader, whether merchant or manufacturer, is hurt on balance, and all wage earners, a vast majority of the community, suffer excessively.”
Similar insights on the effects of the various manipulations of the “Money Masters” are presented throughout this book. The last chapter (The Full Return to Order), as well as the Appendices (I. MONEY – BANK – DEPOSIT; II. GARDENS, FERTILIZERS, AND FINANCE; and III. DESTRUCTION OF QUININE TO KEEP UP PRICE), all are as timely and fascinating now as when this book was first published mid-last century, thus rendering this little work very useful to our current readership.