Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 12  Num. 45
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


          |   "And the laws?"                           |
          |                                             |
          |   "WHOSE 'laws', Fulgor?"                   |
          |            (Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo)   |

The highwayman "infested human society at very early periods... When such characters become numerous and confederate in large numbers they are called brigands."

Piracy (armed robbery upon the seas) also has a long history. The pirates were even sometimes secretly approved by their own governments. "Letters of Marque" were "a license or extraordinary commission, granted by the supreme power of one state" which gave covert permission to certain pirates "to make reprisals at sea" upon the subjects of rival governments.

Tacit sanction of piracy waned, and it was more or less gone by the close of the 16th century. (Except in the Americas, where it was a large problem until about the end of the 17th century.) "But when piracy received its fatal blow at the close of the sixteenth century, it was immediately succeeded at the opening of the seventeenth by a still greater scourge, the corporation -- a pirate in fact."

The corporation "sprang into existence bearing a commission from the State, its creator, which authorized it to rob legally both by sea and by land." The first great corporation was....

The English East India Company

This band of cut-throats was chartered by Queen Elizabeth in 1600. "Its accursed progeny have scourged the world for three centuries... The history of this company is one of unparalleled cruelty, pillage and conquest. It equipped fleets, patrolled the seas with the British navy, made war, conquered provinces... To protect the properties and privileges of the East India Company Britain has waged war by land and by sea and shed the blood and spent the treasure of her people."

Joint Stock Companies

As the profits of the East India Company catapulted into the stratosphere, the "cupidity [greed] of all the surrounding nations was wrought up to the highest pitch." These rival nations each chartered their own companies for trade to the East Indias. In England, there grew a fever to concoct similar schemes. "Both sea and land were ransacked to find foothold for corporate adventure... The rage for organizing corporations -- joint stock companies as they were generally called -- became epidemic and spread far and wide. They extended to the trading in wine, coal, salt, starch, dressed meats, beavers, belting, bonelace, leather, pins and indeed to nearly all of the necessaries of life."

In a speech given to Parliament, Sir John Culpepper had this to say about the proliferating joint stock companies:

"They are a nest of wasps -- a swarm of vermin which have overcrept the land. Like the frogs of Egypt, they have gotten possession of our dwellings, and we have scarce a room free from them."

Next in the list of brigands is....

The Bank of England

"The next great step towards the enslavement and degradation of modern civilization through the agency of corporations, was taken in the year 1694, when Charles Montague... after consultation with King William and his ministers, introduced the bill to incorporate The Bank of England." In July, 1694, in consideration of a "loan" of 1.2 million British pounds to the English government, a charter was issued to a group calling themselves "The Governor and Company of the Bank of England." The initial "loan" received by the British government has never been repaid. As of 1892, the "charter has been eleven times renewed, each in consideration of a fresh loan to the royal treasury, and in fact the corporation [Bank of England] may be regarded as existing in perpetuity. It has grown to be a part, and indeed a very important part of the Government itself... [The Bank of England] has grown to be the most powerful moneyed institution on the globe. It has shaped the financial institutions of all modern civilized nations and dictates the fiscal policy of christendom... The ravages of piracy in its palmiest days were mere passing trifles compared with the scourge of general spoliation, bankruptcy and business death which this Goliath among fiscal institutions can inflict and repeatedly has inflicted upon the commerce of the world."

"Montague had charge of the bill to incorporate [The Bank of England] while it was pending in Parliament, but the real authorship of the measure is due to one William Patterson... Upon the incorporation of the bank he became one of its original directors for a short time, while Montague was made First Lord of the Treasury... The name of Charles Montague will be forever associated with three of the great commercial and political factors of modern times -- the East India Company, which has spawned its voracious progeny over all christendom; the Bank of England, which was its off-shoot and complement, and the British national debt upon which the bank is founded and which now exists in perpetuity to curse mankind. The bank and the debt were contemporaneous in origin; and the Sovereign power of the Kingdom of Great Britain to issue its own money and to control the volume thereof, was parted with in consideration of the trifling loan heretofore mentioned. The bank attends to all the fiscal business of the Government."

Corporations Are Fictitious Entities

In the United States, the founding fathers and those who influenced early legislation had passively accepted the dogma that the power to create corporations was a prerogative of the crown. "The transition was easy to that cognate fiction, that the power to create incorporated trade associations was a prerogative inherent in Government, without regard to whether it was a monarchy or a republic."

"An incorporated trade association does not result from the operation of any law of nature nor from the exercise of any of the natural powers belonging to humanity. No number of men, in the absence of statutory authority, can confer upon themselves the powers and immunities of a corporation. They may associate in business as partners, but the death of one of the members, in the natural order of things, works a dissolution of the association. Each member of the firm is personally responsible, where company property cannot be found, for all the debts of the co-partnership. If then it be true that a corporation does not spring from any law of nature and cannot, in the absence of statute, be brought into being by agreement among individuals, whence is the boasted prerogative of the Crown or of the legislature to create a corporation derived? How can man confer upon the legislature a power, not even the germ of which exists within himself? By nature he has the right to trade, to associate and to organize Civil government; but he can never, in business affairs, span the chasm of death, escape individual responsibility, nor confer upon the legislature a power which he does not himself possess. The corporation then, exists beyond the domain of nature, is in conflict with the limitations of human life, and is a remnant of usurpation and kingcraft which lingers in modern society to make war upon the individual and to eat up his substance. It exists by bold, daring usurpation and not of right."

"The Government of the United States is one of enumerated powers. The Constitution does not even vaguely hint at the power of Congress to incorporate a trade association, or to grant a charter for such purpose. Driven from the field of expressed power, how can the authority of Congress be implied, when the individuals from whom the Government was derived have no such power to surrender and make no pretense even of doing so?"

The Bank of the United States

The bill incorporating The Bank of the United States was passed on February 25, 1791. Its charter was renewed in 1818, during the presidency of James Madison. The original charter and its later renewal were both opposed by Thomas Jefferson. Under the original charter, the U.S. government held only one-fifth of the bank's stock. The charter granted in 1818 was only procured after the government had received a "bonus" of $1.5 million from the banksters. The Bank of the United States was finally overthrown by President Andrew Jackson and his allies, after a fierce battle, and its charter expired in 1836. But Thomas H. Benton warned that "Jackson had not slain the United States Bank. The bank was a wounded tigress. She had fled to the jungles but would return again bringing her whelps with her."

"It is gratifying to know that all attempts to establish this bank met with the unconquerable opposition of both Jefferson and Jackson."

A Roaring Flood of Incorporations

Erroneous and ill-founded court decisions bolstered the false idea that government, and especially that of a republic founded on Natural Law, has the power to grant charters and create corporations. Once the dam had been breached, incorporation laws came flooding in like cockroaches riding twigs on a river -- for example:

** The National Banking Acts
** The Acts Incorporating the Pacific Railroads ** The Act Incorporating Savings Banks in the District

of Columbia
** The Act to Incorporate the Nicaragua Canal Company

"Soon the whole country was submerged and swept beneath the resistless current. For a full quarter of a century [ca. 1865-1890] the individual, as such, has been lost sight of in a mad rush for corporate adventure... The man and the family have been driven to the wall, the weak trampled under foot and the choicest opportunities of the century showered upon chartered combinations. Wealth, already possessing great advantages, is not satisfied, and incorporates in order that it may have still greater power. Every class of business, every calling, everything except poverty, operates under a charter. The poor must defend themselves as best they can, single-handed and alone..." These monstrous combinations of wealth, these Frankensteins operating outside Natural Law, these corporations, "exist in every State in the Union, by thousands. They control the business of every city, thrust their paid lobbyists within the corridors and onto the floor of every legislative assembly, and importune every city council for exemptions, concession and privilege."

[Source: A Call To Action by General James B. Weaver (1892). Republished in 1974 by Arno Press.]

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

For related stories, visit:

       Views expressed do not necessarily  reflect  those
       of Conspiracy Nation, nor of its Editor in Chief.
        I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."

New mailing list: leave message in the old hollow tree stump.
Want to know more about Whitewater, Oklahoma City bombing, etc? (1) telnet (2) logon as "visitor" (3) go citcom
Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9