[OPE-L] Old Left Opposition to the Federal Reserve Bank

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Mar 10 2007 - 07:00:02 EST

To what extent, if any, do the positions and demands articulated below,
from 1924-1934, have relevance today for the US and/or elsewhere?

In solidarity, Jerry

publish.nyc.indymedia.org |Old Left Opposition to the Federal Reserve Bank

      March 08, 2007

      Old Left Opposition to the Federal Reserve Bank

      -- A Short Exposition & Collection of Old Left Party Platforms --

        By Mark Walter Evans

        In the 'teens, twenties, and thirties, the Reformist,
"Petty-beurgeois" elements of the Old Left in America set their
sites on the dismantling of the Bond System, " the peaceful
abolition of Capitalism" and the establishing of what was commonly
called the "Co-operative Commonwealth."

      The Progressive Party Platform

      CAMPAIGN OF 1924

      6. We favor ... the reconstruction of the Federal Reserve and
Federal Farm loan Systems, so as to eliminate control by usurers,
speculators and international financiers, and to make the credit of
the nation available upon fair terms to all and without
discrimination to business men, farmers, and home-builders ...

      Progressive Political Action Platform, 1924:

      (5) Reconstruction of the Federal Reserve and Federal Farm Loan
systems to provide for direct public control of the nation's money
and credit on fair terms to all, and national and state legislation
to permit and promote Co-operative banking.

      Socialist Party Platform, 1932


      1. Socialization of our credit and currency system and the
establishment of a unified banking system, beginning with the
complete government acquisition of the Federal Reserve Banks and the
extension of the services of postal savings banks to cover all
departments of the banking business and the transference of this
department of the post office to a Government-owned banking

      The Farmer-Labor Party Platform, 1932


      The fifth clause of Section 8 of Article I of the United States
Constitution provides:

      "The Congress shall have power to coin money, regulate the value
thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and

      "To coin money,” means to print money for the use of the Nation,
States, counties, townships, cities, towns, villages, school
districts, and for the people, at cost of printing and service.

      "To regulate the value thereof,” means the Congress gives by an
act, authority and debt-paying power to foreign coin (money) coming
into the United States, the same as that which it authorizes to be
coined or printed.

      The United States Supreme Court decided:

      "Congress authorized to establish a national currency either in coin
or in paper and to make that currency lawful money for all purposes
as regards the National government of private individuals."

      Organized Banking and Currency System

      (a) We demand legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve Banking
System (Fiscal Agent of the United States), private ownership of the
United States Banking and Currency System, by repealing the present
unconstitutional banking laws on that Subject, and then placing them
in the hands of the Communities, i.e., the Federal, State, and local
governmental bodies, so that the profits, if any, shall accrue to
the People's Governments, thereby preventing panics, depressions,
and crises, and private control of money.

      Postal Savings Banks

      (b) As a step to that goal, we demand a law to authorize Postal
Savings Banks in each post-office to accept deposits and permit
checking accounts without limit in amount, make loans at uniform
interest rate of 2 per cent per annum.

      Currency and Free Coinage of Silver

      (c) We demand laws providing for the issuance of sound money, full
legal tender currency, by the Federal government. And we favor the
opening of the mints to the free coinage of silver produced in the
United States at its present weight and fineness, but only as
coordinate money with that sound money currency, and not as
redeemable money. All such money to be redeemable in service
rendered by the government, and said money and credit based on same
to be properly regulated as to volume in circulation.

      Refinancing of Mortgages

      (e) (2) For the benefit of farmers and other reai estate owners, we
favor the immediate enactment of a law based on the principles of
the Bill S.F. 1197, now before Congress, the title of which is A
bill to liquidate and refinance agricultural indebtedness, and to
encourage and promote agriculture, commerce, and industry, by
establishing an efficient credit system, through which unjust and
unequal burdens placed upon agriculture, during the period of price
fixing and deflation may be lightened by providing for the
liquidation and refinancing of farm mortgages,...and creating a
Board of Agriculture to supervise same.

      (f) We demand Federal and State government guarantees to the
laborers of an opportunity to work at a living wage, or failing,
which they shall be paid unemployment insurance benefits by a
Federal and State Unemployment Insurance Plan.

      Limit Speculation

      (g) We favor effective legislation to prohibit gambling in
securities or commodities.

      Redemption of Bonds

      (i) Liberty bonds and all other Federal government bond issues to be
redeemed by the Federal government legal tender currency within a
period of five years in equal annual proportions and further Federal
bond issues to be prohibited by law.


      National Party Platforms
      Volume 1, 1840-1956
      Compiled by Donald Bruce Johnson
      Urbana, Illinois

      Farmer-Labor Party Platform

      CAMPAIGN OF 1934

      The Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota recognizes that the United
States has the most wonderful resources, great factories, machinery
of production, steam power and millions of capable workers and
farmers ready and able to produce food, clothing, and shelter in
great abundance for us all.

      At this time when all of us could live in prosperity and happiness
we find that there are millions of working men and women in poverty,
want and degradation and that there are also hundreds of thousands
of farmers, business and professional people who have become
poverty-stricken and bankrupt and millions of people in all walks of
life are compelled to eat the bread of charity.

      Palliative measures will continue to fail. Only a complete
reorganization of our social structure into a Co-operative
Commonwealth will bring economic security and prevent a prolonged
period of acute suffering among the people.

      We, therefore, declare that Capitalism has failed and immediate
steps must be taken by the people to abolish Capitalism in a careful
and lawful manner, and that a new sane and just society must be
established; a system where all the natural resources, machinery of
production, transportation and communication shall be owned by the
government and operated democratically for the benefit of all and
not for the benefit of the few.

      In order to bring about this Co-operative Commonwealth and also for
the purpose of adopting legislation for the immediate good of the
people, the farmer-labor party adopts as its platform the following
proposals :

      INDUSTRIAL PROGRAM — To protect our citizens from exploitation
through industrial profits, we demand public ownership of all mines,
water, power, transportation and communication, banks, packing
plants, factories and all public utilities. Provided that this shall
not apply to bona fide co-operatively owned and operated

      TAX EXEMPT SECURITIES — We oppose the issuance of tax-exempt

      CONSUMERS CO-OPERATIVES — The powers of government to allow
consumers to freely organize on a co-operative basis, unrestricted
by discriminatory laws.

      MONEY AND BANKING — Nationalization of banking with government
monopoly of money and credit operated without profit . . . . .

      The issue of money is a governmental function and all money should
be issued directly by the government and made a legal tender in
payment of all debts.

      All money permitted by law to be issued against the gold now in the
United States treasury should be put into circulation by the payment
of all government bonds due, or soon to become due, and for all
public works constructed.

      We declare our opposition to issuance of interest-bearing bonds by
the government . . . . .

      By Mark Walter Evans markwalterevans@sbcglobal.net

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