The Beast on Jekyll Island Born

“If I must have a master, let him be one with epaulets, something that I can fear and respect, something that I can look up to, but not a master with a quill behind his ear.”  

John Randolph of Roanoke (1815) *

Kristor tells us that The Fed is becoming The Bank, that the Beast born on Jekyll Island is even now transmogrifying into its loathsome Mr. Hyde.  Thus we are about to experience the nightmare of John Randolph and live under the thumb of “a master with a quill behind his ear.”  Perhaps we are about to experience the nightmare of an earlier John, who on the island of Patmos dreamed of the day when “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name.”**

John Randolph of Roanoke made his pithy objection to rule by moneymen in his battle, two hundred years ago, to prevent establishment of a national bank.  It was better, he thought, to bow before a man brandishing a sword than a man brandishing a quill.  But even in 1815, Randolph called the banks the “mammoth” because nothing lay beyond reach of their powerful tusks and prehensile  trunk.

“You might as well attack Gibraltar with a pocket pistol as to attempt to punish them.  There are very few who dare to speak truth to this mammoth.  The banks are so linked together with the business of the world that there are very few men exempt from their control.”***

The mammoth, the Beast, “that hideous strength.”  Thus Randolph wrote:

“We are tied hand and foot, sir, and bound to conciliate this great mammoth, which is set up to worship in this Christian land: we are bound to propitiate it. Thus whilst our government denounces hierarchy; will permit no privileged order for conducting the services of the only true God; whilst it denounces nobility—has a privileged order of new men grown up, the pressure ‘of whose foot, sir, I feel at this moment on my neck . . . .this monstrous alliance between the bank and the government.”†

Monstrous alliance, indeed!  Privileged order of new men!  Not an apostolic succession, not an aristocracy of blood, but a capitalist cabal of crafty creditors with quills behind their ears.  And not only moneymen, but also the musclemen of the state who ensure that the moneymen always get paid.

“We shall be divided into two great but very unequal classes; those who pay taxes, and those who receive the proceeds of them.  Into the first of these classes, I and mine and all that I love, with few exceptions, must fall . . . . I was not born into this order of things, and I never will consent, voluntarily, to become the vassal of a privileged order of military and monied men, by whom as by locusts, the produce of my land is to be devoured, and its possessor consigned to indigence and scorn.  He who will not assert his place in society deserves to be trampled under foot.”††

Will we consent to become vassals of this privileged order?  Have we already consented?

*) William Cabell Bruce, John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773-1833, two vols. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1922), vol. 1, p. 433.

**) Revelation 13: 17.

***) Bruce, John Randolph, vol. 1, pp. 431-432.

†) Hugh H. Garland, The Life of John Randolph of Roanoke (New York: D. Appleton and Co.), vol. 2, p. 81.

††) Bruce, John Randolph, vol. 1, p. 421.

11 thoughts on “The Beast on Jekyll Island Born

  1. Was St. John asleep and dreaming a surreal, nonsensical, internally generated dream, or awake and experiencing a rational, sensical, divinely given vision?

    • The text suggests he was awake. I took poetic license to make the “dream” of St. John rhetorically balance the “nightmare” of John Randolph of Roanoke.

  2. Pingback: Left and Right Wokism | Winston Scrooge

  3. The funny thing about the power of the man with the quill is that he’s all powerful up until the point the man with the sword (and, more important, the charisma to get other men to take up swords and join his army) comes along and decides he isn’t.

    He splutters and protests, “But that’s madness! How can you pay such an army!?” to which the man with the sword answers, “By killing you and taking your stuff.”

    • I know this is how it once worked, but am not sure it is compatible with the logistics of a modern army. Clausewitz warned against long supply lines. He might today warn against complex supply chains.

  4. I will assume people here are aware of G. Edward Griffin’s work on this?
    The quills and swords seem to be banding together as of late which is a bit problematic.

    • Now that you mention it, I may have seen (but not read) his Jekyll Island book. I once spent two nights in the hotel on Jekyll Island.

  5. Since the institution of national debts, every government is utterly dependent on public confidence. The index of that confidence is the bond market.

    • “The public” doesn’t buy bonds directly. The bottom 70 percent of a polity could have no confidence in the government and there would be no effect on T bills.


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