An addiction is “being abnormally dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.” The key to this description is the word “abnormal.” All addictions are unhealthy. America’s addiction started 222 years ago, when the nation’s first bank, the Bank of America, was formed in 1781.

America’s addiction is not to money. Money in some form has been around forever. People work hard to earn their profit. And profit, whether in the form of cash or a harvest, is the fruit of ones labor. Gathering money and profit are one and the same; they are the just rewards for ones effort.

Like alcoholism, or gambling, this addiction takes over our entire physiological system. It feeds on a natural desire, and seems to reward it, when in fact it is sucking the life out of the subject. It leads to selfish destructive behaviors, and a despairing cycle of fits. The subject seeks to regain control, but never can quite come to grasps with oneself.

Those who recognize the symptoms of illness apply varying remedies with limited success. They try to help the victim as well as those affected by the addiction. In the end, it is only the will of the subject that can break this destructive habit. It requires a moment of objective clarity and moral courage to recognize a destructive pattern. The victim must refuse to be enslaved by it anymore. Only then can one walk through the door to a new, healthy, life.

For America, and most of the modern world, this addiction is the acceptance of the interest mechanism in our financial structure. On its surface, interest seems harmless enough.

Interest elevates the value of money. One must now pay another for the time to use their money. As a lender, this habit feels good. One can realize a gain from their harvest simply by time. Imagine gathering a basket of apples, and by not eating it, one then has two baskets. Of course, if one borrowed the apples, the cost of paying them back would be very difficult. The wisdom of the words, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” becomes readily apparent. But how does this system affect us as a whole?

The gains from interest should reduce any desire to gather new apples; one could simply live off the surplus generated by the existing apples. But there is a problem. Because interest is elevating the value of money, the apples themselves are changing value. It takes more and more money to buy the same apple. We now have inflation. Inflation is a symptom of the interest addiction. To maintain the same amount of apples one started with originally, one must now seek out higher interest rewards. If one owes interest, then one is driven to sell more and more so he can generate enough profits to cover his rising interest debt. The destructive cycle of our addiction is complete. The more we get, the more we need.

Interest has now become entrenched in our economy. Even a casual transaction via credit card has the merchant paying an interest rate as high as 72% annually. (6% swipe rate x 12 months.) On the stock market, investors use their initial investment in hopes of being paid back perpetually, with even higher rates of return. However, the corporations and the merchants are borrowers. No matter how hard they work, they can never make enough to pay back the investors. These debts are never settled. As a result, it is necessary to constantly squeeze more value from others to generate more profit for the interest debt. The more we sell, the more we need to squeeze others. This makes the corporations look evil when they are the victims of the interest mechanism.

We are all tied to this interest mechanism. If we have no money, we are forced to borrow. If we have lots of money, we are forced to invest it to protect it from inflation. If we work or do not work, we are all squeezed equally. This is a collective addiction.

History has shown that despite the rise of the industrial age and the consumption of vast quantities of the earth’s resources, America has not been able to conquer poverty. How is it that we could have once been a nation of self-sufficient farmers, and now that we have machines doing the work we have more disparity in wealth? Interest is the mechanism that causes this imbalance.

The American Revolution was a turning point in mankind’s history. The two great revolutions that followed, in Russia and China, both perceived corporations as evil. Our economic imbalance would seem to confirm that interpretation. The people who run corporations are no different than the average person. We are all following the economic model we were born in to. The interest mechanism in our economic model causes our corporations to be predatory to survive.

Interest is a mechanism that automatically steals the fruit of another’s labor. The only way to protect oneself is to steal from another. We are all addicted, and because it seems to personally benefit us all, it is masked.

We are now engaged in yet another epic battle, but this is really just another symptom of our addiction. The 9/11 attack and our response is, at its heart, a result of our banking system. We are defending the right to gamble for a drink of interest. We have three destructive addictions in the same body.

Before 9/11, this system caused both hot and cold wars and the Great Depression. Our personal lives are one of constant economic duress. We seek to get ahead so we can have a chance to stop. We left the farm for a life that is more difficult, when our new productivity should be making it financially easier. Interest is a disease in our economy, and in the example we set for the world. It is no one’s fault. It was institutionalized over 200 years ago. Other original decisions have been corrected; we need to correct this one too.

Every weekday the bell tolls for us. The opening bell on the Big Board at Wall Street is a warning. No nation can survive the onslaught of disease forever. Our bodies, and our empire with it, will wither from addiction. The time has come when we must lock the doors to the Stock Market and step into the daylight of a new world order. It is the only way to break our addiction. We ignore this illness at our peril.

Steve Consilvio

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