Chapter 6 - The Legal Theorists of the Oligarchical Model

The Anglo-Dutch Liberal doctrine of money, is merely a deluded belief induced in the believer,
to the intended advantage of the system which crafts and spreads that delusion on behalf
of its own, intended, predatory advantage.

            Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. - The New Politics

    Beginning with the creation of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, and proceeding into the emergence of the Dutch and British empires, new legal doctrines were required to justify these modern oligarchic entities. During this evolutionary stage of transforming the Empire, there was never at any time an abandonment of the ancient Roman/feudal view that the vast majority of mankind were virtually sub-human, with no innate rights, deserving to be exploited and enslaved. However, with the emergence of the trans-oceanic empires alongside the Venetian-modeled financial centers of Amsterdam and London, new theories were required to determine how this new version of Empire would be governed. This chapter will examine some of those theories.

The Spanish Origins of Free Trade

    In 1526, 34 years after Columbus' first trans-Atlantic voyage, the Spanish Dominican scholar Francisco de Vitoria was appointed the Chair of Theology at the University of Salamanca in Spain. For the next 20 years, Vitoria recruited a group of followers, who produced a vast body of work encompassing theology, economics, natural law and jurisprudence. Taken together, these individuals and their writings became known as the School of Salamanca. The epistemological influence of the Salamancans was pervasive, even into the 18th century, ironically, largely in the Protestant north. More recently, interest in the Salamanca School has been revived, primarily through the efforts of the Von Mises Institute, and other free-trade fanatics of the Austrian school of economics. The only modern work on the school, Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson's School of Salamanca, actually contains a dedication to Frederick Von Hayak.

    Many of the more mature theories of free trade and monetarism, which emerged later in the writings of Grotius, John Locke, and others, had their origins in the theories of the Salamanca School. Therefore, an examination of their work is essential at this point. To flesh this out, immediately below are profiles of Vitoria and his most important disciples:

Francisco de Vitoria - reportedly, the closest advisor to the Hapsburg Emperor Charles V, and subsequently a confidant of his son, King Philip II, Vitoria founded his school at a time of rapid expansion of the Spanish Empire. This empire was largely financed through banks in Augsburg, Antwerp, and Genoa, all of which were dominated by Venetian interests. Vitoria, and his students at Salamanca, became the empire's propagandists and theorists, and they crafted economic policies as well as what one might call a “Code of Ultramontane International Law," intended to justify the new colonialism.
Between 1527 and 1540, Vitoria delivered a series of lectures which were transcribed into several works, including De Indis et de Ivre Belli Reflectiones and De Juri Belli Hispanorum in Barbaros, and subsequently published in Lyons, Salamanca, Antwerp, and Venice. Although his pupils would develop more sophisticated concepts of monetary value, the germ of the Salamancan free market ideology is all in Vitoria. The two main issues which de Vitoria, himself, focuses on are “property rights” and “just war.”
    A major influence on Vitoria was Alfonso Tostado, the Bishop of Avila, whose collected works were later published in Giovani-controlled Venice in 1596. Tostado wrote extensively on the subject of “just war,” and said:

"In a just war everything that a man can seize becomes the property of its captor, both by
divine law and the Law of Nations; and it is just to kill... in a just war there is nothing that
may not be wrought upon the enemy... Wars are just when they are undertaken in order
to redress for injuries, restitution of property, or recompense for wrongs done.

    Taking Tostado's anti-human ravings as his starting point, Vitoria proceeded to create an entire theory of international law which justified the exploitation and enslavement of native populations. In doing so, he explicitly rejected the Medieval argument that it is allowable to enslave non-Christian populations, because they are, well... non-Christian. Instead, Vitoria, using many passages from Roman Law, developed an argument defending slavery based on “property rights.” Vitoria stated that religion is not a legitimate justification for war; that the only cause for a “just war” is injury suffered in violation of the Law of Nations. He asks, "what may be done in a Just War?" His answer, "everything that is necessary to recover lost property, and its value.”
Vitoria’s argument begins by stating that the Indians of the Western Hemisphere actually have legitimate self-governing societies. Despite their backwardness, and idolatry, they possess true dominium. Neither the right of discovery (inventio), nor the right for religious missionary work justify conquest. Vitoria says, "According to the Law of Nations (i.e. Roman Law), that which has no owner becomes the property of the seizer; but the possessions we are speaking of (i.e. the land and possessions of the Indians) were under a master, and therefore they do not come under the head of discovery." 
    Vitoria's catch, however, is that because the Indians possess true
dominium, they are bound to the strictures of the Law of Nations (jus gentium). This means they must abide by certain universally recognized freedoms, including freedom of trade and open borders. The Law of Nations requires the Indians to allow Spain free and open commerce. The Indians are also obliged to share with Spain any property they hold in common. If the Indians infringe on these rights, the Spanish are permitted to wage total "just war" upon them, including seizing their land and possessions, delivering them into slavery, and exacting reparations.

In De Indis, Vitoria says "neither may the native princes hinder their subjects from carrying on trade with the Spanish, nor, on the other hand, may the princes of Spain prevent commerce with the natives." Vitoria rejects the idea of absolute sovereignty of nations, and asserts the right of free trade as superior to governments or nation-states. Vitoria’s argument is a complete theory of free trade and the supremacy of property rights.

Domingo de Soto - an early Salamancan who studied directly under Vitoria, later succeeding him as first theology Chair at Salamanca University, De Soto headed the Spanish delegation to the Council of Trent. De Soto was one of the first to insist that usury is compatible with the medieval idea of “just price.” In his 10 volume treatise De Justitia et Jure, he says, “The rule 'a thing is worth whatever it can be sold for,' is a celebrated axiom among jurisconsults. Therefore,... we should leave merchants to fix the price of their wares;" and, "A man may do as he likes with his own property." He also bitterly opposed all efforts for relief of the poor.

Fernando Vasquez de Menchaca – In reading de Menchaca, one is struck that John Locke must have owned a copy of his works, since Locke repeats many of de Menchaca arguments, almost verbatim, in the Two Treatises of Government. De Menchaca argues that private life and private interests predate and have precedence over the state. Private property is an institution of the jus gentium; it is not a creature of the jus civile (civil law). The state exists solely to protect the institution of private property. The state, therefore, has limited power: it has the right of dominium jurisdictiones (a limited jurisdiction to punish crime), but not dominium proprietatis (the right of ownership). A citizen's private ownership is inviolable. The jus gentium postulates a universal "private sector" human community (what some today call a “shareholder society). Vasquez justifies his views with the assertion that they all flow from the concept that man is made in the image of God! Man possesses dominium in his nature. The command to pursue dominium, made in Genesis I, was a command to take possession of parts of nature. By doing this man expresses his freedom, and acts in the image of God. His private property is essential to human culture. Society's power is based on the human individual, property rights, the family, and the right of free communication/exchange.

Martin de Azpilcueta Navarro (Navarrus) – perhaps the most influential of the Salamanca economic theorists,1 (with the possible exception of Lessius), Navarrus also had the distinction of being the only major Salamancan to have a personal friendship with Paolo Sarpi. When Sarpi was in Rome in 1586, and was having a very difficult time (he was under attack from the Roman Curia), he was befriended by the 93 year old Navarrus, who provided him much-needed political protection.
    Navarrus' main work on monetary theory, the Comentarios de Usura, presents the first thorough examination of foreign exchanges ever written. Navarrus practically created the Salamancan “Quantity Theory of Money,”2 which, among other things, rabidly opposed government interference in the free marketplace, including actions like price controls. Among the Salamancans, Navarrus is also the most forceful in his rejection of the economic views of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. Navarrus explicitly defends money-changing and usury, stating that for a nation's currency to settle at its correct value, it is essential that it be openly traded at a profit. He says, “Nor is it true that to use money by changing it at a profit is against nature. Although that is not the first and principal use for which money was invented, it is none the less an important secondary use.” Even more extraordinary, the development of financial derivatives is also defended by Navarrus. He argues in favor of the legitimacy of futures contracts, and, again, attacks Aristotle on the issue of financial speculation. Navarro writes, “Aristotle thought it wrong, this art of exchanging and dealing in the exchange of monies. We say that if it is exercised as it ought to be, then it is licit. Nor is it true that the use of money, exchanging it in order to make more money, goes against nature.

Diego de Covarrubias y Leiva – a pupil of Navarrus, Covarrubias was one of the great experts on Roman Law, sometimes called the "Spanish Bartolus." He categorically rejected the idea of absolute state sovereignty. He also developed a "subjective theory of value." In 1550 he published Veterum numismatum collatio, on the quantity theory of money. He said "the value of an article does not depend on its essential nature but on the estimation of men, even if that estimation is foolish." He said that the just price of an item does not depend on its original cost, nor on the cost of labor or production, but only on the market-value.

Leonard de Leys (Lessius) – a native of Belgium, in the Spanish Netherlands, Lessius spent years studying the Antwerp financial markets. His writings were highly influential. His major work, De justitia et jure went through 40 editions in Antwerp, Paris, Lyons, and Venice.3 Lessius wrote extensively on the nature of what he calls the “fortuitous” value of money. He states that this fortuitous value is based on four things: the abundance or scarcity of money, the demand that exists for bills of exchange, the supply of bills of exchange, the demand for money. Lessius also wrote on the subject of risk, as it relates to insurance contracts, and the role of interest rates in financial transactions.

Francisco Suarez - Suarez writings on International Law influenced John Locke, Hugo Grotius, Alberico Gentili, Johannes Althusius and Samuel Puffendorf. Grotius called the Suarez the “greatest and most precise of the philosophers and theologians,” and Suarez’s pluralist free-market views on international law are incorporated, almost in toto, in Grotius’ works, particularly in De Jure Praedae. In his two major works, Tractatus de Legibus and Defensor Fidei, Suarez presents an uncompromising view of limited national sovereignty. He states that the sovereignty of the individual state is limited by the fact that it forms part of a community of nations, linked by mutual obligations. His writings focus on the issue of international law, and he develops a distinction between the Law of Nations and a pluralistic view of local customary law, which is rooted in instinct. Suarez says that within cultures the great motivators are passions and desires, and that international agreements are necessary to keep those baser passions in restraint.

    As stated above, the influence of the Salamancans was pervasive. Much of what is in John Law, François Quesnay, and Adam Smith can be found in their writings on economic theory. Their ideas were still influencing the currency policies of the British oligarchy into the 19th century. They were also the first group to write systematically on the subject of currency exchange transactions, and the first to put forward a developed notion of the so-called "subjective" theory of value, in regards to both currencies and other commodities.

    More important was their immediate impact on the development of the new financial center in Amsterdam. The 17th century transformation of Amsterdam into the banking capital of the world would not have been possible without the prior innovations at the Antwerp Bourse, and it was in the Antwerp of the Spanish Netherlands, that the theories of the Salamancans had their most profound impact. Three of the crucial elements which made the “success” of the Antwerp Bourse possible were, a relaxation of legal constraints on financial activity, a wildly reductionist view of the nature of money, and the emergence of a radical concept of “property rights,” all of which were pioneered by the Salamancans.

The Calvinists: Pluralism vs. the Commonwealth

"Sic semper tyrannis" - John Wilkes Booth, April 14, 1865
    Beginning in the 1570s a series of books were published, mostly by Calvinist Huguenot authors, which have come to be associated with the term, the “Right of Resistance.” Politically, many of these authors were tied to political or religious organizations that served as the “cats-paws” for Venice in her design to provoke religious war between the reactionary Hapsburg-Vatican alliance and the Protestants. But their real importance lies elsewhere. Under the guise of opposing the tyranny of the Catholic Party, and in the wake of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of thousands of French Protestants, these authors formulated new theories of government and society, which represented an actual subversion of Cusa's Renaissance idea of the Commonwealth, redefining the term to fit the New Empire's vision of a society based on the law of the marketplace and private property rights.4 In the process they also contributed to the emergence of impotent parliamentary methods of government.

    Between 1573 and 1579, four books were issued which elaborated the Calvinists' new theories. These were Francois Hotman's Francogallia, Theodore Beza's De jure magistratuum, the anonymous Vindiciae contra tyrannos, and George Buchanan's De Jure Regni apud Scotos. Others associated with this network include Dennis Godefroy and Hubert Languet. Cumulatively, these authors were denounced as "monarchomachs" (king killers) by their enemies, because one theme that was common to all of them, is that societies have a natural law right to resist monarchical tyranny, even by means of regicide.

    Several of them, like Languet and Hotman were personal friends of Paolo Sarpi. Buchanan had been educated by the Salamancans in Portugal. Beza was the successor to Jean Calvin as the head of the Geneva Church. Almost all of them had backgrounds as university professors in Roman Law.

    The most famous and influential of these Calvinist works was the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants). Its author is unknown, but most experts, both at the time and since, ascribe it to Paolo Sarpi's ally Phillipe du Plessis-Mornay. The Vindiciae is usually described as a defense against monarchical tyranny, and, in reading it today, parts of it seem very reasonable. However, it is the way Mornay twists those apparently reasonable arguments, which makes the work truly Delphic.

    There are four parts to the Vindiciae, and the first two, which deal with the right to resist religious oppression, are very straightforward. Mornay says, "God must rather be obeyed than men.” Fair enough. But it is the third part which is the key, for here Mornay raises the issue of non-religious oppression, and asks, “whether it be lawful to resist a prince who doth oppress or ruin a public state.” How does one define non-religious oppression, and how grievous must that oppression be to justify revolt? To answer that, I will give some quotes, and it is important to follow the direction in which Mornay takes the argument to get the full impact of what he is actually saying:

"The people establish kings, and put the sceptre into their hands... Now, seeing that the people
choose and establish their kings, it follows that the whole body of the people is above the king.

So far, so good... but then, "It being then so that every one loves that which is his own, in the
creation of kings, men gave not their own proper goods unto them... A king may challenge and
gain right to the kingdom of Germany, France and England, and yet, notwithstanding, he may not
lawfully take any honest man's estate from him.

    Mornay then takes this argument further and states that the only non-religious justification for resistance against a monarch is if the monarch threatens the life or the property of the populace. Mornay bases this argument on a concept he calls “popular sovereignty,” i.e., that God's covenant is with the people, not with a Monarch or the state, and that private property is a fundamental part of that covenant with God. In Mornay's schema, individual property rights, derived from God, pre-date and take precedence over the the state. This proposition is actually the direct opposite of both the Commonwealth idea, as well as the principles in the Preamble to the United States Constitution. What Mornay is actually proposing is not a resistance to tyranny, but resistance to sovereignty.

    However, Mornay goes even further in demonstrating how far removed he is from the idea of “man made in God's image,” which is at the heart of the concept of a Commonwealth. He says:

"The law of nature teaches and commands us to maintain and defend our lives and liberties
against all injury and violence. Nature has imprinted this by instinct in dogs against wolves,
in bulls against lions, betwixt pigeons and sparrow-hawks, betwixt pullen and kites, and yet
much more in man against man himself, if man become a beast: and therefore he who questions
the lawfulness of defending oneself, does, as much as in him lies, question the law of nature.

    This is Roman Law's bestial view of man in its most naked form.

    Although the influence of Mornay and the other “Right to Resistance” authors was centered in Geneva, the Netherlands, among the French Huguenots, and other Calvinist areas, their books were widely circulated and impacted all of Protestant Europe. Much of what exists in John Locke's “Social Contract” theory, can be found in the writings of Mornay and his associates.

Hugo Grotius justifies the new Empire

    Even today, when many of his ideas are considered outmoded, Hugo Grotius exerts a lasting influence on international law, the “law of the seas,” and corporate law. Grotius, himself was not a particularly original thinker. His work incorporates the ideas of many others, including Alberico Gentili, Francois Hotman, and the Salamancans Vitoria, Suarez, and Covarruvias. He praises Suarez to the skies, and he specifically cites Vitoria as the source for his views on “Just War.” More than anything, Grotius writings are a synthesis of these other earlier and contemporary works.

    The key thing about Grotius is that he was a high-ranking official of the Dutch East India Company, the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC). Founded in 1602 by Grotius' political ally Johan van Oldenbarneveldt, the VOC was both the paradigm for the new maritime Empire corporation, as well as one of the three pillars of the new financial monolith in Amsterdam. With the creation of this Amsterdam-based empire, the triumph of the private financial oligarchy over the idea of the Commonwealth was realized. The VOC employee Grotius was explicit in his view that private property rights and the conduct of the markets could not be constrained by the the power of government. A clearer example of this can not be found then this 1644 policy statement by the Board of Directors of the VOC: "The places and strongholds which the VOC has captured in the East Indies should not be regarded as national conquests, but as the property of private merchants, who were entitled to sell these places to whomsoever they wished, even if it was the King of Spain." Anticipating the nature of the British East India Company a century later, the VOC possessed its own independent authority to wage war, to conclude foreign treaties, to build fortresses, and to enlist naval and military personal. Additionally, all employees of the VOC pledged an oath of allegiance to the company. The VOC was not a branch of the Dutch government; theirs was a private empire, which maintained the right to ignore or override the sovereignty of nation states, including their own. Grotius' two major writings are the De Jure Praedae Commentaris (Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty), and the De Jure Belli ac Pacis (The Law of War and Peace). The De Jure Praedae Commentaris was written for the directors of the Dutch East India Company, to defend their right to seize Spanish and Portuguese ships and colonies. In justifying the actions of the VOC, Grotius turns again to the writings of the Salamancans. In Chapter 12, he says:

Freedom of trade, then, springs from the primary law of nations, which has a natural and
permanent cause, so that it cannot be abrogated... I shall base my argument on the following
most specific and unimpeachable axiom of the Law of Nations (jus gentium), called a primary
rule of first principle: Every nation is free to travel to every other nation, and to trade with it...
By the law of nations the principle was introduced that the opportunity to engage in trade, of
which, no one can be deprived, should be free to all men...

    The De Jure Belli ac Pacis is Grotius premier work on the subject of international law. In it, he spends a good deal of time discussing the valid reasons for waging a “Just War” against another people. He says there are three such reasons: self-defense, defense of property, and serious offenses. Wars over religion are not justified. This argument is, of course, identical to that of Francisco Vitoria. In this work Grotius also says that the law of nations justifies the enslavement of captured enemies.

    In another of his works, The Antiquity of the Ancient Batavians, Grotius puts forward his notion of a "republic." He says that the best type is an aristocratic republic, and he puts forward two “shining examples” for the political leadership of the Netherlands to emulate: ancient Sparta and Venice. He says:

"If a foreign parallel of this is required, I find nothing more similar than the Spartan state, which
is praised above all others... If we apply reason, it persuades us that power in the state should
best be entrusted to the best..., or if we look for parallel cases, the very celebrated examples of
Sparta, Carthage, Rhodes..., and as many believe, Rome itself, immediately present themselves...
Nor is there a lack of recent examples: Geneva, Genoa and the famous city of Venice, which
has proved its stability by its continuity over a thousand years.

Gentili, Althusias, et. al.

At the beginning of the 17th century, with the Giovanni in power in Venice, and the Dutch Empire emerging in Amsterdam, other great maritime companies were also founded. The Netherlands may have been in the vanguard, but in London similar initiatives were also underway, including the founding of the Levant Company, the Venice Company, and the (old) East India Company, all between 1586 and 1600. In addition to Grotius and the Salamancans, many others were contributing to the debate on how the new form of Empire should take shape. Two of the most influential of these were Johannes Althusias and Alberico Gentili.

    Alberico Gentili lived in the generation immediately prior to Grotius. An Italian Protestant, he fled to England to escape the Inquisition. There he established close friendships with Mornay’s friend Philip Sidney and Paolo Sarpi's ally Henry Wooten. Wooten secured for him a position as Oxford University's Regius Professor of Civil Law. At Oxford, his lectures on Roman Law became famous and attracted a devoted following. Gentili's major work was De Juri Belli Libri Ires, which is frequently cited by Grotius as a major influence. Like Grotius, Gentili was strongly influenced by both Vitoria and Covarruvias, and he endorses Vitoria's views on “just war” and enslavement of the Indians.

    To repeat a point made above, with Grotius (in Amsterdam) and Gentili (in London), you are not dealing simply with theories or philosophy. Their writings were political, and were intended to be both a justification and legal defense for the empires already being created in their own time.

    With Johannes Althusius, a Calvinist who lived contemporaneously with Grotius, we find the whole oligarchical witches' brew all in one package. Althusias cites as influences: the Roman Corpus Juris Civilis, the “monarchomachs” Francois Hotman, and Phillipe du Plessis Mornay, the Salamancans Francisco Vitoria, Diego Covarruvias and Francisco Suarez, and the above-mentioned Gentili. For good measure, Althusias attacks Plato as an idealist. Later, Samuel Puffendorf, would cite Althusias as the strongest influence on his own work.

    Althusius' main work is the Politics. Much of what we find later in John Locke is contained in it. He denies the existence of national sovereignty, states that society is composed of a contract among heteronomic individuals, and that property rights are paramount. Additionally, Althusias proposes a fairly detailed scheme of oligarchical government, once again modeled on Sparta. Going so far as to call his proposed ruling class Ephors (after Sparta), he says, “Those persons should be elected ephors who have great might and wealth, because it is in their interest that the commonwealth be healthy

John Locke 

    It is essential to deal with John Locke, even if he really doesn't deserve it. It is clear he is a world-class plagiarizer. Almost all of his economic theories are taken (sometimes almost verbatim) from the Salmancans, his social contract theory is cribbed from Althusias, and even his premier philosophical work, the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (of notorious Tabula Rasa fame), is nothing more than an elaboration of Paolo Sarpi's L'Arte di Ben Pensare (The Art of Thinking Well).5 There is almost nothing original in any of his works. Nevertheless, there are two reasons Locke must be dealt with. The first is the minor reason, which is that there is one thing new in Locke – the open face of oligarchical greed and evil, without apologies. In many of the earlier writers whom Locke stole from, there is at least a pretense of religion or justice. Locke doesn't bother. There is no theological gloss; there is no “resistance to tyranny;” there is just money and greed. However the second, and by far much more important, reason to deal with Locke, is all of the massive lies that have been told, and taught in schools, about his influence on the American Revolution. It was not the American Revolution, but the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which brought William of Orange to the throne of England, where Locke played an important role. And of course, the Glorious Revolution was no revolution at all; it was a military coup, whereby the base of the new Venetian-created Empire was shifted from Amsterdam to London. Much more will be said about these events later in this work, but for now we will look at Locke's own words. I include fairly lengthy quotations from Locke,6 because I think that is the best way for the reader to judge if these quotations reflect someone who could have even remotely influenced the United States Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

The Two Treatises of Government - This work is Locke's hymn to private property. He says:

Man has individual property in his own person. The labor of HIS body and the work of HIS hands allows him to remove from nature things which he can join to his own and make HIS property.

This the taking of any part of what is common, and removing it out of the state Nature leaves it in, which BEGINS THE PROPERTY; without which, the Common is of no use. And the taking of this or that part does not depend on the express consent of all the Commoners.

The great and CHIEF END therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, IS THE PRESERVATION OF THEIR PROPERTY.

PERSONS are FREE by a Native Right, and their PROPERTIES are THEIR OWN, AND AT THEIR OWN DISPOSE... Can (the King) take away the Goods or Money they have got upon the Land, at his pleasure? If he can, then all free and voluntary CONTRACTS cease, and are void, in the world.

Perhaps the most rabid quote is the following:

The Reason why Men enter into Society, is the preservation of their Property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a Legislative, is, that there may be Laws made, and Rules set as Guards and Fences to the Properties of all Members of Society, to limit the Power and moderate the Dominion of every Part and Member of Society. For since it can never be supposed to be the Will of the Society, that the Legislative should have the Power to destroy that, which everyone designs to secure, by entering into Society, and for which the People submitted themselves to the Legislators of their own making; whenever the Legislators ENDEAVOR TO TAKE AWAY, AND DESTROY THE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a State of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any further Obedience.

Slavery is merely the lawful epitome of these property rights:

There is another sort of Servants, which by a peculiar Name, we call SLAVES, who being Captives taken in a Just War, are by the Right of Nature subjugated to the Absolute Dominion and Arbitrary Power of their Masters. These Men having, as I say, forfeited their Lives, and with it their Liberties, and lost their Estates; and being in the STATE OF SLAVERY, not capable of any property, cannot in that state be considered as any part of CIVIL SOCIETY; the chief end whereof is the preservation of PROPERTY."

In his Fundamental Constitution of Carolina, Locke wrote, "Every freeman shall have absolute power and authority over his negro slaves," and in his 1698 Instructions to Governor Nicholson of Virginia, Locke defended the African slave raids of the Royal Africa Company as "just wars." Locke states that in a "just war," the conqueror gains absolute despotic control over the vanquished.

    A true irony is that, in Locke - the supposed inspiration for the American Revolution - the notion of freedom he propounds is lifted directly from the theories of Roman Law. Locke states that man's natural freedom derives from his original existence in a state of nature, a state of perfect freedom. Locke's notion of "all men created equal" is nothing but the Roman idea that all beasts are created free and equal in a state of nature. In this state, man - the beast - has the right to defend his life, liberty and possessions. Men have the right to kill those who would violate this law of nature. Man surrenders some of his rights to enter society and to establish laws and courts, but the fundamental law of nature prevails, and individual man retains his sovereignty. Created governments function only as arbiters (umpires) between sovereign individuals. Man enters into society only for the purpose of "the preservation of property of all the members of society, as far as possible." Private property rights existed BEFORE the creation of the state, and the role of the state is to protect this property.

    Locke's idea of the "accession" of property entails a bizarre interpretation of the Book of Genesis, which virtually reduces the Supreme Being to the role of a vulture capitalist:

At the beginning of mankind's existence, 'the Law man was under, was rather for APPROPRIATING.
God Commanded, and his wants forced him to LABOUR. That was his PROPERTY which could not be
taken from him where-ever he had fixed it. And hence subduing or cultivating the Earth, and having
Dominion, we see are joined together. The one gave Title to the other. So that God, by commanding to
subdue, gave Authority so far to APPROPRIATE... (which) necessarily introduces PRIVATE POSSESSIONS.

Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money – In this work Locke goes beyond simple physical property rights and raises the issue of money itself, as a "special" kind of property, one imbued with almost magical powers. In arguing for what he calls "the natural interest of money," he says that money "turns the wheels of trade," therefore its course should not be stopped. This Lockean near-worship of the creature “money,” occurred, of course, in the context of the creation of the Bank of England, and the importation of the financial speculative practices of Amsterdam into London. This rabid monetarism, in which money is given an intrinsic value of its own, as opposed to the American System view that money and credit are merely tools by which sovereign economic development can be realized, is, today, unfortunately widespread, particularly among the “invisible hand” crowd in Vienna and Chicago. Once again, it should be pointed out, that in his writings on money, Locke is the cheap knock-off copy. All of what he says can be found in the Salamancan Navarrus.

Parliamentary Rule: Government by the Oligarchy

Many Europeans today are proud of their democracies or parliaments, but the unavoidable reality is that, although some individual European leaders have acted courageously as true patriots, no European nation has ever been a truly sovereign republic. The reason for this lies in the subjects we have already been considering. In the writings of Althusias, Mornay, Locke and others, it is explicit that individual property rights, including “financial property” are beyond the reach of the civilian government. The apex of this practice is today's European system of private Central Banking, acting outside of, and above government. Or as the Salamancan de Menchaca said, more than a century before Locke: the state has the right of dominium jurisdictions (a limited jurisdiction to punish crime), but not dominium proprietatis (the right of ownership, the right of sovereignty). In examining the role of civil government in the Two Treatises, John Locke puts it this way:

"The first and fundamental Positive Law of all Commonwealths, is the establishing of the Legislative
; as the First and Fundamental Natural Law... is the Preservation of the Society, and of every
person in it. This Legislative is not only the Supreme Power of the Commonwealth, but sacred and
unalterable in the hands where the Community have placed it.


"The Supreme Power cannot take from any Man any part of his Property without his own consent.
For the preservation of Property being the end of Government.

    It is no accident that for Locke and his many predecessors, the examples of Sparta, and particularly Venice, are proclaimed as the model for Parliamentary rule. So the defining issue between Europe and America is not about the form of our legislative institutions, it is about the issue of sovereignty. Parliamentary governments are designed to be subordinate creatures of a financial oligarchy. Let me repeat: all Parliamentary systems are intended to be weak systems of limited sovereignty. In contrast, a Commonwealth embodies the sovereign principle, as Abraham Lincoln put it, of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In such a sovereign nation there is no other unreachable power allowed above that sovereignty. 

Algernon Sidney – Sidney, who lived at the same time as Locke, was not a particularly important person. However, the manner in which the “myth of Algernon Sidney” was used to consolidate the modern form of British Parliamentary government, in the years following the 1688 Glorious Revolution, is important, and worth describing. Sidney was the grand-nephew of the famous Philip Sidney. As a teenager he lived for four years in Paris, where he came under the influence of Hugo Grotius, who was a close friend of his father in the Mersenne Circle. Sidney later said of Grotius’ Law of War and Peace, that it was the most important book ever written on political theory.7

    Sidney spent most of his adult life as a political exile on the Continent, where, among other things, he established a close relationship with the Dutch leader Johann DeWitt. During this period, and after his return to England in 1677, he came under the influence of both the English Ambassador William Temple and John Locke's employer, Anthony Ashley Cooper (the Earl of Shaftesbury.). Temple and Cooper were at the center of conspiratorial efforts to effect a Dutch invasion and coup in England. Acting on their behalf, in 1666, Sidney proposed to DeWitt that he launch an invasion of England for the purpose of restoring Parliamentary rule. Later, in 1679, William Temple sent Algernon’s brother Henry back to the Netherlands in another failed attempt to get the Dutch to invade, this time offering the English crown to William of Orange. In 1682, Algernon Sidney was arrested for his alleged involvement in the “Rye House Plot” against King Charles II, and, ultimately, he was executed along with several others, including Lord William Russell.

    After the eventual, and successful, Dutch Invasion of 1688, Sidney was hailed as a national hero. One of the first acts of the new King William III was to sign into law an act overturning the convictions of Sidney and Russell. This occurred almost simultaneous with Parliament passing, and William signing, the Declaration of Rights, which many historians point to as the document which established the permanency of parliamentary rule in Britain. The Declaration was written by Sidney’s close friend Lord John Somers, and modeled directly on Sidney’s Discourses.8 Sidney was lionized by the Whig leaders as the martyr of the parliamentary cause. Several editions of the Discourses were published, and a cult of Algernon Sidney was propagated throughout the English-speaking world.9 In reality, the nature of Sidney's republicanism is revealed by his close relationship with the head of the Dutch Empire Johan DeWitt. Additionally, in the Discourses, Sidney is effusive in his praise for John Locke. He also argues aggressively in favor of rule by an aristocracy, and, like Locke, his defense of property rights is explicit.10

    The best yardstick to judge Sidney is to look at the events of 1688. The Invitation to William, the document asking William of Orange to invade England, was authored by Henry Sidney, Algernon’s brother. Among the signers of the Invitation (the “Immortal Seven”), three of the seven were: Henry Sidney (later William III's First Lord of the Admiralty), Edward Russell (the cousin of William Russell, and later a member of William III's Privy Council), and William Cavendish, of the famous Cavendish clan. And of course, when the Dutch invasion fleet arrived in England, one of the passengers was John Locke, returning to England to continue the work of his now-deceased employer, Anthony Ashley Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury.

A brief note on the Malthusians 

    From ancient times to today's 21st century, a core feature of the Empire's hatred of humanity is what we would call today Malthusianism. Humanity is to be controlled, looted, exploited, and, if necessary, killed to maintain the Empire. From the standpoint of a Venetian Doge, or today's Prince Philip Mountbatten, the human species needs to be culled from time to time.

    In the post-1582 era, the birth of an explicitly Malthusian doctrine has had the Empire's DNA imprinted on it from the very beginning. One of the first to attack the Empire's population “problem” was the Jesuit Giovanni Botero. Botero can best be described as “in the Salamanca orbit.” In his 1589 work Ragione di Stato, where Botero argues that the best way to secure the public welfare is through free market forces, he states that his views are deeply indebted to the work of the Salamancans Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto. This idea, that the Common Good, is best served by free market financial and economic policies, is, as we have already seen, a subversion of Cusa's Commonwealth idea. Later, in his Delle cause della grandezza e magnificenze della città, Botero deals directly with the problem of poverty and population, and, like Malthus later, he ascribes the widespread urban poverty and misery to overpopulation and a lack of resources. This work was acclaimed by the influential Salamancan Lessius, who became a public supporter of Botero. Later, this same work would have a powerful influence over William Petty and Edmund Halley after its translation into English and 1606 publication in London. 

    In 1647, a Genoese aristocrat named Giovanni Battista Baliani, a friend and correspondent of Galileo, published Trattato della Pestilenza, a treatise on the plague. In discussing the cause of the plague, he writes, “For it is impossible to go on always filling the world with more and more without many persons dying of hunger for the earth cannot feed a great many more than are living at present... This evil, however deplorable, is inevitable. It is therefore necessary that so great a number of people will from time to time be diminished.” Baliani sent the work to Marin Mersenne in Paris. Mersenne published it and established an ongoing correspondence with Baliani.

    Beginning in the 1670s we find the writings of DeWitt, John Graunt, Edmund Halley, and Francis Bacon's protege William Petty on demographics, all of a linear statistical Malthusian nature, and in the 18th century the work of the Venetian aristocrat Giammaria Ortes, which was plagiarized by Thomas Malthus himself.

    All of this was designed to justify the poverty and human suffering that resulted from the free market policies of the Empire, in exactly the same way as modern-day Malthusians like Paul Erlich and Al Gore11 have justified the economic looting and genocide under our current regime of globalization.

1 Scholastic Morality and the Birth of Economics: the Thought of Martin de Azpilcueta, by Rodrio Munoz de Juana, Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 4. No 1

2 John Law's Money and Trade Considered, published in 1705, contains a theory of value identical to the Salamancans.

3 The Legal and Scholastic Roots of Leonardus Lessius Economic Thought, by Louis Baeck, Journal of Economic Thought, #37

4 The premier example of this sophistry is Oliver Cromwell's so-called “Commonwealth”

5 See the testimony of the Venetian Doge Marco Foscarini who reports, “What Sarpi says of axioms he says also of first truths and of syllogisms, and this appears to be the source from whence Locke has copied or amplified his ideas...

6 In the Locke quotations, all emphases are in the original

7 Memoirs of Algernon Sydney, by George Wilson Meadley, printed by Thomas Davison, 1813

8 Discourses Concerning Government, Sidney's main published work

9 The adulation of Sidney was such that aristocrats began naming their children Sidney or Sydney, which had previously been only a surname.

10 A revealing glimpse into the fakery of Sidney's “republicanism” is his close association with the Englishman Henry Vane. In 1637 Vane had been expelled by John Winthrop from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, for his attempts to disrupt the government of that actual Commonwealth.

11 See, for example, Vice-President Al Gore's role in denying generic AIDS medications to sub-Saharan African nations