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 Quigley Online

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PostSubject: Quigley Online   Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:29 pm

In 1966, Caroll Quigley (a history professor at Georgetown and Harvard) published an overview of the inner workings of western world history from ca. 1890 -- 1960 that has rocked the world ever since. Since it was contractually accepted for publication before it was finished, the editor assigned to handle it, daunted by its sheer length (1000 pp. +) and information density, passed it off to an inexperienced young assistant to vet. He waved it through, and thus Tragedy and Hope -- briefly -- saw the light of day.

Th publishing company withdrew it almost immediately once it realised the significance (and number) of tales the author was telling out of school, but by then the genie was out of the bottle. Tragedy and Hope quickly attained cult status as the best book on (at that time) recent world history that nobody could get. Quigley himself, unwilling that his life's work should be relegated to the Orwellian Memory Hole, found a contractual loophole, xeroxed the entire book himself, and managed to get it re-published elsewhere.

Once the internet became a force in public awareness, able to end-run around the media monopoly's defense of the official worldview, T&H ironically attained near-Biblical status among "right-wing reactionaries" while at the same time, Bill Clinton (one of Quigley's students at Georgetown) was quoting it in his first inaugural address (!). Considering that very few books have ever managed to bridge the right wing / left wing impasse like that, and that none of the few which have ever required wading through in excess of a thousand pages of factual text should give you a fair idea of its significance.

Stranger yet : Quigley himself was a dyed-in-the-wool Eastern Liberal Establishment type, a supporter of its agenda and methods who admired those regarded as criminals by others but (with incredible naiveity) believed that they had simply made some mistakes -- mistakes he recounted in the hope that they should learn from them in order to do a better job in the future.
Caroll Quigley wrote:
[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. this system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations....
It must not be felt that these heads of the world's chief central banks were themselves substantive powers in world finance. They were not. Rather, they were the technicians and agents of the dominant investment bankers of their own countries, who had raised them up and were perfectly capable of throwing them down. The substantive financial powers of the world were in the hands of these investment bankers (also called 'international' or 'merchant' bankers) who remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated private banks. These formed a system of international cooperation and national dominance which was more private, more powerful, and more secret than that of their agents in the central banks. this dominance of investment bankers was based on their control over the flows of credit and investment funds in their own countries and throughout the world. They could dominate the financial and industrial systems of their own countries by their influence over the flow of current funds though bank loans, the discount rate, and the re-discounting of commercial debts; they could dominate governments by their own control over current government loans and the play of the international exchanges. Almost all of this power was exercised by the personal influence and prestige of men who had demonstrated their ability in the past to bring off successful financial coupes, to keep their word, to remain cool in a crisis, and to share their winning opportunities with their associates.

Cut to the chase : the entire book is now online (!)


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PostSubject: Re: Quigley Online   Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:58 pm

Read a few bits, looks fascinating. But not a single foot/end note (that I saw) and no bibliography? Where did he get all this information? Academic historians (OK, lets not pick on them too much, a few are my drinking buddies!) would want to see citations for just about every sentence.

Loved the Cold War chapter introduction. What little I know about Stalin and that period seemed to mimic what he presented as the underlying ideas for what I know of as Stalin's actions.

This might be my Christmas read.

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PostSubject: Re: Quigley Online   Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:49 pm

There is actually ONE footnote in the entire book. He dictated it, lecture style, to his wife, who typed it.

He wasn't out pretending he had to cite references for people who knew as much as he did. There weren't any, and he knew it. Nor was it intended as a textbook, but as a systematic presentation of stuff he'd done the primary discovery on himself, for whoever wanted the big picture in perspective.

Not to mention that there's no way to footnote disclosures that had never been made public before.

(NB the notable exception of National Socialist Germany. His coverage of it is comprised almost entirely of adjectives. Bestial . . . Savage . . . Sub-human. I've often wondered if that was what it got it past the censors. I suspect it was).

Where he got his information : from students at Harvard -- descendants of the relevant historical figures, who had their papers in storage -- telling him, after lectures, that he was mistaken about the way this or that event played out, and inviting him to come examine them. Fifty years of that.

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