In addition to these pragmatic goals, the 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 feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent and 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. Each central bank, in the hands of men like Montague Norman of the the Bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Charles Rist of the bank of France, and Hjalmar Schact of the Reichsbank, sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasure loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence to the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.
In each country the power of the central bank rested largely on its control of credit and money supply. In the world as a whole the power of the central bankers rested very largely on their control of loans and of gold flows.
Regardless of the outcome of the situation, it is increasingly clear that, in the twentieth century, the expert will replace the industrial tycoon in control of the economic system even as he will replace the democratic voter in control of the political system. This is because planning will inevitably replace laissez faire in the relationships between the two systems. This planning may not be single or unified, but it will be planning, in which the main framework and operational forces of the system will be established and limited by the experts on the governmental side; then the experts within the big units on the economic side will do their planning within these established limitations. Hopefully, the elements of choice and freedom may survive for the ordinary individual in that he may be free to make a choice between two opposing political groups (even if these groups have little policy choice within the parameters of policy established by the experts) and he may have the choice to switch his economic support from one large unit to another. But, in general, his freedom and choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives by the fact that he will be numbered from birth and followed, as a number, through his educational training, his required military or other public service, his tax contributions, his health and medical requirements, and his final retirement and death benefits.
Eventually, in two or three generations, as the ordinary individual who is not an expert or a skilled professional soldier or a prominent industrial executive becomes of less personal concern to the government, his contacts with the government will become less direct and will take place increasingly through intermediaries. Some movement in this direction may be seen already in those cases where taxpayers whose incomes are entirely from wages or salaries find that their whole tax is already paid by their employer or in the decreasing need for the military draftee to be called to serve by a letter from the President. The development of such a situation, a kind of neofeudalism, is which the relationships of ordinary people to government cease to be direct and are increasingly through intermediaries (who are private rather than public authorities), is a long way in the future.
This myth, like all fables, does in fact have a modicum of truth. There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960's, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.
The Round Table Groups have already been mentioned in this book several times, notably in connection with the formation of the British Commonwealth in chapter 4 and in the discussion of appeasement in chapter 12 ("the Cliveden Set"). At the risk of some repetition, the story will be summarized here, because the American branch of this organization (sometimes called the "Eastern Establishment") has played a very significant role in the history of the United States in the last generation.
Carroll Quigley- Tragedy and Hope