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Thursday, October 27, 2011


A)The Money Masters: Behind the Global Debt Crisis

In the US, we see untold millions suffering from the impact of mass foreclosures and unemployment; in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Italy, stringent austerity measures are imposed upon the whole population; all coupled with major banking collapses in Iceland, the UK and the US, and indecent bail-outs of “too-big-to-fail” bankers (Newspeak for too powerful to fail).
No doubt, the bulk of the responsibility for these debacles falls squarely on the shoulders of caretaker governments in these countries that are subordinated to Money Power interests and objectives. In country after country, that comes together with embedded corruption, particularly evident today in the UK, Italy and the US.
As we assess some of the key components of today’s Global Financial, Currency and Banking Model in this article, readers will hopefully get a better understanding as to why we are all in such a crisis, and that it will tend to get much worse in the months and years to come.

Foundations of a Failed and False Model

Hiding behind the mask of false “laws” allegedly governing “globalised markets and economies,” this Financial Model has allowed a small group of people to amass and wield huge and overwhelming power over markets, corporations, industries, governments and the global media. The irresponsible and criminal consequences of their actions are now clear for all to see.
The “Model” we will briefly describe, falls within the framework of a much vaster Global Power System that is grossly unjust and was conceived and designed from the lofty heights of private geopolitical and geo-economic1 planning centres that function to promote the Global Power Elite’s agenda as they prepare their “New World Order” – again, Newspeak for a Coming World Government.2
Specifically, we are talking about key think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, and other similar entities such as the Cato Institute (Monetary Issues), American Enterprise Institute and the Project for a New American Century that conform an intricate, solid, tight and very powerful network, engineering and managing New World Order interests, goals and objectives.
Writing from the stance of an Argentine citizen, I admit we have some “advantages” over the citizens of industrialised countries as the US, UK, European Union, Japan or Australia, in that over the last few decades we have had direct experience of successive catastrophic national crises emanating from inflation, hyper-inflation, systemic banking collapse, currency revamps, sovereign debt bond mega-swaps, military coups and lost wars…

Finance vs the Economy

The Financial system (i.e., a basically unreal Virtual, symbolic and parasitic world), increasingly functions in a direction that is contrary to the interest of the Real Economy (i.e., the Real and concrete world of work, production, manufacturing, creativity, toil, effort and sacrifice done by real people). Over the past decades, Finance and the Economy have gone their totally separate and antagonistic ways, and no longer function in a healthy and balanced relationship that prioritises the Common Good of We the People. This huge conflict between the two can be seen, amongst other places, in today’s Financial and Economic System, whose main support lies in the Debt Paradigm, i.e., that nothing can be done unless you first have credit, financing and loans to do it. Thus, the Real Economy becomes dependent on and distorted by the objectives, interests and fluctuations of Virtual Finance.3

Debt-Based System

The Real Economy should be financed with genuine funds; however with time, the Global Banking Elite succeeded in getting one Sovereign Nation-State after another to give up its inalienable function of supplying the correct quantity of National Currency as the primary financial instrument to finance the Real Economy. That requires decided action through Policies centred on promoting the Common Good of We The People in each country, and securing the National Interest against the perils posed by internal and external adversaries.
Thus, we can better understand why the financial “law” that requires central banks to always be totally “independent” of Government and the State has become a veritable dogma. This is just another way of ensuring that central banking should always be fully subordinated to the interests of the private banking over-world – both locally in each country, as well as globally.
We find this to prevail in all countries: Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, the European Union and in just about every other country that adopts so-called “Western” financial practice. Perhaps the best (or rather, the worst) example of this is the United States where the Federal Reserve System is a privately controlled institution outright, with around 97% of its shares being owned by the member banks themselves (admittedly, it does have a very special stock scheme), even though the bankers running “Fed” do everything they can to make it appear as if it is a “public” entity operated by Government, something that it is definitely not.
One of the Global Banking Over-world’s permanent goals is – and has been – to maintain full control over all central banks in just about every country, in order to be able to control their public currencies.4 This, in turn, allows them to impose a fundamental (for them) condition whereby there is never the right quantity of public currency to satisfy the true demand and needs of the Real Economy. That is when those very same private banks that control central banking come on scene to “satisfy the demand for money” of the Real Economy by artificially generating private bank money out of nothing. They call it “credits and loans” and offer to supply it to the Real Economy, but with an “added value” (for them): (a) they will charge interest for them (often at usury levels) and, (b) they will create most of that private bank money out of thin air through the fractional lending system.
At a Geo-economic level, this has also served to generate huge and unnecessary public sovereign debts in country after country all over the world. Argentina is a good example, whose Caretaker Governments are systematically ignorant and unwilling to use one of the sovereign state’s key powers: the issuance ofhigh power non-interest generating Public Money (see below for a more detailed definition). Instead, Argentina has allowed IMF (International Monetary Fund) so-called “recipes” that reflect the global banking cartel’s own interests to be imposed upon it in fundamental matters like what are the proper functions of its Central Bank, sovereign debt, fiscal policy, and other monetary, banking and financial mechanisms, that are thus systematically used against the Common Good of the Argentine People andagainst the National Interest of the country.
This system and its dreadful results, now and in the past, are so similar in so many other countries –Brazil, Mexico, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, UK, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine… that it can only reflect a well thought-out and engineered plan, emanating from the highest planning echelons of the Global Power Elite.

Fractional Bank Lending

This banking concept is in use throughout the world’s financial markets, and allows private banks to generate “virtual” Money out of thin air (i.e., scriptural annotations and electronic entries into current and savings accounts, and a vast array of lines of credit), in a ratio that is 8, 10, 30, 50 times or more largerthan the actual amount of cash (i.e., public money) held by the bank in its vaults. In exchange for lending this private “money” created out of nothing, bankers collect interest, demand collateral with intrinsic value and if the debtor defaults they can then foreclose on their property or other assets.
The ratio that exists between the amount of Dollars or Pesos in its vaults and the amount of credit private banks generate is determined by the central banking authority which fixes the fractional lending leverage level (which is why controlling the central bank is so vital strategically for private banker cartels). This leverage level is a statistical reserve based on actuarial calculations of the portion of account holders who in normal time go to their banks or ATM machines to withdraw their money in cash (i.e., in public money notes). The key factor here is that this works fine in “normal” times, however “normal” is basically acollective psychology concept intimately linked to what those account holders, and the population at large, perceive regarding the financial system in general and each bank in particular.
So, when for whatever reason, “abnormal” times hit – i.e., every time there are (subtly predictable) periodic crises, bank runs, collapses and panics, which seem to suddenly explode as happened in Argentina in 2001 and as is now happening in the US, UK, Ireland, Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and a growing number of countries – we see all bank account holders running to their banks to try to get their money out in cash. That’s when they discover that there is not enough cash in their banks to pay, save for a small fraction of account holders (usually insiders “in the know” or “friends of the bankers”).
For the rest of us mortals “there is no more money left,” which means that they must resort to whatever public insurance scheme may or may not be in place (e.g., in the US, the state-owned Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that “insures” up to US$250,000 per account holder with taxpayer money). In countries like Argentina, however, there is no other option but to go out on the streets banging pots and pans against those ominous, solid and firmly closed bronze bank gates and doors. All thanks to the fraudulent fractional bank lending system.

Investment Banking

In the US, so called “Commercial Banks” are those that have large portfolios of checking, savings and fixed deposit accounts for people and companies (e.g., such main street names as CitiBank, Bank of America, JPMorganChase, etc.; in Argentina, we have Standard Bank, BBVA, Galicia, HSBC and others). Commercial Banks operate with fractional lending leverage levels that allow them to lend out “virtual” dollars or pesos for amounts equal to 6, 8 or 10 times the cash actually held in their vaults; these banks are usually more closely supervised by the local monetary authorities of the country.
A different story, however, we had in the US (and still have elsewhere) with so-called global “Investment Banks” (those that make the mega-loans to corporations, major clients and sovereign states), over which there is much less control, so that their leveraging fractional lending ratios are far, far higher. This greater flexibility is what allowed investment banks in the US to “make loans” by, for example, creating out of thin air 26 “virtual” Dollars for every real Dollar in cash they held in their vaults (i.e., Goldman Sachs), or 30 virtual Dollars (Morgan Stanley), or more than 60 virtual Dollars (Merrill Lynch until just before it folded on 15 Sept 2008), or more than 100 virtual Dollars in the cases of collapsed banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.5

Private Money vs Public Money

At this point in our review, it is essential to very clearly distinguish between two types of Money or Currency:
Private Money – This is “Virtual” Money created out of thin air by the private banking system. It generates interests on loans, which increases the amount of Private money in (electronic) circulation, and spreads and expands throughout the entire economy. We then perceive this as “inflation.” In actual fact, the main cause of inflation in the economy is structural to the interest-bearing fractional lending banking system,even among industrialised countries. The cause of inflation nowadays is not so much the excessive issuance of Public Money by Government as all so-called banking experts would have us believe but, rather, the combined effect of fractional lending and interest on private banking money.
Public Money – This is the only Real Money there is. It is the actual notes issued by the national currency entity holding a monopoly (i.e., the central bank or some such government agency) and, as Public Money, it does not generate interest, and should not be created by anyone other than the State. Anybody else doing this is a counterfeiter and should end up in jail because counterfeiting Public Money is equivalent to robbing the Real Economy (i.e., “we, the working people”) of their work, toil and production capabilities without contributing anything in return in terms of socially productive work. The same should apply to private bankers under the present fractional lending system: counterfeiting money (i.e., creating it out of thin air as a ledger entry or electronic blip on a computer screen) is equivalent to robbing the Real Economy of its work and production capacity without contributing any counter-value in terms of work.

Why We Have Financial Crises

A fundamental concept that lies at the very heart of the present Financial Model can be found in the wayhuge parasitic profits on the one hand, and catastrophic systemic losses on the other, are effectively transferred to specific sectors of the economy, throughout the entire system, beyond borders and public control.
As with all models, the one we suffer today has its own internal logic which, once properly understood, makes that model predictable. The people who designed it know full well that it is governed by grand cycles having specific expansion and contraction stages, and specific timelines. Thus, they can ensure that in bull market times of growth and gigantic profits (i.e., whilst the system, grows and grows, is relatively stable and generates tons of money out of nothing), all profits are privatised making them flow towards specific institutions, economic sectors, shareholders, speculators, CEO and top management & trader bonuses, “investors”, etc who operate the gears and maintain the whole system properly tuned and working.
However, they also know that – like all roller coaster rides – when you reach the very top, the system turns into a bear market that destabilises, spins out of control, contracts and irremediably collapses, as happened to Argentina in 2001 and to the better part of the world since 2008, then all losses are socialised by making Governments absorb them through the most varied transference mechanisms that dump these huge losses onto the population at large (whether in the form of generalised inflation, catastrophic hyperinflation, banking collapses, bail-outs, tax hikes, debt defaults, forced nationalisations, extreme austerity measures, etc).

The Four-sided Global “Ponzi” Pyramid Scheme

As we know, all good pyramids have four sides, and since the Global Financial System is based on a “Ponzi” Pyramid Scheme, there’s no reason why this particular pyramid should not have four sides as well.
Below is a summary of the Four-side Global “Ponzi” Pyramid Scheme that lies at the core of today’s Financial Model, indicating how these four “sides” function in a coordinated, consistent, and sequential manner.
Side One – Create Public Money Insufficiency. This is achieved, as we explained above, by controlling the National Public entity that issues public money. Its goal is to demonetise the Real Economy so that the latter is forced to seek “alternative funding” for its needs (i.e., so that it has no choice but to resort to private bank loans).
Side Two – Impose Private Banking Fractional Lending Loans. This, as we said, is virtual private money created out of thin air on which bankers charge interest – often at usury levels – thus generating enormous profit for “investors,” creditors and all sorts of entities and individuals who operate as parasites living off other people’s work. This would never have been the case if each local central bank were to flexibly generate the correct quantity of Public Money necessary to satisfy the needs of the Real Economy in each country and region.
Side Three – Promote a Debt-Based Economic System. In fact, the whole Pyramid Model is based on being able to promote this generalised paradigm that falsely states that what really “moves” the private and public economy is not so much work, creativity, toil and effort of workers, but rather “private investors,” “bank loans” and “credit” – i.e., indebtedness. With time, this paradigm has replaced the infinitely wiser, sounder, more balanced and solid concept of corporate profit being reinvested and genuine personal savings being the foundation for future prosperity and security. Pretty much the way Henry Ford, Sr. originally grew his most successful company.
Today, however, Debt reigns supreme and this paradigm has become entrenched and embedded into people’s minds thanks to the mainstream media and specialised journals and publications, combined with Ivy League universities’ Economics Departments that have all succeeded in imposing such “politically correct” thinking with respect to financial matters, especially those relating to the proper nature and function of Public Money.
The facts are that this Model generates unnecessary loans so that banking creditors can receive huge profits, which includes promoting uncontrolled, unwarranted and often pathological consumerism, which goes hand in hand with the increasing abandonment of the traditional value of “saving for a rainy day.”
Such debts having political and strategic goals rather than merely financial ones, are usually given a thin layer of “legality” so that they may be imposed by the creditor on the debtor (i.e., in the case of The Merchant of Venice, the bond entered into between Antonio and Shylock giving the latter the legal right to a pound of the former’s flesh; in the case of chronically indebted countries like Argentina, such “legality” is achieved through a complex public debt laundering6 mechanism carried out by successive formally “democratic” Caretaker Governments to this very day).
Side Four – Privatisation of Profits/Socialisation of Losses. Lastly, and knowing full well that, in the long run, the numbers of the entire Cycle of this Model never add up, and that the whole system will inevitably come crashing down, the Model imposes a highly complex and often subtle financial, legal and media engineering that allows privatising profits and socialising losses. In Argentina, this cycle has become increasingly visible for those who want to see it, because in our country the local “Ponzi” Pyramid Cycle lasts on average 15 to 17 years, i.e., we’ve had successive collapses involving brutal devaluation (1975), hyperinflation (1989) and systemic banking collapse (2001), however in the industrialised world, that cycle was made to last almost 80 years (i.e., three generations spanning from 1929 to 2008).


The fundamental cause of today’s on-going global financial collapse that exerts massive distortions over the Real Economy – and the ensuing social hardship, suffering and violence – is clear: Virtual Finance has usurped a pedestal of supremacy over the Real Economy, which does not legitimately belong to it.Finance must always be subordinated to, and in the service of, the Real Economy just as the Economy must heed the law and social needs of the Political Model executed by a Sovereign Nation-State (as we back-engineer this entire system, we thus understand why it is necessary for the Global Power Elite to first erode the sovereign Nation-State and to eventually do away with it altogether, in order to achieve its monetary, financial and political ends).
In fact, if we look at matters in their proper perspective, we will see that most national economies are pretty much intact, in spite of having been badly bruised by the financial collapse. It is Finance that is in the midst of a massive global collapse, as this Model of “Ponzi” Finance has grown into a sort of malignant “cancerous tumour” that has now “metastasised,” threatening to kill the whole economy and social body politic, in just about every country in the world, and certainly in the industrialised countries.
The above comparison of today’s financial system with a malignant tumour is more than a mere metaphor. If we look at the figures, we will immediately be able to see signs of this financial “metastasis.” For example, The New York Times in their 22 September 2008 edition explains that the main trigger of the financial collapse that had exploded just one week earlier on 15 September was, as we all know, mismanagement and lack of supervision over the “Derivatives” market. The Times then went on to explain that twenty years earlier, in 1988, there was no derivatives market; by 2002 however, Derivatives had grown into a global 102 trillion Dollar market (that’s 50% more than the Gross Domestic Product of all the countries in the world, the US, EU, Japan and BRICS nations included), and by September 2008, Derivatives had ballooned into a global 531 trillion Dollar market. That’s eight times the GDP of the entire planet! “Financial Metastasis” at its very worst. Since then, some have estimated this Derivatives global market figure to be in the region of One-Quadrillion Dollars…
Naturally, when that collapse began, the caretaker governments in the US, European Union and elsewhere, immediately sprang into action and implemented “Operation Bail-out” of all the mega-banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and speculation markets, and their respective operators, controllers and “friends.” Thus, trillions upon trillions of Dollars, Euros and Pounds were given to Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, AIG, HSBC and other “too big to fail” financial institutions… which is newspeak for “too powerful to fail”, because they hold politicians, political parties and governments in their steel grip.
All of this was paid with taxpayer dollars or, even worse, with uncontrolled and irresponsible issuance of Public Money bank notes and treasury bonds, especially by the Federal Reserve Bank which has, in practice, technically hyper-inflated the US Dollar: “Quantitative Easing” they call it, which is Newspeak forhyperinflation.
So far, however, like the proverbial Naked Emperor, nobody dares to state this openly. At least not until some “uncontrolled” event triggers or unmasks what should by now be obvious to all: Emperor Dollar is totally and completely naked.7 When that happens, we will then see bloody social and civil wars throughout the world and not just in Greece and Argentina.
By then, however, and as always happens, the powerful bankster clique and their well-paid financial and media operators, will be watching the whole hellish spectacle perched in the safety and comfort of their plush boardrooms atop the skyscrapers of New York, London, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo…

BY Adrian Salbuchi

1. The concept of “Geoeconomics” was coined by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, through a studies group honouring Maurice Greenberg, the financier who was for decades CEO of American International Group (AIG) which collapsed in 2008 and had strong conflict-of-interest ties with major insurance and reinsurance broker Marsh Group whose CEO was his son Jeffrey. Both father and son were indicted for fraud by then New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. Spitzer would later pay a very heavy price for this after becoming Governor of New York State when someone “discovered” his sex escapades which were quickly blown up into a major scandal by The New York Times…
2. We have described the basic Global Power Elite structure, model and objectives in our e-Book The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope?, available through www.asalbuchi.com.ar.
3. For more information, see the Third Pillar of the Second Republic Project “Reject the Debt-Based Economy” on www.secondrepublicproject.com.
4. Some notable exceptions: Today: Libya, Iran, Syria, China; In the past: Peron’s Argentina, Germany and Italy in the 30’s and 40’s….  Are we seeing a pattern here?
5. See The New York Times, 22 September 2008
6. See White Paper comparing Debt Laundering mechanisms to Money Laundering mechanisms, lodged under Pillar No 3 “Reject the Debt-Based Economy” of Second Republic Project inwww.secondrepublicproject.com.
7. This is more fully described in the author’s book

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio talk-show host in Argentina. He has published several books on geopolitics and economics in Spanish, and recently published his first eBook in English: The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope? which can be ordered through his web site www.asalbuchi.com.ar, or details can be requested by E-mail to arsalbuchi@gmail.com. Salbuchi also works as strategic consultant for domestic and international companies. He is also founder of the Second Republic Project in Argentina, which is expanding internationally (visit: www.secondrepublicproject.com). 

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 128 (September-October 2011)

B)Banks Put Americans on the Hook for Trillions
This clip explains the massive fraud being perpetrated on humanity as we speak.
US GDP is ~$15T;
Entire PLANET GDP: ~$65T;
Bank of America derivatives total $75T; Wells-Fargo derivatives $73T
And they have moved those phony dollars to their commercial side, making them FDIC insured. WE are now on the hook for their crimes, for more money than the entire world produces over several years. This is the result of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.
Additionally, the UN estimates that the total cost to END WORLD HUNGER would be just under $200 BILLION per year. JP Morgan could feed the world for more than a decade with the money they currently sit on.
As Hurley would say, "The numbers are bad!"
From The Thom Hartmann Program, Free Speech TV 10/19. (Free Speech TV is channel 348 on DirecTV)



Monday, October 17, 2011


OPEN DAYS 2011-BRUSSELS,10-13/10/11







                       EU - UKRAINE HIGH LEVEL SEMINAR




For the next programming period of structural funds that begins as from 2014, a group of European regions will probably exceed the 75% of the EU average GDP and, as a consequence, fall out convergence objective. Many of these regions have decided to organise themselves to create a common structure in Brussels that allows to transmit their opinions and to make contributions on the future of the Regional Policy. This common structure or network has been denominated “Convergence Regions on the Way to Cohesion” (CROWC).
Taking into account the special situation of fragility, it is essential for these regions to benefit from a transitional aid as from 2014. The final goal is to consolidate in real terms the falling out of the Convergence Objective and to prepare them for the new scenario. In other words, a dramatic cut would suppose a step back in the progress made until now.
Excellent results from a good implementation of the structural funds and, therefore, the correct application of the Regional Policy in our territories, lead us to make contributions in the context of the definition of the Regional Policy as from 2014 and the measures that will be due to adopt.
During the Open Days week, we will tackle all this issues in order to raise awareness of the importance of Europe policies at regional level.




Monday, October 10, 2011



I. Wu-wei in the Low Countries
Keeping the lack of comprehensive sources in mind, it will nevertheless be interesting to analyze in which ways the introduction of Chinese art products (picturing idyllic scenes of a prosperous Empire) and the parallel occurrence of Sinophile texts (published in Amsterdam and partly written by Flemish Jesuits), transformed the intellectual outlook of Europe.
Contemporary authors, who emphasize the indigenous development of economic laissez-faire in Europe, do repeatedly emphasize the significance of the Dutch natural law thinker Hugo de Grotius (*1583- †1645).28 It is commonly understood that Grotius matters greatly for the development of 18th century Liberalism because he greatly influenced Francis Hutcheson, one of Adam Smith’s most important teachers.29 This chapter seeks to juxtapose the beginning infiltration of wu-wei into Europe with Grotius’s impact on the European mind, after the period of religious wars of the 17th century. In what way did the Low Countries diffuse wu-wei throughout Europe, while Grotius’s legacy continued to mature?

1.1 The textual diffusion
Translations of Grotius’s magnus opus De jure belli et pacis (1625), a book which had passed almost unnoticed in the year of its first publication, kept constantly reappearing throughout the century. Grotius work on the unwritten but imperative Law of God that governs also in times of war, the Natural Law, resurfaced widely in the minds of a generation which stood in awe before the terror and bloodshed of the Thirty-Years-War.30 However, the re-emerging of Grotius texts during the second half of the 17th century also meant the continuation of the socalled northern European revival of Libanius.31 Libanius, a Roman pagan teacher, had eulogized the great virtues of free commerce and peaceful cooperation between men during the fourth-century BC. Grotius and others tried to find ways to resurrect Libanius’s ancient ‘universal economy’, after 1648.32 The liberal, urban environment of 17th century Amsterdam was ideal for harbouring this neo-Libaniusian movement. Yet, it was exactly in this European city that the pieces of information, which would later be used to decode the ‘universal economy’ doctrine of the East, were first to be welcomed.
The Low Countries or more precisely the Chinezen van Amsterdam (to paraphrase van Winter)33 proved essential for wu-wei in Europe in two ways. First, they acted as the main diffusion base for the important Jesuit texts on China’s political economy. Resulting from an influx of missionary-reports from China, a mass of publications emerged, dealing with the economy, politics and history of the Chinese Empire.
 Secondly, parallel to this growing textual supply, thousands of images on porcelain, picturing mainly well-fed Chinese living happily inside a ‘wu-wei Empire’, started to flood the Low Countries, as well. Jesuit books constitute a strong variant of this Eastern current inside the Low Countries: Martino Martini (*1614-†1661) published his “Histoire de la guerre des Tatares contre la Chine” in the Catholic Flemish stronghold of Douai, 1654; Gonzalez de Mendosa’s “Rerum morumque in regno Chinensi maxime notabilium historia” appeared in Antwerp one year later. Especially two publications proved very influential (both, like Grotius first published in Amsterdam): the first scientific atlas of China, compiled by Martino Martini in 1655 (see image 1), and Athanasius Kircher’s China monumentis: qua sacris qua profanis (…) illustrata published in 1667.34 These two publications from  Amsterdam showed in detail the territorial magnificence and economic wealth of the Empire, influencing Leibniz, Quesnay and others, in the years to come.35
Apart from printing works by German (like Kircher) or Austrian (like Martini) Jesuits that revealed China’s high level of prosperity, the Low Countries were also the origin of many China missionaries, like Nicolas Trigault (*1577-†1628) or Ferdinand Verbiest (*1623- †1688).36 Just as the Jesuit Matteo Ricci (*1552- †1610) introduced Euclid to Ming China, so Trigault introduced Europe to Confucius via his Histoire de l’expédition christiene au royaume de la Chine.37 Early in 1615, he wrote:38
“We [the Jesuit missionaries] have seen [China’s] most noble provinces; we enter every day into conversation with the principle citizens, the magistrates and the men of letters; we speak the native language of the Chinese; we have learned by careful enquiry, their habits, customs, laws and ceremonial and, finally (what is of the greatest importance), day and night we have their books in our hands.”39
The economic Sinophilsm of the important Physiocrat Quesnay, with all its consequences, seems unlikely to have blossomed without another prominent work on China by Père du Halde, the Description de l’empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise (1735), but du Halde’s work appears equally implausible without the groundbreaking Amsterdam texts or Trigault’s translation of Ricci.40 Thus, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Douai,  through commercial power, respectively Jesuit passion, proved essential for the European version of economic government by wu-wei that was soon to emergence. China, and therefore wu-wei, entered Europe not through Portugal or France but via the Low Countries. John M. Headley describes the outcome:
“The most notable single appropriation of Confucianism by the Enlightenment comes with the Amsterdam 1758 edition of Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of the Philosophers. There amidst the traditional thinkers of classical antiquity could now be found a ninety-page exposition of Confucius and Confucianism”41

1.2 The visual diffusion
Yet, there is an additional Chinese influence on Europe via the Low Countries, and this was not by textual but by visual means. Two factors had been curial for facilitating the diffusion of wu-wei in Europe, the extensive ‘global reach’ of Dutch international sea-power and the emerging of a powerful, domestic ceramic industry – the interplay of these two dynamics powered the diffusion process.42 While Amsterdam was at the commercial and logistic heart of Europe’s largest merchant fleet with some 10,000 vessels, one of Europe’s earliest centres of ceramic industry was slowly encircling her city walls.
Dutch East India ships had swamped first the Low Countries and then the rest of Europe, with “more than three million pieces of Chinese porcelain […] between 1602 and 1657 […]”.43 The origin of the celebrated blue and white painted faïence of Delft can be traced back to this massive   influx of Chinese porcelain. By 1650, ten pottery workshops had opened at Grotius’s birthplace alone – there would be thirty in 1670.44 The makers of Delft’s faïence copied various Chinese images displaying picturesque and joyful scenes of minben (see image 2). By 1700, millions of pieces of faïence, depicting the comfort and welfare of the wu-wei Empire, had diffused throughout Europe.45
To demonstrate the importance of this non-textual diffusion, we can refer to the later case of Jean Theodore Royer (*1737- †1807). Royer was a successful lawyer from The Hague and the most important Sinologist in the Low Countries of the 18th century. He thought that the best way of develop a true understanding about the prosperous life in China was actually to collect ceramics and other objects depicting information from China. Royer believed in this hypothesis all his life, deeply mistrusting European publication on China.46
Minben-porcelain and neo-Libaniusian texts did attain their closest proximity in Amsterdam.47 For a short period, this urban entrepôt nurtured Grotius, Chinese porcelain and the bookish merchandise of Jesuit missionary zeal.48 But in contrast to later France, where the Physiocrats would transform the dispersed pieces of Eurasian economic thought into one grande Eurasian theory of good government (without having the pleasure to see it transformed into real governmental practice), the Low Countries proved unable to articulate the first European transformation of   the wu-wei principle. The Low Countries functioned only as a gateway for wu-wei, diffusing it unconsciously throughout Europe. The most likely reason for this ‘failure’ was that the intellectual heritage of the Habsburg-Netherlands (modern Belgium) within the Northern United Provinces substantially diminished as the century progressed. Catholics became virtually second-class citizens in Amsterdam and although a rest of Jesuit-Chinese knowledge did survive within the Protestant Republic, this bit was ignored for decades.49
In sum, it is critical to understand that the spread of new useful knowledge from China and the artistic images of its prosperous economic effects occurred in chorus with the formation and deepening of Europe’s own Libaniusian model. Amsterdam kept on publicizing Grotius’s call for the freedom of commerce, while the Jesuit reports on the economic glory of some 120 million Chinese became more and more popular.50 The enormous scale of imported Chinese artefacts facilitated the diffusion process of the endogenous Chinese model, via confirming, through its visual demonstration effect, the prosperous outcomes of wu-wei. Consequently, the two strings of laissez faire-thought, the indigenous Libaniusian model and the endogenous Chinese model, share a common geographical and cultural foundation (best symbolized by image 3). Both evolved simultaneously, yet separately, from the Low Countries, after 1648.51 Thus, this small part of northern Europe was responsible for setting the diffusion process of the incoming Chinese resource portfolio into motion. Over time, this process became partly intermingled with the   indigenous Libaniusian model, but before this could happen, France had to discover wu-wei first.52


Christian Gerlach

Department of Economic History
London School of Economics



28 Irwin, Against the Tide, p. 69.
29 Roger E. Backhouse, The Penguin History of Economics (London 2002), pp. 108- 114.
30 e.g. in the writings of Jean Le Clerc, Samuel von Pufendorf or Giambattista Vico.

31 Irwin, Against the Tide, p. 16.
32 Paul Hazard, The European Mind – The Critical Years 1680–1715 (New York 1990 [Paris 1935]), p. 87.
33 P. J. van Winter, De Chinezen van Europa (Groningen 1965).
34 Arnold H. Rowbotham, Missionary and Mandarin – The Jesuits at the Court of China (Berkeley 1942), pp. 246- 247.

35 Wolfgang Franke, China and the West (Oxford 1967), pp. 60-61.
36 John E. Wills, Some Dutch Sources on the Jesuit China Mission, 1662-1687, in: Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Vol. 54 (1985), pp. 267- 293.
37 John E. Wills, 1688 – A Global History (London 2001), pp. 128- 144.
38 Matteo Ricci/ Nicolas Trigault, Histoire de l’expédition christiene au royaume de la Chine (Latin version, Augsburg/ French version, Lyon 1615).
39 As quoted in: Rowbotham, Missionary and Mandarin, p. 245.
40 Raymond Dawson, The Chinese Chameleon – An analysis of European conceptions of Chinese civilization (New York/ Toronto 1967), p. 54.

44 Richard Robinson (ed.), Business History of the World – A Chronology (Westport 1993), p. 143.
45 Adolf Reichwein, China and Europe – Intellectual and Artistic Contacts in the Eighteenth Century (London 1925 [original: Berlin 1923]), pp. 28.
46 Jan van Campen, De Haagse jurist Jean Theodore Royer (1737-1807) en zijn verzameling Chinese voorwerpen / door Jan van Campen (Hilversum 2000).
47 It was in this European entrepôt where the first small tea shipments to Europe arrived, in 1609. Dutch VOC servants in Batavia (modern Jakarta) may have been the first Europeans who drank Chinese tea for purely personal pleasure and therefore started Europe’s relationship with tea by stimulating the shipments to Amsterdam. (Ross William Jamieson, The Essence of Commodification: Caffeine Dependencies in the Early Modern World, p. 283 in: Journal of Social History – Vol. 35, No. 2, Winter 2001, pp. 269-294.)
48 J. I. Israel, European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750 (London 1985); V. Barbour, Capitalism in Amsterdam in the Seventeenth Century (Baltimore 1963).

49 In 1773, Pope Clement XIV started to suppress systematically the Society of Jesus. Nevertheless, some former Dutch members of the Society managed to stay at de Krijtberg and other Northern Dutch towns, until the restoration of the Society in 1814. The property of the Southern Dutch Jesuits was confiscated instead. Overall, the effect of Pope Clement’s policies was a transfer of Southern Jesuit knowledge to the United Provinces, during the 1770s. [J. Crétineau-Joly, Clément XIV et les jésuites (Paris 1847).]
50 Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York/ London 2nd ed. 1999), p. 7.
51 Reichwein, China and Europe, pp. 19- 72.
52 Rowbotham, Missionary and Mandarin, pp. 350, 352, 360.