This AFJM policy statement was initiated and finalized by founding member Debbie Hillman with input from other Legislative Action Committee members and from the Board. This final version was adopted by the Board on July 16, 2022.
Disavowing Antisemitism and Other Blame for our Inequitable Modern Monetary Systems: AFJM Policy and Practice
A. AFJM Organizational Policy
The Alliance For Just Money (AFJM) advocates for fundamental reform of the nation’s monetary system by transferring the authority to create money from the banking industry to Congress as called for in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. We advocate for change in a system that, while bringing material prosperity to many, has left in its wake economic insecurity and outright poverty for far too many as well as reckless damage to the planet and the rest of life on it. The system has come to threaten social stability and democracy itself by concentrating wealth in the hands of the few, who are the banks and corporate shareholders, at the expense of the many, who are the users of the money that banks create through their lending.
In calling for reform of the money system, AFJM utterly rejects the blaming of any ethnic or religious minority for the creation of or the maintenance of this system. The system is a creature of our modern heritage and is participated in by members of all ethnic and religious groups. Some critics of the Federal Reserve System in the past, such as Eustace Mullins in his book, Secrets of the Federal Reserve, published in 1983, have held Jewish people primarily responsible for the current system. AFJM rejects this antisemitic view.
It is true that minority groups, including Jews, having been denied access at various times and places in history to the trades, to the professions, to government positions, to land, even to markets themselves, have found their way into business pursuits. In the Middle Ages in Europe lending at interest was forbidden by the Catholic Church. Sovereigns and merchants found a way around that by using some Jewish people, among others, as their bankers. These finance bookkeepers came to fill the need for capital, serving a function central to the economic development at that time. Other groups have had similar histories. Quakers in the 17th and 18th centuries in England and in some of the American colonies were similarly denied access to the professions and found their way into business, including banking. Barclays and Lloyds of London are banks originated by Quakers.
In seeking to reform the current money system, the focus of AFJM is on the system and the way to change it. The rationale for changing the system can be appreciated by people across ethnic, religious, political, and vocational lines. Although it is important to identify the economic and cultural forces that established and benefit from the current system, no blaming or other attack on any specific ethnic, religious, political, or vocational group of people is warranted. Such blaming and attacking only serve to divide those who have the capacity and need to come together to support the reform needed for the health and, indeed, survival of our multi-racial and multicultural society, our democracy, and life within our finite and threatened ecosystem.
B. AFJM Organizational Practice: Handling incidents of antisemitism in the U.S. monetary reform movement
AFJM will address any alleged incidents of antisemitism on a case-by-case basis. AFJM will be guided by the 2005 “working definition of antisemitism” laid out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and since adopted by many governments and NGOs worldwide. If necessary, AFJM may also tap into the resources of the many U.S. NGOs that fight antisemitism and other bigotries.
For context, incidents that have already arisen are:
References to Historical Materials
— An anti-Jewish reference (Shylock) contained in a 19th-century song parody about money was re-published by a movement ally in 2020 and 2021 without a footnote or asterisk.
— Stephen Zarlenga abundantly quotes the analysis of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins (1923-2010) in the Lost Science of Money. The analysis is also well-regarded by others in the monetary reform movement, but is tainted by Mullins’s lifelong antisemitism and white supremacy.
— AFJM received a letter from an organization wanting to partner on monetary reform. The communication was clearly recognizable as antisemitic.
— A conference speaker used the word “Jews” when meaning the state of Israel or Israeli government.