Antony Sutton: The Best Enemies Money Can Buy - Wall Street and the Totalitarian Regimes (1980)

an interview with Stanley Monteith

Antony Sutton in the interview with Dr. Monteith (1980)
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Antony Sutton: The Best Enemies Money Can Buy or Wall Street and the Rise of Totalitarian Regimes

Sutton makes that case that several Wall Street firms were deeply involved in financing the rise to power of the National Socialist German Workers Party (i.e., the Nazis) in pre-World War II Germany. Sutton shows that first, Wall Street financed the German cartels in the 1920's, second, that Wall Street indirectly financed Hitler and the Nazi Party, prior to their rise in power in Germany, third, that Wall Street firms profited from the build-up to war and the war itself, even after the U.S. got involved, and finally, that U.S. firms worked to cover up their complicity after the war.

This book is the third in a trilogy. The two other books chronicle Wall Street's involvement in the rise of FDR and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. The anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathies of businessmen like Henry Ford is no secret, so it's surprising that this subject gets so little play. Given modern leftist thought on big business, one would think that they would leap at the chance to link Wall Street to the Nazis. The reason they don't is no doubt due to Sutton's larger effort at showing that Wall Street supported "corporate socialism" not only in Germany, but in Russia and the U.S. as well. Since leftists still idealize FDR and the brutal regime that arose to become the U.S.S.R., they probably prefer to forget about the businessmen who connect them all. Sutton himself is no anti-business left-winger, instead he is a conservative concerned with the actions of an "unelected power elite", controlling events/governments/societies behind the scenes, to the detriment of freedom everywhere.

It makes for rather dry reading, but Sutton goes into extensive details about the persons, funds and timelines that show the deep connection between certain American Big Businesses and the Nazis. Why would Big Business embrace such a horrid political movement? Although Sutton does not go into details about motivation, there is a good case to be made that many businesses were not fond of the untrammeled free market and instead yearned for the security of government guaranteed profits, regardless of the expense to others in terms of loss of freedom. These businesses saw themselves as the contractors running the government machinery of what was thought to be the inevitable march to socialism. Sutton doesn't mention it, but many in the early twentieth century thought that some form of socialism was unavoidable, and that it was a choice between that and corporate domination through monopoly. Thus these businesses saw themselves as merely working towards what was almost pre-destined to happen, and ensuring that they would be the ones running the show and reaping the benefit.

The book turns a bit conspiratorial in the end. Sutton invokes the Kennedy Assassination, the Korean War and Vietnam War and the Council on Foreign Relations all in an attempt to suggest that we are being ruled by an unelected power elite, bent on societal domination at all costs, in the name of profit. There's no need to invoke conspiracy, though. The selfish acts of business men, tempted by access to the levers of power, is as good an explanation as any.

The case that Sutton makes is compelling. If his evidence is able to withstand scrutiny, it's hard to come to any other conclusion than that Big Business was willing to deal with the worst of the worst in order to profit via the coercive powers of government.


Online version of Antony Sutton books:

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (1974, 1999):

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler (1976, 1999) :

Wall Street and FDR (1976, 1999):

America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones (1983, 1986, 2002):

The Best Enemy Money Can Buy (1986):

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy (1995), Online Russian Version:

Trilaterals Over America (1995):

Below the reproduction of the Chapter 1 of Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution:


By Antony C. Sutton

Chapter I


Dear Mr. President:

I am in sympathy with the Soviet form of government as that best suited for the Russian people...

Letter to President Woodrow Wilson (October 17, 1918) from William Lawrence Saunders, chairman, Ingersoll-Rand Corp.; director, American International Corp.; and deputy chairman, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The frontispiece in this book was drawn by cartoonist Robert Minor in 1911 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Minor was a talented artist and writer who doubled as a Bolshevik revolutionary, got himself arrested in Russia in 1915 for alleged subversion, and was later bank-rolled by prominent Wall Street financiers. Minor's cartoon portrays a bearded, beaming Karl Marx standing in Wall Street with Socialism tucked under his arm and accepting the congratulations of financial luminaries J.P. Morgan, Morgan partner George W. Perkins, a smug John D. Rockefeller, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, and Teddy Roosevelt — prominently identified by his famous teeth — in the background. Wall Street is decorated by Red flags. The cheering crowd and the airborne hats suggest that Karl Marx must have been a fairly popular sort of fellow in the New York financial district.

Was Robert Minor dreaming? On the contrary, we shall see that Minor was on firm ground in depicting an enthusiastic alliance of Wall Street and Marxist socialism. The characters in Minor's cartoon — Karl Marx (symbolizing the future revolutionaries Lenin and Trotsky), J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller — and indeed Robert Minor himself, are also prominent characters in this book.

The contradictions suggested by Minor's cartoon have been brushed under the rug of history because they do not fit the accepted conceptual spectrum of political left and political right. Bolsheviks are at the left end of the political spectrum and Wall Street financiers are at the right end; therefore, we implicitly reason, the two groups have nothing in common and any alliance between the two is absurd. Factors contrary to this neat conceptual arrangement are usually rejected as bizarre observations or unfortunate errors. Modern history possesses such a built-in duality and certainly if too many uncomfortable facts have been rejected and brushed under the rug, it is an inaccurate history.

On the other hand, it may be observed that both the extreme right and the extreme left of the conventional political spectrum are absolutely collectivist. The national socialist (for example, the fascist) and the international socialist (for example, the Communist) both recommend totalitarian politico-economic systems based on naked, unfettered political power and individual coercion. Both systems require monopoly control of society. While monopoly control of industries was once the objective of J. P. Morgan and J. D. Rockefeller, by the late nineteenth century the inner sanctums of Wall Street understood that the most efficient way to gain an unchallenged monopoly was to "go political" and make society go to work for the monopolists — under the name of the public good and the public interest. This strategy was detailed in 1906 by Frederick C. Howe in his Confessions of a Monopolist.1 Howe, by the way, is also a figure in the story of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Therefore, an alternative conceptual packaging of political ideas and politico-economic systems would be that of ranking the degree of individual freedom versus the degree of centralized political control. Under such an ordering the corporate welfare state and socialism are at the same end of the spectrum. Hence we see that attempts at monopoly control of society can have different labels while owning common features.

Consequently, one barrier to mature understanding of recent history is the notion that all capitalists are the bitter and unswerving enemies of all Marxists and socialists. This erroneous idea originated with Karl Marx and was undoubtedly useful to his purposes. In fact, the idea is nonsense. There has been a continuing, albeit concealed, alliance between international political capitalists and international revolutionary socialists — to their mutual benefit. This alliance has gone unobserved largely because historians — with a few notable exceptions — have an unconscious Marxian bias and are thus locked into the impossibility of any such alliance existing. The open-minded reader should bear two clues in mind: monopoly capitalists are the bitter enemies of laissez-faire entrepreneurs; and, given the weaknesses of socialist central planning, the totalitarian socialist state is a perfect captive market for monopoly capitalists, if an alliance can be made with the socialist powerbrokers. Suppose — and it is only hypothesis at this point — that American monopoly capitalists were able to reduce a planned socialist Russia to the status of a captive technical colony? Would not this be the logical twentieth-century internationalist extension of the Morgan railroad monopolies and the Rockefeller petroleum trust of the late nineteenth century?

Apart from Gabriel Kolko, Murray Rothbard, and the revisionists, historians have not been alert for such a combination of events. Historical reporting, with rare exceptions, has been forced into a dichotomy of capitalists versus socialists. George Kennan's monumental and readable study of the Russian Revolution consistently maintains this fiction of a Wall Street-Bolshevik dichotomy.2 Russia Leaves the War has a single incidental reference to the J.P. Morgan firm and no reference at all to Guaranty Trust Company. Yet both organizations are prominently mentioned in the State Department files, to which frequent reference is made in this book, and both are part of the core of the evidence presented here. Neither self-admitted "Bolshevik banker" Olof Aschberg nor Nya Banken in Stockholm is mentioned in Kennan yet both were central to Bolshevik funding. Moreover, in minor yet crucial circumstances, at least crucial for our argument, Kennan is factually in error. For example, Kennan cites Federal Reserve Bank director William Boyce Thompson as leaving Russia on November 27, 1917. This departure date would make it physically impossible for Thompson to be in Petrograd on December 2, 1917, to transmit a cable request for $1 million to Morgan in New York. Thompson in fact left Petrograd on December 4, 1918, two days after sending the cable to New York. Then again, Kennan states that on November 30, 1917, Trotsky delivered a speech before the Petrograd Soviet in which he observed, "Today I had here in the Smolny Institute two Americans closely connected with American Capitalist elements "According to Kennan, it "is difficult to imagine" who these two Americans "could have been, if not Robins and Gumberg." But in [act Alexander Gumberg was Russian, not American. Further, as Thompson was still in Russia on November 30, 1917, then the two Americans who visited Trotsky were more than likely Raymond Robins, a mining promoter turned do-gooder, and Thompson, of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Bolshevization of Wall Street was known among well informed circles as early as 1919. The financial journalist Barron recorded a conversation with oil magnate E. H. Doheny in 1919 and specifically named three prominent financiers, William Boyce Thompson, Thomas Lamont and Charles R. Crane:

Aboard S.S. Aquitania, Friday Evening, February 1, 1919.

Spent the evening with the Dohenys in their suite. Mr. Doheny said: If you believe in democracy you cannot believe in Socialism. Socialism is the poison that destroys democracy. Democracy means opportunity for all. Socialism holds out the hope that a man can quit work and be better off. Bolshevism is the true fruit of socialism and if you will read the interesting testimony before the Senate Committee about the middle of January that showed up all these pacifists and peace-makers as German sympathizers, Socialists, and Bolsheviks, you will see that a majority of the college professors in the United States are teaching socialism and Bolshevism and that fifty-two college professors were on so-called peace committees in 1914. President Eliot of Harvard is teaching Bolshevism. The worst Bolshevists in the United States are not only college professors, of whom President Wilson is one, but capitalists and the wives of capitalists and neither seem to know what they are talking about. William Boyce Thompson is teaching Bolshevism and he may yet convert Lamont of J.P. Morgan & Company. Vanderlip is a Bolshevist, so is Charles R. Crane. Many women are joining the movement and neither they, nor their husbands, know what it is, or what it leads to. Henry Ford is another and so are most of those one hundred historians Wilson took abroad with him in the foolish idea that history can teach youth proper demarcations of races, peoples, and nations geographically.3

In brief, this is a story of the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath, but a story that departs from the usual conceptual straitjacket approach of capitalists versus Communists. Our story postulates a partnership between international monopoly capitalism and international revolutionary socialism for their mutual benefit. The final human cost of this alliance has fallen upon the shoulders of the individual Russian and the individual American. Entrepreneurship has been brought into disrepute and the world has been propelled toward inefficient socialist planning as a result of these monopoly maneuverings in the world of politics and revolution.

This is also a story reflecting the betrayal of the Russian Revolution. The tsars and their corrupt political system were ejected only to be replaced by the new powerbrokers of another corrupt political system. Where the United States could have exerted its dominant influence to bring about a free Russia it truckled to the ambitions of a few Wall Street financiers who, for their own purposes, could accept a centralized tsarist Russia or a centralized Marxist Russia but not a decentralized free Russia. And the reasons for these assertions will unfold as we develop the underlying and, so far, untold history of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath.4


1"These are the rules of big business. They have superseded the teachings of our parents and are reducible to a simple maxim: Get a monopoly; let Society work for you: and remember that the best of all business is politics, for a legislative grant, franchise, subsidy or tax exemption is worth more than a Kimberly or Comstock lode, since it does not require any labor, either mental or physical, lot its exploitation" (Chicago: Public Publishing, 1906), p. 157.

2George F. Kennan, Russia Leaves the War (New York: Atheneum, 1967); and Decision to Intervene.. Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1920 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1958).

3Arthur Pound and Samuel Taylor Moore, They Told Barron (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1930), pp. 13-14.

4There is a parallel, and also unknown, history with respect to the Makhanovite movement that fought both the "Whites" and the "Reds" in the Civil War of 1919-20 (see Voline, The Unknown Revolution [New York: Libertarian Book Club, 1953]). There was also the "Green" movement, which fought both Whites and Reds. The author has never seen even one isolated mention of the Greens in any history of the Bolshevik Revolution. Yet the Green Army was at least 700,000 strong!

Antony C. Sutton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antony Cyril Sutton (February 14, 1925 - June 17, 2002) was a British-born economist, historian, and writer. He studied at the universities of London, Goettingen and California and received his D.Sc. degree from University of Southampton, England. He was an economics professor at California State University Los Angeles and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution from 1968 to 1973. During his time at the Hoover Institute he wrote the major study Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development (in three volumes), detailing how the West played a major role in developing Soviet Union from its very beginnings up until the present time (1970). He was forced out of the Hoover Institute after publishing National Suicide: Military Aid to the Soviet Union in 1973.

Sutton's next three major published books Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler and Wall Street and FDR detailed Wall Street's involvement in the Russian Revolution as well as its decisive contributions to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His books became classics in the study of covert politics and economics in the twentieth century. In Sutton's own words he was "persecuted but never prosecuted" for his research and subsequent publication of his findings.

In 1968, Sutton wrote Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development, which was first published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Sutton alleged that the Soviet Union's technological and manufacturing base -- which was then engaged in supplying the Viet Cong -- was built by United States corporations and largely funded by US taxpayers. Steel and iron plants, the GAZ automobile factory, and many other Soviet industrial enterprises were, according to Sutton, built with the help or technical assistance of the United States or U.S. corporations. He alleged further that the Soviet Union's acquisition of MIRV technology was made possible by receiving (from U.S. sources) machining equipment for the manufacture of precision ball bearings, necessary to mass-produce MIRV-enabled missiles.

In the early 1980s, Sutton used publicly available information on Skull and Bones membership (such information is available, among other places, in Yale yearbooks) to speculate about political and economic relationships underlying significant historical events and about what he regarded as the purposes of these relationships. He published these conclusions as America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones -- which, according to Sutton, was his most important work.

In his book, Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era (New York: Viking Press;1970), Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote:

"For impressive evidence of Western participation in the early phase of Soviet economic growth, see Antony C. Sutton's Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development: 1917-1930, which argues that 'Soviet economic development for 1917-1930 was essentially dependent on Western technological aid' (p.283), and that 'at least 95 per cent of the industrial structure received this assistance.' (p. 348)."

Professor Richard Pipes, of Harvard, said in his book, Survival Is Not Enough: Soviet Realities and America's Future (Simon & Schuster;1984):

"In his three-volume detailed account of Soviet Purchases of Western Equipment and Technology ..." Sutton comes to conclusions that are uncomfortable for many businessmen and economists. For this reason his work tends to be either dismissed out of hand as 'extreme' or, more often, simply ignored."


• Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development: 1917-1930 (1968)

• Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development: 1930-1945 (1971)

• Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development: 1945-1965 (1973)

• National Suicide: Military Aid to the Soviet Union (1973)

• What Is Libertarianism? (1973)

• Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (1974, 1999)

• Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler (1976, 1999)

• Wall Street and FDR (1976, 1999)

• The War on Gold: How to Profit from the Gold Crisis (1977)

• Energy: The Created Crisis (1979)

• The Diamond Connection: A manual for investors (1979)

• Trilaterals Over Washington - Volume I (1979; with Patrick M. Wood)

• Trilaterals Over Washington - Volume II (1980; with Patrick M. Wood)

• Gold vs Paper: A cartoon history of inflation (1981)

• Investing in Platinum Metals (1982)

• Technological Treason: A catalog of U.S. firms with Soviet contracts, 1917-1982 (1982)

• America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones (1983, 1986, 2002)

• How the Order Creates War and Revolution (1985)

• How the Order Controls Education (1985)

• The Best Enemy Money Can Buy (1986)

• The Two Faces of George Bush (1988)

• The Federal Reserve Conspiracy (1995)

• Trilaterals Over America (1995)

• Cold Fusion: Secret Energy Revolution (1997)

• Gold For Survival (1999)


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