The Internet is certainly the most groundbreaking invention of recent decades. Today, it is hard to imagine that to get information not so long ago, you had to look in an encyclopedia or go to the library and look through a whole bunch of publications. Today, we open a search engine, type in what we are interested in and after a second we have piles of information on the most niche topics. Another undeniable advantage of the Web is that it has broken the monopoly of large financial groups on the transmission of information. Until the popularization of the Internet, the overwhelming majority of information was provided by TV, radio and newspapers. The aforementioned media were concentrated in the hands of big capital and ultimately it was the latter that decided what the chattering classes were excited about, what they thought of current events and what they would not know. The Internet has broken this monopoly. Today anyone can write, almost for free. On the one hand, this has reduced the quality of the content provided, but on the other hand, it has allowed the contestants of the pap that the mainstream was providing to come to the fore.
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Unfortunately, there was a problem in this regard. As is well known, all sensationalism sells best. This has also been noticed by those publishing on the Internet, and they exploit this fact ruthlessly. Instead of being a counterweight to the mainstream, they increasingly drift off into the world of delusions and conspiracy theories. It happens that one text is uncritically pasted in various places without checking any details, becoming the basis for unreflective repetition of theories about an international conspiracy seeking to enslave the masses, by the financial elite. Only since the world was created, the masses have always been enslaved by the elite. First the tribal elders, then the landowners, and now the multinational corporations. So what kind of enslavement is at stake?
The most common motive excited by the more informed is the belief that the entire world is ruled by the Rotschild banker family. According to many, they cause wars, crises and commit murder just to increase their wealth. Many of these claims are based on legends. However, the very first popular story, about how, using insider information about Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, Rotschild made millions of pounds on bond speculation, misleading other investors, turns out to be a stretch. According to the message, he was supposed to start trading by aggressively selling off bonds, thereby reassuring other investors that he knew the outcome of the battle. Others copied his moves by heavily milking the instrument, which at some point Rotschild began to buy. Historians confirm that it was likely that the banker obtained the information before everyone else, but the size of the bond market at the time certainly did not allow him to make millions. In addition, the perturbations of the war campaign took a toll on the family’s other interests. The story of the alleged profits and clever ploy was born 30 years later with a French pamphlet picked up and eagerly copied by other authors.
Also, the story of deliberately triggering wars to mobilize loan needs for warring states is highly questionable. While the family’s power did indeed grow out of financing parties to conflicts in the 19th century, both world wars had a very negative impact on the famous family, both in the private and business spheres. In the 20th century, countries no longer needed to borrow from bankers, who would have been unable to meet their huge capital needs anyway. Instead, they financed the war by printing currency without gold backing and introducing a progressive tax rate. The rate for the wealthiest rose from 8 to 40%. On top of this, the entente was strongly supported by American capital. The family’s power based on the interaction of banks in different parts of Europe was damaged by the war effort, especially when it came to the German part of the business. Links that gave them an advantage were severed. The raging war also halted international trade, which had been financed by the Rotschild banks. On top of this, the family’s flagship investment, the railroad , which up to that point had yielded considerable profits, began to be used to transport military equipment, and the payment for the services was hardly worth government bonds. After the war, again the family was out of luck. The revolution in Russia brought nationalization of oil investments on the Black Sea and Siberia.
Also, the theory that the Great Depression of the 1930s was triggered to seize assets at depressed prices is not reflected in the facts. The family business was hit hard in the crisis. It started in Brazil, to which the Rotschilds’ bank lent substantial funds. Then falling commodity prices severely depleted the country’s coffers, and moments later there was a coup d’état. The new president suspended foreign debt service. There were similar problems in Chile, where a huge company stopped repaying loans from the Rothschilds due to financial problems. But the worst came from Austria. The Creditanstalt, founded by the banker family, recorded a loss in 1931 that exceeded the value of its capital. The French branch of the family business borrowed funds to cover the Austrian bank’s loss. Unfortunately, the drip proved insufficient. After a while, the crisis hit Germany’s Darmstädter und Nationalbank. Eventually, Lionel Rothschild decided that the Austrian bank could not be saved, and the entire group refused further loans. Creditanstalt collapsed.
The influential family was also unable to stave off persecution in Nazi Germany (intentionally lowercase). It started with the renaming of Rotschild Avenue to Karoling Avenue in 1933. After that, it only got worse. After the 1938 decree on the registration of Jewish property, the assets of charitable organizations belonging to the family were confiscated. Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, considered the richest German at the time, had his house in the center of Frankfurt confiscated, generously allowing the use of one room. In Vienna, another Rotschild was arrested after Austria’s annexation, and part of his assets were seized by the Austrian Financial Institute for Public Enterprises. In addition, at the end of the war, Philippe Rotschild’s wife was arrested and murdered in Ravensbrück camp .
The family’s postwar fortunes are not a string of mere successes either. In 1981, the Rotshilds’ French bank was nationalized by the socialist government of Francois Mitterrand. Around 2010. Nathaniel Rotshild’s managed fund lost huge sums of money on an investment in the commodities company Bumi Plc. created by the Indonesian Bakrie family. Nathaniel himself admitted that this was a huge mistake on his part, and it’ s strange that the supposedly trend- and price-controlling bankers let themselves go into commodity investments during an obvious bubble in these assets.
Indeed, would a family with such a strong influence on the fate of the world have allowed the Nazis to confiscate some of their assets, or nationalize Austrian assets? Knowing Hitler’s views (purposely small), wouldn’t she have tried with all her might to remove him from power? The answer is she certainly tried, but she was not strong enough to do so.
Of course, this entry is biased. In it, I have presented only a few failures of the family, which over the course of several hundred years was incredibly successful in banking, financing governments and their wars. However, these successes occurred mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries. The descendants of the famous family were no longer so interested in the banking business and were more willing to devote themselves to spending money rather than keeping an eye on the business. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, voices were heard that the bank was managed in an archaic way, unsuitable for the times. In addition, successive lines and numerous descendants caused deconcentration of capital. There are now several thousand descendants of the family, so the entire inheritance of the once influential family has been dispersed. Meanwhile, the competition was not sleeping either. Famous families of Warburg, Oppenheim, Morgan, Lazard were eager to take their piece of the pie, and willing to adapt to modern realities. Even the famous Medici family of Florence, the pioneers of banking eventually collapsed due to mismanagement by another line of the family . There is no power given once and for all. In today’s world, global markets and the instant flow of information, there is strong competition even among the largest interest groups. In addition, there are states, regulations, coercive apparatuses, secret services and the conflicting interests of the superpowers and smaller countries. Even if we assume that a certain Western banker family rules the world, it has Russia against it, another center of behind-the-scenes activities will be China, another India, another Iran. Countries have huge financial resources, coercive apparatuses and services that can bury private trusts as soon as they come into conflict with them vide the Khodorkovsky case, a few Chinese businessmen, or our once top coastal paymaster. Of course, the world is ruled by capital and often behind the scenes, resorting to dirty tricks, but the conflict of many powerful interest groups allows the status quo to be maintained. Why would the financial elites try to take over humanity when they already rule it with money. Why would they provoke armed conflicts that can deprive them of their wealth and lives vide the Rotschilds during the Second War, or the Bolshevik Revolution (intentionally lowercase)?