A Left-Wing Infiltration of the Conservative Movement

The enemies of your enemies may also be your enemies.

Just because someone joins you in opposing some government policy or political movement is no guarantee that this person shares anything more than your opposition. He may in fact be a lot more dangerous to you than the opposition.

Anarchists prior to the Russian Revolution were allies with the Bolsheviks in their attempt to overthrow the czar. After the revolution, when Lenin came to power, he made sure that the anarchists were shipped to Siberia or were executed. They would have been wiser to put up with the czar.

End The Fed Ron Paul Best Price: $2.18 Buy New $5.68 (as of 09:55 UTC - Details) For approximately 60 years, I have been aware of the Left-wing movement that has systematically infiltrated the Right. I first became aware of this in 1958. My father was an FBI agent. It was his job to monitor a Marxist organization known as the Socialist Workers Party. He also occasionally monitored the Communists. One of his informants was a conservative. Anyway, he called himself a conservative. After he had ceased being an informant, my father occasionally invited him to our home.

The ex-informant was an affable fellow. In a discussion with me, he saw that I had conservative leanings. At a later meeting, he handed me a paperback book, Money Made Mysterious. I had been reading The Freeman for a few months by then. I was getting to know something about free-market economics. I was aware of arguments in favor of the gold standard. Those arguments persuaded me. As I began to read this book, I was presented a different line of reasoning. It was a defense of unbacked paper money — fiat money. The book was a compilation of articles from the far-Right magazine, The American Mercury. The book is still being sold. If you should ever want to read it, The Unz Review website has published the original articles for free. They are here. (Amazingly, the author, Paul Stephens, switched sides. He became a strong supporter of the gold standard. I started writing for The Freeman in 1967. In 1973, he started writing for it. These articles also appear on Unz’s site. They are worth reading.)

That was my first encounter with the Greenback movement. It would not be my last.


The movement was born in the aftermath of the Civil War. The war had been partially funded in the North by the issue of fiat money, known as greenbacks. The South had financed far more of the war by the issue of similar paper currency. This led to hyperinflation in the South. It did not in the North, which had not issued as much fiat money.

Greenbackers were (and are) populists who favor an expanding federal government that is funded solely by the issue of paper money. They insist that this will cost taxpayers nothing. They insist that this will strengthen the economy. The money should be issued by Congress. They trust Congress.

The Greenback movement was part of the left-wing reform movements after the Civil War. They became part of the populist movement. They even had a political party. It merged with the Populist party in 1892.

These people became prominent during the battles against the establishment of the Federal Reserve System. They hated banking because banking charged interest. They wanted debt-free paper money. They hated the banks. Opponents of the Federal Reserve who were in favor of the gold coin standard found themselves in an alliance with people who were far more hostile to the gold standard than the Federal Reserve’s founders were in 1913.

There was another attempt of these leftists to capture the conservative movement during the late 1930’s. The most prominent greenback or, father Charles Coughlin, became an opponent of Roosevelt. He originally had supported Roosevelt. His influence became considerable. He was an opponent of bankers. Verbally, so was Roosevelt, although he had been a corporate bond salesman prior to his election as governor of New York in 1928. Conservative opponents of Roosevelt’s unilateral destruction of the American gold coin standard at 1 AM on the Monday morning after his Saturday inaugural address found enemies in their camp.

This infiltration has gone on for over a century. It is still going on.

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