The carnival atmosphere at Zuccotti park was deceptive. The naked woman having her body painted red and the drum circle, like the media's false reports demonizing the protestors for having sex in their tents and shitting on the sidewalk, were sideshows that distracted from the real meaning of the Occupy Wall Street protest. The city block that encompassed Zuccotti Park was lined with people holding small home-made signs. “Debt is slavery” was a common theme, with special emphasis on student debt. “F**k unpaid internships” was another. There was focus, even if no one could articulate it: This protest was about the conflict between usury and labor. The Occupy Wall Street protestors couldn’t articulate their plight because they lacked the moral vocabulary necessary to do so. Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict between Labor and Usury by E. Michael Jones attempts to return the science of economics back to where Adam Smith found it when he wrote The Wealth of Nations, back to its proper matrix in moral philosophy.
"A compelling historical exploration that exposes the fundamental flaws of Capitalism: unjust wages and usury. An entertaining read."
-Anthony Santelli II, Ph.D., CEO, AES Capital and Co-Founder, Catholic Finance Association.
"This is a fantastic book. It is the most thorough economic history of the West. If you want to know the origin of our economic and social ills you must read this book.”
-Brian M. McCall, Editor of Catholic Family News, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law, University of Oklahoma, and Author of The Church and the Usurers.
"This is a powerful collection of case studies from almost a millennium of economic history. It examines the human dynamics of the winners and losers of capitalism through its triumphal march to the present. It is good history with enough reflection on theory to provide a crisp critique of economics and its moral connections."
-Garrick Small, Queensland University
"Here’s the message I took away from Barren Metal: 'Banking is magic that works' (p. 128). I think that’s a fascinating insight, phrased in a sublime way. It really speaks to where we are today in the world, with central banks — including the Federal Reserve — exercising so much power over most of the globe. ... A competing phrase for summing up Barren Metal could be 'Capitalism is state-sponsored usury.' ... From the fall of Rome, th[e] Catholic ban on usury was enforced because the Church treated economics 'as if God mattered.' According to this doctrine, God gave men faith and reason to pursue success in this life, but as the Middle Ages gave way to succeeding eras, God began to matter less and less, and Jews moved in to fill the void. Jones’ lengthy description of this epic transformation is fascinating, allowing Jones to once again show the incredible breadth of his knowledge. The flip side of this unhealthy usurious equation is one that abides by the moral law and puts labor above other economic systems, for 'there is only one use that will turn credit into wealth, and that is the application of labor.' Jones’ views are militantly aracial, by which I mean he is insistent that race is not a factor in the struggle between Jewry and the rest of humanity. Rather, in his view, it is a religious story in which God plays the leading role and the Catholic Church is the agent of God’s work on Earth.”
-Edmund Connelly, Ph.D, Occidental Observer