The Idea of Directed History

Written by Steven Yates on Friday, 23 December 2011. Posted in Opinion, Steven Yates

President Woodrow Wilson with What is directed history? As the term implies, it is the idea that history—typically modern and recent history—has been taken in a specific direction by wealthy and powerful people we can identify if we try: a relative handful of extended families acting across generations who have very specific long-term goals for the world.

The alternative might be called accidentalism. This would be the contrary idea that the errors of the past couple of centuries—errors whose number and magnitude of severity have been accelerating of late—are just disconnected events and unlucky accidents, the product of “leaders” who didn’t know what they were doing and disasters they couldn’t control.

Accidentalism faces two immediate problems. First, the idea that our “leaders”—and their overseas equivalents—have been stumbling around in the dark for decade after decade, clueless, is belied by the fact that almost without exception they have studied at, and graduated from, some of the world’s most prestigious universities. In Great Britain, we’re talking about Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of London which includes the London School of Economics. In the U.S., it would be Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the University of Chicago and similar elite colleges. I suppose, today, a student can come out of those places as clueless as when he went in. It depends on the student—and sometimes on his family ties. For some, a degree or two from such institutions places him within reach of some of the Western world’s most important and influential networks.

The other problem with accidentalism about history is that it requires us to assume that a long sequence of tens of thousands of policy decisions, all of them taking the world in a single direction—into more central planning, toward more globalism, fed by more and more Orwell-speak about “democracy” and about our “choices”—isn’t stretching the law of averages a bit.  


Accidentalism is an unstated ideology within mainstream history. I doubt this is intentional. One of the first things history students are taught to do, after all, is laugh at “conspiracy theories”; then the students become teachers. It is true, of course, that some “conspiracy theories” are fairly silly, such as the claim that George W. Bush personally ordered the 9/11 attacks or that Barack Obama is secretly working for the Muslims. Sadly, most history students will leave their courses and even graduate not being able to distinguish obviously half-baked theories from what I am calling directed history. I will now proceed to do so.

First, according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, to conspire is “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement” and also “to act in harmony towards a common end” (Latin roots: com and spirare, “to breath with”).

Now let’s consider: what would a perfect conspiracy be like? Emphasize the secret in the above definitions. A perfect conspiracy would be entirely secret; it would be impenetrable, so you couldn’t find out about it. Obviously, one of its key goals would have been to prevent outsiders from ever finding out about the conspiracy.

Does history disclose any examples of conspiracies this perfect? Obviously, if a perfect conspiracy existed, we probably wouldn’t be able to learn of it. Does history disclose examples of imperfect conspiracies? It almost assuredly does. All one need do is obtain a copy of G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature From Jekyll Island (1994) and study his account of how the Federal Reserve System was conceived, planned, and brought into existence—and how it was over 20 years before anyone would talk about it. If that wasn’t a bona fide conspiracy, I don’t know what would be.

What happens, though, if we eliminate the secrecy element? Suppose we can find “conspirators” who have written down what they are doing—or observers close to them who believe the truth should be told? In this case, do we still have a conspiracy? Openness is a matter of degree, of course. The writings may not exactly be found in the front page of your daily newspaper, or on the 6 pm news. But if they are readily available to anyone who can learn of them and how to seek them out, are the agencies really “conspiring”?

Was Hitler “conspiring” when he wrote Mein Kampf in the mid-1920s? A couple of weeks ago I observed how he’d written out his plans and not been taken seriously—to Germany’s detriment a few years later. It is possible to write out your plans and have them either not believed, or not even noticed by a population too preoccupied to be concerned—or in the case of the average American today, too distracted by Hollywood’s steady stream of entertainment.

Modern history has been directed, nonetheless, and we ignore this at our peril! It is not a “conspiracy theory.” Its starting point is the realization that sometimes the superelite have been operating in secret but not always, and that we can find explicit statements of their plans for the world if we know where to look. Not all of these were approved. The superelite have had some close calls.


The first influential work of directed history, of course, was Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966). Quigley was not someone mainstream historians could dismiss as a nut. He was a professor of government at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he captivated generations of students with a popular two-semester course on the nature and development of civilizations. (I believe his earlier book The Evolution of Civilizations [1961] ought to be read before Tragedy and Hope, but that’s another column.)

Tragedy and Hope’s most famous paragraph is on p. 950: “There does exist … an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act….  I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years … to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected … to a few of its policies … but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.”

Earlier, on p. 324, he had told us—describing a process which predated the network he is describing above—that “the powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.” Furthermore: “The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and a use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups” (p. 337).

The primary tool of the central bankers was fractional reserve lending, which literally creates money out of thin air and deposits it in bank accounts, charges interest on it, lends it out further where it can be redeposited again and again, making additional interest charges possible again and again, multiplying the calculated value until what began as perhaps a few thousand dollars has increased on paper—or today, electronically—to a few hundred thousand dollars.

Fractional reserve banking has been in use at least since the 1600s. Wherever used, countries and peoples experienced dislocation and economic depression sometimes leading to political instability and war—but the moneylenders grew rich. Today, these banking leviathans—and the relative handful of extended families controlling them across generations—have become wealthy beyond our capacity to imagine it. It is estimated that the Rothschild family, based in the City of London (described as the “wealthiest square mile on Earth”) and whose ancestors had honed fractional reserve banking to a fine science as early as the late 1700s, may control as much as several hundred trillion measured in U.S. dollars. Some became rich working for the banking axis. Junius Morgan, for instance, worked to rebuild France following one of its many 1800s wars. The father of the first J.P. Morgan reaped the investment and passed it along. The Rothschild-Rockefeller-Morgan axis now controls central banks on every continent.  

Our supposed representative democracy, on this view of matters, is a sham which explains the utter similarity of candidates offered up repeatedly by Republicans and Democrats, and why the Ron Pauls of our society are resisted furiously within the upper echelons of the system. Quigley again: “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. The policies that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in details of procedure…. [E]ither party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies” (pp. 1247-48).

I tend to think Quigley was sufficiently well positioned to know what he was talking about. Those he talked about weren’t especially happy with the results. While we may never know the details, near the end of his life Quigley observed in a letter that Tragedy and Hope “has brought me many headaches as it apparently says something that powerful people don’t want known.” A follow-up volume, The Anglo-American Establishment, failed to find a publisher (it was finally issued posthumously in 1981).


Is Quigley the only such author? Of course not! Many others have left us their thoughts and sometimes detailed accounts of how the world actually works. Numerous scholars have stumbled onto the truth—often to the detriment of their careers. Eustace Mullins, for example, singlehandedly researched and penned the first effort to reveal the origins of the Federal Reserve System, entitled The Secrets of the Federal Reserve (1952; 2nd ed. 1983). This book cost him his job as a researcher at the Library of Congress. He found himself branded as a crank and denounced as an anti-Semite. Hounded into obscurity, he spent the rest of his life in the house where he’d grown up, barely able earn a living but doggedly continuing to write and lecture.

There are many other figures impossible to dismiss as lone nuts, because they were in a position to know the truth. One was none other than Woodrow Wilson himself, whose book The New Freedom (1913) observes: “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it” (pp. 13-14).

Wilson—who believed fervently in the ideals of the Progressivism of his time—had found himself surrounded by Fabian socialists while serving as President of Princeton University. Soon, he was a prime candidate for President of the United States. His right-hand man was “Colonel” Edward Mandell House, son of Rothschild agent Thomas House, a wealthy Texas landowner. House had anonymously authored Philip Dru: Administrator (1912) which explored how to achieve “socialism as dreamt of by Karl Marx” (p. 35). It appears likely that Wilson’s election was engineered. The bankers quietly poured money into Theodore Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” campaign which split the Republican vote. Roosevelt’s third-party effort drew enough votes away from incumbent William Howard Taft to send Wilson to the White House.

The Wilson Administration changed the course of U.S. history. Under Wilson’s watch we saw the creation of the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai-B’rith, and America’s entry into what became the most destructive war in human history. Germany, crushed by war and reparations demands, sunk into a depression setting the stage for the rise of the Nazis.


I mentioned Fabian socialists. Many in this enormously influential movement, or involved with it in one way or another, also wrote down their thoughts and plans (examples: John Dewey, John Maynard Keynes, Arnold Toynbee, H.G. Wells, Bertrand Russell). But I run up against space limits. Readers will find more specifics in my new book Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (December, 2011), the latest contribution to directed history and the philosophy standing behind it.

In sum: most Americans inhabit what I have elsewhere called a “real Matrix”: an artificial reality created especially through mainstream media and government at multiple levels who maintain cosmetic differences of detail and priority between the two dominant political parties. Helping to create this artificial reality are well paid court economists who routinely issue “cooked” statistics to achieve politically acceptable numbers on unemployment, inflation, etc., and through education—including history and civics courses which conveniently omit all discussion of the role of central bankers and globalist financiers in the development and direction of Western civilization. Reinforcing this artificial reality are countless Americans who identify with one or the other of the major parties, with some specific agenda, or who trust in authority generally.

What makes directed history worth studying, in my opinion, is a profoundly troubling realization. Even if we are sinners, as Christianity says, many of the darkest and most terrible events of the past 200 years—the wars, the revolutions, the depressions, the suffering and death—did not have to happen! They flowed not from human nature as a whole, but from one small segment of it—those who are fascinated by power and driven to dominate the world if possible. Directed history sees the long-term goal of this superelite, as I call it, as world government. The superelite has pulled out all stops, including causing financial chaos and war, to destroy nation states and bring us into a world state which would doubtless be a tyranny. The past century could have been relatively peaceful—if the governing order had served the people instead of the superelite and specific political classes their dishonestly amassed fortunes created. It could have been a place of gradual technological improvements that helped people instead of creating weapons of mass destruction and otherwise bringing long-term harm both to us and to our planet.

What follows from this is the possibility of hope for the future—but only if we can learn to operate outside the authority structures created by the superelite. How to accomplish this is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes. But as we look to the end of one very troubled year and the beginning of a new one that might contain even more nasty surprises, rise to the this occasion we must. For I have this sense that as a civilization we are standing at a crossroads. We will either take charge, and take our history in a new direction—or begin a long and very painful descent into a new dark age.

About the Author

Steven Yates

Steven Yates

Steven Yates, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Georgia. The author of three books and numerous articles in both academic journals and online, his most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (Brush Fire Press International, 2011— An expatriated U.S. citizen, he lives in Santiago, Chile, runs a small business editing and proofreading English for Chilean academics, and teaches philosophy at Universidad de Santiago de Chile. He has been blogging occasionally about the nature of philosophy and its role in civilization’s future, if it is to have one, at Beginning next month, he will be involving himself with an educational-entrepreneurial start-up based in Santiago known as Exosphere.

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Copyright © Steven Yates. Used with permission.

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