Sovereign Money In An Irish Republic

Sean Bresnahan with his take on how to tackle the problems posed by the current financial system. Sean Bresnahan is a member of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh and current PRO of the 1916 Societies.

To remove the chains of debt, which hold Ireland north and south in the thrall of corporate imperialism, we must confront the reality of modern money mechanics, determining as part of that process how to institute fundamental change relating to the system of ‘money creation’ itself.

Sean Bresnahan

A proposal to set in place an Irish sovereign money supply, to bring the commanding heights of finance in Ireland under the control of the people – what we might term a ‘sovereign money initiative’ – is one way in which we might further such a process and would represent an important contribution to ongoing efforts to determine how a sovereign republic in Ireland might appear. This is something the 1916 Societies could contribute to, working with other interested individuals and parties across Ireland currently engaged in this discussion.

The current ‘fiat’, or unbacked, money creation system, which manifests through an insidious practice known as ‘fractional reserve banking’, is an instrument of economic bondage, with the vast majority of people completely unaware of how it works and for whom. Its raison d’ĂȘtre is not to provide an economic means of transaction, as commonly misunderstood, but to plunge both the individual and wider society into ever-increasing and unsustainable debt. This debt is not meant to be paid, for it simply cannot be paid (such is the nature of modern money mechanics), but provides instead a means through which high finance can physically ‘own’ both ourselves and society overall.

If a bank or other lending institution has £10 of my money it can lend out £100 on the strength of that deposit – £90 of which does not in fact exist. The bank then demands £110 on final payment, effectively creating £100 out of thin air, which in turn can be loaned at interest, again allowing the expansion of the existing stock of currency through the same manipulative process. The lending of ‘money’ at interest in this manner is in truth a criminal enterprise, a con which the vast majority of people are completely unaware of and simply do not understand.

When it manifests in the modern electronic system of banking, which exempts finance from having to produce the actual ‘physical’ cash, it becomes even harder to observe, with figures that run into billions, even trillions (as seen with the quantitative easing measures undertaken recently in Europe), rather than the simple matter of a £10 note as in the example above. This same process in turn empowers the petrodollar, with its status as world reserve currency (itself manipulated to fund unalloyed militarism) allowing Anglo-American imperialism to dominate the global economic system and impose its hegemony on all others.

These are the means through which financial elites, in essence we are talking imperialism, bring whole societies, including our own, under their control. What we need realise about the workings of the financial system, which is the lynchpin of reactionary imperialism, is that it exists primarily to attach such false ‘debt’ to the processes of real wealth creation – debt then used as an instrument to hoover up the actual wealth, such as our natural resources and other physical assets, for a fraction of their true value.

Through as much, the real wealth, of both the individual and the community, is over time transferred to corporate financiers, who dominate from behind and whose aggregate worth is in the hundreds of trillions, among them the British Royals, with the other Houses of Europe and their bankers, who have understood and profited through such means from the beginning. These are the people who hold power in our world, not elected governments or any other institution supposedly under democratic control. Debt is the instrument through which they usurp that control and such institutions are in truth only the servant of these forces.

Give me control of a nation’s money supply and I care not who writes her laws…

When people realise the truth in all this there can only be one port of call: to rout and dismantle this rotten system entire. These practices must be brought to an end if independence and freedom are to be more than terms on a manifesto. Without as much they are in reality nothing beyond that, and to do as much involves bringing the wealth and wealth-producing resources of the Nation under the sovereign control of the people – including most especially the system of money creation itself, which should be tied to the value of our natural resources, or some other form of economic indicator based in the physical world, rather than the clever inventions of modern, corrupt banking.

Irish republicans and like-minded progressives, who seek meaningful freedom but fail to account for how critical this matter is to the socioeconomic well-being of both the individual and society, must grasp then its importance and work to empower such change. It would likely involve a nationalised central bank, subordinate to the needs of the community, with our own currency backed by something other than fresh air and of real worth to the people. Such a bank would in the first instance control the supply of money and eliminate usurious lending practices. These concepts themselves can only be the opening salvos in a much wider conversation and in truth we have much to discuss.

Republicans in generations past understood this, and have thus long demanded that the supply, import and export of money be brought under popular control. This, along with sovereignty over our natural resources and other key wealth-producing processes of national concern, would provide a true measure of freedom for every man, woman and child in this country. A proposal for as much, for a ‘sovereign money initiative’, could reopen this conversation and is something to be considered going forward.

The 1916 Societies are opportunely positioned to bring such notions to the fore of political debate in Ireland, where they belong. To effect the process of change in this country involves raising the awareness of the people and it is here, at this point, where we can contribute towards that end, despite our limited political strength. With that in mind, our contribution might be to help forward the idea, empowering the conversation first and foremost by engaging with it ourselves. From there the concept of ‘sovereign money’ can hopefully find its way into the public consciousness, in time becoming a reality upon the achievement of the Irish Republic.


  1. If a bank or other lending institution has £10 of my money it can lend out £100 on the strength of that deposit – £90 of which does not in fact exist. The bank then demands £110 on final payment, effectively creating £100 out of thin air,

    "The bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing."

    William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England in 1694, then a privately owned bank....
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws."

    Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

    "The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests."

    The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.


    "Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of a pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this world would be a happier and better world to live in. But if you wish to remain slaves of the Bankers and pay for the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits."

    Sir Josiah Stamp, President of the Bank of England in the 1920s, the second richest man in Britain.

  2. Frankie have the internet after all!! Glad he's not dead!

  3. Mataselo, I'm going out on a limb and I am going to say you didn't pull your profile name from thin air. Let's call that an educated guess. No body knows what "mataselo" means apart from a select few....I know you don't......

  4. Frankie, you are right, it was on purpose, but also deeply wrong because mataselo means something to me.
    A big sister can't forget her wee sibblings' name.