Freedom Through Order
The philosophy which has dominated the Western world since the mid 19th Century can be reduced to one tenet—ultimate peace comes only through conflict—derived from Hegel’s dialectic teachings. It proposes that a clash between ideologies (thesis and antithesis) is a normal historical phenomenon which always results in compromise (synthesis) that advances civilization to a higher level of order. Conflict, in other words, is good, and peace is not necessarily desirable (or profitable).
Educated men had founded governments after a period of violence and chaos, a state that would return unless members of society advanced to a higher level—acceptance of a need to abide by voluntary rules of law and order. Once most individuals accepted the “truth” that an ordered life brings greater peace, leaders could then frame institutions by which non-conformists could be forced into their “proper role” in a peaceful society.
This philosophy, which had risen to increasing prominence by 1860, appealed to elitist Americans studying in German universities during those decades. Recognizing a German need at the time to unify the nation state, Hegel’s writing also looked forward to a day of universal—global—brotherhood accomplished by rejecting selfish individualism. Repelled by the chaos of the French Revolution, Hegel taught that political democracy and individualism ultimately resulted in repression rather than liberty and that an orderly and structured society afforded more freedom than a chaotic one.
American students in Germany who were most attracted to this philosophy believed that Western classical liberal thought upon which America had been founded, rather than being the ideal toward which America should strive, was actually the enemy of progress toward universal brotherhood. Moreover, one of those students, William HuntingtonRussell, whose family had made a fortune by selling opium in China, returned to Yale in 1832 to found a branch of a German secret society at Yale with fellow student Alphonso Taft. It is this secret society, now called Skull and Bones, into which both John Kerry and George W. Bush were inducted during their junior year at Yale.
Hegel’s German idealism (categorized as such because it stressed the dominance of ideas over physical environment) would become the philosophical basis for the work of both Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler—each of whom envisioned different ends to be achieved by the same means—control over the individual by the state. This paradox—that Hegel’s theories were used as the foundation of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, while at the same time giving a basis to the fascist movement of the 1930’s—is not so extraordinary when we realize that, as AntonySutton’s research reveals, both extreme economic doctrines were financed by the same small group of Americans, at the core of which were members of the secret society that had previously been founded by Russell and Taft. This group became clustered around the Peabody and Morgan banking institutions.
One facet of dialectics was its philosophical justification for simultaneously supporting two opposite positions on a political issue, thus allowing its members to make a profit no matter which party was in power. Talk about hedging bets! Skull and Bones was set up as a secret fraternity of men from elite social strata within the fields of education, religion, medicine, law, science, transportation, banking and the arts. There was a place for opposing points of view within their scheme, as long as each man agreed to maintain the established class order and took an oath to keep everything related to Bones secret. In this way, regardless of whether political power was in the right hand or the left, depending on which way the political pendulum was swinging, power would be in the skeletal hand of Yale’s elite Skull and Bones.
Pool of Wealth—a Goose That Lays Golden Eggs
In 1832, the year the first Skull and Bones class was initiated, America was not unlike Hegel’s Germany. A generation after the War of 1812 the U. S. Constitution was still less than a half century old and the new nation more divided than ever. The failure of the Second Bank of the U.S. in 1832 left state chartered banks free to issue their own bank notes, which could be traded as currency—resulting in financial chaos leading to the Panic of 1837. Consequently, a uniform currency, a stable rate of exchange, and a secondary market for securities had to be created in order for the American economy to have liquidity. The National Currency Act of 1863 and National Bank Act of 1864 helped to achieve these needs, replacing state chartered banks with national ones, though it would be alleged after numerous panics—in 1873, 1893 and 1907—that there was a need for a centralized control in order to expand and contract the currency when needed.
By 1878, once the country had recovered from the 1873 panic caused by the failure of Jay Cooke’s bank, New York City had replaced London as the dominant financial center for United States capital. American businessmen were primed to get rich. Skull and Bones members decided their time had come to consolidate the power their founders had envisioned.
What Russell and Taft envisioned by creating the Russell Trust was a network of men who could use surplus wealth (“golden eggs”) produced from the lucrative China Trade as a venture capital pool to acquire equity in business entities to be created by American entrepreneurs. The pool could be repaid with interest while helping the entrepreneurs become rich, with new pools of wealth springing up to seed new ventures. Each new pool of money is like a goose which lays golden eggs.
The idea was that Bonesmen would quickly advance to the top of their chosen profession in order to accumulate an endowment of surplus for investment, to be managed by fellow Bonesmen. As pointed out by Antony Sutton, Bonesmen, such as Daniel Coit Gilman and Andrew Dickson White, founded Johns Hopkins University and Cornell, respectively. Similarly, those who chose careers in religion, medicine, law, science, transportation, banking and the arts also controlled trust funds or handled large pools of money, which added to a huge pool ultimately managed by the same bank establishment, headed—until his death in 1913—by J. Pierpont Morgan.
 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), a German professor at the University of Berlin from 1817 until his death in 1831, deduced from his study of European history that mankind had made a transition from a natural life of savagery to a state of order and law. Hegel asserted, “What is rational exists, and what exists is rational.” Following from that, events of history are not accidents, but instead, manifestations of the universal divine idea. While human conditions continuously change, Hegel believed, each change moves the world closer to the universal goal of history: the achievement of human freedom. Thus, history is the story of the progress of humanity toward true freedom. Hegel explained the ongoing, progressive path of history through his “law of the Dialectic”. “According to Hegel, every age is governed by a dominant idea, which he labels the spirit or the "thesis" of the age. In time, this thesis is challenged by a new concept, its ‘antithesis,’ which is incompatible with the "thesis." To resolve the conflict between the ‘thesis’ and the ‘antithesis,’ a blending of opposites occurs, thereby producing a higher ‘synthesis,’ which becomes the new dominant idea, or thesis, of the next age. History consists of the constant flow of ideas and their opposites, which when reconciled, reach purer forms. The new synthesis does not come without strife, but conflicts, commonly regarded as tragedies, to Hegel do not demonstrate the triumph of evil. They are necessary steps forward toward the universal goal, human freedom. To Hegel, however, the highest form of freedom was not the absence of self-restraint, for the true ethical unit was not the isolated individual but the state in which the individual lives. Consequently, the movement of history is not toward individual freedom but toward the freedom of the community as a whole. Therefore, Hegel's philosophy exalts the state because only through it can humankind find meaning and be truly free.” Quoted in “Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,” World Eras, Vol. 9: Industrial Revolution in Europe (1750-1914). Gale Group, 2002.
 After his graduation from Yale, Russell would found a prepatory academy in New Haven called the New Haven Collegiate Institute with Stiles French, which later became the Russell Military Academy.