Four

SERENISSIMA REPUBLICA, PART TWO: The Venetian Oligarchy: Its Methods, Agendas, Tactics, and Obsessions

“If oligarchical methods are allowed to dominate human affairs, they always create a breakdown crisis of civilization, with economic depression, war, famine, plague, and pestilence. Examples of this are the fourteenth century Black Plague crisis and the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), both of which were created by Venetian intelligence.”

—Webster Griffin Tarpley1

IF ONE LOOKS at a list of the Doges, or Dukes, of Venice, certain features begin to emerge. Consider the following partial and very incomplete list:

Domenico Contarini 1043–1071

Vitale Falier 1084–1096

Vitale Michiel I 1096–1101

Ordelafo Falier 1101–1118

Domenico Morosini 1148–1156

Enrico Dandolo 1191–1205

Marin Morosini 1249–1253

Acopo Contarini 1275–1280

Giovanni Dandolo 1280–1289

Pietro Gradenigo 1289–1311

Francesco Dandolo 1329–1339

Bartolomeo Gradenigo 1339–1342

Andrea Dandolo 1343–1354

Marin Falier 1354–1355

Viocanni Gradenigo 1355–1356

Marco Corner 1365–1368

Andrea Contarini 1368–1382

Michele Morosini 1382

Tommaso Mocenigo 1414–1423

Pietro Mocenigo 1474–1476

Giovanni Mocenigo 1478–1485

Marco Barbarigo 1485–1486

Agostino Barbarigo 1486–1501

Leonadro Loredan 1501–1521

Antonio Grimani 1521–1523

Francesco Venier 1554–1556

Lorenzo Priuli 1556–1559

Girolamo Priuli 1559–1567

Pietro Loredan 1567–1570

Alvise Mocenigo I 1570–1577

Sebastiano Venier 1577–1578

Marino Grimani 1595–1605

Antonio Priuli 1618–1623

Francesco Contarini 1623–1624

Nicolo Contarini 1630–1631

Carlo Contarini 1655–1656

Domenico Contarini 1659–1675

Alivese Contarini 1676–1684

Francesco Morosini 1688–1694

Alvise Mocenigo II 1700–1709

Alvise Mocenigo III 1722–1732

Pietro Grimani 1741–1752

Francesco Loredan 1752–1761

Alvise Mocenigo IV 1763–17782

Note the recurrence of several family names (and these are but a few)—the Contarinis, the Priulis, the Loredans, the Mocenigos. In other words, Venice is in the hands of an oligarchy.3 Zuane Mocenigo, the man who turned Giordano Bruno over to the Venetian Inquisition after the latter refused to impart his secrets of memory, belonged to one of these families, the Mocenigos. The oligarchy, in other words, was possibly after the secrets of power of the Metaphor, and it is easy to see why. Such memory secrets would allow the banking-oligarchy to keep books literally in their heads—secret books perhaps—while maintaining the public ledgers for government inspection. Even if this were not the case, such memory abilities would give any banking family an immense advantage over its rivals. Indeed, as we shall discover later, keeping “secret account books” was a hallmark of the north Italian city-state oligarchies.

Something else needs to be pointed out, and that is the tremendous continuity of these families over a large span of time. When placed into the wider context of the migrations of those families northward after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, a picture emerges that allows one to speculate. In Babylon’s Banksters I pointed out the deep connection between the ancient temple, astrology and astronomy, and the bullion brokers and banking classes of ancient times.4 We now make two assumptions:

1)That the continuity of oligarchical families represented in the list of the Doges of Venice represents a much deeper continuity of those families stretching back to Mesopotamia; and,

2)That this continuity in turn also continued the possible hidden knowledge of the connection of economic cycles with the astronomical-astrological knowledge of the ancient temples, albeit in probably weakened form.

When these assumptions are made, it becomes much easier to see why Bruno would have represented a threat to the Venetian banking oligarchies, for he was literally exposing secrets that they would not wish to see exposed. Additionally, given Bruno’s legendary memory prowess, it may have been evident to those oligarchical families that their own knowledge or systems were incomplete, and hence his secrets had to be pried from him, which would explain the Mocenigo family’s interest. It would also explain why Mocenigo, in his testimony to the Inquisition, also mentioned that Bruno had talked about founding a secret society, for it would be in their interest not to see such knowledge spread in an underground stream, beyond their control.

A. THE “STRUCTURE” AND METHODS OF THE VENETIAN REPUBLIC: THE MAJOR FAMILIES, PLAYERS, AND IMPLICATIONS

1. The Methods of Empire

In the previous chapter’s brief summary of Venetian history, we noted several byzantine methods that Venice employed to maintain the power and position of its oligarchical ruling elite families:

1)The use of balance-of-power diplomacy, playing off powerful rivals against each other through the fomenting of endless conflict which benefitted Venetian traders. For example, the sale of war material and slaves to the ostensible enemies of Christendom, the Fatimid Muslims and Ottoman Turks,5 while simultaneously cultivating alliances and trading privileges with Byzantium, or, alternatively, in its shifting alliances during the crisis of the War of the League of Cambrai;

2)The exacerbation of the Protestant-Catholic religious divisions of Europe during the Reformation, chiefly by the acquisition of the new technology of the printing press, which was used to disseminate both Catholic and Protestant religious writings;

3)The possible recruitment of Hermeticists such as Giordano Bruno to learn the secrets of Hermetic arts, to spread Venetian influence through the same, and to suppress their wider public dissemination;

4)The possible suppression of hidden knowledge of the New World gained from archives in Constantinople, which knowledge would have ended the Venetian oligarchy’s power;

5)The willingness to transfer the seat of oligarchical power to other centers as the situation demanded, such as the consideration, at one point, to transfer the capital to Constantinople, and later, after the discovery of the New World, to bases on the Atlantic coast allowing it access to the new global trade;

6)The creation of naval and military bases, rather than colonies per se, to protect Venetian trade and allow the swift projection of military force when necessity occasioned it;6

7)The use of diplomacy with “short, sharp applications of military force,”7 as we saw in the previous chapter with the Venetian sacking of Zara and Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade.

We must now probe more deeply into the structures and methods of the Venetian oligarchical power, for in doing so, other secrets of the maintenance of such power are laid bare.

2. The Three Pillars of Venetian Power

In the previous chapter we noted that Venice had created a state arsenal, an institution that aided in the swift creation of the vast fleet needed to transport the army of the Fourth Crusade. This constitutes one of the main pillars of Venetian power, with the other two represented by the Doge’s palace—and hence all the mechanisms of the government, the Senate, the Grand Council, and, as we shall see below, the notoriously infamous “Council of Ten”—and the bankers of the Rialto, with whom we have not yet dealt. But all three of these mechanisms of power—the agencies of government, the institutions of finance, and the implements and agencies of war—were in the hands of the same small group of oligarchical families.8 The oligarchical families, and their fortunes made through trade and banking, are the real nerve center of Venetian power, and to them we now turn.

3. The Venetian Oligarchical Families

The oligarchical families of Venice are divided into two classes, the Long-hi, i.e., the families of ancient provenance that could claim, and prove, their lines of noble status prior to the year 1000, and the Curti, newer families who had acquired wealth and status within the Republic, and which, beginning in 1382, were admitted into the ranks of the nobility and thus became eligible to hold offices of government, including that of Doge. As Webster Tarpley notes, the Longhi included the Dandolo, Michiel, Morosini, Contarini, and Giustinian families.9 The newer families included the Mocenigo, Loredan, Dona, and Trevisan families, among others.10

Within the Venetian state, the principle means of government was the Dogeship and the Grand Council, membership of which was restricted to the male members of these noble families, a body which grew to some 2,000 members by 1500,11 a fact of great importance, as we shall discover when we turn to a consideration of the establishment of the notorious Council of Ten. In any case, the upper house of this Grand Council was the Pregadi, in effect the Venetian Senate, which oversaw—until the establishment of the Council of Ten—foreign affairs and the appointment of Venetian ambassadors.12

The Great Council was, in effect, the apex of the “self-perpetuating oligarchy”13 that was Venice:

From the start the Council had been self-electing; thus, inevitably over the years, it had grown more and more into a closed society. In 1293, to give but one instance, it included ten Foscari, eleven Morosini and no less than eighteen Contarini.14

By 1298, the oligarchy had succeeded in passing a law in this Council that essentially restricted membership to those families that had previously been represented on it, an action that was called the Serrata, literally “the locking,” an act which “created, at a stroke, a closed caste in the society of the Republic; a caste with its own inner elite of those who had sat in the Great Council … ”15 To ensure security against any false claims to nobility that might be advanced to gain a seat on this council, the Republic created the Libro d’Oro, the Golden Book, essentially a state census of all who were eligible within Venice for such a seat, in other words, a kind of Venetian Burke’s Peerage, a registry of all nobility.16

This reflects a typical obsession of the Venetian oligarchical families: ethnic purity, a policy of strict segregation between the subject peoples of the empire and the Venetians themselves.17 We may speculate here that this policy may also have been in part to protect and preserve the knowledge among those families of their ancient Roman imperial, and ultimately Babylonian origins, as outlined at the beginning of the previous chapter. Such knowledge, if it existed, had to be preserved and also restricted to those families. Nor is this a fanciful speculation, since the Venetian oligarchical families obviously are obsessed with the preservation of their line.

In this respect, it is worth pausing to note that one of these Venetian noble houses, the House of Guelf-Este (or, to give it its German variant, Welf-Este), ruled over Padua and Verona as virtual Venetian satraps.18 This house, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, is significant to the story of the transfer of the oligarchy northward into German and, eventually, into England.

4. The Suppression of Factional Infighting

It is quite crucial to notice what the Great Council really is: the deliberately created body wherein all major familiar or factional interests were represented and given voice. This is an important clue into the nature of the polity of Venice, namely, that the individual factional or familial interests were deliberately subordinated to the interests of the oligarchical class as a whole, and “by the ironclad delimitation of noble status to those already noble in 1297 and their male descendants, and by continuous terror against the masses and against the nobility itself.”19 In other words, the Great Council represented the mechanism of the suppression of factional infighting, and it is this factor that in part constitutes one reason for the profound longevity and stability of the Venetian state.

B. THE COUNCIL OF TEN: TERRORISM AS A MATTER OF STATE POLICY

But what of terrorism as a matter of official state policy of the oligarchy? Here we must turn to consider that preeminently and uniquely Venetian symbol and instrument of terror, the Council of Ten—how it came to be created, and what possible influence or precedent the Venetians were drawing upon when they created it.

We have already noted that by 1500 the Great Council had grown to some 2,000 members, all of whom, of course, were members of the Longhi or Curti noble families, thus making it a cumbersome body to deal with a crisis.20 Even long before 1500, the Great Council was too bulky and ungainly to deal with emergencies, and this fact led to a typically oligarchical response. Rather than adjust the existing bodies of state, a new body was created by the Great Council on July 10, 1310 in response to a local insurrection: the Council of Ten.21 Like all such bodies, it was originally intended as a temporary body to deal with a short-term situation, but its charter kept being renewed until, in 1334, it was made a permanent body.22

Though its corporate powers were immense, they were subject to characteristically Venetian checks and balances to prevent any individual member’s using them for his personal ends. Election—by the Great Council, from lists drawn up by itself and the Signoria respectively—was for a single year, and re-election was forbidden until a further year was passed, during which time any alleged abuses would be carefully investigated. Two members of the same family could never sit simultaneously. Furthermore the Council never allowed itself a single head; there were always three—theCapi dei Dieci—serving for a month at a time, a month during which they were forbidden to go out into society lest they should be exposed to bribes or baseless rumours. Finally—the most important point of all and perhaps the one most frequently forgotten—the Ten were powerless by themselves. They acted only in concert with the Doge and his six councillors, bring their effective number to seventeen.23

From the outset, the Council of Ten served first to coordinate a vast network of spies, both inside of and outside of Venice, extending even to the Mongols.24 It thus coordinated all counter-intelligence and intelligence and police and surveillance operations both inside and outside the Republic and its territories.25 More importantly, it was authorized to decide matters of policy and state in the name of the Great Council, and thus, its decrees had the force of law of the Great Council itself.26

But there was more:

Venice’s superb communications and the almost legendary stability of her government had made her Europe’s principal centre of espionage, an international clearing-house for secrets of state. By now all the principal nations of the world were represented there, by embassies, agencies, banks, trading centres or other more clandestine associations, and for many of them the gathering of intelligence was a primary function. For such purposes extra pairs of eyes and ears were always useful; nor did a skilful hand with a knife or a none-too-sensitive conscience invariable come amiss.

It would have been odd if Venice, with an intelligence system of her own far more highly developed than that of any foreign power, had not maintained a close eye on all these covert activities and, where possible, used them for her own ends. Every embassy, every foreign household even, was thoroughly penetrated by Venetian agents, reporting directly back to the Ten details of comings and goings, of letters received and conversations overheard. A special watch was kept on leading courtesans, several of whom were paid by the state to pass on any information that might prove useful, for blackmail or otherwise. There was also an active network of double agents whose task was to feed false or misleading information into foreign systems.27

In other words, the Council of Ten combined both foreign policy, internal security, international espionage, and a law-making capacity in one body.

The ubiquity of this surveillance system, particularly within the territories of the Republic itself, meant that “the contents of any discussion among oligarchs or citizens was routinely known to the Ten within twenty-four hours or less,”28 and the Doge’s palace was punctuated with numerous mail-slots in the shape of lion’s mouths “marked Per Denontie Segrete (‘For Secret Denunciations’) for those who wished to call to the attention of the Ten and their monstrous bureaucracy individuals stealing from the state or otherwise violating the law.”29

Nor was this all.

The Council of Ten was empowered to issue bills of capital attainder, and could thus, like the Star Chamber later in England, conduct secret trial of individuals so denounced. Any death sentence issued by the Council was without appeal; offenders found guilty were simply rounded up by the Ten’s police, “disappeared” from view, and usually executed (by strangulation) the very same day their sentence was passed, their bodies hung by the leg in the Piazetta (Tarot enthusiasts, take note!).30 Thus, in addition to being a police, intelligence, counter-intelligence, foreign policy, disinformation, espionage clearing-house and law-making body, the Council of Ten was also a secret and supreme court, and executioner. Like all such monstrous creations, the Council soon encroached on the powers of other government agencies, either by directly co-opting their powers, or by internal penetration, or both.31

There is even some suspicion that the great Italian epic poet Dante Alighieri ran afoul of the Council of Ten:

Dante visited Venice in 1321, acting in his capacity as diplomatic representative of the nearby city of Ravenna, whose overlord was for a time his protector. He died shortly after leaving Venice. The two explanations of his death converge on murder: one version state(s) that he was denied a boat in which to travel south across the lagoon. He was forced to follow a path through the swamps, caught malaria, and died. Another version says that a boat was available, but that to board it would have meant certain assassination. Venetian records regarding this matter have conveniently disappeared.32

We may thus once again speculate that when Bruno announced to Mocenigo his intention to found a secret society based upon Hermetic principles, Mocenigo in turn denounced him to the Ten, which arranged his arrest by the Inquisition, for Venice was implacably opposed to the Neoplatonism and Hermeticism of the Renaissance.33

In any case, it is important to recognize the steps of the oligarchy in the establishment of the Council of Ten, for they have become their classic playbook ever since, in states such as England, and in more recent history, the United States of America:

1)The normal mechanisms of the government are perceived by the oligarchy to be too cumbersome to respond to a sudden crisis;

2)rather than amend or alter those bodies in such a fashion to be able to respond to such a crisis, new, streamlined agencies or bodies are established to represent the original constitutional body, which retains de jure authority, and thus protects the larger interests of the oligarchy;

3)this body becomes—in modern parlance—a “continuity of government” agency, vested with plenary powers of arrest, secret trial, ability to rule by decree, and the final clearing house of all intelligence and for the analysis thereof;

4)on the basis of this intelligence, this body also becomes a policy-making body for the state.

Additionally, as we saw in the last chapter, ad hoc and “informal discussion groups”—Venetian versions of the Council on Foreign Relations, or Bilderberg groups—can emerge within this overall structure to discuss policy and its execution, such as the Giovani group that once included Bruno. Such groups seek to promote “memes” within the broader culture whose object is to enhance the power and security of the oligarchy.

C. GIAMMARIA ORTES AND THE ORIGIN OF THE CARRYING CAPACITY MYTH, AND OTHER OLIGARCHICAL MEMES

In this respect, we must examine the crucial figure of Giammaria Ortes, whom Webster Tarpley, in a significant and magisterial piece of research exposing the origin of the meme of overpopulation, called “the decadent Venetian kook who originated the myth of ‘carrying capacity.’”34 Carrying capacity is simply the idea that the Earth has a maximum population that it can “carry” or support, an idea that, not surprisingly, originated with Venice’s financial oligarchy. This “meme” was the brainchild of one Giammaria Ortes, a “defrocked … monk and libertine, who in 1790, in the last year of his life, published the raving tract ‘Reflections on the Population of Nations in Relation to National Economy.’”35

Tarpley observes that the essence of Ortes’ argument is summarized in a statement he made in his work “Della Economia Nazionale” (“On National Economy”): “National economy is a matter which cannot be improved in any way by any particular action, and all attempts by persons seeking to organize national economy according to a better system, as regards provision or increase of goods, have to end as useless efforts.”36 One notes here a typical oligarchical theme, namely, that any effort to improve economic structure is useless, the implication being that any advocated systems of change need not be pursed.

Ortes followed this up with an argument that readers of Babylon’s Banksters will readily recognize:

But that the general wealth cannot be increased for some without an equal deficiency of them for others; that no one can find himself better off without some else being worse off, or without somebody’s suffering; that the mass of common goods is determined in every nation by the need, and that it cannot exceed this need by even a hairsbreadth, neither by the charms of a charlatan nor by the work of a philosopher nor even by the work of a sovereign … 37

Notice the three implicit assumptions of a closed system of economics and finance present in these two quotations:

1)All economies are closed systems;

2)all economies are static systems, that is to say, no new technological innovations can be envisioned which recreate new mechanisms for wealth creation; and hence,

3)all wealth accumulation is also wealth privation: there can be no creation of wealth, all wealth involves debt.

Given these assumptions, it is easy to see why the Neoplatonic and Hermetic influences within the Italian Renaissance, with their emphasis on creation of information, and the general fecundity of the underlying physical medium, were so adamantly opposed by the financial oligarchy of Venice.

From these implicit assumptions, it is a short step to the derivation of the idea that the Earth has a maximum population carrying capacity:

Hence, derives for Ortes the fixed and unimprovable level of the wealth of each nation, which will always be the product of its population multiplied by the irreducible minimum amount of work. Or, as Ortes says:

“Having posited this truth, I say again, the substances spread throughout a nation and by means of which the nation exists must be determined precisely by the needs of the nation, without any abundance or deficiency; so if we suppose in any nation some number of persons, they will require certain goods in order to survive, and the reason for the production of these goods will only be precisely providing for these persons. Because however these persons can only consume a determined quantity of goods, these goods cannot fall short or be excessive in relation to their need, thanks to the fact that if the goods were not there or were inferior to the needs of all, all those persons would not survive, which is contrary to our supposition, and if the goods were excessive or were superior to the need, then those goods would have been produced and would be kept without sufficient reason, without which nothing is ever done, as we pointed out.”38

This is a classic definition of a closed system, or, as Tarpley very aptly observes, “Ortes has thus preceded John Von Neumann and others in defining economic reality as a zero-sum game.”39 Ortes is even more explicit in his physics analogy, making comparison between his economic model and a zero-summed vector system:

The good therefore, understood as the possession of goods in excess of what is needed, can only be expressed between the individual and the commonality as the number zero, and since there is an inevitable lack of goods for some if these are to be abundant for others, this good can only appear as a mixture of economic good and evil, which tends neither to one nor to the other, or as the vector sum of forces which, operating with equal energy in different and opposite directions, destroy each other and resolve themselves into nothing.40

Lest the reader miss this important point, we state it explicitly: this is one of the first times in history that the connection between physics and finance has been articulated, and notably, the relationship between the two is one of a closed, static equilibrium zero-summed model. Absent entirely is the ancient Metaphor of the medium, and its non-equilibrium model of information creation.

From this closed system static approach to economic (and physics!) models, and given Ortes’ assumption of the lack of technological developments that can open the system back up, and his implied assumption of fixed unchangeable rates of production flowing from it,41 it is a short step to the conclusion that, inevitably, the Earth must reach a point of maximum population growth.42 That maximum limit Ortes fixed at three billion people, a limit which has obviously long since been exceeded.43 Not surprisingly, Ortes recommended that policies be implemented for zero population growth, including celibacy, prostitution, castration and “other modes of incontinence used by the barbarous nations.”44

Hand-in-hand with this zero-population-growth, maximum-carrying-capacity “meme” is the hidden doctrine and allied meme that man has no soul, no consciousness or reasoning capacity.45 Man becomes reduced to a collection of purely material forces, summing, in Ortes’ model, to zero. Small wonder then, that Venice, in the name of its basically Aristotelian materialism, waged a constant ideological warfare with the rest of the Italian Renaissance and its Neoplatonic and Hermetic impulses, for which virtually everything was a manifestation of the cosmically creative powers of intellect, consciousness, and soul.46 And small wonder, also, that Bruno, who so epitomized those Hermetic impulses, had to be eliminated, not only for his possible knowledge of Venetian intrigue (as was seen in the last chapter), but more importantly, for his mastery of the Hermetic system, and its powers of soul, intellect, and memory. It is this ideological, epistemological, and cosmological commitment to closed systems of finance and physics that ultimately lies behind Venice’s long-standing hostility to the humanist Renaissance of Medici dominated Florence.47

There is one final, all-important clue, connecting all these themes and Giordano Bruno to the Venetian oligarchy represented by the Mocenigo family, one of whose members (as we know well by now) betrayed Bruno to the Inquisition. During the years that Ortes was formulating his views, he was “closely associated” with one of those informal “discussion groups” deliberating on matters of social philosophy that we have earlier seen Galileo and Bruno involved with. This was the conversazione filosofica e felice, or “philosophical and happy conversation group.”48 Notably, one of the members of this oligarchical discussion group—a kind of Venetian forerunner to the Council on Foreign Relations or the Royal Institute for International Affairs—was the namesake of the Mocenigo who had first sought to acquire Bruno’s art of memory secrets: Alvise Zuanne Mocenigo.49

The Venetian oligarchy and its policy and methods were, if nothing else, remarkably consistent.

________________________

1Webster Griffin Tarpley, “Venice’s War Against Western Civilization,” Against Oligarchy, http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/venices-war-against-western-civilization, p. 1.

2Norwich, A History of Venice, pp. 641–642.

3Ibid., p. 66.

4Farrell, Babylon’s Banksters, pp. 159-184.

5See Crowley, City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas, p. 162

6Crowley, City of Fortune, p. 118. Crowley aptly writes, “Venice came in time to call its overseas empire the Stato da Mar, the ‘Territory of the Sea.’ With two exceptions, it never comprised the occupation of substantial blocks of land—the population of Venice was far too small for that—rather it was a loose network of ports and bases, similar in structure to the way stations of the British Empire. Venice created its own Gibraltars, Maltas, and Adens, and like the British Empire it depended on sea power to hold these possessions together.”

7Ibid., p. 232.

8Crowley, City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas, p. 377.

9Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” Against Oligarchy, http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/the-venetian-conspiracy/, p. 3. It is possible, Tarpley also notes, that the Giustinian family was related to the East Roman Emperor Justinian I the Great. One factor that makes this a possibility is that Justinian came from Dalmatia, long a region under Venetian influence and dominance, and with which Venice maintained trading relationships from the earliest founding of the settlement in the lagoon.

10Ibid.

11Ibid.

12Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/the-venetian-conspiracy, p. 4.

13Norwich, A History of Venice, p. 182.

14Ibid., p. 183.

15Ibid., pp. 183–184.

16Ibid., p. 184.

17Crowley, City of Fortune, p. 183. See also p. 240.

18Norwich, A History of Venice, p. 186.

19Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/the-venetian-conspiracy, p. 4.

20Norwich, A History of Venice, p. 199.

21Ibid., p. 197.

22Ibid.

23Ibid., p. 198.

24Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” p. 9

25Norwich, A History of Venice, pp. 198–199.

26Ibid., p. 199.

27Ibid., pp. 521–522.

28Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” p. 5.

29Ibid.

30Ibid., see also Norwich, A History of Venice, p., 526.

31See Norwich, op. cit., p. 538.

32Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” p. 6.

33Ibid., p. 11. Tarpley notes something quite crucial: “Since the Venetian oligarchy relied for its survival on the secret weapon of political intelligence manipulation, its primary strategic targets were first and foremost dictated by epistemological rather than military criteria. Fleets and armies, even in the hands of a powerful and aggressive enemy state, could well redound to Venetian advantage. The real danger was a hostile power that developed epistemological defenses against manipulation and deceit. In the face of such a threat, Venice did, and does—kill.

“The Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, perhaps the greatest outpouring of human creativity in history, represented such a threat to the Serene Republic, and in a more concentrated form than it had ever faced before. The threat arose from the epistemological warfare and alliance system of the great Cosimo de’ Medici of Florence and his successors. Venice mobilized every resource at its disposal to destroy the Renaissance. After decades of sabotage, going to far as to arrange the ravaging of Italy by foreign armies, Venice succeeded.”

This epistemological warfare was, as we saw in Chapter Two, the threat posed to the financial-religious oligarchy of Venice, accustomed as it was to Aristotle, by the Hermetic and Neoplatonic views of the Renaissance that were, in particular, sponsored by the Florentines, and which culminated in Bruno’s expression of the ancient metaphor.

34Tarpley, “Giammaria Ortes: The Decadent Venetian Kook Who Originated the Myth of ‘Carrying Capacity,’” http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/giammaria-ortes-the-decadent-venetian-kook-who-originated-the-myth-of-carrying-capacity/

35Ibid.

36Ibid., p. 7.

37Ibid.

38Ibid., p. 8.

39Ibid.

40Ibid., emphasis added.

41Ibid., p. 10.

42Ibid., pp. 9–10.

43Ibid., p. 1o.

44Ibid., p. 11.

45Tarpley, “Venice’s War Against Western Civilization,” p. 6.

46Ibid., p. 3.

47Tarpley, “The Venetian Conspiracy,” p. 1.

48Tarpley, “Giammaria Ortes,” p. 2.

49Ibid., p. 3.

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