The American Dream (film)

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The American Dream is a 2011 animated film produced and written by Tad Lumpkin and Harold Uhl. At first glance, the movie seems to explain what concepts such as money and debt mean, while being complete arse at explaining how the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking work. At around half way through the film however, it deteriorates into a vast conspiracy theory, claiming, among other things, that the Rothschild family (called "Red-Shields" in the film) are controlling the Federal Reserve and that they were responsible for the assassination of JFK.

The film's official website once contained a list of "Good Guys"[1] who, according to the film's creators, try to fight the evil Rothschilds from taking over the world. The list was an assortment of right wing and libertarian think tanks, publications, and media personalities. Drudge Report and Alex Jones are listed among them. Jones himself has given a positive review of the film.[2] However others from varied political backgrounds, who weren't as easily as impressed as Alex, see the film as thinly veiled anti-Semitism.[3][4][5]


The "plot," sewn together from various pop-culture touchstones, opens with fair-faced Pile losing his dream home (to the bank), and his dog, Dream. His grizzled childhood friend Hartman then pulls up in Doc Brown's Delorean to explain to him what happened in a tired Rod Serling impression: since banks need to make loans to make money, many of them are made and/or taken unwisely, and that the money they use ultimately comes from the Federal Reserve. At this point, the banker who took Pile's house, worried about stagnation, gives him and others credit cards, which he plans to use to pay off his debts, right after going on a spending spree with Hartman.[note 1] On their excursion, Pile realizes he doesn't know where the Federal Reserve gets its money, and here the gears start to slip.

Pile and Hartman break into the building, where Hartman explains that it's privately owned as they witness a banker getting a call from Pile's banker asking for a loan, and calling the Mint to obtain the capital through seigniorage. Hartman goes into a manic rant about this being "unconstitutional," and as Pile tries to calm him down he asks "do you even know what money is?" and takes him back to the purported origin of the first paper money, then fiat money and fractional-reserve banking, in tenth-century Arabia[note 2]. The latter two are depicted as a confidence trick by a full-reserve banker, who is hanged for it to Hartman's sadistic glee.

Now things really start to go against mainstream perception, as Hartman's zealous (but factually accurate) explanation of fractional-reserve banking marks the first appearance of the literal red shield with the US seal (a well-known Masonic symbol in conspiracyland) emblazoned on it that will come to represent the Rothschild family. His calls for revolution are met with Pile begging him to calm down, and Hartman almost gives up until the ghost of Thomas Jefferson urges him to take Pile to "see," and they go back to the battle of Waterloo, where Hartman claims the Rothschilds "bought England... for nearly nothing," and that the British are now "paying their taxes directly to the [Rothschild] bankers," which at the time of the video's release was an accurate statement.[6] As of 2015, the British government has paid off their older debts ranging from the South Sea Bubble, Crimean War, and Napoleonic Wars. They then cross the Atlantic to the debates over the First Bank, where Alexander Hamilton is depicted as in league with the Rothschilds against Jefferson, and the bank's creation is ludicrously implied to be the reason Hamilton's jilted ally Burr killed him. They then go to Andrew Jackson either dismantling the Second Bank or sword fighting the hydra, and the film implies the assassination attempt against him (in reality a schizophrenic who thought killing Jackson would somehow allow him to take his rightful place on the English throne) was their doing.

From here they fast-forward to the "secret" Jekyll Island meetingWikipedia, facilitated, of course, by an anonymous Rothschild. While kept quiet at the time, the reader may remember this meeting as that whose centennial Ben Bernanke (depicted in this film as the Wicked Witch of the West) celebrated in 2010. This is followed by a visit to the passing of the "treasonous" Federal Reserve Act and Sixteenth Amendment, and then a vision of a giant, red-shield-emblazoned IRS-bot looting the US Treasury. Once again Pile plays the "naïve" voice of reason, and Hartman takes him back to (of course) 1955 to illustrate the idea of "inflation tax," claiming, of course, that this is calculated "thievery" by the owners (guess who?) of the Fed. Hartman's spiel is mercifully interrupted by the hydra that represented the Second Bank, now representing the Fed, and Pile faints only to wake up on the set of A Clockwork Orange watching JFK's notorious "secret societies" speech yet again being taken out of context, this time crossing the massive distance from Communism to the Rothschilds, as Hartman rattles off the usual line about Executive Order 11110 leading to Kennedy's assassination.

Finally, Pile points out the obvious fact that the banks have no reason to captain the economy of a world with no economy left, to which Hartman just responds they're "too big to fail" as if this were without limit, and Pile at last joins him in nuttery. On the set of 300, where their dogs are being held, the two of them face their final foe, Hank PaulsonWikipedia; urged on by a literal idol of Jefferson, Hartman rather predictably kicks him into a pit, and the film ends.

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  1. This is, incidentally, one of the few times women play any role at all, mostly as playthings for the two pooch-loving bachelors with all the personhood of the craps table in the same sequence.
  2. For all the posturing "by the eternal God" in this film, someone has never read their Bible.