Home » Technological Revolution

Category Archives: Technological Revolution

Media Lies, Corporate Ties, and Truth Dies? … Don’t Count on It!

Media Lies, Corporate Ties, and Truth Dies? … Don’t Count on It!

I’m Here to be as Annoying as Humanly Possible to Those in Power

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

Our media is a melting-pot of misinformation, bought and owned by billionaires and oligarchs, whether it is public, private, or foundation-funded. Information is integral, propaganda is power, and media is money. Control of the media leads directly to control of the minds of those who consume it, and like all patterns of consumption, it is sustained by profit, but its purpose is much deeper, more pervasive and permanent: social control.

The aim of consumption is to preserve and protect the social order as it exists, to distract a significant – or targeted – portion of the population with being concerned only about progress within the social order, about making more money, consuming more products, climbing this ever-distant and seemingly always just-out-of-reach ladder. The consumer society as we know it today was a product of the early 20th century, born out of an era of deep social unrest, where the ‘Robber Baron’ industrialists – the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Morgans, Harrimans, Astors, and Vanderbilts – created such vast fortunes, and dominated the entire economy, bought the politicians, owned the courts, and exploited the people. The poor and working class were in open rebellion, empowered with radical philosophies of resistance and revolution, organized by anarchists and socialists, immigrants and intellectuals. They threatened the entire social order. At the same time, the middle class was not yet consumer based, but rather consisting of professionals and those who earned some – even if a very minimal – benefit from the social order. They were informed through an expansion of the media, through the printing-press and ‘Muckraker journalism’, highly critical of the ruling oligarchs and their lack of concern for the welfare of mankind, yet also born of the university system which was designed to produce intellectuals and professionals concerned with reform, not revolution, concerned with preserving social order instead of overturning the social order.

This was called the Progressive Movement, and though there was critique and concern and the excesses of the ruling class, there was an equal concern about the unrest of the lower class. It was in this context that universities became reorganized and reoriented under the control of the ruling oligarchs, with industrialists and bankers sitting on their boards, founding new schools, and sponsoring the social sciences. The social sciences were conceived as a means toward producing intellectuals who were concerned with maintaining social control: with analyzing specific facets of the social order (politics, economics, sociology, etc) and then offering critiques and reforms to that system, with the objective of making it more secure, more permanent. Major philanthropic foundations were founded in the early 20th century, such as the Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation, with the purpose of engaging in social engineering for social control. They became the primary financiers of social science research and university programs. This was stated quite explicitly by the President of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1933, who wrote that the Foundation’s policies:

were directed to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding. The Social sciences, for example, will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control; the Media and Natural sciences propose a closely coordinated study of sciences which underlie personal understanding and personal control. Many procedures will be explicitly co-operative between [Foundation] divisions. The Medical and Natural Sciences will, through psychiatry and psychobiology, have a strong interest in the problems of mental disease.[1]

These oligarchs controlled the banking institutions of the modern society, and in particular, the central banking system, responsible for printing the currencies, setting interest rates, and thus, controlling the finances of both industry and government. The mechanism of control was through debt. Through their control of banking and finance, this small group of oligarchs were able to influence, of not control, the corporate world and the governmental world, allowing for domination of the economic and political spheres of life. However, it was through the production of knowledge itself that they came to dominate the social world. This was – and remains – the primary objective and activity of foundations and their offspring organizations. This required continued control of universities, maintenance of foundation-funded social engineering (what is commonly called “philanthropy”), the creation and control of major think tanks (responsible for creating social cohesion between elites and organizing public and foreign policy), and domination of the media.

The production of knowledge was not undertaken with the benevolent desire of ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake,’ but rather with a very clear purpose, as stated in the above-mentioned Rockefeller Foundation quote: control. Those who rule over society, whomever they are, and in whatever era they exist, understand very clearly the power and purpose of knowledge. After all, they have the power because they have the knowledge of what power is and how to attain it. An educated population – one which is capable of reading and writing and developing basic skills and techniques – has been a very important component of a modern, industrial society. It has contributed to the development of what we can call the modern ‘Technocratic’ society, built by the growth of science, technology, communication and information. There is, however, a problem for the ruling class, one which must be watched very closely: while it is important to provide a minimum of education, skills and expertise, it is important to maintain the overall control of consciousness and thought. It is one thing to provide an individual with the ability to understand specific sectors of society and to advance, reform, evolve and change those sectors, to update and evolve, to advance and progress; it is quite another thing, however, to allow an individual to develop the thinking capacity to reflect and understand the wider world in which he or she lives, to question the very nature and composition of society, to reflect on the purpose of humanity and the social order upon which it depends. This type of reflection is and has always been deeply dangerous to any ruling groups through history, and today is no exception.

Just think of the individual capacity of the human mind to obtain and retain masses of information. Think of the average high school girl or high school boy, consuming so much information of entertainment, celebrities, sports, and pop culture: they can tell you every detail of every celebrity’s life, every sports team, player, and all the intricate details of interaction and interest. The sheer wealth of information is impressive to say the least. The unfortunate reality, however, is that it is useless information: it has no point or purpose in the lives of those who consume it. It doesn’t matter who Kim Kardashian is or who she is doing this week. Paris Hilton is an absurd emblem of a society that worships irrelevance. It is really of no personal significance whether or not “your” [insert sport here] team wins or loses a game, it’s just a game, and unless you are playing or know personally someone who is playing, it doesn’t actually impact your life in any meaningful way. These are cultural distractions designed to fill the minds of the masses with useless and insignificant information. The consumer society which was developed in the early 20th century was not simply a society built on the consumption of products and services, but of information. It served to distract the emerging middle class away from questions of social and human concern, and to possibilities of personal and financial progress, to ownership, to products, to a vision of ‘desire’ around which their life was designed to aspire. Humanoids like Paris Hilton – and I hesitate to call such a person an ‘individual’ – serve not only to ‘distract’, but to destroy. Through our worship of wealth, our reveling in irrelevance, we create the image of prosperity, of possibility, of potential and indeed, purpose. The Paris Hilton’s and Kim Car-crash-ian disasters of this world are a symbol of a society that gives priority and purpose to intellectually vacant, vapid, and vacuous entities. Worst of all, is that the youth look to these empty examples of existence as not simply worthy of entertainment, but emulation. Truly, such a state is symptomatic of a severely sick society.

Yet, something is changing. We can feel it in the air, hear it in the wind, taste it on our tongue, smell it in our sinus, and are beginning to experience it in our everyday existence. The Technological Revolution which has brought about this modern ‘Technocratic’ society, this highly-controlled and overly-dominated social order, has created its own antithesis, this thing we call ‘balance’. While technology has facilitated greater control over mankind, with new and scientifically-developed techniques of domination, it has also facilitated the rapid expansion of information and communication. This has allowed for more information than ever before to be consumed by more people than ever before in all of human history. And now, unlike ever before, people are able to communicate with each other, around the world, not through a lens of power – not through the media, the government, corporations, or other institutions – but as individuals, as equals, to listen, speak, and understand each other as individual human beings occupying the same small world, and though we may never meet in person, we exist together, and our struggle is the same.

It is easy to say that we are in unprecedented times. Within such times, unprecedented challenges emerge, challenges for both the people and the powerful. So while we are faced with an elite – increasingly globally interconnected and intertwined – who are armed with more techniques of control and domination than have ever-before been imagined, the elite are faced with an increasingly unprecedented challenge, where the dominated peoples of the world are able to see and speak to one another as individuals, not simply observe as outsiders, where we have access to and the ability to analyze and disseminate more information than ever before. Even the major philanthropic foundations, who have long funded ‘alternative’ media as a means to provide an outlet for moderated dissent, are incapable of controlling the new production of knowledge that is taking place, which is informing individuals and activists around the world. This new ‘independent media’ is largely dependent upon the readers and direct ‘consumers’ of the information itself, not higher ‘sponsors’ and patrons.

I am a member of this ‘independent media,’ as a researcher, writer, and at times, a journalist. I engage in ‘production of knowledge’ much like a foundation-sponsored academic would, though I do so with a distinctly different purpose: not to control for the benefit of entrenched power, but to liberate by means of empowering people with information. For this, I have been accused of being a “propagandist” and “biased,” while the major intellectuals, media pundits, journalists and academics of our institutionally-dominated world declare themselves “neutral,” “unbiased,” “dispassionate,” and “disinterested observers.” I make no reservations about my bias, about by non-neutrality, I do not hold back my passion and I am very interested, and not simply an observer, but at times a participant. I see no value in declaring a lack of passion or a neutral position in situations of domination and oppression, of exploitation and obfuscation. If I am a propagandist, I am a propagandist for the people, not the powerful, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The unfortunate reality of being very independent, with no university, foundation, corporate, or institutional ties of any kind, is that my ability to continue being independent, my ability to continue researching, writing, and disseminating information, is dependent upon the people who ‘consume’ that information itself. My funds are entirely derived of donations from readers and supporters around the world, and so I ask you now that if you so desire, to please support my efforts to continue being a loud-mouthed, annoying, frustrating pest of a person for those in power who think they control everything and everyone without a word of dissent from us plebs and proles below. I truly wish I could provide all my research and writing entirely free, and there are few things that bother me more than asking for money, but unfortunately, I do need to eat and pay rent. So I am asking now for your financial support toward my journalistic endeavours (note: this is separate from The People’s Book Project, which will be getting a big update quite soon).

In the past two months, I have been almost exclusively researching, writing, and speaking about the Quebec Student Movement, the Maple Spring, and to be honest, I have never been so busy or received so much support and encouragement from readers. So now I ask, if possible, to please make a donation of any amount (every bit helps, truly!), so that I can continue trying my best to be the most infuriating individual to those in power that I can be!

Thank you,

Andrew Gavin Marshall

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of The People’s Book Project. He also hosts a weekly podcast show, “Empire, Power, and People,” on BoilingFrogsPost.com.

 

 

[1] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.

About these ads

Of Prophets, Power, and the Purpose of Intellectuals: Class War and the College Crisis, Part 3

Of Prophets, Power, and the Purpose of Intellectuals: Class War and the College Crisis, Part 3

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

Walter Lippmann


Part 1: The “Crisis of Democracy” and the Attack on Education

Part 2: The Purpose of Education: Social Uplift or Social Control?

Part 4: Student Strikes, Debt Domination, and Class War in Canada

Part 5: Canada’s Economic Collapse and Social Crisis

Part 6: The Québec Student Strike: From ‘Maple Spring’ to Summer Rebellion?

Intellectual history is written by intellectuals and educational history is written by educators; thus, it would be inevitable that the flaws and failures of each are buried beneath, while the advances and accomplishments are exaggerated or over-estimated. There is, however, a seemingly consistent dichotomy which has evolved and persisted throughout intellectual and educational history: on the one hand, you have the much larger element – both in terms of the general purpose of education and in the general activities and ideas of intellectuals – who support and strengthen institutionalized power structures; on the other hand – much more a break from the ‘traditional’ impetus and activities of education and intellectuals – you have the smaller element, the off-shoots and oddities, which empowers the masses against institutionalized power, and with the intellectuals who speak out, articulate, mobilize, and justify the empowering of the people against that of the dominant structures of society. Therein lies the dichotomy: one form of education is for social control and domination, the other is for social uplift and rejuvenation; one type of intellectual is a programmatic priest for the proselytization of power, the other is an energetic and empowering enemy of entrenched elites.

A Eulogy for Education: Situating the Social Sciences as Structures of Social Control

Whether public or private, the key issue at hand is that of the utility – or purpose – of higher education. Conventional wisdom inflates the classical liberal concept of higher education as a social good, one which may be funded by the state in order to promote the general well-being of society, as inherently cultural institutions designed to raise the intellectual, spiritual, moral, and philosophical standards of society. A more critical history of education tends to downplay the “social good” theory in place of a “social control” theory of education, and specifically, of the social sciences. In this conception, education was designed to produce professional ‘technicians’ who would – using the techniques of science, rationality, and reason – study social problems with a desire to find and recommend specific policies and programs to ameliorate those problems – to promote reforms to the social system – in order to maintain “order.” Order, in this case, is understood as maintaining the social hierarchy. We understand “social order” as the security of the “social hierarchy” precisely because ‘disorder’ is understood as the opposite of this: a threat to the prevailing social hierarchy and institutional structure of society. Order is maintained through manufacturing ideologies, implementing policies, and undertaking programs of social engineering all with a desire to establish ‘social control.’

For this to be undertaken, it was essential for the social sciences to be separated into distinct spheres: Sociology, Political Science, Economics, and Psychology, for example. This superficial separation established each discipline as one for “expertise” and “professionalism,” whereby those who were trained to understand and partake in politics would study political science, achieving degrees in their “specialty” which would make them socially acknowledged “experts” in their fields. Academic journals reinforce these divisions, focusing primarily on a particular and specific discipline, providing a forum for academics and intellectuals to discuss, debate, and disseminate ideas related to the study and understanding of that discipline and its related topics. The effect, however, is that each discipline remained isolated from other forms of knowledge and, more importantly, that knowledge remained isolated from the general public, whom it was supposed to inform and empower (in theory).

Logic, of course, will tell you that in the real world, politics, economics, sociology and psychology all interact and become intertwined, intersected and interdependent. To add to that, of course, we have other technological, scientific, spiritual, cultural, environmental and historic factors that all merge to create what we broadly call “society.” If our aim is, as it should be, to understand society – to identify its problems and work to resolve them – we therefore would logically need a broader understanding of the social world, which would necessarily require a far more comprehensive, expansive, and multi-disciplinary historical examination of our world and its interacting forms of knowledge. It can be argued, however, that this is too demanding upon the academic and thus, unreasonable and unlikely. Therefore, it is argued, producing “experts” in specific areas would allow for a simultaneous understanding of these various spheres of society, and to effect change in each sector independent of one another. This raises an important question: is an “expert” in Political Science capable of understanding the political world? If they do not take into account economic, social, cultural, scientific, technological and other historical facets of the social world which all interact with the political realm, how can they logically understand the political realm outside of those interactions? In short, the political world does not operate within a vacuum and outside of interactions with other social phenomena, so the claim that they are “professionals” on understanding the social world as a whole, let alone “experts” in the political world, is dubious at best.The fallacy of this concept to produce useful knowledge was eventually acknowledged and educational managers (such as the major foundations) began to support ‘inter-disciplinary’ research to promote at least a more comprehensive understanding than previously existed.

Despite this inherently elitist self-serving conception of social control, the focus – purpose and utility – of education (and specifically the social sciences) on the study and amelioration of social problems inevitably gave rise to ideas, actors, and movements which saw beyond the rigid confines of the educational and knowledge-production system itself, reaching beyond the disciplines and into a more historically-based understanding. These broader understandings typically emerged from historians and philosophers, who must – as stipulated by their very disciplinary focus – acknowledge a multiplicity of factors, spheres, ideas, actors and areas of relevance to any given time and place of human social reality. History, by its very nature, is interdisciplinary: the historian must always acknowledge economic, social, political, and other cultural phenomena in each circumstance being studied.

As an example of these biases and disciplinary obscurities, let’s take a brief look at Political Science. In Political Science, when studying International Relations, you generally study two major theories of international politics: Liberalism, the idea that peace and prosperity between states grows as economic activity increases between them, and that of Realism/Mercantilism, whereby states are viewed as self-interested and the international arena as anarchic, and thus, nation states simply act to serve their own interests (and should). Both theories, of course, serve power. Unless studying the very specific focus of Global Political Economy (and specifically from a critical perspective), Political Science students are not exposed to or confronted with information or ideas which discuss the roles of financial and economic institutions and actors (banks, corporations, etc.) in determining foreign or public policy. Such perspectives are not studied, but simply assumed to be the product of “interested ideology” as opposed to “disinterested knowledge.” Critical theories are rarely acknowledged, let alone studied, and the general use of the word “ideology” is seen as negative, in that, it is not a legitimate focus for discussion or analysis. I personally know of a political science professor who taught a class on ‘Nationalism’ in which a student wrote an essay on ‘class.’ The professor informed the student that she couldn’t discuss “class” because it was “ideology,” and therefore, not disinterested knowledge. Of course, the fact that he was teaching a course on ‘nationalism,’ which itself, is an ideology, did not even come into consideration.

The difference in ideology then, is that the word is used to deride and dismiss theories and ideas which challenge, critique, or oppose power, hierarchy, and the status quo. Those ideas, theories, philosophies and perspectives which support power, hierarchy, and the status quo, are not presented as “ideology,” but as “disinterested knowledge,” as a fact, not in need of proof, but of an assumed nature. They are simply accepted, and are therefore, not ideology. This is also widely reflected in the differences of the academic journals, between those which are establishment and elitist, and those which are critical and allow for more dissent. An example is Foreign Affairs, the premier foreign policy journal, run by the Council on Foreign Relations, the most influential think tank in the United States. In this journal, the articles and essays, written by various “experts” and active, former, or prospective policy-makers and those who hold seats of power, contain largely little or no citations whatsoever. All the ‘facts’ and ideas stated within the articles do not need citations or references because they are ideas which support the status quo, and therefore, they simply reflect the ‘perceived’ realities of society. Now take a journal like Third World Quarterly, which tends to focus on the effects of foreign policy upon the ‘Third World’ nations of the Global South, often highly critical, allowing for major dissenting scholars to have an outlet for their research and ideas. These journal articles are typically and necessarily flooded with citations, sources and references. This is because ideas and facts which challenge the prevailing perception of social reality – the status quo – are treated far more critically and scrutinized to a significant degree.

Critical scholars put their entire reputation and career on the line in taking on controversial topics, and thus, they must provide extensive evidence and citations for all their assertions. Thus, a scholar who contends that – “the United States is an imperial nation which undermines democracy and the self-determination of people around the world” – must provide extensive, detailed, elaborate and concise references and citations. Even then, the scholar is likely to be either ignored or attacked with rhetoric proclaiming them to be “ideologically biased” or worse. On the other hand, a scholar who contends that the United States is a democratic peace-loving nation which benevolently seeks to spread democracy and freedom around the world requires no supporting evidence, citations, or references, simply because it serves power, supports the status quo, and regurgitates the ideas emerging from the institutions of power themselves (such as the State and media), and therefore, no major institutions will challenge the assertions nor subject them to scrutiny. For example, there are entire books written criticizing Noam Chomsky and subjecting his research and writing to extensive scrutiny, pointing out miniscule mistakes in his citations, presenting them as deliberate methods of manipulation. On the other hand, prominent scholars who refer to America as a “benevolent empire” or as the “protector of democracy” around the world are rarely challenged, let alone scrutinized. If scrutiny occurs, it is from the critical scholars, writing in more critically-inclined journals, and thus, their research tends to be disseminated only to each other and stays confined within that small social group. On the other hand, scholars who support power are invited on television, quoted in newspapers, work with think tanks in formulating policy, take part in international conferences, and are invited into the corridors of power in order to implement policy.

Serving power obviously allows for a scholar to rise through the social hierarchy with relative ease. For those scholars who challenge power and the status quo, while entry into positions of power and influence are generally denied, there is still a necessity for toleration among the powerful. The major foundations (Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Ford Foundation, etc.) often fund critical scholars and journals, not out of a desire to promote or support their ideas, but in order to keep critical scholars  “professionalized,” to keep them as institutionalized academics. If there were no forums, journals, conferences or venues for the discussion, dissemination and debate of critical scholars and ideas, they would have to turn to other avenues for the dissemination of ideas and knowledge, which generally leads to the public sphere, of community involvement, activism, or populist politics. With foundations providing funding for critical scholars, journals, and conferences, the academics remain dependent upon the institutional structure of academia, and their ideas do not reach the wider public, and thus, their critiques are ineffective and do not promote change or understanding within the general population. Thus, such a program of financing provides a “release valve” for intellectual dissent, to keep critical or radical scholars institutionalized and prevent them from becoming mobilized and activist-oriented.

Still, in spite of all the deleterious factors for the pursuit of genuine knowledge with the purpose of empowerment through (instead of power over); the fact that the focus was on ‘social problems’ led inevitably to the generation of activist-oriented intellectuals, for those who could transcend the confines of narrow structures of knowledge. It is not to say that when these intellectuals surfaced, so too did the social movements, but rather that as social movements emerged, progressed, and developed, activist-oriented intellectuals took note, and began providing a philosophical and intellectual basis for the movement to exist and move forward. In short, it was a confluence of different circumstances both within the academic institutions and in the wider society – national and global – which led to the origins of these intellectual leaders, critics, activists, and philosophers. These are the individuals that the Trilateral Commission referred to in its report on the “Crisis of Democracy” as “value-oriented intellectuals.”

Dissident Value-Oriented Intellectuals versus Technocratic Policy-Oriented Intellectuals

In the early 20th century, as the concepts and ideas of “public opinion” and “mass democracy” emerged, the dominant political and social theorists of the era took to a debate on redefining democracy. It was an era of social unrest, radical political ideologies and activists, labour unrest and rebellion, extreme poverty, war, and middle-class insecurity (sound familiar?). Central to this discussion on redefining democracy were the books and ideas of Walter Lippmann. With the concept of the “scientific management” of society by social scientists standing firm in the background, society’s problems were viewed as “technical problems” (as in, not structural or institutional) intended to be resolved through rational professionals and experts. Just as with Frederick Taylor’s conception of “scientific management” of the factory, the application of this concept to society would require, in Lippmann’s words, “systematic intelligence and information control,” which would become “the normal accompaniment of action.” With such control, Lippmann asserted, “persuasion… become[s] a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government,” and the “manufacture of consent improve[s] enormously in technique, because it is now based on analysis rather than rule of thumb.”[1] Thus, for elites to maintain social control in the tumultuous new age of the 20th century, they must “manufacture consent” of the people to support the existing power structures.

In 1922, Lippmann wrote his profoundly influential book, Public Opinion, in which he expressed his thoughts on the inability of citizens – or the public – to guide democracy or society for themselves. The “intellectuality of mankind,” Lippmann argued, was exaggerated and false. Instead, he defined the public as “an amalgam of stereotypes, prejudices and inferences, a creature of habits and associations, moved by impulses of fear and greed and imitation, exalted by tags and labels.”[2] Lippmann suggested that for the effective “manufacture of consent,” what was needed were “intelligence bureaus” or “observatories,” employing the social scientific techniques of “disinterested” information to be provided to journalists, governments, and businesses regarding the complex issues of modern society.[3] These essentially came to be known and widely employed as think tanks, the most famous of which is the Council on Foreign Relations, founded in 1921 and to which Lippmann later belonged as a member.

In 1925, Lippmann wrote another immensely important work entitled, The Phantom Public, in which he expanded upon his conceptions of the public and democracy. In his concept of democratic society, Lippmann wrote that, “A false ideal of democracy can lead only to disillusionment and to meddlesome tyranny,” and to prevent this from taking place, “the public must be put in its place… so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd.”[4] Defining the public as a “bewildered herd,” Lippmann went on to conceive of ‘public opinion’ not as “the voice of God, nor the voice of society, but the voice of the interested spectators of action.” Thus, “the opinions of the spectators must be essentially different from those of the actors.” This new conception of society, managed by actors and not the “bewildered herd” of “spectators” would be constructed so as to subject the managers of society, wrote Lippmann, “to the least possible interference from ignorant and meddlesome outsiders.”[5] In case there was any confusion, the “bewildered herd” of “spectators” made up of “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders” is the public, is we, the people.

Lippmann was not an idle intellectual whose ideas are anachronisms of history, he was perhaps the most influential political theorist of his day, advising presidents while still in his 20s, Woodrow Wilson invited him to organize his war-time propaganda ministry, the Committee on Public Information (which was actually Lippmann’s idea to create), and his ideas held enormous resonance and received immense support from elite institutions and individuals. The influence of Lippmann’s ideas can be seen in the political machinery of the party system, the media, academia, think tanks, the construction of the consumer society, the activities of philanthropic foundations and a variety of other avenues and activities.

Several decades later, in the midst of another major social crisis in the 1960s, elite intellectuals again engaged in a discussion on the direction of society, social engineering, social control, and the role of “intellectuals” in society.

McGeorge Bundy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (and later the Trilateral Commission), was the U.S. National Security Adviser, responsible for organizing foreign policy under Kennedy and Johnson (largely responsible for the Vietnam War), and in 1966, he went to become President of the Ford Foundation. In 1967, Bundy wrote an article for Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations which McGeorge’s brother William Bundy (a former CIA analyst and State Department staffer in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations) would be editor of from 1972-1984, after declining the offer from David Rockefeller to be the Council president. McGeorge wrote in his 1967 article that:

The end of 1966 finds the United States with more hard business before it than at any time since 1962. We are embattled in Viet Nam; we are in the middle of a true social revolution at home; and we have undiminished involvement with continents and countries that still refuse to match our simpler pictures of them.[6]

Bundy lamented the idea that, “American democracy has no enduring taste for imperialism,” because despite all of the “nation’s interests overseas, the boys always want to come home.” Bundy then went on to explain the benefits of questioning particular policies the United States pursues, but not to question the entire premise of America’s foreign policy in general (namely, that of imperialism). Instead, Bundy acknowledged that most of the dissent and argument on the Vietnam War was in terms of “tactics, not fundamentals,” though, he acknowledged, “[t]here are wild men in the wings,” referring to those intellectuals who question the basis and fundamentals of foreign policy itself.[7] Such “wild men in the wings” and “value-oriented intellectuals” present such a monumental threat to established elite interests. As the Trilateral Commission’s report noted in 1975:

At the present time, a significant challenge comes from the intellectuals and related groups who assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to “monopoly capitalism.” The development of an “adversary culture” among intellectuals has affected students, scholars, and the media. Intellectuals are, as [Political Economist Joseph] Schumpeter put it, “people who wield the power of the spoken and the written word, and one of the touches that distinguish them from other people who do the same is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs.” In some measure, the advanced industrial societies have spawned a stratum of value-oriented intellectuals who often devote themselves to the derogation of leadership, the challenging of authority, and the unmasking and delegitimation of established institutions, their behavior contrasting with that of the also increasing numbers of technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals.[8]

The Trilateral Commission report later expanded upon the concept of the role of the intellectual in society. It stated that in the cultural history of Western Europe, “intellectuals are romantic figures who naturally get a position of prominence through a sort of aristocratic exaltation.” However, in periods of “fast changes,” they often come to lead and join “the fight against the old aristocratic tradition.” This, the Trilateral Commission contended, represented an “internal upsetting of the traditional intellectual roles.” This was identified as a “crisis of identity” in which, “[i]t has become a battle between those persons who play the audience, even if it is a protest type, and those who contribute to the process of decision-making.” Claiming that protest-oriented intellectuals are among “the audience” reinforces Lippmann’s assertion some decades earlier that the public are mere “spectators,” not capable of nor desired to engage meaningfully in politics. For the Trilateral Commission, the rise of “value-oriented intellectuals” was the result of the “intellectualization” of the “post-industrial society” in which their particular fields (namely, the humanities) became less useful in “application” and “practical use,” and thus, society “tends to displace traditional value-oriented intellectual disciplines to the benefit of action-oriented ones, that is, those disciplines that can play a direct role in policy-making.”[9] This would of course include the authors of the Trilateral Commission report itself, namely Samuel Huntington, who went on to work on the National Security Council under Zbigniew Brzezinski (co-founder of the Trilateral Commission) in the Jimmy Carter administration.

French philosopher Jean-Paul Sarte had long discussed the role of radical intellectuals in society and social movements. Following the major youth and student protests and movements of 1968, Sarte felt that the first duty of the radical intellectual is to “suppress himself as intellectual” and put his skills “directly at the service of the masses.” In a 1971 interview, Sarte was asked the question, “What should the radical intellectual do?” Sarte responded:

Today it is sheer bad faith, hence counterrevolutionary, for the intellectual to dwell in his own problems, instead of realizing that he is an intellectual because of the masses and through them; therefore, that he owes his knowledge to them and must be with them and in them: he must be dedicated to work for their problems, not his own.[10]

Thus, radical intellectuals should be creating revolutionary newspapers directed toward the masses, creating “a language that explains the necessary political realities in a way that everyone can understand.” Sarte was then asked, “Are you saying… that the responsibility of the intellectual is not intellectual?” He replied:

Yes, it is in action. It is to put his status at the service of the oppressed directly… the intellectual who does not put his body as well as his mind on the line against the system is fundamentally supporting the system and should be judged accordingly.[11]

As such, it is the responsibility of the radical intellectual to not lead, but follow and support the movements and struggles of the masses. For Sarte, the intellectual’s “privileged status is over.” Thus, “only activism will justify the intellectual.”[12] This is, in fact, a direct counter – or parallel – to the concept of the policy-oriented or technocratic intellectual, who directly partakes in the decision-making process. Just as the “technocratic intellectual” who partakes in the decisions of the institutions of power is “policy-oriented,” the radical intellectual directly partakes in the process of resistance (though not necessarily the decision-making process), and is also “action-oriented.”

In 1967, famed linguist Noam Chomsky wrote an essay in which he voiced his political opposition to the Vietnam War, entitled, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals.” In the article, which provoked widespread discussion and debate, Chomsky wrote:

With respect to the responsibility of intellectuals, there are still other, equally disturbing questions. Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world, at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom if expression. For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us.[13]

As Chomsky explained, “If it is the responsibility of the intellectual to insist upon the truth, it is also his duty to see events in their historical perspective.”[14] This is, of course, in counter to the “technical experts” of social science, seeking to remedy “technical problems” of society in a “responsible” manner. In this sense, “responsibility” has a dual use: it is used by elites to denote those intellectuals who are “responsible” to the elite, and it is also used by dissenters to denote a “responsibility” to the truth and the people. Thus, the use of the word – whether one describes dissenters as “responsible” or “irresponsible” – tends to express more about those who use the term rather than those for whom they are applying the term.

This is, it must be acknowledged, not a new phenomenon. It is found throughout human history, though often called different things in different times and places. It can be found among the ancient philosophers and, indeed, the prophets of the Biblical era. As Noam Chomsky has elsewhere explained, “The history of intellectuals is written by intellectuals, so not surprisingly, they are portrayed as defenders of right and justice, upholding the highest values and confronting power and evil with admirable courage and integrity. The record reveals a rather different picture.” Chomsky further wrote:

A large part of the Bible is devoted to people who condemned the crimes of state and immoral practices. They are called “prophets,” a dubious translation of an obscure word. In contemporary terms, they were “dissident intellectuals.” There is no need to review how they were treated: miserably, the norm for dissidents.

There were also intellectuals who were greatly respected in the era of the prophets: the flatterers at the court. The Gospels warn of “false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them.”[15]

In his book, Sage, Priest, and Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel, Joseph Blenkinsopp explained the use of the term ‘prophet’ in both historical and contemporary context. In the contemporary context, it is generally associated with “prediction, emotional preaching, [and] social protest,” though the Hebrew term for it (nabi), has been so widely and differently used to describe various individuals, including its usage to describe many who functioned in “sanctuaries and royal courts,” in which case, they would be individuals who serve power. On the other hand, for those that challenged the power structures, Blenkinsopp argued that they were essentially “dissident intellectuals.”[16]

Again, this drew a distinction in ancient times with the word ‘prophet’ to that we hold today with the word ‘intellectual’: denoting both those who serve and challenge power. Blenkinsopp explained that the prophets who were “dissident intellectuals” in the Biblical era “collaborated at some level of conscious intent in the emergence of a coherent vision of a moral universe over against current assumptions cherished and propagated by the contemporary state apparatus, including its priestly and prophetic representatives.” In other words, they challenged the institutions of power which existed during that era. These dissident intellectuals – much like those of the modern era – “often play a socially destabilizing role in taking an independent, critical, or innovative line over against commonly accepted assumptions of a dominant ideology.” In fact, stipulated Blenkinsopp, “radical change rarely, if ever, comes about without the cooperation or intervention of an intellectual elite.”[17]

Blenkinsopp described an era in which these prophets emerged in protest “at the accumulation of wealth and the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by the few at the expense of the many.” The prophet – or dissident intellectual – Amos had lashed “out at those who store of the (fruits of) violence and robbery,” and who “live at ease in houses, the walls and furniture of which are inlaid with ivory.” Amos and another dissident intellectual, Isaiah, had “nothing but scorn for the idle rich and depict.” Blenkinsopp wrote:

The concentration of power and resources in the hands of the few, in this instance the political and hierocratic establishment and its clientele, is always liable to generate protest, especially if it is accompanied by the impoverishment of the many. A few decades after Amos, Hesiod claimed divine inspiration in denouncing unjust rulers.[18]

Thus, whether Hesiod, Hosea, Micah, or Isaiah, “all four belonged to the very small minority of the population that was literate and educated, and it was from that socially privileged position that their protest was launched.” These dissidents, however, were of a very small minority. For literally hundreds of years, the ‘prophets’ (intellectuals) of the era were “almost exclusively supportive” of power, “and there is no breath of challenge to the political or social status quo.” It was “in Israel and, to a lesser extent, Greece [where] a tradition of dissent and social protest develop[ed].” How were these dissident intellectual ‘prophets’ of the era treated? The established powers attempted to silence Amos and Micah, Hosea was ridiculed as “a fool,” and Isaiah was driven into “retirement” after an attempt to intervene in foreign policy matters.[19] So, while we claim them as prophets today, in their time they were treated as pariahs.

So whether in Biblical Israel, nearly 800 years before the arrival of Christ, or in the 1975 Trilateral Commission report, “dissident intellectuals” are to be feared and reviled by established powers, and it is clear that these powers will always attempt and actively take measures to minimize, ostracize, repress or eliminate such forms of dissent.

Thus, we have come to see the corporatization of our universities and the marginalization of dissident intellectuals in the neoliberal era. As Bronwyn Davies et. al. wrote in the European Journal of Education, few radical intellectuals of the 1960s and 70s “imagined how dangerous their work with students might seem to be to those in government or to the global leaders of big business and industry.” This was, of course, addressed by the Trilateral Commission, which above all represents the interests of the financial, corporate, political, and intellectual elite. This elite felt that “they must establish a new order to make the world more predictable, and they saw those radical intellectuals – both academics and journalists – as contributing to the dangerous disorder.”[20]

The Trilateral Commission was founded by two individuals: one a representative of high finance (David Rockefeller, Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank), and the other a representative of the intellectual elite (Zbigniew Brzezinski, professor of political science, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, foreign policy official). Brzezinski wrote a book in 1970, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, in which he laid out the problems of the technological and electronic era (hence, “tehcnetronic”) and elaborated on strategies to resolve them: politically, economically, and socially, including the formation of a “community of developed nations” to jointly work together in managing the world for their own benefit. Rockefeller, who was also a top official at the Council on Foreign Relations and also attended meetings of the Bilderberg group with Brzezinski (another exclusively elitist international think tank linking Western Europe and North America), took note of the book and its arguments, and recruited Brzezinski to help put together this “community,” and in 1973, the Trilateral Commission was formed. Brzezinski, in terms of intellectual influence, is perhaps as close to a Walter Lippmann for the globalized era as one could get. For decades, he has been a major foreign policy official with significant influence, sitting on the boards of major elite think tanks that produce policy plans which are implemented in the government, acting in an advisory capacity to almost every president since Jimmy Carter, and in terms of his still close relationship with the ruling financial oligarchy (namely, the Rockefellers).

In his book, Brzezinski discussed the need for “programmatic engineering” to manage and change American culture, of which he emphasized the roles played by education and the mass media over the alternative avenues of churches and traditional customs.[21] The manufacturing of culture, posited Brzezinski, was an American ‘obligation’:

Change in educational procedures and philosophy should also be accompanied by parallel changes in the broader national processes by which values are generated and disseminated. Given America’s role as a world disseminator of new values and techniques, this is both a national and a global obligation. Yet no other country has permitted its mass culture, taste, daily amusement, and, most important, the indirect education of its children to be almost exclusively the domain of private business and advertising, or permitted both standards of taste and the intellectual content of culture to be defined largely by a small group of entrepreneurs located in one metropolitan center.[22]

Brzezinski also discussed one of the more relevant and indeed, concerning facets of the Technological Revolution. Of course, writing of this as a ‘concern’ is in terms of Brzezinski writing from the perspective of an elite academic and strategic thinker, and thus, representing the elite class and their overall concerns. Namely, Brzezinski wrote on the prospects of a revolution against this process and the power structures involved, explaining that these groups are likely to emerge in both the developing world and industrialized world in opposition to the process of ‘modernization,’ which Brzezinski refers to as the advancement of the ‘Technetronic Revolution.’ In the Global South (the “Third World”), the revolutionary class is likely to emerge from the educated classes who are deprived of social opportunities fitting with their intellectual expectations. In the industrialized West, however, this “revolutionary intelligentsia” is most likely to emerge from the “middle-class intellectual equivalents” of the revolutionary class in the developing world. Thus, it would emerge among the educated middle-classes of the West, who are deprived of opportunities attuned to their education, thus creating a ‘crisis of expectations.’ Brzezinski wrote that the Technetronic Revolution had created a “social anachronism,” in which these groups may hold onto anti-industrial values and could possibly, even in the more modern countries, effectively block the modernization of their societies, “insisting that it be postponed until after an ideological revolution has taken place.” Brzezinski explained:

In this sense the technetronic revolution could partially become a self-limiting phenomenon: disseminated by mass communications, it creates its own antithesis through the impact of mass communications on some sectors of the intelligentsia.[23]

Brzezinski’s answer to these profound and potentially revolutionary circumstances was to employ more social engineering, more social control, more integration and coordination among global powers; essentially, to strengthen power structures at the expense of all others. Brzezinski wrote that there was a “mounting national recognition that the future can and must be planned; that unless there is a modicum of deliberate choice, change will result in chaos.”[24] He elaborated:

Technological developments make it certain that modern society will require more and more planning. Deliberate management of the American future will become widespread, with the planner eventually displacing the lawyer as the key social legislator and manipulator… How to combine social planning with personal freedom is already emerging as the key dilemma of technetronic America, replacing the industrial age’s preoccupation with balancing social needs against requirements of free enterprise.[25]

In the same line of arguing in favour of more coordination, planning, and “technical” expertise, Brzezinski also posited an image of where this could eventually lead:

Another threat, less overt but no less basic, confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control…  Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society.[26]

Thus, we come to understand the ideologies, intent, and actions of two divergent social actors: the technocratic and policy-oriented intellectual and the dissident action-oriented intellectual. One supports power, one supports people. Our educational system is still to a significant degree composed of and designed to produce (like industrial factories for intellectual products) those intellectuals who support power, who engage in social engineering with the purpose of social control. Dissident intellectuals, while they exist, remain confined. They engage in research and write in academic journals which reach only other dissident intellectuals. This is the case not only in the West, but across a great deal of the world. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are few and far between. The knowledge and ideas and dissident intellectuals must be designed not for the purpose of internal discussion and debate among other dissidents within the institutions of academia, but to reach the masses, to empower the people, and to join – actively and actually – with the people as they mobilize for change. In order to do this, new forums, conferences, media, and other sources and organizations should attract the “value-oriented intellectuals” away from Ivory towers of intellectual isolation and into the people-oriented pathways of political action. The language must be made less academic and more accessible, the activities must be more directly engaged with people than distant and distracted.

The rigors of academic life make this a great challenge, not only for students but for professors as well. Professors are expected to publish consistently in journals and other publications, and so when they are not teaching or instructing, they are researching and writing, independently and isolated. There is very little time or opportunity for direct engagement, or for writing for other publications and avenues which could allow their research to reach a wider audience. This keeps intellectuals disciplined and distracted, and ultimately, gives little relevance to their research in terms of actually affecting any meaningful changes in society. However, here we come to understanding the inherent dichotomy of a crisis, in this case, the “Crisis of Education.” As the crisis of education leads to increased costs, increased debts, decreased enrollment, decreased opportunities, increased social unrest, increased student resistance, and ultimately, a decrease in the amount of teachers and professors (this is already taking place), there also opens an avenue through which much of the disciplinary mechanisms which held dissident intellectuals back will be eroded. With nothing left to lose (in terms of job security, financial stability, social prestige and opportunity), dissident intellectuals will be far more inclined toward participation in activism and social movements. Avenues for their participation should be opened up and extended as this crisis continues and deepens.

A simply example of such an opportunity to attract dissident intellectuals would be a type of international conference, media, and educational institute. It could begin with a conference, drawing dissidents from around the world – from Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Spain, the U.K., Canada, Australia, United States, Iceland, Ireland, Chile, Taiwan, etc. – to hold a discussion and debate on the origins, evolution, development and potential for the growing social and activist movements, whether in the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, anti-austerity protests, student strikes, and others. The conference could be televised for free online, so people all over the world could view and engage. A major aim and result of the conference could be to establish an educational institution, which brings together such intellectuals from around the world with more consistency, which organizes a network of globally connected but locally-oriented decentralized schools, designed specifically for a broad, multi-disciplinary and globally-relevant education for social change. They could hold classes in which students and teachers engage as equals, bringing in local activists, alternative media, even filming the actual classes and discussions to post online, even provide a live feed. The aim would be to provide education for the purpose of empowering people to activism and social change. They could establish their own media outlets, providing research and discussion of activities by students and professors, and become engaged in actively planning and helping organize social movements, protests, and other activities.

The point would be to provide a forum where education has an empowering social purpose, where it integrates itself with other elements of society and does not remain isolated and insulated. For example, if one such discussion were to take place in a local decentralized school on the topic of food sustainability, agriculture, GMOs, and the politics of food, the result could be a decision to establish a network of organic farmers who would be willing to produce cheap food for poor areas, establish a space where there could be a cheap organic food market, or cheap (or free) meals made with the food, but dispensing it to poor people in poor areas of major cities, who would otherwise not have the means of good food for decent prices. It’s a very simple program, but the effects can be profound. Not only could it begin to integrate farmers and agriculturalists with such an emerging movement, but it could integrate the poor more closely with such a movement. The poor are, after all, the largest constituency in the world, and the one in the most need of help and empowerment. For the poor, the ideological and power struggles between the middle and upper classes are largely irrelevant, because neither benefit nor empower them. If there is to be a true and genuine revolutionary change in global society, acting without the ideas and support of the poor is a sure way to guarantee failure for genuine change. To get the support of the poor, the poor must be supported; they must be given a stake in the future, empowered to act and participate in change, and the starting point for this is to address the immediate necessities of poor people everywhere: food, clothing, shelter.

The difference between how ‘social control’-oriented institutions (such as foundations and NGOs) address poverty and how revolutionary and radical organizations would address poverty, is the intent and methods in dealing with these immediate concerns. NGOs and foundations seek to establish methods of providing food, clothing, shelter and general necessities so much as to address the symptoms of poverty, not the causes, and thus, to ultimately sustain the system that creates poverty by alleviating the worst conditions just enough to prevent rebellion or resistance. Revolutionary or radical organizations would seek to address the immediate concerns of the poor in order so that they may be empowered and able to begin finding ways to support themselves, to learn from them, and to provide access to forms of knowledge which have been denied to them. Thus, any programs of directly helping the poor would have to be accompanied with opportunities for education, knowledge, and outlets for action. The point is not to simply feed a poor individual, but to disseminate knowledge about why they are poor, how society creates and sustains the poor, the sources and solutions to poverty. Thus, it does not simply alleviate the symptoms, but empowers the individuals. Further, any radical movement must in turn be educated by the poor, for through their very existence, they are better able to understand the nature of the system that exists, because they have always been subjected to its most ugly and oppressive apparatus. While it may be easy for middle class intellectuals and students to promote a revolutionary cause based upon an ideology of how the state can and should function, poor people are able to give a better idea of how the state does function, has functioned, and thus, raise critical questions about the ideas, objectives, and actions of middle class and other radicals. The point would not be to be modern missionaries, providing food with “the Bible,” but to help – not out of pity but out of empathy and necessity – to empower, and, ultimately, to learn from and work with the poor. If any radical or revolutionary movement emerges which does not include a significant number of leaders from the poor population, and without significant support from the poor population, it is inherently anti-democratic and unworthy of pursuit.

This is, of course, just one example. The objective then, would be to find a way to bring dissident intellectuals out of the rigid confines of academia, and into the real world: to embolden, empower, and engage with the people, to participate in activism and social mobilization, and to work with a wide variety of other social groups and sectors in order to collectively participate in the construction of a new and far better world. It is time that this must be the acknowledged purpose of intellectuals, not the exception.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of The People’s Book Project. He also hosts a weekly podcast show, “Empire, Power, and People,” on BoilingFrogsPost.com.

Notes

[1]            Frank Webster and Kevin Robins, “Plan and Control: Towards a Cultural History of the Information Society,” Theory and Society (Vol. 18, 1989), pages 341-342.

[2]            Sidney Kaplan, “Social Engineers as Saviors: Effects of World War I on Some American Liberals,” Journal of the History of Ideas (Vol. 17, No. 3, June 1956), pages 366-367.

[3]            Sue Curry Jansen, “Phantom Conflict: Lippmann, Dewey, and the Fate of the Public in Modern Society,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (Vol. 6, No. 3, 2009), page 225.

[4]            Walter Lippmann, et. al., The Essential Lippmann: A Political Philosophy for Liberal Democracy (Harvard University Press, 1982), page 91.

[5]            Ibid, page 92.

[6]            McGeorge Bundy, “The End of Either/Or,” Foreign Affairs (Vol. 45, No. 2, January 1967), page 189.

[7]            Ibid, pages 189-191.

[8]            Michel J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington and Joji Watanuki, The Crisis of Democracy, (Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, New York University Press, 1975), pages 6-7.

[9]            Ibid, page 31-32.

[10]            Ronald Aronson, “Sarte and the Radical Intellectuals Role,” Science & Society (Vol. 39, No. 4, Winter 1975/1976), pages 436, 447.

[11]            Ibid, pages 447-448.

[12]            Ibid, page 448-449.

[13]            Noam Chomsky, “A Special Supplement: The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” The New York Review of Books, 23 February 1967:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1967/feb/23/a-special-supplement-the-responsibility-of-intelle/

[14]            Ibid.

[15]            Noam Chomsky, “Great Soul of Power,” Information Clearing House, 26 July 2006:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14221.htm

[16]            Joseph Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel (Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), page 2.

[17]            Ibid, page 144.

[18]            Ibid, pages 153-154.

[19]            Ibid, page 154.

[20]            Bronwyn Davies, et. al., “The Rise and Fall of the Neo-liberal University,” European Journal of Education (Vol. 41, No. 2, 2006), page 311.

[21]            Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (Greenwood Press, Westport: 1970), page 265.

[22]            Ibid, page 269.

[23]            Ibid, page 278.

[24]            Ibid, page 256.

[25]            Ibid, page 260.

[26]            Ibid, pages 252-253.

Bringing Down the Empire: Challenging the Institutions of Domination

Bringing Down the Empire: Challenging the Institutions of Domination

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

We have come to the point in our history of our species where an increasing amount of people are asking questions, seeking answers, taking action, and waking up to the realities of our world, to the systems, ideas, institutions and individuals who have dominated, oppressed, controlled, and ensnared humanity in their grip of absolute control. As the resistance to these ideas, institutions, and individuals grows and continues toward taking action – locally, nationally, regionally, and globally – it is now more important than ever for the discussion and understanding of our system to grow in accord. Action must be taken, and is being taken, but information must inform action. Without a more comprehensive, global and expansive understanding of our world, those who resist this system will become increasingly divided, more easily co-opted, and have their efforts often undermined.

So now we must ask the questions: What is the nature of our society? How did we get here? Who brought us to this point? Where are we headed? When will we get to that point? Why is humanity in this place? And what can we do to change the future and the present? These are no small questions, and while they do not have simple answers, the answers can be sought, all the same. If we truly seek change, not simply for ourselves as individuals, not merely for our specific nations, but for the whole of humanity and the entire course of human history, these questions must be asked, and the answers must be pursued.

So, what is the nature of our society?

Our society is one dominated not simply by individuals, not merely by institutions, but more than anything else, by ideas. These three focal points are of course inter-related and interdependent. After all, it is individuals who come up with ideas which are then institutionalized. As a result, over time, the ‘institutionalization of ideas’ affect the wider society in which they exist, by producing a specific discourse, by professionalizing those who apply the ideas to society, by implanting them so firmly in the social reality that they often long outlive the individuals who created them in the first place. In time, the ideas and institutions take on a life of their own, they become concerned with expanding the power of the institutions, largely through the propagation and justification of the ideas which legitimate the institution’s existence. Ultimately, the institution becomes a growing, slow-moving, corrosive behemoth, seeking self-preservation through repression of dissent, narrowing of the discourse, and control over humanity. This is true for the ideas and institutions, whether media, financial, corporate, governmental, philanthropic, educational, political, social, psychological and spiritual. Often the idea which founds an institution may be benevolent, altruistic and humane, but, over time, the institution itself takes control of the idea, makes it rigid and hesitant to reform, and so even the most benevolent idea can become corrupted, corrosive, and oppressive to humanity. This process of the institutionalization of ideas has led to the rise of empires, the growth of wars, the oppression of entire populations, and the control and domination of humanity.

How did we get here?

The process has been a long one. It is, to put it simply, the history of all humanity. In the last 500 years, however, we can identify more concrete and emergent themes, ideas, institutions, individuals and processes which brought us to our current place. Among these are the development of the nation-state, capitalism, and the financial system of banking and central banking. Concurrently with this process, we saw the emergence of racism, slavery, and the transformation of class politics into racial politics. The ideas of ‘social control’ came to define and lay the groundwork for a multitude of institutions which have emerged as dominant forces in our society. Managing the poor and institutionalizing racism are among the most effective means of social control over the past 500 years. The emergence of national education systems played an important part in creating a collective identity and consciousness for the benefit of the state. The slow and steady progression of psychiatry led to the domination of the human mind, and with that, the application of psychology in methods of social engineering and social control.

Though it was in the 19th century that revolutionary ideas and new philosophies of resistance emerged in response to the increasing wealth and domination at the top, and the increasing repression and exploitation of the rest. In reaction to this development, elites sought out new forms of social control. Educational institutions facilitated the rise of a new intellectual elite, which, in turn, redefined the concept of democracy to be an elite-guided structure, defined and controlled by that very same intellectual elite. This led to the development of new concepts of propaganda and power. This elite created the major philanthropic foundations which came to act as “engines of social engineering,” taking a dominant role in the shaping of a global society and world order over the 20th century. Ruthless imperialism was very much a part of this process. By no means new to the modern world, empire and war is almost as old as human social organization. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rapid imperial expansion led to the domination of almost the entire world by the Western powers. As the Europeans took control of Africa, the United States took control of the Caribbean, with Woodrow Wilson’s brutal occupations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The two World Wars transformed the global order: old empires crumbled, and new ones emerged. Bankers centralized their power further and over a greater portion of human society. After World War II, the American Empire sought total world domination. It undertook to control the entirety of Latin America, often through coups and brutal state repression, including support to tyrannical dictators. This was done largely in an effort to counter the rise of what was called “radical nationalism” among the peoples of the region.  In the Middle East, the United States sought to control the vast oil reserves in an effort to “control the world.” To do so, the United States had to set itself against the phenomenon of Arab Nationalism. Israel emerged in the context of great powers seeking to create a proxy state for their imperial domination of the region. The birth of Israel was itself marked by a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the domestic Palestinian population, a fact which has scarred forever the image and reality of Israel in the Arab world. The development of the educational system facilitated the imperial expansion, not only in the United States itself, but globally, and largely at the initiative of major foundations like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford.

Who brought us here?

While the ideas and institutions are the major forces of domination in our world, they are all started by individuals. We are ruled, though it may be difficult to imagine, by a small dynastic power structure, largely consisting of powerful banking families, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and others. The emerged in controlling the financial system, extended their influence over the political system, the educational system, and, through the major foundations, have become the dominant social powers of our world, creating think tanks and other institutions which shape and change the course of society and modern human history. Among these central institutions which extend the domination of these elites and their social group are the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission.

Where are we headed, and when will we get there?

We face the possibility of a major global war. Already the Western imperial powers have been interfering in the Arab Spring, attempting to co-opt, control, or outright repress various uprisings in the region, as well as extending their imperial interests by supporting militant and destructive elements in order to implement – through war and destabilization – regime change, such as in Libya. The war threats against Iran continue, not because Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, but because Iran seeks to continue to develop independent of Western domination and has the capacity to defend itself, an incomprehensible thought for a global empire which believes it has the ‘right’ to absolute world domination. The empire itself is threatened by a ‘Global Political Awakening’ which marks the changing ideas and understandings of humanity about our situation and the possibility for change, even revolutionary if necessary. As the global economic crisis continues to descend into a ‘Great Global Debt Depression,’ we see the increasing development of resistance, leading even to riots, rebellion, and potentially revolution. The middle classes of the West are being plunged into poverty, a condition which the rest of the world has known for far too long, and as a result, the political activation of these classes, along with the radicalization of the student population – left in jobless debt for an eternity – create the conditions for global solidarity and revolution. These conditions also spur on the State to impose more repressive and totalitarian measures of control, even to the possibility of state terror against the domestic population.

Just as the process of resistance and repression increase on a global scale, so too does the process of global centralization and expansion of domination. Through crises, the global elites seek to construct the apparatus of a ‘global government.’ The major think tanks such as the Bilderberg Group have long envisioned and worked toward such a scenario. This ‘new world order’ being constructed is specifically for the benefit of the elite and to the detriment of everyone else, and will inevitably – as by the very nature of institutions – become tyrannical and oppressive. The ‘Technological Revolution’ has thus created two parallel situations: never before has the possibility of absolute global domination and control been so close; yet, never has the potential of total global liberation and freedom been so possible.

Why are we here, and what can we do to change it?

We are here largely due to a lack of understanding of how we have come to be dominated, of the forces, ideas, institutions, and individuals who have emerged as the global oligarchy. To change it, firstly, we need to come to understand these ideas, to understand the origins and ‘underneath’ of all ideas that we even today hold as sacrosanct, to question everything and critique every idea. We need to define and understand Liberty and Power. When we understand these processes and the social world in which we live, we can begin to take more informed actions toward changing this place, and toward charting our own course to the future. We do have the potential to change the course of history, and history will stand in favour of the people over the powerful.

The People’s Book Project seeks to expand this understanding of our world, and the ideas, institutions, and individuals which have come to dominate it, as well as those which have emerged and are still emerging in resistance to it. What is the nature of our society? How did we get here? Who brought us here? Why? Where are we going? When will we get there? And what can we do to change it? These are the questions being asked by The People’s Book Project. The products of this project, entirely funded through donations from readers like you, is to produce a multi-volume book on these subjects and seeking to answer as best as possible, these questions. It is, essentially, a modern history of power, people, and potential. The book itself lays the groundwork for a larger idea, and a plan of action, a method of countering the institutional society, of working toward the empowerment of people, the undermining of power, to make all that we needlessly depend upon irrelevant, to push people toward our true potential as a species, and to inform the action of many so that humanity may learn, discover, try and, eventually, succeed over that which seeks to dominate.

The People’s Book Project depends entirely upon you, the reader, for support, and that support is needed now.

See what others are saying about The People’s Book Project:

The People’s Book Project may be a radical idea for radical times, but it’s an idea whose time has come. With crowd-funding the people finally have the chance to compete with the seemingly unlimited resources of  the financial elite who have traditionally written our history. This  is why I support Andrew Gavin Marshall’s project and hope others will  support it, too. For once the people have the chance to reclaim their own history, and to tell the truth the way it deserves to be told.

James Corbett

The People’s Book Project is a great undertaking for our time. Around the world we have seen a political awakening of the oppressed, exploited, and impoverished that has swept the globe, from Cairo to Melbourne to the imperial capital itself: Washington D.C. The project is so important because by tracing how we got to this point in history and who got us here, it allows us to then use that knowledge to begin to envision and articulate a new global social, political, and economic order and then take concrete steps to see this vision come to fruition.

Devon DB

I am an enthusiastic supporter of the People’s Book Project because our society is in desperate need of creating new Social Architectures.  The Industrial Age is crumbling – but ‘the new’ has yet to be invented.  Thus, we need brilliant young minds to create new possibilities, through the haze of mind numbing commodification of everything.  The People’s Book Project represents incredible discipline and in-depth research by brilliant young minds to discover the futures we need to build together.  Join me in supporting this exploration of our future.

Jack Pearpoint and Lynda Kahn

Please support The People’s Book Project and make a donation today!

Thank you for your support,

Andrew Gavin Marshall

A Revolutionary Idea for a Revolutionary Time: A Plan of Action for the Global Political Awakening

[The Rockefeller Foundation’s policies] were directed to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding. The Social sciences, for example, will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control; the Media and Natural sciences propose a closely coordinated study of sciences which underlie personal understanding and personal control.

- Max Mason, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, 1933[1]

Much of [the Global Political Awakening] is also fueled by globalization, which the United States propounds, favors and projects by virtue of being a globally outward-thrusting society. But that also contributes to instability, and is beginning to create something altogether new: namely, some new ideological or doctrinal challenge which might fill the void created by the disappearance of communism… But [communism] is now totally discredited, and we have a pragmatic vacuum in the world today regarding doctrines. But I see the beginnings, in writings and stirrings, of the making of a doctrine which combines anti-Americanism with anti-globalization, and the two could become a powerful force in a world that is very unequal and turbulent.

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Carnegie Council, 2004[2]

Introduction

We are in revolutionary times. Our societies – the political, economic, and social institutions and ideas that comprise our global, national, and local social structure – are in a state of transformation. We are entering into the Greatest Depression in history, our governments are driven by the logic of imperial insanity, whereby we are increasingly headed for a World War III scenario. The imperial strategists who advise and determine the policies of our nations are bent on a system of total global control. We undertake an imperialist war against the country of Libya, we seek to expand the global war into Pakistan, largely in order to challenge China’s growing influence in the world, and we have set the stage for another imperialist war in Yemen. The covert apparatus – military and intelligence – of our imperialistic nations have and continue to employ the techniques and support of terrorism in order to achieve strategic goals, including using terrorism against our domestic populations themselves.

The middle classes of the Western industrialized world are on the verge of total extinction, with the likely result of leading to riots, rebellion, and revolution. We have entered the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ where for the first time in human history, as American imperial strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski articulated, “almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.” With the Arab uprisings, we have seen a new phase in the Global Political Awakening, which is itself a process in the long road to world revolution. Naturally, our imperial governments seek to co-opt, control, or totally oppress these revolutionary sentiments into more evolutionary, stable, and secure structures.

Elite think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission work to establish consensus among elites in a global project of social engineering, seeking to establish a system and structure of global governance and ultimately, global government. A major facet of this global social engineering project is through the global economic crisis – the Greatest Depression – whereby a great global debt depression will create and conditions necessary to serve as an excuse for a global government. Already, this process is well under way in the establishment of global economic governance, in the forms of a global central bank and a global currency.

Indeed, the system being constructed and engineered by the elite is not simply a global government as we may understand the notion of government in today’s context, but an entirely new structure, driven by the social engineering techniques of science and technology, into a Global Scientific Dictatorship.

So where are we? How did we get here? Who drove us here? What ideas created these circumstances? Where are we going? Why?

Understanding Power

These are questions I ask and seek to answer in my current book project, which is a historical, political, economic and social analysis of the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power in our world. Included in this examination is the history and emergence of the nation state, capitalism, central banking, and the rise of the powerful and dominant banking dynasties – such as Rothschild, Morgan, and Rockefeller – which have come to manifest themselves as the modern imperial families of the global era. Included in this heavily-researched study is the emergence of the concept of ‘social control’ and its manifestation through the creation of the public education system, the university education system, the development and evolution of the ‘social sciences’ as tools of ‘social engineering,’ the emergence of the major philanthropic foundations, founded, funded, and run by the dominant dynastic powers for the purposes of creating consensus among elites, and engineering consent among the governed. Also examined in the book is the apparatus of empire, including the IMF, the World Bank, the UN, the Bank for International Settlements, the Pentagon, CIA, and the uses and techniques of war and covert operations. However, the role of the foundations is a significant facet of the book.

The foundations play a significant part in the examination of power in our global society, and are a major focus of my book. The foundations were created in an era in large part defined by the elite ideology of eugenics, where the elite sought to engineer humanity itself, to establish themselves as entrenched in the social structure of the world, and to create the conditions through which that domination may be expanded and secured. The foundations not only funded and helped engineer the eugenics movement, but they have played a pivotal role in the control, co-optation, consensus-building, ideology construction, and engineering of consent in a large number of other areas: the formation and evolution of the social sciences (including political science, economics, sociology, psychology), the development and direction of science (in particular genetics, microbiology, physics, chemistry, psychiatry, medicine), the population control movement, funding and directing into ‘safe’ avenues major social movements which would otherwise threaten the global social structure and elite interests, such as the Civil Rights movement, the environmental movement, and the anti-globalization movement. The foundations have essentially created and managed a global civil society, supporting the development and proliferation of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which act as modern equivalents to the missionary societies of the formal colonial era, whereby they contribute moderately to relieving the symptoms of imperialism and domination (such as supporting efforts for education, health care, and human rights) while ultimately undermining and co-opting indigenous resistance movements which might otherwise challenge the power structures that created those symptoms in the first place. The foundations helped establish and fund the major think tanks, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission, which function by bringing together elites from banking, industry, media, academia, politics, military, intelligence and other areas in order to help establish consensus among the elites in the broader goal of engineering a system of global governance. As such, the foundations are ‘engines of social engineering,’ effectively constructing ideology, and aiding in the institutionalization of ideas.

It is the concept of the institutionalization of ideas which is a primary focus of my book, understanding power as being particularly relevant in this context. While certainly there are individuals, families, and groups which are dominant and hold enormous power, there were first ideas and institutions which allowed and facilitated the rise of these very individuals to such positions of power. In the book, I do not refrain from naming the names of the elite, with a particular focus on the roles of the Rothschild and Rockefeller families; however, I also place these dynastic influences within a wider context: understanding that these families were only able to rise to the positions of power they now hold because of the effect of particular ideas and institutions, such as those of the nation-state, capitalism, central banking, private banking, hegemony, empire, and social engineering. More than ingenuity, it was opportunity that allowed these families to rise to power. While since coming to power, they have generally been the dominant forces in steering the direction of the global social, political, and economic structures, they are as much a product of previous social, political, and economic power structures as the rest of us are. As such, we cannot erroneously and simplistically identify all the problems of our world with a few individuals or families. This would be a monumental error if we are to ever move forward and find new solutions. It is, in fact, the power of ideas which is central to understanding our world, and in particular, the effect of the ‘institutionalization of ideas.’

While critically examining the roles of these dynastic powers in our society is imperative in order to understand how we got to this place, if we limit ourselves to that focus alone, we risk the eventual failure of any attempt at true change. If we focus simply on these dynastic influences, we neglect the role played by the various ideas and institutions which have made possible the development of dynastic power; thus, if we fail to properly understand the nature and interaction of ideas and institutions in the context of power, we will ultimately only replace the names of those who dominate the world, not the system of domination itself. If we seek to only criticize and change the dynastic rulers, new ones will rise in their place, for we would hold onto various ideas and institutions which gave rise to them in the first place. After all, if it had not been the Rothschilds or Rockefellers, it would have been someone else. Even if we remove all the ideas and institutions which these dynasties have established, we neglect to see that there were previous institutionalized ideas which brought them to power in the first place. This is the focus of my book, seeking to understand power in the context of the institutionalization of ideas.

As such, we also can come to understand a different notion of human nature, manifested and made possible only by the removal of those ideas and institutions which dominate and oppress humanity, and thus, we can see a possibility of an era of true human liberation, a true global revolution. The circumstances for this global revolution are developing and increasing. Already, we are thrust within the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ where all of humanity is socially conscious, politically aware, and economically exploited. Thus, the conditions for radical change are made present. However, there still remains the multiplicity of views, understandings, ideologies, and intricacies of actions which make the ‘Global Awakening’ at present, a disunited, fractured, largely divided, often antagonistic, and easily co-opted global social phenomena.

The concept of the ‘Global Political Awakening’ has been popularized by the American imperial strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, former director of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Bilderberg group member, and co-founder with David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission, who continues to serve on a number of boards of prominent elite think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the RAND Corporation. Brzezinski identifies the ‘global political awakening’ as the greatest strategic threat to the institutionalized powers of the world, and proposes that policies initiated by governments and other institutions must address this as the fundamental issue of our time, and thus support the expansion of global governance as a means to deal with this phenomenon. In discussing this concept, Brzezinski warned fellow elites in a speech to the Carnegie Council, that the ‘global political awakening’ remains relatively adolescent and disunited:

But I see the beginnings, in writings and stirrings, of the making of a doctrine which combines anti-Americanism with anti-globalization, and the two could become a powerful force in a world that is very unequal and turbulent.[3]

This book attempts to help fill the “doctrinal void” that Brzezinski identifies as being the fundamental force preventing the unification of the Global Political Awakening. I am attempting to write this book as a study of power in our world unlike any previous examination: how did we get here? Where are we going? And why? Further, the book, through its more comprehensive examination of the power of ideas and institutions, simultaneously undertakes an examination of resistance and potential solutions. As such, the book attempts to articulate a ‘Philosophy of Liberation,’ one that may appeal to the majority of the world’s population.

The Philosophy of Liberation

This philosophy, intended to serve as a potential doctrine for the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ has a broad appeal which can unite the left and right, which has the potential to gain support from both socialists and libertarians. Fundamentally, it is a simple concept: the ‘philosophy of liberation’ entails the absolute and total liberation of humanity from the ideas and institutions which dominate, co-opt, control, oppress and destroy humanity. The aim in such a concept of absolute and total liberation is to free humanity so that we may understand the true ‘human nature’, which has otherwise always been subject to various forms of control and oppression.

Apart from abstract notions of liberation and freedom, however, the book proposes particular plans of action and initiative which seek to bring such ideals to reality. The critical importance of understanding power in our world as a product of ideas and institutions is that we can come to see that what is needed to change this world into something that supports and liberates humanity (as opposed to controlling and oppressing humanity) is simply… a new idea. If ideas built this world and its power structures, if ideas built the institutions which dominate and control, if ideas gave rise to the dynastic powers which rule our world like modern imperial families, then what is required to bring all of this tumbling down is a new idea.

This new idea, which I set forth in the book, is a concept of anti-institutionalism: those ideas which seek to dominate must be challenged by those which seek to liberate; the institutionalization of those dominating ideas must be challenged by a counter-institutional structure which seeks to establish a parallel global system, so that the old institutions may be made irrelevant, antiquated, and extinct. The paradox here is that we must construct a counter-hegemonic system of institutions, but that they must be endowed with a strict adherence to a ‘philosophy of liberation’ which manifests itself as ‘anti-institutionalism.’ In short, we must create anti-institutional institutions.

Why is this so? Is this not entirely contradictory?

Indeed, these are fair questions, but they have fair answers. While we may have ideas of what is ideal, what is desired, and what is important; namely, concepts of peace, justice, democracy, freedom, and liberation. But we must establish a plan of action – a concept of how to achieve those ideals – yet this can only be done by understanding the world as it is, and therefore, the plan of action for liberation must be based on a realistic conception of the world if it is to have any chance of success in changing that world.

We live in a world of institutions and ideas. That is established. To create something new, to progress toward true liberation and freedom, we have to establish plans of action that act within – though opposed to – the global power structure of ideas and institutions. This does not propose a strategy of “change from the inside” where well-intentioned people join the institutions that dominate in the hopes that they may change the system from within those institutions. That strategy leads to folly and failure. Why? Because those institutions are dominated more by ideas than they are by individuals. The idea pervades, penetrates, and dominates the institution and infects the individuals within it, so that those with even the greatest and most humane of intentions can be corrupted and have their intentions disrupted by the institution they inhabit. No, what is needed is the formation of a counter-institutional structure.

The formation of institutions can allow them to flourish, spread, expand, and proliferate in a world which is predominantly institutional. If one wants to cross the sea to get to a new shore, one must first find a way to build a boat that facilitates the crossing. When the shore is reached, the boat has no more purpose. This is the concept of the counter-institutional structure: that it is only temporary, and that these institutions may seek to institutionalize – on a global scale – ideas which imbue a ‘philosophy of liberation’, and thus, they seek to bring about their own obsolescence. They deal with the world as it is, by creating structures within the global system (instead of isolating themselves from it), and thus in the same way that the ideas and institutions which seek to dominate have become so predominant and powerful in our world, we can effectively use the system against itself until the ideas and institutions which seek to liberate can become as powerful among the world’s people. Once a ‘philosophy of liberation’ has taken hold within the world’s population, and these counter-hegemonic institutions have helped establish an alternative system – helping to create people-oriented, locally organized, yet globally cooperative polities, economies, and societies – the institutions may be made irrelevant and dismantled, so that they may not be transformed through the potential to themselves dominate and control.

While the Global Political Awakening is a present reality in the world, the conditions for a true global revolution and challenge to the global power structures has yet to manifest itself. There are movements in different places, through different peoples, with differing ideas, but they are not yet united in aim, ideology, or action. The elite are seeking to establish a system and structure of global government, and are working very hard to establish such consensus among the global elite, as well as to employ specific strategies of action to effect such a change. We must do the same in order to counter this process.

Living in the era of the ‘Technological Revolution’, we are faced with an unprecedented dichotomy, whereby we are in the circumstances where for the first time in all of human history, a truly global oppressive system and structure of governance is made possible, and simultaneously, for the first time in human history, a global resistance and revolution against power structures is made possible via the communication and information revolutions, with the ultimate potential for all of humanity to become free simultaneously. This is unprecedented. Never before have all of humanity had the possibility of achieving liberation at the same time. Thus, we have never truly had a liberated human society. This is both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity that humanity has ever faced. The elite see these developments in the same context, but with the perspective reversed. The elite see the greatest opportunity they have ever faced in human history as being to achieve the actual construction of a global government, never before possible, but now made plausible through advancements in technology; they also see the greatest challenge they have ever collectively faced in human history as being from a globally aware, active, and philosophically united world population seeking liberation and freedom. The elite are articulating these realities, and attempting to strategize and plan actions based upon these concepts. Brzezinski is perhaps the best example of this, as he has been articulating the notion of the ‘Global Political Awakening’ for many years, and has traveled to several of the more prominent think tanks among the imperial nations, warning the elites of the true realities of the world in which they seek to operate and dominate.

So too must the people of the world begin discussing these ideas, issues, and realities in order to establish consensus in understanding and initiatives for action. So long as we remain divided by artificial separations such as seeking change within the context of the ‘nation-state’ (as many in the anti-globalist movement seek a return to nationalism as a “solution”), which keeps them divided from the rest of the world. Only through solidarity of philosophy and action on the part of the world’s people may we come to actually and effectively create true change. The elite understand this. It’s time that we do too.

A Plan of Action: The People’s Project

The plan of action for establishing the anti-institutional counter-hegemonic system I set forth in my book is what I refer to as “The People’s Project.” The book, by setting forth a more comprehensive analysis of the global structures and systems of power, builds a solution based upon this more elaborate understanding. In particular, as the role of the philanthropic foundations is of particular interest and focus in the book, I propose that in order to properly counter the global power structures, we must create a type of ‘people’s foundation.’ This is what I refer to as “The People’s Project.”

Instead of being funded by wealthy billionaires, philanthropists, bankers and industrialists, the People’s Project would be funded by the people, using the means made available through the Technological Revolution: utilizing social media networks in order to fundraise from people and communities around the world, and to advertise, promote and disseminate the idea globally. As such, the Project is democratically funded, and in fact, it is a representation of genuine free-market principles, something which could appeal to the libertarian elements of resistance. The funding would be directed for specific initiatives and projects that the organization undertakes.

While the funding is democratic and free-market oriented, in that if an idea is not welcomed by the people, it simply wouldn’t be funded by them; the actual organization, operations, and day-to-day decision making process must be undertaken by a relatively small and cooperative group of individuals. If we attempt to make the entire decision-making process democratic, we would be attempting to manifest a democratic institution in an anti-democratic world, and it would be stalled, stagnant, and ultimately a failure. Thus, it must act as an institution of the likes of a major philanthropic foundation. Its operations must be effected and decisions made by a group of people so that it may function effectively within the global institutional system. However, this group of people must abide by a strict adherence to a ‘philosophy of liberation,’ and all the Project’s financial information, decisions, and initiatives must be made publicly available, so that they may be analyzed, discussed, and assessed by the public. The people must be treated as the patrons, since they provide the money. Projects will be proposed and planned by the group within the institution, and the people will discuss, debate, assess, and ultimately vote with their dollars. If a project does not have popular appeal or support, it will not be funded, and thus, will not move forward into action.

The initiatives of The People’s Project itself must seek to create the counter-institutional structure that would make the present global system of power structure irrelevant and extinct. As this is ultimately a process of de-institutionalization, we must understand it in a similar context: that of the de-institutionalization of psychiatric patients over the past several decades. Certainly, releasing prisoners of psychiatric institutions was the right thing to do, as the momentum built for this endeavour and many of these institutions were closed down, and their prisoners (or as they are often referred to, “patients”) were released. However, many of these released prisoners simply ended up as homeless people, having no where to go and nothing to be able to do. Does this mean that the institution was a good thing? No, it was and remains an incredibly dehumanizing idea and structure. The problem was multi-faceted: most important in the failure of de-institutionalization of psychiatric prisoners was the fact that the vast majority of society suffers a severe misunderstanding of what we commonly refer to as ‘madness’ or ‘mental illness.’ This misunderstanding is an intentional consequence of the ideas and institutions of psychiatry, psychology, and pharmacology which are extremely prominent within our society, and which have been largely influence by the major philanthropic foundations. Namely, without a more coherent understanding of what we refer to as “mental illness,” we cannot even begin to understand those who experience different emotional and psychological states of being, which we mistakenly refer to as “diseases.” However, as an impulse, we tend to quickly attempt to define, label, and control that which we do not understand, and therefore we often mistreat those who we are labeling as such. In 1933, Max Mason, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, wrote that the foundation’s policies:

were directed to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding. The Social sciences, for example, will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control; the Media and Natural sciences propose a closely coordinated study of sciences which underlie personal understanding and personal control. Many procedures will be explicitly co-operative between [Foundation] divisions. The Medical and Natural Sciences will, through psychiatry and psychobiology, have a strong interest in the problems of mental disease.[4]

What we refer to as “mental illness” or “madness” is yet another avenue and means through which power is exercised in our world, and this is perhaps the most pervasive, damaging, and destructive powers that exist in our world, largely brought about through the institutions and ideas of psychiatry and psychology, which have predominantly sought the prescription laid out by the Rockefeller Foundation, “to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding.” Psychology and psychiatry were largely avenues through which power sought to control the human mind, not to liberate it. Indeed, it is an incredibly important though little-known fact that in 1992, the World Health Organization released a study of comparing treatment of schizophrenia in the developed and developing world (rich vs. poor) that began in 1968, which concluded that patients in poor countrieshad a considerably better course and outcome than (patients) in developed countries. This remained true whether clinical outcomes, social outcomes, or a combination of the two was considered.”[5] A follow-up study by the WHO again confirmed that in poor countries, patients suffering “severe mental health” issues had a much higher rate of recovery than those in the rich, ‘developed’ nations, which tend to treat such experiences as a biological disease, and confuse treatment with causation: as in, because we treat such conditions with chemicals (i.e., drugs), the cause of the condition must itself be chemical.

As we largely misunderstand and misinterpret (and thus mislabel) such conditions as “diseases,” we fail to be able to deal properly with those who are subject to such conditions. Thus, the process of de-institutionalization of psychiatric facilities led in most places to human tragedy. From the 1960s onward, radical psychiatrists and philosophers began to challenge the way people view and understand madness and “mental illness.” Among them were Thomas Szasz, who challenged the entire notion of “mental disease” with his famous essay and subsequent book, “The Myth of Mental Illness,” which was perhaps the greatest intellectual challenge to the entire psychiatric establishment ever developed. There was also the French philosopher Michel Foucault who took on the challenge of understanding the history, ideas and institutions of psychiatry as an exercise in power – what he referred to as ‘biopower’ – the direct influence upon the biology and psychology of the individual. There was the radical Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing, who posited a different understanding of madness, explaining that, “Insanity is a sane reaction to an insane society.” And there was also the radial Italian psychiatrist, Franco Basaglia, who challenged the dominant ideas and who had actually created a successful method of de-institutionalization of psychiatric centers in Italy. Compared to the failures of North American deinstitutionalization, Italy achieved relative successes, largely at the initiative of Franco Basaglia, who sought to destroy the psychiatric institution itself. Basaglia understood that for deinstitutionalization to be successful, one must create the conditions which make the integration of patients into society possible. In one interview, Basaglia said:

It is not that we put illness aside, but rather that we believe in order to have a relationship with an individual it is necessary to establish it independent of the label by which the patient has been defined.[6]

What Basaglia realized was that, “psychiatric diagnoses were not independent of the prevailing moral and social order which tended to define normality and abnormality in its own class-based terms.” Psychiatry then, provided a “medical rationale” behind the “institutionalized violence” against the prisoners of psychiatric hospitals, which were largely poor, dispossessed individuals. As Basaglia explained:

Once the medical pretenses are gone, we can see the misery and the poverty that are the true nature of the asylum. The specificity of madness is also gone. The deception is obvious: it is one thing to say that an institution locks up fifty ‘sick’ people. It is quite another to say hat fifty ‘poor’ people have been locked up because there is no other solution to their problems.[7]

Psychiatry was thus understood as “a covert apparatus of brutal social control,” and psychiatric physicians were agents of social control. These technicians “diagnosed, with greater and greater precision and specificity, thus fragmenting the problem of ‘mental illness’ into a multitude of diseases so as to avoid confronting its wholeness, its unifying dimensions as a shared experience of alienated human needs.” In fact, “the inhuman regulations of the institution produce signs and symptoms that justify locking up the inmate,” and the “transformation of patient into object is almost literal.”[8] Thus, the institution itself often creates the ‘disease’ more than the individual experiences it as separated from the institution.

Basaglia’s program of deinstitutionalization included having the patients themselves help in physically destroying the institution with their own hands, most especially the physical barriers that confined and excluded them, such as doors, bars, and window gratings. Subsequently, ‘patients’ would work in the hospital, getting paid for their work, thus replicating the notion of a paid labour force on the outside of the institution. There would be daily meetings between staff and patients, and the meetings – known as the assemblea – were gradually transformed from a venue to express personal problems “toward using it as a vehicle for translating the personal into the collective and the political.”[9] The process of “destroying and, ultimately, closing down the wards of the [institution] had to be accompanied by the far more radical and difficult task of ‘opening up’ communities.”[10] The anti-institutional slogan put forward in this movement was, “Freedom is Therapeutic.” Thus, “alternative solutions had to be worked out, links re-established with the community; ex-patients had to develop new personal and social identities and to regain contractual power within the community.” Hence, the process of deinstitutionalization took place on two fronts: “in the hospital and in the community.”[11]

As the communities began to be integrated with the ex-patients, “townspeople could begin to recognize in the distress and suffering of former inmates some of the problems in living that plagued their own lives.” Further, “through the vehicle of art there existed yet another way of sensitizing the public at large to the violence of segregative control.” The physical institution itself, had been converted into a place for community interaction and life, turning wards and rooms into shops, college dorms, radio stations, and day care centers.[12]

Basaglia had to also “confront the old and uneasy alliance between psychiatry and the law. Demedicalizing and decriminalizing madness went hand in glove.”[13] Thus, laws had to be challenged and changed with made for a more effective and humane treatment of ‘patients’ and process of deinstitutionalization.

Why I spent so much time and space discussing the notion of psychiatry and its institutions of control is because the institution of psychiatry – both physical and ideational – can serve as a microcosm for understanding the global institution we live within today. Sociologist Erving Goffman published his monumental study of what he referred to as ‘total institutions’ in his 1961 book, Asylums. He defined the ‘total institution’ as “a place of residence and work where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life.”[14] In short, we can understand the power structures of the world as a type of ‘total institution’: whereby people are segregated – or confined – from one another, where they live, eat, work, sleep, remain enclosed and entrapped, where their actions and personal psychological health are often resulting from the institution itself: they become a product of the institution, not simply a resident within it. The institution itself creates the conditions it purportedly seeks to treat. The world is, in fact, a total institution. As we move down the road to a system of global governance, that institution is being further defined, segregated, controlling, and dehumanizing. Within the total institution of global society, psychiatry does come to play a particularly dehumanizing and personally pervasive role. As a 1944 Annual Report of the Rockefeller Foundation indicated:

It is not too much to assert… that in its actual and potential contribution to general medicine, to education, to sociology, indeed to the general business of living, psychiatry, without claiming omniscience in itself, is cast for a role of fundamental importance in helping to shape any world that may come out of the present one.[15]

Just as Basaglia sought the means to more effectively and efficiently deinstitutionalize the mental asylums, so too must we – globally – seek to create a more effective process of deinstitutionalizing global society. This requires the dual process of breaking down the institutions that confine us, while simultaneously – and more painstakingly – seeking to establish links, changes, positions, and possibilities within the community itself.

The People’s Project would seek to establish these community initiatives on a number of levels. Just as the philanthropic foundations have engineered much of our society in the world today, down to the very construction of knowledge itself, so too must The People’s Project engage in social engineering, but not with a purpose to control; rather, with a purpose to liberate. These initiatives of the major philanthropic foundations have been articulated by many of their former leaders and administrators. Warren Weaver, a director of the Rockefeller Foundation who led the natural sciences department in the 1930s, wrote that:

The welfare of mankind depends in a vital way on man’s understanding of himself and his physical environment. Science has made magnificent progress in the analysis and control of inanimate forces, but science has not made equal advances in the more delicate, more difficult, and more important problem of the analysis and control over animate forces.[16]

In 1934, Warren Weaver wrote a proposal to the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation in which he asked:

Can man gain an intelligent control of his own power? Can we develop so sound and extensive a genetics that we can hope to breed, in the future, superior men? Can we obtain enough knowledge of physiology and psychobiology of sex so that man can bring this pervasive, highly important, and dangerous aspect of life under rational control? Can we unravel the tangled problem of the endocrine glands, and develop, before it is too late, a therapy for the whole hideous range of mental and physical disorders which result from glandular disturbances? … Can we release psychology from its present confusion and ineffectiveness and shape it into a tool which every man can use every day? Can man acquire enough knowledge of his own vital processes so that we can hope to rationalize human behavior? Can we, in short, create a new science of Man?[17]

The Foundation, however, is an important and potent example to follow for a counter-hegemonic institution. This is because of the nature of how the foundation influences and exerts its power, which while largely through funding initiatives, it can spur developments of entire fields and initiatives simply through the act of suggestion. As a former president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Raymond Fosdick, wrote in 1934 in a letter to the board of trustees of the Foundation:

We do not have to be cynical to admit that if a foundation announces an interest in anthropology or astronomy or physio-chemical reactions, there will be plenty of institutions that will develop a zeal for the prosecution of these studies. The responsibility which this inescapable fact throws upon a foundation is enormous. The possession of funds carries with it power to establish trends and styles of intellectual endeavour… Indeed we would strongly advocate a shift of emphasis in favor not only of the dissemination of knowledge, but on the practical application of knowledge in fields where human need is great and opportunity is real. As a means of advancing knowledge, application can be as effective an instrument as research.[18]

Thus, as the Foundation influences, so too can The People’s Project influence. The key differences, however, are the ideology and patronage of the institution itself. As the former Rockefeller Foundation president Max Mason articulated, the foundation’s policies were directed “to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding.”[19] The People’s Project, however, would be directed “to the general problem of human society, with the aim of liberation through understanding.” Patronage is another important difference. In the private foundation, patronage is the result of wealthy philanthropists, industrialists, bankers and billionaires who fund the foundations, and thus influence and determine the direction it takes. With The People’s Project, patronage would lie with the people, funding would be democratically accountable, and thus, the direction of a project – if undesired by the people – would be made impossible by their refusal to fund the project. It is in this sense that the People’s Project may be accountable, even while its institutional structure is undemocratic.

As for specific initiatives that The People’s Project could and should undertake, I outline this somewhat more specifically in the “Project Philosophy” on the website for the Project; however, I will explain a general concept here.

The first initiative is referred to as The People’s Book Project, whereby the book I am writing may be funded and made possible. I will publish and make available the financial information, donations received, as well as logging the hours I have worked on the book, and thus, how much I am being paid to do so. I will update the site – The People’s Book Project – with information on what I am writing about at that time, giving an up-to-date and interactive process of writing the book, with comments and suggestions from readers and supporters. The book itself will serve as the philosophical foundation for the larger initiative of The People’s Project, laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive analysis and understanding of the world, and thus, serving as the basis for which the organization understands and acts in our world. The book also, as a conclusion, proposes the concept of The People’s Project in terms of solutions. Thus, if the book is itself funded and brought into being through this initiative, its very existence will be brought about by the recommendations it sets forth in its conclusions; thus, its existence may serve as evidence of its validity as a solution.

To put it simply: the book does not simply ‘recommend’ a solution, as it’s very existence would be evidence of that solution. Once the book is complete, The People’s Project can begin to undertake its larger initiatives.

Like the foundations, it must start with the formation of ideology and consensus. That is the purpose of the book itself, to establish a concrete understanding and to support the dissemination of those ideas to people and places around the world, to help institutionalize those ideas in the institutions which the Project creates and supports. Such institutions could and should include: radical think tanks, which are designed to produce research and recommendations for strategies aimed at the global liberation of humanity. The creation of liberation-oriented think tanks, as well as supporting them to become self-sufficient (perhaps in the same democratically funded way as the Project itself) could draw intellectual talents away from the powerful think tanks, or the “alternative” think tanks, which are supported by the major foundations and which draw intellectual talents which might otherwise support radical social change and revolutionary movements into a structure, institution, and context which forces them to be placated by the ideas of slow, evolutionary change to the system, but that type of change which simply addresses the symptoms of the global system, but doesn’t challenge the power structure outright. These types of think tanks exist as controlled opposition to the dominant imperial think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations. These “alternative” think tanks must be made irrelevant by the development of radical, liberation-oriented think tanks which seek to directly challenge the system itself, and help in the construction of new alternatives. Their existence alone would create the potential to attract intellectual talent, and thus, become successful initiatives.

Another avenue which The People’s Project should undertake is that of supporting the formation of a ‘new economy’, essentially helping establish a parallel economy to the global system we are all subjugated under. This would initially involve supporting initiatives aimed at creating local currencies, controlled and operated by local communities. The Project should organize conferences and meetings, bringing together representatives from various community currency projects around the world, in order to help understand the different projects, the failures and successes, and come to a better understanding of what works. Further, bringing such representatives together should also facilitate the establishment of trade and exchange ties between these communities, which is important to ensure that a project of building a parallel economy and community currency does not isolate itself from the world (and thus ensure its eventual failure, as it would ultimately be crushed by power-institutional forces from without), but that the parallel economy can establish itself globally. The key difference is that instead of operating through the dominant central banks, private banks, and multinational corporations, this parallel global economy would establish itself among the people directly. Of course, this implies the absolute necessity of – early on – bringing farmers and produce distributors into this system. In this sense, control over food is essential. We must reduce and ultimately eliminate our dependence upon the dominant institutions in our world.

Once community currencies can begin to be established, an immediate initiative of those communities (which the People’s Project can help begin) is to create a community foundation, funded entirely by the community bank, which is accountable to the people, not bankers. The initiatives and projects of the community foundation would mirror those of the People’s Project, but on a local scale. It must be funded by the community bank, without interest or debt. Since the concepts of interest and debt are just ideas, all we have to do to change their existence is to simply agree, collectively, that they are bad ideas. After all, currencies are faith-based, so we need to place our faith in a different currency system which supports people, not bankers. The community foundation could then be perpetually funded by the community bank in order to support local initiatives and community projects. Of course, this is a complex process which would take a great deal of time and effort, and not least without a great many failures along the way. But the point is that we need to establish a plan of action to begin effecting change and interaction and communication on a global scale.

This is not a utopian ideal, it is a humane ideal. Up until present time, what we refer to as “human civilization” is often the process of a coercive and socially constructed method of shaping humanity to fit within the confines and adjust itself to ‘society.’ Human history continuously shows examples whereby societies were constructed and people were then forced to adjust to those societies. Often this was done violently and coercively, but also, and more effectively, and most especially in the past century, this was done through the engineering of consent. The point of this Project is to help free humanity, so that we can properly understand human nature for the first time, and thus construct society around the needs and desires of human nature. Human civilization must come to reflect human nature; human nature can no longer be shaped within the confines of human civilization. As people are largely a product of their environment, down to the very notion of what we know as “mental illness,” we must begin to reshape the environment to support the people. We must construct our society in such a way that enhances and flourishes all that is good in human nature, while minimizing and undermining all that is bad in human nature. Currently, our society does the opposite. That is why war, poverty, dehumanization, and destruction are so common, whereas cooperation, liberation, peace, and harmonious existence are so rare.

It seems quite apparent that our little experiment known as ‘human civilization’ is actually more properly identified as a “dehumanized civilization,” as it ruins, oppresses, controls, co-opts, and seeks to destroy all that is good, wonderful, and beautiful in human nature. We must then, construct a new civilization, a “humane civilization,” one that undermines the negative aspects of human nature and supports the positive. Humans have a tendency to be corrupted by too much power, no matter the intentions and beliefs of that individual, too much power in one person or institution is self destructive. Subsequently, too much power in too few hands implies the de facto circumstance of too little power in too many hands, so that the vast majority of the world’s people are left with very little power even over their own lives. This leads to poverty, despair, violence, terrorism, war, hunger, hatred, and madness. What is implied then, is that power must be decentralized, people must gain more, and institutions must have less. In such a situation, we can begin to see the potential for humanity to gain – for the first time in all of human history – the ultimate liberation, the true freedom. As such, we would be able to see the true reality of “human nature.”

If you study mice in a maze, no matter for how long you may do so, you cannot ever hope to understand the mouse outside of the context of the maze itself. The mouse or mice you study and observe are products of that maze, as they are confined within it and their lives dictated by its walls and parameters. Therefore, you can never hope to conclude a true ‘nature’ of the mouse through observing it in such circumstances. Only when you break the walls of the maze and erase its foundations, thus freeing the mice to their own devices, can you even begin to understand the nature and potential of the mouse. This is the perspective we must come to understand in regards to humanity. We can commonly deduce that it is “human nature” to be violent, to hate, to kill, to destroy; that we need states and governments and powers to stand above and look over us, preventing us from destroying ourselves. Yet, we act in accordance with the confines of our own maze – the global institutional social system – and thus, we are a product – and our nature is thus a product – of the system we live within. If our nature is violent, hateful, and destructive, it is because the system we live within has made it so. Thus, we need to liberate humanity from that system, and simultaneously create a parallel system which may help to establish a society that requires cooperation, true individuality, respect, understanding, peace, and love. We are largely a product of our environment, therefore we must change both the individual – through our personal perceptions and understanding of the world – and the environment around the individual, in order to create a truly ‘humane’ society.

These are the aims and objectives of The People’s Project. The Book Project, as the first phase in the wider initiative explained above, seeks to establish itself as a basis upon which the People’s Project would understand and act in the world. The People’s Book Project can only be made possible through the support, donations, and word of mouth of the people themselves, activated through social media and the Internet, using the unprecedented opportunity we have before us as a result of the Technological, communication and information revolutions.

Indeed, nothing would be a greater shame than to exist in revolutionary times without revolutionary ideas.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of the People’s Book Project.


[1] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.

[2] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4424.html

[3] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4424.html

[4] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.

[5] The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Leff, J. Psychological Medicine, 22 (1992):131-145: http://www.madinamerica.com/madinamerica.com/Antipsychotic%20drugs%20and%20chronic%20illness.html

[6] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 160.

[7] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 161.

[8] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), pages 161-162.

[9] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), pages 164-165.

[10] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 167.

[11] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 168.

[12] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 169.

[13] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 170.

[14] Erving Goffman, Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates (First Anchor Books, New York: 1961), page xiii.

[15] Annual Report, The Rockefeller Foundation, 1944, page 31.

[16] Daniel J. Kevles, “Foundations, Universities, and Trends in Support for the Physical and Biological Sciences, 1900-1992,” Daedalus (Vol. 121, No. 4, Immobile Democracy?), Fall 1992, page 206

[17] Robert E. Kohler, “The Management of Science: The Experience of Warren Weaver and the Rockefeller Programme in Molecular Biology.” Minerva (Vol. 14, No. 3), 1976, page 291

[18] Robert E. Kohler, “The Management of Science: The Experience of Warren Weaver and the Rockefeller Programme in Molecular Biology.” Minerva (Vol. 14, No. 3), 1976, page 293

[19] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.

America’s Strategic Repression of the ‘Arab Awakening’

America’s Strategic Repression of the ‘Arab Awakening’
North Africa and the Global Political Awakening, Part 2
Global Research, February 9, 2011

Overview

In Part 1 of this series, I analyzed the changing nature of the Arab world, in experiencing an uprising as a result of the ‘Global Political Awakening.’ Ultimately, I assessed that these could potentially be the birth pangs of a global revolution; however, the situation is more complicated than it appears on the surface.

While the uprisings spreading across the Arab world have surprised many observers, the same could not be said for the American foreign policy and strategic establishment. A popular backlash against American-supported dictatorships and repressive regimes has been anticipated for a number of years, with arch-hawk geopolitical strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski articulating a broad conception of a ‘Global Political Awakening’ taking place, in which the masses of the world (predominantly the educated, exploited and impoverished youth of the ‘Third World’) have become acutely aware of their subjugation, inequality, exploitation and oppression. This ‘Awakening’ is largely driven by the revolution in information, technology and communication, including radio, television, but most especially the Internet and social media. Brzezinski had accurately identified this ‘Awakening’ as the greatest threat to elite interests regionally, but also internationally, with America sitting on top of the global hierarchy.

This spurred on the development of an American strategy in the Arab world, modeled on similar strategies pursued in recent decades in other parts of the world, in promoting “democratization,” by developing close contacts with ‘civil society’ organizations, opposition leaders, media sources, and student organizations. The aim is not to promote an organic Arab democracy ‘of the people, and for the people,’ but rather to promote an evolutionary “democratization” in which the old despots of American strategic support are removed in favour of a neoliberal democratic system, in which the outward visible institutions of democracy are present (multi-party elections, private media, parliaments, constitutions, active civil society, etc); yet, the power-holders within that domestic political system remain subservient to U.S. economic and strategic interests, continuing to follow the dictates of the IMF and World Bank, supporting America’s military hegemony in the region, and “opening up” the Arab economies to be “integrated” into the world economy. Thus, “democratization” becomes an incredibly valuable strategy for maintaining hegemony; a modern re-hash of “Let them eat cake!” Give the people the ‘image’ of democracy and establish and maintain a co-dependent relationship with the new elite. Thus, democracy for the people becomes an exercise in futility, where people’s ‘participation’ becomes about voting between rival factions of elites, who all ultimately follow the orders of Washington.

This strategy also has its benefit for the maintenance of American power in the region. While dictators have their uses in geopolitical strategy, they can often become too independent of the imperial power and seek to determine the course of their country separate from U.S. interests, and are subsequently much more challenging to remove from power (i.e., Saddam Hussein). With a “democratized” system, changing ruling parties and leaders becomes much easier, by simply calling elections and supporting opposition parties. Bringing down a dictator is always a more precarious situation than “changing the guard” in a liberal democratic system.

However, again, the situation in the Arab world is still more complicated than this brief overview, and American strategic concerns must take other potentialities into consideration. While American strategists were well aware of the growing threat to stability in the region, and the rising discontent among the majority of the population, the strategists tended to identify the aim as “democratization” through evolution, not revolution. In this sense, the uprisings across the Arab world pose a major strategic challenge for America. While ties have been made with civil society and other organizations, they haven’t all necessarily had the ability to be firmly entrenched, organized and mobilized. In short, it would appear that America was perhaps unprepared for uprisings to take place this soon. The sheer scale and rapid growth of the protests and uprisings makes the situation all the more complicated, since they are not dealing with one nation alone, but rather an entire region (arguably one of, if not the most strategically important region in the world), and yet they must assess and engage the situation on a country-by-country basis.

One danger arises in a repeat in the Arab world of the trends advanced in Latin America over the past decade: namely, the growth of populist democracy. The protests have brought together a wide array of society – civil society, students, the poor, Islamists, opposition leaders, etc. – and so America, with ties to many of these sectors (overtly and covertly), must now make many choices in regards of who to support.

Another incredibly important factor to take into consideration is military intervention. America has firmly established ties with the militaries in this region, and it appears evident that America is influencing military actions in Tunisia. Often, the reflex position of imperial power is to support the military, facilitate a coup, or employ repression. Again, this strategy would be determined on a country-by-country basis. With a popular uprising, military oppression will have the likely effect of exacerbating popular discontent and resistance, so strategic use of military influence is required.

This also leaves us with the potential for the ‘Yemen option’: war and destabilization. While presenting its own potential for negative repercussions (namely, in instigating a much larger and more radical uprising), engaging in overt or covert warfare, destabilizing countries or regions, is not taboo in American strategic circles. In fact, this is the strategy that has been deployed in Yemen since the emergence of the Southern Movement in 2007, a liberation movement seeking secession from the U.S.-supported dictatorship. Shortly after the emergence of the Southern Movement, al-Qaeda appeared in Yemen, prompting U.S. military intervention. The Yemeni military, armed, trained and funded by the United States, has been using its military might to attempt to crush the Southern Movement as well as a rebel movement in the North.

In short, the ‘Arab Awakening’ presents possibly the greatest strategic challenge to American hegemony in decades. The likely result will be a congruence of multiple simultaneously employed strategies including: “democratization,” oppression, military intervention and destabilization. Again, it could be a mistake to assume one strategy for the whole region, but rather to assess it on a country-by-country basis, based upon continuing developments and progress in the ‘Awakening’.

The Council on Foreign Relations Strategy to “Democratize” the Arab World

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the premier U.S. foreign policy think tank in the United States, and is one of the central institutions for socializing American elites from all major sectors of society (media, banking, academia, military, intelligence, diplomacy, corporations, NGOs, civil society, etc.), where they work together to construct a consensus on major issues related to American imperial interests around the world. As such, the CFR often sets the strategy for American policy, and wields enormous influence within policy circles, where key players often and almost always come from the rank and file of the CFR itself.

In 2005, the CFR published a Task Force Report on a new American strategy for the Arab world entitled, “In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How.” The Task Force was co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and Vin Weber. Albright was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for the first term of President Bill Clinton’s administration, and was U.S. Secretary of State for his second term. As such, she played crucial roles in the lead up and responses to the dismantling of Yugoslavia and the Rwandan genocide and subsequent civil war and genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she also oversaw the UN imposed sanctions on Iraq. In a 1996 interview with 60 Minutes, when asked about the sanctions resulting in the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five, Albright replied, “we think the price is worth it.”[1]

Albright got her start at Columbia University, where she studied under Zbigniew Brzezinski, her professor who supervised her dissertation. Brzezinski, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. co-founded the Trilateral Commission with banker David Rockefeller in 1973. When Jimmy Carter became President in 1977, he brought with him over two dozen members of the Trilateral Commission into his administration, including himself, but also Brzezinski as his National Security Adviser. Brzezinski then offered Madeline Albright a job on his National Security Council staff.[2] Brzezinski also had several other key officials on his Council staff, including Samuel Huntington and Robert Gates, who later became Deputy National Security Adviser, CIA Director, and today is the Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration. As David Rothkopf, former National Security Council staff member wrote in his book on the history of the NSC, “Brzezinski’s NSC staffers are, to this day, very loyal to their former boss.”[3] Today, Albright serves on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees for the Aspen Institute, as well as chairing the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, an organization dedicated to promoting and funding US-supported “democracy” around the world. Recently, she chaired a NATO committee which developed NATO’s new “strategic concept” over the next decade.

The other co-chair of the CFR Task Force report on Arab democracy is Vin Weber, former U.S. Congressman, who has served on the board of the CFR, and is also a member of the board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the premier U.S. organization dedicated to “democratic regime change” around the world in advancing U.S. strategic interests. Other members of the Task Force Report include individuals with past or present affiliations to Human Rights Watch, First National Bank of Chicago, Occidental Petroleum, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Bank, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Brookings Institution, the Hoover Institution, the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. State Department, National Security Council, National Intelligence Council, Goldman Sachs Group, the American Enterprise Institute, AOL Time Warner, and the IMF.[4]

It is very clear that this is a highly influential and active group of individuals and interests which is proposing a new strategy for America in the Arab world, which makes their recommendations not simply ‘advisory’ to policy, but integral to policy formulation and implementation. So what did the CFR report have to say about democracy in the Arab world?

The report stated that, “Washington has a chance to help shape a more democratic Middle East. Whereas emphasis on stability was once the hallmark of U.S. Middle East policy, democracy and freedom have become a priority.” The report posed two central questions which it explored:

First, does a policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East serve U.S. interests and foreign policy goals? Second, if so, how should the United States implement such a policy, taking into account the full range of its interests?[5]

The answer to the first question was inevitably, “yes,” promoting democracy serves U.S. interests and foreign policy goals in the Middle East. The report elaborated, “Although democracy entails certain inherent risks, the denial of freedom carries much more significant long-term dangers. If Arab citizens are able to express grievances freely and peacefully, they will be less likely to turn to more extreme measures.”[6] However, the CFR report was very cautious about the process of democratic change, and recognized the potential instability and problems it could pose for American interests:

[T]he United States should promote the development of democratic institutions and practices over the long term, mindful that democracy cannot be imposed from the outside and that sudden, traumatic change is neither necessary nor desirable. America’s goal in the Middle East should be to encourage democratic evolution, not revolution.[7] [Emphasis added]

Further, they acknowledged that democracy promotion in the Middle East “requires a country-by-country strategy,”[8] meaning that it cannot be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy, ultimately making the process all the more complicated and potentially unstable. The process is a delicate balancing act, where the report identified that if America’s democracy promotion is too “superficial,” it could “further damage relations between the United States and Arab populations,” or, if the United States pushes reform too hard and too fast, “this could create instability and undermine U.S. interests.” Thus, explained the report, they favour “a view toward evolutionary, not revolutionary, change. The dangers that accompany rapid change will still be present, but so will the opportunity to create a new and more balanced foundation for Arab stability, and a deeper and stronger basis for friendship between Americans and Arabs.”[9] In American diplomatic language, “friendship” should be read as “dependence,” thus we understand this strategy as aiming at promoting a more reliable dependency between Americans and Arabs.

The report, however, acknowledged the deep divisions within U.S. policy circles on the promotion of democracy in the Middle East, with several viewing it as potentially too risky, fearing it “may place U.S. interests in jeopardy,” or that it “could lead to ethnic conflict or the emergence of Islamist governments opposed to the United States and the West in general.” Further, “if Washington pushes Arab leaders too hard on reform, contributing to the collapse of friendly Arab governments, this would likely have a deleterious effect on regional stability, peace, and counterterrorism operations.” There is also the risk that with America actively promoting democratic change among Arab civil society and opposition groups, this could potentially damage “the credibility of indigenous groups promoting democratic reform,” or, alternatively, “Arab leaders could dig in their heels and actively oppose U.S. policies in the region across the board.”[10] The latter scenario could be referred to as ‘the Saddam option’, referring, of course, to America’s once-close ally and suddenly-new enemy, Saddam Hussein, who was armed and supported by America. But once he started to become too autonomous of American power, America turned on him and cast him as a “new Hitler.” The case of Saddam Hussein also shows that when a dictator “digs in his heels,” it can often take a very long time to be rid of him.

So while clearly there are a number of potentially disastrous consequences for U.S. interests in promoting democracy in the Arab world, the CFR made their position clear:

While transitions to democracy can lead to instability in the short term, the Task Force finds that a policy geared toward maintaining the authoritarian status quo in the Middle East poses greater risks to U.S. interests and foreign policy goals… If Arabs are allowed to participate freely and peacefully in the political process, they are less likely to turn to radical measures. If they understand that the United States supports their exercise of liberty, they are less likely to sustain hostile attitudes toward the United States… The overwhelming empirical evidence clearly indicates that the best kind of stability is democratic stability.[11]

One pivotal area through which the CFR report advocated implementing the “democratization” of the Arab world was through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), established in 2002 by the Bush administration “with the express purpose of coordinating and managing the U.S. government’s reform agenda in the area of economics, politics, education, and women’s issues.” Much of this work had previously been done through the United State Agency for International Development (USAID); however, “while USAID’s work has focused to some extent on creating constituencies within Arab governments for change, the rationale for MEPI was to work with independent and indigenous NGOs and civil-society groups, as well as with governments.”[12]

Another avenue was the Broader Middle East Initiative (also known as the Partnership for Progress), which emerged from a 2004 G8 summit, of which a main priority was the “Forum for the Future,” which is “designed to foster communication on reform-related issues.” It held sessions that brought together civil society activists, business leaders, emphasizing economic development and job growth. The Partnership for Progress also established the “Democracy Assistance Dialogue,” which brings together development institutions in the Middle East, foundations, international financial institutions (the World Bank and IMF), “to coordinate the use of resources to support political and economic change.”[13] In other words, it is a process through which America is seeking to ensure that democratic “transition” in the Arab world maintains American and Western political and economic hegemony. In effect, a change of ‘structure’ without a change of ‘substance,’ where the image of the state alters, but the power and purpose remains the same.

However, further problems for the democratization strategy were presented in the unwillingness of European nations to support it or take it seriously. As the Task Force report explained, “European reluctance undermines the potential efficacy of pursuing reform.” The report further explained the importance of having Europe as a partner in the project:

Despite a history of European colonial domination, the perception of Europe in the Arab world is better than that of the United States. Consequently, it may be helpful for the European Union to take the lead in promoting human rights in the Arab world.[14]

The Task Force recommended that it would be best if funding for Arab civil society organizations did not come directly from U.S. government institutions, but rather funneled through U.S. democracy-promotion groups like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), as “many Middle eastern NGOs are reluctant to accept direct transfers from an arm of the U.S. government, fearing that this would taint these organizations in the eyes of their constituencies.”[15] In the conclusion, the report stated that:

Although a policy predicated on political, economic, and social change in the Arab world may present some short-term risks to Washington’s interests, these risks are worth taking. The long-run benefits of a more democratic and economically developed Middle East outweigh the potential challenges Washington might confront in the foreseeable future.[16]

We must acknowledge, however, that this strategy is not aimed at promoting democracy for the sake of democracy and freedom, but rather that it is acknowledging the reality that is the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ and taking efforts to address and manipulate this ‘Awakening’ in such a way that serves U.S. interests. Thus, it amounts to a scenario akin to saying, “Let them eat cake!” If the Arab world screams out for democracy and freedom, give them the American-sponsored brand of democracy and freedom, and therefore America is able to undermine and co-opt the ever-increasing desires and forces for change in the region. As a result – if successful – it would have the effect of pacifying resistance to America’s hegemony in the region, legitimizing the new puppet governments as “democratic” and “representative” of the people, thus creating a more stable and secure environment for American interests. In short, this is a coordinated strategy to confront, manipulate and pacify the emergence of the Global Political Awakening in the Arab world; an assault against the ‘Arab Awakening.’

In my last essay on the subject, I identified these protests as an organic growth, a rallying cry for freedom from the Arab world which must not be simply discarded as a covert U.S. plot to install new regimes. However, the situation requires a much more nuanced and detailed examination, not to frame it in either a black or white context, but rather seek to explain the realities, challenges and opportunities of the ‘Awakening’ and the ‘uprisings’.

Conceptualizing the ‘Arab Awakening’

For years, arch-hawk American imperial geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, an intellectual architect of ‘globalization’, has been warning elites across the Western world, and in particular in America, of the emergence and pressing reality of the ‘Global Political Awakening.’ He explains the ‘Awakening’ as essentially the greatest historical challenge to not only American, but global power structures and interests. He explained that, “For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive.” Further, “the worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening… That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing.” As Brzezinski emphasizes, “These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches.” Brzezinski and others (as evidenced by the Council on Foreign Relations report) are intent upon developing strategies for ‘managing’ and ‘pacifying’ this ‘Awakening’ in such a way that maintains and secures American imperial interests and global power structures. Thus, the need to ‘control’ the Awakening is the most prescient problem in American foreign policy. However, as Brzezinski elaborated, it is not a challenge that can be dealt with easily:

[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.[17]

In a 2008 article in the New York Times, Brzezinski emphasized a multi-faceted strategy for dealing with this ‘threat’ to elite structures and interests, explaining that, “the monumental task facing the new president is to regain U.S. global legitimacy by spearheading a collective effort for a more inclusive system of global management.” Thus, Brzezinski’s strategy rests on better securing and institutionally expanding the process of ‘globalization’ into the evolution of ‘global governance,’ or as he termed it, “global management.” Brzezinski unveiled a four-point strategy of response: “unify, enlarge, engage and pacify.”[18]

The response to ‘unify’ refers “to the effort to re-establish a shared sense of purpose between America and Europe,” a point that the CFR report acknowledged. To ‘enlarge’ refers to “a deliberate effort to nurture a wider coalition committed to the principle of interdependence and prepared to play a significant role in promoting more effective global management.”[19] He identified the G8 as having “outlived its function,” and proposed a widening of it, which ultimately manifested itself in 2009 in the form of the G20. The G20 has subsequently become “the prime group for global economic governance at the level of ministers, governors and heads of state or government.”[20] Herman von Rompuy, the President of the European Union, referred to 2009 as “the first year of global governance.”[21] So, these elites are intent upon advancing “global management,” which is the exact strategy Brzezinski also identifies as being the “solution” to managing the ‘Global Political Awakening.’

The next point in Brzezinski’s strategy – ‘engage’ – refers to “the cultivation of top officials through informal talks among key powers, specifically the U.S., the European Triad, China, Japan, Russia and possibly India,” in particular between the United States and China, as “without China, many of the problems we face collectively cannot be laid to rest.” In the final point – ‘pacify’ – Brzezinski referred to the requirements of “a deliberate U.S. effort to avoid becoming bogged down in the vast area ranging from Suez to India.” In particular, he advised moving forward on the Israel-Palestine issue, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Brzezinski explained that, “in this dynamically changing world, the crisis of American leadership could become the crisis of global stability.” Thus, from Brzezinski’s point of view, “The only alternative to a constructive American role is global chaos.”[22]

So, “control” is key to this strategy, with “global management” being the ultimate solution. However, as Brzezinski himself identified, which is important to keep in mind when assessing the nature, spread and mobilization of the ‘Awakening’: “To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.”[23] Thus, while attempting to engineer, co-opt and ‘control’ the ‘Awakening,’ it is important to acknowledge that the United States is playing with fire, and while attempting to light a controlled fire to manipulate as it so chooses, the fire can spread and get out of hand. In such a situation, the “lethality” of America’s “military might” could potentially be employed. He said it himself, “the only alternative to a constructive American role is global chaos.”[24] The age-old imperial tactic of divide and conquer is never off the table of options. If it cannot be “managed transition” then it often becomes “managed chaos.” Where ‘diplomacy’ fails to overcome barriers, war destroys them (and everything else in the process).

Now turning our attention to the ‘Arab Awakening’ and uprisings, we must examine the range of strategies that are and could be employed. The preferred route for American power is “democratization,” but the scope, velocity and rapidity of recent developments in the Arab world present an incredibly unstable situation for American strategy. While ties with civil society and opposition groups have been or are in the process of being well established (varying on a country-by-country basis), the rapidity and confluence of these uprisings taking place has American power stretched thin.

Engineering, co-opting and controlling revolutionary movements or “democratic regime change” is not a new tactic in the American strategic circles; however, it has in the past been largely relegated to specific pockets and nations, often with significant time in between in order to allow for a more delicate, coordinated and controlled undertaking. This was the case with the U.S.-sponsored ‘colour revolutions’ throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, starting with Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004, and Kyrgyzstan in 2005, where America’s premier democracy promotion organizations (the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, USAID, Freedom House, the Albert Einstein Institute, as well as major American philanthropic foundations) were able to more securely establish themselves and their strategies for “democratic regime change.” Further, all the incidents of democratic “regime change” listed above took place in the context of a contested election within the country, giving the organizations and foundations involved a precise timeline for managing the process of organization and mobilization. This required a focused and nuanced approach which remains absent from the current context in the Middle East and North Africa.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Colour-Coded Revolutions and the Origins of World War III, Global Research, 3 November 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15767]

Further, a similar strategy was undertaken in Iran for the summer of 2009, in which the ‘Green Movement’ arose in response to the contested Presidential elections. This was, in fact, an attempt at a highly coordinated and organized effort on the part of a covert American strategy of “democratization” to install a U.S.-friendly (i.e., ‘client’) regime in Iran. The strategy was developed in 2006, largely organized covertly by the CIA, at a cost of approximately $400 million, and involved the State Department coordinating efforts with social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. However, as posterity shows, the strategy did not ultimately succeed in imposing “regime change.” At the time, Zbigniew Brzezinski explained that the strategy would require “patience, intelligent manipulation, moral support, but no political interference.”

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, A New World War for a New World Order, Global Research, 17 December 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16535]

So we can see that even with $400 million and a highly coordinated attempt at “intelligent manipulation,” the strategy did not succeed. However, it must be acknowledged that the U.S. could not overtly fund opposition and civil society organizations in Iran as it could in Eastern Europe. In the Arab world, while America has and continues to engage with opposition groups and civil society organizations, these efforts have been consistently thwarted and hampered by the domestic Arab regimes, which are well aware of the threat to their own power this could pose. Managing such a strategy in countries run by authoritarian regimes that are very suspicious of civil society and opposition groups presents an incredibly challenging scenario for American strategy. Further, authoritarian regimes generally do not hold elections, unless it is simply a sham election in which the leader wins by a margin of 97%, presenting a difficult scenario in which to mobilize opposition forces. Moreover, the ‘colour revolutions’ throughout Eastern Europe were largely organized through a strategy of bringing together all the opposition groups to stand behind one leader, to make the effort much more coordinated and cohesive. No such strategy seems to have emerged in the Arab world, and has appeared as a patched-up effort of attempting to promote particular opposition figures, but nothing that is evidently well-organized and pre-planned. While many opposition groups are working closely together to oppose the regimes, they are not necessarily being mobilized around any clear and absolute leaders, thus presenting the potential for a power vacuum to open up, making the situation all the more dangerous for American interests.

Another major problem inherent in this strategy in the Arab world is the role being played by the domestic militaries. The militaries within the authoritarian Arab regimes are largely supported, funded, trained and armed by America, and have become powerful political, social and economic actors in their own right (more so in Egypt than Tunisia). Thus, America must balance the process of supporting civil society and opposition groups with that of continuing to support and secure the military structures. If the militaries feel that their position is insecure or threatened, they may simply overtake the entire process and engineer a coup, which is ultimately counter-productive to the American strategy in the region, especially since it is widely known that America is the principle sponsor of these military structures. This implies that America must undertake a delicate balancing act between the military, civil society and opposition groups in coordinating the removal of the entrenched despots. This strategy seems to be materializing itself in the form of constructing “transitional governments,” which the militaries in both Tunisia and Egypt are supporting.

The situation is intensely complicated and conflicting, presenting America with one of its greatest challenges in recent history. While the obvious intent and even the means of organizing “democratic regime change” in the Arab world are present, I believe the rapidity in which the protest movements and uprisings have emerged could have taken America somewhat off-guard. No doubt, from the beginnings of the Tunisian protests in December of 2010, America was paying detailed attention to the situation, attempting to influence the outcome. However, Western media coverage of the first four weeks of protests was minimal, if not altogether absent. This is an important point to address.

For all the other organized efforts at “democratic regime change” and “colour revolutions,” Western media played a critical role. From the moments protests began in these countries, Western media outlets were covering the events extensively, espousing the righteousness of the aims of “democratization” and “freedom,” in full and active support of the demonstrators. This was absent in Tunisia, until of course, the President fled to Saudi Arabia, when suddenly Western media cynically proclaimed a monumental achievement for democracy, and started warning the rest of the Arab world of the potential for this to spread to their countries (thus, applying public pressure to promote “reforms” in line with their strategy of “evolution, not revolution.”). This could imply that America was trying to quietly manage the protests in Tunisia, which did not arise in a pre-coordinated and previously established timeline, but rather sprung up as a rapid response to a suicide of a young man in a personal protest against the government. The spark was lit, and America advanced on Tunisia in an attempt to control its growth and direction. Meanwhile, however, sparks ignited across many nations in the Arab world, including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Yemen. 

Subsequently, America took advantage of these sparks to ignite the process in a direction it would seek to control. For the first few days and even weeks of protests in many of the other nations, appearing by and large to be organic reactions to events in Tunisia and within their own countries, a more coordinated response was undertaken, with the massive organized protests emerging suddenly. Yet, America is potentially stretching itself very thin, possibly risking as much or more than it has to gain. Like a cornered animal, America is simultaneously incredibly vulnerable and incredibly dangerous. Remembering Brzezinski’s words regarding the problem of ‘control’ is an important factor to take into consideration: “in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.”[25] This could potentially be referred to as the ‘Yemen Option,’ in which the strategy entails an effort to promote destabilization, military intervention, covert and overt warfare. In such a scenario, it is essential for America to maintain and, in fact, strengthen its contacts and relationships with domestic military structures.

So, clearly the situation is not and should not be addressed in a black-and-white analysis. It is intensely complicated, multi-faceted and potentially disastrous. No outcome is preordained or absolute: thus, while acknowledging and examining the evidence for America’s deep involvement in the evolution and direction of the protests and opposition, we must keep this analysis within the context of the ‘Global Political Awakening.’ I argued in Part 1 of this essay that it does, in fact, seem as if we are seeing the emergence of a global revolution; yet, this is likely a process that will stretch out certainly over the next one, if not several, decades. We cannot simply dismiss these protests as American machinations and covert operations, but rather as an effort for America to control the ‘Awakening’. As the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report emphasized, “America’s goal in the Middle East should be to encourage democratic evolution, not revolution.”[26] It seems as if this strategy either changed in the intermittent years, or America has been thrown out of its incremental strategy of “evolution” and into the strategy of being forced to respond to and seek to direct “revolution.” This makes the situation all the more dangerous for American interests. Thus, we cannot dismiss the uprisings as entirely “orchestrated,” but instead understand them in the context of the ‘Global Awakening.’

Taking the position that everything is organized from on high in the corridors of power is a flawed analysis. Alternatively, taking the position that America was caught entirely unaware of this situation is naïve and the evidence does not support this assessment. However, we must not see this as an either-or development, but rather a congruence of over-lapping and inter-twining developments. Society, after all, while being directed from above, must react to the responses and developments from below; and thus, society itself and the direction it takes is a highly complex interaction of different, opposing, and conflicting social processes. The claim that the uprisings are the lone result of American strategy neglects the reasons behind the development of this strategy in the first place. The “democratization” strategy did not emerge due to any humanitarian qualms on the part of the U.S. elite for the people living under authoritarian regimes, but rather that the strategy was developed in response to the emergence and growth of the ‘Arab Awakening’ itself. Indeed, in this context, this does mark the beginnings of a global revolution (which has been a long time coming); however, it also marks the active American strategy to control the process and development of the ‘revolution.’

Historically, revolutions are never the product of a one-sided development. That is, revolutions predominantly do not come about through the actions of one segment of society, often polarized as either an elite-driven or people-driven revolution, but rather they come about through a complex interaction and balancing of various social groups. The context and conditions for a revolution often do not emerge without the awareness of the upper classes, therefore, the upper social strata always or often seek to mitigate, control, repress, influence or co-opt and control the process of revolution. In this context, we cannot dismiss revolutions simply as a top-down or bottom-up process, but rather a mitigation and interaction between the two approaches.

American strategic objectives are aimed at ultimately repressing and co-opting the organic revolutionary uprisings in the Arab world. For the past six years or so, America has been developing and starting to implement a strategy to manage to ‘Arab Awakening’ by promoting “democratization” in a process of “evolution, not revolution.” However, the evolution was evidently not fast enough for the people living under the Arab regimes, and revolution is in the air. America, naturally, is desperately attempting to manage the situation and repress a true revolution from spreading across the region, instead promoting an “orderly transition” as Hillary Clinton and President Obama have stressed. Thus, America has been extensively involved in the processes of organizing and establishing “transitional governments” or “unity governments.” If the revolution took its own course, and sought true change, populist democracy and ultimate freedom, it would ultimately be forced to challenge the role and influence of America and the West in the region. As such, military “aid” would need to end (a prospect the domestic militaries are not willing to accept), American influence over and contact with civil society and opposition groups would need to be openly challenged and discussed, the IMF and World Bank would need to be kicked out, international debts would need to be declared “odious” and cancelled, and the people would have to control their own country and become active, engaged and informed citizens. The true revolution will have to be not simply political, but economic, social, cultural, psychological, intellectual and ultimately, global.

The protesters must challenge not simply their despotic governments, but must ultimately remove American and Western control over their nations. They must also be very cautious of opposition groups and proposed leaders who are thrust to the front lines and into the government, as they are likely co-opted. The true new leaders should come from the people, and should earn their leadership, not simply be crowned as ‘leaders.’ The best possible short-to-medium-term scenario would be to see the emergence of Arab populist democracies, reflecting the trend seen across Latin America (although, not necessarily imposing the same ideologies). The trouble with this scenario is that it is also the most unlikely. If there is one thing that American power despises, it is populist democracy. Since the beginnings of the Cold War until present day, America has actively overthrown, orchestrated coups, imposed dictatorships, crushed, invaded and occupied, bombed and destabilized or implemented “democratic regime change” in populist democracies. Democratic governments that are accountable to the people and seek to help the poor and oppressed make themselves quick enemies of American power. Over the past 60 years, America has repressed or supported the repression of democracies, liberation struggles and attempts at autonomy all over the world: Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Haiti in 1959, the Congo in 1960, Ecuador in 1961, Algeria, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Chile, Argentina, Afghanistan, Indonesia, South Africa, Palestine, Iraq, Venezuela, Lebanon, Yemen and on and on and on.

The situation is a dangerous and difficult one for the protesters, just as the struggle for freedom and democracy is and has always been. There is a large constituency which have an interest in preventing the emergence of a populist democracy, including many of the pro-democracy organizations and opposition leaders themselves, the great nations of the world – East and West, the World Bank and IMF, international corporations and banks, neighbouring Arab regimes, Israel, and of course, America. It is a monumental challenge, but it would be a great disservice to cast aside the protests as controlled and totally co-opted. If that were the case, they would have ceased with the formation of transition and unity governments, which of course they have not. While the outcome is ultimately unknown, what is clear is that a spark has been lit in the Arab world as the ‘Global Political Awakening’ marches on, and this will be a very difficult flame to control. 

In the next part of this series, I will examine in more detail the specific revolutions and uprisings taking place in Tunisia and Egypt within the strategic context explained in this part.

Notes

[1]        Rahul Mahakan, “We Think the Price is Worth It,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, November/December 2001: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1084

[2]        David Rothkopf, Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power (PublicAffairs, 2006), page 17

[3]        Ibid, pages 174-175

[4]        Madeleine Albright and Vin Weber, In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How. (Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report, 2005), pages 49-54

[5]        Ibid, page 3.

[6]        Ibid, pages 3-4.

[7]        Ibid, page 4.

[8]        Ibid.

[9]        Ibid, pages 11-12.

[10]      Ibid, page 12.

[11]      Ibid, page 13.

[12]      Ibid, pages 36-37.

[13]      Ibid, pages 38-39.

[14]      Ibid, page 39.

[15]      Ibid, page 40.

[16]      Ibid, page 43.

[17]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html; “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009); The Dilemma of the Last Sovereign. The American Interest Magazine, Autumn 2005: http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=56; The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4424.html; America’s Geopolitical Dilemmas. Speech at the Canadian International Council and Montreal Council on Foreign Relations: April 23, 2010: http://www.onlinecic.org/resourcece/multimedia/americasgeopoliticaldilemmas

[18]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html

[19]      Ibid.

[20]      Jean-Claude Trichet, Global Governance Today, Keynote address by Mr Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York, 26 April 2010: http://www.bis.org/review/r100428b.pdf

[21]      Herman Von Rompuy, Speech Upon Accepting the EU Presidency, BBC News, 22 November 2009:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzm_R3YBgPg

[22]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html

[23]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009), page 54

[24]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html

[25]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009), page 54

[26]      Madeleine Albright and Vin Weber, In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How. (Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report, 2005), page 4

Are We Witnessing the Start of a Global Revolution?

Are We Witnessing the Start of a Global Revolution?
North Africa and the Global Political Awakening, Part 1
Global Research, January 27, 2011

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive… The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination… The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening… That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing… The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as wellTheir potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious “tertiary level” educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million “college” students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred

[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.[1]

- Zbigniew Brzezinski

Former U.S. National Security Advisor

Co-Founder of the Trilateral Commission

Member, Board of Trustees, Center for Strategic and International Studies

An uprising in Tunisia led to the overthrow of the country’s 23-year long dictatorship of President Ben Ali. A new ‘transitional’ government was formed, but the protests continued demanding a totally new government without the relics of the previous tyranny. Protests in Algeria have continued for weeks, as rage mounts against rising food prices, corruption and state oppression. Protests in Jordan forced the King to call on the military to surround cities with tanks and set up checkpoints. Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Cairo demanding an end to the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of activists, opposition leaders and students rallied in the capitol of Yemen against the corrupt dictatorship of President Saleh, in power since 1978. Saleh has been, with U.S. military assistance, attempting to crush a rebel movement in the north and a massive secessionist movement growing in the south, called the “Southern Movement.” Protests in Bolivia against rising food prices forced the populist government of Evo Morales to backtrack on plans to cut subsidies. Chile erupted in protests as demonstrators railed against rising fuel prices. Anti-government demonstrations broke out in Albania, resulting in the deaths of several protesters.

It seems as if the world is entering the beginnings of a new revolutionary era: the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening.’ While this ‘awakening’ is materializing in different regions, different nations and under different circumstances, it is being largely influenced by global conditions. The global domination by the major Western powers, principally the United States, over the past 65 years, and more broadly, centuries, is reaching a turning point. The people of the world are restless, resentful, and enraged. Change, it seems, is in the air. As the above quotes from Brzezinski indicate, this development on the world scene is the most radical and potentially dangerous threat to global power structures and empire. It is not a threat simply to the nations in which the protests arise or seek change, but perhaps to a greater degree, it is a threat to the imperial Western powers, international institutions, multinational corporations and banks that prop up, arm, support and profit from these oppressive regimes around the world. Thus, America and the West are faced with a monumental strategic challenge: what can be done to stem the Global Political Awakening? Zbigniew Brzezinski is one of the chief architects of American foreign policy, and arguably one of the intellectual pioneers of the system of globalization. Thus, his warnings about the ‘Global Political Awakening’ are directly in reference to its nature as a threat to the prevailing global hierarchy. As such, we must view the ‘Awakening’ as the greatest hope for humanity. Certainly, there will be mainy failures, problems, and regressions; but the ‘Awakening’ has begun, it is underway, and it cannot be so easily co-opted or controlled as many might assume.

The reflex action of the imperial powers is to further arm and support the oppressive regimes, as well as the potential to organize a destabilization through covert operations or open warfare (as is being done in Yemen). The alterantive is to undertake a strategy of “democratization” in which Western NGOs, aid agencies and civil society organizations establish strong contacts and relationships with the domestic civil society in these regions and nations. The objective of this strategy is to organize, fund and help direct the domestic civil society to produce a democratic system made in the image of the West, and thus maintain continuity in the international hierarchy. Essentially, the project of “democratization” implies creating the outward visible constructs of a democratic state (multi-party elections, active civil society, “independent” media, etc) and yet maintain continuity in subservience to the World Bank, IMF, multinational corporations and Western powers.

It appears that both of these strategies are being simultaneously imposed in the Arab world: enforcing and supporting state oppression and building ties with civil society organizations. The problem for the West, however, is that they have not had the ability to yet establish strong and dependent ties with civil society groups in much of the region, as ironically, the oppressive regimes they propped up were and are unsurprisingly resistant to such measures. In this sense, we must not cast aside these protests and uprisings as being instigated by the West, but rather that they emerged organically, and the West is subsequently attempting to co-opt and control the emerging movements.

Part 1 of this essay focuses on the emergence of these protest movements and uprisings, placing it in the context of the Global Political Awakening. Part 2 will examine the West’s strategy of “democratic imperialism” as a method of co-opting the ‘Awakening’ and installing “friendly” governments.

The Tunisian Spark

A July 2009 diplomatic cable from America’s Embassy in Tunisia reported that, “many Tunisians are frustrated by the lack of political freedom and angered by First Family corruption, high unemployment and regional inequities. Extremism poses a continuing threat,” and that, “the risks to the regime’s long-term stability are increasing.”[2]

On Friday, 14 January 2011, the U.S.-supported 23-year long dictatorship of Tunisian president Ben Ali ended. For several weeks prior to this, the Tunisian people had risen in protest against rising food prices, stoked on by an immense and growing dissatisfaction with the political repression, and prodded by the WikiLeaks cables confirming the popular Tunisian perception of gross corruption on the part of the ruling family. The spark, it seems, was when a 26-year old unemployed youth set himself on fire in protest on December 17.

With the wave of protests sparked by the death of the 26-year old who set himself on fire on December 17, the government of Tunisia responded by cracking down on the protesters. Estimates vary, but roughly 100 people were killed in the clashes. Half of Tunisia’s 10 million people are under the age of 25, meaning that they have never known a life in Tunisia outside of living under this one dictator. Since Independence from the French empire in 1956, Tunisia has had only two leaders: Habib Bourguiba and Ben Ali.[3] The Tunisian people were rising up against a great many things: an oppressive dictatorship which has employed extensive information and internet censorship, rising food prices and inflation, a corrupt ruling family, lack of jobs for the educated youth, and a general sense and experience of exploitation, subjugation and disrespect for human dignity.

Following the ouster of Ben Ali, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi assumed presidential power and declared a “transitional government.” Yet, this just spurred more protests demanding his resignation and the resignation of the entire government. Significantly, the trade union movement had a large mobilizing role in the protests, with a lawyers union being particularly active during the initial protests.[4]

Social media and the Internet did play a large part in mobilizing people within Tunisia for the uprising, but it was ultimately the result of direct protests and action which led to the resignation of Ben Ali. Thus, referring to Tunisia as a “Twitter Revolution” is disingenuous.

Twitter, WikiLeaks, Facebook, Youtube, forums and blogs did have a part to play. They reflect the ability “to collectively transform the Arab information environment and shatter the ability of authoritarian regimes to control the flow of information, images, ideas and opinions.”[5]

We must also keep in mind that social media has not only become an important source of mobilization of activism and information at the grassroots level, but it has also become an effective means for governments and various power structures to seek to manipulate the flow of information. This was evident in the 2009 protests in Iran, where social media became an important avenue through which the Western nations were able to advance their strategy of supporting the so-called ‘Green Revolution’ in destabilizing the Iranian government. Thus, social media has presented a new form of power, neither black nor white, in which it can be used to either advance the process of the ‘Awakening’ or control its direction.

Whereas America was publicly denouncing Iran for blocking (or attempting to block) social media in the summer of 2009, during the first several weeks of Tunisian protests (which were largely being ignored by Western media), America and the West were silent about censorship.[6] Steven Cook, writing for the elite U.S. think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, commented on the lack of attention being paid to the Tunisian protests in the early weeks of resistance prior to the resignation of Ben Ali. He explained that while many assume that the Arab “strongmen” regimes will simply maintain power as they always have, this could be mistaken. He stated that, “it may not be the last days of Ben Ali or Mubarak or any other Middle Eastern strongman, but there is clearly something going on in the region.” However, it was the end of Ben Ali, and indeed, “there is clearly something going on in the region.”[7]

France’s President Sarkozy has even had to admit that, “he had underestimated the anger of the Tunisian people and the protest movement that ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.” During the first few weeks of protests in Tunisia, several French government officials were publicly supporting the dictatorship, with the French Foreign Minister saying that France would lend its police “knowhow” to help Ben Ali in maintaining order.[8]

Days before the ouster of Ben Ali, Hillary Clinton gave an interview in which she explained how America was worried “about the unrest and the instability,” and that, “we are not taking sides, but we are saying we hope that there can be a peaceful resolution. And I hope that the Tunisian Government can bring that about.” Clinton further lamented, “One of my biggest concerns in this entire region are the many young people without economic opportunities in their home countries.”[9] Her concern, of course, does not spur from any humanitarian considerations, but rather from inherent imperial considerations: it is simply harder to control a region of the world erupting in activism, uprisings and revolution.

The Spark Lights a Flame

Tunisia has raised the bar for the people across the Arab world to demand justice, democracy, accountability, economic stability, and freedom. Just as Tunisia’s protests were in full-swing, Algeria was experiencing mass protests, rising up largely as a result of the increasing international food prices, but also in reaction to many of the concerns of the Tunisian protesters, such as democratic accountability, corruption and freedom. A former Algerian diplomat told Al-Jazeera in early January that, “It is a revolt, and probably a revolution, of an oppressed people who have, for 50 years, been waiting for housing, employment, and a proper and decent life in a very rich country.”[10]

In mid-January, similar protests erupted in Jordan, as thousands took to the streets to protest against rising food prices and unemployment, chanting anti-government slogans. Jordan’s King Abdullah II had “set up a special task force in his palace that included military and intelligence officials to try to prevent the unrest from escalating further,” which had tanks surrounding major cities, with barriers and checkpoints established.[11]

In Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arab world, engulfed in a U.S. sponsored war against its own people, ruled by a dictator who has been in power since 1978, thousands of people protested against the government, demanding the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. In the capitol city of Sanaa, thousands of students, activists and opposition groups chanted slogans such as, “Get out get out, Ali. Join your friend Ben Ali.”[12] Yemen has been experiencing much turmoil in recent years, with a rebel movement in the North fighting against the government, formed in 2004; as well as a massive secessionist movement in the south, called the “Southern Movement,” fighting for liberation since 2007. As the Financial Times explained:

Many Yemen observers consider the anger and secessionist sentiment now erupting in the south to be a greater threat to the country’s stability than its better publicised struggle with al-Qaeda, and the deteriorating economy is making the tension worse.

Unemployment, particularly among the young, is soaring. Even the government statistics office in Aden puts it at nearly 40 per cent among men aged 20 to 24.[13]

On January 21, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Albania, mobilized by the socialist opposition, ending with violent clashes between the police and protesters, leading to the deaths of three demonstrators. The protests have been sporadic in Albania since the widely contested 2009 elections, but took on new levels inspired by Tunisia.[14]

Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom stressed concern over the revolutionary sentiments within the Arab world, saying that, “I fear that we now stand before a new and very critical phase in the Arab world.” He fears Tunisia would “set a precedent that could be repeated in other countries, possibly affecting directly the stability of our system.”[15] Israel’s leadership fears democracy in the Arab world, as they have a security alliance with the major Arab nations, who, along with Israel itself, are American proxy states in the region. Israel maintains civil – if not quiet – relationships with the Arab monarchs and dictators. While the Arab states publicly criticize Israel, behind closed doors they are forced to quietly accept Israel’s militarism and war-mongering, lest they stand up against the superpower, America. Yet, public opinion in the Arab world is extremely anti-Israel, anti-American and pro-Iran.

In July of 2010, the results of a major international poll were released regarding public opinion in the Arab world, polling from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Among some of the notable findings: while Obama was well received upon entering the Presidency, with 51% expressing optimism about U.S. policy in the region in the Spring of 2009, by Summer 2010, 16% were expressing optimism. In 2009, 29% of those polled said a nuclear-armed Iran would be positive for the region; in 2010, that spiked to 57%, reflecting a very different stance from that of their governments.[16]

While America, Israel and the leaders of the Arab nations claim that Iran is the greatest threat to peace and stability in the Middle East, the Arab people do not agree. In an open question asking which two countries pose the greatest threat to the region, 88% responded with Israel, 77% with America, and 10% with Iran.[17]

At the Arab economic summit shortly following the ousting of Ben Ali in Tunisia, who was for the first time absent from the meetings, the Tunisian uprising hung heavy in the air. Arab League leader Amr Moussa said in his opening remarks at the summit, “The Tunisian revolution is not far from us,” and that, “the Arab citizen entered an unprecedented state of anger and frustration,” noting that “the Arab soul is broken by poverty, unemployment and general recession.” The significance of this ‘threat’ to the Arab leaders cannot be understated. Out of roughly 352 million Arabs, 190 million are under the age of 24, with nearly three-quarters of them unemployed. Often, “the education these young people receive doesn’t do them any good because there are no jobs in the fields they trained for.”[18]

There was even an article in the Israeli intellectual newspaper, Ha’aretz, which posited that, “Israel may be on the eve of revolution.” Explaining, the author wrote that:

Israeli civil society organizations have amassed considerable power over the years; not only the so-called leftist organizations, but ones dealing with issues like poverty, workers’ rights and violence against women and children. All of them were created in order to fill the gaps left by the state, which for its part was all too happy to continue walking away from problems that someone else was there to take on. The neglect is so great that Israel’s third sector – NGOs, charities and volunteer organizations – is among the biggest in the world. As such, it has quite a bit of power.[19]

Now the Israeli Knesset and cabinet want that power back; yet, posits the author, they “have chosen to ignore the reasons these groups became powerful,” namely:

The source of their power is the vacuum, the criminal policies of Israel’s governments over the last 40 years. The source of their power is a government that is evading its duties to care for all of its citizens and to end the occupation, and a Knesset that supports the government instead of putting it in its place.[20]

The Israeli Knesset opened investigations into the funding of Israeli human rights organizations in a political maneuver against them. However, as one article in Ha’aretz by an Israeli professor explained, these groups actually – inadvertently – play a role in “entrenching the occupation.” As the author explained:

Even if the leftist groups’ intention is to ensure upholding Palestinian rights, though, the unintentional result of their activity is preserving the occupation. Moderating and restraining the army’s activity gives it a more human and legal facade. Reducing the pressure of international organizations, alongside moderating the Palestinian population’s resistance potential, enable the army to continue to maintain this control model over a prolonged period of time.[21]

Thus, if the Israeli Knesset succeeds in getting rid of these powerful NGOs, they sow the seeds for the pressure valve in the occupied territories to be removed. The potential for massive internal protests within Israel from the left, as well as the possibility of another Intifada – uprising – in the occupied territories themselves would seem dramatically increased. Israel and the West have expressed how much distaste they hold for democracy in the region. When Gaza held a democratic election in 2006 and elected Hamas, which was viewed as the ‘wrong’ choice by Israel and America, Israel imposed a ruthless blockade of Gaza. Richard Falk, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestinian territories, wrote an article for Al Jazeera in which he explained that the blockade:

unlawfully restricted to subsistence levels, or below, the flow of food, medicine, and fuel. This blockade continues to this day, leaving the entire Gazan population locked within the world’s largest open-air prison, and victimized by one of the cruelest forms of belligerent occupation in the history of warfare.[22]

The situation in the occupied territories is made increasingly tense with the recent leaking of the “Palestinian Papers,” which consist of two decades of secret Israeli-Palestinian accords, revealing the weak negotiating position of the Palestinian Authority. The documents consist largely of major concessions the Palestinian Authority was willing to make “on the issues of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, territorial concessions, and the recognition of Israel.” Among the leaks, Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to concede nearly all of East Jerusalem to Israel. Further, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (favoured by Israel and America over Hamas), was personally informed by a senior Israeli official the night before Operation Cast Lead, the December 2008 and January 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza, resulting in the deaths of over 1,000 Palestinians: “Israeli and Palestinian officials reportedly discussed targeted assassinations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in Gaza.”[23]

Hamas has subsequently called on Palestinian refugees to protest over the concessions regarding the ‘right of return’ for refugees, of which the negotiators conceded to allowing only 100,000 of 5 million to return to Israel.[24] A former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt lamented that, “The concern will be that this might cause further problems in moving forward.”[25] However, while being blamed for possibly preventing the “peace process” from moving forward, what the papers reveal is that the “peace process” itself is a joke. The Palestinian Authority’s power is derivative of the power Israel allows it to have, and was propped up as a method of dealing with an internal Palestinian elite, thus doing what all colonial powers have done. The papers, then, reveal how the so-called Palestinian ‘Authority’ does not truly speak or work for the interests of the Palestinian people. And while this certainly will divide the PA from Hamas, they were already deeply divided as it was. Certainly, this will pose problems for the “peace process,” but that’s assuming it is a ‘peaceful’ process in the first part.

Is Egypt on the Edge of Revolution?

Unrest is even spreading to Egypt, personal playground of U.S.-supported and armed dictator, Hosni Mubarak, in power since 1981. Egypt is the main U.S. ally in North Africa, and has for centuries been one of the most important imperial jewels first for the Ottomans, then the British, and later for the Americans. With a population of 80 million, 60% of which are under the age of 30, who make up 90% of Egypt’s unemployed, the conditions are ripe for a repeat in Egypt of what happened in Tunisia.[26]

On January 25, 2011, Egypt experienced its “day of wrath,” in which tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to protest against rising food prices, corruption, and the oppression of living under a 30-year dictatorship. The demonstrations were organized through the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. When the protests emerged, the government closed access to these social media sites, just as the Tunisian government did in the early days of the protests that led to the collapse of the dictatorship. As one commentator wrote in the Guardian:

Egypt is not Tunisia. It’s much bigger. Eighty million people, compared with 10 million. Geographically, politically, strategically, it’s in a different league – the Arab world’s natural leader and its most populous nation. But many of the grievances on the street are the same. Tunis and Cairo differ only in size. If Egypt explodes, the explosion will be much bigger, too.[27]

In Egypt, “an ad hoc coalition of students, unemployed youths, industrial workers, intellectuals, football fans and women, connected by social media such as Twitter and Facebook, instigated a series of fast-moving, rapidly shifting demos across half a dozen or more Egyptian cities.” The police responded with violence, and three protesters were killed. With tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets, Egypt saw the largest protests in decades, if not under the entire 30-year reign of President Mubarak. Is Egypt on the verge of revolution? It seems too soon to tell. Egypt, it must be remembered, is the second major recipient of U.S. military assistance in the world (following Israel), and thus, its police state and military apparatus are far more advanced and secure than Tunisia’s. Clearly, however, something is stirring. As Hilary Clinton said on the night of the protests, “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.”[28] In other words: “We continue to support tyranny and dictatorship over democracy and liberation.” So what else is new?

According to some estimates, as many as 50,000 protesters turned out in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other Egyptian cities.[29] The protests were met with the usual brutality: beating protesters, firing tear gas and using water cannons to attempt to disperse the protesters. As images and videos started emerging out of Egypt, “television footage showed demonstrators chasing police down side streets. One protester climbed into a fire engine and drove it away.”[30] Late on the night of the protests, rumours and unconfirmed reports were spreading that the first lady of Egypt, Suzanne Mubarak, may have fled Egypt to London, following on the heels of rumours that Mubarak’s son, and presumed successor, had also fled to London.[31]

Are We Headed for a Global Revolution?

During the first phase of the global economic crisis in December of 2008, the IMF warned governments of the prospect of “violent unrest on the streets.” The head of the IMF warned that, “violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.”[32]

In January of 2009, Obama’s then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the greatest threat to the National Security of the U.S. was not terrorism, but the global economic crisis:

I’d like to begin with the global economic crisis, because it already looms as the most serious one in decades, if not in centuries … Economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they are prolonged for a one- or two-year period… And instability can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order, which can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.[33]

In 2007, a British Defence Ministry report was released assessing global trends in the world over the next 30 years. In assessing “Global Inequality”, the report stated that over the next 30 years:

[T]he gap between rich and poor will probably increase and absolute poverty will remain a global challenge… Disparities in wealth and advantage will therefore become more obvious, with their associated grievances and resentments, even among the growing numbers of people who are likely to be materially more prosperous than their parents and grandparents.  Absolute poverty and comparative disadvantage will fuel perceptions of injustice among those whose expectations are not met, increasing tension and instability, both within and between societies and resulting in expressions of violence such as disorder, criminality, terrorism and insurgency. They may also lead to the resurgence of not only anti-capitalist ideologies, possibly linked to religious, anarchist or nihilist movements, but also to populism and the revival of Marxism.[34]

Further, the report warned of the dangers to the established powers of a revolution emerging from the disgruntled middle classes:

The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx.  The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states.  The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite.  Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.[35]

We have now reached the point where the global economic crisis has continued beyond the two-year mark. The social repercussions are starting to be felt – globally – as a result of the crisis and the coordinated responses to it. Since the global economic crisis hit the ‘Third World’ the hardest, the social and political ramifications will be felt there first. In the context of the current record-breaking hikes in the cost of food, food riots will spread around the world as they did in 2007 and 2008, just prior to the outbreak of the economic crisis. This time, however, things are much worse economically, much more desperate socially, and much more oppressive politically.

This rising discontent will spread from the developing world to the comfort of our own homes in the West. Once the harsh realization sets in that the economy is not in ‘recovery,’ but rather in a Depression, and once our governments in the West continue on their path of closing down the democratic façade and continue dismantling rights and freedoms, increasing surveillance and ‘control,’ while pushing increasingly militaristic and war-mongering foreign policies around the world (mostly in an effort to quell or crush the global awakening being experienced around the world), we in the West will come to realize that ‘We are all Tunisians.’

In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr., said in his famous speech “Beyond Vietnam”:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.[36]

This was Part 1 of “North Africa and the Global Political Awakening,” focusing on the emergence of the protest movements primarily in North Africa and the Arab world, but placing it in the context of a wider ‘Global Awakening.’

Part 2 will focus on the West’s reaction to the ‘Awakening’ in this region; namely, the two-pronged strategy of supporting oppressive regimes while promoting “democratization” in a grand new project of “democratic imperialism.”

Notes

[1]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html; “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009); The Dilemma of the Last Sovereign. The American Interest Magazine, Autumn 2005: http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=56; The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4424.html; America’s Geopolitical Dilemmas. Speech at the Canadian International Council and Montreal Council on Foreign Relations: April 23, 2010: http://www.onlinecic.org/resourcece/multimedia/americasgeopoliticaldilemmas

[2]        Embassy Tunis, TROUBLED TUNISIA:  WHAT SHOULD WE DO?, WikiLeaks Cables, 17 July 2009: http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/07/09TUNIS492.html

[3]        Mona Eltahawy, Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, The Washington Post, 15 January 2011: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/14/AR2011011405084.html

[4]        Eileen Byrne, Protesters make the case for peaceful change, The Financial Times, 15 January 2011: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/82293e38-20ae-11e0-a877-00144feab49a.html#axzz1C08RDtxu

[5]        Marc Lynch, Tunisia and the New Arab Media Space, Foreign Policy, 15 January 2011: http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/15/tunisia_and_the_new_arab_media_space

[6]        Jillian York, Activist crackdown: Tunisia vs Iran, Al-Jazeera, 9 January 2011: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/20111981222719974.html

[7]        Steven Cook, The Last Days of Ben Ali? The Council on Foreign Relations, 6 January 2011: http://blogs.cfr.org/cook/2011/01/06/the-last-days-of-ben-ali/

[8]        Angelique Chrisafis, Sarkozy admits France made mistakes over Tunisia, The Guardian, 24 January 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/24/nicolas-sarkozy-tunisia-protests

[9]        Hillary Rodham Clinton, Interview With Taher Barake of Al Arabiya, U.S. Department of State, 11 January 2011: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/01/154295.htm

[10]      Algeria set for crisis talks, Al-Jazeera, 8 January 2011: http://aljazeera.co.uk/news/africa/2011/01/2011187476735721.html

[11]      Alexandra Sandels, JORDAN: Thousands of demonstrators protest food prices, denounce government, Los Angeles Times Blog, 15 January 2011: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/01/jordan-protests-food-prices-muslim-brotherhood-tunisia-strike-thousands-government.html

[12]      AP, Thousands demand ouster of Yemen’s president, Associated Press, 22 January 2011: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g3b2emEy39Bn52Z_haypKxNPGMSw?docId=d324160638a74e84b874baeada16bb4c

[13]      Abigail Fielding-Smith, North-south divide strains Yemen union, The Financial Times, 12 January 2011: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c7c59322-1e80-11e0-87d2-00144feab49a.html#axzz1C08RDtxu

[14]      EurActiv, ‘Jasmine’ revolt wave reaches Albania, 24 January 2011: http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/jasmine-revolt-wave-reaches-albania-news-501529

[15]      Clemens Höges, Bernhard Zand and Helene Zuber, Arab Rulers Fear Spread of Democracy Fever, Der Spiegel, 25 January 2011: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,741545,00.html

[16]      Shibley Telhami, Results of Arab Opinion Survey Conducted June 29-July 20, 2010, 5 August 2010: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx

[17]      Shibley Telhami, A shift in Arab views of Iran, Los Angeles Times, 14 August 2010: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/14/opinion/la-oe-telhami-arab-opinions-20100814

[18]      Clemens Höges, Bernhard Zand and Helene Zuber, Arab Rulers Fear Spread of Democracy Fever, Der Spiegel, 25 January 2011: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,741545,00.html

[19]      Merav Michaeli, Israel may be on the eve of revolution, Ha’aretz, 17 January 2011: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-may-be-on-the-eve-of-revolution-1.337445

[20]      Ibid.

[21]      Yagil Levy, Israeli NGOs are entrenching the occupation, Ha’aretz, 11 January 2011: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israeli-ngos-are-entrenching-the-occupation-1.336331?localLinksEnabled=false

[22]      Richard Falk, Ben Ali Tunisia was model US client, Al-Jazeera, 25 January 2011: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/201112314530411972.html

[23]      Jack Khoury and Haaretz Service, Two decades of secret Israeli-Palestinian accords leaked to media worldwide, Ha’arets, 23 January 2011: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/two-decades-of-secret-israeli-palestinian-accords-leaked-to-media-worldwide-1.338768

[24]      Haaretz Service and The Associated Press, Hamas urges Palestinian refugees to protest over concessions on right of return, Ha’aretz, 25 January 2011: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-urges-palestinian-refugees-to-protest-over-concessions-on-right-of-return-1.339120

[25]      Alan Greenblatt, Palestinian Papers May Be Blow To Peace Process, NPR, 24 January 2011: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/24/133181412/palestinian-papers-may-cause-blow-to-peace-process?ps=cprs

[26]      Johannes Stern, Egyptian regime fears mass protests, World Socialist Web Site, 15 January 2011: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/egyp-j15.shtml

[27]      Simon Tisdall, Egypt protests are breaking new ground, The Guardian, 25 January 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/25/egypt-protests

[28]      Ibid.

[29]      MATT BRADLEY, Rioters Jolt Egyptian Regime, The Wall Street Journal, 26 January 2011: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704698004576104112320465414.html

[30]      Catrina Stewart, Violence on the streets of Cairo as unrest grows, The Independent, 26 January 2011: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/violence-on-the-streets-of-cairo-as-unrest-grows-2194484.html

[31]      IBT, Suzanne Mubarak of Egypt has fled to Heathrow airport in London: unconfirmed reports, International Business Times, 25 January 2011: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/104960/20110125/suzanne-mubarak-of-egypt-has-fled-to-heathrow-airport-in-london-unconfirmed-reports.htm

[32]      Angela Balakrishnan, IMF chief issues stark warning on economic crisis. The Guardian: December 18, 2008: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/16/imf-financial-crisis

[33]      Stephen C. Webster, US intel chief: Economic crisis a greater threat than terrorism. Raw Story: February 13, 2009: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/US_intel_chief_Economic_crisis_greater_0213.html

[34]      DCDC, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme, 2007-2036, 3rd ed. The Ministry of Defence, January 2007: page 3

[35]      Ibid, page 81.

[36]      Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html

Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War

Wikileaks and the Worldwide Information War
Power, Propaganda, and the Global Political Awakening
Global Research, December 6, 2010

Introduction

The recent release of the 250,000 Wikileaks documents has provoked unparalleled global interest, both positive, negative, and everywhere in between. One thing that can be said with certainty: Wikileaks is changing things.

There are those who accept what the Wikileaks releases say at face value, largely due to the misrepresentation of the documents by the corporate-controlled news.

There are those who see the documents as authentic and simply in need of proper interpretation and analysis.

Then there are those, many of whom are in the alternative media, who approach the leaks with caution and suspicion.

There are those who simply cast the leaks aside as a ‘psy-op’ designed to target specific nations that fit into U.S. foreign policy objectives. Finally, then, there are those who deplore the leaks as ‘treason’ or threatening ‘security’. Of all the claims and notions, the last is, without a doubt, the most ridiculous. This essay aims to examine the nature of the Wikileaks releases and how they should be approached and understood. If Wikileaks is changing things, let’s hope people will make sure that it changes things in the right direction.

Media Propaganda Against Iran: Taking the Cables at Face Value

This perspective is perhaps the most propagated one, as it is largely influenced and undertaken by the mainstream corporate media, which present the leaked diplomatic cables as ‘proof’ of the media’s take on major world issues; most notably among them, Iran’s nuclear program. As per usual, the New York Times steps center stage in its unbridled contempt for truth and relentless use of propaganda to serve U.S. imperial interests, headlining articles with titles like, “Around the World, Distress Over Iran,” which explained how Israel and the Arab leaders agree on Iran as a nuclear threat to the world, with the commentary in the article stating that, “running beneath the cables is a belief among many leaders that unless the current government in Tehran falls, Iran will have a bomb sooner or later.”[1] Fox News ran an article proclaiming that, “Leaked Documents Show Middle East Consensus on Threat Posed by Iran,” and commented that, “the seismic document spill by WikiLeaks showed one area of profound agreement — that Iran is viewed in the Middle East as the region’s No. 1 troublemaker.”[2]

This, it should be understood, is propaganda. Yet, we need to properly refine our understanding of propaganda in order to assess what is specifically propagandistic about these stories. While one should remain skeptical of sources and disinformation campaigns (as those who critically analyze the media have known take place time and time again), one must also consider the personal perspective of the source and decipher between authenticity and analysis. These documents, I truly believe, are authentic. In this sense, I do not adhere to the notion that these are a part of a psychological operation (psy-op) or propaganda effort, in terms of the actual release of the documents. We must keep in mind that the sources for these cables are U.S. diplomatic channels, and thus the statements within them reflect the perspectives and beliefs of U.S. diplomatic personnel. The documents are an authentic representation of their statements and beliefs, but that does not imply that they are an accurate representation of reality.

This is where the media comes in to propagandize the information within the leaks. The two above examples claim that the leaks show that there is a “consensus” on Iran, and thus, that the U.S. and indeed Israeli positions on Iran for the past several years have been “vindicated,” namely in that they fear Iran is making nuclear weapons. This is nonsense. The media has essentially read and propagated the documents at face value, meaning that because U.S. diplomats, Middle Eastern and Arab leaders all agree that Iran is a “threat” and is trying to make a “nuclear weapon,” it therefore must be true. This is a non sequitur. If a military general tells several soldiers to commit a raid on a house because there are “suspected terrorists” inside, the fact that the soldiers carry out the raid – and that they believe there are terrorists inside – does not make it so. In contextualizing this example with the current Wikileaks release, just because Middle Eastern and Arab leaders see Iran as a threat, does not make it so.

Again, consider the sources. What makes the Arab leaders trustworthy sources for ‘unbiased’ information? For example, one ‘revelation’ that made its way around the world was the insistence of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah to America to “cut off the head of the snake” of Iran, and urging America to launch military strikes against Iran.[3] This has largely been interpreted in the media as “proof” that there is a “consensus” on the “threat” posed by Iran to the Middle East and the world. This has been the propaganda line towed by the New York Times, Fox News and the Israeli government, among many others. Yet, we need to properly contextualize this information, something which the New York Times has a long record of failing to properly do (intentionally, I might add). I do not doubt the authenticity of these statements or the beliefs of the Arab leaders that Iran is a ‘threat’. Iran, on the other hand, has claimed that the leaks are “mischievous” and that they serve US interests, and claimed that Iran is “friends” with its neighbours.[4] This too, is propaganda. Again, we need to contextualize.

Iran is a Shi’a nation, while the Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, are predominantly Sunni. This presents a means of division among these nations in the region, at least on a superficial basis. The reality, however, is that Saudi Arabia and Iran are far from “friendly”, and have not been on good terms since the Shah was deposed in 1979. Iran is Saudi Arabia’s primary contender and competition for power and influence in the region, and thus Iran is, inherently, a threat to Saudi Arabia, politically. Further, the Arab states, whose claims against Iran have been widely publicized, such as those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, the UAE and Egypt, must be understood in their relation to the United States. The Arab states are American proxies in the region. Their armies are subsidized by the American military industrial complex, their political regimes (all of which are dictatorships and dynasties), are propped up and supported by America. The same goes for Israel, although it has at least the public outward appearance of a democracy, much like the United States, itself.

The Arab nations and leaders know that the only reason they have and maintain their power is because the United States allows them and helps them to do so. Thus, they are dependent upon America and its political, financial and military support. Going against America’s ambitions in the region is a sure way to end up like Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The history of the Middle East in the modern era is replete with examples of how one-time puppets and personal favourites of the American Empire can so easily turn into new enemies and “threats to peace.” American sponsored regime change takes place, and a new puppet is installed. If Arab leaders said that Iran was not a threat to peace, they would soon find themselves targets of Western imperialism. Further, many, like King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, are so virulent in their hatred and distrust of Iran simply because they are regional competitors for influence. One thing can be said of all states and their leaders, they are inherently self-interested and obsessed with self-preservation and personal power expansion.

Saudi Arabia, in particular, is not a passive actor in the regional battle of influence with Iran. In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is involved in another American imperial war of conquest, in suppressing secessionist and indigenous liberation movements in the North and South of Yemen. Yemen, ruled by an American supported dictator, Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, is also working with the Americans to suppress its own population in order to maintain its hold on power. Much of the presentation of the conflict, however, is in propagandizing the conflict, portraying it as a regional battle for influence between Saudi Arabia and Iran. While there is no doubt, and clear admissions, of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the war, there has been no information that Iran has had any involvement, yet it is constantly accused by both Saudi Arabia and Yemen of being involved. This may be an attempt to draw Iran into a regional proxy war, if not to simply demonize the nation further. In the midst of this new Yemeni war, America made an arms deal with Saudi Arabia which broke the record as the largest U.S. arms deal in history, at $60 billion. The deal, of which it is no secret, is aimed at building up Saudi Arabia’s military capabilities in order to both engage more effectively in the Yemen war, but primarily to challenge and counter increased Iranian influence in the region. In short, America is arming its proxy nations for a war with Iran.

[For a detailed examination of the war in Yemen, see: “Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire.”]

Israel did not denounce the arms deal as it was taking place, simply because it ultimately served Israel’s interest in the region as well, of which its main target is Iran. Further, Israel is left subdued to American interests, as an American proxy itself. If Israel’s military financing and hardware comes from America (which it does), thus making it dependent upon America for its own military power, Israel is in no position to tell America to not arm its other regional proxies. If indeed there is a regional war against Iran in the making, which it has appeared for some time that there is, it is certainly in Israel’s interest to have allies against Iran in the region.

Is Wikileaks a Propaganda Effort?

The leaders of Israel have been very adamant that the Wikileaks documents do not embarrass Israel to any extent. Prior to the release, the U.S. government briefed Israeli officials on the type of documents that would be released by Wikileaks regarding Israel.[5] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “there is no disparity between the public discourse between us and Washington, and the mutual understanding of each other’s positions.”[6] The Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, claimed that the documents “show a more accurate view of reality.”[7] One top Turkish politician stated that looking at which countries are pleased with the releases says a lot, and speculated that Israel “engineered the release” of documents in an attempt to advance its interests and to “pressure Turkey.”[8]

Further, the Internet and various alternative news organizations are abuzz with speculation that Wikileaks itself may be a propaganda front, perhaps even a CIA front organization, a method of “controlling the opposition” (which, historically we know, is no stranger to CIA activities). Yet, this speculation is based upon the use of the information that is released in the cables, and it strikes me as a lack of contextualizing the documents.

So, how should one contextualize this? Let’s begin with Israel. Certainly, Israel is without a doubt a criminal state (as all states essentially are), but its criminality is amplified more so than most states on this planet, possibly outdone only by America, itself. Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is one of the most horrific and long-lasting crimes against humanity seen in the past 50 years, and posterity will view Israel as the vicious, war-mongering, dehumanizing and abhorrent state it is. Yet, for all that Israel is, one thing Israel is not, is subtle. When the Israeli PM states that the Wikileaks releases are not embarrassing to Israel, he is mostly correct. This is not because Israel has nothing to hide (remember, the Wikileaks documents are not ‘top secret’ documents, but merely diplomatic cables), but because the diplomatic exchanges Israel makes largely reflect the reality of the public statements Israel makes. Israel and its political elite are no strangers to making absurd public statements, to constantly threatening war with Iran and other neighbours, or to propagandizing their beliefs that Iran is making nuclear weapons (something which has never been proven). Thus, the leaks do not ‘hurt’ Israel’s image, because Israel’s image, internationally, is already so abysmal and despicable, and because Israeli diplomats and politicians are generally as brazen in what they say publicly as they say to each other, that Israel’s image has largely remained the same. Of course, Israeli leaders – political and military – are using the leaks to suggest that it “vindicates” their perspective on Iran as a threat, which of course is an absurd propaganda ploy, the exact same technique taken on by the corporate media, in taking the cables at face value.

While Iran has slammed the Wikileaks releases as Western propaganda aimed at Iran, this statement itself should be taken as a form of propaganda. After all, Iran claimed that it is “friends” with all its neighbours, a claim which is an historical and present falsity. Iran, like all states, uses propaganda to advance its own interests. Iran is not by any means a wonderful nation. However, compared to the American favourites in the region (such as Saudi Arabia), Iran is a bastion of freedom and democracy, which isn’t saying much. Those who attempt to battle the spread of misinformation and propaganda, myself included, must remain highly critical of media representations and campaigns against Iran, of which there are many. Iran is firmly in the targets of America’s imperial ambitions, this is no secret. Yet, there is nothing in the current batch of Wikileaks releases that strikes me as inauthentic in relation to Iran, especially those documents pertaining to the perspectives of Western diplomats and Arab leaders in relation to Iran. No doubt, they have these perspectives simply because they reflect the policy priorities of America and the West, itself, not because they are factual in their substance. In this, we must decipher between authenticity and accuracy.

Iran stating that the Wikileaks documents are propaganda is a misnomer and is misleading. Analysts must not only critically assess the authenticity of documents (and the sources from which they come), but also, and perhaps even more importantly, they must critically analyze the interpretation of those documents. So while I do not doubt the authenticity of documents pertaining to Western and Middle Eastern perceptions of Iran (as it fits in with the wider geopolitical realities of the region), it is the interpretation of the documents that I view as active propaganda efforts on the part of Western governments and media. The methods of this propaganda effort, however, are in depicting the documents as ‘factual assessments’ of the on-the-ground reality, which they are not. The documents are factual in how they represent the views of those who wrote them, which does not mean that they are factual in their substance. There is a difference, and acknowledging this difference is incredibly important in both the exposure of propaganda and assessment of truth.

The Truth About Diplomacy

Craig Murray is one voice that should be heard on this issue. Craig Murray was a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who made a name for himself in exposing intelligence from Uzbekistan related to al-Qaeda as entirely unreliable, due to the methods of torture used to get the information (such as boiling people alive). This intelligence was passed to the CIA and MI6, which Murray said was “factually incorrect.” When Murray expressed his concerns with the higher-ups in the British diplomatic services, he was reprimanded for talking about “human rights.”[9] The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) told Murray that he had one week to resign, and was threatened with possible prosecution or jail time for revealing “state secrets.”[10] He was subsequently removed from his ambassadorial position, and has since become something of a political activist. In short, Murray is exactly the type of diplomat a person should want: honest. But he was also exactly the type of diplomat that Western imperial powers don’t want: honest.

In the midst of the latest Wikileaks releases of diplomatic documents, Craig Murray was asked to write an article for the Guardian regarding his interpretation of the issue. As Murray later noted, the paper placed his article, largely reduced, hidden in the middle of a long article which was a compendium of various commentaries on Wikileaks. Murray, however, posted the full version on his website. In the article, Murray begins by assessing the claims of government officials around the world, particularly in the United States, that Wikileaks exposes the United States to “harm,” that it puts lives at risk, and that they will “encourage Islamic extremism,” and most especially, the notion that “government secrecy is essential to keep us all safe.” Murray explains that having been a diplomat for over 20 years, he is very familiar with these arguments, particularly that as a result of Wikileaks, diplomats will no longer be candid in giving advice, “if that advice might become public.” Murray elaborates:

Put it another way. The best advice is advice you would not be prepared to defend in public. Really? Why? In today’s globalised world, the Embassy is not a unique source of expertise. Often expatriate, academic and commercial organisations are a lot better informed. The best policy advice is not advice which is shielded from peer review.

What of course the establishment mean is that Ambassadors should be free to recommend things which the general public would view with deep opprobrium, without any danger of being found out. But should they really be allowed to do that, in a democracy?[11]

Murray pointedly asked why a type of behaviour that is considered reprehensible for most people – such as lying – “should be considered acceptable, or even praiseworthy, in diplomacy.” Murray explained that for British diplomats, “this belief that their profession exempts them from the normal constraints of decent behaviour amounts to a cult of Machiavellianism, a pride in their own amorality.” He explained that diplomats come from a very narrow upper social strata, and “view themselves as ultra-intelligent Nietzschean supermen, above normal morality” who are socially connected to the political elite. In criticizing the claims made by many commentators that the release of the leaks endanger lives, Murray pointedly wrote that this perspective needs to be “set against any such risk the hundreds of thousands of actual dead from the foreign policies of the US and its co-conspirators in the past decade.” Further, for those who posit that Wikileaks is a psy-op or propaganda operation or that Wikileaks is a “CIA front”, Murray had this to say:

Of course the documents reflect the US view – they are official US government communications. What they show is something I witnessed personally, that diplomats as a class very seldom tell unpalatable truths to politicians, but rather report and reinforce what their masters want to hear, in the hope of receiving preferment.

There is therefore a huge amount about Iran’s putative nuclear arsenal and an exaggeration of Iran’s warhead delivery capability. But there is nothing about Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal. That is not because wikileaks have censored criticism of Israel. It is because any US diplomat who made an honest and open assessment of Israeli crimes would very quickly be an unemployed ex-diplomat.[12]

Murray concluded his article with the statement that all would do well to keep in mind: “Truth helps the people against rapacious elites – everywhere.”[13]

World Order and Global Awakening

In attempting to understand Wikileaks and its potential effects (that is, if the alternative media and citizens activists use this opportunity), we must place Wikileaks within a wider geopolitical context. Our human world exists as a complex system of social interactions. As powerful and dominating as elites are and have always been, we must understand that they are not omnipotent; they are human and flawed, as are their methods and ideas. There are other forces at work in the human social world, and these various interactions created and changed the world into what it is, and will determine where it is going. In effect, nothing is preordained; nothing is exact. Plans are made, certainly, by elites, in designing ideas and reshaping and controlling society. However, society – and in the globalized world, a ‘global society’ – react and interact with elite forces and ideas. Just as the people must react to and experience repercussions from changes in elite processes, so too must the elite react to and experience repercussions from changes in social processes. Today, we can conceptualize this dichotomy – the geopolitical reality of the world – as ‘The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order’:

There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:

For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.

It is, in essence, this massive ‘global political awakening’ which presents the gravest and greatest challenge to the organized powers of globalization and the global political economy: nation-states, multinational corporations and banks, central banks, international organizations, military, intelligence, media and academic institutions. The Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), or ‘Superclass’ as David Rothkopf refers to them, are globalized like never before. For the first time in history, we have a truly global and heavily integrated elite. As elites have globalized their power, seeking to construct a ‘new world order’ of global governance and ultimately global government (decades down the line), they have simultaneously globalized populations.

The ‘Technological Revolution’ involves two major geopolitical developments. The first is that as technology advances, systems of mass communication rapidly accelerate, and the world’s people are able to engage in instant communication with one another and gain access to information from around the world. In it, lies the potential – and ultimately a central source – of a massive global political awakening. Simultaneously, the Technological Revolution has allowed elites to redirect and control society in ways never before imagined, potentially culminating in a global scientific dictatorship, as many have warned of since the early decades of the 20th century. The potential for controlling the masses has never been so great, as science unleashes the power of genetics, biometrics, surveillance, and new forms of modern eugenics; implemented by a scientific elite equipped with systems of psycho-social control.

Brzezinski has written extensively on the issue of the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ and has been giving speeches at various elite think tanks around the world, ‘informing’ the elites of this changing global dynamic. Brzezinski is one of the principle representatives of the global elite and one of the most influential elite intellectuals in the world. His analysis of the `global politicl awakening`is useful because of his repesentation of it as the primary global threat to elite interests everywhere. Thus, people should view the concept of the `global political awakening`as the greatest potential hope for humanity and that it should be advanced and aided, as opposed to Brzezinski`s perspective that it should be controlled and suppressed. However, it would be best for Brzezinski to explain the concept in his own words to allow people to understand how it constitutes a `threat`to elite interests :

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. There are only a few pockets of humanity left in the remotest corners of the world that are not politically alert and engaged with the political turmoil and stirrings that are so widespread today around the world. The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination… The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening.

…America needs to face squarely a centrally important new global reality: that the world’s population is experiencing a political awakening unprecedented in scope and intensity, with the result that the politics of populism are transforming the politics of power. The need to respond to that massive phenomenon poses to the uniquely sovereign America an historic dilemma: What should be the central definition of America’s global role? … The central challenge of our time is posed not by global terrorism, but rather by the intensifying turbulence caused by the phenomenon of global political awakening. That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing.

… It is no overstatement to assert that now in the 21st century the population of much of the developing world is politically stirring and in many places seething with unrest. It is a population acutely conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree, and often resentful of its perceived lack of political dignity. The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches.

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well. With the exception of Europe, Japan and America, the rapidly expanding demographic bulge in the 25-year-old-and-under age bracket is creating a huge mass of impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds and images that emanate from afar and which intensify their disaffection with what is at hand. Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious “tertiary level” educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million “college” students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred.

Brzezinski thus posits that to address this new global “challenge” to entrenched powers, particularly nation-states that cannot sufficiently address the increasingly non-pliant populations and populist demands, what is required, is “increasingly supranational cooperation, actively promoted by the United States.” In other words, Brzezinski favours an increased and expanded ‘internationalization’, not surprising considering he laid the intellectual foundations of the Trilateral Commission. He explains that “Democracy per se is not an enduring solution,” as it could be overtaken by “radically resentful populism.” This is truly a new global reality:

Politically awakened mankind craves political dignity, which democracy can enhance, but political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights, all in a world now acutely aware of economic, racial and ethnic inequities. The quest for political dignity, especially through national self-determination and social transformation, is part of the pulse of self-assertion by the world’s underprivileged.

Thus, writes Brzezinski, “an effective response can only come from a self-confident America genuinely committed to a new vision of global solidarity.” The idea is that to address the grievances caused by globalization and global power structures, the world and America must expand and institutionalize the process of globalization, not simply in the economic sphere, but in the social and political as well. It is a flawed logic, to say the least, that the answer to these systemic problems is to enhance and strengthen the systemic flaws that created them. One cannot put out a fire by adding fuel.

Brzezinski even wrote that, “let it be said right away that supranationality should not be confused with world government. Even if it were desirable, mankind is not remotely ready for world government, and the American people certainly do not want it.” Instead, Brzezinski argues, America must be central in constructing a system of global governance, “in shaping a world that is defined less by the fiction of state sovereignty and more by the reality of expanding and politically regulated interdependence.” In other words, not ‘global government’ but ‘global governance’, which is simply a rhetorical ploy, as ‘global governance’ – no matter how overlapping, sporadic and desultory it presents itself – is in fact a key step and necessary transition in the moves toward an actual global government structure.

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order, Global Research, 24 June 2010]

Conceptualizing Wikileaks

I feel that Wikileaks must be conceptualized within our understanding of this geopolitical reality we find ourselves in today. While indeed it is necessary to be skeptical of such monumental events, we must allow ourselves to remember that there are always surprises – for everyone – and that the future is nothing if not unknown. Anything, truly, can happen. There is of course logic behind the automatic skepticism and suspicion about Wikileaks from the alternative media; however, they also risk losing an incredible opportunity presented by Wikileaks, to not only reach more people with important information, but to better inform that information itself.

For those who view Wikileaks as a conspiracy or plot, as a psy-op of some kind, while indeed these things have taken place in the past, there is simply no evidence for it thus far. Every examination of this concept is based upon speculation. Many nations around the world, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia, are pointing to the Western nations as engaging in a covert propaganda campaign aimed at creating disunity between states and allies. Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan have made such claims. It is no surprise that most of these are nations, particularly Iran, are targets of U.S. imperial policy. Since, however, the Wikileaks releases speak heavily and negatively about Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Venezuela, etc., one must remember that these are ‘diplomatic cables’, and represent the ‘opinions and beliefs’ of the diplomatic establishment, a social group which is historically and presently deeply enmeshed and submissive to elite ideology and methodology. In short, these are the foreign imperial envoys, and as such, they are ideological imperialists and represent imperial interests.

As has been the case both historically and presently, imperial objectives are hidden with political rhetoric. Since, politically, these are target nations of the American imperial elite, America’s diplomatic representatives will focus on these nations, and adopt the same ideas and beliefs. How many people have ever been given a raise by questioning and then disregarding their superior’s management technique? Thus, in their respective nations and operations, the diplomats will seek information that targets these nations or serve specific American imperial objectives. If all the information they come up with are rumours and conjectures and repeated talking points, that is what will be seen in the diplomatic cables. Indeed, that was exactly the case. The cables are full of rumours and unsupported allegations. So naturally, they would target these specific nations – deemed geopolitically significant by American imperial interests – and why there would be far less information on Israel and other allied nations. This is why it seems to me that these cables are authentic. They seem to represent the reality of the ‘diplomatic social group’, and thus they are a vivid exploration in the study of imperialism. We have been given the opportunity to see the ‘communications’ of imperial diplomacy. It is in this, that we are presented with an incredible opportunity.

Further, in regards to many Middle Eastern and Asian nations framing Wikileaks as a “Western plot,” as critical thinkers we must take note of the geopolitical reality of the ‘global political awakenng.’ All states are self-interested, that is the nature of a state. Elites all over the world are aware of the reality and potential political power of the ‘global political awakening’ and thus, seek to suppress or co-opt its potential. States which are often viewed by the critical press as ‘targets’ by Western imperial powers (such as Iran), may seek to use this power to its own advantage. They may attempt to steer the ‘global awakening’ and the ‘alternative media’ to their favour, which gives them political power. But the alternative media must not ‘pick sides’ in terms of global elites and power structures, we must remain critical of all sides and all actors.

Wikileaks is receiving an incredible readership and is reaching out to new audiences, globally, in the American homeland itself, and to the youth of the world. People’s perceptions are beginning to change on a variety of issues. The question is: will the alternative media ignore Wikileaks and isolate itself, or will they engage with Wikileaks, and prevent the mainstream corporate media from having a ‘monopoly of interpretation’, which becomes inherently propagandistic. Wikileaks is having global repercussions, and has been very good for the newspaper and mainstream news industries, which have been on a steady decline. This too, can be an issue to reach out to this new and growing audience, and to bring them to a new perspective. If we do not reach out, we are left talking to each other, further isolating ourselves, and ultimately becoming subverted and ineffective for change. We need to reach out to new audiences, and this is an incredible opportunity to do so. People are interested, people are curious, people are hungry for more.

Wikileaks and the Media

Instead of deriding Wikileaks as “not telling us anything we didn’t know” before, perhaps the alternative media should use the popularity and momentum of Wikileaks to take from it the documentation and analysis that further strengthens our arguments and beliefs. This will allow for others, especially new audiences of interested people worldwide, to place the Wikileaks releases within a wider context and understanding. The reports from Wikileaks are ‘revelations’ only to those who largely adhere to the ‘illusions’ of the world: that we live in ‘democracies’ promoting ‘freedom’ around the world and at home, etc. The ‘revelations’ however, are not simply challenging American perceptions of America, but of all nations and their populations. The fact that these people are reading and discovering new things for which they are developing an interest is an incredible change. This is likely why the corporate media is so heavily involved in the dissemination of this information (which itself is a major source of suspicion for the alternative media): to control the interpretation of the message. It is the job of the alternative media and intellectuals and other thinking individuals to challenge that interpretation with factual analysis. The Wikileaks releases, in fact, give us more facts to place within and support our interpretations than they do for the corporate media.

We must ask why the Wikileaks releases were ‘revelations’ for most people? Well, it was surprising simply for the fact that the media itself has such a strong hold on the access, dissemination and interpretation of information. They are ‘revelations’ because people are indoctrinated with myths. They are not ‘revelations’ to the alternative media because we have been talking about these things for years. However, while they may not necessarily be ‘revelations’, they are in fact, ‘confirmations’ and ‘vindications’ and bring more information to the analysis. It is in this, that a great opportunity lies. For since the leaks support and better inform our perspectives, we can build on this concept and examine how Wikileaks adds to and supports critical analysis. For those who are newly interested and looking for information, or for those who are having their previous perceptions challenged, it is the alternative media and critical voices alone who can place that information in a wider context for everyone else. In this, more people will see how it is the alternative media and critical perspectives which were more reflective of reality than say, the mainstream media (for which Wikileaks is a ‘revelation’). Thus, more people may soon start turning to alternative media and ideas; after all, our perspectives were vindicated, not those of the mainstream media (though they attempt to spin it as such).

We are under a heavy propaganda offensive on the part of the global corporate and mainstream media to spin and manipulate these leaks to their own interests. We, as alternative media and voices, must use Wikileaks to our advantage. Ignoring it will only damage our cause and undermine our strength. The mainstream media understood that; so too, must we. Wikileaks presents in itself a further opportunity for the larger exposure of mainstream media as organized propaganda. By ‘surprising’ so many people with the ‘revelations’, the media has in effect exposed itself as deeply inadequate in their analysis of the world and the major issues within it. While currently it is giving the mainstream media a great boost, we are still immersed in the era of the ‘Technological Revolution’ and there is still (for now, anyway) Internet freedom, and thus, the tide can quickly turn.

Like the saying goes, ‘the rich man will sell you the rope to hang him with if he thinks he can make a buck on it.’ Perhaps the mainstream media has done the same. No other organized apparatus was as capable of disseminating as much material as quickly and with such global reach as the mainstream media. If the leaks initially only made it into alternative media, then the information would only reach those whom are already reading the alternative press. In that, they would not be such grand ‘revelations’ and would have had a muted effect. In the mainstream media’s global exposure of Wikileaks material (never mind their slanted and propagandistic interpretations), they have changed the dynamic and significance of the information. By reaching wider and new audiences, the alternative and critical voices can co-opt these new audiences; lead them away from the realm of information ‘control’ into the realm of information ‘access’. This is potentially one of the greatest opportunities presented for the alternative and critical voices of the world.

Wikileaks is a globally transformative event. Not simply in terms of awakening new people to ‘new’ information, but also in terms of the effect it is having upon global power structures, itself. With ambassadors resigning, diplomats being exposed as liars and tools, political rifts developing between Western imperial allies, and many careers and reputations of elites around the world at great risk, Wikileaks is creating the potential for an enormous deterioration in the effectiveness of imperialism and domination. That, in itself, is an admirable and worthy goal. That this is already a reality is representative of how truly transformative Wikileaks is and could be. People, globally, are starting to see their leaders through a lens not filtered by ‘public relations.’ Through mainstream media, it gets filtered through propaganda, which is why it is an essential duty of the alternative media and critical thinkers to place this information in a wider, comprehensive context. This would further erode the effectiveness of empire.

With the reaction of several states and policing organizations to issue arrest warrants for Julian Assange, or in calling for his assassination (as one Canadian adviser to the Prime Minister suggested on television), these organizations and individuals are exposing their own hatred of democracy, transparency and freedom of information. Their reactions can be used to discredit their legitimacy to ‘rule’. If policing agencies are supposed to “protect and serve,” why are they seeking instead to “punish and subvert” those who expose the truth? Again, this comes as no surprise to those who closely study the nature of the state, and especially the modern phenomenon of the militarization of domestic society and the dismantling of rights and freedoms. However, it is happening before the eyes of the whole world, and people are paying attention. This is new.

This is an incredible opportunity to criticize foreign policy (read: ‘imperial strategy’), and to disembowel many global power structures. More people, now, than ever before, will be willing to listen, learn and investigate for themselves. Wikileaks should be regarded as a ‘gift’, not a ‘distraction.’ Instead of focusing on the parts of the Wikileaks cables which do not reflect the perspectives of the alternative media (such as on Iran), we must use Wikileaks to better inform our own understanding not simply of the ‘policy’ itself, but of the complex social interactions and ideas that create the basis for the ‘policy’ to be carried out. In regards to the diplomatic cables themselves, we are better able to understand the nature of diplomats as ‘agents of empire,’ and so instead of discounting the cables as ‘propaganda’ we must use them against the apparatus of empire itself: to expose the empire for what it is. Wikileaks helps to unsheathe and strip away the rhetoric behind imperial policy, and expose diplomats not as ‘informed observers’, but as ‘agents of power.’ The reaction by nations, organizations and institutions around the world adds further fuel to this approach, as we are seeing the utter distaste political leaders have for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom of information’, despite their rhetoric. Several institutions of power can be more widely exposed in this manner.

A recent addition to this analysis can be in the role played by universities not in ‘education’ but in ‘indoctrination’ and the production of new ‘agents of power.’ For example, Columbia University is one of the most “respected” and “revered” universities in the world, which has produced several individuals and significant sectors of the political elite (including diplomats). In reaction to the Wikileaks releases, Columbia University has warned “students they risk future job prospects if they download any of the material,” which followed “a government ban on employees, estimated at more than two-and-a-half million people, using work computers and other communication devices to look at diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.” The University “emailed students at the university’s school of international and public affairs, a recruiting ground for the state department.”[14] Good for Columbia! What do they think university is for, ‘education’ or something? How dare students take education into their own hands, especially students who will likely be future diplomats. This university reaction to Wikileaks helps call into attention the role of universities in our society, and specifically the role of universities in shaping the future ‘managers’ of the imperial apparatus.

Wikileaks as an Opportunity

If Wikileaks is a psy-op, it is either the stupidest or most intelligent psychological operation ever undertaken. But one thing is for sure: systems and structures of power are in the process of being exposed to a much wider audience than ever before. The question for the alternative media and critical researchers, alike, is what will they do with this information and this opportunity?

Julian Assange was recently interviewed by Time Magazine about Wikileaks, in which he explained to the inadequately informed editor of Time Magazine that organizations which are secretive need to be exposed:

If their behavior is revealed to the public, they have one of two choices: one is to reform in such a way that they can be proud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public. Or the other is to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, cease to be as efficient as they were. To me, that is a very good outcome, because organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient.[15]

Assange further explained some of his perspectives regarding the influence of and reactions to Wikileaks, stating that the Chinese:

appear to be terrified of free speech, and while one might say that means something awful is happening in the country, I actually think that is a very optimistic sign, because it means that speech can still cause reform and that the power structure is still inherently political, as opposed to fiscal. So journalism and writing are capable of achieving change, and that is why Chinese authorities are so scared of it. Whereas in the United States to a large degree, and in other Western countries, the basic elements of society have been so heavily fiscalized through contractual obligations that political change doesn’t seem to result in economic change, which in other words means that political change doesn’t result in change.[16]

In the interview, Assange turned to the issue of the Internet and community media:

For the rise of social media, it’s quite interesting. When we first started [in 2006], we thought we would have the analytical work done by bloggers and people who wrote Wikipedia articles and so on. And we thought that was a natural, given that we had lots of quality, important content… The bulk of the heavy lifting – heavy analytical lifting – that is done with our materials is done by us, and is done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human-rights activists. It is not done by the broader community. However, once the initial lifting is done, once a story becomes a story, becomes a news article, then we start to see community involvement, which digs deeper and provides more perspective. So the social networks tend to be, for us, an amplifier of what we are doing. And also a supply of sources for us.[17]

As researchers, media, and critics, we must realize that our perspectives and beliefs must be open to change and evolution. Simply because something like this has never happened before does not mean that it isn’t happening now. We live in the era of the ‘Technological Revolution,’ and the Internet has changed economics, politics and society itself, on a global scale. This is where the true hope in furthering and better informing the ‘global political awakening’ will need to take speed and establish itself. True change in our world is not going to come from already-established or newly-created institutions of power, which is where all issues are currently being addressed, especially those of global significance. True change, instead, can only come not from global power structures, but from the global ‘community’ of people, interacting with one another via the power unleashed by the ‘Technological Revolution.’ Change must be globally understood and community organized.

We are on the verge of a period of global social transformation, the question is: will we do anything about it? Will we seek to inform and partake in this transition, or will we sit and watch it be misled, criticizing it as it falters and falls? Just as Martin Luther King commented in his 1967 speech, Beyond Vietnam, that it seemed as if America was “on the wrong side of a world revolution,” now there is an opportunity to remedy that sad reality, and not simply on a national scale, but global.

Despite all the means and methods of power and domination in this world, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As things progressively get worse and worse, as any independent observer of the world has noticed, life has a way of creating means and methods to counter these regressions. As ‘globalization’ has facilitated the emergence of a global elite, and several global institutions and ideologies of global power, so too has this process facilitated the ‘globalization of opposition.’ So while elites, globally, actively work to integrate and expand global power structures, they are inadvertently integrating and expanding global opposition to those very same power structures. This is the great paradox of our time, and one which we must recognize, for it is not simply a factual observation, but it is a hopeful situation.

Hope should not be underestimated, and it is something that I have personally struggled with in my views of the world. It is hard to see ‘hope’ when you study so much ‘horror’ in the world, and see how little is being done about it. But activism and change need hope. This is very evident from the Obama campaign, which was splashed with rhetoric of ‘hope’ and ‘change’, something that all people rightfully want and need. However, Obama’s ‘hope’ and ‘change’ were Wall Street brands and patents, it was a glorious practice in the art of propaganda, and a horrific blow to true notions of ‘hope’ and ‘change’. There is a reason why the Obama campaign took the top prizes in public relations industry awards.[18]

Hope is needed, but it cannot be misplaced hope, as it was with Obama. It must be a hope grounded not in ‘blind faith’ but in ‘honest analysis.’ While indeed on most fronts in the world, things are getting progressively worse, the alternative media has focused almost exclusively on these issues that they have blinded themselves to the positive geopolitical developments in the world, namely the ‘global political awakening’ and the role of the Internet in reshaping global society. While these issues are acknowledged, they are not fully understood or explained within the wider context: that these are in fact, hopeful developments; that there is hope. Wikileaks strengthens this notion, if it is to be taken as an opportunity. A critique without hope falls on deaf ears. No one wants to hear that things are ‘hopeless’, so while an examination of what is wrong in the world is integral to moving forward, so too is an examination of what is hopeful and positive. This spreads the message and builds its supporters. The Internet as a medium facilitates the spread of this message, and after all, as one of the foremost media theorists, Marshall McLuhan, noted, “The medium is the message.”

Appendix of ‘Revelations’ and ‘Vindications’: A Call to Action for Alternative Media

So what are some of the supposed ‘revelations’ which can be used as ‘vindications’ by the alternative media? Well, for one, the role of royalty as a relevant and powerful economic and political actor in the world today. And by this I do not simply refer to states where monarchs remain as official rulers, such as in Saudi Arabia, but more specifically to West European and notably the British monarchs. For those who have studied institutions like the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, the relevance of European royalty in international affairs is not a new concept. For the majority of people (who haven’t even heard of the Bilderberg Group or Trilateral Commission), these monarchs are largely viewed as symbolic figures as opposed to political actors. This is, of course, naïve, as all monarchs have always been political actors, however, it is a naivety that has now been challenged on a much wider scale and to a much wider audience. There was a time when I would discuss the relevance of monarchs in the modern world, and it would be a subject that would be treated by many others as an absurd notion: “but the Queen has no real power, she’s a figurehead,” etc. Wikileaks has exposed that notion as a falsity, and it should be an issue that is expanded upon.

For example, within the Wikileaks cables, take the British Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, who has been subject to many cable ‘revelations.’ The U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan wrote a cable regarding a meeting she attended with several British and Canadian businessmen and Prince Andrew, who is a special U.K. trade representative to the Middle East and Central Asia. At the meeting, Prince Andrew ranted against “those [expletive] journalists … who poke their noses everywhere,” and he “railed at British anticorruption investigators, who had had the ‘idiocy’ of almost scuttling the al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia,” particularly “referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into alleged kickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year, lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudi security forces.” When he ranted against the media – specifically the Guardian paper – for making it harder to do business abroad, the U.S. Ambassador noted that the businessmen in attendance “roared their approval” and “practically clapped.”[19] Again, evidence for how elites despise true representations of democracy and freedom.

At that same meeting, Prince Andrew made another startling claim, and one which had not been as widely publicized in the media to date. He stated that to the U.S. Ambassador that: “the United Kingdom, Western Europe (and by extension you Americans too) were now back in the thick of playing the Great Game,” and, “this time we aim to win!” Further, Prince Andrew – the ‘Duke of York’ – “then stated that he was very worried about Russia’s resurgence in the region,” and referred to Chinese economic and political expansion in the region as “probably inevitable, but a menace.” On the way out of the meeting, one British businessman said to the U.S. Ambassador, “What a wonderful representative for the British people! We could not be prouder of our royal family!”[20] Well, there you have it, a rich prince running around the world with rich businessmen promoting their economic interests in foreign countries and referring to it as the age-old imperial competition between Britain and Russia in the “Great Game” for dominance over Central Asia. And we call our countries ‘democracies’ and exporters of ‘freedom’?

This is quite typical behaviour of the royal family, however, as a former South African MP and anti-corruption campaigner, Andrew Feinstein, explained, “the royal family has actively supported Britain’s arms sales, even when corruption and malfeasance has been suspected,” and that, “the royal family was involved in trying to persuade South Africa to buy BAE’s Hawk jets, despite the air force not wanting the planes that cost two and a half times the price of their preferred aircraft. As an ANC MP at the time, I was told that £116m in bribes had been paid to key decision-makers and the ANC itself. The royal family’s attitude is part of the reason that BAE will never face justice in the UK for its corrupt practices.”[21]

The British royals are also very close with Arab monarchs, which makes sense, considering it was the British Empire (and the ‘Crown’ behind it) that created the Arab monarchs and gave them power in the first place. Prince Andrew went on hunting trips with the King of Jordan and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the UAE.[22] Further, Prince Charles is considered a strategic diplomatic figure in regards to Saudi Arabia, as the cables reveal. The British media headlined with the ‘revelation’ that Prince Charles is not as “respected” as Queen Elizabeth, but the real story was buried in the same article beneath the royal gossip, as cables revealed that Prince Charles and his wife “have helped to overcome ‘severe strains’ following Saudi Arabia’s imprisonment and torture of five Britons from December 2001 to August 2003 and the UK’s official fraud investigations of British Aerospace operations in Saudi Arabia in 2004.” As one U.S. diplomatic cable explained, the British royals “helped re-build UK-Saudi ties” as “the House of Saud and the House of Windsor build upon their royal commonality.” In other words, they both represent unelected and unaccountable elite dynastic power, and so they should naturally work together in ‘their’ own interests. How ‘democratic’ of them. Further, a Saudi royal threw a lavish party for Prince Charles in Saudi Arabia with the help of an unnamed British businessman.[23]

It looks, however, like the British royals will have to again move in to “smooth out” ties with Saudi Arabia, as ‘revelations’ about the country and its monarch paint a picture of a not-so-helpful Western ally. In short, Saudi Arabia and its monarch have received one of the largest public relations disasters in recent history. The British monarch may be too busy cleaning up their own mess, or have too much light on them at the moment, to be able to ‘gracefully’ maneuver through yet another ‘imperious’ royal visit. What am I referring to here in terms of bad PR for the Saudis? It’s quite simple, the Saudi royals, good friends of the British monarch, are incidentally the principle financiers of Sunni terrorists (which includes what we commonly refer to as ‘al-Qaeda’) worldwide.

While this comes as no surprise to those who have critically analyzed al-Qaeda or the “war on terror,” it is indeed a ‘revelation’ to the majority of people. While Western governments and media propaganda machines have for years blamed terrorist financing and support on ‘target’ nations like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and more recently, Pakistan and Yemen, the Wikileaks cables ‘vindicated’ the historical and present reality that it is in fact the main Western allies in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, but also the other major Gulf Arab states (and their monarchs), who are the main financiers and supporters of terrorism, and most notably, al-Qaeda. A memo signed by Hillary Clinton confirmed that Saudi Arabia is understood to be “the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” as well as al-Qaeda itself. Further, three other Arab states, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are listed as other chief terrorist financiers. As the Guardian put it, “the cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea.” While Pakistan is largely blamed for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is in fact Saudi Arabia as well as UAE-based businesses which are its chief financiers. Kuwait, another staunch U.S. ally, is a “source of funds and a key transit point” for al-Qaeda.[24]

While the New York Times was busy declaring Wikileaks as providing a “new consensus” on Iran, with the Saudi King urging America to attack and “cut the head off the snake,” they mentioned only in passing, how “Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda.”[25] Now, while these are indeed ‘revelations’ to many, we must place these facts in their proper context. This is not simply to be taken as Saudi Arabia and Arab states being responsible, alone, for support of terrorism and al-Qaeda, but that they are simply playing the role they have always played, and that diplomacy is sidelined and kept in the dark on this issue as it always has been.

What I mean by this is that the contextualization of these facts must be placed in a comprehensive historical analysis. Looking at the history of al-Qaeda, arising out of the Soviet-Afghan War, with major covert support from America and other Western allies, the center of this operation was in the ‘Safari Club,’ which constituted a secret network of Western intelligence agencies (such as those of France, Britain and America) and regional intelligence agencies (such as those of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan), in carrying out the financing, training, arming and operational support of the Mujahideen, and subsequently the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The ‘Safari Club’ was established in 1976 (with the help of CIA director at the time, George H.W. Bush, another close friend of the Saudi royals), and was designed to respond to increasing political oversight of intelligence operations in America (as a result of the Church Committee investigations on CIA operations), and so the Safari Club was created to allow for a more covert and discreet network of intelligence operations, with no oversight. Diplomats were kept in the dark about its operations and indeed its existence, while the quiet covert relationships continued behind the scenes. This network, in some form or another, exists up to the present day, as I recently documented in my three-part series on “The Imperial Anatomy of al-Qaeda.”

[See: The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda. The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis”; Empire, Energy and Al-Qaeda: The Anglo-American Terror Network; 9/11 and America’s Secret Terror Campaign]

In short, there is a reason that while diplomats complain quietly about Saudi and Arab financing and support for al-Qaeda, nothing is actually done: because through other avenues, the American imperial structure and apparatus supports and facilitates this process. Diplomacy is more overt in its imperial ambitions, thus the reality of the cables reflecting a focus on Iran and Pakistan, yet intelligence operations are a much more covert means of establishing and maintaining particular imperial relationships. This information again should not be taken “at face value,” but rather placed within its broader geopolitical context. In this sense, the information is not ‘disinformation’ or ‘propaganda’, but rather additional factual ‘vindication’ and information.

While Western governments and media publicly scorn Iran and accuse it of “meddling” in the affairs of Iraq, and of supporting terrorism and destabilization of the country, the reality is that while Iran certainly exerts influence in Iraq, (after all, they are neighbours), Saudi Arabia is a far greater source of destabilization than Iran is accused of being, and this is from the mouths of Iraqi leaders themselves. Iraqi government officials, reported the Guardian, “see Saudi Arabia, not Iran, as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledgling democratic state.” In a cable written by the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, it was explained that, “Iraq views relations with Saudi Arabia as among its most challenging given Riyadh’s money, deeply ingrained anti-Shia attitudes and [Saudi] suspicions that a Shia-led Iraq will inevitably further Iranian regional influence.” Further, “Iraqi contacts assess that the Saudi goal (and that of most other Sunni Arab states, to varying degrees) is to enhance Sunni influence, dilute Shia dominance and promote the formation of a weak and fractured Iraqi government.” In short, that would mean that Saudi Arabia is actually doing what the West accuses Iran of doing in Iraq. So while Iran certainly has been promoting its own interests in Iraq, it is more interested in a stable Shi’a government, while Saudi Arabia is more interested in a weak and fractured government, and thus promotes sectarian conflict. One interesting fact to note that came out of the cables, is the increasing perspective among Iraqi youth rejecting foreign interference from any government, with diplomatic cables articulating that, “a ‘mental revolution’ was under way among Iraqi youth against foreign agendas seeking to undermine the country’s stability.”[26]

It should come as no surprise, then, that one top Saudi royal (in fact the former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency and thus the man responsible for handling Saudi Arabia’s relationship with terrorists), Prince Turki al-Faisal, said that the source of the diplomatic leaks should be “vigorously punished.” Turki, who has also been the Saudi Ambassador to the U.K. and America, said, “the WikiLeaks furor underscored that cyber security was an increasing international concern.”[27]

What other areas can Wikileaks be used to further inform and ‘vindicate’ the critical media? Well, start with Saudi Arabia’s neighbour to the south, Yemen. Whether or not most Americans (or for that matter, most people in general) are aware that America is waging a war in Yemen, just across the water from where America is waging another war against Somalia (since 2006/07). This past October, I wrote an article about the imperial war in Yemen as a war being fought under the auspices of the “War on Terror” and fighting al-Qaeda (financed by the Saudi elite); but which in reality is about America and other Western imperial powers (such as the U.K.) propping up a despotic leaders who has been in power since 1978, by supporting him in his campaign to eliminate a rebel movement in the North and a massive secessionist movement in the South. Saudi Arabia entered the conflict in August of 2009 by bombing rebel holdouts in the North along the Saudi border, as the Saudi elite are afraid of the movement spreading to disaffected groups within Saudi Arabia itself.

America inserted itself into the war by increasing the amount of money and military aid given to Yemen (in effect, subsidizing their military, as they do heavily with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, all the Arab states, and dozens of other states around the world), as well as providing direct special forces training and assistance, not to mention carrying out missile strikes within Yemen against “al-Qaeda training camps” which American intelligence officials claimed killed 60 ‘militants’. In reality, 52 innocent people died, with over half of them being women and children. At the time, both Yemen and America claimed it was an al-Qaeda training camp and that the cruise missile was fired by the Yemeni government, despite the fact that it had no such weapons in its arsenal, unlike the U.S. Navy patrolling the coastline. The missile strike was carried out by America “on direct presidential orders.”

Several days later, there was the bizarre “attempted terrorist attack” in which a young Nigerian man was arrested attempting to blow up his underwear (who was helped onto the plane by a mysterious Indian man in a suit who claimed he was a diplomat, according to witnesses), and who was subsequently linked to “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (an organization which started up not much earlier when a Guantanamo inmate returned to Saudi Arabia only to ‘escape’ Saudi custody, and flee to Yemen to start a new al-Qaeda branch). This provided the justification for America to dramatically increase its military aid to Yemen, which more than doubled from $67 million to $150 million, and came with increased special forces training and assistance, as well as increased CIA activity, discussing using drone attacks to kill innocent people (as they do in Pakistan), and more missile strikes.

This previous September, the Yemen government “laid siege” to a town in the South while the Obama administrations top counter-terrorism official, John Brennan, was in Yemen for ‘talks’ with President Saleh. The town was claimed to be a “sanctuary for al-Qaeda,” but it has key strategic significance as well. It is just south of a major new liquid natural gas pipeline, and the town happened to be home to many people involved in the Southern secessionist movement. The Yemeni government “barred” any outside or independent observers from witnessing the siege, which lasted days. However, for the many who fled the conflict and “siege,” they were claiming that the Islamic militants were working with the government against the rebel movement in the North and secessionist movement in the South, and according to one NPR reporter, “this is more about fighting or subduing the secessionist movement than it is about al-Qaida.”

[See: Andrew Gavin Marshall, “Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire,” Global Research, 5 October 2010]

The Wikileaks ‘revelations’ further inform and confirm much of this analysis. In regards to the missile strike that killed innocent women and children on Obama’s orders, Wikileaks cables revealed that Yemeni President Saleh “secretly offered US forces unrestricted access to his territory to conduct unilateral strikes against al-Qaida terrorist targets.” As Saleh told John Breannan in September of 2009, “I have given you an open door on terrorism. So I am not responsible.” Regarding the December 21 strike that killed the innocent civilians, a cable explained, “Yemen insisted it must ‘maintain the status quo’ regarding the official denial of US involvement. Saleh wanted operations to continue ‘non-stop until we eradicate this disease,” and days later in a meeting with U.S. Central Command head, General David Patraeus, “Saleh admitted lying to his population about the strikes.” He told the General, “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”[28]

In regards to Pakistan, while it is important to be highly critical of the validity of the ‘perspectives’ within the cables in regards to Pakistan and the Taliban, since Pakistan is a current and escalating target in the “War [OF] Terror,” there are things to keep in mind: historically, the Pakistani ISI has funded, armed and trained the Taliban, but always with U.S. assistance and support. Thus, we must examine the situation presently and so historically. Wikileaks revealed (as I mentioned previously), that Arab Gulf states help fund the Taliban in Afghanistan, so the common claim that it is Pakistan ‘alone’ is immediately made to be erroneous. Is it possible that Pakistan is still working with the Taliban? Of course. They have historically through their intelligence services, the ISI, and while they have never done it without U.S. support (mostly through the CIA), the ISI still receives most of its outside funding from the CIA.[29] The CIA funding of the ISI, a reality since the late 70s, picked up dramatically following 9/11, the operations of which the ISI has been itself complicit in financing.[30] Thus, the CIA rewarded the financiers of 9/11 by increasing their funds.

The trouble with discounting information that does not fit in with your previously conceived ideas is that it does not allow for evolution or progress in thinking. This should never be done in regards to any subject, yet it is commonly done for all subjects, by official and critical voices alike. With Pakistan, we must understand that while historically it has been a staunch U.S. ally in the region, propping up every government, supporting every coup, American geopolitical ambitions have changed as a result of the changing geopolitical reality of the world. Pakistan has drawn increasingly close to China, which built a major seaport on Pakistan’s coast, giving China access to the Indian Ocean. This is a strategic threat to India and the United States more broadly, which seeks to subdue and control China’s growing influence (while simultaneously attempting to engage in efforts of international integration with China, specifically economically). India and Pakistan are historical enemies, and wars have been fought between them before. India and America are in a strategic alliance, and America helped India with its nuclear program, much to the distaste of the Pakistanis, who drew closer to China. Pakistan occupies an area of the utmost strategic importance: with its neighbours being Afghanistan, China, India and Iran.

American policy has changed to support a civilian government, kept weak and subservient to U.S. interests, while America covertly expands its wars inside Pakistan. This is creating an incredible potential for absolute destabilization and fragmentation, potentially resulting in total civil war. America appears to be undertaking a similar policy in Pakistan that it undertook in fracturing Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s. Only that Pakistan has a population of 170 million people and nuclear weapons. As America expands its destabilization of Pakistan, the risk of a nuclear war between Pakistan and India dramatically increases, as does the risk of destabilization spreading regionally to its neighbours of India, China, Afghanistan and Iran. The American-urged separation of the Pakistani military from official power in Pakistan (as in, it’s not a military dictatorships), was designed to impose a completely U.S. dependent civilian government and isolate an increasingly frustrated and antagonized Pakistani military.

As the Wikileaks cables revealed, General Kayani, head of the Pakistani military, threatened to depose the Pakistani government in a coup in March of 2009, and he discussed this in meetings with the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson. The cables revealed that the Pakistani Army Chief disliked the civilian government, but that they disliked the opposition even more, which was rallying people in the streets.[31] This reveals the intimate nature the U.S. has with the Pakistani military, as it always has. The U.S. did not support this proposal, as it currently favours a weak civilian government, and therefore a strong military dictatorship is not in America’s (or India’s) interest. Thus, there was no coup. Hence, Wikileaks can be used to further inform and vindicate analysis of Pakistan. For those who have been speaking about the destabilization of Pakistan for years, and there have been many, Wikileaks provides more resources to a critical analysis, and suddenly more people around the world might be interested in new ideas and perspectives, as Wikileaks has challenged so many of their previously held beliefs.

The list of examples surfacing from the Wikileaks cables is endless in the amount of additional information it can add in the alternative media’s dissemination of information and analysis. These were but a few examples among many. Make no mistake, this is an opportunity for the spread of truth, not a distraction from it. Treat it accordingly.


Notes

[1]        David E. Sanger, James Glanz and Jo Becker, Around the World, Distress Over Iran, The New York Times, 28 November 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/middleeast/29iran.htmlin

[2]        Fox, Leaked Documents Show Middle East Consensus on Threat Posed by Iran, Fox News, 29 November 2010: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/29/leaked-documents-middle-east-consensus-threat-posed-iran/

[3]        Ross Colvin, “Cut off head of snake” Saudis told U.S. on Iran, Reuters, 29 November 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AS02B20101129

[4]        FT reporters, Iran accuses US over WikiLeaks, The Financial Times, 29 November 2010: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/940105fc-fbd1-11df-b79a-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz16zUOP500

[5]        Barak Ravid, Netanyahu: Israel will not stand at center of new WikiLeaks report, Ha’aretz, 28 November 2010: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-israel-will-not-stand-at-center-of-new-wikileaks-report-1.327416?localLinksEnabled=false

[6]        Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler, Unexpectedly, Israel Welcomes WikiLeaks Revelations, IPS News, 1 December 2010: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53731

[7]        JPOST.COM STAFF, Barak: ‘Wikileaks incident has not damaged Israel’, Jerusalem Post, 30 November 2010: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=197357

[8]        Haaretz Service, Senior Turkey official says Israel behind WikiLeaks release, Ha’aretz, 2 December 2010: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/senior-turkey-official-says-israel-behind-wikileaks-release-1.328373

[9]        Craig Murray, Extraordinary Rendition, CraigMurray.org, 11 July 2005: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2005/07/extraordinary_r_1.html

[10]      Nick Paton Walsh, The envoy who said too much, The Guardian, 15 July 2004: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2004/jul/15/foreignpolicy.uk

[11]      Craig Murray, Raise A Glass to Wikileaks, CraigMurray.org, 29 November 2010: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/11/raise_a_glass_t.html

[12]      Ibid.

[13]      Ibid.

[14]      Ewen MacAskill, Columbia students told job prospects harmed if they access WikiLeaks cables, The Guardian, 5 December 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/05/columbia-students-wikileaks-cables

[15]      RICHARD STENGEL, Transcript: TIME Interview with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, Time Magazine, 30 November 2010: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101201/wl_time/08599203404000

[16]      Ibid.

[17]      Ibid.

[18]      Matthew Creamer, Obama Wins! … Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year, AdAge, 17 October 2008: http://adage.com/moy2008/article?article_id=131810; Mark Sweney, Barack Obama campaign claims two top prizes at Cannes Lion ad awards, The Guardian, 29 June 2009: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/29/barack-obama-cannes-lions

[19]      David Leigh, Heather Brooke  and Rob Evans, WikiLeaks cables: ‘Rude’ Prince Andrew shocks US ambassador, The Guardian, 29 November 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/29/wikileaks-cables-rude-prince-andrew

[20]      US embassy cables: Prince Andrew rails against France, the SFO and the Guardian, The Guardian, 29 November 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/175722

[21]      Rob Evans and David Leigh, WikiLeaks cables: Prince Andrew demanded special BAE briefing, The Guardian, 30 November 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/30/prince-andrew-wikileaks-cables

[22]      US embassy cables: Prince Andrew hunts with Arab leaders, The Guardian, 29 November 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/8446

[23]      Robert Booth, Wikileaks cable: Prince Charles ‘not respected like Queen’, The Guardian, 29 November 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/29/wikileaks-cable-prince-charles-queen

[24]      Declan Walsh, WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists, The Guardian, 5 December 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding

[25]      SCOTT SHANE and ANDREW W. LEHREN, Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy, The New York Times, 28 November 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29cables.html

[26]      Simon Tisdall, WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia rated a bigger threat to Iraqi stability than Iran, The Guardian, 5 December 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-meddling-iraq

[27]      William Maclean, Saudi royal: Punish WikiLeaks source “vigorously”, Reuters, 5 December 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B41VA20101205

[28]      Robert Booth and Ian Black, WikiLeaks cables: Yemen offered US ‘open door’ to attack al-Qaida on its soil, The Guardian, 3 December 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-yemen-us-attack-al-qaida

[29]      Greg Miller, CIA pays for support in Pakistan, Los Angeles Times, 15 November 2009: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/15/world/fg-cia-pakistan15

[30]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, 9/11 and America’s Secret Terror Campaign, Global Research, 10 September 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20975

[31]      David Batty and Declan Walsh, Pakistan army reacts to WikiLeaks cables with democracy pledge, The Guardian, 4 December 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/04/pakistan-army-supports-government-wikileaks

New Eugenics and the Rise of the Global Scientific Dictatorship

Introduction

We are in the midst of the most explosive development in all of human history. Humanity is experiencing a simultaneously opposing and conflicting geopolitical transition, the likes of which has never before been anticipated or experienced. Historically, the story of humanity has been the struggle between the free-thinking individual and structures of power controlled by elites that seek to dominate land, resources and people. The greatest threat to elites at any time – historically and presently – is an awakened, critically thinking and politically stimulated populace. This threat has manifested itself throughout history, in different places and at different times. Ideas of freedom, democracy, civil and human rights, liberty and equality have emerged in reaction and opposition to power structures and elite systems of control.

The greatest triumphs of the human mind – whether in art, science or thought – have arisen out of and challenged great systems of power and control. The greatest of human misery and tragedy has arisen out of the power structures and systems that elites always seek to construct and manage. War, genocide, persecution and human degradation are directly the result of decisions made by those who control the apparatus of power, whether the power manifests itself as intellectual, ecclesiastical, spiritual, militaristic, or scientific. The most malevolent and ruthless power is that over the free human mind: if one controls how one thinks, they control the individual itself. The greatest human achievements are where individuals have broken free the shackles that bind the mind and let loose the inherent and undeniable power that lies in each and every individual on this small little planet.

Currently, our world is at the greatest crossroads our species has ever experienced. We are in the midst of the first truly global political awakening, in which for the first time in all of human history, all of mankind is politically awakened and stirring; in which whether inadvertently or intentionally, people are thinking and acting in political terms. This awakening is most evident in the developing world, having been made through personal experience to be acutely aware of the great disparities, disrespect, and domination inherent in global power structures. The awakening is spreading increasingly to the west itself, as the majority of the people living in the western developed nations are thrown into poverty and degradation. The awakening will be forced upon all people all over the world. Nothing, no development, ever in human history, has posed such a monumental threat to elite power structures.

This awakening is largely driven by the Technological Revolution, which through technology and electronics, in particular mass media and the internet, have made it so that people across the world are able to become aware of global issues and gain access to information from around the world. The Technological Revolution, thus, has fostered an Information Revolution which has, in turn, fed the global political awakening.

Simultaneously, the Technological Revolution has led to another unique and unprecedented development in human history, and one that is diametrically opposed, yet directly related to the global political awakening. For the first time in human history, free humanity is faced with the dominating threat of a truly global elite, who have at their hands the technology to impose a truly global system of control: a global scientific dictatorship. The great danger is that through the exponential growth in scientific techniques, elites will use these great new powers to control and dominate all of humanity in such a way that has never before been experienced.

Through all of human history, tyrants have used coercive force and terror to control populations. With the Technological Revolution, elites increasingly have the ability to control the very biology and psychology of the individual to a point where it may not be necessary to impose a system of terror, but rather where the control is implemented on a much deeper, psychological, subliminal and individual biological manner. While terror can prevent people from opposing power for a while, the scientific dictatorship can create a personal psycho-social condition in which the individual comes to love his or her own slavery; in which, like a mentally inferior pet, they are made to love their leaders and accept their servitude.

So we are presented with a situation in which humanity is faced with both the greatest threat and the greatest hope that we have ever collectively experienced in our short human history. This essay, the third part in the series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom,” examines the ideas behind the global scientific dictatorship, and how it may manifest itself presently and in the future, with a particular focus on the emergence of ‘new eugenics’ as a system of mass control.

Free humanity faces the most monumental decision we have ever been presented with: do we feed and fuel the global political awakening into a true human psycho-social revolution of the mind, creating a new global political economy which empowers and liberates all of humanity; or… do we fall silently into a ‘brave new world’ of a global scientific oppression, the likes of which have never before been experienced, and whose dominance would never be more difficult to challenge and overcome?

We can either find a true freedom, or descend into a deep despotism. We are not powerless before this great ideational beast. We have, at our very fingertips the ability to use technology to our benefit and to re-shape the world so that it benefits the people of the world and not simply the powerful. It must be freedom for all or freedom for none.

What is the ‘Scientific Dictatorship’?

In 1932, Aldous Huxley wrote his dystopian novel, “Brave New World,” in which he looked at the emergence of the scientific dictatorships of the future. In his 1958 essay, “Brave New World Revisited,” Huxley examined how far the world had come in that short period since his book was published, and where the world was heading. Huxley wrote that:

In politics the equivalent of a fully developed scientific theory or philosophical system is a totalitarian dictatorship. In economics, the equivalent of a beautifully composed work of art is the smoothly running factory in which the workers are perfectly adjusted to the machines. The Will to Order can make tyrants out of those who merely aspire to clear up a mess. The beauty of tidiness is used as a justification for despotism.[1]

Huxley explained that, “The future dictator’s subjects will be painlessly regimented by a corps of highly trained social engineers,” and he quotes one “advocate of this new science” as saying that, “The challenge of social engineering in our time is like the challenge of technical engineering fifty years ago. If the first half of the twentieth century was the era of technical engineers, the second half may well be the era of social engineers.” Thus, proclaims Huxley, “The twenty-first century, I suppose, will be the era of World Controllers, the scientific caste system and Brave New World.”[2]

In 1952, Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, historian, mathematician, and social critic wrote the book, “The Impact of Science on Society,” in which he warned and examined how science, and the technological revolution, was changing and would come to change society. In his book, Russell explained that:

I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically speaking, not a very advanced study… This study is immensely useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called ‘education’. Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the Press, the cinema and the radio play an increasing part.

What is essential in mass psychology is the art of persuasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler’s with a speech of (say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.

This subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship.[3]

Russell went on to analyze the question of whether a ‘scientific dictatorship’ is more stable than a democracy, on which he postulated:

Apart from the danger of war, I see no reason why such a regime should be unstable. After all, most civilised and semi-civilised countries known to history have had a large class of slaves or serfs completely subordinate to their owners. There is nothing in human nature that makes the persistence of such a system impossible. And the whole development of scientific technique has made it easier than it used to be to maintain a despotic rule of a minority. When the government controls the distribution of food, its power is absolute so long as it can count on the police and the armed forces. And their loyalty can be secured by giving them some of the privileges of the governing class. I do not see how any internal movement of revolt can ever bring freedom to the oppressed in a modern scientific dictatorship.[4]

Drawing on the concept popularized by Aldous Huxley – of people loving their servitude – Bertrand Russell explained that under a scientific dictatorship:

It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished… Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.[5]

Russell explained that, “The completeness of the resulting control over opinion depends in various ways upon scientific technique. Where all children go to school, and all schools are controlled by the government, the authorities can close the minds of the young to everything contrary to official orthodoxy.”[6] Russell later proclaimed in his book that, “a scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is a world government.”[7] He elaborated:

Unless there is a world government which secures universal birth control, there must be from time to time great wars, in which the penalty of defeat is widespread death by starvation. That is exactly the present state of the world, and some may hold that there is no reason why it should not continue for centuries. I do not myself believe that this is possible. The two great wars that we have experienced have lowered the level of civilization in many parts of the world, and the next is pretty sure to achieve much more in this direction. Unless, at some stage, one power or group of powers emerges victorious and proceeds to establish a single government of the world with a monopoly of armed force, it is clear that the level of civilization must continually decline until scientific warfare becomes impossible – that is until science is extinct.[8]

Russell explains that eugenics plays a central feature in the construction of any world government scientific dictatorship, stating that, “Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.”[9]

In a 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, Aldous Huxley spoke about the real world becoming the ‘Brave New World’ nightmare he envisaged. Huxley spoke primarily of the ‘Ultimate Revolution’ that focuses on ‘behavioural controls’ of people. Huxley said of the ‘Ultimate Revolution’:

In the past, we can say, that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. There’s been the political revolution, the economic revolution . . . the religious revolution. All these aimed as I say not directly at the human being but at his surroundings, so by modifying his surroundings you did achieve – at one remove – an effect upon the human being.

Today, we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ‘Ultimate Revolution’ – the ‘Final Revolution’ – where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows. Well needless to say some kind of direct action on human mind-bodies has been going on since the beginning of time, but this has generally been of a violent nature. The techniques of terrorism have been known from time immemorial, and people have employed them with more-or-less ingenuity, sometimes with utmost crudity, sometimes with a good deal of skill acquired with a process of trial and error – finding out what the best ways of using torture, imprisonments, constraints of various kinds . . .

If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely, it can function for a fairly long time; but sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion, an element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.

Well it seems to me the nature of the Ultimate Revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques, which will enable the controlling oligarchy – who have always existed and will presumably always exist – to get people to love their servitude. This is the ultimate in malevolent revolution…

There seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of Ultimate Control, this method of control, by which people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs by which any decent standard they ought not to enjoy; the enjoyment of servitude . . .

I am inclined to think that the scientific dictatorships of the future – and I think there are going to be scientific dictatorships in many parts of the world – will be probably a good deal nearer to the Brave New World pattern than to the 1984 pattern. They will be a good deal nearer, not because of any humanitarian qualms in the scientific dictators, but simply because the ‘brave new world’ pattern is probably a good deal more efficient than the other. That if you can get people to consent to the state of affairs in which they are living – the state of servitude – if you can do this, then you are likely to have a much more stable, a much more lasting society; much more easily controllable society than you would if you were relying wholly on clubs, and firing squads and concentration camps.[10]

In 1961, President Eisenhower delivered his farewell address to the nation in which he warned of the dangers to democracy posed by the military-industrial complex: the interconnected web of industry, the military, and politics creating the conditions for constant war. In that same speech, Eisenhower warned America and the world of another important change in society:

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.[11]

In 1970, Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote about “the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society,” in the “technetronic revolution”; explaining:

Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Under such circumstances, the scientific and technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits.[12]

New Eugenics

Many sciences and large social movements are directed by the same foundations and money that financed the eugenics movement in the early 20th century. The Rockefeller foundations, Ford, Carnegie, Mellon, Harriman, and Morgan money that flowed into eugenics led directly to ‘scientific racism,’ and ultimately the Holocaust in World War II.[13] Following the Holocaust, Hitler had discredited the eugenics movement he admired so much in America. So the movement branched off into forming several other social engineering projects: population control, genetics, and environmentalism. The same foundations that laid the foundations for eugenic ideology – the belief in a biological superiority and right to rule (justifying their power) – then laid the foundations for these and other new social and scientific movements.

Major environmental and conservation organizations were founded with Rockefeller and Ford Foundation money,[14] which then continued to be central sources of funding to this day; while the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was founded in 1961 by Sir Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley’s brother, who was also the President of the British Eugenics Society. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands became the organization’s first president. Prince Bernhard also happened to be one of the founders of the elite global think tank, the Bilderberg Group, which he co-founded in 1954; and he was previous to that, a member of the Nazi Party and an SS officer.[15] Sir Julian Huxley also happened to be the first Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). In 1946, Huxley wrote a paper titled, “UNESCO: It’s Purpose and its Philosophy.” In it, he wrote that the general focus of UNESCO:

is to help the emergence of a single world culture, with its own philosophy and background of ideas, and with its own broad purpose. This is opportune, since this is the first time in history that the scaffolding and the mechanisms for world unification have become available, and also the first time that man has had the means (in the shape of scientific discovery and its applications) of laying a world-wide foundation for the minimum physical welfare of the entire human species…[16]

At the moment, it is probable that the indirect effect of civilisation is dysgenic instead of eugenic; and in any case it seems likely that the dead weight of genetic stupidity, physical weakness, mental instability, and disease-proneness, which already exist in the human species, will prove too great a burden for real progress to be achieved. Thus even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for Unesco to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable…[17]

Still another and quite different type of borderline subject is that of eugenics. It has been on the borderline between the scientific and the unscientific, constantly in danger of becoming a pseudo- science based on preconceived political ideas or on assumptions of racial or class superiority and inferiority. It is, however, essential that eugenics should be brought entirely within the borders of science, for, as already indicated, in the not very remote future the problem of improving the average quality of human beings is likely to become urgent; and this can only be accomplished by applying the findings of a truly scientific eugenics…[18]

It is worth pointing out that the applications of science at once bring us up against social problems of various sorts. Some of these are direct and obvious. Thus the application of genetics in eugenics immediately raises the question of values- what qualities should we desire to encourage in the human beings of the future?[19]

On page 6 of the UNESCO document, Sir Julian Huxley wrote that, “in order to carry out its work, an organisation such as Unesco needs not only a set of general aims and objects for itself, but also a working philosophy, a working hypothesis concerning human existence and its aims and objects, which will dictate, or at least indicate, a definite line of approach to its problems.”[20] While much of the language of equality and education sounds good and benevolent, it is based upon a particular view of humanity as an irrational, emotionally driven organism which needs to be controlled. Thus, the ‘principle of equality’ becomes “The Fact of Inequality”:

Finally we come to a difficult problem-that of discovering how we can reconcile our principle of human equality with the biological fact of human inequality… The democratic principle of equality, which is also Unesco’s, is a principle of equality of opportunity-that human beings should be equal before the law, should have equal opportunities for education, for making a living, for freedom of expression and movement and thought. The biological absence of equality, on the other hand, concerns the natural endowments of man and the fact of genetic difference in regard to them.

There are instances of biological inequality which are so gross that they cannot be reconciled at all with the principle of equal opportunity. Thus low-grade mental defectives cannot be offered equality of educational opportunity, nor are the insane equal with the sane before the law or in respect of most freedoms. However, the full implications of the fact of human inequality have not often been drawn and certainly need to be brought out here, as they are very relevant to Unesco’s task.[21]

Many of these “genetic inequalities” revolve around the idea of intellectual superiority: the idea that there is no equality among the intellectually inferior and superior. That inequality is derived from human biology – from genetics; it is a “human fact.” It just so happens that elites who propagate this ideology, also happen to view the masses as intellectually inferior; thus, there can be no social equality in a world with a technological intellectual elite. So eugenics must be employed, as the UENSCO paper explains, to address the issues of raising human welfare to a manageable level; that the time will come where elites will need to address the whole of humanity as a single force, and with a single voice. Eugenics is about the social organization and control of humanity. Ultimately, eugenics is about the engineering of inequality. In genetics, elites found a way to take discrimination down to the DNA.

Genetics as Eugenics

Award-winning author and researcher, Edwin Black, wrote an authoritative history of eugenics in his book, “War Against the Weak,” in which he explained that, “the incremental effort to transform eugenics into human genetics forged an entire worldwide infrastructure,” with the founding of the Institute for Human Genetics in Copenhagen in 1938, led by Tage Kemp, a Rockefeller Foundation eugenicist, and was financed with money from the Rockefeller Foundation.[22] While not abandoning the eugenics goals, the new re-branded eugenics movement “claimed to be eradicating poverty and saving the environment.”[23]

In a 2001 issue of Science Magazine, Garland Allen, a scientific historian, wrote about genetics as a modern form of eugenics. He began by citing a 1998 article in Time Magazine which proclaimed that, “Personality, temperament, even life choices. New studies show it’s mostly in your genes.” Garland explains the implications:

Coat-tailing on major advances in genetic biotechnology, these articles portray genetics as the new “magic bullet” of biomedical science that will solve many of our recurrent social problems. The implication is that these problems are largely a result of the defective biology of individuals or even racial or ethnic groups. If aggressive or violent behavior is in the genes, so the argument goes, then the solution lies in biomedical intervention–gene therapy in the distant future and pharmacotherapy (replacing the products of defective genes with drug substitutes) in the immediate future.

By promoting such claims, are we heading toward a new version of eugenics? Are we getting carried away with the false promise of a technological fix for problems that really lie in the structure of our society? My answer to these questions is “yes,” but with some important qualifications that derive from the different historical and social contexts of the early 1900s and the present…

The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by the Victorian polymath Francis Galton, geographer, statistician, and first cousin of Charles Darwin. It meant to him “truly- or well-born,” and referred to a plan to encourage the “best people” in society to have more children (positive eugenics) and to discourage or prevent the “worst elements” of society from having many, if any, children (negative eugenics). Eugenics became solidified into a movement in various countries throughout the world in the first three decades of the 20th century, but nowhere more solidly than in the United States and, after World War I, in Germany.[24]

While genetic traits such as eye colour and the like were proven to be hereditary, “eugenicists were more interested in the inheritance of social behaviors, intelligence, and personality.” Further:

American eugenicists also strove to disseminate the results of eugenic research to the public and to lawmakers. They supported the idea of positive eugenics [encouraging the ‘best’ to become better], but focused most of their energies on negative eugenics [to encourage the ‘worst’ to become fewer]. Eugenicists wrote hundreds of articles for popular magazines, published dozens of books for the general (and some for the scientific) reader, prepared exhibits for schools and state fairs, made films, and wrote sermons and novels.[25]

American eugenicists, fully backed by the financial support of the major American philanthropic fortunes, passed eugenics legislation in over 27 states across the United States, often in the form of forced sterilizations for the mentally ‘inferior’, so that, “By the 1960s, when most of these laws were beginning to be repealed, more than 60,000 people had been sterilized for eugenic purposes.” As Garland Allen wrote:

For the wealthy benefactors that supported eugenics, such as the Carnegie, Rockefeller, Harriman, and Kellogg philanthropies, eugenics provided a means of social control in a period of unprecedented upheaval and violence. It was these same economic elites and their business interests who introduced scientific management and organizational control into the industrial sector

[In 1994] we saw the resurrection of claims that there are genetic differences in intelligence between races, leading to different socio-economic status. Claims about the genetic basis for criminality, manic depression, risk-taking, alcoholism, homosexuality, and a host of other behaviors have also been rampant in scientific and especially popular literature. Much of the evidence for such claims is as controversial today as in the past.

We seem to be increasingly unwilling to accept what we view as imperfection in ourselves and others. As health care costs skyrocket, we are coming to accept a bottom-line, cost-benefit analysis of human life. This mind-set has serious implications for reproductive decisions. If a health maintenance organization (HMO) requires in utero screening, and refuses to cover the birth or care of a purportedly “defective” child, how close is this to eugenics? If gene or drug therapy is substituted for improving our workplace or school environments, our diets and our exercise practices, how close is this to eugenics? Significant social changes are expensive, however. If eugenics means making reproductive decisions primarily on the basis of social cost, then we are well on that road.[26]

Genetics unleash an unprecedented power into human hands: the power of unnatural creation and the manipulation of biology. We do not yet fully understand nor comprehend the implications of genetic manipulation in our food, plants, animals, and in humans, themselves. What is clear is that we are changing the very biology of our environment and ourselves in it. While there are many clear and obvious benefits to genetic technology, such as the ability to enhance ailing senses (sight, hearing, etc.) and cure diseases, the positive must be examined and discussed with the negative repercussions of genetic manipulation so as to better direct the uses of this powerful technology.

Debates on issues such as stem-cell research and genetic manipulation often focus on a science versus religion aspect, where science seeks to benevolently cure mankind of its ailments and religion seeks to preserve the sanctity of ‘creation’. This is an irrational and narrow manner to conduct a real debate on this monumental issue, painting the issue as black and white, which it most certainly is not. Science can be used for good as well as bad, and human history, most especially that of the 20th century, is nothing if not evidence for that fact. Incredible scientific ingenuity went into the creation of great weapons; the manipulation of the atom to kill millions in an instant, or the manufacturing of biological and chemical weapons. The problem with the interaction of science and power is that with such great power comes the temptation to use and abuse it. If the ability to create a weapon like an atom bomb seems possible, most certainly there are those who seek to make it probable. Where there is temptation, there is human weakness.

So while genetics can be used for benevolent purposes and for the betterment of humankind, so too can it be used to effectively create a biological caste system, where in time it would be feasible to see a break in the human race, where as human advancement technologies become increasingly available, their use is reserved to the elite so that there comes a time where there is a biological separation in the human species. Oliver Curry, an evolutionary theorist from the London School of Economics predicted that “the human race will have reached its physical peak by the year 3000” and that, “The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures.”[27] Such was the plot of H.G. Wells’ classic book, “The Time Machine,” who was himself, a prominent eugenicist at the turn of the 20th century. While this would be a long time from now, its potential results from the decisions we make today.

Population Control as Eugenics

Not only was the field of genetics born of eugenics, and heavily financed by the same monied-interests that seek social control; but so too was the field of population control. In environmental literature and rhetoric, one concept that has emerged over the years as playing a significant part is that of population control. Population is seen as an environmental issue because the larger the population, the more resources it consumes and land it occupies. In this concept, the more people there are the worse the environment becomes. Thus, programs aimed at controlling population growth are often framed in an environmentalist lens. There is also a distinctly radical element in this field, which views population growth not simply as an environmental concern, but which frames people, in general, as a virus that must be eradicated if the earth is to survive.

However, in the view of elites, population control is more about controlling the people than saving the environment. Elites have always been drawn to population studies that have, in many areas, helped construct their worldview. Concerns about population growth really took hold with Thomas Malthus at the end of the 18th century. In 1798, Malthus wrote a “theory on the nature of poverty,” and he “called for population control by moral restraint,” citing charity as a promotion of “generation-to-generation poverty and simply made no sense in the natural scheme of human progress.” Thus, the idea of ‘charity’ became immoral. The eugenics movement attached itself to Malthus’ theory regarding the “rejection of the value of helping the poor.”[28]

The ideas of Malthus, and later Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin were remolded into branding an elite ideology of “Social Darwinism”, which was “the notion that in the struggle to survive in a harsh world, many humans were not only less worthy, many were actually destined to wither away as a rite of progress. To preserve the weak and the needy was, in essence, an unnatural act.”[29] This theory simply justified the immense wealth, power and domination of a small elite over the rest of humanity, as that elite saw themselves as the only truly intelligent beings worthy of holding such power and privilege.

Francis Galton later coined the term “eugenics” to describe this emerging field. His followers believed that the ‘genetically unfit’ “would have to be wiped away,” using tactics such as, “segregation, deportation, castration, marriage prohibition, compulsory sterilization, passive euthanasia – and ultimately extermination.”[30] The actual science of eugenics was lacking extensive evidence, and ultimately Galton “hoped to recast eugenics as a religious doctrine,” which was “to be taken on faith without proof.”[31]

As the quest to re-brand “eugenics” was under way, a 1943 edition of Eugenical News published an article titled “Eugenics After the War,” which cited Charles Davenport, a major founder and progenitor of eugenics, in his vision of “a new mankind of biological castes with master races in control and slave races serving them.”[32] A 1946 article in Eugenical News stated that, “Population, genetics, [and] psychology, are the three sciences to which the eugenicist must look for the factual material on which to build an acceptable philosophy of eugenics and to develop and defend practical eugenics proposals.”[33]

In the post-war period, emerging in the 1950s and going into the 1960s, the European colonies were retracting as nations of the ‘Third World’ were gaining political independence. This reinforced support for population control in many circles, as “For those who benefited most from the global status quo, population control measures were a far more palatable alternative to ending Third World poverty or promoting genuine economic development.”[34]

In 1952, “John D. Rockefeller 3rd convened a group of scientists to discuss the implications of the dramatic demographic change. They met in Williamsburg, Virginia, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, and after two and a half days agreed on the need for a new institution that could provide solid science to guide governments and individuals in addressing population questions.”[35] That new institution was to become the Population Council. Six of the Council’s ten founding members were eugenicists.[36]

According to the Population Council’s website, it “did not itself espouse any form of population policy. Instead, through grants to individuals and institutions, it invested in strengthening the indigenous capacity of countries and regions to conduct population research and to develop their own policies. The Council also funded seminal work in U.S. universities and further developed its own in-house research expertise in biomedicine, public health, and social science.”[37]

In 2008, Matthew Connelly, a professor at Columbia University, wrote a book called, “Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population,” in which he critically analyzes the history of the population control movement. He documents the rise of the field through the eugenics movement:

In 1927 a Rockefeller-funded study of contraception sought “some simple measure which will be available for the wife of the slum-dweller, the peasant, or the coolie, though dull of mind.” In 1935 one representative told India’s Council of State that population control was a necessity for the masses, adding that “it is not what they want, but what is good for them.” The problem with the natives was that “they are born too much and they don’t die enough,” a public-health official in French Indochina stated in 1936.[38]

Connelly’s general thesis was “how some people have long tried to redesign world population by reducing the fertility of other’s.” Further:

Connelly examines population control as a global transnational movement because its main advocates and practitioners aimed to reduce world population through global governance and often viewed national governments as a means to this end. Fatal Misconceptions is therefore an intricate account of networks of influential individuals, international organizations, NGOs, and national governments.[39]

As one review in the Economist pointed out, “Much of the evil done in the name of slowing population growth had its roots in an uneasy coalition between feminists, humanitarians and environmentalists, who wished to help the unwillingly fecund, and the racists, eugenicists and militarists who wished to see particular patterns of reproduction, regardless of the desires of those involved.” The Economist further wrote:

As the world population soared, the population controllers came to believe they were fighting a war, and there would be collateral damage. Millions of intra-uterine contraceptive devices were exported to poor countries although they were known to cause infections and sterility. “Perhaps the individual patient is expendable in the general scheme of things,” said a participant at a conference on the devices organised in 1962 by the Population Council, a research institute founded by John D. Rockefeller, “particularly if the infection she acquires is sterilising but not lethal.” In 1969 Robert McNamara, then president of the World Bank, said he was reluctant to finance health care “unless it was very strictly related to population control, because usually health facilities contributed to the decline of the death rate, and thereby to the population explosion.”[40]

A review in the New York Review of Books pointed out that this movement coincided a great deal with the feminist movement in advancing women’s reproductive rights. However, “these benefits were seen by many US family planning officials as secondary to the goal of reducing the absolute numbers of people in developing countries. The urgency of what came to be known as the “population control movement” contributed to a climate of coercion and led to a number of serious human rights abuses, especially in Asian countries.”[41] Dominic Lawson, writing a review of Connelly’s book for The Sunday Times, explained that:

the population-control movement was bankrolled by America’s biggest private fortunes – the Ford family foundation, John D Rockefeller III, and Clarence Gamble (of Procter & Gamble). These gentlemen shared not just extreme wealth but a common anxiety: the well-to-do and clever (people like them, obviously) were now having much smaller families than their ancestors, but the great unwashed – Chinamen! Indians! Negroes! – were reproducing themselves in an irresponsible manner. What they feared was a kind of Darwinism in reverse – the survival of the unfittest.[42]

As the New Scientist reported, while contraceptives and women’s fertility rights were being expanded, “For much of the past half-century, population control came first and human rights had to be sacrificed.” Further, the New Scientist wrote that Connelly “lays bare the dark secrets of an authoritarian neo-Malthusian ethos that created an international population agenda built around control.” One such horrific notion was “the official policies that made it acceptable to hand out food aid to famine victims only if the women agreed to be sterilized.”[43] In a sad irony, this seemingly progressive movement for women’s rights actually had the effect of resulting in a humanitarian disaster, disproportionately affecting women of the developing world.

In 1968, biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote his widely influential book, ‘The Population Bomb,’ “in which he predicted that global overpopulation would cause massive famines as early as the 1970s.”[44] In his book, he refers to mankind as a “cancer” upon the world:

A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies – often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparent brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance to survive.[45]

The American political elite fully embraced this population paradigm of viewing the world and relations with the rest of the world. President Lyndon Johnson was quoted as saying, “I’m not going to piss away foreign aid in nations where they refuse to deal with their own population problems,” while his successor, Richard Nixon, was quoted as saying, “population control is a must … population control must go hand in hand with aid.”[46] Robert McNamara, President of the World Bank and former Secretary of Defense in the Johnson administration, said that he opposed World Bank programs financing health care “unless it was very strictly related to population control, because usually health facilities contributed to the decline of the death rate, and thereby to the population explosion.”[47]

Ehrlich was also influential in tracking India’s rapid population growth into the 1970s. The rapid population growth in India was attributed at the time to the result of the public health system the British had set up under the colonial government, as well as the fact that, as a means to maintaining a relationship of dependence with Britain, the British had discouraged industrialization in India. As famine was around the corner in India, President “Johnson used food aid to pressure the Indian government to meet its family planning targets,” and “By the early 1970s, Bangladesh was spending one third of its entire health budget on family planning and India was spending 60 percent.”[48] Further:

[B]etween the 1960s and 1980s, millions of people in India and other Asian countries were sterilized or had IUDs [intrauterine devices], as well as other contraceptives, inserted in unhygienic conditions. Numerous cases of uterine perforation, excessive bleeding, infections, and even death were reported.[49]

The Population Council knowingly sent un-sterile IUDs to India, and in the 1970s, nearly half a million women in forty-two developing countries were treated with defective IUDs that “heightened the risk of infection and uterine perforation,” after the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had “quietly bought up thousands of the devices at a discount for distribution overseas.” Then sterilization was introduced as a means for “keeping the quotas” on population control in India, as “sterilization was made a condition for receiving land allocations and water for irrigation, as well as electricity, rickshaw licenses, and medical care.” A Swedish diplomat touring a Swedish/World Bank population program at the time was quoted as saying, “Obviously the stories… on how young and unmarried men are more or less dragged to the sterilization premises are true in far too many cases.”[50]

In 1967, the UN Fund for Population Activities was created, and in 1971, “the General Assembly acknowledged that UNFPA [United Nations Population Fund] should play a leading role within the UN system in promoting population programmes.”[51] In 1970, Nixon created the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, known as the Rockefeller Commission, for its chairman, John D. Rockefeller 3rd. In 1972, the final report was delivered to Nixon.

Among the members of the Commission (besides Rockefeller) were David E. Bell, Vice President of the Ford Foundation, and Bernard Berelson, President of the Population Council. Among the conclusions were that, “Population growth is one of the major factors affecting the demand for resources and the deterioration of the environment in the United States. The further we look into the future, the more important population becomes,” and that, “From an environmental and resource point of view, there are no advantages from further growth.” Further, the report warned:

The American future cannot be isolated from what is happening in the rest of the world. There are serious problems right now in the distribution of resources, income, and wealth, among countries. World population growth is going to make these problems worse before they get better. The United States needs to undertake much greater efforts to understand these problems and develop international policies to deal with them.[52]

In 1974, National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 was issued under the direction of US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, otherwise known as “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” Among the issues laid out in the memorandum was that, “Growing populations will have a serious impact on the need for food especially in the poorest, fastest growing LDCs [Lesser Developed Countries],” and “The most serious consequence for the short and middle term is the possibility of massive famines in certain parts of the world, especially the poorest regions.” Further, “rapid population growth presses on a fragile environment in ways that threaten longer-term food production.” The report plainly stated that, “there is a major risk of severe damage to world economic, political, and ecological systems and, as these systems begin to fail, to our humanitarian values.”[53]

The memorandum lays out key policy recommendations for dealing with the “crisis” of overpopulation. They stated that “our aim should be for the world to achieve a replacement level of fertility, (a two-child family on the average), by about the year 2000,” and that this strategy “will require vigorous efforts by interested countries, U.N. agencies and other international bodies to make it effective [and] U.S. leadership is essential.” They suggested a concentration on specific countries: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.[54]

They recommended the “Integration of population factors and population programs into country development planning,” as well as “Increased assistance for family planning services, information and technology,” and “Creating conditions conducive to fertility decline.” The memorandum even specifically mentioned that, “We must take care that our activities should not give the appearance to the LDCs [Lesser Developed Countries] of an industrialized country policy directed against the LDCs.”[55] Essentially, NSSM 200 made population control a key strategy in US foreign policy, specifically related to aid and development. In other words, it was eugenics as foreign policy.

In 1975, Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, declared martial law. Her son Sanjay was appointed as the nation’s chief population controller. Sanjay “proceeded to flatten slums and then tell the residents that they could get a new house if they would agree to be sterilized. Government officials were given sterilization quotas. Within a year, six million Indian men and two million women were sterilized. At least 2,000 Indians died as a result of botched sterilization operations.” However, the following year there was an election, and Indira Gandhi’s government was thrown out of power, with that issue playing a major factor.[56]

Next, however, China became the major focus of the population control movement, which “offered technical assistance to China’s “one child” policy of 1978-83, even helping to pay for computers that allowed Chinese officials to track “birth permits,” the official means by which the government banned families from having more than one child and required the aborting of additional children.”[57] Further:

Even China’s draconian population programs received some support in the 1980s from the US-funded International Planned Parenthood Federation and the UN Population Fund. Before China launched its infamous “One Child Policy,” concerns were being raised about its “voluntary” family planning program. In 1981, Chinese and American newspapers reported that “vehicles transporting Cantonese women to hospitals for abortions were ‘filled with wailing noises.’ Some pregnant women were reportedly ‘handcuffed, tied with ropes or placed in pig’s baskets.‘”

After 1983, coercion became official Chinese policy. “All women with one child were to be inserted with a stainless-steel, tamper-resistant IUD, all parents with two or more children were to be sterilized, and all unauthorized pregnancies aborted,” according to the One Child Policy. During this time, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the UN Population Fund continued to support China’s nongovernmental Family Planning Association, even though some of its top officials also worked for the government.[58]

The UN was not a passive participant in population control measures, as it actively supported these harsh programs, and in many cases, rewarded governments for their vicious tactics in reducing population growth:

In 1983, Xinzhong Qian and Indira Gandhi were awarded the first United Nations Population Award to recognize and reward their accomplishments in limiting the population growth in China and India in the previous decade. During the 1970s, officials in these countries had launched extremely ambitious population programs that were supposed to improve the quality of the population and halt its growth. The measures used were harsh. For example, slum clearance resulting in the eradication of whole urban neighbourhoods and the widespread sterilization of their inhabitants was an important part of India’s ‘Emergency’ campaign. In Delhi, hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes in events that resulted in numerous clashes, arrests, and deaths, while a total of eight million sterilizations were recorded in India in 1976.[59]

Horrifically, “between the 1960s and 1980s, millions of people in India and other Asian countries were sterilized or had IUDs, as well as other contraceptives, inserted in unhygienic conditions. Numerous cases of uterine perforation, excessive bleeding, infections, and even death were reported, but these programs made little effort to treat these conditions, or even determine their frequency, so we don’t know precisely how common they were.”[60]

In the late 1980s, revelations in Brazil uncovered the NSSM 200 in Brazil since its implementation in 1975 under the Ford Presidency. An official government investigation was launched, and it was discovered that, “an estimated 44% of all Brazilian women aged between 14 and 55 had been permanently sterilized.” Further, the programs of sterilization, undertaken by a number of international organizations, were coordinated under the guidance of USAID.[61]

At the UN’s 1994 World Population Conference in Cairo, Third World delegates to the conference emphasized the need for development policies as opposed to demographic policies; that the focus must be on development, not population. This was essentially a setback for the radical population control movement; however, it wasn’t one they couldn’t work around. There was still a great deal of support among Western elites and co-opted developing world elites for the aims of population control. As Connelly articulated:

It appealed to the rich and powerful because, with the spread of emancipatory movements and the integration of markets, it began to appear easier and more profitable to control populations than to control territory. That’s why opponents were correct in viewing it as another chapter in the unfinished history of imperialism.[62]

It was around this point that the population control movement, while continuing on its overall aims of curbing population growth of Third World nations, began to further merge itself with the environmental movement. While always working alongside the environmental movement, this period saw the emergence of a more integrated approach to policy agendas.

Environmentalism as Eugenics

Michael Barker extensively covered the connection between the Rockefeller and Ford foundations in funding the environmental movement in the academic journal, Capitalism Nature Socialism. As Barker noted, following World War II, the public became increasingly concerned with the environment as the “chemical-industrial complex” grew at an astounding rate.[63] Since Rockefeller interests were heavily involved in the chemical industry, the rising trend in environmental thought and concern had to quickly be controlled and steered in a direction favourable to elite interests.

Two important organizations in shaping the environmental movement were the Conservation Foundation and Resources for the Future, which largely relied upon Rockefeller and Ford Foundation funding, and both conservation organizations had interestingly helped to “launch an explicitly pro-corporate approach to resource conservation.”[64] Laurance Rockefeller served as a trustee of the Conservation Foundation, and donated $50,000 yearly throughout the 50s and 60s. Further, the Conservation Foundation was founded by Fairfield Osborn, whose cousin, Frederick Osborn, became another prominent voice in conservation.[65] Frederick Osborn was also working with the Rockefeller’s Population Council and was President of the American Eugenics Society.

In 1952, the Ford Foundation created the organization Resources for the Future (RFF), (the same year that the Rockefellers created the Population Council), and the original founders were also “John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s chief advisors on conservation matters.” Laurance Rockefeller joined the board of the RFF in 1958, and the RFF got $500,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1970.[66] The Ford Foundation would also go on to create the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund.[67] McGeorge Bundy, who was President of the Ford Foundation from 1966 until 1979, once stated that, “everything the foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the world safe for capitalism’.”[68]

Certainly one of the pre-eminent, if not the most prominent environmental organizations in the world is the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The WWF was founded on September 11, 1961, by Sir Julian Huxley, the first Director General of the UN organization, UNESCO.[69] Sir Julian Huxley was also a life trustee of the British Eugenics Society from 1925, and its President from 1959-62. In the biography of Julian Huxley on the British Eugenics Society’s website (now known as the Galton Institute – a genetics research center), it stated that, “Huxley believed that eugenics would one day be seen as the way forward for the human race,” and that, “A catastrophic event may be needed for evolution to move at an accelerated pace, as the extinction of the dinosaurs gave the mammals their chance to take over the world. It is much the same with ideas whose time has not yet come; they must survive periods when they are not generally welcome. Like the small mammals in dinosaur times they must await their opportunity.”[70]

In 1962, Rachel Carson, an American marine biologist, published her seminal work, Silent Spring, which has long been credited with helping launch the modern environmental movement. Her book was largely based around the criticism of pesticides as harmful to the environment and human and animal health. Of particular note, she is seen as being the starting force for the campaign against DDT. Carson died in 1964, but her legacy was set in stone by the emerging environmental movement.

The Environmental Defense Fund was founded in 1967 with the specific aim to ban DDT. Some of its initial funding came from the Ford Foundation.[71] This also spurred the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an official US government agency, in 1970. In 1972, the EPA banned the use of DDT in the United States. Since this time, “DDT prohibitions have been expanded and enforced by NGO pressure, coercive treaties, and threats of economic sanctions by foundations, nations and international aid agencies.”[72]

DDT is widely regarded as a carcinogen, and most have never questioned the banning of DDT until understanding the effects of DDT usage beyond the environmental aspect. In particular, we need to look at Africa to understand the significant role of DDT and why we need to re-evaluate its potential usage, weighing the pros and cons of doing so. We must bring in the “human element” and balance that out with the “environmental element” instead of just simply writing off the human aspect to the issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in 2000, that, “malaria infected over 300 million people. It killed nearly 2,000,000 – most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Over half the victims are children, who die at the rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day,” and that, “Since 1972, over 50 million people have died from this dreaded disease. Many are weakened by AIDS or dysentery, but actually die of malaria.” In 2002 alone, 80,000 Ugandans died from malaria, half of which were children.[73] The fact is, that:

No other chemical comes close to DDT as an affordable, effective way to repel mosquitoes from homes, exterminate any that land on walls, and disorient any that are not killed or repelled, largely eliminating their urge to bite in homes that are treated once or twice a year with tiny amounts of this miracle insecticide.[74]

Donald Roberts, Professor of Tropical Public Health at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, explained that, “DDT is long-acting; the alternatives are not,” and that, ultimately, when it comes to the issue of poor countries and poor people, “DDT is cheap; the alternatives are not. End of Story.”[75]

Richard Tren, President of Africa Fighting Malaria, said that, “In the 60 years since DDT was first introduced, not a single scientific paper has been able to replicate even one case of actual human harm from its use.” At the end of World War II, DDT was used on nearly every concentration camp survivor to prevent typhus, and the “widespread use of DDT in Europe and the United States played vital roles in eradicating malaria and typhus on both continents.” Further, in 1979, a World Health Organization (WHO) review of DDT use could not find “any possible adverse effects of DDT,” and said it was the “safest pesticide used for residual spraying and vector control programs.”[76]

However, organizations such as the WHO, United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the World Bank, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, and a variety of others still remained adamantly opposed to the use of DDT. While DDT is not outright banned, it is extremely difficult to have it used in places like Africa due to funding. The funding for health care and disease-related programs comes largely from western aid agencies and NGOs, and “The US Agency for International Development [USAID] will not fund any indoor residual spraying and neither will most of the other donors,” explained Richard Tren, which “means that most African countries have to use whatever [these donors] are willing to fund (bed nets), which may not be the most appropriate tool.”[77]

A Ugandan Health Minister said in 2002 that, “Our people’s lives are of primary importance. The West is concerned about the environment because we share it with them. But it is not concerned about malaria because it is not a problem there. In Europe, they used DDT to kill anopheles mosquitoes that cause malaria. Why can’t we use DDT to kill the enemy in our camp?”[78]

Michael Crichton, an author and PhD molecular biologist, plainly stated, “Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die, and we didn’t give a damn.” As author Paul Driessen eloquently explained, the West “would never tolerate being told they had to protect their children solely by using bed nets, larvae-eating fish and medicinal treatments. But they have been silent about conditions in Africa, and about the intolerable attitudes of environmental groups, aid agencies and their own government[s].”[79]

James Lovelock, a scientist, researcher, environmentalist and futurist, became famous for popularizing his idea known as the Gaia hypothesis. He first started writing about this theory in journals in the early 1970s, but it shot to fame with the publication of his 1979 book, “Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth.” The general theory is that the Earth acts as a single organism, where all facets interact and react in a particular way that promotes an optimal environment on Earth. Thus, the theory was named after the Greek Earth goddess, Gaia. In the opening paragraph of his book, he stated that, “the quest for Gaia is an attempt to find the largest living creature on Earth.”[80] His theory provoked a fair amount criticism within the scientific community, with some referring to it as merely a metaphorical description of Earth processes.[81]

Lovelock has also been known to make wild predictive statements. In 2006, he wrote an article for the Independent, in which he stated that, “My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease,” and that the Earth is “seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years.”[82]

In 2008, the Guardian interviewed Lovelock, who contended that it was “too late” to do anything about global warming, that catastrophe was inevitable, and that, “about 80%” of the world’s population [will] be wiped out by 2100.”[83] In August of 2009, Lovelock became a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a British population control organization. Upon his becoming a patron, he stated that, “Those who fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.” He added, “How can we possibly decrease carbon emissions and land use while the number of emitters and the space they occupy remorselessly increases? When will the environmentalists who claim to be green recognise the truth and speak out?”[84]

Taxes and trades in carbon and carbon credits virtually commodify our atmosphere, so that the very air we breathe becomes property that is bought and sold. A tax on carbon is a tax on life. Since the lifeblood of an industrial society is oil, this requires carbon emissions in order to develop. The restraints on carbon, particularly the notion of trading carbon credits – i.e., trading the ‘right’ to pollute a certain amount – will disproportionately affect the developing world, which cannot afford to finance its own development. Corporations and banks will trade and own the world’s carbon credits, granting them the exclusive right to pollute and control the world’s resources and environment. The carbon trading market could become twice the size of the world oil market within ten years time.[85]

In regards to the Copenhagen Climate talks, which essentially broke down in December of 2009, the real source of this failure lies in a document that revealed the true nature of the negotiations, referred to as the ‘Danish Text.’ The ‘Danish Text’ was a leaked Danish government document which outlined a draft agreement “that hands more power to rich countries,” as, “The draft hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank” and “would make any money to help poor countries adapt to climate change dependent on them taking a range of actions.”[86] In other words, it becomes the new means of exerting “conditionality” upon the developing, and increasingly the developed world. ‘Conditionality’ implying – of course – a restructuring of society along lines designated by the World Bank.

While these are but examples of the influence and shaping of science to mold society and control humanity, much more discussion and debate is needed on these issues. While science can be used for the benefit of mankind, so too can it be used for the control and oppression of humanity. The people who run our societies view us as needing to be controlled, so they redirect the social apparatus into systems of control and coercion. Science can allow us to understand an idea or organism; but in doing so, it can also allow us to understand how to dominate and control that idea or organism. We must continually engage in a discussion of our changing society to better understand the nature of its changes and how that could affect us both positively and negatively.

If not for the Technological (or ‘Technetronic’) Revolution, elites would not have access to such powerful means of control; but, simultaneously, people have never had such great access to each other through mass communications and the Internet. So while environmental science can allow us to better understand our environment, something we seem still to be very much an adolescent in accomplishing, it also unleashes an ability, and what’s greater – a temptation – to control and shape the environment. Science can be used to both free and imprison the human mind. It is imperative that we approach and discuss the sciences (and all issues) from this perspective, not from a narrow-minded and divisive black-and-white world of ‘left’ and ‘right’, of religion or science. We cannot simply view criticism and opposition to social and scientific endeavours as ‘backwards’, or based on ‘religious doctrine’. There are rational reasons and purposes for criticism and debate on all of these issues, and rational positions of dissent.

Issues like climate change are generally divided upon those who ‘believe’ in climate change, and those who are termed ‘deniers’, which is a disingenuous and divisive approach to rational debate. It silences the critical scientists, who do not get funding from governments or corporations. It classifies those who dissent as ‘deniers’, employing rhetoric like that used against Holocaust deniers, whereas the majority of the dissent within the scientific community comes from those who simply see the role of other forces (often natural) in shaping and changing our climate, such as solar radiation. They do not ‘deny’ climate change, but they dissent on the causes and consequences. Is their opinion not worth hearing? If we are reshaping our entire global political and economic spheres as a result of our supposedly ‘collective’ perception of this issue – as we certainly are – then is it not of the utmost importance that we hear from other voices, especially those of dissent, in order to better understand the issue?

Merging Man and Machine: The Future of Humanity

Eisenhower warned, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded,” and that, “we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”[87]

Bill Joy, a computer scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who was co-chair of the presidential commission on the future of IT research, wrote an article for Wired Magazine in 2000 entitled, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.” Joy explained the possibilities in a technological society of the near future, that “new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world.” One startling development in the world is that of robot technology and its potential impact upon society. Joy explains:

Accustomed to living with almost routine scientific breakthroughs, we have yet to come to terms with the fact that the most compelling 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology – pose a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once – but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.[88]

Joy explains that while these technologies can, and consistently are promoted and justified in the name of doing good (such as curing diseases, etc.), “with each of these technologies, a sequence of small, individually sensible advances leads to an accumulation of great power and, concomitantly, great danger.” Joy ominously warns that:

The 21st-century technologies – genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) – are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.

Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (KMD), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.

I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals.[89]

In other words: we are entering an era faced with the “scientific dictators” of Huxley’s nightmare vision in ‘Brave New World’. Joy explained that by 2030, “we are likely to be able to build machines, in quantity, a million times as powerful as the personal computers of today.” Thus:

As this enormous computing power is combined with the manipulative advances of the physical sciences and the new, deep understandings in genetics, enormous transformative power is being unleashed. These combinations open up the opportunity to completely redesign the world, for better or worse: The replicating and evolving processes that have been confined to the natural world are about to become realms of human endeavor.[90]

Joy examined the transformative nature of robotics, as an intelligent robot may be built by 2030, “And once an intelligent robot exists, it is only a small step to a robot species – to an intelligent robot that can make evolved copies of itself.” Further, “A second dream of robotics is that we will gradually replace ourselves with our robotic technology, achieving near immortality by downloading our consciousnesses.” Joy further warns of the potential for an arms race to develop in these technologies, just as took place in the nuclear, radiological and biological weapons of the 20th century.[91]

Joy aptly explained that in the 20th century, those technologies were largely the products of governments, whereas in the 21st century, the new technologies of genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR), are the products of corporations and capitalism. Thus, the driving force is that of competition, desire, and the economic system. Hence, there is far less regulation and discussion of these new technologies than there was of the 20th century technologies, as the new technologies are developed in privately owned labs, not public. Joy often quotes a passage from Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto regarding a future dystopia, which Joy feels has “merit in the reasoning.” In the event that human control over machines is retained (as opposed to the machines taking over):

[C]ontrol over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite – just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite.

Or, if the elite consists of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.[92]

A horrifying vision indeed; but one which builds upon the ideas of Huxley, Russell and Brzezinski, who envisioned a people who – through biological and psychological means – are made to love their own servitude. Huxley saw the emergence of a world in which humanity, still a wild animal, is domesticated; where only the elite remain wild and have freedom to make decisions, while the masses are domesticated like pets. Huxley opined that, “Men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.”[93]

We Can Have a Scientific Dictatorship, or…

We can create an alternative. We use, strengthen, mobilize, decentralize, and mobilize the global political awakening into a global movement of people not simply politically aware, but politically active and engaged. A world where people do not simply observe the apparatus of political, economic and social power influencing their lives; but in which the people actively seek to change it to better suit their lives and their freedom. We need to understand each other better; but to do that, we cannot view each other through the harsh and deceptive lens of power.

To understand each other, we must know each other. People must communicate with one another around the world; ideas must be exchanged between people and discussed, debated, and decided upon; the people must determine their own futures. Take the elites out of the equation: if you do not want them to dominate your lives, do not give them the power to do so. Talk to each other and determine your own polities, economies and societies. Do not entrust dying ideas and diseased institutions to determine your future for you.

The tools and systems of social control are vast and evasive; they penetrate the very psychology and biology of the individual. The elite feel that they are entrusted – due to their supposed ‘innate’ superior intelligence and specialization – to control society and reshape it as they see fit, to actively mold and construct public opinion and ideas. They have a belief that people are essentially irrational emotional beings, and that they must be controlled by an elite or else the world would be in chaos. This is what underpins the ideas of ‘stability’ and ‘order’. The state has been used to fight every progressive form of change that society has ever developed for its betterment: women’s rights, racial rights, civil rights, the anti-war movement, gay rights, etc. Initially, the impulse – the immediate reaction of the state – is to oppress social movements and to suppress human freedoms. This approach often leads to a situation in which social movements are only accepted by the state when they are co-opted by the state or powerful economic forces, which then exert their influence over the state to alter the policy.

If we gain stability and order at the cost of our very humanity, is it worth it? Do we really need this eternal guidance, which has been constant through almost all of human history, to treat the human species as if it was in a constant state of adolescence, never quite prepared to make its own decisions or go out in the world on its own? Well it is time for humanity to grow up, leave the strange comfort of mental authoritarianism. The strive for human autonomy has only just begun; only now is all of humanity politically awakened; only now – and never before – has all of known humanity had such a great and perfect opportunity to remake the world, retake power, re-imagine individuality and revitalize freedom.

Our world is governed not by a conspiracy, but by ideas: ideas of power, money, the state, military, empire, race, religion, sex, gender, politics and people. The only challenge to those ideas, are new ideas. There are roughly 6,000 members of the ‘global elite,’[94] there are over 6.8 billion people in the world. That sounds like a lot of potential for new ideas. The greatest resource for the future of humanity is not in the ‘control’ of humanity, which is doomed to ultimate failure, but for the release and encouragement of the human mind and spirit.

People can understand the science and mechanics of the brain, the functions of psychology, the ability of human strength; but still, today, we do not know how all that biology can create Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Humanity is still very much a mystery to humans, and it would seem likely that the best answers to the questions of ‘how should we live?’ and ‘how should our societies function?’ are best answered with the bigger question of ‘why are we here’?

If the purpose of people and humanity is to consume and dominate, then our present situation seems only natural. If we were meant for more, then we must become more. If we were meant to be free, we must become free. Ideas are powerful things: they can build empires, and collapse them just as easily.

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered one of his most moving and important speeches, “Beyond Vietnam,” in which he spoke out against war and empire. He left humanity with sobering words:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.[95]



Endnotes

[1]        Aldous Huxley, Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited. (Harper Perennial, New York, 2004), page 255

[2]        Ibid, page 259.

[3]        Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, (Routledge, 1985), page 40

[4]        Ibid, page 66.

[5]        Ibid, page 62.

[6]        Ibid, page 58.

[7]        Ibid, page 117.

[8]        Ibid, page 118.

[9]        Ibid, page 63.

[10]      Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution, March 20, 1962. Berkeley Language Center – Speech Archive SA 0269: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Speech/VideoTest/audiofiles.html#huxley

[11]      Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation. January 17, 1961: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

[12]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. (Viking Press, New York, 1970), page 97

[13]      Edwin Black, Eugenics and the Nazis — the California connection. The San Francisco Chronicle: November 9, 2003:
http://articles.sfgate.com/2003-11-09/opinion/17517477_1_eugenics-ethnic-cleansing-master-race

[14]      Michael Barker, The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection. Capitalism Nature Socialism: Volume 19, Number 2, June 2008

[15]      Bruno Waterfield, Dutch Prince Bernhard ‘was member of Nazi party’. The Telegraph: March 5, 2010:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/7377402/Dutch-Prince-Bernhard-was-member-of-Nazi-party.html

[16]      Julian Huxley, UNESCO Its Purpose and Its Philosophy (1946). Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, page 61.

[17]      Ibid, page 21.

[18]      Ibid, pages 37-38.

[19]      Ibid, page 38.

[20]      Ibid.

[21]      Ibid, page 18.

[22]      Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. (New York: Thunders’s Mouth Press, 2004), page 418

[23]      MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER, The War Against Fertility. The Wall Street Journal: April 1, 2008:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120700566688178565.html?mod=hpp_europe_leisure

[24]      Garland E. Allen, “Is a New Eugenics Afoot?” Science Magazine, October 5, 2001: Vol. 294, no. 5540:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/294/5540/59

[25]      Ibid.

[26]      Ibid.

[27]      Niall Firth, Human race will ‘split into two different species’. The Daily Mail: October 26, 2007:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-489653/Human-race-split-different-species.html

[28]      Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2004), 11-12

[29]      Ibid, pages 12-13.

[30]      Ibid, page 19.

[31]      Ibid, page 28.

[32]      Ibid, page 416.

[33]      Ibid, page 418.

[34]      Simon Butler, The Dark History of Population Control. Climate and Capitalism: November 23, 2009: http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1293

[35]      History, ABOUT THE POPULATION COUNCIL. The Population Council: September 10, 2008: http://www.popcouncil.org/about/history.html

[36]      MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER, The War Against Fertility. The Wall Street Journal: April 1, 2008: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120700566688178565.html?mod=hpp_europe_leisure

[37]      History, ABOUT THE POPULATION COUNCIL. The Population Council: September 10, 2008: http://www.popcouncil.org/about/history.html

[38]      Review, Horrid History. The Economist: May 24, 2008

[39]      Heli Kasanen, BOOK REVIEW: Fatal misconception: the struggle to control world population, By Matthew Connelly: The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, 2009, 1(3), page 15

[40]      Review, Horrid History. The Economist: May 24, 2008

[41]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books: August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[42]      Dominic Lawson, Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly. The Sunday Times: May 18, 2008:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/non-fiction/article3938455.ece

[43]      Fred Pearce, Fatal Misconception by Matthew Connelly. The New Scientist: May 21, 2008:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19826572.400-review-ifatal-misconceptioni-by-matthew-connelly.html

[44]      Jack M. Hollander, The Real Environmental Crisis: Why Poverty, Not Affluence, Is the Environment’s Number One Enemy. (University of California Press: Berkeley, 2003), page 30

[45]      Lara Knudsen, Reproductive Rights in a Global Context. (Vanderbilt University Press: 2006), page 3

[46]      Simon Butler, The Dark History of Population Control. Climate and Capitalism: November 23, 2009: http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1293

[47]      Nicholas D. Kristof, Birth Control for Others. The New York Times: March 23, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/books/review/Kristof-t.html

[48]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books: August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[49]      Ibid.

[50]      Ibid.

[51]      UNFPA, UNFPA and the United Nations System. About UNFPA: http://www.unfpa.org/about/unsystem.htm

[52]      Population and the American Future, The Report of The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. The Center for Research on Population and Security: March 27, 1972:
http://www.population-security.org/rockefeller/001_population_growth_and_the_american_future.htm#Commission

[53]      NSSM 200, Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests. National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200: April 24, 1974: http://www.population-security.org/11-CH3.html#summary

[54]      Ibid.

[55]      Ibid.

[56]      MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER, The War Against Fertility. The Wall Street Journal: April 1, 2008:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120700566688178565.html?mod=hpp_europe_leisure

[57]      Ibid.

[58]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books: August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[59]      Heli Kasanen, BOOK REVIEW: Fatal misconception: the struggle to control world population, By Matthew Connelly: The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, 2009, 1(3), page 15

[60]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books, August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[61]      F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation. (Global Research, Montreal: 2007), page 65

[62]      Simon Butler, The Dark History of Population Control. Climate and Capitalism: November 23, 2009: http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1293

[63]      Michael Barker, The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection. Capitalism Nature Socialism: Volume 19, Number 2, June 2008: page 15

[64]      Ibid, pages 19-20.

[65]      Ibid, page 20.

[66]      Ibid, page 22.

[67]      Ibid, page 25.

[68]      Ibid, page 26.

[69]      WWF, A History of WWF: The Sixties. World Wildlife Fund: November 13, 2005: http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/who_we_are/history/sixties/index.cfm

[70]      John Timson, Portraits of the Pioneers: Sir Julian Huxley, FRS. The Galton Institute: December 1999 Newsletter: http://www.galtoninstitute.org.uk/Newsletters/GINL9912/julian_huxley.htm

[71]      Michael Barker, The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection. Capitalism Nature Socialism: Volume 19, Number 2, June 2008: page 25

[72]      Paul Driessen, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death. (Merril Press: 2004), page 67

[73]      Ibid, page 66.

[74]      Ibid, page 67.

[75]      Ibid, page 68.

[76]      Ibid, page 69.

[77]      Ibid, page 71.

[78]      Ibid, page 72.

[79]      Ibid, page 73.

[80]      James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. (Oxford: 1979), page 1

[81]      S.J. Gould, Kropotkin was no crackpot. Natural History, June 1997: pages 12-21

[82]      James Lovelock, The Earth is about to catch a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. The Independent: January 16, 2006:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/james-lovelock-the-earth-is-about-to-catch-a-morbid-fever-that-may-last-as-long-as-100000-years-523161.html

[83]      Decca Aitkenhead, ‘Enjoy life while you can’. The Guardian: March 1, 2008:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

[84]      OPT, GAIA SCIENTIST TO BE OPT PATRON. News Release: August 26, 2009:
http://www.optimumpopulation.org/releases/opt.release26Aug09.htm

[85]      Terry Macalister, Carbon trading could be worth twice that of oil in next decade. The Guardian: November 29, 2009:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/29/carbon-trading-market-copenhagen-summit

[86]      John Vidal, Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak. The Guardian: December 8, 2009:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/08/copenhagen-climate-summit-disarray-danish-text

[87]      Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation. January 17, 1961: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

[88]      Bill Joy, Why the future doesn’t need us. Wired Magazine: April 2000: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html

[89]      Ibid.

[90]      Ibid.

[91]      Ibid.

[92]      Ibid.

[93]      Time, The Press: Brave New Newsday. Time Magazine: June 9, 1958: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,868521,00.html

[94]      Laura Miller, The rise of the superclass. Salon: March 14, 2008: http://www.salon.com/books/review/2008/03/14/superclass

[95]      Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html

Revolution and Repression in America

Revolution and Repression in America
The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 2
Global Research, June 29, 2010

This is Part 2 of the series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom.“

Part 1: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order


Introduction

As outlined in Part 1 of this series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom,” there are two major geopolitical realities in the world today, both largely brought about as a result of the “Technological Revolution” in which technology and electronics have come to define and shape our society.

The Technological Revolution has led to a diametrically opposed, antagonistic, and conflicting geopolitical reality: never before has humanity been so awakened to issues of power, exploitation, imperialism and domination; and simultaneously, never before have elites been so transnational and global in orientation, and with the ability to impose such a truly global system of scientific despotism and political oppression. These are the two major geopolitical realities of the world today. Never in all of human history has mankind been so capable of achieving a true global political psycho-social awakening; nor has humanity ever been in such danger of being subjected to a truly global scientific totalitarianism, potentially more oppressive than any system known before, and without a doubt more technologically capable of imposing a permanent despotism upon humanity. So we are filled with hope, but driven by urgency. In all of human history, never has the potential nor the repercussions of human actions and ideas ever been so monumental.

Not only is the awakening global in its reach, but in its very nature. It creates within the individual, an awareness of the global condition. So it is a ‘global awakening’ both in the external environment, and in the internal psychology. This new reality in the world, coupled with the fact that the world’s population has never been so vast, presents a challenge to elites seeking to dominate people all over the world who are aware and awakened to the realities of social inequality, war, poverty, exploitation, disrespect, imperialism and domination. This directly implies that these populations will be significantly more challenging to control: economically, politically, socially, psychologically and spiritually. Thus, from the point of view of the global oligarchy, the only method of imposing order and control – on this unique and historical human condition – is through the organized chaos of economic crises, war, and the rapid expansion and institutionalization of a global scientific dictatorship. Our hope is their fear; and our greatest fear is their only hope.

(See: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order)

This essay (Part II) will undertake an examination of these two geopolitical realities on a national scale, focusing primarily on the “American Awakening.”

The American Awakening

In the past decade, there has been an enormous surge in popular political activism, which has corresponded to the expansion of imperialism, exploitation and despotism in the world. The events of September 11th, 2001, sparked two major geopolitical events. The first was the implementation of the Bush Doctrine – the “War on Terror” – which was organized in response to the terrorist attacks. This imperialist expansion led to the war and occupation of Afghanistan, the war on Iraq and subsequent occupation, the war in Lebanon in 2006, the war on Somalia, continuing military expansionism and imposition in the Palestinian territories, as well as expansive covert operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and around the world.

The second major geopolitical trend instigated by the 9/11 attacks was the formation of what has come to be known as the “9/11 Truth Movement,” in which millions of people around the world, including thousands of academics, architects, engineers, government officials, intelligence and military officials and other professionals, as well as an exponentially growing abundance of people in the general population internationally have sought to question and challenge the official accounts of the events of 9/11. Like all activist groups, there are fringe and radical elements within the movement, those who claim that “no planes” were used in the attacks, or that the attacks were undertaken by Israel – with anti-Semitic undertones – or other such fringe theories. Regardless of the fringe elements, the main focus of the movement is based around the fact that the official story of events does not stand up to any form of independent and unbiased, rational analysis. The media for years ignored the growing international movement, but only in recent years have acknowledged the movement; however, they did not address the movement by analyzing the information and issues, but rather by seeking to discredit and demonize the political movement, focusing on the fringe elements and beliefs and applying labels of “conspiracy theorist,” attempting to discredit anyone who questions the official story.

In 2006, Time Magazine acknowledged that the 9/11 Truth Movement is not a “fringe movement,” but is, in fact, “a mainstream political reality.” They also cited a major political poll by Scripps-Howard in 2006, which revealed that 36% of Americans think it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves.[1]

The growth of this movement spurred on major new movements and political activism, driven almost exclusively by organized and ‘politically awakened’ civilians. Driven largely by the Internet, this movement has awakened a mass of people globally to the political and strategic reality of what is known – in military terms – as a “false flag operation”, in which an attack is carried out against a certain target, where those undertaking the attack fly the flag of someone else (i.e., “false flag”) in an effort to implicate them in the attack; and thus the response to an attack would be against the perceived attackers. It is, essentially, a covert military strategem: a strategic deception. The Greek dramatist and playwright Aeschylus wrote that, “In war, the first casualty is truth.” A false flag attack an act of war that is deliberately designed to deceive and hide the truth. It is an attack carried out and blamed on one’s enemy in order to justify implementing a political agenda. Governments have used such tactics for centuries, and especially western nations in the past half-century.[2]

This movement has spawned an activist resurgence in other global issues, such as the global economic system, and most notably, the central banking system, particularly the Federal Reserve. While many Americans knew next to nothing about their central bank, the Federal Reserve, a growing movement of Americans and others around the world were educating themselves about the Federal Reserve System and the global banking system in general. Many found a leader in a Texas Congressman named Ron Paul, who campaigned on the Republican ticket for President in 2008, and who drew the widest grassroots support from across the nation of any Republican candidates. Among Democrats, “9/11 Truthers” and others critical of US foreign policy came to find a passionate leader in Cynthia McKinney, who was one of the lone voices in Congress to directly challenge the Bush administration on the official version of events, and has challenged the election fraud in 2000 and 2004, conducted a Congressional hearing on covert activities in Africa, exposing the hand of western nations behind the Rwandan genocide and Congo Civil War.

In late 2008, as the government began its financial bailout of the banks, the “End the Fed” movement emerged in sporadic protests at the 12 Federal Reserve Banks located around the country, and over 40 protests took place across the nation within a matter of months.[3]

The “Homeland Security State” Targets Dissenters

With the increasing militarization of foreign policy, we also see the increasing militarization of domestic politics, and most notably the emergence of a high-tech surveillance police state: a “Homeland Security State.” National and international elites are in the process of incrementally constructing a ‘new totalitarianism’ in replacing democracy.[4] Civil rights and freedoms are dismantled through anti-terrorist legislation, wiretapping and internet surveillance are rampant and expansive, “watch lists” are constructed, which often include the names of dissenters, and the military is increasingly poised to partake in policing. Further, over the past decade, we have seen the rapid expansion of “Continuity of Government” (COG) plans, which plan for the suspension of the Constitution and imposition of martial law in the event of an emergency.[5] At this point in American society, if there was a rapid and expansive economic collapse or another major terrorist attack on US soil, America would transform into a military government, more fascist in nature than anything; but equipped with an arsenal and “technetronic” police state the likes of which no dictator in history has had access to. Freedom has never been so threatened; yet, people have never been so mobilized in modern history to challenge the threats to freedom and democracy in America, in the west, and in the world.

(See: The Transnational Homeland Security State and the Decline of Democracy )

In 2003, General Tommy Franks gave an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine in which he elaborated on this concept. Tommy Franks was the former Commander of the Pentagon’s Central Command over the Middle East, and thus he was the top General overseeing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In his interview with the magazine, Franks stated that the objective of terrorism is “to change the mannerisms, the behavior, the sociology and, ultimately, the anthropology of a society,” and thus, in the event of another major terrorist attack in America or in the West:

the western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy. Now, in a practical sense, what does that mean? It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive casualty-producing event somewhere in the western world—it may be in the United States of America—that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty-producing event. Which, in fact, then begins to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution.[6]

One interesting facet that very little is known about in the militarization of domestic society and incremental totalitarianism is how the coercive state apparatus, while being justified under the guise of fighting terrorism or “protecting the Homeland,” is in fact being directed against citizen activists and popular political movements. For example, following 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security established what are known as “Fusion Centers,” set up all over the United States, and which are designed as “information sharing and collecting” hubs, in which agencies like the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the US Military collect and analyze information together. As of July 2009, there were 72 acknowledged Fusion Centers around the United States.[7] Think of them as local surveillance centers, because that’s what they are.

Fusion Centers are also positioned to take part as local command centers in the event of a national emergency or implementation of “Continuity of Government” plans to declare martial law. State and local law enforcement agencies provide the majority of information to the local Fusion Centers, which is then analyzed and disseminated to the major intelligence, military or Homeland Security departments and agencies. However, in recent years, Fusion Centers have been criticized for their purported agenda, as they are justified on the basis of acting as centers designated for “counter-terrorism” purposes, but in practice are directed against citizen groups.

In the spring of 2009, it was revealed that the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) – a Fusion Center – had put out an information pamphlet designed to help law enforcement officials identify “potential domestic terrorists.” According to the report:

If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.[8]

When did our society become something out of 1984? When did our governments designate “subversive literature” as a sign of terrorism? The report classified such activities as being part of a “Modern Militia Movement,” and further identified “potential threats to American security” as:

People who supported former third-party presidential candidates like Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr are cited in the report, in addition to anti-abortion activists and conspiracy theorists who believe the United States, Mexico and Canada will someday form a North American Union.[9]

In other words, those who are opposed to the political and economic process of “North American integration”[10] are seen and identified as “potential militia members.” The report even directly identified possession of such films like the anti-Federal Reserve film, “America: Freedom to Fascism” as “potential signals of militia involvement.”[11] The document put out by the Fusion Center further warned law enforcement officials to be “on the lookout” for “bumper stickers advertising third party candidates, or people with copies of the United States Constitution.” The report wrote that due to the economic crisis, “a lush environment for militia activity has been created,” and:

It goes on to cite possible militia members as people who talk about the New World Order conspiracy, express anger with the Federal Reserve banking system, resist paying taxes, warn other citizens about the perceived dangers of radio frequency identification (RFID) or lobby for a return to strict constitutionalism as possible threats to law enforcement.

While the memo does offer something of a lopsided summary of many of the various groups which swelled enormously following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it also links individuals who are otherwise peaceful with the Ku Klux Klan and other violent organizations.[12]

Another Fusion Center in Virginia identified many universities as potential “radicalization nodes” for terrorists, singling out “historically black colleges” as potential threats, and “it also contains an extensive list of peaceful American and International activist groups from nearly all cross-sections of political engagement, placing them side-by-side with groups that have long been known for resorting to violence.”[13]

In April of 2009, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) released a report on the threat to liberties and civil rights posed by the Fusion Centers, saying that, “Fusion centers have experienced a mission creep in the last several years, becoming more of a threat than a security device. With no overarching guidelines to restrict or direct them, these centers put Americans’ privacy at huge risk.” The ACLU report identified several “troubling incidents” in regards to Fusion Centers violating privacy and civil rights:

- A May 7, 2008 report entitled “Universal Adversary Dynamic Threat Assessment” authored by a private contractor that labeled environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, the Humane Society and the Audubon Society as “mainstream organizations with known or possible links to eco-terrorism”;

- A potential abuse of authority by DHS officials who improperly monitored and disseminated the communications of peace activists affiliated with the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN);

- A report produced on February 19, 2009 by the North Central Texas Fusion System entitled “Prevention Awareness Bulletin” which described a purported conspiracy between Muslim civil rights organizations, lobbying groups, the anti-war movement, the U.S. Treasury Department, hip hop bands and former Congresswoman and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney to “provide an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish”;

- A “Strategic Report” produced February 20, 2009 by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that described a purported security threat posed by the “modern militia movement” but inappropriately included references to social, religious and political ideologies, including support of third party presidential candidates such as Congressman Ron Paul and former Congressman Bob Barr; and

- A “Protective Intelligence Bulletin” issued by the DHS Intelligence Branch of the Threat Management Division of the Federal Protective Service which improperly collected and disseminated information regarding political demonstrations and inappropriately labeled peaceful advocacy groups and other activists as “extremists.”[14]

To those in power, ‘peace’ is an ‘extremist’ idea, because ‘war’ and ‘violence’ are the norms to them. Now it has come to the point where those who challenge the structures of power are simply designated as terrorists and extremists. This is an incredibly dangerous political road at which the end is despotism and the death of democracy. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, as one of those identified by Fusion Centers as providing “an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish,” had this to say about the Fusion Center report:

As a student of COINTELPRO, the government’s infamous Counter-Intelligence Program [directed against the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s], I know what my government is capable of doing to quash dissent. That’s why I voted against the Patriot Act, worked in Congress to roll back the Secret Evidence Act, and introduced legislation to repeal the Military Commissions Act. I come from a long legacy of activists for justice and freedom inside this country. I am on the advocacy front lines for peace abroad and justice at home. But I know that we will not have peace or justice without truth. Truth is the foundation of the dignity that we seek. Dignity for all is not a threat to the United States.[15]

It has become evident that the response of the American government to the “global political awakening” within the United States is aimed at demonizing, discrediting, and oppressing activist groups and political movements. But how far can this oppression go?

Detention Camps for Dissidents?

One startling and deeply concerning development in the area of “Homeland Security” is the highly secretive and deliberately quiet establishment of “detention centers” within the United States, designed to house millions of people in the event of an “emergency.” In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft “announced [a] desire for camps for U.S. citizens he deems to be ‘enemy combatants’,” and that his plan “would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants.”[16]

Also in 2002, it was reported that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (now under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security), was “moving ahead with plans to create temporary cities that could handle millions of Americans after mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities.” Newsmax reported that, “FEMA was seeking bids from three major real estate and/or engineering firms to help prepare for the creation of the emergency cities, using tents and trailers – if an urban area is attacked by NBC (nuclear, chemical or biological) weapons.”[17]

In 2006, Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, and its subsidiary company, Kellogg-Brown & Root (KBR) received a major contract from the Department of Homeland Security worth $385 million, which was given “to support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency.” A press release on KBR’s website stated that:

The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.[18]

Further, it stated that, “The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. In the event of a natural disaster, the contractor could be tasked with providing housing for ICE personnel performing law enforcement functions in support of relief efforts.”[19]

Within two weeks, “Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006).” As historian and author Peter Dale Scott reported:

Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME expands “a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.” Its goal is the capability to “remove all removable aliens,” including “illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists.”[20]

Considering that the government labels anti-war activists, libertarians, progressives, and other peaceful citizens groups as “extremists,” “paramilitary members” and “terrorists,” this is especially concerning. In 2008, a former US Congressman wrote an article for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he warned that, “Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of ‘an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs’.” He elaborated:

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.[21]

As Peter Dale Scott explained:

the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 “readiness exercise” in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary “refugees,” in the context of “uncontrolled population movements” over the Mexican border into the United States. North’s activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.

“Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters,” says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military’s account of its activities in Vietnam. “They’ve already done this on a smaller scale, with the ‘special registration’ detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.”

Plans for detention facilities or camps have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for “suspension of the Constitution” and “declaration of martial law.”[22]

More recently, there have been several reported incidents of small towns having major “detention centers” being built in them which remain empty and maintained for the event of an “emergency.” One such facility is being proposed for the City of Italy to build “a detention center for illegal immigrants.”[23] There was also an effort to have a detention center built in Benson City “to house illegal immigrants.”[24] A major American prison corporation, Corplan Corrections, “has been at the center of numerous controversies, including a bizarre prison-building scheme in Hardin, Montana that involved a private military force called American Police Force run by an ex-con. The prison cost the small town $27 million but never housed any prisoners.” Further, Corplan “has approached city officials in several towns across the U.S. – Benson, Arizona; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Weslaco, Texas – with a proposal to build a new detention center for immigrant families.”[25]

These facilities, built under the pretences of housing “illegal immigrants” yet largely remaining empty, could potentially be used to house not only immigrants, but also Muslims and “possibly dissenters” following a major emergency, such as an economic collapse or terrorist attack within the United States. After all, in World War II, Canada and the United States rounded up Japanese and German immigrants into internment camps. Again, it becomes evident that the response of power structures to the manifestation of the global political awakening within the United States is to oppress and suppress the people, and with that, undermine democracy itself.

The Prospects of Revolution

During the first phase of the global economic crisis in December of 2008, the IMF warned governments of the prospect of “violent unrest on the streets.” The head of the IMF warned that, “violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.”[26] Naturally, the IMF director leaves out the fact that he is part of that small elite and that the IMF functions for the benefit of that very same elite.

In late December of 2008, “A U.S. Army War College report warn[ed] an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.” The report stated that, “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities … to defend basic domestic order and human security.”[27]

Throughout 2009, there was an abundance of civil unrest, protests and even riots all across Europe in response to the economic crisis. In February of 2009, Obama’s intelligence chief, Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the economic crisis has become the greatest threat to U.S. national security:

I’d like to begin with the global economic crisis, because it already looms as the most serious one in decades, if not in centuries … Economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they are prolonged for a one- or two-year period… And instability can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order, which can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.[28]

In other words, the economic crisis poses two major social threats to the “national security” (i.e., imperial status) of the United States. Of key importance is that America and other western nations may lose control of their colonial possessions and interests in the developing world – Africa, South America and Asia – as the people in those regions, the most “politically awakened” in the world, can cause “regime-threatening instability” as the prospects of riots, rebellion and revolution expose the failure of their national leaders and governance structures. This would pose an immense threat to the interests of the west in those regions, as they primarily rely upon local nation-states to control the populations and resources. Concurrently, these revolts could spread to the developing world. So western elites are faced with the prospects of possibly losing their control over the world’s resources and even their own domestic populations. The natural reaction, in imperial logic, is to militarize both the foreign and domestic spheres.

No wonder then, that in 2008, the highest-ranking general in the United States, “Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ranks the financial crisis as a higher priority and greater risk to security than current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He explained, “It’s a global crisis. And as that impacts security issues, or feeds greater instability, I think it will impact on our national security in ways that we quite haven’t figured out yet.”[29]

The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned that, “The global economic crisis could trigger political unrest equal to that seen during the 1930s.” He elaborated, “The crisis today is spreading even faster (than the Great Depression) and affects more countries at the same time.”[30]

In February of 2009, renowned economic historian and Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson, predicted a “prolonged financial hardship, even civil war, before the ‘Great Recession’ ends,” and that, “The global crisis is far from over, [it] has only just begun, and Canada is no exception,” he said while at a speaking event in Canada. He explained, “Policy makers and forecasters who see a recovery next year are probably lying to boost public confidence,” while, “the crisis will eventually provoke political conflict.” He further explained:

There will be blood, in the sense that a crisis of this magnitude is bound to increase political as well as economic [conflict]. It is bound to destabilize some countries. It will cause civil wars to break out, that have been dormant. It will topple governments that were moderate and bring in governments that are extreme. These things are pretty predictable.[31]

Even in May of 2009, the head of the World Bank warned that, “the global economic crisis could lead to serious social upheaval,” as “there is a risk of a serious human and social crisis with very serious political implications.”[32] Zbigniew Brzezinski himself warned in February of 2009 that, “There’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!”[33]

In March of 2010, Moody’s, a major credit ratings agency, warned that “social unrest” is coming to the west, as the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain “are all at risk of soaring debt costs and will have to implement austerity plans that threaten ‘social cohesion’.”[34]

In 2007, a British Defence Ministry report was released assessing global trends in the world over the next 30 years. In assessing “Global Inequality”, the report stated that over the next 30 years:

[T]he gap between rich and poor will probably increase and absolute poverty will remain a global challenge… Disparities in wealth and advantage will therefore become more obvious, with their associated grievances and resentments, even among the growing numbers of people who are likely to be materially more prosperous than their parents and grandparents.  Absolute poverty and comparative disadvantage will fuel perceptions of injustice among those whose expectations are not met, increasing tension and instability, both within and between societies and resulting in expressions of violence such as disorder, criminality, terrorism and insurgency. They may also lead to the resurgence of not only anti-capitalist ideologies, possibly linked to religious, anarchist or nihilist movements, but also to populism and the revival of Marxism.[35]

Further, the report warned of the dangers to the established powers of a revolution emerging from the disgruntled middle classes of the west:

The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by MarxThe globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states.  The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite.  Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.[36]

From the Old World to the New

So here we are, in the year 2010, the end of the first decade of the 21st century; and what a century it has been thus far: 9/11, a recession, the war on Afghanistan, the “war on terror”, the war on Iraq, terrorist attacks in Bali, Madrid, London and all across the Middle East; the war on Somalia, the Congo Civil War (the deadliest conflict since World War II, with upwards of 6 million innocent civilians killed since 1996); the Russia-Georgia war, the expansion of the war into Pakistan, the election of Barack Obama, the global economic crisis and here we are.

All of human history is the story of the struggle of free humanity – the individual and the collective – against the constructs of power, which sought to dominate and control humanity. From humanity’s origins in Africa, civilizations rose and fell, dominated and decimated. From Ancient Egypt to Greece and Rome, the Chinese dynasties, the Mayans and Aztecs, all sought domination of land and people. The Persian Empire and the Ottoman Empire expanded and controlled vast populations and diverse people; and with the emergence of Capitalism came the emergence of the European powers.

For the past 500 years, Europe and America have dominated the world; and in fact, only in the last 65 years has America dominated the globe. The Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648, ending the Thirty Years’ War in the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. This agreement effectively ended the Holy Roman Empire, and marked the emergence of the idea of the modern nation-state. University studies in International Relations begin with the Peace of Westphalia, as it is viewed as the beginning of the international system we know today.

Out of this emerged the great European empires: the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, and later the French, British and German empires, which created the first global political economy with the Atlantic Slave Trade, trading weapons and goods in exchange for captured slaves, fueling internal civil wars among the large African empires to feed them a supply of slaves which they then took to the Americas to use as a labour force. That labour force would produce goods taken back to Europe, traded among the world’s empires, and ultimately financing the continued flow of weapons into Africa. It was a triangular trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas. At this time, the notion of ‘race’ originated through a series of legal decisions made in the colonies.

In the 1600s, the colonies in the Americas were made up of white, Indian and black indentured labourers and slaves, both ‘un-free blacks and whites, with blacks being a minority, yet they still “exercised basic rights in law.” A problem arose for elites attempting to control the labour class: the un-free native labour force knew the land and could escape easily (so they would later be largely eliminated through genocide); and in the 1660s, the labour class was becoming rebellious, where black and white labourers worked together and rebelled against local elites. The entire lower class of society was united – regardless of their varied and expansive differences – and they were united against the elites. Thus, a doctrine of ‘divide and conquer’ was implemented against the psycho-social foundations of the people.[37]

The elite “relaxed the servitude” of the white labourers, and “intensified the bonds of black slavery,” and subsequently “introduced a new regime of racial oppression. In doing so, they effectively created the white race – and with it white supremacy.” Thus, “the conditions of white and black servants began to diverge considerably after 1660.” Following this, legislation would separate white and black slavery, prevent “mixed” marriages, and seek to prevent the procreation of “mixed-race” children. Whereas before 1660, many black slaves were not indentured for life, this changed as colonial law increasingly “imposed lifetime bondage for black servants – and, especially significant, the curse of lifetime servitude for their offspring.”[38]

A central feature of the social construction of this racial divide was “the denial of the right to vote,” as most Anglo-American colonies previously allowed free blacks to vote, but this slowly changed throughout the colonies. The ruling class of America was essentially “inventing race.” Thus, “Freedom was increasingly identified with race, not class.”[39]

In 1648, the nation-state emerged; in 1660, racism was created through legal decisions; and in 1694, the Bank of England was created and the birth of the central banking system took place. All of these were essentially ‘social constructions’ – nation, race, currency – in which they are simply ideas that are accepted as reality. A nation is not a physical entity, race has no true basis for discrimination or hierarchy, and a currency has no actual value. They only hold as true because everyone accepts them as true.

From this period of immense transition, European imperial nations dominated the world; racism justified their domination, and central banks dominated the empires at home and abroad. The 1800s saw the Industrial Revolution, which instigated the decline of slavery and the emergence of paid labour and hourly wages. Eventually, the notion of ‘race science’ emerged within the eugenics movement, originating in Europe, and later migrating to the United States in the late 19th century. This helped justify the ‘Scramble for Africa’, which began in the 1880s and entailed the European empires formally colonizing the entire continent of Africa, carving it into nations among them, but justifying it on the basis of a racist “civilizing mission.”

The European imperial age declined with World War I, a battle of empires and economies. This led to the collapse of many European empires as well as the Ottoman and Russian empires, with the emergence of the Soviet Union as well as nation-states in the Middle East. The emergence of fascism took root in the 1920s and 30s, and grew to coalesce in World War II, which led to the ultimate decline of the British and French empires, and the emergence of the American empire.

America became the engine of empire for the Atlantic community, Europe and North America. It created and ran international organizations allowing for transnational elites to share power among an increasingly global – an increasingly smaller – group of elites. The World, for nearly fifty years, was defined as a global struggle between Communism and Democracy – between the Soviet Union and the West. This historical myth hides the face of global domination: a struggle between two blocs for global domination of the world’s people and resources.

With the end of the Cold War came the emergence of the New World Order, a world in which there was only one global power: the United States. I was born shortly before the Berlin Wall came down, and I developed a memory only after the Soviet Union collapsed; the only world I know is the one in which the United States has been the only global power. I know only the era of ‘globalization’ and the promises it made my generation. Think of the effect upon the youth this great period of transition will have.

The history of humanity is one of constant change, sometimes slow and incremental, at other times rapid and expansive. Today, we are in a period in which we are seeing a convergence of never-before-seen global realities. The population of the world has never been so monumentally large – at 6.8 billion – and among the global population, for the first time in human history, there is a true “global political awakening.” This does not mean that everyone is correct in their views, but it does mean that the world’s people are thinking and acting – even if incidentally or unknowingly – about the global polity. This is most especially so in the areas where the Atlantic world has dominated for so long, as they have been subjected to poverty, racism, and war like no other people on earth. Their ‘awakening’ was forced upon them, and the west is now having its awakening forced upon it.

At our current position, we are about to undergo a global historical period of transition, the likes of which has never before been seen. The incremental and slow building ‘global political awakening’ that emerged around the world in the past century, is reaching a precipice and rapid expansion at the beginning of the 21st century. Global power has never been so centralized, with international institutions and systems of global governance holding authority over several realms of humanity. We are partaking in global wars seeking to dominate populations and control resources, democracy is eroding in the west, and wealth disparities have never been so great in all of human history.

For the first time in the last 500 years, the East has risen – with China and India – as new global powers, rising within the system not against it; marking the first time that nation-states have not risen against the global power, but with the global power. China and India are being brought within a new global political and economic system that is being constructed: a global totalitarian system of continental colonies to a global state. In 1998, then Secretary-General of NATO, Javier Solana, gave a speech in which he said:

It is my general contention that humanity and democracy – two principles essentially irrelevant to the original Westphalian order – can serve as guideposts in crafting a new international order, better adapted to the security realities, and challenges, of today’s Europe.[40]

Further, he explained, “the Westphalian system had its limits. For one, the principle of sovereignty it relied on also produced the basis for rivalry, not community of states; exclusion, not integration.” Thus, to truly have global power, the international system of nation-states must be ‘re-imagined’ and altered: first, into continental governance structures, and ultimately a global structure. As Solana said, “In the United Nations, the ideal of a global institution including all nations became a reality,” and “the ideal of European integration was set in motion.” He elaborated:

But an integral part of the evolution of the Atlantic Alliance was the idea of reconciliation: the integration of our militaries, the common project of collective defence, and the willingness to work towards a common approach to defend the Alliance’s common values.

Unfortunately, also out of the same ashes of the second world war emerged the East-West confrontation that left Europe deeply divided for more than four decades. As our century comes to an end, we at last have the opportunity to overcome this division and to set free all the creative energies this continent can muster to build the new security order which will lead us into the 21st century.[41]

It is a difficult balancing act for global powers – particularly the United States – to manage the integration of China into the ‘new world order’, while simultaneously both of them compete for control of global resources, located primarily in regions of the world which are experiencing the most rapid and extensive ‘awakening’. The imperial mindset – like that of Brzezinski’s – seeks to rationalize global power as being equated with ‘global stability’, and that without empire, there is only ‘chaos’. Thus, imperial logic dictates that America must seek to dominate as much of the world as fast as possible, and hence control global resources, which will allow it to determine the terms of China and other powers’ inclusion in the new world order. This has the potential to spark a global war – a World War III type of scenario between the NATO powers and the China-Russia alliance – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – who seek to share power, not to be dominated. Global populations at home and abroad have never been so challenging to control: global war is inevitable in the imperial mindset. As Brzezinski himself stated in a speech to Chatham House in London in 2009:

But these major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.[42]

In many people’s view of the global economic crisis, the problem was ‘greed’. Greed is not the problem, it is but a symptom of the disease that is ‘power’; which, like a cancer, expands and kills its host. Humanity is entering what will likely be the most turbulent period in human history. The future is not yet written; all that is certain is that everything will change. What it comes down to is the greatest human struggle in the history of our small little planet: the struggle of the world’s people – in every corner of the world, from every religion, ‘race’, ethnicity, ideology, language, sex, gender and variation – against a global power elite who control the most advanced, technological, and lethal tools of oppression every conceived. Make no mistake, we are not repeating history, we are making it.

The Power of Ideas

Our awakening is the greatest threat to these global elites, and it is our only hope of protecting any notions of freedom, liberty, family, equality and individuality. It is these notions that have led to and created the greatest developments and ideas in human history. Humanity’s best is within these concepts, and its worst is within power. The shame of humanity is within its systems of power, so for humanity to survive we must re-imagine and remodel our global system and global power.

We cannot design a society for humanity without taking into consideration human nature. If you build it, they will come. If we keep creating positions of great power, and continually globalize power, it will attract exactly the wrong type of people to those positions of power: the ones that want it and want to abuse the power. These people are more likely to get to these positions of power because they are willing to do anything to get there, which means that once they have it, they will do anything to maintain and expand it. And so power grows, and the cancer spreads. Imagine if Hitler’s rise to power took place not in the era of nation-states, but in the era of the ‘global state.’ All that is required is one tyrant, and humanity is nothing if not proof that there are always tyrants in waiting.

What is a nation? Is it an army, a flag, an anthem, or a building of government? A nation is an idea – and is constructed by a series of ideas. There is no ‘real’ border, it is an imaginary line, and everyone in the world pretends they are there, and nation-states (which are really people who are in control of these ideas), govern accordingly. Now we are in a period in which elites are attempting to re-imagine the international community, to erase the ‘idea’ of borders, and to ultimately re-program humanity to follow their example. Social planners seek to control not simply our land, resources and bodies, but most importantly, our minds. World government will be sold to us on the ‘ideas’ of peace, something all of humanity wants; all save the powerful, for war and conflict is the means through which power is accumulated and society is transformed.

True peace will never be possible with a singular global power structure; for once power is globally centralized, what more can the powerful seek to achieve? Thus, the powerful fight each other for control of the centralized authority, paranoia governs their minds, and distrust and hatred directs their actions. Power subsequently becomes its own worst enemy, as it eats away at its host and destroys the body within which it lives.

True peace can only come from human understanding. Free humanity must understand each other if we are to live among each other. We cannot any longer view each other through the lenses of power: through the media, government, economic, and social structures. These structures are designed with the intent to mislead and misrepresent people, they are illegitimate and must be considered as such. We must view and understand each other on a human level: on ideas of freedom, liberty, family, equality and individually. To achieve that understanding, one realizes that freedom must be for all or none, that liberty is not to be selective, the importance of family, the necessity of equality and the acceptance and celebration of individuality. With that, peace is inevitable. With power, peace is impossible.

Just as elites seek to re-imagine and recreate our world, we too, can do the same. This must begin with the human understanding, where we enter into a new Renaissance or Enlightenment, not western, but global; where the people communicate and interact with each other on a personal basis, not through elite structures. This must be the aim of the global political awakening: to achieve peace through peaceful means. If everyone in the world simply decided to no longer acknowledge people and positions of power, that power would vanish. If there is no army, because the soldiers decided to no longer recognize the government, there is no one to pull the trigger on people in the street.

I think, therefore I am. If I think I am free, I will become free. But while an individual can do this, it does not work if everyone doesn’t do it. This requires all people, everywhere, to work together, talk together, learn together, think together and act together. We can either do this now, or potentially be subdued for decades if not longer. If we do not achieve global peace and freedom for all people, if we do not understand each other, power will win, at least for a while. What is important to note is that the emergence of a technetronic society reduces the need for people, as technology can watch, listen, control and kill people with the push of a button. We are also in danger of becoming a docile, tranquilized society, lost in drugs – whether recreational or even more notably, pharmaceutical. We must avoid entering into a ‘brave new world’, and instead bravely construct a different world.

From the militarization of domestic society, it would appear as if we are moving into a world quite reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, in which the world is divided into a few major regional blocs that war against each other and terrorize their populations through acts of physical terror and total surveillance (“Big Brother”). This is but a phase and evolution into the final stage – the grand idea – or as Aldous Huxley referred to it, “The Ultimate Revolution”: the global scientific dictatorship. That will be the focus of the third and final part in this series.


This is Part 2 of the series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom.“

Part 1: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order


Endnotes

[1]        Lev Grossman, Why the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Won’t Go Away. Time Magazine: September 3, 2006: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1531304,00.html

[2]        Andrew Gavin Marshall, State-Sponsored Terror: British and American Black Ops in Iraq. Global Research: June 25, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9447; Andrew Gavin Marshall, Breaking Iraq and Blaming Iran. Global Research: July 3, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9450 ; Andrew Gavin Marshall, Operation Gladio: CIA Network of “Stay Behind” Secret Armies. Global Research: July 17, 2008: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9556 ; also see: Daniele Ganser, NATO’s secret armies: operation Gladio and terrorism in Western Europe, (Frank Cass: 2005).

[3]        Chris Steller, Minneapolis Federal Reserve draws third protest in six months. The Minnesota Independent: April 25, 2009: http://minnesotaindependent.com/33400/end-the-fed-minneapolis

[4]        Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Transnational Homeland Security State and the Decline of Democracy. Global Research: April 15, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18676

[5]        Peter Dale Scott, Supplanting the United States Constitution: War, National Emergency and “Continuity of Government”. Global Research: May 19, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19238 ; Peter Dale Scott, Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War. Global Research: January 8, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11681

[6]        Marvin R. Shanken, General Tommy Franks: An exclusive interview with America’s top general in the war on terrorism. Cigar Aficionado Magazine: December 1, 2003: http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/CA_Profiles/People_Profile/0,2540,201,00.html

[7]        Amy Goodman, Broadcast Exclusive: Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups, Activist Friends Stunned. Democracy Now! July 28, 2009: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/28/broadcast_exclusive_declassified_docs_reveal_military

[8]        Joshua Rhett Miller, ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members. Fox News: March 23, 2009: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/

[9]        Joshua Rhett Miller, ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members. Fox News: March 23, 2009: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/

[10]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Tyrants and Traitors: The “Evolution by Stealth” of a North American Union. Global Research: August 7, 2007: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6475

[11]      Joshua Rhett Miller, ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members. Fox News: March 23, 2009: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/

[12]      Stephen C. Webster, Missouri retracts police memo which labeled activists as ‘militia’. The Raw Story: March 26, 2009: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Missouri_retracts_police_memo_which_labeled_0326.html

[13]      Stephen C. Webster, Fusion center declares nation’s oldest universities possible terror threat. The Raw Story: April 6, 2009: http://www.rawstory.com/news/2008/Virginia_terror_assessment_targets_enormous_crosssection_0406.html

[14]      Press Release, ACLU Calls For Internal DHS Investigations On Fusion Centers. ACLU: April 1, 2009: http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/aclu-calls-internal-dhs-investigations-fusion-centers

[15]      Press Release, ACLU Calls For Internal DHS Investigations On Fusion Centers. ACLU: April 1, 2009: http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/aclu-calls-internal-dhs-investigations-fusion-centers

[16]      Jonathan Turley, Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft’s Hellish Vision. Los Angeles Times: August 14, 2002: http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0814-05.htm

[17]      Christopher Ruddy, FEMA’s Plan for Mass Destruction Attacks: Of Course It’s True. Newsmax: August 6, 2002: http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/8/6/183147.shtml

[18]      Press Release, KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project for Emergency Support Services. KBR: January 24, 2006: http://www.kbr.com/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2006/01/24/KBR-Awarded-US-Department-of-Homeland-Security-Contingency-Support-Project-for-Emergency-Support-Services/

[19]      Ibid.

[20]      Peter Dale Scott, 10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North. New American Media: February 26, 2006: http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=9c2d6a5e75201d7e3936ddc65cdd56a9

[21]      Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, Rule by fear or rule by law? The San Francisco Chronicle: February 4, 2008: http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-02-04/opinion/17140386_1_martial-law-kbr-national-defense-authorization-act

[22]      Peter Dale Scott, Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps. Global Research: February 6, 2006: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1897

[23]      Cindy Sutherland, Italy City Council hears proposal for commercial development. Italy Neotribune: May 18, 2010: http://www.italyneotribune.com/stories/italy-city-council-hears-proposal-for-commercial-development

[24]      Thelma Grimes, Council ‘nay’ on detention center; City wants project funding assurance. Benson News: May 11, 2010: http://www.bensonnews-sun.com/articles/2010/05/12/news/news03.txt

[25]      Forrest Wilder, For the Lucios, Private Prison Consulting is a Family Affair. Texas Observer: April 23, 2010: http://www.texasobserver.org/forrestforthetrees/for-the-lucios-private-prison-consulting-is-a-family-affair

[26]      Angela Balakrishnan, IMF chief issues stark warning on economic crisis. The Guardian: December 18, 2008: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/16/imf-financial-crisis

[27]      Military.com, Study: DoD May Act On US Civil Unrest. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services: December 29, 2008: http://www.military.com/news/article/study-dod-may-act-on-us-civil-unrest.html

[28]      Stephen C. Webster, US intel chief: Economic crisis a greater threat than terrorism. Raw Story: February 13, 2009: http://rawstory.com/news/2008/US_intel_chief_Economic_crisis_greater_0213.html

[29]      Tom Philpott, MILITARY UPDATE: Official: Financial crisis a bigger security risk than wars. Colorado Springs Gazette: February 1, 2009: http://www.gazette.com/articles/mullen-47273-military-time.html

[30]      AFP, WTO chief warns of looming political unrest. AFP: February 7, 2009: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gpC1Q4gXJfp6EwMl1rMGrmA_a7ZA

[31]      Heather Scoffield, ‘There will be blood’. The Globe and Mail: February 23, 2009: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/article973785.ece

[32]      BBC, World Bank warns of social unrest. BBC News: May 24, 2009: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8066037.stm

[33]      Press TV, Economic Crisis: Brzezinski warns of riots in US. Global Research: February 21, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12392

[34]      Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Moody’s fears social unrest as AAA states implement austerity plans. The Telegraph: March 15, 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7450468/Moodys-fears-social-unrest-as-AAA-states-implement-austerity-plans.html

[35]      DCDC, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme, 2007-2036, 3rd ed. The Ministry of Defence, January 2007: page 3

[36]      Ibid, page 81.

[37]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, War, Racism and the Empire of Poverty. Global Research: March 22, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18263

[38]      Ibid.

[39]      Ibid.

[40]      Dr. Javier Solana, “Securing Peace in Europe”, NATO speech: November 12, 1998: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/1998/s981112a.html

[41]      Ibid.

[42]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009), page 54 (emphasis added)

The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order

The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order
The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 1
Global Research, June 24, 2010
There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:

For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.[1]

It is, in essence, this massive ‘global political awakening’ which presents the gravest and greatest challenge to the organized powers of globalization and the global political economy: nation-states, multinational corporations and banks, central banks, international organizations, military, intelligence, media and academic institutions. The Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), or ‘Superclass’ as David Rothkopf refers to them, are globalized like never before. For the first time in history, we have a truly global and heavily integrated elite. As elites have globalized their power, seeking to construct a ‘new world order’ of global governance and ultimately global government, they have simultaneously globalized populations.

The ‘Technological Revolution’ (or ‘Technetronic’ Revolution, as Brzezinski termed it in 1970) involves two major geopolitical developments. The first is that as technology advances, systems of mass communication rapidly accelerate, and the world’s people are able to engage in instant communication with one another and gain access to information from around the world. In it, lies the potential – and ultimately a central source – of a massive global political awakening. Simultaneously, the Technological Revolution has allowed elites to redirect and control society in ways never before imagined, ultimately culminating in a global scientific dictatorship, as many have warned of since the early decades of the 20th century. The potential for controlling the masses has never been so great, as science unleashes the power of genetics, biometrics, surveillance, and new forms of modern eugenics; implemented by a scientific elite equipped with systems of psycho-social control (the use of psychology in controlling the masses).

What is the “Global Political Awakening”?

To answer this question, it is best to let Zbigniew Brzezinski speak for himself, since it is his term. In 2009, Zbigniew Brzezinski published an article based on a speech he delivered to the London-based Chatham House in their academic journal, International Affairs. Chatham House, formerly the Royal Institute of International Relations, is the British counterpart to the US-based Council on Foreign Relations, both of which were founded in 1921 as “Sister Institutes” to coordinate Anglo-American foreign policy. His article, “Major foreign policy challenges for the next US President,” aptly analyzes the major geopolitical challenges for the Obama administration in leading the global hegemonic state at this critical juncture. Brzezinski refers to the ‘global political awakening’ as “a truly transformative event on the global scene,” since:

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. There are only a few pockets of humanity left in the remotest corners of the world that are not politically alert and engaged with the political turmoil and stirrings that are so widespread today around the world. The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination.[2]

Brzezinski posits that the ‘global political awakening’ is one of the most dramatic and significant developments in geopolitics that has ever occurred, and it “is apparent in radically different forms from Iraq to Indonesia, from Bolivia to Tibet.” As the Economist explained, “Though America has focused on its notion of what people want (democracy and the wealth created by free trade and open markets), Brzezinski points in a different direction: It’s about dignity.” Further, argues Brzezinski, “The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening.”[3]

In 2005, Brzezinski wrote an essay for The American Interest entitled, “The Dilemma of the Last Sovereign,” in which he explains the geopolitical landscape that America and the world find themselves in. He wrote that, “For most states, sovereignty now verges on being a legal fiction,” and he critically assessed the foreign policy objectives and rhetoric of the Bush administration. Brzezinski has been an ardent critic of the “war on terror” and the rhetoric inherent in it, namely that of the demonization of Islam and Muslim people, which constitute one of the fastest growing populations and the fastest growing religion in the world. Brzezinski fears the compound negative affects this can have on American foreign policy and the objectives and aspirations of global power. He writes:

America needs to face squarely a centrally important new global reality: that the world’s population is experiencing a political awakening unprecedented in scope and intensity, with the result that the politics of populism are transforming the politics of power. The need to respond to that massive phenomenon poses to the uniquely sovereign America an historic dilemma: What should be the central definition of America’s global role?[4]

Brzezinski explains that formulating a foreign policy based off of one single event – the September 11th terror attacks – has both legitimized illegal measures (torture, suspension of habeas corpus, etc) and has launched and pacified citizens to accepting the “global war on terror,” a war without end. The rhetoric and emotions central to this global foreign policy created a wave of patriotism and feelings of redemption and revenge. Thus, Brzezinski explains:

There was no need to be more precise as to who the terrorists actually were, where they came from, or what historical motives, religious passions or political grievances had focused their hatred on America. Terrorism thus replaced Soviet nuclear weapons as the principal threat, and terrorists (potentially omnipresent and generally identified as Muslims) replaced communists as the ubiquitous menace.[5]

Brzezinski explains that this foreign policy, which has inflamed anti-Americanism around the world, specifically in the Muslim world, which was the principle target population of ‘terrorist’ rhetoric, has in fact further inflamed the ‘global political awakening’. Brzezinski writes that:

[T]he central challenge of our time is posed not by global terrorism, but rather by the intensifying turbulence caused by the phenomenon of global political awakening. That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing.[6]

This ‘global political awakening’, Brzezinski writes, while unique in its global scope today, originates in the ideas and actions of the French Revolution, which was central in “transforming modern politics through the emergence of a socially powerful national consciousness.” Brzezinski explains the evolution of the ‘awakening’:

During the subsequent 216 years, political awakening has spread gradually but inexorably like an ink blot. Europe of 1848, and more generally the nationalist movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflected the new politics of populist passions and growing mass commitment. In some places that combination embraced utopian Manichaeism for which the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Fascist assumption of power in Italy in 1922, and the Nazi seizure of the German state in 1933 were the launch-pads. The political awakening also swept China, precipitating several decades of civil conflict. Anti-colonial sentiments galvanized India, where the tactic of passive resistance effectively disarmed imperial domination, and after World War II anti-colonial political stirrings elsewhere ended the remaining European empires. In the western hemisphere, Mexico experienced the first inklings of populist activism already in the 1860s, leading eventually to the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century.[7]

Ultimately, what this implies is that – regardless of the final results of past awakenings – what is central to the concept of a ‘political awakening’ is the population – the people – taking on a political and social consciousness and subsequently, partaking in massive political and social action aimed at generating a major shift and change, or revolution, in the political, social and economic realms. Thus, no social transformation presents a greater or more direct challenge to entrenched and centralized power structures – whether they are political, social or economic in nature. Brzezinski goes on to explain the evolution of the ‘global political awakening’ in modern times:

It is no overstatement to assert that now in the 21st century the population of much of the developing world is politically stirring and in many places seething with unrest. It is a population acutely conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree, and often resentful of its perceived lack of political dignity. The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches.[8]

Brzezinski explains that several central areas of the ‘global political awakening’, such as China, India, Egypt, Bolivia, the Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and increasingly in Europe, as well as Indians in Latin America, “increasingly are defining what they desire in reaction to what they perceive to be the hostile impact on them of the outside world. In differing ways and degrees of intensity they dislike the status quo, and many of them are susceptible to being mobilized against the external power that they both envy and perceive as self-interestedly preoccupied with that status quo.” Brzezinski elaborates on the specific group most affected by this awakening:

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well. With the exception of Europe, Japan and America, the rapidly expanding demographic bulge in the 25-year-old-and-under age bracket is creating a huge mass of impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds and images that emanate from afar and which intensify their disaffection with what is at hand. Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious “tertiary level” educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million “college” students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred.[9]

Brzezinski thus posits that to address this new global “challenge” to entrenched powers, particularly nation-states that cannot sufficiently address the increasingly non-pliant populations and populist demands, what is required, is “increasingly supranational cooperation, actively promoted by the United States.” In other words, Brzezinski favours an increased and expanded ‘internationalization’, not surprising considering he laid the intellectual foundations of the Trilateral Commission. He explains that “Democracy per se is not an enduring solution,” as it could be overtaken by “radically resentful populism.” This is truly a new global reality:

Politically awakened mankind craves political dignity, which democracy can enhance, but political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights, all in a world now acutely aware of economic, racial and ethnic inequities. The quest for political dignity, especially through national self-determination and social transformation, is part of the pulse of self-assertion by the world’s underprivileged.[10]

Thus, writes Brzezinski, “An effective response can only come from a self-confident America genuinely committed to a new vision of global solidarity.” The idea is that to address the grievances caused by globalization and global power structures, the world and America must expand and institutionalize the process of globalization, not simply in the economic sphere, but in the social and political as well. It is a flawed logic, to say the least, that the answer to this problem is to enhance and strengthen the systemic problems. One cannot put out a fire by adding fuel.

Brzezinski even wrote that, “Let it be said right away that supranationality should not be confused with world government. Even if it were desirable, mankind is not remotely ready for world government, and the American people certainly do not want it.” Instead, Brzezinski argues, America must be central in constructing a system of global governance, “in shaping a world that is defined less by the fiction of state sovereignty and more by the reality of expanding and politically regulated interdependence.”[11] In other words, not ‘global government’ but ‘global governance’, which is simply a rhetorical ploy, as ‘global governance’ – no matter how overlapping, sporadic and desultory it presents itself, is in fact a key step and necessary transition in the moves toward an actual global government.

Thus, the rhetoric and reality of a “global war on terror” in actuality further inflames the ‘global political awakening’ as opposed to challenging and addressing the issue. In 2007, Brzezinski told the US Senate that the “War on terror” was a “mythical historical narrative,”[12] or in other words, a complete fiction.

Of Power and People

To properly understand the ‘global political awakening’ it is imperative to understand and analyze the power structures that it most gravely threatens. Why is Brzezinski speaking so vociferously on this subject? From what perspective does he approach this issue?

Global power structures are most often represented by nation-states, of which there are over 200 in the world, and the vast majority are overlooking increasingly politically awakened populations who are more shaped by transnational communications and realities (such as poverty, inequality, war, empire, etc.) than by national issues. Among nation-states, the most dominant are the western powers, particularly the United States, which sits atop the global hierarchy of nations as the global hegemon (empire). American foreign policy was provided with the imperial impetus by an inter-locking network of international think tanks, which bring together the top political, banking, industrial, academic, media, military and intelligence figures to formulate coordinated policies.

The most notable of these institutions that socialize elites across national borders and provide the rationale and impetus for empire are an inter-locking network of international think tanks. In 1921, British and American elite academics got together with major international banking interests to form two “sister institutes” called the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in London, now known as Chatham House, and the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States. Subsequent related think tanks were created in Canada, such as the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, now known as the Canadian International Council (CIC), and other affiliated think tanks in South Africa, India, Australia, and more recently in the European Union with the formation of the European Council on Foreign Relations.[13]

Following World War I, these powers sought to reshape the world order in their designs, with Woodrow Wilson proclaiming a right to “national self determination” which shaped the formation of nation-states throughout the Middle East, which until the war was dominated by the Ottoman Empire. Thus, proclaiming a right to “self-determination” for people everywhere became, in fact, a means of constructing nation-state power structures which the western nations became not only instrumental in building, but in exerting hegemony over. To control people, one must construct institutions of control. Nations like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, etc., did not exist prior to World War I.

Elites have always sought to control populations and individuals for their own power desires. It does not matter whether the political system is that of fascism, communism, socialism or democracy: elites seek power and control and are inherent in each system of governance. In 1928, Edward Bernays, nephew of the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, wrote one of his most influential works entitled “Propaganda.” Bernays also wrote the book on “Public Relations,” and is known as the “father of public relations,” and few outside of that area know of Bernays; however, his effect on elites and social control has been profound and wide-ranging.

Bernays led the propaganda effort behind the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala, framing it as a “liberation from Communism” when in fact it was the imposition of a decades-long dictatorship to protect the interests of the United Fruit Company, who had hired Bernays to manage the media campaign against the democratic socialist government of Guatemala. Bernays also found a fan and student in Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, who took many of his ideas from Bernays’ writings. Among one of Bernays’ more infamous projects was the popularizing of smoking for American women, as he hired beautiful women to walk up and down Madison Avenue while smoking cigarettes, giving women the idea that smoking is synonymous with beauty.

In his 1928 book, “Propaganda,” Bernays wrote that, “If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it.” Further:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society… Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.[14]

Following World War II, America became the global hegemon, whose imperial impetus was provided by the strategic concept of “containment” in containing the spread of Communism. Thus, America’s imperial adventures in Korea, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America became defined by the desire to “roll back” the influence of the Soviet Union and Communism. It was, not surprisingly, the Council on Foreign Relations that originated the idea of “containment” as a central feature of foreign policy.[15]

Further, following World War II, America was handed the responsibility for overseeing and managing the international monetary system and global political economy through the creation of institutions and agreements such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), NATO, the UN, and GATT (later to become the World Trade Organization – WTO). One central power institution that was significant in establishing consensus among Western elites and providing a forum for expanding global western hegemony was the Bilderberg Group, founded in 1954 as an international think tank.[16]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, an up-and-coming academic, joined the Council on Foreign Relations in the early 1960s. In 1970, Brzezinski, who had attended a few Bilderberg meetings, wrote a book entitled, “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era,” in which he analyzed the impact of the ‘Revolution in Technology and Electronics,’ thus, the ‘technetronic era.’ Brzezinski defines the ‘technetronic society’ as, “a society that is shaped culturally, psychologically, socially, and economically by the impact of technology and electronics – particularly in the arena of computers and communications. The industrial process is no longer the principal determinant of social change, altering the mores, the social structure, and the values of society.”[17]

Brzezinski, expanding upon notions of social control, such as those propagated by Edward Bernays, wrote that, “Human conduct, some argue, can be predetermined and subjected to deliberate control,” and he quoted an “experimenter in intelligence control” who asserted that, “I foresee the time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behaviour and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.”[18]

Brzezinski, in a telling exposé of his astute powers of observation and ability to identify major global trends, wrote that we are “witnessing the emergence of transnational elites” who are “composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national.” Further, writes Brzezinski, “it is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook.” However, warns Brzezinski, this increasing internationalization of elites “could create a dangerous gap between them and the politically activated masses, whose ‘nativism’ – exploited by more nationalist political leaders – could work against the ‘cosmopolitan’ elites.”[19] Brzezinski also wrote about “the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society,” in the “technetronic revolution;” explaining:

Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Under such circumstances, the scientific and technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits.[20]

Further, writes Brzezinski, “Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society.” Elaborating, Brzezinski writes, “The traditionally democratic American society could, because of its fascination with technical efficiency, become an extremely controlled society, and its humane and individualistic qualities would thereby be lost.”[21]

In his book, Brzezinski called for a “Community of the Developed Nations,” consisting of Western Europe, North America and Japan, to coordinate and integrate in order to shape a ‘new world order’ built upon ideas of global governance under the direction of these transnational elites. In 1972, Brzezinski and his friend, David Rockefeller, presented the idea to the annual Bilderberg meetings. Rockefeller was, at that time, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and was CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1973, Brzezinski and Rockefeller created the Trilateral Commission, a sort of sister institute to the Bilderberg Group, with much cross-over membership, bringing Japan into the western sphere of economic and political integration.[22]

In 1975, the Trilateral Commission published a Task Force Report entitled, “The Crisis of Democracy,” of which one of the principal authors was Samuel Huntington, a political scientist and close associate and friend of Zbigniew Brzezinski. In this report, Huntington argues that the 1960s saw a surge in democracy in America, with an upswing in citizen participation, often “in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and ‘cause’ organizations.”[23] Further, “the 1960s also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life.”[24] Huntington analyzed how as part of this “democratic surge,” statistics showed that throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, there was a dramatic increase in the percentage of people who felt the United States was spending too much on defense (from 18% in 1960 to 52% in 1969, largely due to the Vietnam War).[25] In other words, people were becoming politically aware of empire and exploitation.

Huntington wrote that the “essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private,” and that, “People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents.” Huntington explained that in the 1960s, “hierarchy, expertise, and wealth” had come “under heavy attack.”[26] He stated that three key issues which were central to the increased political participation in the 1960s were:

social issues, such as use of drugs, civil liberties, and the role of women; racial issues, involving integration, busing, government aid to minority groups, and urban riots; military issues, involving primarily, of course, the war in Vietnam but also the draft, military spending, military aid programs, and the role of the military-industrial complex more generally.[27]

Huntington presented these issues, essentially, as the “crisis of democracy,” in that they increased distrust with the government and authority, that they led to social and ideological polarization, and led to a “Decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency.”[28]

Huntington concluded that many problems of governance in the United States stem from an “excess of democracy,” and that, “the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.” Huntington explained that society has always had “marginal groups” which do not participate in politics, and while acknowledging that the existence of “marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic,” it has also “enabled democracy to function effectively.” Huntington identifies “the blacks” as one such group that had become politically active, posing a “danger of overloading the political system with demands.”[29]

Huntington, in his conclusion, stated that the vulnerability of democracy, essentially the ‘crisis of democracy,’ comes from “a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society,” and that what is needed is “a more balanced existence” in which there are “desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy.”[30] Summed up, the Trilateral Commission Task Force Report essentially explained that the “Crisis of Democracy” is that there is too much of it, and so the ‘solution’ to the ‘crisis’ is to have less democracy and more ‘authority.’

The New World Order

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, American ideologues – politicians and academics – began discussing the idea of the emergence of a “new world order” in which power in the world is centralized with one power – the United States, and laid the basis for an expansion of elitist ideology pertaining to the notion of ‘globalization’: that power and power structures should be globalizaed. In short, the ‘new world order’ was to be a global order of global governance. In the short term, it was to be led by the United States, which must be the central and primary actor in constructing a new world order, and ultimately a global government.[31]

Anne-Marie Slaughter, currently the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, is a prominent academic within the American elite establishment, having long served in various posts at the State Department, elite universities and on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1997, Slaughter wrote an article for the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, “Foreign Affairs,” in which she discussed the theoretical foundations of the ‘new world order.’ In it, she wrote that, “The state is not disappearing, it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts—courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures—are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernmental order,” and that, “transgovernmentalism is rapidly becoming the most widespread and effective mode of international governance.”[32]

Long preceding Slaughter’s analysis of the ‘new world order,’ Richard N. Gardner published an article in Foreign Affairs titled, “The Hard Road to World Order.” Gardner, a former American Ambassador and member of the Trilateral Commission, wrote that, “The quest for a world structure that secures peace, advances human rights and provides the conditions for economic progress—for what is loosely called world order—has never seemed more frustrating but at the same time strangely hopeful.”[33]

Gardner wrote, “If instant world government, [UN] Charter review, and a greatly strengthened International Court do not provide the answers, what hope for progress is there? The answer will not satisfy those who seek simple solutions to complex problems, but it comes down essentially to this: The hope for the foreseeable future lies, not in building up a few ambitious central institutions of universal membership and general jurisdiction as was envisaged at the end of the last war, but rather in the much more decentralized, disorderly and pragmatic process of inventing or adapting institutions of limited jurisdiction and selected membership to deal with specific problems on a case-by-case basis, as the necessity for cooperation is perceived by the relevant nations.”[34]

He then stated, “In short, the “house of world order” will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great “booming, buzzing confusion,” to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”[35]

In 1992, Strobe Talbott wrote an article for Time Magazine entitled, “The Birth of the Global Nation.” Talbott worked as a journalist for Time Magazine for 21 years, and has been a fellow of the Yale Corporation, a trustee of the Hotchkiss School and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the North American Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission, and the American Association of Rhodes Scholars, and a member of the participating faculty of the World Economic Forum. Talbott served as Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001 in the Clinton administration and currently sits as President of the Brookings Institution, one of the premier American think tanks. In his 1992 article, “within the next hundred years,” Talbott wrote, “nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority.” He explained:

All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary. Through the ages, there has been an overall trend toward larger units claiming sovereignty and, paradoxically, a gradual diminution of how much true sovereignty any one country actually has.[36]

Further, he wrote that, “it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government. With the advent of electricity, radio and air travel, the planet has become smaller than ever, its commercial life freer, its nations more interdependent and its conflicts bloodier.”[37]

David Rothkopf, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Clinton administration, former managing director of Kissinger and Associates, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently wrote a book titled, “Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making.” As a member of that “superclass,” his writing should provide a necessary insight into the construction of this “New World Order.” He states that, “In a world of global movements and threats that don’t present their passports at national borders, it is no longer possible for a nation-state acting alone to fulfill its portion of the social contract.” He wrote that, “progress will continue to be made,” however, it will be challenging, because it “undercuts many national and local power structures and cultural concepts that have foundations deep in the bedrock of human civilization, namely the notion of sovereignty.” He further wrote that, “Mechanisms of global governance are more achievable in today’s environment,” and that these mechanisms “are often creative with temporary solutions to urgent problems that cannot wait for the world to embrace a bigger and more controversial idea like real global government.”[38]

In December of 2008, the Financial Times published an article titled, “And Now for A World Government,” in which the author, former Bilderberg attendee, Gideon Rachman, wrote that, “for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible,” and that, “A ‘world government’ would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.”[39]

He stated that, “it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a ‘global war on terror’.” He wrote that the European model could “go global” and that a world government “could be done,” as “The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.” He quoted an adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy as saying, “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government,” and that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law.” However, Rachman states that any push towards a global government “will be a painful, slow process.” He then states that a key problem in this push can be explained with an example from the EU, which “has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for ‘ever closer union’ have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.”[40]

The Global Political Awakening and the Global Economic Crisis

In the face of the global economic crisis, the process that has led to the global political awakening is rapidly expanding, as the social, political and economic inequalities and disparities that led to the awakening are all being exacerbated and expanded. Thus, the global political awakening itself is entering into a period in which it will undergo rapid, expansionary and global transformation.

This ‘global political awakening’, of which Brzezinski has explained as being one of the primary global geopolitical challenges of today, has largely, up until recent times, been exemplified in the ‘Global South’, or the ‘Third World’ developing nations of the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Developments in recent decades and years in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Iran exemplify the nationalist-orientation of much of this awakening, taking place in a world increasingly and incrementally moving towards global governance and global institutions.

In 1998, Hugo Chavez became President of Venezuela, having campaigned on promises of aiding the nation’s poor majority. In 2002, an American coup attempt took place in Venezuela, but Chavez retained his power and was further emboldened by the attempt, and gained a great burst of popular support among the people. Chavez has undertaken what he refers to as a process of “Bolivarian socialism”, and has taken a decidedly and vehemently anti-American posture in Latin America, long considered America’s “back yard.” Suddenly, there is virulent rhetoric and contempt against the United States and its influence in the region, which itself is backed by the enormous oil-wealth of Venezuela.

In Bolivia, Evo Morales was elected President in 2005 of the poorest nation in South America, and he was also the first indigenous leader of that country to ever hold that position of power, after having long been dominated by the Spanish-descended landed aristocracy. Evo Morales rose to power on the wave of various social movements within Bolivia, key among them being the “water wars” which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, in 2000. The water wars were instigated after the World Bank forced Bolivia to privatize its water so that American and European companies could come in and purchase the rights to Bolivia’s water, meaning that people in the poorest nation in South America could not even drink rain water without paying American or European companies for the ‘right’ to use it. Thus, revolt arose and Evo Morales rose with it. Now, Morales and Chavez represent the “new Left” in Latin America, and with it, growing sentiments of anti-American imperialism.

In Iran, itself defined more by nationalism than ethnic polarities, has become a principal target of the western hegemonic world order, as it sits atop massive gas and oil reserves, and is virulently anti-American and firmly opposed to western hegemony in the Middle East. However, with increased American rhetoric against Iran, its regime and political elites are further emboldened and politically strengthened among its people, the majority of whom are poor.

Global socio-political economic conditions directly relate to the expansion and emergence of the ‘global political awakening’. As of 1998, “3 billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women.”[41] In 2003, a World Bank report revealed that, “A minority of the world’s population (17%) consume most of the world’s resources (80%), leaving almost 5 billion people to live on the remaining 20%. As a result, billions of people are living without the very basic necessities of life – food, water, housing and sanitation.”[42]

In regards to poverty and hunger statistics, “Over 840 million people in the world are malnourished—799 million of them are from the developing world. Sadly, more than 153 million of them are under the age of 5 (half the entire US population).” Further, “Every day, 34,000 children under five die of hunger or other hunger-related diseases. This results in 6 million deaths a year.” That amounts to a “Hunger Holocaust” that takes place every single year. As of 2003, “Of 6.2 billion living today, 1.2 billion live on less than $1 per day. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”[43]

In 2006, a groundbreaking and comprehensive report released by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) reported that, “The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth.” An incredibly startling statistic was that:

[T]he richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. In contrast, the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.[44]

This is worth repeating: the top 1% owns 40% of global assets; the top 10% owns 85% of world assets; and the bottom 50% owns 1% of global assets; a sobering figure, indeed. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report stated that in 2009, “an estimated 55 million to 90 million more people will be living in extreme poverty than anticipated before the crisis.” Further, “the encouraging trend in the eradication of hunger since the early 1990s was reversed in 2008, largely due to higher food prices.” Hunger in developing regions has risen to 17% in 2008, and “children bear the brunt of the burden.”[45]

In April of 2009, a major global charity, Oxfam, reported that a couple trillion dollars given to bail out banks could have been enough “to end global extreme poverty for 50 years.”[46] In September of 2009, Oxfam reported that the economic crisis “is forcing 100 people-a-minute into poverty.” Oxfam stated that, “Developing countries across the globe are struggling to respond to the global recession that continues to slash incomes, destroy jobs and has helped push the total number of hungry people in the world above 1 billion.”[47]

The financial crisis has hit the ‘developing’ world much harder than the western developed nations of the world. The UN reported in March of 2009 that, “Reduced growth in 2009 will cost the 390 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living in extreme poverty around $18 billion, or $46 per person,” and “This projected loss represents 20 per cent of the per capita income of Africa’s poor – a figure that dwarfs the losses sustained in the developed world.”[48]

Thus, the majority of the world’s people live in absolute poverty and social dislocation. This is directly the result of the globalized world order that has been and is being constructed. Now, as that same infrastructure is being further institutionalized and built upon, people are being thrown into the ‘awakening’ like never before. Their very poverty pushes them into an awakening. There is a seemingly lost notion of judging a society by how it treats it weakest members: the poor. Poverty forces one to look at the world differently, as they see the harsh restraints that society has imposed upon the human spirit. Life simply cannot be about the struggle to make payments week-to-week; to afford water, shelter, and food; to live according to the dictates of money and power.

Look to history, and you see that from some of the most oppressive societies can come the greatest of humanity. Russia, a nation which has never in its history experienced true political freedom for the individual, has managed to produce some of the greatest music, art, expression and literature as a vibrant outcry of humanity from a society so overcome with the need to control it. It the fact that such triumphs of human spirit can come from such tyrannies over human nature is a sobering display of the great mystery of human beings. Why waste humanity by subjecting it to poverty? Think of the difference that could be made if all of humanity was allowed to flourish individually and collectively; think of all the ideas, art, expression, intellect and beauty we aren’t getting from those who have no voice.

Until we address this fundamental issue, any notion of humanity as being ‘civilized’ is but a cynical joke. If it’s human civilization, we haven’t quite figured it out yet. We don’t yet have a proper definition of ‘civilized’, and we need to make it ‘humane’.

The West and the Awakening

The middle classes of the western world are undergoing a dramatic transition, most especially in the wake of the global economic crisis. In the previous decades, the middle class has become a debt-based class, whose consumption was based almost entirely on debt, and so their ability to consume and be the social bedrock of the capitalist system is but a mere fiction. Never in history has the middle class, and most especially the youth who are graduating college into the hardest job market in decades, been in such peril.[49]

The global debt crisis, which is beginning in Greece, and spreading throughout the euro-zone economies of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and ultimately the entire EU, will further consume the UK, Japan and go all the way to America.[50] This will be a truly global debt crisis. Government measures to address the issue of debt focus on the implementation of ‘fiscal austerity measures’ to reduce the debt burdens and make interest payments on their debts.

‘Fiscal austerity’ is a vague term that in actuality refers to cutting social spending and increasing taxes. The effect this has is that the public sector is devastated, as all assets are privatized, public workers are fired en masse, unemployment becomes rampant, health and education disappear, taxes rise dramatically, and currencies are devalued to make all assets cheaper for international corporations and banks to buy up, while internally causing inflation – dramatically increasing the costs of fuel and food. In short, ‘fiscal austerity’ implies ‘social destruction’ as the social foundations of nations and peoples are pulled out from under them. States then become despotic and oppress the people, who naturally revolt against ‘austerity’: the sterilization of society.

‘Fiscal austerity’ swept the developing world through the 1980s and 1990s in response to the 1980s debt crisis which consumed Latin America, Africa, and areas of Asia. The result of the fiscal austerity measures imposed upon nations by the World Bank and IMF was the social dismantling of the new societies and their subsequent enslavement to the international creditors of the IMF, World Bank, and western corporations and banks. It was an era of economic imperialism, and the IMF was a central tool of this imperial project.

As the debt crisis we see unfolding today sweeps the world, the IMF is again stepping in to impose ‘fiscal austerity’ on nations in return for short-term loans for countries to pay off the interest on their exorbitant debts, themselves owed mostly to major European and American banks. Western nations have agreed to impose fiscal austerity,[51] which will in fact only inflame the crisis, deepen the depression and destroy the social foundations of the west so that we are left only with the authoritarian apparatus of state power – the police, military, homeland ‘security’ apparatus – which is employed against people to protect the status quo powers.

The IMF has also come to the global economic crisis with a new agenda, giving out loans in its own synthetic currency – Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) – an international reserve basket of currencies. The G20 in April of 2009 granted the IMF the authority to begin phasing in the applications of issuing SDRs, and for the IMF to in effect become a global central bank issuing a global currency.[52] So through this global debt crisis, SDRs will be disbursed globally – both efficiently and in abundance – as nations will need major capital inflows and loans to pay off interest payments, or in the event of a default. This will happen at a pace so rapid that it would never be conceivable if not for a global economic crisis. The same took place in the 1980s, as the nature of “Structural Adjustment Programs” (SAPs) could not be properly assessed as detrimental to economic conditions and ultimately socially devastating, for countries needed money fast (as the debt crisis spread across the developing world) and were not in a position to negotiate. Today, this will be the ‘globalization’ of the debt crisis of the 1980s, on a much larger and more devastating scale, and the reaction will be equally globalized and devastating: the continued implementation of ‘global governance’.

As austerity hits the west, the middle class will vanish in obscurity, as they will be absorbed into the lower, labour-oriented working class.[53] The youth of the western middle class, comprising the majority of the educated youth, will be exposed to a ‘poverty of expectations’ in which they grew up in a world in which they were promised everything, and from whom everything was so quickly taken. The inevitability of protests, riots and possible rebellion is as sure as the sun rises.[54]

In the United States, the emergence of the Tea Party movement is representative of – in large part – a growing dissatisfaction with the government and the economy. Naturally, like any group, it has its radical and fringe elements, which tend to draw the majority of media attention in an effort to shape public opinion, but the core and the driving force of the movement is the notion of popular dissatisfaction with government. Whatever one thinks of the legitimacy of such protestations, people are not pleased, and people are taking to the streets. And so it begins.

Even intellectuals of the left have spoken publicly warning people not to simply and so easily discount the Tea Party movement as fringe or radical. One such individual, Noam Chomsky, while speaking at a University in April of 2010, warned that he felt fascism was coming to America, and he explained that, “Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error,” as their attitudes “are understandable.” He explained, “For over 30 years, real incomes have stagnated or declined. This is in large part the consequence of the decision in the 1970s to financialize the economy.” This constitutes ‘class resentment’, as “The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels.” This same financial industry is directly linked to Obama, who is supporting their interests, and people are noticing.[55]

Another notable feminist intellectual of the left, Naomi Wolf, who wrote a book during the Bush administration on the emergence of fascism in America, and much of her message is being picked up by the Tea Party movement, as those on the right who were listening and agreeing with Wolf during the Bush administration (a considerable minority), then provided the impetus for the emergence of the Tea Party movement and many of its core or original ideas. In an interview in March 2010, Wolf explained that her ideas are even more relevant under Obama than Bush. She explained, “Bush legalized torture, but Obama is legalizing impunity. He promised to roll stuff back, but he is institutionalizing these things forever. It is terrifying and the left doesn’t seem to recognize it.” She explained how the left, while active under Bush, has been tranquilized under Obama, and that there is a potential for true intellectuals and for people more generally and more importantly, to reach out to each other across the spectrum. She explained:

I was invited by the Ron Paul supporters to their rally in Washington last summer and I loved it. I met a lot of people I respected, a lot of “ordinary” people, as in not privileged. They were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining. It was a wake-up call to the libertarians that there’s a progressive who cares so much about the same issues. Their views of liberals are just as distorted as ours are of conservatives.[56]

In regards to the Tea Party movement, Wolf had this to say: “The Tea Party is not monolithic. There is a battle between people who care about liberty and the Constitution and the Republican Establishment who is trying to take ownership of it and redirect it for its own purposes.” Further, she explained that the Tea Party is “ahead of their time” on certain issues, “I used to think “End the Fed people” were crackpots. The media paints them as deranged. But it turned out we had good reason to have more oversight.”[57]

In time, others will join with the Tea Party movement and new activist groups, the anti-war movement will have to revitalize itself or die away; since Obama became President their influence, their voice, and their dignity has all but vanished. They have become a pacified voice, and their silence is complicity; thus, the anti-war movement must reignite and reinvigorate or it will decompose. The ‘Left’s’ distrust of corporations must merge with the ‘Right’s’ distrust of government to create a trust in ‘people’. Soon students will be joining protests, and the issues of the Tea Party movement and others like it can become more refined and informed.

When the middle classes of the west are plunged into poverty, it will force an awakening, for when people have nothing, they have nothing left to lose. The only way that the entrenched powers of the world have been able to expand their power and maintain their power is with the ignorant consent of the populations of the west. Issues of war, empire, economics and terror shape public opinion and allow social planners to redirect and reconstitute society. The people of the west have allowed themselves to be ruled as such and have allowed our rulers to be so ruthless in our names. People have been blinded by consumerism and entertainment. Images of celebrities, professional sports, Hollywood, iPods, blackberrys, and PCs consume the minds of people, and especially the youth of the west today. It has been the illusion of being the consuming class that has allowed our societies to be run so recklessly. So long as we have our TVs and PCs we won’t pay attention to anything else!

When the ability to consume is removed, the people will enter into a period of a great awakening. This will give rise to major new political movements, many progressive but some regressive, some fringe and radical, some violent and tyrannical, but altogether new and ultimately global. This is when the people of the west will come to realize the plight of the rest. This will be the era in which people begin to understand the realization that there is great truth in Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thus, the struggle of Africans will become the struggle of Americans: it must be freedom for all or freedom for none.

This is the major geopolitical reality and the pre-eminent global threat to world power structures. No development in all of human history presents such a monumental challenge to the status quo. As global power structures have never resembled such a monumental threat to mankind, mankind has never posed such an immense threat to institutionalized power. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Even if elites think that they truly do run the world, human nature has a way of exposing the flaws in that assumption. Human nature is not meant to be ‘controlled,’ but rather is meant to be nurtured.

A View From the Top

Again, it is important to go to Brzezinski’s own words in describing this new geopolitical reality, as it provides great insight into not only how the ‘global political awakening’ is defined; but more importantly, how it is perceived by those who hold power. In 2004, Brzezinski gave a speech at the Carnegie Council on his 2004 book, “The Choice”. The Carnegie Council is an elite think tank based in the United States, so Brzezinski is speaking to those who are potentially negatively affected by such an awakening. Brzezinski stated that America’s foreign policy in the wake of 9/11 – the “War on Terror” – is presenting a major challenge to American hegemony, as it is increasingly isolating the United States and damaging the nation’s credibility, as well as hiding the issues in virulent rhetoric which only further inflames the real and true challenge: the global political awakening. He states:

The misdiagnosis [of foreign policy] pertains to a relatively vague, excessively abstract, highly emotional, semi-theological definition of the chief menace that we face today in the world, and the consequent slighting of what I view as the unprecedented global challenge arising out of the unique phenomenon of a truly massive global political awakening of mankind. We live in an age in which mankind writ large is becoming politically conscious and politically activated to an unprecedented degree, and it is this condition which is producing a great deal of international turmoil.

But we are not focusing on that. We are focusing specifically on one word, which is being elevated into a specter, defined as an entity, presented as somehow unified but unrelated to any specific event or place—and that word is terrorism. The global challenge today on the basis of which we tend to operate politically is the definition of terrorism with a global reach as the principal challenge of our time.

I don’t deny that terrorism is a reality, a threat to us, an ugly menace and a vicious manifestation. But it is a symptom of something larger and more complicated, related to the global turmoil that takes place in many parts of the world and manifests itself in different ways.

That turmoil is the product of the political awakening, the fact that today vast masses of the world are not politically neutered, as they have been throughout history. They have political consciousness. It may be undefined, it may point in different directions, it may be primitive, it may be intolerant, it may be hateful, but it is a form of political activism.[58]

Brzezinski explains that literacy has made for greater political awareness, while TV has made for immediate awareness of global disparities, and the Internet has provided instant communications. Further, says Brzezinski, “Much of this is also spurred by America’s impact on the world,” or in other words, American economic, political, and cultural imperialism; and further, “Much of it is also fueled by globalization, which the United States propounds, favors and projects by virtue of being a globally outward-thrusting society.” Brzezinski warns, “But that also contributes to instability, and is beginning to create something altogether new: namely, some new ideological or doctrinal challenge which might fill the void created by the disappearance of communism.” Brzezinski explains that Communism emerged in the last century as an alternative, however, today:

it is now totally discredited, and we have a pragmatic vacuum in the world today regarding doctrines. But I see the beginnings, in writings and stirrings, of the making of a doctrine which combines anti-Americanism with anti-globalization, and the two could become a powerful force in a world that is very unequal and turbulent.[59]

A question following Brzezinski’s speech asked him to expand upon how to address the notion of and deal with the ‘global political awakening’. Brzezinski explained that, “We deal with the world as it is and we are as we are. If we are to use our power intelligently and if we are to move in the right direction, we have no choice but do it incrementally.”[60] In other words, as Brzezinski has detailed his vision of a solution to world problems in creating the conditions for global governance; they must do it “incrementally,” for that is how to “use [their] power intelligently.” The solution to the ‘global political awakening’, in the view from the top, is to continue to create the apparatus of an oppressive global government.

On April 23, 2010, Zbigniew Brzezinski went to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations to give a speech at an event jointly-hosted by the Canadian International Council (CIC), the Canadian counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations in the US and Chatham House in the U.K. These are many of the intellectual, social, political and economic elite of Canada. In his speech, Brzezinski gives a breakdown of the modern geopolitical realities:

Let me begin by making just a thumbnail definition of the geopolitical context in which we all find ourselves, including America. And in my perspective, that geopolitical context is very much defined by new – by two new global realities. The first is that global political leadership – by which I mean the role of certain leading powers in the world – has now become much more diversified unlike what it was until relatively recently. Relatively recently still, the world was dominated by the Atlantic world, as it had been for many centuries. It no longer is. Today, the rise of the Far East has created a new but much more differentiated global leadership. One which in a nutshell involves a wanton hazard, an arbitrary list of the primary players in the world scene: the United States, clearly; maybe next to it – but maybe – the European Union, I say maybe because it is not yet a political entity; certainly, increasingly so, and visibly so, China; Russia, mainly in one respect only because it is a nuclear power co-equal to the United States, but otherwise very deficient in all of the major indices of what constitutes global power. Behind Russia, perhaps individually, but to a much lesser extent, Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, certainly, although it does not have the political assertive posture; India is rising, and then in the background of that we have the new entity of the G20, a much more diversified global leadership, lacking internal unity, with many of its members in bilateral antagonisms. That makes the context much more complicated.

The other major change in international affairs is that for the first time, in all of human history, mankind has been politically awakened. That is a total new reality – total new reality. It has not been so for most of human history until the last one hundred years. And in the course of the last one hundred years, the whole world has become politically awakened. And no matter where you go, politics is a matter of social engagement, and most people know what is generally going on –generally going on – in the world, and are consciously aware of global inequities, inequalities, lack of respect, exploitation. Mankind is now politically awakened and stirring. The combination of the two: the diversified global leadership, politically awakened masses, makes a much more difficult context for any major power including, currently, the leading world power: the United States.[61]

Conclusion

So, the Technological Revolution has led to a diametrically opposed, antagonistic, and conflicting geopolitical reality: never before has humanity been so awakened to issues of power, exploitation, imperialism and domination; and simultaneously, never before have elites been so transnational and global in orientation, and with the ability to impose such a truly global system of scientific despotism and political oppression. These are the two major geopolitical realities of the world today. Reflect on that. Never in all of human history has mankind been so capable of achieving a true global political psycho-social awakening; nor has humanity ever been in such danger of being subjected to a truly global scientific totalitarianism, potentially more oppressive than any system known before, and without a doubt more technologically capable of imposing a permanent despotism upon humanity. So we are filled with hope, but driven by urgency. In all of human history, never has the potential nor the repercussions of human actions and ideas ever been so monumental.

Suddenly, global elites are faced with the reality of seeking to dominate populations that are increasingly becoming self-aware and are developing a global consciousness. Thus, a population being subjected to domination in Africa has the ability to become aware of a population being subjected to the same forms of domination in the Middle East, South America or Asia; and they can recognize that they are all being dominated by the same global power structures. That is a key point: not only is the awakening global in its reach, but in its nature; it creates within the individual, an awareness of the global condition. So it is a ‘global awakening’ both in the external environment, and in the internal psychology.

This new reality in the world, coupled with the fact that the world’s population has never been so vast, presents a challenge to elites seeking to dominate people all over the world who are aware and awakened to the realities of social inequality, war, poverty, exploitation, disrespect, imperialism and domination. This directly implies that these populations will be significantly more challenging to control: economically, politically, socially, psychologically and spiritually. Thus, from the point of view of the global oligarchy, the only method of imposing order and control – on this unique and historical human condition – is through the organized chaos of economic crises, war, and the rapid expansion and institutionalization of a global scientific dictatorship. Our hope is their fear; and our greatest fear is their only hope.

As Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That has never been so true as it is today.

 


This has been Part 1 in the three-part series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom.”

Part 2 will examine the nature of the global awakening in the ‘west’, particularly the United States, and the potential for revolution within that awakening; as well as the state systems of control and oppression being constructed to deal with it; notably, the construction of a Homeland Security State.

Part 3 will examine the evolution of the idea and reality of a scientific dictatorship, the technological revolution’s effect on power, and the emergence of new systems of social control based upon a modern implementation of eugenics.

 


Endnotes

[1]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Global Political Awakening. The New York Times: December 16, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/opinion/16iht-YEbrzezinski.1.18730411.html

[2]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next US President,” International Affairs, 85: 1, (2009), page 53 (emphasis added)

[3]        AFP, A new brain for Barack Obama. The Economist: March 14, 2007: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2007/03/a_new_brain_for_barack_obama

[4]        Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Dilemma of the Last Sovereign. The American Interest Magazine, Autumn 2005: http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=56

[5]        Ibid.

[6]        Ibid.

[7]        Ibid.

[8]        Ibid.

[9]        Ibid.

[10]      Ibid.

[11]      Ibid.

[12]      Michael Collins, Brzezinski: On The Path To War With Iran. Global Research: February 25, 2007: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=4920

[13]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order. Global Research: July 28, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14552 ; see sections, “World War Restructures World Order,” and “Empire, War and the Rise of the New Global Hegemon,” for a look at this interlocking network of think tanks.

[14]      John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of PR. PR Watch, Second Quarter 1999, Volume 6, No. 2: http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1999Q2/bernays.html

[15]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order. Global Research: July 28, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14552 ; Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[16]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[17]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. (Viking Press, New York, 1970), page 10

[18]      Ibid, page 12.

[19]      Ibid, page 29.

[20]      Ibid, page 97.

[21]      Ibid.

[22]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve. Global Research: August 3, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14614

[23]      Michel J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington and Joji Watanuki, The Crisis of Democracy. (Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, New York University Press, 1975), page 61

[24]      Ibid, page 62.

[25]      Ibid, page 71.

[26]      Ibid, pages 74-75

[27]      Ibid, page 77.

[28]      Ibid, page 93.

[29]      Ibid, pages 113-114.

[30]      Ibid, page 115.

[31]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government. Global Research: August 13, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14712

[32]      Anne-Marie Slaughter, The Real New World Order. Foreign Affairs: September/October, 1997: pages 184-185

[33]      Richard N. Gardner, The Hard Road to World Order. Foreign Affairs: April, 1974: page 556

[34]      Ibid, page 558.

[35]      Ibid.

[36]      Strobe Talbott, America Abroad. Time Magazine: July 20, 1992: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,976015,00.html

[37]      Ibid.

[38]      David Rothkopf, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. (Toronto: Penguin Books, 2008), pages 315-316

[39]      Gideon Rachman, And now for a world government. The Financial Times: December 8, 2008: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7a03e5b6-c541-11dd-b516-000077b07658.html

[40]      Ibid.

[41]      Jeff Gates, Statistics on Poverty and Inequality. Global Policy Forum: May 1999: http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/218/46377.html

[42]      Social & Economic Injustice, World Centric, 2004: http://worldcentric.org/conscious-living/social-and-economic-injustice

[43]      Ibid.

[44]      GPF, Press Release: Pioneering Study Shows Richest Own Half World Wealth. Global Policy Forum: December 5, 2006: http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/218/46555.html

[45]      UN, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009. United Nations, New York, 2009: page 4

[46]      G20 Summit: Bank bailout would end global poverty, says Oxfam. The Telegraph: April 1, 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/g20-summit/5087404/G20-Summit-Bank-bailout-would-end-global-poverty-says-Oxfam.html

[47]      Press Release, 100 people every minute pushed into poverty by economic crisis. Oxfam International: September 24, 2009: http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2009-09-24/100-people-every-minute-pushed-poverty-economic-crisis

[48]      Press Release, Financial crisis to deepen extreme poverty, increase child mortality rates – UN report. UN News Center: March 3, 2009: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30070

[49]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Western Civilization and the Economic Crisis: The Impoverishment of the Middle Class. Global Research: March 30, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18386

[50]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe. Global Research: February 22, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17736

[51]      Reuters, G20 communique after meeting in South Korea. G20 Communiqué: June 5, 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6540VN20100605

[52]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Forging a “New World Order” Under a One World Government. Global Research: August 13, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14712 ; or for a more succinct analysis, Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government. Global Research: April 6, 2009: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13070

[53]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, Western Civilization and the Economic Crisis: The Impoverishment of the Middle Class. Global Research: March 30, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18386

[54]      Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Global Economic Crisis: Riots, Rebellion and Revolution. Global Research: April 7, 2010: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18529

[55]      Matthew Rothschild, Chomsky Warns of Risk of Fascism in America. The Progressive: April 12, 2010: http://www.progressive.org/wx041210.html

[56]      Justine Sharrock, Naomi Wolf Thinks the Tea Parties Help Fight Fascism — Is She Onto Something or in Fantasy Land? Alternet: March 30, 2010: http://www.alternet.org/news/146184/naomi_wolf_thinks_the_tea_parties_help_fight_fascism_–_is_she_on_to_something_or_in_fantasy_land__

[57]      Ibid.

[58]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/4424.html

[59]      Ibid.

[60]      Ibid.

[61]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, America’s Geopolitical Dilemmas. Speech at the Canadian International Council and Montreal Council on Foreign Relations: April 23, 2010: http://www.onlinecic.org/resourcece/multimedia/americasgeopoliticaldilemmas

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,133 other followers