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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.

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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

Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve

Controlling the Global Economy: Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission and the Federal Reserve
Global Power and Global Government: Part 3
Global Research, August 3, 2009

This essay is Part 3 of “Global Power and Global Government,” published by Global Research.

Part 1: Evolution and Revolution of the Central Banking System
Part 2: Origins of the American Empire: Revolution, World Wars and World Order



The Bilderberg Group and the European Union Project

In 1954, the Bilderberg Group was founded in the Netherlands, which was a secretive meeting held once a year, drawing roughly 130 of the political-financial-military-academic-media elites from North America and Western Europe as “an informal network of influential people who could consult each other privately and confidentially.”[1] Regular participants include the CEOs or Chairman of some of the largest corporations in the world, oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, and Total SA, as well as various European monarchs, international bankers such as David Rockefeller, major politicians, presidents, prime ministers, and central bankers of the world.[2]

Joseph Retinger, the founder of the Bilderberg Group, was also one of the original architects of the European Common Market and a leading intellectual champion of European integration. In 1946, he told the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the British counterpart and sister organization of the Council on Foreign Relations), that Europe needed to create a federal union and for European countries to “relinquish part of their sovereignty.” Retinger was a founder of the European Movement (EM), a lobbying organization dedicated to creating a federal Europe. Retinger secured financial support for the European Movement from powerful US financial interests such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rockefellers.[3] However, it is hard to distinguish between the CFR and the Rockefellers, as, especially following World War II, the CFR’s main finances came from the Carnegie Corporation, Ford Foundation and most especially, the Rockefeller Foundation.[4]

The Bilderberg Group acts as a “secretive global think-tank,” with an original intent to “to link governments and economies in Europe and North America amid the Cold War.”[5] One of the Bilderberg Group’s main goals was unifying Europe into a European Union. Apart from Retinger, the founder of the Bilderberg Group and the European Movement, another ideological founder of European integration was Jean Monnet, who founded the Action Committee for a United States of Europe, an organization dedicated to promoting European integration, and he was also the major promoter and first president of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor to the European Common Market.[6]

Declassified documents (released in 2001) showed that “the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.”[7] The documents revealed that, “America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully-fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.” Further, “Washington’s main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948. The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then,” and “The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA’s first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years.” Interestingly, “The leaders of the European Movement – Retinger, the visionary Robert Schuman and the former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak – were all treated as hired hands by their American sponsors. The US role was handled as a covert operation. ACUE’s funding came from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations as well as business groups with close ties to the US government.”[8]

The European Coal and Steel Community was formed in 1951, and signed by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Newly released documents from the 1955 Bilderberg meeting show that a main topic of discussion was “European Unity,” and that “The discussion affirmed complete support for the idea of integration and unification from the representatives of all the six nations of the Coal and Steel Community present at the conference.” Further, “A European speaker expressed concern about the need to achieve a common currency, and indicated that in his view this necessarily implied the creation of a central political authority.” Interestingly, “A United States participant confirmed that the United States had not weakened in its enthusiastic support for the idea of integration, although there was considerable diffidence in America as to how this enthusiasm should be manifested. Another United States participant urged his European friends to go ahead with the unification of Europe with less emphasis upon ideological considerations and, above all, to be practical and work fast.”[9] Thus, at the 1955 Bilderberg Group meeting, they set as a primary agenda, the creation of a European common market.[10]

In 1957, two years later, the Treaty of Rome was signed, which created the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the European Community. Over the decades, various other treaties were signed, and more countries joined the European Community. In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty was signed, which created the European Union and led to the creation of the Euro. The European Monetary Institute was created in 1994, the European Central Bank was founded in 1998, and the Euro was launched in 1999. Etienne Davignon, Chairman of the Bilderberg Group and former EU Commissioner, revealed in March of 2009 that the Euro was debated and planned at Bilderberg conferences.[11] This was an example of regionalism, of integrating an entire region of the world, a whole continent, into a large supranational structure. This was one of the primary functions of the Bilderberg Group, which would also come to play a major part in other international issues.

Interdependence Theory

The theoretical justifications for integration and regionalism arrived in the 1960s with what is known as “interdependence theory.” One of its primary proponents was a man named Richard N. Cooper. Two other major proponents of interdependence theory are Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye. Interdependence theory and theorists largely expand upon the notions raised by Keynes.

Richard Cooper wrote that, during the 1960s “there has been a strong trend toward economic interdependence among the industrial countries. This growing interdependence makes the successful pursuit of national economic objectives much more difficult.” He also identified that “the objective of greater economic integration involves international agreements which reduce the number of policy instruments available to national authorities for pursuit of their economic objectives.”[12] Further, “Cooper argues that new policies are needed to address the unprecedented conditions of international interdependence.”[13]

Cooper also opposed a return to mercantilist pursuits in order for nations to secure economic objectives, arguing that, “economic nationalism invited policy competition that is doomed to fail,” and thus concludes “that international policy coordination is virtually the only means to achieve national economic goals in an interdependent world.”[14]

Keohane and Nye go into further analysis of interdependence, specifically focusing on how interdependence transforms international politics. They tend to frame their concepts in ideological opposition to international relations realists, who view the world, like mercantilists, as inherently anarchic. Keohane and Nye construct what is known as “complex interdependence,” in which they critique realism. They analyze realism as consisting of two primary facets: that states are the main actors in the international arena, and that military force is central in international power. They argue that, “global economic interdependence has cast doubt on these assumptions. Transnational corporations and organizations born of economic integration now vie with states for global influence.”[15]

Keohane and Nye also discuss the relevance and importance of international regimes in the politics of interdependence, defining regimes as “networks of rules, norms, and procedures that regularize behavior.” They argue that, “Regimes are affected by the distribution of power among states, but regimes, in turn, may critically influence the bargaining process among states.”[16] Again, this contests the realist and mercantilist notions of the international sphere being one of chaos, as a regime can produce and maintain order within the international arena.

Interdependence theorists tend to argue that interdependence has altered the world order in that it has become based upon cooperation and mutual interests, largely championing the liberal economic notion of a non-chaotic and cooperative international order in which all nations seek and gain a mutual benefit. Ultimately, it justifies the continued process of global economic integration, while realist and mercantilist theorists, who interdependence theorists contest and debate, justify the use of force in the international arena in terms of describing it as inherently chaotic. In theory, the notions of mercantilism and liberalism are inimical to one another however, they are not mutually exclusive and are, in fact, mutually reinforcing. Events throughout the 1970s are a clear example of this mutually reinforcing nature of mercantilist behaviour on the part of states, and the “interdependence” of the liberal economic order.

As early mercantilist theorist Frederick List wrote in regards to integration and union, “All examples which history can show are those in which the political union has led the way, and the commercial union has followed. Not a single instance can be adduced in which the latter has taken the lead, and the former has grown up from it.”[17] It would appear that the elites have chosen the road less traveled in the 20th century, with the Bilderberg Group pursuing integration and union in Europe by starting with commercial union and having political union follow. This concept is also evident in the notions of interdependence theory, which focuses on global economic integration as changing the realist/mercantilist notions of a chaotic international order, as states and other actors become more cooperative through such economic ties.

Trilateralism

In the late 1960s, Western European economies (in particular West Germany) and Japan were rapidly developing and expanding. Their currencies rose against the US dollar, which was pegged to the price of gold as a result of the Bretton Woods System, which, through the IMF, set up an international monetary system based upon the US dollar, which was pegged to gold. However, with the growth of West Germany and Japan, “by the late 1960s the system could no longer be expected to perform its previous function as a medium for international exchange, and as a surrogate for gold.” On top of this, to maintain its vast empire, the US had developed a large balance-of-payments deficit.[18]

Richard Nixon took decisive, and what many referred to as “protectionist” measures, and in 1971, ended the dollar’s link to gold, which “resulted in a devaluation of the dollar as it began to float against other currencies,” and “was meant to restore the competitiveness of the US economy,”[19] as with devaluation, “U.S.-made goods would cost less to foreigners and foreign-made goods would be less competitive on the U.S. market.” The second major action taken by Nixon was when he “slapped a ten percent surcharge on most imports into the United States,” which was to benefit U.S. manufacturing firms over foreign ones in competition for the U.S. market. The result was that less imports from Asia were coming into the US, more US goods were sold in their markets at more competitive prices, forcing Japan and the European Economic Community (EEC) to relax their trade barriers to US products.[20]

An article in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, referred to Nixon’s New Economic Policy as “protectionist,” encouraging a “disastrous isolationist trend,”[21] and that Nixon shattered “the linchpin of the entire international monetary system— on whose smooth functioning the world economy depends.”[22] Another article in Foreign Affairs explained that the Atlanticist, or internationalist faction of the US elite were in particular, upset with Nixon’s New Economic Policy, however, they “agreed on the diagnosis: the relative balance of economic strengths had so changed that the United States could no longer play the role of economic leader. But they also argued that further American unilateralism would fuel a spiral of defensive reactions that would leave all the Western economies worse off. Their suggested remedy, instead, was much more far-reaching coordination among all the trilateral [North American, European and Japanese] governments.”[23]

There was a consensus within the American ruling class that the Bretton Woods System was in need of a change, but there were divisions among members in how to go about changing it. The more powerful (and wealthy) international wing feared how US policies may isolate and alienate Western Europe and Japan, and they advocated that, “The world economic roles of America must be reconciled with the growth to power of Europe and Japan. There must be fundamental reform of the international monetary system. There must be renewed efforts to reduce world trade barriers. The underlying U.S. balance of payments has deteriorated.” However, Nixon “went much too far” as he alienated Western Europe and Japan.

In 1970, David Rockefeller became Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, while also being Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan. In 1970, an academic who joined the Council on Foreign Relations in 1965 wrote a book called Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. The author, Zbigniew Brzezinski, called for the formation of “A Community of the Developed Nations,” consisting of Western Europe, the United States and Japan. Brzezinski wrote about how “the traditional sovereignty of nation states is becoming increasingly unglued as transnational forces such as multinational corporations, banks, and international organizations play a larger and larger role in shaping global politics.” David Rockefeller had taken note of Brzezinski’s writings, and was “getting worried about the deteriorating relations between the U.S., Europe, and Japan,” as a result of Nixon’s economic shocks. In 1972, David Rockefeller and Brzezinski “presented the idea of a trilateral grouping at the annual Bilderberg meeting.” In July of 1972, seventeen powerful people met at David Rockefeller’s estate in New York to plan for the creation of the Commission. Also at the meeting was Brzezinski, McGeorge Bundy, the President of the Ford Foundation, (brother of William Bundy, editor of Foreign Affairs) and Bayless Manning, President of the Council on Foreign Relations.[24] So, in 1973, the Trilateral Commission was formed to address these issues.

A 1976 article in Foreign Affairs explained that, “Trilateralism as a linguistic expression—and the Trilateral Commission—arose in the early 1970s from the reaction of the more Atlanticist part of the American foreign policy community to the belligerent and defensive unilateralism that characterized the foreign economic policy of the Nixon Administration.”[25] The Commission’s major concerns were to preserve for the “industrialized societies,” in other words, seek mutual gain for the Trilateral nations, and to construct “a common approach to the needs and demands of the poorer nations.” However, this should be read as, “constructing a common approach to [dealing with] poorer nations.” As well as this, the Commission would undertake “the coordination of defense policies and of policies toward such highly politicized issues as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and aerial hijacking, and such highly politicized geographic areas as the Middle East or Southern Africa.”[26]

Interestingly, interdependence theorist Joseph Nye is a member of the Trilateral Commission, as is Richard N. Cooper.[27] Today, Joseph Nye is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations,[28] and Richard N. Cooper was a Director of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1993-1994.[29]

The end of the link of the dollar to gold meant that, “the US was no longer subject to the discipline of having to try to maintain a fixed par value of the dollar against gold or anything else: it could let the dollar move as the US Treasury [and ultimately, the Federal Reserve] wished and pointed towards the removal of gold from international monetary affairs.” This created a dollar standard, as opposed to a gold standard, which “places the direction of the world monetary policy in the hands of a single country,” which was “not acceptable to Western Europe or Japan.”[30] Addressing this issue was among the reasoning behind the creation of the Trilateral Commission.

The Oil Crisis

The May 1973 meeting of the Bilderberg Group occurred five months prior to the extensive oil price rises brought about by the Yom Kippur War. However, according to leaked minutes from the meeting, a 400% increase in the price of oil was discussed, and meeting participants were creating a “plan [on] how to manage the about-to-be-created flood of oil dollars.”[31] Oil is no issue foreign to the interests of the Bilderberg Group, as among the 1973 participants were the CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Total S.A., ENI, Exxon, as well as significant banking interests and individuals such as Baron Edmond de Rothschild and David Rockefeller, and the US Secretary of State at the time, Henry Kissinger.[32]

In 1955, Henry Kissinger, a young scholar at the time, was brought into the Council on Foreign Relations, where he distinguished himself as a prominent Council member and became a protégé to Nelson Rockefeller, one of David Rockefeller’s brothers. In 1969, Kissinger became Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser.[33] This Bilderberg meeting was taking place during a time of great international instability, particularly in the Middle East.

Kissinger, as National Security Adviser, was in a power struggle with Secretary of State William Rogers over foreign policy. Nixon even referred to the continual power struggle between Kissinger as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State William Rogers, saying that, “Henry’s personality problem is just too goddamn difficult for us to deal [with],” and that Kissinger’s “psychopathic about trying to screw [Secretary of State William] Rogers.” Nixon even said that if Kissinger wins the struggle against Rogers, Kissinger would “be a dictator.” Nixon told his Chief of Staff, Haldeman, that Kissinger feels “he must be present every time I see anybody important.”[34]

At the time of the Yom Kippur War, Nixon was in the middle of major domestic issues, as the Watergate scandal was breaking, leading to an increase in the power and influence of Kissinger, as “The president was deeply preoccupied, and at times incapacitated by self-pity or alcohol.”[35] By 1970, Kissinger had Rogers “frozen out of policy-making on Southeast Asia,” during the Vietnam War, so Rogers “concentrated on the Middle East.” Eventually, Nixon had Rogers resign, and then Henry Kissinger took the position as both National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.[36]

As Kissinger later said in a speech marking the 25th anniversary of the Trilateral Commission, “In 1973, when I served as Secretary of State, David Rockefeller showed up in my office one day to tell me that he thought I needed a little help,” and that, “David’s function in our society is to recognize great tasks, to overcome the obstacles, to help find and inspire the people to carry them out, and to do it with remarkable delicacy.” Kissinger finished his speech by saying, “David, I respect you and admire you for what you have done with the Trilateral Commission. You and your family have represented what goes for an aristocracy in our country—a sense of obligation not only to make it materially possible, but to participate yourself in what you have made possible and to infuse it with the enthusiasm, the innocence, and the faith that I identify with you and, if I may say so, with your family.”[37]

Kissinger sabotaged Rogers’ peace negotiations with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who, at the time, was trying to rally other Arab leaders against Israel. In 1972, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia had “insisted that oil should not be used as a political weapon.” However, “in 1973, Faisal announced that he was changing his mind about an oil embargo.” Faisal held a meeting with western oil executives, warning them. Sadat told Faisal of the plan to attack Israel, and Faisal agreed to help both financially and with the “oil weapon.” Days later, the Saudi oil minister, Sheik Ahmed Yamani, “began dropping hints to the oil companies about a cutback in production that would affect the United States.” Yamani said Henry Kissinger had been “misleading President Nixon about the seriousness of Faisal’s intentions.”[38]

On October 4, the US National Security Agency (NSA) “knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that an attack on Israel would take place on the afternoon of October 6.” However, the Nixon White House “ordered the NSA to sit on the information,” until the US warned Israel a few hours before the attack, even though “Nixon’s staff had at least two days’ advance warning that an attack was coming on October 6.”[39] Hours before the attack on Israel by Syria and Egypt, the U.S. warned its Israeli counterparts, however, “the White House insisted that the Israelis do nothing: no preemptive strikes, no firing the first shot. If Israel wanted American support, Kissinger warned, it could not even begin to mobilize until the Arabs invaded.” Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir stood Israeli defences down, citing “Kissinger’s threats as the major reason.” Interestingly, Kissinger himself was absent from his office on the day of the attack, and he knew days before when it was set to take place, yet, still went to the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Further, he waited three days before convening a U.N. Security Council meeting.[40] The attack needed to go forward, as directed by the backdoor diplomacy of Kissinger.

With the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War on October 6, 1973, Kissinger “centered control of the crisis in his own hands.” After the Israelis informed the White House that the attack on them had taken place, Kissinger did not consult Nixon or even inform him on anything for three hours, who was at his retreat in Florida. After talking to Nixon hours later, Kissinger told him that, “we are on top of it here,” and “the president left matters in Kissinger’s hands.” Alexander Haig, Kissinger’s former second in command in the National Security Council, then Chief of Staff to Nixon, was with the President on that morning. Haig told Kissinger “that Nixon was considering returning to Washington, [but] Kissinger discouraged it—part of a recurring pattern to keep Nixon out of the process.” For three days, it was Kissinger who “oversaw the diplomatic exchanges with the Israelis and Soviets about the war. Israeli prime minister Golda Meir’s requests for military supplies, which were beginning to run low, came not to Nixon but to Kissinger.” On October 11, the British Prime Minister called asking to speak to Nixon, to which Kissinger responded, “Can we tell them no? When I talked to the President he was loaded,” but the British were told, “the prime minister could speak to Kissinger.”[41]

On October 12, the major American oil companies sent a letter to Nixon suggesting the Arab countries “should receive some price increase,” and Nixon, following Kissinger’s advice, sent arms to Israel, which precipitated the Arab OPEC countries to announce a 70% increase in the price of oil on October 16th, and announce an oil embargo against the US on the 17th.[42]

The Bilderberg meeting five months prior involved participants planning “how to manage the about-to-be-created flood of oil dollars.” At the meeting, an OPEC Middle East oil revenue rise of over 400% was predicted. A Bilderberg document from the meeting stated that, “The task of improving relations between energy importing countries should begin with consultations between Europe, the US and Japan. These three regions, which represented about 60 per cent of world energy consumption, accounted for an even greater proportion of world trade in energy products, as they absorbed 80 per cent of world energy exports.” The same document also stated that “an energy crisis or an increase in energy costs could irremediably jeopardize the economic expansion of developing countries which had no resources of their own,” and the “misuse or inadequate control of the financial resources of the oil producing countries could completely disorganize and undermine the world monetary system.”[43]

As economist F. William Engdahl noted in his book, A Century of War, “One enormous consequence of the ensuing 400 per cent rise in OPEC oil prices was that investments of hundreds of millions of dollars by British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell [both present at Bilderberg] and other Anglo-American petroleum concerns in the risky North Sea could produce oil at a profit,” as “the profitability of these new North Sea oilfields was not at all secure until after the OPEC price rises.”[44] In 2001, the former Saudi representative to OPEC, Sheik Ahmed Yamani, said, “’I am 100 per cent sure that the Americans were behind the increase in the price of oil. The oil companies were in real trouble at that time, they had borrowed a lot of money and they needed a high oil price to save them.” When he was sent by King Faisal to the Shah of Iran in 1974, the Shah said that it was Henry Kissinger who wanted a higher price for oil.[45]

An article in Foreign Policy, the journal published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, concluded from exhaustive research, that, “Since 1971, the United States has encouraged Middle East oil-producing states to raise the price of oil and keep it up.” This conclusion was based upon State Department documents, congressional testimony and interviews with former policy-makers.[46] At the Eighth Petroleum Congress of the League of Arab States (Arab League) in 1972, James Akins, head of the fuel and energy section of the State Department, gave a speech in which he said that oil prices were “expected to go up sharply due to lack of short-term alternatives to Arab oil,” and that this was, “an unavoidable trend.” A Western observer at the meeting said Akins’ speech was essentially, “advocating that Arabs raise the price of oil to $5 per barrel.” The oil industry itself was also becoming more unified in their position. The National Petroleum Council (NPC), “a government advisory body representing oil industry interests, waited until Nixon was safely re-elected before publishing a voluminous series of studies calling for a doubling of U.S. oil and gas prices.”[47]

The summer before the Yom Kippur War, in 1973, James Akins was made U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He also happened to be a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[48] Saudi Arabian minister for petroleum and representative to OPEC, Sheik Ahmed Yamani, stated in February of 1973, that, “it is in the interests of the oil companies that prices be raised,” as “their profits are collected from the production stage.” It was also in the interests of the US, as OPEC will have a massive increase in revenues to be invested, likely in the US, itself.[49]

The oil companies themselves were also fearful of having their business facilities in OPEC countries nationalized, so they “were anxious to engage OPEC countries in the oil business in the United States, in order to give them an interest in maintaining the status quo.” Weeks before war broke out, the National Security Council, headed by Kissinger, issued a statement saying that military intervention in the event of a war in the Middle East was “ruled out of order.”[50]

U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, later testified in congress on the fact that when, in 1975, the Saudis went to Iran to try to get the Shah to roll back the price of oil, they were told that Kissinger told the Iranians that, “the United States understood Iran’s desire for higher oil prices.”[51] Akins was removed from Saudi Arabia in 1975, “following policy disputes with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.”[52]

The OPEC oil price increases resulted in the “removal of some withholding taxes on foreign investment” in the United States, “unchecked arms sales, which cannot be handled without U.S. support personnel, to Iran and Saudi Arabia,” as well as an “attempt to suppress publication of data on volume of OPEC funds on deposit with U.S. banks.”[53] Ultimately, the price increases “would be of competitive advantage to the United States because the economic damage would be greater to Europe and Japan.” Interestingly, “Programs for sopping up petrodollars have themselves become justifications for the continued flow of U.S. and foreign funds to pay for higher priced oil. In fact, a lobby of investors, businessmen, and exporters [was] growing in the United States to favor giving the OPEC countries their way.” Outside the United States, it is “widely believed” that the high-priced oil policy was aimed at hurting Europe, Japan, and the developing world.[54] There was also “input from the oil industry” which went “into the formulation of U.S. international oil policy.”[55]

In 1974, when a White House official suggested to the Treasury to force OPEC to lower the price of oil, his idea was swept under, and he later stated that, “It was the banking leaders who swept aside this advice and pressed for a ‘recycling’ program to accommodate to higher oil prices.” In 1975, a Wall Street investment banker was sent to Saudi Arabia to be the main investment adviser to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), and “he was to guide the Saudi petrodollar investments to the correct banks, naturally in London and New York.”[56]

In 1974, another OPEC oil price increase of more than 100 percent was undertaken, following a meeting in Tehran, Iran. This initiative was undertaken by the Shah of Iran, who just months before was opposed to the earlier price increases. Sheikh Yamani, the Saudi oil minister, was sent to meet with the Shah of Iran following his surprise decision to raise prices, as Yamani was sent by Saudi King Faisal, who was worried that higher prices would alienate the US, to which the Shah said to Yamani, “Why are you against the increase in the price of oil? That is what they want? Ask Henry Kissinger – he is the one who wants a higher price.”[57]

As Peter Gowan stated in The Globalization Gamble, “the oil price rises were the result of US influence on the oil states and they were arranged in part as an exercise in economic statecraft directed against America’s ‘allies’ in Western Europe and Japan. And another dimension of the Nixon administration’s policy on oil price rises was to give a new role, through them, to the US private banks in international financial relations.” He explained that the Nixon administration was pursuing a higher oil price policy two years before the Yom Kippur War, and “as early as 1972 the Nixon administration planned for the US private banks to recycle the petrodollars when OPEC finally did take US advice and jack up oil prices.”[58] Ultimately, the price rises had devastating impacts on Western Europe and Japan, which were quickly growing economies, but which were heavily dependent upon Middle eastern oil. This is an example of how the US, while championing a liberal international economic order, acted in a mercantilist fashion, depriving competitors through improving its own power and influence.

In 1973, David Rockefeller set up the Trilateral Commission to promote coordination and cooperation among Japan, Western Europe, and North America (namely, the US), yet, in the same year, his good friend and close confidante, Henry Kissinger, played a key role in promoting and orchestrating the oil price rises that had a damaging impact upon Japan and Western Europe. Also it should be noted, David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, of which he was CEO at the time, profited immensely off of the petrodollar recycling system promoted by Henry Kissinger, where the OPEC countries would reinvest their new excess capital into the American economy through London and New York banks.

How does one account for these seemingly diametrically opposed initiatives? Perhaps the oil crisis, having a negative effect on Japan and Western European economies, could have spurred the necessity for cooperation among the trilateral countries, forcing them to come together and coordinate future policies.

It is of vital importance to understand the global conditions in which the price rises and its solutions arose, particularly in relation to the Third World. Africa, since the late 1800s, had been under European colonial control. It was from the 1950s to the 1960s that almost all African countries were granted independence from their European metropoles. Africa is a very significant case to look at, as it is extremely rich in many resources, from agriculture to oil, minerals, and a huge variety of other resources used all around the world. If African nations were able to develop their own economies, use their own resources, and create their own industries and businesses, they could become self-sufficient at first, and then may become a force of great competition for the established industries and elites around the world. After all, Europe does not have much to offer in terms of resources, as the continent’s wealth has largely come from plundering the resources of regions like Africa, and in becoming captains of monetary manipulation. A revitalized, vibrant, economically independent and successful Africa could spell the end of Western financial dominance. “Between 1960 and 1975 African industry grew at the annual rate of 7.5 per cent. This compared favourably with the 7.2 per cent for Latin America and 7.5 per cent for South-East Asia.”[59] In Africa, “the 1960-73 period witnessed some important first steps in the process of industrialization,” however, “[t]he dramatic decline in rates of industrialization began to show after the first ‘oil crisis’. Between 1973 and 1984, the rate of growth” rapidly declined.[60]

So, by manipulating the price of oil, you can manipulate the development of the Third World, which was beginning to look as if it could grow into significant competition, as it was experiencing exponential growth. There were two oil shocks in the 1970s; one in 1973 and another in 1979. Following the price rises, there was a need for the developing countries of the world to borrow money to finance development.

The banks that were getting massive amounts of petrodollars deposited into them from the oil producing countries needed to “recycle” the dollars by investing them somewhere, in order to make a profit. Luckily for the banks, “[d]eveloping countries were desperate for funds to help them industrialize their economies. In some cases, developing countries were oil consumers and required loans to help pay for rising oil prices. In other cases, a decision had been made to follow a strategy of indebted industrialization. This meant that states borrowed money to invest in industrialization and would pay off the loans from the profits of their new industries. Loans were an attractive option because they did not come with the influence of foreign transnational corporations that accompanied foreign direct investment and most states had few funds of their own to invest.”[61]

The oil price rises “changed the face of world finance,” as: “In the new era of costly energy, scores of countries, not all of them in the Third World, were too strapped to pay their imported-oil bills. At the same time, Western banks suddenly received a rush of deposits from oil-producing nations. It seemed only logical, even humane, that the banks should recycle petrodollars.” This is where the true face of Trilateralism began to show: “It became an everyday event for one or two lead banks in the U.S. or Western Europe to round up dozens of partners by telephone to put together so-called jumbo syndicates for loans to developing countries. Some bankers were so afraid of missing out that during lunch hours they even empowered their secretaries to promise $5 million or $10 million as part of any billion-dollar loan package for Brazil or Mexico.” Interestingly, these banks argued, “that their foreign loans were encouraged by officials at the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Board. They feared that developing countries would become economically and politically unstable if credit was denied. In 1976 Arthur Burns, chairman of the Federal Reserve, began cautioning bankers that they might be lending too much overseas, but he did nothing to curb the loans. For the most part, they ignored the warning. Financiers were confident that countries like Mexico, with its oil reserves, and Brazil, with abundant mineral resources, were good credit risks.”[62]

According to a report produced by the Federal Reserve, prior to the 1973 oil crisis, “the private Japanese financial system remained largely isolated from the rest of the world. The system was highly regulated,” and, “various types of banking firms and other financial service firms were legally and administratively confined to a specified range of activities assigned to each.” However, the “OPEC oil shock in 1973 signaled a turning point in the operation of the Japanese financial system.”[63] As part of this turning point, the Bank of Japan (the central bank of Japan), relaxed “monetary control by lending more generously to the major banks. The result was a growing budget deficit and a rapid rise in inflation.”[64] The deregulation of Japanese banking access to foreign markets went hand-in-hand with the deregulation of domestic markets. It was a two-way street; as Japanese industry and banks gained access to foreign markets, foreign industry and banks gained access to the Japanese market. This led to the growth of Japanese banks internationally, of which today many are among the largest banks in the world. This was a result of the Trilateral Commission’s efforts. Also evident of the Trilateral partnership was that western banks “made loans so that poor countries could purchase goods made in Western Europe and North America.”[65]

Of great significance was that, “the new international monetary arrangements gave the United States government far more influence over the international monetary and financial relations of the world than it had enjoyed under the Bretton Woods system. It could freely decide the price of the dollar. And states would become increasingly dependent upon developments in Anglo-American financial markets for managing their international monetary relations. And trends in these financial markets could be shifted by the actions (and words) of the US public authorities, in the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board (the US Central Bank).”[66] This new system is referred to as the Dollar-Wall Street Regime (DWSR), as it is dependent upon the US dollar and the key actors on Wall Street.

The Federal Reserve’s response to the initial 1973-74 oil price shock was to keep interest rates low, which led to inflation and a devalued dollar. It’s also what allowed and encouraged banks to lend massive amounts to developing countries, often lending more than their net worth. However, in 1979, with the second oil shock, the Federal Reserve changed policy, and the true nature of the original oil crisis, petrodollar recycling and loans became apparent.

The Rise of Neo-Liberalism

In the early 1970s, the government of Chile was led by a leftist socialist-leaning politician named Salvador Allende, who was considering undertaking a program of nationalization of industries, which would significantly affect US business interests in the country. David Rockefeller expressed his view on the issue in his book, Memoirs, when he said that actions taken by Chile’s new government “severely restricted the operations of foreign corporations,” and he continued, saying, “I was so concerned about the situation that I met with Secretary of State William P. Rogers and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.”[67]

As author Peter Dale Scott analyzed in his book, The Road to 9/11, David Rockefeller played a pivotal role in the events in Chile. After a failed attempt at trying to solve the ‘situation’ by sending David’s brother Nelson Rockefeller, the Governor of New York, down to Latin America, David Rockefeller attempted a larger operation. David Rockefeller told the story of how his friend Agustin (Doonie) Edwards, the publisher of El Mercurio, had warned David that if Allende won the election, Chile would “become another Cuba, a satellite of the Soviet Union.” David then put Doonie “in touch with Henry Kissinger.”[68]

In the same month that Kissinger met with Edwards, the National Security Council (of which Kissinger held the top post) authorized CIA “spoiling operations” to prevent the election of Allende. David Rockefeller had known Doonie Edwards from the Business Group for Latin America (BGLA), which was founded by Rockefeller in 1963, later to be named the Council of the Americas. Rockefeller founded it initially, in cooperation with the US government, “as cover for [CIA’s] Latin American operations.” The US Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs at the time was Charles Meyer, formerly with Rockefeller’s BGLA, who said that he was chosen for his position at the State Department “by David Rockefeller.” When Allende was elected on September 4, 1970, Doonie Edwards left Chile for the US, where Rockefeller helped him “get established” and the CEO of PepsiCo, Donald Kendall, gave him a job as a Vice President. Ten days later, Donald Kendall met with Richard Nixon, and the next day, Nixon, Kissinger, Kendall and Edwards had breakfast together. Later that day, Kissinger arranged a meeting between Edwards and CIA director, Richard Helms. Helms met with both Edwards and Kendall, who asked the CIA to intervene. Later that day, Nixon told Helms and Kissinger to “move against Allende.”[69]

However, before Edwards met with the CIA director, Henry Kissinger had met privately with “David Rockefeller, chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, which had interests in Chile that were more extensive than even Pepsi-Cola’s.” Rockefeller even allowed the CIA to use his bank for “anti-Allende Chilean operations.”[70] After Allende came to power, “commercial banks, including Chase Manhattan, Chemical, First National City, Manufacturers Hanover, and Morgan Guaranty, cancelled credits to Chile,” and the “World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Agency for International Development, and the Export-Import Bank either cut programs in Chile or cancelled credits.” However, “military aid to Chile, which has always been substantial, doubled in the 1970-1974 period as compared to the previous four years.”[71]

On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet orchestrated a coup d’état, with the aid and participation of the CIA, against the Allende government of Chile, overthrowing it and installing Pinochet as dictator. The next day, an economic plan for the country was on the desks of “the General Officers of the Armed Forces who performed government duties.” The plan entailed “privatization, deregulation and cuts to social spending,” written up by “U.S.-trained economists.”[72] These were the essential concepts in neoliberal thought, which, through the oil crises of the 1970s, would be forced upon the developing world through the World Bank and IMF.

In essence, Chile was the neo-liberal Petri-dish experiment. This was to expand drastically and become the very substance of the international economic order.

Globalization: A Liberal-Mercantilist Economic Order?

Neo-Liberals Take the Forefront

In 1971, Jimmy Carter, a somewhat obscure governor from Georgia had started to have meetings with David Rockefeller. They became connected due to Carter’s support from the Atlanta corporate elite, who had extensive ties to the Rockefellers. So in 1973, when David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski were picking people to join the Trilateral Commission, Carter was selected for membership. Carter thus attended every meeting, and even paid for his trip to the 1976 meeting in Japan with his campaign funds, as he was running for president at the time. Brzezinski was Carter’s closest adviser, writing Carter’s major campaign speeches.[73]

When Jimmy Carter became President, he appointed over two-dozen members of the Trilateral Commission to key positions in his cabinet, among them, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who became National Security Adviser; Samuel P. Huntington, Coordinator of National Security and Deputy to Brzezinski; Harold Brown, Secretary of Defense; Warren Christopher, Deputy Secretary of State; Walter Mondale, Vice President; Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State; and in 1979, he appointed David Rockefeller’s friend, Paul Volcker, as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.[74]

In 1979, the Iranian Revolution spurred another massive increase in the price of oil. The Western nations, particularly the United States, had put a freeze on Iranian assets, “effectively restricting the access of Iran to the global oil market, the Iranian assets freeze became a major factor in the huge oil price increases of 1979 and 1981.”[75] Added to this, in 1979, British Petroleum cancelled major oil contracts for oil supply, which along with cancellations taken by Royal Dutch Shell, drove the price of oil up higher.[76]

However, in 1979, the Federal Reserve, now the lynch-pin of the international monetary system, which was awash in petro-dollars (US dollars) as a result of the 1973 oil crisis, decided to take a different action from the one it had taken earlier. In August of 1979, “on the advice of David Rockefeller and other influential voices of the Wall Street banking establishment, President Carter appointed Paul A. Volcker, the man who, back in August 1971, had been a key architect of the policy of taking the dollar off the gold standard, to head the Federal Reserve.”[77]

Volcker got his start as a staff economist at the New York Federal Reserve Bank in the early 50s. After five years there, “David Rockefeller’s Chase Bank lured him away.”[78] So in 1957, Volcker went to work at Chase, where Rockefeller “recruited him as his special assistant on a congressional commission on money and credit in America and for help, later, on an advisory commission to the Treasury Department.”[79] In the early 60s, Volcker went to work in the Treasury Department, and returned to Chase in 1965 “as an aide to Rockefeller, this time as vice president dealing with international business.” With Nixon entering the White House, Volcker got the third highest job in the Treasury Department. This put him at the center of the decision making process behind the dissolution of the Bretton Woods agreement.[80] In 1973, Volcker became a member of Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission. In 1975, he got the job as President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the most powerful of the 12 branches of the Fed.

In 1979, Carter gave the job of Treasury Secretary to Arthur Miller, who had been Chairman of the Fed. This left an opening at the Fed, which was initially offered by Carter to David Rockefeller, who declined, and then to A.W. Clausen, Chairman of Bank of America, who also declined. Carter repeatedly tried to get Rockefeller to accept, and ultimately Rockefeller recommended Volcker for the job.[81] Volcker became Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, and immediately took drastic action to fight inflation by radically increasing interest rates.

The world was taken by shock. This was not a policy that would only be felt in the US with a recession, but was to send shock waves around the world, devastating the Third World debtor nations. This was likely the ultimate aim of the 1970s oil shocks and the 1979 Federal Reserve shock therapy. With the raising of interest rates, the cost of international money also rose. Thus, the interest rates on international loans made throughout the 1970s rose from 2% in the 1970s to 18% in the 1980s, dramatically increasing the interest charges on loans to developing countries.[82]

In the developing world, states that had to import oil faced enormous bills to cover their debts, and even oil producing countries, such as Mexico, faced huge problems as they had borrowed heavily in order to industrialize, and then suffered when oil prices fell again as the recession occurring in the developed states reduced demand. Thus, in 1982, Mexico declared that it could no longer pay its debt, meaning that, “they could no longer cover the cost of interest payments, much less hope to repay the debt.” The result was the bursting of the debt bubble. Banks then halted their loans to Mexico, and “Before long it was evident that states such as Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and many sub-Saharan African countries were in equally difficult financial positions.”[83]

The IMF and World Bank entered the scene newly refurnished with a whole new outlook and policy program designed just in time for the arrival of the debt crisis. The IMF “negotiated standby loans with debtors offering temporary assistance to states in need. In return for the loans states agreed to undertake structural adjustment programs (SAPs). These programs entailed the liberalization of economies to trade and foreign investment as well as the reduction of state subsidies and bureaucracies to balance national budgets.”[84] Thus, the neoliberal project of 1973 in Chile was expanded into the very functioning of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

Neoliberalism is “a particular organization of capitalism, which has evolved to protect capital(ism) and to reduce the power of labour. This is achieved by means of social, economic and political transformations imposed by internal forces as well as external pressure,” and it entails the “shameless use of foreign aid, debt relief and balance of payments support to promote the neoliberal programme, and diplomatic pressure, political unrest and military intervention when necessary.”[85] Further, “neoliberalism is part of a hegemonic project concentrating power and wealth in elite groups around the world, benefiting especially the financial interests within each country, and US capital internationally. Therefore, globalization and imperialism cannot be analysed separately from neoliberalism.”[86]

Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, wrote in his book, Globalization and its Discontents, “In the 1980s, the Bank went beyond just lending for projects (like roads and dams) to providing broad-based support, in the form of structural adjustment loans; but it did this only when the IMF gave its approval – and with that approval came IMF-imposed conditions on the country.”[87] As economist Michel Chossudovsky wrote, “Because countries were indebted, the Bretton Woods institutions were able to oblige them through the so-called ‘conditionalities’ attached to the loan agreements to appropriately redirect their macro-economic policy in accordance with the interests of the official and commercial creditors.”[88]

The nature of SAPs is such that the conditions imposed upon countries that sign onto these agreements include: lowering budget deficits, devaluing the currency, limiting government borrowing from the central bank, liberalizing foreign trade, reducing public sector wages, price liberalization, deregulation and altering interest rates.[89] For reducing budget deficits, “precise ‘ceilings’ are placed on all categories of expenditure; the state is no longer permitted to mobilize its own resources for the building of public infrastructure, roads, or hospitals, etc.”[90]

Joseph Stiglitz wrote that, “the IMF staff monitored progress, not just on the relevant indicators for sound macromanagement – inflation, growth, and unemployment – but on intermediate variables, such as the money supply,” and that “In some cases the agreements stipulated what laws the country’s Parliament would have to pass to meet IMF requirements or ‘targets’ – and by when.”[91] Further, “The conditions went beyond economics into areas that properly belong in the realm of politics,” and that “the way conditionality was imposed made the conditions politically unsustainable; when a new government came into power, they would be abandoned. Such conditions were seen as the intrusion by the new colonial power on the country’s own sovereignty.”[92]

“The phrase ‘Washington Consensus’ was coined to capture the agreement upon economic policy that was shared between the two major international financial institutions in Washington (IMF and World Bank) and the US government itself. This consensus stipulated that the best path to economic development was through financial and trade liberalization and that international institutions should persuade countries to adopt such measures as quickly as possible.”[93] The debt crisis provided the perfect opportunity to quickly impose these conditions upon countries that were not in a position to negotiate and with no time to spare, desperately in need of loans. Without the debt crisis, such policies may have been subject to greater scrutiny, and with a case-by-case analysis of countries adopting SAPs, the world would become quickly aware of their dangerous implications. The debt crisis was absolutely necessary in implementing the SAPs on an international scale in a short amount of time.

The effect became quite clear, as the result “of these policies on the population of developing countries was devastating. The 1980s is known as the ‘lost decade’ of development. Many developing countries’ economies were smaller and poorer in 1990 than in 1980. Over the 1980s and 1990s, debt in many developing countries was so great that governments had few resources to spend on social services and development.”[94] With the debt crisis, countries in the developing world were “[s]tarved of international finance, [and] states had little choice but to open their economies to foreign investors and trade.”[95] The “Third World” was recaptured in the cold grasp of economic colonialism under the auspices of neo-liberal economic theory.

A Return to Statist Theory

Since the 1970s, mercantilist thought had re-emerged in mainstream political-economic theory. Under various names such as neo-mercantilism, economic nationalism or statism, they hold as vital the centrality of the state in the global political economy. Much “Globalization” literature puts an emphasis on the “decline of the state” in the face of an integrated international economic order, where borders are made illusory. However, statist theory at least helps us understand that the state is still a vital factor within the global political economy, even in the midst of a neo-liberal economic order.

Within the neo-liberal economic order, it was the powerful western (primarily US and Western European) states that imposed neo-mercantilist or statist policies in order to protect and promote their interests within the global political economy. Some of these methods were revolved around policy tools such as export subsidies, imposed to lower the price of goods, which would make them more attractive to importers, giving that particular nation an advantage over the competition.

For example, the US has enormous agriculture export subsidies, which make US agriculture and grain an easily affordable, attractive and accessible commodity for importing nations. Countries of the global south (the Lesser-Developed Countries, LDCs), subject to neo-liberal policies imposed upon them by the World Bank and IMF were forced to open their economies up to foreign capital. The World Bank would bring in heavily subsidized US grain to these poor nations under the guise of “food aid,” which would have the affect of destabilizing the nation’s agriculture market, as the heavily subsidized US grains would be cheaper than local produce, putting farmers out of business. Most LDCs are predominantly rural based, so when the farming sector is devastated, so too is the entire nation. They plunge into economic crisis and even famine.

With the statist approach, theorists examine how the state is still relevant in shaping economic outcomes and still remains a powerful entity in the international arena. One theorist who is prominent within the statist school is Robert Gilpin. Gilpin, a professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In his book, Global Political Economy, Gilpin postulated that multinational corporations were an invention of the United States, and indeed an “American phenomenon” upon which European and Asian states responded by internationalizing their own firms. In this sense, his theory postulated to a return to the competitive nature of mercantilist economic theory, in which one state gains at the expense of another. He also addresses the nature of the international economy, in that both historically and presently, there was a single state acting as the main enforcer and manager of the global economy. Historically, it was Britain, and presently, it was the United States.

One cannot deny the significance of the state in the global political economy, as it has been, and still remains very relevant. The events of 1973 are exemplary of this, however, more must be examined in order to better understand the situation. Though states are still prominent actors, it is vital to address in whose interest they act. Mercantilist and statist theorists tend to focus on the concept that states act in their own selfish interest, for the benefit of the state, both politically and economically. However, this is somewhat linear and diversionary, as it does not address the precise structure of the state economy, specifically in terms of its monetary and central banking system.

States, most especially the large hegemonic ones, such as the United States and Great Britain, are controlled by the international central banking system, working through secret agreements at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and operating through national central banks (such as the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve). The state is thus owned by an international banking cartel, and though the state acts in such a way that proves its continual relevance in the global economy, it acts so not in terms of self-interest for the state itself, but for the powerful interests that control that state. The same international banking cartel that controls the United States today previously controlled Great Britain and held it up as the international hegemon. When the British order faded, and was replaced by the United States, the US ran the global economy. However, the same interests are served. States will be used and discarded at will by the international banking cartel; they are simply tools.

In this sense, interdependence theory, which presumes the decline of the state in international affairs, fails to acknowledge the role of the state in promoting and undertaking the process of interdependence. The decline of the nation-state is a state-driven process, and is a process that leads to a rise of the continental state and the global state. States, are still very relevant, but both liberal and mercantilist theorists, while helpful in understanding the concepts behind the global economy, lay the theoretical groundwork for a political economic agenda being undertaken by powerful interests. Like Robert Cox said, “Theory is always for someone and for some purpose.”

Hegemonic-Stability Theory

In his book, Global Political Economy, Gilpin explained that, “In time, if unchecked, the integration of an economy into the world economy, the intensifying pressures of foreign competition, and the necessity to be efficient in order to survive economically could undermine the independence of a society and force it to adopt new values and forms of social organization. Fear that economic globalization and the integration of national markets are destroying or could destroy the political, economic, and cultural autonomy of national societies has become widespread.”[96]

However, Gilpin explains that the “Creation of effective international regimes and solutions to the compliance problem require both strong international leadership and an effective international governance structure.” Yet, he explains, “Regimes in themselves cannot provide governance structure because they lack the most critical component of governance – the power to enforce compliance. Regimes must rest instead on a political base established through leadership and cooperation.”[97] This is where we see the emergence of Hegemonic Stability Theory.

Gilpin explains that, “The theory of hegemonic stability posits that the leader or hegemon facilitates international cooperation and prevents defection from the rules of the regime through use of side payments (bribes), sanctions, and/or other means, but can seldom, if ever, coerce reluctant states to obey the rules of a liberal international economic order.” As he explained, “The American hegemon did indeed play a crucial role in establishing and managing the world economy following World War II.”[98]

The roots of Hegemonic Stability Theory (HST) lie within both liberal and statist theory, as it is representative of a crossover theory that cannot be so easily placed in either category. The main concept champions the liberal notion of the open international economic system, guided by liberal principles of open-markets and free trade, while bringing in the statist concept of a single hegemonic state representing the concentration of political and economic power, as it is the enforcer of the liberal international economy.

The more liberal-leaning theorists of HST argue that a liberal economic order requires a strong, hegemonic state to maintain the smooth functioning of the international economy. One thing this state must do is maintain the international monetary system, as Britain did under the gold standard and the United States did under the Dollar-Wall Street Regime, following the end of the Bretton-Woods dollar-gold link.

Regime Theory

Regime Theory is another crossover theory between liberal and mercantilist theorists. Its rise was primarily in reaction to the emergence of Hegemonic Stability Theory, in order to address the concern of a perceived decline in the power of the US. This was due to the rise of new economic powers in the 1970s, and another major purveyor of this theory was Robert Keohane. They needed to address how the international order could be maintained as the hegemonic power declined. The answer was in the building of international organizations to manage the international regime.

In this sense, Regime Theory has identified an important aspect of the global political economy, in that though states have upheld the international order in the past, never before has there been such an undertaking to institutionalize the authority over the international order through international organizations. These organizations, such as the World Bank, IMF, UN, and WTO, though still controlled and influenced by states, predominantly the international hegemon, the United States, represent a changing direction of internationalization and transnationalism. Regime Theorists tend to justify the formation of a more transnational apparatus of power, beyond just a single hegemonic state, into a more internationalized structure of authority.

Notes

[1]        CBC, Informal forum or global conspiracy? CBC News Online: June 13, 2006: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/bilderberg-group/

[2]        Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. (South End Press: 1980), 161-171

[3]        Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. (South End Press: 1980), 161-162

[4]        CFR, The First Transformation. CFR History: http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/first_transformation.html

[5]        Glen McGregor, Secretive power brokers meeting coming to Ottawa? Ottawa Citizen: May 24, 2006: http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=ff614eb8-02cc-41a3-a42d-30642def1421&k=62840

[6]        William F. Jasper, Rogues’ gallery of EU founders. The New American: July 12, 2004: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JZS/is_14_20/ai_n25093084/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1

[7]        Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs. The Telegraph: June 19, 2001: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

[8]        Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs. The Telegraph: June 19, 2001: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

[9]        Bilderberg Group, GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN CONFERENCE. The Bilderberg Group: September 23-25, 1955, page 7:

http://wikileaks.org/leak/bilderberg-meetings-report-1955.pdf

[10]      Who are these Bilderbergers and what do they do? The Sunday Herald: May 30, 1999: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_19990530/ai_n13939252

[11]      Andrew Rettman, ‘Jury’s out’ on future of Europe, EU doyen says. EUobserver: March 16, 2009: http://euobserver.com/9/27778

[12]      George T. Crane, Abla Amawi, The Theoretical evolution of international political economy. Oxford University Press US, 1997: page 110

[13]      George T. Crane, Abla Amawi, The Theoretical evolution of international political economy. Oxford University Press US, 1997: page 107

[14]      George T. Crane, Abla Amawi, The Theoretical evolution of international political economy. Oxford University Press US, 1997: pages 107-108

[15]      George T. Crane, Abla Amawi, The Theoretical evolution of international political economy. Oxford University Press US, 1997: page 108

[16]      George T. Crane, Abla Amawi, The Theoretical evolution of international political economy. Oxford University Press US, 1997: page 108

[17]      George T. Crane, Abla Amawi, The Theoretical evolution of international political economy. Oxford University Press US, 1997: pages 50-51

[18]      Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. South End Press: 1980: page 65

[19]      Robert O’Brien and Marc Williams, Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics, 2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan: 2007: page 215

[20]      Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. South End Press: 1980: pages 66-67

[21]      Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. South End Press: 1980: page 67

[22]      C. Fred Bergsten, The New Economics and US Foreign Policy. Foreign Affairs: January, 1972: page 199

[23]      Richard H. Ullman, Trilateralism: “Partnership” For What? Foreign Affairs: October, 1976: pages 3-4

[24]      Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. South End Press: 1980: pages 76-78

[25]      Richard H. Ullman, Trilateralism: “Partnership” For What? Foreign Affairs: October, 1976: page 3

[26]      Richard H. Ullman, Trilateralism: “Partnership” For What? Foreign Affairs: October, 1976: page 5

[27]      Congressional Research Service, TRILATERAL COMMISSION. The Library of Congress: pages 13-14: http://www.scribd.com/doc/5014337/Trilateral-Commission

[28]      CFR, Joseph S. Nye, Jr.. Board of Directors: http://www.cfr.org/bios/1330/joseph_s_nye_jr.html

[29]      Annual Report, The Council on Foreign Relations. Historical Roster of Directors and Officers, 2008: page 78

[30]      Peter Gowan, The Globalization Gamble: The Dollar-Wall Street Regime and its Consequences. Page 19-20

[31]      William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. (London: Pluto Press, 2004), 130-132

[32]      William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. (London: Pluto Press, 2004), 286-287, 134

[33]      CFR, “X” Leads the Way. CFR History: http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/x_leads.html

[34]      Robert Dallek, The Kissinger Presidency. Vanity Fair: May 2007: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/05/kissinger200705

[35]      Ibid.

[36]      David Stout, William P. Rogers, Who Served as Nixon’s Secretary of State, Is Dead at 87. The New York Times: January 4, 2001: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02E5D6113BF937A35752C0A9679C8B63

[37]     TC, Tributes to David Rockefeller, Founder and Honorary Chairman. The Trilateral Commission: December 1, 1998: http://www.trilateral.org/nagp/regmtgs/98/1201tribs.htm

[38]      John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. St. Martin’s Griffin: 1994: pages 304-307

[39]      John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. St. Martin’s Griffin: 1994: pages 308-310

[40]      John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. St. Martin’s Griffin: 1994: pages 310-311

[41]      Robert Dallek, The Kissinger Presidency. Vanity Fair: May 2007: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/05/kissinger200705

[42]      John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. St. Martin’s Griffin: 1994: pages 312-313

[43]      F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New  World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: pages 130-132

[44]      F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New  World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: pages 136-137

[45]      The Observer, Saudi dove in the oil slick. The Guardian: January 14, 2001: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2001/jan/14/globalrecession.oilandpetrol

[46]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: page 24

[47]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: pages 31-33

[48]      IPC, James Akins. Iran Policy Committee: Scholars and Fellows: http://www.iranpolicy.org/scholarsandfellows.php#1

[49]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: pages 35-36

[50]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: pages 37-38

[51]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: page 44

[52]      Time, The Cast of Analysts. Time Magazine: March 12, 1979: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,948424,00.html

[53]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: page 48

[54]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: pages 50-51

[55]      V.H. Oppenheim, Why Oil Prices Go Up (1) The Past: We Pushed Them. Foreign Policy: No. 25, Winter, 1976-1977: page 53

[56]      F. William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New  World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004: page 137

[57]  The Observer, Saudi dove in the oil slick. The Guardian: January 14, 2001: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2001/jan/14/globalrecession.oilandpetrol

[58] Peter Gowan, The Globalization Gamble: The Dollar-Wall Street Regime and its Consequences: marxsite.com/Gowan_DollarWallstreetRegime.pdf: page 10

[59]      Dharam Ghai, ed., The IMF and the South: The Social Impact of Crisis and Adjustment (London: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 1991), 81

[60]      Dharam Ghai, ed., The IMF and the South: The Social Impact of Crisis and Adjustment (London: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 1991), 82

[61]      Robert O’Brien and Marc Williams, Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics, 2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan: 2007: page 223

[62]      Gisela Bolte, et. al., Jumbo Loans, Jumbo Risks. Time Magazine: December 3, 1984: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,923771,00.html

[63]      Allen B. Frankel and Paul B. Morgan, A Primer on the Japanese Banking System. Board of Governors of the Federal reserve System, International Finance Discussion Papers: Number 419, December 1991: page 3

[64]      A. W. Mullineux, International Banking and Financial Systems: A Comparison. Springer, 1987: page 63

[65]      Robert K. Schaeffer, Understanding Globalization: The Social Consequences of Political, Economic, and Environmental Change. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005: page 82

[66] Peter Gowan, The Globalization Gamble: The Dollar-Wall Street Regime and its Consequences: marxsite.com/Gowan_DollarWallstreetRegime.pdf: page 12

[67]      David Rockefeller, Memoirs. New York: Random House: 2002: Page 431

[68]      Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: page 39-40

[69]      Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: page 41

[70]      Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press: 2007: pages 40-41

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