by Chris B
The political theory of Bertrand de Jouvenel presented in On Power its Nature and the History of its Growth[i] is one which provides an interpretation of human society, and the role of power, as following certain imperatives dependent on the relative position of the actors in question. Jouvenel himself failed to see the full radical implications of his interpretation, yet he presents a conception of the development of centralised Power which became so obvious in the 20th century, and which rips at his very own central beliefs in such a way that his writing and conclusions present a strange dissonance. This conception of power is one which recognises both the social nature of power as well as the expansionary nature of power, as Jouvenel writes:
The duality is irreducible. And it is through the interplay of these two antithetical principles that the tendency of Power is towards occupying an ever larger place in society; the various conjunctures of events beckon it on at the same time that its appetite is driving it to fresh pastures. Thus there ensues a growth of Power to which there is no limit, a growth which is fostered by more and more altruistic externals, though the motive-spring is still as always the wish to dominate.[ii]
But Jouvenel in so doing has immediately and irrevocably breached the cardinal rule of classical liberalism that all must be explained ultimately in terms of self-interest, and in so doing opens up a door towards a conception of power which is assuredly alien to classical liberalism. It is at this point that we can both thank Jouvenel for the model he provides, and also reject his attempts to adapt this system of insights to a defence of mixed governance in book VI.[iii] While it is necessary to acknowledge the debt from Jouvenel, it is also just as important to explain exactly how, and where, further developments from Jouvenel depart from him in a manner which retains the coherence of his breakthrough, while rejecting his adherence to a classical liberalism which in essence is a cultural artefact of the very same power conflict he uncovered.
The model which we can adopt without the confusion provided by Jouvenel’s political affiliation is one which shows that Power acts both for its own expansion and security, and also as a social process for the benefit of those that come under the purview of Power. With this rough basis, which is about as much as is possible within the liberal tradition from which Jouvenel worked, we can begin to view the development of governance in a sophisticated manner, and view a process which has been concealed by modern/liberal theory; concealed by precisely those elements of modernity which demand that we view humans as self-interested agents working for primarily selfish means. One only has to review the works of the classical liberal tradition, such as those of Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, or Adam Smith to see that the human agent in the modern liberal tradition is one which operates on an individual basis within a moral framework which takes the human agent as an anti-social entity acting on self-interest first and foremost. It is no surprise then, that all liberal theory takes governance as at best a necessary evil to be maintained to avoid all out conflict (Hobbes) or as something to be rejected entirely as an immoral entity (various anarchisms.) All aspects of modernity are then tied together by these very same shared ethical assumptions to which all their theories must accord. If, contrary to the modern/ liberal tradition, the human agent is not an anti-social agent acting from individually determined self-interest, but is instead a social one, then we should see the actions of the human agent being in accordance not only with the individual’s circumstance based interest, but also with the perceived interest of the society within which the individual resides. This would hold just as much for subjects as it would for rulers. The tyrannical ruler unrestrained by checks and balances of the liberal/ modern mind would then prove to be a fiction – a claim which historical record prior to the modern period provides support.
The model thus provided by Jouvenel is both exceptionally simple, yet of devastating importance, it is simply that in any given political configuration if there are multiple centers of power then conflict will occur as the centers of power seek to both secure their position and pursue expansion. The dominant power center will become the central Power. This dominant Power will enlarge its remit and power not by direct physical conflict (which would in effect spell outright civil war) but through means presented (and seen by both the actors in power, and those who benefit) as being beneficial to society overall.
The example of the expansion of the remit of the monarchs of Europe and its transformation into the modern state is presented by Jouvenel to demonstrate this model, and the picture painted is stark and repeatedly supported by historical record. As Jouvenel makes plainly clear, “It is true, no doubt, that Power could not make this progress but for the very real services which it renders and under cover of the hopes aroused by its displays of the altruistic side of its nature.”[iv]
To raise contributions, Power must invoke the public interest. It was in this way that the Hundred Years’ War, by multiplying the occasions on which the monarchy was forced to request the cooperation of the people, accustomed them in the end, after a long succession of occasional levies, to a permanent tax, and outcome which outlived the reasons for it.
It was in this way, too, that the Revolutionary Wars provided the justification for conscriptions, even though the files of 1789 disclosed a unanimous hostility to its feeble beginning under the monarchy. Conscription achieved fixation. And so it is that times of danger, when Power takes action for the general safety, are worth much to it in accretion to its armoury, and these, when the crisis has passed, it keeps.[v]
Of course it is not only in times of public danger when Power proceeds under the name of public interest. The direction of the monarch’s competition was not only towards external power centers to which overt war was socially permissible, but also internal competitors in the form of barons and lords to whom overt war was not permissible (generally.) To them a process which can best be described as a coalition of the high and low in society was in action. As Jouvenel notes regarding Power:
The growth of its authority strikes private individuals as being not so much a continual encroachment on their liberty, as an attempt to put down various petty tyrannies to which they have been subject. It looks as though the advance of the state is a means to the advance of the individual.[vi]
Jouvenel further elaborates on this with the following: “the monarchy, through its lawyers, comes between the barons and their subjects; the purpose is to compel the former to limit themselves to the dues which are customary and to abstain from arbitrary taxation.”[vii]
The monarchy then engaged in this alliance with the common people due to the imperatives its relatively weak position foisted on it due to the barons intransigence and opposition, and also as a means to ostensibly better govern. Monarchy was then anything but a despotism which modern/liberal propaganda post-enlightenment has presented it as, but rather a political structure under restraints which were genuine. A reality that we are again blind to due to the shared assumptions provided by modernity/liberalism that we have passed from a period of darkness into the enlightenment of liberal governance, assumptions that we shall see were perpetuated by Power’s expansion.
It is here that we can move past Jouvenel and be more reflective on the issue of personal liberty by refusing to be engaged in advocacy of classical liberalism, and by being aware of these assumptions of self-interest. We can then use his observation of this high-low alliance to make some startling assertions implicit in his work. The basis of these observations is provided by the following passage:
If the natural tendency of Power is to grow, and if it can extend its authority and increase its resources only at the expense of the notables, it follows that its ally for all times is the common people. The passion for absolutism is, inevitably, in conspiracy with the passion for equality.
History is one continuous proof of this; sometimes, however, as if to clarify this secular process, she concentrates it into a one-act play, such as that of the Doge Marino Falieri. So independent of the Doge were the Venetian nobility that Michel Steno could insult the Doge’s wife and escape punishment which was so derisory as to double the insult. Indeed, so far above the people’s heads was this nobility that Bertuccio Ixarello, a plebeian, was unable, in spite of his naval exploits, to obtain satisfaction for a box on the ear given by Giovanni Dandalo. According to the accepted story, Bertuccio came to the Doge and showed him the wound in his cheek from the patrician’s ring; shaming the Doge out of his inactivity, he said to him: “Let us join forces to destroy this aristocratic authority which thus perpetuates the abasement of my people and limits so narrowly your power.” The annihilation of the nobility would give to each what he wanted- to the common people equality, to Power absolutism. The attempt of Marino Falieri failed and he was put to death.
A like fate befell Jan van Barneveldt, whose case was the exact converse. In the history of the Netherlands we come across this same conflict between a prince wishing to increase his authority, in this case the Stadtholder of the House of Orange, and social authorities standing in his way, in this case the rich merchants and ship owners of Holland. William, commander-in-chief throughout thirty difficult and glorious years, was nearing the crown and had already refused it once, as did Caesar and Cromwell, when he was struck down by the hand of the assassin. Prince Maurice inherited his father’s prestige, added to it by victories of his own, and seemed about to reach the goal, when Barneveldt, having organised secretly a patrician opposition, put an end to Maurice’s ambitions by putting an end , through the conclusion of peace, to victories which were proving dangerous to the Republic. What did Maurice do then? He allied himself with the most ignorant of the preachers, who were, through fierce intolerance, the aptest to excite the passions of the lower orders: thanks to their efforts, he unleashed the mob at Barneveldt and cut off his head. This intervention by the common people enabled Maurice to execute the leader of the opposition to his own increasing power. That he did not gain the authority he sought was not due to any mistake in his choice of means, as was shown when one of his successors, William III, made himself at last master of the country by means of a popular rising, in which Jean de Witt, the Barneveldt of this period, had his throat cut.[viii]
It is a position without controversy to trace the origins of liberalism, classical liberalism, modernity etc. to Protestantism and The Reformation. If what Jouvenel outlines in the above passage, and in the rest of On Power, is correct, then it seems quite evident that the origins of Protestantism and its success is a result of these very same conflicts between these various power centers, something Jouvenel points to with his reference to equality being the ally of Power expansion. It would seem that really equality and liberty are both in conspiracy with Power. For just who were the subsequent intellectual descendants of these “most ignorant preachers” but the liberal tradition proper? So we have a conundrum. Jouvenel is writing in defence of a liberal political position which he is clearly demonstrating was propagated and favoured by power actors in conflict with other power actors. The question we can ask ourselves at this juncture is how does this accord with the accepted narrative of the development of liberalism? Because the radical implications presented by Jouvenel’s model are that this entire political and social paradigm was favoured and propelled forward not by reasoned discourse and collective enlightenment, but in actuality as a result of its suitability and beneficial character in relation to the expansion of Power.
In asking such a question, the focus of our attention must therefore shift from popular consideration of liberalism as a rational discourse conducted over many centuries to which the assent of reasonable and rational agents was won, to instead a consideration of it as being the result of institutional actions. In effect, we go from the Whig theory of history, Progress etc. to one which identifies modernity as the cultural result of institutional conflict. Such a consideration has radical implications for political theory.
We will now move onto the further developments from Jouvenel’s work.
Unsecure power and secure power – The moldbuggian development
In categorising unsecure power and secure power Mencius Moldbug correctly identified that the primary motivations for power centers to engage in leveling conflict were the insecurity of their positions and the blocks they faced, they simply could not, and cannot, govern in a direct and concise manner. This has many further ramifications which we shall cover later, but for now it suffices to note that as these power centers were placed in positions of chronic conflict within society. The centers were unable to engage in actual direct conflict to resolve the tension, so the alternative option was, and still is, to pursue that of advancing their attempts at centralisation and conflict against competing power centers by appeal to greater societal good.
Secure power in contrast is power which is not placed in a position of conflict. This conflict can take the form of either the balancing of institutions against one another, such as with the republican structure and the balance of power it enshrines, or by claims of law or human rights being bounding, thereby placing the judiciary as a competing institution – there are many variants of imperium in imperio.
In pursuing this line of investigation over a number of years, an extremely accurate and effective model of the current liberal power structure was developed on the Unqualified Reservations blog[ix] which managed to trace the development of power by virtue of ignoring the frames of analysis which current political theories take as relevant. This analysis neither took the human individual as the relevant point of analysis, nor did it take current political institutions such as nation states as relevant. Instead, by placing the analysis on the manner in which internal institutions have been allowed to operate in a state of permanent surreptitious conflict, a picture emerged of a strange governing entity which centred around the Ivy League universities, media, the civil service and additionally non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society foundations in a systemically logical conflict against all other intermediary structure which have been under sustained and continued destruction. The key point to note is that the systemic conflict provides all of these centers with the context within which their decisions are enacted, rendering their actions predictable to a large degree. This is why we can see all the progressive institutions acting in a similar manner without need of a central governing body. Unsecure Power is then definable as power acting in a system designed on (or degraded to) internal conflict.
Secure Power in contrast is Power acting within a system in which institutions are complementary and not conflicting. Authority flows down only. Similar entities are seen in the form of corporations, the very same entities which actors in governance have been engaging on ever greater levels as a means to provide effective and efficient services, something which the national governance structure of the modern state has been unable to maintain. The great expansion of private military companies and privatisation in everyday walks of life are premised on the idea that the profit motive is a strong driving force for competence, but fails to take into account that the profit driven companies are first and foremost driven on a model of governance which is a rejection of imperium in imperio, thus ensuring a means of management which allows for clear and effective action. No one creates a business with an imperium in imperio design.
Unceasing conflict – the liberal model
The modern system has managed to ingrain imperium in imperio not as a solecism, but as an unalloyed good. Institutions in unceasing conflict are assumed to balance out society and ensure no center in particular may hold total power. This concept was provided an intellectual justification by a conception of human anthropology which was developed by liberal thinkers such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, and traces its roots back through to voluntarist Christian sects.[x] The underlying premise seems to be that humans are naturally in conflict, and that we have entered into societal relationship from a state of nature. Leaving the question of just how coherent this voluntarist protestant anthropology is for now, we can concentrate on Jouvenel’s great observation which was that this division of power has led to continual and unceasing conflict between internal institutions using the concept of equality as a means of undermining competitors. A review of a number of case studies of modern history using currently available resources will confirm Jouvenel’s observation on the nature of power. The first such example is The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.
The Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Right Movement has now become an ingrained aspect of modern culture, with the main visible protagonists being widely known throughout the world. The names of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are recognisable everywhere as being the drivers of civil rights. However, applying Jouvenel’s observation that power centers within a divided governance structure will employ equality and therefore employ agitators for equality as means to undermine competitor power centers behooves us to look at possible power centers acting behind such people. If we can establish that the Civil Rights Movement is more accurately explainable as a residual culture artifact of inter-institutional conflict caused by the governmental system, then it provides great supporting proof.
A review of the Civil Rights Movement, and the support for the visible actors, quickly turns up a wealth of information which is widely available, but widely ignored. All of it is a matter of public record, and the institutions involved are actually happy to make their actions public.
One of the key institutions in this era is the Ford Foundation, they are joined by a number of other philanthropic foundations which are curiously left out of the well know history of the Civil Rights Era, despite some of the visible protagonist wishing to complain about them. A superb example is provided by Malcolm X’s celebrated speech Message to the Grass Roots which contains revelations regarding the logistics of the Civil Rights marches:
They had a meeting at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The Carlyle Hotel is owned by the Kennedy family; that’s the hotel Kennedy spent the night at, two nights ago; [it] belongs to his family. A philanthropic society headed by a white man named Stephen Currier called all the top civil-rights leaders together at the Carlyle Hotel. And he told them that, “By you all fighting each other, you are destroying the civil-rights movement. And since you’re fighting over money from white liberals, let us set up what is known as the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. Let’s form this council, and all the civil-rights organizations will belong to it, and we’ll use it for fund-raising purposes.” Let me show you how tricky the white man is. And as soon as they got it formed, they elected Whitney Young as the chairman, and who [do] you think became the co-chairman? Stephen Currier, the white man, a millionaire. Powell was talking about it down at the Cobo [Hall] today. This is what he was talking about. Powell knows it happened. Randolph knows it happened. Wilkins knows it happened. King knows it happened. Everyone of that so-called Big Six — they know what happened.
Once they formed it, with the white man over it, he promised them and gave them $800,000 to split up between the Big Six; and told them that after the march was over they’d give them $700,000 more. A million and a half dollars — split up between leaders that you’ve been following, going to jail for, crying crocodile tears for. And they’re nothing but Frank James and Jesse James and the what-do-you-call-’em brothers.
[As] soon as they got the setup organized, the white man made available to them top public relations experts; opened the news media across the country at their disposal; and then they begin [sic] to project these Big Six as the leaders of the march. Originally, they weren’t even in the march. You was [sic ] talking this march talk on Hastings Street — Is Hastings Street still here? — on Hasting Street. You was [sic] talking the march talk on Lenox Avenue, and out on — What you call it? — Fillmore Street, and Central Avenue, and 32nd Street and 63rd Street. That’s where the March talk was being talked. But the white man put the Big Six [at the] head of it; made them the march. They became the march. They took it over. And the first move they made after they took it over, they invited Walter Reuther, a white man; they invited a priest, a rabbi, and an old white preacher. Yes, an old white preacher. The same white element that put Kennedy in power — labor, the Catholics, the Jews, and liberal Protestants; [the] same clique that put Kennedy in power, joined the march on Washington[xi]
The philanthropic institution referred to by Malcolm X was the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership set up by Stephen Currier and his wife Audrey Bruce Currier (nee Mellon) of the Mellon fortune. They also received significant funding from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation among other funding sources. [xii]
The alliance between Nelson Rockefeller and Martin Luther King Jr. in particular is an instructive demonstration of the mechanism in play. King Jr. received significant and repeated funding from Rockefeller throughout his career, from the provision of $25,000 dollars to Kings’ Gandhi Society for Human Rights,[xiii] to even going to the lengths of providing bail money for King’s protesters.[xiv] In an interview with Vanity Fair, King’s lawyer of the time, Clarence Jones, reveals the following relating to the provision of funds for bail by Rockefeller:
Jones remembers Belafonte saying in an excited tone, “‘I was discussing [the Birmingham problem] with Nelson Rockefeller’s speechwriter. It’s a fellow named Hugh Morrow—he used to work for The Saturday Evening Post—who you’ll be hearing from.’ Next thing I know I got a call from Morrow—‘How can I help?’”
Jones replied, “Well, I’m coming back [to New York] tonight. Let’s meet.”
Since 1961, Nelson Rockefeller had been writing occasional checks to the S.C.L.C., usually in the range of $5,000 to $10,000. This time, they would need much, much more. “I arrived in New York late,” Jones recounts. “Morrow lived on Sutton Place. I called him at one o’clock in the morning. Half asleep, he says, ‘We want you to be at the Chase Manhattan Bank tomorrow, even though it’s Saturday. We want to help Martin.’
“I walk in at the [appointed] time and there is Rockefeller, Morrow, a bank official, and a couple of security guards. They open the huge vault. There was a big circular door with a driver’s-wheel-like handle on it. Lo and behold there was money stacked floor to ceiling! Rockefeller walks in and takes $100,000 in cash and puts it in a satchel, a briefcase-like thing. And one of the Chase Manhattan Bank officers says, ‘Mr. Jones, can you sit down for a moment?’ I sit down and he says, ‘Your name is Clarence B. Jones, right? We’ve got to have a note for this.’”
Jones hesitated, flabbergasted. “This man filled out a promissory note: Clarence B. Jones, $100,000 payable on demand,” Jones recalls. “Now, I wasn’t stupid. I said, ‘Payable on demand?! I don’t have $100,000!’ And the bank official . . . said, ‘No, we’ll take care of it, but we’ve got to have it for banking regulations.’”
Worried he was being impudent, Jones signed the document. “I took the money and got on a plane headed back to Alabama,” Jones says. “I am a hero. All the kids are bailed out.”[xv]
Jones is also quoted as saying the following in complete agreement with Malcolm X:
Curiously, King and Jones also shared a deep mutual respect for Judaism. Influenced by Levison, they had developed into staunch supporters of Israel. “Jewish Americans, along with a few guys like Rockefeller, financed the civil-rights movement,” Jones explains. “And Martin’s sentiments regarding Jews were not opportunistic, as some have claimed. It was real. He consistently sought to maintain the historic coalition and alliance with leaders of the Jewish community.[xvi]
An example of this dynamic between Jewish segments of society, the black population and wealthy foundation based individuals is provided by an article from the Chicago tribune in 1968 in which the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defence Fund, Jack Greenberg, is quoted on the role played by the Ford Foundation. The article reveals that before Bundy “you couldn’t get in at the Ford Foundation to see the time of day,” says Jack Greenberg, head of the legal defence fund.”[xvii] The article also outlines that led “by the Ford Foundation under McGeorge Bundy, the white controlled philanthropic foundations have funded some direct action programs that a few years ago they would not consider.”[xviii] This included a $230,000 grant to King’s Southern Christian Leadership conference. Also worthy of note is that the article quotes Bundy as saying “Dr. King and his associates have other commitments that fall outside the areas in which a tax-exempt foundation should give support,”[xix] these commitments are seemingly a reference to the acts of protest for which Rockefeller and the Council for United Civil Rights were providing the funding. McGeorge Bundy it should be noted was an extremely connected and influential individual, as were all the actors within the foundation sphere. These were not individuals outside of Power. Bundy was involved in various governing institutions, and Rockefeller was just as connected.[xx]
This funding was not only used to allow for mass organised protest marches, but also to engage in legal litigation. The foundations in question created and then pursued legal cases using the funds at their disposable as a means to alter legislation. A process which the Ford Foundation actively and widely celebrates, as demonstrated by even a cursory review of the Ford Foundation’s A legacy of Social Justice web page, “Since 1952, Ford Foundation grants have supported public defenders. In the 1960s, the foundation supported legal aid and litigation as a primary strategy to advance civil rights.”[xxi]As well as:
The 1964 Civil Rights Act was an opportunity for the Ford Foundation to expand its support of academic studies on race relations and African-American educational institutions to include action-oriented grantees who sought to empower whole communities. Most significantly, Ford supported public defenders and the training of African-American lawyers. This innovative strategy became the framework for Ford’s advocacy for Mexican American, Native American, and women’s rights in the US, and for its role in bringing down apartheid in South Africa. By the 1980s, Ford was investing heavily in indigenous and cultural rights.[xxii]
During the Cold War of the 1950s and 60s, Ford supported intellectual freedom. Then, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, coups in Latin America prompted the foundation to adopt new policies for working in repressive societies. Launched in 1975, the foundation’s human rights program provided seed money to build new NGOs. Building on the legal strategies developed through the American civil rights movement, Ford helped support human rights law and watchdog groups around the world, including groups focused on women’s and indigenous rights.[xxiii]
This is nothing less than a casual admittance to being an active an aggressive governmental actor.
Another excellent example is that of the famous Brown v Board of Education of Topeka 1954 case. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) actively brought this case into being, with the chief litigator becoming a chief justice himself in 1967.[xxiv] The funding for the case being provided from liberal philanthropic foundations composed of individuals clearly part of the progressive governing power centers.[xxv] What is even more remarkable about this case is the reliance on social science testimony by the court regarding the claimed negative impact of segregation. This social science itself having been produced with funding from the foundations, and frankly premised on an intellectually groundless basis. The whole charade was pre-ordered by Power.[xxvi] This case is also of note for showing the clear mechanism of federal level governance being directed against state level governance. In a Reuter post dated May 14, 2017, Aryeh Neier[xxvii] makes the following observations on the case in general, and on a friend of the court brief, issued by the Department of Justice, in particular:
The brief, submitted by Attorney General James P. McGranery, said, “The United States is trying to prove to the people of the world of every nationality, race and color, that a free democracy is the most civilized and most secure form of government yet devised by man…. The existence of discrimination against minority groups in the United States has an adverse effect upon our relations with other countries. Racial discrimination furnishes grist for the Communist propaganda mills.” It also featured an excerpt from a letter by Secretary of State Dean Acheson, described as “an authoritative statement of the effects of racial discrimination in the United States upon the conduct of foreign relations.”
President Harry S. Truman, acting on his authority as commander in chief, had ended racial segregation in the armed forces in 1948. But he had been stymied in dealing with schools. They operated under state control, and many states had laws that required segregation. Congress was empowered to act under the 14th Amendment. But given the powerful positions of long-serving Southern senators and representatives, there seemed little possibility that Congress would take on the task of desegregating the schools. The only chance to solve the problem, Truman realized, rested with the Supreme Court.[xxviii]
Here we see that hurdles to Power acting occasioned this tactic of encouraging proxies and of petitioning itself. In this instance the hurdles being state level governance intransigence and the federal “democratic” structure itself.
For further detailed and disturbing insight into the all-pervasive nature of the Ford Foundation in this era in particular, one could do worse than to obtain a copy of Karen Fergusan’s Top Down: The Ford Foundation, Black Power, and the Reinvention of Racial Liberalism.[xxix] One would also do well to note that the Ford Foundation was merely one among many foundations involved in this event. The torrent of financial support provided by a cross network of philanthropic institution in the control of a network of power actors is almost unimaginable. The usage of these vast pools of “private” philanthropy wealth becomes in effect an unacknowledged arm of government engaged to get around republican hurdles in the governing structure.
So to recap, we have Power, in conjunction with social agitators engaging in subversive conflict against a third power center, the conservative element of society, which is the impediment to Power acting. With the Civil Rights Movement we also have the added complexity of the Southern and Northern Democrat Party in conflict over the issue of race throughout the 1950s and 60s. This arrangement creates a situation in which the acting institutions must always self–efface, and instead manufacture a narrative of the “oppressed” acting to free themselves from the oppression of the fictitiously stronger conservative element, a socially acceptable disguise for Power engulfing enemies. That the “fight” of the oppressed happens so effortlessly, is funded so miraculously well, and all decisions go in its favour is then presented as the march of Progress, or some other form of historical determinism. The alternative, that the likes of Stephen Currier, McGeorge Bundy, Rockefeller and the rest of the foundation managers were not embodiments of the prevailing governing institutions is not feasible.
Of course, if this holds for the Civil Rights Movement, then it follows that this same mechanism has been the one by which the unsecure Power system of the modern state has been operating on since inception, and it raises a pertinent question regarding the coherency of these developments.
To break this model down further, we can say we have a mixture of actors all acting within the logic of their respective places in this system. At the top we appear to have a mixture of actors engaging in cynical usage of agitators as a means to undermine enemies, as well as a genuine belief on the part of other actors in the validity of promoting the same agitators. In conjunction with this we have the agitators and the “grass roots” support that either genuinely believe this “social progress”, or again, is operating on more cynical motives. Whatever the ultimate motives, we see there are generally two groups here, the power actors dispersing money and support to promote the agitators and their immediate helpers, and the agitators and immediate helpers themselves. It is clear that without the first group, the second group would merely cease to be able to function. The validity of this is provided by the manner in which foundations which possess these funds have been the engines of social change in a direct fashion.
Quite frankly, none of the marches, none of the legal cases, and none of the mass speeches that were pushed onto national media would have been possible without the funds provided by a cross network of philanthropic foundations.
Human rights – a result of inter-institution conflict.
The example of the Civil Rights Movement furnishes us with ample demonstration of the primacy of financial logistics in creating societal movements, and the usage of agitators as means of unsecure governance to be able to act in a passive, yet active, manner. The key is that the agitators are always directed at a section of society which is an enemy to Power – they are never a serious threat to the Power.
A further example provided by the modern American system is the rise of human rights, which we will see was a creation of the Democratic linked power bases of the American system, and developed in response to challenges from the conservative centers.
The entire development of the modern human rights system apparently has its roots in a report initiated by David Heaps, an apparent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent and Ford Foundation representative.[xxx] David Heaps was the author of a report which was presented to the Ford Foundation trustees in 1975 following the Pinochet Coup titled “Human Rights and Intellectual Freedom.” The events surrounding this are found in admirable detail in William Korey’s Taking on the World’s Repressive Regimes: The Ford Foundation’s International Human Rights Policies and Practices.[xxxi] The book and Korey’s research itself were funded by the Ford Foundation.
Following the acceptance of the recommendations of Heap’s report, the Ford Foundation began to devout significant resources to human rights. Korey also notes that coincidentally at the same time the Ford Foundation was discovering human rights, the Democrat Party elements of Congress suddenly discovered them independently:
by a striking coincidence, human rights emerged as a critical concern during precisely those years in the U.S. Congress, specifically in the House of Representatives[…] Its Subcommittee on International Organisations and Movements, headed by Congressman Donald M. Fraser (a Democract from Minnesota), held unprecedented hearings on U.S. human rights policy[…] as some of the most important congressmen sat on the subcommittee and its parent body, the report was certain to attract attention. Notably unusual was the phrase in its title, “Call for U.S. Leadership.” It reflected an angry rejection of the Nixon administration policy, of which Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger was a principal architect, and a demand for a radically new orientation in American policy.[xxxii]
It is interesting to note that the claimed driver for human rights, the Latin American military coups and the subsequent removal of academics and foundation grantees from positions of influence by General Pinochet, affected the influence of precisely those power centers of the US that could be termed “progressive” or “democratic.” The full influence of the Ford Foundation alone is revealed by Korey as he quotes Jeffrey Puryear:
so effective had Ford Foundation grants been with individual scholars that, according to Jeffrey Puryear, a historian of the grant program area, the economic and social reforms initiated by the previous Christian Democratic administration of Eduard Frei and extended under its socialist successor, Salvador Allende, could be considered very much the foundation’s product.[xxxiii]
These individuals then being removed by Pinochet’s army:
…at least two thousand faculty members of the leading university-the University of Chile- were fired by 1975. This constituted fairly close to a quarter of the faculty.[…] since many of the dismissed faculty were recipients of foundation grants and, importantly, came from the intellectual stratum of society the foundation especially favoured, it was scarcely surprising that urgent measures had to be undertaken.[xxxiv]
These urgent measures included creating “private social-science research centers”[xxxv] to continue producing policies and maintaining the sustenance of Foundation supported individuals influencing Chilean society.
To add another level of confusion to matters, the advisors who Pinochet turned to – the famed Chicago Boys, were themselves trained on a program funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation through the State Department (a key progressive power center) called the Four Point Program (a program which Nelson Rockefeller appears to have been heavily involved with,)[xxxvi] and a similar story appears to have unfolded with the example of the Berkley Mafia in Indonesia.[xxxvii] So all-encompassing is the influence of foundation funding on the cultural developments of the 20th century that all serious movements appear to have been logistically created by them, even the punitively opposed ones. This does also raise the question of just how far apart the underlying theoretical basis of the “left” and “right” are in western liberal society, something not in the scope of this article to explore.
In the wake of this sudden interest and supply of funding occasioned by the Ford Foundation (which was augmented by the additional smaller foundations, as is the way they operate,) the academic and non-governmental organisation (NGO) interest in human rights exploded. A review of Google’s Ngram viewer for the term “human rights” shows a corresponding sharp increase at precisely the point indicated by Korey’s research. (Fig 1)
In summary, it is clearly observable that the actions of the democrat power centers in discovering and then promoting human rights is an obvious policy tool against regimes which were inimical to their influence. The power centers acted in a manner predicted by Jouvenel’s observations. These power centers engaged the usage of equality and the form of altruism as a means of attacking competing power centers and enlarging their own influence. The success of this program is a testament to the power of this approach in such an unsecure power system. This also presents the disturbing insight that the events in Chile can really be modeled as a proxy civil war between power centers based in the USA. Though of course, note that this does not indicate that The Democrat Party is Power, it is merely one center within the Power nexus, usually the dominant one within formal governance. The Republican Party and any other party that accepts the system can be considered a competing ally.
The continued value of the human rights nexus has been demonstrated in subsequent geo-political events, including the fall of the Soviet Union, as noted by Korey. Korey himself explains how the Ford Foundation incredibly played a key role in the downfall of the Soviet Union in Chapter 5:
“What greatly contributed to the historic and revolutionary changes was the role of nongovernmental organizations, most notably those formed in Eastern Europe, which were greatly assisted by newly established Western NGOs sponsored and sustained by the Ford Foundation.”[xxxviii]
The key point of weakness which it appears the NGOs in question targeted was the inclusion of “human rights” in Principal VII and Basket 3 of the Helsinki accords. Yuri Orlov, a Soviet dissident apparently noted the potential for creating dissent with this provision, as Korey writes “For Orlov, an invaluable lever had been handed to the democrats.”[xxxix] Even more striking is that the Helsinki accords contained a provision that called upon “the citizenry of member states to assist in forming NGOs in all state that would check on the compliance of their governments with the provisions of the act.”[xl] Such a provision was taken clearly as an open door for Ford Foundation largess in the Soviet Union to push for changes that supported the west geopolitically. Strikingly, Korey makes a clear connection between democractic movements and the Helsinki agreement, as well as organisations created in its wake and funded by the Ford Foundation. Not only are the Solidarity organisation and Lech Walesa in Poland linked directly to the organisations supported by the Ford Foundation, but so are the organisations central the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic such as Charter 77.[xli] Human rights formed a focal point around which dissidents could rally and obtain resources.
It is at this point in the story where we again encounter McGeorge Bundy, who was approached by the US ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, part of the delegation to the follow-up meeting of the Final Act of the Helsinki Accord in Belgrade. Korey reports:
Goldberg desperately sought assistance from McGeorge Bundy, the Ford Foundation president. They knew each other from the years during the Kennedy administration when Goldberg served as Secretary of Labor and Bundy was the president’s National Security Adviser.
What must have been in the back of Goldberg’s mind was the need to create an American NGO that might impact upon U.S. public opinion and drive home the need to effectively raise the continuing repression of dissidents, minorities, and Jews in the Soviet Union and elsewhere in communist East
Europe. Such an American NGO could also strengthen the recently created NGOs, comprising dissidents in Eastern Europe, such as Charter 77 and Solidarity, that were continuously harassed by the authorities. An influential group might also stimulate the rise of similar groups in Western Europe. While there appears to be no record of the initial Goldberg-Bundy meeting, nor even of precisely when it was held, available information from the foundation archives and from various interviews indicates that Bundy was most responsive.[xlii]
As Korey notes, the result from this meeting was that Bundy “suggested inviting Robert Bernstein, the head of the Random House publishing company, to join Goldberg and himself on April 5, 1978.”[xliii] The result of this collaboration would be the Helsinki Watch NGO. Such a group “he said, could serve as a “private counterpart” to the U.S. Helsinki Commission and, thereby, help put “pressure on the Executive Branch,” or the State Department.”[xliv] That this NGO group was basically created by Bundy is not disputed by Korey. He even notes “What is more than evident was that the top Ford Foundation executive had already decided on the path to be followed and had set in motion all the crucial steps for creating the kind of Helsinki Watch Committee he wanted,”[xlv] and “From the very beginning, U.S. Helsinki Watch linked its destiny with the foundation; even its very origin was a product of the foundation’s planning at the highest level.”[xlvi]
Interestingly, Korey recounts the initial organisation of the Helsinki Watch Group and is confused regarding the appointment of a committee member by the name of David Fishlow. It appears that Fishlow was hired on the basis that the NGO would predominantly concern itself with US adherence to the Helsinki agreements human rights clauses as it was officially supposed to do, and catches other board members in an act of apparent misinformation by claiming Fishlow subsequently resigned.[xlvii] A small detail which reveals a lot, as Korey claims to have located a memo on the issue:
The pertinent section of Bushey’s memo reads as follows:
Bernstein hired a Committee staff director before functions and objectives were defined. This proved harmful because he was a specialist on American minority problems whereas the Committee subsequently developed largely along international lines. As a result, conflict arose and the director was fired several months after he began work—with considerable disruption of activities. Bernstein then appointed Laber to the post.[xlviii]
Obviously, the organisation had no serious intention of being directed at the US. Instead Bundy and the Ford Foundation heads were directing it against Eastern Europe. The exceptional nature of this organisation is also revealed by a disgruntled Ford Foundation member by the name of Bruce Bushey who Korey records as complaining as follows:
He said that it was Bundy himself who “pushed ahead against our [staff] objections,” referring to the objections registered by Bushey and Gaer. Bushey went on to add that Bundy approved the formation of the Helsinki Committee and, more importantly, “made four hundred thousand dollars available to support its activities during a two-year period.” That was a huge sum of money for an NGO, and an amount extremely rare for a start-up project.[xlix]
Clearly reading between the lines the organisation had some serious background to which Bushey and Fishlow were not privy. The NGO would ultimately result in “the decision in 1982 by U.S. Helsinki Watch to create, with the assistance of the Ford Foundation, similar Helsinki NGOs in a number of European countries, in both the West and the East.”[l] The significance of Ford Foundation support is somewhat encapsulated by Korey’s account of Vaclav Havel’s visit to the Helsinki Watch’s offices in Manhatten:
His words in the charged atmosphere would not easily be forgotten by Laber and the other guests. He said, “I feel I’m here as a friend among friends. I know what you did for us and perhaps, without you our revolution would not be.” The remembrance of things past was stirringly powerful. Several months earlier Laber had received from Havel and his vice president, Karl Schwarzenberg, a fax recalling how only a year earlier she had been arrested for meeting with Charter 77 leaders. The fax went on to say, “we would like to thank you for everything you did for us.[li]
Korey quite remarkably notes that this process seems to have been missed by even the celebrated statesman Kissinger until long after the fact:
Kissinger now acknowledged that Basket 3 (which he earlier had never even noticed in his writing) turned out to be “most significant” and “was destined to play a major role in the disintegration of the Soviet satellite orbit.” He went on to add the startlingly unbecoming comment that Basket 3 “became a testimonial to all human rights activists in NATO countries.” It was these human rights activists, he suddenly recognized, “who deserve tribute,” for it was “the pressures which they exerted” that hastened the end of totalitarian rule. Especially accorded praise were the “heroic reformers in Eastern Europe”—the NGOs of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary—who used Basket 3 as “a rallying point” in their struggle against “Soviet domination.” He made no specific reference to U.S. Helsinki Watch, but Vaclav Havel, it could be said, did it for him.[lii]
One can only agree with Korey’s underlying subtext that the omission of the role of the Ford Foundation in the disruption of the Soviet Union is astonishing. The Helsinki Watch NGO would evolve into the Human Rights Watch NGO and take on an international perspective. It has been utilised in various other countries. Now, if we did not have historical records that already show the widespread usage of human rights in providing pretext for disruption of governments inimical to western elites, we could have predicted from this revelation that this is what would happen. From the Balkans to the Middle East and North Africa, and now Eastern Europe again, human rights have been deployed and NGOs have engaged in governmental disruption, something which Russian strategic thinkers have picked up on in a somewhat incomplete manner. In an article in the Military Review “Getting Gerasimov Right” it is claimed that:
In the Russian view, the pattern of U.S. forced regime change has been as follows: deciding to execute a military operation; finding an appropriate pretext such as to prevent genocide or seize weapons of mass destruction; and finally, launching a military operation to cause regime change.
However, Russia believes that the pattern of forced U.S.-sponsored regime change has been largely supplanted by a new method. Instead of an overt military invasion, the first volleys of a U.S. attack come from the instalment of a political opposition through state propaganda (e.g., CNN, BBC), the Internet and social media, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). After successfully instilling political dissent, separatism, and/or social strife, the legitimate government has increasing difficulty maintaining order. As the security situation deteriorates, separatist movements can be stoked and strengthened, and undeclared special operations, conventional, and private military forces (defense contractors) can be introduced to battle the government and cause further havoc. Once the legitimate government is forced to use increasingly aggressive methods to maintain order, the United States gains a pretext for the imposition of economic and political sanctions, and sometimes even military sanctions such as no-fly zones, to tie the hands of the besieged governments and promote further dissent.
Eventually, as the government collapses and anarchy results, military forces under the guise of peacekeepers can then be employed to pacify the area, if desired, and a new government that is friendly to the United States and the West can be installed.[liii]
This narrative also sheds some light on the Russian government’s hostility toward NGOs.6 Though there are usually no allegations of NGOs being directly or indirectly controlled by foreign governments, most Russian reporting on NGOs purports that they are simply being funded because they have an objective to influence a particular government in a given way, or to just cause general instability.[liv]
It is unsurprising that the Russians faced with the strange actions emanating from this US human rights nexus created by foundations should be so bewildered by the techniques employed. However, there are vast holes in the Russian analysis of the situation. The beginning of this process in the current human rights guise can be traced back to 1975 with some accuracy, however the mechanism of outside actors funding destabilising elements is central to unsecure power, and it is only credulence of the political divisions asserted by political theory and the belief of genuine spontaneous revolution which blinds us to this.
Before we leave this specific topic, it is worth raising a number of questions. The first is a question regarding the human rights provisions in the Helsinki agreement. Why were they put there, and was it merely a series of improvisations that followed it from Heaps, Bundy and the rest? Or was there a strategy in place already to which this history of Korey’s is merely a connecting of the dots. What are, and were, the philosophical basis for these human rights? Have they been proven, confirmed, or even debated openly? It should be a startling realisation that great wealth, as well mass movements, were predicated on a concept which seems to have been accorded no confirmation. It would appear each person in the chain simply ran with the concept. Does this entire narrative as revealed incompletely by Korey not point to the collapse of the Soviet Union being due to internal social schism fostered by the west? These questions are not within the scope of this article to answer, but do point to further research in this area. For now, we will look at yet more examples of this governance dynamic in action.
The link between Black Lives Matter and the Anti-Corn Laws movement
Modern scholarship appears to have a great deal of trouble explaining the actions of Prime Minister Robert Peel and the undermining of his own Conservative Party during the Anti-Corn Laws Movement, but with de Jouvenel’s insight we have no reason to be confused. The Anti-Corn Laws League was in effect a Black Lives Matter movement of the 19th century. Both movements share the same funding pattern, the same organisation pattern, they are/ were both movements engaged by Power to enact change.
Starting with Robert Peel and the Anti-Corn Laws League, it is a matter of record that the funding for the activities of the League were key to their existence. It was a pressure movement financed by so called “private” sources, that these private sources were the Whig industrialists linked to parliament that benefited from the reorganisation of the economic policies of the British government should be cause for pause. The League was not a grass roots creation at all, and was brought into existence by this highly powerful and heavily connected group of people. Again, as with all of these movements, the image passed down to us is one of a brave David fighting against the Goliath of vested interests and oppressive feudal aristocrats, yet the funding figures belie this. For example, it is recorded that:
In financial terms, while the League grew from a £5,000 annual fund in 1839 to one of £250,000 in 1845, the latter year saw the core of the Anti- League (the Essex Agricultural Protection Society) scraping together the paltry sum of £2,000 to fund its campaign.[lv]
Anderson and Tollison[lvi] note that:
Cotton textile mill owners were the predominant group represented among the League’s founders, leaders, and principal financial backers. Bright was a Lancashire cottom mill owner (Ausubel, , p.2). Cobden was the owner of a cotton mill that printed calicoes (Read , p.10). Henry and Thomas Ashoworth, owners of the large Ashworth mills, were League founders, and together contributed over 2000 pounds to the League (Boyson , p.202). The Strutt family, textile mill owners, apparently were large contributers, donating 300 pounds in one recorded instance (McCord , p.138). Generally, the cotton textile mill owners were the major participants and contributors in the League.[lvii]
Anderson and Tollison also ask a telling question regarding the dissolution of the League, this being simply “why was the League disbanded in 1846?”[lviii] The answer being that:
The League dissolved basically because by 1846 its financial support had begun to dry up (McCord , p.204). The League leaders and agitators did not suddenly lose interest in political issues, but many of them lost pay checks as employees in League offices.[lix]
Concentrating on the arguments for, and against, the Corn Laws as put forward by advocates and critics is not in the least bit fruitful, and takes our attention away from the real issue. This was an issue which was sponsored into being, with the proxy being the benefit of the workers. The league was Power petitioning itself which is a form of governance endemic to democracy. This leaves us with a puzzle as to what were the motivations for the actions of Prime Minister Peel in providing the key assistance in undermining the Corn Laws? It may help to step back and consider other developments that Peel was famous for and note a pattern in their overall effect. For a start, we can note Peel’s support for the Test Act (1828), the Roman Catholic Relief Act (1829), the Income Tax Act (1842) and the Mines Act of (1842) and the Railway Regulation Act (1844) among others. What we have here is a series of acts which removed barriers to Catholics and anyone not conforming to the Church of England, legislated the activities of factories and mines, legislated the running of railways and introduced income tax in peace time. All of these acts represent an expansion of Power by means of promotion of equality and the legislation of individuals. I have no doubt Peel would have envisioned himself as in the act of governing the United Kingdom, and was acting in line with such a role. His decision to push through with the Corn Laws repeal would no doubt have been based on a number of factors which he would have not explained in any other way than the weak arguments he presented in his speeches, given the limitations placed on him by democratic governance. Whatever his specific thinking was, the unspoken alliance with the Anti-Corn Law Movement was extremely helpful to both parties. This mechanism has clear and pertinent replication in the current Black Lives Matter pressure group, which like the Civil Rights Movement pressure groups, has been sponsored into existence.
Luckily with the Black Lives Matter group we do not have to wait decades before researchers comb through the archives, but can instead utilise the Soros hacks that have been made public. These hacks, and other information sources, paint a stark picture of a pressure group which has been funded into being by actors in close connection with governing institutions and power centers.
A leaked memo from Soro’s Open Society organisation for the May 2015 meetings[lx] reveals the following:
The federal government is seeking philanthropic support for a number of its initiatives. In addition to seeking support to advance the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce, the White House recently launched the Policing Data Initiative to explore how best to use data and technology to build trust, voice, and solutions to improve community policing.
We are gaining a better understanding of these efforts in order to determine how best USP can use this moment to create a national movement. We have already had a set of preliminary conversations with about a dozen key stakeholders and will undertake a field scan to map the areas of work currently underway to advance police reform, including an assessment of the redundancies and gaps in work, and opportunities for collaboration. As we proceed, we will engage the funder network we helped to establish, the Executive Alliance on Men and Boys of Color, which now includes forty foundations.[lxi]
The events of the past several months have understandably led to a wide range of activities, including a variety of advocacy efforts, to respond to the significant challenges in policing that have been exposed and the opportunity to promote meaningful and lasting change.
The range of efforts underway raises a number of questions and concerns about capacity, the need for coordination and the appropriate prioritization of policy objectives, among others, which we will discuss in the policing portion of the meeting.[lxii]
A further leaked document detailing meetings in October 2015[lxiii] is even more pointed in its revelations than the earlier one. In this memo we find the following instructive passage:
Recognizing the need for strategic assistance, the U.S. Programs Board approved $650,000 in Opportunities Fund support to invest in technical assistance and support for the groups at the core of the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement. While these emerging groups had mobilized communities with a force that captured the nation’s conscience, behind the scenes, they had invested much less time in reflection, strategy development, and future planning. U.S. Programs provided that space through a grant to the New Venture Fund (NVF), which supported a series of planning convenings for different aspects of the movement. The highest profile events, the #BlackLivesMatter convening in Cleveland and the #Law4BlackLives gathering in New York, yielded a promising critique of efforts to date and a potential blueprint for strengthening the movement going forward.
That support calls into question how we might most appropriately support such efforts; specifically whether we should seek to shape the movement as opposed to facilitate its direct action. How do we confront the reality that such movements frequently flail as they attempt to grow and confront the challenges of institutionalizing themselves sufficiently to extend their reach? To what extent do we believe that we should play a role in helping such movement leaders connect with others that might help deepen policy recommendations or connections to sympathetic, but silent, inside actors? How can we help link such movements to existing grantees and other key actors that provide mutual strengthening? And throughout how do we make sure we follow the first rule of philanthropy in such circumstances, namely to do no harm? (In this vein, it is noteworthy how the Soros name is or can be used to try and delegitimize such movements).[lxiv]
This information has indeed unfortunately been misinterpreted as Soros being the guiding hand in these movements when it is clear from the Jouvenel model, and previous iterations of this unsecure power governance structure, that it is strikingly mundane. A further look at other foundations acting in the same manner as Soro’s Open Foundation provides added context, and reveals Soro’s organisation as merely one among many. For example, the Ford Foundation through the Borealis Philanthropy Organisation is acting to provide the obscene amount of $100,000,000.[lxv] The one constant in all of this is the support of federal governance and the elite in American society, or rather the progressive power centers. It is simply Power petitioning itself.
What is even more interesting about the October 2015 Open Society Memo is that one section from which the previously quoted passage comes from is actually titled “Black Lives Matter and the Challenges of Supporting Decentralized Movements,”[lxvi] and it asks the following (very telling) question:
Heading into the 2016 Presidential election season, we’ve seen increased visibility from several burgeoning social justice movements, each vying to shape the nation’s political agenda. Each of these movements, from the Dreamers in the immigration context, to Occupy Wall Street and #BlackLivesMatter, has had varying levels of success. Along the way, philanthropy has grappled with its historic role in supporting these efforts. The inherent tension between the organic nature of authentic movement-building and the need for institutional infrastructure has often stymied philanthropy in its efforts to effect social change. This begs the question of what is the appropriate role for philanthropy, in either supporting or defining policy agendas. Does philanthropy undermine the field when it advocates directly in spheres of political influence instead of empowering grantees to do the same? Are there times when philanthropy can use its levers of influence to expedite change as institutional actors mature?[lxvii]
To which the answer was the previous passage. The foundations have organised, funded, and directed the movement accordingly. The memo is instructive in revealing the mind-set of those engaging in this coordinated “spontaneity.” A further excellent example of this thinking in process is provided from another series of leaks, this time the John Podesta email leaks in which Podesta talks of organising ground up change to disrupt the Catholic Church. The email chain in question is reproduced in full, as the insight it provides into the reasoning of those engaging in this activity is of extreme importance:
Re: opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing . . .
Date: 2012-02-11 13:19
Subject: Re: opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing . . .
I did this thing at Brookings yesterday, with EJ (it was supposed also be with the bishops counsel but he bailed) and there was a lot of this. Though I agree with michael sheehan who I think said that the catholic church is not a democracy, if people want that they can become congregationalists, where the people in the pews matter 🙂
Father thomas, from georgetown had one killer stat. One out of every 3 americans born catholic, leaves the catholic church. If that group of people formed one church it would be one of the largest (top 3) churches in the country.
You know what all our catholic groups are missing? Deep serious theological thinking. They are organizing vessels – not engines of ideas. No one is more removed from heirarchy these days than the serious catholic scholars.
There were some other good observations yesterday from lib catholics that are worth making it back to our friends.
From: John Podesta
To: Sandy Newman
Cc: Tara McGuinness
Subject: Re: opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing . . .
Sent: Feb 11, 2012 8:45 AM
We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a
moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now.
Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this
one will have to be bottom up. I’ll discuss with Tara. Kathleen
Kennedy Townsend is the other person to consult.
On 2/10/12, Sandy Newman <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi, John,
> This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even
> though 98% of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used
> contraception has me thinking . . . There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in
> which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and
> the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the
> Catholic church. Is contraceptive coverage an issue around which that could
> happen. The Bishops will undoubtedly continue the fight. Does the Catholic
> Hospital Association support of the Administration’s new policy, together
> with “the 98%” create an opportunity?
> Of course, this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the
> Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and
> priests who count on it for their maintenance, etc. Even if the idea isn’t
> crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about
> how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or who would plant them.
> Just wondering . . .
> Hoping you’re well, and getting to focus your time in the ways you want.
> Sandy Newman, President
> Voices for Progress
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile (sic)[lxviii]
The wording and thinking exhibited in this email, as with the Open Society meeting notes, provide absolutely perfect confirmation of the patron theory of politics and the power analysis heuristic behind it. Unsecure power leads those in positions of governance to engage in strange mental gymnastics to preserve this fraudulent spontaneity to even themselves. This thinking works along the basis of identifying an enemy to their own power, engaging proxies to then encourage, whilst simultaneously convincing themselves that they are acting for the greater societies good. The duality is, as Jouvenel wrote, irreducible.
This leaves the question of why the BLM movement is being used at this time, and as with the example of the Brown v Board of Education 1954 case, there appears to be a number of overlapping incentives, with the central issue being federal versus state level yet again augmented by electoral politics. As the Open Society meeting notes from February 2015 make clear:
Leaders of #BlackLivesMatter and The Movement for Black Lives worked to influence candidate platforms during the 2016 primary season. This came alongside the recent acknowledgement by political strategists that African-American voters may be much more pivotal to the 2016 general election than previously forecasted.[lxix]
So, we see the political structure itself being the driver for a process of radicalization and convoluted strange behaviour as predicted by the patron theory of politics.
The unsettling conclusion that can be drawn from the mechanism identified by Betrand de Jouvenel is that culture is fundamentally and definitively defined by the institutions that govern society. An unsecure power system will occasion the usage of proxies in the form of revolutionary cultural actors and revolutionary currents as a means to engage in war with other power centers, and to also attempt to actually govern. These actors are in effect sponsored into the prominence and assisted by the institutions in the process of power expansion.
Without massive funding from foundations, as well as support from progressive power centers in response to the Latin American coups of the 1970’s, and its usage against the USSR, human rights would not have such a prominent role. Without the actions of foundations and other actors in the Civil Rights Movement, none of the black empowerment movements would have existed. Without the current funding glut from these same actors, the BLM movement would be non-existent. Without Peel and the Whig industrialist’s support, the Anti-Corn Law League would have amounted to nothing. It is sobering to consider how many political movements, and how many of our cultural touch stones, are derived from these institutional conflicts.
[i] Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Power: Its Nature and the History of Its Growth (USA, Beacon Press Boston, 1962.)
[ii] Ibid, p 119.
[iii] Ibid, p 283.
[iv] Ibid, p 128.
[v] Ibid, P 129.
[vi] Ibid, p 130.
[vii] Ibid, p 167.
[viii] Ibid, pp 178-79.
[x] For a detailed and persuasive analysis of this genealogy, see Alasdair MacIntyre’s trilogy of books dealing with the issue of ethics: After Virtue (1981,) Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1988,) and Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry (1990.)
[xi] Malcolm X, “Message to Grassroots” (speech, King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit, MI, November 10, 1963), TeachingAmericanHistory.org, http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/message-to-grassroots/, accessed March 27, 2017.
[xii] Nina Mjagkil. Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations (New York, Garland, 2001.) pp 173-74.
[xiii] Letter from MLK to Nelson A. Rockefeller, Monday, November 1, 1965, accessed March 28, 2017, http://thekingcenter.org/archive/document/letter-mlk-nelson-rockefeller.
[xv] Douglas Brinkley, “The Man Who Kept King’s Secrets,” Vanityfair.com, April, 2006, accessed March 28, 2017, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/politics/2014/01/clarence-jones-martin-luther-king-jr-secrets
[xvii] “Foundations Boost Civil Rights Grants,” Chicago Tribune, February 11, 1968, accessed March 28, 2017, http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1968/02/11/page/75/article/foundations-boost-civil-rights-grants.
[xx] It is not the place of this paper to provide a thorough analysis of the cross connections between the individuals that compromise the philanthropic and financial/ economic elite of American society. It suffices to note that, with little research, significant connections can be found to exist external to the formal structures of government and foundations.
[xxi] “A legacy of Social Justice,” accessed March 28, 2017, https://www.fordfoundation.org/about-us/a-legacy-of-social-justice/
[xxiv] Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP’s chief council went from working for a foundation and elite supported institution to becoming a fixture of formal governance.
[xxv] Walter Stephan and Joe R. Feagin, School Desegregation: Past, Present, and Future (New York, Plenum Press, 1980.) pp 33-35.
[xxvi] See the paper “Formalising Power Analysis” for a review of the origins of social science within the Foundation nexus.
[xxvii] Aryeh Neier appears to be the same Neier involved heavily in the human rights network from the start, including the founding of the Helsinki Watch Group. He appears to currently be employed on the board of the Open Society Foundation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryeh_Neier
[xxviii] “Brown v. Board of Ed: Key Cold War weapon,” accessed March 28, 2017, http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/05/14/brown-v-board-of-ed-key-cold-war-weapon/
[xxix] Karen Fergusan, Top Down: The Ford Foundation, Black Power, and the Reinvention of Racial Liberalism(Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.)
[xxx] “David Heaps, 84, Human Rights Advocate” accessed March 29, 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/17/world/david-heaps-84-human-rights-advocate.html
[xxxi] William Korey, Taking on the World’s Repressive Regimes: The Ford Foundation’s International Human Rights Policies and Practices (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.)
[xxxii] Ibid, p 70.
[xxxiii] Ibid, p 26.
[xxxiv] Ibid, p 26.
[xxxv] Ibid, p 27.
[xxxvi] See Pinochet’s Economists: The Chicago School of Economics in Chile By Juan Gabriel Valdes for a detailed look at the involvement of both the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations in the “Chile Project.”
[xxxvii] David Ransom, “The Berkeley Mafia and the Indonesian Massacre” Ramparts, Vol. 9, No. 4, October 1970, pp. 26-28, 40-49.
[xxxviii] Korey, Taking on the World’s Repressive Regimes. P 90.
[xxxix] Ibid, p 90.
[xl] Ibid, p 91.
[xli] Ibid, pp 91-92.
[xlii] Ibid, p 96.
[xliii] Ibid, p 97.
[xliv] Ibid, p 99.
[xlv] Ibid, p 101.
[xlvi] Ibid, p 102.
[xlvii] Ibid, pp 103-04.
[xlviii] Ibid, p 105.
[xlix] Ibid, p 108.
[l] Ibid, P 114.
[li] Ibid, p 115.
[lii] Ibid, pp 115-16.
[liii] Charles K Bartles, “Getting Gerasimov Right” Military Review, (January – February 2016,) p 32.
[liv] Ibid, p 33.
[lv] Cheryly Schonhardt-Bailey, From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006,) pp 90-91.
[lvi] Gary M. Anderson and Robert D. TollisonBd. “Ideology, Interest Groups, and the Repeal of the Corn Laws,” Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft / Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 141, H. 2. (Juni 1985,) pp 197-212.
[lvii] Ibid, pp 201-02.
[lviii] Ibid, p 207.
[lix] Ibid, pp 207-08.
[lx] U.S. Programs Board Meeting, New York, New York, May 7-8, 2015.
[lxi] Ibid, p 35.
[lxii] Ibid, pp 34-35.
[lxiii] U.S. Programs Board Meeting, New York, New York, October 1-2, 2015.
[lxiv] Ibid, p 22.
[lxv] Valerie Richardson, “Black Lives Matter cashes in with $100 million from liberal foundations,” The Washington Post, August 16, 2016, accessed March 29, 2017, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/16/black-lives-matter-cashes-100-million-liberal-foun/
[lxvi] U.S. Programs Board Meeting, New York, New York, October 1-2, 2015, p 22.
[lxvii] Ibid, P 21.
[lxviii] E-mail chain between Sandy Newton and John Podesta, Cc: Tara McGuinness, February 10-11, 2012, accessed March 29, 2017, https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/57579
[lxix] U.S. Programs Board Meeting, New York, New York, February 11-12, 2015, p68.