December 16, 2012
Lately (example here) I’ve found myself using the phrase directed history. I didn’t invent the phrase; others have used it as well (examples here and here although the latter is a tad hysterical for my tastes). What it expresses is the idea that key events in modern history—wars, revolutions, transformations, concentrations of wealth and power, for at least the past 250 years but possibly longer—have not been random or the mere product of economic forces but were guided: directed. History has been taken in a specific direction by a powerful superelite, as I call them. I use the term superelite to distinguish from national elites.
The superelite are global. There is an excellent case to be made that their home base is the City of London (the “City Within the City”), which headquarters the British Crown, the Bank of England, N.M. Rothschild and Sons, the London Stock Exchange, and the London School of Economics (LSE) founded by the Fabian Society and contained within the University of London. Satellite bases are to be found in Basel, Switzerland (the Bank for International Settlements), Brussels in Belgium, New York City, Washington D.C. of course, and elsewhere. Superelite goals: global economy (achieved, for the most part), global currency (a slow work in progress), global government (in the planning stages). While there is room for debate on the specifics on what the superelite want to accomplish—as a researcher drawing inferences from a variety of sources and not an insider, I don’t have a crystal ball—I sense they would prefer transitions through all these stages that are seamless as possible. Perhaps they believe the world will be a nicer place if the populations of the nations of the world simply capitulate, or just allow events to take place unnoticed. Directed history, as I conceive it, need take no stance on whether the superelite is benign or malevolent. Carroll Quigley, the macrohistorian whose ideas figure centrally into the story, believed them benign. I believe he was wrong. If they encounter sufficient resistance the superelite will have no qualms about plunging the world into whatever crises are necessary to accomplish their goals, be they economic depressions or destructive wars.
Such notions will, of course, get you branded as a “conspiracy theorist” (or worse) in mainstream media and academic circles. We all know what a terrible thing that is to be.
There is just one problem with the label: what the superelite are doing isn’t a conspiracy. The term might have applied at one time to certain of their schemes like the creation of the Federal Reserve System, but not anymore. The reason: conspiracies by definition are hidden from you. A perfect conspiracy, could there be such a thing, would be undetectable. The first job of would-be conspirators is to hide the conspiracy, and arrange things so that no one outside the circle can rationally believe there is a conspiracy. The architects of the Federal Reserve System did this for over two decades.
Directed history isn’t a conspiracy theory, because for the past couple of generations, the superelite have had members or supporting fellow travelers who were not hiding. They haven’t been shouting their plans from the roof of Congress, of course. Nor will you see them on Fox News, much less MSNBC (although it isn’t impossible). Those either believing that something was going on behind the scenes, and sometimes those actually working towards a global regime, have written down their thoughts: sometimes in books, sometimes in articles, and sometimes in speeches. Some of their writings aren’t about specific plans, but provide dead giveaways where their priorities lies. Trust me: it isn’t with We the People.
It is true that hardly anyone reads their words. This is a side effect: for well over a hundred years now their footsoldiers have been laying waste to education in this country. This started when Horace Mann went to Prussia in the 1840s and persuaded the State of Massachusetts to assist him in founding a school system based on Prussian instead of American principles. According to the latter, the individual belongs to himself and to his God. According to the former, he belongs to the state. Very slowly, public education was transformed to produce, instead of an independent and critically thinking people prepared for life in a free society, graduates who would obey government edicts, service monopolistic corporations (whether as employees or consumers), and not question authority. And attendance was made compulsory.
At the college and university level, the Morrill Act of 1862 created the public land grant system. Higher education, conceived as a system of “agricultural and mechanical” colleges, was to have as its main end the training of technicians and bureaucrats. Traditional liberal arts learning—of the sort that doesn’t necessarily increase one’s “marketability” but prepares the student to understand the founding principles of his country—has been in a kind of limbo ever since. The central role subjects like history, theology, philosophy, etc., staples of the kind of education that produced James Madison and John Adams, dropped precipitously over ensuing decades. The subjects themselves became micro-specialized shadows of their former selves.
The program in secondary education advanced with John D. Rockefeller’s Southern and General Education Boards and advanced further through John Dewey’s Rockefeller-bankrolled Progressive Education movement, designed to socialize rather than educate. The details are readily available (for example, here and here). As a result of decades of misschooling, most Americans today are far more interested in sports, American Idol, or Lady Gaga’s latest wardrobe catastrophe. The masses’ subjective preferences make athletes and celebrities rich, while automatically working against their own best interests. Markets, of course, can be allowed to deliver what the masses want. It sounds blunt, but if the masses are made stupid by their government schools, the market will reflect that by delivering a steady parade of high-tech gadgets and cheap, tawdry garbage most if not all of it made overseas instead of in their home country. Those self-educated or intelligent enough to sense something amiss and stand for independence will be at a consistent disadvantage (witness the fate of the Ron Paul campaign).
This isn’t a new phenomenon, just one made considerably worse in recent years. To some extent, the masses have always been the masses, regardless of what nation we are in. This shouldn’t matter. Most adults, if left alone, are able to manage their lives and sphere of influence—and raise their children. More complex societies, especially when they become as materialistic as ours, require more vigilance. Most common people either cannot or do not rise to the occasion. Thus the greedy and conniving overwhelm the innocent simply because they can. Civil society should reduce this risk. Hence the encouragement of Christian principles and the creation of Constitutional controls intended to ensure a state to fulfill its legitimate responsibilities without becoming a tyranny. In our era, both have almost been obliterated, at least from the pinnacles of power. For the past 160 or so years in particular—the era of metaphysical materialism as a view of the nature of the universe and of human beings—those who are fascinated with power have had little trouble obtaining it if they were smart, patient, and able to plan carefully. Most people, I believe, tend to expect good from others; when confronted with evil intentions, they refuse to believe them. As I’ve observed elsewhere, Adolf Hitler wrote down his aspirations in Mein Kampf, published in the mid-1920s. He was ignored. Germany paid a terrible price. We will also pay a terrible price for failing to see the many “smoking guns” lying around.
Some of these “smoking guns” are well known to those who have paid attention. Unfortunately they often appear unreferenced on websites, recycled from other websites whose creators didn’t verify their validity. This can be trouble, because we all know there are bogus quotes circulating, especially attributed to the Founding Fathers but sometimes putting words in the mouths of more recent political figures. I’ve long found this annoying; so one day, while researching my book Four Cardinal Errors, I trekked to the nearest first rate university library (at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.), located the primary sources and tracked down exact references, with page numbers.
There are more I suspect are valid, but they are second-hand. I have avoided second hand sources. What we have here are guaranteed genuine (with one exception, carefully noted as such)! To be sure, there are people—I hear from them from time to time—who want nothing to do with any of this. They have convinced themselves that talk about shadowy elites and their organizations—or a superelite—is all paranoid delusion. They ridicule “quote mining.” They are comfortable with the idea that recent history leading up to our present crisis comes down to bad decisions and unlucky accidents, or perhaps just blind cultural and economic forces. They demand more evidence, when the truth is, nothing would convince them of what they contemptuously call conspiracy theory. If you are reading this and don’t want to believe it, then don’t! It’s no skin off my nose. The sourced material says what it says. I present it as evidence that those of us who wax on about a superelite and its influence know what we are talking about; and that those who dismiss us as “conspiracy nuts” haven’t done their homework, are being deliberately obtuse, or are simply lying!
Confining ourselves to just the past century or so, the first highly visible political figure to record his thoughts on shadowy figures operating behind the scenes was Woodrow Wilson. Dr. Wilson had been surrounded by the elites of his time while President of Princeton University. They recognized in him a kindred spirit who would prove useful. They assisted him into the presidency in 1912. His book The New Freedom (published that year) contains the following:
Since I have entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above a whisper when they speak in condemnation of it. They know that America is not a place of which it can be said, as it used to be, that a man may choose his own calling and pursue it just as far as his abilities enable him to pursue it; because to-day, if he enters certain fields, there are organizations which will use means against him that will prevent his building up a business which they do not want to have built up; organizations that will see to it that the ground is cut from under him and the markets shut against him. For if he begins to sell to certain retail dealers, to any retail dealers, the monopoly will refuse to sell to those dealers, and those dealers, afraid, will not buy the new man’s wares (pp. 13-14).
The superelite of the day had held their now-infamous meeting at Jekyll Island, Ga. back in 1910. The most proximate cause of their ploy to create a central bank was the Panic of 1907, which they had engineered. They’d gone to Jekyll Island in secret, using first names only to travel, and there they planned the Federal Reserve System. This probably does count as a conspiracy (the best account is still G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island, 1994). Wilson, as everybody knows, went on to sign the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913. This was a major turning point for the country. With a stroke of his pen, Wilson handed this nation’s monetary system and by extension, its economy, over to a small group of very wealthy and powerful men who have done their best to centralize and control it ever since. Arguably, the U.S. became a plutocracy on December 23, 1913. It was the end of essential controls on the power-seeking minority.
To further their goals, the plutocrats would need to control more than just the monetary system. They would need to control information. They would need control over what ideas and opinions reach the masses. This was not hard to achieve. In 1917, Representative Oscar Callaway of Texas told Congress:
In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press in the United States.
These 12 men worked the problem out by selecting 179 newspapers, and then began, by an elimination process, to retain only those necessary for the purpose of controlling the general policy of the daily press throughout the country. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. The 25 papers were agreed upon; emissaries were sent to purchase the policy, national and international, of these papers; an agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.
This contract is in existence at the present time, and it accounts for the news columns of the daily press being filled with all sorts of preparedness arguments and misrepresentations as to the present condition of the United States Army and Navy, and the possibility and probability of the United States being attacked by foreign foes.
This policy also included the suppression of everything in opposition to the wishes of the interests served. The effectiveness of this scheme has been conclusively demonstrated by the character of the stuff carried in the daily press throughout the country since March, 1915.
They have resorted to anything necessary to commercialize public sentiment and sandbag the national Congress into making extravagant and wasteful appropriations for the army and navy, under the false pretense that it was necessary. Their stock argument is “patriotism.” They are playing on every passion and prejudice of the American people” (Proceedings and Debates of the Second Session of the 64th Congress, Vol. LIV, Congressional Record of the House of Representatives, Feb. 9, 1917, pp. 2947-48).
In other words, the press was used to manipulate public opinion into support for U.S. entry into what became World War I. Was Calloway right, or was he delusional? His remarks prompted a call for a Congressional investigation by one J. Hampton Moore of Pennsylvania, but the call (to the best my research has been able to turn up) went nowhere. The elites were not, of course, in the habit of allowing those not in their orbit, even members of Congress, to pry into their private affairs. Consider this unproved if you will. But it fits the general pattern we are talking about. It is consistent with the idea that thousands of political and bureaucratic decisions regardless of party or ideology, supported by thousands more editorial decisions within a burgeoning mainstream media, all taking this country in a single direction by accident, is stretching the law of averages a bit.
Control over monetary policy to ensure a continued accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few is characteristic of any plutocracy—and it was especially desirable to conceal this within the supposedly free, capitalistic marketplace that America was held to exemplify. John Maynard Keynes, far and away the most influential economist of the past century, wrote in his early work Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920):
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.
Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless, and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer method of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose (pp. 235-36).
The early Keynes was much more forthright than the later and better-known Keynes of the General Theory (1935). Do we assume he was being paranoid, or that he knew exactly what he was saying: an entire population could be impoverished by slowly devaluing their currency with no corresponding increases in wages. Since 1913 our dollars have lost over 96 percent of their purchasing power. You will pay close to $20 for a good steak dinner in a restaurant these days, and over $3.50 a gallon in gas to get there. Your great grandfather paid perhaps 50 cents for his steak dinner. Gas cost him pennies per gallon.
Few people know that Keynes was involved with the British Fabian Society, founded in 1884. The Fabians began the LSE with a $5 million (equivalent in U.S. dollars) grant from the estate of deceased member Henry Hunt Hutchison in 1895. Regrettably, few scholars even of directed history have paid the Fabians sufficient attention. Carroll Quigley never mentioned them by name. I have an associate who believes he wrote Tragedy & Hope intending to hide the Fabians. I don’t know if this is true or not, but the absence of any mention of the Fabians in a book of that scope is mysterious otherwise. The LSE, of course, became one of the most influential social science academies in the world. It placed the Fabians at the helm in shaping the intellectual side of world affairs. Bankers like David Rockefeller Sr. and members of our political class such as John F. Kennedy Jr. would study economics there.
Consider now Edward Louis Bernays, the genius nephew of Sigmund Freud who founded public relations and became wealthy conducting mass advertising campaigns for corporations. In a slim tome entitled Propaganda (1928) he wrote:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society…
Whatever attitude one chooses toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world” (pp. 1-2; emphases mine).
Such notions motivated those who funneled millions into “social science” research during the early decades of the twentieth century via their tax-exempt foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, et al). The research was carried on by Tavistock and others, and designed to answer questions both the superelite and those at the helm of large corporations were asking. Questions like: what moves the masses? What will make them open their wallets in large numbers? How can new technologies such as radio, or the automobile—or in due course, television—be harnessed to further our goals?
What will motivate the masses to change their values, e.g., about sexuality and its acceptability outside of marriage, about the family, or about religion—especially Christianity—or about jobs and the economy, or about the permanence of the nation itself when the time is right? What will keep them entertained as we inculcate the new values we want them to hold? Assuming them not ready for the massive changes our agenda requires, what will keep them distracted and pacified while we quietly do our work?
What was this work? Orchestrating the slow dissolution of nation states, especially the United States of America with its Constitutionally limited form of government and its annoying Bill of Rights and divisions of powers, integrating them into regional regimes and finally into a world state. Quietly the superelite created both institutions capable of evolving toward world government and the instruments for a migration of power into those institutions. The first major effort was the League of Nations formed in 1919. Then there was the Bank for International Settlements created in 1930 through the Hague Agreements. The Bank for International Settlements was a central bank for all central banks, an apex of the world monetary system being assembled bit by bit. One of its founders was Montagu Norman, governor of the Bank of England and a Fabian. There would, of course, be others; the most obvious creature of superelite design is the United Nations founded in 1945, giving rise further to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as satellite institutions.
Arnold J. Toynbee, leading British historian and Fabian (nephew of equally famous economic historian of the same name who held similar views and died in 1883, the same year as Karl Marx; let’s not confuse the two), stated very openly at length in 1931:
If we are frank with ourselves, we shall admit that we are engaged on a deliberate and sustained and concentrated effort to impose limitations upon the sovereignty and independence of the fifty or sixty local sovereign independent States which at present partition the habitable surface of the earth and divide the political allegiance of mankind.
It is just because we are really attacking the principle of local sovereignty that we keep on protesting our loyalty to it so loudly. The harder we press our attack upon the idol, the more pains we take to keep its priests and devotees in a fool’s paradise—lapped in a false sense of security which will inhibit them from taking up arms in their idol’s defense. The local national state, invested with the attributes of sovereignty—is an abomination of desolation standing in the place where it ought not. It has stood in that place now—demanding and receiving human sacrifices from its poor deluded votaries—for four or five centuries. Our political task in our generation is to cast the abomination out, to cleanse the temple and to restore the worship of the divinity to whom the temple rightfully belongs. In plain terms, we have to re-transfer the prestige and the prerogatives of sovereignty from the fifty or sixty fragments of contemporary society to the whole of contemporary society—from the local national states by which sovereignty has been usurped, with disastrous consequences, for half a millennium, to some institution embodying our society as a whole.
Toynbee wrote these words in the wake of the frustrating diminishing influence of the League of Nations. He spoke of the kind of institution the superelite wanted and concluded:
In the world as it is today, this institution can hardly be a universal Church. It is more likely to be something like a League of Nations. I will not prophesy. I will merely repeat that we are at present working, discreetly but with all our might, to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local national states of our world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands… (“The Trend of International Affairs Since the War,” International Affairs, November 1931, p. 809; emphases mine).
This era, in fact, offers a gold mine of examples of those who wrote about what H.G. Wells called The Open Conspiracy (1928). Yes, Virginia, this was a somewhat different H.G. Wells than that guy who wrote those entertaining science fiction novels (The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, et al.). Once a Fabian, he broke with them as unimaginative and not radical enough. In The Shape of Things to Come (1933), which falls somewhere in between novel and prophesy, Wells envisioned a technocratic future without Christianity or the nation state. Behavioral science would be employed to place subtle controls on the masses. The technocratic intelligentsia Wells envisioned couldn’t allow millions of common people to go about their business on their own unsupervised. Wells’s lead spokesperson opines:
“It is no good asking people what they want,” wrote De Windt. “That is the error of democracy. You have first to think out what they ought to want if society is to be saved. Then you have to tell them what they want and see that they get it.” (p. 269).
Such words speak volumes about how the superelite—and those who identify with their values—really view democracy. They view it as did Plato: an unsustainable enticement to mob rule and chaos. (I sincerely hope no one who has read this far believes they want “democracy in the Middle East”!) In The New World Order (1940)—yes, he really entitled it that—Wells observed how:
Countless people … will hate the new world order, be rendered unhappy by frustration of their passions and ambitions through its advent and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to estimate its promise we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people (p. 129; emphases mine).
Another figure worth consulting is major British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Russell, as a “scientific” philosopher as well as a Fabian, believed in the desirability of the same kind of future Wells had articulated. In The Scientific Outlook (1931) his technocratic superelitism focused on education:
[T]he scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless and contented. Of these qualities contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches into psycho-analysis, behaviorism, and biochemistry will be brought into play (p. 243).
He went considerably further in The Impact of Science on Society (1952):
I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology… 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 main 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… The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of the home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity… It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.
Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen (The Impact of Science on Society, pp. 29-30; emphases mine).
This is, of course, the superelite Utopia: a world into which the unthinking masses are seamlessly eased and entirely controlled, possibly without even realizing it—like cattle.
We would be remiss to leave out the most influential set of “smoking guns,” those coming from Carroll Quigley and his massive Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World In Our Time (1966). Quigley, like the writers above, was not an isolated eccentric banging on his typewriter about imagined conspiracies. He was a respected and very well connected professor in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He had his doctorate from Harvard. His specialty was macrohistory—the study of larger trends and tendencies shaping civilizations over long periods. He taught the School’s immensely popular Comparative National Cultures course. Quigley’s knowledge of his subject was encyclopedic. Again, those inclined to do so are free to conclude that so obviously well educated a person was being paranoid or delusional when he wrote, naming names:
[O]n February 5, 1891, [Cecil] Rhodes and [William T.] Stead [a Fabian] organized a secret society of which Rhodes had been dreaming for sixteen years. In this secret society Rhodes was to be leader; Stead, Brett (Lord Esher), and [Alfred] Milner were to form an executive committee; Arthur (Lord) Balfour, (Sir) Henry Johnston, Lord [Nathaniel] Rothschild, Albert (Lord) Grey, and others were listed as potential members of a “Circle of Initiates”; while there was to be an outer circle known as the “Association of Helpers” (later organized by Milner as the Round Table organization)… In 1909-1913, they organized semi-secret groups, known as Round Table Groups, in the chief British dependencies and the United States. These still function in eight countries… In 1919, they founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) for which the chief financial supporters were Sir Abe Bailey and the Astor Family (owners of The Times). Similar Institutes of International Affairs were established in the chief British dominions and the United States (where it is known as the Council on Foreign Relations) in the period 1919 – 1927. After 1925, a somewhat similar structure of organizations, known as the Institute of Pacific Relations, was set up in twelve countries holding territory in the Pacific area, the units in each British dominion existing on an interlocking basis with the Round Table Group and the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the same country…
From 1884 [significantly, the year the Fabian Society was founded] to about 1915 the members of this group worked valiantly to extend the British Empire and to organize it into a federal system. They were constantly harping on the lessons to be learned from the failure of the American Revolution and the success of the Canadian federation of 1867 and hoped to federate the various parts of the empire as seemed feasible, and then confederate the whole of it, with the United Kingdom, into a single organization. They also hoped to bring the United States into this organization to whatever degree was possible … (pp. 131-33).
This is the background for Quigley’s much better known remark—failing to name the Fabians who are dismissed on the preceding page as a “radical Right fairy tale [which] pictured the recent history of the United States … as a well-organized plot by extreme Left-wing elements … [which] had at its core the wild-eyed and bush-haired theoreticians of Socialist Harvard and the London School of Economics” (p. 949). But then he dropped the bomb, the most widely cited of all “smoking guns”:
This myth, like all fables, does in fact have a modicum of truth. There does exist and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates to some extent in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies … but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known (p. 950).
In other words, despite some minor differences of opinion Quigley identified with this network and its goals. Behind its activities was the cartel of globalist bankers, the core of the superelite (the Fabians would form the core of the intellectual wing of the superelite in the twentieth century, having infiltrated university faculties and national academic organizations):
[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations…
The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups (p. 324, 337).
It is important not to misunderstand Quigley. He was a macrohistorian, not a directed-historian. He discusses those I call the superelite and sees them as “significant enough to be known” but not the central force shaping the modern world. This will surprise those who have read Tragedy & Hope without reading his earlier The Evolution of Civilizations (1961) which presents a theory of civilizations going through life-cycles akin to those of individuals, but unlike Spengler proposes that they are capable of rejuvenating themselves if they can embrace the right policies. He saw an emerging superelite as benign, and beneficial to this process:
The chief aims of this elaborate, semisecret organization were largely commendable: to coordinate the international activities and outlooks of all the English-speaking world into one (which would, it is true, be that of the London group); to work to maintain the peace; to help backward, colonial, and underdeveloped areas to advance toward stability, law and order, and prosperity along lines somewhat similar to those taught at Oxford and the University of London (especially the School of Economics and the Schools of African and Oriental Studies) (p. 954). For part three click below.
He sees them as idealistic, perhaps a bit naïve, and surely not responsible for the wars and economic miseries that afflicted the first half of the twentieth century. He targets instead nineteenth century tendencies: “Two terrible wars sandwiching a world economic depression revealed man’s real inability to control his life by the nineteenth century’s techniques of laissez-faire, materialism, competition, selfishness, nationalism, violence, and imperialism” (p. 1310). Those constituted “tragedy.” His “hope” involves turning from these values at last. Some of the items on this list we clearly should turn from (the second and the last two in particular), but it is dubious that centralizing the world will ultimately get the job done. Moreover, in light of the remarks of Wells and Russell, there are plenty of grounds for thinking that what the superelite want to accomplish is anything but benign—and could not be accomplished by benign souls.
It is one thing to theorize, or record history, and quite another to move the world forward towards the desired world regime. I mentioned that David Rockefeller Sr., who proved to be the most ambitious of the third generation of Rockefellers, studied at the LSE in the 1930s; he penned a thesis entitled Destitution Through Fabian Eyes (see his Memoirs, p. 75). He joined the Council of Foreign Relations and rose to its helm in the late 1940s, a position which served as a platform for his forging other Western hemispheric organizations leading eventually to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, achieved in 1992), and looking beyond to a projected Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA, stalled for the time being). Rockefeller would also be instrumental in organizing the Bilderberg Group in 1954 with European heads of state such as Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Józef Retinger of Poland. Named for the hotel where the first meeting was held, the Bilderberg Group would hold exclusive, invitation-only annual meetings in plush hotels / resorts. Invitees would include other heads of state; CEOs or representatives from major corporations; a few military leaders; a few academics, scholars from think tanks, and foundations; and some from within mass media. The Bilderberg Group would gain a reputation for completely closing its meeting venues to the public for several days without prior notice or any reportage of what went on inside. Even those working in these venues were sworn to secrecy about what they saw or heard.
In 1970 Rockefeller came across Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (1970), by Zbigniew Brzezinski, then of Columbia University (once of Harvard). An émigré from Poland, Brzezinski had served as an advisor to the Kennedy campaign for the presidency in 1960 and would advise both the Johnson and Humphrey campaigns. He’d been invited to join the CFR and attend Bilderberg meetings. He would help induct President-to-be Jimmy Carter into the CFR and serve as his National Security Advisor. His book provided a vivid window into what the superelite envisioned, as well as hurdles it saw remaining in terms of the directed process moving history forward from the “nationalism” of more or less autonomous nation states through socialism to globalism. Brzezinski wrote:
The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: “international banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state” …
… A global human conscience is for the first time beginning to manifest itself. This conscience is a natural extension of the long process of widening man’s personal horizons… Today we are … witnessing the emergence of transnational elites, but now they are composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national. These global communities are gaining in strength and … it is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advance countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook (pp. 56 – 58).
Brzezinski worried that the populations of the world were not ready to live in a global society:
The new global consciousness, however, is only beginning to become an influential force. It still lacks identity, cohesion, and focus. Much of humanity—indeed, the majority of humanity—still neither shares nor is prepared to support it. Science and technology are still used to buttress ideological claims, to fortify national aspirations, and to reward narrowly national interests. Most states are spending more on arms than on social services, and the foreign-aid allotment of the two most powerful states is highly disproportionate to their asserted global missions. Indeed, it can be argued that in some respects the divided, isolated, and compartmentalized world of old had more inner cohesion and enjoyed greater harmony than the volatile global reality of today. Established cultures, deeply entrenched traditional religions, and distinctive national identities provided a stable framework and firm moorings; distance and time were the insulators against excessive friction between the compartments. Today the framework is disintegrating and the insulants are dissolving. The new global unity has yet to find its own structure, consensus, and harmony (pp. 61-62).
In the service of clearing these hurdles, he, Rockefeller, and Henry Kissinger organized the Trilateral Commission in 1973. The Trilateral Commission, unlike the CFR, recruited members from both Japan and Europe with the intent of working more closely to bring about a global economy and society. The final chapters of Between Two Ages offer the prescriptions that were gradually refined into the “free trade” agreements first between the U.S. and Canada and then between the U.S. and Mexico which paved the way for NAFTA. The signing of NAFTA and its going into effect on January 1, 1994 was a turning point at least as profound as the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 or Richard Nixon’s severing of all remaining ties between the dollar and gold on August 15, 1971. It began a mass exodus of middle class and working class jobs from this country that continues to this day. Perhaps I should note that while NAFTA’s ramifications were being debated by our political class, mainstream media outlets were universally hammering the public, day after day, with the O.J. Simpson debacle.
David Rockefeller Sr. has proven to be the superelitist’s superelitist. One oft-repeated statement attributed to him cannot be verified, since if real it was made at the 1991 Bilderberg meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany; such statements were not written down as official (it might have been secretly recorded, of course). Nevertheless it is interesting:
We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. … It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.
The source of the quotation is a handful of minor French publications, later noted in Programming, Pitfalls and Puppy-Dog Tales by Gyeorgos C. Hatonn (1993, p. 65). Rockefeller may or may not have said it, or something like it. He surely did say the following; it appears directly in his autobiography, published in 2002:
For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents … to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it (Memoirs, 2002, pp. 404-05; emphasis mine).
He couldn’t have been more open and straightforward if he tried!
What is even more interesting, in light of mainland China’s economic surge during the NAFTA / GATT / WTO era, is Rockefeller’s praise, long ago, of the “social experiment” begun by Chairman Mao. He wrote:
One is immediately impressed by the sense of national harmony… Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution it has obviously succeeded not only in more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community purpose. General social and economic progress is no less impressive… The enormous social advances of China have benefited greatly from the singleness of ideology and purpose… The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in history (New York Times, August 10, 1973).
The “price” of the Chinese Revolution to which Rockefeller refers was, of course, the mass slaughter of over 40 million Chinese people—we may never obtain an exact body count. Now scroll up and read what H.G. Wells wrote in The New World Order. The superelite are devoted to an only partially imagined vision of a future world no less than was the most ardent Marxist. They may miscalculate or stumble from time to time, as we will see. But what counts is that the project moves forward.
Let us pause and sum up what we’ve covered so far. Modern and recent history has been directed by men operating primarily behind the scenes, but contrary to those who shout conspiracy theory at this sort of allegation, they are not hiding. They have a specific telos: a world regime, or new world order (call it what you want). It is already plutocratic in nature, with masses returned to serfdom and subject to constant monitoring. Its political economy is to be centralized and is best described by the term techno-feudalism (a term I began using, then discovered historian Dennis Cuddy using it as well; neither of us borrowed it from the other). Once we know where to look, the evidence for this is overwhelming. The single direction taken by modern and recent history has no better or more elegant explanation. While some would attribute this unified direction to advancing technology, the push for unification and centralization predates the technology. Thus we have a new paradigm for the study of modern history, which recognizes as a first premise the fascination of a few with power and their relative ease in assuming it over the many. The many, of course—the common people—have little interest in power beyond their own pursuits (family, occupation, church, etc.). This places them at a disadvantage, absent specific constraints on power.
The great unsolved problem of political philosophy and social order is how a society which upholds such notions as the rule of law is to control power: how, that is, can sufficient vigilance be encouraged in a population that it can place lawful checks on those in power, or who aspire to power, while ensuring justice. The basic premise here is that political power answers to law higher than its own. The superelite have never liked this. This is why they have encouraged an embrace of materialism and philosophical positivism within the scholarly world. Much modern philosophical “scholarship” in what is known as the philosophy of law consists of attacks, explicit or implicit, of various sorts on such notions as natural law. The superelite regard ordinary people as little more than cattle to be herded, of course. That they answer to anyone except each other is a bar to that.
The primary evidence for a new paradigm is empirical and testimonial, as we have seen. In addition to those we have cited, some at the center of activity, major politicians both past and more recent have spoken either of the hidden hands directing history or what the superelite envision as the “shape of things to come.” In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was also surely in a position to know, penned a letter to “Colonel” Edward Mandell House, Woodrow Wilson’s right hand man, stating, “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I both know, that a financial element has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson …” (F.D.R., His Personal Letters, 1928-1945, ed. Elliot Roosevelt, p. 373). One of the most oft-repeated recent examples is that of George H.W. Bush (Bush I). On March 6, 1991, on the eve of the end of the Gulf War, the first unnecessary destructive incursion into Iraq, he told Congress, “We can see a new world order coming into view… a very real prospect of a new world order.” I don’t need a reference for this quote. I was watching (I think it was) C-SPAN that night and both saw and heard him say it. Bush had said—on September 11 of the preceding year (I found out later):
A new partnership of nations has begun, and we stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective—a new world order—can emerge: A new era—freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, east and west, north and south, can prosper and live in harmony (speech to a joint session of Congress, Sept. 11, 1990).
Interestingly, he was echoing a remark made by none other than Mikhail Gorbachev following the end of the Soviet Union: “For a new type of progress throughout the world to become a reality, everyone must change. Tolerance is the alpha and omega of a new world order” (quoted in George H.W. Bush and Brent Snowcroft, A World Transformed, 1998, pp. 42-43).
More recently, in the wake of the Meltdown of 2008 and just before Barack Obama assumed office in the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, Henry Kissinger wrote:
The alternative to a new international order is chaos… The financial and political crises are … closely related partly because, during the period of economic exuberance, a gap had opened up between the economic and the political organization of the world. The economic world has been globalized. Its institutions have global reach and have operated by maxims that assumed a self-regulating global market. The financial collapse exposed the mirage… Inevitably, when the affected publics turned to their national political institutions, these were driving principally by domestic politics, not considerations of world order… International order will not come about either in the political or the economic field until there emerge general rules toward which countries can orient themselves… A new Bretton Woods kind of global agreement is by far the preferable outcome… The extraordinary impact of the president-elect on the imagination of humanity is an important element in shaping a new world order… The role of China in a new world order is equally crucial. A relationship that started on both sides as essentially a strategic design to constrain a common adversary has evolved over the decades into a pillar of the international system. China made possible the American consumption splurge by buying American debt; America helped the modernization and reform of the Chinese economy by opening its markets to Chinese goods… (New York Times, January 12, 2009).
It all sounds very good, of course, on paper at least—a world free from terrorism? a world where nations are living in harmony?—unless we read between the lines in light of the whole picture and see that the interests of common people are not a priority here. Think of David Rockefeller’s praise for Communist China and Henry Kissinger’s furthering of the network of financial controls via political controls. This last, of course, speaks volumes of superelite unconcern with the processes that have decimated our manufacturing base and are demolishing our middle class.
As minor as these are compared to what the Chinese endured, we are ensuring that the generation now moving through college will be the first to endure a lower standard of living than their parents. Those fortunate enough to find jobs will work longer hours for poverty wages, and will be unable to save. In fairness, there is more to the story. Public education has grown so wretched that its graduates are unqualified for the manufacturing jobs that are still available. This is why you will find manufacturers who are complaining that they cannot fill available positions simultaneously with near-depression levels of unemployment. For part four click below.
But never mind all that; it’s beside the point. When you urge the creation of a global governing structure in the New York Times, you are not hiding. You are not “conspiring.” You are simply stating, for anyone paying attention, what “must be done.” These are just a few visible examples of open proposals for a new world order as the solution to many of the world’s problems, the most recent of course being the global financial crisis. A recounting of all such cases, including many remarks by Great Britain’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (both past presidents of the Fabian Society), would run to a dozen more pages. Also recently, David Rothkopf (once of Kissinger & Associates) authored Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making (2008). Anxious to put distance between his conclusions and “conspiracy theory,” he nevertheless concedes that approximately 6,000 people essentially direct the world—operating primarily through economics and high finance, often moving with ease into cabinet positions in government and then back to the private sector! These are our superelite!
Some will complain that I equivocate with the phrase new world order—that these usages are not intended to reflect the kind of global totalitarianism feared by “conspiracy theorists,” but rather an idealistic sentiment with no fully developed policies behind it—and that those I cite have differences of opinion among themselves on what to do and so could not establish effective global rule. I don’t necessarily disagree with this last, but I do have two general replies. First is a suggestion to go back to the statements by Toynbee, Wells, Russell, Rockefeller, etc., and read them this time. Second, it should be clear to any thinking person: the kind of central planning necessary for any global governance strategy will be very bad for everyone it affects. Because of the immense diversity of the peoples of the world—religious, cultural, linguistic, technological—attempts even at regional governance require increasingly iron-fisted totalitarian measures or they face endless bureaucratic wrangling and eventual disintegration amidst squabbling and uncooperative locals. Europeans are learning this the hard way. Of course, it is very possible the European Union, the most advanced regional government, has been designed to fail, to force the national and regional players to take the next step of greater consolidation. This cannot be accomplished without ending whatever liberties are enjoyed by the common people (if any, by that point). It definitely means an end to the entitlement mentality which has served its purpose in the West, by creating a population dependent on the state. A new world order is by definition a world consolidated and centrally planned, its peoples surveyed, monitored, reduced to dependency, and controlled—even if the would-be new world orderlies do not yet have all their ducks in a row. It will also—as is evident from the suffering being presently endured by the Greek people—require impoverishment on a scale not seen for generations.
One might surmise that the superelite and those who expect to profit from their achievements have ceased hiding because whatever difficulties they still face they have much of the world pretty much where they want it. There is doubtless some truth to this, but I believe matters are a bit more complicated. To be sure, much of the West is a now jittery due to skyrocketing debt, trade imbalances, massive unemployment, and fears of more economic woes ahead. Fomented political instability has spread through the Middle East. Threats of war abound. Food and energy costs here and abroad are rising. Cynicism about our increasingly dysfunctional “democracy” (never intended to be such, of course) is evident. The next generation faces possible lifelong serfdom through the brand of debt-slavery created through massive student loan debt (the totality of student loan debt is nearing $1 trillion). Sadly, most Americans are kept content with a steady diet of sports or other entertainment: fruits of the “social science” research we noted above. Many of the politically aware are divided and fighting amongst themselves over such matters as whether women ought to receive free contraceptives. While I do not think such matters unimportant, they are of negligible importance to the superelite. They therefore distract from the larger picture the concept of directed history draws for us. It has become clear that for more than a generation now no one is to be nominated for the presidency of one of the major parties—two wings of a single bird of prey, one might say—who hasn’t been carefully vetted by members of the class above. Thus Carroll Quigley could write, in the most revealing of all our quotations, that:
The chief problem of American political life for a long time has been how to make the two Congressional parties more national and international. The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy… [E]ither party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of those things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies (Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, pp. 1247-48).
In one paragraph, we have the answer to why key Barack Obama policies (especially foreign and monetary) actually further what was in place under George W. Bush, who was in turn furthering key policies in place under Bill Clinton, who furthered trade policies begun during the Reagan-Bush years, and so on, for as many presidents as you want to count. Moreover despite their visible battles in Washington, Clinton and Newt Gingrich did not disagree over the perceived need for a World Trade Organization (WTO). Not a single president or major-party nominee or Speaker of the House since the 1960s has questioned the supremacy of the Federal Reserve in directing monetary policy in the U.S.; not a single president or nominee or Speaker has questioned the war machine or our “responsibility” to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations (very often, making enemies in the process). No one of the mainstream, not even libertarians, questions “free trade.” Today, of course, no one in the vetted mainstream questions the “war on terror” or the official account of the 9/11 attacks.
Every so often, a maverick breaks through and commands attention for a time. In the early 1960s, it was Barry Goldwater who actually received the GOP nomination—only to be destroyed by mainstream media. Following an orchestrated campaign of terror branding him as too extreme and suggesting that if elected he’d get the country into a nuclear war, he lost the 1964 election to Lyndon Johnson in a landslide. Ronald Reagan began more independent-spirited than he ended up, but probably received the GOP nomination only after agreeing to position the superelite-approved Bush I as his VP. I believe he meant well, but the national debt escalated under his watch, crossing the $1 trillion threshold. He did not shut down the U.S. Department of Education after saying he would, possibly did not understand the trade policies being furthered at the time, appointed the disastrous Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve Chair, and in the end, probably did more long term harm than good even if his presidency presaged the end of the Soviet Union—which, in light of many Gorbachev remarks such as the one noted above, may also have been orchestrated.
H. Ross Perot came out of the private sector in the early 1990s to warn of the “giant sucking sound” NAFTA would bring about. I recall him actually leading both Bush and Clinton in major polls. He ran on the Reform Party ticket, received 19 million popular votes and no electoral votes. He ran again in 1996, but failed to make the same impact. After all, the economy was soaring on changing technology and Greenspan credit expansion; a message of doom and gloom no longer resonated. The Reform Party later self-destructed, as I once reported. Some believe it was sabotaged, though of course I can’t prove this. I merely witnessed its division into two groups back in 2000 that began furiously battling one another, turning their national convention into a three-ring circus that doomed their party to oblivion. What happened to the Reform Party exemplifies a sad truth: often there is no need to suppress “third parties” and independent movements. They shoot themselves in the foot.
Today, of course, the only visible candidate for high office in this country not owned by the superelite or its fellow travelers is Ron Paul. Ron Paul is obviously the best educated of the GOP candidates; he alone has some grasp of what the country is facing if it stays on its present road. He alone questions Federal Reserve money creation and our interventionist foreign policy of initiating wars against nations that pose no threat to us. He alone has spoken against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which opens the door to U.S. citizens being incarcerated in military facilities without charges, legal counsel, or trial, on an order from the President. It has become clear over the past several weeks, however: Dr. Paul will not receive the GOP nomination, although through sheer determination he and his supporters have has broken through mainstream media silence and forged a national movement. This movement has grown to sufficient size and influence, especially among the young, without shooting itself in the foot, that mainstream media have been forced to cover his activities or explain publicly why not. Ten years ago few Americans had heard of the Federal Reserve. The activities of the Fed are now scrutinized more closely than ever before. We can thank Ron Paul and organizations behind him such as Restore the Republic for this.
My prediction, however, is that Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee. He is clearly the superelite favorite at present. If he is nominated, we will be treated to a dull-as-dishwater contest between superelite-vetted candidate A and superelite-vetted candidate B. Those so inclined can enjoy their illusion of choice. Obama’s health care reform bill was, after all, mostly modeled on Governor Romney’s Massachusetts version; the idea that a President Romney will repeal “Obama-care” if elected is simply laughable. The point is, what Quigley observed almost a half a century ago is true today: the need is to maintain essentially the same basic policies, while furthering the overall project intended to end in a global regime. Part of this project, in the wake of NAFTA, etc., has clearly been that the U.S. standard of living must fall while that of nations such as China rises. So far, all America’s masses have done is grumble, but that could conceivably change. If civil unrest erupts here it could conceivably be worse than elsewhere in the world; hence the police-state measures we have seen.
The assaults on Occupy protesters engaging in peaceful civil disobedience make it clear: we have entered a period in which law-abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional rights can be taken down with Tasers, pepper-sprayed, sent into intensive care wards by police batons, etc. Now, with the NDAA, protesters risk being arrested and incarcerated indefinitely. Recent statements by Attorney General Eric Holder defend the idea that the President can order U.S. citizens assassinated if they can be branded as aiding the enemies of the U.S., whatever this actually means (will criticizing U.S. foreign policy be interpreted as aiding the enemies of the U.S. by a future president?). This, too, is no idle “conspiracy theory”; it has already happened, with the drone killing of U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki along with a second American in Yemen. Does anyone really believe this couldn’t happen on U.S. soil if the person targeted had been named by the President (Obama or his successor) and sufficiently demonized in the controlled media.
As I complete this essay, the situation just got worse. A new bill entitled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, just passed in the House, passed by the Senate unamended, and possibly signed by Obama by the time this appears, criminalizes protests in the presence of federal officials and foreign dignitaries conducting “government business or official functions” (whatever these vague phrases mean), threatening those who exercise their free speech rights with fines and imprisonment for up to ten years. Only three members of the House voted No to this bill. This fact alone speaks volumes about where our political class stands. Ron Paul was, of course, one of the three naysayers.
I will begin the difficult task of bringing this discussion to its close. Is there no hope? That isn’t an easy question. There are definite plusses, but also some major negatives. We have tools those who lived before us didn’t have, tools the superelite either did not anticipate or believed they could control: the Internet and social media. By 2000 the Internet had become a gold mine of free expression on which an ordinary person could learn about, for example, unconstitutional land-mine legislation—stealth measures hidden in omnibus bills dealing with different subjects—the CFR and the Trilateralists, NAFTA, and other manifestations of superelite activity.
One could study about money and its effects, locate sometimes colorful allegories explaining fractional reserve banking and its weaving a web of debt slavery and deception around us all, or learn about the real unemployment rate (around 22 percent; see Shadowstats.com). On the Internet, you can learn about virtually any topic you want. You can create a blog and express your ideas uncensored. Events, moreover, can be known all over the world in a matter of minutes if not seconds via social media. With phones now having built-in cameras, shenanigans by those with authority (police abuses, politicians’ frankness—a Nancy Pelosi responding to a question about the Constitutionality of government-mandated health insurance with, “Are you serious?” etc.) can be filmed and uploaded to YouTube.
Even if, as some claim, privacy is dead, it is far harder to hide power-motivated activities today even at or near the top of the political or economic food chain.
One might argue that the superelite is having a harder time moving forward than it looks from out here in the boonies. Some of this is due to exposure on the Internet; some of it is due to those being manipulated in less-powerful nations growing savvier. Consider: during the past decade specific agendas such as the FTAA have stalled. They have been exposed here at home. National political elites elsewhere in our hemisphere cannot agree on specifics and do not trust one another; they especially do not trust U.S.-based corporate elites (and with good reason if by some chance they’ve encountered John Perkins’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, 2004). The same problem exists on a larger scale with global trade negotiations such as the Doha Development Round, also dead in the water for now.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP), allegedly directing the integration of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a North American Union modeled on the European Union, has also been all but thwarted. The proposed “NAFTA Superhighway” has been radically diminished in scope, fought by residents of Texas whose communities it would have effectively destroyed. The SPP, meetings of which came to draw protests, was “officially” cancelled in 2009. Its website has been taken down.
To be sure, none of these ideas are dead and buried—new “security and prosperity” meetings were held last year, for example (a link to a February 4, 2011 initiative launched by Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Halper did not work). But every effort to carry them forward now meets with exposure and opposition. Agenda 21, the bible of the Sustainable Development movement, is being attacked in public meetings all across the country. Even in the case of the NDAA and other recent unconstitutional laws, one thing is for sure: thanks to the Internet and social media, large numbers of people know about them! Just as the REAL ID Act was effectively stonewalled at the state level, legislation to nullify the NDAA has passed in Virginia and is being considered in other states. I will even entertain the idea that when Barack Obama recently said he wouldn’t enforce the provision allowing the incarceration of U.S. citizens without charges, he was telling the truth: not out of altruistic motives, of course, but out of the realization that if visible people are scooped off the streets, the fact will be impossible to conceal even with a mainstream media blackout. Many of us, moreover, are sufficiently visible on social media that if we disappeared for as short a time as 24 hours, our “friends” would know immediately something was wrong.
In other words, opponents of superelitism haven’t done that badly considering their limited resources. The Internet has become the main outlet for free expression in the world. I believe a battle for control over the Internet is coming. The recent controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is probably its opening skirmish. If today’s world is ever to be freed from the superelite, however improbable that sounds, education—much of it self-education—must be the starting point, and this includes maintaining a free Internet.
Now for the negatives. We aren’t making the best use of those resources we have. For starters, there are too many independent groups, and members of some who refuse to talk to members of others. We have organizations that will not support their own, and publications that throw former contributors to the wolves frivolously (dare I say, this has happened to me). Then there are people producing material online that is sloppily researched, inflammatory, or both. Some may well be agent provocateurs. There are people going down what frankly seem to me to be blind alleys. Some will differ, but I cannot get excited about Obama’s birth certificate, or whether he’s a closet Muslim. It is worth realizing that those with real power enjoy seeing us expend our time and energy on side issues. They enjoy a public divided into groups that fight over matters they couldn’t care less about, such as whether gays should be allowed to marry. Worse yet, there is the occasional scam artist who preys on people’s economic insecurities, makes valid observations about, e.g., the factors undermining the American middle class, then entices his audience into his multilevel marketing venture, or worse yet, into an out-and-out Ponzi scheme (this appears to have happened here in South Carolina). Such people do severe damage to the cause by convincing observers that anyone interested in such things is dishonest even if he isn’t a kook!
Contrary to Libertarians, this is not about unbridled self-interest or defending a free market absolutism that is no more rational than Communism. Private is not by definition good; nor is government by definition evil. Arguably, the repeal of an entirely appropriate and beneficial federal regulation on banks (Glass-Steagall, by Gramm-Beach-Bliley in 1999) triggered the chain of events and creation of financial instruments leading directly to the Meltdown of 2008. The superelite watched with approval, then took the bailout money.
This is not a game. It is not a “business opportunity.” We have to have each others’ backs, and know that we can trust one another or it’s game over!
We must, above all, conduct ourselves responsibly. I sometimes urge people not to verbally assault elected officials, whether in public meetings or online; under no circumstances should anyone say anything that an office-holder will take as a threat. Stick to issues, don’t dwell on personalities, and just speak the truth. Whatever is ahead might not be pretty; we are dealing with forces capable of sending the U.S. economy into a tailspin with a few phone calls, and even turning out our lights for weeks or months if they feel sufficiently threatened. I don’t doubt the capacity of at least some of their members, and probably members of our political class as well, to recruit conscienceless thugs who would break heads and murder their fellow citizens if their superiors commanded it. We are thus walking a tightrope here. We should do what we can to prevent such a calamity from ever happening if we can, short of compromising our principles. And we should remember that people have gone to jail and even been killed for their beliefs in the past. It could easily happen again.
In that light, it is useful to remember: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
Reminding oneself of our Christian presupposition that God is ultimately in charge in this universe and that He will be victorious in the end might be a good idea! Sadly, this really does come down to “us versus them”: us being those who stand for the God-given right of persons to direct their own lives, communities and destinies within God-given spheres of responsibility, and them being the directors of history whose partial vision of global power would deny us that right. While they are far from omnipotent and have committed some blunders over the years, we should have no illusions about who has the upper hand right now, in this world, and will probably continue to have it for the immediate future.
Rough times are probably ahead in any event. There are no guarantees that the Godly forces are destined to win out in our lifetimes. We thus conclude by recalling the words of the Letter to the Hebrews: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
© 2012 Steven Yates. All Rights Reserved.
Steven Yates’s new book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic, and was published in December by Brush Fire Press International. He is the author of two earlier books, Worldviews: Christian Theism versus Modern Materialism (2005) and Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (1994), as well as several hundred articles in various periodicals and online. He earns his living teaching philosophy and lives in Greenville County, South Carolina.