By Will Banyan Copyright © January 2008

Author’s note: This essay was originally published on the Martin Frost website back in 2008. After a lengthy delay, Part 2 will eventuate later this year covering both the rise of the neo-conservatives and the prospects for world government.

‘I believe…that a grand game of chess is being played on a level that we can barely imagine, and we are pawns.’
Milton William Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse, (1991)

‘The basic thing is the establishment. The establishment is dying…’
President Richard Nixon, 13 March 1973[1]

‘If you were a member of the Council [on Foreign Relations] 15 years ago…you knew damn well that the conversation either was policy or would-be policy. Today, it is just interesting talk.’
National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1977[2]

1. The Elite Unity Hypothesis

One of the central assumptions of most studies about the New World Order is that a covert combination of the most economically and politically powerful people in the world, otherwise known as the ‘Establishment’, ‘Illuminati’, the ‘Insiders’, the ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’, the ‘Syndicate’ or even the ‘Committee of the 300’ – said to be secretly operating within and above the highest levels of government – are united in seeking to establish a ‘One World Government’ or ‘global fascist superstate.’ When describing this power-elite clique, most researchers into the New World Order typically refer to a wide-ranging network of policy-planning organisations, such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderbergers, and the Trilateral Commission; and secret societies, such as the Illuminati, Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove and the Templars. Membership of these organisations is said to be limited to selected politicians, government officials, academics, businessmen, bankers and journalists; in other words the leading private and public individuals in society. This exclusive group is charged with implementing, justifying, hiding and ultimately benefiting from the sole objective to which all these ‘Insiders’ are believed to be committed: world government.

To readers of the myriad works on the alleged New World Order conspiracy this might seem like a self-evident truth unworthy of further comment. However it is important to realise that for many researchers these powerful advocates of world government (or global governance) are not some isolated segment of the uppermost tiers of the political, economic and military hierarchies; they are the power-elite. They are not just the majority of a super-rich minority; they are its dominant players and world government is said to be their only objective. For the purposes of this study we shall refer to this belief or assumption that the power-elite is united around the goal of establishing world government as the ‘Elite Unity Hypothesis’ (EUH).

A cursory review of the literature reveals the EUH to be the dominant paradigm. Look at almost any book on the ‘New World Order’ conspiracy and one will find this sinister network of individuals, organisations and secret societies is not only presented as being already firmly in control of all national governments, but also unanimous in its support for world government. Gary Allen and Larry Abraham, for example, authors of the bestselling None Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971) which perhaps did the most to popularise theories about the N.W.O, asserted that there was a ‘self-perpetuating conspiratorial clique’ of ‘power-seeking billionaires’ who ‘from the very highest levels manipulate government policy’ in their bid to establish ‘a government over all the world.’[3] John F. McManus claims in The Insiders (2004) that ‘for several decades, America has been run by a group of Establishment Insiders’, who are all members of the CFR, and whose collective goal is nothing less than to realise the ‘world government scheme of CFR founder Edward Mandell House.’[4]

There are numerous other examples. David Icke, one of the more imaginative researchers of recent years, has claimed there are ‘hundreds of people, events and organisations, who in the public arena appear to be in opposition, but in truth are connected to the same Global Elite.’[5] This ‘Global Elite’ or ‘Illuminati’, Icke writes in Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster (2002), comprises thirteen ‘elite families’ who share the same ‘bloodline’ and are united in their desire to ‘control the world’. Icke admits, however, this cabal is already ‘in control of humanity’ and ‘operate through all institutions and countries’, controlling the media, religion and all national governments.[6] The ultimate goal of these conspirators is a ‘centralised global tyranny’ or a ‘New World Order’ that will take the form of a ‘world government; a world central bank and currency; a world army; and a microchipped population linked to a global computer.’[7]

Dr John Coleman, who claims to be a former agent for MI6, reveals the existence of the ‘Committee of 300’ or the ‘Olympians’, an ‘upper-level parallel secret government’ headed by the British monarch, which he claims is dedicated to the creation of a ‘One-World Government-New World Order with a unified church and monetary system under their direction.’[8] In The Syndicate (2005), former Professor of English, Nicholas Hagger identifies a ‘combination of influential families’, including the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Warburgs, Morgans, Schiffs and many others, whom he dubs ‘the Syndicate.’ The objective of these ‘Syndicate families’, whom Hagger divides into two camps: the ‘Rothschilds’ and the ‘Rockefellers’; is a ‘United States of the World, a world government.’[9]

Acclaimed US-based researcher Jim Marrs observes in his book Rule by Secrecy (2000), that there ‘can be no argument regarding the reality of secret societies today.’ Citing the existence of the CFR, Trilateral Commission and Bilderbergers, Marrs notes ‘the only question is the extent of their control and manipulation of world events.’[10] But in any case ‘the facts suggest that the overall goal of these modern societies is to bring about one world government with attendant centralized social control and loss of national sovereignty.’ Furthermore:

It is apparent that globalization or one world government or the New World Order is not simply the imaginings of conspiracy theorists or paranoids but the articulated goal of the secret brotherhoods, organizations or groups, all of which carry the imprint of the old orders of Freemasonry, the Round Tables, and the Illuminati…[11]

Tibor S. Friedman, a contributing writer to Online Journal, pointed to revelations from the secretive Bilderberg meeting as confirming:

the intent and complicity of our leaders and the transnational corporations and banking interests they serve to create a One World Government using the UN, or similar institution, and to further diminish America economically and to ultimately abdicate US sovereignty and the Constitution to a Regional and subsequent World Power while enriching themselves and accumulating power in the process.[12]

The prevalence of the EUH can be seen in the descriptions of the premier power-elite conclave in the United States – the Council on Foreign Relations – by countless researchers over the years. In his history of the Council, James Perloff describes the CFR as having been since 1921 ‘the Establishment’s chief link to the U.S. government.’ Moreover, although the CFR ‘claims to be pluralistic’ it ‘tends to remain homogenous’, with the ‘pursuit of world government, and receptiveness to Communism’ being its main characteristics.[13] According to McManus, the purpose of the CFR ‘right from its inception was to destroy the freedom and independence of the United States and lead our nation into a world government.’[14] Former FBI agent Dan Smoot, one of the first researchers to focus on the Council in the 1960s, once claimed the ‘ultimate aim’ of the CFR was to ‘create a one-world socialist system…’[15]

These perceptions about the Council have been reinforced by a number of seemingly impeccable sources. This includes the US Congressional Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations (Reece Committee), which in 1954 accused the Council on Foreign Relations of having an ‘internationalist bias’ and denounced its publications for ‘overwhelmingly…promoting the globalistic concept.’[16] And the claims made by one former-CFR member, retired US Navy Rear Admiral Chester Ward, that the majority of CFR members ‘visualise the utopian submergence of the United States as a subsidiary administrative unit of a global government.’ Ward acknowledged the existence of at least four distinct ‘ruling cliques’ within the Council, but attributed to all of them a ‘lust’ to surrender American ‘sovereignty and national independence’ to some form of ‘one-world all-powerful global government – either a vastly strengthened United Nations, or possibly limited to the Atlantic community.’[17] Finally, according to Perloff, ‘anybody who cares to examine back issues of [the CFR’s journal] Foreign Affairs will have no difficulty finding hundreds of articles that pushed….this concept of globalism. But he will be hard pressed to locate even one essay opposing it.’[18]

A similar unanimity pervades descriptions of other modern elite planning organisations and conclaves, such as the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Club of Rome, Bohemian Grove, Skull and Bones, and the Round Table. The support of these organisations and most of their members for world government is taken as a given. Doubts are erased through the revelation most of these groups are but modern manifestations of a far older network of secret societies devoted to global domination. Allen and Abraham, for example, linked the creation of the CFR to the secret society schemes of Cecil Rhodes, who in turn they traced to ‘Adam Weishaupt, the monster who founded the Order of the Illuminati on May 1, 1776, for the purpose of a conspiracy to control the world.’[19]

Since the 1990s many researchers have linked the Establishment network to ancient Sumerian secret societies, such as the ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’, which have in turn have been presented as the product of extra-terrestrial visitors (Anunnaki) and inter-dimensional interlopers, including shape-shifting ‘Reptilians’ intent on ruling the Earth and its inhabitants.[20] Further refinements have included the concept of elite bloodlines, in which maintains that the power-elite’s commitment to the cause of global dictatorship is due to their shared and non-human genetic heritage.[21]

2. No Exceptions?

Having decided the secret goal of the vast majority of the power-elite is ‘One World Government’, the possibility of genuine factionalism or even significant strategic disagreements within the ranks of the super-rich and powerful is therefore rejected out of hand by most if not all N.W.O. researchers as impossible; only one conclusion – elite unity – is allowed. This becomes evident if we consider the two main explanations offered by most EUH proponents when faced with seemingly incontrovertible evidence of disunity within power-elite groups.

The first explanation maintains that apparent divisions or diversity of opinion within the Establishment are merely a deliberate facade intended to deceive the unwary observer, while the important work of building world government presumably goes on behind closed doors. Citing the presence of ‘conservative’ members within the CFR, for example, Gary Allen warned in Say “No!” to the New World Order (1987), that ‘this is mostly window-dressing.’[22] Another commentator, John Rees, publisher of the Information Digest, once claimed the CFR had made a ‘conscious effort…to add Conservatives and moderates’ to its membership list ‘for protective colouring’ in reaction to adverse publicity coming from the ‘American Right’ in the 1980s.[23] According to this reasoning, the impact of these ideologically unsound members on the objectives of groups like the CFR is insignificant; the public, though, is misled as was intended.

In fact, these elite cliques are said to operate much like their alleged parent, the Illuminati, in having a ‘double doctrine’ with a select inner core of members being privy to the true purpose of the organisation, while the broader membership is kept ignorant until and unless they are deemed worthy enough to know. According to Michael Howard, author of The Occult Conspiracy (1989), within the Freemasons ‘it is doubtful if many of the ordinary lodge members understand what its secrets represent.’ However, within the ‘inner circle of Masonry’ there are those who ‘understand they are the inheritors of an ancient and pre-Christian tradition handed down from pagan times.’[24] Similarly Icke has argued that not ‘every member of these [secret] societies is knowingly working against the good of humanity. Certainly not. Most of them will not have a clue how their society is being used…’[25]

Perloff has applied this rule to the Council on Foreign Relations suggesting some noteworthy individuals are invited to join the CFR ‘simply because they have a distinguished name or other enhancing qualities’ and may do so ‘without endorsing or even knowing the Council’s habitual viewpoint.’[26] Exactly how many people fit this category of ignorant membership is not disclosed, nor have many of these unfortunate individuals actually been identified; but we are left to assume there are too few of them to make any difference to the CFR’s supposedly pro-globalist outlook.

The second explanation, which is offered when the evidence of elite factionalism is too great to ignore, is that such disputes are merely a fight for control of the same program for global control. Icke, for instance, informs us that while most world leaders – who are Illuminati – ‘only appear to be in conflict for the purposes of deluding the people into a false reality’, there is also ‘great rivalry…between different elements of the Illuminati’ as they fight for the spoils. Although ultimately: ‘they all depend on the agenda for their collective power over humanity and that is the cement that holds the warring factions together.’[27] Ergo, elite disunity is of no consequence for the end result will be the same.

These two explanations are further reinforced by the claim that it is impossible for there to be any real differences of opinion within the ranks of the power-elite because this same clique has constructed a false reality in the political arena of contending ideologies. Again we can refer to Icke who offers his theory of ‘opposames’, in which the elite deepens its control of humanity by ‘creating “different” belief systems…and bringing them into conflict.’ This applies to all religions, political parties, economic theories, countries and cultures. Democracy, according to Icke’s logic, is a mere ‘diversion’; in fact the ‘Global Elite’ ‘controls, directly or indirectly, every major political party and movement.’[28] But Icke is hardly alone in making this assessment. Tibor Friedman also contends that the American electoral process is a colossal fraud and charade designed to maintain elite control:

The election is a formality and exercise for the benefit of creating the illusion of an ongoing democracy. The ‘free speech zone’ areas created by both parties in 2004 were their version of democracy. The MSM [mainstream media] (already) is focusing on the battle for the White House 2008, creating mythologies of opposing individuals and distracting the public with a hope for change that never comes—as both parties work towards the creation of a New World Order with the United States as a much reduced power, economically and militarily. Remember that politicians are the fronts for (or part of) the Elites and as such share in their fortunes and power. One need only look at the Bush dynasty and their involvement in and creation of their fortunes and power by the Military / Industrial / Intelligence Complex. War is profitable.[29]

A similar thesis is advanced in the ‘letter addressed to “The Sheeple” from the “The Globalist New World Order”’ by an alleged (and anonymous) ‘New World Order elitist’:

Some of you believe we are the liberals and the good people are the conservatives. In reality, both serve our purposes. Each camp merely serves with the stamp of our approval but they are not allowed to present the real issues. By creating controversy on all levels, no one knows what to do. So, in all this confusion, we go ahead and accomplish what we want with no hindrance.[30]

The implications of this reasoning are again obvious: if all political conflicts are manufactured by the elites, then all ideologies have been fabricated as distractions; therefore the only ‘true’ agenda is the elite’s goal of world government.

3. The Possibility of Elite Disunity

But is this really the case? Can we really just dismiss signs of disagreement and division amongst the power elite as little more than a grubby squabble for control of world government or an elaborate charade to deceive the public? I think not. In this study it is my contention that the power elite are divided not just on the issue of who will control the world, but also on how it is to be controlled. Meaning that there are other significant factions within the power elites of the West who do not support the globalist vision – as recently described by David Rockefeller – of ‘a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world…’[31] In fact, there are those who seek quite a different model of international order, in which the world is to be openly governed by one country, on behalf of its own elite, rather than by a world government representing an international combination of the privileged.

Signs of these differences of opinion within the upper ranks of the power elite on both sides of the Atlantic have long been obvious. Within the Round Table, for example, an organisation formed in 1909 for the explicit purpose of federating the British Empire, there were divisions between imperialists and world government proponents. Some Round Table members, in particular Lionel Curtis, believed imperial federation could be a vital stepping stone towards formation of a ‘world state.’ Other members, in contrast, favoured imperial federation as end in itself, one that would consolidate the empire, protecting it against the growing rivalry of the United States, Germany and Russia.[32] These divisions came to a head during the Paris Peace Conference, with the imperialist faction trying to weaken the League of Nations, while the world government proponents took the opposite course.[33]

Differences within the American power elite have also long been obvious. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in his study Diplomacy (1994), for example, makes much of the ‘opposite philosophies’ of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt in justifying America assuming a ‘crucial role’ in world affairs. Roosevelt is venerated by Kissinger as a ‘sophisticated analyst of the balance of power’, who ‘disavowed the efficacy of international law’ and was ‘scathing when it came to talk of world government.’[34] Wilson, in contrast, is treated less reverently by Kissinger as the promoter of a ‘messianic’ vision of America’s global role. A vision that succeeded in convincing the American people to take part in world affairs; even though ‘[i]n terms of all established principles of statecraft, Roosevelt had by far the better…argument…’ He also credits Wilson with being the ‘originator of the vision of a universal world organisation, the League of Nations’, and whose ideas on peace enforcement ‘translated into institutions tantamount to world government.’[35]

Thomas J. Knock in his study of Woodrow Wilson’s effort to found the League of Nations, To End All Wars (1992), observes that in reaction to the outbreak of the First World War a ‘new American internationalist movement’ emerged comprising two groups of ‘diverse perspectives’: the ‘progressive internationalists’ and the ‘conservative internationalists.’[36] The first group, the ‘progressive internationalists’ were originally dominated by leftists – the feminists, liberals, pacifists, socialists and social reformers. Their proposals for an international peace included global disarmament, creation of an ‘international parliament’ or a ‘Concert of Nations’, and the elimination of trade barriers. They were close to Wilson and were strong supporters of his concept of the League of Nations.[37]

The ‘conservative internationalists’, in contrast, came from more established peace organisations including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, founded by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in 1910; the New York Peace Society and the American Society for the Judicial Settlement of International Disputes. Their leading figures included Senator Elihu Root, William Howard Taft, Theodore Marburg (former US ambassador to Belgium) and Abbot Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard Unversity. In short, they represented America’s emerging power elite. Organised as the League to Enforce Peace (LEP), the ‘most-influential pro-league organisation in the United States’, the ‘conservative internationalists’, true to their original support for imperialism and an ‘Anglo-American entente’, sought ‘stability rather than change in international politics.’[38] More importantly, according to Knock, this group ‘remained committed nationalists’ who ‘resisted any diminution of American sovereignty or military strength.’ Although supportive of collective security, they believed America should reserve the right to ‘undertake independent coercive action against the forces of disorder that threatened the national interest.’[39]

Perhaps the most significant group of conservative internationalists were those close to Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). During the 1890s, while serving Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Harrison Administration, Roosevelt had met regularly at Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Club with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, the naval historian and geopolitical strategist Captain Alfred T. Mahan, and the writer Brooks Adams to confer on world politics. This group was united by a desire ‘to make America a world power before the turn of the century’ (Morris) and they ‘gloried in the thought of American greatness and power that their expansionist policies would create’ (Beale).[40] ‘I wish to see the United States [as] the dominant power on the Pacific Ocean’, Roosevelt had written in 1900, claiming that the American people ‘face the future…eager to do the great work of a great world power.’[41]

They were also strong advocates of an establishing an Anglo-American political and military alliance that would dominate the world and deter any would-be European challengers. Adams endorsed an ‘Anglo-Saxon coalition’ to check German and Russian ambitions;[42] while Mahan advocated an ‘Anglo-American re-union’, especially a naval alliance, arguing that the two powers ‘united upon the ocean’ would be ‘all-powerful there.’[43] But ultimately they wanted nothing more than to see America as the world’s dominant power. In a letter to Lodge in 1901, Adams expressed his growing belief that ‘we may dominate the world, as no nation has dominated it in recent times…For the first time in my life I feel that for us is earth and fullness thereof…We must now be masters or we must break down.’[44]

During Roosevelt’s second term this conservative internationalist coterie was expanded by his senior military aide, Frank Ross McCoy, who set up at 1718 H Street in Washington DC an exclusive club known as ‘The Family’. Comprising young diplomats, military men and some journalists and financiers, many observers believed this ‘tightly knit team…unknown to the general public…’ actually ran the federal government.[45] Its members included: Willard Straight, who would go on to join J.P. Morgan and Company;[46] and Benjamin Strong, the first governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.[47] According to Bacevich, the Family was united by a ‘common outlook – one that zealously supported America’s expanded role in world affairs.’ The Family was also a forum where the ‘various disciples of Roosevelt’ could meet and exchange views ‘establishing a compatibility of civil and military opinion that permeated key areas of federal government.’[48]

It is asserted by Kissinger, however, that with the exception of Richard Nixon, Theodore Roosevelt’s approach to international affairs ‘died with him in 1919; no significant school of American thought has invoked him since.’[49] This is a bizarre and inaccurate claim that can be refuted on two counts. First, despite Roosevelt’s untimely death, it was one of his Senate allies, Henry Cabot Lodge, who lead the effort to scuttle America’s participation in the League of Nations by insisting on altering the League Covenant so the US would be able to carry out its foreign policy unimpeded by League strictures. This was consistent with Roosevelt’s increasingly strident anti-Wilsonian and anti-League rhetoric during the final years of his life.[50] This period, dating from the end of the War through to the aftermath of the Paris Peace Conference, also marked the split within the ranks of power elite ‘conservative internationalists’ into pro- and anti-Wilson camps.

Second, as historian Priscilla Roberts observes in her study of the origins of the American Establishment, conservative internationalism did not disappear, but persisted amongst that combination of internationalists from wealthy and ‘well-established old-stock American families’ who had risen to prominence in the 1920s. In fact, they co-existed with the elite advocates of progressive internationalism, although:

…the lines between the different camps were decidedly blurred, and each was itself a fairly broad church. There was a substantial overlap between the different schools of American internationalist thought: rather than being split along a simple Rooseveltian/Wilsonian or conservative/progressive dichotomy, internationalists held a wide variety of positions, ranging across an extremely broad spectrum.[51]

It was this same ‘broad spectrum’ of opinion which gave birth to the Council on Foreign Relations. Although the CFR continued the Inquiry – that group of specialists established by Colonel House for the purpose of advising Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 – it also absorbed the ‘Family’. But that spectrum of Establishment opinion never quite excluded the Rooseveltian preference for hegemony over world government, despite repeated attempts by the Wilsonians to eradicate those tendencies. On the contrary, ‘conservative internationalism’ has persisted, gaining more adherents and becoming bolder over time.

This has become obvious in the new millennium, particularly since the launch of the so-called ‘War on Terror’ by the administration of President George W. Bush in the wake of the tragic events of 11 September 2001. With its doctrines of ‘pre-emptive’ war, maintaining US military superiority and demonstrated willingness to sideline the United Nations, the Bush Administration has made it all too obvious that some factions would much rather rule the world directly from Washington DC, rather than via the plethora of supranational institutions based in or controlled from New York, Geneva, Brussels, and Tokyo. Indeed, if we consider recent events honestly there is only one conclusion to be drawn: Elite unity is the illusion.

Before we consider the origins of the Bush Administration’s world order program, it would be remiss not to review a couple of important reasons why the Elite Unity Hypothesis has become so prevalent, but also why it was untenable even before George W. Bush came to power. This requires a closer look at the rise and fall of the unified ideology of the Establishment – the so-called ‘liberal foreign policy consensus’ – and how the American power-elite has become riven with factionalism since the 1970s.

4. The ‘Liberal Foreign Policy Consensus’

The Elite Unity Hypothesis rests on two assumptions, both largely based in fact. The first is the existence of what is variously described by mainstream sources as the ‘power-elite’, the ‘Establishment’, ‘Eastern Establishment’ or ‘foreign policy establishment’. This grouping comprises an exclusive clique of individuals from the fields of banking, industry, law, military, academia and government, who operate through a plethora of philanthropic foundations, policy-planning organisations and think-tanks to devise America’s foreign and defence policy beyond the reach of public scrutiny. The second is that the Establishment is united by what numerous mainstream commentators have described as the ‘liberal consensus’, ‘vital centre’, the ‘Establishment consensus’ or ‘liberal foreign policy consensus.’ The Establishment, according to this interpretation, has come to an agreement on what America’s foreign policy objectives should be. Among N.W.O. researchers it is believed this consensus is in fact unanimous elite support for a totalitarian world government.

Although the existence of the Establishment and its consensus tends to be disputed in some quarters – especially by those who are said to belong to it – both concepts hold considerable respectability having been exposed and analysed by numerous academics and journalists over the years. In 1973, for example, the British journalist Godfrey Hodgson defined the ‘foreign policy establishment’ as comprising ‘a self-recruiting group of men…who have a shared bipartisan philosophy towards, and have exercised practical influence on, the course of American defence and foreign policy.’[52] More recently, New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman, in his ode to globalisation, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (2000), applauded the ‘Eastern Intellectual Establishment’ for having ‘sustained American internationalism for fifty years.’[53] And in 2002, Newsweek’s foreign editor Michael Hirsch, hailed those American ‘internationalists’ who were ‘always hard at work in quiet places making plans for a more perfect global community.’ According to Hirsch, these ‘internationalists have always dominated national policy’, but they had not ‘bragged about their globe-building’ for fear of arousing the ‘berserker nativism’ of the American psyche.[54]

At the core of the Establishment, according to both journalists and political scientists, is the New York based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Since the 1950s numerous commentators have identified the CFR as the ‘Establishment’s unofficial club’ (Halberstam) and ‘the heart of the Establishment’ (Schlesinger). In 1958, for example, the US journalist Joseph Kraft, described the CFR as a ‘school for statesmen [which] comes close being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite – a group of men, similar in interest in outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes.’[55] Among academics the CFR is typically described as the ‘oldest and perhaps the most influential’ of those institutions ‘closely related to the corporate economy’ (Domhoff); the ‘most influential policy-planning group in foreign affairs’ (Dye); and is credited with being ‘instrumental in developing the foreign policy of the United States between the wars and even more during and after the Second World War’ (Roberts).[56]

Recognition of this close connection between the Establishment and the ‘liberal consensus’ is not confined to academia, journalism or New World Order researchers. On more than a few occasions senior members of the Establishment have seriously acknowledged this link. In the second volume of his memoirs Years of Upheaval (1982), former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, for example, applauded ‘the American foreign policy Establishment…that had won the battle against isolationism in the 1940s and sustained a responsible American involvement in the world throughout the post-war period.’[57] According to John J. McCloy, a long-time Establishment stalwart and one its much-celebrated ‘Wise Men’, there was indeed such a group: ‘They were Skull and Bones, Groton, that sort of thing. That was the elite. [Robert] Lovett, Harvey Bundy, [Dean] Acheson, they called on a tradition, a high tradition.’[58]

The important question for serious researchers into the New World Order, however, is what global objectives had the Establishment’s various personalities and factions agreed to support? There are numerous assessments to choose from, though their respective conclusions appear to conflict, some common currents, shared goals and accepted methods that comprised the consensus become apparent.

According to Hodgson, for instance, the Establishment’s foreign policy had three components: the first and indeed the ‘kernel’ of its policy was ‘to oppose isolationism’; second, was a belief that ‘appeasement had been a disaster’ and therefore the use of force in international affairs ‘might be justified’; and third, they were anti-communist, though only internationally as they did not see any domestic threat. Above all their aspiration was for America ‘to succeed Britain as the military and economic guarantor and moral leader of an enlightened, liberal, democratic and capitalist world order.’[59]

The origins of this Establishment consensus Hodgson traces to the 1920s when Colonel House and his collaborators, a ‘tiny group of businessmen and scholars’, founded the CFR with the express intention of ‘combating the rise of tide of isolationism’ which had followed the Senate’s rejection of US membership in the League of Nations. The opportunity to realise their objectives, though, would not formally emerge until the 1940s when World War Two brought together the ‘three worlds’ that Establishment men are drawn from: the corporate bankers, lawyers and executives; government officials; and academics. Following the war this ‘tripartite alliance’, instilled with a ‘mood of national destiny’ and a ‘sense of national danger’ caused by the Soviet Union’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, would go on to define the parameters of the ‘liberal consensus’. This consensus, claims Hodgson, was a Cold War political compromise between the mainstream ‘Left and Right’ in which the Right put aside its objections to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s interventionist ‘New Deal’, favoured by the Left; while the Left embraced the anti-Communist foreign policy of ‘containment’ devised by the Right.[60] The result was a bipartisan foreign policy of ‘liberal internationalism,’ the essential ‘style’ of which was:

…to deprecate chauvinism, while at the same time pressing for American wishes to be respected, and American strength to be felt, around the world; to advocate restraint, and yet to despise softness and to admire a willingness to use military power; to feel conscience, but by no means to allow it to paralyse one into inaction; to walk softly with one’s big stick, in fact, but to be ready to crack heads with it.[61]

Mirroring Hodgson some fifteen years later, another journalist John B. Judis, suggested that the creators of the Establishment had returned to the US after the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 ‘disillusioned’ but also ‘more determined than ever to create what [Woodrow] Wilson had called a new world order.’ The subsequent founders of the CFR, writes Judis, subscribed to an ideology of ‘liberal internationalism’, though the term ‘has to be carefully defined.’ This group:

…did not see free trade and international cooperation through organisations such as the League of Nations as ends in themselves but as the means by which American economic power, hitherto held in check by war and imperial rivalry among the European powers, could come to the fore. They were willing to sacrifice some degree of diplomatic and military sovereignty to gain national economic ends. But when they saw that international organisation could not stem the threat of fascism or communism to an open market system, they were among the first to favour taking up arms.

Following World War Two, writes Judis, the Council and its members in the Truman Administration devised a new agenda for the post-war era: ‘to create an American dominated international order, based on the dollar and free trade, and to contain the spread of Soviet Communism.’[62]

Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, in their book, The Wise Men (1986), attribute to their nominated ‘Wise Men’ – George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Charles Bohlen, Robert Lovett, Averell Harriman, and John McCloy – a role at ‘the forefront of a remarkable transformation of American foreign policy.’ Knowing that America ‘would have to assume the burden of a global role’, this group from the 1940s through to the 1960s, in their myriad official positions in both the White House and the State Department, and unofficial positions, ‘shaped a new world order…’ Although sometimes differing on tactical matters, these Wise Men ‘share[d] a common outlook’; they were ‘disciples of the multilateral ideal’ and believed that ‘world trade…would lead to greater prosperity and a greater chance of lasting peace’, and the ‘best guarantee of America’s security’ would be through the ‘establishment of democratic and representative governments everywhere’ as they were more likely to be ‘peace-loving rather than aggressive.’[63] Furthermore, the Wise Men

…were imbued with a special sense of destiny involving both America’s role and their own. Safety in the atomic age would demand some sort of Pax Americana in which the US accepted the obligations of leadership. People like themselves, who understood the need for American resolve and involvement, would have to take the lead.[64]

Noam Chomsky, who argues that to focus on the so-called Cold War consensus is to avoid confronting the true unanimity that underlies America foreign policy, provides a somewhat harsher view. Noting that ‘one would expect any group with access to power and affluence to construct an ideology that will justify this state of affairs on grounds of the general welfare’,[65] Chomsky suggests the Establishment’s anti-Communist consensus was but a public façade. In truth the Cold War merely provided the elite with the justification for ‘criminal action abroad and entrenchment of privilege and state power at home.’[66] The ‘internal documentary record’ of the US Government, as paraphrased by Chomsky, further confirms this objective:

[T]he main commitment of the United States, internationally in the Third World, must be to prevent the rise of nationalist regimes, which are responsive to pressures from the masses of the population for improvement in low living standards and diversification of production; the reason is, we have to maintain a climate that is conducive to investment, and to ensure conditions which allow for adequate repatriation of profits to the West.[67]

More recently, in his acclaimed study, American Empire (2002), Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University, argues that since the Cold War the US ‘has in fact adhered to a well defined strategy’, which is to ‘preserve and…to expand an American imperium.’[68] Bacevich describes this as the ‘strategy of openness’:

Central to this strategy is a commitment to global openness – removing barriers that inhibit the movement of goods, capital, ideas and people. It ultimate objective is the creation of an open and integrated international order based on the principles of democratic capitalism, with the United States as the ultimate guarantor of order and enforcer of norms.[69]

This ‘strategy of openness’, notes Bacevich, rests on a ‘consensus…so deep-seated that its terms have become all but self-evident…’; in fact, it ‘claims broad bipartisan support.’[70] It had been ‘in place for more than a century’ and was derived from ‘twin convictions widely held by members of the political elite and foreign policy establishment’. The first was that ‘robust and continuing economic growth is an imperative, absolute and conditional’; and the second was that America’s domestic market was insufficient to sustain economic growth.[71] This strategy was a ‘revolutionary project’ that attempted to realise Woodrow Wilson’s goal of ‘bringing the world as a whole into conformity with American principles and American policies.’ Yet this expansionist objective was concealed during the Cold War as the US sought to thwart Soviet attempts to construct a different type of world order.[72]

The Establishment consensus, according to these accounts, comprised three specific strategies aimed at maintaining world order: (1) maintaining US global leadership; (2) containing Communism primarily through military means; and, perhaps above all, (3) opening up as much of the world as possible to commercial exploitation by US corporations. Explicit in these explanations is the claim that few within the Establishment’s ranks, especially during the period from the mid-1940s through to the end of the 1960s, deviated or dissented from this policy framework. Hodgson, for example, suggests that only those who are ‘reluctant to admit the historical reality of the American foreign policy establishment’ tend to ‘lay heavy stress’ on disagreements among its members, even though ‘these disagreements turn out…to have been largely tactical.’[73]

This is a remarkably common argument, advanced not only by the mainstream press, but also by Establishment opponents, including ‘radical leftists’. However, the primary consequence of accepting that assumption is to deny the obvious, namely the existence of distinct factions within the power-elite. When this supposition is applied the results are plainly absurd pieces of analysis that, on the one hand, acknowledge the existence of different factions complete with antagonistic stakeholders, conflicting objectives and diverse strategies for world order, but on the other hand, insist that these differences are actually irrelevant.

In 1977, for example, the academic Michael Klare, writing in the obscure radical magazine, Seven Days, identified two distinct factions within America’s power-elite which he dubbed the ‘the Prussians’ and ‘the Traders’. The Traders comprised ‘internationally minded merchant capitalists’, such as executives of multinational corporations and international banks like David Rockefeller, who preferred to pursue their goals through ‘accommodations and absorption’. The Prussians, in contrast, would achieve their goals through ‘the threat or use of force and violence…’ The Prussians were an alliance of ‘Pentagon leaders, arms producers, right-wing politicos, intelligence operatives and some domestic capitalists’, with their ideology provided by a ‘fair sprinkling of cold-war intellectuals.’ Despite identifying these two quite distinct groupings whose respective interests surely demanded quite different international strategies, Klare nevertheless claimed the Prussians and Traders ‘shared the same goals’, differing only on tactics.[74]

We might also include Chomsky’s work in this canon, given his oft-repeated argument that within acceptable circles, the discussions and divisions about US foreign policy aims are rarely amount to anything more than passing quibbles over means rather than ends. Indeed there seems to be a consensus on the Establishment’s consensus that reaches across the political spectrum.

5. The ‘Hidden Grand Strategy’

If we stop to re-consider the assumptions introduced at the start of this paper on the existence of the Establishment and its accompanying ‘consensus’, two points can be made. First, the existence of the Establishment is not actually denied, either by academics and journalists, but confirmed in considerable detail, including by some of its alleged members. So that assumption stands. Second, while the existence of an Establishment ‘consensus’, at least from the 1940s through to the 1960s, is widely acknowledged and even presented as being subject to no more than the occasional challenge on tactical issues, the goal of world government is not presented as one of the Establishment’s objectives. On the basis of above accounts one could easily discard the notion of a ‘one-world-government’ consensus and accept the complex formulations offer. However, in an article in The Wilson Quarterly by Georgetown University Professor G. John Ikenberry, a tantalising glimpse of a ‘hidden grand strategy’ has been introduced which inevitably complicates the picture.

Ikenberry identifies a ‘liberal internationalist tradition’ that emerged at the start of the 20th century based on Woodrow Wilson’s ideals of a global community. Despite Wilson’s failure to secure US membership of the League of Nations, this tradition still flourished ‘in the shadows’ until it was resurrected in the post-war effort by American officials to build a ‘liberal democratic order [based] on principles of economic openness, political reciprocity, and the management of conflicts in new multinational institutions.’ This order comprised the United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Ikenberry describes a long-term American agenda of supporting economic interdependence and free trade (in a ‘sort of economic one-worldism’), creating international institutions and the formation of communities of ‘like-minded states’. The implementation of this agenda, embraced by ‘Democrat and Republican leaders alike’, had been ‘successful’, even though the ‘realities of the Cold War’ had ‘cast liberal internationalism into shadow again’, out of public view.[75]

Ikenberry’s contention of a ‘hidden grand strategy’ is partially borne out, although the manner of that disguise is akin to that of the elephant in one’s living room that no one seems to see, the concept being too incredible to accept, though the evidence is there if only one cares to look. This strategy or intention has long been openly expressed by government officials and in policy-planning documents formulated by many of the Establishment’s leading organs. Indeed, its presence is apparent in those official and unofficial planning documents cited by Hodgson, Bacevich and Chomsky as evidence for their respective interpretations of the ‘liberal foreign policy consensus.’

Chomsky cites two such studies. The first of these is the Council on Foreign Relations’ War and Peace Studies Project, developed between 1939 and 1945, which Chomsky credits with providing ‘the general framework of thinking within which American foreign policy has evolved since the Second World War…’[76] Launched in December 1939 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with the State Department, the primary objective of the project, according to a CFR memorandum, was to ‘elaborate concrete proposals designed to safeguard American interests in the settlement which will be undertaken when hostilities cease.’ Up until its completion in August 1945, the project produced some 680 planning documents.[77] According to Chomsky, the CFR and State Department planners, anticipating the US would ‘emerge from the war as the world’s dominant power…’ devised the concept of a ‘Grand Area’, a geographical expanse comprising at a minimum, the Western Hemisphere, the former British Empire and the Far East. This ‘Grand Area’ was to be ‘organised in such a way as to serve the needs of the American economy.’[78] It was this essentially imperialist strategy that Chomsky contends is the bedrock of most American foreign policy through to the present day.

Chomsky’s assessment of the War and Peace Studies Project is confirmed in part by those who have examined the project’s original documentation. According to Project memoranda quoted by Laurance Shoup, (Chomsky’s primary source), during its early planning phase in 1940, the major concern of the Council planners was ensuring that American corporations were provided with sufficient ‘elbow room’ to expand. Their goal was for a world in which the US would ‘hold unquestioned power’ and be able to ‘secure the limitation of sovereignty by foreign nations’ that threatened ‘the world area essential for [America’s] security and economic prosperity.’ The concept of the ‘Grand Area’ did enter into these deliberations, but only as an ‘interim measure’, according to Shoup, in response to Nazi Germany’s expansion. As one of the Council study groups observed: ‘the Grand Area is not regarded by the Group as more desirable than a world economy, nor as an entirely unsatisfactory substitute.’[79]

But a substitute it was. The real preference of most CFR planners, as emphasised by Shoup and Minter, and other analysts, was for a ‘new world order with international political and economic institutions’, which would ‘join and integrate all the world’s nations under the leadership of the United States.’[80] According to Robert D. Schulzinger’s history of the Council, the ‘lion’s share of [CFR] recommendations went to ways of encouraging participation in a general international organisation.’ This included proposals to create an international army, air or police force that would punish violators of global peace and in the process promote ‘feelings of world citizenship.’[81] The War and Peace Studies project also helped lay the foundation for the UN, IMF and World Bank. In fact, it was a project member who, in 1942 had first suggested the formation of UN-like body as means of protecting US interests while ‘avoid[ing] conventional forms of imperialism.’ Select project members later participated in a ‘secret steering committee’, set up by Secretary of State Cordell Hull in 1943, which was, claims Shoup, ‘most responsible for the final shape of the United Nations.’ As for the IMF and World Bank, in 1941 the project had endorsed formation of global institutions for the purpose of ‘stabilising currencies’ and promoting ‘programs of capital investment’ for ‘backward and underdeveloped regions.’[82] Proponents of this proposal would also later play a key role in advising those officials charged with determining the technical details of both organisations.[83]

Reviewing the above it is clear that Chomsky’s arguments about the Grand Area informing the Cold War consensus are incomplete. An implicit assumption made by the CFR was that the Soviets would acquiesce to its plans for world order in which American interests were to be advanced and protected by a network of supranational organisations. That plan, subject to further elaboration by the Roosevelt Administration, was to break-up the existing European empires and open up much of the world to US corporations under the guise of global free trade and investment; international security would be maintained by the United Nations. The CFR and State Department planners also shared the expectation that this model of world order would not just restrain the Soviet Union, but also eventually undermine its political and economic system, leading to its absorption into a capitalist world.[84]

The second study cited by Chomsky is the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and National Planning Association (NPA) joint report, The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy (1955). According to Chomsky, The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy is an ‘important and generally ignored study’, one that is representative of the views of the ‘tiny elite that largely determines foreign policy whoever is technically in office.’[85] In referring to this study, however, Chomsky has always limited himself to quoting just a fragment of this section:

The Soviet threat is total – military, political, economic and ideological…It has meant: (1) A serious reduction of the potential resource base and market opportunities of the West owing to the subtraction of the communist areas from the international economy and their economic transformation in ways which reduce their willingness to complement the industrial economies of the West…[86]

Chomsky typically inserts part of this section into this sentence construction: ‘The primary threat of Communism, as they see it, is the economic transformation of the Communist powers “in ways that reduce their willingness and ability to complement the industrial economies of the West”.’[87] Although that quote supports Chomsky’s argument about the essentially domestic economic objectives behind containment, he downplays the study’s quite serious concern about the Soviet ‘challenge to the economic pre-eminence of the West’, and ignores the broader prescriptions set out later in the study that are more suggestive of the ‘hidden grand strategy’ identified by Ikenberry. Given the importance Chomsky quite rightly attributes to this report, it is puzzling that he does not provide that additional detail.

The report certainly is worth noting because the nine members of the Political Economy of American Foreign Policy Study Group – William Y. Elliott, Frank Altschul,[88] Richard M. Bissell, Courtney C. Brown, H. van B. Cleveland, Theodore Geiger, Harry D. Gideonse, Edward Mason and Don K. Price – represented a key cross section of the Establishment. Most had worked for the US government in some capacity during the war, primarily in armaments production, although Cleveland and Mason had served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. They also represented the foundations and Ivy League universities: five of its members had been involved with groups such as the CFR (Altschul), Ford Foundation (Price), NPA (Altschul, Geiger), Woodrow Wilson Foundation (Altschul, Gideonse), and the Committee for Economic Development (Cleveland); while Elliott and Mason had taught at Harvard, and Bissell was based at Yale. They also retained links to the corporate sector: Brown had been Assistant to the Chairman of the Board of the New Jersey branch of Standard Oil, while Altschul was Chairman of the Board for the General American Investors Company.[89]

This group of self-confessed ‘like-minded and knowledgeable men’ presented their efforts as an attempt to help those ‘concerned with foreign policy-making and execution’ deal with the ‘critical problems of world economic order in the second half of the 20th century.’ One of the key problems they identified was the ‘Soviet threat’ to both the ‘free world economies’ and the international economy, which had ‘hastened the disintegration of the unified world economy.’[90] The ‘central objective’ of American foreign policy, they argued, ‘is to foster construction of a better integrated and more effectively functioning international economic system.’ To recreate the ‘integrated world economy of the 19th century’ would require the ‘deliberate coordination of national economic policies either by cooperation among national governments, or – more effectively and reliably – by supranational authorities.’[91]

Among the various long-term goals and remedies they proposed was for the United States to ‘use its full power’ to achieve the ‘political unity and economic integration of the West’; and to ‘influence’ the economic transformation of the non-Communist developing world so the outcome would be ‘compatible with Western values and vital interests’. Ultimately the report reiterated their central theme that ‘some kind of central organising authority is essential both to establish and maintain political and economic order among nations’; and their hope that this ‘necessary central power’ would be ‘wielded in the world community by voluntarily created international institutions.’[92]

In their conclusion the report’s authors demonstrated they were closer to the liberal internationalists than to the imperialists when they described as the ‘only constructive and desirable’ outcome for the latter half of the 20th century the support of the American people for ‘a more effectively organised Western Community and more stable and mutually beneficial relationships between it and the underdeveloped countries.’ Which would mean ‘the adoption of policies which…consciously seek creative adaptations of the nation-state system’; a system that had been ‘conspicuously failing’ to satisfy the ‘test of efficiency and morality.’ Although declaring it to be ‘useless’ to provide a ‘clear-cut definition in institutional terms’ of this alternate path, if considered with their own declared preference for more supranational institutions, criticisms of the nation-state, and rejection of the ‘dismal’ alternatives of American isolationism or imperialism; their devotion to the ‘hidden grand strategy’ is clear.[93]

Hodgson nominates the Rockefeller Brothers Fund report Prospect for America (1961) as the ‘handbook of the shared assumptions of the American governmental and business elite.’[94] The product of nearly three years of deliberation, the unspoken purpose of Prospect for America (hereafter PFA) was to bolster Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential aspirations by giving him a policy platform, but the end result was something much bigger than his selfish ambitions. Reflecting the views of nearly a hundred members of America’s power-elite, PFA is credited by many commentators with defining the Establishment consensus as it stood in the 1950s. As one journalistic account observed, the report provided ‘the intellectual scaffolding for the military and foreign policy of the Kennedy Administration.’[95] This was very much in tune with the overall purpose of the report’s overseers to develop a ‘framework of concepts and principles on which national policies and decisions can be soundly based’ (Laurance Rockefeller, the panel’s chairman) and ‘an accepted political philosophy’ for US foreign policy (Adolf Berle, PFA co-author).[96]

However, none of these descriptions quite grasp Prospect for America’s transparent devotion to the ‘hidden grand strategy’ of constructing a world order that transcended national sovereignty. This objective had already been flagged by Nelson Rockefeller in a paper he prepared for the project titled ‘“Ideal World”: Dream World of 1984 – United States Style’. Rockefeller envisaged a collective security system within a UN framework in which all nations would surrender some sovereignty to regional associations.[97] These goals were subsequently echoed in PFA’s ‘strong position’ on the ‘need’ to build ‘new supranational organisations and new regional associations’, and its seemingly selfless objective of ‘shap[ing] a new world order’ in which ‘all men are brothers, deeply concerned with each other’s fate.’ The ‘ultimate objective’ of US foreign policy, according to PFA, should be ‘a world at peace, based on separate political entities acting as a community.’ Or more precisely, an international order based on ‘regional institutions under an international body of growing authority…’ This approach was essential because ‘[t]oday the national interest cannot be fulfilled within the limits of the nation itself’, but only through ‘an order far wider than its geographical limits.’[98]

To this end PFA advocated the creation of regional associations, the strengthening of existing supranational institutions and hastening the process of international economic integration. Prospect for America recommended that America support ‘the political and economic unity of Western Europe’, as it would be a vital step towards an ‘Atlantic community’. America should also take the lead in creating a ‘Western Hemisphere Common Market’, incorporating North, South and Central America.[99] As for the United Nations, PFA lauded the organisation as ‘proof of our conviction that problems which are of world-wide impact must be dealt with through institutions global in their scope.’ The UN played a ‘vitally important role in the development of a functioning international system’ and stood as a ‘symbol of the world order that will one day be built.’ It should therefore be ‘one of the principal vehicles through which [US] foreign policy is expressed.’[100]

PFA also identified the need for a ‘framework of economic law and accommodation that runs beyond the boundaries of existing political sovereignties’ to help nations adapt to the growth in economic interdependence. To help meet this objective, PFA recommended the creation of ‘regional trading systems’, the development of new international financial and development institutions, and the ‘vigorous promotion’ of ‘free world trade.’[101] Prospect for America is one of the more remarkable Establishment planning documents to emerge out the early Cold War, yet it is widely and mysteriously ignored by New World Order historians.[102] This occurs despite its impeccable Rockefeller pedigree and the fact it advocates a model of world order based on regional associations answering to a single supranational authority. That this key document could go unstudied for so long demonstrates that much of this ‘hidden grand strategy’ has been hiding in plain sight…

To support his contention that ‘U.S. grand strategy during the Cold War’ not only involved containing Communism, but taking measures to ‘open up the world politically, culturally and above all economically’, Bacevich cites a speech made by US President Harry S. Truman on 4 July 1947. Delivered at the home of Thomas Jefferson in Monticello, Truman’s address, according to Bacevich, ‘constituted a blueprint’ and a ‘comprehensive vision for constructing a new international order.’[103] Noting that all nations were ‘interdependent’, Truman had called for the ‘full exchange of knowledge, ideas, and information among the peoples of the earth, and maximum freedom in international travel and communication.’ He also advocated the adoption of ‘economic and financial policies to support a world economy rather than separate nationalistic economies’, including creation of an International Trade Organisation to promote free trade.[104]

Bacevich links these proposals to an imperialistic agenda to ‘perpetuate American pre-eminence and to foster an international order conductive to U.S. interests.’[105] A close reading of that speech, however, suggests Truman had something else in mind, an ambitious goal more in tune with the ‘hidden grand strategy’ than imperialist expansion. His stated objective was to encourage all nations to harmonise their internal and external policies; as Truman explained, it is ‘now the duty of all nations to converge their policies toward common goals of peace.’ Truman later argued the lesson of the two world wars was that ‘nations should have learned the folly of a nationalism so extreme as to block cooperative economic planning among nations for peaceful reconstruction.’ Truman also advocated global cultural unity: ‘We have the mechanical facilities-the radio, television, airplanes–for the creation of a worldwide culture. We have only to set them to work for international good.’[106]

A similar failure to identify this hidden grand strategy can be seen in Chomsky’s analysis of another Truman speech. According to Chomsky, American foreign policy is ‘dominated by the principles that were crudely outlined’ by Truman in a ‘famous and important speech’ given at Baylor University at Waco on 6 March 1947, when he suggested ‘the basic freedom is freedom of enterprise, and that the whole world should adopt the American system which could survive in America only if it became a world system.’[107] Chomsky’s source, however, was not the speech itself but a paraphrase by an observer quoted in another book, which claimed Truman had announced ‘the whole world should adopt the American system [which] could survive in America only if it became a world system.’[108] In falsely attributing this paraphrase to Truman Chomsky soon fell afoul of critics who accused him of ‘scholarly fakery’, and of being an ‘intellectual crook’ and an ‘intellectual phoney.’[109]

Of greater importance, though, is how Truman’s speech should be interpreted. Chomsky insisted his sources were ‘accurate and perceptive’ in their narrower reading of Truman’s speech, and that it was ‘an error’ to focus on Truman’s ‘innocuous statements about protective tariffs.’[110] Arthur Schelsinger Jr, however, argued that Truman’s speech at Baylor was in fact ‘an earnest plea to American businessmen not to return to its economic nationalism of the days before the Second World War’ and for them to ‘support American membership in the International Trade Organisation.’[111]

Reviewing the above it is fair to conclude that this ‘hidden grand strategy’ of building ‘a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world…’ (David Rockefeller), identified by Ikenberry, alluded to by Hodgson, Judis, Isaacson and Thomas, and Bacevich, but largely ignored by Chomsky, does exist. And it is this strategy that a much-despised fringe of analysts, mostly based in the John Birch Society, has sought to warn people of since the late 1950s.[112] The problem, though, is how this strategy became hidden and what it suggests about the supposed ideological unity of the Establishment.

6. The Mask of ‘Containment’?

It is emphasised in a number of mainstream studies that at the conclusion of World War Two the consensus among US government officials and leading politicians was that a ‘universalist’ model of world order, very much in manner of Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, was essential to prevent war. As Seyom Brown observes in his study of US foreign policy, The Faces of Power (1983):

United States officials emerged from the Second World War in awe of the physical power nations had been able to develop, but with little confidence in the power of nations unilaterally to exercise the self-control required to channel their tremendous physical capabilities to constructive as opposed to destructive purposes. Throughout the government there was a wide consensus that the survival of civilisation required the strengthening of international institutions and also…the eventual reduction of the amount of destructive power in the hands of individual nations.[113]

The establishment of the United Nations was the most obvious embodiment of this strategy, though at its core was the Security Council dominated by the remaining world powers – the US, USSR, China, France and Britain – who were expected to collaborate in a ‘great-power directorate’ to maintain the new international system.[114] There were some who dreamed of the United Nations being eventually transformed into something more profound, maybe even a world government that would override national sovereignty. There were numerous expressions of this sentiment, particularly during the 1940s and 1950s, both from world peace activists and politicians.[115] This even included world leaders such as FDR’s successor, US President Harry S. Truman; as the historian John Gaddis Lewis relates:

Truman for years carried in his wallet a copy of the portion of Tennyson’s poem, ‘Locksley Hall’, that predicted a ‘Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World.’ ‘We’re going to have that someday’, he insisted, ‘I guess that’s what I’ve been really working for ever since I first put that poetry in my pocket.’[116]

Since 1944 the US government, first under Roosevelt, then under Truman, had been working to shape and prepare public opinion for the implementation of this universalist model of world order. To help achieve this objective, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation had provided special funding to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Institute for Pacific Relations and the Foreign Policy Association to cultivate popular support this agenda.[117] The unresolved issue, though, is how this strategy could have slipped so thoroughly from public awareness? How could this liberal internationalist consensus become so well ‘hidden’ that many mainstream analysts seem to believe Establishment unity only emerged in response to the ‘Soviet threat’ after the war ended? The answer lies in the simple fact that what most analysts identify as the consensus – the devotion to the anti-Communist policy of containment – actually concealed and subsequently eroded that original post war agreement amongst America’s power-elite to support liberal internationalism.

According to more conventional accounts, the doctrine of ‘containment’ emerged out of necessity, as a justified response to the threat posed to the ‘Free World’ by the Soviet Union’s ‘totalitarian ambition’ (Hertzeberg) and ‘design for world domination’ (Paul Nitze), in the words of two prominent American commentators.[118] Although somewhat blunt, these explanations carry an important element of truth, in that the Soviet Union came to be perceived as a threat to the ‘universalist’ world order that the US was trying to create. During the war, according to Patrick Hearden, author of Architects of Globalism (2002), American planners had sought to maintain the ‘Grand Alliance’ between the United States and the Soviet Union, believing ‘Russian cooperation would be essential to maintaining world peace’. Most planning was therefore built on the assumption, articulated by various senior State Department officials that ‘Russia would agree to cooperate with the United States’ (Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles) because it was the only way for Russia to ‘advance her general economic interests, her industrial development, [and] her social welfare’ (Secretary of State Hull).[119]

This expectation the USSR would and must cooperate was also reflected in the various agreements that led up to the formation of the United Nations The so-called ‘Four-Power Declaration’ of 1943, for example, committed the US, Britain, China and the Soviet Union to the creation of a ‘general international organisation to preserve world peace.’ Once the provisions of that declaration were implemented, Hull told Congress on 18 November 1943, ‘there will no longer be need for spheres of influence, for alliances, [or] for balance of power…’ Subsequent declarations and plans all of which culminated in the drawing up of the UN Charter, reinforced this point that collective security would be built on great power cooperation. Truman, in one of his first addresses after taking office, reiterated that nothing would be ‘more essential to the future peace of the world’ than the ‘continued cooperation’ of those nations which had defeated the Axis powers.[120]

These expectations were soon dashed by the reluctance of Stalin’s Soviet Union to conform to their expectations and participate in the American-designed new world order. Although actual Soviet aims, driven by fresh memories of the horrendous Nazi invasion, were initially limited to establishing a buffer zone of compliant client-states in Eastern Europe, some in the Establishment were quick to seize on this as evidence of a more sinister Communist design for world domination. During private sessions at Pratt House in the late 1940s, for example, CFR members increasingly griped at how the USSR had upset American plans for world order through its ‘grasping diplomacy and unilateral action of [a] cynical brutal type’, making it unlikely that ‘a lasting peace can be established or that Communism can live with the Capitalist System, or vice versa.’[121]

The so-called Wise Men had already been warning of this problem for some time. Averell Harriman (Skull & Bones), then US Ambassador to Russia, had warned repeatedly since 1944 that unless America stood up to Stalin, there was ‘every indication the Soviet Union will become a world bully.’ The Soviets ‘were not going to live up to their post-war agreements’, he cabled Roosevelt in 1945, therefore America ‘must recognise our objectives and the Kremlin’s objectives are irreconcilable.’ In a draft message he planned to deliver personally to FDR, Harriman argued the US ‘must find ways to arrest the Soviet domineering policy’ otherwise ‘…history will record the period of the next generation as the Soviet age.’ Believers in FDR’s Grand Alliance publicly scorned Harriman’s message, but he felt compelled to reiterate it in 1946 as he left his post. ‘Those who place greater emphasis on unilateral action rather than collective security are in ascendency in the Soviet government’, he warned, ‘…I think we have a long slow scrape ahead.’[122]

There is some dispute over the sincerity of the anti-Communism of the Wise Men. So-called ‘revisionists’, such as Chomsky, argue that their concern was not in protecting the freedom of other peoples worldwide from Communist tyranny or even safeguarding the US from the Soviet military, but in meeting the political and economic threat to areas containing resources vital to the American economy falling under the sway of regimes unfriendly to US interests.[123] Critics of Chomsky, though, emphasise that the anti-Communism of the US Establishment was as serious as the Communism of their Soviet opponents.[124]

Yet, it also cannot be denied that the response to the Communist threat was driven as much by economic considerations as it was by ideology. As Gaddis observes in his study of containment, that otherwise downplays this aspect:

What is surprising is the primacy that has been accorded economic considerations in shaping strategies of containment, to the exclusion of other considerations…To a remarkable degree containment has been the product, not so much of what the Russians have done, or what has happened elsewhere in the world, but of internal forces operating in the United States.[125]

The need to respond to this ‘threat’ had been impressed upon Truman with increasing effectiveness by the ‘Wise Men’, the US military and intelligence services. An OSS report in April 1945 warned that should the US ‘stand aside’, Russia would surely ‘dominate Europe and…establish her hegemony over Asia’ and through its access to Eurasia’s resources would in time ‘well outrank even the US in military potential.’[126] The USSR’s failure to abide by the Yalta agreement, particularly with regard to holding free elections in Eastern Europe and withdrawing its troops from Iran, only heightened Truman’s panic and anger. ‘Unless Russia is faced with an iron fist and strong language another war is possible,’ Truman concluded in 1946; ‘I do not think we should play compromise any longer’, he added.[127]

The transformation of the Establishment’s consensus came to public attention in 1947 with publication of the famous article ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct’ (Foreign Affairs July 1947) by one of the Wise Men, George Kennan, then Director of Policy Planning in the State Department. Citing the looming Soviet threat to American prosperity and values, Kennan (under the pseudonym of ‘X’) had called for ‘a policy of firm containment’ with the US confronting the USSR ‘with unalterable counter-force’ where and when ever the Soviets ‘show signs of encroaching upon the interests of a peaceful and stable world.’ In dealing with the Soviet threat, though, Kennan warned that ‘exhibitions of indecision, disunity and internal disintegration’ within the US had ‘an exhilarating effect on the whole Communist movement.’ The American people could only meet this ‘implacable challenge’ by ‘pulling themselves together and accepting the responsibilities of moral and political leadership.’[128]

Kennan’s article on the need for a new approach and for everyone to support it both reflected and drove the shift in strategic thinking within the Establishment and the Truman Administration. The Pentagon had already decided to abandon the UN as the centre point of America’s post-war strategy. In April 1947, for instance, the Joint Chiefs of Staff argued that those who retained their ‘faith in the ability of the United Nations to protect…the security of the United States’ had in fact ‘lost sight of the vital security interest of the United States’ and were pursuing an approach that could prove ‘fatal’ to those interests. Kennan’s contribution was to hasten that shift in thinking within the State Department. It was an official memorandum from Kennan on the subject in November 1947, which had prompted Secretary of State George Marshall to announce the ‘objective of our policy from this point on would be the restoration of [a] balance of power in both Europe and Asia…’[129] Marshall’s statement came just four years after Hull had declared balances of power to be obsolete.

This rejection of the UN would have naturally suited Kennan and his cohorts. Kennan had little time for the United Nations and other ‘universalist’ solutions such as international law. He dismissed the ‘idea of world peace’ as a ‘grandiose form of day-dreaming.’ For the US to commit itself to such a system, he warned in 1947, would only ‘prevent [America] from employing our influence in world affairs’ and ensnare it in a ‘sterile and cumbersome international parliamentarianism.’ Kennan favoured the balance-of-power as the organising principle for world order. ‘Our safety depends,’ he argued in 1948, ‘on our ability to establish a balance among the hostile or undependable forces of the world.’ Kennan later recalled in his Memoirs that in 1944, while posted to Moscow, he had concluded the United Nations ‘was not greatly needed’ as no ‘international organisation’ could ‘take the place of a realistic and well-conceived foreign policy.’ Lecturing in 1951, Kennan maintained his view that America’s ‘most serious fault’ had been its preoccupation with the ‘legalistic-moralistic approach to international affairs’, which he associated with international law, the UN, the League of Nations and ‘World Law and World Government.’ The UN and international law would only impose a ‘legal straitjacket’ over international relationships, and ‘inhibit’ the usual processes through which borders and boundaries were changed and resolved: war and diplomacy.[130]

Kennan’s comments are revealing for we find that in conventional accounts the Wise Men are usually celebrated for their so-called ‘moderation’ with little or no mention made of their attitude towards the UN. Hodgson, for example, suggests that in pursuing containment, the Establishment saw itself as ‘steering a middle course between the ignorant Yahoos of the right and the impractical sentimentality of the left.’ Similarly Isaacson and Thomas credit the Wise Men with distinguishing themselves from the ‘liberal visionaries’ who believed the wartime Grand Alliance between the US and the USSR could be preserved and the ‘fanatic anti-communists who viewed the coming East-West showdown as a holy war.’[131] But if we use Kennan’s anti-UN sentiments as a prism for inspecting our sources more closely a different picture of Establishment ‘moderation’ is revealed in which containment was not only a strategy for opposing Soviet Communism, but a very effective vehicle for one faction to usurp the temporary post-war dominance of another.

Isaacson and Thomas’ account implicitly concedes these points. The authors inform us that Kennan’s colleagues, Acheson, Lovett, Harriman, Bohlen and McCloy all ‘came to believe that it was dangerous to put much faith in post-war cooperation’ with the Soviet Union. Although ‘tacitly willing to cede the Soviets some sphere of interest’; at the same time they ‘consciously overstated the threat…in order to sell their vision of America’s role in the postwar world.’ This was evident in the flood of alarmist cables that Kennan and Harriman had both sent from Moscow; Kennan’s were particularly disturbing with his repeated warnings of, among other things, Russia’s push for ‘ultimate political domination of the entire Asiatic mainland’ and supposed determination to see America’s ‘traditional way of life…destroyed’.[132]

Also apparent is their disdain for the United Nations. Dean Acheson, for instance, Under Secretary and later Secretary of State under Truman, had dismissed the UN Charter as ‘impractical’, and ‘considered the UN to be weak and irrelevant.’ He believed ‘with Britain on the ropes, America would have to be the champion of order and the paladin of a new Pax Americana.’[133] The Wise Men’s supposed fears about Soviet intentions, however, proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy once containment was applied, as even Isaacson and Thomas acknowledge:

Their policies…did nothing to alleviate, and perhaps even exacerbated the evil they were designed to combat: Moscow’s paranoia, expansionism and unwillingness to cooperate in a liberal world order.[134]

It was Acheson who would take the lead in translating Kennan’s concept of containment into a network of mostly bilateral security-alliances as an alternative to the UN-based world order that FDR had originally envisaged. According to Acheson’s Policy Planning Staff, the US and USSR were in a ‘struggle for preponderant power…[T]o seek less than preponderant power would be to opt for defeat. Preponderant power must be the object of US policy.’[135] Achieving this goal would require sidelining the newly created United Nations; a task Acheson had no qualms about undertaking. In fact his scorn for the American-created organisation was considerable; in private he dismissed ‘that little rat Leo Pasvolsky’s United Nations’ while publicly he would declare ‘the votes in the United Nations mean less than nothing.’[136] In later years he would also identify international law as an obstacle to American preponderance which should be cast aside, telling the American Society of International Law in 1962 that when faced by challenges to its ‘power, position and prestige’, America’s response was ‘not a legal issue.’[137]

In building this Pax Americana Acheson found plenty of support from within the US defence establishment, which had already developed plans along those lines during WWII. According to University of Virginia historian Melvyn P. Leffler, in 1943-44 US military planners had devised ‘elaborate plans for an overseas base system’ to protect America’s ‘strategic frontier’. These plans, which were endorsed by FDR in 1944, envisaged a ‘defensive ring of outlying bases’ encircling the Western Hemisphere thus giving the US ‘complete control of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans’. The initial aim of this strategy, which was revised and expanded in subsequent years, was to maintain exclusive US access to ‘vital raw materials’ in the Western Hemisphere by denying all foreign powers access those resources.[138]

By the end of the war, however, control of the Eurasian landmass had become the primary concern of the military establishment, leading to an expansion of the basing strategy. A Brookings Institution study from 1945, A Security Policy for Postwar America, had concluded that should a single power or an ‘anti-American coalition’ gain control of the Eurasian landmass, American security interests would be threatened. A number of military and government studies also emphasised the need to increase American commercial access and prevent Soviet domination of Eurasia. To counter this anticipated threat, bases were sought in Western Europe, the Middle East and North Asia, along with increases in military expenditure and the acquisition of more atomic weapons. Most of these plans were brought to fruition under the auspices of the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, even though, as a number of US military intelligence analysts had recognised as early as July 1947, these policies had in fact ‘provoked a more aggressive Soviet attitude toward the United States.’[139]

The culmination of this policy – over the objections of Kennan who favoured containing the USSR through diplomatic and economic rather military means – was the planning document known as NSC-68. First drafted in 1950 by Acheson’s Policy Planning Group, then headed by Paul Nitze, NSC-68 invoked the spectre of imminent Soviet ‘domination of the Eurasian landmass’ and claimed the USSR sought in the long-term ‘absolute authority over the rest of the world.’ NSC-68 used this image of a global, monolithic Communist conspiracy to justify an increase in the US defence budget from $13.5 billion per year up to $50 billion. But NSC-68 was flawed in its assumptions, dramatically overstating, if not exaggerating, the military capabilities of the USSR presenting it as the stronger party when in fact the opposite was true. Setting an example for future policy-makers, Nitze later blamed ‘poor intelligence’ for these errors. Despite most of these flaws being unknown at the time, NSC-68 still failed to convince Truman and Congress, leaving its authors in a quandary; as Isaacson and Thomas note ‘Acheson and the State Department needed a crisis to shape the listless body politic.’ This crisis soon came in the form of the Korean War, which easily persuaded Congress to nearly triple defence spending to $53.4 billion in 1951.  A relieved Acheson would later remark: ‘Korea saved us.’[140]

Viewing this record it is surely intriguing that the celebrated architects of containment – by no sheer coincidence – were all either opposed to or sceptical of the ‘universalist’ model based around the United Nations. It was this group, the so-called ‘Wise Men’ – in collaboration with elements within the US military establishment – who exploited Soviet intransigence and post-war excesses to overturn the original post-war pro-UN consensus. They replaced it with a strategy of aggressively asserting US interests worldwide supposedly in the name of containing the Communist threat. But it was never intended to be a sincere anti-Communist crusade. Rather than seeking to ‘roll back’ or crush Communism, as some ‘ignorant Yahoos of the right’ desired, the supporters of containment were content to maintain a global balance of power, restraining the Soviet Union while at the same time staking out and maintaining America’s sphere of influence as widely as possible. Invoking the Soviet threat also enabled them to convince the American public that sidestepping the United Nations was essential to US national security. It was an effective strategy one that removed two major domestic and international constraints on their plans and while also creating a strong justification for what Chomsky describes as ‘criminal action abroad and entrenchment of privilege and state power at home.’ In sum, in their competition with the liberal internationalists, the threat of Soviet Communism was the Wise Men’s trump card and they played it for over twenty-five years.

7. The Death of the Bipartisan Consensus

The other more important implication of their success was that the liberal internationalist project became ‘hidden’. This was not because its proponents were expelled from the seats of power; on the contrary, as demonstrated by the pre-eminent position of David Rockefeller and other members of his family, the liberal internationalists retained a strong presence within the Establishment. Although wary of the exaggerated Communist threat popularised by Acheson and the military-industrial complex, even the liberal internationalists were compelled, if reluctantly, to acknowledge that the Soviet Union was an obstacle to their plans. In fact, once the nuclear arms race was underway, there seemed to be no choice. As Prospect for America’s authors lamented in the late 1950s, even though ‘nationalism can no longer have the absolute meaning it once did’, present circumstances meant there was ‘no other course for Americans than to act for the preservation of our nation-state…’[141] Recognising the requirements of this short-term goal, the liberal internationalist faction continued to agitate for change. David and Nelson Rockefeller were often at the forefront of these efforts, combining anti-Communist bluster with the gradual insinuation of their preferred policies into America’s Cold War strategy.[142]

Their success is perhaps most evident in the continuing existence of that international institutions originally established by Roosevelt and Truman. Despite varying degrees of hostility or indifference from successive US administrations, the essential structure based around the UN, the IMF, World Bank and GATT (now the World Trade Organisation) are intact and functioning. Americans sometimes forget the role their nation has played in this process, but as Michael Hirsch noted in Foreign Affairs in late 2002, in the sixty years since these organisations were created, the US has in fact ‘built a global order, bit by bit, era by era.’ In fact: ‘Every major international institution – the UN, the World Bank, the [IMF], NATO, the [GATT] was made in America. And all this institution building has amounted to a workable international system…’[143]

The maintenance of this system remained largely out of public view, although from time to time there were a few glimpses of this ‘hidden strategy’, particularly during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. This included the Treaty on General and Complete Disarmament, presented to the world by Kennedy in his first address to the United Nations on 25 September 1961. Also known as the McCloy-Zorin Agreement or the Department of State Document 7277 Freedom From War, the treaty and its subsequent follow-up, Blueprint for the Peace Race (18 April 1962) provided for the phased elimination of all military weapons and the creation of a ‘UN Peace Force’ to oversee disarmament and maintain world peace. It did not escape the attention of more than a few analysts at the time that these proposals amounted to an endorsement of world government. ‘Here, then’, commented Lincoln Bloomfield, ‘is the basis in recent American policy for the notion of world government. It was not made explicit and, given the realities of domestic political life, may never be.’[144] Arms control expert David Schelling agreed: ‘If militarily superior to any combination of national forces, an international force implies (or is) some form of world government.’[145]

On 10 June 1963, in an address at the American University in Washington DC titled ‘The Strategy for Peace’; Kennedy presented a more extensive blueprint for world order that seemed to revive the post-war dreams of the liberal internationalists. In his speech – apparently prepared without input or clearance from either the Pentagon or the State Department – Kennedy explicitly ruled out a ‘Pax Americana, forced on the world by American weapons of war…’, putting in his faith instead in a more effective system of world law and a strengthened United Nations creating ‘a genuine world security system…capable of solving disputes on the basis of law.’ Not surprisingly Kennedy also paid tribute in his address to the ‘greatest generation’ for establishing the UN, NATO, World Bank and IMF.[146] What Kennedy had in mind struck at the heart of the agenda of the military-industrial complex, and it is perhaps no coincidence that these proposals were swept aside in the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination by the rapid escalation of US involvement in Vietnam.

In the same vein, but less well known, is the White House Conference on International Cooperation, established by Lyndon Johnson and held in Washington DC between 29 November and 1 December 1965. Johnson wanted the conference to ‘search and explore and canvass and thoroughly discuss every conceivable approach and avenue of cooperation that could lead to peace.’ This proved to be a massive undertaking, with some thirty ‘citizens committees’ distilling advice from thousands of expert witnesses into thirty reports that were considered by the final Conference. The result was not so much a consensus but a broad agenda for ‘curbing the arms race, ‘keeping the peace’, expanding world trade’, ‘aiding economic development’, ‘organising world finance’, ‘curbing population growth’, ‘conserving the world’s resources’, ‘exploring outer space’, ‘expanding the exchange of ideas’, and ‘protecting human rights’, almost exclusively through the creation of supranational institutions. The recommendations were later published in a book, Blueprint for Peace (1966), edited by Richard Gardner, and then largely forgotten.[147]

But not completely.

By the late 1960s, according to mainstream accounts, the Establishment consensus around containment was crumbling because of the combined weight of a seemingly unwinnable war in the jungles of Vietnam and civil unrest on the streets of America. By 1968, writes Judis, ‘the Establishment…had been torn apart by the war’; as early as 1965 with US involvement escalating, dissenters had already emerged to argue that America was ‘committing itself to a disastrous land war over a militarily unimportant country.’ This soon led to containment being questioned: ‘[CFR] members began to voice disagreement with the larger Cold War strategy that had guided American foreign policy since the end of World War II.’ By May 1971, according to Hodgson, ‘the establishment was bitterly divided on the issue of Vietnam’; the incendiary debates had ‘corroded the bonds of seniority, authority and respect which used to hold it together.’ ‘The consensus of the elite was shattered by the war’, claimed one former White House official. Writing in 1973, Hodgson agreed, noting that although the Establishment was sure to survive its ‘opinions will no longer be homogenous.’[148]

An in-depth examination of all the reasons behind the break-up of the Establishment consensus over Vietnam is beyond the scope or intention of this paper, however there is one important point that needs to be emphasised. The elite push to abandon the war in Vietnam and thus containment, did not become significant until the US financial community decided the war had become too costly to be sustained any longer. According to historian Robert Buzzanco, it was in 1968 that most of America’s financial elite had concluded the Vietnam War was ‘damaging the economy’ and causing ‘economic instability on an international scale.’ Under the guise of calling for reduced expenditure on the war, the bankers effectively endorsed US military withdrawal from Vietnam.[149] With Wall Street no longer behind it, the overall sensibility of the containment strategy was thus called into question and division replaced the previous unity of the Establishment.

This collapse of the Establishment consensus, drawn out over the final year of the Johnson Administration and much of Nixon’s first term, also resulted in the institutional, strategic and ideological fragmentation of the US power-elite. It was a tumultuous period as divisions, which had long been suppressed or hidden by the Cold War consensus, finally came to the surface. These divisions were also deepened by the geographical shift in wealth and influence, with the traditional Establishment, based on the Eastern seaboard of the US, seemingly eclipsed by the so-called ‘Cowboy’ or ‘Southern Rim’ elites based in the South and West.[150] As Carroll Quigley related in Tragedy and Hope (1966), since the 1950s ‘the economic influence of the older Wall Street groups [had] been weakening and been challenged by new wealth springing up outside the eastern cities, notably in the Southwest and Far West.’ The wealth of the Cowboys was largely based on oil and aviation or on industries reliant on government funding such as armaments and space exploration. As early as 1964, the representatives of this ‘new wealth’ had engaged in a ‘financial struggle’ with the ‘old wealth’ of the East for control of the political process, and ultimately of the White House, to ensure that high government spending on the military and space continued.[151] With the collapse of the Eastern Establishment’s consensus, this struggle for control only escalated.

Institutionally the dominant position of the CFR was eroded as a plethora of new foreign policy think-tanks and policy-planning organisations were created. As one academic commentator observed, when ‘the consensus broke down in the early 1970s new institutions emerged giving diverse opinions a more exact and explicit form.’ This proliferation of think-tanks and ‘heated competition for funding and media attention’, accelerated during the 1980s, to the extent that ‘permanent disagreement has been institutionalised.’[152] This new wave of private institutions included conservative organisations such as the Heritage Foundation, Centre for Security Policy, Centre for Defence Information and American Enterprise Institute; and more avowedly liberal internationalist groups (many with Rockefeller support) such as the Trilateral Commission,[153] the Overseas Development Council, the Institute for International Economics, and the World Policy Institute.

The abandonment of containment also coincided with a fundamental shift in elite perceptions. Gone was the public obsession with the supposed Soviet threat, instead there seemed to be widespread agreement that with its political and economic power now in decline, the US could no longer shape the world by itself. America ‘cannot shape the world single-handed’, argued Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book Between Two Ages (1970), his largely successful attempt to launch the idea of a ‘community of developed nations’ or trilateralism, to share the burden of global leadership. ‘Gone are the days when America could be the military policeman of the world, the moral preacher of the world, the sole arsenal of democracy, or a patch of prosperity on the globe’, agreed Trilateral Commission founder David Rockefeller.[154] Even Richard Nixon, according to his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, constructed his balance of power policies on the premise that ‘the age of America’s nearly total dominance of the world stage was drawing to a close.’[155]

There was, however, no bipartisan strategy that replaced containment; instead the various factions endorsed their own preferred approaches. The liberal internationalists revived supranationalism and international economic integration as the only means build a new world order, but suggested that America share leadership in a ‘trilateral’ arrangement with Japan and Western Europe. To justify their stance, liberal internationalists also cited the growing ‘interdependence’ of the world that was weakening the nation-state. As Stanley Hoffman argued in Foreign Affairs in 1972, ‘state policies are often impaired or inspired by transnational forces that range from corporations to scientists.’ This imposed certain obligations on America; specifically ‘a single world system must be the goal’ of US foreign policy as there was ‘a growing need for pooled sovereignty, shared powers and effective international institutions in all realms.’[156]

Yet, recognising that the Cold War had ‘hobbled the United Nations, draining it of the resources, unanimity and strength’ (Brown) and that at the same time, any ‘plans for instant world government carry little credibility’ (Gardner), the liberal internationalists adopted a different strategy of outflanking the nation-state.[157] According to this approach, essentially a revival of David Mitrany’s idea of functionalism, responsibility for resolving various problems would be shifted from the nation-state to a plethora of international bodies. Basically national governments would face ‘fragmentation’ and ‘weakening’ as an ‘anonymous multinational network of bureaucrats’ emerged to take control.[158] Or as the most well-known advocate of the ‘functional approach to world order’, Richard Gardner, wrote:

the hope for the foreseeable future lies not in building up a few ambitious central institutions of universal membership and general jurisdiction as was envisaged at the end of the last war, but rather in the much more decentralized, disorderly and pragmatic process of inventing or adapting institutions of limited jurisdiction and selected membership to deal with specific problems on a case by case basis, as the necessity for cooperation is perceived by the relevant nations…In short the “house of world order” will have to built from bottom up, rather than from top down…an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.[159]

In contrast, some of the original architects of containment, now recognising US weakness, promoted a version of the balance of power concept involving a more civil arrangement with the Communist states through détente with the USSR and rapprochement with China. Nixon became the main proponent of this approach, announcing in July 1971 his plan to construct a ‘pentagonal balance of power’ involving the US, USSR, China, Japan and Western Europe.[160]

For Establishment intellectuals these two contrasting strategies were easy to assimilate and over time the acceptable definition of ‘world order’ for the power elite was recast to mean either of those approaches. As then academic (and later Clinton Administration official) Joseph S. Nye Jr explained in Foreign Affairs in 1992:

[T]he term ‘world order’ is used in two very different ways in discussions of world politics. Realists, in the tradition of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, see international politics occurring among sovereign states balancing each other’s power. World order is the product of a stable distribution of power among the major states. Liberals, in the tradition of Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter, look at relations among peoples as well as states. They see order arising from broad values like democracy and human rights, as well as from international law and institutions such as the United Nations.[161]

For most New World Order researchers, however, this might seem like an arcane, academic distinction, maybe even the product of a profound intellectual failure to search for the ‘hidden agenda’ behind the dogma and doctrine emanating from the seats of power. Or even some skilful propaganda designed to deceive rather than inform with its contrasting explanations of world order. But in truth it should be seen for what it is: an admission to diversity of opinion within the Establishment, even though the accepted spectrum of opinion was quite narrow. These divisions had been already explicitly acknowledged by Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential campaign, with his declaration that ‘the time had come’ to replace ‘balance of power politics with world order politics.’[162]

Yet even this two-fold division is misleading. For one the boundaries between the two groups are sometimes blurred; indeed, irrespective of what think-tank, political party or social club they belong to, or which corporate entity they either own or represent, the positions taken by leading Establishment figures at times defies such simplistic characterisations. The other reason is that Nye’s neat labels exclude a third group, usually known as the ‘neo-conservatives’, whose vision of world order is based on the exclusive and overt global hegemony of the United States. And it is the emergence of this so-called ‘neo-conservative’ faction, which is credited with formulating much of George W. Bush’s post-9/11 foreign policy that is the subject of Part Two of this study.


[1] Quoted in Richard Reeves, President Nixon: Alone in the White House, (Touchstone, 2002), p.577.

[2] Quoted in Robert Manning, ‘A world safe for business’, Far Eastern Economic Review, 25 March 1977, p.39.

[3] Gary Allen and Larry Abraham, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, (Concord Press, 1971), pp.13-14, 87.

[4] John F. McManus, TThe Insiders: Architects of the New World Order, (The John Birch Society, 2004), pp.5, 11.

[5] David Icke, I Am Me, I Am Free: The Robots’ Guide to Freedom, (Bridge of Love, 1997), p.17.

[6] David Icke, Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster: Why the official story of 9/11 is a monumental lie, (Bridge of Love, 2002), pp.7, 9, 13-19.

[7] David Icke, …And The Truth Shall Set You Free, (Bridge of Love, 1995), p.xviii.

[8] Dr. John Coleman, Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300, (America West Publishers, 1992), pp.3-4, 21.

[9] Nicholas Hagger, The Syndicate: The Story of the Coming World Government, (O Books, 2005), pp.x, 23-25.

[10] Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids, (HarperCollins, 2000), p.107.

[11] ibid, p.108 (emphasis added).

[12] Tibor S. Friedman, ‘Symbols, slogans and spin’, Online Journal, 29 June 2005, p.3 (emphasis added).

[13] James Perloff, The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline, (Western Islands, 1988), pp.5, 15 (emphasis added).

[14] McManus, The Insiders, p.8 (emphasis added).

[15] Quoted in Gary Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, (Huntington House, 1992), p.32.

[16] Quoted in John A. Stormer, None Dare Call It Treason, (Liberty Bell Press, 1964), p.210.

[17] Phyllis Schafly and Chester Ward, Kissinger On The Couch, (Arlington House, 1975), pp.129, 135, 145-146.

[18] Perloff, The Shadows of Power, p.10.

[19] Allan and Abram, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, p.80.

[20] See for example, Marrs, Rule By Secrecy; William Bramley, The Gods of Eden, (Avon Books, 1990); and David Icke, The Biggest Secret, (Bridge of Love, 1999).

[21] See for example Fritz Springmeier, The Illuminati Bloodlines, (Ambassador House, 1999).

[22] Gary Allen, Say “No!” to the New World Order, (Concord Press, 1987), p.29.

[23] Quoted in Perloff, Shadows of Power, p.193.

[24] Michael Howard, The Occult Conspiracy: Secret Societies – Their Influence and Power in World History, (Destiny Books, 1989), pp.2-3.

[25] David Icke, The Robots Rebellion, (Gateway Books, 1994), p.37.

[26] Perloff, Shadows of Power, p.191.

[27] Icke, Alice in Wonderland, p.477.

[28] David Icke, Children of the Matrix, (Bridge of Love, 2001), p.5; and Icke, I  Am Me, I Am Free, pp.14 & 8.

[29] Friedman, ‘Symbols, slogans and spin’, p.3 (emphasis in original).

[30] Letter addressed to ‘The Sheeple’ from ‘The Globalist New World Order’

[31] David Rockefeller, Memoirs, (Random House, 2002), p.405.

[32] See Will Banyan, ‘A Short History of the Round Table’ Parts 1-3, Nexus (December 2004-January 2005; February-March 2005 & April-May 2005).

[33] See Will Banyan, ‘A Short History of the Round Table’ Part 4, Nexus, (June-July 2005).

[34] Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy, (Touchstone, 1994), pp.29-30, 40.

[35] ibid, pp.30, 44, 234.

[36] Thomas J. Knock, To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order, (Princeton University Press, 1992), p.50.

[37] ibid, pp.50-55.

[38] ibid, pp.55-57.

[39] ibid, p.58.

[40] Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, (Coward, McGann & Geoghegan: New York, 1979), pp.567-568; and Howard K. Beale, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power, (John Hopkins Press: Baltimore, 1956), p.38.

[41] Roosevelt quoted in Beale, ibid, p.64.

[42] Adams quoted in Beale, ibid, p.78

[43] Alfred T. Mahan, ‘Possibilities of an Anglo-American Reunion’, North American Review, November 1894, p.560.

[44] Adams quoted Beale, Theodore Roosevelt, pp. 256-257 (emphasis added).

[45] Quoted in Andrew J. Bacevich, ‘Family Matters: American Civilian and Military Elites in the Progressive Era’, Armed Forces & Society, Spring 1982, p.408.

[46] See Priscilla Roberts, ‘Willard Straight, The First World War, and “Internationalism of all Sorts”: The Inconsistencies of An American Liberal Interventionist’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol.44, No.4, 1998.

[47] See Priscilla Roberts, ‘Benjamin Strong, the Federal Reserve, and the Limits to Interwar American Nationalism, Part I: Intellectual Profile of a Central Banker’, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Quarterly, Spring 2000; and Roberts, ‘Benjamin Strong, the Federal Reserve, and the Limits to Interwar American Nationalism, Part II: Strong and the Federal Reserve System in the 1920s’, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Quarterly, Spring 2000. According to Roberts, Strong was predisposed to supporting ‘close cooperation with Britain’ and had a world view in which ‘intimate Anglo-American cooperation was fundamental’, (Roberts, ‘Benjamin Strong…Part I’, p.64).

[48] Bacevich, ‘Family Matters’, pp.409, 411.

[49] Kissinger, Diplomacy, p.54.

[50] See Serge Ricard, ‘Anti-Wilsonian Internationalism: Theodore Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star’, in Daniela Rossini, ed., From Theodore Roosevelt to FDR: Internationalism and Isolationism in American Foreign Policy, (Keele University Press, 1995).

[51] Priscilla Roberts, ‘The Anglo-American Theme: American Visions of an Atlantic Alliance, 1914-1933’, Diplomatic History, Summer 1997, p.336.

[52] Godfrey Hodgson, ‘The Establishment’, Foreign Policy, Spring 1973, p.13.

[53] Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, (HarperCollins, 2000), p.466.

[54] Michael Hirsch, ‘The Death of a Founding Myth’, Newsweek: Special Davos Edition, December-2001-February 2002, p.22.

[55] David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, (Pan Books, 1972), p.12; Arthur Schelsinger Jr., A Thousand Days, (Houghton Mifflin, 1965), p.128; and Joseph Kraft, ‘School for Statesmen’, Harper’s Magazine, July 1958, pp.64, 68.

[56] G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America?, (Prentice-Hall, 1967), pp.63, 71; Thomas R. Dye, Who’s Running America?: The Carter Years, Second Edition, (Prentice-Hall, 1979), p.126; and Priscilla Roberts, ‘ “The Council has been your Creation”: Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Paradigm of the American Foreign Policy Establishment?’, Journal of American Studies, April 2001, p.66.

[57] Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, (Little Brown, 1982), p.86.

[58] Quoted in Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made, (Touchstone, 1986) pp.27-28.

[59] Hodgson, ‘The Establishment’, pp.9-10.

[60] ibid, pp.8-9; Godfrey Hodgson, America In Our Time, (Doubleday & Co. 1976), pp.67-69, 491.

[61] Hodgson, America In Our Time, p.118.

[62] John B. Judis, ‘Twilight of the Gods’, The Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 1991, pp.43-44.

[63] Isaacson and Thomas, The Wise Men, pp.19, 348-349.

[64] ibid, p.349.

[65] Noam Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins, (Pelican Books, 1969), p.26.

[66] Noam Chomsky, World Orders, Old and New, (Pluto Press, 1994), p.1.

[67] Chomsky quoted in Peter R. Mitchell & John Schoeffel, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, (Scribe Publications, 2002), p.64

[68] Andrew Bacevich, American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of American Diplomacy, (Harvard University Press, 2002), pp.2-3.

[69] ibid, p.3.

[70] ibid, pp.33, 88.

[71] ibid, pp.79, 85.

[72] ibid, p.87.

[73] Hodgson, ‘The Establishment’, p.13.

[74] Quoted and paraphrased in Noam Chomsky, ‘The United States: From Greece to El Salvador’, in Noam Chomsky, Jonathan Steele & John Gittings, Superpowers in Collision: The New Cold War, (Penguin Books, 1982), pp.20-21, 104.

[75] G. John Ikenberry, ‘Why Export Democracy?: The “Hidden Grand Strategy” of American Foreign Policy’, The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 1999, pp.58-59.

[76] Chomsky, ‘The United States: From Greece to El Salvador’, p.21.

[77] CFR memorandum quoted in Laurence H. Shoup, ‘Shaping the Postwar World: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States War Aims During World War II’, The Insurgent Sociologist, Spring 1975, p.10.

[78] Noam Chomsky, ‘Strategic Arms, the Cold War and the Third World’, in Edward P. Thompson et al, Exterminism and Cold War, (New Left Books, 1982), p.227.

[79] Shoup, ‘Shaping the Postwar World’, pp.16-17, 19-20 (emphasis added).

[80] ibid, p.23; and Laurance Shoup and William Minter, ‘Shaping a New World Order: The Council on Foreign Relations’ Blueprint for World Hegemony’, in Holly Sklar, ed, Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, (South End Press, 1980), p.142.

[81] Robert D. Schulzinger, The Wise Men of Foreign Affairs: The History of the Council on Foreign Relations, (Columbia University Press, 1984), pp.83, 88-93.

[82] Quoted in Shoup, ‘Shaping the Postwar World’, pp.35-39.

[83] For a more extensive discussion of CFR input into the formation of the IMF, see G. William Domhoff, The Power Elite and the State: How Policy is Made in America, (Aldine de Gruyter, 1990), pp.153-186.

[84] See Patrick J. Hearden, Architects of Globalism: Building a New World Order During World War II, (The University of Arkansas Press, 2002); and Peter Gowan, ‘US: UN’, New Left Review, No.24, November-December 2003, pp.5-28.

[85] Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, (Vintage, 1992), p.66, fn27; and Chomsky, At War With Asia, (Fontana, 1970), p.8.

[86] William Y. Elliott et al, The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy: Its Concepts, Strategy and Limits, A Report of a Study Group sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the National Planning Association, (Henry Holt & Co, 1955), p.42.

[87] Chomsky, At War With Asia, p.8. For further variations of Chomsky’s use of this quotation see also: Chomsky, Towards a New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, (Pantheon Books, 1982), p.85; Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, p.27; Chomsky, ‘Brave new world order’, New Statesman & Society, 20 & 27 December 1991, p.19; and Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, (Allen & Unwin, 2003), p.66.

[88] For a more detailed profile of the otherwise near invisible Frank Altschul see Priscilla Roberts, ‘Frank Altschul, Lazard Freres and the Council on Foreign Relations: The Evolution of a Transatlantic Thinker’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol.1, No.2 (2003). Roberts suggests that in Altschul’s career we can find ‘some truth in the myth of the inconspicuous power-broker quietly pulling the strings’ (ibid, p.175).

[89] Elliott et al, The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy,

[90] ibid,, 15, 42.

[91] ibid, pp.8 11 (emphasis added).

[92] ibid, pp.220-221, 224, 390, 394 (emphasis added).

[93] ibid, pp.395-397.

[94] Hodgson, America In Our Time, p.69.

[95] Lewis Chester et al, An American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of 1968, (Andre Deutsch: London, 1969), p.216.

[96] Rockefeller quoted in Stephen R. Graubard, Kissinger: Portrait of a Mind, (W.W.Norton & Company, 1973), p106; Berle quoted in Jordan A. Schwarz, Liberal: Adolf A. Berle and the Vision of an American Era, (The Free Press, 1987), p.311.

[97] Quoted in John Andrew iii, ‘Cracks in the Consensus: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund Special Studies Project and Eisenhower’s America’, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Summer 1998, pp.537, 551 en.8.

[98] Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Prospect for America: The Rockefeller Panel Reports, (Doubleday, 1961) pp.17-18, 20, 24, 26, 32-33, 35-36 (emphasis added).

[99] ibid, pp.29-33, 228-231 (emphasis added).

[100] ibid, pp.33-35 (emphasis added).

[101] ibid, 186, 189-191, 198-199, 204, 222.

[102] John Birch Society founder Robert Welch did suggest that ‘Communist influences’ had affected the timing and recommendations of the RBF Study Group, although he did praise the study group for comprising of ‘mostly…entirely loyal Americans’ (The Blue Book of the John Birch Society, Western Islands, 1959, p.21).

[103] Bacevich, American Empire, pp.4-5.

[104] Quoted in ibid, p.5.

[105] ibid, p.6.

[106] President Truman, ‘Independence Day Address Delivered at the Home of Thomas Jefferson’, 4 July 1974, at Truman Presidential Library website (emphasis added).

[107] Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins, p.253.

[108] Quoted in ibid, p.215.

[109] Arthur Schlesinger Jr, ‘Truman’s Speech & Noam Chomsky’, Commentary, December 1969, pp.4 & 10. Schlesinger had first pointed out this error in his review of American Power and the New Mandarins, which appeared in Book World (23 March 1969).

[110] Noam Chomsky, ‘Vietnam, the Cold War & Other Matters’, Commentary, October 1969, p.22.

[111] Schlesinger, ‘Truman’s Speech & Noam Chomsky’, p.4.

[112] Arguably the main problem with the John Birch Society’s analysis of the New World Order, one that persists to this day, is their assertion Communism are the primary vehicle of those capitalist elites behind the push for world government. It was JBS founder Robert Welch who first warned of the ‘gigantic conspiracy to enslave mankind’ being hatched by the Communists in his book, The Blue Book of the John Birch Society (Western Islands, 1959). The Communists, he claimed, were following a long-range plan designed to: ‘induce the gradual surrender of American sovereignty, piece by piece and step by step, to various international organisations – of which the United Nations is the outstanding but by far the only example – while the Communists are simultaneously and equally gradually getting complete working control of such organisations…Until one day…we are part of a world-wide government ruled by the Kremlin, with the police-state features of that government rapidly closing in on ourselves’ (p.20). Recent history has exposed the absurdities of this theory; nevertheless Welch’s legion of successors stick doggedly to his conjecture. This has resulted in increasingly bizarre efforts in which most architects of the New World Order are correctly identified; yet their supposedly pro-Communist sympathies are the sole yardstick used to measure their complicity. By trying to paint the New World Order project as inherently ‘Communist’, the Welch-inspired methodology not only misses the clear evidence of serious Establishment attempts to neutralise the Soviet threat, but ignores the more compelling evidence of elite moves to supersede national sovereignty to be found in their support for supranational institutions, free trade and international economic integration.

[113] Seyom Brown, The Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy from Truman to Reagan, (Columbia University Press, 1983), p.29.

[114] See Gowan, ‘US: UN’, pp.9-11.

[115] See for example Cord Meyer Jr, ‘A Plea for World Government’, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July 1949, pp.6-3; Clark M. Eichelberger, ‘World Government via the United Nations’; ibid, pp.20-25; and Albert Einstein, ‘Atomic War or Peace’, The Atlantic Monthly, November 1947.

[116] Quoted in John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy, (Oxford University Press, 1982), p.56.

[117] See Inderjeet Parmar, ‘ “To Relate Knowledge and Action”: The Impact of the Rockefeller Foundation on Foreign Policy Thinking During America’s Rise to Globalism 1939-1945’, Minerva 40 (2002), pp.235-263; Parmar, ‘The Carnegie Corporation and the Mobilisation of Opinion During the United States Rise to Globalism, 1939-1940’, Minerva, 37 (1999), pp..355-278; and Parmar, ‘Engineering Consent: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Mobilisation of American Public Opinion, 1939-1945’, Review of International Studies 26 (2000), pp.35-48.

[118] Quotes in Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, pp.12, 15.

[119] Hearden, Architects of Globalism, pp.147, 148 (Welles quote), 184 (Hull quote).

[120] ibid, pp. 160, 164 (Hull quote); Truman quoted in Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy, (Touchstone, 1994) p.427 (emphasis added).

[121] Quoted in Michael Wala, The Council on Foreign Relations and American Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War, (Berghahn Books, 1994), pp.78-79.

[122] Quoted in Isaacson and Thomas, The Wise Men, pp.238, 247-248, 268-269, 348.

[123] See for example, Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, pp.1-68.

[124] For a recent critique of Chomsky’s theories about the Cold War see Thomas M. Nichols, ‘Chomsky and the Cold War’, in Peter Collier and David Horowitz, ed., The Anti-Chomsky Reader, (Encounter Books, 2004), pp.35-65.

[125] Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, pp.356-357 (emphasis in original).

[126] Quoted in Martin Walker, The Cold War: And The Making of the Modern World, (Vintage, 1994), p.18.

[127] Quoted in Brown, The Faces of Power, p.34.

[128] George Kennan, ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct’, in Philip E. Mosely, ed., The Soviet Union 1922-1962: A Foreign Affairs Reader, (Council on Foreign Relations, 1963), pp.183-185.

[129] Quotes in Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, p.57 (emphasis added).

[130] Quoted in ibid pp.27-29; George F. Kennan, Memoirs, 1925-1950, (Little Brown & Co, 1967), p.218-219; and Kennan, American Diplomacy 1900-1950, (A Mentor Book, 1951), pp.82-86.

[131] Hodgson, ‘The Establishment’, p.14; Isaacson and Thomas, The Wise Men, p.33.

[132] Isaacson and Thomas, The Wise Men, pp.33-34, 275, 276 (including quotes)

[133] ibid, pp.323, 400 & 367 (including quotes).

[134] ibid, p.34.

[135] Quoted in Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War, (Stanford University Press, 1992), p.19.

[136] Quoted in Gowan, ‘US: UN’, p.6.

[137] Quoted in Noam Chomsky, The New Military Humanism: Lessons From Kosovo, (Pluto Press, 1999), p.151; and Chomsky, Hegemony Or Survival, p.14.

[138] Melvyn P. Leffler, ‘National Security and U.S. Foreign Policy’, in Melvyn P. Leffler and David S. Painter, eds, Origins of the Cold War: An International History, (Routledge, 1994), pp.18-22.

[139] ibid, pp.23-24, 33-34; and Leffler, A Preponderance of Power, p.11.

[140] NSC-68 quoted in Walker, The Cold War, pp.72-73; and Isaacson and Thomas, The Wise Men, pp.490, 495-504, 513 (Acheson quote).

[141] RBF, Prospect for America, pp.18-19.

[142] For further discussion of the liberal internationalist thought of Nelson and David Rockefeller see Will Banyan, ‘Rockefeller Internationalism’ (Part 2), Nexus, June-July 2003; ibid, (Part 3), Nexus, August-September 2003; and ibid, (Part 4), Nexus, October-November 2003.

[143] Michael Hirsch, ‘Bush and the World’, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2002, p.31.

[144] Lincoln Bloomfield, ‘Arms Control and World Government’, World Politics, July 1962, p.635

[145] Schelling quoted in Lee D. Neumann, ‘World Government’, in Joseph S. Nye Jr, et al, Fateful Visions: Avoiding Nuclear Catastrophe, (Ballinger, 1988), p.197.

[146] Quoted in Theodore C. Sorenson, ‘JFK’s Strategy of Peace’, World Policy Journal, Fall 2003, pp.2-3. Sorenson was a former aide to Kennedy. Peter Dale Scott cites Kennedy’s speech as an example of those ‘presidential initiatives for peace’ that have had to be ‘prepared in conditions of secrecy’ to avoid interference from the military-industrial complex. See Scott, Drugs, Oil and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia and Indochina, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003), p.10.

[147] See Richard N. Gardner, Blueprint for Peace: Being the Proposals of Prominent Americans to the White House Conference on International Cooperation, (McGraw Hill, 1966).

[148] Judis, ‘Twilight of the Gods’, p.45; and Hodgson, ‘The Establishment’, pp.35, 37, 39 (emphasis in original).

[149] Robert Buzzanco, ‘What Happened to the New Left? Toward a Radical Reading of American Foreign Relations’, Diplomatic History, Fall 1999, pp.593-595.

[150] For more extensive treatments of this issue see, Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War: Conspiracies from Dallas to Watergate, (Sheed Andrews & McNeel, 1976); Kirkpatrick Sale, ‘Yankees and Cowboys – the World Behind Watergate’ in Steve Weissman, ed., Big Brother and the Holding Company: The World Behind Watergate, (Ramparts Press, 1974); and Kirkpatrick Sale, Power Shift: The Rise of the Southern Rim and Its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment, (Random House, 1975).  For a more thoughtful and recent analysis of this issue see Daniel Brandt, ‘Philanthropists at War’, NameBase Newsline, No.15, October-December 1996.

[151] Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of The World in Our Time, (MacMillan Company, 1966), pp.1245-1246.

[152] James A. Smith, ‘Private Players in the Game of Nations’, The Washington Quarterly, Summer 1988, pp.24-25.

[153] See Will Banyan, ‘Rockefeller Internationalism, Part 5: Trilateralism and the Legacy of David Rockefeller’, Nexus, December 2003-January 2004.

[154] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, (The Viking Press, 1970), p.304; and David Rockefeller, ‘In Pursuit of a Consistent Foreign Policy: The Trilateral Commission’, Vital Speeches of the Day, June 15, 1980, p.517.

[155] Kissinger, Diplomacy, p.703. Kissinger’s private views on America’s decline were reputed to be more extreme. During the 1976 Presidential campaign, retired Chief of Naval Operations and Democrat Senate candidate Elmo Zumwalt claimed Kissinger had once told him, ‘the day of the United States is past and today is the day of the Soviet Union. My job as Secretary of State is to negotiate the most acceptable second-best position available’ (quoted in Larry Abraham, Call It Conspiracy, Double A Publications, 1985, p.179). With Ronald Reagan and other critics using this allegation to attack détente, Kissinger angrily rejected Zumwalt’s claims as ‘a fabrication’ and publicly declared ‘I do not believe the United States is on the decline’ (quoted in Walter Isaacson, Kissinger, Touchstone, 1992, pp.696-698). The policies Kissinger insisted on pursuing, however, indicated that he held at the very least, a markedly more pessimistic view of America’s global position than he was prepared to admit to.

[156] Stanley Hoffmann, ‘Weighing the Balance of Power’, Foreign Affairs, July 1972, pp.632-635 (emphasis added).

[157] Lester R. Brown, World Without Borders, (Vintage Books, 1973), p.303; and Richard N. Gardner, ‘The United Nations and Alternative Formulations’, in Fred W. Neal and Mary K. Harvey, eds, Pacem In Terris III: Volume III American Foreign Policy in the Age of Interdependence, (Fund for the Republic: Santa Barbara, CA, 1974), p.168.

[158] Robert Cox, ‘On Thinking about Future World Order’, World Politics, January 1976, pp.188, 191.

[159] Richard N. Gardner, ‘The Hard Road to World Order’, Foreign Affairs, April 1974, p.558.

[160] Quoted in Joan Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered, (Basic Books, 1994), pp.158, 164-165.

[161] Joseph S. Nye Jr, ‘What New World Order?’, Foreign Affairs, Spring 1992, p.84 (emphasis added).

[162] Jimmy Carter, ‘The US, UN, World Order’, in Jimmy Carter, The Presidential Campaign, Volume One, Part One, (US Government Printing Office, 1978), p.683.