Archive for August, 2009
By Br. Bede Vincent
Consider C. Wright Mills, probably the first American scholar to bother tracking the elites in the US and to theorise about decision-making outside the formal legitimating rituals of elections etc. His 1956 book the Power Elite—published ten years before Quigley’s—was entirely marginalised. His argument was that there is actually a complex institutional structure for class formation in the US and this is still the fundamental taboo in all US political and social science, class. Dwight Eisenhower would allude to this in his farewell address as the “military-industrial complex”. However Mills concept was far broader. The competing theories and the ones essentially maintained even on the Left in the US are Popper, Bell and Schlesinger.
Surveillance is a gradual and incessant creep, the House of Lords warns. Unchecked, we march towards a mark where every detail about an individual is recorded and pored over by both the state and private sectors.
By then, though, it will be no use asking who is watching us – because everyone will be.
THE all-seeing eye was once seen as a divine force, surrounded by dazzling rays of light from on high. Its eyelid heavy but gaze unwavering, the eye was the protective stare of a supreme being watching over us from above.
Now, though, it simply watches, often from the shadows. Peering down from security cameras as we walk the city streets, buy bread at the corner store, fill the car with petrol, or catch a taxi or tram. Tracking us through our mobile phone or when driving through a tollway to Melbourne Airport, which last year trialled “virtual strip search” security scanners. Someone’s watching while we’re surfing online, sending an email, or updating our Facebook profile to paranoid. Melbourne once held pretensions of being the city that never sleeps. Now, at least, it is the city that never shuts its eyes.
How the fathers of Critical Theory found their way to America
ADAM KIRSCH - August 18, 2009
It would be hard to overstate the importance of the Frankfurt School in recent American thought. Philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists like Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Max Horkheimer—to name just the best-known members of the group—helped to develop a subtle and powerful way of thinking about the problems of modern society. Critical Theory, as it is usually capitalized, adapted the revolutionary impulse of Marxism to 20th century conditions, in which mass culture and totalitarianism seemed to shut off any real possibility of social transformation. Especially appealing to academics is the way Critical Theory makes the analysis of culture feel like a revolutionary act in and of itself. Reading Adorno on modern music, or Benjamin on literature, it is momentarily possible to believe that criticism is a weapon of liberation, rather than simply a hermetic exercise for intellectuals.
No wonder that after the 1960s, as Thomas Wheatland writes in his impressive new study The Frankfurt School in Exile, “ambitious young sympathizers with the New Left” in the academy turned en masse to the Frankfurt School, a scholarly subject that they could explore “without having to disguise or hide their intellectual and political orientations.” It is strange that it took until the 1960s for the Frankfurters to make a major impact on America, however, since from 1934 to 1949 they were actually living in the United States. The Institute for Social Research—the institutional home of the Frankfurt School thinkers—had to uproot itself from Germany in 1933, following Hitler’s rise to power. After a brief period in Geneva, it relocated to Morningside Heights, where it formed an uneasy partnership with Columbia University.
David Gordon - 8/27/2009
[A History of Money and Banking in the United States: From the Colonial Era to World War II. By Murray N. Rothbard, edited by Joseph T. Salerno. Mises Institute, 2002. 510 pages.]
Murray Rothbard had a remarkable ability to throw unexpected light on historical controversies. Again and again in his work, he pointed out factors that earlier authors had overlooked. After Rothbard has finished with a topic, we can never see it in the same way again. This talent is much in evidence in the present book, a collection of several long articles by Rothbard that together constitute a comprehensive look at American monetary history for the period indicated in the book’s title.
An example will illustrate Rothbard’s technique. Everyone knows Lenin’s theory of imperialism. Developed capitalist economies, Lenin maintained, characteristically produce more than they can sell domestically. To find an outlet for their surplus goods, capitalists seek markets abroad. Their endeavors bring about a struggle for colonies; thus, the “highest stage” of capitalism is imperialism.
Palestinians accuse the Israeli army of stealing body parts from its victims.
Donald Boström describes the international transplant scandal — and how he himself became a witness to an assault on a 19-year-old boy.
“I am what you might call a ‘matchmaker,’” said Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, USA, in a secret recording with an FBI agent he thought was a customer. Ten days later, at the end of July of this year, Rosenbaum was arrested in connection with a large tangle of corruption uncovered in New Jersey: Rabbis and trusted elected officials had for years engaged in money laundering and the illegal organ trade, and now the network was being rolled up like the mob on The Sopranos. Rosenbaum’s matchmaking was not about romance but about buying and selling kidneys from Israel on the black market. According to his own statement, he would buy body parts from the needy people in Israel for $10,000 and sell them to desperate patients in the U.S. for $160,000. The waiting time for a legal kidney transplant is an average of nine years.
Michael Barker - August 24, 2009
(Swans - August 24, 2009) Tens of thousands of philanthropic foundations finance social change within the United States, and last year they distributed $45.6 billion worth of grants. Thus given the not insignificant amounts of money being distributed by such foundations, an important question to ask is: how has this funding influenced anti-racism research and the evolution of race-related activism more generally? Yet to date few scholars in the field of race relations have attempted to address this simple yet critically important question. Scholarly attention has of course been paid to the role of right-wing foundations in promoting often racist neoliberal politics, but for reasons unknown, the influence of liberal foundations has for the most part been left untouched. This phenomenon is worrying given the small yet growing critical literature on philanthropy.
As might be expected, liberal philanthropists like many other unaccountable and undemocratic bodies regularly downplay the magnitude of their influence on society, successfully disguising the arguably crucial hegemonic function they fulfill for ruling elites. Of course, similar claims from other key powerbrokers — like the mainstream media — are rightfully met with skepticism, but in the case of liberal foundations the opposite appears to be the case. Consequently researchers (in most fields) have naively accepted the liberal foundations’ own benign sounding rhetoric at face value, and have ignored or belittled their influence on democratic processes.
One of the most important books exploring the detrimental influence of liberal foundations on social change was Robert Arnove’s edited collection Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundations at Home and Abroad (G.K. Hall, 1980). Contrary to popular interpretations of the effects of liberal philanthropy, Arnove observes that liberal foundations like the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation “have a corrosive influence on a democratic society” and “represent relatively unregulated and unaccountable concentrations of power and wealth which buy talent, promote causes, and, in effect, establish an agenda of what merits society’s attention.” Arnove and Nadine Pinede recently updated this critique noting that while the big three foundations — that is, Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie — “are considered to be among the most progressive in the sense of being forward looking and reform-minded,” they are also “among the most controversial and influential of all the foundations.” Indeed, as both Edward Berman and Frances Stonor Saunders have demonstrated, the activities of all three of these foundations have been closely entwined with the work of US foreign policy elites, including most notably the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (1)
Despite having long associations with both the CIA and also the civil rights movement (relationships that were sustained simultaneously throughout the 1960s), the big three foundations continue (without criticism, except from the Right, that is) to play an important role in funding anti-racism work. Therefore in the light of this information, this article will provide the first comprehensive (and critical) historical overview of the role of liberal philanthropy in funding both racially based advocacy efforts and anti-racism research. The study will begin by highlighting the role played by liberal foundations in the production of two academic books that are widely recognised as having exerted an influential role on the evolution of the civil rights movement. Then, with a strong focus on the role of the Ford Foundation, the article will review how liberal philanthropists deradicalised the civil rights movement, and will then go on to provide a brief overview of the range of anti-racism projects that the Ford Foundation has supported to date. Finally, the article will conclude by offering a number of recommendations for how anti-racism activists may begin to move away from their (arguably unsustainable) reliance on liberal foundation philanthropy.
Servando Gonzalez - August 20, 2009
In his book The New World Order, published in 1940, (you may download the full text of the book clicking here) Fabian socialist H.G. Wells explained in clear terms the Fabian’s plan to implement the New World Order through psychological warfare techniques against the peoples of the world.
Wells begins his argument with a short introduction in which he argued, “the system of nationalist individualism and uncoordinated enterprise” is “the world’s disease, and it is why the whole system has to go. It has to be reconditioned down to its foundations or replaced.” Wells is clearly advocating for the elimination of national borders and sovereign states as political entities, because, he argues, nationalism is a disease threatening to destroy the world. He doesn’t mention, however, that international bankers have been the major force behind the curtains pushing national governments to war and profiting from it.
Also, what he calls “uncoordinated enterprise” is true free market non-monopolistic capitalism, a system the international bankers despise and abhor. One must keep in mind that John D. Rockefeller’s guiding principle in business was “competition is a sin.” No wonder Clinton Roosevelt and later Karl Marx, both of them secret disinformation agents for their monopolistic masters, made “competition is a sin” a cardinal principle of their Communist ideology.
On Friday, controversial biologist Dr Craig Venter said that the creation of artificial life was mere months from taking place.
Venter reported that his team of researchers at the J Craig Venter Institute in Maryland had transferred the DNA of one type of bacteria into a yeast cell before modifying it and transferring in into another cell, according to the Daily Mail.
Researchers said the new method allowed them to clone the entire bacterial genome from Mycoplasma mycoides by adding yeast centromeric plasmid sequence to the bacterial chromosome and modifying it in yeast using yeast genetic systems.
So-called “global warming” has been replaced with “climate change,” while “population control” and “population reduction” received a similar makeover - “population restraint.” However, the misanthropic goal remains the same; and the ruse is - as it has been for some time - ostensibly saving the environment.
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill … All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”
- Alexander King, Bertrand Schneider - founder and secretary, respectively, of the Club of Rome - The First Global Revolution, p. 115
August 17 2009
TACKLE POPULATION GROWTH TO BEAT CLIMATE CHANGE – OPT
Leading figures from science and environmentalism have backed a call for population restraint policies to be adopted by every state worldwide as part of the battle against climate change.
The Optimum Population Trust says today (August 17, 2009) that the climate change talks which will culminate at Copenhagen in December must ensure that all countries adopt non-coercive policies to limit and stabilise population growth. Family planning programmes in poorer countries should be treated as “legitimate candidates for climate change funding”. Empowering women to control their own fertility would also have major humanitarian benefits for the poorest women and children in the world.
Successful population policies, which answered the unmet need for family planning, could mean nearly three billion fewer people in 2050, a difference equivalent to 44 per cent of current world population (6.8 billion), OPT says. “All environmental problems, and notably those arising from climate change, would be easier to solve with a smaller future population.”
Jonah Goldberg - August 25, 2009
Well, it was a nice run. But I think it’s time to turn out the lights on the Liberal Fascism blog. Alas, turning out the lights on liberal fascism might take a bit longer.
As only the most loyal readers may have noticed, I haven’t been updating the blog much this summer. I fell out of the habit while I was on the NR Cruise and never got back into it. One reason for that might be that if you wanted to read about the themes of my book, all you had to do was open a newspaper.
Let’s see. Off the top of my head, in the first six months of Obama’s presidency we’ve seen corporatism and “state capitalism” run amok, in the government takeover of two car companies and numerous banks. Labor unions have become increasingly indistinguishable from the government and the party that controls it. Herbert Croly and the Progressives have once again been rehabilitated as founding fathers of the New Age. The entire liberal intellectual class is convinced that this the time for a new New Deal. Critics of statism are vilified by liberal elites as racists and fascists. (And those who refuse to get with the Gorian program are guilty of “treason against the planet“). When out of power, liberals lionized free speech and celebrated dissent as the highest form of patriotism. Now, they label dissent “un-American” and the president insists he doesn’t want to hear a lot of talking from anyone who disagrees with him. While the stench of eugenics and euthanasia do not quite sting the nostrils yet, the odor is detectable and the liberal impulse for controlling the lives of others has been re-exposed.
Government Death Panels and Mass Murder was Always an Option in 20th Century America’s War Against the WeakWednesday, August 26th, 2009 - by Terry Melanson
Edwin Black - August 24th 2009
This article is based on the award-winning bestseller War Against the Weak–Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (Dialog Press). Buy it here
The summer of 2009 has been rife with misplaced fears about government death panels arising from proposed insurance reform. These fears are not based on anything in the proposed legislation. But government death panels and mass euthanasia were always a public option during the first decades of the twentieth century. This campaign to exterminate all those deemed socially or medically unworthy was not conducted by the worst segments of our society but by the elite of the American establishment. They saw themselves as liberals, progressive, do-gooders—and even utopians— trying to create a more perfect society.
The mission: eliminate the existence of the poor, immigrants, those of mixed parentage, and indeed anyone who did not approximate the blond-haired blue-eyed ideal they idealized. This racial type was termed Nordic, and it was socially deified by a broad movement of esteemed university professors, doctors, legislators, judges and writers. They called themselves eugenicists. This widely accepted extremist movement was virtually created and funded by millions in corporate philanthropy from the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune through a complex of pseudoscientific institutions and population tracking offices at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. From there, leading academics supported by big money lead a termite-like proliferation of eugenics into the laws, social policies and curricula of the nation. During these turbulent decades, eugenics enjoyed the active support of the government, especially the U.S. Department of Agriculture which wanted to breed men the way they bred cattle, and many state and county offices.
“Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”
Blue Planet in Green Shackles
by Des Moore
August 10, 2009
Should We Believe (All) Scientists?
Some may say it ill behoves an economist to pass judgement on scientists: after all economists are obviously to blame for the current recession.
But reflecting on 28 years in Treasury (and subsequently), I conclude that many proposals by both economists and scientists do not warrant government intervention to “save” the economy and/or society. Modest expertise helped me, but my most important methodology is common sense questions – such as “how exactly will society (rather than a particular group) benefit if this proposal is implemented?”
Sanford, Ensign, and other regulars receive guidance from the invisible fundamentalist group known as the Family
By Jeff Sharlet
Jul. 21, 2009 |
I can’t say I was impressed when I met Sen. John Ensign at the C Street House, the secretive religious enclave on Capitol Hill thrust into the news by its links to three political sex scandals, those of Gov. Mark Sanford; former Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., who allegedly rendezvoused at the C Street House with his mistress, an executive in the industry for which he then became a lobbyist; and Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. Although Sanford declared today that his scandal will actually turn out to be good for the people of South Carolina because he’s now more firmly in God’s control, the once-favored GOP presidential prospect will finish out his term and fade away. And Ensign’s residence at the C Street House during his own extramarital affair now threatens to end a career that he and other Republicans hoped would lead him to the White House.
When I met Ensign, he was just back from a run, sweaty and bouncing in place, boasting about the time he’d clocked and teasing a young woman from his office. She seemed annoyed that the senator wouldn’t get himself into a shower and back on the job. When I wrote about Sen. Ensign in my book about the evangelical political organization that runs the C Street House, “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power,” I described him as a “conservative casino heir elected to the Senate from Nevada, a brightly tanned, hapless figure who uses his Family connections to graft holiness to his gambling-fortune name.”
Now, of course, I know I was wrong: John Ensign is a brightly tanned, hapless figure who used his Family connections to cover up the fruits of his flirtations, to make moral decisions for him, and to do his dirty work when his secret romance sputtered. Doug Hampton, the friend and former aide whom Ensign cuckolded, tells us that it was Family leader David Coe, along with Coe’s brother Tim and Family “brother” Sen. Tom Coburn, who delivered the pink slip when it was time to put Cynthia Hampton out of Ensign’s reach.