By Will Banyan, Copyright © March 2005 (updated October 2007)
Author’s note: This essay was completed in early 2005 in response to repeated entreaties from “Winston”, webmaster of the Modern History Project to explore his contention that David Mitrany was in fact a Fabian, evident in his associations with a number of prominent Fabians (detailed below). In subsequent correspondence “Winston” conceded that my paper, addressing his particular concern was “actually rather good”, but he took exception to my “arrogant attitude”, apparently evident in the final paragraph. I would contend that my final paragraph was a plea not to let “guilt-by-association” guide our understanding of whether or not Mitrany was a Fabian, but to instead focus on the facts of what he believed as opposed to his social companions. Some of the internet addresses have been updated if they have been archived, but others appear to be unrecoverable.
A Question of Character
One of the more persistent flaws in much of research into the alleged conspiracy to establish a “One World Government” or “New World Order”, in the view of this author, is the tendency to assume the loyalties and beliefs of certain individuals solely on the basis of the organisations they belong to or are associated with, rather than their actual and proven beliefs. Unless these links are examined with care false assumptions about the philosophies of key figures can be constructed resulting in a distorted picture of the N.W.O. People are no longer seen as individuals, possessing free will, but become mere pawns of a larger seemingly omnipotent cabal. At the same time, however, it is still a fact of life that the people we associate with can sometimes be a measure of what we stand for. Determining whether that association stems from convenience or common purpose can be difficult, especially if it is assumed the purpose of those associations is to pursue a secret grand strategy, thus making all evidence to the contrary suspect.
The case of David Mitrany, the subject of the partner essay “Outflanking the Nation-State: David Mitrany and the Origins of the ‘Functional’ Approach to the New World Order”, is certainly illustrative. Was Mitrany a free agent who consorted with British socialists out of expedience and convenience, or, alternately, a sympathiser, if not an “agent” of the Fabian Society and its program of achieving socialism through gradualism? Mitrany’s association with a number of leading Fabians and other British socialists, from 1912 through to the 1940s, is indisputable and perhaps of greater significance than originally acknowledged in “Outflanking the Nation-State.” More importantly, these associations raise pertinent questions about Mitrany’s own beliefs and motives. In particular it challenges us to explore the truth of Mitrany’s claim that as a “matter of principle” he had decided not to tie himself “to any political party or ideological group” and to instead “work with any and all of them for international peace”, accounts for his collaboration with these groups.