Tagged: Will Banyan

Outflanking the Nation-State: David Mitrany and the Origins of the ‘Functional’ Approach to the New World Order

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By Will Banyan (Copyright © March 2005)

Defining Functionalism

In the dense academic language employed in the International Relations departments of most universities, “functionalism” refers to that policy of shifting responsibility for resolving various problems from the nation-state to international bodies “indirectly, by stealth.”[1] According to one key academic International Relations textbook, under functionalism “the role of governments is to be progressively reduced by indirect methods, and integration is to be encouraged by a variety of functionally based, cross-national ties.”[2] As international mechanisms expand in scope and authority, “the role of the nation-state would diminish and the prospects for world government [would] become more real”[3] The functionalist approach, quite simply, seeks to undermine the nation-state and build world government, not through a frontal assault but by outflanking it.

Readers of populist accounts of the New World Order would be more familiar with Richard N. Gardner’s formulation of functionalism presented in his article “The Hard Road to World Order” published in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) journal, Foreign Affairs in 1974. In his contribution to the “quest for a world structure that secures peace, advances human rights and provides conditions for economic progress”,[4] Gardner had endorsed an “end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece…”[5] This “functional approach to world order”,[6] Gardner explained, would involve “inventing or adapting institutions of limited jurisdiction and selected membership to deal with specific problems on a case-by-case basis…”[7]

The impact of Gardner’s article on New World Order researchers is not to be underestimated; it is probably the most widely cited Foreign Affairs article in the genre, with many researchers crediting Gardner as the sole architect of that strategy. Dr. Steve Bonta, for example, the Executive Director of the Robert Welch University and a regular contributor to the John Birch Society’s periodical, The New American, declared in 2004 that Gardner was obviously “one of the most influential men alive” and the “intellectual godfather of the modern new world order.” That Gardner’s “program for world order” was still being followed three decades later, argued Bonta in a direct reference to Gardner’s 1974 article, was “testament to his cunning as a global strategist.”[8]

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A Lesson in Whitewashing: The Anti-Semitism of A.K. Chesterton’s The New Unhappy Lords

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By Will Banyan Copyright © 14 July 2012 (updated 18 February 2015)

Author’s note: First published in 2012 on the Martin Frost website, Mr Baron did write me a heated response, but that served mainly to defend his criticisms of Israel and Jewish power, rather than to acknowledge he had misrepresented A.K. Chesterton’s views in disputing Macklin’s charge that Chesterton’s book was “anti-Semitic”. Note also that as Mr Baron no longer writes for Digital Journal – his tale of woe can be found here – I have updated this essay to put his work for Digital Journal in the past tense. Mr Baron now has a blog.

Up until March 2014, Alexander Baron was a prolific contributor to Digital Journal, writing on all manner of topics, but with a particular focus on music, crime and conspiracies. His efforts on the last topic are obviously noteworthy as he seems to share Robin Ramsay’s impatience with those conspiracy theorists that play fast and loose with the facts, or indeed make the most outrageous claims with little or no evidence. In doing so Baron gives the impression of being eminently reasonable, even intractable in his devotion to evidence over the attractions of ideology, and gratifyingly intolerant of those buffoonish flimflammers David Icke and Alex Jones. Indeed, many of Baron’s missives on Icke have much to commend as he has lambasted the oracle of the Isle of Wight for his embrace of censorship, purveying “nonsense” on 9/11, and for promoting “implausible” stories about the House of Rothschild supposedly “bankrolling Hitler.”

But, to abuse a much-abused cliché, appearances can be deceiving. A visit to Alexander Baron’s other website gives a different and more complete sense of his rather complex and controversial views on political and historical events of some note than can be detected from his Digital Journal pieces alone. Discerning readers would notice something of a gulf between the reasonable Alexander Baron who writes for the Digital Journal and the more controversial Alexander Baron, the Holocaust-denying opponent of “organised Jewry”, whose works grace www.infotextmanuscripts.org. But in his lengthy op-ed piece in Digital Journal defending A.K. Chesterton (1896-1973) author of The New Unhappy Lords: An Exposure of Power Politics (1965), an early and uniquely British take on the New World Order conspiracy, Baron appears to bridge that gap between his two selves. The object of Baron’s ire is the article “Transatlantic Connections and Conspiracies: A.K. Chesterton and The New Unhappy Lords” by Graham Macklin, from the Journal of Contemporary History (April 2012).

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The Invisible Man of the New World Order: Raymond B. Fosdick (1883-1972)

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…Or Why the Rockefellers Aren’t Reptilians

By Will Banyan Copyright © September 2005 (Revised April 2008/February 2015)

Why does war command a solidarity of devotion and sacrifice that cannot be marshaled for peace?

Raymond B. Fosdick, Foreign Affairs, January 1932

We let cynicism and lies and partisan politics get the better of us, and we chucked the League out of the window to satisfy a miserable political quarrel…Our generation in America has betrayed its own children and the blood of the next war is on our hands.

Raymond B. Fosdick to Harry E. Fosdick, 29 March 1920

Introduction

Since the late 1940s hundreds of books have been published purporting to reveal the existence of a conspiracy to establish a global totalitarian dictatorship or ‘New World Order’, complete with a world army, world currency, a global religion and world government. Some of the classic texts in this much-derided genre included The Blue Book of the John Birch Society (1959), Kent and Phoebe Courtney’s America’s Unelected Rulers (192), John Stormer’s None Dare Call It Treason (1964), Alan Stang’s The Actor (1968) and Gary Allen and Larry Abraham’s landmark work None Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971). Many more important books about the N.W.O. appeared during the 1970s most of them written by Gary Allen including: Richard Nixon: The Man Behind The Mask, (1971), Kissinger: The Secret Side of the Secretary of State (1976) and The Rockefeller File (1976).  Key titles of the 1980s included Larry Abraham’s Call It Conspiracy (1985), William P. Hoar’s Architects of Conspiracy: An Intriguing History (1985), A. Ralph Epperson’s The Unseen Hand (1985), and James Perloff’s The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline (1988).

The period since the 1990s, however, must count as a golden age for N.W.O. research with the market flooded with new authors and new theories incorporating UFOs, mind-control, ancient astronauts and genealogy. Among the most significant works in recent years are: William Cooper’s Behold a Pale Horse (1991), Jim Marrs’ Rule by Secrecy (1996), Fritz Springmeier’s The Bloodlines of the Illuminati (1995), and the plethora of books by British researcher David Icke – among them The Robots Rebellion (1995), The Biggest Secret (1999), Children of the Matrix (2001), Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster (2002) and Tales from the Time Loop (2004) – and his late American antagonist, Jim Keith, author of Casebook on Alternative 3 (1994), Black Helicopters Over America (1994) and Saucers of the Illuminati (1999). More recent contributions of note include British researcher Nicholas Hagger’s two volumes: The Syndicate (2004) and The Secret History of the West (2005); and Daniel Estulin’s The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (2007).

All of these books go to great lengths to name the guilty parties, the organisations, families and individuals said to be behind the New World Order plot. Some of the groups named include secret societies such as the Illuminati, Freemasons, and Skull and Bones; and policy-planning organisations prime among them the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers and more recently the Project on the New American Century. The families and individuals identified include the usual suspects: the House of Rothschild, the Rockefellers (David Rockefeller in particular), Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘Colonel’ Edward House, George Bush Senior, and now George Bush Junior, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. Reviewing the countless books, magazines, articles and websites critically examining the New World Order one cannot help but notice that in a remarkable oversight, the name of one seemingly obscure, yet actually very important figure is missing from this rollcall of the damned.

That individual, whose existence I first discussed in Part 1 of my series ‘Rockefeller Internationalism’ (which appeared in Nexus magazine in 2002/3), is Raymond Blaine Fosdick (1883-1972). In a career which included time as an aide to US General John Pershing (Commander of US forces in Europe during World War I) during the Paris Peace Conference; Under Secretary-General for the League of Nations in 1919-1920; and nearly three decades of close involvement in the network of foundations established by John D. Rockefeller Junior, including as a trustee to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, the International Education Board, the General Education Board and the Rockefeller Foundation, and later president of three of these philanthropies, including 12 years as President of the Rockefeller Foundation; Fosdick hardly warrants being written off as a peripheral figure. John D. Rockefeller Junior once described Fosdick as one of his ‘close and valued associates for nearly forty years’;[1] yet he remains largely unknown to most readers of this genre and is rarely mentioned, if at all, by New World Order researchers.[2]

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The Strange Case of the Rothschild ‘Straw Man’

Facts, Fallacies and Fantasies about Jewish Power

By Will Banyan Copyright © 30 August 2012

According to their strongest critics, conspiracy theorists (or conspiracists) are, at best “harmless lunatics and amusing eccentrics”, but at worst, they resemble “the totalitarian immersion of cult members into herd thinking.” The litany of conspiracist sins, as compiled by Professor Stephen Plaut from the University of Haifa, is long:

Conspiracism feeds on misrepresentation of facts, outright lying, and tendentious twisting of unrelated factoids into a grand theory. Conspiracists take the logical fallacy, the non sequitur, to incredible heights. They are notoriously prone to rearrangement of their perception of reality based upon the mere power of suggestion.

Chip Berlet, an American researcher long associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center, also charges conspiracists with utilising “common fallacies of logic in analyzing factual evidence to assert connections, causality, and intent that are frequently unlikely or nonexistent.” More colourfully, Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay, in his book Among the Truthers (2011), asserts that all conspiracy theorists share the common trait of having “spun out of rationality’s ever-weakening gravitational pull, and into mutually impenetrable Manichean fantasy universes of their own construction.” Of course, neither Professor Plaut, nor Mr Berlet, nor even Mr Kay can be considered disinterested observers when it comes to the apparent dangers posed by conspiracism. But that does not invalidate their essential observation about the fallacies and fantasies that populate the conspiracist sphere.

One of the common fallacies often employed by conspiracists is the “straw man”, which is defined by Wikipedia as:

an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

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The Revisionist Revises…James Perloff Discovers American Imperialism

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By Will Banyan Copyright © 16 September 2012

James Perloff is one of the more celebrated authors in the John Birch Society’s pantheon of “experts”. His book The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline (1988) was a top-seller, clearing at least 100,000 copies by 1994. One struggles to find a critical word about it, save for the occasional disgruntled buyer on Amazon. Since publishing The Shadows of Power, Perloff’s contributions to JBS publications have been sporadic as he pursued his bigger interest of defending “creation science” from the travails of evolutionary theory. Only in the past five years has he made something of a comeback to the pages of The New American, offering a number of articles on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the “betrayal” of China into Communism, US integration with the European Union, the downfall of the Shah of Iran, and various episodes in US history.

Despite the praise heaped upon Perloff, his research is as slipshod and ideologically motivated as that offered by his colleagues, including JBS President John McManus. The Shadows of Power was replete with risible and inaccurate claims. His book describes the CFR as the Establishment’s “chief link” (p.5) to the US Government and credits it with having “exercised decisive impact on US policy” (p.7). That is, in itself, not that controversial having been detailed in Laurance Shoup and William Minter’s better documented study Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy (1977). What distinguishes The Shadows of Power is Perloff’s innocent airing of “charges” that the CFR “holds two particularly unwholesome doctrines.”

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Rejoinder: Speculation is not a Substitute for the Facts

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By Will Banyan (Copyright 10 January 2015)

In his response to my article, Nicholas Hagger has sought to shore up the claim made by him and other researchers that David Rockefeller was somehow involved in the ouster of Nikita Khrushchev. In so doing, however, Hagger opts for a number of tactics that only serve to highlight the serious shortcomings of the research methodology utilised in his book The Syndicate; as well as the severe gap between his claims to scholarly objectivity and what he actually delivers. But the primary shortcoming of his defence is what seems to be his argument that the facts are optional and can be disregarded and replaced with speculation if they do not fit with the overall “pattern”.

The “Pattern” Lacks Integrity

Hagger gamely suggests that his book The Syndicate provided “context for activities of the New World Order and focused on the evidence”. His writes that his book “presented (say) a thousand facts like pieces of a jigsaw and fitted them together to convey a picture and a pattern.” This seemingly magnanimous approach apparently involved inviting the reader to pass judgement on whether the “New World Order” was desirable, included caveats acknowledging some of the evidence would not stand up in court, and concluded with a case for the “prosecution and defence”. In short, Hagger seems to be suggesting that The Syndicate embodied scholarly detachment, that it was balanced, and committed to the facts.

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Check Your Sources, Gentlemen! (Part 2)

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Rediscovering the David Rockefeller-Nikita Khrushchev Meeting

By Will Banyan (Copyright © 15 December 2014)

Of all the seemingly incredible incidents that comprise the mythology about the political power of the now 99-year old plutocrat David Rockefeller Senior, perhaps the most enduring is that his private meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow in July 1964 precipitated Khrushchev’s removal from power just a few months later. While no scholars have established any link between their meeting on 31 July 1964 and Khrushchev’s supposedly voluntary “retirement” on 14 October 1964, at the hands of his Kremlin rivals led by Leonid Brezhnev; many conspiracists remain convinced these events are directly connected. “David Rockefeller went to Moscow in 1964 and had Krushchev fired because he was in the way of business with China,” claims the Out With It! website. “David Rockefeller summarily fired Kruschev (sic)”, the late Eustace Mullins declared in his book The World Order (1984).  In his book Hiding in Plain Sight (2000), author Ken Bowers claims:

[David Rockefeller] went to see Kruschev (sic) in Russia in 1964 and told him it was time to abdicate his power and go into retirement. Twenty-four hours later, Kruschev resigned his position (p.131)

Most recently – as of October this year in fact – Servando Gonzalez, writing on the NewsWithViews website, offered this observation at the end of his revisionist and quite contrarian account of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

Unfortunately, Khrushchev did not get rid of Castro, but David Rockefeller got rid of Khrushchev less than two years after the crisis.

In 1964 David visited the Soviet Union and had a two and half hour conversation with the Soviet Premier. We don’t know what the […] subject of the conversation was, but we may safely surmise that David dressed down Khrushchev for his unauthorized attempt to get rid of David’s secret agent Fidel Castro. Barely two months later, David’s secret agents in the Soviet Politburo deposed Khrushchev.

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Bad Company: Chuck Hagel vs the ‘New’ Foreign Policy Establishment

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By Will Banyan (Copyright © 25 February 2013 & 01 March 2013)

Author’s note: On 24 November 2014, Chuck Hagel resigned as Secretary of Defense. The circumstances of his retreat from public office were contentious; Obama’s claims that Hagel had determined that it was “appropriate time for him to complete his service” was greeted with derision by most Beltway observers. Most reporting suggested that Hagel’s apparent decision was driven by his failure to penetrate Obama’s inner circle, his frustration with being micro-managed by Obama and his aides, and for finding himself repeatedly “out of step” with the White House on many issues. The irony of this situation is that by the end of his brief tenure, Hagel had earned the affection of those whom had opposed his confirmation (as detailed below), particularly Israel and pro-Israel forces in the US. Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yalon praised the outgoing Secretary as a “true friend of Israel” and Abraham Foxman, National Director of the US-based Anti-Defamation League likewise lauded Hagel’s “energetic stewardship of America’s commitment to Israel’s security.” It would seem that Hagel had demonstrated fealty to the wrong master…

President Obama’s decision to replace his outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with former Senator Charles (Chuck) Hagel has rapidly proved to be one of his most difficult and controversial Cabinet-level appointments. At least since Obama’s attempt to nominate US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, as the next Secretary of State ended in tears – and the elevation of Senator John Kerry, the Skull and Bonesman Democrat presidential candidate of 2004, into that feted position. Senator Hagel’s primary sin, in the eyes of his Republican interrogators in the Senate, and his detractors amongst the neo-conservative punditocracy, was that this prospective US Defense Secretary was insufficiently pro-Israel.

Ahead of his confirmation hearings in January this year, for example, Hagel was repeatedly accused by neo-con gadfly, William Kristol, writing in the Weekly Standard, of having “anti-Israel, pro-appeasement-of-Iran bona fides” (Dec 24, 2012); “dangerous views on Iran” and an “unpleasant distaste for Israel and Jews” (Jan. 4, 2013). Kristol also attacked Hagel for making the apparently “vulgar and disgusting charge” that the US invasion of Iraq was a “war for oil” (Jan. 5, 2013). Heaven forbid! In the same august publication (Jan. 7, 2013), former Bush Administration official Elliott Abrams, a presidentially pardoned felon, casually implied that Hagel was anti-Semitic because of his allegedly “hostile” attitude towards the Jewish community of Nebraska in 1989 over the closing of a USO facility in Israel.

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The ‘Israel Lobby’ Controversy: Elite Factionalism or Elite Conspiracy Theory?

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by Will Banyan © 2008

Author’s Note: This is an extended and slightly revised version of an article which originally appeared in PARANOIA (issue 44) Spring 2007.

The publication in March 2006 of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, as a working paper for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and as an article in the London Review of Books, aroused much comment in the American media and academia—most condemnatory. The authors, academics John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt from Harvard University, have had their work widely dismissed as being both conspiratorial and anti-Semitic.

“[T]his paper is anti-Semitic” declared Professor Eliot Cohen from Johns Hopkins University, in the Washington Post (April 5, 2006); nor was it “research in any serious sense,” claimed Marty Peretz in The New Republic, but “the labor of obsessives with dark and conspiratorial minds.” According to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, the authors shared with white supremacist David Duke “the same interest in vilifying Jewish leaders and spouting conspiracy theories about Zionist plots against American interests” (Dershowitz, p.41). Even Stephen Zunes, a left-wing critic of U.S. support for Israel, implied that in subscribing to an “exaggerated claim of Jewish clout,” Mearsheimer and Walt were “flirting with anti-Semitism” (Zunes 2006b, p.15).

At the same time, there were some observers who were clearly overjoyed at the appearance of The Israel Lobby as it seemed to confirm their belief that the U.S. is, in fact, ruled by a “Zionist Occupation Government,” or some other sinister Jewish cabal. David Duke, for example, praised it for having “told the truth about the proverbial gorilla in the room: the Zionist lobby and its enormous political and media power” (Duke 2006). The Israel Lobby, claimed a commentator for Rense.com, left “absolutely no doubt that Israel not only controls our entire government, our Pentagon, our foreign policy and our political parties, but our media as well” (Lang 2006).

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The Professor’s Progress

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Part 1: The Rothschild Network and the Rise of Niall Ferguson

By Will Banyan
Copyright © 11 November 2014

Within days of the tragic events of 9/11 Niall Ferguson, then a Professor of Political and Financial History at Oxford, wrote in The Independent (Sep. 13, 2001) about his hope that the terrorist attack would change the “American psyche” and end the “illusion of separateness” in which “Americans subconsciously feel themselves to be in a planet of their own.” Though sceptical that US President George W. Bush would “draw the right conclusions for US foreign and defence policy”, Ferguson nevertheless advised that it would be “wrong” to pursue the terrorists through the courts, instead,

this is the moment – and it will not last long – when the US can and should take decisive military action against those rogue regimes which have for too long harboured and financed terrorism. Top of the hit list must be Saddam Hussein, closely followed by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. I should be sorry if Colonel Gaddafi were to escape unscathed. Whether or not one or all of them gave their backing to this particular attack does not especially matter. They are dangerous – not least to the people of the countries they despotically rule [emphasis added].

Some twelve years on and much of Ferguson’s “hit list” has been achieved: Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi have not only been violently deposed – they are dead; the Taliban have also been expelled from power, though their leader, Mullah Omar, remains at large.

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