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Tagged ‘Rockefeller‘

Australia’s Climate Movement Has Been Bought for a Pittance

We Suspect Silence

May 13, 213

by empathiser

“Self censorship is a powerful force, the result of the misapplication of intuition and the imperative to self aggrandise. Self censorship means choosing not to pursue the truth, a form of pragmatism that has helped activists maintain employment by satisfying an organisational remit communicated through funding arrangements and alliances with similarly funded groups. It leads to many important things being unsaid, many independent lines of inquiry being left unpursued.”

sold-sign

If you follow the money in the Australian environmental scene you will find that at the end of many a cul-de-sac and dark alley there is a cluster of unaccountable American foundations. The two most prominent of these are the Rockefeller Funds and the Pew Charitable Trusts, both founded on big oil money back in the early 20th century. They represent ultra wealth transferred from corporations designed to turn a profit to foundations designed to last forever. These American foundations and their Australian counterparts like the Poola Foundation are designed, we are told, to support innovation in the non-profit sector.

My intuition tells me that many foundations exist to capture the resistance, to stymy militantism, and to feed into the messaging sphere ideas that are anti-revolutionary. After 20 years of wondering why the environmental movement was so profoundly ineffective, and being a person who always tried hard to do the right thing, I joined the action only to have my spidey senses constantly tingling. The last few years have been both strange and exhilarating. I have a sense that in my small, militant, volunteer group I am working with good and fearless people, but I also have a sense that in the wider movement I am surrounded by a herd of captives to climate alarmism. I have come to believe quite firmly that foundation money catalyses ineffectiveness, that self censorship has constrained innovation and militancy at the behest of conditional funding.

Caravan of Doom

SONY DSC

Intercontinental Cry

October 25, 2013

By Jay Taber

 

As Cory Morningstar writes at Wrong Kind of Green, the evil empire Buffett, Gates and Rockefeller built in the private sector is mirrored in the evil networks of NGOs they — along with Clinton — have constructed to provide cover for widespread environmental devastation, ethnic cleansing and Indigenous genocide committed by their corporate investments. Using bagmen like Tides Foundation in cahoots with magicians like Bill McKibben at 350 dot org, and sleight-of-hand artists like Tzeporah Berman at Tar Sands Solutions Network, Buffett, Gates, Rockefeller and Clinton have become thick as thieves in producing political theatre to distract us from the parade of refugees in their caravan of doom.

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as director of Public Good Project. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

Working for Warren: Corporate Greens

 

buffet

Intercontinental Cry

June 4, 2013

By Jay Taber

 

In Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse–Part II, Cory Morningstar examines the political theatre of the non-profit industrial complex around the transport of oil, and how corporate greens — financed by oligarchs like Rockefeller, Gates and Buffett — are effectively destroying any meaningful activism in the US. At a time when half the total energy produced in the US is wasted due to inefficiencies, protesting pipelines only to have oil shipped by rail is arguably a meaningless activity. But as Morningstar explains, it is funded.

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus Credibility Issue

Amazon Watch

WKOG editor: As a side note, Amazon Watch, like many NGOs are created as incubator projects by foundations such as Ford and Rockefeller in order to shape, manage and control movements, as well as dissent. According to Wikipedia: “Founded in 1996, Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California. It works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin.” What Wikipedia does not tell you is the fact that Ford “gave a grant, beginning January 12, 1987, to the Brazilian Foundation for the Conservation of Nature (BFCN), the oldest, most establishment-connected conservation group in Brazil which had also gotten funds from WWF U.S. since 1983. The Ford Foundation said BFCN hired Mallas “as a member of the project staff.” She was listed as the co-ordinator of a meeting that was to plan an organization called “Amazon Watch”. The grant ($22,850) was later reduced to $16,000, which covered the actual expenditures: it came from Ford’s Rural Poverty and Resources Division, the section later run by Peter May who went on to work with Clay, Groeneveld, the Body Shop, et al. The BFCN was headed in 1987 by Admiral Ibsen De Gusmao Camara, who acted as the liaison with Ford Foundation on the Amazon Watch project. The admiral’s term as president of BFCN  ended in the fall of 1987. The new president fired everyone the admiral had hired.” [Source: Cloak of Green: The Links between Key Environmental Groups, Government and Big Business by Elaine Dewar (Jan 1 1995)] – Another example of a popular incubator project that operates under the guise of “grassroots” is Rockefellers’ 1Sky/350.org. 

Intercontinental Cry

May 3, 2013

By Jay Taber

On the NAIPC listserv this week, Robert Free Galvan asks some important questions of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus and the elite indigenous lobbyists who manipulate it to conform to the UN colonial model. He interestingly asks about the funding of such lobbying from notorious foundations as Ford.

Foundation Funding: Tightening the Bonds of Our Own Oppression

February 15, 2013

Author/illustrator Stephanie McMillan of Minimum Security writes:

The awareness of capitalism’s core mechanisms (as opposed to its effects) is so crucial because the system has numerous methods of assimilating our struggles, and we have to make sure we don’t get sidetracked. It diverts discontent into forms that reinforce its own institutions. These are very sophisticated and persuasive – they make people feel that they are making a difference when in fact they’re tightening the bonds of their own oppression.
 
FoundationFundingPrison
 
Lisa Inti, WKOG, adds:
 
It seems that when one attempts to engage in a critical discussion regarding the political problems of working with these and other foundations, and especially when one is interested in naming them as the gently repressive “evil” cousins of the more prototypically evil right-wing foundations, the establishment Left becomes profoundly defensive of its financial patrons. I would argue that this is a liberal-progressive vision that marginalizes the radical, revolutionary, and proto-revolutionary forms of activism, insurrection, and resistance that refuse to participate in the Soros charade of “shared values”, and are uninterested in trying to “improve the imperfect.” The social truth of the existing society is that it is based on the production of massive, unequal, and hierarchically organized disenfranchisement, suffering, and death of these populations who are targeted for containment and political/social liquidation –a violent social order produced under the dictates of “democracy,” “peace,” “security,” and “justice” that form the historical and political foundations of the very same white civil society on which the NPIC Left is based.
 

If we take seriously, for the sake of argument, the political analysis articulated by Palestinians struggling against the Israeli occupation, or that of imprisoned radical intellectuals/activists and their free-world allies desperately fighting to dismantle and abolish the prison industrial complex, or that of Indigenous peoples worldwide who, to paraphrase Haunani-Kay Trask, are literally fighting against their own planned obsolescence, then it should become clear that the Soros philosophy of the Open Society, along with other liberal foundation social imaginaries, are at best philanthropic vanities. At worst, we can accuse the Soros, Ford, Mellon, and Rockefeller foundations, and their ilk of NGOs and non-profit organizations, of accompanying and facilitating these massive structures of human domination, which simply cannot be reformed or “reconciled” in a manner that legitimates anything approaching a vision of liberation or radical freedom.” –Dylan Rodriguez (The Political Logic of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex)
 
McMillan adds:

Elections, corporate-funded nonprofits, NGOs and CBOs, personal change, political pressure, culture-jamming, tinkering with the economy, green jobs, withdrawing our support, symbolic protests – all are offered up as options for dissent. None of them are sufficient; on the contrary, they serve to reinforce the system’s authority and the illusion of democracy.

crossroads

If you like this cartoon and text, please consider contributing to make them a book! Ends at midnight PST tonight (February 15, 2013). http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/capitalism-must-die

Philanthropic Colonization

By

 Jan 10, 2013

Intercontinental Cry

Writing at Wrong Kind of Green, Michael Barker examines social engineering by the capitalist elite via stolen wealth laundered through private foundations. As Barker notes, for billionaire capitalists like Bill Gates, the state is merely a tool to be harnessed for profit maximization, thus enabling a small power elite to shape global society for their own ends.

Perhaps most telling, says Barker, are the covert, anti-democratic campaigns funded by corporations like Gates’ Microsoft aimed at protecting itself from anti-trust actions brought by the U.S. Government. By manipulating media and spying on journalists, Microsoft — the source of Gates’ philanthropic endeavors — joins foundations like Ford and Rockefeller in undermining democracy worldwide. As these three titans of philanthropy lead the way in promoting genetically modified monoculture, by necessity removing governments and indigenous peoples that get in their way, one has to ask how it is that these plutocrats get away with it.

As Barker notes, the philanthropic colonization of civil society is a clear and present danger to democratic governance, and the first step in countering their insidious influence is for progressive activists to dissociate from their foundations. As Barker admits, creating democratic revenue streams won’t be easy, but it is necessary in order to free ourselves from the corrosive social engineering of liberal elites.

As the Planet Burns: Hot Air, Photo Ops and Bill McKibben’s “Greenest” City

Counterpunch

November 05, 2012

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

 

“Superstorm” Sandy exposed many things about (our) Darth Cheney’s unsustainable “non-negotiable American Way of Life.” Besides the in-your-face revelations of just how bad our fossil-fuel-addicted industrial/consumer society has screwed with Mother Nature (and there have been and will be tons of verbiage written on that front), what it reveals about the sorry state of civic life at the End of Empire is the most telling.

Faux Debates

After Climate never being mentioned in the three presidential “debates;” post-Sandy, we now have President Obama disingenuously noting in an MTV interview, “I’m surprised it didn’t come up in the debates.”

Apparently, Obama would have us believe he was just a passive observer at the debates (all three, not just that first one) – on this issue, anyway. He, like Romney, strayed from the topic and brought up other issues over and over – if they mattered to him/them.

Faux Compassion

We have the spectacle of half-billionaire GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney purchasing $5000 in food goods from Wal-Mart, so people could “donate” the items – none of which relief groups actually want – back to him at a contrived storm relief photo-op.

The coreless Mitt Headroom went from saying, “Disaster relief is immoral. FEMA should be privatized” during the Primary Campaign to this on Halloween: “I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters.”

Another artificial GOP photo-op had VP candidate Paul Ryan delaying packing storm relief supplies in Wisconsin so he wouldn’t finish up before the photos could be snapped. (This was on the heels of Ryan’s fake photo-op at a closed soup kitchen two weeks earlier.)

President Obama, on the other hand – while far more compassionate, but still not connecting the climate dots – scored the photo-op that probably won him reelection; strolling through devastated parts of New Jersey arm-in-arm with his erstwhile attack dog opponent Gov. Chris Christie assessing the storm damage and encouraging shocked citizens.

Faux Science

Of course, the propagandists at Fox News and DRUDGE trotted out “expert” after “expert” to tell us that Climate Change/Global Warming, even if it did exist, had little to do with Sandy.

Faux Environmentalism

The New York myopia and narcissism of the sham Climate warrior Bill McKibben was also stunningly revealed.

First McKibben tweeted this drivel on Oct. 29th: “Obviously no place deserves this kind of storm — but NYC, America’s greenest city, in some ways deserves it least of all.”

Yep, “greenest” if you ignore the millions of serfs (both carbon-based and carbon-powered) providing the food, other necessities and consumer junk trucked in by fossil fuel on a 24/7/365 basis; if you ignore the massive coal-generated kilowattage; the trash dumping in the ocean; a once-great ecosystem with dozens of creeks, swamps and diverse forest now reduced to an ecosystem dominated by three species: humans, rats and roaches – with bedbugs making a run as the new scourge as feverishly reported recently in the New York-centric media; if you don’t notice the concrete, glass, steel and invasive species replacing the natural habitat, etc.

New York City has a huge carbon footprint despite population concentration, which indeed, also compacts pollution. But, even by the most liberal measuring of per capita carbon use, NY places Fourth among the top 100 US metros. On that score along NY is not the “greenest,” even in the US.

When you consider that much of the eco-cost of the huge metro is externalized in destroyed mountains for coal and other resource colony ecosystems that are stripped and sent on that 24/7 inbound commodity procession. Even the Coltan; that Unobtainium that powers the digital culture that powers New York’s Shipwreck Cove of Finance Capital – who ultimately bear a lot of responsibility for the entire predicament – has a host of ecological and genocidal – human and other primates -implications. This “greenest” wishful-thinking just doesn’t hold up.

While Gaia Burns

But then again, McKibben is a pro at ignoring the real bad actors, especially if they are Democrats, and real carbon implications. Scientists say that the highest safe level of 350 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere has long ago been passed – 350.org is the name of McKibben’s astroturf eco-group. Who starts their campaign at the highest (maybe) safe level,  anyway? The Arctic has already passed the 400 ppm milestone.  It stood at 275 ppm before the industrial age began.

McKibben is also an expert at ignoring a major part of the overall carbon footprint…claiming repeatedly that personal use doesn’t matter. I know my personal use matters and I’m trying to lessen it all the time. I know we’ve all been born into this situation and that doesn’t mean we’re all horrible people because of it. It’s just that someone like McKibben just HAS to know better. If you are going to put yourself out there front and center, you have to set a personal example. As Dylan wrote, to live outside the law (in this case our deadend industrial society), you have to be honest.

His never-ending roadshow continues to spew more carbon than his group has gotten sequestered. Just flying in activists from all over the country to get arrested at his Obama campaign rally, er, Keystone Pipeline protest, also spewed more carbon than the group has ever succeeded in preventing – ironically, many of the planes were fueled from tar sands-derived bitumen! (Far better they had burned the carbon flying in all the scientists who are in accordance and had them descend on Congress and the White House – now there’d be a Occupy with an agenda – until some action was /is taken.)

Of course, the “no-talk rules” about such stuff is clear – the entire “Environmental” Movement at the top, and increasingly at the local levels, is funded and controlled by the fossil fuel industry though the Pew Charitable Trusts (Sun Oil Co) and the Rockefeller Fund. As always, and across the “Green” group rosters, the great Upton Sinclair dictum comes into play, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

McKibben followed up his “greenest city” absurdity up with an all-about-me-and-my New York piece in The Guardian .

“I’m an environmentalist: New York is as beautiful and diverse and glorious as an old growth forest. It’s as grand, in its unplanned tumble, as anything ever devised by man or nature.”

Wow! Just wow! No real environmentalist I know would ever make such an anthropocentric statement…not even close; certainly, none of the many forest protection allies from across the country that I’ve long known and worked with.

Diverse as an old growth forest? How can anyone think that an ecosystem dominated by those three species can actually be compared to one with hundreds of dependent species – an ecosystem that provides massive amounts of clean water and clean air while sequestering carbon. The planet and humanity could survive quite nicely – possibly thrive – without NYC. But, neither NYC, humankind, nor thousands of innocent other species could sans the forests. Chateaubriand’s observation that “Forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them” still holds, no matter how many “green” cities rise and fall in the interim.

So, just how concerned was Bill McKibben personally for the city he “loves best?” Did he drop everything and rush to aid the storm victims, as did the local Occupy folks who paddled canoes around the city helping out? Did he inform Obama that this was the tipping point and no more “green” endorsements would be coming the Dems way unless they put Climate front and center? Did he take stock of 350.org’s own massive carbon use and the vanity, ineptitude and ultimate service to the industrial culture of its campaign?

Nope. McKibben was so concerned he wrote a bunch of self-serving, shortsighted nonsense and then got on the 350.org “sustainable bus” (whatever that is; it has to be better than hopping yet another Tar Sands-fueled jet) to travel off to give a series of talks decrying other people’s carbon use.

MICHAEL DONNELLY is a long-time NW Ancient Forest activist. He gave up flying a few years ago when educated on its devastating climate impacts. He can be reached at Pahtoo@aol.com

 

White Philanthropy For Black (Mis)education

February 22, 2012

By Michael Barker

Ceasefire Magazine

Michael Barker looks at the central, highly ideological, role played over the past 150 years by US white philanthropists in shaping education policies for blacks, promoting the freedom of the few to exploit others, and the freedom of the many to endure it.

Black students during a class on the assembly and repair of telephones at Hampton Institute (1899)

Controlling the spread and evolution of institutionalized education has always been a foremost concern of the ruling class. Barely disguised by the humanitarian rhetoric of philanthropy, white power brokers have played a central role in ensuring that the steady extension of educational facilities across the globe serves to miseducate the bulk of its recipients: promoting the freedom to exploit others (for a few) and the freedom to endure exploitation (for the rest).

William Watkins’ book The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954 (Teachers College Press, 2001) thus provides a clear-sighted analysis of the history of black education. A historical undertaking which Manning Marable has described as “an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the complex relationships between white philanthropy and black education.”[1]

Watkins “destroys the myth that the debate between [W.E.B.] DuBois and Booker T. Washington over the character of schooling actually determined the future of educational policy toward African Americans.” Demonstrating that while the debates between such influential men may have been important, ultimately they “were minor players in the formation of black schooling and the philosophy that lay behind it.”

In this way Watkins “cuts to the very heart of the matter,” reviewing the key contributions made by the real power brokers such as General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, J.L.M. Curry, William Baldwin, Robert Ogden, Thomas Jesse Jones, Franklin Giddings, and the Rockefeller and Phelps Stokes’ family, friends and funds.[2]

Of Watkins’ architects of Black education, “none is more important than Samuel Chapman Armstrong (1839-1893)” — an individual who “was an effective and farsighted social, political, and economic theorist working for the cause of a segregated and orderly South.” Having served as a missionary and solider; in 1865, following the end of the Civil War, Armstrong joined the Freedman’s Bureau, and a few years later (as their operations were wound down, owing to white opposition), he went on to found the Hampton Institute.

In this work, Armstrong sought to avoid class conflict, and aimed to reconcile the differences between racial supremacists and those seeking equality while “working for the powerful”; promoting a “version of human uplift [that] was absolutely compatible with the most despotic and oppressive political apparatus.” Appropriately he went on to serve as the mentor for Booker T. Washington, who emerged as the Hampton Institute’s “prize student.”[3]

With such influential protégés, Armstrong and his Hampton Institute’s message of racial accommodation, gradualism and moderation was spread far and wide, and “played no small role in creating a Black compradore class for the twentieth century.” The importance of this endeavour should not be underestimated.

SPECIAL REPORT: EXPOSING U.S. AGENTS OF LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE IN AFRICA

The “Policy Wonks” Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism

August 8, 2012
by Keith Harmon Snow

Conscious Being Alliance

This special report includes three unpublished video clips of interviewees from the Politics of Genocide documentary film project: Ugandan dignitary Remigius Kintu, former Rwandan prime minister Fautisn Twagiramungu, and Nobel peace prize nominee Juan Carrero Saralegui.

               From the 1980s to today, an elite group of Western intelligence operatives have backed low-intensity guerrilla warfare in certain African ‘hotspots’.  Mass atrocities in the Great Lakes and Sudan can be linked to Roger Winter, a pivotal U.S. operative whose ‘team’ was recently applauded for birthing the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.  Behind the fairytale we find a long trail of blood and skeletons from Uganda to Sudan, Rwanda and Congo.  While the mass media has covered their tracks, their misplaced moralism has simultaneously helped birth a new left-liberal ‘humanitarian’ fascism.  In this falsification of consciousness, Western human rights crusaders and organizations, funded by governments, multinational corporations and private donors, cheer the killers and blame the victims—and pat themselves on the back for saving Africa from itself.  Meanwhile, the “Arab Spring” has spread to (north) Sudan.  Following the NATO-Israeli model of regime change being used in Central & North Africa, it won’t be long before the fall of Khartoum. 

SPLA tank South Sudan LR.jpg

SPLA Tank in South Sudan: An old SPLA army tank sits in the bush in Pochalla, Jonglei State, south Sudan in 2004.  Israel, the United States, Britain and Norway have been the main suppliers of the covert low-intensity war in Sudan, organized by gunrunners and policy ‘wonks’.  Photo c. keith harmon snow, 2004.


It is, oh! such a happy fairy tale!  It begins as all happy fairy tales do, in fantasy land.  The fantasy is one of human rights princes and policy ‘wonks’ in shining armor and the new kingdom of peace and tranquility, democracy and human rights, that they have created.  That is what the United States foreign policy establishment and the corporate mass media—and not a few so-called ‘human rights activists’—would have us believe about the genesis of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.

“In the mid-1980s, a small band of policy wonks began convening for lunch in the back corner of a dimly lit Italian bistro in the U.S. capital,” wrote Rebecca Hamilton in the recent fairytale: “The Wonks Who Sold Washington on South Sudan.”  Hamilton is a budding think-tank activist-advocate-agent whose whitewash of the low intensity war for Sudan (and some Western architects of it), distilled from her book Fighting for Darfur, was splashed all over the Western press on 11 July 2012. [1]

The photos accompanying Hamilton’s story show a happy fraternity of ‘wonks’—what exactly is a ‘wonk’?—obviously being your usual down-jacket, beer- and coffee-slurping American citizens from white America, with a token black man thrown in to change the complexion of this Africa story.  Their cups are white and clean, their cars are shiny and new, their convivial smiles are almost convincing.  There is even a flag of the new country just sort of floating across Eric Reeves’ hip.

Because of Dr. Reeves’  ‘anti-genocide’ work in Sudan, Boston College professor Alan Wolfe has written that the Smith College English professor is “arrogant to the point of contempt.”  (I have had a similar though much more personal experience of Dr. Reeves’ petulance.)

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“John Prendergast (L-R), Eric Reeves, Brian D’Silva, Ted Dagne and Roger Miller [sic]—pose for a photograph in this undated image provided to Reuters by John Prendergast,” reads the original Reuters syndicated news caption for the posed image of the Council of Wonks.  (U.S. intelligence & defense operative Roger Winter is misidentified as “Roger Miller”.)

The story and its photos project the image of casual, ordinary people who, we are led to believe, did heroic and superhuman things.  What a bunch of happy-go-lucky wonks!  Excuse me: policy wonks!  And their bellies are presumably warmed by that fresh Starbucks ‘fair trade’ genocide coffee shipped straight from the killing fields of post-genocide [sic] Rwanda… where, coincidentally, Starbucks reportedly cut a profit of more than a few million dollars in 2011.

This is a tale of dark knights, of covert operators and spies aligned with the cult of intelligence in the United States.  Operating in secrecy and denial within the U.S. intelligence and defense establishment, they have helped engineer more than two decades of low intensity warfare in Sudan (alone), replete with massive suffering and a death toll of between 1.5 and 3 million Sudanese casualties—using their own fluctuating statistics on mortality—and millions upon millions of casualties in the Great Lakes of Africa.

Behind the fantasy is a very real tale of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocides real and alleged, and mass atrocities covered up by these National Security agents with the aid of a not-so-ordinary English professor—their one-man Ministry of Disinformation—Dr. Eric Reeves.

Foundations for Empire: Corporate Philanthropy and US Foreign Policy

Ceasefire Magazine

May 20, 2012

In his latest column, Michael Barker argues that, far from eradicating poverty and aiding economic development, major US philanthropic foundations have played a key role in undermining efforts to promote a meaningful democratic alternative to capitalism, both at home and abroad.

 

John F. Kennedy and McGeorge Bundy outside the White House, June 13, 1962 (Source: nybooks.com)

Professor Inderjeet Parmar, chairman of the prestigious British International Studies Association, has written an interesting book: Foundations of the American Century: The Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power (Columbia University Press, 2012) in which he argues that philanthropic foundations have provided “a key means of building the ‘American century,’ or an American Imperium, a hegemony constructed in significant part via cultural and intellectual penetration.”

In making the case for this uncontroversial conclusion, he acknowledges that his work builds upon Edward Berman’s “excellent monograph” The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy (State University of New York Press, 1983). Yet despite these kind words, rather than extending and deepening Berman’s seminal study, Parmar seems to have only revisited it to provide a less radical alternative (albeit Gramscian).

With his sights firmly set on documenting the role of foundations in constructing “global knowledge networks”, Parmar mistakenly concludes that the creation of such networks “appears to be their principal long-term achievement.” However, on a more accurate note, he subsequently adds that “despite their oft-stated aims of eradicating poverty, uplifting the poor, improving living standards, aiding economic development, and so on, even the U.S. foundations’ own assessments of their impact show that they largely have failed in these efforts.”

But while the Big Three foundations may well have created strong global knowledge networks, their principal long-term achievement has simply been to undermine efforts to promote a meaningful democratic alternative to capitalism, both at home and abroad. With foundation knowledge networks being just one instrument among many that have been used to consolidate capitalism.

Other significant tools to enforce American global hegemony include the military, and a commitment to shaping public opinion through propaganda (which is based on the foundations’ “belief in the pervasiveness of popular ignorance and the consequent need for elites to ‘educate’ the people in ‘right thinking’”).[1]

Providing evidence of the central role of foundations in manufacturing consent (both of the masses and of elites), Parmar investigates the work of Hadley Cantril’s Office of Public Opinion Research, a body formed at Princeton University in 1940, with a $90,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Using archival records, Parmar illustrates that Cantril worked with military intelligence agencies during the war, and undertook studies of public attitudes towards Latin America; adding that by 1943 Cantril had received a further $50,000 from the government that did not include “unspecified amounts from the coordinator of inter-American affairs.”

Parmar also points out that the U.S. Army opened a Psychological Warfare Research Bureau within Cantril’s Princeton office. However, despite undertaking archival research into such matters Parmar apparently forgot to conduct a literature review on this subject,[2] only citing one other writer (Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion), whose valid criticisms of foundations he then chose to ignore.