Archives

Tagged ‘Ford Foundation‘

Ford Foundation Fabrications About the “New Student Power” Movement

Counterpunch

August 10, 2015

by Vincent Kelley

The Ford Foundation recently published their own think piece inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, intriguingly titled “The New Student Power.” The author, Holly Fetter, a Stanford University Tom Ford Fellow in Philanthropy, proudly states that, “At Ford, our support for the Student Power model and its movements is an investment in the future of social change.”

As an example of this “investment,” Fetter cites the Ohio Student Association’s (OSA) actions in response to the police murder of John Crawford III, a 22-year old black man shot to death in a Walmart on August 5th, 2014 while holding a toy BB gun. After chronicling the OSA’s efforts to release the tape of the killing and their occupation of the Beavercreek Police Station, Fetter celebrates the “victories” that followed: the formation of a “special state task force on community-police relations” and an invitation to one lucky OSA student to meet with President Barack Obama.

It’s worth asking what the Ford Foundation means by “victories.” Both of their examples not only rely on the state, but fail to even demonstrate tangible state-driven “social change.” The reader is comfortably sedated into Orwellian bliss: in order to stop state violence, one needs to do no more than turn to the state for the remedy. Even a state policy change is too much to ask for; a nominal “task force” or meeting with President Obama in between his important work of authorizing the next drone strike in Pakistan will do.

There is a deep irony in Ford’s singling out of Ohio as the model for “New Student Power.” Mentioning “Ohio” and “student power” to a progressive baby boomer in the same breath can’t help but evoke memories of the May 4th, 1970 massacre at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, in which the National Guard murdered four students and wounded nine others during a protest against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. The Ford Foundation has learned well from the subliminal messaging of its colleagues in advertising: if you respond to state murder logically by confronting the state instead of appealing to it, it goes without saying what it might have in store for you. The “sophisticated strategy” of the new student organizers in Ohio comes from an understanding of state history and has adapted accordingly, thanks to help from Ford’s ever-beneficent guidance.

There are undoubtedly radical students within an organization like the OSA, students who don’t see task forces or cocktails with the President as victories in themselves and who strive to tirelessly push their struggles forward. And it is clear that the Ford Foundation’s mission is to make sure these students’ voices are never heard or are nipped in the bud before they can even articulate themselves. A great way to do this is to invite student activists to present stories like the OSA’s in front of “a rapt audience of funders, organizers, and leaders at ‘The New Student Power’ a convening held at the Ford Foundation’s headquarters in New York City.” There’s nothing like attending a conference hosted by the company whose ‘innovations’ have come to stand for the exploitation and alienation of 20th century capitalism in one word—“Fordism”—to silence any rumbles of revolution.

What exactly makes Ford so excited about students? According to Ford Foundation program officer Jee Kim, it’s their “unblinking ambition to resolve our society’s deepest contradictions.” As Fetter elaborates, “Youth organizers in this network bring a truly intersectional lens to their work. They see little reason to parse out which elements of their activism are focused on [sic], for example, racial justice versus LGBT justice—both are deeply embedded in their movements’ leadership, strategies, tactics, and analyses.”

The Ford Foundation’s vision is one where we can all be happy and comfortable in our identities, relishing the insights of our “intersectional lens,” even as our very subjective experience is commodified by capitalism. If there was ever a case of capital’s almost uncontainable excitement at the prospects of identity politics, this is it. There’s nothing quite like a foundation “established to help keep the company in the family without paying estate taxes,” and whose ‘philanthropic’ funding has been historically pivotal in co-opting political dissent, to inspire the next generation of “progressive movements.”

It’s not a coincidence that Ford’s enthusiasm for identity politics is matched by its commitment to the electoral system. Fetter writes that the “Student Power model . . . connects social movements to the electoral process, and helps student organizing efforts extend beyond campus politics and contribute to local and statewide policy wins . . .” It would be more accurate to say that it subordinates social movements to the electoral process. As Gopal Guru argues, “Since politics based on identity uses community resources for personal advancement, it essentially eschews the need for mass movement . . .” just as it “requires both nationalism and liberalism” for “its own recognition [and] articulation.” But what’s the point of creating a politics beyond the dead end of elections and identity politics if the Ford Foundation can help us funnel (and fund) our “boundless energy” into ever-elusive “policy wins”?

And what is all of this to-do about “student” and “youth power”? Kim is right when he says that young people have an “incredible appetite for risk.” But risk-taking isn’t inherently politically progressive: one can just as easily channel this “appetite” into financial speculation or white nationalist politics as one can “youth power” or something more radical. Indeed, 21 year-old Dylann Roof’s actions could be called a product of young people’s “incredible appetite for risk” just as much as 17 year-old Jonathan Jackson’s could. The fact is that “generational thinking” is “fatally flawed as a mode of understanding the world.” Most fundamentally, it is a way of thinking wielded by Ford and its capitalist ilk to assert that differences, interests, and struggles fall along the lines of age rather than along those of class.

What must we do to combat this carefully concocted claptrap of Ford, which is but one example of the reign of terror that private foundations and their pivotal role in the non-profit industrial complex have unleashed on our struggles? First, as students, we must understand that, just as white people must reject the notion that we can combat racism “as white people,” we must abandon the idea that we can be effective political actionists “as students.” Only intergenerational struggle against the interests represented by intergenerational capitalists like the Ford fmaily stands any chance of being effective.

Second, it would be wise to heed the words of rapper Jean Grae to “take it back,” to reject the co-option, direction, and control of our lives and movements by the very forces killing black people in the streets, exploiting workers, funding imperialist wars, and murdering the planet. While developing the mass support in our communities necessary to sustain radical organizations and movements that refuse to take foundation funding is more difficult than schmoozing with the Ford Foundation in New York City, it is absolutely necessary if we wish to create a truly powerful and combative movement for a democratic and sustainable future.

 

[Vincent Kelley is an organizer struggling for the liberation of humanity and the planet from all forms of exploitation and domination. He currently works with One Struggle  in Iowa and can be reached at kelleyvincent@gmail.com.]

ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Final

From Where I Sit…

September 13, 2014

Sophia Tesfamariam

On 5-7 September 2014 Jay Taber’s Counterpunch article, “Imperial Civil Society, False Fronts for Wall Street”, Taber writes about “compromised NGOs” such as Avaaz and Amnesty International, the foundations and other entities that fund them,  and how they have become “imperial civil society” cow towing to Wall Street, and being used to “justify privatization, austerity, and military aggression by NATO and the US”.

In his article, Taber writes about the relationship between these international NGOs, Corporate America and the Government. The two salient points presented are:

  1. “…With corporate and government funding, often laundered through banks and foundations, international NGOs inspire pathos by constantly producing images of despair—thus allowing them to dominate discourse from an emotional vantage point. As a market-oriented institutional apparatus, this vast bureaucracy works hand in hand with military and finance authorities, thus functioning as Trojan horses on a par with transnational organized crime…As a fifth column of fascism, imperial civil society – funded by such entities as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, and Soros Open Society Institute – operates worldwide (in tandem with official false fronts like USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. Institute for Peace) to subvert sovereignty and derail democracy in favor of US hegemony…”
  1. “…Overthrowing and destabilizing governments, using NGOs like Avaaz as provocateurs, puts authentic non-profits and journalists at risk. Indeed, the imperial network of financiers like Soros makes NGO entrepreneurs in the pro-war champagne circuit accomplices in crimes against humanity. As frontline opportunists in the psywar waged against public consciousness, these false fronts legitimate “humanitarian warfare” and “free-market environmentalism,” employed against indigenous peoples and independent states…”

So the reader might be asking what or how that has anything into do with Eritrea and in this sitting, the author will present the facts and allow the readers to make their own determinations…

The Carpetbaggers

Carpetbaggers and Scalwags collage 2The bulk of the articles, reports, books that advance the narrative on Eritrea disseminated through academia, media and policy making institutions in the United States and Europe have been generated by a handful of individuals and the “NGOs” that they are associated with. There may be others, but these are the repeat offenders…and the “wonks” who have made Eritrea their forte-lucrative one at that…and who work and collaborate with each other on the Eritrean Project…

  • Tricia Redeker Hepner– Funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Wenner-Gren Foundation began her research of Eritreans in the Philadelphia area and today, as Eritrea expert at Amnesty International has been at the forefront of the anti-Eritrea campaign. Her involvement with Eritrean politics is fishy from the get go. How is it that a young American college graduate on her very first trip to Eritrea finds herself entangled in Eritrean politics?
  • Dan Connell– Grassroots international, RootsNet and the Cape Ann Forum and Freedom House-Recipient of several grants including the MacArthur Foundation. This is the same Foundation that funds Human Rights Watch and other “NGOs”.
  • Frank Smyth-Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ)-Too numerous to list here-Annual Report[1] has details of the individuals and corporations that fund this outfit-with Dan Connell, is a staple in the Eritrean political scene
  • David Bozzini-self professed expert on Eritrea- Funded by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, which is funded by the federal and the 16 state governments of Germany
  • Victoria Bernal– Bernal has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Wenner-Gren, Fulbright, the Rockefeller Foundation and others
  • Maryan Van Reisen-European External Policy Advisors (EEPA)-self professed expert on Eritrea-Clients include the European Parliament, various organs of the UN, various NGOs[2] including Caritas, Human Rights Watch, Action Aid, Save the Children etc. etc. Might explain the reluctance of the UN to conduct an independent investigation into the trafficking of Eritrea’s youth. As we shall see later, Van Reisen, like her counterparts, also has an interest in prolonging the agony of asylum seekers and Eritrean migrants.
  • Jennifer Riggan-Came to Eritrea through the Peace Corps as an “English Teacher” in 1995-but now is an expert on Eritrea, and like the others “prepares affidavits and testifies on behalf of asylum seekers. Eritrea’s education system is her main target
  • Sara Dorman-Came to Eritrea as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Asmara.  The new graduate claims “They needed a political scientist and I needed a job. It seemed like a great way to bridge the transition from student-hood to the real world”.  Today, she “studies” the behavior of Eritreans in social media and judging from the papers produced about Eritrea in the past, she will insist on painting a bleak picture of Eritrea and its leadership.
  • Kjetil Tronvoll-A Norwegian researcher with the  Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OCPHR) is in a new “Struggle for Freedom in Eritrea”, and has worked closely with the EQL-His papers, books and articles on Eritrea are too numerous to list here. He is also one of the first western anthropologist to enter Eritrea in 1991-to conduct “research”. An avowed anti-EPLF westerner, he insists on defining Eritrea and the needs of her people.

Those who have followed developments in Africa and especially the Horn of Africa for the last 25 years are familiar with these agencies and their “work” in Africa, but none has experienced as an aggressive campaign by groups funded by the “false fronts”, as the State of Eritrea and its people…(Zimbabawe comes close)

The carpetbaggers, dual hatted researchers, “anthropologists” by day, and “hired intellectuals” by night, have become a staple at every conference, forum, meeting, seminar, workshop etc. held about Eritrea. The many “by invitation only” conferences and presentations are made at academic institutions and forums and are never known with the Eritrean people in Eritrea or in the Diaspora. The idea is to “sensitize” the American and European public so that any actions of their governments will then become easily accepted.

Sometimes, one gets the feeling that Eritrea is a European state… as those around the table are almost always Caucasians, with the members of the Eritrean Quislings League (EQL) serving as the “Eritrean faces”. Most of the papers are placed in “academic journals” and other repositories not easily accessible to the general public, and if they were, the Eritrean public was not aware of their existence. Heck, even the Eritrean Studies Association is run by scalawags and carpetbaggers…hence its slow demise.

Imperial Civil Society: False Fronts for Wall Street

Counterpunch

Weekend Edition September 5-7, 2014

by Jay Taber

ci-poster-for-web-sm

 

The power of moral sanction is something Wall Street takes very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that over the last two decades, hostile takeovers of authentic civil society organizations, known for exercising moral sanction (i.e., Sierra Club and Pacifica Radio Network), have evolved into full-fledged displacement by corporate false fronts (i.e., Avaaz and 350).

While the membership-based Sierra Club and Pacifica Radio Network fought back and reclaimed their boards of directors, false fronts and compromised NGOs (i.e. Amnesty International USA) have become what is known as imperial civil society. Used to justify privatization, austerity, and military aggression by NATO and the US, they reflect a perversion of moral sanction.

As Maximilian Forte writes in Civil Society, NGOs, and Saving the Needy, the main purpose of the burgeoning civil society fad – that comprises the international bureaucracy of neoliberalism – is to legitimate anti-democratic politics. In order to take over basic functions and powers of the state, this bureaucracy – engaged in development, governance and aid – justifies itself by creating a “need,” thereby cornering the market on “humanity.”

With corporate and government funding, often laundered through banks and foundations, international NGOs inspire pathos by constantly producing images of despair—thus allowing them to dominate discourse from an emotional vantage point. As a market-oriented institutional apparatus, this vast bureaucracy works hand in hand with military and finance authorities, thus functioning as Trojan horses on a par with transnational organized crime.

As a fifth column of fascism, imperial civil society – funded by such entities as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, and Soros Open Society Institute – operates worldwide (in tandem with official false fronts like USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. Institute for Peace) to subvert sovereignty and derail democracy in favor of US hegemony.

Overthrowing and destabilizing governments, using NGOs like Avaaz as provocateurs, puts authentic non-profits and journalists at risk. Indeed, the imperial network of financiers like Soros makes NGO entrepreneurs in the pro-war champagne circuit accomplices in crimes against humanity. As frontline opportunists in the psywar waged against public consciousness, these false fronts legitimate “humanitarian warfare” and “free-market environmentalism,” employed against indigenous peoples and independent states.

With help from Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, imperial civil society is admittedly a formidable foe, but not an invulnerable one. Built on a foundation of fraud, the power of moral sanction they have hijacked can effectively be turned against them. While false fronts are able to dominate social media, they do not own our minds; they are merely social engineers operating under false pretenses that we can reject at will.

 
[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, and a featured columnist at IC Magazine. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

 

The Political Fraud of the Canadian Peoples’ Social Forum

World Socialist Web Site

August 20, 2014

By Carl Bronski

psf

Thousands of people are preparing to travel to Ottawa this week to attend a pan-Canadian Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF) that is billed “as a space for social movements to meet and converge, for the free expression of alternative ideas and grassroots exchanges and for artistic reflections on a diversity of demands and aspirations.”

According to PSF campaign material, those demands revolve around opposition to “neo-liberal and neo-conservative policies in Canada based on the guiding principles of social justice, Original Peoples’ rights, sustainable development, international solidarity and participatory democracy.” One of the main slogans for the gathering is “Fighting Harper and Beyond.”

The Forum is a political fraud. It is aimed not at fighting for the independent political mobilization of the working class, but rather at its subordination to the ostensible “left” wing of the bourgeois political establishment. In the name of fighting Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government and the “neo-liberal” agenda, the trade unions, with the middle class left and pseudo-Marxist organizations in tow, are seeking to harness the growing opposition of the working class to the offensive of the ruling elite behind a campaign to defeat the Conservatives at the polls in 2015 and install a “progressive” government. That would mean a Liberal or New Democratic Party (NDP) government, or more likely a Liberal-NDP coalition.

A model for the political operation being prepared by these so-called progressive forces was provided by their near-unanimous support in December 2008 for a would-be Liberal-NDP coalition government committed to a continuation of Canada’s neocolonial war in Afghanistan and further massive tax cuts benefiting the wealthy. More recently, in this year’s Ontario election, under the pretext of preventing a Conservative victory, the unions and their middle-class hangers-on lined up behind the right-wing Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne, which after its reelection announced an escalation of its policy of draconian social spending cuts and brutal attacks on workers’ rights.

This is no aberration. Since the 1980s, the unions have been engaged in negotiating the lowering of wages and benefits, the elimination of jobs, the curtailment of pensions, and the intensification of the exploitation of their members. A generation of workers has spent its entire work-life without experiencing a strike—or only losing strikes.

The unions have bowed with barely a peep to Harper’s strikebreaking legislation in a series of national disputes at Air Canada, Canadian Pacific Railways, and Canada Post. When the massive 2012 Quebec student strike threatened to provoke an eruption of working class opposition to the austerity agenda of big business, the unions moved to shut it down. The Quebec Federation of Labour wrote to the Canadian Labour Congress demanding that they provide no support to the students and the CLC gladly obliged.

Beginning in the latter half of the 1990s, when the Chretien-Martin Liberal government was implementing the greatest social spending cuts in Canadian history, many unions adopted a policy of “strategic voting” in national and provincial elections, i.e., a vote for the Liberals in most constituencies. Those still plumping for the New Democratic Party have supported the social democrats as they have lurched ever further to the right, imposing austerity wherever they hold office, electing a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister (Tom Mulcair) as national leader, and emerging as enthusiastic cheerleaders for Canada’s participation in imperialist interventions and wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Haiti and Libya

So much for “fighting” the policies of the ruling class.

The PSF event is one of the many off-shoots of the World Social Forum, founded in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001 and dedicated to championing “counter-hegemonic globalization.” Opposing “neo-liberalism” but not capitalism, the Forum promotes the illusion that the ruling class can be pressured into returning to Keynesian policies and that the nation-state can be a progressive constraint on rapacious global capital.

The real issue, however, is that capitalism has broken down under the weight of the same contradictions that led in the first half of the last century to two world wars, the Great Depression, and the horrors of fascism. The great progressive potential of a globally integrated economy runs up against its domination by private corporations and the capitalist nation-state system. Only the abolition of this outmoded system by the united political struggle of the international working class can open the way for a harmonious development of the world economy to meet social needs, not the profit interests of a few.

The annual Social Forum meetings have, over the years, received the backing of a whole host of bourgeois governments, union bureaucracies and capitalist foundations including support from former right-wing French President Jacques Chirac, successive pro-austerity governments in Brazil, the European Union, the American AFL-CIO, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The four-day gathering in Ottawa is chiefly sponsored by trade unions and trade union federations from across the country. Other sponsors include aboriginal, feminist and non-governmental organizations, the Council of Canadians, and the Desjardins Caisses populaires, Canada’s sixth largest financial institution.

The organization of a Canadian PSF was initiated by Alternatives, a Montreal based non-governmental organization. Unfortunately, the “alternatives” that animate the organizers and sponsors of the event are squarely lodged within the existing capitalist socio-economic system. This is only underscored by the fact that they immediately sought the patronage of the pro-capitalist trade union apparatus.

There will, no doubt, be many in attendance who agree—and many who do not—that a radical, systemic change is needed in the face of the proliferation of imperialist war, social misery, authoritarianism, and ecological catastrophe. But those genuinely seeking a way out of the world capitalist crisis will be sorely disappointed by the thin political gruel on offer at the gathering.

the shock doctrine_2

“But you won’t find Naomi Klein writing the Libyan chapter of the “shock doctrine” (Gulf News, 26/10/2011)–Naomi Klein was too busy throwing her support behind a Canadian politician, Nathan Cullen, who voted in support of NATO’s intervention in Libya, with little regret.” – MAXIMILIAN FORTE 

The Forum begins on August 21 with a rally addressed by the neo-Keynesian and “anti-globalization” activist Naomi Klein, and a march to Parliament Hill. That the rally and march are scheduled for a Thursday afternoon when most workers are unable to attend speaks volumes about the social forces the organizers are most interested in attracting. Indeed, it is expected that the largest contingents will come from officials from the trade union bureaucracy and the non-governmental organizations.

Over the ensuing weekend there will be almost 500 workshops. Aside from anarchist-minded groups promoting petty-production and portraying science and technology as the problem, and the seemingly obligatory sessions aimed at self-absorbed elements of the middle class—“Alternate Cures Rejuvenation Healing and Tibetan Monk Exercises,” “Urban Gardening,” or “Veganism, Anti-Colonialism and Animal Liberation”—the workshop line-up is peppered with sessions overseen by the various purveyors of identity politics intent on dividing the working class on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation.

Thus, the Niagara Queer People of Colour will advise attendees on their particularly specific perspective, an anti-racist group will discuss Caucasian “Fear of a Black Planet” and a number of sessions on the oppression of aboriginal peoples will seek to determine the extent of “settler” (a term referring to both the entire past and current non-Aboriginal population of Canada) “responsibility” for the genocidal policies of the ruling class. What is rejected outright in all these approaches is the central understanding that the principal “oppressed community” in Canada (and around the world) is the working class—black, white, native, gay, straight, male or female—and that only this class has the social power to break the stranglehold of big business over socio-economic life and to radically reorganize society in the interests of the majority.

The turn by those who want to fight the existing system has to be toward an international socialist program and the great challenge of assembling and educating a revolutionary movement with deep roots in the global working class. This is not a project to be undertaken lightly, but outside of that perspective there is no way to address the social disaster and danger of world war and ever-increasing global misery produced by the present system.

The Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site are fighting to overcome the crisis of working-class leadership and build a movement that will politically prepare and lead the working class in fighting for a workers’ government and socialism.

Mammon’s Missionaries

McKibbenandKlein

Above: Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein (representing 350.org/1Sky) tour America promoting the illusion of an existing and available “carbon budget” (“Do the Math”), while in reality, “there is no available carbon budget“.  This fact is made abundantly clear by both David Spratt (Climate Code Red) and David Wasdell.  [Basis for a Carbon Budget? | Link] [The real budgetary emergency and the myth of “burnable carbon” | Link ]

Image: 350.org photo stream via Flickr. Photo by Ted Cleary | Do the Math Tour | New York City | 11.16.2012

Public Good Project

July 26, 2014

By Jay Taber

 

Continuing our discussion on co-option, I should note that Naomi Klein – as a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation-funded 350.org — functions as an emissary to co-opt Indigenous activist/intellectuals like Arthur Manuel and Leanne Simpson. Having branded herself as part of the eco-avant-garde, Klein’s diplomacy is part of the mission of Wall Street NGOs to assimilate Indigenous thought leaders into the corporate fold.

Klein McKibben Healing Walk

“Tar Sands Healing Walk” | July 6, 2013 | Caption: “At the press conference before the walk formally began, there were many speakers. Among them was Naomi Klein.” Klein is under the purple flag with Clayton Thomas-Muller who is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute and organizer with Idle No More & Defenders of the Land. [July 1, 2013: Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein to join Canada’s tar sands ‘healing walk’ – Idle No More press release] Photo by “taylorandayumi” via Flickr.

 
Manuel, as a Seventh Generation Fund/Ford Foundation-sponsored activist — appointed by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to coordinate the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus — collaborated with Debra Harry in an attempt to exclude tribal governing authorities from participating in the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and later joined Harry in a fraudulent attempt to cover up their mischief. Manuel, the son of one of CWIS’s founders (where I am an associate scholar), is an articulate and intelligent Indigenous advocate. He has since apparently parted company with NAIPC, but his betrayal of trust remains a black spot on his record.

Leanne seems to have more integrity than Manuel, and I hope she does not get seduced by the insidious forces of Wall Street. The NGOs corrupted by UN flattery and foundation funds are responsible for much of the turmoil taking place behind the scenes of the media spectacle in which 350.org’s Bill McKibben is a star, and promise to be a problem in the lead up to the WCIP in New York come September.

In many respects, Klein and McKibben are like the church missionaries that initially helped subdue the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the US. Instead of the religion of Christianity, however, they proselytize on behalf of the faith in corporate philanthropy, all the while posing as pious champions of the environment, colonized and downtrodden. This is psychological warfare at its most repugnant.

Public Good Project’s role, as protectors and connoisseurs of conflict, is to expose the predators in order prevent their preying on the minds of the innocent. It is a role that rarely garners gratitude, but it is a necessary role if Indigenous Peoples are to prevail in their quest for human rights and environmental sanity.

 

[As an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, Jay Taber has assisted indigenous peoples seeking justice in such bodies as the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

Greenbacks for Blue Buckets: USAID Support for Instability in Russia

Strategic Culture Foundation

January 13, 2014

By Wayne Madsen

One «themed revolution», for which the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its allied operatives of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the George Soros Open Society Institute have become so infamous, went virtually unnoticed in the English language Western media.

In 2010, anti-Russian government provocateurs, financed by Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs), staged a number of protests featuring plastic blue buckets. The buckets were meant to symbolize the portable flashing blue lights, known in Russian as migalki, used atop many vehicles for Russian VIPs, including government officials and private businessmen.

The themed blue bucket protests were directly linked to the «pro-democracy» activities of USAID in Russia. American-backed provocateurs began placing blue buckets on top of their cars to mock the use of blue lights by officials. In response, three parties represented in the State Duma, United Russia, A Just Russia, and the Liberal Democratic Party, proposed a bill to crack down on the use of the blue buckets by protesters who were intent on causing traffic problems, sometimes resulting in vehicle accidents.

U.S. NGO support for the «blue bucket» revolution preceded by a year the nomination by President Barack Obama of anti-Russian activist Michael McFaul as the U.S. ambassador to Russia. McFaul began his tenure in Moscow by opening up the U.S. embassy to all sorts of anti-Russian political activists, provocateurs, and troublemakers.

Fording the River: Co-opting Indigenous Peoples

FordLogosheet_A_2009[FOR PRINT ONLY]

Intercontinental Cry

Sept 25, 2013

by Jay Taber

Ford Foundation is an ideological supporter of the World Bank (a mega co-developer of dams, mining and plantations in Indigenous territories), and a UN Millenium Development Goals supporter — along with Gates and Clinton — to do the same. Co-opting Indigenous peoples is a key objective of their neoliberal privatization project. Taking money from Ford Foundation is thus equivalent to taking money from Shell Oil, Rio Tinto or Monsanto.

Degrees of Evil: Savoring the Nuances of Co-optation

McKibbenKlein2012

Photo: Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein of 350.org

Intercontinental Cry

Sept 6, 2013

By Jay Taber 

 

Mind games of the non-profit industrial complex aren’t hard to decipher; the gullible simply have to decide they no longer want to be coddled by bromides, no longer treated as infantile consumers of spectacle. Once they reach the point of being skeptical, the charades of capitalist activism come clearly into view.

Spectacle celebrities like Naomi Klein, while raising valid (albeit hypocritical) criticism of the complex, count on infantile consumers to maintain their activist credentials. Serving as proxies for consumer rage, yet asking nothing serious of them as citizens, makes these capitalist activists popular and profitable PR puppets. (I especially love Ms. No Logo‘s logos.)

The Indigenous Non-Profit Industrial Complex: A Petri Dish for Conspiracism

Continuity | A Public Good Project Initiative

May 30, 2013

by Jay Taber

Conspiracism as a mental health affliction within the indigenous radical left, while frequently introduced by agent provocateurs, is often unthinkingly perpetuated by the orthodox. Using the Principles of Psywar (psychological warfare), handlers of agent provocateurs and managers of corporate derivative funds — distributed via indigenous brokerages within the non-profit industrial complex — regularly exercise their power of the purse to create political turbulence to their advantage. By creating such disturbances within indigenous activist networks, the Wall Street aristocracy is able to both co-opt charlatans, opportunists and pious poseurs (COPPs), as well as deceive recipients of funds laundered through foundations and indigenous fronts for capital. Within the indigenous peoples movement, this psywar — conducted using Wall Street derivatives — plays out in the form of brokerages like the Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development buying grassroots loyalty with small grants of money supplied by powerhouses like the Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase, and the corporate buy-in of indigenous leadership through brokerages like the too good to be true First Peoples Worldwide, which in turn undermine the movement by usurping international institutional processes, and by attacking indigenous governing authorities that are the only real challenge to the financial services empire, which — along with modern states — is committed to defeating all efforts of indigenous self-determination. All in all, a truly out of control, through the looking glass, Orwellian scenario.

As an example of this sordid scheme to defeat indigenous sovereignty and the psychological impact it has had on indigenous activists in the United States, some of the participants in the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus — which, thanks to compromised NGOs and agent provocateurs, already has a credibility issue — recently became agitated over false rumors about a tribal delegate to the June 2013 Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference in Norway leading up to the September 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in New York. The malicious covert campaign to demonize the delegate was initiated in March at the North American Preparatory Meeting, and refreshed last week, by the same deceitful and treacherous agent provocateur during the Twelfth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues–a global public relations spectacle, itself designed to deceive.

While the social viruses used to attack authentic indigenous leadership that challenges Wall Street’s hegemony are not unique to the indigenous peoples movement, they are particularly potent considering the tragic history of U.S. policy toward American Indians and their governing authorities. Since the passage of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, the psywar deployed against the indigenous peoples movement has intensified in both its overt and covert forms. While it is perhaps too late to inoculate those with a radical predisposition to conspiracism, it is hopefully not too late to educate others who are still open to understanding their roles, in order to isolate agent provocateurs and the toxic theories they disseminate via compromised and manipulated vectors of social change.

While we provide educational analysis freely to those targeted by this psywar, sadly it seems to have had little prophylactic result. Such is the nature of The Public Health Model: it has to be implemented in a timely and systematic way, or those already impaired cannot benefit.

I expect that the indigenous governing authorities whom the provocateurs and their followers are trying to obstruct will move forward to Norway and New York, despite the saboteurs’ delinquent behavior, and in time will eclipse the harmful fantasies fostered by the orthodoxy of radicalism within some indigenous NGOs. For those willing to learn, it is still possible to see the light, turn in the right direction, and join us in the pursuit of justice.

 

Capital-driven Civil Society

Capital-driven Civil Society

john-d-rockefeller

Originally published on State of Nature, May 19, 2008.

Republished by Michael Barker with additional links.

by Michael Barker

“It is the more subtle support that democracy manipulators provide to progressive activist organizations that are the most important yet least understood part of their activities.”

According to, the once progressive, now neo-conservative commentator, David Horowitz, Professor Stephen Zunes is a member of a select group of leftist activists that he refers to as The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (2006). Horowitz is infamous for co-founding the Center for the Study of Popular Culture – which has been ominously renamed as the David Horowitz Freedom Center. More recently though, in 2005, this Center launched DiscoverTheNetworks, an online project that has been accurately referred to as “Horowitz’s Smear Portal”. The relevance of this background is found in the fact that I have also assessed Zunes’ connections to the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (where he chairs the board of academic advisors). While both I and Horowitz have criticised Zunes’ background and affiliations, needless to say Horowitz’s “Smear Portal” attacks Zunes for very different reasons than my own. [1] Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that DiscoverTheNetworks approach to investigating Zunes is very similar to my own, as it identifies the “individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it”. The crucial difference, between these two parallel analyses, however, is that I criticise the Left in an attempt to strengthen it by causing it to reflect on the elite manipulation and co-option of civil society, while DiscoverTheNetworks simply aims to undermine the Left. [2]