"Banking families"

65 posts / 0 new
Last post
jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jul 9 2007 01:23
Jack wrote:
I'm mostly just surprised you haven't given revol the same treatment, and raised the time he got on stage with ska-punk band 'Capdown' to sing along to their classic "All coppers are bastards", to be honest.

You'd never mentioned the song before. Thanks smile

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Jul 9 2007 09:16

yeah daniel the reason right-wingers like to obsess over cabals of rich individuals pulling strings behind closed doors is to distract from the fact that capital is a social relation, not a conspiracy. of course they do this because they advocate an extreme form of capitalism themselves, so they have to blame the problems of capitalism on someone else.

historically of course this was 'the jews,' given as for centuries in europe christians and muslims were prohibited from practising usury, only jews could be money lenders, hence Shakespeare's Shylock and the well known caricatures. now you're not blaming the jews, but this is the scapegoat/conspiracy narrative the contemporary 'New World Order' stuff taps into, sometimes explicitly. i believe german lefties call it 'structural anti-semitism.' either way it has little to do with how capitalism functions - of course rich people meet each other, not least on the golf course and in the country club. government is after all "the great management committee of the bourgeoisie" - but the point is capital is a social relation, not a devious plot pulling the wool over our eyes.

Terry
Offline
Joined: 1-02-06
Jul 9 2007 09:30
Quote:
Joseph K wrote: "of course they do this because they advocate an extreme form of capitalism themselves, so they have to blame the problems of capitalism on someone else."

Which is basically where the 'conspiracy theory' usually comes from, it is used to explain things that shouldn't happen according to a particular worldview, case in point a conspiracy theory is emerging here that is explaining the peace process by maintaining the upper levels of the Provisionals were inflitrated and controlled by British intelligence (some including the Freemasons). To someone who holds to traditional republican militarism it couldn't be that it is impossible to unite Ireland by armed struggle, and someone had to wake up a smell the coffee, instead you get 'conspiracy theory'...which is assisted by the fact that there was a conspiracy of sorts within the movement by the pro-peace process faction. Their understanding of Unionism is similar.

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 9 2007 16:39
jef costello wrote:
Quote:
The banking families run the world my friend.
Quote:
I give it you banking families are not all powerful or anything. but they're pretty damn powerful.

progress.

Can you explain why the Rothschilds supposedly bankrolled the bolshevik takeover? (and any proof that they actually did would be nice)

actually they don't contradict each other. Gordon Brown runs the UK but he isn't all powerful. savvy?

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 9 2007 16:41
Jack wrote:
Jesus, do you have his picture in your locker?

yeah really... its getting a bit weird actually, MJ me old china. Like, do you just write down every I ever say, or do you memorise it, or do you spend hours pouring through every post I've made gthering up odds aand ends?

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 9 2007 16:47
daniel wrote:
yeah really... its getting a bit weird actually, MJ me old china. Like, do you just write down every I ever say, or do you memorise it, or do you spend hours pouring through every post I've made gthering up odds aand ends?

Nah you can find the older parts of the Internet if you take a minute. I think I took 20 minutes last week which was enough to get a pretty thorough picture of a young person who fancies himself a contrarian but is too willing to talk out of his ass to do a proper job of it.

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 9 2007 16:59
Joseph K. wrote:
yeah daniel the reason right-wingers like to obsess over cabals of rich individuals pulling strings behind closed doors is to distract from the fact that capital is a social relation, not a conspiracy. of course they do this because they advocate an extreme form of capitalism themselves, so they have to blame the problems of capitalism on someone else.

Yes, I totally understand that. It reflects, in many ways, political immaturity some of the rightwing "conspiracy" stuff. Stunted radicalism. They've still got a few good points tho.

Quote:
historically of course this was 'the jews,' given as for centuries in europe christians and muslims were prohibited from practising usury, only jews could be money lenders, hence Shakespeare's Shylock and the well known caricatures. now you're not blaming the jews, but this is the scapegoat/conspiracy narrative the contemporary 'New World Order' stuff taps into, sometimes explicitly.

I think you've hit on two different things. The "New World Order" is a term just referring to post-Soviet globalisation and the move towards larger and larger units of governance. EU. NAFTA. and, perhaps, world government under the UN. Its perfectly plausible and worth looking into. A global police state is being created and as far as I'm concerned, that's just the plain and simple truth.

Quote:
i believe german lefties call it 'structural anti-semitism.' either way it has little to do with how capitalism functions - of course rich people meet each other, not least on the golf course and in the country club. government is after all "the great management committee of the bourgeoisie" - but the point is capital is a social relation, not a devious plot pulling the wool over our eyes.

Yes I know capital is a social relationship. I don't need communism 101.

Explain to me tho, why it is that the ruling class have secretive meetings and so on. They're just doing what they do - run the world. They're the RULING class and therefore RULE. They do so through the state and thru their ownership of most everything, and sections of them have particular agendas which they persue in various different ways. Anybody disagree?

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Jul 9 2007 17:25

well most people refer to post-Soviet globalisation as 'globalisation.' in my experience those who refer to it as N.W.O. tend to want to tell you all about david icke

daniel wrote:
A global police state is being created and as far as I'm concerned, that's just the plain and simple truth.

i believe it's spelt "TRUTH!!!!1111oneone" wink

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 9 2007 20:25
MJ wrote:
daniel wrote:
yeah really... its getting a bit weird actually, MJ me old china. Like, do you just write down every I ever say, or do you memorise it, or do you spend hours pouring through every post I've made gthering up odds aand ends?

Nah you can find the older parts of the Internet if you take a minute. I think I took 20 minutes last week which was enough to get a pretty thorough picture of a young person who fancies himself a contrarian but is too willing to talk out of his ass to do a proper job of it.

Oh yeah? contrarian. thats a new one. i've never heard anybody give me that one before. I imagine you disagree with what i've said on multiculturalism, gender, the environment, and now, er, class society... What I said about multiculturalism is a reflection of the Red Action articles i read and liked; the stuff on gender is pretty normal, common sense stuff shared by most (if not all) people I know; the stuff I've said on the environment is a product of my skepticism about what I'd been piously told many times by environmentalist types; and the stuff on "banking families" and what not isn't the big deal you've cracked it up to be. I've seen bits and bobs about these elite families and what they get up to and I made a passing mention of it. Which you siezed on. Whats with that?

I'm sorry I didn't get the perfect anarchist package deal, but lay off the Freud, eh? wink It makes it look like you're having a go at me or trying to smear me cos I've disagreed with some of you folk at NEFAC about national liberation. and you're having a bit of your own back. I hope thats not what it is. I've spent time defending NEFAC and platformism.

Seeing as I've never met you, seems a bit rough digging up everything I've ever said and trying to pant me as a rightwing nutter. That's intelectually dishonest. No hard feelings tho. Just give me the benefit of the doubt that I'm not an idiot, crazy or a contrarian.

Smash Rich Bastards
Offline
Joined: 24-03-06
Jul 9 2007 20:33
daniel wrote:
I'm sorry I didn't get the perfect anarchist package deal, but lay off the Freud, eh? wink It makes it look like you're having a go at me or trying to smear me cos I've disagreed with some of you folk at NEFAC about national liberation. and you're having a bit of your own back. I hope thats not what it is. I've spent time defending NEFAC and platformism.

Seeing as I've never met you, seems a bit rough digging up everything I've ever said and trying to pant me as a rightwing nutter. That's intelectually dishonest. No hard feelings tho. Just give me the benefit of the doubt that I'm not an idiot, crazy or a contrarian.

Wait, I only skimmed the thread. No one's demanding that we look into the standing of any of our Jewish members, are they? eek

Smash Rich Bastards
Offline
Joined: 24-03-06
Jul 9 2007 20:45
Jack wrote:
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
Wait, I only skimmed the thread. No one's demanding that we look into the standing of any of our Jewish members, are they? eek

ffs, NEFAC allow Jews in as well as bureaucrats? angry

Girls too.

It was only a matter of time before we were found out...

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 28 2007 19:32
jef costello wrote:
In which case it was rather altruistic of the Rothschilds to fund the bolsheviks.
As far as I am aware the Rothschilds did not finance the bolsheviks and people that say that they did are generally from the 'jewish conspiracy' point of view, I'd appreciate a comrade with a bit more info helping out at this point.

Right. I did some more research, and the "Wallstreet-Bolshevik" connection seems quite sketchy. It may not have existed. There is one book I came across tho, which is online here, called Wallstreet and the Bolshevik Revolution by Anthony C. Sutton. Here is the reason he gives for the bankers motivations:

Mr. Sutton wrote:
What motive explains this coalition of capitalists and Bolsheviks?

Russia was then — and is today — the largest untapped market in the world. Moreover, Russia, then and now, constituted the greatest potential competitive threat to American industrial and financial supremacy. (A glance at a world map is sufficient to spotlight the geographical difference between the vast land mass of Russia and the smaller United States.) Wall Street must have cold shivers when it visualizes Russia as a second super American industrial giant.

But why allow Russia to become a competitor and a challenge to U.S. supremacy? In the late nineteenth century, Morgan/Rockefeller, and Guggenheim had demonstrated their monopolistic proclivities. In Railroads and Regulation 1877-1916 Gabriel Kolko has demonstrated how the railroad owners, not the farmers, wanted state control of railroads in order to preserve their monopoly and abolish competition. So the simplest explanation of our evidence is that a syndicate of Wall Street financiers enlarged their monopoly ambitions and broadened horizons on a global scale. The gigantic Russian market was to be converted into a captive market and a technical colony to be exploited by a few high-powered American financiers and the corporations under their control. What the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Trade Commission under the thumb of American industry could achieve for that industry at home, a planned socialist government could achieve for it abroad — given suitable support and inducements from Wall Street and Washington, D.C.

Finally, lest this explanation seem too radical, remember that it was Trotsky who appointed tsarist generals to consolidate the Red Army; that it was Trotsky who appealed for American officers to control revolutionary Russia and intervene in behalf of the Soviets; that it was Trotsky who squashed first the libertarian element in the Russian Revolution and then the workers and peasants; and that recorded history totally ignores the 700,000-man Green Army composed of ex-Bolsheviks, angered at betrayal of the revolution, who fought the Whites and the Reds. In other words, we are suggesting that the Bolshevik Revolution was an alliance of statists: statist revolutionaries and statist financiers aligned against the genuine revolutionary libertarian elements in Russia.3

'The question now in the readers' minds must be, were these bankers also secret Bolsheviks? No, of course not. The financiers were without ideology. It would be a gross misinterpretation to assume that assistance for the Bolshevists was ideologically motivated, in any narrow sense. The financiers were power-motivated and therefore assisted any political vehicle that would give them an entree to power: Trotsky, Lenin, the tsar, Kolchak, Denikin — all received aid, more or less. All, that is, but those who wanted a truly free individualist society.

Neither was aid restricted to statist Bolsheviks and statist counter-Bolsheviks. John P. Diggins, in Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America,4 has noted in regard to Thomas Lamont of Guaranty Trust that

Of all American business leaders, the one who most vigorously patronized the cause of Fascism was Thomas W. Lamont. Head of the powerful J.P. Morgan banking network, Lamont served as something of a business consultant for the government of Fascist Italy.

Lamont secured a $100 million loan for Mussolini in 1926 at a particularly crucial time for the Italian dictator. We might remember too that the director of Guaranty Trust was the father of Corliss Lamont, a domestic Communist. This evenhanded approach to the twin totalitarian systems, communism and fascism, was not confined to the Lamont family. For example, Otto Kahn, director of American International Corporation and of Kuhn, Leob & Co., felt sure that "American capital invested in Italy will find safety, encouragement, opportunity and reward."5 This is the same Otto Kahn who lectured the socialist League of Industrial Democracy in 1924 that its objectives were his objectives.6 They differed only — according to Otto Kahn — over the means of achieving these objectives.

Ivy Lee, Rockefeller's public relations man, made similar pronouncements, and was responsible for selling the Soviet regime to the gullible American public in the late 1920s. We also have observed that Basil Miles, in charge of the Russian desk at the State Department and a former associate of William Franklin Sands, was decidedly helpful to the businessmen promoting Bolshevik causes; but in 1923 the same Miles authored a profascist article, "Italy's Black Shirts and Business."7 "Success of the Fascists is an expression of Italy's youth," wrote Miles while glorifying the fascist movement and applauding its esteem for American business.

The bolshies weren't exactly any friends of anarchists, so nobody should rush to defend them!

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 19:49

Holy shit, there you are!

What a bizarre occurence eek

I was just logging onto Libcom to look for you and show you this
http://www.augustreview.com/issues/globalization/the_global_elite%3a_who_are_they?_200511146/
and ask if that's pretty much the stuff you're interested in.

daniel wrote:
The bolshies weren't exactly any friends of anarchists, so nobody should rush to defend them!

Yeah but you're right that it doesn't sound like they were bankrolled by US capital though. Maybe our enemies aren't all united?

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 28 2007 20:02

Of course they're not.

I've read that August Review stuff, before. A few interesting notes. I don't think they understand the realities of class society, coming from a conservative standpoint. What did you think?

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 20:11

I grew disinterested in the Trilateral Commission several years ago when I actually read a bunch of their "Triangle Papers" from during the 70s crises. A politically specific group formed to defend capitalist class interests doesn't necessarily have that much more direct influence on their rest of the class at any given point of time than a politically specific group formed to defend working class interests. There are windows of opportunity when they can try to help tip the scales in one policy direction or another, sure. But really the main contribution of the Trilateral was that among all its similar contemporary organizations that sought to maintain the tradition of Atlantic capitalist-class policy summits, it pushed a re-grounding toward the interests of their class as a whole by making an effort to include Japanese business interests at every level.

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 20:13

Also I'm busily reading your blog. You're smart enough, so I hope you don't burn enough bridges now to get you stuck in this phase of your political development.

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 20:14

Also I'm busily reading your blog. You're smart enough, so I hope you don't burn enough bridges now to get you stuck in this phase of your political development.

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 28 2007 20:27

Well, I hope you enjoy what you read. I hope I've not burned any bridges too. Of course, many people do. Anarchists, for instance. They get to be 50 and they realise that their political search ended at 15 when they read some shit by Emma Goldman. And that now they're walking a cliche.

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 28 2007 20:30
MJ wrote:
I grew disinterested in the Trilateral Commission several years ago when I actually read a bunch of their "Triangle Papers" from during the 70s crises. A politically specific group formed to defend capitalist class interests doesn't necessarily have that much more direct influence on their rest of the class at any given point of time than a politically specific group formed to defend working class interests. There are windows of opportunity when they can try to help tip the scales in one policy direction or another, sure. But really the main contribution of the Trilateral was that among all its similar contemporary organizations that sought to maintain the tradition of Atlantic capitalist-class policy summits, it pushed a re-grounding toward the interests of their class as a whole by making an effort to include Japanese business interests at every level.

Quite. I agree with you. Have you read Noam Chomsky's thoughts on the Trilateral Commission?

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 20:39

Nah. What's he say?

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 28 2007 21:41
Mr Chomsky wrote:
Perhaps the most striking feature of the new Administration is the role played in it by the Trilateral Commission. The mass media had little to say about this matter during the Presidential campaign -- in fact, the connection of the Carter group to the Commission was recently selected as "the best censored news story of 1976" -- and it has not received the attention that it might have since the Administration took office. All of the top positions in the government -- the office of President, Vice-President, Secretary of State, Defense and Treasury -- are held by members of the Trilateral Commission, and the National Security Advisor was its director. Many lesser officials also came from this group. It is rare for such an easily identified private group to play such a prominent role in an American Administration.

The Trilateral Commission was founded at the initiative of David Rockefeller in 1973. Its members are drawn from the three components of the world of capitalist democracy: the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. Among them are the heads of major corporations and banks, partners in corporate law firms, Senators, Professors of international affairs -- the familiar mix in extra-governmental groupings. Along with the 1940s project of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), directed by a committed "trilateralist" and with numerous links to the Commission, the project constitutes the first major effort at global planning since the War-Peace Studies program of the CFR during World War II.

The new "trilateralism" reflects the realization that the international system now requires "a truly common management," as the Commission reports indicate. The trilateral powers must order their internal relations and face both the Russian bloc, now conceded to be beyond the reach of Grand Area planning, and the Third World.

In this collective management, the United States will continue to play the decisive role. As Kissinger has explained, other powers have only "regional interests" while the United States must be "concerned more with the overall framework of order than with the management of every regional enterprise." If a popular movement in the Arabian peninsula is to be crushed, better to dispatch US-supplied Iranian forces, as in Dhofar. If passage for American nuclear submarines must be guaranteed in Southeast Asian waters, then the task of crushing the independence movement in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor should be entrusted to the Indonesian army rather than an American expeditionary force. The massacre of over 60,000 people in a single year will arouse no irrational passions at home and American resources will not be drained, as in Vietnam. If a Katangese secessionist movement is to be suppressed in Zaire (a movement that may have Angolan support in response to the American-backed intervention in Angola from Zaire, as the former CIA station chief in Angola has recently revealed in his letter of resignation), then the task should be assigned to Moroccan satellites forces and to the French, with the US discreetly in the background. If there is a danger of socialism in southern Europe, the German proconsulate can exercise its "regional interests." But the Board of Directors will sit in Washington....

The Trilateral Commission has issued one major book-length report, namely, The Crisis of Democracy (Michel Crozier, Samuel Huntington, and Joji Watanuki, 1975). Given the intimate connections between the Commission and the Carter Administration, the study is worth careful attention, as an indication of the thinking that may well lie behind its domestic policies, as well as the policies undertaken in other industrial democracies in the coming years.

The Commission's report is concerned with the "governability of the democracies." Its American author, Samuel Huntington, was former chairman of the Department of Government at Harvard, and a government adviser. He is well-known for his ideas on how to destroy the rural revolution in Vietnam. He wrote in Foreign Affairs (1968) that "In an absent-minded way the United States in Vietnam may well have stumbled upon the answer to 'wars of national liberation.'" The answer is "forced-draft urbanization and modernization." Explaining this concept, he observes that if direct application of military force in the countryside "takes place on such a massive scale as to produce a massive migration from countryside to city" then the "Maoist-inspired rural revolution may be "undercut by the American-sponsored urban revolution." The Viet Cong, he wrote, is "a powerful force which cannot be dislodged from its constituency so long as the constituency continues to exist." Thus "in the immediate future" peace must "be based on accommodation" particularly since the US is unwilling to undertake the "expensive, time consuming and frustrating task" of ensuring that the constituency of the Viet Cong no longer exists (he was wrong about that, as the Nixon-Kissinger programs of rural massacre were to show). "Accommodation" as conceived by Huntington is a process whereby the Viet Cong "degenerate into the protest of a declining rural minority" while the regime imposed by US force maintains power. A year later, when it appeared that "urbanization" by military force was not succeeding and it seemed that the United States might be compelled to enter into negotiations with the NLF [National Liberation Front] (which he recognized to be "the most powerful purely political national organization"), Huntington, in a paper delivered before the AID-supported Council on Vietnamese Studies which he had headed, proposed various measures of political trickery and manipulation that might be used to achieve the domination of the U.S.-imposed government, though the discussants felt rather pessimistic about the prospects....

In short, Huntington is well-qualified to discourse on the problems of democracy.

The report argues that what is needed in the industrial democracies "is a greater degree of moderation in democracy" to overcome the "excess of democracy" of the past decade. "The effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups." This recommendation recalls the analysis of Third World problems put forth by other political thinkers of the same persuasion, for example, Ithiel Pool (then chairman of the Department of Political Science at MIT), who explained some years ago that in Vietnam, the Congo, and the Dominican Republic, "order depends on somehow compelling newly mobilized strata to return to a measure of passivity and defeatism... At least temporarily the maintenance of order requires a lowering of newly acquired aspirations and levels of political activity." The Trilateral recommendations for the capitalist democracies are an application at home of the theories of "order" developed for subject societies of the Third World.

The problems affect all of the trilateral countries, but most significantly, the United States. As Huntington points out, "for a quarter century the United States was the hegemonic power in a system of world order" -- the Grand Area of the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations]. "A decline in the governability of democracy at home means a decline in the influence of democracy abroad." He does not elaborate on what this "influence" has been in practice, but ample testimony can be provided by survivors in Asia and Latin America.

As Huntington observes, "Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers," a rare acknowledgement of the realities of political power in the United States. But by the mid-1960s this was no longer possible since "the sources of power in society had diversified tremendously," the "most notable new source of power" being the media. In reality, the national media have been properly subservient to the state propaganda system, a fact on which I have already commented. Huntington's paranoia about the media is, however, widely shared among ideologists who fear a deterioration of American global hegemony and an end to the submissiveness of the domestic population.

A second threat to the governability of democracy is posed by the "previously passive or unorganized groups in the population," such as "blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students and women -- all of whom became organized and mobilized in new ways to achieve what they considered to be their appropriate share of the action and of the rewards." The threat derives from the principle, already noted, that "some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups" is a prerequisite for democracy. Anyone with the slightest understanding of American society can supply a hidden premise: the "Wall Street lawyers and bankers" (and their cohorts) do not intend to exercise "more self-restraint." We may conclude that the "greater degree of moderation in democracy" will have to be practiced by the "newly mobilized strata."

Huntington's perception of the "concerned efforts" of these strata "establish their claims" and the "control over... institutions" that resulted is no less exaggerated than his fantasies about the media. In fact, the Wall Street lawyers, bankers, etc., are no less in control of the government than in the Truman period, as a look at the new Administration or its predecessors reveals. But one must understand the curious notion of "democratic participation" that animates the Trilateral Commission study. Its vision of "democracy" is reminiscent of the feudal system. On the one hand, we have the King and Princes (the government). On the other, the commoners. The commoners may petition and the nobility must respond to maintain order. There must however be a proper "balance between power and liberty, authority and democracy, government and society." "Excess swings may produce either too much government or too little authority." In the 1960s, Huntington maintains, the balance shifted too far to society and against government. "Democracy will have a longer life if it has a more balanced existence," that is, if the peasants cease their clamor. Real participation of "society" in government is nowhere discussed, nor can there be any question of democratic control of the basic economic institutions that determine the character of social life while dominating the state as well, by virtue of their overwhelming power. Once again, human rights do not exist in this domain.

The report does briefly discuss "proposals for industrial democracy modeled on patterns of political democracy," but only to dismiss them. These ideas are seen as "running against the industrial culture and the constraints of business organization." Such a device as German co-determination would "raise impossible problems in many Western democracies, either because leftist trade unionists would oppose it and utilize it without becoming any more moderate, or because employers would manage to defeat its purposes." In fact, steps towards worker participation in management going well beyond the German system are being discussed and in part implemented in Western Europe, though they fall far short of true industrial democracy and self-management in the sense advocated by the libertarian left. They have evoked much concern in business circles in Europe and particularly in the United States, which has so far been isolated from these currents, since American multinational enterprises will be affected. But these developments are anathema to the trilateralist study.

Still another threat to democracy in the eyes of the Commission study is posed by "the intellectuals and related groups who assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to 'monopoly capitalism'" (the latter phrase is in quotes since it is regarded as improper to use an accurate descriptive term to refer to the existing social and economic system; this avoidance of the taboo term is in conformity with the dictates of the state religion, which scorns and fears any such sacrilege).

Intellectuals come in two varieties, according to the trilateral analysis. The "technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals" are to be admired for their unquestioning obedience to power and their services in social management, while the "value-oriented intellectuals" must be despised and feared for the serious challenge they pose to democratic government, by "unmasking and delegitimatization of established institutions."

The authors do not claim that what the value-oriented intellectuals write and say is false. Such categories as "truth" and "honesty" do not fall within the province of the apparatchiks. The point is that their work of "unmasking and delegitimatization" is a threat to democracy when popular participation in politics is causing "a breakdown of traditional means of social control." They "challenge the existing structures of authority" and even the effectiveness of "those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young." Along with "privatistic youth" who challenge the work ethic in its traditional form, they endanger democracy, whether or not their critique is well-founded. No student of modern history will fail to recognize this voice.

What must be done to counter the media and the intellectuals, who, by exposing some ugly facts, contribute to the dangerous "shift in the institutional balance between government and opposition"? How do we control the "more politically active citizenry" who convert democratic politics into "more an arena for the assertion of conflicting interests than a process for the building of common purposes"? How do we return to the good old days when "Truman, Acheson, Forrestal, Marshall, Harriman, and Lovett" could unite on a policy of global intervention and domestic militarism as our "common purpose," with no interference from the undisciplined rabble?

The crucial task is "to restore the prestige and authority of central government institutions, and to grapple with the immediate economic challenges." The demands on government must be reduced and we must "restore a more equitable relationship between government authority and popular control." The press must be reined. If the media do not enforce "standards of professionalism," then "the alternative could well be regulation by the government" -- a distinction without a difference, since the policy-oriented and technocratic intellectuals, the commissars themselves, are the ones who will fix these standards and determine how well they are respected. Higher education should be related "to economic and political goals," and if it is offered to the masses, "a program is then necessary to lower the job expectations of those who receive a college education." No challenge to capitalist institutions can be considered, but measures should be taken to improve working conditions and work organization so that workers will not resort to "irresponsible blackmailing tactics." In general, the prerogatives of the nobility must be restored and the peasants reduced to the apathy that becomes them.

This is the ideology of the liberal wing of the state capitalist ruling elite, and, it is reasonable to assume, its members who now staff the national executive in the United States....

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 22:00

Sure.

I read the Crisis of Democracy too, a couple unintentionally funny parts but nothing that insightful compared to a lot of the Big Picture books that were coming out at the time (e.g., Brzezinski's "Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technotronic Era" from 1970, Drucker's "Technology, Management, and Society" from the same year, and Bell's "The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society" from 1973).

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 28 2007 22:01

More importantly tho, and this is where we disagree, certain sections of the ruling class have plans very near and dear to them that they, as a class, have fondly considered for a long, long time. An Anglo world empire, for example. The Rhodes-Milner "Round Table" group formulated plans for this world government a long time ago. Sections of the ruling class clung to this idea and it was pushed by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in the UK and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the US. How realistic these plans were are debatable. Also debatable is whether the present push towards regionalism (EU, NAFTA, etc) and globalism (WTO, UN, World Bank, IMF) are purely the outcome of the unconscious evolution of capitalist society or are the outcome of plans long in the making. I favour an answer somewhere in the middle.

Fundamentally, the question is about "Just how class conscious are the bourgeoisie?" They wouldn't be our rulers if they didn't have a pretty good idea about what they were doing. I'm not arguing that they're monolithic. Absolutely not. I'm saying that there are particularly class conscious and powerful and, yes, devious factions of the bourgeoisie. Why else do they love their secret societies?

By the way, MJ, I'm really jealous of your tagline. angry

MJ's picture
MJ
Offline
Joined: 5-01-06
Jul 28 2007 23:26
daniel wrote:
Fundamentally, the question is about "Just how class conscious are the bourgeoisie?"

Hmm, in my mind the three main (and related) questions here are:

1) How is the "class consciousness" of (say) an individual capitalist or board of capitalists analogous to the kind of class-consciousness (or whatever you wanna call it) we're trying to encourage among our fellow workers in order to build a class struggle capable of destroying class society itself?

2) What kind of politics can be built on a foundation of research into cooperation among capitalists?

3) Are there any really important aspects of capitalism we might be missing or downplaying by shining this kind of spotlight on those big name capitalists/capitals able and willing to organize themselves to influence policymaking and investment patterns at the "top" level?

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 29 2007 18:17
MJ wrote:
daniel wrote:
Fundamentally, the question is about "Just how class conscious are the bourgeoisie?"

Hmm, in my mind the three main (and related) questions here are:

1) How is the "class consciousness" of (say) an individual capitalist or board of capitalists analogous to the kind of class-consciousness (or whatever you wanna call it) we're trying to encourage among our fellow workers in order to build a class struggle capable of destroying class society itself?

Well, the class dynamics are different, of course. The ruling class is naturally Machiavellian, and can be prety short-sighted. They also base their internal structures on elitism (e.g. who went to hat school, who belongs to what club or secret society, what family one comes from, old money vs new money, etc.). Their class consciousness perhaps tends to be more conspiratorial. The opposite of what we want.

Quote:
2) What kind of politics can be built on a foundation of research into cooperation among capitalists?

I see it more as a question of what's going on. The existence of, say, the Old Etonian network or the Skull & Bones network, or Bohemian Grove, or the myriad other ruling class structures, put the lie to the myth of democracy. Americans were asked to choose between Bush and Kerry, yet they're both related and they both belong to an organisation whose members swear a pledge to help-out the others in no uncertain terms.

Quote:
3) Are there any really important aspects of capitalism we might be missing or downplaying by shining this kind of spotlight on those big name capitalists/capitals able and willing to organize themselves to influence policymaking and investment patterns at the "top" level?

Yes. Obviously capitalism is a system or human relations based on labour as commodity, the wage relation, etc. etc. it is not (as Joseph K pointed out) a devious plot by particular individuals. However, there are "devious plots" by certain members and factions of the ruling class to better themselves and increase their wealth and power or attack working people.

I think we do ourselves no favours when we ignore the dodgy things our rulers get up to.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Jul 29 2007 18:23
Quote:
Obviously capitalism is a system or human relations based on labour as commodity, the wage relation, etc. etc. it is not (as Joseph K pointed out) a devious plot by particular individuals.

It's neither, we hand responsibility for running things to the bourgeoisie on a plate. Capitalism, in as far as it can be said to exist at all, is something we do to ourselves.

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 29 2007 18:29
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
Obviously capitalism is a system or human relations based on labour as commodity, the wage relation, etc. etc. it is not (as Joseph K pointed out) a devious plot by particular individuals.

It's neither, we hand responsibility for running things to the bourgeoisie on a plate. Capitalism, in as far as it can be said to exist at all, is something we do to ourselves.

Hmm... that was Mr Reich's opinion right enough. The conflict in society is not between proletariat and bourgeoisie but between libertarian and authoritarian, revolutionary and reactionary. The bourgeoisie are a side-note. Not sure I buy it.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Jul 29 2007 18:40

Like Lazy, Thatcher grasped it, but whilst the left dwelled on such mystical beliefs, she set to work turning thought into action. Which is certainly more than pondering dialectical relationships ever managed…

Thatcher wrote:
I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.

A direct appeal to the mass psychology of the lower middle class in classic Nazi style, as described by Mr Reich, as we well know.

As you say, in a sense, I do entertain the idea that there is no such thing as society, but in the sense of Castoriadis describing it as an imaginary institution rather than some weak rightism which only exists due to the bungling ideological tenets of the left.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Jul 29 2007 18:50

Sorry to post again so quick...

Quote:
The conflict in society is not between proletariat and bourgeoisie but between libertarian and authoritarian, revolutionary and reactionary.

You’re free to interpret Reich this way if you like, but, for instance, “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” is really just a stone’s throw from Anderson’s “The Enemy is Middle Class”. The idea being that we, the “Little Men”, are happy to hand responsibility to the middle class because we’re busy desperately maintaining our own little kingdoms of sexual repression at home within our traditional family units.

daniel's picture
daniel
Offline
Joined: 8-04-06
Jul 29 2007 19:19

Yes, I thought you were going to say that. All I can say is that the "middle class" (however you want to define it) isn't capable of controlling, dominating, managing or much anything else. Which is why I always have a laugh when people whinge about the middle class dominating, say, the anarchist movement. Terry somethingorother wrote some whingey book called "I Was a Working Class Anarchist." It struck me how pathetic that was - all the middle class people I've ever known are so tame they couldn't dominate a toy poodle. They can't even keep their kid's in line for crying out loud! And students!!! Leave it out.

Anyway, I've no problem with professionals and intelectual workers. We need them just as much as we need electricians and builders. It'd be a right bummer if there weren't any doctors or teachers or scientists or writers. The more of them the better, and the more of them in the anarchist movement, the better. In fact, the only people I interact with on a day to day level who I can't stand are cops and my managers, who all come from backgrounds plenty "proletarian."