Sinews of Empire (1969)

Published in the October 1969 issue of Ramparts magazine as “Sinews of Empire” by David Horowitz.

FOLLOWING THE STUDENT SEIZURE of Harvard’s University Hall last spring, Time Magazine reported that Harvard Dean Franklin L. Ford “emphasized that continued rifling of University files could have compromised virtually the entire faculty.” This mind-boggling admission (offered in defense of the swift unleashing of police) is but one measure of how far academia has fallen from the ideal of open, critical, independent scholarship.

The universities were once thought to constitute a vital, independent, countervailing estate, but the modern university has been converted into an Office of External Research for the State Department, the Pentagon and the international corporations. The postwar takeover of the university was accomplished with less finesse and reserve than a corporate conglomerate customarily shows a newly acquired subsidiary, and it is symbolic that the new management team that was to reorganize the university from “within” was drawn largely from the unlikely and forbidding ranks of the crack American World War II intelligence arm, the OSS (Office of Strategic Services). The university is proverbially the most conservative of institutions – tradition-bound, unable to respond and adapt to changing times. But under the postwar tutelage of its powerful outside mentors, entirely new academic fields of social and political science have been created, which cut effortlessly across traditional academic lines and prerogatives that have so hampered innovations in, for example, black studies. These new international policy disciplines and “area studies” (e.g., Asian Studies) were provided with an avalanche of facilities – buildings, libraries, computer technology. Staffs and faculties were assembled, granted unprecedented autonomy and exalted in one jump to a kind of penthouse status in the academic hierarchy. They were provided freedom and leverage by abundant outside financing. With all of this backing, they quickly became the most powerful influence on the old horse-and-buggy departments, whose disciplines and concepts of scholarship began to follow the winning model set before them.

Thus the experts in international affairs, the new Adams of academe, were created. They were housed in the new language and area studies institutes and centers which multiplied from a handful before the war to 191 by 1968. Their power within the universities has grown apace. At Berkeley, for instance, a political science professor estimates that one-third of his department’s faculty depend on institutes for part of their income.

The academic Genesis of the new professionalism is significant not only for what it reveals about the university, but for what it shows about the institutional Creators. The details of this history provide a unique insight into the operations of these institutions of power and their personnel, interests and requirements. For here they were knitting the sinews of empire – the research, the civil servants, the technicians, the ideology, the whole fabric which binds together the imperial whole and reveals the structure of empire itself.

The second world war, and in its aftermath the collapse of the French, Dutch, German and Japanese empires, opened the way for a new global American imperium which required a vast new “service” and policy-oriented intellectual infrastructure — the kind for which England was famous, but which America lacked. Organizations like the foundation-financed Council on Foreign Relations, a key ruling class policy organization which had come into prominence during the war, served as the long-range planning bodies for foreign policy. What was needed now was a reservoir of information and talent at the intermediate levels: the technicians and middle management of empire.

During the war itself, intellectuals could be mobilized directly into government. Academia naturally put itself at the service of Washington, most dramatically in the Manhattan Project, but in some ways more significantly through the OSS, the seed of the fantastic postwar symbiosis which developed between the military, the state, international business and the university. After the war the same academic energies were mobilized indirectly, based in the university yet acting as a junior partner in U.S. foreign policy. The academic vehicle for all this was the new discipline of International Studies. It was a bit like moving offices.

This transition from extraordinary war mobilization to permanent academic function was engineered not by the military or the scholars, however, but by the foundations, as is made clear in a U.S. Office of Education report on Language and Area Centers (the subdivisions of International Studies). After reviewing the immense sums spent on establishing the programs by the Rockefeller, Carnegie and other foundations ($34 million between 1945 and 1948 alone), the report declares: “It must be noted that the significance of the money granted is out of all proportion to the amounts involved since most universities would have no center program had they not been subsidized. Our individual inventories indicate clearly the lack of enthusiasm as well as of cash on the part of most college administrations for such programs.” [emphasis added]

The significance of foundation grants today, 25 years after the launching of the first programs, is as great as ever. In 11 out of the 12 top universities with institutes of international studies, a single foundation, Ford, is the principal source of funds. Affiliated with the institutes at Columbia, Chicago, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, Harvard, Indiana, MIT, Michigan State, Stanford and Wisconsin are 95 individual centers. Ford is a sole or major source of funds for 83 of these, Carnegie for five, AID for two, the Government of Liberia for one, and assorted government contracts, foundations and endowments for four.

To be sure, there were always scholars willing to play a role in the development of the international studies programs. And there was no compulsion – a professor is always free to undertake any project that somebody is willing to pay for. There are excellent scholars of all stripes and persuasions, capable of forming all kinds of programs. Only some get to do so. And it certainly helps if the big foundations happen to share your interests – or you theirs. In the control of scholarship by wealth, it is neither necessary nor desirable that professors hold a certain orientation because they receive a grant. The important thing is that they receive the grant because they hold the orientation. (Exceptions in the case of isolated radical individuals, of course, do nothing to counter the momentum and direction imparted by vast funding programs to a whole profession or discipline.)

Viewed in the abstract, the academic objections which were raised against the “area studies” concept (i.e. the integration of several disciplines to illuminate a particular geographical area) would seem insuperable (as least as insuperable as the objections to autonomous black studies programs, and in many ways parallel). The area program would override the academic departments. It would, it was maintained, produce not scholars, but dilettantes. Who would be qualified to run such programs, to set and maintain standards? Area research would become the refuge of the incapable and incompetent.

Beyond that were the hard political objections. Perpetual competition for students, courses, influence and money already existed within the university. A new overlapping department would be a formidable competitor and would therefore naturally be resisted by the existing departments. All these arguments and forces did come into play when the international studies programs were first being sponsored by the foundations, but all of them amounted to the merest whiffle of wind. In effect, academia’s most sacred sanctuaries were invaded, its most honored shibboleths forsworn, its most rigid bureaucratic rules and “professional” standards circumvented and contravened without a finger of opposition being lifted. All it took was money, prestige, access to strategic personnel and collusion with those in the highest reaches of the academic administrations. As for the professors, they went along like sheep.

NEWTON THOUGHT THAT THE PLANETS were originally thrown into their orbits by the arm of God, but continued in them perpetually due to inertia. Such also is the principle of foundation intercession in the affairs of men. In the development of any complex and dispersed social institution, the initiating stages, the prototypes, are the key to the future evolution of the whole. The initiators naturally become the experts in the field. They are called upon to advise in the setting up of the offspring organizations, and they are the teachers and superiors of the personnel who staff them. This logic of innovation is particularly marked in academic institutions, which, like guilds, are structured as self-perpetuating hierarchies of experience. Most academics are oriented toward their own increasingly mobile careers rather than toward the local institution, whose direction they tend to accept as a given, beyond their power or understanding.

The first major international studies center was Columbia’s School of International Affairs, set up in 1946 as an outgrowth of Columbia’s wartime Naval School of Military Government and Administration. The head of the Naval School, Professor Schuyler Wallace (later an executive of the Ford Foundation), also became the first director of the School of International Affairs and remained in that post until 1960. According to the official history of the offspring school, the Naval School “provided a broad basis of experience for the formation of the School of International Affairs.” The history also states: “Of paramount importance [in the new School] was the task of training students for technical and managerial posts in those agencies of the government which maintained a foreign service….”

In 1960, the School issued a pamphlet entitled Employment Opportunities for Students Trained in International Affairs. The first such opportunity described was the Central Intelligence Agency, the second the State Department, the third AID, the fourth the U.S. Information Agency, the fifth the National Security Agency, and then corporations such as the Bank of America, the Chase Manhattan Bank, the First National City Bank, Mobil Oil, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and so forth. Finally, the U.N. and other civic, cultural and international agencies were mentioned. It was no surprise, then, when in 1968 the director of the School, Andrew Cordier (a consultant to the State Department and Ford Foundation), revealed that 40 percent of the School’s graduates go directly into government service and 20-30 percent into “international banking and business.”

Since its inception, the real substance of the School has been in its new affiliated area institutes, the first of which was the Russian Institute. Discussions about the Institute had been initiated by Geroid T. Robinson, the head of the OSS Research and Analysis Branch, USSR Division, who was to become the Russian Institute’s first director. In 1945 the Rockefeller Foundation made a five-year starter grant of $1,250,000. Joseph Willits, the Rockefeller Foundation’s director of Social Sciences who disbursed the funds was, like Geroid Robinson and Schuyler Wallace, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), as were of course David, Nelson and John D. Rockefeller themselves.

With financing assured, the Institute’s staff was appointed. Most important was Philip E. Mosely, who succeeded Robinson as director in 1951. Also a member of the CFR (he later became its director of studies), Mosely was a former State Department officer. Of the entire five-man steering staff of the Russian Institute, only Geroid Robinson had had any prior connection with Columbia University, but four had been associated with the OSS or the State Department, three were in the CFR, and three were members of the upper-class Century club (as were Schuyler Wallace and Allen Dulles, the OSS veteran who went on to head the CIA). Such are the basic credentials of the new academic discipline.

The foundations not only provided funds for the staff salaries, libraries and physical facilities of these centers and institutes, but financed the students and trainees as well. Thus in 1947 the Rockefeller Foundation chipped in $75,000 worth of postgraduate fellowships for the Russian Institute. This was followed by $100,000 from the Carnegie Corporation for less advanced students. From 1947 through 1953, 140 Carnegie grants were made to 116 students of the Institute who were also eligible for regular Columbia grants. To financial privilege was added bureaucratic forbearance:the PhD requirement (which, thanks to the old Carnegie Foundation, acted as a vise on the creativity and freedom of every academician) was waived for Senior Fellows at the Russian Institute, and an opening made for “mature men of unusual ability,” such as former members of government agencies and political emigré figures.

Prime importance was given to the influential propagation of ideas – in short, publication. “It appeared to the staff urgently necessary,” the official history reports, “that the most valuable of the Institute’s research results be guaranteed publication in spite of soaring costs and of shrinking markets for high-priced scholarly books.” How many scholars have wished likewise! But the Institute had the angels on its side, and thanks to the Rockefeller Foundation it was able to set up a “revolving publication fund” to subsidize Institute books, ensuring their publication and widespread academic distribution.

Similarly, Institute academics had easy access to such prestigious ruling class publications as the Council on Foreign Relations’ influential magazine, Foreign Affairs. They had funds for their own scholarly journals which quickly became leaders and opinion makers in what was an open field. They had access to the leading publications of the various older disciplines, which were usually controlled by academic politicians of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) or the other foundation-financed academic “steering committees.” Thus the successive Russian Institute heads, Geroid Robinson and Philip Mosely, both served on the original World Areas Research Committee of the SSRC. Mosely was also chairman of the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies of the SSRC and the American Council of Learned Societies. Finally, they had access to the university presses, which, like the other instruments of organized influence in the university community, are controlled by the administrative foundation-oriented elite. So, for example, Schuyler Wallace was not only director of Columbia’s School of International Affairs from 1946 to 1960, as well as of several of its institutes, but was also director of the Social Science Research Council (1952-1958), an associate of the Ford Foundation (1952-1960), and director of the Columbia University Press (1955-1962).

All this served to create an intellectual juggernaut of unrivaled power in its field. In 1964, the current director of the Russian Institute boasted that its 500 alumni constituted the majority of all American experts in the Soviet field. By force of its example, by the direct influence of its personnel and by the enabling support of the CFR-foundation power elite, the Institute was able to dominate the field of Russian affairs both in the academic world and in the sphere of government policy.

The Russian Institute was the most important of the many influential institutes in Columbia’s School of International Affairs, but it was in all respects typical – both in genesis and direction. “Late in 1947,” recounts the official history, “the creation of an East Asian Institute … was placed before the Rockefeller Foundation. With the aid of a grant from that body, the Institute was formally established in 1948.” Like the Russian Institute, it was the first of its kind in America and was guided by former State Department and foreign service officers. In September 1949, a Carnegie grant produced the European Institute, which was initially headed by Grayson Kirk, Columbia professor, Carnegie Corporation trustee, CFR member and Mobil Oil director. When Kirk resigned the following year to take on the Columbia provostship, he was succeeded as Institute director by Schuyler Wallace. The present director is Philip Mosely. Like the Hapsburg Royalty, they like to keep the family small and intimate.

As the American empire and its problems expanded, so the School of International affairs broadened to include centers on the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Its funding also shifted from the Carnegie and Rockefeller pilot fish to the great Ford Whale itself. Thus by 1968, there were 15 affiliated institutes and centers, nine funded exclusively by the Ford Foundation, four by Ford and one or two other foundations, and one by Ford and the federal government. All operated beyond any regular academic authority, responsible only to the provost of the university and its president, presently the venerable Grayson Kirk.

A remarkable team spirit prevails among the administrations of the School, the foundations and the government. This was neatly illustrated in a letter liberated during the Spring 1968 Columbia student rebellion. The letter, from Columbia’s Grayson Kirk to Gerald Freund of the Rockefeller Foundation, concerned a former Indonesian official whose politics were attractive to the State Department, but whom the Department presumably did not wish to discredit with direct support. Wrote Kirk on February 22, 1966: “Dean Cordier reports to me that he has discussed with you the possible financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation for a research project to be undertaken by Mr. Biar Tie Khonw, a former high official in the Indonesian government. We have been informed by knowledgeable people in the Department of State, by Mr. Slater of the Ford Foundation, and others, that Mr. Khonw is very well qualified to contribute to the restoration of economic order and stability in Indonesia in such time as it becomes politically possible…. The grant is to include travel expenses to the Netherlands and several trips to Washington…. Mr. Khonw would be attached to the faculty of international affairs as a visiting scholar.” Yes. But can he teach?

AS IN THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM GENERALLY, the “lead system” played a central role in the creation of the international studies centers. The centers were concentrated for maximum effectiveness at a few “leading” universities from which their influence would radiate to others. Of the 191 centers listed by the State Department, more than half cluster around 12 institutions. Clearly Harvard, the Pentagon of America’s academic legions, would have to be a keystone in the structure. And indeed the creation of the Russian Research Center there in 1947, and of the inclusive Center for International Affairs a decade later, reveals even more graphically than the prototypical case of Columbia the nexus of power in the field.

The initiative for Harvard’s Russian Research Center came from John W. Gardner, then a recent OSS graduate, later Secretary of HEW, and now head of the Urban Coalition. But Gardner himself had been set in motion by a Wall Street lawyer named Devereux Josephs. Reputed by one whimsical but perspicacious observer to be one of the four men who run America (the other three being bankers Robert A. Lovett, John J. McCloy, and Douglas Dillon), Devereux Josephs is a Groton and Harvard alumnus, a Century club member, a director of such nerve centers of finance as the New York Life Insurance Company and Rockefeller Center, Inc., and such globally oriented industrials as the American Smelting and Refining Co. – and he was president of the Carnegie Corporation. It was presumably in this last role, as educator one might say, that Josephs found he had, in the words of Fortune magazine, “a specific field in mind for Gardner. Josephs was convinced that American universities would have to widen the curriculum of international studies, then long on history and language but short on contemporary information.”

So in the spring of 1947, Gardner and the Carnegie staff became actively concerned with the development of a Russian studies program. At first they were thinking of an inter-university organization, with Clyde Kluckhohn of Harvard (formerly of the OSS) as a possible chairman. Subsequently, they decided that it would be more practical to plant the program in a single institution. They chose Harvard.

During the early autumn of 1947, informal discussions were undertaken between Gardner and select members of the Harvard faculty. Then in October, two meetings were held between Gardner, the selected faculty members, the provost of Harvard, and Charles Dollard of the Carnegie Corporation. The provost then consulted with the president, and “Harvard” agreed to accept the Carnegie invitation to organize its program. In mid-October, Kluckhohn was indeed asked to serve as director and the Center was underway, powered by a Carnegie Corporation munificence of $750,000 to be doled out at a rate of $150,000 per year – a five-year plan which was renewed in 1953. (Eventually this financing was taken over by the Ford Foundation.)

Despite all this largesse, the staff quickly learned new ways to make a living. In 1949, they began a project on the Soviet Social System, known more familiarly as the Refugee Interview Project, which involved intensive interviewing of Soviet refugees and was financed by the intriguingly named Human Resources Research Institute of the U.S. Air Force. In one stroke it quadrupled the Center’s 1950 income, while providing a grateful Defense Department with information that it would normally expect from the CIA.

The Center itself is prevented, by Harvard decorum, from accepting contracts involving classified materials, but individual staff members are not (a nice distinction – for once very academic). In addition to frequenting lectures at the National Army, Navy, Air and Industrial War Colleges, staff members also serve as consultants to classified projects within the following agencies: the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the RAND Corporation, the Research and Development Board, the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency. Ivory tower indeed!

In this manner the Center studied (as the original Gardner memo defined its scope) “fields which lie peculiarly within the professional competence of social psychologists, sociologists and cultural anthropologists.” These disciplines were so rewarding that within a year a new Center for International Studies was being formed as a sister project on the MIT campus, with Harvard and MIT faculty (and others) participating.

A liberated document from Harvard titled “The Nature and Objectives of the Center for International Studies” describes the initial impetus: “In the summer of 1950, MIT which has been engaged for some years in research on behalf of the U.S. military establishment was asked by the civilian wing of the government to put together a team of the best research minds available to work intensively for three or four months on how to penetrate the Iron Curtain with ideas.” Out of this scholarly initiative developed a permanent Center at MIT which rapidly grew in prestige.

MIT’s Advisory Board on Soviet Bloc Studies, for example, was composed of these four academic luminaries: Charles Bohlen of the State Department, Allen Dulles of the CIA, Philip E. Mosely of Columbia’s Russian Institute and Leslie G. Stevens, a retired vice admiral of the U.S. Navy.

If the MIT Center seemed to carry to their logical conclusion the on-campus extension programs of the State Department and the CIA, that was perhaps because it was set up directly with CIA funds under the guiding hand of Professor W.W. Rostow, former OSS officer and later director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff under Kennedy and Johnson. The Center’s first director, Max Millikan, was appointed in 1952 after a stint as assistant director of the CIA. Carnegie and Rockefeller joined in the funding, which by now, as in so many other cases, has passed on to Ford.

It wasn’t until 1957 that Harvard got its own full-fledged Center for International Affairs. According to liberated documents, the Center was conceived as “an extension and development” of the Defense Studies Seminar whose objective was “to provide training for civilians who might later be involved in the formation of defense policy” and which was funded by the Ford Foundation, and then Carnegie.

The Harvard Center is probably unmatched in its tight interlacing of the knots of power. Among the key individuals who were involved in the creation of the Center were: Robert R. Bowie, its first director and head of the State Department Policy Planning Staff under John Foster Dulles; Henry A. Kissinger, who became associate director; Dean Rusk of the Rockefeller Foundation, who followed J.F. Dulles first at the Foundation and then in the State Department; James A. Perkins of the Carnegie Corporation, who went on to become president of Cornell and a director of the Chase Manhattan Bank; Don K. Price, vice president of the Ford Foundation, formerly of the staff of Harvard’s School of Public Administration, who later returned to become dean after his stint at Ford.

McGeorge Bundy, who originally organized the Center, went on to become the overseer of JFK’s national security policy. Bundy later left the White House to become head of the Ford Foundation, his key White House post being filled by the MIT Center’s Rostow. When the Nixon team took over, there at the head of foreign policy planning was Henry A. Kissinger, fresh out of Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. The circle was not accidental and was more than symbolic.

IN UNIVERSITY SERVICE TO THE EMPIRE, the grimier field work is often left to unprestigious social climbers like Michigan State University. MSU’s now notorious [see Ramparts, April 1966] CIA cover operation in South Vietnam – writing Diem’s constitution, training his police, supplying him with arms – was merely part of the school’s long globe-trotting pursuit of plush, parvenue academic prominence for itself and for its guiding genius, president John A. Hannah.

Hannah began his career in what might aptly be termed obscurity – as a specialist in poultry husbandry. After rising rapidly to the position of managing agent of the Federal Hatcheries Coordinating Committee in Kansas City, he became secretary to the MSU trustees – whence, loyal and trustworthy, he was elevated to the MSU presidency. In 1949 came his formative experience: serving under Nelson Rockefeller on a Presidential Commission to map out Truman’s new Point IV Cold War foreign aid program.

Seeing the wave of the future, Hannah made Michigan State “one of the largest operators of service and educational programs overseas.” The rise of MSU was paralleled by the rise of Hannah, who became an Assistant Secretary of Defense, board chairman of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, a director of Michigan Bell Telephone and eventually chairman of the foundation-financed American Council on Education (perhaps scholardom’s most important lobby in Washington).

MSU makes it clear that a university’s external liaisons are not merely peripheral, isolated affairs. Hannah himself proclaims: “…we are trying to create a general environment and an international dimension which will permeate all relevant segments of the university over the years ahead.” A 1965 report from Education and World Affairs concurs: “MSU’s international involvement is widespread, taking in [sic] almost every college and department: it has stimulated new areas of concern for the faculty, changed the nature of the faculty over the years, and altered the education of their primary charges, the students.”

Meanwhile MSU, having learned the ropes in Vietnam, has moved on to other areas. They have, for example, set out under an AID contract to plan a comprehensive education program for Thailand. The Ford Foundation is currently pitching in on this effort, which no doubt is satisfying to David Bell, the director of AID when the MSU contract was awarded and now the Foundation’s vice president in charge of international programs. Fittingly, President Nixon has now appointed MSU chief John Hannah to replace Bell as the head of AID.

No one finds university independence a more pleasant joke than the director of the CIA himself, Admiral William Raborn: “In actual numbers we could easily staff the faculty of a university with our experts. In a way we do. Many of those who leave us join the faculties of universities and colleges. Some of our personnel take a leave of absence to teach and renew their contacts in the academic world. I suppose this is only fair; our energetic recruiting effort not only looks for the best young graduate students we can find, but also picks up a few professors from time to time.”

It should be noted in passing that the congeniality of foundation-dominated scholarship to the CIA reflects the harmony of interest between the upper-class captains of the CIA and the upper-class trustees of the great foundations. The interconnections are too extensive to be recounted here, but the Bundy brothers (William, CIA; McGeorge, Ford) and Chadbourne Gilpatric, OSS and CIA from 1943 to 1949, Rockefeller Foundation from 1949 on, can be taken as illustrative. Richard Bissell, the genius of the Bay of Pigs (and brother-in-law of Philip Mosely of Columbia’s Russian Institute), reversed the usual sequence, going from Ford to the CIA. (Characters in our story, so far, who belonged to a single upper-class club – the Cosmos – include Millikan, Rostow, Mosely, Gardner, Price, Perkins, Kissinger and Hannah.)

Of course turning professors into CIA agents is not the most common way in which scholarship is made to serve the international status quo. It is not a matter of giving professors secret instructions to falsify research results in the dead of night, but simply of determining what questions they will study. That is where the Ford Foundation comes in. So, for example, with part of the $2 million Ford grant that launched the Institute of International Studies at Berkeley as a major center, a Comparative Political Elites Archive Program was established there in 1965. In practice, the political elites studied turned out to be the ruling elites in communist countries and the potential revolutionary elites in countries within the U.S.’s imperial orbit; the power structure of the American overseas system itself was naturally not a subject of interest. Not surprisingly, the Defense Department and the RAND Corporation were also participants in the Archive Program, which until recently was developing a kind of computerized international mug file.

Occasionally there is an impotent attempt to impart integrity to these institutes, such as the “guidelines” established in response to student protests at Berkeley. “No project,” the key point warned, “can be regarded as acceptable either for Institute or extramural funds if an outside agency designs the basic character of the research without the full participation and agreement of a faculty member.” This important code would defend a faculty member from being forced by an outside agency (his wife and children being held hostage, perhaps in a Pentagon dungeon) into research without his agreement. Other than that, little is ruled out; it was really a plea for decorous subtlety. (And if a professor undertook a research project financed by the National Liberation Front, one wonders if the only question raised would concern the procedure of its design.)

The inescapable reality is that so long as discretion over the vast majority of research funds and all innovative financing remains outside the university community, it is fatuous to speak of disinterested scholarship or anything remotely resembling what is commonly understood as an academic enterprise. This implication is seldom realized, because the monopoly is so complete that the very possibility of any alternative orientation is not permitted to arise for serious consideration. To appreciate the limits placed on institutionalized efforts to establish an alternative perspective in international studies in the academic world, one must turn to the one independent, critical center that managed to sustain itself in the postwar period, only to be crushed by a power so potent and ubiquitous in the structure of higher learning as to be virtually invisible to academic eyes.

ONE OF THE OLDEST PROGRAMS of inter-American studies in the U.S. was the Institute of Hispanic American and Luso-Brazilian Studies, established at Stanford University in 1944 by Professor Ronald Hilton, a tough-minded liberal scholar. In 1948 the Institute began publishing a monthly, the Hispanic American Report, which until its demise was the sole journal providing scholarly reports and analyses of developments in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries. Over the years it established an international reputation and was, in the words of Gregory Rabassa, a professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Columbia, “without a doubt the finest compendium of news from the whole Hispanic world.” Yet because Hilton was neither a servant of power nor one of its sycophants, in all their years, neither the Report nor the Institute received a penny of foundation support, although small contributions were forthcoming from personal friends of Hilton. For its own part, Stanford was benefited not only by the distinguished specialists and earnest young scholars who gravitated to the Institute, but by the prestige of the journal. Yet Hilton received no payment beyond his professorial salary, for which he taught a full load in addition to hours put in on the Institute. His researchers and colleagues also went uncompensated for their Institute work.

In 1960, the Report dramatically demonstrated its value – and independence – by revealing that the CIA was training Cuban exiles in Guatemala for an invasion of Cuba. Needless to say, Hilton’s continuing dissent from U.S. policy on Cuba did not endear him to officials in Washington or to the representatives of international corporations among the Stanford trustees.

The following year, the Ford Foundation offered $25 million to Stanford, if they could match it with $75 million in other gifts. The chairman of the “major gifts” committee was David Packard, who had made a personal fortune of $300 million as a military-industrialist and has since gone on to become Deputy Secretary of Defense in the current Administration. Packard announced at the end of the fund-raising campaign that more than two-thirds of the $75 million which had been raised to match the Ford grant was in gifts of $100,000 or more from 150 individuals, corporations and foundations. And among these major benefactors, more than one expressed misgivings about the Hilton Institute. According to Hilton, who had been attacked by the Standard Oil Company of California and the Stanford provost among others, “It was suggested [by university officials] that I avoid offending powerful fund raisers; a key member of the administration demanded that, even in editorials bearing my signature, I cease expressing controversial opinions … and that, while no attention was paid to the Institute’s two advisory boards who gave me every support, the administration proposed to appoint two secret committees to keep an eye on the Report.”

At precisely the time when the financial patrons of learning were expressing their misgivings about Hilton, the question of obtaining funds for an international studies program at Stanford, including Latin American studies, came up. Beginning in 1959, the Ford Foundation had embarked on a $42 million program to support international studies at select universities. At Stanford the task of drawing up a prospectus was given to a committee headed by Dean Carl Spaeth. Academically speaking, Spaeth, a law professor, was not spectacularly qualified for the job. But to preside over yet another extension of the foundation-State Department hegemony, his credentials were impeccable. He had been Nelson Rockefeller’s assistant in the State Department and the Ford Foundation’s director of the Division of Overseas Activities. Who could be better equipped to induce the God at Ford to breathe life into Stanford’s international studies efforts?

Accordingly, in 1962 Ford made a major grant to support international studies at Stanford. The grant stipulated that all of the funds would be allocated to Spaeth’s committee. It also excluded Latin American studies, pending further studies of how best to strengthen the field. Shortly thereafter, Spaeth called a conference of Latin Americanists at the modern ranch house quarters which the Ford Foundation had built in the Palo Alto hills for its Center for the Study of Behavioral Sciences. Professor Hilton was not invited.

A year of “studies” ensued, during which the problem was allowed to simmer. Then, at the direction of the dean of Graduate Students, all PhD candidates were removed from the Hispanic Institute, and Professor Hilton was informed that the Institute would henceforth concentrate on practical instruction at the MA level. There had been no discussion with Hilton, a senior faculty member, and no explanations were offered. When he asked how the administration could do such a thing without consulting the responsible faculty member, he was told: “The administration can do anything it pleases.” Hilton resigned from the Institute and from his post as editor of the Report, hoping it would compel the administration to take a stand. But the administration accepted his resignation without discussion and suspended publication of the Report. Within two weeks the Ford Foundation granted Stanford $550,000 for Latin American studies.

One of the more revealing ironies of the destruction of the Hilton program was the general agreement that Latin American studies was the least developed of any area in the field. Just months before Hilton’s resignation, a conference on Social Science Research on Latin America had been held at Stanford. The results were summed up:” Little capital (funds, talent, or organizational experience) has been invested in political studies of Latin America…. Personnel with adequate training and appropriate technical competence have been in scarce supply … and the level of productivity has been low.” A survey revealed that there was not one senior professor of Latin American politics at any one of the major departments across the country.

The loss of the Institute and the Report, representing a life-time effort, was a personal tragedy for Hilton, but for the profession it was an acid test. In fact, the destruction of one of the only independent and therefore intellectually respectable institutes of substance in the academic world produced only a ripple of protest. Hilton was unable to obtain financing to revive the Institute and the Report. The organized profession took no interest. Nor is this so mysterious when it is considered that Ford’s $550,000 had gone to those Stanford Latinists who didn’t make an issue of the Institute, and that this largesse was repeated on every campus where significant efforts on Latin America were taking place. In May 1966, the Latinists formed a guild, the Latin American Studies Association, which also ignored the Hilton affair. That is not surprising either. It was set up with Ford funds and its first president was Professor Kalman Silvert, who is now program advisor on Latin America for the Ford Foundation.

In its “objective” account of the Hilton affair, the Ford-funded organization, Education and World Affairs, acknowledges as a major source of conflicts the Report’s treatment of “Castro’s takeover,” which “made the Stanford administration uneasy.” The issue, they explained, was that Hilton “was responsible to no one for [the Report’s] contents or comments; it was not beholden to Stanford – and yet it carried the Stanford reputation behind it.”

THE CONCERN FOR “STANFORD” IS TOUCHING. As we have seen (and the cases we have taken are wholly representative; there are no exceptions), the international institutes and centers are responsible to no universities, if “university” means a community of students and scholars. At most they are responsible to the president, provost, or chancellor of the university, and occasionally to a select committee; but even then, if a conflict arises, the institute is free to take its manpower, prestige and munificence wherever its money sources will follow (or lead) it. Early in the history of the institutes, the Yale Center of International Studies, as a result of a policy difference between its director, Frederick S. Dunn, and the Yale administration, moved lock, stock and barrel to Princeton. Significantly, only the director, Dunn – a member, naturally, of the Council on Foreign Relations – and the associate director Klaus Knorr received appointments to the Princeton faculty. Yet although clearly “unbeholden” to Princeton “standards,” the Center enjoys the prestige of association with Princeton, teaches courses in Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School where it is housed, and uses Princeton facilities and faculty members. Financial support came from the Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, as well as the Rockefeller-associated Milbank Memorial Fund. Thus a director who had the confidence of the foundations was able to find a new university shell for his operation.

Stanford itself houses a rather extreme (but only because so blatant) example of institute independence in the form of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Originally an archive, the Institution’s character was changed in 1960 by fiat of its benefactor, Herbert Hoover, who eased out its liberal director and replaced him with a conservative economist, Wesley Glenn Campbell (formerly of the Defense Department, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the right-wing American Enterprise Institute). Hoover also laid down the scholarly lines that his institute would be required to follow: “The purpose of this Institution must be, by its research and publications, to demonstrate the evils of the doctrines of Karl Marx — whether Communism, Socialism, economic materialism, or atheism — thus to protect the American way of life from such ideologies, their conspiracies, and to reaffirm the validity of the American system.” Stanford, which pays at least $334,000 a year to support the Hoover Institution, was perfectly satisfied with these academic strictures.

To prevent his man from becoming a mere figurehead and his statement of purpose mere paper, Hoover also offered a resolution, which the Stanford trustees genially accepted, establishing the Institution’s independence within the University. Under Hoover’s plan the director has complete autonomy over his staff and budget and reports only to the president of the University. Some faculty members at Stanford had the temerity to complain that Campbell was using his power to build a staff in his own conservative image (his executive assistant is a former chief aide of J. Edgar Hoover, while Campbell’s wife, whose publications include attacks on social security, medicare and welfare, is one of the few senior staff members). When asked about these faculty complaints, Campbell told Washington Monthly reporter Berkeley Rice:” I wish the faculty would keep their noses out of my business.”

Not surprisingly, Campbell is an impressive figure to people like Ronald Reagan, who made him a regent of the University of California, perhaps on the basis of his expertise in handling faculty-administrative relations. Moreover, the Hoover Institution budget has grown from $400,000 to $2 million as a result of fund drives during Campbell’s tenure. The co-chairman of the long-range fund drive until his appointment to the Pentagon was that benefactor of Stanford scholarship, David Packard. Financial support has been forthcoming from foundations, alumni, and top executives from Standard Oil (New Jersey), Gulf Oil, Mobil Oil, Union Carbide and Lockheed. Like the more politic (and no less political) liberal institutes, the Hoover Institution does lucrative contract work for the government and subsidizes its “scholarly” products (through the CIA-involved Praeger publishing house). Not surprisingly, its experts have found a home in the Nixon Administration, particularly in the Defense Department’s office of International Security Affairs which coordinates U.S. military and foreign policy and where Hoover men occupy several top posts.

THE HILTON AND HOOVER EPISODES are merely exceptionally graphic illustrations of a system in which the prostitution of intellect has become so pervasive and profound that all but a small minority mistake it for academic virtue. The foundations, with their practical monopoly on substantial discretionary funds, have purchased control over the fundamental direction of research and academic energies on a national scale. Even if individual researchers and ideologues are not corrupted – though plenty of them are – the system of academic research and ideology formation is. Most academics no more perceive the ideological basis of their work than we smell air or taste water. The politically inoffensive (not neutral) is seen as unbiased, objective, value-free science; a radical orientation stands out as prejudiced, inappropriate and, gravest of all, unprofessional.

Perhaps the most critical point of leverage in academic control is in the formation of perspectives, analytic models, agendas for research. Not all social phenomena are visible to all analytic models and methodologies, and the social scientist who shapes his tools to collect government and foundation finances will not be equipped to research or even ask questions which, though crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world, would not be looked on favorably by those agencies.

For example, the American overseas system consists of some 3000 military bases, mutual security treaties with more than 30 nations, and more than $60 billion in direct capital investments around the world. To begin to understand the workings and the impact of this system, one would need to research (1) U.S. corporate and financial interests overseas, their interest group structure, their significance in the U.S. economy, their political influence on U.S. foreign policy, on local regimes, etc.; (2) U.S. military bases, installations and alliances, their interlockings with corporate and political interests, their economic impact, etc.; (3) U.S. and U.S.-dominated international agencies, foundations, universities, their overseas operations and interlockings with the above interests and so on. Yet on the basis of the State Department’s directory of foreign affairs research in American universities, it can be said with reasonable certainty that there is not one institutional attempt being made anywhere to research a single one of these questions.

In the spring of 1966, the role of the CIA at Michigan State was revealed by a courageous intellectual (now without a university base) who had been the coordinator of the MSU Vietnam project, Stanley K. Sheinbaum [Ramparts, April 1966]. In his retrospective analysis of the operation, Sheinbaum wrote: “Looking back, I am appalled at how supposed intellectuals … could have been so uncritical about what they were doing.” His explanation of this default was that “we lack historical perspective. We have been conditioned by our social science training not to ask the normative question; we possess neither the inclination nor the means with which to question and judge our foreign policy. We have only the capacity to be experts and technicians to serve that policy.”

What may have seemed like an isolated scandal in 1966 can now be recognized as a universal condition of organized intellect in America. The saddest part is that the academics have become such eager victims. They have internalized the limits placed upon them. They fiercely uphold a strict academic professionalism. But it is no more than expert servitude to oppressive power, to a system whose wages are poverty and blood. They do not see that what they have really embraced is the perverted professionalism of the mercenary and the hired gun.

The author wishes to acknowledge the research assistance of Rob Cunningham, as well as of the activists who liberated the documents and produced the booklets “How Harvard Rules” (ARG and Old Mole) and “Who Rules Columbia” (NACLA).

Billion Dollar Brains: How Wealth Puts Knowledge in its Pocket (1969)

“Billion Dollar Brains: How Wealth Puts Knowledge in its Pocket,” by David Horowitz in the May 1969 issue of Ramparts magazine.


“Educate, and save ourselves and our families and our money from mobs.”

Henry Lee Higginson, Benefactor of Harvard, in a fund-raising letter, March 1886

TODAY’S GENERATION OF STUDENTS, who at this very moment are being suspended, beaten bloody and jailed for their efforts to end the subservience of intellect to power, loosen up entrance requirements, create new departments and colleges and attempt to make the university more relevant to their needs, might be interested in knowing how the system got set up in the first place. It did not, as it might seem, spring full-blown from the head of the absent­minded professor. The development of the modern American university was not left to the natural bent of those within its ivory towers; it was shaped by the ubiquitous charity of the foundations and the guiding mastery of wealth.

On an autumn day in 1875, a solemn ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, marked the opening exercises of Vanderbilt Univer­sity, whose benefactor, the semi-literate Cornelius Vanderbilt, figures in Gustavus Myers’ History of the Great American Fortunes as “the foremost mercantile pirate and commercial blackmailer of his day.” (His first millions were pilfered from the federal government, in very modern fashion, through the corruption of post office officials.) Commodore Vanderbilt’s New York minister, the Reverend Charles F. Deems, had come down especially for the occasion, and during the concluding moments of the ceremony he rose to read the following tele­gram: “New York, October 4. To Dr. Charles F. Deems: Peace and goodwill to all men. C. Vanderbilt.” Then Deems, a true servant of the pulpit and the purse, gazed up at a portrait of the benefactor hanging on the wall and intoned the Holy Scripture, Acts Ten, the Thirty-First Verse: “Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.”

Cornelius Vanderbilt was not the only wealthy patron of the times attempting to earn his passage through the eye of the needle by bestowing alms on collegiate supplicants. John D. Archbold, for example, chief bagman for Standard Oil, cast his benevolent grace on Syracuse University; Mrs. Russell Sage, whose husband began his career by stealing a railroad from the city in which he was an official, blessed Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a new school of mechanical engineer­ing; and there were hosts of others.

Prior to the Civil War, when the style of giving was still aristocratic and restrained, the largest single benefaction to a college had been Abbot Lawrence’s $50,000 to Harvard. Colleges then were small, humble and well suited to their purpose as finishing schools and theological seminaries for the gentlemanly well-to-do. As the century matured, however, the rogues and robber barons of the new industrial age began to get into the act, demonstrating how paltry the conceptions of education had been in the preceding era. Rockefellers and Stanfords endowed whole institutions, not with tens of thou­sands, but tens of millions. The horizons of academe expanded. Greek and Latin, classical education, philosophy—these may have been fine for effete gentlemen but of what use were they in the real world? The real world, of course, was defined by the money which had suddenly become available for new and expanded institutions of learning.

From Stephen Van Rensselaer to Peter Cooper, from Charles Pratt (Standard Oil) to Andrew Carnegie, industrialists flocked to finance technological institutes which would honor and preserve their names (an important consideration for many who had amassed fortunes but no families) and promote the technical progress that would keep the money mills rolling. Nor was technology the only area of learning in which business­men sought to open new paths. Joseph Wharton, a Philadel­phia manufacturer of zinc, nickel and iron, was concerned that “college life offers great temptations and opportunities for the formation of superficial lightweight characters, having shallow accomplishments but lacking in grip and hold upon real things….” To overcome the shallowness of the current college generation, Wharton proposed to the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania that they set up a “school of finance and economy.” His plan was given a sympathetic hearing by the trustees. As one academic historian describes it: “The $100,000 Wharton offered to fulfill his proposal tempted the trustees into immediate acceptance” – and the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce was born.

Not only business schools and technical institutes but medical and other professional schools made their first appearance in this period. The college was giving way to the university. And the patrons of the new age were the captains of industry, the lords and masters of the times. The power of these men in education, as elsewhere, was a function not only of the size of their capital and their dispensations, which were gigantic, but of their aggressive dynamism as well. As givers, they became “entrepreneurs in the field of higher education.”

The autobiography of G. Stanley Hall, president of Clark University, reveals that he was forced to break contracts at the orders of the founder, to reduce the scale of salaries because the founder wished to economize, and to add an undergraduate college to what he had planned as a graduate institution. This relationship was not wholly typical, in part because the presi­dent retained his independence of mind, even though he lacked the independent financial muscle to put his ideas into practice. Usually, college administrators were far more servile. Indeed, the attitude of the academic community as a whole towards its patrons bordered on sycophancy. The patrons of the univer­sity, being uncultivated themselves, often sought association with the men of learning. According to Walter Metzger, a recent historian of academic freedom, they received from academics “ornate courtesies of gratitude. They did not enter academe as intruders; they were welcomed into the realm and escorted to its high places by its very grateful inhabitants. Within the academic fraternity, to cultivate the goodwill of donors was a highly approved activity, betokening fine public spirit. To offend the bearer of gifts was an action sometimes defined as the deepest disloyalty and treachery. Cordiality was thus demanded of professors by the most compelling of mo­tives – self-interest and the desire for social approval.”

ONE OF MAJOR HIGGINSON’S primary concerns in con­ducting his philanthropic campaigns on behalf of Harvard had been that the end of aristocratic tutelage appeared to be imminent, that “Democracy has got hold of the world, and will rule.” How fortunate, then, that with a little sprinkling of the wealth that was literally pouring into their pockets (“Think how easily it has come,” Higginson remarked to one of his correspondents), the wealthy donors could sustain a filial relationship with the teachers of society’s elite and the shapers of its knowledge: “Our chance is now – before the country is full and the struggle for bread becomes intense and bitter…. I would have the gentlemen of this country lead the new men, who are trying to become gentlemen…. Give one-fourth of your last year, and count it money potted down for quiet good.”

And if any ingrates tried to raise an audible note of discord to mar the harmony of Knowledge and Industry, of the ideal and the practical, retribution was swift.

During the radical upsurge of the ’80s and ’90s, a series of exemplary firings of liberal scholars took place, usually as a result of the professors having linked some of their abstract ideas with the issues of the hour (populism, free silver vs. gold, the monopolistic trusts). As the liberal English economist J. A. Hobson pointed out at the time, “Advanced doctrine may be tolerated, if it is kept well in the background of pure theory; but, where it is embodied in concrete instances drawn from current experience, the pecuniary prospects of the college are instinctively felt to be endangered.”

Of course, no college administration admitted that it was interfering with the spirit of free inquiry. Far from it. The professors were dismissed, the colleges said, not because of their views, but because of their lack of professionalism, their partisanship (justification of the status quo was of course considered in keeping with scholarly neutrality and objectivity). While the threat of dismissal was to retain a certain utility as an instrument for inducing “responsible” academic behavior, in the long run the actual costs of carrying it out were to prove excessively high. The protestations the administrators were already forced to make showed that, as a method of sanitizing higher education, the presumptive sack was too crude for scholars, and therefore inefficient.

Where it is available, however, the carrot is always more efficacious and gentlemanly than the stick. As education became more and more bound up with the success of the industrial system, therefore, the nexus of control exercised over academics came increasingly to lie in the positive advantages which the established powers were able to bestow on a pro­fessionalism ready to serve the status quo and to withhold from “partisan” scholarship ranged against it. Advancement, prestige, research facilities, entree into high society and later into government itself, were all reserved for responsible – and respectful – exemplars of the academic profession. Radicals were left to wither on the university vine.

Reinforcing this sophisticated approach was the appearance of a new institution on the educational scene, at once far more powerful than even Vanderbilts or Stanfords, and presenting a far less menacing front to the unsuspecting academic mind.


“The very ambition of such corporations to reform educational abuses is itself a source of danger. Men are not constituted educational reformers by having a million dollars to spend.”

Jacob Gould Schurman, President of Cornell, 1892-1920

AS ONE REVIEWS THE RELATIONSHIP between institutions of higher learning and the major foundations during the critical first two decades of this century,” writes a former division chief of the Rockefeller Foundation, “one finds oneself wandering if it is too much to say that the foundations became in effect the American way of discharging many of the functions performed in other countries by the Ministry of Education.” The division chief need not have been so modest.

Between them, the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations (there were several of each) had an annual revenue which, as a congressional report of 1915 pointed out, was “at least twice as great as the appropriations of the Federal Government for similar purposes, namely, educational and social service.” But the lump sums only begin to tell the story.

In the first place, while the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations decided on an expenditure of funds during this period which amounted to a fifth of the total income of colleges and universities, “When one realizes . . . that essen­tially all the funds available to the foundations were free for the encouragement of innovation while almost all the regular income of the university was tied to ongoing commit­ments, it is easy to comprehend the overwhelming significance of the foundations’ part.” (Robert S. Morison, a former director of medical and natural sciences for the Rockefeller Foundation.)

In the second place, while the foundation millions really represent taxable surplus that ought to be in the hands of the Community and dispensed by a real Ministry of Education, they actually come from the charitable trusts in the form of “gifts.” And this very fact transforms their power and gives them a geometric possibility known as “matching.” The Rockefeller Foundation offers to put up $10 million but stipulates that the beneficiary must raise two or three times that to receive its benefaction. This puts the Rockefeller Foundation in the driver’s seat, as far as conditions are concerned, and doubles or triples the power of its money. Thus, the massive endow­ment drives between 1902 and 1924 were inspired by the necessity of raising $140 million in order to receive $60 million from the Rockefeller’s General Education Board. By 1931-32, it was estimated that the foundations had directly stimulated the giving of $660 million, or fully two-thirds of the total en­dowment of all American institutions of higher learning—colleges, universities and professional schools.

Furthermore, the potential for qualitative influence on the part of the foundations was enhanced by the fact that they were the largest single contributors to these endowment funds, and, more importantly, by the fact that as income sources they were permanent features of the educational scene, and hence their future goodwill had to be cultivated as well. This is probably the most subtle and significant new factor in the foundation approach to educational benefaction. For these are “perpetual trusts,” and while a Cornelius Vanderbilt may die and leave his millions to playboy heirs no longer interested in the training of tomorrow’s elite, the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations which were here yesterday will be here in the future, managed by active leaders of the business world who understand the vital role that an educational estab­lishment can play in the preservation and expansion of their wealth-producing system.

ANDREW CARNEGIE DID NOT ORIGINALLY SET OUT to impose a general system of standards on American institutions of higher learning. Rather, he thought to make grand gesture of generosity by using some of the millions he had stolen from the public through watered stock in his steel combines to ameliorate the condition of a dedicated and penurious segment of society: the college teacher. And so Carnegie announced that his Foundation would provide free pensions to all college teachers. It seemed like a very simple proposition.

But no sooner had the proposal been made than the president of the Carnegie Foundation, Henry S. Pritchett, ad­vised the benefactor that higher education in America was in a state of utter confusion. Since, with the exception of a cer­tification system associated with the University of Michigan, there were no general standards for defining a college or university, there was a plethora of conceptions of what a col­lege should be. While among these institutions were diploma mills run solely for the profit of the proprietors – inevitable in a market system – there were also community financed and administered colleges, often set up by religious denominations and reflecting the needs of the communities themselves: chaos or freedom, depending on how you looked at it. President Pritchett looked at it and decided that “some criterion would have to be introduced [into the pension scheme] as to what constituted a college.” After all, it wouldn’t do to give a free $200,000 endowment (later this was escalated to $500,000) or, in the case of State universities, an annual income of $100,000 – requirements which served to force the institutions into an even greater dependence on wealth. Colleges had strict entrance requirements, including so many hours of sec­ondary education (these came to be known as “Carnegie units” and had a revolutionizing, and many would maintain damag­ing, effect on the secondary school curriculum). A college had at least eight distinct departments, each headed by a PhD (the beginning of the enthronement of that stultifying credential).

No institution that wanted to attract or retain quality teachers could afford to resist the Foundation’s offer, and so these became the standards of the day. The process and its power was well exemplified in the Foundation’s additional stipulation that institutions accepted into the program must give up their denominational affiliations. (In the broad univer­sity scene, this stipulation was subverted by the General Education Board which followed Carnegie’s conditions in making its own grants, but chose to support the big denomina­tional colleges while ignoring the small ones.) Among the colleges which gave up their religious character to receive Carnegie money were Wesleyan, Drury, Drake and Brown. Colleges which refused to comply with Carnegie and Rocke­feller conditions were “left to die from financial starvation and other ‘natural’ causes.”

THE ENORMOUS IMPLICATIONS of this sequence of events were remarked upon by the Walsh Commission, which in 1915 conducted the first government investigation of the foundations (and their relation to the industrial empires of their benefactors): “It would seem conclusive that if an institution will willingly abandon its religious affiliations through the influence of these foundations, it will even more easily conform to their will any other part of its organization or teaching.” (Provided, of course, that the influence is ever so subtly exerted.)

What has to be remembered is that the reforms which the foundations had demonstrated such an impressive power in inducing were all in fields of college activity to which they were not directly appropriating a single dollar. Similarly, for the most part, they did not themselves invent the standards which they were able, via the power of their purse strings, to impose, but selected them from existing proposals. Ivy Lee, the Rockefeller public relations man who was one of the pioneers of the new benevolent image of corporate America, had de­scribed for the Walsh Commission the importance of appear­ances. “We know,” Lee wrote, “that Henry VIII by his obsequious deference to the forms of law was able to get the English people to believe in him so completely that he was able to do almost anything with them.” It was the forms of law, of democracy, that had to be observed to achieve max­imum influence and power. Looked at formally, the foundations were imposing nothing. They did not invent the standards; the colleges were at every point free to accept or reject them. Their own role was not one of compulsion, but support. They were even advancing the cause of academic freedom by making the professors more secure. In the appearance of things, as opposed to their reality (which was quite the same as if the foundations had the force of law behind their prescriptions), lay me chief danger of foundation power. For its very subtlety was its strength. Where overt control would have been resisted, these no less effective forms of influence were tolerated. In the realm of the mind, the illusion of freedom may be more real than freedom itself.

If in the period of its origins .the university was heavily dependent on foundation support, it was no less so in the period of its growth. As the university system expanded and non-foundation sources of income became available for endow­ment and building funds, administration and teachers’ benefits, and other areas in which the foundations had played a pioneering role, the foundation directors began to shift their sights towards the new areas of innovation and growth. As the above-cited former division director of the Rockefeller Foundation put it, foundation funds were now “increasingly reserved for new and presumably venturesome undertakings which, once they had proved their worth, would be taken over by the universities’ general funds.” It was precisely the availability of foundation funds for the “growing edge” of knowledge, “for experimenting with new educational methods, developing research programs, and demonstrating the value of new knowledge,” that made it possible for the foundations to maintain their guiding role in the shaping of higher learning in America. For with few exceptions, and until very recently, foundation funds were the only significant monies available for nonmilitary organized research and institutional innova­tion in the academic world.

The ability of the foundations to dominate the margins of growth in the university system was viewed with a critical and prophetic eye by Harold Laski, shortly after he had spent a few tumultuous semesters at Harvard. The passage of time has only made his perceptions more acute. “A university principal who wants his institution to expand,” he wrote, “has no alternative except to see it expand in the directions of which one or other of the foundations happens to approve. There may be doubt, or even dissent among the teachers in the institution, but what possible chance has doubt or dissent against a possible gift of, say, a hundred thousand dollars? And how, conceivably, can the teacher whose work fits in with the scheme of the prospective endowment fail to appear more important in the eyes of the principal or his trustees than the teacher for whose subject, or whose views, the foundation has neither interest or liking? … What are his chances of promotion if he pursues a path of solitary inquiry in a world of colleges competing for the substantial crumbs which fall from the foundation’s table? And, observe, there is not a single point here in which there is the slightest control from, or interference by, the foundation itself. It is merely the fact that a fund is within reach which permeates everything and alters everything. The college develops along the lines the foundation approves. The dependence is merely implicit, but it is in fact quite final … where the real control lies no one who has watched the operation in process can possibly doubt.”

ON PAPER, THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN system of higher education looks wonderfully diverse, a vast pluralistic sea of independent academic communities. There are more than 2000 institutions of higher education in America, 800 publicly supported and 1400 private. Half the publicly supported colleges are district or city schools, and two-thirds of the private institutions are denomi­national. If higher education were in practice anything like its appearance on paper, then despite the historical evolution of the university, its links to wealth and the ability of the founda­tions to dominate its innovational areas, the sheer quantity of institutions would cause the foundation largesse to be spread so thin that its influence would evaporate.

The fact is, however, that the American system of higher education is a highly centralized, pyramidal structure in which the clearly defined escalating heights intellectually dominate the levels below. Perhaps the most tangible indication of the rigid hierarchy which characterizes the academic community is the concentration of PhD programs in select prestige centers at the apex of the pyramid. For the PhD is at once a validating credential and the certificate of entry into the academic pro­fession. It also represents an arduous apprenticeship in the accepted principles and acceptable perspectives of academic scholarship; it defines the methodological and ideological horizons which command academic respect and within which the “professional” operates.

Although there are over 2000 colleges and universities in America, 75 per cent of the PhD’s are awarded in a mere 25 of them, institutions which constitute a Vatican of the higher learning, the ultimate court of what can and what cannot be legitimately pursued within the academic church. Most of these select universities – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the Uni­versity of Chicago, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, MIT, Cornell – had emerged as dominant institutions by the advent of World War I. Together with such latecomers as the Univer­sity of California, they form a relatively tight-knit intellectual establishment. As David Riesman and Christopher Jencks observe in their study, The Academic Revolution:

“These universities have long been remarkably similar in what they encourage, and value. They turn out PhDs who, despite con­spicuous exceptions, mostly have quite similar ideas about what their discipline covers, how it should be taught, and how its frontiers should be advanced.”

The similarity of ideas and perspectives among scholars who otherwise lay strenuous claims to intellectual independence and ideological diversity presents no real mystery to the outside observer – the apprenticeship and training of academics within the centralized structure of the university system could be expected to produce no other result. The first stage in an academic career is the completion of a PhD, an effort which in the non-exact sciences can take anywhere from five to ten years, and which is accomplished under the watchful eyes and according to the principles and conceptions of the already established masters of the guild. Having completed the PhD, which represents his first serious work as a “scholar,” the apprentice professor still has four to seven years of non-tenured status during which he is subject to review on an annual basis. This period of insecurity during which he is at the mercy of his tenured superiors (and in most institutions the university administrators as well) coincides with a time in his personal life when he has probably acquired a family and sunk some local roots. Hence the threat of being dispatched to the hinterlands should he fail to show – by publication of approved articles and further commitments of his intellectual energy and reputation – that he is still a responsible fellow and under­stands what is scholarly and professional according to ac­cepted canons, is a real threat indeed. Especially when the action needed to dismiss him is the excessively simple and unobtrusive one of not renewing his contract at the end of the year. The Jesuits only asked for a human mind up to the age of seven years in order to control it forever; the American academic establishment has it to thirty-five. Is it any wonder that the product is generally so timid, conservative and conformist?

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MONOPOLISTIC structure of the academic marketplace (a structure which neatly mirrors the economy on which it is founded) lies with the great foundations who at the outset of the univer­sity era made a calculated decision to create a “lead system” of colleges, which by virtue of their overwhelming prestige would set the standards for, and in effect dominate, the rest of the educational scene. Thus, while the foundations stimulated two-thirds of the total endowment funding of all institutions of higher learning in America during the first third of the century, “the major portion” of the funds they were responsible for were “concentrated in some 20 of these institutions.” (Hollis, Philanthropic Foundations and Higher Education.)

Even more important than the concentration of endow­ment funds was the concentration of innovational and research funds, and funds for the creation of those facilities which provide the basis for a major center of learning. “The development of major university centers of research,” an official account of the Rockefeller philanthropies explains, “be­came the most important part of the [Laura Spelman Rockefeller] Memorial’s program. Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Yale … and many others were assisted in developing rounded centers of social-science research. This frequently involved fluid research funds appropriated to the university to be used in its own discretion; aid to university presses; the provision of special sums for publication; grants to enable a number of the centers to experiment with different types of training … and various other devices for stimulating and encouraging the development of techniques and teaching in the social studies.”

In 1929, the chancellor of the University of Chicago, Robert Hutchins, summed up the achievements of this agency in the following terms: “The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial in its brief but brilliant career [it was later merged with the Rockefeller Foundation] did more than any other agency to promote the social sciences in the United States.”

The practice of concentrating funds in major university centers during this strategic period when the birth of institutions of research in the university complex took place has remained a permanent pattern of foundation financing. Thus the Ford Foundation distributed $105 million worth of grants in economics and business from 1951 through the first quarter of 1965, but 77.5 per cent of this went to only ten universities and five business-controlled research and policy organizations (Resources for the Future, the Brookings Institution, the Population Council, the National Bureau of Economic Re­search and the Committee for Economic Development). This has had an absolutely decisive effect in perpetuating the con­centration of institutionalized knowledge which the direct endowment of individual wealth had instigated. In 1912, 51.6 per cent of the articles in the major academic journals of economics were written by economists from only ten univer­sities. In 1962, although the individual universities had changed somewhat, 53.8 per cent of the articles were still being written at ten centers. Eight of these institutions were among those most favored by the Ford Foundation.

With few exceptions, of course, these major university research complexes coincide with the strongholds of the old wealth, the aristocratic centers of the American upper class (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.). It is here that the channels to Wall Street and Washington are most open and inviting to the co-optable professor, and that social attitudes and tradi­tions exert the most powerful and most subtle conservatizing pressures. (It is for just these reasons, moreover, that such schools can afford the flexibility that has earned them the undeserved reputation of being the most academically “free.”)

ONE OF THE OLDEST of these centers outside the eastern Ivy League establishment (where the connections are well known) is Stanford University, down the peninsula from San Francisco. While by no means unique, the Stanford Research Institute (SRI)-Stanford In­dustrial Park complex built around Stanford University pro­vides, in fact, the most up-to-date example of the new levels of intimacy which Wealth and Intellect (and latterly the federal Defense establishment) have attained in the postwar period. (Only one Stanford trustee is not a corporate director: John W. Gardner, former president of the Carnegie Foundation, former secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and presently head of the foundation/corporation-sponsored Urban Coalition.) William Hewlett and David Packard – two Stanford undergraduates who set up an electronics shop in their garage before World War II, got on the war production gravy train and eventually wound up with a billion-dollar military-industrial giant, the Hewlett-Packard Company – perhaps best exemplify the seamless web of vested interests which envelops this house of intellect.

Both Hewlett and Packard are trustees of Stanford and SRI, and both are directors of several large corporations in the Stanford Industrial Park. An impressive number of cor­porations in the park are in fact “spin-off” firms, resulting directly from research in Stanford’s chemistry, electrical engineering and physics laboratories. Packard, who was recently named deputy secretary of Defense, is also a trustee of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the U.S. Churchill Foundation. Hewlett is a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee. Their positions of eminence in educational philanthropy and military-industrial moneymaking (“Profit is the monetary measurement of our contribution to society” – David Packard) are far from unique. Fellow SRI trustee and former Stanford University trustee Stephen D. Bechtel, of the Bechtel Corporation (builder of bigger and better military bases and longer oil pipelines), is also a trustee of the Ford Foundation. Another holder of dual trusteeships at Ford and Stanford is the Shell Oil Corporation, which has directors on the boards of both.

For the corporations involved in the Stanford-SRI-Indus­trial triangle, the relationship is pure gravy. Most of the industries involved are heavily research- and technology-oriented. The Bechtel Corporation, probably the biggest construction firm in the world, employs on a permanent basis (rather than under contract) only 2000 people, most of them high-grade engineers. The electronics firms are similarly intellect-oriented; in the words of one journalistic account of the success-studded career of a Stanford professor who became a moving spirit in the SRI and finally a director of Hewlett-Packard and other “Stanford” corporations: “The industry’s raw material is brain-power, and the university’s students and professors are a prime source.” Stanford not only supplies its corporations with the raw material, but provides refining facilities as well. Thus, under a new program Stanford engi­neering courses will be piped into the industrial enterprises via a four-channel TV network.

For the enterprising professor and student, the avenues to corporate success are manifold. William Rambo, associate dean of Stanford’s engineering school, has said that he expects his students to become executives and company direc­tors. All this opportunity for personal advancement (and aggrandizement) must inevitably have its effects on education. Perhaps as insightful a commentary as any was contained in James Ridgeway’s impressions after visiting the SRI complex: “Professors once sneered at businessmen and the profit motive,” he wrote, “but since they have been so successful in taking up the game themselves, the profit motive is now approvingly referred to as the ‘reward structure.’ “


“Mr. Rockefeller could find no better insurance for his hundreds of millions than to invest one of them in subsidizing all agencies that make for social change and progress.” – Frank P. Walsh, Chairman of the Commission on Industrial Relations, 1915

DOMINATING THE AVENUES OF PRESTIGE and supplying the main funds for social research within the uni­versities, while providing the principal access to influence in the outside world, wealth has inevitably exerted the most profound, pervasive and distorting effects on the structure of knowledge and education in the United States. This has been achieved through lavish support and recognition for the kind of investigations and techniques that are ideologically and pragmatically useful to the system which it dominates, and by withholding support on any substantial scale from empirical research projects and theo­retical frameworks that would threaten to undermine the status quo. (Exceptional and isolated support for individual radicals may be useful, however, in establishing the openness of the system at minimum risk.)

Although it is an indubitable social fact that wealth provides the sea in which academic fish must swim, no self-respecting professor would admit to the full and unpleasant implications of that fact. Thus Robert Dahl, former president of the American Political Science Association, and one of the most eminent beneficiaries of foundation support, while admitting that the foundations, “because of their enormous financial contributions to scholarly research, and the inevitable selection among competing proposals that these entail, exert a consider­able effect on the scholarly community,” maintains that “the relationship between foundation policy and current trends in academic research is too complex for facile generalities.” (Of course there have been no systematic attempts by academics to investigate the cumulative impact of this relationship and discover even arduous generalities.) According to Dahl, “Per­haps the simplest accurate statement is that the relationship is to a very high degree reciprocal: the staffs of the foundations are highly sensitive to the views of distinguished scholars, on whom they rely heavily for advice.” For a sophisticated analyst of political power this statement exhibits remarkable naivete. For it is precisely in determining which distinguished scholars (e.g., Professor Dahl or C. Wright Mills, S. M. Lipset or Herbert Marcuse) they choose to listen to that the foundations “determine” everything that follows.

The foundations themselves regard their funds as “risk capital” which can be employed “to demonstrate the validity of a new idea” (Morison). If the idea is successful, if the investment of funds covering facilities, research needs and salaries for collaborative effort establishes the idea in the intellectual mainstream, then full development can be financed from “normal” sources of capital (e.g., from the university budget, the corporations or the government).

A spectacular example of how the alliance between brains and money can become an unbeatable combination in the academic marketplace is afforded by the rise of the behavior­alist persuasion and its offshoot pluralist ideology in the social sciences. Beginning as a localized academic phenomenon, with the benefit of the foundations’ capital it ultimately achieved unchallenged national preeminence. The intellectual inspirer and organizer of the new “value-free,” statistical-empirical outlook was Charles E. Merriam, and his department at the University of Chicago was the hothouse of its early develop­ment. Such stellar names in behavioralism as Harold Lasswell, V. O. Key Jr., David Truman, Herbert Simon and Gabriel Almond were either graduate students or, in the case of Lasswell, a faculty member, in Merriam’s department before World War II.

A politically-oriented individual, as well as a political scientist (he ran for mayor of Chicago on a “Bull Moose” Republican ticket), Merriam began his organizing efforts in the academic world in the early ’20s. As he himself summed up the crystallizing experience of his subsequent career, he had once gone to a high official of the University of Chicago and asked for a stenographer and other assistance in order to con­duct an enquiry. The reply was that “the University could not possibly afford to aid all its professors in writing their books.” The “answer” to this situation, wrote Merriam, “was the Social Science Research Building… and … the Public Administration Center” – both financed by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, under the direction of Beardsley Ruml. (Ruml, who went from the Scott Company to the Carnegie Foundation to Rockefeller, was later to become dean of the Social Sciences Division at Chicago.)

The Rockefeller-Merriam team did not limit its horizons to local academic projects. The Social Science Research Council was founded in 1923, largely through Merriam’s and Ruml’s efforts, with Merriam as its chairman and Ruml as a member of its policy committee. Over the next ten years the Council, which was made up of representatives from the American Political Science Association, the American Socio­logical Society, the American Historical Association and four comparable groups in anthropology, economics, statistics and psychology, received $4.2 million in income. Of this, $3.9 million was from the Rockefellers, the rest from other private foundations. With these funds at its disposal, the Council became the “greatest single patron or clearing house of patronage for the social sciences,” and throughout the Hungry Thirties this patronage was used extensively in behalf of the behavioral outlook.

The idea itself, of course, was ripe for the times. But as Dahl has noted: “If the foundations had been hostile to the be­havioral approach, there can be no doubt that it would have had very rough sledding indeed.” How many equally ripe ideas lacked the risk capital to demonstrate their validity?

After the war, the behavioral movement got into full stride, as Rockefeller, Carnegie and the mammoth new Ford Foundation (which briefly set up its own Behavioral Science Division) got directly into the act, financing an unprecedented proliferation of ambitious behavioral investigations and ex­pensive but necessary survey research centers to amass and analyze the empirical data for behavioral studies. By then it was evident that the collaborative effort had paid off. In 1950, the behavioralist Peter Odegard was elected head of the American Political Science Association, and in subsequent years behavioralists held the presidency with increasing regu­larity; from 1965 to 1967, the behavioralists Truman, Almond and Dahl held the presidency, symbolizing the fact that theirs had finally become the established outlook in the field. (In a survey conducted among members of the Political Science Association in the early ’60s to determine their opinion as to the best political scientists of the postwar period, only one of the top eight was not a behavioralist.)

IN BACKING THE BEHAVIORALISTS, the foundation trustees had not only backed men whose goodwill they enjoyed (the very mechanism of grant-giving assures this) but whose ideas had a definite utility from their interested point of view. The emphasis on observable behavior, and the acceptance of the given socio-economic framework as the basis of analysis, together with a scientistic bias against the kind of theoretical probing which calls into question the basis of the status quo order itself, were naturally congenial to the men who put up the millions (as, no doubt, was the fact that behavioral information which the scientists gathered about “masses” exceeded that gathered about “elites” by a factor of 100-1, according to behavioralist Karl Deutsch).

Moreover, the information gathered in survey research into the mass behavior of consumers, voters, trade unionists and organization members generally, as well as the techniques (e.g., of administration) developed out of the research, were obviously very useful from a manipulative point of view to the elites responsible for managing social systems and maximizing returns from the status quo. Behavioral studies soon were in high demand, from government to business directorates, from the military to the CIA. Indeed, the interest of the CIA provides one of the most bizarre and illuminating incidents in the history of behavioralism and its pluralist offspring.

One of the more important promoters of the behavioral mode within the American Political Science Association has been Evron Kirkpatrick, who has served as the executive director of the Association since 1954. Kirkpatrick’s back­ground for the job was interesting to say the least. At the end of World War II, he was assistant director of research and analysis in the OSS (intelligence). In 1946, he was assistant research director and projects control officer in Research and Intelligence for the State Department. In 1947, he became intelligence program advisor for State, and in 1948, chief of the external research staff, a position he held until 1952, when he assumed the additional post of chief of psychological intelligence. It was from this position that in 1954, Kirk­patrick was appointed executive director of the American Political Science Association. The political scientists seem not to have been at all curious about the background of their executive director until February 1967, when someone had the temerity to point out that Kirkpatrick was also president of a CIA-funded research organization called Operations and Policy Research Incorporated. (The treasurer of the American Political Science Association, Max Kampelman, turned out to be the vice president of Operations and Policy Research.)

When a group of political scientists at the University of Hawaii circulated a petition calling for the resignations of Kirkpatrick and Kampelman, it became clear that an investiga­tion was in order. It was initiated by the president of the Association, Robert Dahl, and was conducted by four past Association presidents. These preeminent representatives of political science concluded that the Association “has re­ceived no funds directly [sic] from any intelligence agency of the government, nor has it carried on any activities for any intelligence agency of government.” Moreover, “We wish to record our recognition of the dedication and services of these two men to the Association in the past and our full confidence in the value of their future services.”

The notion that the only significant influences the CIA could exert through the executive director were the channeling of “tainted” funds or the use of the Association as a front or perhaps a spy network, represented a view of power that was astoundingly primitive.

The study of power, and the disbelief in its undemocratic and sinister concentration in American society, are of course the hallmarks of the pluralists, easily the most ideologically significant branch of the behavioralist school, and including such prestigious names as Peter Odegard, V. 0. Key, S. M. Lipset, David Truman, Gabriel Almond and Dahl. These men have marshaled all the sophistication that the trade will bear to demonstrate that America is an effective democracy where no cohesive social group (and in particular no economic class) wields predominant political power in its own behalf. In a country in which six per cent of the population owns 50 per cent of the wealth, and where an upper class representing two per cent of the population holds majority positions in every significant institution of national power, the pluralists’ panglossian views of American democracy are obviously worth their weight in gold.

No so the views of the pluralists’ main antagonist, C. Wright Mills, whose exposure of the “power elite” provided a whole generation with a basis for understanding the society around them, while bringing him ostracism and harassment from the academic establishment and a cold shoulder from the patrons of research. (Thus, while Dahl received $70,000 in grants from the Rockefeller Foundation in the wake of his pluralist study of New Haven, after writing The Power Elite, Mills was abruptly cut off from foundation financing for his ambitious sociological projects.)

This points up what is perhaps the most far-reaching effect of the foundations’ preeminent role in financing academic research, namely, the unbelievable dearth of organized informa­tion and systematic investigation of the men and corporate institutions that control the American economy, command the apex of the income pyramid, and dominate the strategic positions of power in the federal government. In the bibliog­raphy to The Power Elite, Mills lists eight studies of the American upper class which were useful to him. Not one of these was written by an academic.

The dearth has not gone unnoticed by the pluralists them­selves. Observing that there is general recognition that business and politics have a more than passing relationship to one another, Robert Dahl in a recent essay draws attention to the fact that “during the past fifty years, only about a dozen articles have appeared on the subject of business in the pages of The American Political Science Review.” Sociologists have not shown much greater interest, and at the American Socio­logical Association convention this year, they were justly excoriated by Martin Nicolaus: “Sociology is not now and never has been any kind of objective seeking out of social truth or reality … the eyes of sociologists, with few but honorable … exceptions, have been turned downwards, and their palms upwards.”

HOW WIDE IS THE CHASM of academic ignorance about the dominant institutions of the American political economy? Let one example stand for many: Dillon Read and Company is one of the most important investment banks in overseas areas, and a major financial underwriter of that number one political commodity, oil. Not surprisingly, therefore, as a recent study by Gabriel Kolko points out, Dillon, Read partners, including James V. Forrestal and Douglas Dillon, have occupied 18 key foreign policy posts in the postwar period, including those of secretary of the Navy and of Defense, chairman of the State Depart­ment’s Policy Planning Staff, assistant secretary of State for Economic Affairs and secretary of the Treasury.

The interests which Dillon, Read partners promoted in Washington and the ongoing financial interests of the com­pany were fatefully intertwined in the fabric of American foreign policy. For example, Dillon, Read played a major financial role in prewar Germany during the rise of fascism and a major political role in postwar Germany—preventing the deconcentration of German industry and arresting the de-Nazification of the German power structure. Economically, Dillon, Read was deeply involved in the struggle over oil in the

Middle East and central Europe in the early postwar period politically, it was involved through James V. Forrestal – a central foreign policy figure at the time – in shaping the Tru­man Doctrine and other key Cold War strategies in the same areas.

This chart appeared in American Political Science, A Profile of a Discipline, by Albert Somit & Joseph Tanenhaus (1964, The Atherton Press, New York). It was compiled from the responses of members of the American Political Science Association, when they were queried about the factors they considered important in “getting ahead” in their profession.

Nor did Dillon, Read’s influence end with the Truman Ad­ministration. Douglas Dillon and Paul Nitze played important roles in both the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations, in relation to major events in Europe, the Far East and southern Africa, where Dillon, Read is also a primary financial force.

In short, Dillon, Read is one of the most important institu­tions of power in America, a subject worthy, one would think, of a certain amount of attention from those who claim to be students of the structure and operation of American society and government. Yet as far as the 50,000 American political scientists, sociologists, economists and historians are concerned, Dillon, Read might as well not exist. There are 3,300,000 books in the library of the University of California. There is not one (academic or otherwise) on Dillon, Read and Company. The Social Sciences and Humanities Index is a cumulative guide to over 200 academic journals. In the last twenty-five years, it has not shown a single reference to Dillon, Read and Company. And Dillon, Read is not exceptional. Morgan Stanley, Brown Brothers, Harriman, First Boston Cor­poration and Lehman Brothers, investment houses of similar importance, go unmentioned. Then there are the law firms like Sullivan & Cromwell, with partners like the Dulles brothers and Arthur Dean and clients like Standard Oil, United Fruit and the internationally entrenched Schroder Banking Corpora­tion. There is the Chase Manhattan Bank on whose board sits Douglas Dillon together with David Rockefeller and the heads of Standard Oil and AT&T. There is the incomparably impor­tant policy organization, the Council on Foreign Relations [see “Foundations,” Part I, RAMPARTS, April 1969], which not a single academic has studied. Indeed, if one takes the two or three dozen law firms, banks and other financial and industrial institutions that make up what is euphemistically referred to as the New York establishment but is in fact the nerve center of the American ruling class, one will find that there has not been a single academic attempt to subject those institutions, their interest and power networks to systematic intellectual study.

Moreover, when one looks at the attempts that have recently been made to fill the gap, it is difficult to decide whether the advance is for better or for worse. Indeed, it is the positive effort to study business on an institutional basis (for only institutionally organized research can muster the resources necessary for such study) that demonstrates the full depths of corruption of the intellectual enterprise in the universities, a direct result of their continuing servile relationship to cor­porate wealth.

In 1964, a book appeared under the imprint of Wayne State University Press (Detroit) entitled American Business Abroad: Ford on Six Continents. In a laudatory preface, Professor Allan Nevins of Columbia University writes: “As the most complete and scholarly account of the foreign activities of a great American industrial corporation yet written, this book claims the careful attention of all economists, historians, and business specialists.” One of the coauthors of the book is project director of the History of American Business Operations Over­seas project at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. In their own preface, the authors explain how the book came to be written and how the research, which required substantial funds for travel all over the world, was financed: “Important in the initiation of the project was the role of Henry E. Edmunds, Director of Research and Information for the Ford Motor Company and the head of the Ford Archives. Mr. Edmunds encouraged us to lay the project before the Ford Fund [a “nonprofit” foundation] which subsidizes activity in the public interest [!]. The Fund made a generous grant to Columbia University, and we have worked as salaried employees of the University. We have been accountable only to Columbia University.”

Nothing bespeaks the corruption of the university so eloquently as the blank innocence of this preface: the subsidization of the investigation by the subject to be investigated, the initiation of the project itself by the public relations officer of the party involved, and the ingenuous disclaimer that these facts would affect the scholarly objectivity of the report since its authors were accountable only to Columbia Univer­sity. Columbia University indeed!

Although the business school of every university is of necessity the extreme center of its prostitution to corporate Power, we have here the self-exposure of a relationship which is clearly general. Can anyone honestly believe that the founda­tions, which are based on the great American fortunes and administered by the present-day captains of American industry and finance, will systematically underwrite research which tends to undermine the pillars of the status quo, in particular the illusion that the corporate rich who benefit most from the system do not run it – at whatever cost to society – precisely to ensure their continued blessings? And where will the venture capital to establish the validity of radical ideas come from? Not, certainly, from the universities, whose funds are still controlled by corporate directors, who hold the university in trust and administer it for wealth and power.

Researchers for this article were Harvey Cohen and Robert Cun­ningham. The author wishes to acknowledge the use of additional research material prepared by David Ransom of Stanford SDS.

Part III of this series tells how the billion dollar brains forged an academic revolution and with federal support created the sinews of a global empire.

[1] This book, which purports to be a “sociological and historical analysis of American higher education” and which took ten years to research and write, makes only three passing references to foundations.

The Foundations [Charity Begins at Home] (1969)

Published in Ramparts, 7 (11), April 1969, pp. 38-48.

AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, when John D. Rockefeller Sr. commanded his “Standard Oil gang” from the elegant boardroom at 26 Broadway, the name “Rockefeller” conjured something far different from the present visions of vaguely liberal Republicanism, high-minded philanthropy and subsidized ballet. As one biographer recalls, “For 40 years – from 1872 to 1914 – the name of John D. Rockefeller was the most execrated name in American life. It was associated with greed, rapacity, cruelty, hypocrisy and corruption. … The attorney generals of half a dozen states clamored for his imprisonment. La Follette called him the greatest criminal of the age. …”

When it is considered that a Rockefeller in the White House has became a possibility – for many, even a desire – it is possible to appreciate the massive beautification program, the political face lifting, that has taken place over the last 50 years. The public image of robber barons like the Rockefellers and of American capitalism itself – the two are as inseparable as the dancer and the dance – has been cleaned up beyond recognition. It has taken a great effort and the subsidized bad memory of history; but the greatest credit is due to the royal families themselves, the Rockefellers and the Fords, who by dint of circumstance and through the devices of their lawyers have turned a new institutional face upon the world, at once benign and inscrutable: the nonprofit, charitable foundation.

As might be expected, however, more is to be found in these foundations than the mere stuff on which images are built.

The income of the 596 largest tax-exempt foundations is more than twice the net earnings of the nation’s 50 largest commercial banks. The annual income of the Ford Foundation alone exceeds that of the world’s biggest bank and has totaled almost two billion dollars over the last 30 years. The Rockefeller Foundation, starting life with $34.4 million in 1913, accumulated over the next half century another $876.2 million – three-fourths of it from stock income and capital gains.

But even more important, the foundations sustain the complex nerve centers and guidance mechanisms for a whole system of institutional power. To a remarkable and not accidental degree, this power has both characterized and defined American society and its relations with the rest of the world in the 20th century.


AS THE CENTURY TURNED and the Gilded Age tarnished into the Age of Frenzied Finance, it was evident that the wanton, headlong joyride of economic grab and ruin that had produced a Rockefeller was producing a popular reaction of serious import. “We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough,” Eugene Debs told wildly cheering crowds. “We are on the eve of a universal change.” Populism had already put 15 men into Congress and was making a serious bid for power as a third party. Its enemy said agrarian rebel Tom Watson, was “monopoly – monopoly of power, of place, of privilege, of wealth, of progress.”

As the mood of the country became increasingly rebellious, it became clear that some sacrifice would have to be made if the edifice of corporate power and privilege was to be maintained. John D. Rockefeller, whose Standard Oil Trust was the first, biggest and most notorious of the giant trusts – the living symbol of monopoly itself – was keenly aware that no one could make a more delicious and satisfying sacrificial offering than himself, not only because he exemplified all the system’s excesses, but also because his interventions in politics, both as bankroller and promoter, had made important enemies, most notably Teddy Roosevelt.

By 1909 there seemed no way, even for Rockefeller, to stem the tide of antitrust actions and lawsuits which reached their culmination that year in a court order to dissolve the Standard Trust itself. It was primarily in response to all this that Rockefeller’s defensive campaign of strategic philanthropy was launched. He had begun seriously laying its groundwork as early as 1903, when he announced the formation of his first big philanthropy, the General Education Board, following Teddy Roosevelt’s ascension to the Presidency. On March 2, 1910, Rockefeller finally asked the United States Congress to grant a special charter for a great new “Benevolent Trust.” This was the auspicious start of the Rockefeller Foundation. Time was clearly of the essence: less than a year earlier, Congress had submitted to the states the 16th Amendment, authorizing an income tax; just five days before applying for the charter, Rockefeller attorneys had filed their last, futile appeal with the Supreme Court to block the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust.

The hatred attached to Rockefeller’s name and the fear which his power inspired were so widespread at this time that Congress rejected the proposal for the Foundation charter. It was dubbed “the kiss of Judas Iscariot” by the press, “a Trojan horse.” In the end, Rockefeller was forced to relinquish his request and content himself with a charter issued by the State of New York in May 1913. With the issuance of this charter, he surrendered a small portion if his wealth, not to the plebian control of the state, but to a select group of Foundation trustees whose discretion he could count on: John D. Rockefeller Jr.: his son-in-law, Harold McCormick of the International Harvester McCormicks; and lest nepotism be charged, his servant, Rev. Frederick T. Gates, as “business and benevolent advisor.”

The breakup of the Standard Oil Trust, the outstanding triumph of the trust-breaking Progressive Era, was seen as a serious limitation of Rockefeller’s monopolistic economic preeminence. However, knowledgeable men in the world of high finance weren’t placing any bets against him. The day after the dissolution of Standard Oil, activity on the Big Board added a prodigious $200 million, to the company’s market value, including $56 million to Rockefeller’s own holdings (substantially more than his initial $34 million “gift” to the new Foundation). And those who had thought that Rockefeller’s power over the fragments of the old trust was really gone were surprised when a corporate battle royal a few years later demonstrated that reports of its death had been greatly exaggerated.

On May 28, 1929, in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal, a bitter corporate battle erupted over control of the erstwhile trust subsidiary, Standard Oil Company of Indiana. Indiana’s President Robert W. Stewart had been linked in the shady business deals with Harry Sinclair of Sinclair Oil (whose bribe to the secretary of the Interior was at the center of the Teapot Dome affair). When the new scandal broke, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, John D. Rockefeller Jr., publicly demanded Stewart’s resignation – a presumptuous, even insolent demand for a stockholder with only 4.5 per cent of Indiana Standard’s common shares.

Stewart stood his ground against the upstart philanthropist, making full use of his managerial position to rebuff the attack. On Stewart’s recommendation, the board of directors voted a dividend of $116,000,000, payable to the holders of Indiana Standard’s 14 million outstanding shares, proving to the stockholders the desirability of the current management. But Rockefeller Jr. had a few aces up his sleeve. When the crunch came, he voted against Stewart – not only his own shares but also those of the Rockefeller Foundation, the General Education Board, other Rockefeller endowments and his sister’s trust fund, as well as the stock held by the Harkness, Pratt and Whitney families, all Rockefeller partners in the original Standard Trust and still family and corporate allies.

Leading the Rockefeller forces in the proxy fight was Charles Evans Hughes, former Secretary of State – dubbed by his critics, “secretary for Oil” – and a distinguished trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. When the dust settled, Rockefeller had won 60 per cent of the votes and the ousted Stewart had to content himself with a $50,000-a-year pension which the directors awarded him for past services.

This kind of amiable camaraderie has continued to exist between the Rockefeller Foundation and the companies of the old Standard Oil Trust, according to Congressman Wright Patman’s report on tax-exempt foundations. In 1962, when Standard Oil of New Jersey needed an extra million of its own shares to purchase the Olin Gas and Oil Company but was reluctant to make a new stock issue, it had only to ask the Rockefeller Foundation, which sold it the necessary shares.

Nor is oil the only area in which the Rockefeller enterprises, “nonprofit” and otherwise, exhibit team spirit. In 1961, as a result of threatened prosecution by the Justice Department’s Anti-Trust Division, four New York banks were forced to dispose of their controlling shares in the Discount Corporation of New York (a primary dealer in U.S. Securities) to institutional investors. Of the 29,000 shares sold, those 6000 representing the controlling block were picked up by the Rockefeller-controlled purchasers. Included were the Rockefeller Institute (a nonprofit scientific research institute), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Chase Manhattan Bank, Colonial Williamsburg (the living museum in Virginia) and Sleepy Hollow Restorations Incorporated.

Of course the covert reintegration of Rockefeller’s formally shattered empire is not often laid open to view as it was in this corporate gathering of the tribe. And the uses to which this potential for central control are put are not well understood, not only because of the secrecy with which corporate and financial leaders shroud their decisions and modes of operations, but more importantly because the academic professions – heavily subsidized by the Rockefellers and Fords – have shown a singular lack of interest in its alliances, power configurations and interests.

Despite this failure, the scope and strength of the financial network that binds together a continuing Rockefeller imperium can be indicated by the known holdings just of the charitable Rockefeller trusts (not to speak of family trusts, personal and other direct holdings). Of course the main wealth of the Rockefeller Foundation itself flows from the fortune’s primal source, the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. The Foundation is today probably Jersey Standard’s largest stockholder, with 4.3 million shares worth several hundred million dollars. In addition the Foundation owns two million shares of Standard Oil of Indiana, 230,000 of Standard Oil of California, 300,000 of Continental Oil, and 100,000 of the Union Tank Car Company (often referred to as John D. Rockefeller’s “secret weapon” in the oil monopolization business). And there’s more, for the superstructure of the Rockefeller empire extends through another dozen foundations, and for these too the taproot is sunk deep in Rockefeller oil. According to the 1962 Patman Report, six other noncommercial Rockefeller foundations own another 3.5 million shares of Jersey Standard, 300,000 of Socony Mobil, 450,000 of Ohio Oil – and so it goes.

These foundation holdings, combined with personal holdings and a matrix of over 75 family trusts, afford the Rockefellers control of an inconceivably vast economic empire. In 1967, the assets of Standard Oil of New Jersey alone were valued at $15 billion. The combined assets of Socony Mobil, Jersey Standard, Indiana Standard and California Standard, in all of which the Rockefellers were major shareholders were major stockholders, amounted to $30.5 billion. Other Rockefeller-dominated interests include the world’s second largest commercial bank, the Chase Manhattan ($17.7 billion); the second and third largest insurance companies, Metropolitan and Equitable ($24.6 and $13 billion); Eastern Airlines ($829 million); Consolidated Natural Gas ($1 billion); Union Tank Car ($367.8 million); Itek ($63 million); and Rockefeller Center ($300 million). This must be considered only a partial listing, but its grand total – $88 billion – is revealing nonetheless.

As the Patman Committee report indicates, the Rockefeller Foundation was built in part as a secure repository designed to insulate a great fortune from the legal and political assaults that plague overtly commercial institutions. It was a disguised tax-free holding company. But it was not only that or it would be neither disguised nor untaxed nor as potent and portentous an instrument as it has become. A philanthropic cover must have some substantial reality to it if it is effectively to protect the underlying corporate structure. This duality of commercial interest and charitable form was the genius in the Foundation’s architecture. Forced to dispense huge resources to keep its status, it salvaged something from the situation by understanding that it had a unique opportunity for private interest to operate on the cultural, political and social life of the society. Suspicion and resistance are forestalled by the assumption that what is nonprofit is disinterested and what is charitable is beneficial. The Rockefeller Foundation is only one of a phalanx of similar related institutions. Indeed, it has even been to some extent upstaged by a later entrant on the scene.

THE FORD FOUNDATION IS THE EVEREST of the cultural-social trust field. Its assets exceed $3 billion, which is more than the gross national product of Cuba, and four times those of the second-place Rockefeller Foundation. Its annual income from securities is $150 million. In the period of a year and a half beginning in 1956, it “gave away” $500,000,000, which is like giving away Time, Inc., Magnavox, General Mills, Pepsi-Cola, or even American Motors. The Ford Foundation represents the largest charitable dispenser in history; it is also without doubt the one whose genesis was most firmly rooted in greed.

Henry Ford was anything but a charitable man in his lifetime, and the greatest of all the philanthropic foundations was in fact not the outgrowth of generosity at all, but of Ford’s own overweening perversity. In 1935, Ford, along with his son Edsel, owned 97 per cent of the third largest industrial corporation in the world. He considered this his crowning achievement, and he could not comprehend that in the world of modern business, it was a disaster. All the time that his compeers, the Rockefellers, Mellons and others, were occupied with diluting their “ownership” in vast industrial empires (as the same time securing the reins of tax-protected control through foundations, trusts and various other holding devices), Ford was busily buying out his partners in simpleminded pursuit of exclusive, total, personal possession of his very own motor company.

But just as the “sage of Dearborn” was reaching the frenzied peak of the megalomania that dominated his later years, the national climate was becoming increasingly dangerous for such nakedly exposed riches. The speculative boom of the ’20s had collapsed into the chasm of the Great Depression; the thievery of the “economic royalists” was being denounced in public hearings, while unarmed hunger marchers were being shot down at the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Out of the South, neo-Populist Huey Long was marshaling national support behind his share-the-wealth campaign, and in 1935 FDR recommended that federal taxes be used as a weapon against “unjust concentration of wealth and power.” The Wealth Tax of that same year fixed high income, gift and estate taxes (70 per cent for sums in excess of $50 million). Finally it all sank in. Within months, the papers establishing a Ford Foundation were completed.

If Henry and Edsel Ford had left their Ford stock to the Ford children, the heirs would have had to sell most of the shares they received just to pay the inheritance taxes. So Ford’s lawyers arranged for him to will only 10 per cent of the stock to the Ford children and 90 per cent to the Ford Foundation. The Foundation stock, however, was designated “non-voting,” a thoughtful gesture which kept control of the company firmly in the hands of the family. The Ford lawyers also provided that the inheritance taxes on the shares passed on to the Ford family would be paid out of the Foundation’s shares as its first philanthropy.

LIKE THE ROCKEFELLERS’, THE FORDS’ foundation program has always emphasized self-help, and they have always helped themselves. In 1961, the Fords needed a million Ford shares to acquire and absorb Philco Corporation, The Foundation – whose charter stipulates that it is ”for charitable purposes, and nothing else” – was charitable to a fault; it even settled for four dollars per share less than the market value of the stock, amounting to a four million dollar discount. But then the market value was itself twice the value which the modest Ford Foundation carried on its books, so that the Foundation was doubling its money on the deal (tax-free, naturally).

Though the Ford Foundation is not quite so charitable to other companies, it has never been one to let a nonprofit status stand in the way of a little business. During the period 1950-1962, for example, the Ford Foundation made loans of at least $300 million to commercial organizations.

In the first 15 years of its existence, while Henry Ford was still alive, the Ford Foundation prudently avoided throwing money around in the loose showy manner of some charities. Its frugal philanthropy of those years added up to about $20 million, mostly trickling to “local” projects like the Detroit symphony and the Ford museum and hospital. Then, in the next 16 years, from 1951 to 1967, the Foundation poured out $2.6 billion, or a thousand times the previous rate. The story behind this sudden largesse underlines the unique character of this type of institution. It is an anomalous creature of unique circumstances; not really a charity, its prodigious levels of spending are imposed by external conditions and the only really pertinent question becomes who presides over its expenditures and for what ends.

The mere transfer of Ford stocks to the Ford Foundation in 1937 had not fully solved the Ford family crisis over control of their motor company. For while Congress has in its time turned a blind eye toward many tax-exempt “charitable” holding companies for commercial enterprises, the mammoth Ford enterprise was too big and blatant to be ignored indefinitely. Moreover, certain very powerful constituents began to get restless. These were not constituents of the letter writing class, but included Chrysler and General Motors. What they found particularly annoying was the dividend policy that Ford’s peculiar stockholding arrangement permitted.

The family, whose 10 per cent of the stock held all the votes, was not particularly concerned with high dividends, since 90 per cent of the stock on which they would be paid was locked away in the Foundation. And since that 90 per cent was in no position to complain, Ford Motor Company was able to put only half as much of its profits into dividends as Chrysler was, leaving the rest for a reinvestment and expansion program which powered Ford’s forward surge in the auto market. By April 1954, the very important constituents were visibly losing their patience: “If General Motors or Chrysler earned no money and paid no dividends this year,” complained the Corporate Director, a business monthly, “management heads would roll and equity credit would be seriously impaired. … It is our belief that in this case and in many others, federal legislation is needed that will prohibit any charitable foundation … from earning more than ten per cent of any business enterprise.”

The Ford Foundation, not wanting to force anyone to such drastic measures, immediately took steps to sell 15 per cent of its Ford Motor stock to the public (a figure that was later upped to 22 per cent) and even to spend its income, amounting to $100 million and more annually. After two decades, forced by the sheet weight of its own resources, the Foundation finally got down to philanthropic business. And so it was that an institution which in the next 15 years was to have the largest impact of any single organization on American higher learning was created in spite of itself.

Obviously, nominally philanthropic institutions like Rockefeller and Ford fail to coincide with the popular conception of a charitable institution or an altruistic mission to uplift the poor. They were after all designed first for the purpose of preserving wealth, not undermining it. This is why the largest area of foundation support has been research and higher education: the development of techniques and the training of the social elite.

“The problem of our age,” Andrew Carnegie said in The Gospel of Wealth, is not the redistribution but “the proper administration of wealth, that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship.” For the foundations, this effort takes many forms, from charting national policies designed to make the world safe for Standard Oil to engineering a proper course of moderation for America’s black minority.


THE YEAR 1877 WAS A YEAR of compromise. In order to secure the election of Rutherford B. Hayes in the disputed presidential election, the northern money interests controlling the Republican Party made a deal with southern Democrats to withdraw federal troops from the South. These troops had represented the thin blue line guarding from the terror of the Ku Klux Klan and other Redeemers of the Old South the efforts of black freedmen and radical Republicans to construct a just social order. The withdrawal was followed by a wave of violent repression and the establishment of total segregation in political and social life which was to continue unchallenged well into the middle of the present century.

The compromise of northern liberals with White Power in the South represented more than a mere gratuitous betrayal of black people. From their point of view, and in terms of their own narrow self-interest, it made good financial sense. 1877 was also the worst year in the severest depression then on record. The nation was in the throes of a “great railroad strike,” whose suppression required the armed occupation of several cities including Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Moreover, in the countryside, the agrarian radicalism of the Populist movement was gathering strength and was shortly to be joined by southern blacks in the first integrated mass movement in the United States.

The possibility of a new civil war, a class war of the dispossessed against their exploiters, was very real. Thus, a conservative alliance between the men of property and power, North and South, was a natural step. But every good encircling net must have a loophole through which the defeated, the compromisers and the appeasers can walk to safely and surrender.

As the century drew to a close, there were already accommodationist tendencies developing in the black movement, and in 1895, a man stepped into the spotlight whom the sophisticates of power immediately recognized as an answer to the dangerous tides of anarchy and extremism.

Booker T. Washington emerged to national prominence with a speech in Atlanta in 1895, in which he eloquently set forth a program of accommodation, compromise and gradual amelioration for the black man. “Gentlemen,” he addressed the white southerners in his audience, “… the wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly…” Self-help and the attainment of humble economic power was the heart of this prescription: “… It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top.” These were words calculated to warm the hearts and open the pocketbooks of rich white southerners and their northern allies, who in fact, through philanthropic gesture and political influence, quickly enabled Washington to become the most powerful black man in American history.

The seed of the strategy of accommodation had been planted years before by white philanthropists and missionaries through the Negro college system in the post-Civil War South. Following the cessation of hostilities, a few northern philanthropic foundations (in part created from textile fortunes generated by cotton trade with the slave South) were impressed by the necessity of making the newly-freed slaves “responsible citizens” and reliable laborers. Under the leadership of the Peabody and Slater Funds, and later the Carnegie philanthropies and the Rockefellers’ General Education Board, which became by far the single most important influence, a system of Negro higher education was developed in the South. In accord with the predilections of its white benefactors, however, this education system, which was responsible for training the black leadership for the whole South, was primarily a system of “industrial” or vocational education. Among the white-financed Negro institutions which pioneered this development was the Tuskegee Institute, which provided Booker T. Washington with his institutional base and was benefacted by such stellar names of corporate wealth as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Huntington and Morgan. Needless to say, one of the conditions of the benefactions was that control of the institutions was by and large kept out of Negro hands. Carter G. Woodson, the eminent black scholar, has remarked in retrospect that it was a system in which the white man picked up the bills and laid down the law, and as a system it served only to re-enslave the Negro, who was “trained to think what is desired of him.”

As Booker T. Washington ascended to national prominence with his white-sponsored philosophy of self-help and political quietism and his program of creating a responsible class of black common laborers for white wealth and industry, it was only natural that he should assume a key role in channelling funds for this training system and for maintaining its ideological lines. Just as the foundations themselves waited for his good word before dispensing their largesse, so college administrators sought his advice on personnel with an eye towards making their own institutions more desirable to the money powers. In 1900, with financial support from Andrew Carnegie, Washington founded the National Negro Business League, which provided him with a platform for spreading the gospel of thrift, industry, self-help and Negro support of Negro business – and for condemning agitators and advocates of political and electoral struggle.

Washington’s support from whites not only assured the ascendance of his program and ideology but allowed him to maintain it against the challenges of others. In 1905, W. E. B. DuBois founded the Niagara Movement and threw down the gauntlet to the whole Bookerite approach: “We repudiate the monstrous doctrine that the oppressor should be the sole authority as to the rights of the oppressed. … Persistent manly agitation is the way to liberty.”

But the radicals were no match for Washington and his backers. The historians Meier and Rudwick described his response: “Washington used all reservoirs of power at his disposal to silence his critics. He placed spies in radical organizations, attempted to deprive opponents of their government jobs, subsidized the Negro press to ignore or attack ‘the opposition,’ successfully exerted pressure to prevent the election of radicals to high office in the Negro churches, and used his enormous influence with the philanthropists to divert funds away from educators who were inimical to him.: By 1907, Washington had the Niagarans clearly beaten.

MANY OBSERVERS HAVE REMARKED upon the similarities between this schism at the outset of the century and the developments in the black movement during the ’60s. Few have noted the parallel role of the great “philanthropic” foundations in weighing the balance of the conflict.

At the outset of the ’60s, the NAACP and the Urban League were on the right wing of the civil rights movement. Financed by white wealth, they preached an accommodationist line and upheld the business values of the system. As Washington had, they denounced the militants and radicals. “Where the builders differ from the burners,” remarked Whitney Young, director of the Rockefeller-financed Urban League, “is that we want to win victories within the framework of the system.”

Young’s remark was cited in a special Time essay on “Black Power and Black Pride” which appeared in December 1967. This was the third year of black uprisings in the United States and the second of the slogan “Black Power,” which symbolized the new independence of the black movement from white influence – and restraint – and the program of self-reliance for black people. Four months later, Martin Luther King was assassinated, an event which put the quietus to nonviolent agitation and confrontation. The dynamic of organized political action passed to the militants who had coined the term “Black Power” and whose guiding figure was not the preacher Martin Luther King but the assassinated prophet Malcolm X.

What Malcolm recognized in 1964 – that the black man had a stake in national liberation struggles against the white imperialist powers all over the world – became clear to others after the U.S.’s massive escalation of its intervention in Viet-Nam in 1965. One year to the day before his assassination, King had mounted the pulpit in New York’s Riverside Church to denounce the American government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” and to declare the black man’s stake in opposing the war in Viet-Nam, in which “we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create a hell for the poor.” As King point out, Washington was ready to squander billions to preserve the status quo in Asia, but offered no more than pennies to modify and alleviate the suffering which their system caused at home: willing to spend $350,000 to kill a single yellow peasant in Asia, but only $54 to train a black laborer in the United States.

While King was gravitating towards a position of more serious confrontation with the system, Malcolm’s disciples were explicitly indentifying themselves with the revolutionary liberation movements of the Third World. In the summer of 1967, Stokely Carmichael appeared as the honored guest of the Tri-Continental Conference of revolutionary movements in Havana. The rhetoric was becoming anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist. (“Our enemy,” Carmichael told the delegates, “is white Western imperialist society.”) And meanwhile the cities were burning.

The first-line response to the militant uprisings and organizations was of course the big stick of Law and Order, as the repression of SNCC and the Black Panther Party showed. But along with the frame-ups and police terror, a highly sophisticated program was being launched by forces of the status quo in the glass-enclosed New York headquarters of the $3 billion Ford Foundation.

In 1966, McGeorge Bundy left his White House position as the top security manager for the American empire (“I have learned,” he once told an interviewer, “that the United States is the engine and mankind is the train”) to become president of the Ford Foundation. Bundy was an exponent of the sophisticated approach to the preservation of the international status quo. Rejecting what he called “either or” politics, he advocated “counterinsurgency and the Peace Corps … an Alliance for Progress and unremitting opposition to Castro; in sum, the olive branch and the arrows.” The arrows of course would be taken care of by the authorities, form the CIA and the American military to Major Daley, while the foundations were free to pursue the olive branch side. Since they were “private” and non-governmental; they could leave the task of repression to their friends in other agencies while they pursued a benevolent, enlightened course without apparent hypocrisy.

In the spring of the following year, the Foundation announced a half-million dollar grant to Kenneth Clark’s newly organized and militant-sounding Metropolitan Applied Research Center (MARC), created “to pioneer in research and action in behalf of the powerless urban poor in Northern Metropolitan areas.” MARC promptly name Roy Innis chairman of the militant Harlem chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), as its first civil rights “fellow-in-residence.” Then on May 27, it sponsored a secret meeting of civil rights leaders (nine major groups were represented) which announced a joint effort to calm racial tension in the city of Cleveland.

Cleveland, coincidentally, had been since 1961 the scene of a major attempt on the part of the Ford Foundation and major economic interests in the areas to cool racial tensions. These attempts had ended in failure, and Cleveland had erupted during the previous summer. The enlightened economic powers of the city were now backing a black man for major, as a climax to their tepid campaign for an end to conflict. Now all eyes were on the November elections, and the candidacy of Carl Stokes, a Negro with what Time characterized as “moderate, constructive” programs and business backing. Cyrus Eaton, liberal lord of the greatest industrial fortune of the area, was backing Stokes, as were the electric power companies, who had an added incentive in that the candidate had promised to divest the city of its income-producing transit and electric systems and turn them over to private companies.

Into this situation trod the Ford Foundation, announcing on July 14 that it was giving $175,000 to CORE for work in the Cleveland area, which included voter registration. CORE accepted the grant, and helped Stokes, a Democrat and supporter of the Viet-Nam war, win the election. This was quite a position for militants who at one time had talked of forming a third party and whose opposition to the war in Viet-Nam had predated that of Martin Luther King Jr. Robert Allen, a black activist, explains CORE’s turnabout in this way: “In the first place, they needed money. Floyd McKissick in 1966 had become national director of an organization which was several hundred thousand dollars in debt, and his espousal of black power scared away potential financial supporters. Secondly, CORE’s militant rhetoric but reformist definition of black power as simply black control of black of communities appealed to Foundation officials who were seeking just those qualities in a black organisation which hopefully could tame the ghettos. From the Foundation’s point of view, old-style moderate leaders no longer exercised any real control, while genuine black radicals were too dangerous, CORE fit the bill because its talk about black revolution was believed to appeal to discontented blacks, while its program of achieving black power through massive injections of [white] governmental business and Foundation aid seemingly opened the way for continued domination of black communities by means of a new black elite.”

IN JULY 1967, A BLACK POWER conference was held in Newark, financed by 50 white corporations. Then at the end of the month, the most massive rebellion to date took place in the Motor City of Detroit, leaving 45 blacks dead and millions of dollars worth of property damaged in its wake. On August 1, the day after the troops left the city, 22 American leaders called on the nation to revise its priorities and bring more resources to bear on domestic problems, and announced the formation of an Urban Coalition to do just that. The Urban Coalition, headed by John Gardner, former secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and former president of the Carnegie Foundation, included moderate Negro leaders Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and Whitney Young of the National Urban League, as well as labor leaders, big city majors and businessmen like David Rockefeller and Gerald Phillippe, chairman of the board of General Electric and trustee of the National Industrial Conference Board, a foundation-financed policy organization. The funds for the Urban Coalition were to be provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., the Carnegie Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Regional coalitions between labor, Negroes, businessmen and politicians were to be formed (the New York coalition was headed by Christian Herter Jr., vice president of Standard Oil of New York) and they were to work in close cooperation with the National Alliance of Businessmen, headed by Herald Ford II. Not surprisingly, the coalition placed primary emphasis not on massive income redistribution and federal reconstruction and rebuilding programs, but on the vigorous involvement of the private sector in the crises in the cities by commitment of investment, job training, hiring and “all other things that are necessary to the full employment of the free enterprise system, and also to its survival.”

This basic strategy of salvation was echoed in the Report of the Special Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission) which had been empowered by the President at the same time (July 27, 1967, in the wake of the Detroit insurrection) to look into the causes of riots and prescribe remedial action. “We conclude,” declared the Commission report, “that maximum utilization of the tremendous capability of the American free enterprise system is a crucial element in any program for improving conditions, in both our urban centers and our rural poverty areas, which have brought us to the present crisis.” The Commission also noted that more than 85 per cent of the current annual gross national product is attributable to the private business sector, but it failed to draw the obvious conclusion that if free enterprise has been “the mainspring of the national economy,” it has also been the mainspring of an economy that has produced the poverty and blight which are the source of the present crisis.

That the Kerner Commission should agree so heartily with the Urban Coalition is not surprising. The head of the Commission’s Advisory Panel on Private Enterprise, which drew these conclusions, was Tex Thornton, chairmen of the board of Litton Industries [see RAMPARTS, Nov. 30 and Dec. 14-28, 1968]. Thornton’s right-hand man, Roy Ash, had represented Litton on the Urban Coalition. Similarly, Vice Chairman John Lindsay, Roy Wilkins and I. W. Abel of the Commission all doubled as members of the privately sponsored group.

While vigorously repressing – i.e., killing, jailing, framing, ostracizing – Black Power advocates for whom Black Power meant confrontation with the system and agitation for the revolutionary change, the rich white establishment and its press began to promote recognition of the reasonable connotations which the term “Black Power” had in the mouths of “responsible militants.” As the Wall Street Journal reported in July 1968, “Black Power” is being “newly defined in a way that may not be quite so frightening to the white man” – and particularly to Wall Street Journal readers. “What now seems to be happening in the tortuous history of race relations in America,” commented the Journal, “is that the black man is coming of age.” While maintaining that “extremist blacks, and their radical ideas must be purged,” the Journal noted that “White America is the majority, and the new black leadership, while adopting more of a ‘do-it-ourselves’ stance, still does not want a complete break with the rest of America.”

Black Power as self-help within the system, then, was the Journal’s preferred interpretation, and it was pleased to find that the black organizations, which are heavily subsidized by Journal readers on the one hand and savagely repressed by the forces of law and order on the other, are coming around this point of view: “What is really being said now, in different ways by different leaders, is that the black man is beginning to feel strong enough to rely more on himself and less on the white man. This new emphasis on self-help is, in a sense, a return to the turn-of-the-century philosophy of Booker T. Washington. …”


IN 1911, THE AMERICAN TOBACCO TRUST, which had done for tobacco what Rockefeller did for oil, was “dissolved” by Supreme Court order. The founder of the trust, James Buchanan Duke, had been an admirer of Rockefeller, and two of the six men who controlled it were Rockefeller partners in Standard Oil. When Duke died in 1925, he left his fortune tied up in the Duke Endowment, a philanthropic foundation which is today worth more than $600 million, the largest such institution after the big three of Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie, and itself a microcosmic model of what such foundations are all about.

Duke’s lawyers had spent ten years perfecting the indenture of his Endowment, which made Trinity College, in Durham, North Carolina, the principal beneficiary of the fund, on the condition that it change its name to Duke University, which it promptly did. The indenture also “recommended” that securities of the Duke Power Company be “the prime investment” of the Endowment (which today holds 68 per cent of the stock of Duke Power) and also stipulated that the trustees manage the Duke Power Company and the Doris Duke Trust (set up for the Duke heirs). To make the system airtight and perpetual, the indenture also provided that none of the holdings of the Endowment in Duke Power could be sold without the unanimous consent of the trustees – who were all affiliated with the company and associated tobacco, banking and legal interests, and among whom Doris Duke was to be a prominent member. Furthermore, it was stipulated that the income of the Endowment had to be distributed, after Duke University received its share, in designated percentages to hospitals, colleges, “superannuated preachers, their widows or orphans,” and rural Methodist churches and seminaries. All these recipients, according to the terms of the indenture, must be situated in areas of North and South Carolina served by Duke Power. “Thus,” as Duke MacDonald aptly observed, “the interests of Duke’s heirs, his power company, his customers, his foundation and God (Methodist Church, South) are all cunningly knotted together.” Or, as Duke himself is reported to have said just before he died: “What I mean is, I’ve got ‘em fixed so they won’t bother it after I’m gone.”

What Duke had sewed up, of course, was more than mere income – a secondary consideration at those stratospheric levels (“What,” Governor Rockefeller is reputed to have once asked an aide, “is ‘take-home’ pay?”). He had set his seal to a system of power based on concentrated wealth. To this day, the Duke system is not only interlocked with former companies of the dissolved trust for example, R. J. Reynolds, the number one tobacco company) and with non-Duke major economic interests in the area, but with the New York financial matrix as well. Thus the chairman of the Duke Endowment is also on the executive committee of the board of Morgan Guaranty and is a director of General Motors and the Penn-Central Railroad. Political power in North Carolina, according to Professor V. O. Key, the leading authority on the subject, is in the hands of a tight economic oligarchy, which naturally includes the institutional trust system that “Buck” Duke left behind. But then private government is the essence of the foundation system.

Not everyone would agree, Dwight MacDonald, for example, contrasts the “narrow” conception of the Duke Endowment with that of the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundations. To be sure, the operations of the Rockefeller Foundation, for example, stretch far beyond the environs of New York, New Jersey, or even the 50 states. But then oil has more widely dispersed sources of profit and supply than tobacco: two-thirds of Jersey Standard’s net income is derived from operations in 52 countries overseas. Moreover, as the energy source of modern industry, oil has a vastly more significant role to play in contemporary society and international politics. As one State Department official categorically observed in 1945, “A review of the diplomatic history of the past 35 years will show that, petroleum has historically played a larger part in the external relations of the United States than any other commodity.”

One can readily appreciate why the Rockefeller Foundation, with more than half of its income flowing from the Standard Oil companies, should spend fully 75 per cent of its revenue on the creation of elite modernization of infrastructures and purchases of goodwill overseas. In 1966, for example, the Foundation spent a million dollars on higher education and elite training in Nigeria, or about ten times the amount of its grants in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia and South Carolina combined. A cynic might observe that the difference between the local and overseas underdeveloped regions is that Nigeria is scheduled to become the biggest oil producing region after the Middle East, and the danger of a nationalist-orientated elite emerging to threaten the oil production of overseas corporations, including the Standard Oil Companies of New York and California, is very real.

In any case, the concerned interest of the Big Three Foundations is in the international “responsibilities” of American power. This is evident in the prominence of their boards of financiers and industrialists reflecting those businesses with by far the largest stake in the overseas economic frontier. The most important international bank, the Rockefellers’ Chase Manhattan, has been prominently represented on both the Ford and Rockefeller Foundation boards. The ubiquitous John J. McCloy, once chairman of the board of Chase and the second president of the so-called World Bank, one of the key institutions in managing the expansion of U.S. private enterprise in the underdeveloped world, was one of the key figures in setting up the Ford Foundation after the transfer of Ford Motor stock, and he became chairman of the board of the Foundation. Another duel trustee is Eugene Black, also a former president of the World Bank and also a director of Chase and trustee of the Ford Foundation.

Equally well represented with Chase is the Standard Oil Company itself (whose directors, naturally, also have regular seats on Chase). John Foster Dulles, long-time attorney for Standard Oil, was chairman of the board of the Rockefeller Foundation, while Arthur H. Dean, Dulles’ law partner, has been a prominent Carnegie trustee, as Grayson Kirk has been of Standard Oil of New York (Socony Mobil). There are of course two Fords on the Ford Foundation, and naturally John D. Rockefeller III occupies a central position in the Rockefeller philanthropy. The circle becomes complete, as one might expect, when David Rockefeller, president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, sits on the board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, while Morris Hadley, McCloys’s law partner, is in the Carnegie Corporation.

There is a point to the intermarriages. These are no longer family trusts, but class institutions; they are conscious not merely of parochial economic interest but of the necessity of preserving a total social system, international in scope, on which their wealth, power, prestige – in a word, their whole way of life – depends.

OF COURSE THE CHIEF GUARDIAN of the international economic frontier (and the rights of Chase Manhattan and Standard Oil abroad) is the U.S. government in Washington. Naturally the sights of the stewards of wealth are pointed in that direction, with the idea of shaping the ends and instruments of foreign policy. We live, however, in a pluralist democracy composed of an infinite number of competing interest groups, in which no collective or class dominates and where the self-interest of each is transformed via the matrix of competition into the interest of all – or so our leading social scientists, liberally financed by the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundations, tell us. The unsophisticated and unbenefacted layman may retain the suspicion that a select few of these interest groups are more equal than others.

Take the AFL-CIO and the Rockefeller Foundation, two prominent organizations on the American scene. The AFL-CIO has 16 million members who make up the bulk of the most politically conscious working people in the country, from steelworkers to social workers, from printers to teachers. Its members pay the bulk of the individual income taxes that go to support the various activities of the federal government: while many millionaires pay no taxes at all, 61 per cent of all individual federal income tax is paid by people with annual incomes of less than $15,000. These people also provide the bulk of the young sons who go off to fight on the overseas frontier. Yet in the history of pluralist America since the New Deal, only one union official has been graced with the privilege – and influence – of a post in the U.S. Cabinet. This honor went to Martin Durkin, who was made secretary of Labor in the first Eisenhower Administration and who attained fame by resigning a few months later because he could find no points of social or intellectual contact with the other members of Ike’s “Cadillac Cabinet.”

The Rockefeller Foundation is a somewhat more exclusive club than the AFL-CIO, with a staff of less than 250 persons, the most important of whom generally belong to the upper echelons of the American social structure and hence pay considerably less taxes, lay down far fewer lives and are related to an infinitely smaller cross-section of the American people than are the members of the AFL-CIO. Yet the Rockefeller Foundation, in the open competition of pluralist interest groups, has found fortune standing consistently in its corner.

Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation have been appointed to major cabinet posts in every administration since Truman (in addition to several important undersecretaryships), including secretary of Defense, secretary of the Treasury, and two secretaries of State. (They have done less well with Nixon, garnering only secretary of Agriculture.) Once having gotten to Washington, moreover, they have tended to stay. John Foster Dulles, the Foundation’s chairman from 1950 to 1952, completed seven years of an eight-year term as secretary of State, being removed only by death, while his protégé, Dean Rusk, president of the Foundation from 1952 to 1961, filled out a full eight years in office. With opportunities for power like that, it is no wonder that the Rockefeller Foundation is organized more as an institution for mobilizing, training and offering a base to elites, than as a charitable institution, and that it spent half as much on administration expenses in its plush New York office alone as it gave out in grants in the entire United States in the year 1966.

The foundations, however, are only the beginning, the base of the network of organizations through which the nerve centers of wealth impress their will on Washington. This network; the ganglia of foundation intelligence, is imposed of a panoply of “independent” research and policy organizations, jointly financed and staffed by the foundations and the corporate community, which as a group set the terms and define the horizon of choice for the long-range policies of the U.S. government. Among these, the most extraordinary, influential and publicity-shy is the Council on Foreign Relations.

FORMED IN 1921 AS THE RESULT of a merger between “a New York gentlemen’s club” and a floundering institute that had been set up by a group from the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace talks after the World War I, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) was eventually to assume a uniquely influential role in the long-range foreign policy planning, and the education of policy makers in Washington. The Council has only 1400 members (women and aliens are excluded) who meet in study groups and work out policy problems and positions. Businessmen (of the Wall Street variety) form the base of the membership, and it is their class interest which naturally informs the product of the collective brainstorming. The brains are supplied by high foreign policy officials, and a few selected academics. The educational value of its program for slow-learning officials has been described by one of its members: “Whatever General Eisenhower knows about economics, he learned at the study group meetings [in 1949]. … Eisenhower came with a vague predilection in favour of building up Europe. When he left European aid was a ruling conviction.”

A different kind of product of the Council system is Henry A. Kissinger, reputed by authorities from James Reston to Time to be the future McGeorge Bundy of the Nixon Administration, the brain of its foreign policy operations. (A “mandate to superintend the President’s entire domestic program” goes to another CFR member, Arthur F. Burns.) Kissinger began his career in intelligence during the Second World War. He then went to Harvard, where he was a student of Bundy (who in addition to being a CFR member and protégé of Henry Stimson, is a scion of an old United Fruit Company family).

In 1954, Kissinger ran a group at Harvard called the Harvard International Seminar, which was partially subsidized by the CIA. In 1956, he was hired by Nelson Rockefeller as director of special Rockefeller Brothers Fund studies (he was Rockefeller’s foreign policy advisor in the 1968 campaign). In 1957, Kissinger published a book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, whose critique of Eisenhower’s defense policy echoed the criticisms and recommendations voiced in the Rockefeller Panel and Gaither (Ford Foundation) Reports, which were released about the same time and eventually became incorporated in the policy perspectives of the Kennedy Administration (to which Kissinger was also an advisor). Kissinger’s book was the product of a Council on Foreign Relations study group which reflects the makeup of these educational sessions. The study group included several top generals; a former CIA chief; two former secretaries in the defense establishment; his old teacher McGeorge Bundy; the president of the Carnegie Institution in Washington; William A. M. Burden, director of both Lockheed and Manufacturers Hanover Trust; and David Rockefeller.

Nor, was Kissinger’s the only set of key brains integrated with power in this way. Both McGeorge Bundy and his successor, W. W. Rostow, were men who had their conceptions shaped, molded and certified by the CFR and related institutions. Nor are these isolated cases. As Theodore White reported in his The Making of the President, 1964: “Among the first 82 names on a list prepared for John F. Kennedy for staffing his State Department, at least 63 were members of the Council, Republicans and Democrats alike. When he finally made his appointments, both his secretary of State (Rusk, Democrat) and of Treasury (Dillon, Republican) were chosen from Council members; so were seven assistant and undersecretaries of State, four senior members of Defense (deputy secretary of Defense, comptroller, assistant secretary for International Security Affairs, assistant secretary for Manpower) as well as two members of the White House staff (Schlesinger, Democrat: Bundy, Republican).”

The Council is financed by dues, by corporate contributors, by proceeds from its publication, Foreign Affairs, and by grants from the foundations, mainly Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie. The majority of the trustees of the foundations are CFR members. In 1946, at the outset of the Cold War, the president of the Council was Allen W. Dulles, lawyer for Standard Oil, United Fruit Company director, Carnegie Foundation trustee and future director of the CIA. The chairman of the board was R. C. Leffingwell, Morgan partner (Morgan was the most important U.S. bank up to that time, with the most extensive and important overseas operations and interests) and finance committee chairman of the Carnegie Foundation. Twenty years later these two posts were held by Grayson Kirk (Socony Mobil) and John J. McCloy. CFR vice president was David Rockefeller.

The Council on Foreign Relations’ first assumption of a dominant position in the shaping of American foreign policy can be dated from the time of America’s active assumption of a world leadership role, with its entry into the Second World War. When the war started, one of the most distinguished and respected lights of the Council, Henry Stimson, went to Washington as secretary of War. He took with him as assistant secretary another council member, John J. McCloy. And according to McCloy: “Whenever we needed a man, we thumbed through the roll of Council members and put through a call to New York.”

If the Council played a considerable role in wartime planning, its Cold War role was to be even greater. As Joseph Kraft (a CFR member) has put it, “The Council provided for the U.S. government the first organized framework for postwar plannings. Less than a fortnight after the guns began pounding in Europe, and a full two years before Pearl Harbor,” the two key administrative officers of the Council “journeyed to Washington with a proposition. [The State Department] lack the appropriations to set up a planning division. … Why not, they asked, let the Council begin the work, privately, with the understanding that its apparatus would be turned over to State as soon as feasible??”

“Secretary [of State] Hull was in favour. Accordingly, in December 1939, the Council, with financial aid from the Rockefeller Foundation, established… four planning groups. … In 1942 the whole apparatus, with most of the personnel, was taken into the State Department as the nub of its Advisory Committee on Postwar Planning Problems”

Appropriately, when in 1945 it came time to set up the postwar world, the Council was there to lend a hand. Fully 40 members of the official U.S. delegation of the founding meeting of the United Nations were Council members: Edward R. Stettinius, a Morgan partner and secretary of State; John J. McCloy, assistant secretary of War; Nelson Rockefeller, assistant secretary of State for Latin American Affairs; and John Foster Dulles, Republican spokesman on foreign policy. When the Cold War became official in 1947, it was another Council member, George F. Kennan, director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, who in the famous article signed “X” presented (in the Council journal, Foreign Affairs), the so-called “containment” policy around which America’s Cold War programs were to revolve for the next 20 years. As the New York Times put it, the Council “set American policy guidelines for NATO,” the lynch pin of the containment program.

THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS is not the only organization which functions as a crucible of policy formulation on behalf of the corporate ruling class. In addition to the CFR, the foundation/corporation complex has set up and directs the Brookings Institution, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the National Planning Association, the Foreign Policy Association, the Twentieth Century Fund, the National Industrial Conference Board and the Committee for Economic Development, as well as a whole bevy of institutions inside the universities, like the Russian Research Centers at Columbia (Rockefeller) and Harvard (Ford and Carnegie) and the Center for International Studies at MIT (CIA, Carnegie and Ford).

As Philip Mosely, director of studies of the CFR, observed in a recent article, the foundations have been primarily responsible for the availability of academic research and scholarship to government (and of course for choosing which representatives of the academy shall gain this access). Is it area studies that the government needs? These are available through the university institutes, initiated and funded in their formative periods by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. According to one foundation authority, Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie money is responsible for virtually all non-Western studies in the universities. Does the government need policy studies? The Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution and the Committee on Economic Development would be happy to provide them. Strategic studies? There’s always the RAND Corporation (which got its start as an independent research corporation through the Ford Foundation) and its progeny, the Stanford Research Institute, the Institute for Defense Analysis and others – all presided over, shaped and generally originated by the corporate elite which circulates from industry to philanthropy to government with infinite elegance and ease.

Part Two of this article tells the story of how the great foundations shape the system of higher education in America and set out to create the Brain Trust of a New Rome.

Researchers for this story included Robert Cunningham and Harvey Cohen.

Online Privacy? Surveillance of Social Movements on the Internet (2005)

I first published this article in November 2005. It is a summary of Sasha Constanza-Chock, “The whole world is watching: online surveillance of social movement organizations,” in: Pradip Thomas & Zaharom  (eds) Who Owns the Media? Global Trends and Local Resistances (Zed Books, 2004), pp.271-92. [1]

barker surveillance

Safe in the security of their homes (or libraries), activists all over the world are increasingly using the internet and the variety of communicative forums its provides to organise collectively for social change: be it planning upcoming events, networking, or just chatting to friends. In fact, in some circles the internet has been hailed as the saviour of democracy, as it has provided an opportunity for social movements all over the world to communicate quickly and cheaply. Enabling resource poor groups to establish web sites and share tactics and resources with organisations from all over the world. To some, the benefits of the internet may seem limitless, and there certainly is a lot of potential for the internet to strengthen democratic and participatory governance. However, in reality there has been almost no public participation or debate about the way in which the internet is dominated by powerful corporate interests (in terms of ownership and content),[2] and the same qualities that make the Internet so valuable to activists are being exploited by other powerful interests to counter their activities. Therefore, the increasing sophistication of online surveillance technologies should be of interest to all citizens, especially those individuals and groups – specifically those most likely to be targeted for monitoring under the guise of the “war on terrorism” (like peace activists). By summarising Sasha Constanza-Chock’s (2004) brilliant article about online surveillance of social movements in the US, it is hoped that this paper will highlight some of the (often unknown) problems associated with the internet, and catalyse further discussion of their implications within social movements and communities globally.

Surveillance: in context

Most people have heard of the historic Watergate investigation which led to the downfall of the US president Richard Nixon in 1974, but it seems that few are aware of significance of the FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program (COINTELPRO).[3] Unlike Watergate, which pitched the Republicans against the Democrats, COINTELPRO set the government against its citizens – which seems to have made it an inappropriate story for public consumption, even today. This tale of political subversion involved a campaign of surveillance, disinformation and infiltration (including theft and political assassinations) between 1957 and 1974, in an attempt to counter the rising influence of social movements. The release of the COINTELPRO papers led to a Senate investigation (The Church Committee) which went some way towards protecting US citizens from internal surveillance, but since then the few restrictions that were put in place have been greatly eroded. In fact, in 2001 the Director of the FBI stated before the Senate that: “Anarchist and extremist socialist groups – many of which, such as the Workers’ World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival Against Capitalism – have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States…”[4] The USA Patriot Act passed shortly after the 9/11 attacks also facilitates State surveillance of social movements.[5]

Who’s monitoring you?

With the rise of online surveillance, it seems appropriate for social movements to identify the data hungry groups lurking behind their computer screens, and to contemplate the type of information they may be busily compiling about them. For a start, a vast variety of US Government agencies have an interest in the surveillance of social movements, and these are increasingly coordinated by the Office of Homeland Security ( The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ( also recently created a new office to aid dataveillance, which aims to develop data-mining systems which are linked to nongovernment surveillance agencies. Links to such private surveillance agencies is important for government agencies, as their activities are less restricted by the law, while the work they undertake is also protected from Freedom of Information Act requests. It also seems likely that well-resourced counter movements would benefit from undertaking surveillance of target social movements, which in some instances may even utilise hired corporate infomonitors.

Surveillance techniques

Most forms of electronic surveillance rely on information obtained from unconcealed sources – that is open source intelligence – but there are various other methods by which data is gathered via the internet, some of which will be briefly discussed. Other surveillance methods that will not be discussed here include information gathered by observing the targets actions (operations intelligence) and data gathered by interviews, interrogations, or infiltration with agents or informers (human intelligence).

Open-source intelligence (OPSINT): this information is collected from publicly available sources and includes website, listserv, and bulletin board services. Although OPSINT data may have been gathered by the State in the past, new technologies now mean that the amount of information that can be collated is vastly different from that collected in the past. DARPA aim to achieve “total information awareness” merging all existing state databases into a huge central database that will automatically update itself.[6] Precedents for such activities include the FBI National Crime Info Center which has maintained a national crime database since 1967 – unfortunately the profiling for such databases is far from adequate: “In 1992, Denver’s gang database listed eight of every ten young people of color in the entire city…in some places, all you have to do to get in the database is be down with hip-hop style”.[7] It seems likely that new databases will be used to collate a lot more information than just media and employment records, book purchase records, and Internet search terms. DARPA’s plans to develop “omnimedia” databases, suggests that they plan to eventually link internet surveillance to CCTV systems: where automatic face recognition software – which has been used successfully in casinos for years – can be used to track individual citizens movements.

Signals intelligence (SIGINT): this involves the collection of signal information that is not publicly available, which is emitted by ‘targets’. These techniques may include server log subpoenas, and the monitoring of activists exact locations though the tracking of mobile phone signals.

Large scale signal/communication intelligence systems (SIG/COMINT): these systems involve the automated analyse of the targets communications. The Carnivore software (which is installed on target PC’s) is a prime example of how the FBI monitor communications ( Another computer system that automatically sorts through all communications intercepted by the worldwide UK/USA SIGINT is ECHELON which is thought to monitor and sort cellular, satellite, microwave and fibre-optic traffic. With increasing technological advances it won’t be long before ECHELON will be able to automatically analyse all phone traffic ( In addition, screen emissions detection technology allows computer screens to be viewed remotely,[8] and Trojan horse key logging software allow every keystroke made on a PC to be visible to remote data collectors.[9]

Virtual human intelligence (VHUMINT): this involves the monitoring, and possible influence of unmediated online interactions, like those taking place on many bulletin board services, open email lists, chat rooms, or hybrid news discussion venues like Indymedia.[10]

Consequences of surveillance

As data collected online can be stored for ever, it seems possible that information collected about groups or individuals can potentially be used against them in the future, with the potential for the development of “automated blacklists” available to corporations or other interested parties. Another result of such ongoing surveillance is that individual members of social movement organizations maybe singled out for prosecution if they don’t stay within intellectual property laws. Combined with the all the other aforementioned surveillance activities it is quite likely that such activities will further contribute towards the silencing of dissent in society. Ongoing surveillance will also certainly undermine the ability of social movements to communicate effectively, and will reduce their likelihood of participating in disruptive online protests (such as netstrikes, virtual sit-ins, site defacement, email and form flooding).

Beating back surveillance

Online surveillance is no small matter, so it is not surprising that many activists avoid sending critical information through communicative mediums that can be easily intercepted, like email. However, this in itself cannot safeguard society’s civil liberties and freedom, and it is becoming increasingly urgent that all social movements work together with organisations that monitor state surveillance practises and abuses in order to protect their democratic rights to organise without fear of reprisals, now or later. Key groups to work with include the:

By working in unison with such organisations, social movements must campaign for legislation that limits and checks surveillance of social movements both nationally and transnationally. Tackling the problems of online surveillance is a massive task and it will not be easy, but it will be made a lot easier if all social movements regardless of their surveillance worries, from all over the world can campaign together to fight for social justice that limits both state and corporate surveillance of individuals and social movements.


[1] This article is a summary of Constanza-Chock, S. (2004) “The whole world is watching: online surveillance of social movement organizations,” In: Thomas, P. & Nain, Z. (eds.) Who owns the media? Global trends and local resistances. pp. 271-292.

[2] For further details link to Robert McChesney’s article Rich Media, Poor Democracy.

[3] For further details see: Churchill, W. & Vander Wall, J. V. (1990) The Cointelpro papers: documentsfrom the FBI’s secret wars against domestic dissent. Boston, MA: South End Press.

[4] Freeh, Louis J. (2001) Statement for the record, Louis J. Freeh, Director, FBI, on the threat of terrorism to the United States. United States Senate Committees on appropriations, armed services, and select committee on intelligence, 10 May.

[5] Young, M. G. (2001) What big eyes and ears you have!: A new regime for covert governmental surveillance. In Fordham Law Review 70, December, 1017.

[6] DARPA (2002) BAA 02-08 information awareness proposer information booklet. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 2002,

[7] Chang, J. (2002) Styling and profiling: Privacy and the hip-hop generation after 9/11. Presentation at Media Bistro Salon, 19 March

[8] Goodman, C. (2001) An introduction to TEMPEST. SANS Institute, 18 April.

[9] Krim, J. (2001) Privacy advocates question FBI’s keystroke logging. In Washington Post, 14 August. (

[10] For more information see: Marx, G. T. (1998) Undercover: Police surveillance in America. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.

[11] Other organisations like Privaterra ( and Human Rights Tech ( are able to help train human rights organizations how to communicate without being observed.

Free to Choose Your Own Destruction: Laetrile, Helmets and Libertarians (1977)

The following article which is reproduced in full below, authored by Joshua Dressier, was published in the October 5, 1977 issue of In These Times.

How can one be a Libertarian and a Socialist simultaneously? The answer is that one cannot, but many socialists have apparently been flim-flammed into preaching the libertarian creed.

On first blush it is easy. The Libertarian Party’s philosophy is that government should not enact “paternalistic” laws. They believe that the less government and the more power the people retain for themselves the better. Libertarians favor legalization of marijuana and homosexuality, and free access to all literature, including pornography. Fine. They also oppose governmental intrusion into people’s lives.

Fine, socialists think. But this is a knee jerk reaction. We often oppose this government; we often struggle to limit government censorship, discrimination, surveillance, and police statism. But, as socialists, we do not oppose the concept of substantial public power in economic affairs.

The libertarian philosophy, in its purest form, does just that. Libertarians not only reject governmental intervention in the private sphere, but also in the economic sector. They oppose taxation, social welfare, and other regulation of business. They favor a society in which corporations are unfettered.

Coalition with libertarians on certain issues may be possible and necessary. But espousal of their creed is not. Their creed is not only anti-socialist, but dangerous. Two examples should suffice.

Many people have in the past fought against laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Some of these people have believed that this precaution would not reduce injuries. Still others have suggested that helmets actually increase injuries, because they restrict peripheral vision of the driver. If they are correct, of course, then motorcycle helmet legislation is certainly inappropriate.

Libertarians, however, have a different approach to the matter. That helmets increase or decrease driver safety is entirely immaterial. They simply—and simplistically—oppose the government telling people they must protect themselves.

Unfortunately, libertarians have been a powerful lobby on this matter. They have persuaded many people, including progressives, to take a stand against governmental “intrusion into our private lives.” They have convinced the people who dislike seat belt warning buzzers, and those who simply distrust government, to take a stand against helmet legislation. The result has been clear. Legislators have dropped such proposals, and a few states have even repealed such laws.


Significantly, in states that have repealed helmet laws, the number of deaths and brain injuries to helmetless-but “free” motorcyclists have increased drastically. Many of those who previously opposed such laws now have changed their minds. Not the libertarians. Since the issue to them was never safety, but rather “freedom of choice, “they consider their work to have been a success. For motorcyclists, however, it has been a defeat. The average motorcyclist did not want the right to kill him-self or herself. Libertarians, however, apparently do not ride the motorcycles.

Or consider Laetrile, and the Food and Drug Administration ban on this alleged cancer cure. There are those who think it is a tremendous breakthrough in cancer cure, and they offer evidence to support it. Others, aware of the cowardice and conservatism of the American Medical Association have sided with Laetrile backers, even though their support has meant that they have given comfort and aid to those trying to reap incredible profits from the drug. To libertarians, again, they have seen the issue as another opportunity to foist their “freedom of choice” dogma on the innocent. They speak of giving the terminally ill cancer patient the right to choose between Laetrile and traditional techniques.


It sounds sensible, and it has duped a lot of progressives, but in fact it is a highly dangerous and counter-productive doctrine. Cancer patients want a cure to cancer, not freedom of choice. If Laetrile works, and traditional techniques do not, they want the drug. Who would not? If both Laetrile and traditional means will work, they want the right to choose, as well they should have the right. But, if Laetrile is a hoax, they certainly don’t want—or need, nor should they have—the “choice” of a worthless drug that kills its users and profits its pushers.

Indeed, in states that have recently lifted the ban on Laetrile there are reports of non-terminally ill cancer victims who opted for Laetrile over traditional surgery which would have stopped the cancer. They died. Maybe the reports are wrong. Maybe they were incurable. That is not the point. The point is that such stories could be correct. If Laetrile is worthless, and I stress “if,” socialists should call for its ban. Let the libertarians continue to cry for “choice.” Let us call for “health.”

The question ought to be with Laetrile, and motorcycle helmet laws, whether the drug or the legislation will work. The government has the duty to conduct careful, cautious, open-minded, and intelligent investigation into all of the scientific, medical, and other objective data on the topic, and then to act accordingly. Our duty is to make sure it makes the proper judgment, not to prevent any judgment at all.

To strip the government of the power to make such laws is also to strip it of the right to prevent the sale of dangerous cars, and to prevent the sale of products with Tris, and to ban sale of flammable children’s clothing. It would also strip government of the right to keep incompetent doctors and lawyers out of the profession, and con artists out of our living rooms.

This is no small issue. Libertarians today continue their battles in various parts of the nation to prevent fluoride from being used in our public waters, and to insure us saccharin in our Tabs. If they succeed we may avoid the dangers of flouride and fatness. Or we might see our teeth rot and our cancer rates escalate.

What is most horrible, though, is not even the spectre of such dangers, but that the libertarians will be satisfied if we had the “freedom to choose” our own destruction. Let us reject that choice.

Joshua Dressier is associate professor of law at Hamline University Law School in St. Paul, Minn. His column appears regularly.

In These Times cartoon first published in 1977 (although not to accompany the above article)

Bernarr Macfadden: From Pornography to Politics (1936)

The following article was first published in the New Masses (May 19, 1936).

Bernarr Macfadden: From Pornography to Politics

by John Stuart

BERNARR MACFADDEN is distinguished for making America muscle-conscious. His methods for developing the bulging biceps have made him a millionaire. During many of his sixty-seven years he has fasted on Mondays and walked daily the twenty-seven miles from home to office. In his crusade for “physcultopathic” health he has written an encyclopedia prescribing varieties of diets and knee-bending exercises as cures for diseases ranging from earache to syphilis. In one of his creative moments Macfadden discovered the trick for determining the sex of your next offspring, thereby giving the worlds geneticists the greatest belly laugh in years. When the business of making every male in America an expert weight lifter waned, Macfadden began publishing the heart-rending confessions of unhappy stenographers and frustrated barbers. In 1924, five years after he gave America True Story magazine, he put out The New York Evening Graphic, the greatest venture in pornography of all times. Of late Mr. Macfadden has become politically ambitious. Friends whisper that he would like to take his morning setting-up exercises on the north porch of the White House.

I am afraid that Bernarr Macfadden will die a disappointed man. Years ago he propagandized for the establishment of a Portfolio of Health in the presidential cabinet. It was a good idea and it still is. But Macfadden thought that he was the best fitted man in America to hold the secretaryship. And the idea got no further than the pages of his Physical Culture magazine.

Unfortunately, those people who have turned their noses up at such things as True Story or True Romance are not the people who regularly read Macfadden’s magazines. Millions of working-class and lower middleclass citizens absorb his reactionary editorials and wallow in the politely-dressed filth of his confessionals. Macfadden primarily appeals to those whose lack of education or political understanding makes them vulnerable targets for his vicious demagoguery. Under the guise of “common sense” he plays with their deep-seated prejudices and aspirations. The fact that bourgeois life has corrupted the relationship between the sexes makes it possible for Macfadden to earn millions annually by adding to that corruption. The factory girl in search of a husband is advised what pitfalls to avoid; the perplexed housewife is told how to keep her husband; all the little domestic and love-life problems rising from a defunct society Macfadden has made peculiarly his own. He exploits the lowest in public taste. The cult of body-worship has been stretched to provide remedies for all the world’s ills. Macfadden justifies his publications by saying that they accurately represent American life. And Macfadden’s picture of America is portrayed by the titles of a few of the stories appearing in his twelve magazines: “I Was Ashamed of My Mother,” “Week-End Madness,” “My Moment of Temptation,” “Park Avenue Siren,” “Not Made to Be a Wife,” “My Road of Shame.”

THE origins of Bernarr Macfadden (ne Bernard Mcfadden) are humble. In almost every detail his career conforms to the classical American pattern of the young man’s rise from the log cabin to either the presidency or the baronial mansion. He hails from the Missouri of 1868. His father was a drunkard, a fact which is responsible for Macfadden’s hatred of liquor. After his mother succumbed to tuberculosis, Bernarr was taken in by an uncle who owned a hotel. As a child, Macfadden survived a half-dozen diseases and a scalding in a tub of boiling water. Later he was to suffer blood poisoning from vaccination. Many of Macfadden’s fantastic ideas on correct living are traceable to a lonely, sick adolescence.

His education, little as there was of it, was not of the best. Work on a farm strengthened him until his cheeks glowed with health. After a day of chores, Bernarr read the currently popular romances that were thoroughly perfumed with the scent of sweetness and light. In time he found himself consecutively employed at a dozen different jobs. And then a racking cough overtook him. It was quietly said that Bernarr’s days were numbered. But Bernarr knew better. He joined a gymnasium and climbed back to health with a set of dumb-bells. From the moment he appeared in trunks and sweat shirt the world was doomed to years of Macfadden pseudo-science.

Macfadden’s advancement as a gymnast amazed his instructors. They must have thought him slightly unhinged in the cranial region as he went about tackling the parallel bars or the trapeze with demoniac enthusiasm. When it was physically impossible to carry himself across the gymnasium floor, Macfadden devoted himself to studying the theoretical aspects of muscle stretching. William Blaikie’s How To Get Strong and How To Stay So made a tremendous impression on the young student. Blaikie provided him with the dubious scientific equipment which later, it seems, qualified Macfadden to call himself the father of physical culture. Of course, Bernarr has credited the Greeks for contributing a few ideas on how to keep the body beautiful. And while it has profited him to keep a few illusions alive, Macfadden is neither the father nor the founder of physical culture in this country. The Dutch Colonists in New York were physical-culture fans long before Bernarr arrived. As for actual systems of physical training, Dr. Dio Lewis spent many years of his life before and after the Civil War quietly developing gymnastics for improving the health of Americans.

Macfadden engaged in wrestling bouts whenever his job as a laundryman permitted. He also opened a school and the whole of St. Louis passed by his door wondering what the word “Kinistherapist” on his shingle meant. Bernarr was beginning to create the first of his spectacular labels to bring in the trade. But soon Macfadden closed his school. The beer-drinking Germans of St. Louis had other ideas about how to spend their time after a day of labor.

And then Bernarr wanted to have his name on the title page of a book. In the back of his mind a novel was brewing. The Athlete’s Conquest was to bring before America the profound thoughts of one Bernarr Macfadden on the important problems of health and life. The novel’s hero was to be a child of the gymnasium, a boy who fought from weakness to strength to success. In fact it was to be a fictional autobiography. With his ideas clearly in mind and his imagination working on all cylinders, Bernarr set to work. But he was slightly handicapped. He knew practically nothing about grammar and punctuation and his spelling was atrocious. But a mind determined, particularly a mind toughened by ambition, could dissolve even such hindrances. He spent a year in quiet study and contemplation as a physical-training instructor in a small school. After submitting the manuscript to a publisher, Macfadden visited him for the reader’s decision. The book was rejected. It seems that it lacked a plot and that his expression was as “crude as crude oil.” Macfadden offered to pay for his debut in American literature. But the publisher, a sensible person, refused to be bribed. Later the book appeared, after considerable sandpapering, in Macfadden’s Physical Culture magazine.

Strangely enough Macfadden didn’t hanker for a chance in New York. He had spent a season at the Chicago World Fair as demonstrator for an exercising machine. And when it was all over he turned his eyes to Boston. Macfadden yearned for membership in the intellectual sanctums of the city. William Dean Howells was holding forth there as America’s number one literary man. Certainly there was room for the author of The Athlete’s Conquest. But Macfadden accidentally stopped for a few hours in New York, breathing deeply of its sights and sounds and there awoke in him the old conquering spirit. This town must be his. And the Cabots and Lowells were once again saved!

I HAVE stressed Macfadden’s early career because it decisively proves that he had no training or education in science and medicine. Nor did he in his later years acquire this equipment. He is, in simple language, an outrageously ignorant man when it comes to biology or physiology. Furthermore, he has no particular love for science because men in the laboratories have frequently torn to pieces his empirical formulas for health and body building. His rise as a physical culturist can be accounted for by the fact that working people could not afford expert medical advice. For fifteen cents an overworked and underpaid wage slave could find assorted remedies and treatments for his ills. If you had eye trouble or an intestinal disease Macfadden could furnish a cheap cure. It was only natural that the circulation of Macfadden’s health literature would increase by leaps and bounds. Undoubtedly much of Macfadden’s success is due to the same medical profession which has so persistently fought him. The profession has called him names within the confines of its professional literature. If physicians had exposed Macfadden by taking their analyses of his methods directly to the people who read Physical Culture, Macfadden’s story would have been considerably different. Instead the medical profession attacked him because essentially he was cutting in on their business. And, after all, the American Medical Association is opposed to socialized medicine which would have made Macfadden and many like him an impossibility.

How much faith Macfadden has in his own health principles is worth analysis. I am reasonably assuming that if a man advocates a course of procedure to cure or alleviate certain ailments, he will fight anything which might interfere with the successful outcome of his prescribed treatment. Years ago Macfadden attacked the sale of patent medicines as unreliable and harmful curatives which defrauded the public of millions of dollars. In the place of quackery and nostrums, Macfadden offered his own health system. His principles of physical culture are based on so-called natural healing through exercise and diet. In cases of constipation he warns against “cathartics of all kinds. . . . All drugs are harmful; they lessen one’s vital efficiency, they dry up the glands that furnish the digestive juices and in many ways they spell disaster to the physical organism.” (Macfadden’s Encyclopedia of Health). In the November 2, 1935, issue of Liberty, there is an advertisement for Feenamint, a cathartic. For that matter, there were five patented cathartics advertised in the October 26 and November 2 issues of the same magazine from which his readers could choose. One of these patented cathartics advertised is Sal Hepatica, which was condemned by the American Medical Association because of its capacity for damage. About alcohol Macfadden has the following to say (Encyclopedia, page 117):

That alcohol in its various forms is one of the greatest causes of disease, we think no physician will deny and no careful observer will dispute. . . . Do not touch, taste or handle the dangerous stuff, for then, and then only, is one safe.

Two issues of Liberty carried advertisements for five brands of whiskey. Nor is Macfadden less vehement in his denunciation of tobacco. He agrees with a statement quoted in his Encyclopedia from another source. “I denounce it [cigarette smoking] simply because of its blighting, blasting effect on one’s success in life. . . .” There is hardly an issue of Liberty placed on the stands without at least a one-page cigarette advertisement. In his treatment for colds, Macfadden nowhere advises the use of drugs or medicines. He believes in starving the cold. Liberty has carried many advertisements for cold remedies, notices for cough drops and medicines to clear stopped-up nostrils.

Macfadden believes in his principles of health building so long as they do not interfere with profits. As soon as they do, his elaborate exercises and diets are tossed into the waste basket.

MACFADDEN’S purchase of Liberty magazine in 1931 gave him the opportunity to branch out into national affairs. Liberty’s circulation runs well above 2,000,000 weekly. It rivals The Saturday Evening Post in the low level of its contents (Macfadden told one of his biographers that the people aren’t ready for great literature) and the reactionary tone of its editorials. The editorials are signed by Macfadden and when he does not write them they are subject to his approval. The editorials read as though Hearst, Coughlin, Easley and the American Liberty League were called in as consultants. If Macfadden is not officially connected with these tories, he has given them ample support by echoing their programs in his publications. (Liberty’s editor, Fulton Oursler, is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the male counterpart of the other organization of decayed old ladies.) For Red-baiting, for opposition to anything socially progressive and for all around viciousness, Macfadden can run rings around almost every other professional patriot in the business.

It was inevitable in Macfadden’s case that preaching the big biceps would lead to the worship of strength and strong men. And naturally one of Macfadden’s heroes is Mussolini. His admiration for II Duce led him once to say that “there are times when I believe that America needs a Mussolini. . . .” In 1930, Macfadden traveled to the Venezia Palace to meet the strong man of Europe. After talking with many fascist dignitaries Macfadden brought to this country, at his own expense, forty of Mussolini’s young proteges for a course in physical culture. The fascist government in appreciation later awarded Macfadden the Order of the Crown of Italy. Macfadden is also an admirer of Mussolini’s tactics in suppressing liberals and radicals who under fascism are, of course, labeled outlaws and brigands. In an editorial under the head of “How the Communists Plan to Wreck the country” Macfadden recalled that when Mussolini took over the reins of government he determined to stamp out Sicilian brigands. He arrested all of them. He put them in lion cages similar to those we use’ in circus parades. And then he made a show of them in a parade through Sicily. The public was told to look upon these outlaws. Here was their last chance to see them. They were facing death sentences. This unique policy, it is said, entirely exterminated lawlessness in Sicily.

Bernarr Macfadden

Macfadden suggests the same method to quell the “Reds” in this country. In another quiet, contemplative mood Macfadden wrote:

“Death to the traitors” should be the slogan from now on. At any minute the nation is likely to be forced into a fight for its life. There should be no need for additional laws to protect us from such a band of wholesale murderers—the disciples of Bolshevism in its most violent form. Give the same penalty quickly administered that they have prepared for their victims.

It would seem that in preparation for this editorial Mr. Macfadden, philanthropist and humanitarian, read a few pages of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Macfadden’s humanitarianism also extends to the Soviet Union. He has frequently employed those two prominent authorities on Russian affairs, Matthew Woll and Isaac Don Levine, to write articles generating good will to 160 million people by suggesting that they be wiped from the face of the earth.

On foreign affairs Macfadden’s comments are exhilarating.

Japan has made a good start toward ruling the Far East. She has brought order out of chaos in Shanghai and Manchuria (Manchukuo). People can now live safely under civilized conditions in these countries. Wherever Japan’s power is extended similar improvements are effected, and she should be applauded and commended for the progressive spirit which her officials have manifested.

It is not recorded whether Macfadden ever praised Mussolini for bringing his light and wisdom to Ethiopia.

Of course Mr. Macfadden is a peaceloving man. He believes in peace because “peace always pays larger dividends.” But if the world must have war Macfadden feels that “if a man has unusual strength and vitality, with the accompanying determination and will power, a few months of training will make him an efficient soldier. A powerful handy man is hard to kill even with the most modern bullets. … If you can put your men out in the field with the vitality of wild-cats, they will indeed be difficult to beat.” Writing about the low physical condition of men drafted into the last war Macfadden stated:

And now there is talk of another war, what about the flower of our national manhood this time? . . . The very life of this nation is liable to be at stake in the near future, and upon the vitality of its people will depend whether or not we are to endure or to go down to enslavement.

This statement in addition to establishing the link between Macfadden’s physical culture and militarism must have delighted the hearts of Hitler and Mussolini. It is strange that Macfadden neglects remarking about this country’s vitality after a war. There is no record that he ever visited a veteran’s hospital.

Arming “to the hilt” is another of Macfadden’s high-minded principles for the preservation of peace. He apparently followed the senatorial investigation of the munitions industry and concluded that

our legislators would like to take all the profits out of war. That is undoubtedly desirable. But our first thought should be the protection of the lives of our citizens. If our manufacture of implements of war is restricted and profits curtailed or eliminated, from what source will we obtain war materials that may be necessary to save the life of this nation?

The du Ponts and Krupps ask the same question. As for international disarmament conferences:

If we kept our amateur diplomats at home and went our own way in accordance with the dictates of our own intelligence protecting our country by the most modern methods without consulting with other nations, we would be in a far better position. . . .

A solution for unemployment can also be found in preparedness.

While the whole world seems to be turning toward military madness, there is general acceptance of the airplane ascendancy in warfare. But we are still plugging along. Maybe in a few years we will recognize the need of being prepared for aerial warfare, and when that happens, a few hundred thousands of our unemployed can be used to build and fly ships and prepare for our next war—which will be in the air. . . .

One of these days Macfadden will be awarded a gilded swastika for the following: “With the impending clash of arms and the hectic war preparations in every country throughout all Europe, Hitler can hardly be blamed for desiring the protection necessary to the life and liberties of his people.”

On our domestic crisis Macfadden’s commentaries are indeed refreshing. He at least differs with the academic opinions of all economists. “The prevailing ignorance throughout this country as to the fundamental principles of health building accounts for much of the poverty and misery which our people are enduring at this time.” Can Macfadden mean that if all Americans had exercised for ten minutes each morning the depression would never have reached these shores? Perhaps he can devise a set of gymnastics to end unemployment and starvation. Taxation of big business and soaking the rich drives Macfadden into an editorial frenzy. “Can any sensible citizen find any plausible excuse for a legislative procedure that passes on prosperity to the poor by lowering the financial status of the rich?”

Macfadden coos to the workingman with a patronizing benevolence and good will to mask his semi-fascist attitude toward labor.

There may be excuses for strikes during normal times, but when every business executive is straining to his utmost to maintain his business and pay his bills, a strike at this time only invites disaster to both workers and owners. . . . The fight labor is making at present to control business will put all super-executives out of business. . . . Labor is responsible for jobs only. It has no investment at stake; no sacrifice or thrift is involved. Consequently it can be more drastically inconsiderate. … A long continued fight between labor and capital means disaster for both, and there are but few exceptions. . . . Labor mustn’t be given too much power. I’m recognized, of course, as one of the outstanding friends of labor.

A few years ago Macfadden threatened to move his organization out to New Jersey to escape dealing with New York unions. Because Macfadden believes that capital and labor “are working together for the good of each other,” he has preached a friendly relationship between the employer and employee through mutual organization—or the company union (Macfadden Employees Association, for example).

It is quite natural that Macfadden’s politics come from the same sordid greed as do his true stories and true romances. A man cannot simultaneously publish pornographic “literature” and liberal editorials. Reactionary politics is in harmony with Macfadden’s Bourbon philosophy. In his editorials, as in his pseudo-scientific health propaganda, Macfadden displays astounding ignorance. And when ignorance and wealth are all a man possesses, particularly a man with an audience of more than seven millions monthly, the amount of damage that man can do is inestimable. Macfadden is competing for honors with William Randolph Hearst.


How the CIA Make Liars Out of Union Leaders (1967)

The following essay by Paul Jacobs, “How the CIA makes liars out of union leaders,” was published by Ramparts magazine in April 1967.

cia ram

GEORGE MEANY, PRESIDENT of the AFL-CIO, is either a liar or a fool. He is a liar if his disclaimer of knowledge about the CIA subsidizing American unions is false; he is a fool if his disclaimer is true, for then he is revealed as ignorant of what has been common corridor talk for a long time.

In fact, the secret relationship between the CIA and American union leaders is only one aspect of a larger problem; the American government has contracted out both its open and secret foreign relations with workers and trade unions in other countries to President Meany and his secretary of state, Jay Lovestone. Under the direction of Lovestone, an unprincipled political manipulator who headed the American Communist Party until he was deposed in 1929, the AFL-CIO has pursued a policy of fanatical, sometimes even demented anti-communism which occasionally has been in direct opposition to the stated foreign policy of the U.S. government. And under the direction of Lovestone’s long-time followers, Irving Brown and Serafino Romualdi, the legitimate functions of America’s unions have been corrupted and perverted.

In all of these operations the CIA, with its unlimited fronts and staff, has played a major role in recent years. CIA agents have been placed in unions and CIA funds have financed a major part of their overseas operations. In addition, the activities of some organizations peripheral to the trade unions have also been financed, in part or whole, by the CIA and used as a cover for CIA agents. Thus, a man ostensibly on the payroll of an American union, but who is listed in its report as either an “office employee” or without any identification, made three trips in 1963 to British Guiana for the purpose, according to a secret British police report, of helping to finance the overthrow of the Cheddi Jagan government.

Also, every month for many years, checks from CIA conduit agencies were made out to D.A. Knight, president of the Oil Workers International Union, who in turn endorsed the checks over to the International Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Workers, to finance its ten offices in all parts of the world. Many American unions established such international operations after World War II; they served to bring together workers of common industries but different countries. And in order to cover up the true sources of its funds, Americans who controlled the IFPCW had to lie to the foreign unions affiliated to it. Foreign unions were told that the budget of the organization, which was over $350,000 a year, was mostly based on the contributions and per capita taxes of the parent Oil Workers Union—although the American union did not report such contributions to its own members. To make certain that no one discovered the CIA contributions, the financial report of the Federation was audited and pronounced accurate by Samuel Butler, an accountant who himself headed The League for International Social and Cooperative Development, which was one of the several mysterious “foundations” which helped finance the operation of the IFPCW.

So also did the State Dept. finance the initial operation of a school for foreign workers, sponsored by the Communication Workers of America. At this school, communication workers from all over the world received training in such trade union practices as organizing, grievance procedures and labor history. In addition, they were shown the political advantages of the American trade union model over that advocated by the communists and neutralists. The CIA supported the international program of the American Newspaper Guild and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers. The CIA has been involved in the work of the American Institute for Free Labor Development, allegedly a private organization of union leaders and businessmen, operating extensively throughout Latin America. The board of directors of the AIFLD includes George Meany and J. Peter Grace, head of the Grace shipping interests, who is associated with Human Events, one of the right wing’s voices in America. The close relationship between the AIFLD and the American government is attested to by the fact that, on occasion, the organization has used State Department diplomatic pouches to communicate with its own personnel in the field.

The executive director of the AIFLD was Lovestone’s follower, Serafino Romualdi, who also served on the board of directors of a mysterious organization, the Center for Labor and Social Studies, with ostensible headquarters in Rome. The Center carries on extensive operations throughout Africa, Asia and the Far East, although at least two of its European board members do not know exactly what it does. The Center was organized by Sol Levitas, then editor of the New Leader, who claimed it was supported by private funds. The Americans on its board of directors, in addition to Romualdi, are Ben Josephson, who refused to discuss the Center’s finances, and who is the director of the Tamiment Institute, part of the old social-democratic movement in New York; and David Dubinsky, who gave Lovestone his first real base in the American unions.

Indeed, without the help of Dubinsky, Lovestone would never have achieved the key position he now holds, where vast resources, political and financial, are available to him and his followers.

TODAY, LOVESTONE, WITH THE HELP of such government agencies as the CIA, is eminently more successful in his pursuit of power than he was as a leader of the American Communist Party during the ’20s. Lovestone was expelled from the party in 1929, although he tried desperately to remain inside it. After his expulsion, he organized his own communist group and continued to seek readmittance to the official communist organization. During this period, he was busily engaged in setting up dual unions to compete with those in the AFL, including one in the needle trades, and later in attempting to take over the United Automobile Workers. He almost succeeded in that enterprise, for he exerted considerable influence over the union’s president. Homer M. Martin—especially since Martin’s assistant was Irving Brown. And, during that period, Lovestone’s followers flocked to Detroit to get on the UAW payroll, where they remained until Martin was dumped from the union presidency. Finally, in 1939, Lovestone gave up his efforts to get back into the Communist Party and shifted his allegiance to Dubinsky and the U.S. government. But if Lovestone failed to take over the UAW, he has more than made up for it by the way in which he has slowly, over the years, taken control of foreign policy in the AFL-CIO. That takeover effort began when Lovestone, operating under the aegis of Dubinsky’s union (the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union) organized the Free Trade Union Committee, whose initial work was the rescuing of European unionists and socialists from Nazi prison camps. As World War II came to a close and the communists replaced the Nazis as the American enemy, the focus of Lovestone’s efforts shifted too. His Free Trade Union Committee began to rescue trade unionists and socialists from communist prison camps. Under Lovestone’s direction, and with the active support of Dubinsky, the Free Trade Union Committee began to play a very active part in the Cold War, staking out for its battlefield the struggle against the communist-controlled unions, or those non-communist unions which did not accept the manipulations of Lovestone and Brown. Initially, Lovestone acted only as the ILGWU’s secretary of state, but shortly after the Cold War replaced World War II, he moved up from the narrow confines of the ILGWU to take over the direction of foreign policy for the AFL and later for the AFL-CIO. He succeeded in organizing the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions as a rival to the World Federation of Trade Unions, organized during World War II to include communist unions. Vested by George Meany with almost complete authority, Lovestone played a dominant role in a world-wide operation which has used the financial resources of the U.S. government. But because anti-communism was the only glue holding this structure together, the AFL-CIO is in the position of having its foreign relations director and members of his staff linked with some of the most right wing organizations in the United States. Dubinsky, the one-time socialist who became a New Dealer, now seems to accept without a public demurrer the spectacle of Lovestone serving on the board of directors of the American Security Council, a super-patriotic group with strong right wing ties.

Irving Brown, Lovestone’s lieutenant in the UAW, became the AFL representative in Europe where he traveled with what seemed to be unlimited funds at his disposal — funds which enabled him to put his people into office or depose those European union leaders who were either pro-communist, or at least not vehemently anti-communist enough to satisfy the political demands of Brown and Lovestone. Brown’s chief activities were breaking up a strike of French dock workers directed against Marshall Plan shipments and the splitting of the French and Italian labor movements in efforts to prevent the communists from taking over. Brown always had direct access to U.S. officials in Europe, especially to those officials of the Marshall Plan who, like himself, were former members of Lovestone’s 1930’s revolutionary organization. They too, like Lovestone, had moved from revolutionary socialism to the service of American foreign policy. Some of them remained in government service as labor attaches, always serving the man who got them their jobs.

It was during this period, too, that Brown advocated the rehabilitation of all French trade unionists who had supported the Vichy government, because, according to Brown, some of them were later blacklisted at communist instigation. At the same time. Brown proposed that any communist trade unionists who had supported the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 themselves be blacklisted. He called for outlawing the communist trade unions in a speech in 1951 in which he also advocated using repressive police measures and adopting methods of operation “in the shadows” against the communists. His audience at the American Club in Brussels was a group of American businessmen, journalists and foreign service people.

IN THE EARLY 50’s THE AFL, and later the AFL-CIO, was being prepared for its use by the CIA, and anti-communism was still the basic criterion by which union leaders were being judged at home and abroad. The CIO had expelled its own communist dominated unions and it thus seemed perfectly natural for the CIO Oil Workers to become engaged, with CIA help, in learning “how to operate in the shadows.” It began to create an anti-communist union structure which would bring together petroleum workers from all over the world. The union’s president, D. A. Knight, had himself been in a few fights with the communists, who were trying to take control of his union. Knight had served as chairman of the CIO committee which tried and expelled the longshoremen’s union. But Knight’s relatively small union was not able to finance an international operation on its own. So from the start the CIA provided the funds which paid the salaries and expenses of the IFPCW’s American staff, which worked out of the Federation’s headquarters in Denver.

The Federation flourished under the prodding of Knight and the direction of Lloyd Haskins (executive secretary), and carried out open trade union activities in other countries. It helped foreign oil workers organize, published a monthly newspaper, convened leadership training conferences, and opened more and more offices throughout the world. All of its public trade union activities were directed toward building foreign unions which would be sympathetic to American foreign policy and hostile to any alleged or real communist influence. The foreign unions which the Federation helped to create were built on the American model, even if that model had no real use in other countries, especially underdeveloped ones.

The Federation also arranged overseas junkets for American union officials and provided a kind of patronage station in its international offices abroad—without any cost to the union. Then, in 1965, an internal union conflict brought the CIA operations out from behind the closed doors of the union’s office in Denver and into the corridors, lobbies and rooms in Miami where the union was holding its annual convention.

For some years prior to the convention, a few of Knight’s political opponents in the union had been aware that all was not what it was said to be in the IFPCW operation, but, like most Americans, they could not conceive of CIA involvement in their union; instead, they assumed the IFPCW to be financed by the State Department. It was not until 1964 when, during hearings conducted by Congressman Wright Patman he revealed the existence of CIA conduit foundations, that they realized the IFPCW was being supported by the CIA. These men didn’t like their union being secretly used as a tool of American Cold War policy. In 1965 Knight’s opponents got their chance; Knight decided not to run for re-election and his opposition put up A. L. Grospiron, a member of the union’s rank and file executive committee, as their candidate.

The possibility of Grospiron’s election was a real threat to the CIA. Only a few months earlier a bitter election fight had taken place in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, another union in which the CIA had a strong interest and a heavy financial investment. In the AFSCME the new president had quietly cut off the CIA operation within a few weeks after taking office. And so, with that history before them, the geographically dispersed staff of the Federation flew to Miami and campaigned actively on behalf of Grospiron’s opponent. Many of their travel fares were probably picked up by our “secret government.”

Nevertheless, Grospiron won the election—although by a very narrow margin—and, as the CIA feared, he too quietly cut off CIA ties as soon as he took office, resisting all the pressures applied to him to keep them intact.

UNFORTUNATELY, NOT MANY union presidents have been so anxious to cut their organization’s CIA ties; some waited until adverse publicity revealed the relationship, and not many union leaders have considered how far they have moved along the road of participating in the subordination of the real interests of workers in other countries to American foreign policy. This is what American policy has become under the CIA and Jay Lovestone, who are not accountable to the American public.

And the real interests of American workers could just as easily be sacrificed, for in a world where the CIA finances union activities, the lines between unions and employers are blurred. So, too, Jay Lovestone and his lieutenants. Brown and Romualdi, have made common cause with some of the most notorious anti-union employers and strident right wing groups in America. A typical example of this relationship is Lovestone’s membership on the “strategy staff” of the American Security Council, whose function is the screening of alleged subversives on behalf of business firms, most of them anti-union.

Typically, Romualdi also has been associated with such groups as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, the AU-American Conference to Combat Communism, and the Cuban Freedom Committee, but he is not alone in making such associations. Brown and George Meany also serve on the boards of some right wing groups, for they are as ardent in their anti-communism as is Lovestone. Indeed, these men are so hardline that they refused to see some Japanese trade unionists visiting the U.S. on an official visit, sponsored by the State Department: they felt the Japanese union leaders were too far left in their thinking. It is reported that the AFL-CIO was able to prevent American unions from having displays at trade fairs in Communist block countries, and to stop a visit to the United States by a group of Algerian trade unionists because, once again, Meany and Lovestone disapproved of their political views.

In a speech George Meany made to the “Businessmen’s Committee for Latin America,” he said, “We believe in the capitalist system and we are members of the capitalist society. We are dedicated to the preservation of this system which rewards the worker, which is one in which management also has such a great stake. The investors of risk capital also must be rewarded. . .. We are not satisfied, no, but we are not about to trade in our system for any other.”

It is no wonder, then, that the CIA saw the American unions as a perfect group to manipulate.

Surely one of the most tragic aspects of the relationship between the CIA and the unions can be found in the quality of the people involved in them. The union leaders who allowed their organizations to be used as cover were people who were once among the very best of American liberals: Arnold Zander of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers could be found supporting liberal causes and actively working to change the nature of American life. His role vis-a-vis the CIA tells more about the failure of American liberalism than it does about the CIA.

So, too, the acceptance by the trade union leaders of an anti-communism which no longer has any relevance to the realities of world politics and national life is a clear sign that the internal life of American unions is in drastic need of revitalization. Even more, it means that union leaders must stop treating their members as if they cannot be told about the real world. Perhaps then the members might decide to follow the same course, but they should be given the opportunity to make that decision.

Once upon a time, many years ago, I was a representative of the Oil Workers International Union. In many ways, I was a stranger in the union, an outsider, an oddball in an organization of people whose values I didn’t understand and who knew nothing of mine. But the union members I met in the local hall in Long Beach, the union members I drank with in the American Legion Hall in Maricopa, the union members I walked with on the picket line in Richmond, all of them were entitled to know what was being done in their names. And this tale is how they, the people of the union, the riggers out in the field, the operators inside the refinery, the instrument man fixing the gauge on pipelines, were cheated. They thought their union was doing one thing, when in fact it was doing something else.

This is the corrupting effect of the CIA in American life. It has made union leaders into liars. It has made union members mistrust what their elected officials tell them. Indeed, if Jay Lovestone were still a top official of the Communist Party, he could not have done a more effective job of destroying the belief of American workers that their unions exist to defend their interests and not the interests of other parties.

NSA and the CIA (1967)

In March 1967 Ramparts magazine published Sol Stern’s important essay “NSA and the CIA: A Short Account of International Student Politics and the Cold War with Particular Reference to the NSA, CIA, etc.


The following two short pieces “An Epilogue…” (by Michael Wood) “…and a Judgement” (by Marcus Raskin) were published directly after Stern’s essay.

An Epilogue…

THE DECISION to tell this story was the most agonizing of my life. Phil Sherburne, whose personal trust I have betrayed, was a close friend. Though we disagreed on many subjects (espe-cially on how to handle the CIA), in seeking to terminate NSA’s relationship he acted with a dignity rare among those who knew the facts.

Moreover, I still believe in NSA, and deeply respect the progressive stance it has taken among American students for 20 years. Yet the issues involved are larger, and my public trust as a citizen of the United States must transcend my private trust.

For years the United States National Student Association has stood for “a free university in a free society.” Its resolutions on academic, political and social freedoms are clear. Its constitutional commitment to free and open democracy is of long standing. Its defense of civil liberties has been staunch and consistent. Yet because of NSA’s relationship to the CIA, its leaders have for 15 years undermined those principles.

This story is only a case study in CIA corruption. When I was told of Covert Action No. Five’s infiltration of NSA, I was also told of numerous other organizations similarly infiltrated. A few have been named in this article; many others have had to be omitted. In an age when the average man’s only access to the centers of decision is through private institutions, the responsiveness of those institutions to his wishes is critical to the healthy workings of a democracy. The spectre of CIA infiltration of domes-tic institutions—and the covert creation of coordinated leadership among them—must horrify those who regard unfettered debate as vital to representative democracy.

Those of us who worked for NSA during 1965-66, experienced an unusual sense of personal liberation. While actively involved in many of the insurgent campus and political movements of the day, we were also able to move freely through the highest echelons of established power. If those who occupied the command posts didn’t always sympathize with our goals, they listened nonetheless and were sometimes affected. We felt like full citizens, able to move freely without compromising our principles. It gave us a heady feeling and a sense of power beyond our years.

The mobility and influence was as it should be for a national union of students; to learn that it had been bought with so terrible a compromise made me realize how impotent we really were.

Because of the pain involved in public discussion of so sensitive an issue, I have often wished that I had never learned the truth. Yet to avoid the truth, however painful, would be irresponsible.

There have always been staff members of the international commission who were entirely unaware of the relationship. It is unfortunate that all of them could not be protected, and that many of them may suffer the onus of NSA’s guilt. I should like to note, however, that Gregory Delin, Gilbert Kulick, and Marcia Casey were in no way aware of the relationship. I am similarly sure that Mrs. Isabel Marcus Welsh, international affairs vice president in 1959-60 had no knowledge of the CIA’s presence in NSA.

For those individuals in NSA who—like myself for a time—knowingly allowed themselves to be part of the relationship with the CIA, the worst consequences are internal. Very few staff members so involved were callous Cold Warriors who cynically appreciated their work with the CIA. Most of them, rather, were deeply committed liberals, whose consciences had no rest while they served two masters. All of them, I am sure, have at times felt horribly trapped in the conflict between their actions and their liberal principles.

Perhaps worst of all is the everyday dishonesty, the need to clam up when in the presence of “non-witty” staff members, to fudge, to make excuses and deflect embarrassing questions. Perhaps a professional intelligence operative, who sincerely believes in anti-communism at any price, can learn to suppress with not too much damage that most basic instinct of youth—to be open, frank, questioning of all things, in communion with his friends. But for the typical NSA staff member, part of a generation whose instinct is to unmask hypocrisy, the compromise comes very hard indeed. Many of them have suffered as a consequence the most agonizing sort of emotional schizophrenia—part of the human toll in an otherwise impersonal and cynical international intelligence operation.

San Francisco, February 1967

…and a Judgment

IN SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR’S roman a clef, The Mandarins, there is a passage where the State Department tries to “help” Henri Perron (supposedly Camus) by offering him newsprint if his journal holds to an independent, neutralist line. Perron construes the offer to mean that the magazine should not criticize the fundamental methods of American foreign policy, and turns down the “aid.” To protect the magazine’s independence he also turns down aid from communist sources. But the gods play with men and their ideals. For a period of time the magazine receives its funds from a man who took gold from dentists who collaborated with the Nazis. Living in the world makes it hard to avoid dirty hands, perhaps because we are egocentric and overvalue the work we do. When we try to bring our projects into being they become more important to us than the reason we initiated them.

For example, it is not written in the Torah or the Constitution that educational institutions had to become fronts for the government, places where the rhetoric for the Cold War is supplied and the equations and technology for hydrogen bombs are manufactured. Nobody forced them into this position. Nor did the small, cliquish groups who ran the National Student Association have to take money from the CIA. Perhaps 15 years ago it was easier that way. For the young college graduate who was a “student leader” there was nothing quite as flattering as being approached by the CIA to help in the National Effort. Furthermore, it was the way up the status ladder, to success, travel, excitement, money, and government or foundation jobs. By following that road the student leaders of my generation—a decade ago—played it safe. As a result, they became instruments of the Cold War.

I have tried to figure out why the CIA would bother attempting to get to American students. After all, it takes a good deal of trouble and expense to set up front organizations and all the other tools that used to be the monopoly of the communists. The best way to understand the CIA’s motives is to see it as primarily a commercial institution which deals in buying, renting and selling people.

Yet after we examine the CIA’s motives and purposes, we are left with Cold War wreckage as serious and immoral as the Bay of Pigs operation, the U-2 overflights, or the Guatemalan caper. We are left with the fact that one generation attempted to corrupt the young by paying them off, buying and renting them on the installment plan. (Now that there is a crack in the door isn’t it about time that we have a public accounting of CIA funds? How much of that loot sticks in the pockets of the CIA operatives themselves?) We are left with the fact that the CIA made patsies out of thousands of young Americans who went abroad to conferences or who studied under NSA auspices, but who unknowingly were being paid for, and were used by the CIA as contacts, covers and mail drops. Furthermore, how do we now face other nations who took us at our word that our students were “free” and therefore different from the communist-run youth groups? The CIA owes an apology to the innocent college students of this last generation.

Co-Director, Institute for Policy Studies Washington, D.C

Who Funds the Progressive Media?

The following article was first published online in 2008 and is based upon a peer-reviewed academic article titled “Social engineering, progressive media, and the Benton Foundation” that I presented in Wellington (July 9-11) at the annual Australian & New Zealand Communication Association Conference. Just prior to attending this conference I published a version of this article (on July 7) with the Centre for Research on Globalization (Global Research) – however, on the same day the Centre’s editors quickly deleted the article from their web site. But by the time of the deletion the article had already been reposted elsewhere. Later the article was linked to by the editor of Open Media Boston, and discussed in CorporateWatch article “Indymedia refuses to be co-opted by the Knight Foundation” (November 30, 2008). As this form of unexplained censorship had already happened to a previous article that I published with Global Research earlier in the year (which was also deleted), I finally took the decision to stop sending my articles to this web site. Since then, having paid closer attention to content of the other articles published by Global Research, I now realise that alongside the work of socialists like John Pilger this outlet also publishes the work of all manner of right-wing conspiracy theorists, which also includes the conspiracies of the web sites editor Professor Michel Chossudovsky. 

No alterations have been made to the following article which was first published in 2008.



Who Funds the Progressive Media?

Critiques of liberal philanthropy are nothing new: indeed such criticisms have regularly surfaced ever since liberal foundations were created in the early twentieth century. In the past few years, however, the number of critical scholars and activists writing about practices of liberal foundations has grown rapidly, and there is now a blossoming literature showing the funding strategies of these highly influential philanthropists are antidemocratic and manipulative. The antidemocratic nature of liberal foundations is epitomized by the long history of collaboration (that formerly existed) between the largest major liberal foundations (like the Ford Foundation) and the US Central Intelligence Agency. Moreover, recent research has demonstrated the key leadership role that liberal foundations played in developing the means by which powerful elites could manufacture public (and elite) consent.

By focusing on a variety of progressive media-related groups in North America (including most notably the Benton Foundation and the newly launched The Real News Network), this article will discuss the limits of current funding strategies, and reflect upon alternative, arguably more sustainable (and democratic) methods by which civil society media groups may be created and sustained. It will be argued that the integral hegemonic function of liberal philanthropy has already deradicalised all manner of progressive social movements, and that civil society media groups need to cut their institutional ties with such financing sources. Admittedly solutions cannot be implemented immediately, but considering the increasing ascendancy of neoliberal media regimes worldwide it is vital that progressive concerned citizens call attention to this significant issue.

Liberal philanthropy plays a critical role in promoting and sustaining progressive media outlets within civil society, which are also referred to as ‘alternative’ or ‘autonomous’ media. Historically, the ‘big three’ US-based liberal foundations – the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation – have nurtured progressive causes on both the national and international scale, dealing with issues ranging from health care and civil rights to environmentalism. [1] In recent years increasing attention has been paid to the influence of conservative philanthropy, [2] however, the same has not been true for liberal philanthropy: two notable exceptions to this trend are Professor Joan Roelofs seminal book, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism, and INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence’s recent addition, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. This omission is problematic on a number of levels. Despite being ostensibly progressive, the major liberal foundations have at one time or another vigorously promoted all manner of not so progressive issues like eugenics, elite planning, and free trade; while they also worked hand-in-hand with the US Government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In this context, the big three liberal foundations have also funded the research of many of the ‘founding fathers’ of mass communications research, arguably helping them to develop the capabilities for ‘manufacturing consent’ for elite interests. [3]

Although the importance of money to progressive social movements and their associated media outlets is obvious to most people, surprisingly few academics have addressed this subject. It is widely acknowledged that conservative funding has, over the past few decades, driven the ideological orientation of mainstream media outlets rightwards. Research also suggests that liberal funders have had a detrimental and antidemocratic influence on processes of social change in general. [4] Such research also questions the role that ‘charitable’ donations arguably play in sustaining capitalist hegemony. However, what is the effect specifically on the development of progressive media? To date only Bob Feldman (2007) has provided a critical examination of the nexus between liberal philanthropy and alternative media operations. [5] The lack of critical enquiry into the influence of liberal philanthropy on the media of progressive social movements is problematic, as media are integral to the function of social movements. This article will try to address this blind spot.

Compared to today, in the late 1960s and 1970s critical awareness among media activists was relatively high, thanks in part to a series of articles in the influential Ramparts magazine which asked: [6]

“Can anyone honestly believe that the foundations, which are based on the great American fortunes and administered by the present-day captains of American industry and finance, will systematically underwrite research which tends to undermine the pillars of the status quo, in particular the illusion that the corporate rich who benefit most from the system do not run it – at whatever cost to society – precisely to ensure their continued blessings?”

More recently, building upon this commonsensical interpretation of the role of liberal philanthropy within capitalist societies, Andrea Smith points out that: “From their inception, [liberal] foundations focused on research and dissemination of information designed ostensibly to ameliorate social issues-in a manner, how­ever, that did not challenge capitalism”. [7] Using this interpretation of the role of liberal philanthropy as a starting point and drawing upon Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony this article will expand upon Feldman’s ground-breaking study. It will document how liberal foundations have (and continue to) actively shape the evolution of progressive media groups in North America.

Initially, this article will introduce the work of the Benton Foundation, a liberal foundation that has played a pioneering and catalysing role in supporting progressive media ventures. It will then provide a detailed analysis of a globally significant media project, The Real News Network, which has been supported by liberal philanthropy. Drawing upon power structure research it will critically examine some of the key people and funders. [8] Finally, the article will discuss the limits of current funding strategies, and suggest an alternative, arguably more sustainable (and democratic) method by which civil society media groups may be created and sustained in the future.

Putting Progressive Communications on the Philanthropic Agenda

Upon the initiative of the late William Benton (1900-1973), the William Benton Foundation was incorporated as a 501©(3) private foundation in 1948, although in 1981 it was renamed the Benton Foundation. This foundation is now recognised as one of the leading sponsors of non-profit progressive media projects in the United States, alongside the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Its founder, William Benton is today credited as having “pushed the envelope… within the foundation world, urging them to take communications seriously and to use it to build democracy”. [9] However, like most of the big liberal foundations in the US, the Benton Foundation has elitist roots: William Benton had strong links to the Rockefellers’ and other assorted corporate and political elites. Given this history, we must ask: “What type of democracy was William Benton trying to build?” This question will be addressed in the following.

The Benton Foundation is currently chaired by William Benton’s son, Charles Benton, who like his father maintains close ties to a number of less than progressive individuals, not least through his position on the Board of Trustees of The American Assembly. [10] Furthermore, he is a member of the international founding committee of The Real News (discussed later), and a trustee of the Education Development Center. The latter is a non-profit that describes its work as being “dedicated to enhancing learning, promoting health, and fostering a deeper understanding of the world.” It was created in 1958, and from the beginning the Ford Foundation has been involved with its work. From 1958-68 the Ford Foundation helped the Center create a “complete high school physics curriculum” for US schools. [11] Another notable early supporter of the Education Development Center’s activities was the US Agency for International Development (AID), which between 1961 and 1976 funded their African Mathematics Programs. [12] Today the Center has a staff of over 500 people and a budget in excess of $90 million. Its funding comes from USAID and liberal philanthropic organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. [13]

Sitting with Charles Benton on the Board of Trustees of the Education Development Center is Larry Irving, the former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Irving is “widely credited with coining the term ‘the digital divide’” and with being “a point person” in ensuring the successful passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Jim Kohlenberger, the Benton Foundation’s current senior fellow also “worked to help pass the Telecommunications Act of 1996”. [14] This Act was strongly opposed by all progressive media groups.

Nonewithstanding these links to people who worked against progressive media groups in the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the Benton Foundation has, and continues to be, an important supporter of progressive media initiatives within the United States. In a recent interview, Charles Benton explained that the Benton Foundation began funding of communication projects in the early 1980s, a time they were not on the agenda of other foundations. In 1981, the Benton Foundation “decided to work in support of philanthropy, and particularly the Council on Foundations, to try to beat the drum and raise the cry about the importance of communications to both foundations and their grantees”. Since these early days the Benton Foundation’s annual budget for media reform has increased considerably and they now give away around $1 million a year to help “educat[e] the media reform community – policymakers, funders, and activists—about the crucial debates that help shape our media future”. [15] The following section of this article will discuss the backgrounds of some key Foundation staff and directors.

The Benton Foundation: People and Projects

The president of the Benton Foundation from October 2001 to August 2004, Andrea L. Taylor, is a co-founder of Davis Creek Capital, LLC, a private equity fund created to invest in Internet and new media businesses led by women and people of color. Taylor was also involved in setting up the Media Fund at the Ford Foundation in the late 1980s, where she worked for nearly a decade to distribute some $50 million to independent media projects. Taylor presently serves as a trustee of the Ms. Foundation for Women, is a former director of the Cleveland Foundation, and the Council on Foundations: the latter group is an umbrella association of more than 2,100 grant making foundations and corporations that describes itself as “the voice of philanthropy”.

After her work at the Benton Foundation, Taylor became vice president of the aforementioned Education Development Center, where she helped create, and was the founding president of, their Center for Media and Community. The Benton Foundation supported the launch of this center with a three year $668,000 grant, which has been described as the “largest single commitment in the foundation’s history”. Other funders of the Center for Media and Community at the Education Development Center include the Annie E. Casey Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In June 2006, Taylor became Director for U.S. Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft chief executive officer (CEO) Bill Gates is also the founder of the largest liberal foundation in the world, the Gates Foundation, a foundation that distributed some $2 billion of grants in 2007 alone. [16] Since 2002, the Gates Foundation has also worked closely with the Benton Foundation, for example on their WebJunction project – a project which aims to facilitate public access to computing facilities in public libraries within the United States.

The current president of the Benton Foundation (since 2006) is Gloria Tristani, the former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member. Trisani presently also serves on the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee alongside Charles Benton, is a member of The Real News international founding committee, and sits on the Board of Directors of Children Now. Other Children Now directors with a media background include Geoffrey Cowan (former head of Voice of America, currently a director of the Public Diplomacy Council), Donald Kennedy (editor-in-chief of Science magazine, a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation), and Lenny Mendonca (a director of the New America Foundation).

The Benton Foundation’s administrative manager, Cecilia Garcia first joined the Foundation in 1997. She has also helped produce the CD-ROM version of “Chicano: History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement,” a major PBS documentary that was produced by the National Latino Communication Center with the help of a $0.7 million grant from the Ford Foundation. [17] Recently Garcia took some time out from her duties at the Benton Foundation to serve as the executive director of Connect for Kids – a childrens’ advocacy group that is managed by the Ford Foundation-funded non-profit, Forum for Youth Investment. Two of the five directors of Connect for Kids’ have links to the Benton Foundation: Joseph Getch, former Chief Financial Officer for the Benton Foundation and member of the Council on Foundations’ research committee, and Charles Benton’s wife, Marjorie Craig Benton, board chair of the Council on Foundations from 1994 to 1996. Marjorie Craig Benton also serves as a director of the Microsoft-linked non-profit group, Room to Read.

Like their staff, Benton Foundation board members are well linked to political elites and the broader world of liberal philanthropy. Alongside Charles Benton, the other eight directors are: Adrianne Benton Furniss, former president and CEO of the Chicago-based publisher/distributor Home Vision Entertainment (acquired by Image Entertainment in 2005); Michael Smith (Benton Foundation Treasurer), former Australian Chairman of public relations firm Weber Shandwick, and CEO of his own firm, Inside PR; Elizabeth Daley, Founding Executive Director of the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for Communication from 1994 to 2005; Terry Goddard, former Mayor of Phoenix, and trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation from 1992 to 2001; [18] Lee Lynch, former CEO of the Carmichael-Lynch Advertising Agency, and spouse of Terry Saario (a former director of the Benton Foundation and former program officer at the Ford Foundation); Henry Rivera, former FCC commissioner, and a partner of the law firm Wiley Rein and Fielding (controversial for defending the use of fake news); Leonard J. Schrager, former president of the Chicago Bar Foundation and the Chicago Bar Association; and Woodward Wickham, former vice president of the MacArthur Foundation, and a director of OneWorld United States.

Wickham’s links to the latter group are worth reviewing as OneWorld United States was created in 2000, as a joint project between the Benton Foundation and OneWorld International. OneWorld International is a Ford Foundation supported group that describes itself as the “world’s favourite and fastest-growing civil society network online, supporting people’s media to help build a more just global society”. OneWorld also has links to the Benton Foundation: Larry Kirkman, currently a director of OneWorld United States, and chair of OneWorld International was president of the Benton Foundation from 1989 to 2001.

Charles Benton’s media connections are also of relevance to the topic of this article: In addition to presiding over the day to day activities of the Benton Foundation, Charles Benton is also chairman of Public Media, Inc. (a film and video publisher and distributor) and served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters (known as ‘the Gore Commission’). Charles Benton is also a member of the international founding committee of the recently launched alternative media network The Real News. The final section of this article will examine the philanthropic background of The Real News in some detail.

The Real News Network

Founded in 2007, The Real News describes itself as a “non-profit news and documentary network focused on providing independent and uncompromising journalism”. The Real News website proudly claims that they are “member supported and do not accept advertising, government or corporate funding” (emphasis in the original). [19] The site adds, “the Real News will be financed by the economic power of thousands of viewers like you around the world. Just 250,000 people paying $10 a month will make it happen”, and claims there is “NO government funding; NO corporate funding; NO advertising; NO STRINGS”.

The Real News’ mission statement suggests that Real News promotes independent and investigative journalism and is a grassroots effort. It fails to mention, however, that the project was launched with millions of dollars provided by leading US American liberal foundations. There may well have been no strings attached to the seed money, but there is little doubt that the foundations chose to support their project – as opposed to any alternative ones – because the Real News formula suited the foundations’ own philanthropic interests. How much influence the liberal foundations had in determining the makeup of The Real News advisory boards and founding committees will remain unknown until the issue becomes the focus of an in-depth investigative report. An investigation that is unlikely to be forthcoming from The Real News itself.

That said, this article does not aim to cast doubt on the progressive nature of the journalistic output of The Real News. The quality of the content is indisputably high and offers a real alternative to mainstream media. This article does try to draw attention, however, to the fact that The Real News has relied heavily on liberal philanthropists. It also tries to raise the question as to what this reliance means for the future of genuine grassroots initiatives attempting to promote comparable progressive media projects. In order to open the discussion the following sections of this article will briefly chart the launch of The Real News network, and the backgrounds of the people who are associated with the project.

The Real News can be considered the flagship project of a non-profit group that is known as Independent World Television (IWT). From Toronto (Canada), and formed in 2003, IWT was co-founded by Paul Jay and Sharmini Peries. Paul Jay, who is presently the CEO and chair of The Real News is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who was formerly the creator and executive producer of Canadian Broadcasting Centre Newsworld’s debate program counterSpin. On the other hand, Sharmini Peries, who until recently served as the director of policy and development for IWT, is an executive director of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. These two groups are have close connections to the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy. [20] The National Endowment for Democracy plays a big role in promoting United States’ foreign interests – which most notably saw them support the 2002 coup that temporarily removed President Hugo Chavez from power. [21] Ironically, Peries presently serves as a foreign policy advisor to President Chavez.

In 2005, Independent World Television received a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to conduct a “feasibility and planning study on an innovative idea to create a news and current affairs TV network funded primarily by viewers”. Two other liberal foundations, the MacArthur Foundation and the Haas Foundation also contributed to this planning study. IWT set out to create what would become The Real News using the services of EchoDitto – a consulting group that has done much work on projects connected to the United States’ Democratic Party. A website was launched on June 15, 2005 ( to build an online community of supporters and donors. The goal of this first phase of IWT’s project was to raise a $7 million start-up budget from individual donors and foundations. By January 2007 IWT had “raised $5 million from several foundations, charitable trusts, individuals and unions, including the Canadian Auto Workers Union, the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation”. [22] Having achieved this level of philanthropic support, IWT was then able to create The Real News website, at first with a limited news service to help get the full journalism project off the ground.

In an interview in early 2007, IWT co-founder Paul Jay said that during their first year of operations The Real News only required a further $4 million in funding from the public, but thereafter, with a full service provided, estimates their annual budget will require around $30 million a year. Obtaining such high levels of funding from the public within such a short space of time will undoubtedly be difficult. Camilo Wilson, one of IWT’s Internet strategy consultants suggested that this goal is too optimistic, noting that IWT will probably have to depend on greater support from liberal foundations in order to reach its long-term goal. [23]

In the following, this article will introduce some of the individuals who have given their support to launching this new media network.

Founded in 2003, the founding committee of the Independent World Television/The Real News consisted of 84 individuals, including Paul Jay as chair. The committee includes well-known progressives such as British member of parliament Tony Benn (UK), host of the popular “Democracy Now!” program Amy Goodman (USA), media scholar Robert McChesney (USA), media critic Danny Schechter (USA), literary author Gore Vidal (USA), historian Howard Zinn (USA) and journalist/author Naomi Klein (Canada).

Incidentally, Klein has provided a rare critical overview of the Ford Foundations history. In her book, The Shock Doctrine, she observes that the Ford Foundation was the “leading source of funding for the dissemination of the Chicago School ideology throughout Latin America”. She adds,

“[Ford-funded institutions played a] …central role in the overthrow of Chile’s democracy, and its former students… appl[ied] their US education in a context of shocking brutality. Making matters more complicated for the foundation, this was the second time in just a few years that its protégés had chosen a violent route to power, the first case being the Berkeley Mafia’s meteoric rise to power in Indonesia after Suharto’s bloody [1965-66] coup.” [24]

The Benton Foundation is also well represented on the IWT founding committee, with Gloria Tristani, Charles Benton and Mark Lloyd (former general counsel to the Benton Foundation now a senior fellow at the George Soros-linked Center for American Progress).

However, the IWT’s founding committee also includes some people with less progressive backgrounds such as Salih Booker, current executive director of NED-funded group Global Rights, and former head of the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies Program, and former program officer for the Ford Foundation in Eastern and Southern Africa; Kenneth Roth, executive director of the NED-linked Human Rights Watch; Kim Spencer, President of Link TV, and co-founder of the NED-funded Internews; Shauna Sylvester, founder and executive director of the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society (IMPACS); and Jenny Toomey who until recently was the executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, and now serves as the program officer for Media and Cultural Policy at the Ford Foundation.

Indeed, even radical media critics, like Robert McChesney, work closely with these foundations, as his media reform group, Free Press, has also obtained Ford Foundation monies; while as early as March 1996, McChesney was a panel participant at the “Symposium of The Future of Public Service Media” – an event that was sponsored by both the Benton Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Given that Ford and Benton Foundations have extensive funding and personal ties in so many projects of progressive social change it is hardly surprising that most of the representatives of IWT’s founding committee also work for non-profit groups and projects that are funded by the Ford Foundation. However, this almost ‘natural’ state of affairs should give us pause.


This article has focused on a small part of the philanthropic work undertaken by two foundations, the Ford Foundation and the Benton Foundation. Many other foundations are now engaged in ostensibly progressive media work: for example, in 2005 the Carnegie Corporation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launched the Carnegie Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. It is no exaggeration to say such foundations wield enormous influence over which organizations grow and flourish, and which do not.

Those of us who take it as granted that the United States is a plutocracy not a democracy, find in this state of affairs their belief confirmed that the richest have access to society’s financial and political resources, and that they can engage in large-scale social engineering to make sure civil society is shaped in a manner compatible with their own elite interests. However, even activists, researchers and theorists who believe the United States is (or at least should be) a country of pluralism and representative democracy should be concerned about the amount of money flowing from these liberal foundations and begin documenting its effects on the development of the American progressive mediascape.

The first step towards short-circuiting philanthropic colonization of independent media systems, and civil society more generally, is for progressive groups to collectively act to delegitimize ‘charitable’ manipulations. Yet if this process only occurs within the most radical parts of civil society – i.e. by groups that are already largely excluded from foundation funding – then overall very little will change. Even if some less radical groups presently supported by liberal foundations cut their ties to liberal foundation funding, the outcomes will be limited. Though this would swell the ranks of those operating outside of the liberal foundation-civil society nexus, other groups and individuals who are unaware (or unconcerned by) the problems associated with liberal philanthropy will quickly move into their place. A critical part of any campaign to encourage disassociation from elite funders needs to see the undertaking a large-scale education campaign directed towards the multitude of employees presently working within the non-profit industrial complex. [25]

Furthermore, a broad coalition of progressive groups need to work to problematize the current structure of civil society, and encourage the creation of civil society groups that embody and promote democratic principles rather than those that adopt corporate organizational structures designed to maximize revenue streams. Contrary to some progressive commentators’ advice it is important to remember that the non-profit sector does not have to be run like the business sector: [26] The public already gives a vast amount of money to charity each year. The problem is how this money is distributed, by whom and to whom. Currently, unaccountable and elite-run foundations distribute the public’s money to a select group of organizations who write proposals to fit the funder’s philosophy and who put their personnel on their boards. Diverting just a small proportion of this substantial and growing flow of financial resources toward truly progressive media projects – that is those that embody democratic structures that are founded without support of liberal philanthropists or foundations – will enable concerned citizens and media activists to move more confidently toward building a society with democratic structures.


[1] Brown, E. R. (1979), Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America. Berkeley: University of California Press; Gottlieb, R. (1993), Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement. Washington, D.C.: Island Press; Jenkins, C. J. & Eckert, C. M. (1986), ‘Channeling Black Insurgency: Elite Patronage and Professional Social Movement Organizations in the Development of the Black Movement,’ American Sociological Review, 51, pp. 812-829.

[2] Covington, S. (2005), ‘Moving Public Policy to the Right: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations,’ in D. Faber & D. McCarthy (Eds.), Foundations for Social Change: Critical Perspectives on Philanthropy and Popular Movements (pp. 89-114). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

[3] Barker, M. J. (2008), ‘The Liberal Foundations of Media Reform? Creating Sustainable Funding Opportunities for Radical Media Reform,’ Global Media Journal, 1 (2), June 2, 2008.

[4] Arnove, R. F. (1980), Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundations at Home and Abroad. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall; Barker, M. J. (2008) The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection,’ Capitalism Nature Socialism, 19 (2), pp.15-42.; Lundberg, F. (1975), The Rockefeller Syndrome. Secaucus, N.J.: L. Stuart; Roelofs, J. (2003), Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism. Albany: State University of New York Press.

[5] Feldman, B. (2007), ‘Report from the Field: Left Media and Left Think Tanks – Foundation-Managed Protest?’ Critical Sociology, 33:3, pp. 427-446.

[6] Horowitz, D. (1969a), ‘ The Foundations: Charity Begins at Home,’ Ramparts, 7 (11), pp.38-48.; (1969b), ‘ Billion Dollar Brains: How Wealth Puts Knowledge in its Pocket ,’ Ramparts, 7 (12), pp.36-44.; (1969c), ‘ Sinews of Empire,’ Ramparts, 8 (4), pp.32-42.

[7] Smith, A. (2007), ‘Introduction: The Revolution Will Not Be Funded,’ in INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. (Eds.), The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (pp. 1-18). Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press, p.4.

[8] Domhoff, G. W. (1970), The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America. New York: Random House; Mills, C. W. (1956), The Power Elite. New York: Oxford University Press.

[9] Benton Foundation (2008), ‘Frequently Asked Questions,’ Benton Foundation.

[10] Barker, M. J. (2008), ‘Social Engineering, Progressive Media, and the Benton Foundation,’ A refereed paper presented to the Australian & New Zealand Communication Association International Conference, 2008: Power and Place, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, July 9-11, 2008.

[11] EDC (2008), ‘Flagship Projects in EDC’s History,’ Education Development Center.

[12] For a broad critique of USAID, see Weissman, S. (1974), The Trojan Horse: A Radical Look at Foreign Aid. San Francisco: Ramparts Press.

[13] Kelly, P. J. (2004), ‘A Conversation with Charles and Marjorie Benton,’ Foundation News and Commentary, March/April 2004.

[14] Benton Foundation (2008), ‘Who We Are,’ Benton Foundation.

[15] Benton Foundation (2005), ‘2005 Annual Report ,’ Benton Foundation. Available at Accessed on 28 April 2008.

[16] Barker, M. J. (2008), ‘Bill Gates as Social Engineer: Introducing the World’s Largest Liberal Philanthropist,’ A refereed paper presented to the Australasian Political Science Association conference, University of Queensland, July 6-9, 2008.

[17] For a critique see Barker, M. J. (2008) The Liberal Foundations of Media Reform?

[18] The National Trust for Historic Preservation is currently headed by Ford Foundation trustee, Richard Moe.

[19] Citations obtained from The Real News website in May 2008.

[20] Barker, M. J. (2008) ‘”Independent” Journalism Organizations and a Polyarchal Public Sphere,’ Center for Research on Globalization. ??

[21] Barker, M. J. (2006). ‘Taking the Risk out of Civil Society: HarnessingSocial Movements and Regulating Revolutions,’ Refereed paper presented tothe Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Newcastle 25-27 September 2006.

[22] Dindar, S. (2007), ‘Heard the Independent News?’ Ryerson Review of Journalism.

[23] Dindar, S. (2007), ‘Heard the Independent News?’ Ryerson Review of Journalism.

[24] Klein, N. (2007), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Random House, pp.145-6.

[25] INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. (2007), The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press.

[26] C.f. Shuman, M. H. & Fuller, M. (2005), ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Grant Funded,’ Shelterforce, The Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Building, Issue 143.