Thursday, September 04, 2014

how corporate power converted wealth into philanthropy for social control

alternet |  Given that the World Bank has more or less directed the economic policies of the Third World, coercing and cracking open the market of country after country for global finance, you could say that corporate philanthropy has turned out to be the most visionary business of all time.

Corporate-endowed foundations administer, trade, and channel their power and place their chessmen on the chessboard through a system of elite clubs and think tanks, whose members overlap and move in and out through the revolving doors. Contrary to the various conspiracy theories in circulation, particularly among left-wing groups, there is nothing secret, satanic, or Freemason-like about this arrangement. It is not very different from the way corporations use shell companies and offshore accounts to transfer and administer their money—except that the currency is power, not money.

The transnational equivalent of the CFR is the Trilateral Commission, set up in 1973 by David Rockefeller, the former US national security adviser Zbignew Brzezinski (founder-member of the Afghan mujahidin, forefathers of the Taliban), the Chase Manhattan Bank, and some other private eminences. Its purpose was to create an enduring bond of friendship and cooperation between the elites of North America, Europe, and Japan. It has now become a pentalateral commission, because it includes members from China and India (Tarun Das of the CII; N. R. Narayana Murthy, ex-CEO of Infosys; Jamsheyd N. Godrej, managing director of Godrej; Jamshed J. Irani, director of Tata Sons; and Gautam Thapar, CEO of Avantha Group).

The Aspen Institute is an international club of local elites, businessmen, bureaucrats, and politicians, with franchises in several countries. Tarun Das is the president of the Aspen Institute, India. Gautam Thapar is chairman. Several senior officers of the McKinsey Global Institute (proposer of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor) are members of the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, and the Aspen Institute.

The Ford Foundation (liberal foil to the more conservative Rockefeller Foundation, though the two work together constantly) was set up in 1936. Though it is often underplayed, the Ford Foundation has a very clear, well-defined ideology and works extremely closely with the US State Department. Its project of deepening democracy and “good governance” is very much part of the Bretton Woods scheme of standardizing business practice and promoting efficiency in the free market. After the Second World War, when communists replaced fascists as the US Government’s Enemy Number One, new kinds of institutions were needed to deal with the Cold War. Ford funded RAND (Research and Development Corporation), a military think tank that began with weapons research for the US defense services. In 1952, to thwart “the persistent Communist effort to penetrate and disrupt free nations,” it established the Fund for the Republic, which then morphed into the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, whose brief was to wage the Cold War intelligently, without McCarthyite excesses. It is through this lens that we need to view the work that the Ford Foundation is doing with the millions of dollars it has invested in India—its funding of artists, filmmakers, and activists, its generous endowment of university courses and scholarships.

The Ford Foundation’s declared “goals for the future of mankind” include interventions in grassroots political movements locally and internationally. In the United States it provided millions in grants and loans to support the credit union movement that was pioneered by the department store owner Edward Filene in 1919. Filene believed in creating a mass consumption society of consumer goods by giving workers affordable access to credit—a radical idea at the time. Actually, only half of a radical idea, because the other half of what Filene believed in was a more equitable distribution of national income. Capitalists seized on the first half of Filene’s suggestion and, by disbursing “affordable” loans of tens of millions of dollars to working people, turned the US working class into people who are permanently in debt, running to catch up with their lifestyles.

Many years later, this idea has trickled down to the impoverished countryside of Bangladesh when Mohammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank brought microcredit to starving peasants with disastrous consequences. The poor of the subcontinent have always lived in debt, in the merciless grip of the local village usurer—the Baniya. But microfinance has corporatized that too. Microfinance companies in India are responsible for hundreds of suicides—two hundred people in Andhra Pradesh in 2010 alone. A national daily recently published a suicide note by an eighteen-year-old girl who was forced to hand over her last 150 rupees, her school fees, to bullying employees of the microfinance company. The note read, “Work hard and earn money. Do not take loans.”

There’s a lot of money in poverty, and a few Nobel Prizes too.


BigDonOne said...

Same problem as with crime and drugs. The world has gotten too soft. Ebola epidemic could easily be stopped in its tracks but it might be necessary to, OMIGOSH, trample on some human rights....

Constructive_Feedback said...

As a donor to "Doctors Without Borders" I agree with their assessment.

The head of the "World Health Organization" said the same thing about the failed response in a speech the other day.

We must put this into context.
In yesterday's "USA Today" an article compared "Twitter vs FaceBook" on their coverage of "ALS Ice Bucket Challenges" versus "Ferguson".

The two facts that I learned is:
1) The author of the article reached out the the (Fraudulent) head of "Color Of Change" Rashaad ? who complained that FaceBook allows people to remain in their isolated islands of friends as IMPORTANT issues like "Police Killings Of Black Men' are discussed

2) The co-founder if Twitter went to Ferguson MO to march for "Justice" - and they painted to relevant hash tags on their corporate lobby wall

It just shows that the same forces with the power to FILIBUSTER OUR NEWS have the same power to debate that ONE SUBJECT got more social media attention than ANOTHER ISSUE - all without anyone confirming that THEIR ISSUES LIST has not missed important issues due to their fraudulent inducement of not focusing on important issues.

CNu said...

You lost me. Is the social structure underlying Twitter substantially different than the social structure underlying Facebook?

I've heard of black Twitter, not so much black Facebook, yet I know that Facebook follows much the same kwaku-net (black email chains) implicate order, soooo..., when everything's said and done wrt your comment, who are you indicting as the forces, their issues, and their "control" of which media modalities?

Constructive_Feedback said...

The article made the point that FB is a series of overlapping "Friend" networks AND they look at your interests based upon previous "reads" and FILTERS OUT a good portion of the type of topics that you have not shown interest in in the past.

Twitter, by contrast is a "message" oriented service that can more quickly get "hot topics" propagated to a larger scale audience.

When the "Arab Spring" occurred people did "Live Tweeting" from the ground, not "Live FaceBook posts"

CNu said...

oops, my bad - I hadn't even noticed that you changed the subject from ebola to an unrelated and unlinked story on usatoday about facebook, twitter, ice buckets, and ferguson.

Constructive_Feedback said...

No Sir.

The statement about the "Doctors Without Borders" (and "World Health Organization") commenting about the lack of global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE to the various "Wealthy Nations" who COULD HAVE empathized more about the terror that millions of people are suffering through and WITHHELD the petty issues that engulfed their attention domestically.

It is CLEAR that despite the popularity of the "DNA Cheek Swab Test Kits" to find your "West African / Pre-Slavery" ancestors - the average Black person in America sees "Ferguson Police" as a greater threat than "Ebola". Certainly in the November Elections "Ferguson" and "State Island" will motivate more American voters than the American response in the whole of "West Africa"

CNu said...

lol, that's Staten Island and any such popular domestic response would be correct and proper.