Friday, September 30, 2011

A Nitrous SpringBoard Jump

Inside The First Amendment: The 9/11 Backlash

Tragically, The Growing Anti-Muslim Sentiment In The U.S. Translates Into Concrete Attacks On The Religious Freedom Of Muslim Americans.

By: Charles C. Haynes
Source "JC Online"
September 21, 2011
Courtesy Of "Iviews"

In the heart-wrenching days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, President George W. Bush acted boldly to prevent a backlash against Muslims and Islam in America and abroad.

Speaking to a shaken nation before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001, the president described the terrorists as "traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself." The enemy, he declared, is not Islam, but "a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them."

At first, Bush's efforts appeared to be working. Despite some disturbing incidents of discrimination and violence, most Muslim Americans continued to enjoy the support of their neighbors. The majority of Americans understood that the "war on terrorism" is a fight against extremists who kill innocent people in the name of Islam - not a war on Muslims or Islam.

Ten years later, however, the backlash Bush hoped to avert appears to be in full swing. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll taken last year, 49 percent of Americans say they hold unfavorable views of Islam - up from 39 percent in 2002.

Tragically, the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. translates into concrete attacks on the religious freedom of Muslim Americans. Over the last three years, for example, 37 proposed mosques and Islamic centers have encountered strong public resistance in communities across the country. And some 20 states are currently considering legislation outlawing Islamic or Shariah law, despite the fact that Shariah law poses no threat whatsoever to America's legal system.

Islamophobia is clearly on the rise in America. But why? True, the vicious war waged by al-Qaida and its allies under the banner of "Islam" continues to poison the well of public support for Islam and Muslims everywhere. But headlines about "Islamist terrorists" alone don't account for the recent surge in protests and venom directed at Muslims and Muslim institutions in the United States.

We get some answers in an investigative report released last month by the Center for American Progress (a self-described progressive think tank based in Washington, D.C.). Titled "Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America," the study reveals that seven private foundations have given over $40 million over the past 10 years to a small number of anti-Muslim organizations. The donor list includes well-known conservative funders such as the Richard Mellon Scaife family foundations and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. 

Groups profiled in the report, "Stop Islamization of America, Jihad Watch, the Center for American Security and others," claim to oppose only "radical Islam." But their not-so-hidden agenda is to convince the American people that Islam itself is the enemy, "and Muslim Americans are to be watched and feared as potential threats to our security."

Islamophobia network talking points about "creeping Shariah" and a purported Muslim conspiracy to subvert the Constitution are increasingly channeled by political and religious leaders and repeated endlessly on like-minded media outlets.

Demonizing Islam and Muslims does nothing to combat terrorism. As the report puts it, "treating Muslim American citizens and neighbors as part of the problem, rather than as part of the solution, is not only offensive to America's core values, it is utterly ineffective in combating terrorism and violent extremism."

Contrary to the anti-Islam propaganda, Muslims and Muslim institutions in the U.S. are allies in the fight against extremism. As noted in the report, the Muslim American community has helped law enforcement thwart more than 40 percent of terrorist plots against America since 9/11.

Ironically, the anti-Muslim movement shares a key aim with al-Qaida: Convince people that the West is at war with Islam and Muslims. The expanding reach of the Islamophobia network in the U.S. fuels intolerance and discrimination - and gives al-Qaida its most powerful recruitment tool.

"Freedom and fear are at war," President Bush told the nation in 2001.

Ten years later, if the anti-Muslim forces in America continue to chip away at religious liberty, fear will triumph over freedom - and Osama bin Laden will achieve in death what he failed to accomplish in life.


Haynes is senior scholar at the First Amendment Center

UN Been Designed To Fail

The UN Seems To Have Been Designed To Fail, Due To Bureaucracy and The Exclusive Power Of The Security Council.

By Danny Schechter
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2011 16:17
Courtesy Of "Al-Jazeera"

One of the most astute critics of the United Nations was a man who worked there for years and worshipped its ambitions. His name was Conor Cruise O’Brien, an Irish diplomat and extraordinary writer who savaged the institution he once adored.

“The main thing that endears the United Nations to member governments, and so enables it to survive, is its proven capacity to fail, and to be seen to fail,” he wrote. “You can safely appeal to the United Nations in the comfortable certainty that it will let you down.”

Despite this track record, assured by the duplicity of governments who pay lip service to UN ideals and then use the institution to carry out policies and projects they would prefer not to initiate unilaterally.

Members are called “the international community" but there is little to the phrase except for cordiality among diplomats who rapidly become careerists - along with a bevy of international civil servants who labour in the catacombs of the bureaucracy, following Byzantine rules and protocols that are rarely evaluated for real world effectiveness.

This is the original playing field for “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

The UN Comes To Town

When you are a New Yorker, you know the UN is in town when traffic crawls to a halt as processions of presidents and other rulers rush about in police secured motorcades feeling important and trying to be seen and even heard. The best hotel suites and tables at the priciest watering holes have been booked well in advance.

As Anastasia Churkina reported on Russia Today: “Once a year, for about ten days, the United Nations becomes Mecca for world leaders.

"From the confrontational, to the surprising, to the outright wacky - the UN General Assembly pilgrimage never fails to impress. What happens in the Big Apple becomes a mirror image of the engaging game politics can be.”

Engaging, yes, but often in self-reverential and self-promoting terms.

They pay lip service to their diversity with every nation allowed a few seconds in the sun of the General Assembly rostrum, while everyone knows that the handful of permanent members of the Security Council have formed their own “super-committee” for years, threatening the veto but rarely exercising it.

If you are looking for a democratic United Nations, this is not it. The peoples of the world in whose name the UN was consecrated have no real role, except as spectators on the official tour. NGOs have their meetings in the basement, passing resolutions that stay in the basement.

Powerful countries control the world body; citizens are seen, not heard.

Activists increasingly push what should be the UN agenda - but rarely in the UN. Did you know that there is a "Mayors for Peace" organisation with 5,000 members across 151 countries and regions? That includes 188 US cities, which makes it the world's largest network of local governments.

The downplayed but highly visible pomp and circumstance of the annual ritual at what’s called "the General Assembly” allows a place for US presidents to lecture the world while playing to domestic public opinion.

It is political theatre, built around the big speech - followed up with hand shaking and secretive backroom deals. The formal events are covered; the informal wheeling and dealing mostly ignored.

The Spectacle

Dissenting presidents such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predictably criticise the United States, Israel, and the West - with his appearances triggering walkouts by hostile diplomats from Western countries, pre-planned for dramatic effect.

This reaction is anticipated, too, and useful for a president under fire at home. It is all done for domestic consumption. The more he is denounced, the more successful he is in the eyes of his followers.

This spectacle is a calculated sham.

This game-playing adds to the circus-like spirit of confrontation that the media loves to highlight and promote. Journalists find peaceful discussions of complex issues boring - even in this global house of peace. They are drawn to conflict like moths to a flame, especially when there are political personalities battling each other.

The US media stakes out the big house during these major events - or when Washington wants global backing for a war or humanitarian crusade. But it mostly ignores what the UN and the specialised agencies do.

There is more regular coverage of the UN in Dar Es Salaam in East Africa than on New York City‘s East Side, where the wealthy live and a "we are the world" ethic prevails.

And so it came to pass last week that Barack Obama, the self-described emissary of change, who had been championing a breakthrough on Palestinian rights, came before the UN to oppose world support for UN recognition of Palestine.

"Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN,” said the president of the country that picks up 25 per cent of the UN’s budget. As various commentators noted, Obama's unwillingness to challenge Israel is grounded in presidential politics and the recent loss of a Democratic seat in Brooklyn - designed to teach him a lesson about pressing the Netanyahu government.

Despite his UN bashing, bilateral negotiations that successive US administrations claim to have favoured are once again going nowhere. In essence, Obama offered a prescription for more inaction and undermined US credibility on the issue.

The Palestinians rejected Obama’s stance but the smart money on the issues sees the UN as freezing any effective action. UN Secretary General Ban says he is "carefully scrutinising their application". Give me a break.

After decades of UN resolutions upholding Palestinian claims, the Israeli occupation will continue.

Status Quo

Alon Liel, the former Director General of Israel’s Foreign Service, said: "It hurts to see a president like Obama, who caused us to feel such great hope, dismiss Abu Mazen who has spent three years working on the diplomatic track."

He added: "Obama and the US of today are no longer running the world, there is a larger international community that can run the world. The US doesn't have the power to deal this blow."

The US-based Israeli lobby is still calling the shots. A minority is, in effect, vetoing the wishes of world opinion on the issue. The lobby is not even on the Security Council.

The UN in which so much hope was invested has struck out as a forum for advancing Middle East peace, an issue in which it has invested billions of dollars and tens of millions of words over 60 years.

The UN is useful for the humanitarian work of its specialised agencies - with occasional scandals even undercutting that credibility.

But the world body can’t be an engine for global change when the governments that control it only want to tinker with the status quo.

That’s why there has been so little UN progress on climate change, human rights, peace and war, nuclear disarmament - name your issue. If it’s controversial, the UN ends up on the defensive - seeking a middle ground that pleases no one, but is functional and reinforces its pretence of gravitas.

The UN has been a tower of babble since its inception. Countries talking to each other can be a good thing, but too much of the conversation is earnest to a fault and pre-scripted, based on government instructions and devoid of spontaneity, compassion or honesty.

Unfortunately, this makes a global consensus harder to achieve - but that doesn’t mean the UN isn’t an important venue. Yet, it is set up to be impotent and dysfunctional. Unlike banks considered “too big to fail”, the UN seems to have been designed to fail. That’s the problem.

News Dissector Danny Schechter directed the film Plunder: The Crime of Our Time, on the financial crisis as a crime story. He blogs at Send comments to

Follow Danny Schechter on Twitter: @dissectorevents

Israeli Rabbi Demands 'Collective Punishment'

הרב ליאור בהפגנה הערב. "אין חפים מפשע" (צילום: נועם מושקוביץ)
No innocents in war.' Rabbi Dov Lior (Photo: Noam Moskovitz)

By Yair Altman
Published: 09.25.11, 19:52
Courtesy Of "Y-Net News"

...During the rally, Rabbi Dov Lior called for a collective punishment to be carried out against the "rioters."

"We have murderous rioters surrounding us, according to the Torah, there is room for collective punishment and the IDF must carry out the punishment against the rioters. There are no innocents in a war," the rabbi said.

America's Fear Of Offending Israel & AIPAC

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby takes its orders from Israel  [EPA]

If Tom Friedman Can Say It, You Can Too

Even Israel's Most Ardent Supporters Now Say Its Lobby Skews The Political Landscape and Damages Both The US and Israel.

By MJ Rosenberg
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2011 09:58
Courtesy Of "Al-Jazeera"

The most appalling aspect of the Obama administration's inept handling of the upcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood is the reason for the administration's bumbling. Its moves are dictated by fear of offending Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, his lobby and, especially, the campaign donors who take direction from that lobby.

One can respond: So what else is new? But that is only if you get your information from some place other than the electronic or print mainstream media. There, due to a decades-long campaign of intimidation, the lobby's actions are rarely reported.

That is because the organisations that compose the lobby - including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League - have demonstrated that even mentioning the lobby's excessive power will lead to being smeared with the label of "anti-Israel" or "anti-Semitic".

No matter that the lobby's most powerful component, AIPAC, brags about its power over Washington policymakers in speeches, literature and at its annual conclave, which is attended by most of Congress and often the president and the secretary of state.

No matter that AIPAC's eight-story headquarters overlooking the Capitol testifies to its wealth.

No matter that members of Congress themselves - occasionally publicly and often privately - discuss the bluntness of AIPAC's threats.

"[The] Powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the UN"
- Thomas Friedman
No, those who dare cite its huge influence are accused of indulging in myth, much like the authors of the fantastical forgery, "The Protocols Of The Elders of Zion".

That may be changing after a bolt of illuminating lightning struck this week.

Incoherent Policy

Writing in the New York Times, influential foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman came right out and said that the lobby is the cause of America's seemingly incoherent policy toward Israel and Palestine and for the embarrassing and dangerous sucking up to Netanyahu.

The US government, he explains, is "fed up with Israel's leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the UN, even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America's".

In other words, policymakers are torn between doing what is in our national interest (and consistent with our democratic values) and pleasing a powerful lobby that threatens to withhold funding from any politician that deviates from the line.

There is nothing particularly new in what Friedman says about the lobby, other than that it comes from a consistent friend of Israel - who says that his motivation in writing the column was that he has "never been more worried about Israel's future".

Although the lobby would like to smear Friedman, it can't lay a glove on him. What are they going to do? Call him an anti-Semite? Try to get him fired? For what? Because he cares about Israel too much to let a right-wing politician sacrifice its future?

Nonetheless, it is unlikely that Friedman's column will impress President Obama as much as it will infuriate Binyamin Netanyahu. This administration made its decision back when it repeatedly retreated on the matter of Israeli settlements. It will support Netanyahu no matter the cost to Israel, the Palestinians, or to the standing of the United States.

Netanyahu's Grand Plan

And Netanyahu knows it. In fact, Friedman writes that, contrary to the common view that Bibi is just a bumbler, he actually has a strategy - not just for Palestine but for all the areas in which he has made such a colossal mess.

And it is predicated on the power of the lobby:

"OK, Mr Netanyahu has a strategy: Do nothing vis-à-vis the Palestinians or Turkey that will require him to go against his base, compromise his ideology or antagonise his key coalition partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an extreme right-winger. Then, call on the US to stop Iran's nuclear programme and help Israel out of every pickle, but make sure that President Obama can't ask for anything in return - like halting Israeli settlements - by mobilising Republicans in Congress to box in Obama and by encouraging Jewish leaders to suggest that Obama is hostile to Israel and is losing the Jewish vote. And meanwhile, get the Israel lobby to hammer anyone in the administration or Congress who says aloud that maybe Bibi has made some mistakes, not just Barack. There, who says Mr Netanyahu doesn't have a strategy?"

I don't know what this all means in terms of this week's vote at the UN except for this: The US position, whatever it turns out to be, will be dictated by people whose sole goal is to defend Netanyahu and the status quo. I expect the president to do exactly what Netanyahu wants him to do. And, given Netanyahu's choices of late, the outcome will be disastrous.

I feel terrible about all this. And I'm not alone. Many people who care about Israel understand that it can only survive if it ends the occupation and supports the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. In fact, the people I know who are most happy about the course Netanyahu and Obama will likely adopt at the UN are either robotic supporters of the lobby ("if Netanyahu says it, it must be right") and those who would like to see Israel replaced by one state, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, dominated by the Palestinian majority.

Two things are terribly wrong here. Most significantly, our foreign policy in the US is being dominated by a lobby that takes its orders from an inept leader of a country that is the largest recipient of US aid - but that never does anything to make life easier for the United States. The other is that the lobby in question calls itself "pro-Israel" - but repeatedly and consistently promotes policies that endanger the very survival of Israel. For the lobby, it's all a DC power game. Too bad that so many lives are at stake. Not to mention a 1,900-year-old dream.

Background: Here is an article on how AIPAC helped orchestrate the defeat of the late chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Charles Percy, for deviating from the AIPAC line.

Here is a letter from ADL Chairman Abe Foxman accusing the great Bill Moyers of "anti-Semitism" because he criticised the Gaza war. Foxman also organised pressure on PBS for hosting the progressive journalist.

MJ Rosenberg is a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network. The above article first appeared in Foreign Policy Matters, a part of the Media Matters Action Network.

Israel's Misguided Crackdown Strategy

Israel's misguided crackdown strategy

Reuters/Mohamad Torokman
Protesters are forced back by Israeli security force officers in the West Bank village of Bilin.

To Lower The Risk Of Violence, The Usual, Get-Tough Response To Palestinian Protests Is The Wrong Approach

FRIDAY, SEP 23, 2011 17:01 ET
Courtesy Of "Salon Magazine"

The Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Liberman has said that he fears "tens of thousands" of Palestinians may demonstrate this month to support a Palestinian bid for upgraded United Nations status, and predicts "bloodshed on a scale we haven't seen." According to leaked documents, the military is preparing for "mass disorder" and has spent $22 million on crowd-control equipment, and issued orders to fire at the legs of any Palestinians who cross the "red lines" that it has demarcated around settlements.
But if Israel wants to lower the risk of violence around the expected U.N. vote, its usual, get-tough response to Palestinian protests is the wrong approach. Instead, it should start by meeting its legal obligation to respect freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in the occupied territories.
Israeli military orders in the West Bank have effectively banned even peaceful protests. Any gathering of 10 or more people, even in a private home, about "a political matter or one liable to be interpreted as political," is prohibited without a military permit, on pain of up to 10 years in prison. The Israeli military commonly imposes "closed military zones" on Palestinian villages that seek to hold demonstrations, restricting access to the villages for up to six months at a time.
The military has also repeatedly subjected Palestinian advocates of peaceful protests to arbitrary arrests, abusive military prosecutions and unfair trials. In 2009, for instance, the Israeli military arrested Mohammed Khatib, a protest organizer from the village of Bil'in who had called for nonviolent protests against the confiscation of village lands by Israel's separation barrier. The military charged him with throwing stones at a demonstration in 2008. Khatib's passport showed, though, that he was on the Pacific island of New Caledonia at that time. He was released on condition that he present himself at a police station at the time of weekly protests, effectively barring him from participating. In 2010, the military detained him again and charged him with "incitement." Security services justified the detention on the grounds that "incitement materials" were confiscated at his home, but the materials proved to be records of his trial, his lawyer said.
Not all Palestinian protesters are nonviolent. Youths frequently throw stones at Israeli forces. And there is no question that Israel may treat violence as a criminal offense and that its security forces may use lawful force as necessary to protect themselves and others.
But scores of witness accounts and videos over the years have shown Israeli troops shooting, firing tear gas and throwing concussion grenades at Palestinian protesters who were clearly peaceful and posed no risk to life or property. In another Bil'in case, for example, the Israeli rights group B'Tselem collected videos and other evidence showing that in April 2009, a soldier killed Bassem Abu Rahme by firing a high-velocity tear-gas canister directly at him from 30 meters away, and that he had not thrown stones, damaged the separation barrier or otherwise endangered soldiers. A military investigation into his death is ongoing.
The head of the Israeli military's Central Command told U.S. officials in February 2010 that he "did not know what [the demonstrations] were about" but felt that Palestinian villagers "were only demonstrating because they were told to do so" by "suspicious people," according to a leaked diplomatic cable. The cable's subject was "IDF Plans Harsher Methods with West Bank Demonstrations." It is hard to see how such methods lower the risk of violence, especially when used against advocates of peaceful protests.
Israeli authorities should instead show the same respect for the freedom of peaceful assembly in the West Bank as they do in Israel itself. Israeli demonstrators need no permits for demonstrations of up to 50 people, and the police must grant permit requests for larger demonstrations unless there is "near certainty" of harm to the public. Police have not declared protest areas in Israel to be "closed zones" or violently suppressed peaceful demonstrators there. Activists who organized three of the "tent protests" that sprang up across Israel after July to protest spiraling housing costs told Human Rights Watch that they had failed to obtain the required permits, but police allowed the protests to go ahead.
Contradicting fears of bloodshed around the Palestinian initiative at the United Nations, a recent Israeli intelligence briefing said that while some West Bank Palestinians may protest, they do not want violence, Haaretz reported. But whatever Israeli forces' views of Palestinian protests, Israel should revoke the military laws and end the prosecutions that penalize Palestinians for holding even peaceful demonstrations, and change Israel's approach to using force against nonviolent protesters. 

A Plan of Action For The Global Political Awakening

A Revolutionary Idea For A Revolutionary Time:

[The Rockefeller Foundation’s policies] were directed to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding. The Social sciences, for example, will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control; the Media and Natural sciences propose a closely coordinated study of sciences which underlie personal understanding and personal control.

- Max Mason, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, 1933[1]

Much of [the Global Political Awakening] is also fueled by globalization, which the United States propounds, favors and projects by virtue of being a globally outward-thrusting society. But that also contributes to instability, and is beginning to create something altogether new: namely, some new ideological or doctrinal challenge which might fill the void created by the disappearance of communism… But [communism] is now totally discredited, and we have a pragmatic vacuum in the world today regarding doctrines. But I see the beginnings, in writings and stirrings, of the making of a doctrine which combines anti-Americanism with anti-globalization, and the two could become a powerful force in a world that is very unequal and turbulent.

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Carnegie Council, 2004[2]

By Andrew Gavin Marshall
September 20, 2011
Courtesy Of "Information Clearing House"

We are in revolutionary times. Our societies – the political, economic, and social institutions and ideas that comprise our global, national, and local social structure – are in a state of transformation. We are entering into the Greatest Depression in history, our governments are driven by the logic of imperial insanity, whereby we are increasingly headed for a World War III scenario. The imperial strategists who advise and determine the policies of our nations are bent on a system of total global control. We undertake an imperialist war against the country of Libya, we seek to expand the global war into Pakistan, largely in order to challenge China’s growing influence in the world, and we have set the stage for another imperialist war in Yemen. The covert apparatus – military and intelligence – of our imperialistic nations have and continue to employ the techniques and support of terrorism in order to achieve strategic goals, including using terrorism against our domestic populations themselves.

The middle classes of the Western industrialized world are on the verge of total extinction, with the likely result of leading to riots, rebellion, and revolution. We have entered the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ where for the first time in human history, as American imperial strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski articulated, “almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.” With the Arab uprisings, we have seen a new phase in the Global Political Awakening, which is itself a process in the long road to world revolution. Naturally, our imperial governments seek to co-opt, control, or totally oppress these revolutionary sentiments into more evolutionary, stable, and secure structures.

Elite think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission work to establish consensus among elites in a global project of social engineering, seeking to establish a system and structure of global governanceand ultimately, global government. A major facet of this global social engineering project is through the global economic crisis – the Greatest Depression – whereby a great global debt depression will create and conditions necessary to serve as an excuse for a global government. Already, this process is well under way in the establishment of global economic governance, in the forms of a global central bank and a global currency.

Indeed, the system being constructed and engineered by the elite is not simply a global government as we may understand the notion of government in today’s context, but an entirely new structure, driven by the social engineering techniques of science and technology, into a Global Scientific Dictatorship.

So where are we? How did we get here? Who drove us here? What ideas created these circumstances? Where are we going? Why?

Understanding Power

These are questions I ask and seek to answer in my current book project, which is a historical, political, economic and social analysis of the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power in our world. Included in this examination is the history and emergence of the nation state, capitalism, central banking, and the rise of the powerful and dominant banking dynasties – such as Rothschild, Morgan, and Rockefeller – which have come to manifest themselves as the modern imperial families of the global era. Included in this heavily-researched study is the emergence of the concept of ‘social control’ and its manifestation through the creation of the public education system, the university education system, the development and evolution of the ‘social sciences’ as tools of ‘social engineering,’ the emergence of the major philanthropic foundations, founded, funded, and run by the dominant dynastic powers for the purposes of creating consensus among elites, and engineering consent among the governed. Also examined in the book is the apparatus of empire, including the IMF, the World Bank, the UN, the Bank for International Settlements, the Pentagon, CIA, and the uses and techniques of war and covert operations. However, the role of the foundations is a significant facet of the book.

The foundations play a significant part in the examination of power in our global society, and are a major focus of my book. The foundations were created in an era in large part defined by the elite ideology of eugenics, where the elite sought to engineer humanity itself, to establish themselves as entrenched in the social structure of the world, and to create the conditions through which that domination may be expanded and secured. The foundations not only funded and helped engineer the eugenics movement, but they have played a pivotal role in the control, co-optation, consensus-building, ideology construction, and engineering of consent in a large number of other areas: the formation and evolution of the social sciences (including political science, economics, sociology, psychology), the development and direction of science (in particular genetics, microbiology, physics, chemistry, psychiatry, medicine), the population control movement, funding and directing into ‘safe’ avenues major social movements which would otherwise threaten the global social structure and elite interests, such as the Civil Rights movement, the environmental movement, and the anti-globalization movement. The foundations have essentially created and managed a global civil society, supporting the development and proliferation of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which act as modern equivalents to the missionary societies of the formal colonial era, whereby they contribute moderately to relieving the symptoms of imperialism and domination (such as supporting efforts for education, health care, and human rights) while ultimately undermining and co-opting indigenous resistance movements which might otherwise challenge the power structures that created those symptoms in the first place. The foundations helped establish and fund the major think tanks, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission, which function by bringing together elites from banking, industry, media, academia, politics, military, intelligence and other areas in order to help establish consensus among the elites in the broader goal of engineering a system of global governance. As such, the foundations are ‘engines of social engineering,’ effectively constructing ideology, and aiding in the institutionalization of ideas.

It is the concept of the institutionalization of ideas which is a primary focus of my book, understanding power as being particularly relevant in this context. While certainly there are individuals, families, and groups which are dominant and hold enormous power, there were first ideas and institutions which allowed and facilitated the rise of these very individuals to such positions of power. In the book, I do not refrain from naming the names of the elite, with a particular focus on the roles of the Rothschild and Rockefeller families; however, I also place these dynastic influences within a wider context: understanding that these families were only able to rise to the positions of power they now hold because of the effect of particular ideas and institutions, such as those of the nation-state, capitalism, central banking, private banking, hegemony, empire, and social engineering. More than ingenuity, it was opportunity that allowed these families to rise to power. While since coming to power, they have generally been the dominant forces in steering the direction of the global social, political, and economic structures, they are as much a product of previous social, political, and economic power structures as the rest of us are. As such, we cannot erroneously and simplistically identify all the problems of our world with a few individuals or families. This would be a monumental error if we are to ever move forward and find new solutions. It is, in fact, the power of ideas which is central to understanding our world, and in particular, the effect of the ‘institutionalization of ideas.’

While critically examining the roles of these dynastic powers in our society is imperative in order to understand how we got to this place, if we limit ourselves to that focus alone, we risk the eventual failure of any attempt at true change. If we focus simply on these dynastic influences, we neglect the role played by the various ideas and institutions which have made possible the development of dynastic power; thus, if we fail to properly understand the nature and interaction of ideas and institutions in the context of power, we will ultimately only replace the names of those who dominate the world, not the system of domination itself. If we seek to only criticize and change the dynastic rulers, new ones will rise in their place, for we would hold onto various ideas and institutions which gave rise to them in the first place. After all, if it had not been the Rothschilds or Rockefellers, it would have been someone else. Even if we remove all the ideas and institutions which these dynasties have established, we neglect to see that there were previous institutionalized ideas which brought them to power in the first place. This is the focus of my book, seeking to understand power in the context of the institutionalization of ideas.

As such, we also can come to understand a different notion of human nature, manifested and made possible only by the removal of those ideas and institutions which dominate and oppress humanity, and thus, we can see a possibility of an era of true human liberation, a true global revolution. The circumstances for this global revolution are developing and increasing. Already, we are thrust within the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ where all of humanity is socially conscious, politically aware, and economically exploited. Thus, the conditions for radical change are made present. However, there still remains the multiplicity of views, understandings, ideologies, and intricacies of actions which make the ‘Global Awakening’ at present, a disunited, fractured, largely divided, often antagonistic, and easily co-opted global social phenomena.

The concept of the ‘Global Political Awakening’ has been popularized by the American imperial strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, former director of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Bilderberg group member, and co-founder with David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission, who continues to serve on a number of boards of prominent elite think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the RAND Corporation. Brzezinski identifies the ‘global political awakening’ as the greatest strategic threat to the institutionalized powers of the world, and proposes that policies initiated by governments and other institutions must address this as the fundamental issue of our time, and thus support the expansion of global governance as a means to deal with this phenomenon. In discussing this concept, Brzezinski warned fellow elites in a speech to the Carnegie Council, that the ‘global political awakening’ remains relatively adolescent and disunited:
But I see the beginnings, in writings and stirrings, of the making of a doctrine which combines anti-Americanism with anti-globalization, and the two could become a powerful force in a world that is very unequal and turbulent.[3]
This book attempts to help fill the “doctrinal void” that Brzezinski identifies as being the fundamental force preventing the unification of the Global Political Awakening. I am attempting to write this book as a study of power in our world unlike any previous examination: how did we get here? Where are we going? And why? Further, the book, through its more comprehensive examination of the power of ideas and institutions, simultaneously undertakes an examination of resistance and potential solutions. As such, the book attempts to articulate a ‘Philosophy of Liberation,’ one that may appeal to the majority of the world’s population.

The Philosophy Of Liberation

This philosophy, intended to serve as a potential doctrine for the ‘Global Political Awakening,’ has a broad appeal which can unite the left and right, which has the potential to gain support from both socialists and libertarians. Fundamentally, it is a simple concept: the ‘philosophy of liberation’ entails the absolute and total liberation of humanity from the ideas and institutions which dominate, co-opt, control, oppress and destroy humanity. The aim in such a concept of absolute and total liberation is to free humanity so that we may understand the true ‘human nature’, which has otherwise always been subject to various forms of control and oppression.

Apart from abstract notions of liberation and freedom, however, the book proposes particular plans of action and initiative which seek to bring such ideals to reality. The critical importance of understanding power in our world as a product of ideas and institutions is that we can come to see that what is needed to change this world into something that supports and liberates humanity (as opposed to controlling and oppressing humanity) is simply… a new idea. If ideas built this world and its power structures, if ideas built the institutions which dominate and control, if ideas gave rise to the dynastic powers which rule our world like modern imperial families, then what is required to bring all of this tumbling down is a new idea.

This new idea, which I set forth in the book, is a concept of anti-institutionalism: those ideas which seek to dominate must be challenged by those which seek to liberate; the institutionalization of those dominating ideas must be challenged by a counter-institutional structure which seeks to establish a parallel global system, so that the old institutions may be made irrelevant, antiquated, and extinct. The paradox here is that we must construct a counter-hegemonic system of institutions, but that they must be endowed with a strict adherence to a ‘philosophy of liberation’ which manifests itself as ‘anti-institutionalism.’ In short, we must create anti-institutional institutions.

Why is this so? Is this not entirely contradictory?

Indeed, these are fair questions, but they have fair answers. While we may have ideas of what is ideal, what is desired, and what is important; namely, concepts of peace, justice, democracy, freedom, and liberation. But we must establish a plan of action – a concept of how to achieve those ideals – yet this can only be done by understanding the world as it is, and therefore, the plan of action for liberation must be based on a realistic conception of the world if it is to have any chance of success in changing that world.

We live in a world of institutions and ideas. That is established. To create something new, to progress toward true liberation and freedom, we have to establish plans of action that act within – though opposed to – the global power structure of ideas and institutions. This does not propose a strategy of “change from the inside” where well-intentioned people join the institutions that dominate in the hopes that they may change the system from within those institutions. That strategy leads to folly and failure. Why? Because those institutions are dominated more by ideas than they are by individuals. The idea pervades, penetrates, and dominates the institution and infects the individuals within it, so that those with even the greatest and most humane of intentions can be corrupted and have their intentions disrupted by the institution they inhabit. No, what is needed is the formation of a counter-institutional structure.

The formation of institutions can allow them to flourish, spread, expand, and proliferate in a world which is predominantly institutional. If one wants to cross the sea to get to a new shore, one must first find a way to build a boat that facilitates the crossing. When the shore is reached, the boat has no more purpose. This is the concept of the counter-institutional structure: that it is only temporary, and that these institutions may seek to institutionalize – on a global scale – ideas which imbue a ‘philosophy of liberation’, and thus, they seek to bring about their own obsolescence. They deal with the world as it is, by creating structures within the global system (instead of isolating themselves from it), and thus in the same way that the ideas and institutions which seek to dominate have become so predominant and powerful in our world, we can effectively use the system against itself until the ideas and institutions which seek to liberate can become as powerful among the world’s people. Once a ‘philosophy of liberation’ has taken hold within the world’s population, and these counter-hegemonic institutions have helped establish an alternative system – helping to create people-oriented, locally organized, yet globally cooperative polities, economies, and societies – the institutions may be made irrelevant and dismantled, so that they may not be transformed through the potential to themselves dominate and control.

While the Global Political Awakening is a present reality in the world, the conditions for a true global revolution and challenge to the global power structures has yet to manifest itself. There are movements in different places, through different peoples, with differing ideas, but they are not yet united in aim, ideology, or action. The elite are seeking to establish a system and structure of global government, and are working very hard to establish such consensus among the global elite, as well as to employ specific strategies of action to effect such a change. We must do the same in order to counter this process.

Living in the era of the ‘Technological Revolution’, we are faced with an unprecedented dichotomy, whereby we are in the circumstances where for the first time in all of human history, a truly global oppressive system and structure of governance is made possible, and simultaneously, for the first time in human history, a global resistance and revolution against power structures is made possible via the communication and information revolutions, with the ultimate potential for all of humanity to become free simultaneously. This is unprecedented. Never before have all of humanity had the possibility of achieving liberation at the same time.

Thus, we have never truly had a liberated human society. This is both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity that humanity has ever faced. The elite see these developments in the same context, but with the perspective reversed. The elite see the greatest opportunity they have ever faced in human history as being to achieve the actual construction of a global government, never before possible, but now made plausible through advancements in technology; they also see the greatest challenge they have ever collectively faced in human history as being from a globally aware, active, and philosophically united world population seeking liberation and freedom. The elite are articulating these realities, and attempting to strategize and plan actions based upon these concepts. Brzezinski is perhaps the best example of this, as he has been articulating the notion of the ‘Global Political Awakening’ for many years, and has traveled to several of the more prominent think tanks among the imperial nations, warning the elites of the true realities of the world in which they seek to operate and dominate.

So too must the people of the world begin discussing these ideas, issues, and realities in order to establish consensus in understanding and initiatives for action. So long as we remain divided by artificial separations such as seeking change within the context of the ‘nation-state’ (as many in the anti-globalist movement seek a return to nationalism as a “solution”), which keeps them divided from the rest of the world. Only through solidarity of philosophy and action on the part of the world’s people may we come to actually and effectively create true change. The elite understand this. It’s time that we do too.

A Plan Of Action: The People’s Project

The plan of action for establishing the anti-institutional counter-hegemonic system I set forth in my book is what I refer to as “The People’s Project.” The book, by setting forth a more comprehensive analysis of the global structures and systems of power, builds a solution based upon this more elaborate understanding. In particular, as the role of the philanthropic foundations is of particular interest and focus in the book, I propose that in order to properly counter the global power structures, we must create a type of ‘people’s foundation.’ This is what I refer to as “The People’s Project.”

Instead of being funded by wealthy billionaires, philanthropists, bankers and industrialists, the People’s Project would be funded by the people, using the means made available through the Technological Revolution: utilizing social media networks in order to fundraise from people and communities around the world, and to advertise, promote and disseminate the idea globally. As such, the Project is democratically funded, and in fact, it is a representation of genuine free-market principles, something which could appeal to the libertarian elements of resistance. The funding would be directed for specific initiatives and projects that the organization undertakes.

While the funding is democratic and free-market oriented, in that if an idea is not welcomed by the people, it simply wouldn’t be funded by them; the actual organization, operations, and day-to-day decision making process must be undertaken by a relatively small and cooperative group of individuals. If we attempt to make the entire decision-making process democratic, we would be attempting to manifest a democratic institution in an anti-democratic world, and it would be stalled, stagnant, and ultimately a failure. Thus, it must act as an institution of the likes of a major philanthropic foundation. Its operations must be effected and decisions made by a group of people so that it may function effectively within the global institutional system. However, this group of people must abide by a strict adherence to a ‘philosophy of liberation,’ and all the Project’s financial information, decisions, and initiatives must be made publicly available, so that they may be analyzed, discussed, and assessed by the public. The people must be treated as the patrons, since they provide the money. Projects will be proposed and planned by the group within the institution, and the people will discuss, debate, assess, and ultimately vote with their dollars. If a project does not have popular appeal or support, it will not be funded, and thus, will not move forward into action.

The initiatives of The People’s Project itself must seek to create the counter-institutional structure that would make the present global system of power structure irrelevant and extinct. As this is ultimately a process of de-institutionalization, we must understand it in a similar context: that of the de-institutionalization of psychiatric patients over the past several decades. Certainly, releasing prisoners of psychiatric institutions was the right thing to do, as the momentum built for this endeavour and many of these institutions were closed down, and their prisoners (or as they are often referred to, “patients”) were released. However, many of these released prisoners simply ended up as homeless people, having no where to go and nothing to be able to do. Does this mean that the institution was a good thing? No, it was and remains an incredibly dehumanizing idea and structure. The problem was multi-faceted: most important in the failure of de-institutionalization of psychiatric prisoners was the fact that the vast majority of society suffers a severe misunderstanding of what we commonly refer to as ‘madness’ or ‘mental illness.’ This misunderstanding is an intentional consequence of the ideas and institutions of psychiatry, psychology, and pharmacology which are extremely prominent within our society, and which have been largely influence by the major philanthropic foundations. Namely, without a more coherent understanding of what we refer to as “mental illness,” we cannot even begin to understand those who experience different emotional and psychological states of being, which we mistakenly refer to as “diseases.” However, as an impulse, we tend to quickly attempt to define, label, and control that which we do not understand, and therefore we often mistreat those who we are labeling as such. In 1933, Max Mason, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, wrote that the foundation’s policies:
were directed to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding. The Social sciences, for example, will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control; the Media and Natural sciences propose a closely coordinated study of sciences which underlie personal understanding and personal control. Many procedures will be explicitly co-operative between [Foundation] divisions. The Medical and Natural Sciences will, through psychiatry and psychobiology, have a strong interest in the problems of mental disease.[4]
What we refer to as “mental illness” or “madness” is yet another avenue and means through which power is exercised in our world, and this is perhaps the most pervasive, damaging, and destructive powers that exist in our world, largely brought about through the institutions and ideas of psychiatry and psychology, which have predominantly sought the prescription laid out by the Rockefeller Foundation, “to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding.” Psychology and psychiatry were largely avenues through which power sought to control the human mind, not to liberate it. Indeed, it is an incredibly important though little-known fact that in 1992, the World Health Organization released a study of comparing treatment of schizophrenia in the developed and developing world (rich vs. poor) that began in 1968, which concluded that patients in poor countries “had a considerably better course and outcome than (patients) in developed countries. This remained true whether clinical outcomes, social outcomes, or a combination of the two was considered.”[5] A follow-up study by the WHO again confirmed that in poor countries, patients suffering “severe mental health” issues had a much higher rate of recovery than those in the rich, ‘developed’ nations, which tend to treat such experiences as a biological disease, and confuse treatment with causation: as in, because we treat such conditions with chemicals (i.e., drugs), the cause of the condition must itself be chemical.

As we largely misunderstand and misinterpret (and thus mislabel) such conditions as “diseases,” we fail to be able to deal properly with those who are subject to such conditions. Thus, the process of de-institutionalization of psychiatric facilities led in most places to human tragedy. From the 1960s onward, radical psychiatrists and philosophers began to challenge the way people view and understand madness and “mental illness.” Among them were Thomas Szasz, who challenged the entire notion of “mental disease” with his famous essay and subsequent book, “The Myth of Mental Illness,” which was perhaps the greatest intellectual challenge to the entire psychiatric establishment ever developed. There was also the French philosopher Michel Foucault who took on the challenge of understanding the history, ideas and institutions of psychiatry as an exercise in power – what he referred to as ‘biopower’ – the direct influence upon the biology and psychology of the individual. There was the radical Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing, who posited a different understanding of madness, explaining that, “Insanity is a sane reaction to an insane society.” And there was also the radial Italian psychiatrist, Franco Basaglia, who challenged the dominant ideas and who had actually created a successful method of de-institutionalization of psychiatric centers in Italy. Compared to the failures of North American deinstitutionalization, Italy achieved relative successes, largely at the initiative of Franco Basaglia, who sought to destroy the psychiatric institution itself. Basaglia understood that for deinstitutionalization to be successful, one must create the conditions which make the integration of patients into society possible. In one interview, Basaglia said:
It is not that we put illness aside, but rather that we believe in order to have a relationship with an individual it is necessary to establish it independent of the label by which the patient has been defined.[6]
What Basaglia realized was that, “psychiatric diagnoses were not independent of the prevailing moral and social order which tended to define normality and abnormality in its own class-based terms.” Psychiatry then, provided a “medical rationale” behind the “institutionalized violence” against the prisoners of psychiatric hospitals, which were largely poor, dispossessed individuals. As Basaglia explained:
Once the medical pretenses are gone, we can see the misery and the poverty that are the true nature of the asylum. The specificity of madness is also gone. The deception is obvious: it is one thing to say that an institution locks up fifty ‘sick’ people. It is quite another to say hat fifty ‘poor’ people have been locked up because there is no other solution to their problems.[7]
Psychiatry was thus understood as “a covert apparatus of brutal social control,” and psychiatric physicians were agents of social control. These technicians “diagnosed, with greater and greater precision and specificity, thus fragmenting the problem of ‘mental illness’ into a multitude of diseases so as to avoid confronting its wholeness, its unifying dimensions as a shared experience of alienated human needs.” In fact, “the inhuman regulations of the institution produce signs and symptoms that justify locking up the inmate,” and the “transformation of patient into object is almost literal.”[8] Thus, the institution itself often creates the ‘disease’ more than the individual experiences it as separated from the institution.

Basaglia’s program of deinstitutionalization included having the patients themselves help in physically destroying the institution with their own hands, most especially the physical barriers that confined and excluded them, such as doors, bars, and window gratings. Subsequently, ‘patients’ would work in the hospital, getting paid for their work, thus replicating the notion of a paid labour force on the outside of the institution. There would be daily meetings between staff and patients, and the meetings – known as the assemblea– were gradually transformed from a venue to express personal problems “toward using it as a vehicle for translating the personal into the collective and the political.”[9] The process of “destroying and, ultimately, closing down the wards of the [institution] had to be accompanied by the far more radical and difficult task of ‘opening up’ communities.”[10] The anti-institutional slogan put forward in this movement was, “Freedom is Therapeutic.” Thus, “alternative solutions had to be worked out, links re-established with the community; ex-patients had to develop new personal and social identities and to regain contractual power within the community.” Hence, the process of deinstitutionalization took place on two fronts: “in the hospital and in the community.”[11]

As the communities began to be integrated with the ex-patients, “townspeople could begin to recognize in the distress and suffering of former inmates some of the problems in living that plagued their own lives.” Further, “through the vehicle of art there existed yet another way of sensitizing the public at large to the violence of segregative control.” The physical institution itself, had been converted into a place for community interaction and life, turning wards and rooms into shops, college dorms, radio stations, and day care centers.[12]

Basaglia had to also “confront the old and uneasy alliance between psychiatry and the law. Demedicalizing and decriminalizing madness went hand in glove.”[13] Thus, laws had to be challenged and changed with made for a more effective and humane treatment of ‘patients’ and process of deinstitutionalization.
Why I spent so much time and space discussing the notion of psychiatry and its institutions of control is because the institution of psychiatry – both physical and ideational – can serve as a microcosm for understanding the global institution we live within today. Sociologist Erving Goffman published his monumental study of what he referred to as ‘total institutions’ in his 1961 book, Asylums. He defined the ‘total institution’ as “a place of residence and work where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life.”[14] In short, we can understand the power structures of the world as a type of ‘total institution’: whereby people are segregated – or confined – from one another, where they live, eat, work, sleep, remain enclosed and entrapped, where their actions and personal psychological health are often resulting from the institution itself: they become a product of the institution, not simply a resident within it. The institution itself creates the conditions it purportedly seeks to treat. The world is, in fact, a total institution. As we move down the road to a system of global governance, that institution is being further defined, segregated, controlling, and dehumanizing. Within the total institution of global society, psychiatry does come to play a particularly dehumanizing and personally pervasive role. As a 1944 Annual Report of the Rockefeller Foundation indicated:
It is not too much to assert… that in its actual and potential contribution to general medicine, to education, to sociology, indeed to the general business of living, psychiatry, without claiming omniscience in itself, is cast for a role of fundamental importance in helping to shape any world that may come out of the present one.[15]
Just as Basaglia sought the means to more effectively and efficiently deinstitutionalize the mental asylums, so too must we – globally – seek to create a more effective process of deinstitutionalizing global society. This requires the dual process of breaking down the institutions that confine us, while simultaneously – and more painstakingly – seeking to establish links, changes, positions, and possibilities within the community itself.
The People’s Project would seek to establish these community initiatives on a number of levels. Just as the philanthropic foundations have engineered much of our society in the world today, down to the very construction of knowledge itself, so too must The People’s Project engage in social engineering, but not with a purpose to control; rather, with a purpose to liberate. These initiatives of the major philanthropic foundations have been articulated by many of their former leaders and administrators. Warren Weaver, a director of the Rockefeller Foundation who led the natural sciences department in the 1930s, wrote that:
The welfare of mankind depends in a vital way on man’s understanding of himself and his physical environment. Science has made magnificent progress in the analysis and control of inanimate forces, but science has not made equal advances in the more delicate, more difficult, and more important problem of the analysis and control over animate forces.[16]
In 1934, Warren Weaver wrote a proposal to the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation in which he asked:
Can man gain an intelligent control of his own power? Can we develop so sound and extensive a genetics that we can hope to breed, in the future, superior men? Can we obtain enough knowledge of physiology and psychobiology of sex so that man can bring this pervasive, highly important, and dangerous aspect of life under rational control? Can we unravel the tangled problem of the endocrine glands, and develop, before it is too late, a therapy for the whole hideous range of mental and physical disorders which result from glandular disturbances? … Can we release psychology from its present confusion and ineffectiveness and shape it into a tool which every man can use every day? Can man acquire enough knowledge of his own vital processes so that we can hope to rationalize human behavior? Can we, in short, create a new science of Man?[17]
The Foundation, however, is an important and potent example to follow for a counter-hegemonic institution. This is because of the nature of how the foundation influences and exerts its power, which while largely through funding initiatives, it can spur developments of entire fields and initiatives simply through the act of suggestion. As a former president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Raymond Fosdick, wrote in 1934 in a letter to the board of trustees of the Foundation:
We do not have to be cynical to admit that if a foundation announces an interest in anthropology or astronomy or physio-chemical reactions, there will be plenty of institutions that will develop a zeal for the prosecution of these studies. The responsibility which this inescapable fact throws upon a foundation is enormous. The possession of funds carries with it power to establish trends and styles of intellectual endeavour… Indeed we would strongly advocate a shift of emphasis in favor not only of the dissemination of knowledge, but on the practical application of knowledge in fields where human need is great and opportunity is real. As a means of advancing knowledge, application can be as effective an instrument as research.[18]
Thus, as the Foundation influences, so too can The People’s Project influence. The key differences, however, are the ideology and patronage of the institution itself. As the former Rockefeller Foundation president Max Mason articulated, the foundation’s policies were directed “to the general problem of human behavior, with the aim of control through understanding.”[19] The People’s Project, however, would be directed “to the general problem of human society, with the aim of liberation through understanding.” 

Patronage is another important difference. In the private foundation, patronage is the result of wealthy philanthropists, industrialists, bankers and billionaires who fund the foundations, and thus influence and determine the direction it takes. With The People’s Project, patronage would lie with the people, funding would be democratically accountable, and thus, the direction of a project – if undesired by the people – would be made impossible by their refusal to fund the project. It is in this sense that the People’s Project may be accountable, even while its institutional structure is undemocratic.

As for specific initiatives that The People’s Project could and should undertake, I outline this somewhat more specifically in the“Project Philosophy” on the website for the Project; however, I will explain a general concept here.

The first initiative is referred to as The People’s Book Project, whereby the book I am writing may be funded and made possible. I will publish and make available the financial information, donations received, as well as logging the hours I have worked on the book, and thus, how much I am being paid to do so. I will update the site – The People’s Book Project – with information on what I am writing about at that time, giving an up-to-date and interactive process of writing the book, with comments and suggestions from readers and supporters. The book itself will serve as the philosophical foundation for the larger initiative of The People’s Project, laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive analysis and understanding of the world, and thus, serving as the basis for which the organization understands and acts in our world. The book also, as a conclusion, proposes the concept of The People’s Project in terms of solutions. Thus, if the book is itself funded and brought into being through this initiative, its very existence will be brought about by the recommendations it sets forth in its conclusions; thus, its existence may serve as evidence of its validity as a solution.

To put it simply: the book does not simply ‘recommend’ a solution, as it’s very existence would be evidence of that solution. Once the book is complete, The People’s Project can begin to undertake its larger initiatives.

Like the foundations, it must start with the formation of ideology and consensus. That is the purpose of the book itself, to establish a concrete understanding and to support the dissemination of those ideas to people and places around the world, to help institutionalize those ideas in the institutions which the Project creates and supports. Such institutions could and should include: radical think tanks, which are designed to produce research and recommendations for strategies aimed at the global liberation of humanity. The creation of liberation-oriented think tanks, as well as supporting them to become self-sufficient (perhaps in the same democratically funded way as the Project itself) could draw intellectual talents away from the powerful think tanks, or the “alternative” think tanks, which are supported by the major foundations and which draw intellectual talents which might otherwise support radical social change and revolutionary movements into a structure, institution, and context which forces them to be placated by the ideas of slow, evolutionary change to the system, but that type of change which simply addresses the symptoms of the global system, but doesn’t challenge the power structure outright. These types of think tanks exist as controlled opposition to the dominant imperial think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations. These “alternative” think tanks must be made irrelevant by the development of radical, liberation-oriented think tanks which seek to directly challenge the system itself, and help in the construction of new alternatives. Their existence alone would create the potential to attract intellectual talent, and thus, become successful initiatives.

Another avenue which The People’s Project should undertake is that of supporting the formation of a ‘new economy’, essentially helping establish a parallel economy to the global system we are all subjugated under. 

This would initially involve supporting initiatives aimed at creating local currencies, controlled and operated by local communities. The Project should organize conferences and meetings, bringing together representatives from various community currency projects around the world, in order to help understand the different projects, the failures and successes, and come to a better understanding of what works. Further, bringing such representatives together should also facilitate the establishment of trade and exchange ties between these communities, which is important to ensure that a project of building a parallel economy and community currency does not isolate itself from the world (and thus ensure its eventual failure, as it would ultimately be crushed by power-institutional forces from without), but that the parallel economy can establish itself globally. The key difference is that instead of operating through the dominant central banks, private banks, and multinational corporations, this parallel global economy would establish itself among the people directly. Of course, this implies the absolute necessity of – early on – bringing farmers and produce distributors into this system. In this sense, control over food is essential. We must reduce and ultimately eliminate our dependence upon the dominant institutions in our world.

Once community currencies can begin to be established, an immediate initiative of those communities (which the People’s Project can help begin) is to create a community foundation, funded entirely by the community bank, which is accountable to the people, not bankers. The initiatives and projects of the community foundation would mirror those of the People’s Project, but on a local scale. It must be funded by the community bank, without interest or debt. Since the concepts of interest and debt are just ideas, all we have to do to change their existence is to simply agree, collectively, that they are bad ideas. After all, currencies are faith-based, so we need to place our faith in a different currency system which supports people, not bankers. 

The community foundation could then be perpetually funded by the community bank in order to support local initiatives and community projects. Of course, this is a complex process which would take a great deal of time and effort, and not least without a great many failures along the way. But the point is that we need to establish a plan of action to begin effecting change and interaction and communication on a global scale.

This is not a utopian ideal, it is a humane ideal. Up until present time, what we refer to as “human civilization” is often the process of a coercive and socially constructed method of shaping humanity to fit within the confines and adjust itself to ‘society.’ Human history continuously shows examples whereby societies were constructed and people were then forced to adjust to those societies. Often this was done violently and coercively, but also, and more effectively, and most especially in the past century, this was done through the engineering of consent. The point of this Project is to help free humanity, so that we can properly understand human nature for the first time, and thus construct society around the needs and desires of human nature. 

Human civilization must come to reflect human nature; human nature can no longer be shaped within the confines of human civilization. As people are largely a product of their environment, down to the very notion of what we know as “mental illness,” we must begin to reshape the environment to support the people. We must construct our society in such a way that enhances and flourishes all that is good in human nature, while minimizing and undermining all that is bad in human nature. Currently, our society does the opposite. That is why war, poverty, dehumanization, and destruction are so common, whereas cooperation, liberation, peace, and harmonious existence are so rare.

It seems quite apparent that our little experiment known as ‘human civilization’ is actually more properly identified as a “dehumanized civilization,” as it ruins, oppresses, controls, co-opts, and seeks to destroy all that is good, wonderful, and beautiful in human nature. We must then, construct a new civilization, a “humane civilization,” one that undermines the negative aspects of human nature and supports the positive. Humans have a tendency to be corrupted by too much power, no matter the intentions and beliefs of that individual, too much power in one person or institution is self destructive. Subsequently, too much power in too few hands implies the de facto circumstance of too little power in too many hands, so that the vast majority of the world’s people are left with very little power even over their own lives. This leads to poverty, despair, violence, terrorism, war, hunger, hatred, and madness. What is implied then, is that power must be decentralized, people must gain more, and institutions must have less. In such a situation, we can begin to see the potential for humanity to gain – for the first time in all of human history – the ultimate liberation, the true freedom. As such, we would be able to see the true reality of “human nature.”

If you study mice in a maze, no matter for how long you may do so, you cannot ever hope to understand the mouse outside of the context of the maze itself. The mouse or mice you study and observe are products of that maze, as they are confined within it and their lives dictated by its walls and parameters. Therefore, you can never hope to conclude a true ‘nature’ of the mouse through observing it in such circumstances. Only when you break the walls of the maze and erase its foundations, thus freeing the mice to their own devices, can you even begin to understand the nature and potential of the mouse. This is the perspective we must come to understand in regards to humanity. We can commonly deduce that it is “human nature” to be violent, to hate, to kill, to destroy; that we need states and governments and powers to stand above and look over us, preventing us from destroying ourselves. Yet, we act in accordance with the confines of our own maze – the global institutional social system – and thus, we are a product – and our nature is thus a product – of the system we live within. If our nature is violent, hateful, and destructive, it is because the system we live within has made it so. Thus, we need to liberate humanity from that system, and simultaneously create a parallel system which may help to establish a society that requires cooperation, true individuality, respect, understanding, peace, and love. We are largely a product of our environment, therefore we must change both the individual – through our personal perceptions and understanding of the world – and the environment around the individual, in order to create a truly ‘humane’ society.

These are the aims and objectives of The People’s Project. The Book Project, as the first phase in the wider initiative explained above, seeks to establish itself as a basis upon which the People’s Project would understand and act in the world. The People’s Book Project can only be made possible through the support, donations, and word of mouth of the people themselves, activated through social media and the Internet, using the unprecedented opportunity we have before us as a result of the Technological, communication and information revolutions.

Indeed, nothing would be a greater shame than to exist in revolutionary times without revolutionary ideas. 

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of the People’s Book Project.

[1] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.

[2] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004:

[3] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Speech at the Carnegie Council: March 25, 2004:

[4] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.

[5] The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Leff, J. Psychological Medicine, 22 (1992):131-145:

[6] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 160.

[7] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 161.

[8] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), pages 161-162.

[9] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), pages 164-165.

[10] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 167.

[11] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 168.

[12] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 169.

[13] Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Anne M. Lovell, “Breaking the Circuit of Social Control: Lessons in Public Psychiatry from Italy and Franco Basaglia,” Social Science and Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, 1986), page 170.

[14] Erving Goffman, Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates (First Anchor Books, New York: 1961), page xiii.

[15] Annual Report, The Rockefeller Foundation, 1944, page 31.

[16] Daniel J. Kevles, “Foundations, Universities, and Trends in Support for the Physical and Biological Sciences, 1900-1992,”Daedalus (Vol. 121, No. 4, Immobile Democracy?), Fall 1992, page 206

[17] Robert E. Kohler, “The Management of Science: The Experience of Warren Weaver and the Rockefeller Programme in Molecular Biology.” Minerva (Vol. 14, No. 3), 1976, page 291

[18] Robert E. Kohler, “The Management of Science: The Experience of Warren Weaver and the Rockefeller Programme in Molecular Biology.” Minerva (Vol. 14, No. 3), 1976, page 293

[19] Lily E. Kay, “Rethinking Institutions: Philanthropy as an Historigraphic Problem of Knowledge and Power,” Minerva (Vol. 35, 1997), page 290.