Something a little different from the usual outrages this site chooses to spotlight in the news cycle. Consider it a primer in ‘adult history’ – expanding on the sanitized history of nation-states you were taught in school. This is a must read, in it’s entirety. Kudos to ‘TocqueDeville’ for the investigative journalism.
by TocqueDeville, Daily KOS
October 22, 2008, originally published July 27, 2008
So what if I told you that the powers of financial capitalism (bankers etc.), had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands, able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. [Ed. Note: He is not talking about freemarket Capitalism here - free trade between consenting individuals in a system where individual rights are respected - this is an older system, the "Ancien Regime", in which the state and the economic sector are one and the same. Mussolini called it Corporativism or Fascism. With that caveat, I cede the floor.]
This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations?
And what if I told you they had succeeded?
Wow! The most powerful bankers creating a world system of financial control, dominating the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole, with secret meetings. Surely you would think Tocque has fallen under the spell of a wild conspiracy theory.
But you can put away the cat in the tinfoil hat. Those are not my words. And it’s not a theory. They are the words of one of the greatest, most eminent historians in modern times, the late Carroll Quigley – of Harvard, Princeton and the Georgetown Foreign School.
Here is bill Clinton referring to his former college professor Quigley at the 1992 Democratic convention:
“As a teenager, I heard John Kennedy’s summons to citizenship. And then, as a student at Georgetown I heard that call clarified by a professor named Carroll Quigley, who said to us that America was the greatest nation in history because our people had always believed in two things: that tomorrow can be better than today and that every one of us has a personal moral responsibility to make it so.”
Quigley could write credibly about the far reaching aims of these ruling elites because he himself was a member of the ruling class and, as such, he was given unprecedented access to their private files and records. When he published these words in his 1300 page tome, Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, not only was he adding to the historical record a previously untold story, he was making history himself in doing so.
The story I am about to share is critically important. One simply cannot understand politics without understanding the significant role the ruling class plays in it – behind the scenes, and beyond the grasp of democratic oversight. Quigley is an essential introduction to what I call the adult history of the world. And it is only with this historical understanding that we can understand the forces shaping our world, and possibly hope to affect them.
The time for the common man, or at the very least the educated political class like us, to be let in on the secret has long since passed. To take our country back, we must know who exactly we are taking it back from. And we must know what their real agenda is, and their methods for achieving it. It is simply unacceptable in this information age for so many to be oblivious to the real forces of political power, and to allow those forces to operate in secrecy.
These excerpts from Quigley are just the beginning. And while his revelations are about the financial powers of the early 20th Century, they are essential for understanding the power structures that exist today.
Perhaps most importantly, his revelations help us recognize that there is indeed a power class, working behind the scenes, acting upon our government, the mass media and education to bring about a world that is very much contrary to the interests and aims of the public.
The Historian Spills the Beans
Tragedy and Hope is not a book about the ruling class, and it is certainly not a “conspiracy” book. It is, as its title says, a history of the modern world. Quigley has merely reinserted the role of the ruling powers back into the narrative where they belong for any accurate account.
But in the process, Quigley drops a number of bombshells. And I don’t mean two week press cycle bombshells. I mean rewrite history bombshells. Here is an incredibly brief synopsis of some of them, followed by the relevant excerptions. (I have linked to the excerpt that corresponds to each item. Just click the number to quickly scroll down.)
Cecil Rhodes, the founder of De Beers and creator of the Rhodes’ Trust (of which the Rhodes’ Scholarship is a part) formed a secret society with some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Britain and New York. The primary goal of this group was to federate the English speaking world and to expand the British empire. The structure of this society was an inner circle of “initiates” and outer circles of “helpers.” The outer circles were called Round Table groups.
This was during the Gilded Age and it is difficult to even comprehend the wealth of these people (I posted a pic of one of their houses just to convey). And to truly understand their aims, you have to appreciate the reach of their industry. These were the first globalists of the modern era and their vision was breathtaking in scope. They sought to create a transnational trading system that would allow them unfettered access to markets and resources worldwide with minimal red tape. In essence, they were the pioneers of globalization and national sovereignty and colonial unrest was their primary impediment.
It appears the specific goals of this group evolved over the years, and their dream of a world federation gave way to a softer, more subtle alignment. But one can only describe their general aim of recalibrating the political environment, consisting of most major nations, into a global free trading system as being highly successful.
We are witnessing now the fruition of a plan set in motion over a century ago, conceived in secret, and implemented over multiple generations. And while the modern world certainly differs from that imagined by these founders, they are truly the architects of what we may call the Anglo-American empire that thrives today. They laid the foundation, both for the transnational banking and industrial system we have now, and for the methods of exerting the power to create that system.
At this point, if this isn’t blowing your mind a bit, it’s because you already know all about Carroll Quigley and his revelations, you haven’t been reading carefully, or you think I’m off my rocker. Let me assure you, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I have zero interest in secret societies. Skull and Bones bores me. My only interest in the ruling class is their subversion, for their own aims, of American democracy, and the many crimes against humanity and nature they commit daily around the world.
It is only to the extent that they are a force in politics that I have any interest at all. Through my involvement in the entertainment industry and academic associations I have known more than a few in the ruling class (mostly their offspring) and I can tell you unequivocally that they are not all evil, Bohemian Grove is not a cult but a fancy camping trip, and that almost all the conspiracy theories you will find on the interenet are wrong. There is, as far as I know, no Illuminati or any other such bullshit. And this is not the X-Files.
What we have is pluralism meets feudalism with a hefty amount of mafia thrown in. The ruling class in the early 20th Century, as it is now, was not monolithic. And in spite of their working together to bring about one globalized order, they often compete and work against each other, just like any other political bloc. It is imperative to understand, this is not a conspiracy. It was in its conception. And the powerful certainly conspire and collude daily. But “globalization” is a movement, not too unlike the progressive movement. The difference is the globalists have literally trillions of dollars, euros, and pounds to throw around on their campaign.
The Council on Foreign Relations was a front organization for this group. This shouldn’t come as any surprise. The CFR is known well now as a trade lobby. And many also already have a pretty good idea of their role in empire maintenance. But to discover their secret origins was one of Quigley’s greatest finds. And if one has any doubt about the power of the CFR, one merely has to read this bit of homespun wisdom spoken on the Senate floor from Senator Earnest Hollings (D) of South Carolina (Congressional Record, June 30, 1993, S8315):
If you ever run for President, you get very wonderful, embossed invitations from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, and you get the coffee and fine china, and, man, you are really a high muckety-muck.
And then what they do is get you to swear on the altar of free trade an undying loyalty and support—free trade, free trade. That is all they want. And they co-opt every one of these young Senators that want to run for President.
In England, the front is called the Royal Institute of International Affairs or Chatham House.
Here Quigley describes the methods the group uses to implement its far reaching aims. I’m going to revisit this part in my next post. But this should be of special interest to us all. In fact, I place this as the most important of all of Quigley’s revelations.
“The methods can be summed up under three headings: (a) a triple-front penetration in politics, education, and journalism; (b) the recruitment of men of ability (chiefly from [certain universities) and the linking of these men to the [Group] by matrimonial alliances and by gratitude for titles and positions of power; and (c) the influencing of public policy by placing members of the [Group] in positions of power shielded as much as possible from public attention. (Carroll Quigley – The Anglo American Establishment
Thus the title of this diary – Three Easy Steps. This movement has penetrated every power structure civilized life – from politics of course, to journalism (See bombshell #4), and even down to our schools and universities, all with the goal of facilitating their control.
The group had significant control over the most powerful newspapers in the US and Britain, and infiltrated the Left-wing with such instruments as the New Republic:
The American branch of this “English Establishment” exerted much of its influence through five American newspapers (The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, and the lamented Boston Evening Transcript)
Here begins the excerpt section. It’s a hard read with many unfamiliar names – and some you will know. But I highly recommend reading it. There is far more treasure in here than I outlined.
This association was formally established on February 5, 1891, when Rhodes and Stead organized a secret society of which Rhodes had been dreaming for sixteen years. In this secret society Rhodes was to be leader; Stead, Brett (Lord Esher), and Lord Milner were to form an executive committee; Arthur (Lord) Balfour, (Sir) Harry Johnston, Lord Rothschild, Albert (Lord) Grey, and others were listed as potential members of a “Circle of Initiates”; while there was to be an outer circle known as the “Association of Helpers” (later organized by Milner as the Round Table organization)….Thus the central part of the secret society was established by March 1891. It continued to function as a formal group, although the outer circle was, apparently, not organized until 1909-1913.
Quigley describes the “outer”, Round Table group’s formation thusly:
The Round Table Groups have already been mentioned in this book several times, notably in connection with the formation of the British Commonwealth in chapter 4 and in the discussion of appeasement in chapter 12 (“the Cliveden Set”). At the risk of some repetition, the story will be summarized here, because the American branch of this organization (sometimes called the “Eastern Establishment’ ) has played a very significant role in the history of the United States in the last generation.
The Round Table Groups were semi-secret discussion and lobbying groups organized by Lionel Curtis, Philip H. Kerr (Lord Lothian), and (Sir) William S. Marris in 1908- 1911. This was done on behalf of Lord Milner, the dominant Trustee of the Rhodes Trust in the two decades 1905-1925. The original purpose of these groups was to seek to federate the English-speaking world along lines laid down by Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) and William T. Stead (1849-1912), and the money for the organizational work came originally from the Rhodes Trust. By 1915 Round Table groups existed in seven countries, including England, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and a rather loosely organized group in the United States (George Louis Beer, Walter Lippmann, Frank Aydelotte, Whitney Shepardson, Thomas W. Lamont, Jerome D. Greene, Erwin D. Canham of the Christian Science Monitor, and others). The attitudes of the various groups were coordinated by frequent visits and discussions and by a well informed and totally anonymous quarterly magazine, The Round Table, whose first issue, largely written by Philip Kerr, appeared in November 1910.
Money for the widely ramified activities of this organization came originally from the associates and followers of Cecil Rhodes, chiefly from the Rhodes Trust itself, and from wealthy associates such as the Beit brothers, from Sir Abe Bailey, and (after 1915) from the Astor family. Since 1925 there have been substantial contributions from wealthy individuals and from foundations and firms associated with the international banking fraternity, especially the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and other organizations associated with J. P. Morgan, the Rockefeller and Whitney families, and the associates of Lazard Brothers and of Morgan, Grenfell, and Company.
The chief backbone of this organization grew up along the already existing financial cooperation running from the Morgan Bank in New York to a group of international financiers in London led by Lazard Brothers. Milner himself in 1901 had refused a fabulous offer, worth up to $100,000 a year, to become one of the three partners of the Morgan Bank in London, in succession to the younger J. P. Morgan who moved from London to join his father in New York (eventually the vacancy went to E. C. Grenfell, so that the London affiliate of Morgan became known as Morgan, Grenfell, and Company). Instead, Milner became director of a number of public banks, chiefly the London Joint Stock Bank, corporate precursor of the Midland Bank. He became one of the greatest political and financial powers in England, with his disciples strategically placed throughout England in significant places, such as the editorship of The Times, the editorship of The Observer, the managing directorship of Lazard Brothers, various administrative posts, and even Cabinet positions. Ramifications were established in politics, high finance, Oxford and London universities, periodicals, the civil service, and tax-exempt foundations.
At the end of the war of 1914, it became clear that the organization of this system had to be greatly extended. Once again the task was entrusted to Lionel Curtis who established, in England and each dominion, a front organization to the existing local Round Table Group. This front organization, called the Royal Institute of International Affairs, had as its nucleus in each area the existing submerged Round Table Group. In New York it was known as the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a front for J. P. Morgan and Company in association with the very small American Round Table Group. The American organizers were dominated by the large number of Morgan “experts,” including Lamont and Beer, who had gone to the Paris Peace Conference and there became close friends with the similar group of English “experts” which had been recruited by the Milner group. In fact, the original plans for the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations were drawn up at Paris. The Council of the RIIA (which, by Curtis’s energy came to be housed in Chatham House, across St. James’s Square from the Astors, and was soon known by the name of this headquarters) and the board of the Council on Foreign Relations have carried ever since the marks of their origin. Until 1960 the council at Chatham House was dominated by the dwindling group of Milner’s associates, while the paid staff members were largely the agents of Lionel Curtis. The Round Table for years (until 1961) was edited from the back door of Chatham House grounds in Ormond Yard, and its telephone came through the Chatham House switchboard.
The New York branch was dominated by the associates of the Morgan Bank. For example, in 1928 the Council on Foreign Relations had John W. Davis as president, Paul Cravath as vice-president, and a council of thirteen others, which included Owen D. Young, Russell C. Leffingwell, Norman Davis, Allen Dulles, George W. Wickersham, Frank L. Polk, Whitney Shepardson, Isaiah Bowman, Stephen P. Duggan, and Otto Kahn. Throughout its history the council has been associated with the American Round Tablers, such as Beer, Lippmann. Shepardson. and Jerome Greene.
The academic figures have been those linked to Morgan, such as James T. Shotwell, Charles Seymour, Joseph P. Chamberlain, Philip Jessup, Isaiah Bowman and, more recently, Philip Moseley, Grayson L. Kirk, and Henry M. Wriston. The Wall Street contacts with these were created originally from Morgan’s influence in handling large academic endowments. In the case of the largest of these endowments, that at Harvard, the influence was usually exercised indirectly through “State Street,” Boston, which, for much of the twentieth century, came through the Boston banker Thomas Nelson Perkins.
The American Group and the CIA
Closely allied with this Morgan influence were a small group of Wall Street law firms, whose chief figures were Elihu Root, John W. Davis, Paul D. Cravath, Russell Leffingwell, the Dulles brothers (Alan Dulles was head of CIA) and, more recently, Arthur H. Dean, Philip D. Reed, and John J. McCloy. Other nonlegal agents of Morgan included men like Owen D. Young and Norman H. Davis.
Roots of the Anglo-American alliance
On this basis, which was originally financial and goes back to George Peabody, there grew up in the twentieth century a power structure between London and New York which penetrated deeply into university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy. In England the center was the Round Table Group, while in the United States it was J. P. Morgan and Company or its local branches in Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Some rather incidental examples of the operations of this structure are very revealing, just because they are incidental. For example, it set up in Princeton a reasonable copy of the Round Table Group’s chief Oxford headquarters, All Souls College. This copy, called the Institute for Advanced Study, and best known, perhaps, as the refuge of Einstein, Oppenheimer, John von Neumann, and George F. Kennan, was organized by Abraham Flexner of the Carnegie Foundation and Rockefeller’s General Education Board after he had experienced the delights of All Souls while serving as Rhodes Memorial Lecturer at Oxford. The plans were largely drawn by Tom Jones, one of the Round Table’s most active intriguers and foundation administrators.(cont. below)
THE MILNER GROUP could never have been built up by Milner’s own efforts. He had no political power or even influence. All that he had was ability and ideas. The same thing is true about many of the other members of the Milner Group, at least at the time that they joined the Group. The power that was utilized by Milner and his Group was really the power of the Cecil family and its allied families such as the Lyttelton (Viscounts Cobham), Wyndham (Barons Leconfield), Grosvenor (Dukes of Westminster), Balfour, Wemyss, Palmer (Earls of Selborne and Viscounts Wolmer), Cavendish (Dukes of Devonshire and Marquesses of Hartington), and Gathorne-Hardy (Earls of Cranbrook). The Milner Group was originally a major fief within the great nexus of power, influence, and privilege controlled by the Cecil family. It is not possible to describe here the ramifications of the Cecil influence. It has been all-pervasive in British life since 1886. This Cecil Bloc was built up by Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne and third Marquess of Salisbury (1830-1903). The methods used by this man were merely copied by the Milner Group. These methods can be summed up under three headings: (a) a triple-front penetration in politics, education, and journalism; (b) the recruitment of men of ability (chiefly from All Souls) and the linking of these men to the Cecil Bloc by matrimonal alliances and by gratitude for titles and positions of power; and (c) the influencing of public policy by placing members of the Cecil Bloc in positions of power shielded as much as possible from public attention.
The American branch of this “English Establishment” exerted much of its influence through five American newspapers (The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, and the lamented Boston Evening Transcript). In fact, the editor of the Christian Science Monitor was the chief American correspondent (anonymously) of The Round Table, and Lord Lothian, the original editor of The Round Table and later secretary of the Rhodes Trust (1925-1939) and ambassador to Washington, was a frequent writer in the Monitor. It might be mentioned that the existence of this Wall Street, Anglo-American axis is quite obvious once it is pointed out. It is reflected in the fact that such Wall Street luminaries as John W. Davis, Lewis Douglas, Jock Whitney, and Douglas Dillon were appointed to be American ambassadors in London.
…This group wielded great influence because it controlled the Rhodes Trust, the Beit Trust, The Times of London, The Observer, the influential and highly anonymous quarterly review known as The Round Table (founded in 1910 with money supplied by Sir Abe Bailey and the Rhodes Trust, and with Lothian as editor), and it dominated the Royal Institute of International Affairs, called “Chatham House” (of which Sir Abe Bailey and the Astors were the chief financial supporters, while Lionel Curtis was the actual founder), the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and All Souls College, Oxford…
Infiltrating the Left-wing and the New Republic
More than fifty years ago the Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States. This was relatively easy to do, since these groups were starved for funds and eager for a voice to reach the people. Wall Street supplied both. The purpose was not to destroy … or take over but was really threefold: (1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left-wing or liberal groups; (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could “blow off steam,” and (3) to have a final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went “radical.”
There was nothing really new about this decision, since other financiers had talked about it and even attempted it earlier. What made it decisively important this time was the combination of its adoption by the dominant Wall Street financier, at a time when tax policy was driving all financiers to seek tax-exempt refuges for their fortunes, and at a time when the ultimate in Left-wing radicalism was about to appear under the banner of the Third International.
The best example of this alliance of Wall Street and Left-wing publications was The New Republic, a magazine founded by Willard Straight, using Payne Whitney money, in 1914. Straight, who had been assistant to Sir Robert Hart (Director of the Chinese Imperial Customs Service and the head of the European imperialist penetration of China) and had remained in the Far East from 1901 to r9l:, became a Morgan partner and the firm’s chief expert on the Far East. He married Dorothy Payne Whitney whose names indicate the family alliance of two of America’s greatest fortunes. She was the daughter of William C. Whitney, New York utility millionaire and the sister and co-heiress of Oliver Payne, of the Standard Oil “trust.” One of her brothers married Gertrude Vanderbilt, while the other, Payne Whitney, married the daughter of Secretary of State John Hay, who enunciated the American policy of the “Open Door” in China. In the next generation, three first cousins, John Hay (“Jock”) Whitney, Cornelius Vanderbilt (“Sonny”) Whitney, and Michael Whitney (“Mike”) Straight, were allied in numerous public policy enterprises of a propagandist nature, and all three served in varied roles in the late New Deal and Truman administrations. In these they were closely allied with other “Wall Street liberals,” such as Nelson Rockefeller.
The New Republic was founded by Willard and Dorothy Straight, using her money, in 1914, and continued to be supported by her financial contributions until March 23, 1953. The original purpose for establishing the paper was to provide an outlet for the progressive Left and to guide it quietly in an Anglophile direction. This latter task was entrusted to a young man, only four years out of Harvard, but already a member of the mysterious Round Table group, which has played a major role in directing England’s foreign policy since its formal establishment in 1909. This new recruit, Walter Lippmann, has been, from 1914 to the present, the authentic spokesman in American journalism for the Establishments on both sides of the Atlantic in international affairs. His biweekly columns, which appear in hundreds of American papers, are copyrighted by the New York Herald Tribune which is now owned by J. H. Whitney. It was these connections, as a link between Wall Street and the Round Table Group, which gave Lippmann the opportunity in 1918, while still in his twenties, to be the official interpreter of the meaning of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points to the British government.
A final word
Please use caution when reading this. There is a broader context to this that I am unable to address in this space. Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope is over 1300 pages and these citations are scattered seamlessly throughout.
The point is not to assert that there is a secret group who is pulling the strings of the modern world. It is far more complex. It is possible that there still exist the inner circle of “initiates.” But I have no evidence for it. In fact, the evidence strongly suggest that after 1910 or so, the whole organization took on a new character. And it certainly got uglier.
The point is to draw light on this hidden part of our history and the inner workings of the one percent of one percent. They love the shadows and secrecy. They control the flow of information to a horrifying extent. They have untold influence over our government in ways most people can’t imagine.
And they have a perilous vision for our world. Who has jurisdiction over a transnational economy. Who can regulate it? What democratic institution can even stand up to it?
This is the central downfall of the globalization idea. As David Rothkopf observes in this Newsweek column, having a global economy is great for the pirates, but is devasting for democracy, sovereignty, and justice.
The current financial crisis is another such example, producing serious questions about the influence of the superclass. Of the world’s elites, none has strutted the world stage for the past decade like global investment bankers. Masters of money, they created something new: global markets and a constantly evolving array of securities that were both beyond the reach and the comprehension of regulators. Now, the value of some of the complex investment vehicles they created is proving to be illusory.
As a consequence, the world economy was set for the crisis that is currently unfolding. There was no effective global regulator to keep the system in check, and there was no real voice for the average Joe. The Federal Reserve stepped in to stabilize the burnout of one of these major market makers–even though they have no jurisdiction over investment banks, even though many of those supporting the bailout/buyout were the same who have long clamored for “self-regulation,” even though many were the ones who had cited the moral hazard of helping to bail out homeowners and encouraging their bad borrowing behavior. And so you have a financial leadership structure that bails out investment bankers worldwide, but not homeowners.
I’ll leave you with this video clip I excerpted from the publisher of Harper’s and Texaco heir Lewis Lapham’s movie, The American Ruling CLass
“The ruling class is so able to manipulate our democracy that they really control democracy, I feel.” – Walter Cronkite
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