Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
The American aristocracy want inequality of rights, with two basic polar-opposite classes: the ‘elite’, with themselves at the top of everything, and everybody else below them, as subjects to be ruled by them, in such ways as they (themselves, and their fellow ‘elite’) can agree to do. They are convinced that they have earned their high status, in one way or another, and they compete ferociously amongst themselves, to rise even higher within the aristocracy.
Many of the aristocrats think that they are ‘elite’ because they are the richest; many think instead that the ‘elite’ are the smartest or the most cunning; and, a third group think that the ‘elite’ are the “well-born” who descended from ’superior’ people — they believe in an inherited elitist version of Hitler’s generic racist vision, of the ‘Aryans’ versus the ‘non-Aryans’. Instead of being such racists, however, this third category are simply classists, who define their aristocratic rights as being inherited from their ancestors — so, they’re similar to racists, insofar as they are obsessed with geneaology (like racists are), but their obsession is focused instead upon their own family, not upon any “race” at all. They ‘come from the right family’, not from ‘the right race’. This third type of aristocrat believe in inherited rights and obligations. They believe that they possess an inherited right to control the public — the non-aristocrats (the ‘lower class’).
In whichever of the three ways that a member of the ‘elite’ might happen to see ‘the elite’ as being constituted, they all agree together, that an ‘elite’, which includes themselves, should rule (and should have more rights than) the ruled, and that everyone else (the public) should obey, or else be punished for not doing ‘their duty’ to obey, their ‘superiors’.
All of the aristocrats thus favor the aristocracy against the public. It is their solidarity, which binds them together, and which causes them to relate personally only to others of their type, and to view everyone else as being either their agents, or else their enemies — but not part of the aristocracy.
This hierarchical view has been the case for the aristocracy, ever since the dawn of civilization, and it is the case also today. Aristocrats are continually “social-climbing”: they can never have enough power, and enough authority, to satisfy themselves. What food and air are to everyone, power and authority additionally are to aristocrats — they are people who need power and authority just like everyone needs food and air. Non-aristocrats aren’t necessarily concerned at all about dominance-submission, but a person can’t be and behave as an aristocrat unless the person’s ideology is dominance-submission, inequality of rights. Aristocrats view themselves as being especially ‘entitled’.
Here, then, is a small example, in America, of how this universal system, of maintaining hierarchy and a corresponding inequality of rights, works:
Ron Unz, the publisher of the American Conservative magazine and of the news-and-commentary site, unz.com, republished on Labor Day, September 4th, his liberal article, which the neoliberal-neoconservative New America Foundation (which will be discussed here) had originally published on 19 November 2012, “Raising American Wages…By Raising American Wages”. This is an ordinary liberal article, not a neoliberal one; so, it struck me as being out-of-place, and I looked up Unz at that Foundation’s site and discovered that this article has been his only contribution there, and that, unlike other writers there, he was assigned no title there, not even “intern.” He’s listed under “Our People,” but with no information regarding how he’s one of “Our People,” other than that he wrote this article (which isn’t even present now at the Foundation’s website — just the title of it is posted there, along with his name, under “Our People”).
In 1994, Unz competed in the California Republican Gubernatorial primary against the incumbent Republican Governor Pete Wilson, who won. Unz claims an IQ of 214, and he believes strongly that the elite should consist of the most-intelligent people (such as he considers himself to be); so, he’s at odds against the pure libertarians or neoliberals, who believe instead that the elite should be the most-successful, the winners, the wealthiest people, the billionaires, who are presumed (by libertarians) to be the hardest-working people, and also to be the most intelligent ones (regardless whether by inheritance or otherwise).
The Foundation’s Board of Directors is entirely neoliberal-neoconservative (that being the global aristocracy’s ideology, in our time: today’s version of conservatism). The two co-Chairs are Reihan Salam, Executive Editor of National Review; and, Jonathan Soros, Chief Executive Officer of JS Capital Management LLC, which started on 16 June 2017. Prior to that, Jonathan had been at his father, George Soros’s, Soros Fund Management. National Review was created by William F. Buckley Jr., the eldest son of oil company lawyer turned oil tycoon William F. Buckley Sr. Of course, Jonathan Soros is a son of the billionaire George Soros. So: at the very top of the Foundation are two individuals who either descended from great wealth, or else were selected by people who were. This is standard practice for how aristocratic organizations are run: totally top-down, with as little input from employees as possible.
The other two top members of the Board include:
Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO of New America: “From 2009–2011, she served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State. … Dr. Slaughter is a contributing editor to the Financial Times and writes a bi-monthly column for Project Syndicate. She provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 140,000 followers on Twitter. Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.” As The Nation magazine (which is liberal, with a bit even of progressivism) described on 2 May 2014 the aptly named Slaughter, she was “a former State Department official [who] says that the way to stop Putin in Ukraine is to bomb Syria.” She thinks that the Syrian public — who overwhelmingly believe that the U.S. Government is their nation’s main enemy and the chief government responsible for bringing tens of thousands of jihadists into their country to overthrow their Government — need to be bombed more by America. She thinks that we’re not bombing Syria enough (to overthrow their sovereign Government). On 19 March 2011, she emailed her boss Hillary Clinton about their having convinced Obama to bomb Syria, “Bravo! I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have NEVER been prouder of having worked for you. Turning POTUS around on this is a major win for everything we have worked for.” However, Slaughter’s type of thinking — neoconservatism, specifically — is almost universal amongst the American aristocracy; and, so, they choose individuals such as she, to run their political operations (including think-tanks). This is the way a Foundation wins the necessary big donations, such as from the top stockholders in Lockheed Martin. For example, Bernard Schwartz sold his company to Lockheed Martin for $9.1 billion in 1996, and thereby became perhaps the top investor in Lockheed Martin, and he was listed in the 2013 New America Foundation annual report as having donated “$250,000-$999,999” during 2012. The top donors during 2015, each having donated at least a million dollars that year, included the Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Soros’s Open Society Foundation, and three separate foundations that had each been established by Eric Schmidt and his Google Inc. Starting in 2011, Schmidt had assisted Hillary Clinton’s State Department (including Anne-Marie Slaughter) to plan the coup that in 2014 overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected President, and thereby provoked the breakaway of Crimea and Donbass, two former regions of Ukraine, which had voted, respectively, 75% and 90%, for the President whom U.S. President Obama had just overthrown. They refused to be ruled by a U.S. stooge-regime. (Obama then slapped sanctions against Russia for assisting those people.) On 30 August 2017, the New York Times bannered “Google Critic Ousted from Think Tank” and reported that when Schmidt complained about that critic of Google, an employee at New America Foundation, Dr. Slaughter fired the individual. However, the employee refused to go quietly. The Foundation’s donors-list includes almost all of the U.S. Bilderbergers and Trilateralists — the proponents of control, over the world, by the U.S. aristocracy, a global Pax Americana, with the U.S. military serving as ‘the policeman for the world’ (in the interests of America’s aristocracy, of course), and, consequently, lots of weapons-sales for U.S. firms. It’s the neoliberal neoconservative jobs-plan for the American public.
David G. Bradley, Secretary of New America: “Mr. Bradley is chairman of Atlantic Media Company, whose holdings include The Atlantic, Quartz, National Journal, National Journal Daily, The Hotline, Government Executive Media Group, and Atlantic Media Strategies. At the age of 26, he launched his first company, the Advisory Board Company, a for-profit think tank ultimately serving 4,000 corporations, financial institutions, and medical centers around the world.” His particular specialty is sales-promotion for U.S. ‘defense’ contractors (of which Lockheed Martin is #1) — that’s to say: war-promotion.
A number of the other top people (Board members) at New America Foundation, are strong proponents of ‘an aristocracy of merit’ instead of just wealth. Reihan Salam, who was born to educated middle-class immigrants, is one. Another of the regular Directors, the financier and scholar Zachary Karabell, likewise “worked his way up,” and consequently is a prominent proponent of the liberal goal of an elite who are not only well-educated but also natively exceptionally smart. So too is Ron Unz, who founded a movement at Harvard to “abolish college tuition” and to admit all students on the basis of pure ‘merit’ (such as themselves — persons who didn’t get admitted as “legacy” or alumni-family admittees).
Among the other regular Directors of New America are: David Brooks, Fareed Zakaria, Walter Russell Mead, and James Fallows.
All of the Board, so far as I am aware, are both neoliberal and neoconservative, and there is no one on the Board who opposes America’s being, by far (as is widely believed around the world), “the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today”.
In other words, what America’s aristocracy want is to conquer the entire world. Destroying Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine, isn’t enough for them. But in order to do that, they first need to conquer the American public, such as by preventing a progressive, or even Bernie Sanders, from becoming, or serving as, the U.S. President. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic aristocrats want that, at all.
And, Google’s Eric Schmidt served as the brains behind Hillary Clinton’s entire Presidential campaign (though John Podesta is widely credited in the aristocracy’s ‘news’media as having done that). On 22 November 2016, Forbes reported, in praise of the neoliberal-neoconservative son-in-law of Donald Trump, “‘Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election,’ adds Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, who helped design the Clinton campaign’s technology system. ‘Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources.’” Schmidt himself knew better — he knew that Stephen Bannon, who had been supplied to Trump’s campaign by Trump’s earliest and biggest two donors, Robert Mercer of Cambridge Analytica, and Peter Thiel of Palantir Technologies, ran Trump’s data-analysis and strategy operation; and that, as Carole Cadwalladr of Britain’s Guardian reported on 7 May 2017, Eric Schmidt’s daughter had introduced the head of SCL Elections, to Thiel’s Palantir Technologies. Robert Mercer’s daughter Rebekah was also important, as the person who was the most directly involved with selling Trump on Bannon, to become his strategist. This is how Mercer and Thiel set Bannon up with the expertise and systems of both Mercer’s and Thiel’s companies, Cambridge and Palantir, through daughters of two billionaire IT investors, the Democrat Schmidt, and the Republican Mercer. (As for SCL’s contribution, that company was founded and is run by Nigel Oakes, whose specialty is deceiving people about everything including himself; so, SCL’s contribution to Trump’s campaign, other than that of Cambridge Analytica itself, which is jointly owned by both Mercer and Oakes, isn’t at all clear. What is clear has been best summarized in this passage from Jane Mayer’s 27 March 2017 New Yorker article, “THE RECLUSIVE HEDGE-FUND TYCOON BEHIND THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY: How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency”:
As far back as 2012, Bannon was the Mercers’ de-facto political adviser. Some people who have observed the Mercers’ political evolution worry that Bannon has become a Svengali to the whole family, exploiting its political inexperience and tapping its fortune to further his own ambitions. It was Bannon who urged the Mercers to invest in a data-analytics firm. He also encouraged the investment in Breitbart News, which was made through Gravitas Maximus, L.L.C., a front group that once had the same Long Island address as Renaissance Technologies [the stellar hedge fund co-led by the math geniuses James Simons and Robert Mercer]. In an interview, Bannon praised the Mercers’ strategic approach: “The Mercers laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution. Irrefutably, when you look at donors during the past four years, they have had the single biggest impact of anybody, including the Kochs.”
Last summer, Bannon and some other activists whom the Mercers have supported — including David Bossie, who initiated the Citizens United lawsuit — came together to rescue Trump’s wobbly campaign. Sam Nunberg, an early Trump adviser who watched Mercer’s group take over, said, “Mercer was smart. He invested in the right people.”
Bannon and Rebekah Mercer have become particularly close political partners. Last month, when Bannon denounced “the corporatist, globalist media” at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in his first public appearance since entering the White House, Rebekah Mercer was part of his entourage. Bannon supports some initiatives, such as a major infrastructure program, that are anathema to libertarians such as Robert Mercer. But the Wall Street Journal has described Bannon joking and swearing on the deck of the Mercers’ yacht, the Sea Owl, as if he were a member of the family. Bannon assured me that the Mercers, despite all their luxuries, are “the most middle-class people you will ever meet.”
Bannon understands the difference between authentic populism, which Bernie Sanders was leading, and which would have won the U.S. Presidency if the Democratic National Committee hadn’t stolen the primary contest for Hillary Clinton to become the Party’s nominee — stolen the race during the primaries — versus fake ‘populism’, such as Bannon himself was running, in order to get Trump ‘elected’. (He was running, that is, the type of ‘populism’ that can attract some of the heavy thumbs on the scale for their side, in this ‘democracy’, courtesy of America’s most-cunning billionaires.)
America’s aristocracy buy ‘news’media in order to prevent such outcomes as an authentic populist (a progressive) winning the Presidency. So, that hasn’t happened since the time of FDR, after the great Republican Crash of 1929. Today, the U.S. is more like the world’s leading fascist nation than like one of the world’s leading anti-fascist ones. Fascism is among the many fake forms of ‘populism’, and cannot exist at all without huge secret and financial support from the aristocracy. In the modern world, after the end of feudalism, all that the aristocracy want is fascism. In the old days, it was feudalism they wanted; but, now, it’s fascism.
And, they are even willing to endorse outright nazism — racist fascism — when it serves their purpose. Such circumstances, however, rarely occur.
Empirical studies in the social sciences show generally that the richer and more successful a person is, the more he/she tends to be psychopathic. There is nothing exceptional about America’s aristocracy, except that it tends to be the richest and the most successful one of all.
CLARIFICATIONS: A reader-comment elsewhere, that’s full of misunderstandings of this article, stated:
There is nothing populist about fascism. Fascism is a form of totalitarian socialism that eschews public ownership of the means of production but rather co-opts industry to do its bidding without the ruling thugs having to bother with the details of production and commerce. Thus, the aristocrats (moneyed interests) do not want fascism because that means they would be at the beck and call of the ruling thugs. No. What they want is crony capitalism in which, as now, they hold the whip hand. To think of government (or the people) as calling the shots now is be out of touch.
This article doesn’t assert that fascism is populist, but fascism is fake-‘populist’; and, the original Nazi Party’s constant emphasis upon the German “Volk” or “People,” was a prominent example of that ‘populism’. Of course, every fascist party is actually, as Mussolini himself acknowledged, “corporationist,” and therefore represents the aristocracy, not the public. Furthermore, saying “the aristocrats (moneyed interests) do not want fascism because that means they would be at the beck and call of the ruling thugs,” entails two misunderstandings. First, “the aristocrats (moneyed interests” are, themselves, “the ruling thugs,” who control the front-people or “politicians.” Secondly, any aristocracy, in the modern world, wants fascism, because what feudalism was to the agrarian era, fascism is to the industrial era: the aristocracy’s (the billionaires’) control of the government. Fascism is merely the modern form of feudalism. Whereas in feudalism, the aristocracy aimed for control over physical land (“landed estates”), it now aims for control over international corporations — which, in turn, control the aristocracy’s government, and thereby also strongly influence foreign governments. And, of course, if a country is democratic (ruled by the public) instead of fascistic, then the aristocracy doesn’t control it. But today’s America is a fascism, not a democracy.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.