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Why Progressive Organizations Don't Advocate Egalitarian Revolution

by John Spritler

October 10, 2014 (and updated subsequently)

[The progressive organizations discussed below include the following: Democracy Now!, Yes Magazine, The Nation Magazine, The Progressive Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, The Albert Einstein Institution (Gene Sharp), Ubuntu Planet, Race Amity, MassEquality, City Life/Vida Urbana, Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition, Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Massachusetts Jobs With Justice, The Haymarket People's Fund, Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) and Open Media Boston.]

 

If egalitarian revolution (meaning remove the rich from power, have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor) is such a good and appropriate goal (as I and many other people believe it is) then how come there are virtually no progressive "grassroots" organizations advocating it explicitly? Is it that all the people who are fighting for a $15 minimum wage, or against unjust wars, or against local injustices such as gentrification don't WANT an egalitarian revolution? Or is there a different explanation?

There is indeed a different explanation. Most of the people in progressive organizations, just like most ordinary people in the general public, when asked, as an individual, to sign the egalitarian revolutionary declaration, "This I Believe," sign it enthusiastically. So why don't the progressive organizations advocate it explicitly? There are two reasons, both having to do with things that the ruling class does to prevent people from advocating egalitarian revolution.

The first thing the ruling class does in this regard is to prevent any egalitarian revolutionary values and aims from being expressed in the mass media or the "alternative" media. One never sees or hears or reads about anybody saying "Let's remove the rich from power, have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor" on TV or radio or in newspapers or magazines, not even the "alternative" ones such as Democracy Now! radio or The Nation magazine. The ruling class--the very rich--control all of these media either by directly owning them or by owning the advertisers these media must please to stay in business or by funding them substantially. The rich make sure that even though most people would LOVE an egalitarian revolution, nobody will ever hear or see or read about such people.

What happens as a result of this censorship in the mass and alternative media? People conclude that even if they personally want an egalitarian revolution, it is pointless to do anything to achieve that goal because nobody else does, certainly not a majority of Americans. Here's how people with this wrong understanding of reality think: "Without a majority wanting to make an egalitarian revolution, why bother even talking about such a hopelessly impossible goal to anybody? In fact, when waging a campaign for some modest goal (like a higher minimun wage or stopping an unjust eviction caused by gentrification, etc.) it's better NOT to talk about egalitarian revolution. Why attach a goal that people DON'T support to one's modest goal for which you think it is much easier to get support? Talking about egalitarian revolution will just scare people away." Actually, telling the public that the reason you are fighting, for whatever it is that you are fighting for, is because you want to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor will INCREASE your support in the general public and make people see that your struggle is really theirs as well. But if one believes the ruling class's Big Lie (that nobody but you wants an egalitarian revolution) then one will think it is wise of the leaders of one's progressive organization to be silent about egalitarian revolution.

The second thing the ruling class does to prevent progressive organizations from advocating egalitarian revolution is to pay their bills on the condition that they advocate no such thing. Ruling class organizations such as the Rockefeller, Ford and Heinz foundations fund zillions (details below) of progressive "grass roots" organizations. The executive directors and similar leaders of these organizations know where their funding comes from and know what will displease their funding sources. Advocating removing the rich from power, they do not need to be told, is on the very top of the list of "NO NOs." The leaders of progressive organizations that are funded by ruling class foundations know that if they cross the line from the permissable to the un-permissable, they will lose their rent money and the money they need to pay their staff.

This is why these progressive leaders use whatever arguments they can to persuade the rank-and-file of their organization that it would be inadvisable for the organization or its members to start talking about egalitarian revolution. And due to the widespread acceptance of the Big Lie discussed above, these leaders generally are successful in persuading their rank-and-file that it would be a bad idea to talk about anything like removing the rich from power.

One of the terrible consequences of progressive organizations refusing to advocate egalitarian revolution is this. People who admire the work of these progressive organizations and respect the organizations' leaders naturally tend to draw the conclusion (unconsciously if not consciously) that trying to build an explicitly egalitarian revolutionary movement must not be a very smart or realistic thing to do because otherwise the dedicated and smart people leading progressive organizations would be doing it.

Another terrible consequence is this. When progressive organizations that are controlled by Big Money occupy all of the space, so to speak, of activism aimed at making a more equal and democratic world, it induces people to rely on these organizations rather than creating (and donating money to!) truly grass roots organizations that are NOT controlled by the rich. In this way the plutocracy controls people who otherwise would be organizing an egalitarian revolutionary movement--it keeps them busy NOT organizing such a movement.

HERE'S HOW BIG MONEY FUNDS PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS

To get a sense of how pervasive ruling class funding of progressive organizations actually is, here are some examples.

Tides (also Tides Center) is an institution that acts--on a huge scale--as an intermediary between Big Money foundations, including the Ford, Rockefeller and Heinz foundations, and a very large number of mostly little and some large progressive organizations, so that the Big Money foundations can fund the progressive organizations without a direct link. This is all explained in gory detail, including a list of all the Big Money foundations that give money to Tides, here. Tides gave its grantees, for example, $71.3 million from the Ford Foundation in 2006, $24.0 million from George Soros's Open Society Institute in 2005, $16.2 million from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2005, $10.4 million from the Heinz Endowments in 2005, $10.4 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2006, $10.0 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation in 2005, $4.5 million from the Rockefeller Foundation and $2.9 million from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 2005, and so forth.

A list (a pdf file) of the organizations that Tide funded in 2013 is here. (Here is the list of organizations Tides funded in 2014.) This list is very long; more than six pages are devoted to just the organizations it funded whose name starts with the letter "A". Anybody who takes the time to scan this list will find large and well-known organizations he or she recognizes, but most will be unrecognizable because they are little local community organizations, such as "3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic" and "Accion Chicago". As one scans this list one realizes that if the Big Money foundations, such as the Rockefeller, Ford and Heinz foundations, are analogous to the heart pumping blood in a human body, then Tides is analogous to the system of arteries and much smaller capillaries that distribute blood to virtually every nook and cranny of the body.

Here are just some of the organizations that Tides funded and that I recognized, in alphabetical order:

350.org, Code Pink, ACLU, American Friends Service Committee, Bread and Roses, Center for Constitutional Rights, Consumer Cauise, Daily Kos, Democracy Now!, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Equality Now, Feminist Majority Foundation, Freedom to Marry, Friends of the Earth, Fund for Nonviolence, Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, GLSEN.org, Greenpeace Fund, Human Rights Watch, J Street, MassEquity, Ms. Foundation for Women, NAACP, NARAL, National Council of La Raza, National Lawyers Guild--San Francisco Bay Area, National Public Radio, The Other 98%, Pacifica Foundation, People for the American Way, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Planned Parenthood, Race Matters Institute, Radical Queer Affinity Collective, Refuser Solidarity Network (which says it is about "Funding social change" and calls for people to "Resist illegitimate authority"), Soujourners, Southern Poverty Law Center, Truthdig.com, United for a Fair Economy, War Resisters League, Win Without War, Witness for Peace.

None of the organizations funded by Tides advocate removing the rich from power because they would lose their funding if they did. Tides is an instrument of the ruling class, an instrument the ruling class uses to control us, specifically to ensure that we do not even think about removing the rich from power. This is why, as we will see below, Tides Foundation/Center pops up over and over again when one starts to examine closely where this or that progressive organization gets its money.

If there is a progressive "grass roots" organization in your community, and if it has money for an office and staff, there is a very good chance that its funding comes from a Big Money foundation, although not necessarily via Tides.

I decided to see what I could find out about organizations in Jamaica Plain (a neighborhood of Boston, MA) because my son was born and raised there and lives there now and is working to build an egalitarian revolutionary movement there. City Life/Vida Urbana is the main organization in Jamaica Plain that fights against unjust evictions and opposes gentrification, which is a big problem currently in Jamaica Plain. Lots of good people opposed to gentrification look to City Life/Vida Urbana for leadership and support. Here's what I found out.

 

City Life/Vida Urbana

City Life/Vida Urbana must have a lot of money because it has a lot of staff. They get some of their funding from the Access Strategies Fund, as indicated here (scroll down and you'll see Vida Urbana listed as a recipient of funding.)

Here are the board of directors of the Access Strategies Fund. Note that one of them is Dayna  Cunningham. In the fourth paragraph of her bio it tells us:

"Cunningham was an Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation from 1997-2004.  At Rockefeller she funded initiatives that examined the relationship between democracy and race, changing racial dynamics and new conceptions of race in the U.S., as well as innovation in the area of civil rights legal work.  From 2004-2006 she was associated with Public Interest Projects, a non-profit project management and philanthropic consulting firm based in New York City, where she managed foundation collaboratives on social justice issues."

Thus City Life/Vida Urbana is funded in part by an organization the board of directors of which includes a former Associate Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, that great champion of egalitarianism.

Another member of the board of directors of Access Strategies Fund is Greg Jobin-Leeds, whose bio here notes:

"Greg currently serves on committees of six investment portfolios with particular interest in mission related investing.  In 2007, Greg was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to serve on the Massachusetts’ Readiness Project Leadership Council, specifically as a member of the Long-term Funding subcommittee."

Greg Jobin-Leeds's bio does not, however, note that he's a very rich guy. Rich enough so that this article about how the rich control politics could write:

"That’s why Cambridge social activists Greg and Maria Jobin-Leeds, for example, ended up hiring political consultant Mike Folgerberg to help them sort through the dizzying array of 527s before they gave $100,000 to Progressive Majority in January."

So City Life/Vida Urbana's funding organization is directed by some very wealthy people who are tight with Governor Patrick, another great champion of egalitarianism (when he isn't on trips to Israel to forge greater business ties between Zionist perpetrators of violent ethnic cleansing and Massachusetts.)

City Life/Vida Urban received $150,000 in 2013 from billionaire George Soros's Open Society Foundation, whose website states the following:

"To provide a tie-off to solidify the gains made from the replication of the CityLife/Vida Urbana’s Bank Tenant Association (BTA) organizing model. In the two years since OSF originally funded CL/VU to expand its organizing model to other communities in the Boston region and train organizers in other cities across the country on post-foreclosure defense strategies, CL/VU’s BTA campaign has become a national model for community-led responses to the foreclosure crisis."

George Soros, with a personal fortune of $24 Billion, is the 17th richest person in America. He provided City Life/Vida Urbana with the money to "expand its organizing model to other communities." Is George Soros trying to remove he rich from power and have real not fake democxracy with no rich and no poor? Unlikely.

City Life/Vida Urbana also receives funding from the Hyams Foundation. As one can read here, Adam D. Seitchik is on the board of directors of the Hyams Foundation, is its treasurer, and "is the Chief Investment Officer of Arjuna Capital." Arjuna Capital describes itself on its website here with these words (among others):

"Through our research and activism, we seek to evolve the financial ecosystem by advancing an understanding of what sustainability means for investor returns and corporate profitability.  We bring the fruits of those efforts to our clients in the form of the most diverse, sustainable, profitable and suitable investment opportunities on offer."

Adam D. Seitchik's promotion of "corporate profitability" suggests that he does not intend for Hyams Foundation in any way to advance the cause of removing the rich from power and having no rich and no poor. But Seitchik apparently is fine with funding City Life/Vida Urbana. The following look at City Life/Vida Urbana's "radicalism" helps explain Seitchik's confidence that the Hyams Foundation's money is being well-spent.

City Life/Vida Urbana's website (as of March 9, 2015) has this text and a video of its leader's talk:

Seattle, Washington - City Life/Vida Urbana's Organizing Coordinator, Steve Meacham, was the keynote speaker at SAFE in Seattle's first Radical Organizing Conference.  Speaking to a crowd of 130 housing and social justice activists, Meacham presented City Life's organizing model and recent victories for homeowners and tenants. "In addition to a grievance," Meacham says, "we need hope...a sense of righteousness and a sense of power."

If ever there were an occasion when City Life/Vida Urbana's leader would be expected to talk explicitly about the need for, and possiility of, egalitarian revolution to remove the rich from power and have real not fake deomocracy with no rich and no poor (and no unjust evictions and no gentrification!), it would be as the keynote speaker at a Radical Organizing Conference and in a speech in which he says, "we need hope...a sense of righteousness and a sense of power." But City Life/Vida Urbana's leader, as one can see in this video of his keynote speech, says not a single word about this egalitarian revolutionary goal. Nada. Why not? City Life/Vida Urbana's funding would discontinue if it advocated egalitarian revolution.

What City Life/Vida Urbana does do is this: It keeps people--the very ones who are most oppressed in our society and most likely to start thinking about building an egalitarian revolutionary movement--busy NOT building an explicitly egalitarian revolutionary movement. It thus keeps people on the treadmill of defeat, where they will be fighting unjust evictions--winning sometimes and losing others--forever and ever and ever, and never solving the Big Problem--that we live in a dictatorship of the rich--at its root with the Big Solution of egalitarian revolution. This makes Big Money happy.

Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition

Another progressive organization in Jamaica Plain is Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition. It is not obvious from its website that JPNET is not quite as local as it seems. It is part of New England New Economy Transition (NENET).

From NENET's website here one learns that "The New England New Economy Transition (New England NET) is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies based in Boston, MA....New economies are locally rooted, so New England NET roots its work in its own backyard – the diverse Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain."

The Institute of Policy Studies Board of Trustees includes Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation magazine. Ms. vanden Heuvel happens to be a member of the ultra-exclusive ruling class policy formulating organization called the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), whose members include David Rockefeller (about whom it is said if he were made president of the United States it would be a demotion), David Rockefeller Jr., John D. Rockefeller IV, Mark L. Rockefeller, Nicholas Rockefeller and Steven C. Rockefeller.

The Institute for Policy Studies Board of Trustees also include the IPS's Director, John Cavanagh. Cavanagh is on the board of directors of www.progressiveCongress.com, the website of the Congressional Progressive Caucus composed of the staunchly pro-capitalist and pro-Zionist politicians listed here.

Thus innocent-seeming little "grass roots" local community organization--Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition--has solid links to the highest levels of the American ruling class. How likely is it that the leaders of such an organization will declare that their goal is to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor, even if they knew that a great majority of the people in Jamaica Plain would love exactly that?

The moral of this story is that one should not allow the absence of progressive organizations calling for egalitarian revolution to make one believe that most people don't want such a revolution. Instead, talk to people about this idea, as people at PDRBoston.org are doing, and you will see that, indeed, most people would love such a revolution. You will also see that most people think it is impossible, because they think only a tiny and hopelessly weak minority agree with them. That's why PDRBoston.org is collecting signatures for "This I Believe" and aiming to collect 130 million--to let people know the truth about themselves--that in wanting egalitarian revolution they are the MAJORITY.

After writing the above, I became curious about additional progressive organizations. Below is a list of the ones I have looked at so far.

Massachusetts Senior Action Council

Back in October, 2013 I wrote (here) about how disappointed I was in the Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC). MSAC describes itself as "a grassroots, senior-run organization committed to empowering seniors and others in Massachusetts to act collectively to promote the rights and well being of all people." But, like most such "grassroots" organizations, it turns out that MSAC is beholden to Big Money for much of its funding. Here are some details. A funding organization called Common Stream funds MSAC; it gave MSAC at least $70,000 as shown on the Common Stream website here. Common Stream, in turn, gets money from a funding organization called Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG), as shown on NFG 's website here. And guess who sits on the Board of Directors of NFG? None other than Andrea Dobson, of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, as seen on the NFG web page here. When one clicks on her name one reads (here) that "Andrea Dobson is the chief operating & financial officer of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing the investment, finance, accounting, human resources, operating, and information technology functions of the Foundation."  The Board of Directors of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, as seen here, includes as its Chairman a Phillip N. Baldwin, President of Citizens Bank in Arkansas, a Freddie Black, Chairmain/CEO of Simmons First Bank in Arkansas, and a Lisenne Rockefeller who is president and chair of the Winrock Group, Inc. and Winrock Farms, Inc. Here one can read of Winrock Farms, that it is owned by Win Paul Rockefeller (son of Winthrop Rockefeller), and that "Now, his wife [Lisenne, as noted here and here] maintains family ownership. Winrock inhabits 2,500 acres of mountaintop land in addition to 5,000 acres at its base, where calves from the southeastern U.S. enjoy room to grow and acclimate before their final destinations at feedyards farther north." And so it turns out that the "grassroots" Massachusetts Senior Action Council is beholden for much of its funding to the likes of the Rockefeller family whose members claim to privately own at least 7,500 acres of prime farm land. Is it any wonder that MSAC is not keen on mounting a serious fight against the Big Money class, and certainly not keen to aim explicitly to remove the rich from power and have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor?

MSAC also received $40,000 in 2007 from the Bluecross Foundation, whose board of directors includes a Richard C. Lord who is "President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (A.I.M.). A.I.M. is an employer service organization of more than 5,400 member companies." A.I.M. says of itself: "Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) improves your company's financial performance through a unique combination of lobbying, management and human-resource services that allow you to control the environment both inside and outside your business." The AIM board of directors includes executives from many Massachusetts businesses, including "Christopher N. Buchanan, Director Public Affairs & Govt. Relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Plymouth and Brian Burke, Senior Director Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation, Cambridge."

How likely is it that MSAC can continue to receive funding from sources such as the Bluecross Foundation and the Rockefeller-linked Common Stream if it genuinely takes the side of working class people against the side of the capitalist (employer) class? On the other hand, isn't MSAC going to stay in the very good graces of its Big Money funders if it gives its working class members the illusion that they are doing all that is realistically possible to improve their lot in life, and thereby prevents them from thinking seriously about building a movement to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor?

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice has a large office headquarters in the Jamaica Plain part of Boston and it is one of the largest progressive organizations in Boston, focused on labor issues. Who funds Jobs with Justice?

The Surdna Foundation is among the largest (in terms of wealth) top one hundred grantmaking foundations in the United States, with assets of more than $900,000,000 as of 1913. The Capital Research Center reports that "Other Surdna grantee groups are:  Chicago-based Center for Labor and Community Research ($315,000 since 2010); Jobs with Justice Education Fund ($400,000 since 2009); ..." [my emphasis.] The Jobs with Justice Education Fund is a national network of organizations that includes Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, and its board of directors includes Russ Davis from the Massachusetts Jobs with Justice organization. Thus Surdna Foundation funds Massachusetts Jobs with Justice by funding the Jobs with Justice Education Fund.

Now let's see what kind of people are giving Mass. Jobs with Justice grant money. Who sits on the board of directors of the Surdna Foundation? From this website we read:

"The Surdna Foundation (SF) was established in 1917 by John Emory Andrus (1841-1934)...George P. Morrill, author of The Multimillionaire Straphanger, a biography of Andrus, describes SF's founder as “the complete laizzez faire businessman” who “believed in simple capitalism all his life.”

One of the members of the board of directors of the Surdna Foundation is Judy Belk, the President and CEO of the California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness). On the Cal Wellness website we read that:

"Belk is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of senior management experience in philanthropic, government, nonprofit and corporate sectors. Before joining Cal Wellness on April 7, 2014, she served as senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), a position she held since 2002. She played a pivotal role in building RPA into one of the nation’s largest independent nonprofit advisory firms, which currently advises on more than $300 million annually in more than 30 countries. She launched the firm’s West Coast and Midwest operations and helped position RPA as a global “thought leader” in promoting effective strategic philanthropy, impact investing, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives." [my emphasis]

On the board of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors sits Marnie S. Pilsbury, Barbara Rockefeller, Michael Rockefeller, Peter C. Rockefeller and Wendy Gordon Rockefeller. The board chairman is Kevin Broderick, whose bio describes him as "a principal with the private equity firm, Meriwether Capital LLC. He was a long time member of the Boards of Rockefeller Financial Services and Rockefeller & Co." [my emphasis]. Merriwether Capital LLC makes money this way:

"We focus on privately held companies as well as corporate divestitures. We provide equity and prefer a majority position in mergers and acquisitions. Please see our Criteria page for more information on the qualities we look for in potential acquisitions.

"In partnership with management, we intend to build long-term value, by providing proper incentives, capital for growth and guidance in financial and strategic issues to achieve agreed-upon goals.

"Our private equity focus is in:

* spacerleveraged buyouts (LBOs)
* spacermanagement buyouts (MBOs)
* spaceradd-ons to existing portfolio companies"

When one sees the kind of people that a director of the Surdna Foundation is connected with, it is not hard to realize that the Surdra Foundation is not in the business of promoting anything that advocates removing the rich from power and having an egalitarian society with no rich and no poor. Any organization that relies on funding from the Surdra Foundation must choose between staying in the good graces of the Foundation or advocating egalitarianism and losing its funding. The top leaders of grant-receiving organizations such as Mass. Jobs with Justice certainly understand this even if the rank and file members do not. This is why Mass. Jobs with Justice doesn't advocate an egalitarian revolution.

The Haymarket People's Fund

Here's what the Haymarket Fund, located in Jamaica Plain, says about itself:

Haymarket People’s Fund gives money to grassroots groups of local organizations across the region who believe that change is possible. We’ve been behind the scenes, providing money to almost every major social justice movement in New England since 1974.   Each year, our volunteer grantmaking panel made up of community organizers from across the region awards grants to local organizations in New England’s neighborhoods and communities. Over the course of thirty-five years, Haymarket has granted over 25 million dollars.

One hundred percent of those funds have gone to changing the status quo.

Haymarket People’s Fund gives money to grassroots groups of local people who believe that change is possible. Who believe that communities that come together with a vision of justice can get the job done, provided they have the resources. That’s where Haymarket comes in. We’ve been behind the scenes, providing money to almost every major social justice movement in New England since 1974. [my emphasis--JS]

Clearly the Haymarket Fund is a major influence on progressive organizations in Boston. But what is their influence? One major influence comes from insisting that organizations it funds must subscribe to an understanding of race and racism that is exactly the understanding the ruling class wants "radicals" to have and to preach. This understanding of racism is captured by the phrase "white privilege," a phrase that the ruling class actively promotes as a replacement for the older phrase "racial discrimination." The phrase "white privilege" says that racism benefits whites. The word "privilege" means something by which one benefits. But ordinary whites are harmed by racism and racial discrimination. The ruling class uses racial discrimination to divide and rule all ordinary people, including whites. The divide-and-rule strategy singles out people of color for worse treatment, tells whites they benefit from this, and thereby foments mistrust and resentment between people of color and whites. This destroys the only thing that ordinary people have with which to resist the domination and oppression of the ruling class--solidarity among working people of all races. What the ruling class most definitely does not want is for anybody to say loud and clear that An Injury to One is an Injury to All, that when people of color are singled out for worse treatment than whites this is a strategy of the ruling class to make white people as well as people of color easier to control, dominate and oppress.

As a member of the Somerville Divestment Project (opposed to Zionism) I was part of the group that was interviewed by the Haymarket Fund (HF) in our application for funding from them. For several years we obtained funding from HF. But when we expressed disagreement with the "whites benefit from racism" viewpoint explicitly in our last interview, funding we stopped receiving funding from HF.

The HF describes the importance it places on "proper" understanding of racism this way:

"In addition to providing grants, Haymarket supports social change movements through training and capacity building. Recognizing how significantly racism has affected the impact of social justice movements in the US, we especially focus on making available training on Undoing Racism by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (www.pisab.org), an organization we have partnered with in our own ongoing journey to embody our undoing racism principles."

Let's take a look Haymarket Fund's partner, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PI). PI says of itself:

"Today, The People’s Institute is recognized as one of the foremost anti-racism training and organizing institutions in the nation. In a 2002 Aspen Institute survey of eleven top racial justice organizations, five credited The People’s Institute with having the most effective anti-racist analysis." (my emphasis--J.S.)

So we see that HF is partnered with PI, which is strongly admired by the Aspen Institute. Who runs the Aspen Institute?

Walter Isaacson is President and CEO of the Aspen Instutute. The Aspen Institute provides the following information about him (I have bolded some of the most interesting parts):

Walter Isaacson
President and CEO

Contact: Pat Zindulka, pat.zindulka@aspeninstitute.org

Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

Isaacson’s new book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (October 2014) is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet and the other great innovations of our time and will be a must-read from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to Main Street.

He is the author of Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).

Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item.  He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of new media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is chair emeritus of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held until 2012. He is vice-chair of Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private group tasked with forging ties between the United States and the Muslim world.  He is on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University, and the Overseers of Harvard University.  From 2005-2007, after Hurricane Katrina, he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority

It is quite obvious from his bio that the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute is a man who travels in the highest ruling class circles and is trusted by the ruling class to oversee some of its most important institutions. It would be easy to show how the organizations on which boards Mr. Isaacson sits serve the ruling class and help it use racial discrimination to divide and rule. Let's just look at one of them--Teach for America. Here is what Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon writes of it in his article titled, "Why is Tim Wise Stamping the Anti-Racist Ghetto Passes at Teach for America?:

Tim Wise specializes in talking to white people about racism. Teach For America is a major player in the elitist and racist scam to privatize public education, supplying mostly white grads of elite colleges as ghetto teacher temps. Is this a match made in heaven, or in hell?

Mr. Wise is speaking at a major Teach For America event on July 19. How do we reconcile that with a stand against racism? We can't, and unless TFA is gonna pay Mr. Wise to tell them their entire practice and premise is elitist, evil and yes, racist, we're pretty sure he can't reconcile it either.

Teach For America is part of an elite bipartisan scam to privatize public education, starting, and perhaps ending with the inner city. TFA replaces qualified, experienced mostly black teachers who live in the communities they serve with mostly white temps, graduated from a 5 week course who will move on to Wall Street and other lucrative careers after only a couple seasons in the classroom.

Closing public schools and replacing experienced teachers with Ivy League missionary temps isn't something that's being done to wealthy white suburban public schools. It's only the prescribed remedy for school districts full of black and brown youth, and black and brown teachers. President Obama's signature education program, Race To The Top advances the privatization agenda in many ways, and one of these is by encouraging, really forcing, school districts to lay off, fire or reject new applications from experienced teachers and graduates of real teaching programs by the thousands in favor of the mostly white temps from elite schools that Teach For America and similar outfits provide.

There's no proof that TFA's missionaries improve ghetto schools. The truth is it takes years to become a competent teacher. TFA's purpose is to change the teacher workforce to temps not connected to students, their families or communities as a prelude to privatization. The last thing a school privatizer wants is a school full of qualified, experienced teachers deeply connected to the communities they serve with a tradition of collective action (that's what a union -- a real union – is) and who know how to run the joint themselves.

In perspective, it was Teach For America that gave us Michelle Rhee, as well as the current DC schools chancellor Henderson, who used to be Rhee's boss at TFA.

Selectively sabotaging the education of black children, dispersing experienced workforces of organized black teachers connected to their communities sounds like an indisputably racist policy on its face. Chicago teachers sued in federal court on that point and won. Apparently Teach For America needs somebody to stamp the anti-racist ghetto passes of it missionary workforce as they pass through the ghetto, so they've put an “anti-racism” educator and trainer on retainer.

So between now and July 18, we'll be carrying a petition, asking anti-racism educator Tim Wise NOT to stamp the ghetto passes of Teach For America. You can find it on our web site at www.blackagendareport.com/tfa.

Tim Wise is famous for preaching the "white privilege" Big Lie that the divide-and-rule strategy needs in order to be effective. This is what explains the "paradox" of a supposed "anti-racist" like Tim Wise being in cahoots with a racist organization like Teach for America.

Here is an Aspen Institute document that features and promotes the People's Institute (the Haymarket Fund's partner) in its Section Four (pg. 109). There are many pages in this Section Four that talk about racism and how to "fight it" but, amazingly, there is not a hint that ordinary white people as well as people of color are harmed by racial discrimination, that An Injury to One is an Injury to All. This theme is completely suppressed, to the great satisfaction, no doubt, of all the ruling class institutions that Aspen Fund President and CEO, Walter Isaacson, sits on the board of. Instead we find (pg. 71), in a large text box, this declaration:

"White privilege is a major barrier to building the kind of social movements that could bring fundamental change to this country. Social justice activists have a real stake in tearing down this barrier."

The ruling class wants "radicals" to spread the message that ordinary whites are guilty for benefiting from racial discrimination. This message makes non-whites view whites as their enemy. And it makes whites choose between either a) feeling guilty for being white, telling other whites they should feel guilty too and treating whites as the enemy if they don't confess to being guilty or b) equating "anti-racism" with "anti-white" and reacting with anger at anybody who says they're against racism. Exactly what the ruling class wants!

Who else, one might wonder, serves on the board of the Aspen Institute? Here is where the board membership is listed. We see that great anti-racist, Madeleine K. Albright, who famously declared that the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children was "worth it" because "the sanctions are working" in on the board. These sanctions were literally genocidal. One wonders how, during their board meetings, Mr. Isaacson and Ms. Albright laugh about "ending racism." Another Aspen Institute board member is Michael D. Eisner, former head of ABC and Walt Disney corporations (institutions not notable for educating the public about the racial discrimination practices of the ruling class) and, of note, a billionaire.

Is it any wonder, then, that Open Media Boston, an organization that is funded by the Haymarket People's Fund, chose (as of my writing this article six hours after I submitted the comment) not to publish a comment (provided below) on the theme that An Injury to One is an Injury to All to this article of theirs about anti-racism strategy and the I-93 blockade of commuters in the name of anti-racism? Is it any wonder they feature articles about the I-93 blockade that refuse to criticize it but no articles that do? (My similar comment to their other article uncritical of the I-93 blockade was published after they took many hours to approve it. Perhaps they are conflicted between wanting to allow free speech versus losing their funding.)

The rejected comment:

"Boston Police Commissioner Evans's Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove" at http://newdemocracyworld.org/culture/evans2.html points the accusatory finger in the right direction--at the ruling class and its police forces. Tactics that point the accusing finger at ordinary white people, such as the I-93 blockade, are wrong. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained why when he said (in The Drum Major Instinct, 1968):

"Now that's a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position--where through blindness and prejudice, he is forced to support his oppressors, and the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he is superior because his skin is white. And can't hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out." 

The movement against racism can only grow strong enough to WIN if it makes it clear to all potential allies (such as working class whites who live in suburbs) that--no matter what their race--they are ALSO  harmed by the ruling class's divide and rule strategy of racial discrimination to promote mistrust and resentment between people of color and whites. The movement needs to welcome these people as allies in the fight against racism, and most definitely NOT use tactics (like the I-93 blockade) that treat them in a hostile way, as an enemy who benefits from racism. It should certainly stop telling ordinary whites that they benefit from racism (which is a ruling class divide-and-rule Big Lie). This means it should call racist discrimination "racist discrimination" (which points the accusatory finger at those implementing racist policies) and not point the accusatory finger at ordinary white people by calling it "white privilege": a "privilege" is something that one benefits from, but ordinary whites are HARMED by the ruling class's divide-and-rule strategy based on racial discrimination.

It isn't just right wing racist talk radio hosts who are working to make divide and rule based on racial discrimination work. The "radical" organizations funded by organizations like the Haymarket People's Fund, partnered with--literally--the ruling class, also play a key role in making divide-and-rule work. Their function is to make white people perceive anything that purports to be "anti-racist" as anti-white, as hostile to ordinary white people. This is why Open Media Boston will not brook any criticism of the activists who, in the name of "anti-racism" and Black Lives Matter, obstructed commuters on I-93 for many hours, infuriating them as much as they could, and providing the racist right wing radio talk show hosts with a field day and a chance to recruit emotionally revved up and angry suburban whites to the side of the overt racists. Just one more example of how the ruling class uses progressive organizations to strengthen its domination of people.

Needless to say, organizations funded by sources partnered with the likes of Madeleine Albright and Michael Eisner and Walter Isaacson are not going to seriously fight to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor. They'd lose their funding if they did, and the top people in these "radical" organizations don't want to risk that.

 

ACE (Alternatives for Community & Environment)

ACE is a small organization in the Boston area that describes itself this way: "ACE builds the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice...Systemic change means moving beyond solving problems one by one to eliminating the root causes of environmental injustice. ACE is anchoring a movement of people who have been excluded from decision-making to confront power directly and demand fundamental changes in the rules of the game, so together we can achieve our right to a healthy environment."

One of the main funders of ACE is the Boston Bar Foundation, which is "the official charity of the Boston Bar Association." Here is where all of the officers and council members (equivalent to the board of directors) of the Boston Bar Association are listed with brief bios for each. Reading these bios makes it quite evident that these are lawyers who in practically every case have working relationships with big corporations. One of the council members, for example, is Paul T. Dacier, Boston Bar Association President Emeritus. His bio reads:

"Paul is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corporation. He is responsible for EMC’s worldwide legal group, which consists of more than 100 attorneys. Paul is a member of the BBA’s Executive Committee and has served as President-Elect, Vice President, and Treasurer of the Council. Under Governor Mitt Romney, Paul was a commissioner of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission. Paul was instrumental in establishing the Business Litigation Session in Suffolk County and is a member and past chair on the board of the New England Legal Foundation. He is a Trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation and the Social Law Library."

So the leadership of one of the main funding organizations of ACE includes Paul Dacier, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corportation. The EMC Corporation is ranked 128 in the top Fortune 500 corporations and had a market value (as of March 31, 2014) of $55.5 Billion. I suppose Mr. Dacier could be a closet egalitarian seeking out egalitarian revolutionary organizations for the Boston Bar Foundation to give money to so that he can help remove the rich from power to have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor. But really, what are the odds? How likely is it that if ACE announced that its goal was egalitarian revolution, Mr. Dacier and his fellow council members at the Boston Bar Association would say, "Oh, great! We want to remove the rich from power too. We'll certainly keep funding you." This isn't exactly the kind of behavior that earned these council member lawyers their reputations for being "responsible" lawyers suitable to be hired as General Counsels to big corporations, is it?

If one looks at the list of the board of directors of ACE, here, and does an internet search for background information on them, one finds that they are mostly young people with just low level job experience and a few are university faculty members with no evident connection to Big Money other than being employed (like most people) by organizations controlled by Big Money. There is nothing online about these people that would suggest that they are not, personally, in favor of an egalitarian revolution (although I have no idea how they actually think about this). But the funding environment in which they work no doubt makes it obvious to them (especially the ones with the most responsibility for leading ACE) that if ACE explicitly advocated egalitarian revolution it would lead to the organization's loss of funding and rapid demise. So they don't advocate egalitarian revolution, even if they personally would love such a revolution. That's how the rich control well-meaning people with progressive organizations.

Open Media Boston

Open Media Boston (discussed above in the Haymarket People's Fund section) describes itself here this way:

Mission Statement
Open Media Boston is an online metropolitan news publication dedicated to regularly publishing fair and accurate news, views, arts, entertainment and technology coverage for the Boston, Massachusetts, USA area in text, image, audio and video formats. We are an audience-centered publication with a progressive editorial stance that will constantly solicit submissions and commentary from the general public using the latest social media technology while maintaining professional journalistic standards at all times. We will always strive to balance open participation with editorial control in the service of this goal.

In addition to receiving funds from the Haymarket People's Fund it also receives funds from the Solidago Foundation, whose website is extremely uninformative. According to this website, however, the secretary of the board of directors of Solidago Foundation (as of 2000) is Idelisse Malave, who is (or was) the Executive director of the Tides Foundation. This website reports that Drummond Page, founder and former president of the Tides Foundation, has over the years "served as a director, board member or high-ranking official" of a long list of organizations that includes the Solidago Foundation. And this website reports that Drummond Page was, specifically, a director of Solidago Foundation. Clearly the Solidago Foundation anbd the Tides Foundation are closely linked.

As discussed above, the Tides Foundation acts as an intermediary between the biggest Big Money foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, etc.) and progressive organizations funded by them. Thus Open Media Boston is linked to Big Money by both its Solidago Foundation funder and its Haymarket People's Fund funder. This is yet another reason not to be surprised at two things: 1) Open Media Boston steers clear of the idea that An Injury to One is an Injury to All in the context of race (as discussed in the Haymarket Fund section above), and 2) Open Media Boston steers clear of the idea that most people want an egalitarian revolution to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor. An organization funded by Big Money cannot keep its funds and still have good political views and aims.

Race Amity

Race Amity is a national organization with a very active branch in Boston. In 2013 I and a friend of mine began attending the monthly meetings of Race Amity, held at Wheelock College. The local leader was (is?) Dr. William "Smitty" H. Smith, also a founding executive director of the National Center for Race Amity. The themes of the monthly meetings were about how black and white people can be friends when whites learn how not to be racist in their attitudes and thinking. The slogan for the group was E Pluribus Unum, (From Many, One), emphasizing that Americans are all one family, and consequently suppressing the idea that we are NOT all one family because there are fundamentally conflicting values held by ordinary people versus the wealthy ruling elite.

Each monthly meeting was begun with a ten minute (or so) "convocation" by a different person invited from one of the religious groups in Boston. On one occassion a Jewish woman who was explicitly pro-Zionist gave the convocation, and defended Israel against subsequent denunciations of Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians expressed by my friend and me (with agreement, we later found out, from others in the room). This made me wonder what was going on with Race Amity. It also put me and my friend on Smitty's "shit list."

I later discovered (here) that Race Amity was part of a "Consortium of Equity Conferences" that is "a group of progressive, like-minded organizations" that includes the White Privilege Conference. As I discuss in my article, "Why and How Big Money Promotes 'White Privilege' Rhetoric," the White Privilege Conference is an instrument of the ruling class used to weaken, not strengthen, the effort of people to abolish racial discrimination.

I emailed my friend and another participant in the monthly Race Amity meetings my concerns that Race Amity was connected to, and promoting, a ruling class "divide-and-rule" theme, namely that the labor movement's great insight--An Injury to One is an Injury to All--is wrong because (supposedly) when blacks are treated worse than whites (i.e., racial discrimination) this benefits whites and is a "white privilege" (the word "privilege" means, of course, something by which one benefits.) Race Amity was engaged in hiding the fact that racial discimination is used by the ruling class to create mistrust and resentment between blacks and whites in order to undermine their solidarity and thus make both blacks AND whites easier to dominate and exploit. Instead of explaining to ordinary white people that racial discrimination harmed them, it was telling them that it benefited them--that they were enjoying a "privilege" because of racial discrimination. This Big Lie is crucial for making the divide-and-rule strategy work. And Race Amity was spreading it.

When Smitty heard (from the other participant I sent my email of concern to) that I was talking to people about the problem with White Privilege Conference and Race Amity's connection to it, he immediately told me I was no longer welcome to participate in Race Amity events.

I thought this was rather unfriendly of Smitty, and I wondered why he hadn't, instead, invited me to share my concerns with him privately, if not with others. Why did he just--BOOM!--kick me out?

To find out the explanation for Smitty's behavior I did some google searches. This is what I discovered.

The National Center for Race Amity, founded in January of 2010, received its founding grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. One of the members of the board of trustees of the Kellogg Foundation is Roderick D. Gillum. Here's some interesting information about Mr. Gillum:

Roderick D. Gillum is a Partner in the Detroit office of Jackson Lewis LLP and a member of the Firm’s Corporate Compliance/Governance and Corporate Diversity Counseling Practice Groups.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Gillum was a senior member of the General Motors Company (GM) Legal Staff, where he rose to become Secretary to the GM Board of Directors, and later Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Diversity. In this dual role, Mr. Gillum was at the forefront of the company’s diversity strategies relative to both internal human resources as well as external relations with vendors, minority dealers, and national civil rights and political leaders.   He was often called upon to provide advice and counsel to heads of other Fortune 500 companies, politicians and community/civic leaders. Previously, Mr. Gillum was the Chief Personnel, Benefits and Labor Attorney at GM’s Legal Staff, where he was responsible for all personnel, health care, benefit plans, labor relations and workers’ compensation legal matters, and he oversaw a combined litigation and workers’ compensation budget in excess of $15 million. Among his other responsibilities in this role, Mr. Gillum held overall responsibility for the management and disposition of approximately 225 individual and class action lawsuits and over 300 administrative law matters filed annually; he also coordinated a successful defense to the largest employee benefit case in U.S. history (Sprague vs. GM - Supreme Court review denied, 1998). [my emphasis--J.S.]

What, exactly, was this employee benefit case--the largest in U.S. history--all about, in which Mr. Gillum successfully defended General Motors Corp.?

The case is described here, as follows:

A putative plaintiff class of more than 84,000 non-union retirees 1 of the General Motors Corporation filed suit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq., seeking a judgment requiring General Motors to furnish them with basic health care coverage at no cost for their lifetimes and the lifetimes of their surviving spouses.   In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that General Motors violated the terms of its health care plan and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing or eliminating certain health care coverages beginning in 1988.   The plaintiffs also claimed that the changes constituted a breach of General Motors' fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The plaintiffs asserted separate causes of action arising from the same changes based on breach of contract and equitable or promissory estoppel.   In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that General Motors violated the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to maintain its health care plan pursuant to a written instrument;  refusing or failing to supply requested information;  and failing to comply with requirements for summary plan descriptions.

Clearly, based on Mr. Gillum's career, he has been squarely on the side of the corporate elite and not on the side of ordinary working people, and certainly not on the side of ordinary black working people, in their struggles against the corporate elite for more equality in our society that is based on class inequality.

Another trustee of the Kellogg Foundation (Race Amity's founding funder) is Cynthia H. Milligan. Cynthia Hardin Milligan is a director of Wells Fargo bank. The CEO of Wells Fargo is John G. Stumpf. An employee of Wells Fargo writes here: "In 2010, our CEO, John G. Stumpf received $18,973,722 in total compensation. By comparison, the median worker made $33,190 in 2010. John G. Stumpf made 571 times the median worker’s pay."

To underscore the intimate ties between Race Amity's executive director, William H. "Smitty" Smith and the ruling class, it is interesting to note, as reported here, that

"In 2007 Dr. Smith was selected as the Balfour Scholar by the Balfour Foundation, Bank America Trustee. This honor included a fully sponsored week at the prestigious Aspen Institute, in Aspen Colorado."

As discussed above in the section on the Haymarket People's Fund, the Aspen Institute promotes the "white privilege" theme to undermine awareness that "An Injury to One is an Injury to All" and thereby increase the effectiveness of the ruling class's divide-and-rule strategy based on racial discrimination. Furthermore, the Aspen Institute's President and CEO, Walter Isaacson, is a chair emeritus of Teach for America, an organization that carries out racial discrimination in our public schools, as discussed in the section on the Haymarket People's Fund, and which Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon describe this way:

"Teach For America is part of an elite bipartisan scam to privatize public education, starting, and perhaps ending with the inner city. TFA replaces qualified, experienced mostly black teachers who live in the communities they serve with mostly white temps, graduated from a 5 week course who will move on to Wall Street and other lucrative careers after only a couple seasons in the classroom.

"Closing public schools and replacing experienced teachers with Ivy League missionary temps isn't something that's being done to wealthy white suburban public schools. It's only the prescribed remedy for school districts full of black and brown youth, and black and brown teachers."

Now it is clear why Race Amity's leader, "Smitty," kicked me out as soon as he heard I had concerns about how the "white privilege" theme served the ruling class and helped it use racial discrimination to effectively divide and rule ordinary people. "Smitty" is an agent of the ruling class, funded by it and doing its bidding, for which he receives numerous awards such as "a fully sponsored week at the prestigious Aspen Institute in Aspen Colorado." The last thing "Smitty" would allow is for a genuine discussion to take place among Race Amity participants about how to build a movement that unifies people of all races with the understanding that An Injury to One is an Injury to All. The last thing "Smitty" wants is for his Race Amity organization to be used to remove the rich from power and have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. This is not what the Kellogg Foundation and Aspen Institute folks want, and "Smitty" knows it, even if the ordinary participants in Race Amity don't.

Yes! Magazine

Yes! Magazine says of itself, "YES! Magazine reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, we outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world."

Who funds Yes!? One of its funders is GMA Foundations. At the bottom of the "about us" page of the GMA Foundations' webpage--here--there appears a logo and the words, "National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers: A TIDES CENTER PROJECT." Clearly the GMA Foundations is closely linked to the Tides Center. The Tides Center and the Tides Foundation are both entities established by Drummond Pike, as described here. And the Tides Foundation/Center is a conduit from Big Money (Rockefeller, Ford and Heinz Foundations as well as others) to little organizations, as discussed above.

Another source of funds for Yes! is the Wallace Global Fund. The Wallace Global Fund is also intimately connected to the Tides Center as indicated by Wallace Global Fund website pages here and here and here.

RSF Social Finance funded both Yes! and the Tides Center. The board of trustees of RSF includes Siegfried Finser whose bio states that:

"After teaching in the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, he managed a division of Xerox Corp. Mr. Finser then served as Director of Human Resource Development at ITT, with worldwide responsibility for the development and placement of more than 10,000 of its executives. Since then he has consulted with major corporations and advised clients for RSF." [my emphasis--J.S.]

The Tides Center directly funded Positive Futures Network whose url is www.yesmagazine.org; apparently Positive Futures Network is Yes! Magazine, as indicated here.

Yes! Magazine is thus funded by essentially the same Big Money sources as most other progressive organizations. Its funders travel in cirlces containing people such as Siegfried Finser, who managed a division of Xerox Corporation and served as a director of human resource development at ITT corporation--jobs not given to people aiming to remove the rich from power! This is why Yes! Magazine, while seeming to be about making a more equal and democratic world, does not ever say anything that would truly challenge the power of the rich who fund it. If Yes! Magazine actually advocated removing the rich from power to have real not fake democacty with no rich and no poor, then much of its current funding would dry up. Certainly the top leaders of the magazine know this.

 

The Nation Magazine

The Nation is one of the most read progressive magazines. It's editor and publisher and co-owner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, is a member of the ultra-elite and extremely powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). So is her father, William J. vanden Heuvel, who served between 1953 and 1954 as executive assistant to the founder of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Donovan, during Donovan's tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Thailand. The CFR is an organization of, by and for the ruling class. It's website proudly asserts:

"The convening power of CFR is unparalleled, attracting the most prominent world leaders in government and business." - CFR Board Co-Chairs Carla A. Hills and Robert E. Rubin

The CFR is not the kind of organization that anybody who wants to can join. On the contrary, to become a member of the CFR one must submit an application and be accepted. It is an exclusive club. The CFR website says, "Candidates for membership must be nominated in writing by a current CFR member and seconded by a minimum of three (maximum of four) other individuals." Also, "CFR members are required to fulfill annual dues requirements." The CFR membership roster includes David Rockefeller (and five other Rockefellers), Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton (and his daughter Chelsea), Condoleezza Rice, and other such members of, or servants to, the ruling class.

The Nation serves the ruling class by being just "anti-establishment" enough to remain influential among many anti-establishment self-identified "progressives" while at the same time providing its readers with ideological leadership that renders them no threat whatsoever to the ruling class. One way it does this is by promoting race war--in the name of "progressivism"--in the United States.

For example, when the mainly white jury in Florida acquitted George Zimmerman of murder charges in his killing of Trayvon Martin, The Nation headlined its article, "White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman." A truthful headline would have been something like, "Government Fails to Provide Evidence Beyond a Reasonable Doubt of George Zimmerman's Guilt, so the Jury Acquitted him." As discussed here, the jurors were indeed provided no evidence sufficient to enable them to return a guilty verdict. Experts, of all points of view, agreed about this.

By accusing the jurors of acquitting Zimmerman because of "white supremacy" (i.e., racism) The Nation sent the false message to its readers that virtually all white people (the jurors were a random selection of them, after all) are so racist that they will acquit a defendant who is obviously guilty of murder if the defendant is white and the victim is black. This is nothing less than an effort to persuade non-whites that white people are their enemy. This is how The Nation foments race war in the name of progressivism. Undoubtedly, at their secret meetings (and they are secret) the Council on Foreign Relations members express admiration for the terrific job Katrina vanden Heuvel is doing over at The Nation.

 

The Progressive Magazine

The Progressive says of itself, "The Progressive is a monthly magazine of investigative reporting, political commentary, cultural coverage, activism, interviews, poetry, and humor. It steadfastly stands against militarism, the concentration of power in corporate hands, and the disenfranchisement of the citizenry. It champions peace, social and economic justice, civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, a preserved environment, and a reinvigorated democracy. Its bedrock values are nonviolence and freedom of speech."

Who publlishes The Progressive? As indicated at the bottom of this web page, "The Progressive Media Project is an affiliate of The Progressive, Inc., the nonprofit educational institution that also publishes The Progressive magazine." Who funds the Progressive Media Project? Curiously, The Progressive Media Project proudly displays a list of its funders on its website; here it is:

THE PROGRESSIVE MEDIA PROJECT FUNDERS
Arcus Foundation www.arcusfoundation.org
Argosy Foundation

Boehm Foundation Carnegie Corporation www.carnegie.org
Annie E. Casey Foundation www.aecf.org
Chicago Tribune Foundation about.chicagotribune.com
Community Shares of Wisconsin www.communityshares.com
EGrants.org

Ford Foundation www.fordfound.org
Gill Foundation www.gillfoundation.org
GiveForChange.com giveforchange.com
Lifebridge Foundation www.lifebridge.org
John S. & James L. Knight Foundation www.knightfdn.org
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation www.macfound.org
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation www.mott.org
Ms. Foundation www.ms.foundation.org
Purple Moon Foundation

RealNetworks Foundation www.realfoundation.org
Rockefeller Foundation www.rockfound.org
Tides Foundation www.tidesfoundation.org
Town Creek Foundation www.towncreekfdn.org
Wisconsin Community Fund www.wisconsincommunityfund.org
Working Assets www.workingassets.com
The Progressive Media Project is able to continue bringing independent voices to the op-ed pages of our nation’s newspapers thanks to the past and present support of these foundations, and also thanks to the support of our many individual donors.

Each year, the Progressive Media Project produces an annual report detailing the project’s accomplishments and activities.
Download our 2006 Annual Report here. Please contact us if you would like to request a copy by mail.
Download our 2005 Annual Report here. Please contact us if you would like to request a copy by mail.

Not surprisingly, the list of funders includes the Ford and Rockefeller foundations and Tides (which is discussed at length above and receives money from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations.) The first-listed foundation in the above list is Arcos. The board president and founder of Arcos is Jon Stryker who happens to be personally worth $1.94 Billion. Another funder of The Progressive is the well known John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation wose board of directors includes Joi Ito who, according to his bio, "is a member on the boards of the Sony Corporation, The New York Times Company, The Knight Foundation and The Mozilla Foundation." The Tides Foundation gave The Progressive $10,000 in 2013.

The Progressive never writes about how the government's official 9/11 story doesn't hold water. Instead it ridicules (as in this article) those who point out how the official 9/11 story is, literally, not credible. Could this be related to the fact that The Boehm Foundation Carnegie Corporation is on the list of the magazine's donors? This foundation's website is given (on The Progressive website) as carnegie.org, which goes to the Carnegie Corporation of New York with its Board of Trustees given here. The chairman of the board is Thomas H. Kean, whose bio, courtesy of the Carnegie Corp, tells us that: "On December 16, 2002, Thomas H. Kean was named by President George W. Bush to head the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon theUnited States. The Commission’s work culminated on July 22, 2004, with the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, which quickly became a national bestseller."

Also not surprisingly, The Progressive adopts "white privilege" rhetoric (here and here and here for example), which promotes the Big Lie that ordinary whites benefit from racial discrimination against non-whites (as discussed in "Why and How Big Money Promotes 'White Privilege' Rhetoric.") Might this have anything to do with the fact that, as I document here, the Ford and Rockefeller foundations--both on the list of The Progressive's funders--promote "white privilege" rhetoric?

The Progressive does not ever hint that racial discrimination against non-whites is harmful not only to the obvious non-white victims but also to ordinary whites. The Progressive does not discuss how the ruling class uses racial discrimination to undermine solidarity between ordinary people of all races, to create mistrust and resentment between those targeted by racial discrimination and those who are not, in order to divide and rule ALL races of ordinary people. The Progressive does not explain that An Injury to One is an Injury to ALL. Why not? Because these true ideas are not the ones that its Big Money funders want in the minds of people who call themselves progressives. The Progressive's funders want people to believe that racial discrimination is bad for non-whites and good for whites, so that the rulers' divide-and-rule strategy will remain effective. Needless to add, it is not surprising that The Progressive never tells its readers that most Americans want to remove the rich from power to have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor.

 

Democracy Now!

Here's what Democracy Now! says of itself:

Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Free Speech TV ch. 348 and Link TV ch. 375); and on the internet. DN!’s podcast is one of the most popular on the web.

Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other.

Despite having an anti-establishment flavor, Democracy Now! carefully avoids expressing the kind of ideas that an egalitarian revolutionary movement expresses. Thus one never hears the following from Amy Goodman and her guests on Democracy Now!:

  • Most Americans know we are living under a dictatorship of the rich.
  • Most Americans want to remove the rich from power to have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor.
  • The government's official 9/11 story is literally not credible.
  • Racial discrimination harms not only its obvious targeted non-white victims but also ordinary whites, because its purpose is to undermine solidarity between people of ALL races by creating mistrust and resentment between those racially discriminated against and those not. Without this solidarity ALL ordinary people are more easily dominated and oppressed by Big Money. This is why An Injury to One is an Injury to All. It is NOT a "white privilege" to be dominated and oppressed this way. Big Money promotes "white privilege" rhetoric to prevent people from knowing that An Injury to One is an Injury to All and to make its divide-and-rule strategy of racial discrimination more effective.
  • The problem with Israel's government is not simply that it occupies land in Palestine that is not part of Israel (the Occupation). The problem is that Israel's government refuses to allow the millions of Palestinian refugees--people (or the children born to such people in refugee camps) whom Israel's Zionist leaders violently drove out of their homes and villages inside the 78% of Palestine that is now called Israel--to return to their homes and villages inside Israel, simply because they are not Jewish. The problem is that Israel, in order to implement its wrongful aim to make most of Palestine a Jewish state, insists on keeping the population of the part of Palestine called Israel at least 80% Jewish and relies on ethnic cleansing to do this.

If Democracy Now! expressed these kinds of revolutionary egalitarian ideas instead of studiously avoiding doing so, what would happen to its funding? Let's see who's funding Democracy Now!

Tides gave Democracy Now! $305,000 in 2013.

RSF Social Finance funded the Pacifica Foundation in 2009. The Pacifica Foundation launched Democracy Now! in 1996. The board of trustees of RSF includes Siegfried Finser whose bio states that:

"After teaching in the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, he managed a division of Xerox Corp. Mr. Finser then served as Director of Human Resource Development at ITT, with worldwide responsibility for the development and placement of more than 10,000 of its executives. Since then he has consulted with major corporations and advised clients for RSF." [my emphasis--J.S.]

Democracy Now!'s parent organization--Pacifica Foundation, receives funding from the United States Government, specifically the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The details are in this pdf file produced by the NEA with their search application at https://apps.nea.gov/grantsearch/).

If he who pays the piper calls the tune, then it is not hard to see why Democracy Now!'s tune is never the need for or the possibility of egalitarian revolution to remove the rich from power. Why would the rich pay for such a tune?

 

Mother Jones Magazine

One source of funds ($40,000 in 2013) for Mother Jones is the Wallace Global Fund. The Wallace Global Fund is intimately connected to the Tides Center (which, as discussed above, gets it money from Big Money sources such as the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations) as indicated by Wallace Global Fund website pages here and here and here. The Wallace Global Fund has also given money to the Foundation for National Progress ($320,000 from 2007 to 2013), which is (according to Mother Jones) an "umbrella organization that exists to publish and support Mother Jones."

The Tides Foundation also directly gave the Foundation for National Progress (hence Mother Jones) $30,000 in 2013.

Mother Jones received at least $200,000 from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy (which seems not to exist anymore, but whose president was Bill Moyers who has now retired.) According to a Wikipedia article:

"The Schumann Center for Media and Democracy (formerly The Florence and John J. Schumann Jr. Foundation) was established in 1961, by Florence Ford and John J.Schumann Jr. ...

John J.Schumann Jr was the former president of General Motors Acceptance Corporation. Florence Ford brought to the foundation wealth that she had inherited from her father, who was one of the founders of IBM.

Current officers and trustees of the foundation include the founders' sons Robert F. Schumann, chairman and W. Ford Schumann, vice president as well as Bill Moyers, president."

It is extremely significant that Bill Moyers, as president of the Schumann Center, gave $200,000 to Mother Jones. Why? Because Bill Moyers has been an over-the-top supporter of the War on Terror who, in April of 2004, wrote "Winning the War on Terror," about which the late Dave Stratman (my co-editor of NewDemocracyWorld.org) wrote the following:

Moyers' "Winning the War on Terror" (http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/47643-bill-moyers--winning-the-war-on-terror)  is a lament over President Bush's leadership. Moyers accepts Bush's narrative of the war on terror without question. He doesn't point out that Bush's war on terror has done nothing but multiply terrorists, or that Bush could easily have isolated terrorists after 9/11 by addressing the authentic grievances of Arabs, or that Bush in fact needs terrorists to justify Administration policies. On the contrary, Moyers has no doubts about who the real enemy is: "Islamic fanatics have declared war and seem willing to wage it to the death. If they prevail, our children will grow up in a world where fear governs the imagination and determines the rules of life." Apparently to Moyers' mind we are always at Orange Alert or worse; it's almost as if it is Americans -- rather than, say, Iraqis or Palestinians -- who live under constant threat of being bombed or strafed or tortured or starved; the brutal realities of life for many Muslims are transformed somehow into omnipresent dangers for Americans. And so, writes Moyers, "Like most Americans, I want to do my part in the war." He makes clear that this war is not just another issue du jour. In language evoking the grand old days of World War II, Moyers agrees with Bush that the war on terror "is an inescapable calling of our generation."

For Mother Jones to be viewed by a person such as Bill Moyers as a worthy recipient of (at least) $200,000 it has to be a magazine that is trusted to keep its criticism of U.S. foreign policy within the limits of "respectable" discourse, as does Bill Moyers himself. This means, among other things, never even hinting that the War on Terror is really an Orwellian War of social control that should be thoroughly opposed, and certainly not viewed--as does Bill Moyers--as "an inescapable calling of our generation." While increasing numbers of people, both experts and non-experts, are coming to see that the government's official story of 9/11 is not credible (and therefore 9/11 is very likely an inside job), Mother Jones will never publish anything that entertains these thoughts. Instead they publish articles like this one. Otherwise their benefactors, like Bill Moyers, would not approve.

There seems to be a friendly relationship between Mother Jones and the Rockefeller family. In this Wikipedia article about the Rockefeller Brothers Fund one learns that the Pocantico Conference Center

"was created when the [Rockefeller Brothers] Fund [RBF] leased the area from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1991.

Since its opening in 1994, the Center has hosted 482 meetings with 13,223 attendees, on subjects directly related to the RBF's program objectives, including dialogues held by outside organizations.

Some recent (2005) Conference subjects have included:

...

Independent Media and the Future of Democracy - In the wake of the November 2004 election, three leading independent magazines - Mother Jones, The Nation, and The American Prospect - convened the leadership of independent media organizations from the worlds of print, radio, television and the internet to assess the political, technological, and demographic changes to come in the next decade. Sponsored by the RBF."

Mother Jones is evidently connected to Big Money in numerous ways, which explains why it engages in muckraking but does not ever inform its readers that most Americans know that we live in a dictatorship of the rich and most Americans would love an egalitarian revolution to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor. This is a taboo subject. The people who fund Mother Jones and who invite its key people to meet with them at the Rockefeller-owned Pocantico Conference Center would not keep funding it if the magazine "went rogue" and started advocating revolution. So it never does.

 

Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution: Advancing Freedom Through Nonviolent Action

Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Insitution works for the ruling class, as discussed in some detail by Michael Barker in his article, "Sharp Reflection Warranted: Nonviolence in the Service of Imperialism." The Big Money ruling class uses violence to suppress anybody who challenges its wealth, power and privilege. As Barker demonstrates, Big Money also uses nonviolent tactics when it suits its needs. At the same time Big Money also wants ordinary people to believe that violence in self-defense is immoral, unwise and unnecessary. Big Money uses the thinking of Gene Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution for both purposes: to foment "regime change" trouble for regimes it wants to undermine, (as Barker discusses) and to weaken foes of Big Money by preaching to them the wrongness of ever using violence in self-defense (as I discuss here).

 

MassEquality

MassEquality describes itself this way:

"MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression."

 MassEquality is one of the main organizations in Massachusetts that defends and fights for the legalization of same-sex marriage. It also oppossed letting people vote on the question and for this purpose coined the phrase, "It's wrong to vote on rights." (But, one might well ask, shouldn't the voters be allowed to DETERMINE if same-sex marriage is a right? We have a marriage law that prohibits sibling marriage. Is that a denial of a right to siblings? Is it wrong to let the voters decide if sibling marriage should be legal or not? If that's not wrong, then why is it wrong to let voters decide if same-sex marriage should be legal or not. Isn't MassEquality's position about as anti-democratic as one could imagine?)

MassEquality's theme is that people who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they hate or fear homosexuals ("homophobia") and wish to deny equal rights to them. By this absurd logic, people who oppose sibling marriage do so because they hate or fear siblings ("siblingphobia"?) and wish to deny equal rights to them. MassEquality's role is to help the ruling class orchestrate a phony debate on same-sex marriage; it's phony because the actual reason that many people oppose same-sex marriage is essentially the same reason many people oppose sibling marriage--because children created by such couples are at risk of harm.

In the case of siblings the harm is genetic. In the case of same-sex couples (who can only create a child by using donated sperm or a donated egg from a third party, typically anonymous, donor) the harm is psychological, due to the child not knowing and being known by its biological father (or mother as the case may be.) A genuine debate about same-sex marriage would be about whether this risk of psychological harm is great enough to make same-sex marriage a bad idea. Good and decent people may disagree about this question, because neither position stems from bigotry or a desire to deny anybody equal rights. The ruling class censors THIS debate--the proper and appropriate detae, and orchestrates instead the phony debate in which the only permitted views are 1) "equality means everybody has a right to marry whomever they wish" or 2) "God says same-sex marriage is a sin." The mass media makes sure advocates of same-sex marriage perceive the other side as so bigoted and irrational that they don't even deserve to be allowed to vote on the question.

So, who funds MassEquality? Answer: Big Money. Specifically the Tides Foundation (a conduit for money from the Ford and Rockefeller and Heinz foundations and similiar Big Money sources, as detailed above) fund it. In 2008 Tides gave the MassEquality Education Fund $50,000, in 2010 it gave it $43,000, in 2013 it gave it $40,000 and in 2014 it gave it $60,000. In 2014 the MassEquality Education Fund received $40,000 from the Evelyn & Walter Hass, Jr. Fund. This fund was established by Walter A. Hass, Jr., who was a president and CEO (1958–1976) and chairman (1970–1981) of Levi Strauss & Co, succeeding his father Walter A. Haas (1889–1979): Big Money!

Ubuntu Planet

The introduction to Ubuntu Planet's website reads:

THIS IS WHERE WE MANIFEST THE LIVING UBUNTU PHILOSOPHY
Uniting people across borders and cultural divides imposed on humanity - laying the foundations for communities of abundance and prosperity on our beautiful planet of infinite abundance. Join the rapidly growing global UBUNTU family today - meet like-minded activators like you and become a seed of consciousness in your area.

We are the creators of our own reality - so let us use our collective consciousness to co-create the utopian world we all want to live in.
In love, unity and resonance.

Ubuntu Planet is an example of organizations that have a very nice (essentially egalitarian) vision of how society ought to be. These organizations aim to make society be better by establishing small collectives (or "communes" or little communities) based on their utopian principles. Ubuntu Planet is asking for donations to enable them to buy land in one town to set up such a community. The Ubuntu Planet website says that we should make society be very different, but it never talks about removing the rich from power and how to do that.

Big Money wants people to think that we can make an egalitarian society on a large scale without removing the rich from power. This is why Big Money foundations fund cooperative social experiments such as Ubuntu. The Ubuntu Education Fund received $5,000 in 2014 from the Tides Foundation, which, as detailed above, gets its money from Big Money sources such as the Rockefeller, Ford and Heinz foundations and George Soros. This money apparently comes with a string attached: the recipient is not supposed to talk about seriously aiming to remove the rich from power. Big Money funds these utopian organizations for the same reason it keeps telling us to vote. The very rich know that as long as people believe that something (voting or creating some kind of "alternative" economic enterprise) other than removing the rich from power can enable us to make our society genuinely equal and democratic, then the rich have nothing to fear.

 

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READ THE BOOKS IN THE "NO RICH AND NO POOR" SERIES

 

Articles by Dave Stratman

Articles by John Spritzler

Turn the World Upside Down (John Spritzler's blog #1)

End Class Inequality (John Spritzler's blog #2)

 

Books

We Can Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life by Dave Stratman

The People as Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II by John Spritzler

NO RICH AND NOPOOR: The Populist Goal We CAN and Must Win

DIVIDE AND RULE: The "Left vs. Right" Trap