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the Council on Foreign
Historical and Investigative Research, 4
History shows that the policies
debated and proposed by the CFR almost always become US foreign policy.
And yet, the CFR is supposed to be a private organization. Very
little is known about it. And political scientists almost never
investigate it. It pays to study the CFR, however, if we wish to
understand how power works in the United States, and what ideology the
US ruling elite answers to.
< The CFR: An Introduction
< Who is behind the CFR?
< The eugenics ideology of CFR leaders
< Now, what does this help us explain?
The CFR: An introduction
In 1977 political scientist Thomas Dye delivered his presidential address to the Southern Political Science Association at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His topic: the role of allegedly ‘private’ policy-making organizations in determining US policy. His address was then published in 1978 as a research paper in The Journal of Politics, and much space was devoted to the importance of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the making of United States foreign policy. All around, this was a rare event that helped correct a failing identified by sociologist G. William Domhoff in his 1970 book, The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America: “there never has been any research paper on [the CFR] in any scholarly journal indexed in the Social Science and Humanities Index.” Many political scientists, apparently, thought this was a proper state of affairs and wanted matters to remain thus, because Dye wrote in the first page: “I appreciate the assistance of G. William Domhoff, University of California, Santa Cruz. I apologize to those eminent political scientists who told me that [studying] the activities of private policymakers was not ‘political science.’”
It is certainly curious that “eminent political scientists” should be opposed to research on the Council on Foreign Relations and other supposedly ‘private’ policy organizations. We shall return to these matters. First, however, let us get a sense for what the CFR is and give some context to evaluate Dye’s use of the phrase “private policymakers” in reference to this organization.
In his paper, Thomas Dye writes:
“Political scientist Lester Milbraith observes that the influence of [the] CFR throughout the government is so pervasive that it is difficult to distinguish CFR from government programs: ‘The Council on Foreign Relations, while not financed by government, works so closely with it that it is difficult to distinguish Council actions stimulated by government from autonomous actions.’”
You could say it in the reverse direction, as well: it is difficult to distinguish government actions stimulated by the Council from autonomous government action. Dye gives a list of quite major US foreign policy initiatives which the CFR led, “including both the initial decision to intervene militarily in Vietnam and the later decision to withdraw.” Further, he points out that many important members of the CFR are simultaneously top government officeholders. For example, “Council members in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration included Secretary of State Dean Rusk, National Security Advisor McGeorge P. Bundy, CIA Director John McCone, and Under-Secretary of State George Ball.” A list of important figures in the CFR over the years up to 1978, which Dye also provides, shows that many are former top officials in the United States Government.
But the CFR is not merely where present and former officeholders meet; it is also an incubator for future officeholders. As William Domhoff observed:
“Douglass Cater, a journalist from Exeter and Harvard who served on the staff of President Lyndon B. Johnson, has noted that ‘a diligent scholar would do well to delve into the role of the purely unofficial Council on Foreign Relations in the care and breeding of an incipient American Establishment.’ ...Turning to the all-important question of government involvement… the point is made most authoritatively by John J. McCloy… director of CFR and a government appointee in a variety of roles since the early 1940s: ‘Whenever we needed a man,’ said McCloy in explaining the presence of CFR members in the modern defense establishment that fought World War II, ‘we thumbed through the roll of council members and put through a call to New York.’”
In what sense, then, can we say that the CFR is private? In this technical sense: the money to support the CFR comes from private foundations and corporations. It is obvious, now, why “[the] CFR was called by [Washington journalist Joseph] Kraft a ‘school for statesmen [which] comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite -- a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes.’” Financial backers of the CFR get to turn their views into policy without the scrutiny that would accompany running for office, under the cover of a supposedly ‘private’ organization. Even the academic world of “eminent political scientists,” as we have seen, cooperates in keeping the CFR in a penumbra, because according to them studying what the CFR does is supposedly not ‘political science.’
This penumbra obscures not only the process of foreign policy-making in the United States, but in the Western world as a whole. Thomas Dye writes:
“A discussion of the CFR would be incomplete without some reference to its multi-national arm -- the Trilateral Commission. The Trilateral Commission was established by CFR board Chairman David Rockefeller in 1972, with the backing of the Council and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Trilateral Commission is a small group of top officials of multi-national corporations and governmental leaders of industrialized nations, who meet periodically to coordinate policy among the United States, Western Union, and Japan.”
Given all this, it seems important, the better to understand what the CFR is, and what it’s for, to shine some light on the penumbra in which it quietly sits. I will explain who finances the CFR, and what their ideological views appear to be.
behind the CFR?
In their book on the Rockefeller family, Peter Collier and David Horowitz write:
“In 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations was formed by leaders of finance and industry, men like Thomas W. Lamont, [Woodrow] Wilson’s financial advisor and senior partner in the House of Morgan, and John W. Davis, a Morgan lawyer, standard-bearer for the Democratic party in [the presidential election of] 1924, and a trustee of the Rockefeller foundation. [John D. Rockefeller] Junior and the Rockefeller philanthropies were also drawn into the early funding of the council, whose charter members included not only Rockefeller’s business and social friends but Fosdick and Jerome Greene from his inner circle of advisors.”
It is a mistake for Collier & Horowitz to write that “the Rockefeller philanthropies were also drawn into the early funding of the council.” The Rockefeller Foundation has in fact continued to be involved with the funding. This foundation is not alone. In 1970 William Domhoff wrote that “As to the foundations, the major contributors over the years have been the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, with the Ford Foundation joining in with a large grant in the 1950s. According to [Joseph] Kraft, a $2.5 million grant in the early 1950s from the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations made the Council ‘the most important single private agency conducting research in foreign affairs.’ In 1960-61, foundation money accounted for 25% of CFR income.” (The rest comes from corporations and from sales of Foreign Affairs.) We have seen above Thomas Dye explaining that the Rockefeller Foundation backed financially the creation of the CFR’s Trilateral Commission in 1972, and David Rockefeller himself spearheaded the effort. David Rockefeller had become chairman of the Council in 1970 and he retained the post until 1985. The Rockefellers and their foundations have remained very much involved in the CFR.
We see, then, that the Council on Foreign Relations was formed by people from the circles of Woodrow Wilson, J.P. Morgan, and the Rockefellers. The Council has been funded by money from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations, and then also by the Ford Foundations. The question we may pose, then, is: Do these various interests have anything dramatic and telling in common? The answer is yes: they were all backers of the eugenics movement.
eugenics ideology of CFR leaders
The American eugenics ideology is not familiar to most people because discussion of the American eugenics movement -- despite this having been perhaps the most important social and political movement of the first half of the 20th c. -- somehow never makes it into high school and university curricula. I used to do the following experiment with my college students at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school: I would ask them to raise their hand if they had heard of the eugenics movement. Nothing moved.
The eugenics ideology has the following main components: 1) it claims that Germanic stock -- the so called ‘white Aryan’ or ‘Nordic race’ -- is biologically superior; 2) it proposes that Germans ought to rule the world as a ‘master race’; and 3) it wishes to curtail the reproduction of ‘inferiors,’ ‘defectives,’ and ‘degenerates,’ or else to exterminate them. In his detailed study of the American eugenics movement, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race (published in 2003), historian Edwin Black writes:
“In 1916, [American eugenicist] Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race declared that the white Nordic race was destined to rule the world, and confirmed the Aryan people’s role in it. German nationalists were heartened by America’s recognition of Nordic and Ayran racial superiority. Reviews of the book inspired a spectrum of German scientists and nationalists to think eugenically even before the work was translated into German.
…[American eugenics leader] Harry Laughlin prepared a detailed pro-German speech for the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Eugenics Research Association, held at [the Carnegie Institution’s complex at] Cold Spring Harbor [New York] in June of 1920. …Declaring that ‘modern civilization itself depended on Germanic and Teutonic conquest, Laughlin closed by assuring his colleagues, ‘From what the world knows of Germanic traits, we logically concede that she [Germany] will live up to her instincts of race conservation…’ …[The Carnegie Institution’s] Eugenical News published it in their next issue, as did a subsequent edition of the official British organ, Eugenics Review.”
The other great Carnegie administrator and leader of the American eugenics movement, Charles Davenport, had similar views:
“Davenport saw ethnic groups as biologically different beings -- not just physically, but in terms of their character, nature, and quality. Most of the non-Nordic types, in Davenport’s view, swam at the bottom of the hereditary pool, each featuring its own distinct and indelible adverse genetic features. Italians were predisposed to personal violence. The Irish had ‘considerable mental defectiveness,’ while Germans were ‘thrifty, intelligent, and honest.’”
The leaders of the eugenics movement said that the working classes in the West were ‘Mediterranean,’ not Germanic, and therefore had bad genes that made them stupid, unfit for reproduction (for they would pollute ‘society’ with their bad genes), and undeserving of democratic rights. The upper classes, by contrast, were Germanic: of Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Frankish, Scandinavian, Visigothic, etc., origin. To understand this view, one must know that when the Latin Roman Empire’s political structure collapsed, Western Europe was conquered by Germanic military aristocracies that, in alliance with the Vatican, recreated the Roman Empire as the Germanic Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages. Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne, the king of the Germanic tribe of the Franks, the man who conquered almost all of Western Europe, ‘Holy Roman Emperor’ in the year 800. Charlemagne then proceeded to distribute lands to his aristocratic accomplices all over his dominions, and this became the basis of the European nobility.
The eugenics movement became a tremendous phenomenon in the self-consciously Anglo-Saxon US ruling class, and the main financiers of the movement, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller (both father and son), spent millions creating a eugenic pseudoscientific infrastructure in the United States through the millions dispensed by the Carnegie Institution and the various Rockefeller foundations, in alliance with the top American corporate leaders. What this money achieved was a transformation of US universities and a takeover of government institutions by the forces of eugenics.
“Throughout the first six decades of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of Americans and untold numbers of others were not permitted to continue their families by reproducing. Selected because of their ancestry, national origin, race or religion, they were forcibly sterilized, wrongly committed to mental institutions where they died in great numbers, prohibited from marrying, and sometimes even unmarried by state bureaucrats. In America, this battle to wipe out whole ethnic groups was fought not by armies with guns nor by hate sects at the margins. Rather, this pernicious white-gloved war was prosecuted by esteemed professors, elite universities, wealthy industrialists and government officials colluding in a racist, pseudoscientific movement called eugenics. The purpose: to create a superior Nordic race.
To perpetrate the campaign, widespread academic fraud combined with almost unlimited corporate philanthropy to establish the biological rationales for persecution. …Specious [i.e. fraudulent] intelligence tests, colloquially known as IQ tests, were invented to justify incarceration of a group called ‘feebleminded.’ …Mandatory sterilization laws were enacted in some twenty-seven states to prevent targeted individuals from reproducing more of their kind. Marriage prohibition laws proliferated throughout the country to stop race mixing. Collusive [i.e. fraudulent] litigation was taken to the US Supreme Court, which sanctified eugenics and its tactics.”
Carnegie and Rockefeller spent also millions upon millions doing the same all over the West, but especially in Germany, where their efforts would prepare the ground for the German Nazi movement, whose ideology was almost entirely borrowed from American eugenics, as documented also by Edwin Black. The point of the eugenics movement was to defeat the workers movements that were becoming more and more powerful in the West. And also the Jewish people. Why them? In my view, because the Law of Moses, around which Jewish civilization is organized, was born, according to tradition (Exodus), in a slave revolt, and in consequence it is exquisitely designed to protect the working classes from the abuses of those in power. The repressive elements in the Western ruling classes have always understood the danger to them of the liberalism and egalitarianism of Jewish ideology, and in consequence they have always persecuted the Jews.[15a]
John D. Rockefeller Sr., the creator of the Standard Oil empire, was running, with his son, a system that the journalists of the day called “industrial absolutism” and also the “new feudalism.” They could also have called it “company totalitarianism.” For example, in Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I), a Rockefeller concern that was one of the biggest companies in the world, the workers were paid a daily wage equivalent to $1.68, with a 12-hour work day, which comes to just 14 c. an hour. But they were not paid in actual dollars. They were paid in company scrip that could only be redeemed in company stores that charged extortion prices, and they lived in miserable company shacks that charged extortion rents. In this way, they became perennially indebted to the company and could not leave. They worshipped in company churches where company-hired pastors officiated the services. They could only read books from the company libraries that were carefully screened so as to purge anything ‘subversive.’ Their children went to company schools.
Lamont Montgomery Bowers, chairman of the board of directors,
“boasted that when he arrived in Denver, the company registered and voted every man and woman in its employ, including the 70 percent who were not even naturalized citizens, and that ‘even their mules… were registered if they were fortunate enough to possess names.’ This political power helped the operators make sure that even the primitive mine safety standards of the time were not enforced; the result was, predictably, an epidemic of accidental deaths and injuries to the workers. The miners had no placed to go to complain. County courthouses, it was commonly said, were like branch offices of CF&I, and local sheriffs enjoyed a status similar to mine superintendents.”
If the workers tried to organize to demand better conditions, the company was ready: “More than 20,000 a year was spent by the company to maintain a force of detectives, mine guards, and spies whose job it was to keep the camps quarantined from the virulence of unionism.” The workers organized anyway, so “the operators in Colorado hired the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency to spearhead their war against the UMW [United Mine Workers]. Made up of drifters and former gunmen left over from the closing of the West [i.e. from the extermination of the Native American populations], the Baldwin-Felts detectives were more detested than even the strike-breakers that Pinkerton’s had sent into the West.” These ‘detectives’ opened fire on the workers and a massacre resulted that produced a scandal.
The eugenics movement, which sold itself as supposed ‘science,’ and which allowed the US ruling elite to incarcerate anybody it wanted under pretext of ‘social hygiene’ to improve society (one of Rockefeller’s organizations was called the Bureau of Social Hygiene), promised a more effective method for controlling the unruly workers. Rockefeller would spend millions upon millions to create an entire pseudoscientific eugenic structure all over the major US institutions, and would do the same in Europe, especially in Germany.[17a]
Rockefeller seems to have taken his cue about how to deal with the workers from how Andrew Carnegie dealt with his. In an article about exploitation in the United States, sociologist Charles Perrow cites a statistic from historian Herbert G. Gutman: “Nearly 25% of the recent immigrants employed at the Carnegie South Works were injured or killed each year between 1907 and 1910, 3,723 in all.” Carnegie also paid almost nothing to his workers, and reduced their salaries and added hours to their working day whenever he could get away with it, meanwhile making untold millions of dollars in profits.
“The Carnegie Steel Company was making net profits of 17.2 percent in 1891 when it proposed a severe reduction in wages and sustained a strike. The strike in 1892 reduced its profits to only 16 percent for that year. Wages continued to go down after the strike, and in some mills, in order to keep the same wage, those working only 8 hours had to work 12 hours. In 1907, a year of ‘unexampled prosperity’ in the industry, one plant that was surveyed showed 71 percent of the workers receiving $2.50 a day or less. (It was generally agreed that a family of four needed nearly twice that much to survive.) After Carnegie broke the union in 1892, he ‘thereafter began to introduce the 12-hour day wherever possible.’”
The way Carnegie “broke the union” in the Homestead Mill in 1892 was by shooting at his workers. The workers were asking for better salaries but, despite the fact that the union was willing to negotiate, Henry Clay Frick, Carnegie’s partner and enforcer, following his orders, closed the mill and left 3,800 men outside. When in reaction the workers took the mill in order to prevent strikebreakers to enter, Frick brought Pinkerton Agency mercenaries and there raged a bloody battle that lasted several hours. The National Guard of the State of Pennsylvania was sent to assist Carnegie against his workers, and the union was broken. “When he heard that Frick had ordered strikers at Carnegie’s Homestead steelworks shot down, John D. [Rockefeller] had immediately fired off a telegram of support to the coke magnate.”
For Carnegie, as for Rockefeller, the pseudo-scientific eugenics platform was attractive as a way to put troublesome workers in jail without the nasty public relations consequences of armed combat. In 1901 he sold his steel interests to J.P. Morgan for $400 million and thereafter used his fabulous fortune to propel the eugenics movement through the Carnegie Institution, an “entity so wealthy that in 1904, Washington agreed to reincorporate the charity by special act of Congress, chartering the new name ‘Carnegie Institution of Washington.’ This made the Carnegie Institution a joint incarnation of the steel man’s money and the United States government’s cachet.” Under biologist Charles Davenport’s directorship, “on January 19, 1904, the Carnegie Institution inaugurated what it called the Station for Experimental Evolution of the Carnegie Institution at Cold Spring Harbor [New York].” It is from here that Davenport and his right-hand man Harry Laughlin would throw their weight, with Carnegie’s millions, to transform the landscape of the United States in the image of their eugenic vision.
Edwin Black points out that, “from the start, the trustees of
the Carnegie Institution understood that Davenport’s plan was a
turning-point plan for racial breeding.”
One of those trustees was Elihu Root, then Secretary of War.
Elihu Root would also be one of the early leaders of the Council
on Foreign Relations.
Henry Ford and J.P.
Henry Ford was one of several big US industrialists to adopt the managing methods propounded by Charles Bedaux, who would later become a notorious nazi collaborator. These were “brutal methods of production that brought about frequent strikes in the 1930s.” So Ford’s philosophy, as in the cases of Carnegie and Rockefeller, was anti-worker.
“Shortly after the Great War [WWI] began in Europe,” writes Edwin Black in a different work, “[Henry] Ford claimed he had discovered ‘proof’ that the Jews were behind the world’s troubles.” His special mission would be to communicate this to the entire world. “In 1918 Ford purchased the weekly Dearborn Independent and soon thereafter changed its editorial thrust to virulent anti-Semitism.” In a series that bore the title, The International Jew, this weekly soon promoted and reproduced The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This was the ‘proof’ that Henry Ford had found, and with it he fed a new wave of anti-Jewish hysteria in the Western world.
The Protocols was a fraud created by the Tsarist secret police, the Okhrana, that pretended to be the minutes of a secret group of super-powerful Jews who clandestinely had control over everything: the banks, the media, the unions, the capitalist industries, and the governments of the West. (If this sounds familiar that’s because antisemitic propaganda has not changed and because The Protocols -- even after millions of Jews were easily murdered by the Nazis with hardly anybody to defend them -- continues to be believed, and its slanders have become institutionalized in our culture. Even people who have never heard of The Protocols, for example, will confidently state that ‘the Jews control the media,’ something that is perfectly false.) The Russian government used this propaganda to motivate pogroms: massive, violent attacks against the Jewish communities of the Russian Empire, with the collusion of the authorities. This origin of The Protocols helps explain why “a frequent contributor [to Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent] was a fanatical White [i.e. Tsarist] Russian, Boris Brasol, who boasted in one piece: ‘I have done the Jews more injury than would have been done in ten pogroms.’ Brasol was successively an agent of the Tsar, and of the US Army Intelligence; later he became a Nazi spy.”
Before the 1920s the dominant banking concern in the United States, by far, had been the House of Morgan. But during that decade much competition emerged in investment banking, and some of the new tough competitors were Jewish. Historian Thomas Ferguson writes that, in reaction, “J. P. Morgan Jr. quietly encouraged Henry Ford’s circulation of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the early 1920s, and later his bank forbade Morgan-Harjes, the firm's Paris partner, to honor letters of credit from Manufacturers Trust, a commercial bank with strong ties to Goldman, Sachs and Lehman Brothers [a Jewish-owned bank].”
The content of The Protocols had essentially been cut and pasted from works of fiction, but especially from Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu. This book, by the French political philosopher Maurice Joly, was written to attack the authoritarian government of Napoleon III, and has absolutely nothing to do with Jews, one way or another. In 1921 Phillip Graves from the London Times published a series of very detailed articles, quoting Dialogues and The Protocols side by side so that readers could see that the second text had been copied from the first. This demonstration did not affect Henry Ford’s campaign, nor did alter its effectiveness, much, especially with Europeans.
According to Ford, the Jewish bankers had produced World War I in order to enrich themselves. (Nobody should pay any attention, in other words, to the years that the quite antisemitic Hohenzollern Reich had spent arming itself to the teeth. And nobody should heed that it was the Hohenzollern Reich that had instigated WWI.) As if this were not enough, the Dearborn Independent accused ‘the Jews’ of practically anything bad that happened in the United States. Anything that people didn’t like could be blamed on… the Jews.
“These accusations were not just the ramblings of the Dearborn Independent. They were in fact a product of the Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford listed his name at the top of every front page. Ford motorcar dealers were compelled to buy and sell subscriptions. Dealers who filled their subscriptions quotas received Ford cars as prizes. …Many reluctant dealers received threatening legalistic letters insisting that they sell the tabloid. Reprints were bound into booklets and distributed to libraries and YMCA’s throughout the nation. …[Henry Ford] was the hero of antisemites the world over. In Germany, thousands of copies of Ford’s teachings were published under the title The Eternal Jew, by Heinrich Ford. Ford’s book quickly became the bible of German antisemites, including Adolf Hitler -- this, at least two years before Mein Kampf was written. Hitler… hung a large portrait of Ford beside his desk and spoke of him incessantly.”
After Hitler took power in Germany, “millions of Ford’s books were circulated to every school and party office in the nation, many featuring the names Hitler and Ford side by side on the cover.”
The cultural impact of Ford in Germany was made clear by Baldur von Schirach, whose Hitler Youth movement poisoned the minds of an entire generation of Germans. Schirach said that Ford’s book had converted him to antisemitism. In his war crimes trial in Nuremberg he exclaimed: “You have no idea what a great influence this book had on the thinking of German youth.” He was talking about The International Jew, better known in Germany as The Eternal Jew, and none other than The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. “The younger generation looked with envy to symbols of success and prosperity like Henry Ford, and if he said the Jews were to blame, why naturally we believed him.” My colleague the anthropologist Joseph Henrich and I have made a careful review of the mountain of evidence in the social sciences supporting the view that the ideas of people with prestige -- quite despite the content of those ideas -- tend to propagate with greater ease, due to certain important psychological biases that affect social-learning processes. Henry Ford’s prestige was important: “Henry Ford was once ranked in popular polls as the third greatest man in history: just below Napoleon and Jesus Christ.” Ford used this enormous prestige to propagate anti-Jewish hatred everywhere, but especially in the United States and Germany.
In fact, much of Hitler’s inspiration came directly from Henry Ford, and the führer was so taken with the automobile industrialist that in 1931, shortly before he was to come to power, he told the Detroit News: “I consider Henry Ford my inspiration.” This was literally true, because not only had The International Jew been written before Hitler’s own Mein Kampf, but in fact “many of the ramblings in Mein Kampf were identical to passages in The International Jew.” And that's not all. The systems of mass production that Hitler transformed into systems of mass murder had been first innovated by Henry Ford, the hero of German industrialists who in fact proclaimed themselves ‘Fordists.’
the United States, Ford’s antisemitic campaign led to a boycott
against his company that finally forced him to desist in that
country and to offer a public act of contrition in 1927. But
this ‘contrition’ didn’t stop him from going to Germany to
receive the highest decoration that the Nazi state gave to
foreigners, and neither did it soften much the effect that Ford
had on the Western masses.
And yet Woodrow’s racist policies aren’t exactly a secret. “As president of Princeton, he had turned away black applicants, regarding their desire for education to be ‘unwarranted.’” When he became Governor of New Jersey in 1910, Woodrow Wilson became one of the most radical leaders of the eugenics movement, with great political consequences. Later Link would admit frankly to an Afro-American journal that his protagonist was indeed a racist.
As Governor of New Jersey, Wilson pioneered one of the first eugenics state laws that Charles Davenport was calling for in his book. They were draconian. “Chapter 190 of its statutory code created a special three-man ‘Board of Examiners of Feebleminded, Epileptics, and Other Defectives.’” The category “Other Defectives” was deliberately an open one because this gave him the greatest repressive latitude. The man who drafted the New Jersey eugenics law for Wilson was Dr. Katzen-Ellenbogen, who would later become a notorious killer doctor in Adolf Hitler's Buchenwald concentration camp.
In Woodrow Wilson’s eugenic New Jersey,
“The administrative hearing was held within the institution itself [orphanages, state asylums, etc.], not in a courtroom under a judge’s gavel. Moreover, the court-designated counsel for the patient was given only five days before the sterilization decision was sealed. Thus the process would be swift, certainly beyond the grasp of the confused children dwelling within state shelters.”
There is no question that the eugenicists were hypocrites. As a boy Wilson didn’t manage to learn how to read until age 11, which, in his own New Jersey system would have declared him ‘feebleminded.’ But Wilson didn’t rush to be interned in one of his state institutions.
Once inaugurated as US president in 1913, Wilson made a “push to institutionalize [the system] of [racial] segregation within the federal civil service.” Soon the toilets, cafeterias, and work areas of the various government departments had been segregated. Many black federal officers were fired, and the Washington police and fire departments ceased hiring blacks. (The man in charge of segregating for Wilson the restrooms in the buildings of the Departments of State, War, and the Navy was his protégé, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Undersecretary of the Navy.) “[Woodrow Wilson] embraced the poisonous message of D.W. Griffith's 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation,” which celebrated the Ku Klux Klan, a violent and racist anti-black organization. “The movie was based primarily on The Clansman, a novel written by Thomas Dixon in 1905. Not only was Dixon a personal friend of Wilson’s, he had been pushing for a Wilson presidency for years, and Wilson regarded himself as being in Dixon’s debt. Wilson discharged that debt by helping Dixon and Griffith publicize their movie.”[48a]
does this help us explain?
Once the eugenic ideology of those who got the Council on
Foreign Relations going is understood, it is pertinent to ask
whether this helps us solve any apparent incongruities that
would otherwise embarrass a historical analysis. The answer is
that it does.
foreign policy in the years after the creation
The people around Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who made him president, were from the same circles that created the CFR. They had the same ideology.
Originally belonging to J.P. Morgan, Chase National Bank had merged with the Rockefeller’s Equitable Trust in 1929, and by the end of 1932 it was firmly under Rockefeller control. Winthrop Aldrich -- Rockefeller Jr.’s brother-in-law -- became the president. The people at the top of Chase -- shortly to become the biggest bank in the United States -- had a close relationship with Roosevelt and supported his candidacy.
Aldrich’s best friend was Gordon Auchincloss, from one of the most aristocratic families in the United States. Auchincloss was also a member of the Chase board and married to Colonel Edward M. House’s daughter. House had been eugenicist Woodrow Wilson’s main advisor in foreign policy. “During the campaign and transition period, House and Vincent Astor, Roosevelt's cousin and also a member of the reorganized Chase board, passed messages between Roosevelt and Chase.” With Theodore and Kermit Roosevelt, also cousins of FDR, Vincent Astor had founded The Rooom, FDR’s private espionage group, which included Chase president Winthrop Aldrich. As if being at the top of the Rockefeller empire were not enough, Theodore and Kermit had grown up hearing the ideological views of their father, President Theodore Roosevelt: “A strong supporter of the growing eugenics movement in the United States, Roosevelt called for ‘racial purity’ and warned against interracial marriage as a form of ‘race suicide.’” And in 1913 Theodore Roosevelt had actually sent Charles Davenport, leader of the American eugenics movement, a letter expressing the close agreement between his ideas and Davenport’s. On the other side of the Atlantic, Nancy Astor, married to Vincent’s cousin William Waldorf Astor, led the aristocratic Cliveden set, which was widely held to be a pro nazi group with great influence in British government circles. David Efron, writing in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 1939, called the Cliveden set a Nazi “Trojan Horse.” Immediately before Roosevelt’s inauguration of January 1933, William Waldorf Astor and his wife Nancy traveled to the United States and stayed in the president-elect’s own residence.
William Randolph Hearst, owner of about half of all the press in the United States, and Lord over Hollywood, was called by his contemporaries “the most influential American fascist... the keystone of American fascism.” He was an intimate friend of the German millionaire Putzi Hanfstaengl, who was nothing less than Adolf Hitler’s financial backer and press secretary. Consistent with all that, Hearst attended the famous Nuremberg rallies with the hysterically adoring crowds that Leni Riefenstahl immortalized in her famous Nazi propaganda films, staying in the same hotel with all the top Nazis. Goebbels’ Nazi propaganda ministry went out of its way to report the gushing reactions of Hearst’s son George. There were accusations at the time -- deserved ones, it appears -- that Hearst had made an agreement with Hitler to give him good press in the United States.
Hearst’s views on foreign policy during the 1930s -- published as editorials in all of his variegated newspapers -- would be as follows: 1) the Treaty of Versailles (imposed on Germany after WWI, was unfair); 2) Nazism was an important bulwark against communism; 3) the US should not threaten Germany or make any movement to support the Treaty of Versailles; 4) the Popular Front government in France -- a parliamentary socialist government -- was a Soviet satellite; 5) the Nazi demands for revisions of borders were legitimate; 6) the Nazis were right to reoccupy the Rhineland; 7) even if the Nazis attacked US Navy shipping, this should be tolerated if they apologized sincerely (!); 8) Chamberlain was right in giving Czechoslovakia to Hitler; 9) Franco in Spain was preferable to the parliamentary, leftist alternative. His criticisms of the Nazis for the way they attacked all sorts of innocent people in Germany were quite mild, and they don’t refute the hypothesis of a pro Nazi orientation; on the contrary, what they suggest is that, within the limits of what his political position allowed in the United States, he came as close as he could to a public approbation of the Nazi movement. Meanwhile, he repeatedly attacked Great Britain and France for supposedly not being true democracies!
Now, the aforementioned “Colonel Edward House[, who] had been a longtime adviser to [radical eugenicist] Woodrow Wilson… [now] helped chart Roosevelt's early path. …Making overtures to William Randolph Hearst and other like-minded businessmen, Roosevelt repudiated his earlier strong support for the League of Nations,” which is to say that he repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, the same thing the Nazis were also doing. And with Hearst’s support, he became president. What followed was the famous policy of so-called ‘appeasement,’ which is usually blamed especially on the French and British, and in particular on British Primer Minister Neville Chamberlain. This policy, however, was equally Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policy, though in public he postured differently from what he was doing behind the scenes.
So, delving into the history of the CFR, and the ideological context of its creation, helps us explain the policy of supposed ‘appeasement.’
It also helps us explain the policy of the Allies to the Holocaust. It is commonly said that the leaders of US and Britain were indifferent to the Holocaust but this is not true. They barred entry to the desperate Jewish refugees, trapping them in Europe, and they even deployed vigorous diplomacy to prevent other countries from taking them. Despite repeated pleas, they refused to bomb the railways leading to Auschwitz, or the death camp itself. Not content with that, with Roosevelt's approval, Undersecretary of State Breckenridge Long developed an immigration policy desinged to trap the European Jews where Hitler would find them: instead of denying visas outright, consular offices were told to "postpone, postpone, postpone..." -- that is, to tell Jews who requested visas that there were temporary obstacles, but never to grant them. In this way, the desperate Jewish refugees, believeing there was merely a temporary delay, did not seek refuge elsewhere.[60a] Such an active policy is not consistent with disinterst, but with a strong interest in the death of the European Jews.
Something else that can be explained this way is what historian Charles Higham documented with great detail in the following work:
Higham, C. 1995. Trading with the Enemy: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949. New York: Barnes & Noble.
Notice the dates. What Higham showed, with a mountain of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, is that even after the US declaration of war against the Axis Powers, the leading eugenicist businessmen in the United States, led by the Rockefellers, financed Hitler’s war effort (and sabotaged the supply of key war materials to the US forces). They did this with Roosevelt’s protection, even as US workers were dressed up as soldiers and blown up to bits on the various fronts.
It also helps us explain what historian Christopher Simpson documented, also with a mountain of documents declassified under the FOA:
Simpson, C. 1988. Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
After the war, the US government created US Intelligence by
recruiting tens of thousands of former Nazis.[60b]
We began with the observation that very little academic work exists on the CFR, and that those political scientists who interest themselves in this organization are told by their colleagues that this is not real ‘political science.’ Why might that be? One obvious clue is that the CFR publishes Foreign Affairs, the most prestigious journal in the political science field, which can make academics eager to publish their work in that journal perhaps a bit timid about investigating the CFR itself.
Delving again into history we may find other clues. For example, in 1923, just two years after the creation of the CFR, an agency was created to coordinate the social sciences: the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). This organ was founded by Charles Merriam, professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Merriam was quite important, “and through his students he became the architect of American political science as it developed after World War II.” So it is probably relevant that he “applauded all that was being done in the name of eugenics.”
The main allies of Merriam in the creation of the SSRC were
Given that the people with most influence in the development of postwar US political science were eugenicists, this may perhaps explain why there is so much cheerleading for the PLO in Western political science departments, and so many attacks against the State of Israel. It also helps explain why political scientists are reluctant to expose the dark side of the CFR.
But in fact the above is only the tip of the iceberg. Carnegie and Roosevelt, the main financiers of the eugenics movement, spent millions upon millions on universities all over the Western world, but especially in the United States, and creating all sorts of educational policy organizations that affected tremendously the academic world. Just to give a few examples:
“[John D. Rockefeller] Junior’s zeal in footing the
bill for the work of eugenicists would be felt around the world.
By 1922, he had a personal fortune of half a billion dollars,
and 'a key role to play in a whole set of major philanthropic
organizations, a growing circle of trusted and talented
advisers, and goals and interests ...both overseas and at home,
on a wide-ranging scale never before seen and never since
equaled.' In 1921, he helped organize the Council on Foreign
Relations, with Elihu Root and AES-member Jerome Greene. Junior
made significant contributions to the League of Nations and
spent $28 million to establish the International Education
Board, which sought to 'identify scientists and institutions of
great quality' to be 'centers of inspiration and training' for
an 'international migration of select students.' The IEB funded
new biology laboratories at a dozen European
universities. In the U.S., Junior ensured his influence in
academia by spending $41 million between 1922 and 1928 in grants
to 25 universities for social-science programs. Five
institutions -- the University of Chicago, Columbia, the
Brookings Institution, and Harvard, along with England’s London
School of Economics -- received more than half of the money.
Others that received 'substantial sums' were Yale, Minnesota,
Iowa State, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, California, Stanford,
A note about the
stability of institutional ideology
An institution is a network of organized relationships between people whose individual roles are defined by their kind of membership. These individuals will all die, and they may leave the institution even before passing away, but the institution survives because new people are always being recruited to the vacancies. An institution is potentially eternal. The Catholic Church, for example, is 2000 years old. Now, the question for us is this: if an institution is created around a strong ideology, then, as certain members die or leave, what happens to this ideology? Does it change or does it remain stable?
Many people, I have found, hold the following folk theory about institutions: the passage of time will alter their ideology. As members die or leave and are replaced with others, the institution will change because people have all kinds of different ideologies. Accordingly, the burden of proof is on whoever claims that after X number of years, the founding ideology of an institution will remain the same. I think this is backwards: the burden of proof, in my view, is on whoever affirms that the ideology of an institution has changed.
Imagine institution V, created to promote vegetarianism, and
run, naturally, by vegetarians. There are 10 people in the
executive board. One day, at time = t, one of the
board members dies. What kind of a person will the remaining 9
members look for? Another vegetarian. A meat-eater might be
recruited to fill relatively low positions that are strongly
utilitarian: for example, an expert in marketing might be hired
even if he eats meat, because he is a mercenary who will do his
contract job. But it would be remarkable for this institution to
hire meat eaters to the governing board, where policy decisions
are made. Given that at time = t vacancies were filled,
and especially in the upper echelons, with vegetarians, the
vacancies at time t+1 will also be filled with
vegetarians, because once again those doing the selecting are
surviving vegetarians. And so forth. There is no reason to
expect that the passage of time will turn this
vegetarianism-promoting institution into an institution that
celebrates meat because the ideology of the institution creates
a selection pressure in the recruiting process that works to
keep the ideology stable.
What does the future
hold for Israel?
As per the above argument, there is every reason to expect that, since the powerful people who created the CFR had a eugenic ideology, they will have recruited like-minded people to fill any vacancies, and so on and so forth. So the CFR in the postwar years, and more generally the US foreign policy establishment, will have maintained a stable eugenic ideology. If so, this would certainly explain why, contrary to popular belief, US foreign policy throughout the second half of the 20th c.., and into the 21st, has been almost perfectly consistently anti-Israel, and dramatically so, a claim that is documented in detail here:
What does the future hold for Israel?
Even diehard defenders of the view that US foreign policy is pro-Israel have been having trouble with that hypothesis in light of recent US behavior, which has become quite extreme. So it matters that John McCain, who claims to be pro-Israel and anti-Iran, has been a member of the CFR since 1997. Politicians represent themselves in public in whichever way that is convenient, so McCain's membership in the CFR suggests that his policy as president would be anti-Israel, regardless of what he now says.
It appears that Hillary Clinton is not a member of the CFR. However, husband Bill Clinton has been a member since 1989, and Hillary gives speeches at the CFR and clearly approves of the institution.
A lot of people seem to think that Barack Obama's wife is an the board of directors of the Chicago CFR. Technically, she is. Except that the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, which now calls itself the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is not affiliated with the CFR (at least they claim not to be). But given past history, there is no reason to believe that Barack Obama's administration, if elected, would not fill many of the top foreign policy positions with CFR members, or with protégés of the same.
One can expect that, regardless of who wins, US foreign policy will continue to be remarkably consistent, and decided at the CFR.
 Dye, T. R. 1978. Oligarchic Tendencies in National Policy-Making: the Role of the Private Policy-Planning Organizations. The Journal of Politics 40:309-331.
 Domhoff, G. W. 1970. The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America. New York: Random House. (p.113)
 Dye (1978:40, fn)
 ibid. (p.316)
 ibid. (pp.314-15)
 Domhoff (1970:113-14, 117)
 ibid. (p.113)
 Dye (1978:317)
 Collier, P., and D. Horowitz. 1976. Rockefellers: An American dynasty. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. (p.132)
 Domhoff (1970:115)
 Black, E. 2003. War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows. (pp.266-67)
 ibid. (p.35)
 Carroll, J. 2001. Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (pp.238-39)
 Black (2003:xv)
Gil-White, F. J. 2005. The Crux
of World History. Volume 1. The Book of Genesis: The
birth of the Jewish people. Historical and
 Collier & Horowitz (1976:107-08)
 ibid. (pp.107-10)
[17a] See: Black, E. 2003. War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows.
For a summary of how eugenics was institutionalized in the United States, read chapter 7 of:
[17b] “The Long Road of Eugenics: From Rockefeller to Roe v. Wade.”; Orthodoxy Today; by Rebecca Messall. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/MessallEugenics.php
 Perrow, C. 1991. A Society of Organizations. Theory and Society 20:725-762. (p.741)
 ibid. (pp.740-41)
 Strike at Homestead Mill; The American Experience – Andrew Carnegie; Public Broadcasting Service. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carnegie/sfeature/mh_horror.html
 Collier & Horowitz (1976:107)
 Black (2003:31)
 ibid. (p.40)
 ibid. (p.36)
 ibid. (p.31)
 Dye (1978:312)
 Higham, C. 1995. Trading with the Enemy: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949. New York: Barnes & Noble. (p.178)
 Black, E. 1984. The transfer agreement: The dramatic story of the pact between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine. New York: Carroll & Graf. (p.26)
 Cohn, N. 1981. Warrant for genocide: The myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy and the Protocols of the elders of Zion. Chico, CA: Scholar's Press.
 Higham (1995:155)
 Ferguson, T. 1984. From Normalcy to New Deal: Industrial Structure, Party Competition, and American Public Policy in the Great Depression. International Organization 38:41-94. (p.70)
 Joly, M. 1864. Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu. Bruxelles: Imprimerie de A. Mertens et fils.
 Black (1984:27)
 Foster, C. R. J. 1980. Historical Antecedents: Why the Holocaust? Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 450, Reflections on the Holocaust: Historical, Philosophical, and Educational Dimensions:1-19. (p.9, fn.32)
“Animals, Slavery, and the Holocaust”; Logos; Spring
2005; vol. 4, iss. 2.; by Charles Patterson
 Henrich, J., and F. J. Gil-White. 2001. The evolution of prestige: Freely conferred status as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission. Evolution and human behavior 22:165-196.
 Higham (1983:154)
 Abraham, D. 1980. Conflicts within German Industry and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic. Past and Present 88:88-128. (p.88)
 Wilson, Woodrow. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 10, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://proxy.library.upenn.edu:2913/eb/article-9077135
[41a] Link, A. S. 1970. Woodrow Wilson: The American as Southerner. The Journal of Southern History 36:3-17. (p.5, 10-11)
 1997. Woodrow Wilson and the Negro Question at Princeton University. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 17:120.
 Black (2003:68)
 ibid. (2003:322; 319-335)
 George, J. L., and A. L. George. 1981-82. Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House: A Reply to Weinstein, Anderson, and Link. Political Science Quarterly 96:641-665. (p.645)
 O'Reilly, K. 1997. The Jim Crow Policies of Woodrow Wilson. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 17:117-121. (pp.117-118)
 Ferguson (1984:81-83)
 Stafford, D. 1999. Churchill and Roosevelt: Men of Secrets. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press. (p.9)
 1999. White Supremacists Who Once Occupied the White House. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 24:76-77.
 Black (2003:99)
 Efron, D. 1939. Latin America and the Fascist "Holy Alliance". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 204:17-25. (p.25)
 30N. PHYLLIS ASTOR $ WED PEER'S SON; Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES; Jul 1, 1933; pg. 17.
 Lundberg, F. 1936. Imperial Hearst: A social biography. New York: Equinox Cooperative Press. (p.343)
 Pizzitola, L. 2002. Hearst over Hollywood. New York: Columbia University Press. (pp.27-28)
 ibid. (pp.308-310)
 Carlisle, R. 1974. The Foreign Policy Views of an Isolationist Press Lord: W. R. Hearst and the International Crisis, 1936-41. Journal of Contemporary History 9:217-227. (pp.219-224)
 Ferguson (1984:80)
 Marks, F. W. M. I. 1985. Six between Roosevelt and Hitler: America's Role in the Appeasement of Nazi Germany. The historical journal 28:969-982.
[60a] To read a documented summary of Allied policy toward the mass killing of Jews, visit:
[60b] To read about the effects this had on US democracy, read:
 Shklar, J. N. 1991. Redeeming American Political Theory. The American Political Science Review 85:3-15. (p.14)
 Sibley, E. 2001. Social Science Research Council: The First Fifty Years. New York: Social Science Research Council.
 Domhoff (1970:180-82)
 Sibley (2001:18-20)
 ibid. (p.36)
“The Long Road of Eugenics: From
Rockefeller to Roe v. Wade.”; Orthodoxy Today; by
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