by Michael Barker
"[N]ew funding opportunities have led to the professionalization of social movements and independence from mass support, but have also created a new dependence. Churches, philanthropists, and foundations are involved in a new web of social control... [T]he effect of established institutions' backing of movement organizations is to direct dissent into legitimate channels and limit goals to ameliorative rather than radical change.""The subtle relationship between resource mobilization and social control promoted a common outcome -- cooption -- for each of the major antinuclear weapons movements."
— Frances McCrea and Gerald Markle, 1989.
(Swans - September 21, 2009) Nuclear technology presents two clear threats to any emerging form of participatory democracy. Firstly, its destructive capacity threatens all forms of life, now and for millions of years to come; and secondly, its continued use institutionalizes hierarchical technologies of domestic energy production. Neither of these issues is usually challenged by activists intent on moving our societies away from the hands of the insatiable power-hungry elites that profit from the military-industrial complex and its associated energy oligarchies. Yet despite the world's citizenry having fought valiant and often successful battles against such powerful adversaries, nuclear power still maintains a tight grip over the reins of our political systems. This article will argue that part of the reason for the persistence of this dangerous state of affairs owes much to the fact that integral parts of the US peace movement have been financed by elitist liberal philanthropists who have little to gain but much to fear from the movement's success. Thus by a process known as philanthropic colonization, liberal elites have manipulated, but not necessarily controlled, critical parts of the peace movement to ensure that public resistance to nuclear power is constrained within the strict limits of what Sheldon Wolin calls "Democracy Incorporated." (1)
A major reason why the problem of nuclear philanthropy is not regularly addressed by peace activists is that nearly all the books documenting the history of the peace movement have failed to discuss the insidious influence of liberal foundations. One book that stands out as an exception is Frances McCrea and Gerald Markle's Minutes to Midnight: Nuclear Weapons Protest in America (Sage, 1989); but problematically little attention has been paid to McCrea and Markle's groundbreaking analyses. This means that few antiwar and anti-nuclear activists have at their fingertips the type of information that will enable them to undertake actions that will seriously threaten the nuclear establishment. This article seeks to address this important issue by summarizing and updating McCrea and Markle's account of the co-option of the U.S. peace movement by liberal philanthropists; thereby demonstrating the tight hold that elite, ostensibly progressive, funders currently wield over leading members of the anti-nuclear movement.
From Insanity to Liberal SANE[ity]
Soon after creating the atomic bomb, the scientists who brought this insane monster to fruition formed an anti-nuclear group called the Atomic Scientists Movement, which later evolved into the Federation of American Scientists, and the influential arms control and disarmament magazine the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.(2) McCrea and Markle suggest that of all the scientists first involved in the Manhattan Project, and then in opposing it, those based at the Metallurgical Laboratory at Chicago University (the "Met" Lab) were "by far the most important." Chicago University president Robert Hutchins even "contributed $10,000 from a special educational fund to the nascent movement." (3) Although McCrea and Markle do not mention it, the Hutchins link is particularly intriguing given that Hutchins, while serving as the University's president (during the 1930s), had been a board member of a media "reform" group created by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Carnegie Corporation to undermine a popular media reform movement. (4) Indeed, Hutchins fulfilled a critical role as a liberal reformer for philanthropic elites and eventually went on to serve as the associate director of the Ford Foundation (from 1951), and as the president of the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Republic (from 1954).
Derived from such elitist roots, it is not surprising that the Atomic Scientists Movement failed to present a serious challenge to nuclear weapons and capitalist war imperatives. Moreover, McCrea and Markle concluded that the work of these Manhattan Project scientists failed to catalyse strong popular support because of their "scientism and elitism"; although they noted that other "key organizations, particularly United World Federalists and SANE" (which "became the largest and most influential nuclear disarmament organization in America"), played an integral role in raising public awareness of the threat posed by nuclear weapons. (5) Given the historically important role that SANE exerted on the U.S. peace movement, its evolution will now be examined.
Otherwise known as the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, SANE was launched in 1957 and at their...
... first organizing meeting in October 1957, Norman Cousins of the United World Federalists and Clarence Pickett, secretary emeritus of the AFSC [American Friends Service Committee], became the first cochairs; and Homer Jack, a Chicago Unitarian minister, volunteered to serve part-time until a full-time executive secretary could be hired. (p.72) (6)
McCrea and Markle identify Cousins -- who at the time was the honorary president of the United World Federalists -- as the "single most important individual, or moral entrepreneur, in the history of SANE"; so it is more than coincidental that SANE's first full-time executive director, Donald Keyes, had likewise been a staffer at the United World Federalists. (7) While "more radical pacifists like A.J. Muste gave their initial support" to SANE, despite SANE's elite roots, such radicals "later became critical of the organization for its mainstream tactics and liberal ideology." For example, this moderation was evident in SANE's initial foray into the public realm, as their "first and most successful" method of mobilizing public support involved them placing a full-page advertisement in the New York Times.(8)
After its initial success, SANE continued its moderate strategy of education with numerous New York Times advertisements as its primary tactic. Most importantly, however, SANE decided to focus on the fallout scare, and did so by devoting its considerable resources to a test-ban treaty. This was a fateful, two-edged strategic decision for SANE. Although the fallout issue galvanized public opinion, it became an environmental rather than a disarmament issue for most Americans -- a problem that could be eliminated by underground testing. (p.76)
Then in May 1960, "at the height of its influence and prestige, SANE held a major rally in Madison Square Garden, planned to coincide with the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit." However, as McCrea and Markle observe, this rally marked "the beginning of troubled times" as "[o]n the eve of the rally, Senator Thomas J. Dodd of Connecticut, a strong opponent of the test ban, demanded that SANE purge their ranks of Communists." This action caused Cousins to fire the Garden rally organizer, Henry Wallace, which...
... initiated a crisis within SANE. Three national board members resigned in protest, including Robert Gilmore of the AFSC and Linus Pauling. A. J. Muste -- the most prestigious of American pacifists and leading figure in FOR [Fellowship of Reconciliation] and the Committee for Non-Violent Action -- severely criticized Cousins, and was particularly bitter over the fact that certain SANE leaders had met with Dodd's staff. To Muste, Dodd's accusations on the eve of the Madison Square Rally amounted to nothing less than sabotage and political blackmail at a time when the controversy over nuclear testing had reached a critical point. (p.78)
Another seminal event for SANE occurred on September 24, 1963, when after "a six year battle against atmospheric testing" President Kennedy ratified the partial test ban treaty. After signing this treaty, "American nuclear testing -- conducted underground where the U.S. enjoyed a technological advantage -- greatly accelerated." (9) This implementation of the partial test ban treaty was particularly significant, because as McCrea and Markle suggest, it marked the moment at which...
... the tide of peace activism began to ebb. Nuclear testing, widely perceived as an environmental and health issue rather than one of disarmament, was now a non-issue. Because of their tactical decision to stress the fallout issue, SANE leaders had failed in defining nuclear weapons themselves as a social problem. (pp.81-2)
Later with the apparent end of the Vietnam War, SANE underwent a "severe financial crisis" and Sanford Gottlieb eventually resigned to make way for a new executive director, David Cortright. (10) "As the new Director of SANE Cortright managed, with the aid of an anonymous donor, to survive for the next couple of years until the 'freeze' issue brought new life to the organization." (p.85)
In eschewing radicalism for respectability, SANE attempted to build a broad coalition. What it got was indeed broad, but also shallow -- a following hardly committed to a long and difficult struggle. In the final analysis, SANE failed at its most important task: though it was able to define fallout as an environmental and health problem, it was never able to define nuclear weapons as a social problem. (pp.86-7)
The Liberal Foundations of Nuclear Resistance
Throughout the 1970s increasing numbers of environmental organizations picked up on the nuclear issue, and many of the same liberal foundations that actively co-opted the budding environmental movement, (11) began working their financially wizardry on the anti-nuclear movement. A key player in both regards was the Union of Concerned Scientists' cofounder Henry Kendall and his philanthropy body the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. (12) The larger liberal foundations soon joined the fray, and Kendall and company actively began supporting both the environmental and the anti-nuclear movements. Between 1974 and 1982 "the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Rockefeller Family Fund collectively gave almost seven million dollars to four of the most active anti-nuclear [environmental] groups -- the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, [and the] Environmental Defense Fund." (13)
In addition to helping fund this new coalition of anti-nuclear activists, Kendall reoriented the work the Union of Concerned Scientists towards raising awareness of the prospect of nuclear war. With the aid of Helen Caldicott, Bernard Lown "was making a similar effort" at the Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Caldicott injected "new life into the moribund organization" when she became its president in 1980. (14) Around the same time, religious groups joined the band wagon, and in 1979 the Rockefeller-linked evangelical activist Billy Graham "began to preach the evils of nuclear weapons," as did the "traditionally promilitary Catholic church." However, it was liberal academic, the late Randall Forsberg, whom McCrea and Markle observe went on to become the issue entrepreneur for the nuclear Freeze Movement.
In 1980, Randall Forsberg, with foundation support, formed a new think tank called the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies; (15) and by April that year she made history by producing a draft of the Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race -- a "four page proposal that would become the founding document of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign." (16)
The Call was endorsed by three MIT faculty: Philip Morrison, George Rathjens, and Bernard Feld, chairman of the Pugwash conferences and editor-in-chief of the Bulletin. The AFSC agreed to publish an initial 5,000 copies of the Call, and along with FOR and CALC [Clergy and Laity Concerned], formed the Ad Hoc Task Force for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze, and worked to disseminate the idea. (p.101)
Given the high level of influence that Forsberg exerted over the Freeze Movement, it is noteworthy that she "defined 'political' action in a very narrow sense, equating it with established political practices." Moreover, Forsberg's liberal reformism led to "bitter debate[s]" in March 1981 at the Freeze's first national strategy conference, because of her opposition to holistic and multiple issue approaches to social change.
Many activists felt the Freeze was too narrow, that it ignored the underlying forces fueling the arms race, such as the military-industrial complex and Third World interventionism. Others, concerned that it was mainly a white, middle-class campaign, thought that there should be more emphasis on economic issues to facilitate outreach and coalition with minority groups. After a long and acrimonious floor debate, the more moderate faction prevailed. ...
In the end, Freeze leaders decided that minorities and controversial issues were to be sacrificed for broad, middle-class appeal. At this point, several groups, such as the Mobe and WRL [War Resisters League], all but opted out of the Campaign. These two groups did endorse the Freeze, but never made it a priority. (p.104)
As was the case with earlier progressive social movements, as popular opposition to nuclear warfare rose, philanthropic foundations became increasingly interested in channelling these activists' activities towards less threatening political strategies; that is, framing the "issues posed by the peace movement in a way that [would] not challenge basic structures of power and finance." (17) Massive foundation support for Forsberg's research and "activism" provided just one means by which elite agendas constrained anti-nuclear activism.
Following a similar moderating strategy, in September 1981 "the most sophisticated Freeze Campaign developed in California under the direction of millionaire [and former Fund for the Republic board member] Harold Willens," whose work focused on a state-wide Freeze Referendum. (18) The foundation world's new interest in funding nuclear issues was no secret, and in 1984, William Dietel, who was the president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (1975-87), said: "The prevention of nuclear war is going to be for the 1980s what civil rights was to the 60s." (19)
Likewise in 1984, Robert Scrivner, the executive director of the Rockefeller Family Fund (1972-84), described his thoughts on a meeting he'd had three years earlier with Eric Chivian -- who at the time had been seeking foundation aid for a group he cofounded with Bernard Lown called the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Scrivner recalled:
I told Eric Chivian I had the feeling a major movement would shortly begin. I felt as I had during the earlier civil rights days when black clergymen organized, and then again in the 70's when the environmental movement started and a whole generation of public interest lawyers began making a case for clean air and clean water. (20)
The rising emphasis on nuclear philanthropy can be seen in the rapid surge in foundation support for groups concerned with both international security and prevention of nuclear war, which according to the Forum Institute grew from $16.5 million in 1982 to more than $52 million by 1984. (21) In 1984 the overwhelming majority of this funding (75 percent) came from just eight foundations (the top four being the MacArthur, Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations), with most of this money ($38 million) going to support groups involved in research and policy work. (22) John Tirman dates the rise of this phenomena, writing how a "loosely knit collection of private donors began to meet in New York to discuss nuclear issues and related matters in the 1970s. The 'ring-leader,' most agree, was David Hunter." (23) (For more on Hunter's and Tirman's background, see footnote #12 and #21.) Tirman continues:
By the early 1980s, the [MacArthur] foundation was ready to give away money but had no clear sense of purpose. Two board members, Jerome Wiesner, the former president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and President John F. Kennedy's science adviser, and Murray Gell-Mann, a prominent physicist, recruited Ruth Adams from her editor's chair at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to help them formulate the program. ... In its early years, some $25-30 million annually would be dedicated to the program Adams was to head -- an enormous sum. (p.33)
Ruth Adams passed away in 2005, but it is significant to note that during the 1990s she chaired the board of trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies, and in 1997 joined the board of the free-market environmental think tank the Rocky Mountain Institute. As a well-known progressive think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies was founded in 1963, and Peter Weiss served as the Institute's chair from the group's founding until the early 1990s. Peter is currently the president of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, and amongst his numerous liberal connections, he has served as the vice president of the Rubin Foundation -- an influential liberal foundation that is headed by his wife Cora Weiss. Cora, like her husband, is an important liberal philanthropist, and she resides on the steering committee of the Peace and Security Funders Group, a group that was formed in 1999 to help coordinate the funding efforts of the major U.S. liberal foundations. (24)
Returning to the origins of the Freeze Movement, although numerous groups had been actively campaigning against nuclear proliferation -- both in terms of nuclear weapons and nuclear power since the 1970s (e.g., Mobilization For Survival) (25) -- it appears that Randall Forsberg's Freeze Campaign was singled out for particular attention by liberal foundations. Most likely, the major liberal foundations were attracted by Forsberg's establishment credentials, and her determination to create a "populist, middle-class movement" with "a single-issue, moderate campaign, uncomplicated by longer-term questions beyond a freeze, and confined to established political pressure tactics." (26)
Reportedly by the end of 1982 the Freeze Movement had received around $20 million from philanthropic foundations, and two foundations that played an important role in supporting the movement were the Peace Development Fund and the Mott Peace Fund -- with Stewart Mott personally involved in the coordination of the campaign through regular campaign meetings that were held in his home. (27) Another prominent example of reliance on foundation funds is provided by the Union of Concerned Scientists' project, United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War, which after being launched in 1982, with former SANE executive director Sanford Gottlieb at its head, received 90 percent of its income from foundations over the next two years. Likewise, the influential Nuclear Times magazine was heavily reliant on foundation support, receiving a total of $74,300 in 1984. (28) Most interestingly of all, a detailed study examining foundation funding practices within the peace movement determined that between the years 1977 and 1982, of the 33 organizations concerned with nuclear war and arms control, activist groups received around $0.8 million from philanthropic foundations, while universities and think tanks obtained more than a total of $6 million in the same period. (29) Thus "respectable" groups received selective support in such a way that liberal philanthropists helped "convey an impression of corporate responsibility in peace-making, while not changing the social conditions that lead to war." (30)
Given the strong backing that the Freeze Movement engendered from liberal philanthropic elites, and the Freeze's strategy of appealing to the white middle class, it is no surprise that the campaign's "grass-roots" fundraising efforts were extremely successful. In addition, the mainstream appeal of the campaign was illustrated by its endorsement from the Democratic Party at their 1982 mid-term conference, support which McCrea and Markle suggest had the deleterious effect that "the Freeze quickly came to be seen as a partisan political issue, and worse, an adjunct of [Edward] Kennedy's candidacy." (31) On top of this, by relying so heavily on a reformist constituency, the Freeze Campaign rejected attempts "to include positions on issues such as Nicaragua, South Africa or even biological warfare... for fear of losing" their financial support from their middle-class supporters and elite philanthropists. This was severely worrisome for citizens wanting to address the root causes of war. Moreover, as McCrea and Markle contend, "the Freeze movement leaderships' failure, or deliberate refusal, to develop a distinct movement ideology and long-range vision eventually led to internal confusion and factionalism." Thus it is fitting that they argue that the Freeze Movement, the major group that led American opposition to nuclear proliferation throughout the 1980s, was shaped and directed by foundations to such a degree that it was eventually "coopted by the government, particularly by the movement's nominal friends in the Democratic Party." (32)
The great problems of the Freeze, as its strengths... derived from its cautious and liberal traditions. So as not to alienate its middle-of-the-road constituents, Freeze leaders sacrificed deep analysis and long-range vision beyond the basic Freeze call. For the most part, Freeze leaders failed to confront the political and economic infrastructure which fuels the arms race. Also, a long-term program, envisioning a more secure world and plausible ways of getting there was never developed. Trying to avoid potentially divisive ideological discussions, Freeze leaders glossed over their differences. But by not facing hard questions of ideology and long-term goals, they were not solved -- only delayed. When the Freeze was frustrated in meeting its short-term goal, not having developed a coherent movement ideology, these differences came to the surface and fractured the movement. (p.126) (33)
Like the insidious influence of liberal philanthropy, the mainstream media played a crucial role in shaping -- or more precisely undermining -- the Freeze Movement. Robert Spiegelman writes that the media all but ignored the anti-nuclear movement until they held what "was the largest political demonstration in American history" (on June 12, 1982), and he suggested that the limited media coverage granted to the movement worked to "depoliticize, defuse, and co-opt them." (34) In 1986, even moderate Freeze leader Randall Forsberg proposed that the movement had been dashed against the "bulwark of resistance among the national media, the professional experts, and the nation's political leadership." One reason for this comment was the near total media blackout that was experienced by the Freeze Movement in network TV coverage since May 1983. (35) Predictably, around the time of this media blackout, the campaign which had always relied on a high level of public support, moved into financial (and organizational) difficulties, and in late 1985 they voted to move from a grassroots orientation to become a membership organization. By the end of 1987 the Freeze campaign had "lost much of its impetus and identity in a merger with SANE" -- a process that was "strongly encouraged" by their foundational sponsors. (36) Given the evident problems associated with the evolution of the US peace movement, it is important, as McCrea and Markle conclude that we...
... view the Freeze not just as an existential phenomenon, but as the latest episode in a long history of peace seeking. History may or may not repeat itself, but there is no way to understand the present without knowing something of the past. In many ways the Freeze faced the same dilemmas, made the same choices, and came to the same fate, as earlier peace organizations. (p.17)
Although the Freeze Movement was ultimately unsuccessful and was coopted largely as a result of a combination of external social forces (including those of the government, foundations, and the media), McCrea and Markle acknowledge that the Freeze deserve credit for at least raising public awareness of the urgent need to bring an end to the nuclear arms race. They write:
In conclusion, although Freeze victories are largely symbolic and in substantive terms have not altered the arms race, the Freeze Movement has achieved important goals. Technocratic consciousness has been challenged. Nuclear weapons issues are no longer seen as the exclusive domain of military and political experts, but have become a topic of public discussion. Most importantly, the movement has defined a new social problem and has deepened the legitimation crisis faced by the ruling elites. Various texts have begun to include chapters on militarism and the nuclear threat, and more and more people perceive the arms race and stable peace as demanding moral and political solutions rather than technical and military ones. (p.144)
Unfortunately despite knowledge advancing in some ways, contemporary peace historians, even celebrated scholars like Lawrence Wittner (see footnote #13) have chosen to ignore the issue of philanthropic colonization of social movements in exchange for their own peaceful coexistence with liberal elites and philanthropists. This has meant that the global peace movement has not been able to benefit from Frances McCrea and Gerald Markle's critical analyses. This must change, as in this enlightened day and age it is illogical that war should persist. Arguably the natural state of human relations will always involve some degree of conflict, but such a natural state certainly does not involve waging brutal wars against the majority of humanity in the interests of a small ruling elite. By highlighting the problematic history of the philanthropic colonization of peace activism, it is hoped that concerned citizens will be better equipped to work collectively to develop a powerful and informed social movement to replace the capitalist murder machine, presently known as democracy, with a life-loving alternative.
1. Sheldon Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton University Press, 2008). This book received the Lannan Foundation's annual notable book award, and so it is interesting to note that in 2003, the Foundation announced that it has awarded its Prize for Cultural Freedom to the physician and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott. Like many other influential progressive activists, Caldicott, while being fully conversant with the methods by which conservative political elites manufacture consent, chooses to ignore the deradicalizing influence of liberal elites. This selective approach to cultural criticism leaves concerned activists like Caldicott receptive to the messages of liberal imperialists; for a critique of Caldicott's promotion of the Feminist Majority's imperialist propaganda concerning "female genital mutilation," see Sonali Kolhatkar, "'Saving' Afghan women," Znet, May 9, 2002. (back)
2. Founded in 1945, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' current executive director and publisher is Kennette Benedict, who prior to joining the publication spent thirteen years directing the international peace and security program at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1992-2005). The Bulletin's governing board includes a mix of liberal intellectuals and corporate consultants like Marjorie Craig Benton (whose husband is the well-connected liberal media financier, John Benton -- see "Social engineering, progressive media, and the Benton Foundation" pdf), Jay Harris (who is the publisher of Mother Jones magazine), and Joan Winstein (who formerly served as a vice president for Midwest corporate banking relationships at First Chicago (now JP Morgan Chase), and as a "relationship manager for coal, gas, electric, and nuclear utility clients at Bank of America").
Like the Bulletin, at present many of the Federation of American Scientists are intimately entwined with the world of liberal philanthropy. For example, the Federation's secretary/treasurer, Rosina Bierbaum, is a board member of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's science advisory council. Bierbaum was recently named by President Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, where she sits alongside former MacArthur Foundation trustee (1991-2005) John Holdren, who is the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and happens to sit on the Bulletin's board of sponsors. (back)
For more on the history of the Atomic Scientists Movement, see Alice Kimball Smith, A Peril and a Hope: The Scientists Movement in America, 1945-1947 (University of Chicago Press, 1965); and Donald Strickland, Scientists in Politics: The Atomic Scientists Movement, 1945-1946 (Purdue University Press, 1968). (back)
4. Michael Barker, "The liberal foundations of media reform? Creating sustainable funding opportunities for radical media reform," Global Media Journal, 1 (2), June 2, 2008. (back)
6. As Joan Roelofs observes, during the 1950s the American Friends Service Committee was an important recipient of funding from the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Republic. Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (State University of New York Press, 2003), p.110. In a recent conference presentation, Michael Cary "traces the connections between the AFSC, a Quaker organization, and the development and implementation of the subsistence housing program in the 1930s, and concludes that government reliance on AFSC personnel and expertise in providing housing assistance stands as a precedent and precursor to the faith-based initiatives under President Bush."
From 1984 until 1989, Christine Wing served as the coordinator of the national disarmament program at the American Friends Service Committee: however, she presently is a senior research fellow at the Center on International Cooperation, and from 1995 to 2004, she was a program officer for international peace and security at the Ford Foundation. Likewise, Chet Tchozewski, another AFSC staffer who worked on the Nuclear Freeze Campaign and disarmament is now the executive director of the Global Greengrants Fund -- a fund whose mission is to "bridge the gap between those who can offer financial support [i.e., the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations] and grassroots groups in developing countries." Another good example of the interchange of staff between the Ford Foundation and AFSC is demonstrated by Anne Mosely Lesch, who worked in Jerusalem for the AFSC from 1974 until 1977 and then went on to supervise a grants program on the West Bank for the Ford Foundation. Lesch still remains on good terms with the AFSC as she is a member of their Middle East peace education advisory committee, and serves on the Middle East advisory committee of the controversial Ford-funded group, Human Rights Watch.
Former president of Physicians for Human Rights Charlie Clements was the subject of a 1985 Academy Award-winning documentary called Witness to War that was produced by AFSC. It is notable that Clements is now a prominent supporter of a humanitarian intervention in Sudan, and is the vice chair and secretary of EarthRights International -- a group that obtains funding from assorted groups like AFSC, the Global Greengrants Fund, and the American Jewish World Service, and even the key democracy-manipulating group, Rights and Democracy.
Although not representative of the AFSC, other AFSC staffers who have gone on to associate with liberal elites include Mark Lancaster and Ali Alyami. Mark Lancaster formerly acted as the Middle Atlantic regional director for the AFSC's office in Baltimore, and now serves as the executive director of the Seva Foundation -- a philanthropic effort that was founded by Larry Brilliant (the executive director of Google.org). Ali Alyami, the former director of the educational peace program for AFSC in San Francisco, is presently the executive director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. The chairman of the latter Center's board is Edward Rawson, who "took part in forming" the United World Federalists (in 1947), and formerly served as treasurer-administrative director of the World Federalist Association (1976-97). Other notable board members of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia include the cofounder of the democracy-manipulating National Endowment for Democracy, Mark Palmer; and Lindsay Mattison, who is the is the executive director of International Action, and is a former staffer at the Center for Defense Information (for further information see footnote #10 and "The Project For A New American Humanitarianism"). (back)
7. "In August 1945, University of Chicago President [Robert] Hutchins established an 'Institute for World Government,' pointing to its 'symbolic' value given the University's key role in inaugurating the atomic age. Thereafter, the new Committee to Frame a World Constitution, headed by Hutchins, developed the "maximalist" position and made the University of Chicago the stormy center for elite intellectuals debating the question of world government." (p.87) (back)
8. McCrea and Markle, p.75, p.74. Signatories of SANE's first advert in The New York Times (November 15, 1957) included: "Roger Baldwin (ACLU), John C. Bennett, Harrison Brown, Norman Cousins, Paul Doty (chairman, Federation of American Scientists), Clark Eichelberger (director, AAUN), Harry Emerson Fosdick, Eric Fromm, Robert Gilmore (executive secretary, AFSC, N.Y.), Oscar Hammerstein II, Donald Harrington, John Hersey, Homer Jack, Lewis Mumford, Robert Nathan (chairman, ADA), James G. Patton, Clarence Pickett, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elmo Roper, James T. Schotwell (president emeritus, Carnegie Endowment), Norman Thomas, Pail Tillich, and Jerrry Voorhis (executive director, Cooperative League of America)." Lawrence Wittner, Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1933-1983 (Temple University Press, 1984), p.244. (back)
9. McCrea and Markle, p.82. "Within the Kennedy circle, Cousins' personal influence was considerable. Indeed, he played a role in breaking the test-ban deadlock. At Secretary of State Dean Rusk's behest, Cousins met with Nikita Khrushchev at his Black Sea retreat, followed by a White House meeting with President Kennedy." (p.81) "Indeed, in the 1964 elections, SANE not only supported but worked for Lyndon Johnson -- who was perceived as a peace candidate -- and a variety of Congressional candidates." (p.83) "By 1967, SANE was severely divided over tactics concerning its Vietnam opposition. [Benjamin] Spock, who was then cochair, advocated increased social protest and direct action; others, particularly Cousins, emphasized the 'policy change' approach. By the close of the year, Cousins and executive director Donald Keyes resigned because to them the 'committee had strayed too far to the left.' Benjamin Spock, on the other hand, resigned because he felt SANE needed to cooperate with more leftist peace organizations to 'enhance SANE's efforts'. Sanford Gottlieb became the new executive director; and with that move SANE's middle-of-the-road position and commitment to electoral politics prevailed." (p.84) (back)
10. Sanford Gottlieb served as the executive director of SANE from 1960 until 1977, and later, in 1986, he went on to become a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information (CDI) -- a group that has been strongly supported by Stewart Mott's liberal philanthropy. CDI is now part of the elite think tank the World Security Institute, and is headed by Theresa Hitchens, who serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and is a member of Women in International Security -- a group whose president until recently, Pamela Aall, serves as the vice president for education at the misnamed U.S. Institute of Peace.
McCrea and Markle contend that: "Cortright had impeccable credentials as a member of the new class and a social movement professional. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1968, Cortright was drafted into the army, where he helped found GIs United Against the War in Vietnam. He later studied for three years at the Institute for Policy Studies, there writing a book, Soldiers in Revolt. Before joining SANE he was selected as a Fellow of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial to study the problems of youth in the military." (p.85) Furthermore, it is important to add that shortly after being selected as a Kennedy Memorial fellow, Cortright worked as a research associate at the controversial Center for National Security Studies (1974-77). After this, Cortright went on to act as the executive director of SANE from 1978 until 1988. Presently, Cortright sits alongside a host of liberal elites (like the former senior vice president for the Rockefeller Foundation, Angela Glover Blackwell) as a board member of Sojourners magazine, and in 2004, along with Karen Jacob, was given the Gandhi Peace Award by a group called Promoting Enduring Peace. Cortright's receipt of this prize is intriguing because since Yale professor Jerome Davis founded Promoting Enduring Peace in 1952, it appears that most of the U.S.'s most influential liberal peace activists have been honoured with their peace award. Thus a few notable winners include United for Peace and Justice chair Leslie Cagan (2006), Helen Caldicott (1981) see footnote #2, and Dennis Kucinich (2003). Finally, Cortright is a member of the steering committee of the one-world-government linked group, Global Action to Prevent War. (back)
11. On January 21, 1981, a momentous meeting at the Iron Grill Inn brought together the leading elites of the liberal U.S. environmental movement with their philanthropic counterparts, to help improve their efficiency and coordination. This group, which then met regularly, was to become the "Group of Ten." Robert Gottlieb recounts that the "key funder present was Robert Allen, vice president of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, a midsize foundation whose decisions were fully controlled by only three individuals: Allen and the two Kendall brothers, John and Henry." Gottlieb adds that: "Though other funders were involved in the planning or participated in the Iron Grill meeting, including David Hunter from the Stern Foundation, Sidney Shapiro from the Levinson Foundation, and Rob Scrivner from the Rockefeller Family Fund, it was Allen who initially conceived and would ultimately become the driving force behind the group." Robert Gottlieb, Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement (Island Press, 2005 ), p.169, p.170.
When David Hunter died in 2000, Don Hazen (the executive editor of the Ford Foundation-funded alternative media outlet, AlterNet), wrote an obituary that noted how "Hunter's philanthropic career began in 1959 at the Ford Foundation" where he worked to create the "inner city anti-poverty programs that became a prototype for President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty." Hazen drew attention to Hunter's influence on the evolution of progressive foundations, and writes how he acted as a "mentor for a group of younger philanthropists... who formed a chain of regionally-based progressive foundations in the 1970s: the Vanguard Foundation in San Francisco, the Haymarket People's Fund in Boston and the North Star Fund in New York, among others." (back)
12. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) was founded in 1969 and "born out of a teach-in organized by a group of scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to protest the militarization of scientific research and promote science in the public interest." In 1982, former SANE executive director Sanford Gottlieb (1960-77) headed up UCS's United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War, and noted peace activist and theorist Lester Kurtz acted as their co-chair (1986-8) while serving on the national committee of the Freeze Campaign (1986-7). Kurtz went on to serve as an advisor to the controversial International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.
Given the key role that founding committee member the late Henry W. Kendall played in UCS's history -- having served as their chair for twenty-five years -- it is fitting that UCS has a strong connection to neoliberal environmentalists, as they are currently headed by Kevin Knobloch, and prior to this by Bud Ris (who managed their work from 1984 until 2003). Ris now heads the New England Aquarium, and is a trustee of the Heinz Center (whose work is presided over by leading "conservation" biologist Thomas Lovejoy). Most interestingly until 2000 Ris served as a board member of Ris Paper Company, which was "one of the largest independent merchants of commercial printing and business papers in the United States." As the following section demonstrates, UCS may perhaps take it upon themselves to be concerned enough to investigate the background of the Domtar Corporation; that is, the current owners of the Ris Paper Company.
Ris Paper Company was acquired in 2000 by Domtar, a company that describe themselves as the "largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and the second largest in the world based on production capacity." Domtar are an avid promoter of corporate environmentalism, which leads them to fund the work of WWF Canada; and they boast of being the first North American paper company to earn approval from the neoliberal Forest Stewardship Council. Notably, powerful mining executive, Louis Gignac -- who has been a board member of Domtar since 1995 -- was the long-serving president and CEO of Cambior (1986-2006) a company that can be directly linked one of the mining industries most notorious polluters, Robert Friedland. This is because Cambior was involved in mining in Guyana (South America), where they managed a World Bank-backed joint venture to run Omai Gold Mines Ltd -- an open-pit mine that Friedland played an instrumental role in setting up, and whose destructive operations led in 1995 to "reputedly the largest cyanide spill in history." This was not the first and last time that Friedland had wrecked havoc on the environment. Indeed, "Friedland's Galactic Resources Corporation was the mining firm responsible for the world U.S. gold mine tailings disaster, at the Summitville Mine in Colorado's San Juan mountains." (For further details see Al Gedicks, Resource Rebels: Native Challenges to Mining and Oil Corporations (South End Press, 2000), pp.32-7.)
Returning to UCS, one might also draw attention to Jessica Tuchman Mathews's membership of their board of directors, because she is a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, and since 1997 has been the president of the misnamed Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Even noted historian Lawrence Wittner referred to the Carnegie Endowment as a "conservative" peace organization. Moreover, in his classic book Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1933-1983 (Temple University Press, 1984) Wittner recounted how:
"Attempting to give some form to burgeoning peace interest throughout the United States, thirty-seven peace organizations united in 1933 to form the National Peace Conference, a loose federative effort. On the political Right were the 'conservative' peace organizations, headed by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Peace Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Church Peace Union. Old, wealthy, and compromised by their support of World War I, they failed to draw the new generation of pacifist militants but instead continued their patient efforts through established channels in educational work, in the promotion of international good will, and in the strengthening of legal and judicial machinery for the peaceful resolution of international conflict." (p.9)
Yet problematically, despite being one of the U.S.'s leading peace historians, Wittner (who last year served as a fellow at the World Federalist Institute) has systematically failed to draw any attention to the negative influence of liberal philanthropy on the U.S. peace movement. This puzzled me somewhat, so in an e-mail correspondence I asked him if he "had ever come across any literature that dealt with the impact of liberal philanthropy" on the peace movement. (August 30, 2009) In response Wittner replied: "Unfortunately, I haven't come across such literature -- although, on the other hand, I wasn't looking for it, either. My general impression, though, is that funding by wealthy individuals (e.g., 'weighty Friends' and foundations) always played some sort of role in funding the movement. Sorry I can't be more helpful on this score." (August 31, 2009) Given his decision to ignore the main funders of the US peace movement, it is appropriate then that Wittner's own work has been funded, in recent years, by both the MacArthur Foundation and the Orwellian U.S. Institute of Peace.
Notably, McCrea and Markle observe how: "In the preface to his fine book, Rebels Against War, Wittner (1984) assesses his own contribution to the peace movement by wondering 'if anything could be more important than unravelling the mysterious relationship between war and peace.'" (p.11) (back)
13. The Ford Foundation had prior to this spent $4 million on its Energy Policy Project, which Donald Gibson notes...
"... received a lot of media attention leading up to 1973. When the oil crisis hit, Ford was ready with recommendations for lower levels of energy use. Energy thereby became the central theme of the environmental movement. All of this is quite odd, since energy scarcity was never demonstrated. It was merely asserted. In fact, around the time that the Ford Foundation was deciding that energy was scarce, a study ordered by Standard Oil of California (SoCal/Chevron) stated that there was an abundance of oil in the world. What the Ford Foundation did between 1971 and 1973 appears to have been preparation of the ideology of energy scarcity. There was no real shortage during the 1973-74 oil crisis, only the one orchestrated by the major oil companies." Donald Gibson, Environmentalism: Ideology and Power (Nova Publishers, 2002), p.87. (back)
14. McCrea and Markle, p.95, p.96. "After the partial Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1963, PSR atrophied and was not revived until 1979, when [Bernard] Lown, with the help of the dynamic Australian-born Harvard physician Helen Caldicott [see footnote #1], put new life into the moribund organization." (p.96) In addition, in 1981 Lown launched a new group called International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. (back)
15. With regard to the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies, McCrea and Markle write: "Originally a shoestring operation funded by businessman and Harvard Ph.D. Alan Kay, Forsberg quickly managed to secure foundation grants to expand her operation by hiring several full- and part-time staffers, including a researcher, librarian, and computer programmer." (p.114) Kay is presently a board member of the World Security Institute.
According to McCrea and Markle, Randall Forsberg was "unique in the Freeze Movement. Prior to her involvement in the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, she avoided as much as possible -- even disdained -- staff work in social movements. She views herself as an arms control analyst, not a social movements professional, a distinction that created some tension with the peace movement." (p.98) Given the important role that the MacArthur Foundation currently plays in driving "peace" research, it is noteworthy that in 1983, Forsberg obtained the foundations highly prestigious MacArthur fellowship: two of the four other winners of the MacArthur fellowships awarded for "International Security" have gone to Bruce Blair (who is the president of the World Security Institute), and Morton Halperin (who was the cofounder of the controversial National Security Archive, and is the director of U.S. advocacy for the Open Society Institute). (back)
17. Talmadge Wright, Felix Rodriguez, and Howard Waitzkin, "Corporate interests, philanthropies, and the peace movement," Monthly Review, February 1985. (back)
18. McCrea and Markle, p.106. In 1972 Harold Willens, "an opponent of the Vietnam War, had helped finance the liberal think tank, Center for Defense Information, which often challenged information released by the Pentagon." (For further details, see footnote #11.) (back)
"The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is shaping a new multimillion-dollar program to reflect the interests of a new generation of Rockefellers. It will emphasize security issues, including arms control. Independent of the Rockefeller Fund, many younger Rockefellers have been using their wealth for the antinuclear movement.
"For years the Ford Foundation and, to a lesser degree, the Rockefeller Foundation were virtually alone among the big philanthropies in making grants in the peace and security field. Their substantial grants in this area went primarily for research. Ford spent $33 million over 25 years. A $3.7 million grant was announced this month for 16 universities for research, some on the ethics of using nuclear arms.
"Ford has now been joined by the Carnegie Corporation. Under the leadership of Dr. David Hamburg, it is committing $6 million to $7 million a year to reducing the risk of nuclear war, and it recently approved a $250,000 project for an analysis of weapons in space. Dr. Hamburg, a behavioral scientist, wants Carnegie to promote 'crises prevention,' in part by developing Soviet-American dialogue among scientists. He also helped draw the billion-dollar MacArthur Foundation of Chicago into forming a panel for high-level discussions of a possible joint effort in the field of preventing nuclear war...
"Warren E. Buffett, board chairman of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, said he and his wife, Susan, decided that their Buffett Foundation of Omaha would devote $1 million annually for three years to the 'world's two biggest problems,' preventing nuclear war and limiting population growth...
"The Field Foundation of New York is now giving $500,000 for peace and security projects and continues to be the leading foundation to support SANE, which since 1959 has been organizing grass-roots groups to campaign for arms reduction." (back)
A month after making this comment Robert Winston Scrivner died of cancer, and although little (of a critical nature) has been written about Scrivner, nonetheless he was a major player involved in channelling the Rockefeller family fortunes to social change agents. Scrivner started working for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 1963 (while Laurance Rockefeller served as their president, 1958-68), and from 1972 until his death in 1984 Scrivner served as the executive director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. In 1986, Scrivner's widow, Melinda Scrivner, maintained her family's commitment to peace philanthropy by forming the Winston Foundation for World Peace. Although the Winston Foundation wound down its operations in 1999, it is noteworthy that John Tirman, who served as the foundation's only executive director (1986-99), had prior to helping set up the foundation been a senior editor at the Union of Concerned Scientists (1982-86). (See footnote #13.) Additionally, while at the Winston Foundation Tirman acted as a managing consultant to the Henry P. Kendall Foundation (1989-92), as a grants manager for the CarEth Foundation (1990-94), and as the chair of the board of the Foundation for National Progress (1993-97) -- the foundation that publishes Mother Jones magazine. Shortly after ending his tenure at the Winston Foundation, Tirman went on to become the program director at the longstanding Rockefeller project, the Social Science Research Council, and he is now the head of MIT's Center for International Studies.
Tirman provides an informative account of foundation funding of the peace movement in his book Making the Money Sing: Private Wealth and Public Power in the Search for Peace (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000). He describes the book as a "tale of how the deployment of enormous private wealth -- the accumulated fortunes of Rockefeller and Ford, Turn and Soros -- is wielded on behalf of the great issues of war and peace." (p.xi) (back)
24. Other members of the Peace and Security Funders Group's seven-person-strong steering committee include co-chair Conrad Martin (who is the executive director of Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust), Carl Robichaud (who is a program officer at the Carnegie Corporation), and George Vickers (who is director of international operations for the Open Society Institute). (back)
25. Mobilization For Survival (MOBE) was formed in 1978 in an attempt to link the peace and environmental groups. MOBE was led by several well known activists, which included Sidney Lens, Benjamin Spock, David Dellinger and Daniel Ellsberg, and their four aims were to: "stop the arms race, eliminate nuclear weapons, eliminate nuclear power, and convert to human needs." McCrea and Markle, p.94. (back)
28. McCrea and Markle, p.119, p.120. In 1984, the largest contribution to the Nuclear Times magazine came from the Field Foundation which gave $30,000 to the magazine in 1984. McCrea and Markle conclude: "It is ironic, and dangerous to the cause, that the major vehicle for communication in the peace movement is dependent on corporate funding decisions." (p.153) (back)
30. It is necessary to highlight the important difference between the liberal Northeastern establishment (or the old money -- Rockefeller, Ford, etc.) and the more conservative Sunbelt interests (or the new money -- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the John M. Olin Foundation), with the latter channelling large sums of corporate and foundation funding into "conservative think tanks and activist groups advocating a strong nuclear defense." (back)
31. With regard to the Democrats' sudden endorsement of the Freeze Movement, Forsberg was asked if there was "any fear inside the peace movement that this could lead to the kind of grassroots organizing being co-opted?" Forsberg replied: "There was some fear that when the House and Senate started talking about a freeze, especially a freeze resolution that they would say that they would give lip service to the idea of a freeze and say, 'We support a freeze,' this would undercut the grassroots movement. People would stop working for the freeze and we wouldn't get any real change out of it. There was that kind of fear in the peace movement. I don't have anything to say about that." (My emphasis added) (back)
32. McCrea and Markle, p.125, p.136, p.130, pp.122-3, p.116. Similar problems were identified by Steven Barkan in his 1979 study of the antinuclear power movement, which he observes alienated more radical activists by focusing its campaigning on atomic power stations. See Steven Barkan, "Strategic, tactical and organizational dilemmas of the protest movement against nuclear power," Social Problems, 27, (1979).
Even the moderate, Democrat-supported Freeze Movement was accused by President Reagan (on October 4, 1982) of being a communist threat to US national security. However, such red-baiting only worked to increase public support for Freeze, and so the Reagan administration toned down its attack and "began to proclaim the same goals as the movement, a more effective strategy for social control." McCrea and Markle, p.138. (back)
33. "As Pam Solo, former Freeze Strategy Task Force Chair, admitted, 'It is a cultural problem of the American peace movement to emphasize process over substance'." It is also important to remember that: "Smaller social movement organizations, such as the War Resister's League, never ascribed to the liberal analysis or invoked liberal strategies and tactics." McCrea and Markle also acknowledge that their study probably "underestimated the importance of religious pacifists, in the antinuclear weapons movement." McCrea and Markle, p.127, p.149, p.155.
See Pam Solo, From Protest to Policy: Beyond the Freeze to Common Security (Ballinger, 1988). Alternatively for a neoconservative critique of the Freeze, see Adam Garfinkle, The Politics of the Nuclear Freeze (Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1984). (back)
McCrea and Markle observe how two events that occurred in 1982 catalysed the development of the Freeze Movement. These were the publication of a three-part series in The New Yorker by Jonathan Schell, which was later published as The Fate of the Earth (Knopf, 1982); and the nationwide event Ground Zero Week, which was sponsored by a group called Ground Zero, that was "founded in 1980 by physicist and former National Security Council staffer Roger Molander. Author of the glibly written bestseller Nuclear War, What's In It For You? (1982), Molander stressed educational and nonpartisan routes to achieve arms control." (p.109) (back)
36. McCrea and Markle, p.133, p.16, p.133.
In 1987, SANE and the Freeze were merged to form SANE/FREEZE, a group that as of 1993 has been known as Peace Action. Since then the group has been involved in various actions, which have included "organiz[ing] against 'cruise missile humanitarianism' by opposing the NATO bombing of Kosovo" in 1999, and in 2003 "launching the Campaign for a New Foreign Policy, a major initiative to build grassroots support and congressional pressure for a US foreign policy based on human rights and democracy, nuclear disarmament and international cooperation."
Prior to becoming executive director of Peace Action in 2001, Kevin Martin served as the director of the Global Security Institute's short-lived initiative, Project Abolition (1999-2001); and before heading Project Abolition Martin spent ten years in Chicago as executive director of Illinois Peace Action.
The Global Security Institute was founded in 1999 by the late Alan Cranston, who died in 2000. Writing shortly before Project Abolition was dissolved in late 2001 Jonathan Schell described the Project as one of the Global Security Institute's "most important" accomplishments. Former members of Project Abolition included Peace Action, the Fourth Freedom Forum, The Nation Institute, Peace Links, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Women's Action for New Directions. (back)
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