"Libertarian Party nominates C.F.R. for President."These words were not the headline to come out of the
Libertarian Party Natiorial Convention of 1983. They missed
by a margin of 27 votes. And there hangs a tale.
One week before the convention, Gene Burns, the leading
contender for the LP's presidential nomination, withdrew,
leaving an open field. Several candidates emerged, most
prominent of whom were Dave Bergland, the Party's vice-
presidential nominee in 1976, and Earl Ravenal, who has been
featured in libertarian publications for his anti-interventionist
foreign policy analyses.
Ideologically these were two fine choices, although Ravenal
is somewhat of an unknown quantity in economics. The
problem was that Ravenal is a member of the Council on
Foreign Relations. The further problem was that a substantial
minority of delegates did not understand what was wrong
with that. Ravenal was defeated, but a great many people did
not realize that nominating a member of this organization
would seriously threaten the basic goal which the Libertarian
Party was set up to achieve.
I History of the Council on Foreign Relations and Tilateral CommissionA generation ago, intellectual Objectivists and conservative
economists in the pro-liberty movement used to turn up their
noses at crackerbarrel Birchers who ranted about a giant
conspiracy centered about the Council on Foreign Relations.
Conspiracy theory was not respectable.
It turned out that the intellectuals were wrong. The Birchers
colored their view of this conspiracy with a right-wing
interpretation, but the basic facts were true. We owe a note of
thanks to people like Pete McAlpine for making the study of
this conspiracy intellectually respectable and to Steve
Zarlenga for publishing one of the definitive works on the
subject, Carroll Quigley's second conspiracy book,
The Anglo-American Conspiracy. Taking all of these things
together, the following facts have now emerged.
In the late 19th century, a group of British conservatives,
inspired by the ideology of the arch-reactionary John Ruskin,
formed a secret society dedicated to the goal of British
imperialism. England was superior, these people argued;
therefore, the British way of life should be imposed on all the
inferior peoples of the world (for their own good of course).
The British public of the time, which tended to more liberal
ideas of freedom and self determination, would not have
supported this policy of imperialism openly. Therefore, the
group had to operate in secret, that is to become a conspiracy,
to further its goal.
This conspiracy, like thousands of others that are hatched
each year in the political arena, would probably have died a
rapid death if not for the fact that its early leader was a
millionaire named Cecil Rhodes, who devoted a large share of
his fortune to its promotion. The crucial element was its
ability to control the London Times, one of the world's most
influential papers. This conspiracy was variously called, the
Rhodes group, the Round Table, Milner's Kindergarten, the
Cliveden set, the All Souls group, or just Us. It fomented the
Boer War' as an excuse to achieve one of its goals, the Cape to
Cairo railway (a prelude to British control of Africa), and it
regarded the loss of America as one of the worst mistakes of
British foreign policy (a mistake it fully intended to rectify).
J.P. Morgan was the head of the American affiliate of the
Round Table, and when Germany challenged the British
Empire in World War I, Morgan manipulated to bring the
United States into the war on England's side.= After the war,
Morgan set up the Council on Foreign Relations as a public
forum to serve as a front for his Round Table group. Its key
positions would be controlled by Round Table members, but
it would also contain naive third parties and publicly hold
Thus, it is necessary to make a few corrections in the Birch
view of the conspiracy. First, it is not a left-wing conspiracy,
and there is no connection with any Bavarian Illminati.Its
founder, its ideology and its most important members were on
the extreme right.' Second, the C.F.R. itself is not the
conspiracy but merely a front for it. Thus many naive and
innocent people can belong to the C.F.R. without
understanding anything about the conspiracy that controls it.
Third, the goal of the conspiracy was not one-world
government in the idealistic sense in which Birchers oppose it.
(Although, since it wanted England to control the world, it
1. The conspiracy managed to place two of its men into top
positions, one on the English, the other on the Boer side.
These two men began a series of provocations and ultimatums
which led to war. The Boers never found out that one of their
highest officials was an English agent. See Tragedy and Hope
by Carroll Quigley.
2.Aside from Morgan's overt war policy and his control of
The New Republic, we have substantial evidence that he
indirectly controlled much of the American press. This press
pilloried anti-war congressmen and frightened them into
voting for war in April
President Wilson was in
Morgan's pocket. He was reelected in 1916 by running as
peace candidate and then immediately reversed his stand. The
submarine warfare issue (which we are still taught in school)
was a smokescreen for Morgan's policies. See my book, The
3. Which was probably a pro-liberty organization.
4. However, Ruskin was a socialist, common among the 19th
The Libertarian Forum
did favor one-world government in the imperialistic sense in
which many conservatives favor it.) Fourth, the conspiracy is
nowhere near as powerful as the Birchers make it appear. It
failed to bring the United States back into the British Empire.
It failed to conquer the world for England. In fact, it stood
helplessly by in the late 1940s as the British left smashed the
empire into little pieces. And finally, this conspiracy was
never a top-down, authoritarian organization headed by a
firm leader (a la a James Bond movie). It was an old-boy
network of people in the same social class who used their
college, business and class associations to good advantage,
and were able to accomplish many things by these
associations, their money and their positions.
In the 1930s the U.S. Branch of the conspiracy passed out
of Morgan hands and came under the control of the
Rockefellers. From the late '30s on, it began to have a
dominant influence on U.S. foreign policy. It was the Eastern
Establishment in the Republican Party, and it controlled the
Democratic Party. A succession of Secretaries of State and
advisors came from C.F.R. ranks: Cordell Hull, Dean
Acheson, John Foster Dulles and Henry Cabot Lodge, to
name a few. Under the influence of these advisors, Presidents
abandoned traditional American anti-interventionism and
followed a foreign policy of successive hot and cold wars in
various parts of the globe. There is a great deal of evidence
that several of these wars were deliberately provoked by the
C.F.R. officials in Government (Vietnam,' possibly Korea,
probably the Pacific theater of World War 11.
Again, see The Warmongers.) In 1972, a sister organization,
the Trilateral Commission, was formed by David Rockefeller
(C.F.R. Chairman), and from that time on the C.F.R. played a less
active role in foreign affairs. C.F.R./Trilateral control of the
American media is so complete that information about these
organizations cannot penetrate to the American people. Some
prominent Trilaterals in Government in recent years have
been: Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paul Volcker,
Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Alan Greenspan, John
Anderson, Alan Cranston, John Glenn, George Bush, Casper
Weinberger, Arthur F. Burns, I. W. Abel, George Ball, Bill
Brock, Hedley Donovan, Walter Heller, Lane Kirkland, Paul
McCracken, David Packard, Robert Roosa, Bill Scranton,
Michael Blumenthal, Warren Christopher, Elliot Richardson,
Cy Vance, Paul Warnke and Andy Young.
I1 Goals and Modus OperandiWhen I questioned Earl Ravenal about his membership in
the C.F.R., he responded that the C.F.R. did not take any
ideological positions. It was merely a discussion group of the
top foreign policy people in the country. As a foreign policy
analyst, it was his duty to belong. The Trilateral Commission,
5. Upon arriving in South Vietnam, Lodge found that
Premier Diem had the Communists well in check and did not
want American troops in his country. Lodge used the CIA to
overthrow Diem and replace him with a more pliant, less
effective leader. In the chaos, Communist strength grew until
American troops were "necessary" to prevent a Communist
takeover. This was the pretext for American entry. The
Russian invasion of Afghanistan was copied from Lodge's
manipulations in Vietnam (overthrow a friendly head of state
who refused to accept your troops and replace him with a
more obedient chief who would "invite " them in).
Ravenal continued, was another matter. It did take positions,
and he has refused to join this group. He felt this justified his
It should be pointed out that Mr. Ravenal was incorrect in
his answer. I debated George Franklin, the Trilateral
Commission's coordinator and David Rockefeller's brother-
in-law, on two occasions; each time he strongly affirmed that
the Trilateral Commission did not take positions but, like the
C.F.R., was open to all views.
Although the C.F.R. and the Trilateral Commission are
theoretically open to all points of view, there is a tacit
understanding that lunatic positions, such as support for a
gold standard or reduction in the size of the government, are
beyond the pale. After all, the organizations must be limited
to sane people if the discussions are to be fruitful. (Which is
another way of saying that despite their non-ideological cover
these organizations are still loyal to the ideology of their
founder, John Ruskin.)
But even if we grant that the C.F.R. and Trilateral
organizations are non-ideological, citing this as an excuse for
cooperating with them shows a frightening naivete. It reflects
a premise that our entire battle is ideological and that
changing people's minds is 100% of what we have to do.
To win the battle for liberty, it is necessary not only to
defeat the ideas of the enemy, it is also necessary to block his
anti-liberty actions. If you are fighting the Marines, the Notre
Dame football team or the CIA, you must defeat them in
reality; there is no contest in the ideological realm. In the
same way, the C.F.R. and the Trilateral Commission are not
our ideological enemies. They are not (as organizations)
expounding anti-liberty ideas. They are aiding and assiting
their members to take anti-liberty actions. Draft boards, local
boards for seizing property by eminent domain, and the I.R.S.
are not ideological organizations either. But no libertarian
can join one of these organizations without violating his
So to justify a membership by taking
the C.F.R./Trilateral ideology (or their non-ideology, or their
propaganda about their non-ideology) at face value very
much misses the point.
In general, a person or organization cannot be condemned
for his (its) ideas. Even false or evil ideas can be held by error.
This is unfortunate, but it is not immoral. People or
organizations must be judged on the basis of what they do,
not what they say. The CIA is evil because it is engaged in
lying and murdering on a wide scale, that is, because of what
it does not what it believes.
In the same way, there is a long list of C.F.R. and Trilateral
officials who have lied and schemed to kill millions of people,
to subvert freedom in this country (and others) and to steal
billions of dollars. I condemn these officials, and I condemn
the organizations which helped them get power.
To get the flavor of these organizations, one must get a
sense of John Ruskin, the intellectual inspiration for this
conspiracy. Ruskin was a fervent enemy of the 19th century
and longed to go back to some time about the 12th, back to
the time when an armed aristocracy had reduced the majority
of the people to serfdom and when the only meaning given to
the word "rights" was "Permissions granted by the lord."
Although these aristocrats armed themselves to the teeth and
trained themselves in techniques of fighting, they were not
able to maintain their power completely by brute force
because they were outnumbered by the peasants 100 to 1.
Therefore, they devoted themselves to the art of politics and
became extemely skilled in intrigue and insider manipulation.
The object was for the small elite to control the government
which, in turn, controlled the people. It is this basic idea
which motivates the members of the C.F.R. and Trilateral
Power today results from a combination of media, money,
intellectuals and politicians. One function of C.F.R. and
Trilateral meetings is to bring these four elements together so
that things can happen. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the intellectual,
could never hope-given his anemic personality-to win an
election. But pair him with Jimmy Carter, who is as American
as apple pie, and they are off to a start. Let Carter meet
Hedley Donovan, then editor-in-chief of Time Magazine: at a
Trilateral Commission meeting, add a few wealthy
contributors, and presto. Four elements, neither of whom
could achieve its goal alone, have power when they work
together. These organizations are trying to seize control of the
apparatus of the state, to increase state power and to use this
power for the furtherance of their goals. They are in a direct
succession from men whose goals have been the fomenting of
war, the killing of millions of human beings, the seizure of
vast amounts of wealth and the suppression of freedom.
They do not publicly state their current goals,' but in The
Warmongers I marshal a great deal of evidence that these are
in essence the same.
The Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign
Relations have been extremely successful in seizing control of
the U.S. Government in our generation. Their members get
appointed to high positions in both Democratic and
Republican administrations. They had three of the top five
Presidential contenders in the 1980 election-Bush, Anderson
and Carter. The man whom the American people actually
elected was the one candidate who spoke out against the
Trilateral Commission; but still they occupy the chairmanship
of the Federal Reserve, the Vice-presidency and the positions
of Secretary of Defense and Ambassador to
But the really frightening thing about the Trilateral
Commission and the C.F.R. is that they are never covered in
the press. When Trilateral members perform acts which by
any contemporary standard are newsworthy, there is a wall of
silence. When a conflict of interest tempts a high official from
6. It was Time which, by a number of features prior to 1976,
made Carter a national figure. See, The Carter Presidency and
Beyond by Laurence Shoup. Conversely, libertarians who
begin with more public support than Carter are treated as
7. Except in very namby-pamby terms indicating that they are
in close alliance with the Girl Scouts ("a group of concerned
8. There are also a number of aspiring members who serve the
conspiracy's goals, for example, Richard Burt, who as a
reporter for The New York Times acquired a reputation
as Brzezinski's mouthpiece and who is now an underling in the
his public duty, it is normally a front page story. But if the
conflict involves the Trilateral Commission, silence. The
associations of men in public life are carefully studied; they
are exposed to a blinding publicity. But Trilateral and C.F.R.
associations are never mentioned, even when these
associations directly affect actions and policy decisions.
A good example of this is the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-80
(which probably surfaced because of an internal conflict in the
Trilateral Commission itself). This crisis was fomented by
David Rockefeller using his Trilateral connections
(principally Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter and Warren
Christopher). I broke this story in The
Gold Bug, and it was picked up by L. J. Davis,
a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine.
Davis did an excellently researched article and
offered it to the New York Times, which turned it down. If
finally appeared in Penthouse (October 1980, December 1980)
where the establishment could pooh-pooh its conclusions
because they had appeared in a giriie magazine.
Shortly after the article ran, Iran offered to return the hostages, and
Christopher, who was the U.S. negotiator, refused to accept
them unless Rockefeller's bank was guaranteed $500 million
which was in dispute. This conflict of interest on
Christopher's part was never mentioned anywhere in the
media. Neither was his membership in the Trilateral
Commission. Neither was Kissinger's membership in the T.C.
or the fact that he is now under salary to Rockefeller's bank.
Careful students of current events will have noted that,
when the U.S. gave the Panama Canal to Panama, it paid
them a sum of money to take it. This bonus from the U.S.
taxpayers enabled the dictator of Panama to pay a debt to
Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank. The negotiator of the
canal treaty for the U.S. was a Trilateralist. Similarly, the
Federal Government bailed out New York City, whose bonds
were held in large quantities by Chase but never bailed out
other cities faced with bankruptcie.
I11The Threat to the Libertarian PartyThe total number of C.F.R. and Trilaterals is quite small
(100 U.S. citizens in the T.C. and a few thousand in the
C.F.R.), and despite their wealth and power, they could not
dominate the country to the extent they do without the use of
certain techniques. One of these is to infiltrate from within
and control all parties (small p as well as capitalp). Their ideal
election is a Republican Trilateralist against a Democratic
Trilateralist. The C.F.R. would have no objection to Earl
Ravenal accepting the Libertarian nomination. It fits
perfectly with their policy of a foot in all camps. They
understand that access is power and that personal ties are
more important in determining policy than ideology.
Of course, the C.F.R. is not engaged in an all-out effort to
control the Libertarian Party. We are, as yet, but a mosquito
to them, perhaps a petty annoyance. But it is quite possible
that during the campaign certain libertarian positions would
become embarrassing to the C.F.R. Naturally almost all
libertarian positions are anathema to C.F.R. members, but
one particular position could easily become dangerous. It
might tilt the balance of power to have a nosy little third party
9. The House Banking Committee, which normally moves at
snail's pace, was in session until 3:00 a.m. to get the NYC
bailout voted through on schedule. When David Rockefeller
cracks the whip, mere congressmen jump.
The Libertarian Forum
harping on this issue (for example, the issue of the IMF
bailout of the big bankslO).
A major party candidate might be
forced to pick the issue up to keep us from taking votes from
him. And if one major party candidate picked it up, the other
might be forced to go along. That would be very bad for the
The Ravenal supporters were promising delegates that
Ravenal's establishment (that is, C.F.R.) connections could
be used for the benefit of the Party. Would they if one of the
Party's positions began to annoy these people in this way?
If one of Ravenal's positions began to annoy the
establishment, then lo and behold, the promised connections
would disappear. The pressure would be on, not necessarily to
change his position, but merely to tone it down a bit. If he
cooperates, he gets the suppport and the votes, and most
Party members don't even know that he has sold out. If he
doesn't cooperate, no connections, electoral disaster, shame
This is what happened to Gov. Brown of California in the
1980 New Hampshire Democratic primary when he began
speaking out about the Rockefeller-Iran connection. He
simply disappeared from the newspapers.
|To depend on an enemy for
support is incredibly stupid. To
walk into a situation such as I have described-as Ravenal
was intending to do-indicates, at best, that he had not
thought the matter through. One does not place one's self in a
position in which integrity requires the destruction of one's
(Libertarians, of course, are not supposed to put things like
personal ties above ideology in determining political actions.
It is only the power structure which understands the
importance of such things. For example, some years ago after
a presidential campaign in which the Libertarian Party
candidate had been pristine pure on the issues, I found his
name-along with his conservative friends-on a letter
supporting the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. I did not make
an issue of it because by that time the election was over and
done, and I do not enjoy intra-Party fighting. Perhaps he did'
not consider the ability of the Chilean state secret police to
make people disappear to be a deprivation of civil liberties.)
Since Ravenal was proposing to place himself in a position
in which his integrity would be under a great deal of strain, a
key point becomes relevant.
One of Ravenal's apologies for his C.F.R. membership
consisted in asserting that C.F.R. members represented the
top people in his field. Membership was a professional sine
qua non. Sadly this is nothing more than establishment
propaganda. It is what George Franklin told me about the
Trilateral Commission during our first debate. It is the myth
of the best and the brightest.
Strange it is, Mr. Ravenal, that David Rockefeller is so well
qualified (and motivated) to choose America's best and
brightest. For moral integrity he has given us Henry
Kissinger. For intellectual achievement he selected Jimmy
10. The I.M.F. bailout is being managed in Congress by
Rhode Island Congressman Fernand St. Germain. We may
assume that Mr. St. Germain is not indifferent to the current
Rockefeller interest in acquiring R.I. radio and TV stations,
as with their recent purchase of The Outlet Company.
Carter, for charm and personality, Zbigniew Brzezinski. For
economic advice he picked ,Walter Heller and Arthur Burns
but passed over Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.
For advice in foreign policy, he selected many of the people
who gave us the Vietnam War. How curious that our foreign
policy is in such a mess with such intellects to guide it.
I find Ravenal's assertion that this collection of boot lickers
and power mongers constitute America's best and brightest to
be offensive and absurd, and I will take a random sample of
LP delegates over them, for integrity, for political theory, for
awareness of the facts, any day in the week. But it does lead to
a question. If Ravenal really believes that his C.F.R.
associates are the best and the brightest, from where would he
have selected his advisors for the campaign, from libertarians
or from the "top" people in their field (meaning his C.F.R.
Worse than what Ravenal said was what he implied. For to
advance expertise as a virtue carries the implication that the
people in question are on our side. It would only be said in the
context that there is one foreign policy which is best for
America and that all of these people are carefully searching
But the fact is that there is not one America with interests at
stake; there are two. There is the American power structure
and the American people. These interests are often
diametrically opposed, and the damning thing about
Trilateral and C.F.R. operatives is that, when faced with this
conflict, they do not hesitate to place the interests of the
power structure above the interests of the people. In such a
situation, intelligence or expertise, were it to exist, would be a
For example, Kissinger helped the Shah of Iran to
manipulate the price of oil higher in the early '70s." This was
of benefit to Exxon (a Rockefeller controlled corporation) but
hardly to American motorists, who were shooting each other
in frustration over the gas lines of the time. When Russia
invaded Afghanistan, Jimmy Carter committed the lives of
American youth to help defend Saudi Arabia, again
protecting the special relationship which that country has
with Exxon (through Aramco). At present the issue is whether
the American people should be taxed to make good the bad
loans which Chase Manhattan and a number of other banks
made to a variety of tinhorn and Communist dictators. (These
dictators are not seriously worried about paying back those
loans because they know that the real payment owed is
subservience to David Rockefeller. As long as they make this
payment, they do not have to worry about the other kind.)
For the Libertarian Party to nominate a C.F.R. for
President would be to immediately and permanently lose the
support of all those political activists who are familiar with
the above facts. It would seriously undercut the message of
those like myself who are writing and lecturing to tell the
American people that the Rockefeller organizations are an
evil power which must be rejected. It would deal a long term
11 .This probably would have happened anyway because that
was the direction indicated by supply and demand. But
looking at the incident from the ptiint of view of a man like
Kissinger, who does not know anything about supply and
demand, it is indicative of the way the men involved thought
The Libertarian Forum
blow to the Party from which it might never recover.
David Rockefeller is a man obsessed with power. He has
studied it with the intensity of a Hitler, a Louis Napoleon or a
Julius Caesar. He has assembled all of the elements of power,
including a very tight grip on what is widely considered to be a
pluralistic press. You cannot have power and liberty together.
You cannot place the Libertarian banner in the hands of a
member of the C.F.R.
If I am permitted to assume what was going on in the mind
of a Ravenal supporter during the time of the convention, I
would say something like: "These people have the power.
They are the establishment. We will win them over to our side
by our ideology, and they will do lot of good for our cause."
Such people do not understand the structure of power in our
society. Their naivete dooms them to defeat. There are two
factors, one inherent to any power structure, the other unique
to 20th century America, which give us much more power
than they realize and which indicates the nature of our battle.
(1) The first factor, inherent in any power structure, is that
liberty is in the interests of the people. The classical liberal
political activists understood this, but it appears that modern
libertarian theorists do not. Power is always wielded on behalf
of a small elite and against the majority. The propaganda of
the New Deal, to rob from the rich and give to the poor, is a
myth. It is one of the lies of our time, on everyone's lips but
nowhere in reality. What our government does, on issue after
issue, is to rob from the poor and give to the rich.
This means that direct appeals to the interests of the
majority are a useful libertarian tactic-as Howard Jarvis
proved with Proposition 13 in California. California property
owners were not voting on the basis that taxation is theft.
They were simply voting their narrow interests. In the same
way the Anti-Corn-Law League in 19th century England was
able to abolish the corn tariff. The average Englishman of the
time did not understand the economic theory of free trade. He
voted for cheap bread.
In short. the pro-liberty theorist concretized a libertarian
principle, and its concrete form was in the interest of the
majority (who would not necessarily understand the
abstraction). In this way pro-liberty activists of the 19th
century (Jefferson, Van Buren, Sam Adams) won victory after
victory. By neglecting this principle and by cutting themselves
off from their mass base, pro-liberty advocates in the mid-
20th century (Robert Taft, Ayn Rand) suffered defeat after
(2) The second factor results from the very success which
the statist forces have had. In the 19th century, the average
person's political views were more collectivist than the
existing system. The statists could not make an appeal to
those views because the liberals had a better grasp of the
mechanism of power. The liberals controlled the press; they
had committed political activists, and they understood the
proper techniques of mass action. They literally pushed the
country to be more free than was strictly warranted by its
But in the 20th century exactly the opposite has occurred.
The power structure has gotten control of the press and
understands the proper technques of insider manipulation.
They have pushed the country to be less free than is strictly
warranted by its ideas. For this reason, if every issue were left
to be decided by a nationwide referendum to be voted on
immediately without any consideration in the media,
libertarians would win some striking victories. We would
definitely have a balanced budget. We would probably have a
gold standard. We would certainly have lower taxes. We
would probably not have troops in Lebanon or El Salvador.
The average American is not ideologically a libertarian, but
he is closer to libertarianism than the current power structure
I found that, when I toured the country promoting my
books on the gold standard and against the Trilateral
Commission, I was shut out by the establishment media. But I
was avidly welcomed by the local radio and TV stations. The
public response in some of those areas (such as Dallas and
San Diego) can only be described as overwhelming. And
I was described as "one of the hottest guests on the circuit" by
a talk show host in Illinois. But no network show wanted one of
the hottest guests on the circuit, not when he was advocating a
gold standard and denoucing David Rockefeller by name. No
It is my understanding that Ed Clark was treated the
same way, being welcomed by the local media but shut out by
The major infusion of statism into this country came in the
1930s when a number of left-wing intellectuals who had
brought socialism and chaos to Germany were kicked out by
Hitler and came to the U.S. These people were well trained in
the mechanisms of power. They moved quickly to capture the
high points, the most influential newspapers, the TV
networks the places where power was centralized and could
be controlled by a small number. They played up to wealthy
businessmen like the Rockefellers.12 Their converts still hold
power in these places today.
Thus, the American people are more libertarian than the
existing power structure, and the existing system is only
maintained by a combination of media pressure and power
politics (of which the forced resignation of Secretary Watt is
only a recent example). The media may create an image
totally different from realtiy. They may present an issue in a
way that plays upon the fears of a large ethnic group. They
may create an impression in a politician's mind that there is a
large majority for some position, causing him to espouse the
position out of expedience. For example, there are millions of
people in this country who believe that John Anderson was a
liberal (in the modern sense of the term) Republican and do
not know that he is a member of the Trilateral Commission.
In fact, Anderson is an ultra-conservative who once tried to
make Christianity the official religion of the country.
Registered Democrats do not know that the main choices
being promoted by the media for the 1984 presidential
nomination (Glenn, Mondale and Cranston) are
Trilateralists. People are never told of David Rockefeller's
dealings and manipulations, and every effort is made to
prevent issues from being joined in a national election (which
is why we have election after election in which both
candidates take identical positions on all the issues).
Again, it is well known that political candidates routinely
lie to the American people. (The media always treat this moral
outrage with jovial good nature.) But they almost always lie
12. Which is why so many Trilateralists still have trouble with
the English language.
The Libertarian Forum
by taking a pro-liberty position in the campaign and betraying
it after the election. They very rarely lie in the opposite
manner. They promise to balance the budget; they promise to
keep us out of war (1964); they promise a free economy
(1968); they promise an outsider who has no connection to the
power structure (1976); they promise to reduce the size of the
government (1968 and 1980). Why would they make these
promises during a campaign if they did not find such promises
effective in gaining votes? Why would they betray them after
the election if they were not basically in league with the power
structure? Thus the American power structure is
fundamentally out of touch with the American people and
only maintains its positions by a succession of lies and
It is this position of fundamental weakness which
determines elitist strategy and which must determine our
strategy as well. A few members of the elite, those with
unusual integrity, might be won over to our side by ideology.
But the majority can only be moved by direct self-interest.
(And, quite frankly, I do not put much faith in the program of
attempting to convert David Rockefeller to our ideas by
pointing out to him that he suffers a loss of self-esteem every
time he steals millions from the American people. It may be
true, but I don't think it will play in lower Manhattan.)
Rather than try to convert 60 or 70 elitists who gain wealth,
power and fame from government programs, it makes more
sense to try to convert the 200 million Americans who are
taxed, regimented, conscripted and murdered by big
government. These are exclusive strategies. Power is
fundamentally an elitist instrument. It is always authority
which wields power. To expect this elite to dismantle the
power which makes them rich is extremely naive. During the
pro-freedom revolutions of the 19th century there were always
a few aristocrats who come over to the side of the people on
moral grounds-but there were never more than a few.
Two essentials to defeat this power structure are media
which tell the truth to the American people and a political
party which stands for something and does not betray its
campaign promises." The power structure depends on its
members placing personal loyalty above loyalty to principles.
It bears a striking resemblance to a medieval power structure
where a small group of related families schemed and
manipulated to maintain and increase their power over the
peasants. Behind-the-scenes manipulation and personal
contacts are their game. To nominate a C.F.R. and to hope to
use his personal contacts for our purposes is to play it by their
rules. It is the formula for defeat. It is precisely the formula by
which the Republican Party gave up any hope of saving
liberty in America.
If Earl Ravenal wants to aid libertarianism vis a vis the
Council on Foreign Relations, I would suggest the following.
He should immediately quit the C.F.R. and denounce it and
the bulk of its members as evil. He should publicly reveal the
proceedings of the meeting^.'^ He should maintain the kind of
assoiation with these people that a virtuous person has with
pimps and prostitutes. And he should start a campaign with
the media to cover C.F.R.jTrilatera1 meetings and activities.
This would put the pressure on David Rockefeller in the same
13. Yes, a victory by idealistic Communists would also defeat
the power structure (but not in the way we want).
way that Ravenal put the pressure on the Libertarian Party by
his attempt at the nomination.
The power structure's great weakness is its smallness in size.
Given a persuasive ideology, it is possible to assemble
considerably larger amounts of both people and wealth
against them. The only way to stop this from happening is by
the insider manipulation I have described above. To enter into
personal associations with these groups is to play their game.
It is to play the only game they can win. It is like a man trying
to defeat a woman by sexual intrigue. It is like an elephant
trying to defeat a mosquito by seeing who can fly fastest. It
abandons the arena of principle and truth, which are our
forte, and allows the issue to be resolved by personal wealth,
connections, insider manipulation and media influence. It is a
sure formula for defeat.
IV On the Need for a Libertarian Movement
What almost happened at the LP Natcom '83 is very
alarming. It shows that a significant percentage of the most
involved libertarian activists do not understand the evil of the
C.F.R. and the danger of getting into bed with it. It reveals a
libertarian movement composed of coteries of experts in
several fields. There are experts on the power structure. There
are experts on education. There are experts on monetary
theory. There are experts on tax law. But the experts in one
field do not understand the other fields. And the five days of
education we try to cram into our national conventions every
two years is simply not enough.
What is happening is that libertarians are falling victim to
the American consensus. This is a set of views propagated by
the major media that dominate the country: the validity of the
welfare state, the need for foreign involvement, the non-
existence of a power structure (or the identity of its interests
with the country's interests), the basic truth of everything
printed in The New York Times.
This set of ideas is continually propagated by the
establishment media and convinces many people. But a small
number of the most intelligent discover, through their own
thinking and through specialty work in their field, that the
consensus is wrong. They get very upset about this and then
find that the libertarians are also against the consensus on this
point. Thus they join the libertarian movement.
However, they keep reading the establishment newspapers,
watching the network news on TV and believing most of the
establishment lies. Their home town newspaper carefully
copies the New York Times, and their home town TV station
carries the news produced in New York. Outside of their own
specialties they do not understand the lies and
misrepresentations of the consensus. They become one-issue
It used to be a saying in the socialist movements of the early
part of the century that no one was a socialist in his own field
of expertise. This was because the socialists had established a
consensus. They had a network of socialist media read by
their membership, and this media convinced them of all
I am sure this suggestion will be met with horror on the
part of C.F.R. members. Their promises to each other are
considered sacred. It is only their promises to the American
people, involving millions of lives and billions of dollars,
which are treated as a joke.
The Libertarian Forum
aspects of socialist ideology-except where the individual had
special knowledge or expertise. What we have in the
libertarian movement is the opposite. Everyone is a
libertarian in his own field, but we are ragged about the edges.
Our people are getting their basic sources of news from the
lies of the opposition. Thus the movement is undercut in every
On the issue of the power structure, the media propounds
the view that it does not exist and anyway, if it does, its
interests are the same as those of the American people; so
what difference does it make?.Although I have twice debated
the Coordinator of the Trilateral Commission, I still get
know-it-all looks from people when I assert that this
organization exists. ("Oh, he's one of those kooks who believe
in the Trilateral Commission.") Believe me,
I do not appreciate seeing a similar attitude coming from libertarians
who take the attitude, "I don't have any evidence of a
Those who do not have evidence of a conspiracy should not
offer their ignorance as evidence in a debate. They should
educate themselves. For starters I would recommend:
The Anglo-American Conspiracy by Carroll Quigley (New
York, Books in Focus, 1982).
The Warmongers by Howard S. Katz (New York, Books in
The Carter Presidency and Beyond by Laurence H. Shoup
(Palo Alto, Ramparts Press, 1980).
Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley (or for those who do
not want to wade through this long book, only small
parts of which deal with the conspiracy, The Naked
Capitalist by Cleon Skausen contains its essential parts
from a Bircher point of view.)
the L. J. Davis articles on David Rockefeller in Penthouse,
Oct. and Dec. 1980.
Trilaterals Over Washington by Anthony Sutton.
The solution is two fold. We need more libertarian media,
not just one or two magazines. And we need movement
people to shift their basic source of information from the
American consensus to the libertarian consensus. This will
make us into a true movement and avoid disasters of the type
that almost occurred at Natcom '83.