Archive for the ‘Stiftung’ Category

Afrika / USA: Total Banane!

Freitag, Dezember 12th, 2014

“US human trials of GM banana for Africa widely condemned

Open letter supported by more than 120 organizations from around the world

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) has sent the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation a letter protesting about the human trials on a GM beta-carotene-enriched banana. This GM banana has never, as far as we know, been through basic toxicity testing in animals. This is in spite of the fact that GM plants can produce unexpected new toxins or allergens.

The GM banana isn’t even needed, as non-GM beta-carotene-enriched bananas have existed and been consumed for centuries.

The developers of the GM banana have been accused of pirating the genes from these naturally nutritious bananas to engineer their own variety.

The new open letter with signatories can be viewed here (…).”

 

(Quelle: GMWatch.)

BRD: Entwicklungshilfe für BAYER

Dienstag, Oktober 15th, 2013

“Subventionierte Markt-Erschließung

Von Jan Pehrke

Der BAYER-Konzern erschließt sich zunehmend Absatzgebiete in ärmeren Ländern. Die Bundesregierung unterstützt den Multi dabei tatkräftig und verbucht das unter „Entwicklungshilfe“.

„Mit ihrem Kapital, vor allem aber ihrem Know-how und ihrer Wertschätzung für Umwelt- und Sozialstandards, trägt die Privatwirtschaft ganz wesentlich zu entwicklungspolitischen Fortschritten bei“, meint Entwicklungshilfe-Minister Dirk Niebel. Darum sucht die Entwicklungshilfe-Politik unter seiner Ägide auch zunehmend den „Schulterschluss mit der Privatwirtschaft“. So hat das „Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung“ (BMZ) mit BAYER, BASF, SYNGENTA und ca. 30 weiteren Konzernen die „German Food Partnership“ (GFP) gegründet, die sich dem Ziel verschrieben hat, „die Nahrungsmittel-Sicherheit zu verbessern“. Das vom Verbraucherschutz-Ministerium auf der Grünen Woche veranstaltete „Global Forum for Food and Agriculture“ durfte der Verband gleich als Plattform nutzen. Und als Dirk Niebel die Vertiefung der Public Private Partnership des BMZ mit der „Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation“ verkündete, war der BAYER-Manager Liam Condon für die GFP ebenfalls mit von der Partie und warb noch einmal für konzertierte Aktionen im Entwicklungshilfe-Bereich. „Die an der ‚German Food Partnership’ beteiligten Unternehmen stimmen darin überein, dass die aktuellen Herausforderungen nur durch langfristige Kooperationen und ganzheitliche Ansätze zu bewältigen sind“, so der Chef von BAYER CROPSCIENCE.

BMZ zahlt 1,1 Mio. Euro

Die Ganzheitlichkeit zahlt sich für die Multis nämlich aus. 79 Millionen Euro hat sich das BMZ die „Entwicklungspartnerschaften mit der Wirtschaft“ 2010/11 kosten lassen. Für BAYER fielen dabei 1,1 Millionen Euro ab. Allein mit 750.000 Euro subventionieren Niebel & Co. die Schulungen von kenianischen FarmerInnen im Umgang mit Pestiziden. 200.000 Euro erhält der Leverkusener Multi dafür, Regionalregierungen in Kenia dabei zu unterstützen, „das Wissen um moderne Kontrazeptiva und deren Gebrauch zu erweitern“. Und für „Fortbildungen“ zum selben Thema in der Ukraine und Bosnien-Herzogowina bekam der Konzern insgesamt 160.000 Euro.
Wie die „Entwicklungshilfe“ des Leverkusener Multis vor Ort abläuft, davon machte sich das TV-Magazin Panorama in Kenia ein Bild. Die JournalistInnen sprachen mit einer Pestizid-Verkäuferin, die an einem Seminar des Global Players teilgenommen hatte. „Es war eine Werbeveranstaltung für BAYER. Uns wurden die BAYER-Produkte vorgestellt und uns erklärt, dass BAYER eben ein Original ist und keine Fälschung“, berichtete sie. Informationen zu den Risiken und Nebenwirkungen der Ackergifte und zu deren richtiger Anwendung standen offensichtlich nicht auf dem Lehrplan. Der Verkaufsleiter der kenianischen BAYER-Niederlassung, Titus Kinoti, lässt dann auch keinen Zweifel am eigentlichen Sinn der Übung aufkommen: „Durch dieses Programm sind wir effektiver geworden. Wir können uns jetzt in einem umkämpften Markt behaupten. Wir bedienen die Bedürfnisse der Kunden und bringen sie dazu, unsere Produkte zu kaufen.“ Bilanz der „Entwicklungshilfe“: Eine Steigerung des Pestizid-Absatzes bei Kleinbauern und -bäuerinnen um 20 Prozent.

Ähnliches versuchen die Projekte in der Ukraine und in Bosnien-Herzogowina im Bereich der Verhütungsmittel zu errreichen. In Bosnien-Herzogowina kooperiert BAYER hierzu mit der „Deutschen Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit“ (GIZ). Die staatliche Entwicklungshilfe-Agentur knüpft die Verbindungen zu staatlichen Institutionen, Gesundheitseinrichtungen und Bildungseinrichtungen und übernimmt die Schulungen, während der Pharma-Riese die Werbe-Maßnahmen finanziert, die Fachinformationen liefert und die Kontrazeptiva stellt. Für das BMZ hat diese Arbeitsteilung Modell-Charakter: „Der Erfolg der Partnerschaft basiert auf den komplementären Fähigkeiten der Partner“, hält es fest. Über die Motive BAYERs macht sich das Entwicklungshilfe-Ministerium dabei keine Illusionen. Der Konzern „versucht, in dieser Region einen Markt zu entwickeln“, heißt es in der vom BMZ herausgegebenen – und vom Pillen-Riesen SANOFI gesponserten – Expertise „Bringing Medicines to Low-income Markets“.

Um die Entwicklung von „inklusiven Geschäftsmodellen für Pharma-Unternehmen“ ist es der Veröffentlichung zu tun, an der auch BAYER-Beschäftigte mitgewirkt haben. Die „Low-income Markets“ haben es nämlich in sich. Auf ein Volumen von bis zu 160 Milliarden Dollar schätzt die Untersuchung die Gesundheitsausgaben der vier Milliarden Menschen auf der Erde mit einem Jahreseinkommen von unter 3.000 Dollar und frohlockt: „Diesen Markt haben sich die Pharma-Firmen noch kaum erschlossen.“ Allerdings bedarf es zur Erschließung dieser Märkte „innovativer Geschäftsmodelle“. Und hier kommen die staatlichen Entwicklungshilfe-Akteure und die Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen ins Spiel. Dank ihres Renommees und ihrer guten Verbindungen vor Ort können sie laut „Low income“ als „Türöffner“ fungieren und ein „Ökosystem“ für das jeweilige „business model“ kreieren.

Um sich in Äthiopien zu etablieren, hat der Leverkusener Multi gemeinsam mit der US-amerikanischen Entwicklungshilfe-Behörde USAID ein solches „innovatives Geschäftsmodell“ entwickelt. Die „Contraceptive Security Initiative“ sieht vor, Frauen „mit mittlerem Einkommen in vorerst elf subsaharischen Entwicklungsländern Zugang zu bezahlbaren oralen Kontrazeptiva“ zu verschaffen. Der Global Player stellt dafür die Pillen bereit und die USAID zahlt für die Erstellung und Verbreitung von Informationsmaterial zu den Mitteln. „Einen neuen strategischen Ansatz und einen innovativen Weg zur Erschließung der Märkte in Entwicklungsländern“ nennt der Pharma-Riese das Ganze.

Aber auch mit der auf dem Gebiet der Entwicklungshilfe zunehmend dominanter werdenden „Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation“ kam er schon ins Geschäft. 27 Millionen Einheiten des Verhütungsmittels JADELLE nahm die Stiftung dem Konzern ab, der dafür einen Mengenrabatt gewährte und 8,50 statt der üblichen 18 Dollar dafür in Rechnung stellte. Jetzt kostet es nur noch 50 Cent mehr als das Konkurrenz-Pharmazeutikum von SHANGHAI DAHUA PHARMACEUTICALS, das dem Leverkusener Multi Umsatzeinbußen beschert hatte. „Mit der oben genannten Initiative und einer Preisreduzierung von JADELLE um fünfzig Prozent hat das Unternehmen BAYER mit Hilfe öffentlicher Entwicklungshilfe-Gelder und der Gates-Stiftung nun nachgezogen und sein Produkt wettbewerbsfähig gemacht“, resümieren die JournalistInnen Daniel Bendix und Susanne Schultz.
Zudem dient das Mittel weniger dem Kampf gegen die Armut denn dem Kampf gegen die Armen. Bei JADELLE handelt es sich nämlich um ein speziell für die Bevölkerungspolitik geschaffenes, fünf Jahre lang unfruchtbar machendes Hormon-Implantat, das die Devise des früheren US-Präsidenten Lyndon B. Johnson in die Praxis umsetzt: „Fünf gegen das Wachstum der Bevölkerung investierte Dollar sind wirksamer als hundert für das Wirtschaftswachstum investierte Dollar.“

BAYERs Afrika-Strategie

Als Absatzgebiete für Pestizide nehmen die ärmeren Länder für den Agro-Riesen ebenfalls eine immer größere Rolle ein. So erwartet der BAYER-Manager Bernd Naaf binnen der nächsten zehn Jahre eine Verdoppelung des Volumens des afrikanischen Ackergift-Marktes auf drei Milliarden Euro und trifft schon die entsprechenden Vorbereitungen. „Wir entwickeln derzeit eine Afrika-Strategie mit dem Ziel, in diesem Wachstumsmarkt zukünftig stärker vertreten zu sein“, so Naaf. Dabei will die Aktiengesellschaft auch „gezielt das Segment der Kleinbauern ansprechen“ und setzt dabei als Ansprechpartner nicht zuletzt auf den „öffentlichen Sektor“.
Diesen braucht der Leverkusener Multi vor allem aus einem Grund: Er hat nach eigenem Bekunden nur Zugang zu einem Viertel des Marktes auf dem Kontinent. Die restlichen drei Viertel decken Nachahmer-Produkte nebst Fälschungen ab. Darum dringt das Unternehmen auf eine „Verbesserung der rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen“ und wendet sich zu diesem Behufe an die Entwicklungshilfe-Politik. So forderte BAYERs Liam Condon auf dem „Global Forum for Food and Agriculture“ Interventionen zugunsten eines verbesserten Patentschutzes, effizienterer Pestizid-Zulassungsverfahren und Maßnahmen gegen die Produkt-Piraterie. Erst „wenn wir dann die richtigen Bedingungen vorfinden“, möchten Condon & Co. in den betreffenden Ländern investieren und „die Farmer stärken“.

„Stärkung“ bedeutet dabei für ihn, aus den afrikanischen FarmerInnen Agrar-Unternehmer nach westlichem Vorbild zu machen. „Es ist unsere Rolle, – über den öffentlichen und privaten Sektor – dabei zu helfen, die Landwirte – kleine und große – in das zu verwandeln, was ich ‚Agripreneure’ nennen möchte“, meint der Manager. Und so sieht BAYERs „Entwicklungshilfe“ dann auch aus. Sie besteht vor allem aus teuren technischen Lösungen. Steriles, also nicht zur Wiederverwendung geeignetes Hybrid-Saatgut, besonders gut an Trockenheitsregionen angepasstes Saatgut und Pflanzen mit künstlich angereichertem Nährstoff-Gehalt hat der Cropscience-Chef für die Bauern und Bäuerinnen in den Armutsregionen parat. Zu einem solchen „Glück“ wollen BAYER, MONSANTO und die anderen Agro-Riesen diese sogar zwingen. Ihre gemeinsam mit den G8-Staaten 2012 gegründete „Neue Allianz für Ernährungssicherheit“ nimmt sich in einem Strategie-Papier nämlich vor, die „Verteilung von frei verfügbarem und nicht verbessertem Saatgut systematisch zu beenden“. Künftig sollen die LandwirtInnen nämlich bei jeder neuen Aussaat für die Labor-Kreationen der Konzerne optieren und kräftig Lizenz-Gebühren zahlen. Und das Bundesentwicklungsministerium gibt der Unheiligen Allianz nicht nur seinen Segen, sondern bis 2014 auch noch über 50 Millionen Euro.

In solchen PPPs wie der „Neuen Allianz für Ernährungssicherheit“ oder der „German Food Partnership“ dürfen BAYER & Co. ganz selbstverständlich selber Entwicklungshilfe-Politik betreiben, die Probleme definieren und Lösungsansätze entwerfen. Der engen Konzern-Perspektive gerät dabei so manches aus dem Blick. „Die strukturellen Ursachen des Hungerproblems werden ebenso ausgeblendet wie der Zusammenhang zwischen den proklamierten ‚guten Taten’ von Konzernen und deren eigentlichem Geschäftsmodell“, kritisiert Benjamin Luig von dem katholischen Hilfswerk Misereor. Das eigentliche Geschäftsmodell der Agro-Multis hinterlässt nämlich gerade in den Ländern des Trikonts verbrannte Erde. Roman Herre von der Organisation FIAN wirft der Bundesregierung deshalb vor, in ihren PPP-Projekten den Bock zum Gärtner gemacht zu haben. „Nach Schätzungen der Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO sterben jährlich etwa 355.000 Menschen durch von Pestiziden verursachte Vergiftungen, zwei Drittel davon im Globalen Süden. Knapp ein Drittel aller Agrar-Gifte weltweit stammen aus dem Hause BAYER und der ebenfalls in der ‚German Food Partnership’ vertretenen BASF“, moniert er. Obendrein belasten die Millionen von Gift-Geschädigten die Gesundheitsetats der Staaten massiv. Eine Studie des UN-Umweltprogrammes UNEP rechnet für 2015 bis 2020 mit Behandlungskosten von bis zu 90 Milliarden Dollar allein in Afrika. Aber an eine ökologische Landwirtschaft ist unter der Ägide einer von den Agro-Multis bestimmten Entwicklungspolitik natürlich nicht zu denken. Darüber hinaus treiben ihre teuren Komplett-Lösungen – die so genannten Input-Pakete – die LandwirtInnen allzu oft in eine Schuldenfalle, zumal es keinen funktionierenden globalen Agrar-Markt gibt und das Oligopol der großen Sechs (MONSANTO, BAYER, SYNGENTA, BASF, DOW CHEMICAL und DUPONT) die Preise fast nach Belieben diktieren kann.
Was die BUKO PHARMA-KAMPAGNE mit Bezug auf die BMZ-Publikation „Bringing Medicines to Low-income Markets“ „knallharte Wirtschaftsförderung“ nennt, gilt so auch für die gesamte bundesdeutsche Politik in diesem Bereich. Diese Art von Entwicklungshilfe ist Entwicklungshilfe nur für eines: für die Profite von BAYER & Co.”

 

(Quelle: Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren – CBG.)

Global: Wir basteln uns eine Anti-Globalisierungsbewegung

Montag, September 27th, 2010

“‘Manufacturing Dissent': The Anti-Globalization Movement Is Funded By The Corporate Elites

By Michel Chossudovsky

26 September , 2010
Global Research

The People’s Movement has been Hijacked

‘Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism’, reducing social tensions by helping to comfort the afflicted, provide safety valves for the angry, and improve the functioning of government (McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (1961-1966), President of the Ford Foundation, (1966-1979))

‘By providing the funding and the policy framework to many concerned and dedicated people working within the non-profit sector, the ruling class is able to co-opt leadership from grassroots communities, … and is able to make the funding, accounting, and evaluation components of the work so time consuming and onerous that social justice work is virtually impossible under these conditions’ (Paul Kivel, You Call this Democracy, Who Benefits, Who Pays and Who Really Decides, 2004, p. 122 )

‘Under the New World Order, the ritual of inviting ‘civil society’ leaders into the inner circles of power –while simultaneously repressing the rank and file– serves several important functions. First, it says to the World that the critics of globalization ‘must make concessions’ to earn the right to mingle. Second, it conveys the illusion that while the global elites should –under what is euphemistically called democracy– be subject to criticism, they nonetheless rule legitimately. And third, it says ‘there is no alternative’ to globalization: fundamental change is not possible and the most we can hope is to engage with these rulers in an ineffective ‘give and take’.

While the ‘Globalizers’ may adopt a few progressive phrases to demonstrate they have good intentions, their fundamental goals are not challenged. And what this ‘civil society mingling’ does is to reinforce the clutch of the corporate establishment while weakening and dividing the protest movement. An understanding of this process of co-optation is important, because tens of thousands of the most principled young people in Seattle, Prague and Quebec City [1999-2001] are involved in the anti-globalization protests because they reject the notion that money is everything, because they reject the impoverishment of millions and the destruction of fragile Earth so that a few may get richer.

This rank and file and some of their leaders as well, are to be applauded. But we need to go further. We need to challenge the right of the ‘Globalizers’ to rule. This requires that we rethink the strategy of protest. Can we move to a higher plane, by launching mass movements in our respective countries, movements that bring the message of what globalization is doing, to ordinary people? For they are the force that must be mobilized to challenge those who plunder the Globe.’ (Michel Chossudovsky, The Quebec Wall, April 2001)

The term ‘manufacturing consent’ was initially coined by Edward S Herman and Noam Chomsky.

‘Manufacturing consent’ describes a propaganda model used by the corporate media to sway public opinion and ‘inculcate individuals with values and beliefs…':

The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda. (Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky)

‘Manufacturing consent’ implies manipulating and shaping public opinion. It establishes conformity and acceptance to authority and social hierarchy. It seeks compliance to an established social order. ‘Manufacturing consent’ describes the submission of public opinion to the mainstream media narrative, to its lies and fabrications.

‘Manufacturing dissent’

In this article, we focus on a related concept, namely the process of ‘manufacturing dissent’ (rather than ‘consent’), which plays a decisive role in serving the interests of the ruling class.

Under contemporary capitalism, the illusion of democracy must prevail. It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not threaten the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent.

To maintain their legitimacy, the economic elites favor limited and controlled forms of opposition, with a view to preventing the development of radical forms of protest, which might shake the very foundations and institutions of global capitalism. In other words, ‘manufacturing dissent’ acts as a ‘safety valve’, which protects and sustains the New World Order.

To be effective, however, the process of ‘manufacturing dissent’ must be carefully regulated and monitored by those who are the object of the protest movement.

‘Funding Dissent’

How is the process of manufacturing dissent achieved?

Essentially by ‘funding dissent’, namely by channelling financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are involved in organizing the protest movement.

Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites –which control major foundations– also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people’s movements rely heavily on both public as well as private funding agencies including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others.

The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.

The mechanisms of ‘manufacturing dissent’ require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle cooptation of individuals within progressive organizations, including anti-war coalitions, environmentalists and the anti-globalization movement.

Whereas the mainstream media ‘manufactures consent’, the complex network of NGOs (including segments of the alternative media) are used by the corporate elites to mould and manipulate the protest movement.

Following the deregulation of the global financial system in the 1990s and the rapid enrichment of the financial establishment, funding through foundations and charities has skyrocketed. In a bitter irony, part of the fraudulent financial gains on Wall Street in recent years have been recycled to the elites’ tax exempt foundations and charities. These windfall financial gains have not only been used to buy out politicians, they have also been channelled to NGOs, research institutes, community centres, church groups, environmentalists, alternative media, human rights groups, etc. ‘Manufactured dissent’ also applies to ‘corporate left’ and ‘progressive media’ funded by NGOs or directly by the foundations.

The inner objective is to ‘manufacture dissent’ and establish the boundaries of a ‘politically correct’ opposition. In turn, many NGOs are infiltrated by informants often acting on behalf of western intelligence agencies. Moreover, an increasingly large segment of the progressive alternative news media on the internet has become dependent on funding from corporate foundations and charities.

Piecemeal Activism

The objective of the corporate elites has been to fragment the people’s movement into a vast ‘do it yourself’ mosaic. War and globalization are no longer in the forefront of civil society activism. Activism tends to be piecemeal. There is no integrated anti-globalization anti-war movement. The economic crisis is not seen as having a relationship to the US led war.

Dissent has been compartmentalized. Separate ‘issue oriented’ protest movements (e.g. environment, anti-globalization, peace, women’s rights, climate change) are encouraged and generously funded as opposed to a cohesive mass movement. This mosaic was already prevalent in the counter G7 summits and People’s Summits of the 1990s.

The Anti-Globalization Movement

The Seattle 1999 counter-summit is invariably upheld as a triumph for the anti-globalization movement: ‘a historic coalition of activists shut down the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle, the spark that ignited a global anti-corporate movement.’ (See Naomi Klein, Copenhagen: Seattle Grows Up, The Nation, November 13, 2009).

Seattle was an indeed an important crossroads in the history of the mass movement. Over 50,000 people from diverse backgrounds, civil society organizations, human rights, labor unions, environmentalists had come together in a common pursuit. Their goal was to forecefully dismantle the neoliberal agenda including its institutional base.

But Seattle also marked a major reversal. With mounting dissent from all sectors of society, the official WTO Summit desperately needed the token participation of civil society leaders ‘on the inside’, to give the appearance of being ‘democratic’ on the outside.

While thousands of people had converged on Seattle, what occurred behind the scenes was a de facto victory for neoliberalism. A handful of civil society organizations, formally opposed the WTO had contributed to legitimizing the WTO’s global trading architecture. Instead of challenging the WTO as an an illegal intergovernmental body, they agreed to a pre-summit dialogue with the WTO and Western governments. ‘Accredited NGO participants were invited to mingle in a friendly environment with ambassadors, trade ministers and Wall Street tycoons at several of the official events including the numerous cocktail parties and receptions.’ (Michel Chossudovsky, Seattle and Beyond: Disarming the New World Order , Covert Action Quarterly, November 1999, See Ten Years Ago: ‘Manufacturing Dissent’ in Seattle).

The hidden agenda was to weaken and divide the protest movement and orient the anti-globalization movement into areas that would not directly threaten the interests of the business establishment.

Funded by private foundations (including Ford, Rockefeller, Rockefeller Brothers, Charles Stewart Mott, The Foundation for Deep Ecology), these ‘accredited’ civil society organizations had positioned themselves as lobby groups, acting formally on behalf of the people’s movement. Led by prominent and committed activists, their hands were tied. They ultimately contributed (unwittingly) to weakening the anti-globalization movement by accepting the legitimacy of what was essentially an illegal organization. (The 1994 Marrakech Summit agreement which led to the creation of the WTO on January 1, 1995). (Ibid)

The NGO leaders were fully aware as to where the money was coming from. Yet within the US and European NGO community, the foundations and charities are considered to be independent philanthropic bodies, separate from the corporations; namely the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, for instance, is considered to be separate and distinct from the Rockefeller family empire of banks and oil companies.

With salaries and operating expenses depending on private foundations, it became an accepted routine: In a twisted logic, the battle against corporate capitalism was to be be fought using the funds from the tax exempt foundations owned by corporate capitalism.

The NGOs were caught in a straightjacket; their very existence depended on the foundations. Their activities were closely monitored. In a twisted logic, the very nature of anti-capitalist activism was indirectly controlled by the capitalists through their independent foundations.

‘Progressive Watchdogs’

In this evolving saga, the corporate elites whose interests are duly served by the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, will readily fund (through their various foundations and charities) organizations which are at the forefront of the protest movement against the WTO and the Washington based international financial institutions.

Supported by foundation money, various ‘watchdogs’ were set up by the NGOs to monitor the implementation of neoliberal policies, without however raising the broader issue of how the Bretton Woods twins and the WTO, through their policies, had contributed to the impoverishment of millions of people.

The Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Network (SAPRIN) was established by Development Gap, a USAID and World Bank funded NGO based in Washington DC.

Amply documented, the imposition of the IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) on developing countries constitutes a blatant form of interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states on behalf of creditor institutions.

Instead of challenging the legitimacy of the IMF-World Bank’s ‘deadly economic medicine’, SAPRIN’s core organization sought to establish a participatory role for the NGOs, working hand in glove with USAID and the World Bank. The objective was to give a ‘human face’ to the neoliberal policy agenda, rather than reject the IMF-World Bank policy framework outright:

‘SAPRIN is the global civil-society network that took its name from the Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative (SAPRI), which it launched with the World Bank and its president, Jim Wolfensohn, in 1997.

SAPRI is designed as a tripartite exercise to bring together organizations of civil society, their governments and the World Bank in a joint review of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) and an exploration of new policy options. It is legitimizing an active role for civil society in economic decision-making, as it is designed to indicate areas in which changes in economic policies and in the economic-policymaking process are required. ( http://www.saprin.org/overview.htm SAPRIN website, emphasis added)

Similarly, The Trade Observatory (formerly WTO Watch), operating out of Geneva, is a project of the Minneapolis based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), which is generously funded by Ford, Rockefeller, Charles Stewart Mott among others. (see Table 1 below).

The Trade Observatory has a mandate to monitor the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). (IATP, About Trade Observatory, accessed September 2010).

The Trade Observatory is also to develop data and information as well as foster ‘governance’ and ‘accountability’. Accountability to the victims of WTO policies or accountability to the protagonists of neoliberal reforms?

The Trade Observatory watchdog functions does not in any way threaten the WTO. Quite the opposite: the legitimacy of the trade organizations and agreements are never questioned.

Table 1 Minneapolis Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) largest donors
(for complete list click here)
Ford Foundation $2,612,500.00 1994 – 2006
Rockefeller Brothers Fund $2,320,000.00 1995 – 2005
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation $1,391,000.00 1994 – 2005
McKnight Foundation $1,056,600.00 1995 – 2005
Joyce Foundation $748,000.00 1996 – 2004
Bush Foundation $610,000.00 2001 – 2006
Bauman Family Foundation $600,000.00 1994 – 2006
Great Lakes Protection Fund $580,000.00 1995 – 2000
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation $554,100.00 1991 – 2003
John Merck Fund $490,000.00 1992 – 2003
Harold K. Hochschild Foundation $486,600.00 1997 – 2005
Foundation for Deep Ecology $417,500.00 1991 – 2001
Jennifer Altman Foundation $366,500.00 1992 – 2001
Rockefeller Foundation $344,134.00 2000 – 2004

Soruce: http://activistcash.com/organization_financials.cfm/o/16-institute-for-agriculture-and-trade-policy

The World Economic Forum. ‘All Roads Lead to Davos’

The people’s movement has been hijacked. Selected intellectuals, trade union executives, and the leaders of civil society organizations (including Oxfam, Amnesty International, Greenpeace) are routinely invited to the Davos World Economic Forum, where they mingle with the World’s most powerful economic and political actors. This mingling of the World’s corporate elites with hand-picked ‘progressives’ is part of the ritual underlying the process of ‘manufacturing dissent’.

The ploy is to selectively handpick civil society leaders ‘whom we can trust’ and integrate them into a ‘dialogue’, cut them off from their rank and file, make them feel that they are ‘global citizens’ acting on behalf of their fellow workers but make them act in a way which serves the interests of the corporate establishment:

‘The participation of NGOs in the Annual Meeting in Davos is evidence of the fact that [we] purposely seek to integrate a broad spectrum of the major stakeholders in society in … defining and advancing the global agenda … We believe the [Davos] World Economic Forum provides the business community with the ideal framework for engaging in collaborative efforts with the other principal stakeholders [NGOs] of the global economy to ‘improve the state of the world,’ which is the Forum’s mission. (World Economic Forum, Press Release 5 January 2001)

The WEF does not represent the broader business community. It is an elitist gathering: Its members are giant global corporations (with a minimum $5 billion annual turnover). The selected non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are viewed as partner ‘stakeholders’ as well as a convenient ‘mouthpiece for the voiceless who are often left out of decision-making processes.’ (World Economic Forum – Non-Governmental Organizations, 2010)

‘They [the NGOs] play a variety of roles in partnering with the Forum to improve the state of the world, including serving as a bridge between business, government and civil society, connecting the policy makers to the grassroots, bringing practical solutions to the table…’ (Ibid)

Civil society ‘partnering’ with global corporations on behalf of ‘the voiceless’, who are ‘left out’?

Trade union executives are also co-opted to the detriment of workers’ rights. The leaders of the International Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), the AFL-CIO, the European Trade Union Confederation, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), among others, are routinely invited to attend both the annual WEF meetings in Davos, Switzerland as well as to the regional summits. They also participate in the WEF’s Labour Leaders Community which focuses on mutually acceptable patterns of behavior for the labor movement. The WEF ‘believes that the voice of Labour is important to dynamic dialogue on issues of globalisation, economic justice, transparency and accountability, and ensuring a healthy global financial system.’

‘Ensuring a healthy global financial system’ wrought by fraud and corruption? The issue of workers’ rights is not mentioned. (World Economic Forum – Labour Leaders, 2010).

The World Social Forum: ‘Another World Is Possible’

The 1999 Seattle counter-summit in many regards laid the foundations for the development of the World Social Forum.

The first gathering of the World Social Forum took place in January 2001, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This international gathering involved the participation of tens of thousands of activists from grass-roots organizations and NGOs.

The WSF gathering of NGOs and progressive organizations is held simultaneously with the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF). It was intended to voice opposition and dissent to the World Economic Forum of corporate leaders and finance ministers.

The WSF at the outset was an initiative of France’s ATTAC and several Brazilian NGOs':

‘… In February 2000, Bernard Cassen, the head of a French NGO platform ATTAC, Oded Grajew, head of a Brazilian employers’ organisation, and Francisco Whitaker, head of an association of Brazilian NGOs, met to discuss a proposal for a ‘world civil society event'; by March 2000, they formally secured the support of the municipal government of Porto Alegre and the state government of Rio Grande do Sul, both controlled at the time by the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT)…. A group of French NGOs, including ATTAC, Friends of L’Humanité, and Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique, sponsored an Alternative Social Forum in Paris titled ‘One Year after Seattle’, in order to prepare an agenda for the protests to be staged at the upcoming European Union summit at Nice. The speakers called for ‘reorienting certain international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO… so as to create a globalization from below’ and ‘building an international citizens’ movement, not to destroy the IMF but to reorient its missions.’ (Research Unit For Political Economy, The Economics and Politics of the World Social Forum, Global Research, January 20, 2004)

From the outset in 2001, the WSF was supported by core funding from the Ford Foundation, which is known to have ties to the CIA going back to the 1950s: ‘The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source.’ (James Petras, The Ford Foundation and the CIA, Global Research, September 18, 2002)

The same procedure of donor funded counter-summits or people’s summits which characterized the 1990s People’s Summits was embodied in the World Social Forum (WSF):

‘… other WSF funders (or `partners’, as they are referred to in WSF terminology) included the Ford Foundation, — suffice it to say here that it has always operated in the closest collaboration with the US Central Intelligence Agency and US overall strategic interests; the Heinrich Boll Foundation, which is controlled by the German Greens party, a partner in the present [2003] German government and a supporter of the wars on Yugoslavia and Afghanistan (its leader Joschka Fischer is the [former] German foreign minister); and major funding agencies such as Oxfam (UK), Novib (Netherlands), ActionAid (UK), and so on.

Remarkably, an International Council member of the WSF reports that the ‘considerable funds’ received from these agencies have ‘not hitherto awakened any significant debates [in the WSF bodies] on the possible relations of dependence it could generate.’ Yet he admits that ‘in order to get funding from the Ford Foundation, the organisers had to convince the foundation that the Workers Party was not involved in the process.’ Two points are worth noting here. First, this establishes that the funders were able to twist arms and determine the role of different forces in the WSF — they needed to be `convinced’ of the credentials of those who would be involved. Secondly, if the funders objected to the participation of the thoroughly domesticated Workers Party, they would all the more strenuously object to prominence being given to genuinely anti-imperialist forces. That they did so object will be become clear as we describe who was included and who excluded from the second and third meets of the WSF….

… The question of funding [of the WSF] does not even figure in the charter of principles of the WSF, adopted in June 2001. Marxists, being materialists, would point out that one should look at the material base of the forum to grasp its nature. (One indeed does not have to be a Marxist to understand that ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’.) But the WSF does not agree. It can draw funds from imperialist institutions like Ford Foundation while fighting ‘domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism’ (Research Unit For Political Economy, The Economics and Politics of the World Social Forum, Global Research, January 20, 2004)

The Ford Foundation provided core support to the WSF, with indirect contributions to participating ‘partner organizations’ from the McArthur Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the European Commission, several European governments (including the Labour government of Tony Blair), the Canadian government, as well as a number of UN bodies (including UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, ILO and the FAO) .(Ibid).

In addition to initial core support from the Ford Foundation, many of the participating civil society organizations receive funding from major foundations and charities. In turn, the US and European based NGOs often operate as secondary funding agencies channelling Ford and Rockefeller money towards partner organizations in developing countries, including grassroots peasant and human rights movements.

The International Council (IC) of the WSF is made up of representatives from NGOs, trade unions, alternative media organizations, research institutes, many of which are heavily funded by foundations as well as governments. (See Fórum Social Mundial). The same trade unions, which are routinely invited to mingle with Wall Street CEOs at the Davos World Economic Forum (WSF) including the AFL-CIO, the European Trade Union Confederation and the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) also sit on the WSF’s International Council (IC). Among NGOs funded by major foundations sitting on the WSF’s IC is the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) (see our analysis above) which oversees the Geneva based Trade Observatory.

The Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (FTNG), which has observer status on the WSF International Council plays a key role. While channelling financial support to the WSF, it acts as a clearing house for major foundations. The FTNG describes itself as ‘an alliance of grant makers committed to building just and sustainable communities around the world’. Members of this alliance are Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers, Heinrich Boell, C. S. Mott, Merck Family Foundation, Open Society Institute, Tides, among others. (For a complete list of FTNG funding agencies see FNTG: Funders). FTNG acts as a fund raising entity on behalf of the WSF.

Western Governments Fund the Counter-Summits and Repress the Protest Movement

In a bitter irony, governments including the European Union grant money to fund progressive groups (including the WSF) involved in organizing protests against the very same governments which finance their activities:

‘Governments, too, have been significant financiers of protest groups. The European Commission, for example, funded two groups who mobilised large numbers of people to protest at EU summits at Gothenburg and Nice. Britain’s national lottery, which is overseen by the government, helped fund a group at the heart of the British contingent at both protests.’ (James Harding, Counter-capitalism, FT.com, October 15 2001)

We are dealing with a diabolical process: The host government finances the official summit as well as the NGOs actively involved in the Counter-Summit. It also funds the anti-riot police operation which has a mandate to repress the grassroots participants of the Counter-Summit, including members of NGOs direcly funded by the government. .

The purpose of these combined operations, including violent actions of vandalism committed by undercover cops (Toronto G20, 2010) dressed up as activists, is to discredit the protest movement and intimidate its participants. The broader objective is to transform the counter-summit into a ritual of dissent, which serves to uphold the interests of the official summit and the host government. This logic has prevailed in numerous counter summits since the 1990s.

At the 2001 Summit of the America in Quebec City, funding from the Canadian federal government to mainstream NGOs and trade unions was granted under certain conditions. A large segment of the protest movement was de facto excluded from the People’s Summit. This in itself led a second parallel venue, which some observers described as a ‘a counter-People’s Summit. In turn, with both the provincial and federal authorities that the protest march would be move towards a remote location some 10 km out of town, rather than towards the historical downtown area were the official FTAA summit was being held behind a heavily guarded ‘security perimeter’.

‘Rather than marching toward the perimeter fence and the Summit of the Americas meetings, march organizers chose a route that marched from the People’s Summit away from the fence, through largely empty residential areas to the parking lot of a stadium in a vacant area several miles away. Henri Masse, the president of the Federation des travailleurs et travailleuses du Quebec (FTQ), explained, ‘I deplore that we are so far from the center-city…. But it was a question of security.’ One thousand marshals from the FTQ kept very tight control over the march. When the march came to the point where some activists planned to split off and go up the hill to the fence, FTQ marshals signalled the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) contingent walking behind CUPE to sit down and stop the march so that FTQ marshals could lock arms and prevent others from leaving the official march route.’ (Katherine Dwyer, Lessons of Quebec City, International Socialist Review, June/July 2001)

The Summit of the Americas was held inside a four kilometer ‘bunker’ made of concrete and galvanized steel fencing. The 10 feet high ‘Quebec Wall’ encircled part of the historic city center including the parliamentary compound of the National Assembly, hotels and shopping areas.

NGO Leaders versus their Grassroots

The establishment of the World Social Forum (WSF) in 2001 was unquestionably a historical landmark, bringing together tens of thousands of committed activists. It was an important venue which allowed for the exchange of ideas and the establishment of ties of solidarity.

What is at stake is the ambivalent role of the leaders of progressive organizations. Their cozy and polite relationship to the inner circles of power, to corporate and government funding, aid agencies, the World Bank, etc, undermines their relationship and responsibilities to their rank and file. The objective of manufactured dissent is precisely that: to distance the leaders from their rank and file as a means to effectively silencing and weakening grassroots actions.

Funding dissent is also a means infiltrating the NGOs as well as acquiring inside information on strategies of protest and resistance of grass-roots movements.

Most of the grassroots participating organizations in the World Social Forum including peasant, workers’ and student organizations, firmly committed to combating neoliberalism were unaware of the WSF International Council’s relationship to corporate funding, negotiated behind their backs by a handful of NGO leaders with ties to both official and private funding agencies.

Funding to progressive organizations is not unconditional. Its purpose is to ‘pacify’ and manipulate the protest movement. Precise conditionalities are set by the funding agencies. If they are not met, the disbursements are discontinued and the recipient NGO is driven into de facto bankruptcy due to lack of funds.

The WSF defines itself as ‘an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo-liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a society centred on the human person’. (See Fórum Social Mundial, accessed 2010).

The WSF is a mosaic of individual initiatives which does not directly threaten or challenge the legitimacy of global capitalism and its institutions. It meets annually. It is characterised by a multitude of sessions and workshops. In this regard, one of the features of the WSF was to retain the ‘do-it-yourself’ framework, characteristic of the donor funded counter G7 People’s Summits of the 1990s.

This apparent disorganized structure is deliberate. While favoring debate on a number of individual topics, the WSF framework is not conducive to the articulation of a cohesive common platform and plan of action directed global capitalism. Moreover, the US led war in the Middle East and Central Asia, which broke out a few months after the inaugural WSF venue in Porto Alegre in January 2001, has not been a central issue in forum discussions.

What prevails is a vast and intricate network of organizations. The recipient grassroots organizations in developing countries are invariably unaware that their partner NGOs in the United States or the European Union, which are providing them with financial support, are themselves funded by major foundations. The money trickles down, setting constraints on grassroots actions. Many of these NGO leaders are committed and well meaning individuals acting within a framework which sets the boundaries of dissent. The leaders of these movements are often co-opted, without even realizing that as a result of corporate funding their hands are tied.

Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.

‘Another World is Possible’, but it cannot be meaningfully achieved under the present arrangement.

A shake-up of the World Social Forum, of its organizational structure, its funding arrangements and leadership is required.

There can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),’Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism”.

© Copyright 2005-2009 GlobalResearch.ca”

 

(Quelle: Countercurrents.)

Philantrophie – Ein kritischer Blick auf das edle Spenden

Dienstag, Juni 15th, 2010

The Ideology of Philanthropy

by Michael Barker

Massive not-for-profit corporations, like the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations, that were created by the world’s leading capitalists have “gone to great lengths to rationalize the contradiction between democratic principles and elite dominance.”1 Seen through the eyes of their elitist foundation executives, democracy only functions when it is ran by the few for the many. Education thus takes a key place in the successful promotion of elite governance both on domestic and international planes of action; and although not well known, Edward Berman, professor emeritus of the University of Louisville, has written an important book that examines just this subject. By reviewing Berman’s study The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy (State University of New York Press, 1983), this article aims to publicize his vitally important, though oft neglected, ideas on the anti-democratic nature of liberal philanthropy.

While the history of elite governance is long and troublesome, in Berman’s book we are invited to study the honing of such management strategies from the early twentieth century onwards. Today of course, the Gates Foundation is the most financially powerful philanthropic body in the world (distributing $3 billion in grants last year), but until their relatively late arrival on the scene, the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations (the “big three”) had dominated the philanthropic arena. Indeed, exporting the ideology of the capitalist state has been a key function of these foundations, a care of duty that fell securely on their shoulders as they “represented one of the few sources of unencumbered ‘risk’ capital available during the period from 1945 to 1975.”2

As Berman acknowledges, the interest shown by these foundations in creating and financing “various educational configurations both at home and abroad cannot be separated from their attempts to evolve a stable domestic polity and a world order amenable to their interests and the strengthening of international capitalism.” Their simultaneous promotion of elite governance and massive levels of worker exploitation consequently required the forging of a “liberal consensus” among the ruling class and their allied funcationaries, which would actively prempt radical structural alternatives, and legimitate capitalism – by fostering public acquiesence to elite priorities. To sucessfully facilitate the building of this consenus, the creation of right-thinking educational institutions was essential to generate a “worldwide network of elites whose approach to governance and change would be efficient, professional, moderate, incremental, and nonthreatening to the class interests of those who, like Messrs, Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller, had established the foundations.” Far-sighted elites evidently recognized the popularity of alternatives to capitalism, so in turn advocated progressive reforms which attempted to find the “middle ground between the extremes of oligopoly on the one hand and socialism on the other, while encouraging an atmosphere congenial to increased levels of productivity.”3

This is not to say that the individuals who launched foundation “education” programs during the Progressive Era were not seriously concerned with improving the lot of the poor and downtrodden: just that many of these people with “a deep and abiding concern for the plight of the poor” failed to tackle the root cause of injustice, that is, industrial capitalism. Therefore, as many “charity workers refused to recognize the roots of this mass misery, their palliatives focused more on attempts to reform the existing system and to adjust their clients to it, than to search for alternative organizational structures that might result in a more equitable society less destructive of the immigrants’ communities.”4 (For more on the topic of charitable motives, see “The Russell Sage Foundation and the Manufacture of Reform.”)

Many people, even during the Progressive Era, did however challenge the growing power of foundations to define the parameters of legitimate discussion, but the foundation worlds success in fending off such attacks has meant that today far fewer people are aware of the co-optive nature of liberal philanthropy. This is in large part because “[v]iewpoints and perspectives that support the position of the dominant class are funded by the foundations, while those that are seen to threaten that position are not.” Books critiquing liberal foundations, like Berman’s, tend not to fit comfortably within a society whose educational structures prioritize capitalist growth imperatives. Consequently the strategic funding of certain causes enables major foundations “to legitimate particular viewpoints while simultaneously devaluing others.”5 At this point it is important to note that the ideological orientation of foundations should not be surprising given their capitalist origins, but the lack of sustained critical inquiry from progressive activists is certainly far more alarming. Either way:

“The foundations’ influence in foreign-policy determination and in the extension of their worldview into the domestic polity – and beyond – derives from several interrelated factors: (1) their possession of significant amounts of capital, which can be allocated as their self-perpetuating directors deem appropriate; (2) their ability to allocate this capital to certain individuals and groups strategically located in the cultural apparatus (universities, the arts sector, the media, authors, and publishers), who in turn produce works frequently (but not always) supportive of the worldview of the foundations themselves, thereby providing an important source of legitimation for their perspective; (3) their links to and incorporation into the decision-making stratum of the capitalist state; and (4) their shared view that the development of the domestic polity and polities abroad can best be advanced through the aegis of the world capitalist system, dominated by the United States. (p.38)”

Berman suggests that one of the key projects supported by the major foundations to evolve a consensus for US foreign policy elites was the War-Peace Studies Project, which ran between 1939 and 1945, and whose “conclusions… present in outline form the basics of United States foreign policy after World War II.” Two “major recommendations” from this project were integral to the propagation of US global hegemony: the first “involved American financial support for and control of” the World Bank (which along with the International Monetary Fund “grew from seeds planted in War-Peace Studies Project recommendation P-1323 of July 1941”); and the second foresaw the need for the development of bilateral assistance agreements, currently operationalized by the US Agency for International Development.6 In this regard, Berman writes that:

“Foundation officers have always recognized the importance of [foreign] markets and mineral resources for the continued health of the United States and the world capitalist economy, and… they designed their overseas programs with this in mind. The cornerstone of these overseas activities was the development of educational institutions, particularly universities, in those areas that foreign-policy architects determined to be of strategic economic and geopolitical importance to the United States. (p.66)”

The ideology of liberal imperialism, that is “modernization” theory, was “summed up succinctly” in W. W. Rostow’s book The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge University Press, 1960) – a book which was written “during a ‘reflective year’ away from his academic responsibilities, made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation.” And as Berman observes: “An important aspect of this developmental model emphasized the role of the leadership cadres in the new nations.”7 This meant that a new Third World elite had to be developed and courted by the foundation world via the use of educational exchange programs, “whereby students benefiting from their fellowships studied certain subjects at universities whose faculties could be counted on, minimally, to provide the ‘correct’ perspectives.”

Early programs bringing African students to the United States were organized in the 1920s by the Phelps-Stokes Fund and by the Rockefeller philanthropies International Education Board, the latter of which provided funding for bodies like the International Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University. “Such programs provide effective, but generally unrecognized, mechanisms to further the foundations’ cultural hegemony”; thereby “complement[ing] the cruder and more overt forms of economic and military imperialism that are so easily identifiable.”8

Berman points out that subsequent contributions to this important side of the cultural cold war like the Congress for Cultural Freedom included the Ford Foundation’s Foreign Student Leadership Program, which was initiated in 1955 and “designated the National Student Association [which already “worked closely with the CIA”] as the agency responsible for the selection of ‘responsible’ foreign student leaders to participate.”9 Yet here it is important to emphasize that:

“There was no apparent coercion involved in these fellowship programs. The foundations have not overtly manipulated potential fellowship recipients. Such blatant methods are unnecessary because of the understanding on the part of fellowship aspirants that their identification with certain methodological approaches or areas of investigation or their demonstration of certain behaviors will serve to stigmatize them as ‘irresponsible’ among the funding agencies, thereby eliminating any possibility of receiving a grant. (p.95)”

As I have demonstrated previously, foundations also played a major role in shaping academic research agendas in the United States (and overseas). Berman, for instance, explains how: “The Ford Foundation almost singlehandedly established the major areas-studies programs in American universities.” Likewise, important more general research centers supported by foundations during the 1950s and 1960s included MIT’s Center for International Studies (see footnote #7), Harvard’s Center for International Affairs, the Center for Strategic Studies at Georgetown University, the Institute of International Studies at Berkeley, the Stanford University Institute for Communications Research, and the Center for International Studies at Princeton University. In addition, other foundation-backed educational institutions that worked closely with universities included the Institute of International Education (which “was established in 1919 with a grant from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace”), the African-American Institute (which was founded in 1953 with most of its funding during its early years coming from the CIA), and Education and World Affairs (which was founded in 1961 with $2 million from the Ford Foundation and $0.5 million from the Carnegie Corporation). In 1971, Education and World Affairs “was absorbed into yet another foundation-created organization, the International Council for Educational Development, [a group] whose key officers were former Carnegie vice-president James Perkins and former Ford officer Philip Coombs.”10

By way of supplementing and extending the influence of educational exchange programs foundations quickly moved on to provide direct support for “trusted” Third-World intellectuals, “enabling research to be conducted in Third-World countries on socially and/or politically sensitive topics that United States Policy makers considered important.” In some instances researchers worked based in the US, but more often than not, the foundations extended their philanthropic reach to the Third-World countries themselves by financing local research centers.11 Research findings generated by such regional research networks were then used to better manage those in Third-World periphery states for the benefit of the imperial home state, or metropolitan center.

“These networks serve to encourage the production and dissemination of ideas and data deemed important by universities and agencies in the metropolitan centers. At the same time, this arrangement helps to deflect Third-World researchers from concerns that these same agencies are less anxious to have investigated. This is a conscious foundation policy. As [Robert] Arnove notes: ‘[f]oundation support prevents Third-World activists from coping with their domestic problems in their own terms and addressing them with a level of resources consonant with their level of development. Foundation-induced reform efforts, then, tend to divert Third-World nations from more realistic, and perhaps revolutionary, efforts at social change.’ The foundations are as effective in limiting the production of certain kinds of knowledge as they are in disseminating ideas that they consider important.

An important factor in the extension of one group’s hegemony is its ability to encourage intellectuals to investigate certain problems, those which are ‘important,’ while ignoring or devaluing others. Once the selection process assumes an autonomy of its own, the direct presence of the dominant group – the foundations in this instance – decreases while its hegemony increases accordingly. (p.174)”

Despite the evident success that foundations have had in shaping ideology in the twentieth century their power is “not monolithic” and they “do allow differing points of view to be expressed, although these never or only infrequently form the basis for policy.” Indeed, most of their power is simply derived from the fact that their hegemony remains unchallenged, even from anti-capitalist activists. Yet with the increasing availability of the internet it is now much easier to break the ideological clout of foundations, and while in the past many criticisms of foundations have been rendered inaccessible to most people, this is no longer the case.

Many people are already familiar with the historical role fulfilled by conservative foundations in driving the neoliberal revolution, and so now is a good time for activists to more thoroughly scrutunize the insidious influence of liberal foundations. This however is easier said than done as many of the organizations that regularly challenge the legitimacy of for-profit corporate power are in fact funded by foundations, and many such groups would actually cease to operate without foundation support. This problematic state of affairs has led some people to describe the domination of the non-profit sector by not-for-profit corporations as the non-profit industrial complex. Yet in spite of these serious obstacles it is vital that concerned citizens break through the humanitarian rhetoric shielding the foundation world from valid criticism, because if their motives are “repeatedly questioned by those for whom these were ostensibly designed… the influence of these institutions could be seriously challenged.”12 As Berman concludes:

“The reproduction of a particular kind of cultural capital has historically been the primary activity of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations. There now exists the ironic possibility that some recipients of that cultural capital will utilize part of their capital (in the form of their education and training) to examine in greater detail the foundations’ programs. Such investigations might reveal contradictions between the foundations’ public rhetoric and their institutional activities, thereby presenting a challenge to their continuing cultural hegemony. The foundations’ liberalism, as well as their hopes for continued legitimacy, effectively preclude them from trying to prevent this examination through overt censorship, although they can of course place numerous obstacles in the paths of would-be investigators. It is to state the obvious to say that the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations are powerful institutions. At the same time, we need to understand that they are not omnipotent, nor is their continuing influence as purveyors of capitalist hegemony assured or unassailable. (pp.178-9)”


  • Edward Berman, The Ideology of Philanthropy, p.6.
  • Berman, p.38.
  • Berman, p.16, p.15, p.16.
  • Berman, p.19.
  • Berman, p.30. “In a system of state capitalism, for example, where institutions like the foundations are linked to the state, it is fanciful to deny that the foundations enjoy a distinct advantage in their attempts to impose their ideological and cultural hegemony over, say, the American working class, which enjoys very little state support because of its traditional confrontational position vis-a-vis capital.” (p.29)
  • Berman, p.43, p.50, p.51.
  • Berman, p.67. Rostow had developed the ideas developed in this book, during his tenure at MIT’s Center for International Studies (CENIS) – a research center that was backed by the CIA and the Ford Foundation during the 1950s (Max Millikan resigned from the CIA in 1952 to direct CENIS’s research).Before becoming a revolutionary writer, Gunder Frank noted: “In 1958 I spent three months as visiting researcher at MIT’s Center for International Studies (CENIS) and met Ben Higgins, W.W. Rostow and the others. Rostow wrote his Process of Development (1952) and Stages of Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (1962). Although Rostow and company dealt with Keynesian type macro economic and even social problems, they did so to pursue explicitly the neo-classical counter revolutionary, and even counter reformist, cold war ends. The quintessential modernization book, David Lerner’s (1958) Passing of Traditional Society, appeared while I was there. At the same time, Everett Hagen wrote his On the Theory of Social Change (1962), David McClelland his Achieving Society (1961), and Ithiel de Sola Pool his right libertarian/authoritarian political works.”

    During the 1950s and 1960s: “The major foundations regularly supported the work of … structural or technological functionalists, not least because of their shared ideology. Many of the academic ’stars’ of the functionalist persuasion received funding to enable them to apply their perspectives to developing nations as well as to the United States. In this respect the work of such scholars as Edward Schils, Reinhard Bendix, Daniel Lerner, S.N. Eisenstadt, Seymour M. Lipset, and Marion Levy, among others, on developing nations takes on particular significance.” (p.107) Funding grants tended to be channeled via the foundation created Social Science Research Council. “While an occasional ‘radical’ viewpoint (e.g., [Barrington] Moore or Robert Heilbroner’s) might be funded, generally through the Social Science Research Council, there was little chance that his isolated voice could be of consequence as it contested with the more numerous voices of developmental orthodoxy.” Berman, p.120-1.

  • Berman, p.93, p.3.
  • Berman, p.94. With regard to creating a trustworthy elite of “learned men” for the United States, Berman writes that the Ford Foundations “concern for nurturing an academic elite, which would play the leadership role in the domestic polity, found its best expression in the work of the Ford-created and supported Fund for the Advancement of Education.” (p.72)
  • Berman, p.102, p.129, p.131, p.137. For a critical examination of the role of universities and educational exchanges in South Africa, see “Human Rights Watch Brings Neoliberalism To Africa.”For a detailed examination of the influence of philanthropic foundations on education in Africa, see Kenneth J. King, Pan Africanism and Education: A Study of Race Philanthropy and Education in the Southern States of America and East Africa (Clarendon Press, 1971).
  • Berman, p.173.
  • Berman, p.178. It is important to note that many radical scholars have been supported by foundations. Yet while radical scholars like Barrington Moore’s views… have received a polite response from academics, the implications of his work have been largely ignored.” (p.76) Thus, while “an occasional ‘radical’ viewpoint (e.g., Moore’s or Robert Heilbroner’s) might be funded, generally through the Social Science Research Council, there was little chance that his isolated voice could be of consequence as it contested with the more numerous voices of developmental orthodoxy. Indeed, it is conceivable that occasional funding of a study contravening the established position was even advantageous for the foundations. The dissenting viewpoint could be used to counter foundation critics who charged that the organizations only subsidized researchers supportive of the foundations’ preconceived positions on particular issues.” (p.77) “Contradictions occasionally surface within the foundations as well. Examples include the funding provided by the Ford Foundation for the avowedly Marxian interpretation of American education authored by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis in 1976, or the Russell Sage Foundation’s 1972 support of three leftist sociologists to study that foundation’s organization and operations. Other examples might include the funding provided for such “radical” researchers on Third-World development as Denis Goulet, the support afforded several left-wing Latin social scientists, or the support and advice given by the Ford Foundation to enable Tanzania to further its program of African socialism.” (p.39)

  • Michael Barker is an independent researcher based in the UK. Read other articles by Michael, or visit Michael’s website.

    (Quelle: Dissident Voice.)

    Siehe auch:

    Die beiden reichsten Männer der Welt spenden 150 Million

    Entwicklungshilfe: Fünf einfache Vorschläge zur Finanzierung

    Mittwoch, Mai 26th, 2010

    “Die Industrieländer klagen über Schwierigkeiten, in der Krise die Verpflichtungen zur Steigerung der Entwicklungshilfe einzuhalten. Doch das Geld ist vorhanden. Die Not ist akut. Die Herausforderung hat eine moralische Dimension und erfordert Visionen. Jeffrey D. Sachs hat fünf einfache Vorschläge, wie mehr Entwicklungshilfe finanziert werden kann.

    Zunächst könnten die USA ihren kostspieligen und gescheiterten Krieg in Afghanistan beenden, der jährlich rund 100 Mrd. Dollar verschlingt. Gäben die USA einen winzigen Bruchteil dieser 100 Milliarden für Entwicklungshilfe in Afghanistan, wären sie weit erfolgreicher bei der Herstellung von Frieden und Stabilität in diesem vom Krieg verwüsteten Land.

    Die USA könnten beispielsweise jährlich 25 Mrd. Dollar für Entwicklungshilfe zur Verfügung stellen und weitere 25 Milliarden für weltweite Gesundheitsversorgung. Damit würden sie noch immer 50 Mrd. Dollar einsparen und damit zur Reduzierung des amerikanischen Haushaltsdefizits beitragen. Afghanistan und damit auch die USA würden um einiges sicherer und die Welt viel gesünder werden. Außerdem würde die US-Wirtschaft enorm profitieren.

    Ein zweiter Ansatz ist, große internationale Banken zu besteuern, die mit ihren spekulativen Geschäften exorbitante Gewinne erwirtschaften. Aber selbst nachdem die Wall Street die Weltwirtschaft beinahe zugrunde gerichtet hätte, wurde sie von der US-Regierung gehätschelt und geschützt und man ermöglichte ihr im letzten Jahr die Rückkehr zu sagenhaften Gewinnen, die wohl um die 50 Mrd. Dollar ausmachten.

    Die Banker genehmigten sich erneut riesige Boni – über 20 Mrd. Dollar im Jahr 2009. Dieses Geld hätte eher zu den ärmsten Menschen dieser Welt fließen sollen, als in die Taschen der Banker, die es sich gewiss nicht verdient haben.

    Es ist Zeit für eine internationale Steuer auf Bankengewinne – vielleicht als Abgabe auf internationale Finanztransaktionen – die jährlich zweistellige Milliardenbeträge einbrächte. Bei ihren Bemühungen um die Einführung einer solchen Steuer sollten sich die Entwicklungsländer nicht mit den jämmerlichen Ausreden der USA und anderer Länder abspeisen lassen, mit denen sie ihre Banker schützen wollen.

    Eine dritte Möglichkeit wäre, vermehrte Zuwendungen von den reichsten Menschen der Welt zu erhalten. Einige unter ihnen wie Bill Gates, George Soros, Warren Buffett und Jeffrey Skoll sind bereits Mega-Philanthropen und spenden enorme Summen zum Wohl der Menschen auf der ganzen Welt. Auf vergleichbare Beiträge anderer Milliardäre wird jedoch noch gewartet.

    Der jüngsten Forbes-Liste zufolge, gibt es auf der Welt 1.011 Milliardäre, die gemeinsam über ein Vermögen von 3,5 Billionen Dollar verfügen. Wenn jeder Milliardär 0,7% dieses Vermögens zur Verfügung stellte, würde sich die Gesamtsumme auf 25 Mrd. Dollar jährlich belaufen. Man stelle sich das vor: 1.000 Menschen könnten eine medizinische Grundversorgung für eine Milliarde arme Menschen finanzieren.

    Eine vierte Möglichkeit ist, sich Firmen wie Exxon-Mobil anzusehen. Dieses Unternehmen verdient in Afrika jährlich Milliarden Dollar, aber laut einem Online-Bericht des Konzerns gab man zwischen 2000 und 2007 lediglich etwa 5 Mio. Dollar jährlich für Malaria-Kontrollprogramme in Afrika aus. Exxon-Mobil könnte und sollte viel mehr Geld für die dringend benötigte medizinische Grundversorgung des Kontinents zur Verfügung stellen. Die Mittel dafür könnten aus Lizenzgebühren kommen, die das Unternehmen bezahlt oder von philanthropischen Spenden des Konzerns.

    Fünftens haben neue Geberländer wie Brasilien, China, Indien und Korea genügend Vision, Energie, wirtschaftliche Dynamik und diplomatisches Interesse, um ihre Unterstützung für die ärmsten Länder sowie auch für die ärmsten Gegenden in ihren eigenen Ländern auszuweiten. Wenn die USA und Europa zu nachlässig sind, um ihren Teil zu erfüllen, können und werden die Schwellenländer einspringen, um diese Lücke teilweise zu füllen. Glücklicherweise werden diese neuen Geberländer zu vertrauenswürdigen Partnern in Afrika.

    Auszug aus einem Kommentar für Project Syndicate, 2010.”

    (Quelle: Baustellen der Globalisierung.)