Brief History of Oligarchy – Part 4

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Written by Rosa Tressell and Dr. Leon Tressell exclusively for SouthFront; 

This is the fourth part of a series prepared on the topic. The first part can be found hereThe second part can be found here. The third part can be found here. The series includes four parts.

Oligarchs are not nation builders. They are concerned first and foremost with family. The super wealthy of New York, Moscow or Mumbai have more in common with each other than they do with their own country men and women. As war correspondent Chris Hedges writes we have had;

“A slow-motion coup by a corporate state has cemented into place a neofeudalism in which there are only masters and serfs.”

This neo-feudalism can be seen as discussed previously in the various divisions in the US that operate as fiefdoms such as the CIA and the Military Industrial Complex. It can be seen in Russia where the collapse of the Soviet Union has led to the creation of a new class of medieval boyars who have carved up its economy and dominate the political elite. The globalist nature of the Oligarchy can be traced through various international bodies, including the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.

The origins of the term ruling class date back far beyond Marx and Engels, however, they put these class divisions in society as central to understanding and analysing society. We may begin with the principle that all men (and women) are created equal, but if we don’t see the very real class divisions that operate to keep the “rich man in his castle/ the poor man at his gate” we will retain a deluded view of how things really work.

Oligarchies prefer anonymity to celebrity. Conformity to deviance. A belief in their own superiority, supported by philosophical and ideological underpinnings. British utilitarianism lives on in the words of economist Milton Friedman; “The world runs on individuals pursuing their own self interests.”  Whilst governments survey and collect vast quantities of information about the ruled, the inner workings of the state are shrouded in mystery. Nearly always for reasons of ‘national security’, information and therefore accountability and oversight is weak to non-existent. Living in the British state is the equivalent of living in a Panopticon, a prison designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The prison is designed so that a guarded central point is able to observe all those in their cells. The inmates cannot know if they are being observed at any one time.  As a result, lifting the veil on Oligarchy will be associated by those in power to being a conspiracy theorist.

Immediately labeled a conspiracy theorist, US radio host Alex Jones has long argued on his show, with copious amounts of evidence, that clandestine societies secretly control national governments from behind the scenes. Organisations like the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Economic Forum are used by Oligarchs to unduly influence world affairs. These bodies are supra-national and represent the fact that capitalism has far outstripped the usefulness of the nation state to them. There is a clear, publicly stated desire to head towards international co-operation, or a ‘new world order’ as it is more often referred to. When it is understood within the context of a society run by Oligarchs though this new world order undoubtedly takes on a more sinister motivation in the imposition of rule that forever cements neo-feudal relations.

Let us take the European Union (EU) as an example. At the centre of the EU wielding and directing operations is the spiderlike European Central Bank (ECB). The monetary and credit policy of Europe is now controlled by this autonomous, unelected, self-perpetuating formation. They represent the interests, not of the various nation states but in answer to the financiers. Economic historian Nomi Prins has extensively detailed how the ECB has operated in global collusion with the U.S. Federal Reserve,  the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England to pursue the policy of Quantitative Easing for the 1% and austerity for the people. They have caused untold misery to the Greek people by the imposition of harsh austerity measures and forcing the Greek government to sell national assets. Meanwhile, under cover of helping Greece, the reality is that the ECB have ‘bailed’ out Greece so they can pay the extortionate interest to the European banks that lent them money. The further tragedy of the situation for the Greek workers is that the country only entered the EU due to fraudulent accounting by Goldman Sachs and co. to meet the Maastricht Treaty qualifications.

The United Nations since its inception has had an Oligarchical base drawn from the ranks of diplomats trained in British diplomacy. Regarded as superior to nation states, and above them, it became a talking shop and exhibition centre for Oligarchy. The rise of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are founded by the philanthropic billionaires of this world, play an important role behind the scenes. They then present themselves to the world stage as the representatives of global public opinion, issues and concerns. Whilst purporting to legislate for mankind, the reality is that they represent narrow Oligarch interests that have been synonimised with all of humanity.

The Trilateral Commission was founded by Davis Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1973 to discuss foreign relations and to create a “new international economic order”. As Brzezinski, an astute analyst of capitalism and geo-politics once remarked;

”International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.”

Most members of the discussion group have gone on to hold important government posts such as Timothy Geithner (Obama’s Treasury secretary), Paul Volcker (Fed chair), and Dennis Blair (Head of US intelligence) to name but a few.

These days the Bilderberg meeting of elites can no longer be held in the secret it once was. Even though it is packed with leading government officials, business leaders, super wealthy individuals, members of the aristocracy and the odd celebrity, we the people are denied access. Last summer a Guardian journalist collared Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary as he left the conference. This is a man with a race horse named “Rule The World”! Also a man that calls environmentalists “lying wankers”. He revealed that the group had been discussing Trump’s presidency and that “he has more to do”. As the Guardian article goes on to point out Bilderberg is at its heart a machine of the financial interests. The conference chairman is director of HSBC, the Treasurer is the Head of Deutsche Bank, and the administration is run by Goldman Sachs. However, I’m sure these private banking interests have all our welfare at heart. When the CEO of a major business says attending Bilderberg is “very useful” it can be translated directly to financially beneficial to me and my shareholders.

The Council on Foreign Relations founded in 1921 as another private think tank has its roots in the Royal Institute for International Affairs, or Chatham House. Chatham House is a London based polity journal. In other words, both bodies seek through intellectual propaganda, to promote Oligarchy thinking toward their new world order. In the 1980s they publicly discussed the necessary conditions for a new international economic order. A new strategy was developed known as “controlled disintegration”, or what we have been sold as deregulation. Although, even then more foresighted writers for the Council warned of the potential instability arising. Their main proponent was Paul Volcker, who through instruments such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Federal Reserve carried through massive interest rate rises forcing many economies around the world into recession.

The World Economic Forum, set up in 1971, is held annually in Davos, Switzerland. Synonymous with banking and a country whose self-proclaimed independence from the conflict of World War Two actually meant it was a destination for Nazis to hide stolen Jewish gold. It is an international organisation for promoting public-private cooperation. In other words a privately funded think tank aimed at ensuring or, as they say, “shaping” public bodies to carry out agendas and policies that fit the needs of the Oligarchy. Attended by the likes of Christine Legarde, head of the IMF, this body clearly pulls a lot of weight. A private think tank that this year required British Prime Minister Theresa May to present her Brexit plans to them. High on the list of discussion this year was the rise of populism and nationalism, both seen as threatening to the new world order.

The word Oligarchy in our time period has become synonymous with Russia. The rise of the mafia-capitalist class in Russia was phenomenal when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Following the death of Stalin in 1953 the rule of Russia was taken over by a collective of officials known as the nomenklatura.  Khrushchev, Brezhnez, Gorbachev and finally Yeltsin all became leaders on behalf of the Russian Oligarchy who carved out private fiefdoms in different spheres of the economy. Yeltsin was handpicked as leader by the financiers at Davos, the world economic forum in 1996.  The financiers and the mafia combined have essentially dominated society and government in Russia for decades. Russia’s economic life is now firmly under the control of financiers. The Russian people themselves are widely regarded as lumpens (after the Marxist term lumpen proletariats). The elite of Russia are only interested in one thing – money and the power and privileges that great wealth brings. Putin himself came from a working class background and advanced his career in the intelligence services (KGB) and was taken under the wing of the entourage known as the ‘’Family’’ that surrounded Yeltsin. He is a nationalist rather than an Oligarch, but according to the Council on Foreign Relations (the Oligarchical funded think tank) he made a deal with the Oligarchs, beginning with giving Yeltsin immunity from prosecution. Putin is a nationalist leader with authoritarian tendencies, but he quite clearly operates with the full approval of Russian Oligarchy, and now he is reportedly one of the richest men in the world.

Now in the US we have President Trump. One of the richest men to ever become president. However, like Putin whom he admires, Trump leans more towards populism and nationalism. He has tapped into the anti-globalist anti new world order view held by so many ordinary people which they have blamed as being responsible for the decline in their living standards. The British Brexit can also be seen in part within this context: a revolt by millions of ordinary people against an indifferent establishment that presided over the destruction of their living standards and communities. It explains why Trump praised the Brexit supporters in the UK and criticised the current plans of May’s government so openly. Oligarchs like to keep things, their deals and compromises, in secret. Trump goes against the established order by his blunt openness. Hilary Clinton was the preferred candidate of the Establishment, and they were visibly shocked by Trump’s victory. They were complacent and have been retroactively undermining his presidency to a degree which many regard as an open coup.

The entire Trump/Russia narrative of the establishment media has openly revealed the separate fiefdoms that operate within the US ruling elite. That the office of the presidency is in open conflict with his intelligence services is unprecedented and reveals a deep split in the US ruling class. Trump was supported into office by a group at the Pentagon who have recognised the military failure that is Afghanistan and Syria and wish to withdraw. The recent deal by Trump, in his recent meeting with Putin, to abandon the sunni jihadis in Southern Syria that prompted Israel’s rescue of the infamous White Helmets is confirmation of this.

In the press Trump is continually ridiculed, (admittedly not hard), for his constant faux-pas, and his inability to put intelligent sentences together. This is part of the tactic of ostracism that Oligarchs use. It is based on the individual being punished for not conforming to the established norms.  In many respects Trump reminds one of the parvenu at the doyenne’s ballroom, inflating his wealth to get on the Forbes rich list. This is not to say he does not represent the elite, he is as much a man of the bankers as any politician in Washington who hopes to get anywhere. Trump’s tax cuts have benefited the wealthy and his austerity cuts have hurt the poor. To protect his own financial interests and those of his family, he will make deals the Establishment.

Today the word Oligarchy, originally Greek, has become attached to Russia. In the West we simply refer to the ruling class as elites, implying some special abilities. It is more accurate to understand that our society is run and controlled by a few and that is technically an Oligarchy.  Individual Oligarchs come and go but families that build and learn to hang on to their wealth are what forms the heart of Oligarchical rule. They do not operate in public but through privately funded think tanks and foundations we do now glimpse elite concerns. Certain names such as Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Koch, Walton, Murdoch, Bezos, and Roberts, are prominently involved in helping to shape public discourse. If that is not the wealthy having undue influence I don’t know what is. Or you can do what they want you to do, shake your head and call it all a conspiracy theory.

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