Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shadowy Conspiracy Unmasked.

Today George Moonbat uncovers a grand conspiracy that has controlled the world for the last 60 years.
When the Mont Pelerin Society first met, in 1947, its political project did not have a name. But it knew where it was going.
I won't discuss the entire thing because that has already been done elsewhere, so I just want to look at this paragraph.
The first great advantage the neoliberals possessed was an unceasing fountain of money. US oligarchs and their foundations - Coors, Olin, Scaife, Pew and others - have poured hundreds of millions into setting up thinktanks, founding business schools and transforming university economics departments into bastions of almost totalitarian neoliberal thinking. The Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and many others in the US, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute in the UK, were all established to promote this project. Their purpose was to develop the ideas and the language which would mask the real intent of the programme - the restoration of the power of the elite - and package it as a proposal for the betterment of humankind.
I've commented before on the ability of many on the left to believe that events that occur in the future can influence the past. So it is here, Moonbat gives the founding of the conspiracy as 1947 and claims that the institutions that he lists were established in order to promote this project. However there is a tiny problem with this line of 'thinking', the American Enterprise Institute was founded in 1943 and the Hoover Institution was set up by Herbert Hoover in 1919.

Of course the more fundamental problem with the line of argument being advanced is the infantile inability to accept that there is such a thing as honest disagreement, instead people who disagree with Monbiot are 'masking their real intent' and generally moving in the shadows to accomplish their nefarious objectives. Rather than accept that his opponents have advanced their ideas by winning the arguments he has to create a fantasy whereby his supporters are being silenced and starved of money. In actual fact liberal causes have received oodles of money both from the state agencies and the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation among others, whether it has been spent wisely is another matter of course, but to acknowledge that their is no great neoliberal monopoly of money and political influence would put Monbiot in a position where he would need to ask why his favoured causes have made such little headway.


StuartA said...

Moonbat gives the founding of the conspiracy as 1947

Where does Monbiot do this?

Ross said...

When he writes that:

" They arise in large part from a meeting that took place 60 years ago in a Swiss spa resort. It laid the foundations for a philosophy of government that is responsible for many, perhaps most, of our contemporary crises."

In fact elsewhere in the piece Monbiot implies that the neoliberal movement already had the kind of society which they desired back in the 1920s "In the US, for instance, the upper 0.1% has already regained the position it held at the beginning of the 1920s.", so why would a 'cabal' of neo liberals have needed to hijack anything prior to then?

Setting up the Hoover Institution in 1919 would certainly be perplexing if it was in order to establish the kind of system which already existed.