“Why do people continue to believe that NGOs such as 350.org/1Sky that are initiated and funded by Rockefeller Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Ford, Gates, etc. would exist to serve the people rather than the entities that create and fund them? Since when do these powerful entities invest in ventures that will negatively impact their ability to maintain power, privilege and wealth? Indeed, the oligarchs play the “environmental movement” and its mostly well-meaning citizens like a game of cards.” – Cory Morningstar 
We typically see masses of people mobilizing to confront government or corporate actions that foster environmental and social injustices. Front-line battles may include a march for women, a pipeline protest, a petition drive, or some act of non-violent civil disobedience.
Far from such actions being direction-less and spontaneous, major Non Governmental Organizations funded by philanthropic foundations typically play a pivotal role in the promotion of campaigns, the training and hiring of organizers, and the securing of resources that can make activism viable.
For example, the environmental NGO 350.org/1SKY which was one of the driving forces behind the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the 2014 People’s Climate March was initiated and funded by the Rockefeller and Clinton Foundations, among others. 
The Pacifica network of non-commercial alternative radio and news stations, including its daily news broadcast Democracy Now! has received millions in grants from the Ford, Open Society Institute, Carnegie, MacArthur, and J.M Kaplan Fund Foundations. 
Then there is AVAAZ. The celebrated online activist platform, which has helped raise awareness and drive petitions behind causes related to human rights, climate change and international conflict, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, and has publicly cited the Open Society Institute as a founding partner. 
AVAAZ has partnered with the TckTckTck campaign, launched by one of the world’s largest global advertising and communications firms. Other partners include corporations like EDF Nuclear, Lloyds Bank, MTV, and other multi-nationals with a track record of despoiling our shared environment.
It seems unlikely that wealthy investors and venture capitalists thriving on the status quo would sponsor a movement that might threaten their grip on power. Still, does the acceptance of these philanthropic donations necessarily constitute an unacceptable compromise, even when they come with no obvious strings attached?
This is the critical question to be explored in this week’s edition of the Global Research News Hour. Our guides for the hour will be Cory Morningstar and Bob Feldman.
Bob Feldman is an investigative journalist who has studied for more than a decade the role of philanthropic foundation funding in compromising the perspectives of the alternative print and broadcast media they sponsor. Based out of Boston, his blog site is wherechangeobama.blogspot.ca
This week’s program gratefully acknowledges the recording and production assistance of Campus Community radio station RadioWestern, CHRW 94.9FM out of the University of Western Ontario in London Ontario, on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Lunaapeewak and Attawandaron peoples.
Transcript- Interview with Cory Morningstar and Bob Feldman, May 9, 2018
Global Research: Many listeners are by now familiar with the role of corporate advertising in shaping the content and focus of mainstream media broadcasts. Along with the manufacture of consent of the body politic goes the manufacture of dissent, where social, labour, environmental, anti-war movements get co-opted in sophisticated ways. One of the principle mechanisms by which this process is orchestrated is through what is called the Non Profit Industrial complex. A web of NGOs interconnected with State and corporate entities which channel activist energies in directions that ultimately don’t undermine, and more often than not, further the ambitions of the elite of the elite.
Cory Morningstar is all too familiar with this dynamic. She has written about the NPIC for close to a decade now.
Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Political Context, Counterpunch, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. She joins us here at the studios of Radiowestern. It’s great to chat with you again Cory.
Cory Morningstar: Thank you for having me, Michael!
GR: And joining us by phone from Boston Massachusetts is Bob Feldman. And Bob is – he’s also an investigative journalist and he is – for more than a decade he has been researching the role of philanthropic foundation funding in compromising the perspectives of the alternative print and broadcast media that depend on such funding for their operations. So thank you for joining us Bob!
Bob Feldman: Thank you for having me.
GR: For the sake of those who might be skeptical-minded, what would you say to those people who say well there’s no quid pro quo. I mean it’s great that the Rockefellers or the Du Ponts or whoever donate this money, I mean we need that money if we’re going to stop this pipeline or we’re going to get the messaging out or set up this website.
CM: But all you have to do is look at what progress have we made? We’ve made no progress. I mean, emissions are through the roof – what are we at now? 410 parts per million. You know countries are being… all over you’ve got, you ask native states all over the whole globe conquering, invading, occupying, we’ve really made no progress.
BF: Yeah, the thing is…the thing about is..it’s since the early 1970s that the foundation money has been pouring in trying to convert the environmentalist movement into sustainable development. Joan Roelofs, in her book, Foundations and Public Policy, mentions this fact. Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club Legal Defense, all these groups have gotten this foundation money and yet it’s 50 years later and it hasn’t achieved reversal. So we have to ask ourselves why? Why has the movement … why do we end up with Trump in 2017? 2018? A lot of the information there’s a new book out by David Callahan – Inside Philanthropy, he’s the editor – and it’s called The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.
And he has sense I’d like to read because it kind of summarizes what’s happened. You know, he says like progressives always talks about the right-wing being funded by the right-wing foundations and he correctly criticizes that. But he has this quote, that ‘progressives have been largely silent about how “charitable” dollars are influencing politics and policy often with deeper impact than the campaign spending the left so fervently wants to restrict. You can see why progressives keep mum on this issue. Its advocates are especially dependent on philanthropy.’
And… Growing up I thought, well, foundations they are helping the people. And then, I read C. Wright Mills’s book, The Power Elite, in which he mentioned, well, foundations are a tax dodge, and I thought, well, yeah, but maybe they’re still helping fund good things.
But then, 50 years ago, in ‘68, at Columbia, the radical students’ SGS in alliance with Harlem and the Afro-American Society took over and we made some demands, and then this police bust, and then everyone was radicalized, everyone was talking revolution on the campus, and then what happened is that they split the students, the moderates from the revolutionary students. The Ford Foundation came in with a $40,000 grant for students to fund students for a restructured university, and the idea was that SGS was saying, well, we want a revolution in society, a society free of militarism, free of racism.
But the Students to Restructure Society, funded by the Ford Foundation, they said no, let’s just focus on changing the university, limiting the demands. At that point — it was a $40,000 grant, which is equivalent to $300,000 in 2018 money — at that point, I realized that this is what the foundations are about: manipulating movements, insurgent movements. And then, today, of course, you have not only the example of the – with Wrong Kind of Green articles that Cory has written, explained, but you also have…in terms of Black Lives Matter…The Color of Change, for instance, got in 2017, 7.5 million dollars. So it’s an attempt to limit and manipulate what kind of issues the activists are going to prioritize and what their tactics are going to be. Because if they get too out of the parameters of what the agenda of those controlled foundations are, and the foundations themselves are directed by corporate directors, then the funding ends.
GR: What you’re saying there is quite interesting. You’re speaking of that split, the split between the kind of resistance they can live with and the kind that we want to try to eclipse. Cory, I just want to turn to you, if you could maybe help us visualize the difference that you see this foundation money making as it’s playing out, like what the environmental movement could be without the foundation monies’ intrusion versus what we’re seeing coming out now.
CM: Yeah, well, I think, you look back, and I know, I wasn’t there, but you read about even the Black Panthers and their breakfast programs and actually tangible things in the community, and now today it’s like, well, I’m going to give 50 bucks to Greenpeace this year, I’ve done my part. I mean we don’t have, we’ve lost that sense of community, and working with each other as adults, as parents, as humans, we need to take responsibility for our own issues. We’ve basically, I think, been happy to get these problems onto the NGOs – that’s part of it.
And like Bob was saying too, with the money, there’s a lot of conditions, and so you get people, you don’t even have to censor, and, you know, the people involved, the journalists, the NGOs, they become adept at self-censorship, and a lot of these millions of dollars given happen over five years, you get a certain amount every year, so you know, if you bite the hand that feeds you, that money, that cheque will not be there the following year.
GR: I know that there was a report that came out a few years ago by MacDonald Stainsby and Dru Oja Jay that commented on foundation funding and how its distorted tar sands activism. And so, we don’t see the level of opposition to tar sands as a result.
CM: I mean, the tar sands, one way or another that oil will make it to the market where there’s a demand. That oil, like water through a pipe, will find its way one way or another to escape eventually it finds the route to get out. What we don’t talk about is if we don’t want oil, what are we going to give up? Well, in fact, we’re willing to give up nothing because that would put a damper on economic growth and you need economic growth to keep this economic system going. Capitalism, if it stalls, it collapses, so we can’t have that, so this whole focus on the pipelines… you’ve got thousands of pipelines all over the whole planet, and we put all the focus on North America on a single pipeline.
Well then, the oil, quietly in the background, all switches to rail, and then you’ve got Warren Buffet ends up making billions, tons and tons of billions of dollars on rebuilding a rail dynasty in North America while everyone’s focused on a single pipeline. Right? No one notices this. It’s all being done in the background and there’s absolutely no dissent to that. And then that horrible, horrible accident in Montreal that killed almost 50 people from the oil, you know, the rail accident with the oil. Now we have the same thing happening in BC with oil being diverted to Portland and being put on to ships to Asia. I mean oil is going to get to the market. So, to not look at, you know, what is the purpose? Do we want to stop this pipeline, or do we want to stop oil? If you want to stop oil, what are we willing to give up? What are we willing or wanting to discontinue?
And the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, the NGOs that basically take up all the breathing room, all the space, they don’t want you to give up anything. I mean, there’s no talk really of changing the way we live in the West. You know, the fact of the matter is, here 1% of the population is creating almost all the emissions on the planet. There’s a tiny percentage of people doing all the damage. We don’t talk about that. So we’re not talking about systemic change, we’re talking about how can we have everything we already have plus have a lot more and do it in a clean, environmentally, ecologically, sound way. Well there is no way, right?
GR:Yeah, and I know Bob you… It seems to me… I mean you’ve got a series out right now on your blog wherechangeobama.blogspot.ca, and I know that one of the…it’s part of a 14-part series, I think there are more coming, but I think you did mention that there was some awareness way back when about the dangers of this kind of funding, and I don’t know if the awareness just went away, or if people became indifferent. I mean, what have been the changes or when did you see this, I don’t know, acceptance of foundation funding as perhaps a necessary evil or a vehicle for this, for pursuing whether it’s media or activism?
BF: It started to a certain degree in terms of the Black liberation movement in the late sixties. They posed a systemic threat. And then, the Ford Foundation came in and started, the Rockefeller Foundation, started funding black capitalism, and poured in lots of money to the Urban League, NAACP, and then within the anti-war movement, the peace movement. I think it started in terms of the ’80s nuclear freeze, and so you had the sad thing that at that point in the early ’80s, 800,000 people marched against nuclear war in June of 1982, and then it was a contingent saying well, the Israeli military is bombing Beirut, is invading Lebanon. We’re anti-war, we’re peace, that should be a priority also for this march. There was a contingent saying that, but then the organizers said no, you can’t talk about opposing Israel and militarism. Then the late ’80s and early ’90s, that’s when groups like Pacifica started seeking the foundation funding and then alternative media groups started to seek it and get it.
CM: I mean, look at Democracy Now, beating the drums for war on Libya. and I mean I don’t listen to Democracy Now, but I’m pretty sure on Syria as well. Look at the so-called Left beating drums for war, you know, like that’s unbelievable in this day and age, like how can we fall for the same stories? Rinse, recycle, repeat, basically the same old stories over and over, where so-called humanitarian intervention and we have the liberal left journalists and liberal left media completely, again, like echoing through the chambers, these pro-war, this pro-war propaganda.
BF: Yeah, I think that’s the thing that on Libya, Syria, and also in 1999 the “humanitarian military intervention” in Serbia, Yugoslavia. It didn’t echo Michael Parenti’s opposition, it took a different stand, Democracy Now, which demonized Milosevic, which echoed, I mean it was opposed to the war, but it echoed aspects of what the Democratic Party and the State Department were saying, and in part it was because in situations like Libya and Syria and 9/11 and in the 1999 war, if you get too, if you appear too anti-war, and you’re not willing to concede certain points about, that the media is pushing about the illegitimacy of the regime that the U.S government wants to change, whether it’s Syria, Libya, or Serbia, then the funding goes.
It’s self-censorship, really. Isn’t that like Bill Moyers who has given 1.1 million since 2013 to fund Democracy Now, his Schumann media center. Isn’t that he’s going to say – tell you not to do a lot of investigative reporting segments after 2013, 50 years after the Kennedy assassination, to have a whole series on Democracy Now, but the reality is that since he’s funding Democracy Now, since Bill Moyers was LBJ’s aide for three years after Kennedy was assassinated, he maybe doesn’t want that emphasized, and then since Bill Moyers redefined himself since that time, they just won’t get into that, and then anybody who thinks, oh, we should explore these particular historical events in greater detail, they’re either called conspiracy theorists, or the other thing is Johnny one-notes. Listeners aren’t interested, you know.
But I think the thing about the foundations is that, early in the 20th century, there was a lot of criticism on the left for foundations. It was seen as undemocratic. It was seen as well, Rockefeller, Carnegie, they got their money by exploiting workers in vicious ways, exploiting consumers in vicious ways, unethical business practices, making weapons of death in some cases, and these plutocrats shouldn’t then be able to redefine themselves and fund groups, that it was undemocratic, that their power should be taken away. But you got a situation now where they make their money in immoral means, and they continue to… and those foundations also invest in those corporations that are responsible for the destruction of the Earth, and for systemic racism and for militarism… the foundations still have investments in those corporations.
And at the same time, they use some of the profits, the dividends they get through those investments to fund the groups which purportedly are either reporting on the harm done by the corporations, or fighting against the policies, the results of the policies of these corporations, and what’s left off the hook is the foundations themselves are tied in with the systemic problems that people want to see eradicated. It’s a way that the foundations become the means of the 1% to block these structural systemic changes.
CM: Yeah, I think our movements represent very much a part of that same 1%. I mean the staff at AVAAZ make around 200 k a year. I mean, we’re talking elite status, and you can look straight across the board, Sierra Club, all the big ones, they’re making huge six-figure salaries. You know, some of them 4 or $500,000 a year, and then they’re asking seniors to send in their cheques for $5 a month. I mean it’s –
BF: Oh yeah, Democracy Now, it’s a good example. Like I was just, I glanced at it today before the sh- you know, early morning, and I noticed they say ‘well if you send in our money, a supporter will match it three times’, but they don’t name their supporter. At the same time, they don’t disclose on their website the amount of money that they’ve received in recent years from various foundations like the former vice president of Microsoft for 10 years, Rob Glaser, he has a foundation, the Glaser Progress Foundation, they were given 15… since 2001 $1.2 million to fund Democracy Now, and Democracy Now doesn’t probably… I don’t think it’s done that many segments on exposing the negative role historically and even currently of Microsoft, its work for the military. Microsoft, for instance, just got a $27 million contract to work for the Pentagon to provide software to help the Pentagon do its thing around the world. Part of why they might not do this is because, at one point, one of the chief funders was involved with Microsoft for 10 years helped build it up.
But part of why…oh, the other thing, it’s also the economic thing, is that Amy Goodman she gets a hundred and sixty thousand a year total compensation. Most people don’t know that. The salaries, I mean, you had to get the salaries, you have to go look on the form 990 that all these NGOs file. It’s often hard, not easy to find, a lot of people either aren’t going to look on it…often the forms aren’t completely filled out, or not filled out until later. But like Cory says there’s a lot of money within this NGO or this Non-Profit Industrial Complex. It matches, it enables people to, without working the 9 to 5 world, you get an alternative job and live quite well, not live on the average salary of most movement activists who are grassroots, or most working people and you know in the world not even the United States, you know.
GR: That cuts you off from the broader grassroots community because you’re sort of in a separate world where you’re more inclined to mingle with some of those elites than with the …your…feel that same sense of solidarity.
BF: Yeah, you become a grant hustler. And also, the other thing is, let’s say we’re in a movement group, if we all sit in the room and somebody, and we’re all, we’re doing it. The people are like working 9 to 5 and then they go in the evening, then somebody else is….that one person in the room, if you talk about then what are we going to do, about finding what this corporation’s doing on this issue. The person in the room who’s backed as part of the NGO, he has the economic basis to have more influence, and has… over what’s going to happen.
And, I mean, there’s a group called Ploughshares, for instance, the Ploughshares Fund, and they focus on stopping nuclear war. And they’ve gotten, since 2015, they’ve gotten $2.7 million from the Rockefeller Brothers fund, and then what they do, is then they distribute to a lot of grantees. You go to the website, you can see all their grantees that they distribute. Like, twenty of them within the peace movement, and most of those grantees just focus on the nuclear war issue and don’t focus on the wars that are being waged now, that aren’t, that don’t involve nuclear weapons.
CM: Yeah, because you’re, you can’t talk about imperialism, right?
BF: Yeah, exactly. Right, And that’s the common thing that…instead of doing anti-imperialist revolutionary movement, that would you know, now, that would go against the system, you have the foundations, you use the NGOs, you know thousands of NGOs, that end up fragmenting the movement. And the funny part is that when Bernie Sanders ran in 2016… he talked about political revolution, he didn’t talk about economic revolution, he didn’t talk about all the other kinds of revolutions that we need… but he used the word ‘revolution’, and I was thinking when he ran, that all these, if you listen to Democracy Now, or a lot of these other medias…. there’s rarely any talk of allowing people who are calling for revolution now, against the 1%, using that word day-in and day-out, calling for economic, political revolution, and instead you have a mindset which is what I call the thirty-year gradualism, you know?
It…the thing is, you know, we need immediate change, the Poor People’s Movement is talking about, well they’re going to have their demonstrations Monday beginning, trying to continue what Martin Luther King did in ’68. It’s gotten some publicity in the alternative media world, and to an extent, it has some foundation funding, but it talks about the four things that people could be focusing on. Which again would… fighting systemic racism, fighting environmental destruction, fighting poverty, and fighting the war economy.
Those four things could be, people could unite on, but yet because we have all these thousands of NGOs, and it’s fragmented movement, foundation-subsidized movement, people are…don’t unite in the way that they did in the Sixties around fighting a imperialist society that’s trying to keep the empire…and is responsible for so many deaths in the last thirty years and, of course, even before. So you don’t have the kind of reaction that there should have been when they attacked Libya, and in terms of the covert war in Syria, that is…instead, people are in these NGOs, in their NGO offices, in a fragmented way and then calling demonstrations about this issue, that issue, this issue, that issue, and yet if you look at the [interference] starvation, and the costs, the economic costs of imperialism around the globe, yet there isn’t this sense of urgency.
And I attribute part of it is because if each year the grant comes through to the NGO, and then the NGO, you know, holds its protests and it gets some people out, there’s no, it’s a different form of activism then what we…and it’s undemocratic because what’s driving it is still the same plutocrats who control the corporations.
GR: You’re listening to the Global Research News Hour. This week’s show is dedicated to the Non-Profit Industrial Complex and the Parallel Left and it’s being recorded out of the studios at Radiowestern CHRW 94.9 FM at the University of Western Ontario. And our show of course airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg and on partner radio stations across Canada and the United States. I am your host Michael Welch and I’m joined by London-based Cory Morningstar and from Boston Bob Feldman. And of course, just following up on your last comments there Bob, I wanted to draw attention to some of the work that – a couple of essays that Cory had written last year. And I’m just going to pull up a quote because it speaks to not only propagandizing but social engineering.
Here’s the quote:
“Today’s so-called environmental leaders and human rights activists are not (yet) genetically engineered, rather they are socially engineered experiments decanted from Harvard, Yale, Rockwood Leadership Institute and other institutions of indoctrination that serve and expand the global hegemony. One could theorize that today’s 21st century activism is a new process of mimesis – the millennial having assimilated into spectacle – far removed from both nature and reality.”
So, I’m just wondering maybe – get your thoughts about this idea that – we’re not just talking propaganda lines where – ‘Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction! We’ve got to go to war’, we’re talking about shaping people’s behaviour. So, could I maybe get you to address that. How you see this…
BF: Yes, it’s like redefining – I mean what’s been redefined is what fighting the power is about. You know? What creating meaningful change is and what’s been thrown into the – what’s been forgotten is the whole history of institutional resistance just as what’s been forgotten is how the funders and foundations have gotten – got that money. It’s ahistorical. I mean part of like – I’ve write about foundations for – since 1996, you know, I wrote for Downtown which wasn’t funded by foundations. And this time around what I kind of realized in terms of writing In the Pay of Foundations is it’s not – I couldn’t just mention well it gets foundation funding and therefore, hey, it’s a synthetic kind of – and a kind of morally contradictory, you know? That people wouldn’t necessarily understand – because a lot of people – they don’t understand on a gut level that well why foundations – what’s so bad about foundations?
So, I kind of included more research as to how did Henry Ford get his money, what did he – what was he, what did he do? How was the Ford Foundation funded? What’s its history? Or something like the Public Welfare Foundation. What – what was it – where did that money come from? What did they do? How did Charles Marsh, who was LBJ’s backer in Texas – into oil. How did he get his money? And to try to get that. But I think – that’s part of the thing is that people grew up in my time, ’50s and 1960s were socialized a little differently than people who were socialized later and then went to – like you say this whole thing of whole prep schools and the elite.
Most people don’t know that Bill Gates for instance, his grandfather on his mother’s side, Maxwell, was a big banker. Actually, the great-great-great-great grandfather. And the grandfather (inaudible) versus a safe bank and left him a Trust Fund. This whole Silicon Valley thing, and the whole computer millionaires. Part of the thing is that they’ve used – it’s funny ’cause they’ve used the rhetoric of the ’60s about changing the world to perpetuate a vicious imperialist system, you know, and they get away with it because of the thing you mention in terms of the elite students, and all these elite universities, being socialized in a certain way. You know, and then also coming from a different generation than the 50s and 60s. They – and not having…
CM: I think they – I think people today think that history doesn’t matter. That it’s in the past. It’s irrelevant. Things aren’t…
CM: …like that anymore, right? But the truth is these foundations are invisible. You know? The NGOs are at the forefront, and they play an invisible role and today they’re more powerful than they have ever been in the past. There’s trillions, literally trillions of dollars pumped into the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, which at this point, I mean I was speaking to um my um peer, my comrade Forrest Palmer a couple weeks ago and I said you know I feel like we need to start calling this the Non-Profit Industrial Spectacle. I mean it’s just become absolutely ridiculous.
There’s a new NGO of late I’ve just started watching called Global Citizen. They actually – if you can imagine – they have rewards now for activism. Like, think of air-miles, um all those points, rewards that you use to shop. So activism has been completely commodified to the point now the partners and sponsors involved with Global Citizen will reward you for doing an action with rewards, whether it’s concert tickets, it’s all tied into celebrity which is a huge part of activism, not to mention aside this really is – the Non Profit Industrial Complex is an actual army, right? This is an arm of empire, this is an army that’s funded and paid for by the elites that um fund this complex to perpetuate and protect and further their power, to extend it even further. And I think that’s um really important to understand, um that’s what it’s for, that’s why the trillions of dollars and they can mobilize their army.
Um, I mean if you look at the numbers it’s actually staggering how many people are employed by NGOs and non-profits um all which make up the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. It’s a massive part of the economy, just like militarism, and so they’re able to really, really shape and mold entire agendas and actually whole society by mobilizing their employees, their staff. I mean you picture, think of millions of people all um basically echoing the same message through the media – and um all the different media vices and all of a sudden you’ve created this huge, what feels like momentum but it’s all engineered. Hence – how we continue to devolve and how our movements continue to lose um importance.
GR: Cory, I just wanted to draw – just ’cause I’ve read – like, last year you did an update on your research on AVAAZ and PURPOSE, which – PURPOSE is uh– they’re linked. They’re very notable because it links environmentalism with the imperialist agendas in Syria. That is it seems to me it’s taking that social engineering to – or that – to a new level.
CM: If you look back there’s an old photograph I found. It’s Bob Hunter, one of the original co-founders of Greenpeace in Canada. He has a T-Shirt on and on the T-Shirt he has written across in black marker ‘F—k you’ and he’s at a meeting. Right? Sitting in on a meeting. He’s all scruffy. It looks like he just came in from the garden or from work. That was the real deal back then. About real things, you know? Protecting nature.
Now, today, Greenpeace is at the forefront right up there with AVAAZ, OXFAM, there’s basically a top twenty that works hand in hand with the UN, and um you know basically run the social movements across the world. Mold them. Shape them. Social engineering, TckTckTck, like basically, Greenpeace, 350, and OXFAM, which are the three biggest created, TckTckTck, they took this type of social engineering to a whole new level. In 200 – when was that – 2009 at COP21 you saw them basically undermine all the most vulnerable states on the planet. That climate conference when you look back at documents – Greenpeace documents from around 1990 where they cited one degree as the temperature that the planet could not exceed. Well, in 2009 they demanded a full two degrees, what the corporations wanted, so we continue to grow the economy at the expense of all life on the planet, so you can see that huge, you know – It’s not even the same thing anymore. These NGOs are an arm of the elite. They’re an apparatus of the establishment and empire.
So AVAAZ and PURPOSE. AVAAZ, um, Purpose is there for profit – P.R. Firm. Basically the sister org of AVAAZ. I would say they’re the most powerful NGO in the world aside from 350 which was incubated by the Rockefeller Foundation and started um with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Clinton Foundation and again that’s hand in hand with AVAAZ, one of the most powerful NGOs in the world right now as well. Anyway, I mean what they do now, we’ve been engineered to such an extent that we don’t even notice. We no longer fight to protect nature – to protect trees. We’re fighting for windmills. We’re fighting for solar panels. We’re fighting to continue a very rich way of life for a small number of people. That’s what the environmental movement is today. And that’s what I call, not environmentalism but anthro – anthro- like basically…
GR: Anthropocentrism. .
CM: Anthropocentrism. Yeh, it’s completely – it’s pragmatism. It’s full. This is business. This is big business. Now you’ve got AVAAZ, PURPOSE. The main, overall arching campaign of all of them now is this huge push for renewable energies which is actually a huge push for further imperialism. You know you can call it green imperialism, eco-imperialism. It’s just as dirty. It’s just another growth industry. Today they want to basically steal from the treasuries and how we’re going to dump trillions and trillions about 60 trillion, 90 trillion dollars into creating you know a brand new, basically global infrastructure, renewable energy which is – what is that based on? That’s based on further exploitation, further of brothers and sisters all over the planet. Mining, all dirty industry. Further, further industry for a very few, you know, people.
GR: Beyond the part – the fact that lithium mining is not necessarily without its toxic concerns, and of course and other rare earth minerals which is mining, um, this call for electrification of the grid. It’s not likely going to do anything. I mean I think there was…
CM: No, you’ve got Bill McKibben right now in Africa report – you know flying to Africa. What do they need Bill McKibben in Africa for, I don’t know, but they’ve got him – What was the article? I don’t know Rolling Stone? New York Times? What have you, saying how amazing it was that he was in Africa, and (inaudible) village with their few solar panels or whatever they have now – they all have a TV. Well what the hell do they need a TV for? Right? Like that’s progress? I mean, it’s just upside down now with technology and our values, what we see as progress. And um yeah…
BF: And I think that – that whole rap that Cory gave, it’s like that’s the kind of thing that should be talked about on the foundation subsidized shows there on daily. Like Democracy Now. I mean that’s – and the thing is yet if you start talking about the NGOs and the foundations that doesn’t happen as much and so you get a situation where people don’t necessarily know what’s going on – that undercuts the whole original mission of what an alternative left media was supposed to be about, you know? When you not allowing a lot of dissident grass-roots movement people on there. That’s what’s holding back, what has held back especially the last twenty years. Held back the growth of a movement that’s really effective, you know….
GR: I think we’re running pretty much close to the end of our time. I was wondering if each of you might want to have a few suggestions about if we wish to hold on or foster the movements and media that are not to be captured by these elite interests with their hegemonic agendas. What advice would you make in terms of being able to do that – to maintain that sovereign and make sure that we do make room for these dissenting voices?
CM: I’ll go first because I’m probably far less optimistic than Bob.
I don’t really have a lot of hope for that. I don’t think anything’s going to change a lot until it has to change. Some sort of catastrophic event or some sort of collapse which will eventually happen because this can’t go on forever. But I feel like, you know I often wonder if we’ve been socially engineered to be so incredibly passive. Perhaps we’re not even, you know – we just – we don’t even have the capacity anymore to really fight the fight. We’re just so incredibly passive and polite. And that’s all a part of social engineering.
Even that aspect in the – the whole um – Oh God – direct action thing versus – you can’t even talk about tactics. It can only be non-violent direct action, non-violent direct action. Well, you know, and basically if you have anything else to say but that, you’re ostracized and basically outcast. You’re isolated completely. I mean you can’t ask – what is the Assata Shakur quote? I can’t think of it off the top of my head, but basically you’re begging your oppressor for – to do what you want, like I mean it’s just never going to happen.
And so I think we’re really, really comfortable here. I don’t see things changing. We’re being trained to devolve where we’re not educating ourself. We’re not seeking out information. We’re becoming mentally lazy. It’s too much work to research. It’s too much work to learn. You want all your information in a hundred and forty characters. You know. And without the history. Without understanding the history of where we’ve been. Of where the environmental movement has been – the history, the critical importance of the foundations and the interlocking victory. Unless we understand how power functions and how it can use us to advance it’s own desires, I think we’re really just spinning our wheels.
GR: Bob, do you have any thoughts about preserving truly independent media and grassroots activism going forward?
BF: Yeh, well I think the thing is that things can change very rapidly. I mean, you had the Occupy Wall Street thing which initially came from a lot of people from below. And then it pushed the idea of the One Percent. Now, media has – the alternate media, if people press them, and at the same time engage in what I call institutional resistance, some of the systems in crisis worldwide. It’s in crisis here. And the way I look at it is that the exclusion of grassroots dissident, radical left, environmentalists and others is a sign of the weakness and the fear of those – of the one percent those who hold power because if they weren’t afraid that if they gave us access there’d be a response. To prove how liberal and tolerant they were they would allow these kinds of discussions within their alternative media world, and within the mainstream media world. But I think the fact there is this high level censorship…
The fact that you’ve interviewed Global – Global Research News – all those people who are on there who get posted there but you never hear them on Democracy Now and the other shows, I think that’s – that’s because there’d be a response and things can change very rapidly. We could be in a big war. And at that point there will be an attempt to co-opt the movement. But often that doesn’t work. The lessons of ’68 show that they couldn’t co-opt, at least for the two years ’68-’70. They had to then repress. So I think that history can change fast and the level of crisis in terms of the Earth is so dire that people might be forced to press for more media change. So I guess I’m not…
CM: Maybe when they have to change….
BF: Yeh, I guess I’m not as pessimistic as you are Cory – The key thing as I see it is using the mass media power, and that alternative media, to pressing those who have the daily access of 1400 stations to let it on – a whole range of people who have been excluded.
GR: I guess, and on that note, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that for those listeners who’ve listened to this program, they probably get by now that philanthropic donations is probably not the answer. So that would be, probably an invitation to open up your wallets and support independent community radio stations like CHRW like CKUW as well as independent sites like Global Research.
And so, with that I think it’s time for us to say good-bye now. So thank you very much Bob Feldman, investigative journalist from Boston.
BF: Yeh thanks for having….
GR: ..And your website is wherechangeobama.blogspot.ca. And Cory Morningstar. Thank you for joining us!
CM: Thank you Michael.
GR: You can find a lot of her essays at theartofannihilation.com.
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Bob Feldman (2018), ‘In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers’, Where’s The Change?; http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.ca/search/label/in%20pay%20of
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