In a five-part series in Dissident Voice, I hope to throw light on the real workings of American plutocracy. Because conspiracies are central to any understanding of how and why this plutocracy works, the first article joins the camp of those who argue that America’s real rulers often resort to secret criminal plots and undertakings. The second article exploits the manufactured Obama’s birthplace controversy in an effort to gain insights into the inner workings of the American political system. A third article provides conclusive evidence that America’s real rulers routinely utilize intimidations and assassinations of people, foreign or domestic, who pose meaningful threats to their power. A fourth article examines the constellation of factors which enables these rulers to retain and enhance their wealth and power. These four articles set the groundwork for the fifth and most important article, which explores strategies for replacing the current system with a more free, just, and sustainable one.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” —Sun Tzu (6th century B.C.?)
One basic contention of this series is that conspiracies play a key role in history. This contention, I shall argue, is not a conjecture, or a premise, or a possibility. It is, rather, a fact, of the same general type as the assertion: “No woman has ever been a president of the USA.”
Suppose you owned Goldman Sachs or J. P. Morgan, that you conspired daily with others of your kind to enrich and empower yourself at the expense of many unsuspecting souls, and that you were sick and tired of having to fend off your victims. Actual events taught you long ago that it could be irksome, risky, and counterproductive to deny your scams and wrongdoings one at a time:
- A trusted fellow plotter might turn against you, as the one-of-a-kind General Smedley Butler did with your fellow-bankers Prescott Bush and J. P. Morgan, thus forcing them to abort their fascist coup d’etat and placing them in a rather tight spot.
- One of your underlings might betray you on his deathbed, as CIA Operator E. Howard Hunt did, clearly and unequivocally implicating another underling, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, in the murder of President Kennedy.
- An investigation of one of your conspiracies might, despite the odds, reach a jury trial in which the victim’s family and brothers-in-arms win (as happened after you killed Dr. Martin Luther King), thus forcing you and accomplices to suppress a verdict of conspiracy by the American judicial system itself (see below for more details).
Your defense against such untoward occurrences has been truly ingenious. Instead of dismissing a constant stream of rational analyses and empirical data of your machinations, you schemed to use your government, media, and virtual textbook monopoly to convince us that conspiracies fall into the same category as a green-cheesed moon—they do not exist. Hence, it is not merely factually incorrect but also illogical to accuse you of clandestinely plotting in early June 2010 to keep the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 10,000 and the price of an ounce of silver below $20. One result: well-researched, often incontestable charges of enormous crimes can be summarily dismissed by invoking the all-inclusive “it’s just another crazy conspiracy theory.” A second result: confusion, helplessness, and divisiveness among your enemies.
With a bit of reflection, open-minded people should be able to escape this mind trap. Such people merely need to read just one honest historical treatise, chosen at random, to convince themselves that conspiracies are the very stuff of history. Alternatively, they can verify any of these examples:
- The two recognized founders of western historical scholarship, Herodotus and Thucydides, whose books often exceed contemporary standards of scholarship, truthfulness, and elegance, took conspiracies for granted and described any number of them. Are the events they describe pure inventions?
- Many of us had the pleasure of reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in high school. Think about it: Didn’t Brutus, Cassius, and their fellow oligarchs secretly plot to kill Caesar? Does Shakespeare and the historians whose writings informed his play strike you as silly “conspiracy theorists?”
- Didn’t a few filthy rich Romans conspire to kill the Gracchi Brothers, because said brothers were hell-bent on agrarian reforms?
- What about America’s founding fathers: Weren’t the events leading to the Declaration of Independence a large-scale conspiracy of well-to-do British citizens against their king?
- Didn’t the Anaconda Copper Company and ITT direct their minions Nixon, Kissinger, and Pinochet to plot against President Allende of Chile? If not a conspiracy, what else removed Allende from office and helped maximize the profits margins of Anaconda? Wasn’t one likely outcome of this coup an elevation in the price of Anaconda’s stocks? Isn’t it probable that some participants bought those stocks before the murder? Should we dismiss such views because they invoke secret cabals?
- And how about Mossadeq of Iran? The CIA operator in that oil-cursed land tells us the full details of that particular conspiracy, including its exact cost (real cheap, considering the prize: $100,000).
- If we exclude Jesus Christ and, in some states, George Washington, the United States calendar celebrates the single lives of just two other individuals—Christopher Columbus and Martin Luther King. Our schools and media portray King as a mere champion of civil rights and non-violence, and he is so remembered by the vast majority of Americans (according to a survey of hundreds of American college students I personally carried out). But MLK stepped outside his proscribed role as a civil rights leader. Do you think the bankers and generals would have welcomed his planned “Poor People’s Campaign” or his view that the “United States is the worst purveyor of violence in the world?” The book Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, written by a close associate, makes the threat King posed clear: “Martin Luther King Jr was the most powerful and eloquent champion of the poor and oppressed in US history, and at the height of his fame in the mid-sixties seemed to offer the real possibility of a new and radical beginning for liberal politics in the USA. In 1968, he was assassinated; the movement for social and economic change has never recovered.” But the story gets even more outlandish: “At a civil trial in 1999, supported by the King family, seventy witnesses under oath set out the details of the conspiracy … the jury took just one hour to find that Ray was not responsible for the assassination, that a wide-ranging conspiracy existed, and that government agents were involved.” So, there you have it: not only legal proof that elements within our government murder, but that they conspire to commit murder. (It goes without saying that they also conspired to give the silent treatment to this truly sensational verdict.) How can anyone familiar with this trial dismiss assertions of other heinous government misdeeds merely because conspiracies are impossible?
- Under normal circumstances, government conspiracies are kept well-hidden from the world’s people. But now and then the truth comes up for air. Thus, official investigators of J. F. Kennedy’s death were forced to reveal specific details of an earlier conspiratorial plan. According to Wikipedia: “Operation Northwoods was a false-flag plan that originated within the United States government in 1962. The plan called for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other operatives to commit genuine acts of terrorism in U.S. cities and elsewhere. These acts of terrorism were to be blamed on Cuba in order to create public support for a war against that nation, which had recently become communist under Fidel Castro.” The proposal, originating from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was forwarded by the Chairman of that august body to the Defense Department, which approved it and sent it to the State Department, which approved it and forwarded it to President Kennedy, who rejected it, fired the chair of the Joint Chiefs, and was murdered a short time later. Specifically, the operation “included proposals for hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government.” Here are some juicy quotations from the Joint Chiefs (ah, what a lost goldmine for late satirist George Carlin):
- “We [the generals and the CIA] could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.”
- “We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement, also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.”
- “It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday.”
- Let me conclude this short list with a quote from Adam Smith, one of the bankers’ favorite scholars: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
The success of the plutocrats in convincing us to jeer at Adam Smith’s commonsense observation does not speak well for our rationality or for our ability to think for ourselves. Nor does this success speak well for progressive scholars and websites that uncritically accept the plutocrats’ absurd wholesale rejection of conspiracies. That such a pronounced feature of humanity’s historical record must be defended at all is yet another striking testimony to the power of our real rulers over our minds and to our own breathtaking indoctrinability.
One does not know whether to laugh or cry when one is mocked for being a “conspiracy theorist,” even in cases where there is overwhelming evidence of a secret, sinister, plotting by a powerful cabal. Conspiracy is a constant, recurrent, feature of human behavior, as common in history as bankers are on Wall Street. Sometimes we conspire for the general good and sometimes against it, but conspire we do. Look at your own private life: Haven’t you conspired on occasion? So, without further ado, I shall take the reality of conspiracies for granted. There are no shortcuts to the truth: Only a laborious rational analysis of facts and circumstances can cast light on the probability of any given conspiratorial claim.