A Capital Idea Part 19: Has the "Free Market" Been Bought and Paid for?
Tomorrow I have an appointment with my opthalmologist. I need to go because I have glaucoma. While there, I plan to ask my sympathetic doctor for a couple of sample bottles of my glaucoma eyedrops, which cost over $70 for a 5 milliliter bottle. I also plan to purchase another pair of eyeglasses, which will probably cost me at least a couple hundred dollars, since the only pair I have are bifocals and they are not easy on the eyes with all the adjustments one has to make. All of this is after our so-called health care reform, which was really a health care insurance coverage expansion bill, and does nothing else to make affordable health care a right or even slightly reduce health care insurance rates for the average customer. By the way, the company that makes my eyedrops is Bausch and Lomb, which is a German corporation, I believe. These eyedrops are far cheaper in Germany, I am sure! As far as I am concerned, the market system should be called the "pay an arm and a leg market," not the "free market."
But tales of eyedrops and glasses is only the lower, consumer end of a humongous story -- one involving multinational megacorporations and the richest, most influential families in the world. I have found out that there are several exclusive organizations which include many of the ultra-rich and prominant politicians among their members, whose purpose is to exert influence on political policies around the world. These are in addition to the more out-front organizations such as the World Trade Organization, ASEAN, NATO, and so forth. These are more behind the scenes, invitation-only organizations which receive almost no publicity.
Among these organizations are The Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberger Group. There is clearly a lot of conspiratorial thinking regarding powerful groups such as these. A rather out-of-date website about The Council on Foreign Relations describes a variety of conspiracies by this group, and 13 rich and influential bloodlines collectively known as The Illuminati, including the Rockefellers and Kennedys in the U.S., the Onassis family from Greece, th Li family of mainland China, and mother of all Illuminati, the Rothschild Family of Great Britain, which the site claims controls half of the world's wealth. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bloodlines/rothschild.htm While reading this material for a few minutes, for example, I "discovered" that the Rothschilds are Satanists, that Abraham Lincoln was an illegitimate child fathered by a Rothschild family member, and that he had several illegitimate children himself with members of elite families. According to this account, Lincoln knew he was a member of The Illuminati, but was strong-willed enough to resist their Satanist agenda. This isn't exactly the quaint history of Abraham Lincoln that I learned about as a child. After a few minutes, I had been exposed to enough of this conspiratorial nonsense. I felt like telling the author of this article, Fritz Springmeier, come on, dude, Abraham Lincoln grew up dirt poor! Illuminati, indeed! Well, I am not one for supporting wild conspiracy theories, but I do think that there are people, and families who exert way too much worldwide influence.
Thus, I have been attempting to glean what reliable information I can about the influence of these organizations.The best site I found that describes their influence, in my opinion, is one about the Bilderberger Group. At least, it states the situation in a way that I agree with. http://www.bilderberggroup.net/ To quote this site:
"When such rich and powerful people meet up in secret, with military intelligence managing their security, with hardly a whisper escaping of what goes on inside, people are right to be suspicious. But the true power of Bilderberg comes from the fact that participants are in a bubble, sealed off from reality and the devastating implications on the ground of the black-science economic solutions on the table.
No, it's not a 'conspiracy'. The world's leading financiers and foreign policy strategists don't get together at Bilderberg to draw up their 'secret plans for the future'. It's subtler than that. These meetings create an artificial 'consensus' in an attempt to spellbind visiting politicians and and other men of influence. Blair has fallen for this hook, line and sinker. It's about reinforcing - often to the very people who are on the edge of condemning Globalisation - the illusion that Globalisation is 'good', 'popular' and that it's inevitable.
Bilderberg is an extremely influential lobbying group. That's not to say though that the organisers don't have a hidden agenda, they do, namely acumulation of wealth and power into their own hands whilst explaining to the participants that globalisation is for the good of all. It is also a very good forum for 'interviewing' potential future political figures such as Clinton (1991) and Blair (1993). [see above for more on this]
The ideology put forward at the Bilderberg conferences is that what's good for banking and big business is good for the mere mortals of the world. Silently banished are the critical voices, those that might point out that debt is spiralling out of control, that wealth is being sucked away from ordinary people and into the hands of the faceless corporate institutions, that millions are dying as a direct result of the global heavyweight Rockefeller/Rothschild economic strategies.
When looking at one of the (partially reliable) participant lists it should be remembered that quite a number of participants are invited in an attempt to get them on-board the globalisation project. These are carefully selected people of influence, who have been openly critical of globalisation. Examples are Jonathan Porritt (Bilderberg 1999) and Will Hutton (Bilderberg 1997) but there are many others. Most of these kinds of participants are happy to speak about the conference afterwards, and may even be refreshingly critical.
The Bilderberg organisers are accepted by those 'in the know' as the prophets of Capitalism." Actually, the content on this site was so well-written that I could have simply quoted the entire thing, but that might have been excessive. You get the idea. The site does go on to explain that the Bilderbergers are an immoral group of power hungry individuals who have in mind controlling as much as possible of the world's wealth, and furthermore, it claims that they want the peoples of the world to abandon their own moral principles, making it easier for the Bilderbergers to advance their agenda. It also mentions that the organizers of the Bilderberg Group include people named Rothschild, Rockefeller, and Kissinger. Basically, these people are living inside the bubble of uber-wealth, and neither understand nor empathize with the lives of the masses of citizenry who are not so fortunate as to be uber-rich. Their ambition, combined with their lack of understanding of the real world, produces a pernicious effect in which the capitalist system allows those with money to gain access to power which creates even greater wealth for the already rich, in a vicious cycle. In the process of power acquisition, the ultra-rich manage to gain control of the vast majority of the media, so-called news shows and radio talk shows. After all, madia controls the message. Many prominent members of U.S. government have been members of the Bilderberg Group, including Presidents Gerald Ford, and Bill Clinton.
The Trilateral Commission has the admirable stated goal of increasing cooperation among the United States, Europe, and Japan. In recent years, it has also included more representatives of ASEAN nations. However, it was founded by David Rockefeller, and is all about international economic hegemony. Membership is by invitation only, and of course, only the most prominent leaders of industry and government are invited to join it. Among its current and former members are former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, along with many other prominant members of U.S. government.
The Council on Foreign Relations also includes many prominent business leaders and politicians. This creates a potentially insidious groupthink-type situation in which a relatively few well-connected people (4,300 around the world, actually) have a vastly disproportionate voice regarding the direction that international relations take. Compared to The Bilderberg Group or the Trilateral Commission, however, The Council on Foreign Relations has a pretty diverse membership including scholars and journalists, so it is possible for an academic or journalistic expert on foreign relations to work up to membership in this group, but I suspect that only those with relatively conventional views regarding foreign relations are accepted for membership. Their site did ask me to complete a survey about where I get news about international relations and what I thought of their site, which was surprising and encouraging. http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/
Fortunately for the public, we at least have the internet, with web neutrality, a place where people can exchange information without having it be controlled by big business. Let us keep it that way. I have a feeling that the ultrarich have bought and paid for the so-called free-market system in which all of us are compelled to participate. At least the non-commercial portion of the internet is not bought and paid for.