by Webster Griffin Tarpley
Appeared in Fidelio, Summer 1995
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The British royal family of today typifies the Venetian Party, and continues the outlook and methods of an oligarchical faction which can be traced far back into the ancient world. Oligarchism is a principle of irrational domination associated with hereditary oligarchy/ nobility and with certain aristocratic priesthoods. At the center of oligarchy is the idea that certain families are born to rule as an arbitrary elite, while the vast majority of any given population is condemned to oppression, serfdom, or slavery. During most of the past 2,500 years, oligarchs have been identified by their support for the philosophical writings of Aristotle and their rejection of the epistemology of Plato. Aristotle asserted that slavery is a necessary institution, because some are born to rule and others to be ruled. He also reduced the question of human knowledge to the crudest sense certainty and perception of "facts." Aristotle's formalism is a means of killing human creativity, and therefore represents absolute evil. This evil is expressed by the bestialist view of the oligarchs that human beings are the same as animals.
Oligarchs identify wealth purely in money, and practice usury, monetarism, and looting at the expense of technological advancement and physical production. Oligarchs have always been associated with the arbitrary rejection of true scientific discovery and scientific method in favor of open anti-science or more subtle obscurantist pseudo-science. The oligarchy has believed for millennia that the earth is overpopulated; the oligarchical commentary on the Trojan War was that this conflict was necessary in order to prevent greater numbers of mankind from oppressing "Mother Earth." The oligarchy has constantly stressed race and racial characteristics, often as a means for justifying slavery. In international affairs, oligarchs recommend such methods as geopolitics, understood as the method of divide and conquer which lets one power prevail by playing its adversaries one against the other. Oligarchical policy strives to maintain a balance of power among such adversaries for its own benefit, but this attempt always fails in the long run and leads to new wars.
The essence of oligarchism is summed up in the idea of the empire, in which an elite identifying itself as a master race rules over a degraded mass of slaves or other oppressed victims. If oligarchical methods are allowed to dominate human affairs, they always create a breakdown crisis of civilization, with economic depression, war, famine, plague, and pestilence. Examples of this are the fourteenth century Black Plague crisis and the Thirty Years War (1618-48), both of which were created by Venetian intelligence. The post- industrial society and the derivatives crisis have brought about the potential for a new collapse of civilization in our own time. This crisis can only be reversed by repudiating in practice the axioms of the oligarchical mentality.
A pillar of the oligarchical system is the family fortune, or fondo as it is called in Italian. The continuity of the family fortune which earns money through usury and looting is often more important than the biological continuity across generations of the family that owns the fortune. In Venice, the largest fondo was the endowment of the Basilica of St. Mark, which was closely associated with the Venetian state treasury, and which absorbed the family fortunes of nobles who died without heirs. This fondo was administered by the procurers of St. Mark, whose position was one of the most powerful under the Venetian system. Around this central fondo were grouped the individual family fortunes of the great oligarchical families, such as the Mocenigo, the Cornaro, the Dandolo, the Contarini, the Morosini, the Zorzi, and the Tron. Until the end of the eighteenth century, the dozen or so wealthiest Venetian families had holdings comparable or superior to the very wealthiest families anywhere in Europe. When the Venetian oligarchy transferred many of its families and assets to northern Europe, the Venetian fondi provided the nucleus of the great Bank of Amsterdam, which dominated Europe during the seventeenth century, and of the Bank of England, which became the leading bank of the eighteenth century.
ORIGINS OF THE VENETIAN PARTY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
In the pre-Christian world around the Mediterranean, oligarchical political forces included Babylon in Mesopotamia. The "whore of Babylon" condemned in the Apocalypse of St. John the Divine is not a mystical construct, but a very specific power cartel of evil oligarchical families. Other oligarchical centers included Hiram of Tyre and the Phoenicians. The Persian Empire was an oligarchy. In the Greek world, the center of oligarchical banking and intelligence was the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, whose agents included Lycurgus of Sparta and later Aristotle. The Delphic Apollo tried and failed to secure the conquest of Greece by the Persian Empire. Then the Delphic Apollo developed the Isocrates plan, which called for King Philip of Macedonia to conquer Athens and the other great city-states so as to set up an oligarchical empire that would operate as a western version of the Persian Empire. This plan failed when Philip died, and the Platonic Academy of Athens decisively influenced Alexander the Great, who finally destroyed the Persian Empire before being assassinated by Aristotle. Later, the Delphic Apollo intervened into the wars between Rome and the Etruscan cities to make Rome the key power of Italy and then of the entire Mediterranean.
Rome dominated the Mediterranean by about 200 BC. There followed a series of civil wars that aimed at deciding where the capital of the new empire would be and who would be the ruling family. These are associated with the Social War, the conflict between Marius and Sulla, the first Triumvirate (Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and L. Crassus), and the second Triumvirate (Octavian, Marc Antony, and Lepidus). Marc Antony and Cleopatra wanted the capital of the new empire to be at Alexandria in Egypt. Octavian (Augustus) secured an alliance with the cult of Sol Invictus Mithra and became emperor, defeating the other contenders. After the series of monsters called the Julian-Claudian emperors (Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, etc.) the empire stagnated between 80 and 180 AD under such figures as Hadrian and Trajan. Then, between 180 and 280 AD, the empire collapsed. It was reorganized by Aurelian, Diocletian, and Constantine with a series of measures that centered on banning any change in the technology of the means of production, and very heavy taxation. The Diocletian program led to the depopulation of the cities, serfdom for farmers, and the collapse of civilization into a prolonged Dark Age.
The Roman Empire in the West finally collapsed in 476 AD. But the Roman Empire in the East, sometimes called the Byzantine Empire, continued for almost a thousand years, until 1453. And if the Ottoman Empire is considered as the Ottoman dynasty of an ongoing Byzantine Empire, then the Byzantine Empire kept going until shortly after World War I. With certain exceptions, the ruling dynasties of Byzantium continued the oligarchical policy of Diocletian and Constantine.
Venice, the city built on islands in the lagoons and marshes of the northern Adriatic Sea, is supposed to have been founded by refugees from the Italian mainland who were fleeing from Attila the Hun in 452 AD. Early on, Venice became the location of a Benedictine monastery on the island of St. George Major. St. George is not a Christian saint, but rather a disguise for Apollo, Perseus, and Marduk, idols of the oligarchy. Around 700 AD, the Venetians claim to have elected their first doge, or duke. This post was not hereditary, but was controlled by an election in which only the nobility could take part. For this reason, Venice erroneously called itself a republic.
In the years around 800 AD, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, using the ideas of St. Augustine, attempted to revive civilization from the Dark Ages. Venice was the enemy of Charlemagne. Charlemagne's son, King Pepin of Italy, tried unsuccessfully to conquer the Venetian lagoon. Charlemagne was forced to recognize Venice as a part of the eastern or Byzantine Empire, under the protection of the Emperor Nicephorus. Venice was never a part of western civilization.
Over the next four centuries, Venice developed as a second capital of the Byzantine Empire through marriage alliances with certain Byzantine dynasties and conflicts with the Holy Roman Empire based in Germany. The Venetian economy grew through usury and slavery. By 1082, the Venetians had tax-free trading rights in the entire Byzantine Empire. The Venetians were one of the main factors behind the Crusades against the Muslim power in the eastern Mediterranean. In the Fourth Crusade of 1202 AD, the Venetians used an army of French feudal knights to capture and loot Constantinople, the Orthodox Christian city which was the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The Venetian doge Enrico Dandolo was declared the lord of one-quarter and one-half of one-quarter of the Byzantine Empire, and the Venetians imposed a short-lived puppet state called the Latin Empire. By this point, Venice had replaced Byzantium as the bearer of the oligarchical heritage of the Roman Empire.
During the 1200's, the Venetians, now at the apex of their military and naval power, set out to create a new Roman Empire with its center at Venice. They expanded into the Greek islands, the Black Sea, and the Italian mainland. They helped to defeat the Hohenstaufen rulers of Germany and Italy. Venetian intelligence assisted Genghis Khan as he attacked and wiped out powers that had resisted Venice. The Venetians caused the death of the poet and political figure Dante Alighieri, who developed the concept of the modern sovereign nation-state in opposition to the Venetian plans for empire.
Whoever contemplates the good of the state contemplates the end of Right....If, therefore, the Romans had in view the good of the state, the assertion is true that they had in view the end of Right.
That in subduing the world the Roman people had in view the aforesaid good, their deeds declare. We behold them as a nation holy, pious, and full of glory, putting aside all avarice, which is ever adverse to the general welfare, cherishing universal peace and liberty, and disregarding private profit to guard the public weal of humanity. Rightly was it written, then, that "The Roman Empire takes its rise in the fountain of pity."...
That people, then, which was victorious over all the contestants for Empire gained its victory by the decree of God. For as it is of deeper concern to God to adjust a universal contention than a particular one, and as even in particular contentions the decree of God is sought by the contestants, according to the familiar proverb, "To him whom God grants aught, let Peter give his blessing," therefore undoubtedly among the contestants for the Empire of the world, victory ensued from a decree of God. That among the rivals for world-Empire the Roman people came off victor will be clear if we consider the contestants and the prize or goal toward which they strove. This prize or goal was sovereign power over all mortals, or what we mean by Empire. This was attained by none save by the Roman people, not only the first but the sole contestant to reach the goal contended for.
The kingdom is apportioned by the sword, and the fortune of the mighty nation that is master over sea, over land, and over all the globe, suffers not two in command. Wars engaged in for the crown of Empire should be waged without bitterness.
-- De Monarchia of Dante Alighieri, edited with translation and notes by Aurelia Henry
A series of wars with Genoa led later to the de facto merger of Venice and Genoa. The Venetian bankers, often called Lombards, began to loot many parts of Europe with usurious loans. Henry III of England in the years after 1255 became insolvent after taking huge Lombard loans to finance foreign wars at 120-180 percent interest. These transactions created the basis for the Venetian Party in England. When the Lombard bankers went bankrupt because the English failed to pay, a breakdown crisis of the European economy ensued. This led to a new collapse of European civilization, including the onset of the Black Plague, which depopulated the continent. In the midst of the chaos, the Venetians encouraged their ally Edward III of England to wage war against France in the conflict that became the Hundred Years War (1339-1453), which hurled France into chaos before St. Joan of Arc defeated the English. This was then followed by the Wars of the Roses in England. As a result of Venetian domination, the fourteenth century had become a catastrophe for civilization.
In the midst of the crisis of the 1300's, the friends of Dante and Petrarch laid the basis for the Italian Golden Renaissance, which reached its culmination with Nicolaus of Cusanus, Pope Pius II, and the Medici-sponsored Council of Florence of 1439. The Venetians fought the Renaissance with a policy of expansion on the Italian mainland, or terra firma, which brought them to the outskirts of Milan. More fundamentally, the Venetians promoted the pagan philosophy of Aristotle against the Christian Platonism of the Florentines. The school of the Rialto was an Aristotelian academy where Venetian patricians lectured and studied their favorite philosopher. Authors like Barbaro and Bembo popularized an Aristotelian "humanism." The University of Padua became the great European center for Aristotelian studies.
Venice also encouraged the Ottoman Turks to advance against Constantinople, which was now controlled by the Paleologue dynasty of emperors. When Cusanus and his friends succeeded in reuniting the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox and other eastern churches at the Council of Florence, the Venetians tried to sabotage this result. The ultimate sabotage was the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, which was assisted by Venetian agents and provocateurs. Venice refused to respond to Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini) when he called for the recovery of Constantinople.
The program of Cusanus, Pius II, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and other Italian Renaissance leaders for the creation of powerful national states proved impossible to carry out in Italy. The first nation-state was created in France by King Louis XI during the 1460's and 1470's. The successful nation-building methods of Louis XI compelled attention and imitation in England and Spain. Despite their incessant intrigues, the Venetians were now confronted with large national states whose military power greatly exceeded anything that Venice could mobilize.
THE CRISIS OF THE WAR OF THE LEAGUE OF CAMBRAI, 1508-1529
The Venetians tried to use the power of the new nation-states, especially France, to crush Milan and allow further Venetian expansion. But ambassadors for the king of France and the Austrian emperor met at Cambrai in December 1508 and agreed to create a European league for the dismemberment of Venice. The League of Cambrai soon included France, Spain, Germany, the Papacy, Milan, Florence, Savoy, Mantua, Ferrara, and others. At the battle of Agnadello in April 1509, the Venetian mercenaries were defeated by the French, and Venice temporarily lost eight hundred years of land conquests.
Venetian diplomacy played on the greed of the Genoese Pope Julius II Della Rovere, who was bribed to break up the League of Cambrai. By rapid diplomatic maneuvers, Venice managed to survive, although foreign armies threatened to overrun the lagoons on several occasions, and the city was nearly bankrupt. Venice's long-term outlook was very grim, especially because the Portuguese had opened a route to Asia around the Cape of Good Hope. The Venetians considered building a Suez canal, but decided against it.
REFORMATION AND COUNTER-REFORMATION
One result of the Cambrai crisis was the decision of Venetian intelligence to create the Protestant Reformation. The goal was to divide Europe for one to two centuries in religious wars that would prevent any combination like the League of Cambrai from ever again being assembled against Venice. The leading figure of the Protestant Reformation, the first Protestant in modern Europe, was Venice's Cardinal Gasparo Contarini. Contarini was a pupil of the Padua Aristotelian Pietro Pomponazzi, who denied the immortality of the human soul. Contarini pioneered the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith alone, with no regard for good works of charity. Contarini organized a group of Italian Protestants called gli spirituali, including oligarchs like Vittoria Colonna and Giulia Gonzaga. Contarini's networks encouraged and protected Martin Luther and later John Calvin of Geneva. Contarini sent his neighbor and relative Francesco Zorzi to England to support King Henry VIII's plan to divorce Catherine of Aragon. Zorzi acted as Henry's sex counselor. As a result, Henry created the Anglican Church on a Venetian-Byzantine model, and opened a phase of hostility to Spain. Henceforth, the Venetians would use England for attacks on Spain and France. Zorzi created a Rosicrucian-Freemasonic party at the English court that later produced writers like Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sydney.
Contarini was also the leader of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. He sponsored St. Ignatius of Loyola and secured papal approval for the creation of the Society of Jesus as an official order of the Church. Contarini also began the process of organizing the Council of Trent with a letter on church reform that praised Aristotle while condemning Erasmus, the leading Platonist of the day. The Venetians dominated the college of cardinals and created the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, which banned works by Dante and Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II).
This almost unknown work by Daniel Cramer of his 40 sacred emblems should be recognized as a Rosicrucian item of great interest. This very rare book was published in 1617 at the height of the Rosicrucian publishing period, and only a year after the appearance of the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz. Cramer received a short mention in A. E. Waite's Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, London, 1924, p. 234:
In 1616 Daniel Cramer, a Protestant theologian who taught at Wittenburg and Stettin, produced a tract entitled Societas Jesus et Rosae Crucis Vera.
Little is known of Cramer, but it seems that he was, as Waite suggests, a Protestant theologian, and published various works between 1595 and 1620 including Orations on the Most Sweet Name of Jesus, a work In Memory of the Birth of Martin Luther, an essay "Against the Jesuits," The Reward through Grace, and other books of a theological nature.
In addition to the heading of the title page in The True Society of Jesus and the Rosy Cross, there are also a number of internal Rosicrucian references relating the symbols of the rose, the heart, and the cross (in particular see Emblems 19, 22, and 31). The True Society of Jesus obviously has no direct connection with the Jesuits, the 'Society of Jesus' of St. Ignatius of Loyola, as Cramer's other writings show him to be a strong Lutheran Protestant. Indeed, one of his essays was entitled "Against the Jesuits." However, perhaps we can recognize a parallel between these emblems and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola; it is quite possible that here Cramer was consciously trying to produce a series of spiritual exercises of a Protestant esoteric Christianity.
-- The Rosicrucian Emblems of Daniel Cramer
E formed the seed parent, and from blood, and from her womb, for a light, naturally, excluded: in the land of the holy Catholic, which still dwells happily, Saturnia in the kingdom: and though the world mockery of the unclean, in the sight of the wise man, however, pretiosissimus. Catholic: the body, because he has Catholicon, the hylÍ of, for example, primordial, universal in the state still not that (God, so issues) of other things, sublunaris globe, bodies matter, in the state of special or particular, sparks from the soul of the world, or of special particles propietatum, specified and (so to speak) particularisata. Universal condition is also his spirit, and the universal soul, which the Catholic spark of the soul of the Catholic world, that is the universal nature of property and of operation. This is the only place Catholicismus has particular solecism. Catholicon, only by the Catholic. Away, then, and all of a particular nature or a special matter discendant far from here. Addo: solamque for this single cause, by and of itself, sufficient and only able to (after his passion has been regenerated) in the primary kind of being the fruit of, created, Catholics, special, or particular, as it were in his blood relatives, (hence learn, why uegetabilis stone, animal, and mineral.) exercise a wondrous strength, Catholic, their number at the same time, all. Triunus: One, that is, in the whole in the composite, and which was without this or on this side, there is no other, in the power with a wonderful, like this. Triunus: in substance, essence and hypostasis or subsistence: the nature of the three are distinct and different. The stone is why our divine, heavenly, is earthly. And, which is from the salt, Mercury and brimstone in the stone is composed triunum. In the definition of as concerning other words, how presuppose mind.
-- Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, by Heinrich Khunrath
As the Counter-Reformation advanced, the Contarini networks split into two wings. One was the pro-Protestant spirituali, who later evolved into the party of the Venetian oligarchy called the giovani, and who serviced growing networks in France, Holland, England, and Scotland. On the other wing were the zelanti, oriented toward repression and the Inquisition, and typified by Pope Paul IV Caraffa. The zelanti evolved into the oligarchical party called the vecchi, who serviced Venetian networks in the Vatican and the Catholic Hapsburg dominions. The apparent conflict of the two groups was orchestrated to serve Venetian projects.
PRIEST: That's why the whole world is now Catholic.
COP: What do you mean, Catholic?
PRIEST: That's right, the whole world.
COP: But what about the Moslems?
PRIEST: Come now, the Moslems are Catholic.
COP: What about the Jews?
PRIEST: Especially the Jews.
-- The Milky Way, directed by Luis Bunuel
During the decades after 1570, the salon of the Ridotto Morosini family was the focus of heirs of the pro-Protestant wing of the Contarini spirituali networks. These were the giovani, whose networks were strongest in the Atlantic powers of France, England, Holland, and Scotland. The central figure here was the Servite monk Paolo Sarpi, assisted by his deputy, Fulgenzio Micanzio. Sarpi was the main Venetian propagandist in the struggle against the papacy during the time of the papal interdict against Venice in 1606. Sarpi and Micanzio were in close touch with the Stuart court in London, and especially with Sir Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, who got their ideas from Sarpi's Pensieri (Thoughts) and Arte di Ben Pensare (Art of Thinking Well). Sarpi's agents in Prague, Heidelberg, and Vienna deliberately organized the Thirty Years War, which killed half the population of Germany and one-third of the population of Europe.
Sarpi also marks a turning point in the methods used by Venetian intelligence to combat science. Under Zorzi and Contarini, the Venetians had been openly hostile to Cusanus and other leading scientists. Sarpi realized that the Venetians must now present themselves as the great champions of science, but on the basis of Aristotelian formalism and sense certainty. By seizing control of the scientific community from the inside, the Venetians could corrupt scientific method and strangle the process of discovery. Sarpi sponsored and directed the career of Galileo Galilei, whom the Venetians used for an empiricist counterattack against the Platonic method of Johannes Kepler.
GROWTH OF THE VENETIAN PARTY
During the 1600's, the Venetian fondi were transferred north, often to the Bank of Amsterdam, and later to the newly founded Bank of England. During the reign of "Bloody Mary," the Stuart period, the civil war in England, the dictatorship of Cromwell, the Stuart Restoration, and the 1688 installation of William of Orange as King of England by the pro-Venetian English oligarchy, the Venetian Party of England grew in power.
During the first half of the 1700's, the most important activities of Venetian intelligence were directed by a salon called the conversazione filosofica e felice, which centered around the figure of Antonio Schinella Conti. Conti was a Venetian nobleman, originally a follower of Descartes, who lived for a time in Paris, where he was close to Malebranche. Conti went to London where he became a friend of Sir Isaac Newton. Conti directed the operations that made Newton an international celebrity, including especially the creation of a pro-Newton party of French Anglophiles and Anglomaniacs who came to be known as the French Enlightenment. Conti's agents in this effort included Montesquieu and Voltaire. Conti was also active in intrigues against the German philosopher, scientist, and economist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, whom Conti portrayed as a plagiarist of Newton. Conti also influenced Georg Ludwig of Hanover, later King George I of England, against Leibniz.
The Conti conversazione was also sponsored by the Emo and Memmo oligarchical families. Participants included Giammaria Ortes, the Venetian economist who asserted that the carrying capacity of the planet Earth could never exceed three billion persons. Ortes was a student of the pro-Galileo activist Guido Grandi of Pisa. Ortes applied Newton's method to the so-called social sciences. Ortes denied the possibility of progress or higher standards of living, supported free trade, opposed dirigist economics, and polemicized against the ideas of the American Revolution. The ideas of Conti, Ortes, and their network were brought into Great Britain under the supervision of William Petty, the Earl of Shelburne, who was the de facto Doge of the British oligarchy around the time of the American Revolution. The Shelburne stable of writers, including Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Malthus, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin, and other exponents of British philosophical radicalism, all take their main ideas from Conti and especially Ortes.
Francesco Algarotti, author of a treatise on "Newtonian Science for Ladies," was another Venetian in the orbit of the Conti conversazione. Algarotti was close to Voltaire, and along with the French scientist Pierre Louis de Maupertuis he helped form the homosexual harem around British ally Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick the Great was Britain's principal continental ally during the Seven Years War against France, when British victories in India and Canada made them the supreme naval power of the world. The homosexual Frederick made Algarotti his court chamberlain at his palace of Sans Souci. Maupertuis had become famous when he went to Lapland to measure a degree of the local meridian, and came back claiming that he had confirmed one of Newton's postulates. Frederick made him the president of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Frederick corresponded with Voltaire all his life; Voltaire lived at Sans Souci and Berlin between 1750 and 1753. Voltaire quarreled with Maupertuis and attacked him in his "Diatribe of Doctor Akakia." The mathematicians Leonhard Euler of Switzerland and Joseph Louis Lagrange of Turin were also associated with Frederick's cabal.
The Conti salon directed the activities of Venetian intelligence agent Giacomo Casanova, a protégé of the homosexual Senator Bragadin. Casanova was employed primarily in operations against King Louis XV of France. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Venetians helped the British to emerge as a great power at the expense of Holland and Spain. In the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, the Venetians helped the British to defeat the French as a world-wide naval power, ousting them from India and Canada. Later the Venetian agent Alessandro Cagliostro would destabilize Louis XVI with the Queen's necklace affair of 1785, which according to Napoleon Bonaparte represented the opening of the French Revolution.
Venice ceased to exist as an independent state after its conquest by Napoleon in 1797 and the Austrian takeover of the lagoon under the Treaty of Campo Formio. But the influence of the Venetian oligarchy over culture and politics has remained immense. From 1945 to about 1968, one of the most important of these influences was the Societe Europeene de Culture, based in Venice and directed by Umberto Campagnolo. The SEC operated freely in eastern and western Europe, and agitated against the nation state in the name of supernational values. The SEC launched the career of Franz Fanon, author of the Wretched of the Earth, whose ideas form a justification for terrorism. The premier foundation of the world is the Cini Foundation, which provides ideological directives for the far wealthier but junior foundations with names like Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, MacArthur, Volkswagen, etc.