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Project Democracy's Program: The Fascist Corporate State, by

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Project Democracy's Program: The Fascist Corporate State
by Webster Griffin Tarpley
April, 1987



The following article appeared as Chapter V of the EIR Special Report entitled Project Democracy: The "Parallel Government Behind the Iran-Contra Affair," issued in April 1987.

Even in an epoch full of big lies like the late 20th century, it is ironic that the financiers of the Trilateral Commission should have chosen the name "Project Democracy" to denote their organized efforts to install a fascist, totalitarian regime in the United States and a fascist New Order around the world. It is ironic that so many of the operatives engaged, in the name of "democracy" in this insidious, creeping coup d'état against the United States Constitution should be first- and second-generation followers of the Soviet Russian universal fascist, Nikolai Bukharin. It is ironic that Israel, the country in the modern world singled out more than any other by Project Democracy as a model of the triumph of democratic values, should turn out to be a corporate state with marked similarities to Mussolini's Italy.

"And Satan came also among them." "Also" signifies that he came with the set purpose of displaying his superior power as the greatest of all the celestial accusers and so making it difficult for Israel to obtain forgiveness. When the Holy One saw that they all came thus to accuse, "He said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? And Satan replied, From going to and fro in the land."... God knew that he intended to accuse Israel, and therefore straightway asked him: "Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?", in order to divert him to another subject and make him leave Israel alone -- like a shepherd who throws a lamb to a wolf in order to save the rest of the flock..... Now the time had come for the "other side" to have its due from the whole seed of Abraham. For Satan had a case against Abraham for having brought as a sacrifice an animal instead of Isaac -- an unlawful transaction, since it says, "he shall not alter it (an animal destined for sacrifice) nor change it" (Lev. XXVII, 10). His claim, therefore, was quite reasonable. Thus, from the time when Isaac was saved and an animal substituted for him as a sacrifice, the Holy One, blessed be He, apportioned unto Satan another branch of Abraham's family that he might accuse it, namely the (heathen) descendants of his brother Nahor, the family of Uz (and Job was from the land of Uz). Now Job was one of the closest counsellors of Pharaoh, and when the latter formed the intention of exterminating the children of Israel, Job advised him: "Do not kill them, but take their possessions from them and subject their bodies to severe toil." Then said the Holy One: "As thou livest, thou shalt be judged according to thine own judgements!" Therefore, when Satan said, "But put forth thine hand now and touch all that he has and touch his bone and his flesh" (v. 11), the Lord placed in his power all Job's possessions and his flesh, only bidding him to "save his soul" (v. 12) -- that is, his life.... "Hast thou considered my servant Job?" And as soon as Satan heard this name, he concentrated all his attention upon him. For this reason we are taught that it is wrong to isolate oneself and be separated from the corporate community, since one is then liable to be singled out and accused in the upper realm. Therefore the Shunammite woman said, "I dwell among my people" (2 Kings IV, 13), meaning that she had no desire to separate herself from the majority, having dwelt hitherto among her people and being known above merely as one with them. Job, however, was known apart from his people: he was singled out; and this was Satan's opportunity.


The Holy One, blessed be He, unlike a human husband, who would protest violently should anyone take from him the wife whom he so dearly loves, is greatly pleased when the Shekinah, whom He so loves, is "taken" from the supernal sphere, the abode of Love, to dwell below in the midst of Israel....However, although they "take" Her (the Shekinah), they may do so only when her Spouse specially grants permission, and only in accordance with His will, in order that He may be worshipped in love. This is realized daily in the corporate liturgical services of Israel.

-- The Zohar, translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon

Though ironic, all these propositions are indeed true. Project Democracy is fascist, designed to culminate in the imposition of fascist institutions on the United States, institutions that combine the distilled essence of the Nazi Behemoth and the Bolshevik Leviathan. Project Democracy is high treason, a conspiracy for the overthrow of the Constitution. An organization whose stock in trade is the destabilization and the putsch in so many countries around the world can hardly be expected to halt its operations as it returns to the U.S. border. For Project Democracy, it can happen here, it will happen here.

The greatest obstacle to understanding the monstrous purpose that lurks behind Project Democracy's bland and edifying label is the continued ignorance on the part of the American public of the real nature of 20th-century totalitarian regimes. Despite the fact that Stalin deliberately helped bring Hitler and the Nazis to power, despite the Nazi-Communist alliance of 1939-41 under the Hitler-Stalin Pact, despite Mussolini's close ties to Moscow, despite the deep affinity between Nazi-fascists and communists demonstrated repeatedly in many countries by mass exchanges of membership between political organizations of the two persuasions, the average American still sees communism and Nazism-fascism as polar opposites. The expression "fascist" exists only as a strongly derogatory but very vague epithet, empty of any precise political content.

The bitter opposition between KPD and NSDAP in the Weimar Republic is well known; meeting-hall battles and terrorist attacks were a daily occurrence. But from the very beginning there existed within each camp a National Bolshevist tendency, whose influence fluctuated from year to year. Here we must also distinguish between the surges within the general population and the "theoreticians" of the Conservative Revolution, who considered themselves an intellectual elite. In spite of a certain following of their own, this elite remained aloof from events, disdainfully voicing the opinion that the National Socialists had watered down the pure theory of the Conservative Revolution, as had all the other 500 groupings and tendencies within the Weimar Republic....

The victorious powers' financial and economic strangulation of Germany first made possible the "success" of the KPD and NSDAP, both of whom benefited from the ferment against the Versailles Treaty. From the outset, both parties sought to destroy the "system," the young Weimar Republic. The de facto collaboration between Nazis and Communists in this endeavor, repeatedly took on a very practical form, and was the ultimate cause of the Weimar Republic's collapse.

National Bolshevist Dreams

Whenever the National Bolshevist tendency was on the rise within the Nazi movement, discussion quickly moved to the necessity for an alliance between Germany and Russia as the key to defeating the "West," perhaps even leading to eventual world domination by both states. Many German military people, still laboring under the shock of the outcome of the war, cherished hopes that with the aid of the Russians, their humiliating defeat might be reversed. This hope was nourished by the Russian Army's advances in connection with the 1920 Russo-Polish war. Even though the advance was soon halted at Warsaw, an even greater resurgence of National Bolshevist ideas came with the hammer-blows of the Great Inflation of 1923 and the occupation of the Ruhr, both of which seemed to threaten the very existence of the Weimar Republic. This provided such National Bolshevist tendencies as Karl Radek, the most powerful functionary on the executive committee of the Communist International and a close confidante of Stalin, with the opportunity to push through the Nazi-Communist tactical alliance known as the so-called "Schlageter course" and the tactic of National Bolshevism itself.

Ruth Fischer, who since May 1923 had been a "leftist" on the Central Committee, told a meeting of volkisch students:

The German Reich .. , can only be saved if you, gentlemen of the German-volkisch side, realize that you must fight together with the Russians who are organized with the KPD. Whoever raises the cry against Jewish capital ... is already a fighter in the class struggle, whether he knows it or not. ... Stamp out the Jew capitalists, hang them from the lamp posts, trample them to death!

The broadest-based upsurge of National Bolshevism, however, took place in 1930. The world economic crisis was reaching a climax, the soup lines were growing in length, and, in the form of the Young and Dawes plans, the victorious powers were again attempting to unload a large part of the burden onto Germany. The National Bolshevist Strasser wing of the NSDAP, hoping to make the ideas of Moeller van den Bruck, Friedrich Naumann, and Mazaryk into reality, competed with Hitler for leadership of the party. Gregor Strasser coined the catchphrase, "anti-capitalist yearning" (antikapitalistische Sehnsucht), which captured the fancy of the entire German people.

In the tradition of Radek, the KPD attempted to assume leadership of this anti-Western current, and decreed such initiatives as the "Programmatic Declaration of the KPD for the National and Social Liberation of the German People" on Aug. 24, 1930, and the "Farmers Aid Program" in the spring of 1931. Within the KPD itself, the group around Heinz Naumann sought out active contact with National Bolshevist forces on the right. This tendency was later called the "Scheringer Course," referring to the infamous Lieutenant [Richard] Scheringer, who in 1930 had been arrested for his National Bolshevist activities within the Reichswehr and who had gone over to the KPD while still in prison. The German information service DID reported in a special Jan. 30, 1983 issue that:

after his arrest, Scheringer joined up with the KPD and attempted to bring right- and leftwing radical opponents of the Weimar Republic together into a "rebels' circle." Following the outbreak of war in 1939, through the mediation of the later Field Marshal von Reichenau, Scheringer formally requested that Hitler recall him into military service as a volunteer with his old rank. As the "division's most courageous officer," Artillery Captain Scheringer now successfully turned his guns against his Communist comrades. After World War II, Scheringer's silence about his Nazi past enabled him to become a state secretary, and he dedicated himself to the task of gathering together former functionaries from the "Imperial Food Trades" in the Communist-influenced "Association for Forestry and Agriculture." Scheringer was also influential in the "Leadership Ring of Former Soldiers," whose primary task was to follow Moscow's plan to mobilize ex-Nazis and former German officers against the so-called "remilitarization of the Federal Republic." Since the "reconstitution" of the Communist Party of Germany (DKP) in September 1968, Scheringer has been an "agricultural expert" on the DKP's executive committee. The activities of this Nazi-Communist not only undermined the Weimar Republic, as they do now the Federal Republic, but the personnel of this network has remained intact down to the present day.

On Aug. 9, 1931, under Moscow's strict instructions, the KPD supported the Stahlhelm's plebiscite against the Prussian administration, and on election day, in accordance with this order, in front of every voting place there was posted a red flag with hammer and sickle, side by side with a red swastika flag. (They lost the plebiscite just the same.) One year later the NSDAP and KPD jointly supported the strike of the Berlin Transportation Union. Under the leadership of Walter Ulbricht they followed the motto that anything which weakened the West would help them, putting faith in Stalin's slogan: "Through Hitler we will take power!"

This time the National Bolshevist tendency acquired more influence over the population than before. Strasser's wing in the NSDAP, however, still could not win out over Hitler's Munich clique, and formally subordinated itself on June 30, 1930, with Gregor Strasser knuckling under and his brother Otto leaving the NSDAP entirely. In 1932, it finally came to an open break between Gregor Strasser and Hitler, and on June 30, 1934, the "Night of the Long Knives," Hitler used his own methods to end the faction fighting within the NSDAP, shooting down Gregor Strasser along with all his followers in the SA.

Once again, as in the period before World War I, the so-called theoreticians of the Conservative Revolution had a much greater long-range influence than the pragmatic Gregor Strasser, or those who thought they could accomplish something by forming a new "popular conservative" party. In the wake of the power struggle, the so-called authors of the Conservative Revolution -- the National Revolutionaries and National Bolsheviks of the Weimar Republic -- had been partially wiped out by the Nazis, partially put into concentration camps, and partially driven abroad, where they were able to surround themselves with an absurd aura of resistance. Nevertheless, today they once again represent a serious threat.

-- The Hitler Book, edited by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

In reality, Bolshevism and fascism, Bukharin and D'Annunzio, are products of the Capri School, Siamese twins conceived in the Isle of Capri's Grotto of Matromania by Venetian and Benedictine cultural-political gamemasters. This can be shown by briefly examining Nazi-communist ideology and economics. But in addition to ideology and economics, there exist specifically Nazi-communist, totalitarian institutional forms which can be objectively identified. A review of the institutions of the corporate state as exemplified by D'Annunzio, Mussolini, and Bukharin is an excellent preparation for recognizing the corporate state in present-day Israel, and for discerning the outlines of the ongoing Trilateral-Project Democracy fascist transformation of the United States.

Nazi-communism is 20th-century totalitarianism. Although some writers attempt to trace the origins of totalitarianism to models of the Protestant Reformation or the French Jacobins, the search for the roots of totalitarian regimes takes us totally outside of the confines of Western, Augustinian civilization, outside of the world of Latin Christendom. The model from which Western totalitarianism derives is to be found in the separate, Byzantine-Orthodox civilization of Eastern Europe. Byzantine-Orthodox civilization has been not just autocratic and militaristic, but specifically totalitarian also, since no later than the reign of the Emperor Diocletian in the second century A.D. Although Hannah Arendt and her school never recognized it, Soviet communism is only the form of totalitarian rule associated with the Bolshevik dynasties of the Russian Empire.

"Totalitarianism" is much more than just a dictatorship or authoritarian state. The totalitarian state seeks to dictate the behavior of its inmates down to the most minute detail, and creates for this purpose institutions that will allow that total surveillance and total control. In Byzantine-Orthodox civilization and in the Western totalitarianism copied from it, all departments of human endeavor, including economics, religion, sports, marriage, and even thinking are conceived of as departments of the state. Appropriate institutions are required to mediate totalitarian control in each of these areas.

The starting point of Western civilization, as for example in the writings of St. Augustine, is the God-like, creative individual, the most precious resource of the society as a whole. Western civilization seeks the highest development of the individual and the highest development of the state as complementary objectives. The United States Constitution is the finest instrument yet devised for pursuing these inseparable goals. Western civilization in our era knows the state as the constitutional republic, wherein the rights of the individual are guaranteed. Within that framework the organizations of society, the political parties, business enterprises and companies, trade unions, churches, associations, societies, universities, local governments, and families enjoy their independent existence. That is what a democratic republic means.

In totalitarianism, by contrast, both the individual and society disappear into the maw of the all- consuming Moloch, the state.

A Definition of Nazi-communism

Starting from these premises, it is possible to furnish a rough definition of modern fascism or Nazi-communism, the regime toward which Project Democracy is working. That definition contains the following elements:

1) Totalitarian fascism is a system which seeks to mutilate, mortify, and crush the Augustinian conception of the individual. As in the writings of Mussolini's ideologue, Giovanni Gentile, or in the ravings of Michael Ledeen, the aspirations of the individual are rigidly subordinated to the exigencies of the regime.

2) The fascist regime is a government controlled in practice by a single party -- a one-party state.

3) Fascist ideology, whatever its specific predicates, repudiates human reason and exalts irrationalism and irrationalist violence, often in the form of wanton military aggression and imperialism. A fascist mass movement is the most aggressive form of militant irrationalism. From Mussolini's Romanita through Hitler's Herrenvolk to the Great Russian master race conception of "Moscow the Third Rome," fascist ideology is based on notions of racial superiority and race hatred, extreme chauvinism, and blood and soil mysticism. Fascism is neo-pagan and ferociously hostile to Augustinian Christianity, as can be shown from Mussolini's early career and from Hitler's private conversations. This same neo-paganism is perfectly expressed in the predilection of Russian totalitarianism for the Russian Orthodox Church. In the Western world, fascism can be correctly called the politics of cultural despair.

4) Fascist economics is the murderous austerity associated with the names of Hitler's finance minister, Hjalmar Schacht, and Mussolini's finance minister, Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata. The final logic of fascist economics is the concentration camp, the labor camp, the Gulag. Fascist irrationalism cannot tolerate scientific rationality on a broad scale, and is therefore correlated with hostility to technological innovation, and permanent peasant backwardness in agriculture.

5) The institutions through which totalitarian control of economic life is mediated merit special attention. In Eastern totalitarianism, this is accomplished by making each branch of the state-owned industries subject to the Council of Ministers and the state planning authority, and thus to the party. At the same time, the trade unions are the passive "transmission belt," in Lenin's phrase, for party control. In totalitarian regimes in the Western world, masses of labor have often been simply dragooned through institutions such as Dr. Ley's Nazi Labor Front. But the characteristic institutions of fascism in the West are those of the so-called corporate state. In the fascist regime of Italy, Vichy France, and many others, it was the corporations which were to bring together ownership and employees, management and labor under the direct control of the one-party state for the purpose of extending totalitarian domination into the nooks and crannies of everyday economic life while at the same time fragmenting potentially rebellious workers along the lines of branches of industry.

The corporatist principle

This corporatist principle in fascism is so neglected and misunderstood that it merits our special attention, especially because the form of fascist totalitarianism which Project Democracy aims at is of a corporatist variety. The word corporation here has nothing to do with its usual English meaning of a joint-stock company. "Corporation" here means, approximately, a guild. For present purposes it is enough to recall that corporatism emerged as an irrational, solidarist opposition to capitalism and the United States Constitution during the period of the reactionary Holy Alliance after the end of the Napoleonic wars. Corporatism asserted that the way to overcome the tensions between labor and capital was not through the broad national community of interest prescribed by Alexander Hamilton's American System of dirigist political economy, but rather through the artificial creation of medieval guild organizations, based on the pretense that capitalists were masters, and workers were journeymen and apprentices, all functioning together in "organic" unity.

Thus, Mussolini advertised his fascist regime as the stato corporativo or corporate state, proclaiming that Oil fascismo sara corporativo o non sara (fascism is corporative or it is nothing). In German, the equivalent for stato corporativo is Standestaat, wherein Stand has the meaning of social position in the sense of aristocracy, clergy, and bourgeoisie, the three "estates" of pre-evolutionary France. Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party was corporatist from the very beginning: point 25 of the "unalterable" program of the Nazis as adopted on Feb. 25, 1920 included the "creation of corporative and professional chambers" (Odie Bildung von Stande--und Berufskammern zur Durchfuhrung der vom Reiche erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten.) [Note 1] For a certain period after Hitler's seizure of power in 1933, his regime referred to itself prominently as a Standestaat, or corporate state. When Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval created their Nazi puppet-state in Vichy, Petain announced that one of the principal goals of his "national regeneration movement" was the creation of an ordre corporatif. Other fascist regimes, especially the many that were directly modeled on the Italian one, also stressed corporatism, so that corporatism emerges as the characteristic institutional structure of fascism.

Theories of the corporate state can be traced back to Germans like Pesch and Kettler, or to the "guild socialism" of the Englishman William Morris. An early attempt to actually create a corporate state came in 1919, with the filibustering expedition to Fiume of Gabriele D'Annunzio, the protofascist of our epoch.

D'Annunzio as seen by Ledeen

The corporate state D'Annunzio attempted to create during his Fiume adventure is of double relevance to an analysis of the fascism of Project Democracy. On the one hand, D'Annunzio's 16-month tenure as dictator in Fiume was the model and dress rehearsal for Mussolini's March on Rome. On the other hand, D'Annunzio's activities in Fiume have been the subject of a lengthy treatise by the most overt and blatantly fascist ideologue of Project Democracy, Michael Ledeen.

Ledeen's discussion of D'Annunzio in Fiume is to be found in his book, The First Duce. Ledeen celebrates the poetmaster D'Annunzio as the founder not only of fascism, but of 20th-century politics in general, through his creation of a Nazi-communist mass movement of irrationalism:

Virtually the entire ritual of Fascism came from the "Free State of Fiume: the balcony address, the Roman salute, the cries of "aia, aia, alala," the dramatic dialogues with the crowd, the use of religious symbols in a new secular setting, the eulogies of the "martyrs" of the cause and the employment of their "relics" in political ceremonies. Moreover, quite aside from the poet's contribution to the form and style of fascist politics, Mussolini's movement first started to attract great strength when the future dictator supported D'Annunzio's occupation of Fiume. (p. viii)

D'Annunzio's political style -- the politics of mass manipulation, the politics of myth and symbol -- gave become the norm in the modern world. All too often we have lost sight of the point of departure of our political behavior, believing that by now ours is the normal political universe and that the manipulation of the masses is essential in the political process.

D'Annunzian Fiume seems to have marked a sort of watershed in this process, and that is perhaps the explanation for the fascinating symbiosis between themes of the "Right" and the "Left" in the rhetoric of the comandante. It is of the utmost importance for us to remind ourselves that D'Annunzio's political appeal ranged from extreme Left to extreme Right, from leaders of the Russian Revolution to arch-reactionaries. (p. 202)

Ledeen is especially fascinated by D'Annunzio's ability to recreate an "organic" unity out of the disparate elements of modern society: "At the core of D'Annunzian politics was the insight that many conflicting interests could be overcome and transcended in a new kind of movement." (p. ix) For Ledeen, the key institutional feature of the D'Annunzian fascist order is the corporate state.

The city of Fiume at the southern base of the Istrian peninsula was in 1919 a former territory of the newly defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire under dispute between Italy and the new nation of Yugoslavia, where the town is located today under the name of Rieka. Italy, having participated in the victorious cause of the Allies, desired to annex Fiume as it had the other Austro-Hungarian port of Trieste, but the weak Nitti ministry hesitated to do so because of the opposition of France. France at that time was determined to emerge as the protector of the new states created in the Balkans by the Peace of Paris, and therefore supported the Yugoslav claim to Fiume, which the Yugoslavs saw as a key port. In order to force the hand of Nitti, D'Annunzio, starting from Venice, gathered a force of arditi, veterans of the elite shock troops of the Italian army, and seized Fiume in September 1919, demanding that Italy annex it. D'Annuzio's regime, which he sometimes called a Regency, organized acts of terrorism and piracy. In November 1920, with the Treaty of Rapallo, Fiume was made a free city. D'Annunzio refused to accept this solution and Italian troops dispersed his "legions" some time later.

The Fiume expedition was a classic example of Venetian cultural- political warfare, designed as a pilot project for fascist movements and coups in the aftermath of the hecatomb of the First World War. The centerpiece of the operation was the so-called Charter of Carnaro (Carta del Carnaro), the corporatist guild constitution for Fiume as an independent state written by D'Annunzio in collaboration with the anarcho-syndicalist agitator Alceste de Ambris.

The Carta del Carnaro was reminiscent of certain features of the Venetian Republic. Legislative power was vested in a bicameral legislature. One house was called the Consiglio degli Ottimi, or Council of the Best, and was elected on the basis of universal direct suffrage with one councilor per every thousand inhabitants. The Ottimi were to handle legislation regarding civil and criminal justice, police, the armed forces, education, intellectual life, and were also to govern the relations between the central government and subdivisions or states called communes.

The corporate chamber of the Fiume parliament was to be the Consiglio dei Provvisori, a kind of economic council. The Consiglio dei Provvisori was composed of representatives of nine guilds or corporations whose creation was also provided for in the document. These included the industrial and agricultural workers, the seafarers, and the employers, with 10 representatives each; the industrial and agricultural technicians, private bureaucrats and administrators, teachers and students, lawyers and doctors, civil servants, and cooperative workers, with five representatives from each group, for a grand total of 60. The Consiglio dei Provvisori was responsible for all laws regarding business and commerce. The Consiglio dei Provvisori also decided all matters touching labor, public services, transportation and the merchant marine, tariffs and trade, public works, and medical and legal practice.

The Ottimi served for a term of three years, and the Provvisori for two years. A third legislative body was prescribed, formed through the joint session of the Ottimi and Provvisori: This was called the Arengo del Carnaro, and was to deal with treaties with foreign states, the budget, university affairs, and amendments to the constitution.

The Provvisori were chosen by nine corporations. Membership in one of these corporations was obligatory for all citizens, and was posited in the Carta del Carnaro as an indispensable precondition for citizenship. The article on corporations states that "only the assiduous producers of the common wealth and the assiduous producers of the common strength are complete citizens of the Regency, and with it constitute a single working substance, a single ascendant fullness." (Ledeen, p. 166) D'Annunzio's corporations are horizontal, similar to the estates, and are not organized according to vertical branches or cycles of economic activity, as Mussolini's corporations were to be.

The Carta del Carnaro provides for a 10th corporation, which seems to have been reserved for geniuses, prophets, and assorted supermen. D'Annunzio's conception of the corporation is almost tribal, as the text of the constitution shows. He stipulated that each corporation was to "invent its insignia, its emblems, its music, its chants, its prayers; institute its ceremonies and rites; participate, as magnificently as it can, in the common joys, the anniversary festivals, and the maritime and terrestrial games; venerate its dead, honor its leaders, and celebrate its heroes." (Ledeen, p. 168)

The executive power was normally vested in seven rectors or ministers (including foreign affairs, treasury, education, police and justice, defense, public economy, and labor). For periods of emergency, it was provided that the Arengo could appoint a dictator or comandante for a specified term, as was the custom in the Roman Republic. There was also a judiciary, with communal courts (Buoni uomini, or good men), a labor court (giudici del lavoro), civil courts (giudici togati, of judges in toga), a criminal court (giudici del maleficio), and a supreme court called the Corte della Ragione, or court of reason.

For Ledeen, D'Annunzio assumes the status of Nazi-communist prophet of the mass irrationalism of the 20th century. For Ledeen, the Carta del Carnaro sums up the "essence of European radical socialism." From the point of view of Ledeen's universal fascism, D'Annunzio is located in the same tradition as the classics of Marxism and historical materialism, since his writings "conjure up the Karl Marx of the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. The young Marx, like many other heirs of Hegelianism, had been engaged in the search for a way to end human "alienation," and D'Annunzio saw the structure created by the Carta as a means of organizing a society in which human creativity would blossom in a way rarely seen in the story of mankind. It is by no means accidental that he employed the language of the Comunes in his new constitution, for he wished to recreate in the regency of Fiume the ferment of activity that had produced the Renaissance. He hoped that this constitution would produce a new, unalienated man." (Ledeen, pp. 168- 9)

In reality, D'Annunzio was a degenerate monster, a coprophile, pervert, and psychopath--qualities that may have helped to determine Ledeen's compulsive affinity for this hideous figure. The Venetian operative D'Annunzio, the "John the Baptist" of fascism in this century, must bear a great share of the responsibility for opening the door to the Nazi-communist chamber of horrors in the epoch during and after the First World War. Ledeen's commitment to the creation of a universal fascist yoke has found its appropriate organizational expression in Project Democracy.

Mussolini's corporate state

After the March on Rome in 1922, and especially after the consolidation of a full-blown dictatorship through the coup d'etat of 1925, the Kingdom of Italy saw the creation of the fascist corporate state. The promise of creating corporations figured prominently in Mussolini's demagogy from the beginning of his campaign for the seizure of power, but the creation of the corporations and the transformation of the parliament in order to include them was a long and drawn-out process that was completed only in the late thirties at the eve of the outbreak of the Second World War.

One of the reasons it took so long to found the corporations was the lack of agreement about what these artificial creations might in fact be, since they had to be invented ex novo. Mussolini in the end settled on the idea that each corporation was to represent, not a stratum of society, but rather a branch of industry. The essence of the fascist corporations was that they were a support and appendage of the personal rule of Il Duce, and thus of the one-party fascist state. As one historian has observed:

"The fundamental truth, however, is that the Fascist State claims the right to regulate economic as well as other aspects of life, and has aimed at accomplishing the former through the Corporate organization. The Dictatorship is the necessary rack and screw of the Corporate system; all the rest is subordinate machinery." [Note 2]

Mussolini rejected both the Marxist idea of class conflict as well as what he called economic liberalism. The corporate system was designed, in his view, to overcome the class struggle of the one and the exaggerated economic individualism of the other. All of this was supposed to mobilize and focus national energies in the service of the superior interest of the state as the overarching collectivity. In one speech, Il Duce summed up the three elements of revolutionary corporatism as a single party, a totalitarian state, and "the highest ideal tension." In fact, Mussolini danced to the tune of Venetian financiers like Volpi di Misurata, Cini, and others.

Mussolini situated the need for corporations in the context of the dissolution of the world capitalist system -- an interesting parallel to the corporatist fascism of Project Democracy and the Trilateral Commission, which are explicitly proposed as necessities for a post-industrial era of scarce and diminishing resources. In 1933, Mussolini announced that the world depression (or the "American crisis," as he also called it) had become a total crisis of the world capitalist system. He went on to distinguish three periods in the history of capitalism: "the dynamic, the static, and the declining." According to Mussolini, the dynamic era of capitalism extended from the introduction of the widespread use of the steam engine to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1870; this period he saw as the time of unfettered free enterprise. After 1870, came a static phase, with the growth of trusts, the end of free competition, and smaller profit margins. The third or decadent phase is described by Mussolini as a kind of state capitalism.

The outcome is the necessity for corporatism

Today we are burying economic liberalism, and the Corporation plays that part in the economic field, which the Grand Council and the Militia of the squadristi do in the political. Corporativism means a disciplined, and therefore a controlled economy, since there can be no discipline which is not controlled. Corporativism overcomes Socialism as well as it does liberalism: it creates a new synthesis.

(Finer, pp. 501- 502)

The juridicial basis for the fascist corporations is established in the Charter of Labor of 1927, whose sixth article states:

The corporations constitute the unitary organization of production and represent completely its interests. In view of this complete representation, the interests of production being national interests, the corporations are recognized by law as organs of the State. [Note 3]

The regime created fascist labor unions for workers, which had the monopoly of representation of labor in the negotiation of the national labor contract for each category or branch of economic activity. The Confindustria was created as the sole syndicate of the employers. No labor contract was considered valid until it had been approved by the Ministry for Corporations.

In 1934, Mussolini finally issued a decree-law creating 22 corporations for the principal sectors of the Italian economy. Each corporation was given a council, which was composed of equal numbers of representatives of the fascist labor union and the fascist employers' organization for that sector, plus representatives of the National Fascist Party, the Ministry of Corporations, and consulting technocrats. The president of each corporation was generally a top official of the government or of the Fascist Party. The leading task of each corporation was the reconciliation of disputes between labor and management.

Each corporation represented a "productive cycle" rather than an occupational category. A first group of corporations included agricultural, industrial, and commercial elements. These were the corporations for:

1) cereals;

2) garden products, flowers, and fruits;

3) vineyards and wine;

4) oils;

5) beets and sugar;

6) animal industries and fishing;

7) wood; and

8) textile products.

A second group of eight corporations included only commercial and industrial elements. These were:

1) metallurgy and mechanics;

2) chemical industries;

3) clothing and accessories;

4) paper and the press;

5) building construction;

6) water, gas, and electricity;

7) extractive industries; and

8) glass and ceramics.

A third group of corporations made up the service sector:

1) insurance and credit;

2) professions and arts;

3) sea and air transportation;

4) internal communications;

5) show business; and

6) tourism and hotels.

In the early stages of the regime, corporate representatives were brought together at the national level in a National Council of Corporations, and a National Assembly of Corporations, which were later superseded by a Central Corporate Committee. All of these contained additional party and government representatives in addition to the corporate delegates. In addition, Councils of Corporate Economy were set up in each province as a kind of fascist chamber of commerce, with all the corporations of the province plus local governments being represented.

In 1938, after having proclaimed that he considered the Chamber of Deputies, which until that time had been the lower house of the Italian Parliament, as belonging to the alien residue of liberalism, Mussolini replaced that Chamber with the Chamber of the Fasces and Corporations (Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni). This was composed of a number of delegates appointed by each of the corporations, plus other delegates appointed by the National Fascist Party.

Mussolini summed up these institutional transformations with the following words:

"We have constituted a Corporative and Fascist State, the State of national society, a State which concentrates, controls, harmonizes, and tempers the interests of all social classes, which are thereby protected in equal measure. Whereas, during the years of demo-liberal regime, labor looked with diffidence upon the State, and was, in fact, outside the State and against the State, and considered the State an enemy of every day and every hour, there is not one working Italian today who does not seek a place in his Corporation or syndical federation, who does not wish to be a living atom of that great, immense living organization which is the national Corporate State of Fascism."

(Field, p. 16)

After the cataclysm of the Mussolini regime, former members of the fascist hierarchy who considered themselves in the syndicalist-corporate tradition, such as Giuseppe Bottai, accused Mussolini of having been instinctively inclined to preserve his personal dictatorship, rather than transform that dictatorship into a true corporatist system. From beginning to end, the corporations were in fact the merest paraphernalia of Il Duce's one-party state. Although he actually functioned as a malleable puppet of Volpi di Misurata and the Venetian financiers, in the eyes of the world Mussolini stood atop the fascist edifice as Duce of Fascism and Head of Government, and the secretary of the National Fascist Party served at his pleasure. An important organ of this totalitarian dictatorship was the Grand Council of Fascism (Gran Consiglio del Fascismo), primarily an expression of the fascist party, but in its makeup a mixed organ composed of top officials of the National Fascist Party, government ministers, the Presidents of the Senate and the Chamber, the commander of the squadristi, and others. As long as the Chamber of Deputies lasted, it was the Grand Council which made up the single nationwide list of Fascist candidates which the voters were called upon to accept or reject as a single unitary slate. The Grand Council was also responsible for submitting to the King the names of persons who might be selected as Head of Government. It was this Grand Council which, in July 1943, decided to oust Mussolini.

As will be shown later, the National Endowment for Democracy is not only corporatist, but its board of directors is intended to function as a kind of informal Grand Council of Fascism in the totalitarian one-party state that Project Democracy seeks to create in the United States.

After seizing power, Mussolini institutionalized and domesticated his storm troopers, the squadristi, under the name of the Voluntary National Security Militia, which was an organ of the Fascist Party. To combat political resistance to his regime, Mussolini then set up Special Tribunals whose judges were all high officers of the squadristi militia. Perhaps Ledeen or other Project Democracy theorists can take this as a starting point for the reform of the U.S. federal judiciary.

Mussolini claimed to justify his regime through the need for efficiency and getting things done effectively. The Second World War revealed the overwhelming logistical and military weakness of the fascist corporate state. Despite the failure of corporatism in its declared aims of generating economic and military power, corporatist forms have exercised an almost hypnotic fascination over certain financier cliques in times of grave economic crisis. One such financier was Bernard Baruch, whose wholly controlled operative, Gen. Hugh Johnson, was the leader of the National Recovery Administration during the first administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The organizations that were supposed to be created in each sector of production around the NRA code for that sector were a very transparent copy of the fascist corporations. Many of the brain-trusters in the first New Deal were declared admirers of Mussolini, and even went so far as to prepare a summary report on the fascist corporate state for President Roosevelt. As we will see, the Trilateral Commission is committed to a neo-corporate order for the United States.

At this point in the argument, certain readers may become impatient with an argument that seems to them to be incongruous. Can it be that the business-suited bankers of the Trilateral Commission, the shirt-sleeve bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO, or even such figures as Oliver North share decisive elements of their ideology with a black- shirted, jack-booted, strutting fascist like Mussolini, with fez, dagger, and club, with jaw jutting over the balcony of Palazzo Venezia? Are not the present-day figures of Project Democracy too bland to qualify as fascists? Are they not just American pragmatists with views that may happen to differ from our own?

It may come as a surprise to many that Mussolini himself was a professed follower of American pragmatism. Among the thinkers who had made the greatest contribution to his own intellectual formation, Il Duce numbered first of all William James, the classic exponent of American pragmatism, whom he knew especially through the Italian writer Papini. Then came Machiavelli (certainly not a pragmatist and clearly not understood by Il Duce), followed by Nietzsche, who must be considered as representing a slightly different school of pragmatism. Then came the French anarcho-syndicalist, Georges Sorel, the theorist of purgative violence and also a declared pragmatist.

All pragmatists are not necessarily fascists, but in the 20th century many have been, and there is no doubt that all fascists are pragmatists. In a crisis of civilization like the one of the 1980s, the fascists constitute the fastest-growing component of the pragmatic school. This makes it possible for individuals like Oliver North and Carl Gershman to embrace fascism as a simple practical expedient.

In one of his speeches, Mussolini remarked: "The second foundation stone of Fascismo is represented by anti-demagogism and pragmatism." William Yandell Elliott of Harvard University remarks in his study of post-World War I political irrationalism, entitled The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics: "For pragmatism, a myth is true so long as it works. Mussolini offers himself as the new Caesar .... If he can capture the imagination of Italians and inflame them with his dream, he feels that he can govern with consent." (p. 341) Elliott, it should be recalled, was one of the principal teachers of Henry Kissinger.

William James had posited this "working test of truth," which was also reflected in Mussolini's celebrated contempt for programs. When asked for a program, he replied: "Our program is simple: We wish to govern Italy. They ask us for programs, but there are already too many of them." For Mussolini, program was a part of liberalism's "government by talk," which he was determined to extirpate. In 1932, Mussolini wrote: La mia dottrina era stata la dottrina dell'azione. Il fascismo nacque da un bisogno d'azione e fu azione. (My doctrine had been the doctrine of action. Fascism was born of the need for action, and was action.) Oliver North would presumably agree.
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Re: Project Democracy's Program: The Fascist Corporate State

Postby admin » Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:22 am

Part 2 of 3

Bukharin's universal fascism

In his pamphlet on "The Foreign Policy of America," the later chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, Carl Gershman, describes the origins of AFL-CIO foreign policy activism in the international department of David Dubinsky's International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) during the 1930s. He notes that Dubinsky was surrounded by a

"large group of dedicated anti-totalitarians, some of them refugees from European fascism, others veterans of the political battles against communism on the American left. Of this latter group, the outstanding figure was Jay Lovestone, an immensely informed, resourceful, and controversial individual who had gained first-hand knowledge of communist strategy since he himself had served as general secretary of the American Communist Party until ousted in 1929 on Stalin's orders. Lovestone is among the most interesting figures of American political life in this century. A classic example of the communist-turned-devout- anticommunist, his influence has been far-reaching. For almost four decades until his retirement in 1974, he served as the chief executor of American labor's foreign policy, the author of countless AFL and AFL-CIO statements and resolutions, and a man exceedingly well-connected with key government officials and trade unionists in America and abroad. It is often assumed by those who underestimate Meany's influence that Lovestone has been personally responsible for American labor's foreign policy over the years. Still, the fact that this is a common misunderstanding is a measure of the role Lovestone has played and the mark he has left. "

Gershman then describes how two of Lovestone's close associates, Irving Brown and Serafino Romualdi, were the key operatives for the AFL-CIO in Europe and in Latin America, respectively. (pp. 8-9)

Lovestone was removed from his post as leader of the American Communists by Stalin because Lovestone was an ally and asset of Stalin's factional adversary in the Soviet Bolshevik Party, Nikolai Bukharin. Bukharin had been one of the principal half-dozen leaders among the Bolsheviks, and in the early twenties he had been the central figure of the left-wing Communists. Later in the 1920s, he joined with Stalin to dominate the party, and then passed into Right Opposition. Bukharin was the theoretician who argued that Soviet socialism could "creep at a snail's pace." He was purged and later executed by Stalin.

A very significant part of the network that has been organized into Project Democracy is made up of social-democratic right-wingers and syndicalists whose ideology and, in some cases, whose careers can be traced back to Bukharin. This lineage is especially significant because of the tendency of the Gorbachov leadership of the Soviet Union to rehabilitate Bukharin as the archetype of policies to be implemented today in order to accelerate the all-out mobilization of the Soviet economy for war.

So, the question arises, who was Bukharin?

Bukharin was a universal fascist, irrationalist, and agent of the East-West financiers' cabal known as the Trust. If allowance is made for the fact that he was operating within the a priori totalitarian universe of Soviet Russia, his world outlook and policies will be seen as remarkably similar to those of a Mussolini, a Strasser, or a Roehm.

In the days of his Moscow youth, Bukharin was friendly with Ilya Ehrenburg, who later spewed out the murderous ideology of the Great Russian master race in the pages of Pravda during the Second World War. He was a student of Bogdanov, the irrationalist "empiriomonist" who had emerged from the Venetian-Benedictine school on the island of Capri. Bukharin was an avid reader of European and American sociology, including Max Weber and Thorsten Veblen. Bukharin traveled extensively in Europe and visited the United States, but his favorite base outside of Russia was Lausanne, Switzerland.

The young Bukharin was a leftish anarchosyndicalist, like so many of his fascist brethren in Germany, Italy, and other countries. The first point on his program was the need to smash the "contemporary imperialist robber state, an iron organization which envelops the living body of society in its tenacious, grasping paws. It is a new Leviathan, before which the fantasy of Thomas Hobbes seems child's play." [Note 4]

Compare this to the young Mussolini's attacks on the "Moloch state." Bukharin, just like Mussolini, argued that the enemy of the revolution was "state capitalism." He felt that the prospects for revolution against such an order would depend in all likelihood on the advent of a general war. Thus, Bukharin's early program for the workers' movement was centered on the need "to emphasize strongly its hostility in principle to state power" and to "destroy the state organization of the bourgeoisie," to "explode it from within." (Cohen, p. 34)

Bukharin's credentials as a universal fascist include his early contention that nationalism could never be a progressive force. During the First World War, Bukharin joined with his fellow Trust operative Karl Radek to attack Lenin's Imperialism because of its positive view of nationalism in the colonial world. Bukharin and Radek rejected the slogan of national self-determination as un-Marxist.

During the civil war that followed the Bolshevik coup of October 1917, Bukharin was the spokesman for a Left-Communist faction that he referred to as "We, the young, the left." (Cohen, p. 64) During the period of Lenin's War Communism policy, Bukharin created the Supreme Economic Council, an instrument designed to promote totalitarian state control of all economic activity. War communism was a policy of dragooning labor, wholesale nationalization of industry, requisitioning of agricultural and industrial products, and confiscations and labor camps for those who did not go along. Bukharin, who was considered one of the few trained economists among the Bolshevik leaders, was responsible to Lenin for "socialist policies in the areas of finance and economics." (Cohen, p. 62) Bukharin became the leading theoretician of the coercive aspects of the war communism policy. During this same period, Bukharin strongly opposed the peace treaty with Germany signed at Brest-Litovsk, and preached a revolutionary "holy war" against the European bourgeoisie. (Cohen, p. 63) For Bukharin, the process of world revolution would necessarily be an apocalyptic one: "Sometimes I am afraid the struggle will be so bitter and so long drawn out that the whole of European culture may be trampled underfoot." (Cohen, p. 99)

Stephen Cohen, a leading American academic admirer of Bukharin, describes the War Communism years of 1918-21 and the "statization" of economic life as follows:

"The state grasped every economic lever within reach, and a vast, cumbersome bureaucracy mushroomed into being. Cooperatives, trade unions, and the network of local economic soviets were transformed into bureaucratic appendages of the state apparatus. The Supreme Economc Council, now responsible for virtually all industrial production, created sub-agency upon sub- agency." (p. 79)

In the midst of this statization and militarization was Bukharin, proclaiming that "the republic is an armed camp" and that "one must rule with iron when one cannot rule with law." Bukharin during these years was very specific that totalitarian control must be extended into economics by the Soviet state, in a kind of national corporatism:

"If the proletariat's state power is the lever of economic revolution, then it is clear that "economics" and politics must merge into a single whole. Such a merging exists under the dictatorship of finance capital ... in the form of state capitalism. But the dictatorship of the proletariat reverses all the relations of the old world -- in other words, the political dictatorship of the working class must inevitably be its economic dictatorship." (Cohen, p. 86)

During the civil war, the Bolshevik Party engaged in a debate about the proper role of trade unions. A group around Trotsky proposed the militarization of the workers into labor armies in an appeal to the most extreme totalitarian control. This was initially supported by Lenin, who later moderated his own stand somewhat under his slogan of making the unions into "schools of communism" as well as "transmission belts" for the imperatives of the party. The trade union leaders themselves, like Tomskii, later a close factional ally of Bukharin, argued in favor of union control and management of industry. For a time, Bukharin supported the program for the militarization of labor, but then assumed a middle position between Lenin and Trotsky. He was in favor of the statization of labor unions, but in a milder way than Trotsky. Some of Bukharin's statements in this controversy are most illuminating:

"We have proclaimed a new sacred slogan--workers' democracy, which consists in the fact that all questions are discussed not in narrow collegiums, not in small meetings, not in some sort of corporation of one's own, but that all questions are carried to wide meetings." (Cohen, p. 103)

Bukharin thought that the unions could be instruments of the "technical administrative apparatus" and schools of communism at the same time. He argued for a syndicalist-corporatist conception of the Soviet state:

"If the general progressive line of development is the line of fusing the trade unions with the state; then from the other side this same process is a process of "unionizing" the state. Its logical and historical end will not be the absorption of the unions by the proletarian state, but the disappearance of both categories, state and union, and the creation of a third -- the communistically organized society." (Cohen, p. 104)

Bukharin later became the principal spokesman for and defender of the so-called New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced on orders from Lenin in 1921, as the civil war was ending, and which was pursued as the official policy of the Soviet state until the initiation of forced collectivization and of breakneck industrialization under Stalin in 1928-29. During the mid-1920s, the NEP was administered jointly by Stalin and Bukharin acting as the duumviri of the Kremlin. Today, the Soviet Cultural Fund and the Gorbachov regime are attempting to depict their reforms as a return to the NEP, which they claim to have been the most advanced result of Lenin's political thought. In the process, the rehabilitation of Bukharin is on the agenda.

The debates about the NEP and the proper industrialization strategy for the Soviet state exhibit another aspect of Bukharin's fascism, his economic views. Bukharin was an economist in the tradition of Thomas Malthus, who had argued that "a church with a capacious maw is best" when it came to providing sustained demand for the artifacts of capitalist production. In Bukharin's view, it was the peasants, including the wealthier ones, called kulaks, whose consumerist maw would stimulate the growth of the Soviet industrial economy. "Accumulation in socialist industry cannot occur for long without accumulation in the peasant economy," Bukharin argued. "The greater the buying powers of the peasantry, the faster our industry develops." "Kopeck accumulation in the peasant economy is the basis for ruble accumulation in socialist industry." (Cohen, p. 175) Although the thesis is patently absurd, it is not so different from the nostrums that were advocated as a solution to the Great Depression some years later by another fascist economist, John Maynard Keynes, also a follower of Malthus.

Bukharin expressed many of his arguments in polemics against the demands of Trotsky and Preobrazhenskii for a policy of primitive accumulation against the peasants, to be accomplished by setting the prices of industrial goods at very high levels and the prices of farm commodities at very low levels. Bukharin rejected this, maintaining that accumulation against the peasants would undermine the alliance or smychka between urban workers and peasants. Bukharin demanded instead a "union of workers and peasants." "The revolution of 1905 was a failure because there was not a smychka between the urban movement and the agrarian-peasant movement." (Cohen, p. 166).

Bukharin was something of a Maoist ante literam, since he saw the developed cities as being surrounded by a vast countryside. He argued that "the proletariat ... constitutes an insignificant minority" while the peasants of the Orient and and in other agrarian zones, "are the huge majority on our planet." The peasant in his view "will become -- is becoming -- the great liberating force of our time." (Cohen, pp. 168-69) For these peasant liberators, Bukharin had a simple message: Get rich! (We must say to the whole peasantry, to all its strata, enrich yourselves, accumulate, develop your economy.) (Cohen, p. 177)

Bukharin's approach to organizing the peasants was a typically solidarist-corporatist one: His "wager on the cooperatives" as the appropriate form of peasant economy. In this, Bukharin was tapping the tradition of Aksakov, Kiriyevsky, and the other slavophiles of the 19th-century Russian Empire, who had been fascinated by the mir, the primitive communalist Russian peasant village. For Bukharin the mir-like peasant cooperative was the royal road to socialism: "The basic network of our cooperative peasant organization will consist of cooperative cells not of a kulak but of a 'laboring' type, cells growing into the system of our general state organs and thus becoming links in a single chain of socialist economy." (Cohen, p. 198)

Bukharin's economic method was to proceed from consumption and circulation back to production, while his opponents were arguing for the creation of new branches of industry through a deliberate political decision to accumulate against the peasantry and invest. Bukharin's program moved "from circulation (money, prices, trade) to production." (Cohen, p.177) All economic activity, according to Bukharin, must always "end with the production of means of consumption ... which enter into the process of personal consumption." (Cohen, p. 174) He laid special stress on the question of consumption, arguing that the satisfaction of the material needs of the masses "was the real lever of development, that it generates the most rapid tempos of economic growth." "Our economy exists for the consumer, not the consumer for the economy. (Cohen, p. 173) At the same time, he incessantly stressed the need to stoke up the process of circulation by "unleashing commodity turnover," which he thought would automatically and without any further state intervention lead to socialist economic expansion: "We will come to socialism here through the process of circulation, and not directly though the process of production; we will come there through the cooperatives." (Cohen, p. 196).

Bukharin's idea was most emphatically that buying and selling would by themselves lead to industrialization: "First, if commodity turnover grows, this means that more is produced, more is bought and sold, more is accumulated: this means that our socialist accumulation is accelerated, i.e., the development of our industry." (Cohen, p. 179) It is not surprising that Bukharin's factional adversaries ridiculed him as the Soviet Manchester school of political economy. The essence of his argument is that even under a communist dictatorship, Adam Smith's invisible hand is still at work. As Bukharin's repeated references to the mysterious role of the market in guaranteeing development make clear, he was a cultist of the "magic of the marketplace.

Out of this irrationalist, eclectic mix of Malthusianism, fascism, physiocratic doctrine, and Bolshevism, there emerged an approximation of the zero-growth, post-industrial ideology of the type later associated with the Club of Rome:

"Capitalist industrialization--this is the parasitism of the city in relation to the countryside, the parasitism of a metropolis in relation to colonies, the hypertrophic, bloated development of industry, serving the ruling classes, along with the extreme comparative backwardness of agricultural economics, especially peasant agricultural economics." (Cohen, p. 170)

If Project Democracy is not destroyed, the world will shortly be dominated by a clique of fascist Bukharinite irrationalists in Moscow, whose hegemony shall have been validated by a New Yalta accord with their counterparts, the Bukharinite corporatists of the United States.

Israel as a corporate state

One of the hallmarks of Project Democracy's demagogic public face is its glorification of the State of Israel as an exemplary democratic nation. The present head of the National Endowment for Democracy, Carl Gershman, writing with Irving Howe in the introduction to a collection of essays entitled Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East, asserts: "The survival of Israel is a major priority for everyone who cares about democracy; it should be a special obligation for people on the democratic left to speak out--passionately yet not uncritically--in behalf of the social innovations and achievements of Israeli society...." (p. 1) The same neo-Bukharinite Gershman, in his The Foreign Policy of American Labor, goes on to say: "American labor's relationship with Israel and its labor movement, the Histadrut, deserves separate treatment. This relationship has been of such an intimate nature for so long that one labor journalist, writing in the wake of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, observed that 'no comparable relationship has ever flowered between U.S. unions and any other nation at any time. Gershman adds: "American labor leaders generally express their support of Israel in terms of labor solidarity and democratic ideals. The Histadrut is universally admired within the American labor movement and Israel is viewed as a model society." (pp. 63-64)

A model society? If so, then Project Democracy has chosen for a model a country whose founding fathers included a substantial number of professed admirers of Mussolini, a country which has no constitution, whose party structure is highly authoritarian, where 90% of the land cannot be bought because it is owned by a consortium of international financiers, and where a very large fraction of the working people find that the boss they work for and the union that is supposed to defend their interests are identical.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

A government on the principles on which constitutional governments arising out of society are established, cannot have the right of altering itself. If it had, it would be arbitrary. It might make itself what it pleased; and wherever such a right is set up, it shows there is no constitution. The act by which the English Parliament empowered itself to sit seven years, shows there is no constitution in England. It might, by the same self-authority, have sat any great number of years, or for life. The bill which the present Mr. Pitt brought into Parliament some years ago, to reform Parliament, was on the same erroneous principle. The right of reform is in the nation in its original character, and the constitutional method would be by a general convention elected for the purpose. There is, moreover, a paradox in the idea of vitiated bodies reforming themselves."

-- Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

The corporatist character of Israel is rooted in the Histadrut, the labor federation that was founded in Palestine in 1920 during the British mandate. If viewed as a trade union, the Histadrut counts upward of 1.5 million members, equivalent to 80% of the workforce, more than one-half of the entire adult population, and three-quarters of the total voting population. The Histadrut therefore exerts the dominant influence on questions of collective bargaining in Israel, and negotiates the contracts for the employees of the government and the state sector with the finance minister. The Histadrut has always been controlled by the leadership of the Labour Party.

The Labour Party's control of the Histadrut is facilitated by a hierarchical system of voting, which is also typical of the Israeli political parties. The characteristic feature here is that each level of representation elects the next highest level, and so forth. Whatever can be said of this system, democratic it is not.

In 1981, more than 825,000 Histadrut members elected 1,501 delegates to the 14th Histadrut convention. The Histadrut council, elected by the convention, had 501 members; the executive committee, elected by the council, had 195 members. The executive committee meets regularly and is parallel to a Histadrut parliament. From it emerges the central committee (42 members), which can be likened to the Histadrut government. [note 5]

All of the key positions of power are in the hands of the Labour Party.

But in addition to being a trade union, the Histadrut is also the capitalist for more than one-third of the entire Israeli economy. In its role as entrepreneur, the Histadrut is in fact the largest single employer in the entire country. The only difference is that when Histadrut is acting as employer, it calls itself Hevrat Ovdim, which is constituted as a holding company. In the words of Noah Malkosh of the Histadrut: "In the case of the economic enterprises owned directly by the collective membership of Histadrut, Hevrat Ovdim is incorporated as the Histadrut holding company, and in this way is able to control their policies." "The Convention and Council of Histadrut are the highest policy-making authorities of Hevrat Ovdim. On the completion of general Histadrut business those organs sit specifically as organs of Hevrat Ovdim. In the same way the executive committee of Histadrut is constituted as the executive of Hevrat Ovdim, and sits in this capacity when matters relating to the labor sector of the economy arise for decision." (Malkosh, pp. 62-63)

The Hevrat Ovdim economic enterprises include Sollel Boneh, which carries out 20% of the building activities in the country and employs more than 17,000 workers. Then there is Koor, with 100 industrial firms, 100 commercial firms, and 50 financial firms including pension funds. Koor is Israel's largest heavy industrial firm and largest exporter, and is listed among Fortune magazine's list of the 500 largest companies in the world. Other Hevrat Ovdim companies include Bank Hapoalim, Shikun Ovdim, Hasneh, and others. Histadrut also owns companies providing service to the cooperative economy, including Hamashbir Hamerkazi, the central wholesale society of the consumers' cooperative movement, which runs a chain of department stores. Histadrut controls Tnuva, the central marketing agency of the agricultural settlements, which is linked to a chain of supermarkets.

The Histadrut runs the country's largest sick fund, the Kupat Holim, with 3 million persons insured and 29,000 employees, plus pension plans and social welfare funds. One-third of the country's hospital beds are in Histadrut hospitals. Histadrut owns the newspapers Davar and the Jerusalem Post.

Finally, the Histadrut controls the cooperative economy, including the kibbutzim and moshavim with 21,000 workers, and Egged and Dan, which move 80% of the passengers inside the country. As Arian sums it up, "The economic power of the Histadrut is a major factor in the Israeli economy. When it and the government are controlled by the same group, the potential political and economic power is awesome--and that was the case between 1948 and 1977." (p. 30)

If the resulting structure is compared with the features of the Italian fascist corporate state summarized above, a striking similarity obtains. For a very large part of the Israeli economy, labor and capital are indeed joined in organic unity, through the same executive committee alternating its existence as Histadrut the trade union with that of Hevrat Ovdim the mammoth group of companies. For those who work for Hevrat Ovdim, and they are the majority of all Israelis who work, the boss and the shop steward are ultimately the same titanic entity. For those who work in the state-owned third of the economy, the picture hardly changes. Their employer is the government, which has generally meant a government dominated by the Labour Party or at least including it, and their trade union representation is the Histadrut, ultimately under the control of the same Labour Party. Even in the third of the Israeli economy that is privately owned, wages tend closely to follow the standards that obtain in the Histadrut sector. If, in addition, we consider that the worker whose boss and union are the Histadrut also depends on that same power center for his medical insurance and his pension, the totalitarian force that confronts each such individual in the society is plainly manifest--and indeed "awesome.

Apologists for the Histadrut are of course uncomfortably aware of the problems posed by "Labour Zionist ideology." Malkosh writes:

"The fact that Histadrut, a labor and trade union organization, is also the largest employer of labor in the country, is often found to be a considerable stumbling block to the understanding of the movement by labor leaders and sympathizers from other countries....

The question is often posed: how can the worker in the Histadrut- owned enterprises be assured of adequate trade union protection, when his employer is also his trade union?

The answer given is as follows:

In the case of a dispute within a Histadrut plant, what is involved is a temporary failure of the federal machinery of Histadrut, rather than a genuine conflict of interest. The ruling of the executive committee is binding, whether it favors the mangerial interpretation or the trade union interpretation or, as is more likely, produces a practical compromise fully acceptable to both. Both sides have their spokesmen in the Histadrut executive, and in that forum, they find themselves governed by the most authoritative interpretation of the body of legislation approved by the whole membership of Histadrut.

(Malkosh, pp. 79-80)

Malkosh goes on to say that what is really important about Histadrut is its characteristic ideology: "A correct picture of normal labour relations within Hevrat Ovdim must deal with the philosophic foundation of the labor sector. Economic objectives apart, the foremost purpose of Histadrut's economic operations is to develop a form of industrial democracy." "Histadrut envisages the development of a democratic structure within its economic enterprises, comparable to the democratic spirit pervading all other branches of its activity." This structure has now been created, so that each Histadrut member now votes not only for the national convention, for the city or regional workers' council, the trade union council for each craft or profession, but also for the workers' committee in the place of employment.

It should be stressed again that Israeli parties are all based on so-called "indirect representation." The members of the Labor Party in 1979 elected a national convention of 3,000 delegates, which chose a center of 880 members, which in turn elected a leadership bureau of 61 members, which then selected an even smaller executive body. One student of Israeli political affairs finds that the country's governing process is an excellent illustration of what he calls the "iron law of oligarchy." (Arian, p. 118) His conclusion is that "Israeli political life, as exemplified by its parties, its organizations, the Knesset, and the government is highly oligarchical and hierarchical.

Israel has no written constitution. The Knesset was convened in 1949 as the constituent assembly to produce a constitution, but no progress was made on this point. The place of the constitution is to be filled by the accretion of a series of precedents, in imitation of the British model. As a result, there is no Bill of Rights, and the relations among the various branches of government are determined by mere statutory law. Israeli statutory law shows substantial influence from the law of the Ottoman and British empires.

Israel's landlord is yet another very powerful organization, in many ways a monopoly. This is the Jewish National Fund, or Keren Kayemeth. The Fund traces its origins back to a proposal made by Theodore Herzl at the Fifth Zionist Conference in Basel, Switzerland: "A fund must be established by the Jewish people of the world to redeem the soil of Eretz Yisrael." Today the Jewish National Fund owns about 90% of the land inside Israel's 1967 borders. According to the rules of the fund, this land cannot be sold, but only leased for 49-year cycles, after which the lease must be renegotiated. According to the fund, this is an expression of the Mosaic law, which it says discourages "large, monopolistic land holdings." Since 1960, the Jewish National Fund has been designated by the government as the sole agency for land development in Israel, and the land is under the administration of the Israel Lands Authority, a government agency. As a result, the Israeli government administers the quasi-totality of the land in the country, which can be leased for usufruct, but not bought.

In practice, the Jewish National Fund is in the orbit of international financiers and money launderers. For example, the board of directors of the Jewish National Fund of Greater New York included as of 1983 Michael J. Lazar, since indicted by a federal grand jury in the Parking Violations Bureau scandal that continues to rock the administration of New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Lazar was the 1985 recipient of the JNF annual Tree of Life Award.

The Trilaterals' U.S. corporate state

From the moment of its inception about a dozen years ago, the operational network known today as Project Democracy has had as its goal the subversion of the United States constitutional order in favor of a one-party, totalitarian and corporatist fascist regime, combining the horrors of the historical precursors depicted so far. One aspect of these efforts by Project Democracy has involved the creation of an extensive and lawless invisible government, as has already been made clear in this report. But beyond all this, Project Democracy aims at definite changes in the structure of the government and institutions of the United States, of a kind so extensive that they could not be accomplished without a virtual obliteration of the Constitution. The starting point for this totalitarian plan was the Trilateral Commission, an organization created for the purpose of executing the policy of oligarchical and financier groupings making up the American, European, and Japanese branch of the broader East-West finance oligarchy known as the Trust.

The Trilateral Commission was founded in the wake of Watergate and the oil crisis of 1973, events which the future Trilateral commissars had connived to create. One of the earliest projects of the Trilateral Commission was a study on the "ungovernability" of modern democracy in an era of economic crisis and social upheaval. This project was directed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, then the director of the Trilateral Commission. One of the results of this project that later came into the public domain was a book entitled The Crisis of Democracy by Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntingon, and Joji Watanuki. It is to be assumed that the published version of this study and its appendices is a very diluted rendering of the discussions that went on among the rapporteurs and the Trilateral commissars. The Crisis of Democracy was a part of the agenda at the yearly meeting of the Trilateral Commission that took place in Tokyo, Japan on May 31, 1975. This was the same Trilateral meeting at which the former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, was presented by FIAT chief Gianni Agnelli, and appointed by the commissars to be the next President of the United States.

The starting point of The Crisis of Democracy is the collapse of such economic progress as had characterized the 1960s, and the advent of the post-industrial society. Brzezinski's introduction compares the atmosphere of 1975 with the early 1920s, when Oswald Spengler published his mystical Untergang des Abendlandes, The Decline of the West. The three authors start off their analysis by quoting Willy Brandt, as he was about to step down as German Federal Chancellor in 1974, saying, "Western Europe has only 20 or 30 more years of democracy left in it; after that it will slide, engineless and rudderless, under the surrounding sea of dictatorship, and whether the dictation comes from a politburo or a junta will not make that much difference." Then there is a quote fron an unnamed senior British official to the effect that if the United Kingdom fails to solve the problem of simultaneous inflation and economic depression, "parliamentary democracy would ultimately be replaced by a dictatorship." There is also a warning from Prime Minister Takeo Miki that "Japanese democracy will collapse" unless the confidence of the people in their political leaders can be restored. This is all related by the authors to the economic dimension of the crisis:

"This pessimism about the future of democracy has coincided with a parallel pessimism about the future of economic conditions. Economists have discovered the fifty-year Kondratieff cycle, according to which 1971 (like 1921) should have marked the beginning of a sustained economic downturn from which the industrialized capitalist world would not emerge until the end of the century. The implication is that just as the political developments of the 1920s and 1930s furnished the ironic and tragic- aftermath of a war fought to make the world safe for democracy, so also the 1970s and 1980s might furnish a similarly ironic political aftermath to twenty years of sustained economic development designed in part to make the world prosperous enough for democracy." (pp. 2- 3)

Added to this obvious implication that economic depression would prove fatal to democratic forms by creating the necessary preconditions for fascist mass movements was the related idea that the United States Constitution could be overthrown in the aftermath of military defeat by the Soviet Union or perhaps by another power. The Trilateral meeting in question, it should be recalled, was taking place just a few weeks after the fall of Saigon. The Trilateral authors make this point as follows:

"With the most active foreign policy of any democratic country, the United States is far more vulnerable to defeats in that area than other democratic governments, which, attempting less, also risk less. Given the relative decline in its military, economic, and political influence, the United States is more likely to face serious military or diplomatic reverses during the coming years than at any previous time in its history. If this does occur, it could pose a traumatic shock to American democracy." (p. 5)

In addition to these crisis factors, the study also points to dynamics considered internal to the political process which are generating instability:

"Yet, in recent years, the operations of the democratic process do indeed appear to have generated a breakdown of traditional means of social control, a delegitimation of political and other forms of authority, and an overload of demands on government exceeding its capacity to respond." (p. 8)

The study itself makes clear that the three Trilateral commissars are especially concerned about the economic demands made upon elected representatives by constituency groups which may contradict the austerity and primacy of debt service demanded by oligarchical financier factions.

This theme dominates the chapter on the United States contributed by Samuel P. Huntington, who at various times has been a manager of the Harvard Center for International Affairs, the international network associated with Henry Kissinger. Huntington writes according to the canons of empirical social science, but the basic dictatorial intent nevertheless shines through. He describes the two great leaps in the expenditures of the U.S. federal government, the Defense Shift of the 1950s and the Welfare Shift of the 1960s. He concludes that after these two shifts had vastly increased federal spending, the student revolt of the 1960s plus Watergate combined to produce "a substantial increase in government activity and a substantial decrease in governmental authority. By the early 1970s Americans were progressively demanding and receiving more benefits from their government and yet having less confidence in their government than they had a decade earlier." "The expansion of government activities produced doubts about the economic solvency of government; the decrease in governmental authority produced doubts about the political solvency of government." (p. 64) Reading ex contrario, it emerges that Huntington's ideal government would be an authoritarian regime capable of imposing drastic austerity. His problem is his despair that the U.S. government will fill the bill.

Increased government spending is leading to high deficits, even as public confidence in government declines, says Huntongton. He is especially concerned about the "decay of the party system," with the decline in clear party identification by the majority of the citizenry, the rise of split-ticket voting, and a decrease in party loyalty from one election to the next. As for the political parties themselves, Huntington's finding is that "the popular attitude towards parties combines both disapproval and contempt." (p. 87) Huntington also sees a decline in the mass base of the parties, plus a decline in the power of party organization. This raises the spectre of a successful political challenge to the power of people like the members of Trilateral Commission: "The lesson of the 1960s was that American political parties were extraordinarily open and extraordinarily vulnerable organizations, in the sense that they could be easily penetrated, and even captured, by highly motivated and well- organized groups with a cause and a candidate." (p. 89) Had Huntington been writing today, he would have crystallized his fears on this score with a single word: "LaRouche.

Huntington is willing to explore the alternative that the political parties may have to be done away with: "It could be argued that political parties are a political form peculiarly suited to the needs of industrial society and that the movement of the United States into a post-industrial phase hence means the end of the party system as we have known it." "In less developed countries, the principal alternative to party government is military government. Do the highly developed countries have a third alternative?" (p. 91)

Huntington sees the entire government in crisis, with congressmen falling prey to the rising expectations of their constituents while the presidency is in decline. Part of the latter problem is that a presidential candidate needs to assemble an electoral coalition of voters in order to win the White House, but must then assemble a governing coalition of various power brokers. Huntington views the two processes as perhaps antithetical.

The recommendations that conclude the analysis of the crisis in U.S. democracy include such pablum as "moderation in democracy," more authoritarianism, and the need for greater apathy on the part of the population. "Democracy is more of a threat to itself in the United States," writes Huntington.

The real conclusions reached by the Trilateral Commission were doubtless more far-reaching, as can be inferred from the appendices of the book. When the Crozier-Huntington-Watanuki study was presented to the commission, it was introduced by Ralf Dahrendorf, the head of the London School of Economics. The chief threat running through Dahrendorf's remarks was that Huntington had neglected corporatist elements in his prescription. Dahrendorf's argument deserves to be quoted at some length:

"Democratic governments find it difficult to cope with the power of extraparliamentary institutions which determine by their decisions the life chances of as many (or in some cases more) people as the decisions of governments can possibly determine in many of our countries. Indeed, these extraparliamentary institutions often make governmental power look ridiculous. When I talk about extraparliamentary institutions, I am essentially thinking of two powerful economic institutions-- giant companies and large and powerful trade unions.

The greater demand for participation, the removal of effective political spaces from the national to the international level, and the removal of the power to determine people's life chances from political institutions to other institutions are all signs of what might be called the dissolution of the general political public which we assumed was the basis of real democratic institutions in the past. Instead of there being an effective political public in democratic countries from which representative institutions emerge and to which representative institutions are answerable, there is a fragmented public and in part a nonexistent public. There is a rather chaotic picture in the political communities of many democratic countries.

My main point here is that as we think about a political public in our day, we cannot simply think of a political public of individual citizens exercising their common sense interests on the marketplace, as it were. In rethinking the notion of the political public, we have to accept the fact that most human beings today are both individual citizens and members of large organizations. We have to accept the fact that most individuals see their interests cared for not only by an immediate expression of their citizenship rights (or even by political parties which organize groups of interests) but also by organizations which at this moment act outside the immediate political framework and which will continue to act whether governments like it or not. And I believe, therefore, somewhat reluctantly, that in thinking about the political public of tomorrow we shall have to think of a public in which representative parliamentary institutions are somehow linked with institutions which in themselves are neither representative nor parliamentary. I think it is useful to discuss the exact meaning of something like an effective social contract, or perhaps a "Concerted Action" or "Conseil economique et social" for the political institutions of advanced democracies. I do not believe that free collective bargaining is an indispensable element of a free and democratic society. I do believe, however, that we have to recognize that people are organized in trade unions, that there are large enterprises, that economic interests have got to be discussed somewhere, and that there has got to be a negotiation about some of the guidelines by which our economies are functioning. This discussion should be related to representative institutions. There may be a need for reconsidering some of our institutions in this light, not to convert our countries into corporate states, certainly not, but to convert them into countries which in a democratic fashion recognize some of the new developments which have made the effective political public so much less effective in recent years.

For a reader who has followed the exposition up to this point, not much comment is necessary. Despite his very explicit disclaimer, Dahrendorf is indeed talking about a covert and overt institutional transformation toward a corporate state. We have seen several previous attempts to accomplish exactly what he is proposing here. One was D'Annunzio's Consiglio dei Provvisori, and another was Mussolini's Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni. But the Trilateral Commission still needed a means of transition to corporatist rule. It was momentarily to propose it in the form of Project Democracy.

The appendix to The Crisis of Democracy also contains a series of formal concluding statements by the Trilateral Commission at the close of debate on the ungovernability report. At a certain point, the text turns toward question of workers' self-management, co-determination (Mitbestimmung) as practiced in the Federal Republic of Germany, and the need for new modes of organization to alleviate the tensions that characterize post-industrial society. At that point, a new heading is introduced, as follows:

"7. Creation of New Institution for the Cooperative Promotion of Democracy"

The effective working of democratic government in the Trilateral societies can now no longer be taken for granted. The increasing demands and pressures on democratic government and the crisis in governmental resources and public authority require more explicit collaboration. One might consider, therefore, means of securing support and resources from foundations, business corporations, labor unions, political parties, civic associations, and, where possible and appropriate, government agencies, for the creation of an institute for the strengthening of democratic institutions. The purpose of such an institute would be to stimulate collaborative studies of common problems involved in the operations of democracy in the Trilateral societies, to promote cooperation among institutions and groups with common concerns in this area among the Trilateral regions, and to encourage the Trilateral societies to learn from each other's experience how to make democracy function more effectively in their societies. There is much which each society can learn from the others. Such mutual learning experiences are familiar phenomena in the economic and military fields; they must also be encouraged in the political field. Such an institute could also serve a useful function in calling attention to questions of special urgency, as, for instance, the critical nature of the problems currently confronting democracy in Europe." (p. 187)

With that, Project Democracy was unleashed against the world.

In the final discussion that followed Dahrendorf's remarks, the task of the new institute was made clearer. One participant suggested that Dahrendorf's idea of associating non-parliamentary groups with the parliamentary process ought to be seen in relation to international political systems, and not just in a national framework. At the close, "one Commissioner [Was it David Rockefeller?] expressed his support 'very concretely' for the proposed institute for the strengthening of democratic institutions." (p. 203)
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Re: Project Democracy's Program: The Fascist Corporate State

Postby admin » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:37 am

Part 3 of 3

Transforming the political parties

Project Democracy is thus by pedigree an international fascist- corporatist organization designed to supplant democratic constitutional republics with veiled and overt fascist regimes. It is a kind of bankers' Comintern--the Comintern of Bukharin, to be sure. As some of the citations adduced here suggest, it appears that one of the first tasks contemplated for the nascent Project Democracy network was the fomenting of coups d'etat in Western Europe, as was also indicated by abundant empirical evidence manifest at that time.

What is the nature of Project Democracy's planned institutional transformation for the United States? Project Democracy intends to complete the evolution of the Republican and Democratic parties, especially the Democrats, away from their previous status as mass- based political machines responsive to the demands of constituencies and regional and local interests. Under the pretext of increasing the cohesion and responsibility of the parties, they are to acquire dictatorial control over the votes and opinions of elected officials, as for example, congressmen. The two parties are to become increasingly remote from the citizenry, and subjected to an increasingly authoritarian top-down control. Candidates are to become more and more like party functionaries, and are to be chosen by a tiny group of party leaders acting in synergy with the finance oligarchs. This will include presidential candidates most emphatically. Primary elections are to be gradually abolished in favor of a fascist-corporatist smoke-filled room.

The specifically corporatist dimension of such a system in evolution from authoritarianism to totalitarianism is provided by the merger of the AFL-CIO top bureaucracy with the fused Democratic and Republican National Committees and fundraising apparatus. Despite the decline in the relative weight of trade unions in the U.S. workforce, the AFL-CIO is still by far the largest membership organization in the United States. This kind of troika is accurately reflected on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy. The AFL-CIO, by virtue of its close interfaces with the State Department, the Agency for International Development, the Labor Department, the Commerce Department, the Special Trade Representative, and the intelligence community, is virtually a government agency, precisely in the way that Bukharin wanted trade unions to be. By closely controlling the financing of candidates, access to the media, party endorsement, candidate debates, and the related election apparatus, the backers of Project Democracy think that they can in effect choose the Congress and choose the President.

In this proposed silent putsch by Project Democracy, the RNC/DNC/AFL-CIO lockstep would acquire sovereignty over the U.S. federal government, in much the same way that the Soviet Politburo and Central Committee Secretariat control the Soviet Council of Ministers and Supreme Soviet. For Project Democracy, it is much more convenient for sovereignty to be located in an informal combine of private organizations, which cannot be subjected to government oversight, Freedom of Information Act demands, or financial audit and accountability, but which can and do receive large amounts of official government funding, as well as the largesse conduited through Oliver North's Swiss bank accounts.

At the same time, Project Democracy is well aware of the value of maintaining a facade of respect for constitutional forms during the time in which the passage from authoritarianism to totalitarianism is being negotiated. It can be recalled that it took Mussolini some three years to go from head of the government to dictator, and still longer for the full institutional panoply of the totalitarian state to be set forth. In that transition, the suppression of opposition political groups and publishing enterprises was carried out gradually by squadristi and secret police. Today, these functions are assigned to the William Welds and the Oliver Revells. In the meantime, Project Democracy will find ways to denigrate and vilify the United States Constitution, even while going through the pretense of celebrating its anniversary.

Realizing the design

The following examples will document the ongoing attempts to realize this design.

Project Democracy as the Trilateral Comintern.

Samuel Huntington, as Harvard professor and director of Kissinger's Center for International Affairs, appears to have found a special niche as scorekeeper for Project Democracy's series of international coups. In a recent volume entitled Global Dilemmas, there appears Huntington's essay, "Will more Countries become democratic?" Huntington, the theorist of democratic ungovernability, starts off with a ringing endorsement of Project Democracy: "The Reagan administration moved far beyond the Carter administration's more limited concern with human rights and first launched 'Project Democracy' and 'The Democracy Program' to promote democratic institutions in other societies, and then persuaded Congress to create a 'National Endowment for Democracy' to pursue this goal on a permanent basis. In the early 1980s, in short, concern with the development of new democratic regimes has been increasing among academics and policymakers." (p.253) Huntington is in touch with Freedom House, another node of the Project Democracy network, and cites Freedom House's yearly survey of how many people live under democratic conditions around the world. In January 1984, for example, Freedom House found that 36% of the world's people were living in democracies, a level that was about equal to that of 10 years earlier. This corresponded to 52 free countries. Huntington prefers to describe democracy as "polyarchy," a neologism coined by one of his fellow academics. For Huntington, democracy is most highly correlated with Protestantism. The article concludes with a hit list, leading off with the "bureaucratic-authoritarian" regimes of Ibero-America, including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. Then come the East Asian "newly industrializing" countries, like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Then come the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and El Salvador. In general, Huntington concludes that "the limits of democratic development in the world may well have been reached." (p. 276)


In early 1975, Nicholas von Hoffman devoted his column in the Washington Post to revelations that certain prime financial supporters of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party have a "hidden agenda for American politics ... a planned economy ... state capitalism ... fascism without lampshade factories." Hoffman stated that the then-President of the United Auto Workers, Leonard Woodcock, was "willing to surrender the economic planning to the megacorporations." In March 1975, Challenge magazine carried an article entitled "The Coming Corporatism," by R.E. Pahl and J.T. Winkler. The article stated in part:

"Corporatism is a distinct form of economic structure. It was recognized as such in the 1930s by people of diverse political backgrounds, before Hitler extinguished the enthusiasm which greeted Mussolini's variant. The fact that our blinkered political vocabulary now sees the alternative pure forms of economy as simply "capitalism" or "socialism" is a consequence of the fact that the Axis powers lost the Second World War.

This "corporatism" is a comprehensive economic system under which the state intensively channels predominantly privately owned business towards four goals, which have become increasingly explicit during the current economic crisis: Order, Unity, Nationalism, and "Success."

Those, then, are the four aims. Let us not mince words. Corporatism is fascism with a human face. What the parties are putting forward now is an acceptable face of fascism; indeed a masked version of it, because so far the more repugnant political and social aspects of the German and Italian regimes are absent or only present in diluted form.

The same year saw the creation of an Initiative Committee for National Economic Planning with a press conference attended by Woodcock, Robert Roosa, and Wassily Leontieff. Among the sponsors of ICNEP were J.K. Galbraith and Robert McNamara. At the same time, officials of the Swedish, German, British, and Italian parties of the Second International were expressing the idea that, whereas in the last depression, the financiers had turned to fascist mass movements to impose corporatism and austerity, this time the social democrats could survive by showing that they were the most efficient agency for corporatist austerity.

Corporatism in 1988

Signs are multiplying that with the present acceleration of economic collapse, corporatist agitation may become more widespread. One harbinger of such a trend is the highly ideologized candidacy of former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt. In declaring his candidacy for President, Babbitt proposed a "gain-sharing" plan under which he claimed that by 1996 "two-thirds of American workers would directly share in the profits and losses of their own business." When asked whether such a policy were not a return to corporatism, Babbitt answered that he preferred to call it "competitiveness" or "futurism," and later admitted that he was not sure of the meaning of corporatism. Babbitt's candidacy is designed to expose broad strata of the population to various parts of the Trilateral ideological inventory.

The 1980 presidential candidacy of Trilateral Commission member Rep. John Anderson was also a vehicle for spewing out Malthusianism and anti-constitutional propaganda. Anderson's platform charged that despite the advent of post-industrial society, the Republicans and Democrats were still too "consumption-oriented." The platform stated: "The traditional parties were reasonably effective mechanisms for distributing the dividends of economic growth. But during a period in which the central task of government is to allocate burdens and orchestrate sacrifices, these parties have proved incapable of making the necessary hard choices. We are prepared to tell the American peopple what we must do, and allocate the burden in a manner sensitive to both economic efficiency and social equity." Babbitt's current rhetoric is strikingly similar.

Cutler vs. the Constitution

A leading part in the Trilateral-Project Democracy effort to overthrow the Constitution is played by Lloyd Cutler and his Committee on the Constitutional System. Cutler had begun assaulting the Constitution in late 1980, when he published an article urging "changes in our Constitution" in Foreign Affairs. There he argued that the present form of government is ill-suited to facing difficult choices of the kind that it is increasingly called upon to make. Cutler's remedies of 1980 included limiting the President to a single six-year term, to make him more remote from political demands; concurrent terms for President, Vice President, Senators, and Congressmen, to increase the chances that the same party will dominate in all these offices; and the ability of the President to dissolve Congress and call new elections as a way out of a deadlock of the executive and the legislative branches.

In January 1987, the Committee on the Constitutional System took the same point of departure: "Changes in the Constitution should not be shunned, however, if critical modern problems cannot be solved by other means." The CCS indicated among the signs of strain in the present order "the mounting national debt, fueled anew each year by outsized and unsustainable deficits that defy the good intentions of legislators and Presidents." Part of the cause is attributed to factors which "weaken the parties and undermine their ability to draw the separated parts of government into coherent action." For the CCS, the "weakening of the parties in the electoral arena has contributed to the disintegration of party cohesion among the officials we elect to public office." The decline of party cohesion and party accountability is the main point addressed by the CCS proposals for "strengthening" the parties.

Among the remedies offered are a policy of packing Presidential nominating conventions with party nominees and office holders, optional or even obligatory straight-ticket voting, and public financing of congressional campaigns with the party getting half of the take to assure "cohesion." The CCS is for federal elections every four years, permitting members of Congress to serve in the cabinet, easier ratification of arms control and other treaties in the Senate, presidential appearances in Congress to answer questions, a shadow cabinet for the party out of power, and a mechanism for dissolving Congress in the event of a deadlock.

It is evident that these measures would amount to the introduction of a parliamentary system, in which congressmen would be subjected to the merciless discipline of party whips. In such a parliamentary system, the party that wins a majority also elects the executive, an idea that has been repeatedly proposed by former Sen. J. William Fulbright. Although the resemblance to the British parliamentary system is marked, it should be recalled that the Israeli Knesset is, if anything, a more extreme or "pure" form of parliamentary arrangement. The Cutler proposals to subvert the separation-of-powers and checks-and-balances features of the U.S. Constitution are simply a blueprint for exactly the tyranny that the framers of the Constitution sought to rule out. The sympathies of Cutler and his Trilateral co-thinkers go out to Israel, where there is no constitution.

Chairman Kirk the Totalitarian

As the 1988 presidential elections approach, the signs of party dictatorship in the election process multiply. In March 1986, after the victory of two associates of Lyndon LaRouche in the Illinois Democratic primary elections for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he called for the abolition of primary elections, and the choosing of candidates by the party leadership. Later, Fabian Palomino, a political aide to New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who directed the operations of throwing "non- endorsed" Democratic candidates off the September primary ballot, was quoted as saying that "the best primary is no primary."

Chairman Paul Kirk of the Democratic National Committee and Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf of the Republican National Committee are acting together increasingly to police the presidential election process. Kirk and Fahrenkopf more and more resemble the duumviri of a single party, like Stalin and Bukharin during the middle 1920s. Is there a dime's worth of differnce between Kirk's Democrats and Fahrenkopf's Republicans? Comparing the Carter and Reagan administrations, we observe a remarkable continuity on such policies as Volcker austerity economics and support for Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, to name just two. The direction is clear: Apart from the activities of a maverick like LaRouche, America is well on its way to becoming a one-party state.

Thus, the Kirk-Fahrenkopf tandem have arrogated to themselves the organization of the 1988 presidential debates, a matter that up to now has been handled by the individual candidates in negotiation with the League of Women Voters. Kirk and Fahrenkopf reply that they are seeking to "institutionalize" the debates and strengthen the role of the parties in the political process. Kirk has announced his intention to exclude the LaRouche campaign from consultation and debates, and it is clear that third-party candidates will have no chance.

Kirk has also announced a set of "rules" for the 1988 presidential contest, and says he will enforce obedience to this code on the candidates. We thus have the singular spectacle of the party chairmen, who used to be relatively anonymous hacks, now disciplining a gaggle of presidential aspirants like a classroom of unruly schoolboys. Future Presidents must first be taught to obey.

The idea of concentrating a very large number of state presidential primary elections on a single day (like the so-called Southern Super Tuesday of March 15, 1988), is also a step away from federalism and toward a one-party state. The traditional February to June "long season" of primary elections gave a determined outsider the ability to parlay an early success into later momentum through an extended series of almost weekly engagements. "Super Tuesday" means that big bucks, like those provided by Impact 88, the consortium of Democratic money-bags, will be at a premium from the outset.

At the same time, there is an effort to de-emphasize the primary contests altogether. Since the candidate will be chosen by the party bosses anyway, why traipse through the proverbial thousand living rooms of such places as New Hampshire and Iowa? This is the advice of former Virginia Gov. Charles Robb to Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn. Robb recommends a kind of institutional campaign, waged in Nunn's case from the chairman's seat of the Senate Armed Services Committee, thus guaranteeing maximum media visibility and virtually no contact with the vulgar masses. In the same way, it may be that former Sen. Howard Baker's disclaimer of presidential ambition after his assumption of the post of White House chief of staff is disingenuous to the degree that the White House may be seen as the "bully pulpit" for running for the presidency.

The Future?

Samuel Huntington, in his recent book American Politics, develops a perspective for the future development of the American political system in the framework of conflict between increasingly authoritarian and ultimately totalitarian state control, on the one hand, and an underlying American value system and world-outlook-- which he calls the "American Creed--on the other. In Huntington's view, there is no doubt that the regime will become more oppressive: "An increasingly sophisticated economy and active involvement in world affairs seem likely to create stronger needs for hierarchy, bureaucracy, centralization of power, expertise, big government specifically, and big organizations generally." (p. 228)

But this will conflict with the ideological American Creed, based on liberty, equality, individualism, and democracy and rooted in "seventeenth-century Protestant moralism and eighteenth-century liberal rationalism." (p. 229) Something has to give, says Huntington. On the one hand, there is a possibility that the American Creed could be junked, and "there are some signs that values are changing." "In the 1960s and 1970s in both Europe and America, social scientists found evidence of the increasing prevalence of 'postbourgeois' or postmaterialist' values, particularly among younger cohorts. In a somewhat similar vein, George Lodge foresaw the displacment of Lockean, individualistic ideology in the United States by a 'communitarian' ideology, resembling in many aspects the traditional Japanese collective approach.

Huntington predicts that the conflict between individualistic values and the centralized regime may explode early in the coming century specifically between 2010 and 2030, in a period of ferment and dislocation like the late 1960s: "If the periodicity of the past prevails, a major sustained creedal passion period will occur in the second and third decades of the twenty-first century." At this time, he argues, "the oscillations among the responses could intensify in such a way as to threaten to destroy both ideals and institutions." (p. 232) Such a process would be acted out as follows:

"Lacking any concept of the state, lacking for most of its history both the centralized authority and the bureaucratic apparatus of the European state, the American polity has historically been a weak polity. It was designed to be so, and the traditional inheritance and social environment combined for years to support the framers' intentions. In the twentieth century, foreign threats and domestic economic and social needs have generated pressures to develop stronger, more authoritative decision-making and decision-implementing institutions. Yet the continued presence of deeply felt moralistic sentiments among major groups in American society could continue to ensure weak and divided government, devoid of authority and unable to deal satisfactorily with the economic, social and foreign challenges confronting the nation. Intensification of this conflict between history and progress could give rise to increasing frustration and increasingly violent oscillations between moralism and cynicism. American moralism ensures that government will never be truly efficacious; the realities of power ensure that government will never be truly democratic.

This situation could lead to a two-phase dialectic involving intensified efforts to reform government, followed by intensified frustration when those efforts produce not progress in a liberal- democratic direction, but obstacles to meeting perceived functional needs. The weakening of government in an effort to reform it could lead eventually to strong demands for the replacement of the weakened and ineffective institutions by more authoritarian structures more effectively designed to meet historical needs. Given the perversity of reform, moralistic extremism in the pursuit of liberal democracy could generate a strong tide toward authoritarian efficiency. (p. 232)

Huntington then quotes Plato's celebrated passage on the way that the "culmination of liberty in democracy is precisely what prepares the way for the cruelest extreme of servitude under a despot."

The message is clear: sooner or later, all roads lead to Behemoth.

Fascism as an aftermath of defeat. Nous sommes trahis! cried the French in 1870 as they recoiled from defeat in war. For the Germans of 1918, it was the Dolchstosslegende, the stab in the back of the fighting army by the surrender of the politicians. For D'Annunzio and Mussolini, it was the vittoria mutilata, the inability of Orlando to impose Italy's territorial and colonial demands in the imperialist haggling of Versailles. Each of these reproaches, whatever their historical merits might have been, became vital factors in engendering mass fascist mentality and mass fascist movements.

Parallels exist between such figures as Oliver North and the arditi who accompanied D'Annunzio to Fiume. According to former National Security Council director Robert McFarlane, "Lt. Col. Oliver North's experiences in the Vietnam War may have led him to secretly channel proceeds from the Iran arms sales to the Nicaraguan rebels while he was an NSC aide," according to an article published in the Washington Times in March 1987. The article quotes McFarlane, interviewed while recovering from a suicide attempt, as follows:

"For people who went through that, and Colonel North surely did, you come away with the the profound sense of very intolerable failure. That is, a government must never give its word to people who may stand to lose their lives and then break faith. And I think it's possible that in the last year we've seen a commitment made to human beings in Nicaragua that is being broken.

As we have seen, the filibustering expedition of D'Annunzio to Fiume was a kind of dress rehearsal for Italian fascism. In post- World War I Germany, it was a similar kind of filibustering activity, the military campaigns of the Baltic Freikorps against the Bolsheviks, that created a significant part of the fascist potential which later aggregated in the Nazi Party. For the fascism of Project Democracy, the close historical parallel is the filibustering in Central America around the Contra war.


1) See Ralph H. Bowen, German Theories of the Corporate State, p. 2

2) Finer, Mussolini's Italy, p. 499

3) G. Lowell Field, The Syndical and Corporative Institutions of Italian Fascism, p. 137

4) Cited in Stephen Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, p. 30

5) Asher Arian, Politics in Israel, p. 206
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