Berman, Edward H. "The Ideology of Philanthropy: The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford and

 

Berman, Edward H. "The Ideology of Philanthropy: The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford and
Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy. Albany: The State University of New
York Press, 1986.

This is an angry book but, fortunately, one with a sense of humor. He is sarcastic and ironic when
in comes to describing the history of the three major private foundations: Rockefeller, Carnegie
and Ford. He does not have much good to say about any of their self-perpetuation efforts but he
does snicker at the possibility that the technocrats who planned and managed their foundations
may have unwittingly opened up opportunities of which they were unaware. In their efforts to
perpetuate themselves and their "culture," they may have done some good and that would not be
what they wanted or expected to do.

The foundations of our society are bent on propagandizing, selling, the American Way of Life.
That is what they have been about for years and that is what they have been doing. They have
spent their billions in spreading the ideology of the capitalistic elite. "The boards of trustees of
the major foundations are self-perpetuating. They select individuals to serve according to criteria
that they themselves establish, individuals who are, according to John J. McCloy, long-time Ford
and Rockefeller trustee, ‘real imaginative [and] public-spirited men. Such procedures insure and
upper-class monopoly on those important positions... (r)ecent analysis found that over half of the
trustees of the thirteen largest American foundations attended Harvard, Yale or Princeton. The
most salient characteristics of this group were that were white Episcopalian or Presbyterian
males, who were between 55 and 65 years of age and who served on the board of several
foundations simultaneously or concurrently." (p. 32)

"In 1964, a representative year, the chairman of the council's board of directors was John J.
McCloy, who at the same time was chairman of the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation and
a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. David Rockefeller served as one of the council's two
vice-presidents during the year, while Carnegie trustee Henry Wriston served as council
president. James Perkins, then Carnegie Corporation vice-president and later a director of the
Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank and president of the Ford-supported International board of
directors, as was Carnegie trustee Charles Spofford...

"Also serving as director in 1964 were former secretary of the Air Force Thomas Finletter and
Allen Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence agency during the early 1960s." (p. 36)

According to Berman, the directors of these foundations are the same elite American who enter
government service, take the helm of major corporations, provide for our major universities, and
maintain foundations. The billions of tax-sheltered funds make this possible. Their fantastic
wealth makes it possible for the foundations to employ "science" in their service. Most
particularly, as far as SCIFRAUD is concerned, the foundations support the work of social
scientists, for example, who "think along the same lines" as do the plutocrats. "Several
commentators have suggested that some of the influential social scientists concerned with
developmental problems in the Third World were less concerned with ascertaining the desires of
the people in these areas than insuring that their particular visions of development were imposed
on the populations in question - by whatever means might be required. O'Brien, for example,
mentions Lucien Pye, long-time member of the Social Science Research Council, as an exponent
of the concept of incremental, controlled development imposed by American backed indigenous
elites. Another, perhaps more influential, advocate of this view is Samuel Huntington is also the
coauthor of The Crisis of Democracy. This book, one of several commissioned by the Trilaterial
Commission, was published in 1975 and attracted considerable attention because of its
uncharacteristically blunt attack on the ‘excesses of democracy' and ‘the reassertion of
democratic egalitarianism' in the United States. The remedy for these unhealthy trends,
according to Huntington's analysis, was a return to a more manageable and efficient system of
elite governance. The work of Huntington, Pye, et al., has been supported by one or another of
the major foundations over the years either through the Social Science Research Council or, more
recently, the Council on Foreign Relations' 1980s Project or the Trilateral Commission." (p. 114)

And, if one wants more names of individual scientists who are receiving grants from foundations
for their conservative approach: "The approach of Robert Havighurst, the University of Chicago
sociologist, one-time officer of the Rockefeller General Education Board, and frequent
beneficiary of foundation largesse, is indicative of the way in which mainstream sociologists
exercise great selectivity in their approach to developmental problems. His work indicates as
well how sponsored scholars frequently manage to obfuscate the significant structural issues
involved in Third-World development, while concentrating their efforts on issues peripheral to
widespread human advancement, all the time arguing that they are engaged in value-free
inquiry."(pp. 117-118)

But the trust of the book has to do with much more than identifying individual
structure-functionalists who have played intellectual games with the elite. It is a matter of
keeping an elite in power:

"The long-standing foundation emphasis on the training of carefully selected experts to provide
the ‘advice and special study on nearly every subject we take up' derives logically from
institutions staffed by individuals from upper-class backgrounds, who themselves believe that the
United States can best be managed by an elite group of well-trained, dispassionate technocrats.
This pattern was apparent in foundation support from a limited number of elite American
universities as early as the 1930s and inaugurated a trend still followed. Foundation support for
educational institutions and the concomitant emphasis on the training of experts has given the
foundations group leverage in the production and dissemination of knowledge. They are critically
situation to play pivotal roles in determining what knowledge, what ideas, what views of the
world receive support and become incorporated into the society's general discourse. Coser spoke
to this point some years ago, noting how the major foundations act as the ‘gatekeepers of ideas.'
By this he meant that the foundations, because of the significant resources available for their
officers to use at their discretion, were ‘in positions to foster certain lines of inquiry while
neglecting or de-emphasizing others.' "The foundations' location in the capitalist state leads
them to support educational institutions - particularly universities - at home and abroad to train
individuals who not only share their perspectives, but who will use their influence to ‘sell' it to
others who are less convinced of its merits. Gramsci indicated how the world view of a society's
dominant class is most effectively disseminated throughout the society but by force of arms , but
rather through the acceptance by the majority of the citizenry of a carefully defined set of ideas.
To put this somewhat differently: it is more effective to persuade the population at large that the
worldview propagated by their leaders is in the majority's interest and is ‘correct; than it is for
the leaders to have to resort to the state's coercive apparatus (the system of justice, the military,
the policy) to force the majority to accept this. "The act of persuading is largely the responsibility
of intellectuals, who, according to Bates, strive to ‘extend the world view of the rules to the
ruled, and thereby secure the ‘free' consent of the masses to the law and order of the land." These
intellectuals, or ‘salesmen' as Bates calls them, thus occupy an intermediate position between the
ruling class and the people. Acceptance of the ruling-class version of reality, which has been
certified as ‘true' or has the appearance of common sense, is dependent on the efforts of these
‘salesmen.' The grants appropriated by the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations help to
train these salesmen or intellectuals in the universities that they support at home and around the
world." (pp. 12-13)

"The foundation programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America, in short, were designed to improve
conditions there, mainly through the aegis of an enculturated stratum of local nationals, who
subsequent modes of behavior would be supportive of the national-security and economic
interests of the United States. The conceptualization of these foundation educational ventures
coincided with the demise of the colonial empires of Britain, France and the Netherlands after
1945. The resultant educational and cultural programs were a reflection of the belief that
American's post World War II interests could be served by aligning the evolving Third-World
nations to the United States through the provision of social services (particularly education),
which had been limited by the former colonial powers, thereby fulfilling an articulate local need
and at the same time weaning these nations away from flirtation with socialist doctrine. The
extension of a sophisticated form of cultural imperialism also had the advantage of obfuscating
the continuance of discredited and crude forms of economic and military imperialism." (p. 14)