From Portland Occupier. Dec 23rd:
How to Infiltrate and Destroy a Political Movement
by Lester MacGurdy
When we think of infiltrating and destroying a movement, we assume that means attempting to bring about the immediate end of the movement. This is a naive perception of the actual mechanics of infiltrating and destroying a popular political movement of the people. Why would CIA, FBI, etc. want to destroy OWS? Most would answer that OWS is a powerful movement that has the power to cause systemic change in government and challenge corporate power. However, that’s exactly why government wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to end the movement. We live in America, the land in which a price tag hangs from everything, including our souls. Political movements that gain popular support have political power, and political power has monetary value, just like everything else. The expenditure of labor by millions of people around the globe has, like any expenditure of labor directed toward a desired end, produced a commodity with market value. The goal of the Corporate Government complex isn’t to erase that value, it is rather to capture that value. But the question is “How could government or the private sector Captain the ship of OWS?”
By buying it.
It’s easily done, as our history has abundantly shown. If it can’t be bought (a big “If”) then the leaders are framed for crimes they didn’t commit, and either jailed or executed. In no case does government just want a movement to just fizzle out, because that is the only way that a movement can end without transferring the power it generated to government. Government always has something to gain, either in gaining more police powers by an unnecessary violent conflict with the movement (as was done in Waco) or in gaining the loyalty of the masses and turning a profit financially (as the historically racist Democrat party did by co-opting the Civil Rights movement and in so doing, erasing public awareness of their authorship of Jim Crow laws and the Southern system of American apartheid). However, in a Capitalist world, any tactic aside from simply buying the movement is rarely necessary. For an example of how this works, we can look at the early labor/socialist movement.
In the years between WWI and WWII, Socialism, as it had existed prior to that period, was utterly destroyed by the concerted efforts of government and capital. Once eradicated, it was replaced with an imitation in the form of a Capitalist welfare state in which men and women no longer fought for their fair share of the natural bounty of their physical world, but a state in which technocratic specialists argued that the wages of the middle class, rather than the exponential profits of the Capitalist class, be heavily taxed to support the once more powerless poor.
Woodrow Wilson passed a law called the Sedition Act which, among other things, made it illegal to deter men from joining the army or fighting in WW I. The Socialists were, as they are today, anti-war, so Wilson used the Sedition act to sentence Eugene V. Debs and the leaders and financers of the Socialist Party to ten-year sentences in Federal prison. In the labor arena, the American Federation of Labor (now the AFL-CIO) continued its betrayal of labor by fighting to end Socialism and the Socialist party (ending rival unions in the process) since it enthusiastically supported entry into WW I. The AFL-CIO profited from the eradication of Socialism, becoming an arm of the Democratic Party, as it remains to this day. The Rand School of Social Sciences (a socialist school that provided free education to the working classes) was raided and driven into closure (its library is now held at NYU). The Charles H. Kerr publishing company (the only socialist publisher in the nation, publishing the only socialist periodical) was labeled subversive and denied the use of the Postal Service, forcing it into bankruptcy. The American Legion was formed as a manifestly fascist organization that roamed the streets in mobs, even committing a massacre in Centralia, Washington in which 6 were killed (most of them members of the IWW).
The first “Red Scare” was manufactured in America in 1919 (two years after the Russian Revolution). The New York Times (then still a far-right newspaper) published lurid articles claiming that Anarchists in the Soviet Union had declared all females over 18 to be public prostitutes. In Congress, legislation was introduced to deport anarchists to a penal colony created in the Philippines. 500 leftists (including Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman) were loaded aboard a ship and deported to the Soviet Union for ideological associations alone. In the New York State Assembly, Republicans had the Sergeant at Arms drag the five Socialist assemblymen before the House and had them expelled. Race riots between black and white laborers in Chicago were fomented.
Simultaneously, John D. Rockefeller II gradually assumed control of Rockefeller philanthropy, which had already been effectively organized for a tool of societal subversion by the Baptist minister and Rockefeller Sr’s right hand man, Frederick T. Gates. Rockefeller Jr, not wanting to try to compete with his father’s reputation as a Capitalist, decided to devote himself to philanthropy (which is the unelected shaping of society via the purchase of its institutions and creation of its ideals).
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, labor made its most significant advances against Capital and Government, to the point that Capital was actually afraid of labor, and saw the edifices of classic liberalism failing. Rockefeller Philanthropy had already donated over $100 million to the University of Chicago (which has been since then a virtual possession of the Rockefeller family), and close to $90 million for the education of blacks in the South. (The Tuskegee Institute was a Rockefeller-funded Institute. Booker T. Washington was a freed slave that argued that black people weren’t ready for actual education, only education in the trades, which was the curriculum offered at the Tuskegee Institute.) It donated tens of millions of dollars to universities around the nation, so now Rockefeller Jr. set about defining the curriculum of higher education.
The purpose of John D. Rockefeller Jr’s philanthropy was to prevent the end of the classic liberal, Capitalist republic, and that goal was sought through the philanthropic foundation of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial (LSRM). Rockefeller Jr. placed a man named Beardsley Ruml (behavioral psychologist, CEO of MACY’s and later chairman of the Federal Reserve) in charge of LSRM, and Ruml placed Charles Merriweather in charge of an organization called the Social Science Research Institute (SSRC).Through the LSRM, the SSRC began to provide funding for Social Sciences in order to establish them in higher education and government.
Some of the academic and governmental associations created and/or funded by the LSRM include the American Anthropological Association, the American Psychological Association, the Commonwealth Fund, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the National Science Foundation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Rockefeller Jr. poured hundreds of millions into the social sciences, and once all these councils were dependent upon Rockefeller funding, the Problems and Policy Committee was formed. The Problems and Policy Committee was a group of Rockefeller insiders that took upon itself the authority to determine what research could be conducted and what personnel was allowed to involve themselves in research within all the dependent councils and organizations–within American higher education as a whole.
In reading the works of the Social Sciences in the inter-war years, it is clearly expressed that the Social Sciences were to be anti-socialist. The habit of modern academic Social Sciences of misleading students into believing that Auguste Comte or Emile Durkheim et al were the fathers of social science is just propaganda for incoming Freshmen. The father of our Social Sciences was David Hume and John Locke, and the institutional sponsors and creators of academic social sciences were employed to reinforce the dogmatic Skeptic philosophy of the early Classic Liberal philosophers. The academically respected research done by Social Scientists since then has, in one way or another, only reiterated or expanded upon the dogma of skepticism, denied the intrinsic humanity of all humans, and reinforced the atomization of our society.
Socialism, which was an ideology based upon dialectics, classical economic theory, or dialectic materialism was replaced by a skeptic impostor created by the Social Sciences and the public was none the wiser to the change because the catastrophes of the Great depression followed by the Second World War and then the Second Red Scare under McCarthy drew their attention away. To this day, the Social Sciences are only capable of attempting to perpetuate a Classic Liberal, Capitalist Utopia. That’s why specialists trained in the Social Sciences are virtually incapable of recognizing fundamental and systemic corruption and collapse in our society, or of realizing that every age of society, including ours, eventually comes to a close. They are marginalized by social controls embedded in Academic and Occupational socialization and accordingly believe, and teach, that some minor adjustment within the system will cure all ills, They are trained to deceive society to pursue minor, irrelevant change, all the while believing that deception is necessary because the human species is somehow flawed and incapable of social interaction or integration. This deception is accomplished in millions of ways, such as selective “studies” churned out with extreme bias, skewed statistics, little oversight or peer review of data, and complete lack of scientific method (the term “social science” is a public relations term, those academic disciplines have never been science, nor accredited as such by real science). This sloppy and subjective method implemented by the social sciences allows those engaging in it to retain their blindness to the fact that they just perpetuate the sacred values of their moral tribal community.
OWS is still a minor movement compared to Socialism in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. And the modern population is almost completely lacking in any political understanding, having been degraded to party lines and the false right/left dichotomy by the guiding hand of psychologists, sociologists, economists, and political scientists, etc. designing the majority of the lingual noise flooding our senses through omnipresent media, manipulation, and deeply embedded social controls. The government, and its senior partner Capital, never destroy popular dissent when that dissent can be co-opted, and all it takes to co-opt that dissent is to throw some money at it. As William Hockings said “Pragmatism demands that power must be maintained”. Buying OWS is a small matter compared to the co-opting of socialism and the labor movement. Powerful movements in opposition to Government and Corporate power are co-opted and converted rather destroyed. A good example is the “Civil Rights” movement. It went from Black Nationalism to Blacksploitation in under ten years thanks to the combination of government, education, and media capturing the movement and converting its valuable political power into profit and propaganda.
Given the long history and profit potential of gaining the trust of popular movements and then selling them to the highest bidder (it’s practically America’s pastime), there are always shrewd sociopaths intent on gaining control because the profit they understand can be made from betraying those movements. Every popular movement has these people attempting to gain control, and they usually do. True infiltrators don’t want to “prevent the process”, they want to maintain and increase the power of the movement while steering it toward the goal of creating a vehicle for personal profit. This is done through a gradual mitigation of Democratic participation and increase of powers at the top, and increasingly seeking to abandon the disenfranchised classes that began the movement in favor of the moneyed classes looking to purchase it. Popular movements go seeking funding without ever realizing that their greatest potential danger is finding a wealthy contributor, because once they do, their expenses rise to equal that level of funding, and then the movement is exponentially more dependent upon that source of wealth than they are upon the people the movement was created by and for.
How do you prevent it? Don’t give up your voice (Never agree that non-violent actions must be submitted for approval or consensus by group decision; when the spirit is willing and numbers are with you, just do it) or allow the Democratic process within assembly to be marginalized, and most importantly, just like everything else in our world, keep your eyes on the money and always ask, in any circumstance, “Que Bono?”