31. The Trilateral Commission:
The Trilateral Commission is a private organization, established to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan. It was founded in July 1973 at the initiative of David Rockefeller, who was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations at that time. The Trilateral Commission is widely seen as a counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations.
In July 1972, Rockefeller called his first meeting, which was held at Rockefeller’s Pocantico compound in New York’s Hudson Valley. It was attended by about 250 individuals who were carefully selected and screened by Rockefeller and represented the very elite of finance and industry. Its first executive committee meeting was held in Tokyo in October 1973. The Trilateral Commission was officially initiated, holding biannual meetings.
A Trilateral Commission Task Force Report, presented at the 1975 meeting in Kyoto, Japan, called An Outline for Remaking World Trade and Finance, said: “Close Trilateral cooperation in keeping the peace, in managing the world economy, and in fostering economic development and in alleviating world poverty, will improve the chances of a smooth and peaceful evolution of the global system.” Another Commission document read:
“The overriding goal is to make the world safe for interdependence by protecting the benefits which it provides for each country against external and internal threats which will constantly emerge from those willing to pay a price for more national autonomy. This may sometimes require slowing the pace at which interdependence proceeds, and checking some aspects of it. More frequently however, it will call for checking the intrusion of national government into the international exchange of both economic and non-economic goods.”-----------------------------
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973, to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.
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FoundingSensing a profound discord among the nations of North America, Europe and Japan, the Trilateral Commission was founded to foster substantive political and economic dialogue across the world. To quote its founding declaration:"Growing interdependence is a fact of life of the contemporary world. It transcends and influences national systems...While it is important to develop greater cooperation among all the countries of the world, Japan, Western Europe, and North America, in view of their great weight in the world economy and their massive relations with one another, bear a special responsibility for developing effective cooperation, both in their own interests and in those of the rest of the world.""To be effective in meeting common problems, Japan, Western Europe, and North America will have to consult and cooperate more closely, on the basis of equality, to develop and carry out coordinated policies on matters affecting their common interests...refrain from unilateral actions incompatible with their interdependence and from actions detrimental to other regions... [and] take advantage of existing international and regional organizations and further enhance their role.""The Commission hopes to play a creative role as a channel of free exchange of opinions with other countries and regions. Further progress of the developing countries and greater improvement of East-West relations will be a major concern."Zbigniew Brzezinski, a professor at Columbia University and a Rockefeller advisor who was a specialist on international affairs, left his post to organize the group along with:Henry D. Owen (a Foreign Policy Studies Director with the Brookings Institution)George S. FranklinRobert R. Bowie (of the Foreign Policy Association and Director of the Harvard Center for International Affairs)Gerard C. Smith (Salt I negotiator, Rockefeller in-law, and its first North American Chairman)Marshall Hornblower (former partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering)William Scranton (former Governor of Pennsylvania)Edwin Reischauer (a professor at Harvard) and more importantly, a United States Ambassador to Japan from 1961-1966Max Kohnstamm (European Policy Centre)Tadashi Yamamoto (Japan Center for International Exchange)Other founding members included Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, both later heads of the Federal Reserve system.
The Trilateral Commission initiated its biannual meetings schedule in October 1973 in Tokyo. In May 1976, the first plenary meeting of all of the Commission's regional groups took place in Kyoto. It was through these early meetings that the group effected its most profound influence, the integration of Japan into the global political conversation. Before these exchanges, the country was much more isolated on the international stage.Since its founding, the discussion group has produced an official journal called Trialogue.
Membership is divided into numbers proportionate to each of the think tank's three regional areas. The North American continent is represented by 120 members (20 Canadian, 13 Mexican and 87 U.S. citizens). The European group has reached its limit of 170 members from almost every country on the continent; the ceilings for individual countries are 20 for Germany, 18 for France, Italy and the United Kingdom, 12 for Spain and 1–6 for the rest. At first, Asia and Oceania were represented only by Japan. However, in 2000 the Japanese group of 85 members expanded itself, becoming the Pacific Asia group, composed of 117 members: 75 Japanese, 11 South Koreans, 7 Australian and New Zealand citizens, and 15 members from the ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines,Singapore and Thailand). The Pacific Asia group also included 9 members from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Currently, the Trilateral Commission claims "more than 100" Pacific Asian members.
While Trilateral Commission bylaws exclude persons holding public office from membership, the think tank draws its participants from political, business, and academic worlds. The group is chaired by three individuals, one from each of the regions represented. The current chairmen areformer U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Joseph S. Nye, Jr.former head of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichetand Chief Corporate Adviser, Fuji Xerox Company, Ltd. Yotaro Kobayashi.
From the leftOn the left, linguist Noam Chomsky argues that a report issued by the Commission called The Crisis of Democracy which proposes solutions for the "excess of democracy" in the 1960s, embodies "the ideology of the liberal wing of the state capitalist ruling elite". Chomsky also argues that the group had an undue influence in the administration of Jimmy Carter.
From the rightOn the right, a number of prominent thinkers and politicians have criticized the Trilateral Commission as encroaching on national sovereignty. In his book With No Apologies, former conservative Republican Senator Barry Goldwater lambasted the discussion group by suggesting it was"a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power: political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical...[in] the creation of a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved."Conspiracy theories
Others such as Noam Chomsky have described the Trilateral Commission's goals in less glowing terms: "essentially liberal internationalists from Europe, Japan and the United States, the liberal wing of the intellectual elite. That’s where Jimmy Carter’s whole government came from. [...] [The Trilateral Commission] was concerned with trying to induce what they called ‘more moderation in democracy’ – turn people back to passivity and obedience so they don’t put so many constraints on state power and so on. In particular they were worried about young people. They were concerned about the institutions responsible for the indoctrination of the young (that’s their phrase), meaning schools, universities, church and so on – they’re not doing their job, [the young are] not being sufficiently indoctrinated. They’re too free to pursue their own initiatives and concerns and you’ve got to control them better"
While the Trilateral Commission is only one of many similar think tanks on the right and left, many notable conspiracy theorists believe the organization to be a central plotter of a world government or synarchy. As documented by journalist Jonathan Kay, 9/11 conspiracy theorist Luke Rudkowski gained notoriety in April 2007 by interrupting a lecture by former Trilateral Commission director Zbigniew Brzezinski and accusing the organization and a few others of having orchestrated the attacks of September 11th to initiate a new world order. Conservative and right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society and right wing conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jonesalso regularly tout this idea.
Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer alluded to the conspiracy theories when he was asked in 2012 who makes up the "Republican establishment":Karl Rove is the president. We meet every month on the full moon...[at] the Masonic Temple. We have the ritual: Karl brings the incense, I bring the live lamb and the long knife, and we began... with a pledge of allegiance to the Trilateral Commission.See alsoBilderberg GroupInternationalism (politics)Council on Foreign RelationsRockefeller familyreport The Crisis of Democracy
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