Those secret groups that run the world

Imagine what could be done if someone could gather together the most influential people in the world—leaders of industry, finance, academia, government and politics, perhaps even entertainers and members of the media. Imagine what would happen if all these people would speak to one another and—more important—listen to one another. Imagine each of these important people gathering insight into other points of view, other approaches to leadership, and other goals for business and government.

You do not have to imagine. Meetings like this actually happen. In fact, there are three regular gatherings that meet this description. The oldest, founded in 1921, is called the Council on Foreign Affairs. It consists of American leaders, and it clearly was begun in an attempt to ward off the isolationism that was dominating American thought after the Great War was over. The next, founded in 1954, is called Bilderberg. It includes Americans and Europeans, and it dates to the aftermath of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War. Along with them is the Trilateral Commission, founded in 1973, and including Japan as well as North America and Europe. Recently other east Asian countries have been included in the Trilateral Commission along with Japan.

The three groups have common interests and goals. They share one other trait: all three are accused of being secret organizations plotting to control world events. Conspiracy theorists regularly invoke one or more of these groups when they try to explain how a hidden elite force is running the world, causing everything from terrorist attacks to the fluoridation of water.

Some years ago, the governor of a certain state was invited to join one of these three groups. After he accepted, he received dozens of letters from alarmed citizens—some from his state, and some from other states. They warned him that he was being sucked into an evil cabal, one bent upon one-world government and other nefarious plots. He was cautioned that known Communists had addressed meetings of this group. (This was while the Cold War was still happening.) The governor’s staff mailed a reply to these letters with his signature. The reply emphasized that the group existed only to listen to different points of view so people would understand one another. The group had no agenda apart from speaking and listening. In many cases, that reply induced a second letter scolding the governor for naivety and recommending a book to the governor, a recently-published book which claimed to reveal all the dark secrets of this particular group.

Conspiracy theorists focus upon these groups because they seem elitist and powerful. Accusing other people of conspiring to run the world reduces one’s own personal responsibility to the world. A person who believes that a secret elite controls the world and that the rest of us are helpless is a person who feels free to ignore the problems of others. Feed the hungry and shelter the homeless? Cut back on littering and on wasting fuel? Be kind to a stranger? Why bother? THEY are in control, and these small gestures cannot change anything. Moreover, doing any of these things might just be playing into THEIR hands.

The Rockefellers and the Rothschilds are wealthy families. They are regarded with suspicion by many conspiracy theorists. But the Rothschild fortune and the Rockefeller fortune were acquired in the same fashion that Bill Gates and Sam Walton became wealthy more recently. Such wealth begins with an idea—a thought about how to give other people what they want and get paid for doing it. Having that idea, the entrepreneur advertises the product or the service. As profits build, they are reinvested in the company. Further investigation of what people want and how to provide it, and continued advertising, bring about a growing business that eventually produces a family fortune. This procedure requires effort, determination, and a little bit of luck. Competition and economic downturns might stifle the company for a while. In the end, the Rockefellers and the Waltons are wealthy today because of a predecessor in the family who worked very hard over a period of time to succeed.

With privilege comes responsibility. Rockefellers and Rothschilds sponsor efforts to improve the world for everyone. They contribute to schools, hospitals, libraries, concert halls, art museums, and other social benefits. They create foundations to continue helping other people. They fund and participate in gatherings (such as the three mentioned above) because they agree that powerful people should speak to one another and listen to one another. Far from conspiring to control the world for their own benefit, they are giving back to a world that made them rich by wanting what their predecessors sold.

Yet these wealthy and powerful people are like everyone else. They are sometimes thoughtful and considerate. They are sometimes petty and self-centered. They can be suspicious of one another. They are neither interested in combining forces to rule the world nor capable of doing so. And, I suspect, they are both puzzled and amused by the countless theories that claim that they are doing such things right now. J.

10 thoughts on “Those secret groups that run the world

  1. Oh my God did you ever hit the nail
    on the head with this post! I have a good friend who is ensconced in conspiracy theory nonsense and my deep sadness for him is not only that I hate seeing his mind waste away on this stuff but that he is completely of no use to the world. His theories that about the elite cabal running the world make no room for anything to actually be done to improve things, just as you said. Sad and infuriating all at once.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I suspect most of the people attending those meetings do so because it strokes their egos to be worthy of an invitation. The “secret” elites don’t strike me as especially competent.

    If want to do something of the supposed conspiracies, the easiest thing to do (and it won’t be easy) would be to reduce the powers of our central government back to those it was originally authorized by the Constitution.

    What most people fail to apprehend is that that the government that matters most is still local and state. Schools. Police. Courts. Utilities. Health care and business regulation. Emergency services. Zoning laws. Most of the government activities that matter to us on a day-to-day basis happen at the local or state level. The Feds are trying to stick their noses into our schools, police matters, courts, utility regulation, health care and business regulation, and so forth, but they have little Constitutional authority for doing so unless, for example, they stretch the notion of interstate regulation beyond all reasonable bounds. So they do, but that is no secret. They just get away with it by calling the Constitution a “living document”. The conspiracy, to the extent it exists is the court room.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I cannot speak for most people who attend these meetings, but many of them think of the events as “networking.” They make connections which help them in their own endeavors, and they gain useful information about the world and what’s happening.
      Tip O’Neil said, “All politics is local.” In Illinois, the mayor of Chicago has far more power than the governor of the state or any member of Congress; this may be even more true in smaller cities.
      The balance of powers in the Constitution does not allow a judge in a courtroom to overturn any law. A case must be filed by a citizen who has been harmed by that law–generally someone who has violated the law and been arrested for that violation. Many people are quick to challenge the laws, though, and bring them into the courtrooms, giving judges the opportunity to overreach their constitutional authority. J.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. HA! Well said. I call them our alien lizard overlords, the pod people that landed and infected our society so they can conquer the world. I would very much like to believe we’re being controlled by a group of Bilderbergers, but alas, I’ve been to the DMV. Nothing robs you of your hopes and dreams quite like watching government “efficiency” in action. We can’t even pull off a proper cover up.

    Liked by 2 people

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