Opus Dei Gingrich and the politics of the Third Wave
Updated November 17, 2011 with article Opus Dei "Third Wave" Newt Gingrich pain by Freddie Mac, read below
Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of the House. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Republician presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich waves, followed by Mitt Romney, as they arrive to participate in the South Carolina Presidential Debate at Wofford College, sponsored by SCGOP, CBS News and the National Journal on November 12, 2011 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Photographer: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
Opus Dei Gingrich and the politics of the Third Wave
His convenient conversion to catholicism via Opus Dei
(--Read full article below)
The threat of Fascism today........
(--Read full article below)
"The Tofflers, who have previously given us "Future Shock" and "The Third Wave," among other books, are a kind of cyber-age version of Marx."
Gingrich, Toffler, and Gore: A Peculiar Trio
January 30, 2010
By Steve Farrell
Democrats In Drag, Part 3
The most-heralded achievement and high water mark of Republican leadership since the revival of America’s military superiority under Ronald Reagan is, without question, the coming forth of the “Contract With America” during the election of 1994.
Its 100-day surge through the House of Representatives, with its visionary agenda and its promise and delivery of lock-arm partisan voting, is a singular feat; such a one that ever since Republicans have looked back with fondness and longing for a revival of ‘the good old days.’
Seven years later, as election 2000 approached, conservative Republicans, unhappy with the current party, unhappy with their wishy-washy candidate-in-chief (former Texas Governor George W. Bush), still held out hope that Governor Bush or some other Republican would rise up, Newt Gingrich-like, with charisma, courage and acumen, and take a firm grip on the reins of the party, take the heat, and show the American people what the Republican Party and conservatism is really all about.
But why all the nostalgia for the “good old days”? Are we really sure that they were that good and that conservative? For missing in action in this dreamy partisan memory of everything lovely is the honest reality that things weren’t so lovely after all. The conservative Contract With America was deceptively liberal, if not radical, the strong-arm “in house” tactics of its chief proponent were anything but democratic, and the same man’s established political loyalties were ironically tied to the very political movement he was tough guy-like fighting – even Clinton, Gore and the Third Way.
A few knew this from day one, but most failed to see the connection even though Newt Gingrich — give him points for honesty — laid it in the open on more than a few occasions for those who cared to listen. Few did.
Gingrich’s Coming-out Party
On November 11, 1994, still bubbling and cocksure over the Republican takeover of both houses of Congress, his coming coronation as speaker of the House, and his anointing as king of the Republican Revolution, Congressman Newt Gingrich couldn’t resist taking advantage of the moment to put in a free plug for something he so devoutly believed in.
“The core of our Contract” and the solution for those “trying to figure out how to put me in a box,” he said, could be found in a book by futurist Alvin Toffler called “The Third Way,” to which he added, “I am a conservative futurist.” (1)
Quite a confession!
Futurism, as already alluded to, is one and the same with the Third Way or Third Wave, but for brevity’s sake, Webster’s Dictionary gives us another take on Mr. Gingrich’s confession:
“Futurism: Study of, and interest in, forecasting or anticipating the future, or theorizing on how to impose controls on events.” (2) (emphasis added)
Or to put it another way, futurism is a head-in-the-clouds political philosophy, complete with theories and forecasts, which envisions the use of force to insure that those theories and forecasts come to pass.
I’m sure my Republican friends won’t like this: but it would not be a stretch on futurism to sum it up thus: communism with economic vision. That is certainly how the futurists of the Third Way describe it. If so, what, then, is a conservative futurist? Well, if Mr. Gingrich was being honest about his agenda (which became the agenda of the Party), it is individually: a post-1994 Republican; and in policy: The Contract With America, the go-along, get-along policies of a party that for the next six years caved under Clinton. It is, also, the faith-based subsidies, public-private partnerships, fast-track hopes, and the bipartisan spirit of the 2000-2008 Compassionate Conservative movement;—the latter movement having its start in the already in place proposals, legislation, and underlying principles of the Gingrich inspired, Contract With America.
As fictitious as this may have sounded to the average — pre-Tea Party — party partisan who presumes his party is as conservative as the talk show hosts who promote it, confirmation of it all comes in spades as we consider the sincerity and depth of Gingrich’s relationship with the same center/left of center Third Wave/Third Way that pummeled our country under Clinton and Gore.
Gingrich revealed to Congress: “For a long time, I have been friends with Alvin and Heidi Toffler, the authors of ‘Future Shock’ and ‘The Third Wave.’ (3)
“I first began working with the Tofflers in the early 1970s on a concept called anticipatory democracy. I was then a young assistant professor at West Georgia State College, and I was fascinated with the intersection of history and the future, which is the essence of politics and government at its best.
“For twenty years we [who's we?] have worked to develop a future-conscious politics and popular understanding that would make it easier for America to make the transition from the Second Wave civilization [the one our Founders gave us] – which is clearly dying – to the emerging, but in many ways undefined, Third Wave civilization [Alvin Toffler's Centrist Utopia].
“The process has been more frustrating and the progress much slower than I would have guessed two decades ago. Yet despite the frustrations, the development of a Third Wave political and governmental system is so central to the future of freedom and the future of America that it must be undertaken.” (4)
So central, so critical indeed, that Mr. Gingrich put the book on a recommended reading list for members of Congress and all Americans. And mind you, he wouldn’t let go of it. In speech after speech and press conference after press conference Gingrich referred to “The Third Wave” as “the seminal work of our time.” (5)
For those who hadn’t read it or who knew nothing about the Third Way/ Third Wave (he used both names) Gingrich delivered a few extra hints of where the Third Way was taking him.
“While I am a Republican leader in the Congress, I do not believe Republicans or the Congress have a monopoly on solving problems and helping America make the transformation necessary to enter the Third Wave information revolution. Democratic mayors like Norquist in Milwaukee and Rendel in Philadelphia are making real breakthroughs at the city level. Some of the best of Vice President Gore’s efforts to reinvent government nibble in the right direction. …” (6)
To those conservative freshman just elected, those dyed-in-the-wool conservatives already in a hot war with Clinton and Gore, and those millions of Americans who had just swept this Republican Revolution into power, nothing could have smacked more of betrayal of the traditional conservative values they thought these champions of conservatism were promising them than this.
Wake up call, Congressman Gingrich wasn’t kidding. He really had a thing for the Third Way and a peculiar partnership with what are now commonly referred to as “new Democrats.”
Toffler concurs. In his next book, “Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave,” Toffler writes:
“In 1975 at the request of Congressional Democrats, we organized a conference on futurism and ‘anticipatory democracy’ [the latter being the political game plan of the former] for senators and members of the House. We invited Newt Gingrich, probably the only Republican among the many futurists we knew. He attended.
“That conference led to the creation of the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, a group eventually co-chaired by a young senator named Al Gore, now vice president.” (7)
Gingrich, Gore-like, would rise within the Third Wave/Third Way movement, would become a member of the executive committee of the Congressional Clearing House on the Future, and would win the praise of leftist, “ex”-Marxist Toffler as possibly “the single smartest and most successful intellectual in American politics. …” (8)
As “probably the only Republican among the many futurists” Toffler knew Gingrich’s involvement in the movement was not what one would call “conservative” by traditional standards.
New American Senior Editor William F. Jasper, in a 1994 piece “New Age Newt: A Futurist Conservative for the 21st Century,” revealed that Gingrich’s embrace of the Third Way also included a collaborative effort with Toffler and twenty New Left and New Age authors in a 1978 work, “Anticipatory Democracy,” wherein Gingrich endorsed Governor Jimmy Carter’s socialist “planning” agenda.
The book throughout extolled the virtues of “participatory democracy,” a revolutionary slogan dear to the likes of Tom Hayden, Derek Shearer and Bill Clinton, and one drawn directly from the eighth plank of the “Humanist Manifesto II (1973).” (9)
By 1984 Gingrich’s influence in the Third Way movement was so far to the left that it brought on kudos from the likes of New Age “philosopher” Mark Satin.
Mr. Satin is certainly no ordinary American. In his “New Age Politics” (1978), a guide to New Age political thought, he called for planetary governance, a system of world taxation (on resource use), an increased transfer of wealth from rich to poor countries (international communism), and complete military disarmament. He rounded this ode to Marxism out by stating, in no uncertain terms, his hostility for the nuclear family, traditional marriage, and heterosexual society. (10)
So what did such a one as this think of “conservative” Newt Gingrich? In the February 27, 1984, issue of “New Options,” Satin singled out Newt Gingrich as a top “decentralist/globally responsible” congressman (11) – not the kind of praise any true conservative would want on his resume. As for the odd phrase, “decentralist/globally responsible” congressmen, this is the kind of interesting paradox that fits the fishy decentralism of the Third Way, a decentralism that seeks to move power not just down to the local level [where under the Constitution most political power belongs], but oddly up to the international level (which is fully at odds with America’s War for Independence, the Founding Generations vigorous objections to permanent and entangling alliances, and so far beyond their greatest fears concerning centralized power that it is off the charts crazy!).
Not surprisingly, then, ten years later, in the wake of the passage of NAFTA, globalist Council on Foreign Relations Republican Insider Henry Kissinger would be heard bragging here, there, and everywhere, that the man most responsible for giving us NAFTA (what Kissinger called the important checkpoint on the way to a New World Order) was none other than Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich, more than any other man, was responsible for fast-tracking NAFTA and GATT through Congress in December of 1994 (call it a gift to Third Wayer, President Clinton), shortly before the incoming ‘revolutionary’ Republican dominated Congress (which had it been given the chance to vote on it, would likely would have defeated the treaties) took control. An example of things to come from this ‘conservative’ futurist.
And perhaps it all fits: heralded Republican Third Way Futurist Newt Gingrich emerges from the right, and at the same time his comrade Third Way Futurist Al Gore and his pal Bill Clinton burst upon the scene from the left. Gingrich promised to take Clinton and Gore down and out for the count; in the end Gingrich preserved their radical agenda by bringing to the plate a more palatable and patient — call it a more progressive — center/right push to the left.
Read more from “Democrats In Drag: Foreword; Part 1, Technology, Sovereignty, and the Third Wave; Part 2, Clinton and Blair’s Center-Left Democracy ; Part 3, Gingrich, Toffler, and Gore: A Peculiar Trio; Part 4, Groveling in the Gutter of the Gulags; Part 5, Eradicating the U.S. Constitution by Design; Part 6, Contract With America: The Betrayal Begins; Part 7, Using Jefferson as a Cloak for Revolution; Part 8, Term Limits and the Citizen-Legislature Scam.
Steve Farrell is one of the original pundits at Silver Eddy Award Winner, NewsMax.com (1999–2008), associate professor of political economy at George Wythe University, the author of the highly praised inspirational novel “Dark Rose,” and editor in chief of The Moral Liberal.
1. Gingrich, Newt and Armey, Dick. “Contract With America.” New York: Times Books, 1994, p. 186.
2. New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language. Danbury, Connecticut: Lexicon Publications Inc., 1992, p. 386.
3. Gingrich, Newt and Armey, Dick. “Contract With America.” New York: Times Books, 1994, p. 186.
4. Toffler, Alvin and Heidi. “Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave.” Atlanta: Turner Publishing Inc., pp. 16-17 (Foreword written by Newt Gingrich).
5. Ibid. p. 8.
6. Ibid. p. 17.
7. Ibid. p. 9.
8. Ibid. p. 10.
9. Jasper, William F. “New Age Newt: A Futurist Conservative for the 21st Century. “The New American,” December 12, 1994.
Another Irrelevant Conversion
by Jeremy Beer
in Economics & Empire,Philosophers & Saints
Many folks–including Rod and the guys at Plumb Lines, just to cite two from our own blogroll–have taken notice of Newt Gingrich’s impending conversion to Catholicism. For several months, I’ve encountered various people in social situations, conservative Catholic types, who have excitedly retailed the news (or rumors). The general idea conveyed implicitly in these conversations is that this conversion is of great importance–I mean, important for reasons beyond what it ostensibly means for Mr. Gingrich’s personal life and postmortal fortunes.
The idea seems to be that Gingrich’s becoming Catholic will make some kind of significant difference, somehow. The details are hazy. Some of it is just “chalk another one up for our team!” enthusiasm, which is perfectly fine and understandable. I want to win as much as the next guy. But clearly there is an underlying notion that a fellow considered to be potentially electable in a presidential contest will now undoubtedly carry the flag for orthodox Catholics, representing their interests and convictions with high principle and pure devotion.
The only problem is that there is no reason whatsoever to believe this. I mean, there is no reason to believe that future Newt will be anything but past Newt, considered publicly. It is unwarranted in the first place to think that serious, practicing Catholics will automatically agree on matters of social, economic, and political philosophy and policy. To state the thesis in a more moderate form, it is unwarranted to believe that they would agree if they were all pious enough or smart enough or understood the faith enough. That’s not how it works. The church doesn’t declaim authoritatively on anything that isn’t a matter of faith or morals because it can’t. Outside the quite small realm of faith and morals, there’s ample room for disagreement and debate even among Catholics of good will and well-formed consciences. (I am not claiming to be a Catholic of good will, and certainly not one with a well-formed conscience; I’m just laying out the theory here, as well as I understand it.)
But let me come to the interesting and in some ways opposite point. Gingrich is the latest in a steadily lengthening string of high-profile converts to Rome among political conservatives and neoconservatives. In the last few years, that list includes Sam Brownback and Robert Novak and Robert Bork and Larry Kudlow and a number of others.
Now, reflect, and let me know if I’m wrong. Did any of these men (or any other high-profile politician/journalist/muckety-muck convert not listed here) change his public opinions about any idea, policy, or other matter of public significance after his conversion? You might argue that Brownback has become more of an international crusader since becoming a Catholic, but I’m not sure that this is a departure from his previous stance; in any case, he supports Obama’s appointment of the deeply pro-abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic, for the HHS secretary post (see Caleb’s post), a bit of realpolitik that one supposes wouldn’t impress the saints. I don’t recall Judge Bork altering or suppressing his views on the death penalty or the Iraq War out of deference to the Holy See’s articulation of its deep and weightily considered rejection of those positions. Not that he had to. My point here is simply that high-profile politico conversions such as Newt’s seldom if ever lead to . . . well, any change of public import whatsoever. They’re simply utterly irrelevant. The proper response should be: “Good for him. I hope that he’s a better Catholic than I am. Honey, can you pick up some milk on your way home tomorrow?”
A second point: Many of these men have come into the church having been in connection with Opus Dei. I wonder, do the Opus Dei sponsors challenge their catechumens to consider, or reconsider, the full teachings and doctrines of the church in light of their new status as Catholics? Do they review their policy convictions and public pronouncements and point out how some of them might be at odds or at least in tension with the faith?
Or, on the other hand, and as seems to the far-off casual observer might be the case, are they told that Catholicism is simply the religious expression of the conventionally conservative Republican political views that they now hold, and that thus the church offers no problem for the public profiles they have crafted? That it’s a perfect marriage, and no need to delve further? It’s hard not to notice that new Catholic converts of the Gingrich type seem never to change a single political opinion because they have converted. They do not begin quoting, favorably and honestly, the great social encyclicals of the last hundred years in ways that challenge the party line or might get them in trouble with the Club for Growth. That’s a matter of some curiosity to me. Whatever the reasons–and I am sure that they range from simple ignorance to callowness to a lust for power to the determined, heartfelt belief that they are right–they add up to this fact: these conversions don’t matter, politically. If you’re staking anything on them, you’re going to be disappointed–or misled.
Tagged as: Catholic converts, conservatism, Newt Gingrich, Opus Dei
The Threat of Fascism Today, Starting with London's Newt Gingrich -- or, Defeating the Newt Fascism
by Nancy Spannaus
Printed in The American Almanac, 1995
What follows is the speech by New Federalist Editor-in-Chief Nancy Spannaus to the Schiller Institute/ICLC Labor Day conference.
In a July 23 column in the Hollinger Corporation's London Sunday Telegraph, quintessential British Tory Sir Peregrine Worsthorne endorsed U.S. House Speaker Newton Gingrich as the man to establish a police state in the United States. Under the title, ``A Police State Beats a Welfare State,'' the British Lord said:
``Newt Gingrich's approach strikes me as much more honest than [British Labour Party head] Tony Blair's: brutally honest. No nonsense about how the state can guarantee security in a revolutionary age. He simply takes for granted that it can do nothing much except one most important negative thing. It can promise not to get in the way of those who have a mind to fight for their own survival.... The only responsible thing the state can do is to remove obstacles to the individual's own search for security....
``I am not suggesting that we are going to have to move straight from the welfare state to the police state, but such a suggestion is far nearer the mark than all the alternative systems of welfare..... In revolutionary times the only form of security for property and the bourgeoisie comes, not from think-tanks, but from tanks proper. Gingrich, like Richard Nixon, wields a mailed fist much disguised in an ideological glove, but clear enough for any but the blind to see. That is the real strength of the new politics in America.''
This endorsement by a representative of the British oligarchy, which has been echoed by fellow oligarchical spokesman Lord William Rees-Mogg, should not be surprising. Gingrich's ideas, such as they are, have been fashioned for him by a series of thinktanks whose key personnel are British fascists, from the school of the Mont Pelerin Society and Friedrich von Hayek. The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation, The Adam Smith Institute, the Atlas Research Foundation, and the Institute of Economic Affairs are all devil-fathers (to borrow a phrase from Mr. LaRouche) of Gingrich's Contract on America. London is praising its own work, and it knows that its fascist programs, if rammed through, will accomplish its long-standing aim of destroying the United States.
But unfortunately, defeating Gingrich is not as easy as simply exposing his role for the British.
You would think that the 52 year old, baby-faced, blow-dried Gingrich wouldn't be a great threat. After all, as the popular press has reported correctly for months, if not years, this guy is pure sleaze. He's a buffoon, a chameleon, an opportunist, a womanizer, someone who won't hesitate to kick out his wife if she's not young and pretty enough to be in the White House. While trumpeting himself as an ``intellectual,'' Gingrich cannot write anything but a garbage-can full of advertising slogans. Aren't Americans smart enough to see through this guy?
That question remains to be answered. We have gotten a very good response to the first salvo put out by New Federalist against Gingrich's Contract--over 2,000,000 copies of our pamphlet are currently circulating, with increasing numbers taken by constituency leaders in labor and the Democratic Party. But the populist style of Gingrich does make him extremely dangerous, because Americans have shown again and again their propensity to fall for such snake oil. And by the time our neighbors wake up, it may be too late.
Through the course of this panel, we are going to unmask the intellectual frauds that permit Newtie to present himself as the savior of ``American civilization.'' Graham Lowry will expose his rant on welfare and personal responsibility, which come from the radical British empiricist school of Bernard Mandeville. Linda de Hoyos will show that his revolutionary model is more appropriate to the French, not American Revolution. Jeff Steinberg will demonstrate that his economics come from the Free Trade school which created modern fascism. Dennis Speed will show you how Newt's self-proclaimed fight against the counterculture, really reinforces the libertarian, nihilist approach. And Ed Spannaus will demonstrate how the program ``to renew America,'' will actually destroy America.
All of Newt's so-called ideas come from an anti-American, British empiricist tradition of the same sort that created Nazism, but they have a pseudo-modern twist: that of the New Age. Actually, this New Age ideology is not new at all. Its methodology is as old as Dionysius and Aristotle, and we will proceed to unmask it.
What Is Fascism?
In a major study of fascism presented in early 1982, Helga Zepp-LaRouche exposed the Conservative Revolution and provided a crucial framework for unmasking the New Age fascists of today. While she was addressing primarily the ``green'' environmentalist development in Europe, the analysis is equally applicable to the U.S. situation today. I quote:
``In a first approximation, it can be said that fascism and its precursors were characterized by the following principal defining characteristics: 1) Malthusian or racially motivated genocide; 2) fascist economic policy; 3) a fascist mass movement, and 4) a fascist elite, which controlled that mass movement, without that movement necessarily being conscious of the fact.''
The first point needs no elaboration, but the rest do. The essence of a fascist economic policy has been exposed by our movement for more than 25 years now--as centering on the reduction of living standards below the level at which life can be sustained. The dramatic end point of such a policy is the looting of life itself in the concentration camps, where prisoners are forced to expend more calories in work than they are given to eat. This policy can be described as primitive accumulation, which prioritizes the desires and needs of an elite over the requirements of life for the nation, on the implicit (or in some cases explicit) assumption that the bulk of the population is not fully human.
A fascist mass movement can be decribed in terms of a mob, manipulable by rhetoric and other emotional appeals into demands for immediate gratification. This phenomenon goes back to ancient times, as we saw in Rome and other empires. It also makes itself evident in culture--in a celebration of bestiality, extremes of sensation, irrationality, existentialism, not to mention the `blood and circuses' of the Roman imperial type.
A fascist elite is fundamentally an oligarchy committed to preserving its life-and-death power over the rest of humanity, and resting its authority on its position of power, rather than on clear and sufficient reason. As in the case of Hitler's regime, this elite is not necessarily willing to associate itself with its creation. In the 1930s, that elite was an international club which was centered in London and New York, as well as on the European continent.
Clearly, all these phenomenona exist today in latent form, especially through the genocidal economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, and the deliberate plans for world depopulation coming from the London-centered Club of the Isles, headed by Prince Philip. But the fascists have not consolidated power, in the sense that they have not yet destroyed barriers to their program, and created the kind of mass support they would need to do so. The nut which they have to crack for their world strategic plans is the United States. And the nut who's volunteered to do the job, is Newt Gingrich.
What Does Newt Stand For?
Newt talks a lot, and he admits that his brain is not always connected when he does so. But recently, the Speaker (or shall we say, the Squeaker) has produced a book which presumably he stands by. To Renew America is already a hot seller--and Newt is expecting to make a lot of money on it. Mercifully, it is only about 250 pages long.
Newt says over and over again that his identity is that of a ``revolutionary,'' who wants to rebuild or renew ``American Civilization.'' He also claims that ``romantic idealism'' is at the heart of America, and that he wants to restore that, while giving every citizen an opportunity to ``pursue happiness.'' Over and over again, you hear him quote the Declaration of Independence on the ``unalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,'' while noting that it's the pursuit you are promised, not happiness itself.
But what does being a ``revolutionary'' mean to history professor Newt Gingrich? From reading a wide swath of his writings, I can assure you that it basically means destruction. Newt's revolution would pull down the existing government, and then let everyone fend for himself. (Sounds like Worsthorne, right?) Interestingly enough, even Newt's discussion of the American Revolution contains virtually no mention of the fact that it was the British monarchy which the Americans revolted against--and which, as even the ignorant know, was the mortal enemy of this republic at least through the War of 1812.
And what is ``American civilization?'' This is a concept which certainly didn't exist for the American founding fathers. They thought they were carrying out a noble experiment in republicanism, which carried forward the ideas of western Christian civilization. An American System, yes--an American civilization, no! This second phrase likely came into U.S. parlance in the late nineteenth century, when a movement of what was called American exceptionalism was shaped, building toward what American sponsors of Teddy Roosevelt would call an American Empire. It reflects a chauvinism and a narrowness which denies the best which this republic has always represented for mankind, the tradition arising from the Italian Golden Renaissance.
The fact that Gingrich's idea of American civilization is a fraud, is evident throughout his speeches. When he spoke of the problems our nation faces at the July 18, 1995 speech at Georgetown CSIS, he indicated that his models were none other than the British and Roman Empires! I quote:
``If you go back and study the rise of the British Empire from, say, Pitt the elder through 1815, they stumbled around a lot, too. If you go back and study the Romans and the late phases of the republic when they were first becoming a dominant power, it is amazing how often they messed up and how many armies they lost and how many fleets they lost. By their standards, we've done nothing that's a significant problem.''
Newt's description of America as ``romantic,'' is also revealing. Interestingly enough, his description of this in his book, comes out of a story about discussing public opinion-polling, something he is more interested in than truth. ``I began to realize the degree to which America must be described in romantic terms,'' he writes. (p. 32) ``To take the romance out of America is to de-Americanize our own country. To me, America is a romance in which we all partake.''
Sound attractive? It shouldn't. Romanticism is a philosophy of irrationalism, which has everything to do with rejecting the creative powers of reason in the human mind, and celebrating the unmoored emotions. It's magic, it's entrancing--it's a pathway to being manipulated by the cool, calculating fascist elite. In Newt's case, it also seems to have led to not a few sordid affairs. Just American nature, he might say.
The Squeaker's paeans to the unalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence are also fraudulent. He correctly notes that Jefferson originally wrote ``the right to life, liberty, and property,''--a formulation which can be traced to that oligarchical apologist creep, John Locke. But instead of recognizing the antagonism of these two ideas, he asserts that Jefferson used ``happiness'' as just another word for ``property.'' This phrase is then used by Newt to apotheosize the private sector: As he said in the piece published in March 1995 by Family Voice, a publication of Concerned Women of America, ``the whole notion of markets is the best way of allocating resources, creating the future rapidly, and encouraging people to become prosperous.''
What he means by unalienable rights, therefore, is that you get a chance to fight for property. Meanwhile, Newt will get ``government off your back,'' except perhaps for some tax credits that will let you buy a laptop computer!
As I said earlier on, it would be a mistake to try to make Newt coherent. He is a creature of ambition, seeking to get funding and manipulate popular support. He wants that support from the Left and the Right, from the enraged, and, above all, from the rich. If you hate the state, if you hate industrial society, or if you just hate certain Democrats--Newt says he's your champion. It's the fascist elite above Newt who are coherent, and deadly so.
But Newt cloaks himself in the American flag, in the rights of the individual, in the demand for school prayer and God in the schools, and so forth. Let's rip away more of the mask.
To Renew America is organized around six major goals. The first is: ``We must assert and renew American civilization.''
Under this rubric, Newt argues that the country has been under assault by the ``counterculture'' since 1965. This is true. But not only does Newt not identify the source of this assault, as an act of British cultural warfare, but he embraces amoral libertarianism--feel-good personal morality--as the alternative. Now Newt himself knows a little about the counterculture, coming from the 60s generation. A recent unauthorized biography (Newt Gingrich, Speaker to America, by Judith Warner and Max Berley) reports his big political act at Tulane University, where he was at graduate school, to have been leading a week-long student protest demanding that some obscene photographs (and I do mean obscene) be included in an issue of the campus newspaper. He did it just on the principle of ``free speech,'' a friend told the authors--and probably didn't even look at the pictures.
If this is ``freedom,'' what does this ``renewing American civilization'' mean in action? It means kicking out immigrants, taking down government programs for the poor and sick, turning our back on the rest of the world, and--letting the looting begin without restraint.
The second major goal, in fact, demonstrates that Newt has no problem with the ``counterculture'' at all, in any principled way. For it reads: ``We must accelerate America's entry into the Third Wave Information Age.''
The Third Wave Information Age is the guts of the counterculture, based on the same premises which led to the hedonistic glorification of rock noise, drugs, and sex; the takeoff of environmentalism; the mass propaganda campaign for the depopulation lobby; and the rapid and deliberate destruction of the industrial and scientific base of the United States.
Gingrich's every speech glorifies the Third Wave, a phrase taken from a 1980 book by futurist Alvin Toffler. A perusal of Toffler's books, including his early 1970s mass international best seller Future Shock, and the recent popularization of the thesis published in 1995, called Creating a New Civilization, The Politics of the Third Wave, delivers an overwhelming stench of kookery, and fascism. The Toffler thesis is that industrial society (the Second Wave) must be destroyed, and the Third Wave of cybernetics/information take over.
Compare the following:
``When a society is struck by two or more giant waves of change, and none is yet clearly dominant, the image of the future is fractured. It becomes extremely difficult to sort out the meaning of the changes and conflicts that arise. The collision of wave fronts creates a raging ocean, full of clashing current, eddies, and maelstroms which conceal the deeper, more important historic ties.'' (Third Wave, p. 15)
Now, another author's gobbledygook:
``This life, whose progression is what perfects itself in the rhythm of rising and falling, in the depths of dying away, and at the peaks of culmination--this life also permeates the individual being. Birth and death seem absolute; in truth, they are utterly relative. What is actually born and dies, which takes on individual form and relinquishes it, is not the individual being, but Life overall. Birth, like death, animation and extinction are phases of that actuality; the particular form is only a transition. What exists in reality is the life of the species: the individual is only a wave..."
Now the first of these comes from Newt's idol Alvin Toffler, the second from a fascist mystic, cited by Helga LaRouche in her 1982 attack on fascism. The mystical image is one of the Zeitgeist, dominating the individual and history, precisely the opposite of the Christian notion of individual man made in the image of the Creator.
Attack on Industrial Society
The Third Wave explicitly lays out the futurists' rejection of the idea of man made in the image God, himself, a creator and molder of the universe, saying that such an idea belongs to the ``Second Wave,'' industrial society. Toffler specifically attacks:
1) ``The idea that humans should hold dominion over nature,'' which he identifies as going as far back as Genesis.
2. ``Humans were not merely in charge of nature, they were the pinnacle of a long process of evolution.''
3. ``...the third core belief of indust-reality that linked nature and evolution together was the progress principle--the idea that history flows irreversibly toward a better life for humanity.''
Toffler identifies these ideas as the enemy--and by endorsing Toffler as a leading revolutionist for today, so does Newt.
It gets more specific. The 1995 book of the Tofflers, introduced and endorsed by Newt, asserts the following conclusion from the Third Wave:
``... [T]he most important political development of our time is the emergence in our midst of two basic camps, one committed to Second Wave civilization, the other to Third. One is tenaciously dedicated to preserving the core institutions of industrial mass society--the nuclear family, the mass education system, the giant corporation, the mass trade union, the centralized nation-state and the politics of pseudorepresentative government. The other recognizes that today's most urgent problems, from energy, war, and poverty to ecological degradation and the breakdown of familial relationships, can no longer be solved within the framework of an industrial civilization.'' (p. 73)
This diatribe against industrial civilization goes on for hundreds of pages, interspersed with complaints about the so-called overpopulation problem, pollution, ``massification'' of society, and so forth. Trade unionists who want higher paying jobs than ``service'' jobs are attacked as self-interested, as are big industries. The argument begs certain obvious questions:
1. When we wipe out modern agriculture with government support, what do we eat?
2. When we eliminate the big, heavy industry that produces houses and transport, where will we live?
3. How will we reproduce our society?
These questions are obviously too ``down to earth,'' or second-wave, for the Tofflers. But they are also never addressed by Newt. His entire To Renew America, never deals with the massive deficit in infrastructure in the United States, not to mention in the rest of the world. The need to rebuild cities, build nuclear power plants, build water systems, never gets addressed by Newt. Thus, in reality, the Gingrich-Toffler Information Age agenda is condemning millions, if not billions, to death by what it is refusing to do. By shuttling aside the question of producing the necessities of life, these kooks are creating a situation where a fascist bureaucracy will have to impose decisions on who will live, and who will die.
Newt is no Johnny-come-lately to this philosophy. When he went from Tulane to teaching at West Georgia College in the early 1970s, he cofounded an environmental studies program, which featured courses like Alternate Life Styles. He was a member of the Georgia Conservancy prior to entering the U.S. Congress in 1978, and endorsed by the Sierra Club in his electoral campaigns. In the Congress, he became a member of the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, a small claque of futurists headed in 1980, at any rate, by a member of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome.
Nor is Malthusian genocide the only hallmark of the futurists Newt embraces. The Third Wave and Creating a New Civilization also promote decentralization of government and privatization of government services; call for stopping efforts to recreate the traditional ``Second Wave'' nuclear family; and urge mystical participation in, or submission to, ``creation'' of a Third Wave society where everyone ``communicates'' and doesn't worry about mastering nature, discovering the laws of the universe, or providing for the next generation.
The only striking difference between Newt and many of the futurists, and Zeitgeist philosophers of the Nazi era, is his so-called optimism. Newt even advocates the space program, but he does so by advocating an international consortium of private industry--not through government credits. This is a total fraud.
The Traditional Demands
The last four of Newt's demands for change are more traditionally populist, but also dangerous.
Three is, ``we must rethink our competition in the world market.'' That is his embrace of free trade, which goes along with eliminating the powers and actions of government to protect society from looting.
Gingrich explicitly praises the ``moral framework'' of Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments as the basis for his vision of economics. In a Jan. 10, 1995 speech before his misnamed Progress and Freedom Foundation, Gingrich calls Smith's books ``the greatest single works'' of the late eighteenth century, and says The Theory... seeks ``to understand how it is that human beings function and what it is that drives them in concluding, as he put it, that there is a man in the mirror--today you'd say man or woman in the mirror--and that each of us internally in some way seeks to justify ourselves to what we would call a conscience.''
What he is referring to, is the amorality which LaRouche has often cited, where Smith argues that everyone can pursue his or her own vices, and leave it to God to create a moral result. It also seems to have escaped Newt that the American Revolution was fought to defeat the free trade warfare of the British East India Company and monarchy against their colonies--or perhaps he would have been on the other side!
In fact, Gingrich is attacking the powers and existence of the nation-state, just as nihilists like Nietzsche and other Nazi philosophers did.
The fourth demand is, ``we must replace the welfare state with the opportunity society.'' This is a traditional fascist economic policy demand, which calls for cutting off ``useless eaters'' who can't be made to work. Post-industrial policies have created the dependency of a small section of the welfare population--and have thrown millions of others on and off the rolls as it has lowered wages, and reduced jobs in the industrial sector.
The fifth demand is, to decentralize, ``replace our centralized, micromanaged, Washington-based bureaucracy with a dramatically decentralized system more appropriate to a continent-wide country.'' What a fraud! You don't hear him talking about ``democratizing'' the Federal Reserve and IMF dictatorship, do you?
Once again, this decentralization demand reflects the process of a traditional fascist movement. Zepp-LaRouche cites Conservative Revolutionaries who demanded the breakup of nation-states into ``clans'' and ``regions,'' the better to prevent the development of the industrial nation-state.
The sixth demand is also traditional fascist economics, as it calls for balancing the federal budget, and forecasts the horrors of interest payments which our progeny will have to pay, if things continue to go as they are, and the threat that the debt burden will pose to Medicare, for example. The choices Gingrich poses mean that he is calling for prioritizing interest payments over human life. That's monetarism, and fascism.
Who is Gingrich?
Before handing you over to my colleagues, who will provide more depth on these ideologies, let me give you a little bit of a personal sketch of Newt. He was an Army brat, whose father and step-father were both cold and mean, according to most reports. He was raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and then went to high school in France and Germany, where he received some exposure to European culture. The last stop was Georgia, which has been his base ever since.
Newt responded to his circumstances by determining that he would make something of himself. He was going to shape world history. This future didn't seem likely as he was marrying his high school math teacher, and going to Emory University to study history. But it seems that he determined, soon after he returned to Georgia, after graduating from Tulane University, that he was going to trade the campus life for politics, no matter what it took.
Newt, who had entered Republican politics at Emory, started as a Rockefeller Republican in Louisiana, and had a similar profile in Georgia on his return. He first ran for Congress in 1974--a campaign in which he took on a long-time Democratic incumbent. He lost, but the Republican Party was wide open in Georgia at that time, and he was determined to shape it. He turned more populist with the next election, hitting welfare, the minimum wage, and big government. By the third race--1978--he had cozened up to sufficient money (including in the national Republican party) to win, and utilized his viciousness to defeat his female opponent, claiming that she would leave her family to go to Washington if she won, but that he was a representative of family values.
It was an opportunist ploy, for as soon as he won, he began to move toward divorcing his own wife, ultimately pushing her into finalizing the split right after she had an operation for cancer. Newt denies that he took advantage of her weakness, or told a friend that she wasn't pretty enough to be the wife of a President of the United States, but he doesn't deny that he was doing a lot of sexual exploration during that period, as well as earlier. By August 1981, he had remarried, to Marianne Gingrich, and, although the rumors of continued infidelities abound, he makes a big point of saying he's sticking with it.
But Newt tore into Washington with ambition, including the specific ambition to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He became the master of the vicious slur, the maneuver, and the ethics complaint, which he ultimately used, with the help of his friends in the corrupt media, to hound Democratic Speaker Jim Wright out of office in 1989. He formed a claque in Congress in 1983, called the Conservative Opportunity Society, which specialized in attacking the welfare state. He was known for never sponsoring substantial legislation. He concentrated instead on massive personal publicity--marketing tapes of his ongoing classes, speaking and building up the Progress and Freedom Foundation, courting useful big spenders like press magnate Rupert Murdoch, textile magnate Roger Milliken, asset stripper Frank Lorenzo, insurance shysters like the Golden Rule Insurance Company, and so forth. Elected minority whip in 1989, and speaker in 1995, he was on his way.
How far will he go? That depends a great deal on the American population growing out of its populist infantilism, and giving Newt and his gang the come-uppance that Ollie North got last November. It means getting people to think.
Surfing the Third Wave
By Barbara Ehrenreich
Published: May 07, 1995
CREATING A NEW CIVILIZATION The Politics of the Third Wave. By Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler. Foreword by Newt Gingrich. 112 pp. Atlanta: Turner Publishing. Cloth, $14.95. Paper, $7.95.
YOU have to admire anyone who has a good word to say for the future. In the last few years it's got terrible press from environmentalists and dystopians, who tend to foresee anarchy and bloody conflict over the earth's dwindling resources. More commonly, we ignore it altogether and assume we're not pre-anything, just post- : post-cold-war, post-nation-state, post-modern. So when Alvin and Heidi Toffler come along and announce that this is the pre-future, not the post-past, and that the future is going to be a rip-roaring ride, the natural impulse is to cheer.
The Tofflers, who have previously given us "Future Shock" and "The Third Wave," among other books, are a kind of cyber-age version of Marx. All of history is explained in "Creating a New Civilization"; scores of current trends are dissected -- and the outcome will be, yes, a capital-R revolution. In the Tofflers' theoretical framework, the engine of history is not class struggle but technological innovation, and it's coming at us in waves. The First Wave was the agricultural revolution, which led to feudal-style social systems. The Second Wave was the industrial revolution, which produced "mass society" in its socialist and capitalist versions. Now breaking on us is the Third Wave that House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Toffler acolyte, heralded in January; it is globally integrated, cybernetic and information-driven, and will demand -- will in fact force -- a complete overhaul of everything, from family life to political systems. Wheee!
With the totalizing zeal of their 19th-century predecessor in the revolution business (whom they acknowledge respectfully, more than once), the Tofflers assert that all prior social divisions are being swept away in this latest and fastest-moving wave. It's not left versus right, rich versus poor or even good versus bad that matters anymore, but old versus new. The only bad guys in "Creating a New Civilization" are stick-in-the-mud Second Wavers -- Ralph Nader, for example, and those corporate and union chieftains who cling to the obsolete industrial order. But what do they matter? If you don't surf the Third Wave, you get battered and drowned in the foam.
What makes the future the Tofflers see friendly in a libertarian and even liberal fashion is that it will be more vibrantly democratic than anything that has come before. Decision making will have to be decentralized, since central powers cannot hope to possess all the necessary information. Culture, production and politics will have to be "de-massified" to allow for individual tastes and minority outlooks. Instead of those old top-down Second Wave structures, everything will become more interactive, horizontally integrated, fast-moving and open. No one will be left out, since "the energies of whole peoples will be required" and the "collective imagination" unleashed.
Though they claim no party affiliation, the Tofflers are unmistakably liberal in both the cultural and economic sense. They see families being de-massified along with everything else, meaning that the nuclear version "becomes a minority form while single-parent households, remarried couples, childless families and live-alones proliferate." They want a sturdy safety net for the unemployed, since "it is both necessary and morally right to provide them with decent levels of public assistance." They even hint at the need for some form of world government (suitably decentralized, one imagines), because the existing structures for decision making at the transnational level are "radically underdeveloped."
So why are the Tofflers keeping company with Mr. Gingrich, an ultraconservative whose economic policies seem to be borrowed from Second Wave robber barons and whose cultural values are unabashedly First Wave? In the interests of open-mindedness, the reader might want to ignore the Gingrich connection, but the Tofflers themselves make that hard to do. Not only has he contributed a foreword to this volume (an earlier edition of the book was published last year by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, whose head, Jeff Eisenach, is a longtime political sidekick of the new Speaker's); the Tofflers have written a preface to the foreword, explaining what a charming -- though argumentative -- guy he is, and toward the end of the book they hail him as the veritable standard-bearer of the Third Wave revolution.
True, Mr. Gingrich would like to give a laptop to every child, but the Contract With America, with its emphasis on the upward redistribution of wealth, is a recipe for consolidating the old, and still largely Second Wave, power elite. Besides, as the Tofflers surely realize, you can't do much with a laptop if you haven't had your lunch. But it is clear that the Tofflers, like their Congressional promoter, are at pains not to upset or offend the existing economic elite. Instead of telling us what corporate leaders should do, for example, or may eventually be compelled to do, they tell us what they are doing, even when they're not doing it at all. "Companies are hurrying to empower employees," we learn, which should come as a surprise to the average employee. "Companies will have to provide for post-use cleanup" of the environment; never mind that Mr. Gingrich's party is busily dismantling environmental regulations. Or we learn that the media are "de-massifying," although the obvious trend is toward the concentration of power in an ever-smaller number of media conglomerates, all serving up the same dumb fare.
It could be that there's nothing opportunistic about the Tofflers' evasion of power issues. In their view, technology is destiny, "waves" make history, and once they've come up with the crucial invention -- the plow, the internal combustion engine, the silicon chip -- humans don't have much of a role to play. They can go with the flow, or get out of the way.
But the Tofflers do pull one highly significant punch. They fail to mention that the very basis of power, as all civilizations so far have known it, is crumbling within our hands. Power inheres in property, meaning, in First Wave societies, land, and, in Second Wave societies, the factories, machinery, etc., required for production. But, as they point out, the basis of wealth and power in the Third Wave is information (including images and "knowledge"), and this is a slippery substance indeed. Land and factories are easy to fence off and defend, but information, as the Tofflers briefly acknowledge, is "intangible," "inexhaustible" and capable of being used by many people at once. Which means, although they do not come out and say it, that information cannot easily be "owned."
YOU can copyright it, of course, and surround it with electronic passwords and codes. But sooner or later some hacker, like Kevin D. Mitnick, the recently apprehended computer security breaker, will come along and set it loose just for fun. The Tofflers pooh-pooh the opponents of the trade agreement with Mexico as Second Wave troglodytes, but a true Third Waver should have equal scorn for, say, the opponents of Chinese software piracy. Though the Tofflers seem not to notice it, the struggle is already going on between those who would keep information frozen as property and those -- including the poor and the merely playful -- who would let it flow free.
The Second Wave overthrew the feudal aristocracy, and the third one, as the Tofflers themselves describe it, threatens not only the old-style industrial worker but all the structures of power and domination that have come down to us from the past. For playing down the Third Wave's transformative potential, the Tofflers are in danger of ending up like the Mensheviks -- left in the dust by their own revolution.
Opus Dei "Third Wave" Newt Gingrich pain by Freddie Mac
Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.
The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.
Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account.
Gingrich said this morning the payments were for “strategic advice over a long period of time.” His fees were sent to his consulting firm, The Gingrich Group, not to him personally, he said in an interview after making a campaign appearance in Des Moines, Iowa.
He said he couldn’t recall details of the contracts with Freddie Mac. “You are asking me about 12 years ago,” he said.
This afternoon, the Gingrich campaign issued a set of talking points in response to the coverage by Bloomberg News of his contract with Freddie Mac.
In the e-mailed memo, the campaign said Gingrich welcomed scrutiny of his record. “Freddie Mac was a small part of the client and revenue base of The Gingrich Group and Newt’s various small businesses,” the memo said.
Gingrich’s first contract with the mortgage company was in 1999, five months after he resigned from Congress and as House speaker, according to a Freddie Mac press release.
His primary contact inside the organization was Mitchell Delk, Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist, and he was paid a self- renewing, monthly retainer of $25,000 to $30,000 between May 1999 until 2002, according to three people familiar with aspects of the business agreement.
During that period, Gingrich consulted with Freddie Mac executives on a program to expand home ownership, an idea Delk said he pitched to President George W. Bush’s White House.
‘Really Got It’
“I spent about three hours with him talking about the substance of the issues and the politics of the issues, and he really got it,” said Delk, adding that the two discussed “what the benefits are to communities, what the benefits could be for Republicans and particularly their relationship with Hispanics.”
One idea that the former Georgia congressman proposed that Freddie Mac didn’t pursue was initiating a program with the Boy Scouts of America to teach youngsters the importance of saving money and maintaining good credit so they would qualify to buy a home later in life.
In 2001, according to one person familiar with the work Gingrich performed, company officials asked him for feedback on their plan to publicly embrace “six voluntary commitments.”
The six items included a pledge to periodically issue subordinated debt, manage liquidity, undergo capital stress tests and expand various types of risk disclosures. Gingrich applauded the ideas, saying they would enable Freddie Mac to demonstrate benefits to the taxpayer, the person said.
Not a Lobbyist
“What he did was provide counsel on public policy issues,” Delk said in an interview. “There was no expectation that he would do any lobbying, and he did not do any lobbying.”
While campaigning in Iowa earlier this week, Gingrich, 68, was asked about his relationship with Freddie Mac. He said he did no lobbying “of any kind.”
At another event today in Des Moines, he declined to answer questions about what advice he gave Freddie Mac.
“I’m not going to get in an argument about what was and what wasn’t said,” he said. “I favor the people who need help getting housing if it’s done in a prudent way. That’s public record. I have given speeches all over the place about that.”
Gingrich’s second contract with Freddie Mac was a two-year retainer for which he was paid a total of $600,000, said two people familiar with the agreement.
What he did for the money is a subject of disagreement. Gingrich said during the CNBC debate that he advised the troubled firm as a “historian.” Gingrich said he warned that the company’s business model was a “bubble” and its lending practices were “insane.”
None of the former Freddie Mac officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said Gingrich raised the issue of the housing bubble or was critical of Freddie Mac’s business model.
“We dispute your sources’ account,” said R.C. Hammond, a Gingrich campaign spokesman.
A Freddie Mac spokesman declined to comment on the Gingrich contracts.
Former Freddie Mac officials familiar with his work in 2006 say Gingrich was asked to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.
He was expected to provide written material that could be circulated among free-market conservatives in Congress and in outside organizations, said two former company executives familiar with Gingrich’s role at the firm. He didn’t produce a white paper or any other document the firm could use on its behalf, they said.
Since his retainer with Freddie Mac ended in 2008, Gingrich has become a critic of the government-sponsored enterprises, which were pushed into insolvency by subprime mortgages.
The two companies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, “are so thoroughly politicized and preside over such irresponsible lending policies that they need to be replaced with smaller, private companies operating without government guarantees, whose leaders focus on making a profit, not manipulating politicians,” Gingrich wrote in his 2011 book, “To Save America.”
In an Oct. 11 Republican presidential debate, he said Democrats and the housing-loan practices led to the industry’s collapse.
“You ought to start with Barney Frank,” when talking about people to put in jail, Gingrich said, referring to the Massachusetts congressman who’s the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. “Go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at Freddie Mac,” Gingrich said in the debate, sponsored by Bloomberg News and the Washington Post.
To contact the reporters on this story: Clea Benson in Washington at email@example.com; John McCormick in Iowa at firstname.lastname@example.org
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