The Corporate Takeover of Higher Education
This is Part I of a two part guest post by Dr Danny Weil. It’s a repost of an article Cornell University to Offer the “Hypodermic Needle Theory” of Education in an Attempt to Colonize Consciousness and Groom Future Elites originally published at Daily Censored
Understanding history: The Powell Memo and the Growth of the Reactionary Right
By Dr Danny Weil
In order to understand how America’s ruling elites are bivouacking at elite universities with the aim of taking them over and assuring ideology replaces education, it is necessary to understand the historical development of the current colonization of consciousness.
As I wrote at Truthout.org back in August of 2012:
The strategy and tactics to create a sustained and united countervailing political force was laid out in a memo written by Virginia corporate attorney and soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice, Lewis Powell. Many see this memo as the chief catalyst for the paradigm shift in corporate strategy from bipartisanship to far-right acrimony. Written in 1971 at the request of his client at the time, the powerful US Chamber of Commerce, the Powell memo advised the Chamber that corporations needed to organize to stop what he referred to as an “attack on the American free enterprise system” (Powell Manifesto: Attack of American Free Enterprise System).
The Powell memo went even further, urging corporations to jointly cough up substantial funds to pool for a sustained and coordinated political offensive. More significantly, Powell identified working through the judicial system and an “activist-minded Supreme Court” as essential to shaping “social, economic and political change” for corporate benefit and the assurance of a white, patriarchal hierarchy.
The Chamber of Commerce has always been a leading voice of the right, but since the ’60s and ’70s upheavals, the US Chamber of Commerce has become an increasingly well-funded and powerful voice on behalf of corporate interests in Washington and a deep-pocketed friend to reactionaries on the campaign trail. In fact, since 1997, the Chamber of Commerce has been deeply involved in political activism and is currently a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
In 1972, Powell was appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon (many say as a result of his memo). A close reading of Powell’s rulings on the high court finds he overwhelmingly favored corporate power. Justice William Rehnquist, a well-known conservative, was also a Nixon Supreme Court appointee in 1972 and sat on the bench with Powell.
This is the same Rehnquist that, according to Al Jazeera, guarded a largely African-American polling site in South Phoenix, Arizona, in his youth for the Republican Party:
He even made those who spoke accented English interpret parts of the constitution to prove that they understood it. The lines were long, people fought, got tired or had to go to work and many of them left without voting. It was a notorious episode long remembered in Phoenix political circles.
It turned out that it was part of a Republican Party strategy known as “Operation Eagle Eye” and “Bill” was future Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. He was confronted with his intimidation tactics in his confirmation hearings years later and characterized his behavior as simple arbitration of polling place disputes. In doing so, he set a standard for GOP dishonesty and obfuscation surrounding voting rights that continues to this day.
Rehnquist also had a hand in the impeachment of Bill Clinton and then went on to decide the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush. Bush turned right around and appointed John Roberts, now chief justice of the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Roberts, who clerked for Rehnquist and considers Rehnquist his mentor), and Roberts went on to deliver the Citizens United decision, setting the stage for the corporate takeover of the government (http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10936-paul-ryan-and-the-long-war-on-democracy).
The Powell memo of course has been put into play now for many decade. But recently Harrison Wills has discovered a new application. Wills is the former student body president of Santa Monica College, once named a “community college”, before the devastation of communities (they have now dropped the word “community” from their lexicon owed to its ‘collectivist’ connotation and instead have spent taxpayer dollars on a corporate logo – over $150,000 for a more individualistic and corporatized connotation). Wills is an excellent researcher (http://www.dailycensored.com/investigative-reporting-research-tips-from-harrison-wills-former-student-body-president-at-santa-monica-college/) and he has uncovered that Cornell University, home of the elites, is now offering a course entitled, “Waiting for Superman” (http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/academics/courses/upload/PAM-2550-Matsudaira-Sp13.pdf).
The title, of the course, is modeled after the Hollywood propaganda film of the same name, funded by Bill Gates and his ‘philanthro-pirate’ cronies who have for years have been devoted to dismantling public education using the “shock doctrine” of “educational crisis” and the money gained from exploitation of workers — all of this under the auspices of “advocacy philanthropy”, or the new ALEC, of which I will be writing about soon for readers.
(To be continued)
Dr Danny Weil is an investigative journalist, author and public interest attorney who practiced public interest law for more than twenty years and has been published in a case of first impression in California. He now lives in Ecuador.