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From the book: Gods of Money by F. William Engdahl
Securing the English-speaking Union
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H.G. Wells, intimate of Lord Lothian’s circles in Britain’s foreign policy establishment, and, without doubt the most effective propagandist for the political outlook they represented, had summed it up well before Britain declared war on Germany in 1939. Utter destruction of the present world order would be a necessary precondition for creating a new world order, an order in which “yapping about nationality,” as Wells contemptuously termed it, would be eliminated in favor of a World State. That World State had to be built on the ashes of war, a project which Wells preferred to call, “The Open Conspiracy.”
Lord Lothian had echoed Wells’ vision in a remarkable address to a 1937 conference of the World Council of Churches. The conference had taken place in Lothian’s alma mater of Oxford University, at the very time Lothian himself had been involved in the intense back-channel diplomatic initiatives between Chamberlain and Hitler.
“Only a few persons appear to comprehend what far-reaching and daemoniacal consequences result from the fact that national sovereignty is the unquestioned foundation of the present international order,” Lothian argued to the members of the World Council of Churches assembled.
“One does not exaggerate when one says, that the catastrophe vividly described by H.G. Wells in his book, ‘The Shape of Things to Come,’ cannot be averted unless we escape from this present state of affairs.” Lothian proceeded to outline his proposal for achieving this escape from national sovereignty.
“No system of simple cooperation is able to rid the world of the extraordinary power of national sovereignty. There is no other effective cure for the daemoniacal and evil consequences of national sovereignty, than through the creation of a single common sovereignty, a world federal state. At the beginning, such a World State does not need to encompass the entire world. It can begin with a smaller group of nations which grasp the real purpose of the idea, and then, proceed to expand.” A union of the English-speaking nations, which would include the U.S., was uppermost in his mind.
What Wells and Lothian left unstated in more naive company, of course, was that for all the noble democratic rhetoric, theirs was to be a selective world order, in all crucial respects modeled on the same racially elitist old world order of the Anglo-Saxon world, or, as Wells termed it, an order dominated by a “great English-speaking English-thinking synthesis, leading mankind by sheer force of numbers, wealth, equipment and scope.”
Agreeing with Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the Round Table’s elite fraternity, Wells stressed that the coming world order must be based on cooperation, “between all the western peoples and, more particularly, between all the Nordic peoples,” by which he meant Anglo-Saxon and racially kindred peoples. He insisted that “The British Empire had to be the precursor of a world-state or nothing,” and that that world state must also be one in which, “Britain must draw the United States into a closer accord,” into a new great English-speaking union.
A great war would be necessary for organizing such a new order. Since the first strategic alliance in the 1580’s between the British monarchy and the King of Portugal, against Phillip II’s Spain, one axiom had been fundamental to British geopolitics. Whenever England had been threatened with a decisive strategic loss of power or influence, or saw an opportunity for greater power and influence, she initiated a war to reassert or extend her hegemony. But a war, using the armies, the territories and the blood of her allies, never her own, if it could at all be avoided. This alliance strategy had in no way changed at the time England declared war against Germany in 1939.
Leading figures of the Round Table group were many things, but they were not stupid. They were well aware that England had emerged from the Great War in 1919, as a deeply indebted former world financial power, even if still the largest colonial power. To continue to exercise predominant influence over the course of world developments, Lothian and others knew all too well, that Britain must forge a unique new alliance relationship.
Of necessity, this time it had to be an alliance with the only economic giant on the world stage, sufficiently powerful and pliable to establish a new world order in accord with their design. It would be the first time in her history where England had forged a strategic alliance with a partner economically stronger. It helped the task immensely, that that economic giant was at the time relatively naive and inexperienced in the ways of British geopolitics, as the decade of the 1940’s opened, and the war in Europe began to widen. A decade of economic depression appeared to have humbled America sufficiently to warrant the new try at alliance.
Lothian and Wells’ post-war world order was to be centered around an “Atlantic Partnership,” of England with the United States. This Anglo-American Special Relationship as it came to be known, in their conception, must come to dominate or control an array of new institutions of world order, military, political and monetary.
In the December 1941 issue of the “Round Table” magazine, in a piece written only days before Japanese bombing of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, they elaborated the goals of their postwar Anglo-American cooperation. The central role would be played, of course, by Britain in the postwar world, even if discreetly: “The British nation has generations of experience in co-operating with other free peoples in far distant parts of the world, and in governing dependent countries not able to stand by themselves. The American nation,” they argued, “has practically no such experience at all, and has neither the institutions nor the political outlook to fit it very well for either task.” This was their trump card as they saw it.
That being the case, they demanded “everything to foster the closest collaboration with the United States, by the same means which have been found successful between the British nations.” The Round Table call emphasized that, “if disaster is not to overtake the world again, the United States must, however reluctantly, now take its full share of this responsibility.” Responsibility, however, for an agenda made in London, not in Washington.
British Foreign Office policy circles needed, above all, to win the United States to their idea of postwar world order. To do that, required bringing America once again into a war in alliance with England, and in the process, to overcome deep American suspicion, distrust, remaining anger at unpaid Versailles debts, and other broken promises left from 1919.
America had been significantly weakened through the Great Depression, and, they reasoned, would be more amenable than in 1919 to agree the English view of world responsibility for a great power. The method was an old one in British foreign policy practice. As soon as France had been humiliated by the showdown with Kitchner at Fashoda on the Nile in 1898, England began to organize France into the anti-German Entente Cordiale. Similarly, as soon as Czarist Russia had its naval fleet in the Pacific destroyed by Japan in the war of 1904-5, England began to negotiate a strategic Anglo-Russian alliance with a weakened Russia. It mattered not, that in 1905 Britain had had an alliance with Japan. British interests dictated the shifting alliance strategy.
Now at the onset of the second great war of the century, Round Table circles knew painfully well, their new postwar order had to be built on a foundation which would avoid the primary defect of the failed League of Nations. Britain’s principal adversary of the 1920’s must become her principal ally. This time around, the United States would remain not on the periphery, but at the very center of their new global world order. However, she would be bound inextricably, through a spider’s web of carefully-crafted alliances, to Britain’s larger geopolitical agenda.
The reason for their emphasis on winning America over was clear. To maintain “peace” in the postwar world would require, “a complete supremacy of Anglo-American military forces, and particularly naval and air forces,” as they put it in the December 1941 writing. This military supremacy, in turn, “requires the maintenance at all costs of the stability of exchanges, currencies and prices in the main trading countries of the world.” In short, before the United States had even declared war against Japan and the Axis powers, the Round Table group had elaborated what was to emerge after the war as NATO, as the United Nations Organization, as the Bretton Woods monetary control agencies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
This new world order was to be the crowning point of the lifelong efforts of Halifax, Lord Lothian and their select group. To secure it, however, first required them to participate in and try to shape the greatest carnage in human history, the Second World War. Their design for the postwar order above all dictated decisive, and otherwise inexplicable events of World War II, including the unimaginable, gruesome destruction of more than sixty million lives in the six years of war between 1939 and 1945.
Only a war on such a grand global scale, Lothian and the others were convinced, one involving Russia, Germany, Japan and China, would be sufficient in its extent and horror to galvanize the public sentiment of the Allied nations, above all the United States, behind their scheme for world federalism. (1).
The Round World of Halford Mackinder
For their part, neither Hitler, nor his internal opposition within the German General Staff and Foreign Ministry, comprehended how they were being used as grotesque pawns in a global chess game to advance a greater geopolitical design. They fully misunderstood the basis of British strategy, and above all, ignored the explicit axioms of British geopolitics. They were far from the only ones.
Sir Halford John Mackinder, Royal Geographer, a member of the King’s Privy Council, who served long years as chairman of the Imperial Shipping Committee, was the acknowledged architect of what came to be called, “British geopolitics.”
Mackinder had formulated his core doctrine already in 1904, well before the First World War. In essence, he argued, there existed “a correlation between the larger geographical and the larger historical generalizations…a formula which shall express certain aspects of geographical causation in universal history. That formula should have a practical value, as setting into perspective some of the competing forces in current international politics.”
For Mackinder, the “geographical pivot” of all world history was what he termed the Russian, or Eurasian “Heartland.” Control over this Eurasian Heartland determined who would control the totality of Europe, Asia and Africa, designated by Mackinder as the “World Island.”
In a text he had written in 1919, as a guide for the victors at the Versailles peace talks, Mackinder described the region centered in Germany, Austro-Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, as East Europe. “Who rules East Europe,” he insisted, “commands the Heartland. Who rules the Heartland, commands the World-Island.” He took his geopolitical conclusion one step further: “Who rules the World-Island commands the World.” It was meant as a stern warning to the Versailles negotiators, as well as to later generations of British policymakers.
Mackinder himself was a member of a close-knit circle of “new Empire” advocates, which included leading Round Table figures such as Leopold Amery, Lord Milner, Lord Cecil and H.G. Wells. Defending the supremacy of the British Empire, Mackinder argued vehemently that Britain must never allow any genuine alliance, economic or otherwise, between Germany and Russia. Were such a continental alliance between Central Europe and the Heartland ever to emerge, Mackinder warned, “the empire of the world would then be in sight.”
To prevent emergence of that rival “empire of the world,” Round Table policy, as executed first by the Chamberlain government, and after May 1940, by Churchill, was to orchestrate events for a bloody war of mutual destruction between Russia and Germany, one which would also bring Japan into battle against China and Russia in the Pacific Theater.
That global conflagration was to form the basis for convincing America to overcome her skepticism about the war, and, more importantly, skepticism about a permanent postwar alliance with Britain.
Such an Anglo-American alliance in a war against the German Axis powers was necessary, in order to “save the human civilization,” as the Round Table’s magazine described it in December 1939. Of course, the theater of this war was to be as far from British shores as possible, fought by others, and ultimately won by the Round Table policy elite in Britain.
In 1943, in the heat of battle, the London foreign policy establishment had determined that the task of organizing the American establishment to their postwar order was so vital that they asked Mackinder, then 82 years old, personally to outline for a special American audience, the blueprint for the Round Table’s postwar world order. Now that America was fully in the war on England’s side, the shaping of what British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden termed the “After-War,” had begun to assume urgency. Only if America were convinced of the British postwar agenda, would Churchill be able to direct the theaters of conflict to maximum advantage for Britain’s postwar design.
Very few in the United States, beyond the elite circles of the New York banking and business world with its close ties to London, had the slightest appreciation who Halford Mackinder was, let alone, the awesome importance of his system of geopolitics, for the shaping of strategy among leading British circles. Only a handful of American scholars were aware that Hitler’s own teacher, Karl Haushofer, was also a disciple of Mackinder’s geopolitics, even if viewing the process from a German, rather than British perspective.
Mackinder argued that Britain, as the world’s leading sea-power, must prevent, at all costs, consolidation of an alliance between Germany and Russia. Haushofer agreed with Mackinder that Germany, as the dominant land power in central Europe, were she to control the Heartland of Russia and Ukraine, would indeed be in a position to control the entire Eurasian landmass.
However, Haushofer argued, and Hitler repeated his argument in “Mein Kampf,” Germany, when once in control of the Heartland, as the hegemonic land power of Eurasia, must then propose to England a bi-polar division of the world. The British Empire would be the hegemonic sea power, and the German Reich, the hegemonic Eurasian land power.
Pursuit of Mackinder’s geopolitical doctrine of Heartland and World Island, was to shape the world for the entirety of the Second World War, and for almost five decades after, despite the fact that most of mankind would never realize who had been the architect of that order.
To further his geopolitical design, in the summer of 1943 Mackinder turned to an elite New York journal, a most influential forum to address the American establishment. It was “Foreign Affairs,” the magazine of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. The Council itself was the sister organization to Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), or Chatham House, as it was known. Both the New York Council and Chatham House had been created as a joint project of the Round Table, with the backing of the J.P. Morgan banking group, in Paris, in private negotiations during the 1919 Versailles Peace talks.
From the outset, the Royal Institute had been shaped by leading figures of the Round Table. The New York Council on Foreign Relations, by J.P. Morgan partners, later joined by strong participation and financing from the Rockefeller Standard Oil group.
The alliance of the two, Chatham House and the New York Council, had been created in order to channel British policies to America’s leading banking and industrial circles. During the war, British Round Table insider, Arnold Toynbee, had transferred all his Royal Institute papers to the New York Council for safe-keeping, while Toynbee himself remained in London to serve as head of British Foreign Office Intelligence. The appearance of Mackinder’s 1943 essay, “The Round World and the Winning of the Peace,” in the New York Council’s journal, was a precisely targetted intervention into the U.S. debate.
What Mackinder presented to his American readers was a postwar order which would encompass the globe. The postwar order, he argued, must create a system of permanent containment of Germany, as well as of Japan, as the two pillars of the new global order.
A war-prone Germany, he argued, would in the future be “controlled by strong embankments of power on either hand–land power (of the Soviet Union-w.e.) to the east, in the Heartland, and sea power to the west, in the North Atlantic basin.
“Face the German mind with an enduring certainty that any war fought by Germany must be a war on two unshakable fronts,” Mackinder told his American audience. “For this to happen, it will be necessary in the first place that there be effective and lasting cooperation between America, Britain and France, the first for depth of defense, the second as the moated forward stronghold–a Malta on a grander scale–and the third as the defensible bridgehead.” It was the broad outline of what after 1948, with only slight modification, became NATO.
In the Pacific region, Mackinder outlined the necessary postwar design as well. “The conquering of Japan waits for a while. In due course China will receive capital on a generous scale as a debt of honor, to help in her romantic adventure of building for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western.” He was describing a yet-to-be communist-run China under Mao Tse-tung, at a time that outcome was anything but certain.
“Then,” Mackinder stressed, “the ordering of the Outer World,” by which he meant nations bordering on the Pacific Ocean, “will be relatively easy, with China, the United States and the United Kingdom leading the way.”
Making clear to his American readers just who must dominate this postwar order, Mackinder declared, “What a pity the alliance, negotiated after Versailles, between the United States, the United Kingdom and France was not implemented! What trouble and sadness that act might have saved!”
Sir Halford Mackinder outlined in the few brief pages, what was to become the broad blueprint for a postwar order lasting until the crumbling of the Berlin Wall in the end of the 1980’s.
Germany would be faced by a permanently hostile Soviet foe, tens of millions of whose sons would have died at the hands of German forces during the war, and by an Atlantic alliance with Britain and the United States at its heart.
Similarly, Japanese geopolitical ambitions would be permanently contained by the British and American alliance in the Pacific, and a hostile communist China to the west. Only such a permanent hostility from the great Chinese expanse to Japan’s west, as that which would come from a regime run by Mao’s communists, could assure for Mackinder’s geopolitical design a lasting effectiveness.
The nurturing and shaping of the postwar order, which depended above all on the winning of the United States as its centerpiece, was of such strategic importance that Lord Lothian himself, the most pivotal spokesman of Round Table policy in England, was sent to Washington as British Ambassador, days after outbreak of war in Europe in 1939. Lothian was joined in Washington by no fewer than a dozen fellow members of the Round Table circle during the war years, including Lazard Brothers banker, Lord Brand, as special Treasury representative. Adam Marris, Sir Arthur Salter, Harold Butler and others filled out the Washington Round Table group. The American relationship had become, in effect, a Round Table proprietary in those critical months.
Lothian, who, little-known to his American audience had only months before been among the strongest advocates of German appeasement, soon became admired across America, for his making impassioned speeches from St. Louis to Boston to Philadelphia, portraying himself as the foremost spokesman for the moral cause of democratic civilization, against dictatorial Nazi tyranny. Until his sudden death in December 1940, Lothian played a vital role in organizing the highest circles, as well as the broadest public of the United States for ultimate support of the British cause, at the time when America was strongly neutral, and highly uncertain about joining another European war.
As early as October 25 1939, when the war against Germany was limited to dropping propaganda leaflets over Poland, Lothian addressed the anglophile Pilgrim Society in New York, to begin his tireless campaign to win America to the new order.
After taking note of the minor “technical” detail that America was still adamantly neutral, he began to speak of what the postwar world should be. “We are fighting a defensive war,” Lord Lothian told his elite American audience. “We are trying to prevent the hordes of paganism and barbarism from destroying what is left of civilized Europe.” At that point, he became overly generous with the truth, “We are putting every nerve into the task. We are up to our necks in action.” England at the time was in the midst of what was called the “phoney war.”
Warming up to his American audience, Lothian made a direct attack on U.S. neutrality, declaring with florid rhetoric, “It is inconceivable to me that the United States, which has already done such immeasurable things for the freedom of mankind, which has produced the greatest democratic leaders that the world has seen, should not have its own contribution to make to the solution of the greatest problem that has ever presented itself to the genius of man.” Conveniently, Lothian omitted his own central role only months earlier, in shaping that “greatest problem,” as a leading architect of Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler. (2).
Engineering American Public Opinion
Lothian’s job in winning America to the British side was made easier by highly effective support from America’s most influential journalist. Walter Lippmann had started his career as a protege of the Morgan banking interests in 1914, shortly after leaving Harvard, when he was made editor of a new, well-financed liberal weekly, “The New Republic.”
The journal was owned by a J.P. Morgan partner, Willard Straight, and his wife, Dorothy Whitney Straight. Its name, “New Republic,” had been suggested by Lippmann from a phrase used by H.G. Wells, whom Lippmann had met in England in 1913.
By the 1930’s, before the era of television, Lippmann had become America’s most widely read and respected political commentator, with a three-times-weekly column in the New York “Herald Tribune,” syndicated in more than 200 newspapers across America. What Lippmann never mentioned to his readers, as he argued for support of the British cause, was that he, Lippmann, was also a secret initiate member of Lothian’s Round Table circle.
Not surprising, therefore, Lippmann echoed Halford Mackinder and the Round Table’s views on war aims. He published it in a widely read book by the same name, which he had written in 1942 and into early 1943, even before Mackinder’s “Foreign Affairs” piece circulated in the United States.
In his book, “U.S. Foreign Policy and U.S. War Aims,” Lippmann called for creation of a permanent “Atlantic Community,” centered around the postwar alliance of America, Britain and France, to contain what he called “the German war party.” This Atlantic pressure on Germany must of necessity be combined, he argued, with an implacably anti-German Soviet group of states to Germany’s East. Interestingly, Lippmann, writing well before Yalta, included Poland in a postwar Soviet system: “Any plan for disarmament (of Germany)…or international control would be frustrated if Germany were able to detach, let us say, France from the Atlantic Community, or Poland from the Russian Orbit.”
Lippmann was in fact outlining and preparing public opinion in America for what would become the postwar antagonistic blocs of the Warsaw Pact and NATO, directly following Mackinder’s outline.
Similarly, for Japan, Lippmann, again taking the geopolitics of Mackinder and the Round Table as his guide, proposed, “Once Japan is ousted from the mainland, she cannot return without the consent of Russia and China. Once she is ousted from the islands of the Pacific, she cannot return to them if the United States is determined to prevent her.”
The core of Lippmann’s proposed postwar U.S. aims was an Atlantic Community, one centered on a special Anglo-American relationship, which Lippmann called, “the Oceanic Community.” In the Oceanic Community, the United States and Britain must cooperate, despite all past bitterness and conflicts. In his vision of an Atlantic Community, Lippmann included the nations of the Americas, together with Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, even including neutral Sweden, Switzerland and Greece.
All this, Mackinder argued, would form the cornerstone for a new world order, as it indeed became. It would become a world order in which a tiny, near bankrupt island power effectively dominated world events from behind the scenes, that, for more than four decades following the end of the war.
In addition to his intimate ties with the British circles of Lothian and the Round Table, Lippmann was perhaps the most skilled American manipulator of popular consensus. He had spent years studying the idea, and wrote a book on the then-new discipline of “engineering public opinion.” In the book, Lippmann declared, “the common interests very largely elude public opinion entirely, and can be managed only by a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality. This class is irresponsible, for it acts upon information that is not common property.”
Lippmann added, “the creation of consent is not a new art,” but one which has “improved enormously in technique, as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication. The practice of democracy has turned a corner,” he declared. “A revolution is taking place infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power.” It was the revolution of mass manipulation, made with psychology rather than guns, in what Lippmann revealingly termed, “the manufacture of consent.”
Lippmann was describing himself and his friends in the Anglo-Saxon establishment when he spoke of an irresponsible elite. He argued that any government depends, ultimately, on public approval. The role of the specialized class or elite of Lippmann’s circle, was to “engineer the public’s consent to a program or goal.” The goal was the postwar world order, and crucial support for Lippmann’s effort to win America to Round Table war aims came from an influential American based in London.
“We interrupt this broadcast…”
Like Lippmann, also an American who had been coopted into the elite British Round Table circle, Edward R. Murrow broadcast over American CBS radio network from London. In a widely heard program, “This is London,” Murrow was able to reach a listening audience of twelve million people. Those radio broadcasts, every day, and often four or five times per day, combined with the regular newspaper columns of Lippmann, were extremely effective in winning a key section of the American intelligentsia, and the ordinary population, to the cause of British informal imperialism, as it was being defined by Wells and the Round Table in the early years of the war.
By 1940, Murrow’s role in London had assumed such importance in mediating the British cause to his American audience, that the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, John Winant, warmly referred to Murrow as the “authentic” ambassador, brokering Atlantic relations. He had become widely regarded as “the most important American in London” by that time.
Murrow, a stage actor by training, had been active since 1933 with the Emergency Committee for Displaced European Scholars, a group tied to the New York Council of Foreign Relations, of which Murrow had also become the youngest member. The Emergency Committee decided which European intellectuals would be allowed refuge in America during the Nazi oppression. The infamous Frankfurt School circles of Kurt Lewin, Herbert Marcuse, Theodore Adorno and others, had been brought to the United States by Murrow’s group, where they then deployed to create the psychological climate inside America for the Round Table’s postwar order. The Committee itself had been financed by the Rockefeller family, bringing the young Murrow into contact with select New York circles.
In 1937, well before England had even declared war on Germany, Murrow had been sent to London, where he was trained in radio propaganda by the British government’s BBC, at the same time George Orwell and Guy Burgess of the Kim Philby spy ring, were at the British Broadcasting headquarters.
Murrow had been put in charge of European radio programs by CBS president, William S. Paley, with responsibility for deciding which events and which personalities to make known to the network’s large American listening audience. Paley, and Paley’s socialite wife, were personal friends of Winston Churchill’s son, Randolph Churchill. The Randolph Churchill introduction was useful for Murrow to gain regular access to the Prime Minister.
In the 1930’s radio reached into the homes of some 30 million American families, but was still largely in its infancy. Radio news commentary or regular news programs were almost non-existent. It had been Murrow, the trained stage actor, with tutoring from friends at BBC in London, who pioneered techniques of dramatizing breaking news events to gain maximum listener attention.
One remarkably successful technique Murrow introduced to heighten the dramatic effect of his London broadcasts during the early months of 1938, was to break into transmission of an ongoing program in progress on the United States CBS network, whether it be a comedy hour, music program or whatever. Murrow would take the microphone, and, with an ominous tone in his voice, announce, “We interrupt this broadcast to bring you news from London of vital breaking developments of the war in Europe. Today Nazi troops marched into…”
That format, “We interrupt this broadcast…,” was used again and again, day after day, to dramatize to American listeners the news of latest German atrocities or military threats. At the time, America had pledged strict neutrality, but Murrow had not.
Significantly, in October 1938, just one month after the dramatic Munich meeting of Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier with Hitler, where the fate of Czechoslovakia had been sealed, CBS radio carried a dramatized re-enactment of “The War of the Worlds,” H.G. Wells’ science fiction account of an invasion of the planet by extraterrestrial “alien” creatures, who destroy all civilization. The actor who played the role of radio announcer in Wells’ radio drama in 1938, Orson Wells, began the drama with the words, “We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an urgent news bulletin…”
That broadcast on CBS radio in October 1938, triggered wholesale panic across the United States, with thousands of families getting into their cars or on busses, racing to the countryside to escape the “invaded” cities. The reaction to what had been clearly announced beforehand as a fictional report, whose content spoke of Martian invaders, was afterwards studied by a group of social pyschologists, based out of Princeton New Jersey, and led by Theodor Adorno, Kurt Lewin and a group of Frankfurt School social psychologists, many of whom had been brought to the United States after 1933 by Murrow’s Emergency Committee for Displaced European Scholars.
The Adorno “Radio Project,” as the study was named, conducted extensive personal interviews with people who had heard the Orson Wells broadcast. What they found demonstrated the awesome power of well-orchestrated radio. They confirmed what was to be an enormously potent breakthrough in manipulation of public perception and social engineering. Because of the repeated conditioning of American radio listeners by the format of Murrow from London, always announcing, “We interrupt this broadcast…,” where the news reported was invariably of some new Nazi military conquest, listeners to Orson Wells’ fictional drama psychologically were “certain” what they heard was an actual report of a Nazi invasion of United States cities, and therefore, fled or acted in panic. This, despite the clear statement before the broadcast that it was fiction.
Such was the subtle nature of the propaganda tools being refined in London by Edward R. Murrow. In London, Murrow was soon sponsored by Lord Milner’s widow, Lady Violet Milner, for membership in the Royal Institute for International Affairs, an extremely unusual event for an American. The head of the Royal Institute, Ivison Macadam, became a close personal friend and a frequent dinner guest at Murrow’s in London during the early war years. Through Lady Milner’s close friendship, as well, Murrow met and soon became part of the Round Table circle, joining his American friend, Walter Lippmann in that elite group. (3).
Walter Lippmann’s and Edward R. Murrow’s visions of the postwar Round Table world order required the necessary outcome of the war. But the war was not to be, as some might have imagined, a war fought by Britain and her allies against the alliance of Axis powers led by Germany. Rather, as had been their aim since the Round Table first formulated Chamberlain’s appeasement strategy in the 1930’s was intended to prepare for Halford Mackinder’s war, a war of mutual annihilation, fought first and foremost between Germany and Soviet Russia. All else would be kept secondary.
- A remarkable example of Wells’ propaganda fiction is the 1935 book out of which he also wrote the movie script for an extremely popular film, “Things to Come,” in which a world war breaks out with bombs falling on London in the year 1940. The “fictional” war all but destroys civilization. Out of the rubble of the war emerges a new world government. Wells, H.G., “The Shape of Things to Come,” London, The Cresset Press, 1935. The group’s vehement hatred of national sovereignty is most bluntly spelled out in the essay by Lord Lothian, “The demoniacal influence of national sovereignty,” contained in, Oldham, J.H., ed., “The Universal Church and the World of Nations,” Allen & Unwin Ltd., London 1938. The December, 1941 issue of “Round Table” magazine contains the discussion of the group’s postwar aims, in a piece titled, “Anglo-American Cooperation.”
- The postwar geopolitical design is in, Mackinder, Halford, “The Round World and the Winning of the Peace,” in “Foreign Affairs,” New York, July 1943. The basic formulation of Mackinder’s doctrine can be found in his piece, “The Geographical Pivot of History,” The Royal Geographical Society, in “Geographical Journal,” no. 23, 1904, London. H.G. Wells, in his “Experiment in Autobiography,” The Macmillan Co., New York, 1934, describes his debates with Mackinder over the future of the Empire, in meetings of a private circle they named, “Coefficients,” which also included the Round Table inner circle figures Lord Milner, Leo Amery and others.
- Lippmann, Walter, “U.S. Foreign Policy and U.S. War Aims,” Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1943, and “Public Opinion,” Macmillan Co., New York, 1922. Kendrick, Alexander, “Prime Time: The Life of Edward R. Murrow,” Avon, New York, 1969. Much of the background on the role of Murrow and the Radio Project and their role in creating the climate for supporting Britain, as well as that of H.G. Wells, comes from private research by Michael Minnicino of Leesburg, Virginia.
Straight, Michael, “Make This the Last War: The Future of the United Nations,” George Allen & Unwin, London, 1943. The career of Michael Straight, son of the founder of Lippmann’s “New Republic” is examplary of the cultivation of relations by Britain inside elite American circles during the war. Straight, raised by his mother in England, had been inducted into the secret Cambridge Apostles with Anthony Blunt and Guy Burgess, of the notorious Kim Philby spy ring. That Philby-Burgess ring, later accused of working for Soviet intelligence, in actual fact, represented British interest in creating Mackinder’s new world order by feeding Soviet intelligence selected information, reports which later in fact helped create the Cold War, so essential for the Mackinder postwar order. In 1938, Straight had been told by Blunt to return to the United States, where his family connections won him an appointment to the State Department as Adviser on International Economic Affairs. See Deacon, Richard, “The Cambridge Apostles: A history of Cambridge University’s elite intellectual secret society,” Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1985.