Professor Peter Phillips. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your writings, you qualify the XXI century, the century of Fascism. How did we get there?
Pr. Peter Phillips: 9/11 set the stage for a global war on terror and increased police state in the US and abroad. We face a century of fascism unless major social democracy movements intercede. The mechanism of state democracy and elections in the US and most other places are nothing more than theater on a grand scale.
You mention the TCC (transnational capitalist class), can you enlighten us about this concept?
The American ruling class has long been determined to be a mostly self-perpetuating elite that maintains its influence through policy-making institutions such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council, Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Council on Foreign Relations, and other business-centered policy groups. These associations have long dominated policy decisions within the US government.
Capitalist power elites exist around the world. The globalization of trade and capital brings the world’s elites into increasingly interconnected relationships—to the point that sociologists now theorize the development of a transnational capitalist class (TCC). In one of the path-breaking works in this field, The Transnational Capitalist Class (2000), Leslie Sklair argued that globalization elevated transnational corporations (TNC) to more influential international roles, with the result that nation-states became less significant than international argreements developed through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international institutions. Emerging from these multinational corporations was a transnational capitalist class, whose loyalties and interests, while still rooted in their corporations, was increasingly international in scope.
You mention a world government composed of 13 largest companies and 161 directors who manage $ 23 910 trillion and around which gravitate the G8, G20, WTO, World Bank, NATO and various organizations such as the Trilateral Commission, the Economic Forum, the Bank for International Settlements and the Bilderberg Group. Can we still speak of any sovereignty of States and their peoples? What is the purpose of parliaments and can we still talk about democracy?
In 2014, we decided to identify the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations. Because of overlaps, this is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion (2014) in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world. Add a few thousand to this 161 and you find $100 trillion/ half the wealth in the world managed by this small concentrated set of people in the TCC.
The TCC represents the interests of several hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires who comprise the richest people in the top one percent of the world’s wealth hierarchy. Ironically, this extreme accumulation of concentrated capital at the top creates a continuing problem for the TCC, who must scour the world for new investment opportunities that will yield adequate returns (7-10%). War is one use for over-accumulated capital. A permanent war on terror offers a unique opportunity for the TCC to loan capital at a profit to governments for military actions, and to participate in rebuilding efforts made necessary by war. The collection of taxes on working peoples’ incomes to pay for permanent war results in increasing pressure toward neo-liberal governmental austerity measures, which further impoverish the 99% and transfer yet more wealth to the global one percent.
States are dependent on capital for continuation and closely tied into protecting the TCC elites. Democracy movements and various populist reactionary mobilizations are always a threat to the TCC. Governments and deep state elements therein are continually maneuvering to protect centralized capital. In the tool box of deep state security forces are October surprises, media propaganda, character and real assassinations, counter insurgencies/mercenaries, funding of opposition groups, and sabotage.
Is not one of the fascism’s faces represented by the Bohemian Club?
The Bohemian Club is primarily a place for elites to gather and self-congratulate each other. One out of five is a very important corporate or public official. The Club like many private men’s clubs serves the role of building consensus among elites. The TCC members of the clubs take their understandings of needed policies to their global policy groups like the CFR, Trilateral Commission, Davos, G-7, G-20. etc.
What is the use of elections to designate a president while the power is in the hands of the TCC and its opaque influential groups?
Not much, individual presidents and leaders world-wide know if they stray too far from the global capitalist agenda they can be eliminated. The CIA coup in 1963 set the stage for expanding of deep state capabilities and these have been building and were massively expanded by the 9/11 conspiracy.
Is the election of the future president of the USA, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, a major political event or just a theater performance?
Theater on a grand scale.
According to your writings, the TCC and its influential groups that have replaced the States manage international drug cartels by extracting 8,000 tons of opium a year in US war zones and laundering $ 500 billion in transnational banks which half are in the US. Is the TCC in the management of crime in its different forms, including terrorism?
No, the TCC benefits from these crimes and on occasions may participate, but mainly the drug trade is done by criminal elements with covert approval and assistance from US/NATO military empire and deep state security groups like the CIA and NSA.
The need for TCC and its influential groups to have permanent wars is it not vital? Are we in the Lenin’s thesis « Imperialism the highest stage of capitalism »?
Lenin wrote in an era of capitalist state power and colonial imperialism. Globalization has brought centralized capital to a worldwide level of control with interests that transcend state and corporate priorities. Concentration of wealth management creates and increasing problem of surplus capital needing investment opportunities for returns. War offers just such an opportunity for investing excess capital.
On one side we have what you describe in your writing, namely TCC, opaque circles, world government, regrouping individuals not exceeding 0.0001 % world’s population, and on the other side, there is a large majority unsupervised, unstructured. Is not the battle against this world elite beforehand lost?
The global TCC elite are always fearful of mass democracy movements that would disrupt continued capital growth in the world. Our job as political activists is to encourage and support democracy movements where ever they emerge.
Can we speak of false flag on background of presidential elections in the case of the Orlando’s slaughter, knowing that the killer belonged to the security firm G4S since 2007 and which is also mentioned that he had links with the CIA?
The Orlando mass murderer, Omar Mateen, worked for G4S, one of the largest private security employers in the world. G4S has some 625,000 employees spanning five continents in more than 120 countries. As a private security company it provides services for both governments as well as corporations. Some of its well-known contractors are with the British Government, the United States, Israel, Australia and many more. G4S providers a range of services in the areas of corrections, policing, and security of important facilities. In the corporate sector it has worked with such well-known companies such as Chrysler, Amtrak, Apple, and the Bank of America.
At this point all we know is that the FBI tried to recruit/entrap Mateen three years ago and he didn’t go for it. So we cannot say his murders were a false flag operation. The evidence isn’t there yet.
Are we moving towards the privatization of strategic sectors such as Defense, Intelligence and Security?
Project Censored as an alternative and progressive media, and is in an antagonistic vision of capitalist domination media or mass media, is it at peak in the fight against the global order?
We wish but no, many other groups are involved worldwide. Our primary goal is building global critical media literacy among young people in the world to challenge the public relations and propaganda messages inside the corporate media. The public relations propaganda (PRP) industry has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001 after several years of steady consolidation. There are three publicly traded mega PRP corporations. In order of largesse the firms are Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic Group. Together, these firms employ 214,000 people in over 170 countries annually collecting some $35 billion in revenue. Not only do these firms control a massive amount of wealth, they possess a network of connections in powerful international institutions with direct links to the corporate media, governments, multi-national corporations, and global policy-making bodies.
Corporate media consolidation has provided the opportunity for PRP firms to emerge as orchastraters of global information and news. Corporate media news is taking an increasingly dependent secondary position to PRP firms and government press releases. The world todays faces a PRP, military industrial media empire so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported in disconnected segments with little historical context. The result is managed news by government and PRP firms—often interlocked— including both the release of specific stories intended to build public support as well as the deliberate non-coverage of news stories that may undermine capitalist goals. It was estimated thirteen years ago that up to 80% of all news stories in corporate media were sourced from or directly influenced by PRP firms. PRP penetration into corporate media can only be even greater today.
Are alternative media effective tools to fight against the world government and its huge strike force?
Yes, independent media and critical media literacy is our hope for democracy.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is the Professor Peter Phillips?
Peter Phillips is an American intellectual, Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and President of The Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored for 15 years. He teaches classes in Media Censorship, Investigative Sociology, Sociology of Power, Sociology of Conspiracies, Political Sociology, and Sociology of Media. Peter Phillips has published fourteen editions of Censored: Media Democracy in Action from Seven Stories Press. Also from Seven Stories Press is Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney (2006) and Project Censored Guide to Independent Media and Activism (2003). In 2009, Phillips received the Dallas Smythe Award from the Union for Democratic Communications. Dallas Smythe is a national award given to researchers and activists who, through their research and/or production work, have made significant contributions to the study and practice of democratic communication. He is also the winner of the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in 1997.
Peter Phillips writes op-ed pieces for independent media nationwide having published in dozens of publications newspapers and websites including: Z magazine, Free Inquiry, Counterpunch, Common Dreams, Buzzflash, Dissident Voice, Social Policy, and Briarpatch. He frequently speaks on media censorship and various socio-political issues on radio and TV talks shows including Talk of the Nation, Air America, Talk America, World Radio Network, Flashpoints, and the Jim Hightower Show.
Phillips has completed numerous investigative research studies that are available at Project Censored, including: Private Military Companies in Service to the Transnational Capitalist Class, Law Enforcement Related Deaths in the US: “Justified Homicides” and the Impacts on Families; Financial Core of the Transnational Corporate Class; The Global Dominance Group: 9/11 Pre-Warnings & Election Irregularities in Context; A Study of Bias in the Associated Press;Practices in Health Care and Disability Insurance; US Electromagnetic Weapons and Human Rights; Building a Public Ivy: Diversity at Three California State Universities; and The Left Progressive Media: Inside the Propaganda Model.
His doctoral dissertation was entitled A Relative Advantage: Sociology of the San Francisco Bohemian Club (1994), University of California, Davis.
Published in American Herald Tribune, June 29, 2016:http://ahtribune.com/politics/1026-peter-phillips.html
In French in Palestine Solidrité:http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.300616.htm