30 May 2014
Who the hell are the Henry Jackson Society?
When I tell people about the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), most of them give me a blank look. Henry who? And why should a whole society be erected around some dude called Henry?
When I explain to them that HJS is actually a little known but powerful right-wing British think-tank set up with the support of American neoconservatives, understanding begins to dawn.
Except, just how much influence HJS wields in policymaking circles is an open question, the fact that it is extremely well-connected with the financial, business, political, security and energy industry elite in the US and UK speaks volumes about their agenda and objectives.
While touting their support for freedom, liberalism and democratisation as their core organisational remit, in practice they appear to be a neocon trojan horse for the very opposite: state-expansionism, state-militarisation, interventionism, rampant market deregulation and privatisation in the interests of Western investors, coupled with anti-Muslim hostility and white supremacism.
What's particularly shocking is that their pursuit of the latter is not exactly something deeply hidden, but is - for the most part - easily verifiable from the public record, with a little digging. The kind of digging that sadly my media colleagues seem to have not considered to be very important.
Recently, I've put out three major pieces linked to the Henry Jackson Society's dubious 'freedom promotion' via The Guardian. I collect them all here for your reference as they form a coherent whole that demonstrates HJS' pivotal coordinating role within a wide Anglo-American web of neoconservative power which is increasingly attempting to steer the ideology and policy decisions of global leaders in the regressive and counterproductive direction that apparently suits a tiny minority, but not the rest of us.
The first, 'What climate denial, oil addiction and xenophobia have in common: neocons', points out the connection between HJS and the American far-right nutty 'news' service known as 'Breitbart'. The second, 'Think tank behind Tory foreign policy promotes Arab world fossil fuel hegemony', focuses squarely on HJS, the neocon social networks it represents, and the narrow interests it caters for. The third, 'Inclusive capitalism is Trojan Horse to quell coming global revolt', drives a stake into the heart of HJS' claims to be seeking meaningful economic 'reforms' in the public interest, as opposed to token PR schemes to continue corporate profit-maximisation while manufacturing public consent. Many didn't know that HJS was a key coordinator of the 'Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism' which brought together global financial leaders from across the spectrum to voice recognition of the urgent need for change (notably without, however, offering meaningful mechanisms for actual change beyond flowery verbiage).
That is not to say that everyone associated with HJS necessarily understands or agrees with their narrow, regressive and xenophobic vision. Indeed, part of the problem here - one that those who have studied the rise of the neoconservative movement in the US are well aware of - is that there has been a concerted effort by this disparate network of movers and shakers to influence public policy in the direction of their favoured ideology. That neocon movement continues to be active in the Obama administration, despite its Democrat colours, precisely due to the success of this neocon endeavour over the last decades to consolidate access to key institutions and structures.
This is why it is hugely important to understand that HJS and the interests it represents are so out of whack with not only what the vast majority of the public would agree with or desire, but even what most policymakers would want to see happening in the world.
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