Thoughts on economics and liberty

More on anti-democratic, anti-population, socialist, pro-world-taxation Maurice Strong – extracts from Lee Penn’s False Dawn

I’m continuing to study Maurice Strong.

Extracts regarding Maurice Strong from journalist Lee Penn’s False Dawn (full text here). My annotations in red and blue, as usual.

===EXTRACTS===

MAURICE STRONG

Maurice Strong (1929–), a divorced and remarried Canadian businessman, made a multimillion-dollar fortune in the oil and utility industries. For decades, Strong has been a zealous environmentalist and a supporter of “global governance.” In recent years, he has been Senior Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank, President of the UN’s University for Peace in Costa Rica, Co-Chairman of the Council of the World Economic Forum, and a member of Toyota’s International Advisory Board. Since 2003, Strong has been sent to North Korea by Kofi Annan to mediate the ongoing nuclear crisis.

Strong became friends with George H. W. Bush while the elder Bush was US Ambassador to the UN; as a result, in 1992, President Bush did not oppose Strong’s appointment as the Secretary-General of the 1992 UN environmental summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev then began the Earth Charter movement to rectify what they saw as the excessively “anthropocentric emphasis” of the Declaration on the Environment produced at this UN conference.4 Strong says, “The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere.”5 He has urged that it be implemented quickly, saying at the 1995 State of the World Forum that “We shouldn’t wait until political democracy paves the way. We must act now.”6

  1. Fred Matser, “Nature Is My God,” an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, Resurgence 184, http://resurgence.gn.apc.org/ 184/gorbachev.htm, printed 05/20/03 and 08/11/04.
  2. Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country And The World, Columbia University Press, 2000, p67; the emphasis was as given in the original text.
  3. Ibid., p74.
  4. The Earth Charter Initiative, “About Us: The Earth Charter Project, 1945–1992,” http://www.earthcharter.org/aboutus/ overview1945_1992.htm, printed 05/13/03.
  5. The Earth Council, “Papers and Speeches: Interview—Maurice Strong on a ‘People’s Earth Charter,” March 5, 1998, http://www.ecouncil.ac.cr/about/speech/strong/mstrong.htm, printed 05/09/03.
  6. Anita Coolidge, “Ecology—the ultimate democracy: A report from the State of the World Forum,” San Diego Earth Times, November 1995, http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et1195/et1195s3.html, printed 05/08/03.

Strong has described himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.”1 He also says, “We are gods now, gods in charge of our own destiny, and gods can’t be capricious.”2 As for his own spirituality, Strong says, “Universalist expressions of religious belief have always attracted me … I have found the development of my inner spiritual resources one of my most constant challenges, and my connection with the cosmic forces that shape all existence has become central to me.”3

MAURICE STRONG ON WORLD GOVERNMENT

Strong says in his autobiography that “world government is just not on; it is not necessary, not feasible, and not desirable.” (Maurice Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going, Vintage Canada, 2001, p308.) Nevertheless, he proposes “management of global affairs” that will move in that direction; “The cause-and-effect relationships that determine the way our policies and actions interact to create our future are systematic in nature, and therefore must be managed systematically. . . . I have already said that we have to devise and accept global regulations that would impose constraints on our actions for the purpose of maximizing our long-term freedoms.” (Maurice Strong, ibid., pp308, 309.) Among the changes that Strong favors are granting of taxing and borrowing power to the UN. (Maurice Strong, ibid., p328.)

ANTI-DEMOCRATIC

Democratic institutions must not delay the Earth Charter revolution. At the 1995 State of the World Forum, Maurice Strong said, “We shouldn’t wait until political democracy paves the way. We must act now.”

MAURICE STRONG

WHEN MAURICE STRONG SAYS ARROGANT THINGS, we should pay heed—for he keeps elite company. Until his retirement from the post in late 2002, Strong had been a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum (WEF)—along with the retired Archbishop of Canterbury (now known as Lord Carey of Clifton), Michael Dell (CEO of Dell Computer Corporation), Nobuyuki Idei (CEO of Sony Corporation), Heinrich von Pierer (CEO of Siemens), Peter Sutherland (Chairman of Goldman Sachs International), and other globally influential businessmen and politicians.1 Strong had been active in the WEF since its founding in 1971.2 In 2001, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan prepared a foreword for Where on Earth Are We Going?, Strong’s newest book.3 The biography for Strong on Amazon.com states, “Among the hats he currently wears are: Senior Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; Senior Advisor to World Bank President James Wolfensohn; Chairman of the Earth Council; Chairman of the World Resources Institute; Co-Chairman of the Council of the World Economic Forum; member of Toyota’s International Advisory Board.”4 In 2003, Strong was sent to North Korea by Kofi Annan to mediate the ongoing nuclear crisis.5

Strong has described himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.”6

His spirituality is consistent with the URI vision. In 1978, Strong and his wife bought a large tract of land in the Baca/Crestone area of Colorado, and learned that since antiquity, Indigenous Peoples’ [sic] had revered this sacred land as a place for conducting their vision quests, receiving shamanic training and healing. It was prophesied that the world’s religious traditions would gather here and help move the world toward a globally conscious and sustainable coexistence in balance with the Earth. The Strongs wholeheartedly embraced this vision. . . . Currently this community of world’s religious traditions is the largest intentional interfaith community in North America. It has grown as a place for many of the world’s wisdom traditions to be practiced, taught and preserved. The Manitou Foundation has supported many Indigenous Peoples initiatives. Groups that have received financial support and/or land grants,

  1. World Economic Forum, “Foundation Board,” updated December 20, 2002, http://www.weforum.org/site/homepublic.nsf/Content/Governance%5CFoundation+Board, printed 01/02/03.
  2. World Economic Forum, Annual Report 2001/2002—“Solidarity in a Challenging Year,” http://www.weforum.org/pdf/ AnnualReport/annual_report_2001_2002.pdf, p24. (provides the date that the WEF was founded), and p29 (on Strong’s retirement. The Foundation Board gave “heartfelt thanks” to Strong and to Raymond Barre “for the great contribution they have made to the development of the World Economic Forum since it was first created.”), printed 06/18/04.
  3. Maurice Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going, Vintage Canada, 2001, pp ix–x (cited below as Strong, Where on Earth Are we Going).
  4. Maurice Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going?, Texere, 2001; listing from amazon.com—“Editorial Reviews: About the Author,” printed 05/08/03.
  5. CBC News, “Canadian diplomat returns from North Korea optimistic,” January 18, 2003, http://www.cbc.ca/stories/ 2003/01/18/nkorea_strong030118, printed 05/19/03.
  6. William Baue, “Rio + 10 Series: A Brief History of the Earth Summits—From Stockholm to Rio,” SocialFunds.com, June 7, 2002, http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/article858.html, printed 06/18/04 (cited below as Baue, “Brief History of the Earth Summits,” 06/07/02).

include Native Americans; the three main Tibetan Buddhist lineages (including the High Lama of Bhutan); the Bon Tradition; Zen Buddhists; Shinto; Christian; Hindu; Jewish; Sufi; and Taoist organizations. Land was also given to Naropa College and Educo (an international environmental training organization).1

The Foundation’s vision includes survival of a worldwide crisis, and renewal afterward:

Groups and communities representing the great World Religions and the Wisdom of the Ages are settling here in order to embark on a unique experiment in human transformation and evolution. Colleges, places of worship and learning, healing centers, solar villages, projects in sustainable agriculture and cultural/artistic projects will provide a forum and example to which the world will be able to turn in times of crisis, transition and renewal .”2

In his autobiography, Strong includes a fictional chapter written from the vantage point of 2031—a summary of the state of the world after global ecological disaster. He begins by avowing that life on Earth is all that there is; Earth is “the Prison of Life, and there is nothing beyond the gates of Planet Earth but the formless void. Since we cannot escape, we must endure, and since we cannot give up, we must continue the struggle. ”3 Despite this Earth-bound perspective, Strong posits the emergence of a new movement for religious unity as a beacon of hope in this future time of trouble:

One of the more dramatic events of the past year was the emergence of a new movement for spiritual unity under the charismatic leadership of the man who calls himself Tadi. As almost everyone by now knows, his message is deceptively simple, little more than an exhortation to people to return to the roots of their own religions, while tolerating and respecting all others as differing expressions of a universal spirituality that unites all people. . . . Ecumenism or unitarianism [sic] is not, of course, a new notion. What is new and remarkable is that people of all faiths have embraced Tadi’s formulations. . . . The movement has also evoked vigorous and often hostile responses from fundamentalists of various religions .4

(Strong, like other liberal globalists, sees only two options: acceptance of a New Religion, or adherence to violent, judgmental “fundamentalism.”)

In his tale of the future, Strong also sees a silver lining in the depopulation of the planet that would follow an ecological collapse:

Certain worrying trends have even reversed—as a result not of good sense but of cataclysm. Population growth, for instance. . . . At the end of the decade, the best guesstimates of total world population is some 4.5 billion, fewer than at the beginning of this century. And experts have predicted that the reduction of the human population may well continue to the point that those who survive may not number more than the 1.61 billion people who inhabited the Earth at the beginning of the twentieth century. A consequence, yes, of death and destruction—but in the end a glimmer of hope for the future of our species and its potential for regeneration .5  [Sanjeev: what a nightmarish person !!]

A “universal spirituality” that could see “a glimmer of hope for the future of our species” in the death of three quarters of the world population is the spirituality of Moloch, not the spirituality of God.

  1. The Manitou Foundation, “History,” http://www.manitou.org/MF/history.html, printed 06/18/04.
  2. The Manitou Foundation, “Mission & Vision,” http://www.manitou.org/MF/mission.html, printed 06/18/04. In Strong’s autobiography, there is a chapter with a vision of the global disasters that will occur if mankind does not change its direction. He says, from the perspective of 2031, “Still, other scattered islands of civility and order are to be found in many regions, beacons of civility and hope, playing the same role in our modern chaos as the medieval monasteries did in the Dark Ages, keeping alive the flickering embers of learning and wisdom. In Crestone, Colorado, for example, a community created as a spiritual retreat in recent materialistic times has proven to be a haven for the virtues of sustainability, harmony, and ‘ethical husbandry.’” (Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going, p 19.)
  3. Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going, p7.
  4. Ibid., pp 20–21.
  5. Ibid., p 22.

When Strong moves from speculative fiction to straightforward autobiography, he maintains the same views. He said, “We are gods now, gods in charge of our own destiny, and gods can’t be capricious.”1 Strong admired the Inuit, among whom he worked in 1945-1946. At one point, he noted that one of his friends, an old woman, was missing. As Strong describes it: “she had said goodbye to everybody she knew, to her family, and had walked out into a storm, never to return. . . . The Inuit were a nomadic people living in a savage environment, surviving on meagre resources, and it was an individual’s duty to help the people survive. It was unthinkable to become a burden. And so they knew when it was time to go, when it was time to say goodbye.”2 Like Barbara Marx Hubbard and Neale Donald Walsch, Strong accepts euthanasia.

It’s hardly a surprise, then, that Strong took instruction in Catholicism during his time with the Inuit, but “could not in the final analysis accept some of the fundamental beliefs of the Church.”3 Instead, Strong says,

Universalist expressions of religious belief have always attracted me, as I have always seen that the innate spirituality of people, and the common values they share, are the essential foundations for a more peaceful, co-operative world. . . . I sense a continuity in our spiritual life paralleling that in the physical world: our physical bodies consist of elements that have always existed; they come together to give us our distinctive identity as human beings during our lifetime but return to the ‘dust from which we come’ after we die. So the spirit that resides in our individual souls emanates from the universal spirit, becomes incarnate within us during our lifetime, to be then subsumed into the universal source. . . . I have found the development of my inner spiritual resources one of my most constant challenges, and my connection with the cosmic forces that shape all existence has become central to me.4

Strong does not name these “cosmic forces,” however.

Strong acknowledges conservative opposition to him and his agenda: “the right-wing media in the United States have recently been targeting me as a dangerous leader of a conspiracy to establish a world government that would subvert the sovereignty of the United States.”5 He adds,

these are but the deluded and paranoid ravings of the Western far right, and I wouldn’t normally trouble to mention them at all except that my reaction when I hear a few of these charges is that I wish I had a smidgen of the power (and money!) they say I have. I wish I could accomplish a few of the things they already attribute to me. Not all of them, of course—most I wouldn’t like to see happen. I do wish I could assist my many friends and colleagues in all the organizations I belong to to [sic] remake the political and economic landscape .6

Notwithstanding his desire to “remake the political and economic landscape,” Strong has had a “long and cordial relationship” with David Rockefeller,7 and has been affiliated with the Rockefeller Foundation and Rockefeller University.8 Strong also notes that Steven Rockefeller “has led the process of drafting and promulgating the Earth Charter.” 9 At least one of America’s richest families has no difficulty promoting the activities and beliefs of Strong, the “socialist in ideology.”10 Strong avows a “generally bipartisan” approach to US politics, since he donated over $100,000 to the Democratic

  1. Ibid., p 29.
  2. Ibid., p 65.
  3. Ibid., p 66.
  4. Ibid., pp 181–182.
  5. Ibid., p34–35.
  6. Ibid., p 46–47.
  7. Ibid., p73.
  8. Ibid., p 148.
  9. Ibid., p382.
  10. Baue, “Brief History of the Earth Summits,” 06/07/02.

campaign in 1988—and also, “out of friendship with some key Republicans,” raised money for the Republican National Committee.1 He and George H. W. Bush became friends while Bush was US Ambassador to the UN; as a result, in 1992, Bush did not oppose Strong’s appointment as the head of the 1992 UN environmental summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro.2 Despite Strong’s belief that “the more wealthy societies—the privileged minority—would have to make the most profound—not to say revolutionary—changes, in attitudes, values and behaviour,”3 he travels comfortably among the richest and most privileged people in the US.

  1. Strong, Where on Earth Are We Going, p 184.
  2. Ibid., p 184.
  3. Ibid., pp132–133.

 

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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