Commentary on Between Two Ages by Zbigniew Brzezinski
(From Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970, Viking Press, New York)
America’s Post-industrial Transition
He says that modern America is a “social laboratory” (196).
He wonders whether technology can be beneficial and not induce “excessive social control” (196).
He explains that America is “in transition from the industrial to the technetronic age” (197) and is the “first post-industrial society” (197).
He explains that this change is producing a “crisis of established American values and institutions” (197).
To get Americans to accept the earlier changes of government intervention and social welfare, he says it took the Civil War, the industrialization of the country and the New Deal (199).
The statistics for rural vs. urban U.S. population changes are recounted from Time magazine: In 1800, the rural population was 94% of the total. In 1900, it was 60%. In 1950, it was only 35%. The predicted estimate given for the year 2000 for the rural population is 17%. (fn. 199)
If you follow up on those statistics 40 years later, for the year 2010, the World Bank states the rural population of the United States is 17.7%. So the globalist (Agenda 21) operation of clearing the human beings off the land is at least 10 years behind that estimate. Boy, those last 17-20% must be a cause of severe frustration for them! Don’t those people know they’re not supposed to live in the country? This is “progress”.
But overall you can see how Americans have given up their rural roots and means of independence. Just as Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage, most Americans seem to have surrendered their property rights, freedoms and rural independence skills – and civil liberties also since 9/11 – in order to worship government. And no doubt they’ll find it wasn’t worth it.
He mentions the loss of industrial employment (200).
He categorizes Americans into three segments, each “age” still having its representative groups of people – in 1970 anyway: “post-industrial” (high-tech employment), “industrial” and “pre-industrial” (201).
“The current transformation also poses profound philosophical issues concerning the very essence of social existence, since it is largely derived from an unprecedented expansion of scientific power over both man’s environment and man himself” (201).
“This feeling of uncertainty about national purpose is also magnified by the fading of the established political elite that has guided the nation since World War II. Primarily composed of men coming from the eastern seaboard and connected with legal, corporate, and high financial circles, the political elite provided a sense of continuity within the framework of a pragmatic liberal consensus on the nature and character of modern industrial society.” (215)
I’m not sure exactly how they’re “fading” or how there’s a “breakup” (215). On the face of it, it can’t be correct. The Rockefellers for example, and the institutions they founded have dominated society all these years including the Council on Foreign Relations (not so publicly) and the United Nations. The principal founder of Brzezinski’s Trilateral Commission is David Rockefeller who is also a key member of Bilderberg. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other big banks are represented in President Obama’s cabinet. The same big foundations still dominate in addition to the newer ones.
He says this elite was being challenged from more dispersed interests connected with new “scientific-defense and frontier industries” (215), and also by more “ideologically inclined intellectual forces” (215).
I remember reading a similar analysis by Carroll Quigley in Tragedy and Hope about the conservative “new money” classes. So I think Brzezinski, who may be referring to groups on the left also, is also mainly referring to the conservative and neoconservative movements (two different things in my view, with the former being subverted by the latter).
My point is that the same elites are still in power, regardless of ideological stripe or faction:
The CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) is one of their main semi-public organizations. Here is left-wing Democrat Hilary Clinton at the CFR literally asking for orders.
Here is right-wing neoconservative Dick Cheney at the CFR explaining his key role as DIRECTOR of the CFR and how he hid that from his constituents (bonus info about David Rockefeller who talks to Cheney about his support of FTAA (“free trade” for the Americas).
The same article mentions other CFR neocons and explains the left-wing ex-Trotskyite background of Reagan neocons. The point is that the neocons also work for the CFR and not just the Democrats.
Also, Bush Sr. (CIA), Reagan’s VP – neither a neoconservative nor a conservative – was tied to the elites, and must have affected the direction of Reagan’s presidency. Reagan had been running against Bush.
In any case, just like the neocons were former “Cold War liberals”, Reagan himself and also various factions in the conservative movement were clearly dominated by militarism and by the military industrial complex. See this article again about anti-war, anti-imperialist and anti-militarist attitudes among traditional conservatives like Russell Kirk and Pat Buchanan. Despite the personal beliefs of members of different factions – and maybe there is no end to factions who are taken over by billionaires and secret societies – most politicians and activists end up working for the elite international corporations and bankers.
The New Left
Brzezinski calls the New Left an “infantile ideology” (222). He doesn’t like their protests and militancy (224).
Brzezinski complained that they “have jeopardized American social progress by providing a convenient rationalization for the more conservative social attitudes” (236).
For me, I think people were right to protest the Vietnam war and to be skeptical of government and corporations. However, he argues that the New Left had a strong “totalitarian predisposition” (234) and not just an anarchistic tendency (236).
“…leading New left spokesmen have been contemptuous of free speech, democratic procedures, and majority rule. They have left little room for doubt as to how they would handle their critics if the New Left were ever to gain power (235).”
I think there is reason for concern because Obama’s Democratic Party has been identified with the New Left.
Co-opting protest movements?
He writes that the
“American tradition of free dialogue … has been an important factor in developing this responsiveness to change; it has made it possible to exploit protest movements (and thereby render them historically superfluous) by adapting and adopting their programs” (257).
If I am interpreting this comment correctly, it could also apply to the “color revolutions” that American globalists seem to be covertly running overseas.
Planning vs. Freedom: Anticipating Agenda 21
“Technological developments make it certain that modern society will require more and more planning. Deliberate management of the American future will become widespread, with the planner eventually displacing the lawyer as the key social legislator and manipulator …. How to combine social planning with personal freedom is already emerging as the key dilemma of technetronic America…” (260)
“Dilemma” just means it’s impossible. What he describe is also non-democratic.
He says one of America’s domestic priorities is the need to “blur traditional distinctions between governmental and nongovernmental social processes…” (308) NGOs – private groups working with government – are a major aspect of the Agenda 21 system we live under now.
At the conclusion he writes about defining “social purposes”(309). He asks:
“To what ends should our power be directed, how should our social dialogue be promoted, in what way should the needed action be taken …” (309) (emphasis mine)
He mentions these as philosophical and political issues.
But why should so much coercive power combined with advanced technology be allowed in the hands of government?
Why should there be any “social dialogue” that is promoted coercively and through propaganda? Why is that legitimate? Who determines the direction?
Who has the right to decide the “needed action” and use government to force it on others?
The Threat of a Controlled Society
“Another threat … confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control” (252-253).
He refers to this as “technological managerialism”. (253)
He says that the “technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits” (252-253). By this, I think he means that industries related to security, surveillance, weaponry and prisons would do very well and would continue to become more advanced despite the increased oppression which would tend to slow down other sectors of the economy, but not those sectors. In other words, there may be plenty of work (for a while anyway) for everyone who is willing to participate in the oppression sector in which they help the bankers walk all over their neighbors and fellow citizens – for their paycheck. That’s how I interpret his statement. I think everybody needs to think about what they are participating in.
He says that social crises, a charismatic leader and mass media “would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society” (253).
Misquotes concerning “Between Two Ages”
This article explains some misquotes that people repeat concerning Brzezinski’s book and how someone seems to have combined the quote on pages 252-253 (quoted above) with another quote from the original Brzezinski journal article “America in the Technetronic Age”, from Encounter (January 1968).
The following is a correct quote (according to the above link), but it’s from his journal article, not his book:
“At the same time, the capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase. As I have already noted, it will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date, complete files, containing even most personal information about the health or personal behaviour of the citizen, in addition to more customary data. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities (p.21) .”
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Rev: Jan. 3, 2013