In 1976 when Milwaukee was facing the prospect of cross-town busing for integration I believed such busing would be destructive, not only for education, but also for neighborhoods, neighborhood businesses, and harmony within the city. What organization, I thought, ought to be more willing to point out the legal and educational fallacies of this directive than the Chamber of Commerce. I even went so far as to call on the head of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce to see if he would cooperate in our efforts to expose and defeat what I considered to be a usurpation of local and parental authority.
He was polite and outwardly sympathetic, but not really helpful. He implied it was too late to do anything but accept the inevitable. As I was leaving the outer office, disappointed and puzzled by his lack of concern, I noticed on one of the tables a pile of folders that seemed to be on the subject of busing for integration. I asked the receptionist if I might take one. Guess what! It was a collection of Chamber of Commerce papers telling Milwaukee business leaders how to promote the busing and educate industrial workers for the change. Not only could we expect no help from the Chamber to fight forced busing--all of its resources were aligned against us.
In the folder there was a letter from the Chairman of the Association of Commerce urging full cooperation with what was called the Milwaukee Plan--school system changes supposedly developed by Milwaukee School Superintendent, Lee R. McMurrin, approved by the school Board, recommended by Special Master John Gronouski, and ordered by Federal Judge John W. Reynolds. The Association of Commerce suggested that employers distribute the so-called Milwaukee Plan to their employees and urge them to work together for orderly change.
This Milwaukee Plan was essentially the same plan that would be named after whatever city was being attacked. It was not really a Milwaukee Plan. It was a plan used in all cities and named after each to obtain cooperation. In Milwaukee it called for integration of 66 schools on a voluntary basis with mandatory backup provisions.
Failure to take the initiative, the Association of Commerce said, was certain to provoke ultimate mandatory integration orders which would eliminate voluntary options then available. The Association appealed to the entire community for total commitment to implementation of the approved integration plan to place the schools in full compliance with what it called the law of the land.
I thought it strange that the ruling of one federal judge could become the law of the land, especially since that judge had not acted on his own, but on instructions received prior to hearing the case. A MILWAUKEE JOURNAL article dated October 4, 1975 said:
"About 20 federal district judges from around the country are meeting in Washington, D. C., this weekend in closed sessions to discuss school desegregation cases and how to handle them. At least three of those invited are among judges now involved in desegregation litigation. . . "
The seminar was held at the Federal Judicial Center, the research and training arm of the federal judiciary, but was run by the Institute of Judicial Administration, a private organization at New York University. Prior to the time the desegregation cases came before the court, judges were instructed by a private organization on how to handle them. Was this how the law of the land ought to be decided?
In the June 29, 1978 MILWAUKEE SENTINEL -- while battles were still being fought in the courts -- Judge Reynolds admitted:
"I am just one little judge in a mammoth social experiment going on around the country."
What we had was not the law of the land, but social experimentation carried on with the cooperation of the Association of Commerce. My curiosity about the Chamber of Commerce was totally aroused at that time. I started to watch the policies of the Chamber more closely and to research its history, its previous activities, and its relationship to government.
I already knew that almost every city, town and village in the country has its own Chamber of Commerce. What I did not know was that there are also a United States Chamber of Commerce and an International Chamber of Commerce. These are what you might call, blanket organizations -- organizations over organizations.
The United States Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1912 and the International Chamber in 1919. Individual Chambers were invited to join these blanket organizations and most of them did. Their existence helps to explain why separate Chambers of Commerce all over the country -- even the world -- frequently adopt similar local policies or support the same legislation on the national and international scenes. They are taking their cue from the blanket organizations.
If you want to control the behavior of a large number of people, blanket organizations make sense. You can't contact people one by one and persuade them to do what you want them to do. They have to be organized into groups and be willing to go along with group decisions. Groups already existed on the local scene, so in the case of the Chamber of Commerce that part of the job was done. But if you wish to have a national system and later a world management system local organizations are not enough. They have to be held together for a common purpose. An organization of organizations is needed.
How did the organization of organizations come into being? Amber Clark did some research on the Chamber of Commerce for WISCONSIN REPORT in 1975. She found a book, These Tremendous Years by Neil M. Clark. She learned that President Taft and some members of Congress wanted a national commercial and trade organization. It bothered them that a Chamber of Commerce in one state might write and tell his congressman to vote for a bill, while another Chamber of Commerce would write opposing the same bill. They didn't think that was right. President Taft directed Charles Nagel, Secretary of Commerce and Labor to make arrangements for a national commercial conference. On April 22, 1912, 700 representatives of 392 commercial and industrial organizations met in Washington D.C. Nagel told the representatives:
"It has been suggested not only that you organize so as to have a common commercial opinion to submit to the government, but that you get the sign of authority in the shape of a national charter which will enable every officer of the government to say, this is the recognized representative of commerce and industry of the United States."
In other words government officials could henceforth ignore individual opinions because the Chamber of Commerce opinion would be official. For example, many people did not favor the establishment of a Federal Reserve System, but on August 26, 1913 the President of the Chamber of Commerce and a Chamber committee testified before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee in favor of establishment of a Federal Reserve System. This was the recognized representation of commerce and industry. In December of that year the Federal Reserve Act was passed.
Let's look at other things the United States and International Chambers of Commerce have accomplished for WORld Management. Incidentally, before we start let me tell you WORld Management System is quite a mouthful, so sometimes I shorten it: WOR from WORld, M from management, and S from System. It comes out WORMS.
One person who was very much involved in the idea of world management and also with the International Chamber of Commerce was Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM. In the June 1938 issue of THINK magazine, IBM's in-house publication, Watson revealed one way in which the Chamber blankets are able to have their national and international policies adopted by local chambers:
"The Chamber of Commerce of the United States maintains in every local chamber a national councillor. I should like to see an international councillor named in every member chamber of commerce throughout the world, who, aided and guided by the International Chamber of Commerce, would present the international aspect of important problems."
Also interesting was the fact that at the 26th annual convention of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce in 1938 Watson referred to it as the "parent organization" as if the U. S. Chamber were the creator of the local chambers, rather than a later blanket over them. He said:
". . . steps should be taken toward bringing the aims and objectives of the parent organization closer to the business man and the people. It was proposed to accomplish this by enlisting wider cooperation of the local chambers and trade associations, by placing more reliance on their activities in educating their constituents, and by making the national body more effective as a clearing-house than ever before."
Notice that Watson was not suggesting that the local chambers had anything to contribute in the way of ideas, only that they could be effectively used to help promote the goals of the blanket organizations.
In 1937 and 1938 Watson was deeply involved in world affairs. Not only was he President of IBM and of the International Chamber of Commerce, but he was working with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to develop plans for what he termed, the "proper exchange" of goods and services, men and methods, ideas and ideals between nations. He said:
"The International Chamber of Commerce is in harmony with the basic laws of the universe. The right kind of thinking has no boundary lines."
The first necessity toward internationalizing what he called the right kind of thinking was another international blanket organization. Watson, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the International Chamber of Commerce played an extremely large role in creating this new blanket organization--the United Nations. But even before the formal creation of the United Nations the idea of world management had captured the minds of many business and chamber of commerce leaders throughout the world.
The October 1938 issue of THINK told of the Seventh International Management Congress which met in Washington the previous month. Two thousand delegates from almost every state and from twenty-one foreign nations attended. The first meeting of the International Management Congress had been in Prague in 1924, but 1938 was the first time it had met on American soil. Mr. Willis H. Booth, Vice-President of Guaranty Trust Company was the Honorary Chairman.
There were six major sections--administration, production, distribution, personnel, agriculture and home management plus ten general sessions. Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, said that the genius of any one in any country should be made available for the benefit of everybody in all countries. Secretary of Commerce, Daniel S. Roper, emphasized the necessity of recognition by business interests, large and small, of the priority of human values over property values.
Many of the men at the management conference were sure in 1937 and 1938 that they had found the answer to world peace. It was world peace through world trade, but they were talking about managed world trade and a commercialized, totally-managed world.
May 27, 1940 was IBM Day at the Golden Gate International Exposition, Ray Lyman Wilbur, President of Stanford University, was the featured speaker. His speech was reprinted in the November, 1940 issue of THINK. By putting together some quotes from his speech I can give you an idea of the changes he suggested to bring about world peace. It seems world managers always claim the world will never have peace until their plans are put in place. Wilbur said:
"It is necessary for us to realize that we must weigh against our sense of individuality and nationality the vital needs of groups and the demands of new social reactions. . . . A drastic adjustment in our thinking is required by the facts that must be considered in our relationship to the future. . . our social structure has in no way kept pace with our advancing facilities. . . we can revamp our present world structure, if we can grasp the fact that the human family must be viewed as a unit, and work toward the establishment of that unity.... If we can change our attitudes, I see no reason why we cannot gradually organize the world as a unit -- not along the lines with which we are already too familiar, as they are fraught with difficulties; but based upon the essential services that we can render one another."
That brings us to education. One of the most important essential services the WORMS planned to control was education. Stephen Duggan, Director of the Institute of International Education discussed Post-War Education and the World Charter in the September, 1945 issue of THINK. He revealed that:
"The American delegation brought with it to San Francisco a plan for an International Education Office to become a Commission under the Social and Economic Council. The plan received the hearty approval of practically all of the United Nations. But as the result of the controversies that arose over the organization and powers of the Security Council it was decided to confine action at San Francisco as much as possible to the original charter drawn up at Dumbarton Oaks and wait for the erection of the Social and Economic Council. . . There is little doubt that it will be adopted."
A primary purpose of the International Education Office is to maintain a careful watch over the systems of education carried on in the different countries so that teaching that will lead to friction and possible conflict cannot avoid detection and exposure. . .The International Education Office will investigate educational conditions in various parts of the world, issue the results in reports and distribute them among the different nations. In that way it would gradually provide educational standards below which no nation would like to fall. . .
We'll come back to education and the way it is being managed by the WORMS with the assistance of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, but first we should note other activities of the U. S. Chamber to see more of how it builds and uses its power. One of the most important tools used by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce to disseminate its policies is closed-circuit television. WASHINGTON REPORT, a weekly publication of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States alerted member organizations when these broadcasts were to be held.
On March 26, 1969 Vice President Agnew appeared on the closed-circuit telecast meeting of community leaders on urban problems that was beamed to 26 cities. A long list of federal big-shots also participated including Secretary of Labor George Shultz, Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans, Secretary of Transportation John Volpe, Dr. Daniel Patrick Moynihan Special Assistant to President Nixon for Urban Affairs, Secretary of HEW Robert Finch, and Secretary of HUD George Romney. WASHINGTON REPORT described the meeting:
"Designed primarily to answer questions rising from local, county and state levels about the steps the Federal Government intends to take to solve our many urban ills, the innovative telecast is being sponsored by the National Chamber with the support and cooperation of local chambers of commerce in the 26 receiving cities. . . Audiences will gather in those locations to view the proceedings in color on theater-size screens, to hear the speakers and then put questions via two-way audio to the principals speaking from Washington. . . Participating chambers are being urged to encourage attendance by the widest cross-section of citizens in their areas, taking in the entire scope of community leadership: Business, government, labor unions, minority groups, civic organizations, and others. . . . . .the telecast will have two major purposes:
* Present useful information on possible solutions to urban problems.
* Enable local leaders to fix the telecast as a rallying point to start their own urban programs."
If you have wondered why the Chamber of Commerce seldom objects effectively to the federal government's many senseless and useless urban programs, now you know. Behind the scenes they are working for, rather than against such programs.
You've heard about revenue sharing. Who do you suppose benefits when funds gush forth? I surely don't know that the Chamber of Commerce benefited in all cities, but in some cases the news of Chamber of Commerce hands in the till has leaked out. For instance, an alert friend in San Luis Obispo County, California sent me a clipping from the June 21, 1984 TELEGRAM-TRIBUNE headed, Chamber receives lion's share of Paso revenue sharing fund.
"Christmas arrived in June for a number of Paso Robles organizations as the Paso Robles City Council distributed federal revenue sharing funds Tuesday night. It allocated $35,000. Most of it -- $30,000 -- went to the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce. It had requested $47,334."
The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL of November 8, 1981 said that the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin Village Board for the first time in many years had turned down the Chamber's request for direct funding. The Village turned down the request for $4000 by a unanimous vote.
But the January 19 MILWAUKEE JOURNAL revealed the Chamber did not give up. Two months later the village Board voted 6-1 to join the Chamber of Commerce. The membership cost taxpayers $848 based on a $100 fee plus $4 for each of the village's 187 full-time employes.
Is it unusual for the Chamber of Commerce to receive tax funds? I think not. I was in Tampa in 1995 and happened to read the TAMPA TRIBUNE of February 15. There was an article speculating on whether it was proper for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce to endorse a mayoral candidate due to the fact that the Chamber of Commerce receives county funds. How much did it receive? -- Believe it or not -- $400,000.
But that's not the end of it. The TRIBUNE told that the county was not the only local government that contributed to the chamber's budget. Tampa kicked in $300,000. It is not only the fact that the Chamber of Commerce receives federal and local tax support that disturbs me. It is that so much of the Chambers effort goes toward giving more power and responsibility to the WORMS.
I have been saving clippings from newspapers on Chamber of Commerce activities since 1965. Here are a few of the headlines and quotes that show how the Chamber increases our tax burden and intrudes in almost every area of our daily lives and activities:
"HARTLAND CHAMBER ASKS FOR $5000"
"BUSINESS TOLD TO TAKE HEALTH PLANNING ROLE"
"BUSINESS ATTACKS HOSPITAL"
"BLOAT CHAMBER BACKS CAREER EDUCATION COURSES"
"CARTER GETS HIGH MARKS FROM U.S. CHAMBER CHIEF"
"FLUNKOUT U TURNS GURU U AS TOWN TURNS ON Said a long-time Fairfield Iowa resident: We got a big selling job from the Chamber of Commerce."
"FIGHTING BACK, An Editorial in INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY, June 27, 1994: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce actually supported employer mandates--a huge payroll-tax increase--until its membership screamed."
"THOSE CRAZY RATINGS OF U.S. CHAMBER by William A. Rusher, KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL February 23, 1981: For instance, two of the 'key votes' on which the Chamber scored congressmen in 1980 involved S.662, a measure that authorized the contribution of billions of dollars in the period 1979-82 to the Inter-American Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Fund--or, in short, in the forms of handouts to nations of the so-called "developing world" that are habitually hostile to the United States. Almost without exception, the left-most members of the House of Representatives supported the expenditure of nearly four billion of U.S. taxpayers' dollars for this dubious purpose, and were kissed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for doing so. Equally without exception, the House's staunchest conservatives fought to reduce the authorization -- and were gigged in the Chamber's ratings for two 'wrong' votes. "
"BEHIND THE MYTHS ABOUT FOREIGN AID By Sol M. Linowitz, THINK, September-October 1964: Particularly revealing are the views of the nation's businessmen toward our foreign aid program. The United States Chamber of Commerce has been a consistent supporter of the aid program. . . This is as it should be--because foreign aid is good business. And by this I mean much more than the startling fact that over 80 percent of our foreign aid money is actually spent here in the United States. "
"SYSTEMS APPROACH TO METRO PROBLEMS, WASHINGTON REPORT, January 20, 1969: SYSTEMS TECHNIQUES are playing an increasingly vital role in the business drive to eliminate urban problems, such as hard-core unemployment, outmoded mass transit systems and substandard housing. Chamber of Commerce executives from some major metropolitan areas met with National Chamber staff members to discuss how the systems approach might be used in meeting the community problems of our largest cities."
"CITIZEN'S CHOICE TO FIGHT FOR TAXPAYERS, WASHINGTON REPORT, October 4, 1976: Business leaders active in the National Chamber announced a plan to recapture Washington for hardworking taxpayers by founding Citizen's Choice, a new broadly-based citizen's action group. . . Jay VanAndel of Ada, Michigan, chairman of the board of Amway Corporation and chairman of the board of Citizen's Choice announced: 'We will be mailing invitations to 10 million people over the next 12 months, telling the Citizen's Choice story and urging these individuals to join.'"
"Let's get back to the U. S. Chamber's involvement in education. I think I can assume that many of you are familiar with a WORMS promotion called EDUCATION 2000. It is the education blanket of the Nineties. One of its blanket organizations is called The National Education Goals Panel. This panel, we are told is independent and bipartisan. Membership consists of eight Governors, two Administration officials and four members of Congress--plus, of course, a professional staff. This booklet on National Education is sent out to people who express an interest in education. It is an attempt to recruit them to report to the Goals Panel on all aspects of education in their communities."
"When someone sets goals for you, and you accept those goals as your own what does it mean?. . . . . It means the goal setters have found a way to control your behavior. He who sets the goals controls the behavior. I don't know what business governors and congressmen have setting goals for education, and they probably don't have time to do much more than lend their names to the program, but the very fact that their names are there adds prestige to the promotion in the eyes of many people.
"The 1993 HANDBOOK FOR LOCAL GOALS REPORTS explains the goals and tells the reporters or assessors how to proceed. It asks and answers a number of questions, such as:
"What is the Purpose of the Handbook? ANSWER: This handbook is designed to guide you as you begin developing a local assessment of your community's progress toward the National Education Goals. . .
"Why Should Local Communities Develop a Local Goals Report? ANSWER: . . . We cannot hope to achieve the National Education Goals unless we all know what progress we are making toward them.
"What should be reported? ANSWER: The GOALS REPORT does not just cover one subject area, one grade level, or even only K-12 education. The six National Education Goals cover prenatal health care to life-long adult learning.
"Who Should Be Involved in Developing Local Goals Reports? ANSWER: You will need the assistance of your local school, government, higher education, health, social services, and community leaders, as well as teachers, parents, students, business leaders, and adult educators.
When I receive WORMS materials such as these I always look for the connection to the U. S. or International Chambers of Commerce. It has become a habit. Sure enough, it was in GOAL FIVE, Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning:
* Every major American business will be involved in strengthening the connection between education and work.
Suggestions for Local Goals Report Data
* In conjunction with your local Chamber of Commerce, other business or governmental organizations, or your local higher education institution, create an employee survey to assess some of the attitudes of your local workforce. Use the following questions as a guide.
* Contact your local Chamber of Commerce chapters and other service organizations for information and possible data on the extent of local business involvement in education, and ways to report the extent of this kind of activity in the community.
* Develop your own community survey using the questions described below as a framework.
* Survey local businesses and civic organizations to determine the percentage offering opportunities for community service and the extent of participation in such activities.
For further information on Business Involvement in Education assessors were told to contact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Workforce Preparation and Quality Education 1615 H Street, NW; Washington, DC 20006.
Yes, when it comes to the Goals 2000 blanket the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is all wrapped up in it.
And what about that closed-circuit television that the Chamber has used so effectively in the past? No surprise. It is a regular monthly feature of the Goals 2000 community takeover. It is called the Satellite Town Meeting series.
The Goals 2000 monthly COMMUNITY UPDATE tells us: The Department of Education produces the Satellite Town Meeting series in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors for the series include Miles, Inc., The Procter and Gamble Fund, SC Johnson Wax, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. To participate in the Satellite Town Meeting, you can contact your local Public Broadcasting System (PBS) member station, Wal-Mart or Sam's Club, Chamber of Commerce, or Johnson Controls branch office and ask if your group can use the facility as a downlink site. Other possible sites are local schools, public libraries, community colleges, cable television stations, universities and technical schools, government offices, hospitals, businesses, hotels, or even private residences with satellite dishes. Call 1-800-USA-LEARN for further information or to register your participation.
Isn't it strange? Our governments--local, state and federal have spent billions and billions of dollars on education. Every year the price goes up. Yet nobody anywhere in any of our towns, cities, states or nation is deemed capable of educating another person without constant instruction, supervision, curriculum planning, goal setting, and organizing by the WORMS. Do they think we are a bunch of idiots who can't learn? . . . puppets who can't act without someone pulling the strings?. . .robots who can't move unless someone turns us on?
Don't ask me! Ask the U. S. and International Chambers of Commerce.
© Erica Carle - All Rights Reserved
Other articles by the same author:
Erica Carle is an independent researcher and writer. She has a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin. She has been involved in radio and television writing and production, and has also taught math and composition at the private school her children attended in Brookfield, Wisconsin. For ten years she wrote a weekly column, "Truth In Education" for WISCONSIN REPORT, and served as Education Editor for that publication. Her books are available through Education Service Council, P. O. Box 271, Elm Grove, Wisconsin 53122.
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