Brzezinski — Between Two Ages

At the age of 89 Zbygniew Brzezinsky passed away. Mass media described him as “Jimmy Carter’s adviser” but he was much more than that. Like Henry Kissinger, he was a personal assistant of philanthropist David Rockefeller and was instrumental in many US administrations, including that of Barack Obama. In the 1971 book, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in Technetronics Era, Brzezinski outlined many of the principal tenets of contemporary globalism. What follows are extended quotes from his book, in the page order:

[P11] “The psychological well-being of millions of relatively secure, but potentially aimless lower-middle-class blue-collar workers becomes a growing issue. We need to discover the most effective techniques for the rational exploitation of social talent. In the technetronic society, the university becomes an intensely involved “think tank,” the source of much sustained political planning and social innovation.”

“In the technetronic society, individual citizens are easily within reach of magnetic and attractive personalities through the massive increase of newspapers and latest communication technology [which can] manipulate emotions and control reason. TV replaces language with images which are international rather than national. Economic power becomes inseparably linked with political power and a sense of individual futility increases. In the future, we shall have the means to manipulate the behavior and intellectual functioning of all people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.”

“The new reality will not be a McLuhan’s “global village” of shared values, but a “global city,” a nervous, agitated, tense and fragmented web of interdependent relations. That interdependence is better characterized by interaction than by intimacy, “local,” increasingly means “”national” and “global.”

“The United States has emerged as the first global society in history. The ghettoes of the global city have, accordingly, some parallels to the racial slums of the United States. The sense of acute deprivation results in intensified political hostility toward the outside world. The mobilization of that hostility in the United States was made possible by the increase in the number of black Americans receiving higher education and therefore providing leadership for hitherto suppressed grievances.”

[P49] “The shift towards economic assistance on an international basis is a response to this danger. Economic assistance can be effective only if the recipient country’s emotional resources are mobilized. This requires native leadership that knows both how to stir the masses and how to utilize foreign aid intelligently.”

[P55] “Newer and larger frameworks of cooperation are emerging, enabled by computers and communications. Nations like Belgium, Canada, the UK, Spain or Czechoslovakia may decide that their particular nation-state no longer corresponds to historical need. New context recognizes the current necessity for a broader cooperation on a level above the national. The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: “International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.”

“Today we are witnessing the emergence of transnational elites, but now they are composed of international businessmen, scholars and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national. Increasingly, intellectual elites tend to think in terms of global problems: the need to overcome backwardness, to eliminate poverty, prevent overpopulation, to develop effective peace-keeping machinery. The concern with ideology is yielding to preoccupation with ecology, pollution, overpopulation and the control of disease, drugs, and weather. There is a widespread consensus that functional planning is desirable and that it is the only way to cope with various ecological threats.”

“The birth of universal religions represents the assertion of man’s equality before God and is the basis for the later assertion of the equality of men in their political and social dimension. In that sense, Christianity was a particularly revolutionary force. Only some Lutheran varieties sanctioned the dogma of racial inequality.”

[P69] “Secular rationalism emerged to challenge institutional religion. That is why Marxism represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision. Marxism is a victory of the external, active man over the inner, passive man as well as a victory of reason over belief. Marxism expanded popular self-awareness by awakening the masses to an intense preoccupation with social equality. More than that, Marxism represented in its time the most advanced and systematic method for analyzing the dynamics of social development. In this sense, it served as a mechanism of human progress that stirred the mind and mobilized human energies purposefully. It represents as important a stage as the appearance of nationalism and the great religions. In the second half of the 20th century, almost everyone — often without knowing it — is to some extent a Christian, a nationalist, and a Marxist.”

[P256] “There is a mounting national recognition that the future can and must be planned, that unless there is a deliberate choice, change will result in chaos. America must create racial harmony on the basis of equality and social welfare, while preserving personal liberty, and eliminate poverty without shackling individual freedom.”

“Realism forces us to recognize that the necessary political innovation will not come from direct constitutional innovation, desirable as that would be, but must develop incrementally and covertly. The planner will eventually displace the lawyer as the key social legislator and manipulator. Federal government has already emerged as the key institution for restructuring social relations. We are moving towards blurring distinctions between public and private bodies. The large scale system will place an ever greater premium on the wise, artful and broadly experienced general manager.”

“In America, the linkage of liberty and equality was especially hindered by deeply embedded fundamentalist religious values, that were reinforced by the ever widening gap between the progressing white community and the artificially arrested black community. The promise of the next American revolution lies in its promise to link liberty with equality. Emerging rational humanism, linked to political reforms, will gradually enlarge the scope of personal freedom and give greater meaning to equality by making knowledge the basis for social and racial egalitarianism.”

“The fiction of sovereignty is clearly no longer compatible with reality. The time has come for a common effort to shape a new framework for international politics. There is already widespread agreement on developing international peace-keeping forces. Emerging global consciousness is forcing the abandonment of preoccupations with national supremacy and accentuating global interdependence. All major countries accept the principle that they ought to aid the less developed countries, the expansion of this aid has become an imperative. In Latin America, we need a framework that combines a more socially responsible Catholicism with nationalism. The American-Soviet rivalry will become less ideologic in character. A community of the developed nations must be formed, involving Western Europe, more advanced European communistic states and Japan.”

“Under the pressure of economics, science, and technology, mankind is moving steadily towards large-scale cooperation. This process must be accelerated. It must start in a piecemeal fashion through a variety of indirect ties and already developing limitations on national sovereignty. In this process, United States-Soviet nuclear rivalry will remain the axis of world military might. The inclusion of Japan is important because Japan is a world power.”

“Initially, there will be a need for a high-level consultative council for global cooperation, including United States, Western Europe, and Japan. A world information grid connecting these countries could create the basis for common educational programs and a more rational division of labor in research and development. The effort to shape new monetary structure will have to be undertaken, including the abandonment of restrictions on the international activities of American corporations. The emergence of more cooperative structure among the more developed nations will result in the emergence of global consciousness. This will accelerate development of the World Bank as the facto institution for assistance to the Third World and may eventually lead to a possibility of a global taxation system.”

“For better or worse, the United States is saddled with the major responsibility for shaping the framework for change. This country’s commitment to international affairs on a global scale can not be undone, and the only relevant question is what its form and goals will be.”

[P308] Brzezinski concludes: “Though the objective of shaping a community of advanced nations is less ambitious than the goal of the world government, it is more attainable. Three domestic priorities are 1. blur the distinction between government and non-government, 2. create institutions to cope with unintended consequences of technological change and 3. promote rational humanist values. A rational humanist world outlook will replace the religious, ideological and national perspectives that dominated modern history.”