The Total Collapse of America’s Anglo-Saxon Ruling Class, part 1
And things have only gone from horrible and unsustainable to grotesquely pathetic in the years since this 1979 article was penned. It is time for a new White elite to rise.
by Cholly Bilderberger
THE TOTTERING leadership of the United States refuses — and is probably unable — to deal realistically with any problem, including its own survival. Now this leadership only cares about such pleasures as can be wrung from the time it has left. I said of them in my last essay, “It could hardly be thrown out, spiritually speaking, because it has long since abdicated. There is a heavy, inertial physical presence which will have to be disposed of; but there is no hand at the American tiller today. That fact is the first and most important to keep in mind on the part of anyone alive enough to ask: How did it happen? What can I/we do about it?”
It happened, I think, because of commitment to produce-and-consume from the Civil War on, a commitment so total in every way (and in every class of society) that it dwarfed and finally destroyed all other commitments.
I could use my own family as a prime example, but that of one of my cousins, the Grenham line as I shall call it, is even better. There were Grenhams in this country before 1640, and they contributed many important figures to Colonial America. A Grenham signed the Declaration of Independence, and in the early 1800s they served as ambassadors and cabinet officers. During the Civil War there was a General Grenham and several Colonel Grenhams and assorted government officials. From 1620 until 1865 — a span of nearly two and one-half centuries — they worked and prospered, exercising all their duties and pleasures in comparative harmony.
In 1875, as I piece their fall together, came the first wrong turn. George Grenham, the son of the Civil War general, married Cornelia Osterman, daughter of Frederick T. Osterman, the newly minted steel and shipping magnate. Osterman, of German-Scotch extraction, had built his empire in twenty short years, with the inestimable help of the Civil War. Industry and growth and general plutocracy were in the air, and the Ostermans were suddenly more in tune with the times than the Grenhams. It wasn’t only that they were richer, but that they understood the future far better. In the crudest biological sense they represented the new species best designed to survive and prosper under the new order of things. The Grenhams and the rest of the old families could talk all they wished of breeding and background, but they knew in some corner of themselves that the Ostermans were in the saddle and condescending to them, even when acknowledging the breeding by marrying it.
By 1875 the Cornelia Ostermans were the next step, speaking in a social-biological sense. If the George Grenhams refused to marry them, they were going against the future. They obviously couldn’t afford to do that without having another goal, or dream. But who could have a goal/dream counter to, or superior to, produce-and-consume? The old, pre-Civil War American dream — esthetic and moral — cut a ridiculous figure beside the new materialism; only a few intellectuals with deep reserves of character and genius, like Henry Adams and the James brothers, could deny the new world believably. George Grenham did not have such reserves and wasn’t an intellectual. He married Cornelia and promptly forgot all about 1776 and the Continental Congress and the rest. The American past seemed to him, as to the Ostermans — and to the Rockefellers, Whitneys, Vanderbilts and the rest of the post-1865 plutocrats, all rather fusty and old-fashioned. From 1875 on, how could one take those figures in knee breeches and wigs seriously? The Ostermans and their peers smiled at the past and George Grenham smiled with them. The Grenhams, like the rest of pre-1865 America — with a few exceptions, none of whom wielded any real post-1865 power — joined the new rulers and bowed down to the new religion of produce-and-consume.
The great change in America from 1865 on was that Americans were run by a system-produce-and-consume — rather than running a system, as they had before 1865. On the surface, the plutocrats were dominant men with steely eyes — Carnegies and Morgans — but in actuality they were quite controlled by the chain of production. Into one end of the factories came raw materials; out the other end came finished goods, which had to have purchasers so the raw materials could be bought. If the cycle was broken, the country failed. If the country failed, there was no return to bucolic innocence. So the cycle had to be sustained, no matter the cost. Not only sustained, but constantly increased in scope: for some reason, if the GNP didn’t go up three to five per cent annually the cycle would atrophy and fail. Nothing — not wife nor family nor God nor morality nor ethics nor esthetics — could stand in the way of the enlarging cycle. If a man couldn’t pay that price he had to make way for another man who could.
Over the next seventy years — until about 1945 — the Grenhams paid the price in varying degree. At one end of the spectrum was George Grenham’s son Carter, 1878-1952, who outdid his Osterman grandfather and fought his way to the presidency and board chairmanship of one of the country’s largest banks. At the other end was his nephew, Harry Grenham, 1903-1961, an alcoholic nonentity only remembered today because of his collection of African primitives. I knew both of them, but considered Carter no less warped and failed than Harry; it just took a different form. Carter was actually an unscrupulous bully who drove his wife dotty and ended his days hanging onto his own sanity only by a tremendous effort. Sadistic in public, he was masochistic in private, and had to have his weekly birching at the hands of his favorite madame. “Try it,” he advised me. “Keeps the head clear, warms the flabby posterior.” He was over eighty when he said that, and age had broken down his reserve. On his deathbed he said, “Now I can let go … stop screaming inside.”
Not all the Grenhams were alcoholics or secret perverts or stained with other dramatic weaknesses. Most of them, in fact, were just like the rest of the upper class: bland, a bit washed out, cautious, just slightly servile to those one rung above them and just slightly condescending to those one rung below, and utterly in the service of produce-and-consume. (Which is not quite the same, incidentally, as being utterly in the service of money, the usual assumption about Americans, although the two are intimately entwined. Obeisance to money is actually an ancient failing, noted in detail from Babylon on, and reaching its peak in nineteenth-century Europe. It is a simple selfishness, a wholly personal greed. Produce-and-consume is an all-encompassing attitude, an interlocking religion. In the money game, one counts one’s gold alone, like Croesus. In produce-and-consume one celebrates the breakthroughs — cars, planes, television, rockets, electronics, nuclear power — because they sustain and expand the cycle, corroborating one’s decision to support the system. In the money game, one buys good bread, for example, with one’s money — one would hate to find there was no good bread left. That would invalidate the money, and leave its pursuit in serious question. In the produce-and-consume game, one is entirely indifferent to bread quality. As long as the cycle works, it doesn’t matter what kind of bread it turns out.)
At any rate, no matter what produce-and-consume demanded, the Grenhams gave full measure. When Franklin Roosevelt came in, they groaned; but they sensed that he was, at bottom, as committed to produce-and-consume as they, so the groans were purely cosmetic. When Gloria Grenham married a prominent New Dealer, they groaned again; but when they got to know him they realized that he, too, was only trying to get the machine started up, so those groans stopped. When they met more and more aggressive Jews in houses like Averell Harriman’s, they groaned some more; but when Averell told them — figuratively rather than literally, but nonetheless authoritatively — that the Jews had to be brought in to prime the pump, they stopped complaining and even invited a few Jews to their own houses. When Jack Grenham’s son Philip ran off to Spain to fight for the Loyalists they spluttered furiously; but when he subsequently distinguished himself in a mild way during World War II in the American army and used his recovered respectability to equate Franco with Hitler, most of them admitted, however reluctantly, that he had been right in 1936.
By 1945 they were, compared to the Grenhams of 1865, a rather tawdry, rather meaningless bunch behind their surface respectability. In other words, a typical ruling family — believing in nothing save the need to keep the cycle moving, and ready to sacrifice all that remained of instinct, intelligence, family, self, etc., to that end. They didn’t realize consciously, of course, just how far things had gone, but they were beginning to run scared. Before 1945 they had been confident and safe; but the war and the rise of Communism and the nuclear threat began to make America seem vulnerable.
From 1945 on, the pressure on them mounted with accelerating speed. To take just one branch of the clan, Tom, another of Jack’s sons, was born in 1920, went to a good school and Princeton, was an officer in the Air Force in World War II, joined the family investment firm after the war, and married Emily Forrest, who had gone to Bryn Mawr. While they were setting up house in Princeton and having their first children, some momentous events, of which they were relatively unaware, were taking place. The minorities were on the march and the decision had to be made by those in control — of whom Tom’s father, Jack, was one — as to whether to give into them or not. This was not a decision made by one group of men in one place, but by many comparable groups in many places — at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, the Knickerbocker and the Links and the Cloud (presided over by the rather hysterical Henry Luce) in New York, and so on. The reluctant consensus was that if the minorities were held to the relatively disciplined rules of the game which had prevailed up to 1945 there was going to be trouble. The Blacks, for instance, had served notice that they were going to have their share of the pie. If they were unable to compete for it economically and educationally on merit, then the dice had to be loaded in their favor. If the Whites refused this blackmail, they might well go wild. The specter of riots in the streets was raised, at which heads waggled gravely: what could be worse for the cycle? The Jews, riding high on the defeat of Hitler and the Holocaust and the prospect of Israel, had also served notice: they were going to organize the United States in their service in the name of Israel and the six million. If blocked, they would scream anti-Semitism until the whole country — and the world, insofar as possible — was in an uproar. Again, there was much head waggling and fears for the cycle. In the end, the decision was to give in to buy peace and quiet.
One may have contempt for the lack of courage (and also for the sheer wrongness of the decision in that it didn’t buy peace and quiet at all, but only guaranteed the uproar). One may also say that the die had been cast in 1865, and there was no chance of changing it in 1945 without blood in the streets, and who could afford to risk that? In any case, the full storm of results soon burst on the hapless country, with the Tom Grenhams as both victims and aggressors. Theirs were the children who were first to be educated exclusively from textbooks prepared by militant liberals; and later, at college, the first to be kicked about by Jews and Blacks. Tom and Emily were also humiliated by minorities in business and society, but they couldn’t admit it. The word had trickled down: Love the minorities or lose your stock shares. So they naturally began to love the minorities.
The results are really catastrophic.
Tom, who is almost sixty, has spent his life rationalizing the impossible, with predictable results. In conversation he shoots off in all directions, telling you on the one hand that he is proud of the Grenham name, belongs to the Sons of the American Revolution, keeps up his club memberships, admires Louis Auchincloss, and thinks he himself is entirely too permissive. On the other hand, he is passionate about Black rights plus those of women and the young, modern art, Israel, all Jews, smoking pot with the children, and so on. The conservative and liberal opinions are not set out in apposite paragraphs, but are all mixed up, often in the same sentence. His manner changes with equal abruptness, from synthetic passion to vacant-eyed withdrawal and back again. He is, in short, a sick man, quite lobotomized, quite shellshocked, quite gone. Emily, a bit shriller, has espoused the full Bryn Mawr line, strong even by liberal standards; she, too, has excited swings in manner and speech, but she doesn’t look as ruined as Tom. Perhaps women can stand up under it longer.
Sally, their eldest daughter, went to Bryn Mawr herself and graduated in 1970, a firm Lesbian. She lives with her current love, a portly “writer,” in Seattle, where they work in a desultory fashion (Sally has a very good trust income, as do all their children) for women’s lib. Gloria, the younger daughter, attended Princeton, but did not graduate. She is married to a young Jew, a genius according to Tom, who builds up and disposes of conglomerates. They travel a great deal, are often at places like Esalen and the Golden Door, and appear frequently in the public eye, he with shirts open to the waist, exposing a hairy but somewhat pigeon-breasted chest and laden with gold chain and amulets; and she with frizzed hair and a look of restrained mania. (Before getting married she spent time at Silver Hill, and Tom is afraid she’ll be back.) George, the first son, went to Princeton, and is now in Wall Street with his father. But even Tom says it probably won’t last. George’s social consciousness is eating at him, and last summer Jane Fonda told him he ought to do something about it, and he told her he would. Jack, the second son, plays what Tom loyally calls “the meanest punk rock harp in the world,” and is engaged to an American Indian named Lifting Piano, a name Emily says, her well-bred voice burbling with suppressed laughter, given her by Jack himself. (Lifting Piano has her doctorate from Columbia in anthropology, and Emily says she’s going to “concentrate on us rather than Indians. Which I think is very intelligent — God knows we need it more than they do.”)
There is no facet of minority oppression the young Grenhams have not experienced, but to date they have loved every minute of it. They are still clever enough — in their rather half-witted socialite fashion — to understand that their first duty is to protect their money, and that playing the minority game is supposed to be the way to do it. But in another way they represent the game played through to complete loss. The Grenhams have been playing the game for a hundred years, and now the game is playing them. The price paid to keep the money is too great, and all Tom’s children show that in their faces. The only difference between their faces and those of their parents is that Tom and Emily look like people who have gone to pieces; the children look as though they were born that way. They represent an inherited adjustment to chaos, if that is possible.
Tom and Emily, to say nothing of their children, have now come to the point where nothing real can be seen as real. Only the unreal is real. They have followed produce-and-consume all the way, and then some. Betrayed by previous generations, they have, in turn, betrayed the next generation with gusto at every opportunity. To see them separately is sobering, but to see them all together is devastating. “I can’t take it,” Tom’s ancient father told me. “They ask me down there to Princeton all the time, but I can’t go.”
“They’re all yours, though,” I said.
“Well, technically … yes, Tom is my son and Emily is my daughter-in-law, and the grandchildren are mine. But my God, I have no relationship with them. Do you know that the last time I was there they were all listening to … my namesake … playing that frightful harp, and acting as though he was … Lenny Bernstein. And all the rest of them acting the same way. And Gloria and that Jew of hers going on about Jerry Brown and meditation, and George calling that crazy Fonda girl in California, and … Tom and Emily smiling over the whole mess like a couple of Buddhas. As though it’s just great. Can you believe it? What did we do? What did I do? Grace and I always did our best.” He paused and then said again, “Grace and I always did our best.”
Actually, he and Grace had not done their best at all, any more than anyone else had, but there was no point in telling him that.
Tom and Emily “are” like a couple of Buddhas, almost impregnable in their nihilistic certainty. The only time I’ve seen them upset came a year or so ago. (Unlike old Jack Grenham, I see them as often as possible, finding them a kind of barometer.) It was a warm summer day, and Tom and I were having a drink alone in the garden, when, after some evasive preliminaries (concern for Israel, high praise for the late Reverend King), he told me about an unpleasant experience he’d had a few days before.
“Our gardener — nice man, Jim Phillips — not at all the sort of man you’d expect to be a racist — came to me and said his daughter was in the hospital and he had let his hospitalization insurance lapse and could he borrow some money? Well, he’s been with us for years, and I naturally said yes. Then I asked what had happened to her, and his face absolutely changed — into sort of a Jekyll-and-Hyde mask: I can never remember which was the monster, but that’s what it was — and he said, ‘A nigger beat her up in the parking lot at the shopping center.’ I wish you could have seen that face and heard his voice. Absolutely pure hatred. I told him that we would not tolerate the word ‘nigger’ in the house, and he just smiled at me and said, ‘You don’t need to pretend, Mr. Grenham.’ I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, ‘We all feel the same way, don’t we?’ All this with a nasty leer. I told him I most assuredly didn’t, but he just smiled again and said, ‘I know we have to pretend, all of us, but we all know.’ I told him again, in the strongest terms I could think of, that that was decidedly not the case. I told him of all I had done for the NAACP, of my Black friends, of the Black friends all the children have — why, one of them may marry a Black, I told him, and how proud Emily and I would be to have a Black member of the family. Well, he finally got the picture, and when he did he looked even worse. Murderous. ‘You care more for a nigger than you do for my daughter,’ he said. That was it. I said I’d warned him against using that epithet, and that I’d have to ask him to leave, and that I could no longer contribute to his daughter’s hospital expenses, because I couldn’t give money to a racist. Then … well, then he went berserk and attacked me physically and Emily had to call the police.” He took a pull on his drink. “It was appalling. I knew racism existed — don’t we all! — but do you know … I was never exposed to it before. Sounds incredible, in modern America, but it’s true. I had no idea of the virulence, the madness, when it’s right on top of you … the lengths to which they’ll go. You know, it really makes me wonder about the country. I mean it. I think we’re in danger.”
In the car on the way to New York, later that afternoon, I called the attorney who does confidential work for me, and asked him to pay Phillips’ daughter’s hospital bill, and buy Phillips out of jail and put him on his feet.
“And if he asks who’s paying for everything, shall I tell him just a friend?” the attorney asked.
“In this case, say it’s the Princeton Alumni Fund.”
(To be continued)
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Source: Instauration magazine, June 1979