In the not-too-distant past, ordinary people could be forgiven for assuming that NGOs were grassroots organizations that worked for the interests of the common people, wholly separate from the powers-that-be. Think along the lines of community initiatives to block the building of a nuclear reactor too close to suburban neighbourhoods, or movements to stop the expansion of airports that seek to add additional runways.
Like any real issues, there are two sides to them, and the question becomes one of vested interests vs. community pushback, where the latter are forced to organize from the ground up and act as a pressure group as they are not in a position of power. Grassroots NGOs are how the powerless organize to either defend themselves or to seek perceived positive change. Those were much more innocent times.
But now they are the mouthpieces of billionaires:
In only three short decades, the concept of the NGO has been completely flipped onto its head.
The best known, and most effective, NGOs today are little more than end runs around democracy, in that they are financed and controlled by governments, corporations, and billionaires, and reflect their interests instead of the traditional grassroots NGO.
No one elects these NGOs, yet they are granted a power that is far out of proportion to their physical numbers of staff. Corporate media has teamed up with these very same powerful NGOs to create a closed loop in which they are the default go-to people to speak on issues that matter to corporate or government (or billionaires’) interests. …
Besides promoting and protecting the interests of the elites, they also serve to offset the overproduction of elites in the West today.
When reading reporting on NGOs, one will always come across the description “independent”. The first question that should pop into anyone’s mind is “independent of what?” This descriptor is used to psychologically separate the NGO from the powers-that-be in the minds of readers; to create the impression that government or corporate positions are not held only by the powers-that-be, but that they have been arrived at independently by others as well. These independents are from NGOs, and NGOs are staffed and run by ‘the people’. Therefore the narrative is one of collective agreement to manufacture consent for the idea or policy or actions being pursued.
The quickest way to figure out what the actual intentions of an NGO are is to find their list of donors and research what their interests are. …
What I want to implant into your heads today is to automatically ask yourself this question any and every single time an NGO representative appears on TV or in print in mainstream media: who funds their NGO, and how do their interests align with the narrative that it is pushing? In short: to whom are they responsible?
They are not accountable to the people, that is for sure. …
By now, everyone knows that billionaire financier George Soros funds #BLM. Many know that corporate behemoths like Facebook, Nike, and Walmart have also donated to their organizations. This means that #BLM and its decentralized branches are supported by the elites, contrary to the original spirit of the traditional grassroots NGO.
To be concise: #BLM is a decentralized effort, and there were some grassroots organizations in the beginning that sprang from the Black community in the USA to draw attention to perceived police brutality, but it was quickly co-opted by activist donors such as George Soros to destabilize the Trump Administration in the run up to the 2020 Presidential Election. Now that the objective of the (wealthy) donor class has been achieved, the media is finally waking up (read: now permitted) and asking questions about #BLM’s finances, long after the damage has been done. …
How can NGOs be considered independent and grassroots if they are funded by governments, big corporations, and billionaires who influence the objectives that they pursue?
What they really are is another tool of elite power that circumvents the democratic process in western liberal democracies, leaving the people once again, powerless.
Won’t be fooled again.
hat-tip Scott of the Pacific