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April 2000

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Wed, 29 Mar 2000

Giuliani, the Manhattan Institute, and Eugenics: The Ugly Truth Behind "Quality of Life"

Robert Lederman (

"There is an issue here about demeaning the whole historical and contemporary importance of the Holocaust," Giuliani said. "When people misuse descriptions like that, in essence they do a grave injustice to the people who suffered in the Holocaust and to the reality of what the Holocaust was all about."

-NY Times 3/10/2000 Giuliani Won't Move on Art Show


There's a fundamental question about the Giuliani as Hitler controversy nobody seems willing to ask let alone answer. Does comparing Giuliani to Hitler demean the Holocaust if Giuliani is in fact a modern day exponent of Nazi-like ideas on race?

In order to intelligently answer this question one needs a historical understanding of Nazism beyond knowing that Hitler killed six million Jews. While the systematic extermination of European Jewery is among the most uniquely horrific episodes in human history it was not all that Hitler, Nazism or the Third Reich were trying to achieve. Eliminating Jews was actually a localized subset of a much larger idea known as Eugenics.

Proponents of Eugenics don't necessarily hate those of other races. There are economic and social aspects of Eugenics distinct from the blatant hatred of anti-Semitism or the anti-Black prejudice that's common in the U.S. Often the justifications offered by proponents of Eugenics focus on economic and social gains to society that can be achieved by its application.

Mayor Giuliani's defenders claim he's not a racist. In a very limited sense they may be right. The Mayor's ideology in terms of race and Eugenics focuses on economic issues and so-called quality of life. Let us not forget however that the main justification the Southern States offered for slavery was also economic as was Hitler's justification for euthanizing and sterilizing millions of German citizens, for invading Eastern Europe and to a large extent for the Holocaust itself. German business interests reaped huge economic benefits from the Holocaust and from the application by the Nazis of Eugenics. Here in New York City, business interests also have been the prime beneficiaries of Giuliani's Eugenics based policies.

Eugenics treats human beings as breeding stock, like farm animals. Eugenicists are preoccupied with issues of racial superiority, racial mixing, racial degeneration and the effects on modern economic society of race generally. So-called "positive" Eugenics deals with promoting socially and economically advantageous human breeding while "negative" Eugenics focuses on the culling out of those with undesirable traits.

Long before Hitler created German laws requiring forcible sterilization, euthanasia and his ultimate Eugenics program, the Holocaust, the pioneers of Eugenics who originated Hitler's ideas were British and American scientists. With the financial backing of some of the world's most famous industrialists like John D. Rockefeller, Cecil Rhodes, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford, they were able to promote Eugenics to an amazingly successful degree. Thanks to a century of propaganda distorting and disguising their real purposes, the influential foundations these men endowed with their wealth are viewed as humanitarian, even as mankind's hope for salvation.

By the 1920's many States had passed Eugenics laws requiring involuntary sterilization of mental defectives. Tens of thousands of African Americans, Native Americans and other minorities were deliberately mislabeled as defectives and then sterilized by our government in order to prevent them from reproducing.

Most of those sterilized were actually normal. By the 1930's States were proposing even more extreme policies including compulsory euthanasia for chronic criminal behavior, for the mentally ill and for those with certain diseases. Hitler publicly acknowledged that he directly modeled the Eugenics laws of Nazi Germany on those of the United States.

Due to revelations about the Holocaust that surfaced after WWII the Eugenics movement was forced to reinvent itself under various fronts. Nevertheless, it has continued its work to the present day with programs like the Human Genome Project, the Center for Disease Control, various "humanitarian" Population Councils within the UN and in private organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, The Pioneer Fund and the Manhattan Institute. The ideas and goals of Eugenics are behind issues as diverse as the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the African AIDs crisis and genetically manipulated seeds being forced on farmers.

Not all Eugenics proponents wear white sheets or decorate their homes with Nazi memorabilia. Mainstream Eugenics is usually presented as beneficent aid to poor people, as scientific research or as enlightened social policy and reform. At its opposite extreme the ideas manifest as murder and mayhem committed against ethnic and racial minorities.

A common belief of the proponents of American Eugenics in the early part of this century was that poor immigrants who were coming to the United States in the millions each year such as the Irish, Italians and Eastern European Jews were unhealthy, mentally inferior and a dangerous army of potential Marxists who would destroy the nation genetically, economically and politically. Today the immigrant groups that are the focus of this ideological attack in the United States are primarily Latino. In Austria, Hitler's birthplace and today the stronghold of Giuliani's recent dinner pal Jorg Haider, it's the Turks who are the hated and feared immigrant threat. In other words Eugenics ideology is not focused solely on the Jewish people. The Japanese, to take just one more outstanding national example, had a comparable Eugenics program to Hitler's which viewed Chinese and Koreans as inferior races. Millions of innocent civilians were interned, murdered, raped and experimented on by the Japanese in acts as horrific as anything done by the Nazis.

Hitler claimed that hundreds of years of Jewish participation in German society was responsible for Germany's economic, social and spiritual troubles. According to Hitler, Jewish intermarriage and social influence was a poison destroying the Aryan race. These claims are virtually identical to those made today by the White Supremacy movement in the U.S. against Blacks, Asians and Latinos.

However it's not only fringe groups and fundamentalists who hold these beliefs. American governmental officials at the highest level and many of the nation's top bankers and industrialists knew about the Holocaust before it had begun and did nothing whatsoever to stop it. In fact, they helped finance it.

It was not only Jews that Hitler and his financial backers had a problem with. Eastern Europeans, Slavs, Russians, Gypsies, Africans and Latin Americans were also races they intended to decimate. Communists, not a race but adherents of a political ideology, were also a key target of Hitler's world-wide Eugenics program. In other words, what Hitler intended was not just a Jewish Holocaust but a plan to eliminate hundreds of millions of representatives of various racial, ethnic and political groups around the world. The motivation was at least as much about gaining economic advantage as about racial prejudice.

One might reasonably ask how the German people, considered by many to be the best educated and most cultured population in the world at that time, could accept this ideology. German Jews made a tremendous contribution to German society and culture over hundreds of years and were a major force in its economy, its military, its government and its industry. German Jews were the most assimilated Jews in the world, often indistinguishable from their non-Jewish neighbors. Millions of Germans including Hitler and various other top Nazis had Jewish relatives whose existence they made great efforts to hide.

One way to understand how the German people could participate in the Holocaust is to look at how African Americans are viewed in this country. Despite the undeniable historical fact that Black Americans helped build this nation, established much of it's wealth and made countless contributions to it's culture, its science, its political and social progress and that black soldiers fought and died in every American war, many White Americans believe Blacks are mentally, socially and morally inferior and that they are a threat to the continuation of the so-called American Way Of Life.

Within the dominant White society's views of Black Americans there is a very wide spectrum of belief. For those with the most extremely racist viewpoint, Black Americans are not even human and should be separated from White society or eliminated. For those with more politically acceptable rhetoric if not belief, Black Americans are socially flawed, economically dependent, intellectually inferior and prone to violence. Not all white American's hold these beliefs any more than all Germans hated the Jews and believed Hitler's outrageous lies about them. Ultimately, what's most important is not what average people think but what those in power believe and plan to do.

Which brings us back to New York City and to the question of whether or not it is reasonable to compare Giuliani to Hitler. Is Giuliani in some sense a Nazi? Once we understand clearly what Hitler and Nazism actually represented the answer is clear.

Giuliani routinely admits his policy ideas are taken directly, almost verbatim, from the Manhattan Institute, a CIA initiated "think tank" funded by far right Eugenics advocates like the Pioneer Fund and corporations such as the Rockefeller's Chase Bank which have historically promoted the Eugenics agenda. The Manhattan Institute has sponsored research projects and books like the Bell Curve, Fixing Broken windows and numerous others which propose the idea that blacks are mentally inferior. While the Manhattan Institute is not publicly advocating mass extermination or mass relocation of minorities the policies it does promote are mostly about targeting black and Latino inner City populations in such a way as to make relocation an attractive option and elimination a day to day reality. They take full credit along with Mayor Giuliani for the City's aggressive policing, it's stop and frisk policy, the remedial budget cuts at CUNY, the ending of welfare, the destruction of SRO's and low-income housing, attempts to eliminate rent control, the workfare program, the cleansing of the streets of homeless people, bulldozing community gardens, the privatization of parks, schools and hospitals and many other controversial ideas. Economic improvement is the attractive facade of these policies. Behind that facade are assumptions about minorities that are fundamentally racist.

You won't find swastikas or paintings of Hitler decorating the walls at the Manhattan Institute nor will its staff be seen wearing Nazi uniforms. Their stable of well paid academics, writers and intellectuals are masters of using politically correct terminology to advance and express racist ideas. They are often the most effective guest speakers on television programs and at university conferences on social issues. While the ideas they advance may superficially appear to be about improving quality of life, cutting government waste, improving education and perfecting police strategy the common thread is that every policy is aimed at targeting minorities, immigrants and the poor while benefiting the corporations and wealthy individuals with whom they are aligned and by whom they are funded.

These ideas are very similar to those espoused by Adolf Hitler with one notable exception. There is no anti-Semitism involved. The despised groups in this contemporary NYC branch of Eugenics are African Americans and Latinos. However, if one looks to the early years of this century one will find the exact same attitudes were expressed about New York City's millions of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. They were considered to be uneducable, diseased, mentally inferior, crime prone, violent, unfit parents, socially toxic and a ruinous drain on the economy and infrastructure. To top it all off they were also considered politically subversive Marxists who would destroy the American political system.

For the minority residents of Harlem, Bedford Styvesant or the Bronx, the comparisons between Giuliani and Hitler are self-evident and universally understood. Unfortunately, the well-justified rage within these communities is often directed at police officers who have no part in creating policy and are not in many cases aware of the ideology they are enforcing. The so-called police "training" the Mayor and Police Commissioner are so proud of is a military system of brainwashing and desensitization invented by the Gestapo which trains police officers to view minority males as armed and dangerous suspects with no rights who are to be treated with maximum force even when unarmed. As the Mayor said after the Diallo shooting, "They are trained to shoot to kill".

The corporations, banks and far right race-obsessed groups that fund the Manhattan Institute today were in many cases backing Hitler's rise to power just 70 years ago. They are also the same groups behind Giuliani's Senate campaign and GW Bush's Presidential bid. Chase Bank, the Manhattan Institute's main sponsor, has publicly apologized on numerous occasions for its avid support of Hitler and its enthusiasm to turn over Jewish Bank accounts to the Nazis before they were ever asked to do so. Chase and other U.S. banks helped Hitler seize the gold reserves of European nations that had been deposited in their vaults in order to fund the German military buildup. When Hitler invaded Europe his troops were flying planes, driving tanks and firing ammunition manufactured by German subsidiaries of U.S. companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler, all fueled by the German branch of Standard Oil, The Rockefeller's oil company.

One must not imagine these were simply business decisions intended to protect the corporate bottom-line. The Rockefeller's, owners of Chase Bank, were major advocates of Eugenics and funded Eugenics institute's and experiments around the world as they continue to do today. One of the darker chapters of Rockefeller involvement was their economic sponsorship of Josef Mengele, the Nazis Doctor of Death. Much of Mengele's research material was acquired by conducting monstrous human experiments on Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz. After WWII that research material was brought to the U.S. by those associated with the Eugenics movement within our own government. Today that same research is used by the U.S. military, by the Human Genome Project and by pharmaceutical and chemical companies whose advertising dollars sponsor every aspect of popular American culture from soap operas to PBS.

The Manhattan Institute's founder, former CIA director William Casey, helped bring leading Nazis to America after WWII where they were given positions in the military, in intelligence, in scientific research and in universities. The results surround us today in the form of militarized police departments, efforts to end affirmative action, the governmental importation of drugs into minority areas, the psycho-chemical dosing of children, the criminalization and imprisonment of millions of black and Latino males, the prison-industrial complex and the attendant destruction of minority families and communities. The government itself, saturated by the influence of the Eugenics movement, is promoting and executing these racist policies.

When a Federal agency like the CDC announces that they will test a new experimental vaccine solely on minority children in urban ghettos and on Native Americans living on Indian reservations you are seeing Eugenics not public health at work. When the government works with giant chemical companies, many of whom were owned and operated by the Nazis before the end of WWII, to force genetically engineered foods, artificial hormones or mandatory vaccines on the public, you are seeing Eugenics at work. When Mayor Giuliani has Malathion, an organophosphate nerve gas known to weaken immune systems and cause birth defects, cancer and asthma, indiscriminently sprayed on NYC to fight a viral "epidemic" that may not even exist, you are seeing Eugenics at work. When every NYC social program is cut despite a billion dollar surplus or when schools, hospitals, libraries, police, parks, prisons the courts and emergency medical services are privatized at the expense of minority communities, you are seeing Eugenics at work. And when hundreds of thousands are selectively stopped, frisked, harassed and intimidated based on their race you are seeing Eugenics, rather than garden variety police brutality, at work.

Those actually carrying out these policies on the ground, the inner city police officer, the welfare bureaucrat, the underpaid school teacher, the emergency room doctor, may have no more idea of what the master plan is than those who are being targeted. People needn't be racists in order to carry out racist policies. That's why the Mayor is currently recruiting so many minorities into the NYPD. Just as the Nazis used Jewish capos to help run the concentration camps, Giuliani's anti-minority police state will run more efficiently with fewer complaints if all the cops are Black and Latino. Doctors injecting experimental vaccines into the arms of millions of African children can be well-intentioned humanitarians with no idea what the vaccine is really intended to do. The NYC public school teacher struggling to teach her overcrowded class to read in an unheated crumbling building may have no idea that she is part of a Eugenics policy that intends for her students to be miseducated, unemployable and illiterate and that is actually preparing them for a prison cell.

Politically motivated Eugenics can be applied in many ways. The Cold War, covering Viet Nam with Agent Orange, the embargoes of Cuba and Iraq causing starvation and disease and the funding of the Contras can all be understood as Eugenics policies applied to political situations. When former President Bush depicted Sadaam Hussein as a modern day Hitler armed with chemical and biological weapons, he neglected to mention that it was U.S. corporations and the U.S. government that gave them to him.

That far more Americans are killed by doctors each year than by car accidents, AIDs and guns combined may turn out to be something other than massive medical malpractice. With giant profit-oriented HMO's replacing doctors in the making of virtually all medical decisions Americans are increasingly in the position where being downsized by a corporation can have a permanent and far more sinister meaning than just losing a job.

Eugenics affects virtually every aspect of our lives although it is rarely acknowledged. The recipient of Mayor Giuliani's endorsement for President, GW Bush, has spoken at the Manhattan Institute and warmly praised its policies. Consistent with the pattern of many Giuliani and Manhattan Institute associates the Bush family were intimately involved in funding Hitler and were economic partners with the Third Reich in a variety of business endeavors. The U.S. Congress was forced to seize many of the Bush families' banking assets in 1942 to stop the flow of money to Hitler as the U.S. entered WWII. Ironically, as I'm writing this a news report on the radio states that GW Bush is celebrating his Primary victory at a Jewish center in Austin Texas. No doubt he is wearing a yarmulke and affirming his commitment to the State of Israel while collecting campaign contributions. His appearance at Bob Jones University, covered ad nauseum by the media, was never once depicted for what it actually was; confirmation that Bush represents the most extreme kind of racial and religious bigotry. Apparently Governor Bush even has his own Eugenics program going on in Texas, the state that has executed more than half of all the people killed under the U.S. death penalty in recent years. The "compassionate conservative" has signed a death warrant on average about once every two weeks since being elected Texas Governor.

When political pundits scratch their heads over Giuliani being pro-choice at the same time he is massively soliciting donations from the anti-abortion religious right, the answer is again, Eugenics. From a Eugenics perspective the more abortions among minorities the better. Our Eugenics oriented government will be glad to give Blacks and Latinos abortions, condoms, Norplant, chemical exposure that causes sterility, crack, heroin, epidemics of asthma and AIDS, risky medical experiments and anything else that will lower their rate of reproduction.

Giuliani's infamous temperament is usually offered as the reason he refused to meet with a single black NYC elected official for the first six years of his Mayoralty. Isn't a far more reasonable explanation that he had no need to meet with those he was trying to eliminate? Ex-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says Giuliani "missed an opportunity" to resolve racial tensions in NYC between the NYPD and minorities. What Bratton is not saying is that resolving those tensions would have been counterproductive to the Mayor's Manhattan Institute-inspired Eugenics agenda.

Does the Mayor deny any of this? Not at all. In fact, his only response during more than six years of being compared to Adolf Hitler is that such comparisons, "denigrate the Holocaust", are "hate speech" and are "anti-Semitic". So far this debate chilling technique has been very effective. To quote Mayor Giuliani's favorite newspaper, "As soon as a dissenting opinion is labeled hate, it need not be countered with reason, and those who hold that opinion need not be taken seriously -- except inasmuch as they are a threat to decency and order and must be suppressed." -NY Post 3/12/2000. One can hardly expect a media that is financed by the very corporations behind Eugenics to expose these policies. Mainstream media depictions of Giuliani ossilate between showing him as a dress-wearing buffoon, a hot-tempered "nasty man" or as an admired public servant. No matter how naughty or nicely reporters depict him the ideology behind his policies is never allowed to be exposed.

The time has come to look beyond the Mayor's feeble knee-jerk labels absurdly mischaracterizing these accusations as hate speech and anti-Semitism. They are not. I am very proud of my Jewish heritage. I know hundreds of other Jews who despise Giuliani and everything he stands for. These are Jews who understand the history of Nazi Germany very well and see the shadow of Hitler lurking behind every Giuliani pronouncement. Neither are these accusations an attempt to trivialize or deny the Holocaust. If the Holocaust is to be more than just a monument to Jewish suffering the cry, "never again" has to be applied not just to the Jewish people but to all present or future targets of the Eugenics movement. To do less than that is truly to denigrate the Holocaust and the memory of those who perished in it.


[A few quotes in support of the above follow] From:

3/10/2000 The Times: World News:

Eugenics victim sues over ordeal of 60 years ago

"A victim of the notorious eugenics programmes that once flourished in America is suing the local authority that forcibly sterilised him in a landmark case that could precipitate thousands of similar lawsuits. Fred Aslin, 73, has brought an action against the state of Michigan more than half a century after he was rendered unable to have children by a policy seeking to achieve "race betterment". Mr Aslin was one of a family of nine Indian children who were taken from a mother struggling to care for them and placed in a mental institution. There, when they reached the age of 18, each was sterilised. "They said it was because we were feeble-minded morons and that any children we might have would be just like us, or worse," Mr Aslin said. In fact, records show that there is no evidence that the Aslins were backward in any way...The eugenics movement started in the early decades of the last century, and although Hitler's sterilisation of as much as 1 per cent of the German population forced many to reconsider, it remained popular in many states in America...It is believed that 60,000 or more Americans were sterilised in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s."


Village Voice



The History of American Eugenics Is Explored Online "A century ago, scientists from the top universities in America began to study people's pedigrees in the hopes of creating "perfect" children. Instead, they spawned a monster: the pseudoscience of eugenics...But now more than 1200 images from the heyday of eugenics are about to be opened to wide public view, under a program funded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island. The Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement,, pieced together by a staff led by David Micklos of the lab's DNA Learning Center, contains explosive material on such topics as "race mixing" and "Mongolian idiocy."...It's more than coincidence that the Cold Spring Harbor Lab hosts this project. It is, after all, home of the Human Genome Project to map DNA...Minority groups were most often the target of this plan...The ERO itself was endowed by a grant from the widow of railroad magnate E.H. Harriman [The Bush family's business partner in financing Hitler], and such population-control progressives as Margaret Sanger also believed in the cause...Today's breakthroughs in, say, prenatal screening would have been embraced by eugenicists, and there's always a group of people who will subscribe to racial-inferiority theories like those in The Bell Curve."


'The Manhattan Institute clearly has become the force, and there is no progressive force to counter it. There isn't even a debate.' "The mayor has a very close working relationship with the Manhattan Institute," Giuliani's communications director, Crystine Lategano, said...Another sign of how much New York has changed: The most influential source of political ideas is a conservative think tank that was founded by Margaret Thatcher's mentor and Ronald Reagan's spymaster."

- Boston Sunday Globe 2/22/98


"Currently housed...on the second floor of a building near Grand Central Terminal, the institute was founded as a free-market education and research organization by William Casey, who then went off to head the Central Intelligence Agency in the Reagan Administration....Mr. Giuliani and his campaign staff began meeting with institute members in 1992, and since that time have absorbed many of its ideas, particularly on such issues as the city's tax structure, economic development, education policy, policing and quality of life."

-NY Times 5/12/97

Turning Intellect Into Influence Promoting Its Ideas, the Manhattan Institute Has Nudged New York Rightward



The Manhattan Institute: Launch Pad For Conservative Authors "The Manhattan Institute was founded in 1978 by William Casey, who later became President Reagan's CIA director...Funneling money from very conservative foundations, the Institute has sponsored many books by writers opposed to safety-net social programs and affirmative action...Charles Murray's Losing Ground -- a denunciation of social programs for the poor -- catapulted him to media stardom in 1984...As Murray wrote in the book's preface, the decision by Manhattan Institute officials to subsidize the book project was crucial: "Without them, the book would not have been written."...Shortly after The Bell Curve was published [in late 1994], the Manhattan Institute sponsored a luncheon to honor Murray and the book, in which he proposes a genetic explanation for the 15-point difference in IQ between blacks and whites that is the basis for his dismissing affirmative action policies as futile."...Along with ongoing subsidies from a number of large conservative foundations, the Manhattan Institute has gained funding from such corporate sources as the Chase Manhattan Bank, Citicorp, Time Warner, Procter & Gamble and State Farm Insurance, as well as the Lilly Endowment and philanthropic arms of American Express, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CIGNA and Merrill Lynch. Boosted by major firms, the Manhattan Institute budget reached $5 million a year by the early 1990s."


"Among the organizations whose mailing lists the Giuliani campaign has rented from Response Unlimited are the American Center for Legislative Reform, which apparently believes that blue-helmeted United Nations troops will soon replace rangers at Yellowstone National Park; the Catholic Alliance, an anti-abortion offshoot of the Christian Coalition; and the American Patriot Donors, which opposes gay rights. Richard Viguerie, the controversial right-wing direct-mail magnate, was enlisted by Giuliani operatives to arrange for the list rental....A leading right-wing warrior, he has worked for Jesse Helms, Oliver North, George Wallace and Patrick Buchanan...His marketing strategies helped launch the conservative revolution in the early 1960's, when he did mass mailings for Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. He raised cash for Wallace in the early 1970's, and helped organize Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority in the 1980's. He threw his direct-mail empire behind Mr. North, an insurgent candidate for Senate in Virginia, in 1994. Mr. Viguerie has also done direct mail for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church...Meanwhile, the Giuliani campaign has rented a list of 6,000 names from English Language Advocates, a group that drafted a controversial initiative to make Arizona an English-only state...And the campaign has paid for the services of Pinnacle List Company, which offers...names of those who have donated to "U.S. Border Control," a group whose Web site warns darkly of "the ethnic cleansing of European Americans."

-NY Observer 1/31/2000

Right-Wing Southerner Is Rudy's Secret Weapon in Senate Campaign


Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists' Response To Illegal State Tactics)

(718) 743-3722


Beast of the Month - March 1999: Rudy Giuliani, New York Mayor

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