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Friday, April 22, 2005

Phoenix rises in Arizona 

A group of super-rich plutocrats meets in secrecy to plot influencing the American intellectual and political process. Trash your Marxist textbooks - they're all lefties:

"George Soros told a carefully vetted gathering of 70 likeminded millionaires and billionaires last weekend that they must be patient if they want to realize long-term political and ideological yields from an expected massive investment in 'startup' progressive think tanks.

"The Scottsdale, Ariz., meeting, called to start the process of building an ideas production line for liberal politicians, began what organizers hope will be a long dialogue with the 'partners,' many from the high-tech industry. Participants have begun to refer to themselves as the Phoenix Group.

"Rob Stein, a veteran of President Bill ClintonÂ’s Commerce Department and of New York investment banking, convened the meeting of venture capitalists, left-leaning moneymen and a select few D.C. strategists on how to seed pro-Democratic think tanks, media outlets and leadership schools to compete with such entrenched conservative institutions as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the Leadership Institute."
This underdog act by the left has always struck me as disingenuous and rather pathetic. Here we have a group of people subscribing to the same philosophy which has for the past few decades dominated the print and the electronic media, the universities, the foundations, the world of culture, arts and entertainment, the unions and the public service, and yet they keep complaining that they can't seem to get their messages across. Pro-Democratic think tanks don't need any more seeding; Harvard, Princeton and Berkeley are all pretty well funded. The reason that somebody like Daniel Pipes had to start his own Middle East Forum is because no "self-respecting" Mid East studies department at a major American university would now have such an outspoken enemy of Islamofascism onboard. And if the Heritage Foundation and the AEI are winning the battle of ideas against the combined might of the liberal academia and the media, not wanting to detract anything from the fantastic work of these two think tanks, it really says something about the liberal ideas themselves.

Yet the people who made millions and billions riding the waves of supply and demand think that if a product that's already been promoted to death is not selling, the solution is not to reevaluate the product but to increase the advertising budget. If Soros and the rest of the Phoenix Group run their businesses the way they run their politics they would be bankrupt by now. As it is, they're only intellectually bankrupt.

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