Invisible Power Structure Influencing Presidency – Report

Unelected “action intellectuals" outside traditional power barriers

Image Credits: Maxpixel.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s legendary farewell speech warned America of the pervasive influence of the Military Industrial Complex.

This power structure is still influencing the Presidency today, as clearly seen with recent events.

In 1968, Life Magazine profiled Herman Kahn, one of the main figures that influenced the film Dr. Strangelove.

Life identified Kahn as part of a group of powerful individuals who “have access to future technology” and “official intelligence” that is not disclosed.

The article states that this group “…can commit a nation to social programs and military actions which have neither been fully explained nor publicly debated”.

Herman Kahn is known as one of the founding fathers of future studies. After working for the RAND Corporation, Kahn founded the Hudson Institute in 1961.

Kahn is quoted in the Pentagon’s recently released Nuclear Operations doctrine, which promotes first strike options against Iran.

The December 6, 1968 edition of Life Magazine details Kahn’s career, and the larger implications of an unprecedented shift of power to unelected “action intellectuals.” As Life Magazine reports:

“…Herman Kahn has been a major figure in one of the most fascinating shifts of power in U.S. History: from identifiable public leaders to the ‘action intellectuals.’ As counselors to the decision-makers, men such as Kahn often have access to future technology (what is known, but not yet disclosed) and official intelligence (what is known, but not yet revealed, about the capacities and plans of other nations).

Thus, decisions – based on private knowledge, analyzed by private consultants and debated in private – can become public policy. This is a process of invisible power. At its extreme this influence can commit a nation to social programs and military actions which have neither been fully explained nor publicly debated. One day, as that power pervades and grows more sophisticated, it may so affect the course of government that any nation’s policies may be locked in, as if by automatic pilot, years before the men who are elected to govern ever take office.”

This structure still maintains influence over U.S. foreign policy, outside the oversight of the President.

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