Tuesday 9th of August 2022

thinking like a yankee…….

Think tank: The term denotes a group of people who are paid to do nothing but read, discuss, think, and write, usually to address and redress a matter of vital importance to humanity.


You can think of a think tank as a research university blessed with a complete absence of students and where, as a consequence, none of its professors has to teach---all they have to do is research, research, research.


At last count, the United States had 1,984 think tanks---nearly a third of the world's total. American think tanks are constantly researching solutions to a variety of the world's problems, and then arguing, advocating, and lobbying for policy changes at local, state, and federal levels.


Some think tanks, such as the Brookings Institution or the Heritage Foundation, have become household names and are cited frequently by major news corporations. Others are cited by outside organizations less frequently, or perhaps not at all, but publish their own articles and books for a select---and at times even sizable---audience.


The institutions on this list make up the 50 most influential think tanks in the United States. What makes a think tank influential? One way to gauge the influence of a think tank is to focus on the scholars active in it, their record of publications and other scholarly achievements, and how deeply these have affected the culture's climate of opinion.


Our approach in ranking think tanks takes a different tack. As a business enterprise ourselves, we regard think tanks as principally in the business of selling their ideas. In this age of the Internet, in which every think tank has a website, we therefore can regard think tanks as in the business of search engine marketing, i.e., as attempting to market their ideas over the Internet and especially through their website. 


Enter the tools that online businesses, like ours, use to assess how well websites and their pages are ranking with the search engines (we use several such tools, notably SEMrush.com). At TheBestSchools.org, we need these tools to determine how well we are doing in attracting and holding visitor traffic---in other words, to determine how influential our website is.


Accordingly, in choosing and ranking the think tanks on this list, we employed the following criteria, which look less at the intrinsic merit of a think tank and its intellectual program as at its pragmatic or "cash value" (as the philosopher William James would have put it):

  • The popularity of a think tank's official website, ranked against all other websites, as determined by the average number of monthly visitors (specifically, organic search traffic), number of keywords/phrases for which the site ranks, and the monetary value of the traffic as gauged by those keywords. All these numbers come from SEMrush, and this is our master criterion.
  • Average yearly revenue (in most cases, over the course of five years) as reported by the think tanks. As non-profit organizations, think-tanks must make their revenue numbers available to the public; the greater its revenue, the more influential the think tank---other things being equal.
  • The average number of printed media references per year by outside organizations (according to fair.org and Nexis).
  • The number of categories in which a think tank was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania (Lauder Institute) in its 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index. This report does not reflect intrinsic intellectual performance or academic accomplishment per se. Rather, it is based on the perceptions of hundreds of journalists, policymakers, and think tank employees.
   The 50 Most Influential Think Tanks in the United States1. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs was established in 1973 with the intent of analyzing arms control and nuclear threat reduction. Thanks to a sizable donation by the Ford Foundation, Belfer is now a permanent research center located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and has expanded to include research in the subjects of science, technology, public policy, the environment, and natural resources. Today, Belfer works towards a dual mission of “preparing future generations of leaders,” and “providing leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of ... security and .... other critical issues.”


2. Earth Institute

The Earth Institute was founded in 1995 at Columbia University in New York. With the belief that currently existing science and technology could be applied to improve the conditions of world populations, the Institute focuses on addressing important global issues such as sustainable development and the needs of the world's poor. The Institute is composed of 18 separate units, all of which conduct their own research and writing. These include the Center for Rivers and Estuaries, the Earth Engineering Center, the Urban Design Lab, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, among others. The Institute also regularly partners with similar institutions in order to specifically target various topics. Finally, the Institute maintains the popular blog “State of the Planet.”


3. Heritage Foundation

Founded in 1973, the Heritage Foundation rose to prominence during the Reagan administration and the Conservative Movement of the 1980s. In fact, many of Reagan's policies drew significantly from the “Mandate for Leadership,” Heritage's official policy study. Since then, Heritage has solidified itself as one of the most influential Conservative organizations in the United States. Consistent with its interest in economic principles, Heritage tracks the yearly growth of federal spending, revenue, debt and deficits, and entitlement programs, which it then publishes as the Budget Chart Book and distributes free to the public. Heritage also publishes a number of political theory books, and partners with the Wall Street Journal each year to publish the Annual Index of Economic Freedom. Heritage's current Board of Trustees reads like a “Who's Who” of the new Conservative movement, and includes such names as Larry P. Arnn (President of Hillsdale College), Jim DeMint (former Senator and now President of Heritage), and Steve Forbes (President and CEO of Forbes).


4. Human Rights Watch

With headquarters in New York and offices in 18 major cities around the world (including Washington, DC), Human Rights Watch is a powerful organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The organization was originally founded in 1978 in order to monitor the Soviet Union's compliance with the Helsinki Accords, but has since expanded to include an Americas Watch, an Asia Watch, an Africa Watch, and a Middle East Watch. Each year, Human Rights Watch publishes hundreds of reports on violations of international human rights norms in an effort to draw attention to abuses and pressure governments to reform. In recent years, the organization has been the subject of a number of controversies regarding its association with polarizing philanthropist George Soros, and accusations that it is too influenced by the agendas of US foreign policy.


5. Kaiser Family Foundation

Founded in 1948, the Kaiser Family Foundation focuses on major healthcare issues in the US and, to a lesser extent, the world. Over the years, it has become a must-read for healthcare devotees and a quality non-partisan source for up-to-date and accurate information on health policy. The Foundation regularly releases facts, polls, and analyses that are in turn used by the media, policymakers, the healthcare community, and the general public. Specific research programs include disparities policy, global health policy, health costs, health reform, HIV/AIDS, Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, the uninsured, and women's health policy. Despite an original association, the Foundation is no longer affiliated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.


6. Council on Foreign Relations

With offices in New York City and Washington, DC, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is considered by some to be the most influential foreign-policy think tank in the United States. Including names like Fareed Zakaria, Colin Powell, Tom Brokaw, and Madeleine Albright, CFR's impressive membership list has included senior politicians, more than a dozen Secretaries of State, CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, professors, and prominent media figures. CFR is perhaps best known by the general public as the publisher of the widely read bi-monthly journal Foreign Affairs. In policy circles, however, CFR is known for its “David Rockefeller Studies Program,” which often succeeds in influencing foreign policy by making official recommendations to the President and diplomatic community, testifying before Congress, speaking with the media, and publishing on issues of foreign policy.


7. Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution boasts two major claims when it comes to think tanks: it was likely the first think tank to be founded in the United States, and its studies are the most widely cited by the media. Since its foundation in 1916, Brookings has influenced and contributed to the creation of such historic phenomena as the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, the Congressional Budget Office, and various policies of deregulation, broad-based tax reform, welfare reform, and foreign aid. Despite being founded as a Progressive institution, Brookings states that its scholars “represent diverse points of view.” Consistent with this claim is the fact that Brookings is referenced by Conservative politicians almost as frequently as it is by those who are Liberal. To keep up with its widespread influence, Brookings conducts research and education in a number of social sciences, including economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.


8. Cato Institute

Founded in 1974, Cato Institute moved to Washington, DC, in 1981 in an attempt to become more influential. And become influential it has! Today, Cato is a multi-billion, multi-issue organization consisting of more than 200 faculty and staff members. Named after Cato's Letters, a series of pamphlets published in England in the 1720s which helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution, Cato's mission is “to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace.” To achieve this mission, Cato publishes numerous policy studies, briefs, books, and periodicals, including the peer-reviewed Cato Journal. It also maintains popular websites such as Libertarianism.org, Cato-unbound.org, Overlawyered.com, and Policemisconduct.net.


9. Ludwig von Mises Institute

Ludwig von Mises Institute is a Libertarian academic think tank that specializes in researching and promoting Classical Liberal viewpoints about subjects such as economics, philosophy, and political economy. Named for the famous Austrian School economist, the Institute's stated mission is to promote “the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention.” As such it has become, perhaps more than any other institution on this list, the darling of myriad Young Conservative groups. 


The Ludwig von Mises Institute resists being labeled as "conservative" by any standard. Specifically, their foreign policy views, their position on the US Constitution, and their views on social policy are all either non-conservative or anti-conservative. The only place where conservatives may overlap with them is in market economics, but only in America is that considered to be a "conservative" position. 


The Institute publishes a large number of books, journal articles, and online articles each year, including the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics and the Mises Review.


10. American Enterprise Institute

Founded in 1938, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) seeks to “defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism” through “limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate.” In recent years, AEI has become the most prominent think tank associated with Neo-Conservatism, and has succeeded in placing its members in influential government positions---a fact which has made it highly controversial. In fact, more than 20 AEI scholars and fellows served in posts in the George W. Bush administration.



The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a neoconservative[1][2][3] think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focused on United States foreign policy. It was established as a non-profit educational organization in 1997, and founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.[4][5] PNAC's stated goal was "to promote American global leadership."[6] The organization stated that "American leadership is good both for America and for the world," and sought to build support for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity."[7]

Of the twenty-five people who signed PNAC's founding statement of principles, ten went on to serve in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, including Dick CheneyDonald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz.[8][9][10][11] Observers such as Irwin Stelzer and Dave Grondin have suggested that the PNAC played a key role in shaping the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, particularly in building support for the Iraq War.[12][13][14][15] Academics such as Inderjeet Parmar, Phillip Hammond, and Donald E. Abelson have said PNAC's influence on the George W. Bush administration has been exaggerated.[16][17][18]

The Project for the New American Century ceased to function in 2006;[19] it was replaced by a new think-tank named the Foreign Policy Initiative, co-founded by Kristol and Kagan in 2009. The Foreign Policy Initiative was dissolved in 2017.












This article goes hand in hand with:

of the anglo-saxon superiority complex…..



can asians think?…..


“Ethnopluralism” – the new racism is happily celebrating resurrection – not only on the far right...



by Tobias Salander



Racism – banned by penal paragraphs and frowned upon in public discourse. Tempi passati? A look at our planet shows us: Europe and the USA continue to have a blatantly one-sided, Western-fixated and mostly racially underpinned view of the world. Or where are the voices from Asia, Latin America, and Africa in our mass media? For example, on the current war in Ukraine? Kishore Mahbubani from Singapore, who was declared one of the 100 most important intellectuals of our time according to Newsweek, but also other critical thinkers, never tire of confronting the West’s colonialist and racist past. “Can Asians think?” is the title of one of Mahbubani’s books, that holds up a (post-)colonialist mirror to the West. Modern academic research on racism locates racism again and again in a new guise: “Ethnopluralism” is one of these new terms, the new hose. However, only contains and transports the old wine of the evil classical racism based on skin colour and origin. To locate it means to reject it wholeheartedly. 

At first glance “ethnopluralism” can easily be confused with multicultural thinking. But this is a mistake. The government-affiliated Federal Agency for Civic Education in Germany defines the term “ethnopluralism” for school use as follows and thus, placing it squarely with the so-called “New Right”: “The so-called New Right uses the term ‘ethnopluralism’ to describe a theoretical concept that is supposed to give a new and less attackable foundation to the racism typically perpetuated by right-wing extremists. Critics call it ‘racism without races.’ The word ‘ethnopluralism’ consists of the Greek word ‘ethnos’ (people) and the Latin word ‘pluralis’ (plural) and propagates a ‘diversity of peoples.’” The term originated from a certain Henning Eichberg, a theorist of the “New Right”. But precursors of the concept can already be found amongst the anti-Semite and blood-and-soil ideologue of the Third Reich, Carl Schmitt. Ethnopluralists assumed fundamental and unchangeable “characteristics” of groups of people. Unlike classical racism, they avoided biologistic argumentation: “Instead, they claim that peoples possess immutable cultural identities,” and that it is best if peoples live as separately as possible. The more homogeneous a people is culturally, the stronger it is. Mutual cultural influences, which have always determined people’s lives, were completely ignored. Like classical racism, ethnopluralism ultimately excludes people of other cultures and provides ideological justification for violence against them.1
  In view of the “Russophobia” staged by the media in the context of the Ukraine crisis, the question arises whether this new racism, if it is really new, cannot also be found outside the New Right. The term “New Right” would have to be defined in a precise manner and also, it would have to be determined whether the people who spoke up against massive immigration movements, such as those in Germany in 2015, must consequentially be suspected of racism. The fact that right-wing extremism has a completely different, negative-violent “quality” and should strongly be condemned, is self-evident. Whether it appears in the guise of Western neo-Nazis or Ukrainian members of the Azov regiment is irrelevant. 


“Ideological repolarisation” and “civilly saved”?

If one engages with the new term of “ethnopluralism,” the mass media offer more illustrative material than one would like. Processes that go far beyond the limits of the so-called “New Right”. Example 1: The NZZ of 5 May opens its pages to a Vladislav L. Inozemtsev, who is presented as the director of the Centre for Post-Industrial Studies in Moscow. The former fellow of the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, a transatlantic think tank founded in 1955 in cooperation with the Council on Foreign Relations and Chatham House, has to put up with the question if he fulfils the facts of ethnopluralism when he states that today’s struggle of Ukraine and Russia is “not a struggle between Europe and Asia, but a struggle between the Europe of today (or tomorrow) and the Europe of yesterday”. Russia, he says, is indeed a product of Europe, “but not of the real Europe of today, but of an imaginary Europe of the past.” In other words, the product of a past and thus backward culture that is alien to us. With Russia, Europe is confronted with the “abysses of its past.” It is questionable, however, whether it can be “ideologically reversed and civilly saved,” “as Nazi Germany once was.” Comparing Russia with Nazi Germany around 9 May, when Russians commemorated their 27 million dead, murdered by Hitler’s Wehrmacht and the SS – and yet the Russian president thanked the soldiers of the Western powers, who together with the Russians gave their lives in their fight against Nazi barbarism, on Red Square on the occasion of the 9 May Victory Day celebration. A barbarism, which the West had long accepted all too long with eyes wide open – keyword “appeasement” policy. And what would a real “Asian” say to Inozemtsev’s accusations? Kishore Mahbubani, for example? Or Pankaj Mishra?


Are Russians not Europeans? Do they not care about life?

Second example: What to make of the statements of one Florence Gaub, a NATO-affiliated member of the Future Council on Frontier Risks of the World Economic Forum? Does she not also fulfil the facts of ethnopluralism when she claimed during a talk show with Markus Lanz on the German mainstream channel ZDF2 “that – even if Russians look European – they are not Europeans”? The Russians would have “a different relation to violence […], a different relation to death.” The Russians, that includes everyone who sees themselves as culturally Russians, different from the Ukrainians and other Europeans! She continues, using age-old prejudices: “Russia, for example, also has a relatively low life expectancy. I think 70 for men. Um, that’s just… then you just deal differently with the fact that people die.” One rubs one's eyes: the fact that Russia plummeted to the level of a Third World country in the 1990ies after the collapse of the Soviet Union “thanks to” a Western-orchestrated neoliberal “shock strategy” (Naomi Klein), also in terms of life expectancy, does not seem worth mentioning to the former major in the French Army. Nor does the centuries-long interweaving of Western European and Russian intellectual, economic and social history. That is the classic approach of ethnopluralism? Or can one hear the undertone of “Slavic sub humans”? “Asian steppe hordes?” To whom life is worth less than to us? The expression “Slavic subhuman” was not used, because the lady finally added that she meant it “culturally”, that the Russians only looked European, but were not. With that she confirms the definition of the federal centre for the new racism. Moreover, Gaub’s statements fulfil the dehumanisation of the enemy demanded by wartime propaganda. 


Documents from Yad Vashem trampled all over 

Third example: On the website of Yad Vashem, the Israeli memorial of the Shoah (Holocaust) and its authoritative reference centre worldwide, you can find profiles of countless racists of anti-Semitic characters. Among others, one can find the following text under the keyword “Stepan Bandera”: “Bandera, Stepan (1909-1959), Ukrainian nationalist leader. Bandera joined the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in his twenties, and quickly became one of the organisation’s leaders in the western Ukraine, which was under Polish rule at the time.
  During the early 1930s Bandera took control of the OUN, which encouraged armed revolt for the cause of Ukrainian independence. When the Polish Minister of the Interior was assassinated in 1936, Bandera was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, when the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, he was set free by the Soviets and he moved to German-occupied Poland.
  At the 1940 national OUN conference, Bandera caused a breach in the organisation; his supporters, the group's majority, wanted to bring about an armed revolt. Before the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Bandera helped the Nazis set up two Ukrainian intelligence battalions within their army. He also organised units that accompanied German troops into the Ukraine to form the local government and police. Bandera and his people considered the Soviets and the Jews their main enemies.
  After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Bandera’s representatives declared the establishment of an independent Ukrainian government in LVOV on 30 June 1941. The Germans were completely opposed to this, so they deported Bandera to Sachsenhausen. He kept in contact with his comrades, and was finally released in September 1944. He led the OUN until his assassination in 1959.”3
  This anti-Semite and hater of Soviet citizens should be a “persona non grata” today; anything else would be a mockery of the 6 million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis in the Shoah and the 27 million citizens of the Soviet Union also murdered by the Nazis during World War II. But far from it: In the NZZ am Sonntag of 15 May, one reads in an article about the Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, Andriy Melnyk: “The Ukrainian partisan leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera is also ‘a hero’ for Melnyk. He even honoured him by laying flowers at his grave.” And with astonishing candour, the NZZ journalist then admits, “In the public debate, however, this criticism of Melnyk hardly plays a role.” And why not? For the same reason that artistic qualities are no longer in demand at the Eurovision Song Contest? And the Hitler salute may be shown uncommented and go unpunished? All this because Ukrainians culturally “belong to us”, Russians do not? So here, too, is racism disguised more badly than good as ethnopluralism? Are we back to the point where ethnic groups can be hated because they are ethnic groups? Who can also be deprived of their property because they belong to the ethnic group that is being ostracised? Will the right to property, a high good in a democracy, soon also be scratched and abolished when it comes to other unpopular people? Chinese, for example? Or even political dissidents? The Nazis called this “Sippenhaft,” acting openly racist.


Swiss model as a prophylaxis against racism

Whether racism is justified bio-logistically or ethnopluralistically, by a “New Right” or by strict transatlanticists, the human family could actually be more advanced in its development. Countries that have anti-racism paragraphs in their legislation would be well advised to include the offence of ethnopluralism, also of transatlantic provenance, and to prosecute rabble-rousers, including media that convey such content.
  Yet it would be even better to expand prophylactic measures against racism of all kinds. And here the model of Switzerland with its federalist state structure should be mentioned as an example, which promotes and guarantees a peaceful coexistence of people of different languages and cultures – it would only need the political will to do so!  •








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