Right-wing think-tanks are tools to assist capitalist gangsters by promoting an enabling political perspective and attempting to direct public debate. Each consists of a core group of like-minded persuaders who produce literature, speak at conferences and partake in debate hosted by the mainstream media. Funding for the think-tanks’ expenses and the fees for the participants is provided by capitalist entities.
Given that the objective of any such think-tank is to try to provide and force through opinion and agenda that is wholly biased in favour of an exploitative minority at the expense of the public, it is vital that a think-tank presents itself deceitfully and that its members’ often hide their association with the think-tank when speaking on its behalf in public debate. Nowhere in the entire history of the written word have “independent” and “grassroots” been used as frequently and as dishonestly as they are in the introductory descriptions of right-wing think-tanks and almost as frequent is the use therein of the word “freedom,” used, without exception, to mean the opposite of what freedom is. The self-congratulatory descriptions claim that the think-tanks are defenders of the public’s interests and that they fight against an undefined enemy. That is a simple, unsubtle deceit. The truth is that these think-tanks’ objective is the opposite.
Right-wing think-tanks and the media
An isolated group of talking gimps of exploitative capitalism would have little impact if it was restricted to conference presentations, literature and a website. A mainstream media presence is a necessity. Indeed, media airtime is the real location of a right-wing think-tank’s operation. The main purpose of the literature and lectures of each think-tank member is to provide a CV that assists invitations to participate in TV and radio debate.
The nomenclature of modern journalism and broadcasting defines an ‘expert’ as someone who has an extensive knowledge of a topic, who has well-tuned analytical capabilities and who has an open inquiring independent mind. Think-tank members’ knowledge is very selective, their analytical capabilities are stunted and their normal mode of communication is based on misdirection, obfuscation, lies and a focus on driving home a specific unproven viewpoint; that is, a think-tank member is the opposite of an ‘expert,’ she or he is just a PR person. But, it is important that a think-tank’s spokespersons are described as ‘experts’ when they appear on TV and radio or have an opportunity to write an article in a newspaper because the ‘expert’ description adds intellectual weight to what is said and enhances the false claim of independence. The recruitment of media people and the CV of literature and lectures help to persuade the media hosts to use the ‘expert’ description for think-tank members. To further enhance the (spurious) legitimacy of the ‘expert’ tag, think-tanks recruit learnèd academics as salespeople for media interviews; these academics may be well-educated but their contributions are deliberately as simplistic and as misinformed as the other think-tank members – the only reason for their recruitment is to use their respective academic titles and associations with respected universities as aids to bolstering the claim of ‘expert.’
Below are links to brief overviews of the respective agendas of some right-wing think-tanks based in the UK including the identity of some contributors who may appear in the media.
- Centre for Policy Studies
- Centre for Social Justice
- Tax-Payers’ Alliance
- Progress Online
- Henry Jackson Society
- Freedom Association
- Policy Exchange
- Migration Watch
- Institute of Economic Affairs