Networks of Influence, or, Profiles of Cathedral Clerics 1
I’m an ambivalent fan of the website Theyrule.net. On one hand, they’ve done a great service by using network theory and network visualizations to chart the many, many connections between powerful corporate players. You’ll be shocked (or not) to discover that very few board members sit on only one board. However, the Marxist bent of the site’s owners keeps it from being as useful as it could be. Techno-capitalist that I am, I only fear corporate power when it builds an evil alliance with other spheres of influence. Theyrule.net does not provide the connections between the corporate world and the worlds of USG, academia, and Hollywood, although such connections are legion.
If you learn one thing from exploring Theyrule.net, it’s that once someone gets power, he’ll probably figure out how to get more of it. “A million dollars isn’t cool. Know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”
Take Glenn A. Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, a major media provider in the United States. Theyrule.net can show us that his corporate interests (and therefore powers) extend beyond Time Warner Cable.
In fact, it’s even more extensive than that; Theyrule.net’s database is incomplete. According to this biography of Glenn A. Britt, Glenn A. Britt “serves on the board of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and is a member of its Executive Committee. He is also a board member of CableLabs, Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, Xerox Corporation, The Paley Center, Cardinal Health, FIRST Robotics and the Manhattan Theatre Club.”
I’m a capitalist, which means I like competition, and this man seems to represent the worst kind of monopolistic capitalism so common in the early 21st century. Well, I’m still a capitalist. I hold no ill will toward a successful businessman.
Thing is, Glenn A. Britt is not just a successful businessman. His biography once more, please:
In December 2009, Mr. Britt was one of five corporate executives appointed by President Obama to a task force charged with strengthening America’s economic competitiveness through leadership in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The “Educate to Innovate” initiative strives to increase the scale, scope and impact of private-sector and philanthropic support in improving American students’ STEM proficiency.
What does the White House tell us about this “Educate to Innovate” initiative? Surely, it’s a program designed to channel massive amounts of money to ensure that high-IQ, high-achieving students go into science instead of to Wall Street, yes?
Err . . .
In reality, this initiative, of which Glenn A. Britt is a part, is all about spending money on more STEM teachers and on attracting more NAMs into the STEM fields. But on spending money for future scientific advancement? Perish the thought.
President Obama believes that great teaching is a key part of any child’s success, and in the STEM fields, it is critical to creating educational experiences that are project-based, hands-on and build a love of lifelong learning.
That’s why President Obama challenged the nation to recruit and prepare 100,000 new effective teachers over the next decade.
Already, more than 150 foundations, companies, and others have come together to lead 100Kin10, a coalition that will work to help reach part of the President’s goal through private funds and challenge Congress to fund the rest.
. . . President Obama knows that we simply cannot, as a Nation, expect to maintain our run of ingenuity and innovation—we cannot maintain that stream of new and different ideas—if we do not broaden participation in STEM to all Americans, including women and girls and minorities. To that end the Administration has taken steps to bolster the participation of these groups through in the following ways:
I’ll let you read the steps on your own time.
Clearly, our Glenn A. Britt is not merely a corporate master. He is also an Obama lackey, sitting on the “board” of a major White House initiative. Well, what more should we expect from the man who won the Kaitz Foundation Diversity Champion Award? Here’s our man Glenn A. Britt—member of many boards, CEO of Time Warner Cable, Obama shill—on the importance of diversity:
I was at a Time Warner diversity session [recently]. As is typical with these sessions, everyone got very energized and wanted to go back to their different parts of the company and start working on diversity.
Then a woman stood up — a female person of color — and she said, ‘This is great that we’re all energized about diversity, but if you’re really committed to diversity, let’s stop and think for a moment about what that is, because if you’re really committed to it you’re embarking on a very difficult and long journey.’
She went on to say that typically when people talk about diversity, they go back to their departments and say if we hire a few more females or people of color, then we have done what we have to do. But diversity is really a lot more than that.
Diversity is about truly embracing, seeking and welcoming all different kinds of people with all kinds of different opinions and different ways of thinking. It’s about respecting those viewpoints, listening and using them to come up with the best business decisions for the company.
Hmm. No wonder my cable and internet go out all the time. I’ve got Time Warner Cable . . .
As a node in the Cathedral’s network of power, Glenn A. Britt is just a single node. However, he is a somewhat important node who possesses a relatively higher degree of betweenness centrality than other nodes might. This means, essentially, that he is a point of entry or a point of movement between the Media Cluster and the USG Cluster.
And, to a lesser extent, the Academia Cluster. Summon the bio:
He received a B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College, where he graduated magna cum laude. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mr. Britt received an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth, where he sponsors the Britt Technology Impact Series.
Theyrule.net provides a limited peek into the network of which Glenn A. Britt is a part. From a neoreactionary perspective, however, we know we must fill in a few more connections to see the full Cathedral Network in operation: