moneybags

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Oct 11 19:28:02 MDT 1996


At 7:51 PM 10/11/96, Vladimir Bilenkin wrote:

>Speaking of foundations. How do you know, guys, who's behind this or that
>foundation if it is not that big and (in)famous as Olin?
>Is there any kind of guide or something?
> This is not a mere curiosity. Some time ago I did a research on the
>so-called Russian "postmodernism" and its role in the formation of the
>comprador culture. One book, which was specialy valueable as evidence of
>the American involvement in institutionalizing pomo in Russia, was said
>to be financed by a foundation I never heard about.  The book was of
>scandalous quality, much below even the standards of the US Sovietology
>and Russian "literary studies." Who could finance that monster? I still
>don't know. Hence my question: Where can one look for POLITICAL info
>on US foundations?

Right-wing foundations have been pretty well chronicled by folks like Chip
Berlet <cberlet at igc.apc.org> at Political Research Associates in Cambridge.
It's very hard to get info on more liberal foundations, since many leftish
writers and media depend on them for money. There's a good take on the
foundations that fund establishment green organizations in Alex Cockburn &
Ken Silverstein's Washington Babylon (though the chapter was written
largely by Jeff St. Clair <sitka at teleport.com>, without credit). Right-wing
anti-environmentalist Ron Arnold <rarnold at eskimo.com> of the Center for the
Defense of Free Enterprise has also chronicled these foundations (e.g. the
Rockefeller complex, Ford, Pew, McArthur, etc.), whom he ludicrously
regards as crypto-socialist. But there's plenty of good info in Arnold's
books

What was the foundation that funded the book in question? I've got a
half-decent mental database of the major players, liberal and right-wing.

The Foundation Center publishes directories of foundations, with info on
guidelines, funders, fundees, etc. You can get a pretty good political
picture from these entries. The Center's library in New York has annual
reports and tax returns from most significant groups. Most foundations will
send this info if you ask - though they're not always willing to send out
their so-called 990 tax forms, which have lots of dirt in them (who gives
them money, where the money goes to, what's in their portfolios, etc.).
They do have to show you their 990s if you walk into their offices though
and ask for them.

Doug

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