What is the professional left?
The term “Professional Left” denotes a growing industry that specializes in converting other people’s money into an ideological product, while making a good living out of it in the process.
The term “Professional Left” hasn’t been in open circulation before, but it deserves to stick. The casual way in which [White House Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs dropped the phrase suggests that it is part of the inner circle’s jargon, and that the White House residents are fully aware of its meaning, function, and implication: there is a class of people with radical leftist views who have made it their job – with the help of abundant grants, foundations, and trusts – to carry out propaganda campaigns, indoctrinate, subvert, and plant the seeds of the leftist worldview in people’s minds through the arts, media, education, blogging, and street protests. For many it’s the only income they’ve had in years. As with most professional enthusiasts, after a while the pre-paid idealism gives way to cynicism, and the quest for truth turns into a mechanical repetition of talking points.
Richard Fernandez connects the Professional Left and WikiLeaks in his post The Inner Circle
Take Wikileaks. Although it styles itself as a rag-tag organization, Wikileaks funds itself through a system that is professionally designed to cover its tracks, sources of funding and modes of direction. The Wall Street Journal says “the controversial website WikiLeaks, which argues the cause of openness in leaking classified or confidential documents, has set up an elaborate global financial network to protect a big secret of its own—its funding.” Using methods familiar to sharp operators and money launderers, they’ve set up shell organizations in juristidictions which prohibit disclosure; created levels of cutouts and cultivated unnamed private donors. Although the media describes Wikileaks as an idealistic, whistle-blowing organization it has the form, if not the function, of a criminal organization.
The linchpin of WikiLeaks’s financial network is Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation. WikiLeaks encourages donors to contribute to its account at the foundation, which under German law can’t publicly disclose the names of donors. Because the foundation “is not an operational concern, it can’t be sued for doing anything. So the donors’ money is protected, in other words, from lawsuits,” Mr. Assange said. …
The German foundation is only one piece of the WikiLeaks network.
“We’re registered as a library in Australia, we’re registered as a foundation in France, we’re registered as a newspaper in Sweden,” Mr. Assange said. WikiLeaks has two tax-exempt charitable organizations in the U.S., known as 501C3s, that “act as a front” for the website, he said. He declined to give their names, saying they could “lose some of their grant money because of political sensitivities.”
Mr. Assange said WikiLeaks gets about half its money from modest donations processed by its website, and the other half from “personal contacts,” including “people with some millions who approach us and say ‘I’ll give you 60,000 or 10,000,’ ” he said, without specifying a currency.
Read both posts, and keep in mind that, as Richard says,
Not simply to try, but to actually live it, free from institutional interference.
That is the existential question of our times.