Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

The tensions continue between [functionalism and citizen’s rights to know] –and they didn’t start yesterday! (This Page as Footnote to a Post, however, started 5-15-2017)

(Most of) this page title and its shortlink link: The tensions continue between [functionalism and citizen’s rights to know] –and they didn’t start yesterday!  (<=case sensitive, blog-generated shortlink ends “PsBXH-6OO” — the last to characters are letters, not the symbol for zero).

This PAGE is an informal footnote to the POST in progress (as of 5/15/2017, hopefully soon published) called:

UCB’s Center for Cities + Schools’ (W.K.Kellogg Foundation-sponsored, 2016 promoted) ~Planning for PK-12 Infrastructure~ Initiative (case-sensitive short-link ends “-6Lh”; post started (contents written, then moved from another post) May 9, 2017; and  a “~” in title = a quotation mark)

PURPOSE: To insert the equivalent of a footnote on using the phrase and explaining the background of a collective intention and active strategies now in place to “outflank sovereignty” without completely stopping the flow of the post, which already had a lot to say.

The original context of this purpose seems to have spanned the distance between at least two World Wars, and (see upcoming quotation) started not long after an amendment to the U.S. Constitution installing an income tax in 1913.

My post above is discussing the ramifications of public/private partnerships working in concert ON and WITH government institutions, particularly here, the public schools throughout the country, or I should say, “reforming” the public schools — for the 21st century — throughout the country.

The quotes were in more academic style and perhaps “esoteric-sounding” in reference than the rest of a post in my usual style — drilling-down what’s there, showing it on the post, and pointing out the significance.  So, as important as it is to understand these references exist and have an impact over time internationally, and when what we’re witnessing now (those who pay attention!) my represent that longstanding purpose, that UCB’s Center for Cities + Schools’ (W.K.Kellogg Foundation-sponsored, 2016 promoted) ~Planning for PK-12 Infrastructure~ Initiative post wasn’t intended for a 100-year perspective, or an international to local one.

The quickest way I could see to produce the quote without using up too much available space was to move it to another page, print-to-pdf the page (which would leave active links) and upload the links to my post.  A more developed website might do it differently, but this is a blog, and I’m not a trained website developer!  Or, I might just leave it here, and provide the link to the page.

I’m getting a running start on the context with the purpose of uploading the two quotes below it into a post.  This page will be published but (not being very formal) probably NOT referenced on the right sidebar, at least not now.   Let’s Get Honest, May 15, 2017.

….[A]s ever, the tension continues between self-narrative and project descriptions of the involved entities and non-entities (centers within university, and here, also a nonprofit portrayed as though they held corporate personhood and could be a “partner”) and the public’s legitimate right to know who’s who  and which is which, stemming from our right to knowwhat’s being done…


(2) by TAX-EXEMPT ENTITIES (incorporated or other business “persons” who in those “persons” do not pay income OR corporate taxes like most working individuals including those working as employees of either government or nonprofit sector),

…to together and individually influence, guide, steer, transform, drive and/or alter basic forms of government both federal and state, while further obscuring the cash flow to and from these to government entities they are working for or — even if privately funded but still involved working on, and to do this typically reassuring the public at every point, in reports, evaluations, or organization (or government) websites, “we’re really working for YOUR benefit.”

The image also is link to the article

This collective behavior is a form of progressively, and increasingly working to “outflank sovereignty,” (<=

Page header, left side. The right side (not shown) read only “Paradigms.” obviously meant for facing pages in a bound format.

=2012 (uploaded), 2007-published  journal article on David Mitrany I’ve cited before, several times.  Read just a few pages to understand that what we’re experiencing now had foundation in previous generations, and some of who, what, when and where, starting at least in America with the Carnegie International Peace Foundation.


Keep also in mind that the U.S. Constitution’s Amendment introducing the income tax and? federal reserve banking system was at the time still fresh.

Since I’m going to quote, I’m showing the “cite” in three screenprints: Title and author; author bio blurb, and page heading showing a journal name, Vol., No. and Time (Spring 2007) within a section “Paradigms.”  But being short on vertical space on the post I’m taking a screenprint of the quotes, and making it accessible here by the following link.  I am quoting a second source (a brief bio of Mitrany, 1988-1977, and how and through whom he entered the American scene in a truly international lifespan).

The richest source of information concerning D. Mitrany’’s life and intellectual activity are the memoirs he published in 1975 in The Functional Theory of Politics.(9)

In 1917 he went on a lecture tour across the United Kingdom, in support of the idea of a permanent peacekeeping organization….In 1919 he was invited to join the Advisory Committee on International Affairs of the Labor Party. He remained a member until 1931 …..

After 1922, Mitrany was introduced to the American academic environment, as a member of the Carnegie International Peace Foundation, led by then by James T. Shotwell. D. Anderson contended that the activity he carried out within this institution (1922–1928) was the “basis for much of the later development of Mitrany’s thought.”(10) From 1933 to 1958 (except for the war years), Mitrany taught at the School of Politics and Economics of the Institute for  Advanced Studies belonging to Princeton University. During the years spent in American universities he laid the foundations of the functionalist approach, choosing the alternative of planned functionalism, as opposed to the democratic functionalism advocated by Mary Parker Follett.(11)

Following a series of conferences held at Harvard and Yale, he published two of his theoretical studies concerning the international system, “The Political Consequences of Economic Planning” and “The Progress of International Government.” …

International Government:

THE FIRST public presentation of his functionalist approach to international relations occurred during a series of conferences held at Yale University in 1932. Even at that time, Mitrany was contending that the major impediment to a global society was the “worship” of political borders. In his view, the alternative consisted of a “functional integration of material activities on an international scale and cultural devolution on a regional basis.”(14) His 1932 piece, “Political Consequences of Economic Planning,” and the lectures published in 1933 under the title The Progress of International Government feature some of his early ideas on the general tendencies manifest in contemporary society: “The ends of international government in no way differ from those of municipal government.”(15)

Who Is Mitrany (1888-1977) (in REALLY faint print for some reason) at Mitrany.EU, website started 2013 by the IRIO (International Relations and International Organization of the University of Groningen (in The Netherlands). The Netherlands, also cited as “local” on the website so is Brussels (Belgium). Membership in the IRIO is open only to graduates of the related program at that university (see link).  Although “Mitrany” may not be a “household name” to me, or to people concerned with specific problems within the USA, such as the schools or the family courts, it is a household name to many here, and overseas as you can see from the brief biography.

A household name among social scientists and historians, a name who is permanently tied to functionalism- one of the most penetrating theories behind the integration dynamics in Europe. In 1943 Mitrany published an important political pamphlet: A Working Peace System. A witness of both World Wars, Mitrany struggled with the problem of how Europe could be freed from the iron fist of power politics. He did not believe in the standard blueprint for an ideal order. Alternately, he proposed pragmatic international cooperation. Cooperation was required to be functional, based on practical necessities.  …

Mitrany is a true cosmopolite with a combination of a scholarly, politically and civil servant career. At the age of twenty he left his homeland Romania. Following three years of living in Hamburg, he departed for England in order to study sociology and politics at the London School of Economics (LSE). After his studies, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence – formerly named the War Office. During the Great War, his knowledge of the South-East Europe was of great use. Although he will not appear in James Bond films, for years he acted as a spy in the region.   In 1916 he became a member of the League of Nations Society – a club that already had the goal of promoting international cooperation. He travelled from city and country in order to give lectures on this topic. From 1918 until 1931 he took part in the Advisory Council for International Affairs of the Labour Party, without even being a member of the party (or any other in fact). His closest affiliation was the Quakers, “though I was neither a Christian nor a pacifist” (Mitrany, 1975: 8). He also actively participated in journalism being a part of the editorial staff of the Guardian from 1919-1922. Despite these many achievements, he established his fame by being a scholar and political activist. In 1933 he was appointed as a professor at Princeton University in the United States. The Second World War reinitiated his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he, in 1941, presented his thoughts on a working peace system.  His ideas were not received warmly causing him to vacate his position. The failure of the League of Nations fuelled more criticism on European and world federalism. International governance should exist of international cooperation working towards a point of department – and expansion. His pamphlet was a great success.   Mitrany continued to stay true to his beliefs. ….From 1944 until he went on pension in 1960, this “fairly left-of-centre professor,” as he referred to himself, worked as a political advisor at Unilever and Lever Brothers, Ltd.***..

(Text: Jaap de Wilde. Bronnen: Mitrany, David (1933), The Progress of International Government, New Haven: Yale University Press; Mitrany, David (1966 [1943]), A Working Peace System: An Argument for the Functional Development of International Organization, Chicago: Quadranglite Books; Mitrany, David (1975), The Functional Theory of Politics, London: Martin Robertson – includes his memoires.) 

***Fascinating; I have also had reason to blog Unilever here, probably in association with the “EDC” as a participant on the Greenbook Initiative involving the National Council on Family and Juvenile Court Judges and Futures Without Violence, i.e., the intersection between two supposedly separate subject matters.  I was looking at the EDC website and noticing the international donors.  And/or in association with the “Strong Cities” initiative startup funding at the University of London which referenced a grant from the Leverhulme Trust (relates to Lever Brothers and Unilever history).

Another section that all but wrote itself and then migrated over here in order to spare the original post the burden of over-explanation! This section connects to the above through David Mitrany’s known time at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, which institute (still going strong!) was founded by Abraham Flexner (1866-1959) and is currently (since 2012) being run by a man from the Netherlands. It says that 60% of its (people) are from outside the United States.  Mitrany’s interest in the TVA comes up (apparently he was working on studying this situation while at the IAS).

Click image to see IAS School of Natural Sciences

Click image to see IAS home page. You may recognize a central figure in the photo…

(See comments on image regarding the four schools.  This is from quote is from the “Natural Sciences” (image also shown) which, while not telling you “since when,” does summarize its composition  in terms of post-doctoral students, etc..

The School of Natural Sciences includes nine permanent faculty and approximately fifty postdoctoral men and women working full time on frontier topics in astrophysics, biology, mathematical physics, quantum field theory, particle phenomenology, string theory and quantum gravity.

Members of the Institute are free to work on any problems in which they are interested. ….

The Mathematics School doesn’t seem to have ANY summary home page but opens up into basically newsletter and events format.  (The IAS apparently started with 23 mathematics professors).  Access easily from main link above.  Here’s “School of Historical Studies”:

The School of Historical Studies was established in 1949 with the merging of the School of Economics and Politics and the School of Humanistic Studies.  It bears no resemblance to a traditional academic history department, but rather supports all learning for which historical methods are appropriate.  The School embraces a historical approach to research throughout the humanistic disciplines, from socioeconomic developments, political theory, and modern international relations, to the history of art, science, philosophy, music, and literature.  In geographical terms, the School concentrates primarily on the history of Western, Near Eastern, and Far Eastern civilizations, with emphasis on Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, and East Asia.  Support has been extended to the history of other regions, including Central Asia, India, and Africa.

The Faculty and Members of the School do not adhere to any one point of view…

and School of Social Science (this is the entire home page quote):

Founded in 1973, the School of Social Science takes as its mission the analysis of contemporary societies and social change. It is devoted to a pluralistic and critical approach to social research, from a multidisciplinary and international perspective. Each year, the School invites approximately twenty visiting scholars with various perspectives, methods and topics, providing a space for intellectual debate and mutual enrichment. Scholars are drawn from a wide range of fields, notably political theory, economics, law, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and literature. Members pursue their own research, and participate in collective activities, including a weekly seminar at which on-going work is presented.

To facilitate scientific engagement among the visiting scholars, the School defines a theme for each year. Approximately one half of Members selected pursue work related to it and contribute to a corresponding seminar, while the other half conduct their research on other topics.  The theme for 2016-2017 is “Law and the Social Sciences.” For 2017-2018, the theme will be “The Social Sciences in a Changing World.”  An archive of past themes is available.

The IAS was founded in 1930; Albert Einstein was among its original professors, but its founding director was Abraham Flexner (1866 – 1959):  https://www.ias.edu/welcome (Abraham Flexner, also searchable on this blog, played key role in reform (control) of American medical education).

I also remember hearing that during his time at the IAS, Mitrany was working on the 1933-formed TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) (Wiki) (TVA.com/About-History)(Encyclopedia Britannica)  as both a job provider during the Great Depression and for regional economic development and remained impressed about how people were willing to cede sovereignty as to state lines to work on a significant project during a time of crisis or intense need — in that case, for water.

(WIKI) T.V.A.’s service area covers most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small slices of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. It was the first large regional planning agency of the federal government and remains the largest. Under the leadership of David Lilienthal(“Mr. T.V.A.”), T.V.A. became a model for America’s governmental efforts to seek in assisting the modernization of agrarian societies in the developing world.[1]    { {All links to state names removed in this quote//LGH}}

(ENCY. BRITANNICA) Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), U.S. government agency established in 1933 to control floods, improve navigation, improve the living standards of farmers, and produce electrical power along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. The Tennessee River was subject to severe periodic flooding, and navigation along the river’s middle course was interrupted by a series of shoals at Muscle Shoals, Ala. In 1933 the U.S. Congress passed a bill establishing the TVA, thus consolidating all the activities of the various government agencies in the area and placing them under the control of a single one. A massive program of building dams, hydroelectric generating stations, and flood-control projects ensued. The fusion of a broad range of specific powers with a sense of social responsibility to the region made the TVA significant as a prototype of natural-resource planning. Its jurisdiction is generally limited to the drainage basin of the Tennessee River, which covers parts of seven states: AlabamaGeorgiaKentuckyMississippiNorth CarolinaTennessee, and Virginia. The TVA is a public corporation governed by a board of three directors appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The constitutionality of the TVA was immediately challenged upon the agency’s establishment, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority (1936) and in later decisions. …

Britannica.com also notes that the tax-exempt quality of a government agency constitutes an ability to obtain lower rates than private companies and municipalities, to which the TVA sold electricity.  It also notes how the TVA addressed the problem, over time, but my main point is who controlled the main source of power which fueled, obviously, the economy in, and going through the area also:

The most controversial activity of the TVA is the production and sale of electric power, which has been resisted by privately owned power companies. The TVA contracts with municipalities and cooperatives to supply wholesale power for distribution and has joined with them in purchasing the facilities of privately owned electric-utility companies in the region. These purchases have established an integrated power service area in which the TVA is the sole supplier of power. The TVA power system, which includes more than 50 dams, as well as coal-fired thermal plants and operable nuclear plants, possesses a huge generating capacity. Power is sold in bulk, about half to federal agencies and half to large industries and locally owned municipal and cooperative distribution systems; and electric rates in the Tennessee River valley are among the lowest in the nation. Because of critics’ claims that the low rates are made possible by the TVA’s tax exemption and lack of obligation to show a profit on its operations, a schedule of payments was worked out by which the TVA would refund to the national treasury over a period of years all federal electric-power investment in the valley. The TVA nuclear power plant program was seriously curtailed in the 1980s because of quality control problems and safety deficiencies in several plants already completed or under construction.

Here’s Britannica.com (under entry “Functionalism,”) relating how the FDR New Deal, including the TVA, inspired Mitrany and that, while the concept was entirely new, he helped to promote the expansion of numbers and types of similar agencies with global reach, and to coordinate them underneath the UN:


[He] was inspired in part by the New Deal public worksprograms of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration. Mitrany was also influenced by observing the elaborate processes of interallied collaboration made in preparation for the Normandy Invasionand the plans for the postwar administration of Europe. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was an example of a new institution providing a particular public service that was separated from the territorial basis of state authority. In the TVA case, seven state governments renounced their authority over the river-watershed and agreed to create one specific agency to plan and execute an ambitious plan of dam construction, hydraulic engineering, electricity generation, and job creation in an area subject to regular flood damage. Mitrany advocated the creation of a range of similarly constituted technical and scientific agencies with potentially global reach to implement infrastructure and reconstruction programs, organized on a technical or functional basis rather than on a territorial basis. …

The contribution of Mitrany’s writing and advocacy was to promote the expansion of both the number and tasks of the existing agencies, the creation of new ones, and their coordination through the auspices of the UN. The construction of what Mitrany called “a working peace system” lay in a twofold process. In the first place, a program would be progressively transferred to functional agencies, a process called “task expansion.” This process would enlarge the mandate and competence of the agencies relative to those of national governments. Thereafter, the network of interdependent relationships that these agencies would come to manage, a process called spillover, would create a so-called working peace system between the members.

Science Quiz

This argument matured later in many writers on regime theory during the 1970s and after

Written by Let's Get Honest

May 15, 2017 at 5:14 pm


Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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