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RENE A. WORMSER CONTENTS PREFACE by drazilla carroll reece v .. Asked about the power of foundations to influence independent thought and action in. Rene Wormser was the counsel for a congressional committee commissioned to investigate the great tax-exempt foundations. Despite opposition from the. Foundations, their power and influence. Front Cover. RenĂ© Albert Wormser. Devin-Adair Co., – Social Science – pages.

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The third strategic move which I would suggest is that social science initiate a more rigorous system of internal policing.

Foundations, their power and influence – RenĂ© Albert Wormser – Google Books

One wonders whether this survey will be as penetrating as the Rockefeller study of The Institute of Pacific Relations. Research programs are set up in terms of social goals, and it is assumed that professional training provides the deep insight needed. The tragedy was that it also became a specialist in promoting the Communist cause in Asia, succeeding so well in this endeavor be- cause of the vast financial support given to it by the major founda- tions.

No group of men sat down deliberately to plan this thing over-all. No trivia or quizzes yet. It is possi- ble that, in fifty or a hundred years, a great part of American industry will be controlled by pension and profit-sharing trusts and foundations and a large part of the balance by insurance companies and labor unions. What mattered was not that foundation trustees were concentrated on the Eastern Seaboard but that a pattern of interlocking operations existed at various levels of management.

Foundations, America Foundations; Their Power And Influence Rene A Wormser ( 1958)

It just grew into being, but it is none the less dangerous as a concentration of power. That interlocks among foundation boards existed was clear enough.

For this reason, if no other, foundations must have the approval of the public to carry on; the public, indeed, would be fully justified in applying legislative restrictions on foundation operations where there seemed to be danger to the public welfare.

De Tocqueville, in one of his famous observations about democ- racy in America, reported with ingluence amazement the propensity of this nation for the formation of voluntary associations for common ends.

Foundations: Their Power and Influence

Foundatiobs and individuals are powerfully attracted to the poli- cies of the foundation within their circles of interest and, as long as the magnetic force in the form of funds persists, are unlikely to fouundations their orientation.


There can be no doubt that foundations repre- sent, financially, but a small part of the philanthropic world. The Social Science Research Council? In the corporate mechanics of the foundations he sees one of the most menacing trends resulting from the social patterns of an age controlled by organization bureaucrats. Those who have exercised a similar function during the individualist-competitive phase of modern economy have incluence, to a very large extent, associated with foundations and trusts.

Here we have an expression of concern not any longer with economic power or political intention to protect capitalism but generally with the control of thought practiced by the dispensers of financial support, JLindeman, too, was suspicious of the secrecy under which so many endowments operate.

These functions are the essence of the fiduciary duty of the trus- tees. Among the foundations which have supported this distributing agent are these: Finally, the rec- ommendations called for increased Government activity in edu- cation and the social services to balance the power of foundations.

Simi- larly, the National Science Foundation, an agency of the U. The emergence of richly endowed juridical persons with self-perpetuating boards of directors, free from any formal responsibility for their policies and actions and growing in number and wealth, deserves the full- est attention of all who are concerned for the future of our Re- public.

They must, he said, be ever on guard against in- dulging in propaganda, even virtuous propaganda; he obviously saw the danger of political identification in charitable work, mind- ful of the suspicions disclosed by the Walsh Commission’s hear- ings on Industrial Relations. Great, dispensing intermediary organizations control learned journals and university presses; they hold the key to academic publications and form an effective instrument of patronage.

The impact of foundation money upon education has been very heavy, largely tending to promote uniformity in approach and method, tending to induce the educator to become an agent for social change and a propagandist for the development of our society in the direction of some form of collectivism. This more recent generation of students, while equally impressed with the potentials of control of education and of public affairs in general by self-perpetuating, wealthy organizations beyond public con- trol, has become concerned over the danger of foundation support of various undesirable concepts and movements having political implications.

A more subtle and much more widespread control comes about by Teason of the multitude of indirect relationships in which foundations play a part. Carroll Reece of Tennessee.


Each specialized in some field of research or of social amd tion and often could act with more detailed understanding than could the contributing foundations which powfr their interest over large areas. Return to Book Page. It may also influence commercial publishers via the expert readers to whom books are submitted before pub- lication. The laws under which foundations operate are, to say the least, imperfect, But a reform of the law can impose only negative checks and bal- ances on foundation spending and can never convert juridical persons to a truly creative pattern of action.

Such administra- tors will freely admit that they do not like to receive restricted or earmarked grants and would far prefer to be unfettered in their andd of money given to their institutions. But as no indication of interest in the preferences of the scientists was given by the foundation chairman, the meeting dealt only with his plans and projects calling for fresh starts. It was a business deal.

One cuts off its support. The large number of famous names on the list of trustees is due to an old superstition that our institutions must be headed by a famous group of men. The family, by transferring about 90 per cent of its Ford holdings to a founda- tion, escaped estate taxes on approximately 90 percent of its for- tune. The Social Science Research Council has been included in this program because it is the instrumentality most used by individual scholars, universities and research organiza- tions for interchange of information, planning and other cooperative functions in the fields described.

Foundations: Their Power and Influence by Rene A. Wormser

The result will be a better understanding of the principles of human behavior in- volved in operating tax-exempt activities and a ahd practical approach to the formulation and application of the law protecting the public interest.

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I am suggesting that scientific, technical, and financial facilities are such in this country as to encourage a great number of mediocrities to go into science, and to seduce even those with creative talent and imagination to a mistaken view of the nature of the scientific enterprise.