UNESCO, Where Culture Becomes Propaganda


UNESCO, Where Culture Becomes Propaganda

December 13, 1982 31 min read Download Report
Thomas G.
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs
(Archived document, may contain errors)

233 i a December 13, 1982 WESCO, WHERE CUL TURE BECOMES PROPAMNDA INTRODUCTION It was supposed to be a conference dealing with cultural issues. But the United Nations gathering in Mex ico City last July turned into the kind of three-ring political circus that is now the modus operandi of the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization known as UNESCO.

At the conference, called Mondiacult '82, French Cultural Minister J ack Lang, though not mentioning the United States by name, blasted the U.S. with charges of "financial and intellectual imperialismu1 in the export of American cultural products ranging from films to fashions. The Arab nations attacked Israel for invading Lebanon. Argentina attacked Britain for invading the Falkland Islands. Mexico took a political potshot at the U.S. by introducing a resolution to guarantee welfare rights for all migrant workers, legal or illegal In sum, as in the case of the Education an d Social Science components of UNESCO activities, the Mexico City conference served mainly as an arena for communist and Third World political machinations. There were no limits on the speeches in the plenary sessions. Resolutions were delivered to delegat ions only hours before the vote-=without translations.

American Ambassador to UNESCO, Jean Gerard, described the whole conference as llprocedural chaos.Il A Dutch delegate was heard to remark that UNESCO meant IIU never eat, sleep, or cogitate.I In the mid st of the political pandemonium at Mondiacult, Soviet bloc and Third World delegates predictably managed to attack the United States, the Western nations, and multinational corporations for Itcultural imperialism11 and Vieocolonialism. II Cuba submitted a classic Moscow-brand resolution called IICulture and the Control of 1nformation.Il Co-sponsored by Madagascar, Angola, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Sao Tom6 and Principe, the original version of this resolution blamed cultural problems worldwide on We s tern capitalism. It asserted that I 2 transnational corporations largely control the cultural industries, distort the identity process of the developing nations and affect the cultural and educational context through their policy of indiscrimi nate consum p tion, ignore the cultural values of the so-called Third World countries, and promote behavior patterns alien to their legitimate traditions, derive more than 50 percent of their income from foreign sales and are basically concerned with profit and not wit h the cultural and socio-economic advancement of the developing countries Attacks on U.S. and Western culture and.the delivery of that Mexico City marked the second World Conference on culture through modern telecommunications technology are nothing new at UNESCO.

Cultural Policies. The first was in Venice in 1970 and the tone was anti-capitalist and pro-socialist even at that time In Mexico City, Director General of UNESCO, Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow of Senegal, opened the conference by leading the charge against Western media and cultural products. He said there was great cultural potential in modern media technology, including cable-TV, video-discs, and video-cassettes. But, he added, the general trend" in films, records, radio, and television continues to be t owards mass production and consump tion and increasingly uniform products.

Within UNESCO, M'Bow's seemingly vague keynote statement has It mirrors the mounting spiral of anti-capital- precise meaning ist, anti-free market resolutions and rhetoric'at UNESCO culture conferences and in UNESCO publications dating back to at least 19

70. Opposed to the free market, free enterprise, and the proved concepts of supply and demand, UNESCO and the M'Bow Secre tariat are committed to a centrally planned socialist economic model, not only for individual nations but for the entire world.

In fact, since the rnid-l970s, a crescendo of demands has been building for the so-called New World Cultural Order (NWCO).

The NWCO is yet another political strategy growing out of the "New International Economic Order," a resolution passed by the U.N. General Assembly in 19

74. The NIEO, is one of the most ambitious versions to date of Fabian socialist theories. This utopian scheme extends to poor nations the false hope that wealth can be taken from developed industrial nations, like the U.S West Germany, and Japan, and somehow redistributed to the advantage of the "have-nots" of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The well documented fact that the developed nations achieved their high living standard through the free enterprise system is completely ignored. Nor does the NIEO address the reality of the rapid economic progress of those developing countries of the so-called Third World who have adopted a free market economy-Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Kenya, Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Singapore. 3 UNESC O ls biased socialist cultural policy has evolved steadi ly over the past twelve years largely because of the efforts of the Soviet aligned nations and the Group of 77 (so-called because of its origin as a voting group of 77 socialist dominated develop ing n ations but now numbering over 120). Because of the one-nation one-vote procedure at UNESCO conferences, they have been able to institute their socialist '"New World Cultural Order as the official UNESCO cultural policy. This of course was particularly evi d ent at Mondiacult '82 in Mexico City where the Itkey players in the game of "cultural imperialismtt were unmistakably identifi able once and for all. Cultural imperialism is the main component in these players! NWCO attack on Western culture and cultural i ndustries. Their ideology argues that Western culture lays waste to any other native culture it contacts. Their'thesis appears under the cover of such UNESCO-speak slogans as Ildemocratization of culture11 or participation in culture As a part of the larg e r NIEO propaganda war at UNESCO, such activities clearly do not fulfill UNESCO1s stated mission: Itto collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual understanding and knowledge of all peoples THE DEVELOPMEXT OF UNESCO's CHIEF CULTURAL PROJECTS llCultureg l, of course, is part of the acronym, UNESCO--the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization.

UNESCO1s wide ranging cultural mission for the 1980s boasts a 1981-1983 budget of nearly $59 million out of a total UNESCO budget of over $1 billion In 1949, UNESCO's cultural budget was only $653,823 and the total UNESCO budget just $8.5 million.

More than 40 percent of the current UNESCO culture budget goes for the highly publicized star projects of the IIPreservation and Presentation of the Cul tural and Natural Heritage" that range from the restoration of famous monuments, such as Borobudur, the great Buddhist lltemple mountain1I of Java or Angkor Wat in Cambodia to constructing museums in Egypt, studies and research on cultural heritage, and t he training of specialists in monument preservation techniques.

Also written into the 1981-1983 UNESCO mandate for culture and communication, however, are endorsements of the NIEO and its socialist offspring, lithe New World Information and Communication O rder," better known as simply the New World Information Order or NWIO. And in fact, the $22 million segment of the culture budget designated for communications helps to fund attempts by the UNESCO Secretariat and radical members of UNESCO to promote NWIO p roposals to license journalists and censor Western owned inter national news and information services. These come under the guise of such studies as one on the "right to communicate,Il which translates from UNESCO-speak as the right to control Western new s correspondents, especially those working within developing nations. 4 Another UNESCO culture program, budgeted at nearly $13 million for the 1981-1983 triennium, is called llAppreciation and Respect for Cultural Identity Underlying the studies of this pr o gram is the bias of UNESCO, which regards the West, and parti cularly the U.S., as a colonial aggressor. For the UNESCO Secre tariat under M'Bow claims that colonialism and exploitation today take the form 0f.U.S. and Western domination of the internation al wire services, television, radio, and the motion picture industry.

Export of these and other Western cultural products is portrayed as cultural imperialism in UNESCO publications and at UNESCO's international conferences and meetings of experts.

Under MIBOW, UNESCO is pushing Ifcultural developmenti1 in a way that advocates a world welfare state supported by Western industrialized countries. Projects like the 14 million "Parti cipation in Cultural Life" illustrate the irony of this so-called cultural d e velopment agenda. At least 65 percent of the funding is provided by the U.S. and the Western nations, yet the study focuses on.topics like IICultural Foundations of the New Interna tional Economic Order." Not only are the U.S. and the West under writing p rojects designed to undermine the West, but these projects also exclude Western culture from the lllegitimatelf development process. been deemed contaminating to developing nations. This is the NIEO cultural philosophy of UNESCO.

UNESCO voting majority do not want Western cultural influences to make contact with the people of the developing nations.

MlBow and his staff fear that, if the free market influences were to touch the Third World, the idea of individual economic initia tive inherent in Western soc iety and the accompanying ideas of free speech, free press, the right to religion, and free assembly would also eventually take hold ubiquitous NIEO is rooted in the same state planned centralized theories of government that have failed so miserably among its chief advocates, such as the USSR and the Eastern bloc which originally proposed the NIE0,is now bailing out its troubled socialist economy with free enterprise reforms Any contact with Western culture and ideas somehow has 0 The motive here is politi c al. UNESCO's Secretariat and the Perhaps The irony here is that the Algeria Cultural Jarqon at UNESCO UNESCO's many documents, publications, and conferences on culture have a common vocabulary that muddies the real meaning of the UNESCO cultural debate fo r the uninitiated. Essential UNESCO speak on the subject of culture includes such terms as: Ildemocra all) in culture"; the "right to culture"; and Ilcultural democracy.

Through use of these terms, all roughly equivalent in meaning and purpose, the NIEO so cialist doctrine is subtly blended into the fabric of all UNESCO discussions on culture. For instance, the term Ifdemocratization of culturei1 is used to convey the idea that culture, like the wealth of the Western industrialized nations must be redistrib u ted to the masses. This redistribution concept is the central force of the NIEO doctrine tization of culturell Ilaccess to cultureIf Ifparticipation (of 5 Why does culture have to be redistributed? Because it is hoarded by the I1elites,I1 according to UNE S CO1s cultural theorists the developing countries, who, because of their Western education enjoy the plays, novels, operas, and other cultural products that derive from the Western tradition. According to UNESCO1s official documents, this must be stopped. S imilarly the I1fragileIt native cultures of the developing countries are considered to be in grave danger because of the influence'of Western culture and entertainment. Especially threatening, says UNESCO, are such popular Western forms of entertainment a s movies and music de livered by the mass communications media of radio, television and satellite technology who are the elites? They are especially the educated classes of What is UNESCOls solution to this supposed threat of tlcultu ral elitismi1 and West e rn culture? According to numerous UNESCO publications and conference resolutions, the solution is a highly centralized matrix for state controlled cultural planning other words, the way to Ilprotectll the masses from 'Icontamination'l by Western culture i s for the state to determine in advance the kind of culture to be allowed in a developing nation. What MIBOW apparently seeks is creation of an elite of cultural commissars dictating to their fellow countrymen what can and cannot be read or viewed intent o f the U.N.Is founders In Surely such cultural authoritarianisn was not the The New World Cultural Order and Its Birth in Venice UNESCOls utopian theory of a '!New World Cultural Order NWCO) is the cultural corollary of the New International Economic Order and one of a series of Itnew orders" popularized at UNESCO particularly since Director-General M'Bow came to office in 1974.

M'Bow has wholeheartedly embraced the NIEO as his theory of ildevelopmentll for UNESCO. He has even set the goal of realizing the N ew International Economic Order by the year 2000 At the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies in Mexico City, several speakers.emphasized that the "democratization of culturett had to be based on the Ildemocratization of society as a whole, which m i ght require far-reaching changes in economic and social relations.Il2 In other words, the NIEO must first be established before the new cultural order could be born ordersi1 were formally instituted at UNESCO under M'Bow in 1974, a I Even before the NIEO a nd th; present spate of Itnew world See Final Report, UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Europe, Helsinki, June 19-28, 1972, p. 57; Thinking Ahead: UNESCO and the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow Paris: UNESCO 19771, p. 129 Proble ms and Prospects," World Conference on Cultural Policies, Mexico City, July 26-August 6, 1982 (UNESCO, June 21, 1982 p. 13.

Op. cit., Commission I1 report, p. 9. 2 6 strong socialist bias was present in UNESCO cultural policy.

UNESCO's first World Conference of Cultural Policies held in Venice in 1970, the basic, socialist New World Cultural Order agenda surfaced to become the model for future conference resolutions.

The Director-General of that time, Renk Maheu of France, affi rmed "the right to culture in his addres This !'right derived from the 1948 U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, guarantees a state funded and directed cultural program for all. The 1948 Declaration further guarantees the social welfare state econo m y to the entire citizenry of a nation. The U.N. treaty, based on the Declaration long has been opposed by the U.S. and has not been ratified by the Senate. The NIEO of 1974 also embodies the state welfare society concept from the 1948 Declaration. These n o tions are reinforced by the concept of "lifelong education," also endorsed at the 1970 Venice conference. Lifelong education is meant to serve, as it does in the socialist countries today, as a state controlled institution for con tinuing political reeduc ation of the populace to accept the NIEO and the other aims of an international, centrally planned e~onomy controlled cultural policy planning were made in the Venice Conference Resolutions #12-

17. This policy has been tied to international funding throug h the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other international aid agencies. There was as well a call for a UNESCO Cultural Development Bank to be run like the international banks.5 lending facilities, this resolution was intended to give UNESCO an uncontrolled source of funding outside the U.N. budget At The all-important recommendations for centralized, government By tying UNESCO to international.

The Regional Cultural Policy Conferences: 1972-1981 Between the Venice and Mexico City conferences on cultural policy, a series of "regional1' cultural conferences has been held. The European regional meeting took place in Helsinki in 19

72. There the ground for the NIEO was broken by reaffirming the ideas of !'the right to culture and !'cultural democracy the latter to be implemented through lifelong education.'I6 At the same time, cultural "elitism1t was condemned.

The scene shifted to Asia for the regional conference of 1973 at Jakarta, Indonesia. Lifelong education was again affirmed Final Report, UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Institutional Administrative and Financial Aspects of Cultural Policies, Venice, August 24 (Paris: UNESCO, September 2, 1970), Appendix 11, p. 43.

Thomas G. Gulick, "For UNESCO, A Failing Grade In Education," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 221, October 12, 1982, p. 10-11 Ibid., p. 23.

Final Report, UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Europe, Helinski, June 19-28, 1972 (Paris: UNESCO 1972), pp. 22 and 28 Ibid p. 57 I 7 and recommended as the preferred way to Itrestructure" national educational systems ism" conveyed through the mass media was raised, and there was a recommendation to protect national cultures against Wulgar mass-produced culture.Il8 Once again, the only solution offered fo r cultural development was a centrally controlled, state'cultural policy for each nation In fact, Recommendation #1 at,this conference called for legislating a legal "right to culture.Il Culture then would be defined and administrated by the state for the m asses The issue of Westernized Vultural imperial The next UNESCO regional cultural conference was held in Accra, Ghana, in 1975 The African delegates emphasized Itcultural identity" as Itan act of 1iberation.Il The conference debated at some length the ev i ls of Western cultural imperialism, especially mass media Ilimperialism, and recommended a high degree of govern ment involvement in formulating cultural policy, including a state cultural policy for radio and television. One recommenda tion warned agains t subversion of African national culture by Western direct broadcast, satellite (DBS) p.rogramming.g But for all the anti-Western rhetoric there were substantial requests for cultural funding from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program, both largely supported by Western industrial ized countries.

At UNESCO1s Latin American regional conference on cultural policies in Bogota, Colombia, in 1978, most of the anti-Western talk was aimed at the media. Recommendation 2 lashed out at cultural lta dulteration.ll rlncorporating cultural golicy into state "central planning systemsi1 was emphasi2ed.l And there was a strong recommendation to create government controlled mass media institutions to qlbalancell private sector communications.ll I1Balancing 1l here refers to counteracting the alleged threat from U.S. and Western European TV, movies, and other cultural products.

Again, the delegates asked for large amounts of funding from the World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and several L atin American development banks, all of which depend heavily on the U.S. and its Western allies for their loan capital. M'Bow set the tone for this conference with his own reference to llcultu ral alienation,Il which he'said was induced by Western mass me d ia.12 Final Report, UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Asia, Jakarta, December 10-19 1973, Recommendation #Z, Paragraph I, Item 111 Ibid Recommendation f14 Report, UNESCO Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies in Latin A merica and the Carribean, Bogota, January 10-20, 1978 (Paris UNESCO, 1978), Recommendation i.15, p. 35 lo l1 Ibid p. 43 l2 -9 Ibid' p. 72. a Arab cultural ministers met in Baghdad for a 1981 regional cultural conference organized by ALESCO, the Arab natio ns' counter part of UNESCO. The Arabs also endorsed the "right to culture and its implementation via highly centralized cultural policy planning.

From the results and the rhetoric of the UNESCO cultural conferences held since Venice in 1970, a definite pol itical strategy has emerged among the developing nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America. All attack alleged Western cultural imperial ism, and yet all ask for substantial Western aid money to build their own cultural and communications infrastructures. A certain bargaining logic can be seen here. First the "hard line" and the tough talk is directed at the Western industrialized states, such as the recent threats to censor or cut off the access of interna tional news services to developing nations. Then the soft approach is used.

Information Order, It the Itcompromise1l reached between the Western powers and the developing nations was the creation of the Interna tional Program for the Development of Communications (IPDC), a UNESCO bureau to funnel money a nd communications technology and know-how to the developing countries. Though the IPDC has only about $900,000 in development funds so far, the organization has been created as a bargaining chip in the larger NIEO ideological war. The anti-Western forces a t UNESCO can be expected to "raise the ante" of threats against Western news/communications media and Western !'cultural industries The purpose: to shake loose more Western capital for IPDC and for other agencies they may try to create at UNESCO and elsew h ere in the U.N. arena. Indeed, the voting majority at UNESCO seems bent on NIEO wealth redistribution schemes while ignoring free market approaches to development For example, in the UNESCO debate over a "New World HOW THE "CULTURAL IMPERIALISM GAMF, WAS P LAYED AT MEXICO CITY Because of the time spent on noncultural issues at the Mexico City Cultural Policy Conference-such as the debates over Israel's invasion of Lebanon, the Falkland Islands crisis, and the rights of migratory workers-cultural imperialism never took center stage in Mexico City.

Conference nonetheless passed several resolutions meant to be the seeds for future cultural imperialism battles. Even after I'sani tizing" amendments forced by an uncharacteristically to ugh U.S delegation, a resolution drafted by Cuba still was able to'convey the message that Western mass media endanger native ~u1tures.l The Cuban resolution provides for studies on the llimpactlt of Western cultural products delivered by telecommunicatio n s, includ ing satellite, into developing nations. Both Cuba and the Soviets called for more funding of IPDC, the symbol of the New World Infor mation Order war against the West Key anti-Western players at the l3 Allen Weinstein, Vice Chairman of U.S. Dele g ation to UNESCO World Confer ence on Cultural Policies, Mexico City, 1982, draft of article .on Mexico Conference for World Press Freedom Committee (Reston, Va WPFC p. 5. 9 Algeria, backed by France, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, and several African nations includ i ng,Zaire, Zambia, and Guinea, submitted a resolution on Ilcultural industries.Il It endorsed NWIO and the Itdemocratization of cultureit (the UNESCO-speak attack on Western Ilcultural elitism called for a UNESCO study on the Itimpact of cultural industrie s on developing countries,Il and suggested that the IPDC set up tisubregional" and national cultural industries in developing nations. Using the IPDC as a llmiddlemanlt at UNESCO is yet another example of the socialist governmentsf strategy of funneling mo ney and technology to developing countries and to themselves without ever exposing their populations to direct business or cultural relations with the Western capitalist nations.

The Soviets submitted a resolution called "The Role of the Mass Media in the Development of Contemporary Culture It too paid homage to the IPDC and endorsed the NWIO--two important propaganda points for the socialists. In addition it called for a wide range of studies covering satellite broadcasting and its effect on native cultur e s, a study on the NWIO in general, and a study on the influence of mass media on culture. these questions may seem harmless, but are hardly so in view of the NIEO bias of the UNESCO Secretariat and of the mainly leftist scholars that the UNESCO cultural h ierarchy usually assigns to them Studies on Examples of this leftist bias abound in UNESCO literature.

Before the Mexico City Mondiacult '82, for instance, UNESCOts monthly magazine, Courier, ran a special issue on IIPeoples and Cultures.Il Seven of its ei ght articles are unmistakably biased in favor of NIEO socialismfs centrally planned, state controlled media and culture. Of these seven, three are openly Marxist in ideology; one is pro-Maoist. That adds up to a UNESCO magazine distributed in 158 member c o untries with the official UNESCO seal 65 percent financed with Western money, and yet nearly 90 percent socialist, Marxist, and Maoist in political content. The lead article by Director-General MfBow contains passages similar to the anti-American speech g iven by French cultural minister Jack Lang later that month in Mexico City.

UNESCO hired French culture consultant Claude Fabrizio to write a preparatory paper for the Mexico City conference, which was later incorporated into the official UNESCO pre-confer ence brochure, ItProblems and Prospects. The report backs the NIEO plan for Third World development to the hilt It never considers the free market system as a viable alternative and fully endorses centralized, state controlled cultural planning and traces this kind of planning to its origins in the socialist nations. It I l4 Claude Fabrizio Attempt to Analyze the World Cultural Problems and Out line the Prospect for World Cultural Development Preparatory Paper for Mondiacult '82, Mexico City UNESCO documen t #CC-81/615/Ref. 10 does not mention that these nations suppress the works of their own artists, who dare to criticize the socialist economy or communist society. Fabrizio also is featured in a recent UNESCO book called Cultiral Development In this volume , Fabrizio and four other authors all describe some Some Regional Experiences phase of the NIEO as indispensable for cultural development.

UNESCO publishes a series of paperbacks entitled: Cultures In the volume called IICultural Values:- The Cultural Dime nsion of Development,Il only three out of eleven articles are not radically socialist and based on the NIEO deal with academic or technical aspects of art and sociology.

Likewise in the Cultures volume entitled IICulture and Communicad tion," five out of nine articles endorse the Fabian socialist NIEO authors in support of their theses. The other four articles are not political aspects of cultural policy and the development of the poor nations is the alternative Western approach to culture and communicati o ns represented The three nonpoliticized articles Two of these five are clearly Marxist and quote Marxist In neither of these volumes on controversial Even further back in UNESCO publication history is a 1974 study called: IITelevision Traffic-A One Way St r eet It presen ted the argument that Western TV exported more shows than it imported. This study subsequently became a major reference work for 'the future New World Information Order theorists at UNESCO It completely neglects to mention that Western telev i sion programs are generally higher quality products than those produced in the socialist countries or the Third World.. Nor does it mention the factor of state censorship and the denial of free speech and free press as key elements in the low quality TV e n tertainment in many of these non-Western c.ountries. Finally, one of the two authors of the study, Kaarle Nordenstreng, is the President of the Inter national Organization of Journalists, an organization closely aligned with the editorial policies of Mosc ow. And so it goes.

There is no attempt whatsoever to accommodate pro-Western write-rs or nonsocialist views in UNESCO publications To what avail is it for the free nations of the West to finance 65 percent of UNESCOIS worldwide publicity operation, when t hat operation mainly serves socialism and consistently attacks free enterprise. The Soviets also revealed part of their future agenda for culture and communi cations at UNESCO by calling for Ilcareful preparationst1 .for a scheduled 1983 UNESCO meeting-po s sibly in Moscow-on implementing the NWIO. Allen Weinstein, Vice-chairman of the U.S. delegation to the Mexico City Conference, noted that the G-77 voting bloc at UNESCO, was forced at the Mexico City conference to "defer until later [UNESCO] conferences a full-fledged assault upon the free media I l5 Cultural Development: Some Regional Experiences, (Paris UNESCO Press 1981 16 Ibid p. 8 11 Amongl'the likely opportunities for such an assault next year may be a meeting scheduled for June 1983 in Grenada, Spai n sponsored by UNESCO and some of its nongovernmental organizations.

Entitled 'ICommunications for Democracy,I it features agenda items like "advertising and democratization.Il This could well develop into a Group of 77 strategy to control Western-especial ly U.S media advertising in developing nations or even to take a share of Western profits earned through advertising exported to poor countries'.

Also scheduled for 1983 is a world conference on allocating the earth's orbital slots for communications sate llites. This meeting, called the World Administrative Radio Conference '83 will be held in Geneva and sponsored by the U.N.Is International Telecommunications Union ITU It is the satellite phase of the NIEO battle countries-are expected to demand many sat e llite slots even though they lack satellite technology. This debate is closely tied to the UNESCO debate over the proposed regulation of program content in transborder satellite communications Developing nations-especially the radical G-77 There were also Mexico City resolutions, in the tradition of previous conferences, calling for more centralization of government cultural policy-making bodies and more World Bank and international lending agency funding for cultural programs and industries in the develop i ng world. Translated, this means increased U.S. and Western funding for UNESCO's anti-Western activities How did the U.S. fare at the Mexico City Conference? By comparison to the socialists and communists, very poorly. One important American sponsored res o lution on the freedom of religion as a cultural right was passed. But an American resolution declaring 'Ifreedom of media as a basic cultural right" was defeat ed in fact, it failed to attract even a single co-sponsor, a typical illustration of the West E uropean habit of bowing to Third World pressures at the U.N.

A particularly disturbing development in Mexico City was the increasingly radical and anti-U.S. stance being taken by French cultural minister Jack Lang, a long-time socialist and supporter of Ca stro's Cuba. This has serious implications for UNESCO which is headquartered in Paris and where the French left wing has had a tremendous political influence, especially during UNESCO's early years in the 195Os.l7 According to Judson Gooding, the U.S. cul tural attach6 at the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris, Cuba may well play a key role in a world cultural conference, the Etats Gen6raux de la Culture Mondiale, planned by France for 19

83. Considering the attacks against the U.S., Great Britain, Israel, Western culture business and media at the Mexico City UNESCO conference, a l7 Gulick, op. cit p. 4 12 French Etats Ghdraux on culture could become a political free for-all.

NATO defense policy and the nuclear freeze issue as well as Western news and communic ations media including satellite communi cations. French President Francois Mitterand has asked for UNESCO1s support of the Etats GGnQraux, a political gesture likely to be realized in view of the socialist kinship of the MlBow Secretariat at UNESCO and t h e Mitterand government of France Likely targets of the leftist governmmts would be THE FAILURE OF THE U.S. TO FIGHT BACK AT UNESCO Although the attack on U.S. culture at UNESCO is of long standing, the United States rarely has fought back against the barr a ge of socialist, Marxist, and NIEO assaults. Rather, as at Mexico City, the U.S. strategy has been "damage contro1,Il that is, limiting or minimizing the political damage inflicted on the U.S. by hostile resolutions such as that by Cuba on IICulture and t he Control of Information.11 And in fact, the damage was limited in this and other resolutions when the U.S. delegation was able to excise the most offensive language from these documents.

But there was no response to Jack Lang's all-but-frontal attack on U.S It financial and intellectual imperialism.11 American Ambassador to UNESCO Jean Gerard said in her address to the conference in reference to the attacks of Lang and others, III have no intention of responding to cr'iticism at this time why not?

American freedoms and free society. Nor was there any real response at the U.S. press conference following Gerard's nonre sponse. If U.S. and Western values are not strongly asserted at UNESCO, then socialism, the NIEO, and the tyranny of the closed socie t y--as in the Soviet Union, mainland China, and Tanzania win by default. The record shows that this has been happening during at least the last twelve years of debate on culture and communications in the UNESCO forum But The timing was perfect for a respon se and a defense of Time after time, the.American representatives at UNESCO have caved'in to the assault of the radical NIEO political strategy of the G-

77. The New World Information Order debate, for instance is a major tactic in the G-77 war on Western free enterprise.

But it is also closely tied to the entire New World Cultural Order debate. NWIO supporters seek to control the Western media delivery systems and services--the wire services, their journal ists, their telexes, telephone systems, etc. NWCO , on the other hand, aims at the content of modern mass media--movies and TV shows, Western music and entertainment on records, videotapes video-cassettes. Even Western fashions have been attacked as cultural imperialism by NWCO advocates.

The great war on Western media and cultural products began in earnest at a 1975 UNESCO meeting in Paris on the mass media.

The events subsequent to that meeting are a perfect example of the U.S. policy of "damage controlt1 at UNESCO. During the 1975 13 Paris meeting, a preparatory session for the 1976 General Confer ence, all Western nations except Switzerland and Austria, walked out during an attack against Israel led by Algeria. After the walkout, the Soviets were able to force passage of a resolution calling for stat e control of mass media. The West consequently threw out this resolution at the 1976 UNESCO General Conference in Nairobi and turned the mass media iss.ue back to UNESCOts Director-General MtBow.

Belgrade, Yugoslavia, the MacBride Commission Report commiss ioned by UNESCO to study international communication problems was ready. Its recommendations included several measures designed to introduce state control over the content of news media reports an international Ilcode of ethicst1 for journalists; and an i n ter national regulatory agency to monitor the l1protectionit of journal- ists By the time of the 1980 UNESCO General Conference, held in The U.S. delegation at Belgrade and its allies among the Western nations again resorted to "damage controlll as these i ssues were raised. Most of the resolutions aimed at state control of the media and free press were not passed. However, many anti-Western culture and anti-free press recommendations were passed in the form of I1studies.It Typical of these was a UNESCO stu d y to investigate Ifthe impact of advertising, particu- larly on the content of messages and on the management of communi cation media." The response to these studies by the chairman.of the U.S. delegation, Robin Chandler Duke, was characteristically weak. She did not reject the proposals for the studies, but merely labeled them Itimpractical, unnecessary and counterproduc tive She stated that the study on advertising would tfmove UNESCO in a highly unhelpful direction Irl resolutions.antithetica1 to Wester n media goals were then passed by the UNESCO majority at Belgrade essentially without Western protest These and other The very idea of proposing studies on subjects like the control of advertising content and the I1protection1l (read licensing of journalis ts is an NIEO strategy of the Group of 77 and the Soviet bloc. Typically, the results of these biased studies are eventually released at future UNESCO meetings and again come up for a vote.

Indeed, mass communications and Western cultural industries were major topics at the UNESCO Extraordinary Session of the General Conference November 23 to December 3, 1982, in Paris.

The Executive Council meeting of the International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC), on December 13-20, 1982 Surprising ly, the U.S. State Department appointed no professional media experts from the private sector to the Extraordinary Session a also in Paris, is another likely place for renewed debate l8 Proceedings, of the UNESCO General Conference, Belgrade, Yugoslavia S e ptember 23 October 28, 1980, Vol. I11 of Records of the General Confer ence, pp. 1353-1354. 14 The White House claimed to lack the staff and funding adequate to have an experienced, well-prepared team of experts in media education, culture and science on hand.

UNESCO: CULTURE AND CAPITALISM The anti-Western, anti-free enterprise ideology of the "New International Economic Orderi1 is so ingrained in UNESCOls cultural agenda that it may be irreversible. And what is true for the cultural sector of UNESCO appl ies as well to its education and social science programs.19 cultural debate is readily available in the draft of the UNESCO Medium Term Plan for 1984-89 the funding for it were negotiated in Paris during the Extraordi nary Session of the UNESCO General Co n ference, November 23 through December 3 section called Wncertainties and the Renewal of Values.Il In this section all Western cultural products and industries are lumped together and accused of circulating cultural '1stereotypes.1f20 Indeed, lrstereotypes i1 is only the latest in the dictionary of UNESCO cultural buzz words aimed at discrediting Western business and multinational corporations, which stem from the New Interna tional Economic Order doctrine, inspired by the socialist nations.

Unsurprisingly, the most strictly regulated cultural codes-true llstereotypeslf--which characterize the culture and art of the socialist nations, particularly the Eastern bloc, the Soviet Union, and Red China, are not so cited by UNESCO. Many Russian and Eastern European artists have defected to the West seeking the artistic freedom offered by the Western nations. Few Western artists have chosen to move to the USSR or Eastern Europe A kind of Itpreview of coming attractionsi1 in the UNESCO The final form of this plan and T he first part of the Medium Term.Plan contains a The first part of the UNESCO Medium Term Plan goes on to say The very logic of these [Western cultural] industries leads them to foster the expansion of an 'escapist culture which presents to sight and hear i ng acts that society does not allow.1121 industries are polluting the countries of the "Third Worldll with standards and values specific to certain industrialized societiesi1 i.e. the U.S. and Western Europe These values include: a trend towards cutthroat competition and rivalry and the frenzied pursuit of power or of individualized status as represented by income, regardless of the means by which such goals are reached. This trend is often reinforced by certain aspects of modern educational systems and by a number of economic, administrative and The passage continues by stating that Western cultural l9 Gulick, op. cit 2o Draft 28 21 Ibid Medium Term Plan (1984-1989 UNESCO First Part 4 XC/4, p. 15 even political structures.22 This passage from the Medium Te rm Plan makes plain how pervasive the attack on Western society is at UNESCO of Western life are condemned from culture to education to commerce to government.

There are many other disturbing sections in the 1984-1989 Medium Term Plan communication and its cultural programming be regulated;23 a Marxist-oriented critique of the production cycle of cultural industries All aspects a suggestion that international satellite since these industries subject art to the laws of industrial production-higher productio n and turnover rates, the needs for short-term amortization, cost factors and profit margins-they have profoundly modified the conditions under which creation takes place, under mining some of its forms and even in some instances bringing about a deteriora tion in the economic and social status of the artists.24 But no critique at all of artistic repression in the socialist nations is to be found in the Medium Term Plan.

The Medium Term Plan also refers to the Ilflowering of genuine cultural democracy,Il sug gesting a kind of majority rule in national culture to the exclusion of individual cultural freedom.25 This notion is confirmed elsewhere by the Assistant Director-General for cultural affairs at UNESCO, Makaminan Makagiansar of Indonesia who wrote in the UNESCO periodical Cultures If cultural values are recognized as an essential component of integrated development, if culture is not seen as the prerogative of the privileged classes but a common heritage whose democratization is bound up with economic gro w th and social justice it seems necessary to place cultural policy in the wider context of general national policy.26 Here again, at the highest level of the UNESCO cultural sector hierarchy is the paternalistic, socialist bias that the faceless lfrnassesl f must be protected against the unnamed llelites, If who, upon closer examination, turn out to be the educated middle 22 Ibid. 23 24 Ibid Paragraph 11034 25 Ibid Paragraph 11025. 26 Ibid Second Part XI. Culture and the future, Paragraph 11030 Makaminan Mak agiansar Preservation and Further Development of Cultural Values Cultures, Vol. VI, No. 1, 1979, p. 13. 16 and upper middle class-strata of Western and Third World society.

And these masses must be protected, naturally, by a centralized state run cultural agency that is part of socialist, centralized planned economy.

Another UNESCO author, Felipe Herrera, former Chilean Minister of Finance, former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund and former President of the Inter-American Bank for Develop ment, gives another slant on the utility of a centralized culture bureaucracy. His reasoning: culture must be state controlled and centralized because that is yeferred by international, multina tional lend ing institutions In any case, what is critical is that Herrera joined in the chorus calling for repressive centrali zation of culture.

Another highly placed UNESCO cultural official, Janusz Ziolkowski, Director of the Division of Cultural Development in th e UNESCO cultural sector, argues that Western free market economics is too decadent to be the development model for the Third World--that the pace of industrialized life produces "certain forms of stress1# sometimes leading to violence and a Ilbreakdown o f the sense of values.1128 This leads in turn, he says, to a Iffascination with material wealth" which the corrupted desire to have without expending any effort lr2 In the classic UNESCO work on culture, Cultural Industries the foreword, written by the M'B o w Secretariat staff states It is already ten years since UNESCO, moving away from the view of culture as something spontaneous and uncon ditioned, sought to give due recognition to the import ance of analysis and critique of the nature, dimension and impa c t of mass culture, all issues which large1 coincide with those'raised by cultural industries 3iJ From a Western or American point of view, it might well be said that this is where UNESCO went wrong in its cultural policy when it moved away from culture "a s something spontaneous and unconditioned.Il In so doing, UNESCO has obviously chosen to politicize culture, thus snuffing the spark of life so essential to genuine cultural creativity.

Cultural Industries is a caricature of UNESCO prejudice.

Only four of its seventeen authors are even slightly pro-Western. The rest are decidedly leftist and NIEO-oriented. At the extreme left wing are French coauthors Armand Mattelmart and Jeanne-Marie 27 Cultural Development: Some Regional Experiences, p. 88 28 29 Ibid 3 0 Janusz Ziolkowski, in Cultures, op. cit.,,p. 21 mural Industries UNESCO, 1982 p. 12 A Challenge for the Future of Culture (Paris: 17 Piemme, who speculate that the culture industries will merge with their respective state governments to usher in a kind o f Marxist Armageddon in which the goal is a Ilmultinationalization of econo mies," a withering away of the nation-state and a global culture.31 UNESCO studies, of course, are entitled to criticize and even attack Western culture. What is unacceptable in an inter national organization, however, is the obsessive double standard denunciations of the West are okay, denunciations and critiques of the Soviet bloc and the developing states are not.

CONCLUSION Given the deep and extensive penetration of UNESCO by t he socialist cultural doctrine of the New International Economic Order, the time has come for the U.S. and its Western allies to Like its education sector UNESCO's cultural sector has worthwhile programs. But the few good programs serve as a convenient co ver-up for what UNESCO really is: a very large amphitheatre for international political propaganda, as proved at the Mexico City World Cultural Conference.

The ongoing drama in this theatre is controlled almost exclusively by the opponents of the U.S. and the West. They have written all the heroic lines for themselves as socialist champions of a I'New International Economi'c Order The U.S. and its allies consis tently are assigned roles as capitalist villains.

What is needed is a new script. The U.S. and t he West no longer can afford mere "damage controltf at UNESCO. They need to discredit the dangerous myths of the NIEO are well aware that these myths can become reality only if U.S and the West acquiesce game or suffer enormous losses to its credibility a s a world leader. This is particularly true of the United States. fight back or get out of UNESCO UNESCO players surely But the West must play the political The U.S. must provide a powerful free enterprise alternative to the NIEO-a kind of Freedom in Free Enterprise strategy for free market development in the developing world, Once devised this plan should be raised by the U.S. at every available UNESCO forum, particularly the General Conference scheduled for Paris in 19

83. Whether a free enterprise development plan would win majority backing at UNESCO is not the point, The battle itself would impress and educate a number of key developing states.

Simultaneously, the U.S. must lobby UNESCO delegates one-on-one with vigor, as do its anti-American opponents. In this regard the U.S. and Western missions to UNESCO in Paris should work closely with representatives of their respective private business and entrepeneurial firms.

But a Western free market plan for development is not enough.

The U.S. and its allies also must fight the charges of Ilcultural 31 -9 Ibid p. 58. .18 I imperialismIt by stressing what is never mentioned at UNESCO, the total denial of cultural and artistic freedom in the USSR, Eastern Europe, Red China, and elsewhere in the socialist and c o mmunist world. Much should be made of the persecution of artists and political dissenters in these countries religious minorities in the communist world should be exposed as well The persecution of Finally, with 65 percent of UNESCO's budget coming from W e stern funding sources-more than 25 percent o'f it from the United States alone--the West must begin to use its economic weapon to.stop the NIEO plan. Funds should be cut to UNESCO programs advocating NIEO concepts, the New World Information Order or the N e w World Culture Order. If these ideologies persist and the UNESCO effort to curtail Western cultural indus tries and mass communications businesses continues, all U.S funds to.UNESC0, assessed and unassessed funds as well as U.S funding of UNESCO through U nited Nations Development Program international lending institutions, and regional banks, should be discontinued tion and to the spread of culturell and to advance Ifthe mutual understanding and knowledge of all peoples" is being completely subverted by t h e M'Bow administration at UNESCO UNESCO has concentrated on attacking the West for its wealth, its economic and technological successes, and its social and cultural freedom ment plan that has all but killed the once thriving cultures of Russia, Eastern Eu r ope, and mainland China. This virulent anti Western bias of UNESCO is, regrettably, becoming typical of the entire United Nations UNESCO's mandate to !'give a fresh impulse to popular educa Under M'Bow It has embraced in the NIEO a socialist economic deve l op As in its education policy, UNESCO must excise the socialist anti-Western propaganda from its cultural agenda or lose its chief supporters, the citizens of the United States. For their part, Americans and all free world citizens must refuse to let thei r elected representatives at home and their diplomats assigned to UNESCO continue the.game of "damage control They should insist that a firm Western voice be heard at UNESCO exposing the NIEO and the New World Cultural Order for what they are-an attack on the freedoms of the Western world. If this voice is not.raised, then the U.S. and the Western nations should pull their logs out of the UNESCO fire and go home I' I I I i I I Thomas G. Gulick Policy Analyst


Thomas G.

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs