“In 1967, much of the intellectual world learned that the United States had outsmarted itself. Two decades earlier, it had quietly created several vehicles for secret cultural patronage. The scheme was billed as necessary to fight cultural penetration and patronage of the Soviet variety, which was presumed to lie behind not just propaganda, but also student and labor unions, world peace conferences and more. To maintain their secrecy, then, many of these American vehicles, such as the Congress for Cultural Freedom, were launched under the CIA’s covert bureaucracies. The agency’s secret budget was seen as a way to circumvent debates in the US legislature, whose hardline right-wingers hardly could be convinced to fund “little” intellectual magazines, say, or classical music, or the haphazard paint splashes of Jackson Pollock.”
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