The Bilderberg group, a secretive organization of powerful Western elites, held its first meeting at the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands in 1954. It was founded in part by Józef Retinger who recruited Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to the cause. Bernhard, a former Nazi, along with Belgian Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland and Walter Bedell Smith, then head of the CIA, helped organize the initial conference.
The first meeting led to an annual conference and then to a permanent Steering Committee and it is this committee today that continues to organize and coordinate Bilderberg affairs. Given the enormous publicity that Bilderberg meetings generate in the era of the Internet, members are rightly shy about appearing to have any considerable influence on world affairs. A Wikipedia entry on the Bilderbergs quotes the following 2008 defensive press release regarding Bilderberg activities: "Bilderberg's only activity is its annual Conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken and no policy statements issued."
What are some of the issues that Bilderbergers discuss during their non-binding and highly secretive meetings that include "no votes and no resolutions"? The 2008 agenda apparently included "a nuclear free world, cyber terrorism, Africa, Russia, finance, protectionism, US-EU relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam and Iran." Of course, the devil is in the details. Critics of this unelected elite body maintain that such subject matter is not in any sense educational and that significant decisions are made and blueprints for their implementation are designed.
Lately, the stance of Western power elites has been to admit that such organizations exist while downplaying their influence. The Economist magazine, a major elite mouthpiece, addressed the issue of an unelected elite power structure by affirming that yes, there was indeed a "cosmopolitan elite" that "flock together" but that gatherings of such individuals did not imply an "an evil conspiracy bent on world domination."
More from The Economist: "The world is a complicated place, with oceans of new information sloshing around. To run a multinational organization, it helps if you have a rough idea of what is going on. It also helps to be on first-name terms with other globocrats. So the cosmopolitan elite – international financiers, bureaucrats, charity bosses and thinkers – constantly meet and talk. They flock to elite gatherings ... They form clubs."
In fact, there is not much the Anglosphere can do at this point but admit the reality of the organizational superstructure that has been created. It is a reportorial staple on the Internet. A Google search of "Bilderberg" returns nearly two million citations. A query of "Council on Foreign Relations" provides nearly four million. Many blog sites and articles offer informed speculation that predicts the strategic maneuverings of the power elite even before it takes place.
Western power elites will continue to form un-elected international organizations, such as the Bilderberg Group, and meet as secretly as possible to "discuss" world events. But times are changing. It is possible that Western elites do not have the answers, or that larger Western populations will not continue to accept the solutions that elites are offering them. Has Bilderbergs time come and gone?