The Rhodes/Milner/Round Table Group
“The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences.”
The Rhodes/Milner/Round Table group refers to a group set up by the extremely wealthy Cecil Rhodes around 1900. Cecil Rhodes wanted to build a secret society with the purpose of expanding the British Empire throughout the world in order to spread British influence and stop conflict between countries. He was heavily influenced by his professor John Ruskin at Oxford, who felt that the British way of life was the best in the world and, therefore, those with ability had a moral obligation to spread it far and wide.
This desire is evident in the book The Last Will and Testament of Cecil John Rhodes, which was edited by Rhode's close friend W.T. Stead. He mentions having the groups members in all areas of public life, coaxing the political direction toward internationalism and British expansion rather than maintaining individual separate nations. He felt that most of the world under British rule, rather than each country being completely independent, would lead to world peace and cooperation.
Rhodes sets up a trust via his wills for the furthering of this group and to create a scholarship given to select individuals which sends them to Oxford to be indoctrinated with "internationalist" thinking and later be used by or brought into the group. This is the Rhodes Scholarship that many are aware of.
When Rhodes died, Alfred Milner (a key member) took control of the group. He was very good at gathering individuals for the groups purpose. As a result of the influence of the group, Milner took on important roles in the British political world. His followers within the group were known by some as Milner's Kindergarten. According to reputable historian and former professor of Bill Clinton, Carroll Quigley, Milner's Kindergarten was simiply the outer circle of the Rhode's group (Quigley referred to this outer circle as The Association of Helpers) This represents the largest part of the group and contains individuals that the group deems influential and useful, yet may be unaware of the groups full operation and goals. The inner circle contained people like Milner and Rhodes who knew the complete plan and direction of the group.
In order to finance the group, Milner had access to Rhodes' vast sum of money left to the group via wills. Additionally, within the group were various powerful wealthy individuals such as international bankers like Lord Rhothschild and J.P. Morgan as well as the Rockefeller family. In American politics, Carroll Quigley (beloved Georgetown University Historian) notes that many presidential elections were heavily influenced on one side by J.P. Morgan interests and on the other side by Rockefeller interests. Either way, the Milner Group won in a sense. Quigley even notes how wise it is (for The Milner Group, not the public) to have virtually the same political agenda on both sides (political parties) so that when the public gets tired of one politician, they can vote in the opposing side without derailing the agenda of the power structure (largely the Milner Group).
Milner also gathered the political and social influence of the aristocratic Cecil family power structure. This was once a separate influenctial interlocking family structure which sought to preserve it's status. Known as the Cecil Bloc, it was an intermingling of the same few families bonded through marriage in order to keep everyone in it directly connected. With Rhode's fortune, Milner did not require relying on their money but was able to effectively bring this group into the fold of his own influential group and use their influence to further his own. This gave Milner more of the social influence needed to secure his groups power.
To further political influence, The Milner Group created a publication called The Round Table. This was to disseminate foreign policy viewpoints toward that of British expansion and internationalism. It became one of the leading publications of that genre. As a result of their influence and the fact that it was primarily composed of Milner Group members, some began referring to the Milner Group as The Round Table Group.
One of the leading Milner Group individuals, Lionel Curtis, is credited with creating the concept of the Commonwealth of Nations as a replacement to the British Empire. Lionel Curtis wrote numerously on this subject and also expressed his desire for world federation, which is essentially world government; a consolidation of nations in order to end all war and international conflict.
After World War 1, at the Paris Conference, Milner Group representatives, including Lionel Curtis, developed the idea that became The Royal Institute of International Affairs in London (known now by some as Chatham House after the name of the building in which it is located). They also devised a "sister organization" to be located in New York known as The Council on Foreign Relations. Both were to promote concepts relating to "global governance" and world federation via their publications in a way similar to The Round Table, yet from the national perspective of each organization's location. Additionally, they were to be meetinghouses for the "association of helpers" of the Milner Group to discuss policy and establish a "group-think" perspective toward that of the Milner Group's direction.
Many of the recent ideas about leaning away from national sovereignty in order to allow for greater world cooperation through global governance come through these Milner Group directed channels.
While it sounds nice on the surface and even noble, the question is whether a semi-secret group of individuals with little oversight that wield such political, financial, media, and corporate influence can truly direct society in a way that keeps freedom intact. While Georgetown University Historian Carroll Quigley agreed overall with the group's goals, he had this to say in his book The Anglo American Establishment:
“No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner Group accomplished in Britain – that is, that a small number of men should be able to wield such power in administration and politics, should be given almost complete control over the publication of the documents relating to their actions, should be able to exercise such influence over the avenues of information that create public opinion, and should be able to monopolise so completely the writing and teaching of the history of their own period”
The history of the Milner Group is explicitly detailed in Quigley's books Tragedy and Hope (1100 + pages on world history with mention of the Milner Group's involvement in certain events) and The Anglo American Establishment (details the history of the Milner Group starting from Rhodes. Much shorter book but solely focused on the Milner Group).
Also: Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute headquartered in London. Its mission is to provide authoritative commentary on world events and offer solutions to global challenges. It is the originator of the Chatham House Rule.
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom