Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #274 If Music Be the Food of Love, Munch On! Part 2

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

1. In yet anoth­er update to a series of broad­casts that Mr. Emory has been doing since Decem­ber of 1998, this pro­gram exam­ines maneu­ver­ing by the Ber­tels­mann firm to increase its influ­ence in the music indus­try.

2. The title of the pro­gram is derived from a key pas­sage in the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk (Ran­dolph D. Calver­hall; soft­cov­er, Nation­al Van­guard Books, copy­right 1991, ISBN# 0–937944-05‑X.) The book, sup­pos­ed­ly a nov­el, seems rather a blue­print for the strate­gic pol­i­cy Nazi ele­ments are cur­rent­ly pur­su­ing. In this regard, it would resem­ble The Turn­er Diaries, also pub­lished by Nation­al Vanguard–the pub­lish­ing arm of the Nation­al Alliance, the most impor­tant Amer­i­can Nazi orga­ni­za­tion. The Turn­er Diaries was the mod­el for Tim­o­thy McVeigh & Co. in the Okla­homa City Bomb­ing, as well as the Nazi group The Order. In Ser­pen­t’s Walk, the descen­dants of Hitler’s SS take over the Unit­ed States in the mid-21st cen­tu­ry, after going under­ground, build­ing up their eco­nom­ic strength, and gain­ing con­trol over the Amer­i­can media. This process is described in one of the book’s key pas­sages. “About ten years ago, we swing a merg­er, a takeover, and got vot­ing con­trol of a super­corp that runs a small but sig­nif­i­cant chunk of the Amer­i­can media. Not open­ly, with bands and trum­pets. . . . but qui­et­ly, one huge cor­po­ra­tion cud­dling up to anoth­er one and gen­tly munch­ing it up, like a great, gub­bing amoe­ba.” (Ser­pen­t’s Walk, p. 42.)

3. Bor­row­ing from Shake­speare’s famous quote “if music be the food of love, play on,” the pro­gram hybridizes The Bard’s pas­sage with the “munch­ing” process allud­ed to in Ser­pen­t’s Walk. The sub­stan­tive por­tion of the pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of the use of the Nap­ster file shar­ing music plat­form as a vehi­cle for shar­ing “neo”-Nazi music. (“Ber­tels­mann Address­es Nap­ster Nazi Charges” by Rick Per­era [IDG, 12/20/2000.) Rock music has been uti­lized by Nazi ele­ments as a vehi­cle for con­vert­ing (or attempt­ing to con­vert) young peo­ple to the Nazi cause. One won­ders whether the uti­liza­tion of the Nap­ster ser­vice by Nazi ele­ments may be con­nect­ed to Ber­tels­man­n’s rea­sons for pur­chas­ing the plat­form.

4. The first major music com­pa­ny to join Ber­tels­mann in the Nap­ster deal is the Ger­man firm Edel Music. (“Edel Music Reach­es Accord With Nap­ster To Pro­vide Songs for Fee-Based Ser­vice” by William Boston; Wall Street Jour­nal; 1/3/2001; p. B2.) As not­ed below, cor­po­rate Ger­many is con­trolled by the Bor­mann Orga­ni­za­tion, and the firms that the group con­trols act in con­cert. When con­sid­er­ing Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that they are con­trolled by the Bor­mann Orga­ni­za­tion. This insti­tu­tion has per­pet­u­at­ed its pow­er in an effec­tive, clan­des­tine, and dead­ly, Mafia-like fash­ion in the years since World War II. Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions are dri­ven by the prof­it motive, and coor­di­nate poli­cies on labor, envi­ron­men­tal, mar­ket­ing and tax­a­tion issues — they are oth­er­wise rel­a­tive­ly apo­lit­i­cal. In con­trast, Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions (under con­trol of the Bor­mann group) func­tion as coor­di­nat­ed ele­ments of inter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal con­trol, not unlike the divi­sions in an army. Although they, too, strive to make mon­ey, prof­it is sub­or­di­nate to the goal of Ger­man nation­al hege­mo­ny.

5. In keep­ing with Ber­tels­man­n’s aim to dom­i­nate inter­net con­tent and e‑commerce, the com­pa­ny is inte­grat­ing Nap­ster and CD Now (two of its recent acqui­si­tions.) (“Nap­ster’s Soft­ware Includes CD Now Link” by P.J. Huff­s­tut­ter; Los Ange­les Times; 1/12/2001; p. C5.)

6. Ber­tels­mann CEO Thomas Mid­del­hoff anounced that Nap­ster would begin charg­ing a fee as ear­ly as this sum­mer. (“Ber­tels­mann Plans Ear­ly Nap­ster Relaunch” by James Hard­ing; Finan­cial Times; 1/30/2001; p. 18.)

7. Mid­del­hof­f’s announce­ment came as a sur­prise to the man­age­ment at Nap­ster, indi­cat­ing (per­haps) that effec­tive con­trol of the com­pa­ny had shift­ed to the Ger­man giant. (“Exec Says Nap­ster to Charge Fee” by Ben­ny Evan­ge­lista; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 1/30/2001; p. B3.)

8. Ber­tels­mann has under­gone some dra­mat­ic shifts in man­age­ment as it pro­ceeds with nego­ti­a­tions to effect a dom­i­nant “merg­er” with EMI. (Ber­tels­man­n’s poten­tial deal with EMI was only made pos­si­ble by the EU’s nega­tion of Time Warn­er’s acqui­si­tion of the British music giant.
9. Ser­pen­t’s Walk describes the Nazi/SS/Bormann takeover of media cor­po­ra­tions as involv­ing the process of “replac­ing exec­u­tives, push­ing some­body out here, bring­ing some­body else in there.” (Ser­pen­t’s Walk, p. 42.)

10. Rough­ly a week before he was sched­uled to take con­trol of BMG (Ber­tels­man­n’s music divi­sion) Rudi Gassner died of a heart attack at the age of 58. (“Death to Force Restruc­tur­ing of BMG Ranks” by Mar­tin Peers; Wall Street Jour­nal; 12/26/2000; p. A5.)

11. His replace­ment is Rolf Schmidt-Holz, whose appoint­ment was expect­ed to facil­i­tate the Ber­tels­mann-con­trolled merg­er with EMI. (“Ber­tels­mann Expect­ed to Name Ex-TV Exec to Lead Music Group” by Chuck Philips; Los Ange­les Times; 1/4/2001; pp. C1-C6.)

12. Schmidt-Holz had pre­vi­ous­ly served as the edi­tor of the Ber­tels­mann-owned Stern mag­a­zine. (“Ber­tels­mann to Name Com­pa­ny Insid­er With­out Music Expe­ri­ence as BMG Chief” by William Boston and Mar­tin Peers; Wall Street Jour­nal; 1/15/2001; p. B5.)

13. In that capac­i­ty, Schmidt-Holz had helped to super­vise the “edi­to­r­i­al tam­ing” of the mag­a­zine. (Glob­al Dreams: Impe­r­i­al Cor­po­ra­tions and the New World Order; by Richard J. Bar­net and John Cavanaugh; copy­right 1994 [HC]; p. 77.)

14. Tech­nol­o­gy head Kevin Con­roy and Chief Finan­cial Offi­cer Tom McIn­tyre also exit­ed from BMG at about the same time as Gassner’s “exit.” (“Exec Exo­dus Con­tin­ues at BMG” by Chuck Philips; Los Ange­les Times; 1/9/2001; p. C11.)

15. Bob Jamieson was made the chief exec­u­tive of Ber­tels­man­n’s North Amer­i­can music oper­a­tions, short­ly after the depar­ture of Con­roy and McIn­tyre. (“RCA Chief to Head Ber­tels­mann N. Amer­i­ca Music” by Chuck Philips and Jeff Leeds; Los Ange­les Times; 1/20/2001; p. C3.)

16. Mean­while, the nego­ti­a­tions between EMI and Ber­tels­mann con­tin­ued. (“Music Majors Try to Strike Accord” by Ash­ling O’Con­nor; Finan­cial Times; 1/27/2001; p. 11.)

17. In order to bet­ter nav­i­gate the waters of antitrust reg­u­la­tion, Ber­tels­mann hired Joel Klein. (“Ex Reg­u­la­tor Hired to Advise Ber­tels­mann” by David D. Kirk­patrick; New York Times; 2/1/2001; p. C1.)

18. Klein had been the head of the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s antitrust enforce­ment. (Idem.)

19. Review­ing an item dis­cussed in FTR-266, the pro­gram under­scores the fact that recent leg­is­la­tion passed by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment would great­ly impede a hos­tile takeover of a Euro­pean cor­po­ra­tion. (“Euro­pean Firms Get ‘Poi­son Pill’ ” by Paul Meller [New York Times]; San Jose Mer­cury News; 12/14/2000; p. 4B.) It should be not­ed that this is high­ly unlike­ly to impede Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions from tak­ing over Amer­i­can firms.

20. Ber­tels­man­n’s par­ent (the Ber­tels­mann foun­da­tion) spon­sored a think tank at which Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Ger­hard Schroder called for the fed­er­al­ist inte­gra­tion of the EU into a Euro­pean super­state. (“Schroder Launch­es Brus­sels Offen­sive” by Alan Hall; The Scots­man; 1/26/2001.)

21. This step would entail “a Europe where deci­sions on tax, defense, health, insur­ance and a pletho­ra of oth­er issues were defined by the EU and not nation­al gov­ern­ments.” (Idem.)

22. Such a state would, of course, be dom­i­nat­ed by Ger­many. In effect, this would give Ger­many the con­trol of Europe that it has sought through mil­i­tary con­quest in two world wars. In lan­guage rem­i­nis­cent of the ora­to­ry of Adolf Hitler, Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter warned that, unless this inte­gra­tion took place, grave mea­sures would fol­low. (Idem.)

23. “The Ger­man gov­ern­ment will not stand idly by, but would take coura­geous steps against the cen­trifu­gal forces of the inter-gov­ern­men­tal­ists,” warned Fis­ch­er. (Idem.)

24. The broad­cast con­cludes by com­par­ing aspects of the afore­men­tioned Ser­pen­t’s Walk with the real­i­ty of the Ber­tels­mann firm. In Ser­pen­t’s Walk, the descen­dants of Hitler’s SS take over the Unit­ed States in the mid-21st cen­tu­ry, after going under­ground, build­ing up their eco­nom­ic strength, and gain­ing con­trol over the Amer­i­can media. (Text from the back cov­er of Ser­pen­t’s Walk.)

25. The pro­gram then reviews Ber­tels­mann patri­arch Hein­rich Mohn’s “pas­sive” mem­ber­ship in the SS, and the fact that the firm was the largest pub­lish­er of books for the SS and Wehrma­cht dur­ing World War II. (“Ber­tels­man­n’s Nazi Past” by Her­sch Fis­chler and John Fried­man; The Nation; 12/28/98.)

26. Next, the pro­gram ana­lyzes more of the sce­nario pre­sent­ed in Ser­pen­t’s Walk. High­light­ing the impor­tance of the Nazi-con­trolled media in revis­ing his­to­ry dur­ing the 21st cen­tu­ry, the pro­gram under­scores the denial of the Holo­caust and the shift­ing of blame for World War II away from the Third Reich. (Ser­pen­t’s Walk; p.43.)

27. The pro­gram also reviews the polit­i­cal views of the com­pa­ny’s offi­cial his­to­ri­an, Dirk Baven­damm. In books pub­lished in 1983, 1993 and 1998, Baven­damm blamed World War II on Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt, “U.S. impe­ri­al­ism,” and the “Jew­ish-con­trolled” U.S. media, which, he said, gave a dis­tort­ed view of Hitler. Baven­damm also said that Hitler’s pol­i­cy toward the Jews was made nec­es­sary by FDR’s war-like poli­cies toward Ger­many. (“Ber­tels­man­n’s Revi­sion­ist” by Her­sch Fis­chler and John Fried­man; The Nation; 11/8/99.)

28. The pos­si­bil­i­ty that Ser­pen­t’s Walk could become a real­i­ty is not one to be tak­en light­ly.


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