Rulers of the Realm

A History of “The 1%” and Their Influence on American Policy (Both Overt & Covert): 1776-­2016

Class videos will be posted within a few days of each class.

For the Class Syllabus, click here.

Week #1: The 2016 Election: “The ‘Logistical Moment’ In Which We Americans Find Ourselves”

Tuesday, March 29th (Click for video link)

The 2016 election can be seen as a microcosm of a persistent conflict in American history between populist and elitist politics. Bernie Sanders attempts to represent the egalitarian, idealist, democratic socialist strain of US politics with a campaign based on economic justice for average Americans. Donald Trump chooses to appeal to nostalgia, xenophobia and anti­government sentiment amongst the electorate with a campaign based on “restoring” America to glory of its imperialist past. Trump and Sanders occupy opposite ends of the political spectrum in a nation that is highly divided.


  1. G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America?McGraw­Hill, 2011, Chapters 1­3

  2. G. William Domhoff, Power in America: “Wealth, Income and Power”

  3. Loften, The Deep State, pp.107­-122; 123­-139;

Thursday, March 31st

Hillary Clinton, an additional competitor for the 2016 Presidential Nomination of the National Democratic Party, represents a third alternative: an equally classical “American Compromise” that has often been struck by the governing class in American politics, representing an attempt to straddle the fence between these two opposing extremes – on the one hand embracing (often in closed­door private speeches to gatherings of the heads of American business corporations and financial houses such as Goldman Sachs) the unquestioned alliance between Government and Big Business, while, on the other hand, publicly extolling the candidate’s desire to TRY TO move our nation’s public and private policies voluntarily toward a more egalitarian distribution of the wealth, while doing at least something for the least well off. Realistically recognizing, however, that such “efforts” must remain entirely voluntary on the part of “The 1%”, which will make such efforts understandably difficult, because these efforts are opposed by “very powerful political forces within our nation” who must be “respected” and “accommodated” within our ”representative” democratic political system.


  1. G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America?Chapters 7, 8 Appendix A & B

  2. Kathy Gill, Clinton: The Candidate of Finance and the Establishment, The Moderate Voice,

  3. Michael Tanner, President Bill v Candidate Hillary, National Review, January 6, 2016,­nomination

Week #2: The End of the Cold War & The Re-ascendance of The Robber Baron Ethos: ​The Longer­Term “Tactical Moment” In Which We Americans Find Ourselves

Tuesday, April 5th

This lecture covers the period of time leading up to and following the Cold War Era, which lasted from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 through the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 31, 1991.

The Cold War gave the United States the ability to have a dialectical relationship with their ultimate other, the Soviet Union. However, the question remained as to who was to take that place of the other once the Soviet Union no longer posed a threat. The discussion includes specific instances that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union by Mikhail Gorbachev and the intentional conflict created in the Middle East to take the place of the Soviet Union as a strategic military focus for the United States.

In continuing with the theme of this lecture series, this discussion names specific players, existing behind the scenes, making national and foreign policy decisions on the part of the United States.


1. Daniel Sheehan, Paradigm Politics, End of the Cold War;­114.pdf

2. The George H.W. Bush Memo delivered to Saddam Hussein by April Gillaspie on July 25, 1990 “Green Lighting” Saddam’s Invasion of Kuwait­memorefutes­claims­leaked­docs­were­classifiedfor­security ; Congressional Record, January 26, 2011, Page H503.

3. The 1992 United States Defense Department Policy Planning Guidance Document (Feb. 1992 version #1: ;­Defense­PlanningGuidance­1992­1999­Leaked­NY­Times

Thursday, April 7th

What happened as a consequence of the dissolution of the Soviet Union? What did the United States do to actively control the raw materials necessary for the domination of the Northern Industrial Alliance?

The 2000 presidential election was rigged in favor of George W. Bush, with the state of Florida (governed by his brother Jeb Bush) being the crucial factor for Gore’s loss of the election.

Upon entry into office, the Bush/Cheney administration immediately pushed for an oil pipeline to be constructed from the Caspian Sea, through Afghanistan, to warm water ports for shipment. The fallout of Afghanistan’s refusal to allow for this pipeline is discussed in detail.

In addition, the rigging of the 2004 presidential election is discussed, and the important players in the present incarnation of the shadow government are reviewed.

Note: Danny mistakenly refers to Saddam Hussein as Shiite, when he was in fact a Sunni.


1. Daniel Sheehan, Worldviews Introduction, Video Lecture, UCSC, 4­16­15(

2. David Korten, When Corporations Rule The World,“The Rise of Corporate Power in America”, pp. 59­-74;

2. Glen Yeadon & John Hawkings, The Nazi Hydra in America, “Corporate Law: A History” Progressive Press, 2008, p78-­98

4. Michael Ignatieff, American Empire, The Burden, New York Times, January 5, 2003,­american­empire­the­burden.html

Week #3: The Robber Baron Era

Tuesday, April 12th

This discussion covers the period from the end of the Civil War (1868) to the end of World War I (1918).

Why was the Civil War fought? The general conception was to abolish slavery, but Professor Sheehan covered the economic reasons for the Civil War and the influence such powers had on the government. Just after the repercussions of the Fourteenth Amendment began to take hold and personal liability for corporate actions began to vanish, the National Board of Homeland Ministries of the Methodist Church established a summer program at Lake Chautauqua, near Buffalo, New York. This summer program turned into the Chautauqua Movement, which influenced the rise of
labor unions, the women’s suffrage movement, the public school system, child labor laws, safety standards at the workplace, and the first environmental movement.

Professor Sheehan then went on to discuss Worldviews, as Talcott Parsons initially proposed and their adaptation through philosophy and political philosophy.

Readings: 1. Andrew Chamberlin Reiser, The Chautauqua Movement: Protestants, Progressives & The Culture of Modern Liberalism: 1874­-1920, p. TBD

2. Jackson Lears, Rebirth of A Nation: The Making of Modern America – 1877­ to ­1920 p. 52-­91 and p.276-­326;

3. Michael McGerr, A Fierce Discontent: The Rise & Fall of the Progressive Movement in America: 1870 ­to­ 1920 p.48­-74, p.118­-­146 and p.147-­181

Week #4: The Conscious Campaign of The Robber Barons To Suppress Reform & Funding the Nazi Party

Tuesday, April 19th

Imperialism and Labor Unrest

Thursday, April 21st

From WWI to WWII

Exploring the actions of US negotiators at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and show that their public accomplishments in diplomacy, reparations agreements and treaty conditions for the state department also benefitted the private corporations. We will continue to study the role of the American steel, oil and auto industries in the rapid, profitable militarization of germany in the 1920’s and 30’s that made the Third Reich a global superpower, and the continued support of American business even after 1939. Finally, we will examine the financial networks that intimately linked fascist German financiers with well known Wall Street bankers.

Week #5:

Tuesday, April 26th

Covert & Lesser Known Actions in and after WWII

Thursday, April 28th

Cuba, America, and Russia 1945 to 1963

Week #6:

Tuesday, May 3rd

Elites, The Creation of the CIA, the Mafia and Cuba

Thursday, May 5th

JFK, Cuba, and the CIA

Week #7:

Tuesday, May 10th

Thursday May 12th

Week #8:

May 17th and 19th

The JFK Assassination

Week #9:

Tuesday May 24th

Thursday May 26th

Week #10:

Tuesday May 31st

Thursday June 2nd