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Diagram of “The Powers That Be” / Definition of TPTB

Most people have a sense of "how the world works." Within this frame of reference, a term like "The Powers That Be" would usually be thought to mean our elected politicians, especially at the national level, and perhaps a few other top players from politics and major corporations.

We elect politicians on a regular basis, so in theory we are in charge of The Powers That Be (TPTB). But if that's really so, why is the will of the people not being carried out by TPTB? Why are things so royally messed up, regardless of which political party is in charge at the moment? The simple explanation is that the usual definition of The Powers That Be is grossly incomplete.

Who Are The Powers That Be?

If you want to know who really runs things in the world, check out the diagram of The Powers That Be below. In general, the higher on the chart that an entity appears, the more powerful it is in relationship to other entities. (The exceptions are the "Nouveau Riche," "Political Class," and "Industrial Families" entities, which vary greatly in their power level.)

Right-click on TPTB diagram image to open it up full size in a new browser window or tab so you can flip back and forth between it and the rest of this article.

Figure 1. Diagram of The Powers That Be (TPTB)

diagram of the powers that be; click to see larger version

We aren't going to go through long descriptions of each part of TPTB. Others have done that, and at the end of the article we provide numerous resources for further study.

However, there are a number of things worth noting about our diagram of The Powers That Be:

  • The US Government is relatively low in the power structure. This may surprise you, but it's more correct to think of our national governments as part of the operations arm of TPTB, with the important decision making mostly happening above that level.
  • Though our diagram only shows the US government, similar boxes for the European Union and the United Kingdom should also be in there. They were left out only to keep the number of boxes manageable. But the important players do include the EU and UK, as well as their central banks (the European Central Bank and the Bank of England) and their intelligence agencies.
  • Political parties, as well as the battles between left/right and liberal/conservative, are nowhere to be seen on TPTB diagram. These political pairings are merely polarization traps to give us someone to blame (incorrectly) and keep us squabbling amongst ourselves while the root causes of our grievances go unaddressed. Democrats, Republicans, and national party members in other countries are indeed part of the control structure, but the entities have no power beyond their value as a polarizing force.
  • Though the pieces on the PTB chessboard have changed somewhat over the last three centuries, the core theme remains the same. Power is based on a "central banking/warfare model," and it has been since the days when the Bank of England first extorted the right to profit from the management of Britain's money supply and since bankers in general figured out there was lots of money to be made by creating reasons for war and then working with both sides.
  • Central banks like the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England are owned by the big banks, which in turn are largely owned by the "Historically Wealthy/Powerful Families" entity, with some of that wealth being shared with the "minion classes"—the politicos and executives of corporations—as a way of establishing loyalty and dependence.
  • Movements like "End the Fed" have correctly identified the US Federal Reserve as a problem, but it's not THE problem. As The Powers That Be diagram clearly shows, even the banks that own the central banks—brash, greedy, and devilish though they may be—are still just high-level minions in TPTB structure. To paraphrase currency historian Andrew Gause, to find the heart of darkness of TPTB, one must find "the owners of the owners of the central banks."
  • Federal governments like those in Russia and China are less under the reigns of TPTB, though there is cooperation at some level, depending on the country. Some national governments like Venezuela have actively fought against the hegemony of the Western banking-military model (which explains the continual anti-Chavez stories we see in the corporate press).
  • The United States struggled to keep the bankers at bay from the time of its founding to the early 1900s. Several privately owned US central banks came and went during that period, with presidents like Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln expending considerable effort against the bankers. But the bankers eventually won out, and control of the US money supply was formally ceded to the bankers with the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
  • The centrality of bankers to the control structure of TPTB is why our diagram gives them their own box, even though they are technically part of the Corporate Complex.
  • We've chosen not to give Western militaries their own box; they are part of the operational arm, under the national governments in the chain of command. They are, however, an important mechanism in the control structure of TPTB, even if the vast majority of those working in uniform or as civilians believe they are doing so for honorable reasons.
  • The economic model of the bankers depends on the fractional reserve system, which essentially allows them to create vast quantities of "free money" to use in schemes that further their control (for instance: manipulating financial markets). It has been estimated that if the Federal Reserve's money-creation benefit (seigniorage) were reassigned to the US government, it would generate enough revenue for the government that personal income taxes could be eliminated.
  • Other key vehicles The Powers That Be use to harvest wealth and exercise control are the global stock markets, commodities markets, and currency exchanges. Publicly held corporations send profits upward through the stock markets. Manipulation of all three is used to entice unsuspecting investors into the rigged markets, where TPTB's haul ranges from skimmed percentages to full take-downs.

Don't Believe Us

The intent of our diagram of The Powers That Be is to give you a map to help anchor your future learning about TPTB. Much of the diagram may seem crazy, impossible, or simply wrong to you. That gut reaction comes from a lifetime of learning within the educational institutions and media outlets of TPTB, which have carefully constructed a variety of plausible illusions that people can accept as "the truth" without actually digging deeper to find the real truth.

For now, if you don't believe that our diagram is correct, that's fine. All we ask is that you continue to spend time learning, keeping the diagram in mind. As you do, you may see new possible explanations for how things really are. In time, your research may lead to conclusions that will be far different from your beliefs today.

Disempowering The Powers That Be

We each have our theories about why the world is so screwed up. We each have pet peeves we'd like to see addressed and have solutions we think will fix things. But whether it's reforming welfare or reducing military expenditures or fixing health care or cleaning up pollution, working on such issues is really just tinkering at the margins. We may win battles, but we're losing the war. The comprehensive control structure of TPTB is what must be addressed.


Does there really need to be a reason beyond the lure of money and power for the world's top dogs to work together to ensure their continued position at the apex of Mt. Money?

That said, the word conspiracy has gotten a bad rap. That's intentional on the part of those that engage in conspiracies! Implying that all "conspiracy theorists" are wackos with too much time on their hands helps keeps the general populace from wanting to look further in certain directions.

The mainstream press routinely makes fun of anyone who points out that there may be more to a story that meets the eye—any suggestion of a deep conspiracy is put off as "tin-foil-hat talk." People are encouraged to assume that conspiracies are just the fanciful musings of nut-jobs and Hollywood producers.

Interestingly enough, once a person puts on their "Powers That Be goggles" and starts seeing information with new eyes, many of the movie plots we once thought to be rather ridiculous start seeming a lot more plausible, and the idea that all conspiracies are just loony talk is seen for what it is—a control mechanism.

The Powers That Be are long-term thinkers; they are very patient; they have spent several centuries making their control structure comprehensive. It will not be easily undone. Yet that is exactly what must happen if we are to solve all of the other problems we care about and reclaim from the corp-gov state our sovereign rights as individuals.

Here's a quick-start guide to doing your part in disempowering The Powers That Be:

1.  Keep learning.

Not every mainstream media (MSM) story is propaganda, but most are at least tainted with disinformation or deceptive framing. (That includes NPR, PBS, and BBC.) MSM news should be only a minor part of your information diet.

We have some suggested better news sources; you can check out some relevant books and videos and our free weekly audio news service is a great way to take your learning mobile.

2.  Change the way you invest, bank, and pay.

If you have money or investments in a bank or brokerage run by one of the big bank conglomerates, you are helping TPTB maintain power. Similarly, because almost all credit cards are profit centers for big banks, using credit cards to pay for your purchases helps the profit streams of the big banks and, thus, TPTB. (That's true even if you pay off your entire bill every month. The merchants still pay a fee to the banks.) Check out the web site Move Your Money for more info on how to shift your money habits away from TPTB-related banks.  (Note: If that site suffers server attacks, so you may find it temporarily inop.)

3.  Move your purchases away from corporations.

Over the past half-century, the world has witnessed the demise of many family-run businesses and the rise of mega-corporations. This was no accident—both the control level and revenue stream of TPTB are enhanced when we spend our dollars on products and services offered by corporations, which funnel money upward to TPTB via stocks and bonds.

With family-owned businesses, the revenue stream is much smaller, relying solely on taxation, credit card charges, and purchases of corporate goods. The more dollars you can spend at locally owned businesses, especially on locally produced goods, the less you give to TPTB and the more you're helping make your community strong. A good place to start is buying more local food.

4.  Get resilient, be more independent.

If you are totally dependent on the weekly flow of food, water, energy, and other services/products from the centralized economy, you are not only helping the revenue stream of TPTB, you are dependent on their continued existence for your own continued existence! You can learn about improving your level of independence by checking out our article on The Resilient Household.

Know someone who might like this article about The Powers That Be? Please forward it to them.

Publish date: 01-MAR-2010

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