Not so long ago conservatives and their counterparts on the left believed America's foreign policy was controlled by the Trilateral Commission. A murky collection of bankers, academics and political aspirants, the commission engaged in such sinister activities as banquets with speeches advocating closer ties among advanced industrial democracies. Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan accused Jimmy Carter of being unduly influenced by the commission, to which Carter had belonged, as well as arch-cabalists Harold Brown, Cyrus Vance, W. Michael Blumenthal, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Andrew Young.

Ed Meese, then Reagan's campaign issues adviser, warned that "all these people come out of an international economic industrial organization with a pattern of thinking on world affairs." He added ominously that their influence led to a "softening on defense."

The Trilateral Commission, for all the malevolent influence attributed to it, could not get Jimmy Carter reelected. Now Reagan is president, and along comes Jeane Kirkpatrick, his United Nations ambassador, as the latest embodiment of the conspiracy theory of history. She is not just the first woman ever named U.S. ambassador to the U.N., she's the first ambassador ever from Commentary magazine, a loudly anti- Soviet, pro-Israel intellectual monthly whose contributors, friends and even family reside at various levels of the administration--yea, even in the bowels of the State Department. They are part of a new old-boy network involving right-wing think tanks, foundations, policy groups and publications that try to project a subtle--and sometimes not so subtle--bias into foreign and domestic policy. It was Commentary that brought Kirkpatrick to Reagan's attention, with a now-famous article called "Dictators and Double Standards" in which she suggested that we should be more tolerant of dictators friendly to the United States. The article was given to Reagan in 1979 by Richard Allen, his national security adviser and then a kind of intellectual impresario and talent scout for the candidate. Reagan read the article on a transcontinental flight, and called Allen from California.

"I'm going to borrow some of her elegant phraseology," Allen quotes Reagan as saying. "Who is she?" James Conaway is a staff writer for The Washington Post Magazine.

Indeed. Kirkpatrick had no Ivy

League credentials; she had held no

significant post in any administration

and was unknown to the public. In

the cozy world of the intellectual

right, however, she was an ambitious

scholar, polemicist and American Enterprise Institute resident scholar

with a string of articles and books to

her credit.

Allen was also a past associate of

the institute, commonly referred to as

America's most prominent conservative think tank. It is also a corporate-

supported holding tank for Republicans and Democrats with the proper political orientation who find themselves between government jobs.

"I took her down to the Potomac," Allen says, "and baptized her."

In reality, Allen took Kirkpatrick to a briefing for the candidate in the Madison Hotel attended by what he calls "Reagoons"--hard-line Reagan supporters making up the Committee on the Present Danger. She was asked to join Reagan's team, and became a player on the foreign policy transition group.

In "Dictators and Double Standards" Kirkpatrick wrote: "Only intellectual fashion and the tyranny of Right/Left thinking prevent intelligent men of good will from perceiving the facts that traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies ... and that they are more compatible with U.S. interests."

Kirkpatrick made a distinction between autocracies and more repressive totalitarian governments that was far from original--she never claimed it was --but was easily seized upon by those around Reagan and by the press. The distinction became emblematic of the new administration's more relaxed view of human rights and its determined anti-communism; El Salvador was seen as the turf where the policies would be tested first.

Reagan's advisers--Kirkpatrick among them--advocated backing the junta, which had strong links to the traditional rulers in El Salvador, and pouring arms into a country seemingly small enough to be susceptible to their power.

After three Maryknoll nuns and a lay worker, all of them Americans, were murdered in El Salvador, Kirkpatrick offered ample philosophical justification for the Reagan policy and no sympathy at all for the victims. It bothered no one in the administration that she had never been to El Salvador and that one of the authorities she cited for her view of the strife there was Thomas Hobbes, an Englishman who had been dead for three centuries.

The most baffling credential in Kirkpatrick's portfolio is her old Humphreyite card. The daughter of an oil well entrepreneur, Kirkpatrick has enjoyed an American success that involves the commodities of ideas and language horse- traded among a new elite known as "neoconservatives." A cerebral political groupie who made what she considers an existential leap from socialism to Reaganomics, Kirkpatrick rather miraculously still considers herself a liberal.

"I find it intensely odd to be where I am today. It's a very peculiar thing to be doing. I find it interesting, but I wouldn't call it enjoyable. I have done things all my life that weren't enjoyable ... teaching, or writing books. But they're worth doing. This job is the same--like mothering."

She sits on a government- issue sofa in her office on the sixth floor of the State Department. A poster from a French arts festival in Aix-en-Provence hangs on the wall, an attempt to brighten a bureaucratic way-station between her book-bound Bethesda home and her suite at the Waldorf Towers in Manhattan. She wears a two-piece business suit and sturdy shoes; there is a utilitarian quality also about her closely cropped gray hair. Raised eyebrows give her an expression of sustained skepticism, as if she lives on the verge of some crucial debate the rest of us do not hear.

"I've asked myself quite a few times why I took this job, she says. "I don't think I am by temperament an advocate. I guess I think that one ought to use whatever opportunities present themselves to serve one's values--the preservation and expansion of freedom in the world. It's my obligation to give it my best try."

Kirkpatrick likes to talk. Her friend, Anne Crutcher, means to compliment Jeane when she says: "Jeane's the center of attention at all the dinner parties. She's always talking." Kirkpatrick has an absent-minded, garrulous charm in private that contradicts her tough, sometimes hectoring public presence. Everything she says is electronically recorded by a pocket-size Sony on the coffee table. Next to the tape recorder sits a basket containing a mixture of crackers and cookies; she eats several with an endearing lack of ceremony.

"My life is so complicated that I like to have a record of everything," she explains, smiling and brushing crumbs from her blouse. She does not like the idea of her well-considered words being misrepresented by a reporter.

Words--written words, spoken words, any words--provide the link between the public and private personas of a woman who wrote herself from a suburban Washington kitchen into the cabinet of the president of the United States. "Words mean a great deal to me," she says, even, "Camus means a great deal to me. The view of politics and the individual acting in politics is one that Camus has explained very persuasively, particularly in The Rebel. I consider myself fundamentally an existentialist in my approach to history, and giving meaning to an individual lifn between autocracies and more repressive totalitarie in one's time."

She bristles at the suggestion that she enjoys the perks of high officialdom--White House dinners, travel, constant attention, pomp, privilege and power. "Listen, I already had nice accommodations. I have a home--it's not as lush as the Waldorf, but it's mine. My staff is as much a burden as a help. They're all marvelous people, but administrating a large enterprise was never something I wanted to do ... I would rather have more time for contemplative pursuits. The truth is, I'm a very contemplative person."

She bought a thesaurus when she was a 10-year-old in Duncan, Okla., an unusual acquisition for the daughter of a roughneck father and a secretarial school graduate mother. Kirkpatrick says she taught herself to read, and by the fourth grade "was into Dumas and Stevenson." Her family moved to southern Illinois in 1938, following the oil boom north out of post-Depression Oklahoma. She made good grades.

Today Kirkpatrick's reading mixes what she disdainfully calls "bureaucratic prose" with the more graceful product of Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the novels of Nabokov and Camus, Saul Bellow, Walker Percy and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

She considered herself a socialist in college, at Stevens, in Columbia, Mo., and then at Barnard. Her grandfather, she says, was a founder of the the Socialist and Populist parties in his county, and she claims to have populist leanings to this day.

Kirkpatrick's younger brother, Jerry Jordan, an attorney, has a somewhat different view of the Jordans in Duncan, a typical American small town where Jeane took elocution lessons and the family was unabashedly upwardly mobile: "The free enterprise system really worked for my father. Through hard work and saving he was able to have an interest in his own rig by the time he was 26. Then he bought an interest in a second rig. He was able to borrow $60,000--a lot of money in the 1930s--to convert his rigs from steam to diesel, and follow the oil boom into Illinois."

Jerry converted to Republicanism 10 years ago. "I thought then that Jeane had seen the light."

Revelations coming out of the Nazi and Soviet concentration camps turned her into a resolute anti-Stalinist before she graduated. "I was impressed by the capacity of politics and government to create human misery on a massive scale. I became interested in totalitarianism."

She studied political science at Columbia University, and went to work for Evron Kirkpatrick, a former OSS member and a deputy director of the State Department's Intelligence Research Bureau. He was 15 years older than Jeane and had already been married twice; today Evron Kirkpatrick is a plump Washingtonian with white hair and fond memories of his young research assistant.

When Jeane went on to study at the Sorbonne, Evron traveled to Paris on State Department business. "I had her number. I called and we had lunch together. Then we had dinner."

Jeane returned to the United States, and they were married. Austin Ranney, another political scientist and a friend of Evron's, remembers the young wife as "a really good-looking woman, and very smart."

Evron brought Jeane into a closely knit community of liberal Democrats determined to change the course of politics in America. He had taught Hubert Humphrey at the University of Minnesota; he had helped forge a merger of the state's Farmer-Labor and Democratic parties in the 1940s and was actively involved in Humphrey's entire career, from his mayoral campaigns to the one for the U.S. presidency. According to Ernest Lefever and an old friend of the Kirkpatrick's who also worked for Humphrey, "If you were associated with Humphrey, you got into the Kirkpatrick circle."

They settled in Washington, where Jeane taught part-time while writing her Ph.D. thesis, and raising three small boys. "She had a tremendous capacity for work," says Ranney, often a visitor at the Kirkpatricks'. "It was evident that she would succeed. Evron egged her on, to autocracies and more repressive totalitariwrite books and articles after the housework was done. About 10 o'clock at night Jeane would say, 'You'll have to excuse me. This is when I do my work.'"

Kirkpatrick worked for Humphrey, and for three Democratic National Conventions. She and her friends were offended by the anti-Vietnam War rhetoric of the late 1960s, and the criticism of Humphrey. After the 1972 Democratic convention they found themselves shut out of the decision-making process, and formed the Coalition for a Democratic Majority that included Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Norman Podhoretz and his wife Midge Decter, Michael Novak, Austin Ranney, Daniel Moynihan, Ben Wattenberg, Kirkpatrick and others who sought to reclaim the party from the McGovernites. The group was characterized as neoconservative, a label that gained a certain cachet among intellectuals who had once believed in socialism and brought the zeal of converts to their new-found crusty values.

Says Wattenberg: "Before, there had been a dead gray hand about conservatism ... We were for a strong defense; at home, we were for belching smokestacks and against quotas, because quotas kept people out of jobs." Those who suffered most from the old quota system were Jewish.

After Carter was elected, Kirkpatrick led a delegation of coalition members to talk to him about, among other things, the danger of Soviet expansion. Carter was not forthcoming. "They have treated us like pariahs," said Kirkpatrick, not one to accept pariahdom in silence.

Early last year she wrote in Commonsense, published by the Republican National Committee: "The Carter administration has given us a brand of McGovernism without McGovern that is, at best, only slightly less objectionable than the authentic, original product."

By then she had joined Georgetown University's Department of Government, and the American Enterprise Institute. She was the only woman resident scholar there, championed by Penniman and Ranney. The institute was a bastion of free enterprise that also provided a comfortable niche for such friends as Wattenberg, Novak, Richard Scammon and other neoconservatives. Robert Nisbet, an adjunct scholar, speaks of the institute's "old-fashioned collegiality." Asked what is expected of scholars there, he said, "Nothing ... It's a lovely arrangement."

"The institute's numerous productions," Peter Steinfels wrote in The Neoconservatives, "liberally funded and distributed to the press, gained credibility in the centrist-to-mildly-liberal academic community while the center of gravity in policy debates was, in fact, shifted to the right." The latest beneficiary of the institute's largess is Evron Kirkpatrick, who now has an office there, though he admits that his duties are a little vague.

The irony is that the Kirkpatricks and many of her close friends arrived at their present positions through allegiance to a very different master--Hubert Humphrey.

"Humphrey is not turning in his grave," says Max Kampelman, who was associated with all the Humphrey presidential bids. "He would have been grieved to see his supporters support Reagan, but he would have understood."

Crutcher, an early coalition member, says wistfully, "Some of the things Humphrey stood for when he was young didn't work out."

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. takes exception with the neoconservatives' revisionist view of Humphrery's liberalism. "Humphrey believed government was the institution to best serve the general welfare." Donald Fraser, Democratic-Farmer-Labor mayor of Minneapolis and another sort of Humphrey heir, "can't believe that Humphrey would have approved the junking of SALT II or of the current arms race. Our consorting with repressive regimes would have troubled him."

The notion of human rights pales before the larger concern --Soviet expansion. "The greatest threat to western values comes from totalitarianism," says Wattenburg, in what amounts to the neoconservatives' bottom line. "Chile does not have 1,050 missiles pointed at the Four Seasons restaurant."

Kirkpatrick became a forceful advocate of American supremacy in a dangerous world. During confirmation hearings she rapped out responses to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warning that agencies of the United Nations "which engage in mischievous ideological struggle against the fundamental principles and the interests of the United States and its friends should know that the patience of the American people has very nearly run out."

Kirkpatrick delivered her maiden speech in the U.N. the day the General Assembly voted to deny South Africa a seat, scolding her collegues and warning that the vote had grave implications for the U.N.

The speech had implications for her as well. She seemed astonishingly unaware of the value of a simple conversation with a fellow diplomat; Kirkpatrick's insistence upon precise, rigid language caused some discomfort among diplomats at the U.N. who prefer to blur the issues.

"It was a petrification in the sudden glare of publicity," says a foreign service officer involved with the U.S. Mission, "when the Reagan administration didn't really have a policy."

Kirkpatrick demanded unusually heavy security, and surrounded herself with an unprecedented circle of top advisers from outside the State Department who had written for the same publications and moved in the same intellectual circles as did Kirkpatrick.

Some professionals left the U.S. Mission either because they were asked to leave, or because they felt shut out of policy making by newcomers suspicious of their motives. According to some embassy officials who worked for Donald McHenry, Kirkpatrick's predecessor, and stayed on during the transition, the mission was initially in disarray.

Last March, Kirkpatrick met a top military intelligence officer from South Africa and three other South African officers at a luncheon sponsored by the American Security Council, a conservative policy group in Washington. The Black Congressional Caucus called for her resignation; editorial writers unfairly compared her being duped by right-wing friends who invited her to the luncheon to Andrew Young's meetings with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Kirkpatrick claimed the 19- year custom of not meeting with South African officials was not established policy. She said: "I will continue to meet people ... My experience as a scholar leads me to believe that the best way to approach a problem is to listen to diverse views."

On a subsequent tour of Latin America, however, Kirkpatrick declined to meet with human rights activists in Argentina and Chile, leaving that to her aides.

At the U.N. she won some small victories, but she was unable to get the Security Council to put off a vote on a resolution demanding sanctions against South Africa for delaying to grant independance to Namibia, and had to veto the resolution.

In June, after Israel bombed the Osirak reactor, Kirkpatrick spent hours with Iraqi Foreign Minister Saadoun Hammadi, many of them in Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim's office, and emerged with a compromise that surprised observers. There were no demands for punitive action against Israel, and Kirkpatrick made placating remarks about Israel.

After the vote Kirkpatrick said that she felt "sick" for condemning Israel. She later met privately with members of the American Jewish Committee to explain her position, Kampelman said.

Had Kirkpatrick failed to get the compromise, the United States would have been forced to stand alone in its veto, antagonizing Arab states and possibly wrecking the Camp David peace accords. "Jeane was very lucky," says a State Department official. "Nobody thought the Iraqis would go as far as they did. If they hadn't made those concessions, they would have handed Jeane her head."

Her victory was marred when Secretary of State Alexander Haig's aides claimed the secretary, not Kirkpatrick, had obtained the concessions by telephone from Manila. Haig later denied the assertion, and President Reagan publicly expressed unqualified support for Kirkpatrick. He telephoned her in St. Remy, France, where she and her husband were vacationing. Haig also called the same day. Friends said Kirkpatrick thinks Haig has a good grasp of world affairs, but finds him condescending.

The day before the formal opening of the General Assembly in September, Kirkpatrick abstained from a vote in the special session to condemn South Africa for invading Angola. She was joined by the four other nations of the contact group--Britain, France, West Germany and Canada-- that had become increasingly restive with the United States position of "constructive engagement" with South Africa.

That afternoon she held a press conference. She told reporters sweating in the heat of klieg lights, "The United States has diplomatic relations with South Africa, let's be perfectly clear about that ... South Africa's political system has some good elements in it-- it is a democracy for whites, and a dictatorship for blacks ... We should work through peaceful means to maximize our values."

Many reporters left the press conference with the impression that they had been lectured. Kirkpatrick returned to the U.S. Mission to appear before editorial writers and editors brought together by the United Nations Association. When a woman in the audience asked about the administration's apparent emphasis on anti-Soviet diplomacy, Kirkpatrick got nasty.

"We provided more aid for Zimbabwe than any other country provides for Zimbabwe," she said, her voice rising. "Now you may think we only do that because we see it in an East-West framework, but if you thought that you'd be wrong ... It's outrageous, an outrageous representation of Reagan administration policy!"

Jeane Kirkpatrick is no Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Although they were spooned from the same neoconservative stew, she lacks the eloquence and the enthusiasm with which Moynihan once laid into opponents. Kirkpatrick often asks others to sit in for her in the General Assembly. This may reflect some personal reluctance to engage other delegates in free-wheeling debate; it certainly reflects the Reagan administration's disdain of the U.N.

Kirkpatrick also lacks Moynihan's independence. He recently criticized the Reagan administration's attitude toward the poor; he declined to discuss Kirkpatrick for this article. Most of the ambassadors from the contact group were also too busy to discuss her. Some ambassadors say privately that she is remote, some even say arrogant. Those willing to speak for the record measure their words. "Kirkpatrick seems to find it difficult," says Uganda's Olara Otunu, "to handle disagreements involving issues of principle, especially when Third World delegations are involved."

"I don't favor quiet diplomacy," Kirkpatrick says. "I favor effective diplomacy ... We thought the human rights approach of the Carter administration was not as effective as it might have been. I'm very pragmatic, within the limits of morality to be sure, about administrative bureaucratic policy means toward political ends. You try one thing and if it doesn't work, you try something else."

Asked what the words "human rights" mean to her, Kirkpatrick says, "Basically I think about fundamental political freedoms--free speech, free press, rule of law, due process. The sorts of rights in our Bill of Rights."

It is a typically rational response. Kirkpatrick often points out that she is a social scientist, a political analyst, an intellectual. There is nothing unusual in her bringing people with views similar to her own to the U.S. Mission; Andrew Young did the same thing. But Seymour Maxwell Finger, a former deputy permanent representative who worked at the U.S. Mission for almost 15 years, says, "There are now too many types wedded to the same philosophy." A former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says, "It is not in the interests of policy to put the whole administration into the hands of people who judge everything from the viewpoint of Israel and the Mideast."

Joe Shattan, Kirkpatrick's speech writer and researcher, is a former coalition member who came to Kirkpatrick from the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He was first published in Commentary.

Carl Gershman and other staffers have contributed to Commentary, but the connection extends beyond the hallowed realm of the intellectual. Steve Munson, Kirkpatrick's press officer, is a son-in-law of Midge Decter, and the step- son-in-law of her husband, Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz's other step-son-in-law is Elliott Abrams, the assistant secretary of state appointed in part on Kirkpatrick's recommendation and through whom she is supposed to report to the secretary of state. "We're all friends," says Abrams. "We see eye to eye."

The Commentary connection is a source of pride to the people around Kirkpatrick, although talk of it makes the Foreign Service Officers at the mission squirm.

When Kirkpatrick's deputy permanent representative, Ken Adelman, briefed guests of the United Nations Association in September, and a telephone rang in the back of the room, Adelman said lightly, "That's probably Commentary calling, to get us to write another article."

Commentary is published by the American Jewish Committee. Its editor, Podhoretz, has survived decades of intellectual combat in the fire zone of midtown Manhattan, where he is not known for modesty. "You must read my book Breaking Ranks," says Podhoretz, in a sparse office full of bound copies of Commentary. "It's the best thing written about neoconservatism, the only really authoritative thing."

Podhoretz is not a close friend of Kirkpatrick's. He says, "She's a pleasure to work with. She doesn't let her vanity get in the way of editorial content."

Pohoretz is proud of the blurb for his book The Present Danger provided by Ronald Reagan, and quotes it twice ("I urge all Americans to read this vitally important book."). Podhoretz is an unlikely looking Svengali. Short, plump and blue-eyed, he talks foreign policy with humorless intensity: "We have to turn the balance of power around or we'll have the Finlandization of Europe and even the United States. We have to station U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf; we have to make real choices in a real world."

The defense of Israel at any cost is inherent in Podhoretz's rhetoric. So is a rejection of social concerns once considered essential to a humane view of democratic society. Commentary reflects a brutal realpolitik in which such issues as "human rights" seem soft and muddle-headed. Once an open forum for Jewish and other intellectuals, Commentary lost a third of its subscribers when it became a narrow, ideological organ.

The muscular defense of civilization against savagery has roots in Podhoretz's own past, according to Bernard Avishai, a political theorist at MIT. "Podhoretz's fascination with the tough guy stance goes back to the time he lived in Brooklyn, when Jews were at the mercy of uneducated or illiterate blacks. Now Communists for Podhoretz have taken on the Manichean role of the blacks in Brooklyn."

Podhoretz claims Richard Pipes got his job on the National Security Council through Commentary. "Kissinger appointed Moynihan to the U.N. on the basis of an article in Commentary. Of course his wasn't a Cinderella story, like Jeane's."

More to the point, perhaps, is that Podhoretz was not invited to join the administration of the man who so willingly blurbed his book. He has to content himself with trying to affect policy from his well- fortified aerie. A recent article in Commentary called "The Middle East: Carterism Without Carter," by Robert Tucker, a member of candidate Reagan's foreign policy group, chides the administration for making concessions to the Arabs, and the position "that Israel must again become the problem of American policy, rather than, as Ronald Reagan once insisted, a valuable and valued part of the solution."

Asked about the article, Kirkpatrick says, "I read it very carefully, and I reread parts of it. I will probably reread it again. I think Tucker overstates the case, though there is some truth in what he says."

During the course of her career Kirkpatrick acquired a public posture that Crutcher prefers to describe in French: "She is dure (hard, tough) and professional. I once asked her what it was like to be the only woman in the Cabinet, and she said, 'I've been the only woman in so many places.' She's just asserting her serious side."

Asked again about being the only woman in the administration, Kirkpatrick provides a general answer: "Once one moves into the upper levels of decision-making in this society, one moves almost exclusively into masculine domains. I think there are some resistances to women, usually easily overcome once one demonstrates that one is serious and competent, and willing to work hard."

Anyone gazing out over the General Assembly is immediately struck by the maleness of that windy membership. Many ambassadors prefer to deal with Charles Lichenstein, Kirkpatrick's security adviser and trouble-shooter, or with Edelman, with whom they can joke and who are, after all, men.

Another irony of Kirkpatrick's success is that she seems to have replaced Richard Allen in the administration as the resident intellectual on foreign policy. "Jeane has more star quality," says Lichenstein, a professional Republican who once helped Richard Nixon write Six Crises. He adds that Allen has "adjusted. You have to remember that he deals with problems on a daily basis, down there in the White House basement, the Teletype machine clattering in his ear."

She has a strong ally in David Gergen, assistant to the president for communications, and a former colleague of Kirkpatrick's at the American Enterprise Institute. The flap involving Haig has endeared her to those who consider the secretary of state unpredictable.

Kirkpatrick has been demonstrating her competence since she was 10, when she bought the thesaurus (a lover of words buys a dictionary; someone who wants to use words to best advantage buys a thesaurus). But competence alone did not bring her into the Reagan circle.

Loyalty is another of Kirkpatrick's virtues often cited by her friends. It is one highly prized by the president and those around him. Kirkpatrick came to Reagan without a political base, being a Democrat and an easterner; She wrote another article before the eleion that received much less attention than "Dictators and Double Standards." It was called "Why Reagan?" and was published in The Washington Star two days before the election. The article made no intellectual demands, and proved that the author knows as much about the practicalities of success as she does about Hobbes and Hegel.

"Even a brief acquaintance establishes that Reagan is a secure person," she wrote, "comfortable in dealing with experts and ready to listen-- even to women. Ronald Reagan is obviously a nice person."

"I have an idea of Reagan's vision for America," says Kirkpatrick. "His vision is my cause. If you approved of my motivation, you could say it was idealistic. If you disapproved, you could say it was ideological."

Sounds like the Trilateral Commission.