Saint-Simon Foundation

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Group.png Saint-Simon Foundation  
(Think tank)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
FounderFrançois Furet
InterestsPensée unique
Member ofThe Hague Club
Membership• Roger Fauroux
• Pierre Rosanvallon
• Alain Minc
• Jean-Claude Casanova
• Jean Peyrelevade
• Yves Sabouret
• Jean-Louis Beffa
• Henry Hermand
• Antoine Riboud
• Christian Blanc
• Jean-Luc Lagardère
• Francis Mer
• Jean Daniel
• Laurent Joffrin
• Serge July
• Christine Ockrent
• Anne Sinclair
• Franz-Olivier Giesbert
• Jean-Marie Colombani
• Michèle Cotta
• Jean-Pierre Elkabbach
• Luc Ferry
• Alain Touraine
• Yves Lichtenberger
• Bernard Kouchner
• Thomas Piketty
• Françoise Giroud
• Jacques Julliar
• Alain Finkielkraut
• Edgar Morin
• Francis Mer
• Jean-Claude Trichet
• Martine Aubry
• Robert Badinter
• Jean-Paul Huchon
• Simon Nora
• Marc Ullmann
Think tank which for almost twenty years imposed Washington’s thinking in France.

The Saint-Simon Foundation, founded by François Furet in 1982, brought together senior civil servants and liberal officials as well as businessmen until its dissolution in 1999. Pierre Nora defined it as the "meeting of people who had means [i.e. money] with those who had ideas" ("la rencontre de gens qui avaient des moyens avec des gens qui avaient des idées").

For almost twenty years, the Saint-Simon Foundation "imposed Washington’s thinking in France"[1], creating what its critics called “la pensée unique” (a single perspective akin to "There Is No Alternative"). In the 1990s, it was increasingly subjected to criticisms, alleging an excessive and covert influence on French politics. In 1999, the Foundation decided on its own accord to wind up its operations.

The Saint-Simon Foundation was a member of The Hague Club, a contact group of twenty-five similar organizations around the world,[2] directed by the CIA.

The newspaper Liberation points out that by converting the Socialist Party (PS) to economic liberalism, the foundation achieved the mission it had set itself: "Created in 1982 to reconcile the French left with business and Europe, the Saint-Simon foundation no longer really has a reason to exist: the socialist government completes the privatization of competitive companies, promotes flexibility in companies, launches the euro[3]


According to the political scientist Pierre Rosanvallon, "the Saint-Simon foundation was created after the turning point of 1981, to set up a completely independent space for social exchange and intellectual production, different from both political clubs and university institutions."[4]

The Saint-Simon Foundation stood in opposition to all “totalitarian” currents of thought and supported democracy accompanied by the free development of the market. The foundation has distinguished itself by the publication of works intended for the general public. It insisted in particular on the inseparable nature of the market economy and democracy.

It wanted to reconcile the world of the university, that of the corporation and that of the high administration in France. According to Pierre Nora, it was "the meeting of people who had means with people who had ideas”. It has published notes and studies. During the 1990s, the foundation was the subject of numerous criticisms questioning its influence, deemed excessive and hidden, on French politics. The members of this very closed "club" formed what Alain Minc called "the circle of reason" and that their opponents described as the "circle of single thought".

According to the review of the media critics association Acrimed, the Saint-Simon foundation "played a central role in the conversion of the governing left to liberalism". Grégory Rzepski, a journalist specializing in media studies, notes that the Saint-Simon foundation has "brought to the fore themes destined to occupy a prominent place in the repertoire of conservative ideas" and continues to constitute "a model for a number of think tanks".


On June 22, 1999, the board of directors of the Saint-Simon foundation (Jean-Claude Casanova, Roger Fauroux, Alain Minc, Jean Peyrelevade, Pierre Rosanvallon) decided unanimously to propose to its members the dissolution of the association at December 31st.

Pierre Rosanvallon, the secretary general of the organization, then evokes “an accomplished history”.


Saint-Simonians are high ranking planning officials (General Commissioner of the Plan Pierre-Yves Cossé), media journalists (Françoise Giroud from L’Express, Jean Daniel and Jacques Julliard from the Nouvel observateur, Franz-Olivier Giesbert from Le Figaro, Serge July and Laurent Joffrin from Libération), T.V. stars (Anne Sinclair, Christine Ockrent), philosophers (Alain Finkielkraut, Edgar Morin, Luc Ferry), company employers and bankers (Usinor’s General Manager Francis Mer, the President of the Bank of France Jean-Claude Trichet), editors (Pierre Nora from the Gallimard’s Publishing House, Yves Sabouret from Hachette), and politicians (Martine Aubry, Robert Badinter, Jean-Paul Huchon, Bernard Kouchner), etc.[5]

Further Reading

The Hidden Side of the Saint-Simon Foundation From the Saint-Simon Foundation to Emmanuel Macron


Known members

9 of the 36 of the members already have pages here:

Martine AubryFrench politician, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow 1993
Robert Badinter
Jean Daniel
Françoise GiroudFrench politician
Bernard KouchnerBilderberg French politician, 3 times French Health minister, founded Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde, attended 2005 pandemic planning exercise Atlantic Storm
Christine OckrentDeep state French journalist and editor
Antoine RiboudFounder of Danone. Like his son Franck, Antoine Riboud was a single Bilderberg
Jean-Claude TrichetPresident of the European Central Bank, Governor of the Bank of France, Bilderberg Steering committee
Marc Ullmann


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