The 20th century was the century of oil. From farm to fork, factory to freeway, there is no aspect of our modern life that has not been shaped by the oil industry. But as the "post-carbon" era of the 21st century comes into view, there are those who see this as the end of the oiligarchy. They couldn't be more wrong. This is the remarkable true story of the world that Big Oil is creating, and how they plan to bring it about.
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At the dawn of the 20th century, a new international order was emerging. One founded on oil. And by the end of the 20th century, that order was firmly established. Heating. Transportation. Industrial power. Plastic manufacturing. Pharmaceuticals. There is no facet of modern life that is not, one way or another, dependent on oil.
But the rulers of this oiligarchy–the Rockefellers at Standard Oil, the British royals at BP, the Dutch royals and the Rothschilds at Royal Dutch Shell–were not content with mere financial domination. The power that came with their near-total monopoly on the world's most important commodity was enormous, and they had no qualms about using that power to re-make the world in their image.
As we saw in "How Big Oil Conquered the World," the impact of the oiligarchs has been breathtaking. From the education system to the medical profession, from the green revolution to the gene revolution, from World War to the Gulf War, oil money has been used to shape every aspect of the world we live in. With the rise of the petrodollar in the 1970s, even the international monetary system itself rests on oil.
But now, in the 21st century, it seems that the old order, the oil order, is finally coming to an end.
AMY GOODMAN: "We begin looking at a new milestone in the growing campaign for divestment from the gas, oil and coal companies that are fueling climate change. May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, made the announcement just before our broadcast today."
MAY BOEVE: "Today we're announcing that as of today total divestment commitments have passed the $3.4 trillion mark. That's $3.4 trillion of assets under management now fossil free."
ROBERT DUDLEY: "In the oil and gas sector, we recognize the contribution of our activities and products to greenhouse gas emissions. Which is why the OGCI [Oil and Gas Climate Initiative] was setup."
NARRATOR: "What began as a movement on US college campuses has reached the skyscrapers of high-finance."
NARRATOR #2: "Globally nearly 200 institutions and thousands of individuals have moved a total of $50 billion in assets away from fossil fuels."
DIVESTMENT ACTIVIST: "If we take our money, put it into renewable like solar panels, the world could be such a better place."
SOURCE: Global Divestment Day 2015
The masses, having identified the oiligarchs and their destructive grip on the planet, see Big Oil waning and have begun to celebrate. To them, the promise of a post-carbon future represents the end of the oiligarchy.
What many do not realize, however, is that the oil order was never about oil. The oiligarchs did not care about oil but control, and, having long outgrown their financial dependence on the commodity that brought them their power and riches, they are at the forefront of this push for the post-carbon era.
Now, the oiligarchs are seeking to bring in a new international order. One in which their control is consolidated, their plan complete, their power unquestionable. One in which every aspect of human life, from energy to money to the very genome itself, is precisely ordered and technologically controlled.
This is the story of what the oiligarchs really desire, and how they plan to achieve it.
PART ONE: THE RISE OF EUGENICS
It's a day much like any other in Dhaka. The streets are crowded, dirty, squalid, smelly, and absolutely swarming with people. Lying in the streets. Coiled in the gutters. Into that swarm of people steps a most unlikely figure. Wearing his drip-dry suit and hugging his briefcase, he sticks out from the crowd. Surveying the scene, he shakes his head ever so slightly before remarking, half to himself and half to his traveling companion, "Well, that's the problem, isn't it?"
It's a scene that has played itself out many times; a Western tourist overwhelmed by the bustling crowds of the Indian subcontinent. But this was no mere tourist passing time on his holiday. This was John D. Rockefeller III, grandson of oil baron John D. Rockefeller. And, armed with the unimaginable wealth, power and influence that his family name bestowed on him, he was on a mission to do something about the "problem" of overpopulation.
Rockefeller approached that mission as a representative of the Population Council, a group that he himself had founded to address the "problem" in Dhaka and elsewhere. On its surface, the Population Council was a straightforward organization with a straightforward task: to support medical and scientific research into the question of the growing human population. But the dark history of the Council and its guiding philosophy reveal Rockefeller's true interest in this "problem" and its ultimate "solution."
John D. Rockefeller III–or JDR3, as he was known to the constellation of researchers, businessmen, politicians, diplomats and royals in the orbit of the Rockefeller family–had decided early on how to make proper use of the formidable money and power at his disposal: by controlling the population of the planet. In 1934, the then-28-year old JDR3 had written a letter to his father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., about the Rockefeller Foundation's research into "birth control and related questions," declaring "I have come pretty definitely to the conclusion that it is the field in which I will be interested, for the present at least, to concentrate my own giving."
JDR3 was nothing if not a man of his word. After commissioning a Rockefeller Foundation fact-finding mission to Asia to report on the threat of the growing third world population, he organized a conference of the top medical and demographic researchers of the era to discuss–as the very title of the meeting termed it–"population problems." From that meeting emerged the idea for an organization, the Population Council, to guide the development of the burgeoning field of population and fertility research. JDR3 personally donated $1.35 million of his own money to found the Council and provide its initial operating expenses.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Rockefeller had learned to use philanthropy and largesse as a mask for his true intention: control. But that mask slipped when he penned a draft of the Council's charter revealing the organization's true purpose. The Council, according to JDR3, would "promote research and apply existing knowledge to help develop such changes in the attitudes, habits and environmental pressures affecting the life of human beings so that within every social and economic grouping parents who are above the average in intelligence, quality of personality and affection will tend to have larger than average families."
Thomas Parran, the former Surgeon General of the United States and Council co-founder, warned against including such a blunt admission in the Council's mission statement. "Such questions arise as the following," he warned. "Who is to determine the 'parents who are above average in…affection?' […] Also, who would decide the persons having better than average personality? Frankly, the implications of this, while I know they were intended to have a eugenic implication, could readily be misunderstood as a Nazi master race philosophy. I have, therefore, recast this paragraph."
The line was dropped from the final version of the charter.
In truth, however, that sentence had not been written by JDR3 himself. Instead, it had been copied word for word from the back cover of Eugenical News, the central publication of the American eugenics movement. This was no mere accident. Frederick Osborne, one of the co-founders of the Council and its first president after Rockefeller stepped down in 1957, was also the president of the American Eugenics Society. When the Population Council was founded, both Osborne and the American Eugenics Society he directed formally moved its operations into the Council's New York office, with the eugenics society now taking its funding directly from Rockefeller's Population Council grant. The Population Council was the Eugenics Society under another name.
Eugenics. This was the guiding vision of JDR3 and the Rockefeller family's "philanthropy." A vision that cast the Rockefellers and their fellow oiligarchs as superior families, fit by very virtue of their wealth and success to guide the course of world events. The power to determine who was fit to breed and who was too poor to pass on their genes.