Big Oil is being it all (fwd)

marta rodriguez (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 02:31:11 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 20:53:55 -0400 EDT
From: Workers World <>
To: Workers World Service <>
Subject: Big Oil is being it all

Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Sept. 19, 1996
issue of Workers World newspaper


By Vince Copeland

[The following is excerpted from an article first
published in the November/December 1990 issue of Liberation
& Marxism magazine. The writer was a founding member of
Workers World Party and the first editor of Workers World
newspaper. He wrote this during Operation Desert Shield just
before the U.S.-led war against Iraq began. Some
personalities and corporate standings may have changed, but
the basic elements remain.]

How can the oil companies, which are only a part of U.S.
capitalism, have so much power that they can get the
president's ear, intimidate Congress and call the shots on
foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East?

In the first place, the big oil companies have the most
concentrated amount of capital. They can use it to get their
people into the government and tell other people what to do.

In the top 20 of Fortune's Top 500 industrial
corporations, there are three auto companies, two chemical,
one food and tobacco, one soap, one film and camera, one
aircraft, one business machines, one utilities and electric
appliances, one steel, one general defense contractor--and
seven oil companies.

There are several invisible oil companies in the list,
too. The huge Gulf Oil company has been absorbed by Chevron,
formerly Standard of California--Socal. Texaco bought Getty.
Marathon was bought by U.S. Steel, now USX, and Continental
(Conoco) by Dupont, which already had heavy influence with
Phillips Petroleum.

The connection between auto companies and oil needs no
elaboration, except to say that their interests may diverge
at times, although not fundamentally.

Most of these oil companies get at least half their oil
from abroad. Furthermore, their foreign holdings are far
above the foreign wealth of other U.S. companies.
Consequently they are in foreign affairs up to their necks--
and they have a marked influence on foreign policy.


Probably the most famous secretary of state in recent
memory was Henry Kissinger, who was well known to be a
Rockefeller agent. The Rockefellers sponsored and groomed
him from the time he received his doctorate at Harvard.

He was the prize pupil of the Ford-Carnegie-Rockefeller-
sponsored Council on Foreign Relations, coming up with the
best blueprint for war as early as 1957: his book "Nuclear
Weapons and Foreign Policy."

The Rockefellers, of course, are big in other industries
besides oil. They have had a director on the board of
Chrysler Motors for decades. They share power with the
Morgans in USX, AT&T and several of the Bell telephone spin-
offs as well.

And although they sold Rockefeller Center to Japanese
interests, they still have tremendous real estate holdings
in New York and other cities.

Although they own or control many industrial corporations
as well, the Rockefellers' basic wealth is in Exxon. The
company has 33 refineries in 23 countries, and subsidiaries
and affiliates in 59 countries.

The Rockefellers also have interests in some other oil
companies. They string out their control in a wider spread
by using the power of their Chase Manhattan Bank, often
called the "oil bank."

Chase Manhattan, in turn, can name U.S. Cabinet members
more readily than the average individual oil company. But
the power comes from the wealth of oil.

In general, the big banks, rather than the individual oil
companies, provide the biggest officials of government.

James A. Baker III, Bush's secretary of state, was elected
by nobody but Bush himself. He can browbeat the whole Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, elected by the citizens of
several states and containing some very wealthy people
besides. This is because he represents the very biggest
banks and is invested with the executive power.

Baker comes from an even richer family than Bush, with
directorships in the biggest Texas (oil) banks.

Carter's secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, representing
some outposts of the Morgan banking empire, held back from a
showdown in the Gulf over the hostages in Iran. And when the
military took charge and planned the helicopter rescue
adventure without his knowledge, he resigned.

The Morgans are deep in oil, too. They have a bigger stake
in the Mobil Co., for instance, than the Rockefellers. And
they have some influence in Texaco. But they also have other
interests--like other banks.

They are big in General Motors and USX, which are both
inconvenienced by the present high price of oil. On the
other hand, USX recently bought Marathon Oil for several
billion dollars and thus has a direct interest in the
ongoing oil war in the Middle East.

Cyrus Vance, of course, did not merely reflect all these
changing interests in one personality--important as
personality sometimes may be. Like most of the Morgan stable
of politicians, he represented one or another political
faction of the Morgan empire.

Reagan's first secretary of state, Alexander Haig, a
retired general, had been a $500,000-a-year president of a
Morgan-dominated defense-contracting company, United
Technologies. And he was considerably to the right of Vance.

It is sometimes hard to say where the CIA ends and the oil
companies' activities begin. When Theodore Roosevelt's
grandson Kermit led the CIA overturn of the Mossadegh
government in Iran and restored the shah to the Peacock
Throne in 1953, he was supposed to be working for the U.S.
government. But he was made a vice president of Gulf Oil,
which made tens of millions of dollars from the action,
shortly afterward.

The government itself is from the very heart of big
business. And if, to the big banks, you add the military-
industrial complex as such--which is intimately connected to
the oil industry along with auto, chemicals, steel and the
banks--and sprinkle the whole thing with oil from beginning
to end, you have a reasonable working model of the
imperialist war-making government of the United States

- END -

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