The Fourth Circle

Gustave Dore — Dante’s fourth circle of hell “the hoarders and wasters”

In 1973, the world economy was brought almost to a halt by a supposed shortage of oil. The ostensible trigger for this alleged shortage was the so-called Yom Kippur War in which the armed forces of the Anglo-American Empire’s settler-colonial offshore enterprise in Palestine, also known as the State of Israel, repelled the forces of Egypt and Syria, which had moved to reoccupy the territory stolen from them by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. One response to the Anglo-American Empire’s support of its client state against those states Israel wished to conquer was an oil embargo proclaimed by OPEC, with the largest producer — the autocratic Anglo-American protectorate Saudi Arabia at the lead.

Portrayed in the mainstream Western media as a sign of Arab economic strength — also as anti-Semitism in some quarters — the embargo led to massive economic disruption in all the countries that had to import oil, mainly Europe and its former colonies. This embargo created the impression of a global oil shortage — which although there was none, could not be overcome without violating the power of the oil cartel. While the OPEC embargo formally restricted the sale of crude oil to Israel’s sponsors, there was no real oil shortage since oil supplies to Europe and the US have always been in the hands of the majors (now super-majors), then known as the “seven sisters”. ((Anthony Sampson, The Seven Sisters (1974.))  OPEC’s announcement of an embargo at the well had no impact on the enormous upstream reserves held by the mainly American majors. However, it did provide the pretext for massive price increases at the pump — presented as shortage-induced. ((John M. Blair, The Control of Oil, 1976.))

Unnoticed except in the aftermath and ignored generally in popular debate or historical literature was the far more insidious deal made secretly while everyone from Bonn to Boston and Lyon to Los Angeles was queuing for petrol or the dole. In 1971 Richard Nixon had announced that the US dollar would no longer be redeemable for gold — at any price. This decision had been largely induced by the enormous debt incurred funding the US war against Vietnam. In the course of this fateful decision, secret negotiations were undertaken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which led to an agreement that Saudi Arabia and OPEC would not sell oil in any currency except US dollars. The oil crisis pushed the price of oil to such heights that many countries in Europe and especially the newly independent countries, soon exhausted their foreign exchange reserves and were compelled to borrow US dollars to pay for oil imports. The result was a boom for the US regime; e.g., oil and banking — not its ordinary citizens — as the demand for US currency led to an inflow of foreign exchange and an overall improvement in its current accounts. Meanwhile the US Treasury could literally print dollars to buy oil — when the time was right.

Even today this story is told in a way to cast aspersions on the Arab states — although all the major oil-producing Arab states involved were and are entirely dependent upon the Anglo-American Empire and its military force for their very survival. It is a false parable used to exaggerate the innocence or helplessness of the settler-colonial state “surrounded” by “ragheads” instead of “redskins” who have all the oil, while poor Israel only has atomic bombs and the biggest foreign aid subsidy per capita of any country the US funds.

Why do I take the trouble here to recount history, which is or ought to be well known — at least to the historically literate?

It is worth recalling here that the Seven Sisters, as they were then called, are actually fewer now due to mergers. The upstream oil industry is still dominated by the Standard Oil companies (yes, Rockefeller; i.e., ExxonMobil) and their allies as well as the Rothschild-Nobel companies. Together they assure that oil prices and distribution are closely controlled — if not absolutely– and that the commerce in oil is billed in the leading currency of the Empire, the US dollar.

The Anglo-American Empire, amazingly similar in composition to the dream of Cecil Rhodes and his personal banker Lord Rothschild ((To avoid confusion: Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, 1840-1915.)), relies not only on oil and the financial transactions connected with it. There are two other major businesses that support the value of lead currencies, like the USD, GBP or even the EUR. They are war — and hence both legal and illegal arms sales — and drugs, both licit and illicit. All three “markets” are entirely controlled by cartels and state regulation. Moreover, they provide windfall profits because they are all addictive and toxic. That means the traders get money and the buyers get garbage.

Stemming from the 19th century Opium Wars, Great Britain became the biggest dope pusher in the world. The opium trade made the British East India Company shareholders and those who traded with and for it wealthy beyond compare. ((See John Newsinger, The Blood Never Dried, 2006, and Nick Robins, The Corporation that Changed the World, 2006.))  While the US American schoolchild may learn about the Boston Tea Party, in which a few ruffians dumped British East India Tea into the harbour as a protest against taxation like the Townshend Acts  ((For readers not schooled in US mythology, the Townshend Acts (1767) were consumption taxes imposed on British North American colonies intended inter alia to defray the costs of defending the colonies with British troops. Every US school pupil learns that these were great injustices — because the colonials were not represented in the British parliament. What they do not learn is that the colonies were all run as business ventures for private profit and the use of British troops to protect private investment could not be seen as a charitable exercise by those who ran the British Empire from London. See Gerald Horne, The Counter-Revolution of 1776, (2014).)), they won’t learn that proud New England families not only funded the Ivy League colleges with slave trading but with the income from opium business.

It is essential to recall that every crime is simply the unauthorised version of an activity otherwise deemed legal. The difference between marriage with dowry and prostitution is simply the statute book. The difference between war and murder is the sovereign authorisation. Seagram (Bronfman) produced whiskey in Canada that was legal and sold it more profitably in the US during Prohibition where it was illegal. The leading pharmaceutical companies are the brothers of the heroin, cocaine and synthetics pushers. And between all these folks who are all just merchants, there is the State — the armed bureaucracy that regulates these businesses in accordance with the most powerful to permit each side of these businesses to extract the maximum profit — yes, from us.

That said, as I have written in previous articles ((“The First Circle“, Dissident Voice, April 24, 2020 and others posted there since.)) , the question of history arises not from the need to find the “true past” but to answer questions in the present. It is the most urgent present question with which I have been preoccupied for the past six months. Why in a global system dominated by the religious ideology of Business and the absolute priority of “the economy” have we seen the leading authorities, autocratic and bureaucratic, suspend the “economy” and disregard Business because of a new, improved version of the seasonal influenza? There are rational and irrational explanations. That is because power may be understood rationally but those who hold and exercise it are often — if not always — clinically insane (it is just because they own the clinics and the doctors that no one can utter this diagnosis!).

Again I want to remind the impatient reader — who implicitly strains my patience by not reading or remembering anything longer than the last Facebook or Instagram post — that all meaningful organisational decisions are made in secret by those who have the most power in the organisation — whether it is the classroom in which you send your child to be bullied (or bully) or the workplace you freely attend to earn money to pay the bank for the privilege of living in whatever house they let you buy. If you work in a big enough company or institution your boss and the bank know what your credit future will be like before you do. But never mind this bit of mundane reality. The point is simply nothing of any importance is ever decided in public where you have anything to say about it.

Having gotten that embarrassing sentimentality out of the way, let us consider what has happened since March 2020.

Following events in China, the OPEC of the pharmaceutical cartel, aka the World Health Organisation (in an earlier article I also wrote that “witch-hunting” is also part of their job), performed some international bureaucratic gymnastics — like several years ago with the so-called “swine flu” — to declare a high grade pandemic phase alert. ((See table:  WHO Pandemic Phase Descriptions and Main Actions by Phase; and video NewsBreak 81: Confirmed: COVID-19 Plandemic a Known, Live “Training & Simulation Exercise” under WHO.))

This decision was presented as some kind of service to public health — this euphemism is deliberately conflated with concern for the well-being of ordinary humans, but is nothing of the sort. To make this quite clear: most genuine public health issues arise from poor nutrition, vile working conditions, polluted air, water and food, and poverty. ((A popular misconception lies in the belief that the aim of Public Health as a discipline is human health. In fact, schools of public health; e.g., the first one funded by the Rockefeller fortune at Johns Hopkins University, now sponsored by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, were created to teach professionals how to protect the rich from the diseases of the poor. This was defined as a management objective, implemented either using business or military models of organisation. Many of the people involved in terrorising the population as representatives of health departments or public health agencies are not physicians but professional managers of healthcare facilities and products. However, since our society has been trained to believe economists and business executives like those of the Middle Ages believed priests, it is virtually impossible to break the power of the medical fetishes these managers hold. See E. Richard Brown, Rockefeller’s Medicine Men (1979).))  None of these “pathogens” is part of the WHO brief. The World Health Organisation was established solely to market Western medical products worldwide and at the most profitable rates possible. This means among other things by arranging that poor countries devote precious foreign exchange for the purchase of bulk pharmaceuticals of dubious value under the pretext of being able to treat their indigent populations for illnesses that are almost entirely due to poor nutrition, vile working conditions, polluted air, water and food, and poverty. Long before the Bush-Clinton clique promoted “humanitarian interventionism”, the WHO was poisoning the poor for humanitarian purposes (also known as eugenics).

N.B. anyone who has not grasped the consequences of the US regime’s ownership of the UN and its agencies should read the story of the UN in Korea and in the Congo for a start. ((See Bruce Cumings extensive scholarship on the Korean War, especially his two volume Origins of the Korean War (1981) but also his shorter derivative work and/or watch the Thames TV documentary Korea: The Unknown WarFor the treacherous role of the UN in the Congo:  Ludo de Witte (2002).))

But I am digressing if only slightly. OPEC has never included all the oil producing countries and it was only effective as a cartel because it had the deep, if covert, collaboration of the Anglo-American oil majors. Without the pumps — wholly controlled downstream by either Rockefeller or Rothschild/Nobel — Saudi oil would have been worthless. While we all imagine that oil is what drives our cars and heats our homes that is, in fact, a relatively minor and expendable part of the oil economy. Downstream the truly lucrative oil flows into petrochemicals; e.g., plastics, fertilizers, and guess what — pharmaceuticals! Indeed the oil business, which started with “snake oil”, has never left it. Petroleum, that stuff that sticks to duck feathers and suffocates fish is the same gooey slime that forms the basis of much of the medicine you take. Think about it a minute: Monsanto (now part of IG Farben legacy, Bayer AG ((After Mr William “Bill” Gates III made substantial investments in the entity. IG Farben was the German international chemicals and pharmaceuticals cartel that was technically divested by order of the US Military Government in Germany for its participation in war crimes under the NSDAP regime. In a fashion not unlike the US divestment order dissolving the Standard Oil trust, IG Farben was “punished” as a holding entity (1952) but its constituent corporations were reconstituted with immunity because they had not existed separately under the National Socialist regime, Bayer, Hoechst, BASF, Agfa, Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron, and Chemische Fabrik vorm. Weiler Ter Meer.)) started as a poison producer when the US Army panicked about a potential natural sugar shortage during the Great War and gave John Francis Queeny the inspiration to sell the US Government coal tar as a sweetener. Some readers may recall when saccharine was finally prohibited. However, it had been identified as a carcinogen already in the 1920s!

Pharmaceuticals — until the dawn of genetic manipulation, a largely petrochemical or opiate driven product stream — is an integral part of the triad that drives modern capitalism: drugs, oil and guns. The oil industry is tightly held; mainly by two dynastic groups. And surprise, surprise the drug industry is too — the successors to the Anglo-American opium trade dominate the licit pharmaceuticals side and the illicit opium-based and cocaine drug trade. ((For a good overview of the US regime’s international drug market management system, see Douglas Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf (2004) and The Strength of the Pack (2009) and its integration into the national security (Phoenix) state, The CIA as Organised Crime (2016).  A declassified OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA) report summarises the use of opium by the Japanese as a weapon of war. When the US entered Southeast Asia after Japanese withdrawal, they adopted the Japanese business model, Opium: A Japanese Technique of Occupation (1945) prepared by Mrs Katherine Lyman.))   Since these businesses cannot be regulated in boardrooms alone, more than occasional persuasion is needed. So guns are just as important. But the gun trade is a topic for another day.

So what happened in March, really? My previous observations and summaries have not yet been rebutted. Nonetheless, I do believe that beyond the obvious manifestations of the West’s confrontation with China, aside from the hyper-policing regime that is being created, there is a useful analogy which is perhaps more powerful than the US regime’s destruction of the New York World Trade Center buildings. That act of armed propaganda by other government agencies was certainly powerful in expanding the police and military power of the degenerate US Empire. However, like the US war against Vietnam it has been extremely expensive. All the president’s accountants and all the president’s lawyers have not been able to put Humpty Dumpty (at least not his bank account) together again.

So like those who tried to command Richard Nixon — and finally deposed him — the ruling class of the Anglo-American Empire is determined to eliminate another “Nixon” outsider (although Nixon always thought he really “belonged”) and restore order. Nixon, like the reigning POTUS, enjoyed wide popular support. However, he had lost the support of the Establishment (which has come to be called the “Deep State” so as to imply that there is no Establishment or to lend its overt members legitimacy while denying the means by which it actually exercises power). Nixon actually saved the Establishment but it did not want to be saved by an outsider. It did not want anyone outside its own exclusive circle. So a pretext was found — and he was dismissed. He knew that the alternative was a “Kennedy solution”.

The present POTUS has been trying to save the US regime from the antagonism of those it has abused both domestically and foreign. He has tried to harness the latent populism — what too many people confuse with “Left” — and channel it back into that revival tent in a way no Oreo Obama could have done — despite his Kennedy plagiarism.

But that is all really a sideshow for the financial disaster that the Reagan-Bush-Clinton dynasty (and its obscene scions in Britain and Germany) left the dying Anglo-American Empire. Nixon presided over the clever back channel negotiations to open China, bring Pepsi to the Soviet Union and save the USD by linking it to oil. Everything indicates that Trump has no clue of any of this — and no one is going to tell him either.

But the USD domination is under attack from all sides, by the weak and the strong. The Empire has been losing its wars but paying its bankers trillions and trillions for that privilege — beyond the capacity of anything the Empire can produce. Without a reinforced US dollar no one in the Empire can imagine the future.

So hark!  The sneeze heard around the world.

The WHO assumed the role OPEC played in 1973. It declared a global pandemic under the most spurious conditions with the full knowledge that this would not only permit a shutdown of the economy (for political and economic benefits I have detailed elsewhere) but to create something only logical — the Pharmadollar. To keep it poetic, we now have the three P’s of global monetary domination: pistol dollar, followed by the petrodollar and now the pharma-dollar.

An emerging and potentially infinite demand for pharmaceuticals — legal or illegal — safe or unsafe — will offer the Western pharmaceutical cartels untold and unlimited profits and because these are all countries working in the USD/EUR markets, together with the WHO, will be guaranteed potentially unlimited profit streams. So from the first circle of hell we descend into the fourth circle. Can we get any closer to damnation?

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..