I seldom have occasion to say nice things about sociology professors. I’ll make an exception for Dr. Joel Andreas of Johns Hopkins. The comic book from his younger days, The Incredible Rocky vs. the Power of the People, was an interesting find. It’s an unauthorized biography of the Rockefellers, the family with too much money. It’s long out of print, though available online in a few places. Recapping all this in graphic format brought the information to a popular audience that might not have had the inclination to read New World Order documentaries, even if they could find these rare items. Selling nearly a hundred thousand copies was a pretty good debut act.
Written in 1973, and with a revised edition two years later, it’s somewhat dated. Still, that’s not too much of a problem. David Rockefeller, for one, certainly kept up his globalist shenanigans until the end of his days. It’s certainly more of a deep dive into the subject than my modest efforts. This is a good opportunity for comparing notes and occasionally seeing how things developed further in history.
At first glance
The artist was talented from early on; this was penned while he was in Berkeley High School, just down the street from Jerry Rubin’s old stomping ground. (Surely that must’ve been an interesting place back then.) According to an interview with the Japan Times:
As a young person, I liked to draw. And then I became politically involved in the antiwar movement in the late 1960s and early ’70s. And I was inspired to draw a political comic book by a Mexican author and illustrator named Rius. During the ’70s, he was doing a regular weekly comic book that ran to thousands of copies in Mexico. A number of his books have been translated into English. I borrowed from his style, which is a documentary comic book telling some aspect of history or current events.
Rius did remain quite prolific, producing dozens of illustrated works, mainly about politics — Communism in particular — and atheism. Apparently Mexican Marxists quite often have an artistic flair. Frida Kahlo — my favorite pinkette — and her husband Diego Rivera (who features briefly in the story) fit the pattern.
The illustrations in The Incredible Rocky indeed are somewhat reminiscent of Rius. (Dr. Andreas diverges from this style in his latest effort.) It also carried the general flavor of a 1970s-era zine. That much, for some of us, is a trip down Memory Lane! It’s a little rough in places, but definitely gets the point across. Pig-headed and dollar-sign-headed figures are a signature shtick. The Rockefellers themselves often look somewhat like middle-aged versions of Mike Judge’s Beavis. As for the cover, it colorfully shows Nelson Rockefeller in a Superman suit, grinning and holding a hydraulic drill at waist level. One needn’t be Sigmund Freud to figure out that one.
Clearly an impressive amount of research went into it. Several references are listed toward the end. Titles like Empire of High Finance and The Invisible Government generally aren’t obtainable in a typical high school library. They might’ve been collecting dust on a shelf at UC Berkeley. Still, he would’ve had to know what to look for, unless there’s a Dewey decimal code about globaloney and its critics, or the card catalog system (remember those?) had a section in the files for “New World Order shmucks.”
I also was a politically involved youth prior to the public advent of the Internet, though in a much different direction. Back then, interesting reading material was very difficult to locate, unless you knew the right people. Documentary investigation in certain topics was pretty difficult for anyone, rather like looking for a needle in a haystack. As I put it in Deplorable Diatribes:
In the past, uncovering the details typically took extensive research through dusty books or reels of microfiche. Then after the embarrassing facts were compiled, the exposé might never see the light of day if the publishers didn’t like it or thought it was too hot to handle. Those days are over. . .
Today, anyone with a search engine and enough patience can uncover a big heap of dirt and reveal it to the world. This way, even the notoriously secretive globalists are getting caught with their pants down again and again. Other than that, the public has greater ability than ever before to compare notes about history as well as current events. We’re watching!
To gather the information, it’s possible that the young illustrator might have been plugged into some good information networks. One likely source is his publisher, the North American Congress on Latin America. The organization still exists, though if you’re tempted to write for literature, be aware that it moved its Manhattan headquarters on West 19th Street (five blocks south of the big banana, the CPUSA) to Washington Square. At first glance, NACLA appears like a Third Worldist open borders outfit — you know the type — with a grudge about “yanqui imperialism.” One might consider it a bit like the “lite” version of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán or the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. I’m tempted to groan, at least a little bit. Still, I’ll cut them some slack since they don’t care for neoliberal trade policies, and neither do I.
Don’t let any of that deter you. The Incredible Rocky is mainly an economic Leftist critique — one that certainly has good points — with remarkably little cultural Marxism. Best of all, it puts some tricky globalist plutocrats on target and exposes their dirty laundry. The Dissident Right doesn’t like those types either. Personally, I don’t care for this kind of bad behavior, whether it’s done by WASPs, Eskimos, Space Lizards, or whatevs.
This is far different from contemporary Leftist useful idiots who started putting normal society on target. (Occupy Wall Street — say what you will about them — seems to be the last time that kids these days came close to understanding who their real enemies are.) Lately, insanely wealthy globalists use their extensive transmission belts and gigantic tax-free foundations to incite Leftist pawns into chucking Molotov cocktails. Meanwhile, the MSM — a handful of megacorporations acting as the régime’s propaganda organ — cheers on the cannon fodder. In a twisted bit of irony, these suckers actually think they’re fighting The System, clueless that they’ve been fooled and tooled.
Meet the Rockefellers
Early on, it lists the chief characters: John, Winthrop, Nelson, Laurance, and David. Then it describes several of their lavish private residences. They like to collect beetles, but that’s not all. (Interestingly, the Rothschilds share their enthusiasm about entomology.) Pocantico Hills is the major estate. Clearly this isn’t the usual sort of gated community for corporate fat cats:
It takes 500 servants to keep up Pocantico Hills. . . 35 of them are armed guards. . . Pocantico Hills is a fortified kingdom. . . It’s protected with huge stone walls, electrified barbed wire and chain link fences. . . Private police cars cruise around the grounds and huge floodlights keep watch over the countryside for miles. . .
It estimates their net worth at ten billion dollars, “give or take a few billion [. . .] and they are getting richer all the time.” That’s a lot of lettuce, of course. Again, this was written in 1973, shortly before inflation started ratcheting up big time, eventually reaching double digits during the Carter administration. Assuming that the initial estimate was correct, that would be nearing $60 billion in 2020 dollars, not including profits made since then.
The entirety of the next page lists their various holdings — a long but non-exhaustive list of products, institutions, and other goodies, including NATO, the State Department, Presidents, and “pigs (both kinds).” At the bottom of a large illustration is a caption, “You’ve got a friend at Chase Manhattan Bank.” D’aww! The following page describes their friends and relatives: Henry Ford II, the Duponts, the Mellons, and several other Old Money families. A cute panel at the bottom shows a party with dollar-sign-headed people having snobby discussions; the only thing missing is someone repeating the apocryphal bon mot, “Let them eat cake.”
I’ll add that I don’t fault people for being successful in business, so long as they made the money honestly. Inherited wealth is less impressive; good for them, but there’s no cause to put on airs. Another consideration is that with great power comes great responsibility. (Spider Man got that one right.) If they use their swag for destructive purposes, I don’t cotton to that.
At first, it describes the father of the future richest man in America. He had a different racket, one that didn’t go too far, selling phony patent medicines. There’s worse dirt on him than that which isn’t described; I’m surprised that it doesn’t mention the sex scandal. To drive home the point that he was a mean guy, “When John Brown was executed J.D. was the only one in Cleveland who did not close his shop in respect for him.” Actually, I’d say that it was to his credit not to make a fuss about a terrorist mattoid.
His son, John D. Rockefeller I, founded Standard Oil. I’ll provide a little further background information. He was by far the richest of the 19th-century Robber Barons. They were notorious cheapskates, living like kings while their employees got paid starvation wages. Vast extremes of wealth and horrid working conditions led to socialist agitation, rather understandably. The USA ultimately solved these problems with antitrust legislation and trade unionism. More recently, globalization became an end-run around that; the sweatshops are back, just in other countries where unbridled exploitation is legal.
The Robber Barons were businessmen who got in on the ground floor of new lines of business during the Industrial Revolution. (Eventually, these New Money families became today’s Old Money.) They were in at the right place at the right time, and JDR1 — like many of them — proverbially made a fortune from a shoestring. Typically these new industries became monopolies, at the time euphemistically called “trusts.” JDR1 was notorious for dirty tricks to shut out rivals. Famously, he said that competition is a sin. The problem is that monopolies are a game-breaker for capitalism.
With the emergence of personal computers and the Internet, we’re seeing the cycle start all over again. Beginning in the 1990s, a very small number of players began buying out startups, then sometimes gutting promising projects or even abandoning them entirely. (Geocities, Webring, Deja News — where are they now?) The large players then emerged as monopolies. This consolidation devastated the still-independent competition. After Fakebook became the go-to social media site for much of the world’s population, once-thriving communities like Myspace and Livejournal were never the same. Much like the monopolies of times past, the Tech Tyrants started getting too big for their britches, but all that’s another matter.
Back to the story. After antitrust laws were put into place (that was Theodore Roosevelt’s accomplishment, by the way) Standard Oil was broken up. However, JDR1 was pulling the strings behind the scenes. Then:
He got pretty old but he finally died at 99, despite sucking on the breast of one of the many young mothers he hired to feed him. . .
Hey, at least that’s better than what some of our superiors are doing lately to try to rejuvenate themselves. (One of these days, I’ll have to describe the practice of using infusions of teenager blood as an experimental anti-aging regimen.) It turns out that his grandson David Rockefeller got a little further, living to 101. Rumor has it that he had five or six heart transplants. Believe it if you will, but he did just fine his entire life being heartless.
Then it describes JDR2 and his labor dispute fiasco. In 1913, his exploited coal miners in Colorado went on strike. It was suppressed by force, thanks to his private army, the National Guard, the Colorado state militia, and a cavalry unit. (Money talks, doesn’t it?) After the machine guns came out, about two dozen miners and their families were dead. I’ll add that although this was a century ago, it should be etched into the national consciousness like the Kent State shooting. That sparked a reprisal, but all that’s another story. It’s surprising that the miners didn’t find JDR2 and make him a lamppost decoration.
The rogue’s gallery
JDR2’s sons became the cast of characters introduced at the beginning. The first featured is Nelson Rockefeller. Early on it describes his snit with Diego Rivera, who he’d commissioned to do a mural, and he painted “Lenin and a girl with V.D. (symbolizing life under capitalism).” Actually, that one was pretty funny. Then it goes into his political career; he was Governor of New York and later VP under Gerald Ford. Much follows about his crooked dealings. One panel compares Nelson Rockefeller and Gerald Ford to Rocky and Bullwinkle. That works; good one, kid!
Winthrop Rockefeller is the next one up for castigation. The way it comes across, his foibles weren’t too bad for a spoiled rich kid. Other than that, he bought an enormous ranch in Arkansas. Later he became Governor, but his political career took a dirt nap after two terms.
As for JDR3: “He sits on 36 different boards and committees, rounding out the Rockefeller empire and belonging to the top New York clubs.” The next panel has him declaring that he’s a liberal, too. Yes, we understand all too well about this gauche caviar stuff. . .
Then there’s Laurance, whose “hobby is making money.” (Surely that comes with the territory, right?) One of his rackets is putting hotels with bad architecture on picturesque islands. Another includes high technology with defense applications. Hurrah for H-bombs! There’s a lot more about the military-industrial complex later.
Last but not least is David Rockefeller, “the most powerful man in the world.” I’ll say that this wasn’t entirely an exaggeration. Besides being an arch-bankster and corporate kingpin, he “is Chairman of the Board of Washington’s most powerful lobby — the Council on Foreign Relations.” (There are some who consider it more of a cabal than a lobby.) Other than that, he sat on more Boards than a football audience on wooden bleachers. Still, it only catalogs a few of the several other globalist clubs into which he’d inserted his proboscis. Perhaps the young artist hadn’t found out about his ties to the Trilateral Commission (as founder), the Bilderberg Group, and numerous other tricky NWO outfits.
Even the non-exhaustive list shows that David obviously wielded tremendous amounts of power, both hard and soft. (A later section goes into a deep dive on that. Some of these projects were philanthropic — either ostensibly or in actual fact — but it all adds up to metric tons of influence.) Quoting one fellow bankster, “I don’t think Dick Nixon tells David Rockefeller what to do. . . It’s the other way around.”
I have to wonder how he could keep up with so much meddling. Moreover, why do billionaires so often act like that? Why can’t someone with all that swag just kick back and have fun, instead of constantly grasping for more wealth and power? Do they think that will enhance their lives?
After that, it gives an overview of the Rockefeller corporate holdings. This includes companies that they controlled directly, or alternatively were able to influence substantially via ownership of a significant fraction of stocks. (Most are still around today, though some folded, changed names, or spun off into different companies.) Big Oil is one of their keystone enterprises, as it always was. In later pages, the comic goes into a lengthy recap of their corporate empire.
The energy crisis begins
Those of us who were around back then remember all the headaches caused by rising gas prices. Ultimately this would get a lot worse later in the decade. Then, of course, the problem would crop up again later during the spit-in-your-eye wars that began in the 1990s. I’m not so sure that much was really about grabbing their petroleum reserves. If all that was about cheap oil, then where is it? Gasoline prices reached their peak during Bush the Younger’s second term. Might there be another explanation for neocon motivations?
As for what took place around 1973, I’ll add that the Arab oil embargo was the driving factor after they got fried off over American support for Israel. However, according to the story, the Rockefellers were turning the screws. They ratcheted refinery production down to 85%. Putting the pieces together on that one, apparently it was the old dialectic of milking a crisis for everything it’s worth.
The oil industry refusing to sell oil to them drove thousands of independent gasoline dealers out of business, making gasoline distribution more of a monopoly than ever before. Threatening no more oil, they pressured Congress to allow hazardous offshore oil drilling and the Alaska Pipeline which people concerned about the environment had fought long and hard against. They also squeezed $10 billion dollars in research subsidies out of the federal government. But the main effect that we can see is that the price of gasoline has nearly doubled and the Rockefeller’s oil company’s profits for 1973 increased by more than 50% in one year and the prices and profits are still going up.
Gee, thanks, guys! It goes into some other ripple effects, such as inflation. (At the time, it was small potatoes compared to what we’d get later in the decade.) OPEC got the blame over all that, but it seems that the role of refineries making things worse by artificially manipulating the output didn’t get much attention. As for the camel jockeys themselves, oil profits went into the pockets of the sheiks and emirs and so forth. However, it apparently didn’t raise the fortunes of the common people very much.
I’ll add that this is still an ongoing problem in the developing world. For example, Nigeria has plentiful petroleum exports, but trickle-down economics isn’t doing so great there. Their other major industries (advance fee fraud and complaining) don’t help the common people much either.
The military-industrial complex
I’ll add some introductory commentary here. In earlier times, royal treasuries often got depleted quickly by warfare, sometimes putting the kingdoms into hock with the banksters and causing widespread poverty. These days, we still don’t have the money for it, but the friendly Federal Reserve is the government’s unlimited credit card. Paradoxically, things sometimes are regarded much differently in modern times. In particular, there’s a doctrine held by certain American politicians that playing Globocop boosts the economy. When the Great Depression ended after FDR’s crusade to save his Soviet buddies, it bolstered the notion that war helps the economy.
That may indeed be true, as horrible as the implication is, if the Keynesian theory is correct that massive deficit spending is an economic stimulus. Really, that’s about borrowing from future prosperity, so it’s not the same as a free money hack. Military adventures might reboot the stock market, but that’s a pretty lousy way to do so, for ruining our reputation and several other glaringly obvious reasons. The self-evident flaw in Bastiat’s “broken window” theory comes to mind too. (Why not figure out something constructive to do instead?) All told, the Pentagon’s bloated budgets are the stuff of legend. There’s a widespread problem with waste, exorbitant markups, and pork-barrel spending. It’s possible to make some good arguments for nationalizing defense contractors, but all that’s another matter.
The young Joel Andreas was a pacifist from early on, and continues to be so. Therefore, war profiteering especially chaps his hide. As one might expect, he took America’s richest family out to the woodshed over that. He lists several corporations involved in the military-industrial complex linked with the Rockefellers. The comic book doesn’t distinguish the relationship, though presumably this was via direct ownership, Board membership, or by owning a large fraction of stock.
Two academic institutions are included. At the head of the list of Rockefeller holdings among the top 100 war profiteers, framed between two bomb images, is “Johns Hopkins University.” (Actually, Dr. Andreas teaches sociology at Johns Hopkins now — ouch! Apparently the tenure board didn’t find out, or mind his youthful opinion of them too much.) Then he describes how America’s quintessential spit-in-your-eye war was a bonanza for the Rockefeller-linked corporations:
In Vietnam as IBM’s electronic battlefield company signaled planes powered by Thiokol, to drop Automation Industries bombs and Chevron herbicides, tanks powered by Standard Oil pounded away on the ground and Pan Am flew American soldiers in and out of the besieged country.
As Laibach put it so well, war brings bigger dividends.
But wait! There’s more!
Further on, The Incredible Rocky characterizes developments in several cities as essentially company towns, reminiscent of their ill-fated Colorado mining venture of times past. Then it delves into Rockefeller control of certain MSM enterprises. Presumably, this control would’ve been via stock ownership. As for who the actual executives were, going into all that would’ve revealed (((unspeakable details))). Criticizing the Rockefellers is one thing, but it goes no further.
Then it showcases Nelson Rockefeller’s tour of Latin America in 1969, sparking waves of angry protests and rioting. Apparently his presence there was no more appreciated than the Michael Jackson funhouse for boys or the Jeffrey Epstein island retreat for troubled girls. After that, it goes into how their business empire is expanding into other parts of the world. Moreover, they were in bed with some like-minded plutocrats abroad.
The CIA was helping with this international expansion effort. Several instances of their interference in local politics are described, all on behalf of big business. (The Iran bungle, thanks to Kermit Roosevelt, soon would lead to major blowback.) Indeed, there’s something to all this, familiar to those of us monitoring the Deep State. This doesn’t do wonders for the USA’s reputation. All I can say is that I hope that folks abroad will come to understand that what the tricky globalists and the politicians in bed with them do is not the same as what the American public wants.
Then it goes in-depth into the Council on Foreign Relations, where top businessmen rub elbows with top politicians and Agents of Influence. By then, this was David “Mr. New World Order” Rockefeller’s number one pet project. It includes top CIA officials, other Deep State types, many Cabinet members, and sometimes Presidents and Vice Presidents. It doesn’t take much imagination to wonder if this serves as a key transmission belt. All told, the analysis is remarkably similar to Rightist critiques. Further, it describes the adventures of Henry Kissinger, the swamp creature we all know and love.
The following page highlights “liberal racism.” (You might groan at that, but yanno. . .) It calls out tokenism first. Then later pages describe a long laundry list of hypocrisy — well, we understand about that one. Further on the “woke capital” theme, the Rockefellers virtue-signal about pollution, but whatever these notorious polluters said they were doing about it was ineffective.
Topping off the mountain of dirt, it describes the Rockefeller Foundation, bless their hearts. It also goes into the Attica riots, including Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s role, and prison abuses in Arkansas under Winthrop Rockefeller’s watch. Lastly is a recap of upheaval abroad, praising certain “national liberation movements” for one final groan. (I get it, but Distributism is the answer, not Marxism.) The final pages and back cover graphically predict that the downtrodden public can throw the Rockefellers off of their pedestal built on government and high finance.
Rocky II (sort of) and beyond
Dr. Joel Andreas later produced a couple of other comics. The next was a different kind of rockiness; specifically Made with Pure Rocky Mountain Scab Labor, which covered the Coors strike. The latest is Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism, published in 2002 and with a couple of later revisions. The artwork is sharp and polished in this one. That turned out to be a hit too; as the promotional page explains:
ATW is still being used in hundreds of high schools and colleges as an anti-war history book. It is one of the most popular books in the anti-war movement.
It certainly does have good points. My take is that the fine messes it describes usually weren’t worth the trouble. For one thing, avoiding Woodrow Wilson’s folly would’ve prevented a century-long train ride to hell. Today’s society would be more prosperous and — better yet — unimaginably normal. If not that, they should’ve heeded Charles Lindbergh. Still, I have some quibbles, mainly about lack of objectivity and missing nuances.
For starters, it singles out American aggression. Other major powers have done the same bad things — or far worse — but this only gets occasional mention. Therefore, the narrative is stridently anti-American, giving a skewed picture of history. That’s a significant defect in a textbook. (Don’t students deserve the whole truth about mankind’s very troubled past?) Unbalanced perspectives like that in politicized classrooms, especially Howard Zinn’s tall tales, encourage American kids to hate their society. Meanwhile, all too many come to believe that thugs like Castro and St. Che were heroes, or that North Korea is a workers’ paradise rather than a starving Communist theme park with nukes. Still, I’m happy to report that Addicted to War stays on-message with criticism of warmongering, even if it only points fingers one way.
I do get where pacifists are coming from, but the problem is that it won’t work unless all countries are truly committed to peace. Until then — which might be never — vigilance will be necessary. Particularly, some form of conflict was practically unavoidable. For one thing, a Mr. Nice Guy approach in the face of highly aggressive Soviet expansionism would’ve been suicidal. Believing otherwise is either naivety or wishful thinking. Putting it another way, bringing a flower to a gunfight doesn’t work.
Finally, Addicted to War doesn’t quite get what the neocons are all about, though it’s at least remotely possible that the author might have some hints. Discussing the complete agenda, of course, would be deplorable. It looks like that’s up to us.
Political cartoons in general have a centuries-old history. Since George Lincoln Rockwell, occasionally Dissident Rightists use illustrated formats. Another example is A. Wyatt Mann, whose works include the highly politically incorrect drawings in the Metzgers’ WAR tabloid, the exceptionally irreverent Tales Of the Holohoax, and the “Happy Merchant” image — the smirking Levantine fellow with the beady eyes, frizzy receding hairline, and big nose. (Some might say all this is bad optics, but I don’t feel like punching right.) The “Meme Wars” are a recent development. Murdoch Murdoch brings fashy graphics to video format. This remains a growth opportunity for us.
The graphic medium can get across messages in ways that essays can’t, and to a wide audience. Those among us with artistic talent should take note. Anyone want to take on George Soros? Maybe “The Real Dr. Evil” will be a hit too.
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