Rockefeller, Morgan, and War
During the 1930s, the Rockefellers pushed hard for war against Japan, which they saw as competing with them vigorously for oil and rubber resources in Southeast Asia and as endangering the Rockefellers’ cherished dreams of a mass “China market” for petroleum products. On the other hand, the Rockefellers took a noninterventionist position in Europe, where they had close financial ties with German firms such as I.G. Farben and Co., and very few close relations with Britain and France.
The Morgans, in contrast, as usual deeply committed to their financial ties with Britain and France, once again plumped early for war with Germany, while their interest in the Far East had become minimal. Indeed, US ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew, former Morgan partner, was one of the few officials in the Roosevelt administration genuinely interested in peace with Japan.
World War II might therefore be considered, from one point of view, as a coalition war: the Morgans got their war in Europe, the Rockefellers theirs in Asia. Such disgruntled Morgan men as Lewis W. Douglas and Dean G. Acheson (a protégé of Henry Stimson), who had left the early Roosevelt administration in disgust at its soft-money policies and economic nationalism, came happily roaring back into government service with the advent of World War II. Nelson A. Rockefeller, for his part, became head of Latin American activities during World War II, and thereby acquired his taste for government service.
After World War II, the united Rockefeller–Morgan–Kuhn, Loeb eastern Establishment was not allowed to enjoy its financial and political supremacy unchallenged for long. “Cowboy” Sun Belt firms, maverick oil men and construction men from Texas, Florida, and southern California began to challenge the eastern Establishment “Yankees” for political power. While both groups favor the Cold War, the Cowboys are more nationalistic, more hawkish, and less inclined to worry about what our European allies are thinking. They are also much less inclined to bail out the now Rockefeller-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank and other Wall Street banks that loaned recklessly to Third World and Communist countries and expect the US taxpayer — through outright taxes or the printing of US dollars — to pick up the tab.
It should be clear that the name of the political party in power is far less important than the particular regime’s financial and banking connections. The foreign-policy power for so long of Nelson Rockefeller’s personal foreign affairs adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, a discovery of the extraordinarily powerful Rockefeller–Chase Manhattan Bank elder statesman John J. McCloy, is testimony to the importance of financial power — as is the successful lobbying by Kissinger and Chase Manhattan’s head, David Rockefeller, to induce Jimmy Carter to allow the ailing shah of Iran into the US — thus precipitating the humiliating hostage crisis.
Despite differences in nuance, it is clear that Ronald Reagan’s originally proclaimed challenge to Rockefeller-Morgan power in the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and to the Rockefeller-created Trilateral Commission has fizzled, and that the “permanent government” continues to rule regardless of the party nominally in power. As a result, the much-heralded “bipartisan-foreign-policy” consensus imposed by the Establishment since World War II seems to remain safely in place.
David Rockefeller, chairman of the board of his family’s Chase Manhattan Bank from 1970 until recently, established the Trilateral Commission in 1973, with the financial backing of the CFR and the Rockefeller Foundation. Joseph Kraft, syndicated Washington columnist who himself has the distinction of being both a CFR member and a Trilateralist, has accurately described the CFR as a “school for statesmen” that “comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite — a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes.”
The idea of the Trilateral Commission was to internationalize policy formation, the commission consisting of a small group of multinational corporate leaders, politicians, and foreign-policy experts from the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, who meet to coordinate economic and foreign policy among their respective nations.
Perhaps the most powerful single figure in foreign policy since World War II, a beloved adviser to all presidents, is the octogenarian John J. McCloy. During World War II, McCloy virtually ran the
Article from Mises Wire