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Soon after the mob occupied the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, the New Yorker published a lengthy, detailed piece by a reporter who had closely monitored the planning of the action and then took part in it. Luke Mogelson’s first-person account was bound to convince any complacent reader that right-wing populism posed a serious threat to the status-quo.  

Mogelson described those who orchestrated the storming of the Capitol as “conspirators.” I saw a ray of hope shining through the violent gloom when he wrote that, according to the conspirators, “The architects of the apocalypse are such ‘globalists’ as the Clintons, Bill Gates, and George Soros; their instruments are multinational institutions like the European Union, NATO, and the UN.” 

Attitude Towards Soros (ATS) is a kind of litmus test. US radicals recognize the Clintons as corrupt greedheads and see the monopolist behind Gates’s philanthropic mask. But many lefties regard Soros as a billionaire liberal who funds humane projects and does no harm. They credit him with supporting the medical marijuana movement and the ensuing “legal cannabis industry.”  They think the movement/industry was a good thing that furthered the cause of “social justice.” Their ATS is basically positive. 

Reality check: George Soros did not fund the medical marijuana movement. He funded the takeover of the medical marijuana movement. Forgive me for repeating this sad saga. I can’t help thinking it’s important.

The medical marijuana movement took root in San Francisco c. 1990 in response to the AIDS epidemic. It was led by Dennis Peron, a pot dealer who operated the first cannabis dispensary, which became movement headquarters. In 1995 Dennis and allies drafted the “medical use” initiative that would go on the ballot in ‘96 as Proposition 215. That winter, as the California activists were coming up short on their signature drive, Soros saw a political investment opportunity. He dispatched a New York-based political operative, Ethan Nadelmann, to make the California activists an offer they couldn’t refuse: “We pay a professional-gathering outfit whatever it takes to get the measure on the ballot, and we take control of the campaign from Dennis Peron.”

The activists acceded. Dennis was sad about getting ditched, but understood.

Mr. Soros obviously could have provided the whole $1 million, but to signal wider ruling-class support for Drug Policy Reform he asked three other billionaires to sweeten Nadelmann’s kitty. And so Peter Lewis, inheritor prince of Progressive Insurance, John Sperling, founder of Phoenix University (a leading privatizer of US education), and Laurence Rockefeller contributed to Soros’s Drug Policy Reform venture. Steve DeAngelo may or may not be “the father,” but for sure the legal cannabis industry bears some political DNA from these four enlightened capitalists.

This is to acknowledge the least-well-known of Soros’s original co-conspirators, Laurence Rockefeller (1910-2004). He was a major despoiler of the earth.  ”Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon — Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil,” by Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennett includes these cameo appearances from our honoree:

• “Laurence was in a sense Nelson’s junior partner. By devoting himself almost exclusively to investments, he became Nelson’s arm in the business world. Laurence shared Nelson’s interest in venturing beyond the family’s traditional preoccupation with oil. Laurence learned... the importance that aviation would hold for penetrating the interior of South America. In 1938, he joined a syndicate to purchase Eastern Airlines from the Dupont interests.”

• “He took an air tour of South and Central America in March 1941, after which he bought a controlling interest in 1.5 million acres of prime agricultural land on the Magdalena River in Columbia. Laurence’s interest ranged from harvesting rich mahogany timberlands, to building a hotel on the projected Pan-American highway, to raising cattle.

• After World War 2 Laurence “became the leading force of Rockefeller Brothers, Inc., The brothers’ profit-making complement to their philanthropic Rockefeller Brothers Fund.” His chief adviser, Louis Strauss, advocated “an investment course that led beyond oil to arms and energy industries, particularly nuclear energy.”

• “Central to US strategy in the war in Vietnam, both in its initial covert stage and later in its massive overt stage, was aviation… Nelson Rockefeller had oversight responsibilities for the CIA’s development of its clandestine aviation capabilities. Nelson’s closest contact in the aviation industry with his brother Laurence.” 

• “When Patrice Lumumba visited Washington in July 1960, a month after the Congo declared independence from Belgium... he met with secretary of state Christian Herter and Under Secretary of State for economic affairs C. Douglas Dillon. Both men... had personal ties to powerful and growing interest in Africa. Dillon, in fact, was an investor with the Belgians in Laurence Rockefellers textile mill in the Congo, Filatures et Tissage Africans, and another of Laurence’s holdings, Cegeac, which imported automobiles into the Congo. Perhaps Lumumba did not know of Dillon’s investments, or perhaps he was simply imprudent. In any case, he refused to equivocate on an end to Belgian control. For him that was the bottom line. It would cost him his life.”

• “Eugene Fubini was a vice president of Airborne Instruments Laboratory, a company controlled by Laurence Rockefeller that helped originate the ‘missile gap’ thesis. In 1963 Fubini would be put in charge of the National Security Agency as Assistant Secretary of Defense.”

• “...Reaction Motors, another of Laurence’s holdings, maker of liquid-fuel rockets and now part of the rapidly growing Thiokol chemical corporation, developer and producer of motors for the Minuteman ICBM since 1961, and much later the producer of the faulty O-rings that doomed the Challenger spacecraft.”  

“By mid-October Nelson was in trouble. The controversy over his contributions to political figures and nonprofits and the scandal of his brother Lawrence investing $60,000 in a 1970 book attacking Arthur Goldberg, Nelson’s 1970 Democratic gubernatorial opponent, were threatening to get out of control.”

And so forth.

Many in the MAGA crowd understand that the “globalization” promoted by Laurence Rockefeller and George Soros is just another word for the outsourcing of their jobs.  It’s too late for US radicals to lead a fight against outsourcing — it began in the 1950s and had hit high gear by 1970 — but it’s not too late to accuse the real villains. 

One Comment

  1. Maricata April 6, 2022

    ”Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon — Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil,” by Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennett

    This is an essential book not just for the reasons given above, but the book goes into the life of Cameron Townsend, most likely CIA affiliated.

    The CIA infiltrated many anthropology departments in the late fifties and sixties.

    The raping of Latin America was the CIA goal, that and counter insurgency.

    This is must read. Hard to find and long,but spells out the hideous Latin American policy and underhanded work of the CIA and the Rockefellers.

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