THE POLITICS OF CANCER THERAPY
CARTELS - ESCAPE FROM COMPETITION
A review of the science of cancer therapy; a summary of the politics
of cancer therapy; the early history of the I.G. Farben chemical and
pharmaceutical cartel; the cartel's early success in the United
States; and its "marriage" with DuPont, Standard Oil, and Ford.
A review of the science of cancer therapy; a summary of the politics
of cancer therapy; the early history of the
I.G. Farben chemical and
pharmaceutical cartel; the cartel's early success in the United
States; and its "marriage" with DuPont, Standard Oil, and Ford.
In Part One we presented the science of cancer therapy. Before
proceeding with Part Two, the politics of cancer therapy, let's
review briefly the major points previously covered.
As we have seen, cancer is the unnatural and unchecked growth of
trophoblast cells which, themselves, are a normal and vital part of
the life process.
Trophoblast cells are produced in the body as a result of a chain
reaction involving the hormone estrogen. Estrogen always is present
in large quantities at the site of damaged tissue, possibly serving
as an organizer or catalyst for body repair.
Cancer, therefore, can be triggered by any prolonged stress or
damage to the body - whether it be smoking, or chemical additives to
our food, or even certain viruses - for these are what trigger the
production of estrogen as part of the normal healing process.
Nature, fortunately, has provided a metabolic barrier - a complex
mechanism to limit and control the growth of these trophoblast
cells. Many factors are involved, but the most direct-acting of them
appear to be the pancreatic enzymes and the food factor known as a
nitriloside or vitamin B17, a unique compound that destroys cancer
cells while nourishing and sustaining all others.
The answer to cancer, therefore, is to avoid excessive damage or
stress to the body, to minimize foods that preempt the pancreatic
enzymes for their digestion, and to maintain a diet rich in all
minerals and vitamins - especially vitamin B17.
Opposition to the nutritional concept of cancer is strong and vocal.
This concept has been branded as fraud and quackery by the Food and
Drug Administration, the American Cancer Society, and the American
It is important to stress again, however, that the average physician
is not part of this opposition - except, perhaps, to the extent to
which he trustingly accepts the official pronouncements of these
prestigious bodies. Most doctors, however, would be more inclined to
give Laetrile a try before passing final judgment.
As a result, an
increasing number of physicians all around the world now are testing
and proving the value of vitamin therapy in their own clinics.
Doctors in the United States, however, are forbidden both by law and
by the pressure of peer review from experimenting with unorthodox
therapies. Consequently, they are not able to find out if Laetrile
works, only if it is said to work.
Meanwhile, with the evidence continuing to mount in favor of vitamin
therapy, the opposition and the controversy also continue to grow.
The reason is both simple and unpleasant. Cancer, in the United
States at least, has become a multi-billion dollar business. Not
only are fortunes made in the fields of research, drugs, and X-ray,
but political careers are enhanced by promising ever larger
tax-supported programs and government grants.
It is an ominous fact that, each year, there are more people making
a living from cancer than are dying from it. If the riddle were to
be solved by a simple vitamin found abundantly and inexpensively in
nature, this gigantic commercial and political industry could be
wiped out overnight. It is not unexpected, therefore, that vested
interest should play an important role in clouding the scientific
This does not mean that the surgeons, the radiologists, the
druggists, the researchers, or the thousands of people who supply
and support them would consciously withhold a control for cancer.
They are, for the most part, highly motivated and conscientious
individuals who would like nothing better than to put an end to
Furthermore, they and their families succumb to
cancer the same as the rest of the population. Obviously, they are
not keeping any secret cures to themselves.
But does it necessarily follow that all opposition is innocent? Are
we to believe that personal gain or vested interest is not a factor
anywhere along the line?
The purpose of the second half of this
presentation is to provide the answers to those questions. It will
be demonstrated that, at the top of the economic and political
pyramid of power there is a grouping of financial, industrial, and
political interests that, by the nature of their goals, are the
natural enemies of the nutritional approach to health. It will be
shown that they have created a climate of bias that makes scientific
objectivity almost an impossibility, and that they, themselves,
often become the victims of their own bias.
It will be shown that these forces wield tremendous influence over
the medical profession, the medical schools, and the medical
journals; and that the average doctor is the last to suspect that
much of his knowledge and outlook have been shaped subtly by these
It will be shown, also, that this elite group can move long levers
of political power that activate government agencies in their
behalf; and that these agencies, which supposedly are the servants
and protectors of the people, have become the mechanism of vested
These are serious indictments. They are not made lightly, nor should
they be accepted without challenge. So let us turn now to the record
to see what evidence there is to support them.
The information that follows is taken primarily from government hearings and reports published by various Senate and
House committees from 1928 to 1946. Principal among these are
the House Subcommittee to Investigate Nazi Propaganda in 1934,
the Special Senate Committee Investigating the Munitions Industry in 1935, the report on cartels released by the House Temporary
National Economic Committee in 1941, the Senate Special
Committee Investigating the National Defense Program in 1942,
the report of the Senate Patents Committee in 1942, and the
Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization in 1946.
Other sources include the Senate Lobby Investigating Committee, the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, court
records of the Nuremberg trials, and dozens of volumes found as
standard references in any large library. In other words, although
the story that follows is not widely known, it is, nevertheless,
of the public record and can be verified by anyone. This is that
In the years prior to World War II, there came into existence an
international cartel, centered in Germany, that dominated the
world's chemical and drug industries. It had spread its operations
to ninety-three countries and was a powerful economic and political
force on all continents.
It was known as
I.G. stands for Interssen Gemeinschaft, which means "community of
interests" or, more simply, "cartel."
Farben means "dyes," which,
because the modern chemical industry had its origin in the
development of dyestuffs, now is a deceptively innocent sounding
category that, in reality, encompasses the entire field of
chemistry, including munitions and drugs.
Munitions and drugs can be powerful human motivators. One offers the
promise of health and prolonged life, while the other can be the
carrier of death and destruction. There can be no greater earthly
desire for men than to have the first but to avoid the second. He
who controls munitions and drugs, therefore, holds the ultimate
carrot and stick.
The basic ingredient for almost all chemicals - including those that
wound as well as those that heal - is coal tar or crude oil.
advent of the internal combustion engine, the value of these raw
materials as the precursor of gasoline has given those who control
their chemical conversions a degree of power over the affairs of the
world that is frightening to contemplate. In other words, the
present movement of civilization is driven by the engine of
chemistry. But the fuel of chemistry is oil. Whereas gold once was
the key to world power, now it is oil. And it has come to pass that
it is the same men who now control both.
Howard Ambruster, author of Treason's Peace, summarizes:
I.G. Farben is usually discussed as a huge German cartel which
controls chemical industries throughout the world and from which
profits flow back to the headquarters in Frankfurt. Farben, however,
is no mere industrial enterprise conducted by Germans for the
extraction of profits at home and abroad. Rather, it is and must be
recognized as a cabalistic organization which, through foreign
subsidiaries and by secret tie-ups, operates a far-flung and highly
efficient espionage machine - the ultimate purpose being world
conquest - and a world superstate directed by Farben.(1)
1. Howard Ambruster, Treason's Peace, (New York: Beechhurst Press,
Much of the earlier scientific knowledge that made it possible for
German industry to assume world leadership in the field of organic
chemistry was the result of the pioneering genius of the
well known chemist, Justus von Leibig.
It is an interesting
coincidence that Leibig, shortly after he completed his university
training in 1824, first attracted attention within the scientific
community by publishing a paper on the chemical properties of the
bitter almond, a substance rich in vitamin B17. He identified the
presence of benzaldehyde, an ingredient that acts against cancer
cells, but there is no indication that he ever followed up these
studies with particular application to cancer therapy.(1)
I.G. Farben was created in 1926 by the dual genius of a German
industrialist by the name of Hermann Schmitz and a Swiss banker by
the name of Eduard Greutert.(2) Greutert's stock in trade was
keeping "loose books" and creating financial mazes to conceal Farben
ownership of companies. Schmitz was a director of the great Deutsche
Reichsbank and of the Bank of International Settlements
headquartered in Switzerland.
And so, from the beginning, the
leaders of I.G. Farben had been a part of the international banking
By the beginning of World War II, I.G. Farben had become the largest
industrial enterprise in Europe, the largest chemical company in the
world, and part of the most powerful cartel in history.(3) It would
take over an hour just to read aloud the names of the companies
around the world with which it had interlocking cartel agreements.
There were, in fact, over 2,000 of them.(4)
1. Richard Sasuly, I.G. Farben, (New York: Boni & Gaer, 1947), p.
2. Greutert was a German national also. His bank was located in
Basel and was known as Greutert & Cie.
3. This was the opinion of the U.S. Department of Justice as
expressed in U.S. vs. Allied Chemical & Dye Corp. et. ah, U.S.
District Court of New Jersey, May 14, 1942.
4. General Eisenhower, as Supreme Commander in the American Zone of
Occupation, reported that I.G. had stock interests in 613
corporations, including 173 in foreign countries, piled up assets of
6 billion Reichsmarks, and "operated with varying degrees of power
in more than 2,000 cartels." See New York Times, Oct. 21, 1945, Sec.
1, pp. 1,12.
When the list is
narrowed to include just those companies which it owned or
controlled outright, it still would fill many pages in a book. Here
are just a few of the better known.
Inside Germany, the cartel included the top six chemical firms and
extended to virtually all of heavy industry as well, especially the
steel industry. Hermann Schmitz was a dominant figure in the Krupp
Steel Works and was on its board of directors as well as on the
board of the major steel combine, Vereinigte Stahlwerke.
All-in-all, more than 380 German firms were controlled by the
Elsewhere in Europe, I.G. Farben dominated such industrial giants as
Imperial Chemical in Great Britain, Kuhlmann in France, and Allied
Chemical in Belgium.
Leslie Waller, in his
The Swiss Bank
Connection, provides this modest description:
Through the Basel connection, I.G. Farben spread out across the face
of the globe widening its grasp of the chemical business by
establishing thoroughly concealed interests in companies in Belgium,
England, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Romania,
various nations of South America, Sweden and the United States.(1)
1. Leslie Waller, The Swiss Bank Connection, (New York: Signet
Books, New American Library, Inc., 1972), p. 162.
In the United States the cartel had established important agreements
with a wide spectrum of American industry including
Bell and Howell
the Carnation Company
the M.W. Kellogg
Parke-Davis and Company
Proctor and Gamble
...and hundreds more.
The list of companies which it owned outright or in which it had (or
eventually would have) a dominant financial interest is equally
the Bayer Co. (makers of aspirin)
Chemical Corporation (manufacturers of photographic
film and supplies)
the Sterling Drug Company
the J.T. Baker Chemical Company
Hoffman-LaRoche Laboratories Whitehall Laboratories
Stearns and Company
Dern and Mitchell
Van Ess Laboratories
William S. Merrill Company
the Jensen Salsberry Laboratories
the Ozalid Corporation
and Sons Pharmaceutical,
...and scores of others, many of which were
large enough to be holding companies which, in turn, owned numerous
smaller companies - and some not-sosmall - as well.(1)
1. The listing of these firms does not imply illegality or
impropriety. It is merely to establish the historical facts of
either cartel contractual interlock or outright control. These facts
can be verified by consulting back issues of standard business
references such as Standard and Poor's Corporation Records and
Moody's Industrial Manual. See also the findings of previous
researchers in this field such as Cartels in Action, by Stocking and
Watkins; Treason's Peace, by Ambruster; and The Devil's Chemist, by
DuBois; all mentioned elsewhere in this study.
By 1929, I.G. Farben had concluded a series of limited cartel
agreements with its largest American competitor, the DuPont Company.
DuPont was a major power in itself and it always had been reluctant
to enter into cooperative ventures with Farben which usually
insisted on being the dominant partner. Consequently, many of the
agreements were made indirectly through Farben's subsidiary,
Winthrop Chemical, through Imperial Chemical (its cartel partner in
Great Britain), and through Mitsui, its cartel partner in Japan.
1937, American I.G. had substantial stock holdings in both DuPont
and Eastman Kodak. The Olin Corporation, a Farben holding, entered
into the manufacture of cellophane under a DuPont license.
The primary reason that such an industrial giant as DuPont finally
relented and entered into cartel agreements with I.G. is that
Standard Oil of New Jersey had just done so. The combination of
these two Goliaths presented DuPont with a serious potential of
DuPont might have been able to stand firmly
against I.G. alone, but it could not hope to take on both I.G. and
the great Rockefeller empire as well. Standard Oil, therefore, was
the decisive factor that brought together the ultimate "community of
interest" - I.G., Standard Oil, Imperial Chemical, DuPont, and as we
shall see, Shell Oil.
The agreement between I.G., Standard, and Shell was consummated in
1929. How it came about is a fascinating story and sheds
considerable light on the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of companies
that, in the public eye, are perceived as competitors.
One of the factors leading to Germany's defeat in World War I was
its lack of petroleum. German leaders resolved never again to be
dependent upon the outside world for gasoline. Germany may not have
had oil deposits within its territory, but it did have
abundant reserves of coal. One of the first goals of German chemists
after the war, therefore, was to find a way to convert coal into
By 1920, Dr. Bergius had discovered ways to make large quantities of
hydrogen and to force it, under great pressure, at high
temperatures, and in the presence of specific catalysts, into liquid
coal products. The final steps into refined gasoline were then
assured. It was only a matter of perfecting the hydrogenation
process. I.G. suddenly was in the oil business.
One might assume that the cartel would have eagerly gone into
production. But the plan, instead, was to interest existing oil
producers in their process and to use their patents as leverage to
gain concessions and business advantages in other areas. This was to
be the bait to ensnare Standard Oil which, in turn, would bring in
DuPont. And it worked exactly as planned.
Frank Howard of Standard Oil was invited to visit the great Baldische plant at Ludwigshafen in March of 1926.
What he saw was
astounding - gasoline from coal! In a near state of shock, he wrote to
Walter Teagle, president of Standard Oil:
Based upon my observations and discussions today, I think that
this matter is the most important which has ever faced the
The Baldische can make high-grade motor oil fuel from lignite
and other low-quality coals in amounts up to half the weight of the
coal. This means absolutely the independence of Europe on the
matter of gasoline supply. Straight price competition is all that is
I shall not attempt to cover any details, but I think this will be
evidence of my state of mind.(1)
1. Sasuly, I.G. Farben, op. cit., pp. 144-145.
The following three years were devoted to negotiation.
agreement was signed on November 9, 1929 and it accomplished several
important objectives: First, it granted Standard Oil one-half of all
rights to the hydrogenation process in all countries of the world
except Germany. This assured Standard that it would control, or at
least profit from, its own competition in this field. In return,
Standard gave I.G. 546,000 shares of its stock valued at more than
The two parties also agreed not to compete with each
other in the fields of chemistry and petroleum products. In the
future, if Standard Oil wished to enter the field of industrial
chemicals or drugs, it would do so
only as a partner of Farben.
Farben, in turn, agreed not to enter
the field of petroleum except as a joint venture with Standard. Each
"any plan or policy" of "expanding its existing
business in the direction of the other party's industry as to become
a serious competitor of that other party."(1)
As Frank Howard of Standard Oil phrased it:
The I.G. may be said to be our general partner in the chemical
business... The desire and intention of both parties is to avoid
competing with one another.(2)
To facilitate the implementation of this agreement, several jointly
owned companies were formed.
One of these was the International
Hydrogenation Patents Company (I.H.P.). Shell Oil also became a
partner in this venture. Its purpose was not to promote the
international use of the hydrogenation process, but to keep the lid
on it as much as possible. An official Standard memorandum declared:
I.H.P. should keep in close touch with developments in all countries
where it has patents, and should be fully informed with regard to
the interest being shown in hydrogenation and the prospect of its
introduction... It should not, however, attempt to stir up interest
in countries where none exists.(3)
1. George Stocking and Myron Watkins, Cartels in Action, (New York:
The Twentieth Century Fund, 1946), p. 93.
2. As quoted by Ambruster, Treason's Peace, op. cit., p. 52.
3. Ibid., pp. 492, 493.
The other jointly-owned company was created in 1930 and was known as
Jasco, Inc. Its purpose was to allow each company to share in any
future new chemical developments of the other. Under the agreement,
whenever I.G. or Standard developed a new chemical process, it would
offer to the other party an option to obtain one-third interest in
Jasco then would exploit the marketing of that process
throughout the world.
Here, then, was a perfect example of how two giant industrial
empires came together, a step at a time, until eventually, in large
areas of their activity, they were moving in unison as one. The goal
of each simply was to remove all marketplace competition between
themselves and assure that each had a secure guarantee of future
growth and profit.
Dr. Carl Bosch, head of I.G. at the time, was not
merely being picturesque when he said that I.G. and Standard had
"married." He was describing quite accurately the philosophical
essence of all major cartel agreements.
Space does not permit a detailed chronicle of all of I.G. Farben's
polygamous marriages with other major U.S. firms, but at least two
more should be mentioned in passing. On October 23, 1931, I.G. and
Alcoa signed an accord, known as the Alig Agreement, in which the
two companies pooled all their patents and technical knowledge on
the production of magnesium. The other industrial giant that became
part of the international web was none other than the Ford Motor
When Henry Ford established a branch of his company in Germany, I.G.
Farben immediately purchased most of the forty percent of the stock
which was offered for sale.
The marriage was completed when Carl
Bosch, I.G.'s president, and Carl Krauch, I.G.'s chairman of the
board, both joined the board of directors of the German Ford
Company. In the United States, Edsel Ford joined the board of
directors of the American I.G. Chemical Company as did Walter
Teagle, president of Standard Oil, Charles E. Mitchell, president of
Rockefeller's National City Bank of New York, and Paul M. Warburg,
brother of Max Warburg who was a director of the parent company in
Paul Warburg was one of the architects of the Federal Reserve System
which placed control of the American monetary system into the hands
of the same banking circles he represented.
According to the memoirs
of Frank Vanderlip, this scheme was hatched at a
secret meeting on
Jekyll Island in Georgia attended by:
Aldrich (both representing
Henry Davison, Charles
Norton, and Benjamin Strong (representing J.P Morgan)
Andrew (from the Treasury)
Paul Warburg (representing
the Rothschilds in England and France)
Warburg's brother, Felix,
married Frieda Schiff, the daughter of Jacob Schiff who headed the
banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb, and Company.(1) Years later, according
to his grandson John, Jacob Schiff had given twenty million dollars
to Trotsky for use in establishing a Soviet Dictatorship in
1. For the complete story of how the Federal Reserve System operates
as a banking cartel under the guise of a government agency, read G.
Edward Griffin's The Creature from Jekyll Island; A Second Look at
The Federal Reserve System (Westlake Village, CA: American Media,
2. The comments by John Schiff first appeared in the Charlie
Knickerbocker column of the New York Journal American, Feb. 3, 1949.
See also the exclusive interview with Alexander Kerensky, leader of
the Russian revolution, U.S. News & World Report, Mar. 13,1967, p.
There is much more of significance known about these men, but the
bottom line is that they were more than mere businessmen looking for
a means of expanding markets and securing profits.
They were part of
that special breed whose vision extends far beyond profit-and-loss
ledgers to the horizons of international intrigue and politics.
To fully understand that aspect of their careers, it is necessary
first to understand the nature of cartels. A cartel is a grouping of
companies that are bound together by contracts or agreements
designed to promote inter-company cooperation and, thereby, reduce
competition between them. Some of these agreements may deal with
such harmless subjects as industry standards and nomenclature.
most of them involve the exchange of patent rights, the dividing of
regional markets, the setting of prices, and agreements not to enter
into product competition within specific categories. Generally, a
cartel is a means of escaping the rigors of competition in the open
free-enterprise market. The result always is higher prices and fewer
products from which to choose.
Cartels and monopolies, therefore,
are not the result of free enterprise, but the escape from it.
The motivation for businessmen to make cartel agreements is similar
to that which leads laborers and skilled workers into trade unions
and professional associations. They reason that by lowering the
price on their product or their labor they might be able to attract
a greater share of the existing market. But that is only true if
others do not follow their example.
It is reasonable to assume,
however, that the competition will lower its prices also in order to
avoid losing patronage. A price cut by one tends to lower the prices
of all. A person is encouraged, therefore, to join with other firms
or other workers and agree not to follow competitive policies that
will impoverish all.
This does not mean that cartel members always succeeded in
eliminating all conflict or competition. Occasionally a party to an
agreement will decide that the terms of the agreement no longer are
acceptable and it will break away and attempt to go it alone. Price
wars and fierce contests for markets periodically erupt with all the
overtones of military war itself.
But, just as in the case of war
between nations, eventually they come to an end. One party either is
vanquished or, as is more often the case in business wars, one party
clearly emerges with the dominant position, and then a
"truce" and a new negotiated cartel agreement is worked out on the
basis of the new balance of power.
Stocking and Watkins, writing in
Cartels in Action, describe this process succinctly:
"Price wars" broke out, were terminated by "armistices," recurrently
flamed up again, and finally settled into a long siege...
Chemical companies usually decide who shall sell what, where, how
much, and on what terms in foreign markets, by negotiation rather
than by competition, because they believe that cooperation "pays."
They reach their decisions by driving hard-headed bargains. Each
party tries to obtain the best terms for itself.
decisions reflect the relative bargaining power of the parties
involved. This depends on many factors including the efficiency of
their processes, strength of their patent positions, quality of
their products, extent of their financial resources, and support of
their governments. In the final analysis, the issue turns on the
comparative readiness of the several parties for a competitive "war"
if negotiations break down.
This kind of business rivalry differs from effective competition in
that the bulk of its benefits are likely to go to the cartel members
rather than to the consumers.(1)
This is an accurate description of the hidden reality behind most of
the world's major products today.
Stocking and Watkins made
extensive calculations of pre-war trade and proved quite
convincingly that, in the United States, in the year 1939, cartels
controlled eighty-seven percent of the mineral products sold, sixty
percent of agricultural products, and forty-two percent of all
manufactured products. Needless to say, the trend has greatly
accelerated since 1939, so one can well imagine what the situation
is like today. The chemical industry - and that includes
pharmaceuticals - is completely cartelized.
Even as far back as 1937,
this fact was so obvious that Fortune magazine editorialized:
The chemical industry, despite its slowly lowering curve of real
prices, is an "orderly" industry. It was practicing "cooperation"
long before General Johnson invented it in 1933. It has seldom been
bedeviled by over production, has had no private depression of its
own, and has not often involved itself in long or bloody price
wars... By and large, the chemical industry has regulated itself in
a manner that would please even a Soviet Commissar... The industry
... is ... the practitioner of one definite sort of planned
1. Watkins, op. cit., pp. 398, 420.
2. "Chemical Industry," Fortune, Dec, 1937, pp. 157,162.
This is reminiscent of the sentiments expressed in 1973 by the
United States Tariff Commission.
In its report to the Senate, it
In the largest and most sophisticated multinational corporations,
planning and subsequent monitoring of plan fulfillment have reached
a scope and level of detail that, ironically, resemble more than
superficially the national planning procedures of Communist
1. Report entitled Implications of Multinational Firms for World
Trade and Investment for U.S. Trade and Labor, Feb. 1973, p. 159.
The comments about resembling the planned economy of a Soviet
Commissar in a Communist country are quite "on target."
They shed a
great deal of light on the inherent philosophy of cartels. If it is
true that cartels and monopolies are not the result of free
enterprise but the escape from it, then it follows that the best way
to escape free enterprise is to destroy it altogether. This is why
cartels and collectivist governments inevitably work together as a
team. They have a common enemy and share a common objective: the
destruction of free enterprise.
A million dollars put into politics to bring about the passage of a
protective tariff law, a so-called fair-trade law, or an
anti-quackery law, is a tremendous bargain for those who benefit.
Even though these laws are masqueraded as being for the benefit of
the people, in reality they are a means of putting the machinery of
government into motion against cartel competitors.
They produce a
return on the original investment many times over. Big government,
therefore, with its capacity to regulate every facet of economic
life, is the natural friend and ally of cartels and monopolies.
Cartels and monopolies, without the help of government, would be
hard-pressed to exist, at least at the level they do now.
any of the major world markets - in sugar, tea, chocolate, rubber,
steel, petroleum, automobiles, food - any of them, and one will find a
mountain of government restrictions, quotas, and price supports. And
scampering all over this mountain, there is an army of lobbyists,
representing special interests, applying pressures on politicians
who, in turn, endorse the laws that, supposedly, are designed to
protect the people.
Cartels are not alone in this racket. Organized labor sought the
escape from free-market competition when it demanded
government-enforced minimum wage laws and the closed shop. Farmers
did the same with price supports and subsidies.
It seems that,
increasingly of late, almost everyone wants the government to step
in and "protect" him from the rigors of open and honest competition.
The cartels are no different in this except that they were ahead of
most of the others, have more money to spend, and have perfected the
art to its ultimate state.
It is not merely a question of prestige, therefore, but a matter of
pure necessity that large multinational corporations often have
prominent political figures on their boards. ITT, for example, has
displayed on its main board in New York such significant names as
Eugene Black, former head of the World Bank, and John McCone, former
director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In Europe it has had
such figures as Trygve Lie, first Secretary-General of the United
Nations, Paul-Henri Spock of Belgium, and Lord Caccia of Britain.
There was even an attempt to recruit Prime Minister Harold
1. Anthony Sampson, The Sovereign State of ITT, (New York: Stein &
Day, 1973), pp. 113,114.
It is no coincidence that all of the above-named individuals are
self-classified either as socialists or, at the very least,
political liberals. None of them would be caught dead advocating the
free enterprise system. They know that the road to wealth now is
traveled, not by the carriage of industrial expertise, but by the
sport car of political influence. Government is where the action is.
The consequences can be seen everywhere - especially in the world of
The situation was aptly described in the
January 1973 Monthly Review of the Bank of Hawaii:
There appears to be no ready answer to the complex interrelated
domestic and international developments. Those standing to lose the
most include the individuals who seek to establish their own
business and those independent domestic firms seeking to compete in
the traditional open market place. They face increasing
regimentation through bureaucratic red tape and preempted markets by
federally subsidized competition.
Virtually immune are the multi-national corporations whose massive
investments abroad, and effective lobbying positions, and allegiance
to a world market unobstructed by local government and competition,
place them in a position to not only straddle these developments but
to encourage them.
Ferdinand Lundberg, in his book,
The Rich and the Super Rich, put
aside his Leftist cliches about the "exploitation of the working
class," and his outspoken apologies for the Soviet system long
enough to recognize certain truths, or half-truths at least, about
the American system.
He wrote, almost with glee:
The restriction of free enterprise has also come principally from
businessmen who have constantly sought to increase government
regulation in their own interest, as in the case of tariffs,
subsidies, and prohibition of price-cutting on trademarked items.
In fact, the interests of businessmen have changed to a considerable
extent from efficiency in production, to efficiency in public
manipulation, including manipulation of the government for
attainment of preferential advantages...
As everything thus far inquired into has obviously flowed under the
benign providence of government, it is evident that, government and
politics have more than a little to do with the gaudy blooms of
extreme wealth and poverty in the feverish American realm.(1)
1. Ferdinand Lundberg, The Rich and the Super-Rich, (New York:
Bantam, 1968), pp. 153,154, 584.
All of which is true; but it is not all that is true.
There are two
traps that can ensnare the unwary observer of these trends. The
first is the hasty conclusion that cartels and monopolies are an
expression of capitalism or free enterprise, and that the solution
to the problem lies in the replacement of capitalism with some other
kind of system. As we have emphasized, however, cartels and
monopolies are just the opposite of competitive capitalism and free
The second trap is the conclusion that the solution for the abuses
of cartels and monopolies is to be found in the increase of
government regulations and controls. But that is precisely the
problem already. It simply is not humanly possible to draw up a new
law or combination of laws granting increased power to government,
supposedly to regulate commerce and to prevent monopoly and their
political puppets, without accomplishing just the opposite of its
Current anti-trust laws are a perfect example. More often than not,
they end up merely being the instruments whereby one business group
uses the power of government to suppress or hinder its less
politically influential competitors.
Bigger and stronger government
is not the solution, it is the problem!
Lundberg, like many other writers in this field, fell victim to both
traps. He recognized that monopoly was not free enterprise. He even
saw that government was the inseparable partner of monopoly.
having done so, he then turned around and opened the door for a move
into bigger government, and even a "forward" step into Communism
We cannot go back to competition. We must go forward to some new
system, perhaps Communism, perhaps cooperativism, perhaps much more
complete governmental regulation than we now have. I don't know what
lies ahead and I am not particularly concerned...(1)
1. Ibid., p. 154.
There, in a nutshell, is the likely reason that Mr. Lundberg's
amazingly dull and oversized book (1009 pages) has been pushed into
the bestseller list by the very Establishment which, on the surface
at least, he supposedly condemns.
If men like Lundberg would only
stop to wonder why they are hired to teach at Establishment
universities, and why their books are eagerly sought by
Establishment publishers, and why they are in demand for TV and
radio appearances on Establishment networks, and why they receive
generous financial grants from Establishment foundations, they might
begin to catch on.
The "super-rich" do not particularly care if
their vast wealth and power is exposed so long as nothing practical
is done to weaken that power.
If anyone has to be publicly recognized as a crusader against them,
how much better it is to have someone like Lundberg, rather than an
individual who also is a foe of big government.
There is a phalanx
of government-worshipping intellectuals now leading the American
people in their struggle against the increasingly oppressive
Establishment. Yet, the Establishment calmly tolerates them and even
sponsors them in their efforts. As long as they can view "much more
complete government regulation" or even Communism as a step
"forward," they are no threat.
To the contrary, the continued
concentration of government power into the hands of a few - until it
is total power - is exactly what the world's "super-rich" are
determined to achieve.
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