Greetings and Salutations;
It came to my attention that there is a meme decrying John D. Rockefeller floating around the Net! While it seems a bit silly to me to be tearing down a very rich man who has been dead for 100 years or more, there are some questionable points made in the meme. SO…I thought I would take a minute and address them.
Sigh…A very bad picture of the man, and nothing but hateful spin or out and out lies, in the caption. No wonder the fact checkers ding this!
While he was no angel, he did have a feeling of responsibility to use his vast wealth for the good of all… As the founder of Standard Oil, he was a cold-blooded capitalist, and reaped both the rewards and costs of the decisions he made. On the rewards side…he made a fortune that, for the day, was unimaginable and lived a life of comfort because of it. On the costs side…his predatory actions towards competitors moved Congress to create the Sherman Anti-Trust laws that still provide some protection for consumers today. For further reading, here is an article on Standard Oil, and its fate –
Here is a short biography of Rockefeller’s life. NOTE what he did with his money!
Now that we have some background about J. D. Rockefeller, I will address the claims made in the caption for the meme.
The Rockefellers were very influential in creating the pharmaceutical industry. HOWEVER, this is because they were rational science-base minds…and realized the benefits of allopathic medicines over the “woo” that was being used at the time – Here is a short history of medical practices in the late 1800s. Now, let us move on to a couple of articles touching on the actions by the very rich in the late 1800s, to move away from quackery to evidence based medicine that cured with actual drugs, and not the placebo effect! Here is a history of the Rockefeller Foundation and the actions it took to start this movement towards the far more successful outcomes we have today. Now, let us move on to this NIH history of the people who actually did the work to change medical practices.
Of course, since Rockefeller was a strong Capitalist, he made sure that he, and the other ultra-rich of the day had a big chunk of the Pharmaceutical Industry earnings going into their pockets.
The claim about his getting hemp banned is blatantly false. Now, Rockefeller originally supported the prohibition movement, as he saw the terrible cost that alcohol was taking on society. However, towards the end of this failed experiment, he realized how impossible it was, so influenced writing guidelines that legalized alcohol use, and set up a program for licensing and taxing it. That, by the by, is still fairly intact today, over 100 years later. In addition, I can find no valid sources that claim he worked to ban hemp production. Perhaps if he had known it could produce fuel to run automobiles, he might have tried this…however, the first, Hemp powered vehicle was not created until several years after his death.
The amazing thing about the claim he hijacked the world educational system is that there IS no “World Educational System”. Education around the world is a bunch of small groups, getting teachers together with children, to teach these children the tools necessary to survive and prosper in society. These groups have little or no connection and are rabidly independent in most cases.
He had NOTHING to do with the Federal Reserve – This article discusses the origins of that part of the government.
He had nothing to do with the funding or creation of the United Nations! It has always been funded by contributions from the countries that are members..and those monies come from taxes collected. (Ok…since Rockefeller DID pay taxes on his wealth, I suppose he DID help fund it… However, he had as much pull there as you or I would – since the taxes WE paid also funded the U.N.)
As for the Council ON Foreign Relations – this article explains what it is..and it is NOTHING that the meme implies it is – It is a think tank that tries to make sense of, and suggest ways to interact with, countries outside the United States. Americans have always had a real blind spot towards other countries. Because we are an adolescent nation, we tend to believe that EVERYONE lives the same as we do! It is both hubris, and foolishness based in a lack of knowledge of other cultures. It also has gotten us in hot water a number of times in our history…and even today, ends up causing issues with American tourists, who overstep boundaries because they do not even know they are there…and then get huffy when they are called on this.
The reality is that the Rockefellers were, for the time, Liberals, making rational, science based decisions. This gored the ox of the chiropractors, herbalists, homeopaths and other grifters out there, so much hateful, false speech was spread about their actions. This meme is typical of the sort of nonsense that the conspiracy loony/grifter fringe groups would put out to try and keep their very lucrative scams going. As I touched on in the opening to this essay, Rockefeller was not an angel…However, this sort of meme should never be spread around. Those that spread it reveal more about themselves than they do about Rockefeller!
The meme and comments in it have, by the by, been around for a LONG time. I can recall hearing some of them when I was a teenager, many decades ago. The level of spin and lies in the meme were so relevant to today’s world, though, that I was moved to create this essay! When, I wonder, will we, as a society, either grow up enough to not engage in this nonsense, or, get enough adults around that the mewling infants who scream this stuff out can be put back in their cribs for a needed nap?
God Help Us All!
Be safe! Get Vaccinated; Wear your mask in close proximity to strangers; wash your hands as if you are about to perform open heart surgery!
Bee Man Dave.