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  • Dave McGuire

Corporations & Flirtations with Authoritarianism

Updated: May 15

The Clarksvillian


"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them." - George Orwell, 1984


The originally peaceful BLM protest voices quickly morphed into violence and extended into Europe with a heavy influx of groups similar to Antifa. In Europe, we continue to see the same inconsistency with regards to the removal of historical figures and stories. It’s an interesting dynamic that’s clearly been overtaken by a political movement lurking in the background. If the protests were indeed about equality and civil rights, would these corporations be exempt knowing their exclusive relationships with the NAZI Party or ongoing corruptible behaviors?


Is this writing intended to promote protests? No. The exclusion isn't unintentional or merely an oversight by the protesters. With that being understood, we are left with no worries on that half of the table. Let's review some of the companies with worrisome histories of poor choices related to social justice.


The first example is one of the most guarded abuses of trust in modern times..


AP News Agency

AP provides much of the basic, on-the-ground-reporting and images for a large portion of the news that you now read and watch. They were also NAZI collaborators.


Most international news organizations withdrew from Germany during the NAZI years, but the AP remained — and fired all their local Jewish staff along the way. As early as the mid-1930s, AP began refusing to publish images depicting the discrimination against Jews in Germany.


The AP knowingly sold images of Jews from inside Germany and around the world to be used in anti-Semitic propaganda. They were also the leading supplier of images for a propaganda book called The Jews in the USA, and in third place among suppliers of photos for the anti-Semitic book The Subhuman.


The AP also sold images from Germany to the rest of the world. These images could only leave the country after being inspected by senior SS members. As a result, the AP was publishing images that showed NAZI members as heroic leaders and Jews as subhuman cowards.


This collaboration with the German government was unprecedented for a foreign news press service and contributed to NAZI propaganda both within and outside of Germany.


IBM

History shows us IBM chose to develop and sell the equipment needed to calculate the Nazi concentration camp(s) census’ and accept Hitler's accommodation medals. All the while, through their subsidiary, Dehomag, IBM made several other indefensible choices while counting profit revenue along with Jews - for Hitler.


Dehomag IBM also worked with the Nazi government to carry out a massive nationwide census of Germany. This census was designed to identify populations of Jews, Gypsies, and other ethnic groups deemed undesirable by the regime so that they could be marked for extermination.


This ugly history of decision making is outlined in IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black. An uncomfortable relationship between the iconic company and the Third Reich.


Barclays Bank

Barclays Bank, aka Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Arena, seems to glide under the radar. Barclays is one of the world’s most powerful global corporations in terms of ownership and corporate control over global financial stability and market competition. There are also the same company to gain favor with NAZI Germany, offered names of Jewish staff to its NAZI. Documents from the US national archives reveal how senior officials from Barclays Bank provided information about its Jewish employees to senior NAZI officials and helped arrange financing for projects to sustain Hitler's lifestyle and war machine.


ITT

Work in the hotel industry? Do some research and take a deep breath. ITT has gradually integrated itself into Marriott International.


One of the first meetings with US businessmen Sosthenes Behn, then the CEO of ITT, and his German representative, Henry Mann. Anthony C. Sutton, in his book Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, outlines ITT making cash payments to SS leader Heinrich Himmler. The Office of Military Government of the United States, OMGUS, documents reveal the extended role of NAZI support from ITT could not be determined during WWII due to the inability to locate information (thought to be destroyed).


ThyssenKrupp Elevator

How many times have you decided to walk instead of using an elevator that prominently lists ThyssenKrupp on the interior frame? I’m guessing the protest wasn’t as convenient as the elevator ride. After all, ThyssenKrup were only a major manufacturer for NAZI Germany’s war efforts. CEO Fritz Thyssen thought that Nazism was the wave of the future, and he was one of the earliest and largest contributors to surf the NAZI party wave. The NAZI leadership rewarded him by electing him as a member of the Reichstag and appointing him to the Council of the State of Prussia, the largest German state.


Nestle Foods

Nestle is simple a consistently unethical company. But you must give them credit for not hiding from who they are all these years. Concentration camp forced labor, child labor in West Africa, NAZI business ties and hiding Jewish money, water rights manipulation, price fixing, etc etc


I don’t want to lose your interest with older history, so we’ll stay focused on the last 20 years as the ongoing pattern of behavior.


At the second World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé and other corporations persuaded the World Water Council to change its statement to reduce access to drinking water from being defined as a "right" rather than a "need".


In 2002, Nestlé demanded that the nation of Ethiopia repay $6 million of debt to the company at a time when Ethiopia was suffering a severe famine.


In Canada, the Competition Bureau raided the offices of Nestlé Canada (along with those of Hershey Canada and Mars Canada) in 2007 to investigate price fixing of chocolates. It is alleged executives with Nestlé (the maker of KitKat, Coffee Crisp, and Big Turk) colluded with competitors in Canada to artificially control prices.


September 2008, the Hong Kong government found melamine in Nestlé milk product. Six infants died from kidney damage, and a further 860 babies were hospitalized. The dairy farm milk was made by Nestlé's division in the Chinese coastal city of Qingdao.


In June 2009, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 was linked to Nestlé's refrigerated cookie dough originating from a plant in Virginia.


In November 2015, Nestlé disclosed that seafood products sourced in Thailand were produced with forced labor. business in Thailand – primarily for its Purina products.


In May 2015, Food Safety Regulators from the state of Uttar Pradesh, India found that samples of Nestlé's noodles Maggi had up to 17 times beyond permissible safe limits of lead in addition to monosodium glutamate.


In September 2017, it was found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Nestlé and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally in national parks and other protected areas of Africa.


In 2019, The Washington Post reported Nestle had quietly resumed its child labor law abuses in Africa.


JP Morgan - Chase

What can you say about JP Morgan - Chase that hasn’t already been said about Nestle? Chase financed NAZI Germany and its leaders, manipulated markets for their benefit and actively punished Jewish persons.


Chase Bank looked for the association with power at every turn. It’s been revealed that NARA records show the details of Chase’s operations during the occupation of France by Germany from the late 1930s through the early 1940s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) issued an Executive Order freezing German assets, Chase National Bank worked with the NAZI government to secretly release funds. The order blocking any access to French accounts in the US by anyone, but especially by the Nazis was issued by Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr., with the approval of FDR. Within hours of the order, Chase unblocked the accounts, and the funds were transferred through South America to Nazi Germany.


Fast forward to the turn of the century. We still find Chase Bank’s loyalty to their past with refusal to release funds stolen from Jewish people during the NAZI Germany occupation of France. The US Treasury officials requested an investigation into French subsidiaries of American banks, such as Chase Bank, J.P. Morgan & Co, National City Corporation, Guaranty Bank, Bankers Trust, and American Express. Of these banks, only Chase and Morgan remained open in France during the Nazi occupation. The Chase branch chief in Paris, France, Carlos Niedermann, told his supervisor in New York that there had been an "expansion of deposits". Also, Niedermann was, "very vigorous in enforcing restrictions against Jewish property, even going so far as to refuse to release funds belonging to Jews in anticipation that a decree with retroactive provisions prohibiting such release might be published in the near future by the occupying Nazi authorities".


The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has found JPMorgan had illegally aided dictatorships in Cuba, Sudan, Liberia and Iran, including transferring 32,000 ounces of gold bullion to the benefit of a bank in Iran. JPMorgan did not voluntarily self-disclose the Iranian matter to OFAC.


Among its other transgressions, JPMorgan has been found to have:


  • Misled investors

  • Engaged in fictitious trades

  • Collected illegal flood insurance commissions

  • Wrongfully foreclosed on soldiers; charged veterans hidden fees for refinancing

  • Violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by making false statements to people seeking automobile loans

  • Illegally increased their collection of overdraft fees by processing large transactions before smaller ones

  • Helped drive Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham), into bankruptcy by switching its fixed-rate debt to variable

  • Violated antitrust provision of the Sherman Act relating to bid rigging


The German government was also given the ability to offer these Deutsche Marks below face-value because they had been stolen from citizens, primarily Jewish decent, fleeing the NAZI country. Between 1936 and 1941, the Germany government amassed more than $20 million, and the businesses enabling these transactions earned $1.2 million in commissions. Of these commissions, over $500,000 went to Chase National Bank and its sub agents.


These facts were discovered when the FBI began its investigation in October 1940. The purpose of the investigation was to follow German-Americans who had bought the Marks. However, Chase National Bank's executives were never federally prosecuted because Chase's lead attorney threatened to reveal FBI, Army and Navy "sources and methods" in court (needs reference). Publicly naming sources and methods would have posed security risks and threatened future operations. To avoid those revelations, the executives' violations of the Johnson Act, the Espionage Act, and the Foreign Agents Registration Act were never prosecuted.


ExxonMobil and Chevron

Standard Oil antitrust law required Standard Oil to be broken into smaller, independent companies operating through the war years. Among the "baby Standards" that still exist are ExxonMobil and Chevron.


And yes, today's pro