The People’s Book Project: Finance, Empire, and Globalization’s ‘Game of Thrones’
Apologies for not updating more frequently (or answering emails with more consistency), these are busy times, and I am – admittedly – terrible and terribly lacking the proclivities to make for more consistent management of the technical details required of my job. But then again, I don’t have a typical ‘job’, or a ‘real job’, by most counts. I survive on the generous donations of readers (and family!) who support my research and writing, as well as doing commissioned work and separate projects from that of the People’s Book Project. I am not as good as I would like to be when it comes to answering emails or updating the site and keeping everything neat and tidy and formal (or some might say, professional). This has never been my strong-suit. Ironically, the times in which I am seemingly least-attentive to emails and website maintenance, I tend to be most productive when it comes to doing actual research and writing. This past month has been no exception.
Previously, I had announced a fundraising campaign to raise $2,500 by the end of March to support my time and effort and expenses (multiple news and information subscriptions get expensive) to work on the first volume of The People’s Book Project. I have not updated the financial information since March 17, over one month ago. However, in the time between then and now, many people gave quite generously to the Project, so that the total has reached $1,487, still a distance from the goal of $2,500 (and unfortunately, due to my lack of promotion), the addition of $757 over the past month has already been stretched thin, considering the aim was to raise the full amount by late March. However, I am hoping to continue to reach this goal of $2,500, even if it is reached by late April.
Firstly, I would like to thank all who have donated to the People’s Book Project, your support is greatly appreciated, and I stretch my dollars, so it has been put to good use.
Now, I’d like to tell you a bit about what I have been researching. I have done a lot of work on the recent situation in Ukraine (in part for a series for The Hampton Institute), but also focusing a great deal on studying the financial, corporate and monetary interactions and warfare between nations, the role of the IMF and oligarchs in Ukraine, Russia, and much of Eastern Europe, exposing battles between billionaires over the future control of the region, with central banks and financial markets playing the role of arbiter between powerful states and structures. In the current circumstances, we hear a great deal about “Russian aggression” regarding Putin’s invasion of Crimea. Yet, we hear so little – comparatively speaking – about the fact that Ukraine has – for decades – been gutted economically for the benefit of a few oligarchs, increasingly turning to the west, with the IMF, the European Union and NATO having long been spreading their tentacles into Ukraine, seeking to pull it fully within the Western sphere of dominance. This research – including on the history of the U.S./Western plundering of Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the concurrent rise of Russia’s oligarchs – will provide excellent contributions to the first volume of The People’s Book Project, analyzing the ways in which corporations, banks, financial markets and the monetary system play significant roles in foreign policy and imperialism.
Further, I have been doing quite a bit of research on the history and roles of corporate and financial dynasties in the modern world: not simply the Rothschilds and Rockefellers (though I have spent a great deal of time studying and documenting their family evolutions), but also of tracking the dominant family dynasties in many of the world’s nations: the Wallenbergs in Sweden, the Agnellis in Italy, the Desmarais’ in Canada, to the oligarch families that rule Latin America, the political and corporate dynasties that have ruled Japan for decades (and centuries!), the ruling families of China (and their relationship to JPMorgan Chase, among others), the powerful corporate families of Turkey, South Africa, Southeast Asia, India and beyond. What is revealed is a complex network of competition and cooperation between the world’s ruling dynasties, primarily invested in corporate, industrial and financial institutions, these families represent Globalization’s ‘Game of Thrones’, and the stories are fascinating tales of Machiavellian machinations, Shakespearean tragedies, of families rising and falling, of imperious patriarchs, subtle yet severe matriarchs, suicides, intrigue, scandal and unprecedented power and wealth, with some individual families controlling upwards of 30% of their entire respective nation’s stock market wealth (such as with the Agnellis and Wallenbergs). Some families, such as Desmarais in Canada, are phenomenons of recent decades, while most trace their dynastic origins to the 19th or early 20th centuries, other – like the Mitsui of Japan – date back over 300 years. The stories are fascinating and revealing a great deal of myths about what we hold our world to be: democracy? I think not. Free market? Not likely.
This is just some of the current study of The People’s Book Project, and should make for an interesting chapter in the first book (though it could very well be a book of its own!). I am hoping to even provide some samples -in the form of research articles – next month, taking a look at some individual dynasties.
So for this work to continue, please consider continuing your support to The People’s Book Project.
Thank you kindly,
Andrew Gavin Marshall