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I hope that I have gone at least some of the way to convincing that there is, at the heart of American politics, a hard core of oligarchic families who are significantly over represented in the political system.

We should note that at the start of the 107th Congress, in 2000, 77 of the 535 members were relatives of Senators, Representatives, Governors, Judges, State Legislators or Local Officials.  That is around 14.39%!  In a county so ostentatiously “democratic” as the USA claims to be, it looks to this outsider at least, as unhealthy and is curiously almost exactly the same percentage that the oligarchy in late Republican Rome represented.

But even less is spoken of the relationship between those politicians and the businessmen that fund them, and pay for their campaigns and who in turn benefit from Government contracts and funding streams.

We have seen how The United Fruit Company had connections that stretched from the White House and the great offices of Secretaries of State, to the CIA and to the military establishment and led to it controlling entire countries.  But this might just be a one-off, a rogue operation used by a government for geo-political considerations.  Nothing like this would actually happen back home would it?

Well, we might feel differently if we saw the political and financial interconnections of our favourite families.

Rockefeller we have already met here and here.  Scions of “Standard Oil” they have been inter-connected with politics and finance for generations. In the table at the close of the post we should remember William is the brother of John D Rockefeller Sen. and his son, Percy, married the sister of Marcellus Hartley Dodge, the boss of Remington Arms and Union Metallic Cartridge co.

The Bushes too, from papa Bush’s father Senator Prescott Bush and grand-pappy George Herbert Walker (yes that is where the GHW and the Dubya come from) were financiers first, and only at a short second, politicians.  A small tree might assist here.  It’s a very abridged one, and I will deal with the more up to date connections of Neil Bush later.  (That one deserves its very own post!)

The Harrimans too are a political and financial family inter twined with Bushes, Rockefellers and Walkers.  William Averell Harriman was the son of E H Harriman who made his money in railroads.  Averell was an Investment Banker and Secretary of Commerce to Truman.  He was also a Governor of New York and two time Democratic Presidential Nomination in 1952 and 1956.  He was a US Ambassador to the Soviet Union which makes sense when you see his business connections in the table below and then Ambassador to Berlin and London.  He married as his third wife Pamela Churchill the divorced daughter in law of Winston Churchill.  Averell’s brother E Roland Harriman known by that wonderfully thirties-style nick-name “Bunny” also worked in the Investment Bank – Harriman Brothers which became Brown Bros & Co and had as partners Robert A Lovett a Secretary of Defence , Senator Prescott Bush and Robert Roosa an undersecretary of the Treasury.  Very nicely connected then.

So, how do these all fit together to lock the political to the financial and operate to channel money from business to campaign and contracts from government to business in an ever more complex union of the Industrial, the Military and the Political?  The table below is gleaned from The Directory of Directors in the City of New York and gives but a glimpse, which I hope to update and expand as the blog continues.

National City Bank – Harriman – Roosevelt – Walker/Bush
Interconnecting Company Directorships
This table illustrates those who served in eight companies for at least a year in the period between 1916 to 1941.  This is the time that the famous Industrial Military Complex was being established.  These companies are principal institutions, and those names are either themselves major political players, or very close relatives of those who are.
National City Bank W. Rockefeller
P. Rockefeller


W. A. Harriman and Co.
(also W.A. Harriman Securities Corp)
P. Rockefeller
W. A. Harriman
E. R. Harriman
G. H. WalkerRemington Arms
P. RockefellerAmerican Ship and Commerce Corporation
(Shipping Hamburg – Amerika)

W. A. Harriman
G.H. WalkerUnion Banking Corporation (a German Owned NY Bank) 

G. H. Walker
P. Bush Georgian Manganese Corporation ( a Soviet Mining Concession)
P. Rockefeller
E.R. Harriman
G.H. Walker Barnsdale Corporation
( a Soviet Oil Concession)

G. H. WalkerHarriman Fifteen Corporation
(Holding Corporation)

W. A. Harriman
G. H. Walker
P. Bush

 Oil, arms, metals, Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, American money, Ambassadors, Advisors, Senators, Democrats, Republicans. Covering all the bases.  Classical oligarchy.

Copyright  David Macadam 2010