Sunday, April 17, 2016

World Domination - Semi-Secret Societies II

Hey - Same political “spoiler alert” on this post. What is said here is going to contradict what your sociology professor told you. So if you think I’m too political, skip to a post about magic items.

It occurred to me that you might have read the last post and thought that I assumed that some of these groups had too much power. Maybe. If De Beers controls or destroys the world market in diamonds, so what? Well, it has consequences, but maybe not earth shattering ones. But let me point out some of the things that have happened because of the world oil supply as controlled by OPEC.

In August of 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Beginning in 1991 a coalition of nations led by the USA kicked the holy crap out of Iraq. The UN imposed harsh sanctions on Iraq. Iraq spends the next ten years refusing to follow the sanctions that were imposed, including (but not limited to) shooting at weapons inspectors, blocking the weapons inspectors from getting into places, refusing to allow the weapons inspectors out of some places, admitting to being involved in biological weapon research, having Russian missile parts “hidden”, and being officially noted (as late as 2003) by UN inspectors for violating the resolutions concerning their missile programs.

Finally, the USA leads a much smaller coalition into Iraq and shock and awe ensue.

What does this have to do with OPEC? Well, you may not be old enough to remember it, and hopefully you’re not believing the hype on either side, but the USA had a very difficult time getting the UN to enforce the sanctions and to build a coalition. You’ve been told that was all due to the Bush administration faking the evidence about weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? It was all about the oil baby! The “Oil for Food” program was supposed to keep Iraqi civilians from starving to death. Instead, it put an estimated $10 billion (yep, with a B) into the pockets of Saddam Hussein and his cronies. But it didn’t stop there. The problem at the UN was that many of the member nations were profiting from illegal oil trade with Iraq and didn’t want the USA to stick its “goody two shoes” nose in and mess the profitable (but illegal!) business up. Only one of the investigations showed that the corruption wasn’t as bad as previously thought, though most folks question that investigation. One of the top guys on the sunny investigation agreed to be a whistle blower, until someone put a bomb under his car.

So what am I saying? Due to controls on the oil markets, we have modern day examples of organized corruption across multiple countries and the UN. We have examples of people being assassinated. Why did everyone defend Kuwait? Because it was the front door to Saudi Arabia, and we couldn’t let Iraq control the Saudi oil fields. You want your blood for oil? It was in the first one, not the second. Now I don’t think we should ignore small countries that are taken over by bigger more powerful countries, but in recent history no one went to defend Ukraine. No one marshalled a coalition of nations to defend the folks in Rwanda. OK, maybe that was a civil war, maybe, but no one seemed to care about genocidal issues going on inside Iraq before they threatened Saudi Arabia.

OK - Maybe OPEC did not directly orchestrate either of the Iraq wars. I think they might have, but I cannot prove it. So assuming that they did not directly cause them, did they indirectly cause them? I say yes. Iraq wanted more oil wells, so they invaded Kuwait. Europe (including Russia) wanted more oil, so they created a situation where sanctions could not work which directly led to the second war.

Even if you don’t believe me, and too many of you have been too indoctrinated by your universities to believe me, you should still see the fictional wealth here. Just suppose that there was a war like country in your game world. They annex their neighbor, feeling that they must for their survival. The next neighbor in line gets nervous and drums up support for the liberation of the annexed country. This only works if the neighboring country has something everyone else wants. We may have moved from secret societies into the secret machinations of countries, but they are similar. And remember - countries have ambassadors, who may be the front face of the secret organization working behind the scenes. This would give the ambassador real power outside his own country. Maybe it’s a religious organization serving as a front for the real criminals? That would allow the ambassador easy access where he wouldn’t be watched.

I’m getting a huge slave lord vibe here. The slavers are using the politicians to cover up their activities while also instigating wars in order to gather more war slaves, and to kill farmers, which drives up demand. I’ll want it to be hugely complicated, so it’s going to take me a while to craft it, but my players better look out once I do.


  1. This makes me think of (what I hear/know, being in Canada) about the agricultural worker issues down South in America. The situation is more complex, I know, than I can realize, and feel free to add/correct me here, but it seems like there are millions of modern day "slaves"/ indentured agricultural workers in America that are brought in from third world countries, to prop up the agricultural industry. Now, whether this is necessary for low food prices, or just high profits, or some other reasons, I don't know, but it seems like the government has a love/ hate relationship with these aliens who work for very little and receive no social securities in return. Who brings these people? Cartels? Big Ag? Also, I hear it said by Mr. Trump that these millions of sub-wage earners are actually indirectly responsible for the lack of jobs available for citizens to have, because the business, as determined by free market, can hire aliens for much less. Can't blame them, but where then does the blame lie? Maybe this La Raza (we have those types as well, "First Nations") are in on the whole thing; at least a part of it.
    I find this interesting because of The Wall; I mean, it's kinda crazy from our point of view, so far removed; a modern Wall like Hadrian's! But it's there for real reasons that are so complex.
    In game terms, I can see a large feudal plutocratic nation, like America in the real world case, using slaves from the frontier "nations" like in central America, and this being a huge flashpoint. Kind of reminds me to of the Roman Army recruiting almost exclusively barbarians in exchange for citizenship when the top guys kinda knew the ship was going down anyway! Or in Europe, with the migrants pouring in by the millions, and governments being all, like Germany, "Yeah, this is no problem, the right thing is to let them in" Who is making these calls and what do they get out of it.
    I find it so hard to wrap my head around modern examples. They make me think of the Blacklist, where everything is also something else entirely!
    I suppose the Spanish silver and gold trade was an earlier example of ways to sneak powerful people and ideas around a commodity. Or opium, or Potatoes!

    What struck me most in your article is that many secret societies must be rooted in a commodity. La Raza being an exception, I guess, but the land they're talking about is a serious commodity as well!

    I have been putting together a setting for the last few years, and trade, economics and secret societies (beyond those with ideological goals) are sure complex situations to get one's head around. Modern day examples sure do provide a lot to pick from now that you point it out!


    1. I've been hesitant to reply because I know I've already gone strongly political, but I do have to thank you for using the word slaves. I believe that is exactly what these people are - They are people who do not have the ability to control their own lives.
      To your question - Who brings these people? The government is influenced by the US Chamber of Commerce and other lobbyists. Therefore the government does not enforce the laws, allowing these people to easily slip across the border. Were the US to enforce the laws currently on the books, then it would be too expensive (in fines) for companies to employ these illegals. With no jobs to be had, the vast majority of them would return to their homes, or run to Canada (hint hint). Most informed conservatives in the US want the laws enforced and expect that the next president will not have to deport anyone.