Theater of Cruelty

The Oil's Piketty

Did you believe God, Allah, Jesus and Muhammad have been the main cause of the world's wars and conflicts? Then you should think again.


Matthieu Auzanneau. The great story of petroleum: Black gold. La Discovery, 2015

"For more than half a century, we have had to thank France for some of the greatest we have lived on," said Bjørnstärn Bjørnson in his speech in honor of the balloon fathers who had fled in Bismarck's Paris blockade and landed at Lifjell in Telemark in 1870. Little did Bjørnson know then about France as it was going to develop – and about French Thomas Piketty who recently put the whole Anglo-Saxon economic establishment at bay by showing how economic prosperity is divided between good and bad.

Eye-opener. There is no talk whether Piketty gets the Nobel Prize in economics, though when he gets it, it was fixed at Civitas tightly packed breakfast meeting on a beautiful August morning last year. Now, Civita should reserve the University Aula as soon as possible to join the coffee-funded Piketty fan club: Make room for Matthieu Auzanneau – the man who wants to change our view of the oil as much as Piketty changed our view of the economy. Or rather: opened our eyes. The big difference between the two is that of the book The great story of petroleum: Black gold awill hardly mobilize squid either from the Financial Times' Marcus Wolf or from Civitas Kristin Clemet and Kjetil Alstadheim. First of all, it will probably be quiet – very quiet – for a long time. For all historical, political and economic details to be spread across the 629 pages, supplemented with 1800 source references, it takes time, focus and tranquility. IN Black gold becomes connecting the dots – to find the big picture understatement. First, the author shows through hundreds of pages how oil in various forms has been used in virtually all wars for the last 1500 years: from the Zhu Dynasty which in 578 chased the Turks with fire from the city of Jinquan, to the Arabian voyage in Constantinople in 674, and beyond. to Amalric the 1st, the King of Jerusalem, who set fire to Cairo in 1168. The examples continue throughout history – all because of the black gold.

Everything he claims is thoroughly documented. This is real stuff. It is only beginning to practice pronouncing Matthew's name, quickly and effortlessly: "food please".

Proven. Does not bite the reader, it is because he or she has not read the blog Oil Man in Le Monde since 2010, and writes Matthieu Auzanneau as some Pål Steigan in French wolf clothes. And yes, the idea of ​​a typical seventies AKP revival of conspiratorial history writing, where capital is the root of all evil, flared up during the reading. But then, little by little – after checking footnotes, literature lists, history books, and last but not least, the author's credibility: Everything he claims is thoroughly documented. This is real stuff. It's just beginning to practice pronouncing Matthew's name, quickly and effortlessly: "food please". Now Kristin Clemet has to get used to pronouncing the voiced z in the last name – just as she had to remember to put the pressure on the last vocal in "Piketty" to avoid blushing on Day News 18.

Oil Fever. I Black gold Auzanneau looks all the way back to millions of years before Christ's birth, when the oil came from organic waste that accumulated on the seabed. All historical events of significance are discussed. God, Muhammad and Jesus become for the pure nursery rhymes to count in relation to the oil and the tremendous powers the henchmen after this source of energy have mobilized. Especially the 19th and 20th century Auzanneau takes us through, with fascinating descriptions of oil-manipulated American politics, with Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelt and Bush Sr. and Jr., in addition to Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and de Gaulle are looked at in the cards. Even the assassination of Kennedy traces Auzanneau back to oil interests. Rockefeller's banks, cartels and control of Wall Street is a crime novel in itself. And here we can read reliable and credible descriptions of US foreign policy based on eight years of talks with ex-Exxon experts in the White House. It is all so detailed and complicated that the reader has to constantly put the book aside, digest the information for a while, and then read the pages again, slowly.

Backers. Auzanneau leads us into historical hooks we have never visited – for example, to James Garfield, the 20th US president, who already said in 1865 that "oil is the king of the commercial world" With a good portion of Norwegian hindsight, Kjetil Alstadheim dissects Auzanneau in filler here – the historical world leaders' struggle for the economic and political interests of their countries we have already read about until we have turned blue in the face. What Auzanneau, on the other hand, really mesmerizes the reader with, is his fact-filled suspense stories of all those who have been behind the leaders' intense pursuit of the black gold, orchestrated and directed by oil magnates and industrial manipulators such as the Rockefeller, Rothschild and Nobel brothers. One worse than the other. For example, Samuel Kier, the founder of the US oil refining industry, made use of Chinese salt extraction technology to extract coal in Pittsburgh, where the Koch brothers later earned their enormous fortunes – which, among other things, sponsored our own Peace Prize concert until just a few years ago. Where was the Class Fight's Bear Floor Braanen when we sat with tearful eyes in Spectrum and saw Al Gore and the UN Climate Panel being hailed by concert artists sponsored by the world's largest coal company? No wonder we had to take the Oil Fund out of the coal industry. After all, some could discover who had funded our annual, worldwide Selfie torque.

The whole story. In its simple yet elegant way, Auzanneau shows how states have waged the most bestial wars to enrich themselves in abundance on the black gold. What will these resort to when the oil slowly but surely disappears? Here, the author draws full attention to Mad Max – and it goes cold down the spinal cord.

It is all so detailed and complicated that the reader has to constantly put the book aside, digest the information for a while, and then read the pages again, slowly.

"But fear nothing," our ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs Borten Moe will say: "The oil will not end!" He himself has raised billions in start-up capital for a new oil company, in the midst of the biggest downturn the Norwegian oil sector has ever witnessed. Here, Auzanneau's thoroughness impresses us once again – besides his access to sources. The man enjoys both the respect and trust of oil companies such as Chevron and Total. He is both listened to and talked to, not only because he, like Piketty, has a sympathetic and charismatic demeanor, but also because he has Frederic Hauge's ability to speak the language of the industry. This is neither demagogy nor anarchy, but writing history so only a skilled, cultured and hungry French journalist can do it. This is the first time we have a comprehensive oil policy history that is not written by the winner – such as the masterpiece The Prize began with as early as 1991.

629 page environmental argument. Norwegian libraries are filled up by the oil industry's own parade book We found, we found, with the foreword by Jens Stoltenberg, and we get a lump in the throat of NRK favorite Aslak Sira Myhre's stories that he could not see his own father in the eyes if he blamed the oil industry . This is precisely why Auzanneau's book should be spread throughout the kingdom. For this we need, small and large. Yes, the book is an over 600 page electoral funnel for the Green Party – either voters with a poor conscience for the source of our wealth (there are criminal acts behind every fortune, Hegnar said), or those who want to accelerate the end of the oil age now that the oil price has dalt. Regardless: Black gold provides environmental voters with ammunition and gunpowder for election campaigns for decades to come. If the world did not leave the Stone Age for lack of stone, this book testifies that we probably are Never will leave the oil age. For the oil is one existence – not an age, says Auzanneau: The world of mankind has almost always been fueled by oil. The only hope the author gives us is the climate fight. Only the power of the heavenly atmosphere has, according to the author, a chance to get our planet out of the delusion it is in. Only the collective power driven by the threat of the downfall of the Earth can mobilize humanity enough to get rid of the black scent that has penetrated everywhere .

Norway forgot. We hope that a Norwegian publisher dares to publish the book before the next parliamentary election. Black gold is a must-read for Nikolai Astrup – for if Astrup is as blasphemous to the oil as Fabian Stang is to the elderly care in Oslo, MDG may be in government position before the high power knows the word. The only politician to enjoy is Black golds total ignorance of Norway's role. Is it because we have nothing to hide? Hardly. But oil drilling in the Arctic is hardly mentioned, and our disputed and risky opening of drilling in the territorial waters around Svalbard – a novel in itself – is worth no attention. True, such issues belong to the present – not history. And again we are saved by the bell: Norwegian oil history is both forgotten and overlooked. Until now.
One thing is for sure: Do not translate The great story of petroleum to Norwegian, Alliance Française's French course faces a bright future.

Frisvold is a writer and former leader of Bellona Europe as well as the European Movement, based in Brussels.

Paal Frisvold
Paal Frisvold
Writer for MODERN TIMES on Europe issues.

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