Quick Intro: The Quest to Control Food

I would like to begin this fascinating story with a quote from a declassified, top-secret US State Department document:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.

-George Kenan, US State Department, Director of Policy Planning, 1948

<Citation: Memo by George Kennan, Head of the US State Department Policy Planning Staff. Written February 28, 1948, Declassified June 17, 1974. George Kennan, “Review of Current Trends, U.S. Foreign Policy, Policy Planning Staff, PPS No. 23. Top Secret. Included in the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, volume 1, part 2 (Washington DC Government Printing Office, 1976), 509-529.>

During the 1930’s when the entire United States was reeling from the Great Depression, a highly influential group of bankers, businessmen, academics and government representatives were meeting to devise a strategy for the new “Pax Americana.” As William Engdahl documents in his fascinating book, Seeds of Destruction, “Their aim was simple: to consolidate an American succession to the failing Pax Britannica of the British Empire.”

They realized, well before WWII, that the US market was too small for their appetites. In their eyes, “Manifest Destiny,” in the 20th century should entail unlimited American expansion globally. (Read more….)