A Brief History of the End of Time
— 7. Rockefeller and Bill Gates —
A shameless boob-job
The complexity of companies and the economy they created increased drastically and new laws were constantly needed. The Bill of Rights became the subject of intense negotiation and explanation and was rendered the most shameless boob-job imaginable. Laws mutated and mushroomed ad nauseam and corporate funding became available for all those crafty fellows who could prove that the doings of corporations were on the legit. Truth, and thus justice, ceased to be a moral apprehension and became a commercial tool. Soon the practicing of Law became one of the most lucrative businesses in the United States.
Today all great companies in every field are organized after Rockefeller's design, multilateral with in-house legal departments, but the explosive character of the birth of the oil industry was not repeated until in the 1980's Bill Gates rose to the summit of the computer revolution. The way Bill Gates became to rule the world was almost identical to Rockefeller's, and much of the same anti-trust protests were heard along the road he perceived ahead. But not just the Law became a permanent resident of the house of Mammon, also the art of science.
As far back as the time of Archimedes, monarchs and rulers have employed scientists to enhance the grip on their realms, and scientists have always complied eagerly. Money in the bag allowed thoughts and ideas to be honed and manifested in applications and philosophical manifests. The pursuit of scientific knowledge was the prerogative of those happy few who could afford to sit and ponder all day, as opposed to having to labor for one's keep. In ancient Greece groups of ponderers were indicated by the word skhole meaning leisure, hence our word 'school.'
Rockefeller pursued efficiency with a Borgesque devotion. He retired from leading Standard Oil in 1896 and began to insert large sums of money in general scientific and medical research. Many have confused this behavior with sincere philanthropy — the love for people — but in fact it stemmed from Rockefeller's love for efficiency and multilateral control. He saw health and knowledge as catalysts to a human world as a well-oiled machine, and endeavors such as labor unions as encumbrance to the same. Rockefeller is celebrated for co-founding the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now The Rockefeller University) and the Rockefeller Foundation but his same course of action allowed the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, when a band of Colorado militiamen fell upon a tent-camp of striking miners and killed two women and eleven children.
Rockefeller turned the world into a fortress and his family into a dynasty. In 1897 John D. Rockefeller junior joined the ranks at Standard Oil and although he initially was supposed to run the firm he soon devoted himself entirely to philanthropy.
John Junior felt burdened under the legacy of his father's methods and swore to atone through the lavish donation of funds. He strove to bless and diversify and created a form of corporate philanthropy that was as multilateral as once Standard Oil, generating the Bureau of Social Hygiene (1911), the International Education Board (1923), the Davison Fund (1930) and various educational, religious, cultural, medical, and other charitable projects.
Industry and social development became securely intertwined and when science and capital together spawned the computer age, Bill Gates followed in the footsteps of the Rockefeller way.
William Henry Gates III →