In the background of a black-and-white photo of Cindy Sherman looking alarmed there was a very important, perhaps evil, chain of events.
The chain of events led to our current economic impasse, notably with taxation, and—more seriously perhaps—to our inability to prevent Global Warming.
In the area behind her was secretly negotiated what came to be the US entry in WW I, and then the integration of a shipping-based world petroleum industry. Also negotiated there was the biggest change in our public-finance system since the founding of the USA—with results now emphasized by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The buildings are:
26 Broadway, the HQ of Standard Oil under Rockefeller; 1 Broadway, the HQ of the White Star Line; across the street and to the right, or south, the US Customs House, which until the deals being negotiated between 26 Broadway and 1 Broadway was the main source of revenue for the US Government. The income tax replaced that.
The photo tells much of the story of the USA from the Twentieth Century on.
The British, who had a maritime approach to petroleum, as opposed to the land-based approach of Germany or Russia, sought to team up with the US, i.e., Standard Oil, to effect a global petroleum empire based on sea transport, most notably from the Gulf
This empire is still being enforced, e.g., with military action in Afghanistan, Iran, and earlier (for example) in Grenada and the Falklands.
As I recall, the Standard Oil HQ is very visible, in one of her photos. The White Star Line HQ is out of the frame, and possibly so too is the Customs House. One could go there and take a photo encompassing all three buildings in the historical events.
The chief series of events was a change in US neutrality about WW I to participation, all of which was heavily facilitated by Royal Navy intelligence. In person, the decision to participate went through the then Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, and the then Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Roosevelt. There are a few documents about this. The British asked the US to join them in building a naval empire, or maritime empire based on petroleum, and the US complied. Thus began the “special relationship.”
This explains much of the difficulty in breaking from our dependence on oil. Also, for example, the ability of a British-Dutch company, Shell, to go ahead and drill in the Alaska Arctic, having found a way of pre-empting any legal injunctions against such.
The profits from such adventure in Alaska do not go to the US. They go to London and The Hague.
Most oil holdings in Alaska are now in the hands of British companies. Thus, our purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867, meant to ward off the British, has backfired.
One can check the facts, but I believe this is roughly true. e.g., yes, BP and Shell are the biggest holders of tracts in Alaska. Exxon has a role, but not a dominant one. And yes, in WW I, Churchill organized all strategy around gaining control of the oil fields in the Middle East. When the Germans offered an armistice in Spring 1917, he found ways to make sure the US would enter the war (and tip the scales) and also launched what would become a huge—as he called it—“distraction” from the prize: Paschendaele. During that distraction, a rapid thrust was made through Jerusalem, Damascus, Baghdad and ultimately Basra. From that comes the birth of new states—all under the supervision of the British Colonial Office and their counterparts in France, with the US tagging along.
Only due to mistakes by the British with the Saudis did the US manage to gain a huge stake in that country.
The unbalanced outcome of WW I led to WW II—with its nuclear legacy …