#1556 Oil Wealth and Oligarchy, Over 100 Years of Polishing Unredeemable Reputations

Air Date: 5–2-2023

Direct Download


Today, we take a look at the intertwining of oil wealth, philanthropy, and culture washing from John Rockefeller to the sheiks of the Middle East.

BestOfTheLeft.com/Support (Get AD FREE Shows and Bonus Content)

Join our Discord community!




Ch. 1: Who Were the Robber Barons? - Brain Blaze - Air Date 10-29-19

The Robber Barons were some dudes who got rich and were pretty sketchy about it all, but then founded a bunch of universities and stuff like that, so I guess we're cool? 

Ch. 2: Jane Mayer / The Koch Brothers and the Weaponizing of Philanthropy - EthicsinSociety - Air Date 4-6-16

Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated?

Ch. 3: “Sportswashing & Greenwashing”: Ex-Soccer Player Jules Boykoff on Qatar Hosting World Cup - Democracy Now! - Air Date 11-29-22

We speak with author Jules Boykoff about the climate and political implications of the 2022 World Cup. The soccer tournament is being played in the winter for the first time due to Qatar's extreme summer temperatures.

Ch. 4: How One Industry Controls Football - Athletic Interest - Air Date 11-5-21

Who controls football?

Ch. 5: Why Billionaire Philanthropy Won't Solve Anything - Second Thought - Air Date 2-25-22

You ever notice how oligarchs like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are cast as these uber-wealthy saviors who are singlehandedly raising the world out of poverty? That doesn't happen by accident.

Ch. 6: What Is Sportswashing (and Does It Work)? - Freakonomics - Air Date 6-8-22

In ancient Rome, it was bread and circuses. Today, it’s a World Cup, an Olympics, and a new Saudi-backed golf league that’s challenging the P.G.A. Tour. Can a sporting event really repair a country’s reputation or will it trigger the Streisand Effect?

Ch. 7: Why Billionaires Won't Save Us - Our Changing Climate - Air Date 5-21-21

I look at how the elite philanthropy of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk function as more of a billionaire preservation of wealth and self than as an act of altruism.

Ch. 8: Anand Giridharadas: Why We Should Be Skeptical of Billionaires - Amanpour and Company - Air Date 9-19-18

Anand Giridharadas believes we should be a bit more skeptical about embracing billionaires as the change-makers of our era. He joins the program to discuss his book "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World."


Ch. 9: The 2022 FIFA World Cup And The Rise Of 'Sportswashing' (In The Loop) - Scripps News - Air Date 11-21-22

Christian Bryant explores why sporting events are and can be held in countries with authoritarian regimes in this segment of "Scoreboard."

Ch. 10: Fixing the Economy - Garys Economics - Air Date 11-27-22

After having opened up the publics eyes to the problem of Wealth Inequality, Gary reveals to the Channel his own idea for a possible Wealth Tax.


Ch. 11: Reaching a conclusion on understanding the J.K Rowling episode - Boris from Belgium

Ch. 12: The is/ought malfunction in our pattern recognition - Dave from Olympia, WA


Ch. 13: Final comments on the is/ought problem of politics

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions)


Description: A diptych of photos of Mohammad bin Salman and a painting of John. D. Rockefeller. A drop of black oil falls into a splash over the center of the image.

Credits: Composite design by A. Hoffman. Photo of “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stands with Deputy Crown Price of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud” by U.S. Secretary of Defense, Flickr | License: CC by 2.0) | Changes: Cropped / Photo of painting of J.D. Rockefeller by John Singer Sargent, Flickr | License: Public Domain | Changes: Cropped / Oil drop and splash from Pixabay.

Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

Visit us at BestOfTheLeft.com

Listen Anywhere! BestOfTheLeft.com/Listen Listen Anywhere!

Follow at Twitter.com/BestOfTheLeft

Like at Facebook.com/BestOfTheLeft

Contact me directly at [email protected]

Showing 1 reaction

  • Jay Tomlinson
    published this page in Episodes 2023-05-03 00:01:29 -0400
Sign up for activism updates