From an outspoken former employee of Shell Oil USA
The association between Dutch companies and West Africa is centuries old. It began in earnest with the slave trade. Dutch companies were the first and largest of the slave traders. Of course, the justification of the concept of slavery was based on Biblical interpretations of the relationship between the white man and the black man, with the black man being considered to be racially inferior to the white man.
That philosophy of the white man towards the black man, and the inferior race of the ‘red man’ of the America’s, both of which were enslaved in large numbers, eventually led to the development of term ‘under men’, a concept the Nazi’s later picked up and use in their ideology of Aryan racial superiority.
The German philosopher Nietzsche subsequently coined the term ‘super man’, and was a proponent of the ‘master – slave’ morality. (See a discussion and definition of the term ‘under men’ : Untermensch – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also a discussion of the life of Friedrich Nietzsche: Friedrich Nietzsche – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Most people consider Nietzsche to be ‘on the fringe’ in his philosophy, and indeed he suffered and eventually died from syphilis (which may help account for some of his ‘radical’ thinking). However, Hitler and the Nazi’s took the ‘untermensch/ubermensch’ and ‘master – slave’ concepts to the extreme in their ‘Aryan war’ against the Jews of Europe, the Slavs of Russia, and other forms of ‘sub-humans’.
However, what I find interesting and most disturbing is the attitude of Royal Dutch Shell management towards the peoples of the various countries in which they operate, and in this modern age. It is most definitely ‘neo-colonial’ in nature and borders on what could be considered a continued corporate adoption of the ‘untermensch/ubermensch’ and ‘master – slave’ mentality of Nietzsche, et al., (which occurred during the time of Sir Henri Deterding and long before Hitler and the Nazi’s ever came into being.) Of course, the association of RD Shell with the Third Reich was an affirmation of that corporate philosophy and attitude, at the highest levels, in the 1900 – 1950 time frame. The company (Sir Henri and senior management) and the Nazi party were very much ‘kindred spirits’ philosophically, and this accounts for the willing support and collaboration of Royal Dutch Shell with the Nazi’s from the early 1920′s into WWII.
However, the passage of time has apparently had little impact on RD Shell’s corporate cultural attitude. This attitude is most obviously displayed in their long term treatment of the Nigerians which began in 1956. Prior to that it was obvious in the way they treated the Indonesians, a major source of Royal Dutch Shell’s early oil wealth. (After WWII the Dutch sought US assistance in regaining control of their former Indonesian colonial empire, the the Indonesian Dutch (Royal Dutch) oil fields, which did not happen.) It also shows up in the way RD Shell deals with the Irish today. And we have the example of how they have dealt with Dr. Huong in Malaysia.
Is Royal Dutch Shell a racist company with exploitative, neo-colonial attitudes in the countries in which they operate? Judge the company and its management by their actions.