You have to give it to the uber wealthy, the .01% who sit atop the rest of us, and give them due credit for their mendacious brilliance. They did not get filthy rich and breathtakingly prosperous without being exceedingly gifted in cunning and guile. Using a mix of audacity and masterful messaging, they have convinced the victims of a warfare—actually it’s more like an economic massacre—that anyone who dares to complain about being victimized is inciting class warfare. Sadly, too many of us have been programmed to accept this most obnoxious drivel. The middle class, working class and the impoverished are being strangled—we have every right to defend the little we have left.
I write this in response to a comment that was made about an article I wrote last week titled “Uber Screwed”. In that analysis, I details the imperative of empowering locally owned companies and private businesses instead of handing our money to multinational corporations that thrive as we wither [read Uber Screwed]. I’m actually surprised that it took as long as it did for someone to accuse me of class warfare. As I was writing the article, I just knew that somebody was going to dust off the good old Republican talking points and bash me over the head for being either a communist, “un-American” and/or a person who envies wealth. This is what brainwashing does; those who don’t even have a rudimentary understanding of capitalism and its governing principles will defend an ideology they don’t really comprehend and go to the wall espousing the virtues of this cancerous corporatism that is eating away at our planet.
For the record, I am not a communist nor do I begrudge the rich if they make their fortunes ethically. However, though I am not sure where the threshold starts, I know that after people accumulate enough wealth, their souls get inverted by greed as they care exclusively about making more money even as they have already accumulated billions. When I condemn the “uber rich”, I’m referring to these people, the ones who have a mind bending level of wealth but insist on gaming the system, rent-seeking and profiteering to benefit only themselves. I’m talking about the poisonous plutocrats who use their bank accounts to tilt policies in their favor and deploy their toadies in government, media, and think tanks to encourage a veiled transference of wealth from the mass majority of humanity into the vaults of a few.
This is a way to spot two-faced shysters who are peddling economic lies. When they slither their forked tongues to accuse someone of resorting to class warfare, they are just using subterfuge to obfuscate the blood that soaks their hands. The world over, a vast sea of humanity who suffer and a majority of social ills can be traced to the root of economic imbalances. Crime, drug addiction, suicides, poverty, homelessness, divorce, these are just a few of copious societal blights that could be alleviated if we spent more resources providing social services as a nation instead of declaring immoral wars and, more importantly, if people could build up individual and communal wealth. Instead, we are fleeced and bled by a government that taxes us to death and pillages us through economic policies in order to launder money from the bottom 99% into the trust funds of the neo-aristocracy.It’s not bad enough that we are being squeezed to a pulp as a society; if we dare have the temerity to complain, we are clapped over the head with the cudgel and outrageous slander of “class warfare”. This is akin to a rapist accusing his victim of assault for daring to put up a fight and defend herself. I’m not trying to be gratuitous with this analogy; corporatism is in fact raping this planet and humanity in the process. Not only do the oligarchy own most of the world, they also own the information as well. More than 90% of the news, data and content we consume is owned by six people who dictate the marketplace of ideas and information through their media empires—not even Hitler had this level of concentrated power and influence.
With a near total monopoly of policies, politics and the press, the affluent few have made it their purpose to program society through their media conglomeration into accepting social theft as a norm and to reject those who say stop as deviants and conspiracy theorists. There are two types of people who defend this toxic corporatism that is prevalent in our time: the very wealthy who are doing very well and those who struggle financially and hate their plight only to worship the rich as their gods. I understand the former even if their greed is wicked; very few willingly step down from kings to being among the people as equals. Although, let me convey a historical warning to royals who run roughshod over the masses—comment dit-on guillotine en Français?
Putting aside the excesses of the wealthy, it’s the incoherence of too many “commoners” that bends my mind. What a tragic irony, the people who hate the poor the most are frequently their peers. We are a nation that bows to the very gentry who have us bent over in hardship; as we pray to the wealthy, they are kicking our asses financially. Consequently, I was not surprised in the least when I looked at the comment that accused me of class warfare, clicked on his profile and saw that he was not Warren Buffet’s son. He was just a regular Joe, his picture indicated that he was the average American who is a bad break away from concrete pillows and newspaper blankets. I say this considering that the vast majority of Americans live a life of financial uncertainty and 62% affirm that one missed paycheck would be a pathway to homelessness [read A Paycheck Away From the Streets]. This is not a theory I write about from ivory towers, from six figures to gutters was my reality not too long ago.
Yet, despite the fact that this man was clearly not part of the uber wealthy, he made it his purpose to wallop me for being a hater of success and a lazy dolt. He topped it off with the insult the benighted gentry hurl at their victims; “get a job” was his last rhetorical scud missile. I learned a long time ago to not engage with people who are wedded to insults and mean spirited ad hominem—it’s never a good idea to shine a light at self-projectors. However, his level of rancor and antipathy in response to an article that encouraged people to disavow corporatism and empower themselves—given that he was not a CEO or an executive of a corporation—made me shake my head in disbelief. I swear, some people will shove their own mothers on the tracks in order to take bullets for the rich who own trains and the famous who are their conductors.
For the record, even though I don’t consider myself a capitalist—neither am I a communist because I don’t ascribe to the ideologies of the “elites”—what I write is actually a defense of the principles espoused by the classical capitalism of Adam Smith. Capitalism, in theory, is supposed to be about free and open marketplaces where companies and entrepreneurs compete for customers and profits. The invisible hand of the markets, free of outside influences, was supposed to determine winners and losers. Corporatism is the complete opposite of classical capitalism; corporatism is about eradicating marketplaces and using scale and size in order to erect barriers to entry. Corporations like Facebook, De Beers and Walmart—to name just a few—use predatory and anti-trust practices to kill off their competition and monopolize market share. Instead of keeping their hands off the marketplace or at the very least being fair arbiters, government agencies, politicians and Federal bureaucrats are actually in bed with corporations to assist criminals in making off with our wealth.
We, the people, should be rising up to overthrow this level of concentrated corruption and graft that is going on in DC and beyond. Instead, too many cravenly acquiesce to the wishes of the rich and claw like crabs at those who have the gumption to take a stand against corporatism. There is in fact an economic war that has been declared, except the war is unilateral and the bullets are only being fired in one direction. Listen closely, that whoosh sound are bullets by way of economic policies and financial larceny whizzing past your ears. We, the middle class, the working class and the impoverished, are the ones with the targets on our backs. This is a financial genocide that is taking place before us; for the first time in America’s history, this generation entering the workforce will be worse off than their parents. The noose is tightening around our collective throats as the moneyed gentry sell us snake oil for the rope rash that is burning our necks.
Consider. In the 1950’s, the average Wall Street CEO was making three times the amount that laborers were breaking their back to earn. Fast forward barely a half-century later; now the average CEO is making more than 250 times the income the average worker is making. The middle class, once vibrant in America, is on a full retreat as our rigged economy, which makes the planned economy of China look like Adam Smith’s dream, is gnashing blue and white collar workers alike into economic submission. Even those who live a life of upper middle-class privilege are feeling the heat as the cost of living for all except the fantastically rich is not keeping up with our earning power.
The American dream is being replaced for more and more people with a nightmares of financial distress and economic insolvency. Corporate capitalism is now a clear and present threat that should be dealt with like an extreme public health crisis. Instead, Corporate State Media “journalists” are yammering about the buffoonish act of the charlatan in the White House. Bread and circus; all empires perish with a combination of kleptocracy by the ruling elite and a public that has checked out and is too distracted by the gladiator games of politics and sports [read Brand and Circus]. There is a reason why outrage is at a fever pitch and why the political and pundit classes are reverting to full blown sensationalism and propaganda—they are trying to keep us distracted from the next economic downturn. When that day arrives, the Great Recession of 2008 will look like a fond memory in comparison.
What I am presenting before you is not a liberal idea nor a conservative dogma. This is just common sense from a common man. Can we not all agree that government reach should be limited, that corporations should not get preferential treatment over humans, that the rich and corporations should pay more in effective taxes than a mother who is working at Wendy’s and that our voices should not be drowned out by the influence of billionaires? Sadly, we are to quick to defend ideologies that don’t pay our rent nor feed our children instead of uniting as one people on the four principles I just outlined in the previous sentence. Put aside red meat and social wedge issues and focus like a laser on economic preservation or else we will all find equality in soup kitchens and pavements.
For the record, both parties are guilty of committing this economic genocide on the public. Democrats and Republicans only differ in the means, the end concludes with a corporate boot up our collective ends. Barack Obama embezzled hundreds of millions of Americans as he used stealth economic policies like Quantitative Easing and Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) to funnel over 14 trillion dollars from tax payers and struggling Americans into the coffers of Wall Street and the affluent. Meet the new imbecilic corporate puppet; same as the old empty mannequin. Trump and the Republicans are now pushing for a tax cut where the 1% and corporations, who both made off like bandits under Obama, get billions while the rest of us get chump change. It’s tragic, our affinity and unhealthy fixation to politics prevents a critical mass from uniting to dismantle this Federalized pyramid scheme that we call government.
By the way, if you think it is egregious that I compare this system of economic terrorism that has been declared by capital thieves to genocide, I really want you to reflect on this for a minute. Most wars, and by extension most causalities, are direct outcomes of economic policies. Either the military-financial complex is unleashing hell upon nations for the sake of realizing the next marginal dollar or people are responding to corporate sponsored violence with violence of their own. The genocides we witness globally and the holocausts that are being committed by “defense” industry around the globe are outgrowths of economic inequalities that are bleeding this world. Von Clausewitz had it only half right, war is not just a continuation of politics by other means, war is a continuation of economies by other means. Whether one dies with a drone or by the loss of hope is inconsequential except for those who have the privilege of not knowing distress.
There is a way out of this death spiral we are caught in as a society and a species. We don’t need a violent revolution to overthrow these plutocratic Caligulas who are feeding us to the wolves on Wall Street. We just need to ween ourselves from shopping and doing business at corporations and retain our money and our resources locally and empower ourselves [read CorpXit]. For those who get outraged for stating these self-evident truths and try to libel me in the process, if encouraging self-preservation is considered class warfare, then I’ll gladly be a soldier in the army. If defending communities from the gluttonous hoards on Wall Street and the political whores in Washington DC is a Scarlet Letter, I shall put that crimson A on my chest proudly. I encourage all of you reading this to join this army of free thinkers and community advocates or else we will all become statistics of the coming economic massacre. #ClassGenocide
“Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer.” ~ Julian Casablancas
Watch the latest Ghion Cast that discusses the issue of greed and how we can best overcome a system of gluttony that is killing our planet and ravaging humanity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE or click on picture below the video.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.