It occurred to me when I was reading a book on the beginning of the Civil War that we, us ordinary shlubs, have been under the thumbs of the rich since the beginning of what we are foolishly pleased to call "civilization". From the very beginning of socialized tribal life, the guy with more cows, more otter skins, more chickens, thought he should be the one to tell everybody else what to do - mainly to give him all our cows, otter skins, and chickens. Sure, they've thrown us a few bones now and again, especially after we took a few of their heads off with swords and clubs, but basically they've kept the goodies for themselves and thrown us scraps.
For several thousands of years.
Now they want us to like it and their media plebes explain it all with logic that makes Alice in Wonderland seem like algebra.
The United States was an experiment, the first of its kind, birthed by "haves" in the midst of a revolution of thought and attitude unlike any before or since, an era not called The Enlightenment for nothing. That experiment is now over and the results are mixed. Democracy was never completely in control but it at least restrained the worst of the predators and greedheads from vampirishly sucking the lifeblood of the society down to the very last drop. It promised to do even better a few decades ago, so of course the p's and g's panicked and joined forces to drive back the threat and now they own the joint. (Via Mark)
General Electric Co., the nation's largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, GE claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
So both the US as a democracy and mathematics as a science are dead and GE killed them. Oh, not by itself. The rich can buy whatever help they need.
Support on Capitol Hill for saving Social Security must be stronger than I thought: Pete Peterson’s flying monkeys are working overtime dropping dungbombs on anyone who opposes gutting the government program that lifted elderly Americans out of the grinding poverty that was their standard fate before 1935.
On Wednesday we saw the New York Times’ David “Mr. Peterson’s a great guy, really” Leonhardt favorably citing a WaPo piece by Robert Pozen that was a half-baked Sachertorte of anti-Social-Security myths, all of which CEPR’s Dean Baker had effortlessly punctured when Pozen had circulated them via the Boston Globe back in December. Friday, we see Charles Blahous, co-author of a “kill it to save it” report on Social Security that was (surprise!) funded in part by Pete Peterson, telling Americans yet again that anyone who defends Social Security from Peterson stooges like him is actually hurting America:
Predictions in politics are dangerous, but I make one here for the record: If Social Security repairs are delayed several more years, then within one generation from now we will witness the end of Social Security as we have long known it. The irony would be that the program was done in by its supposed defenders.
Will all due respect, Mr. Peterson Shill, you are spewing used food.
Which is how they maintain and always have maintained control over us peasants. Since the earliest times of trade, acquisition has meant power and power has meant the ability to coerce more acquisition. Ancient Greece, a democracy? Only when the people revolted against greedy oligarchic rule, which of course all oligarchic rule is. That's a feature, not a bug. And somehow the democratic phases never lasted nearly as long as the ruling phases of the rich. Go figure.
The Roman Empire isn't Karl Rove's favorite period of history for nothing. It is an era that slithers with the power of wealth, is defined by it, by its excesses and violence. Just the kind of time that a Rove would feel kin to, would do hid best to bring back without realizing that if he did he'd be little more than an ass-kissing factotum. Pretty much what he is now, come to think of it, so I suppose he'd be comfortable.
The Rennaissance, the Middle Ages, even the Enlightenment were run and raped by the rich of every country, every time. The rest of us have been cannon fodder and worker bees for the rich so they don't have to be. The Civil War, fatuous rationalizations of states' rights notwithstanding, was about the South maintaining an inhuman base to a stuttering economy and killing millions to do it. They started the war to maintain slaves and as horrendous as that sounds it fits nicely into the reasons the rich do everything and have since the caves.
Now, for instance.
And the only time it stops is when we stop it.
These people deserve no respect, no admiration (John Galt, my ass), and no quarter. Take them down or continue to suffer the consequences they dish out as a matter of course, uncarinand unconcertned about the effects on "the punks".