Class War Overreach

Oh, you thought I was talking about the left? Nope (boldface mine):

It’s honestly quite surprising to me that Republicans didn’t just figure out the biggest deficit increase they could get away with, hand almost all of it to the top 1 percent, and throw a couple of pennies to everyone else to claim it’s a “middle class tax cut.” That was the George W. Bush political formula, and it worked quite well.

The only possible conclusion is that the plutocracy is no longer satisfied with taking almost all the income growth. They now want to diminish everyone else’s share; as George Carlin once said, “they want more for themselves, and less for everybody else.” The most notable victims reflect the cultural enemies that the Republican Grievance Industrial Complex has been whipping its base up in a frenzy over for decades — college students, coastal elites, and comfortable liberals — but the pain will be broadly shared. As Mike Konczal details, in broad terms it is an assault on workers to benefit capitalists: people who own things instead of working…

We now know there shall be no quarter from the ultra-rich in their quest to take as much of the national income and wealth for themselves as possible. So they should be given no quarter either.

At the earliest opportunity, a left-wing economic reform bill should deliberately destroy the power of the plutocrats: Break up their monopolist corporations, sharply increase taxation on their capital gains and dividends, levy a confiscatory tax rate on income over $1 million and a 100 percent inheritance tax on estates over $1 million, and kneecap finance with burdensome regulations. Then, strengthen the lower class: Ban “right-to-work” laws at a national level, increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation, beef up the welfare state, and spend to achieve full employment.

Some of the wealthiest and most privileged people who’ve ever existed are attempting to loot the pockets of penniless grad students so they can have even more money to spend on stuff like $450-million paintings. They’ve forfeited any right to deference or consideration.

Which made me think of this piece (boldface mine):

Let’s not dance around. Your first steps will be breaking the power of current economic and political elites who are not willing to convincingly join you–or at least let you rule without trying to sabotage you

Let’s give a concrete example. Assume Obama was really a left-winger. He gets into power in 2009, and he really wants to change things. He needs to take out the financial elite: Wall Street and the Big Banks.

They’ve handed him the opportunity. Here’s part of how he does it: He declares all banks involved in the sub-prime fraud racket (all of the big ones and most of the small ones) conspiracies under RICO.

He then says that all the individual executives’ money are proceeds from crime and confiscates it. (This is 100 percent legal under laws as they exist). He charges them, and they are forced to use public defenders.

They are now powerless. This is the second law of purges: Anyone you damage, you must destroy utterly. If you take away half their power, and leave them half, they will hate you forever and use their remaining power to destroy you.

Leave them whole, or destroy them. The financial executives would have been destroyed, and win or lose in the courts, the next five to ten years of their lives would be consumed by personal legal nightmares.

Again, this is a Machiavellian dictum.

All of this will make many readers uneasy. It seems “mean.”

Get out of the game. You aren’t fit for it. This is all mean. Millions of people die every year and millions more are ruined by the current system. If you’re in this game to win it, rather than feel good about yourself, you will have to play real power politics by the actual rules of the game.

Too many left-wingers try to play by what they think the rules are. “We have a fair election every X years and the losers accept the result and don’t sabotage the winner (or start a coup).”

Those aren’t the real rules. If the right is really losing, they will cheat and cheat massively….

You directly threaten their wealth and power if you are a real left-winger. Even if all you want is a 50s style social democracy with racial and gender equality, that would destroy almost all of what they have. They remember what FDR did to them, even if you don’t. They remember all the lost power and fortunes.

It is not possible to have a fair, egalitarian, prosperous society, and have very rich and powerful elites. It cannot be done. Brandeis was exactly right when he said you can have democracy or great wealth in the hands of a few, but you can’t have both.

It might take years (sadly, I’ll be an old Mad Biologist by then), but eventually the worm will turn. If they hadn’t been so damn greedy, they could have kept a system very beneficial to them going. But if you screw everyone really hard, well, you won’t have any friends when things head south.

This entry was posted in Bidness, Conservatives, Economics. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Class War Overreach

  1. Ten Bears says:

    Reminds of something that will become a blog post later today: for a hundred years we cut saw logs and produced lumber knowing that if we weren’t careful we would run out of raw materials and it would become unprofitable to run the mills. We weren’t careful, and when the multinationals bought up the local mills they got greedy and raped what was left, and walked away, leaving an entire region bankrupt.

    Today the biggest and getting bigger business around here brewing is beer. Don’t know how big the aquifer is nor how to measure it, don’t know how much water is in it nor how to measure it, but we’ve gotten greedy, brewing billions of gallons of beer to be exported at obscene profit.

    History only repeats to those paying attention.

    • Dave Dell says:

      Ten Bears – Seems like I see your name a lot these days. Growing reefer takes a lot of water as well. So does almost any agriculture on the eastern slopes of the Sierra’s.

      I recall a line from a book about some small town in Maine where there was nothing to do but wait a couple of generations for the trees to grow back so they could clear cut ’em again.

  2. Whose fortune was lost because of FDR?

  3. sglover says:

    Goddam right. All of it. Ugly reality, though: Can you imagine any Dem who could even imagine thinking in those terms, let alone doing something about it?

  4. ART says:

    There is at least one significant difference between how conservatives and liberals play the game of power politics: Conservatives play a game of annihilation, they leave people dead, dying, maimed and sick. Liberals maintain that there is a minimum, and quite humane, standard of living below which none need sink. Even if you lose, and lose big, you, in an ideal world run by liberals, still live a decent life.

    This goes a significant way toward understanding the nature of conservative and liberal run businesses. Liberals operate in a world of safety nets, where extravagant risk and reward make sense because, if the worse happens, you still do okay and can simply start over.

    Conservative businesses, operating without a safety net, tend to be risk adverse and focused on holding onto what money they hold. Profits come mostly from tax breaks, cheating, and monopoly.

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