Guest Post: Towards A 21st Century Peasant Rising
Submitted by Jacob Dreizin
A French poet once wrote that the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. Funny that we can say the same thing about today’s American elite. Somehow, it is not polite, not PC to even acknowledge them as a class—much less to speak of them. We have a democracy, after all. We are all equal. Everyone has a vote. And if mere voting is not enough for you, you can shell out ten grand for a closed-door meeting with your fifteen-term career Congressman, like any other respectable person would do. Surely, there are no grounds for complaint.
Well, sorry but democracy means choice. In America, today, there is no real choice. The financial and corporate elites are funding both sides equally, and so they always come out ahead, no matter who is in charge. Otherwise, how is it that former Goldman Sachs Co-Chairman Robert Rubin was Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, and then former Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry Paulson was Bush’s Treasury Secretary? (And let’s not forget Goldman alumn Larry Gensler at Obama’s CFTC). Is this what you call a two party system?
This is the same Goldman Sachs that uses millions of clueless 401k contributors as liquidity props to support its machine trading programs that buy and sell the same stock hundreds of times per second. For you simple voters out there, this means that your mutual funds stagnate while Goldman rakes in tens of millions of your dollars each and every working hour—while generally ending each day with almost the same portfolio as it started with in the morning.
How’s that for an unfair advantage over the little guy? Where is the government in this outrage? But really, who cares about high-frequency trading when we mortals have more important things to worry about, like Guantanamo, same-sex marriage, abortion, misuse of the word “teabagging”, having a “conversation about race”, and posing as an intellectual by parroting the latest Tom Friedman or Paul Krugman column?
Something else to consider: How is it that we were force-fed a highly-unpopular health care “reform” package that aims to pull down costs without allowing for cheaper drug imports or malpractice payout limits—which, as every Canadian, European, and Japanese bureaucrat knows, are the only proven methods for holding down medical costs? Does the answer have something to do with both parties being in the pocket of the seven-figure ambulance chasers and the ten-figure drug, err, pharmaceutical kingpins?
But again, why sweat this stuff when it is more fun to argue about Obama’s missing birth certificate and the political implications of the Avatar movie?
How is it that we have a politico-economic system in which the government’s explicitly stated goal is to entice people to take out loans for houses and cars they don’t even need? 150 million cars on the road and we must keep buying new ones? Millions of vacant housing units and we need to build new ones? Homes so full of Chinese junk that half of it goes into off-site storage, and we need to shop more? For whose benefit?
Ever heard of debt-slavery? How about feudalism? In terms of social organization, we are regressing to the Middle Ages. But don’t worry—just as in feudal times, someone will come out ahead, even further than they are already. Of course, we cannot talk about who that someone is. That would be impolitic. We are all equal, right? Only kooks and conspiracy theorists complain about something called “the elite”, accusing this class of deliberately snatching an ever-larger share of the blanket and deliberately sticking it to everyone else in systematic, organized fashion via the political process—even as our elected officials throw us a few crumbs to secure the popular vote and keep the masses from depressing the bottom line via looting and rioting.
Now you see why I laugh when people ask who I voted for. Am I supposed to vote for the guy who remembers his lines better, or the one I’d rather share a beer with? How about a party that actually cares about what I care about?
A party that will coerce the banks to pay higher-than-laughable interest on our savings accounts, just like we have to pay interest on our loans?
A party that understands that pushing underwater homeowners to renegotiate payments on principal they cannot afford—and will never pay off—serves no one’s interest but the banks’?
A party that will discourage the Federal Reserve from blowing bubbles on the stock market, so young 401k contributors can get some real dividends on their future shareholdings?
A party that believes in sound money without any “inflation targets”?
A party that will renounce its claim on our income when we live abroad, instead of treating us like Dred Scott, slaves no matter where we are located?
When that party is constituted, I will vote for it. Until then, this serf has jumped the plantation and taken to the hills. No debt slavery for me. From now on, don’t expect me to “consume” anything I can’t eat or blow my nose with. No late fees or sales tax receipts from this corner. I am taking all legal means to starve the elite and the government that works for it.
You can join me, or you can continue to live as cattle, or chattel if you prefer. Your choice. See you around.