Friday, October 7, 2011

Class Warfare? Here’s the real deal: It’s not the 99% vs. the 1%; it’s the 99% against itself.

Most of the people who talk about class warfare are missing the point. The class warfare that has the longest-running tradition in America is the railroad-robber-baron Jay Gould (1836 - 1892) sort: "I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half." Today there is a lot of chatter about class warfare, most of it misdirected, since there is very little history of the working class, or the middle class, or the salaried class, the wage earner, the non-job creator, running wild through America’s gated communities. Way back when you’ll find an episode or two, but since WWII such episodes have been few and far between.

Rioters, in any case, tend to burn down their own neighborhoods, even when riots occur. Economic injustice is on display, but in the preponderance of cases it is not the cause. In the states, it’s only the international organizations, the G8, etc., that inspire destruction by protestors, not just the USA’s economic inequalities alone.

The kind of class warfare that has been promulgated by the rich has been the type that turns the middle class against the working class, the upper middle class against them both, internecine warfare encouraged and supported by plutocrats most everywhere. Class warfare isn’t the 99% against the 1%. It’s the 99% against one another.

So, during the Vietnam war era, you had hard hats beating up on anti-war protestors, and you continue to have race-based conflict between segments of the laboring classes, you have yuppie disdain for all those of bad taste, and you have private sector workers jaw-boning against public service workers.

This has been going on for a long time, but the instigators of these attacks are the rich, the millionaires who hover above them. They have deployed their troops most everywhere, in politics and the media. Today, via talk radio, you have fat plutocrats like Rush Limbaugh stirring up his salaried ditto heads, the road-weary traveling salesmen of his audience, to hate one another.

Neighbor against neighbor. Fox News is a propaganda arm of the GOP, but it also is there to keep internecine class warfare going at a fever pitch. Their gold-plated bloviators, like the buffoon Bill O’Reilly, who claim ordinary-guy credentials, at the same time they pit the old versus the young, the complaining crowds of the Occupy Wall Street sort against all right-thinking Americans. The Republican congress itself is a cauldron of class-warfare instigators.

One reason this sort of class warfare has been so successful is that, post the Vietnam War period, most all the Baby Boomers’ and succeeding generational heroes have been high-octane capitalists. Beginning with the Beatles, through Bill Gates, numerous athletes, up to and beyond Mark Zuckerberg. The death of Steve Jobs and the eulogies and tributes that have followed demonstrate this beyond reason. The beloved billionaire. Jay Gould can be heard laughing from his grave.

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