The New York Times represents the billionaire class and it is using the writer, Jeff Sommer, to warn us "Why You Might Not Want to Take Away a Billionaire's Money." Sommer writes in the style of one giving fatherly advice, but make no mistake--it's a threat. If we take away their vast wealth to make a more equal society, the billionaires, Sommer warns us, will strike back violently.
Consider, says Sommer, "the horrendous cost of expropriation in countries that have tried it — the bloodshed, the lost lives, the ruined families, the economies stunted by revolutionary violence."
And besides, Sommer adds, class inequality isn't so bad, is it? After all, the billionaires give lots of money to philanthropy.
And sometimes the billionaires ease up a little and reduce the suffering of the "little people." Didn't Franklin Delano Roosevelt do that with his New Deal?
So leave the billionaires alone, don't threaten to take their money away. That will be best for you, capish?
Threats and Lies
Sommers uses the experience of Communist revolutions to warn how bad the outcome is when people try to take money away from billionaires. What Sommers doesn't admit, however, is that Communism was not an anti-billionaire movement and therefore the bad things related to it say nothing about what would happen when people truly rise up against class inequality.
The billionaire class was never threatened by Communism. On the contrary the billionaires viewed Communism as a useful tool. As early as 1918 William Boyce Thompson, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a very wealthy mining magnate and big shot in the Republican Party gave, out of his own pocket, $1 million to the Bolshevik Party. In 1918 that was one hell of lot of money!
The American capitalist class continued to support the Bolsheviks by giving them enormous amounts of military weaponry and technology throughout the Cold War. See all the gory details here. American capitalists used the Communists as a bogeyman enemy to control the American public, to justify taxing Americans to enrich weapons manufacturers, and to provide a pretext for invading other nations to make the world safe for billionaires.
The most recent genuine large scale uprising against class inequality was the Spanish Revolution 1936-9 led by anti-Marxists (who called themselves anarchists.) Until it was defeated by the fascist General Franco (backed up by the so-called "western democracies" and by Stalin) this revolution created, in the half of Spain it controlled, greater prosperity than had existed before when capitalists ruled. This is described in some detail here.
The American ruling class doesn't want us to even know about the Spanish Revolution. This is why, for example, virtually all Americans as school children read George Orwell's Animal Farm (a scathing attack on the Russian Communist [Bolshevik] Party) and remember the famous phrase, "and some animals were more equal than others") but they have never even heard of Orwell's book, Homage to Catalonia, his eyewitness account of the Spanish Revolution, which he joined as a volunteer soldier and which he praised for its wonderful egalitarianism.
Sommers also lies about billionaire philanthropy. Billionaires may call it "philanthropy" but what it really is is billionaires using their immense wealth to make social decisions undemocratically as if they were a king. Bill Gates's Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, determined that American public schools would be based on his baby--the Common Core--and ordinary teachers and parents, not to mention the general public, were given no say in the matter. Go here for the gory details.
Lastly, Sommers lies about FDR's New Deal supposedly illustrating that the billionaires, if we just leave them alone, will sometimes, out of the kindness of their hearts, ease up on us. The fact is that the only reason FDR came up with his New Deal was because Americans were rising up in increasingly revolutionary ways (as discussed here) during the Depression years. Roosevelt famously admitted to William Randolph Hearst's senior editor, "I want to save our system. The capitalistic system; to save it is to give some heed to world thought of today." World thought of the day was to take money from the rich and give it to the poor and raise holy hell until it happened!
What most Americans (like people all over the world) want is to have no rich and no poor, with wealth distributed according to "From each according to reasonble ability, to each according to reasonble need or desire, with scarce things equitably rationed according to need." This is egalitarianism and it is very possible and nothing at all like Communism. To read more about this visit www.PDRBoston.org .
This article may be copied and posted on other websites. Please include all hyperlinks.