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Beware the 21st Century Robber Barons

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/08/beware-21st-century-robber-barons

The concentrated effort to dumb down America has left the middle and lower classes with very little skill to understand just what has happened and what continues to happen to them regarding the concentration of capital upward to the point of the spear of fascism. Until and unless the Progressive messages sink into the People they will continue to allow business as usual to fence them into compliance. Only education can liberate people. It does not have to be formal nor come with a credential, but people have to take the time to push away from the distractions purposefully put into their lives and THINK about what is what. Until then, all is folly. We are living Idiocracy. My stomach has soured of popcorn.


Yes, we are living a real-life Idiocracy. But ultimately we infantilize “the people” if we continue to maintain that the people produced this hell out of ignorance. They made choices. They voted down unions. They joined megachurches. They turned to dangerous drugs. They resisted gun laws. It wasn’t as if they had zero choices. People did this to themselves.

And this goes for all people, white and black, people in Hungary, the Philippines, Brazil, Russia, India, Pakistan, – everywhere! They did it to themselves.


Come on, Robert–create new national entities to compete with the nasty airlines, communications, insurance, and drug manufacturers. Let’s see if American Airlines could compete with a public airline. Or is this “private enterprise” system too chicken to compete?

What you describe Mr Reich , is called Capitalism.

It is working exactly as it supposed to.


What the country needs next is a “Workers Lives Matters” protest. We should start by tearing down the Pullman Nat’l monument in Chicago.


Never underestimate the power of propaganda. That’s how the ruling class gets their message out, and that’s the reason we as a people are where we’re at…


I tend to agree to some degree. And then I realized that this ‘free choice’ thing is also part of the propaganda by the ruling class - and pretty effective so that I fell for it, too. Education is the key and many people, especially working class, never have the luxury to receive an education that enables them to be of discerning, critical mind…


My neighbors vacationing on the river feel blessed as they drive their big trucks and loud boats and get groceries from big stores. “Is that big package for me?” They say, “what is the problem?”
You can not educate or make uncomfortable the middle class. Middle class is afraid of the poor because they can’t comprehend lower economic conditions.
Buy local, buy less, grow food. Let poor people integrate your community.
Corporations are for jobs that produce a product not gambling in the stock market monopoly game.
Middle class is afraid to have a conversation with a toothless person!


Well yeah, but how are you going to get all of this passed as long as the oligarchs and corporations control the government? Easy vote. Eventually when it gets bad enough people will, just as they have in the past.

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“This great shift in bargaining power from workers to corporate shareholders has created an increasingly angry working class vulnerable to demagogues peddling authoritarianism, racism, and xenophobia.”

And the ruling class says, “Bring it on. We’ll use that authoritarianism, racism and xenophobia to further consolidate our wealth and power.”

Let’s be candid. The ruling class will need to be violently overthrown. Liberalism and conservatism have failed. Civil rights have been destroyed. Democratic institutions have been thoroughly coopted. There is no recourse to law or ballot. The ruling class must be pushed into the sea, by force.


That’s totally not true. Capitalism is an economic model, not a political one.

That’s not true. In the USA the Political model and the economic model are indistinguishable from one another. The Capitalists own the Politicians.

This is not a new thing either. It goes right back to the founding fathers.


I am suspicious of this free choice you insist everyone has. Your “choices” (I don’t believe a homunculus in our heads makes decisions–thus the quotation marks) are determined by the conditions around you. People are brought up and socialized in environments that determine their actions. It is not as if they have access to diverse perspectives. They don’t.

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Capitalism is an economic form that demands an increasingly authoritarian political form. The telos of capitalism is fascism.


‘The telos of Capitalism is Fascism.’
It’s inevitable. The following article uses Socialism to explain why - a position I not readily share but it does an overall good job:

Capitalism is socialism for the rich and austerity to the people.



Neoliberal capitalism anyway. If we outlawed holding companies and limited liability, we’d still have markets but the firms competing in them would be largely family owned businesses and cooperatives.

We also need a 28th amendment that ends a couple of centuries of judicial activism by saying (1) spending money is not a form of free speech protected by the first amendment, and (2) corporations and other creatures of law are not entitled to any constitutional civil rights at all. Search for “Move to Amend” for more info and/or to get involved.

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” — Justice Louis D. Brandeis

People hide what they are ashamed off ,that’s why the billionaires hide squillions in off-shore accounts in far away islands .
Nothing breeds appropriate behaviour faster than the light of public scrutiny.
Make the economy totally transparent, open it up to complete visibility, make every single transaction visible for everyone.
“The truth shall set you free”… was not just a throwaway statement but meant to be practised by an evolving society.