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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
Off with their Heads
Rather than glorifying the billionaires in this country, we should be imprisoning them
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS
The French were right: the best way to deal with the rich is to behead them - at least figuratively, if not physically. Opposing capital punishment does not mean that the ruling class, i.e. the rich, should be exempt from punishment or consequences for their crimes against the poor – it only means that unnecessary killing is unwarranted. By disenfranchising the rich, distributing their money to the people they have stolen it from, and ensuring that they will be powerless to commit similar crimes in the future, the guillotine can remain a bloody remnant of history, instead of a portent for the future.
In this day and age, it is the rich, and not the poor, who use weapons of mass destruction, drones, special operations forces, military coups, and other vehicles of violence to dominate and protect their interests. The rest of the dispossessed people of the world are and will continue to be pawns and victims of ruling class oppression until the balance of wealth and power is unalterably shifted.
For some ungodly reason, we in America adore the rich. They fill the social columns of our newspapers, dominate the nightly news, and enthrall us with their wealth and power. The sycophants and media propagandists endlessly inundate us with the latest news about Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffet, the Koch Brothers, Goldman Sachs, or the other pigs of the moment. When the glorification and deification of the rich is completed, the news switches to subjects more appropriate for the poor and the rest of us: crime, sexual deviance, gang warfare, or the other failures of "our" class.
The poet, Roger Bly, in his work “Anger Against Children,” describes the contradiction eloquently:
Our children live with a fear at school and in the house.
The mother and father do not protect the younger child from the savagery
of the others.
Parents don't want to face the children's rage,
Because the parents are also in rage.
This is the rage that shouts at children.
This is the rage than cannot be satisfied.
So the rage goes inward at last,
It ends in doubt, in self-doubt, dyeing the hair, and love of celebrities.
The rage comes to rest at last in the talk show late at night,
When the celebrities without anger or grief tell us that only the famous are
good, only they live well.
Instead of demonizing the rich, and recognizing the devastating impact they have on the community, on nations throughout the world, on working people, on our environment, and on every aspect of human life as we know it, we treat them as “lucky” or “skilful” or “deserving” because they work “so hard” or effectively. We praise them, and seek to emulate their successes and “importance to business” and the community. What nonsense and garbage! These are murdering bastards, who should be prevented immediately, from preying further upon people everywhere. The “1%,” as they are referred to by the Occupy Movement, are poisoning the entire community.
It is obvious that you can’t control the rich by “taxing” them. They own the Congress, and write the tax codes to protect their wealth, and protect them from having to share their wealth with the public. You can’t “regulate” their corporate profits or abuses, because they define the regulations, and immunize themselves from liability or responsibility for their misbehavior. You can’t vote them out of office, because they own the electoral process, and buy the candidates for both of the so-called political parties – institutions that are wholly owned subsidiaries of the rich. The very concept of “democracy” is a charade and a farce in this country, and nobody but media whores even pretend that the people of this country have any control whatsoever over their livelihoods or future.
Challenging the authority of the rich to control every aspect of our lives results in unending criminal prosecutions, which is why we have the largest prison population in the history of the world. Torture, murder, and “deportation” are the consequences of opposing the rich, and attempts to limit their abuses are met with the most draconian penalties known to society. The fascist judges appointed by decades of Republicans and bought-off Democrats obey every command issued by the rich. No country in the history of the world has had more police, military personnel or mercenaries than the U.S.A. We have become the essence of the police state we fought against in World War II.
What those who glorify the rich don’t realize is how much damage they cause to the rest of the world. As beneficiaries of worldwide imperialism, the citizens of the U.S. are the last to understand the implications of our international carnage. It would be impossible to count the number of democratically elected regimes that the U.S. has overthrown internationally. For the last 80 years, we have financed, supported, and carried out coups against any nation that would not do the bidding of U.S. capital. We have done to the world what we did to the Native Americans of this country: annihilated any and all opposition.
The impact that our imperialism has had on the rest of the world is unimaginable: rather than allowing the rest of the world’s people to live in peace and democracy, we have subjected them to same form of ruling class ownership that we have allowed here at home. And the fools who watch Fox News can’t figure out “why they hate us.”
But recently, in the very heart of America, poor people are feeling the whips of ruling class greed and brutality: homelessness, unemployment, lack of adequate health care, the disappearance of public education are all on the rise. Poverty abounds, while the rich bask in their obscene wealth. The majority of Americans understand that power must be challenged in this country, it is just that nobody knows how to do it. The rich are so murderous and violent that any and all opposition is crushed instantaneously, and mercilessly. As revolutionaries throughout history have learned, though, at some point the only way to survive is to fight back.
The fact is that allowing the rich to hoard the wealth and power in this country results in the impoverishment of everyone else. It is criminal, violent, and unjustified. That is so regardless of what the American media says. No individual, however sick or insane, could cause the level of devastation and anguish caused by the Pentagon, our national police state, or our local police forces. If we don’t get control over what the rich are doing to the world, and us, there won’t be an earth left to protect, let alone a democracy.
The rich don’t “create jobs,” they don’t “build the economy,” and they don’t “protect the nation.” They steal from the poor, destroy the economy of the nation, and wage war against all those who don’t give them everything they want and need. That isn’t citizenship, that is treason! Terrorists are small potatoes when compared to the harm caused by the billionaires of the world.
It is time for people to recognize their real enemies, and wage the sort of “permanent war” against them that the rich wage against the rest of us.
Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.