Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Plutocrats Rule

Plutonomies? Plutonomies?

Mr. Kapur has explained that among countries that function as “plutonomies” — a category that encompasses the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada — economic growth is powered by the increasingly wealthy, who dominate both income and consumption. In Japan and most of Europe, the rich have not been getting much richer and the economy is more egalitarian. A boom in assets, rising profits, favourable treatment by market-friendly governments, and improved productivity have allowed the wealthy to prosper. Mr. Kapur believes that corporate profits are set to climb, as “low inflation, high productivity, globalization, and low labour power” send profit margins even higher.
Why not call it what it is; Plutocracy and the rich are Plutocrats.

Prof. Neil Brooks says Canada at Risk of Becoming a Plutocracy

Forget Democracy welcome to the return of the Plutocracy one hundred years after it was spawned in America. This is what George Bush and Tony Blair mean by bringing Democracy to the world. They really mean rule of the wealthy; Plutocracy.

China issues report to criticize US for its democracy of money As former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark said, "The United States is not a democracy, it is a plutocracy. The people don't rule in the United States. Wealth rules, the corporations rule."

Plutocrats ruled America at the end of the 19th Century, the robber barons, and expanded their power with the rise of the Trusts at the begining of the 20th Century. Today the global business giants that dominate the world market and its politics remind us that those who advocated for workers back over 100 years ago were not that far off the mark. And their rallying call against plutocracy is as relevant today as it was then.

Organized Labor and Social Justice Movements
Eugene Debs' revolutionary unionsim

by Charles Sullivan

Labor unions have always been under assault by the company bosses and their cohorts in government. This connection reveals that the government does not serve the people; it serves business interests, the elite. It is thus evidence not of democracy, but of Plutocracy.

Jack London: The Iron Heel

'I'll show you something that isn't a dream, then,' Ernest answered.

'And that something I shall call the Oligarchy. You call it the

Plutocracy. We both mean the same thing, the large capitalists or

the trusts. Let us see where the power lies today. And in order to

do so, let us apportion society into its class divisions.

'There are three big classes in society. First comes the Plutocracy,

which is composed of wealthy bankers, railway magnates, corporation

directors, and trust magnates. Second, is the middle class, your

class, gentlemen, which is composed of farmers, merchants, small

manufacturers, and professional men. And third and last comes my

class, the proletariat, which is composed of the wage-workers.*

Triumphant Plutocracy ; the story of American public life from 1840-1910 Richard Franklin Pettigrew

It has been well said by the famous English writer and philanthropist, Mr. Stead, that the modern business world has adopted a new Golden Rule as follows :

“ Dollars and dimes, dollars and dimes ;
To be without money is the worst of crimes.
To keep all you get, and get all you can,
Is the first and the last and the whole duty of man.”

That this Golden Rule has been adopted by the so-called business men of the United States is evidenced by what has been accomplished in the distribution of the wealth produced by the great toiling masses of this country.

Recently it was announced that John D. Rockefeller had finally succeeded in accumulating one billion dollars, thus making him the richest man that ever lived.

The American people know how he succeeded in accumulating this vast sum. He produced none of it—he secured all of it by exploiting the American people who had produced it.

The most thrifty of the American people do well if they succeed in saving $300 a year above all their expenses, and they must be busy every day in the year in order to do that. To accumulate one billion dollars at the rate of $300 a year—a dollar a day for three hundred working days—a man would have to live and labor 3,333,333 years. He would have to be older than Methuselah—he would have to start when the world was hot no matter where he ended up.

But if he was cunning, unscrupulous and religious and followed Rockefeller’s method of robbing his fellow-men, he could get the billion-dollar prize in fifty years.

One billion dollars is equivalent to the earnings of one hundred thousand men for twenty years, provided they earned $500 apiece each year, and during all that time leaving nothing out for sickness, death or accident. The fact that Rockefeller could appropriate the earnings of his fellow-men and the fact that he did do it is what has caused the social and economic protest against the existing system and the cry for justice.

This great and powerful force—the accumulated wealth of the United States—has taken over all the functions of Government, Congress, the issue of money, and banking and the army and navy in order to have a band of mercenaries to do their bidding and protect their stolen property.

Immediately after the announcement that Rockefeller was worth a billion dollars, Armour & Swift announced a dividend upon their capital stock of thirty-three and one-third per cent and each of these concerns increased their capital stock from twenty millions to one hundred millions.

It is safe to say that neither of these concerns had any capital stock for which they had paid a dollar. Their capital stock represented what they had stolen from the people of this country. Their working capital is represented by bonds. The eighty millions of stock which they have since added is also nothing but water and is issued so as to make the annual dividends appear smaller. The exploited people will object less to paying six or seven per cent on a hundred millions than to paying thirty-three and one-third per cent on twenty millions. It looks better in print.

How do Armour and Swift make their money ? They are the great packers. They are in collusion. They fix the prices they pay the farmer for his hogs and cattle, and they fix the prices they will charge the consumer for their product. They are simply robbing the producer and the consumer, and their robbery is represented in their great wealth, which they did not produce but which they took from the people under the guise of law.

A Forgotten Fighter against Plutocracy

The best of these standard-bearers of the anti-monopolist crusade were known beyond the borders of this country. Even in the midst of the reconstruction of the Soviet Union, Lenin, for example, found time to follow their work. In October 1922, Oscar Cesare, the American artist, went to sketch Lenin in his Kremlin office. Cesare told Walter Duranty the next day that, he had murmured something about political opinion in America. “Yes,” Lenin replied, “I’ve just been reading this,” and he held up a red-bound copy of Pettigrew’s Plutocrat Democracy (sic). “It’s a very fine book,” he said— and his eyes sparkled as he looked down at it. “I got the impression,” Cesare commented, “that Lenin didn’t admire the American political system as much as he admired the book.”

Who was Pettigrew? What sort of man was this Republican senator that he could call forth Lenin’s admiration? Lenin was not in the habit of praising bourgeois politicians or their works.

You will not find the answer to these questions in the best-known liberal histories of Pettigrew’s period— in the Beards’ Rise of American Civilization; in Kendrick and Hacker’s History of the United States Since 1865; or in John Chamberlain’s Farewell to Reform. As though designed to emphasize his obscurity, Pettigrew’s name remains misspelled and the title of his book misquoted in Duranty’s Moscow dispatches published in book form twelve years after Cesare’s interview with Lenin. It is only when we turn to Pettigrew’s book that we begin to see why he has been obliterated from official historical memory. His book is a scathing indictment of monopoly rule beside which the writings of the muckrakers and speeches of the reformers seem pale and harmless.

As we delve deeper into the events of Pettigrew’s career, we understand still more clearly why he has been cast into obscurity. Richard Franklin Pettigrew was the first United States senator from South Dakota. He was not only a picturesque personality but an influential figure in national politics at the turn of the century.

Pettigrew’s elimination from the political arena coincided with the defeat of the middle-class radicalism he represented. He was crushed by the political steamroller of the plutocracy as an obstacle to its concentration of power. In the process his reputation was so blackened and his deeds so distorted that he has never been accorded his rightful place as one of the staunchest opponents of monopoly domination in American public life.

William Graham Sumner:

Against Democracy, Plutocracy, and Imperialism

Sumner was too astute to believe that there was any danger that
democracy could degenerate into mass rule. The mass was unorganized,
unintelligent, and without leisure or a taste for study. How could
they possibly rule? The fate of modern democracy is to fall into subjection
to plutocracy. The term plutocracy is integral to Sumner's

By it, he did not mean the rule of wealth, for he thought that
wealth should have more political power than the mass. Rather, he
meant a type of government in which effective control rested with
men of wealth who sought to use political means to increase their
wealth. Sumner believed that there is no form of government better
suited to their control than democracy.

The methods and machinery of democratic, republican self government
caucuses, primaries, committees, and conventions
lend themselves perhaps more easily than other
political methods and machinery to the uses of selfish cliques
which seek political influence for interested purposes.

William Morris - Art Under Plutocracy Completing the American Revolution Norman D. Livergood

Forgotten Victims of America's Plutocracy |

Plutocracy and Politics

Demise of the Middleclass as we once knew it! The Internal Revenue Service figures and the results of corporate deregulation in the decade of the 1980s. Ironically, this has resulted in a 2,184% increase in the salaaries of the overclass, the largest increase of the richest incomes in recorded history. However, the middleclass has had only a 44% increase in the same period of time. If a family earning $13,000 a year at poverty level, had the same increase in their income as the rich, they would have had an unbelievable $283,920 annual income! Poverty would no longer exist! This is the beginning of the end of our middleclass culture. Is a class war inevitable???


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