No war but class war

Here’s the playground analogy: Say a bully is beating up a little kid. The bully could be the military beating up a nascent democracy, could be Wal-mart beating up its employees, could be Coca-Cola killing labor organizers, could be oil companies heating the globe, whatever.

The teacher is inside the classroom, doesn’t know what’s going on, or maybe sees what’s happening but can’t intercede because the bully is bigger than she. The teacher is the U.N., or justice or the conscience of man.

We are the rest of the children on the playground. By force of our numbers, we could go fetch the teacher, or assert the teacher’s authority. The trouble is, the bully has friends.

The bully’s friends are surrounding the fight so that we don’t see exactly what’s going on. They are gatekeepers to the facts of what is happening and they placate us with a play by play calculated to not quite pique our interest or sympathy. They steer us away from realizing that the poor kid getting beat up is one of us. The friends present the bully as the victim and the victim as the attacker. The gatekeepers look like us, like the more attractive of us. We like them and want to be their friends.

Whatever the analogy, the bully is getting something from the little kid. Lunch money, natural resources, cheap labor, subservience, profit etc. And he shares it with his friends who keep the rest of the kids at bay. It’s a gang of bullies really, but they benefit by pretending they are not working together. Even a large gang of bullies can be brought down by a crowd of ordinary people who see what they are up against. But a bully or two, surrounded by some pretty point men diverting your attention, that’s a difficult game to stop.

The press used to be known as the Fourth Estate. This appellation recognized its potential power, to counter that of the king, the nobles and the merchant estates, and to empower the democratic yearnings of the estate-less: labor, the people.

Capitalism brought the absorption of all the moneyed estates into a single merchant class. Corporate trusts cemented the merchant wealth into a new ruling nobility. And belief that God is on our side ascribes to our leaders to the divine provenance of the First Estate. The Fourth Estate, the enormous merchant enterprise once the great promise of the common people, is now but part of the one reigning Estate. The State.

The press is the mouthpiece for The State, pretending still to look like people like us. Rush Limbaugh, the smart-mouthed fat every-man imbibes $4,000 wines and $300 Cuban cigars.

First thing now to do, first thing, is to quit believing what the press is telling you. They are not your friends.

Pacifism yes victimhood no

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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