"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

US income inequality in all its graphic glory

When all of one's fears come to pass

As we watch the Goldman Sachs con men twist and shout before a suddenly agitated Senate banking committee shocked, shocked! to hear that there's rampant fraud on Wall Street I think it's instructive to revisit a bygone era when similar forces were arrayed against the interests of the general population yet the warnings went unheeded. Courtesy of Jessie's Cafe Americain:

It is one of the serious evils of our present system of banking that it enables one class of society, and that by no means a numerous one, by its control over the currency to act injuriously upon the interests of all the others and to exercise more than its just proportion of influence in political affairs. The agricultural, the mechanical, and the laboring classes have little or no share in the direction of the great moneyed corporations; and from their habits and the nature of their pursuits, they are incapable of forming extensive combinations to act together with united force. Such concert of action may sometimes be produced in a single city or in a small district of country by means of personal communications with each other; but they have no regular or active correspondence with those who are engaged in similar pursuits in distant places. They have but little patronage to give the press and exercise but a small share of influence over it; they have no crowd of dependents about them who hope to grow rich without labor by their countenance and favor and who are, therefore, always ready to exercise their wishes.
-Andrew Jackson farewell address
The rest...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Twain Revisited

I was rummaging through the archives of the Socialist Worker website when I ran across this gem from the great satirist:

Oh Lord, our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded...help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the waste of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst. -Mark Twain The War Prayer

Isn't it funny how we never had the opportunity to explore this aspect of him in school? The rest...

Friday, April 09, 2010

So... what'd I miss?

As I slowly ease back into this blogging thing I think it's important that I share with you this little nugget from the incomparable Wikileaks organization. Yes children, it's good to see that Uncle Sam is still winning precious hearts and minds over in Iraq one at a time...