Afscme Local 444, retired
“The issue of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, yet it gets very little coverage from the corporate media.”
So says Democratic Party ideologue Bernie Sanders. He is hosting a Town Hall meeting on inequality in order to help people understand that we are not in good shape.
If you read his column in last Friday’s Guardian Sanders uses the term “understand” numerous times. Until “we” understand the minimum wage is too low, that drug prices are too high, that corporations write tax polices etc. The “we” he’s referring to is US workers of course. It’s nauseating reading it. Does Sanders think the average worker doesn’t “understand” these things, isn’t aware of them? Does he think workers have no idea that there is a clique of rich elite people that run society? He must not have read the polls after the 2007 crash. But Bernie is out stumping for the Democratic Party with Elizabeth Warren and Michael Moore as mid-terms are coming up.
The Title of Sanders’ column is “The corporate media ignores the rise of oligarchy. The rest of us shouldn't.”
The issue of oligarchy is, “ the great moral issue of our time,” and we’d better not ignore it. What is oligarchy? This is my dictionary’s definition: a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
So Sanders opposes a small minority having too much political and economic power I guess, that’s what his oligarchy is. Hard to oppose that. This is a common term used by radical liberals and radical petit bourgeois thinkers these days, people like Chris Hedges, Elizabeth Warren and their ilk.
Another common term used by the radical liberals and we see more often, is plutocracy. Here is my dictionary’s definition of plutocracy: “T
|Sanders and Warren. For A kinder, Gentler Oligarchy|
The reason these terms that have to do with individuals or a class or group of people are used by the US capitalist media as opposed to what system they govern or what their class role is within that system, is that it places them in a bind. I will share here some edited comments about this from another author on this blog (Sean) who I was discussing this with yesterday:
Whenever I hear the various US capitalist media mouthpieces yammer on about Putin assassinating people, some other assassinations come to mind like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton, and their own when it suited them, John F Kennedy the Minnesota Senator Wellstone. There is also the hundreds of thousands abroad that US imperialism has massacred to keep its power. And the youth it massacres in the streets on a daily basis and that fill US jails. US imperialism and all its mouthpieces all refer to Putin and his buddies as Oligarchs or Plutocrats. Why this phraseology? When Stalinism collapsed US imperialism helped by the Roman Catholic hierarchy organized to have capitalism replace it. That is what now exists in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. In other words US imperialism got what it wanted. The restoration of capitalism. Of course, such a reactionary step backward was accompanied by the most vicious capitalist class, former KGB thugs like Putin and his fellow capitalists. Gorbachev ushered in an era that took the collective wealth of the Soviet workers and gave it to the Stalinist clique that governed.
US capitalism rose to power through genocide of the Native People, slavery and civil war. Putin's capitalists are mild compared to the US capitalists. But to refer to them as capitalists would be to admit that they are the same. Putin and his class colleagues represent Russian capitalism-----Russian imperialism. Trump, the Bushes and the Clintons and the rest represent US capitalism.
We must reject Sanders, the radical liberals and the US mass media terminology for capitalists and refuse to call Putin and his bunch oligarchs or plutocrats. Call them what they are-----capitalists. They are capitalist just as the US ruling class is capitalist and the squabbles between them is just fighting over who can get the greatest share of the spoils.