In the first blog post of this arc, I tried to establish that “all of the political machinations of recent history are consistent with the past and show one overarching theme: power to control.” In a democracy, if the “masses” aren’t controlled then power isn’t overt and, if discovered, it may be eradicated.
In the second post, I pointed out that the main lever of control is fear and that a constant state of fear allows all kinds of shenanigans to occur that otherwise would seem crazy.
In this post, I will expose the controllers. I have already stated previously that this whole effort had no particular leadership, that it was organic and amorphous. Even so, the forces employed create their own systems of control and of continuing their own existence.
Without further ado I name these controllers: the monied interests of this country (not necessarily citizens). In the past they were often referred to as “the monied powers.” These are not just rich people or very rich people. They are rich people who feel that their wealth means something, something about them. It is an indicator of their superiority, as it were.
Ask yourself the question: are rich people more or less likely to be conservative? Of course, if one has substantial wealth, one can have whatever political leanings one wants, but I would venture that whatever definition one has for substantial wealth, that if you were to survey those people, you would find that the number of conservatives was at least two to three times the number of liberals if not more. Obviously, even before one has substantial wealth, one has to think about protecting it. But the monied interests are not just conservative and fearful for their money.
These people are not wired like you and me (and I am not trying to paint these people as “others” but as extraordinary). Consider the eleven hedge fund managers who, in 2011, made over $1 billion. In another post, I commented that this amounts to over $500,000 of income per normal work hour. Now, in my 35 years of work as a college professor, I made about $2,000,000 of income. All of these guys made that much money in one afternoon. What would you do with that kind of money? If you made $500,000+ per hour, for an entire year, what would you do? Most people of the “middling sort” would probably quit their job and take up something they were passionate about but couldn’t afford to do because it didn’t provide for themselves and their family. That’s what I would have done. That’s what a great many lottery winners do. But the monied interests can’t be satisfied with having “more than enough” money to do anything they wish, because their wealth means something; it says something about them, not to the general public, per se, I don’t think the monied interests care about what the public thinks of them; it’s about what their peers think of them.
There is also a certain amount of gamesmanship involved here. A real “player” can exercise power in accordance with their elevated self image.
What drives these people is not what is uttered by their defenders. They don’t think of themselves as “job creators,” or “captains of industry,” or any of the other idiotic labels that are bandied about. Their wealth means something about them, so to increase it is to increase their own value on some sort of scale only they can see.
So, how is it that these people exert their power? They exert it in ways that increase their own self esteem, that is they exert their influence to expand their wealth, even though they already have more money than they can conceivably spend to support themselves and their families. They support their churches, they support politicians who will do their bidding, and they target their enemies. An old saying is that “one is known by one’s enemies.” Their enemies are any forces arrayed in such a way that they could oppose their will. They loathe labor unions. In the last 100 years, only a few forces have stood up to them and each has been decimated time and again. Labor did it, as did the occasional federal government. The monied interests loathe anything to do with the New Deal as President Roosevelt restructured the federal government to serve the interests of the people more so than just their interests, which all of the prior governments had done. Some go so far as to connect opposition to the will of the monied interests to assassinations, an example of which . . .
In 1832, President Andrew Jackson declared his disdain for the international bankers: “You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.” There followed an (unsuccessful) assassination attempt on President Jackson’s life. Jackson had told his vice president, Martin Van Buren, “The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.” (Andrew Jackson, referring to the Second Bank of the United States to Martin Van Buren)
Such conjectures are impossible to verify, but are at the least believable.
In my next post I will address how they got us to where we are now.