Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Same Old Slavery

In a recent post I estimated how long slavery could have been legal in the US had the South not attempted to secede. I am convinced that it would have survived into the twentieth century and the US might have been the last country (instead of one of the last few countries) to ban slavery had circumstances not intervened in spite of the greed and inhumanity of the controlling class in the slave states.

I think social justice and political freedom in America have long been under attack by the same sort of people that felt entitled to enslave blacks. In fact, I don't think the slave owners would have had a problem with enslaving people of all races. They didn't enslave blacks because they were black. They did so because they felt entitled to enslave anyone they could. Since blacks lacked wealth and political power they were the last people to be protected from slavery as the working class took political power away from the ruling class and the property owners.

Economic and political oppression replaced slavery in the latter half of the 1800's and the early 1900's. Social and political enlightenment and organization of labor gave birth to the middle class. This transfer of power eventually crept into the South, which finally yielded to the demands of the Civil Rights Movement.

But the class of people that had bodily enslaved the blacks and later economically enslaved the working class of all races, did not vanish. During the last 40 to 50 years they slowly, persistently and invisibly regained the wealth and political power they held 100 years ago. They feel entitled to take and hold all the wealth and political power. They are no more concerned for others than the slave owners were concerned for their slaves. They are committed to each other only by necessity. If they could achieve their goals alone they would.

These people are sociopaths. Their objectives are purely selfish. There goal is not to destroy others but they wouldn't hesitate to do so to get what they do want and maintain what they have. The Koch brothers are two such people. To further enrich themselves they must minimize their costs by driving down the cost of labor, eliminating their competition and charging more for their products and services. Destroying labor unions or, at least, their right to bargain collectively, is one of the means by which they further enrich themselves. Repealing anti-trust laws is the means by which they eliminate their competition (this is why the FCC's Net Neutrality regulations must be reversed). Eliminating all banking regulations is the means by which they can drive up costs. But they need to gain and hold political power in order to enact laws that benefit themselves and repeal laws that limit their activities. To this end they must control the legislature and the Supreme Court. Elections are controlled by dividing the electorate and vilifying the opposition who are lazy, non-Christian and un-American. And, by suppressing the votes of those who support their opposition, through re-districting and Jim Crow laws.

My rant sounds like a wild conspiracy theory. Most people chose to ignore the evidence or excuse it as a passing insignificant aberration of our political and social systems. But, the current congressional obstructionists, the inexplicable rulings of our Supreme Court and the unbelievable GOP candidates for the presidency are not glitches in the system. They are evidence of the corruption wrought by those who will, if we let them, enslave us all.

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