Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The American Oligarchy

Just as the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union allowed the emergence of a class of lawless 'Oligarchs' in Russia, so Neoliberal tax policies and deregulation produced American equivalents. […]We have always had robber barons in American politics, but the Neoliberal moment created a new social class. At about 1.3 million adults, it is not too large to have some cohesive interests, and its corporations, lobbyists, and other institutions allow it to intervene systematically in politics. It owns 45 percent of the privately held wealth and is heading toward 50, i.e. toward a Banana Republic.

  Juan Cole

I can tell you from experience that certain people are not amused when you call this country a Banana Republic.

Bush-Cheney were not simply purveyors of wrong-headed ideas. They were the agents of the one percent, and their policies make perfect sense if seen as attempts to advance the interests of this narrow class of persons. It is the class that owns our mass media, that pays for the political campaigns of 'our' (their) representatives, that gives us the Bushes and Cheneys and Palins because they are useful to them, and that blocks progressive reform and legislation with the vast war chest funneled to them by deep tax cuts that allow them to use essential public resources, infrastructure and facilities gratis while making the middle class pay for them.

George the First’s name for us was “fodder units”.

Cole goes on to enumerate his pick for Ten Worst Things About the Bush Era. You can read it here.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.


  1. Great article, especially the example of Putin using executive power AGAINST the oligarchs.

  2. early on i had high hopes for putin...and that was one thing that gave them to me. he soon dashed them.


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