Back in the 80’s I saw some graffiti that read “Eat the Rich!”
The words were very clearly written and everything was spelled correctly – not like today’s graffiti which is legible only to some strange, disenfranchised elite that requires no knowledge of spelling, grammar or penmanship to exist. To me, modern graffiti is more like the territorial markings of dogs rather than an attempt at communication. I could be wrong. I suppose dog pee is a form of communication.
Anyway, the phrase “eat the rich” is probably derived from a statement made by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He said something like – “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.”
The sentiment was popular during many uprisings including the Russian “October Revolution,” and the Chinese “Cultural Revolution.” In these cases, the statement might have been literally acted upon: Something for rich people to remember in our troubled times.
I can’t recall for sure if I saw the graffiti before or after the 1987 British movie by that name came out (since I didn’t see the movie). The phrase was apparently popular with certain radical hippy or “zippy” groups in the 60’s and early 70’s and would likely have been a cool trope with underground movements. The graffiti version I saw was likely connected to the movie and the Motorhead song of the same name used in the film.
I do recall that I disagreed with the statement. My response was – “we should eat the poor, there are so many more of them.” At the time I still thought I might be rich one day and I didn’t want the masses getting any ideas about putting me on the menu. I don’t know when I actually came to the realization that I would never actually be rich – not like Carlos Slim Helu or Bill Gates – not rich in any material sense – but one day I figured it out.
There’s a wonderful book by Kurt Vonnegut called God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater in which some concepts of riches are spelled out. In the story a son argues with his rich father about wealth and responsibility. He discourses on “the Money River, where the wealth of the nation flows.” This is a river only rich people know about. They go to the river and slurp up as much as they want and even take slurping lessons from lawyers and tax consultants on how to avoid spilling any of the excess as they slurp. And the smart rich learn to slurp quietly so as not to reveal the location of the River to the poor.
When I first read this I thought – “Vonnegut’s a hippy.”
Later I came to realize he was probably correct. Only a few people in the world have access to the Money River. Most of us will never see it. And some rich people are closer to the river than others.
There are three major divisions or classes of rich people: First there are the truly rich, the generational wealthy, people who have been adding to and accumulating their money over hundreds of years. These people keep their names off the Forbes lists of wealthy folk – the common people don’t need to know about them. The old family money probably established all the cultural and charitable organizations of the world, but they also founded the bulk of the political, military, financial and industrial based regimes of the world – even the ones that appear to compete with each other. Basically, they are above all governments and law and pay no attention to the billions of humans they habitually exploit. The names of these families often find their way into conspiracy literature – but who knows what their real game is.
Next, there are the mid-level rich. These are the people that like to see their names on the Forbes Lists. They are the ones we hear about most often. For the most part they are greedy, unscrupulous, money grubbing, self-serving pricks – but they also fund art exhibits, hospitals, schools, orphanages and other charities so they have some usefulness. People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim Helu, and various Middle Eastern princes fall into this category.
Finally there are the upstart nouveau riche class that everyone despises – rich and poor alike. They are ambitious, overreaching and desperate to be accepted – but their vulgarity keeps them out of real society. These are the loud slurpers of which Vonnegut speaks. This class ruthlessly plays the game of “Hog at the Trough.” They force their way to the food trough and cram their faces and bellies full of everything they can until someone stronger and more ruthless pushes them out of the way. They cause all the public financial problems in the world because they are stupid enough to want attention. But when the poor rise up, these are the people who will be eaten first, for they are the most recognizable and accessible.
Clearly, if you look at the state of world, it is not the poor who create financial insecurity and social unrest – the poor have no such power. It is the rich that create conflict for the furtherance of their plutocratic agenda. The rich control the governments and own the military – it is not possible to blame any other class for the troubles of the world. The blame rests squarely at the feet of the rich and the corrupt politicians that worship at the shrine of their backsides.
Why do the masses tolerate this situation? It’s simple – most of the population is made up of sleepwalkers just waiting to become zombies. They are sluggish, desensitized and delirious. When on those rare occasions the people are stirred to action what do they do? They ask the rich to help them fight the rich. This is craziness. This is why whenever a reigning plutocracy is deposed it just gets replaced by another one.
The solution is to give up fighting using weapons and tactics donated to us by our enemy. We need new weapons – weapons the enemy cannot overcome.
How do we develop such weapons? First we have to WAKE UP. Wake up using any means available. We must wake ourselves up and then wake up everyone else. This is the only way to save the world from the zombie slave state those ambitious few dream of ruling.