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Eat the Rich

People: 
Places: 

Neo-neocon senses a hunger for class warfare:

The feeling has been fed by decades of maceration in the idea that life is supposed to be fair and that fairness equals equality; that people are entitled to do well financially; that it’s a zero-sum game in which, if your neighbor is doing better than you are, then he/she is taking something away from you; that economic downturns are always the fault of the rich doing something underhanded and crooked; and that taking it out on the rich will benefit the rest of us.

I sense it, too. Today’s cultural environment revolves around victimization. There are many exploiters, but none more evil than the rich:

Those CEOs with their “fancy drapes” and private jets are the enemy, and Obama says their days of luxury are over.

In the coffee shops, chat rooms, and in Congress, anyone who earns a noticeably large income is demonized. With Barry in charge, the victims hope to become the victimizers, harnessing the wealthy to turn the gears of government. The successful are seen to deserve punishment. Neoneo objects:

But making a lot of money is no crime, and no one should be hated for it—that would be the politics of envy rather than reason.

Propaganda must avoid reason. Too much rational thought diffuses the motivating emotion. The hated enemy can only be painted in broad terms, like race, religion or nationality. To much detail humanizes them. The audience might begin to identify with the target, unless the rhetoric remains vague.

Thus the rising class warriors cannot see a contradiction in their leader’s policy. The rich are the enemy. But who is rich? Where is the line between small businesses who will lead us out of recession and big businesses who have exploited us into recession?

Obama’s refusal to acknowledge the following—and to say it clearly and loudly when he is addressing the American people—is definitely part of the problem:

[W]ho are the people out there today with the cash—and confidence—to spend? Most often they are people and families with earnings ranked in the top echelons and who will be subject to the Obama tax hike.

And those businesspeople cannot be sure if they are intended as targets or beneficiaries of class-hatred policy. The stridency in rhetoric combined with the pervasive anger in public discourse would seemingly make anyone near the line very cautious:

If I were a rich man—or woman (Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum)—I wouldn’t feel encouraged by Obama to invest in a new business or grow the one I already had. I would also feel unfairly characterised as an automatic exploiter of others rather than a hard-working American doing my bit to better myself and to add wealth to the economy as a whole.

We are fomenting hatred for the people most able to help us. The desire for class warfare is nihilistic. Perhaps those who hunger most for this kind of “justice” secretly want to eat themselves.