Envy, like the worm, never runs but to the fairest fruit; like a cunning bloodhound, it singles out the fattest deer in the flock.

Francis Beaumont


UPDATE

Washington’s crab-in-the-bucket syndrome

By Michelle Malkin

“My column diagnoses the Beltway outbreak of crab-in-the-bucket syndrome. If you missed all my liveblogging of last night’s lame-duck games and class-warfare demagoguery, go here and here.

The lowlight of the “debate” in the House last night had to be Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky squawking the name of every last wealthy family in America as if their names were four-letter words (“Koch!” “Campbell!” “Walton!”). It was like watching a Berkeley City Council meeting on steroids.

Meanwhile, that “F*** the Rich” arsonist in Cape Cod is still on the loose. Maybe he/she is plotting a run for Congress.”

To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument—is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it.

Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment; you threaten him with death if he does. You place him in a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life—and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.

Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: “Your money or your life,” or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: “Your children’s education or your life,” the meaning of that ultimatum is: “Your mind or your life”—and neither is possible to man without the other.

John Galt

Economics, Class Warfare and the Washington Blame Game

United Liberty – By Louis DeBroux

It would be comic if it wasn’t so pathetically tragic. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama stood at the White House to give a press briefing to reporters concerning a compromise deal cobbled together between the president and the Republicans. Just over two years ago this man soaked in the adulation of tens of thousands as he stood before the cheering, weeping, fainting throngs who saw him as a modern-day messiah. Indeed, he seemed to think of himself as such, proclaiming his nomination would be remembered by history as the “moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”

…The press conference was a saddening display of partisanship, class warfare and the politics of greed and envy. Obama continually refers to the beneficiaries of extending the tax cuts as the “wealthiest Americans”, yet the reality is somewhat different. Nearly half of those that qualify under Obama’s definition of “rich” are small business owners who file business income on a personal tax return. These are not the robber barons of old, but average Americans working long days to create a better life for themselves and their families, and who create the majority of all new jobs in the process. Yet Obama is absolutely determined to portray these people as being something society should only grudgingly tolerate, and only then in order to confiscate what they have produced.

His own prepared remarks and subsequent answers to reporters’ questions exposed his duplicity. In response to a reporter all but accusing him of bowing to pressure, Obama replied “We can’t get my preferred option through the Senate right now. As a consequence…on January 1st of this — of 2011, the average family is going to see their taxes go up about $3,000.” Yet how is it possible for the “average family” to have their taxes go up by $3000 when every self-respecting liberal Democrat knows that it was only “millionaires and billionaires” that benefited from the Bush tax cuts?

One astute reporter asked the president if it was a failure of leadership that led to the inability of the Congress to pass a bill sometime during the last two years which would end the tax cuts for the rich. This is a valid point. As much as Obama is demonizing the Republicans, it was his inability to muster Democrat support (recalling that Obama had a filibuster-proof Senate and a massive majority in the House) for eliminating the tax cuts that has led him to this point…

No wonder Obama and the Democrats have lost the trust of the American people. They see their real enemies as being Republicans, conservatives, free market supporters, the TEA Party and the internal combustion engine. Meanwhile, they call for understanding and sympathy for terrorists, dictators and murderers. They had better recalibrate their moral standing or else 2012 will be a continuation of 2010. Class warfare does not stimulate economic growth, and right now the people are emphatically declaring “It’s the economy, stupid!”.

All lose war on wealth

Boston Herald Opinion By Michael Graham

“If they [Republicans] think it’s OK to raise taxes for the embattled middle class. . . if we don’t give more money to millionaires, it really is time for people to take up pitchforks” – Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

On the Cape it’s not pitchforks, it’s torches.

The Cape Cod Times has the story of two recent arsons, one in Barnstable and another in Sandwich. “In both cases, the arsonist left a calling card, the message, ‘f— the rich’ at the scene,” the Times reports.

One house was almost destroyed. At the other, a propane tank had been cut off the gas grill of a nearby home, placed in the basement and opened – releasing the gas. Upstairs was a small fire, apparently designed to ignite the propane gas. Fortunately the would-be bomber has the same level of explosives expertise as the average al-Qaeda member. Propane is heavier than air, and the would-be bomb never ignited.

But it still sent a signal, which is that at least one person on the Cape is getting Team Obama’s message loud and clear.

I realize that the “bleep-the-rich” signs could be bogus, designed to mislead investigators from some more mundane motive like insurance money. And I am also familiar with the work of leftist eco-terror groups that torch new construction and spike trees in hopes of slowing development.

But just as it’s possible that the next suicide bomber to hit Sweden may be a Lutheran named Lars and not a Muslim named Muhammad, the broader storyline would still be the same. And the storyline of the Obama era has been a barrage of unbridled class warfare.

President Barack Obama refers to those venal Americans known as “the rich” almost as often as he talks about himself (which is saying a lot). During the 2008 campaign, Obama argued that raising taxes on “the wealthy” was the right thing to do even if tax revenue fell as a result, and he said the Bush tax rates “offend my conscience.”

Just last week, he called his GOP opponents “hostage takers” for the rich and their leader John Boehner a “bomb thrower.”

It’s not just Obama. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) compares the GOP to “a bunch of gangsters” working for the rich. Chuck Schumer brags about data that suggests attacking millionaires is good politics – “I’m going keep at this. I think it is high ground politically.” And in case anyone’s missing the message, here’s McCaskill again:

cw-4“They want to say this is class warfare? In a way it is.”cw-2

And war is violent. While firebombing a couple of houses is extreme for political debate, in warfare it’s small potatoes.

The Democratic drumbeat against the evil “rich” – which at $250,000 per household would include a Boston cop who works overtime married to a teacher with seniority, by the way – is nothing but raw, class-based envy.

It’s also utterly manipulative. They’re counting on voter greed and resentment, but it’s not sincere. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry – you think they really hate the rich? Please. They are the rich!

In fact, The Washington Post is speculating that Obama will become America’s first “billion-dollar” president. He may raise and spend that much in 2012. And he’s not going to raise it from $10 donors.

So “(bleep) the rich” if you must, my O-bot friends. But be sure to get a check from them first.

Investigators examine inn fire scene

Cape Cod Times – By Karen Jeffrey

WEST YARMOUTH — Fire and police investigators dug through debris Monday looking for the cause of a fire that destroyed a Cape Cod landmark Sunday night.

Little remains of the Red Rose Inn, except a burned-out shell of what used to be a restaurant, bar and guest rooms.

About 30 percent of the inn was in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene around 7 p.m. Sunday, Yarmouth Deputy Chief Phil Simonian said.

As of early Monday afternoon, Simonian said, firefighters were focusing on a room that is usually used as a guest room but recently has been used for storage. “There was some furniture, tools and paint in the room,” he said.

It was far too early to speculate on a cause, he said, but added later Monday night that arson has not been ruled out.

Late Monday afternoon, State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Yarmouth Fire Chief Michael Walker announced the investigation is continuing.

“However, there is nothing to suggest to investigators that this fire is connected” to the Nov. 24 arson on Boulder Brook Road in Sandwich or the Dec. 2 attempted arson on Trotters Lane in Marstons Mills, Coan said in a press release.

In both of those cases, the arsonist left a calling card, the message “(expletive) the rich” at the scene, authorities said.

Fighting the Sunday night fire that destroyed this 125-year-old West Yarmouth structure was made more difficult by heavy winds and downed power lines that blocked access to a nearby fire hydrant, Simonian said.

Firefighters had to run over 1,200 feet of hose from Berry Avenue to the structure on New Hampshire Avenue. And they had to keep a careful eye on nearby homes — most of which were not occupied — because so many embers were being blown about, he said.

On Monday afternoon, owner Robert Galligan returned to West Yarmouth along with his son to talk with investigators. He declined to speak with reporters at the scene.

Galligan, who also owns and operates the Best Western Adams Inn in Quincy, was on the Cape Sunday visiting briefly with friends, said a business acquaintance who asked not to be named. He had left and was back at his off-Cape home when word came of the fire, the acquaintance said.

“It’s such a shame, such a terrible thing to happen to Bob,” said Today Real Estate’s Brian Serpone, who lives just around the corner from the inn and who helped negotiate the inn’s sale last year. “We were out there last night watching the fire. It was terrible. Bob had done so much work on renovations.”

The building that became known as the Red Rose Inn was built in the 19th century as a private home for a wealthy Philadelphia family. But in the mid-20th century it had been converted to a restaurant overlooking Lewis Bay where celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd were said to occasionally dine.

Still later, it became a favorite breakfast and brunch spot for year-round Cape residents.

It was sold in 2004 to Ruth Donaruma and her daughter Cathy Cassanos for $1.2 million.

Last March, after being foreclosed on, the property was sold to a group of developers for $680,000, according to Yarmouth town records.

Galligan has since taken over the property and began renovations last year.

Year-round residents from the neighborhood around the inn said they were thrilled to see what Galligan was doing and looked forward to his plans to keep the restaurant open through the winter.

“This is a real piece of old Cape Cod, that Cape Cod that has just about disappeared altogether,” said Mary Buckley, a former waitress at the inn who more recently counted herself among the “happy customers.”

Anyone with information about the West Yarmouth fire is asked to contact the Yarmouth Fire Department, the Yarmouth Police Department or the statewide arson hot line at 800-682-9229.

Class conflict refers to the concept of underlying tensions or antagonisms which exist in society due to conflicting interests that arise from different socioeconomic positions and dispositions. Class conflict is thought to play a pivotal role in history of class societies (such as capitalism and feudalism) by Marxists who refer to its overt manifestations as class war, a struggle whose resolution in favor of the working class is viewed by them as inevitable under capitalism.

Class conflict is a term long-used mostly by socialists, communists, and many anarchists, who define a class by its relationship to the means of production–such as factories, land, and machinery. From this point of view, the social control of production and labour is a contest between classes, and the division of these resources necessarily involves conflict and inflicts harm.

The typical example of class conflict described is class conflict within capitalism. This class conflict is seen to occur primarily between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and takes the form of conflict over hours of work, value of wages, cost of consumer goods, the culture at work, control over parliament or bureaucracy, and economic inequality.

The particular implementation of government programs which may seem purely humanitarian, such as disaster relief, can actually be a form of class conflict. Apart from these day-to-day forms of class conflict, during periods of crisis or revolution class conflict takes on a violent nature and involves repression, assault, restriction of civil liberties, and murderous violence such as assassinations or death squads.

Karl Marx and Max Weber are both critical to the development of the study of class conflict. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx describes his ideas about class conflict. Marx gives his own interpretation of what can be defined as a class. He states that a class is formed when its members achieve class consciousness and solidarity. This largely happens when the members of a class become aware of their exploitation and the conflict with another class. A class will then realize their shared interests and a common identity. According to Marx, a class will then take action against those that are exploiting the lower classes. Marx largely focuses on the capital industrialist society as the source of social stratification, which ultimately results in class conflict.

He states that capitalism creates a division between classes which can largely be seen in manufacturing factories. The working class, or the proletariat, is separated from the bourgeoisie because production becomes a social enterprise. Contributing to their separation is the technology that is in factories. Technology deskills and alienates workers as they are no longer viewed as having a specialized skill. Another effect of technology is a homogenous workforce that can be easily replaceable. Marx believed that this class conflict would result in the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and that the private property would be communally owned. The mode of production would remain, but communal ownership would eliminate class conflict.

Max Weber agrees with the fundamental ideas of Marx about the economy causing class conflict, but claims that class conflict can also stem from prestige and power. Weber argues that classes come from the different property locations. Different locations can largely affect one’s class by their education and the people they associate with. He also states that prestige results in different status groupings. This prestige is based upon the social status of one’s parents. Prestige is an attributed value and many times cannot be changed. Weber states that power differences led to the formation of political parties.

Weber disagrees with Marx about the formation of classes. While Marx believes that groups are similar due to their economic status, Weber argues that classes are largely formed by social status. Weber does not believe that communities are formed by economic standing, but by similar social prestige. Weber does recognize that there is a relationship between social status, social prestige and classes.

The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) is a short 1848 book written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since gone down in history as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League, it laid out the League’s purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.

The book contains Marx and Engels’ Marxist theories about the nature of society and politics, that in their own words, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism. The Manifesto is divided into an introduction, three substantive sections, and a conclusion.

Introduction

The short preamble to the main text of the Manifesto involves Marx and Engels briefly commenting on the fear that they believe the governments of Europe hold of communism, and also offers a short bit of advice as to how the European communists should proceed to promote their cause. As they open the text:

A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.
Where is the opposition party that has not been decried as communist by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition party that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Continuing on from this, they went on to declare that “It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself.”

I. Bourgeois and Proletarians

The first chapter of the Manifesto, “Bourgeois and Proleratians”, examines the Marxist conception of history, describing how:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

The section goes on to argue that the class struggle under capitalism is between those who own the means of production, the ruling class or bourgeoisie, and those who labour for a wage, the working class or proletariat.

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It … has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “payment in cash” … for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation … Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones … All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

However:

The essential condition for the existence and rule of the bourgeois class is the accumulation of wealth in private hands, the formation and increase of capital; the essential condition of capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests entirely on the competition among the workers.

This section further explains that the proletarians will eventually rise to power through class struggle: the bourgeoisie constantly exploits the proletariat for its manual labour and cheap wages, ultimately to create profit for the bourgeois; the proletariat rise to power through revolution against the bourgeoisie such as riots or creation of unions. The Communist Manifesto states that while there is still class struggle amongst society, capitalism will be overthrown by the proletariat only to start again in the near future; ultimately communism is the key to class equality amongst the citizens of Europe.

II. Proletarians and Communists

The second section, “Proletarians and Communists,” starts by outlining the relationship of conscious communists to the rest of the working class:

The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties.
They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.

It goes on to defend communism from various objections, such as the claim that communists advocate “free love“, and the claim that people will not perform labor in a communist society because they have no incentive to work.

The section ends by outlining a set of short-term demands:

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[12]

The implementation of these policies, would, the authors believed, be a precursor to the stateless and classless society

Shakedown Socialism in America

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end –  Updates:  Galt quote and Clay Duke Video;(

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