Many folks in the comments of Hard Not To Call It Evil voiced the same concerns. That by lumping people into a group or Class we are dehumanizing them, just as the Ruling Class dehumanizes everyone who is NOT in the Ruling Class.
These concerns and objections are extremely valid.
I tried to address them in the diary itself,
But we don’t know how to fight back….because WE do NOT want to dehumanize THEM. Because WE know that that is wrong. Just plain wrong. A concept that they seem to have grown totally incapable of grasping.
and especially in the ending quote…
Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.
There is a danger in making a broad generalization that tars all of “The Rich” as an enemy in the Class War. No one wants to accuse innocent people of things that they have not done. Well, none of US do, THEY seem to thrive on it (ACORN, Community Organizers, Terrorists and unpatriotic traitors, etc.) If we do it to them, we do sink to their level.
But of course the alternative is to diffuse the message, the vital message imo, that we ARE in a Class War. A Class War that whether we like it or not, is fought largely on the public relations, propaganda, meme and spin level. If we cede that vital level, which over-specifying does by taking away one of our rhetorical ‘weapons,’ we lose one of our few advantages, our voice.
So consider this a reference piece for moving forward, something we can refer back to when these valid objections are raised in the future.
The other objection is that by engaging in this sort of generalized rhetoric, WE are the ones who are making this into an “Us vs. Them” thing.
WE are not.
THEY already have, for generations. For example, shooting down strikers and busting Unions, and using their puppets in government to pass tax codes and regulations (or deregulation) that favor them.
I responded to that objection with this metaphor.
If someone is picking your pocket every day it is THEY who are making it us vs. them.
You can ignore it for the sake of ‘harmony,’ and not being divisive, but it is still THEM picking YOUR pocket. is it your fault for having a pocket? Or theirs for picking it?
Or we could go with the classics: They started it Mom!!!
At it’s root, it comes down to power. We Do Not have power over them.
They DO have power over us.
Our actions do not affect them. Their actions….as is being most painfully illustrated again affect our entire lives.
They have power, we do not. It is that simple.
So who are they? Let’s start here.
A Congress that legislates in favor of the Ruling Class instead of the American People.
Heads of and major stockholders of multi-billion dollar corporations that participate politically….the folks who buy Congress, iow.
The higher ups and CEO’s of the Financial Industry who are Too Big to Fail….and thus are able to blackmail the government.
The American Aristocracy….Old Money folks who have political influence on the national and local level.
Those who control the Military Industrial Complex
The Saudis and other politically influential members of Opec. ALL of the heads of the Oil companiess. The heads of the insurance industry that control our health care, etc. Anyone who controls a vital resource and can thus set the prices or use blackmail in withholding it.
The heads of the Corporate Media that decide or set the tone for what the populace sees and hears. Including to a certain extent, entertainment.
That is of course only a partial list. An incomplete definition. But one thing is almost certain, if you are reading this, lol, you are probably NOT a member of the Ruling Class!
One commenter at Dkos asked
I work in the Military Industrial Complex, so
maybe I’m one of them?
Do you make the decisions?
Do you have political influence?
Do you lobby congress to start wars so you can sell more weapons systems?
Are you obscenely rich yet do nothing as 7 million people lose their homes?
Being rich does not necessarily make you a member of the Ruling Class, but the Ruling Class ARE all rich. A member of the Ruling Class has both money and political influence.
The only power we do have is to take “radical” actions such as general strikes, boycotts, or in the extreme. “Mob Action.” Violence.
Which of course we all condemn…but believe me, they condemn FAR more. Because that is the ONLY thing that they are afraid of. The people rising up and taking back what they have “stolen.”
That threat is literally our only power over them.
As long as they can buy our government and use it to their ends.
Because a representative democracy’s main function, the reason they were invented, in mankind’s long fight against tyranny, oppression, and ‘might makes right’ monarchies, aristocracies, dictatorships….where Men and not The Rule of Law set the rules…..is that representative democracies even the playing field.
But if the Ruling Class can BUY the representatives in a representative democracy, they can buy the whole playing field. They can buy and control The Commons.
And they have.
And they have used it to make obscene profits, while the underclasses ‘profits’ have stayed stagnant for decades. And now, in their unending greed, they have crashed the economy…..again. And now insist we bail them out. And they are using the government that they have both bought and are blackmailing to force us to.
I assure you, The Ruling Class knows who they are!
The real question here is….who are we?