Friday, February 24, 2012

The Evil One Percent: Yesterday and Today

This is not about class warfare says Barack Obama, it is about fairness and what is good for the American people. This is about a struggling middle class, about more and more Americans needing government help while the richest of Americans amass a larger portion of all of America's wealth. This is about a small number of Americans not paying their fair share.

These cries are nothing new--simply insert another geographic area into the appropriate space and you will find it echoing earlier times.

The kulaks were the wealthiest of Russian farmers. They were therefore the enemies of the people and a target of the Soviets shortly after the communist revolution. Hundreds of thousands of kulaks were murdered by the 99% who demanded the wealth they had amassed. This slaughter of humans and with them the expertise needed to produce nourishment, has been blamed for the starvation of tens of millions of Soviet citizens who no longer able to eat the foods produced by their version of the evil one percent.

The definition of the kulaks was fluid depending on who was using the term and how badly one hated another. However, the Council of People's Commissars provided any one of these points as the criteria for being a kulak:

  • use of hired labor
  • ownership of a mill, a creamery (маслобойня, butter-making rig), other processing equipment, or a complex machine with a mechanical motor
  • systematic renting out of agricultural equipment or facilities
  • involvement in trade, money-lending, commercial brokerage, or "other sources of non-labor income".
In other words, a job provider was a target for murder. A person who processed food with motorized equipment, or creating mechanized efficiencies in the production of food was an evil one percenter. A farmer who was willing to rent out his tractor or combine to another farmer who did not own such equipment was guilty of state defined greed. Any person who tried to provide his fellow man with capital to help him better his life was a person keeping the people down.

Later, the Soviet state under Stalin established kulak quotas for arrest, after all, it had to make certain the people believed the Soviet state remained diligent in its war against greed. When a government official was short of his detained kulak quota he could get creative with arrests. Poor farmers who did not meet the traditional kulak definitions were executed or sent to the gulag to meet the desired numbers. Disliked neighbors were turned over to the authorities with little or no evidence.

Today's Democrat Party is fanning the flames of hatred toward the most productive and beneficial class of Americans. The wealthy pay the most taxes (the top one percent paying approximately 40 percent) produce the most goods, employ the most people, provides capital that develops new industries, and gives more money to private charity than any other group in America--for all of which they are despised by party stalwarts. Blaming the rich is always an easy thing to do particularly in an age when one believes that the creation of wealth is a zero-sum game.

Human nature has not changed since Adam and Eve strutted around the lush Garden of Eden. We would like to believe that today's refined man has evolved into a more gentle creature. Despite this, in the past century alone there has been multiple genocides in Europe, Asia and Africa. Muslim extremists throughout much of the world seek to convert, enslave or kill all infidels. Latin American drug cartels are responsible for the murders of tens of thousands south of our border. Syria shells its people (while getting political support from China, Russia and Iran.) Iran threatens Israel as it refines its nuclear program. A quick Arab spring begot a cold Arab winter where yesterday's liberated are today's torturers. North Korea hates everyone.

Promoting hatred of the evil one percent might seem like nothing more than political expediency but the long term effects of such tactics can be beyond brutal. We are, after all, only human.

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