FROM THE HORSE'S (RULING ELITE'S) MOUTH:

A collection of revealing quotations of ruling class people

People in power invariably say they are using their power for some good and noble purpose that has nothing to do with oppressing anybody or gaining wealth and power at the expense of others or of dominating and controlling others out of mere self-interest. But when powerful people do things supposedly for this good and noble purpose and just happen to end up, by doing so, being wealthy and powerful at the expense of others, does that mean that they are lying about their real purpose?

Yes and no.

Oppressors (e.g., slave owners in the past, upper ruling class people in the past and present) generally want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to do what it takes to keep their power and wealth and privilege at the expense of others, and they also want to have a clean conscience by rationalizing to themselves (as well as others) that they are really just pursuing some good and noble goal. No doubt individuals in the ruling class vary in terms of how clearly or not they know and admit to themselves that their "good and noble" goal is really just a rationalization for oppressing people to gain great wealth and power and privilege at their expense.

 

When I write about Zionism, for example, I say that the Israeli billionaire ruling class uses it to control and oppress ordinary Israeli Jews as well as Palestinians, and thus (for this ruling class) the PURPOSE of Zionism is not to make ordinary Jews safe but to oppress them. Sure, some Israeli ruling class individuals may not know and admit to themselves that Zionism is what makes it possible for them to be so rich and powerful at the expense of working class Israeli Jews, but for sure there are others in their class who do know this and who do (or approve of) things that cannot be otherwise explained, such as funding Hamas. Zionist leaders attack Palestinians for the PURPOSE of making them so angry at Israel that they can be used by Israeli rulers as a bogeyman enemy to control ordinary Israeli Jews. But the Zionist rulers never admit to this actual purpose. Instead they say the purpose is to achieve and defend the official Zionist goal of making Israel be a Jewish state (i.e., with a permanent guaranteed Jewish majority population achieved by ethnic cleansing of most non-Jews inside it) in which Jews can live safe from antisemitism. Perhaps some Zionist leaders really don't "get it" and really think the attacks on Palestinians are all about achieving the official Zionist goal. But for sure there are Zionist leaders who do "get it" and who do things such as fund Hamas for that reason.

Likewise, no doubt some antebellum slave owners thought that slavery was the beneficent way they took care of their mentally deficient child-like slaves and that it was just a happy coincidence that slavery also made them (the slave-owners) fabulously rich. But enough slave-owners knew the truth to defend slavery with insight and determination and violence against very mentally adult rebellious slaves. This is why it is true to say that the PURPOSE of slavery was to enrich slave-owners at the expense of slaves, and not to take care of the slaves.

When ideas (pro-slavery racism, Zionism, etc.) that purport to be about achieving a good and noble goal but actually enable an oppressive ruling class to oppress people, then we should say that the PURPOSE of these ideas (and the actions they "justify") is to enable oppressors to oppress, even if not all the oppressors fully admit this to themselves. It would serve only the oppressors for us to do otherwise.

In general, it seems that oppressors convince themselves, one way or another, that it would be immoral for them NOT to oppress the people they oppress. The oppressors do not lose sleep over their oppression.

 

The following is a collection of quotations (in no particular order) of rich upper class people candidly expressing their belief that it is morally right for--indeed morally incumbent upon--the upper class to use whatever violence is required to dominate ordinary people. These quotations illustrate that the upper class has a culture of domination that is fundamentally different from the Golden Rule culture most people live by. This is why it is not possible to appeal to the morality of the upper class to stop oppressing us; the upper class morality says that it is morally right AND NECESSARY to oppress us!

 

Slave Owners

 

Slave owners in the slavery years of the United States virtually never exhibited any remorse or guilt for enslaving people. One reads in the book Southern History Across the Color Line by Nell Irvin Painter that, "In 1839 a Virginian named John M. Nelson described his shift from painful childhood sympathy to manly callousness. As a child, he would try to stop the beating of slave children and, he said, 'mingle my cries with theirs, and feel almost willing to take a part of the punishment.' After his father severely and repeatedly rebuked him for this kind of compassion, he 'became so blunted that I could not only witness their stripes [whippings] with composure, but myself inflict them, and that without remorse.' "

 

The same book in the next paragraphs goes on to talk about the views on slavery of a slave owner thought by many to be the most remorseful about being a slave owner: Thomas Jefferson. "Jefferson found Afrcian Americans stupid and ugly, a people more or less well suited to the low estate they occupied in eithteenth-century Virginia...[A]s a gentleman whose entire material existence depended on the produce of his slaves, he was never an abolitionist. In fact, his reluctance to interfere with slavery hardened as he aged. By 1819, as the Missouri Compromise was being forged, Jefferson was warning American politicians not, under any circumstances, to tamper with slavery."

White slave-owners admitted that slavery kept the poor whites poor. Read about one typical slave-owner admitting this, as reported by the Northern visitor he admitted it to in a book reviewed in an 1862 publication, when, after the slave--owner explained to the author that the slave-owners' power relied mainly on getting the poor whites to vote for the pro-slavery politicians [both major parties, the Democratic and Whig, were pro-slavery] was asked by the author, "Then free-schools and education would destroy slavery?" and the slave-owner replied:

"Of course they would. If the poor whites realized that slavery kept them poor would they not vote it down?" [Pg. 541]

 

Bill Clinton's Secretary of State

 

Former Secretary of State in the Bill Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright, famously told Leslie Stahl that she thought the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children by the U.S. imposed sanctions "was worth it" (also online here.)

 

 

The Mexican Upper Class (1913)

 

A revolution against the Mexican dictatorial regime of Porfirio Diaz began in 1910. In its first phase Diaz was replaced by the revolution's leader, a liberal upper class person named Francisco Madero. Madero wanted reforms such as honest elections and allowing people to elect their own mayors and state governors (instead of them being appointed by Diaz) and some limited land reform, but he opposed anything like a social revolution that would end or even substantially reduce class inequality. As the new President of Mexico, Madero tried to suppress the poorest Mexicans ("peons") who were continuing to fight for more equality, but he lacked the power to do this effectively. The Mexican upper class was split on how best to suppress the "uppity" peons. In 1913 Madero was assassinated. In The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, Frederich Katz recounts the words of some of these upper class people.

 

Katz reports that more than twenty long-time American residents of Mexico sent a letter to President Woodrow Wilson in early 1913, after Madero had been assassinated. After describing Mexico's peons as both inhuman and irrational, they wrote with regard to Madero that:

 

"a man who should start a rebellion, among the peons, is a thousand times more of a knave or a fool than one who smokes cigarettes in a powder factory, or builds a bonfire in a drought scorched forest. This is exactly what Madero did, offering the peons a vote and a free distribution of land.

 

"Suppose a wealthy white man in Alabama had started in arming the Negroes a few years after the War, offering each a pure democracy, 40 acres and a mule, if they would make him governor. How long would the intelligent whites hesitate in stringing him to the nearest telegraph pole, especially if the Negroes there outnumbered the whites three to one?

 

"And if, suppose conditions were such that he succeeded, he sat supine in his gubernatorial chair, while his black cohorts kept on robbing farm houses, outraging women, wrecking trains and paralyzing businesses, and when people went to him with demands for some actions, he blithely chattered, 'Well, if you have not yet got peace, you have liberty, haven't you?' How long would the vigilance committee of southern gentlemen postpone his lynching? This is an exact parallel to conditions here due to the Madero's misguided performance.

 

"And would the President of the United States decline to recognize the situation and help stop the rapine and robbery, because the succeeding Governor of Alabama was suspected of belonging to the lynching committee and in any event had obtained his office 'by force'? Would he demand an armistice and a full and 'free' election? Is there a white woman in the south who did not approve of the legal doings of the Ku Klux Klan? Similarly if there was a good woman, regardless of nationality in this part of Mexico, outside the Madero family who did not breath a sigh of relief when Madero's death became known, she was either ignorant of the true conditions, or was politically blind."

 

Katz goes on to write that more acute observers, even if they shared the hacendados' [plantation owners] opposition to peasant revolts, felt that Madero had no choice in the matter, since the Mexican state was simply too weak to carry out the kind of harsh policy Madero's conservative opponents advocated. Thus, the British consul in Torreon, Cunard Cummins, wrote:

 

"Mr. Madero's most severe critics voiced the opinion that a strong man will improve the situation; on the other hand, Mr. Madero's policy here has found many supporters, it being contended and rightly so, that without an inner knowledge of the full situation, it is eminently unfair to criticize with decisiveness the action of the authorities, that the present temper of the turbulently inclined does not dispose them to tolerate extreme harshness now, and that, it may well be argued, stern measures would aggravate a delicate situation, and more over, perhaps assist to give revolutionary movement to the grindstone with which others may wish to share new seditious acts."

 

Donald Trump:

Trump says American wages are TOO HIGH:

 

"We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high, our wages are too high. Everything is too high. We have to compete with other countries."

Notice Trump's sly use of the word "we" here. "We have to become competitive with the world" really means "You wage workers who work for billionaires like me--you have to take cuts in your wages so that we can increase our profits."

President Hoover

General MacArthur, Officers Eisenhower and Patton, And the National Guard Attack the Enemy--Americans

The biggest fight against an eviction, however, was probably one that occurred July 28, 1932 in the nation's Capital. Twenty thousand veterans of WWI, many unemployed and homeless, camped out in the Capital to demand payment of bonuses they had been promised. On that day, the future military "heroes" of WWII made their debut in history. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, with Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower and one of his officers, George S. Patton Jr., following orders from Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley, led four troops of cavalry, four companies of infantry, a mounted machine gun squadron and six whippet tanks, lined up on Pennsylvania Avenue near 12th Street in Washington DC, in an attack on thousands of Americans who had become known as "Bonus Marchers." Veterans who raised their arms against soldiers on horseback had their arms cut by sabers. Others were hit by the flat of the sword. In some instances ears were cut off.

Two were killed and many wounded.[192] As horses pounded toward the veterans, reporters at the White House were told the Secret Service had learned that those resisting eviction were "entirely of the Communist element." "Thank God," said President Herbert Hoover, "we still have a government that knows how to deal with a mob."[193] (This is an excerpt from my longer article here, which has the sources.)

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The following is my FaceBook post (May 8, 2022) that relates to the topic of this article:

WHAT MAKES OUR OPPRESSORS TICK?

 

What explains how former Secretary of State in the Bill Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright, famously told Leslie Stahl that she thought the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children by the U.S. imposed sanctions "was worth it"? [1]

 

Keep in mind that the administration Albright was part of was that of the liberal (even so-called "first black president" [2]) Bill Clinton, and that it included as Secretary of Labor the oh-so-liberal "friend of the little guy" Robert Reich.

 

I have written [3] about how the upper class, as shown by its own words, believes that its vile oppression of the have-nots is actually a good thing, that it is the DUTY of the upper class to inflict this oppression. These upper class people (and servants of the upper class, like Bill Clinton, who come from modest backgrounds) feel no guilt, no shame whatsoever, even as they commit mass murder.[4]

 

John Mearsheimer, University of Chicago professor of political science, gave a talk [5] at Yale explaining what makes people like Madeleine Albright tick. He says they are motivated by the belief that in order to make the world safe for democracy [what they call democracy at any rate] and human liberty [what they call human liberty at any rate] and freedom [what they call freedom at any rate] they must impose a "liberal hegemony" on the entire planet (meaning make the entire planet be like U.S. society), using whatever violence that requires.

 

Mearsheimer's talk is fascinating. His talk is titled "The False Promise of Liberal Hegemony" and his point is that trying to impose a liberal hegemony on the world simply cannot work, that it is impossible, and that in attempting to do it one makes things even worse.

 

As interesting as is Mearsheimer's understanding of what makes people like Madeleine Albright tick (and it's not just Democratic Party leaders, its U.S. leaders from both parties with the exception of Donald Trump), I think it is inadequate. What it leaves out is the fact that these same leaders quite evidently view class inequality [8] as a key element of the liberal hegemony they are spreading, despite their use of concepts such as personal liberty and tolerance and freedom.

 

In order to defend class inequality these leaders quite deliberately rely on bogeyman enemies that they invent when necessary in order to control and dominate and oppress the have-nots, as I show in some detail online.[6]

 

It is noteworthy that virtually no American critic of the establishment talks about how it needs, and creates, bogeyman enemies. The FACT that the US armed the Soviet Union big time all during the Cold War [7] in order to ensure that the Soviet bogeyman enemy would be sufficiently frightening to control the general public is never mentioned!

 

We need an anti-establishment movement that is explicitly opposed to class inequality, and that therefore grasps key facts such as how the ruling class uses bogeyman enemies to control the have-nots. We don't have such an anti-establishment movement yet.

 

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1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V44qDIs_II

also

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4W

2. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/04/03/bill_clinton_i_loved_being_called_the_first_black_president.html

3. https://www.pdrboston.org/from-the-horse-s-mouth

4. https://www.pdrboston.org/mass-murderers-our-leaders

5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESwIVY2oimI&t=2734s

6. https://www.pdrboston.org/oppressors-need-bogeyman-enemies

7. https://www.pdrboston.org/u-s-armed-the-soviet-union-in-cold-

8. https://www.pdrboston.org/class-ineqality-what-is-it