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by John Spritzler

February 22, 2021

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Many people wonder why billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates want so much money. After all, once one possesses, say, a hundred million dollars, one can live in undreamed of luxury just off of the annual interest that fortune would earn. When a person has a "mere" one billion dollar fortune, it becomes virtually impossible to spend it all on luxuries or anything else that one's family could actually personally enjoy or use. So  why do people like Bezos and Gates strive to accumulate 50 or 100 billion dollars? What's their motivation?


The answer is power. Money is power, the power not only to buy stuff but to buy the services and obedience of people in the government as well as outside of it. Power means being able to accomplish whatever the hell one wants, even if it's colonizing Mars as Elon Musk fancies.


A ten-billion dollar fortune enables one to buy the services and obedience of ten times as many people as a "mere" one-billion dollar fortune, and a hundred-billion dollar fortune buys one hundred times as many people.

Jeff Bezos with his hundred-billion dollars of wealth controls the employees of Amazon, Inc. and the Washington Post, which is a lot of people. And Bill Gates uses his vast wealth to control the people who implement the education and medical agendas of the U.S. and other nations (and not for the benign reasons his PR tells us, by the way.) Sure, this is a lot of people--perhaps tens of thousands--for one individual to control. But for these kind of individuals, it is still not enough. Why not?

Because there are about seven billion people on the planet, so even a hundred billion dollar fortune is not enough to control all of them or even a large percentage of them. And for the kind of individuals we're talking about here, the real goal is to control EVERYBODY!

Furthermore, any particular billionaire knows that his/her power is limited by the competing billionaires. The only solution to this problem is to acquire more wealth than the competition.

The motive of the billionaires is power, and for this kind of person it is never possible to have enough power, one always craves for more.


Billionaires kill--literally kill--as many people as necessary to hold onto their power. The ruling billionaire plutocracy in the United States carries out mass murder to hold onto its power, as I describe in some detail here. Read more here about how the billionaire class created Operation Condor to murder those who threatened their power in Latin America. In Europe the billionaires murdered people with their Operation Gladio (read more about it here.)

Billionaires also treat us like dirt to hold onto their wealth and power. In fact they MUST do this, for the reason discussed here, where I also provide many concrete examples.

Can Mere Legislation or Elections Remove the Billionaires From Power?

No. When the people of Chile elected the socialist Allende to the presidency in 1970 the rich upper class of Chile, with the backing of the U.S. government, carried out a very violent military coup to install the billionaire-friendly General Pinochet to power. The billionaire plutocracy of the United States has used violence routinely to overthrow elected governments that threatened its wealth and power. This is well-known; read accounts of it here and here.

If the U.S. billionaire plutocracy will use violence to murder its foes and remove elected governments that threatened its wealth and power, then it makes no sense whatsoever to naively believe that it would voluntarily give up its wealth and power in the United States merely because of the result of some election or a legislative vote in Congress. Remember what happened the last time rich people in the United States saw their wealth and power threatened by the outcome of an election and Congressional legislation. I'm not talking about when the very rich have been merely pretend-threatened by such action, with legislation that the rich very well know leave them in power with their wealth and only impose some new regulations that they can easily get around. 


No. I'm talking about when Congressional legislation and a presidential election REALLY threatened the wealth and power of a very rich class of people in the United States. Do you know when this happened?

It happened in 1860 when, in response to the election of Abraham Lincoln, who opposed the expansion of slavery into new states (and thus opposed the political power of the slave owners who would be deprived of their majority of pro-slavery senators in the newly enlarged Senate), the slave owners went to war against the United States government,  real war, a Civil War, a contest of violent force in which hundreds of thousands of people died. Did the slave owners say, "Gee, I guess we'll just have to let the newly elected government do what it wants against our institution of slavery since it is after all duly elected in accordance with our Constitution"? Of course not!

The billionaires were never elected, and thus cannot be un-elected. The billionaires use elections to control us; they do not let us control them with elections. Read about this in detail here.

The billionaires USE laws for their purposes; they do not bow to any law that TRULY threatens their wealth and power.

Can We Tax the Billionaires Out of Power?

No. The billionaires don't mind at all if there are some taxes on their wealth. They didn't make a big fuss when President Eisenhower established taxes on the very rich that were greater even than what Bernie Sanders now proposes. The billionaires very well knew back then that the taxes, which they knew how to avoid in many clever ways, would leave them in power with billion dollar fortunes. All the taxes really did was provide the billionaires with some useful PR: "See, we pay more than you do for government expenses; you should be grateful to us."


If the 1950s Eisenhower "high taxes on the rich" were a step towards ending obscene economic inequality, how come by 1964 poverty was so bad that Lyndon Johnson was able to point to extreme poverty as  way of winning liberal applause with his so-called "War on Poverty",  a "war" that resulted in the grotesque economic inequality that reigns today?

It is simply naive to believe that we can take away from the billionaires their billion dollar fortunes just by passing some law in Congress or electing some "good" person to the presidency. Good people tried that in 1860 when the wealth of the rich in the South took the form of slaves. It did not work then and it will not work today when wealth takes the form of dollars and corporate stock.

What Will It Take to Remove the Rich from Power?

It will take a massive egalitarian revolutionary movement to remove the rich from power. It will take a movement with such an inspiring egalitarian goal that it will be able to enlist the support not only of most of the civilian population but also of a critical mass of members of the military forces who will refuse orders to attack the movement and even use their weapons to help it defend itself against those who will obey orders from the ruling class to attack it. Such an egalitarian revolutionary movement can prevail over the ruling billionaire plutocracy. This is how we can remove the rich from power. Read about this in greater detail here.

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