by John Spritzler

April 14, 2022

It's almost impossible for an oppressive ruling class to dominate those it oppresses--the have-nots--without a bogeyman enemy. Why is this?

The reason is that when there is no bogeyman enemy from which the ruling class pretends to be protecting the have-nots, then the have-nots have no reason to grudgingly tolerate being ruled over, dominated, exploited and oppressed by the ruling class. Oppressive ruling classes have always understood this, and this is why they have always worked hard to make the have-nots fear some bogeyman enemy, as I will illustrate below with many examples.


Sometimes the bogeyman enemy is another nation or another ethnic group. If there is no currently existing such enemy that is sufficiently frightening, then the ruling class must invent one: it does whatever it takes to make a would-be bogeyman enemy sufficiently frightening. Lurid propaganda is part of this, but often, in order to make such propaganda credible, the ruling class attacks the would-be bogeyman enemy (claiming, of course, that it is in self-defense to protect its have-nots) for the purpose of making the would-be bogeyman enemy fight back so that the propaganda can then portray its fighting back as unprovoked evil aggression against the have-nots and their ruling class that defends them. Can you already guess what examples of this I will cite below?

Sometimes the bogeyman enemy is a supernatural one: the proverbial "volcano god" who requires human sacrifices to be persuaded not to kill everybody; or the always-useful old bearded man in the sky God who will use a flood to kill everybody, or unleash seven plagues, or send individuals to everlasting hellfire and brimstone, or what not unless the have-nots do what He demands, and of course the ruling class knows what He demands and is in charge of making sure people do it, right? Surely you can already guess what examples of this I will cite below.


#1. U.S. rulers worked hard to make the Soviet Union bogeyman enemy sufficiently frightening by arming it big time all during the Cold War. Read the gory details about this in my "The U.S. Armed the Soviet Union During the 'Cold War'." Today the U.S. is again working hard to make Russia the new bogeyman enemy, by re-starting the Cold War via Ukraine; read about this here.


#2. U.S. rulers invented the "Muslim fundamentalists/terrorists" enemy. Read the details in Dave Stratman's "Inventing the Enemy" and in my "Drones Create Hatred of the U.S. Which Is Their Real Purpose."


#3. British colonizers of North America made the Native Americans the bogeyman enemy, in order to control the European-descendant working class people in the colonies, as I discuss in my "Are Europeans Just Naturally Racist Oppressors?" 

#4. The Israeli billionaire ruling upper class has made the Palestinians be its useful bogeyman enemy--by attacking them with violent ethnic cleansing supposedly to make Jews safe--for controlling the Israeli Jewish working class. Read about this in great detail in my "Israel's Government Attacks Ordinary Jews As Well As Palestinians."

#5. The old communist dictators of Serbia and of Croatia agreed to violently attack each other's have-nots in the name of their own have-nots. Why? They feared the pro-democracy movement that ordinary Serbs and Croats were united in supporting and that aimed at removing the old communist dictators from power. The dictators used ethnic violence to make the have-not Serbs hate the have-not Croats as a bogeyman enemy, and vice versa, to demobilize the pro-democracy movement. Read about this in my "GOVERNMENTS USE VIOLENCE TO PROVOKE HATRED," which is based on The Myth of Ethnic War: Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s, written by V.P. Gagnon, Jr., a professor of politics at Ithaca College.

#6. In the 1930s during the Great Depression the rulers of the United States, Germany and Japan all faced increasingly revolutionary working class uprisings and feared actual revolutions. In order to control their own people, the rulers of these nations instigated World War II, so they could persuasively order their own people to stop waging the class war and instead join their rulers in waging war against other nations. I discuss this in detail in my book, The People As Enemy: the Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II, much of which is online here.

#7. The U.S. ruling class (both Democratic and Republican administrations) has, for decades, been doing horrible things to the have-nots south of the border in Mexico and Central America, things that were designed to force these people to have to illegally migrate into the United States just to survive. I write about this in detail in "ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND WHAT AMERICANS SHOULD DO ABOUT IT." The ruling class uses these illegal immigrants for two purposes: 1) as cheap labor less able to fight for decent wages and working conditions for fear of being deported; and 2) as a bogeyman enemy that the ruling class points to and tells American citizen workers, "See, those are the people depriving you of good-paying jobs. Support your conservative politicians because they're the ones working to stop illegal immigration."

8. Hitler, obviously, used "the Jews" as a bogeyman enemy.

9. Zelensky and his fellow capitalists (including the American ones!) are using the ethnic Russians (whose first language is Russian) in the eastern (Donbass) region of Ukraine as their bogeyman enemy to control the Ukrainians in the western part of the country so they can get rich at their expense. The Ukraine government enacted laws prohibiting the use of the Russian language (a form of ethnic cleansing); when the ethnic Russians fought back against this the Ukraine government declared them the enemy and attacked them violently, thus making them a bogeyman enemy. Zelensky is doing exactly what the U.S. rulers want, in particular he is keeping Ukraine in big debt to the IMF, which in turn spells very bad news [click 'read more' to see the entire article in this link] for ordinary have-not Ukrainians. Capitalism in general has been very bad for Ukrainians, judging by the fact that the Ukraine population rose to its peak of 51.4 million at 1991, at which time the Soviet Union dissolved and became capitalist and Ukraine became independent of the Soviet Union and under the sway of Western capitalism, at which point its population dramatically declined to only 43.5 million by 2021 "due to high emigration rates, low birth rates, and high death rates."



Supernatural bogeyman enemies

#10. European feudalism was based on the Catholic Church's assertion that a) the Pope is the "Vicar of Christ," i.e., the representative of Christ and hence of God on earth; b) the royal monarchs, when anointed by the Pope, in turn have a "divine right" to create an aristocracy and with it to rule over the peasant have-nots and make them do the hard work but enjoy the fruits of that labor the least; c) God will send anybody who doesn't obey the Church to an eternity of hellfire and brimstone; by telling people how to behave--to be "God fearing"--the Church protects them from the awful wrath of God.

#11. In discussing ancient Egypt, David Graeber and David Wengrow, in their book, The Dawn of Everything, write: 


"From the seasonal work of tomb-building to the daily servicing of the ruler’s body (recall again how the first royal inscriptions are found on combs and make-up palettes), most of human activity was directed upwards, either towards tending rulers (living and dead) or assisting them with their own task of feeding and caring for the gods.97 All this activity was seen as generating a downward flow of divine blessings and protection, which occasionally took material form in the great feasts of the workers’ towns." [Graeber, David. The Dawn of Everything (p. 408). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition. ]

The laborers who built the pyramids feared that if they didn't perform that labor as directed by the Pharaoh then they would lose their protection from the gods.


The real enemy of the have-nots of the world is the small class of people who have the opposite of egalitarian values, who value class inequality and the domination of the many by the few, and who use bogeyman enemies to control and oppress the have-nots. Whenever people in this anti-egalitarian class tell us to fear some people (or some thing), it's a good idea to be suspicious that they are simply playing the old "bogeyman enemy" trick to control and oppress us.