In 1854 a Mr John C. Cobden, published a book on the poverty and inequality of his time. I offer you these quotes from it with the suggestion that where he writes “aristocracy” you substitute “Bankers” or “the 1%” and where he writes “slaveholders” you substitute “debtholders”. Where he and I have written “England” subsitute your country.
Chapter One P.14
“… the subjugation of the majority of a nation to an involuntary , and demoralizing servitude, for the benefit of an idle and luxurious few of the same nation, is slavery in its most appalling form.”
“…until these are changed there is no just ground of hope for an improvement in their condition. The tendency of things is, indeed, to make matters worse still. The poor are every year becoming poorer, and more dependent upon those who feast upon their sufferings; while the wealth and power of the realm are annually concentrating in fewer hands, and becoming more and more instruments of oppression.”
That was 1854 while in 2014 the latest (2013) official, government ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures for the UK show that the top 1% have now as much wealth (Financial, pension and property but excluding wealth taken off-shore) as the bottom 55%. At the same time we are told that it is wrong to tax the wealthiest or try to curb their pay or bonuses but correct that austerity cuts to public services and wage ‘restraint’ should fall disproportionately on the poorest.
Chapter 12. The Crime and the Duty of the English Government. P. 490
“The great bulk of the property of England, both civil and ecclesiastical, is in the grasp of the aristocracy….The masses earn – the lords spend. The lords have all the property, but the masses pay all the taxes, and slave and starve that the taxes may be paid.”
Today the largest corporations and those who own and run them pay low or often no taxes at all preferring instead to move their profits off-shore.
Chapter 12 P.491
“The aristocrats of England are the most extensive slaveholders in the world. In England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland they have the entire labouring mass for their slaves – men, women, and children being doomed to the most grinding toil to enable their masters to live in luxurious ease. In India and other colonies they have treated the natives as the conquered were treated in the Middle Ages. They have drained their resources, oppressed them in every way, and disposed of tribes and nations as if they had been dealing with cattle.”
Today our masters are busy negotiating behind closed doors the TTIP (US and EU) , TPP (US and Pacific countries) and potentially the most dangerous of them all, TISA (global financial corporations and their ‘rights’) trade agreements. If they are passed then corporations will have the right to sue all our nations (in private closed hearings) for any laws we might make or alter that they feel infringe unfairly on their profits. This will include environmental, food safety and labelling, labour and even tax decisions. Cattle indeed.
Chapter 12 P. 491.
“These slaves [you and me] are not naturally inferior to their masters. They belong to races fertile in great and good men and women. Poets, artists, philosophers, historians, statesmen, and warriors of the first magnitude in genius have sprung from these down-trodden people. They have fully proved themselves capable of enjoying the sweets of freedom. They remain slaves because their masters find it profitable, and know how to cozen and bully them into submission.”
Too Big to Fail. To Big to Jail. We can do what we want and pay ourselves as we see fit. But you must bail us out or your world will end. And by the way don’t think any of the bond holders is going to pay. No that’s for you little people to pick up the tab and then make the cut-backs in services we insist are necessary.
Chapter 12 P. 497
“In brief, the oligarchy lies like an incubus upon the empire, and the people cannot call themselves either free or happy until the aristocrats be driven from their high places. …Obtain your freedom – peaceably, if you can – but obtain it, for it expands and ennobles the life of a nation! … What have you to dread?… Do you fear that much blood would flow in the struggle? Consider the hundreds of thousands who are crushed out of existence every years by this aristocracy, and ask yourselves if it is not better that the system should be overthrown, even at the expense of blood, that that it should continue in its destructive career? Had not men better make an effort to secure freedom and plenty for their posterity, than starve quietly by the wayside?”