It’s interesting that when Sanders mentions this country is developing into an oligarchy (at 3:29); he says it like there’s been no such thing in the past. US colonial society was, and always has been, deeply divided by class and controlled by a small upper class of elites.
Here’s a quote from a junior high textbook regarding class in colonial America: “The gentry landowners, were very wealthy merchants, and financiers. They owned huge tracts of land and usually many slaves. Gentry men, or gentlemen, took it as their right and duty to govern others. They served as local magistrates, church vestrymen, and councilmen.”
I wonder why an old socialist like Bernie doesn’t mention this? Does he not know about this history? What if his message was really into truth-telling: that this nation was founded on inequalities, brutal class lines, theft of Indian lands and resources, and has always been ruled by the rich? What would people say? Would there be a phenomenological crisis in the belief system of those young liberal settlers that believe that, in some mythical period in the history of their country, there was actually liberty, fairness and justice for all? They might, in deep contemplation ask themselves, “Was there a time in the US when there wasn’t an oligarchy and we were all free and equal and cared about and shared with one another?”
Nope. Sorry folks…you killed off most of the real socialists here: Indigenous Peoples. Remember us? (Clyde Bellecourt was trying to tell Bernie Sanders about us in Minneapolis, MN, just the other day.
Bernie said we got a bad deal; he said deal like there was actually one made that both sides agreed to and kept. LOL). When you listen to Bernie’s message about inequality and oligarchy, what you should know is that, old money and “inherited wealth” in this country has been around for a long, long, long time, and has been carefully passed down in the same family lines. Every now and then some shmuck marries into the money, but for the most part, it’s stayed in the hands of the most wealthy and their bourgeois lawyers, stockholders, and politicians.
In any event, the confusion is real: Even the individual above that says “why didn’t we listen to him sooner?” (Like there was a time, similar to when the liberal settler Michael Moore says in his book, “Dude where’s my country?” that there was a more tolerant peaceful America. LOL). Okay back to the confused guy that says we should have listened to Bernie back in the day. Sadly, he doesn’t understand how class lines worked back in the day, and how they were, incidentally, on purpose, transported here from European society – and settler politician, such as Bernie should tell these young folks the truth: There never was a United States of America. Never.
It would be instructive for these young, highly educated Sander’s supporters to read about their history of manifest destiny, land speculation, and business ventures and monopolies that killed off Indigenous Peoples and removed us from our lands and put them into the hands of settler citizens, towns and cities, and the most wealthy settlers and their corporations; Bernie and his advisors should encourage his followers to educate themselves; maybe visit with an Indigenous person? Just a thought…(Here’s a little segue into land oligarchy since we’re talking about it: take a look at the biggest land owners in the US; the number one land owner is John Malone, with 2.2 million acres; Ted Turner is next…(Our tribes, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara “own” 457,000 plus acres). Examine how they obtained “their” lands, and then look at their pedigree: some humble beginnings, many not.
Okay. Case study time: One of the early major, predatory settler corporations that folks, who are interested in the oligarchical formations in the US, should learn about, is the American Fur Company, which created this nation’s first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor (outside the Fur business, check out Astor’s other capitalist ventures in the US). The unrestrained operations of the American Fur Company (AFC) dislocated tribes and destroyed traditional trading systems; helped US settlers expand into and claim Indigenous Peoples territories; it established a trans Atlantic trade network between the US and Europe (otherwise know as globalization); and it caused a collapse of the fur bearing animal population due to what they regarded as the “lucrative fur trade.” But it made Astor rich and it helped the U.S. continue to grow its economy and infrastructure, territory, and created good paying jobs. That’s what Bernie, Hilary, Trump, and Cruz all want, right? More and better paying jobs? Here’s a quote from Wiki, “During its heyday, the American Fur Company was one of the largest enterprises in the United States and held a total monopoly of the lucrative fur trade in the young nation by the 1820s. Through his profits from the company, John Jacob Astor made numerous, lucrative land investments and became the richest man in the world and the first multi-millionaire in the United States.”
-Dr. Michael Yellowbird