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How bad is it? So bad even the capitalists are quoting Marx
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The elites of the free world may be awakening to the fact that their unfettered pursuit of more is perhaps the single greatest existential threat to their existence. At a recent invitation-only conference in London, several billionaires as well as the head of the IMF and Prince Charles gathered to decry the excesses of capitalism over very fancy meals.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gathering at the Guildhall in London, international investors along with Christine Lagarde, keynote speaker and managing director of the International Moneyary Fund (IMF) along with Prince Charles discussed the danger that capitalism represents to itself.
This almost Kafkaesque meeting featured Lagarde quoting Karl Marx as the gathering dined on fancy plates for dinner.
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Lagarde quoted Marx, saying "Capitalism carried the seeds of its own destruction" and she quoted Pope Francis who accused rising inequality as "the root of social evil." Then she made a call for progressive tax systems and property taxes, both means by which wealth is taken from the rich and redistributed to the poor.
Prince Charles also participated, who actually lamented, although in reserved terms, the collapse of the Soviet system and commented "the long-term job of capitalism is to serve people, rather than the other way around."
The wealthy are entitled to their opinions the same as any other individual, but those expressed at the gathering in late May were unlike those previously heard from that quarter. Why are the world's wealthiest people calling for more taxes and more equality? Why are they lamenting capitalism, the very system which made them and keeps them rich?
The answer may have to do with self-preservation.
These educated elites probably know that the French Revolution did not begin with the storming of the Bastille, but rather with a less-publicized famine and crop failure that started in 1788. The government, already paying half of its GDP to cover just the interest on the national debt, did not have money to provide the starving masses with bread. Eventually, a revolution ensued. Many aristocrats lost their heads, although by and large it was the poor who did most of the bleeding for the next several decades.
Still, a desire to soak the rich grows in a climate where opportunity appears stifled. This is what both Pope Francis and Christine Lagarde were referring to in their otherwise different presentations.
The United States has long been heralded as a land of opportunity, however those opportunities are becoming increasingly limited. Outrageous prices for everything from homes to tuition as well as a rapidly-changing marketplace where a college degree can become obsolete just days after graduation, has many Americans upset at the way things are.
The system, most Americans are beginning to see, isn't very fair. Case and point, look at the FCC plans to upset "net neutrality." The appointee to the head of the FCC, chosen by President Obama, is a former cable company lobbyist and he has crafted a proposal whose title suggests the law will protect net neutrality. However, the law does the opposite of what its title suggests. In addition, the public outrage over the proposal to create "internet fast lanes" is wildly unpopular, but the special interests appear likely to win.
America, and indeed much of the world, has become a plutocracy and the people, fed dreams of opportunity, are finding out for themselves that the system is designed to work against them.
It's an open secret that the wealthy manipulate governments and the laws to their own advantage but now the abuses are becoming so blatant that people are becoming fed up. Indeed, even Pope Francis himself has made comment on the issue.
The capitalists have recognized that their system is in jeopardy because greed has gone too far. Now they are looking for a way to reverse the tide of popular opinion before it's too late to save capitalism from itself.
Needless to say, the odds, and human nature, are against them.
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