Share of national wealth held by America's 1% hits 50-year high

As an actual Poor American (30 years of 3rd shift retail, 50K in student loan debt for a degree I couldn’t afford to finish, raised by a single mom on welfare, currently taking home about $400 a week to support a family of three, if you wanted some bona fides), lemme just say that I AM actually increasingly in favor of guillotining the rich.
The older I’ve gotten, and the longer I’ve watched all efforts to create peaceful change get ignored by those in power and corrupted and diffused by those who claim to represent us, the more I’ve started to despair that there is even the possibility of useful, peaceful change. As a trained but undercredentialed historian, I’m under no illusion that violent revolt is likely to result in any actual positive changes in American society, but I’m reaching the point where the visceral pleasure of watching at least some of the people who’ve been killing the future I thought we were building for my kid get their heads chopped off in the public square will kinda/sorta make up for the part where human civilization collapses under environmental catastrophe and we all either bake or drown over the next half-century. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels that way, here in the underclasses. When you’re trapped in a burning house with your worst enemy, you might as well push him into the fire first.
Schadenfreude pie; it’s what’s for dinner!



Oh boy, when all this wealth finally finds its way to the rest of us it won’t be no trickle, it’ll be a fucking DELUGE! Have your buckets ready.


Was anyone saying we need to go back to Stalinism and the cultural revolution?




No, someone’s saying we need to go back to the French revolution – which is morally equivalent to Stalinism and the cultural revolution.

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You’re right. What was happening in France was perfectly fair. After all, they were only peasants and workers starving, not the land owners, so who cares… /s

Maybe go read some Franz Fanon on this, as he laid out the psychology of revolutionary movements, and they end up in so much blood shed. At some point, it all becomes to much, and people can’t deal with it, and than bad things can happen. It’s not like these were people who were just waiting for the opportunity to kill a bunch of people - they weren’t serial killers, they were people with boots on their necks. These were people reacting to oppression, not people just killing for the fun of it.

You REALLY don’t want mass murder, then we need to deal with the problem of inequality. Assuming that any attempt to change inequality will inevitably lead to mass murder isn’t helping the problem, it’s burying it yet again until it actually DOES become mass murder.


If you’d like to argue that being poor is a good justification for murder, please be my guest.

This is asserting that revolutionaries were psychologically monolithic, and that they also lacked moral agency. It’s false in several senses. Certainly in the sense that there were some revolutionaries who did murder for the fun of it. But more importantly because if you’re able to capture and publically execute someone, then you are also completely capable of taking their stuff and, you know, not murdering them.

Public execution was a choice made by human beings and it wasn’t the only choice available. Any moral approach entails not murdering people.

Why are you saying this as if I disagree with it? This is exactly the argument I have been making the entire thread. Here, read what I actually said:

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You’re the one claiming that violent revolution is immanent and inevitable so I’d say the burden of proof is on you.

It doesn’t seem to me like the right-wing populists are in a hurry to murder the economic elite. The cultural elite, maybe, but in that case I’d like to once again suggest that maybe a guillotine is not the best iconographic choice.

They don’t have a larger public image problem, actually, because Tea Party protests have been clean and non-violent whereas left protests have been not quite as clean or non-violent.

I mean, if all you want to do is preach to the choir then sure believe what you want. But if you actually want to convince anyone that you’re in the right, you may have to actually listen to people and take into account the likely effect of your rhetoric on them.

If you think showing pictures of guillotines and saying stuff like “euthanize rentiers” is going to turn the working class against the economic elite, then maybe you should actually read Breitbart and watch Fox News to try to better understand the worldview of the right wing populists you are saying are going to do the murdering. Because I can tell you for sure it’s not the bankers or the oil company execs that these people want to hang.

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People were actually dying… I’m not making that argument and stop trying to make it seem as if I am.

No, because as you well know, oppression caused a variety of responses, some of which were indeed violent.

Plenty of people managed to make moral arguments about murder. People in history had agency and came to a variety of conclusions. But my point was that if you beat a man down for long enough, you can’t be shocked when he comes back at you with force. You’re asking people who were victims of oppression to be more moral than their oppressors in order to DESERVE a more equitable society. I find this argument to be entirely specious.

I never said other wise, nor did I say it was the correct and moral decision. But if people keep getting pushed down into the muck, they will react. It’s human nature to react. The point is to correct inequality BEFORE it gets to this point. But if you think we can continue down this road and NOT have that, then you’re being naive.

Also, the “left” did not invent mass murder. The right and mainstream capitalism is just as responsible for the violence of the 20th century as communists are.


I might not be shocked when he uses force, but I can still justifiably argue that it’s immoral. Most of the oppressors did not actually go out collecting people and publicly executing them, so even if the oppressors participated in a system that caused deaths by starvation, etc. murder is not necessarily justified – that’s a matter of individual values and my personal values say it’s not.

i didn’t say anything about “deserve” at all except strongly imply (because I believe it) that no one deserves to be murdered.

Yes, that is exactly what I’ve been arguing this entire time. Discourage murder, encourage non-murder solutions.

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Yet you ignore that nobody here is actually calling for getting out the pitchforks and firing squads but simply stating if we don’t get shit moving now that will be happening whether we want it or not.


On that subject, I’d be curious to hear your attitude to the ethical justification of the American Revolution. Was it more or less justified than the French or Russian revolutions?


No one said otherwise. You’re ignoring the reason why and then expecting for the oppressed to be the ones who are held to a higher moral standard.

Well, that’s just historically wrong. The elites are not better than us. Also, the elites aren’t looking here, so you don’t need to keep sucking up to them.

Really? No one? Not Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot?

And we murder people all the time, and it’s often poor people. Given the number of people who are railroaded into guilty pleas, and are later exonerated, I’d say the likelihood that we regularly murder innocent poor people is rather high and very likely. Perhaps you’re against the death penalty too?

That’s fine. You’re opening post wasn’t that, however. It was blaming the left for all mass murders, which isn’t even remotely historically true. I’m explaining why people explode and end up brutalizing people that brutalize them and that in order to avoid that, we need to change the system.


The impression that Cory’s OP gives is that at least one person is advocating guillotines and euthanizing rentiers. That is what I’ve been disagreeing with the whole time. This can be easily seen by reading the actual contents of my comments.

The American Revolution was kind of the French and Russian revolutions in reverse. The economic and cultural elites enlisted poor agronomists to overthrow their masters so they could pay slightly lower taxes. The violence was smaller scale since there weren’t many British officials in the US, but the means were often even more brutal than the guillotine.

The French and Russian revolutions involved the murder of a lot of people who weren’t intentionally oppressing anyone, even if they participated in a system of oppression in various ways (which, by the way, is also the case for all us internet users).

It’s a pretty complex question. I don’t think it’s easy to give a yes/no answer. I’d say the “revolution” parts were more justified for the French and Russian revolutions than for the American, but the “mass murder” parts went much further in the former two and that’s the part that’s hardest to justify.

  1. If it’s historically incorrect, please provide the historical evidence showing that the oppressors went around collecting poors to publically execute them just because they were poor.
  2. Accusing me of “sucking up to the elites” is a bullshit ad hominem. I’m presenting my opinions. Feel free to disagree, but please don’t accuse me of having ulterior motives.
  3. We would both probably qualify as “elites” by any reasonable definition.

No it wasn’t. Here it is again:

The plain English-language meaning of that statement is that mass murder is a solution that the left has used before, but not the best.

It says nothing about all mass murders. It implies leftists have been responsible for some mass murders, and that is incontrovertibly true.

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Where in the text does it say that? The picture? Well madame guillotine is big symbol of revolution that eneded badly for the exact same things we are seeing in our current economy. It is not an endorsement it is a warning of what our future may hold.


“Let every dirty, lousy tramp arm himself with a revolver or a knife, and lay in wait on the steps of the palaces of the rich and stab or shoot the owners as they come out. Let us kill them without mercy, and let it be a war of extermination.”

Lucy Parsons, Statement appearing in the Chicago Tribune in 1885

(sigh, this is why we oughtn’t put graphics in charts… speaking of which


“Originally published at: …/euthanize-rentiers.html”

That’s your interpretation. I don’t think it’s quite as clear as you claim, but even if it’s true, I’d argue it’s not making a sympathetic or persuasive case for fighting wealth inequality.

Do your own homework. There are plenty of examples

Then you should flag my comment, which is what we’re supposed to do with things like that.

Yes, I am. I never said other wise. But I also know which side I’m on. But of course, I’m also a bad person because I have a PhD in the humanities. And I’m a woman. Plus, I’m on the left.

And it’s a solution of hard right, too. Mass murder of Native Americans. Mass murder of African Americans (and enslavement and segregation). Mass murder of Jews… Mass murder is a tool of oppression, for sure. But, literally no one here called for mass murder, so I don’t understand why you focused on that.

Also, this. Maybe since a man said it now, you’ll actually listen.

Or maybe not.