A Eulogy for Capitalism
(James Herod, May 2013)
(This text was written for, but not used by, the second May Day Funeral March for Capitalism, in Boston -- a wonderful, festive, fun event.)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My name is Gimme Moneysucker. I am the former CEO of Bank of America. I also previously worked for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. I was in and out of the US Treasury Department for decades. I've served on the Boards of Directors of several of America's most wonderful businesses – ExxonMobile, Monsanto, and Ratheon. I used to live in a beautiful ten million dollar town house right over there on Beacon Hill. I had in-house gourmet cooks, and an abundance of Haitian servants. Now that's all gone. The house was confiscated, along with my classic art collection, and everything else. I've also lost my get-away retreat on Saint Kitts, and my far-away vacation home in Bora Bora. Not to mention my private jet. So it is a sad day for me personally, but sadder still that the ingenious scheme of theft that made me rich is here no more – just because of you scumbags and losers standing here today. I'm surprised you even invited me to give this eulogy. Or lament, actually. Well, I suppose it is better than the guillotine. But it's your mistake, you dumb fucks. We'll be back.
We capitalists had a very good run – 500 years of extremely profitable fleecing, swindling, conning, and just plain stealing. Not without opposition, of course, but nothing we couldn't handle. Those peasant revolts in the sixteenth century weren't much bother. We simply told them that their land was ours, and drove them off into the cities where they had to hire out to our factory bosses. Natives put up a bit of a fight. But we had sailing ships with cannons, and horses and swords, and later muskets. It's true we had to kill about 50 million of those damn savages to conquer the Americas. But my god it was worth it! The gold and silver just came poring in. And after the gold ran out we had sugar and cotton. Lilly-livered moralists keep complaining that we killed fifteen million black slaves in the Atlantic Crossing alone. But who gave a damn? Those plantations were worth a fortune, gold mines in themselves.
Communists weren't hard to neutralize and derail. Lenin was the best thing that could have happened to our capitalist class. The Soviet Union was the perfect enemy. It was just capitalism in another guise, but almost no one realized that. But we knew, and knew also that they couldn't run a country, and were messing up big time, mismanaging. Then when the whole soviet empire suddenly went poof and vanished from history overnight, we went in and stripped the country clean, making off with trillions, all the while claiming that we had won. What a windfall that was! Plus we were able to set up a text-book case of mafia capitalism. A wet dream come true.
Socialists, naïve gullible socialists, had this foolish idea that they could get rid of us by winning elections and packing our parliaments with their buddies. So we were willing to play this silly game with them for over a century, all the while we were raking in the profits and building up our forces. They never came even close to weakening us. Eventually, though, we got bored with the ritual and simply took over the governments ourselves.
Anarchists were never a threat at all. In that little skirmish in Chicago in the 1880s we simply rounded up a bunch of them and hung or jailed them, or drove them to suicide. That was the end of that. Spain was a bit of a problem, but we were able to use the communists to kill the anarchists, so we came out of that on top, with a good strong dictator to run capitalism there for another half century.
Strikes? We just waited them out. Factory occupations? Picked them off one by one. Mass demonstrations? Great! They didn't hurt us at all. They were very amusing, big jokes, in fact. We were dying laughing.
So that's how it has gone, for five hundred years, with us getting richer and richer, and with you miserable slobs, the despicable multitude – weak, gullible, stupid – just groveling, whining, complaining, protesting but never really fighting and never winning. What pathetic creatures, a sweating swarm of humanity begging to be enslaved.
Recently we destroyed Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and we were working on Somali and Yemen, and would soon have destroyed Syria, all without a whimper from the ever acquiescing masses. Wars were one of our greatest sources of profit, a never ending bonanza. We not only enriched ourselves by selling governments all those planes, tanks, and ships, but we also raked in millions in interest on the loans we gave to governments to wage the wars. It was a sweetheart deal. It's a shame the racket has been busted up.
I can't help but gloat over one of our most spectacular scams run just recently. We got the US Treasury to give us 23 trillion dollars to cover our gambling debts, and at the same time made sure that not even one dollar would go to help the foreclosed home owners. Now our banks are gobbling up those houses for pennies on the dollar. Was there a revolution? An insurrection even? A big protest at least? No. Nothing. So I thought, "We're home free." We capitalists are set for another hundred years.
But then the damned popular assemblies started springing up. First in Greece in 2008 in Snytagma square. Then from that awful mob in Tahrir Square in Egypt. We had seen a few of these before, in Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, but they quickly passed and we weren't too worried. But then suddenly on March 15, 2012 in Spain, assemblies were everywhere, in every public square across the entire nation. This was a bit more worrisome, especially because they rejected all political parties and unions and didn't even think of trying to seize power. Finally, and to our utter consternation, there was a blasted popular assembly right smack on our doorstep in Wall Street, across the street from the Stock Exchange, which lasted for weeks. And it was pointing the finger at us, the 1%, the people who know how to make money off money. We rule the world, for Christ's Sake! Then, even worse, there were assemblies in a thousand towns across America. People of the world cheered, that finally there was a show of resistance in the heart of the empire, they said. Our hearts sank.
And so began our unraveling. To our great surprise, the 99% began to catch on to our scam. I guess it was the brutal austerity which we were imposing that was the tipping point. The rip-off was just too blatant. They also claimed that we were destroying the earth, without blinking an eye, in order to keep our profits rolling in. This was balderdash, of course, but they believed it. So this too might have had something to do with our demise.
But don't you worry. We will be back. We will find a new way to exploit and enslave you. Humans are a sorry lot, all around. You won't succeed in setting up this pipe dream of yours -- a world full of democratic autonomous communities, you say, based on equality, freedom, justice. Fat chance. So enjoy your pitiful little Funeral March for Capitalism. I hate your guts, all of you.