|Police brutally crushed the NYC Tompkins Square Unemployment Demonstrations in 1874|
Back in the Gilded Age, every strike, every worker movement, every bit of organizing was seen by the plutocrats as the coming of a revolution that would kill them all. See the response to the Tompkins Square unemployment marches, which the rich saw as the Paris Commune coming to America. Similarly, with every funeral, every note of music, every coming of the night, slave owners fretted about their human property rising up and killing them all, turning South Carolina into Haiti. That’s what I thought of when I read this letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal:
Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.
This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?
Perkins is a cofounder of this venture capital firm.
Kristallnacht, Mr. Perkins? You really want to go there? Perkins should be made to explain and apologize for the perverse logic he is using for his analogy, because it is blatantly obscene. Because a few fast food workers are demanding a living wage? And making the plutocracy soil their dainty Calvin Klein undergarments?
I suppose we could take this as positive, but I don’t see it that way. They are so secure in their position that they have the luxury of freaking out over each cent or right the poor demand from their betters. What next? New York Mayor,Bill de Blasio inadequately plowing the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Y'know, just like Hitler in the Jewish ghettoes?
….Our lovely plutocrat Mr. Perkins was once convicted of involuntary manslaughter in France for killing a man after running over another boat while yacht racing.
To get the vile taste of this out my brain, I have to listen to some great uplifting music by two of the hardest working progressive activist artists around today: Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello performing live, Springsteens classic piece, The Ghost of Tom Joad, based on the character in the John Steinbeck classic, The Grapes of Wrath. Joads closing speech in the book which has made plutocrats shiver in their oxblood cordovans since it was first published in 1939:
“Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where- wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’- I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build- why, I’ll be there. See? God, I’m talkin’ like Casy. Comes of thinkin’ about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes.”
— Tom Joad, John Steinbeck
Update: I started to read this before the internet crashed here last night (we were having extreme weather) and the author of this piece, Josh Marshall, on the TPM site gives a very eloquent analysis of Perkins, well worth your while to check out!