The Real Big Brother

It’s a billionaire’s world and the biggest of them all is in the thick of it, as Eric Zuesse explains.

By Eric Zuesse
Strategic Culture

Jeff Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post, which leads America’s news-media in their almost 100 percent support and promotion of neoconservatism, American imperialism and wars. This includes sanctions, coups, and military invasions against countries that America’s billionaires want to control but don’t yet control — such as Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya, and China.

These are aggressive wars against countries which have never aggressed against the United States. They are not, at all, defensive, but the exact opposite. It’s not necessarily endless war (even Hitler hadn’t planned that), but war until the entire planet has come under the control of the U.S. Government, a government that is itself controlled by America’s billionaires, the funders of neoconservatism and imperialism — in both major American political parties, think tanks, newspapers, TV networks, etcetera.

Bezos has been a crucial part of neoconservatism, ever since, at the June 6-9 2013 Bilderberg meeting, he arranged with Donald Graham, the Washington Post’s owner, to buy that newspaper, for $250 million. Bezos had already negotiated, in March of that same year, with the neoconservative CIA Director, John Brennan, for a  $600 million ten-year cloud computing contract that transformed Amazon corporation, from being a reliable money-loser, into a reliably profitable firm.

That caused Bezos’s net worth to soar even more (and at a sharper rate of rising) than it had been doing while it had been losing money. He became the most influential salesman not only for books, but for the CIA, and for such mega-corporations as Lockheed Martin. Imperialism has supercharged his wealth, but it didn’t alone cause it. Bezos might be the most ferociously gifted business-person on the planet.

Some of America’s billionaires don’t care about international conquest as much as he does, but all of them at least accept neoconservatism; none of them, for example, establishes and donates large sums to, anti-imperialistic organizations; none of America’s billionaires is determined to end the reign of neoconservatism, nor even to help the fight to end it, or at least to end its grip over the U.S. government. None. Not even a single one of them does.

Plutocrat Bezos at the Pentagon with then Defense Secretary Ash Carter, May 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

But many of them establish and donate large sums to neoconservative organizations, or run neocon organs such as The Washington Post.  That’s the way billionaires are, at least in the United States. All of them are imperialists. They sponsor it; they promote it and hire people who do, and demote or get rid of people who don’t. Expanding an empire is extremely profitable for its aristocrats, and always has been, even before the Roman Empire.

Bezos wants to privatize everything around the world that can become privatized, such as education, highways, health care, and pensions. The more that billionaires control those things, the less that everyone else does; and preventing control by the public helps to protect billionaires against democracy that would increase their taxes and government regulations that would reduce their profits by increasing their corporations’ expenses. So, billionaires control the government in order to increase their takings from the public.

With the help of the war promotion of  The Washington Post, Bezos is one of the world’s top personal sellers to the U.S. military-industrial complex. He controls and is the biggest investor in Amazon corporation, whose Web Services division supplies all cloud-computing services to the Pentagon, CIA and NSA. (He’s leading the charge in the most advanced facial recognition technology too.)

In April there was a headline, “CIA Considering Cloud Contract Worth ‘Tens of Billions’,” which contract could soar Bezos’s personal wealth even higher into the stratosphere, especially if he wins all of it (as he previously did).

He also globally dominates, and is constantly increasing his control over the promotion and sale of books and films, because his Amazon is the world’s largest retailer (and now also one of the largest publishers, producers and distributors.) That, too, can have a huge impact upon politics and government, indirectly, by promoting the most neocon works helping to shape intellectual discourse (and voters’ votes) in the country.

Bezos is crushing millions of retailers by his unmatched brilliance at controlling one market after another as Amazon or as an essential middleman for — and often even a controller of — Amazon’s retail competitors.

He is a strong believer in “the free market”, which he has mastered perhaps better than anyone. This means that Bezos supports the unencumbered ability of billionaires, by means of their money, to control and eventually absorb all who are less powerful than they.

Because he is so enormously gifted himself at amassing wealth, he has thus-far been able to rise to the global top, as being one of the world’s most powerful individuals. The wealthiest of all is King Salman— the owner of Saudi Arabia, whose Aramco (the world’s largest oil company) is, alone, worth over a trillion dollars. (Forbes and Bloomberg exclude monarchs from their wealth-rankings.)

President Donald Trump touches lighted globe with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman at the opening of Saudi Arabia’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology on May 21, 2017. (Photo from Saudi TV)

In fact, Bloomberg is even so fraudulent about it as to have headlined on Aug. 10, “The 25 wealthiest dynasties on the planet control $1.4 trillion” and violated their tradition by including on their list one monarch, King Salman, whom they ranked at #4 as owning only $100 million, a ludicrously low ‘estimate’, which brazenly excluded not just Aramco but any of the net worth of Saudi Arabia.

Bloomberg didn’t even try to justify their wacky methodology, but merely presumed the gullibility of their readers for its acceptance. That King, therefore, is at least seven times as rich as Bezos is. He might possibly be as powerful as Bezos is. The supreme heir is lots wealthier even than the supreme self-made billionaire or “entrepreneur” is.

Certainly, both men are among the giants who bestride the world in our era. And both men are libertarians — champions of the belief that property rights (of which, billionaires have so much) are the basis of all rights, and so they believe that the wealthiest people possess the most rights of all, and that the poorest people have the least, and that all persons whose net worths are negative (having more debts than assets) possess no rights except what richer people might donate to or otherwise grant to them, out of kindness or otherwise (such as familial connections).

This — privatization of everything — is what libertarianism is: a person’s worth is his or her “net worth” — nothing else. That belief is pure libertarianism. It’s a belief that many if not most billionaires hold. Billionaires are imperialistic because they seek to maximize the freedom of the super-rich, regardless of whether this means increasing their takings from, or ultimately impoverishing, everyone who isn’t super-rich. They have a coherent ideology. It’s based on wealth. The public instead believes in myths that billionaires enable to be promulgated.

Like any billionaire, Bezos hires and retains employees and other agents who do what he/she wants them to do. This is their direct power. But billionaires also possess enormous indirect power by means of their interdependencies upon one-another, as each large corporation is contractually involved with other corporations, especially with large ones such as they; and, so, whatever power any particular billionaire possesses is actually a shared power, along with the others. (An example was the deal Bezos made with Graham.)

Collectively, they network together, even with ones they might never even have met personally, but only through their representatives, and even with their own major economic competitors. This is collective power which billionaires possess in addition to their individual power as hirers of employees and other agents.

Whereas Winston Smith, in the prophetic allegorical novel 1984, asked his superior and torturer O’Brien, “Does Big Brother exist?”

“‘Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party.’

‘Does he exist in the same way as I exist?’

‘You do not exist,’ said O’Brien.”

Big Brother poster illustrating George Orwell’s novel about modern propaganda, 1984.

This collective power is embodied by Bezos as well as any billionaire does.  A few of the others may embody it too, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Charles Koch, Sergey Brin, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros,  and Jack Dorsey.  They compete against each other, and therefore have different priorities for the U.S. government; but, all of them agree much more than they disagree in regards to what the Government “should” do (especially that the U.S. military should be expanded — at taxpayer’s expense, of course, not their own).

Basically, Big Brother, in the real world is remarkably coherent and unified — far more so than the public is — and this is one of the reasons why they control Government, bypassing the public.

Here is how all of this plays out, in terms of what Bezos’s agents have been doing: 

His Amazon pays low to no federal taxes because the Federal Government has written the tax-laws to encourage companies to do the types of things that Bezos has always wanted Amazon to do.

The U.S. government consequently encourages mega-corporations through taxes and regulations to crush small firms by making it harder for them to grow. That somewhat locks-in the existing aristocracy to be less self-made (as Bezos himself was, but his children won’t be).

Elected politicians overwhelmingly support this because most of their campaign funds were donated by super-rich individuals and their employees and other agents. It’s a self-reinforcing system. Super-wealth controls the government, which (along with the super-wealthy and their corporations) controls the public, which reduces economic opportunity for them. The end-result is institutionally reinforced extreme wealth-inequality, becoming more extreme all the time.

The billionaires are the real Big Brothers. And Bezos is the biggest of them all.

Eric Zuesse is a freelance writer. 


59 comments for “The Real Big Brother

  1. Fran Macadam
    September 6, 2019 at 22:30

    Adam Smith reviled it as The Vile Maxim: “More for me, less for everyone else.”

  2. Mighty Drunken
    September 3, 2019 at 11:06

    For most of its history, even the early years, Amazon did not lose much money. What it did do was invest its revenue so its profits were a lot lower than many shareholders wished for, at first.
    I can believe the article but do we know that Bezos wants to “privatise everything”? It would be good to truly understand such a wealthy and powerful man, not just assume his motivation.

  3. Stephen Merrill
    September 2, 2019 at 08:30

    The last thing libertarians support is aggressive war and the abuse of monopoly power in the economy. Quite the opposite is true.

    Billionaires come to own no-limit democracy invariably. They are the people to win every auction of public policy at the polls and behind closed doors.

    This is why a constitutional republic based on individual liberty is the only form of government that succeeds, so long as the republic can be preserved.

  4. JWalters
    September 1, 2019 at 21:45

    Who financed Amazon all that time it was losing money? There’s your billionaire factory, and its board of directors.

  5. September 1, 2019 at 08:55

    An article about Bezos in Strategic Culture Foundation recently stated something not widely discussed, Bezos’ plans to spend billions on his Blue Origins space program. He believes that billions of people can live in space, for which he started Blue Origins in 2000. I often wondered if Bezos is a real human, makes me even more curious!

  6. August 31, 2019 at 12:53

    The solution, tax personal wealth to the point where there a reasonable relationship between the rich guy and the guy or gal who works in a fast food establishment. Pick a target say forty to one. One million to 25K. No loop holes. There are people smart enough to see that wealth is not redirected away from the tax system. They just need the will. Reject the argument that it would stifle innovation. It won’t. Think back to the 1950’s. Very high marginal rates and a healthy innovative society.

  7. Paora
    August 31, 2019 at 02:09

    A great exposition of the contemporary class system without mentioning the word ‘class’. Billionaires’ interests are class interests, their power is a class power, and their ideology (Libertarianism) is a class ideology. Don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade and a capitalist swine a capitalist swine. So much of what passes for ‘Left’ discourse in the West consists of virtue-signalling and appeals to middle class morality. A class perspective gives our critiques a much needed grounding in the interests of a vast majority of humanity.

    • AnneR
      August 31, 2019 at 11:33

      Absolutely right. The problem is that the USA has never, really, admitted that it – just like everywhere else – has a class system. That the working classes are working classes (thus they have been called “middle class” for a long time). And that is how the working classes appear to see themselves – as members of a nebulous “middle class.”

      The lack (apparent more than real) of an aristocracy in its most blatant form, i.e. dukes, ladies (akin to lords), earls and whatnot, has permitted this erroneous perception to exist. Mind you it is interesting to note that Americans who held “titled” posts in the upper levels of government employ continue to be so titled long after they “retired”: e.g. President this or that, General whosits, Secretary so and so….

  8. KiwiAntz
    August 30, 2019 at 19:29

    The recent Death of David Koch, really highlighted the utter stupidity & vain futility of these billionaires & their murderous scheming & dominating plans to enslave others & bend them to their nefarious whims? All is vanity & striving after the wind, King Solomon wrote! For all his scheming & money making endeavours, Koch’s billions of dollars of bribes couldn’t save him from the silence of the Grave? DEATH doesn’t accept US dollars, Gold or Credit cards to buy eternal Life? His Brother is also heading towards the twilight of his life & will shuffle from this mortal coil & join his brother in Hell, a place reserved for all disgusting tyrants! Good riddance? Jeff Bezos & his irk will go the same way as time & tide waits for no one & their pathetic efforts will also equate to nought in the grand scheme of things? Shelley’s Ozymandias poem of Rameses is a metaphor for these seemingly powerful, arrogant Billionaire Men & their schemes which evidently will end in futility & failure!

  9. IvyMike
    August 30, 2019 at 18:00

    If the Billionaires want to take over the world they’re going to have to get a lot better at war. The biggest B’aire of them all has been pounding Yemen for years and hasn’t come close to winning. The last time the Israeli Army invaded Southern Lebanon Hezbollah handed them their asses. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnamistan and Koreastan, it’s not going well for the B’aires. Sadly, they are going to have to bite the bullet and fork over enough tax money to increase the size of the U.S. Military by at least 1000%, they’re going to have to keep an army of at least one million busy just taking over Iran, fighting the Chinese in Korea is going to be even worse, especially considering they’d like to give Russia a bloody nose in Georgia while also working the strings of whoever the Venezuelan puppet turns out to be.

    • Rob
      August 31, 2019 at 11:55

      Indeed. In Yemen, it now appears that Saudi Arabia is throwing in the towel, as their former ally, the UAE, has already done. Their common enemy, the Houthi rebels, have acquired sophisticated drones and missiles that they have used to strike deep within the KSA. This means that ports, petroleum facilities and desalination plants are all vulnerable. So, at tremendous human cost to its citizenry, one of the poorest countries in the world has defeated an alliance of the richest—Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA and the U.K. Will the aggressors, at long last, learn a lesson from this latest defeat? I wouldn’t bet on it. Warmongers and their pals in the weapons industries always want more war.

  10. nondimenticare
    August 30, 2019 at 14:36

    Whenever the question is raised, as it inevitably is, why citizens do not rise up in solidarity, the reasons given are, one, that they are highly propagandized; two, that they are busy putting food on the table; three, their feeling of impotence. All true.

    But my interactions with middle-class friends and relatives lead me to yet another answer: pride. Just as with the British Empire and the homeless man I remember from my time in Denver jumping up and down with joy that the Broncos had won the Super Bowl, people love being “on top,” vicariously if they can’t manage it Bezos-style. There is a certain unspoken (among those who know that outright saying it is unseemly) smugness in being part of the “most important nation on earth,” or even associated with it, in the case of vassal states. It is part of every empire. Is it eradicable?

  11. P. C.
    August 30, 2019 at 14:08

    Tighten up regulations concerning personal political donations. Eliminate corporate political donations. Eliminate special interest group political donations. It does all come back to the money.

  12. Pat
    August 30, 2019 at 11:14

    Can we pleases stop referring or implying that a billionaire can be “self-made.” No one who lives in a society is “self-made.” The whole “self-made” thing is a delusion.

  13. August 30, 2019 at 09:29

    After reading this nice piece by Eric Zuesse,one is left wondering especially those who’ve always followed,copied or (for that matter) imitated Western style democracy, wether it works for the public or in the public interests rather than the rich? What about the corporates & their suffocation of small/medium enterprises? According to Eric,they’re a vehicle through which the world is controlled. Maybe it’s time for people from the billionare run US to lead the rest (especially those who’ve always copied/followed the American way) in a revolution for a real representative form of governance.

  14. Dave
    August 30, 2019 at 06:28

    “a true libertarian would never give government those controls in the first place.”

    That’s why they invented the term and tricked you folks into thinking the “free market” was God and needed to rule the world.

    There’s no such thing as a free market and never has been. Markets are political constructs and therefor cannot exist without politics. No one wants to be in a marketplace that has no rules, no way of making rules, or no way of enforcing them.

    There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It was a multi headed attack that also incorporated the neoliberal agenda in order to make both sides incapable of uniting over anything having to do with economic or foreign policy.

    Let’s just make sure we all have a few yellow vests stashed away in the closet for later when the economy crashes again and they impose debt peonage economics globally.

    You can’t have one without the other.

  15. Ivor
    August 30, 2019 at 04:11

    What an extraordinary misrepresentation.

    Jeff Bezos has glided to the top using a series of political connections and big government backers, and you call that libertarian?

    You even say in the piece that Amazon’s profitability is reliant on government contracts, and yet call that libertarian too?

    Bezos is a monopolist – a government crony par excellence.

    Calling him a libertarian is grotesque.

    • Eric Zuesse
      August 31, 2019 at 12:22

      Libertarianism has no unified position regarding antitrust and monopoly. But there is a strong segment of libertarians who preach against antitrust and in favor of monopolies, such as Robert Bork, of the Law & Economics wing of the University of Chicago, who was perhaps the leading political theorist (as opposed to economic theorist) of libertarianism. Though he didn’t create the pro-monopoly wing of libertarianism, he led it to victory, in the law schools and at the U.S. Supreme Court (even though he was too controversial to become admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court). Basically, libertarians are split regarding antitrust.

  16. August 29, 2019 at 19:10

    Libertarianism as it is in the US is a front invented by the Koch family in the 1970s with the Cato Institute to serve the interests of oligarchs.

    • CitizenOne
      August 29, 2019 at 20:49

      A really good book uncovering the Kochs role in developing libertarianism into a movement and the extents they went to fund and create what investigators into the Kochs far raching well funded organizations that form the “Kochtapus” is “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer

      Here is a review:

      Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?

      The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.

      The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws.

      The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights.

      When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.”

      These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network.

      The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reforms have been stymied.

      Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews-including with several sources within the network-and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.

      Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

  17. rosemerry
    August 29, 2019 at 15:26

    This time no mention of my contribution.

  18. rosemerry
    August 29, 2019 at 15:25

    We cannot really blame Bezos and co. as they have not been stopped or even impeded by the forces of democracy we claim we in the West have and use. In the USA at least ever since 1971 and the Powell memorandum, the rich and especially corporations, under the guise of Chamber of Commerce and other like groups, took over the courts, especially the SCOTUS, to ensure the ordinary person had fewer and fewer rights. 2010 and Citizens United brought this into everyone’s vision, but what has happened to stop the takeover by the richest????
    Jeffrey Clements’ book “Corporations are not People” and the movie (now again free online) “Hot Coffee” give ample examples of how this has happened and its effects. Gilens and Page have surveyed the laws passed in Congress and the desires of the population, and there is little relationship between the two, while the desires of the rich are those considered acceptable by the “people’s reps”.

    • CitizenOne
      August 30, 2019 at 20:28

      I saw Hot Coffee. Every time I hear some brainwashed idiot refer to what is wrong about merica is “we got people like that stupid lady that done burned herself and she’s the one gettin rich!?” I stand in awe of the power of propaganda.

      Honestly at this point I am too tired to explain it since they could attend a complete course and probably never figure it out.

      Recently, with some amusement, I saw a tiny piece of paper in the 10 dollar sunglasses I bought and lo and behold it was a miniaturized binding arbitration contract the size of a post-it. What’s next? The other side of the foil wrapper that covers each stick of gum?

  19. August 29, 2019 at 14:40

    The new Quincy Institute, founded by Soros and Koch, to explore peaceful resolution of disputes rather than belligerence, is a strange anomaly. They must have realized their grandchildren need a planet to live on.

  20. Luluna
    August 29, 2019 at 13:49

    This has been known for a long while but it seems only mass human extinction will change it unless somebody out there has a workable solution short of going self sufficient in a remote place Bezos doesn’t want to control.

  21. Babyl-on
    August 29, 2019 at 12:37

    No government official made an independent decision to drop the Atomic bombs, certainly Truman did not (even though he signed the order). The decision to use atomic weapons was made by elites deep in the background not in 1945 but at the time the decision was made to devote resources to the Manhattan Project. There was never any question or hesitation by the elites regarding the use of atomic weapons. Additionally, as WWII was ending the elite oligarchy not only used atomic weapons two times evaporating hundreds of thousands NOT for military purposes but as a demonstration that the world now belonged to these elites in other words for political purposes. People talk today, ignorantly, about “perpetual” war in Afghanistan (over 18 years) but that is nothing. There has not been a single day sense August 6, 1945 when the US, in deference t0 the elite oligarchy has not killed people THERE HAS BEEN PERPETUAL DAY IN AND DAY OUT SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR OVER 75 YEARS.

    That is just the slaughter part. Billions of people all over the world, Africa, Latin America have lived suffered and died without a chance of even the most minimal comfort.

    No force on earth has ever caused so much human suffering than the United States of America – a feudal country.

    WE the elites say to you, god has given you “rights” and WE are here to protect your “rights” which you got from god. In other words rule by divine right, capitalism and liberal democracy are nothing but a patina over a feudal system.

  22. August 29, 2019 at 12:27

    The muscle to enforce this status quo is the US Military. It never was the real purpose of this organization to fight foreign wars in defence of the country, but to bring to heel the rest of the world and in keeping the American people inside their homes, obediant and off the streets. Thank God we have China and Russia to defend us against the worst abuses of the Besos of the world.

  23. Zalamander
    August 29, 2019 at 12:21

    In this capitalist world, only Big Brother oligarchs exists while the lives of the working class are but ghosts.

  24. kiers
    August 29, 2019 at 12:03

    Bezos’ JEDI contract will help automate war via cloud training AI. Autonomous war.

  25. August 29, 2019 at 11:59

    The perspective as to what “libertarianism” is, is unfortunately distorted. Distrust of government at any level is its major characteristic, including excluding government from regulating human habits and interactions, hardly “Big Brotherish”. The Libertarian Party is not representative in many respects of libertarian logic, especially with respect to anachronistic economic policies such as worship of the gold standard, but is opposed to the pro-monopoly government imposed policies that make most billionaires possible.

    • Surrealisto
      August 29, 2019 at 15:29

      Libertarianism is more about live, let live and and leave alone, than it is “He Who Has the Most Toys Wins.”

    • Rob
      August 29, 2019 at 19:42

      Seriously, the only conceivable force that can block the formation of monopolies is government, which does so by enforcing anti-monopoly laws and regulations. It is only in the absence of such enforcement that monopolies thrive. Thus governments are responsible for monopolistic behavior when they shirk this most important duty, which is, not coincidentally, the real reason why libertarians are so vehemently opposed to regulation of business activities?

  26. August 29, 2019 at 11:51

    No wonder Tulsi is being fraudulently excluded from future Democratic Party “debates”, she is not as controllable as the other candidates. Take a pledge, no Tulsi, no vote for any Democratic Party candidates, for anything!!!!! And when the fear mongering reaches epic proportions with pleas to harken to lesser evils, keep the pledge!

    • Kay Karpus Walker
      August 29, 2019 at 22:03

      Thank you, Guillermo Calvo Mahe for this comment.

    • Abby
      August 30, 2019 at 23:39

      Explain to me how Tulsi can be anti military and yet she is a member of it? Doesn’t anyone else see the contradiction here? Sure she says that she is against regime change and yet she joined during the Iraq war which was a regime change war.
      Tulsi’s supporters are saying that she is being screwed by the DNC, but she of all people know the inner workings of it and now she sees how they are disqualifying her from the debate. Why isn’t she talking out about it? And she too signed the contract stating if she doesn’t win she will back whomever does even if they cheat Bernie again which they are doing. Sorry, but Tulsi is not who people think she is. IMO of course.

      • Zhu
        August 31, 2019 at 06:09

        Gabbard is anti-war because of her military experience. Many are. I am.

      • September 2, 2019 at 22:07

        Abby, go on line and watch the initial podcast of “Useful Idiots” from Rolling Stones with Matt Taibbi. On that inaugural airing, Tulsi Gabbard is the only person being interviewed and her interview will answer all your questions and doubts. BTW, skip the first 25 minutes as Matt and Katie, the hosts, do a bunch of silly stuff which they should never have done. Just push forward to when Tulsi joins them and you will have a wonderful surprise.

  27. evelync
    August 29, 2019 at 11:29

    Great analysis of the reality we live in.
    There’s one crack in the unlimited power of Jeff Bezos.
    In spite of his huuuuge predation and monopolistic accumulation of wealth at the expense of sustainability, he must IMO feel some kind of emptiness that no amount of money or power can overcome. I say this as a way of explaining to myself how it could be that such a brilliant “successful” person could foolishly risk his empire by sending run of the mill selfies (a la Weiner, Favre, et al…) to a female acquaintance and risk getting caught doing it? A bizarre occurrence that cost him his marriage.
    There’s something missing in this man that he is incapable, apparently, of coping with or fulfilling.
    Something missing in his life or a buried desire to be caught for some mysterious reason….
    That doesn’t make these people any less dangerous.
    The world is becoming more ruthless and unsustainable and dangerous given advances in technology. I think that Elon Musk’s theory may be correct – that the reason we have not encountered “intelligent” life on other planets is because the nature of evolution drives “intelligent life” to destroy itself by making unsustainable choices driven by short term aggression/predation.
    Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” was prescient. Fire is probably the odds on bet but there will be no one left to collect it.

    At least Cardi B and Killer Mike and the prof who wrote “What Kind of Mayor Was Bernie Sanders” (Dreier and Clavel) and Noam Chomsky and other gentle souls are pitching in to fight off the lies and distortions of the MICIMATT to try to elect a “decent, honest New Deal democrat” according to Prof Chomsky….

    It’s the election of a lifetime.
    Will we be able to pull it off? To elect someone who won’t be bought….

    • Judith Polinsky
      August 30, 2019 at 11:09

      Trump will lose. The Globalists have set it up with Trump’s permission. They’re having him play the bumbling, fool Conservative so when the big crash occurs(Economic Reset) the Central banks will what they’ve have working toward and it will be blamed on Conservatives.

      Calling These liberal democrats Neoconservatives is a joke.

  28. Rob
    August 29, 2019 at 11:16

    Great piece that lays bare the malignant nature of the super-rich. And, I might add, kudos to Bernie Sanders for directly taking on Jeff Bezos, Amazon and, by extension, the entire billionaire class. Elizabeth Warren deserves props as well.

    As for libertarianism, it is a fraud. Weak-minded believers are taken in by the shiny philosophical veneer of personal responsibility and individual liberty. Beneath that veneer lies the essential core of the movement: Rich people should be allowed to make and keep as much money as they want. All the rest is high-minded sounding crap. The suckers who devour Ayn Randian nonsense for lunch somehow fail to realize how their personal freedom is restricted when practically all wealth is in the hands of a few individuals and corporations.

    There is a paradox, however. Why do so many libertarians oppose the foreign policy adventurism and regime-change wars that their neoconservative overlords promote? As I see it, this is more evidence of the shallowness of thought that characterizes the mass of libertarian followers.

    • evelync
      August 29, 2019 at 11:49

      Yes, Rob, libertarianism is a view that is two dimensional, shallow and therefore self contradicting and even hypocritical.
      And I often wonder if there is a genetic basis for our political leanings…
      We may be a combination of Cro Magnon and Neanderthal. Perhaps one of those two members of homo sapiens was sweeter and one was more predatory in nature. Not unlike differences in the ant world – hmmmm…..

      The paradox you mention is puzzling… may represent a (subliminal) internal world view of the end point of what Libertarian means to these people – perhaps, for example, Libertarians see a conflict between liberty on the one hand and oppression/destruction/imperialism…..who knows….I think we have a long way to go as a species to understand our own perceptions and contradiction…

  29. Antonio Costa
    August 29, 2019 at 11:08

    Haven’t heard from Mr. Zuesse in recent years. Good to read this. Recommend as a supplement, Giants The Global Power Elites by Peter Phillips. It’s an update on the 1957 C. Wright Mills: The Power Elite. There’s always the seminal work on this topic by David Korten When Corporations Rule the World.

    I highly recommend both. Here’s an interview with Phillips by Abby Martin:

  30. TomG
    August 29, 2019 at 10:28

    This seems like a rather one-sided criticism of neo-cons and libertarian conflation without any view to the neo-liberal policies that undergird the whole system. I’m not a libertarian, but even so, I can see the fundamental flaw in conflating libertarianism with the billionaire boys club. These uber-wealthy get their perks from control of government and a true libertarian would never give government those controls in the first place.

  31. August 29, 2019 at 09:04

    President Trump asked his national security staff to review Ukraine’s military financing program .”The asset of Russia”: trump froze military aid to Ukraine

    “The asset of Russia”: trump froze military aid to Ukraine

  32. Bob Van Noy
    August 29, 2019 at 08:59

    Thank you Eric Zuesse. I don’t think anybody has described our American business and political dilemma quite as clearly and as well as you have here, no easy task. I’m a big fan of John Kenneth Galbraith and I’m reminded of Henry Luce’s comment that, “I taught Galbreath how to write and I’ve certainly regretted it.”

    Thank you Eric Zuesse and Consortiumnews…

  33. August 29, 2019 at 08:49

    I work to elect @HowieHawkins20 @H’20 in December 2020 ELECTORAL COLLEGE and tax each traded stock a penny @ Wall Street computers…. real persons real citizens real voters can defeat polluter oil war crime profiteering bankster zionists with Presidential Matching Funds communicating door to door phone to phone and port to port

    • Steve Naidamast
      August 30, 2019 at 14:34

      Yeah, good luck with that!

  34. August 29, 2019 at 08:18

    Such a sick world…

  35. Sally Snyder
    August 29, 2019 at 07:54

    As shown in this article, Senators from the Republican Party have proposed one key change to the tax code that will worsen America’s growing wealth divide:

    Once again, Congress is acting in the best interests of its wealthy donor class.

  36. Zhu
    August 29, 2019 at 07:03

    If there’s a big revolt by the pooe, what will the billionaires do?

    • Sam F
      August 29, 2019 at 16:50

      But here in isolated America the oligarchy can retreat behind walls, keep the rest supplied with bread and circus, employ the hypocrites to suppress rebellions in their own interest, etc. Even with worldwide embargoes against the US, this could drag on for centuries.

      This seems likely become a civil conflict without end, as the various libertarians, secessionists, demonstrators, and a few activists are infiltrated and destroyed by totalitarian operations. Fools will always assume that the media narrative is true, that officials do no harm, and a few armed fools go a long way in suppressing the people. We may have lost democracy permanently.

      • Zhu
        August 31, 2019 at 06:14

        Sam F, do you think the praetorians and the janissaries won’t join tjevrevolts?

      • Sam F
        September 2, 2019 at 06:44

        Zhu, I don’t know of such internal revolts in modern developed nations; perhaps vetting is sufficient to prevent them. There are occasional military revolts, but usually either refusals to continue a hopeless war, or seizures of power by and for generals. The USSR collapse merits further study, but seems unlikely to resemble any future US situation.

        The bread and circus that placates fools is simply amplified for internal control forces.

  37. Zhu
    August 29, 2019 at 07:02

    When global warming kicks the billioaires in the head and denial isn’t working, what will they do?

    • lexx
      August 30, 2019 at 18:30

      do you really think those habitats they are testing is to colonise mars?

      • Zhu
        August 31, 2019 at 05:46

        Lexx, some are probably dumb enough to think they can Terraform Mars or Vega. It happens in SF noveks and movies ….

  38. Zhu
    August 29, 2019 at 07:00

    When no one can buy their goodies, what will the billionaires do?

    • September 2, 2019 at 10:54

      You don’t understand the plan. The plan is to reduce the world population to under one billion people. I have heard they hope to reduce the US population to a maximum of 75 million. People who Aren’t part of the elite few are considered human cattle to be culled when necessary and always controlled. That is why such monsters as George Soros push the global warming scam.

  39. Zhu
    August 29, 2019 at 06:17

    Of Bezos et al. impoverish everyone, there ‘ll be no one to buy their goods and services. Probably there wiuld be major revolts rather before that

    Global warming is likely to kick the plutocrats i n the head, too. Tellung themselve “its not happening!” won’t work. Nor will moving to Mars or Alpha Centauri. We are nowhere near having that technology.

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