Article image
Robert Reich
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Saturday 3 December 2011
“In short, we rejected the notion that each of us is on his or her own in a competitive contest for survival.”

The Rebirth of Social Darwinism

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What kind of society, exactly, do modern Republicans want? I’ve been listening to Republican candidates in an effort to discern an overall philosophy, a broadly-shared vision, an ideal picture of America.

They say they want a smaller government but that can’t be it. Most seek a larger national defense and more muscular homeland security. Almost all want to widen the government’s powers of search and surveillance inside the United States – eradicating possible terrorists, expunging undocumented immigrants, “securing” the nation’s borders. They want stiffer criminal sentences, including broader application of the death penalty. Many also want government to intrude on the most intimate aspects of private life.

They call themselves conservatives but that’s not it, either. They don’t want to conserve what we now have. They’d rather take the country backwards – before the 1960s and 1970s, and the Environmental Protection Act, Medicare, and Medicaid; before the New Deal, and its provision for Social Security, unemployment insurance, the forty-hour workweek, laws against child labor, and official recognition of trade unions; even before the Progressive Era, and the first national income tax, antitrust laws, and Federal Reserve.

They’re not conservatives. They’re regressives. And the America they seek is the one we had in the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century.

It was an era when the nation was mesmerized by the doctrine of free enterprise, but few Americans actually enjoyed much freedom. Robber barons like the financier Jay Gould, the railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, controlled much of American industry; the gap between rich and poor had turned into a chasm; urban slums festered; children worked long hours in factories; women couldn’t vote and black Americans were subject to Jim Crow; and the lackeys of rich literally deposited sacks of money on desks of pliant legislators.

Most tellingly, it was a time when the ideas of William Graham Sumner, a professor of political and social science at Yale, dominated American social thought. Sumner brought Charles Darwin to America and twisted him into a theory to fit the times.

Few Americans living today have read any of Sumner’s writings but they had an electrifying effect on America during the last three decades of the 19th century.

To Sumner and his followers, life was a competitive struggle in which only the fittest could survive – and through this struggle societies became stronger over time. A correlate of this principle was that government should do little or nothing to help those in need because that would interfere with natural selection.

Listen to today’s Republican debates and you hear a continuous regurgitation of Sumner. “Civilization has a simple choice,” Sumner wrote in the 1880s. It’s either “liberty, inequality, survival of the fittest,” or “not-liberty, equality, survival of the unfittest. The former carries society forward and favors all its best members; the latter carries society downwards and favors all its worst members.”

Sound familiar?

Newt Gingrich not only echoes Sumner’s thoughts but mimics Sumner’s reputed arrogance. Gingrich says we must reward “entrepreneurs” (by which he means anyone who has made a pile of money) and warns us not to “coddle” people in need. He calls laws against child labor “truly stupid,” and says poor kids should serve as janitors in their schools. He opposes extending unemployment insurance because, he says,  ”I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing.”

Sumner, likewise, warned against handouts to people he termed “negligent, shiftless, inefficient, silly, and imprudent.”

Mitt Romney doesn’t want the government to do much of anything about unemployment. And he’s dead set against raising taxes on millionaires, relying on the standard Republican rationale millionaires create jobs.

Here’s Sumner, more than a century ago: “Millionaires are the product of natural selection, acting on the whole body of men to pick out those who can meet the requirement of certain work to be done… It is because they are thus selected that wealth aggregates under their hands – both their own and that intrusted to them … They may fairly be regarded as the naturally selected agents of society.” Although they live in luxury, “the bargain is a good one for society.”

Other Republican hopefuls also fit Sumner’s mold. Ron Paul, who favors repeal of Obama’s healthcare plan, was asked at a Republican debate in September what medical response he’d recommend if a young man who had decided not to buy health insurance were to go into a coma. Paul’s response: “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks.” The Republican crowd cheered.

In other words, if the young man died for lack of health insurance, he was responsible. Survival of the fittest.

Social Darwinism offered a moral justification for the wild inequities and social cruelties of the late nineteenth century. It allowed John D. Rockefeller, for example, to claim the fortune he accumulated through his giant Standard Oil Trust was “merely a survival of the fittest.” It was, he insisted “the working out of a law of nature and of God.”

Social Darwinism also undermined all efforts at the time to build a nation of broadly-based prosperity and rescue our democracy from the tight grip of a very few at the top. It was used by the privileged and powerful to convince everyone else that government shouldn’t do much of anything.

Not until the twentieth century did America reject Social Darwinism. We created the large middle class that became the core of our economy and democracy. We built safety nets to catch Americans who fell downward through no fault of their own. We designed regulations to protect against the inevitable excesses of free-market greed. We taxed the rich and invested in public goods – public schools, public universities, public transportation, public parks, public health – that made us all better off.

In short, we rejected the notion that each of us is on his or her own in a competitive contest for survival.

But make no mistake: If one of the current crop of Republican hopefuls becomes president, and if regressive Republicans take over the House or Senate, or both, Social Darwinism is back.

This article was originally posted on Robert Reich's blog.



Author pic
ABOUT Robert Reich

 

ROBERT B. REICH, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future;” “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org. Robert Reich's new film, "Inequality for All" is available on DVD
and blu-ray, and on Netflix in February.

Outstanding article Mr.

Outstanding article Mr. Reich, I have a greater motivation than ever to do what I can to stop the Republicans. Not to worry, I believe in working with the system.

They've got the money, we've got the numbers. We're taking over! OK, it is a slight ripoff of Jim Morrison.

We are a democracy, the majority chooses the course of government. It works in the favor of people who act. If people are mobilized to choose a course away from these monsters then it will happen. Apathy will kill us.

"Why should I pay for someone

"Why should I pay for someone else's healthcare"? Well, for starters - what a sociopathic, shortsighted, selfish attitude. There, now that I've gotten that out of my system: for the same good reasons that America already HAS "socialism" - and has had it for nearly 200 years. Colonial Charleston, SC, tried private fire departments. The results were hilarious, with competing fire departments intentionally burning down the houses of their competitor's clients, refusing to stop a potentially city-destroying fire because one of the clients hadn't paid his premium, etcetcetc - READ UP on it! It's one of the most HYSTERICAL explanations of why the "privatize everything" crowd is so full of s--t! To be more respectful about it: you "should" want collective health care for the same reasons we now have collective road-building, fire departments, police departments, etc etc etc - the "socialism we've had for 200 years" - because it is MUCH better for ensuring a healthy and functioning society as a whole. Want to live in a country with massive outbreaks of polio, aids, chicken-pox, measles, flu, etcetcetc?? Think you'll be able to prosper in such a society?!?!

Before you respond to a

Before you respond to a posting take time to wake up and think. Look up the definition of socialism. We have certainly not had socialism for two hundred years. Here's an education: "Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system.[1] "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises, common ownership, autonomous public ownership or state ownership.[2] As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs."
Where have you seen the common ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy? What does the fire department have to do with the mode of production. Socialism has not been part of this country and never will happen unless there is a giant overhaul of the constitution. My remark about "taking over" has to do with creating a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. There is something called context. What I wrote is in the context of Reich's article. It would appear that the Republicans want a country pandering to the rich and corporations. I do not want the country to show a disinterest in the people. This country was founded on the idea that we are all created equal and that the country puts the power in the hands of its citizens.
One more time, I oppose the Republicans. There is nothing in what I said about privatizing everything. Quite the opposite, I oppose the Republicans because they appear to favor a country dominated by corporations.
Oh, you called me a sociopath. A sociopath has the following: "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." I favor the rights of others, I advocated mobilizing the people to chose a course away from these monsters. Gee what would the monsters be, Republicans perhaps. Why would I attack the Republicans, read Reich's article again.
I said, "I believe in working with the system." The system for most people is the government. The government operates under the Constitution which guarantees certain rights for our citizens. Read the Constitution, it might surprise you.
For starters, learn how to think for yourself, get an education, learn how to read, and think critically. Normally, I would look on 'this' (psst writing a response) as a waste of my time. However, I believe everyone can learn. How optimistic of me.

They've got the money, we've

They've got the money, we've got the numbers. We're taking over! OK, it is a slight ripoff of Jim Morrison.We are a democracy, the majority chooses the course of government. It works in the favor of people who act. If people are mobilized to choose a course away from these monsters then it will happen. Apathy will kill us.

It's not a Republican or

It's not a Republican or Democrat thing, It's a them (shadow government) imbedded in both parties that look to strip us all of our sovereign rights as US citizens and US (the American people). We all saw on Friday the Senate only had 7 people vote against the bill that in affect strips the bill of right from all citizens. You could in effect be detained indefinitely and every taking off or American soil.

Carlton,Some people have no

Carlton,Some people have no choice. It is not the jobless that have no insurance. It is the working poor.

@Chuck Larlham et al., Don't

@Chuck Larlham et al., Don't get me wrong here I am definitely not a Social Darwinist. However I am a biology teacher and evolution operates both within species and between them. Those individuals of a species with the best genetic make ups are selected by their environments to prosper. The most aggressive, cunning lion will succeed in making the most kills if female and will succeed in taking over the pride by defeating the old head lion of the pride if male. He will thereby gain access to all the females of the pride to reproduce his genes.
Also the fastest, healthiest zebra with the best markings will have the greatest chance of survival in the heard and the best chance of passing on his or her genes.
So, why am I not a believer in Social Darwinism? Well, what defines the human animal is not just brute strength, speed, attractive coloration, intelligence and sociability but also, I believe, the ability to work together for the benefit of all the members of the society. Over the past several years in our country the "Social Contract" has been abbrogated by the so called Conservatives. Under the New Deal legislation was enacted which made it possible for almost all members who were willing to contribute to be justly rewarded for their labors. It was recognized that a society needed the efforts of many individuals with diverse talents to be rewarded and there was a sense that we were all in this together. What the neo con men have done is to stigmatize one group or another in order to divide and conquer. They have been quite successful at doing this I believe because that is what the corporate power brokers want. Contrary to neo con delusional ideas corporations are not people and they care only for the betterment of their stockholders and/or CEOs. They are I believe run by individuals who are for the most part sociopaths who care for neither their own employees, nor countries, nor society in general.
I believe that only governments can care properly for their citizens and currently the government of the USA (and perhaps through the USA most of the rest of the world) is controlled by corporate power blocks such as; finance, military, industrial, health care, media, to name the biggest players. Unfortunately modern technology has given those corporate powers much more control and power than they have ever had in the past. I am not certain that there is any way that the present power structure of the USA can be removed either violently or non violently. Perhaps the only way things will change for the better is if American hegemony collapses due to its own economic weaknesses.
Until and if this ever happens the country and perhaps the world will head down the path a global 1984 type state.

I absolutely agree with all

I absolutely agree with all of your tenets and could not have articulated them any better. Bravo Sir! When the American and World under and working class sees that the right and left are only a mirage set up to give the illusion of choice things may begin to change for those of us that are crippled by seeing differences instead of similarities. These "evil doers" have had many years of practice at the divide and conquer game. Every thing they have been able to amass has not been due to being “fit” it’s a result of being cunning, greedy thieves of the most corrupt and unscrupulous sort!
Good Day,
Thought Criminal Nat

If Social Darwinists want to

If Social Darwinists want to live by the law of the jungle, like animals, they will live with the consequences. Desperate humans will band together and take what they want by force. Survival instincts are also intrinsic in nature. History has chronicled this process over and over.
Profuse amounts of wealth, held and controlled by a few leads to the worst in human degradation.

If the wealthiest want to

If the wealthiest want to live by the law of the jungle, like animals, then they must accept the fact that the have nots will band together and take by force what they want. It ain't pretty but survival instincts are part of the natural order. Social Darwinists have called the shots, sealed their fate.History has demonstrated that profuse wealth in the hands of a few leads to the worst in human degridation.

Responding to the comment

Responding to the comment that includes a story about failing college students as an analogy to Obamacare where no one chooses to work for him/herself. --> An interesting and provocative fiction. We sure get lots of those from the current "conservative" leaders. That's all the modern Republican party has to offer. Reality or valid evidence is not valued. Nor is consistency with the Gospel. Lots of public proclamation of religiosity. Like the Pharisees who wanted Jesus' crucifixion. Reich is, as usual, "right" on.

Years ago response to Social

Years ago response to Social Darwinism was the Social Gospel -- a religious response. Today the religious right are equated with religious despite the great work of Sojourners, Tikkun Or, Catholic Workers, and others.

Populism was the political of the Social Gospel, but populism takes a lot of hits from liberals and others. In U.S. history courses and texts populists were dismissed, after a nod or two for “some good ideas,” (This list includes federal income tax, food and drug laws, municipal ownership of utilities, bans on corporate financing of campaigns, direct election of senators -- pretty impressive.) Why don’t (liberal) historians and American give populists their due? Is it because populists were racist? But then so were Democrats and their" solid South" who even FDR did not want to offend. Because populists tend to religious and liberals secular? But then liberals had no problem with The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of God.

Because populists are rural hicks, and liberals are sophisticated urbanites? Maybe, at least to the extent it reflects an ECONOMIC difference, because that, I’ve concluded, it the main reason populism can’t stay on the table as one of respectable political options.

According to William Jennings Bryan biographer, Michael Kazin, Bryan was the person most responsible for the Democrats economic stance. And WJB was ridiculed via the Scopes Trial which has usefully used to ridicule populist ideas. Few know the real reason WJB feared Darwinism: it would be applied to society and the "least of these" would be trampled as the fit triumphed. See Kazin's book p. 298-303 for the true story.

Populist serve ordinary people, but most of today’s Democrats can vote for “free trade”, keeping the insurance companies in charge of health care, and sending 20-year olds from small towns to wars of empire. All of these stands serve the economically powerful, so populism, a real alternative, has to keep being dissed and dismissed.

Needless to say, these are

Needless to say, these are not the republicans of Lincons times. Their goal is the dismanteling of the nation. They have done more damage to us all than any enemy in a time of war. As that young Marine said, he and many others, have taken a sacred oath to protect America from all enemies, external, and internal as well.

Not survival of the fittest,

Not survival of the fittest, survival of the smartest. People need to start taking care of themselves and quit looking for a sugar daddy.

One remark is interesting.

One remark is interesting. (Ron Paul, who favors repeal of Obama’s healthcare plan, was asked at a Republican debate in September what medical response he’d recommend if a young man who had decided not to buy health insurance were to go into a coma. Paul’s response: “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks.” The Republican crowd cheered.In other words, if the young man died for lack of health insurance, he was responsible. Survival of the fittest.). It was HIS choice to not buy insurance, so why should everyone else pay for His lack of forethought. No one buys insurance because they are going to get sick, they buy it in case they do but hoping that they don't.

Mr. Thomas, please don't let

Mr. Thomas, please don't let yourself become bitter and give up on your basic, and true, view of what is really right. Oh, please, keep raising your voice for fairness!Nancy

Mr. Thomas, please don't let

Mr. Thomas, please don't let yourself become bitter and give up on your basic, and true, view of what is really right. Oh, please, keep raising your voice for fairness!Nancy

Social Darwinism is an inane

Social Darwinism is an inane misapplication of the name of the man who first published the basics of evolutionary theory. In no species of which I'm aware, are predators and prey of the same species, and even the same 'herd,' 'pack,' or other social grouping. There are times of extreme stress on populations which result in aberrant behavior, and there is that frog with nasty habits, but as a driver of evolutionary change... internal predation just ain't it.

Unfortunately, the nitwits who came up with this concept didn't understand evolution in the first place, or they would never have called it "Darwinism." In the second place, those who espouse or excuse it today STILL don't understand the concept they're attempting to co-opt. I say this, because Social Darwinism, is built strictly upon intraspecies competition, INCLUDING intraspecies predation at the level only found between carnivores and prey species.

Probably not.

Probably not.

Deborah BuzzyAnd of course

Deborah BuzzyAnd of course all of those programs cost money, wages and benefits for the service men and woman, the homeland security personnel, and the keepers of the jail, of course we could evolve into a society of providing service for the above constituents but who would pay the taxes to support such programs!!!! Without a middle class there is no democratic society.

Robert, if you are right -

Robert, if you are right - and you generally are - there will be blood. A lot of it, just as there was at the birth of the 20th Century.

Campaign Finance Reform. Let

Campaign Finance Reform. Let people hear ideas generated by intelligent and caring civil servants not legislation written and promoted by those who have a vested interest in its passage. Make politics an honorable profession not a stepping stone to big consultIng fees or a job as a lobbyist. Coffee Party is trying to do this. Check them out.

Excellent. It was so

Excellent. It was so unfortunate that Darwin ( picking up Spence's term) used the word "fittest." It was never meant to mean "the biggest, baddest, strongest" as today's usage so often indicates. It meant "those with the best FIT to their environment - a very different thing, and one that requires thought.

The dinosaurs were a thousand times more powerful and aggressive (at least the carnivores) than the little mammals. But when the world changed - climate, asteroid impact, whatever - they were no longer the "fittest" in that environment.

Are we a good "fit" to our environment - the natural world, the billions of humanity - when we are hell-bent on destroying the one and reducing most of the other to misery?

Interesting observation.

Interesting observation. Evolution of the richest is a natural phenom making them the obvious choice to be the deciders and take all the profit? Which makes them richer and, thus, the obvious choice to. . .and take all the profit? Which makes them richer and, thus. . . ? Can you say Military-Corporate-Political-Supreme-Court Complex?

You are 100% on target with

You are 100% on target with your remarks!!

Social Darwinism being used

Social Darwinism being used by Christians Creationist.

Exactly...what hypocrites!

Exactly...what hypocrites!

Between making altruism bad

Between making altruism bad and redacting social justice from their Bibles, the neo-conservatives have made it clear the only thing they worship is mammon; they USE religion only when they need the evangelical and Catholic vote. At all other times, they make it amply evident that profit is the measuring stick and the needs of children are not worth counting. They perceive children as a cheap labor force who should not be allowed a "childhood" to play an instrument, learn a sport, experiment w/art and dance, etc. They want a gov small enough to drown in the bathtub, because that's what a fascist gov looks like; it drowns out the voices of the 99%.

While the GOP actively seek to do harm; the DEMS bipartisanship us into the SAME EXACT OUTCOME.

I am greatly displeased with both parties and think we need to kick out the bankers and hedge fund managers and rewrite our constitution like Iceland did:

Read THEIR NEW CONSTITUTION: http://agora.is/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Iceland_New_Constitutional_Bill.

Article 93 requires disclosure and truthfulness! FOIA won't happen THERE: http://www.propublica.org/article/government-could-hide-existence-of-rec...

Article 88 requires gov servants pony up conflicts of interest

Article 6 ensures equality in a way the US Constitution fails to do. It includes FINANCIAL POSITION!

And those are just 3 highlights...

If we want to call ourselves "exceptional" we need to start doing exceptional things!

Continual progress toward

Continual progress toward what, extinction? When a people damage their environment there is nothing left. Progress is when we open our eyes stop consuming like a herd of cattle and become environmentally sane.Look at nature, you can learn form that.We do not have to be caught is someone else bad story or nightmare.Let's build our story as we the people want it. We need tap our consciousness and intuition and claim a new paradigm.

...

...

I think that Newt Gingrich

I think that Newt Gingrich played a big part in reviving Social Darwinism theory... I've started to hear state Republicans quoting long-dead political and social theorists too. Gingrich took politics in a different direction when he was Speaker of the House - everything became about theoretical strategies for the party to win, and ideology became irrelevant. Speaker Boehner has taken that to heart - block everything so that the President looks bad, regardless of the consequences to the country. I hope that voters will recognize the ploy and turn out the Republicans en masse.

I think you're off about this

I think you're off about this - the problem is that Democrats are just not different enough. They are not the same. A strong grassroots movement can make that difference even greater.

I think you're off about this

I think you're off about this - the problem is that Democrats are just not different enough. They are not the same. A strong grassroots movement can make that difference even greater.

Thank you for the

Thank you for the article.
Where will it end with conservatives who believe in Social Darwinism?
What do they fear? And what do they fear more?
Do they want to live in land no different than the streets of Calcutta?
Who wants to see a caste society with streets of homeless elderly and Dicken's children begging for their lives? The elderly and children are statistically the poorest among us.
Truly, it is bizarre to believe everyone can "make it" on their own.

...that Republicans who

...that Republicans who believe in Social Darwinism, don't want to believe in Darwin--not "Eat the Rich." The reason? It's tough meat and hard to swallow. And I am sure that meat marinated in greed and selfishness wouldn't be good for me...

Yes, I have been thinking

Yes, I have been thinking that for years...

Thank Mr. Reich. Your oped

Thank Mr. Reich. Your oped only confirms what I read in Jules Archers book "The Plot To Seize The White House". The Right doesnt want to change the government. They want to over throw the government ! In 1967 this was confirmed in the investigation in the "Dickstein-McCormick House Committe On UnAmerican Affairs".

Does anyone else find it

Does anyone else find it oddly amusing that today's Social Darwinists don't believe in Darwin?

Heck, I've been saying eat

Heck, I've been saying eat the rich for years.

Not rich, thieves would be a

Not rich, thieves would be a better name.

I believe that Herbert

I believe that Herbert Spencer was the one who came up with Social Darwinism back in the 19th Century. Sumner was an American academic who bought the package and passed it around.

Excellent article as usual,

Excellent article as usual, except you forgot to mention that Democrats and Republicans are the same. Beholden to their moneyed masters and as such they are all corrupt and suscribe to social darwinism, of course they, politicians of the donkey and the elephant brands are the most evolved and deserving of the fruits of their corrupted actions. While the rest of us can fight it out in the evolutionary social field.

I think you're off about this

I think you're off about this - the problem is that Democrats are just not different enough. They are not the same. A strong grassroots movement can make that difference even greater.

Just as the billionaire-backed Tea Party has dragged the Republicans to the right, people-backed movements can drag the Democrats to the left.

All very accurate, Mr. Reich.

All very accurate, Mr. Reich. But, go one step further. British liberalism, such as Bentham, are also identical with Social Darwinism. Both are based on seeing human beings as cattle, and defending the role and right of oligarchs to cull the herd. Redistributing the wealth, when the production of wealth has collapsed, is no less evil than what you describe: they are equally fascist. The American system, was based upon mankind's ability for continual progress, not accepting a "limit to growth", rejecting another variety of Social Darwinism, called Malthusianism.

Historically, revolutions

Historically, revolutions begin when the price of bread is too high for the general populace to feed their families. I would be careful if I were the rich who disdain the survival of the masses.

Too big to fail? Or just too

Too big to fail? Or just too big to arrest. Folks like myself, independent business owners who obeyed the law and tried to run an honest business within our communities wound up loosing everything due to the conduct of corrupt banks, industrialists, and politicians. Our loss puts us into the category of those who deserve to die. Natural selection at work. So what is the difference from all this and just simply being the victim of a home invasion, or a mugging on the street. Hey, natural selection at work. As soon as we try to abide with a system of laws, of wanting to be a part of a functioning society, of being "civilized" and "moral"--we are the losers.

THE NEW AMERICAN PIRATES, ARE

THE NEW AMERICAN PIRATES, ARE KILLING AMERICANS.

This is not about glamorized or fictional piracy. This is, “real piracy.”

Hundreds of our wealthiest leaders and most powerful corporations know that in the next few years, they will be able to siphon, skim, and steal, so much “NEW CASH,” that they and their progeny will be ultra-rich for generations to come.

No, this is not funny, or fiction, or a conspiracy, it is just simple greed and simple theft.
The new pirates of America have launched an all-out siege on us in order to capture, amass, and hold trillions of dollars for themselves.

All of the recent political power grabs and nonsensical debating is purely a slight-of-hand deflection. President Obama, Democrats, Republicans, the International Press, and even the Tea Party, are watching the tiny pea in the shell game…while the rich and powerful “Piratical Right” is stealing America right out from under us.

Consider that their combined total plunder from corporate flipping, downsizing, offshore labor, speculation, price fixing of oil and energy plus, corruption in defense, healthcare, banking, student loans, foreclosures, etc., etc., is a trillion dollar treasure for these pirates.
Go ahead, put your own calculator to it.

Are they smarter than we are? Yes, and they are laughing at us. I, we, you, and all of us, have not been able see the big picture of what is happening to our own country and to our own people. The rape and theft of America, has been cleverly packaged, promoted, and sold under the guise of “cost-cutting,” “deregulation,” and “free enterprise.”

The “Piratical Right” is directly responsible for millions of people dying, getting sick, losing their jobs and homes, losing their ability to fight, their spirit, and even losing their will to live. The sick smell of this carnage now permeates the air across America.

To us, this is all unimaginable, because we look for some sense or the morality of things. These modern-day American pirates however, have no moral compass. They are devoid of any conscience, humanity or soul, and are feeding on the flesh of the American people.

Don’t look to the President, the Senate, Congress, the press, or any political party to help. Sadly, they just don’t see it, don’t care, or are part of it. “We the people” are on our own. Start asking questions. Demand answers. If we don’t fight back America…who will?

History has taught us how to stop piracy.

V

Agree. We know what's wrong

Agree. We know what's wrong and the fix is up to us. Like FDR said "Restore America to its own people. How do we do that. Not at the ballot box. That process is as corrupt as DC and Wallstreet. Change will come only when whoever holds the elected office is more afraid of us that he is of his corporate masters.

Dear Mr. Reich,Right on, but

Dear Mr. Reich,Right on, but I wonder what took you so long to comment on Social Darwinism's reemergence into prominence using slightly words and images. Just the other evening I had to explain to my wife what I meant by my comment about Social Darwinism coming back. Of course, it's been around in some circles since I can remember, 1960s.Gerald Sutliff

All good points, but Reich

All good points, but Reich should also point out that Facism and Communism (Darwin was perfect for Marx's dielectic) ALSO both had their intellectual roots in Social Darwinism. A pox on all their houses.

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