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The Socialist Transfer of Wealth

Who are the real 1%?

by
David Solway

Bio

February 26, 2012 - 12:07 am
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Ignorance and self-infatuated stupidity cannot be discounted. But malice in the form of rampant self-interest and unadulterated greed is surely a significant factor as well. What goes generally unremarked is that such destructive wealth transfer schemes as we’ve been discussing, initiated by governments, NGOs, and international organizations like the UN, have less to do with the operation of “social conscience” and the amelioration of people’s lives, which are mere peripherals, than they do with personal aggrandizement and the amassing and ensuring of in-group prerogatives. Nations may flounder, and more and more among the growing sector of the jobless will find their entitlements and welfare payments progressively devalued. But those who have inveighed against the private accumulation of wealth and engineered the catastrophic policies that have only exacerbated the socioeconomic climate are themselves largely untouched by economic hardship. Indeed, whether they are unelected and unaccountable EU bureaucrats junketing in Brussels, UN functionaries enjoying the perquisites of Turtle Bay, or American legislators and government notables intent on preserving a tumescent lifestyle, they will not suffer. Their status, property, and fiscal assets remain secure.

For they are the real legatees of the wealth-transfer ideology. It makes little difference which political system they flourish in; it is easy to smell the fitch in their repertoire of inanities. In his major work The New Class, Milovan Djilas reveals how a cadre of theoretically ameliorist “managers,” supposedly adhering to socialist principles, acquired power, wealth, and privilege at the expense of “the people” whom they ostensibly served and for whose welfare they declared themselves ready to make any sacrifice. The dictatorship of the proletariat was really the dictatorship of a bureaucratic aristocracy. One is reminded of the old joke about Leonid Brezhnev, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, showing off his collection of vintage cars and priceless paintings to his visiting mother. “But my son,” she tremulously asks, “what if the Communists find out?”

Wealth has certainly been transferred, but in the last analysis not to the poor and needy, not to the jobless citizens of the West in a redistributionist fever of inflated currency or to the basket-case Third World nations under the aegis of global warming, but to the managerial class itself. The ultimate beneficiaries are the members of the oligarchic elite who make policy and control the flow of economic exchange. Their Swiss accounts brimmeth over and their investments are bundled together with blue ribbons. This is effectively how that deceptive euphemism, the “transfer of wealth,” works out in practice. And those who are implicated in the scam are the real 1%.

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David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012.
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