Super-rich Capitalist’s Inequality Alert
Billionaire financier Nick Hanauer issued a blood-curdling warning to his ‘fellow filthy rich’ 1% this week, declaring ‘if we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us’.
Referencing the French Revolution and the actions of Mohamed Bouazizi who on 17 December 2010 set himself on fire, sparking the Tunisian revolution which in turn precipitated chaos in Egypt, Bahrain and Syria he also warned that the rich will have no time to escape and no place to hide.
“Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually,” the Seattle based entrepreneur and original Amazon investor noted (in a lengthy essay to ‘My Fellow Zillionaires’ posted on Politico.com), “And then suddenly, one day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning.”
The extreme volatility of the masses was last seriously highlighted in New York in 1977 when a citywide electricity black-out on a hot July night provoked widespread looting, arson and rioting on particular in the City’s poorest neighbourhoods on Brooklyn and the Bronx.
While some young people used cars to tear off burglar bars from storefronts to loot them others stole 50 Pontiacs from a Bronx car store, while significant numbers targeted hi fi stores.
“During the blackout, a number of looters stole DJ equipment from electronics stores,” Wikipedia notes in its page on the Blackout. “As a result, the hip hop genre, barely known outside of the Bronx at the time, grew at an astounding rate from 1977 onward.”
The Wiki page linked to a New York Times article about legendary hip hop pioneer turned hip hop tour guide Curtis Fisher aka Grandmaster Caz, who as well as ghost writing Rappers Delight and being a member of Bronx rappers the Crush Brothers, was even more candid about the cultural significance of the street riots.
“It was like Christmas for black people” he recalled. “The next day there were a thousand new D.J.’s.”
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff