Why Do the Super-Rich Keep Comparing Obama to Hitler?

Matthew O'Brien explains the peculiar super-rich habit for comparing Obama to Hitler. It's because:

1. They Feel Powerless
2. And They Might Not Ever Get Our Power Back.
3. Now the Rich Are the Victims.

Much sarcasm here, natch. But he never gets to why they compare him to Hitler, specifically; let alone why not a socialist of similar historical infamy, such as Stalin. I think it's basically because Hitler = evil and that's just how thickly guys like Perkins cut their political wood.

Some people are unburdened by the details of history. Some of those people just go with the first simple, evocative comparison that pops into their heads. Some of those people are wealthy. And among those are people who are themselves simple, in certain important ways, unaware of the ways that wealth manifests as power. In this dividing Guess Who of humankind, here is the proverbial (and actual) Tom Perkins.

Notable Replies

  1. It's the mistaken belief that the Nazis were socialist, and the apparent lack of knowledge that part of the reason for the Night of the Long Knives was so that Hitler could get rid of the socialist wing of the party who were complaining about the lack of socialism.

    Not that Obama is socialist in any meaningful way.

  2. The super-rich probably didn't study the French Revolution which genuinely was targeted at the 1% of 1790s. If the super-rich have any sense they'll reduce income inequality in the USA to head off the nascent revolutionary tendencies of the Occupy movement. They could do that whilst still being the richest 1%...

  3. `Yup. The right wing in America, and indeed the contemporary far right wing in Europe inspired by "libertarian" right wing culture in America has Hitler as a socialist. He was a statist but obviously rose to power in opposition to organised labour and communism. Their historical revisionism on this topic is matched by how Hayek and von Mises could support statist thugs like Pinochet and Mussolini. As long as capital wasn't expropriated by the state they were cool with anything it did, and called it liberty and freedom from serfdom.

    It's handy to call Hitler a socialist as it saves them from the reality that capitalism is just about capital, not about freedom. See also how right wing, anti-government people really love them their armies and robocops and prisons.

    You're an American libertarian? Great: close the prisons first. Then immediately get rid of the police. And then the Army.

    After you've done that you can come for my universal health care.

  4. During the health care debate a bunch of them were calling Barney Frank a Nazi too. Because the gay Jewish guy and the mixed-race guy would have been oh-so welcome at those Third Reich mixers.

  5. Tom Perkins is a innocent victim too.. or maybe not.

    Like every other sick megalomaniac, he and his buddies got obscenely wealthy by profitably thrusting the externalizes they create onto the rest of society. If these people paid for just a fraction of the externalities they profit from, they'd be upper-middle class (if that). They are bums.

    Too many people celebrate these megalomaniac parasites and need this shoved in their faces:

    • Perkins partnered with Eugene Kleiner who started Fairchild Semiconductor which has created massive amounts of pollution issues that they thrust upon the rest of society.

    Fairchild Semiconductor has leaked tens of thousands of gallons of toxic solvents into the ground which residents and even state officials strongly suspect caused a high rate of birth defects in the area.

    Let me know when Perkins and his good buddy Eugene Kleiner are going to dip into their vast wealth to take care of all those people growing up with birth defects. Nah, just let the rest of society deal with it. Also, why put in pollution controls and cut into vast profits to do that when you can just be a bum who has others suffer the consequences?

    Oh, and they've got a superfund pollution site:

    http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/ViewByEPAID/cad097012298?OpenDocument

    Guess who mostly pays for superfund sites? For the most part, everyone except the billionaires. Yep, society does in many more ways than one. The vast wealthy sure as hell never live anywhere near superfund sites, that's for sure. That's for the "others" to do.

    Just pay some fines down the road and keep being a megalomaniac, right?


    • Perkins seeded Genentech. Once again, they sure don't want to cut into those profits they "earned" by not cutting corners.

    Genentech overlooked 80,000 adverse reaction complaints including 15,000 tied to deaths.

    Reuters:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/us-roche-europe-idUSBRE85K1NH20120621?

    There's many more examples for Perkins if people bother to look...


    These wealthy parasites want us to thank them for greedily pushing their externalities onto the rest of society. The can and should go to hell.

    Average American taxpayers and the poor (dearly) pay for externalities:

    Fast food, poverty wages: The public cost of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry:
    http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/publiccosts/fastfoodpovertywages.shtml

    Airlines get $2.7 billion in taxpayer-backed loans while using poorly paid workers:

    http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/22/epa-renew-polluters-pay-tax-to-fund-cleanups/?

    Taxpayers foot bill for cleanup of polluted site in south St. Louis:
    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/taxpayers-foot-bill-for-cleanup-of-polluted-site-in-south/article_954af589-af4d-5b73-abef-539801ea87d7.html

    Disparities in the Impact of Pollution on the Poor:
    http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/health-risks/health-risks-disparities.html

    Pollution disproportionately affects the poor:
    http://www.wave3.com/story/11135969/enviromentalists-pollution-disproportionately-affects-the-poor

    Low-Income, Minority Communities Disproportionately Exposed To Toxic Air Pollutants, Study Finds:
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/148257.php

    (This all just barely scratches the surface, by the way)

    The poor (especially the poor) pay for externalities not just with their limited money, but with their time, suffering and even with their very own lives. For those that celebrate these megalomaniacs, let me know when the billionaires start living next to the superfund sites they create (and start paying for them in earnest along with all the damage to the poor that live there).

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

46 more replies

Participants