Monday, October 5, 2009

South Rising

Okay, this is something I don't get. Before the Civil War, less than five percent of the southern population owned slaves. There was a small merchant class that profited from slavery. The slave owners and merchant classes used their wealth and position in society to rule the southern states in a way that was only a step or two above serfdom. About 80 or 90 percent of the white, southern population was economically disadvantaged by slavery. They were kept in a societal position not that much better than the slaves owned by the southern aristocracy. Yet when push came to shove, the wealthy few managed to persuade the disadvantaged many that slavery was a southern way of life that was worth dying for. They convinced the vast majority to die for a system that was to their disadvantage.
Since the rise of Ronald Reagan, there has been a huge transference of wealth from the middle and working classes to the wealthy. Public schools have been ruined, higher education has been made prohibitively expensive. Health care has been put out of reach for millions, and those that do have insurance often find themselves kicked off of their plans when they actually need help. Wall street rapes the world's economic system, and then they raid the American treasury when things go wrong. The wealthy few have taken effective control of the government, and the courts, and they've made it almost impossible for the vast majority to get any sort of redress for the wrongs committed against them.
So why do so many still support those who have made their lives miserable? Why are so many middle class and poor people in favor of tort reform, code words for shielding the rich from law suits? Why are so many opposed to national health care? Why do so many support their oppressors? (And make no mistake, we are being oppressed by the wealthy.) Let's be honest, we're like the old south, dying for the wealthy, because they've convinced us that it's the American way of life, and it has to be preserved at all costs.

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