Typically, a coup d’état uses the extant government’s power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak says: “A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder”
After you see CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, you will realize the dramatic personal experiences I have been describing to you are really happening to me. (Right now I am covered with bruises inflicted by my landlady and some strange woman who attacked me outside my apartment after the police said I could sleep on my doorstep to make a protest.) You will see families being forcibly evicted from homes they have owned for generations. You will see a for-profit, private juvenile center with crooked judges and teens being convicted simply for behaving like teens. You will see airline pilots who now earn so little money that they donate blood just to get by.
More shockingly, you will learn that major corporations like Bank of America, Winn Dixie, Nestles and Wal-Mart, etc. are taking out life insurance policies on ordinary employees for profit -- not CEOs, but average workers -- called "dead peasant" policies without the employees' knowledge or approval. (That is an image of Peasant Family in an Interior by Louis Le Nain.) The companies are gambling that, statistically, a certain amount of their employees will die, and the profit they will make on a few deaths is greater than the cost of buying a bunch of life insurance policies. In other words, the companies want their employees to die. I gasped out loud.
"Dead Peasant" policies. Such arrogance!
This small group, which consists of 1% of the population, actually considers itself the "new aristocracy" simply because they have accumulated masses of material objects and money. The methods they use are barbaric and sadistic, not aristocratic: cruelty, lies, intimidation, blocks, manipulation, violence, force, etc. They lust for creativity and talent, but are lacking. Their value system is warped. Century after century this artificial aristocracy cannot seem to learn a simple lesson, which is:
True nobility comes from the heart.
This is from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams dated October 28, 1813 about what to do with the "artificial aristocracy" (I am adding the emphasis):
"For I agree with
you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of
this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among
the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like
beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become
but an auxiliary ground of distinction.
There is also an artificial
aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or
talents; for with these it would belong to the first class.
natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature
for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And
indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man
for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom
enough to manage the concerns of the society.
May we not even say
that that form of government is the best which provides the most
effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the
offices of government?
The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous
ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent
Jefferson then outlines what he thinks is the best solution to the problem, which differs from Adams, and then he says:
"These laws, drawn by myself, laid the axe to
the root of Pseudo-aristocracy. And had another which I prepared
been adopted by the legislature, our work would have been compleat.
It was a Bill for the more general diffusion of learning. This
proposed to divide every county into wards of 5. or 6. miles square,
like your townships; to establish in each ward a free school for
reading, writing and common arithmetic; to provide for the annual
selection of the best subjects from these schools who might receive
at the public expence a higher degree of education at a district
school; and from these district schools to select a certain number of
the most promising subjects to be compleated at an University, where
all the useful sciences should be taught.
Worth and genius would
thus have been sought out from every condition of life, and
compleatly prepared by education for defeating the competition of
wealth and birth for public trusts."
To read the letter in its entirety, please click here:
I'm not fond of the title, Capitalism: A Love Story because I don't think capitalism is to blame. And I am much more center and less of a socialist than Michael Moore. All those political labels exist to push your emotional buttons. For example, Venice is a town run by Communists, but they are the most funky Communists you will ever meet. It is surrounded by Fascists, but they, too, are distinct. When they asked me about the title, I told German television that I am a humanist -- I believe human beings are entitled to certain rights just by the fact that they are on the planet, and are more productive, healthier and happier when you treat them with dignity instead of abuse. I believe in compassion, creativity, hope and imagination. I believe in independent thinking. If your product is really better than mine, then let the people buy your product, but don't go around bad-mouthing mine. I believe in winning by playing fair, and this game ain't fair.
We don't want to believe the things Michael Moore speaks about are really happening. I most certainly do not want to believe it is really happening, but reality is that all my earthly possessions -- my clothes, my computer, my desk, my paintings, my jewelery, my rugs, my shoes, my documents, my silverware, my linens, my 300 library editions of Harley, Like a Person and Harley's Ninth, my American passport, etc., etc., etc. are locked inside my apartment and I do not have the key -- actually, now, they are claiming everything is thrown inside the storage area on the ground floor. The eviction is not legal. It is based on lies and deceipt. When the landlord was here I got him to admit that I paid the rent. I called him a liar to his face outside in the calle so everyone could hear, and told him to denounce me for slander so I could go to court and prove he was liar.
On top of that, the United States of America has an antagonistic attitude toward me for no reason whatsoever -- except, perhaps, that I keep pointing these things out -- and that, my friends, is outrageous, and that is reality. It is a very dark energy. It feels evil and it is not going to stop unless we all get off our butts and do something about it. There really was/is a financial crisis.
At a press conference over at the Excelsior Hotel helmed by Peter Bart, the editor of Variety -- which, by the way, is providing our daily news for the first time -- a journalist asked Michael Moore if he felt isolated, and if it was taking a toll. He said, yes, he did feel isolated, and that yes, it was taking its toll. I feel the same way.
Go see the movie. Here's a review from Xan Brooks of the Guardian in the UK:
"America, enthuses a leaked Citibank report, is now a modern-day "plutonomy" where the top 1% of the population control 95% of the wealth. Does Barack Obama's election spell an end to all this? The director has his doubts, pointing out that Goldman Sachs – depicted here as the principal agent of wickedness – was the largest private contributor to the Obama campaign."
Here is the trailer: