And let's be clear some of the most dangerous billionaires are investing a fortune in eroding public education (Koch brothers,) in fighting efforts to deal with global warming (Koch brothers, Mellon Scaife,) are fighting to end regulation of corporations. These billionaires are allying with the biggest corporations to eliminate essential industry regulations-- regulations that keep capitalism on a healthy path.
Is it possible to reframe and channel the explosion of interest in Piketty's take on capitalism so the billionaires and oligarchs are identified as the bad guys, the ones literally creating a threat to the future of capitalism-- that they are, because of their mutations and disruptions of capitalism, literally putting the viability of capitalism at risk
Naomi Klein spelled out the answer in our 2008 interview, saying, " it's not about who you vote for or who you trust. It's about being a political adult and realizing that political change isn't handed down from above; it's demanded from below."
And Thomas Frank observed, "Ultimately the lesson from the 30s is that you have to organize outside of political parties-- that takes a lot of movement building." Frank, two years ago, in February 2012, focused on the need for strong unions, just as Adolph Reed has emphasized this year.
The top has declared all out war on the bottom ninety-nine percent. The politicians in congress are bought and paid for, except for a small handful. The enemies of democracy, of the middle class are also the enemies of capitalism. That's the message we need to get out there. Getting too big, too rich is bad for the economic system. It's bad for national security. It's bad for the future.
The ultra-wealthy try to put out a message that we, the 99% are jealous of their wealth. They turn true American values upside-down. Thomas Frank pointed out how conservatives were reframing the idea of work:
"workers are parasites. Guys like Mitt Romney are the real job creators.
Workers should count themselves lucky to get a job from someone like Mitt Romney."
We need to put out the meme-- the wealth inequality situation is endangering capitalism, has created a dangerous form of capitalism that is un-natural, unprecedented and that will destroy the world economy as we've known it, replacing it with an experiment that is so disruptive that even if it succeeds, it will create chaos and violence that the world can't afford.
I've been talking about how the world is going through a bottom-up connection revolution. Well, if there's a revolution, it usually happens within the context of an existing power-order. The good news is there IS a bottom-up revolution going on. There are a lot of positive forces, positive trends under way .The bad news is the old, top-down order is at its pinnacle-- incredibly powerful and using all its powerful resources to fight to hold on to what it has grabbed. The billionaires are funding this resistance to the bottom-up revolution, this attempt to consolidate their power.
We can beat them. We can help the waves of bottom-up connection energy that are swirling throughout the world, to gradually erode the top-down powers. When the erosion and the direct assaults on the top-down powers are further along, there will be no billionaires. The world will repudiate them as flickering momentary freakish abominations that existed in a handful of cultures for a few thousand years. We will live in a future not that far away, where a hybrid socialist capitalist culture shares justice for all, including the environment, where the most successful people are noted for doing the most good, not grabbing the most. This can happen, but only if we talk about it, only if we envision it and decide we want to make it happen. We must move towards positive world visions while at the same time villifying those who work to create and maintain toxic worlds.