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An Analogy on Capitalism: Chestnut Trees

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An Analogy on Capitalism: Chestnut Trees

A House Divided

Let's draw an analogy;

We the People (Americans), live together in a large house (America). Our families have lived together for many generations in this house, and each of us consider this house our home. Our ancestors (The Founding Fathers) who joined together to build the house we live in took great care in the planning and the construction of our house in order that it may stand against the test of time and always provide shelter for us, their progeny.

Our ancestors also planned against the possibility of our house falling into a state of disrepair by creating a firm set of house rules (Constitution/Bill of Rights) that all occupants of the house would adhere to. Unlike all the other houses of the time that were governed by a lone individual with absolute and hereditary power over all of their occupants, our ancestors chose to allow all of our home's occupants the liberty to live their lives as they wished, barring only those actions that infringed on another occupant 's self-same liberty.

Our ancestors who built our home with such care also included rules they drew up with similar care, a method for the members of the house to select a nominal leadership who would always ensure that the house was maintained and that no occupant of the house was abused by another.

Even before the construction of our house was completed, and before the house rules were posted, the occupants of our house were the envy of ALL the occupants of the other houses. Our ancestors went out from our house and improved the land that the house occupied and made it fruitful. Our people enjoyed a bountiful lifestyle that amazed the neighbors and created fear in their leaders, lest their own people desire equal treatment also.

In those early days, when the land was being made fruitful, a small group of our original residents planted some tiny chestnut tree saplings (predatory corporations). None of the other occupants of our house saw any reason to complain and the small trees added a pleasing accent to the home they all lived in. As time passed and the arborists (capitalists) fertilized and pruned their trees, our house became known by all as the house with the chestnut trees. When the tomatoes another group of house residents farmed in the front plot were stunted by a lack of sun light, the majority of our prior residents chose to keep the trees , and the tomato growers were forced to move to another part of our land in order to raise their plot. Our ancestors took pride in the effectiveness of our house rules in their ability to settle the dispute civilly. Every member of the household saw that the chestnut trees added to the physical beauty of the house and they also appreciated the added benefits they provided of shading the sun and blocking the wind.

After years of hard labor by all house members, our land was ready to burst into it's full potential of bounty. All had contributed their efforts, in endeavors they found self-fulfilling. The herdsmen tended live stock, farmers grew crops, butchers processed meat, tinkers made utensils to cook it in, tanners created leather, cobblers made shoes. Our people worked in harmony and ALL prospered.

That was when the chestnut trees started bearing fruit. The chestnuts were in demand by other households and their sale gave an income source to the household that was not shared equally. The arborists declared the outside profit was not covered by the house rules and was theirs to keep; they pointed out that each occupant of the house could have grown chestnuts but chose not to. They asked "Why should we not keep the product of our foresight ?"

Soon after the occupants of the house agreed that the house rules did not require that the arborists' income should be shared with all the occupants , the arborists were seen to live a little better than the rest of the people in the house. Some even deferred to them in general discourse about the home's governance.

As the chestnut trees grew larger and the crop of chestnuts increased, the status of the arborists grew in the household. Most members of the house became indebted to the arborists and some offered them blind allegiance so as to better their own status in the household. It was a natural progression for the arborists to come to control who would be elected leader of the house and how the other members would be directed by the leaders.

Some members of the house protested that they were not living the life of liberty the house rules guaranteed, that the chestnut trees had grown so large that they blocked all the sun from the house, and mold was growing on the house that had been built to resist the ravages of time. It was then that the majority of the occupants who were indebted to the arborists changed the house rules to allow the chestnut trees a vote in the general meetings of the occupants of the house, according to their contribution to the total wealth of the household. Those that protested surrendered to the majority's interpretation of the revered house rules.
Many years have passed since those days when the group of arborists gained control of the lives and liberty of the people of the house, and the chestnut trees have grown huge. Our house is plagued by mold, moss grows and eats the roof of our house, and the damage is obvious to all who look at our once noble shelter. But those who protest have gained recruits and at the last election for house leaders an upset was given to the arborists.

Those who have long protested the power of the chestnut trees are aware that the moss and mold, as damaging and unsightly as they are, are not the biggest problem. The chestnut trees have grown so large that their root structure has compromised the very foundation of the house that was planned and built with such care. The trees will soon destroy the strong base our house sits on. Nothing will save the people's shelter when it tumbles into the void created by removal of its foundation.

The majority of the residents of our house today have seen the obvious deterioration of our home's maintenance and they have witnessed the glibness of the arborists that allowed the downfall, They voted them from positions of leadership. Unfortunately, most of the residents of our house today are for the most part not aware of the depth of the damage or the acute crisis of the calamity our house faces if immediate remedies are not instituted.

Our newly elected leaders know. If they do not, they certainly have staff members who are perfectly aware of how the money and the power merge to create policy.

So when our elected household leaders propose that we form work parties to scrape the moss off of the roof, and to improve the appearance of our house by bleaching away the mold that grows up the sides, they are being disingenuous to the people who elected them.

If after a long debate with the people's assembly, our leaders agree to trim some of the limbs of the chestnut trees to allow the sun to dry out our house and allow the ultra-violet light to kill the mold and moss spores, the arborists' claims of 'problem solved' will appease the majority of our home's residents. The outward appearance of our house will look clean and strong. Not many of our occupants have inspected the cellar of our house recently. Few know the danger.

Our newly elected leaders know. If they do not, they certainly have staff members who are perfectly aware of how the money and the power merge to create policy.

If only a small percentage of the protesters see the obvious improvement as progress, and withdraw from the dissent, we will lose our majority and our chance to save our house and the rules of the house will be at the mercy of the arborists.

Our new leaders know it will be a waste of money and effort to polish the ship's brass without repairing the hole in the hull first. Worse, it will be a waste of resources directed by parties aware of the futility and yet still encouraging the effort. TREASON.

The roots are still undermining the foundation of our house. The feeler roots have devoured the mortar, the large roots are pushing the granite blocks of our house's foundation inward.

The house our ancestors built to shelter their progeny through the ages was built on a strong, stable foundation. If the integrity of the foundation is violated, our noble home WILL topple into its own foot print, the basement acting as a funeral pit.

We need to kill the trees, no other solution will save the well planned and constructed shelter that was built to resist the ages. The arborists will complain and continue to bribe our leaders. The trees' roots will continue to grow as long as the trees live.

The arborists are still a small group, their greed has kept their true numbers small. Many of their apparent allies are motivated by a quest for personal wealth acquisition so therefore they are lacking in ideals or loyalty. They will fight tenaciously only so long as they see a chance of profit. When the tally sheet tips enough, they will scurry for cover like the rodents they are.

We the People still have our house rules and we are Many.


The arborists will have to find another way to contribute to the house after we destroy the chestnut trees. The arborists will not be destroyed.

If we do not kill the trees, the shelter we were bequeathed by our ancestors, the one planned with their ingenuity, built with their sweat, and paid for with their blood, will be no more.

Our children will have no protection from the elements.

The lamp of LIBERTY that our forefathers lit will be extinguished forever.

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I am a tramp IBEW electrician.

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