Reactionary Minds

The Masters of the Universe don’t take kindly to the accusations of Occupy Wall Street, and they’re fighting back. Here are some verbatim quotes from the transcripts of their own defense, which toggles between a haughty contempt for the lower orders and a genuine, self-pitying sense of persecution.  Gee, if only someone would write a book explaining this…

“Who gives a crap about some imbecile? Are you kidding me?” Bernard Marcus, co-founder, Home Depot

“Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it.” Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase

“Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.” John A. Allison IV, BB&T

“If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit.” Tom Golisano, founder, Paychex Inc.

My taxes are “more than a medieval lord would have taken from a serf.” Peter Schiff, CEO, Euro Pacific Capital

“I am a fat cat, I’m not ashamed.” Ken Langone, co-founder, Home Depot

“You’ll get more out of me if you treat me with respect.”Leon Cooperman, chair, Omega Advisors


  1. Jacob Slichter December 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm | #

    Tone-deafness goeth before a fall.

  2. Brian Faux December 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm | #

    ““Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.” John A. Allison IV, BB&T”

    Really? I`m not an expert but it seems to me that BB&T produces only debt, though it may be very well giftwrapped.

  3. H.D. Lynn December 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm | #

    It’s amazing how out of touch people can be. It’s a form of economic privilege not to care about the current economic situation or not wanting to ‘get involved.’ Those who have to work for a living (most people) and got shit on by this economy (many people) don’t have a choice but to be involved. This is the essential problem. People would love to do other things beside protesting, but when you’re unemployed, what else is there to do? A lot of people would like not to have to worry about their finances, but living from paycheck to paycheck forces you to care.

  4. Brahmsky December 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm | #

    Happy Chanukah to all, and to all a good night!

  5. cyryl December 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm | #

    I’m pretty sure the French Aristocracy felt the same way in 1789. “un parasite, moi?”

  6. Miguel December 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm | #

    I really enjoyed listened to you on Tropical Currents yesterday. Thank you for answering my question about how the absence of a counter Soviet/communist ideology has influenced conservative ideology in the US. I thought to share three thoughts that came to mind as a listened to you.

    Although I have not become nostalgic for the Cold War days, I agree with you that the existence of the USSR had a salubrious influence on the American Democracy (red scare aside). I cannot imagine that if the USSR still existed today that Americans would have so easily accepted the new Government powers allowing for the indefinite detain US citizens without trial, not to mention the legal power to torture them. Americans once thought of such state powers as the devices of oppressive authoritarian communist states and whose existence in the US would be unimaginable. Yet, this fundamental change in our civil liberties seemed hardly worth the discussion.

    I find it tragically amusing how much today’s conservatives remind of the ways that their old Communist Party nemesis operated. Both name government actions after the thing they seek to undermine. The USSR had the Workers [so called] Liberation Party, which was nothing more than another State tool of oppression and in the US conservative sponsored such acts as the Clear Skies Act, the Right to Work Act, and the Healthy Forests Act, which allowed for greater air pollution, made it easier to prevent people from working, and allowed for nearly indiscriminate logging.

    The conservative narrative for the housing/banking meltdown also reminds me of the old Marxist propaganda that placed blame for the failures of its economic system on the interference of the global-capitalist system and that a solution could only come from an even greater commitment to a more pure form of ideology. Similarly, the conservative narrative for the current economic depression places the blame not on bank and market deregulation but on Government interference with the only solution being a greater commitment to economic fundamentalism and the implementation of even more radical market and bank deregulation.

    Modern conservatism and its market-fundamentalist ideology, enjoys an advantage that State-Marxism ideology never had – the advantage of not being seen as such. In this supposed “post-ideological” era, market fundamentalism presents itself as anti-ideological pragmatism that is itself protecting us from the ideologically driven market regulations of the socialists and liberals intent on stifling competition and redistributing wealth.

    I can’t help but think that we are witnessing the redefinition of American Democracy in conservative and economic fundamentalist terms. In comparison to Conservatives, the defenders of Liberal ideology are few and largely inept. Is this redefinition of our Democracy inevitable?

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