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And, yes, I DO take it personally: What does the 19th century Russian novel "Dead Souls" have in common with Wall Street greed...?
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Thursday, October 08, 2009

What does the 19th century Russian novel "Dead Souls" have in common with Wall Street greed...?

more than i would have thought...

from alternet...

It’s painful to admit this, but the way our 21st century American ruling class treats the rest of us is eerily reminiscent of the great Russian novel Dead Souls, about the 19th century Russian ruling class’s beastly treatment of its serfs (also called “souls”), back when most Russians were essentially slaves, legal property of the ruling class. Dead Souls features one of the most grotesque shysters in any novel: he comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme that’s eerily similar to today’s Wall Street’s latest schemes: the shyster goes from village to village, buying up “dead souls” (or “dead serfs”) who are still on the census rolls of the local landowners. The dead serfs are of no use to their owners anymore, so the landowners are happy to make one last ruble off their dead serfs by selling ownership rights over them to the shyster. The shyster’s plan: to acquire so many “dead souls” that he can package them into valuable collateral, and take out a huge loan against his “dead souls” which will finally make him rich. Wealth spun out of nothing but human misery, so that the shyster can waste huge amounts of money impressing others from the serf-owning class.

In other words: Dead Souls Loans.

Fast-forward to America in 2009, and now we’re the dead souls. Top American corporations are taking out “dead peasant insurance” on their workers without the workers even knowing it—and cashing in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on their employees, even though often times they don’t even offer those same employees decent health insurance coverage to allow them to survive illnesses. To top it off, these “dead peasant insurance” payouts are tax-free for the corporation that cashes in. It was a revelation so revolting that even ABC’s News’ mannequins admitted they were “stunned.”


[T]he state and the people serve the tiny ruling class; and when we’re not serving them, we can fuck off and die. Literally. Because that serves them too.


[T]oday we have a kind of highly-evolved dictatorship concealing itself as a functioning democracy. But in all the important issues, where billions or trillions are at stake, where their yachts and private jets are pitted against Americans’ lives or the national interest, you can spot the dictatorship’s horrific Predator-beast head rising from the swamp.

more truth-telling about stuff we are already horrifically familiar with...

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