Thursday, October 11, 2007

From Robber Barons of Yesteryear to the Vulture Whores of Today

In Vernon L. Parrington's Pulitzer Prize winning, book, Main Currents in American Thought" he clearly and eloquently characterizes the Robber Baron's role in the break with democratic tradition and social consciousness and the continuing political contest between aristocracy and democracy that is so apparent today.

"Freedom had become individualism, and individualism had become the inalienable right to preempt, to exploit, to squander. Gone were the old ideals along with the old restraints. The idealism of the forties, the romanticism of the fifties-all the heritage of Jeffersonianism and the French, Enlightenment-were put thoughtlessly away, and with no social conscience, no concern for civilization, no heed for the future of the democracy it talked so much about, the Gilded Age threw itself into the business of money-getting." -- Vernon Parrington

Robber Barons, the personification of capitalist exploitation definitely violated ethical and moral boundaries, but at the same time contributed to what makes the United States the strongest country in the world today. Their ruthless ingenuity propelled us from an agrarian economy to an industrial one for better or worse; the manifestation of their energy palpable.

Today, many of the "robber barons" are nothing more than common whores. They make money off money at the expense of poverty stricken to average people all over the world, leaving nothing in return but the ravaged remains of hard working people.

Markets are amoral; hence it's up to "we the people" to apply moral values where none exist.

Paul Singer, the founder of New York-based hedge fund or vulture fund Elliott Associates is one example of this new type of "robber baron" or as I call them, marauder whores.

My apologies to any ethical "robber barons" of which I'm sure there are many, but unfortunately for every ethical "robber baron" there are two "vulture whores".

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