LETTER: All are not equal
Published 7:36 am Friday, April 8, 2022
To the Editor:
If you follow the national and international news these days you will note that the word oligarch appears frequently. In my Webster’s New Collegiate dictionary oligarchy is defined as: “a form of government in which the power is vested in a few, or a state so governed; also, those who form the ruling few.” I think it is most often used in reference to Russia or the former Soviet Union, a nation allegedly founded on communist principles as in “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need. However, the second phrase, “to each according to his need” has been scrapped in favor of “to each oligarch according to his or her ability to become extremely wealthy by depriving the majority of their equitable share.” Witness the extravagant multi-million dollar yachts supposedly confiscated from the Russian oligarchs recently. Today’s oligarchs (from Russia and elsewhere) have taken capitalism to its extreme vulgar limits. Russia has tried to convince the world that it is a democracy by holding elections. What a farce. Russia is ruled by a very few limited and extremely wealthy oligarchs who have no problem with sanctioning a horrific and murderous invasion of their smaller neighbor Ukraine.
At a meeting I attended recently the subject came up and it led to a brief discussion of George Orwell’s famous book Animal Farm, which was required reading in my Sociology class in college. The most often quoted line from that book is: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” That statement, made by Napoleon, the head pig in the book, shows the hypocrisy of any government which tries to convince its citizens that the citizens have absolute equality when in fact power and privilege is given to only a small few. Power and privilege translate to wealth, as we can clearly see with the oligarchs’ yachts.
We can also see it in America today, I’m afraid, by noting the profits from insider stock trading by a few sleazy members of Congress who have advance notice, and by the immense wealth accumulated by some former presidents and other American oligarchs and their families after supposedly serving the citizenry. We can also see it by noting the extreme wealth of some of the tech giants, Hollywood moguls (who, while not elected officials, exert powerful influence over those officials) and people like George Soros who donate fortunes to left-leaning candidates). Most of them epitomize hypocrisy. I wonder how many of them actually own electric cars. I wonder how large are the batteries in their private jets? I know for certain that Air Force One, with a certified takeoff gross weight of at least 800,000 pounds, has four turbo-fan engines powered by very expensive jet fuel, not batteries. Yet the elite, the American oligarchs, our own wealthy aristocracy, hypocrites everyone, tries (or will soon try) to mandate electric cars and trucks for us to drive and wind or solar power to heat our homes. They have lost contact with the needs of average Americans. While many of them buy Tesla stock, they have sanctioned destruction of our former leadership position in the production of energy to a position of now begging Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia to increase their oil output while the cost to fuel my Chevy truck has doubled. Sadly, I see every day that the line from Orwell’s book, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” is alive and well in America today.