Rich people don’t get rich by helping people. They get rich by helping themselves. Maybe some of them feel a bit better when they start to give some of their money away, like Bill Gates and Carnegie. But it is how they got it in the first place that we need to concentrate on. In Carnegie’s case, he had people clubbed to death in the streets, unions smashed so that ordinary people could not be represented. Racism, propaganda, gangsterism, corruption, were all handy tools at his disposal in amassing his fortune.
Carnegie like most multi millionaire robber barons lived happily amongst poverty, war and starvation and exploited it to make their millions. The fact that they become benevolent in the later stage of life doesn’t change what they were. Donald Rumsfeld’s is the modern day Carnegie accruing millions on the death and misery of millions. No doubt will bequeath some of his fortune to a few charitable institutions to enhance the historical cleansing process.
Slavery, child labour, hanging the poor for stealing bread, even 12 year olds. The poor dying on the street of starvation. Ownership of women by men. Burning people accused of witchcraft where all things that the rich and powerful, who are now the heroes of our history books were happy to live alongside. The people who signed the declaration banning slavery, owned slaves themselves. Slavery was abolished, not by presidents and those in high office, but because the slave owners and the government were put under so much pressure to stop it, that it was beginning to affect their power and their pocket – not as we are led to believe – their social conscience.
Raising the social cost of the war in Vietnam stopped the war. Those at the top only became “against the war” when they realised public pressure to stop it was winning and they were losing credibility in the youth of the country by continuing to support it. All major historical progressive events have been created when there has been a “crisis of democracy” and when ordinary people learn to affect what elites hold dear, their institutions, and the ability to see through the propaganda that protects them.