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Savage writes: "Bernie Sanders just released a list of all the billionaires and plutocrats who can't hide their hatred for him."

Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)


The Billionaires Are Against Bernie - and the Rest of Us

By Luke Savage, Jacobin

13 July 19


Bernie Sanders just released a list of all the billionaires and plutocrats who can’t hide their hatred for him. The “anti-endorsements” underscore his campaign’s core message: it’s the oligarchs versus the rest of us.

arlier this week, the Bernie Sanders campaign debuted a webpage quoting condemnations from twelve “anti-endorsers” that included the following words from right-wing plutocrat Haim Saban:

We love all 23 candidates. No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders. He thinks every billionaire is a crook. He calls us “the billionaire class.” And he attacks us indiscriminately.

It’s difficult to imagine even an actual endorsement so effectively boosting the Sanders’s core message. A loathsome oligarch (and Democratic mega donor, no less) whining about being called a billionaire while singling out the only candidate that genuinely makes him nervous? The ads practically write themselves.

A veritable rogue’s gallery of corporatist malefactors, the list also includes the likes of Jamie Dillion, CEO of JPMorgan Chase; Jeffrey Immelt, former CEO of General Electric; Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; and Jon Cowan, president of the Democratic establishment think tank Third Way, among others. Variously opposed to raising the minimum wage, pro-sweatshop, supportive of deep cuts to Medicare and Social Security, every man named is both exorbitantly wealthy and visibly terrified of Bernie Sanders.

Throughout his career, the Vermont senator has regularly proven willing to buck convention and call out the rich and powerful by name — a tendency that has long separated him from the Democratic mainstream. Since the collapse of New Deal liberalism in the 1970s and ’80s, material and social inequality have become increasingly nebulous concepts for many liberals. By becoming an explicit vehicle for finance capital during the near-wholesale transformation that consolidated during the Clinton era, Democrats in effect underwent a merger with corporate America — radically narrowing their political horizons and the scope of their ambitions in the process.

Instead of promoting equality as such, many retreated to more abstract ground, preferring to advance innocuous and market-friendly conceits like “opportunity” that ultimately reproduce rather than challenge social or class hierarchies. As a consequence, some now seem unable to deal in the language of conflict at all: expressing only vague social concern while blaming acrimony rather than injustice for the nation’s ills.

For a recent example of this in action, look no further than Joe Biden’s quixotic pursuit of a frictionless class harmony where nothing needs to change, nobody (especially your friendly neighborhood billionaire) has to be “demonized,” and the rich are “just as patriotic” as the poor. This is where a politics that jettisons the very idea of conflict inevitably ends up: on an arid terrain without villains, exploiters, or malefactors of any kind.

Sanders, in contrast to Biden, isn’t just rejecting this phony politics of unity: he’s calling out his foes by name and openly broadcasting their hatred for his candidacy and the vision of equality it represents.

It’s hard to think of a better endorsement than that.

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+31 # chrisconno 2019-07-13 10:43
GO Bernie. We need the truth now more than ever. Truth begets justice and justice benefits us all. These billionaires who are whining that they contribute to democrats probably contribute more to the republicans because the billionaires know what a good investment insurance is for them. A billionaire is greedy by the very fact that he is a billionaire. Billionaire is a filthy word in my book and am thankful Bernie speaks out about the injustices billionaires create and skate on.
 
 
+2 # futhark 2019-07-13 10:56
Billionaires are among those who would profit the most by the reforms Senator Sanders has endorsed. Paying their fair share of taxes and guiding their investment funds toward technological innovations that have a real future in our changing world would possibly allay the "pitchforks" that threaten to come for them in the night. Unifying the nation as a community of mutual support will go a long way toward healing the mutual antipathies currently threatening the social fabric.
 
 
+1 # Farafalla 2019-07-13 13:20
“Billionaires are among those who would profit the most by the reforms Senator Sanders has endorsed.“ Whaaaaaaat?
 
 
+8 # HDSMTS 2019-07-14 11:30
I think you missed futhark's point--that is the billionaires benefit the most from a Sanders' election because it would result in policies that allow them to avoid violent revolution and the usual execution (think France in the 18th and Russia in the 20th centuries).
 
 
+12 # margpark 2019-07-13 11:21
I find it a bit odd that they don't fear Elizabeth Warren as much as they fear Bernie Sanders. After all she keeps publishing policy statements that I am sure they don't like.
 
 
+17 # Moxa 2019-07-13 13:47
There are definite differences between Sanders and Warren and there is obviously a reason why Warren is perceived differently by the ruling class. Bernie has started a revolution. He insists that without the power of the American people leading the way, not even his best policy ideas will have a chance of breaking through. This is where he distinguishes himself from ALL the other candidates. Warren realizes that the system is corrupt and rigged, but she is not sufficiently independent of the system--"I am a capitalist to my bones"--nor has she actively created a citizen "army" to spread the word, as Bernie has.

As Bernie said in his closing words in the last debate, you need to take on the fossil fuel industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military/indust rial complex. But you can't effectively do that when the members of Congress are themselves corrupted by these same entities. Only a president with the activist will of the American people behind him can do this. That is why Warren is not as strong as Bernie and why she is not as feared by the plutocrats.
 
 
+13 # lfeuille 2019-07-13 17:13
They are using her to weaken Bernie. They don't want her either but are holding their fire until Bernie is gone.
 
 
+18 # tedrey 2019-07-13 12:11
People who have amassed a billion dollars can claim to have "won the game,' and "proved their point." Now they should gracefully fold their cards and devote their time to seeing what real good they can do with their gains and what else of value there is to be found in life. And thus stop warping the economy and suppressing the society.
 
 
+10 # lfeuille 2019-07-13 17:15
Bill Gates thinks he is doing that The problem is that he really has no idea what would actually help. He has been too isolated from real life by his wealth.
 
 
+25 # DongiC 2019-07-13 12:33
To have the enmity of these arch conservative billionaires would be an honor to me. I am sure it is the same for Bernie. Go Bernie, go. Tax these plutocrats like everybody else. No more special deals. (I can wish can't I?)
 

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