Maybe the answer to the banking oligarchy’s stranglehold on America is something much more radical than all these hollow attempts at merely adjusting the system and “making it work better.” How can you make something “work better” when it doesn’t work for you but rather against you? Maybe America needs its own Mao to sweep it all away and start from scratch, something Twain called for a hundred years ago.
I’d be for that: a kind of American Mao by way of Jefferson. Sure, it’d be ugly for some people–by which I mean you, and not me, hopefully. We’re not in a Middle School civics class, after all: We’re hostages in our own home, and the other side is playing as brutally as they can, so why shouldn’t we? Mao sure as Hell would. So would Mark Twain.
In fact Mark Twain called for something like a Maoist thrashing a century ago–he’s exactly the sort of Mao by way of Jefferson I’m talking about, part of a fine American tradition of Maoffersons. Here’s what Twain wrote about the “blessed French Revolution” in A Connecticut Yankee more than a century ago:
the ever memorable and blessed Revolution, which swept a thousand years of such villainy away in one swift tidal-wave of blood — one: a settlement of that hoary debt in the proportion of half a drop of blood for each hogshead of it that had been pressed by slow tortures out of that people in the weary stretch of ten centuries of wrong and shame and misery the like of which was not to be mated but in hell. There were two “Reigns of Terror,” if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the “horrors” of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heart-break? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror — that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.
To which Mao would add, in his serene, pithy way: “Passivity is fatal to us. Our goal is to make the enemy passive.”
Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.
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