“Just as the drivers in Gatsby and Bonfire responsible for crashes left others to bear the blame, so the One Percent seeks to shift responsibility onto the financial victims (“the madness of crowds”). Governments are blamed for running deficits, despite the fact that they result mainly from tax favoritism to the rentiers. Having used FICA paycheck withholding as a ploy to cut progressive tax rates on themselves since the 1980s, the One Percent blame the indebted population for living longer and creating a “retirement problem” by collecting the Social Security and pensions. This is financial warfare – and not all wars end with the victory of the most progressive parties. The end of history is not necessarily utopia. The financial mode of conquest against labor and industry is as devastating today as in the Roman Republic’s Social War that marked its transition to Empire in the 1st century BC. It was the dynamics of debt above all that turned the empire into a wasteland, reducing the population to debt bondage and outright slavery. Livy, Plutarch and other Roman historians placed the blame for their epoch’s collapse on creditors. Tacitus reports the words of the Celtic chieftain Calgacus, c. 83 AD, rousing his troops by describing the empire they were to fight against: Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land … If the enemy is rich, they are rapacious; if he is poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. … To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire. They make a wasteland and call it peace. The”

Michael Hudson, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy
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