Classic Essays

On Plutocracy in America


by John Sullivan

THE AMERICAN people pride themselves on being “free men,” pragmatic and rational beings who bow before no man and only slightly, if at all, before gods. Not for them the degraded and obsequious respect for aristocracy, tradition, hierarchical religion, and all the other leftovers from bad, old Europe!

Like all of America’s myths, this is so many sheep droppings. For in actuality the American people, taken together, constitute the most credulous, superstitious mass of mindless serfs in the history of the world and the most ignominious mob of grovelers and lickspittles since the Helots of Sparta.

Cocksure Clods

The “free” citizen of Moronia trembles not before the enigma of existence. Your cocksure, TV-saturated clod, puffed up with all the pseudoscience and ludicrous twaddle which passes for education, is beyond such medieval hangovers. Yet he “believes” with the faith of little children in “progress,” in “education,” in “freedom,” in “equality,” and in all the idiotic fuss and fuddle of plutocratic democracy. He nods gravely over the asinine emissions of Ph.D.’s and finds his ideal of the true and the good in the creations of advertising and public-relations charlatanry. In brief, Moronia’s substitute for religion is a thousand times more obnoxious and a million times more improbable than the real thing at its very worst.

Even when he possesses religious feelings, the American is bound, nine times out of ten, to express it in outlandish forms. If he tends toward liberalism, the Unitarian or Quaker quackery suffices to satisfy his spiritual needs. If conservatism is his thing, he is sure to find balm for his soul in the tatterdemalion buffoonery of fundamentalism, with its sexually psychopathic revivalist syndrome.

Dignity of worship, like all other manifestations of superiority and culture, elicits no response from the “free” American. Thus the startling number of zany, ugly, and brutal religions that have sprouted up on American soil: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, Holy Rollers, Christian Scientists — every conceivable bird of prey in the aviary of man’s credulity. And these from a people supposedly enlightened and liberated from the burden of their Gothic heritage.

Pliant Careerists

Nor does the American bend before kings, defile before caudillos (military leaders), commissars, and like-such. His leaders are, like himself, living embodiments of the national character and, therefore, half-wits… or so they appear to be. If a man of real ability, independent habits, sound vision, and true culture presented himself to the electorate, he would be laughed to scorn, and if he offended democratic sensibilities too deeply he might find his life in actual danger. If such a person were to venture into politics he would have to hide his light under a bushel of platitudes.

This is why the Presidency, ever since John Quincy Adams vacated it, has been a refuge for outright scoundrels and pliant careerists. This resultant lack of leadership is why plutocracy has been able to loot and degrade us to its heart’s content.

It used to be that every so often a really independent man would slip into office, or that once in office a formerly pliable party hack would try to upend his masters. Andrew Jackson is a good example of this, as is Lincoln, who for most of his life was the very epitome of the opportunistic, gasbag politician. When he gave evidence of wanting to create a true nation out of the ruins of the Civil War, he was assassinated.

Lincoln’s Vice-President, Andrew Johnson, was almost driven out of office by Thaddeus Stevens and his horde of race-mixers and financiers. Johnson’s lenient policy toward the South and his anti-Semitism constituted a grave threat to the Northeastern Anglo-Yiddish plutocracy which took over this country in 1865 and has held it ever since.

What America is All About

Now, however, since the people have grown far more stupid and the techniques of brainwashing more expert, the System is hermetically sealed against talent, vision, and honesty. I firmly believe that every pubic official in the United Slates, from the Justice of the Peace in Nowheresville up to the President himself, is a bona fide criminal who, under normal conditions and under any other system, would be in the penitentiary. Yet, this is the leadership that America deserves, the type that most closely approximates the national zeitgeist… for, isn’t money-grubbing and swindling what America is all about, anyhow?

Nor does the golden realm of art entice them with its treasures. The average American is definitely no aesthete. Refinements of sound, of form, of utterance, never intrude upon his workaday weltanschauung, and his art, such as it is, reflects his total immunity to beauty. In soup-can portraiture, psychedelic claptrap, glass-box architecture, and rock music the American has finally found a culture low enough for his tastes; just as in Richard Nixon, John Lindsay, the Kennedys, and Lyndon Johnson has he found leaders who correspond to his swinishly debased notion of what leadership is all about. And so he revels in it, wallows in it, enjoying — mongrel that he is — the sights and sounds, the aromas and flavors of mediocrity and ignominy, this so-called “freedom.” This is the state of being which your pragmatic, rational, scientific, 20th-century superman finds so superior to the culture of his ancestors.

Demo-man’s Deity

No! Neither God nor art nor hero are held in high regard by demo-man. But he does have a deity — a totem, if you wish — before which he prostrates himself, a hero to him more heroic than Lancelot. I have never met an American who did not venerate, adore, worship, and palpitate over a rich man, especially a “self-made” rich man, No courtier ever fawned more over his master, no oriental eunuch bowed lower than our “free-and-equal” fellaheen (peasants) do when caressing the stinking toes of some super-avaricious, extra-unscrupulous, organically malicious creature from the lower depths who has nuzzled and clawed his way to the top of the mercantile dunghill.

Inherited wealth, however, is always suspect in the eyes of demo-man. Its possessor did not “earn it” and is, therefore, tainted and might even be given to Heliogabolic vices like art collecting or classical music. The self-made plutocrat, on the other hand, is covered with the scars of mercantile combat and the sin of leisure has not yet scented away the stench of the marketplace.

I am not insinuating that people like the Rockefellers are in any way superior to the New Money crowd. I only point out the pathological American respect for the man who “makes a million” on his own and the equally pathological hatred for anything that even faintly resembles aristocracy. The monstrous inheritance taxes are proof enough of this attitude, as is the fact that, in order to survive, the scion of inherited wealth must prove how “democratic” he is by clowning in true “every-man” style. Witness the election-time pantomines of Nelson Rockefeller and, more to the point, the case of his nephew, who recently emerged from a year as a ghetto resident. I submit that a man who leaves a comfortable baronial estate to dwell with criminal Negroids and half-breed Puerto Ricans cannot possibly enjoy it unless he is some sort of freak. This may well be the case, but, it is more likely that the young Rockefeller was ordered into Spanish Harlem as part of the overall campaign to democratize his family’s image.

American National Faith

The truly self-made man is cock-of-the-walk in the United States. Every time some vulgar oaf gets rich by concocting some fresh precocity of a swindle the System is strengthened, because he has helped keep the National Faith alive; the cement that holds all the disparate elements together in a semblance of nationhood — the hope that 200 million TV-watchers cultivate in their heart of hearts; the beckoning horizon toward which 100 million automobile drivers are speeding; the goal that keeps the mob steadfast in its pursuit of “happiness,” the vision for which all the national platitudes are but a facade — the All-American Dream that you, too, with the proper education, luck, and just plain skill at conniving, can be rich and, therefore, wise and — who knows? — maybe even beautiful!

* * *

Source: (Issue No. 3, 1971) From the Best of Attack! and National Vanguard, edited by Kevin Alfred Strom

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