Elie Wiesel died on Monday. He was one of the last great living authors of the Holocaust. His book “Night” was one I read as a boy. It was a bit of literature that left its mark on my psyche.

Another great Jewish author, Rabbi Richard Rubenstein, wrote about the corporate interests and political bureaucracy behind the Holocaust. He made keen observations about how the heads of major corporations like Bayer, Volkswagen, Deutsche Telefunken, and BASF all used slave labor to get rich.

He noted that all of these men in industry and government, who profited from the use of slave labor, were highly educated and affluent, often having attended the best schools in the country. All of them were raised in the Judeo-Christian societies of the West. Many were baptized Christians. And Germany had a democratic multi-ethnic society, much like ours today.

Rubenstein observed the only reason the political bureaucracy was able to legally oppress, and eventually enslave, its own citizens was because a people without the means to physically defend their rights have no rights at all. God and nature do not give, nor guarantee, anything to anyone. As long as a people are not organized and possessed of the means to resist, they have no real power.

Their political rights can be removed by bureaucrats, as any black American knows. Jim Crow made sure of that. And how many working-class blacks had the financial means to fight the system in the courts? Not many, that’s for sure. Just ask any Japanese-American who lived here during World War II. They were American citizens, with so-called “rights” guaranteed by that Constitution under glass in D.C., but if the government wanted to strip them of those rights, and put them in a camp, they could – and did! Germans aren’t alone in what they did.

Just ask any Native American. General William Tecumseh Sherman is oft quoted as having said “The final solution to the Indian problem will be their confinement to reservations and eventual extermination.” And that’s what our government did. The banks and mining companies made a fortune on American Indian lands, as did railroads and a host of other corporate interests.

I read another article that dealt with slave labor. It was about Levi Strauss; the company, not the man. They were paying poor kids in Bangladesh 40 cents an hour to make blue jeans, while their corporate CEO’s pocketed millions. It reminded me of what Elie Wiesel had experienced and Richard Rubenstein had written about: the use of slave labor by business elites.

It also reminded me that good union jobs supporting middle-class families would probably never return to the United States until we were willing to work for 40-cents an hour (or less). Our kids today go to college, and have big college debts, but are now working in fast food or retail for minimal wage. The jobs just aren’t there. If they want those jobs back, like Trump and Sanders are promising, they’ll have to be willing to work longer, for less. A lot less.

The political bureaucrats passed the laws that made globalization possible, and it’s unlikely their corporate sponsors will allow that to change. Multinational corporations are running the show. Whether it’s Sanders or Trump, both men agree corporate and political elites are reducing our citizens to serfdom, and fostering a toxic society filled with anger and desperation.

It’s why we have so many drug dealers, so many illegal immigrants, so many abortions, and why our inner cities are becoming ghettos, not unlike those of another time and place in history. The symptoms of this economic tyranny are manifest.

No wonder we have so many divisions, and riots, and protests. Corporate and political elites fostered a toxic society, poverty, and hopelessness that created these problems in the first place, and now they propose a solution – to ban our guns – and remove that last tool of resistance to their new world order.

These elites control the government, the economy and most of the media. And now you too.

Will you organize and resist America? Or will you go quietly into the night?

Joseph M. Mazgaj

Rogersville

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