The entirely engineered and predictable banking crisis of 2008 was a colossal con inflicted upon the rest by the greedy and rapacious One Percent, it represented the largest single transfer of wealth in human history…a transfer from us to the One Percent. And that process is still, via the engine of “austerity,” going on. Oxfam now state that by 2016, now get this, I’m putting it in CAPS in the hope that some of you somewhere might WAKE UP…here we go…BY 2016 THE RICHEST ONE PERCENT WILL BE WEALTHIER THAN THE OTHER 99% OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION COMBINED.
That’s an incredible statistic. In what universe is that justifiable and sustainable? Of course we know the political classes and the scumbag “journalist” presstitutes aren’t going to do anything about this particular inconvenient little truth, politics and the media being wholly-owned subsidiaries of The Plutocracy Inc., so the question is…what are you going to do? Of course, you don’t have to anything, but if you don’t you are so, so fucked and you need to get ready to doff your cap, drop your gaze, get down one knee and make obeisance to neo-feudalism.
I think this is an apt point to reblog my short story “The Greedy One Percent Who Wanted It All and Destroyed Everything.” Considering I originally wrote this story back in 2013 I think it’s remarkably prophetic…will real life events turn out as bleak for the One Percent and the rest of us as they do in the story? God knows…
THE GREEDY ONE PERCENT WHO WANTED IT ALL AND DESTROYED EVERYTHING:
Once upon a time… many, many years ago in the land of Anywhere, in a world long since forgotten, there was, at one time, a kind of Golden Age. It was not, it has to be said, an age that was Perfect but it was agreed by almost all that it was an age that was much, much better than That Which Had Gone Before.
You see, after Generations Of Struggle against Social Injustice and two Catastrophic And Immensely Bloody Wars with the nearby land of Anotherplace, in which the Ordinary Folk had died and suffered to a catastrophic degree, it was decided by all except the Rapaciously Rich that Things Had To Change.
From that point on, Ordinary Folk were given access to Free Education, Free Healthcare, Pensions, Benefits to help those who fell upon Hard Times and all the advantages of what you would know in your world as a Welfare System. New taxes were introduced to redistribute some of the vast sums of money accumulated, mostly from Stealing, Cheating And Tax Avoidance, by the Wealthy and the Aristocracy over the years (who were collectively known in the land of Anywhere as The One Percent) and Political Reforms introduced to break their stranglehold over the Political And Economic Life of the country. Additionally, the Right to Vote was given to all (except Trolls and Faeries, obviously).
And the land of Anywhere blossomed, for it was found that a populace Free From Hunger And Illness, that was properly Educated and Cared For, produced huge numbers of Talented men and women that previously had Languished due to Poverty And Lack of Opportunity. These Talented men and women drove the land of Anywhere to new heights of success, founding businesses, employing people, making a mark in the worlds of politics, science, medicine and culture. Slowly but surely, the Dead Grip of The One Percent, who had dominated and controlled the land of Anywhere for as long as anyone could remember, was broken.
But within the body of the land of Anywhere a Malignant Cancer was growing.
And the location of the tumour was a small area in the city of Anyplace, known as The Anytown. The Anytown had always been the centre of Financial Services and Banking and the people providing the money behind it, and benefiting from the money it made, had always been The One Percent. As they saw their Power And Wealth eroded by new Taxes And Political Reform, The One Percent swore on oath that, in these changed times, if there was only one thing they would hold on to, it would be their control of The Anytown. For in The Anytown, they saw a means to Restore Their Fortunes and return things to The Natural Order, which they, of course, would be back in charge of.
Using an Ancient And Potent Form Of Magick known as The Old School Tie, The One Percent successfully kept control of The Anytown, the Magick Of The Old School Tie ensuring that all the Really Important positions in the Financial Services and Banking businesses in The Anytown only went to their own kind. Now, whilst the One Percent had to employ some Ordinary Folk in these new Enlightened Times, they were placed in jobs of little real power or influence. Further, if an Ordinary Person had to be employed then great care was taken to employ only a certain type of person: people who, like themselves, were destructively greedy and conspicuously lacking in morals and who cared nothing for others. You may understand these kind of people as being “sociopaths;” in the land of Anywhere this word did not exist, rather such people were regarded negatively (along with people with red hair) as having a “Touch of The Troll” in their blood, which saying is yet another Calumny against the Troll race.
For many years the Rich And Powerful owners of the Anytown brooded on how to roll back the Social And Political Reforms instituted after the Great Wars and claim back what was Rightfully Theirs. And then they hit upon a Plan Of Action.
Slowly but surely they began to suborn the Political Establishment of Anywhere by bribing Politicians, either with direct payments or the promise of Well-Paid Directorships And Consultancies when their Political Careers were over. Then they used their money to invest in, and eventually take over, The Means Of Communication so that they could control all Pronouncements made to The Ordinary Folk.
When the Politicians and The Means of Communication were captured entirely within their silk-lined pockets, The One Percent began the second phase of their plan: to use the Financial Services and Banking businesses of The Anytown as Weapons Of War to destroy the new society that had been created in Anywhere and fully and finally restore their Wealth and Power. To this aim, the now tamed Politicians did as they were instructed and relaxed Regulations that had previously governed Financial Services and Banking and turned Blind Eyes when Obviously Illegal Activities took place.
In The Anytown, traders bought and sold a new product, the Highly Opaque And Risky Financial Instrument Of Death. These were hugely popular as they offered unfeasibly high rates of return and were sold as “Safe And Profitable” investments by The Anytown. However HORFIODs offered such high rates of return as they were based solely on almost unintelligible Mathematical Algorithms and Smoke And Mirrors (as well as Good Old Fashioned Fraud) and very soon, as per their name, they Blew Up Horribly, went Catastrophically Wrong, and Huge Financial Losses were made. But those who ran The Anytown were not concerned. To them, everything was going perfectly to pla¬n. And at what they considered to be the appropriate moment, they threw up their hands in Mock Horror and said that the Entire Financial System would collapse and People Would Starve To Death In The Streets if the losses made from buying and selling the HORFIOD were not paid for by the government, that is to say the ordinary tax payer, of Anywhere. Night after night The One Percent controlled Means Of Communication pronounced to the Ordinary Folk Horror Story After Horror Story of what would happen if money was not Forthcoming to cover the Huge Losses created by trading in the Highly Opaque And Risky Financial Instrument of Death.
Furthermore, The Means Of Communication noted, this financial support would have to be Substantial And Ongoing.
Duly, a Panicked Populace pressured the Politicians (not that they needed much pressuring, having already been thoroughly corrupted by The One Percent), screaming that Something Had To Be Done and money must be sent to The Anytown immediately!
And so it was that funds flowed from Ordinary Folk to The One Percent in Amounts That Were Unprecedented. With the backing of Puppet Politicians and The Means Of Communication, this one-way flow of money went on for year after year. The money was raised by increases in the taxes that Ordinary Folk paid and by huge cuts in spending on the Public Services.
Throughout the land of Anywhere, and much to the delight of The One Percent, it suddenly became difficult to see a doctor if you were ill, educational standards collapsed as teachers were sacked, there were no longer funds to support people who found themselves without work (of which there were now many for few people had money to spend with Local Businesses after the Substantial Tax Rises the Puppet Politicians had imposed) and gangs of bandits, Pirates and ne’er-do-wells took to roaming the streets of Anyplace as a much diminished and demoralised Police Force no longer had the means or the motivation to control them. The situation was made even worse when The One Percent, revelling in their even greater wealth and power, decided they could become yet still richer by using their Puppet Politicians to start a series of Illegal Wars in Far Flung And Almost Unknown Lands. Taxes on Ordinary Folks were raised even further to finance the Production Of Weapons by the Armaments Industry that was, of course, owned by the One Percent.
In a few short years, the land of Anywhere had been reduced to a Sad And Sorry state. The “absolutely necessary” Substantial and Ongoing Financial Support for The Anytown had reduced the Ordinary Folk to Miserable Penury and the Public Services had collapsed completely. Nowhere was this collapse better illustrated than by the Sad And Tragic example of The Asylum Of The Strange And The Different when, after three months of not being paid, employees simply stopped turning up for work. Left unsupervised and unfed, inmates turned upon each other and The Asylum slid into Barbarism and even Cannibalism. Finally, those inmates who had not been Killed And Eaten would die in a huge fire which burnt for three days and three nights (there no longer being an effective Fire Brigade) and razed The Asylum to the ground.
Society was in a Desperate Condition. The lives of The Ordinary Folk were returning to the same Miserable Conditions that had existed before The Power Of The One Percent had been curtailed. And that same One Percent did not care about the misery and suffering they had unleashed with their Highly Opaque Financial Instruments of Death. After all, The Order Of Things was simply going back to the way it was supposed to be, with them in control and owning everything. And as the Ordinary Folk became Poorer And Poorer, they became Richer And Richer. What was not to like? Happy and content, the One Percent sat in their sumptuous houses in their Gated Communities high in the Hills above the city of Anyplace. Protected by high walls and Private Security Guards, the One Percent sat back and enjoyed their wealth.
But the Ordinary Folk had reached Breaking Point. The Misery of Their Lives had become Intolerable. Everywhere in The Land of Anywhere, people had started to ask questions. What had happened to Lives That Had Been So Good? Why did they no longer have work? Why were their children Sickly And Uneducated? And why, most of all, was their money (of which there was now very little) still being paid to the Bankers of The Anytown? Surely now was the time to stop trading in Highly Opaque And Risky Financial Instruments Of Death? And if that meant that losses made by rich people trading in such had to be covered by the rich people themselves, well, was that not the nature of business? Sometimes you take a risk and you lose.
As these Questions Were Asked, a Spirit Of Insurrection grew in the land of Anywhere.
And then came a Spark that would plunge the land into Conflagration.
Desperate as always for money to funnel up to its One Percent masters via The Anytown, the Politicians decided to demolish and sell for scrap the Much-Beloved-of-The-Ordinary-Folk bronze statue of The Ragged Man Who Sang. Appalled by this news, Ordinary Folk gathered spontaneously in the Park in which the statue was located. Disturbed by this huge display of Public Disaffection, leading members of The One Percent, aware that there was no longer a functioning Police Force, sent a detachment of Private Security Guards to the park with instructions to Fire Into The Crowd to kill a few demonstrators and scare the rest back to their homes.
As instructed, the Private Security Guards proceeded to the Park and fired without Thought Or Care into the Huge Crowd, killing many people including women and children. But the demonstrators were not intimidated; rather the Passion Of Their Anger rose to new heights and, like one powerful, cornered and enraged beast, the crowd fell upon the Guards and punched, stamped and kicked them all to death. Days of rioting now followed in the City of Anyplace and then spread throughout the entire land. To begin with, the Anger of the Ordinary Folk was Inchoate And Self-Destructive and much of the beautiful city of Anyplace was destroyed, including the Centre Of Government which was burnt to the ground after the Politicians had been locked inside: those that escaped the flames were doused in Flammable Liquids, hung upside from lamp posts and trees and Set On Fire Whilst Still Alive by the mob.
After much needless destruction, eventually a Consensus Was Reached. The Ordinary Folk would stop destroying their own communities and Take Out Their Anger on Those Who Truly Tormented Them: The One Percent in their palatial homes in the Hills above the city of Anyplace.
Upon hearing this news, and reports of Ordinary Folk heading towards their Gated Communities from all over the land, The One Percent was Vaguely Perturbed and decided to Bolster The Defences by employing large numbers of vicious and heavily armed Pirate Mercenaries. That, they reasoned, should Do The Trick.
But it did not Do The Trick. The pirates were hardy and staunch defenders of their paymasters but were overwhelmed by wave after wave of desperate and angry Ordinary Folk. Eventually the high walls of the Gated Communities fell, the Private Security Guards (being considerably less redoubtable than the Pirates) fled and the Ordinary Folk stormed into the Luxury Homes of The One Percent, tearing each and every occupant into many bloody pieces: men, women and children.
And so, with the overthrow of the evil One Percent, you’re expecting a happy ending? I’m afraid not, for this is Real Life and not a Work Of Fiction. Civil Society had by now collapsed too far in the land of Anywhere to be reconstituted. Within a generation, the country would be ravaged and depopulated by disease, starvation, civil war, emigration and hopelessness and the Age Of Humans in the land of Anywhere would vanish, to be lost in the dense Fog of Forgotten Stories that makes up so much of history. And after the demise of humanity, Anywhere returned to being the land of Magick, Trolls and Faeries that it was before their arrival: which some might say was a very good thing indeed.
This Curious Little Tale is taken from my book “The Curious Little Book Of Extraordinary Big Tales,” available as an e-book from Amazon: