In Business, History, Politics, Social commentary on May 31, 2012 at 12:00 am

In a May 13 Op Ed column, Forbes magazine declared: “For De-Friending the U.S., Facebook’s Eduard Saverin is an American Hero.”

From that column by John Tamny:

The money that the rich keep for themselves will go to “today’s and tomorrow’s businessmen.”

Throughout, the editorial implies that Americans would be so much happier if only:

  • the few taxes now levied on billionaires were abolished, and
  • that money stayed firmly in their trustworthy hands.

This utterly ignores the 2008 Wall Street “meltdown,” which occurred following an eight-year period of Republican “hands-off-the-market” regulatory policies.

It also ignores the even more recent loss of at least $2 billion by JPMorgan/Chase bank, in what amounted to a case of legalized gambling.

In addition, it utterly ignores the well-documented pattern of hedonistic and corrupt behavior among the rich.  As Robert Payne (1911-1983) the respected British historian warned in his book, The Corrupt Society, in 1975:

There is no chance that the rich will behave in a socially responsible way, writes Payne.  They are far more likely to “hold on to their wealth at all costs” than allow any of it to

The rich are so self-absorbed they usually don’t sense the growing resentment of the poor.  When revolution breaks out, they call on the police and/or army to protect them.  But it’s too late.  A new government seizes private wealth and puts it to “the service of the nation.”

“A nation’s wealth is too serious a matter to be left to the wealthy.  The riches of a nation belong to us all, to be shared among all for the general welfare,” writes Payne.

Finally, Tamny ignores the dire warning of Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of political science, on the threats posed by the nobility to a republic.  (Today’s “nobility” consists of the richest 1% of the American population.)

In The Prince, he writes:

“…It is impossible to satisfy the nobility by fair dealing and without inflicting injury upon others, whereas it is very easy to satisfy the mass of the people in this way.

“For the aim of the people is more honest than that of the nobility, the latter desiring to oppress, and the former merely to avoid oppression….

“The worst that a prince has to expect from a hostile people is to be abandoned.  But from hostile nobles he has to fear not only desertion but their active opposition.”

The Forbes column ends with this salute:

“Let’s raise a glass to Eduard Saverin.”

Forbes‘ editors might just as well have invited Americans to “raise a glass” to Benedict Arnold.

In 1778, Arnold, a trusted hero of the American Revolution, sought to “better himself” by “de-friending” America in his own way.  He offered to betray West Point and its 3,000 defenders to the British for 20,000 pounds (about $1 million today).

“He’s a true American hero.”

If this is true, America has traveled a long way from the most famous line of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugral Address:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

And from these words spoken by Robert F. Kennedy on March 18, 1968, during hs brief candidacy for the Presidency:

“Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product now is over $800 billion a year….

“Yet the Gross National Product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

“It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country.

“It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

And if Eduardo Saverin is a “true American hero,” America has traveled a long way–downhill–from the patriotism of Stephen Decatur.

It was Decatur, the naval hero of the War of 1812, who famously said: “Our country, right or wrong.”

Billionaire traitors like Eduardo Saverin have coined their own motto.  And so have their traitor-loving cronies like Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist and the editors of Forbes:

“My wallet–first and always.”

  1. Another excellent series of posts. Very well detailed and written, and very clear on the absurd and offensive concept of this man being praised for his greed.

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