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America's Most Hated
Sep 20, 2010
I remarked a while back that, so far during the financial collapse, I had not seen anyone call for business executives to be put to death. Now I have. A blogger named Howie Klein, who posts at “DownWithTyranny,” was reviewing the forthcoming anti-capitalist film Inside Job, by Charles Ferguson, and in the course of his comments, Klein wrote: “As a firm believer in the death penalty, I heartily disagree with Ferguson that any of these crooks belong in prison.” Hyperbole? Maybe. But it has a tradition.
When press baron Conrad Black was sentenced to prison for committing several minor white-collar crimes, in 2007, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper ran a cartoon that depicted one hulking convict saying to another: “I want you to sign this non-compete agreement. This new guy Conrad is all mine.” In 2008, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, wrote in the Guardian newspaper: “CEOs of fossil energy companies . . . should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.” In 2009, columnist Marc Carlisle wrote in Colorado’s Summit Daily News: “Perhaps the death penalty should not be reserved only for violent physical crime but as punishment for extreme economic harm.”
Prison rape. Nuremburg-like trials. Executions. Would people dare to urge that such penalties be visited upon any large segment of the American population except businessmen? And would any large segment of the population except businessmen put up with it? For fifty years and more, our intellectuals have screamed that we must not hate “The Other,” no matter what his race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sex practices, personal deficiencies, or social pathologies. One group only they have urged us to hate, and to hate without limit: the people who create humanity’s wealth.