In the tiny realm still outside of Sam Walton’s Endless Empire, there was a riot between police and shoppers awaiting a PS3 sale at a Best Buy in Fresno, a smash-and-grab looting at a Hollister’s store in lower Manhattan, fistfights outside Westfield Culver City Mall in California, a gang-related stabbing outside a Macy’s in Sacramento, and gunfire inside a North Carolina mall.
Like the mob-instinct insect army that they are, the leftist press—make that the corporate leftist press—blamed it all on “the corporations” rather than the corporations’ consumers. The Daily Beast spoke of “grotesque social engineering” by a mercantile class attempting to “enslave American minds.” The Huffington Post pinned it on “Social Darwinism,” alleging that the “heads of these corporations” were “joyfully watching those rocked by the recession pummel each other to death” and counseling readers not to “be corporate America’s bitch.” Salon upbraided “corporate America” for “encouraging” this behavior. On Eric Boehlert’s Twitter feed, the editor of George Orwell’s favorite website (Media Matters) linked to a story about the Black Friday brawls, adding, “great job corporate America.”
To hear the apologists making themselves dizzy trying to spin things, the violent shoppers weren’t being “greedy” to the best of their limited abilities and opportunities—somehow they were bullied and brainwashed and hornswoggled and socially engineered into acting this way. They weren’t simply acquisitive pigs with perhaps significantly lower cognitive capacity and laughably paltry organizational skills compared to most corporate CEOs—even as they punched babies in the face while scuffling for cheap toys, somehow they maintained their victims-of-capitalism status through all the mayhem. Even when pepper-spraying a screeching mob of co-proles to snag a cheaper Xbox, they remained angels with dirty faces.
It’s really quite simple.
Walmart sent its jobs to China because the workers are cheaper. And Walmart’s fat, sweatpants-swaddled American patrons elbowed one another for toys because they were cheaper. Notice a pattern? Corporate robber barons and minimum-wage mall-shoppers are both “humans” and therefore are subject to “human nature.” Like squirrels dreading the winter, they tend to hoard resources and will stuff their faces and load their arms with as much garbage as they can get away with until they’re forcibly restrained.
Not that I can relate. I don’t tend to judge myself by what I own, or else my self-esteem would be even lower than it is. It’s not that I think there’s anything innately unethical with wanting to be rich or to live in luxury, but it’s obviously never been a priority of mine, or else I would have kept my mouth shut and pretended I really wanted to be a member of society. I don’t think this makes me better than most people, only different. So speaking as someone who is perhaps congenitally tone-deaf and color-blind to this thing called “greed,” perhaps I can accurately assess the situation as an outsider.
No one’s forcing these slovenly idiot hairballs to club one another over the heads for flat-screen TVs. I’ve been exposed to the supposedly irresistible allure of capitalist advertising for five decades now, yet it never compelled me to knee someone in the groin for a cheaper iPad. If any of these baseball-cap-wearing ass-sores clawing over one another at midnight to score a discounted toaster oven using their nearly tapped-out credit card had the slightest chance to be a despised villainous oligarch, they’d cannibalize every peasant within a hundred miles and then go out for lobster puffs with champagne. This isn’t to say that greed is inherently good, only to point out that it’s not confined to those who’ve been successful at it. Much of this recent robotic class-war fist-pumping can be summarized with the popular ghetto term “player-hating.”
This is why the currently meme-tastic fantasy fable that the wealthy are innately evil while the poor are misunderstood saints is unmitigated horseshit. They’re all homo sapiens, meaning that despite the tax bracket, 99% of them will suck.
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