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Bezos v. Trump: 3 Major Divisions in the American Ruling Class

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15.02.2019

Jeff Bezos, considered to be the richest man on earth in terms of measurable wealth, and Donald Trump, arguably the most powerful man on earth as President of the United States, are figuratively at each other’s throats. US media is abuzz with talk of genital photographs, blackmail allegations, sexual misconduct, and media bias. However, those who look deeper may see bigger differences and hidden rivalries at stake. Two hostile camps have emerged within the circles of American power.

Widespread Notions of a Shadowy Elite

The notion that wars, political unrest, and clashes within society are the result of disagreements among a shadowy elite is a theme that repeatedly surfaces in art, culture, and fringe political discourse in western countries.

Aleister Crowley, the early 20th-century occultist, was known for putting forward his concept of the “hidden church” that ruled the world. He presented his followers with the belief that shadowy societies and secret orders among the elite were behind the scenes, manipulating world events in order to serve their own ends. One of Crowley’s novels, Moonchild, published in 1929, presented the First World War as resulting from a clash between different factions of witches and wizards who controlled various governments.

Crowley’s Occultists ramblings, most not presented as fiction, are easy to laugh at. To modern readers, they almost sound like a bizarre meeting between Alex Jones’ broadcasts and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. However, Crowley’s world view is pretty well echoed today in the various conspiracy theories that fill the internet.

In the early years of the 20th Century, many Anti-Communist Roman Catholics began asserting that the Bavarian Illuminati, which was discovered and suppressed by the church in the late 1700s, was still active. Adherents of this theory argued that the wealthiest and most powerful people were part of the anti-Christian secret society, and as part of it, were manipulating world events and fomenting chaos.

The former British athlete and sports commentator David Icke has gained a significant following preaching that a secret race of “reptilians” controls the world. The anti-Semitic conspiracy text “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” is still widely circulated in many parts of the world.

Materialist Analysis of Bourgeois Rivalries

The notion that some shadowy group of hidden rulers is manipulating world events, and that the conflicts and clashes in politics and geopolitics represent something deeper and more cryptic, is certainly a prevalent belief with many different narratives written to explain it.

In addition to all the various “conspiracy” narratives, there are some who have attempted to utilize political economy and historical materialism, rather than mystical legends, to develop a similar narrative. Karl Marx pamphlet “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon” describes a fight among the rich and powerful in France in the midst of an economic crisis. Marx describes Louis Napoleon’s “Party of Order” that seized power in 1851 as representing the finance capitalists and farmers of France, and suppressing the industrial capitalists while enacting swift economic reforms, in the hopes of restoring order and holding off a revolution.

In 1935, Georgi Dimitrov oriented the Communist International to make strategic alliances with “democratic” capitalists against a global fascist conspiracy, which he described as “most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.” The “popular front” strategy of the global Communist movement was based on a division among the capitalists of the world between “democratic bourgeois” and “fascist bourgeois.”

Carl Oglesby the 1960s radical penned a similar narrative during the 1970s, hoping to explain divisions among the American ruling elite. His text, widely circulated in leftist and progressive circles was called “The Yankee and Cowboy War,” and attempted to explain the Vietnam War, the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the Watergate Scandal in a context of clashing economic interests.

When one examines Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump’s disagreement, and the forces that line up behind one or the other of the powerful men, one can see three primary divides among the circles of power in the United States. The first is a divide between the allies of Saudi Arabia and the allies of........

© New Eastern Outlook