Has anyone asked what legal or moral authority any Western government has to take the property (e.g. houses and yachts) of various Russian “oligarchs”? This is done under the guise of “sanctions” against Russia. Is any due process involved besides the whims of a bureaucrat? If so, what exactly is this due process? Confiscatory measures against anyone from Canadian truckers to rich Russians are a threat to everyone.
What makes all this more shameful is that many politicians and the media seem oblivious to the confiscation. In fact, many are cheer-leading it.
This may be a test to see if the government can take anyone’s private property for any reason whatsoever. You don’t submit to a vaccine? You lose your car, your house, your bank account.
Listen to what former Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis, said in an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:
“The oligarchs of this planet: the Russians, the Qataris, the Saudis, the Americans, the Greeks – they have been absolutely abusing our societies, our states, our tax systems. Yes, the Russians are pretty ugly in what they are doing. They have plundered in a very short space of time, the mineral resources, the industries of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And they have bought mansions in London, football teams and so on.
So it’s a wonderful opportunity, the fact that Ukraine has concentrated our minds on what Russian oligarchs are doing to contemplate moving beyond them. Because Russian oligarchs, it has been estimated, have taken $200 billion dollars out of Russia. Looted money. Plundered money. But American oligarchs have taken $1200 billion dollars out of the jurisdiction of the United States of America, hiding it from the IRS.
And they are not much nicer people than the Russian oligarchs, I have to say. They have not protested the massacres of Yeminis in Saudi Arabia. They have not protested the killing of journalists like Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian Embassy or Consulate in Constantinople – in Istanbul I should say. Um, they have not lifted their little finger to help us fund the green transition. Why should we not, you know, extend our newly found antipathy towards oligarchs who have been defrauding and plundering our countries. Why not extend it to people beyond Russia?”
Yes, we do not like them and we do not like their opinions, so let’s take their stuff, and close their bank accounts. I was hoping Amy Goodman would have pushed back. I’d love to hear what he had to say about the rule of law, principles of private property, and due process.
And then compare this to the protesting truckers in Canada who had their bank accounts frozen and trucks confiscated. Were these drivers horrid oligarchs or mere common protesters? Is there a difference in the long run? She remained mum on the issue.
As an aside, let’s note that this new use of the pejorative and loaded word “oligarch” to mean “billionaire” is chickenshit. The new definition seems to be “a rich person you do not like.”
This kind of thinking is more common than you might imagine, with hints of this emerging in the Biden “Billionaire Tax.”
It’s definitely part of the agenda of the Democrat-Socialists in Congress. Their thinking makes up a good part of the progressive Democrats in the US House of Representatives, along with some Senators.
Bernie Sanders, for example, is the founder, along with Varoufakis, of the Progressive International. This is a Marxist world organization.
Its goal is the destruction of capitalism to achieve a “post capitalism” world “that rewards all forms of labour while abolishing the cult of work.” Whatever that means.
Demonizing the hyper-rich for their supposed bad behavior (and associations) makes it easy for governments to rationalize taking their stuff and stealing their money without due process. The public-at-large won’t complain because these are bad people and nobody should have that much money, anyway.
The problem is that the elite class showed its hand in Canada when it confiscated the bank accounts of citizens protesting. The media was in cahoots with the elites by always referring to the truckers’ Freedom Convoy as the “so-called Freedom Convoy,” implying that the convoy was bogus. This propagandistic usage was universal on the big networks.
What’s particularly disconcerting is the Varoufakis comment that these rich douchebags are not lifting a finger to help fund green initiatives. First of all, plenty of rich people are funding plenty of good causes. It’s none of anyone’s business.
To suggest that someone has to be funding certain specific things lest they are robbed of their property is the worst kind of tyranny. This sort of comment says that you either agree with some social justice edict or even a state narrative or you’ll have your property confiscated.
How is this even legal, moral, or ethical in any democratic and free society? And why does nobody speak up except for a few libertarians and some other outliers. It’s unbelievable.
There is something wrong with society when this is happening. And there is something wrong that nobody is saying anything about it. — JCD