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The War of the Roses in England and the Civil War in America were both intestinal conflicts arising out of similar ideas. In the first the clash was between feudalism and the new economic order; in the second, between an agricultural society and a new industrial one. Both led to similar ends; the first to the founding of the English nation, and the second to the founding of the American. Both were strangely interlinked; for it was men of the old military and not of the new economic mind – men, such as Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh – who founded the English colonies in America.
The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody’s business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live. Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.
Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
If, of course, one builds into the concept of an ‘individual’ all that Professor Hayek does in his Road To Serfdom, Individualism and Economic Order and many other works, which is, to put it briefly, the whole of laisser-faire economic theory, then plainly man as such a programmed predator has very little interest in being fraternal, or very little chance.
Inevitably, people tell me that poor folks are lazy or unintelligent, that they are somehow deserving of their poverty. However, if you begin to look at the sociological literature on poverty, a more complex picture emerges. Poverty and unemployment are part and parcel of our economic order. Without them, capitalism would cease to function effectively, and in order to continue to function, the system itself must produce poverty and an army of underemployed or unemployed people.
Our economic order is tightly woven around the exploitation of animals, and while it may seem easy to dismiss concern about animals as the soft-headed mental masturbation of people who really don’t understand oppression and the depths of actual human misery, I hope to get you to think differently about suffering and pain, to convince you that animals matter, and to argue that anyone serious about ending domination and hierarchy needs to think critically about bringing animals into consideration.