Frank Rich’s recent article in New York magazine included an excellent capsule history of the Depression-era Bonus Army and a good summary of how corporate welfare boosted G.E. and other corporate monsters, but the headline on the story — “The class war has begun” — is misleading.
The modern-era class war by the super-rich against the other 99 percent of Americans began in the Reagan years, and was being schemed back in the 1970s. The aspect of the class war Rich refers to is the recent backlash by the 99 percent against the privileged few who’ve been waging war on them for decades.
Rich correctly points to the cynicism of politicians regarding class war, an attitude they couldn’t sustain without a lot of help from the corporate media:
Politicians in either party, of course, never use the term “class warfare” to describe what’s going on in America, unless it’s Republican leaders accusing Obama of waging it every time he even mildly asserts timeless liberal bromides about taxing the rich. Nor do most politicians want to talk about the depth of the crisis in present-day capitalism, since to acknowledge its scale would only dramatize how little they intend to do about it.