activism Politics Robert Reich

The Oligarchy’s Ultimate Political Weapon (Video)

The oligarchy uses cynicism as a political weapon to make it seem like issues such as climate change and social justice are impossible.

Robert Reich /

If you’re discouraged by what’s happening in the country, that is by design. The forces undermining our democracy, polluting our planet, and stoking hatred are counting on you to give up. But we must not let them. 

They use their allies in political office to grind the gears of government to a halt, so people see government as the problem, not the solution. But if there’s one thing we learned from this wretched pandemic, it’s that government intervention can reduce poverty and suffering, and we can afford to pay for it.

They want us to become so discouraged that we stop showing up to vote. Another victory for them. Those who want you to believe that change is not possible are counting on you to forget that history and give up. Don’t.

Robert Reich
Robert Reich

Robert Reich writes at His latest book is “THE SYSTEM: Who Rigged It, How To Fix It.” He is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 17 other books, including the best sellers “Aftershock,””The Work of Nations,” “Beyond Outrage,” and “The Common Good.” He is a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, founder of Inequality Media, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentaries “Inequality For All,” streaming on YouTube, and “Saving Capitalism,” now streaming on Netflix. 


  1. Reading this, I could only shake my head. 25 years into the Democrats’ war on the poor, as US job losses long surpassed job gains, Mr. Reich was in the thick of the work to pit us against each other by class and race. On the heels of the Democrats’ collapsed Russiagate scheme that brought us to the brink of catastrophic war, Mr. Reich scolds us for our cynicism.

      1. Why quit and quietly slip out to an awaiting cushy gig at UC Berkeley, when he could have stuck to his guns and forced Clinton to either fire him or agree with him? As Sec. of Labor, I would think he was in a much better position to subvert the Clinton agenda than as an academic blowviator at Berkeley.

  2. I admire your optimism, and what you write is arguably true, especially regarding the agenda of Republican party, however the GOP is not the problem. Joe Biden is proving to be the arch-conservative, neocon, neoliberal political hack his long Senate record predicted. He’s voted for every war proven to be based on lies (even after the fact), exploded the prison population with his 1994 Omnibus Crime bill, was a champion of NAFTA, a shill for predatory banks (“MBNA Joe”), was censored for plagiarism, and broken almost every campaign promise he made. Joe Biden is the worst possible President at this critical time in our history.

  3. Biden’s post-election “foreign policy”, calling Putin a “killer”, bombing Syria, Iraq, and Somalia, provoking Russia and China with military exercises on their borders, increasing sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, etc.), documents that, as Noam Chomsky said, “Psychopaths rule the world.” We simply don’t have the time for this.

  4. I must disagree. To me our system has completely failed to properly serve the people as it was intended. Therefore, continued voting for people who promise change and do nothing is totally out of the question. We must stop voting and put our energies into making a better system from the ground up. Sure it will be difficult, it might even fail but if we do not try then we have given up on ourselves.

  5. While Reich wafts in his pillow of professorial comfort, raking in every nickel of UC Berkeley, Blum Center, Netflix, Substack writing and speaking fees, royalties, salaries, honorariums etc. he can grab, he asks the rest of us, who are less fortunate, to believe in the system that has treated him so well. Reich’s simply-minded video, blaming the faithless for their own misfortune, asks those who are justifiably skeptical to, as the saying goes, “believe in the system more than the system believes in itself.”

    If you weren’t cynical before watching Reich’s “Ultimate Political Weapon” video (with the gratuitous shout-out to “The Oligarchy”, as if Reich wasn’t a card-carrying Clinton-pal member), you certainly should be after watching his MIC Highway Department trash. The “roads and bridges” we spent 20 years building in Afghanistan sure did wonders for that country – pardon my cynicism. Unfortunately, the same contractors that fucked up Afghanistan, multinational conglomerates like Halliburton and AECOM, are getting the same corporate welfare aka government contracts for asinine concrete projects, to fuck up the landscape in this country.

    Who was the moron who threw Interstate Highways into Reich’s March of Progress? Reich? In the larger metropolitan areas, where most of the US population lives, the highways have become a forever-expanding, ugly, dirty, noisy, dangerous mess. The highways are a Ponzi scheme, costing more and more to build and maintain while at the same time becoming more and more dysfunctional and causing more degradation to our quality-of-life. The Reich-Ponzi fix to the dysfunctional mess? You got it – make the mess bigger – more “roads and bridges” – more highway lanes.

    Before he tries to sell us any more “roads and bridges” Kool-Aid, grab me a burger from the In-N-Out and so I can shove it into Prof. Reich’s mouth.

  6. This follows a blueprint for an ideal civilization out of the box solution. By the way, Bush owns the ballot machines and the CIA manages them.

    A useful and purposeful life far exceeds the quality of an entertained one. Now, I ask you, in what way is this type of civilization lacking or detrimental? Where are its shortcomings that could not be utilized for good? Entertainment, the one benefit that will be removed from our lives if this is implemented, is defined in the Webster Dictionary as: amusement and diversion; neither one needed in a healthy society.

    We have here the elimination of all=poverty, war, bad health, wasted lives, crime, pollution, drugs, subversion, deception, oppression, oppressive rule, undereducated youth, all of society’s ills are eliminated. Some good is there to work for. Is this not worth fighting for?

    All future generations, with the preventive education of the history of the world for them to learn what to avoid, and training youth to test for deception from their youth on, and to encourage independent character from youth, we will have a new civilization free from evil rule. The question now remains-how do we make that happen, how do we overcome the obstacles?

    Electing a president to do this is not the most effective way. Here is why-the ballot machines are hack-able, and the Electoral College will almost certainly not allow a progressive and unconventional candidate to take office. If the unbelievable event of a righteous president taking office occurs, to correct the situation, he would still have to pass legislation against the positions of the other two legislative branches. They are all bought, and would block every good move on his part.

    One thing he could do to restore fairness, would be to utilize legislation to sue the rich and take away their wealth, which has been hijacked from the people through deception and manipulation, slave-labor, monopolization, coercion, and every low-down way that they have taken the people’s money and have destroyed our minds, values, health, and quality of life for generations. Nobody gets rich and powerful in America without proving to be willing to underpay employees, cheat the people, and/or be puppets of the wealthiest and most evil characters.

    In the name of restitution or reparations, redistribution of wealth can be achieved. That method is legal, but not feasible knowing the political situation as it has been revealed. Most likely, another avenue will be necessary. The first step requires forcing the lawmakers of our nation out of office.

    This basically requires the military to step in, as police have shown themselves to be subservient to politicians and the powerful. The military leaders have recently shown their colors lately, supporting further military involvement in the middle-east.

    In EXPOSING THE MONEY MACHINE, I revealed that 197 top military brass were removed as the ones who indicated that they would not pass orders to fire on American soldiers if told to. The ones who replaced them took positions with the understanding that their position relies on their willingness to have their troops attack US citizens. What could overcome this situation is a willingness and courage of our troops to muster strength and courage to disobey so-called superiors and to depose our rulers and place a worthy leader to transform civilization. The alternative is the citizens taking the matter into their own hands.


  7. The alternative is the citizens taking the matter into their own hands. There are many strategies to apply, but this is the most difficult and has least possibility of success. Unfortunately, if the others are not feasible, this unlikely-to-succeed method must be applied.

    First of all, pack. Death is preferable to letting us be the ones to allow all future generations of our children to be slaves to an evil elite. The following methods of resistance would be necessary to have any chance of success.

    Remove all your moneys from banks. Use cash instead of credit or debit. The banks will claim bankruptcy and keep your moneys if you don’t. This will prohibit total knowledge of where every penny goes, and make it easier to keep currency in our control; and it will impede the rulers’ intentions to outlaw cash and to control your independence of how much you make and spend. It also removes the necessity of paying taxes.

    Remove yourself from working for large corporations and/or government. If the majority of people do this, it would cripple them and their power. However, remember that both of these have unlimited moneys at their disposal. It would impede further growth of corporations, but the elite don’t need anything from us except obedience.

    Start entrepreneurships. Creating small businesses that serve the community, employing locals and paying them reasonable wages for quality products and services at reasonable prices. The motivation should not be riches, but to serve the community. Supporting local small businesses that are fair to employees and customers should trump savings of being a customer of the big corporations.

    Form unions of every kind. Strikes should be employed strategically for the benefit of all citizens, not just the workers. For example, a nation-wide trucker’s strike that cripples the nation, could bring benefits to a whole nation.

    Tenants unions, in which tenants donate 2% of each months’ rent to a fund to protect a good tenant who works or benefits the community, in the case that he loses his job or another calamity, the saved rent from the donations of all tenants are to be used to provide his rent. If a good tenant is to be evicted for anything not deemed legitimate by other tenants, the entire building’s tenants should threaten to all find other housing.

    Grow organic fruits and vegetables in your yards or in windows.

    There are methods of warfare that should only be implemented if necessary. Such as throwing Molotov cocktails through windows of houses of policemen, politicians, rich people. Ambushing of same wherever they are not suspecting attack.

    Take measures to inform them that if they plan to imprison, enslave, or kill us, that we will defend ourselves.

    Public shaming and disdain of rich people, police, and others who contribute to the rulers. Civil disobedience.

    So you see the methods possible, as well as an equitable new civilization. Of course every nation is captured by the Vatican’s evil, under the United States’ vast net. The only way to take down the power is by implosion, by having its own people refusing to be used by it for the world’ destruction. Once the beast’s head is cut off, with the assistance of US military, the rest of the planet can be assisted in removing puppets and capitalist and religious and imperialist governments from office, replacing them and their rule. 



  8. Well, if folks are cynical about the system and don’t see the point in voting – maybe it’s because they rightly perceive that as long as they are told the D/Rs are the only “viable” choices, it doesn’t really matter – neither set has done much of anything to make our lives more viable – pretty sad when we use our vote for the LOTE, Coke v Pepsi, cyanide v arsenic – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of – insanity.

    I have been voting 3rd party since ’96 – hoping more will join me … anybody on a ballot can win if enough folks vote for ’em – regardless of the powers that be continually whispering in our ears that “3rd parties can’t win”, they know better – and just in case too many of us finally figure out that’s BS and start voting for what we want instead of what they tell us is the best we can get, they have been consistently and “progressively” making it harder and harder for any 3rd party to GET on a ballot, to get matching funds, to get in debates.

    Before we revolt in the streets, let’s try revolting at the polls …

  9. Here’s a friend of Bill and oligarchs dispensing more snake oil to the people. Swallow his swill and you’ll be sure to bullshit like him, only you probably won’t get paid for it.

    U$ Demokracy, Inc., the greatest show on earth, is the hopium of the masses. Keep casting votes for select casts of candidates courting corporate contracts (aka legislation) as ‘our representatives.’ That’s government at work for you, keeping the business of Amerikkka bizzness, and a global racket of empire to die for.

    Thankfully, the pandemic has taught us the lesson of how government can be there for the people, the hard way. Lockdown for their false flag flu sure was a great crash course in shock doctrine disaster capitalism (Naomi Klein’s sellout notwithstanding). Masking has been an enduring demonstration in social engineering as to how people can be made to do the stupidest stuff. And ‘social distancing’? It’s like reading 1984 for real.

    But the best is yet to come. No greater authority of learning than the man at the helm of the nation has told us it’s our god-fearing, patriotic duty to line up, turn up the sleeve, and take one for the Gipper or Grammy. So it’s back to boot camp for our schooling in everything that Government gives us, from genetic modification to genocide, biodigital convergence to AI slavery…or as Proudhon put it:

    “To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”

  10. Michael Lewis Kahn might benefit from the story of Jesus’ answer to the question of whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar: Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. This at least implies the use of mechanisms of transfer of value other than the face value of the branded currency of the day. Maybe people other than the newly unavailable children of the police and politicians would offer goods and services in exchange for a new currency based on the promise of his new society to be rebuilt on the sites of firebombed properties on Walton’s Mountain. May I suggest he name it the Khan, as a note to self to avoid internal contradictions in his new system? He may fortuitously escape having to exchange Khans for the hundreds of billions of dollars to be demanded in all patriotism by the US military to continue to do the international regime change part of his program, as this is what they are trying to do anyway.

  11. Where did “coming out to vote” get us?….Another vicious Democrat urging the continuous torture of the great publisher, Julian Assange!

  12. Ahh, suing the rich? Really? Oh those dirty criminal lawyers, mostly one and all. Lawsuits! The revolution will not be litigated.

    Our ally, for all those Israel Firsters in Media-Press-Politics-Fortune 1000-Hidden Places: This is how countries and the MIC and IA and 4IR work — Israel is the leadin edge, and we truck money to them daily in the millions of dollars.

    Fix is In: Israeli Arms Maker Attacks Armenia to Sell Drones, Mossad and Judges Help Hide the Mess

    Aeronautics executives donned Azeri army uniforms to attack Armenia military positions in order to seal $13-million UAV deal

    It’s an emblematic headline of the entire rotten copulation of tech-money-power-politics-chosen ones will continue to take us.

    Here, another example of that “country.”

    One of Emily Amrousi’s most infamous statements (see David Sheen’s video above) as a journalist concerned the young British woman gang-raped by 12 Israeli teenagers in Cyprus. The journalist began by acknowledging that feminists say that the truth of a rape victim’s account must always be acknowledged. So far so good. But she goes further, saying that just as feminists have a prejudice in favor of the victim, Zionists have a prejudice in favor of the Israeli. Therefore, despite being a woman and being expected to sympathize with a female victim, as an Israeli she feels she must believe a fellow Israeli, almost as an act of Zionist patriotism.

    Thousands of Israeli women are raped by men whom the State and police refuse to prosecute under the encompassing rubric of “insufficient evidence.” But really due to male privilege and misogyny, which is epidemic in Israel. Somehow Israeli male rape is kosher because rape happens everywhere.

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