Shakespeare on Social Issues and the 1%

Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man feel your power quickly“…Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,
And each man have enough.”
(King Lear, act 4, sc. 1)

Comments.  The ordinance or order Gloucester refers to, was established by the Heavens and it implies a sense of balance and justice. The superfluous and the ‘lust-dieted’ man, instead, has subverted the order of things and attempted to appropriate that very order for his own slavish needs. Which is exactly the subversion of the social order carried out by the 1%, thanks to the subversion of the laws that kept the “superfluous and lust-dieted man” in check. Laws and regulations made useless or impotent by the system of social and economic ideas subsumed by the term neo-liberism. Neo-liberism is but an Orwellian word to disguise the brutal nature of social Darwinism. And neo-liberism is embodied by the current combination of militarism (imperial domination of the world) and its mirror image in economics (Wall Street).
Garcia Lorca, poet, philosopher and playwright, said, in the 1920s, “The terrible, cold, cruel part is Wall Street. Rivers of gold flow there from all over the earth, and death comes with it. There, as nowhere else, you feel a total absence of the spirit: herds of men who cannot count past three, herds more who cannot get past six, scorn for pure science and demoniacal respect for the present. And the terrible thing is that the crowd that fills the street believes that the world will always be the same and that it is their duty to keep that huge machine running, day and night, forever.”

Tips for Use. It could be a verbal motto for the 99% and, if slightly modified, even put to music.

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In the Play.  Blind Gloucester as he gives his purse to Edgar, his son, who will be his guide to Dover.

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