Leaders killed or removed for reducing the privileges of the rich

Leaders killed or removed for reducing the privileges of the rich

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The question is about leaders who reduced the privileges of the rich in order to help the poor. Until now, I've found two examples:

  • Umar II (682 - 720), an Umayyad caliph, was greatly helping the poor by cutting their taxes and the rich people killed him because they could not digest his policies of justice, simplicity and equality.
  • Johann Sachs von Harteneck (1664 - 1703), mayor of the German city Hermannstadt (today's Sibiu, Transylvania) was killed because he was asking the rich to pay taxes.

I am looking for more examples of such leaders who were killed or removed from power for reducing the privileges of the rich - or for reducing the taxes of the poor.

A list question par excellence but I'll allow myself to be tempted nevertheless…

  • Agis IV & Cleomenes III.
  • The Gracchi brothers.
  • Kavadh I.
  • Thomas Sankara.

Trade Unions and Nazi Germany

When Hitler came to power in January 1933, he saw trade unions as exercising more power over the workers than he could. Therefore, trade unions were seen as a challenge to be dispensed with. Hitler knew that he needed the workers to be on his side but he could not allow trade unions to exert the potential power they had. Therefore, trade unions were banned in Nazi Germany and the state took over the role of looking after the working class.

Just months after Hitler was appointed Chancellor, he took the decision to end trade unions in Nazi Germany. On May 2 nd , 1933, police units occupied all trade unions headquarters and union officials and leaders were arrested. The funds that belonged to the trade unions – effectively this was workers money – were confiscated. However, Hitler had to be careful. He had only been in power for a few months and there were many members of the working class he had to deal with. If the working class movement in Germany organised itself, it would have presented the new Chancellor with a lot of major issues that would have to be dealt with. Removing trade union leaders helped this but it did not fully guarantee that the working class would ‘behave’ itself. Hitler had to offer the workers something more. Hitler announced that the German Labour Force, headed by Robert Ley, would replace all trade unions and would look after the working class. The title was chosen carefully. The new organisation was deliberately cloaked in patriotism, as it was now a German entity as was seen in its title. The working class was now a ‘labour force’. The Nazi Party did all that it could to ensure the workers felt that they were better off under the guidance of the Nazi Party via the German Labour Front.

They had to be brought onto the side of the Nazis as Hitler had major plans for the workers. There were simply too many of them to brutalise into submission, so the workers were offered the ‘Strength Through Joy’ movement (Kraft durch Freude’) which offered them subsidised holidays, cheap theatre trips etc.

Hitler offered the working class an improved leisure life in one hand and took away their traditional rights in the other. Strikes – the traditional way for the working class to vent their anger over an issue – were banned. Strikes had been a thorn in the side of Weimar Germany in its final years. In 1928, the equivalent of 20,339,000 days had been lost as a result of strikes. In 1930, 4,029,000 days had been lost. In 1933, it was just 96,000 days and from 1934 to 1939 there were none. New laws had been brought in after the burning down of the Reichstag and one covered ‘un-German activities’ and strikes were classed as un-German. In January 1934, the Law Regulating National Labour (the ‘Charter of Labour’) banned strikes at statute level.

Trade unions had looked after the rights of the working class. The German Labour Front now did this. However, Hitler was still fearful of large group of unemployed men existing in the fledgling Nazi state. In January 1933, he inherited an unemployment rate of 26.3%. This had the potential for long-term trouble. Therefore, job creation schemes were introduced. An individual had no choice about a job placement as anyone labelled ‘work shy’ was sent to prison. But such an approach brought down unemployment figures. By 1936, it had dropped to 8.3% – an 18% fall. Between 1936 and 1939, this 8.3% would be mopped up by conscription. Also women were no longer included in employment/unemployment figures, so the figure had to tumble.

Those brought into the Labour Front to participate in job creation schemes were regimented almost as much as if they were in the military. A song sung by members of the GFL went as follows:

“We demand from ourselves service to the end, even when no eyes are upon us.

We know that we should love our Fatherland more than our own life.

We vow that no one shall outdo us in loyalty,

That our life shall be one great labour service for Germany.

So in this solemn hour we pray for blessing on the oath we take,

We thank thee, Fuhrer, that we have now seen thee,

Do thou behold us as thine own creation?

May our hearts ever beat with thy heart’s pulses, Our lives find inspiration in thy love,

Behold us here! Thy Germany are we.”

Their conditions of work and pay were controlled and determined by the German Labour Front and the GLF represented the workers when disputes arose between management and workers. Between 1933 and 1939, the wages paid out to those in the GLF actually dropped a little. The cost of living rose during the same time by 25%. However, Hitler’s grip on the working class by 1939 was so great that they had no choice but to continue in this way.

John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States (1961–63), who faced a number of foreign crises, especially in Cuba and Berlin, but managed to secure such achievements as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the Alliance for Progress. He was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas.
He was the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic ever elected to the presidency of the United States. His administration lasted 1,037 days. From the onset he was concerned with foreign affairs. In his memorable inaugural address, he called upon Americans “to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle…against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” He declared:
”In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it.…The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
Lee Harvey Oswald is the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. As history records, at 12:30 pm on November 22, 1963, from a window on the sixth floor of the depository building, Oswald, using a mail-order rifle, allegedly fired three shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Texas Gov. John B. Connally in an open-car motorcade in Dealey Plaza. Oswald took a bus and a taxi to his rooming house, departed, and about a mile away was stopped by Patrolman J.D. Tippit, who believed that Oswald resembled the suspect already being described over the police radio. Oswald killed Tippit with his mail-order revolver (1:15 pm). At about 1:45 pm Oswald was seized in the Texas Theatre by police officers responding to reports of a suspect. At 1:30 am on November 23 he was formally arraigned for the murder of President Kennedy.
On the morning of November 24, while being transferred from a jail cell to an interrogation office, Oswald was shot by a distraught Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby. Ruby was tried and found guilty of murder (March 14, 1964) and sentenced to death. In October 1966 a Texas appeals court reversed the conviction, but, before a new trial could be held, Ruby died of a blood clot, complicated by cancer (January 3, 1967).

36b. The New Tycoons: John D. Rockefeller

"What a Funny Little Government!" Cartoonist Horace Taylor pokes fun at John D. Rockefeller in this cartoon which appeared in The Verdict, a partisan magazine of the day.

He was America's first billionaire.

In a pure sense, the goal of any capitalist is to make money. And John D. Rockefeller could serve as the poster child for capitalism . Overcoming humble beginnings, Rockefeller had the vision and the drive to become the richest person in America.

At the turn of the century, when the average worker earned $8 to $10 per week, Rockefeller was worth millions.

Robber Baron or Captain of Industry?

What was his secret? Is he to be placed on a pedestal for others as a " captain of industry ?" Or should he be demonized as a "robber baron." A robber baron , by definition, was an American capitalist at the turn of the 19th century who enriched himself upon the sweat of others, exploited natural resources, or possessed unfair government influence.

Whatever conclusions can be drawn, Rockefeller's impact on the American economy demands recognition.

Rockefeller was born in 1839 in Moravia, a small town in western New York. His father practiced herbal medicine, professing to cure patients with remedies he had created from plants in the area. John's mother instilled a devout Baptist faith in the boy, a belief system he took to his grave. After being graduated from high school in 1855, the family sent him to a Cleveland business school.

Young John Rockefeller entered the workforce on the bottom rung of the ladder as a clerk in a Cleveland shipping firm. Always thrifty, he saved enough money to start his own business in produce sales. When the Civil War came, the demand for his goods increased dramatically, and Rockefeller found himself amassing a small fortune.

He took advantage of the loophole in the Union draft law by purchasing a substitute to avoid military service. When Edwin Drake discovered oil in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, Rockefeller saw the future. He slowly sold off his other interests and became convinced that refining oil would bring him great wealth.

Waste Not.

Rockefeller introduced techniques that totally reshaped the oil industry . In the mid-19th century, the chief demand was for kerosene. In the refining process, there are many by-products when crude oil is converted to kerosene . What others saw as waste, Rockefeller saw as gold. He sold one byproduct paraffin to candlemakers and another byproduct petroleum jelly to medical supply companies. He even sold off other "waste" as paving materials for roads. He shipped so many goods that railroad companies drooled over the prospect of getting his business.

Rockefeller demanded rebates , or discounted rates, from the railroads. He used all these methods to reduce the price of oil to his consumers. His profits soared and his competitors were crushed one by one. Rockefeller forced smaller companies to surrender their stock to his control.

Standard Oil &mdash a Trust-worthy Company?

This sort of arrangement is called a trust. A trust is a combination of firms formed by legal agreement. Trusts often reduce fair business competition. As a result of Rockefeller's shrewd business practices, his large corporation, the Standard Oil Company , became the largest business in the land.

As the new century dawned, Rockefeller's investments mushroomed. With the advent of the automobile, gasoline replaced kerosene as the number one petroleum product. Rockefeller was a bona fide billionaire. Critics charged that his labor practices were unfair. Employees pointed out that he could have paid his workers a fairer wage and settled for being a half-billionaire.

Before his death in 1937, Rockefeller gave away nearly half of his fortune. Churches, medical foundations, universities, and centers for the arts received hefty sums of oil money. Whether he was driven by good will, conscience, or his devout faith in God is unknown. Regardless, he became a hero to many enterprising Americans.

Let’s go back to another legendary queen. You say, “More than any other Egyptian queen, it is Nefertiti who represents the epitome of true, successful female power.” Introduce us to this remarkable woman—and explain how she saved Egypt at a critical moment in its history.

Nefertiti is the trickiest of our women to talk about because she is only just now being discovered by Egyptologists for what she was. That is, a leader of her people. We have thus far only discussed her as a beauty, as evidenced by the bust in Berlin’s Neues Museum. But when she became a political leader she changed her identity. She had herself renamed and was no longer depicted in that feminine way.

When I say that Nefertiti was the most successful of our feminine leaders what I mean is that she cleaned up the mess that the men before her had made. She used her feminine emotionality to do so. She wasn’t interested in her own ambition. She didn’t even claim it in a way historians can talk about her as having been in power. She hid all the evidence of herself having taken power.

Egyptologists still fiercely debate whether she became co-king at all, and certainly whether she became sole king. If she did, she had to erase her feminine identity of beauty and allurability. That, right there, speaks volumes about what political power is—and what it does to a woman.

Pentagon chief says removal of all contractors from Afghanistan under way

By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday the process of removing all contractors from Afghanistan working with the United States was under way as part of President Joe Biden's withdrawal of forces from the country.

The remarks are the clearest indication yet that Biden's April order to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 extended to U.S.-funded contractors.

Asked whether the Pentagon had issued orders to withdraw not just American troops but also contractors, Austin said: "We're going to responsibly retrograde all of our capabilities that we are responsible for and the contractors fall in that realm as well."

Speaking with reporters, Austin said the contractors could, however, renegotiate their contracts in the future.

As of April, there were nearly 17,000 Pentagon contractors, including about 6,150 Americans, 4,300 Afghans and 6,400 from other countries.

The departure of thousands of contractors, especially those serving the Afghan security forces, has raised concerns among some U.S. officials about the ability of the Afghan government and military to sustain critical functions.


Austin said the drawdown was going according to plan so far.

But Afghan security forces are locked in daily combat with the Taliban, which has waged war to overthrow the foreign-backed government since it was ousted from power in Kabul in 2001.

In just two days, the Taliban captured a second district in the northern province of Baghlan on Thursday.

The Afghan government says the Taliban have killed and wounded more than 50 troops in attacks in at least 26 provinces during the last 24 hours, while its forces killed dozens of Taliban over the same period.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said there had been sustained levels of violent attacks against Afghan security forces but none against U.S. and coalition forces since May 1.

Milley, in the same news conference, said it was too early to speculate on how Afghanistan would turn out after the withdrawal of U.S. forces given that Afghanistan had a significantly sized military and police force and the Afghan government was still cohesive.

"It is not a foregone conclusion, in my professional military estimate, that the Taliban automatically win and Kabul falls or any of those dire predictions," Milley said.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart in WashingtonEditing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis)


From 1521 to 1528 Cortés served as governor of New Spain, as Mexico became known. The crown sent administrators, and Cortés oversaw the rebuilding of the city and expeditions to explore other parts of Mexico. Cortés still had many enemies, however, and his repeated insubordination reduced his support from the crown.

In 1528 he returned to Spain to plead his case for more power and received a mixed response. He was elevated to noble status and given the title of Marquis of the Oaxaca Valley, one of the richest territories in the New World. He was removed as governor, however, and would never again wield much power in the New World.

Leaders killed or removed for reducing the privileges of the rich - History

Empress Wu Zetian by Unknown
[Public Domain]

Wu Zetian was born on February 17, 624 in Lizhou, China. She grew up in a wealthy aristocratic family and her father was a high ranking minister in the government. Unlike many girls of her time, Wu was given a good education. She was taught to read, write, and to play music. Wu was an intelligent and ambitious girl who learned all she could about politics and how the government worked.

When Wu was fourteen she moved into the imperial palace to serve the Emperor Taizong. She continued her education at the palace until the emperor died in 649. As was the custom, when the emperor died she was sent to a convent to become a nun for the rest of her life. Wu had other plans, however. She became romantic with the new emperor, Emperor Gaozong, and soon found herself back at the imperial palace as consort (like a second wife) to the emperor.

Back at the palace, Wu began to gain influence over the emperor. She became one of his favorite wives. The emperor's main wife, Empress Wang, became jealous and the two women became bitter rivals. When Wu's daughter died, she hatched a plan against the Empress. She told the emperor that Empress Wang had killed her daughter out of jealousy. The emperor believed her and had Empress Wang arrested. He then promoted Wu to Empress.

Over the next several years, Wu established herself as a significant power behind the throne. She built up strong allies in the government and eliminated rivals. When the emperor became sick in 660, she began to rule through him.

In 683, Emperor Gaozong died and Wu's son became emperor. Wu became regent (like a temporary ruler) while her son was still young. Although she didn't yet have the title of emperor, she had all the power. In 690, Wu had her son step down as emperor. She then declared a new dynasty, the Zhou Dynasty, and officially took the title of emperor. She was the first and only woman to become emperor of China.

It was difficult for a woman to maintain power in Ancient China. Wu managed this by using secret police to spy on people. She developed a large system of spies who helped determine who was loyal and who wasn't. Wu rewarded those who were found loyal, but had her enemies put to death.

Another reason that Wu was able to keep power was because she was a very good emperor. She made intelligent decisions that helped China to prosper. She surrounded herself with competent and talented people by promoting people based on their abilities rather than by their family history.

During her reign, Empress Wu expanded the borders of China by conquering new lands in Korea and Central Asia. She also helped to improve the lives of the peasants by lowering taxes, building new public works, and improving farming techniques.

Empress Wu died in 705. Her son, Emperor Zhongzong, took over as emperor and reestablished the Tang Dynasty.

I believe black Americans face a genocide. Here's why I choose that word

‘Hundreds of thousands are in prison for selling drugs because prosecutors maintained they were poisoning the community – but in Flint, where the whole community was poisoned, not one official was punished.’ Photograph: Pacific Press/Rex/Shutterstock

‘Hundreds of thousands are in prison for selling drugs because prosecutors maintained they were poisoning the community – but in Flint, where the whole community was poisoned, not one official was punished.’ Photograph: Pacific Press/Rex/Shutterstock

Last modified on Fri 6 Dec 2019 19.43 GMT

I n the weeks since the release of my book, Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People, the question I’ve been asked most often is whether my use of the word genocide in the title was meant to be intentionally provocative, rather than reflective of reality.

Surely, genocide is too strong a word for the maltreatment of black people in America, some interviewers have suggested. True genocide is something that happened in Nazi Germany, Armenia and Rwanda, not the United States of America.

Yet we don’t need to look any further than the definition contained in article 2 of the United Nations’ 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: “Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” It then goes on to describe the acts as “killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births, or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.

The first case for charging the American government with the genocide of black Americans was brought in 1951 by a group called the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) in We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief from a Crime of The United States against the Negro People.

The CRC was attacked, accused of exaggerating racial inequality, and disbanded in 1956. In hindsight, the paper – and its charge of genocide – was prescient and has stood the test of time.

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, has documented 4,400 racial terror lynchings so far. He has brought the historical evidence of genocide to life in an exhibit at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice there, visitors walk under 800 steel columns representing black Americans who were lynched – some bearing names, some printed with “unknown” and the location of the lynching.

Rather than fading into a shadowy past, the case for charging genocide has – if anything - only grown stronger and clearer since the CRC first brought its petition.

Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark - daily, the news is filled with documentation of black people wrongfully killed by police, of black lives treated as though they had no value, of lives extinguished without accountability and without justice.

But the evidence of genocide doesn’t stop with outright murder. The mass incarceration of black people testifies to a prison industrial complex that uses black lives as fuel to feed its profits. Consider the generational harm of incarcerating black people, who make up only 13% of the population but 27% of all arrests, 33% of those in jail or prison and 42% of those on death row. We see genocide in the generations of black families who have been economically and psychologically destroyed by a justice system that incarcerated poor blacks for using crack cocaine, while slapping the wrists of white professionals who used cocaine in its white powder form. We see that hypocrisy continue today as opioid use is deemed an “epidemic” and disproportionately white users are treated as addicts in need of treatment. We see it as the government devises ways to profit from the legal marijuana industry while thousands of black Americans rot in prison for possessing or selling weed to support their families.

A Black Lives Matter demonstrator waves a flag on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Bloody Sunday commemoration in Selma, Alabama, in March. Photograph: Julie Bennett/AP

We see it in the masses of black Americans who have been forced or coerced into felony convictions or plea deals, costing them the basic essentials of a successful life – an act I call in my book “killing us softly”. Consider the cascade of consequences that follows a felony label, which disproportionately affects black Americans. Trumped-up felony convictions and plea deals leave thousands of black Americans unable to vote unable to access housing unable to hold a wide range of jobs, from nail tech to childcare worker unable even to purchase life insurance, rendering them the walking dead.

We see it in the rampant environmental racism that threatens the lives of black people in low-income neighborhoods across the country. Consider that the most polluted zip code in Michigan, 48217, is 84% black. Isn’t it ironic that hundreds of thousands of black Americans are in prison for selling small amounts of drugs because prosecutors and judges maintained they were poisoning the community – but when it came to Flint, where the whole community was literally poisoned, not one official was punished?

If that isn’t enough evidence of genocide, consider the last two acts contained in the UN’s definition – preventing births or forcibly transferring the children of one group to another. In my book, I document how black people have been sterilized without their knowledge or against their will for decades and are still coerced into sterilization to reduce a prison sentence. For much of the last century, a majority of states carried out eugenics laws, resulting in the sterilization of nearly 65,000 Americans, most often women of color. In California, nearly 150 incarcerated women were sterilized between 2004 and 2013, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. And as recently as 2017, a Tennessee judge offered to reduce criminal sentences by 30 days for individuals who agree to sterilization or long-form birth control implants.

Black children are much more likely to intersect with the social welfare system, where they are likely to end up in foster care or adopted – that is, raised by a group other than their own. In New York City, 53% of children in foster care are black, though only 25% of children in the city are black. In Minnesota, black children are three times more likely to be removed from their homes than white children. In many cases, the “crime” that led to the children’s removal is their parents’ poverty, a condition imposed or fostered by society.

The physical, financial, mental, and even spiritual deaths inflicted on black Americans are evident everywhere – in substandard schools, in the food deserts that leave black communities without food to survive or thrive, in impoverished neighborhoods subject to polluted water and air.

That the use of the word genocide would prove so shocking suggests that many Americans lack both a knowledge of our history and an awareness of the circumstances all around them. In Open Season I have tried to hold a mirror to America’s face, because we know our nation can and must do better. Like the CRC members declared nearly 70 years ago, I charge genocide. The case is clear.

Ben Crump is a civil rights attorney, and founder of the law firm Ben Crump Law, based in Tallahassee, Florida

Attainment of power

On February 4, 1992, Chávez and a group of military officers led an attempt to overthrow the government of Pres. Carlos Andrés Pérez. Unfortunately for Chávez, the rebellion quickly collapsed. While the other rebel leaders successfully captured their targeted military bases, Chávez was unable to complete the key part of the operation—the capture of President Pérez. Trapped in the Military History Museum near the presidential palace, Chávez realized that it was useless to keep fighting, and he agreed to surrender on the condition that he be allowed to address his coconspirators on national television. Chávez stood in front of the cameras and told his fellow “comrades” that regrettably—“for now,” he said—their goal of taking power could not be accomplished, and he beseeched them to put down their arms to avoid further bloodshed. Chávez spoke for less than two minutes, but this was essentially the beginning of his life as a politician. Many Venezuelans at that time were frustrated with their elected leaders, and they were inspired by Chávez and praised his bold ideas to reform the country. His address became known as the por ahora (“for now”) speech because many people took that specific phrase as a promise that one day Chávez would return.

Chávez was imprisoned without a court ruling for the attempted coup until 1994, when Pres. Rafael Caldera Rodríguez, bowing to Chávez’s growing popularity, dropped the charges against him. Chávez then founded the political party Movement of the Fifth Republic (Movimiento de la Quinta República MVR), enlisting many former socialist activists and military officers. Viewed as an outsider, Chávez was able to capitalize on widespread discontent with Venezuela’s established political parties, and in December 1998 he won the presidential election with 56 percent of the vote.

Watch the video: TAG der DEUTSCHEN EINHEIT: Hier wird ANGELA MERKEL PERSÖNLICH (June 2022).


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