Tom Perkins is one of the founders of a venture capital fund in San Francisco. This letter to the editor was published in the Wall Street Journal on 1/24/14:
Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.
This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?
Besides absolutely destroying Godwin’s Law and trampling any sense of logic to death, Mr. Perkins and the WSJ may be paying a great compliment to Occupy Wall St., Elizabeth Warren and all those who have the temerity to point out the growing conditions of extreme inequality.
Imagine how afraid this man is, cowering in his penthouse, waiting for the shock troops of MoveOn.org to amass in front of office buildings that house the financial elite and throw stones through the plate glass windows on the first floor of their 50 story skyscrapers. It will be Kristallnacht all over again with these one percenters having to call their security forces to disperse the crowd and order new glass to be installed. That’s very much like Auschwitz to them, if you think about it. It’s all relative.
The absurdity aside, Lawyers, Guns and Money recalls the fear of the plutocrats throughout history and notes:
Back in the Gilded Age, every strike, every worker movement, every bit of organizing was seen by the plutocrats as the coming of a revolution that would kill them all. See the response to the Tompkins Square unemployment marches, which the rich saw as the Paris Commune coming to America. Similarly, with every funeral, every note of music, every coming of the night, slave owners fretted about their human property rising up and killing them all, turning South Carolina into Haiti.
What Mr. Perkins is really fretting for is the ability to sleep comfortably at night without being confronted by the consequences of plutocratic rule. The sleep of the innocent monopolist before the smelly masses expressed their dissatisfaction with the status quo. The blessed slumber of the slave owner before the first slave revolt made them piss their beds.
By the way, Perkins, ex-husband of novelist Danielle Steele, was once accused of yacht based manslaughter in Europe. But he got away with just a fine of $10,000. Tip money, actually, for Mr. Perkins. I wonder if that experience was like the Inquisition.