Income inequality has become a key hot button issue in the modern
day political spectrum.
While these economic and class divides seem
more pronounced than ever before, the impressive new documentary
'Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA', reveals that the core of
these struggles pre-date the beginnings of the industrialized labor
The long and painful journey towards achieving worker rights
and fair wages has been marked by violence, discrimination, and
Take, for example, the West Virginia coal mining industry in the
early years of the 20th century.
Working under extreme conditions
plagued by brutalizing hours, unprecedented accident rates and
severe health hazards, the miners decided to fight back through
strikes and the formation of their own labor union.
itself chose to fight back with the importation of replacement
workers, and the structuring of new contracts which disallowed
workers from joining a union.
The fight for freedom from the tyranny
of wealthy industrialists was fraught by thousands of lives lost,
and many more wounded and incarcerated.
As the film makes clear, the country's founding fathers saw the
potential for such class conflicts even before industrialized
capitalism made its way to America's shores. During the Civil War,
which ranks as the most devastating union conflict in the history of
the United States, hundreds of thousands of casualties occurred,
many of which were from the poorest populations.
figures of the day paid destitute soldiers to fight on their behalf,
and some like business magnate
John D. Rockefeller could escape the
burdens of service by making a cash payment of three hundred
Throughout history, liberty has come at a cost far more profound
than dollars and cents.
Change only becomes possible when the
working masses band together under the shelter of a common cause of
fair and equal rights. 'Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA'
is a smart and engrossing tale of an issue which continues to drive
economic instability and power dynamics today.
The film honors the
sacrifices of all those who have battled to win the freedoms we
enjoy today, and reminds us of the importance of demanding equality
for all and speaking truth to power.