…by Jonas E. Alexis
It’s been very clear that the rich and powerful do not want to be criticized, particularly when it comes paying taxes and applying the moral law in economics. They want to be left alone so that they can follow their lustful and greedy appetite, which we all know has been detrimental to economic progress in any country or nation. All the rich and powerful have to do is perpetuate “laissez-faire” economics, and they will have control over the entire economic structure of a nation.
Moreover, the rich and powerful always present a false dichotomy in which they hopelessly try to trap their opponents. You’re against capitalism? Well, you must be a Marxist or Socialist. You say that usury is bad? You must be against economic exchange or an opponent of “free enterprise”; you must arguing against “private property,” etc. The rich and powerful always anoint themselves with these logically fallacious arguments as if those arguments are themselves morally and intellectually sound.
As a corollary, the rich and powerful (purposefully) present their false dichotomy to the mass hysteria largely because they want to show that their worldviews are far more superior to the views that their opponents have been proposing.
The incontrovertible fact is that capitalism, at its metaphysical root, has never been a moral enterprise. It has always been a usurious activity which always ends up cheating labor out of decent workers. Capitalism, which got politically energized when Darwinism came on the ideological scene, has always been geared to the interest of the rich and powerful, the very people who never cease to drive down wages. We all know by now that this is an essentially diabolical enterprise which always kills the livelihood of the average person.
If this seems farfetched, then look at the recent Jeff Bezos debacle we discussed earlier. You simply are not a moral person when you are making billions upon billions of dollars and at the same time trying to avoid paying taxes! You are simply killing the economy. And anyone who doesn’t understand this basic principle is just as deluded or crazy as the people who are perpetuating wars in the Middle East.
So when Dutch historian Rutger Bregman declared that the rich ought to pay their taxes, Tucker Carlson was interested. But then the issue got heated because Bregman put both Carlson and Fox News in the same the oligarchic system. Carlson obviously was mad, sad, and wanted to be bad because he wasn’t expecting Bregman to connect the dots. Carlson told Bregman:
“I wanna go say to you, why don’t you go fuck yourself, you tiny brain. And I hope this gets picked up, because you’re a moron. I tried to give you a fair hearing, but you were too fucking annoying.”
Carlson didn’t want the episode to get picked up because he or the network refused to release it. He seemed to offer an apology for his rudeness, but we all know that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. This became apparent when Carlson himself declared that his words to Bregman was “heartfelt” and “entirely accurate.” Carlson said: “I meant it with total sincerity.” In other words, “Go fuck yourself” was indeed from Carlson’s deep-seated and unnecessary invective.
What got Carlson under his skin was that Bregman declared that Fox News, where Carlson is a host, has been bought “by the billionaire class,” which never missed an opportunity to avoid paying taxes. Bregman continued to say that Trump never released his tax returns, which makes everyone suspicious. “Who knows how many billions he has hidden in the Cayman Islands or in Bermuda. So I think the issue really is one of corruption.”
Finally, Bregman hit the nail right in the head when he forcefully declared that Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch and his family. The reason Carlson is essentially a TV anchor on Fox News, said Bregman, is because its owner is paying the bills! Bregman: “What the Murdochs basically want you to do is to scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance. So I’m glad you’re now finally raising the issue.”
Carlson quickly jumped in, saying: “And I’m taking orders from the Murdochs? Is that what you’re saying?” Bregman again was more rational here: “No, it doesn’t work that directly. It works by you taking their dirty money … You are a millionaire funded by billionaires — that’s what you are.”
At that point, Carlson exploded and proceeded to release not cogent argument but the “F” bomb: “Go fuck yourself.” According to Carlson’s logic, “Go fuck yourself” is more intellectually alluring than presenting serious evidence to the topic in discussion.
Ironically, Carlson is the author of Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution! Carlson even writes chapters such as “Elites Invade the Bedroom,” but he didn’t include that Rupert Murdoch, his boss, was part of the elite. Carlson write, “What if a group of unhappy people got to write the rules of your personal life? Would you be concerned?”
Perhaps Carlson should have rephrased the questions like this: “What if a group of unhappy people were always interested in cheating labor out of decent people and refusing to pay taxes? What if the historical record shows that the elites have been doing exactly that for more than two hundred years?”
Instead of addressing these serious issues, Carlson targets feminism, an ideology which has been an easy target for people in political parlance. We agree that the kind of feminism that has been force-fed to naïve students on college campuses across the country is intellectually and morally vacuous.
But that shouldn’t get Carlson off the hook. The central question for Carson is this: will he challenge the rich and powerful to pay their fair taxes? Will he name names? And in that sense, will he call out Rupert Murdoch for trying to avoid paying taxes for years?
Carson declares that feminism is existentially unlivable largely because feminists who seek to control political discourse in the media and even on Twitter do not have “a personal life you’d care to emulate. You wouldn’t want to have dinner with them. They’re neurotic, miserable people. Yet somehow this same group has acquired enormous power over our society.”
That is largely true, but why is Carlson running away from the main issue? Can we all emulate Rupert Murdoch by not paying taxes? Does he mean to tell us all that Fox News doesn’t exert enormous power over America? Who is this guy really kidding? Doesn’t he know that his predecessor, Bill O’Reilly, was beating the war drum and was therefore a puppet of the elite and powerful in Washington and elsewhere? After the disaster in Iraq was well-known and thoroughly documented, O’Reilly finally came out and admitted:
“As you may know, I supported the Iraq war based upon weapons of mass destruction intel. Subsequently, I believe we could have removed Saddam Hussein in another way. That would not have been so damaging to America. I mean the man had to go. He was a terrorist and an international outlaw. But in hindsight, we should have strangled him with a blockade and used our air power to destroy his infrastructure.”
O’Reilly risibly declared: “My opinion about the Iraq war 10 years ago was based on reality. Not ideology or party politics.” Seriously? It wasn’t the Neocons who were pushing Bush to perpetuate the lie that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction? And does O’Reilly mean to tell us all that he didn’t extract the war ideology from the war machine?
If the answer is that he got it from real evidence, does he mean to tell us that he had some serious documents that the intelligence community itself was not aware of? Did the U.S. intelligence community really say that Saddam had WMDs? Or was it a complete fabrication from start to finish?
We already know the answer to those questions, and the scholarly literature is readily available for those who are seeking the truth.
If one looks at the history of the Murdoch family, it is pretty safe to say that Bregman is partly right. As the BBC itself acknowledged way back in 1999:
“Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch may run one of the most profitable businesses in the UK, but it appears that he has somehow managed to avoid running up a tax bill over the past 11 years….
“Mr. Murdoch also has the luxury of shifting funds from country to country across his sprawling media empire to foil the taxman. It is not just the Inland Revenue that has been left empty-handed by News Corporation’s clever financial engineering.
“Mr. Murdoch ‘hands very little of his profits to governments’ according to The Economist. Overall, News Corporation paid just £146m ($238m) in corporate taxes on profits of more than £2bn.
“In other words he is paying tax at a paltry rate of just 6%. That compares with normal company tax rates of 30% and upwards.”
Rupert Murdoch himself was caught telling journalists that they had to bribe police officers “for stories was ‘the culture of Fleet Street.’” The Telegraph reported:
“Mr Murdoch was filmed talking to disgruntled staff at The Sun after journalists at News Corporation’s British newspaper operation were accused of intercepting voicemails and bribing officials for stories.
“Journalists told him that they authorized payments to police ‘oblivious to the fact the long-term practice of this company to pay public officials was illegal,’ and now felt they were being made ‘scapegoats.’
“Mr Murdoch replied: ‘Yeah. And one of these high-priced lawyers would say it’s our fault, but that situation existed at every newspaper in Fleet Street. Long since forgotten. But absolutely. It was the culture of Fleet Street.’”
Rupert Murdoch was also caught telling Tony Blair that he needed to push the war in Iraq. It was reported that “Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got.”Alastair Campbell, who worked for Blair at the time, wrote an 800-page book in which he argues that Murdoch was pushing Blair to go to war in Iraq.
Murdoch also didn’t care about the Palestinians. As Campbell puts it, “Murdoch said he didn’t see what the Palestinians’ problem was and James said that they were kicked out of their fucking homes and had nowhere to fucking live. Murdoch was very pro-Israel, very pro-Reagan.” Murdoch, Campbell writes, “was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got.”
So does Carlson mean to say that Murdoch did not influence Bill O’Reilly in any way in perpetuating the war in Iraq? Does he mean to tell us that Murdoch would have supported O’Reilly if O’Reilly had come out cutting the Neocon establishment to pieces around the same time that the war was being propagated by the war machine?
You see, Carlson, whether he likes it or not, is being disingenuous. The network allows him to criticize the war machine now because everyone with an ounce of common sense now knows that perpetual wars in the Middle East have never been good to America. The people who were saying that those wars were really bad for America way back in 2003 were David Duke and others. It turns out that Duke was right about the devastating effect of the war.
In any event, we must give Tucker Carlson some credit because the he is now challenging the Neoconservative ideology or the war machine which ontologically seeks to create chaos in much of the world; he is to be applauded for calling out the Trump administration for attempting to stage a coup in Venezuela, and for taking on Neocon luminaries and ethnic cleansers like Max Boot and Bill Kristol.
But Carlson has to be brutally honest with the rich and powerful. This will determine whether he is serious about journalistic integrity. This will also demonstrate that he was not capitalizing on the moral and political crisis in America by writing Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.
After Rutger Bregman released the interview he did with Carlson, Carlson declared a few days later: “Whatever my faults and those of this channel, nobody in management has ever told us what positions to take on the air. Never. Not one time. We have total freedom here and we’re grateful for that”
If that is true, Carlson, then we challenge you to call out Rupert Murdoch and ask him why he avoided paying taxes in the 1990s. If you cannot do this, then Noam Chomsky was right when he said:
“‘I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believe something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”
-  Tom Embury-Dennis, “Tucker Carlson berates historian who criticised Fox News in leaked footage: ‘Go f*** yourself, you tiny brain,’” Independent, February 21, 2019.
-  Allyson Chiu, “Fox News host Tucker Carlson defends viral profanity-laced clash with Dutch historian,” Washington Post, February 22, 2019.
-  Tucker Carlson, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (New York: Free Press, 2018), 181.
-  See E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2014).
-  Carlson, Ship of Fools, 182.
-  See Vincent Bugliosi, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (New York: Vanguard Books, 2008).
-  Murray Friedman, The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Paul R. Pillar, Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); Michael MacDonald, Overreach: Delusion of Regime Change in Iraq (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014); John M. Schuessler, Deceit on the Road to War: Presidents, Politics, and American Democracy (New York: Cornell University Press, 2015); John J. Mearsheimer, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006).
-  “Tax free: Rupert Murdoch’s zero status,” BBC, March 25, 1999.
-  “Business: The Company File, Murdoch ‘pays no UK tax,’” BBC, March 19, 1999.
-  Katherine Rushton, “Rupert Murdoch could face criminal charges in US,” Telegraph, July 10, 2013.
-  “Rupert Murdoch ‘pressured Blair on timing of Iraq war’, Campbell claims,” Telegraph, June 16, 2012.
-  Alastair Campbell, The Burden of Power: Countdown to Iraq (New York: Random House, 2013), 141.
-  Ibid., 490.
-  Tucker Carlson, “Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around?,” American Conservative, February 15, 2019.
-  Keith Griffith, “’Why don’t you go f**k yourself, you tiny-brained moron?’ Tucker Carlson berates Dutch historian who accused him of taking ‘dirty money’ from billionaires in spiked segment,” Daily Mail, February 21, 2019.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.