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Brzezinski: ‘Hell, There Could Be Even Riots’
02-22-2009, 08:30 AM,
Brzezinski: ‘Hell, There Could Be Even Riots’
Brzezinski: ‘Hell, There Could Be Even Riots’

Brzezinski fears class warfare. Not Mika. Zbigniew. And not Barney-Frank-on-Meet-the-Press class warfare. Real, blood-in-the-streets riots.

Jimmy Carter’s former National Security Adviser expressed his concern about the possibility of riots on Morning Joe today. To stave them off, he proposes the creation of a voluntary National Solidarity Fund, whose contributors would be those who made out very well in recent times.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: You also talked about the possibility of class conflict.

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: I was worrying about it because we’re going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we’re going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve. And at the same time there is public awareness of this extraordinary wealth that was transferred to a few individuals at levels without historical precedent in America . . . And you sort of say to yourself: what’s going to happen in this society when these people are without jobs, when their families hurt, when they lose their homes, and so forth?

We have the government trying to repair: repair the banking system, to bail the housing out. But what about the rich guys? Where is it? [What are they] doing?

It sort of struck me, that in 1907, when we had a massive banking crisis, when banks were beginning to collapse, there were going to be riots in the streets. Some financiers, led by J.P. Morgan, got together. He locked them in his library at one point. He wouldn’t let them out until 4:45 AM, until they all kicked in and gave some money to stabilize the banks: there was no Federal Reserve at the time.

Where is the monied class today? Why aren’t they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. I’m sort of thinking of Paulson, of Rubin. Why don’t they get together, and why don’t they organize a National Solidarity Fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back in to [a] National Solidarity Fund?

A bit later, Zbig made his fears explicit.

BRZEZINSKI: And if we don’t get some sort of voluntary National Solidarity Fund, at some point there’ll be such political pressure that Congress will start getting in the act, there’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!

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