The GOP – Stealing, Murdering, and Raping Like the Barbarians of Old

Sack_of_RomeRepublicans are always complaining about class warfare but since 2001 they have been on what can only be described as an extended plundering expedition on behalf of the rich. Their most recent activities since the Gilded Age may have begun in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they have hardly let up since George W. Bush left office. The only difference now is that while before it was foreign nationals and American taxpayers shared the dangers, today American citizens are their victims, and the annual Ryan Budget has become the crown jewel of this scheme.

The ancient and medieval worlds were plagued by attacks from outside what were considered “civilized” areas, by what were deemed “barbarians.” My ancestors were members of one of these groups, the Norse. The Norse had a concept of what they termed, in Old Norse, the innangarðr (the community) and utangarðr (the lawless wilds). The innangarðr was sacred and enjoyed frith, or peace. Those who violated this peace were outlawed and forced into the utangarðs (where life, in Hobbesian terms, was nasty, brutish, and short) for their sins. In a historical side note, Leif Eriksson was one such outlaw.

But while bands of Norsemen would raid those in the utangarðr, for example, Ireland, France, England, etc., and Norsemen from one locale would raid Norsemen from other locales, they did not plunder their own communities. And don’t get the idea that the so-called civilized lands of Medieval Europe were superior, except in their own minds.

But my point here is, if my ancestors qualify in most history books as barbarians, what does this make the Republicans, who don’t spare a second thought for their own community, who look upon their own people with a rapaciousness once reserved for the utangarðr?

Tacitus wrote admiringly of the Germans in 98 CE that, “This is what they consider the strongest of bonds, the sacredness of the home, the gods of wedded life” (Germania). What is sacred to the heathen mind is the community. The community, the inangarðr is the home of luck. In it, people dwell “in luck, in frith, in honour.” while the wilds, the utangarðr “is waste, the home of evil and unluck.” (Grönbech, 111). The wild is a joyless place, lacking not only the comforts of home, but the necessities of life.

And it has never been more clear that the Republicans want to deprive those of us in their own community of the comforts of home and the necessities of life, right down to the food we eat and the water we drink, and even their air we breathe. Depriving us of medical care seems to be just a bonus for them, a few more profits to squeeze out of the victims of their plundering before consigning them to their deaths. Gated communities will form the new inangarðr in the plutocratic Utopia. The rest of us will slave in a dystopian, distinctly Hobbesian, utangarðr to sustain their shameless lifestyles.

Where is their morality? As James C. Russell defines it, “the standards of ethical conduct among the Germanic peoples appear to have been ultimately derived from a sociobiological drive for group survival through in-group altruism. Ethical misconduct thus consisted primarily in violating the code of honor of one’s kindred or one’s comitatus.” (Russell, 204). But there is no place for altruism in the Republican worldview unless it is that of one rich person for another.

Grönbech illustrates the depth of these differences:

Family tradition constitutes the entire ethical standard. A fixed line of demarcation, separating evil from good, was not known. There was, of course, a broad average, as among all peoples. The Germanic people knew that certain acts, stealing first and foremost, murder, and some few others, brought dishonor upon a man, whoever the culprit might be (Grönbech, 74).

The Republican Party, on the other hand, has come to embrace stealing, and in its worship of the gun culture and stand your ground laws, murder. Where is the morality, you ask? There isn’t any. The Republican Party has done away with the inconvenience of morality. It is not congenial to their profit margins. Their view of economic and social justice is as warped as their view of religion.

It is easy to see why they would oppose the idea of liberal governance. Government, we are taught, is of the People, by the People, for the People, and as such, it is an unhappy barrier between the 1 percent’s desires and its victims. Government restrains. What the Republican Party wants is a government that, rather than regulating corporations, facilities their plundering of the taxpayer. Corporate welfare, obscenity that it is, is only the tip of the iceberg.

If, as studies show, America is fast becoming a second-rate nation, there is a very good reason for that, and one need look no farther than the Republican Party and its rich patrons, who have become the new barbarians at the gate.

The U.S. Constitution is the tenuous barrier between us and them, and it is wearing thin as Republican lawmakers do their utmost to outlaw the Constitution wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. And we have a Supreme Court that, rather than closing the gates, has opened them, letting these new barbarians run rampant through our streets, stealing, raping, and murdering like the raiders of old.

The question is, what can Americans do about these barbarians and what are we willing to do? It was Justice Roberts himself who told Americans that they had two choices: accept plutocracy or revolt. The poor, historically, have a very poor record against the wealthy, with a few exceptions, and our pitchforks are more metaphorical than real these days, but we are not without power even so. The question is, what will we do with it, and will we do it before it’s too late?


Wilhelm Grönbech, The Culture of the Teutons, I: 74, public domain edition found at

James C. Russell, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity (NY: Oxford University Press, 1994)


9 Replies to “The GOP – Stealing, Murdering, and Raping Like the Barbarians of Old”

  1. The Romans were sacked by the Germans because the Romans got so fat and lazy that they couldn’t be bothered to fight their wars any more. The Romans stiffed the Germans of their pay, so they sacked Rome.

    It’s not impossible for the poor to fight the rich. But it takes an organized, disciplined effort.

    For the record, the Rich stealing everything that isn’t red hot or nailed down haven’t had a good record for long term survival.

    Plutocracies always get overthrown. They make everything grind to a halt.

    Ask 16 rabbit.

  2. A very well written article Hrafnkell. I completely agree. Our constitution was intentionally written with checks and balances to keep the courts, the politicians, the religious zealots, and outside money interests from taking over. This worked well until the 1980s. Since that time the republicans have teamed up with the courts, and corporations. Now it has matured into an all out assault on stripping wealth and rights from the 99%.

    I believe that they thought they would have all they wanted by now except the american people threw them behind schedule by electing and then re-electing Barack Obama. You are correct in your assertion about Roberts. What he was basically saying in his opinion was accept it, or else. I viewed his opinion as arrogant. Basically asserting his power without consequences. With a smirk on his face.

    I firmly believe there is a showdown coming between the 1% and the 99%. We are reaching a tipping point and I wouldn’t want to be in that 1%.

  3. And in part thats why I laugh when I hear gun freaks say they will revolt if they cant have their penis extenders. The very rich do not want an armed and ready citizenship. In time that right will be taken away and those who revolt will die in minutes. It would be no different if the religious freaks were to take over.

    The time is coming that we will have no rights. We now have no one to enforce the constitution except where they want us to think its being enforced.

  4. One of the less-well noted episodes of Gulliver’s Travels was his visit to the Flying Island, where all the persons of importance were deaf. To be heard by them, you had to pay their servants a large sum of money. Once paid, the servant would shake a rattle in his boss’ s ear, thus restoring his hearing long enough for you to state your case. He named this island Laputa, a name which caused my co-author, Joe Sanchez, to grow wide-eyed when I told him about it. “They really called it The Whore?” he asked. “I don’t think the average reader knew even that much Spanish”, I assured him. They didn’t, but they understood that this was prostitution of governance. Presumably, so does the Roberts court. They’re just trying to assure that the Gem of the Ocean is locked in the whorehouse, ready for the rich johns to buy.

  5. Being called pro-life is a joke. Their goal is to force women to give birth. Hoping they will then go back to the kitchen waiting on their abusive red neck husbands.

  6. EXACTLY! Shiva the Constitution is there only until the Supreme COURT GET THROUGH WITH IT. When all power has been transferred to the rich, the Constitution will be dead.

  7. As with all failed regimes and agendas the Reich Wing will eventually fall under the weight of it’s own greed and hubris. And all the God fearing knuckledragging gun totin’ rednecks cannot stop this.But you must remember people..they claim to have some omnipotent being on their side that they cannot prove exists but in their minds that is their trump card. Silly Silly people.

  8. Shiva, I try not to be so negative but I see your point. I for one see that only ONE party has this nations best interest in mind and that is the left. The Democrats/Progressives/ Liberals are THE party of the people and the Reich Wing is THE party of those who not only think but DEMAND control over us in the guises of “freedom” and “Liberty”. But as any one with two brain cells to rub together knows that their version of these two comes at too high of a price both monetarily and philosophically. All the while living as they want and denigrating the rest as non-people.

  9. What the Dixeplcans wet dream is Zardoz with those of us working and poor becoming the brutals who will slave for these parasites.

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