After the internet caught wind of the viral video of Oliver Anthony singing his protest song in the woods of Northern Virginia, he reflected upon the success of his song in a follow-up video he made driving back from a free show he put on in the Outer Banks, NC.
He issued a heartfelt response about what he wanted to get out of this whole viral sensation, claiming that he only wants to see people unite and be kind to each long after the novelty of his song ebbs.
"People used to go to war over spices, now you can order any spice you want from the comfort of your own couch, but people still want to fight each other. "
Quite true. Americans will find just about any reason to divide themselves these days. Unfortunately, his song is no exception.
Despite his calls for unity among the people, Oliver Anthony (who describes himself as "middle of the road" with his politics) has ironically divided the nation as well with mainstream media either praising his unique and authentic sound or lambasting him as a darling mouthpiece for the right-wing culture war.
While it's no surprise that some conservatives (who have a tendency to lionize just about anyone who gives them hope in a world that they see is dying) have made Anthony their hero, it is a bit of shock to some that the mainstream left have unleashed a wave of antipathy and ire against the young folk artist.
Why do they hate him so much? Well, let's explore a little deeper.
Oliver Anthony starts off his hit song "Rich Men North of Richmond" by bemoaning the toils of the common man who sell their souls to the company store.
Many could relate to the beautiful notes that illuminated the plight of the downtrodden pleb who labors under the all-encompassing surveillance of fat cats while being paid miniscule wages all so they can waste their days away doing nothing but drinking and existing.
So far so good.
Next he turns his revolutionary anthem toward big brother, the state, the shady politicians who do the bidding of the ruling class while they enjoy the luxuries of private islands where they abuse children together.
They want to know what you do, what you think, what you feel at all times while they want to live their lives enshrouded in secrecy, free from public scrutiny. They want to track every aspect of your life like the futuristic PDK dystopian novel A Scanner Darkly - except here and now in the present.
He also ridicules inflation and the central banks, pointing out that the common people have lost all of their buying power, their assets, and have largely surrendered the American Dream in general.
In the spirit of the old rebellion of folk, Oliver Anthony also promotes unity, diversity, togetherness, and joy. He puts on free concerts where he speaks to the crowds trying to instill hope and love. He stays hours after the show to shake hands and hug fans and really listen to what they have to say.
This is quite different than the plastic music industry where millionaire singers provide their adoring public with lip-service and hierarchy.
Where the hell did he go wrong?
Despite all of this, there seems to be a lot of hatred among the left who have gone to social media to unleash their vitriolic slander against him.
They have called him the obvious derisive textbook names like "trumptard' and "racist", insisting that he "wears white robes when he's not singing", and that he "sounds out dog whistles for his racist white followers", etc. You know, all the typical buzzwordy stuff.
So what did he say that got them so outraged? Here's the line that set the fuse:
Well, God, if you're 5-foot-3 and you're 300 pounds / Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds / Young men are puttin' themselves six feet in the ground / 'Cause all this damn country does is keep on kickin' them down.
Oliver stuck a blazing red-hot branding iron up the rectum of the mainstream left's most sacred cow - welfare.
If you attempt any criticism of the welfare system in America, you're (parenthetically) automatically a stool pigeon for the ruling elite. You're (parenthetically) regurgitating Reaganomics and the populist right-wing conservatives who want to "kill the poor" so that the lives of rich people can get slightly better.
He made "insulting remarks" about poor people on welfare instead of calling out Fortune 500 companies who subsist on taxpayer monies...
Oops, you almost had it, Oliver. That close!
But wait, should he really be despised for this?
Just because criticism of welfare tends to be a fox news "right wing" talking point, doesn't mean welfare and high taxes is something that today's mainstream democratic socialist needs to accept as their lord and savior simply to own the righties.
We all can hate welfare (including corporate welfare) and being extorted into oblivion by the largest monopolies on earth "for our own good". This is one thing we should all have in common: the hatred of being taxed to death and constantly being told what to do.
Justifying taxation for any kind of welfare always benefits the ruling class, but they win big primarily when the working poor become docile and dependent on it.
Why? Because all of the power that the elite have comes from the complacency and obedience of the common people. As Simone De Beauvoir said, "The oppressor would not be so strong if he didn't have so many accomplices among the oppressed".
The old anarchists and Marxian socialists actually despised the welfare system due to the fact that it was essentially hush money to pay off the working poor who, instead of realizing their own ability and power, would be pacified by better tasting bread and more entertaining circuses.
What is conveniently paraded as a compassionate method to help the poor is actually a meticulously implemented strategy to make the working man ineffective at defending his natural rights. It renders him dependent on the system, ripe to be controlled by the ruling elite. The tyranny of the majority, all of us suffer when the critical mass of society accept the validity of the state.
Libertarians reject corporate welfare on the same grounds that they reject individual welfare: they maintain that the use of force to take property from one and distribute it to anyone for any reason is immoral, but the problem is also much more complex.
It is through taxation that the system has become the monolithic power that it is today. It has maintained its supremacy through its ability to take large portions of individual's income, not in some abstract way but in concrete terms.
The common people pay for their servitude by literally working at least a third of their lives for the government. Taxation is the largest expense most Americans face. Everything it spends our money on is for their benefit, not ours'. It is through our acceptance of their "necessary measures" that we perpetuate this insidious, parasitic relationship.
It is superfluous to insist that some part of the government that relies on taxation is moral while the rest of it is immoral. It's all corrupt.
"Those who control the prison system are the same who control the school system" - Dead Prez.
The mainstream Left seemingly understands that the political class is a mouthpiece for some of the wealthiest tycoons on the planet. Big food, Big Pharma, Big Tech, the list goes on. There are indeed private actors, such as the World Economic Forum, who have enormous persuasion over information and world governments.
The thing that has puzzled many Libertarians about them is that, despite this knowledge of cronyism, they still have a tendency to favor big government policies. It boggles the mind.
Their logic appears to be that we're all in a state of decay because our government has been bought and sold by the rich and rendered a plutocratic oligarchy, so we need to pay more to the plutocratic oligarchy in order to be free from them. Makes no sense.
They're just as guilty as Republican pundits who can't seem to acknowledge that these two behemoths symbiotically cater to one another. The ruling class is comprised of politicians and billionaires and there is certainly an unmistakable cohesion that exists between the two.
As Carlin said, "It's a big club and you ain't in it".
Both are guilty, as Rich Men North of Richmond eloquently exhibits, but it is political power that is the final arbiter of doom. The monopoly of force, the entire political system is where all hell breaks loose, and welfare is merely a lengthened shadow of that carnage.
We're not exempt from responsibility, we're more responsible, and it's okay to hold ourselves accountable. If we don't, then those in power win right from the start.
While the Libertarians and Marxists may be diametrically opposed in some philosophical senses, we should both be able to agree that we do not need a big government to dangle treats in front of our faces to keep us safe and quiet.
We can run our own lives. We can voluntarily help each other through hard times. We can start our own businesses. We can reach our own goals without big brother. This is a lesson that today's mainstream leftwing desperately needs to relearn, as well as anyone else who harbors the idea that government is our friend and wants to help.
Welfare is not a blessing bestowed upon us by our benevolent rulers... it's a mousetrap full of cheese that got dicked by bureaucrats, politicians and billionaire elites. Don't eat it.
In conclusion, there's really no reason for anyone to suspect that Oliver Anthony is "punching down" when he's mocking welfare. That's totally baseless.
In his own words, the song is about corporate owned politicians. He does not favor the Democrats or the Republicans, despite how mainstream media tries to spin it:
We do have to call each other out sometimes when we're falling for the state's parlor tricks, but that doesn't mean he has turned his back on the poor or values their plight any less. In other words, that line does not contradict the rest of the song.
He clearly doesn't hate "the poor". He does everything he can for them. He is far more an ally of the poor than Hollywood celebrities who would never dream of going near them socially. He especially is more of a friend to the poor than politicians who just exploit their existence for votes, and then rise to power on their backs.
There is nothing about him that evidences his contempt for the working man. On the contrary, his critique of welfare recipients filling up on fudge rounds is quite apt in defending the working man. Take your liberty, not their snack cakes. You have a hand in your own fate.
Why would he want to see his community being reduced to dependent serfs who send themselves to early graves gobbling up the processed garbage that big government feeds them?
The power belongs to the people. Always has, always will. It's time to assert that power!
If you enjoyed this thought-provoking insight, check out 9 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True.