Random Shots: Onassis’s Road to Riches

Against the Current, No 6, January/February 1987

R.F. Kampfer

DURING WORLD WAR II, Aristotle Onassis used to sell oil to Germany, getting his payment in advance. Next he would sell the location of his tankers to the British Navy, which would sink them. Then he would collect the insurance on the ships from Lloyds of London. Triple profits on every voyage, and no need to pay the crew.

History Is Bonkers

THE FIRST known attempt to implement a reformist perspective was when Plato attempted to write a progressive agenda for Dionysios, Tyrant of Syracuse. Dionysios showed his appreciation by having Plato sold into slavery.

The Spanish guerrilleros who fought against Napoleon generally stuck together while they were struggling for survival. When they won a major victory however, capturing a fortress or convoy, they showed a tendency to disintegrate, as each man thought of finding a safe place to enjoy his loot. There is a similar tendency in local union opposition slates.

During the final years of the Chinese civil war, a much greater percentage of industry was state-owned in Nationalist areas than in territory controlled by the Communists. Mao won considerable support from the Chinese bourgeoisie by promising to respect the property of “progressive capitalists.” It should be noted, however, that “nationalization” under Chiang meant that the enterprise essentially became the personal property of some Koumintang bureaucrat or warlord.

Chrysler News

EVER SINCE the class system began, the procedure has been that we would push the rocks or pick the cotton and management would walk behind with a whip to keep us at it. Now, with the new Team Concept developed by the UAW for Jefferson Assembly, we get to work with one hand and flog ourselves with one another.

The Jefferson System works like the three men who bought the cow: we feed the cow, Chrysler takes the milk, and Mark Stepp spreads the shit around.

Under the Jefferson System, foremen don’t wear neckties, which just make it easier for them to sneak up on us. I think they should carry bells and give periodic shouts of “Unclean.”

Kampfer’s Kulture Korner

BEFORE HE GOT into politics, Prime Minister Nakasone may have done dubbing for Japanese movies. In Gappa the Triphibian Monster (1967), a TV reporter says: ‘The monsters are invading the city! Fortunately they’re in the Negro section of town.” That line inspired a Chicago audience to do some Godzilla-action at the theater where it opened, so it was quickly changed to the “poor section.”

In the 1951 B-movie Hong Kong, Rhonda Fleming pleads with co-star Ronald Reagan that “The homeless, the old, the children they’ll need more help than ever!”

“They’ve always been kicked around,” he shrugs, “they’re used to it.” Hasn’t changed a bit.

The High Society

WE NEED A new soft drink that will give positive results on government and company drug-tests, rendering them useless. Call it Camo[flauge]-Cola.

We can expect LSD to regain some of its former popularity, since it does not show up in urinalysis.

When they offer you a specimen cup, just say no.

In 19th century China, tea and opium sold for the same price: their weight in silver.

Thoughts While Viewing A VCR

COMRADE AMY reports that none of her New York friends can help her move furniture because their bodies have been wrecked by jogging. The couch-potatoes will inherit the earth.

January-February 1987, ATC 6

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