Today at dawn, New York City police surprised a gang of free market fanatics just before they could set off a massive dynamite explosion that would have blown away the entire northern wall of lower Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. The gang members, clad in black Armani ski masks and tasteful Christian Dior jogging suits, fled the scene, leaving behind a communiqué identifying themselves as the Wealthy Underground Organization, a militant clandestine group dedicated to the “liberation” of disgraced businessman and former NASDAQ chairman, Bernard L. Madoff.
According to police, the Wealthy Underground Organization is one of a growing number of capitalist extremist groups borrowing tactics from the 1960s nostalgia craze in order to fight what it sees as the “socialist menace” brought on by President Obama’s response to the economic crisis.
News of the daring rescue attempt quickly spread throughout radical capitalist circles, bringing tycoons, magnates, and entrepreneurs — from corporate CEOs to ice cream vendors — to the Correctional Center to demonstrate in support of the Wealthy Underground. Picketing and chanting, protestors held signs reading “FREE BERNIE!” and “THE BANKERS UNITED WILL NEVER BE INDICTED.”
Muffy-Ayn Randsworth, Harvard Business School senior and president of Students for an Autocratic Society (SAS), grabbed a bullhorn, climbed onto the hood of her Mini Cooper, and began lecturing the crowd, calling Bernard Madoff the “Che Guevara of free market capitalism.”
“Bernie brought down the System, baby!” proclaimed Ms. Randsworth. “By defrauding thousands of innocent people and charitable organizations to the tune of $65 billion, he said NO to oppressive fiscal regulations and petit-bourgeois guilt. Like a heroic professor, persecuted for teaching evolution, Bernard Madoff is behind bars today for demonstrating his belief in social Darwinism. OFF THE REGS!”
The crowd roared its approval, then began spontaneously to chant: BERNIE MADOFF, LIVE LIKE HIM — DARE TO SWINDLE, DARE TO WIN!
The protest was generally peaceful, except when a passing driver got out of his Meals on Wheels van and shouted, “You don’t like it here? Go back to the Cayman Islands.” Calm was quickly restored, however, when several Goldman Sachs executives beat him senseless.
Although the radical free enterprise movement appears to have started with a few fanatics in society’s upper reaches, it has quickly gained wider popularity than the 1960s anti-war movement ever had. Many Americans, embittered by their government’s economic measures, which have bilked them out of jobs, homes, and hard-earned tax dollars, are beginning to take clues from Bernard Madoff, who was able to privatize a similar — albeit illegal — scheme for vast personal gain.
Bobby Cy-Bot, iPod salesman who attended the rally on break from his Apple Computer store, says that, after Darth Vader, Bernard Madoff is his biggest hero. “The pigs hate how Madoff put a cool super-villain face on human greed,” opined Mr. X-Bot. “Thanks to Madoff, anyone in America can be a psycho super-crook with superpowers to wipe out every life form on the planet in an insatiable quest for lucre, pelf, and power. Madoff brought reality to the world of video games, man.”
Sallie Faye, mother of three, who was in the area to visit her unemployment office, agreed. “The whole stock market is basically lotto for the rich — but with fewer regulations, more people can play! Pretty soon, due to all the acquisitions and mergers and stuff, there’ll be only one big gimongous mega-corporation left on earth, with one person controlling it. It’s my right as an American to waste my life, hoping that one person will be ME.”
Ms. Faye then walked over to a vendor’s table to pick up a pamphlet and buy an extra-tight pink T-shirt with sequins that spelled out “FIGHT THE POWERLESS.”
Given the scope of the Wealthy Underground’s influence, authorities have no clue where or how the gang will strike next. Intelligence efforts have so far failed to penetrate Underground activities, although a few lurid reports have surfaced about secret cadre meetings with “tender offers,” “put options,” that lead to “hostile takeovers,” and members sucking gold bullion cubes to achieve a hallucinatory high. There are also rumors of plans to kidnap known socialists, such as Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow.
According to anonymous sources, the Wealthy Underground Organization may even have installed “soft on capitalism” sympathizers at the highest levels of government. This could explain why, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was informed of the Wealthy Underground’s attempt to blow up the jail holding the perpetrator of history’s biggest investor fraud, she remarked, “I didn’t do it, but I dug it.”
Meanwhile, Bernard Madoff’s aboveground support committee is planning a series of bake sales and al fresco puppet shows to raise money for Mr. Madoff’s prison commissary fund. His attorneys, however, caution potential contributors not to expect returns on their “donations” for at least four years.
(Although former Weather Underground member Laura Whitehorn made certain tax-free word contributions, here.)
Susie Day lives in New York City where she writes a humor column for feminist and gay publications. She has also written on U.S. political prisoners and labor issues and thinks her girlfriend, Laura Whitehorn, is hot stuff. Can’t get enough of Susie? Read other pieces by Susie Day in MRZine: Susie Day, “Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture” (22 July 2005); “Street Life of a Mad Activist” (28 July 2005); “Waiting for Karl Rove” (9 August 2005); “A Child’s Primer of Intelligent Design” (24 August 2005); “The Flood This Time” (19 September 2005); “Things That Rise Up in the Night: A Howl-oween Treat” (18 October 2005); “President Salutes Anonymous Red-Baiter” (14 November 2005); “Conspicuous Consumption of a Mad Activist” (11 December 2005); “2006: The Year in Horrorscopes” (9 January 2006); “Visiting Herman” (7 February 2006); “Savior Self” (6 March 2006); “Pinko Plague Panics President” (4 April 2006); “Seymour Hersh and the American Brain” (2 May 2006); “Identity, Class, and Bite Me, David Horowitz” (30 May 2006); “Bugging Hillary” (19 June 2006); “Back in the USSA” (24 July 2006); “News from the Back of the Front” (21 August 2006); “Barbie at the Barricades” (20 September 2006); “How to Stay Out of Gitmo” (18 October 2006); “Ted Haggard and the Church of the Down-Low” (13 November 2006); “Police Gun Down Another Rich White Man” (11 December 2006); “Consuming Karl” (6 February 2007); “Anna Nicole Smith Bombs Iran” (6 March 2007); “Peter Pace Porks a Peck of Pinko Perverts” (2 April 2007); “Jesus Christ Weds Pat Robertson” (30 April 2007); “U.S. Troops Out of . . . ME” (30 May 2007); “Killer Lesbians Mauled by Killer Court, Media Wolf Pack” (27 June 2006); “Apartheid Americana” (23 July 2007); “Peace Movement Overthrows Government, Cheney Dies” (20 August 2007); “Honey, I Shrank the Military (Or, Who Put the ‘Pet’ in ‘Petraeus’?)” (21 September 2007); “Poppin’ Fresh Declares Martial Law” (13 November 2007); “Miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue: Santa Confirmed as FBI Head” (10 December 2007); “Croakin’ on Hudson” (7 January 2008); “Our Blob in the White House” (4 February 2008); “The Revolution Will Not Be Workshopped” (3 March 2008); “Ask Ms. Liberty: Advice for the War-Torn” (1 April 2008); “Gone with the ‘W'” (27 May 2008); “Sex sans the City (A Post-Marxist Preview)” (23 June 2008); “Jesse Helms and the Theater of the Depraved” (27 July 2008); “Pre-Election Attack of the Pro-Life Killer Fetus!” (15 September 2008); “The Mad Activist’s Declaration of Codependence” (13 October 2008); “Obama Picks Bill Ayers as Secretary of Defense!” (10 November 2008); “Proposition 1984” (8 December 2008); “Unconditional Luv 4 Sale” (5 January 2009); “No Justice, No Coat” (2 February 2009); “Lines in the Sand: The Mad Activist Writes Gaza” (2 March 2009).