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Eat the Rich

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Creator:University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division.
Title:Eat the Rich

Calls for: "Eat the rich." The phrase is a turn around from the premise of the J. Swift book, “A Modest Proposal”, in which the author proposes that the Irish should “Eat the Poor”. Swift produced numerous satirical tracts during the early eighteenth century in an attempt to shame England and to shock Ireland out of its lethargic state. Killing and eating thousands of poor children would, according to Swift, help both the overpopulated poor, who couldn’t afford to care for their children anyway, and the rich, who would get a good meal out of the whole process. Swift vented his mounting aggravation at the ineptitude of Ireland's politicians, the hypocrisy of the wealthy, the tyranny of the English, and the squalor and degradation in which he saw so many Irish people living. While A Modest Proposal bemoaned the bleak situation of an Ireland almost totally subject to England's exploitation, it also expressed Swift's utter disgust at the Irish people's seeming inability to mobilize on their own behalf. Without excusing any party, the essay shows that not only the English but also the Irish themselves—and not only the Irish politicians but also the masses--were responsible for the nation's lamentable state. The present day usage may have originated from the Berkeley Barb. Eat the Rich is a song by Arrowsmith, a 1987 movie by Peter Richardson and a 1998 book by PJ O'Rourke.

Types:Fliers (printed matter) | Text
Subjects:Capitalism--Moral and ethical aspects | United States, Washignton, King County, Seattle, 47.6062095, -122.3320708
Collection:Vietnam War Era Ephemera Collection
Institution:University of Washington's Libraries
Contributors:University of Washington. Libraries. Special Collections Division
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Vietnam War Era Ephemera Collection

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Persistent Link to Item:http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/ref/collection/protests/id/69