Community Perspective: Not The Russian Bear

A community perspectives piece by James Sattva

I am an agitator, an educator, and an organizer.  I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t hyper-aware of the injustice constantly at work all around me.  At the same time, I was  baffled that no one saw what I saw, or that no one was willing to change it. Now I can’t not poke the bear. If I’m going to be eaten by a bear, I want to look him in the eye first.  I want a fair fight. I am not going to let the bear have a chance to catch me sleeping.  The bear I’m worried about is red, but not Russian. He’s a Virginian, and he moved from his Great Falls mansion to the Governor’s Mansion last month.  

Glenn Youngkin worked with a private budget four times the size of Virginia’s public budget. It appears that his resignation from the Carlyle Group was a consequence of having shepherded a -51% return on a Texas pension fund. Primarily involved with real property just prior to his departure from Carlyle, Youngkin had his fingers in Giant Pharma, the Military Industrial Complex, International Finance, and Global Surveillance at one time or another during his 30-ish year career.  

An examination of the Carlyle Group’s website shows that its real property division disappeared when Youngkin left. Youngkin’s wife runs a private foundation and a horse farm. In other words, the Youngkins are untouchable with regard to accountability. Private Equity is premised on opacity and fluidity – and has networked access to unfathomable global influence and power. For example, starting with the board of directors page at, I traced one of their tentacles, an organization called Black Ivy, to an infrastructure firm in Africa. The director of one African outpost was one of Hilary Clinton’s former State Department advisors. The rich and powerful are united in one purpose – to stay rich and powerful. They don’t care about politics.

Africa is the economic front where China is soundly beating the U.S. China has done business by investing in meeting the needs of African people.  The U.S. has done business by crushing the African people and commodifying their needs.  The only way for the U.S. to weaken China’s economic advantage is to wage an unjust war at our expense.  Private Equity will happily finance any such mobilization.  It does not value human life when humans obstruct growth and impede profits. One need look no further than the writings of Benito Mussolini to understand.

This is Global Capitalism: endless Imperial competition for resources, the exploitation of climate catastrophe, disease, and war, and ultimately the privatization of every aspect of humanity – the establishment of a Totalitarian Plutocracy unmatched in recorded history.  

Youngkin’s unenforceable and unconstitutional mandates were never intended to stick. They are intended to aggravate public angst and distrust in government.  They are meant to swing wide the gates for Private Capital to breach democracy, gobble up public infrastructure, effectively disenfranchise the people, and destroy the local institutions it  helped to undermine.  

Any meaningful intervention on behalf of the working class has been outlawed. People who try to resist are persecuted as Communists and terrorists, and those who suffer the most from exploitation are duped into doing the dirty work of corporate bosses.  The historic events of January 6, 2021, confirm the power of Charles Koch, in solidarity with other powerful capitalists, to mobilize the white middle class against its own interests. Many will wind up enthusiastically sacrificing their lives on unknown battle-fronts in unjust wars, fighting for their greatest enemies – and then forgotten.  

To play by the rules right now is to play into the hands of our own oppression. We can throw any strategy that includes “Good Citizenship” or “Patriotism” right out the window; and we must if we are serious about the survival of anything even remotely resembling Democratic Society.   Someone’s gonna have to poke the bear, and put him out front where we can see him. Someone’s gonna have to render the bear powerless and no longer capable of violence. There is no guarantee the bear won’t win.  

Who’s with me?

James Sattva is an educator, agitator, and organizer. He lives in McGaheysville.

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