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.
(Former Weather Underground member Laura Whitehorn made certain tax-free word contributions, here.)
© SUSIE DAY, 2009