"vulture capitalist" -- WOTY in diapers at the start of the new year?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 14 02:35:18 UTC 2012

The earlier examples are pretty clearly simple Socialist name-calling
("scavengers"), not puns or jokes--a lot like the originally Chinese
expression "capitalist pig-dogs" that used to be popular with campus
Communists in the 1980s and 1990s. [According to Victor Mair, it appears
to be a pretty close translation of the Chinese original.]


On 1/13/2012 6:59 PM, George Thompson wrote:
> I see that the OED has "venture capitalist" only from 1971, so the earlier
> examples that Garson has found wouldn't be based on the same joke.
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM, Garson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Kudos to the OED team. Below is a citation in 1972 showing "vulture
>> capitalists" derived from "venture capitalists" via wordplay. The
>> phrase "vulture capitalist" actually has a much longer history, but
>> earlier instances may not fit the modern OED definition.
>> Cite: 1972 January 9, Boston Globe, The big job: conversion by Bruce
>> Davidson, Start Page B-1, Quote Page B-4, Boston, Massachusetts.
>> (ProQuest)
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> No wonder, perhaps, that venture capitalists are known in some
>> quarters as vulture capitalists.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.
>> Cite: 1837 November 18, Columbian Register, The whigs of New York,
>> Page 3, Column 3, New Haven, Connecticut (GenealogyBank)
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> The usury laws should not be repealed, so us to suffer the vulture
>> capitalists and shavers to devour business men of small means at one
>> repast. The usury enactments should he more severe.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Cite: 1885 July, Progress, Mr. Chamberlain and Socialism by Thomas
>> Maguire, Start Page 316, Quote Page 318, Column 2, Progressive
>> Publishing Co., London. (Google Books full view)
>> http://books.google.com/books?id=5gMbAAAAYAAJ&q=vulture#v=snippet&
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> For do we not find everywhere throughout our civilisation the hundred
>> proletarian personalities degraded to brute level, divested of all
>> individuality that the one vulture-capitalist, personality, may air an
>> illegitimate individuality, as baneful as it is accursed?
>> [End excerpt]
>> Cite: 1914 December 26, Puck, The Unemployment Problem, Page 7, New
>> York. (ProQuest)
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> But if you should meet any one of these twenty-nine, he will tell you
>> with a droop of the lower lip, that times are terrible; that the
>> vulture capitalist is tearing the vitals from the laboring man; that
>> Wilson never should have been elected; and that foreigners must be
>> kept out of the country
>> [End excerpt]
>> Cite: 1959 September 7, Time, INDONESIA: Drastic Medicine, Time Inc.,
>> New York. (Online Time archive; Accessed 2012 January 13)
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> All this was done to the accompaniment of denunciations by Sukarno of
>> "vulture capitalists." Added he: "Whoever scoops up wealth at the
>> expense of the public, whoever disrupts the public economy, will be
>> arrested, will be taken to court, will be punished severely, and if
>> necessary will be sentenced to death."
>> [End excerpt]
>> Cite: 1962 May, The Journal of Asian Studies, Some
>> Social-Anthropological Obervations on Gotong Rojong Practices in Two
>> Villages of Central Java. by Koentjaraningrat; Structural Changes in
>> Javanese Society: The Village Sphere. by D. H. Burger; Living
>> Conditions of Plantation Workers and Peasants on Java in 1939-1940. ;
>> Some Factors Related to Autonomy and Dependence in Twelve Javanese
>> Villages by Barbara Dohrenwend Review by: Clifford Geertz Volume 21,
>> Number 3, Start Page 413, Quote Page 414, Published by: Association
>> for Asian Studies (JSTOR)
>> http://www.jstor.org/stable/2050724
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> In introducing his "Conception" of "Guided Democracy" in  1957,
>> President Sukarno attacked as alien and un-Indonesian the "free-fight
>> Liberalism" of "vulture capitalism,"  which had apparently
>> characterized the Republic thus far, saying that it should be replaced
>> by a more properly indigenous and morally superior spirit: Gotong
>> Rojong.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Typos and other errors are possible. Please double-check before use.
>> Best Garson

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