Pyramid of Capitalist System (1911)
"Essential Workers of the World, Unite!"
The Pyramid of Capitalist System is a common name of a 1911 American cartoon caricature critical of capitalism, copied from a Russian flyer of c. 1901. The graphic focus is on social stratification by social class and economic inequality.
It was published in the 1911 edition of Industrial Worker (The International Publishing Co., Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.), a newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World, and attributed to "Nedeljkovich, Brashich, & Kuharich." The picture shows a literal "social pyramid" or hierarchy, with the wealthy few on the top, and the impoverished masses at the bottom. Crowned with a money bag representing capitalism, the top layer, "we rule you", is occupied by the royalty and state leaders. Underneath them are the clergy ("we fool you"), followed by the military ("we shoot at you"), and the bourgeoisie ("we eat for you"). The bottom of the pyramid is held by the workers and the peasants ("we work for all... we feed all").
The basic message of the image is a critique of the capitalist system, depicting a hierarchy of power and wealth. It illustrates a working class supporting all others, and if it would withdraw their support from the system it could topple the existing social order. ~ Wikipedia