Filthy Rich, a new docu-series on Netflix, uncovers the horrifying story of financier Jeffery Epstein’s extensive underage sex trafficking. This story isn’t simply a salacious true crime story, it’s a story about the moral depravity of the ruling class and the capitalist system itself. Jeffery Epstein worked on Wall Street, where he developed ties to the global elite. Using his wealth and position he lured teenage girls, sometimes as young as 12 years old, to his various homes to sexually assault them through the 90s, up until his arrest in 2019. Beyond simply assaulting young girls himself, he ran a ring of underage sex trafficking for global elites. He even owned a private island where underage girls were trapped and abused by Epstein’s high-profile visitors. Bill Clinton and other politicians have been confirmed visitors of the island. The list of his “circle of friends” is long and also includes President Donald Trump, Prince Andrews, and countless others.
Epstein’s political links were far and wide, and they served to protect him when women came forward to prosecute him over the decades. The political establishment was so bent on protecting him that when the first woman to come forward called the FBI to report him, nothing was done and they conveniently “lost the report.” When many women came forward and an investigation was launched in 2008, his charges were reduced to minor sex offenses despite bountiful evidence of the girls being underage when they were assaulted, a deal made possible only because of his connections. After being convicted he only served 13 months in jail, where he was allowed to leave his cell up to 12 hours a day.
As the saying goes, money corrupts, but more so, the system of capitalism breeds and fosters this kind of moral depravity. Money can buy anything, including the kinds of horrors that Epstein concocted and that other rich people like him either partook in or turned a blind eye to. Epstein intentionally recruited and prayed on working-class girls who were lured in with promises of fame or fortune, and then threatened with the extent of Epstein’s wealth and connections to keep them from speaking out. Capitalists all over the world flew to or knew about his island. They also abused these girls or were complicit in their abuse. It was all permissible to them because we live in a society where a ruling elite do what they want, because money and power allow them to. Under capitalism, money determines what is acceptable, its holders rule the world, and money rules society. The result is a world where working and poor people’s lives mean nothing – they are simply pawns or play-things of the ruling elite. This shouldn’t be seen as the problem of one rich detestable man. It’s a problem of our whole society, another symptom of capitalism, a system which needs to go.