In the current hailstorm of government acts taken against its own people on behalf of the super-rich (like tax cuts for the robber billionaires tied to many expenditure cuts for the rest of us), it may be sensible to take a look at the puppeteers behind the scenes. When I say puppeteers, I don’t mean the middlemen in public office, whether they be presidents, governors, legislators or others, nor am I referring to the 42,000 strong army of lobbyists, nor the think tank plotters or mass media propagandists, nor even the political consultants that by now are gobbling up much of the donations given to the Repucratic-Dempublican twin party tyranny, but the billionaires whose desires these handmaidens fulfill.
I am not making the unsubstantiated claim that all billionaires are evil beyond redemption. In fact, I strongly suspect that it is only a portion of our contemporary billionaires who even bother to get involved in actively rigging the system against everybody else. Most likely, a large portion of billionaires just go with the flow, floating through their lifelong vacations, being way too immature to realize their responsibility to the rest of the world — something this mini series will visibly expose.
In order for the global systems of government and economics to become ever more rigged and destructive, it unfortunately is sufficient for only a small portion of the billionaire class to be actively involved in the rigging. Likewise, a tiny portion of grown-up billionaires could do a heck of a lot of good if only they bothered to do so. After all, paying a bunch of clear-headed analysts and bold visionaries to spread powerful insights and ideas for humanity to advance in leaps and bounds, would cost billionaire patrons mere pocket change. On the dark end of things, it currently requires only comparatively tiny bribery investments from the rich to result in huge windfalls for them and keep all governments firmly under their control. Many of the corrupt politicians could be said to be working on the cheap. The amounts of money spent on buying up our government are indeed only a tiny fraction of the returns given to the super rich in the form of tax breaks, tax loopholes, corporate subsidies, land rights, and sweetheart deals. Hence, it requires only a few of them to rig humanity into extinction, just as only a few of them, perhaps just ONE of them, could turn things around. That’s all the logical consequence of the enormous amount of resources the billionaire class controls (namely pretty much all of the resources available to mankind).
I leave it to past and future articles to expose the specific dark deeds of some of the super-rich (for example, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert). The mini series of which this article is the first installment has a different goal. The focus of this four-part series will be on the lives the richest of the rich live, the lifestyle that is financed by our rigged system.
When looking at this, I conclude that these lords of our pyramid-scheme-society harm not only all of us but themselves, as well, and they do so because they are so immature as to resemble infants and young teenagers, utterly preoccupied with showing off their wealth, buying the most expensive toys possible to outdo each other with them, and living a hedonistic life with no adult sense of responsibility or long-term consequences. It is a pity, but as an educator (school teacher having been one of my many careers), I can confirm from experience that children growing up in overly wealthy environments suffer from developmental retardation, just like children growing up in excessive poverty are herded into reactive dumbness, learned helplessness, and a loss of perspective and aspiration since their environment instills in them the assurance that their lives have no perspective, no hope, no chance.
I see the rich living vapid lives that keep them from human fulfillment about as much as their victims, most of whom they never meet or bother to notice. The role the super-rich play in our sick system is to take, take, take, and squander selfishly for shallow materialist self-gratification. Most of them are raised to live that way, being showered with toys of limitless expense and empowered to order around adult servants in their childhood. This way, they never learn the true human perceptions and interactions of interdependence, mutuality, community, love, friendship, respect, and compassion. They are essentially raised to become sociopaths resembling born psychopaths (which a high percentage of them probably also are as the result of a sick society’s selection process). Having been warped that way, they are unable to truly connect with fellow human beings or perceive the true purpose of human life.
In the end, they are – like all of us – brought down by the terrible effects of aging, having spent their entire younger lives squandering their wealth on pointless toys rather than funding life-extension research, the development of revolutionary cures for cancer, or the creation of gene therapy against terribly disabling curses like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s chorea, or Parkinson’s disease in its many dreadful variations.
They have spent their entire lives getting bored with caviar and lobster while countless fellow human beings starved to death and they did nothing about it, preferring to look the other way, comfortably isolated in their golden bubbles. They wasted their wealth on $30,000-per-night hotel rooms and a world-wide collection of $20,000,000 paradise mansions they never bothered to actually live in, even as huge numbers of people were suffering from homelessness. And at least some of them funded bribery of politicians to rig the system even harder to increase their unearned excessive dividend incomes and entrench their power as puppeteers rather than invest in system-changing social entrepreneurship that could take us from our current hell where they rule like devils to a Heaven on Earth where all of us would thrive, they themselves included, in far more meaningful lives.
The celebration that wealth brings them currently is hollow and fake (or nothing more than primitive drooling in some cases). In contrast, the celebration that at least some of them could earn by playing a major role in overcoming our societies’ calcified and harmful old ways to bring about a Star-Trek-like future free from want, fear, and oppression, would be very real. We could easily have a world of universal prosperity, lived dreams, full appreciation of nature and our fellow human beings in a grand society of ubiquitous camaraderie, if – instead of blocking progress – these plutocrats would sober up from their lifelong pointless party and get to work putting their incredible wealth (that’s been siphoned away from the rest of us!) to good use, not just in a little charity here and there to make themselves look good, but in system change from hell to heaven.
They could start today. Yet, looking at the lives they live and the foggy mentality that comes with those decadent and shielded lives, I sadly doubt I will ever see that in my lifetime. Unfortunately, this then means that we who are deprived and blocked by the super-rich may have to keep building up a powerful mix of rage and hope in order to self-organize to a point where we can realize the badly needed transformation of our civilization despite the resistance from the top.
This series will present the lives of the rich through select videos and discuss the repercussions of their lives with written commentary. In this first article, I will start out with an interview I probably showed before, since it provides an introductory perspective of the bigger picture. In the articles to follow, we will take a direct look at the lives of the super-rich. Here, though, to begin, is Chris Hedge’s interview in which he reveals his own personal experience living among the super-rich during his youth:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Pathology of the Rich – Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself (1/2)”)
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