We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Where the elites like to socialize and hang out, Part 1 of ?

by Ron Horn. 

Two weeks ago I hinted that I may be running a series of articles on our neighbors, so to speak, among the top layers of the One Percent. This has been difficult because they, for some reason, are very secretive or else very shy. They seem to like publicity, but only within their exclusive circles. We should not let that deter us from examining their lives to promote much greater understanding and empathy. It is important that we become more acquainted because they impact our lives so dramatically.  They decide our fates, whether our nations go to war and where, and whether our economies are in a boom or bust part of their capitalist economy. 

Because One Percenters usually do not work (unless they want to) they have a lot of leisure time. A major focus of their leisure activities is devoted to games of wealth and power. They love to gamble on Wall Street especially with the new types of "derivative" betting methods. Such gambling often bring our economies crashing to a halt resulting in the chaos we see today in our lives. But, such chaos doesn't bother them one bit. Whether they win or lose, their lives are usually not affected.  Likewise, in their games of power we see contests over resources, regime-change operations, and many wars both big and small. In the end, these activities are all games to them, mere pastimes with which to amuse themselves.

Yet, they still have time for other activities such as socializing. I've discovered that they like to hang out together at various exclusive clubs. One of their favorite social venues are "gentlemen's clubs" which have origins that go back a long way into class conscious imperial British society.

Wikipedia has traced the origins and evolution of today's clubs very well. From Britain they have now spread along with the Anglo-American Empire to many areas of the world where the Empire rules. It is today's clubs that interest me and that is what this posting, and maybe future postings, is all about. 

Of course, not everyone can just join up--that wouldn't give it its exclusive and status character. You and I would never be admitted. From Wikipedia we learn that...
From the 1970s onwards some single-sex clubs opened to both sexes as guests and as members, partly to maintain membership levels.
Serious social networking takes place in these clubs as members meet and befriend high ranking and very powerful individuals who are also members.
.... Some top clubs still maintain distinctions which are often undefined and rarely explained to those who do not satisfy their membership requirements. After reaching the top of a long waiting list, there is a possibility of being blackballed. In these circumstances, the proposer of such a person may be expected to resign, as he failed to withdraw his undesirable candidate. More often, the member who proposes an unsuitable candidate will be "spoken to" at a much earlier stage than this, and he will withdraw his candidate to avoid embarrassment for all concerned.
So without further adieu, let's pay a virtual visit to one of these clubs to learn more about this part of their lives. Today's visit will be at Home House in London. I will "introduce" you to the team who manage the place, and then I will leave you on your own to proceed from there through the various links provided.