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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Including the Young and the Rich

Click here to access article by Jamie Johnson from the NY Times.

For those of you who are not familiar with Jamie Johnson, he is a wealthy descendant of the Johnson & Johnson corporate entity founded by his ancestors. As such he should be considered as a part of the old wealth section of the ruling class. Such people often turn out to be considered as renegades by their contemporaries, and Jamie certainly fits that description. You see, he made two films that gave inside information on the rich: the film "Born Rich", a wonderful exposé, and followed it up with the sensational "The One Percent" which I think became the namesake of the target of the Occupy movement in 2011. (Coincidentally--or maybe not--he frequently wrote a column for Vanity Fair magazine, a magazine directed to the ruling rich; but ceased writing for them in the Fall of 2011.)

In this article we see the special access given to the rich by the official CEO of the government (in reality, he and most presidents serve as public relations officers for the ruling class) which, of course, the rich essentially own. According to Matthew Continetti of The Washington Free Beacon,
Here I learn that last month the White House held a secret meeting with “an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes.” This “discreet, invitation-only summit” was intended, the author says, “to find common ground between the public sector and the so-called next generation philanthropists, many of whom stand to inherit billions in private wealth.” Media were not allowed, the author says in a parenthetical, but he was “invited to report on the conference as a member of the family that started the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company.”