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 25, 2015
7 quirky luxury products for the super rich
This is another contribution to my occasional practice on Saturdays to run articles about lifestyles of the rich ruling classes also known as the One Percent (actually .01 of the 1%, or one out of every 10,000 of us) who, under the rules of capitalism, essentially "own" the economy in which we work--in effect, we all work for them to support their lifestyle.
I hope that by doing this that we don't lose touch with their world and their concerns--you know, to promote better understanding. It is important that we become better acquainted so that we can serve them better and make it easier for them to carry out the daily burden of making important decisions (for us, since we are too stupid or lazy to do this ourselves), decisions which affect whether we go off to war in foreign lands to kill their enemies, if we have jobs, if we live in a home or under a bridge, if we can afford their health care services, education, etc.
Unfortunately, for some reason they tend to hide their lives from the rest of us behind walls of secrecy, literal walls of guarded gated communities, private clubs, esoteric publications, traveling with private jets, etc. We should not let that deter us.
We learn about the fabulous sums that they accumulate (I almost wrote "earn", but that is something you and I do), we often wonder how they spend it; and when you realize that many of them accumulate so much that they will never be able to spend it, you wonder why they go to such extreme lengths to accumulate so much.
In this piece we see a sample of some of the useful everyday products they buy. But if you dig deeper, you will discover that buying such products can't even make a dent in the cache of money that many of them hold. So, this begs the question: what drives them? I will offer my humble opinion.
The concentration of money which is promoted by the capitalist system also brings the possessor enormous amounts of power, and this power is like a powerful aphrodisiac for capitalists, not for sex, but to obtain greater highs from power. This, in turn, requires more money which delivers this potent drug of power. Thus, it's highly addictive and the means with which it is delivered, concentrated wealth, should be totally banned.
These money/power addicts have been known to commit all sort of heinous crimes: moving our jobs to other countries, crashing economies, creating widespread unemployment and related suffering, stealing lands and resources, murder, engaging in wars, etc. Then there is the pollution from all their money-making enterprises that is destabilizing our climate. So, clearly this addiction is thoroughly dysfunctional for our social system and even for our survival. Well, of course, you and I know that our laws, like most all of the rules, are made by these people--so, of course, it's perfectly legal. This begs the next question: what is the most effective remedy?