Perhaps we need to update Marie Antoinette’s popular quip of cluelessness to: “Let them consume area tourist.”
As billionaires waste enormous resources on self-glorifying space flights, the corporate media is nothing short of worshipful. Countless average citizens, on the other hand, want the self-glorifying billionaires had taken themselves and all the other parasitic, tax-avoiding, predatory billionaires with them on a one-way trip into area.
Have we reached Peak Self-Glorifying Billionaire!.?.!? If so, where does the downhill slide take us? Let’s start with a little history. Reporter Jim B. summed up historian Arnold Toynbee’s study of the fluctuate of civilizations thusly: “Civilizations fail when their elites alter from an appreciated vibrant creative class to an abhored Facility of corrupt rentiers, an entrenched governing class unfit to govern.”
Disliked, check. Corrupt, check. Established, check.
The 2013 book Why Countries Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Hardship goes over the distinctions between unsuccessful states and successful states, and concludes that the unsuccessful states are essentially kleptocracies that response to a self-serving elite while successful states are answerable to the broad population.
To sum up: When the couple of advantage at the expense of the many, the resulting kleptocracy winds up an unsuccessful state. When states preserve significant, transparent ways of reacting to public requirements and needs, the result is an effective state.
This is of course a simplification. The perverse results of manifest destiny stick around, the advancement of civic organizations public organizations, worths and identities that make up what I call the social ontology are not pre-ordained, and nations with low-priced surplus energy can be quite successful kleptocracies until their energy surplus goes out.
However in the primary, the question stays: How did previously successful political, social and economic systems change such that they no longer generated advantageous synergies however slid into deadly synergies!
.?.!? From the viewpoint of how systems stop working to maintain dynamic stability, three factors pop out:
1. Elites end up being too successful in sluicing the country’s earnings, wealth and political power into their own hands.
2. Since the system continues to flourish in spite of their dominance, then there is undoubtedly no requirement to alter anything– especially if it decreases their share of the nation’s wealth and political power.
3. The elites disregard the intangible decay of management, the real-world dynamics of scarcity and over-estimate their own abilities and the durability of the system.
I just recently explained the feedback loop that happens when a rich elite can purchase political power: “as a result of their campaign contributions and lobbying, the elites’ wealth continues broadening, boosting their political power to additional expand their wealth, and so on.”
In a healthy system, there are systems that restrict elite ownership of wealth and political power to what the system can bear. Over time, the feedback I described increases elite wealth and power to a point where the limits are crushed and the elite feedback gathers momentum.
With institutional limitations no longer in the method, the elite reaches the point where the political system no longer reacts to the broad public at all, and the vast bulk of income-producing wealth is currently in the hands of the elite.
The U.S. is already at this last: Wealth/Power Inequality and the Slide Into Disorder.
Evaluating Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Typical Citizens: “Contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, normal residents have essentially no impact over what their federal government performs in the United States.”
This dominance throws the system out of balance such that, as David Parsons recently put it: (Elite-dominated) “Capitalism makes everybody homeless and after that makes acclaimed films about how resilient individuals are for living in their cars.”
The evident success of the system even as it grows ever more imbalanced generates a self-serving self-confidence in the Elites that their supremacy is not just benign however irreversible.
But this self-serving view is illusory. Below the surface, major subsystems are attempting to re-establish stability, but the instability is so severe that the measures being deployed are likewise extreme.
These policy extremes just press the system further out of balance in other instructions, creating fatal synergies as mutually enhancing imbalances pile up.
See the chart listed below of money supply as one example of lots of.
However the elite is blinded by their confidence and greed to these speeding up imbalances. They reckon that handling the stories (a.k.a. propaganda), small policy tweaks and developing more currency and credit are all that’s required to maintain what they consider the ideal form of stability: they own 99% of political power and 97% of all the income from capital.
Monopoly Versus Democracy: How to End a Gilded Age: “10 percent of Americans now control 97 percent of all capital earnings in the country. Almost half of the brand-new earnings produced since the global monetary crisis of 2008 has actually gone to the wealthiest one percent of U.S. citizens. The richest 3 Americans collectively have more wealth than the poorest 160 million Americans.”
I have actually frequently kept in mind that the wealth of Rome’s political and economic elite went from being 20 times the wealth of a landowning farmer or craftsman to 200,000 times the citizens’ wealth at the end of the Western Empire. Now that three people own more wealth than half the American people, and the leading 0.1% hold more wealth than the bottom 80%, I think we can securely declare we have actually reached the very same extreme.
The first tranche of American presidents left office less wealthy than when they went into since serving in public workplace was understood as an honorable and valued sacrifice of time and wealth. Now presidents leave office far wealthier than when they went into civil service.
Per # 3, the elite no longer sees any engaging factor to compromise their earnings, wealth and power to support the system or benefit the typical good. In the view of the billionaires, if any sacrifices are needed, then they need to be borne by the bottom 95%, or failing that, the bottom 99.5%.
Offered their supremacy, their willingness to use their wealth and power to protect their dominance dooms the system to destabilization and collapse, as the resources and value system required to successfully navigate eras of instability and deficiency are no longer available to the state or public.
In impact, the elite utilizes its power not to restabilize the system however to preserve its severe dominance and safeguard it from any political risks.
An once vibrant community has actually become a monoculture whose stability is even more precarious than it appears on the surface, as the durability of monocultures is entirely synthetic.
Two recent books illuminate corners of this destabilizing inequality:
Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West
‘Prize’ Takes A Look At How Inequality Is Experienced by the Extremely, Very Abundant
We are in the lasts of this speeding up destabilization: the refusal of the elite to sacrifice any significant share of their wealth and power to save the system from deadly synergies warranties collapse.
Perhaps we need to update Marie Antoinette’s famous quip of cluelessness to: “Let them consume area tourist.” All of us understand where this cluelessness ultimately leads.
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