We’re talking about a class which could easily put a complete halt to human beings dying of starvation, writes Caitlin Johnstone. But they don’t.
By Caitlin Johnstone
Listen to a reading of this article:
Human civilization is being engineered in myriad ways by an unfathomably wealthy class who are so emotionally and psychologically stunted that they refuse to end world hunger despite having the ability to easily do so.
The United Nations has estimated that world hunger could be ended for an additional expenditure of $30 billion a year, with other estimates considerably lower. The other day Elon Musk became the first person to attain a net worth of over $300 billion. A year ago his net worth was $115 billion. According to Inequality.org, America’s billionaires have a combined net worth of $5.1 trillion, which is a 70 percent increase from their combined net worth of under $3 trillion at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
So, we’re talking about a class which could easily put a complete halt to human beings dying of starvation on this planet by simply putting some of their vast fortunes toward making sure everyone gets enough to eat. But they don’t. This same class influences the policies, laws, and large-scale behavior of our species more than any other.
To get a sense of how insane this is, imagine if you had seen a video clip of me calmly watching a child drown to death in a swimming pool and doing nothing to help. After watching such footage, would it ever in a million years occur to you that I am someone who should be in charge of the entire world?
I’m going to guess no. I’m going to guess that, in the unlikely event that you ever decided anyone should rule the world, after watching me let a child drown I’d rank somewhere near the very bottom of possible candidates.
Now imagine if instead of letting one child drown, it was millions.
That’s how absolutely insane it is that we allow this class to shape our civilization.
And we most certainly do allow them to shape our civilization.
Take Bill Gates. He spends a fortune on narrative control ranging from immense contributions to The Guardian to tens of billions of dollars in grants and he’s committed hundreds of millions of dollars to shady political influence groups as well. He’s been influencing Covid policies around the world, from intervening against the waiving of vaccine patent restrictions to facilitating the worldwide rollout of digital vaccine passports; he’s been giving countless media interviews about Covid-19 and vaccines despite having no medical degree or indeed any qualifications at all apart from a net worth of $136 billion. This is after falsely pledging to give his immense fortune away over a decade ago; his net worth has more than doubled in that time.
Jeff Bezos has been a contractor with the Pentagon, the CIA and the NSA, and experts have claimed that Amazon is trying to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy. As sole owner of The Washington Post he ensures that a hugely influential news outlet will always be staffed by people who will help manufacture consent for the status quo upon which his empire is built, and his grand vision for humanity involves shipping us offworld to breed in giant rotating space cylinders.
Billionaires Reid Hoffman and George Soros have teamed up on a narrative control operation called Good Information Inc. with the stated goal of countering misinformation and disinformation in the news media, and the unstated goal of elevating empire-authorized narratives about what’s happening in the world and undermining unauthorized narratives.
The World Economic Forum has laid out an agenda for giant corporations to move beyond their unofficial and unacknowledged role as unelected rulers of our world and become open partners in the governance of world affairs alongside our official elected governments, with more power than ever before.
There are almost infinite examples I could highlight, but I think my point is clear. Billionaires and billionaire corporations own our media, influence our thinking, manipulate our economies, interfere in our politics, determine the fate of our ecosystem and shape our world. And they are the very least qualified among us to be doing so.
Nobody who chooses day-after-day to let millions of people die of starvation has any business making decisions which affect other people, much less decisions which affect everyone. The fact that the billionaire class and its lackeys make this depraved decision day in and day out permanently disqualifies them from any legitimate claim to having the empathy and compassion that would be required for such a job. They are too narcissistic and dysfunctional to be permitted to have any power or influence whatsoever, much less the ungodly amount they wield today.
Billionaires should not exist. They should have their power and wealth taken from them, and the steering wheel of humanity should be given to the ordinary people who are infinitely more qualified to navigate us through the rough waters ahead for our species.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix, Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.
This article is from CaitlinJohnstone.com and re-published with permission.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
The rich will be the first to tell you that they are not qualified to solve the problems of the world, that they are not the experts, and not to expect them to take care of the problems of the other. Yet once their interests are involved, they’re sure to chime in.
It’s not that the uber-rich are too dysfunction (they are) and too narcissistic (they are) to rule of us, it’s that they insist on ruling over us exclusively for their interest. If they ruled well, most in the US, wouldn’t bother to resist, in fact most wouldn’t notice. But they don’t govern in the best interest of the community. That’s why billionaires are not morally qualified to shape civilization.
They lobby, they legislate, they pick our candidates, and claim they are being good stewards. Wrong. Like their wealth, their power is illegitimate. That makes them sociopaths at best psychopaths at worst and morally unqualified either way.
Yes, being rich is wrong, evil, deplorable and pernicious; yet it’s legal but only because the criminals write the laws and socially acceptable only because they write our myths.
Money is debt society owes the individual who holds it. It is more often than not illegitimate. It’s time society stopped honoring that “debt,” and give these individuals their just dessert.
Following his trip to the edge of space, billionaire Branson asked us to ‘Imagine a world where people of all ages, all backgrounds from anywhere, of any gender, or any ethnicity, have equal access to space’ (Free Media.Info, 18 July). Indeed. Iain M Banks’s Culture series is a highly recommended imagining of such a post-capitalist/scarcity society. But to get there, we need to abolish capitalism on Earth. For some visionaries a world of free access has long been possible. In his History of Astronomy (1951) Anton Pannekoek wrote ‘It is time for mankind to ensure itself of material abundance by establishing a free, self-managed world society of productive labour, thereby freeing its mental powers for perfecting its knowledge of nature and the universe.’
Kudos for the second last paragraph it hits the issue on the head. But I wouldn’t go with the harsh advocacy of the last paragraph, though !
That is why you will always live in a class-based world where thanks to your role in that system you will live in relative comfort (at least for now) while a majority of human beings must face the harsh reality of that oppression for your benefit.
THAT’S for sure! They are all a part of the Existing Order, and for that fact alone can be expected to want, if only at an unconscious level, to CONTINUE that Order.
This a vicious circle. The people who get rich for whatever reason end up controling the press and the politicians and the media and they have the ThinkTanks promote laws that allow them a monopoly on everything. For instance the income tax on the rich was lowered from over 90% after WWII to to a ridiculous level right now. The monopoly of the rich is the human equivalent of the black holes in Astronomy.
Whilst ‘we’ continue to believe that having lots of money is the epitome of success and should be the objective of everyone then we are doomed.
What is a fair wage ? Should there be a maximum that people can earn ? Once you’ve accumulated, say, $5Million for example, what do you need any extra for ? Gates and his buddies are big philanthropists (private charities), so they obviously have too much money as they are supporting things the government cannot afford because Gates and his buddies don’t pay enough tax ?!?
Who does society really look up to ? The brain surgeon, the nuclear physicist, the Billionaire ?
People need to call a spade a spade. Capitalism or Socialism, help the rich or help the people – your choice.
Thanks for the article and the thought. All those billionaires you named are Americans and enjoy “the facilities” American “system “ provides them to amass that wealth. Recently the American media ( which you correctly recognized as one of their tools) made a hero of Mr. Bezos shenanigans. Provided him more tools to amass his fortune.
The solution, in my opinion , is preventing them to become billionaires ( by many means including taxing them fairly). DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO BE COMPASSIONATE.
The Billionaires meet twice a year. Once in Sun Valley, Idaho the first week of July (called the Sun Valley Conference). This conference is where the liars meet to coordinate their narrative control (propaganda). It’s attended by all the major media outlets, including TV, Radio, but most importantly social media. It’s also attended by current and former CIA directors. Operation Mockingbird 2.0, hidden behind a veil of private corporations. Want to stop their deceit? Go there, protest and shut it down.
The second Billionaire meeting is in Jacksonhole, Wyoming, and is called the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. This conference is where the thieves meet to coordinate the continued economic attacks against the middle and working class people, stealing there life savings and giving it to the Billionaires. It’s attended by banksters, the federal reserve, and a gang of economic hitmen. What to stop the steal? Go there, protest and shut it down.
At 69 years old I have watched the billionaire capitalist regime trample the working class. There was one space flight on corporate news recently that glorified the billionaire flight to the edge of space. This was first done by the X-15 somewhere in the early 1960s. Because billionaires own the major news outlets they were able to dupe the public into thinking is was a great achievement.
How can anyone believe anyone with that kind of wealth?
Billionaire “charitable” foundations are a vehicle for the almighty wealthy to continue to make outlandish profits, avoid taxes and establish generational dynasties for their families.
“The biggest A***holes champion the best causes to further own interests”. this is true of many so called progressives and not limited to Oligarchs but they dominate.
that’s so true, lol
And an example of that kind of sadistic indifference is when billionaire Trump referred to places where millions are starving as shitholes. Not exactly a morally fit dude to be given the absolute power of the U.S. presidency. We’ve gone from “We are the World” to “Welcome to the Jungle” now in this era of super-rich psychopaths.
lol, that’s true, but its always been a jungle and the celebrity class
nowadays only help when its politically correct it seems.
Thanks Caitlin Jonstone for this excellent article.
The French sociologist Edgar Morin, now 100 years old said “Le temps est venu de changer de civilisation”. “The time has come to change civilization.” If you can call the way things get decided “civilized.”
Entirely agree with you Caitlin. But it is all too late. I speak as an Australian and it is the case that our plight is mirrored by what has happened in other so called “western democracies”. DEMOCRACY IS DEAD! To be more accurate it has never existed anymore than communism except in the minds of historians and political theorists and philosophers.
Today, in Australia, there are only two political parties that hold any prospect of attaining government. The supposed distinctions between these parties is grounded in 18th and 19th century English myth. It makes no difference which party gets into government except who receives the benefits of government largess but in either case the beneficiaries with the biggest share will be large corporations and their shareholders and will often be the same entities regardless as to which party forms government.
It follows that our elections are purely cosmetic to give the illusion of democracy. The woman and man in the street has Buckley’s hope of any direct dialogue with the government which is increasingly becoming more difficult to contact and less accountable to the public.
To quote from someone else the politicians have become the hand maidens (male & female) of the new aristocracy which now effectively rule which once were sovereign nations through the medium of transnational corporations.
Plebiscites are routine to keep the “plebs” (us) in order.
The problem is that this illusion has spread throughout the “western world”. What has happened is that having conquered the world the “plebs” have no choice but to embrace their status at the bottom rung of the new feudalism.
The new fiefdoms are the large corporations which supplant the nation state and the “oligarchs” are the new aristocracy whose status places them above the law of mortal men and women.
It is all done and dusted but that does not necessarily rule out a revolution. Who could predict what the outcome would look like. but sometimes the risk of the devil you don’t know may be better than the rotten bastards you do know.
(or something like the above!!?)
Unfortunately there’s another class which could “put a complete halt to human beings dying of starvation on this planet” and doesn’t. “High income” persons (as defined by the World Bank) are plentiful in Europe, USA, Japan, and elsewhere. Exclude all millionaires and billionaires, and there are 1.15 billion in this class. They could each send $26 yearly to Oxfam or the FAO to meet the $30 billion need. Or just the wiser half of them could each send $52 yearly. So, is this class morally disqualified from decent democracy?
A billion or more billionaires. Its amazing the kind of abuses we all tolerant.
And I would bet most anything, that most if not all those billionaires stay connected
to each other to protect their wealth. But poor, working, middle class folks, not so much.
That’s the biggest problem and we expect others to care when we don’t? Why?
What’s the definition of “high income”?
Aren’t you overstating your factual numbers?
You’re saying there are 1.15 billion people in the millionaire/billionaire class on the planet. By my calculation that would account for
at least 16% of total world population.
Yet it’s the ‘other’ 84% of us who are to blame for the lack of their democratic rights to loot the rest of us on the planet, so long as they
show annual charity.