When the reality of “Less and Less” that constitutes most of our daily lives runs smack into the “More and More” mentality obsessed by the rich and powerful, you have both key ingredients for the basic recipe of revolution. And that’s not just my opinion. Go read all ten volumes of “The History of Civilization” or it’s short version, “The Lessons of History.”
Why is that so?
Well, since Wealth & Power are the capacity to impose one’s own solutions on other ( less powerful ) people, and since official solutions are created by those who can , for the purpose of ripping off those who can’t , it’s pretty obvious that it’s the Rich & Powerful themselves who incite the very revolutions that take their wealth and power away ( not to mention their lives, occasionally. )
Now that’s just downright crazy no matter which side of the Great Divide you’re standing on.
Notice that official solutions are uniformly designed to preserve and extend the wealth, comfort and privilege of the rich powerful officials who design them. And they do that with astounding disregard for the obvious negative effects inflicted on everyone else.
Too often the attitude is even worse than mere disregard. It’s outright ( and outspoken ) malice, as though robbing the poor isn’t sufficiently gratifying. They’ve got to insult them too, as though adding insult to injury might make the crime feel better.
You could call it greed , I suppose, or hubris, but neither of those explains the mechanics very well. Anyone can be as greedy and arrogant as they please, but without the capacity to enforce those evil intentions on everybody else, little will come of it except a lack of old friends.
In another sense you could say it’s what happens when the mentality of ‘More and More’ is enabled by ( you guessed it ) Wealth & Power.
Clearly such insatiable desires are willful, but are they knowing ? From a historical perspective they certainly aren’t in the perpetrators’ own best interests. Just the opposite. Through the lens of logic the consequence of always and only taking all of the marbles just because you can, is suicidal . Eventually the vast multitude of victims are faced with a stark choice: rise up in rebellion or die.
So, does the current crop of Oligarchs know that they’re doing themselves in ? Of course not. At least not in the sense that they grasp that it is only themselves, who are forcing the hand that will pull the trigger, that fires the gun, that will shoot them dead if they don’t stop robbing the poor.
They try to pin it on the victims, of course, but their argument is fatuous. Since when did the poor ever vote themselves a handout? First of all, they would have to vote… which they generally don’t. Secondly, they would have to devise a self-serving policy to vote for in the first place, and in democracy’s 2,500 year history that particular fantasy has never happened. There may well be rich and powerful people who try to appear like they are serving the less fortunate, or pandering to the rabble with what they think are populist notions, but in the end there is always the same simple fact . Laws and policies are devised, written, decided, and implemented by the wealthy and powerful, and such solutions are as self –serving as the framers can possibly make them.
Therefore, it is almost beyond imagining that the rule-makers currently enjoying the fruits of such unprecedented comfort and privilege would use that power to purposefully destroy it… by exploiting their own servants to such an extreme that revolt is the servants’ only means of avoiding death by starvation, exposure or disease.
Personally , there is only one way I can imagine it.
That is if the Rich & Powerful can only think with half a brain. That they are, in a word, halfwits.
What if they are literally incapable ( as in “not neurologically able” ) of making the connection between the living conditions of their serfs and the living conditions of themselves ?
Humans, and the mess ( or beauty ) that they create in the process of living are the greater part of the environment. It doesn’t matter how tall of a fence is put up around a smoldering toxic waste dump, the dump is still there. Poisons leaching from it into the air, water and our souls as a consequence do not know class boundaries.
If in the quest for limitless personal comfort and sovereignty our elites trash the slummy sectors of the joint then all must live with the trash ( or war, or global warming, or rampant drug violence ) that such nearsightedness leaves strewn all over the place. There is only this one place for us all to live on, ya know. There is no San Moritz or private tropical paradise, off-planet, to jet off to should this one break for any reason.
Yes, Wealth and Power can blind and insulate for a while. Live only in certain places, and travel only in certain circles. But eventually those trash-free zones will shrink ( most of them already have ) to the size that the toxic waste washing up on their beaches, encroaching their resorts and piled up to the outer walls of their gated communities is theirs , too. THEN where ya gonna go, huh ?
Wealth and Power do not provide immunity to physical reality, but they damned sure do obstruct the perception of consequences.