'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/revol.?

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'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/revol.?

Postby Mossling on November 10th, 2017, 10:44 pm 

Why aren't the streets full of protest about the Paradise Papers?
The Guardian, 10 November 2017
as Rana Foroohar put it at the time in Time magazine: “the Panama Papers could lead to capitalism’s greatest crisis.
[...]
the eerily quiet response to the Paradise Papers is a long-overdue indication that activists everywhere are either open to, or actively involved in, reimagining revolutionary activism in the 21st century.

The decreasing effectiveness of protest is a symptom of growing class segregation. The rich and powerful are not existentially threatened by protests in the street because our streets are not their streets.
[...]
The fundamental lesson of the Panama and Paradise Papers is twofold. First, the people everywhere, regardless of whether they live in Russia or America, are being oppressed by the same minuscule social circle of wealthy elites who unduly control our governments, corporations, universities and culture.

We now know without a doubt – thanks to the incontrovertible evidence provided by the Panama and Paradise Papers – that there is a global plutocracy who employ the same handful of companies to hide their money and share more in common with each other than with the citizens of their countries. This sets the stage for a global social movement.

Second, and most importantly, these leaks indicate that our earth has bifurcated into two separate and unequal worlds: one inhabited by 200,000 ultra high-net-worth individuals and the other by the 7 billion left behind.

While street protest is losing its effectiveness, there is a force that could terrify these elites: the spectre of a ruthless and globally inescapable class justice.

Is this vision unrealistic do you think?
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby Serpent on November 11th, 2017, 1:08 am 

Mossling » November 10th, 2017, 9:44 pm wrote:[While street protest is losing its effectiveness, there is a force that could terrify these elites: the spectre of a ruthless and globally inescapable class justice.]

Is this vision unrealistic do you think?

Yes. I very much doubt there is a single movement for social justice on anything like a global scale. It's hard enough to get our act together in lawful, traditional political process. There is also a general sense of futility. And I don't see any consensus in what form the administration of justice ought to take... or even what its objectives ought to be.

OTOH, the 200,000 (I suspect that's an overestimation of their numbers) elite are busily sawing away at the high branch on which they're sitting. If they keep destabilizing world politics, and automating people out of jobs, and tax-cutting governments into bankruptcy, there will be no economy for all their accumulated, sheltered money to operate in.
No world, either, once climate change runs totally amok.
I mean, what's the point of building an exclusive island community, reachable only by yacht or private plane - if nobody's willing to service, provision and guard you?
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby BadgerJelly on November 11th, 2017, 1:18 am 

A bigger divide in wealth means more violence.

Global poverty has drastically been reduced beyond anyone's previous expectations. Living in one of the few relatively wealthy countries makes the current global situation look bleak because such people in such coutries vie wthe "globe" with their eyes focused only on "local" economics and politics.

I can see that any kind of dramatic shift toward equilibrium generally leads to people having no sensible way to compare situations and such things can make small differences look enormous.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby wolfhnd on November 11th, 2017, 2:48 am 

The more things change the more they stay the same.

It is inconceivable that the rich and powerful have ever had more in common with the "common people" of their own society than with those of the upper class in other societies. By extension whatever the upper classes negotiated among themselves is equally unlikely to have much in common with the interests of the lower class. It is in a way the nature of things.

The distribution of power in any society follows a "law of nature" called the Pareto principle. It is not applicable in a single application to the distribution of wealth and power but as a serial process that multiplies the effect. It is not simply applicable to meritocracy but can be seen in every known attempt at communism as well.

In a way it has a biological analogy if you reduce biology to something resembling a chemical process. The more energy an organism has captured the greater will it's ability to capture energy be. Of course we are imagining an unrestrained system. Social constructs are such an unrestrained system because they exist as abstractions.

The question becomes if the natural course of accumulated wealth and power is a conspiracy amongst the "captains and kings. For something to be a conspiracy there must be an intended victim. In a way the natural course is more sinister than conspiracy because the powerful who engage in collusion typically do not consider the lower classes as anything more than cogs in a machine and machines by definition cannot be victimized.

There is a lot of talk today about the other and the virtues of diversity. The idea is that inclusiveness is a prescription against dehumanizing the other. Unfortunately inclusiveness is an alien concept in a political atmosphere.

Elitist attitudes run deep even in the supposedly "liberal" political circles. Perhaps best illustrated by the slogan "basket of deplorables". The deplorables were at one time the central focus of Marxists but with the abandonment of labor the left has fully embraced a form of identity politics that makes every group the other inadvertently. This is relevant without going into to much detail because of how it forms allegiances between various social groups.

The primary allegiances of concern today are rather odd associations. Those between the banking class and democratic candidates, the association of feminist and Islamist, classical liberals and the right, there are many examples but the important division is between IQ groups. The value of intelligence in the modern world has created a new petty nobility. In and of itself this may not be particularly significant but the new petty nobility is in many ways aligned with the most powerful people in the world, George Soros and the left being an excellent example. The interest of the intellectual class are aligned with big government and not individual initiative.

It is not clear if it is by design or not but post modernism, neo-Marxism, multiculturalism feminism, and political correctness have become the tools of the powerful to reach their globalist agendas. With the vast majority of the intellectual class sweep up directly or by association with the above mentioned leftist ideologies there is no untainted intellectual opposition to the more unsavory objectives of the banksters, globalist, and financial elites. It may seem intuitively contradictory but look at the evident corruption in the political process as proof.

I started my comments out by asserting that the accumulation of power in a few individuals seems like a product of natural forces. I think that is the key observation because biological processes are not only complex but exist in a realm without reasons. There are only reasons when a reasoner is introduced. The contradictions in the political or social experience only have meaning because a reasoner assigned meaning or lack of meaning to them. When we ascribe moral principles to the actions of others it is in the unbounded realm of the abstract. Abstractions like freewill are real they are just not what we generally think they are.

Our current crisis is what some have described as a moral panic. It is detached in many ways from the realities of existence. What we don't want is for practical people from outside the mainstream to come along and set it "right". The mainstream needs to reform itself by refocusing on practical issue not utopian or ideological idealism. The connection between the abstract and tangible reality needs to be reestablished.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby zetreque on November 11th, 2017, 6:21 am 



The same thing could be said about dozens of things going on right now in the world. If one were to read a history book they could ask the same thing about why thousands of citizens didn't overthrow tyrant powers.

anyway... I think People buy into capitalism because they support a system in which they too believe that if they work hard or get lucky, they can be a super elite, or at least a partial elite. People turn it into hero worship and live a fantasy where they tolerate it because they themselves want it (The life filled with super cars, houses, private islands, etc). I also think that it's so far beyond them, that they just ignore it.

Capitalism has this type of invisible brainwashing cloak. Maybe it's even like a religion where it obtains followers but in a way that sneakily forces them into the ideology using candy coated treats.

We also can't deny that it is this system which has given us treats like iphone gadgets. Perhaps people are more willing to look the other way when Apple gives them this sugary treat while abusing the system that allowed it to produce the treat and turn into the fantasy of people who want to live as an elite.

It should be infuriating that just a handful of people or corporate entities wield the financial power to buy a country out of debt, or enact massive social change for increased well-being but that concept seems to go right over people's head.

In other words, my answer is that there isn't enough infuriated to even protest. Otherwise you would have a large wave of people refusing to pay taxes or refusing to buy products.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby Serpent on November 11th, 2017, 12:14 pm 

When they do protest against wars and injustice, or for less corruption, less oppressive policing and more equitable treatment, the establishment response and counter-demonstration are violently disproportionate (check the records of arrest and protester injury in recent incidents) while the reportage both misrepresents the protestors' cause and underestimates their numbers. IOW, they're muzzled and intimidated.
Granted, that can only continue until the crowds become desperate....
... as in Egypt .... Yeah, well.
It's not that easy to overthrow tyrants, but's sure easy to get arrested, tortured and killed - by the thousands. And if you don't even know how much and what kind of foreign assistance your particular tyrant will receive, it's even harder.

It's not about capitalism, so much. Though money plays a major role, the negative effects of capital might be balanced by democratic government and an independent press; could be mitigated by civic obligation on the part of successful capitalists. This is one reason the corporate system is such a bad idea: no person is making the financial or policy decisions; it's an unaffiliated board of directors and anonymous shareholders, answerable only to the profit graph. With no effective counter-force and no intelligence at the helm, such entities achieve unplanned, unforeseen, ultimately disastrous outcomes. Like periodic market crashes, depressions, soaring debt-loads and currency collapse.
That's what will happen when masses of people are unable to buy products and pay taxes.

It's more about blind, deaf, purposeless greed, coupled with all-too-human self aggrandizement.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby zetreque on November 11th, 2017, 12:44 pm 

Serpent » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:14 am wrote:It's more about blind, deaf, purposeless greed, coupled with all-too-human self aggrandizement.

aka capitalism.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby Serpent on November 11th, 2017, 7:11 pm 

zetreque » November 11th, 2017, 11:44 am wrote:
Serpent » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:14 am wrote:It's more about blind, deaf, purposeless greed, coupled with all-too-human self aggrandizement.

aka capitalism.

Well, yes - that's the situation now.
I actually meant those two elements as separate factors that sometimes form a lethal coalition.
The self-aggrandizement of Assyrian moguls and Aztec kings was not so very different from that of modern dictators under any economic guise. The cultural environments in which they operate, however, modify their behaviour and limit or expand the scope of their destructive power.
Similarly, Carnegie, Hearst, Buffet, Trump and Gates behave differently under the same system and in different political climates.
But an autonomous corporate entity has no conscience, brain or nationality, so when it's harnessed to a sociopath or a political agenda, it behaves differently again. It can become insane.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby Mossling on November 12th, 2017, 7:23 am 

Good points.

What about the author's mention of an "eery silence", though?

That is the part that got my attention, with all of this increasing wealth inequality - there are always reports of NOW the richest 0.1% own not only your house and your car, but also your cat and your dustbin - that it seems at some point there will be the usual 'calm before the storm', as the Greeks build their giant horse and wheel it up to the gates of Troy. At some point the whole thing will tip over, won't it?

I wonder what the final straw will be and what action will take place?

Going back to another topic we discussed before, it seems such revolutions always have the support of armies. There is no apparent whiff of significant military concern about the present elitism in the world though, is there?

I mean there is some active conflict taking place with Trump as Commander in Chief personally dictating rules to the US Military - rules that the military summarily ignores, so there is some powerful independent politically-significant decision-making coming from the US military, but it seems more in favour of a traditional conservative stance, rather than any modern or radical agenda.
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Re: 'Offshore' Elitism - the seeds of the next class war/rev

Postby Serpent on November 12th, 2017, 4:01 pm 

What about the author's mention of an "eery silence", though?

That's from the same little cabal owning all the mass media. I mentioned disappearing, distorting and unreporting of social unrest; muting the voices of dissent. There are some excellent documentaries and lectures on the scope and effects of disparity, on various lobbies, subsidies and corporate practices - but they're only ever seen on public television stations, which are decreasing in number and chronically underfunded; which therefore can't afford much new and popular programming. Of course, someone will point out, you can access documentaries on the internet... if you know they exist; if you realize that they have information you need and want; if you know how to find them; if your mind hasn't been poisoned against their content or their producer.
The people who meet those criteria already understand the problem.
In case you haven't seen it, http://documentaryheaven.com/
That is the part that got my attention, with all of this increasing wealth inequality - there are always reports of NOW the richest 0.1%
[own and/or control everything, including public services, the food supply of entire nations and individuals' DNA]
I make it closer to 0.001%

At some point the whole thing will tip over, won't it?

Bingo! What would you call 1929? That was an economic fall, coupled with a climatic misfortune. Bad, wasn't it? But that was relatively local; affecting other nations, but unable to bring them all toppling over. And 2009? That was fixable - sort of - only at the expense of working people: rescuing and rewarding the very perpetrators of the crisis and penalizing the victims: more trouble down the line, that could perhaps have been mitigated by a stable government with long-term vision. (That hope's gone! Obama may have had the personal wherewithal, but never the political support. )
Wealth-towers tip over all the time. The more consolidated and taller the the disparity, the bigger it falls, the more dominoes it knocks down. Now they've made it global... and added it to climate change, crop failures, water shortage and the refugee crises due to armed conflict.

I wonder what the final straw will be and what action will take place?

Open racial conflict in Europe can be triggered by just one more surge of refugees - maybe due to another Middle Eastern crisis like Syria or a famine.
Civil war and/or debt implosion in the US.
Open hostilities initiated by the evil clown against North Korea or Iran.
A series of extreme weather catastrophes, almost anywhere.

Going back to another topic we discussed before, it seems such revolutions always have the support of armies. There is no apparent whiff of significant military concern about the present elitism in the world though, is there?

I don't know about the world. However, I've sometimes posited that the continued existence of the USA depends on the good sense and loyalty to the constitution of its general staff.
ETA: I have even, jokingly, suggested that a military coup may be its salvation.
I've stopped joking about this.
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