We must take the power and the money away from the 1%



Developing the Fourth People's Power

Joost van Steenis
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  Chapter 15

The separated and exclusive world of the 1%

The reason why the 1% want to keep their privileged position



Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft when we are hard, and cynical were we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different”. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

How distinguish the 1% themselves from the 99%? How acquire they a higher status? Because of money, being capable to buy anything common citizens cannot buy. Everything turns around money.

Only by disturbing this money world we get a society in which all people have the same status. Actions connected with items that can only be acquired by people with too much money pressure the 1% and not the 99%. That complies with the Golden Rule for Actions, damage to the 99% should be minimal, pressure on the 1% ever increasing. 

As prime adepts to the idea that money dominates everything, the 1% give themselves a higher status by expressing everything what happens in money terms. With the use of brainwashing methods the 1% insert in the minds of the 99% that you only can get a higher status by having a lot of money. This leads to ridiculous situations. Very high prices are asked for diamonds or gold and the prices are kept high by shady manipulations of corporations and a propaganda machine telling the people that expensive is beautiful even when the difference between a diamond and a glass copy can only be determined with special techniques. That can be said of the whole luxury industry. “The arts and crafts are corrupted by the co-presence of great wealth and poverty” (Plato). The intrinsic value of goods is increased by using the money paradigm. Campaigning to prohibit forgeries (goods with the same intrinsic value not made by the luxury industry) gives free way to higher prices. Expensive is sold as good and beautiful. People with money judge articles on their money value and not the intrinsic value.

You have to show to your peers that you belong to the top. Extravagant mansions, private planes, very big cars, exclusive restaurants, sitting on the first row at meetings, attending special parties, only drinking and eating expensive food etc. Money dominates the life and the brains of the 1%. The money paradigm rules because anything is considered in connection with money, expensive is good, cheap is wrong.

Having money and how to spend money is superior to how you got that money. The acceptance of rich criminals in the eliteworld of the 1% supports this statement. The 1% are often criminal, hiding wealth in tax havens, being corrupt, misusing power to get ridiculous salaries and bonuses, etc. The crisis has proven that bankers use criminal ways to extort money from the 99%. Hardly any banker has been prosecuted.

Not all rich people belong to the1%. It is not only money that secures a place in the top but also power and contacts often via education, sports and family. Sport millionaires, lottery winners or the yet set do not belong to the 1% but also technical whizz kids as Bill Gates are not directly accepted. They often have a restricted influence (only in the IT) and have no information or financial support via trusted family members, close friends and other acquaintances. But Gates has so much money that he is not a factor that can be neglected.

The 1% think they have the “right” to have more than the 99%. In a society built on money the powerful can use anything to get more money. Corruption is one of these means.

The definitions of corruption (the misuse of power for the own benefit) and of the 1% (the group with most power and money) resemble each other. In both cases everything turns around having more money than other people. How you get that money is not important. Everything the 1% do to amass money is uncontrolled and in the case of corruption clearly criminal.

If the 99% had some money they can hardly use these criminal ways to get still more money. They miss the criminal mentality which is the prime reason why people are criminal: money. With this money the 1% has built an exclusive, extravagant eliteworld only open for a special kind of people. Willam S. Domhoff described this kind of people in “Who rules America”: “Underlying the American upper class are a set of social institutions which are the backbone – private schools, elite universities, the “right” fraternities and sororities, gentlemen’s clubs, debutante balls, summer resorts, charitable and cultural organisations and such recreational activities as foxhunts, polo matches and yachting”.

Ferdinand Lundberg describes in “The rich and the super-rich” the mentality of the 1%: “One doesn’t need to tap their telephones or induce psychoanalysts to break confidence that they (the 1%) are nearly all motivated by retaining their power and money, adding as much money and power as possible, making use of all the resources of modern science, technology and politics in the retention and the expansion of their power, keeping their share of the tax burden as low as possible, supporting whatever politico-economic policies support or improve their position and struggling against those who seem less likely to diminish that and having themselves presented to the world as especially worthy people”.

It shows a big difference between the 1% and the 99%. The first live in a privileged eliteworld, the others in an often harsh massworld. The eliteworld is separated from the world of the 99%. To cross to the other side you only can use bridges controlled by the 1%. They select who may enter their world on the condition you accept money inspired criminal behaviour. The eliteworld is exclusive and extravagant. The first condition to enter this world is the possession of a lot of money and nobody shall ask where this money came from. All aspects of their world are drenched in money common citizens never possess.

The money of inhabitants of this eliteworld comes partly from the past by inheritance but also via exorbitant profits and salaries of which the height is determined by people who have comparable incomes. Partly it comes from the misuse of private or public money for the own benefit. In both cases the money stream is caused by a misuse of power for the own benefit or in one simple word because of corruption.
To undermine this privileged world you must imagine what the 1% find important. It are things connected with money. By creatively disturbing these things you disturb the exclusive eliteworld, you undermine the reason why the 1% is the 1%.

What do the 1% do with their money? Except using it to extend their power position the 1% use the money to buy goods, acquire services and build places that are too expensive for common citizens. That are many action targets. Not only the goods and services but also manufacturers, suppliers or distributors. We can advise them with forceful arguments to look for a more humane job. One aspect of the idea that we can disturb the web of veins that feed the 1% is that all 99% should severe the ties with the greedy rich.

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