“To be at once exceedingly wealthy and good is impossible” (Plato).
Some quotes about the special place of the 1% and their selfishness. They seem hostile
aliens that enslave the 99%. The 1% live in a separated, exclusive, extravagant and privileged world where the 99% are not allowed to come. To get a Humane World we must creatively disturb the world of the 1% and make it uninhabitable.
“In all societies from societies that are very meagrely developed and have barely attained the dawning’s of civilization down to the most advanced and powerful societies two classes of people appear, a class that rules and a class that is ruled. The first class, always the less numerous, performs all political functions, monopolizes power and enjoys the advantages that power brings, whereas the second, the more numerous class, is directed and controlled by the first in a manner that is more or less legal, more or less arbitrary and violent and supplies the first, in appearance at least, with material means”. (Gaetano Mosca)
That we are going to change!
“The type of character produced by wealth lies on the surface for all to see. Wealthy men are insolent and arrogant. The possession of wealth affects their understanding, they feel as if they have every good thing there is. Wealth becomes a sort of standard of value for everything else, and therefore they imagine there is nothing it cannot buy. They are luxurious and ostentatious, luxurious because of the luxury in which they live and the prosperity which they display, ostentatious and vulgar because, like other people, their minds are regularly occupied by the object of their love and admiration. And also because they think that other people’s idea of happiness is the same as their own. It is indeed quite natural that they should be affected thus for if you have money there are always plenty of people who do some begging from you. Hence the saying of Simonides about wise and rich men, in answer to Hiero’s wife, who asked him whether it is better to grow rich or wise. “Rich”, he said, “for I see the wise men spending their days at the rich men’s doors”. Rich men also consider themselves as worthy for public office for they consider they already have the things that give a claim to the office. In one word, the type of character produced by wealth is that of a prosperous fool”. (Aristotle)
“The powerelite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions top have major consequences. Whether or not they do or not make such decisions is less important than the fact that they occupy such pivotal positions: their failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do make.” (C. Wright Mills)
“Everybody who is part of the ruling class is Man by the Grace of God.
Because he was born in a setting of rulers, from childhood on he has been convinced he was born to rule and in a certain way that is indeed true, because his parents who were also rulers, have procreated him as their successor.
In the future there is waiting him a certain social function into which he can enter when he is of age ……This sanctified character that the bourgeois possesses for his class and that is expressed by an entire ceremonial of recognition (as the way of greeting, the visiting-card, the notifications of marriages and deceases, the entire ritual of courtesy visits etc.) that is called HUMAN DIGNITY”. (Jean Paul Sartre)
“The rich confront the rest of society as a solid semi-corporate phalanx, buttressed by law and public policy. By law they hold their positions legitimately and hence can feel complete rectitude. When the national anthem is being sung, they can feel it is being sung in celebration of the legal system that supports them, for the aggrandisement of which every man, the poorer especially, may be called upon to offer his life simply by presidential order, without any declaration of war by Congress. Beyond this, existing policies under the law favour them; they have been adopted largely by their agents with their corporate permission”. (Ferdinand Lundberg)
“So long as a citizen’s whole soul is wrapped up in the passion for wealth, he cannot give a thought to anything except the day’s takings. Here is one reason in particular why society declines to take learning and any other wholly admirable pursuit seriously. Everyone is ready in his furious thirst for gold and silver to stop to any trade and any shift, honourable or dishonourable, which hold out a prospect of wealth, ready to scruple at no act whatsoever – innocent, sinful or utterly shameful- so long as it promises to sate him, like some brute beast with the perfect glut of eating, drinking and sexual sport”. (Ferdinand Lundberg)
Joost van Steenis
See also my blog article “Who are the 1%, Origin of Power and Money”. http://downwithelite.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/who-are-the-1/