Who are the 1%? Is it solely a group defined by a monetary cut off point?
What follows is an extract from chapter 11 of Cheers and Tears for America: Broken Media which is titled “The Game – Get as much as you can”.
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things will I give you if you fall down and worship me.” – Matthew 4:8-9
“The game is as old as human footprints on the earth. The game is programmed into the human DNA. The game is the province of the bad wolf that resides in each one of us. It is the game parents referee as they mould the character of their children. It is the game played in the school yard where efforts are made to regulate the behavior of the bully.
“The game is the triumph of human greed over human need. Some say that this is a criticism of capitalism designed to provide incentives and bring out the best in human nature. But capitalism is best played on a level playing field. This game is about denying a level playing field. It is a game of exploitation and leverage. It is a game of deception and recklessness. Where capitalism is designed to empower the individual to become the best he or she can be, this game is designed to keep the individual serving as a programmed cog in the wheel of those who will not be satisfied until they have it all – or perhaps not even then.
“The most successful bandit becomes the emperor – the Corruption of Power
“The champions of this game are driven by forces greater than the moderating influences can provide. They play for keeps.
“In ancient times, the most successful bandit could eventually become the emperor. In most cases the progress to greater power followed the old adage of “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Eventually everything belonged to the emperor and people’s lives and property existed by the grace of the ruler. Many of these depots who controlled everything within their grasp were not content and wanted more. There are examples of those who claimed divinity and sought to control matters after their deaths by elaborate ruses to project their immortality.
“The game required unsavoury behavior and few, if any successful emperors from times past live on as exemplars of what is good and noble in the human spirit even though as victors they had a significant part in writing the history that is passed down to us. It is no easier for those who would be emperors today to triumph without abandoning the call of our better natures. Modern governments provide some camouflage for individuals, who desire to live as if the bottom line is all that matters, by making it possible to vest their aspirations in the corporation which will do their will.
“The modern adaptation of the game
“The game is better played through the vehicle of the corporation which offers much strength and also provides cover from having to face up to the demands of personal responsibility. The corporation is better at throwing its weight around and bullying is easier to justify if you are just protecting the needs of the shareholders. It is more tax advantageous to have the corporation pay for many of the lurks and perks that contribute more to the entitled. The corporation can justify large amounts of money to lobby, influence and even install compliant governments which help the bottom line. Corporations can push the boundaries of what is legitimate with the capacity to employ the best legal and accounting entities to enable their will. The corporation can without any qualm justify anything in the name of the bottom line because after all that is the purpose for its very existence. It knows nothing of moral responsibility, social justice (to Glen Beck’s delight), or community awareness. The corporation has no feelings, craves no peace, experiences no joy and entertains no altruism. The corporation has no national allegiance and is not constrained by national borders. The corporation has overcome the last obstacle to human acquisition – it is immortal.
“The Game Plan for the Age of the Corporation can fit on the palm of your hand (or hands)
OBJECTIVES: Make as much as you can
CORPORATE CREED: Less taxes; less regulation (in both cases for the players)
HOLY GRAIL: Tax cuts (for the players)
TACTICS: Control the message (through corporate media)
Fight the organization of labor and social services for the poor.
Weaken government and push deregulation (or instal compliant government)
LEVERAGE: Corner the market on Patriotism and claim the Fear and Terror Franchise
Enlist Christian Soldiers.
“The game is about the preservation and enhancement of the entitlements of the powerful and privileged. The game is about those who have the most taking from those who have the least. The game is about the manipulation of minds, messages, and systems including governments to enable those who have so much to grasp for more in a no holds barred environment.
“The game is characterized by ruthlessness and fanaticism to pursue an edge. There is considerable evidence to suggest that the Democratic Party is also much beholden to corporate interests as is the Republican Party. Democratic representatives are just as susceptible as their colleagues across the aisle to the flattery, donations and favors from the corporate world. Legislation often preserves the interests of big business rather than the rights of individuals. Some would see the difficulty of getting good health care legislation and good consumer protection legislation as good examples of where corporate needs are placed over people’s needs.
“American author Joe Bageant says, “We only have one party and it has two faces – Democrat and Republican.” He points out that it costs so much money to run for office.
“The ruthlessness does not end with the marginalizing of the marginally less corporate friendly party. Having marshalled the forces of talk back radio and Fox News, the players are in the process of reshaping the Republican Party so that only those who dance to the proscribed tune are acceptable to those who would win at any price.
“Nothing should stand in the way of those who prosper more from “drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry – especially environmental regulation”.
A comment – So who are the one per cent?
One of the comedians presented an image which can be rejigged as follows: Mr 1% walks into a room and takes 40% of the cake. Rather than leave the 60% of the cake to the remaining 99% in the room, he begins to argue, set up structures and use his powers of manipulation to convince the others in the room that he deserves more.
Further attempt to answer the question of who are the 1%.
The 1% are not to be defined by the size of their accumulations but by their inability to appreciate the needs of others.
The 1% can be seen as those who find meaning in more money and more power – the sanctity of their bottom line- but they have little empathy for the deprivation of others.
The 1% can be seen as those who see their excesses being more important than the basic needs of others – they claim the benefits for themselves for having won the class war.
The 1% required that rules enable them to prosper at the expense of others – hence their clamour for less regulation.
The 1% accept that others must die prematurely so that they can have tax cuts. While they clamour for less taxation others die with inadequate health care, inadequate safety net, and bruised dignity.
The 1% subscribed to an easy religion that defines the fundamentals of the gospel they proclaim eliminating calls for social justice. Easy religion provides easy votes to ensure that folk vote against their economic interests and for the economic interests of the 1%.
The 1% are prepared to diminish democracy by the takeover of the fourth estate which they use as a tool to promote their interests.
The 1% value money above people, capital over labour, and greed over need.
The 1% require government to work in their interests or they will employ their minions to destroy it. (Washington is broken in the USA and they chorus worst of the governments in Australia.)
The 1% exploit human weakness especially fear and rage to divide and rule.
Others do not have the wealth of the 1%, but there may be a little of the 1% in each of us.
#38 This is the thirty eighth of 101 pleas to mend a broken media. The focus is in part the dominance and political posturing of the operations of the News Corporation in Australia; its genesis in in the revulsion at the workings of the Orwellian News Corporation’s Fox