The world’s elite: Tone-deaf, willfully ignorant, or malicious?
Are the world’s elite tone-deaf, willfully ignorant, or truly malicious? I must contemplate this question because, on a very human level, it points to where we’ve gone wrong, and what we must do to fix it before it’s too late. I think, honestly, it’s all three. It just depends on the person whom we’re talking about and what set of circumstances we’re contemplating.
Let’s face it: There are a relative few who consider themselves “the chosen” in this world, the ones with the most money, the power-mad, the influencers. Nothing says that their ideas are any better than yours or mine, but they nevertheless believe they are invincible. In their own eyes, based on their demonstrable success at getting so rich or powerful, they are smarter, more knowledgeable, and a better judge of what is good for the rest of us.
They’ve arranged life so that they can shut us up easily because they control so many of the ways we communicate. Once they’ve silenced us, they must remain wedded to whatever pathway they chose. They can’t back down or we’d see them as fools.
The elites become tone-deaf because when people get very rich, they often—I think very often—lose touch with reality. Everyone who gets near a rich, powerful person reinforces this egotistical self-preening. The economic elite and the super-famous are surrounded by people who want in on the glam, want to reap the perks of rubbing elbows with the rich, famous ones. The latter are “yes men” magnets, so to speak.
It's hard to challenge someone whose worth has been so decisively proven by the very billions they have acquired. And so the brown-nose bunch of remora fish lucky enough to get close to them amplifies the tone-deaf nature of the rich elite’s understanding of the world.
Such people always live apart from the rest of us. Do their own grocery shopping? Not a chance. The chef will deal with that. Clean the house? No, there’s a staff for that mundane stuff. Travel is private and entertainment, too.
The rest of us who get delayed overnight in the airport and cope or pick up a pizza on the way home from work because we’re too tired to cook or worry about the cost of heating the house or buying groceries or getting gas are a different species. We become lesser beings in their minds—I mean, come on! You’re still using gasoline? What rubes we are! Which, maybe, makes us seem expendable.
Willful ignorance allows a certain ruthlessness. The very process that enables tone-deafness ushers in the possibility of never considering how others think. After all, if you don’t have to live like the rest of us, why bother understanding our needs and desires? I think there’s a conscious decision to be separate—rationalized and tempered, of course, by some acts of benevolence.
Image by Andrea Widburg
As an easy example, take Mark Zuckerberg buying up property on Kauai by badgering and suing his way to forcing Hawaiian residents to give up land that’s been in their families for over a century. He’s created a veritable fortress of separateness, in the middle of paradise, just so his family can occasionally vacation there. The man bought 1,400 acres, beachfront, ranch land, etc. Of course, the family has bestowed some of their largesse on the natives to placate them. In fact, they donated $900,000 to the effort to get everyone vaccinated. Talk about doubling down!
The problem with these rich, elite, and not-of-our world people is that they are prideful and bullheaded. If they see something a certain way, it must be so. If they view the world myopically—and their equally rich, equally out of touch amigos see it that same way—they can’t understand what our little problem might be with their view.
What we see as crass insanity, they see as the obvious way to go, even if it destroys the natural symmetry of the planet and part of mankind along the way. It’s been this way throughout history. To make the omelet, one must break a few million eggs, one way or the other.
Perhaps it’s carefully planned at high-powered meetings, perhaps it’s just grasping opportunities. We don’t have a way to know. Was the virus a mistake or not? How can we know, when we only see the whitewash on its origin? Is the evil vaccine a diabolical plot to reduce the population of the world by half? After all, that would be great for global warming, right? Or did the elite simply put all their chips in that pile, and now they can’t let go without losing too much money.
The elites of the world get together at places like Davos and, I imagine, they plot and plan for the rest of us, expecting we’ll go along to get along. What I think they don’t realize, is that we, too like a challenge. We need to find our voices and stop backing down. Clean our house. Elect those who step up to challenge the status quo. Form coherent plans to win this cultural war, despite the many obstacles.