“Where No Man Has Gone Before”

As economic inequality has continued to dominate our society, I am constantly reminded of the original Star Trek series, and more specifically a particular episode. This essay has really nothing to do with the future of space travel or exploration (a word the precedes exploitation). Instead I use that series to address what is going on Earth in the present as the original series did.

As the wealth gap widens the result is that humans are becoming divided into something akin to two species. The wealthy have become so far removed from our reality that they see themselves as the apotheosis of humankind. We mere mortals are expendable.

In the fourth episode in the series, the Enterprise encounters a barrier that causes two crew members to acquire telekinetic and telepathic powers that increase over time. As their powers become stronger, Spock realizes that they are losing their affinity to their fellow crew members. He councils Kirk to maroon them on an uninhabited planet where they can do no harm. But because Kirk hesitates, one of the two has already begun to consider humans to be inferior. Kirk, a landing party and the two dangerous crew members go down to the surface of the chosen planet.

Because he telepathic the first to be affected learns of the plan to leave him and the other affected crew member behind, he resists being confined. He kills one of the landing party and escapes with the other affected crew member whose powers are becoming stronger. That person is able to keep him at bay until the rest can escape to the safety of the Enterprise.

So I keep thinking about the wealthy who seem to regard themselves as apart from the hoi polloi as those two crew members whose powers made so dangerous. Of course the wealthy are actually still human since their power derives from their wealth. But their wealth gives them control of the narrative and that is a terrible power indeed. Further, they can essentially buy the government and have enacted whatever laws benefit them no matter how those laws hurt the rest of us.

So billionaires, multi-millionaires and corporations-are-people-too can do things with impunity that impoverish and harm the majority. You know, those very legal tax laws that allow their wealth to grow while the rest of us languish behind. They can engage in activities that destroy the ecosystem, poisoning the land and water while spewing billions of years of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in a couple of centuries. And so far we have been powerless to stop them.

And why should they let us? Aren’t they wealthy because they are better than the rest of us? Wealth=intellectual superiority in their view. And being good at becoming wealthy means, to them, that they are good at everything. Once in a while you can really see the absurdity as when Trump suggested introducing chlorine bleach into humans to combat Covid.

The wealthy are killing not just us, but much of life and earth, and have been for some time now. I have believed for some time now that they fully expect to survive us and what they have done to the planet. Their religion is technology and they surely believe they can invest enough in it to ensure their survival. If they have any other beliefs, it’s that they are god-like, proven so by their lofty stature. They are dangerous to us and even themselves although they’d never believe it. Where is a distant uninhabited planet when you need one?

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snoopydawg's picture

The wealthy are killing not just us, but much of life and earth, and have been for some time now.

My heart is hurting daily over what we’re are doing to species around the world. Many are going extinct daily and still nothing is being done to stop the disasters coming or are already happening. I haven’t heard anyone from government talking about the horrible fires in the west. California is stopping farmers from getting water, but it’s still allowing fracking which not only uses a lot of it, but it’s poisoned too.

Nestles is still stealing water and selling some of it back to us, but how much have they held on to for the future?

I have believed for some time now that they fully expect to survive us and what they have done to the planet.

If they think they can skedaddle to their hidey holes and be safe, I think they have another future in store.

One of my favorites was next generation when they picked up people from our time who couldn’t understand that money had no value anymore.

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14 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

usefewersyllables's picture

@snoopydawg
megaultraincredibostupidly rich. I also agree that the future holds an entirely different outcome for them than they fantasize.

The problem they face is that they are already insufferable. Just wait until they actually Go Inside... I suspect that their carefully selected enslaved security goons will give them a couple of weeks of living like kings once the hatch gets dogged down. That will last only until said goons can't stand the 24/7 bitching any more, as the Beautiful People discover that they stocked the wrong wine/cigars/ice cream/whores and they can't go to Starbucks and the air smells funny and worse yet the arugula is wilting and They Want To Speak To The Manager. Oh, the horror.

The goons will then come to the realization that hey, they can live like kings instead. Two weeks in, the lifeless carcasses of the original insufferable rich people will be flung over the walls of their compounds by their own hired muscle. This interim situation will then persist until the raging masses show up and the ammo runs out.

The end result will be the same whether they bunker up or not. I just find it amusing as hell that the rich people are very effectively breeding, training, and arming their own apex predators. That has a pleasingly ironic poignancy to it, don't you think?

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Lily O Lady's picture

@usefewersyllables

expect their guardians to be robots which they believe they will be able to control. Their only other faith is In themselves as the apex of evolution—gods among men, or rather over men more likely.

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11 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady

You're almost certainly right about the rich and their robot fantasies...and that's how most of the people in Battlestar Galactica die, lol.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/07/27/a-cunning-extraterrestrial-profi...

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

being wealthy enough to possess whatever you want. To hire people to make you wealthier, to take care of all your wants and desires. Just to wake up and have an urge, and say "make it so" and effortlessly it's done. To have people agree with your goals and work to make sure you attain them and in the process make themselves comfortably well off, too. Democrats, I'm looking at you.

They do expect to survive us. They have a sickness that tells them they are better, more deserving than us. They discount luck and chance and solely believe they are more talented and intelligent than us, and that is the reason for their wealth. Even the trust fund kids, 2nd, 3rd, fourth generation believe that. To perpetuate that myth, they need to keep others down to elevate themselves.

They only bemoan class warfare when we fight back. I think most forgot how, and bought into the myth that the way to salvation is to vote "d" no matter who.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

How STUPID must you really be to think that "wealth = intelligence"? It should go without saying that the measure of a man cannot be taken in dollars and cents. It's transparently ludicrous. It's like they think life is fair. Their religion is NOT technology, it's Capitalism - which I claim is a direct outgrowth of/logical reaction to Christianity. The omnicidal, 100% fallacious ping-pong match has been going on for a LONG time.

As I've said before, these people are like Shift the Ape in a Narnia that has gone for too long without seeing a true Aslan (or Tash, for that matter!) - and as long as Marxism, Christianity's long-winded but terminally unimaginative would-be successor, keeps telling people to snuff out any would be great people in their budding years, macro-mediocrities like Bezos/Zuckerberg/the Kochs who seriously think personal net worth is a suitable replacement for IQ will CONTINUE to prevail.

Gods and heroes DO walk among us; we're not all created equal, and that's okay. It's time the Great People were allowed to return (looking at you, certain-parts-of-academia!).

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new.
The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core.
In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: 'Anyone can cook.' But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."

- Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole), Ratatouille

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5 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Lily O Lady's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat @The Liberal Moonbat

It’s the means to an end for them and that is power. Wealth is power under capitalism, certainly. But to be blinded to the ultimate end of rapacious consumption, ecosystem destruction, they must think they have a deus ex machina waiting in the wings. The god-from-the-machine that will save them from the destruction to which they have condemned the rest of us. Technology, that shining future which were were promised as children.

Of course, for really first-class technology you need vast wealth for R&D. Elon Musk springs to mind, that genius who astounds with his self-driving fireballs of death. Currently, Musk, Bezos and Branson are being lionized in the MSM for their forays into near space, inviting the public along on their delusion of the power of technology.

We would be wise to note that we watch from a distance what we can never afford. If you can’t ante in to the collection plate of technology, then you don’t deserve to enter technological heaven. We are to be contented with crap produced in foreign factories that doesn’t work and soon ends up landfills. Life extending technology is the province of the uber wealthy.

Capitalism can lead to great wealth, but that kind of power can corrupt and warp the human mind and soul. The wealthy don’t worship capitalism just like fish don’t worship water. It’s the medium in which they exist. They don’t realize that the power that great wealth enables removes them from the true consequences of their actions.

Natural consequences can be the best teacher, but the wealthy never learn those lessons. Their wealth insulates them from those consequences. Fixers are paid small fortunes to protect those with vast fortunes. So they fix and the wealthy hover above the world the rest of us live in. One of those fixers, a lawyer, coined to term “affluenza” to claim sympathy for a client who wanted to escape the consequences of his actions. The kid was eventually held to account because of his continued outrageous behavior, but mostly the wealthy skate continuing to live in a world of unreality. They “know” that their wealth will save them if only they can accumulate enough to build a world where those consequences cannot touch them.

Technology, that’s the ticket to heaven on Earth or Mars or somewhere, anywhere. There’s always somewhere to people with more wealth and power than the human soul can reasonably contain.It’s a form of madness, IMO.

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5 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Lily O Lady
https://caucus99percent.com/comment/520398#comment-520398
https://caucus99percent.com/comment/520416#comment-520416

True, technophile new-blooders like Gates, Musk, and Thiel may be departing from this formula, but they Don't Get It; they're straddling old and new in a way that could never get them what they think they want, perhaps because that's the milieu they've achieved their success in over the past decades. They've never gotten to see quite what I've seen...and I'm struggling to find a way to make my vision seen by others.

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1 user has voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.