The Lifeboats are for the Wealthy

titanic.jpg

"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics"
Plato (around 350 B.C.) (Notice he said oldest in 350 B.C.)

I noticed this news the other day.

"As multiple devastating wildfires raged across California, a private firefighting crew reportedly helped save Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s home in Calabasas, TMZ reported this week. The successful defense of the $50 million mansion is the most prominent example of a trend that’s begun to receive national attention: for-hire firefighters protecting homes, usually on the payroll of an insurance company with a lot at risk.

The insurance companies AIG and Chubb have publicly talked about their private wildfire teams. AIG has its own “Wildfire Protection Unit,” while Chubb—and up to a dozen other insurers—contract with Wildfire Defense Systems, a Montana company that claims to have made 550 “wildfire responses on behalf of insurers,” including 255 in just the past two years. Right now in California, the company has 53 engines working to protect close to 1,000 homes."

https://sorendreier.com/kardashians-private-firefighters-expose-americas...

Of course, that's not new. Back in the robber baron days the wealthy had their own fire departments, police departments, and whatever else money can buy. They even buy our government. But it further illustrates that wealth inequality now has surpassed even those haughty days.

The rich can buy their own fire departments, security departments, doctors, rock band performances, anything they want.

They've always had their own military, because that's what the United States military is for, the rich.

Do they deserve all that because they're rich? Is that the way we want society to be forever and ever amen? The haves and the have nots. Survival of the fittest. Money talks, bullshit walks. Gangster capitalism, crony capitalism, dog eat dog capitalism, war capitalism? If you've got money, you can live. If not, you must die.

Do the rich get to rule over the rest of us for eternity?

It's the question for the ages. I wonder if the human race will ever decide on that. Maybe we already have. Maybe that's it. Maybe this is just the way it is with us humans. Greed wins. I mean, look at that Plato quote. And he learned that from Socrates. See, this goes way back. To the beginning.

But I still wonder if we can change it. Because if not, that sucks. It just doesn't look like the way it's going, things are going to work out in the long run. And that would be too bad for the human race. Unless you're rich. Maybe.

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Azazello's picture

It is the human condition, the Many and the Few, everywhere and always.
Sometimes, in some places, things get better for the Many.
That's what we struggle for all our lives.

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Big Al's picture

homes for the rich are making 12-15 bucks an hours, i.e., about minimum wage these days. No different than most of the military working for peasant's wages to kill in the name of the rich and their corporations and banks. Peasants have always fought back from time to time. Got to be getting near that time again.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

There are prisoners who have been fighting the fires in California and they only make $1-2/hour, but once they are out of prison they can't get hired with the skills they learned. Kamala Harris, the next Hillary type creature voted against raising the wages for them or stopping it altogether. Forget which one. Hopefully this is mentioned when she runs.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

dervish's picture

@snoopydawg How quaint.

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14 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

mimi's picture

of the page with a 'rescue boat' for the poor. It was a wooden plank in the ocean to which we could cling to survive, if I recall correctly. I don't see it anymore. If it consoles you in the end the rich folks on the deck of the Titanic sink and drown together with the servant workers in the bottom machine rooms.

The world is going to hell ...

Darn I never smoked pot but I feel like I am going to hell too...so it makes sense to try it, no?

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Big Al's picture

@mimi I remember that rescue boat picture. Makes for a good symbol. I was thinking about writing something about why people think the world is going to pot. Seems like most agree, but there are varying reasons as to why they think that on the right/left spectrum.

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dkmich's picture

@Big Al @Big Al

Picture says a thousand words.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Bisbonian's picture

@Big Al

Well, I dreamed I saw the silver
Space ships flying
In the yellow haze of the sun,
There were children crying
And colors flying
All around the chosen ones.
All in a dream, all in a dream
The loading had begun.
They were flying Mother Nature's
Silver seed to a new home in the sun.
Flying Mother Nature's
Silver seed to a new home.

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4 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

dkmich's picture

@mimi

Willie Nelson is such an icon. Not only is his music a pleasure, but I also love his individualism. One can make the argument as Al does so well that money allows anyone to literally and figuratively make their own path, but I think there is something innate in the character of some people that allows them to be special in their way even if they are broke. Willie Nelson would be one of the later in my opinion. George Carlin would be another.

I've never smoked legal pot. I understand it is pretty potent. Illegal pot when you get some good stuff is pretty darn good, and it I would recommend. Legal, people like me need a tutor. I like mellow, but I don't like blasted.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@mimi
While the rich were getting on lifeboats.

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4 users have voted.

Beware the bullshit factories.

snoopydawg's picture

I first heard about how rich f'ckers have fire insurance that lets them just leave their homes and go to some luxurious hotel while private fire crews and other people pack up their valuables if needed and protect their homes.

Here are two other articles about how the rich are living their lives.

From hiding their mansions on Google Maps to building $500,000 panic rooms, rich people are sparing no expense to keep their lives private and secure

The private security companies are false security in my opinion because when the crap hits the fans those security people will probably turn on them and take their places. Can't get too upset about that though ...

"If you've got money, you can live. If not, you must die."

Or not. Remember what happened in France and those guillotines ...
50 photos show how obsessed the wealthy are with underground mansions

It's obscene what's happening here and elsewhere just because people have found ways to make gobs of money and not having to pay taxes on it or finding ways to hide it.

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Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg rich more rich. An example. There's a freshman at Duke University who plays basketball. He's projected to be the next Lebron James and I've already heard in the corporate media that he is a "billion dollar man". Everyone knows he's already worth a billion at least and he's only 19 years old and he just plays basketball. He will be guided toward that goal of being a billionaire and he already knows it.
It's a symbol of how imbalanced global capitalism has become.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

But you're right that it's obscene that people who play sports make so much money whilst people who teach and do other jobs that help society have to use gfm for life's emergencies.

BTW. Have you heard about the protests in France and the U.K. because their leaders are pushing them too far on economic issues? Hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets protesting the rise of gas taxes and their government's inaction on climate change. The question is why don't we protest against the things our government does and doesn't do? Boiling frogs just feeling the water getting warmer ...

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Daenerys's picture

@snoopydawg The militarized police. Occupy, DAPL water protectors, etc. People aren't willing to fight and die on that hill yet, because "violence isn't the answer".

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6 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

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Thomas Piketty in his book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" came to the conclusion that the post ww2 period was an anomaly, and the oligarchy the norm throughout history. Used to be religion bade them feel sorry for us on occasion. Today we're lucky they don't hop into their Range Rovers and shoot us for sport.

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dkmich's picture

Dems at the national level. Pelosi reared her preserved ancient head, and it was all over. I did not vote for superdelegate Stabenow, but I did vote for CIA Slotkin the only other national Dem on my ticket. She was running against a smug GOP incumbent groomed for the job since he was 12, and I just really wanted to see him lose and lose he did. Needless to say, he was shocked. Now the government mooch might have to get a real job.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

But that fell apart because of greed and a capitalist world that could not accept competition. (Ironic, yes?) so yes, my conclusion is that it is part of the human condition and a result of the way that we evolved as a species. My hope is that when h.Sapiens is long gone that the next intelligent species evolves in a different path, one where, millions of years hence, cooperation is the key to success, and where the concept of ownership of the means of production is only a social concept. We have at times lived that way, but greed eventually wins as the commitment to cooperation is not in our DNA.

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10 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

edg's picture

@The Wizard

You assert that cooperation is not in our DNA. I would amend that to say large-scale cooperation is not in our DNA. At the small group level, cooperation not only exists but is essential. Think of a clan or a small village. However, cooperation breaks down as small groups merge into larger groups and larger groups devolve into the unwashed masses. When connections between individuals dilute, so does cooperation.

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10 users have voted.

@edg

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2 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

Bisbonian's picture

@The Wizard

One person ruling over 300 million is ludicrous, anyway. We need smaller communities, if they are to be real communities.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Mark from Queens's picture

One set of laws for political and financial elites, and murderous cops. And one for the rest of us.

Greenwald's book "With Liberty and Justice...For Some" is a great overview of this. He points to the Ford pardon of Nixon as the pivotal point in which it become brazenly obvious there'd be no repercussions for political elites. Therefore, the so-called rule of law mantra is meaningless. After this, when Oliver North is outright flouting of military law, Bush's warrantless wiretapping/torture/ illegal invasion and war and then Obama's continued drone hit list program/warring/increased military detention powers, etc - there was barely a peep. Above the law, if you're connected.

To me, that could be the real linchpin, especially for all the RW/Neoliberal "law & order" asshole types. But convincing them that it is a problem might be difficult. Because they generally adhere to two ideologies: an implicit worship, reverence or deference to the Rich, and racism and bigotry. Both lay the foundations for a willful ignorance that allows such corrupt systems to run without impediment.

Woe to you if as a non-elite you're seeking a redress of grievances. See every single social movement in this country's history. For instance, these striking Irish miners in Pennsylvania, according to a judge's observation at the time:

"The Molly Maguire trials were a surrender of state sovereignty. A private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency. A private police force arrested the alleged defenders, and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them. The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows."

Twenty men were convicted and hanged on the basis of very dubious evidence.

If in fact we can't rely on what is the cornerstone foundation of society, that being law, to remedy injustice and enshrine an individual's most basic rights, then how then can it be expected that people will continue to have fealty to such system of government?

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Strife Delivery's picture

In a rich man's house there is no place to spit but his face.

Diogenes

*Supposedly

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Bisbonian's picture

@Strife Delivery

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Strife Delivery's picture

@Bisbonian Yeah, allegedly would have been better, but I was in a hurry Blum 3

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