Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it
mike lofgren, truthout...
I am unaware of a well-developed theory ... about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.
I do not mean secession in terms of physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens occasionally.(i) It means a withdrawal into enclaves, a sort of internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well-being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension - and viable public transportation doesn't even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call, who cares about Medicare?
To some degree, the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; for example, their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy's palpable animosity toward public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education "reform" is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than one-half trillion dollars in federal, state and local education dollars into private hands, meaning themselves and their friends.(ii) A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie's is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy.
In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an Army pack. Now, the military is for suckers from the laboring classes, whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to employ Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. Courtesy of Matt Taibbi, we learn that the sentiment among the super-rich toward the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse; Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, says about the views of the 99 percent: "Who gives a crap about some imbecile?"
The real joke is on the rest of us. After the biggest financial meltdown in 80 years - a meltdown caused by the type of rogue financial manipulation that Romney embodies - and a consequent long, steep drop in the American standard of living, who is the putative front-runner for one of the only two parties allowed to be competitive in American politics? None other than Romney, the man who says corporations are people. Opposing him, or someone like him, will be the incumbent President Barack Obama, who will raise up to a billion dollars to compete in the campaign. Much of that loot will come from the same corporations, hedge fund managers, merger and acquisition specialists and leveraged buyout artists the president will denounce in pro forma fashion during the campaign.
The super-rich have seceded from America even as their grip on its control mechanisms has tightened.
the super-rich have always thought of themselves as global citizens, for the most part not constrained by national boundaries and free to rape and pillage wherever in the world there was money to be made... Submit To Propeller