Sunday, January 16News That Matters

Rich people things

On the show this week, Chris Hedges discussed the peculiar pathology of the rich and our oligarchic state with Chris Lehmann, editor-at-large for The New Republic.

“The rich are different from us,” F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway allegedly replied, “Yes, they have more money.” The exchange, although it never took place, sums up a wisdom Fitzgerald had that eluded Hemingway. The rich are different. The cocoon of wealth and privilege permits the rich to turn those around them into compliant workers, hangers-on, servants, flatterers, and sycophants. Wealth breeds, as Fitzgerald illustrated in “The Great Gatsby” and his short story “The Rich Boy,” a class of people for whom human beings are disposable commodities. Colleagues, associates, employees, kitchen staff, servants, gardeners, tutors, personal trainers, even friends and family, bend to the whims of the wealthy or disappear. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy,” Fitzgerald wrote of the wealthy couple at the center of Gatsby’s life. “They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Aristotle, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx all began from the premise there is a natural antagonism between the rich and the masses. “Those who have too much of the goods of fortune, strength, wealth, friends, and the like, are neither willing nor able to submit to authority,” Aristotle wrote in “Politics.” “The evil begins at home; for when they are boys, by reason of the luxury in which they are brought up, they never learn, even at school, the habit of obedience.”

Oligarchs, these philosophers knew, are schooled in the mechanisms of manipulation, subtle and overt repression, and exploitation to protect their wealth and power at our expense. Foremost among their mechanisms of control is the control of ideas. Ruling elites ensure that the established intellectual class is subservient to an ideology — in this case free market capitalism and globalization — that justifies their greed. “The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships,” Marx wrote, “the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”

Chris Lehmann, an editor-at-large for The New Republic and The Baffler, and the author of Rich People Things.
https://www.orbooks.com/catalog/richpeople/

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23 Comments

  • Kenneth Knoppik

    Please do a show about the the New York Times. That sounds really interesting considering you used to work for then. Would love to hear your Insight

  • Swinglow Alabama

    this theatre, perhaps not bothering to do anything except to waster your energy, has had everyone fixed, I don't know how you can get out of it

  • George Sais

    Thank you Chris (again). You are an inspiration and with your intellegent guest that offers the realisation of the world we live in. Yet it is a world invented by a few to maintain power over us and the way we live and be taken for granted as well.

  • Isis Adger

    Well this IS good, but let's be honest, black ppl, particularly the descendants of slaves in the US have suffered the brunt of so called development. The ENTIRE lot of Western economies have been built on our backs. No matter how poor white ppl think they are, they still benefit from the system of white supremacy. If you really want to change the system, YOU MUST ADDRESS THAT FIRST.

  • San Diego Pete

    Good job selling the book. I just bought it. Chris Lehmann, like Chris Hedges, seems to bring context and digestibility to this wild ride we are all on. I look forward to reading the book.

  • Phill Taylor

    I stop watching T.V.? When comedy shows stopped? That was decades ago!.I've heard t.v. HAS mostly black actors I've nottist THIS in films and thers a lot of Chinese film's release!.

  • Sonar Bangla

    Why do I have the feeling that the entire Chris Hedges expositions about violent overthrow of the establishment is an effort by CIA and FBI to gather information about the revolutionaries, just like in the 50's and 60's, masterminded by AIPAC.

  • carefulcarpenter

    Donald Trump said this a couple decades ago: "Life is not what it is cracked-up to be."

    I've worked in the homes of the rich; I don't envy them. In many ways they envied me. Those who envy the rich usually find fault rather than engaging me in a civil discussion.

  • nudawn110

    the hour passed. sadly the streets will now manage the privileged jungle. none of the pooptube vloggers will confront the Dstate alpha predators

  • dopa miney

    I think the only real exististential threat on Earth are the obscenely rich. Sociopaths rule the world and they will trigger Nature's vengeance.

  • Lam Do

    Don't graps on "Human Rights, especially something you all call Women Rights" to try to create conflicts all around the world for something that you call "Freedoms and Democracy". First of all. Look at your Pornography Industry. Tell me. How is that call "Responsible and Respect" to all the women? Including my daughter in the fucking future.

    That's first.

    Secondly, do not assume that because majority of people are rich so you all think that means that their are all virtuous peoples.

    Look at those Luxurious Lifestyles and their "Harmless" activities and tell me how can that society going to teach my daughter in the future?

    So I just want to basically ask you all:" how could you all going around and telling people that your ways of living us better? And going around and creating conflicts all around the world by comparing your "Rich Countries" to all the poor countries that created by what we all know as "Colonialism"?

    How could you all saying that your ways of living and working is the right way of doing things when "in reality" just look at your own people and their parties and communities and groups. How they are all divided and creating so much trouble and problems to your own society?

    Tell me if your "Freedoms" worth the dying of all those "Prisoners"?

    You creating a Freedom that going to give freedom to everyone and everything to be able to become "Drugs, Weapons, Bombs and even Women and Men Dealers"?

    Just look at those prostitutes that got selling and moving and flying around the world from one country to another just to serve all of you "Sex Needs" in your rich society.

    Go to those brothels and tell me how many of them are "OVERSEAS STUDENTS"?

    You all are using people from Poor countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Korean and Japanese, Cambodia even those poor "White Countries" too, to ship them from their countries to your countries to serve your needs of Sex and you are all using those money to pay them. Using the power that you all created by "Money system" to destroying all the people in poor countries. Tell me what different between going to Brothel and pay money to a poor person and have sex and those whose pointing guns at someone just to have sex? Nothing different. 1 you have to force them to have sex because of money. And the other, you have to force them to have sex by a bullet. Same shit different smells.

    Don't even wanna talk about child sex in your dirty society. Especially those in Power of Control with so much money on their hands. They could buy anything these days.

    Yup.

    What I mean is that

    You all go and fix your societies before coming to another country and call for "Freedom" because your own fucking rubbish system is breaking down and chucking shit out to this planet everyday.

    If you can't even fix your own society how could you tell me to learn shit off you nor tell me to keep on seeing your fucking bombs and guns are shooting and killing women and children and men all around the world for your needs of OILS and RESOURCES and THE TECHNOLOGIES DEVELOPMENTS TO BE ABLE TO BOMB THEM?

    Just like Elon Musk is trying to create a self driving system that need to know exactly where everything and everyone are. Do you all ask yourself about "Privacy"? Before talking shit about China Technologies nor comparing it to Facebook? Don't even wanna mention how those Tesla Car could become the target for those Hypersonic Bombing systems to point at just by those Satellites.

    Are you going to be free? Or are you all going to be their Targets?

    Those SMART cars are the most vulnerable piece of item that you could have that's going to open the gate to all of your privacy issues on internet. And tell me if you could trust that Elon Musk is not using his knowledge and techniques and technologies to monitoring his targets or people that he's interested in by hackers or his own hands?

    Who had sex on a Tesla or around a Tesla before?

    Who doing secret talks around those Tesla or in those Tesla before?

    Watch out for your "privacy".

    So yeah just ask yourself who want their children to become a prostitute or going to Brothels?

    Your fucked society would say "Why Not?" Just ask Donald Trumpet can I fuck his daughter tonight for 1 million? And ask those prostitutes what would they do for 1 million? I would kill you just for 1 million. Believe me or not is up to you 😉 so yeah don't just create Americans and Australians that going to Philippines for a Second wife and talking shit about Arabs having multiple wife. Lolz. I laugh at all you Faces

    I can't even imagine you all have 7 wifes. Before they start to fight each other I think you already out of energy to deals with them. Nor look after those Children. Lolz and you fucked society is worrying about the population is going down? 🤣

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