Takers

The rich, ever anxious to justify their position, prefer to be referred to as the “elite” or the “makers.” They stress their accomplishments in a meritocratic system, which proves they deserve all they have. And the rest of us deserve all we don’t.

Upon a time there were aristocrats, commoners, and slaves. Since the Industrial Revolution it has been mythologized as students, workers, and drones (“takers”). But what we really have as automation takes full hold is producers and consumers, who are actually one and the same and interchangeable.

If everyone is pretty well taken care of, I have no quarrel giving more to those who are smarter, work harder, take risks, and are luckier than others. There are general social benefits to well-directed ambition for society as a whole.

The minor problem is that many of the elite see success as money expressed as a zero-sum game. They have gold for whatever reason which means others don’t. That seems to make them feel very happy. Nothing new.

The major problem is that the elite begin to believe their own propaganda and _like the divine kings of old _ think they can do no wrong. They try to control society in ways _ no surprise _ that somehow end up making them richer and more secure.

Bad kings had a limited sphere of influence and effect. With technology, a bad elite can destroy everything.

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