Six Things We Can Learn About US Plutocracy By Looking At Jeff Bezos

in #government4 years ago (edited)

I often look at Jeff Bezos when trying to understand how American oligarchy functions for a few reasons.

Firstly, currently occupying the number one slot on Forbes' billionaires list, he is the top dog. He figured out how to play the plutocracy game quickly, and how to play it better than anyone else.

Second, our civilization is currently headed on a clear trajectory deeper and deeper into Orwellian tech dystopia if we don't turn things around or drive humanity into extinction first. The new money tech plutocrats own the foundation of that dark future, and we should all keep a very, very close eye on them on general principles as well as to get a read on where things are headed.

Lastly and most importantly, as a new money plutocrat Bezos has had to build his empire with high visibility in the information age. The old money plutocrats built their kingdoms in much darker times, with some families setting the foundations of their rule hundreds of years ago when there was very little in the way of newspaper coverage, and certainly no alternative media scrutinizing power. Bezos' wheelings and dealings are above ground to a much greater extent, because he's had to do everything in the public eye.

With that in mind, here are six things we can learn about how US plutocracy operates by looking at Jeff Bezos.

1. The rich rule America because of a system wherein money translates directly into political power.


Amazon has increased its spending on Washington lobbying by 400 percent in the last five years, far in excess of its competition. Bezos hasn't been doing this to be charitable. With growing antitrust concerns, taxation to avoid, lucrative Pentagon deals to secure, and what some experts are describing as an agenda to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy, he needs Washington on his side.

Plutocrats do not pour large fortunes into lobbying campaigns without reason. They do it because it works.

A 2014 study by Princeton University found that while wealthy Americans have a great deal of sway over US policy and behavior, ordinary Americans have virtually none. This is because corporate lobbying and campaign financing have made the bribery of public officials perfectly legal as plutocrat-championed legislation like 1976’s Buckley v. Valeo, 1978’s First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti as well as the infamous Citizens United v. FEC has created a system where money translates directly into political power.

2. Because money equals power and power is relative, plutocrats are naturally incentivized to keep the public poor.


Plutocrats necessarily rule such an oligarchic system as surely as kings rule a kingdom. But if everyone is king, then no one is king. If your entire empire is built on a system where money equals power, then you are necessarily incentivized to keep money out of the hands of the public while amassing as much as possible for yourself.

The larger the Amazon empire grows, the more of its competition dies and the lower wages get. At the hottest point in the 2016 Democratic party primary, Bezos' Washington Post ran sixteen smear pieces in sixteen hours against Senator Bernie Sanders, who is largely responsible for bringing the word "oligarchy" into mainstream consciousness.

Sanders famously ran a campaign powered by small donations averaging 27 dollars. The less money people have, the less of those kinds of donations they can afford to make, and the less political influence the masses can wield. With a majority of Americans already unable to afford even a thousand dollar emergency, it doesn't take much more squeeze to kill all hope of another populist insurgency of that sort.

Power is relative and money is power, so the poorer you are, the more powerful the plutocrats become.

3. Controlling the media is very important to plutocrats.


Jeff Bezos, the most crafty plutocrat alive, did not purchase the Washington Post in 2013 because he expected newspapers to make a lucrative resurgence. He purchased it so that he could ensure exactly what WaPo did to Bernie Sanders in 2016. The neoliberal Orwellian establishment that Bezos is building his empire upon requires a propaganda mouthpiece, so Bezos purchased a long-trusted US newspaper to accomplish that. WaPo is now easily the most virulently pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not just defending establishment narratives but actively attacking anyone who challenges them.

The current system which only serves the wealthy and the powerful cannot exist without nonstop advertising convincing the American public that the status quo is in their best interest. Plutocrat-owned corporate media is used to manufacture consent for that system; for the economic system, for the wars which prop it up, for the politicians which the plutocrats own and operate, for the political system which they have infiltrated every level of. The ability to manipulate the way the public thinks is an essential part of plutocratic rule.

4. Plutocrats form alliances with defense and intelligence agencies.


Jeff Bezos is a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board. He is doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built, up to and including kicking WikiLeaks off Amazon servers in 2010. This dances very creepily with Amazon's involvement in surveillance systems and digital "assistance" devices like Alexa.

If you want to be a millionaire in the current system, you can probably do so with luck, privilege, talent and hard work. If you want to be a billionaire, you've got to learn how to collaborate with existing power structures. Due to the extreme opacity of those power structures in America hidden behind the veil of government secrecy, it is hard to know exactly what forms those alliances take, but they clearly do happen as a glance at Bezos' career shows.

5. The people willing to do anything it takes to get to the top are the ones who get there.


Normal human beings would have a difficult time knowing businesses are dying and workers are getting poorer as their empire grows. Jeff Bezos just keeps growing. He will happily collaborate with depraved intelligence agencies, manipulate and propagandize Americans, and expand the gulf between the rich and the poor just to be king of the world.

This is the sort of person who rises to the top in unregulated capitalist systems. Money rewards people who have shut down (or are born without) that part of themselves which empathizes and is made uncomfortable by exploiting and harming others. In a system where money rewards sociopathy and money equals power, that means we necessarily wind up in a system that is ruled by sociopaths. Those plutocrats form alliances with each other and with defense and intelligence agencies to ensure the continuation and expansion of their empires, and that alliance is currently king of America.

6. It will never be enough for them.


Jeff Bezos is worth 131.5 billion dollars as of this writing, and he is getting more ambitious, not less. He doesn't need that money to buy more stuff; it isn't about money for him. It's about power. The impulse to rise to the top of your monkey tribe is an impulse buried deep within our evolutionary heritage, and when that impulse isn't checked by empathy for your fellow man it creates an unquenchable drive to grow and grow in invincible power no matter what kind of suffering that creates.

This explains why the world is the way it is today, with billionaires making so much money last year alone that they could end extreme poverty for our entire planet seven times over, but don't. With Americans dying of underinsurance and exposure on the streets while billions of dollars are poured into bombing poor people overseas. With tensions escalating between two nuclear superpowers over some petty geopolitical agendas. With the Arctic warming at an astonishing rate while rainforests and biodiversity vanish perhaps forever.

It will never be enough. They will keep taking and taking and taking and taking, killing and killing and killing and killing, until they have it all and everything is dead. They lack the part of themselves which stops that from happening. This is a vehicle with no brakes.

We need to change the system which enables these depraved individuals to rise to the top and rule over us. Governments should serve people, not omnicidal, ecocidal sociopathic oligarchs. We must take our world back from these monsters.


Thanks for reading! My daily articles are entirely reader-funded, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, bookmarking my website, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, or buying my new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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Not that it seems to matter so far (as it hasn't been used yet), but you might like to correct your BTC address to match your QR code... which is at least a valid one. You are missing two letters at the end: "m2". So your valid BTC address should read:

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Keep up the good work!

The perks of being on the "OCD spectrum" ;)

Hi Caitlin I am new to Steemit and I am still getting used to everything here but I have an interesting article I just gathered the nerve to finally post here to steemit thanks to you and Jamarl Thomas. I am a progressive and I really appreciate what you and free thinkers like him are doing as well... You are an inspiration to me. This piece I did is really really heavy... I also did a video piece as well which is also slightly related but also heavy. It has to do with disabilities and acceptance and the other one has to do with being a hate crime survivor and being mistreated by my university. It's a very interesting piece and I would love to talk to you more in the future. I have family down under and I just feel like you may be a kindred spirt in a way. I don't know if that's weird, but watching your speak on Jimmy Dore and Jamarl's show was so powerful, you helped me find my voice and my strength so I wanted to share this with you here. So here are two links to the two pieces I just posted here on steemit... The first is the one with the video called Humanism Please where I talk about almost falling in the store last night and how I am agoraphobic (hate crime survivor) and in the second link I go into depth as to more about that and what is going on with my school and why I need the public's help to get back some money that I lost becouse I wasn't able to pass classes that I failed when a former school counselor had raped me and I was having flashbacks but the school doesn't seem to care, not even after the ptsd meds I was taking were causing a toxic life threatening reaction. It's been a crazy road. You are an inspiration to say the least. It's a heavy read and a powerful one too. I'm sure there's a little editing blips here and there as well that I may have missed as well in the big article. I've been working on it for a month and I finally decided to just publish it tonight. I think the school didn't think I was actually going to do it. Anyways I am really looking forward to hearing back from you. I'm still getting used to how to communicate on here but I'll get it figured out 100% soon enough. Whew! I hope you enjoy my article. You are an inspiration and a muse. Thank you for writing Woke. I haven't read it fully yet but the readings I've heard of it are so powerful. If you are able to do readings of it I would love to listen to you reading it. You have a beautiful voice. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. https://steemit.com/humanism/@artfulanthony/humanism-please and here is the second one https://steemit.com/metoo/@artfulanthony/agoraphobic-hate-crime-survivor-abused-by-major-university

Bezos Scares the hell out of me.
I no longer shop at Amazon, I canceled my Prime account and I avoid all things Amazon everywhere I see it. If I visit with a friend that has an Alexa I ask them to turn it off or remove it from the room while I am there.
This man has 666 branded on his forehead somewhere, I just have not found my glasses that will let me actually see the mark yet.

CWAR1.jpg

" Money rewards people who have shut down (or are born without) that part of themselves which empathizes and is made uncomfortable by exploiting and harming others."

And enough of it trickles to those of the upper, middle, and working classes to reward turning a blind eye to the authoritarianism masquerading as "business success!"13925995_10209325296025586_6581329939226266572_o.jpg

Yeah dude, that guy is the posterboy of unfettered capitalism. I love that comparison between him in 1998 and 2017. He's been richly rewarded for taking every advantage available, with no regard for the human impact. #FuckBezos don't be fooled by the cutesy commercials, he's a Bilderberg boy.

I remember when Bezos and Amazon were coming up. We thought of them like Earth Shoes and the Whole Earth Catalog. Hippie start-ups. And then when he got bigger, what was noticeable was his debt. His firm never made any money, cried poor, but somehow kept being capitalized because of its potential.

Now it’s easy to see that allowing such e-commerce without State and Sales Taxation did immeasurable harm to bricks and mortar stores, and to community development. Additionally, we’d be much better served by a variety of smaller, linked e-commerce retailers, whose internet sales operations corresponded with a physical store. Amazon’s huge warehouses are nightmare employment scenarios, and having one person in charge of such retailing largess is an invitation for despotism (as Ralph Nader explains here).

Trump threatened to tax Amazon. There exists the hope that as we stop shopping there, and purchase instead through other networked e-commerce sites, sufficient legislation may one day come along to couple with the boycott and reduce Amazon’s outsized influence.

You present a sensible and likely narrative. However I can't share your optimism... and progressive outlook... at least not today.. but I can tell you a fable:

A man was tied up naked onto a tree by pond, by a village mob because he stole from his neighbour.
It was evening and a passerby notice the pain the thief was suffering from the swarm of mosquitoes feeding on him. As none was there to stop him, he took pity on the thief and start waving his coat, around to disperse the pestering cloud. At this the thief cried with despair:

Have mercy, kind man, these ones are full, the next ones that will gather will not have had their meal.

Amazon is untaxed? For Creep's sake. And requiring tax subsidies for locating offices in a city. The real business of oligarchs is securing public funds.

As usual you make my brain sing.

I was just posting this Wall Street on Parade story to a friend in India recommending a Russian Amazon site only a few hours before I saw your post!

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2016/06/whats-really-behind-the-washington-posts-efforts-to-marginalize-bernie-sanders/

Anyone who thinks Bernie Sanders is going to go independent by people wishing and hoping are living in Candy Land (fun board game, but there is a reason it is for children lol.

He is going to have to be PUSHED and PULLED, and the only ones who can do it are those (we) in the disenfranchised middle (yes, we who had the power to muck up the last election)!

I recommend to take a good look at this video about the liberty movement focused on the state of NH. Sure it is probably funded by the usual self-serving oligarchs. But a key factor for its success is its branding as a bi-partisan coalition. It is time for the independents, alt-left, alt-right, and left+right leaning libertarians to unify forces into a ideologically diverse coalition force unified around a passion and commitment to grass-roots, self-sufficient, representative governance! I call this "issue-based quantum coalition politics" and it is a real-politik of focusing on overturning political and economic authoritarianism and corruption as the first priority. (Remaining issues can be decided by run off votes, or , but concepts of liberty self-determination are still paramount guiding values and themes).

13892020_10157173935785398_533944890665460938_n.jpg

Forbes Forbes tweeted @ 11 Mar 2018 - 02:02 UTC

How Jeff Bezos became the richest man on the planet: on.forbes.com/6015DT1rT #ForbesBillionaires https://t.co/Sy3LiPYhlP

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
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especially in this day and age, it's increasingly important to hold on to our human values. Sad to see how so many fall prey to materialistic instincts such as greed, jealousy and arrogance.

good content...
nice logic and too writing skill..
sir, @caitlinjohnstone..the world is the way.
nice.@upvoted @resteeem

He is Cyborg.

AHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH ! you are describing barbarians !!!

you don't understand what it takes to go "empire" even if the words has been perverted in the west :).

they all want pussies.

We need to change the system which enables these depraved individuals to rise to the top and rule over us. Governments should serve people, not omnicidal, ecocidal sociopathic oligarchs. We must take our world back from these monsters.

and to do that there is a simple easy solution : E.L.I.M.I.N.A.T.I.O.N. would you take out the children of chelsea clinton?

you are really a disinformation agent... a divider.

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