Thursday, June 19, 2008

Superclass and the New Elite

I've mentioned my obsession with the ultra-wealthy before. Reading David J. Rothkopf's The Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making today I was stuck by the utterly unoriginal insight that it might not be that much fun being an elite.

Rothkopf punctures a lot of the usual paranoid beliefs about a mysterious global elite - he observes that conspiracy theories are almost always psychologically comforting fictions: it is disturbing to think that one man, working alone, can assassinate a president.

This fact suggests a random and capricious universe. Much better to imagine that bad things that happen are the result of organised conspiracy.

However I do feel that it isn't really worth being a member of any
kind of global elite.

The symbol of the global elite

Constant pressures on your time; scrutiny from the press, your peers, and governments; concerns over kidnapping, and the happiness of your friends and family would probably nullify most of the advantages of being extremely wealthy and/or powerful.

No, not for me famous, multi-billionaire status. Give me £30 million and obscurity, reputably and happily earned, and I will be satisfied.

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