Yeah, I'm not sure I have the stick-to-it-iveness to actually do a regular "Conspiracy Thursday" post, or if I'm even willing research enough worthy conspiracies to provide adequate material - I mean, it's enough of a commitment for me just to post M-F on this fucker when I'm at home, and I already try to make Monday's posts light and non-political, so really it's just a catchy name I guess, but whatever.
I am, however, fascinated with conspiracy theories. I absolutely love reading about stuff like the Illuminati and the 9/11 "truthers" and anything having to do with "Shadow Governments" or secret puppet masters, controlling our world leaders from behind the scenes, orchestrating seemingly random events, all for their ultimate benefit.
I'm a mental chess player, I tend to look at people and situations like pieces on a chessboard, and I try to always think 3 moves ahead in any given situation. If I'm having a conversation with someone, I tend to speculate on their response and my counter-response before I ever say something, and if I feel confident that I will get the responses I'm looking for, then I'll say what I was going to say. If not, then I run a new theoretical conversation string in my head and see if I like that one better. So, it's very easy for me then to accept the notion that there are people in this world with incredible wealth and influence, who are almost completely unknown to most of us, but who are very well known and connected to those in power. That these people have a very specific agenda for their own self-preservation, not just in the physical sense of wanting to stay alive, but in also in preserving their wealth and influence, keeping it secure within their blood line, maintaining the status quo, etc.
Now, if I - just an average, bright and imaginative, middle-class schlub with a blog and a lot of free time on my hands - can think 3 moves ahead in almost every situation and view people around me as pieces on a chessboard that can be played, left alone or set up for strategic use later, then I don't see how people who are worth billions of dollars, who have the ears of world leaders and who control vast business empires aren't operating on a level of strategy and manipulation that makes the most elaborate schemes I can think of look like child's play.
This is why stuff like The Illuminati fascinates me. I do not think it's beyond the realm of possibility that, among the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, there exists a "secret society" or organization where they meet to discuss policy and strategy with the primary intent of sustaining their way of life and securing their standings. In fact, I don't even think it's all that secret. I can look at something like a G-13 summit and think that there is a gathering of the leaders of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world, how easy would it be for a select few to get together in an undisclosed location to meet and discuss the real strategies at play? How hard would it be for a gathering to take place between the richest men and the most powerful world leaders on Earth, for them to get together and plan out both short-term and long-term strategies for maintaining their control? Does that notion sound crazy? And if so, why? I consider myself to be a pretty rational person, but I can see the advantage to doing something like this. It doesn't seem like wacko conspiracy talk, it seems like a logical course of action. Business owners in a community get together and discuss ways to improve their businesses. Educators within various counties get together to discuss ways to improve their educational efficiency. Doctors get together to discuss new advancements in their field and ways that they can all benefit from emerging technology and research. Is it so wild to believe that the richest, most influential people on the planet could get together and discuss ways to gain even more wealth and influence?
Consider this piece of information that Michael Moore released in a statement the other day. He said that the 400 richest people in America have a combined net worth greater than 50% of the rest of the country combined. Now, I know Michael Moore is a controversial person and that a lot of people hear a quote attributed to him and immediately think "Left-wing bullshit!" but a fact-checking agency did the numbers on his statement and found that the combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans was $1.6 trillion. In comparison, the combined net worth of the poorest 50% of the country was $1.5 trillion. So, they verified that his claim was accurate.
So, 400 people in America are worth more than 150,000,000 other Americans put together. How hard do you think it really would be to get those 400 people all on the same page about where our country needs to go in order to preserve their wealth and influence? I mean, there are more than 400 people in congress right now, representing 300,000,000 Americans, and they are perfectly capable of stating their cases to each other and making sure everyone has a voice in the discussion. The only difference with congress is they're divided over political ideology and the various agendas and issues of their respective constituencies and special interests. The 400 richest people in America are all on the same page, as far as it pertains just to the topic of staying in that elite group. If over 500 representatives and senators can meet in a forum and have debate and discussion, so can 400 billionaires. If those 400 billionaires are all united in their desire to stay billionaires, there's a lot less semantical crap to argue and waste time about. Hell, even congress can get together to pass legislation, even when they're locked in bitter ideological battles.
Now, extrapolate that on a global scale. According to Forbes magazine, there are 1,210 billionaires in the world. 1,210 people would fit in a good-sized high school auditorium. 1,210 people is a convention. 1,210 people can meet, discuss their issues and concerns, look at the state of the global economy and all emerging and developing factors in the world, from politics and religion to war and poverty, that could potentially impact their wealth and influence. 1,210 people can discuss strategies and policy to influence those factors and how they impact them personally and financially and they have the power to implement those strategies in their respective countries through their influence over their politicians and leadership.
At this point, you either think I'm heading down fringe, wacko conspiracy territory or you are thinking "This kind of makes sense, it's not beyond the realm of logic."
So, suppose you are one of the 1,210 billionaires in the world today. Suppose your standing is dependent upon and influenced by a whole host of global factors, from war to poverty to the stability of international financial markets and everything in between. Suppose that a global financial meltdown might rob you of a significant portion of your wealth, knocking you out of that elite 1,210. Would you not be interested - extremely interested in fact - in making sure you did whatever you could in order to prepare and protect yourself?
Suppose one of the biggest problems facing you and your interests, as one of the 1,210 billionaires on Earth, is our ever-increasing population, combined with our ever-decreasing pool of resources. Resources like oil, clean water, food. Suppose you are aware that, as the population continues to rise and resources continue to diminish, that eventually there will be more people consuming on the planet then there are resources to meet that consumption demand. What would you do about it?
Suppose you are aware of the fact that 400 Americans have more combined wealth than 150,000,000 of their fellow Americans put together. Suppose you are aware that those 150,000,000 are looking at you and your extreme level of personal wealth and are starting to view you as a greedy robber-baron, a gold hoarder, a man sitting on a silo of grain and twirling the key around his finger while they all toil in the fields to give you that grain and starve because they can't afford to keep any for themselves.
Well, you have a few options:
1. You can share that "grain", letting the people take what they need until they are satisfied, leaving you with whatever is left.
2. You can do whatever you can to convince them that you earned that "grain" fair and square and if they want "grain" too then they need to go out and work for it like you did and stop punishing them for being better at acquiring "grain" than they are.
Obviously, the solution for the richest Americans is option #2. Convince the American people that you shouldn't punish the wealthy just because they worked harder, had better ideas, got luckier and are more deserving of success than you. Just opening the silo up and letting the American people raid your coffers until everyone is on the same level is completely unacceptable. That's communism, that's Marxism, that's socialism. That's the worst form of rewarding mediocrity and punishing success in the history of mankind. That can't be allowed just on general principle!
Now, when you're a billionaire, you get to own things like entire media empires and your own news outlets, so you can control what the average person sees, hears and reads on a daily basis. You can show them the state of the world that you want them to see. You can set the agenda and give them the talking points to care about. You can decide what they should be angry about, what they should be interested in and what doesn't even show up on their radar. You can make sure everyone, everywhere that works for you tells everyone who will listen the message you want them to hear.
But what do you do about the people who don't want to listen? What do you do about the people who don't think that they're out of line by asking why there are 400 people in this country who are worth more than 150,000,000 other Americans combined? What do you do about those people who say there's a point where rewarding success becomes admonishing greed? Where respecting the good fortune and success of the wealthiest Americans becomes a form of adulation and idol worship instead? Where we have become so conditioned to never challenge the right of the wealthy to take all that they can get that we allow them to take more than they deserve? At what point does wealth and success just become simple greed and exploitation of the working class?
What do you do about a problem like that? Well, you can start by breaking up unions, because they give the worker a voice at the table. You can start cutting social safety nets like medicare and social security, unemployment and welfare. You can start to see that, the more people that are forced into poverty due to your global economic policies and desire to get ever richer and control more and more, that the more people there are who are simply just a drain on the system.
When you are one of the 1,210 billionaires on the planet and you see that the population is increasing at a rate that will out pace resource collection at a point in the not-so-distant future. When you see that more and more people in society are being forced, economically, into dependency on social entitlement programs that ultimately cost you money, because you are taxed at a higher rate and expected to help out more than the average American, because you have more to give than the average American. When you begin to realize that there are more and more people in the world who are figuratively and literally being put in a position to sit there with their hands out, asking for some of your wealth to help them survive, what do you do about it?
Do you open your bank vaults up and let them take all the money they can carry? Of course not, because that's all the worst parts of communism and socialism and punishing your success.
So, what's the only remaining solution? It's the Final Solution.
Why is violent crime so rampant in the poorest areas of every major city? Is it because poor people are somehow genetically pre-dispositioned towards violence, or is it because they are being allowed to kill themselves off? When drugs and alcohol are more prevalent and a bigger social problem in the poorest communities, is it because poor people are genetically pre-dispositioned towards liking to get loaded, or is it because they are being encouraged to succumb to drug and alcohol abuse? When low-income families provide the majority of soldiers in our military who are sent to fight and die in wars, is it because they are simply more patriotic than wealthy kids, or is it because they are otherwise worthless and expendable?
When you know that the world's population needs to decrease drastically over the next 10-20 years or else there is going to be a global resource shortage. When you know that at least 50% of the population doesn't generate enough wealth or productivity to be of any value to you. When you know that you're choices are either pay for those people to continue sucking away at the system like fiscal leeches or simply allow them to die off and be done with it, what would you do?
Would you cut programs that senior citizens depend on to survive? Sure you would, old people have already outlived their usefulness, they're just a drain now. Would you cut welfare and low-income support programs? If course you would, they're just sucking at the teat of the nanny state and will never produce enough wealth to give back to the system what they have taken out of it. Would you allow massive ecological disasters to happen that kill tens or hundreds of thousands of people in the most economically impoverished areas of the world? That's a lot less hungry mouths to feed. A lot less sick people to buy medicine for. A lot less grubby hands extended towards you for a hand out...
Is it so crazy to think that, at some point, it's going to be abundantly clear to all of us that if we're not pulling our weight, then we're dead weight? When the line is drawn, it's going to be done by a team of analysts and accountants and bean-counters. The human equation will be ignored, it will just be about numbers and survival. Does that really sound so crazy, when you think about it?
Look at our global financial system, look at the trends in terms of wealth and resource allocation to the poorest people in the world compared to the richest. At some point it has to become clear that there are too many worthless humans on the planet for all the people that are actually worth something to continue taking care of. Allowing them to kill each other off with crime and drugs isn't working fast enough, the stakes are going to have to be raised. Which side of the line will you be on when it's drawn? Will you make the cut? Will you care about the people who don't if you do?
I don't know, maybe I'm just a crazy conspiracy nut.