Bluegrass Against the Machine: Rising Appalachia: Tiny Desk Concert

The Ghost of a Flea2/08/2020 3:42:08 pm PST

re: #140 mmmirele

Even elite white guys are doing stupid shit to ensure their progeny’s future. This guy Douglas Hodge, who was the head of asset management fund Pimco until he retired in 2016, he was just sentenced to prison for nine months for his part in the tuition scandal.

I swear, power rots your brain.

The minute people have money, they start revising their worldview to explain why it’s moral that they have money and somehow a sign of lack of virtue to not be earning. And since most people get their money not through achievement that have real-world application, like a science breakthrough or a product that actually makes shit better, but through financial fuckery, the incentive is to elevate financial fuckery that “creates growth” as the highest skill and as a virtue. Even the people that get wealthy through effort (like being an engineer or a physician) start developing explanations for how their peers-in-wealth aren’t lucky and/or specifically succeeding in a shitty, arbitrary system. In particular, “individualism” becomes cover for a kind of selective blindness in which the efforts of everyone in the pyramid of labor below the wealthy “individual” is not part of collective system that the wealthy “individual” derives value from (and thus is collectivized with). Acknowledging the worth of all labor is immoral, hence all the collectivism equals bolshevism equals death camps rhetoric floating about.

And at some point they have kids that a priori have all the advantages, so they have to concoct a justification system for those kids’ mediocrity not being mediocrity, and why their kids’ mediocrity is superior to, say, the hustle of any smart poor kid. So what consititutes “merit” in the supposed “meritocracy” has to be tweeked, and the systems that educate people have to be tweeked so that rabble with actual skills can’t compete with mediocre failsons.

And at some point you need a definition of “freedom” that includes a lot of unfreedom, because everybody else is going to complain, and argue, and protest, and vote, and believe in things that aren’t the inherent goodness and rightness of the existing order; which is a massive threat to the failsonocracy.

And at some point you need a definition of “virtue” that excuses whatever behavior power licenses, and this builds until you need a religion that says your wealth is good and not helping people with wealth is good, and an already-rich person is willing to build the Church and do the parody-of-hermeneutics to make Christ a capitalist and wealth a godly thing. Sort of like Pablo Escobar and his pet priests.

And at some point you just need to destroy the very idea of meaning itself, because any solid idea implicitly includes a standard, a judgement, suggesting that power does not translate to wisdom, or knowledge, or morality. Experts are threatening because the suggest that information and skill can disrupt power. Impartial arbiters are threatening because that means power has to answer to something. Definable standards themselves are threatening, since they mean the possibility of looking in the mirror and perceiving what one lacks.