Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We Are Under The Colonial Oppression Of Childish Billionaires

If we survive long I've got a feeling this age will be known as the age of the billionaire plutocrats.  In thinking about the colonization of the United States by the Russian billionaire crime boss, Czar, Putin, through the perhaps entirely phony American billionaire and aided by numerous other American billionaires, including one who has plans to hightail it to New Zealand if his Ayn Randian dream goes bad for HIM proves that they're pretty much, as a class, in it together.  Reading at RMJ's about the lunatic plans of Elon Musk over both his naive belief that a "verbal agreement" for him to build a likely sci-fi "hyperlink" between Boston, NYC and Washington as well as his boldly announced and ambitious plans for passenger service to Mars which have been severely cut back as another area of reality has interfered with "vision".   On the hyperlink, his assurance that it's inevitable because someone told him they approved at the Trump White House, it's clear that Musk believes that democratic governance is nothing that has to hinder his "vision" which seems to be derived more from his watching of sci-fi cable TV and one or more of the ever recurring remakes of Douglas Adams crap than reality.

IT’S BEEN LESS than a year since Elon Musk announced his plans to settle humans on Mars during a talk in Guadalajara, Mexico. On stage at the International Astronautical Congress, the billionaire invoked the lore of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Battlestar Galactica while describing a massive passenger ship loaded with the essentials—you know, like a movie theater and a restaurant. SpaceX hoped to launch these breezy cruises to the red planet in the early 2030s.

What a sad thing it is when an age takes its lore from such garbage, when the bold visionary projects of the ultra rich are derived from hack TV writing.   I wonder if any of them ever read books.  

I have come to think that if democracy and even the habit of living informed by reality is to survive, and us with it, that we are going to have to take serious legal measures to get rid of the billionaire class in an act of radical leveling. Our legal system, derived in large part from the Brits with their appalling class system of inequality carries way too many assumptions that aid the creation of ultra-super-rich people who then use the power derived from their wealth to destroy democracy.   Any exceptions to that, any less deranged billionaires you might name,  do nothing to change the horrific fact that billionaires, the ultra-rich, as a class, are as much a danger to democracy as any other force.  I have a strong suspicion that even those who are no inclined to malignity would likely turn if their wealth were in question. And if not they, then their heirs. 

In the United States, it has been the Supreme Court, above all, using both the law and the provisions of the Bill of Rights and other parts of the Constitution to enable the destruction of democracy, it has been the legislative and executive branches which have tried, in the past, to reign in the influence of money in our elections only to be thwarted by the dead hand of the Founders as envisioned by the product of elite law schools sitting on the Supreme Court.  It has been the courts who struck down one after another attempt to limit or eliminate the influence of huge money in our elections.  The things that provide them their arguments are exactly what will have to change if we are to survive as a democracy or survive at all.   It's getting worse, year by year, decade by decade.  We've got Trump, the alleged billionaire puppet of billionaires domestic and, especially his foreign creditors who stole the American presidency on the cheap through him.  If our media were not in the hands of and run by the ultra-rich, to propagandize people for their benefit, we would not be in this position.   Trump is their creation. 


  1. from your link to the Wired article:

    "Musk explained that Red Dragon was no longer in line with the evolving vision SpaceX has for getting to Mars—specifically, the part where you have to land on Mars. The company is hitting pause on the development of its propulsive landing technology on the Dragon V2 spacecraft. Musk argued that while the technology works, SpaceX would be put through the wringer trying to meet NASA’s safety standards for landing a human crew on the ground. “It doesn’t seem like the right way to apply resources right now,” Musk said. “I’m pretty confident that is not the right way, and that there’s a far better approach.” He later tweeted that SpaceX would still land with propulsive thrusters on Mars, but with a larger spacecraft."

    Because, of course, the problem with the Red Dragon was it was too small! And all them pointy-headed government pencil pushers worrying about safety of the crew! We've got a vision to pursue! Size matters! We're building a city on Mars!!!! (which is still the dumbest idea possible. Despite the fictional efforts of Matt Damon, I understand the soil of Mars would produce toxic foods for humans. But: movie theaters!!!!!).

    1. I strongly suspect that the effects of both hear zero gravity and the far weaker gravity on Mars would probably have drastic if not fatal effects on any human being who was there for long.

      I, really, think it is dangerous for people whose thinking is so influenced by not only fiction but fantasy, sci-fi, and even dragons and dungeons type crap to be able to rule the world. It is turning out that a nation which is entertained by non-reality is not able to remain a free and democratic country. Mark Twain once said that the Civil War was largely instigated by people who were addicted to reading Walter Scott, I think American fascism will come from billionaires who think Hitchhiker's Guide and Battlestar Galactica are real. And if not that then Ayn Rand.

    2. It always seemed to me if you could create "artificial gravity" (the staple of all science-fiction travel, since it's too expensive to make people "float" on camera), then you could manipulate gravity and use it for propulsion.

      But, of course, we can't begin to imagine how to do that. Still, our science-fiction is a vision of the future we just have to believe in, and give Elon Musk enough money to build. Although all he's done so far is build an electric car almost no one can afford.

    3. He is the newest i-god, it would seem, now that Steve Jobs was exposed as someone who dabbled in "woo". I'm amazed at how many people on would-be lefty blogs believes he's on to anything, nevermind something.