Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

In a rare moment, I was talking with Duane face-to-face. We chat all the time over Signal, but actual person-to-person conversation is just so much better, when you can arrange it.

Anyway, we were doing what we normally do, which is talk about everything in an endless stream of consciousness, usually using our jobs as a centre point to return to when a particular thread has run its course. Duane’s currently a Sr. Product Manager for … um, a large cloud-based software services vendor (I’m going to avoid the name for a few reasons) that has some serious leadership issues, which has been a point of pain for him for a while.

I think that’s what got us on the topic of the economics. Or possibly a discussion about America’s egomaniac billionaire, which, really, is related.

The question was posed, thusly: Are (regular) people better off under the current policies that allow and support the uber-rich, over Communism?

Yes, Duane and I get into some really deep conversations.

My position – and yes, I have studied Communism a bit, Soviet Union’s version of it, but also China’s implementation – is that they’re roughly equivalent. Before you @ me, hear me out.

Both Communism – as it’s been implemented, not Marx’s vision of it – and capitalism are heavily classist. Yes, Communism is not meant to be classist, it’s meant to be completely egalitarian, but you can’t erase humanity’s inherent need for power and control. Our history is replete with it and even though we do try to control it, greed always rears its head.

Communism, as it exists in our modern world, is about control. Particularly if you look at China, there’s a Ruling Class, an Elite Class, a Worker Class, a Peasant Class, and … well, everyone else who doesn’t even make that cut.

The Ruling Class is the control – the Government and their upper echelon of statespeople who never change, rule for life, and inflict their will upon the lower classes. Except for the Elite Class, anyway, who have managed to find a spot to the right of the Ruling Class, in a mutually symbiotic relationship of wealth and power, where the Elite are effectively allowed to do whatever they wish, provided the Ruling are kept in power and well-funded.

Then there’s a gap. A big one. Everyone else is monitored, kept in line, unable to exceed their class except by apparent miracle or willing to sell themselves against their morals and ethics to step into a world where morals and ethics are little more than dictionary definitions.

And lest you think that’s a criticism of Communism, take those exact same classes and apply them to North America. The Ruling Class – our elected governments – have utterly forgotten that they are intended to work for the majority. Instead, they focus on the Elite, who as with Modern Communism, are solely about money and control. They feed one another, wanting to ensure that our supposed democracy leans to retaining that money and control, to the detriment of everyone else. And the gap between the Elite and Ruling Classes to everyone else is, as we know, massive. Spiralling costs are not addressed, tax burdens remain high for those who can’t afford it, Reaganomics have failed to deliver on the promises of trickling down.

It doesn’t matter which side of the coin you’re on … it’s the same coin, you’re just looking at a different face of the same actions.

And no, I’m not advocating for a different government. I am advocating for certain changes (I want to do away with Political Parties entirely, which are the single worst form of control), but there is no one solution that would address all of our concerns. We’re at a point in history, having left our “golden age” of freedom and democracy, heading into a period of false theocracy – control not by a church or even a proper religion, control that is fuelled by false faith, pursuing control and money. This is the world I will end my days in, I’m sure, as will my children. Human history is replete with these examples, too, and the only way it will change will be disastrous and deadly, as these changes always are.

We won’t eat the rich and powerful, they’ll be fed by us, and we’ll be (supposedly) happier for it.

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