I’d like to talk about the enemies of humanity. The people who brought us to the state we’re in. The people who run our economy, own our corporations and control our media. The 0.1%.

“The 0.1%?”
“Not the 1%?”
The 1% are disproportionately wealthy, disproportionately influential and disproportionately polluting, it’s true… But the 0.1%... They’re another ball game entirely.

“I’ve always wished I was one of them.”
The 0.1%?
Me too. So I could self-immolate.

The 0.1%...
They’re the ones who take the biggest slice of the world’s pie and don’t share.
– The ultra-greedy.
– The hyper-authoritarian.
– The psychopathically uncaring.

They’re the 0.1% of us who don’t give much of a damn about the other 99.9%. The super-consumers who want everything while leaving the rest of us with less and less.

Enemies of humanity?
Enemies of the environment?
Enemies of the vulnerable? The poor?

Of course they are.
What else could they be?

“Is this a conspiracy theory?” you ask. “You know I don’t like conspiracy theories.”
Me neither.
No, there’s no need for conspiracy.
The 0.1% are perfectly open about what they’ve achieved.

In their eyes the 0.1% are getting the just rewards of a system which creates winners and losers.
Maybe they’re gaming the system – but who doesn’t game the system?
And they’ve got the majority of the rest of us believing this is the way it’s got to be.

“It’s quite some trick,” you say.
We’ve always known you can fool some of the people all of the time & all of the people some of the time…
It turns out with politicians in your pockets & a generous media portfolio you can fool entire populations in near perpetuity.

You’ve heard the phrases. ‘It’s just the way things are.’ ‘That’s how the world works.’ ‘You get what you deserve.’ ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’
Myths, sponsored by the rich.
It suits them for us to think like that. But none of it’s true.

Inequality doesn’t happen by accident. It doesn’t strike like lightning out of the blue. We’ve structured our society, our laws and our economy to support it.

More than that, the 0.1% work hard to secure and perpetuate their claim. They buy out the newspapers, the TV stations, the radio networks. They lobby politicians. They finance think tanks which push for policies that serve only to accelerate the feedback loops of wealth.

“It’s a vicious circle, isn’t it?”
Exactly. It’s a circle around which the 0.1% are helping us all to spin.
And we’re spinning faster all the time.

There’s another danger. The super-wealthy–those with a net worth of $50m+, those who earn in days more than most of us earn in a year, those who own 25% of the world’s wealth while the poorest 50% of us own less than 1%, well, they’re suffering from a dangerous delusion.

You see, their cushion of privilege means they imagine themselves safe – even as the system they control careers towards eco-apocalypse.

But they’re not safe.
And their delusion of safety is a threat to us all.

Who are the 0.1%?

They’re the owners or controllers of large corporations. People like Bernard Arnault, CEO of French corp LVMH, whose net worth is estimated at $109b USD; or Zhong Shanshan, founder of Chinese corporation Nongfu Spring, with an estimated net worth of $85b.
People like Amancio Ortega, who controls Spanish fashion giant Inditex (incl. Zara), with a net worth of $58b; or Carlos Slim, owner of Grupo Carso and America Movil, with an estimated net worth of $56b. Or, of course, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $150b.
They’re the CEOs or owners of monopolistic technology companies. People like Elon Musk of Tesla, on $595,267,000 p.a.; Tim Cook of Apple, on $133,728,000 each year; Tom Rutledge of Charter Communications, on $116,995,000; Joseph Ianniello, of ViacomCBS, on $116,565,000.

They are the hedge fund managers. Folk like Jim and Nathaniel Simons of Renaissance Technologies (net worth $23.5b), Ray Dalio of Bridgewater ($18.7b), Ken Griffin of Citadel ($15b) and Steve Cohen of Point77 ($13.6b).

They're the wheelers & dealers of high finance. People like Fidelity’s Abigail Johnson, worth $29b; Carl Icahn of Icahn Enterprises, $19b; Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, $17.9b; Ned Johnson of Fidelity, $17b; or Thomas Peterffy of Interactive Brokers, worth $16b.

They are the inheritors of wealth, like: Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken (net worth $12.3b); Hans Rausing ($12.5b); Pallonji Mistry ($12.5b); Tom and Ray Kwok ($13b); Gerald Grosvenor, aka the Duke of Westminster ($13b); Kjeld Kistiansen ($13b); Donald Trump ($3.1b).

They’re media tycoons like Rupert Murdoch of News Corp ($7.6b but disproportionally powerful as a result of his media ownership); Michael Bloomberg ($18b); David Thomson of Reuters ($23b); the Barclay brothers ($8b) 9; Jonathan Harmsworth, aka Viscount Rothermere ($1.2b).

They’re kleptocratic politicians and dictators like Russia’s Vladimir Putin ($70b), Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi ($8.5b), The Philippines Imelda Marcos ($5b), North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un (£5b).

They’re royalty like Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Hohammed bin Salman ($10b); Crown Prince of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn ($30b); Al Nahyan of United Arab Emirates ($30b); misc. billionaire members of the Saudi Arabia & Brunei royals; the Prince of Liechtenstein ($3.5).

They are the world’s biggest landowners. People like beneficiary of imperialism, Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, with Crown Estates worth $17b plus the Duchy of Lancaster’s 18,433 hectares.

Folk like Australia’s Gina Rinehart, who owns 8m hectares of land – and a scattering of other Australians whose families took ownership of vast swathes of formerly indigenous territories.

People like the Irving family in Canada, with 1.8m hectares; the Matte & Angelini families in Chile, 1.1m and 1m hectares each; Russia’s Linnik brothers, 1m hectares; King Mswati III of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) with 1m hectares (making most of his citizens tenants).
People like John Malone in the United States with almost 900,000 hectares of land; and the Italian Benetton family, who’ve bought up a similar amount of land in Argentina.

Then there’s Joe Tax Evader & Molly Money Hider, who hide their wealth in tax havens – totalling somewhere between $24tr & $32tr USD globally.

We don’t know their true ID, that’s the point of the tax haven trick, but we do know who they are: Public Enemy No. 1–the 0.1%.

And, of course, for each of these names there are tens of thousands more, playing similar roles as they amass unequal and disproportionate wealth at others’ expense.

Are they earning a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work?

Are they f***!

Make no mistake, no matter how philanthropic or self-justifying, the 0.1% love the system that perpetuates their wealth.
It speaks for itself.

With their ownership of the media and their ability to leverage politicians they could reverse the cycles which reinforce inequality overnight.

The 0.1%, the busload of oligarchs who own as much as 3.5 billion of the rest of us, the corporate tax evaders and their enablers, are not victims of a system they can’t control, they are the system. They’re its agents and its handlers – and their victims are the poor.

Or perhaps I should qualify that.
They are the agents and handlers of the system – and their current victims are the poor.
Which is quite sufficiently bad in itself: immoral, degraded and perverse.

But, in the world they’re bringing into being, through their over-confidence, their power-hunger and their greed, their future victims will be us all.

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