My favorite part is that you contemplate a world that we’re not saved by some smart people who will…
Brent Bednarik
1

I appreciate your thoughts. With regard to the tendency to demonize or moralize about “the rich,” I’d say I could include the point that we ought not to generalize about the actual individuals at the top (and the bottom) of a system. As individual human beings, they have choices. Certainly not all rich people are personally trying to oppress others (even though they might not yet have cleaned out their portfolios). Privileged people, given wealth and power, can choose to use that power in enterprises they hope are productive and positive — or they can choose to pillage and destroy the commons for the profit of a few. Moreover, as you point out, even enterprises that seemed like a good idea at the time can and do go dreadfully wrong. Most people are just doing their best. What’s new, I think, is the global scope and scale of our mistakes. Some people got very rich and powerful in the drive for profit and power from the extractive industries. Should they not be held responsible for the consequences of those actions, whether the consequences were intended or not? That’s the first question, I guess. The next question will be whether we really are smart enough to change course and find another way to live.

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