The 85 richest humans are worth more dollars than the 3.5 BILLION poorest.
Think about that.
Articles discussing this sickening statistic say that the 85 are “worth more than” the 3,500,000,000. Wrong. Worth is a structural idea, invented by humans intutitively at the rise of barter economies, that should never be applied to any living thing. Worth more dollars than, or doughnuts than, is appropriate. But never without the quantifying article.
It’s easy to decry money, to reject its centrality to modern society, to say we’d be better off without it. But in doing so, one discounts the literal evolution of human society from day one. Every aspect of life on this earth is directly tied to money, or “money”: objects to which we assign intrinsic value.
From shells and stones to numbers on a screen, the swan dive into the rabbit hole happened, and there’s no dream to wake up from.
That doesn’t mean we should ever stop pushing for a global society of equals. Even if such a utopian dream can never be achieved, every inch gained means improved quality of life for every human. These are thorny topics, rarely breached on non-comment driven music blogs, and I could tie myself into knots all day offering proof for this thesis or examples of why it’s correct. But neither you nor I have all day, and neither does the Internet, which some time in the not-so-distant future will cease to exist (That’s a fact, get over it.)
So I want to focus on those 85 billionaires, most of whom hail from the United States and Australia. Some are, of course, genuine believers in the idea of global equality. But are even they “doing their part”?
As National Parks cut staff and hundreds of millions of poor Muslims in Bangladesh await the certainty of rising seas, billionaires buy more companies and make more money. Where is the foresight?
My Bangladesh comment may seem out of place. It’s an issue that’s been in my head for years (full disclosure: I studied climate change science and policy at university) that never gets discussed in public forums: hundreds of millions of poor (as in under $3 adjusted) Muslims live in coastal areas of Bangladesh. Climate change projections slate those area as some of the first to be completely submerged by rising sea levels within 100 years. (This is happening. Please don’t buy the propaganda paid for from our friends at Exxon and spewed by their pawns in global governments.)
Where will those hundreds of millions go? India? China? Europe? The United States?
And what, when the inevitable becomes desperate reality, will the 85 do about it?
What will you do?