Saturday, March 19, 2011


Here is a fascinating, illuminating article from the January-February 2011 edition of The Atlantic entitled “The Rise of the New Global Elite”.
There is no doubt that modern Western nations are governed, not by the elected few, but by a ruling unelected plutocracy whose members think only of their own self-interest. This is especially true of Australia and the United States of America.

Essentially, there are two blocs – the plutonomy and the rest. If you’re reading this blog it is almost certain that you, like me, are among “the rest” ... for a member of the plutonomy would not be interested in reading anything spiritual, assuming they can read. Naughty me, they can read, but their reading rarely extends beyond The Wall Street Journal, The Australian Financial Review and similar publications.
I love, although I derive little comfort from, these words of the iconoclastic American humorist and provocateur H L Mencken (pictured above):
“The plutocracy, in a democratic state, tends to take the place of the missing aristocracy, and even to be mistaken for it. It is, of course, something quite different. It lacks all the essential character of a true aristocracy: a clean tradition, culture, public spirit, honesty, courage – above all, courage. It stands under no bond of obligation to the state; it has no public duty; it is transient and lacks a goal … Its main character is its incurable timorousness; it is forever grasping at straws held out by demagogues … its dreams are of banshees, hobgloblins, bugaboos.”

Mencken was wrong. The members of the new global elite do not lack a goal, they are certainly not timid, and they do not grasp at straws. (It's the rest of us who grasp at straws.) They love money and all that it can buy, and they are prepared to go to any length to get what they want ... and woe betide anyone who stands in their way. "Don't mess with us!" is their war cry.

In today’s world there are indeed two blocs, but I think they are as follows – those who have committed themselves to leading a spiritual life (with the emphasis on “not-self” and others) ... and the rest.
I say that quite matter-of-factly, and without any sense of superiority.
Mindfulness is for those who seek a “power-not-oneself” ... even if that power and presence resides within us.


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