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If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Why are the rich so greedy?

The Packers, Rineharts and Twiggy Forests of this world seem to have an insatiable desire to expand their empires, accumulate more wealth and control, and to see themselves at the top of the Forbes Rich list. How can we explain this mad scramble to get richer asks Emma Norton in Socialist Alternative. Why can’t these characters be satisfied with the billions of dollars they’ve extracted from workers, without wanting to acquire even more?

The easiest, and partly correct, answer is that they are greedy parasites. They really do just want to sit on mountains of cash while masses live in poverty.

Why are the rich so greedy?

The US provides a particularly stark picture of the opulence of the rich alongside the poverty of ordinary people. After the financial crisis in 2008, which saw thousands of Americans lose their homes and jobs, there was actually an increase in the sales of luxury cars. This growth was as high as 60 percent in 2010, indicating that any embarrassment over their own outrageous wealth in the face of the economic crisis was very short lived.

A recent “Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America” conducted on the top richest families – the “0.6 percent” in this case – showed that per year they each spent on average: $7,500 on watches, $10,500 on fine jewellery and $17,800 on vacations.

Mit Romney, Republican presidential candidate, provides an example. Despite the economic crisis, the Occupy movement, and even attacks from other Republicans, he still maintains 6 mansions. One of them is a $12 million beach front villa which he plans to quadruple in size, installing a car elevator in order to fit all his Cadillacs in the basement.

One of the most ridiculous examples of opulence alongside impoverishment is seen in Dubai, the holiday and investment destination for many a rich parasite. One of the city’s top luxury hotels is currently building a refrigerated beach to protect the toes of its wealthy clientele. It will include cooling pipes under the sand and even wind blowers to produce a “soft sea breeze”.

But while the rich truly are scumbags, there is a deeper reason to their drive to accumulate.

The actions and individual aspirations of this small section of society is a reflection of their position within the capitalist system. Capitalism is driven by competition. Bosses who don’t sufficiently expand their companies and put profits above all else will go out of business.

In Australia between June 2007 and June 2009, it is reported that one third of all new businesses failed. The capitalists left in the game are going to be the ones that most effectively pushed down workers’ wages, increased productivity and, ultimately, made the largest profits. So there’s a kind of selective process at work in the corporate world. The most ruthless business owners are the ones that become successful.

The psychology required to actually remain a members of the capitalist class follows on from this logic. Greed, selfishness and ruthless profiteering best equip individual capitalists to make their exploits successful. Accumulation, according to this logic, equals success; lack of accumulation signifies failure. And what’s true in business becomes true of the bosses’ personal lives. They’ll do anything to be successful. Recent studies provide evidence for this. They have found that the rich are more selfish than the rest of us. In experiments they were found to be more likely to lie, cheat and even steal lollies from children.

Even within the capitalist class this mentality creates differences, as the wealthier, more “successful” capitalists snub their noses at their less wealthy colleagues. They justify occupying positions of power in society by the delusion that they must be entitled to it. It follows from this logic that the majority of the population are just too stupid to be rich and successful. This explains the sneering contempt and hatred that many rich people have for the poor. Silvio Berlusconi’s blasé advice to impoverished Italians is illustrative: “Do it my way and earn more money!”

It is the ruthlessness required to rule under capitalism that imbues the rich with their characteristic selfishness and greed. So capitalism makes the ruling class scumbags as much as the scumbags make the system. But the working class and indeed the majority of the world’s population has no interest in the kind of greedy, self-serving mentality of the rich and powerful. We can best advance our interests through cooperation, unity and fighting against those who preserve the capitalist system of exploitation for profits.

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Comments

Comment from Ross
Time April 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

John the super rich see us as a threat to their planet.There are just too many of us “useless eaters” and they are resolved to do something about it.This is why they back all the environmental movements and promote the panic of Global conflagration due to climate change.

Also looking at new technologies such as robotics,the elites will need human labour even less.So humans are seen as disposable in their eyes.

Maurice Strong,oil billionaire and ex-secretary of the UN wants a 90% reduction.

We don’t count and we are oppressing their mother earth.

This is one of the reasons why the BRIC nations were formed.They don’t want to be dominated by the West’s New World Order . China and India have 2.4 billion people and they know they will be targeted by our lunatics.

Comment from don coyote
Time April 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

What about Craig Thomson , Michael Williamson, Peter Slipper. Why are they so greedy?

Comment from John
Time April 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Actually the rich don’t back the environmental movement. It is a threat to the polluters and profiteers. That I think is the material base to climate change denial. Maurice Strong was not the secretary of the UN. BRIC is more a description of economists than a group. However there are alliances forming against US imperialism – China and Russia the most obvious.

Comment from Ross
Time April 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

I’m talking about the super rich John.They are the Rothschilds,Goldman Sachs,Rockefeller, George Soros etc .They are using the fear of environmental destruction to bring in their New World Order.Their prime concern is their dream of world domination and they will bring on WW3 to achieve it.The last two world wars were not accidents.As General Smedly Butler said in 1930, “War is a racket.”War ia about power and profit for the few.BTW Soros is a major share holder inn the Spanish company which will count votes at the next USA election.It looks like electoral fraud is on again.

If seen Bob Brown with my own eyes say he believes in “Global Governance’ and yet the other day deny he wants a world Govt.Has Bob a problem with language here? Why did he resign in such haste?

Comment from John
Time April 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

Oh you mean Gina Rinehart for example, well known exemplar of the pro-climate change lobby.

Comment from Ross
Time April 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Gina Rineghart is a small fish.The really big ones own the US Federal Reserve which creates all the money for the US Govt to function.The super rich will not disclose their wealth since we will ask too many questions.They control Govts and the finances of the West.

They have all the money via counterfeiting our currencies they could possibly need.When the US Fed can create $15 trillion from nothing, the Gates and Rineharts of this world are small fish. The elite’s plan is absolute power and the Chinese model is their objective with the exception of Govt owned banks.

BTW,David Rothschild is the pin up boy for the international environmental movement.

Pingback from GPJA #422: Part 2 – Additional links « GPJA's Blog
Time May 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm

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