The interests of the elites and interests of the masses have never been the same, but they have often shared some aspects. We are seeing today, however, a tectonic shift in both the actuality and the perception of these needs. The simplest statement: the masses need basic life sustaining material and the education to live in the world around them with some wisdom, and the elite need much of the world’s people to first be subservient and ultimately greatly reduced in number in order to maintain and enhance their position.
The elite are between a rock and a hard place: for their own safety their vast accumulations of real wealth must be applied to actively serve humanities real needs for safe food, clean water, stable governance, population management, conflict resolution, health maintenance and the education to support these things with the masses’ own minds and hands. Much or most of elite wealth must be used in this way to avoid what history suggests, that the masses will rise up in anger and using the ultimate power of moving bodies overrun the walled and gated estates, invade the corporate offices; in the way of long frustrated justice, remove both the symbols and actual levers of power over them. Exacerbating these present difficulties, humanity has so perturbed the natural ecology that life-sustaining environmental “free services” are in danger of collapsing. We must therefore use less and produce less, reducing our total impact on the biosphere.
The third way is to for the elite to finally break all bonds of association with the ‘great many’ and attempt to manage both their numbers and their ideas. I believe we are well into this third way. The details of present inanity fall loosely into this speculation. The elite see humanity in the service of the economy (and the economy in the service of the elite) and thus populations or parts of populations that are neutral or negative on the balance sheet need to be replaced with populations or activities that ‘contribute to growth.’ Because of economic and ecological realities such as the productive capacity of the earth, about half the world’s people have to go if elite wealth is to be maintained; and just think of all the land and marginal wealth that would become unprotected and thus could be accumulated into real wealth: Just another form of downsizing.
In typical human fashion there is no stated consensus as to how to ‘do’ these realities and they are all, at some level, being done at once: attempts to sustain and educate, attempts to protect against the Great Many and preparations for the control and removal those defined, by the elite, out of the human family.
But remember the aboriginal Americans! All of these mixed activities surrounded them with the consequence that a continent was effectively emptied. The whole panoply of human action, positive and negative, conspired in their nearly total elimination: religion, invention, exploration, greed, racism, disease, cures, education, war, trade. And through it all two conspiracies; one, an ad hoc conspiracy of those who gained by the others loss, and two, the consistent intention of the power elite to have it all by whatever means necessary.