A Funky Dream (or how the top ‘justifies’ inequality)
Just before awakening the other day, I had an interesting dream. I dreamed that Donald Trump had somehow taken note of me and invited me for a talk with him and one or two others from his circles (probably, but not necessarily, extended family members).
Later, when they were all gone, I had the opportunity to inspect the little room, which was near the entrance through which I had entered Trump’s palace. In three corners I found small cameras which recorded what people were saying and – through advanced artificial intelligence – created a running commentary about the deeper meanings and motivations of the speakers. I wondered if Donald (as he was typically to be called in these familial environments) was receiving this feed in real time during every conference he held, or if he (or some associates or staff of his) checked them out later.
I also found that there were no locked doors anywhere. Many doors were in fact cracked or wide open. I could (and did) venture into the garden (maybe better called a private park) and various other rooms of the palace to find myself socializing with Trump’s extended (think royal) family and other members of the upper class who were spending their days circling through the grounds of the palace to socialize and hobnob with Trump or one another. I even caught a glimpse of The Donald’s bedroom, which was empty at the time.
I could even revisit through the always open entrance on later days, now that I had been there on invitation before and was now considered an associate. I figured that my status was still uncertain, since it seemed to depend on how many of these upper class socialites recognized me.
I unobtrusively tried to get more of them to know me or take an interest, so I could perhaps attempt to spread some concern for all the non-rich, non-privileged people in the world, struggling through their heavy-laden lives outside the walls of the palace.
After I woke up, it occurred to me that my weird dream probably had to do more with reality than one might at first think of this or just about any other dream.
After all, the rich do socialize exclusively with one another — except for sycophants and gold diggers who they sometimes meet in controlled environments; the sycophants being the kinds of people from whom the excluded rest of humanity (you, me, and so on) obtain reports on how the rich live.
To fit everyone into these gated paradises, the palaces the super-rich build themselves on the ground (and in the sky out of jumbo jets!!!) are characterized by large or downright gigantic rooms and open spaces that can accommodate not just a single family but hundreds or thousands of people at a time.
The palace-like grounds where Trump lived in my dream can easily be compared to famous French Versailles where the royal family and all the rest of the ruling class (aristocracy, powerful church officials, and wealthy merchants and money-lenders) hobnobbed and socialized much of their lives.
Such an environment creates a perception bubble that leaves out all the rest of the people (“let them eat cake” when they starve having run out of bred), and it further creates peer pressures among the rich socialites. These circumstances then result in policies and decisions that benefit the rich and totally ignore dire consequences for everyone else — without the rich having to actually sit down and deliberately commit themselves in cold blood to fleece, bleed, disown, humiliate, and disenfranchise everyone who – unlike them – has to work for a living.
After all, this is how human psychology works. People you never meet are out of sight and out of mind, and thus can be wrung, bled, and abused without the slightest bit of embarrassment or remorse. Add a hefty dose of contempt for the poor, concocted out of victim-blaming and the instinctive revulsion to poor people’s appalling living conditions (“unwashed masses”), and you can completely write them off as creatures beneath your notice, except as commodities to be used, exploited, and then discarded as our profit-driven system suggests. Since they don’t count as real people, it is also perfectly fine to steer them like cattle through either violent coercion or, better yet, sly mind-control — as angry revolutions have taught the lesson that mental shackles and conditioning created though endlessly repeated false narratives and propaganda are a lot safer than controlling human chattel by means of physical brutality. For full measure, then add the self-justifying, self-elevating false narrative of being a member of the ruling class deservedly through “success” (the “success” of birth, typically!) and everything is just perfect. This is the pattern by which the gated community of the upper class developed long before the modern age, and it continues today.
Note: The section about the Life at Court in the Wikipedia entry on The Palace of Versailles says that “Life at Versailles was determined by position, favour, and, above all, one’s birth.” It strikes me as a spot-on description of human life anywhere in our modern world.
Dirk Droll is the Publisher and Senior Editor of Beanstock’s World.