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The Pathology of the Rich: An interview With Chris Hedges

While waiting for some wood glue to dry, I thought I would share this with you.

A few of the high points:

JAY: Well, not so much an example of deep, rich understanding, but–.

HEDGES: No, but of how–you know, affirmative action for the rich. And I came–certainly my mother’s side of the family–from, you know, lower working class. I mean, people–one of my uncles lived in a trailer in Maine, and certainly people with no means. And I would juxtapose the world I was in with that world. And it was very clear that it wasn’t about intelligence or aptitude. The fact is, if you’re poor, you only get one chance. If you’re wealthy like Bush, you get chance after chance after chance after chance. So you’re a C student at Andover, and you go to Yale, and you go to Harvard Business School, and you’re AWOL from your National Guard unit, and you’re a cokehead, and it doesn’t really matter. You don’t even really have a job till you’re 40 and you become president of the United States.

. . . .

JAY: And it’s not some, like, inherent evilness or something, but you are brought up as a super-rich or very rich in a culture, in a school, in a milieu where everyone’s there to serve you. It’s your right to be served.

HEDGES: Yeah. It’s very distasteful to see, because, you know, I would go to the homes of friends of mine and watch–and let’s remember they’re children, 11, 12 years old, ordering around adults–their servants, their nannies. And I begin that piece by talking about Fitzgerald, who came from the Midwest to Princeton and went through much of the experience that I went through, and that apocryphal exchange–which didn’t take place, but it does represent the difference between Hemingway and Fitzgerald–where Fitzgerald at one point had written–the story is that he said the rich aren’t like you and I, and Hemingway is supposed to have quipped, yes, they have more money. Well, Hemingway, like on many things, was wrong. The rich are different, because when you have that much money, then human beings become disposable. Even friends and family become disposable and are replaced. And when the rich take absolute power, then the citizens become disposable, which is in essence what’s happened. There is a very callous indifference.

The one area though that Hedges does not go into well in this interview, and his previous pieces, is that of the Bourgeoisie capitalists. The management class and engineers and doctors and lawyers and business men and college professors who not only support, but quite often praise the elite oligarchs. Like groupies. In some ways they are even more morally bankrupt and hideous:

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