So no matter the time nor the society and their particular philosophical, economical, and social creed, there are ALWAYS the haves and the have nots.
You have your upper caste and lower caste, your rich and poor, your religious elites and laypersons, your Harvard-educated and community college grads, your executive suite and your day laborers, you masters and your slaves, your ruling elite and your plebeians, your hunter and hunted, your VIPs and your Joe Shmoes.
In India, you still have an extensive caste system even today. In Russia, you have the KGB, the Politburo, and the Oligarchs. In China, you have the Communist Party, the Military elite, and the venture capitalists/billionaires. In Europe, you still have The Queen and vestiges of the old guard monarchies, although gone are the Feudal lords and serfs, instead replaced by the Church and successful business and political elite. In America, ah...money and political power make the country go round.
Last evening, I watched the movie, Elysium, taking place in a dsytopian future where the Earth has become overpopulated, polluted, and sick, but the elite are riding high on a large circling space habitat called Elysium, where everyone lives in a mansion with pool and lush grounds, eats exquisitely, and has the finest healthcare in machines that can cure everything from lymphoma to do full facial reconstruction in a matter of seconds.
Whether in the future or the past, the only difference between the haves and have nots is how much the haves have, and how little have nots have not.
Is this societal makeup preordained or is their a way that we can raise the standard of living for everyone AND make it more equitable (unless you consider it necessary for Bill Gates to have $80,000,0000,000 and the homeless person on the street not a dime in his pocket)?
Over and over again, I read how the disparity between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, becomes ever more pronounced:
- Now for example, CEOs generally earn 331 times (yeah last year it was 354) the amount average workers do and 774 times as much as minimum wage earners!
- Studies that show that Presidential and executive powers continue to expand with eleven reasons why.
- And the richest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world.
In Elysium, after a lot of sci-fi thriller action and fighting, the protagonist manages to make EVERYONE a citizen of Elysium, so they can all partake of the largess, and at the end the med ships arrive to cure all the sick.
That's the movies, but in real life, maybe we will see this only when the Messiah comes or there is a complete shift in the way we think and treat each other. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)