Some Advice For The 1%

Douglas Rushkoff has some advice for our overlords, writing at CNN:

A whole lot of us are stuck with credit-card debt that goes up each month, mortgages worth more than our homes and student loans that extend into infinity. So it’s only natural that we look at the debt crisis from the bottom up: from the perspective of the 99% who are getting screwed.

But what if we instead looked at this whole mess from the top down, from the point of view of the 1%: the billionaires and venture capitalists in Mitt Romney’s world? Maybe, just maybe, their problem is our problem.

In fact, as I have come to see it, short of civilization-ending revolution, solving the debt crisis might actually mean saving the 1%.

They have the power and the money, they own our government, and they won’t go down without taking everyone and everything else with them. Instead of backing them even further into the corner of fear and defensiveness, we need to help them find a way out. And that means helping them understand how they got there…

[continues at CNN]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

Latest posts by majestic (see all)

  • Zenc

    I’m surprisingly comfortable with the “civilization-ending revolution” option.

    • LanceHardpound

      What’s that phrase?…. When one door closes another opens?

    • Jin The Ninja

      yes, i am too.

  • Paul Panza

    The only thing you have to fear is fear itself and money is the root of all evil, so lets stop being afraid of rich peoples fear and stop investing in the status quo it never worked for the 99% in the past and it won’t in the future. Let the ultra rich embrace the darkness of their harsh deeds. Negative energy consumes itself.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    This sounds like an argument I’d make myself.

    The huge, looming but undiscussed problem here, though, is that the 1% have not even the vaguest notion of their alienation from society that the rest of us perceive so clearly.

    Huge swathes of the 99% have made entire careers out of erecting fantasy worlds to shield their masters from that realization, distracting them with an intensely engaging fantasy life of trivial activity. 

    When some dumbass on Wall Street says that 10% of us are unemployed because they lack the education to participate in America’s competitively advantaged,” value-added” industries like finance they aren’t being cheeky or ironic.  They really believe that sh*t, even in the face of massive taxpayer bailouts.

  • JohnFrancisBittrich

    Brilliant as per usual. I had the chance to catch a lecture by Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, on Wednesday and he talked quite a bit about peer-to-peer economics as well. It seems like this idea is really starting to catch fire.

  • D351

    Fuck that. This sounds a lot like more of the same. Turn everybody in to “independent” businesses and contractors under capitalism, and it’ll just turn into a loop-hole to negate the minimum wage. Capitalism is the problem, not the solution.

    • JohnFrancisBittrich

      Did you watch the same video I did? Money that decreases in value over time is “more of the same”? It would force people to spread it around instead of hoarding it. It’s a complete overhaul of the very meaning of what currency is.

      • JohnFrancisBittrich

        I don’t see how this video/story even really relates to shifting to buying from corporations to independents. It’s about changing interest rates from something that bear more money to the money-holders into something that makes holding onto money and liquidating productive assets for a quick buck obsolete. Honestly, I think you wrote your response before you even clicked the link.

  • eyeoftheaxis

    I would like to think that it just a matter of
    time. But people that are down have very few options, this
    horror could go on for a while before the 1% are effected in the least, if ever.
    The phrase “if only” sucks even more when you are the one saying it.
    I wish I could be an optimist.
    Before you check out this
    video, lock your gun away so you don’t use it on yourself & have a bottle of
    strong stuff around.

    Dead Can Dance – The host of

  • Chaorder Gradient

    Douglass Rushkoff is on the side of the gradual shift to prosperity, rather than the cataclysmic shift. Personally either one is fine with me, as long as it finally happens.

  • guest

    We all know this level of greed isn’t healthy behavior.   We know people are suffering and something has to change.  I like this video for taking a moment to see what the 1% could do to help.  What is the solution?  I’m not sure, but someone knows, someone can tell they know and someone like me will encourage them.  I don’t want to let my past and my beliefs stop the few of us who know how to fix this problem. 

  • Chef Tom

    this will never happen….Greed supercedes logic with the 1%…..nice idea well thought out…it would be a favourable solution but I don’t have that much faith in the 1% to share their wealth in the first place.

  • Ted

    Traders are people too. They have a sensitive altruistic side. They really just want to help others. They are misunderstood. We need more traders and speculators, currency manipulators etc.

    Especially if they are a trader who also worships Satan and has an interest in counter terrorism.

    ocupy wall street=terrorists

    Satan Worshiping PSYOPS experts, who are also Traders = benevolance.

  • BurnTheFascists

    Please go kill yourselves, or else soon, we’ll be doing it for you.

    • BurnTheFascists

      That’s my advice anyway.

  • Urban Monk

    What exactly do we want? What are we trying to achieve? Where are we trying to go? If you have credit card debt, that was your choice. If you have a house you can’t afford, that was your choice. If you have student loans, that was your choice. Nobody said you had to do any of these things or buy into the system. I have always been more interested in what money can not buy and as such, have no debt. I also have no car, no furniture, no kids and no problems, why, because that is my choice. I am an urban monk. A bed,computer, a few dishes, what else do I need? I can not feel bad for people that shoot themselves in the foot and then complain about the pain. The 1% have everything money can buy, and what they really need is what money can’t buy. In the end, though, I’m sure I’ll be dragged down by the sure momentum of stupidity out there. That’s OK though, I cried entering this world, but will die laughing. Into eternity.

    • Zenc

      Now, now.

      You’re not supposed to be bagging on the householders.

      • Guest

         Are they not part of the problem?

        • Zenc

          Urbanmonk’s comment went a distinctly spiritual direction and my comment was addressing the Renunciate vs Householder dilemma of a few millennium back.

    • Jin The Ninja

      part of being an engaged buddhist is not to internalise suffering  but instead relate the externalities of suffering (of others) to the social structures of the world. while debt and money can be psychological in nature (their use, our reaction) they are symptomatic of larger more global problems that have nothing to do with people as individuals. If a girl in Laos has her leg amputated by an american landmine, her suffering is not internal. it has external causes and external suffering. simply because you are able to demonstrate a certain fortitude over your suffering, does make not it related to the suffering of others, or comparable.

  • Urban Monk

    I’m not sure if you think I’m a buddhist or just talking about buddhism, but I’m not a buddhist. The global problems have everything to do with people as individuals. Individuals are ignorant of who they really are, and as such, look to the external world for validation. This ignorance has added up to our global problems. If we were all aware of that which is within, it would be a different world automatically. Mind is cause, the world its effect. I choose that which is within and found peace, everyone can. I don’t feel bad for people, but love them instead. To share suffering is to share nothing.

    • Urban Monk

       Not sure what happened, but this is a reply to Jin The Ninja.

    • Jin The Ninja

       it sounds and sounded like you were talking about buddhism, i am a buddhist, but obviously we’re on two distinct philosophical paths. good luck.

  • Liquidself

    Douglas Rushkoff.  Bought and paid for.   I never, ever liked this guy,  he never has anything new to contribute to the conversation,  and now he s a major sell out.  Douglass Rushkoff,  member of the 1 percent.

  • ioksototeaterofsouls

    That’s a nice idea Dug. If only there was a single example in all of history of a rich man ceding even a tiny fraction of ill gotten wealth and power without someone holding a gun to his head. Hmmm, waitaminute… that gives me an idea.

  • Happypedro

    This certainly sounds a lot better than what we have going on today, but I see two problems with this line of reasoning:  
    1) There is no talk about the destruction of the environment and the direct relation consumption has to that.  If we want a world that is at all decent, the focus (corporate or individual) should be on things like sustainability first, with production/consumption made to serve that focus;

    2) There was a recent study by New York psychologist Paul Babiak that finds…One in 25 business leaders may be a psychopath
    Psychopaths use charm and manipulation to achieve success in the workplace, according to a US study…so one big assumption the makers of this video take for granted is that the 1% can be reasoned with, at all.  Largely, it seems to me, the are sick with the addiction of MORE, and pathological self interest, which makes them not particularly rational actors.  Please, voraciously hungry 14-foot-tall grizzly bear, please don’t eat anything…?

  • Colddrake80

    I cant stand Rushkoff he’s been so consistently wrong for so long it really blows my mind. First off this guy knows nothing about how the Feudal economy worked. In the early middles ages nobles were almost exclusively fighting men but as time went on they became government officials like city mayors and had major business concerns.
    Capitalist boosters have always tried to pass their little dogma off as coming from humble roots and it’s not true.  They have always been a system of by and for the very richest.