The rich are different. The cocoon of wealth and privilege permits the rich to turn those around them into compliant workers, hangers-on, servants, flatterers and sycophants. Wealth breeds, as Fitzgerald illustrated in “The Great Gatsby” and his short story “The Rich Boy,” a class of people for whom human beings are disposable commodities. Colleagues, associates, employees, kitchen staff, servants, gardeners, tutors, personal trainers, even friends and family, bend to the whims of the wealthy or disappear. Once oligarchs achieve unchecked economic and political power, as they have in the United States, the citizens too become disposable.
At age 10, Hedges was sent to an exclusive New England boarding school on scholarship. He was from a lower-middle class family. This is where he had his up close experiences with the ultra-rich …
I spent time in the homes of the ultra-rich and powerful, watching my classmates, who were children, callously order around men and women who worked as their chauffeurs, cooks, nannies and servants.
When the sons and daughters of the rich get into serious trouble there are always lawyers, publicists and political personages to protect them — George W. Bush’s life is a case study in the insidious affirmative action for the rich. The rich have a snobbish disdain for the poor — despite well-publicized acts of philanthropy — and the middle class. These lower classes are viewed as uncouth parasites, annoyances that have to be endured, at times placated and always controlled in the quest to amass more power and money.