This is my pet theory to explain the behavior of the elites in our society for the last few decades.
One of the uglier aspects of humanity is the fact that for many people, nothing feels better than saying “you can’t sit here.”
Humans love to exclude others. “This is mine and that is yours and you can’t have any of mine.”
It’s the motivation behind every clique and mean girl group in high school.
Since the dawn of civilization, the elites of society, the rulers, celebrities, and those close to them have always enjoyed the finest things in life. They ate good food while the peasants starved.
With the rise of the modern capitalist society, especially the post-WWII boom in the United States, one of the greatest achievements in society was the democratization of wealth and access to the finer things in life.
I, as an upper-middle-class professional, can buy wines and whiskeys that are just about as good as the most expensive vintages that the super-wealthy can afford.
I can buy a pickup that is loaded with just as many features and has just as much technology as any luxury car on the road today and is much better loaded than a Mercedes or Bentley of even 10 years ago.
I can go to a Mortons steakhouse or Texas de Brasil and get a steak that is almost as good at the fanciest five-star steakhouses in the country.
I know. I’ve eaten once or twice at steakhouses like that. I’ve had a glass or two of wine that is several thousand dollars a bottle. I’ve ridden in a Maybach.
There is nothing I cannot afford as an upper-middle-class professional that isn’t within 95% of what the super-rich can afford on a regular day-to-day basis. And that last 5% is hardly noticeable to the vast majority of people.
Sure, I can’t hop on a private plane and fly off to a megayacht on the Medetranian, but so what.
Then there is some stuff that I can afford that the super-wealthy elites can’t get any better than I. Household electronics. For all of Bezos’s wealth, he’s carrying around the same cellphone and using the same tablet as millions of other people.
This is why brand is so important.
The elite had to get their “you can’t sit here” satisfaction by glomming onto exclusivity. It’s not that what they have is that much better, it’s just that it’s rarer and by the law of supply and demand, it’s that much more expensive.
Sure, you can buy an F-150 that is just as equipped as the finest luxury car, but it’s a Ford and there are only a few thousand of these [brand name] cars available and you weren’t invited to buy one.
I’m convinced that at some point, that wasn’t enough.
The elite in politics, business, and entertainment just couldn’t stand that we the middle-class could enjoy 95% of the luxury that once upon a time, only they could.
We have cars and HD TVs and air-conditioning and the mall just opened a Ruth Chris and Woodford Reserve is $43 a bottle at the ABC and I can go online and buy first-class tickets to Napa and take a wine tour and that infuriates the fuck out of them.
They are all like Judge Elihu Smails from Caddyshack, pissed as shit that the middle-class working man can enjoy things that were once only reserved for them.
What is the point of being an elite if it doesn’t put you head and shoulders above the hoi polloi? That is the true spice of life, being able to look down, way down, on the masses and say “everything I have is better than what you have, envy me and my way of life.”
And so, for the last few decades, the elites have busied themselves with sabotaging society for the rest of us. Putting us back in what they believe is our rightful place.
Our metropolitan areas, outside of their gated communities, are uglier and full of vagrants.
Our dollar has been devalued. If you are worth millions, a 10% increase in groceries and a 50% increase in the cost of gas don’t affect your budget. If you are middle-class, it does, enough to burn up your disposable income on things like going to Ruth Chris.
They just couldn’t stand that our quality of life was catching up to theirs, that the peasants could live almost as good as the kings, and so they have been ruining everything outside of their bubbles for the rest of us just to spite us.
The lockdowns have been the greatest proof of this theory.
I’m convinced that nothing makes them happier than seeing us suffer at home while they party.
They put the hypocrisy on display to remind us that they are elites and the rules that apply to us do not apply to them.
That’s why they are so invested in lockdowns, to make us suffer while they enjoy the luxuries that they exempted for themselves.
What makes them most joyful is not what they have, but the knowledge that we can’t have it, and they will do everything in their power to make sure that we can never catch up to them in quality of life ever again.