Posts Tagged ‘Race’

It has been oft repeated that in our democratic, liberal societies, the few have greater power over the many

Is it the top 1% that owns a greater share of the capital and wealth than the remaining 99%? It is interesting to think of how many of these ‘many verses few’ statistics genuinely exist when analysing our reality

Given the freedom to own property and generate capital, which can indeed be a positive thing, to what extent is this so open to abuse that the rules of the game were never really meant to create fairness and a degree of equality? Is human nature, which is left unchecked, too prone to avarice that such freedoms will always result in a small elite hungry to capture ever more resources than required?

This is not another post looking to promote controlled economies,  however its purpose is to illustrate that, with the best of intensions, will some freedoms, when applied to a population shaped and conformed to behave in a certain manner, always result in a pyramidical structure taking shape where these conditions exist? Is this shape the overriding effect of all the freedoms at our disposal? Consider the following;

Top Asset Management firms by total value of assets under management

Think about what this data is actually telling us; when asset managers acquire equity, or interest in another business enterprise, they take a degree of ownership in that firm. Thereby, over time and because of the funds that flow to these giant institutions, the few in combination, have ended up in a position of ‘owning’ in part or in full, the many corporations that they have a share in – allowing them to ascend to the top of the pyramid; the few owning much greater proportion combined than the many. It also follows that this leads to a common source of control and influence across an economy/region given this limited pool of effective ownership.

Another perspective on this could be that much of this capital originates from the mass population who are the ultimate owners, through their long term savings and pension provisions invested with these providers. Therefore, is this an attempt to invert the structure, allowing the many to benefit? I would argue not, the masses, when considered individually, on average, do not financially benefit as much as the managers who take material cuts from the pool of funds at their disposal. Often their reward incentives are not adequately aligned with the retail investors at large, allowing the elite to become disproportionally better off than the investors who are searching for gains. The small investor is also not the party which excercises the controlling power.

In addition to this asset ownership, consider more generally, how much land the few own in comparison to the larger population, the size of GDP of the few regions compared to the many, the distribution of resources, the access to what is classed as the best quality of education, the trend continues and the structure that we can continually see forming is that of a top down, hierarchical pyramid – it should be clear from such insights what the ultimate power structure of the contemporary world is and what the fruits of everybody’s efforts are really delivering.




What do we mean by Progress?

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Geo Politics
Tags: ,

I read a piece published by MoneyWeek which made me ponder about how many of us understanding the term ‘Progress’

It was Isaac Newton who is quoted as saying; “If I have seen further , it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, itself a paraphrase of an older quote by John of Salisbury….

This made me think that progress can never be the achievement of one people at any one time or era. We are all in this race, progress is attributable to many of us, each taking our own steps, making our mark and then either explicitly or implicitly passing on our achievements to those who come after us.

Can we really attribute ALL prosperity to a single people(s) or even a single idea, or system, unless, this starting point was fully formed from the beginning?

When economic and intellectual progress is considered, let us not simply reward modern day Europe in all its guises. What of the ancient Indus Valley, Mesopotamian and Nile River civilisations who gained from their respective predecessors. What of Ancient China and the Far East, what of the Ancient Africans, of which their accomplishments are unsung, for did they not make great strides in their own right before handing over to Ancient Greece or Rome. Did the Muslims not preserve this knowledge before adding to it for the ‘Enlightened’ Europeans to take hold of everything that came before?

The baton will continue to be passed, for we all participate in this race. Yet for some, this rac(e)ial identity will be used to define our place and our achievements. 

Realise the lens with which we view our collective place in this world and our progress.