It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer: A Repeating Cycle Throughout History

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 12 2012 @ 10:43 PM
Yesterday, I read a part of "On the Origin of Inequality" by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a great French philosopher of the Enlightenment. The entire essay is about how, as men continue to acquire more and more property, less and less is left for everyone else, and the world, not an infinitely large place, ends up getting bought up by those who have the most money. One passage struck me as amazingly similar to the issues today we are having with Wall Street, and the amazing thing is that this was written before the U.S. was even a country - in 1754!

Here it is:

Destitute of valid reasons to justify and sufficient strength to defend himself, able to crush individuals with ease, but easily crushed himself by a troop of bandits, one against all, and incapable, on account of mutual jealousy, of joining with his equals against numerous enemies united by the common hope of plunder, the rich man, thus urged by necessity, conceived at length the profoundest plan that ever entered the mind of man: this was to employ in his favour the forces of those who attacked him, to make allies of his adversaries, to inspire them with different maxims, and to give them other institutions as favourable to himself as the law of nature was unfavourable.

With this view, after having represented to his neighbours the horror of a situation which armed every man against the rest, and made their possessions as burdensome to them as their wants, and in which no safety could be expected either in riches or in poverty, he readily devised plausible arguments to make them close with his design. "Let us join," said he, "to guard the weak from oppression, to restrain the ambitious, and secure to every man the possession of what belongs to him: let us institute rules of justice and peace, to which all without exception may be obliged to conform; rules that may in some measure make amends for the caprices of fortune, by subjecting equally the powerful and the weak to the observance of reciprocal obligations. Let us, in a word, instead of turning our forces against ourselves, collect them in a supreme power which may govern us by wise laws, protect and defend all the members of the association, repulse their common enemies, and maintain eternal harmony among us."

Rousseau's On The Origin of Inequality

Just think, how many people in this country, and in this world, support things like "free market capitalism," a faulty theory based on the fictitious idea of an infinite amount of land and wealth, and then get angry when anyone disagrees with them? But look at the state of this world. 1 billion people are starving, and very few people are happy. The people who benefit most from free market capitalism are the rich, but they have made us, who should be their adversaries, into their friends. We support the very policies that keep us down, because, as Rousseau says, "The most capable of foreseeing the dangers were the very persons who expected to benefit by them; and even the most prudent judged it not inexpedient to sacrifice one part of their freedom to ensure the rest; as a wounded man has his arm cut off to save the rest of his body." It's so much easier to stay quiet and keep our tiny bit that the rich, powerful, "TPTB", have deigned to give us than to fight back and lose everything.

But yet, is that not how the world has always been? The guy with the biggest stick has always been king. I think Rousseau makes a very good point throughout this essay that societies have always been like this, and we can see, even in our "wonderful" democratic republic, inequalities that Rousseau pointed out that were happening BEFORE the French Revolution/Enlightenment/Rise of the Democratic Society are still happening today. And the richest have figured out the best way to win: to keep us moderately happy, moderately sated, and very, very ill-informed. Then they stand up on their pedastals and say, "We're BP, here to make the world a better place! Won't you stand by us as we improve life in the Gulf? Isn't it great that we, Wal-Mart, offer so many jobs and benefits to our associates as well as cheap prices for the great people of the USA? Come, be a part of our team! Unite with us, be part of the solution! We, the Democrats, want to support the poor, and we, the Republicans, want to support your freedoms - don't you want to follow the Founding Fathers and unite in the face of this scary, dangerous world?"

Our real enemies are and have always been the people who make those kinds of speeches. And they're the reason that you or your friend lost their job, the reason that there isn't enough food to go around in the world, and the reason that we as humans across the globe continue to fight trivial battles with "the enemy" as the rich sell guns and drugs to both sides.

posted on Jan, 12 2012 @ 11:17 PM
Its been that way since the creation of the dollar
Dynasty type familes such as the rothschilds and rockefellers own everything.

The people have been duped, democracy and free market capitalism doesn't go hand in hand for the benefit of the people. Its for the elite ruling class.

There's a reason the american revolution happened
There's a reason the french revolution happened

And its pretty much the same as today, but instead of forcefulness in their tactics, they now use psychology, and how to manipulate the masses to their will.

Junk food, junk tv, distractions from the real issues. Politics doesn't matter when the real problem lays outside of politics, and is not subject to the will of the people. ie. globalization is merely a fancy word that means 'securing your resources while giving you the illusion of wealth, meanwhile, we crash the system over and over again, and buy up property and business at supremely cheap prices.

When people talk about the NWO happening. It's already happened. It happened a long time ago. We've been living in it and no one has noticed. They have the masses at eachothers throats of small issues, while they make away with the biggest heist in human history spanning hundreds, even thousands of years.

The mother of all conspiracy.

And for those that worry about fema camps, i doubt they will happen. They already have you in fema camps of the mind. They already tried tyranny and dictatorship to control a population, with concentration camps in ww2, didnt work then. Have to do it very slyly, and succeed they did.

i.e. The ruling class needs to be destroyed, or assets removed entirely (rumored trillions of wealth).
edit on 12/1/12 by AzureSky because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:05 AM
Thank you AzureSky. I agree one hundred percent. It's amazing how few people realize it, unfortunately.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:33 AM
reply to post by spacekc929

Rousseau certainly had a way with words. The problem is the rich are as much a product of society's making as they are their own devices. To explain what I mean, look at a person like Justin Bieber. He isn't old enough to have hair growing on his chest, yet he has already accumulated more wealth than what most people could hope to see in a hundred lifetimes. Is this the result of some sort of Machiavellian scheme? If so, it isn't apparent. Rather it appears he simply had the good fortune of amassing a loyal fan-base that willingly throws untold millions at his feet. So why is this?

The root problem, as I see it, is that we as humans fall in to social classes because as a group we collectively, though perhaps unconsciously, promote societal stratification. I suspect this is in no small part due to the marriage of scarcity with a mode of moral reasoning – particularly cultural value-systems.[0] For example in the past humanity strongly believed in theocracy. Thus our ancestors lavished monies on religious authorities and places of worship. Later humanity chose to believe that certain people were blessed by deities or felt that certain individuals were greater than the common man. So the proletariat gave an inordinate amount of public wealth to kings and queens. Now we have a society that votes people in to position based on popularism. Thusly we throw money at celebrities and politicians. So like any class-based system where social class is strictly defined, a meritocracy can just as easily be a dystopia as it can a utopia (cf. Michael Young's "Rise of the Meritocracy").

Thus the problem appears to be rooted in a universal.[1] Meaning, if this is true, that all ideologies are classist because all systems, meritocracy's included, fundamentally inherit the class structure as it's embedded in the very notion of scarcity.[2] In my opinion the only way to make things truly fair is to come to grips with this notion, to explicitly state cultural priorities, and to finally confront the group(s) that will suffer under the selected belief structure.

It is as a direct result of this, why I don't buy into the notion of a pure meritocracy. As in every society there will be people at the bottom of the food chain that still deserve basic human decency despite not fitting in to the perfect design of society's goals. In the case of a meritocracy, excellence being the ultimate goal-post, not all people should be treated in accordance with the value they contribute back to society. So I suppose the best way to express my philosophy, is to say I advocate a socialized-meritocracy. I envisage the best way to manage something like a "socialized-meritocracy" is to allow the people of society to vote on how we design our class system by allowing the citizens to determine how to allocate excess societal and governmental revenue.[3].
edit on 13-1-2012 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:10 AM
reply to post by spacekc929

I support free market capitalism. However, I do not think the necessities needed by humans should be free market. This is where I believe free market capitalism runs afoul. If a person could own all the water in the world then this would be wrong. If a person can own and control all the healthcare, and make that unaccessible to me, that is wrong. If a person can own and control all the food, and make that unaccessible to me, that is wrong. If a person can own every piece of land, and charge me to live on it, that is wrong. There should be certain portions of the economy that are considered the rights of the people and nation. We are supposed to share some bond as a people, but it cannot be reached unless some things we designate as protected by our mutual need as humans to live life.

If a person wants to invent some technology that improves the life of others, then they should be allowed unrestricted ability to sell and market their product. If a person owns something they should be allowed to use that in any way they desire so long as they do not adversely affect another persons rights. That the correct determination of whether a persons rights have been adversely affected is through the courts and a jury of peers, not some law or regulation, or even a government agency.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:06 PM
I think there should be a wealth cap,
and a 100% inheritance tax.

Thats just me though, Amassing billions in wealth sitting in a bank account makes it impossible for the trickle down effect to happen.

Who needs to make over one or two million a year? Seriously? What could you possibly be buying that you need more than a million a year?

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:27 PM
That report is not only biased and very selective but it also very conveniently leaves out another group of so called "rich" people.

What about the Poor That Got Rich?

How come this group is never addressed?

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:08 PM

Originally posted by Alxandro
That report is not only biased and very selective but it also very conveniently leaves out another group of so called "rich" people.

What about the Poor That Got Rich?

How come this group is never addressed?

Those that get rich, are very few and far between. Most of the ruling elite class have been rich, and the wealth passed on throughout time to what it is today.

Its not a coincidence that dynastic families own everything and most of us don't know nor care. The poor that got rich is the way its supposed to be, and everyone should have a fair shot at it (most don't).

Its meant to be that way, its no coincidence that the US elected 3 presidents from the same family that is tied to several prominent 'clubs' and skull & bones. The ruling elite are the ones controlling the show.

The poor who got rich, they have no place in the ruling elite. Said elite still look down at these people, even though they have money.

Its a giant confusing web, a web that doesn't make sense until history is understood. So much reading to do, i haven't even scratched the surface on this topic yet.

new topics

top topics


log in