Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Every now and then it gets driven home that we don’t have a republic anymore. We have the trappings of a republic, in that we’re entitled to vote—or some of us are, anyway—every so often for our representatives in government. Sometimes the person we vote for even wins, though more and more lately it feels like we drop our ballets into a black hole and almost anything can pop out the other end. You hear stories.
But what I learned the other day shows me that we’re definitely living in an oligarchy now and probably have been for some time. Here’s the scoop.
I know somebody (Joe Anonymous) who has occasional interactions with a billionaire. This billionaire has taken an interest in Joe’s professional pursuits and wants to invest in them. In him, actually. This billionaire likes to say that he invests in people, not businesses. Sounds noble and altruistic. I’m all for it.
Well, Joe was with the billionaire (let’s call him Jack Cashdrawer) going over some money numbers for their future project, which is getting ready for launch, when Jack takes out his iPhone and starts flipping through photos because he wants to show Joe something pertaining to their business. Then, in the middle of his flipping, he stops on one pic and says something like, “Don’t tell anybody, but have a look at this.”
Joe leans over to have a look, and all he can make out is a charred blob of hamburger meat on the ground. Has no idea what he’s seeing.
Jack casts him a wily smile. “That’s the body of Qassam Soleimani. Just after the drone strike that killed him.”
Joe wondered how the hell Jack got a hold of this thing, but Jack said, before Joe could ask, “I know some people.”
Now, you and I can Google “Soleimani death pics” and come close to seeing what Jack had on his phone, but the body’s going to be blurred out. Media outlets won’t show stuff like that. What Jack had was a pic that must have been taken by U.S. Special Forces, and someone in the loop had sent it around to different players. Well-connected billionaires are on top-level contact lists, I guess.
I don’t care about that though. I don’t want to see Soleimani’s dead body. If I did happen to see it, I’d immediately want to unsee it.
The question that bothers me about all this is, What else are the billionaires circulating among themselves?