The Anger Of The Unprivileged Is Rising Globally

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Privilege serves the same purpose--benefiting the few at the expense of the many--regardless of the system's ideological labels.

The righteous disgust with the status quo that spawned the broad-based campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump is not unique to the U.S. Globally, those disenfranchised by the status quo--the unprivileged, or in Peggy Noonan's phrase, the unprotected-- are starting to express their discontent in the streets, in social media and in elections.

Why are people around the world angry? It's obvious to everyone in the unprivileged classes and a mystery to the "we're doing just fine here, what's your problem?" privileged classes: The system is rigged to benefit the protected few and marginalize the unprotected many.

The problems are not just political; they are structural. As I outline in my new book, Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform, there are two structural engines of disorder at the heart of the system:

1. Automation, software and the forces of globalization are disrupting jobs and wages everywhere.

2. Centralized hierarchies and the forces of financialization have extended the power of privilege globally so the few are benefiting at the expense of the many, as revealed in this chart of global wealth:

The growing concentration of wealth and power in the privileged elites is evidenced by the fact that 8% of the world's populace owns 85% of its wealth. What is driving this increasing concentration of wealth and power? In a word: Privilege.

To understand rising wealth/income disparity and the increasing concentration of wealth, we must first understand the dual nature of privilege. Just as power comes in two flavors--hard power (military power) and soft power (exporting cultural wares and values)--so does privilege.

Hard-wired privileges are those that grant the holder of an office or position in the hierarchy specific rights to accumulate income, wealth and political power that are not available to the unprivileged. Officials in corrupt countries gain the right to collect fees from citizens as a direct result of their official position. Financiers in the U.S. have access to unlimited credit at low rates (free money for financiers) as a direct result of their position atop the financial pyramid.

Field-effect ("soft") privileges are defined by class and access rather than by the hard-wired authority of office or position in a formal hierarchy. Field-effect privileges include: enhanced access to Ivy League higher education granted to children of alumni and major donors; membership in exclusive clubs; access to "old boy" networks of alumni and partners, and so on.

Field-effect ("soft") privileges are one primary reason why the income of the top 20% has risen from 40% of total U.S. income to 51% in the past two decades. In a rapidly financializing, globalized economy, those with access to higher education, class connections and abundant credit have built-in advantages over those without all three advantages, which are self-reinforcing.

(I use the term field-effect to suggest that these privileges act like electrical fields, affecting all within their range, often without the privileged even being aware of their privileges. Hence the upper-middle penchant for overlooking all their class advantages and attributing their success to hard work. Well, yes, but that's not the entire story: we must also measure the often-subtle benefits of field-effect privileges.)

Over time, these privileges accrue substantial income and wealth: the 10% difference between 40% and 50% of total household income is $1.4 trillion per year. In the past decade, that means the top 20% has gained about $12 trillion more in income than it would have if its share of total household income had remained at 40%.

(Income data source: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014)

Having an Ivy League (or equivalent top-tier public university) diploma is a plus, but it doesn't provide a wealth of self-reinforcing privileges unless it is combined with upper-class connections and networks and easy access to credit (to scoop up productive assets on the cheap). Together, these field-effect privileges create synergies that concentrate wealth and power.

Interestingly, privilege serves the same purpose--benefiting the few at the expense of the many--regardless of the system's ideological labels. Socialist, Communist and free-market elites loot their populaces and national wealth with equal gusto. Those who came to do good and stayed to do well first accumulate privileges, which they then leverage into wealth and power.

The grievances of Chinese workers robbed of their wages, Greek small-business owners burdened by ever-rising taxes, downsized corporate warriors in the U.S., etc. may appear to be different, but beneath the surface these grievances all arise from one source: unearned privileges that benefit the few at the expense of the many.

The only way to eliminate social and economic injustice is to eliminate privilege, which is the heart of my book A Radically Beneficial World.

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PTR's picture

Just like the web bot report said.  Good reading, btw.  Worth the fifteen bucks.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

People may be angry but they have no idea who they should be angry at and what they should be angry about.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Same folks as always. Just can't say anything cause they own the media,politics and banks.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

White males remain the most privileged demographic, despite so-called 'efforts' to equalize our economy. It's disgusting that the same group of people who pillaged Africa and kicked the Native Americans off of their land still hoard all of the world's wealth while the less fortunate can barely afford to eat.

Sandmann's picture

White Males are the only ones that make things happen. The rest are spectators and puppets. You said so yourself

MalteseFalcon's picture

We tried "separate, but equal" and we discovered that white folks were still way more productive, but there was more for the political class to milk out of them.

So then we tried the welfare state with high taxes and affirmative action.  Blue collar whites were gutted, but there was still an unacceptably large number of damned white folk who kept producing and refused to get with the spirit of the thing.

After floating numerous solutions, like reparations from white folks whose ancestors never owned slaves, we have Obama and unlimited immigration.

Give it up white folks.  The banksters need what you have to "save the world".

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Goddam I love my "white privilege"! Not only do I get to make things happen using my intellect and skills, I can bear the brunt and blame of all the world's problems. WHY? BECAUSE I'M WHITE! THAT'S WHY!

Nevermind that my ancestors never owned slaves, but perhaps killed a few native americans who were trying to burn their farms down. But be that as it may, they also served in Lincoln's army to "free the slaves". More white men died for that cause than have ever been given credit.

Oldwood's picture

We know what to be angry about... the same thing we are always angry about...being stupid enough to have believed the lies, to have allowed ourselves to be manipulated, to have been to preoccupied with TV or our "interests" to pay any fucking attention until it was too late....for being too cowardly to do anything about it now.

Yeah, I'm angry, I'm mad, I'm really pissed myself.

I buy guns and ammo and gold and silver because it makes me feel like I'm doing something, when actually it is a pretense to ACTUALLY doing something.

Doing something is too risky, too painful, too EXPENSIVE.

crossroaddemon's picture

It's not even a matter of being cowardly... it really is too late. Probably too late by at least 150 years. A decision to not take very high risks on ventures with very low probabilities of success is not cowardice.

Oldwood's picture

It's never too late and yet it is Always too late. This is our problem. We make poor decisions as we see their costs small and inconsequential. Once those real consequences come to light, the choices become more difficult, the costs more expensive. Even a slave in chains has a choice. Yes it may be death...the most expensive choice of all, but he found himself in chains because of the refusal to fight earlier on. We fool ourselves by believing that liberty should be cheap, like a Chinese import, when our forefathers understood that ultimately its cost could be our lives. We believe we can hedge liberty with gold or guns, but it is an ever weaker hedge as time progresses. The battle was started before we ever thought of such things. When we bought our first import or deflected from the abrasiveness of politically incorrect speech or went to the supermarket rather than buying a packet of seed. This is incrementalism and it is their single greatest tool.....lulling us with convenience and comfort into increasingly surrendering our ability to resist. Most people can barely cook their own food today, much less grow it or even identify if it IS food or not. This is not something we can turn back. We are HERE and any hopes of liberty will become very costly indeed. Hardships will likely NOT come incrementally as our comforts and conveniences have. It will likely land on us like a ton of bricks.

crossroaddemon's picture

It's not only too late, it's pointless. Not enough people see the system for the evil edifice it is. Even if you got enough of them to work together to overthrow the existing power structures, almost everyone around you would be trying to essentially rebuild the same system with new leadership and you would be powerless to stop it. You'd be just as fucked. Only once a large number of people see the present socio-economic paradigm for the evil it is will there be any hope for real, lasting change. Neither of us will live to see that day.

kareninca's picture

Your whole point and goal in life is to take away hope.  Are you proud of that?

Whatta's picture

The system has been built over such a long time frame, and with so many layers and players it is impossible to now lay blame and sic the lynch mob on. Plus Americans are pussies.

ZH Snob's picture

so true.  this pyramid scheme was a diabolically ingenious plan.  it extracts blood, work, time and the resulting wealth in a slow but sure process, drawing all to its apex.

crossroaddemon's picture

Yes... Americans are pussies and if the "guns for rebellion" crowd here at ZH ever got it's way they'd find that out the hard way. But yes... there are too many layers. If you think you could depose the present .gov and not have the same deep state controlling the new one inside of an election cycle or two you are stunningly naive. I have seen no realistic suggestions for getting rid of the deep state.

Killdo's picture

religion is the original deep state and the enforcer of fraud - all the other explotation is based on it

HopefulCynical's picture

I have seen no realistic suggestions for getting rid of the deep state.

The first step is to recognize psychopathy as a genetic disease, and require brain scans for anyone holding elected office, or an executive position of any sort within a publicly traded or multinational corporation.

And don't give me that "rights" bullshit. I'm all for rights, but blind people don't get driver's licenses, because they have a physical defect that prevents them from being able to do it. Psychopaths in power are a menace to the rest of humanity, every bit as much as blind people driving cars would be.

The Deep State exists because of psychopathy, which lusts for power and control above all else.

crossroaddemon's picture

And what do you do about the old-money banking families who are most likely really running the show? I doubt getting rid oftheir influence will be as simple as that. Also bear in mind you need a universal solution that overreaches national borders.

Oldwood's picture

Our plight is that of our human nature, those submitting blindly to it and those seeing it as their leverage to advancement. Money...wealth, even gold are arbitrary devices propelled as a means of control, of a standardization of value that we must all bow to...or so they tell us. Many will take insult at the pompous display of wealth, but the wealthy WANT you to want what they have and see their detractors as simply sour grapes. They want us to want nice things, to work HARD to get them. They advertise, they demonstrate how shallow and empty our lives will be without these gratuitous displays of excess. For what other reason could we want them? We always had our personal security largely within our own hands. We could grow and cook and fight to defend our liberty to do it all again, but we gave that up...for the good stuff. We see poor people without shit to their name, once endowed with a little cash to buy some POS car, and the first thing they do is buy expensive wheels and any kind of tacky shit to glue or bolt onto it to SHOW their MAGNIFICENCE as defined by those with real wealth. Our rejection of this template is our only path to liberty. Not to depose them or take their wealth, but to simply reject it. Simply watch how poor people spend their discretionary money...and do the exact opposite. Lessons abound all around.

HopefulCynical's picture

What I described was Step 1.

Step 2 is to shut the fucking Fed down, cancel ALL debt owed to private central banking families, return the creation of money to the Treasury and index our money supply to economic growth (or contraction) per quarter.

Step 3 is to consider any corrupt government worker, from president on down, to be guilty of treason, with the accompanying punishment.

If all that is done, what are the old-money banking families gonna do?

nibiru's picture

So to define it with more science behind it “The Network of Global Corporate Control”. Prepared by Swiss organisation lead by James Glattfelder and Stefano Battistona. Since 2007 till 2011 they investigated capital connections from 43 thousand global corporations."


FGH's picture

No, it's about the rise of the VICTIM class at the expense of the SELF-RELIANT class

Id fight Gandhi's picture

The privileged aren't people who had great ideas and had natural wealth formations in a free market.

Oldwood's picture

Growing your own food is way to much trouble and work compared to the drive thru at Jack-in-the-Box. We surrendered our liberties long ago....such a pretty cage and regular feeding and all, liberty sold for the sake of comfort and convenience. 

My parents TRIED to explain but I was college educated and far too smart to listen to country bumkins who grew up in the depression. They were simply environmentally damaged, suffering from the tragedy of their youth.

One of these is not like the others..'s picture

Logged in just to call FGH a self satisfied, deluded, Cunt, (with a capital C) and down vote you for that fatuous if not psychopathic comment that festers above.


Marvin the Martian's picture




Also, there is a YUGE percentage of "people" that do not produce anything, yet amass wealth endlessly. 

This shit tier "leadership" continues to sell the population down the river, the day of the rope will be sweet.


Antifaschistische's picture

True, but the victim class isn't in that top 10% from a wealth perspective.  However, both the top 10% (wealth, easy/cheap credit access) and the bottom 30% (.gov check recipients-whether welfare or employee (including fire fighters, policemen, etc.) in America are parasites feeding off a shrinking true working class.

Killdo's picture

in my 10 years in the US I have not seen anyone self-reliant  - everyone is either exploiting someone or has inherited wealth

Aubiekong's picture

Wait until the obama voters watch the new roots, a fictional tale to purposely raise anger and hatred of blacks towards whites....

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) May 26, 2016 8:16 AM

You hyphenated, nuanced POS .... the poor, the illegal, the Muslim terrorist .... are protected .... the working/middle class/taxpayers .... are the unprotected .... and they aren't rioting ?

Whatta's picture

Teevee BS about the lifestyles of the rich don't help. CNBC reporting this AM on the Exodus out of NYC to the Hamptons... pricks throwing down $600 a seat to helicopter out of the city to avoid a "grueling" couple hour drive, to live the high life for a few weeks.

Meanwhile the rest of us hope we can afford this years Obamacare premium price jacks, that are sucking every last discretionary dollar out of our pockets.

Aubiekong's picture

The burny supporter is angry because they feel they deserve more free stuff...

Id fight Gandhi's picture

You mean the wealthy? Because getting government handouts, laws to favor and protect their business interests and supportive central banks to create money out thin air is how they got there.

mog's picture

You ain't seen nothing yet.



Ghordius's picture

possible. but my impression is that anger is rising much more in the US. take it however you want

nibiru's picture

say it to Hallande... 

CJgipper's picture

Privilege power and money are all synonyms of the concept of forcing others to do work for you.  Or at least that's what crony capitalism has allowed it to become.  Socialism communism and dictatorships just define them as the same from the outset.

mog's picture

A lot of anger is directed against democracy itself.

In many places a blatant fraud.

In Britain we are fighting BREXIT - with facts and truth against a treasonous government - who cheats, lies, and scares.

Thats the government's campaign and its works.

The bigger the lie the more the peasants cry out for the poisonous succour of the EU.

As for fairness in the British electoral system.

Cameron's regime seized power on a third of the vote - or little more.

They got 11,000,000 votes and 331 seats.

The Scots Nats got 1,500,000 votes and 56 seats.

UKIP got 4,000,000 and 1 seat.

That is Britain's fraudulent voting system.

Ballot boxes went missing, Postal voting scams an obscenity - islamics with boot fulls of them.

But who cares?

It seems you can take serfs out of sefdom but you can't take the serfdom out of Serfs.

At least the French are saying enough.

Ghordius's picture

nice (OT) rant

"That is Britain's fraudulent voting system." well, that's FPTP. try to explain to Brits and Americans that there are better ones, I'll grab the popcorn and enjoy the empty stares. Nigel Farage's UKIP became what it is thanks to the EU electoral system... but I never heard him saying that it's better

"In Britain we are fighting BREXIT - with facts and truth against a treasonous government - who cheats, lies, and scares."

yes. and if you succeed in getting rid of the EU, that's the gov that will get... out of whatever hindrance the EU was on the power of a UK gov to do however it likes

I hope you all vote for "Leave". But I also hope you understand that, by BreXit, you will give more power to what you are calling a "treasonous government"

Pliskin's picture

Didn't the Brits get a choice a few years ago as to which form of 'voting' they wanted, FPTP or AV?

They chose FPTP, I genuinely think most of them didn't understand the terms, lingo and consequences of what this meant, far too difficult for your average 'Joe Bloggs' on the street.

Suited Cameron and Co though, hell, even little Nick Clegg got a turn at pretending to be powerful.

As far as I know (and I could be wrong) but Syria uses PR, which seems about the fairest form of electoral voting, but hey, 'Assad must go!' right??

GreatUncle's picture

Yep ... a decade a go now Cameron was all for PR when the Tories were not in power.

Problem is when given the chance to put into practice what he preached he renaged as like just about every other policy he has ever mentioned.

FPTP is a minority rule system in a multi party system.

No main UK party now carries much more than 30% of the total population count if you incorporate all those that don't vote.

The UK government will never allow PR it diminishes power of those who truly rule the country or they have to start lobbying multiple parties to hedge their bets to be backing the side that wins.

mog's picture

Yes they did and got the choice of worst and worst.

AV is a system of voting that is open to shocking party manipulation and is complex and unweildy.

The choice wanted was between PR or FPTP.

PR would have won hands down but wasn't on offer.

The Brits rightly rejected the fiddle of AV which would ave helped Clegg and co.

We want PR but the government refuses us the choice.

A 500,000 signed petition recently went in but was refused - with blatant lies.

PR is the only fair system - used by many western and other democracies, one to recently change over to it is New Zealand.

Under PR UKIP would have won 83 seats in the current government and things would be vastly different - and better - in Britain.



mog's picture

in fact the fair system of voting used by most western countries is PR.

Where votes mean seats.

Seats are allocated on votes won.

Had the British election been in Germany or Denmark say - UKIP would have won 83 seats for their 4,000,000 votes.

UKIP suppirts the reform.

Recently 500,000 people signed a petition for PR - the government lied and trashed it.

It is already part of the British system in as much as it is usd to elect MEPS for the EU parliamnet.

UKIP won the top place.

And in the regional parliamentary elections.

THe lib/lab/con won't allow this fair voting system because it would mean UKIP winning and winning and winning.

GreatUncle's picture

In europe the UK politicans will have a perpetual person to blame.

If we were to BREXIT the buck stops with them.

Either way especially the way things are globally BREMAIN / BREXIT are going to have a massive economic impact the current government is already trying to blame on a potential BREXIT. With or without the BREXIT those numbers are the same.

So the UK politicians want in ... nice trick that then we do not get to hold them accountable ... see it was the EU's fault although they will be paid for doing nothing.

Ramping up now though ... the racist card is being played

The vote if anything is crystalising the divide that would not take much in the future when the EU demands too much the country fractures into civil war. Greece must be close on this now after 6-7 years and how many of the bailout countries are feeling the agitation of the EU? Chances are all of them.

I do not do work so Germany can have the best deal in europe.

East Indian's picture

"Interestingly, privilege serves the same purpose--benefiting the few at the expense of the many--regardless of the system's ideological labels. Socialist, Communist and free-market elites loot their populaces and national wealth with equal gusto. Those who came to do good and stayed to do well first accumulate privileges, which they then leverage into wealth and power."


Absolutely. So, changing a country from communist to capitalist system may not achieve much, as the rent sucking by the ruling class continues. The Russian Revolution of 1918 completely overthrew the existing privileged class, and caused a clean slate; but within the next 30 years, an elite grew up around the new power centers.When a regime is overthrown, usually some portion of its privileged class survives, and mostly it again grows back into the new regime! The Russian Revolution is a rare exception. I wont be surprised if some of these orivileged elites are traced back to thousands of years. In India, we do have some elite families, really thousands of years old, still sucking the blood out of the society.


Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

Sandmann's picture

Russian Revolution was 1917. German Revolution was 1918. The Elite that grew up in the USSR was initially Jewish as they controlled the Bolsheviks and the Cheka. They were the Ideologues and the Secret Police and after the takeover of Poland in 1945 it was these same types that took over in Warsaw.

It was not the same ruling elite. It was a new one which had to be purged regularly by Stalin to stabilise his own position.

The issue is not Elites but making sure that they go down and others come up. The non-dynamic structure of modern society is what is creating Plato's Republic

fleur de lis's picture

The Russian Revolution was not Russian. It was funded by the Federal Reserve.

Nor was the English, Turkish, French, etc., revolutions anything of the sort. It was the same nest of psychopaths who had wormed into governance, finance, culture, and communication.

These mass population transfers are part of the revolutionary format. The planners know that it will create social conflict and violence which is exactly what they want. It's easier to control the destinies of entire nations that way.

stock market loser's picture
stock market loser (not verified) East Indian May 26, 2016 11:50 AM

Wrong stupid Indian. The revolution was completely financed by the zionists and executed by the Jews. Communism is a Jewish ideology. 90% of NKVD were Jewish. Go back to cooking curry you brown monkey.