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The Internal Immigration of the American Elite

From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 123-125:

By secession, I do not mean physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that does happen from time to time. Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related by marriage to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as CEO of the mercenary-for-hire firm Blackwater, moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2011; and some Republicans, who are so quick to say “America, love it or leave it,” showed a remarkable sense of latitude when Eduardo Saverin, a Facebook cofounder, renounced his citizenship. When Democrats introduced a bill to make expatriate tax dodgers pay a 30 percent tax rate on all future U.S. investments and ban them from the country, Republican operative Grover Norquist likened the bill to the actions of Nazi Germany against Jews. 1 

These examples apart, what I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from concern about its well-being. Our plutocracy, whether the hedge fund managers in Greenwich, Connecticut, or the Internet moguls in Palo Alto, now lives like the British did in colonial India: ruling the place but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; to the person fortunate enough to own a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension, and viable public transportation doesn’t even compute. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

There’s a great anecdote later on that page about the strange worldlessness of economic architect of neoliberalism Robert Rubin:

I once discussed this syndrome with a radio host who recounted a story about Robert Rubin, the former treasury secretary. He recalled that Rubin was being chauffeured through Manhattan to reach some event whose attendees consisted of the Great and the Good such as himself. Along the way his limousine encountered a traffic jam, and on arriving late to the event, he complained to a city functionary with the power to look into it. “Where was the jam?” asked the functionary. Rubin, who had lived most of his life in Manhattan, a place predominantly of east-west numbered streets and north-south avenues, couldn’t tell him.

Categories: Defensive Elites

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Mark