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Pondering the universe



The new billionaire con

Many billionaires say that they are concerned about the long-term survival of the human race. No, it's just another con to keep the focus on them.

Longtermism posits that to ensure the long-term survival of humanity, the focus of our efforts at this time needs to be on developing the technology and infrastructure that will provide for the support and wellbeing of the untold billions of people to come, on earth and other planets. It is framed as a duty to the future us, and that is why many billionaires are putting their money into space exploration and other money-intensive technology ventures supposedly to improve peoples' value to humanity. It is exactly as it sounds like: wanting to build enhanced humans as dominators of worlds.

While all this may sound laudable, it has the effect of keeping billionaires at the centre of deciding what happens to humanity and what societies focus upon. After all, who best to lead us than those with a proven track record of doing that, as evidenced by what they have been investing in that has changed all our lives? If this sounds like a lot of self-aggrandisement wrapped up in propaganda persuading us to do without while they get away with grabbing as much money away from us now as they can, it is! For them, longtermism is neoliberalism on a galactic scale.

We do have to look after our future, but that is best served by ensuring that all of us here now have what we need to build better lives for ourselves without preventing others from doing so, or overstretching the resources of the earth. Many billionaire's parents gave them better lives and the seed money that put them on a path to their aggrandisement, but they seek to rob us of the same opportunities by squandering our efforts just to keep their empires afloat. A carrot and a modicum of benefit while not really allowing us to take charge of our own lives.

They are not investing in us as people living now and in need of the helping hand to better our individual and collective lives, but wanting us to buy their shiny toys and superfluous goods that fund their extravagance. This is the same ploy that that the billionaires of the past used to justify why they polluted our cities and waterways and overworked us while bringing slight improvements to our lives, but not enough that we could all escape from their stress treadmills that sabotaged our will to choose another course for our lives. They were building a future for people like them.

Longtermism is just another part of a philosophical justification for why billionaires and the societies that maintain them should continue unabated, while denying our ability to organise ourselves into a coherent movement to challenge their worldview and set up any alternative that does not have them at the centre of it. It is no coincidence that billionaires don't support unionism or democracy, but seek to weaken them, as they see them as challenges to their dominance of our lives. While some of us get some benefits, most of the world suffers from hunger and exploitation.

We are at a point where we have enough collective power to topple their dominance, but only if we work together to wean ourselves off their propaganda and substitute it with worthwhile goals that put our individual and collective wellbeing at the centre of our policies now. Only then can we have societies that serve us now and into the future. If we follow these billionaires into their projected future, we condemn our future generations to lives of subservience and distraction where their free will is still hobbled by false limits on what their opportunities are. We can select a better future.

Investing in giving all those who live now the best opportunity to be free to decide the type of lives they want and what is best for them will give humanity the plurality of ideas and opportunities to endure. Leaving the future to a few self-important people who have a proven track record of exploitation and creating suffering will not guarantee a better future humanity, but be more likely to continue to build the seeds of humanity's destruction. This is because they have never seen humanity and the earth as any more than things to be exploited. It is our duty to save the galaxy from them.

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