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In "Superclass" David Rothkopf describes a world where political, economically and socially the rules of engagement are changing rapidly. An unbridled form of capitalism that encourages the accumulation of wealth for the benefit of the few is now forming the international order by which business is conducted. National agendas that were meant to take care of the underclasses of society are now being supplanted by the force of globalization: worldwide trade in a myriad of financial investments that benefit corporations rather than individuals. What distills from this process is a superclass, or an elite within an elite group of multi-billionaires, who is currently sitting on so much wealth while other groups around them suffer from lack of basic essentials or rising food prices. It is this crowd of restless patricians and fearful power-brokers that trek off to Davos every year to wine and dine over how to make the world a better place to be. Not surprisingly, Rothkopf, the career technocrat, has earned his way into this class because of his intellectual capacity to advise it how to adjust to changing times. This book is worth the read for what Rothkopf maps out as the likely path of international development and progress in the future. He succeeds in identifying the superclass as the excessive accumulators of wealth and wielders of power and influence; he follows up with easy-to-follow explanations as to the upside and downside to this phenomenon; and he concludes by showing where discussion and cooperation might be going in the effort to give capitalism a moral conscience that benefits others than just the well-heeled. The amassing of wealth on paper has reached such absurb levels that unless something is done to put it to use in tangible ways that improve of humanity, a serious day of reckoning might await the globe. Rothkopf doesn't deny that society needs elites to rule, but they must seek to start putting the interests of others before themselves. Personally, I feel we are living in period that is akin to the run-up to the French Revolution, where the aristocracy resisted the need to change their value system, and we all know where that landed them.
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on November 27, 2014
There is something of an under current of admiration for the so called 'super class' in this book. I think that he under-emphasizes the negative effects of the super rich and powerful. He also seems to blow off as 'conspiracy theories' any idea that there is specific or general collusion by this group to maintain their privileged positions even if it means detrimental outcomes for the rest of civilization. I think that the worst criminals on the planet are those that don't actually know that they are criminals but rather think that they are entitled and we should not be granting admiration and special consideration to those who do not make real (as opposed to propaganda) contributions to the welfare of humanity.
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