“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public.”
This 18th-century warning against cartels and corporate collusion from Adam Smith is worth considering in light of the gathering of billionaires, entertainment moguls, and the corporate media in Sun Valley, Idaho, this week.
As Breitbart’s Lucas Nolan reports, the estimated total wealth of attendees is over $588 billion, a number that is no doubt buoyed by the record profits made by billionaires during the pandemic while small businesses were forced to shut down.
The guest list includes tech titans like Jeff Bezos and Sheryl Sandberg, entertainment and media chiefs like Disney CEO Bob Iger, and figures from the mainstream corporate media including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and Shari Redstone, the chairwoman of ViacomCBS.
There will doubtless be plenty of conspiring going on at this confab for the megawealthy and powerful, although there may also be a celebration of a conspiracy. The outcome of the 2020 election was in no small part determined by the open collusion of the wealthy and powerful, most blatantly Big Tech and Big Media, which now seek to legally cement their ties through the deceptively-named Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.
Are the attendees of the billionaire summer camp really “people of the same trade?” Maybe not, but they all come from the same class — the elites of what is becoming known as the Globalist American Empire. These are the people who, no matter the crisis, always manage to come out on top. After the financial crisis, they benefited.
As China rises, they benefit (nowhere is this clearer than in the case of Disney). As the pandemic spread from that same country, they benefited. If you measure America’s success by the prosperity of its citizens, the strength of its industrial base, its international reputation, its cohesion and national unity, then the country is not in good shape.
But if you measure it by the fortunes of the Globalist American Empire’s elites, things have never been better. The 2020s and the 1920s might, in the end, not look very different at all.
The only thing that threatens them is the danger of uprising from below, the danger that the people might somehow wrest back control of the system. The elites had a big scare in 2016, first with Brexit, and then with an even bigger scare a few months later when Trump won the election.
The elites eventually captured that administration, killing its radical energy, as they have done many times before. But the sense of panic was palpable — just look at the leaked video of Google’s town hall meeting following that election. They believed that a popular revolution had just taken place.
After a year in which Trump was ushered from office and governments around the world forced their citizens to stay in their homes, wear masks, and basically do as they’re told, Sun Valley’s attendees might be celebrating the setbacks for populism, and the restoration of their power over the uppity masses of the world.
But they must surely also be aware, at this point, of the fragility of their own wealth and power. Of how close they came to losing it all. Counter-revolutions, after all, are historically quite fleeting things. For the wiser of Sun Valley’s billionaires, there will be some nervousness amidst the celebration as well.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.