Fuck It, We’re All Screwed
Wisdom found only by riding in cabs at your Billionaire wife’s expense (when you’re not putting it on the tab of The New York Times who can always just pay their female editors less).
I think I’ll plan to go from Kiev to Hanoi more often. It’s only when you go to two seemingly disconnected places that you see the big trends, and one of the big ones I’ve noticed is the emergence of “The Square People.”
In 2004, the Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote about an emerging global “superclass” of “Davos Men” – alluding to attendees of the Davos World Economic Forum – a transnational, cosmopolitan elite drawn from high-tech, finance, multinationals, academics and NGOs. The Davos Men had “little need for national loyalty” and more in common with each other than their fellow citizens, Huntington argued. They also had the skills to disproportionately benefit from the new globalization of markets and information technologies.
Well, a decade later, as the I.T. revolution and globalization have been democratized and diffused – as we’ve gone from laptops for elites to smartphones for everyone, from networking for the lucky few at Davos to Facebook for all and from only the rich heard in the halls of power to everyone being able to talk back to their leaders on Twitter – a new global political force is aborning, bigger and more important than Davos Men. I call them The Square People.
They are mostly young, aspiring to a higher standard of living and more liberty, seeking either reform or revolution (depending on their existing government), connected to one another either by massing in squares or through virtual squares or both, and united less by a common program and more by a shared direction they want their societies to go. We’ve seen them now in the squares of Tunis, Cairo, Istanbul, New Delhi, Damascus, Tripoli, Beirut, Sana, Tehran, Moscow, Rio, Tel Aviv and Kiev, as well as in the virtual squares of Saudi Arabia, China and Vietnam.
See, if you own a TV and a refrigerator you’re not really poor.
Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
Next week’s guests-
The Daily Show
- Monday 5/19: James McAvoy
- Tuesday 5/20: Aneesh Chopra
- Wednesday 5/21: Timothy Geithner
- Thursday 5/22: Drew Barrymore
The Cobert Report
- Monday 5/19: Elizabeth Warren
- Tuesday 5/20: Matt Weiner
- Wednesday 5/21: Patrick Stewart
- Thursday 5/22: Ray Mabus
Wednesday is all mine. If you want another day have at.