Survival of the Richest

Five mysterious billionaires invited media theorist Douglas Rushkoff to a private conversation at a desert resort. They wanted to know how to survive the inevitable catastrophe that they knew was coming – environmental meltdown, political, social, and economic chaos, and perhaps worse.

Would New Zealand or Alaska fare any better? How soon could they expect to live on Mars? One asked, «How do I maintain authority over my security force after ‹the Event›?» Rushkoff realised they didn’t know who they were talking to. He was a media and technology theorist, not a techno-utopian futurist. He tried persuading them to invest in relationships and communities, advocating for partnership and solidarity. Didn’t they realize that they had the power to make a positive difference?

In his recent book, ‹Survival of the Richest,› Rushkoff explores the roots and manifestations of what he calls, ‹the mindset› that drives these ‹techno-oligarchs› and much of the culture downstream from them. It’s essentially an atheistic and materialistic scientism, that relies entirely on technology to solve problems and views human relationships as market phenomena. Its adherents want to become ‹meta› and overcome any human ‹disorder› by retreating to the metaverse, Mars, or dreams of immortality. Winning means protecting oneself from the damage they’re doing. Rushkoff came to realize that these billionaires are the actual losers. We too are doomed if we rely on them or their logic. Instead of linear, accelerated growth and endless technological breakthroughs, we need a return to the cyclical wisdom of nature, which is indeed limitless when not overloaded.

Image Wolfgang Hasselmann

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