HomeArticleSix Things We Can Learn About US Plutocracy By Looking At Jeff Bezos

Six Things We Can Learn About US Plutocracy By Looking At Jeff Bezos

I often look at Jeff Bezos when trying to understand how American oligarchy functions for a few reasons.

Firstly, currently occupying the number one slot on Forbes’ billionaires list, he is the top dog. He figured out how to play the plutocracy game quickly, and how to play it better than anyone else.

Second, our civilization is currently headed on a clear trajectory deeper and deeper into Orwellian tech dystopia if we don’t turn things around or drive humanity into extinction first. The new money tech plutocrats own the foundation of that dark future, and we should all keep a very, very close eye on them on general principles as well as to get a read on where things are headed.

Lastly and most importantly, as a new money plutocrat Bezos has had to build his empire with high visibility in the information age. The old money plutocrats built their kingdoms in much darker times, with some families setting the foundations of their rule hundreds of years ago when there was very little in the way of newspaper coverage, and certainly no alternative media scrutinizing power. Bezos’ wheelings and dealings are above ground to a much greater extent, because he’s had to do everything in the public eye.

With that in mind, here are six things we can learn about how US plutocracy operates by looking at Jeff Bezos.

1. The rich rule America because of a system wherein money translates directly into political power.

Amazon has increased its spending on Washington lobbying by 400 percent in the last five years, far in excess of its competition. Bezos hasn’t been doing this to be charitable. With growing antitrust concerns, taxation to avoid, lucrative Pentagon deals to secure, and what some experts are describing as an agenda to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy, he needs Washington on his side.

Plutocrats do not pour large fortunes into lobbying campaigns without reason. They do it because it works.

A 2014 study by Princeton University found that while wealthy Americans have a great deal of sway over US policy and behavior, ordinary Americans have virtually none. This is because corporate lobbying and campaign financing have made the bribery of public officials perfectly legal as plutocrat-championed legislation like 1976’s Buckley v. Valeo, 1978’s First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti as well as the infamous Citizens United v. FEC has created a system where money translates directly into political power.

2. Because money equals power and power is relative, plutocrats are naturally incentivized to keep the public poor.

Plutocrats necessarily rule such an oligarchic system as surely as kings rule a kingdom. But if everyone is king, then no one is king. If your entire empire is built on a system where money equals power, then you are necessarily incentivized to keep money out of the hands of the public while amassing as much as possible for yourself.

The larger the Amazon empire grows, the more of its competition dies and the lower wages get. At the hottest point in the 2016 Democratic party primary, Bezos’ Washington Post ran sixteen smear pieces in sixteen hours against Senator Bernie Sanders, who is largely responsible for bringing the word “oligarchy” into mainstream consciousness.

Sanders famously ran a campaign powered by small donations averaging 27 dollars. The less money people have, the less of those kinds of donations they can afford to make, and the less political influence the masses can wield. With a majority of Americans already unable to afford even a thousand dollar emergency, it doesn’t take much more squeeze to kill all hope of another populist insurgency of that sort.

Power is relative and money is power, so the poorer you are, the more powerful the plutocrats become.

3. Controlling the media is very important to plutocrats.

Jeff Bezos, the most crafty plutocrat alive, did not purchase the Washington Post in 2013 because he expected newspapers to make a lucrative resurgence. He purchased it so that he could ensure exactly what WaPo did to Bernie Sanders in 2016. The neoliberal Orwellian establishment that Bezos is building his empire upon requires a propaganda mouthpiece, so Bezos purchased a long-trusted US newspaper to accomplish that. WaPo is now easily the most virulently pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not just defending establishment narratives but actively attacking anyone who challenges them.

The current system which only serves the wealthy and the powerful cannot exist without nonstop advertising convincing the American public that the status quo is in their best interest. Plutocrat-owned corporate media is used to manufacture consent for that system; for the economic system, for the wars which prop it up, for the politicians which the plutocrats own and operate, for the political system which they have infiltrated every level of. The ability to manipulate the way the public thinks is an essential part of plutocratic rule.

4. Plutocrats form alliances with defense and intelligence agencies.

Jeff Bezos is a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board. He is doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built, up to and including kicking WikiLeaks off Amazon servers in 2010. This dances very creepily with Amazon’s involvement in surveillance systems and digital “assistance” devices like Alexa.

If you want to be a millionaire in the current system, you can probably do so with luck, privilege, talent and hard work. If you want to be a billionaire, you’ve got to learn how to collaborate with existing power structures. Due to the extreme opacity of those power structures in America hidden behind the veil of government secrecy, it is hard to know exactly what forms those alliances take, but they clearly do happen as a glance at Bezos’ career shows.

5. The people willing to do anything it takes to get to the top are the ones who get there.

Normal human beings would have a difficult time knowing businesses are dying and workers are getting poorer as their empire grows. Jeff Bezos just keeps growing. He will happily collaborate with depraved intelligence agencies, manipulate and propagandize Americans, and expand the gulf between the rich and the poor just to be king of the world.

This is the sort of person who rises to the top in unregulated capitalist systems. Money rewards people who have shut down (or are born without) that part of themselves which empathizes and is made uncomfortable by exploiting and harming others. In a system where money rewards sociopathy and money equals power, that means we necessarily wind up in a system that is ruled by sociopaths. Those plutocrats form alliances with each other and with defense and intelligence agencies to ensure the continuation and expansion of their empires, and that alliance is currently king of America.

6. It will never be enough for them.

Jeff Bezos is worth 131.5 billion dollars as of this writing, and he is getting more ambitious, not less. He doesn’t need that money to buy more stuff; it isn’t about money for him. It’s about power. The impulse to rise to the top of your monkey tribe is an impulse buried deep within our evolutionary heritage, and when that impulse isn’t checked by empathy for your fellow man it creates an unquenchable drive to grow and grow in invincible power no matter what kind of suffering that creates.

This explains why the world is the way it is today, with billionaires making so much money last year alone that they could end extreme poverty for our entire planet seven times over, but don’t. With Americans dying of underinsurance and exposure on the streets while billions of dollars are poured into bombing poor people overseas. With tensions escalating between two nuclear superpowers over some petty geopolitical agendas. With the Arctic warming at an astonishing rate while rainforests and biodiversity vanish perhaps forever.

It will never be enough. They will keep taking and taking and taking and taking, killing and killing and killing and killing, until they have it all and everything is dead. They lack the part of themselves which stops that from happening. This is a vehicle with no brakes.

We need to change the system which enables these depraved individuals to rise to the top and rule over us. Governments should serve people, not omnicidal, ecocidal sociopathic oligarchs. We must take our world back from these monsters.


Thanks for reading! My daily articles are entirely reader-funded, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, bookmarking my website, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying my new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!

Latest comments

  • You wrote: “The neoliberal Orwellian establishment that Jeff Bezos is building his empire upon requires a propaganda mouthpiece, so Bezos purchased a long-trusted US newspaper to accomplish that. WaPo is now easily the most virulently pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications”

    The “long-trusted” Washington Post was purchased in 1933 by Eugene Meyer Jr., former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and a member of the Rockefeller CFR. The paper, controlled by the Meyer-Graham family for over 80 years, has always been closely tied to the CFR / CIA establishment and the “liberal world order” promoted by oligarchs including David Rockefeller. See “Operation Mockingbird” led by CIA director (and CFR member) Allen Dulles for example. Same stuff, different generation.

  • I view Jeff Bozos as I view Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson. They are all part of a group of entrepreneurs who took an idea and made something of it. Like everyone who gains rapid wealth, they start to think themselves omnipotent and wiser than the majority of individuals. Let’s face it, at least 46% of the population, worldwide are perfectly content to let someone else take care and provide a support system so they don’t have to work harder. Why work to pay all your bills, when someone makes it easy for one to remain supported.
    I do have problems with the rich creating ghetto situations e.g. Silicon Valley, or utilizing the welfare system to not pay employees fair wages, e.g. Walmart. I follow the philosophy that one doesn’t need a 90% profit line for a business to succeed and if business takes care of its low-end workers, they will take care of the business. Especially since I worked at a company, that paid the CEO to destroy the business and eliminate the high labor costs by lowering staff numbers while raising production levels. The newest company to fall into this situation is Toy R Us. Think of all the workers forced out with no viable jobs in their future except maybe qualifying for welfare benefits if they can hide assets.
    Jeff Bozos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson will be bringing us to the future via space exploration paid by private money (theirs). Unfortunately or not, they are entitled to whatever they earn. We, the ones earning a living need to ask for pay equal to our input and not accept the status quo of getting handouts.

  • I don’t quite boycott Jeff Bezos like I do Koch Industries, Nestle and a few others. Instead, Amazon has become my source of last resort – but only when I have to buy a specific gift for someone and cannot get it anywhere else but Amazon. I will never buy anything else from him due to his narcissism, power mongering and willingness to spread CIA-based propaganda. He is the poster child for what ails America most.

  • I am sorry for belaboring this, but after unsuccessfully trying to do a simple copy/paste of the URL of a very revealing video about Jeff Bezos below, (EXPOSED) from my YouTube Favorites archives, I went back and discovered that Winston “Google” Smith has now wiped out my entire body of Favorite videos that I had been accumulating for years.

    P.S. Don’t even try to download videos on YouTube of the Sane Progressive. You’ll just encounter more disturbing activity.

  • They don’t want you to watch this video: EXPOSED: The Richest Man in the World Hoax.

    Every time I do a paste into a browser I get the EXPOSED video, but 3 times now I’ve pasted the exact same URL into Caitlin’s comment section and it comes up with Naomi Wolfe.

    I don’t know what else to say except I have been having very strange eavesdropping type activity on my computer and cell and this effort to post is of a piece.

    Again, I apologize for mucking up the posts multiple times, but watch the video they don’t want you to see!

    • Caitlin, an ironic note: the link to buy your book takes one to Amazon to buy it. Could you provide a non-Bezos source for it?

      • Exactly! Can I buy your book directly from you. I want ALL the $ to go to you, with no whores involved.

  • Hey I know I am copy/pasting the correct URL. Sorry to junk thinks up, but I paste the correct URL in my browser and I see the video I’m trying to post: EXPOSED: The Richest Man in the World Hoax.

    And yet what keeps getting posted here is Naomi Wolf. I’m going to try one more time. I apologize in advance if it doesn’t play, but FYI, besides this kerfluffle, I’ve been having some very strange computer happenings of late.

  • Doh, wrong video. Naomi is good too, though. 🙂

  • Bezos is mere first-generation wealth. A drop in the bucket compared to the trillionaires who have multi-generational wealth.

    Check out why Bezos is just the front-puppet billionaire du jour.

leave a comment