Monday, September 30, 2019

Interest on Your Social Capital?

In the classic capitalist paradigm industrial production produces capital. Capital when deposited in a bank results in interest which is then added to the capital which in turn produces more interest. It’s an ongoing process that makes the rich richer. There's a Darwinian aspect to this scenario that actually has applications even in the dictatorship of the proletariat. Everyone knows that even the most egalitarian of systems is comprised of elites who are rewarded with privileges in the places of actual capital. A member of the Politburo in the old Soviet Union might, for instance, be given a plush dacha in the countryside that was tantamount say to a fortune five hundred executives house in the Hamptons. But one quality that's common to all ideologies is the notion of genius. The talented person establishes a beachhead that produces “interest.” The “interest” then results in “social capital.” Whether you're in Pyongyang, London, Moscow or New York, if you're Baryshnikov you’re going to have one up on a helluva a lot of dancers and your status and power will only increase with each production of your work. Martin Scorsese’s film about Jimmy Hoffa's hitman, The Irishman, is headlining the New York Film Festival. Scorsese's power and influence just keep growing. You see him directing this or producing that. If a classic of the cinema is being re-released Scorsese is likely to be the name behind it. Extremely talented individuals, a Martin Scorsese, a Steven King, a Frank Gehry in architecture, are like Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway),  Richard Branson (Virgin Atlantic and Galactic) and Elon Musk (Tesla). They dominate the marketplace, the way the robber barons cornered the industrial revolution. Further on a de facto basis most creatives cross over. Like Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates is a writer, but she’s also undoubtedly a business. Placido Domingo’s stock is falling but for other reasons.

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