Opinion

Billionaires Want to Survive the Apocalypse and Leave Us Behind

Rush Limbaugh offered his analysis of an article by Douglas Rushkoff who describes who describes a meeting with “five super-wealthy guys … from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world” who had questions about the future unrelated to the topic of one of the speakers. You can read Rush’s analysis here and the original article here.

What caught my attention was this paragraph:

The CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked: “How do I maintain authority over my security force after,” this climate collapse? His concern was, okay, he’s got a bunker, he’s gonna put his family in there and he’s gonna have a security force. He wanted to know how he maintains authority over them. In abject panic, with every man out for himself, how does he maintain the boss relationship? And they wanted to know how are they gonna pay these servants if there isn’t any money? Because they all think a full-fledged economic collapse is coming, along with the climate collapse that’s gonna cause the end of the earth. And they’re serious!

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These guys discussed for an hour, not the likelihood, but the guarantee that humanity, being human is going to destroy the earth.

“They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival.” Meaning, if a guard or employee went off the reservation, the boss could zap ’em with the disciplinary collar and bring ’em back. “Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers – if that technology could be developed in time. ”

With all their billions, instead of using their great wealth to help fix some of the things that are wrong with the world, their ultimate goal is to save themselves from whatever comes. At the same time, they are wielding great influence by supporting a political party that is all about social disruption.

[T]hey were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape. (The Guardian)

Their source of hope is technology. It’s their god. For them, “humans are nothing but information-processing objects.” Dehumanization began long before technology became king. Darwin disposed of man as anything special, and his followers made sure that humans were little more than meat machines kept alive by electrical impulses. So why not transplant what we are electrically into a robot or upload our brains to a nearly destructible robot body?

The problem with all of this is that we are human. Our natures are fallen, and when cornered, we do some very bad things.

There are a number of classic science fiction films I like. Forbidden Planet (1956), The Time Machine (1960), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and When Worlds Collide (1951) are three of my favorites. I’ve seen them multiple times.

The 1951 film When Worlds Collide is based on the 1933 science fiction novel co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer. In the film, scientists learn that a rogue star named Bellus is on a collision course with earth. The information is taken to the United Nations where Dr. Cole Hendron outlines a plan to build rocket “arks” to take a remnant of survivors to Zyra, the planet orbiting Bellus.

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After hearing Hendron’s report, “other scientists scoff at his claims, and he receives no support from the delegates to the United Nations.”

Not all hope is lost, however. “Hendron receives help from wealthy humanitarians, who arrange for a lease on a former proving ground to build an ark. To finance the construction, Hendron is forced to accept money from the wheelchair-bound business magnate Sidney Stanton” that would guarantee him a seat on the ship and a place in the new world.

Not everyone who works on the project will be able to go. A lottery will be used to pick who will board the rocket “ark.”

As the time nears for the launch, human nature takes over:

The cynical Stanton, knowing human nature, fears what the desperate lottery losers might do, so as a precaution, he has stockpiled weapons; Stanton’s suspicions prove to be well-founded. His much-abused assistant, Ferris, tries to add himself at gunpoint to the passenger manifest, only to be shot dead by Stanton. As a precaution, the selected women board the ship, while the chosen men wait just outside.

Shortly before blastoff, many of the lottery losers riot, taking up Stanton’s weapons to try to force their way aboard.

The fear of these hedge fund managers is legitimate. In the end, however, technology will not save them.

Like the business magnate Sidney Stanton in the fictional When World’s Collide, these hedge fund billionaires have no real regard for humanity. The only life that counts is their own, and they will do anything to protect themselves even if it means leaving everyone else behind.

They remind me of the three servants who were given money to invest by a nobleman. two of the men invested what had been given to them and were rewarded. The third servant “put away” his money “in a handkerchief.” The nobleman, who was a hard taskmaster feared by his servant, asked, “Then why did you not put the money in the bank, and having come [back from journey], I would have collected it with interest?” (Luke 19:11-27).

Jesus v. JerusalemThe parable is about the faithfulness of those in Jesus’ day in light of the predicted disaster that was about to befall their nation within a generation — the destruction of the temple by the Romans in AD 70 (Matt. 24:1-34). What do you do with your gifts, talents, money, and message in troubling times? When that disaster came, there would be a reckoning based on the command, “Do business until I come” (Luke 19:13), that is, when Jesus would come in judgment to that generation (Luke 21: 32). Who was faithful with the kingdom message? It wasn’t the end. It was a new beginning.1

Today’s tech giants and big-money guys have no real future to pursue. It’s been taken from them by the secularists who claim that we are evolved pond scum.

  1. See Joel McDurmon, Jesus v. Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51-20-26, Jesus’ Lawsuit Against Israel (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press, 2011), 128-132. []
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