The mindset described in Douglas Rushkoff ’83’s new book (Princetonians, November issue) is like a bad imitation of an already bad novel, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the libertarian gospel. If you’ve never read it, it ends with the powerful, rich technocrats abandoning society, the entire world descending into chaos, billions of regular people left to their fates and dying, and the elite few who control entire industries holed up together in a safe, remote location, planning to rebuild the world according to their own ultra-capitalist, anti-democratic ideals. For a sardonic recent look at this mindset, I recommend watching the movie Don’t Look Up, with special attention to the character played by Mark Rylance.
The mere millionaires among us, if they embrace this worldview, might do well to consider that the billionaires consider them also to be disposable collateral damage on their journey to Rand’s utopia. After all, there won’t be enough seats on the spaceship for everyone, and in their world, those who have the most gold rule.