The 99 and the 1

Whatever one thinks of the current plight of the 99%, throughout almost all of history, things were much worse for the vast majority of the population. In precapitalist ages, the average member of the economic 99%, if lucky enough to survive infancy, was consigned to a life of back-breaking work and poverty, constantly on the verge of famine, disease, and death.

The only individuals who did not have such a wretched life were the "1%" of old. This economic 1% was virtually identical with the state. It was made up of the French kings, the English lords, the Roman senators, the Egyptian viziers, and the Sumerian temple priests. The members of this elite lived in Olympian splendor: servants at their beck and call, as much food as they could possibly want, spacious homes, an abundance of jewelry, and a tremendous amount of leisure time.

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The Profound Significance of Social Harmony

In ancient Greek mythology, Eris, the goddess of strife, was often a villain. It was her scheming that led to the Trojan War, which, as Homer said, made "many a hero … prey to dogs and vultures."[1]

In ancient Rome, Concordia, goddess of social harmony, was one of the most dearly loved deities. Often the Romans would dedicate a new shrine to her after a civil strife was ended.

Which goddess has the greatest sway over the doings of men? Which state of affairs is the most natural? Concord or discord? Harmony or strife?

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