I just got around to reading a post at ZeroHedge that republishes and article that first appeared at The Mises Institute. I don't normally follow Libertarian sites, but I do try to keep an open mind. I've read various Libertarian authors--Hayek in particular--and freely acknowledge that I agree with much of what he has to say. It's simply that I disagree with Libertarianism as a global explanatory theory, or theory of everything.
Anyway, the piece has a title that's sure to attract the interest of people like me:
As usual, you don't need to agree with everything the author says to derive some benefit from the article. The subject is Oligarchs, the ueber wealthy, the kind of people who turn up when the conversation turns to the Global Elite, the Great Reset, the ruling elite. You can get a pretty good idea of who these people are by looking at lists of donors to either major political party, or simply following the news to see who are the most influential people in the world. Of course, some fly under the radar, but for government work--so to speak--for the rough idea that forms the basis of the article, that will suffice.
What I'm reproducing here is the middle section of the article, which is what I found most insightful. No doubt many will find this old news, but the point is that the author expresses these insights well, in a readily digestible way. Obviously these insights can be extended greatly:
Bolsheviks and Billionaires
Although the Left has changed in its overall strategy, going from class-reductionist conflicts toward an identity politics focus over the course of the past century, there exist several commonalities between the contemporary left and its past iterations. Foremost of these is its elitist origins.
In his polemical work, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, economic historian Antony Sutton uncovered the oligarchical backing of Bolshevism—the twentieth century’s most destructive political movement in terms of the body count and economic mayhem it unleashed in countries that embraced its precepts.
Contrary to the mythology that leftist historians have created, Bolshevism was no spontaneous uprising of workers, but rather a movement of elite aspirants. Lenin himself counted on a law degree and worked as a writer and political activist during his time in exile while living in Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. Similar to Karl Marx, who relied on industrialist Friedrich Engels’s lavish patronage to subsidize his daily activities, prominent financiers such as Swedish banker Olof Aschberg helped bankroll Lenin and his revolutionary compatriots, Sutton’s work revealed.
It’s perhaps counterintuitive for financial heavyweights to throw their weight behind an individual and a movement advocating for the destruction of private property, but it makes sense when analyzing how rent-seeking economic actors behave in the context of state centralization.
The inherently centralist nature of socialist systems, even when policymakers make deviations around the margins, as seen with Lenin’s New Economic Policy, remains attractive to unscrupulous financial actors, who seek to exploit these features for the sake of easy profits while not facing any serious competition. Sutton observed how economic radicals and big financial interests can become strange bedfellows:
Bolshevists and bankers have then this significant common ground—internationalism. Revolution and international finance are not at all inconsistent if the result of revolution is to establish more centralized authority. International finance prefers to deal with central governments. The last thing the banking community wants is laissez-faire economy and decentralized power because these would disperse power.
Likewise, Ludwig von Mises acknowledged in Omnipotent Government how the salt of the earth are not the ones responsible for making collectivist political movements mainstream:
It is not true that the dangers to the maintenance of peace, democracy, freedom, and capitalism are a result of a “revolt of the masses.” They are an achievement of scholars and intellectuals, of sons of the well-to-do, of writers and artists pampered by the best society. In every country of the world dynasties and aristocrats have worked with the socialists and interventionists against freedom.
I see that I've bolded or highlighted virtually the entire section.