Human Connectedness and the Disconnected Power Elite of America

horiz-long grey



I was emotional. They are only fossils,

but they have been human beings and

very quickly you make a connection with

these people who lived and died here

300,000 years ago.

Dr.Jean-Jacques Hublin

Human connectedness, the existence of a positive, physical, visual or mental association between two or more human beings is like a chain across time. Searching for one’s ancestry through DNA testing, for example, is one way to lengthen the chain. As for Dr. Hublin, a paleontologist and director of the Department of Human Development at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, simply seeing and holding the fossils got him emotionally connected to human beings 300,000 years old.1  They weren’t his known ancestors. They were simply human beings like him. He had immediately bonded with them so to speak. I get the same feeling simply from viewing pictures of the fossils.

The Disconnectedness of America’s Power Elite

If all human beings had the same positive sense of connectedness the world would not be what it is, a place inhabited by countless human beings living in misery and subjugated and terrorized by evil regimes. As it is, there probably have been few if any cultures or countries throughout history that have not been plagued by a certain tiny percentage of people I will call the power elite. And throughout history America remains the land of the most powerful and dangerous power elite in the world. America’s power elite alone is directly responsible for wars, violent regime changes to install puppet rulers, and for human suffering of all kinds on a large scale.

Some Self Portraits of America’s Power Elite

What country can preserve its liberties

if their rulers are not warned from time to

time that their people preserve the spirit

of resistance? let them take arms. what

signify a few lives lost in a century or

two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed

from time to time with the blood of patriots

& tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was certainly disconnected from the common folk. What did he care if some of their blood was spilt for the sake of another revolution?2

–I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of

bringing about in any way the social and political

equality of the white and black races—and I as much

as any other man am in favor of having the superior

position assigned to the white race.”

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln was a racist, disconnected from slaves.3 His Civil War, the most deadly for Americans of any U.S. military intervention, was launched not to free the slaves but to maintain the ability to expand the nation’s territory and with it greater markets and resources.

I can hire one-half of the working class

to kill the other half.

Jay Gould

Jay Gould was a ruthless railroad tycoon and one of 24 robber barons during America’s gilded age in the late 1800’s.4 

…I should welcome almost any war,

for I think this country needs one.

Theodore Roosevelt

Despite what he said publicly about matters of war and peace, what the consummate warrior in chief wrote to a confidant reveals his true contempt for the common people.5

Scare the Hell out of the American people.

Arthur Vandenberg

The disdain for the American people shown by Senator Vandenberg in advising President Truman on how to peddle his proposed Truman Doctrine is pro forma for America’s power elite.6 

Why do you care about the serfs?

Nick Rockefeller

Nick Rockefeller is a member of the Rockefeller dynasty and thus also a current member of America’s power elite that speaks and acts in unison. His question was in response to the late Hollywood director and activist Aaron Russo saying in rejection of Rockefeller’s invitation to join the Council of Foreign Relations that he “had no interest in enslaving people.”7

The immigration of Jews from the Soviet

Union is not an objective of American

Foreign policy, and if they put Jews

into gas chambers in the Soviet Union,

it is not an American concern.

Henry Kissinger


—-a massive bombing campaign [involving]

anything that flies or anything that moves.

Henry Kissinger

The above two quotes are among “the top 10 most inhuman Henry Kissinger Quotes” compiled by the late journalist, Fred Branfman.8

Medea Benjamin, peace activist and former Nobel nominee for the Peace Prize, after dangling handcuffs and holding signs that said “Arrest Kissinger for War Crimes,” was tossed out of a Senate hearing where Kissinger was about to testify. In writing about her experience, Ms Benjamin quoted the late Christopher Hitchens who said that “Kissinger should have the door shut in his face by every decent person and should be shamed, ostracized, and excluded.”9

I think this is a very hard choice, but

the price—we think the price is worth it,”

Madeleine Albright

That was the heartless answer the former Secretary of State gave to reporter Lesley Stahl’s question about whether the price of sanctions against Iran were worth it considering half a million children died as a result.10

And before any strike is taken, there

must be near- certainty that no

civilians will be killed or injured-

the highest standard we can set.

Barack Obama

Obama’s statement is a perfect example of human disconnectedness and moral rationalization and disingenuousness about decisions that have cost countless civilians’ lives.11 Obama clearly sidestepped a higher standard, that of human morality, or even that of animal morality since few species massively kill their own.

You go into Afghanistan, you got guys

who slap women around for five years

because they didn’t wear a veil. You know,

guys like that ain’t got no manhood left

anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to

shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight

them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot.

It’s fun to shoot some people.

Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
U.S. Secretary of Defense War

Need more be added about this particular specimen?12

I don’t care how it’s done or its consequences

as long as it boosts our bottom line. And don’t

tell me how it was done.

Archetypical Corporate CEO

In an earlier article I described 255 real incidents of corporate wrongdoing that ranged from the mundane to the deadly.13 The most egregious of them could not have been done without either the explicit or implicit order from the corner office (e.g., causing more climate change from production and waste than any other source; diluted cancer drugs to boost profits; exports for sale more weapons than any other country; makes and sells products deliberately intended to kill; finances wars; launders drug money; builds cars “unsafe at any speed;” etc.).

Questions About the Power Elite

What is it about this tiny class of people throughout the history of the world that makes them so disconnected to, so contemptuous of, and so deliberately harmful to the rest of humanity? What causes them to be the opposite of what it means to be human in the view of Professor John McDonnell Tierney? To him, being human means being caring, compassionate, and kind sentient entity-stewards of the Earth.”14 

I am going to break down these two general questions into three specific ones.

1. Evil?

Evil means profound immorality. As this definition goes, evil is simply the deepest of immorality, so should we not expect to find among the power elite some profoundly evil members?  Does it also go without saying that lesser degrees of immorality abound among the power elite? A.Q. Smith, a progressive journalist, undoubtedly would think so for he has concluded that “it’s basically just immoral to be rich,” and adds that “people who possess great wealth in a time of poverty are directly causing that poverty.”15 For me a clear sign of immoral behavior is when the ends of power and wealth justify the means of achieving those ends, and the means always involve wrongdoing from the mundane to the heinous.

2. Pathological?

Chris Hedges, journalist, broadcaster, and prolific author, regards the “pathology of the rich white family [to be] the most dangerous pathology in America—cursed with too much money and privilege [and] devoid of empathy, the result of lifetimes of entitlement.” That statement was just his opening salvo in a long article that ends with: “They steal with greater finesse than anyone else.”16   

Psychologist William Hirstein has mined the expansive field of research and authoritative opinion on what a psychopathic personality is. Its signature attribute was deemed by the medical profession in the early 1800’s to be that of “moral depravity” or “moral insanity.” Other attributes now included by authorities are uncaring, shallow emotions, irresponsibility, insincere speech, overconfidence, and selfishness.17 

Consider for a moment just the 43 U.S. presidents long enough in office to be surrogate murderers and have some experts give us their opinion, which is that being psychopathic fits every single one of them.18 Their assessments go as far as Obama, but we can turn now to a prestigious panel of psychiatrists who concluded before his first 100 days in office that President Trump “has a dangerous mental illness [and] is paranoid and delusional.”19 

3. Greedy?

Are the powerful elite “cursed with too much money, as Mr. Hedges contends, or are they cursed with wanting even more money? Considering the previous two questions, the answer to this third one might seem irrelevant except that greed motivates evil and pathological people.

In Closing

Can you just imagine if they were to read the quoted remarks of some of their revered, iconic leaders what the responses would be from most Americans, having been indoctrinated from early formative years forward by the power elite to see what they believe?

By the way, what, if I may ask, are your answers to the three questions, and do you have more to raise and answer?


1. Sample, I. Oldest Homo Sapiens Bones Ever Found Shake Foundations of the Human Story. Science, June 19, 2017.

2. Jefferson, T. A Rebellion or Revolution is Needed Every 20 Years! Amin, October 8, 2011.

3. Zinn, H. A People’s History of the United States.  Harper Perennial, 2005, p. 188.

4. Lubin, G., Kelley, M.B., and Wile R. Meet the 24 Robber Barons Who Once Ruled America. Business Insider, March 20, 2012.

5. Crucible of Empire.

6. Skidmore, D. Reversing Course: Carter’s Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and the Failure of Reform. Vanderbilt University Press, 1996, p. 17.

7. Watson, P.J. Rockefeller Admitted Elite Goal of Microchipped Population. Prison Planet, January 29, 2007.

8. Branfman, F. The Top 10 Most Inhuman Henry Kissinger Quotes. Alter Net, February 12, 2016.

9. Benjamin, M. Will the Real “Low-Life Scum” Please Stand Up? OpEdNews, February 4, 2015; see also, Hitchens, C. The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Twelve, 2012.

10. 60 Minutes, May 12, 1996.

11. Vitkovskaya, J. 9 Revealing Staments  Obama Has Made About Transparency and Drone Strikes. The Washington Post, July 1, 2016.

12. Floores, R., Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis: 7 Memorable Quotes. CBS NEWS December 2, 2016.

13. Brumback, G. An Evil Root.  OpEdNews, March 8; Dissident Voice, March 15; The Greanville Post, March 20; Uncommon Thought Journal, March 21, 2017.

14. Tierney, J.M. On Being Human, Dreamsinger Little Books, 2011.

15. Smith, A.Q. It’s Basically Just Immoral To Be Rich. Current Affairs, March 30, 2017.

16. Hedges, C. The Pathology of the Rich White Family. TruthDig, May 17, 2015.

17. Hirstein, W. What Is a Psychopath? Psychology Today, January 30, 2013.

18. Howard, J. Psychopathic Personality Traits Linked With U.S. Presidential Success, Psychologists Suggest. The Huffington Post, September 13, 2012. See also, Frank, J. Bush on the Couch. Harper Perennial, 2005; and Frank, J. Obama on the Couch. Free Press, 2012.

19. Bulman, M. Donald Trump has ‘Dangerous Mental Illness’, Say Psychiatry Experts at Yale Conference. Independent News, April 21, 2017. 

About the Author
 Gary Brumback, PhD is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. He is the author of The Devil’s Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; and America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying. His most recent book is Corporate Reckoning Ahead. Gary can be reached at:  

Chris Hedges, journalist, broadcaster, and prolific author, regards the “pathology of the rich white family [to be] the most dangerous pathology in America—cursed with too much money and privilege [and] devoid of empathy, the result of lifetimes of entitlement.” That statement was just his opening salvo in a long article that ends with: “They steal with greater finesse than anyone else.”

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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 

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4 thoughts on “Human Connectedness and the Disconnected Power Elite of America

  1. One hesitates to call the USA establishment elite or even aristocratic because that implies a certain type of honorable behavior imposed on those who wield power and who wish to appear benevolent. In many lands like Japan, China, Iran and Italy there was indeed a strict code for what were considered civilized manners. Even in medieval France there was courteous social interchange by the elites. No such fashion appears after the industrial revolution whereby a new class of bourgeois owners felt it was unnecessary to develop any kind of code because the mechanization of capitalist society imposed an alienation from each other in the struggling masses. Social bonds became opportunistic and family ties were broken so that loyalty and a sense of belonging disappeared into the void, all to fit workers into a productive but anonymous unthreatening crowd. But to make them still feel that they were part of an expanding and egalitarian economy, these workers were indoctrinated with the petty bourgeois fear of losing what they had earned. The whole credit system in the USA is built upon that premise of increasing alienation of surplus value by bondage of the public into debt. The high bourgeois (misnamed equestrian classes by the ‘elite’ writer Gore Vidal) is what constitutes the over-classes in USA society, those whose incomes surpass imagination (reason why they are safe from a proletarian insight), but who share the very same petty-bourgeois attitudes of the middle classes. ‘Fear eats the soul’ as a perfect title of a French 1950’s movie goes and it is not that they fear the masses, but they fear losing smidgens of their fortunes. It is a pre-eminent bourgeois attitude and therefore the USA over-classes do not rise above their bourgeois origins. Their excesses are pedestrian, distasteful and often dishonorable and certainly never civilized.

  2. Are rich families of color the same as rich families not of color? I ask because I don’t personally know any rich families, or rich individuals. I do know that the US middle class have, over the past 35 years, lost the human capacity for empathy. This is clearly reflected in our policies, in the public discussion, even in today’s liberal media. That ‘”human connection” has largely been rooted out of the American consciousness since the 1980s. We are reduced to a self-absorbed, survival-of-the-fittest culture, and we have no mercy on those who are left behind. That’s just the way it is today.

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