A short note on just how good The Good Place is.
Athenians, as we’ve seen, seemed to assume that a gentleman normally lived a step or two ahead of his creditors. Roman politicians were little different. Of course much of the debt was money that members of the senatorial class owed to each other: in a way, it’s just the usual communism of the rich, extending credit to one another on easy terms that they would never think to offer others.
The peasants’ visions of communistic brotherhood did not come out of nowhere. They were rooted in real daily experience: of the maintenance of common fields and forests, of everyday cooperation and neighborly solidarity. It is out of such homely experience of everyday communism that grand mythic visions are always built. Obviously, rural communities were also divided, squabbling places, since communities always are—but insofar as they are communities at all, they are necessarily founded on a ground of mutual aid. The same, incidentally, can be said of members of the aristocracy, who might have fought endlessly over love, land, honor, and religion, but nonetheless still cooperated remarkably well with one another when it really mattered (most of all, when their position as aristocrats was threatened); just as the merchants and bankers, much as they competed with one another, managed to close ranks when it really mattered. This is what I refer to as the “communism of the rich,” and it is a powerful force in human history.
Or how Tahani Al-Jamil and her fellow 1% friends swapping real estate with each other in a 10 second gag on this ‘nicecore’ tv show is a great illustration of the concept of the ‘communism of the rich’ from David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years.
See also: ‘The Jet Set’ episode of Mad Men.
I’m sure there’s others too. Feel free to leave them in the comments 😉