- Sep 2021
Exploring the consumption practices of the super-rich begins to highlight that they are best described as 'fast subjects' who dwell in what Castells (2000) terms the 'space of flows' rather than the 'space of places'.
Good terminology- space of flows, denoting the necessity of (carbon intensive) travel to move from one place to another. Seen from the 19th century, even the average car-driving citizen of the 20th century is elite. A 100 hp car, which is now almost an average power rating of most internal combustion engines, is the power equivalent to the 19th century analog of maintaining 100 horses.
while the super-rich may move through through world cities, their cosmopolitan practices and lifestyles rarely break out of the exclusive transnational spaces which stand at the intersecting points of particular corporate, capital, technological, information and cultural lines of flow.
The elites move in a world of their own. Embedded within the deteriorating spaces all around them, their privileged and exclusive spaces are like self-constructed lotus blossoms floating on a sea of muck, which their lifestyles have disproportionately helped create in the first place. The geographic juxtapostion of these two spaces is stark, as illustrated in images such as those of Cape Town’s elite neighborhoods nextdoor to crowded townships. Wealth and privilege live side by side poverty.
it is apparent that the global elite must be regarded as transnational to the extent that they share similar global lifestyles. For Short and Kim (1999) the lifestyles of global managers present perhaps the clearest evidence that the shared consumption of similar goods and images is resulting in the creation of global lifestyles. Moving from city to city, the global managerial class characteristically occupies a series of corporate spaces designed for the international business traveller: international airports, business hotels, executive clubs, corporate health suites, restaurants and so on. The mobility of global managers is, however, eclipsed by that of the global super-rich. They are able to move easily from nation to nation by executive jet (rather than travelling by business class); they stay only in five-star hotels; they are able to access exclusive clubs and restaurants, they frequent ultra-expensive resorts in all continents, and collect the objet d'arts which can only be obtained in the most exclusive shops and auction houses. In short, their space-time routines centre on a globally-diffuse set of spaces regarded as 'the right places to see and be seen'. It is the nature of these spaces that we explore in our next section.
The Deep Humanity challenge then, is to achieve an education program for these super-elites that shift aspirations from the extremely high carbon footprint lifestyle to a more frugal, within-planetary- boundary one. Without the context of a dedicated trans-disciplinary Human Inner Transformation (HIT) protocol, a scalable approach may prove challenging.
- rich and famous
- cosmopolitan lifestyle
- Global lifestyles
- instsntgram lifestyle
- jetse lifestyle
- Spaces of flow
- Transnational lifestyle
- Exclusive transnational spaces
- high carbon lifestyle
- Transnational spaces
- Cosmopolitan practices