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Why billionaires are obsessed with bunkers - Business

Why billionaires are obsessed with bunkers – Business

When Armageddon arrives, the billionaires try to find an escape. Even so often, this only aggravates the problems they want to run away from…

A few years ago, Douglas Rushkoff, an economics professor in New York, was invited to give a speech at a very high-end resort in an American desert. Rushkoff was planning to give a lecture to bankers and businessmen about a book he had written on the Internet. But when he arrived there, he found himself face to face with half a dozen billionaires, CEOs of technology companies and heads of ultra-rich hedge funds.

The men were torn by a difficult choice in their eyes: New Zealand or Alaska? They feared the world was headed for some kind of “environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, incurable virus or computer hack that would bring it all down,” Mr Rushkoff says. They wanted to know which area would be the safest to retreat to from these disasters. They were asking Douglas Rushkoff for answers because he had written “Present Shock,” a book about the future of technology.

This anecdote shows how colossal sums are invested in “protection” systems against an “imminent disaster”. In recent decades, more and more individuals have also prepared for major crises. A series of events, from September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina, to rising tensions between North Korea and the West and the spread of different conspiracy theories, have fueled fears of a collapse of our society.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revived the threat of nuclear war. Just last week, the insurance group Axa published a survey showing that in Western countries four out of five people feel more vulnerable than five years ago.

This survey also revealed a significant drop in public confidence in the ability of politicians or scientists to deal with these threats. This has prompted the super-rich to take refuge in luxury bunkers, super-yachts, or both.

The moment of survival

The second reason why Rushkoff’s story is compelling is that the desire to organize life in the bunkers can exacerbate the problems. The more billionaires think they have the power to escape the apocalypse, the less they feel this force of desperation to try to prevent this apocalypse, claims Rushkoff in his new book “Survival of the Richest”.

Some super-rich believe this criticism is unfair. This reflex to protect oneself, and to protect one’s family, from any threat is a universal human instinct, the instinct of survival. Many people, including the wealthiest, think they are trying to counter threats. Bill Gates, for example, is investing billions in health care and the fight against climate change.

But no billionaire can solve the catastrophic risks of climate change, pandemic or war alone. We all need cooperation between the public and private sectors. Hopefully, this renewed anxiety will inspire us to seek solutions elsewhere, because otherwise, the future is frightening, even from a bunker, no matter how luxurious.

(Source: Trends/FinancialTimes)

A few years ago, Douglas Rushkoff, an economics professor in New York, was invited to give a speech at a very high-end resort in an American desert. Rushkoff was planning to give a lecture to bankers and businessmen about a book he had written on the Internet. But when he got there, he found himself face to face with half a dozen billionaires, CEOs of tech companies and ultra-rich hedge fund managers. The men were torn by a tough choice in their eyes: New Zealand or Alaska? They feared the world was headed for some kind of “environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, incurable virus or computer hack that would bring it all down,” Mr Rushkoff says. They wanted to know which area would be the safest to retreat to from these disasters. They demanded answers from Douglas Rushkoff because he had written “Present Shock”, a book on the future of technology. This anecdote shows how colossal sums are invested in systems of “protection” against a “catastrophe imminent”. In recent decades, more and more individuals have also prepared for major crises. A series of events, from September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina, to rising tensions between North Korea and the West and the spread of different conspiracy theories, have fueled fears of a collapse of our society. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revived the threat of nuclear war. Just last week, the insurance group Axa published a survey showing that in Western countries four out of five people feel more vulnerable than five years ago. This survey also revealed a significant drop in confidence that the population places in the ability of politicians or scientists to deal with these threats. This prompted the super-rich to take refuge in luxury bunkers, super-yachts, or both. life in bunkers can exacerbate problems. The more billionaires think they have the power to escape the apocalypse, the less they feel this force of desperation to try to prevent this apocalypse, claims Rushkoff in his new book “Survival of the Richest”. consider this criticism to be unfair. This reflex to protect oneself, and to protect one’s family, from any threat is a universal human instinct, the instinct of survival. Many people, including the wealthiest, think they are trying to counter threats. Bill Gates, for example, is investing billions in health care and the fight against climate change. But no billionaire can solve the catastrophic risks of climate change, a pandemic or war alone. We all need cooperation between the public and private sectors. Hopefully this renewed anxiety will inspire us to seek solutions elsewhere, because otherwise the future is frightening, even from a bunker, no matter how luxurious. (Sources: Trends/Financial Times)

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