Beta Culture: The Stench of Royalty

I’m convinced there are two major classes of people on Planet Earth, with a very sharp dividing line — almost a species division — between them.

The two classes are:

1) Real People.

2) Cattle.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the second category. Just as I am.

Writing the most recent post Beta Culture: To Not Be Owned, I came across this rather annoying article from the 2011 Business Insider, The World’s 15 Biggest Landowners.

Here they are in reverse order, the owners and their total owned area (If it helps, one square mile equals 640 acres, or 2.59 square kilometers.):

15) Ted Turner, 3,124 square miles
14) Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa of Qatar, 4,375 square miles
13) James, Arthur and John Irving, 5,625 square miles
12) King Mswati of Swaziland, 6,704 square miles
11) Emir of Kuwait, 6,875 square miles
10) King Letsie 111 of Lesotho, 11,718 square miles
9) King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, 15,000 square miles
8) King Abdullah II of Jordan, 35,637 square miles
7) King Gyanendra of Nepal, 57,000 square miles
6) Sultan Qaboos of Oman, 119,498 square miles
5) King Bhumibhol of Thailand, 200,000 square miles
4) King Mohammed VI of Morocco, 274,375 square miles
3) Pope Benedict/Catholic Church, 276,562.5 square miles
2) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, 830,000 square miles
1) Queen Elizabeth II, 10.3 million square miles

Granted a few of these seem largely ceremonial, and not all the “owners” are hand-rubbing, cackling Mr. Burns-type evil landlords, but … Holy Skettymon(*)! Really? REALLY??

The area of Texas is only 270,000 square miles, which means the top four on this list, royalty every one, each own areas larger than Texas.

Two of these are U.S. billionaires, one is a church, the remaining dozen are royalty.  Between the lot of them, they own 12,146,493 square miles of the surface of the Earth. As the total land surface area of this planet is only 57,308,738 square miles, these FIFTEEN rich bastards own 21 percent of our planet.

To which I say: Well … CRAP.

And here I thought royalty was an amusing relic of the past.

As to Beta Culture: This business spotlights a continuing problem with where and when we live — that we are classed and outclassed by certain social forces, and that it might be appropriate to become a bit more assertive about that.

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(*) In case you wonder, I love the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but I’ve often wanted some easier way to speak His Holy Name in informal usage.  I’ve decided that for me, at least, “Skettymon” is that easier way. It’s short, has a nice punchy sound, and in its final syllable even lightly graces the Pasta with Rasta.

It came to me in a vision, I swear.

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  • Stevarious

    The key component in keeping the second type content is to convince them that they, too, can become one of the first type, if they just work a little harder every day.

    • Hank Fox

      Bread and circuses! Sound and fury! Flashing lights, big bangs, public spectacles! Famous people doing outrageous things, contests where ordinary people win millions! … And a media machine that draws attention away from everyday real life.

  • Neeroc

    Well, hell. I guess Lizzy can pay my taxes and cut my lawn then!

    (It also seems they’ve conveniently neglected to account for any Crown Grants or Letters Patents – http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/CrownLand/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_088570.html Which might mean I’m back to cutting my own lawn. *g*)

  • Mick

    Just as a matter of interest — about 100 years ago Sidney Kidman owned 3% of Australia (approximately 90,000 square miles). Today ‘S Kidman & Co’ own about half that amount (45,000 square miles). Just one cattle station (Anna Creek in South Australia) is 9,400 square miles.


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