How to Tell if a Relationship is Karmic, Soulmate or Twin Flame?

from Conscious Reminder

We all desire to not just fall in love—but to be part of that “once in a lifetime” type of love story.

As we are evolving, so are our romantic relationships. No longer are we satisfied by those unions that are convenient or that seem to fulfill specific ideals that our families or society have taught us we should aspire to. We are searching for that once in a lifetime crazy type of love—but what really separates twin flames from soulmates and karmic relationships? 

The biggest truth is that one of these relationships isn’t better than the other—it just depends on what lifetime we are in, here on earth, and what lessons we currently are in the process of learning.

Sometimes we may experience none of these relationships in a lifetime, and in others we may experience all three. The reality is that we often don’t truly realize which type of relationship we had until long after it’s passed and the lessons have been absorbed.

One of the first relationships we usually enter into is a karmic one. Karmic relationships often are those lessons that we were unable to learn in a previous lifetime—these people aren’t meant to take it easy on us, because they are meant to change our way of life. The addiction of karmic relationships is that it seems no matter how many tries we give it—it just doesn’t seem to work. But that is because karmic relationships aren’t supposed to work out—we aren’t supposed to live our life with our karmic partner. It’s hard to accept, because it’s usually not an issue of love, or even about compatibility. Something is just off and doesn’t work, no matter how much we wish it did—but the worst decision we can make is to choose to not let go. Karmic relationships burn hot and seem almost intoxicating at times, but the entire point of these types of relationships is to come into our lives, change us—and then leave.

Often times, those people who married and divorced young have married their karmic relationship, instead of letting them go when the time came. The most important lesson for us is that we just have to be strong enough to let them move on when the time comes, because no matter what type of relationship we are in, we shouldn’t have to chain ourselves to it in order to not lose it.

Although some of us may experience several karmic relationships in our lifetime, the next stage after we conquer those lessons is often the soulmate love.

Soulmates can be just the best kind of love—they can be simple and sweet, yet as complex as the notes within a vintage Merlot.

Soulmates often are those we marry and choose to build a life with, because there is just a unique connection present. These are the feel good people in our lives, and they just seem to touch us on an entirely different level.
As wonderful as they can be though, soulmates don’t always take it easy on us.

One of the reasons that we get so confused by which type of relationship we are in, is because in all of these connections, challenges will be present.

None of these relationships are about appeasing us or making our egos comfortable.

Yet the soulmate differs from the karmic relationship by the type of lesson being learned and the way in which it is presented.

Karmic relationships are often about how we view the outside world and others—while the soulmate will trigger those internal lessons involving self-worth, fear, societal pressures and our worthiness of love.

We simply attract at whatever frequency we are currently vibrating on.

Soulmates are those who we feel an undeniable connection to—as if we’ve known one another before simply upon meeting.

The biggest indicator of a soulmate love is that they make us feel like it’s us that needs working on—not them or even issues that exist within the relationship.

Sometimes it’s even the feeling of not deserving the other person.

Certain soulmates come into our lives whose only purpose is to help us realize our greatness and to assist us in taking on those big questions involving the self and starting to discover the answers to further our evolution and process of self-awareness.
Soulmates are also the ones who care about us the most—versus the karmic lover whose only concern is of their own self and needs.

These beautiful types of bonds don’t necessarily have to be romantic even, for more often than not, we travel in similar soul circles within each lifetime—and those who are family aren’t necessarily those who we share blood with.

As transcending and eye-opening as the romantic relationship can be with a soulmate, it isn’t anything compared to the experience of being reconnected with our twin flame.

Twin flames are often regarded as an urban myth of the spiritually enlightened, but as society is raising their level of consciousness, the more this connection is occurring.

Twin flames are a mix of both karmic and soulmate tendencies—along with some entirely new qualities which will only further challenge our ego and sense of self.

Twin flames aren’t just those that we connect with on a soul level, but they are someone we share the same soul with.

As the theory states, twin flames were separated from one soul source in the beginning of time and split into two physical bodies.

There is a mirror like quality when we come into contact with our twin flame—everything that we have spent our lives running from or denying is suddenly in front of us.

These types of lovers confront us with our very fears and ego driven desires, but they aren’t just about what’s inside, they’re about how we interact with every facet of our life.

Not all of us will be reunited with our twin flame, but if we are, it has the possibility to be that once in a lifetime—ain’t nothing ever gonna be the same—type of love.

There will be challenges and fears present, without a doubt—there will be phases of running and chasing, depending upon the spiritual and personal development of both individuals.

But regardless of any of these challenges, it is possible to reunite and stay with our twin flame—although it is speculated that only occurs in one’s last lifetime here on earth.

Regardless of what type of romantic relationship we find ourselves in, there will be obstacles and challenges that have the potential to assist us in our growth and evolution. The one important thing to remember through all of these types of relationship, is that if someone is trying to move on—it’s vital that we let them go. Whether they are a karmic relationship whose only purpose is to come into our lives to be the catalyst of change, or if they are the soulmate whose here to challenge us to lovingly become the best person we can, or if they simply are our other half—there is no love that we will have to beg for or hold onto tightly to, out of fear of losing it.

Regardless of what type of relationship it is, the love we deserve is also the one that will want us as much we want it—because the truth is, if we do love someone, the only thing we can do is set them free, knowing that if it is meant to be—they will return. And if they don’t, then they’re just one of the most beautiful lessons we’ll learn.

Aura Color Meanings

by Stephany Hurkos

There is no such thing as a bad Aura! Nor are there bad colors. In their pure state all colors are good and useful. When light is blocked or slowed down it will loose its effectiveness and become gray or dull. Everything living has at least four colors appearing in their aura with a variety of shades and hues.

RED

Passion, very active, (deep red) over active, (dull red) burned out, ( bright red) sexy/horny, leadership, love of sports, challenge, courage, practical, desire for possessions, sense of adventure, and a survival instinct. Most children have bright red auras – especially males. They are very active and ‘on the go’.
Reds like a challenge, is a force of will, hard workers, like to achieve results and success. They do not punch a time clock, and work till they drop.
ORANGE

Creativity, confidence, ambition, originality, sociability, openness, intuition, independence, expression, ability to solve problems and work without supervision. Many talented sales people, entrepreneurs and people who deal with the public have orange auras. Think while they act. They enjoy their sexuality. They love adventure, excitement and intrigue, and often will have multiple partners. They are independent and not emotionally needy. Oranges love to get organized!
YELLOW

Spontaneous, intellect, happy, and cheerful. A sense of humor, confident, optimistic, with a warm smile are typical.
People with yellow auras have the ability to brighten the lives of those around them. Yellows bring warmth, originality and exhilaration they usually are playful, fun loving, humorous, and somewhat childlike. They pay attention to details, organization and are disciplined!
GREEN

Healing, teaching, caring, high self-esteem, tenacity, money, harmony, balance, and growth.
A rich dark green is abundance, prosperity and wealth. Greens (bright) are driven to be successful and often own their own business, are goal-oriented and make lists (check them off as they complete a goal). Greens need to be in control. Family matters and parenting are important to them. Medical professionals and people involved in the healing arts of any kind often have greens strongly in their auras.
BLUE

Communication, loyalty, good listener, contentment, peaceful, caretaker, calmness, patience, sensitive, honest, empathic, generous, warmhearted, and often times spiritual. Blue indicates a depth of feeling; love, truth, trust, dedication, tranquility, tenderness and affection.
Blues cannot think of sex unless they are in love. Blues convey wisdom, and are reliable. A good talker!
VIOLET

Spiritual, mystical, looks for magical solutions, visionaries, always see the big picture, search for the truth, questioning, take everything at face value, tends to be intuitive, and unconventional.
People with a lot of violet (purple) in their Aura field tend to live in a world of fantasy and love to daydream. Things come to them without pushing, what they want and need come to them as if by unexplained. They do not have to push to get what they want.
WHITE

Highly motivated, bright, ability to see ‘the big picture’, a chameleon, money is not always the object of their lives, great wisdom. Whites are avid readers and enjoy television, movies, and the theatre ( the main source of social learning for them). White have become the chameleons of the spectrum, assimilating other colors into their aura in order to hide or protect themselves. Often white (if there is a double white in the photo) echo a spirit that is around the person.
MAGENTA

Nonconformists, innovated, strong-willed, inventive, imaginative, artistic, resourceful, productive, creative and has an agile mind.
Magenta’s are bright and determined about things they regard as important. They are great manipulators as well as actors. Magenta’s tap dance to their own tune!
INDIGO

Intuitive, observant, aware, open-minded, liberal, tolerant, charitable, shrewd, perceptive, and leadership capabilities. It represents intuitive understanding, serious, use their imagination, inspiration, creativity, and are humanitarians.
Indigoes also have healing ability, and are gentle, and compassionate.
AQUA

A need to be recognized, sensitive, vulnerable, responsive, stress and anxiety.
Aqua above the head means music plays an important part in their life.
PINK

Shows a purity of intention, strong sense of companionship, cleanness, love of art and beauty, and shows vitality.
BLACK

A protective cloak shielding themselves from outside energies and keeping themselves centered or focused while putting matters in the proper perspective. Focus.

Four Old Sayings About Family That Are (Sometimes) B.S.

by John Cheese; from CRACKED

Everything you know and have comes from your family. Even if you could somehow forget that fact, society continually hammers you with the idea that there are no limits to how much shit you should have to put up with when it comes to your blood relatives.

I disagree.

Growing up, you are in the most frightening, vulnerable position of your life, and I’m not just talking about relying on mom to throw some corndogs in the oven, or dad to show you which porn sites won’t fuck up your computer. Because of my own abnormal upbringing, I believed for the longest time that my views on family were skewed — influenced in a negative direction as a result of a lifetime of fear. It wasn’t until I started writing for Cracked and collecting emails from readers expressing the same viewpoints that I realized I wasn’t unique in disagreeing with statements like …

4. “You Have to Help Him, He’s Your Father!” (or Mother, etc.)

Why We Say It:

You owe your parents everything. Without them, your entire existence would have been abbreviated to a latex reservoir tip swatting that shit out of the air like an NBA center. They put food on the table and a roof over your head, and by God, the least you can do is be there for them in return.

As adults, we expect the same from our own kids — a return on our investment. And that’s a perfectly logical, reasonable request, isn’t it? “I helped you, now you help me.” At some point, every parent does it, and we enforce that with one phrase that means two completely different things, depending on the recipient’s age: “I’m your father!”

As a child, it’s a demand. “You will mow the lawn because I’m your father, and you will damn well do what I tell you. Now you get out there before I clothe you with snakes!”

As an adult, that meaning loses its weight because they no longer make the rules. That’s when the phrase becomes a plea. “Can I borrow 20 bucks for some crack? Come on, man, I’m your father. You know how you made it to this age without dying? That was me who did that!”

When It’s Bullshit:

Right now, I have no fewer than two dozen messages in my inbox from readers asking me what to do in their seemingly unique situation. One or both of their parents are addicts, or habitual criminals, or general fuckups. The kids are taking care of themselves. They watch these grown-ass adults wrecking the entire family with stress about bills, borrowing money from anyone they can to keep the lights on while feeding hundreds of dollars per month into their vices. Every time the parents attempt to clean up their act, they fall right back into the same destructive cycle within weeks. The kids are essentially on their own. You know, normal family problems. We’ve all been there.

And here’s the thing — the whole “broken childhood” bit doesn’t end at childhood. There are people who will spend 40 consecutive years with this bullshit from their parents, knowing that their own kids won’t have the sitcom Grandma and Grandpa that’s always waiting with a hug and a turkey at Thanksgiving. These are the parents who are always borrowing, or begging, or making demands. They’re constantly needing to be bailed out like teenagers, or roping you into petty family disputes (“Your Uncle Steve has been talking shit about your mom again. Now be a good son and go slash his fucking tires”).

But … “I have to be there for them because they’re my parents, right?”

If you take nothing else from this article, please make it this: Childhood is not a bill that you have to pay for later. Parenting is not charity, or a loan — it is a requirement for those who took on the job, whether they meant to or not. When you become a parent yourself, you will be required to do it as well, without thanks or compensation. In fact, in the first year, you will often get shit on and stomped in the genitals.

Do you owe it to your own parents to be supportive? To try to help them break destructive habits? Of course. But not at the risk of your own health and emotional well being. For the first 20 years of your life, you are being trained to be a caregiver. At no point in that time should you be required to be one yourself. That’s not your job. Your job is to learn and grow.

Again, I’m not saying that if your mom is wheelchair-bound and needs help painting the house that you shove a finger in her face and say “I got my own problems, whore!” I’m talking about people who are outside your power to help unless you make it your full-time job. You can’t fix their addictions, or depression, or stupidity, or chronic need to constantly be in some kind of dramatic crisis. I think there’s a point where you’re allowed to let that shit go to voice mail.

3. “You Have to Stick Up for Them, No Matter What!”

Why We Say It:

You and your sister go out for a few drinks when her ex-boyfriend enters the bar. As soon as he sees her, he makes a beeline over to her and starts yelling right there in public for no reason. Everyone in the place is staring. She’s obviously getting upset and pretty damn embarrassed. So, being the logical protector that you are, you reach into your trench coat and pull out your morning star … it has “Conversation Ender” stenciled on the handle.

What their fight was about makes little difference because, of those two people, you are close to only one of them. Growing up with your sister, you know the intricacies of her personality … the personal trials and hardships she went through that dictate how she reacts to conflict and stress. You know why she’s crying, and you know how to make it stop because you know her.

The ex-boyfriend is just some walking penis with a popped collar and too much cologne.

When it comes to family members, we tend to throw out our sense of logic and impartial deduction because we’re personally connected to them. We judge the situation with no need of a trial, evidence or testimony because we know our sister and “she would never do anything to hurt anyone.” Well, aside from the time she tried to stab you, but to be fair, you did take her doll while standing in your knife display room.

When It’s Bullshit:

Later, you have an hour to kill while they clean off the chunks of hair and skin at the morning star cleaning shop. Your sister tells you that the reason her ex was so pissed is because she cheated on him. And he keeps asking for his CDs back, but she hasn’t gotten around to it. And every morning, she makes a special trip to his house to pack her shit into his dog’s fur.

OK, maybe that was just my family, but you see where I’m going with this. We still have a tribal urge to stand up for our own blood against the outsiders, and society makes it clear that a man who doesn’t stand up for mother/sister/siblings ain’t no man at all. So it’s easy to make the leap from the very noble idea of “You should be there for your family” to the very stupid idea that it’s your duty to pull them out of the shit every time they swan dive into it.

For instance, in school, it seemed like no matter where my brother went, some asshole bully would corner and beat the piss out of him without so much as a “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father … prepare to die.” When my dad would see his black eye, his first response would usually be to look at me and ask, “Where were you?” Not “What happened,” or “Did you deserve it?” It was just automatically expected of me to jump in and start throwing elbows when the drama of 8-year-olds got real.

And I did help out for a while. Until we got into high school and I found out that the reason he was getting his ass kicked so often was because he had a tendency to steal things and make passes at other guys’ girlfriends.

So at some point you have to give yourself permission to say “You got yourself into this. Good luck.” Hell, sometimes that’s what they need to hear anyway.

2. “You Have to Love Them!”

Why We Say It:

This one seems logical, doesn’t it? We have a physical, mental and bloodline connection with our relatives. As a sheer biological act of reproduction, we are a real-world branch of their genetic material, split off to form another version of themselves. We are literally a part of them … a continuation of the living meat that formed those before us. You have to love them because in many ways, you are them.

On an emotional scale, you’ve spent your entire life depending on them for survival. Not just mom and dad supplying the protection and sustenance, but brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles helping out with the emotional stability and companionship. How many people who have them are more open with their siblings than their parents? I’d say most. It’s much easier to ask your brother how he deals with getting a boner in class than to run that by your mom.

You have to love them because, aside from your own children, they are the closest emotional and physical connections you’re ever likely to have. You’re bound to your friends and spouse by choice. You’re bound to your relatives by life.

And if you feel nothing for them? If you don’t like talking to them or spending time with them? Well, that means you’re a selfish, feral dog-person. You’re the guy in the ’80s movie who’s destined for a midlife crisis and who’ll eventually find out that he’s wasted his life by neglecting his family.

When It’s Bullshit:

Part of the problem is that people don’t really know how to define “love” when it comes to family. They still think it’s about liking something a lot, and when they find they don’t like their family, they think they’ve failed somehow. But it is entirely possible to love someone without liking them. You can be there for your brother or uncle or whatever when they need you, even if you don’t enjoy their company at all. There’s no conflict there. You can fulfill your requirement to love your family without ever enjoying a single conversation you’ve had with them.

That’s because love isn’t just a feeling you get in your chest. It’s what you do that defines your love of another person. Calling your grandmother for no other reason than to find out how she’s doing. Putting your day on hold to fix a friend’s computer. Going on a double date with the ugly tag-along so your friend can get the hot one.

I have an entire group of uncles and cousins who annoy me to no end. I would rather punch myself in the face than do any of the things they enjoy, and they feel the same way about me. When a family reunion or a funeral rolls around, we still speak to each other. We’re not assholes, and we don’t hate each other. We just happen to not share a mutual love, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

So many people feel guilty when they don’t connect with certain family members. They don’t enjoy doing the same things, or share political beliefs, or practice the same religion. It’s easy to feel like something has gone wrong, like they’re “the black sheep,” failing at the one human relationship that society says is the most important. All because they think society’s “You must love your family no matter what” somehow means they are required to look forward to their long discussions about NASCAR. I think it’s a fucking tragedy that people are made to feel bad because of that.

1. “Respect Your Elders!”

Why We Say It:

Older people have more experience in virtually every facet of life. We’re constantly evolving as a society, and it’s the older people who helped place the top step that you’ll be standing on when you build the next one for your own children. Yes, some of you younger readers will complain that it’s the older generation that created X that led to Y. Those are the things your generation will be fixing to make the world grow even more, just as we did with our own parents. That’s the point.

We see our elderly as having wisdom. They worked their asses off to provide for us, and now they’re getting to the age where they can’t physically do it anymore. All the things we look forward to doing, they’ve already mastered and filed away. It’s hard to imagine your grandmother mastering things like blowjobs, but make no mistake, she did. And you have to respect her for that.

When It’s Bullshit:

Because the ones saying it are the elders. Not many people have heard a 14-year-old say “You know, we should all really respect our elders. I think I’m going to go home right now and do some respecting.” No, this is a phrase that older people say when they want younger people to shut their stupid face holes. Whether there’s truth to the phrase or not, when an older person says it, they really mean “Don’t you talk to me like that, you arrogant little prick. You don’t know jack shit.”

And just like with any blanket statement, it’s simply not true to say that all elderly are wise. There are far more dumbasses than geniuses in the world, and the odds are that your drunken grandfather isn’t one of the elite few. Unfortunately, “experience” does not always translate to “wisdom.” You have to remember that in many cases, older people (me included) will say things to overcompensate for our own mistakes, and when someone younger calls us on it, it’s incredibly hard for us to admit that fault and move on. Instead, we resort to “Respect your elders!”

Yes, it’s true that most older people will be able to give you advice on the basics of life: “Don’t put your dick in that acid. It’ll acid your dick off.” But no, not all of them can give useful advice on complex, delicate issues: “Just follow your heart. Life’s too short!” Yeah, thanks — that’s great advice. Eat shit, Grandma.

Now, am I telling you to disrespect your elders? No, that’s silly. Stop being silly, you fruity silly-ass. What I’m saying is that the social rule demanding that you automatically give respect based simply on a person’s age is outdated and ironically unwise. It was the generations above me that taught “Respect is earned; not given.” I agree. We have to follow that rule — and so should they.

My hatred of Authority, Along With My Loathing for the Pretensions, Heartlessness, and Sense of Entitlement of the Rich

by Chris Hedges; from OpEdNews

The following is an excerpt from WAGES OF REBELLION: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. Reprinted with permission from Nation Books 2015.

Wages of Rebellion
(image by Public Affairs /Nation Books)

The public’s inability to grasp the pathology of our oligarchic corporate elite makes it difficult to organize effective resistance. Compliant politicians, entertainers, and our vapid, corporate-funded popular culture and news media hold up the elites as leaders to emulate. We are repeatedly assured that through diligence and hard work we can join them. We are taught to equate wealth with success. This narrative keeps us from seeing the truth.

“The rich are different from us,” F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway allegedly replied, “Yes, they have more money.”

The exchange, although it never took place, does sum up a wisdom Fitzgerald had that eluded Hemingway. The rich are different. The cocoon of wealth and privilege permits the rich to turn those around them into compliant and expendable workers, hangers-on, servants, and sycophants. Wealth, as Fitzgerald illustrated in his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby– a tome on the depravity of the rich in the giddy world of speculation that would lead to the Depression–as well as his short story “The Rich Boy,” which appeared a year later, breeds a class of people for whom human beings are disposable commodities. Colleagues, business partners, clients, associates, shareholders, investors, employees, kitchen staff, servants, gardeners, tutors, personal trainers, even friends and family, bend to the whims of the wealthy or disappear. Once oligarchs achieve unchecked economic and political power, as they have in the United States, the citizens too become disposable. And that, in the eyes of the elite, is what we are.

“Let me tell you about the very rich,” Fitzgerald writes in “The Rich Boy.” “They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

Aristotle, who saw extreme inequality as the fundamental cause of revolution, argues in Politics that the rise of an oligarchic state leads to one of two scenarios. The impoverished underclass can revolt and overthrow the oligarchs to rectify the imbalance of wealth and power, or it can submit to the tyranny of oligarchic rule.

The public face of the oligarchic class is carefully crafted by publicists and a compliant media. It bears little resemblance to the private face. This is hard for those who have not been admitted into the intimate circles of the elite to grasp. I, like Fitzgerald, was thrown into the embrace of the upper crust as a boy. I was sent to an exclusive New England boarding school at the age of ten as a scholarship student. I had classmates whose fathers–fathers they rarely saw otherwise–arrived at the school in their limousines accompanied by personal photographers (and at times their mistresses), so the press could be fed images of rich and famous men playing the role of dutiful dads. I spent time in the mansions of the ultra-rich and powerful, watching my classmates, who were children, callously order around men and women who worked as their chauffeurs, cooks, nannies, and servants. When the sons and daughters of the rich get into serious trouble, there are always lawyers, publicists, and political personages to protect them–George W. Bush’s life is a case study in the insidious affirmative action for the rich. The rich have a disdain for the poor–despite carefully publicized acts of philanthropy–and a haughty dislike of the middle class.

The lower classes are viewed as uncouth parasites, annoyances to be endured, sometimes placated, and always controlled in the quest to amass more power and money. My hatred of authority, along with my loathing for the pretensions, heartlessness, and sense of entitlement of the rich, comes from living among the privileged. It was a deeply unpleasant experience. I returned on summer breaks to the small town in Maine where my grandparents and relatives lived. They had more innate intelligence than most of my prep school classmates. I knew from a young age who my enemies were.

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy,” Fitzgerald writes of the wealthy couple at the center of Gatsby’s life. “They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

“Those who have too much of the goods of fortune, strength, wealth, friends, and the like, are neither willing nor able to submit to authority,” Aristotle writes in Politics. “The evil begins at home; for when they are boys, by reason of the luxury in which they are brought up, they never learn, even at school, the habit of obedience.”

Oligarchs, as Aristotle, Machiavelli, Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx knew, are schooled in the mechanisms of manipulation–subtle and overt repression and exploitation to protect their wealth and power. Foremost among their mechanisms of control is the control of ideas. Ruling elites ensure that the established intellectual class is subservient to an ideology–in this case, neoliberalism and globalization–that conveniently justifies their greed. “The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships,” Marx wrote, “the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.” [37]

The blanket dissemination of the ideology of neoliberalism through the media and the purging, especially in academia, of critical voices have permitted our oligarchs to orchestrate the industrial world’s largest income inequality gap. Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, in a May 2011 article titled “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” in Vanity Fair, warned of the damage caused by the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of an oligarchic elite. “In our democracy, 1% of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income,” he writes.

In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1% control 40%. . . . [As a result,] the top 1% have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99% live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1% eventually do learn. Too late. [38]

For every $1 that the wealthiest 0.1 percent amassed in 1980, they had an additional $3 in yearly income in 2008, David Cay Johnston explains in his article “9 Things the Rich Don’t Want You to Know About Taxes.”39 In the same period, the bottom 90 percent, Johnston says, added only one cent. Nearly half of the country is now classified as poor or low-income.40 The real value of the minimum wage has fallen by $3.44 since 1968.41

Oligarchs do not believe in self-sacrifice for the common good. They never have. They never will. And now that they have full control of the economy and the legal system, as well as the legislative and executive branches of government, along with our media outlets, they use power as a blunt instrument for personal enrichment and domination.