The Real Giants Whose Shoulders We Stand On
The press gather around Rich Fancyboi in his first public appearance since becoming the wealthiest man in the world at an event named after Rich Fancyboi in a library that is also named after Rich Fancyboi because he paid for its construction at a sum which took him 13.5 seconds to earn.
“Mister Fancyboi! Mister Fancyboi! How does it feel to be the wealthiest person on earth?” asks a reporter groveling on the floor with footprints on his face.
“What’s the secret to your success?” asks another, holding a microphone up to the plutocrat’s mouth.
It is a good microphone. It was assembled in China by a factory with some five hundred full-time employees out of plastics and metals from all over the world. If you were to add up all of the people who played a role in harvesting the raw materials, selling them, delivering them, turning them into their component parts, selling and delivering those, assembling the actual microphones, selling them, distributing them, and then selling them to consumers, the number of people responsible for that microphone appearing before Rich Fancyboi’s enormous head would number well into the thousands.
If you were to add in the number of people responsible for building and maintaining the roads, ships, railways, buildings, systems and infrastructure which made the movement of all of those various forms of microphone materials possible, and all the people who harvested and gathered the materials for all of those systems, the number is in the millions. Millions of human beings — some alive, some no longer with us — put time and effort into getting that microphone in front of Rich Fancyboi’s gigantic, weird-shaped head.
And the same is true of every single piece of equipment which plays any role in the operation of Fancyboi Industries, the multitrillion-dollar megacorporation owned by Rich Fancyboi. And the same is true of all the vehicles which all two million Fancyboi Industries employees worldwide use to transport themselves to work every day for controversially slavelike wages. And the same is true for all the fuel, energy systems and other infrastructure used to make all that transportation possible. And the same is true for the food industry which provides sustenance for all those employees and all the other millions upon millions of people directly and indirectly responsible for getting them to work each day.
And the same is true of the entire deeply interconnected worldwide human collective which provides the underlying foundation which makes the existence of Fancyboi Industries possible. No part of any of this cacophony is happening separately from the collective tumult of human civilization. The factory workers who operate the machinery, the people who operate the various transportation vehicles, the people who grow the food, the people who mop the floors, the people who raise and teach the children who will one day leap headlong into this chaos, the people who tend to the sick and dying as the workers grow old and shuffle off this mortal coil, the people who keep all the small, unnoticed wheels turning which allows civilization itself to happen.
All of these people have played an indispensable role in making Rich Fancyboi’s lavish and powerful lifestyle possible; indeed, as a whole, they have played a vastly greater role in it than Rich Fancyboi himself.
But they’re not the ones with the microphones in their faces. They’re not the ones making celebrated appearances at events named after them inside of buildings named after them. They’re invisible. Unrecognized. Unacknowledged and unvalued by a system that is, by design, incapable of recognizing and valuing them.
We stand upon the shoulders of giants. Yes, we do. But the giants are not the “great men” like Rich Fancyboi who have received all the acclaim and attention throughout recorded history, they’re the ones doing the actual moving, making, mothering and maintaining in our world upon whose heads the famous figures stand.
“Hard work, dedication, and a refusal to take no for an answer,” said Rich Fancyboi in response to the question, completely oblivious to the millions upon millions of feeling, thinking, hard-working giants he will never ever meet who made it possible for that moment to even happen.
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