The Billionaires Are Going Bunkers
In 1893, George Pullman was one of the richest men in the world during one of the worst financial depressions in history.
Now he lies in a steel vault eight feet underground, in a coffin sealed with lead. He was buried at night, in secret, to keep his employees from desecrating his corpse. I guess that’s what happens when you pay starvation wages. Pullman even ran his own private city, with his own government.
Everyone hated him.
The world’s billionaires aren’t waiting for death anymore. They're building luxury bunkers everywhere, even as it becomes painfully clear these bunkers won't save them. A tiny handful of entrepreneurs are cashing in on the paranoia. One company called Oppidum will build a bunker under your mansion now, complete with a hydraulic ramp so you can drive your sportscar down there. They describe themselves as "optimistic about the future," and yet their entire business model sells doom. Their bunker even airlocks.
Demand for luxury bunkers has spiked 1,000 percent thanks to events like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Ah, yes. It's a fabulous idea to bury yourself alive in an airtight sarcophagus instead of trying to prevent the need for it in the first place. In the end, it's an exercise in futility. Oppidum isn't building anything that could survive on an uninhabitable planet. They're offering comfort to soothe the elite panic of billionaire clients. It's a business.
Meanwhile, flowers are blooming in Antarctica. Ice isn't forming. It's supposed to be winter in the southern hemisphere, but South America has been seeing temperatures above 100F for months. Scientists say humans have never observed this kind of winter before.
It's one in 7 million, a five sigma event.
It's blowing their minds.
We're living through the worst-case scenario now, and it's about thirty years ahead of schedule. Our energy demands show no signs of slowing. Countries are reverting to coal and fossil fuels, even as they tout clean energy.
Survivalism and prepping have gone mainstream over the last few years, with roughly a third of Americans now spending up to $11 billion a year on survival tools and emergency kits, including food buckets. One group estimates the market for "emergency management" will double by 2025. Prepper sites are reaching new demographics, including young urban women.
The Kardashians even started plugging emergency kits specially designed for "the unprepared," and they charged up to $250.
Costco sells one for $6,000.
Honestly, it's a little eerie to see someone apply a goop-style brand to prepping and survivalism. They even sell "hurricane kits."
This is disaster capitalism at its finest. These bunkers and kits aren't really designed to solve a problem. They're designed to profit off the perception of a problem by the affluent class. They're going to feel disappointed when they cook up that first batch of emergency food and realize it's just Mac 'n Cheese doused in salt to keep it from going bad.
(Yeah, I tried some.)
Industries are now hosting entire expos, hawking all kinds of products designed to help those with money "be prepared."
As we've seen, the people most likely to wind up in these disasters can't afford to lay down hundreds of dollars for branded emergency supplies. They don't have room in their apartments to store $6,000 of food. Besides, paying someone to pack your bugout bag for you kind of misses the point. It's not really about the things. It's about getting into a mindset. If you're fleeing a flood or a fire, you aren't going to want a bunch of bright orange bags broadcasting what's inside them. You're going to be taking one bag.
The rich have been planning for a long time. Several years ago, The New Yorker did a story on their doomsday plans. They include stocking up on crypto and taking archery classes. They get together over wine and brag about their bunkers to each other. The story talks about one real estate investor who stumbled across "radical self-reliance" at Burning Man.
We saw how that turned out.
These Burning Man survivalists have no clue how to get through an actual disaster. A few weeks ago, they were succumbing to trench foot. They left a large volume of trash and abandoned vehicles.
The rich often tout their self-reliance and bootstrapping mindset, but they always cry for help at the first sign of trouble. They're the absolute last ones you'd want on a zombie apocalypse team. And yet, they have the means to buy up thousands of acres of undeveloped land in California. They claim to be building a utopia. It feels more like a bugout town.
Homesteading has become a form of YouTube porn far removed from the harsh living conditions of the original pioneers. Besides, there was never anything sustainable about the original homesteaders. They chopped down areas of forest the size of Kentucky every year.
Some of these billionaires believe they can raise fish inside underground missile silos. Well, maybe for a little while.
The billionaires are putting their panic on full display, even as they work overtime to minimize the disasters we're now living through.
They project their own pessimistic, depraved sense of humanity onto the rest of us. They blame ecological and social collapse on overpopulation, refusing to believe it was their own consumption and lifestyle driving the problem all along. They elevate themselves and overestimate their own survival skills. Their plans don't involve anything remotely feasible. They're simply trying to maintain their comfort and privilege. They're not going to survive.
They're going bunkers.