Written by Alex Hickey
Class warfare rages on, especially in these streets, and Seoul is a capitalist wet dream or a socialist nightmare depending on which side you’re looking at it from and for a theoretical communist caught in a venture capitalist’s body, it can all be a bit disorienting. There’s advertising everywhere, on the subway, on taxis and cars, the sides of stores and on the daunting, towering skyscrapers that bear down on us from all around.
It all comes to me after having an impasse with the institutions that are supposed to be protecting me and on a larger scale, us all. These are dangerous streets for us upper-lower-middle class types and I’m not talking about places like east LA or Piazza Santa Giulia in Torino or even Marsa. No my friends, I’m talking about the strand in Sliema, the quiet streets of Birgu and even nanna Terez’ road. Out here in no man’s land everyone’s in trouble, everyone’s a criminal and if you ever hope to escape the social nightmare of the Perpetual Middle Class you must keep this in mind. Your banks, your government and advertisers are your enemies and anyone trying to provide you something ‘beneficial’ only has their own bottom line in mind.
A good example of this, is something that anyone living in Malta can see if they’ve been there more than a week. It’s the abundance of BMWs and other classically Middle Class cars being driven around, with or without vanity plates and it drives me nuts. It’s a clear sign of class struggle, a generation who grew up with parents’ working day and night whether in field or office, to teach their kids to grow up right and live the conventional life. And that is their symbol, a circle with two blue corners and two white ones with the classic grill to top it all off. It’s our generation’s way, specifically in Malta, of saying, ‘I crawled out of the middle class; I’ve made it!’ But what they and to a higher degree, people around them don’t realize, is that this only cements them to the class they were born into, loans, or high insurance premiums, gas prices, whatever it may be, and in the end, it’s all unnecessary. My business partner Tommy is German, from the land of BMW and the sort, he’s lived in Qatar and the stark differences are clear, in Germany, if you showed up to a meeting, hoping to impress with your expensive car, they won’t take you too seriously because they’ve seen it all before, they prefer Smart cars, more economical, and easier to park. In Qatar, it’s the other way round, if you come in with a BMW, they still won’t take you seriously, they like big glitzy things, Bentleys, Rolls, golden Camaros, Ferraris, anything less is too … suburban, it’s what their wives drive on weekends. And here in Seoul, it only shows ignorance, anyone who isn’t guaranteed private parking takes the subway.
So really, what are we proving and to who? Showing the banks our ability to hold credit, governments our abilities to pay taxes? Perhaps I’m being slightly vindictive, as I said it’s been difficult dealing with the people who smile as they stab us in the backs recently, I’m not going to speak ill of anyone in particular as I don’t want to deface anyone or another more or less, as I said in the end everyone is a criminal or a prostitute. They’ll talk about procedure, procedure, procedure until your claim falls out of warranty, that’s what a procedure is after all!
Then there is this recent farce of Bitcoin, and trust me, I’ve been keeping this in for a long while because to be honest, I don’t give a rat’s ass how people waste their money, but now that we’re on it we might as well take a dive at it. As an investor in training, the first rule you learn is that, if something big is worth investing in now, people who want to make money off of it won’t be advertising it. Think of it like this, if you found a nice little beach in Malta where no one knew about (I know that’s a bit of a pipe dream but anyway) why would you go around telling everyone about it? So that next time you head out there you have no space yourself? Consider it; what do investors have to gain from telling amateurs who never even considered investing before about an easy money scheme that will make everyone rich? If I could compare good investors to an animal, I would say they are angler fish, some say jackals, wolves and others say diseased boars, I think it’s a lot simpler than that. By convincing people of things they, can profit off of them themselves, and with 40% of Bitcoin being owned by a mere 1000 people, you’d have to be crazy to think that this can last much longer. If you bought them when they were €1000 or €5000 or even €10,000, well then I tip my hat to you; get out while you can and don’t be greedy because this won’t last long and people will either muscle you out or hang you out to dry, one way or another there is no winning here. Trust me; I used to buy Bitcoin from Mt. Gox in 2012 for €1.50, boy those were the days. Just yesterday I lost some €24,000 on a lost opportunity but that’s just the nature of the game and when I say leave this one to the big boys, I am not being arrogant, because I don’t even have my fingers in any pies yet.
It’s a long story, and perhaps not my place to say, but you know I can only speak from my experience and with that I can try to help, take it or leave it. But now a days you have to watch your back, we all know about the maniac in the White House and Theresa May’s lost cause of a cabinet but few of us know the lesser known characters around the world who seem like safe alternatives. Hillary that evil swine still roams the earth in a fit of paranoid fervor that another Trump is waiting in every boardroom of every business in every country she walks into; Benjamin Netanyahu has been leading Israel into a Neo- Fascist frenzy since at least 1996, recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron worked for the Rothschild bank and even here in Malta the Socialist party that leads us are not very reminiscent of modern Democratic Socialism, that’s not a jab, it’s a fact. And I’m not saying that these people are evil men with evil intentions, some are better than others as always, however, there is money everywhere now and if you really hope to ascend the social ladder out of the Perpetual Middle class, beware, for though there are many fish in the sea, Angler Fish are the best disguised and most attractive fish of all and it only takes a moment’s distraction to get caught in their tricks.