According to a new study, billionaire Big Tech CEOs are entirely different from the rest of humanity, so much that they could be placed in their own social class. The most notable difference between them and the rest of humanity is that they do not see wealth as their most significant source of success – instead it’s the cultivation of “democracy.”
The study was conducted by researchers from two universities in Germany and the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies in New York. The idea was to contribute to “closing a research gap in societies with rising inequalities.”
“We find that the 100 richest members of the tech world reveal distinctive attitudes that set them apart, both from the general population and from other wealthy elites,” the authors of the study wrote.
The researchers analyzed the language used by the 100 wealthiest tech-elites (according to Forbes) in statements online, including 50,000 tweets. The research found out that these tech elites, such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, have a meritocratic world view.
In other words, they do not consider wealth to be their source of influence. According to them, their influence comes from their talents, abilities, and self-described “altruism.”
They often talk about philanthropy and democracy; and they like to say they believe in making the world a better place for others, justifying their ideas by suggesting that it benefits the whole.
The study also measured the commonality and use of words relating to “merit.” Merit words included “distinct”, “excellent”, “virtue”, |value”, “superiority”, “worth”, “perfect” and “important.”
“We use a common ‘bag-of-words’ model (BOW) which focuses on the frequency of the occurrence of words but ignores context and grammar,” the researchers said.
However, “their position in a democratic society is contradictory — as a result of their enormous wealth, they have disproportionate influence over how discretionary income is spent.”
The researchers also suggested these tech elites are in a class of their own:
“The tech elite may be thought of as a ‘class for itself’ in Marx’s sense – a social group that shares particular views of the world, which in this case means meritocratic, missionary, and inconsistent democratic ideology.”