Here is the Atlantic piece he referenced: The Rise of the New Global Elite.
Here's a truth, early in the piece, as to how we managed to "turn the other cheek" as poor folk to allow the rich to "do their thing."
Before the recession, it was relatively easy to ignore this concentration of wealth among an elite few. The wondrous inventions of the modern economy—Google, Amazon, the iPhone—broadly improved the lives of middle-class consumers, even as they made a tiny subset of entrepreneurs hugely wealthy. And the less-wondrous inventions—particularly the explosion of subprime credit—helped mask the rise of income inequality for many of those whose earnings were stagnant.
Facebook makes it all better; and the Googles; and Hollywood; and Charlie Sheen.
If you've been following the news in Wisconsin then you are seeing plainly the ways this very real disparity is being illustrated. The Gov in WI hired Stasi (all dressed in black) to applaud breaking unions and to protect him from the rabble he's trying to further impoverish at the behest of his plutocratic masters. (In case you didn't know, all politicians--at least "national" politicians--do the bidding of Mammon.) Where shall we put our Berlin Wall? We have already built our economic walls and, as Colbert points out, our wealthy live "encamped" within their own walls. Perhaps the real benefit of our digital age is that Mammon can serve itself without even seeing any proles at all; its worshipers are insulated from the rabble--and the rabble is "bounded" (our nutshell of "finite" space) by electronic borders .
[Aside: Branch Davidians, for example, were "encamped"; Survivalists are "encamped"; the rest of us, in fact nearly all of us, are unprotected.]
Our forefathers walked in the world & went to their graves tormented with the fear of sin & the terror of the Day of Judgment. We are happily rid of those terrors, and our torment is the utter uncertainty & perplexity of what we ought to do; the distrust of the value of what we do; and the distrust that the Necessity which we all at last believe in, is Fair. (RWE, 1841))
Alas, we should embrace that distrust. Further, we should be clear exactly who is banging the drums of imminent terror.
I think the American Revolution bought its glory cheap. If the problem was new, it was simple. If there were few people, they were united, and the enemy 3,000 miles off. But now, vast property, gigantic interests, family connections, webs of party, cover the land with a network that immensely multiplies the dangers of war. (RWE, 1883)