I’m so sorry.
I seem to have completely misjudged the conservative Republican movement. When I saw the Wall Street guy during the Occupy Wall Street hullabaloo last year who announced that the 99% never did anything significant, I just thought he was an asshole. I never dreamed that his was the prevailing attitude among the Masters of the Universe. I am rather dumbfounded to find that this is what the 1% actually believe, and for this shortcoming of my perception, I humbly apologize to everyone.
I thought the Wall St. guy who said the 99%
never did anything significant was just an asshole.
I never dreamed this was the prevailing attitude.
At that time I mentioned a masterful painting of a 17th century banker. The story bears repeating. Nobody knows who this hotshot was, this Ozymandian Master of the Universe whose condescension was perfectly captured in oil, but everybody recognizes the name of the poverty stricken painter who captured his arrogance so well: Rembrandt van Rijn.
I have little patience with these people who imagine that they and they alone are worthy. Their ignorance, of human nature, of history, of almost everything except perhaps how to accumulate money, is shocking. Their money doesn’t make them gifted, or talented. It simply means they are rich, that’s all. They may or may not be decent human beings, and I am truly shocked to learn that so many, because they fail the most basic test of humility, are not.
It takes a certain amount of intelligence to stockpile cash, for sure, but it is not an especially great gift. Few great artists, writers, musicians, theologians, inventors, researchers, or scholars come from the midst of the mega-rich. The mega-rich are generally intelligent people, but it stops there.
In the end, making money is a rather mundane occupation that almost anyone with a modicum of intelligence and drive can be successful at, although they may not become one of the mega-rich, and they may get bored with the effort. The rich and the mega-rich are not geniuses, and soon all of them will be lost to the sands of time without ever understanding real value. I would think much more highly of them if their real devotion was to the things that really matter.
If I am of value to the world, I may or may not be rich.
If I am rich, I may or may not be of value to the world.
Money is not what makes us a valuable and loved human. What does confer value to us is our warmth toward others, the demonstration of our interest in others, our willingness to give something of ourselves to enrich the lives of others. It’s not me-me-me who makes me a valuable man, but you-you-you. If I am of value to the world, I may or may not be rich. If I am rich, I may or may not be of value to the world.
What the Republican masters believe is that there are a chosen few heroes in the mold of Ayn Rand’s heroes, who are laws and powers unto themselves—and the rest of us are nothing but chaff. But the truth is that Ayn Rand’s heroes are trapped, captive to a social-emotional level rarely seen beyond adolescence. They are utterly self-centered, and lack adult maturity.
The Republican Overlords believe that anyone who is not rich simply could not be of any significant value, because only money is of value. Further, they believe that anyone who is not rich failed to become so because of an inherent character defect. He is simply too lazy to accomplish anything, and this is especially true if his skin is dark. It never occurs to them that most people aren’t interested in starting a business, that their lives have other purposes.
Ayn Rand’s heroes are trapped,
captive to a social-emotional level
rarely seen beyond adolescence.
Mitt Romney’s now famous remarks about “the 47%” who pay no income tax (although they pay other taxes), supposedly because they are worthless people, may piss off just a few such persons. The person who is busting his butt for minimum wage, for example, because no better jobs are available. The person with a three-decade track record of competent work who now finds himself earning so little he or she must postpone retirement indefinitely. Then of course there’s the larger part of that demographic, who are retired or young, who have paid or will pay income tax. It’s also notable that a large part of the 47% demographic stands out in the red states that run completely across the south—Republican territory.
Here’s a question for those guys, those Overlords: What makes you think I should want to be like you? I don’t, at all. Nor do most people. There’s a better world you may never learn about.