Understanding the 1%

John D. Rockefeller 1885- One of the Richest Men Ever

I think much of the criticism of the 1% of wealthy people is valid and justifiable. However, I am reject the dehumanization of these people in order to push an ideology.

Capitalism with all of its failures is in my eyes the most efficient way to distribute goods and services. That being said, there is little reason for certain things to be monetized, and it is the role of the State in these places to act as the governing body. Private healthcare, private prisons, and private schools all have perilous moral quandaries attached to them.

(how can a doctor do no harm when he works in a system that perpetuates that harm?)

However, Capitalism’s biggest failures are of course those who’ve generated the most “success” (in the 1950’s version of the word, meaning money).

Imagine becoming exorbitantly wealthy. You no longer have to work or to struggle. Your wildest fantasies become real. You can use your money to overcome nearly every single problem in your life. You eat lobster and prime rib for every dinner, and fly to Japan for the weekend. It is perfect.

The rub begins a few years in. The brain is a pesky habituation machine. It is the core of human nature to always hunger for more. But what happens when there is no more? When your wearing a 200,000 dollar watch there is no finer watch. Sure you might collect art or real estate after that, but it all leaves you hollow.

Life is meaningless without struggle.

For some, they turn to philanthropy, to problems that their money cannot solve to focus on. Bill Gate’s attempts to combat disease, or Elon Musk’s adventures to Mars and to AI Human fusion are interesting examples of this, (not that either of them is perfect, they are by all accounts human and horribly flawed).

The other choice is to do the thing that once brought them satisfaction, accumulate greater wealth.

One might even see them as the modern day dragon, dragons themselves being commentary on the behavioral sink that wealth hording is.

Not only does this lack of meaning lead to a skewed view of reality, the social interactions of the Megawealthy are by and large skewed to their own fellows.

Fame and money attract people who are scammers, and beggars. Each interaction becomes a calculation for the uber-rich, what does this person want from me? Even if say you become friends with a lower income individual who desires nothing from you and asks for nothing, there will always be someone in that person’s life who will attempt to use you through them.

The lack of needing anyone else as a consequence of being wealthy is also incredibly isolating.

When you take all of these factors together you begin to piece together the lie of wealth.

The wealthy begin to see anyone not as wealthy as beggars and thieves, they no longer see themselves as part of a community or country, and very little brings them the same rush that being wealthy once brought them. Thus the modern day dragon is born.

Does this make their behavior right? I cannot say, all I can say is while I do not excuse them, I understand them.

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