Do we really need more rich people?

Get rich or die trying.

… well at least the guy who said this was being flat-out honest unlike the vast majority of people in our “civilised world” who live by this mantra unknowingly.

Over the past few days I’ve been listening to an interview with Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker/coach extraordinaire. It’s a fascinating, two-hour interview that can be found on Tim Ferriss’s blog here: One of the main topics is Tony’s new book; The New Money Masters, the first book he’s written in 20 years.

I have a lot of respect for Tony because I believe he is very genuine in his commitment to helping people. However, in the grand scheme of things I cannot help to ask myself, who is really being helped and for what ultimate purpose? Also, what is the real cost involved in terms of the far-reaching consequences, when more and more wealthy people are trained up and created? Who and/or what really benefits and what is the collateral damage involved?

Well, that depends on the point of view or “point of you”, also known as your sense of identity and there are only two: The individual (I am separate and temporary) a.k.a the material, or the all-inclusive, all-encompassing “I am all and always” spiritual viewpoint.

For a limited time, the individual point of view is convincing. It seems to make sense, literally, all five of them in fact! But some of us suspect that there is a lot more to the story than what is experienced on the surface of our everyday existence. So, from the perspective of the undivided whole, when a person begins to succeed which always translates into the acquisition and production of more and more things, who actually benefits and who suffers? Sure, jobs are created, the economy is given a boost and society (the one in question only) prospers.

What about the earth that is exploited? The anonymous “other” societies that pick up the bill in various ways? The trees that are cut down, the rivers that are poisoned, the animals and even people who are killed? Is this also taken into account and acknowledged? What about the ongoing wars that are being waged to feed this beast and the destruction of all that is good and beautiful, the natural environment that was flourishing until our insidious influence made its mark? This needs to be added into the equation also.

If you are reading this on a computer (just as I am writing it) then nearly every single thing we are surrounded by, that we eat, wear and use is tainted with the blood and the grief of the masses; of plants, animals and people who aren’t ever taken into consideration. These are the effects of what is called leverage in financial terms, living preposterously above our means. We are up to our necks in the obsession of consumer-object fetishism and the everyday luxuries we take for granted and consider as vital to our very existence as the air we breathe, are leading to our rapid demise.

I hope not to come across as negative in saying all this. I do realise that to think along these lines isn’t exactly popular let alone encouraged. Why? because to a greater or even greater degree we are all complicit. And besides, thinking about this stuff makes you feel bad and feeling bad about oneself or the state of the world isn’t popular either. Much easier to brush this shit talk off with comforting excuses about how “poor little me” can’t do anything about it anyway and besides, ‘I’m busy so don’t waste my time with this crap. I’ve got a preoccupation to preoccupy myself with’.

Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris and most others like them are genuine in their desire to help others, this I firmly believe. The only trouble is that their idea of success and wishing others well is shaped 100% by their culture. A culture that is fundamentally flawed for all of the reasons stated above. One that says it is not only OK to become rich and successful, but that it is your duty! As a good and respectable citizen, you are to pursue ever-increasing material riches and to surround yourself with more and more things made of matter. This, as the status quo implies, is the most noble and worthwhile achievement to strive towards in life.

Just saying.


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