Thursday, January 15, 2015

Do Rich People Deserve To Be Rich?

There are people who see the world as it is presented to us. And there are people who see past the
facade to what's really happening.

 Chris Hedges is one of those folks.  Another is Russell Brand.

Here he interviews George Monbiot about the facade - he calls it myth - that people get rich by working hard and poor by being lazy.

The two assert that it's this myth that helps keep the poor poor and the rich rich.  The start out with Self Attribution Theory (we attribute our good to our own efforts) and go on to look at examples of the wealthy perpetuating the myth, though they themselves were born to wealth.  Monbiot cites a study that says many corporate leaders score high on tests for psychopathy.  He goes on to say,
"If you're born poor and have psychopathic tendencies, you're quite likely to end up in prison.  If you're born rich you go to business school."  [I think he said 'business school' at the end.]

Brand does this with charm and wit and mockery of how most news hosts dress and act.


Did anyone watching this, even unconsciously, dismiss Brand because of how he is dressed and how he sits? I'm sure that he is intentionally making the point through his dress and posture that we have been conditioned to give more credence to men in suits who sit or stand up straight.  Even when they say totally stupid things, even outright lies.

[UPDATE 11:30am:  I've added a little to this post.  Nothing to change the meaning, just to supplement what I'd written about the video.]


  1. Yes, 'business school'.

    Brand has a checkered past in Britain -- quite a sexist twit, really -- but since the occupy movement in The City (London’s Wall Street), he's become a people’s thinker for challenging the 'move-along, nothing-to-see' politicians and the economic redistribution that flowed from the public bail-out of private equities.

    On a well-regarded programme on BBC, Question Time, he replied to a young audience member's question about immigration impacts, to (I am recalling the quote) focus on the rich and what they are doing, rather than poor migrants, and I promise you, we will change things.

    Immigration has become, in this country, as so many others, a red herring for economic matters. Brand asks us to look to the man behind the curtain, as only an entertainer can and will.

    He has feet of clay. He is vulnerable in his personal excess, but he remains one of the few outrageous voices of the left (contrasted to the far too many of the right).

    1. I appreciate your better knowledge of his life. But then a lot of people are vulnerable in their personal excess. I'm able to focus on what he does well and not worry about his failings, which, from what I've seen, he's honest and open about.
      I ran across these words from Kahlil Gibran today that seem appropriate here, "The partition between the sage and the fool is more slender than the spider web."


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