I’ve met many people who gleefully predict that a global mega-financial collapse will soon destroy our economic system and return us to an agricultural subsistence economy.
What they’re really yearning for is a revolution.
They yearn for revolution because they believe that most of the uber-rich are selfish, money hungry people who value profits above the health of the planet and the well-being of the people who live upon it.
They yearn for revolution because they feel powerless to bring about change through the normal political system, which they believe the uber-rich have bought with their money.
They yearn for revolution but they are peaceful people who abhor violence and therefore the traditional path of violent revolution is not an option for them. So instead, they resort to dreaming of an economic collapse which will level the playing field again.
Such is their despair that they’d rather endure the poverty of a subsistence lifestyle than to let the uber-rich continue to dominate.
Luckily there’s a third option – a much kinder alternative with much less suffering for everyone.
THE GENTLE REVOLUTION
I think the best revolution is a revolution in thinking – “the pen is mightier than the sword”.
I think that it’s unwise to yearn for an economic collapse that’ll return us to a subsistence lifestyle because giving up all the technological advances and benefits that the capitalist system has brought us will inflict too much suffering on too many people.
I think the ideal way forward is to keep the good parts of the capitalist system and to remove its extreme edges.
It’s not just the extreme accumulation of money at the top that’s a major problem, it’s also the things that the uber-rich do in order to accumulate that wealth. If they weren’t so hungry to get richer and richer, they wouldn’t make so many decisions that are bad for the rest of humanity.
I believe the only way to cure this problem once and for all is to change the mindset of the uber-rich themselves – they have to change their thinking so that they see that such extreme wealth is unnecessary and socially unacceptable.
How do we do that?
Easy, first we change everyone else’s thinking.
The uber-rich seek acceptance and social approval just like everyone else. Humans are social animals and we’re born with a strong need for social approval. If we withdraw our social approval from the uber-rich then they’ll feel extreme pressure to change their ways in order to regain our approval, and the approval of their peers.
But many ordinary people aspire to be uber-rich, what can we say to persuade them to change that mindset?
I think the following idea is an extremely powerful tool for this purpose:
Whether consciously or unconsciously, every person with $200 million in wealth has said,
“I won’t give away $100 million to alleviate the suffering of poor, starving children because then I’d only have $100 million and I can’t live happily on that.
I’d rather that many thousands of children suffer hunger and poverty than that I should have to live on only $100 million!”
Think about that.
Could you be happy with 100 million dollars? Do you think that would be enough for you?
Imagine if I had two piles of money, each with 100 million dollars, and I said to you, “Here, one pile is for you – it’s all yours. But you have to decide what I should do with the other pile, shall I give it to you to buy a big luxury yacht, a lear jet and a couple of holiday mansions that you’ll only use for a few weeks each year, or shall I use it to build orphanages for starving, homeless children?”
What would you say?
What do you think of someone that can’t be happy with $100 million?
What do you think of someone that also chooses to take that second pile of money and spends it on a big yacht, a jet and the holiday mansions instead of using it to make this world a better place?
What sort of mind thinks like that?
Is that normal?
Is that a healthy mind?
Is that the sort of mind that you admire?
Next time you see an uber-rich person on tv think about the sort of mind that they have, and the sort of decisions that they’ve made and are continuing to make every day.
I believe that if there was a world-wide campaign to have people think about these questions, that the uber-rich would start feeling very uncomfortable with themselves.
I think that some of them might stop feeling so proud of themselves and start feeling ashamed of themselves.
Then gradually things would snowball from there.
Please read my replies in the comments section below for a more in depth explanation of my thinking on this matter.
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