We have some new members this week in part as a consequence of a promotion I sent out, so I might begin by welcoming them and saying I look forward to you joining us this, and every Wednesday at 9:30pm US Eastern time for our live member chat sessions.
Typically I send these teasers out with some thoughts ahead of the shows, and these teasers often end up becoming opening monologues, but these sessions are more about us interacting with one another in our video chat which you can find here. You do not need to turn on your camera or your microphone to join. Just above the chat box there is a video player if you just want to watch. If you care to participate, enter the chat and then click the camera or “Join Video Chat” and you will enter the video chat session. There you can enable or disable your camera or your microphone depending on your preferences. I ask that you keep your microphone muted except for when you have something to say, just to keep the noise level down, but you are welcome to chime in throughout the discussion.
When I open up with a particular theme, nobody is under any obligation to stick to that theme, but I try to open things up with something like what you are about to read.
Oliver Anthony’s viral sensation “Rich Men North of Richmond” has been on the tip of every tongue lately, and mine is no exception. While I see this as a largely positive thing, I am more than a little concerned about discussion that has arisen on the subject of socioeconomic class.
Class warfare is not a good thing. Human beings are not born with equal capacities to do things which are valued in the marketplace, and since inequality is man’s natural state, efforts to correct what is in no need of correcting near universally end up deforming and destroying people and bringing none of the happiness such efforts promise.
Let us for a moment set aside the reality that some people are enriched unjustly. We may consider this obvious, and we may furthermore say that it is a pervasive problem. The nature of that problem however, is the means of enrichment, and nothing so bad about enrichment as such.
Limiting for the moment our focus to people who earn their fortunes honestly, there is only one way to do this, fundamentally. That is to provide a unique and valuable product or service which others have not proven capable of providing in equal or greater measure. Whether this is by reducing production costs, or increasing quality, or coming up with something entirely new, the key here is that they have done something unique, and that is the reason funds have flowed to them instead of to others.
This is a thing we ought not be very upset about. When a society is endowed with capable people, that whole society benefits from this. We see all over the world societies which are not so endowed. We call these countries “third world countries” and we would not want to emulate them at all.
What we should do, however, is make sure that there is a common culture between all elements of the society. That has not been done in America and we are witnessing the consequences. In Charles Murray’s 2012 book “Coming Apart” he warned of a “cognitive elite” becoming so distant from the rest of the population that they had no concept of how the average person lives. Without this knowledge, the disproportionate power these people wield is wielded without any recognition of the harm they may do to those who are not endowed with their capacities, and the result is class division and hostility.
It is a lie that diversity is our strength. What makes a nation strong is unity. While differences among individuals in society surely make life interesting, once those differences become grouped into factions, conflicts of interest emerge. Those conflicts of interest result in the most bitter political battles, wherein one side fears, and hates the other, and politics takes on an adversarial character wherein each believes the world will end, or something approximating that outcome, should the other side end up in control.
If every election takes on the character of a life or death struggle, then the nation ends up at war with itself every couple of years. Such divisions are seized upon by foreign interests abroad and subversive opportunists at home. That has to be fixed or the country falls apart.
The Rich Men North of Richmond are not to be scorned for the fact of their being rich. They are to be scorned because the things they have done with those riches are destructive of the society, and those destructive acts, are worth of much more than our scorn.
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