I just posted this on Twatter:
What's the most wealth any individual should be allowed to accumulate? I can't imagine any ethical purpose for more than ~$50 million.
I really can't. I consider the relentless accumulation of wealth by the mega-rich to be inherently sociopathic. Its inhuman. I mean, where's the humanity in accumulating bigger yachts, more houses and flash cars- not to mention considerably more power? Its inherently undemocratic because of the power obscene wealth can buy. Its unequal for obvious reasons. Its antisocial because the abuse of power inevitably harms broader society.
Lets not fuck around here. If you, dear reader, or I had $50 mil in the bank then we'd certainly be enjoying the good life but would we just jack in the day job and sit on our arses growing fat and doing too many drugs? I would have no aspirations to invest that money offshore with the intention of doubling it in a couple of years. My personal conviction is that speculation itself is fundamentally sociopathic. Wealth should be earned, not effortlessly harvested. We all have a responsibility to earn a living by contributing productively to society. Living off interest earned on a fortune, whether that fortune itself was earned, inherited or won on the lottery, is personal stagnation and should be viewed with contempt. It lessens
However, personal development can only be so rewarding and so I have argued myself in a circle because I suddenly find myself subconsciously empathising with those who feel they have a contribution to make to society; an course of action open to them to change things for the better. The problem, of course is that people are notoriously fickle, not to say delusional! I would happily rule the world, laying waste to inequality and injustice and labouring tirelessly to construct an earthly utopia but I imagine the Daily Mail readership, finding themselves living in such a world, would find it repugnant for its absence of petty malice and prejudice and would join together into some sort of vitriolic resistance movement to overthrow my enlightened rule and reestablish the cancer-curing plutocracy.
This post started out with such a grand vision but, as with so many of mine, has deteriorated into introspection, navel gazing and tail-chasing. So, if you ignore the last couple of paragraphs, do you agree with my initial proposal and if not, why not?