Some Rich People ARE Good

 

Yes, some rich people are good people.* Just as some poor people are bad people. Likewise, in the course of human history no doubt some kings and queens were good and well-intentioned people. But monarchism means the king or queen rules whether well-intentioned or not. Likewise, our present society based on class inequality in which money is power means that the richest people have the real power no matter if they are well-intentioned or not. The reason for removing the rich from power is the same as for abolishing monarchism. It's not because there have never been good kings or that there are no good rich people. It's because ordinary people should have an equal say in making important social decisions.

 

A good person, no matter if rich or poor, wants society to be based on the Golden Rule, which is what egalitarianism is all about. A good person therefore wants the economy of society to be based on "From each according to reasonable ability, to each according to need or reasonable desire, with scarce things equitably rationed according to need." This is what "no rich and no poor" means. It is what an egalitarian economy is based on.

 

Here are two articles about rich people doing good: One is about the owner of the Chobani Yogurt company making his employees co-owners of part of the business. The other is about an anonymous wealthy person who donated money to make it possible for two poor families to own their own homes.

 

Some philanthropy, such as that of Bill Gates (go here and here and here for more on this) is for the purpose of maintaining class inequality so that the rich will remain richer than most people with vast privileges and power. But let us take the two articles linked to in the above paragraph at face value. These two wealthy persons apparently wanted to do the morally right thing, and they did. Good for them!

 

Here are three different and not necessarily conflicting thoughts about these generous acts.

 

#1. These acts are evidence that at least some rich people--capitalists--want to share their wealth in an essentially egalitarian spirit. This shows that an egalitarian revolutionary movement can reasonably expect to have some support from some rich people. And it shows that some rich people probably would rather be equals in a just and egalitarian society than be rich in an unjust one. Note that this doesn't conflict with the fact that if they have to choose between being poor in an unjust society or rich in an unjust society they'd rather be rich. This is why pro-egalitarian rich people don't give ALL their money away!

 

Very few people respond to the PDR button by disagreeing with the idea of removing the rich from power, but of these few, many of them say something like, "But not all rich people are bad people." It wouldn't be polite to respond, "So what?", but that would be the most logical response. The good rich people want to be removed from the kind of power that comes from being richer than practically everybody else.

 

#2. How come these rich benefactors don't try to help people abolish class inequality? We can't read their minds, but it is of course possible that they think there is no point in doing that because they think it is impossible to abolish class inequality, which would make them the same in this regard as most people today, rich or poor. (We're trying to change this "it's impossible" belief, but we haven't done it yet.)

 

#3. Hmmm. Charity is a double-edged sword. There's a film about the 17th century Diggers in England who were poor landless peasants aiming to make an egalitarian society. During their struggle (to occupy some land illegally and "dig" it to grow food for themselves) a Digger appealed for support (of the political kind) to a rich woman who had up till then given them charity alms when they were hungry. In reply to his appeal for support in their political struggle, the rich woman said she would not support them. "Why not?" asked the Digger, "You always supported us before." The rich woman said, "Do you believe that charity is a virtue?" The Digger said, "Yes, of course." "Well, then," said the woman, "if I support your struggle, you will no longer need charity, and there will be less charity, and hence less virtue in the world. You wouldn't want THAT to happen, would you?" The Digger walked away scratching his head.

#4. While some rich people are good, the fact remains that an upper class as a whole must treat ordinary people like dirt in order to preserve the class inequality that enables an upper class to exist and dominate everybody else. This is discussed in some detail here.

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* But some who seem good are not really. For example read my article, "Bill Gates Is Not a Benign Philanthropist, Quite the Contrary."

 

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