This is going to be a series of assumptions I believe we should not always take for granted. They may be true sometimes, they may sound quite obvious, but are they always right? I am not claiming they are never true or useful, just arguing we should occasionally stop and question them. If we never critically examine what we assume about the world, how will we ever correct the flaws in our thinking?
1: Unlimited Wealth
If wealth is good, limitless wealth is infinitely better
Can you ever have too much of a good thing? If wealth enables people to do great and good things, limitless wealth should enable them to do an unlimited number of even greater and better things. But many great and good things are not happening in the world right now, whilst many deplorable and bad things are.
Why is that?
Is it because the wealthy are not wealthy enough? Are we limiting their ability to do all the great and good things they would do if only we let them grow even wealthier?
Or maybe wealth itself is not enough. Maybe wealth needs the human spirit to turn its potential into good. Maybe strong spirits with limited wealth can do great things, where weak spirits with great wealth do little good at all.
Maybe, when focusing on growing wealth, we are focusing on the wrong side of the equation? What would happen if we focus on developing the human spirit? If we encourage our children to be compassionate, fearless, strong, kind and caring before we teach them to be selfish, afraid, needy, greedy and aggressive? What would happen if we change the rules of the games our society plays by, so that wealth is not automatically equated with success, and money is not automatically equated with power over others?
4 thoughts on “100 Questionable Assumptions – 1”
Great first proposition Bard. I see contrasting evidence all around me, from the documentary about how Bill & Melinda Gates (along with Warren Buffett) are using their wealth to solve complex problems, to the disproportionate influence wealthy business owners (including those I just mentioned) have over the livelihood of employees. This contrast, by itself, is just a single view on a larger, much more complex issue involving societal evolution, human instincts, altruism and possible future paths for humanity, not to mention antiquated ideas around economics.
Thanks for the comment, Darryl. You are right, of course. There is not a single yes/no, right/wrong answer, not for complex questions like these. Yet, most people want to be given a simple solution: tax the rich, subsidise the poor, give everyone a base salary, grow the economy, …. I suspect the ‘right’ answer will have to be a mix of things, and will never be completely ‘right’, either. All we can hope for is a better approximation of the ideal situation.
One thing I am sure of, though: we won’t improve the situation by stubbornly sticking with the current models. They just don’t work anymore, if they worked at all.
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My values are thru the enriched growth of my spirit. How wonderful it would be to enhance that to financial comfort. Then my spirit answers, ” Wow if we could have more financial peace of mind, we could support more less fortunate in this materialist world.
You make a good point, Evie. I believe there is enough wealth in the World today to give everyone a basic living wage, if only we found a way to distribute things more fairly. On the other hand, you know as well as I do that this material world is really just an illusion, created by the human mind. The ‘world’ is a story we tell ourselves to make sense of the complex reality around us. I believe there must be a better story we could learn to tell. If enough people change their story, the world would be a different place.
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