Thursday, 3 January 2013

Wealth is not a river

Quoting this Theodore Dalrymple piece:

There is one group that is not protected from hate-speech: the rich. Of the rich it is permissible, and in some circles de rigueur, to speak disparagingly or hatefully. This, I imagine, is because it is widely supposed that if you hate the rich you must love the poor...

That the rich are not protected from hate-speech proves that the one thing that speech codes are not designed to reduce or prohibit is hatred: for it is a distinctly moot point whether race hatred, or hatred of the rich, has been responsible for the more mass murders in the past century or so. 
But who are the rich...? Even if one takes the 1 per cent figure that has recently become so popular, in the United States this amounts to 3 million people. In order to hate 3 million people you have somewhat to disregard their individual characteristics.

there is no recognition here, not the faintest glimmer of a recognition, that a man who creates a business by which he becomes rich might just be adding to the general wealth of the country in which he created it: that, for example, Henry Ford, in growing rich, impoverished no one and increased the wealth of his country. Wealth is not like a river that flows in one direction only.
Fran├žois Guizot wanted the peasants to enrich themselves; Fran├žois Hollande would like the rich to impoverish themselves

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