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Wealth is relative to your circumstances and aspirations. Not everyone seeks a life of financial or material accumulation, even though they may have the ability so to do.
Boris Johnson London’s Mayor said yesterday “that inequality is essential to fostering “the spirit of envy” and hailed greed as a “valuable spur to economic activity”.
Well that’s the kind of statement you may expect from politicians whose naked ambitions seem often to cloud his judgment. However it does beg a philosophical question on the nature of inequality.
There are many forms of it. Intellectual inequality, social inequality to name but two.
There is a preconception in western culture that financial superiority automatically cancels out these two and leads to a form of nirvana. It does do not. In fact I would go as far to say that financial superiority over others leads to a form of poverty of the soul.
Most people require some form of incentive to motivate them. Our capitalist societies cleverly try and provide a road map for that. Striving for superiority over others is one very powerful driver. Yet many of us choose personal fulfillment over material security and lead very satisfactory lives. That does not mean less intelligence or a lack of ambition more the excising of freedom and personal choice.
It’s very often the already rich and powerful such as Boris Johnson who try and incentivize the rest of us. To follow their lead by suggesting if you do not you must be intellectually challenged. I think that indicates a form of deep insecurity as well as being plain wrong.