Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Power of Wealth.

What is the real power of wealth? Is being rich an end in itself? Billions on the face of the planet work to earn money to survive and then to live in increasingly more elaborate manners than their neighbors or the masses in other parts of the world. Today you will learn the true power of wealth--the only one that matters.

Societies all over the globe are tiered. We have classes. The American societal structure is three-tiered. You have the upper class, the middle class and the lower class. These classes are determined primarily by financial wherewithal but also by education and birthright. It's entirely possible to be a millionaire and a member of the lower class based upon limited education and lower class birth. Likewise one can be a member of the upper class even penniless, because one has a comprehensive education and comes from upper class gentry stock.

In Europe you have much the same tri-tiered structure with extra emphasis on birth parentage and lineage, less so much on education. In a region where the fiction of royalty and noble birth still exist it's not uncommon to be moronic and a member of the upper noble class. With some of these families centuries old intermarriage practices it actually makes such a scenario more of a statistical probability than an exception.

In India you have the Hindu caste system still largely at work and the tiered structures that reaches from Brahman down to the untouchables. Purity is an essential element in this tiered structure. The most pure are the highest and the least pure are the lowest. Again money and education here play only a small role while birthright and heritage along with an added one proper behavior, determines one's social standing. While in some urban regions this practice is diminishing, it is largely a staple of daily life for hundreds of millions of people.

In Russia and other Slavic countries the tri-tiered structure is also present, however it is top heavy based upon financial assets followed by education with birthright holding only the smallest consideration.

So money can buy things. A home. A car. Clothes and furnishings. It can buy larger and more homes and more expensive cars, clothes and furnishings. But the pursuit of such trivial material objects means little to the educated rich. The educated rich wears the trappings of wealth only dutifully and with less satisfaction than his less educated fellow plutocrats. The educated rich has a new goal--legacy. They seek to make a mark that outlives them. Andrew Carnegie donated millions, set up libraries and hoped charity and education would be his legacy. Bill Gates has done much the same thing. By spending a portion of their assets on charity or assistance programs, the wealthy can work on this legacy. Depending upon their religious beliefs, this charity may have the added psychological motivation of salvation or redemption.

Having the latest Lamborghini in the garage next to the latest Rolls and Maybach gets boring real quick. One must understand something about the educated wealthy--displays of wealth are only satisfying among members of their same class. It is not satisfying to take the Rolls down to K-Mart and flash the Titanium American Express card in front of a bunch of minimum wage slaves. In fact such an activity could be quite hazardous. Such activity is only for the most freshly minted nouveau rich, lotto winners and such.

Upper class society has created a whole bunch of invitation only social get togethers where they get to enjoy showing off what their money can buy for them. The wealthy do not feel safe among the masses and generally limit their social interactions with these same masses. The noble causes, gallery openings and other functions provide the needed outlet for this human desire to show off a bit and compete within one's own social class in a safe, regulated environment.

But what about the real power of wealth? What lies far in advance of the outmoded and childlike concept of leaving a legacy?

Here on this blog all classes are almost equal (if you're urban and wealthy enough to have internet access at any rate) and I shall share here the most important power of wealth...acquiring information.

The internet make all wealthier than they were before because of this educational aspect and information resource. Google almost single-handedly raises the lower class into the lower middle class based upon the information it provides them which they were unable to associate with before.

But not everything is on the web. Acquiring books and building one's library is still a mandatory part of the life of the educated wealthy upper class. Reading is a pastime replaces television watching and only compares in this age with the time spent on the web.

Knowledge is power. Wealth is only powerful inasmuch as it can provide knowledge. The material possessions, whatever their value and use, hardly rate a flickering spark next to the all-consuming inferno that drives the mind to seek new wisdom and attain ever higher plateaus of perception and perspective.

With all this wisdom comes one more The love of humanity. The love of the struggle and path all must follow to escape the confines of the box. Yes, love is the gift understanding leaves in its wake. One cannot have true love without understanding. The deeper the understanding-the deeper and more meaningful the love.

You can't buy love. But you can buy books and the knowledge of the ages contained therein. If you apply yourself to the acquisition of knowledge, true love will eventually be yours.

Now you'll have to excuse me. The detailer has this week off and I'm going to try my hand at waxing the H2 myself. I'm going to have to check Google to see whether Meguiars carnauba wax or Zymol is safest for a clearcoat finish.

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