A Reasoned Defense of the Rich

I like rich people. Leftists think that rich people eat live kittens for breakfast, light cigars with 100 dollar bills, and spend their time running over adorable grandmothers with their huge polluting cars. But no, not all rich people are like George Soros.

No, no, I’m not implying that Soros runs over old ladies. I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar that he doesn’t eat kittens for breakfast, though. The rich people I like are more like the famous writer Agustín de Foxá, who once said, “I am an aristocrat, I am a count, I am rich, I am an ambassador, I am fat, and they still ask me why I am right-wing.”

My way of loving the poor is defending capitalism from totalitarian left-wing threats. How about that?

Stubbornly opposing wealth can lead you to extravagant positions. Think of Mahatma Gandhi. You start out as a normal person and end up dressed only in a loincloth and round glasses, sleeping with naked young girls to prove that you can control your sexual urges. Come to think of it, this might explain why Gandhi is one of Joe Biden’s heroes. To give his nightly adventures an esoteric aura, the Indian leader called these practices “brahmacharya experiments.” When the Democratic leader visited his memorial in India in 2013, he donned a poor man’s shawl, hand-stitched by the exploited poor for the occasion, and exclaimed, “What a high honor and great privilege it is to be here at this sacred spot — memorializing one man who changed the world!” Such enthusiasm is suspicious. I think perhaps someone should explain to Biden that Gandhi’s monument in New Delhi has nothing to do with the young girls.

The widespread fascination among the world’s leftists with the Indian pacifist has an explanation. The life of extreme poverty that Gandhi adopted looked very good on the cover of  Progressive Sunday magazines in the United States, while actually being very expensive for his people. More or less like Obama’s time in the White House. It was one of the Indian spiritual leader’s friends, the terrible poet Sarojini Naidu, who portrayed him accidentally when she rebuked ostentatiously impoverished way of life: “Do you know how much it costs every day to keep you in poverty?” Over the years, I have come to suspect that Gandhi lured Sarojini Naidu into activism to discourage her from insisting on writing her poetry. “Hey, we agreed we were pacifists,” I can imagine him telling Sarojini, “and that means you have to put your pen and notebook down slowly and put your hands above your head.” But I’ll leave this discussion for another time.

Biden and Gandhi have more in common than meets the eye. After all, they both offer magic recipes to fix the world’s problems, both doze off at odd moments, and both offer up their deepest thoughts with the solemnity of one who does not know the meaning of ridicule. They both hate the rich, I guess. Gandhi, after many hours of meditation, said that “everything you eat needlessly is stolen from the stomach of the poor.” Skinny Biden would agree. But Al Gore, for example, would strongly object. The problem with Gandhi’s great statements is that they couldn’t stand up to the intellectual debate that occurs in a kindergarten playground: I could just as easily object that every unnecessary breath he takes, he steals from those who are suffocating.

Whatever the case may be, here lies another reason to love rich people. The Left despises them — as long as they’re not the ones with the millions. Last year, 19 progressive billionaires, led by George Soros, Chris Hughes, and Abigail Disney, published an open letter asking the next president of the United States to raise taxes on the rich. Abigail Disney, a spoiled billionaire with philo-Marxist ideas, regularly says she is ashamed of the money she has. I worry about her. So I’m personally volunteering to expunge her shame without raising taxes— by sending her my bank account number (Abigail, if you’re the gifting kind, I love high-end Venezuelan rum and American cars so big they occupy several states). The reasoning behind my altruism? The person holding the great Scrooge McDuck’s destiny in her hands can’t be allowed to lose sleep at night because she has too much money. It’s as funny as it is wrong.

Some would reproach my love for the wealthy, in view of my being Christian. OK. Pope Francis says we should love the poor, but I don’t remember ever reading that our mission as Christians is to hang the rich. Christianity is the religion of truth and freedom, so it figures that most of us would like all of us to be rich. My way of loving the poor is defending capitalism from totalitarian left-wing threats. How about that? My other way of loving the poor is by smashing progressive ideas with my 1000-page copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. It’s like squashing cockroaches. It’s enthralling. Admittedly, they didn’t teach me this at church.

Broadly speaking, I am able to rejoice in the economic prosperity of others and do not resent those who have more money than I do. I don’t really resent anything. I do not belong to any oppressed minority, like the majority, nor do I believe that the world owes me a debt. What’s more, my lack of resentment is the only thing that has made me doubt my journalistic vocation, but at the same time it has given me some freedom to defend wealth without the heavy conscience that obviously weighs on the 19 millionaires and billionaires of that open letter. At the end of the day, if the government needs more money, it needs more wealthy people. To sum it up, my love of capitalism is expressed in a single rule that I am going to steal from the old writer Josep Pla: “Money does not bring happiness, certainly; but neither is it a serious obstacle.”

Itxu Díaz is a Spanish journalist, political satirist, and author. He has written nine books on topics as diverse as politics, music, and smart appliances. He is a contributor to the Daily Beast, the Daily Caller, National Review, the American Conservative, the Federalist, and Diario Las Américas in the United States, and columnist several Spanish magazines and newspapers. He was also an adviser to the Ministry for Education, Culture, and Sports in Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @itxudiaz or visit his website www.itxudiaz.com.

Translated by Joel Dalmau

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Author: Itxu Díaz

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