Thursday, 6 December 2007

What's wrong with "big money"?

I hear all the time that "minorities" should be protected. "Minorities" need the protection of law. Minorities need to have their voices heard. This is widely considered today to be a moral principle of a very high order.

Yet as the spin around the Electoral Finance Bill demonstrates, this defence of minority "rights" is applied by this government and its allies in a most discriminatory manner: it is applied only to racial minorities.

There is one minority however who this government thinks should sit still while the law removes their voice and taxes them to hell; who should remain silent their right to speak freely is muzzled; who should keep quiet even while this government goes through their pockets to pay for views which they oppose.

The one minority whom this government has chosen not to protect but instead to do over, are people who have earned their own money. The rich. The wealthy. This "ownership class" it seems is the one minority that deserves not protection, but out and out political persecution.


Why shouldn't people be entitled to advertise their own views with their own money, just as long as all are free to do the same thing? Why should people be required to stay silent while they're forced to fund views they oppose? What's actually wrong with "big money" and those who've earned it? Why should the speech of producers be rationed, while they're forced to fund the speech of the unproductive?

There is nothing more cancerous or corrosive than to vilify the most productive members of society.

There was a time last century when those who didn't own property were excluded from voting. one could be forgiven for thinking that those fomenting the present feeding freezy would like to bring about that same situation in reverse.

Perhaps you think the word "persecution" too harsh? Consider this*:
If a small group of men were always regarded as guilty, in any clash with any other group, regardless of the issues or circumstances involved, would you call it persecution? If this group were always made to pay for the sins, errors, or failures of any other group, would you call that persecution? If this group had to live under a silent reign of terror, under special laws, from which all other people were immune, laws which the accused could not grasp or define in advance and which the accuser could interpret in any way he pleased -- would you call that persecution? If this group were penalized, not for its faults, but for its virtues, not for its incompetence, but for its ability, not for its failures, but for its achievements, and the greater the achievement, the greater the penalty -- would you call that persecution?

If your answer is ''yes'' -- then ask yourself what sort of monstrous injustice you are condoning, supporting, or perpetuating. That group is the [world's] businessmen. . . .
Any good reason they deserve to be silenced?

* * * * *
* From the introduction to Ayn Rand's 1961 article 'America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business,' reprinted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

UPDATE: A graphic from a reader at Kiwiblog makes plain the difference between "big money" and "government money" under the Electoral Finance Bill:


  1. One wonders if the theory that the rich can buy opinions and swing voters is true why the vehicle of the Business Roundtable - ACT - has never been a partner in government.

    The disconnect with reality is nonsensical, but few will grasp the moral argument. There is an enormous overlay of envy and hatred for others being wealthy. It is seen to be through luck or through cheating. The phrase "you're lucky you can afford..." is the evidence of it

  2. I remember a guy at university who spoke up during a commerce tutorial about this. When the envy of wealth raised its head, he said, "None of us want to be poor. We all want great success and wealth. That's why we are here today." Then he said, "Let's face it. Poor people are pathetic. There is not much good in poverty and those who are poor are poor for a reason. Whatever it is, it's a self-made reason." There was a silence and a few young women started bleating. He answered that his intention was to become wealthy and enjoy life. He didn't consider anyone should stop him and he didn't consider anyone's opinion or feelings worth more than his own. He pointed out that the women were only there to fetch wealthy husbands- something that later tuned out to be a sound observation. I since heard that Jay is in Europe where he is living a hedonistic lifestyle. Interestingly he was jealous of no-one, but how many are jealous of him!


  3. ...that the women were only there to fetch wealthy husbands- something that later tuned out to be a sound observation.

    That's true for Auckland Celebrity , Socialite & millionaire Gilda Kirkpatrick. I know that Ruth is jealous of Gilda's celebrity status, because Ruth has inquired in the blogosphere of who Gilda is? Gilda is hot.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.