We all want more money.
Just that little bit more to tide us over one week out from payday. Just that little bit more so we can be rid of the mortgage just that little bit faster.
Just that little bit more to make all our hard work just that little bit more appreciated.
For some reason, people are calling out Tom Morello, guitarist in rock band Rage Against The Machine, for berating Republican veep nominee Paul Ryan.
How could a man worth more than US$60m lecture another rich man about the hypocrisy of the modern Republican movement, they ask.
It’s a straw man question, when they really ought to be asking this: does the amount of money we have automatically redact or draw weight from our comments and beliefs?
No. Money, fundamentally, is an arbitrary thing. This may be my own wishy-washy liberalism talking here, but surely one’s actions and accompanying words fundamentally outweigh any representation of wealth?
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand Rage Against The Machine. I find their music to be vile, overwrought, directionless, vain, and entirely lacking any passion. Although I’m not alone in this opinion, the majority of people clearly love Morello, and he’s considered one of the greatest guitarists of recent decades. RATM’s record sales clearly indicate their success and notoriety.
Morello has made millions from his talent. Years of touring, recording and releasing records, and songs that people consider to be anthems for a generation of disaffected youth have blessed him with a vast fortune.
And this is the same man who showed up to play during the heyday of Occupy Wall Street, who has never wavered from his revolutionary stance. His piece in Rolling Stone is testament to that.
There are some on the Left who seem to actively despise those who have money, who have worth, and who have prestige. The trouble with this attitude is that often criticism is directed where in fact there should be praise.
Towards those who establish and build wealth through perseverance, sensible financial planning, talent, or craftsmanship, or a reputation for good business practice, we should be directing praise.
Towards those who operate in moral grey-areas, who actively champion the misery and destitution of others, who commit crime, or actions that really ought to be crimes in order to build disproportionate wealth, we should be directing our disgust and abhorrence.
Honest people work hard enough as it is – they don’t need to be vilified for wanting the best in life.