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Rage Against The Machine: Filthy rich and thieving?

James Robins | View Archive Updated August 27, 2012, 5:49 am
NUERBURG, GERMANY - JUNE 04: Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine performs during the second day of Rock am Ring on June 04, 2010 in Nuerburg, Germany.

Gettty Images © Enlarge photo

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.

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8 Comments

  1. Richard05:32am Tuesday 28th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    peter, so I am scum for putting money aside to buy shares? I guarantee you earn more than I do, so that must make you lower scum than I am according to your theories?

    Reply
  2. Richard05:29am Tuesday 28th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    you must be listening to a different RATM than I am, or have your ears glued shut, I am guessing that you have never actually given them a good listen, as what you described RATM as is much closer to the bieber gaga gomez generation of musicians.

    Reply
  3. Stephen John05:14am Tuesday 28th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What a ridiculous argument. Life is all about contrasts. You either have money or you don't, period! Rich and poor. Black and white. There's always going to be the 'haves' and 'have nots'. Its an unavoidable fact and truism of life.

    Reply
  4. Amy05:09am Tuesday 28th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    You do realize Peter its the wealthy that are paying all the taxes that you are claiming from your benefit so that you could buy the drugs that fueled your ignorant rant. You don't have to feed off the misery of others to be a financial success... In fact I would go so far to say that the majority of wealthy people are generally good people who made good life/business decisions, one of which being instead of complaining about life and expecting those with money to give it to you they went out and got it for themselves... something that perhaps you could learn from.

    Reply
  5. PG04:50am Tuesday 28th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Its the drugs that did it.

    Reply
  6. Peter08:34am Monday 27th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    'surely one’s actions and accompanying words fundamentally outweigh any representation of wealth?' - in your dreams perhaps, but the reality is the wealthy get listened to by politicians who want the cash, while the poor get ignored/marginalised. As for the 'sound planners' etc you neglect to mention that very few give people anything new and usually build their wealth by grabbing public assets with the help of their political mates - like the human scum that will buy power companies shares here in NZ. Nope sunshine the ONLY 'good' wealth creator person is a DEAD one - the rest need helping into that position.

    Reply
  7. Peter08:04am Monday 27th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Indeed - there is a segment of "leftist agitators" that rage against money, possessions and such - who are very well-heeled indeed. There is no argument that there are plenty of people on this planet who are lavishly rich, greedy and lord it over the rest of us. But one doesnt have to have boatloads of money to do that. Theres hardly a "western" country that isnt socialist these days - and we're as trampled down, "poor" and enslaved as surely as under any non-socialist leadership. :(

    Reply

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