I’m not sure what the latest #ElonMusk thing is really about. I read somewhere that Twitter was very opinionated about something he said, again. This time it’s because he called himself a socialist. I understood from the article I read that many think there is a contradiction between having money and being a socialist.
I have a feeling they are thinking about communism. The way I see it pure capitalism isn’t much better than communism. They basically have the same consequences for the majority of the population, and they are not positive. Socialism can coexist with different political and economical systems, such as democracy and capitalism. This has interested me a little because media tend to miss the point in my opinion.
It’s sad when your heroes, or people you respected, die. That happens frequently now that I’m 50 because many of my idols were naturally grown long before me. One of them was the communist Jon Michelet, who died a couple of months ago. I knew him mostly as a crime author, but at the end of of his life he had a lot of success with a series based on the sailors in the merchant marine during World War II. He completed the series with a sixth book literally on his death bed. The thing that annoyed me was media’s hints and insinuation. They couldn’t write or talk about his success without suggesting that it was wrong of someone who believed in equality to make money.
I’ve seen the same attitude when they write about successful comedians, actors, singers etc. Maybe that’s a side effect of growing up in a country with a strong socialist tradition, but with incentives to make money. Individualism may be encouraged, but there is still the expectation that you remain in the crowd. You shouldn’t feel unique, and there’s something wrong with you if you want to.
You could definitely say that we are a bit inconsistent, even neurotic. Communist or not, creating is very honest work, and what can be better than educating, entertaining, and creating something people love? What people choose to do with their money is their business, but I know that many capitalists don’t choose to invest them in their own country. Many of them don’t believe in causes either. I know Jon Michelet cared about people, the kind of people society tends to ignore. I know about many authors like that, including one of the richest, J. K. Rowling.
It’s like her hat said, “It’s all here in your head.” It’s just a matter of how we choose to use it.