Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Heroic drinking

Oregon man spends $27,000 on a single bottle of Scotch

I find it fascinating that criticism of selfishness is consistently interpreted as envy. Why should we envy selfishness? It's nothing to be proud of. If anything it's proof of social failure. A society that values accumulation of wealth above all else isn't a society at all, it's a corporation.

Inequality of wealth hasn't been this extreme in the United States since before the Gilded Age (the "Robber Baron" period gives the best fit) and yet everyone's busy defending it. It's as though CNN's forums were populated entirely by the 1%, but of course that's impossible: the 1% are busy quaffing their overpriced liquor.

Are we supposed to worship the most conspicuous consumers, as if selfishness was heroic? Is that what civilization has been reduced to? I would expect to hear this type of rhetoric at a John Birch society meeting circa 1950. That I'm hearing it in the 21st century, on the forum of one the world's most powerful corporations, as climate change barrels down on us all like a geological-scale freight train, does not bode well for the longevity of homo sapiens.

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