Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Being A Socialist Loser

 I came across this article a few days ago, and I've been thinking about how to respond to it since then.

I'm having a hard time formulating one specific take on it as it's just so mind numbing dumb, for several reasons.

Here it is: My Year of Living Like My Rich Friend

Synopsis: the author found herself effectively unemployed right as the 2008 financial meltdown rolled in, yet she had a cash windfall from an advance on a book deal.

What did she do with it?

She basically blew it all.

As if mindlessly pissing away a nest egg at the moment of big opportunity were not bad enough (2008-2009 was a time of incredible opportunities, if you had some balls), the article ends by basically crashing head-first into an ideological brick wall at terminal velocity:
"I learned there is a huge class of people who lounge around for a living in this city, still, and I love that. It’s not for everyone, but someone has to do it. I want to eat the rich as much, if not more, than every other good socialist gal, but I also do love beauty and luxury and days spent doing nothing, reading and stretching and drinking endless cups of tea. It’s easy to forget that the result of our efforts to bring about income equality shouldn’t be that everyone has to wear the same government-issued jumpsuit and put in long hours tilling the fields. Treating your mind and body with care shouldn’t be the province of a privileged few; but just because it still is doesn’t mean that no one should do it."
She loves the idea of being idle rich, but wants to "eat the rich." She's "a good socialist gal," but loves luxury and days spent doing nothing. She wants to bring about income equality, and thinks so-called "self-care" pampering, really a form of very expensive and discretionary conspicuous consumption, would still exist when... what? Everyone gets paid the same, or somehow has their incomes limited by scheduling mandates and/or taxes such that there's no incentive to do more than the mandatory minimum whatever? And then the icing on the shit cake: just because only a few can have these things now, it doesn't mean that no one should do it. I imagine that starving North Koreans say something similar whenever they see their plump dictator roll past in a limo.

Then there's the basic premise of her article: her "rich friend" is defined as someone who spends, spends, spends. Maybe her friend is rich. Or maybe the author's friend was just as dumb as she is, consuming her capital for fleeting pleasure now without a thought about tomorrow. Being rich isn't about reckless consumption; reckless consumption is how wealth is destroyed.

It's hard to tell what the actual thinking is of someone like this. It's fallacious to claim to know the motivations of someone who hasn't explicitly stated them, so I'm speculating here: I think the author is of the "socialist when poor, meritocratic/aristocratic/capitalist when not" type, probably with a dash of "bucket crab" thrown in, be that by self-sabotage or by keeping a social circle made up of other poors. Chances are there's a heaping portion of "lottery mentality" in the mix, too. Combine all of this and throw it in the oven, and out comes a steaming pile of defeat marbled with rationalizations about how "the rich owe everyone else" to sooth the cognitive dissonance of having champagne tastes but only enough motivation, discipline, skills, and intelligence to produce a beer budget. In short, someone who thinks about, likes, and wants the good life, but daydreaming is all they do about it.

In other words, an idiot. Worse, an idiot that entertains a fantasy in which the good life is owed to her.

But hey, someone has to make the fries, so while the "good socialist gal" here continues to think that someone has to enjoy the high life, then I'll continue to make sure that's me. She can dream about yoga, post-modern feminist trash poetry books, socialist "revolution" to provide it all to her unearned, and other stupid shit. I'll actually live luxury that I've earned and worked to make permanent, like when the passive income machines I've been building had my back while I went body surfing at dawn off Copacabana beach after being out partying all night in Rio de Janeiro this past December:

All photos featured here are by me

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