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A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

PHILIP SLATER

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any people have asked me to make Wealth Addiction available to the public, since the book has long been out of print. Though praised by critics its publication was ill-timed, coming as it did at

the beginning of the Reagan era. Since then the incomes of a small minority have skyrocketed, while those of the vast majority have barely kept up with inflation—usually by a couple producing what once was earned by one. So the book seems even more relevant now than it was then. Unfortunately, inflation has made the actual figures used in the book ridiculous. In the 70s you could rent a four-room apartment in Cambridge a block from Harvard, or a three bedroom house in Santa Cruz, CA—with deck and ocean view a half-block from the water—for under $400 a month. In those days the word ‘millionaire’ used to mean an extremely rich person. Today we have to use ‘billionaire’ to convey the same meaning. And while there are many billionaires today, when the book was written the eight cited were pretty much it in the United States. To make the amounts meaningful in today’s world, you should multiply every figure by ten. Thus, on page 25, for example, you would use the figures $10,000,000 in assets and $500,000 a year income. When it comes to inequality, the change is even greater. On page 132, for example, I used italics to express what seemed, at that time, outrageous inequality—with the wealthiest 1% of the population owning eight times what the poorer 50% owned. But today we regard the 70s as a time of relative equality compared to the present, since almost all gains in wealth in the intervening years have gone to heavy addicts. These are things to keep in mind when reading Wealth Addiction.

Wealth Addiction

A lso by Philip S later

MICROCOSM □ THE GLORY OF HERA THE PURSUIT OF LONELINESS □ EARTHWALK FOOTHOLDS □ THE WAYWARD GATE

I NC. P.H I'W e a lth Addiction lpW A* P H I LI P SLATER A Dutton Paperback E. DUTTON. • NEW YORK .

10016 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 81-71024 ISBN: 0-525-47704-7 Published simultaneously in Canada by Clarke. Inc. Printed in the U. P. Dutton. except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine. recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented. Dutton.This Dutton Paperback edition first published in 1983 by E.. Toronto and Vancouver 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 . Inc. including photocopy. P.S.A.Y. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. Published in the United States by E. without permission in writing from the publisher. Irwin fc? Company Limited. newspaper or broadcast. New York. Copyright © 1980 by Philip Slater All rights reserved. 2 Park Avenue. N. electronic or mechanical.

TO A l Adato. Glenn Lyons. Jim Mosher. M ark Messer. Andy Schiffrin. and Ed Teitcher .

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S IR FRA N C IS BACON . Y O SHIDA KENKO Wealth is like muck. It is not good but i f it be spread.Since olden times there has rarely been a sage who was wealthy.

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7. 6.Contents Acknowledgments □ XI 1. What Is Money? □ 1 The Money on Your Back □ 16 The Four Signs of Addiction □ 33 Heavy Addicts and Their Children □ 65 The Ego Mafia and the Addictive Economy □ 114 The Democratization o f Greed □ 131 The Cure □ 155 Notes □ 199 . 5. 4. 2. 3.

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A nd Elna S a n d e m a n ’s in tellig en t h an d lin g o f the m an u sc rip t’s p re p a ra tio n relieved m e o f m any b u rd e n s. w hile p arts o f C h a p te rs 3 an d 5 a p p e a re d in Social Policy (S ep tem b er. 1978). resp o n siv e. to w hom this b o o k is d ed ic ate d . an d his w isdom was. T h e vigilant ed ito rial eye o f Bill W h ite­ h ead c u rb e d m any excesses. as always. invaluable. An a lte re d version o f C h a p te r 2 a p p e a re d in Quest 77. M elita C ow ie was th e so u rce o f m any ideas a n d m uch in sp iratio n . C huck G ib so n was an early. an d h e lp ­ ful critic. was im p o rta n t th ro u g h o u t. . T h e su p ­ p o rt o f my M en’s G ro u p .Acknowledgments W riting this b o o k was a stru g g le w hich w ould have b e en diffi­ cult to win th ro u g h w ith o u t th e h elp o f o th e rs. M ost o f th e e p ig ra p h s w ere culled from G oldian Vand e n B ro e c k ’s Less Is More.

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Wealth Addiction .

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o f c o u rse— especially city d w ellers— survival in th e ab sen ce o f m oney p re se n ts real difficulties. W e can. TH O M A S TRA H ERN E P eo p le w orry a lo t a b o u t m o n ey th e se days. a lth o u g h it has n o n u tritio n al value. they can c re a te a w orld th a t m akes th o se beliefs co m e tru e . In a way this is peculiar. W e try h a rd e r an d h a rd e r to m ake m o re an d m o re m oney.1 W h a t Is M o n e y ? I saw clearly. Y et we have b eco m e psychologically so d e p e n d e n t o n it th at m ost o f us have a h a rd tim e even im ag in in g survival a p a rt from m oney. since th e m oney is w o rth less th an ev er b efo re. F or m any p e o p le . an d w e’ve p re tty m uch d o n e th at with m oney. A visitor from o u te r space m ight ex pect that if m oney w ere d e c re a sin g in value w e’d sto p b ein g so in te r­ este d in it. a n d w o n ’t keep us w arm . is p o o r b u ild in g m aterial. which buys less an d less. W hy w orry a b o u t so m e th in g th a t’s on its way to b eco m in g w orthless? O n e re a so n w e’re so p re o c c u p ie d w ith m oney is th a t w e’ve co n fu sed it w ith survival. in the scarce. a feigned. by th e sam e to k en . that there was a real valuableness in all the common things. try o u t som e new beliefs and c reate a new kind o f w orld— o n e in w hich all o u r p resen t 1 . I f en o u g h p eo p le believe so m e th in g .

O f co u rse if you ask p e o p le . In alm ost all th ese books m o n ey is th e u ltim ate value against which ev ery th in g else is m e a su re d . is it p u t in th e la rg e r c o n te x t o f w hat p e o p le w ant o u t o f life an d w hat kind o f society they w ant to live in. I_J WEALTH ADDICTION beliefs a b o u t m oney will seem co m p letely irratio n al. “ Do you w ant to m ake a lot o f m on ey ?” th ey ’ll say yes. o u r society has a peculiarly split p erso n ality rig h t now: o n e p a rt cautiously e x p lo rin g new d irectio n s w hile th e o th e r p u sh es th e o ld a p p ro a c h to its w ild­ est ex trem es. q u ite con trary to th e facts. T h is is w hat econom ics is all ab o u t. M oney ru les. But to achieve this e n d they are rarely willing to sacrifice all o th e r goals a n d values: to accu m u late p a p e r. b u t the app licatio n s an d ram ifications can b e q u ite e lab o rate. R arely. th a t we all want to m axim ize o u r bank balances. o r e n la rg e th e n u m b e r o f digits in a com ­ p u te r is n o t th e u ltim ate goal th a t m o st p e o p le live for. if ever. has its ow n logic. W hen we step back far e n o u g h to g et a g o o d look at them . b e co m fo rtab le. som e o f o u r beliefs a b o u t m oney alread y seem p re tty irra ­ tional. fo r exam ple. T h is book is an effort in th a t d irectio n . T h is is w hat gives us th e lev erag e to sta rt c rea tin g a new b e lie f system fo r ourselves.e. have ad v en tu res. T hey w ant to enjoy them selves. S o m e­ tim es p e o p le g et so cau g h t u p in th e se ru les they b eg in to con fu se th em w ith th e ir ow n goals. M oney. o f co u rse. T h is is w hat usually h a p p e n s d u rin g p e rio d s o f change. P u sh in g old p a tte rn s to an e x tre m e is o n e way to describe th e ru sh o f “ su ccess” books th at have flo o d ed th e m arket in th e p ast few years. . tell us how to m axim ize o u r b ank balan ce. assum ing. T h e s e books p u rp o rt to show you how to m ake a m illion dollars o n o r o ff th e stock m arket (never w hat to d o w ith th e m oney w hen you g et it. T h e basic ru les a re sim ple. its ow n rules fo r m axim izing itself. In fact. w hich alm ost everyone m istakenly assum es h e o r sh e alread y knows) o r how to trap y o u rse lf irrevocably in th e “ ra t ra c e ” by risin g to th e to p o f a co rp o ratio n .

B ut in o u r society m any p e o p le have a ten d en cy to a rra n g e th e ir lives a ro u n d it. 2. a n d so on . T h e financial p ages o f th e n e w sp ap er an d th e books a b o u t how to b e “ successful” are all ex p ressio n s o f M oneythink. it’s very useful to re a d a book giving you rules an d p rin cip les o f sailing. B ut you w o u ld n ’t apply th o se ru les to y o u r e n tire life. b u t it can be an actual d e trim e n t to th e a tta in m e n t o f o th e rs. If you sell so m eth in g you do w ant b ecau se it’s g o in g to d e c rea se in value. T h e “ H ow T o ” books a re q u ite co rrect. If you w ant to learn how to sail a b o at. I f you buy so m e ­ th in g you d o n ’t w ant b ecau se you thin k it will in crease in m oney value. T h e field o f econom ics is b ased o n M oneythink. in saying th at anyone willing to dispense with all these other goals can make money. 3. Its fu n ctio n is to h o m o g en ize. Y ou’d look awfully silly if you w alked dow n th e s tre e t tacking back and fo rth again st th e w ind. an d if you did it in y o u r car y o u ’d b e a rre ste d . . how ever. A nytim e you d o an ything w ith th e goal o f m aking m o n ey you u se M oneythink. It is a m eans. If we a re to u n d e rs ta n d m oney w ith o u t b e in g sw allow ed up in M oneythink— if we a re to le a rn why m o n ey has such a hold on us. T h e way o f look in g at th e w orld th a t m akes m axim izing m oney a p a ra m o u n t goal I call Moneythink. A big b ank b alan ce can be useful at tim es in realizin g so m e o f th e se goals. It is sym bolic.WHAT IS MONEY? LI 3 get g o o d a t w hat they d o . an d how to keep it in its p ro p e r p lace as a tool th at we u se ra th e r th an an o b sessio n th at uses us— th e n we n e ed to ap p rec ia te th re e im p o rta n t facts a b o u t m oney: 1. love a n d b e loved. m ake th e w orld b e tte r. y o u ’re o p e ra tin g o n M oneythink. As a m ean s o f achieving a lim ited a n d te m p o ra ry goal M oneythink is very useful. yo u ’re also e n g a g e d in M oneythink. n o t real. n o t an en d . grow a n d d ev elo p .

b u t w here m oney is c o n c e rn e d .U .U . As we all know . it sickens an d dies.U . I t’s a collective 1. o n ce th o u g h t to be the rich est m an alive. th e h a rd e r they w ork to keep it alive. an d p e o p le who p rid e them selves o n b e in g d o w n -to -e a rth an d m aterialistic will focus all th e ir in te re st an d e n e rg ie s o n a co m p le te intangible. I t ’s ju s t so m e th in g to m ake b o o k k eep in g c o n v e n ie n t.0 . Inflation.O . M O N E Y IS SY M B O L IC W h en I say m oney is sym bolic I m ean th a t it has value only as lo n g as we collectively believe th at it does. could be c o n sid e re d a sign o f in cip ien t skepticism . L ab o r is n e e d e d in A pril. H u n t. B ut in a m ere few th o u sa n d years th e se sym bols have b e ­ com e very c o n c re te in p e o p le ’s m inds. “ M oney is n o thing. m any A m ericans a re in cu rab le ro m an tics— the sicker th e m o n ey gets. T o m o st A m ericans. F o rtu n ately . L. was q u o te d as saying. in fact.s.” B ecause .4 U WEALTH ADDICTION I t’s h a rd to talk a b o u t th e se th in g s w ith o u t sta tin g th e obvious. m oney beco m es w orthless only w hen larg e n u m b e rs o f us sto p believ in g in it. W e m ight say th at th e 7 0 ’s raised th e sam e d o u b ts a b o u t m o n ey th at th e eig h ­ te e n th cen tu ry raised a b o u t relig io n . M oney is like th e fairies in Peter P an : if you sto p b elieving in it. T h e T ex as oil b illio n aire H. m oney cam e in to b e in g to m ake b a rte r m ore efficient. th e obvious is usually th e first th in g fo rg o tte n . It has th e ad v an tag e th a t w hile o n e p e rs o n ’s I. a ship com es in to h a rb o r in J a n u ­ ary— how can th ese com plex ex ch an g es b e m anaged? M oney m akes tra d e m o re elastic: in effect it’s an e la b o ra te system o f 1 . m oney is th e realest th in g im aginable. especially by th o se w ho a re su p p o se d to know th e m o st a b o u t it. at a tim e w hen tra n s p o rta tio n a n d com m unications w ere in a very prim itive state.0.” Yet he d e v o te d his life to th e accu m u latio n o f this “ n o th in g . w hich I ’ll discuss in m o re d etail in C h a p te r 6. a crop is h arv ested in S e p te m b e r. m ay tu rn o u t to b e w orthless. for exam ple.

W ith im p ro v e m e n ts in tra n s p o rta tio n . d ire c t b a rte r b ecom es m uch ea sie r an d is.WHAT IS MONEY? □ 5 m oney is th e sym bol fo r ac q u irin g m any g o o d s an d services. th a t a fte r this has b e en g o in g o n fo r som e tim e I su d d en ly a n n o u n c e th at in five m in u tes th e pieces o f p a p e r can n o lo n g e r b e u se d to p u rc h a se anythin g . I t’s very easy to a ttach value to a sym bol. O n e re su lt always fascin ated m e: o n c e a p iece o f p a p e r. S u p p o se. C o m m u n ic a tio n is in sta n ta n e o u s. I c re a te d a m in i-eco n o m y . co m p lete with m ark ets. P e o p le actually w ork to am ass th e se I. b u t m o re slowly th a n o n e w ould expect. w ages. A nd d e b ts and cred its can b e sto re d in a c o m p u te r indefinitely. fo r ex am p le.s b e fo re they have ev en c o n sid ere d w hat they w ant th em for. I d e ­ sig n ed gam es an d ex ercises to m ake th e se e x p lo ra tio n s m o re co n crete. Actually. T h is seem s to b e w hat has h a p p e n e d to m oney itself. a fte r all. it assum es fo r m any p e o p le th e c h a ra c te r o f a m agic w ishing rin g — th e gatew ay to all o u r d esires. It h a p p e n s h e re . a n d a g am e in w hich p e o p le re sp o n d e d to co m m en ts they liked by giving th e sp eak er chips. is w hat h a p p e n s in an inflation panic. o r any o th e r w orth less ob ject. an d in fo rm a tio n sto ra g e . b u t m u ch m o re difficult to take it away again. fo r ex am p le. S u p p o se .O . o c c u rrin g o n an in c re asin g scale. I have re p e a te d ly seen p e o p le cling to fistfuls o f w orthless p a p e r as enthusiastically as if they w ere te n -d o lla r bills. fu rth e r. I te a r u p a n d d istrib u te som e little pieces o f p a p e r fo r p e o p le to u se in p u rc h a sin g sm all am o u n ts o f fo o d o r m in o r services. has b e e n tre a te d as m oney. M ost g o o d s can b e d eliv ered an y w h ere in th e w orld in a m a tte r o f weeks. m any p e o ­ ple have a h a rd tim e le ttin g go o f this association.U . in fact. T h is is really . Y ou’d ex p ect th a t ev ery o n e w o u ld try as quickly as p o ssib le to u se u p this “ m o n e y ” th a t’s a b o u t to b eco m e w o rth ­ less— this. c o m ­ m u n icatio n . to o . m o n ey is less n e e d e d now th a n at any tim e in m o d e rn history. I once c o n d u c te d several w o rk sh o p s fo r p e o p le w ho w anted to e x p lo re th e ir a ttitu d e s a n d feelin g s a b o u t m oney. a n d so o n .

B ut if you in v en t so m e th in g to kill p ests. o n e ep iso d e o f ‘Starsky a n d H u tc h ’. a n d a b a n a n a sp lit. W e d o n ’t say. W e attach d ifferen t kinds o f m ean in g to o u r ex p e rien ces and d o n ’t usually try to c o m p a re o r e q u a te them . it ten d s to . a n d in fo rm atio n . T h e r e ’s an o ld saying a b o u t th e folly o f trying to c o m p a re ap p les a n d o ran g e s. arts an d crafts. T h is d o e s n ’t tell us m uch a b o u t th e d ifference betw een experiencing an o ra n g e an d an ap p le b u t it’s extrem ely co n v en ­ ient in th e m arketplace. b u t a certain kind o f p leasu re. B arter is also b eco m in g im p o rta n t a t th e p e rso n a l level. car rep air. a n d as inflatio n low ers o u r faith in m oney. MONEY HOMOGENIZES M oney is useful to us only to th e d e g re e th a t it creates a single standard o f value. “T h is su n set is w o rth th re e sets o f ten n is. bu ild in g . m oney w ould b e po in tless. a n d if you inv en t so m e th in g to h o m o g en ize tra d e d g o o d s. th e n an o ra n g e is twice as g o o d as an apple. P eo p le in th e se n etw orks freq u e n tly ex ­ ch an g e services o n a re g u la r basis— p articu larly th o se with skills in carp en try . am o n g the “ v o lu n tary p o o r ”— m iddle-class p e o p le w ho have a d o p te d a sim p ler life-style. R ed u cin g all th in g s to o n e co m m o n scale o f value m akes it m uch easier to tra d e th em . an d so on. te x tu re . various kinds o f healing. b a rte r will play an in creasin g ro le at th e c o rp o ra te level.” Each ex p erien ce p ro d u c e s n o t only a degree o f p le a su re .6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION all th a t is n e e d e d to re s to re b a r te r to an im p o rta n t place in the w orld econom y. b u t also qualitatively d ifferent: it has a d ifferen t taste. M oney was c re a te d to e n ab le us to elim i­ n a te th ese q ualitative d ifferences a n d c o m p a re an y th in g with an y th in g else o n a single scale o f value. b u t this is precisely w hat m oney is for: if ap p les a re 10(< each and o ran g es a re 20tf each. w ith special m ean in g s atta c h e d . I f it d id n ’t have this ability to h o m o g en ize value. it has a ten d en cy to kill o th e r things too. A g rap efru it is n o t only quantitatively d ifferen t from a g ra p e in th e se n se o f b e in g b ig g er.

M an u factu rers o f safety e q u ip m e n t. Je su s o f N azareth .) is . food. S om e th in g s. In w artim e th e loss o f lives is w eighed q u ite explicitly ag ain st th e loss o f e q u ip m e n t. sexual feel­ ings. unless he had so m e w him sical cu riosity a b o u t w hat an in fe rio r e x p e ri­ en ce m ig h t b e like. an d p esticid e m anufac­ tu re rs an d p ro c e sso rs a re all involved in calculations in which th e p ro b ab ility o f d e a th (and its cost in law suits. an d so on. c o m p a n io n sh ip . T h is is th e g re a t stre n g th o f m oney: it can re d u c e so m uch to so little. cosm etic. S u p p o se we m e e t an alien to this p la n e t an d teach him all a b o u t m oney— a n d n o th in g else. T h is is also its g rea test w eakness. a re felt by m o st p e o p le to lie o u tsid e this single scale: aesth e tic e x p e rie n c es. a u to m o b ile a n d a irp la n e m anufac­ tu re rs. A rt is b o u g h t a n d so ld . it’s tru e . W e also claim th a t we c a n n o t place a value o n h u m an life. a n d so. to so m e e x te n t. etc. n u rtu ra n c e . relig io u s an d id eo lo g ical convictions. T h e n e u tro n b o m b involves d e ta ile d calculations o f th e d o lla r w orth o f h u m an b eings relative to real estate. for exam ple. M oney is n o t c o n c e rn e d w ith th e u n iq u e qualities o f ex p erien ce. how ever. em o tio n s. yet we d o it all th e tim e. ro a d b u ild e rs. yet so m e C h ristian d e n o m i­ n atio n s have g o n e so far as o p en ly to e q u a te w ealth with vir­ tue. a n d o th e r e m o tio n -la d e n e x p e rie n c es. A d istin g u ish e d physicist o n c e e x p re sse d to m e his am azem en t th at th e re was only o n e kind o f m o ney— th at all aspects o f living co u ld b e c o m p re sse d in to a single q u a n ­ titative scale o f value. tau g h t th at poverty was b lessed an d th at a rich m an w ould be a u to ­ m atically ex clu d ed from h eaven. d ru g . h o sp itals. O n the basis o f this in fo rm a tio n h e w ould n e v e r ta ste an ap p le. b u t in stitu tio n s n e ed m oney to en h an c e them selv es an d m any ex istin g ch u rch es have severely co m p ro m ise d this view. d e v o tio n . W e tell him th a t o ra n g e s a re w o rth twice as m u ch as ap p les an d give him e n o u g h m o n ey to have all h e w ants o f bo th . M ost o f th e m a jo r w orld religions b e g an by p ra isin g p o v erty .WHAT IS MONEY? □ 7 ho m o g e n iz e every th in g . are sexual gratification.

even life an d d eath . th en . T h is is im p o rta n t to re m e m b e r: i f the purposes fo r which money was designed were fulfilled completely. T h e m o m e n t I b eg in to c o m p are all my n eed s o n a single scale I ’m o v erw h elm ed w ith in fo rm atio n . an d th e d ire c tio n in w hich we are continually b ein g p u sh e d by o u r re la tio n sh ip to m oney and the a ttitu d e s o f “ e x p e rts . w hich exists fo r the p u rp o se o f e n te rta in in g us.000. If th e ex p en se is to o g reat.0 0 0 . Paul C am ­ ero n . J u s t as T V . we could all ju s t bliss o u t an d leave th e b u sin ess o f living in th e w orld to ro b o ts. O f th o se w ho h ad n ev e r killed an y o n e b efo re.” B ut this isn ’t all. so m oney. (O n e o f th e ben efits o f war. is th a t it n o t only increases th e supply o f h it m en. T h e p rice o f h u m an life was recen tly m a d e even m o re explic­ it in a research study c o n d u c te d by a p sychologist. th e n my choices a re very sim ple a n d I co u ld easily b e rep lac ed by a c o m p u te r. an d th o se w ho did w ould d e m a n d a h ig h e r price: $50. M oney. far few er said they w ould b e w illing to d o it now . O n th e assu m p tio n th at they w ould n o t be fo u n d o u t. w ho w ould c reate a com pletely ra tio n a l eco n o m y th at w ould be stab le fo r etern ity . b u t also low ers th e ir fee. b u t it reflects th e ideal m odel th a t m o st econom ists carry in th e backs o f th e ir h ead s. nearly h a lf o f a sam ple o f subjects w ho h a d killed b e fo re (in th e arm y. m echanizes m otiva­ tion. T h is is very handy in th e su p e rm a rk e t b u t crea tes som e p ro b lem s fo r us as h u m a n beings. ten d s to re d u ce ev ery th in g to th a t sta n d a rd . fo r an av er­ ag e m inim um p rice o f $20 . te n d s to co n v ert ev ery th in g into e n te rta in m e n t. T h is may seem like a silly sta te m e n t to m ake. w hich exists to create a com m o n sta n d a rd o f value.8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION w eighed against th e e x p e n se o f e n su rin g ag ainst th a t d ea th . a p p a re n tly . even th e new s. is like a g o v e rn m e n t agency— continually try­ ing to e n la rg e its ju risd ic tio n . in o th e r w ords. a h ig h e r p ro b ab ility o f d e a th is to le r­ ated . there would be no reason fo r humans to exist as decision-making beings. If ev ery th in g in my life can be c o m p a re d with ev ery th in g else a lo n g a single stan d ard .) M oney. fo r exam ple) said they w ould kill again.

as w e’ve already o b se rv e d . w hich is n o d o u b t why p e o p le a re so p ru d ish a b o u t th e ir p riv ate m oney affairs. if I d o n ’t w ant to look at th e fact th a t I care m o re a b o u t my p le a su re th a n y o u r fo o d . In ste a d o f stan d in g u p like an a d u lt a n d saying h o n estly “ I ’d ra th e r drink th an e a t. an d su r­ re n d e rin g th at p o w er an d th a t resp o n sib ility to m oney. is an em p ty sym bol. ” B ut such a rg u m e n ts a re h a p h a z a rd an d p iece­ m eal— full d isclo su re w ould m u ltiply th em drastically. MONEY IS A MEANS W hen ev er we u se th e w ords “ I c a n ’t afford it.WHAT IS MONEY? □ 9 a b o u t my p rio rities.” T h e n in ste a d o f d ealin g with my p rio rities I’ve c o n v e rte d th e p ro b le m in to n e e d in g m o re m oney. M ultiply this d ecision by a th o u ­ sand an d you have th e life c o n d itio n o f th e av erag e m iddleclass A m erican. A co m p letely d e ta iled b u d g et. th e n I ’m g o in g to sp en d som e o n mine. analyzed an d in te rp re te d . I ’ll b lu r this by saying “ I c a n ’t afford y o u r fo o d . m ost co u p les c o n fro n t each o th e r now an d then: “ If we can afford X. D o I really want to know th at g o in g to a g o o d m ovie has a h ig h e r p rio rity fo r m e th a n giving m oney to any n u m b e r o f w orthy causes? If we w ere o p e n a b o u t m oney.” o r “ I ’d ra th e r have a T V th a n e n o u g h clothes to . Im ag in e th e d o m estic q u a r­ rels th at w ould follow th e e x p o su re o f a co m p lete ranko rd e re d b u d g e t— th e e m b a rra ssm e n t! A m an m ight g e t away with saying to his wife th a t “ we c a n ’t afford new shoes fo r the c h ild re n ”— b u t h e ’d n e v e r g et away w ith “ my tw o m artinis at the c o m m u te r b a r every n ig h t a re m o re im p o rta n t th an the c h ild re n ’s fe e t. o u r stinginess. so I can have my p le a su re a n d give you y o u r fo o d and I w o n ’t feel guilty an y m o re. G enerally.” As it is. W e ’re a b d ic a tin g all responsibility fo r o u t d esires an d all o u r p o w er to m ake choices. w hich.” w e’re giving away p a rt o f o u r hu m an ity . w ould reveal th e relativ e stre n g th o f m ost o f o u r im p u lses a n d d esires. o u r co m p u lsio n s. this single sta n d a rd w ould lay b a re all o u r selfishness. why c a n ’t we afford Y?” o r “ If you can sp e n d all th a t o n your clo th es.

th en . b u t D addy M oney w o n ’t let m e . in an d o f itse lf it can satisfy n o need . a felt n e e d . is only a to o l. Som etim es this is a sh o rth a n d way o f saying “ I n e e d several things th at I d o n ’t w ant to b o re you by tellin g you a b o u t” o r “ I ’m in d eb t to p e o p le . B ut th e p rin c i­ p le still holds: “ I c a n ’t afford it” in th a t case m eans “ I d o n ’t w ant it e n o u g h to steal it.” F o r a m iddle-class p e rso n . B ut w hat a b o u t a p e rs o n w ho is really p o o r? Isn ’t it re a so n a b le fo r such a p e rs o n to say “ I ca n ’t afford it” ? (P eo p le say “ I c a n ’t afford it” w h e th e r they m ake $ 5.” W e ’ve com p letely lost sight o f th e en d s fo r which m oney was th e m eans.O .U . W e can see how co n fu sed p e o p le have b eco m e by looking at a co m m o n piece o f A m erican behavior: a m an o r w om an sits at h o m e clu tch in g a fistful o f th e se collective I. W e say we n e e d m oney.000 a year o r $5 0 0 .” S oon this beco m es “ I n e e d m o n ey . we w ould n ev er think a b o u t m oney until we knew w hat it was we w an ted it for. for w hile m oney can b e th e means fo r satisfying certain h u m a n n eed s.” o r “ I d o n ’t w ant to go to E u ro p e e n o u g h to give up go in g to m ovies fo r tw o y e a rs. I really want to.” B ut o ften it d escrib es accurately a set o f feelings p e o p le have. H aving d e ­ .1 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION w ear. Logically.0 0 0 a year. M oney. Saying “ I c a n ’t afford it” b lu rs this d istin ctio n b etw een m ean s a n d en d s. as w e’ve all b e e n taught.” we play th e d e p e n d e n t child an d say “ O h . o r sh elter. B efore m oney ex ­ isted we knew we n e e d e d fo o d .s an d leafs th ro u g h a catalog. o r an ax. Such cases sh o u ld a ro u se o u r sym pa­ thy.” o r “ I care m o re a b o u t fe e d in g m y family th an ow ning a c a r. T h e above th o u g h ts a re a d d re sse d p rim arily to p e o p le w ho have e n o u g h m oney to m ake a t least a few choices a b o u t how it is sp e n t. Now we d o n ’t know w hat we n e e d . look in g fo r so m e th in g to buy. saying “ I c a n ’t afford it” leads by su b tle step s to th e co n v ersio n o f m o n ey from a m eans to an en d . W e start th ink­ ing “ I n e e d m o n ey fo r a n u m b e r o f th in g s I think I w an t. a fte r all.) P eo p le living in abject poverty have b e tte r th in g s to think a b o u t th a n linguistic su b tleties. W e deny o u r p o w er to ch o o se a n d give it away to m oney.” W e’re n o t w illing to sta n d b e h in d o u r ow n m otivations.

W e talk con tin u ally a b o u t how to produce the tools to perform a task that has never been specified. I now have to co n su lt a b o o k to d isco v er w hat I n e e d e d it fo r! W hen we “ go sh o p p in g ” w ith o u t a clear goal in m ind. th en . to w ard som e goal.WHAT IS MONEY? D l l cided “ I n e e d m o n e y ” (which e ith e r m eans “ I n e e d m oney fo r such-and-such ” o r is a sym p to m o f m en tal d e ra n g e m e n t). W hen politicians. In ste a d o f ac q u irin g m oney to help us g et so m e th in g we n e e d . W e rarely ask w hat we as A m ericans w ant to do with o u r tim e an d en erg y a n d reso u rces. H ow d o we know w hat is “ feasib le” until we know w hat we w ant a n d how m uch we w ant it? “ N ot econom ically feasib le” o r “ n o t econom ically ju stifie d ” m ean s sim ply th at “ we d o n ’t w ant th a t as m uch as we w ant so m e o th e r th in g s.” T h is is th e sam e old “ c a n ’t-affo rd -it” co n fusion o f en d s an d m ean s o n a n atio n al scale.” It isn ’t only at th e individual level th a t this co n fu sio n occurs.” Politically it’s a lot e asier to say “ sm o g -red u cin g m easu res a re n o t econom ically feasib le” th an to say “ w e’d ra th e r let 10. m eans and en d s have b eco m e rev ersed . as if th ese w ere e n d s. tw ists o u r th in k in g an d p u ts us o u t o f touch with o u r fu n d a m e n ta l goals a n d d esires. G e n e ra tin g work an d m oney have b e co m e en d s in them selves— w hat the task is seem s to be u n im p o rta n t so lo n g as th e w ork an d s p e n d ­ ing co n tin u e. b u sin ess lead ers. M oney. m a n u ­ .000 p e o p le d ie o f em p h ysem a th an re d u ce th e pro fits o f p o llu tin g c o rp o ra tio n s . we u se o u rselv es to serve m oney. an d the goal is n ev er stated . T h is is w hat p e o p le m ean w hen they say A m ericans “ w orship m o n e y . W e o ften h e a r th e se m o n ey e x p e rts talk a b o u t “ econom ic feasibility” an d w h e th e r a given co u rse o f actio n is “ econom ically ju stified . In ste a d o f using m oney to serve ourselv es.” Many d u b io u s activities in o u r society— fo r ex am ple. we buy so m e th in g we d o n ’t n ee d to h elp us sp e n d th e m oney we acq u ired . a n d eco n o m ists talk ab o u t m oney they say we sh o u ld d o this o r th a t in o rd e r to increase co rp o ra te o r p e rso n a l in co m e o r th e availability o f jo b s . B ut m o n ey a n d jo b s m erely ch an n el h um an en erg y an d tim e in to so m e activity.

w hat m aps an d guides to use. T h e y buy p la n e tickets. an d useless. S om etim es w hen I listen to g o v e rn m e n t a n d b u siness ex ­ p e rts talk a b o u t m oney I have a vision o f p e o p le frantically p re p a rin g th em selves fo r a jo u rn e y . p ain t th e ir b o at. vast lan d an d energy reso u rces a re d e v o te d to p ro d u c ts th a t a re u n n o u rish in g . T h e y a rg u e a b o u t w hat clo th es to take. we n e e d u n n ecessary jo b s so that p e o p le will have u n n ecessary m oney to buy unnecessary things. u n ­ healthy. T h e y a rg u e a b o u t w hich o f th e things th e y ’re d o in g is th e b est p re p a ra tio n fo r th e jo u rn e y . F o r th e m o st p a rt p e o p le n ee d m oney to sp e n d o n th in g s th a t we have sp e n t billions p e rsu a d in g o u r ­ selves we n e e d . W h en we lose sight o f th e se th re e characteristics o f m oney— th a t it is sym bolic. B ut why w ould so m e o n e w ant to w ork at a m o n o to ­ n o u s an d so u l-e a tin g assem bly-line jo b p ro d u c in g so m ething u n n ecessary o r d a n g e ro u s o r d estru ctiv e? (A fter all. A nd we n e e d to buy u n n ecessary things in o rd e r to c reate u n n ecessary jo b s so th a t p e o p le will have u n n ecessary m oney. tu n e up the car. th o u g h it is p o o rly d istrib u te d : m any have m o re th an they use. I recen tly saw an article in a p a p e r sta tin g th at the A m erican p e o p le w ere “ econom ically illite ra te ” a n d n e e d e d to b e “ e d u c a te d ” by b u sin ess lead ers an d eco n o m ists so th at they w ould u n d e rsta n d th a t this system is com p letely ratio n al and w orks fo r th e ir ow n good.) T h e an sw er always given is th a t p e o p le n e e d m oney. w hat m o d e o f tra n s p o rta tio n w ould b e best. F o r w hat? T h e re is e n o u g h food. an d sh e lte r fo r all o u r p eo p le. M eanw hile. o th e rs less th an they n e e d . h o m o g en izes. h e ro in also creates jo b s fo r p e o p le an d th e w ork is m o re in terestin g . W hat they n ev er discuss is th e fact th a t they still h a v e n ’t decid ed w here they w ant to go. a n d is a m ean s— we te n d to g et d iso rie n te d an d b eg in g radually to believe th at m oney is . scuba g ear. clo th in g . In sh o rt.1 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION factu rin g p o iso n s o r d e stro y in g th e e n v iro n m e n t in various ways— a re ju stifie d o n th e g ro u n d s th a t they c reate jo b s for p eo p le. m o u n ­ tain-clim bing e q u ip m e n t. T h e y buy skis.

fo r exam ple. in n e r jo y . Y ou g et love and frien d sh ip by b u y in g p e rfu m e . W e may still cho o se. A t th a t p o in t m oney ceases to b e a to o l a n d b eco m es o u r m aster. d e o d o ra n ts. T h e a d v e rtisin g in d u stry . H en ce th o se w ho a re its m o st d e v o te d serv an ts a re continually e n g a g e d in an effort to e n la rg e m o n e y ’s sp h e re o f influence— to m ake m o re a n d m o re satisfactions m ark etab le. b reak fast fo o d s a n d — w hen p e o p le begin to realize th a t “ less is m o re ”— d iet books. self­ esteem . jo g g in g e q u ip m e n t. beau ty .WHAT IS MONEY? □ 1 3 th e key to th e satisfaction o f all n e e d s. psychological w ell-being. a n d cola. F o r if we have m oney we te n d to think o f w hat it can buy— we fo rg e t a b o u t o u r o w n ' n eed s a n d goals a n d b e c o m e sh o p p e rs a n d catalog re ad e rs. d ie t foods. aftersh av e lo tio n . cosm etics. Yet o u r eco n o m y has co m e to d e p e n d on g e ttin g p e o p le to believe th a t th e re is n o th in g in life m oney ca n ’t buy. It d istracts o u r a tte n tio n from th o se d esires th a t m o n ey c a n ’t satisfy an d directs it to w ard th o se th a t it d o es. fresh air a n d p leas­ ing su rro u n d in g s. b eer. m o u th w ash . T h e s e things are h a rd to h o m o g en ize. b u t th e ra n g e o f possibilities o fte n has no re le ­ vance to o u r d e e p e st n eed s. a d v e n tu re . Y ou g et h ea lth by buying d ru g s. a n d so o n . in th e sec­ o n d we m erely ch o o se a m o n g o p tio n s th a t so m e o n e else has offered us. h ealth . w ine. As a n atio n we m o u n t a co n tin u al assau lt o n th o se p a rts o f life th a t ca n n o t b e b o u g h t. it seduces us in to a b a n d o n in g o u r ow n goals a n d settlin g fo r a m u ltip le-ch o ice te st d e sig n e d by s o m e o n e else. since m oney is designed to re d u c e all th in g s to a sin g le h o m o g e n e o u s scale. sp iritu al d e v e lo p m e n t. W h e n e v e r we fo rg e t w hat m oney is. T h is is a basic te n e t o f M oneythink. exercycles. T h e re is a w orld o f d ifferen ce b etw een saying “ W hat d o I w ant to d o to n ig h t? ” an d saying “ W h a t’s at th e m ovies?” In th e first case we set o u r ow n goals. to o th p a ste . frien d sh ip . You . d o c to rs. W hen p e o p le re b e l ag ain st m o n ey they say th a t th e b est things in life a re free— th in g s like bodily p le a su re s— especially sex— love. has n ev er tried to h id e its effort to convince th e pub lic th a t every h u m an n e e d can b e satisfied by b u y in g so m e th in g .

P eo p le a re sexually a ttra c te d by som e o d o rs. M oney was m ean t to be o u r servant. T h e goal o f th e cosm etic indu stry is to d eem p h asize th e attractiv e o d o rs an d get p eo p le to su b stitu te com m ercial scents. O n e re a so n why so m any a d v ertisem en ts im ply th at sexual delig h ts will accom pany p u rc h a se o f th e ir p ro d u c ts is th at sexual p le a su re has n o th in g w h atev er to d o with m oney and h en ce ch allenges its suprem acy. W h o le in d u strie s are d ev o ted to trying to m ake sexual a ttractiv en ess so m e th in g th at can be p u rc h a se d in a sto re. re p e lle d by o th e rs. W e are even train ed to believe th a t cam p in g in the w oods— “ g e t­ tin g away from it all”— is p o ssib le only if we buy a lot o f “ it all” an d take it with us in th e form o f expensive cam p ­ ing e q u ip m e n t. T h is serv an t has grow n so p ow erful it has convinced us that we a re em p ty an d m ust find ways to fill ourselves u p — th at we a re full o f holes an d m u st con tin u ally p lu g o u r lacks . A m ericans are so o b sessed with d e o d o ra n ts. a fte r first p e rsu a d in g them th at th e ir ow n n atu ral o d o rs a re re p u g n a n t. T h is is o n e way o f tying sex in to th e eco n o m y — o f m aking p e o p le feel they n eed m oney to o b tain sexual g ratification. fo r exam ple. T h is is why. T o b re a th e really clean air on land for m o re th an a day at a tim e th u s re q u ire s an initial invest­ m en t o f several h u n d re d d o llars.1 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION get b eauty an d a d v e n tu re by b u y in g a package to u r to the O rien t. It has h ad the u n fo rtu n a te by -p ro d u ct o f c reatin g a w hole n a tio n o f p e o p le filled with the kind o f obsessive. self-conscious self-dissatisfaction th at we usually associate with th e o n se t o f p u b e rty an d acu te cases o f acne. M ore a n d m o re o f us a re having to pay for fresh air an d a to le ra b le e n v iro n m en t. so th at social status and sexual success can be h o m o g en ized . B ut w hen we d e p e n d on servants to o m uch they g radually b eco m e o u r m asters. Even n a tu re is a targ et. n o t c o u n tin g th e car that gets you back to n a tu re in th e first place a n d helps d estroy it as you enjoy it. becau se we have su rre n d e re d to them o u r ability to ru n o u r ow n lives.

T h is feeling o f em p tin ess o r in c o m p le te n e ss— this d e s p e ra te d e p e n d e n c e on e x tern a l su b stan ces w ith o u t w hich we feel in c o m p lete — is the very essen ce a n d n a tu re o f ad d ic tio n . very sim ple. It deals w ith a very old. an d ad d ictio n is w hat this book is all ab o u t. b u t very im p o rta n t q u e stio n a b o u t m oney: d o you ru le m o ney o r does m oney ru le you? .WHAT IS MONEY? U 15 and deficiencies w ith su b stan ces from o u tsid e.

an d various w ater-saving g ad g ets w ere d istrib u te d . city w ater usag e was dow n alm o st 20 p e rc e n t in re ­ sp o n se to re q u e sts fo r re stra in t in u sin g w ater. T h e n am e co n ju re s u p im ages o f dream y M exican villages with p ea sa n ts sleep in g th e n o o n away. fo r it h eld w hat w ere to m e two 16 . W e w ere asked n o t to wash o u r cars w ith h o ses o r w ater o u r g ard e n s m o re th an every o th e r day. with which he was afterwards fo u n d at the bottom. T h e B icentennial Y ear b ro u g h t a sev ere d ro u g h t to the city. In stea d . as he was sinking— had he the gold? Or had the gold him ? RUSKIN In th e city w here I live th e re is a p e a sa n t n e ig h b o rh o o d called P asatiem po. they increased th e ir c o n su m p tio n by 50 p erc e n t. T h is little ev en t set m e th in k in g a b o u t w ealthy p e o p le and o u r a ttitu d e s tow ard th em . b u t th e re a re no p easan ts in P asatiem p o . H igh ab o v e th e city o n a ch arm in g hillside. only P asatiem p o failed to re sp o n d . g a th e re d com fortably a ro u n d a g o lf co u rse. Even b e fo re em erg en cy re strictio n s w ere im ­ p o sed . Now. P asa­ tiem p o is w h ere th e rich live. an d re stric tio n s o n w ater u se w ere im p o sed .2 The Money on Your Back [In a shipwreck] one o f the passengers fastened a belt about him with two hundred pounds o f gold in it. In th e e n tire city.

W e m ig h t have ex p e cte d th at the new s w ould sap th e d e sire o f o th e r re sid e n ts to conserve w ater— th a t such a severe b reak in th e ranks w ould have led to a dem o ralized re tre a t. T h e cap italist view. As I th o u g h t a b o u t this I b e g an to feel th a t all o u r c o n tra d ic ­ tory an d co n fu sin g ideas a b o u t w ealth w ere m issing so m eth in g im p o rta n t. im p e rtu rb a b le . w hich d o e s n ’t q u ite fit o u r H ollyw ood ste re o ty p e o f th e w ealthy h o u se h o ld e r as sedate. Rich m en are widely assu m ed to have so m e kind o f ability o r c o m p eten ce. for ex am p le— still widely ac­ c ep te d a m o n g th e g e n e ra l p u b lic— is th at w ealth is n a tu re ’s rew ard for special cleverness. It stresses th e c o rru p tin g influ en ce o f m oney. T h e early days o f psychoanalysis saw so m e p ro m isin g b e g in ­ n ings tow ard a psychology o f m oney. In ste a d . W e m ight expect them to ig n o re th e w ater sh o rta g e . d e sp ite th e fact th a t in m o st cases th e ir w ealth was in h e rite d . T h e seco n d m ystery is th at th e re was n o o u tcry w hen w ord o f this ab u se b ecam e public. T h e M arxist th eo ry o f w ealth ad d ic­ tion is a lot like th e A m erican th eo ry o f d ru g a d d ictio n . F re u d a n d his disciples . o r talen t. a n d faintly B ritish. T h e M arxist view sees w ealth largely in social term s. w ater c o n serv atio n was so suc­ cessful th a t all m a n d a to ry re stric tio n s w ere rem o v ed. b u t o u r c u ltu ral p ro g ra m ­ m ing d o e s n ’t p re p a re us to see th em a g g rav atin g it. T h e p o o r su d denly a p ­ p ea re d to m e as to le ra n t p a re n ts in d u lg in g a g reed y child. T h e first m ystery was th e b eh a v io r o f th e Pasatiem pans them selves: w hat d ro v e th em to e n g a g e in this feverish co n su m p tio n ? It was as if at th e very first m e n tio n o f a sh o rtag e they all ran o u t a n d tu rn e d th e ir h o ses o n . in d u stry . It alm ost seem ed as if p e o p le expected th e rich to take m o re th an th eir share— as if it w ere th e ir p re ro g a tiv e . recogn izin g his inability to c o n tro l his im pulses. b u t it pays little a tte n tio n to th e fact th a t so m e p e o p le a re m o re su scep tib le to this infection th a n o th e rs.T H E M O N E Y O N Y U U K BACK L I 1 / m ysteries. which w ould have us believe th at if th e evil p u s h e r can ju s t m anage to sneak a little h e ro in in to any u n su sp e c tin g victim h e can c o u n t o n a d d in g a lifelo n g ad d ict to his strin g o f custom ers.

B ut saying this— view ing the so u rce o f an ad d ictio n as a u niversal m en ace from w hich no o n e is safe— n ev er seem s to h elp. If a m an thinks th at c ig a re tte ad d ictio n will be u p o n him w hen h e sm okes his first b u tt. But this in te re st in th e n e u ro tic side o f w ealth b e g an to w ane as the psychoanalysts th em selves b ecam e w ealthy. I d o u b t th at we A m ericans can co m e to term s with o u r own m oney n e u ro se s w ithout u n d e rs ta n d in g th e m o re florid p a ­ thology o f th e very rich. S e lf-u n d e rsta n d in g o ften b egins.” o n e w ho was always h o a rd in g an d ac­ c u m u latin g an d tidying th in g s up. A m erican ideas a b o u t w ealth a re virtually u n ch an g ed since 1900. a rg u in g e ith e r th at th e w ealthy had ea rn ed . rectal itching was discov­ e re d to be a co m m o n n erv o u s sym ptom o f th e w ealthy. an d o n e to w hich few o f us a re a lto g e th e r im m une. paradoxically. b u t it seem s to be a necessary step tow ard g e ttin g a h a n d le o n w hat it is inside us th at resp o n d s to th e bait. h e n e e d n e v er take a look at h im self from th e m o m e n t th at th re sh o ld has b e en crossed.1 8 U WEALTH ADDICTION talked a b o u t th e p re o c c u p a tio n w ith m o n ey displayed by the “ anal p e rso n a lity . fo r it is o u r envy a n d a d m iratio n o f th e rich th at su p p o rts th e ir h ab it an d keeps us h o o k ed o u r ­ selves. A recen t m a n -in -th e -stre et interview asked the passersby if they re se n te d p e o p le with g reat w ealth. a lth o u g h intellectu als have ad vanced an d c o u n ­ te re d such a variety o f d ifferen t a rg u m e n ts o n th e topic that they have now co m e full circle an d im agine them selves to have d isp o sed o f th e issue. M oney is certainly an a d d ictio n . with looking sm ugly an d analytically at th e “ p o o r u n fo rtu n a te ” in w hom the addictive p a tte rn is writ so larg e th a t we can see it clearly. an d in rec e n t d ecad es they have te n d e d to c o n c e n tra te m o re o n th e anality o f poverty an d u n tid in ess. O n ce th e p a tte rn has b een d ram atized in this way we can begin to d e te c t it w ithin ourselves. All o f them answ ered in th e negative. Facing th e fact th at som e p e o p le a re m o re p ro n e to ad d ictio n th an o th e rs m ay lull a few p e o p le in to a false sense o f security.

W hat o rd in ary p e o p le think. H e n c e I w ould like to re p e a t som e facts th at a re well know n in th e in tellectu al sense. be m o re u n sc ru p u lo u s. in fact. this can be deceptive: a gam bler always looks clever w hen he w ins. b u t unknow n in th e sense th at p e o p le have n o t yet b e g u n to live as if they w ere true. fu rth e rm o re . If I am to enjoy th e fantasy o f being rich myself. th e sociologist. in o th e r w ords. T h e extrem ely wealthy. a n d gain access. G re a t fo rtu n es can alm ost n ev er be a c q u ired ethically for a very sim ple reason: money is an instrument o f trade and in an ethical trade everyone would . N o r is it easy to m ake a case that the newly rich a re any m o re d eserv in g . have sim ply in h e rite d co m fo rtab le fo r­ tunes an d u sed th e ir p o sitio n to m ultiply th em g ro tesq u ely th ro u g h investm en t. it is ex trem ely ra re to find a large fo rtu n e th at w asn ’t fo u n d e d in p a rt o n illegal o r at least unethical practices. th ro u g h b rib ery o r o th e r m eans. b u t if ten m en buy plots o f land speculatively a n d oil is fo u n d o n only o n e. w hatever th e ir id eological convictions. b u t acq u ired . But. A nd. o f co u rse. show ed so m e tim e ago th at g reat w ealth is n o t e a rn e d . O f th e 90 rich est m en in 1950. I t’s easy to dism iss such a ttitu d e s as naive an d foolish. T h e y have certainly had a sh arp eye fo r profit: th o se w ho d id n ’t already ow n land on which oil was d isco v ered a p p a re n tly h a d th e wit to acquire it. to in fo rm a tio n n o t available to his co m p etito rs. I n e e d to be co n vinced th at the rich a re som ehow deserv in g . since in tellec tu ­ als ten d to suffer from a lack o f co m m u n icatio n betw een the h ead an d th e h e a rt. an d th e re ­ fore they n e e d to be taken seriously. H e may. as we shall see in C h a p te r 4. W right Mills. that m an is n o t necessarily m o re in tellig en t th an th e o th ers. in m o st cases. but they seem to be w hat m ost o rd in a ry p e o p le believe. In saying this I d o n ’t m ean to b e cynical. C.THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 19 th e ir w ealth o r th a t it was stu p id to b e re se n tfu l o f a club o n e h o p e d o n e day to e n te r. is very o ften th e sam e as w hat intellectuals act on. 68 p erc e n t cam e from w ealthy fam ilies.

at th e e n d o f a lifetim e o f ex ch an g e. an d th e n e e d to rew ard th o se w ho take special risks with th e ir m oney. we w o u ld n ’t n eed th eir d o n a ­ tions. If they w an ted to give so m e th in g in re tu rn . If.” F u rth e rm o re . B ut to steal five h u n d re d m illion a n d give back o n e is n o t w hat is m ean t by th e w ord “ ch arity .” I f o u r e n tire eco n o m ic system is b ased o n the e x h o rta tio n to ch eat. T his is m ad e explicit in th e first ru le o f success in business: “ buy ch eap an d sell d e a r. o f co u rse. P eo p le g et rich b ecau se they feel d ep riv ed a n d they d o n ’t ev er want to give an y th in g in re tu rn . as w e’ll see w hen we exam in e th e lives o f the very w ealthy in C h a p te r 4. th e n . o n e m an com es o u t rich a n d th e o th e r p o o r. we can h ardly b e su rp rise d o r in d ig n a n t to find th at th e b ig g est rew ards g o to th o se w ho a re th e biggest ch eaters. If we d id n ’t d ev o te so m uch o f o u r en ergy as a n atio n to m aking a few p e o p le very rich. “ ch eat th o se with w hom you d e a l. A pologists for th e rich have com e u p w ith m any ing en io u s ways o f avoiding this sim ple tru th . th e ad v an tag es o f co n c e n tra tin g w ealth in o n e sp o t. since p e o p le g et rich by buying cheap an d selling d e a r— in o th e r w ords.” o r. th at w e’ll be . in o th e r w ords. b u t we o u g h t to b e a little m o re conscious o f w hat w e’re d o in g an d w hat price w e’re paying.2 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION come out at the end relatively equal. they obvi­ ously w o u ld n ’t b e rich. T h e y p o in t to th e p h ila n ­ th ro p ic activities o f th e rich. T h e real q u e stio n we n e e d to ask o urselves is this: are th ese th e p e o p le we w ant to rew ard? Every society tries in so m e way to e n c o u ra g e th o se p eo p le w hose skills o r arts o r p erso n ality traits a re m o st valuable to it. A m an trad es w ith us all his life an d en d s up rich. m any o f th e b ig gest m oneym akers have given little o r n o th in g to ch aritab le causes. H as h e given us an y th in g in ex ch ange? In m ost cases th e an sw er is no. the p o o r m an has b een ch e a te d an d th e rich m an is a cheat. W e rew ard g re e d an d sh arp d e a lin g an d p u n ish gen ero sity an d m odesty. P erh ap s this is w hat we w ant. by taking m uch m o re than they give back. W e fu n n el en erg y (and m oney) away from things we n e e d so we can e n rich a few (h o p in g .

THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 2 1

o n e o f th o se lucky few). T h e n we try to b e g so m e o f it back to take care o f necessities a n d feel g ratefu l if we g et a few scraps. T h is seem s like a c u m b e rso m e way to re a p th e benefits o f c o n c e n tra te d w ealth. T h e re a re m any o th ers: taxes, un io n dues, re tire m e n t fu n d s, co llectio n s o f all kinds. W ithin o u r ow n society we have re p e a te d ly d e m o n s tra te d th a t th e re are b e tte r ways to c o n c e n tra te m oney. A nd as to risk— p e o p le will risk in a g re a t cau se as well as in a selfish o n e. F u rth e rm o re , th e c o rp o ra tio n cam e in to b e in g as a way o f sp re a d in g risk, so th e re is n o p a rtic u la r re a so n why g re a t fo rtu n e s n e e d b e e ssen ­ tial to th e p rocess. O u r society is ru n like a g re a t lottery: ev ery o n e pays so a few can win. An a tte m p t is th e n m ad e to m e e t th e n eed s o f th e society a n d its p e o p le as a b y -p ro d u c t o f this process. J u s t as state lo tte rie s take a p e rc e n ta g e o f th e in com e to help balance th e ir b u d g e ts a n d to ru n th e lo ttery itse lf (including ru n n in g a d v ertisem en ts e n c o u ra g in g p e o p le to participate in th e lottery !)— so as a n a tio n we ru n a g igantic an d highly c o rru p te d lo ttery , u sin g so m e in co m e to pay prizes (m aking certain p e o p le rich), so m e to take c are o f b u sin ess (feeding a n d clo th in g th e p e o p le , s u p p o rtin g science, th e arts, e d u c a ­ tion, d efen se), an d so m e to ad v ertise (telling o urselves re ­ peated ly how w o n d erfu l this system is). Y et m any o f the sam e p e o p le w ho feel stro n g ly th a t sta te lo tte rie s a re a fo o l­ ish way to g e n e ra te fu n d s fo r a sta te b u d g e t think o u r ec o ­ nom ic system is perfectly ratio n al. A polo g ists fo r o u r system claim th a t m aking a few p e o p le rich in this way b rin g s b enefits fo r ev ery o n e. P eo p le w ork h ard to get rich a n d th e rich sp e n d th e ir m o n ey a n d keep everything m oving. T h is is th e w ell-know n “ trick le-d o w n ” theory. T h e nam e itse lf is re fu ta tio n e n o u g h : we d o n ’t call it th e “ p o u rd o w n ” theory. T h e basic p ro b le m w ith th e w hole idea is th at th e rich don 7 sp e n d in p ro p o rtio n to th e ir w ealth. T h a t’s why they are rich. T h e y take m o re th a n they give an d they save m o re th an they sp e n d a n d they buy ch eap a n d sell d ear. T his is why m o n ey co m in g from th e rich to th e p o o r only trickles.

2 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

O n th e o th e r h an d , w hen we a rra n g e to d ire ct m oney to the p o o r it b o u n ces rig h t back u p to th e rich again, since th e p o o r do sp en d . T h ey have to, to survive. F u rth e rm o re , th e rich have so a rra n g e d things th at th e p o o r usually have to buy d e a r and sell ch eap , so th at w hat is slow to com e dow n is quick to go up. A lth o u g h th e “ trick le-d o w n ” th eo ry is so specious o n the face o f it th at it hardly m erits a re b u tta l, it is o n e o f th e official beliefs o f o u r society, a n d I ’ll discuss it in m o re detail in C h a p ­ te r 6. I have a rg u e d th at o u r eco n o m ic system is a kind o f lottery th at rew ards th e few at th e e x p e n se o f th e m any. T h is is n o t to say th at th o se w ho b eco m e rich a re m erely lucky. As we shall see in C h a p te r 4, they are, as a g ro u p , ex trem ely well focused o n th e narrow goal o f m aking m oney a n d d ev elo p refined skills in achieving th a t goal. T h e y know w hat they w ant an d they go a fte r it, an d as a n atio n we value th a t kind o f co n c e n tra tio n and initiative. A nd rightly so— c o n c e n tra tio n an d initiative are w onderful traits. B ut o n e can ex ercise th e se capacities in ways th at have n o th in g to d o w ith m oney. T h e re are m any o p p o r­ tun ities to d o w o n d erfu l th in g s in o u r w orld— o p p o rtu n itie s th at a re rarely seized b ecau se p e o p le a re so d istra cted by m oney. N ot all th e newly rich g et so m e th in g fo r n o th in g . Every once in a w hile a fo rtu n e may be b u ilt o n a c o n trib u tio n o f som e kind. An artist o r e n te rta in e r, fo r exam p le, pro v id es p le asu re to p e o p le in re tu rn fo r th e m o n ey h e o r sh e ea rn s. An in v en ­ tion may p ro v e p o p u lar. B ut it usually takes an o rg an iz atio n o f som e kind to m ake so m e o n e a m illionaire. An in v en tio n , for exam ple, m ust b e m a n u fa c tu red , p ro m o te d , d istrib u te d . In ­ d u strial em p ires d o n ’t ju s t em erg e, a n d they a re n ’t b u ilt by a single h an d . Every m illionaire has a c o te rie o f loyal p a rtn e rs a n d d ev o ted follow ers, fo r m any d ifferen t skills a re n e ed ed . Y et o f all th e se d iverse an d vital talen ts only o n e o r tw o in ­ dividuals re a p th e m o n etary rew ards. It seem s to b e a case o f “ to each acco rd in g to his n e e d .” S o m e p a rtic ip an ts in a suc­ cessful e n te rp rise a re c o n te n t w ith a co m fo rtab le salary and

THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 2 3

th e satisfaction o f d o in g th e ir jo b s well an d b ein g recognized for it. O th e rs a re m o re n eed y , m o re in secu re. T h ey feel co m ­ pelled to take m o re th a n th e ir sh are b ecau se th e ir add ictio n is always com petitive: w hat they have is n o t satisfying if o th e rs have it, too. T ak in g seem s to be gratifying fo r th em only if it involves taking away from o th ers. T h is is th e only way we can m ake sen se o f th e frequency with which w ealthy p e o p le h o a rd o r o v erco n su m e d u rin g a s h o rt­ age. W h en th in g s a re scarce, in o th e r w ords (as in w artim e), m any rich p e o p le n o t only take m o re th an th e ir share, as they do at all tim es, b u t also take more than usual. In th e e n erg y crisis o f 197 3 -7 4 , for exam p le, w ealthy p e o p le p u rc h a sed large, ex ­ pensive, fu el-d ev o u rin g cars by th e th o u sa n d s, ap p aren tly ju s t to show th a t they could afford th em . T h in g s have value for tru e w ealth addicts only in p ro p o rtio n to how m uch other p eo p le w ant o r n e e d them . In my city th e re is a yacht h a rb o r with h u n d re d s o f expensive boats. O n th e finest day o f th e year far less th an a q u a rte r are in use an d for m o st o f th e y ear all b u t a h an d fu l sit idle, to be u sed o n ce a m o n th o r even o n ce a year. M ost o f them seem to b e th e re , b e h in d th e locked fence, as a sym bol to be ad m ire d a n d envied. T h e y exist, in o th e r w ords, to c re a te w ealth ad d ic­ tion in o th e rs. If so, th e n all w ealth addicts a re p u sh e rs by definition, b ecau se wealth is the only form o f addiction in which the addict gets high off other people's withdrawal symptoms. Many p e o p le d re a m o f ow ning th e ir ow n b o at an d m o re are d o in g it every day, b u t as an in v estm en t it ranks a little below playing th e slot m achines. T o ow n a n d m o o r a b o a t in a p o p u ­ lated a rea costs so m uch th at o n e w ould have to use it at least th re e tim es a week every w eek o f th e y ear to m ake it c h ea p er th an re n tin g o n e by th e day. If all th e se b o ats w ere m ade available fo r ren tal to th e public th e re n ta l rates w ould be driven dow n an d usag e w ould greatly increase, b u t even then m any o f th e b o ats w ould p ro b ab ly lie idle. C ertainly th ere w ould b e e n o u g h b o ats fo r th o se w ho could afford it to sail by th e day as o fte n as they w an ted o r w ere able. T h e real function

2 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

o f ow ning such a b o a t seem s to b e to p re v e n t o th e r p eo p le from enjo y in g it. B oats a re n o t u n iq u e in this resp ect. A irp o rts h o u sin g p ri­ vate p lan es find few in u se at any given tim e. A nd in my city th e choicest sh o re fro n t h o m es w ith th e m o st m agnificent views sit em pty m o st o f th e y ear w ith sh ad es d raw n o v er th e ir w in­ dow s, p re v e n tin g p o o re r p e o p le from en jo y ing th e beau ty they com m and. T h e m o st e x tre m e ex am p le is a rt theft. W h en we h e a r th at so m e m a sterp iece has b e e n sto le n from a m u seu m we think o f b u rg la rs w ith tools, m asks, a n d o th e r low -life ac co u trem en ts. S urprisingly little a tte n tio n is d e v o te d to th e fact th at b eh in d every m ajo r a rt th eft th e re has to b e a m illionaire, fo r n o o n e else can afford to buy th e sto le n g o o d s. G re at a rt c an ’t be “ fe n c e d ” in th e o rd in ary way. It can b e p u rc h a se d only by a w ealthy co llecto r w ho h ides it away fo r p e rso n a l satisfaction. W hen I first voiced this id ea I was to ld th a t it was a weak exam ple, b o rd e rin g o n th e a b su rd , a n d w hen a R e m b ra n d t was la te r sto len from a m u seu m in San Francisco, th e m u se u m ’s c u ra to r o f p ain tin g s e x p re sse d th e sam e skepticism . H e scoffed at th e idea o f “ som e u n sc ru p u lo u s, co g n ac-sip p in g c o n n o is­ se u r b uying th e R e m b ra n d t to keep it in a vault, ju s t to take it o u t at m id n ig h t— th a t’s H ollyw ood stuff.” H e was trying to m ake th e case th a t th e p a in tin g w ould b e r e tu rn e d so o n — too fam ous to be m ark etab le. H is o p tim ism was n o t sh a re d , how ­ ever, by a m an in th e b e st p o sitio n to know — th e p re sid e n t o f th e In te rn a tio n a l A ssociation o f A rt S ecurity, A lan B aer, who p re d ic te d it w ould b e sold in in te rn a tio n a l black m arkets. B aer p o in te d o u t th a t In te rp o l k eeps a list o f m o st-w an ted sto len m asterp ieces, in clu d in g w orks by R u b en s, B ellini, C o rreg g io , a n d T o u lo u se -L a u tre c, th a t have n o t b e e n reco v ered : “T h e ir fam e d id n ’t h e lp .” A rt theft, h e said, is a b ig b u siness, a m o u n t­ ing to o v er $ 50 m illion a year. “ T h e re a re rich a n d u n sc ru p u ­ lous collectors all o v er th e w o rld .” N o th in g co u ld reveal m o re clearly w hat w ealth a d d ictio n is

A d d ictio n im plies so m e th in g feverish and grasp in g — u tterly o u t o f k eep in g w ith th e q u iet g o o d b re e d in g o f th e securely w ealthy w ho sit o n th e b o a rd s o f ch aritable in stitu tio n s an d universities. Surely. O th e r ad- . n o t all w ealthy p e o p le a re addicts. T h e idea th at everybody w ants m oney is p ro p a g a n d a circu lated by w ealth addicts to m ake them selves feel b e tte r a b o u t th e ir a d d ictio n . T h e re a re m any. W e d o n ’t call a m an w ho takes h e ro in o n ce o r twice a y ear an ad d ict. A rich m an pays a th ie f to steal a p a in tin g from a m useum . w here it can be en jo y ed by m illions o f p e o p le (in­ cludin g th e rich m an) a n d b rin g it to him so h e can possess it exclusively. By th e sam e token I think we can reaso n ab ly m ain tain th at an y o n e w ith assets o f m o re th an $1 m illion o r a n e t in co m e o f o v er $5 0 . q u an tity is crucial in all ad d ic tio n s— we rely heavily on it to tell th e ad d ict from th e n o n a d d ic t. T h is is n o t to say. I use th e te rm “ w ealth a d d ic tio n ” to d escrib e th e psycholog­ ical c o n d itio n o f rich p e o p le . P erh ap s h e c a n ’t even enjoy it very fully. But alas. T h e re a re m illions o f p o o r p e o p le w ho are p o te n ­ tial w ealth addicts. ju s t as th e re a re m any p o te n tia l alcoholics w ho have n ev er taken a drink. T h e real satisfaction for th e co lle c to r is th e exclusiveness o f th e p o sse s­ sion— th e fact th at p o o re r p e o p le a re d ep riv e d o f th e p leasu re o f seein g it. W e have beg u n to acknow ledge. w h eth e r h e o r she know s it o r n o t. th a t they are the only addicts. m any p e o ­ ple w ho a re gen u in ely in d ifferen t to m oney. they will arg u e . M any re a d e rs will find this la n ­ guag e o b jectio n ab le. o f co u rse. ju s t as th e re are m any w ho a re in d ifferen t to alcohol. since it m ust be kept in a place w h ere it w o n ’t be disco v ered.0 00 a year is a w ealth addict. how ever. B ut it’s a m istake to view all p o o r p eo p le as closet w ealth ad d icts ju s t as it’s a m istake to view all te e to ta le rs as p o te n tia l alcoholics.THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 2 5 all ab o u t. n o r do we call a w om an who drin k s o n ce a w eek an alcoholic. th a t an y o n e w ho co nsum es m ore th an a half-pint o f h a rd liq u o r every day is an alcoholic.

B ut I d o n ’t know o f an y o n e w ho has had it. o r ju s t n e e d security. T h e w ealth addict maintains a high incom e o r increases it. an d lo st it. O n e p ro v es a lack o f ad d ictio n by lettin g go. o r cocaine) sim ply m akes p e o p le h ap p y an d sh o u ld n o t be c o n sid ere d necessarily addictive. o r keep it o u t o f hab it. Now. “J u s t a h a b it” is a p articularly o d d excuse since having a habit is w hat w e’re talking ab o u t. W ealth ad d icts have an ea sier tim e o f it th an o th e r add icts since they exercise a lo t o f influence in o u r society. T h e D on J u a n w ho uses sex com pulsively to b o lste r . It is q u ite tru e th at m erely having a lot o f m oney is n o t in itself a sign o f ad d ictio n . it m ig h t be o b je c te d th a t som e p e o p le a re ju s t b o rn with m oney. en jo y ed it.2 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION diets d o th e sam e thing. T h e se p e o ­ ple a re n o t addicts. ev ery o n e drinks excep t a few p u rita n s. T o th e tobacco add ict. even in larg e q u an tities. T h e secret strateg y o f all add icts is to re p re s e n t th e ir ad dic­ tio n as a b en ig n h u m an frailty to which ev ery o n e is m o re o r less subject. they ju s t d rin k socially o r w hen they n e e d a lift. p articularly th ro u g h th e m edia. T h e sam e kinds o f arg u m e n ts a re u se d by alcoholics: they com e from a h a rd -d rin k in g family. to ­ bacco. m arijuana. to th e alcoholic. o r a re ju s t g e ttin g paid well for w hat they do. since they a re th e only p e o p le they ever see having fun. A m o re serious a rg u m e n t is th at w ealth (like alcohol. as w e’ll see in C h a p te r 7. A n o n a d d ic t m ight drift into w ealth from tim e to tim e b u t w ould n o t cling to it. ev ery o n e sm okes ex cept a few h ealth nuts. Q u an tity an d consistency a re irre fu ta b le sym ptom s o f ad dic­ tio n — lack o f ad d ictio n can b e p ro v e n only by th e ability pain­ lessly to go w ithout. an d n o t eventually b e co m e ad d icted . o r seek m o re. T h e re a re certainly p eo p le w ho have h ad g re a t w ealth. o r b ecau se having cocktails is ju s t a p lea sa n t habit. a n d so on. V alium . caffeine. Y et d e sp ite this fact m o re a n d m o re p e o p le in o u r society a re kicking th e habit. A lcoholics s u rro u n d them selves with heavy d rin k ers an d a re ab le to im ag in e th a t d ru n k s a re th e only p e o p le w ho ever have any fun. su g ar. clung to it.

W hat d istin g u ish es w ealth ad d icts from o th e r addicts is th at they have b e e n largely successful in selling this d e lu sio n to the g en eral public. A lcoholics a re in­ creasingly re co g n ized as such. to pro v e th at o n e p e rso n is h a p p ie r o r u n h a p p ie r th an a n o th e r. I ’m sure m o st p e o p le co u ld think o f som e rich p e rs o n so m ew h ere who seem s h a p p ie r th a n th e g en eral ru n o f h u m a n b eings. B ut as th e psychiatrist E d m u n d B erg ler p o in ts o u t.THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 2 7 his sagging eg o p ain ts h im se lf as ju s t especially virile o r lusty. th e n e u ­ rotic d e fe n se m echanism s o f th e m ost e x tre m e addicts have becom e th e official ideology o f o u r society: g re e d . duplicity. T h e re is n o q u e stio n in my m ind th a t a n arro w an d ruthless co n ce n tra tio n o n m oney ten d s to b rin g th e “ success” that w ealth addi(fts seek. T o b a c c o add icts a re fighting a re a r-g u a rd ac­ tion again st th e n o n a d d ic te d p o p u la tio n . as well as m erry sm okers a n d se re n e -lo o k in g ju n k ie s. ru th lessn ess. A nd b o th m en a n d w om en are g ettin g b e tte r a n d b e tte r a t tellin g th e d ifference betw een tru e ero tic p assio n a n d a d e s p e ra te eg o . o f co u rse. “ T h e n e u ro tic ap p ro a ch to m oney has th e ap p ro v al an d social backing o f th e w ealthy seg m en t o f o u r society an d is th e re fo re u n d e r no ex tern al p ressu re. A nd th e w ealth ad d ict a rg u e s th a t ev ery o n e is a fte r m oney ex cept a few d e ra n g e d h e rm its— th a t h e is m erely m o re ag ­ gressive a n d c o m p e te n t in his qu est. B ut it’s o n e th ing to say th a t so m e p e o p le seem b u o y an t even in th e th ro e s o f an ad d ictio n .” W ealth add icts have th e p ro p a g a n d a m achinery o f th e e n tire society a t th e ir d isposal. a n d q u ite a n o th e r to say th a t th e ad d ictio n itself . As a re su lt. It isn ’t easy. T h e re are certainly alcoholics w ho seem ch eerfu l. w orking full­ tim e to p e rp e tu a te th e ir self-d ecep tio n s. self-cen tered n ess. to o. a n d a kind o f n arro w n ess— the ability to focus an d c o n c e n tra te o n a lim ited goal to th e exclu­ sion o f all else— a re a p p a re n tly th e traits o u r society w ants to rew ard. T h e re a re very few w ealthy p e o p le w ith a n o rm al ap p ro a c h to m o n e y . b u t in th e lo n g ru n it also b re e d s dissatis­ faction an d d isc o n te n t.

w ealth serves to elim in ate a d v e n tu re an d chal­ lenge. A lm ost n o th in g is u n e x p e c te d since w ealth ten d s to p ro te ct you from th e u n e x p e c te d . you cut off th e possibility o f p leasu re. O n e o f th e m ain reaso n s w ealth m akes p e o p le unh ap p y is th at it gives th em to o m uch c o n tro l o v er w hat they experience. you g et n o th in g . I c a n ’t escap e th e stro n g im p re s­ sion th at w h enever a trav eler “ rolls w ith” th e a d v en tu re an d lets it take him o r h e r w h ere it will.2 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION m akes th em happy. Yet w h e th e r in travel o r in everyday life. Som e p e o p le a re h ap p y in the th ro es o f a m o rtal illness. su rp rises. is b e n t on trying to seize destiny an d c o n tro l it. life itself loses m ost o f its excitem ent. b u t I n e v e r h e a rd an y o n e a rg u e th at cancer m akes p e o p le h ap p y a n d we sh o u ld all try it. as I’ll try to show in C h a p te r 4. A m o tel chain u sed to ad v ertise th at. T h is is usually an e n e r­ vating an d d isa p p o in tin g pastim e. an d I believe th e sam e to be tru e o f w ealth. th e u n ex p ec ted ad v en ­ tures. in traveling.” O n e w o n d ers why p e o p le b o th e r to leave h o m e if they a re try in g to avoid su rp rises. I have know n so m e d ru n k s w ho w ere h ap p y at tim es. (If you roll with the a d v e n tu re you m ay n o t keep y o u r riches very long. T h e “ successful” individual. an d crises o f travel have p ro d u c e d the m ost w onderful ex p erien ces. T h ey try to tra n sla te th e ir ow n fantasies in to reality in stead o f tastin g w hat reality itse lf has to offer. F o r m yself an d o th e r travelers I ’ve talked w ith. If you risk n o th in g .) T h e . sm o o th o v er ro u g h sp o ts. T h is is w hat travel is all a b o u t— ad v e n tu re. Y our w orld g ets filled up w ith the p ro d u c ts o f y o u r ow n m ind. T h e y have also p ro v id e d som e painful o n es. W h en you can c o n tro l what com es to you in life. to o . b u t if you d o n ’t allow for th e possibility o f pain. tam e th e u n e x p ec ted . an d this deprives you o f tru e novelty. th e o u tc o m e is usually enjoyable: kindly stra n g e rs o r a sen se o f h u m o r tu rn m isery into jo y — w recked plans o p e n d o o rs in to w orlds previously unknow n. “ the b est su rp rise is n o s u rp rise . b u t I’ve know n no o n e w ho d e v o te d a lo n g life to alcohol an d d id n ’t suffer from it. and bury novelty. a fter all.

But this isn ’t all. W hen you can c o n tro l y o u r w orld e n o u g h to stay p e rm a ­ nently w ealthy. Since n o th in g is risked in th e se en d e a v o rs. b u t a fte r I have b eco m e a success. as in R om e. fast boats. new p le a su re s. th e rich o r successful m an o r w om an feeds o n em pty em o tio n al calories. o r w ealth. H ow lo n g can you enjoy a gam e in w hich n o th in g is at stake? H ow exciting is a fox h u n t. o r d a n g e ro u s: fast h o rses. In love. y o u ’re likely to find y o u rse lf starved fo r chal­ lenge. I t ’s p re tty ra re to b e in­ tensely su rp rise d by so m e th in g y o u ’ve b o u g h t. eventually they b eco m e b oring. c a n ’t b e co n tro lle d . N o n ad d icts a re p e o p le w ho w ould ra th e r live a full life th an m ain tain c o n tro l. you w o n ’t have any tro u b le finding lovers— b u t they will b e p e o p le who . by definition.THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 2 9 w ealthy te n d to re s p o n d to fru stra tio n s an d a d v e n tu re s with in te n se irritability. fast cars. fo r tru e novelty. T h e h e a rt n eed s to find o u t if love can be w on w ith o u t any c o n tro l o r m an ip u latio n o r p ow er o r m oney. p o w er. new clow ns. T h ro u g h o u t th e ages th e securely w ealthy have suffered from b o re d o m an d have trie d d e sp e ra te ly to o v ercom e it by purchasing novelty in th e form o f diversions an d e n te rta in ­ m ents. a n d o fte n an elem e n t o f v iolence te n d s to c reep in. Am I lovable fo r m yself? nak ed o f all th o se things th at a ttra c t an d com p el o th e rs? T h e m in d sh uns this test an d tries to load th e dice o n every throw . T h is is self-d efeatin g in th e lo n g ru n . new artists. I b eco m e a success so th a t p e o p le will love m e. o r a cate re d safari w ith all th e co m fo rts o f hom e? W hat kind o f a d v e n tu re is it w hen all p o ssib le d a n g e rs have b e e n a n ­ ticipated an d e n s u re d ag ain st (and if an y th in g u n ex p ec te d h ap p e n s. T h a t’s why they a re seld o m rich for long. can I believe in w hat I get? I f you gain fam e. T h e am u se m en ts b e ­ com e cruel. T h e fact th a t th e ir will is b e in g th w arted is usually o f m o re co n c e rn to th em th a n th e fact th at a d o o r is bein g o p e n e d . and you a re te m p te d to raise th e a n te . so m e o n e gets fired)? So th e re m u st b e new d iver­ sions.

th e m o re d o u b t: I f I were a carpenter. It is always w orrying a b o u t safety— th a t’s its jo b . b u t m ean in gless nuisances. W ealth ten d s to d o ju s t th a t— give th e E go to o m uch pow er. so m uch in su rance. You acq u ire a b u lld o z e r m entality: in stead o f e n te rin g in to a m utual re la tio n sh ip with life you sim ply ch arg e dow n a single track until you ru n y o u rse lf into th e g ro u n d .3 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION love fam e. you te n d to lose your sensitivity to reality. a fine reciprocity: we play with necessity. so we m ake a te rrib le m istake w hen we give it too m uch pow er. W hat we w ant m ost o f all is to be loved fo r w ho we are. If you go fishing with w orm s. L earn in g an d gro w th a re very difficult with w ealth because they d e p e n d o n e x p erien ces in real life. T h e r e ’s a b eau tifu l su b tlety to o u r re la ­ tio n sh ip with n a tu re an d necessity. Would you marry me anyway? Would you have my baby ? Finally. It keeps trying to d o today w hat w orked yesterday. W ith so m uch c o n tro l. o r w ealth. its soft places. w ealth m akes it very difficult to learn from life. n o t to be b o rn e . It len d s to be rigid an d lim ited— to w ear b lin d ers so it will see only w h at’s straig h t ah ead . W e disco v er its ed g es. it teaches us. and grow . W hen it closes an d frow ns. It has very little im ag in atio n . W e learn jo y s in th e w orld we n ev er knew existed. It knows only the past. You b eg in to feel that th e o b stacles an d fru stratio n s o f life are n o t sig n p o sts to be le a rn e d from . T h e m o re bait. you will catch w hatever eats w orm s. W e learn capacities and d e p th s in o u rselves we n e v e r knew we had. W e learn w hen an d why it o p e n s to us an d b rin g s us delig h t. w ith o u t bait. It is to o busy to have any im agination. so m uch p ow er to m aterialize y o u r day d ream s. A nd you were a lady. pow er. B ut love isn ’t fishing. an d w ealth enables o n e to buy out o f life. T h e h u m an E go is a n arro w thing. It p ro v id es th e w herew ithal to cling to .

w hat y o u r m ost satisfying calling m ig h t be. and the truly p o o r a re u n a b le to enjoy this luxury. o r goal— to g rasp every o u t­ grow n security b lan k et m o re tightly— to c o n tro l y o u r in p u t in such a way th at you n ev er n e e d to c h an g e o r develop. R u b b e r w heels a n d shock a b so rb e rs have so d isco n n ecte d us from th e lan d th a t we n o lo n g e r know how to re la te to it except as an o b stacle to be sm o o th e d o r cu t dow n o r paved over. W hile the w ealthy a re stifled by h aving to o m uch c o n tro l o v er th eir lives. o r m o st su b ­ tle. Safety is stag n atio n . fo r only w hen w e’re risking so m eth in g d oes life b e co m e w o rth living. since ex p erien ce n e e d play so little p a rt in its ev o lu tio n . If you fancy y o u rse lf as an o p e ra sin g er. b ecau se his o r h er m ost ju v e n ile self-im ages can b e acted o u t indefinitely. fo r exam ple. W h atev er real talen ts lie d o rm a n t in a w ealth ad d ict may n e v e r b e d isco v ered . Vitality an d g row th can b e re g a in e d only if the w ealth itse lf is risked. O nly th e h a rd e st reality can force m any p e o p le to reco g n ize a lack o f ta le n t an d shift to g re e n e r p astu res. as o n e w ealthy w om an u sed to d o periodically. you can pay a vanity p re ss to p u b lish yo u r book. o r m ost in v ig o ratin g . G row th a n d h a p ­ piness d e p e n d o n som e ability to ch o o se a m o n g o p tio n s. pathw ay. a n d this has m ad e us insensitive an d o u r w orld ugly. As I shall show in . W hen we have to o m uch con scio u s p o w er to sh ap e o u r ow n destiny o u r fu tu re is c o n stric te d by o u r ow n narrow goals— o u r d e sire to m ake th e w orld safe fo r ourselves. o r m o st th rillin g . W e know how to build th e sh o rte s t o r c h e a p est way any­ w here. If you w ant to b e a w riter. b u t n o t th e p re ttie st. W ealth itse lf is o n e kind o f security. the p o o r are stifled by hav in g to o little. o r m o st eleg an t. an d its p o ssessio n m akes p o ssib le m any o th e r kinds. But poverty also m akes p e o p le m iserab le. you can h ire a hall. W ealth p ro d u ces th e sam e kind o f ste rile an d u n re sp o n siv e en v iro n m en t on th e p e rso n a l level. You can n e v e r find o u t. an d h ire the a u d ien ce to go w ith it.THE MONEY ON YOUR BACK □ 3 1 every o u tw o rn fantasy.

3 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION C h a p te r 6. b u t also becau se addicts have a rra n g e d th in g s so th a t it is difficult to survive in o u r society w ith o u t becoming a w ealth addict. th e p o o r a re o p p re sse d by necessity n o t only b e ­ cause w ealth addicts have h o g g e d all th e reso u rces. .

An ad d ict buys a h o u se h e doesn 7 w ant in o rd e r to m ake m oney th ro u g h sp ecu latio n . how m any o f them are C lo set A ddicts— aw aiting only th e o p p o rtu n ity to give them selves o v er co m p letely to th a t m o st fero cio us o f all ad dic­ 33 . ow n a yacht. w ho have en o u g h to eat an d a viable h o m e a n d car. n o r is w orking h a rd to e a rn som e. T h e m an w ho w orks h a rd e a rn ­ ing m oney in o rd e r to buy a h o u se h e w ants is n o t an addict. secu re m em b ers o f th e w orking class. buy clothes. a n d th e m o re com fo rtab le. W ealth ad d ictio n has to d o with o u r attitude tow ard m oney.The Four Signs of Addiction The opportunities o f living are diminished in proportion as what are called the “means” are increased. give h u g e p arties. T h e m an o r w om an w ho d ream s occasionally o f having a lot o f m oney to travel. W ealth ad d ictio n is m o re th a n having m oney o r saving m oney o r d re a m in g o f m oney. TH O REA U W an tin g m oney is n o t in itse lf a sign o f ad d ictio n. H en ce it can easily hid e itself b e ­ hind som e h arm less d esire. H ow d o we tell if w e’re addicted? If we look at th e av erag e m iddle-class A m erican. an d buy p re se n ts fo r frien d s an d relatives is n o t necessarily an addict. Even saving m oney is n o t autom atically a sign o f ad d ictio n .

W hen you feel you n e e d m oney to co m p le te y o u r perso n ality o r public im age. th e n y o u ’re a d d ic te d to sex. o r u n a b le to fu n ctio n well w ith o u t so m eth in g — even for a little w hile— th e n you a re ad d ic te d to th at so m e ­ thing. a walk in th e co u n try — alm o st an y th in g can occa­ sionally be th e o b ject o f n eed . fo r exam p le. b u t if you ca n ’t im agine y o u rself b ein g able to go o n a fast. love. m ight cause you. sex. b u t also (3) feels as if it w ere essential to o u r sense o f w holeness. was o n ce q u o te d as say­ ing: “ W ith o u t m oney I ’m n o th in g . th e n y o u ’re ad d icte d to food. W ealth ad d ictio n takes several form s. o r several m o n th s alo n e at sea o r in th e w oods. W e all n e e d food. an d so on.” It w ould b e h a rd to find a sim p ler sta te m e n t o f w hat w ealth ad d ictio n is ab o u t. th e n it is a p p ro p ria te to speak o f addiction. so litu d e. A ddictions have to d o w ith o u r feelings a b o u t ourselves: if you think you w ould feel in co m p lete. Som e p eo p le a re p ri­ m arily Money Addicts. An ad d ictio n is so m e th in g you u se to fill w hat seem s to be a lack in yourself. th e m ultim illionaire. w arm th. b u t if you sim ply c a n ’t im agine y o u rse lf sp e n d in g several m o n th s w ith­ o u t a sexual p a rtn e r. It has to d o with w h e th er o r n o t you think th at this d isco m fo rt w ould overw helm yo u r psyche. It has little to do with how m uch a p p e tite you have— g astro n o m ical o r sexual— o r how m uch d isco m fo rt a fast. an d never . less o f a p e rso n . u sing it to p ro p u p y o u r E go in som e way.3 4 U WEALTH ADDICTION tions? At w hat p o in t d o es a n a tu ra l d e sire to eat well. be com fo rtab le. w ater. W e may also feel th e n e e d a t tim es for e n te rta in m e n t. an d have p le a sa n t su rro u n d in g s slip over into disease? H ow d o we d e te c t signs o f ad d ictio n in ourselves? I t’s easy to co n fu se an ad d ictio n w ith a sim ple n eed . A nd any n e e d can also becom e an addictio n . W e all n e e d love an d sexual gratification. an ego b o o st. T h e fear th at th e d ep riv atio n w ould b e overw h elm ing is w hat distin g u ish es n e e d from ad d ictio n . accu m u late it. T h e y m ake it. G len n T u rn e r. An ad d ictio n is a n eed th at is n o t only (1) in ten se and (2) chronic. W e all have n eed s fo r food.

” o r. “ b ecau se th a t’s how you ju d g e success o r failure in life. Som e p e o p le w ho are a d d icte d to fam e o r po w er n ev er accu m u late any m oney to speak of. Finally th e re are sim ple Spending Addicts. cars. . yet som ehow e n d up with h u n d re d s o f m illions. It d o e s n ’t m a tte r w hat the m oney stands for. L. It was ju s t so rt o f how they kept th e sc o re . the la tte r are. M oney n e v e r really m ean t an y th in g to m e. why did they am ass so m uch o f it? W hy d id n ’t they . Like m any billio n aires. Now it m ay seem o d d to call all th ese p e o p le w ealth addicts. by definition. an d so on. was q u o te d as saying th at his only real goal in life was to m ake a profit. T h e fo rm e r a re n o t w ealth addicts. . any m o re th a n it m a tte rs w hat alcohol o r h ero in stands for. w ho a r e n ’t necessarily in te re ste d in possessio n s b u t like to have “ m oney to b u r n ” in th e ir pock­ ets— to travel. an d they u se m oney to this en d . . W hen they achieve w ealth they like to give it c o n c re te ex p ressio n in th e form o f h o u ses. If m o n ey was o f no in terest to them . b u t as lo n g as it’s m oney th a t’s b e in g a ccu m u lated an d h eld on to. T h e n th e re a re Fame Addicts. was at o n e tim e billed as th e rich est m an in A m erica). . My fath er n ev er really cared a b o u t m oney. no o th e r term will do . e ith e r. . ac­ cep ted by th e “ in cro w d . H.” Yet m oney is by n o m eans th e only way to “ keep sc o re ” in life. M oney.THE FOUR SIGNS OF ADDICTION □ 3 5 w ant to d o an y th in g w ith it. e n te rta in . to be seen . n oticed. can stan d for anyth in g . fo r ex am p le (who. who want to m ake th e ir m ark in society. am u se them selves. O th e rs disclaim any in te re st in m oney. . as w e’ve already o bserved. yachts. H u n t was u n o ste n ta tio u s an d lived sim ply— th e sam e was tru e o f H enry F o rd . T h is last category is my ow n special w eakness. O th e rs a re Possession Addicts. as a last re so rt. T h e m in u te they acq u ire som e m oney they w ant to u se it to gain political p o w er o r sim ply to bully th o se a ro u n d th em . like his fa th e r b e fo re him . B unker H u n t. m em orialized for posterity. Yet som ehow each o f th e se m en m an ag ed to accum u late o v er a billion dollars. Still o th e rs are prim arily Power Addicts. clo th es.

a fix. an d we a re all add icts to som e d e g re e . L. an d so on . I t’s th e feeling th at naked an d alo n e we w ould be in com plete. a sexual p a rtn e r. d e c re a sin g use. an d th e way I le a rn e d to d e tec t ad d ictio n was very sim ple: th e things I was ad d icted to I rarely let m yself ru n o u t of. (O th e r p e o p le are less com pulsive. liq u o r. p o te n tia l lovers. a full wallet. m oney. T h e sym ptom s o f ad d ictio n a re g rasp in g . b u t feel it is a calam ity w hen they do ru n out. clinging. th at c a n ’t b e stockpiled. A ddiction is a closed fist. poten tial ad v en tu res.) A ddicts stockpile b o th m aterial a n d in ta n g ib le satisfactions. C o n fu sio n a b o u t goals. W e may stockpile food. W hen w ealth add icts say th ey ’re n o t in te re ste d in m oney. In creasin g p o ssessio n . I have g o n e th ro u g h th e sam e p ro cess with im p o rte d . THE CLOSING HAND A key sign o f any ad d ictio n is th e fear th at we w ould be u n a b le to face life w ith o u t so m e form o f ex tern al security— a d rink. 3. W hen I was a cig arette sm o k er I usually had several days’ supply a ro u n d a n d becam e very u n easy if I g o t dow n to a pack o r two. co n tro llin g .3 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION give it away? W ho keeps old sco recard s? H. T e n sio n a n d search behavior. w hat they usually m ean is th a t th e y ’re n o t in te re ste d in spending it. th e conviction th at if we let go o f w hat we have today it w o n ’t com e back to m o rro w . b u t he was also n o to rio u s in refu sin g to give the m oney h e d id n ’t care fo r to ch aritab le causes. tan g ib le o r spiritual. T h e re a re fo u r m ajo r signs o f w ealth addiction: 1. e n ­ suring. fuel. H u n t may have lived sim ply. W e m ay also stockpile g o o d deed s (“ B row nie p o in ts ” ). T h e re is n o th in g . social co ntacts. 2. p ro p e r clo th in g . 4. A closing h an d . In my ow n life I’ve b e e n ad d ic te d to m any th in g s. free tim e.

B lin d ed by his ad d ic­ tion (or co nviction— they a re m uch th e sam e thing) he believes that his w eakness an d d isa g re e a b le sym ptom s are a resu lt o f n o t g ettin g e n o u g h o f his iron-filled w ater. feeds th e a d d ictio n . w ith w ealth ad d ictio n . In th e seco n d can b e found zinc an d a variety o f o th e r trace e le m e n ts essen tial to hu m an survival. In m ost kinds o f ad d ictio n th e h arm com es n o t from the su b stan ce itse lf b u t from th e fact th at th e ad d ictio n distracts us from o th e r th in g s we n e e d — su b stan ces th at n o u rish .THE FOUR SIGNS OF ADDICTION □ 3 7 w ines an d special coffees. b u t n o o th e r m inerals. H e can taste it an d has conceived a firm b e lie f th a t th e iro n is g o o d fo r him an d gives him stre n g th . H e starts to w orry a b o u t w h eth er th e sp rin g will survive th e visits o f anim als a n d d e ­ cides to live n e a r it to p ro te c t it. In o n e sp rin g th e w ater co n tains a great deal o f iron. T h e re is a w orld o f differen ce b etw een feeling th at a certain kind o f ex p erien ce w ould m ake th e day b rig h t an d feeling that th e day will b e sp o iled w ith o u t th a t ex p erien ce. even if he is m istaken a b o u t its cause. in fact. for th e addict will b e aw are o f d ep riv atio n . Yet very few o f my favorite foods have ever a ro u se d this o bsessive co n cern . In th e p ro cess h e o ften cuts h im self off from o th e r so urces o f satisfaction th a t he is unaware o f n e e d in g o r w anting. an d a fte r so m e tim e his body begins to feel th e lack o f th e e lem en ts it co n tain s. A nd so on. T h e m an is very aw are o f th e iro n in th e first spring. ex­ p erien ces th at feed an d su p p o rt a n d gratify us. An addict always sees th e glass as h a lf em pty ra th e r th an h alf full. Im ag in e th at a m an lives in th e w ilderness in a reg io n w here th e re a re two sp rin g s. th e h arm lies less in w ant­ ing m oney o r security th a n with th e fact th a t o u r co n cern with . H e starts drinking twice as m uch as b e fo re an d now beg in s to e x p e rie n c e sym p­ tom s from excess o f iron. T h is d ep riv a­ tion in tu rn rein fo rces th e ad d ictio n . he n ev er goes n e a r th e o th e r sp rin g . N eedless to say. H e tries to m ake su re th at th e th in g s h e knows h e w ants o r n eeds are available. T h is lack. Sim ilarly.

T h e p ro b le m was th at I w an ted to m axim ize the d e d u c tio n yet keep it re a so n a b le e n o u g h so th at I could avoid an audit. T o say th at I felt as if I w ere d ro w n in g in a sea o f m ean in g less calculations is p e rh a p s o v e r­ statin g things a bit. even if the m ost enjoyable o n es w ere ra th e r brief. H ad I c o n sid ere d all the possibilities? M ade th e rig h t choice? C ertainly I m ade far too m any calculations. as I trie d d ifferent co m b in atio n s— trying to balan ce th e p o ssib le gain again st th e possible risk. thus in creasin g th e g en eral feeling o f scarcity in o u r e n v iro n m en t. w hen I fo rg et w hat it is / w ant. I always e n d e d by feeling te n se an d a little co n fu sed . an d start th in k in g solely a b o u t how to save o r accum ulate m oney— . b u t it c a p tu re s th e flavor.3 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION th ese things dep riv es us o f m o re n o u rish in g h u m an satisfac­ tions— love. as well as m ain tain in g som e m inim al sen se o f p e rso n al in te g ­ rity— I always ex p e rie n c ed a m ild feeling o f d iso rien tatio n . F u rth e rm o re . T h e sen se o f d iso rien ta tio n occurs only w hen m oney takes o v er th e helm and starts calling th e sh o ts— that is. physical w ell-being. frien d sh ip . a d v e n tu re . I have com e to reco g n ize th at sen satio n as pecu liar to c e r­ tain kinds o f e n c o u n te rs with m oney. certainly: I’ve had som e very. fam iliar to all incom e tax filers an d blackjack players. o u r p u rsu it o f m oney an d security n o t only dep riv es us b u t ten d s to d ep riv e o u r n e ig h b o rs as well. an d so on.p leasan t affairs with m oney. w hen I u sed to d o my ow n incom e tax. as if l had som ehow lost my b earin g s. N ot all. CONFUSION ABOUT GOALS Many years ago. o r at least d efen d it— a co m m o n p ro b lem . I say a b su rd n o t only b ecau se it w asn’t p le a su r­ ab le tim e (to say th e least) b u t also b ecau se it w asn’t p ro fitab le even from a p urely econom ic view point: I w ould som etim es sp e n d an h o u r playing with a d e d u c tio n th at saved m e only a few dollars. D uring th o se m o m en ts. I o ften fo u n d m yself sp e n d in g a b su rd am o u n ts o f tim e o n those a m b ig u o u s d e d u c tio n s th at involved a certain am o u n t o f esti­ m ate m aking.

th e n I'll be able to cheat you. T h e re have b e e n tim es. w ho can afford only o n e cheap shirt o r n o n e at all? If they d o n ’t think a b o u t m axim izing m oney. Say I ’m a p o o r m an with only en o u g h m oney in my p ocket to buy a ch eap shirt. W h en y o u ’re p o o r. is d e sig n e d to ap p eal to th e addictive side o f o u r n atu res. D o e sn ’t my sta te m e n t really apply only to the affluent m id d le class. . F o r w hile so m e p e o p le like having a q u antity o f clothes to ch o o se from . L e t’s g et back to th e p o o r. O u r econom y is based on th e exp lo itatio n o f g reed : if I can convince you th at y o u ’re ch eatin g m e in o u r ex ch an g e. W h e th er this is tru e o r n o t. w ho have th e luxury o f choice? T h e an sw er is no. b u t it is far m o re likely to ex p o se you to the possibility o f b ein g e x p lo ite d by o th e r addicts: m ost ad v ertis­ ing. fo r exam p le. w hile my b arg ain s sit in d raw ers until I give them away. But w hat o f th e p o o r. I pass a sto re th at has a sale o n shirts. th ey ’ll stay p o o r. w hen I w ould go into a sto re a n d have tro u b le d e cid in g w h e th e r to buy o n e expensive shirt I liked very m uch o r two ch eap o n es I liked only m o d e r­ ately. My choice is to buy a ch eap shirt o r . T h is h a p p e n s o fte n in th e daily lives o f m ost A m ericans. But it d o e s n ’t really m a tte r which way we ch o o se— what m atters is th at th e choice be b ased o n o u r ow n d esires ra th e r th an p urely o n co n sid e ra tio n s o f m axim izing w ealth: on M oneythink. I m uch p re fe r having a sm all n u m b e r o f things I really enjoy. F o r m e th ese luxuries have even p ro v e d econom ical. T h e m oney w ould o ften d erail m e from th e basic q u e s­ tion o f w hat I wanted. m any o f th e m o re n o to rio u s w ealth addicts in o u r society achieved th e ir p o sitio n s by m an ip u latin g the success fantasies o f th e ir n eig h b o rs. w hen I beco m e a slave to M oneythink. b e in g an addict m ight help you g et rich. since I w ear th em u n til they w ear o u t.THE FOUR SIGNS OF ADDICTION □ 3 9 w hen m oney b eco m es an e n d in i t s e l f . afte r all. . C on m en a rg u e th at you c a n ’t ch eat an h o n e st m an— th at th e “ m a rk ” is usually a victim o f his ow n g reed . as we do with so m any o f th e an n o y an ces a n d a b rasio n s o f m o d e rn life. b u t we have fo u n d ways o f n u m b in g o u rselv es to it.

I m ay w ant to save every p en n y in an effort to lever m y self o u t o f th e vicious cycle o f poverty. In stead o f sp en d in g th em o n food o r a b e d h e h a d b o u g h t a useless o rn a m e n t on im pulse. th e “ m o st co m m o n ch aracteristic o f th o se who acq u ire g reat w ealth is th e ir d e d icatio n to th a t single g o al. even th o u g h she d o e s n ’t know w hat she w ants. M oneythink says. B oth d ecisions a re perfectly valid. I f you w ant to ac­ cu m u late a fo rtu n e . A n o n a d d ic t m ay go in to th e sto re b ecau se she know s she w ants a ch eap sh irt an d thinks she m ig h t find o n e she likes th ere. T h e re is n o halfway w ith M oneythink. to th e ex clusion o f all else.. always o n call. re g ard less o f how you feel ab o u t w hat y o u ’re buying o r selling— w h e th e r you want it o r not. y o u ’re o p e n to ex­ p lo itatio n by o th e r addicts.) O n th e o th e r h a n d . th e re a re even m o re e x tre m e add icts o u t th e re .” M oneythink a rg u es th a t you m ust n ev er lose a single o p p o rtu n ity to buy ch eap o r sell d e a r and h en ce accu m u late m oney.” M ichael P hillip s’s “ First Law o f M o n ey ” is th a t “ m oney will . M oneythink is w hat th e sto re o w n er tries to activate by hav in g a sale. M oneythink d e m a n d s th a t you b e d e v o te d to th e m arketplace 24 h o u rs a day. if yo u ’re su scep tib le to M oneythink. An ad d ict goes in b ecau se th e re ’s a sale. an d th at you be relatively indifferent to w hat it is th at is b ein g b o u g h t an d sold. “ If you sp e n d y o u r m oney h e re .4 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION to buy n o shirt. T h e issue is still th e sam e: is my choice d e te r­ m ined by my ow n d esire o r by M oneythink? I may w ant to sp e n d my last dim e o n a sh irt. J r. (I o n ce knew a w ealthy “ selfm ade m a n ” w ho in his y o u th h a d b e e n o u t o f a jo b in a stran g e tow n with only a few p e n n ie s in his pock et. M oneythink has n o th in g to d o with this. and w ealth ad d ictio n is a com p etitiv e gam e. As J o s e p h T h o rn d ik e . Rich o r p o o r. observes. T h e difference is su b tle b u t vastly im p o rta n t. Since his luck b e g a n to c h an g e so o n afterw ard he always k ept this o rn a m e n t as a re m in d e r o f th e low est p o in t in his fo rtu n es. b ecau se h ow ever ded icated you are. it will save you m oney in th e lo n g r u n . an d it affects rich an d p o o r alike. you have to c o n c e n tra te o n it every waking h o u r. now.

T h e few successful g am b lers in the w orld live o ff th e ad d ictio n s o f th e m any u nd iscip lin ed ones. b u t o n ce you e n te r the gam e you lose th at possibility. O n c e you su b m it to M oney­ think y o u ’re c o n tra c tin g to b e so m e w ealth a d d ic t’s su p p lier. a c ertain risk in this: m oney follow s energy. since everything was invested in th e gam e. O r even th e m in o r successes w ho g e t sw allow ed u p a n d d e stro y e d by th e big w inners. you can enjoy som e kind o f life. T h e p ro b le m w ith playing th e ad d ict g am e is th at if you lose. this d e p e n d s largely o n o n e ’s b e in g e d u ­ cated a n d m iddle-class. B ut m oney in th e lo n g ru n follow s energy. W e d o n ’t h e a r m uch a b o u t th e losers. b u t it co n tain s an im p o rta n t tru th . I f you divide y o u r en ergy you will ultim ately lose m oney. U sually th e b est they can d o is to get rich en o u g h to p ro v id e this o p p o rtu n ity fo r th e ir ch ild ren. w h e th e r rich o r p o o r.) Phillips seem s to be saying th a t if you c a n ’t p u t all y o u r en ergy into m oney th en p u t it all in to so m e th in g you can p u t it into. an d achieving m o n etary success as a b y -p ro d u ct o f th at ab so rp tio n . T h e re is. T h e w orld o f e n tre p re n e u rs is sim ilarly c o m p o se d — like all com petitive w orlds— o f a few w inners an d a lot o f losers.” Like m o st o f P hil­ lip s’s o b serv atio n s. Still. M oney o ften te n d s to divide o u r en erg ies: we a lte r an d divert o u r efforts to m ake su re we have “ e n o u g h ” m oney. . If you d o n ’t play.THE FOUR SIGNS OF ADDICTION □ 4 1 com e w hen you a re d o in g th e rig h t th in g . o f course. you will pro b ab ly have a m o re satisfying tim e o f it th a n you will try ing to p u rsu e m oney directly. W hen you e n g a g e in M oneythink you a re likely to beco m e s o m e o n e ’s m ark. b u t it may n o t arriv e in a single lifetim e. A half-baked ad d ictio n m akes you th e p erfect ta rg e t for m o re co m m itted addicts. (P o o r p e o p le usually c a n ’t m obilize th e ir e n ­ ergies a lo n g a single track like this b ecau se they have to dev o te so m uch en erg y to th e ir survival— they d o n ’t have th e leisure to ig n o re m oney. P eo p le have b e co m e rich e ith e r by b ein g totally d e v o te d to m oney o r by co m p letely ig n o rin g it— b ecom in g u tterly a b so rb e d in c re a tin g o r p e rfo rm in g o r in­ venting. T h e y can c o u n t o n you to play th eir gam e an d lose. y o u ’ve w asted y o u r life fo r n o th in g .

T h e y have s u rre n d e re d th e ir e m o tio n al life an d ab d icated all p o w er to M oneythink— m uch as an old. an d causes us m o m e n ta r­ ily to lose o u r sen se o f d irectio n . for m oney in a n d o f itse lf is w orthless. you have m o re o f every­ . in w hich we g et o u t o f to u ch with o u r own w ishes an d reactio n s a n d sensitivities an d lose ourselves in calculations. reactio n s. d iso rie n ta ­ tio n . B ut fo r severe addicts. o rie n tin g every action. a n d few o f us are that insecure. w ithout a clear an d im m ed iate idea o f th e uses to which you w ant to p u t it. is to b e crazy. is w hat m oney is for. in terests. T h e y beh av e as if they know w here th e y ’re g o in g b ecau se th e y ’ve given th em selves o v er com pletely to the wave. biological n eeds. T h e y achieve this air o f n o rm ality by b e in g fixated on sec u r­ ity so fervently an d com pulsively th at it acts fo r th em as a kind o f N o rth S tar. b u t it is n o lo n g e r linked to th e ir ow n h u m an . Yet th e language o f M oneythink is th e lan g u ag e o f rationality. I ’ve d escrib ed su b m e rsio n in M oneythink as a kind o f m ini-psychosis. M oneythink h o m o g e ­ nizes b ecau se m oney h o m o g en izes. M oneythink is a tidal wave th a t picks th em u p and com pletely takes th em over.” o n w hich m o st o f eco ­ nom ics has trad itio n ally b e e n fo u n d e d . But to d o this they have to w ant security so m uch th at it o b lite ra te s all o th e r desires. p leasu res.4 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION Severe add icts a re s u p p o rte d in th e ir h a b it by all o f us to som e ex ten t. T o w ant m oney in itself. F o r m ost o f us. b u t m ost especially by m ild addicts. an d so on. M oneythink is a wave th at occasion­ ally splashes o v er us. knocks us over. you te n d to believe th a t ev ery th in g can be h o m o g en ize d in this way— th at if you have m o re m oney. as we have seen. an d loss o f se lf a re c o n sid e re d in o u r society to b e p e ­ culiarly sane. Yet p eo p le w ho a re hopelessly lost in this sta te o f co n fu sio n . W hen you a re sw ept away by M oneythink. W hen you a re sw ept away by M oneythink you beco m e that ra re st o f all fictions. T h a t. T h o s e w ho allow th em selves to b eco m e com pletely d o m in a te d by M oneythink will n e v e r lack a sta r to ste e r by. to go w herev er it goes. ele g a n t h o tel is a b so rb e d by a chain an d h o m o g e ­ nized. “ eco n o m ic m a n .

fo rm ­ ing n atu ra l b o u n d a rie s. o u r m any w ishes an d feelings c re a te a kind o f m osaic. H u n g e r a n d sexual d esire e x tin g u ish them selves w hen gratified an d give way to o th e r n eed s th a t b eco m e m o re p ressin g as th e se re c e d e . yet a re u n a b le to sto p try in g to m ake m o re. th e re are no n atu ral b o u n d arie s.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F A DDICTIO N □ 4 3 thing. b ecau se th e re is no so m e th in g else. O n c e m oney is given p rio rity th e re is n o lo n g e r any basis fo r d ecid in g w hen an d w here to sto p accum ulating. th e re a re few cases o f p e o p le w ho have co m ­ pletely an d perfectly ab d icated th e co n d u c t o f th e ir lives to M oneythink. an d so o n in a co n tin u o u s ro u n d o f w axing a n d w aning. Y ou only ch o o se b etw een m o re m oney and less m oney. an d they in tu rn give way to o th e rs. All o f o u r varied an d se p a ra te d esires— th e “ checks a n d b a la n c e s” o f o u r in te rn a l re p u b lic — have b ee n h o m o g en ized an d p re sse d in to th e service o f a d esp o tic ru le r w ho says. All th ese desires a n d m o o d s b alan ce a n d lim it o n e a n o th e r. T h is m akes y o u r choices very sim ple: you n e v er have to ch o o se b etw een m o n ey a n d so m e th in g else. an d th e d esire fo r m oney has no natural limit. L e t’s take a trivial ex am p le. w hich is an easy choice fo r a w ealth addict. N orm ally. B ut th o se w ho have co m e clo sest have beco m e the richest. S u p p o se you d ecid e to m ake a little m oney by b u y in g a h o u se in an a rea w h ere th e re is a real e sta te b o o m a n d selling it la te r at a larg e p rofit. Since it ca n n o t in itse lf satisfy anything. Y our goal is . O bviously. we can never have en o u g h . B ut in th e k ingdom o f M oneythink. “ All th ese d esires will b e fulfilled w hen you have en o u g h m o n ey .” B ut how much is enough? W hat is left to use as a limit? W h en we su b o rd in a te o th e r d esires to m oney we lose o u r ability to reco g n ize “ e n o u g h .” T h o s e goals an d desires th at are cap ab le o f satisfaction have b e e n c o o p te d by m oney. A n u m b e r o f rich m en have ack n o w led g ed th a t they co u ld satisfy all th e ir m aterial n e e d s— a n d even w him s— w ith a fractio n o f w hat they h o ld . in w hich each o n e b u m p s ag ain st a n o th e r b e fo re it can go to o far. A m achine co u ld d o it.

o f co u rse. you w ould have all so rts o f sp o n ta n e o u s reactio n s to each h o u se . You go to a re a lto r. and toss th e te n a n ts o u t th e m in u te th e o p p o rtu n ity arises to m ake a big p rofit by resellin g . B ut le t’s su p p o se you pass this h u rd le an d buy a g o o d p ro sp e c t th a t m eans n o th in g to you. H ow exploitive is exploitive enough? H ow exploitive is too exploitive? W h en sh o u ld you sell— th at is. give n o th in g in re tu rn . If you re ta in any feelings o f co m m u ­ nity resp o n sib ility o r even m e re h u m a n decency. O n c e y o u r h o u se is sold you im m ediately w ant to buy so m e th in g to m ake an even b ig ­ g e r profit. S o u l-search in g an d indecision give way to fevered calculations an d en d less vigilance. an d you sell w hen you believe th e m ark et has p eak ed — n o s o o n e r an d n o later. how m uch p ro fit is enough profit? O n ce y o u ’ve given y o u rse lf o v er com pletely to M oneythink th e se q u estio n s. an d so on. In sh o rt. W h en you co m m it y o u rse lf w holly an d u n reserv ed ly to M oneythink. Y ou ex p lo it as m uch as you can get away with. to give y o u rse lf o v er to M oney­ think is to b eco m e a term in al w ealth ad d ict a n d n ev er draw a n o th e r easy b reath . w ho show s you several h ouses. I f you h a v e n ’t given y o u rse lf o v er w holly to M oneythink. B ut how d o you go a b o u t b uying so m e th in g you d o n ’t w ant? You have to su p p re ss all th e se irrelev an t re sp o n ses an d try to figure o u t which h o u se can b e re so ld th e quickest an d at th e biggest profit. . in o th e r w ords. as you im agined y o u rse lf living in it w ith y o u r ow n fu rn ish in gs an d so on. m any conflicts an d confusions dissolve (this is th e basic m essag e o f th e “ how -to-be-a-succ ess” books). But M oneythink can h ard ly b e said to b rin g serenity. you will b e to rn b etw een th e eco n o m ic irrelevance o f y o u r ow n tastes a n d th e em o tio n a l irrelev an ce o f M oneythink. H ow will you tre a t y o u r ten an ts? M oneythink has a clear p o sitio n : you ch arg e the very highest re n t th at you can g et away with. y o u ’ll find y o u rse lf in creasingly confu sed .4 4 □ WEALTH A DDICTION sim ply to m ake m o n ey — y o u ’re n o t in te re s te d in th e h o u se as such. T h e h o u se m u st be re n te d while you wait for th e p rice to rise. n o lo n g e r arise. H ow d o you d ecid e w hich o n e to buy? N orm ally.

T h o rn d ik e com m en ts th a t “ if th e A m erican su p er-rich have som etim es p re se n te d a ra th e r frivolous a n d irre sp o n sib le im age to the w orld. M ost A m ericans assum e th at it’s “ju s t h u m a n n a tu re ” to w ant to ow n things. H u m a n b eings lived off th e lan d o n this p la n e t for m illions o f years b e fo re an y o n e was a rro g a n t e n o u g h to claim o w nership. In . w hich so obvi­ ously b e lo n g e d to all living th in g s an d th e re fo re to no o n e in p articu lar. Yet m o re th a n 90 p e rc e n t o f all th e h u m a n b eings w ho have ever lived have b e e n h u n te r-g a th e re rs .T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 4 5 M ost p e o p le m ake so m e kind o f u neasy co m p ro m ise with M oneythink. w h ere— since w ealth has n ev e r b een strongly tied to aristo cratic resp o n sib ilities a n d o b lig atio n s— th e freest p o ssib le rein is given to M oneythink. a n d fo r m ost such p e o ­ ple m obility has b e e n so im p o rta n t th a t p o ssessio n s w ere sh u n n e d as a useless e n c u m b ra n c e. takes th e la n d a n d th e farm ­ ers a n d gives th em to his lie u te n a n ts to tax a n d exploit. P eo p le w ho have w orked th e sam e lan d fo r co u n tless g e n e ra tio n s a re as likely to think th a t th e lan d ow ns them as th a t they ow n the land. b u t th e sense o f “ m in e ” an d “ y o u rs” was very w eak in d e e d . O w n ersh ip as we know it b eg in s w hen so m e o n e steals th e land: a c o n q u e ro r com es th ro u g h . DECREASING USE W e a re so u se d to th e id ea o f p o ssessio n in o u r society th at it isn ’t easy to g et any p ersp ectiv e a b o u t it. Even th e rich o fte n find them selves p e rp le x e d by its o n e-d im en sio n ality a n d b lu n d e r a b o u t confu sedly trying to find altern ativ e system s o f value. T h e o rig in al in h ab itan ts o f th e U n ited S tates th o u g h t it lu d icro u s to im agine th at a p e rso n co u ld “ p o sse ss” a se g m e n t o f th e land. Private o w nership o f lan d is also a very re c e n t co n cep t. T h is is a p a rtic u la r p ro b le m in A m erican society. A few tools a n d w eapons m ight have b e e n in o n e p e rs o n ’s p o ssessio n .” INCREASING POSSESSION. O w n ersh ip alm o st always b eg in s w ith stealing. it is p e rh a p s b ecau se they have n o t know n w hat to do with th em selv es.

is n o t a given. T h e n we very crudely an d publicly teach them to share. th e re is no tu rn in g back. o f concession. T h e d esire to p o ssess exclusively. In o u r society it’s p o ssible to find siblings fighting o v er p o ssessio n s even w hen th re e o r fo u r live in o n e room .” b u t as an act o f noblesse oblige. I t’s ju s t m o re highly d ev e lo p e d h e re th an at any o th e r tim e o r place in history.4 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION effect. H en ce th e n e e d to p o ssess b etrays a d e g re e o f insecurity. W e subtly train o u r ch ild ren from b irth th at they a re p riv ate beings with ow n­ ersh ip rights. T h e p e o p le w ho have a real rig h t to th e land th ro u g h cu sto m an d u sag e— w ho have lived with it for cen tu ries in som e kind o f m u tu al h a rm o n y — d o n ’t n ee d to claim o w nership. L a n d h o ld in g aristo c ra ts an d g ra sp in g p easants a ro u n d th e w orld are obviously su scep tib le to the urge. T h e issue n ev er arises until so m eo n e u surps it. In less p riv ate societies b ro th e rs an d sisters may sh are ro o m s. P ossession is a way o f ensuring access to w hatever it is we w ant to use o r enjoy: we a re so anxious that th e object be th e re w hen we w ant it that we are w illing to insist th at it be . ex cept in a society like o u rs. Legal land o w n ersh ip usually m eans: “ It was given o r sold to m e by a series o f o w ners w ho g o t it from th e original th ie f. an d n ev er think o f w hat “ b e lo n g s ” to th em . T h is is n o t to say we are u n iq u e. b ed s. th en . W e can n o t at this m o m e n t in history re c a p tu re easily th e sen se o f in te rc o n n e c ­ tion th at p re in d u stria l an d especially p re a g ricu ltu ral p eo p les had. clo th es. T h u s we n eed to m ake a particularly special effort to look at it w ith fresh eyes. W e a re train ed to think o f o u rselves as se p arate entities from b irth . in o th e r w ords. o w n ersh ip has to b e estab lish ed over the land because it has b een sto len . T o own o r possess is to m o n o p o lize th e use o f so m eth in g p erm an en tly . p o ssessio n s. In less individualistic societies sh arin g is m o re a u to m atic b ecause the sen se o f se p a ra te n ess is so little d ev elo p ed . Yet clearly. an d h en ce to grasp. C h ild re n are tau g h t to “ s h a re .” A lan d o w n er is in effect an accessory a fte r the fact an d a re ­ ceiver o f sto len goods.

) M ost A m ericans w ould o b ject to this system . How . a n d p o tency su b stitu tes. a n d let p e o p le know w here the n e a re st car was if o n e w asn ’t in sight— p ro b ab ly th e re w ould be som e n e e d fo r h ire d d rivers to m ove vehicles into d e p le te d areas.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 4 7 th e re even w hen we don't w ant it. an d so on. T h e re is a basic insecurity b e h in d ow nership: we w ant so m e ­ th in g b e fo re an y o n e else can get it o r b e fo re it b eco m es scarce. clo th es in o u r closets that w e’re n o t w earing. as we shall see. au to m o b iles w ould be b u ilt m u ch m o re fo r tra n s p o rta ­ tion an d m uch less as statu s sym bols. clothing. T h e ra tio n a le is th a t w hen we do w ant to eat. W h en you re ac h ed your d e stin a tio n you w ould leave th e car a n d so m e o n e else w ould use it. o r tra n sp o rta tio n . you w ould ju s t h o p in th e n e a re st car a n d driv e off. In any case we w ould n e e d only a b o u t a th ird as m any vehicles as we now have. T h is tim e saving is q u e stio n ­ able. O w n ersh ip is a way o f g rasp in g an d clinging to so m e th in g we are afraid will be taken away from us. which is a way o f life in o u r society. an d w ould c re ate a m o re p leasan t en v iro n m e n t. I f you w an ted to go so m ew h ere. th a t all cars w ere accessible to everyone. we w o n ’t have to w aste tim e lo o k in g a ro u n d fo r the food. W ealth ad d ictio n has b e e n c h aracterized as a d isease. O n e way to p u t o w n ersh ip in p e rsp e c tiv e is to im agine an alternativ e. o f course. A m an w ho w an ted to p u m p u p his m ascu­ linity m ig h t have to look a ro u n d for a lo n g tim e to find the rig h t kind o f car. cars in o u r drivew ays th a t we a re n ’t driving. Som e co o rd in a tin g system w ould b e n ecessary to keep track o f th e cars. S u p p o se. T h u s we have fo o d on o u r shelves w hen w e’re n o t h u n g ry . less w asteful. and this reveals th e real fu n ctio n o f o w n ersh ip : ownership is a way o f preventing others from having access to the thing we want to use. o r drive. b u t it ex p resses th e sen se o f u rgency that lies b eh in d th e co m p u lsio n to p ossess. sexual fetishes. d ress. th en . (U n d e r such a system . . P eo p le w ant th e ir ow n cars. a lth o u g h it is obviously m o re practical. fo r exam p le. can o w n ersh ip . an d a disease is usually re g a rd e d as a d e p a rtu re from som e norm . m ain tain th em .

. An o w n er is sim ply a serv an t with as m any m asters as h e o r sh e has p o ssessio ns. I t’s u n d e rs ta n d a b le to w ant to e n su re access to so m e th in g th at is u se d every day. p ro te c tin g . o w n in g is an ex trem ely inefficient way to m axim ize p leasu re. th e less a p o ssessio n is u sed . F rom a strictly ratio n al view point. if we w ant. T h e re n te r. an d so on. Each tim e you buy so m eth in g . the p ro te c tin g . Such a d istin ctio n can b e m ad e by c o m p arin g possessio n a n d use: clearly. Now. o r alm o st c o n sta n t use. th e m aintaining. an d leave it up to the re n te r to p ro v id e the ja n ito ria l services: th e searching. In th e la tte r case we a re sim ply ja n ito rs to o u r ow n d esires. w hile a p e rso n w ealthy e n o u g h to have serv an ts beco m es an u n p a id H e a d Ja n ito r. b u t this d o e s n ’t h elp us discrim inate betw een th o se w ho m erely sh a re a cu ltu ral d iste m p e r and th o se w ho a re in th e g rip o f an acu te v iru len t sickness. U nless th e re is an e x tra o rd in ary difference in cost o r quality. co n tro llin g . a fte r all. m oney is sub ject to d im in ish in g re tu rn s o f p leasure. a new boss: so m eo n e w ho req u ires w ork from you. in effect. T h e relatio n sh ip o f p le a su re to m oney is com plex. F o r ex ­ am ple. it m akes m o re sen se to re n t ju s t a b o u t an y th in g .4 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION be a sym ptom o f a disease? W e can call th e society as a w hole diseased. m ain taining. B ut w hat can be said o f so m e o n e w ho serves m any m as­ ters w ho p ro v id e alm ost n o th in g in re tu rn ? T h e im p o rta n t q u e stio n h e re is n o t how m uch we ow n but how we sp e n d o u r tim e— w h e th e r we sp e n d it in enjoym ent. p ro te c te d . o r in ten d in g . co ercin g . o r search in g o u t p o te n tia l sources o f en jo y m en t. But what o f things th at a re u sed only o n c e a m o n th o r o n ce a year? P ossessions have to be cared fo r an d m a in tain e d — cleaned. to work fo r a boss w ho gives you a g re a t deal in re tu rn is q u ite re a so n ­ able. re p a ire d . m akes a liv­ ing by p ro v id in g th o se services. W hat a w aste o f tim e if such ja n ito ria l services a re p ro v id ed for p lea su re so urces th at a re rarely o r n ev er used! An affluent m iddle-class p e rso n clearly sp en d s a g o o d deal o f tim e as an u n p a id ja n ito r. you acq u ire. th e m o re violent a n d u n c o n tro lla b le th e ad d ictio n . m oved a b o u t.

so litu d e. T h e a rra n g e m e n t shifts an d alters w ith o u r ow n in te rn a l b alances.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 4 9 In d ee d . Still m o re recen tly I have b e g u n to n o tice my n ee d to be n e a r th e ocean every now an d th e n — it’s like a trace chem ical: I d o n ’t n e e d m u ch b u t I b eco m e u n c o m fo rta b le w ithou t any. a n d it will take an even la rg er w indfall n ex t tim e to p ro d u c e any effect. exercise. an d we te n d m o re o r less autom atically to b u ild e n v iro n m e n ts th at will periodically satisfy th e se n eed s. M ore recen tly I have b e co m e aw are th at if I have to o little tim e by m y self I will feel it alm ost as a physical pain. I also feel o u t o f so rts w hen my life is totally . c h a n g e o u r life-style. b u t b e y o n d th a t p o in t. o r beg in involving o u rselv es in th e m a n a g e m e n t o f invest­ m ents so as to g e n e ra te more m oney.” M oney p ro d u c e s th e m ost p lea su re w hen it is sm all e n o u g h n o t to affect how we define ourselves financially— w hen we can “ blow it” o n a tre a t o f som e kind. I have lo n g b e e n fully aw are. S om e pieces o f th e m osaic are m o re visible to us a n d we take b e tte r care o f these. rest. co m ­ pan io n sh ip . th e lower the re tu rn in p leasu re. o th e rs we may lose sight o f an d neg lect. fo r physical m ovem ent. tran q u ility . b ey o n d so m e p o in t. W e all n e e d love. b u t th e basic m osaic is o ften q u ite stable. a d v e n tu re . th e m o re m oney th e less p leasu re. “ M oney b rin g s so m e h ap p in ess. T h is is so b ecau se a la rg e r sum usually tem p ts us to en larg e o u r scale o f living in so m e way— to m ake a m ajo r acquisitio n o f real o r p e rso n a l p ro p e rty . in varying form s an d a m o u n ts. As Neil Sim on once rem ark ed . At so m ew h ere a ro u n d 5 p e rc e n t m ost p e o p le b eg in to re c a te g o riz e th e ir financial sta­ tus an d th e m oney is p u t to w ork to achieve this change. o f my n e e d s fo r to u ch in g . T h e p le a su re b egins to b e lost. for love. cu ltu re. for exam p le. th e m o re m oney the m o re pleasu re. stru g g le. an d so o n . I w ould su g g est th a t for m o st p e o p le the p le a su re peak fo r a m o n ey w indfall is a b o u t 5 p e rc e n t o f o n e ’s c u rre n t incom e: u p to th a t p o in t. P eop le te n d to c re a te a m osaic o f satisfactions to m atch th e ir ow n special p a tte rn o f n e e d s. n a tu re . fo r c o m p an io n sh ip . B ut a fte r a certain po in t it ju s t b rin g s m o re m o n e y . th e la rg e r th e new sum .

T h e m o re m oney p e o p le get. T h is leads th em to stockpile m aterial g o o d s— to buy m o re th an they can use. A m osaic th at suits us well is h ard to build an d easy to te a r dow n. T h e tim e you have to sp e n d as a ja n ito r m o re th an co u n teracts th e o p tio n s o p e n e d u p by th e m oney itself. th o u g h it may take a lo n g tim e befo re I n o tice th e lack. o f co u rse. w hile fo r the affluent m oney ten d s to decrease th e o p tio n s available. th e n m oney will always in crease th e o p tio n s available to us. ex cept in so far as th e p o ssessio n o f the m oney d istracts us from th e in n u m e ra b le o p tio n s th at d o n ’t involve m oney at all. at any m o m en t. L arg er w indfalls. T h e tro u b le with ad d ic­ tions is that they b lu r an d b lu n t o u r sensitivity to this com plex m osaic— they lead to oversim plification.5 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION devoid o f stru g g le an d conflict. O n e way o f looking at m oney is to say th a t fo r p o o r p eo p le m oney ten d s to increase th e o p tio n s available. subtly. W e still have th e sam e a sso rtm e n t o f n e e d s— we ju s t n e e d m o re m oney (or think we do) to satisfy them . If we sta n d willing to lose all o f it. becau se they b eg in to think in creas­ ingly o f th o se pleasu res m oney can buy a n d decreasingly o f all o th ers. As they b eco m e im m ersed in m aterial p o ssessio n s th e ja n ito ria l se r­ . th e m o re p ro n e to w ealth ad d ictio n they are. T h is is th e n e t effect o f th e ja n ito ria l services th at you have to p ro vide e ith e r for y o u r m oney o r fo r th e th in g s you p u rch a se with it. M oney can also p ro d u c e g e n u in e re lie f o f pain. th ro u g h trial an d erro r. My p o in t a b o u t m o n ey w indfalls is th at below 5 p e rc e n t they te n d to b e used to fill gaps in o u r life-m osaic. which creates a vicious circle. A b alan ced m osaic o f satisfactions is very n o u rish in g . lead us to re c a te g o riz e o u r financial status an d u p se t th e balan ce o f o u r c u rre n t m osaic. o n th e o th e r h an d . n o t necessarily m o re satisfying b u t infi­ nitely m o re clu ttered . T h is is tru e . an d u n consciously. F o r p o o r p e o p le this is o n e o f th e prim ary m ean in g s th at m oney has. and m akes p e o p le en e rg e tic an d cheerful. W e c reate it gradually. W e th e n have to create a new m osaic. only so lo n g as w e’re attached to the m oney o r to th e po ssessio n s.

cam eras. B ut w hatever th e origin. an d this afflicts th e p o o r as m uch as th e rich. T h is shrinks th e tim e available fo r p lea su re. T h e y a re th e kind o f p e o p le w ho build n u ­ clear p o w er p lan ts before figuring o u t how to d isp o se o f the atom ic w astes. su b tleties. W e all have m o m en ts like this— ro a rin g dow n a breakdow n lane to bypass a traffic ja m . an d so on. o b serv in g th at it feels g o o d an d u sin g it. o r if they are. b u t w hen you pass by they a r e n ’t in them . T h is creates m o re ja n ito ria l work. by having it a ro u n d a lo t a n d taking it frequently. d ev o tin g th e ir lives to m oney tends to give p e o p le a restless. an d so on. delays. m o st o fte n th e y ’re p u tte rin g a b o u t looking after th e u n e n d in g m a in te n a n c e an d e q u ip m e n t p ro b lem s th at such po ssessio n s d em an d . T h e y a re im p a tie n t w ith obstacles. th ereb y m aking it w orse.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 5 1 vices escalate. T h e y have beautiful seco n d h om es. T h e closets o f th e affluent a re filled w ith ski e q u ip m e n t. by b e in g in terrib le pain an d o b serv in g th a t m o rp h in e relieves th at pain. u sin g o u r a u th o rity . cam p in g g ear. Y ou can g et h o o k ed o n m o rp h in e in two ways: first. g o lf e q u ip ­ m ent. T h is . w hen you feel m e d io ­ cre. o r th e p o w er o f th e m ajority. w ater skis. scuba g ear. to m ake y o u rse lf feel b e tte r. to o verrid e o b jectio n s to so m e p ro g ra m we think we w ant. d riv en quality. seco n d . C o n sid e r m o rp h in e ad d ic­ tion. T h e lat­ ter is th e way p o o r p e o p le b eco m e w ealth addicts: they suffer ex cruciatin g pain from th e ir p o v erty a n d asso ciate m oney— n o t u n reaso n ab ly — with re lie f from th a t d riv in g an d u n e n d in g pain. fo r exam ple. b ru sh in g aside ch ild ren b ecau se they d istract us from so m e frenzied p u rp o se. and in re sp o n se to th e g ro w in g sh o rta g e p e o p le stockpile more p ossessio n s so th at they will be instantly available sh o u ld the n ee d arise. TENSION AND SEARCH BEHAVIOR A n o th e r su re sign o f ad d ictio n is restlessn ess. T h ey find it alm ost im possible to p au se an d c o n sid e r th e lo n g -ra n g e im ­ plications o f th e ir actions. as well as books on how to d o all th e se things.

You can decide th at e n o u g h is to o m uch an d qu it. b u t th e re is no eq u iv alen t to physical o v e rd o se (unless we w ant to in te rp re t som e c o ro n ary attacks as o v e rd o sin g on am b itio n — a by n o m eans u n re a so n a b le a rg u m e n t). Y ou can be e lated w hen you win a ro u n d (alth o u g h in a c o n tin u in g gam e even elation can be a d a n g e ro u s luxury). on th e o th e r h an d . T h is is especially a p p a re n t w hen the addictive ele ­ m en t is n o t so m e th in g th a t can b e physically a b so rb e d . ex citem en t. You can o v e rd o se o n h ero in o r alcohol. energy. O th e r­ wise th e re w ould b e far less vigilance an d te n sio n in th eir play. m o re re stric ted . T h e n o n ad d ic t co m in g in to m oney u ses it to e x p a n d life— to ad d variety. an d it’s obvious th at they derive some p le a su re from it o r they w o u ld n ’t d o it with so m uch d ed ic a­ tion. ten d s to use th e m oney only to m ake m o re m oney— b eco m in g n arro w er. is a su re sign o f ad d ictio n . In these cases gratification is always in co m p lete. b u t jo y is an em o tio n th at only occurs w hen we let go o f all w atchfulness. ad v e n tu re . b u t you ca n n o t o v erd o se o n fam e o r pow er. b u t is essentially sym bolic an d psychological. an d at tim es even en th u siasm . Yet the m ain p lea s­ u re in this gam e seem s to com e from th e p ro d u c t ra th e r than th e p ro cess— from th e winning m o re th an the playing. In th e m inds o f p o o r p e o p le — even m o st m iddle-class p e o ­ ple— m oney p u rch ases freed o m . like w ealth. like d ru g s o r alcohol. v irtue. as with any ad d ictio n .5 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION im patience. M ost w ealth addicts will say they enjoy th e pro cess o f am ass­ ing w ealth— th e satisfaction o f o u tw ittin g o th e r players at the gam e o f sh arp tra d in g . T h e body has its lim its b u t y o u r E go may n o t. o r attractiv en ess. this p u sh in ess. new ex p erien ces. T h e w ealth addict. pow er. T h e a d d ic t’s feeling th at th e re is an em p ty place inside th at can be filled only from outside forces th e ad d ict to e n g ag e in co n stan t search b eh av io r— to b e always o n th e lo o k o u t fo r th e m issing in g re d ie n t. all co n ce rn ab o u t . fam e. m o re singlem inded. P erh ap s this is o n e o f the best ways to tell the ad d ict from th e n o n a d d ic t. Yet real w ealth addicts never avail them selves o f this freed o m . V igilance an d jo y ca n n o t coexist.

If you find. o r a tte n ­ tion ten d s to shift to. th e chances a re th at you a re strongly ad d ic te d to so m e th in g — w h atev er y o u r m ind. Jo y is in co m p atib le w ith search b eh a v io r b ecause th e re is n o th in g m issing. T o d o this we n e e d to ex am in e th e ro le played in each o f us by w hat I will call th e Ego. th a t you have difficulty relaxing. g e ttin g o u t o f to u ch w ith y o u r body. fo r o u r society at p re se n t d e p e n d s heavily u p o n a p p e a lin g to o u r ad d ictio n s in o rd e r to m ark et g o o d s. If it is m oney.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 5 3 ou tco m es. th e ad v e rtisin g in d u stry w ould vanish overn ig h t an d capitalism as we know it w ould cru m b le. an d sp e n d in g a lo t o f tim e p la n ­ n in g an d try in g to c o n tro l w hat h a p p e n s to you. W ealth ad d ictio n is feeling em pty. stress.” you a re p ro b ab ly a w ealth ad d ict— especially if you find y o u rse lf accu m u latin g p o ssessio n s you d o n ’t use. eyes. an d you have a h a rd tim e stay­ ing in th e h ere-an d -n o w . Jo y is feeling co m p lete. B ut we will m ake m uch b e tte r sen se o u t o f th e ir b eh a v io r if we can u n d e r­ stan d w hat it is th a t ties th e se fo u r signs o f w ealth ad diction to g e th e r. W riters th ro u g h o u t h isto ry have d o n e it th e o th e r way a ro u n d — talking o f society as if it w ere an o rg an ism — an d have o ften b e e n ro u n d ly criticized fo r usin g a m e ta p h o r th at left o u t . y o u r eyes w an d er. p o ssessio n s. If all o f us w ere to lose all o u r addictio n s. I like to look at th e h u m a n o rg an ism as if it w ere a w hole society. T e n sio n . vigilance. T h is is a n o th e r way o f saying that w ealth ad d ictio n is o f a very special o rd e r th a t te n d s to g e n e r­ ate m any o th ers. In th e n ex t c h a p te r we will take a look at th o se in w hom th ese fo u r signs o f w ealth ad d ictio n a re w rit larg e— som e o f th e m o st severe w ealth ad d icts in m o d e rn h istory. m aterial o r spiritu al. full. an d search b eh av io r a re o f co u rse characteristic o f all ad d ictio n s. th a t you are restless. T h e s e a re th in g s we all share. an d sim ply let e x p e rie n c e flood in an d feelings flood o u t. c o n c re te o r sym bolic. o r “ g e ttin g a h e a d . th en . fo r all o f us w ho live sh o rt o f p e rfe c t e n lig h te n m e n t a re a d ­ d icted to so m e th in g — tan g ib le o r in tan g ib le.

o r ex p ress som e p ro fo u n d c o n tra d ic tio n in th e ir lives. M any p e o p le (especially u rb a n in tellectuals) identify th em selves so totally w ith this p ro te c to r . sham e. an d so o n — m o st o f w hat m akes a h u m an b e in g d ifferen t from an anim al is th e resu lt o f in tern al d isag reem en ts an d co m plexities. Jo u rn a lists. Biologically this special p ro te c to r isn ’t particularly im p o rta n t— from th e p o in t o f view o f th e species. p e o p le w ant to think o f them selves as having som e so rt o f individual unity. W e act su rp rise d w hen p e o p le a re in c o n siste n t. T o d a y this criticism seem s a b su rd . a fte r all. re p re s ­ sion. indecision.5 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION conflict. Y et we know th at every hu m an o rg an ism is fra u g h t w ith in te rn a l d issen sio n . W hy do we p re te n d to b e su rp rise d ? W hat p a rt o f m e w ants to believe th a t I act a n d speak as o n e u n d iv id ed entity? W hat p a rt o f m e is a n a lo g o u s to th e p o litical le a d e r w ho talks o f “ n atio n al policy” ? In every h u m an o rg an ism th e re is a special c o m p o n e n t th at co n cern s itse lf w ith th e issue o f individual survival a n d e x te r­ nal th reat. o r even w ithin an individual. Yet we love to p re te n d th at it does. Like th e A m erican d ip lo m ats w ho spoke o f “ A m erican policy in V ie tn a m ” d u rin g th e 1960s as if th e p o p u lace w ere u n an im o u sly b e h in d th a t policy. New Y ear’s reso lu tio n s. this is close to w hat m ost p e o p le seem to m ean by it. rigidities. we each like to p re s e n t a u n ite d fro n t to th e w orld. inconsistency. n o m en tal stress. a n d literary critics love to clack over th e se “ p a ra d o x e s o f th e so u l” as if they o c c u rre d only in th e lives o f th e fam ous. I f it w ere n o t. th e re w ould b e n o illness. am b itio n . cap ri­ cious. In sp ite o f this. I call this p ro tectiv e c o m p o n e n t th e “ E g o . guilt. b lind sp o ts. re g re t. w illpow er. w hile th e re st o f us w ent a b o u t o u r daily lives with p e rfe c t in te rn a l co n sen su s. fo r it assum es th at we as individuals a re w ith o u t conflict. n o p ain. th e individual o rg an ism is ju s t an e rra n d boy fo r a bit o f DNA— b u t obviously it can b e im p o rta n t to th e individual. M ost o f us are aw are th at this unan im ity rarely if e v e r exists w ithin a co m m u ­ nity. b io g ra p h e rs. m u scu lar ten sio n .” fo r a lth o u g h th e w ord is used by m any p e o p le in m any ways.

w hile th e h u m a n o rg an ism as a w hole is largely a m ystery. I t’s th e p a rt o f us th at c h a tte rs co n stan tly in o u r heads an d m akes m e d ita tio n so difficult. is a sim p le-m in d ed b inary m echanism . th ey ’re say­ ing. W hat co u ld b e m o re co m p licated th an th e p ro d ­ ucts o f conscious. th at gives us form ulas fo r successful living. c o n tra c t w hen we feel like e x p an d in g . D igital co m p u te rs a re m o d e le d o n th e Ego. o f co u rse.” Now. “ th e r e ’s m o re to th o u g h t th a n th e calculated fribblings o f th e E g o . p la n n in g an d an tic ip a tin g w hat is to com e. W e can tin k er w ith it an d p ro d u c e certain . in effect. th at m akes us p re te n d to ourselves an d o th e rs th a t we a re d ifferen t from w hat we are and th a t we feel d ifferen t from w hat we feel. o n th e o th e r h a n d . I t’s the sum to tal o f ev ery th in g in us th a t in te rfe re s with sp o n ­ taneity. logical th o u g h t? Yet such th o u g h t is ulti­ m ately accessible to us. I t’s th e p a rt th at stan d s aside a n d co m m en ts on w hat we d o an d feel. “ n o t for me th e re isn ’t. rest w hen we feel like racing. T h e Ego. is ju s t what the E go w ants. T h e E go is th e p a rt o f us th a t d o e s n ’t live in th e h ere-an d now. w ith great sensitivity an d creativity.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 55 th at they have difficulty th in k in g o f it as a m e re p a rt. It lives in th e p a st an d fu tu re: critiq u in g w hat has g o n e b efo re. it w ants to b e obeyed. th at p u sh es us to w ork w hen we feel like playing. to say th a t th e E go is sim p le-m in d ed is co n fusing to som e p eo p le. F o r them it is th e very c o re o f th e ir bein g .” A nd w hen c o m p u te r scientists a rg u e th a t som e c o m p u te rs d o in fact think th e y ’re saying. T h is. A nd now we see why: like th e political lead er. I t’s a w ell-m eaning bully— very logical an d very stu p id . W hen p e o p le a rg u e th a t a c o m p u te r c a n ’t think. e x p a n d w hen we feel like co n tractin g . All o f its in trica te th o u g h t processes a re m e re e la b o ra tio n s o n o n e distin ction: th re at versus n o -th re a t. th a t instru cts us how n o t to g et h u rt o r m ake fools o f o u rselv es— how to re ­ sp o n d “ a p p ro p ria te ly ” . F o r this is th e p a rt th a t w ants to see th e w hole organ ism as in u n a n im o u s a g re e m e n t. T h e h u m an o rg an ism as a w hole perceives an d re sp o n d s flexibly to th e w orld o n a m ultiplicity o f levels. in effect.

Yet m o st o f us a re ru le d . W e w ant sim ple b in ary answ ers— like ru n o r d o n ’t ru n . In tim es o f stress we give th e E go d ictato rial pow ers. H e finds excuses. o r th e m o st co m p licated m achine ev er m o d ­ eled a fte r it. b e c a u se it always in clu d es the m essage th a t they a re a rro g a tin g to o m uch p o w er to th e m ­ selves. b u t co m p a re d w ith th e u n co n scio u s. o r a h u m a n o rg an ism as a w hole. T h e state o f em erg en cy is p ro lo n g e d . b u t m o st o f its everyday fu n c­ tio n in g — th e basis o f its in teg rity . Palaces a re cozy. as history so o fte n rem in d s us. S om e E gos a re m o re d e sp o tic th a n o th e rs. to o flexible. alo n g w ith ev ery th in g else. to o s p o n ta n e ­ ous. W hich is to say it goes to th e h e a d a n d stays th e re . B ut alas. its self-eq u ilib ratin g p r o ­ cesses. p o w er is heady stuff. O nly “ re le v a n t” in fo rm atio n gets to th e p alace a t all— th e re s t is ig n o re d . an d m artial law b eco m es a way o f life. a n d w hen th e tim e com es fo r C in cin n atu s to go back to his farm h e starts to hem a n d haw. why it ch ooses to get sick o r well at a p a rtic u la r tim e— still elu d es us. T h e E go likes to stre a m lin e a n d simplify this system a n d re d e sig n it o n a b in ary basis. H e fo rg ets to pack. by o u r Egos. to o dem o cratic. c re a tin g a top-heavy. why it dies. H ow d id this com e ab o u t? H ow d id such a sim p leto n g et such tig h t c o n tro l o v er so m eth in g so su b tle an d com plex as th e h u m an o rg an ism ? T h e an sw er is as old as history: in tim es o f g rea t d a n g e r th at sim ple m echanism is ju s t w hat th e d o c to r o rd e re d . safe o r n o t safe. w ith varying d e g re e s o f a u th o rita ri­ anism . Every o rg an ism has an in fo rm atio n system th a t d o e s n ’t involve th e Ego. T h e E go can m ake th in g s look co m p lex — can even m ake itself look co m p lex . b u t they all like to re stric t an d c o n tro l in fo rm atio n . A nd th e Ego is su p erb ly g ifted at p ro c e ssin g this kind o f in fo rm atio n .5 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION effects with m ed io cre reliability. th e Ego. left o r rig h t. is k in d e rg a rte n stuff. b u t fro m th e E g o ’s p o in t o f view it is to o lo o se. o v e rc e n traliz e d stru c tu re w ith an . W h en a rh in o c e ro s is b e a rin g dow n o n us th e la rg e r q u e stio n s no lo n g e r seem im p o rta n t. D es­ p o ts h a te negativ e feedback. w hat m otivates it.

is n o th in g m o re o r less th a n tyranny o n th e individual level.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 57 ev er-n arro w in g p o w er b ase— a m essag e they obviously d o n ’t w ant to h ear. a n d so o n (at the indi­ vidual level th ese in fo rm ers a re re p re s e n te d by such things as th e rm o m e te rs. But this d o e s n ’t solve th e p ro b le m . Psychological re p re ssio n . “ p ain k illers. W e call this sh u ttin g off o f critical in fo rm atio n “ re p re ss io n . o r an y th in g else th at will allow us to go o n d o in g w hat w e’re d o in g w ithout having to learn from o u r m istakes. w ith tran q u ilizers. in o th e r w ords.” w h e th e r it occurs at th e political o r the psycho­ logical level. a n d o th e r such d e ­ vices. n o r a b o u t th e lo n g -ran g e.” alco­ hol. “ m o tiv ated e r ro rs . a lth o u g h they still m an ­ age to d e lu d e th em selves q u ite handily. R orschachs. a lth o u g h th e b o d y ’s (c o u n try ’s) grid may already have cau g h t it. T h e y say you n e v e r h e a r the a rtil­ lery shell th at hits you. Any lack o f co m m u n icatio n b etw een o u r u n c o n ­ scious an d th e E go— fo rg e ttin g d ream s. su b tle ch an g es th at a re u n d e r­ m ining his p o sitio n . T o co m p e n sa te fo r starv in g them selves o f feedback. At th e individual level. how ever. with spies. X-rays. we a re far m o re prim itive in o u r au th o ritarian ism . b e in g o u t o f touch with certain feelings.” “ sufferin g ” ) are o ften slain o n th e sp o t. T h e E g o ’s grid isn ’t d e sig n ed to catch th at in fo rm atio n . in fo rm ers. b a rb itu ra te s.” a n d so o n — betrays a desp o tic Ego. since th e in fo rm a tio n is always fu n n eled th ro u g h a sim ple b inary g rid th a t m erely w arns o f im m ed iate th re a ts to th e d e s p o t’s pow er. M essengers th a t tell us o u r actio n s a re ill advised (we give these m essen g ers n am es like “ p a in . It n ev er tells the E g o -d esp o t a b o u t th e fu n d a m e n ta l m istakes h e ’s m aking.” “ h u r t. d e s­ pots an d d esp o tic Egos c reate th e ir ow n e la b o ra te in fo rm a­ tion system . w hose use is a vivid d e c la ra tio n o f th e E g o ’s lack o f com m u n icatio n w ith th e re st o f th e o rg an ism ). an d a d e sp o t always designs an in ­ . w illpow er. M odern ru lers a re a little less c ru d e th an this. Kings o f old w ere w ont to kill m essen g ers w ho b ro u g h t b a d tidings. a m u sem en ts.

a n d tries to centralize co n tro l to th e p o in t w h ere th e a rg u m e n t b eco m es tru e. a n d its n arro w n ess m akes it u n a b le to ab so rb n e c­ essary in fo rm atio n . b u t is actin g in o p p o sitio n to m any o f th e o rg a n ism ’s b est in te re sts— beco m in g blind. As always . was said to believe th a t “ by giving th e p o p u la tio n a d e e p d ra u g h t o f chaos it m ight r e ­ alize th at he is th e only so u rce o f o rd e r in Ira n . an d cruel. T h e Ego ad d s to this a tm o sp h e re by contin u ally p o in tin g out. to th e p o in t w here th e o rg a ­ nism is n o t only in c o n sta n t stress a n d m isery. rigid. T h e re is n o loyal o p p o sitio n . M eanw hile. (T h e Shah o f Iran . T h e E g o -d esp o t a rg u es th at if he w ere d e p o se d the co untry w ould b e p lu n g e d in to chaos. F ear o f ex tern al th re a t an d fear o f in te rn a l th re a t beco m e in d istin ­ guishable. T h is is relatively easy— a state o f m artial law o r m ilitary p re p a re d ­ ness will usually p ro v o k e so m e kind o f d istu rb a n c e a n d al­ ways fo sters an a tm o sp h e re o f ten sio n . At this stag e th e E go is a flop even in its fu n ctio n o f p ro te c tin g th e o rg an ism from d an g er. T h is it can d o w ith an air o f sincerity since it m akes no d istin ctio n b etw een th re a ts th a t e n d a n g e r the w hole o rg an ism an d th o se th at m erely e n d a n g e r th e Ego. b u t also in in creasin g d a n g e r. In o th e r w ords. T h is is w hat we call “ an x iety ” : th e E g o ’s fear o f bein g d e p o se d d isg u ised as fear o f an o u tsid e th reat. T h e arm y is first and fo re ­ m ost a palace g u ard . th e Ego m u st co n ­ tin u e to c re a te a sen se o f crisis a n d em ergency. an d ad v ertisin g d an g ers.” ) H e recognizes n o such th in g as th e rig h ts o f citizens since he eq u ates h im self an d th e n atio n . O bviously. at so m e p o in t th e Ego stops bein g effective even in th e fu n ctio n th at originally ju stifie d its desp o tism . shortly b e fo re he fell. w hen things reach this pass th e E go is no lo n g e r a cap ab le le a d e r an d sp o k e sp e rso n fo r th e o rganism . T o o p ­ p o se th e d e sp o t is u n p a trio tic . Its rigidity m akes it u n a b le to a d a p t to chan g in g co n d itio n s.5 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION fo rm atio n system th at ig n o re s th e c h a n g e th a t to p p les his regim e. to m ain tain its p o sitio n . D issent is trea so n .

an d a d ictato rial E go can b e co n sid ered a weak on e. T h e E go m ay claim th at safety lies in b ein g u p tig h t. w hile an Ego that consistently fails to d o this is d e sc rib e d as a “ weak o n e . an d th ereb y p re se rv in g its p o si­ tion o f d o m in an ce. At som e p o in t early in life we called in th e M arines and now we c a n ’t g et rid o f th em . It may claim th a t safety lies in b ein g slovenly. M ost h u m an o rg an ism s seem to be deeply in n e ed o f d em o cratizatio n . which is cap ab le o f a com plexity o f re sp o n se a p p ro p ria te to its en v iro n m en t. T h is is th e situ atio n in which m o st o f us find ourselves. d iso rg an ized . an d p sy cholo­ gists an d psychiatrists te n d to look u p o n an E go th at gets us to th e train o n tim e as a c o m p e te n t o n e . I su g g ested th at h u m a n o rg an ism s seem to be in n ee d o f . No w o n d er it’s nervo u s all th e tim e! B ut M ussolini m ad e th e train s ru n o n tim e. T h e av erag e E go.T H E FO U R SIGNS O F ADDICTIO N □ 59 hap p e n s w hen o n e p e rs o n sets u p to b e a n o th e r’s p ro te c to r. p u n ctu al. “ p ro te c tin g ” you from d an g ers th at have lo n g since van ish ed . th e p ro te c to r has b e co m e th e m o st serio u s th reat. N ot to m e n tio n th e o rg an ism itself. It d o e s n ’t really m atter— it’s the sam e d e sp o t giving th e o rd e rs . Ev­ ery th in g m ust be e ith e r “ A ” o r “ n o t-A . a n d help less. Rigidity is w eakness. W e keep o u rselves in a sta te o f ch ro n ic m obilization b e ­ cause we ca n n o t d istin g u ish o u r fear o f o u tsid e d a n g e r from th e E g o ’s fear o f having to give u p so m e o f its exces­ sive co n tro l. O u r Egos keep us in a state o f fear by re m in d in g us con tin u ally o f o b so le te dan g ers. for ex am p le— th a t puny M us­ solini o f th e so u l— goes all to pieces o v er co n trad ictio n s. b u t in my usage the Ego th at always gets you th e re o n tim e an d th e o n e that never gets you th e re o n tim e a re b o th th e sam e o ld M ussolini.” H en ce it o ften finds itself severely h a n d ic a p p e d in actio n — since th e w orld o u tsid e is full o f co n trad ictio n s. an d co n sisten t. So h e re we have a co m plex o rg anism an d a com plex e n v iro n m e n t m ed iated by an im becile.” T his may be a useful d istin ctio n fo r som e p u rp o se s.

) T h is ad v an tag e is also a .6 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION d em o cratizatio n . M any W e ste rn e rs have a h ard tim e even im agining w hat a d em o cratic p erso n ality (that is. a n d d eep . W estern p eo p les. N or is the E go necessary for learn in g . Yet in th e ab sen ce o f acu te an d overw h elm ing d a n g e r m ost org an ism s co u ld fu n ctio n q u ite nicely w ith o u t an Ego. th e “ u n c o n sc io u s. feelings. it m erely m akes lea rn in g quicker an d m o re superficial. an Ego-less o rg an ism w ould sim ply b lu n d e r a b o u t stupidly until it died. su b tle. incap ab le o f le a rn in g o r d ev elo p m en t. In th e ir m inds. an d sm ell the sam e as th e first w ould be avoided. desires.” th e kind o f sp o n ta n e o u s actio n involved in so m e th in g like surfin g o r biking o r fre e ­ form d an cin g o r m usical im p ro v isatio n — everything that d o e s n ’t involve will o r calculation. on the o th e r h an d . it is slow. T h e Ego. (C o n stitu e n t le a rn in g is n o t so easily ex­ trap o lated : only b lue-eyed m en th a t look. T h in g s le a rn e d in this way a re accep ted “ w h o le h e a rte d ly ”— th a t is. te n d to look dow n o n th e ir C o n stitu e n ts an d see them as som ehow “ lo w er” th an th e ir E gos— a m istake th a t is co stin g them dearly w ith each p assin g d ecad e an d may in the en d be fatal to th e species. W hat d o es this m ean at th e individual level? T h e p o w er o f every ru le r rests ultim ately o n th e su p p o rt— passive o r active— o f th e p e o p le . m o o d s. im pulses. Yet at th e sam e tim e they are m o re o p e n to m odification by ex p erien ce. C o n stitu e n t le arn in g is by trial an d e rro r. su re. w ho a re b u rd e n e d w ith especially d ic ta to ­ rial E gos. telep ath y . trance. by th e w hole org an ism — an d n ev er fo rg o tte n . learn s by g en eralizin g an d m aking rules fo r itself. so u n d . you can e x te n d th at le arn in g to all m en with b lue eyes. T h is learn in g is rap id b ecau se it can b e quickly ap p lied to new circum stances: having le a rn e d for so m e g o o d rea so n to avoid o n e m an with b lu e eyes. fantasy. d ream s. b u t w ho a re “ th e p e o p le ” w hen w e’re talking a b o u t a single o rg an ism ? F ollow ing A m eri­ can political p arlan ce I u se th e w ord “ C o n stitu e n ts” to d e ­ scribe ev ery th in g in th e h u m an o rg an ism th a t is not th e Ego: th e body. o n e in which th e E go played only its p ro p e r ro le o f L ookout o r S ecre­ tary o f D efense) w ould look like.

A nd o n ce a p rin cip le like this is le a rn e d it is o fte n difficult to m odify th ro u g h e x p e rie n c e (especially if th e e x p erien c e is avoided). a “ c o rn e rs to n e . fighting o n a co n v en tio n al b attlefield u n d e r tra d itio n al rules. fo r ex am p le. C o n stitu e n t o r tria l-a n d -e rro r le arn in g is slow an d clum sy b u t has th e a d v an tag e o f b ein g closer to th e firing line an d h e n c e m o re flexible an d m o re finely tu n e d to th e en v iro n m e n t. W h en a system has to deal with com plex an d c h an g in g circu m stan ces it w orks m o re effi­ ciently if it is d em ocratically o rg an ized . conflict w ith each o th e r. how ever. sho w ed th a t such system s w ork well only u n d e r sim ple a n d static co n d itio n s. R ules pro liferate. an d stu p id policy th at o n ce seem ed like a b rillian t m a n e u v er an d has beco m e a tre a su re d hab it. costly. fo r th a t m atter) it isn ’t b ecau se dem o cracy o r d e c e n tra liza tio n is m orally su p e ­ . an d so on . b u t a g u errilla arm y can su r­ vive only if it is ^ c e n tr a liz e d . seem to know w hen o n e o f o u r p e t fo reig n d ictato rs is a b o u t to fall. C e n tra liz e d lead ers have to process to o m uch in fo rm a tio n to re s p o n d to su b tle changes.” W hen I talk o f dem o cratizin g th e p erso n ality (o r th e n atio n . S om e years ago research at M . su b v erted .T H E FO U R SIGNS O F A DDICTIO N □ 6 1 w eakness. long b e fo re th e new s reach es th e u p p e r ech e lo n s o f th e S tate D e­ p a rtm e n t o r th e CIA. F o r a su p p o sed ly d em o cratic p e o p le we have a to u ching faith in cen tralized . since you m ay have n o th in g to fear from o th e r m en w ith b lu e eyes. irrelev an t.T . E g o -le a rn in g has n o fine tuning. d estru ctiv e. a re fo rg o tte n . a re u sed arb itrarily . H alf th e jo u rn a lis ts in A m erica. A co n v en tio n al arm y. will p e rfo rm b e st if cen tralized . a re o fte n inapplicable to a given situ atio n . each o f th e se system s o f lea rn in g has advan tag es an d d isad v an tag es. a u th o rita ria n system s. T h e s tu b b o rn m yopia o f political lead ers is w hat we call “ n e u ro sis” at th e individual level— th e E g o ’s inability to d is­ card an o u tm o d e d . O bviously. A n o rg an ism w ith a d e sp o tic E go is like a b u re a u ­ cracy (not to o su rp risin g ly . since b u reau cracies a re m o d eled after such o rganism s): o n ce a ru le is laid dow n it o ften dev el­ ops a life o f its ow n— so m etim es a virtual im m ortality.I.

T h e Ego p ro v id es th e m eans. It has n o e n d s o f its ow n save the a g g ra n ­ dizem en t o f its ow n p o w er p o sitio n . w h e th er the e n d is re ­ ally so u g h t o r n o t. unw il­ ling to tru st its C o n stitu e n ts to m eet a fu tu re scarcity an d deal with it w hen it arises. losses.6 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION rio r. e n su re . los­ ing. since its ow n d ictato rial p o sitio n w ould be c o m p ro ­ m ised by such learn in g . In creasin g p o ssessio n an d d e c re a sin g use are in a sense ju s t ex p ressio n s o f th e first tw o signs: th e Ego tries to en­ sure again st fu tu re scarcity with an in ten sity th at b lo ts out all incom ing in fo rm atio n a b o u t w hat th e C o n stitu e n ts really desire. Such scarcities. T h ey ex p ress an inability to tru st C o n stitu e n t le arn in g an d an ex a g g e ra ted n e e d for c o n tro l o n th e p a rt o f the Ego. an d keeps itse lf so busy with such p r o ­ viding that it n ev er h ears w hat th e C o n stitu e n ts’ real goals are. stockpile— is obviously th e Ego at w ork. All its goals com e from its C o n stitu e n ts an d any o v erem p h asis o n m eans in rela tio n to en d s is th e re fo re a sign o f th e E g o ’s d e sp o tism an d in ­ sensitivity. W hat ties th e fo u r signs o f w ealth ad d ictio n to g e th e r is th at they are all sym ptom s o f an o v e rcen tralized o rg an ism . e m e r­ gencies a re th e d o o r to le a rn in g an d grow th. to co n c ern it­ se lf with means. T e n sio n an d search b eh av io r a re also sym ptom s o f a d e s­ . C o n fu sio n a b o u t goals— g e ttin g o u t o f to u ch with your ow n w ishes a n d n e e d s a n d g ettin g sw ept u p in M oneythink — is also a sign o f a tyrannical Ego. b u t becau se it’s m o re flexible a n d efficient u n d e r ch an g ­ ing conditio n s. a fte r all. g u a rd in g ag ain st an im ag in ed fu tu re d a n g er. a d esp o tic Ego. b u t th e Ego is unw illing to let th e C o n stitu e n ts g ro p e th e ir way th ro u g h such a crisis. su rp rises. th e n e e d to cling. o n e th at has sto p p e d listen in g to its C o n stitu e n ts a n d is o b se ssed with its ow n calculations. Public ig n o ra n c e is th e m idw ife o f d esp o tism . T h e closing h an d . L e t’s re tu rn now to th e q u e stio n o f w ealth ad d ictio n . It is th e E g o ’s b u sin ess. for ex am p le— th e fear o f lettin g go.

T h e d em o c ra tic E go o f th e gazelle may m ake a fatal m iscalculation o n e tim e in te n th o u sa n d .T H E FO U R SIGNS O F A DDICTIO N □ 6S p otic E g o ’s su rp lu s vigilance. will sn o o ze indifferently in th e p re s­ en ce o f a d o g o r a fe a re d c o m p e tito r u n less it’s w ithin a t­ tack ran g e. a lth o u g h such b eh a v io r is virtually u niversal a m o n g h u m an beings. an d in this re sp e c t th e ir ig n o ra n c e is as u seful as o u r know ledge. A nim als d o n ’t know th a t such a th in g as security exists. W e call th em n e u ro tic an d view th em as freaks. o f co u rse. for in fact c o m p le te security is n o t to b e fo u n d in this life. w atching a g ian t to rto ise d o g g ed ly p u rsu in g som e lo n g -leg g ed b ird in an aviary. a ra th e r tim id anim al. A h e rd o f gazelles will graze peacefully in the p re se n c e o f lions u n til th e lions sta rt to ru n . Yet m any p e o p le . But this is precisely the experience the despotic Ego will not allow its Constituents to acquire. T h e b ird w ould ig n o re the to rto ise en tirely u n til th e jaw s w ere w ithin a few inches o f its leg. E go-d riv en . tro p h ie s. a n d th e m o re vigilant it gets th e m o re vigilant it needs to b e since its C o n stitu e n ts a re b e in g p ro g re s­ sively w eakened. riches. I re m e m b e r first b e in g struck by this in a zoo. w ho o fte n show n o t th e slig h test sign o f ten sio n o r ag ita tio n in th e p re se n c e o f acu te d a n g e r u n til it is virtually u p o n th em . T o u n d e rs ta n d how excessive this vigilance is in m o st p e o p le we n e e d only w atch th e b e ­ havio r o f anim als. D ictatorial E gos a re ra re a m o n g anim als— usually they can b e fo u n d only a m o n g d o m e stic a te d b easts o r lab o ra to ry specim ens. T h e to rto ise w ould p lo d up to th e b ird an d sn ap a t its leg. Such an Ego is chronically vigilant. In this search they m ay accu m u late co u n tless h o n o rs. com es fro m lo n g ex p e rie n c e a n d h ab itu a ­ tion to th e d a n g e rs involved. o r . sp e n d th e ir w hole lives search in g fo r it— o f fo r so m e o th e r equally elusive fantasy. th e n it w ould ste p asid e a fo o t o r two. My cat. B ut even th en th e gazelle will actually have lived fo r m o re h o u rs a lto g e th e r th an an E g o -rid d e n p e rs o n w hose e x p e rie n c e is totally b lu rre d an d scu m m ed o v er by ch ro n ic an tic ip a tio n a n d su rp lu s vigi­ lance. All this.

Let us now look at so m e e x tre m e cases o f such b ehavior. . since th e E go has sto p p e d listen in g to its C o n stitu e n ts a lto g e th e r a n d keeps slaving blindly away at w hat it believes to b e its a p p o in te d task. yet it is n e v e r e n o u g h .6 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION pow er. A n o v e rcen tralized o rganism d o e s n ’t know w hat “ e n o u g h ” is.

J .Heavy Addicts and Their Children What will you do [said Cineas] when you have conquered all [the world]? Why then said the king we will return. H u n t. O n e is that this is a m ale-dom inated society in which wom en are discouraged from pursuing any goal that distracts them from the traditional female role o f serving the needs and interests o f men. and in the future we can expect to see a higher percentage o f wom en in the Addict population. Paul G etty. for reasons I have discussed elsew here (see the fourth chapter o f Earthwalk). T h e y a re all A m ericans. H en ry F o rd . 65 . T h e re are no d o u b t o th e rs quietly accu m u latin g today— certainly th e re are m any o u tsid e o u r b o rd e rs — b u t I cho se th e se eig h t b ecause th e ir billio n aire statu s has lo n g b e e n accep ted : J o h n D. A ndrew M ellon. said the philosopher. So you may now. Ludwig. T his is only a m atter o f d egree. a n d D aniel K. M acA rthur. H. without this ado. L. an d all becam e bil­ lionaires d u rin g th e tw en tieth cen tu ry . T HOM AS T RAHE RNE I have ch o sen eig h t m en to illu stra te w hat it m eans to be a Heavy A ddict. R ockefeller. H ow ard H u g h es. J o h n D. and enjoy ourselves at quiet in our own land. however. T hose who have a ppeared in the past seem to display the sam e characteristics as male Addicts.* From tim e to tim e I ’ll re fe r to o th e r m en a n d w om en o f ex trem e w ealth w hen they h e lp to illu stra te a p o in t. T h e se I ’ll •T h e re are at least two reasons for the absence o f wom en am ong the Heavy Addicts. T h e o th er is that wom en in o u r society are slightly less subject to m onom aniacal obsessions than men.

no matter how profligate. it w ould take you ten th o u sa n d years to save a b illio n . g en eralizatio n s a b o u t A ddicts. and obviously will n o t n ecessarily apply to every individual. w ere to sp e n d as m uch as H e a rst an d pay th e g o v e rn m en t twice th at a m o u n t in taxes (and it’s a ra re A ddict w ho pays m o re th a n 40 p erc e n t o f his incom e). T h e w ord "A d d ic t. Since p e o p le a re u n iq u e. was an o u tsta n d in g c a n d id a te for the title o f w o rld ’s g re a te st sp e n d th rift. in d o lla r term s.” u se d alo n e an d capitalized. W hen we h e a r o f w h eeler-d ealers like B ern ie C o rn feld o r Ja m e s Ling “ losing th e ir sh irts” in a b e a r m arket. he w ould still b e increasing his w ealth at th e ra te o f $15 m illion a year! H e re is o n e th in g we run across freq u en tly in studying th e lives o f th e very rich: once you've made over a hundred million dollars it's almost impossible to get rid o f it. A rich m a n ’s son. Yet if a billionaire. I’d like to sta rt at th e o th e r e n d a n d look at w hat it w ould take to get rid o f it. as M o rg an was w hen h e died. generous. he sp e n t every m o n th m o re m oney th an 95 p e rc e n t o f th e p e o p le in th e w orld m ake in a lifetim e. or reckless you are. I t’s h a rd to give m ean in g to a figure like a billion dollars. sh o u ld be taken as sta te m e n ts a b o u t the m ajority.” a lth o u g h th e d ifference is o n e o f d e g re e only. e arn in g an av erage o f only 6 p e rc e n t o n his h o ld in g s. foolish. P.” T h ey are in te r­ este d in how lo n g it w ould take to get th at a m o u n t o f m oney. W illiam R a n d o lp h H earst. w ho n e v e r q u ite m ad e it in to the b illio n aires’ club. b u t m ight easily have d o n e so had he been m o re frugal. It isn ’t easy to sp e n d th at m uch m oney. we n ee d to . E conom ists a re fo n d o f saying things like: “ If you p u t a h u n ­ d re d th o u sa n d dollars u n d e r y o u r m a ttre ss every year. M organ: no o n e in this book will b e so classified unless h e o r she was at least as rich. Heavy o r M ajor. will refer to M ajor an d H eavy A ddicts taken to g e th e r.tot) U WEALTH ADDICTION call “ M ajor A d d icts” to d istin g u ish th em from th e eight “ Heavy A d d icts. T h e cu ttin g p o int fo r p u ttin g so m e o n e in th e M ajor A ddict class is J.

fo r exam p le. th e n briefly at th e m e th o d s they u sed to en rich th e m ­ selves. an d th e baselessness o f his fear th at he m ig h t ev er b e p lu n g e d in to pov erty by som e loss o f vigilance. a n d M ellon) w ere them selves the chil­ d re n o f A ddicts— ch o o sin g to m ultiply th e ir w ealth ra th e r than . At th e d e p th s o f his re ce n t poverty. T h e tru th is q u ite th e o p p o site: th e re is al­ m ost n o way a p e rs o n w ith such w ealth can ever fight free o f it. (T h e re is. A ddicts a re m assively o v ercen tralized an d q u ite o u t o f touch w ith them selves. SOCIAL CLASS W e n o te d e a rlie r th at th e sim plest an d m o st com m on way to get rich is to be b o rn th at way. W hen we exam in e th e lives o f H eavy A ddicts several co m ­ m on characteristics em e rg e . Edw in L and o f P o laroid lost $200 m illion in a few m o n th s w hen th e m arket d eclin ed w ith­ o u t even lo sin g his place a m o n g th e fifty rich est p e o p le in A m erica. a stra n g e lexicon o f poverty am ong the very rich: “ flat b ro k e ” usually m ean s th at he o r she has less than $10 m illion. C o rn fe ld was re p u te d to have in the n e ig h b o rh o o d o f $50 m illion. G etty.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 67 realize th at this is only relative.” ) T his illu stratio n p o in ts o u t th e ab su rd ity o f a billionaire p u ttin g any en erg y in to m aking m oney. w hile “ p e n n ile ss” o r “ p a u p e r” m erely m eans “ n o lo n g e r a m illio n a ire . W e ’ll look first at th o se that seem ed to play som e p a rt in th e accu m u latio n o f the w ealth itself. m ost o f which have already b een co m m en ted u p o n by o th e r w riters. in fact. But obviously we a r e n ’t d ealin g with realistic goals o r fears h ere. an d finally at how they deal with being rich— the effect o f w ealth o n A ddicts an d th e ir ch ild ren . an d th re e o f o u r Heavy A ddicts (H u g h es. T h e ir m ild -m a n n e re d p ro n o u n c e ­ m ents o n th e su b ject— q u ite in c o n g ru e n t with th e frantic com ­ pulsiveness o f th e ir b eh av io r— m ake it q u ite clear th at they have n o inkling o f w hat te rro r m akes th em sp e n d th e ir lives ro llin g u p h u g e sum s o f m oney that they have no use for.

tim es th e freq u en cy o f th e g en eral p o p u latio n . T h e last fifty years have p ro d u c e d a little m o re ethnicity a m o n g A ddicts b u t th e p rin cip le still holds: if y o u ’re b o rn in a p o o r n e ig h b o rh o o d you have to d ev elo p a ru th less d e ta c h ­ m en t from th e em o tio n al b o n d s th at keep o th e r p eo p le ro o te d in it. to have h ad fath ers w ho w ere e ith e r bu sin essm en o r farm ers. S tro n g eth n ic m e m b e rsh ip is a g re at o b stacle to th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f such values— you n e e d at least o n e p a re n t w ho will teach you to squelch y o u r feelings. a work ethic. an d to have g o n e to college with m o re th a n five. a n d why m en like R ockefeller and F o rd continually inveighed against it. N o n e o f th e H eavy A ddicts was g h e tto -p o o r. only the d eterm in ed ly co ld -h e a rted m an ag e to escape th e collective m orass. T o c re a te an A ddict certain m id­ dle-class values have to b e im p la n te d early: individualism . o r has p re te n sio n s o f b ein g m id d le class— p referab ly W ASP— and this has b e e n tru e o f virtually all th e A ddicts o f the last century an d a half. A study by S orokin in 1925 show ed th a t th e very rich te n d e d to b e n ativ e-b o rn o r from E ng lish -sp eak in g co u n tries. to have grow n u p in New E ng lan d . an d since th e truly p o o r a re always in tro u b le . R o ck efeller’s fa th e r even lo an e d him m oney at several crucial p o in ts in his career. work h ard .6 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION use it. was. In p o o r n e ig h b o rh o o d s p e o p le a re o ften e x p ected to h e lp each o th e r in tim es o f tro u ­ ble. a w illingness to look dow n o n o th e rs and avoid “ g o o d fellow ship. b u t th e rags usually tu rn o u t to have b e e n a slightly shabby low erm iddle-class respectability. R ockefel­ ler an d F o rd w ere b o th fond o f e x a g g e ra tin g th eir hum ble o rig in s— m uch to th e an n o y an ce o f th e ir respective sisters— b u t they always h ad p len ty to eat an d th e necessities o f life w ere n ev er in q u estio n . It h elp s if th a t p a re n t is. and look a fte r n u m b e r on e.” an ind ifferen ce to n e ig h b o rh o o d ties an d o b lig atio n s. T h e A m erican m yth talks o f g o in g from rags to riches. T h is is why “ g o o d fello w sh ip ” is such a d a n g e r to the w ould-be social clim ber. .

m aking him sole ow n er at th e age o f n in e te e n . Like m o st successful capitalists. R ockefeller. H u n t. as well it m ight: a p ro fo u n d early lesson in th e m ean in g o f social class. H o w ard H u g h es fo u g h t a c o u rt b a ttle in his teens to have h im self d ec la re d c o m p e te n t to m ake ad u lt contracts. stealin g turkey chicks from a wild h e n ’s n est until h e h ad a flock which h e raised an d sold “ for a good p ro fit. T h e fact th a t h e m a d e m o re m oney this way than he h ad h o e in g p o ta to e s fo r 100 h o u rs im p ressed him . L.” F ro m th e earliest age h e k ept a careful le d g e r o f all his m oney tran sactio n s. H. which w e’ll now co n sid er. H u n t was w inning m oney g am b lin g by th e tim e he was a teen ag er. an d b eg an selling . h e g o t his first stake from M o th er N atu re. A ndrew M ellon was only nine w hen he realized th at th e re was m oney to be m ad e from the m any fa rm e rs’ w agons g o in g by his h o u se. O nly R o ckefeller finished high school an d n o n e o f th e five w ent to college. and M acA rthur n ev er w ent b ey o n d th e e ig h th grad e. b u t n o n e was p o o r. and at th e age o f ten he lo a n e d a n e ig h b o rin g fa rm er $50 at 7 p e rc e n t in terest. w hile M acA rth u r was a p re a c h e r’s son an d Ludw ig the son o f a real e sta te ag en t. STARTING EARLY M ost o f th e H eavy A ddicts sta rte d show ing signs o f being obsessed with m oney at a very early age.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 69 Five o f o u r H eavy A ddicts cam e from fam ilies o f m o d est m eans. an d su b seq u en tly b o u g h t o u t his u n c le ’s an d g ra n d p a re n ts ’ in terests in th e H u g h es T o o l C o m p an y . D ro p p in g o u t h ad m o re to d o w ith o th e r A ddict traits. Ludw ig. Daniel L udw ig b o u g h t an d re p a ire d a su n k en b o at and c h a rte red it at a larg e p rofit w hen h e was only n in e years old. Y et all o f th ese m en co u ld p ro b ab ly have h a d all th e e d u ca tio n they w anted. a tra it he p assed o n to his son an d g ra n d ­ sons. fo r ex ­ am ple. F o rd a n d H u n t cam e from farm fam ilies. was saving his p e n n ie s from th e tim e h e was seven.

a n d m o st o f them a b a n d o n e d th e a tte m p t at th e first available o p p o rtu n ity . “ P apa gave m e 10 cen ts to go to th e P ost O ffice w ith a le tte r ” . “ Sold 12 copies o f S . “ I now have a b o u t 275 m a rb le s” . J . “ a n o th e r 5 5 ? ” .” . K en n eth L am o tt asserts th at an early p assio n for m oney d istin g u ish ed b o th th e ro b b e r b a ro n s o f th e n in e te e n th c e n ­ tury an d th e new rich o f th e tw en tieth cen tu ry. a n d are relieved by so little else. In som e cases it was necessity th at m ad e ch ild h o o d e n d so early. W h e e !” W h at m akes th e se e n trie s p articu larly p ath etic is th at they a re n o t th o se o f a p o o r boy b u t o f a rich o n e. an d his stro n g e st m em ory o f an a d o le sc e n t trip to E u ro p e was the prices. “ T w enty cen ts fo r an e rr a n d ” . Paul G etty b o u g h t his first stock at th e ag e o f eleven— 100 sh ares o f his fa th e r’s oil co m pany at $5 a share. C o m m o d o re V an d erb ilt was only sev en ­ te e n w hen he b o rro w e d m oney from his m o th e r to buy th e b o at with which he sta rte d his lo n g career. “ P apa gave m e a dollar.E .7 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION hay an d o th e r p ro d u c e at retail prices.P . T h is o ften m akes them feel o u t o f to u ch w ith (and c o n te m p tu ­ o us tow ard) th o se in w hom playfulness is still alive— m ost A ddicts have lived fo r so lo n g u n d e r th e state o f em ergency . b u t o fte n it was a m a tte r o f choice. A ddicts as a g ro u p are severely deficient in th e ability to play. th e sam e ag e at w hich h e sta rte d his ow n lu m b e r b u sin ess w ith a $ 4 0 . In th e e ig h te e n m o n th s d u rin g which this diary was k ept th e re is only o n e re fe re n c e to a playm ate.0 0 0 loan from his fath er. C h arles T h o r n ­ to n . H e was d escrib ed as n o t m uch in te re ste d in play. o f L itto n In d u strie s. A ndrew C arn eg ie was fo u rte e n w hen h e in v ested in a firm m aking axles an d iro n bridges. H e w ent to w ork in his fa th e r’s bank at fifteen a n d was given m a jo r financial re sp o n ­ sibilities by sev en teen . fo r exam ple. “ C o u n te d my stam p collectio n — 3 0 5 ” . H is diary at th at age show s a boy alread y o b se sse d w ith m oney an d ac­ cu m ulation: “ Papa h o m e— a q u a rte r fo r my p u rs e ” . was buying lan d at an early age an d “ co u ld cash a check in any sto re in to w n ” by the tim e h e was fo u rte e n .

N o rto n S im o n ’s m o th e r d ied w hen h e was fo u r­ teen. C le m e n t S to n e lo st his fa th e r early in child­ h o od. A m an who . lack o f em o tio n al fulfill­ m ent. R ocke­ feller’s fa th e r was a flim -flam m an w ho a b a n d o n e d his family for lo n g p e rio d s. H en ry F o rd left h o m e at sixteen. was b o rn rich.” Yet M acA rthur n e v e r e x p e rie n c ed serio u s poverty. Many suffered th e early loss o f a p a re n t th ro u g h d ea th o r sep aratio n . H u n t starte d ru n n in g away from h o m e at twelve. H irsh h o rn was o n e o f th e few u rb a n p o o r in th e ranks o f th e M ajor A ddicts). I d id n ’t w ant to c h an g e my life-style becau se I was afraid so m e th in g m ig h t h a p p e n .” J o h n D. C harles T h o r n to n ’s fa th e r d e s e rte d his m o th e r w hen he was a child. an d Jo s e p h H irs h h o rn ’s fa th e r d ie d w hen h e was very young (as a child. A m o n g re c e n t M ajor A ddicts: J a m e s Ling was o r­ p h an e d at twelve. w hen asked why his life-style reflected so little o f his h u g e w ealth. H en ry F o rd ’s m o th e r d ied w hen he was th ir­ teen. loss. D aniel L udw ig’s p a re n ts w ere sep arated w hen he was fifteen. H e ch e a te d his sons in m oney dealings as a m a tte r o f policy. a n d he w ent to live w ith his father. spoke o f b eing “ o n thin ice” fo r his first fifteen years in business: “ W hen I b e g an m aking m oney. an d was o ften called th e rich est m an in A m erica— once said.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 71 declared by th e ir E g o -d e sp o ts in c h ild h o o d th a t it seem s like n orm ality to them . H. H o w ard H u g h e s ’s m o th e r d ied w hen h e was sixteen. an d his failure to deliver a p ro m ised S h etla n d p o n y to th e six-year-old R o ckefeller was re m e m ­ b e re d with g re a t b itte rn e ss sixty years later. L. Paul G etty— w ho grew u p w ith b o th p a re n ts. THAT CHRONIC GREEDY FEELING Several w riters have c o m m e n te d o n th e fact th at so m any A ddicts suffered so m e kind o f psychological d ep riv atio n w hen they w ere children: lo n elin ess. re a p p e a rin g u n ex p e c te d ly an d vanishing again w ith o u t n otice. M acA rthur. “ I ’ve n ev er felt really rich— in th e oil busin ess o th e rs w ere all m uch rich er th an I w as. his fa th e r a y ear later.

suitably g a rb e d in a d isre p u ta b le costum e. T h e artist D elacroix o n ce asked J a m e s d e R othschild. L. “ N o m a tte r how m uch m oney h e had. L. W h at d istin g u ish es them as a g ro u p is th e ir g re e d — a w illingness a n d ability to take things from o th e rs— an d it is by n o m ean s clear th at this is a trait with g reat social benefits. T h e folklore o f capitalism m aintains th a t th e re is som e kind o f social value in g re e d o f this sort: p e o p le te n d to believe th at if a m an w inds u p w ith th e lio n ’s sh a re o f things he m u st be a lion. But w hile so m e o f th e H eavy A ddicts are n o t w ithout ability.” R othschild. it is alm ost im possible to find any d istin g u ish ­ ing talen t in th e g ro u p as a w hole. W h a t­ ever th e origin. g o o d ju d g m e n t. A pologists for th e H eavy A ddicts have la b o re d m ightily to find in th em so m e special quality— le ad ersh ip . Since th e ir ap o lo g ists rely so heavily o n th e anim al kingdom . for lions also have a ten d en cy to take fo r th em selves w hat o th e rs have e arn ed .7 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION w orked fo r H. H u n t was n ip p le -g re e d y his w hole life long: he sucked so m uch oil o u t o f M o th e r E arth th at at th e e n d o f W orld W ar II he p erso n ally o w n ed m o re oil th a n all o f o u r w artim e en em ies co m b in ed . H u n t always felt p o o r m ight a ttrib u te it to “ oral d e p riv a tio n . to p o se fo r a p a in tin g o f a beg g ar. A psychoanalyst h e a rin g th at H. a g re e d . a n d a p p e a re d th e nex t day at th e stu d io .” b u t since H u n t w asn’t w eaned from his m o th e r’s b re a st u n til he was seven years old his feeling o f d ep riv atio n m ust have h ad d e e p e r ro o ts. w illingness to take risks. ” a sta te ­ m en t th a t co u ld b e a p p lie d to m o st A ddicts. A nd in o n e sen se this is tru e. who was a frien d o f th e a rtist. It show s the futility o f trying to cu re an in n e r poverty by stuffing y o u rse lf w ith m oney. H unt was always poor in his own mind. o f the g reat b an k in g family. an d th e like— th at w ould ju stify th eir g reat w ealth. So convincing was th e m a sq u e ra d e th at a p asserby gave him m oney. all o f w hom seem to suffer from a p ro fo u n d sen se o f insecurity. since he h ad “ exactly th e rig h t h u n g ry e x p re ssio n . H u n t o n ce said.

n o th in g m o re. th e se d o m in a n t anim als a re the “ fittest. A ccording to th e ap o lo g ists. is a survival tech n iq u e. T h e d o m in a n t anim al d o e s n ’t learn this since it lives by taking w hat o th e rs have fo u n d . too. particularly in c o n tra st to th e ir ra th e r clum sy litterm ates. I have know n two kitten ru n ts w ho barely survived th e g re e d o f th e ir siblings and looked m aln o u rish e d until they w ere w eaned. P ara­ doxically. B oth grew up to be unusually g ifted h u n te rs an d w ere in tellig en t in every way. I will follow th e ir lead. as th e lion lives o ff the kill m ade by th e lioness.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 7 3 in th e ir a rg u m e n ts. the greediest gets the most. for d o m in a n c e is o f very little value in h u n t­ ing. an d seize it quickly to g et as m uch as possible b efo re b ein g p u sh e d off. th e d o m in a n t anim al o ften lives in parasitic d e p e n ­ den ce o n th e subm issive o n e.” In a domesticated situation dominance is important because all other skills have been rendered irrelevant: i f food is to be had fo r the taking. O u r first kno w ledge o f d o m i­ nance a m o n g anim als cam e from th e study o f chickens— h en ce the term “ pecking o r d e r . T h is. w here food is n o t h u n te d o r g a th e re d b u t d istrib u te d by h u m an b eings. T h is is n o t su rp risin g . D om inance has th e clearest survival value a m o n g d o m e s­ ticated anim als.” But in my e x p e rie n c e th e d o m in a n t k ittens a n d p u p ­ pies grow u p to be ju s t th at. even w hen th e re a re m o re th a n e n o u g h nipples to go a ro u n d . P atien ce a n d ale rtn e ss c o u n t fo r m uch m o re an d th e se are traits th e u n ag g ressiv e ru n t has to learn in o rd e r to survive. T h e ru n t learns to find food— to sp o t an u n u se d n ip p le th e m o m e n t it’s available and u n n o tic e d . fo r I have o ften o b serv ed k ittens an d p u p p ie s n u rsin g a n d b e en im p ressed with th e fact th a t th e g re e d ie st anim als will continually leave th e ir ow n n ip p le to p u sh th e ru n t o ff w hatever n ip p le it has and take its place. b u t o n e th a t d e p e n d s o n o th ers. T h e sight o f th e ru n t sucking c o n te n ted ly seem s to excite a co m p etitiv e re sp o n se in th e m o re d o m in a n t an i­ m als. . T h e y seem to w ant m o re th an they can have a t any given m o m en t an d w ould suck tw o n ip p les at a tim e if it w ere p o ssi­ ble. while th e d o m in a n t anim al d o e s n o t.

O n o n e E aster w hen h e had p ro m ised an aid e th e day off. T h is trait was very m arked in H ow ard H u g h es an d e x p re sse d itse lf in his n ee d to possess p e o p le an d places w ith o u t u sin g them . H e kept at least five y ou n g starlets in m an sio n s. But in th e case o f d o m estic species this b alance is m ain ­ tain ed (insofar as it is m ain tain ed ) by h u m an beings. H. a re all m utually in te rd e p e n d e n t. T his. o f co u rse. g u ard s. N o th in g th at eats can afford to be to o successful o r it will o u tb a la n c e its food supply a n d starve. "Failure’’ is as essential to survival in nature as “success. p re v e n tin g th em from seein g th e ir fam ilies even th o u g h he rarely u sed them . g razer a n d g razed. he h ire d p riv ate d etectives to m ake su re no one else did. insistin g th at h e com e im m ediately to H u g h e s’s bungalow to catch a fly th a t h ad som ehow p e n e ­ tra te d H u g h e s’s e la b o ra te g erm -free security system . le ttin g the law ns. an d g a rd e n s d isin te g ra te . ” N atu re is in a constantly shifting balance a n d to o g reat success in any o n e se g m e n t m eans disas­ ter. H u n t n o t only loved w inning— it was vitally im p o rta n t to him th at o th e rs lose. since p re d a to r an d prey. H u g h es usually sp e n t his holidays alo n e. is a b su rd . . pools. A ccording to his b io g ra p h e r. w ith cars. chauffeurs. H e leased expen sive h om es h e never used. H e h ired a m an to sp e n d m o n th s in a m otel ro o m w aiting for a call th at never cam e.7 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION T h e p o p D arw inism o f capitalist folklore views th e various species as b ein g in som e kind o f ro u n d ro b in to u rn a m e n t in which only o n e s u p e rio r species will survive at th e en d . Like th e d o m in a n t p u p p ies an d k ittens. an d a lth o u g h h e n e v er visited them him self. h e m ad e an em ergency call to the aide at his ho m e. H e had a b a rb e r an d several d o c to rs o n stan d b y for long p e rio d s o f tim e. h ire d 2 4 -h o u r g u ard s to keep p e o p le away. p a rasite and h o st. Stanley B row n. and re sta u ra n t ch arg e acco u n ts. an d liked to keep his staff o n call. A ddicts o ften d o n ’t like th e sight o f an y o n e else g e ttin g so m e th in g even if they them selves have en o u g h . u n a b le to p ractice th e ir tra d e fo r an y o n e else b u t ig n o re d by H u g h es. L. w ho norm ally sla u g h te r th e m ost “ successful” anim als first.

an d H ow ard H u ghes w ould p ro b ab ly have lost w hat h e sta rte d with w ithout N oah D ietrich an d R o b e rt M aheu. P erhap s th e re a so n m o st A ddicts have so little capacity for sp o n ta n e o u s play is th at in all activities they a re so com pletely o b sessed w ith w inning a n d losing. H e m ay b e glad to sell the milk o n ce h e gets it. T h is m akes it difficult for m o st A ddicts to w ork w ith o th ­ ers o r sh are co n tro l. H en ry F o rd ’s success was du e to a w hole series o f ab le associates w ho c o m p en sa ted for his ow n excesses an d rigidities. All w ere re lu c ta n t to sh are re sp o n sib il­ ity and so u g h t sole o w n ersh ip o f th e ir b u sin esses (or at the very least. T his d oes n o t m ean th at th e H eavy A ddicts w ere in reality in d e p e n d e n t. an d o n e by o n e his m ost cap ab le colleagues fell away. leaving him alo n e w ith th e infam ous an d relatively useless H arry B en n ett. b u t “ like so m any in dividual­ ists he w ould n o t stan d fo r individualism in o th e rs . H e also loved to o rd e r food and th e n sen d it back. If a film library m ade a sp e ­ cial plea to have a p a rtic u la r film re tu rn e d by a certain date. he w ould n o t only d elib erately keep it o v ertim e b u t m ake a special p o in t o f n o t w atching it. h e seem s to w ant n o t to have to sh are it w ith anyone. b u t h e w ants to tal c o n tro l over the source. D esp ite fre q u e n t o rato rical sta te m e n ts a b o u t ru g g ed individualism they w ere all d eeply d e p e n d e n t on loyal an d often brillian t m an ag ers. a m an w ho c o u ld n ’t sta n d to see his closest associates happy o r co m fo rtab le was n o t likely to b e re s p o n ­ sive to any kind o f d e m a n d from o u tsid e rs. A d e sp o tic E go is terrified o f h um an . All th e H eavy A ddicts w ere ultim ately self-em ployed. an d H u g h es in ­ d u lg ed in th e m o st childish gam es to avoid m ee tin g o th e r p e o p le ’s leg itim ate re q u ire m e n ts.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 75 N eedless to say. T h o s e w ho h ad p a rtn e rs b o u g h t them o u t as soon as they could. D aniel L udw ig n e v e r really got off the g ro u n d b e fo re h e h ire d W illiam W ag n er. An A ddict w ants m o re th a n access to th e n ip p le.” A nyone in the F o rd C o m pany w ho g o t any publicity o r re c o g n itio n was pro m p tly p u rg e d . only to re o rd e r it again an d sen d it back. an u n d isp u ta b le co n tro llin g in terest).

SINGLE-MINDEDNESS P erh ap s th e m o st co m m o n ch aracteristic o f th e H eavy A d­ dicts is th e ir n arro w n ess. th e ir “ stro n g e st lu st” is th e “ pecu n iary a p p e tite . an d th e only p le a su re h e allow ed h im self cam e from success in his tra n sa c tio n s. H e h ad no in te re st in . R ockefeller was p e rh a p s th e p e rfec t ex am p le o f a m an with only o n e in te re st in life: “ His very narro w n ess was an invaluable asset in driving th e h a rd e st b arg ain possible: he h ad m ad e h im self in to a p e rfe c t in stru m e n t fo r the co n d u c t o f business. H e h ad n o real friends and.” As K en n eth L am o tt o b serv es. and th at very im aginativeness p re v e n ts th em from m aking th o se d ream s co m e tru e. J o h n D. a n d rarely a re even th e m o st faithful and able o f an A d d ict’s lie u te n a n ts a n d allies re w ard ed a p p ro p ri­ ately for th e ir services— o ften n o t at all. em p h asizes th e im p o rta n ce o f this ability to c o n c e n tra te en erg y o n a single goal. th e ir sin g le-m in d ed o b sessio n with th e goal o f m aking m oney. in his study o f E u ro ­ p ean m ultim illio n aires. H eavy A ddicts rarely seem to b o th e r to think o f w hat they can do with th e m o n ey — th a t’s ju s t a d istrac tio n from th e goal o f making it. M ost p e o p le w ho d rea m o f g ettin g rich im agine all th e th in g s they co u ld d o with th e m oney.” G oronw y R ees. T h is is also why m o st A ddicts have little scandal in th e ir p e rso n a l lives an d te n d to b e “ se ttle d family m e n . th e kind o f pe rsisten c e th at e n a b le d G etty to sp e n d tw enty years acq u irin g co n tro l o v er T id e w a te r O il d o e s n ’t co m e to p e o p le with a diversity o f in terests an d talents. A fter all. co m b in ed with c o m p lete ru th le ssn e ss an d an alm o st to tal d isin tere st in every­ th in g excep t m aking m oney.7 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION in te rd e p e n d e n c e . T h e ir m inds a re to o rich to m ake th eir pockets rich.” A n ac q u a in ta n ce re p o rte d th at the only tim e he h ad ev er seen R ockefeller show any en th u siasm was w hen h e h e a rd a re p o rt th at he h ad a cq u ired som e oil below th e m arket price. tau g h t his Sunday S chool class th at they m u stn ’t let “ good fellow ship g et th e least h o ld ” o n th em . in fact.

D u rin g his early years h e w orked fifteen h o u rs a day. fo r tax p u rp o ses. H en ry F o rd m ech an ized h im self in m uch th e sam e way. could n o t u n ­ d e rsta n d this.” H e was o b sessed with finding ways to save la b o r— n o t so p e o p le could enjoy them selves m o re. a n d called it a “ w aste o f effo rt” an d “ aim less. T h is “ w a ste -m o tio n . b u t Fo rd. (Paul G etty tried the sam e th in g at his S u tto n Place m an sio n . ch arg in g his bew ildered g u ests fo r th e privilege o f his com pany. h e saw n o th in g w ro n g in d o in g it to m illions o f w orkers.” H e in tro d u c e d th e assem bly line b ecau se it seem ed w asteful to him to see m en w a n d e rin g a ro u n d a m achine shop g ettin g tools an d m aterials a n d s to p p in g o n th e way to chat with o n e a n o th e r. H e c o u ld n ’t see “ any u se ” in dancin g .” F or F o rd ev ery th in g was a m eans. H e co u ld c o n c e n tra te o n a single idea alm o st as perfectly as th e in m ate o f a S tate A sylum . “ H is m ind was asto n ish in g ly sim ple. Like R ockefeller. m ade to ru n p u rp o sefu lly a lo n g a sin g le tra c k . fo r exam ple. ju s t m o v in g a ro u n d to m u sic. an d one o f his b io g ra p h e rs called him “ a so rt o f h u m an dynam o. b u t so m o re e n erg y w ould be freed to “ do th e j o b . H e o n ce claim ed th a t “ th e u n h a p p ie st m an on . W h en h e b o u g h t a p re tty su m m er h o u se he tried to have it d o u b le as a h o te l. w ho was farseein g an d socially c o n c e rn e d in m any ways.” o f co u rse.” O nly w hen h e rea l­ ized th a t it w ould b e u seful in c o u rtin g his fu tu re wife d id h e .HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 7 7 books o r ideas— even th e g re a te st w orks o f a rt h e saw in purely m o n etary term s. he took a dim view o f frie n d sh ip a n d was o p p o se d to th e idea th at p eo p le n e e d e d to have g o o d p e rso n a l re la tio n sh ip s o n the jo b — even th a t d e p a rtm e n ts n e e d e d to have civil o r c o o p e ra ­ tive relatio n s: “ T o o m u ch g o o d fellow ship m ay in d e e d b e a very b ad th in g . show in terest.) T h is “ am azing sin g le -m in d e d n e ss” n atu rally m ade R ockefel­ ler a “ dull an d p re d ic ta b le ” p e rso n .” H e th o u g h t p e o p le sh o u ld b e as m u ch like m achines as p o ssible and o n ce su g g e ste d th a t we sh o u ld b e ab le to re p a ir a h u m an body ju s t like we d o a d efective bo iler. H aving m ad e h im se lf in to a m achine. was the only th in g th at m ad e th e jo b to le ra b le .

Ja m e s Ling. c o n c e n ­ tra te d .” Yet they show no inclination to m en d th e ir ways. w orked every day o f th e year. w ho regularly w orked six . alth o u g h m any “ ad m it q u ite frankly th a t th e ir com p u lsio n to w ork has d e stro y e d th e ir m arriag es an d h u rt th e ir re la tio n ­ ships with th e ir ch ild ren an d p e rh a p s d am ag ed o th e r c o m p o ­ n e n ts o f th e ir p e rso n a l lives. W illiam L ear. L. m . o fte n g o in g fo r eig h t h o u rs w ithout e atin g o r restin g . Philip A r­ m o u r. an d fo rcin g his m an ag ers to d o th e sam e. T h e A d d ict’s in d u lg e n c e in w hat m ost p eo p le im agine to be th e diversions o f th e rich ten d s to b e a co nces­ sion to w hat th e w orld ex p ects o f him .” w ith little taste fo r p lea su re o r recreatio n . D aniel L udw ig claim s to have no in te re st in an y th in g b u t busin ess.” H . w ho in stru c te d his staff th at they could only discuss subjects th at h e h im self h ad in tro d u c e d — a g o o d exam ­ p le o f how a d esp o tic E go resists negativ e feedback. m a n u fa c tu rer o f th e L ear je t. C harles T h o rn to n o f L itto n In d u strie s is q u o te d as saying “ I c a n ’t stan d useless le isu re . a n d if he really lets h im self b eco m e e n g a g e d in th em they quickly beco m e tra n s­ fo rm ed in to p rofit-m aking e n te rp rise s: “ His p leasu res a re sim ­ ply th e c o n tin u a tio n o f b u sin ess by o th e r m e a n s.” Max G u n th e r also speaks o f “ w o rsh ip ” o f work by A ddicts.” O ften this sin g le-m in d ed n ess ex p resses itse lf in w hat Goronw y R ees calls an “ e x tra o rd in a ry capacity for h a rd . an d co n tin u o u s w o rk . for to an e x te n t it ch aracterizes all the Heavy A ddicts: “ I ju s t c a n ’t c o n c e n tra te o n m o re th an o n e subject at a tim e. an d having “ few friends an d no h o b ­ bies. u sed to arrive at his p lan t as early as 4:00 a . w ho p u t to ­ g e th e r th e LTV c o n g lo m e ra te . His reaso n was revealing. H u n t. he seem s to c o n c e n tra te m o re an d m o re o n w ork as he gets o ld e r”— “ if h e ad m ires th e view it’s w ith th e eye o f a d e v e lo p e r. th e m eat-packing m illionaire.” Paul G etty reg u larly w orked until th re e o r fo u r in th e m o rn in g . P erh ap s th e m o st e x tre m e case o f a single-track m ind was H ow ard H u g h es. w orks a 9 0 -h o u r week. if fo r n o o n e else.7 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION e a rth is th e o n e w ho has n o th in g to d o ”— a sta te m e n t which hold s for A ddicts.

n u rse d his d o llars.” A lfred K ru p p . m a d d e n in g d o l­ lars.” B ut in fact all this w ork is d ire c te d to w ard a goal. a n d h a p p in e ss— dollars th at ro b b e d him and his family o f th e tim e h e co u ld have d e v o te d far m o re profitably to a m ere ‘T h a n k G o d . H. Like F o rd a n d R ockefeller. H u n t sum m arized his life accurately w hen h e said. fo r M ellon “ loved th e m a n ip u la tio n o f m illions w ith an in te n ­ sity th a t n o w om an co u ld in sp ire .HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 79 days a week. how ever sym bolic. an d in th e case o f A ndrew . a t least.” T h is was d e p re ssin g to his wife N ora. irretriev ab le h ealth . J u d g e T h o m a s M ellon. an d u n re w a rd in g th a t goal may be. life-loving w om an w ho sat n ig h t a fter n ight alo n e o r w ith h e r ch ild re n w hile A ndrew . “ E verything I do I d o for a p ro fit. his only re g re t w ould have b e e n th e loss o f tim e involved. “ locked in his study. sh e finally divo rced him . a fte r th e p erfu n c to ry a n d com pletely loveless c o u rtsh ip o f his fu tu re wife h ad p ro v e d successful. L. o f th e G erm an m u n itio n s e m p ire. H is wife was a virtual p riso n e r in this n ig h tm arish e n v iro n m e n t. n u rse d la rg e r an d b ig g e r a t th e cost o f p riceless sleep. a healthy. A re p o rte r fo r th e C hicago Tribune o n ce set o u t to interview a n u m b e r o f very rich m en fo r th e ir advice to th e am bitious and was am azed to find th a t they w ere all in th e ir offices w hen he . we a re living.’ ” M ore sp ir­ ited th an Frau K ru p p . h e advised his sons ag ain st h aving frie n d sh ip s w ith e ith e r sex. a n d o n e w o n d ers w hat she th o u g h t o f th e jo y s o f g re a t w ealth as sh e saw h e r fine linens d estro y e d by g rit an d h e r d elicate glasses s h a tte re d by the co n sta n t shocks o f th e steam h am m ers. was so obsessed w ith w ork th a t h e b u ilt his h o m e in th e m iddle o f his steel w orks— th e b e tte r to keep an eye o n th e factory at all tim es. H e refu sed to go to c o n certs o r o th e r e n te rta in m e n ts on the g ro u n d s th a t n o m usic co u ld b e as sw eet to his ears as the sou n d s o f steel b e in g p ro d u c e d . d escrib ed as his “ m o st m e m o ra b le ” C hristm as o n e o n which he sp e n t th e e n tire day w orking. m illions o f d o llars. co m m en ted th a t h ad h e b e e n refu sed . e th e re a l. th e lesso n was well learn ed . Ray Kroc o f h a m b u rg e r fam e “ seem s to enjoy w orking fo r its ow n sake.

a 2 0 -cen t ro ll o f strin g . T h e n . A fter h e h a d p u t to g e th e r th e S ta n d ard O il T ru s t he still sp e n t m uch tim e p ro w lin g a ro u n d th e co rn e rs o f his e m ­ pire. th e A ddict is “ n o t m uch in te r­ este d in b ro a d p rin cip les a n d policies. H e co n c lu d e d th a t th e real secret o f g ettin g rich. o f course. . looking o v er le d g e rs an d m aking su g g estio n s to fo rem en . even m o re th a n by th e g re at m a tte rs o f th e S ta n d a rd . sh o u ld b e u sed in th e co n stru c tio n o f k e ro se n e cans. as R ees suggests. a n d a 5-cent bo lt. b u t to him inexhaustibly fascinating d e ta ils.” P erh ap s. o f co urse. o ften dreary. w hich R ockefeller h a d d isco v ered in g o in g th ro u g h inventory re p o rts.” D aniel L udw ig o n ce p erso n ally checked every so u n d in g on a navigation ch art o f Las M inas Bay. “ H e was o b sessed with m in u tiae .8 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION called. a n d o n e o f th em is a p re o c c u p a tio n w ith detail.” R ockefeller was o n e o f th e m o st n o to rio u s o f th e se pennyp in ch ers. R ees exp resses am aze­ m en t th at th e A ddict seem s to violate every p rin cip le o f go o d m a n a g e m e n t— th a t in stead o f confin in g h im self to la rg e r m a t­ ters o f c o rp o ra te strateg y in his far-flung e n te rp rise s. Since th e m issing b u n g s w ere w orth less th an a d o lla r a lto g e th e r. h ard at w ork. it’s clear th a t R ockefeller placed a very low value o n his ow n tim e an d lab o r. b u t w hatever th e re a so n . it is the m icroscopic m eticu lo u sn ess o f his field o f vision th a t s u rp rise s.” H e has the “ m ise r’s capacity for c o u n tin g th e sm allest c o in . P anam a. . DETAILS B eing com pulsive m eans m any th in g s. h e ten d s to g et “ a b so rb e d in th e o ften trivial. was “ be co m p u lsiv e. th e re was th e fam ous m em o to a fo re m a n a b o u t 750 m issing b u n g s. in stea d o f 40. u sing a re n te d m o to rb o a t. it’s having th e ir ow n m o n ey at stake th a t keeps th em from displaying th e sw eeping d e ta c h m e n t o f th e c o rp o ra te m an ­ ag er. Ludw ig . O n e o f th e se was th a t 39 d ro p s o f so ld er. th o u g h n o n e o f th e m en h ad m e n tio n e d it.” DETAILS.

unflyable plan e b ecau se it c o n ta in e d a sp o rt ja c k e t w ith $ 17 . H en ry F o rd in tru d e d h im se lf p erso n ally into the m ost trivial p la n t econ o m ies. A “ frugal m an w ho will risk m illions w hile pin ch in g p e n n ie s. H e w ould sp e n d h o u rs stacking an d restacking piles o f p ap ers so th a t th e ir ed g es d id n ’t stick o u t. w hen all th e airlin es w ere c o n ­ v ertin g to je ts . W hen ev er indecision b e g an to o verw helm him h e w ould sp en d days stacking an d restack in g b o x es o f K leenex. a n d how fast d riv ers sh o u ld go over bum p s w hen ch au ffeu rin g starlets a ro u n d (he was c o n c ern e d th at to o m uch b o u n c in g w ould cause sag g in g b reasts). u se d to prow l a ro u n d his p la n t look in g in the sinks for signs o f g rease. th e oil tycoon. th e m u ltim illio n aire m eat-packing king. Swift. F. g o t into a $10 m illion law suit w ith his so n — a suit fo r w hich th e legal fees alo n e cost $ 8 0 .50 lunch to the com pany.0 0 0 — b ecau se th e la tte r c h a rg e d a $4.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 81 is extrem ely re lu c ta n t to d e le g a te a u th o rity an d ten d s to get involved in decisio n s at all levels o f his h u g e an d com plex em p ire. G. G u lb en k ian . D u rin g a crisis in . H e gave e la b o ra te in stru c tio n s o n how to sw eep b ro ­ ken glass off stairs. D u rin g th e 1950s.” w ho felt o b lig ed to m ake a “ m icroscopic ex a m in a tio n ” o f th e costs o f his S u tto n Place resid en ce.0 0 0 in th e pocket. T W A alm o st co llap sed b ecau se H u g h e s took so long looking o v er d esig n details o f various plan es. w hat kind o f b ra ssie re an actress should w ear (this n e cessitated a lo n g ram b lin g m em o a b o u t th e p o si­ tio n in g o f h e r nip p les). A typist once typed th e sam e le tte r fo r him two h u n d re d tim es. H ow ard H u g h es o n ce sco ld ed a p ro p m a n fo r buying a w hole chicken fo r a film scen e in which an actress h ad to chew on a d rum stick. w orking w ith him from m id n ig h t to 7:00 a . N aturally.” h e o n ce w ent so far as to try to find ways o f sto rin g oil in th e hollow m asts o f his ships. Ray K roc checks individual M cD onald’s p ark ­ ing lots for litter. all this took his e n e rg ie s away from m ajo r policy q u estio n s. H e sp e n t $30. m .000 a y ear k eep in g a g u a rd o n a d ilap id ated . Paul G etty was also d e ­ scribed as a m an “ o b se sse d w ith d e ta il.

c o n c e n tra tin g o n o n e fairly sim ple frag m en t— m oney— an d p u ttin g all th e ir e n erg y into gaining p o w er ov er th at frag m en t. so c o n c e n ­ tra te d . A nyone. m an -m ad e o n e s— a re very co m fo rtin g b e ­ cause they can be co n tro lle d .” CAUTIOUS GAMBLERS T h e H eavy A ddicts a re ex trem ely cau tious p eo p le. th e intan g ib les and im p o n d e ra b le s. sin g le-m in d ed . C o p in g with an y th in g as com plex as living bein g s is q u ite a n o th e r m atter. re a ssu rin g th e Ego that it really is in c o n tro l so th at it can calm dow n e n o u g h to deal with at least som e p o rtio n o f life’s real com plexity.8 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION H u g h es A ircraft. I t ’s m erely a tran q u ilizer. an d so o n — sh o u ld be so c o n c e rn e d w ith trivia. sh o u ld n ’t they be a ttu n e d to th e la rg e r tren d s. can stack K lee­ nex boxes o r ad d figures. the b ro a d sw eep o f events? U n fo rtu n ately . w hen his m an ag ers w ere tea rin g th e ir hair an d b e g g in g him for a m ajo r decision. d e sp o tism exists n o t to m ake an o rg an ism o r society m o re efficient. q u antifiable. An A ddict p o res o v er d e ­ tails b ecau se it creates an illusion o f co n tro l over events. he asked them to look in to p ro c e e d s from th e p la n t’s v en d in g m achines. Since they a re so focused. m e c h a n ­ ical. h o a rd th e ir m oney. T h e y like to have c o n tro l over ev ery th in g th at affects th eir o p e ra tio n — to buy o u t n o t only th e ir p a rtn e rs b u t also th e ir su ppliers and . T h ey look ah ead . H ew ins’s rem ark a b o u t Paul G etty could p ro b ab ly be a p p lie d to any A ddict: “ W h ere he seem s to fail is o v er th e m ysteries. D etails— especially sim ple. T h e details a re so sm all they m ake th e E go feel big: divide and co n q u er. b u t to give the d e sp o t a g re a te r feeling o f co n tro l. W e have to remember* that A ddict Egos a re to o sim ple to deal with all the fluid com plexity o f e ith e r th e real w orld o r th e ir ow n bodies. In co n stan t te rro r they can only re a ssu re them selves by ig n o r­ ing m ost o f th at com plexity. It may seem stra n g e th at th e se heavily o v ercen tralized p e r­ sonalities— E go-driven. N o th in g o f any value is acco m p lish ed th ro u g h all this work. an d h e d g e th e ir bets. a fte r all.

D u rin g th e D ep ressio n h e b o u g h t in to an in ­ su ran ce firm w hich d id so badly th a t M acA rthur e n d e d u p sole o w ner becau se n o o n e else w an ted th e stock (F ord a n d Ludw ig had sim ilar g o o d -b a d luck). M acA rthu r’s early career. took a risk. a n d h e n ev e r really did. w hich led ultim ately to his b eco m in g F lo rid a ’s la rg e st lan d o w n er. fo r once y o u ’re rich. Jo h n D.” O verall. R arely d o e s h e n e e d to. . D aniel L udw ig’s early c a re e r was also litte re d w ith failures. Som e such m o m e n t can b e fo u n d in th e iif e o f every A ddict. J o h n D. b u t th e successes h a p p e n e d to b e such big o n e s that su b se q u e n t failures co u ld b e ig n o red .HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 8 3 d istrib u to rs. an d g et off as so o n as they can buy th e g am e a n d ru n it by th e ir ow n fail-safe rules. g am b lin g is m u ch less risky. fo r exam p le. O n c e h e c o n tro lle d 95 p e rc e n t o f th e refining in dustry h e n e v e r n e e d e d to take a n o th e r chan ce. so th a t n o th in g is left to ch an ce o r th e w him s o f o th e r p eo p le. J u d g e M ellon adv ised th a t “ a m an o u g h t n ev er to risk m u c h .000 acres o f Palm B each real e sta te in his lap.” Yet m o st o f th e H eavy A ddicts. G oronw y R ees is q u ite c o rre c t in saying th a t th e A ddict co m ­ bines a m ise r’s c au tio n w ith a g a m b le r’s recklessness. A fter h e b ecam e a bil­ lionaire M acA rthur o n ce lost $30 m illion in a b an k failure. so m ew h ere a lo n g th e line. rid e it. M acA rthur p ro b ab ly h a d m o re failures th an suc­ cesses. D u rin g the 1950s. fo r ex am p le. As b u sin ess im p ro v ed d u rin g the po stw ar b o o m h e a c q u ire d so m e lan d b arg ain s. saying “ I m ake m o re th a n th a t in a y ea r. R arely d o we find an A ddict taking such a chance a seco n d tim e. was p re tty m uch a failure. yet in th e early days o f th e c re a tio n o f S ta n d a rd O il (since h e always sta rted with his m o st pow erfu l co m p e tito rs a n d w orked dow n) he w ould have b e e n d e stro y e d h a d h e ru n u p ag ain st o n e h o n e st m an. Heavy A ddicts d o n ’t really like to g am b le w hen th e r e ’s to o m uch at stake b u t at so m e p o in t in th e ir lives they take a gam ble. R o ckefeller w ithdrew w ith a sh u d d e r from the chaotic a n d chancy o il-p ro d u c in g b u sin ess. a m o rtg a g e failu re d ro p p e d 6. b u t h e sh ru g g e d it off.

J . If L udw ig p ro v es to b e rig h t. it m ay have m o re to do with his re p u ta tio n th an w ith his ju d g m e n t. too. how ever. every m ove h e m akes is c o n sid e red shrew d.8 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION F o r alm o st two d ecad es he was ju s t o n e ju m p in fro n t o f his cred ito rs. even th o u g h h e can well afford to g am b le— if he m akes a d o zen serio u s b lu n d e rs a year he can sh ru g them off like M acA rthur. T w o b u sin ess jo u rn a l articles in th e 1970s d escrib ed speculative e n te rp rise s o f L udw ig’s th a t seem ed. am b itious p e o p le are a ttra c te d to th e e n te rp ris e a n d w ant to w ork fo r it. a d d in g to G re e n ’s already e n o rm o u s re p u ta tio n as a canny W all S tree t p ro p h e t. T h e p o in t is th a t a rich m an can afford to play such lo n g shots. His su b se q u e n t success had m uch to do w ith th e b u sin ess u p tu rn s u rro u n d in g W o rld W ar II. stu p id . w hen an A ddict w ithdraw s m oney from an e n te rp rise . was a ru n o n th e bank a n d it failed. d ecid ed in 1907 th at th e m en in a certain bank w ere “ to o g o o d -lo o k in g . R ockefeller th o u g h t oil p ro d u c tio n — th e in d u stry th a t m ad e H u n t and G etty rich— was m ade fo r fools an d losers. a n d it may well collapse. It may be som e years b e fo re we know w h e th e r o r n o t L udw ig was right. b u t if any o f th e A ddicts had been rig h t m o re th a n h a lf th e tim e th e re w ould have b ee n a lot few er o f th em . A n o th e r a d v an tag e to b e in g rich is th a t y o u r p re d ictio n s beco m e self-fulfilling p ro p h e c ie s. o th ers follow suit. Now that Ludw ig is rich.” She w ithdrew h e r m oney an d advised h e r frien d s to d o likewise. C onversely. P. for exam p le. W h en a b illio n aire invests. At th a t p o in t th e A ddict will b e said to have a shrew d know led g e o f b u siness tren d s. on th e face o f it. T h e nex t day there. o th e rs take n o te an d b eg in to invest. A nd virtually every A ddict in th e co u n try th o u g h t H en ry F o rd was crazy w hen h e a n n o u n c e d . P eo p le like to have h e ro e s. M organ th o u g h t G eneral M otors was a p o o r in v estm en t. b u t th e a u th o rs b o th c o n c lu d ed th at they m ust b e sm art o r L udw ig w o u ld n ’t have m a d e them . H etty G reen . for m o st o f th em m ad e th e ir fo rtu n es by g rab b in g o p p o rtu n itie s o th e r A ddicts h a d sco rn ed . his b u sin ess was so in su b stan tial h e h ad to use his w indow sill fo r a desk.

L. In th e early 1950s H u ghes A ircraft was such a sh am b les as a re su lt o f his “ n o to rio u s in d ecisio n ” th a t th e S ecretary o f th e A ir F orce attacked him for je o p a rd iz in g A m erican d efen ses.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 8 5 th at h e was g o in g to sh a re so m e o f his profits w ith his w orkers in 1914. u n d e r c e rta in circu m ­ stances. H. In 1961 h e lost c o n tro l o f T W A an d was su ed fo r m ism an ag em en t. H u n t’s early efforts at lan d a n d c o tto n specu latio n w ere d isastro u s.” Yet h e fo u g h t b itterly against losing T W A . b u t by th e tim e h e decid ed to cut his losses a n d sell o u t. H e lo st m o n ey in his F lo rid a lan d sp ecu latio n s and was d eeply in d e b t d u rin g m o st o f his early life. H o w ard H u g h e s sold th e H u g h e s T o o l C o m p any for $300 m illion less th a n it was w orth. an d even in th e oil b u sin ess h e did p o o rly for a long tim e. th e co m p an y h a d h ad a new m a n ag e m e n t for five years a n d th e stock was close to an all-tim e high o f $8 6 a share. T h e success o f this m ove in c re a tin g a m ass m arket fo r his cars m ad e him a new b u sin ess oracle. As a re su lt o f lo sin g a p ro tra c te d law suit H u g h es was h a lf a billion d o llars ric h e r— surely th e m o st m oney ev er m ad e at o n e tim e th ro u g h failure. th e only th in g s H u g h e s o w n ed th a t did well w ere th e o n es h e n e v e r to u c h e d . b u t by th e tim e h e was actually o rd e re d by th e co u rt to sell. O n m o re th an o n e occasion h e was saved from b an k ru p tcy by a p o k e r gam e. T h is was a m an p o p u larly c o n sid ­ e re d to b e a “ financial w izard . H e lo st $ 20 m illion fo r R K O an d was su ed by th e o th e r sto ck h o ld ers. “ m oney will te n d to m ultiply itse lf w ithout ratio n al . sp e n d in g m illions to avoid w hat tu rn e d o u t to be th e so u rce o f alm o st h a lf his fo rtu n e . T W A ’s stock was th e n $13 a sh are. th e T V netw orks sta rte d buying old m ovies an d h e m ad e a big p ro fit from th e rising stock. K en n eth L am o tt. yet his ow n blin d n ess to th e p u b lic d e m a n d fo r variety in car m odels late r cost him th e le a d e rsh ip o f th e a u to m o b ile in d u stry. co n clu d es th at. In d e e d . H e got $60 m illion in w ar c o n tra c ts w ith o u t ev er d eliv erin g a single plane. p u zzlin g o v e r th e p ro b le m o f how H u g h es m an ag ed to g e t so rich.

a n d w hen it’s tim e to buy ch eap .” P eo p le love to feel that h u m an b ein g s a re in c o n tro l o f th e e n v iro n m en t. T h e ir w ealth o n p a p e r may d e c re a se m arkedly b u t they can ride o u t th e sto rm u n til prices g o u p again. E conom ic forces a re c re a tin g larg e fo rtu n e s all th e tim e— every tim e th e r e ’s a bull m ark et a new cro p o f m ultim il­ lionaires is c re a te d — usually from a m o n g th o se w ho have a g o o d d eal to sta rt with. A tra p p e r. even if it m eans a ttrib u tin g clairvoyance to every g a m b le r w ho wins. it in­ creases th e value o f w hat p e o p le a re h o ld in g .” P eo p le a re re lu c ta n t to allow fo r luck in m a tte rs o f this kind.8 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION c o n tro l an d even in sp ite o f g ro ss e rro rs an d eccentricities th at o u tra g e n o t only every ac c e p ted p rin cip le o f g o o d business m a n a g e m e n t b u t also th e advice o f co m m o n se n se . th e p o o r have to sell at a loss. W hen th e d o w n tu rn occurs. o r u ra n iu m is fo u n d . “ Som e silly so n o f a b itch is looking fo r oil on the n o rth flank. S o m eo n e. re sp o n d e d . asked w hat was g o in g o n at an oil drillin g site. a n d th o se who h o ld th e m o st re a p th e m o st b enefit. they have th e m o n ey to buy with— th e p o o r do n o t. “T h e m as has. T h o s e w ho are p o o re st a n d ow n n o th in g re a p n o th in g . Many a p o o r m an o r w om an has h ad a m illio n -d o llar idea. has to ow n the lan d o n w hich a new city is b u ilt o r in w hich oil. gold. a n d th e p o ssessio n o f this land n e e d n o t entail any special vision.” W hen activity at th e site in creased. th e n th e rich obviously have a g reat ad v antage: w hen it’s tim e to sell d ear. b u t th e rich d o n o t. d iam o n d s. W h en a b o o m hits. g its” is n o t ju s t a b itte r saying— it’s an econom ic law. fo r exam ple. T h e w ealthy have th e capital to ex p lo it o p p o rtu n itie s w hile th e p o o r d o n o t. th e sam e q u e stio n elicited a slightly m o dified reply: “ Som e sm art son o f a bitch fo u n d oil o n th e n o rth flank. I f m aking m oney is buying ch eap an d selling d e a r. they have so m eth in g to sell— th e p o o r d o n o t. fu rth e rm o re . o r th e wit to buy in to so m e th in g w hen it was ch eap . silver. b u t h a s n ’t h a d th e w h ere­ w ithal to d o it. A final w ord: we m ay a d m ire H eavy A ddicts b ecause they . an d prices fall.

m any ways o f living successfully. W h en you lose it. an d at som e level p e o p le know this (“ it’s only m o n e y ” ). T h e re are m any risks in life. TECHNIQUES OF SELF-ENRICHMENT In wealth no limit is set up within man's view.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 8 7 took a risk. T h e re a re several ways o f d o in g this: you can take th e m oney from th e p o o r. m o n ey is o n e o f th e least im p o r­ tan t. you lose n o th in g real. You have to take a little b it from a g re a t m any. b u t it’s easy to fo rg e t. those o f us who now have the largest fortune are doubling our efforts. from everyone. T ak in g it from th e rich is e a sie r in o n e way since you d o n ’t have to deal with so m any p e o p le . T o ad m ire o r em u late th e H eavy A ddict is to p u t y o u rse lf dow n— to ig­ n o re th e far m o re significant risks you m ay have taken in yo u r ow n life. T h e re fo re . SOLON Since all m oney at any given tim e is in s o m e o n e ’s p o sse s­ sion. selling them o v erp riced g o o d s o r services u n d e r m o n o p o listic c o n d i­ tions. saving m o n ey at th e ir e x p e n se by c u ttin g co rn e rs on safety. T h e rich. th at o f all th e risks you can take. p o llu tio n . an d so on. o n th e o th e r h a n d . a re b o th p ow erful an d vigilant. o r you can take it from th e g o v e rn m e n t— th a t is to say. b u t since th e rich a re m o re a tta c h e d to m oney it’s h a rd e r to g et it away from th em . T a k in g it from th e p o o r is difficult in o n e way since they have so little. a fte r all. you can take it from th e rich. using th e ir land o r re so u rc e s w ith o u t c o m p e n sa tio n . T h e best way to g et m oney o u t o f th em is to exp lo it th eir add ictio n — to ch eat th em by playing o n th e ir g re e d . in a society like o u rs. to g et rich th e H eavy A ddict m u st take th e m oney from so m e o n e else. T h e p o o r a re pow erless an d m oney can be e x tra c te d from th em by c o m p u l­ sion in o n e form o r a n o th e r: u n d e rp a y in g th em fo r th e ir labor.

w hen lo ts o f m oney gets throw n a ro u n d w ith m axim um h a ste a n d m inim um acco u n tin g . a n d . scope. m ilitary p ro d u c ts are n o t sold to th e p ublic o r u se d in any p ro d u ctiv e way. th e sum s o f m o n ey involved a re so larg e th at h u g e am o u n ts o f p a d d in g can easily b e tu cked away in them . A w ell-placed b rib e can p u rc h a se sm all a d ju stm e n ts in reg u la tio n s th a t will fu n n el m illions in to w aiting hands. G o v ern m en ts d eal in h u g e sum s o f m oney. W orld W ar II co n tracts w ere virtually u n a u d ite d . Taking It from Governments O n e o f th e m o st p o p u la r te c h n iq u e s fo r g e ttin g m oney from th e g o v e rn m e n t is to p ro c u re m ilitary c o n tracts. g o v ern m en ts n e v e r look to o h a rd at d e fen se in d u s­ try profits d u rin g w ars. M ilitary sp e n d in g always ten d s to benefit th e rich since th e p ro p o rtio n o f th e m oney th at goes to lab o r is relatively sm all. w hich m akes them id e­ ally su ited to “ sip h o n in g o ff” o f various kinds. seco n d . th e public re ­ m ain ed indifferent. w ith even less fiscal su p erv isio n . b u t are e ith e r d e stro y e d o r d ec la re d o b so le te . secrecy in th e n am e o f n atio n al security may h id e th e m o st ex ten siv e c o rru p tio n from public scrutiny. A lth o u g h th e m o st cursory in sp ectio n s tu rn e d u p scan d alo u s practices. T h e com plexity o f b u reau cracies a n d th e necessity o f th e ir sp e n d in g b u d g e te d m o n ey o r carry in g o u t hastily conceived p ro g ra m s by a certain tim e m ake th e m rip e plum s fo r alert pickers. th ird . a n d fo u rth . T h e easiest way o f all to g e t rich— a n d h e n c e th e o n e m ost fav o red a m o n g A ddicts— is to take it from th e g o v ern m en t. th e size. w hile th e V ietnam W ar. A nd such sp e n d in g offers u n iq u e o p p o r ­ tu n ities fo r th e A ddict: first. saw an n u a l d e fe n se in d u stry profits o f $4. As L am ott p o in ts o u t. in w artim e.5 billion.8 8 □ W EALTH ADDICTION it re q u ire s m o re in tellig en ce to g et rich at th e e x p e n se o f th e rich th an to g et rich at th e e x p e n se o f th e p o o r. co n fusion in h e re n t in th e in d u stry m ake it very easy fo r e n o rm o u s q u a n tities o f g o o d s an d m oney to g et lost. c o n tro lle d by m en w ho a re paid ra th e r p o o rly in re la tio n to th e ir responsibility. .

5 m illion a day d u rin g his last d e c a d e — an d e x p e cte d g o v ern ­ m ent lead ers to carry o u t his p e rso n a l whim s.. Sr. S tate D e p artm en t “ o n e o f o u r g re a te st h e lp e rs .” H . asking his aid e R o b e rt M aheu to “ w rap that g o v ern m en t u p dow n th e r e ” so th at it w ould be “ a captive entity in every way.” H e view ed th e g o v e rn o r a n d leg islatu re o f N evada as p e rso n a l serv an ts an d was so an n o y ed w hen N evada v o ters n e g lec te d to elect his ch o sen c a n d id a te th at he m oved to N assau.” A lm ost h a lf o f th e cut— e n g i­ n e e re d in p a rt by D avid R o ckefeller— w ent to th e w ealthiest 20 p erc en t o f th e p o p u la tio n . have b e e n successful in av o id in g all b u t a fraction o f the taxes th at w ould o rd in arily be ex p e c te d from th em . p ast an d p re s­ en t. H u ghes refu sed . saying “ H ell. even co m ­ m ittin g th e tran sactio n s to p a p e r. W h en P resid en t J o h n s o n asked H u g h es fo r $ 2 5 . m ad e a sizable p o rtio n o f his fo rtu n e by sip h o n in g it from p ublic tre a su rie s— to th e tu n e o f over $1. an d m ost A ddicts. I c o u ld n ’t c o n tro l the son o f a bitch with $ 2 5 . In a Fortune article Lewis B em an states flatly th a t “ o n e e x p lan a tio n for th eir billionaire statu s is th a t they have b e e n able to sh elter th eir fo rtu n e s from th e tax c o lle c to r. L.0 0 0 . J o h n D. T h e late H o w ard H u g h es.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN U 89 B ut th e b e st way to ex tract m o n ey from th e g o v ern m en t is to avoid giving m o n ey to it. R ockefeller. w ho m ad e a g re a t show o f be in g a ru g g ed individualist. all serving in o n e way o r a n o th e r as su b sid ies fo r A ddicts.” e n a b lin g S ta n d a rd O il to “ push o u r way in to new m arkets to th e u tm o st c o rn e rs o f the w o rld . T h e b iggest ch an g e was th e tax cu t in 1962.” R ockefeller’s executives b rib e d se n a to rs a n d o th e r g o v e rn ­ m ent officials w ith an o p e n n e ss n o t p o ssib le today.” In co m e tax form s are com plex today b ecau se a series o f lo o p h o le s have b ee n w ritten in.S.0 0 0 for th e LBJ library. H u n t claim ed to be a fa th e r o f th e C o n n ally “ h o t o il” . T h e y assu m ed th at g o v e rn ­ m ent existed to p u t m o n ey in th e ir pock ets an d becam e in d ig n an t w hen an y o n e su g g e ste d th a t this was in a p p ro p ria te . d e sc rib e d by C ollier a n d H orow itz as a “ m assive re d istrib u tio n o f incom e from th e p o o r to th e w ealthy. called th e U.

.” an d cau sed th e ra p id d e a th o f an em p lo y ee th ro u g h e x p o su re to p lu to n iu m . M inim al safety re g u la ­ tions w ere n o t en fo rc e d an d accid en tal d e a th s a n d injuries w ere com m on. which was re p e a te d ly re p rim a n d e d by the A tom ic E nergy C om m issio n “ fo r d isch arg in g p o ten tially d i­ sastro u s levels o f radioactivity in to th e air an d sew ers o f B os­ to n . co n d itio n s o f this kind a re ra re in dom estic A m eri­ can o p e ra tio n s. ’s first solo e n te rp rise ) in 1913 w ere p aid less th an 17 < f an h o u r. T o d ay . an d New E n g lan d N uclear. th e oil d e p le tio n allow ance. Taking It from the Poor N o g reat fo rtu n e was ev er m ad e w ith o u t ro b b in g th e p o o r in so m e way.” T h e fact th a t so m any A ddicts are in th e oil in d u stry is d u e in c o n sid e ra b le p a rt to th e g re a t­ est g o v e rn m e n t h a n d o u t o f all. J r . T h e ch u rch es a n d schools w ere co m pany c o n tro lle d an d cen so re d .” M iners at th e C o lo ra d o Fuel a n d Iro n C o m p a n y ’s Ludlow m in e (John D. T h e secret o f g e ttin g rich is cu ttin g co rn e rs. R ockefeller. and so m e o f th o se c o m e rs involve th e flesh an d spirit o f d isa d v a n ­ tag ed h u m an beings. R ockefeller m o n ey in re c e n t years. T h ey lived in tw o-room co m pany shacks fo r w hich they paid ex o rb i­ ta n t re n ts a n d from which they co u ld be evicted on th re e days’ n otice.9 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION act. in scrip th at could b e used only in com pany sto re s ch a rg in g e x to rtio n a te prices. has b e e n in v ested in th e C o n so lid a tio n C oal C o m ­ pany. for exam ple. a lth o u g h n o t u n c o m m o n in th e T h ird W orld. w hich lim ited oil p ro d u c tio n to keep prices up— o n e o f m any ways in w hich th e fed eral g o v e rn m e n t “ sm o o th e d H u n t’s p a th to g re a t w ealth . C o n d itio n s o n D aniel L udw ig’s ta n k ­ ers (which sail u n d e r L ib erian an d P an am anian flags) have b e e n d escrib ed (som ew hat em o tionally) as “ hardly m o re h u ­ m a n e th an th e ships o f th e A frican slave tra d e . an d g o v e rn m e n t a n d law en fo rce m en t officials w ere virtual em ployees o f th e com pany. n o to rio u s fo r lax safety reg u la tio n s in its m ines a n d the p rev alen ce o f black lu n g d isease a m o n g its m iners.

B ut this in te rd e p e n d e n c e is exactly w hat the d esp o tic E go is afraid to reco g n ize. w hose in tellig en ce a n d e n te rp ris e h a d sw elled th e value o f his p ro p e rty .H EAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 9 1 B ut w orkers a re still killed a n d in ju re d ev en in u n io n ized p lan ts by e x p o su re to leth al chem icals a n d radioactivity. T h is te n d s to m ake m arks o f all o f us— read y an d w aiting for so m eo n e to co m e a lo n g w ith a fast-m oney schem e. In th e p a st thirty o r forty years. A ddicts a re “ ru g g e d in­ divid u alists”— if you give th em so m e th in g they will p e rsu a d e them selves th at they cleverly c h e a te d you o u t o f it. A nd since n a tu re ab h o rs a vacuum . re so u rc e s. a m ach ine th a t focuses all o u r y earn in g s o n th e accu m u latio n o f w ealth a n d p ro p e rty . O n e o f th e g re a t secrets o f g e ttin g rich has always b e e n to get so m e ­ th ing fo r n o th in g — air. Taking It from the Rich O n e o f th e b est ways o f m aking quick m oney is fleecing o th e r addicts. lan d . W h en J o h n Ja c o b A sto r d ied th e New York Herald su g g ested th at h e sh o u ld have left h a lf his fo rtu n e to th e p eo p le o f New York. R ockefeller h im se lf ow ed a p a rt o f his fo rtu n e to this tech n iq u e: o ffering larceny to o th e rs b u t taking the b ig g est p o rtio n him self. an d p o o r p e o p le living n e a r in d u stria l are a s still have th e ir air an d w ater p o llu te d so th a t c o rp o ra tio n s can save m oney. w ater. T h is has b e en m ad e p o ssib le b ecau se o f th e e n o rm o u s p ro p a g a n d a m achine th at we voluntarily m ain tain as a n a tio n . T h e very term “ self-m ad e” c a p tu re s th e E g o ’s n e e d to d en y its d e p e n ­ d en ce o n a physical body. stock m ark et m a n ip u lato rs an d c o n g lo m e ra te b u ild e rs have re lie d heavily o n this te c h ­ n iq u e in b u ild in g th e ir new financial em p ires. T h is is th e Pyram id C lub o r C h ain L e tte r principle: I take y o u r m oney in re tu rn fo r show ing you how to take o th e r . P eo p le m ake m oney w hen o th e r p e o p le believe m oney can be m ade. w aste d isposal— an d th e p o o r a re th e b e st so u rc e fo r such bargains. so m e o n e always does. H e u se d th e ir g re e d to m ake them su b serv ien t to his g re a te r g reed .

you may g et rich. as n o th in g else can. Many o f th e Heavy A ddicts sim ply b o u g h t freely d u rin g th e “ b arg ain day s” and co asted to th e to p as th e W orld W ar II b o o m inflated th e value o f th e ir h o ld in g s.” K en n eth L am ott advances w hat he calls a “ C a ta stro p h e T h e o ry o f W e a lth ”— th at w ealth ad d icts have beco m e rich w h en ev er a “ n a tu ra l o r m an -m ad e c a ta stro p h e has u p set the estab lish ed o r d e r .9 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION p e o p le ’s. T h is was B ernie C o rn fe ld ’s m e th o d . w ho think o f n o th in g else. . selling a d ream o f w ealth. th e n u m b e r o f p e o p le with incom es o f o v er $1 m illion in­ c reased — in o n e year m o re th an d o u b lin g .000. w hich involved selling stock. T o d o this re q u ire s a c ertain c o ld -b lo o d ed n e ss.” ag ain st th e ir fellow citizens.0 0 0 a year fell from 8 1 0 . “ Did you h e a r th e b o m b s last night? T h e re m ust b e so m e b arg ain s a ro u n d this m o rn in g !” A rn d t K rupp. th o se you p e rsu a d e will p ro b ab ly lose th e ir shirts as th e b e lie f system reaches its p e r­ im eter. W hen a flood th re a te n s. I g et rich. o r m o re precisely. th e differen ce b etw een th e way rich p e o p le a n d p o o r p e o p le e x p erien ce an eco n o m ic disaster: “T h e b a r­ gain days o f 1932 an d 1933 w ere n o t e x p lo ite d to th e full. w hen th e n u m b e r o f taxpayers with incom es o v er $ 5 . T h e im p o rta n t th in g with w ealth ad d ictio n is th at you c a n ’t go halfway: th o se w ho a re h a lf-h e a rted o r tru stin g in th e ir ad d ic ­ tion are always bilked by H eavy A ddicts.” H e p o in ts o u t th at d u rin g th e d e sp e ra te years from 1930 to 1933. m ost p e o p le will b e o u t o n th e levee piling up san d b ag s.0 0 0 to only 330. As L am ott o b serv es.” A m illio n aire d e v e lo p e r d u rin g th e L o n d o n Blitz was h e a rd to say.” an d th ese fo rtu n e s a re usually m ad e by p e o p le w ho “ b e t o n th e side o f th e disas­ te r. c a ta stro p h es have b een “ th e midwives to o u r g re a te st fo rtu n e s . A n 111 W in d Paul G e tty ’s co m m en t o n th e G re a t D ep ressio n expresses. T h e A ddict will b e b u y in g u p b o ats— “ b e ttin g on th e d is a s te r.

HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 9 3

fo u n d e r o f th e m u n itio n s dynasty, b o u g h t u p lan d in E ssen at b arg ain prices from citizens fleeing th e p la g u e— th e K rupp family still ow ns it a fte r fo u r h u n d re d years. If this seem s a b it callous we m u st re m e m b e r th a t A ddicts as a g ro u p te n d to b e cu t off fro m o th e r p e o p le at a feeling level. Since th e ir E gos always o p e ra te “ o n e m e rg en cy ,” a co m ­ m unity calam ity has very little e m o tio n a l im pact. T h e y re ac t in a cold, sin g le-m in d ed , b u sin esslik e way b ecau se th e ir w hole existen ce is tre a te d by th e ir E gos as a d a n g e ro u s calam ity to b e cu red th ro u g h w ealth. T h e m o st fru itfu l c a ta stro p h e s have always b e e n w ar and d ep re ssio n . J o h n J a c o b A sto r b ecam e a m illio n aire by buying u p M an h attan m o rtg a g e s d u rin g th e Panic o f 1837. T h e R o th s­ childs g o t th e ir sta rt d u rin g th e N ap o leo n ic W ars. C o m m o ­ d o re V an d erb ilt g o t rich c h a rte rin g n e a r-d e fu n ct ships to the g o v ern m en t d u rin g th e Civil W ar. A nd d u rin g W orld W ar I, D uP o n t an n u a l profits w ere 26 tim es w hat they h a d m ad e in th e b e st o f th e ir p re c e d in g years. N o r was this u n iq u e to m unitions-m akers. T h e n u m b e r o f m illionaires q u a d ru p le d d u rin g W orld W ar I, w hile th e n u m b e r o f m u ltim illio n aires m u ltip lied m o re th an six tim es. Paul G etty was well aw are o f his d e b t to b o th W o rld W ars a n d th e D e p re ssio n in accu m u latin g his riches. H u g h es, H u n t, a n d L udw ig all ow ed m uch o f th e ir w ealth to W o rld W ar II. M ost o f th e g re a t A m erican fo rtu n e s o f th e last cen tu ry w ere m ad e by selling d efective g o o d s to th e U n io n arm ies: d isin te ­ g ra tin g clo th es a n d blan k ets, b o o ts m ad e o f p a p e r, m eat from d iseased cattle a n d hog s, g u n s th a t w o u ld n ’t sh o o t o r blew up in th e so ld ie rs’ h an d s. V an d erb ilt, J . P. M o rg a n ’s fath er, Fisk, A rm o u r, th e D u P o n ts, R ockefeller, J u d g e T h o m a s M ellon, an d m any o th e rs g o t rich from th e Civil W ar. N ot all o f th ese fo rtu n es w ere b ased o n sh o d d y g o o d s, b u t all w ere b ased on a sh arp division o f la b o r b etw een so ld iers a n d m oneym akers, fo r m ost A ddicts have successfully av o id ed m ilitary service. D aniel D rew serv ed briefly in th e W ar o f 1812, w hich m akes

9 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

him “ u n iq u e [am ong] all th e early g re a t A m erican capita­ lists. . . . ” an d , acco rd in g to K en n e th L am o tt, th e sam e division o f la b o r exists today. D u rin g th e Civil W ar som e o f J u d g e M ello n ’s sons show ed an in te re st in jo in in g u p b u t h e told th em only “ g re e n h o rn s ” enlist, a d d in g th at “ th e re are plenty o f o th e r lives less v alu ab le.” T h e y listen ed , a n d th e w hole family m ad e h a n d so m e pro fits o u t o f it. R ockefeller also felt th at his b u sin ess co u ld n o t suffer his ab sen ce. L am ott c o n ­ cludes th at “ th e g reat A m erican fo rtu n e s w ere fo u n d ed in tim es o f d a n g e r an d co n fu sio n a n d n o u rish e d by the b lo o d o f y o u n g m e n .” W e m ight say o f all A ddicts w hat R o ck efeller’s sister Lucy said o f him: “ W h en it’s ra in in g p o rrid g e y o u ’ll always find J o h n ’s bow l rig h t side u p .” T h in g s a re p re tty m uch th e sam e today. In 1978— a year in which inflation an d u n e m p lo y m e n t p u sh e d m illions o f A m ericans in to abject p o v erty an d m ad e m id d le-in co m e p e o p le feel th e p in ch so badly th a t they m o u n te d a tax r e ­ volt— th e profits o f m any m a jo r c o rp o ra tio n s so are d to re ­ co rd h eig h ts. A nd b etw een 1970 an d 1975— a p e rio d that m ost A m ericans e x p e rie n c ed as h a rd tim es econom ically— the n u m b e r o f p e o p le with an n u al incom es o f a m illion d o l­ lars o r m o re d o u b le d .

LIVING IN EL DORADO
Wealth is the diploma o f slavery.
SENECA

P eo p le d ream o f “ m aking it.” But w hat d o they do w hen they “ a rriv e ” ? M ost A ddicts act as if they h a d n ’t noticed: “ It seem s alm o st an axiom th at [th o u g h ] th e rapidly rich . . . o ften com plain a b o u t th e ir lim ited playtim e, alm o st all the nouveaux sh are a drive to accu m u late assets b ey o n d any e x p ec tatio n o f liq u id atin g th e lu c re .” O n e re c e n t m illio n aire su g g e ste d th at “ so m eb o d y o u g h t to give a c o rre sp o n d e n c e c o u rse o n w hat to do with su d d e n w ealth .” A n o th e r co m p lain ed th at “ o n e really

HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 9 5

n eed s two lives. O n e to g et to th e to p . T h e o th e r to enjoy it all.” T h is d o e s n ’t m ean A ddicts a re u n aw are o f th e fact th at they have e n o u g h m oney to m e e t all th e ir n eed s: they know when to sto p , they ju s t d o n ’t know how. C yrus E ato n , for exam ple, rem arks th at th e re a re “ fairly circu m scrib ed lim its to the purely p e rso n a l g ratifications g re a t w ealth can p ro c u re .” Mil­ lion aire W illiam Riley: “ A fter a c e rta in p o in t in creased e a rn ­ ings will n o t raise y o u r sta n d a rd o f living.” H en ry Ford: “ I shall n ev er u se w hat I have. . . . M oney d o e s n ’t d o m e any goo d . I c a n ’t sp e n d it o n m yself.” J o h n W. MacKay an d H. L. H u n t b o th said th a t so m e o n e w ith $ 2 0 0 ,0 0 0 was as well off perso n ally as they w ere w ith th e ir m any m illions. M ost o th e rs have picked a m illion d o llars as a g o o d ro u n d figure. As Jo se p h H irsh h o rn observes: “T h e m o n ey d o e s n ’t m a tte r— n o t after th e first m illion. H ow co u ld it? Y ou c a n ’t w ear m o re th an two shirts a day, o r eat m o re th a n th re e m eals.” Yet they keep o n m aking m o re, an d ratio n alize it in various ways. H irsh h o rn , for exam ple, says h e d o es it “ju s t to test my ju d g m e n t,” a n d fo r Ja m e s L ing it’s “ only th e way you keep sco re .” B ut th e se a re h alf-tru th s. Y ou can test yo u r ju d g m e n t playing back g am m o n o r m o u n ta in clim bing o r driving a car in the city. T h e se m en u n d e rs ta n d q u ite clearly th at m oney is purely sym bolic, b u t they slide o v er th e fact th at they are fiercely ad d ic te d to th a t sym bol. It is tru e th a t they o ften have little in te re st in w hat th e m oney can buy— th e y ’re in te re ste d in d em o n stra tin g th e ir ability to make it— a kind o f financial p o ­ tency. H en ry F o rd is o fte n h eld u p as a b illio n aire w ho cared n o th in g for m oney, yet w hen h e was ru n n in g his farm he “ nev er failed to sell an anim al fo r m o re th a n he had paid for it,” an d his original h u m a n ita ria n in te re st in d ev elo p in g a tra c to r was quickly p u t asid e w hen h e fo u n d th a t th e re was a b e tte r m ark et fo r a h o rseless carriag e. P eo p le m istake indiffer­ ence to th e use o f m oney fo r in d ifferen ce to m oney itself. T h e re a re a few A ddicts w ho have trie d to stop. A ndrew C arn eg ie, for exam ple, p ro m ise d h im self in w riting at th e age

9 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

o f th irty -th re e n ev er to m ake m o re th a n $ 5 0 ,0 0 0 a year, an incom e h e h ad ju s t achieved. H e sw ore h e w ould re tire at thirty-five an d u se his su rp lu s w ealth to h e lp th e p o o r, b u t it was thirty years b e fo re C a rn e g ie sold o u t fo r h a lf a billion dollars an d sta rte d giving his m o n ey away, c o m m en tin g th at “ th e m an w ho dies rich dies d isg ra c e d .” Paul G etty th o u g h t in his tw enties th at a m illion d o llars was all th e m oney h e n e e d e d an d trie d fo r a year to sto p accu m u latin g . B ut th e n e e d was to o stro n g an d h e d ied w ith m o re th a n a th o u sa n d tim es th at am o u n t. O n e o f th e few know n A ddicts to kick th e h ab it was G e ra rd L am b ert, th e m an w ho, a h alf-cen tu ry ago, in v en ted bad b re a th an d g o t rich by m aking m illions o f p e o p le n e u ro tic ab o u t th e ir body o d o rs. W hile still a co m paratively y o ung m an h e becam e b o re d w ith m aking m o n ey a n d re tire d to seek m o re am u sin g pastim es, leaving a w hole n a tio n w ith a bad ta ste in its m o u th . Som e A ddicts have le a rn e d to scale dow n th e ir add ictio n becau se o f ill h ealth o r h a rd eco n o m ic co n d itio n s. W hen The Wall Street Journal did an 18-year follow -up o n a g ro u p o f new e n tre p re n e u rs they h a d stu d ied in 1960 they disco v ered th at several h ad g o n e b a n k ru p t in th e late 1960s recession a n d at least o n e seem ed to have p ro fite d by it: “ W h en I was w orth $50 m illion, I w an ted $ 1 0 0 m illion. W h en I was dow n to a few m illion, I d isco v ered it was only p a p e r a n d n o big deal. . . . I got rid o f my big yacht a n d my m illio n -d o llar h o u se. Now I got a co u p le o f sailboats an d a $ 2 5 0 ,0 0 0 h o u se, an d I like ’ em ju s t as w ell.” B ut m ost A ddicts n o t only keep o n m aking m oney— they also keep o n saving it. W h en we c o n sid e r th a t th e gifts o f som e o f th e m ost fam ous A m erican p h ila n th ro p ists scarcely m ad e a d e n t in th e ir g re a t fo rtu n e s it seem s su rp risin g th a t th e H eavy A ddicts w ould h e sita te to buy goodw ill at such a b arg ain . Yet, alth o u g h th e re a re w ell-know n p h ila n th ro p ists a m o n g the M ajor A ddicts, only two o f o u r eig h t b illio n aires w ere involved in p h ila n th ro p y to any e x te n t. H. L. H u n t was blackballed at

trim m in g his ow n h air an d ea tin g bro w n -b ag lunches. N o r is this a peculiarity o f A m erican A ddicts. b u ilt w ith public m oney as a m o n u m e n t to him self. R ees o b serv es th a t “ su rp risin g ly ” few E u ro p e a n m en o f ex trem e w ealth a re involved in p h ila n th ro p y . G etty an d H u g h es w ere n o to rio u s n o n g iv ers. so u n g e n e ro u s with th e public. and a clip-on tie. B unker— also a b illio n aire— has also b e e n criticized for his lack o f in te re st in charity.” looked “ less like a b illio n aire th an like a re tire d p o stal clerk . A nd if G etty h ad a pay p h o n e in his h o m e a n d had to b e “ b a d g e re d ” to sen d his e ld e st son a w ed d in g p re se n t. N elson R o ck efeller’s A lbany Mall. w ith his “ baggy w’ash -an d -w ear slacks. an d th at the am o u n t th at “ even th e g re a te st p h ila n th ro p ists have given away o u t o f th e ir tax-free in co m e [probably] w ould n o t am o u n t to a fractio n o f th e tith e th e C h u rch o n ce e x p e cte d o f every C h ristian . H en ry F o rd d id less with his w ealth th an his p a rtn e r C o u zen s. cracked shoes. H u n t th a t “ h e en jo y ed n e ith e r sp e n d in g it n o r giving it aw ay” : If his g u ests got d ru g s to re sandw iches fo r lunch. an d involved n o p e rso n al sacrifice. H u n t se n t five dollars. are any m o re g e n e ro u s w ith them selves. w ho h ad less th an a ten th as m uch to d o it with. R ockefeller. L. His son. h o w ev er p o o r . Brow n says o f H. A sked to c o n trib u te to the re sto ra tio n o f a c h u rch at his b irth p lace.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 9 7 the Dallas C o u n try C lub b ecau se o f his cu rt refusals to give to any charities. J o h n M acA rthur. an d lost th e political influ en ce h e so u g h t because his co n trib u tio n s w ere so n o m in al.. J r. he was also w illing to wait an h o u r fo r a rid e in so m e o n e e lse ’s car ra th e r th an sp en d a few shillings on a taxi. w ith ty p ew riter p a p e r for a nap k in he was ju s t as frugal w ith h im self—w earin g w orn clo th es. and Jo h n D. an d L udw ig a n d M acA rthur a re certainly n o t know n for th e ir p h ila n th ro p ie s. cost th e taxpayers alm ost as m uch as the combined p h ila n th ro p ie s o f J o h n D.” Even th e R ockefeller gifts— th o u g h larg e in an a b so lu te sen se— m ad e n o ap p re ciab le im ­ pact o n th e family fo rtu n e . Sr. But we m u st n o t assu m e th at H eavy A ddicts. R ockefeller.

.” H e saved c ig are tte b u tts an d o n ce called an ex ecutive m e e tin g so h e could serve up som e lefto v er b aked b ean s th a t h ad b e e n b u rn e d at an e m ­ p loyee picnic th e day b efo re. . C o r­ nelius V an d erb ilt lived in a sm all. A nd o n ce w hen he th o u g h t h e an d his family h a d b e e n ch a rg e d fo r to o m any chickens at a re s ta u ra n t h e d e m a n d e d th a t th e p lates b e re ­ tu rn e d so h e co u ld c o u n t th e b o n es. w hen h e was “ to o old to walk an d h ad to be to ssed in a b lan k et to g et his circu latio n g o in g . w ho h ag g led o v er the price o f . . sp e n t less th an $ 20 0 a year o n h im self u n til h e m arried . an d “ w atch ed th e d o m estic fo o d b u d g e t as if h e w ere th e o v e rse e r o f an o rp h a n a g e .” H e was still p in ch in g p e n n ie s o n his d e a th b e d . H is son. an d E d m u n d B erg ler p o in ts o u t th a t even th o se w ho sp e n d freely in pub lic a re o fte n “ m erciless m isers” at hom e. W illiam H en ry V an d erb ilt. shabby h o u se w ith his wife an d tw elve ch ild ren . d isg u ised w ith a “ special sy ru p . J o h n Ja c o b A stor. R ockefeller gave a g ro u n d sk e e p e r a $5 C h ristm as b o n u s an d th e n docked him $5 fo r sp e n d in g th e holiday w ith his family. th e ra ilro a d king w ho left $75 m illion. Every w aiter know s th a t w ealthy c u sto m ers a re th e w orst tip p ers. ex cep t pajam as. u n d e rs h o rts . C ollis H u n tin g ­ ton . a ro b e an d slippers. A bank te lle r recen tly re p o rte d th a t a w ealthy w om an w ho m akes d ep o sits o f several h u n d re d th o u sa n d d o llars every few days insists o n th e re tu rn o f th e p a p e r clips with w hich she h o ld s h e r checks to g e th e r— a story th a t calls to m ind such fam ous m isers as R ussell Sage.9 8 □ W EALTH ADDICTION w hose social security check is b e in g stre tc h e d to o thin. Som e p e o p le w ould b e su rp rise d if M acA rthur sp e n t even as m uch as $172 a m o n th o n h im self. J o h n D. alleg ed to be th e rich est m an in th e w orld at th at tim e. continually h a g g le d o v er th e bills fo r his lunches (“ I d id n ’t order coffee last T u e s d a y ” ). d e sp ite his fo rtu n e o f over 100 m illion n in e te e n th -c e n tu ry d o llars.” h o u n d e d his ren ta l ag e n t to p u rsu e a p en n iless w om an fo r h e r re n t u n til th e ag e n t in d e sp e ra tio n g o t th e m oney fro m A sto r’s son.” H ow ard H u g h es o w n ed n o clo th es at all d u rin g his last decade. a n d ate C a m p b e ll’s so u p w hile his aides b a n q u e te d .

■It is difficult. p o ssesso rs o f rings o f pow er.. th e re are n in e g reat kings. they lose jo y an d sp o n ta n eity an d g en ero sity o f im pulse. o b se rv e d b reath lessly th at th e new rich w orked h a rd . w ho lined his shoes w ith p a p e r a n d w o u ld n ’t have his clo thes p re sse d for fear o f w earing th em o u t to o so o n . O v e r th e years they a re gradually d e v o u re d by th e p o w er they possess until they lose m aterial su b sta n c e a lto g e th e r an d a re forced to b o r­ row th e physical b o d ies o f o th e r b ein g s in o rd e r to m ake th e ir way ab o u t. S o m eth in g q u ite sim ilar o fte n seem s to h a p p e n to th o se w ho dev o te th e ir lives to m oney. o f co u rse. ch ild ren . B ut certainly n o t all old m en look as . they seem to w ither. w ho o n ce o b je c te d th a t a 10-cent b o ttle o f m ed i­ cine was to o ex pensive. to d ecid e how m uch o f this is ju s t th e ag in g pro cess. insid e a n d o u t. O r K resge. w ho in h e rite d a billion d o llars an d refu sed ever to tip. to b e ­ com e p ale an d d raw n an d fragile-looking. a n d w hen th e d ru g g ist p ro te ste d th at it cost a nickel fo r th e b o ttle alo n e p ro m p tly w alked h o m e an d b ro u g h t back h e r ow n b o ttle . T h e y a re called th e R ingw raiths. a n d d id n ’t race yachts o r ho rses o r b eco m e socialites o r c o n n o isse u rs like th e ir p red ecesso rs. T h e su rp risin g th in g is th at this m iserliness has to b e discov­ e re d anew by jo u rn a lis ts in each g e n e ra tio n . O u tsid e . J r. In sid e. and b o u g h t all his clo th es at fire sales. an d g ra n d c h ild re n o f last c e n tu ry ’s m oneym akers.R . THE RINGWRAITHS In J. Time was a p p a re n tly c o m p a rin g this c e n tu ry ’s m oneym akers with th e wives. O r H etty G re e n .R . fo r exam ple. O r J o h n D. A 1977 article in Time. R ockefeller. lived m odestly.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 9 9 an ap p le w hen he h ad an in co m e o f $5 m illion a year. T o lk ie n ’s fantasy The Lord o f the Rings. T h e m oney seem s to eat them away. W h en h e r so n in ju red his knee G re e n g o t him so m e o ld clo th es an d trie d to sm uggle him in to a charity w ard to g et free tre a tm e n t (w hen this failed she refu sed to have him tre a te d a n d h e ultim ately lost his leg).

which is in creased by th e alm ost u n n a t­ ural p a llo r o f his face. tired . R ockefeller. was q u ite solid in a p p e a ra n ce until his m id-fifties. an d c o n stip atio n . lost all his h air (the resu lt o f a n erv o u s d isease called alopecia).1 0 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION ravaged as H ow ard H u g h es o r as d esiccated as R ockefeller o r M ellon o r G etty. T h e w ith erin g o f H eavy A ddicts is ex ­ trao rd in ary en o u g h so th a t o b serv ers have felt c o m p elled to co m m en t u p o n it. tire d . Jo h n D. In P ablo Picasso th e fire b u rn e d in his eyes rig h t u p to his d eath . an d a tro p h ie d to a pitiful skele­ to n resem b lin g th o se o f th e victim s o f D achau an d B uchenw ald. w orn. and a few years la te r h e was d escrib ed as look in g “ like a w itch’s b ro th e r. a n d tired . (H e o nce sat on the to ilet fo r 72 straig h t h o u rs— w ith o u t en em as h e w ould go as long as 28 days w ith o u t a m o v em en t. o f in v estm en ts an d charities. d e h y d ra te d . sleepless n ig h ts.) H e d ied in a sta te o f . looked like “ a tired d o u b le -e n try b o o k k eep er afraid o f lo sin g his jo b . arth ritis.” A ndrew M ellon. m um m ified look th a t we associate with his n am e only a p p e a re d a fte r h e b ecam e w ealthy: “ As his days w ere a b so rb e d in th e en d less o rc h e stra tio n o f his incom e and expen ses. a n d digestive ailm ents. “ his body was starved. possibly th e w ealthiest an d certainly the m ost pow erful o f all th e H eavy A ddicts.” H e was called “ a w isp” an d a “ shadow o f a m a n . a lth o u g h ra th e r tightlipp ed an d suspicio u s-lo o k in g alm o st from b irth . As early as 1961 he was ab n o rm ally skinny an d b ed ra g g le d -lo o k in g . o f c o rp o ra te strategy and legal d efen se.” In his last years he w eighed only 90 p o u n d s.” Paul G etty even at sixty-seven gave “ an im p ressio n o f g reat physical fragility. H e suffered from anem ia.” T h e m ost dram atic ex am p le is H o w ard H u g h es. w hen he had co n ­ solid ated his fo rtu n e. it becam e q u e stio n a b le w h e th er h e had m aste re d th e m oney o r th e m oney h ad m a ste re d h im . His nails w ere an inch lo n g an d cu rlin g in. T h e wispy. S u d d en ly h e b ecam e sto o p ed . and b eg an to com p lain o f fatigue.” H e h ad severe b e d so re s th at h ad n o t h ealed fo r years— o n e so b ad th at his scapula was actually p ro tru d in g from the flesh. fo r exam ple.

” (His difficulty seem s less m ysterious w hen we learn th at o n his first d a te w ith h e r h e b o u g h t an expensive d in n e r an d m an ag ed to stick h e r with th e check.” T h o rn d ik e uses alm ost th e sam e w ords: “ m any o f th o se w ho acq u ire g reat w ealth seem to be tem p e ra m e n tally th e least likely to enjoy it. H u n t c o u ld n ’t re m e m b e r the n am e o f th e “ only pal I ev er h a d .” an d for m o st o f the H eavy A ddicts tru e frien d sh ip has b e e n a luxury they felt u n ­ able to afford. why c an ’t o n e su stain a re la tio n sh ip ? ” H. A ddicts n ev er see th e rain b o w b ecau se th ey ’re to o busy looking fo r th e p o t o f gold. H e w ants to m eet th e o th e r p erso n b u t c a n ’t.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 101 m a ln u tritio n an d gross n eg lect.) . L. they give h u g e p a rtie s b u t d o n ’t show up th e m ­ selves. H e h a d fifteen p e rso n a l a tte n d a n ts th at h e paid well an d c o n tro lle d rigidly. th e ir m agnificent pain tin g s are “ d o o m e d to h a n g u n s e e n ” in so m e u nvisited m ansion (G etty. for exam ple. H o w ard H u g h es always lived in th e m o st expensive re so rts b u t n ev er to o k a d v an tag e o f th e p leasu res they had to offer. was “ a c o n n o isse u r w ho seldom sees his tre a su re s” ). yet a d o c to r w ho ex am in ed the body said h e w ould have g o tte n b e tte r care h ad h e b e en a skid row wino.” T h e yachts o f th e rich lie em pty (O nassis used th e Christina a b o u t o n ce a year).” R ees’ typical m u ltim illio n aire has “ very little a p titu d e o r in­ stinct for p le a su re .” H is p e rso n a l life is “ th in an d b rittle . Max G u n th e r observ es th at “ th e type o f m an m o st likely to grow very. A re c e n t m illionaire o b se rv e d wryly th a t w hile p eo p le expect success an d m o n ey to solve th e ir p ro b le m s. in fact it m erely “ throw s th e real p ro b le m s in to sh a rp relief. even m elan ch o ly . PLEASURE AND FRIENDSHIP O n e re a so n for this e v a p o ra tio n o f life’s ju ic e s in the very rich is an in creasin g inability to take p leasu re. a p ris o n e r in a ja il o f his ow n m aking. Paul G e tty ’s th ird wife called him “ th e m ost lonely p e rso n I’ve ev er know n. Like. very rich is th e type o f m an least likely to enjoy it.

p a ra n o id . g e n u in e affection is in very sh o rt supply fo r A ddicts a n d they th e re fo re n e e d very badly to c o n tro l an d co erce it. gen erally an a d m ire r o f A ddicts. h ap p in ess. Even th e ir ch ild ren c a n n o t be tru ste d . M oney can be tru ste d . with a p o o r sen se o f reality an d an inability to form d e e p . th e m o re m oney.” H o w ard H u g h es was so d e sp erate ly lonely th at he w ould call u p R o b e rt M aheu an d talk for h o u rs on the p h o n e ju s t fo r com pany. b u t it d o e s n ’t satisfy th e n e e d . observes th at “ self-m ade rich m en o fte n have a p ecu liar lack o f w arm th. d e p re sse d recluses a re a dim e a d ozen. the less trust. Since the health . B ut th e m o re they do. le t’s see how o u r expensive in v estm en t is co m in g along. an inability to form a close. the less they can tru st w hat they get. T h e m o re m oney. H u g h es was n o t nearly so u n u su al as we like to think: w ealthy. for if they a re at all like th e ir p a re n ts— tru stin g only in m oney— they a re w aiting anxiously for th em to die. T h e y ju stify th e o p p re ssio n a n d e n v iro n ­ m en tal d e stru c tio n in which they e n g a g e o n the g ro u n d s that p eo p le sh o u ld b e able to p ro v id e for th e ir ow n. FOR THE CHILDREN M any w ealth add icts claim th at th e re a so n they are so agi­ ta te d an d d riv en in th e ir p e rso n a l lives is th a t they w ant se c u r­ ity fo r th e ir ch ild ren .1 0 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION Max G u n th e r. Yet h e in sisted o n one-w ay co m m u n i­ cation— n o o n e was allow ed to p h o n e him o r even talk to him unless h e in itiated co n v ersatio n . M ichael S to n e and . T h is is likely to be at least p artly tru e. the less tru st. B ecause o f th e ir w ealth. stab le con tacts w ith o th e rs. T h e rich a ttract o th e r A ddicts an d very quickly com e to feel th at no o n e cares for th em — only fo r th e ir m oney. lastin g re la tio n sh ip w ith m an. w om an o r c h ild . ad infinitum . P sychiatrists an d social scientists w ho have stu d ied th e chil­ d re n o f w ealth add icts find th em as a g ro u p to b e u n h ap p y and self-cen tered . an d w ell-being o f o u r n atio n a re b e in g je o p ard ized for th e benefit o f th e se ch ild ren . o f course. an d so on .

In th e self-p o rtraits o f rich A m erican children . o th e rs feel guilty an d b u rd e n e d by th e m oney. T hey assum e th at w hatever they w ant will au tom atically be pleasin g to every o n e else. like th e in fan t o f an alcoholic m o th e r— le a rn in g to to p e as it nurses. find th a t th e m ost co m m on sym ptom s o f w ealthy ch ild re n a re “ ch ro n ic d e p re s s io n . w hile in th o se o f H o p i ch ild re n th e figure is m erely a d o t in a rich lan d scap e.” Roy G rinker.” an d o ften becom e “ em o tio n al zo m b ies.” But if m any ch ild re n re sp o n d to this cu rse by feeling en title d . it seem s.” “ feel­ ings o f e m p tin e ss. J r. an d th e ir narcissism tu rn s p e o p le away. finds th at th e ch ild re n o f th e w ealthy te n d to be “ em pty. an d d isc o u ra g e m e n t a b o u t th e fu tu re . th e figure o f th e child fills up th e w hole page.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 103 C larice K esten b au m . M ellon. Like H o w ard H u g h es. Yet w hile taxes do this occasionally. T h e y lack th e capacity fo r te n d e rn e ss. in h e rita n c e (which has som etim es been called a w elfare p ro g ra m for th e w ealthy) d o es it inevitably. th e R ockefeller b ro th e rs — “ m ost o f th e heirs to g re a t fo rtu n e s. for ex am p le. b o re d . in o th e r w ords.” R o b e rt C oles o b serv es th at since w ealthy ch ild ren are tre a te d as if they w ere th e c e n te r o f th e u n iv erse they ten d ultim ately to believe it. G etty. fo r ex am p le. en n u i. A ndrew C arn eg ie said h e “ w ould as so o n leave to my son a cu rse as th e alm ighty d o lla r. A ddicts like to co m p lain th at taxes a n d social p ro g ram s take from th e in d u strio u s an d give to th e idle. an d try to re d u c e th e ir feeling o f u n w o rth in ess by m aking m o re o f it.. ac­ co rd in g to G rin k er. C h ild re n o f w ealth add icts te n d to grow up with a sen se o f w hat C oles calls “ e n title m e n t”— a feeling that the w orld a n d its b o u n tie s b e lo n g to th em by right. T h e y feel . they h a te larg e g ro u p s b ecau se they ca n ’t c o n tro l th em — they fear p e o p le m ight jo s tle th em o r even ig n o re th em com pletely. a re busy m aking m o re m o n ey . a n d chronically d e p re s s e d . T h e y ’re b o rn ad d icted .” C oles fo u n d that m any w ealthy ch ild ren a re o b sessed with a n eed to be p e rfe c t a n d a re terrified o f failing. H u g h es.” a n d a “ pervasive a n d lo n g -lastin g sense o f sadness.

re sp o n sib le “ c a re ta k e rs. Even w hen an A d d ic t’s child does achieve so m e th in g it o ften seem s a hollow victory.” W h e th e r th e ch ild ren o f A ddicts tu rn o u t “ sp o ile d ” o r hyp e r-re sp o n sib le they a re d e a lin g w ith th e sam e handicap: a feeling th at they a re sm all an d insignificant in re la tio n to the h u g e pile o f m oney. m aking them la rg e r th an life. the “ sp o ile d ” o n es have u n d o u b te d ly d o n e less h arm in o u r soci­ ety th an th e hu m b le. how ever. his c o n n ectio n s. In h e rite d w ealth is a real h an d icap to h a p p in e ss. th e ir ro le in life to serve an d in crease th e family fo rtu n e . T h e “ r e ­ sp o n sib le ” o n e s see th em selves m erely as p a rt o f th e m oney. w ith n o th in g d efin ite to seek o r strive for.” says Peggy R ockefeller. S om e o f th e fo u rth g e n e ra tio n R ockefellers have stru g g le d b o th to rid them selves o f th e ir m oney an d to a to n e fo r it. g et rid o f th e m oney.” T h e re is. b u t they have had to com bat th e ir ow n feelings o f d e p riv a tio n to d o so: “ S trangely e n o u g h . was laid o u t a lo n g lines w hich I could fo re se e alm o st from my earliest ch ild h o o d . In this ro le they may beh av e w ith eq u al a rro g a n c e — in d eed . th e d a u g h te r o f D avid. o f co u rse.1 0 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION th ey ’re b e g in n in g life’s stru g g le w ith a p e rso n a l deficit and n e e d to achieve a g re a t d eal ju s t to live u p to all th e advantages they have in h e rite d . a n d his capital o n it. since “ w hat m ight b e a gam ble for an o rd in a ry m an co u ld easily b eco m e a su re th in g w hen a R ockefeller e x e rte d th e force o f his n am e. T h e “ s p o ile d ” o n es react by inflating th em selves— they see th e m oney as p a rt o f th em . n o t e n o u g h lo v e.” O n e study o f th e very rich fo u n d th at th ird -g e n e ra tio n ch ild re n rarely p ro d u c e d in th eir fields “ an y th in g really valuable o r sta n d in g above th e average level.” Roy G rin k er arg u es th at th e “ sp o iled rich kids” h e sees are . T h is is m uch easier to say th a n to do . a th ird so lu tio n : if th e m oney keeps you from finding o u t w ho you are. “ we h ad a sen se o f th e re n o t b e in g e n o u g h to go a ro u n d — not e n o u g h food. . a n d assu m e th at th e re st o f th e w orld will natu rally w ant to su b o rd in a te itse lf to th e ir w ishes. It has left m e with n o th in g to h o p e for.” a finding th a t b rin g s to m ind th e rem arks o f W illiam V an d erb ilt: “ My life . .

T ry in g to acco u n t for this stra n g e behavior. S ym pathy th a t su p p o rts grow th is im p o rta n t to p eo p le.” H.” O n e o f th e p o p u la r ste re o ty p e s a b o u t th e ch ild ren o f A d­ dicts is th at a lth o u g h th e ir p a re n ts m ay reject an d ig n o re them . w ho b u ilt th e fo u n d a tio n s o f the family fo r­ tune. b u t it can b e m isleading. L. L . PARENTAL DEPRIVATION AND COMPETITION N ot all th e tro u b le s o f A d d icts’ ch ild re n com e from the m oney itself.” C learly. b ecause they believe them selves d eficient an d feel d e p e n d e n t o n som e kind o f p ro p . But th e first ste p to w ard finding o n e ’s in n e r reso u rces is g e ttin g rid o f th e p ro p s. with several ch ild re n by each. A fter he d ied they becam e e m b ro ile d in law suits. T h e best tim e to e x te n d sym pathy to th e ch ild re n o f A ddicts w ho have b een in ju red by m oney is w hen th e m o n ey is b e in g d iscard ed o r rem oved.’s w ill. they h a d little else to go on: “ H u n t’s ch ild ren co u ld n ev er b e en tirely certain o f th e ir fa th e r’s affec­ tions for th em . they may be b ro u g h t u p by loving serv an ts a n d h en ce escape serious psychic crip p lin g . a n d this m akes itse lf felt stro n g ly w ithin th e family. T h is p le a sa n t m yth overlooks the co m p etitiv en ess o f th e A ddict: G rin k er finds th a t servants are . T h is is certain ly tru e . A ndrew M ello n ’s fath er. even th o u g h th e ch ild ren in all th re e fam ilies w ere p ro v id e d w ith tru st fu n d s involving h u n ­ d re d s o f m illions o f d o llars. S om e a re c re a te d by th e fact th at so m any A ddicts brin g a co ld n ess an d an em p tin e ss w ith th em w h erever they go. All they h ad left to look to was H. sym pathy th a t su p p o rts and fosters th e a d d ic tio n is h u rtfu l a n d d estru ctiv e. H u n t “ felt n o p assio n fo r an y th in g o r an y b o d y . a n d seem s to have n eg lected all th re e fam ilies im partially. was so cold as to b e “ h ard ly h u m a n .HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN U I U 3 as d eserv in g o f his sym pathy a n d psychiatric skills as o th e r hum an beings. All addicts o f all kinds a re d e se rv in g o f o u r sym pathy.” H e had th re e wives. o n e a u th o r su g g e ste d th at “ they seem ed to feel as if a sh are o f th e e sta te was som ehow eq u al to a sh are o f th eir fa th e r’s h e a rt.

b ecam e his fa th e r’s favorite at th e age o f n in e w hen his o ld e r b ro th e r d ied . they have alm o st n o sen se o f th e w orld as a living fabric o f which .’s b o y h o o d . h e c o u ld n ’t seem to sto p h im self from d o m in a tin g E dsel a n d crip p lin g his grow th. an d b eg a n im ­ m ediately to b e g ro o m e d fo r a ro le in his fa th e r’s bank. w hile p e rh a p s n o t a kiss o f d e a th . acco rd in g to a cousin. w hom h e re se m b le d in som e ways. “ H assie. L. T h is in te re st. H u n t’s favorite son. h a d b e e n “ p re ss u re d to live u p to H . fo r exam ple.” Always su b ­ je c t to “ fits o f o d d b e h a v io r” h e was finally h o sp italized at tw enty-six an d o n his re lease “ w ithdrew from th e w orld alm ost co m p letely . osten sib ly to “ d ev elo p his c h a ra c te r. like H u n t. the cold favor o f a m an like H . F o rd w an te d E dsel to b e “ a replica o f him self.” W h en E dsel b ecam e a cap ab le executive. yet his d a u g h te r M arg aret sta te d flatly: “ My fa th e r d e stro y e d H assie.” Like J o h n D. in clu d in g H a ssie ’s d o cto rs.1UO U WEALTH ADDICTION o fte n fired w hen they g et to o close to a child. E dsel. A nd even if th e A ddict is fo n d o f th e child in his ow n way.” w ho was o fte n b ro u g h t alo n g o n H u n t’s oil e x p lo ra tio n s. L . W . “ s h o rte n e d A. H u n t o n ce said h e ’d give up all his m o n ey to have H assie reco v er. H u n t o r J u d g e T h o m a s M ellon. yet. w hom h e n a m e d a fte r his b e st frien d in ch ild h o o d . is certain ly a kiss o f ice. n o m a tte r how little in te re st in th e child th e p a re n ts th em selves m ay have.” E dsel d ev e lo p e d ulcers in stead . F o rd d e ­ cided h e w asn’t “ to u g h ” en o u g h .’s sta n d a rd s ev er since h e was a sm all b o y . H e o fte n c o u n te rm a n d e d his o rd e rs an d even se n t th e infam ous H arry B e n n e tt to spy on an d harass him .” H en ry F o rd loved his so n . E go -d riv en as they are. A ndrew M ellon. R ockefeller..” H u n t b ecam e co n v in ced th a t lo b o to m y was th e only so lu tio n an d h a d o n e p e rfo rm e d ag ain st th e advice o f everyone.” M ost H eavy A ddicts seem to have little ability to allow o th e r living th in g s to grow o n th e ir ow n. a n d at th e ag e o f fo rty -n in e died o f cancer. Like m ost A ddicts. J r. “ u n d o u b te d ly ag g rav ated by th e c o n sta n t fru stratio n s u n d e r w hich h e h a d to live a n d w ork. h e co llap sed u n d e r th e w eight o f his respo n sib ilities in ad o lescen ce a n d h a d to leave sch o o l to recover.

th a t age w hen little boys a re h yperactive. H u n t b o a ste d o f H assie’s oil-finding ability. a n d u n m an ag eab le. o r im p u lse th a t seem s ch ro n ic an d difficult to d isch arg e is always alloyed w ith fear. A nd b ecau se it shrinks from co n fro n ta tio n with reality.” yet at th e sam e tim e w ould carry o u t every o n e o f his fa th e r’s w ishes. it isn ’t to o su rp risin g th a t they have tro u b le allow ing th e ir ow n c h ild re n a p lace in th e sun. yet was d isp leased w hen h e m ade a h u g e oil strike o n his ow n. v iolent. leaving larg e sum s o f m oney to your ch ild ren ex p resses this am bivalence. grow n m en g o v e rn e d by th e fears th at p ro p e rly b e ­ lo n g to an a d o le sc e n t boy p e e rin g in th e m irro r fo r signs o f a m o u sta c h e . In a way. b u t c o m p a re d to fear th e y ’re b a rn y a rd anim als.” ju s t as a ten-year-old . L am o tt rem ark s th a t ro b b e r b a ro n s like A stor. H o w ard H u g h e s p re fe rre d spy and a d v e n tu re m ovies w ith o u t w o m en a n d w ould in stru c t his p r o ­ je c tio n ists to “ skip th e m ushy p a rts . a n d h en ce. FEAR AND CONTROL F ear is th e m o st ru th le ss o f all em o tio n s.” B ut L am o tt d o e s n ’t go back far e n o u g h — m ost A ddicts seem to o p e ra te at th e p re p u b e s c e n t level. a n d V an d erb ilt w ere “ em o tio n al crip p les. Since they c a n ’t sh a re le a d e rsh ip o r even o w n ersh ip . L. G o u ld . feeling. fear is th e so u rc e o f all feelings o f in n e r em p tin ess o r lack o r in adequacy. R ockefeller. play incessantly with guns and d ream o f m ilitary exploits. d e lib e ra te way. M organ. F o rd w anted E dsel to b e a “ ru g g e d in d iv id u alist” like him self. W e talk o f a g g re s­ sion a n d sexuality as if they w ere th e m o st difficult to m anage.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN U 1 U ( they a re a p a rt. o f all ad d ictio n . since it’s a gift th at enfeeb les th e ch ild ren as it en rich es them . P u re sexuality is easily sated . m o o d . F ear is th e o n e e m o tio n th a t shrinks from c o n fro n ta tio n w ith its object. H . Any e m o tio n . p u re a n g e r so o n d isch arg ed . w ho w o u ld n ’t b e “ p u sh e d a ro u n d . th u s le n d in g itse lf to th e w eaving o f fantasies— from which escap e is im possible. T h e y n e e d to m a n ip u la te ev ery th in g in a c o n ­ scious. O nly w hen tin g ed with fear d o they b eco m e tw isted. Fisk. Sage.

w hen th e stocks go dow n th e cocks go d o w n .I U » U WEALTH ADDICTION w ould. M ost o f th e H eavy A ddicts have b e e n w arm in th eir su p p o rt o f fascist political reg im es— p artly from th e ir m o rb id fear o f C om m u n ism b u t m ostly from th e ir g en eral d re a d o f “ w eak n ess. P eo p le a re difficult to m an ag e. acco rd in g to a w ell-know n b ro th e l k eep er. affects m any A ddicts.” T h e m o re you use so m e th in g o u tsid e y o u r­ self to p ro p y o u rse lf up. u n ab le to relin q u ish o r d e le g a te a u th o rity . th e w eaker you feel an d th e m ore p ro p p in g u p you n eed . W h en you u se m oney to in su late y o u rse lf from risk and change. T h is is also why A ddicts so o ften have sexual p ro b lem s: th e ir sexual poten cy is heavily tied to how p o te n t they feel financially. w ho d ev e lo p ed the assem bly line to give him th e kind o f c o n tro l o v er w orkers that he had o v er m achines. an d this is ag g rav ated by th e p o ssessio n o f m oney itself. T h is is o n e reaso n why m ost A ddicts c a n ’t sto p m aking m oney: they sense this loss an d seek still m o re m o n ey to c o u n te ra c t it.” . W illiam R an d o lp h H earst was also an in v eterate tree-m o v er. Such an e x tre m e n eed for c o n tro l b etray s g re at in n e r fragil­ ity. Even w hen he re tire d to his e sta te he o ften h ad his g a rd e n e rs re a rra n g e the trees.” T h e m ild -m a n n e re d A ndrew M ellon. H ow ard H u g h es o n ce rem ark ed th at science a n d m echanics in te re ste d him m o re th an p eo p le. m oving them a ro u n d “ as an in te rio r d e c o ra to r w ould m ove ch airs. even in n atu re.” R ockefeller was said to crave o rd e r “ as th e d ru n k a rd craves alco h o l” an d d e v o te d m uch o f his life to elim inating the “ an arch y ” o f a com paratively free m arket. O n e A ddict ex p ressed this anxiety w hen h e said th at if h e d id n ’t rem ain active he w ould be in d a n g e r o f “ sta g n a tin g and beco m in g se n ile . can p ro d u c e an ep id em ic o f im po ten ce: “ W hen th e stock m arket g oes u p th e cocks go up. y our adap tiv e capacity shrinks an d a tro p h ies. was “ co n stitu tio n ally . was a g reat ad m ire r o f th e ab su rd b ra g g a rt M ussolini. an d th o se w ho c a n ’t h a n d le re latio n sh ip s o ften re tre a t to in an im ate o bjects. . . an d H en ry Fo rd . A sev ere m arket d ecline.” T h is an tip ath y to sp o n tan eity . fo r exam ­ ple.

O n e e x p ressio n o f this was his g erm p h o b ia . talk. as Phelan p o in ts o u t. all this living a n d stirrin g b ecom es a c re e p ­ ing invasion. M ost o f them a re th e re b ecau se th e y ’ve b e c o m e a n u isan ce to so m e­ one. Ego control. H e h ad a te rrib le fear o f b e in g e n te re d in any way. A ides a n d typists had to w ear w hite gloves a n d h e w ent th ro u g h c o n sta n t rituals o f d e c o n ­ tam in atio n . T h is fear o f e n ta n g le m e n t becam e o v e rp o w e rin g b e c a u se H u g h e s h a d lo st th e ability to m eet anyon e h e a d on . by the inm ate. H u g h es h a te d to ack n o w led g e any in te rd e p e n d e n c e .” an d p ro b a b ly less th a n a q u a rte r o f th e p a tie n ts in o u r m en tal hosp itals (initially. It b o th e re d him th a t an y o n e w ho d rilled a well a n d th ereb y tap p e d th e w ater tab le was “ in effect a n e ig h b o r. a n d h e d id . H u g h e s d ied by p o iso n in g h im se lf from w ithin— a p e rfe c t ex am p le o f th e lim itatio n s o f conscio u s. H u g h e s was an e x tra o rd in a ry n u isan ce to all th o se a ro u n d him (to th e w hole c o u n try in fact). (Since th e E go d o e s n ’t like th e id ea th a t all life is in te rc o n n e c te d . in larg e p a rt. H u g h e s th o u g h t fre e d o m ex isted w hen everybody h ad his o r h e r ow n cage. b u t h e co u ld pay for bein g a n u isan ce. c re a tin g his ow n o n e -p a tie n t m ental h o sp ital w ith a larg e staff c o n tro lle d . an d refu ses to ackn o w led g e its ow n p a rticip a­ tion in th a t unity. an alien thing. an d P h elan o b serv es th a t b o th his h ea lth a n d his spirits seem ed to im p ro v e w ith th e risk an d stim u latio n that . a t least) a re as crazy as H u g h es was.” Like m any A m ericans. o n an equal basis. No o n e co u ld call. H u g h e s was p articu larly c o n c e rn e d a b o u t c o n tro llin g input. o r to u ch w ith o u t invitation. H e “ always crin g ed away from c o n fro n ta tio n s. T h e Irving h oax p u s h e d H u g h e s in to th e w orld again for a b rie f tim e.” u sin g his p o w er an d m oney to pass the buck. H e n c e th e in te n se fear H u ghes a n d G etty h a d o f “ o th e r p e o p le ’s ” g erm s. “ In th e everyday w o rld a reclu se w ho cow ­ ers n ak ed am id self-neglect in his b e d ro o m is called in sa n e . look.) Yet.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 109 W hen th e w orld g o t to o co m p lex fo r H o w ard H u g h e s he sim ply c o n stru c te d his ow n n a rro w o n e in w hich h e could m ake all th e ru les.

From elusive subjects they becam e “ em b arrassingly overenthusiastic c o lla b o r a to r s ] . which d istu rb e d so m e o f his aides. R ees co m m en ts th at th e six A ddicts he stu d ied w ere m ost alike in th e way they h a n d le d his interview w ith th em . suspicion. fo rced to m ove a b o u t in public places w ith o u t his “ in su la tio n ”— th e realizatio n o f all o f his w orst fears. after a lon g delay. H e b e g an to think o f g o in g in to th e w orld a bit m ore. U ltim ately. they w ould sen d a m essag e saying they w ere avail­ able for a m eetin g at once. T h e s e m en obviously took them selves very seriously and w anted co m p lete c o n tro l o v er every d etail o f any pro cess in­ volving them . they h a d tro u ­ b le le ttin g an y o n e else in itiate things. h e rela p sed back into his “ n o rm a l” p a tte rn an d died. A LIFE SENTENCE S am uel M arquis o n ce rem ark ed th at H en ry Ford. Yet losing co n tro l o v er his e n v iro n m e n t seem ed to b rin g him to life. T h e y g re e te d his re q u e st with “ reserve.1 1 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION this caused. T h e n .” w ho d e lu g e d th e interview er with in fo rm atio n a n d w ere “ e x tra v a g a n t” w ith th e ir tim e. w ho m ight th e n lose th e ir reaso n to exist. especially in m en. h a d n o a p p re c ia tio n o f th e im p o rta n c e o f b alan ce in his ow n perso nality: “ If only H en ry F o rd w'ere p ro p e rly a sse m b le d !” B ut w hat in sp ires such severe o v ercen tralizatio n in A ddicts? A b alan ced perso n ality . Yet it reveals an in te n se fear o f m eetin g life on its ow n term s— o f b e in g v u ln erab le to e x p e ri­ ence. H e was th ru st in to daylight. w ho could arra n g e th e p a rts o f a car so skillfully. an d h o stility ” a n d gave m any reaso n s why th e interview p ro b ab ly w ould n o t h a p p e n . Like H u g h es. T h is n e e d fo r c o n tro l may have b e e n particu larly e x tre m e in H u g h es b u t is co n sp icu o u s in m o st A ddicts. W h en th e interview s b eg an they becam e “ p assionately an d alm o st pathetically a n x io u s” th at every trivial d etail a b o u t th e ir co m p lex o p e ra tio n s be co rrect. discussed in th e new s. view ed by stran g e rs. how ever. T h is is n o t a particu larly u n u su al trait in o u r cu ltu re.

B ut w hen a ch ild ’s em o tio n a l eggs are crow ded in to o n e p a re n ta l b asket this n a tu ra l ten d en cy can easily be overw helm ed. for exam ple. it eventually cau g h t u p w ith h e r an d she died w hen H en ry was only th irte e n . Paul G e tty ’s m o th e r. h e said: “ I reso lv ed to d o my b e st to be w orthy o f M am a. d ishes. particu larly in th e m a tte r o f thrift. Like all p ro c ra s­ tin atin g so lu tio n s. yet a lth o u g h he claim ed h e w ould have been a b illio n aire te n years e a rlie r if sh e h a d n ’t blocked his path . am b itio u s m o th e rs w ho w ere the cen ters o f th e ir lives an d w ho d e m a n d e d a g reat deal o f them . an d o th e r p e rso n a l effects. H e claim ed that “ no o n e ev er h ad a b e tte r m o th e r” d e sp ite th e ir b itte r c o rp o ­ rate stru g g les. A child w ith m any frien d s an d relatives. was a p ow erful w om an who m a ste rm in d e d h e r h u s b a n d ’s c a re e r an d th e n “ im posed h er will” o n Paul. sh e believed in k eeping busy so you d id n ’t n o tice how tire d you w ere. ex ­ p o sed co n stan tly to a sso rte d p erso n alities an d back g ro u n d s. But th e child w hose h ap p in ess is fo r any re a so n p rim arily d e p e n d e n t on the love o f o n e o th e r p e rs o n is rip e fo r o v ercen tralizatio n : the th re a te n e d loss o f th at love is a d a n g e r to w hich th e Ego typically re sp o n d s w ith h ero ic m easures. T h ro u g h o u t . h ard w o rk in g w om an.HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN D i l l grow s in a b alan ced e n v iro n m e n t— given a variety o f e x p e ri­ ences an d m od els. she ta u g h t him to re a d an d tra in e d him to feel th a t th e rig h t to play had to be e a rn e d — th at d u ty cam e b e fo re o n e ’s ow n desires. It isn ’t to o su rp risin g .” L ater he re sto re d th e h o u se as a sh rin e to h e r m em ory— co m p lete with h e r d resses. he n e v e r sto p p e d seek in g h e r ap p ro v al. A ste rn . th at so m any A ddicts w ere lonely ch ild re n w ith ste rn . She fought him b itterly a n d successfully fo r c o n tro l o f his fa th e r’s co m ­ pany fo r m any years. She sh am ed him m ercilessly w h en ev er h e d e p a rte d from th ese values. a child will n atu rally g ravitate tow ard w holeness. H e d e sc rib e d th e ho u se a fte r she d ied as “ like a w atch w ith o u t a m a in sp rin g . S peak in g o f an im p o rta n t m o m en t late in his career. th en .” H en ry F o rd ’s m o th e r also lo o m ed larg e in his life. can find w hat it b e st n eed s o u t o f th at a sso rtm e n t.

H ow ard H u g h e s’s m o th e r m ad e “ a fu ll-tim e j o b ” o u t o f raisin g him : sh e w o rried co n stan tly a b o u t his h ealth . d e v o te d th e ir w hole lives to a vain effort to p lease a n d satisfy th em . H u n t was e d u c a te d alm ost entirely.” H e r o bsessive co n c ern m ad e h e r an “ o v e rp o w e rin g in flu e n c e ” in his life w hile she lived. a n d m ade him p ro m ise n ev er to m arry w hile sh e still lived. F o r how can a vicari­ ous victory be satisfying? (Now th a t w o m en a re finding th e ir ow n av enues o f self-assertio n this p a rtic u la r form o f n eu ro sis m ay b eco m e less co m m o n .) Sm all w o n d e r th at o th e r p e o p le so o fte n fo u n d th e se m e n cold a n d d istracted : m ost A ddicts find o th e rs o f in te re st only to th e d e g re e th a t they can h elp th em in th e ir lifelo n g stru g g le to fulfill th e ir m o th e rs ’ dream s. ev er afterw ard . C o rn eliu s V an d erb ilt g o t his first stake. ju s t w hat sh e h o p e d fo r m e . . H . an d his m iserlin ess from his m o th e r.” An uncle o n ce to ld him h e was “ju s t like h e r . his iso latio n as an only child. w ho. L.” J o h n D.1 1 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION his life he co m pletely ac c e p ted h e r in te n se c o m m itm e n t to the w ork ethic an d h ad ab so lu tely n o u se fo r play o r “ id le n e ss” o f any kind. A ndrew C a rn e ­ g ie’s w idow ed m o th e r lived w ith him u n til sh e d ied. as a re su lt. T h e se w ere w om en stru g g lin g w ith difficult and d isa p p o in tin g lives— w om en o f e n erg y a n d stre n g th who had n o leg itim ate o u tle t fo r it e x cep t to ch an n el it into th e ir sons. an d . I believe I have d o n e . H e o n ce said. his love o f m oney. in d e e d . . w ho b ro u g h t him u p alo n e a n d ta u g h t him th rift. a n d a p p a re n tly q u ite extensively. as far as I could. P u rsu in g an u n re a c h ­ able goal gives you an o v e rd e v e lo p e d will a n d an o v e rp o w er­ . “ I have trie d to live my life as my m o th e r w ould have w ished. by his m o th e r. E xam ples can easily b e m u ltip lied . . H aving all y o u r em o tio n a l eggs in o n e basket gives you tre m e n d o u s focus an d c o n c e n tra tio n . a n d his “ su p e rse n sitiv e n e ss. R ockefeller also w o rsh ip p e d his m o th e r. fo r an am azing n u m ­ b e r o f A ddicts w ere th e focus o f such ste rn m a te rn a l am b i­ tions. yet he d e v o te d his e n tire c a re e r to th e d ev elo p m en t o f labor-saving tech n iq u es.

F o r p e o p le w ho driv e an d c o n tro l o th ers are always th em selves driven: “ T h e m en tal capacities o f the success h u n te rs I o b s e rv e d .” says E d m u n d B ergler. “ w ere th o se o f a p riso n e r loo k in g for e sc a p e .” .HEAVY ADDICTS AND T H E IR CHILDREN □ 113 ing n e e d for co n tro l.

. T h e in creasin g em p h asis in re c e n t d ecad es o n feeling a n d sp o n tan eity .e. T h e d esire to d em o cratize th e E go is c o o p te d by th e E go itself and tw isted in to new form s o f d esp o tism . an d th e ir efforts at d e m o c ra tiz atio n a re su b v erted . how ever. E IN ST E IN T h e tyranny o f th e A d d ict’s E go is reversible. “ F eelin g -fu ln ess” becom es self-conscious catharsis.5 The Ego Mafia and the Addictive Economy Money attracts egotism and irresistibly leads to its misuse. S p o n ta n e ity b ecom es h e d o n ­ ism . A m ericans a re so reso lu tely in ­ dividualistic th at they fail to realize this is n o t an individual m atter. o n a lte re d states o f co n sciousness. S p iritu ­ ality beco m es a rro g a n c e an d m e d ita tio n a w ithdraw al from the 114 . o n m e d ita tio n an d o th e r spiritu al disciplines. T h e Ego is capab le o f grow th an d can b e tra in e d to b eco m e m o re d e m o ­ cratic. o n th e body. on p a ra n o rm a l faculties— all o f th e se seek to b o lste r grass-ro o ts dem ocracy an d m ake th e E go m o re re sp o n siv e to its C o n stitu ­ ents. i. U n fo rtu n ately . gifts o f p le a su re th a t th e E go d o les o u t to its C o n stitu ­ e n ts w ith o u t ever for a m o m e n t re lin q u ish in g co n tro l.

Even in a co n v e rti­ ble we e x p e rie n c e only a w ind c a u sed by o u r ow n m o tio n (and . It likes e ith e r-o r defin itio n s b ecau se it is binary. T rav el norm ally h e ig h te n s o u r aw areness o f the in te rd e p e n d e n c e o f all life. in isola­ tion. T h e aw areness o f o u r in te rc o n n e c te d n e ss is th e k ey sto n e o f all efforts at d e m o ­ cratization.” T h e au to m o b ile is a ch aracteristic E go Mafia p ro d u c t: a m echanical device. d e sp o tic Egos d o n o t act alo n e. an d to m ake this e a sie r they try to b u ild a w orld th at rem in d s th em in creasingly o f th em selves a n d decreasingly o f th e ir C o n stitu e n ts. F o r E gos like to p re te n d they w ere self­ c reated . It d e te sts p a ra d o x a n d th e idea o f a tra n sc e n d e n t unity.T H E EGO MAFIA AND T H E ADDICTIVE ECONOMY □ 115 living w orld. th a t walls us off from n a tu re . it’s a lot easier to believe th a t y o u r w hole b ein g is co ex ­ tensive w ith y o u r E go. I f you live in a box. It fears su b tle sh ad in g s. It loves sh a rp b o u n d a rie s an d the illusion o f se p a ra ten ess a n d au to n o m y . an d in its ab se n c e th e E go will m ake a m ockery o f all such efforts a n d d isto rt th em b ey o n d re co g n itio n . A nd th e e x p lo ra tio n o f a lte re d states is p e rv e rte d into th e addictive q u e st fo r a c o n sta n t high. It is th e E go Mafia th a t c o n stru c ts re c ta n g u la r b u ildings— that' rep laces th e curving. All sensory in p u t is cut o ff ex cep t fo r a m inim al a m o u n t o f vision (anyone w ho has biked o r w alked a lo n g a fam iliar ro a d know s how little we see o f o u r su rro u n d in g s w hen we travel by car). T h e y m e e t co n tin u ally w ith o th e r E g o -d esp o ts to su p ­ p o rt an d p ro te c t each o th e r— a kind o f E go Mafia. b ased o n b in ary p rin cip les. b u t today we can rid e in a box th at gives us an illusion (rapidly cru m b lin g as oil b ecom es scarce) o f co m p lete au to n o m y as we m ove alo n g . irre g u la r sh ap es o f th e n atu ra l envi­ ro n m e n t w ith stra ig h t lines a n d rig h t angles. T h e p u r­ p o se o f th e E go Mafia is to c re a te a w orld in which E g o -d esp o tism will thrive— in w hich o u r E gos can convince each o th e r th a t they a re n o t parasitically d e p e n d e n t on th eir C o n stitu e n ts. T h e E go is a “ ru g g ed in d iv id u alist. F u rth e rm o re . T h e E go likes stra ig h t lines b ecau se it is sim p le-m in d ed .

m aking decisions by inform al co n sen su s. a w orld in w hich E gos can quietly so rt o u t th re a t from n o n th re a t w ith o u t b e in g d istra c te d — a w orld in which ag en d as a re m ad e a n d a d h e re d to. T h e E go Mafia seeks a w orld o f sim ple. T h e E g o ’s C o n stitu e n ts a re n ’t to o happy w ith it. n o am b ig u ities. n o relatio n sh ip s. statu s. B ureaucracy is a n o th e r E go Mafia device. filled only w ith E gos. It rein fo rces o u r d e ta c h m e n t from th e g ro u n d .” T h is helps m ake us feel th a t th e h ead is so m eh o w “ b e tte r ” th a n th e rest o f th e body. N o anim als. n o chan g es. d e n se r. T h e y d efine th e w orld in term s o f “ h ig h e r” a n d “ lo w e r.116 □ WEALTH ADDICTION p e rh a p s a so u n d cau sed by o u r ow n radio): sensory in p u t is m erely . Im ag in e a sm all village w here the in h a b ita n ts have lived to g e th e r all th e ir lives w ith o u t a p ­ p o in te d lead ers o r h ierarch y o f any kind. no co lo rs. a lth o u g h in fact it n o t only sustain s us b u t is rich er. B u reaucracy m akes p e o p le feel th at only th e ir E gos m a tte r— th a t th e ir C o n stitu e n ts a re e n ­ tirely irrelev an t to th e b u sin ess at h an d . b acteria. m e ­ chanical p ro cesses. A bove all. o r insects— no “ b lo o m in g . T h e E go Mafia tries to b u ild a w orld in w hich th e E go will feel co m fo rta b le a n d pow erfu l— a w orld w ith out b o d ie s. p lan ts. n o m ystery.” an d place s tro n g e r value o n “ h ig h e r” th a n “ lo w er. T h e y in v en t h o rrib le fantasies o f w hat it w ould b e like to live in a w orld th a t was even clo ser to the . m o re packed with sm ells a n d en erg y a n d life th a n a n y th in g “ ab o v e ” it. c o n fu sio n . class— all a re E go Mafia c re a ­ tions. n o m o o d s. W e see th e e a rth as dirty an d so m eh o w in ferio r.s^f-input. th e n im agine a m ilitary g ro u p taking over th e village a n d se ttin g u p form al lead ers an d h ierarchical lev­ els a n d re q u irin g th a t all co m m u n icatio n s go th ro u g h “ p ro p e r c h a n n e ls” an d b e in w riting (th e social eq u iv alen t o f “ c o n ­ scio u s” ): this will give you a p re tty fair n o tio n o f th e E g o ’s rela tio n to its C o n stitu e n ts.” N o feelings. hierarch y . buzzing. A uthority. a m irro r im age o f th e E go o n a social level. W e live now in a society c re a te d by th e efforts o f th e E go Mafia to achieve this ideal goal.

T h e sh a p e o f this p ag e. which d o m in a te s o u r w orld a n d en ab les o u r E gos to rein fo rce each o th e r. My E go is h e lp in g to w rite this dow n.” ta u g h t by exam ple. “ Servants o f th e p e o p le . if h e ’s g o in g to sh u t us o u t a n d have a private sum m it co n fe re n ce . A nd we can u n b u y it. th e u n ifo rm le tte rs. W h en relig io u s g u ru s talk o f solving th e w o rld ’s p ro b le m s th ro u g h “ c h a n g in g h u m a n c o n sc io u sn ess. o u r E gos dutifully h e lp us w rite th em dow n an d try to g e t th em p u b lish e d so w e’ll b e successful an d n o t b e afraid an y m o re. th e uniform spacing o f re g u la r row s o f p rin t— all a re d e sig n ed to m ake yo u r E go feel at h o m e a n d y o u r C o n stitu e n ts feel as if you w ere in A lphaville: “ H ello! T h is is d ire c t E g o -to-E go co m m u ­ nication w ith re c ta n g u la r C o n stitu e n t-sc re e n in g th at virtually elim inates noise.” they . An E go Mafia m eetin g is like a w o rk sh o p fo r m ilitary ju n ta le a d e rs in “ H ow to Muffle D issent an d F o restall P o p u la r U p risin g s. g re a t a n d small) is rein fo rce each o th e r ’s scare tactics. O n e o f th e m ain things th at E gos d o at E go M afia m eetin g s (which in cludes alm ost all busin ess m eetin g s in a lm o st all o rg an izatio n s. B ut in th e e n d they usually give in to th e Ego b ecau se they n e e d s tru c tu re a n d d ire c tio n an d b ecau se the Ego has co n v in ced th e m to b e afraid. a fte r all. D o you re a d m e?” Sm all w o n d e r th at we so ofte n fall asleep re a d in g .T H E EGO MAFIA AND T H E ADDICTIVE ECONOMY □ 117 E g o ’s goals. it was we w ho b o u g h t it. o f co u rse. an d yours is yours. B ut o u r task is m ad e m o re difficult by th e E go Mafia. p articu larly w hen th e m essage is as purified as th e m ed iu m (a stra ig h t line m ay b e th e shortest d istan ce b etw een tw o p o in ts b u t it’s rarely th e m o st rew ard ­ ing): “ L isten. N e ith e r o n e can d o a th in g w ithout us. T h e y ’re ju s t serv an ts th a t have g o tte n o u t o f h an d . W e can tra in o u r Egos to b e m o re flexible a n d re s to re th e m to th e ir tru e ro le s as S ecretaries o f D efense. A nd a lth o u g h it m ay have b e e n o u r E gos th a t so ld us a bill o f goods in th e first place. w hat d o you say we g et to g e th e r a n d pull th e p lu g o n h im ?” A nd this. I t’s my Ego.” W h en we c re a te o u r h o rrib le fantasies o f an E g o -p u re w orld. is th e g re a t jo k e .

U ltim ately. b u t d erives all its stre n g th . th o se C o n ­ stitu e n ts will d e m a n d m o re a n d m o re re taliatio n against th a t felt th re a t. Each step a lo n g th e way to such c a ta stro p h e w ould b e com pletely ra tio n a l in th e E g o ’s term s: th re a t le ad ­ ing to c o u n te r-th re a t. p assio n . ad v e n tu re . B ut the Egos a re n o t a lo n e an d th e w orld is n o t sim ple. a d v an tag e to c o u n te r-a d v an tag e .) Yet all this E g o -m ad e “ ra tio n a lity ” is in th e service o f creatin g a p o w d e r keg so m assive ~nd so volatile th at the p ro b ab ility o f d isa ste r escalates geom etrically w ith every pass­ . th e E go Mafia will lose. w h o s e jo in t p a rtic­ ip atio n is necessary to lau n ch . p articip atio n . (Even o u r “ fail-safe” system s a re b ased o n th e E g o ’s binary.1 1 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION seem to sh are a naive vision o f a sim ple w orld in w hich each h u m an o rg an ism stru g g les alo n e to d e m o cratize itself. th re a t-o b se sse d m entality: tw o a rm e d m en . O u r C o n stitu e n ts also act in c o n c e rt (alth o u g h we h a te to acknow ledge it) an d if th e tyran n y is ca rried to o far th e C o n stitu e n ts will re b e l— n o t in th e se n se o f individual m ad n ess. Every day the p o w er p o sitio n o f each E go is stre n g th e n e d by th e E go Mafia an d th e w orld re n d e re d m o re a n d m o re co m p atib le with the E g o ’s g ra n d io se fantasies o f b e in g self-conceived an d bodiless. energy. an d overkill to co u n ter-o v erk ill. It has no life o f its ow n. O n e obvious scen ario fo r E go Mafia se lf-d e stru c tio n is n u ­ clear c a ta stro p h e . an d play. a n d is u lti­ m ately g o v ern ed by th e ir w ishes. an d th e little w isdom it has from its C o n stitu e n ts. T h e E go Mafia. b u t by p u sh in g th e ir E gos in to collective selfd e stru c tio n . o f co u rse. T h e E g o ’s ra tio n a l p ro cesses are u sed to m ake th e w eap o n s a n d to devise system s o f delivery. is parasitic. As th e E go Mafia creates a m o re a n d m o re suffocating e n v iro n m e n t fo r its C o n stitu e n ts. involvem ent. sit a t each m issile silo w atching each o th e r fo r th e signs o f m ad n ess th a t w ould ju stify in sta n t execution. since its e n tire effort is d ire c te d to w ard th e m a in te n an ce o f a d e lu ­ sion. b alance. a fte r all. A nd less a n d less co m p atib le w ith th e n e e d s o f th e to tal o rg a n ­ ism fo r w holeness.

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in g d ecad e. T h e E go Mafia, even as it d e n ie s th e existen ce o f C o n stitu e n ts, faithfully serves th e d e sire o f th o se C o n stitu e n ts to free them selves from its increasingly su ffocating b o n d a g e by blow ing itse lf up. I have p a in te d th e d e sp o tic E go as a kind o f villain, and in d eed , if we look at fictional villains, from S atan to S arum an, we find th ey ’re little m o re th an p o rtra its o f th e h u m an Ego in its m o st d esp o tic form : schem in g , careful, p a ra n o id , o v e rc o n ­ tro lled an d o v e rc o n tro llin g , a rro g a n t, n e v e r c o n te n t, an d so on. But how can this be re co n ciled w ith th e idea th a t th e Ego gets all its m otives an d e n erg y from its C o n stitu e n ts? It has b e e n said th at p e o p le g et th e kind o f g o v ern m en t they deserve, an d this h o ld s tru e w ithin th e individual organism . Even th e E g o ’s fear o f b e in g o v e rth ro w n is m otivated by its C o n stitu e n ts, w ho a re afraid o f hav in g to face th e w orld u n ­ p ro te c te d an d u n m ask ed . W e w ant o u r E gos to keep us from stum b lin g , from m aking fools o f o u rselv es, from g ettin g h u rt, from aro u sin g dislike o r rid icu le in o th e rs— in sh o rt, from all th o se ex p erien ces th a t h elp p e o p le learn an d develop. W e w ant o u r E gos to figure it all o u t in adv an ce so we can walk th ro u g h th e w orld p ro te c te d an d in safety. But th e se a re th e very d esires th at b re e d d ictato rs. L e a rn ­ ing an d g ro w th a re im p o ssib le w ith o u t th e risk o f occa­ sional p ain an d h u rt. Y ou d o n ’t learn to d an ce o r rid e a h o rse by re a d in g m an u als a n d sch em in g an d an ticip atin g every p o ssib le eventuality. Y ou learn by m aking a fool o f y o u rse lf an d falling dow n. E g o -rid d e n o rg an ism s a re o b ­ sessed w ith avo id in g m istakes: they w ant th e Ego to plan, calculate, an d p re d ic t b e fo re d o in g an y th in g . B ut p e d ia tri­ cians say tu a t a to d d le r w ith n o b ru ises o n its body is o v er­ p ro te c te d . W e learn to avoid m a jo r e rro rs by m aking sm all ones an d le a rn in g from th em . An o rg an ism th a t takes risks d o e s n ’t n e e d a d ictato rial E go— it can le a rn o n its own, w ithout having to sen d every little piece o f in fo rm atio n th ro u g h C en tral P ro cessin g b e fo re acting.

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Every “ in d iv id u al” is in reality ju s t a n o d a l p o in t in tw o la rg e r system s. O n e is th e E go Mafia. T h e o th e r is th e w hole fabric o f o rg a n iz e d living m a tte r, w hich is co n tinually evolving, balancing, an d m aking su b tle a ttu n e m e n ts a m o n g its p arts. B eing close to n a tu re en h a n c e s o u r aw aren ess o f p a rticip atin g in this unity, w hich, fo r w ant o f a b e tte r term , we m ig h t call the “ fabric o f life.” B eing in a city b u ild in g en h a n ce s o u r aw are­ ness o f p a rtic ip a tin g in th e E go Mafia, w hich is a m echanical ra th e r th a n o rg an ic unity an d h e n c e m u ch less challen g in g to o u r sen se o f b e in g a p ro u d , if lonely, ato m . T h e E go Mafia exists, in la rg e p a rt, to d e em p h a siz e o u r p articip atio n in th e fabric o f life. It likes to in vent b o u n d a rie s an d p ig e o n h o le s— to classify a n d categ o rize a n d analyze an d find any way it can to b reak u p (in o u r m inds, at least) this org an ic unity o f living m a tte r. A nd in d o in g this it increases th e very fear we seek to q u iet. T h is is th e w hole p ro b le m with fear: o th e r passio n s sp e n d them selves w hen we act o n th em , an d dim inish. B ut w hen we act o n th e basis o f fear th e fear in ­ creases. W h e th e r we h id e o r p lacate o r kill o u t o f fear, th e fear feeds o n th e re sp e c t we give it. T h e only way to g et rid o f fear is to co n fro n t th e so u rce o f it, w hich fear itse lf te n d s to p r e ­ vent. F ear is th e failure to reco g n ize o u r p a rtic ip a tio n in th e fabric o f life. H en c e it is fear th at creates th e E go Mafia. (T h e o p p o ­ site o f fear is love, w hich is a re c o g n itio n a n d ex p re ssio n o f th at particip atio n .) B ut th e E go Mafia en h a n c e s th a t fear still fu r­ th e r by trying to convince us th a t we a re alo n e, iso lated , in a d e ­ q u a te , an d w ith o u t re so u rc e — save fo r o u r E gos, w ho will p r o ­ tect us, h id e o u r deficiencies from th e w orld, a n d o b tain g o ods from th e w orld to fill o u r em p tin ess. M any p e o p le have n o te d th a t o u r e n tire econom y is b ased on convincing p e o p le th a t they a re in a d e q u a te — th at th e re is a h o le in th em th a t a p ro d u c t w ould fill. As I have p o in te d o ut, this is w hat ad d ictio n is: th e feelin g th a t s o m e th in g ’s m issing inside, th a t I ’m in c o m p le te u n less I ad d so m e th in g th a t’s “ o u t th e re .” B ut now we know w hat th a t feelin g o f em p tin ess o r

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in co m p leten ess com es from : the source o f all addiction is the E go’ s feeling that it is missing something, and what it's missing is one o f its own Constituents that it refuses to listen to. W hat o u r fear hides from us is th at we are connected with all o f life and can draw on the strength o f all o f that life within us. T o th e av erag e A m erican, b ra in ­ w ashed in to individualism , th a t sta te m e n t m ay seem like g ib ­ berish , b u t to m any p e o p le s o f th e w orld it co n tain s no m ystery at all. In o th e r w ords, th e re a so n we keep lo o k in g o u tsid e o u r­ selves fo r ways to fill o u r in n e r deficiencies is th a t th e Ego is unaw are o f th e rich talen ts o f its C o n stitu e n ts. B ut th e re a ­ son it sees its C o n stitu e n ts as deficien t is th a t it will n o t ac­ cep t th e fact th a t in a fu n d a m e n ta l sen se all C o n stitu e n ts are one— th a t all o rg an ism s have co m m o n creative reso u rc es on which to draw . T h is is a h a rd n u t fo r o u r W e stern m inds to crack. A n o th e r way o f saying it is th a t o u r so-called deficien­ cies a re n o t lacks b u t imbalances. If,fo re x a m p le ,a c o n tro lle d m a n feels h e lacks jo y , th e jo y is n ’t absent fro m his being; it has m erely b e e n sq u eezed in to a clo set by th e d is te n d e d bulk o f his excessive self-con tro l. A nd, conversely, w hen a fun-loving m an feels h e lacks self-co n tro l, th e c o n tro l isn ’t a b se n t b u t m erely stifled by his d e sire to p u rs u e every im pulse. C o n ­ vincing o u rselv es th a t we a re actually missing th e se necessary traits saves us all th e tro u b le o f re a rra n g in g o u r in tern a l furm tu re-so th at th e se stifled p a rts o f o u rselv es can b re a th e and ex p an d . W hat we take in, in fact, by way o f a d d ic tio n , usually helps keep th e stifled traits exactly w h ere they are. A lcohol, fo r exam p le, m ay instill a te m p o ra ry false co nfidence b u t contin u ally shrinks real self-resp ect. In th e sam e way, m oney suffocates feelings o f inner security. T h e E go o f th e ad d ic t is a little like H en ry F o rd , w ho fired his m o st creative m an ag ers an d e n g in e e rs an d th e n co m p lain ed th a t h e h ad to d o every­ th ing him self. T h is re lu c ta n c e to look at o u r p ro b le m s as im balances affects o u r a ttitu d e s to w ard d isease. I f we b e c o m e ill, we d o n ’t like to think o f it as a re su lt o f p o o r in n e r a rra n g e m e n t. W e like

1 2 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

to think th at so m e th in g (a “ g e rm ” ) has g o tte n in to us th at “ d o e s n ’t b e lo n g ” (d esp ite th e fact th a t we carry billions o f th em in o u r b o dies at all tim es). Since th e E go likes to see itself as a lonely cap tain at th e helm o f a b e le a g u e red ship o f state, it tries to pass o ff any m alfu n ctio n s in th e org an ism as the re su lt n o t o f th e E g o ’s ow n a u th o rita ria n an d overcen tralized ru le, b u t o f “ o u tsid e a g ita to rs.” T h is p e rp e tu a te s the E g o ’s ro le as vigilant g u a rd ia n by c re a tin g a d efin ition o f h ealin g th at is essentially m ilitary. T h e h e a le r in o u r society is cast as a kindly p o licem an w ho cu res th e sick by h u n tin g dow n th e se o u tsid e ag itato rs an d killing them . T h u s was b o rn th e g erm th e o ry o f d isease. In ste a d o f seeing an o rg an ism as w arp ed o r o u t o f balan ce, we see it as b ein g inv ad ed by d a n g e ro u s aliens w hose p re se n c e justifies m ilitary in te rv e n tio n by th e h ealer. H eavy w eap o n s a re em ployed, in th e form o f d ru g s, su rg ery , rad ia tio n , “ m agic b u lle ts,” an d so on. Even w h ere n o germ o r virus can be fo u n d , as in h e a rt disease, cancer, d iab etes, m en tal illness, a n d th e o th e r m ajo r ailm ents o f m o d e rn society, th e attack m o d el is em ployed any­ way. W e “ fig h t” b irth d efects, “ m ake w ar” o n cancer, an d seek to “ w ipe o u t” h e a rt disease. T h e E go M afia’s p re fe re n c e fo r th e g erm th eo ry is tied to its ob sessio n w ith rigid b o u n d a rie s an d p ro p e rty lines. In n a tu re b o u n d a rie s a re fluid, fuzzy, o r n o n e x iste n t. It is th e E go Mafia th a t invents lines o f d e m ark atio n (this is w rist, th a t is arm ; this is foothill, th at is m o u n tain ; this is biology, th a t is chem istry; this oxygen is y o u r oxygen, th a t oxygen is my oxygen; th ese g erm s a re y o u r germ s, th o se g erm s a re my g erm s)— ig n o rin g th e fact th at o rg an ic an d in o rg an ic m a tte r, info rm atio n , and live o rg an ism s a re flow ing in an d o u t o f us every sec o n d o f o u r lives; th at m illions o f cells a re dying an d b e in g rep le n ish e d each day an d th a t th e only th in g physically c o n sta n t a b o u t us th ro u g h o u r lives is th e ro u g h a p p ro x im a tio n o f a sh a p e (and even th a t ch an g es drastically). T h e h u m a n p erso n ality is a p a tte rn d ev e lo p e d in re sp o n se to o th ers; even its m o st rigid an d u n c h a n g in g p o stu re s a re m erely policies, d ictate d by the

P eople are co n stan tly d o in g w ork they w ant d o n e w ithout paying them selves fo r it. Yet co untless m illions have b e e n sp e n t in m edical research trying to find a virus th a t co u ld b e linked to cancer. how w ould you m o tiv ate p e o p le ? ” If we take the w ord “ p e o p le ” to m ean everybody (since “ everybody w ants m o n ey ” ). “ A fter all. As a society. M ost o f th e c an cer in th e U n ited States. how ­ ev er irrelev an t an d fo rg o tte n . “ W ith o u t m oney. they m ake things. is cau sed by o u r national co m m itm en t to h e lp w ealth ad d icts g et rich. But since M o neythink cuts o ff o u r aw areness o f o u r b o n d s w ith th e fabric o f life it c reates a feeling o f in tern al in co m p leten ess. fo o d ad ditives. laying th e fo u n d a tio n fo r an addictive soci­ ety.T H E EGO MAFIA AND T H E ADDICTIVE ECONOMY □ 123 Ego in re sp o n se to so m e o n e ’s b eh a v io r in th e dim p ast. S cott B urns po in ts o u t th a t if all th e w ork A m ericans d o “ fo r n o th in g ” w ere paid for at a m inim um h o u rly w age. radioactivity. In ­ stead o f lo o k in g at th e im b alan ces w ithin o u r ow n social and political system we sp e n t d ecad es figh tin g a g ain st th e th re a t o f C om m unism . for exam ple. p esti­ cides. T h e y w ork o n th e ir h o m es. M oney is a g re a t h elp in carrying o u t this func­ tion.” h e a rg u e s. d ru g s. we also cling to illusions o f se p a ra ten ess. “ everybody w ants m o n ey ” (those w ho d o n ’t a re obvious lunatics a n d d o n ’t co u n t). In such a society th e A ddict feels h im se lf to b e norm al. they do v o lu n te e r w ork fo r th e com m unity. an d so on. is caused by o u r ow n in d u stria l p ro d u c ts and by­ pro d u cts: p o llu tio n . in o th e r w ords. how w ould we g e t o u rselv es to do the w ork we w ant d o n e ? ” B ut w ith this p h ra sin g th e w hole illusion cru m bles. since it re d u c e s all th a t living com plexity an d variety to a single q u an titativ e sta n d a rd . M oneythink is th e native la n ­ guage o f th e E go Mafia. th e n th e q u e stio n can b e re p h ra se d like this: “ W ith o u t m oney. th e to tal w ould b e g re a te r than . T h e E go Mafia exists to h elp d e sp o tic E gos sh o rt-circu it the fabric o f life. C an cer. T h e E go Mafia co n tin u ally fills o u r lives with m isery an d fru stra tio n w hich it th e n a tte m p ts to blam e on ex tern al sources.

m o re useful. it b ecom es a n o th e r m otive a m o n g m any. th e cost o f food. e d u ca tio n . d e o d o ra n ts. Y et w hile th e se fo rtu n es w ere b e in g m ade.” “ In som e categ o ries. an d less d e stru c tiv e th a n w hat they g e t paid fo r d o in g . b u t w hat they d o is p ro b ab ly . we have fallen b eh in d E u ro p e a n societies in m any o f th e ways th at h e lp define a c o u n try as “ civilized” o r “ a d v a n c e d . to take ju s t o n e ex am ple. o n balance. In 1976. b reak fast fo o ds. an d will c o m p e te w ith o th e r m otives. n o n e o f th e se e n te rp rise s p ro v id es essen tial g o o d s o r services fo r the p e o p le o f o u r co u n try . fast foo d s. F o r exam ple. O bviously. Since W o rld W ar II. b e tte r d o n e . we d o n ’t n e e d m o n ey to g et us to do w hat we want d o n e . an d m edical care clim bed b ey o n d th e reach o f larg e seg m en ts o f th e p o p u la tio n . At th a t p o in t m any o f th e th in g s we w ant d o n e will b e n eg le cte d in favor o f activities th a t p ro v id e m oney. such as infant m o rtality [w here we ran k ed tw en tieth in 1975]. h o u sin g . W e sim ply d o it. o f co u rse. T h e real p ro b le m w ith m o n ey as a m o tiv a to r is th at it tends to d isto rt all activities— to tw ist th em away from th eir original fu n ctio n o f p ro v id in g o u rselv es w ith n e e d e d g o o d s an d se r­ vices. executive je ts .1 2 4 □ W EALTH ADDICTION th e total o f all w ages an d salaries p aid o u t in th e U nited States. o r from stock m an ip u la ­ tio n an d th e b u ild in g o f c o n g lo m e ra te s. we may n o t w ant to take th e tim e to e n rich a n d b eautify a n d p ro te c t o u r en v iro n m e n t b ecau se we a re pay in g o urselves to d estro y it. c lo th in g . M oney b eco m es necessary only to get us to d o w hat we don't w ant d o n e.” Yet d u rin g this sam e p e rio d we have seen a w hole cro p o f new M ajor A ddicts em erg e: th e m o st re c e n t large fo rtu n es have b e e n m ad e in such e n te rp rise s as p e t foo d s. N ot only d o A m ericans d o m o re w ork w ith o u t pay th a n they d o with pay. b o ats an d various o th e r luxury item s. th e U n ited S tates is practically a d e v e lo p in g co u n try . heat. cosm etics. W ho w ould m an u fac tu re th e useless ju n k th a t clu tters o u r lives if they w e re n ’t g ettin g p aid fo r it? O n c e m oney exists. fo r exam p le. th e re w ere ov er a m illion h o u se h o ld s w ith eld erly p e o p le living c n less . cam eras. O bviously.

” M edicine is th e classic ex a m p le o f th e d isto rtin g effect o f m oney. M eanw hile. T h e sam e ab su rd itie s can b e fo u n d in th e field o f energy: it has b een claim ed th a t at least two h u n d re d elderly p e o p le died d u rin g th e w inters o f 1977 a n d 1978 b ecau se utilities sh u t off th e ir heat. W ith m oney as a m o tiv a to r it becom es “ c h e a p e r” to have every h ig h -rise in a city brilliantly aglow all n ight th a n pay a c u rre n tly u n e m p lo y e d an d h u n g ry h u m an bein g w ages to tu rn th e lights off. W e have co m e to e x p ect such d isto rtio n s in every field o f en deav o r: p la n n e d o b so lescen ce a n d p o o r quality in m anufac­ turing. b u t so as to achieve m axim um sales at m inim um cost.0 0 0 a year. F o o d is grow n an d d is­ trib u te d n o t so as to p ro v id e th e o p tim u m n o u rish m e n t fo r the g re a te st n u m b e r o f p e o p le . they w ould le a rn very quickly to con serv e to th e p o in t w h ere n u c le a r p o w e r w ould becom e unnecessary . show m anship. a th le te s w ho a re d ru g g e d an d forced to play with in juries. college p ro fe sso rs w ho avoid teach in g so they can e n h a n c e th e ir re p u ta tio n s. th e o rig in al fu n ctio n o f n o u r­ ishing th e p o p u la c e has g o n e so badly awry th a t th e po p u lace is actually b e in g p o iso n e d . at th e sam e tim e th a t we w ere being p re ssu re d in to a hasty a ccep tan ce o f n u c le a r re a c to rs b ecause o f an alleg ed scarcity o f pow er. In 1978 a H o u se m e a su re d e sig n e d to b rin g a b o u t such refo rm was killed by th e S e n a te in re sp o n se to furious utility lobbying. th ro u g h “ re se a rc h . a n d h en ce incom e. in d u stria l u sers w ere still b ein g given re d u c e d rates th a t e n c o u ra g e d th em to w aste e n o rm o u s am o u n ts o f electricity. If c o rp o ra tio n s p aid fo r th eir en ergy w hat th e re st o f us pay.T H E EGO MAFIA AND T H E ADDICTIVE ECONOMY □ 125 th an $ 2 . an d “ sc h o o l” -fo u n d in g in place o f ta le n t in th e arts. sp e n d in g o v e r h a lf o f th e ir in co m e on w in ter fuel. In d e e d . p o stu rin g . W h en ev er m o n ey is u se d as a m o tiv a to r th e activity it m o ti­ vates b eco m es re d e fin e d in term s o f w hat will in d u c e p e o p le to p a rt with th e ir m o n ey m o st easily. W hile o n e fu n ctio n o f a d o c to r is to save lives. the . studies have fo u n d th a t “ th e few er th e physicians in a p o p u la tio n .

the d eath ra te actually fell.” A su rg e o n .1 2 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION low er th e m ortality ra te . th e U n ited S tates. “ d u rin g physician strikes in C an ad a. T h e catch is that they a r e n ’t w orking to p e rfo rm the task. “ d o es n o t appreciably p ro lo n g lives.” F u rth e rm o re .900 death s. fo r exam p le. E n g lan d . 2.” R adical m astecto m ies. W hich d o you think w e’re g o in g to say is b e st? ” P erh ap s this says all th at n ee d s to b e said a b o u t th e ro le o f m oney in m o tiv ating p e o p le to p e r ­ form socially useful tasks. W e talk a b o u t “ m o tiv atin g p e o p le ” as if th e se “ p e o p le ” w ere n o t ourselves.” it’s a to tal failure. they’ re working to get the money and will distort their performance in any way possible to get it. caused by m edical tre a tm e n t itself. particu larly p re sc rip tio n dru g s. A sim ple m astectom y for $250. th e m oney a p ­ p ro ach is n o t only “ inefficient. ro u tin e in this co u n try fo r b reast cancer.4 million u n n ecessary su rg eries w ere p e rfo rm e d at a cost o f $4 billion a n d le a d in g to 11. “ have n o h ig h e r cu re ra te th an th e ‘lu m p e c to m ie s’ th at a re ro u tin e in E n g la n d . N or is this an iso lated o r u n u su al exam ple. A m ericans believe th at d a n g lin g m o n ey in fro n t o f p eo p le m akes th em w ork h a rd e r an d b eco m e m o re efficient. W e im agine so m e dim w it happily shov­ eling g a rb a g e u n d e r a c a rto o n b allo o n w ith a d o lla r sign in . rep lied : “ A radical m astectom y goes for $750. an d from an ex­ trem ely narrow an d s h o rtsig h te d view point this could be c o n ­ sid ered “ efficiency. an d Israel.” C o m m e n tin g o n o n e such strike in Los A ngeles a colu m n ist su g g e ste d th at th e sh arp d e crea se in th e d eath ra te was d u e to th e m ark ed re d u c tio n in surgical o p e ra tio n s. T h e lu re o f m o n ey m ay have m ad e th e su r­ g eo n q u o te d ab ove willing an d able to p e rfo rm m o re and m o re m astecto m ies an d to get g o o d at it.” B ut if h ealth is th e goal. C an cer surgery. asked why h e n ev erth eless p e rfo rm e d th em . It is tru e th a t som e p e o p le will w ork h a rd e r for a m o n e tary rew ard. A co n g ressio n al su b c o m m itte e estim ate d th at in th e year 1974 alo n e. D octo rs them selves have es­ tim ated th at anyw here from 50 p e rc e n t to 85 p e rc e n t o f all illness in th e U n ited States is ia tro g e n ic — th at is.

p ro d u c e s n o th in g ex cep t p e o p le ch asin g m oney. clothing. I t’s th e kind o f th in k in g th a t allows so m e p e o p le to see th e ir b o dies as slaves to m a n ip u la te so as to g et th e m o st p o ssi­ ble work o u t o f them . th e n m oney w o n ’t p e rsu a d e us to d o it effectively. ho u ses. all o f us fre q u e n tly w ork w ith o u t co m p en satio n . an d so on . is an infallible sign o f E go Mafia d o m i­ natio n . an d w hile I can n o tice d ifferences in my level o f . a lo n g w ith all services. W e u se m o n ey to p u sh ourselves a ro u n d . I find m yself th at th e re is n o differen ce in sp irit b etw een work I do th a t I g et p aid fo r an d w ork I d o th a t I d o n ’t get paid for. G e ttin g p e o p le to chase m oney.TH E EGO MAFIA AND T H E ADDICTIVE ECONOMY □ 127 it. p artly b ecau se I ’ve m ad e it a ru le in my life th a t I will no lo n g e r do an y th in g fo r m oney th a t I w o u ld n ’t b e w illing to do w ithout co m p e n sa tio n if I alread y h ad e n o u g h to live on . B ut th at dim w it is us. T h is a p p ro a c h . we w ould be the first p e o p le in th e h isto ry o f th e species to b e so h opelessly a d ­ dicted. W ith o u t g re e d as a m o tiv ato r. left. If work h a s n ’t e n o u g h p e rso n a l a n d social value in an d o f itself fo r us to p e rfo rm it w ith o u t m oney. ed u catio n . co m m u n icatio n s.” as in d e e d it is. In fact. tra n s p o rta tio n . W e tre a t this as a “ given ”— an obvious co m m o n p lace o f m o d e rn life a n d “ p ro g ­ re ss. In fifty years th e quality o f ev ery th in g we m a n u fac tu re has steadily d eclin ed . we w ould still n e ed food. W h at it will d o is m otivate us to find ways to m axim ize th e m oney we g e t fo r w h atever work we do do . in w hich th e rig h t h a n d tries to m a­ n ip u late th e. D o we im agine th a t w ithout g reed we w ould all lie dow n a n d starve? If so. W e can see this everyw here a ro u n d us. in o th e r w ords. o r how m any food a d ­ ditives they can a b so rb w ith o u t g e ttin g sto m ach cancer. U sing m oney as a m o tiv ato r lead s to a p ro g re ssiv e d e g ra d a tio n in the quality o f ev ery th in g p ro d u c e d . M ost o f what I ’ve d o n e for m o n ey in th e last d ec a d e has b e e n b ased on ability to pay. health care. I t’s th e sam e kind o f th in k in g th a t fu n ds research pro jects to find o u t how m uch ra d ia tio n h u m a n b eings can “ to le ra te ” w ith o u t g e ttin g leukem ia.

b u t I give ev ery th in g I have w hen I a g ree to talk to a sm all. A m ericans have always felt th at it was a G od-given rig h t fo r fools to b e ab le to rush in to any e n te rp ris e they liked w ith o u t having to tro u b le th e m ­ selves o v er its effects o n o th ers. I m ight d e v o te very little energy to a talk given at a m ajo r university fo r less th a n my usual fee. A nd w hen th e g o v e rn ­ m en t m akes h a lf-h e a rted efforts to force A ddicts to co n sid er th e effects o f th e ir g re e d o n th e p e o p le . an d p riv ate g ro u p fo r a te n th o r even a sixtieth o f th at fee.” A ddicts a re m uch to o d riv en to be a safe rep o sito ry fo r such . I am n o t o p p o se d to le ttin g th in g s ad just them selves by having p e o p le b u tt th e ir h ead s ag ain st each o th e r. p e n sio n funds. T h e only th in g we achieve by en co u ra g in g w ealth ad d ictio n is to place th a t c o n c e n tra ted w ealth in the h an d s o f th o se who a re m o st severely a d d icted . and it’s th e rest o f us w ho get to be in ju re d .1 2 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION en th u siasm in p ro v id in g th e se services. th e re a re m any ways to p o o l o u r re so u rc e s w ith o u t c re a tin g b illionaires: taxes. O u r n atio n al p ractice o f e n c o u ra g in g w ealth a d d ictio n is o ften d e fe n d e d o n th e g ro u n d s th at m any things o th erw ise im possible can b e acco m p lish ed w ith larg e c o n c e n tra tio n s o f capital. B ut as things stan d . it n ev er has to d o with th e a m o u n t o f m oney o ffered. But. Now this c e r­ tainly sp eed s u p d ecision-m aking. as I said earlier. b o n d s. an d surely. A ctions can b e taken on the m erest w him w ith o u t b e in g h a m p e re d by an n o y in g c o n sid e ra ­ tio n o f th e ir lo n g -ra n g e co n se q u e n c e s. b u t it w ould also b e d o n e m o re truly. p o o r. W ork n o t d o n e fo r m oney m ight b e d o n e m o re slowly. fo r exam ple. b u t ra th e r with my p erc e p tio n o f th e sacrifice b e in g m ade. stocks. it’s the A ddicts w ho g et to ru sh in w ith o u t hav in g to tro u b le th e m ­ selves a b o u t w h e th e r th e way they m ake m oney in ju res us. they usually find m assive su p p o rt a m o n g C lo set A ddicts w ho d re am o f b ein g in th e ir shoes som eday an d ech o th e ir co m p laints o f “ o v e rre g u ­ la tio n . provided people are more or less equal in power. p u rp o se ­ fully.

o r p esticid e p o iso n in g . David h elp ed b o lste r th e S o u th A frican g o v e rn m e n t w hen its re p ressiv e ac­ tions an d m assacres o f blacks h a d th ro w n d o u b t o n its viability. an d reckless irrig a tio n tech n iq u es. o r th e still u n so lv ed p ro b le m o f n u clear w astes a n d a b a n d o n e d reacto rs. o r th e ra p id a n d p e rm a n e n t d estru c tio n o f th e A m azon ju n g le (which p ro d u c e s h a lf o f the w o rld ’s p la n t-g e n e ra te d oxygen a n d co n tain s a th ird o f the w o rld ’s fo re ste d land). G re e d b eco m es th e d riv in g force n o t . U sing m oney as a m o tiv a to r m ean s th a t all activities in the society a re d o m in a te d by th e E go Mafia a n d b e c o m e in creas­ ingly divo rced from th e real n e e d s o f living bein g s. th e s tro n g influ en ce ex ercised by th e Rock­ efeller family since W o rld W ar II: N elson was rep eated ly successful in in ten sify in g th e C old W ar— o n ce successfully sab o tag in g a serious Soviet a tte m p t at d e te n te . T h e d e g re e o f c o n tro l th a t A ddicts have in C o n g ress can b e seen at a glance by lo o k in g at w hat they have m ad e o f th e originally p ro g re ssiv e incom e tax. T h e ir n e e d s a re to o frantic to allow th o u g h tfu l c o n sid e ra tio n o f lo n g -ra n g e co n se q u e n c es o r sideeffects. T h e society as a w hole an d th e eco n o m y in p a rtic u la r b eco m e o v e rc e n tral­ ized an d u n b alan ced . an d th e V ietnam W ar b u ild -u p was a “ p o in t-b y -p o in t im ­ p le m e n ta tio n ” o f re c o m m e n d a tio n s m ad e by th e R ockefeller b ro th e rs. o r th e high d eath ra te n e a r a irp o rts.T H E EGO MAFIA AND T H E ADDICTIVE ECONOMY □ 129 decision-m aking pow er. T h e fo rm atio n o f b illio n aires has a n o th e r u n fo rtu n a te side effect: th e o v erw h elm in g in flu en ce o f w ealth ad d icts on elected officials. fo r exam ple. d estru ctiv e farm ing m eth o d s. In th e 1978 S e n a te races 85 p e rc e n t w ere won by th e b ig g est sp e n d e rs. T h e y a re m erely irrita te d w hen p e o p le raise q u estio n s a b o u t lead. o r th e equally ra p id loss o f p recious ag ricu ltu ral land th ro u g h real e sta te d ev e lo p m e n t. A ddicts love to insist o n legislators b ein g paid far less th a n th e ir resp o n sib ility m erits: it m akes them all th e m o re accessible to su b tle a n d u n su b tle form s o f bribery. A ddicts also have a p ro ­ fo u n d effect o n fo reig n policy: C o llier an d H orow itz d o c u ­ m en t. asb esto s.

an d w hen this h a p p e n s— w hen g ree d is d em o cratized — th e e n tire eco n o m y b eco m es d e ra n g e d .1 3 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION m erely for a few n e u ro tic individuals. b u t also fo r th e m ajority o f th e p o p u la tio n . as we shall see in th e n ex t ch ap ter. .

W h at m akes th e difference? W h at m akes it po ssib le for th e greed y to im p o se th e ir will o n th e less greedy? O fte n we find th e m o d e ra te ly p o o r in A m erica feeling so th re a te n e d th at they a re q u ite w illing to step o n th e faces o f 131 . c o u rts. a rm e d forces. How can we acco u n t fo r such e x tra o rd in a ry inequality? W hat d o we m ean w hen we say a H o w ard H u g h e s is “ w o rth ” as m uch as 100.000 p ro d u c tiv e m en an d w om en? U sually such in eq u ality is a ttrib u te d to sh e e r pow er: th o se who c o n tro l th e m ean s o f p ro d u c tio n te n d to c o n tro l th e gov­ ern m e n t.000 skilled w orkers. a n d so on. Is this w ealth ad d ictio n ? A re all A m ericans p o te n tia l A ddicts? If n o t. new s m edia.6 The Democratization of Greed I f there is neither excessive wealth nor immoderate poverty in a nation. TH A LES O F M ILETUS M ost A m ericans today thin k o f them selves as ju s t fighting for econom ic survival. why d o we d e d ic a te so m uch o f o u r n atio n al en erg y to s u p p o rtin g A ddicts? It has b e e n e stim ated th at th e rich est A m erican o f any e ra has c o n tro lle d a sum o f m oney equal to th e a n n u a l w ages o f 100. Yet th e re have b e e n p e rio d s in h isto ry w hen th e p o o r and pow erless m ajority have o v erw h elm ed th e rich an d pow erful few. police. then justice may be said to prevail.

A nd it is th e p o o r w ho p u t any su rp lu s m o n ey they have in savings accounts w here th e in te re st rates a re low er th a n th e ra te o f inflation. A S e n a te co m m ittee in 1974 fo u n d th a t th e w ealthiest 1 p e rc e n t o f o u r p o p u la tio n ow ns eight tim es as m uch as the p o o re r h a lf o f o u r p o p u la tio n . p artly b ecause. m any o f th em w ith o u t testim o n y fro m a single w itness a n d th e re st s u p p o rte d m ainly by th o se w ho deriv ed d irect . th e p o o r pay m o re b ecau se they a re politically u n o rg an ize d an d less able to p ro te c t them selves from d iscrim inatory legis­ lation. th e banks a re in effect g e ttin g in te re st-free loans w hich they u se to le n d m oney back to o th e r p o o r p eo p le. O nly the affluent a re in a p o sitio n to take a d v an tag e o f real b argains. b ecau se they are ig n o ra n t an d can easily*be m an ip u lated in to m aking b ad in v estm ents. O f th e incom e tax breaks available to individuals. a lth o u g h th ese m ake u p only a q u a rte r o f th o se w ho file. B e­ tw een 1971 an d 1976 C o n g ress w ro te eighty-six tax breaks into law. A ccording to L u n d b e rg . as m any w riters have p o in te d o u t. Yet rarely d o they q u e stio n th e m otives an d beh av io r o f th o se w ealth ier th an they. th ro u g h in stallm en t buying.000 a year. T h e y pay m o re. W hy is this so? Som e kind o f tacit collusion o n th e p a rt o f a larg e p a rt o f th e p o p u la tio n seem s to m ain tain th e p o w er p o sitio n o f th e A ddict. T h e p o o r pay m o re. first. It was largely p o o r an d m iddle-class p e o p le . fo r ex am ple— d u p e d by p atrio tism — w ho b o u g h t Series E Savings B onds at a rate o f in te re st n o rich p e rso n w ould ev er co n sid er. b ecau se they a re econom ically pow erless— fo rced always by th e ir lack o f eco n o m ic reso u rces to buy in a se lle r’s m arket an d sell in a b u y e r’s m arket. F u rth e rm o re . all b u t a tiny fractio n go to th o se e a rn in g m o re th a n $ 2 0 .1 3 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION th o se less fo rtu n a te th a n them selves to avoid jo in in g th e ir ranks. at 18 p e rc e n t in terest. seco n d .) Finally. (T h u s. th e p o o r pay m ore. especially tax laws. this disparity b e ­ tw een rich an d p o o r has in creased o v er th e last two d ecades. twoth ird s o f all in v estm en t assets in th e U n ited S tates a re h eld by 3 p e rc e n t o f th e p o p u la tio n . w hile th e d e p o sito rs a re actually lo sin g m oney by le n d ­ ing it to th e banks.

th a t th e re se n tm e n t o f taxpayers has always fallen. n o t . b u t by th e 1960s over h a lf cam e from p e o p le ea rn in g less th a n $10 . L am o tt suggests th a t m ost A ddicts pay a b o u t 30 p e rc e n t to 40 p erc en t. T h e g ra d u a te d inco m e tax was su p p o se d to “ soak th e ric h . O n e eco n o m ist has calcu lated th a t if all such tax lo o p h o les w ere p lu g g e d .5 m illion paid less incom e tax th a n a m a rrie d co u p le w ith th re e chil­ d re n an d an in co m e o f $5. tax ra te s co u ld b e cu t by 45 p e rc e n t.000. T h is kind o f w elfare fo r th e rich is m u ch co stlier th a n w elfare fo r th e p o o r. tax ad v an tag es fo r th e w ealthy have sharply increased d u rin g th e p a st tw enty-five years. th en . As L am ott p o in ts o u t. few o f w hom pay anyw here n e a r th a t a m o u n t in any case. while m any pay less th a n 1 p e rc e n t. In th a t p e rio d m o re th a n $161 billion was lost to fed eral rev en u es “ w ith o u t a sin g le publicly re c o rd e d vote by C o n g ress o r by its tax-w riting c o m m itte e s. it is th e re st o f us w ho c re a te th e g re a t fo rtu n e s o f the w ealthy: “ Each d o lla r th a t G etty o r H u n t is p e rm itte d to keep by g race o f th e d e p le tio n allow ance m u st b e p aid in to the treasu ry by a m achinist o r a h ig h school teach er. In the 1930s two-thirds o f th e fed eral in co m e tax re v en u e cam e from p e o p le e a rn in g o v er $ 1 0 0 . . A cco rding to an IRS official. an oil com pany in 1951 w ith a n e t in co m e o f a b o u t $4.” an d did to an ex te n t fo r th e first few d ecad es o f its existence. F u rth e rm o re .” In th e last fiscal year tax breaks cost th e g o v e rn m e n t $ 136 billion. H ow d o es it h a p p e n .T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 133 financial b enefit.” A m eri­ cans a re re lu c ta n t to reco g n ize this b ecau se o f o u r national co m m itm en t to in dividualism — th e d e lu sio n th at w hat o n e p e rso n d o es has n o effect o n an y o n e else. a n d in th e early 1960s th e m axim um in­ com e tax was cut from 91 p e rc e n t to 70 p e rc e n t— a m ove obviously o f b en efit only to m illionaires. . a h ig h e r an d h ig h e r p ro p o rtio n o f the tax b u rd e n has fallen o n individuals. T h e capi­ tal gains tax— o f b en efit to few b esid es th e w ealthy— has b e e n cut twice.600.0 0 0 . fu rth e rm o re . T o give som e in d icatio n o f how e x tre m e this can be. . w hile th e c o rp o ra te tax sh are has co n sisten tly d im in ish ed o v er th e years.

an d th o se profits m ust b e ex tra c te d from e ith e r w orkers o r co n su m ers. T h is is h ardly startlin g . it w ould te n d to d istrib u te itse lf ra th e r evenly. yet in creases a re a u to ­ m atically p assed o n to th e co n su m er. I f m o n ey w ere p u rely a m ed iu m o f ex ch ange. If all eco n o m ic exchanges w ere com pletely fair. as we have seen. T h e ex isten ce o f larg e a n d chronic differences is a clear in d icatio n th a t sw indling has o cc u rred in th e ex ch an g e pro cess. d ifferences in w ealth w ould obviously b e sm all a n d tem p o rary . which a rg u e s th a t if we give all o u r m oney a n d re ­ sou rces to A ddicts. w ealth ad d ictio n is like a valve th at allow s m oney to flow only o n e way— tow ard th o se w ho alread y have it: as m oney flows a b o u t in a co n tin u o u s circle. they will u se it in ways th at will b rin g p ro sp e rity to all. since c o rp o ra tio n s exist to m ake profits. B ut. Prices are rarely ro lled back w hen costs d ro p . like w ater. and o n th e p o o r? O n e reaso n why A ddicts have b e e n sp a re d this re se n tm e n t is th e w id esp read accep tan ce o f th e “ trick le-d ow n” th eo ry o f w ealth. T h e b e lie f o f th e “ h a v e -n o ts” th at th e system is fair th u s n o t only sustain s th e system b u t also m akes it possib le fo r th e “ h av es” to ch eat th em . th e “ h av es” skim a little off th e to p in each ex ch an g e. b u t u p o n g o v ern m en ts. since th e “ h av es” can skim only if th e re a re e n o u g h “ h a v e -n o ts” w ith en o u g h faith in th e system to b e skim m ed. T h e ch ro n ic in flation we e x p e ri­ en ce now re p re se n ts th e b e g in n in g o f a b reak d o w n o f this .” b u t they strive con tin u ally to re d u c e this n u m ­ b e r a n d “ cu t la b o r c o sts.” th u s m inim izing th e trickle. T h e d e g re e o f inequality is a m ea­ su re o f th e e x te n t o f th e sw indle. d ep riv e d o f re a so n a b le rev en u es. T h e p a ra d o x in this is th a t th e e n tire eco n o m ic system d e ­ p e n d s o n tru st— a basic sh a re d b e lie f th a t eco nom ic tra n sa c ­ tions will b e fair.1 3 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION u p o n th e w ealthy o r o n th e c o rp o ra tio n s they co n tro l. an d w hat o n e p e rso n can p ro d u c e alo n e is only so m ew h at m o re o r less useful th an w hat an y o n e else can p ro d u c e alo n e. since n o th ­ ing in h eren tly b elo n g s to an y o n e. C o rp o ra tio n s like to b o a st o f how m any jo b s they “ p ro v id e .

an d w here a re they to be placed? All th e “ h av es” w ant to have the holes p u n c h e d in so m e o n e e lse ’s backyard. b u t usually th e valve is leaky en o u g h to keep things going. an d (3) finding ways to quietly p lu g th em again w ithout anyone noticing. A h o le p u n c h e d in the valve m akes th e system w ork m o re fairly. . I su g g e ste d th at w ealth a d d ic tio n cre a te s a valve th at o p en s to let m o n ey flow to w ard th e rich a n d closes to p re v e n t it flow ing tow ard th e p o o r. T h e re is a W a sh in g to n cliche th a t “ you c a n ’t solve a p ro b ­ lem by th ro w in g m oney at it. M ost political stru g g le revolves a ro u n d (1) g ettin g holes p u n c h e d . In d e e d . d e sp ite a few pinpricks d u rin g th e J o h n s o n a d m in istra tio n . th e e co n o m ic system w ould break dow n a lto g e th e r. T h e im p lem e n ta­ tion o f th e incom e tax u n d e r W ilson was o n e o f these. a n d m oney w ould b e w orth less. th e New Deal a n o th e r. (2) d ecid in g w h ere they a re to be p u n ch e d . m oney w ould sto p circu latin g . A p e rfe c t valve w ould kill the goo se th at lays th e g o ld e n egg. H en ce h o le p u n c h in g is always w orked o u t in th e realm o f politics.” a n d if y o u r “ p ro b le m ” involves any a tte m p t to re d u c e in eq u ality th e sta te m e n t is q u ite true. b u t n e v e r re a c h e d its p u rp o rte d d e stin a ­ tion. b u t everyone w ants th at fairness in tro d u c e d so m ew h ere far from hom e. Since W o rld W ar II th e re have b e en n o m ajor holes p u n c h e d in th e m o n ey valve. T h u s a flow o f m oney has several tim es b e e n in itiated . a p o in t I ’ll d is­ cuss la te r in this ch a p te r. O bviously th e valve d o e s n ’t work perfectly o r th e p o o r w ould so o n have n o th in g at all. th e valve m u st b e made to leak in o rd e r th a t e x p lo ita tio n d o e s n ’t reach th e p o in t w here it destro y s th e system a lto g e th e r. after a lo n g p e rio d o f u nusually e x tre m e ex p lo ita tio n . Efforts m ad e to channel m oney tow ard th e p o o r have fo u n d e re d b ecau se th e valve itself has b e e n left intact. B ut how m any leaks a re to b e allow ed in th e valve.T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 135 w illingness to su p p o rt an ex p lo itativ e system . At tim es this has com e close to h a p p e n in g . H o le p u n c h in g usually occurs in sh o rt b u rsts.

M edicaid a n d M edicare. b u t a very g o o d jo b o f e n ric h in g d o c to rs. it c re a te d ag rib u sin ess. d istrib u to rs. In ste a d . a n d all ch arities su bsidize m iddle-class fu n d -raisers an d publicists. A nyone who has ever d istrib u te d feed to a g ro u p o f d o m e stic ated chickens. have d o n e a very p o o r jo b o f b rin g in g h ea lth care to th e p o o r. A g o o d ex am p le o f this was th e New D eal farm p ro g ra m . w hile a th ird o f all A m ericans living below the pov erty level re m a in e d unaffected. which a re la rg e r an d b e tte r su ited to grasp in g . Since 1945. T h e tro u b le w ith “ h a n d o u ts to th e p o o r ” is th a t they te n d to be in te rc e p te d by m iddle-class h an d s. they have h a d exactly th e o p p o site effect. o r g eese is p ro b ab ly aw are o f th e n e a r­ im possibility o f g e ttin g any o f it p ast th e g reedy o n es to the less g lu tto n o u s. to take a n o th e r exam ple. T h is is n ’t to be w o n d ered at— no significant re d u c tio n in th e w o rld ’s h u n g e r a n d p o v erty will occu r until g re e d an d p o w er-lu st can th em selves be m ade u n p ro fitab le. M edical charities subsidize d o c to rs a n d re ­ search scientists seeking to e n h a n c e th e ir p ro fessio n al re p u ta ­ tions w ithin th e ir fields. Even ch arities d esig n e d specifi­ cally to h elp th e p o o r an d h u n g ry rarely pass m o re th an a fraction o f th e ir collected fu n d s to th e n eedy them selves— som etim es less th a n 5 p e rc e n t. cru sh ­ ing th e sm all fa rm e r an d m aking rich c o rp o ra tio n s rich er. leaving th em helplessly in d e b t. In th e first year d o c to rs ’ fees ro se tw o an d o n e -h a lf tim es as fast as the cost o f living. an d banks. h u n d re d s o f billions o f dollars have b een given to d ev elo p in g n a tio n s u n d e r th e fo reig n aid p ro g ra m . fo r exam ple. In o th e r w ords. d estructively tied to the .1 3 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION T h is is b ecau se o f w hat I call th e P ou ltry Principle. “ th ro w in g m o n e y ” at a p ro b le m sim ply b rin g s all th e w ealth add icts o u t o f th e w oodw ork (m ix­ ing o u r m e ta p h o rs a bit) to g o b b le it up. S u p p osed ly d e sig n e d to m ake th ese n atio n s econom ically in d e p e n d e n t. Private a tte m p ts to p u n c h holes in th e m oney valve a re no m o re successful. ducks. o sten sibly in te n d e d to h elp p o o r farm ers w ith stan d th e eco n o m ic p o w er o f su p p liers. th e g reedy chickens are th e re . W h erev er you th ro w it.

d iv e rte d fro m th e ir ow n n a tu ra l p a th ­ ways tow ard h ealth fu l grow th. th e se n atio n s beco m e pow erless cogs in a la rg e r system th a t ex ploits them as vigorously as it can. a n d (2) th a t o u r n a tu ra l a n d h u m a n reso u rce s will b e m o st effectively utilized if they a re o rg a n iz ed to serve w ealth ad d ictio n .” In T h ird W orld c o u n trie s this o fte n takes th e form o f ho m o g en izin g ag ricu ltu ral p ro d u c tio n — raisin g sin g le cash crops on a m ass scale— w hich in creases d e p e n d e n c e o n heavy W estern e q u ip ­ m en t. w ho flo o d ed d ev e lo p in g areas with u n su ita b le te c h n iq u e s a n d e q u ip m e n t a n d c re a te d rip e co n d itio n s fo r e x p lo ita tio n by m u ltin a tio n a l co rp o ra tio n s seek in g ch eap . a n d d e v e lo p in g th e ir ow n skills. b u ild in g o n th e ir ow n diversity. is in h e ren tly w orking class. T h is is d o n e by re d u c in g diversity in th e less m a tu re system . a n d flu ctu atio n s in in tern atio n a l m arkets. u n o rg a n iz e d la b o r an d new m arkets.T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 137 in te rn a tio n a l eco n o m y . w h ere th e fiction o f equality m u st continually co n fro n t th e reality o f a d o u b le sta n d a rd o f ju s tic e fo r rich an d p o o r. e x p lo ita tio n re d u c e s m atu rity— th e m o re m atu re system d ra in in g o ff th e e n e rg y th e less m atu re system w ould n o rm ally u se to m a tu re o n its ow n. As R am 6n M arg alef observes. . F ar from a d d re ssin g them selves to th e real social a n d eco n o m ic p ro b le m s o f th e se co u n tries. In ste a d o f feed in g th e ir ow n p o o r. In 1978. especially larceny. a re n o t “ crim inal ty p es” by d efin itio n an d sh o u ld h e n c e b e tre a te d differently. T h is te n sio n is seen m o st dram atically in crim inal law. O u r society is fo u n d e d o n th e te n sio n b etw een two c o n tra ­ dictory beliefs: (1) th a t h u m a n b ein g s sh o u ld b e eq u al in o p ­ p o rtu n ity a n d b e fo re th e law. W hen we ex am in e this d o u b le sta n d a rd closely. o u r aid p ro g ra m s have b e e n largely su b sid ies fo r A m erican m an u factu rers a n d tech n ician s. th e re fo re . fo r “ p u m p in g m o re e n erg y in an d o u t o f a system sim plifies it. I t ’s n o t an easy m a tte r to p u n ch holes in th e m o n ey valve. im p o rte d techn ician s. M iddle-class p e o p le . it seem s to b e b ased o n an a ssu m p tio n — sh a re d by ju d g e s a n d laypeople alike— th a t crim e. living in safety a n d freed o m from ex p lo itatio n .

refu sed to im p riso n th e d o c to r. T h e ju d g e a g re e d .0 0 0 estate. a flag ran t case m ay a ttra c t som e gru m b les — a N ixon. L. M any th o u g h t N ixon h a d b e e n “ p u n ish e d e n o u g h ” by having to resig n an d accep t a h u g e g o v e rn m e n t p en sio n .” T h e id ea seem s to b e th a t if a m an d o e s n ’t need to steal in o rd e r to survive. we co uld have b e en in real tro u b le . Y et m o st p e o p le seem to feel th a t th e m e re st h in t o f p u b lic sh am e fo r a m iddle-class p e rs o n is eq u iv alen t to te n years b e h in d b ars fo r a w orking m an. Since this system violates o u r m ost fu n d am en ta l beliefs a b o u t dem ocracy. h e sh o u ld n ’t be p u n ish e d fo r it. giving him five years p ro b a tio n o n the co n d itio n th a t h e p ro v id e m edical services o n an In d ia n re s e r­ vation. a p p are n tly on th e g ro u n d s th at h e was h e ir to a $ 3 0 0 . especially w hen . T h e sam e leniency was d e m a n d e d fo r P rin ce B e rn h a rd o f th e N e th ­ erlan d s. W h en two o f H. T h e legal system serves in p a rt to p lu g th at hole. saying th a t th e d e fe n d a n t was “ n o t th e typical cro o k we g et in S u p e rio r C o u rt. o r a c o rp o ra tio n th a t steals m illions from th e public an d receives a $ 5 . T h is view reflects th e fact th a t blue-collar crim e is a h o le in th e m o n ey valve— it h elp s to equalize w ealth again. w ho ro utinely se n te n c e d p o o r p e o p le to p riso n fo r p etty sh o plifting. a ju ry th a t h a d co n v icted a thirty -year-old m an o f kidnap an d ro b b ery a p p e n d e d a p lea o f leniency. an d was p u n ish e d by hav in g to feel very b a d a b o u t it in public. T h is a p p e a re d dram atically in a C alifornia case w h ere a d o c to r was co nvicted o f eig h te e n c o u n ts o f M edi-C al an d M edicare frau d .000 slap o n th e wrist. B oth th e d istrict a tto rn e y an d th e p ublic d e fe n d e r’s office e x p re sse d o u tra g e at th e light sen te n c e . Since w hite-collar crim e has n o th in g to d o w ith eq ualizing w ealth it is always tre a te d leniently.1 3 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION fo r exam ple. o n e o f th e so n s re m a rk e d th at “ if H e rb e rt an d I h a d b e e n ju s t o rd in a ry p e o p le .” W hat p e o p le a re u n aw are o f is th e d e p th o f th eir class bias. P eo p le a re n o t u n aw are o f th e d o u b le sta n d a rd . w ho a d m itte d to tak in g o v er a m illion d o llars in b rib es. H u n t’s sons e scap ed co nviction o n a ch arg e o f o b ­ stru c tin g ju stic e . T h e S u p e rio r C o u rt ju d g e .

physical th in g . Since p riso n s a re usually m o re livable th a n ja ils.T H E DEM OCRATIZATION OF GREED □ 139 it was la te r d isco v ered th a t th e d o c to r was to receive a salary o f $3 0 . F u rth e rm o re . T h e e n tire system o f bail— as m any p e o p le have p o in te d o u t— fo sters this d o u b le sta n ­ d a rd . th e p u n ish ­ m en t fo r b e in g p o o r is far w o rse th a n th e p u n ish m e n t for b ein g guilty. an d th e th efts o f th e p o o r a re obvious: they g rab y o u r p u rse o r w allet o r com e in y o u r h o u se an d take things.” It was clear th at th e ju d g e fo u n d it im p o ssib le to tre a t as a crim inal so m e ­ o n e h e m ig h t have p layed g o lf with. T h e y steal from us w hen th e ir tax acc o u n tan ts find lo o p h o les an d again w hen they b rib e C o n g re ss to create new o nes. M ost A m ericans feel th at th e rich m an w ho h ires a killer is less “ crim in al” th a n the m an w ho pulls th e trig g er. even th o u g h in th e o ry they a re still in n o c e n t. T h ey steal from us w hen they p o llu te o u r air an d w ater a n d again w hen o u r tax d o llars a re u se d to clean it u p a n d again w hen they take o u t full p ag e ads to m islead us an d again w hen they d e d u c t th o se ads as a b u sin ess e x p en se. fo r ex am p le— m o re th a n larg e c o rp o ra tio n s are often fined fo r p o llu tin g a w hole riv er o r p o iso n in g consum ers). P o o r p e o p le w ho c a n n o t raise bail a re fo rced to serve sen ten ces o f m any m o n th s b e fo re they a re b ro u g h t to trial. T h e y steal from us w h en they co llu d e to fix prices. . M oney th u s co n fers resp ectab ility a n d h e n c e in n o cen ce in the eyes o f th e law. a n d expensively d re sse d p erso n s a re seld o m h a ra sse d . T o m o st o f us crim e is a d iso r­ derly. O ld b a tte re d cars a re sto p p e d by police far m o re o ften th an new ex p en siv e o n es.0 0 0 a y ear w hile serv in g this “ s e n te n c e . In this th e ju d g e was n o t u n iq u e . Ju d g e s usually aggrav ate this ineq u ity by a rb itra ry an d p u n itiv e bail se ttin g (a five-figure bail fo r a w elfare re c ip ie n t ch a rg e d w ith streetw alking. T h e rich steal from us w hen they b rib e clients o r sup p liers o r g o v ern m en t officials an d ad d th e cost to th e price o f th e ir p ro d u c ts. B ut th e th efts o f th e rich a re noiseless an d uno b tru siv e. ju d g e s a n d ju r o r s a re p ro fo u n d ly influen ced by th e c u rre n t statu s o f a d e fe n d a n t: th o se com ing from ja il a re convicted twice as o fte n as th o se o u t o n bail.

p o w er rests o n p ublic o p in io n — a fact th at is easily fo rg o tte n b ecau se p ublic o p in io n is so easily m a n ip u ­ lated . seem ed to b e b ased on the assu m p tio n th a t in flation a n d o th e r eco n o m ic p ro b le m s w ere caused by g o v e rn m e n t sp e n d in g . N ixon once b o a ste d to a se n a to r th a t “ a t any m o m e n t I co u ld go in to the n ex t ro o m . L arge c o rp o ra tio n s b en efited in o th e r ways: th e new . A nd given a choice betw een blam in g th e rich fo r th e ir p ro b le m s o r b lam in g th e p o o r. W h en C alifornia p a sse d its P ro p o sitio n 13. h e a lth services. subsidies. T h e n e x t m o m e n t they all believed th at it d e p e n d e d o n g ettin g as far away from him as they possibly could. the m ass o f th e p o p u la tio n will b lam e th e p o o r every tim e. THE CLOSET ADDICT T h e 1978 tax revolt. p u sh a b u tto n an d tw enty m in u tes la te r sixty m il­ lion p e o p le w ould b e d e a d . so servile. W ith all th e ir p o w er to b rib e an d coerce. and o n th e rich in graft. B ut p o w er is like m oney. T h e sam e th in g can b e seen in th e P o litb u ro o r o n the b o a rd s o f larg e c o rp o ra tio n s. A ddicts co u ld n o t flo u t th e law as co n sis­ tently an d successfully as they d o if th e m ass o f th e pu b lic did n o t in so m e way su p p o rt th em . Public services— libraries. colleges. O n e m o m e n t ev ery o n e believ ed him to b e th e c e n te r o f pow er. an d th a t th e ir ow n p o w er w ould b e e n h a n c e d by g e t­ tin g close to him . F ar from m aking g o v e rn m e n t m o re efficient. Now. Y et th e w rath o f th e p e o p le fell only o n th e p o o r. schools. it exists only as lo n g as p e o p le b elieve in it. b illions o f d o llars in tax rev en u es w ere lost. etc. p a d d e d co n tra c ts. U ltim ately.— had to be drastically cut. g o v e rn m e n ts sp e n d m oney o n th e p o o r.1 4 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION P eo p le a rg u e th a t th e crim es o f th e rich go u n p u n ish e d sim ply b ecau se they have m o re pow er. an d lost rev e ­ n u es th ro u g h tax lo o p h o les. it caused a m ass ex o d u s a m o n g th o se p u b lic servants c o m p e te n t e n o u g h to find m o re secu re a n d b e tte r-p a y in g jo b s in private industry. so h u n g ry fo r o rd e r. fo r ex am p le.” Yet this p o w er e v a p o ra te d o v er­ n ig h t. in w elfare benefits a n d o th e r services.

T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 141 law b ro u g h t a $4 billion w indfall in tax savings. N o resp o n sib ility was a ssig n ed to co rp o ra tio n s w ho m oved th e ir p lan ts o u t o f th e city in search o f exp lo itab le n o n u n io n lab o r. A lm ost every day we re ad o f som e c o rp o ra tio n hav in g know ingly ex p o se d th e public to leth al chem icals o r radioactivity— d u m p in g d a n g e ro u s w astes. leaving h u n d re d s o f th o u sa n d s o f w orkers oh th e city’s u n e m p lo y m e n t rolls. T h e s e “ runaw ay sh o p s” o ften m ove to T h ird W o rld c o u n trie s w h ere th e ir su b stan tial cost savings a re p a sse d o n n e ith e r to local p o p u la tio n s n o r to A m erican co n su m ers. m u ch o f th e m o n ey sim ply left th e sta te a lto g e th e r. a n d p o llu tio n laws.” ) Y et w hen th e se facts a re ex p o se d th e o u tcry is n o t ag ain st th o se w ho p ro fit from o u r ill h e alth b u t ag ain st th o se w ho b rin g th e facts to light. T h e n e t re su lt o f th e “ tax re v o lt” was th e fu rth e r im p o v erish m en t o f th e m ajority o f vo ters. skim m ing th e p o o r at b o th en d s. “ R unaw ay sh o p s pay skim py w ages overseas. It is h a rd e r to u n d e rs ta n d p u b lic in d ifferen ce to c o rp o ra te violations o f health . In d e e d . since m o st o f the la rg e st b eneficiaries w ere n a tio n a l o r in te rn a tio n a l c o rp o ra ­ tions. a n d o n th e “ g e n e ro sity ” o f th e city to its in d ig en t in h ab itan ts. It is easy fo r a larg e c o rp o ra tio n to m a n ip u la te pu b lic sen ti­ m en t a b o u t p ro b le m s th a t a re this com plex. P eople jo k e th a t “ ev ery th in g in th e w orld is carc in o g e n ic ” tis if efforts to p ro te c t th em ag ain st c o rp o ra te m u rd e r w ere an an n o y in g in tru sio n . H ow d o es this h a p p e n ? W hy d o we a p p la u d w hen w ealthy c o rp o ra tio n s d in e lavishly a t o u r e x p e n se an d th en accuse th e g o v e rn m e n t o f b e in g a sp e n d th rift w hen it has to pick u p th e check? . T h e financial p ro b le m s o f New Y ork C ity w ere also blam ed o n th e p o o r. (T ax d o llars su p p o rt a h u g e la b o ra to ry in A rkansas w hose p u rp o s e is “ to find o u t ju s t how m any c a n c er-p ro d u cin g chem icals we co u ld ‘safely’ c o n su m e . p u ttin g toxic ad ditives in o u r food.” T h is is th e m oney valve in actio n . very little o f w hich was p a sse d o n to co n su m ers. b u t still c h a rg e th e sam e prices fo r th e ir p ro d u c ts as w hen they w ere m ad e in th e U n ite d S ta te s. selling harm fu l m ed icin es. safety.

n o n o th in g .” W hite m iddle-class stu d e n ts w ere in d ig n an t th a t m inorities w ith p o o re r g rad es w ere b ein g a d m itte d to schools th at had tu rn e d th e w hites dow n. as o n e official p o in te d out: “ W hile th e m iddle class an d th e m in o rities a re fighting it o u t .1 4 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION C o rp o ra tio n s o fte n try to excu se th e ir acts by saying th at they only serve th e ir sto ck h o ld ers. W hy a re th e rich im m u n e from th e a n g e r so o fte n d ire cte d again st th e p o o r for d o in g in a sm all way w hat th e rich d o on . Officials at H arvard a d m itte d d u rin g th e late 1950s th a t 4 0 p e rc e n t o f th e ir privateschool app lican ts w ere a d m itte d only b ecau se they cam e from “ g o o d ” (i. . Yet.” an d in­ d e e d . p ro d u c e d n o Bakke case. It is prim arily w ealth ad d icts w ho p rofit from p o llu tio n an d cancer. At o n e school m o re than th re e -fo u rth s o f th e accep ted ap p lican ts had p a re n ts w ho m ad e larg e financial co n trib u tio n s. .. which p ro b ab ly kept close to a th o u sa n d b rig h t public school stu d e n ts from b e in g a d m itte d to H arv ard each year. rich) fam ilies w ho m ig h t leave b e q u ests. h ailed as a victory ag ain st “ rev erse d iscrim in a tio n . These q u o tas. n o outcry . (Yet m any o f th e se a p p li­ cants w ere la te r aw ard ed fed eral sch o larships a n d loans as “ need y s tu d e n ts . im plying all th e w hile that th e se sto ck h old ers a re a cross sectio n o f the g e n eral public. th e re a re d e p th s o f stupidity in th e se schools n o t to be fo u n d in any o th e r stratu m o f society. d e sp ite so m e superficial v erbal facility. A n o th e r exam p le o f m isd irected b lam e is th e Bakke d eci­ sion.” Bakke h im self w ould have b e e n ad m itte d w ithout having to go to c o u rt h ad n o t “ at least five o th e r less qualified w hite app licants b een a ccep ted a h e a d o f him b ecau se o f family c lo u t.” T h e key to g e ttin g in to p riv ate schools is having a p a re n t w ho will m ake a larg e c o n trib u tio n .e. h ow ever im p o v erish ed .” ) A nyone w ho has ta u g h t at an Ivy L eague school is fam iliar w ith th e “ G e n tle m a n C s tu d e n t. B ut L u n d b e rg p o in ts o u t th a t less th a n 2 p e rc e n t o f th e p o p u ­ lation ow ns 80 p e rc e n t o f all stocks (as well as 100 p e rc e n t o f sta te an d local b o n d s an d alm o st 90 p e rc e n t o f c o rp o ra te b o n d s). n o b o d y seem s to n o tice th at th e rich a re still b ein g assu re d o f th e ir q u o ta .

finally. ju s t like o th e r p eo p les. a re n o t en tirely d isin te re ste d . W e w ant ev ery th in g to ru n sm o o th ly an d effortlessly. an d d iv erting social scientists from radical analysis o f th e eco n o m ic an d p o ­ litical system to beh av io rism an d th e study o f social control. th e se n io r R o ck efeller’s ch arities h ad side effects th at w ere q u ite useful to th e family: c re a tin g new m a r­ kets overseas. As C ollier and H orow itz p o in t o u t. b lu n tin g d issen t.T H E DEMOCRATIZATION OF GREED □ 143 a g ra n d scale? Is it th e p o w er o f th e rich to co n fe r o r w ithhold financial b enefits? T h e r e is a w id esp read m yth th a t th e g e n e r­ osity o f m u ltim illio n aires is all th a t stan d s b etw een us an d the D ark A ges. since we have to pay w hat he o r she d o es n o t. T h ey estim ate th a t 70 p e rc e n t o f N elson R ockefeller’s d o n a ­ tions w ere “ basically gifts to him self. his family. buying off pub lic o p in io n . m ost Heavy A ddicts give little o r n o th in g to ch aritab le causes in any case. th e re a so n fo r A ddict im m unity from p o p u la r re se n tm e n t lies elsew here. T h is has led to th e c re a tio n o f h u g e m echanical stru c tu re s— tech n o lo g ical a n d b u re a u c ratic — th at o rd e r o u r en v iro n m en t in an im p erso n al. d isen fran ch isin g blacks. with an ex trem ely high d e g re e o f c o o rd in a tio n which w e’ve b ee n tra in e d to p re te n d d o es n o t exist. so th a t th e A d d ict’s ch aritab le c o n trib u tio n is in som e p a rt our c o n trib u tio n . O u r in ­ dividualistic u p b rin g in g s p re v e n t us from seein g o u r ow n role in creatin g th e se s tru c tu re s— th a t they exist as a clum sy co m ­ p ro m ise b etw een o u r unw illingness to live cooperatively and o u r n e e d fo r an o rd e rly b ack g ro u n d in w hich to play o u t o u r individualistic success fantasies. Yet we n e e d to re m e m b e r th a t m ost o f th ese c o n tri­ b u tio n s w ould o th erw ise b e paid in taxes (thus saving o th e r taxpayers m oney). an d th eir in stitu tio n al e x te n sio n s. as w e’ve seen. M any o f th e se “ ch aritab le c o n trib u tio n s. in creasin g oil p ro d u c ­ tion. m achine-like way.” fu rth e rm o re . C learly. A nd since we d o n ’t see o u r ­ . As a n atio n w e’re im p aled o n a p ecu liar am bivalence. O n the o th e r h an d . W e are p ro g ra m m e d from b irth to believe th a t w e’re a u to n o m o u s in­ dividuals w hose actions d o n o t affect each o th e r.” A nd. o r at least th a t w e’re n o t a p a rt of. we have an in te n se n e ed for o rd er.

A m an like H o w ard H u g h es is a d m ire d fo r his ability to say “ Fuck y o u ” to th e g o v e rn m e n t. T h e covert su p p o rt o f C lo set A ddicts m aintains th e o p p re s ­ sions o f o u r econom ic system : th e co m p etitive stress. a co llu ­ sion from which th e C lo set A ddict gains n o th in g a n d th e H eavy A ddict everything. C lo set A ddicts have lo st th e capacity to rec o g n ize d iseased . an d o u r d isa p p o in t­ m e n t an d fru stra tio n o v er this leads us to glorify an y o n e in a p o sitio n to b u lld o ze his way th ro u g h such obstacles. h e has b ee n quickly co m m itted by in d ig n a n t relatives o r shocked ju d g e s . W e fail to n o tic e th a t h e ’s saying it to us as well. It is this secret d re a m th at b rin g s th e C loset A ddict in to unw ittin g collusion w ith th e H eavy A ddict. th e u n re w a rd in g lab o r. o p p ressiv e forces th at h em us in a n d block o u r m o v em en t. the d o u b le sta n d a rd o f ju stic e .” A ddicts a re to le ra te d . T h o rn d ik e observes. th e vicious circle o f p overty. .” N elson R ockefeller’s son S tev en is c o m m e n tin g o n th e sam e public in d u lg en ce w hen h e says: “ T h e re is no ra tio n al ju stifica ­ tio n for my family having th e a m o u n t o f m oney th a t it has . in fact. T h e o rd e r we w ant is a traffic lig h t th a t’s always re d for everyone else a n d g re e n fo r us. in o th e r w ords. N o such system co u ld lo n g exist if at least a b a re m ajority o f th e p o p u la tio n w ere n o t C lo set A ddicts— p e o p le w ho e n te rta in th e fantasy th a t they them selves will o n e day strike it rich. a n d so on . n o t b ec au se p e o p le are stu p id b u t b ecau se they tre a su re th e system th a t fosters w ealth ad d ictio n . th a t p e o p le seem “ inclined to p e rm it a rich m an alm o st any w him ex cep t d isre sp e c t for m oney itself. we rail at th e se p ro d u c ts o f o u r ow n im pulses as if they b e lo n g e d to so m e o n e else. they a p p e a r as alien. th e c o n ­ stan t striving. th e sh o d d y g o o d s. . O n c e in a w hile w hen a son o f w ealth has sto o d o n th e stre e t a n d h a n d e d o u t h u n d re d -d o lla r bills. R a th e r th an b lam ing th e individualistic illusions th a t g o t us in to this pickle. th e only h o n e st th in g to say in d e fe n se o f it is th a t we like having th e m oney a n d th e p re s e n t social system allow s us to keep it.1 4 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION selves creatin g th em .

b lin d to inequality. peacefu l w orld. fanatical a b o u t privacy. clin g in g to th e ir distan t fantasies o f su d d e n w ealth at th e cost o f paying real m oney into th e pockets o f A ddicts in th e h ere-an d -n o w . la u n ­ dries? W h e re so m any p e o p le a re o b sessed w ith p erm an en tly ow ning every piece o f e q u ip m e n t they m ight ever conceivably w ant to use? W h e re p e o p le a re so n erv o u s a b o u t b o u n d a rie s an d h id in g th e ir bodily p ro cesses th a t they in v e n te d d e o d o r­ an ts fo r every conceivable p a rt o f th e body.” “ learn to d a n c e . as we have seen . fo r exam p le.” “ eat fast. (since sm ells d o n ’t resp ec t th e artificial fro n tie rs th at p e o p le live by)? W h e re p e o ­ ple are so blind to th e ir in te rd e p e n d e n c e th a t they can n o t co n n ect th e p o llu tin g they d o w ith th e p o llu tio n they object to? H u g h es m erely c arried th e A m erican D ream to its logical conclusion. T h ey a re d e a f to injustice. p re fe rrin g th e ir se c re t fantasies o f w ealth to th e real possibility o f a m o re eq u itab le. Every city stre e t in A m erica scream s w ith signs. h o m es. have co n sistently s u p ­ p o rte d low ering th e capital gains tax. an d with h id in g his n eed s. C lo set A ddicts. d is­ tu rb e d by any situ atio n h e c o u ld n ’t c o n tro l. an d n u m b to th e ir ow n ex ploi­ tation. As I n o te d e arlier.” “ ow n a big c a r. B ut is this u n u su al in a society in which so m any p e o p le d e m a n d p riv ate ro o m s. cars.” and so on. .” “ shave fast. activities. o b sessed with m aintain in g rigid b o u n d a rie s b etw een h im se lf a n d th e rest o f th e w orld.” “ learn to b e a c o m p u te r p ro g ra m m e r. an d physical p rocesses from o th e rs. was in cap a­ ble o f sh arin g o r c o o p e ra tin g . all saying: “ M ake m e rich! M ake m e ric h !” Individualism m akes m arks o f us all. I t’s easy to dism iss H o w ard H u g h es as a m e re eccentric. m any g re a t fo rtu n e s have b e en built by preying on th e individualistic g re e d o f C lo set A ddicts: “ Look p re tty .T H E DEMOCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 145 behavior. H u g h es.” “ sm ell p re tty . b u t th e difference b etw een H u g h e s a n d th e typical C lo set A ddict is m erely o n e o f d e g re e .” “ learn to d raw .” “ m ake a m illion on th e stock m a rk e t. identifying w ith A ddicts even w hen they take b re ad from th e ir m o u th s (“ H e ’s ju s t trying to m ake a buck like every­ o n e else ” ).

M en like R ocke­ feller. A ddicts are o rd in ary p eo p le with fam ilies w ho h a p p e n to have a n e e d so s tro n g they are willing to let th o u sa n d s suffer in o rd e r to satisfy it. with a p o lite softspoken m a n n e r an d a slight p a u n c h — obviously so m e o n e ’s D addy— we feel im m ediately th a t he m u st have b ee n th e victim o f a m isu n d e rsta n d in g . G o u ld . th e ro b b e r b a ro n s them selves a re lo oked u p o n m uch m o re kindly today th an they w ere at th e tim e. as we shall see. a n d Frick w ere in th e ir day alm ost universally d e te ste d an d som etim es in physical d a n g e r from an o u tra g e d public.. w ho knew they h ad cau sed th e d e a th an d m u tilatio n o f th o u sa n d s an d th e m isery an d pov erty o f m illions. m eanw hile. eth n ic p h e n o m e n o n . for exam p le— this m ellow ing effect o f tim e was assisted by an e la b o ra te a n d p ro tra c te d pub lic relatio n s cam paign. A m ericans are capable o f b rie f o u tb u rsts o f rag e w hen they h e a r o f so m e ex tre m e piece o f b ru tality o r ex p lo itatio n b u t they a re alm o st invariably m o l­ lified w hen they find th at th e cu lp rit is an o rd in ary ed u ca te d h u m an being. have a c q u ire d a p leasin g ro g u ish n ess that they n ev er h ad in real life. In so m e cases— R ockefeller. A ddicts today have a relatively b en ig n im age. W hen we see a plain. N aturally . N oth in g . M ost W ealth A ddicts are sim ply n o t reco g n izab le as th e b lo a te d capitalists o f radical carto o n ists. o r laugh m aniacally. J u s t as m ost alcoholics a re n o t skid row bum s b u t ord in ary p e o p le who go to w ork every day. in fact. Sr. m id d le a g ed W ASP m an in a suit.1 4 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION Now th e re a re a lot m o re C lo set A ddicts a ro u n d today th an th e re w ere a h u n d re d years ago— a c h an g e th at has h ad a lot to d o with o u r ch ro n ic inflation. In d e e d . V illains a re su p p o se d to look like fo reig n ers a n d snarl. W e have b e e n c o n d itio n e d fo r a cen tu ry o r m o re o f p o p u la r literary an d m ed ia tra d itio n to see villainy as a low er-class. T h e villains. S om e o f th e ch an g e is d u e m erely to th e g en tle veil th at tim e throw s o v er all p ast events. T h e victim s a re nam eless a n d th eir trag ed ies so n u m e ro u s th at they have n o m ean in g to us. seem s to b e ea sie r to m an ip u late th a n p u b ­ lic se n tim e n t a b o u t th e rich. a lth o u g h th e ir scruples cer­ tainly h a v e n ’t im p ro v ed since th e days o f th e ro b b e r b aro n s.

an d led to th e fam ous L udlow m assacre in which w om en an d ch ild ren w ere m a c h in e -g u n n e d by h ired guards. th at h e h ad b e e n u n aw are o f th e te rrib le co n d itio n s.” T h e sam e was tru e o f A ndrew M ellon. “ H e seem ed far to o weak a p e rso n to have actually h ad a h a n d in m aking such m u rd e ro u s policy. W eb ster. an d titled “ T h e T im id S o u l. in fact. they are. d iscussed in C h a p te r 4. N o th in g co u ld b e tte r illu stra te th e difficulty o f trying to cast Heavy A ddicts in th e ro le o f Evil M oney-bags th an J o h n D. T h is d e ta c h e d stance is a p p ro p ria te in a way. th e c a rto o n ch ar­ acte r cre a te d by H . diffident family m an— th e very soul o f stu b b o rn m ediocrity— it was easy fo r him to p re te n d . in clu d in g th e m assacre itself.” It was im possible to im agine him b ein g im plicated in violence o r cruelty. q u ite indiffer­ e n t to it. J r . since Heavy A ddicts actually feel re m o te from th e e x p lo ita tio n an d brutality on which th e ir w ealth is b ased. Yet he gave en th u siastic su p p o rt to la b o r policies q u ite as vicious as th o se o f R ockefeller. p io u s. H e co n sid ered th e abysm al slavery o f L udlow m iners as a freed o m .T H E DEM OCRATIZATION OF GREED □ 147 they d o n ’t w ant to look at this quality in them selves an d try to find ways to avoid d o in g so. and a r­ gued th at to have a u n io n w ould b e to lose th at freedom . R ockefeller. T . w ho b o re an e m b a r­ rassing resem b lan ce to C a sp a r M ilquetoast. A tim id. o r H en ry F o rd . u n d e r q u e stio n in g . Yet h e n o t only knew b u t stro n g ly s u p p o rte d every m ove the com pany m ade.. T h e y a re ju s t o rd in a ry p e o p le w ith a d e sp e ra te n eed . T h e y ju s t w ant th e m oney. J r. Yet it was h a rd fo r p e o p le to c o n n e c t him with the sla u g h te r o f w retchedly p o o r w om en an d ch ild ren . a n d this gives th em an air o f d e ta c h m e n t from th e b ru tality th e ir d esire inevitably causes. w o rth having every m in er killed. a n eed they feel so acutely they a re in cap ab le o f re sp o n d in g to th e m isery o f o th e rs. . H e was delicacy an d aloofness p erso nified. th a t prev ailed at his L u d ­ low m ine. H e said u n d e r o a th th at h e th o u g h t this was a g reat p rin cip le— w orth having ch ild ren sh o t for.

know ing it was always th e re . H e was p e rh a p s th e first A ddict to realize th at he co u ld su p p o rt his ow n h ab it by b eco m in g a p u sh er. L et m e give a trivial illu stratio n o f this g en eralizatio n o f ad d ictio n : M ost a rb o re tu m s have th e clearly necessary rule th at flow ers. R ecently I w an d e re d th ro u g h an a rb o re tu m on th e o u tsk irts o f a larg e city. I n o ticed th a t m o st o f th em w ere carry in g azalea b ran ch es in full blo o m . as usually h a p p e n s with living things. A fter all. th e p o o r are given the o p tio n o f accep tin g th e ir pov erty o r b eco m in g A ddicts— n o t a . W h en we cam e to th e b u sh es them selves they looked as if they h ad b e e n attack ed by a d e ra n g e d h e d g eclip p er.1 4 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION T h e m o st im p o rta n t facto r in in creasin g the n u m b e r o f C loset A ddicts in o u r society was m ass m ark eting. C learly. Faced with o u r official ideology. to possess was to destro y .” B ut th e ir crim e is m erely to follow in th e fo o tstep s o f real A ddicts. w hen a R ockefeller buys m ost o f a C a rib b e a n island to build an exclu­ sive re so rt he is b reak in g off a very larg e b ranch. to look was n o t e n o u g h — o n e had to possess. sh ru b s. a n d flee to so m e m o re iso lated locale. It was H enry F o rd ’s in v en tio n o f th e n o tio n o f g e ttin g rich by selling large n u m b e rs o f p e o p le things they d o n ’t n e e d an d paying them alm o st e n o u g h to afford them . a n d tre e b ra n c h e s a re n o t to be rem oved. who d o n ’t n e e d to b reak b ra n c h e s b ecau se they can possess th e ir ow n e n tire a rb o re tu m s from w hich th e p o o r a re excluded. Now m iddle-class o n lo o k ers to such events usually dism iss th em as yet a n o th e r ex am p le o f th e vulgarity o f th e p o o r. w ho have an even s tro n g e r n e e d to p o ssess exclusively. an d in m o re placid tim es this ru le was generally accep ted . even th o u g h . B ut the p o o r in this in stan ce are m erely b eh av in g like th e rich. visited p rim arily by p o o r peo p le. P eo p le cam e to th em to enjoy th e beau ty. T h e b ran ch -b reak ers a re d o in g ju s t w hat H en ry F o rd ta u g h t them to d o by saying “ W hy n o t have o n e fo r y o u r very ow n ?” W e tu rn u p o u r e d u c a te d n o ses at th e se te n d e rfo o t C loset A ddicts an d co n sid e r any place w h ere they have a p p e a re d in larg e n u m b ers as having b e e n “ s p o ile d .

O n ce th e sickness o f th e A ddict is reco g n ized . O n c e n ecessities a re available to all. In n a tu re th e re is food. satisfying work. an d lives in ugly and m iserab le su rro u n d in g s is in a p o sitio n to le a rn th at m oney is an add ictio n . sick. T h is is b ecau se o u r eco n o m ic system is set up in such a way as to m ake n o d istin ctio n b etw een w orking to survive an d w orking to su p p o rt a m o n ey habit. th e dilem m a o f th e p o o r can b e a p p ro a c h e d sin g le-m in d ed ly an d undistractedly. F o r alth o u g h m o n ey c a n ’t buy h a p p in e ss w ealth addicts have crea te d a society in w hich th e lack o f it can p u rc h a se pain. T h ro u g h this device— th e fo rced p o v erty o f th e m asses— A ddicts are able to acq u ire p o p u la r s u p p o rt. an d so on . in o th e r w ords. ev ery o n e can be free to p u rsu e an ad d ictio n o r n o t. b u t even th e se can b e taken from you by p e o p le w ith w ealth an d pow er. Y ou m ig h t ju s t as well le c tu re a d e se rt island castaw ay a b o u t n e u ro tic “jo in e r s ” w ho c a n ’t sta n d to b e alone: if you ask his o p in io n h e will tell you th a t b e in g w ith p eo p le is a very nice th in g an d n o o n e sh o u ld p u t it dow n. A nd this ten d s to co n fu se p e o p le in to th in k in g th a t it can buy h a p p i­ ness. b u t m any o f th e se th in g s have b een m ade artificially scarce by A ddicts. T h e n a tio n a l ideology. T h e b e st things in life are free. A tte n tio n can b e fo cused n o t o n m oney. sensual p le a su re s o f all kinds. No o n e w ho is h u n g ry . A ddicts have a rig h t to . u n til they have b eco m e available largely to th e rich o r to th e d elib erately p o o r— ex-addicts who are m ostly m iddle-class an d know how to circum vent the a d ­ dictive m achinery o f th e cu ltu re. since they are provided with no other way to define their problem. fresh air. Deprivation makesfellow travelers and co-conspirators o f many who are not addicts by nature. The poor are thereby forced to become Closet Addicts. b eauty. Living u n d e r co n d itio n s th a t cau se m isery an d suffering. ju s t as h e o r she likes.T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 149 very h ap p y choice. they see m oney as th e only escape. T h e obvious so lu tio n is to eq u alize w ealth to the p o in t w here this co n fu sio n is elim in ated an d p e o p le can seek p lea ­ su re addictively o r nonad d ictiv ely . b u t on necessity. cold. says th at th e only way o u t o f pov erty a n d m isery is to buy y o u rse lf o ut.

som e m inim um level o f h e alth and safety. T h is is a so p h istica ted p o sition. as its prim ary social goal. O u r society fails only b ecau se it has taken o n . which at p re s e n t it does. even in o u r th o u g h ts. T h e p ro b le m w ith th e se “ we a re all victim s” an d “ we are all guilty” arg u m e n ts is th at they a re paralyzing. Injustices can n o t be c o rre c ted w ith o u t re se n tm e n t. since som e o f th e m ost p rim itive “ savage” trib es d o it w ith ease. we a re all victims to g e th e r. an d th e possibility o f d e c e n t s u rro u n d in g s. w arm th. since som e p e o ­ p le a re g re e d ie r th a n o th e rs. A society th at fails to d o this isn ’t w o rth m uch.1 5 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION exist— so lo n g as th e ir h ab it d o e s n ’t d ep riv e o th e rs o f the necessities o f life. sh elter. in stead o f enjoying th e real possibility o f sh a re d reso u rces. B ut at th e m o m e n t o u r society is stru c tu re d in such a way as to give e x a g g e ra te d e n c o u ra g e m en t to th ese m o re infantile m em b ers o f th e p o p u la tio n . since it directs energy again st h u m an b ein g s ra th e r th an ag ain st th e evil in stitu tio n s th a t c o rru p t th em . W e all suffer w hen we eg g each o th e r o n to g re a te r g rasp in g . P erm issiveness at b o tto m is n o th in g but a form o f w ithdraw al a n d avoidance: “ Y ou’ve got y o u r p ro b ­ lem s. W e d o n ’t have to h a te A d­ dicts b u t we n e e d to re s e n t th e ir ad d ictio n an d the m isery it creates fo r all o f us. It seem s to m e th a t any society w o rth talking a b o u t sh o u ld b e ab le to e n su re th a t all its p a rtic ip a n ts have a d e q u a te n o u r ­ ish m en t. O th erw ise th e re is n o way we can m ove. to c o rre c t th e c o n d itio n s th at b rin g a b o u t th at ad d ictio n .” S o o n e r o r la te r th e A ddict is go in g to rip . I ’ve g o t m in e . b u t o n e th at len d s itse lf b e tte r to th o u g h t th an to action— a p p ro p ria te p e rh a p s fo r p e o p le w ho w rite le a rn e d p ap ers a b o u t th e w orking class in lan g u ag e d e sig n ed to p re v e n t w ork­ ing-class p e o p le from u n d e rs ta n d in g them . Now a case can be m ad e th a t criticizing th e n eu ro se s o f the rich is b o th u n c h a rita b le a n d naive. th e task o f fo sterin g a n d su p p o rtin g w ealth ad d ictio n at the ex p en se o f every o th e r h u m an in te re st o r goal. T h e re will always be differences in w ealth. P erh ap s th e re will always be w ealth addicts. rich an d p o o r alike. A ccording to this view.

T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 151 you off—his ad d ictio n d e m a n d s it. th e p o in t is which side w e’re on.e. T o say “ I may be so m e th in g o f an ad d ict m y self b u t I ’m n o t s u p p o rtin g this tu rk ey ” is to take a stan d w ith th e health y p a rt o f y o u rse lf and against th e addictive p a rt. yet (2) success in trad e com es from buying ch eap a n d selling d e a r— i. But since H en ry F o rd . INFLATION Inflation is th e re su lt o f this diffusion o f A ddict attitu d es th ro u g h o u t th e p o p u la tio n — w hat I call th e D em ocratization o f G reed . from violating th a t tru st. T h e p o in t is n o t w h e th e r we a re all addicts. T o ad m ire o r in d u lg e a H ow ard H u ghes is n o t only to ack now ledge th e ad d ict w ithin you but also to give it th e n o d — to e n te r in to collusion w ith it. A dm ira­ tion o f th e w ealth ad d ict is a secret co m m itm en t to sh o o t up the first tim e an o p p o rtu n ity p re se n ts itself. T h is is likely to b e th e case in close. C apitalism w orks well w hen th e re is a kind o f stable division o f la b o r b etw een c h e a te r an d c h eated . w h ere a check is p laced o n m ost p e o p le ’s g reed by th e sim ple fact th at they have s tro n g a n d p e rm a n e n t ties with th e p e o p le they deal with. stab le co m m u n i­ ties. leaving only a m inority o f A ddicts o p e ra tin g o n P rin cip le T w o. A re we fo r th e ad d ictio n o r against it? T o say “ w e’re all add icts an d th e re fo re I c a n ’t b e angry at this co nspicu o u s A d d ict” is n o t only to acknowledge the addict w ithin y o u rse lf b u t to support and encourage it. It is a system fo u n d e d o n th e follow ing c o n tra d ic to ry principles: (1) tra d e is an equ al ex ch an g e b ased o n tru st. T o swallow y o u r re s e n t­ m en t at this p o in t is to assu m e p e rso n a l resp o n sibility fo r the addict an d fo r his ad d ictio n . A m erican capitalism has b e g u n to rely increasingly o n fo ste rin g a d d ic tio n in th e g e n eral public— .. O nly a co n firm ed w ealth addict can live com fortably w ith th e c o n te m p t o f frien d s and n eig h b o rs th at he has ch eated . for exam p le. from c h e at­ ing. Now so lo n g as m ost o f the p o p u la tio n acts o n P rin cip le O n e. th e system can b e m ain­ tained.

th e n m oney is all th a t is g e n e r­ ated . N ew spapers an d g o v e rn m e n t officials ex p ress p le a su re an d re lie f w hen th e rate o f in flation d eclines. In th e stre e ts. which is a little like saying “ T h e w e a th e r’s g e ttin g b e tte r. Yet m oney itse lf is w orth less. Inflation is an en tirely logical o u tc o m e o f an econom y b ased o n g re e d . In th e last analysis m oney is only a reflectio n o f h u m an en erg ies: if th o se e n e rg ie s a re invested solely in generating m oney. In flatio n is now a ch ro n ic co n d itio n in o u r society. m otives. h e ro in is progressively m o re a d u lte ra te d — th e sam e q u an tity o f p u rch ase d m aterial co n tain s less an d less o f th e actu al d ru g . only a b o u t re d u c in g it. If to o m any p e o p le in a society a re buying ch eap an d selling d e a r— if to o m any a re trying to get m ore from b a rte r an d give less. W e no lo n g e r even talk a b o u t g e ttin g rid o f it. s tro n g society an d m o re and m o re in to g e ttin g th e m o n e ta ry rew ards. for th e d e m o c ra tiz atio n o f g re e d u n d e rm in e s the very system th a t p ro d u c e s th e ir w ealth. an d m o n ey is th e co m m o n d e ­ n o m in a to r o f th a t b a rte r— th e n all a re continually g e ttin g less a n d less for th e ir m oney.1 5 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION o n trying to p e rsu a d e us all th a t we can an d sh o u ld seek w ealth a n d its p rero g ativ es. B ut w hat you p u t in is w hat you g et o u t. they te n d to ig n o re th e psychological c o m p o n e n t in inflation. As m o re a n d m ore p e o p le o p e ra te o n P rin cip le T w o. th e value o f m oney itself beg in s to decline. T h e ir success in this e n d e a v o r will b e th e ir dow nfall. it’s rain in g only a little m o re th an it was yesterday.” Since eco n o m ists as a g ro u p a re u n in te re ste d in p eo p le . an d as h u m an en erg y is increasingly d ire c te d to w ard skim m ing off m oney an d less . th e g re a te st d ru g o f all. T o p u t it a n o th e r way. an d feelings. T h e A ddict gets less and less high from th e sam e a m o u n t o f m oney. how ever. p e o ­ p le p u t less an d less effort in to p ro d u c in g th e g o o d s and services n e e d e d fo r a h ealthy. A ddicts have trie d to justify th e ir ad d ic­ tio n by m aking them selves h e ro e s a n d m o dels fo r all to e m u ­ late. T h e sam e is tru e o f m oney itself. w hereas yesterday it rain e d a lot m o re th an th e day b e fo re .

th at w o rth ­ lessness b eco m es m o re an d m o re tan g ib le. W e now have th e sam e a m o u n t o f m oney as w hen we sta rte d b u t I have my g ro ceries an d you have y o u r car re p aired . Y ou cut dow n your costs by giving m e in fe rio r p ro d u c e th at you w ere a b o u t to throw out. Any increase in the ratio o f greed to service or production will be immediately reflected in inflation. taxes. th e availability o f re so u rc e s. an d so o n d o n ’t affect infla- . W e pay each o th er. W e each m ake an ex tra $5 pro fit. a n d w e’ll have to pay even m o re to o b tain th e sam e quality we u sed to get. T h is is n o t to say th a t in te re st rates. The inflated price is a precise reflection o f our greed— that is. I cut dow n my costs by using rusty old p a rts I have lying a ro u n d my g arag e. th e n atio n al d e b t stru c tu re . it costs us m ore to get w hat we u se d to g et b e fo re we got g reedy.” Inflation is n o th in g b u t a th e rm o m e te r o f n atio n al greed .T H E DEM OCRATIZATION O F GREED □ 153 an d less tow ard p ro d u c in g an y th in g o f value. E conom ists m uch p re ­ fer to talk a b o u t variatio n s in th e la rg e r eco n o m ic in stitu tio n s as causes o f in flation b ecau se it avoids this basic social and psychological tru th . b u t since by now ev ery o n e has g o tte n greedy. prices will ho ld . W e talk a b o u t “ in flatio n ” an d com p lain th at “ you c a n ’t g et as m uch fo r your m oney as you u sed to . I m ay fail a n d b e forced to low er th e price. W ith the ex tra m oney w e’ve m ad e we seek b e tte r service elsew here. S u p p o se th at I receive $ 50 w o rth o f g ro ceries from you an d in exch an g e d o a $50 re p a ir jo b o n y o u r car. But if all o f us a re d o in g th e sam e thing. T h is is th e real m e a n in g o f inflation. Now le t’s say we b o th get greedy. B ut w hen g re ed becam e a m ass p h e n o m e n o n it b e g an to reflect itse lf in m ass statistics. foreign trad e . g o v e rn m e n t sp e n d in g . So long as th e re a re only a few severe A ddicts in th e system the im pact o f this g re e d is scarcely n o ticeab le. If I m a n u fa c tu re a sh o d d y rad io a n d try to sell it fo r the sam e price as I u sed to sell a g o o d o n e. inflation measures the exact proportion o f work energy that went into greed rather than production or service. b u t I have in ferio r food a n d y o u r car will so o n b reak dow n again.

since we 're not putting energy into the things that give money its value. Inflation is th e Achilles h eel o f capitalism . b u t as m o re a n d m o re p e o p le jo in th e ranks o f th e addicts th e value o f th a t activity increasingly declines until p e o p le a re m erely e x ch an g in g fistfuls o f h u n g e r a n d em p tin ess. T h u s inflation has a h id d e n ed u c a tio n a l benefit. th e less greedy will te n d to b e c o rru p te d a n d inflation will c o n tin u e to b e w ith us. B ut talking a b o u t inflation o n th at scale p ro te c ts us from loo k in g at th e fu n d a m en ta l flaws in the system an d o u r ow n collusion in th o se flaws. The more we as a people pursue money as an end in itself. you m ay fo r a w hile c rea te a flurry o f e n e rg e tic activity. I f h a lf my en erg y goes in to m aking a p ro d u c t an d h a lf in to trying to m ake m oney o u t o f it.1 5 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION d o n —o b v io u sly they do . T h a t in n o cen ce is lost forever. the less value the money has. th e value o f th a t p ro d u c t will b e m o re th a n if I p u t only a th ird o f my en erg y in to th e m aking o f it. B ut th e re is n o g o in g back to th e tim e w hen h o n e st w orkers toiled incessantly fo r th e b en efit a n d glory o f th e g reed y few. . It teaches us w hat we continually try to fo rg et: th at m oney is purely sym bolic a n d has n o value o f its ow n— th at th e p u rsu it o f m oney leads to th e ev a p o ra tio n o f its value. As lo n g as o u r society is o rg a ­ nized fo r th e b en efit an d co n v en ien ce o f th e g ree d iest. If you base an eco n o m ic system o n a d d ictio n .

w ith o u t g reed . o u r b est tactic is to u se th e E go M afia’s ow n gam bit ag ain st it— to democratize the Ego Mafia and make it a more accurate map o f thefabric o f life: a conscious m ap. it is in us. b u t th e e a rth a b o u n d s w ith neg ativ e evidence. As hu m an b ein g s seek in g a livable a n d life-affirm ing en v iro n ­ m ent. M any p e o p le feel en o u g h selfh a tre d to a g re e w ith this a ssu m p tio n . th e re a re still th o se w ho follow it — n o t naively. At p re s e n t th e Ego Mafia is a stu n te d a n d m alfu n ctio n in g o rg an . an d w hile we have strayed a lo n g way from th a t p a th . b u t w ith th e b en efit o f in terv en in g exp erien ce. b u t its ex istence also p rovid es us w ith an o p p o rtu n ity — th e o p p o rtu n ity to m ake o u r 155 . w hile it busily creates a su b stitu te one. T h ro u g h o u t 99 p e rc e n t o f o u r history h u m an bein g s lived in sm all d em o c ra tic b an d s w ithout chiefs. as b efo re. w itho u t po ssessio n s. T h e E go Mafia is a social fabric c re a te d solely to p re te n d th at th e re is n o fabric. CHA RLES W AGNER C apitalism a n d socialism a re d e sig n e d fo r ch ild ren .7 The Cure Joy is not in things. T h e y as­ sum e th at p e o p le a re in cap ab le o f m a tu re self-g o v ern m en t— th at they m u st b e e ith e r m o tiv ated by g re e d o r c o n tro lle d th ro u g h cen tralized pow er.

SOME OPENING MOVES W ealth ad d ictio n is a m ajo r o b stacle to this e n te rp rise . since it locks us in to th e kind o f fran tic scram b lin g th at m akes le a rn ­ ing n ext to im possible. w ithout th e ir lim itatio n s— th e ir v u lnerability to c o n q u est an d e x p lo ita ­ tion. Yet stu d ies have show n th at A ddicts actually work harder w ith h ig h e r taxes. A ddicts and th e ir co n g ressio n al re ta in e rs have a rg u e d th at th e incom e tax “ stifles in itiativ e” an d have su cceed ed in m aim ing it beyond reco g n itio n . It w ould re s to re balan ce to o u r society an d a d e g re e o f seren ity to o u r p eo p le. C re a te in stitu tio n s th at d isco u rag e addiction. In crease p o p u la r co n scio u sn ess a b o u t th e m iseries o f w ealth ad d ictio n an d th e jo y s th at a p p e a r w hen it is discard ed . an d com plex as the feedback system in which o u r C o n stitu e n ts p a rticip a te with o th e r living things. T h u s A ddicts can still d ev o te th e ir lives to ad d ictio n . so p h isticated . b u t som e a tte n tio n m ust be p aid to political stru c tu re s. It is by n o m ean s a co m p le te so lu tio n b u t w ith o u t it no o th e r so lu tio n is p ossible. T h is w ould e n a b le us to b e as in tu n e with n a tu ra l forces as m any n o n lite ra te p e o p le s have b e en . T h e eq u alizatio n o f w ealth is n o t an ethical ideal . 2. Any so lu tio n to th e p ro b lem o f w ealth ad d ictio n in o u r society m ust d o th re e things: 1. T h is b o o k is prim arily d ire c te d to th e th ird re q u ire m e n t. A truly p ro g re ssiv e in co m e tax w ould e sse n ­ tially b e a M e th ad o n e p ro g ra m fo r th e rich.1 5 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION conscious Egos as su b tle. p ro te c tin g the in n o c e n t from th e crim inal fallout o f w ealth ad d ictio n . fo r w ithout th em all th e co n scio u sn ess raisin g in th e w orld w ould have little im pact on o u r lives. 3. b u t w ith o u t th ereb y im p o v erish in g the rest o f th e p o p u la tio n . C re a te in stitu tio n s that su p p o rt o th e r m otivations. O n e ap p ro a c h is to re n d e r w ealth ad d ictio n as harm less as p o ssib le th ro u g h a truly p ro g re ssiv e in co m e tax.

By p lacin g u p p e r a n d low er lim its on w ealth we rem o v e th e ad d ictio n h azard from th e h e a lth ie r m em b ers o f th e p o p u la tio n . W e a re an inventive an d im aginative p eo p le. g e a re d to obsessive co n ­ trol. ideally. Som e p e o p le will o b ject th at g re e d is so basic to h um an beings th at it’s foolish to talk a b o u t stru c tu re s th at w ould significantly re d u c e its im pact. only to re g u la te a n d c o o rd in a te . S om e will o b ject th at such p ro p o sa ls a re a step tow ard tra d i­ tional socialism with its h u g e cen tralized b u reau cracies. T h e y will p o in t to som e inci­ d e n t o r o th e r as p r o o f th at g re e d is th e b o tto m line o f h um an . an d have p ro p o se d m e th ­ ods elsew h ere fo r b rin g in g this ab o u t. I w ould be h ap p y to see th e size o f b o th federal an d private b u reau cracies re d u c e d . W e have the benefit o f a lo n g d em o cratic tra d itio n a n d an u n u su al to le r­ ance for chaotic an d anarch ic form s o f social o rg an izatio n . C ertainly n o lastin g g o o d can co m e from h u g e g o v ern m en t bu reau cracies. T h e fed eral g o v e rn m en t ex ­ ists. so th at th e m oney h ab it o f th e ad d ict w ould n o t im p inge u p o n the survival n e e d s o f th e n o n a d d ic t. M ost o f th e p ro b ­ lem s o f everyday social life arise at th e local level an d can best be dealt with at th a t level. w ere we sim ply to elim inate all ex em p tio n s an d d e d u c tio n s from p re s e n t in co m e tax law the size o f th e fed eral b u reau cracy w ould be decreased. since collec­ tion a n d en fo rc e m en t w ould b o th be g reatly sim plified. W e have a rich history o f d e c e n tra liza tio n . a rigid b inary m entality.THE cu re D 157 b u t a public h e a lth m easu re. an d an u n e n d in g p re o c cu p a tio n with security. W ere we to elim in ate in h eritan ce a lto g e th e r an d re in stitu te a truly p ro g re ssiv e in co m e tax. B oth o f them are c reatio n s o f th e E go Mafia. T h e re is n o th in g in tax refo rm re q u ir­ ing new b u reau cracy . T his is a little like saying th at if I carry an u m b rella w hen it’s raining it will cause a d ro u g h t. ju s t as n o g o o d com es from th e h u g e private b u reau cracies th a t d o m in a te o u r society at p re se n t. T h e re is n o th in g to p re v e n t o u r d ev e lo p in g d e c e n tra lize d yet n o n capitalistic so lutio n s to o u r social p ro b lem s. p e o p le w ould feel fre e r to tu rn th e ir a tte n tio n to m o re useful an d re w ard in g p u rsu its. In fact. a lth o u g h we have sp en t the last several d ecad es try in g to d estro y it.

ch ild re n grew up . Societies in which g re ed is m inim al a re certainly cohesive a n d have an in te n se com m unity life and c o m m itm en t. Since we d o n ’t know how to m ain tain o u r in n e r eq u ilib riu m at close q u a rte rs. we w ould p ro b ab ly feel stifled in a tight. In ste a d o f re sp o n d in g . T h e re a re societies in which g ree d is o v erw helm ­ ingly im p o rta n t— o u rs is p e rh a p s th e b e st ex am ple— a n d o th ­ ers in which it is virtually n o n e x iste n t. In fact. A ddicts usually arg u e th a t “ altru istic ” societies a re “ co erciv e” an d “ to ta lita ria n . As a p eo p le we d o n ’t know how to ex p ress o u r individuality at close q u a r­ ters— how to influence an d let o u rselv es b e influenced at the sam e tim e. o r b u y in g a lo u d m achine. a u th o rita ria n soci­ eties a re usually rid d le d with g re e d b ecau se they g e n e ra te such a stro n g feeling o f scarcity. But this is only b ecause we a re b ro u g h t u p to believe th at we a re en tirely se p a ra te from o th e rs— th at th e com m unity d o e s n ’t in clu de us b u t stands a p a rt an d o v er us. Since we strive so h a rd to m ask an d cosm eticize o u r ow n in n e r n a tu re s. o r b u rn in g ru b b e r. cu ttin g o u rselves o ff from th e possibility o f m aking o u r ow n voice h eard . T h e n we c o m p e n sa te by trying to m ake a n o ise at a g reat d istan ce— “ m aking a n a m e ” for ourselves. o r any o f th e m illion o th e r p a th e tic devices th ro u g h which A m ericans assert th e ir p e rso n a l em p tin ess. W e have a h ard tim e reco g n izin g th at we a re a living part o f th e com m unity. we w ith­ draw . we w ould p ro b ab ly find th em difficult to live in. given o u r ow n b ra n d o f cu ltural c o n d itio n in g . If such co m m u n ities feel o p p ressiv e it’s not b ecau se they a re a u th o rita ria n (they may b e intensely d e m o ­ cratic) b u t b ecau se we have lost th e capacity for give-and-take a n d can only sit o n th e frin g e an d e x p e rie n ce w hat is b ein g d o n e to us w ith o u t d o in g an y th in g ou rselv es. we feel em o tio n ally sm o th e re d w hen ex ­ p o se d to in p u t from o th ers. h u g e an d th re a te n in g . g reed y on e. th at it reflects o u r influence as well as in flu en cin g us— th at we help m old w hat it is. close com m unity and ru n away to an alien ated .1 5 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION m otivation. B efore T V . T o som e ex te n t this is th e in fluence o f television. But in fact h u m a n b eings a re ex trem ely varied and ad ap tab le.” b u t this is com pletely m isleading. o r d re ssin g in style.

w ith as little p o in t. how ever. to thin k th a t g re e d is m erely so m e­ th in g le a rn e d an d can th e re fo re b e elim in ated by c reatin g the rig h t in stitu tio n s. an d political a rra n g e m e n t th at any­ o n e has ever th o u g h t o f can b e p ro v e n to be “ n a tu ra l” by re fe rrin g to so m e species o r o th e r. sexual. like sw itching th e c h an n el. If you feel a p a rt o f a g ro u p . th e n w h a t’s y ours is theirs an d vice versa— taking from so m e o n e else is as m eaningless as p assing so m e th in g from th e rig h t h a n d to th e left. W h en it d o e s n ’t they te n d to m ove on to som e o th e r g ro u p . they trie d to m ove th e g ro u p in d ire ctio n s that would ex p ress th e ir ow n n e e d s a n d in te re sts. n o h ierarch ies. W hen they w ere in g ro u p s. . H u m an b ein g s a re ex tra o rd in a rily com plex an d a d ap tab le. I t’s a m istake. sh o u ld we strive to a p p ro x im a te th e lo b ste r as “ m o re fu n d a m e n ta l” o r th e chim p as “ m o re ad v a n c e d ” ? A nd if we ch o o se th e latter. Such p e o ­ ple feel like h elp less victim s in a close com m unity. w hich e ith e r suits them o r d o e s n ’t. In close dem o cratic societies like th e B ush m en .THE c u r e D 159 creatin g th e ir ow n play— they knew th a t th e ir en jo y m e n t o f an activity d e p e n d e d o n th e e n erg y they in v ested in it. since every g ro u p is a synthesis o f such in p u ts. like m idgets in a basketball gam e. fo r every conceivable social. p eo p le sh are n o t b ecau se they a re g e n e ro u s o r altru istic. All th a t an th ro p o lo g y an d anim al stu d ies show us a b o u t hu m an society is th at there is no baseline. A nd w hat if th e re w ere? If chim ps w ere less selfish th an lo b ste rs. w h ere th e re are no chiefs. T o be greed y you m u st feel th a t you a re alo n e in som e basic way. In re c e n t years p e o p le have b een d o in g the sam e th in g with o th e r species. why b o th e r with anim als at all? T o talk o f B u sh m en o r Eskim os o r H opi. W e can take co u n tless ex am ples from a n th ro ­ pology to p ro v e th a t h u m an s a re e ith e r “ n a tu ra lly ” g reedy o r “ n atu ra lly ” unselfish. ra th e r th a n claim ing th e ir p articip atio n an d p u sh in g fo r w hat they w ant. an d n o c o n c e p t o f o w n ersh ip . T o d a y p e o p le te n d to see a g ro u p as so m e th in g a p a rt from th em . b u t because they feel so c o n n e c te d to each o th e r th a t p riv ate possessio n is m eaningless. o r so m e h u m an society.

F or th e re st o f th e answ er we have to look in th e o th e r d irectio n — n o t back tow ard th o se w ho have n e v er know n any­ th in g b u t sim plicity. n o t only to m axim ize it b u t to base o u r e n tire society o n it. W e can talk a b o u t th e virtu es o f Pygm ies o r B u shm en b u t we c a n ’t re tu rn to th at in n o cen ce. to th o se w ho have know n affluence a n d p len ty an d fo u n d it w anting. Yet n ev er b e fo re in h isto ry has any know n society g o n e so far o u t o n a lim b o r p ro d u c e d so m any p e o p le disillu sio n ed with w ealth. b een u n a b le to sto p us. is n o t to show th a t o n e th in g o r a n o th e r is “ n a tu ­ ra l. T h o s e w ho have resisted it have b e e n u n a b le to d e fe n d them selves successfully against th e irascible bullying o f th o se w ho have su ccu m b ed to it.” b u t sim ply to show th a t it’s possible— th a t o u r ow n pecu liar habits a re n o t necessary an d inevitable. T h e re a re h um an societies (and anim al o nes) in w hich g reed as we know it is virtually u n d e te c ta b le. like o th e r h u m an a ttrib u te s. Yet an y th in g u n p re c e d e n te d m ay p ro d u c e learn in g . All this tells us is th at g reed . W e have ch o sen . u n p re c e d e n te d ugliness. W e have to u c h ed an e x tre m e — an e x tre m e th a t c en tu ries h e n c e will pro b ab ly be loo k ed back u p o n (if th e re is an y o n e to look back).1 6 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION o r chim ps o r sp id ers o r gorillas. T h e re have b een such p e o p le in every ad v an ced civilization. W e can find only a p artial an sw er in th e B ush m en. b ecau se the B ushm en have. W ealth ad d ictio n is a p ow erful force. som e u n iq u e form s o f h u m an m isery. All o v er th e p la n e t p eo p le have ei­ th e r su ccu m b ed to th e te m p ta tio n s o f w ealth ad d ictio n o r b een d e stro y e d by fru stra te d p u sh e rs o r sho v ed aside into c o rn e rs o f th e w orld th a t fo r th e tim e b e in g n o b o d y else w anted. If we a re uniq u ely in fected w ith w ealth ad d ictio n we may also b e th e first society to d ev elo p m assive a n tib o d ie s to . a n d th e m o st destru ctiv e p o w er th e w orld has ev er know n. o r an y th in g else o u tsid e o u r ex p erien ce. with a sh u d d e r. b u t forw ard. in o u r society. a fte r all. T h e resu lt has b e en to create a g reat b u rst o f en erg y . an d th e ir w arnings an d w isdom have co m e dow n to us th ro u g h several m illennia. as a tim e o f n e a r-te rm in al illness. can be m axim ized o r m ini­ m ized.

even th o u g h 40 percent o f their population a re “ n o n p ro d u c tiv e . a n d d e fe n d each o th e r w ith­ o u t g ettin g paid fo r it. T h e re is so m eth in g fu n d am en tally w ro n g with a society th at forces p e o p le to d ev elo p an d n o u rish th e g reed y side o f th eir characters in o rd e r even to survive. m ake com m unity decisions. . O u r society m akes them feel som ehow th a t this w ork “ d o e s n ’t c o u n t. heal. T h e y scarcely no tice how m uch work they d o that isn 7 for pay. It isn ’t en o u g h m erely to say “ I am an alco h o lic”— we n e ed also to re m e m b e r all th e tim es we g o t th ro u g h th e day w ithout a drink. e x p lo re n a tu re . a fte r all.” B ut this is ju s t A ddict p ro p ag a n d a . raise food.” i. w orking fo r m oney is m erely h abitual: they d o it because this is th e way it has always b een . old. T h o s e w ho have e n c o u n te re d . It w ould b e helpful ju s t to m ake p e o p le aware o f this h e a lth — to m ake th em realize that p eo p le will w ork fo r things o th e r th a n m oney. build b ridges. T o d o this we n e e d to know n o t only o u r w eaknesses and susceptibilities b u t also o u r stre n g th s an d reso u rces. W ith m inim al re in fo rc e m en t from th e society as a w hole. crazy. T h e B u sh m en m an ag e to feed them selves w orking less th an 15 h o u rs a week. c reate b eau tifu l th in g s. T h e fact is th a t p e o p le build h o m es. a n d helpless. teach. a n d always have. and tra n sc e n d e d it a re p ro te c te d in a way n o B ushm an can ever be. If th e n eces­ sities o f life w ere d efin ed as so m e th in g c re a te d by all th e p e o ­ ple an d for all th e p eo p le. W e n e ed to create stru c tu re s th at will rein fo rce this health y c o re — to c re ate a functional eq u iv alen t o f g re e d .. m ake clothes.” O nly work d o n e for m oney is c o n sid e re d “ real w ork. ra th e r th an so m e th in g to b e b o u g h t by th o se w ho can afford it. care for th o se w ho a re sick. an d o u r in creasin g d isillu sio n m en t w ith it. T h e B u sh m en . o r luckily im m une. is w hat p u ts us in a p o sitio n to co m e o u t th e o th e r side. F or m ost p e o ­ ple. p e o p le w ould willingly w ork w ith o u t pay to provide fo r everyone w hat n o o n e sh o u ld have to pay for. a re sim ply u n ex p o sed .e. th e n m ost o f us w ould be safe from addiction. T h e p rev alen ce o f w ealth ad d ictio n in o u r society.T H E CURE □ 161 the disease. succum bed.

Yet even u n d e r th e se difficult c o n d itio n s we find city p e o p le sittin g o n a p o o l o f u n u se d e n erg y a m o u n tin g to o n e billion h o u rs a m o n th th at co u ld be a p p lied to p re ssin g u rb a n p ro b lem s. in re tu rn fo r w hich every o n e in the society w ould b e g u a ra n te e d a m inim al su b sistence. T h e y live q u ite happily in w hat we w ould co n sid e r an u n in h a b ita b le d e se rt.” T h e poll found th at even under our present system tw o -th ird s o f the u rb a n dw ellers p o lled w ould be willing to d e v o te an av erag e o f n in e h o u rs a m o n th to serving o n co m m ittees o r p e rfo rm in g n e ig h b o rh o o d services w ithout pay. an d n ev er com plain a b o u t “ fre e lo a d e rs. b u t also th at it d irects p e o p le ’s e n e r­ gies in to th e real u n m e t n eed s o f th e com m unity. this w ould be d o n e prim arily at th e local level— p e o p le p u ttin g energy in to p ro jects o f real im p o rta n c e to th e n eig h b o rh o o d . in stead o f having h a lf o f th e p o p u la tio n m aking g ad g ets n o b o d y need s a n d th e re st trying to p e rsu a d e p e o p le to buy them . THE ENEMY WITHIN T h e re are a h u n d re d ways to re s to re so m e kind o f balance to o u r society. th e e n ­ ergy th at w ould b eco m e available stag g ers the im agination. Ideally. N ine h o u rs a m o n th is a sm all a m o u n t o f tim e. b u t it m u st b e re m e m b e re d th at (1) th e se a re urban dw ellers— p e o p le w ho as a g ro u p a re n o t (with th e ex cep tio n o f a few eth n ic pockets) very com m unity-conscious. an d (2) any tim e they d o n a te is in direct competition with time devoted to survival needs. W e a re n o t b o u n d by any .1 6 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION d o n ’t w ork at all. T h e b eauty o f this p lan is n o t m erely th a t it frees survival from th e addictive m achinery.” Percival a n d Paul G o o d m a n su g g e ste d years ago th at every­ o n e c o n trib u te two o r th re e years o f his o r h e r la b o r to the com m unity early in life. A G allup poll in 1978 rev ealed “ th e ex istence o f a vast re so u rc e o f v o lu n te e r citizen en erg y th at could be u sed in practical ways to alleviate u rb a n p ro b le m s . a h u n d re d ways to re d ire c t o u r en e rg ies tow ard th e real p ro b lem s th at c o n fro n t us. F reed from th e stru g g le to survive.

an d academ ic in stitu tio n s.T H E CURE □ 163 iron law o f econom ics to d e v o te o u r collective efforts as a natio n to a rm p it o d o rs. m edicine. All living o rg anism s are in te r­ related an d in te rd e p e n d e n t. It is tru e th at o u r society is d o m in ate d by A ddicts— th a t they c o n tro l g o v e rn m e n t at all levels. law. will human beings be included in the healing? O r will th at h ealin g take place at th e e x p e n se o f o u r species? Will we find ourselves u n a b le to resist th e im p u lse to blow ourselves up? Will we b e co m e an e n d a n g e re d species? All things live in balance o r a re e ra d ic a ted . and rin g -a ro u n d -th e -co lla r. W e are su rro u n d e d by p u sh ers. in tacit collusion with them . W ill th e su p e ro rg a n ism slough us as an u n fo rtu n a te an d useless m u tatio n ? O r will we b e to le r­ ated as a ch ro n ic d isease to be p eriodically d o u se d with self­ a d m in iste re d n u c le a r antibiotics? REC O N NEC TIN G He who knows he has enough is rich. T h e q u e s­ tio n is. they all involve som e feeling o f defi­ ciency: “ I will be c o m p le te only if I have X . an d can be conceived as o n e dem ocratically o rg an ized su p e ro rg a n ism . Yet they co u ld n o t c o n tro l us as they d o w ere n o t m ost o f us. W e can sp e n d o u r tim e an d e n ­ ergy in any way we w ant. It will heal itself. as well as th e m edia. clu ste r bom bs. an d the p lan et will cu re itse lf o f th a t d isease. My efforts a re b ased o n an a ssu m p tio n th at I ’d like to m ake clear. It d o e s n ’t really m a tte r w hat y o u ’re ad d ic te d to. U ltim ately it is th e C lo set A ddict who blocks healthy ch an g e. LAO-TZU All ad d ictio n s a re m o re o r less alike.” I have defined ad d ictio n as a p erceiv ed h o le in th e se lf w hich can b e filled only . T h a t s u p e ro rg a n ­ ism is extrem ely vital an d flexible. W ealth ad d ictio n is a p lan etary d isease. b a d b re a th . to so m e d e g re e o r a n o th e r. an d it is to w ard th e cu re o f w ealth ad d ictio n w ithin each o n e o f us th at th e re st o f this ch a p te r will be d evoted. h erb icid es.

we love to p u t them on display.1 6 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION by taking so m eth in g in from th e w orld. As I said earlier. T h e re lie f th at com es from th e ad diction is only tem p o rary — th e re lie f o f feeling th at w e’re d o in g so m e ­ th in g a b o u t th at in n e r void. P eo ­ ple a re constan tly talking them selves in to th e ir addictions: “ Six h o u rs w ithout a c ig arette an d I’m clim bing the w alls.” W e n o t only invent holes in ourselv es. c o n c e n tra tin g o n any o n e th in g ten d s to starve us o f o th e r th in g s a n d throw s us out o f balance. I ’m so busy trying to fill th e h o le in my perso n ality that I d o n ’t take care o f a variety o f o rd in a ry everyday need s th a t I w ould o th erw ise m eet sp o n ta n e o u sly .” an d he chug-a-lugs a n ­ . A lcohol o r h e ro in may have p articularly obvious ways o f m aking us feel bad after a while. Even g o o d d eed s will give us a h a n g o v e r if we need them to feel co m p lete. w ithout even thinking a b o u t it. b u t any ad d ictio n eventually m akes us feel em pty. the ho le m ust be b ig g e r th an I th o u g h t. th en . A cting as if I have a h o le in my p erso n ality is g o ing to m ake m e feel b ad a b o u t myself. an d th e m o re I feel b ad a b o u t m yself the easier it is to believe in th e h ole. all cures are also alike. F u rth e rm o re . I’m th ereb y telling m yself — proving to m yself—th at it’s true. w hat m akes ad d ictio n s so stu b b o rn ? Why d o n ’t we ju s t naturally ease o u t o f them ? T h e tro u b le with ad d ictio n s is th at they are self-reinforcing: if I believe th at I’m n o t c o m p lete w ithout alcohol. T h is is th e fam iliar vicious circle o f addiction: I feel b ad b ecau se I d rink and I drink becau se I feel bad. O bviously. T h e y all involve finding som e way to say “ I am co m p lete without X . O r I sh o o t h e ro in . o r accu m ulate m oney o r g o o d d eed s o r w hatever it is I feel in c o m p le te w ithout. T h e m an who m akes a m illion dollars o fte n feels even m o re em pty than before: “ I have a m illion an d I ’m still feeling only so-so. B ut th e feeling is illusory: the only way to fill an in n e r void is from w ithin yourself. we b eg in to feel w orse b ecau se the hole cannot be filled from outside.” Since every o rg an ism strives sp o n ta n e o u sly tow ard w hole­ ness an d h ealth . a n d act o n th at belief.

be greedy. Each escalatio n w eakens us. b e brave. b e afraid. for exam ple.” a n o th e r is “ always c h e e rfu l. love. It is only the Ego that m akes re stric tio n s an d sets lim its to all this richness: o n e p e rso n “ n e v e r c rie s. p u rsu e. T o be a h u m an b e in g is to b e all o f th ese things. we n e e d m o re w e a p o n s. T h e Ego reg isters th e d a n g e r an d sto p s listen in g to all fu rth e r m essages from th e tro u b le so m e q u a rte r. ig n o re. W e a re so cau g h t u p in o u r E g o ’s p o w er gam e th a t we imagine that the part o f us that the Ego refuses to listen to isn't there at all. “ W e are weak. be g en ero u s. If th e Ego fears that a n g e r w ould cause p a re n ta l w ithdraw al o f love. be stro n g . b e weak. cry. b ecause it c o n ­ vinces us m o re an d m o re o f o u r d e p e n d e n c e o n the addiction. hate. . O n e o f th e reaso n s th e E go b linds itse lf to its in n e r r e ­ sources is th at it w ants so m uch to believe in its sep a ra ten ess. W e find it easy to fo rg et th a t we o n ce w ere able to survive w ithout any o f th e se e x te rn a l p ro p s. g et angry. B ut how th e n is th e h o le filled? W hat is th e so u rce o f the hole in th e first place? T o an sw er this we have to think back to th e d iscussion o f th e E g o -d esp o t an d its relatio n to its C o n stitu e n ts. Yet its C o n stitu e n ts a re universal.” o r “ we d o n ’t have e n o u g h arab le land. T h e E go is so o b se sse d w ith c o n tro l th a t it w ould ra th e r be frig h t­ e n ed a b o u t its m issing re so u rc e s th an feel th at its rule could be d isp e n se d with.T H E CURE □ 165 o th e r m illion. let o u rselv es be d istra c ted . it may stop re g iste rin g th o se reactio n s alto g e th e r. we m ust an n ex o u r n e ig h b o rs . W e all have w ithin us the capacity to laugh.” o r “ we n eed a c o rrid o r to th e se a . o r that crying w ould prov o k e p a re n ta l c o n te m p t. I su g g e ste d th a t th e h o le is really an illusion— an illusion th at com es from th e E g o ’s b lin d n ess: a feeling o f inner deficiency arises when the Ego is out o f touch with one o f its Constituents.” a n d so on. c o n c e n tra te . In this th e E go is like all d esp o tic ru lers. O u r E gos crip p le us in this way— m ake us less th an fully h u m an — in re sp o n se to early th re a ts a n d p erceiv ed dangers: loss o f th e love o f p a re n ts o r o th e r feared p u n ish m en ts. g et ho rn y .” H itle r was the p ro totypical Ego. and so on. w ho say.

) T h e seco n d resu lt o f th e E g o ’s refusal to listen to certain C o n stitu e n ts is th at we feel so m e lack. th e Ego flatters itself o n its success in crip p lin g th e o rg a n ism ’s h u m a n ­ ness. we have to give u p o u r illusion o f sep araten ess in o rd e r to fill th e holes in ourselves. T o sum m arize: th e E go inflates itself by p re te n d in g th at its o rg an ism is less th an h u m an . It ig n o res all reactio n s from th o se C o n stitu en ts th at w ould m ake th e o rg an ism com p lete. even th e se h an d icap s are n o t at all u n iq u e. T h e se a re illusory. W e b eco m e unaw are o f th e rich re so u rc e s w ithin us. I n ev er get an g ry ” . since o n e p e rs o n ’s e x p e rie n c e can n ev er b e duplicated. an d th e re fo re uniquely different. since th e m issing co m p o n e n ts are always th ere. (Actually we w ould all be u n iq u e even if we allow ed o u rselv es to b e fully h um an.1 6 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION Now w hen this h a p p e n s tw o th in g s follow. o r “ I’m very well o rg a n iz ed — I pay no a tte n tio n to an y th in g in my en v iro n m e n t th at isn ’t on my a g e n d a . T h e E g o ’s gift o f feeling different from (and hence. o f co u rse. d ifferen tiated only by th e n a tu re o f th e ir . u n ­ able to give to p eo p le. fatigued. so m e deficiency in ourselves. b u t th e h an d icap s can be very convincing b o th to o u rselves an d o th ers. T h e p e rso n w ho n ev er gets angry feels weak. “ b e tte r th a n ” ) o th e rs is b o u g h t at the price o f feeling (not always consciously) less th an o th ers. Every addict feels h im self o r h e rs e lf to be special. o f co u rse. b u t th e re are an infinite n u m b e r o f ways to m ake o n e s e lf less th an h um an. But this m akes us feel n o t only cut off from all o th e r h u m an b eings. which is ironic becau se to th e o u tsid e r they o ften look alm ost stereotypically alike. cold. T h e re is no way for a h u m an b ein g to be m o re th an h u m an. an d so on. b u t it gives th e Ego a feeling o f se p a ra te n ess an d d ifferen tn ess (“ I ’m n o t like o th e r p e o p le — have n o co n n e c tio n w ith th e m ” ) which helps m ain ­ tain its d ictato rsh ip o v er th e o rg an ism . b u t less th a n they are.” Actually. Since o u r C o n stitu e n ts a re universal. since m any p e o p le have th em . p rid in g itself o n the u n iq u en ess o f th e o rg a n ism ’s h andicap: “ I ’m e v e n -te m p ere d . It m akes a v irtue o u t o f a lim itation. T h e p e rso n w ho n ev er cries feels hollow . First.

sm oke. T h e y d id n ’t “ knock it o u t o f y o u . yield­ ing. Since giving up th at re stric tio n I have o ften fo u n d th at a feeling o f em p tin ess th at co u ld b rin g m e to tears w'ould vanish with the tears them selves— th at I w'ould feel w hole. an d ready fo r an y th in g life m ight bring. You have even trait. an d so on. W o m en in o u r society. en erg ized . n o t from a real h ole.T H E CURE □ 167 addictio n . At a n o th e r level. pow er. an d em o tio n ally fragile. T h is is th e fo u n d a tio n o f th e cu re o f any addiction: the aw areness th at there is nothing missing in your psyche. Since th e sp ecialness com es from a d efect. m illionaires. m oney. something needs to get out. It d o e s n ’t really m atte r what the m issing link is— w hen it gets re c o n n e c te d an d in clu d ed in your circuitry th e feeling o f deficiency is gone. every emotional capacity somewhere within you. b u t from o u r E g o ’s unw illingness to pay a tte n tio n to w hat is th e re . I was b ro u g h t u p to feel that a real m ale d id n ’t cry— certainly n o t a special b e in g like myself. O bviously. particu larly W ASPs. ad u la tio n . a re m uch m o re likely to find a feeling o f fulfillm ent th ro u g h a n g e r— focused. sexual co n q u e sts. b u t add icts w ant to b e m o re special th an an y o n e else. ev ery o n e is special. O n c e th e blocked p a rt o f th e se lf is e x p resse d . d irect. A lcoholics te n d to re se m b le each o th e r. It d e p e n d s o n which co m m u n ica­ tion lines y o u r E go has cu t— w hat p a rtic u la r form o f perso n al p re te n tio u sn e ss you e n g a g e in. o f course. crying d o e s n ’t d o th at fo r ev eryone an d it d o e s n 't always d o it for m e. a lack. we b eco m e su d d en ly aw are that n o th in g n eed s to b e taken in. On the contrary. jo y o u s. a n d a re w illing to b e psychically crip p led in o rd e r to h a n g o n to th at illusion. th e ad d ict tries to have his cake an d eat it too: to keep th e h o le th a t m akes him special an d yet at the sam e tim e try to fill it u p from o u tsid e — w ith b ooze. for exam ple. dry-eyed attack— since they are train ed to im agine them selves to b e chronically soft. O n ce we realize th at th e feelin g o f a lack in o u rselves com es. Like m ost A m erican m ales. It's your birthright as a human being. as d o h e r ­ oin addicts. the feeling o f a h o le o r a lack o r an em p tin e ss is gone. o r w hatever. I have e x p e rie n c ed this p erso n ally w ith crying.” All they .

how ever. love. etc. All ad d ictio n s can be cu re d . th e lan g u ag e o f th e d ic ta to r within. every d isco m fo rt w ould b e co m e an ag onizing pain. or run. th en . o r have daily org asm s. etc.” w hich is seen as e ith e r o u tsid e o n e s e lf (“ th e d em o n ru m . Now su p p o se th e ability to cry w ere cut off by th e Ego. o r b ecau se o f som e o th e r discom fort. it’s as g o o d a m akeshift as can be found.” T h is is. an d a h o st o f o th e r feelings can b e released w ith o u t th e Ego ever having to acknow ledge th e ir presen ce. The addict's solution is to try to arrange the world so there is never anything to cry (or scream. T h e child w ould feel a te rrib le em p tin ess an d an overw helm ing fear. If it d id n ’t cry.” an d th e re is this sam e sm o th e rin g quality to all ad d ictio n s. orfight. D rinking num bs m any feelings. or rage. to think o f o v erco m in g ad dic­ tions by “ c o n q u e rin g ” them with “ w illpow er. or love) ab o u t. o f course. It also n u m b s th e Ego. W e ten d .1 6 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION did was scare y o u r E go in to sev erin g co n n e c tio n w ith it. so th at a n g e r.” “ th e m onkey o n my back” ) o r a secret insidious spy that . E go-language. A baby cries b ecau se it is h u n g ry . N orm ally th e crying p ro v id es som e relief. Alcoholics talk a b o u t "d ro w n in g so rro w s. b u t it at least m akes it possible. insecurity— the feeling o f n o n su p p o rt. W ealth ad d ictio n sm o th ers. by an ticip atin g . I’ll n ev er need to react in th e way my E go has m ad e m e u n a b le to react. by re e sta b lish in g contact with th e exiled C o n stitu e n ts— lettin g them once again be h e a rd from . is to su p p o rt th e E g o ’s effort to keep it silenced by anticipating arousal a n d try ing to w ard it off.. It never really w orks. e x h a u stin g vigi­ lance. in stead o f trying to re p a ir con n ectio n s with th e ig n o re d C o n stitu e n t. b u t given th e E g o ’s unw illingness to com m u n icate with th e exiled C o n stitu e n ts. A healthy so lu tio n w ould be to re c o n n e c t th e crying re sp o n se . T h is hardly m akes y our task easy. tears. an d re q u ire s co n sta n t. W hat th e ad d ict d oes. o r am n ev er alo n e. B ru te force an d “ m o ral fib er” a re array ed against the “ en em y . sexuality.. for at any m o m e n t it co u ld be p lu n g e d in to agony from which th e re w ould be no release. o f course. If I ’m always full o f food.

th e re st o f the organism is tra p p e d in th a t lim itation. Far from le ttin g th e exiles re tu rn . Every o rg an ism w ants to be w hole and. th e Ego tries to squelch th e d issid en ts a ro u se d by its ow n original repressiv en ess. etc. given a choice. th o u g h g rad u al pro cess. n o cu re can take place. like a d ic tato r . F u rth e rm o re .) b u t y o u ’re such a self-in d u lg en t w eakling th a t you w o n ’t. T h e E go can envision h y p o th e ti­ cal possibilities. given th e rig h t circum ­ stances.” a lth o u g h o n balan ce th e re a re p ro b ab ly a h u n d re d failures for every success a m o n g th o se w ho use this ap p ro ach . w ith o u t th e Ego. T h e C o n stitu e n ts can only ch o o se betw een know ns. N o o n e w ho has ev er been ad d icted to an y th in g (and ev ery o n e w ho lives in th e m ain­ stream o f A m erica today is a d d ic te d to so m eth ing) can read the p re c e d in g p a ra g ra p h w ith o u t p ro te st: if it’s so easy.” T his is o n e o f th e E g o ’s cleverest bits o f m ystification. w hich. T h e E go does keep its C o n stitu e n ts in th e d ark b ecause it is the Ego that makes us addicted in the first place. will o ccu r w ith o u t any in te rv e n tio n from the Ego at all— n o “ w illpow er. sm oking. o v ereatin g . even th e successes may b e d e lu d in g them selves a b o u t why they did succeed. As lo n g as th e E go keeps th e re st o f th e org an ism in the dark. If th e E go has lim ited o u r aw areness to o n e kind o f e x p e rie n c e. Many p e o p le have felt they o v ercam e ad d ictio n by “ will­ p o w e r. no New Y ear’s reso lu tio n s. a nasty habit o f taking cred it fo r all th e o rg a n ism ’s successes. since th e E go has. I t’s a com pletely sp o n ta n e ­ ous. But this qualification is th e ru b . as we shall see. I t’s easy to fo rget this becau se th e E go is con tin u ally saying “ I w ant you to stop this (drinking. buying. why is it so hard? It’s h ard b ecause. sh o o tin g up .” n o w arrin g ag ain st o neself.T HE c u r e D 169 has som ehow c re p t insid e an d m ust be e x te rm in ated by the E g o ’s secret police. an o rg anism can only choo se a m o n g known p o ssibilities. C u rin g ad d ictio n is n o t a m a tte r o f c o n q u e rin g b u t o f lettin g go— o f allow ing th e p a rts o f o n e se lf th at have b een silenced to em e rg e an d fill u p th e em p tin ess. will m ove q u ite sp o n ta n e o u sly in th at direction.

w hat I’m a b so rb in g so greedily. b u t also. I ’ve com e to realize th a t giving u p an ad d ictio n isn ’t a m a tte r o f p u sh in g . M any p e o p le have h ad th e e x p e rie n c e o f trying to give up som e ad d ictio n — say sm oking c ig arettes o r ea tin g candy— finding it im possible to h o ld o u t. I’ve had b o th o f th e se ex p erien ces. J o y can b e h e a rd only w hen th e “ h o le s ” have b e e n “ filled”— th a t is. S om etim es w hat I can h e a r is sim ply th e m essag e “ it’s e n o u g h . a n o th e r voice is h eard : I b eco m e aw are o f a feeling o f stre n g th an d p eace an d sufficiency.” T h e o rg an ism c a n n o t learn w hen th e E go n ev er lets it have th e kind o f e x p e rie n c e th a t will p ro v id e choice. frien d s. b u t o n ce I can h e a r th at tiny bit o f revulsion inside. in w hich th e ad d ictio n dies a slow d ea th with very little th o u g h t o r effort o r p lan a n d m any relap ses. a n d th e n giving it up a year o r tw o la te r w ith o u t any difficulty at all. let a lo n e n e e d . T h e E go can sab o tag e this m ove tow ard h ealth . an increasingly au dible voice th a t’s ju s t glad to b e alive. L ater. stru g g lin g . th e days o f th at ad d ictio n a re n u m b e re d . an d b ein g heroic. At so m e p o in t in th e p ro cess I b eg in to h e a r th a t my body at tim es d o e s n ’t even want. a th ird . it’s m ostly a m a tte r o f listening. w hen the ch an n els have b e e n re o p e n e d . it will move toward that state spontaneously with or without the E go’ s help.1 7 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION w ho su p p resses th e p re ss an d th e univ ersities an d th e n b e ra te s th e p o p u lace fo r b e in g ig n o ra n t a n d ill-inform ed: “ I have to do all th e ir th in k in g fo r th e m . m ore g rad u al o n e. S om e h ab itu al re sp o n se in my h e ad may still push m e tow ard it. as can lovers. S o m e­ tim es giving u p ad d ictio n s is an agony o f stress an d in te rn a l w arfare. S om etim es it ju s t seem s to d ro p away— n o “ w illp o w er” is even re q u ire d . b u t th e im p u lse will always b e th ere. A nd finally. an d so m etim es it’s like le ttin g go o f a ro p e y o u ’ve b e e n clinging to d e sp e ra te ly fo r years an d d isco v erin g th at yo u r feet w ere only a few inches from th e g ro u n d . Once the organ­ ism has experienced what itfeels like to be healthy and whole.” w hich had b e fo re b een b u rie d u n d e r a lot o f feelings o f em p tin ess. Jo y is like a re u n io n a m o n g y o u r C o n ­ . a n d relatives w ho have so m e v ested in te re st in k eeping th e ad d ictio n going. increasingly.

W hen th e C o n stitu e n ts know in w hich d ire c tio n h e alth lies they b eg in to crawl to w ard it. b u t we m ake it far m o re difficult th a n it n e e d s to be. T h a t is to say. By th e sam e token. a d d icte d state. W e love to d ram atize ou rselv es. th a t th e “ re la p s e ” itself is n o t cause for alarm an d d esp air. I t’s im p o rta n t to realize. T ak e. B ut it’s n o t e n o u g h to know in w hat . o r ju s t h ap p y to b e h a n g in g o u t to g e th e r. so m etim es ex cru ciat­ ing. by trial an d e rro r. blindly. th e id ea o f “ re la p se . since th e Ego is highly invested in th e a d d ictio n . th e E go plays only a sm all p a rt in the cure. hop efu lly n o t p e rm a n e n t. it starts its ow n p ro cess o f m oving tow ard it. Now it’s q u ite tru e th a t m any “ re la p se s” are p e rm a n e n t and re p re s e n t a victory fo r th e d e sp o tic E go o r so m eo n e else who w ants to keep th e o rg an ism in a weak. how ever. th at is. co n trary to o u r usual assu m p tio n s. In n e ith e r case is any effort o r co m p u lsio n involved. feeling th e ir way. since relapse is a natural part o f the process through which an organism heals itself independently o f the Ego. n o t m iss it w hen it isn ’t. since ad d ictio n is u n p le a sa n t an d h e a lth feels g o o d . for exam ple. O n c e th e o rganism can feel the alternative. T h e b e ­ g inn in g stag e is alm o st always difficult. I d o n ’t w ant to m ake c u rin g ad d ictio n s o u n d easy. It does this in a g rad u al o rg an ic way. th ro u g h trial a n d e rro r. W e te n d to dram atize this p ro cess as a g re a t stru g g le b etw een g o o d and evil: victories for th e D em o n R um o r th e Devil N icotine in Acts I a n d III.THE C U R E D 1 7 1 stitu e n ts— old frien d s g re e tin g each o th e r a fte r a lo n g a b ­ sence. enjoy it w hen it’s a ro u n d . h ow ever m uch it b e ra te s us fo r hav­ ing it. th e Ego m akes it difficult. b u t w hat is really taking place is ju s t a h ealth -seek in g o rg an ism try in g to find an o p tim u m b al­ ance by successive a p p ro x im atio n s.” which is usually view ed as a kind o f tragic d efeat. victories fo r th e v irtu o u s A ngel in Acts II an d IV. T h e re is n o th in g I ’ve given u p th at I w o u ld n ’t try again if I h a d th e im pulse. O n ce I ’ve re a c h e d this stag e o n e o f tw o th ings h ap p e n s: I find I n o lo n g e r even w ant w h atev er it was I was ad d icte d to— it has lost its a p p e a l— o r I can co n su m e it n o naddictively.

an d so on . W e try 12. an d finally zero es in. T h e y seek always an o p tim u m po sitio n . th e C o n stitu e n ts also n e ed to know how fa r it is. A “ relapse. F u rth e rm o re . T h e C o n stitu e n ts try a new p o ­ sition. ” then. 5. th e n d ro p back (“ re la p s e ” ) to check w h e th er it’s re ­ ally necessary to p ro g re ss th a t far. th en . “ O n e ” re p re se n ts to tal d e p e n d e n c e o n so m e su b ­ stance. w hich we like m uch b e tte r th an 1. d ro p back to 15. which they can d o only th ro u g h successive ap p ro x im atio n s. b u t is actually a series o f in creasingly tiny zigzags as it zero es in o n its goal. so m e p ro c e e d very cau ­ tiously— 2. in shock. 3.1 7 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION d irectio n h ealth lies. W e m ig h t w ind up a t 100. o r 50. b u t a re a ttra c te d e n o u g h by th e e x p e rie n ce to try 6. W e d ro p back to 1. 6— even if th e ir o p tim u m m ight tu rn o u t to . is sim­ ply a “zag. we go for it. an d b eco m in g m o re aw are o f how unsatisfying 1 was. as th e new becom es less stra n g e a n d u n c o m fo rta b le an d th e u nsatisfying n a tu re o f th e old m o re clearly felt. 4. P eo p le have d ifferen t styles o f chan g in g . d ro p back to 7 for a while. find it m uch m o re co m fo rta b le th a n th e first tim e. w hich they can only do by co m p ariso n . Is th e stra n g e -u n c o m fo rtab le-b u t-e x citin g e x p e rie n c e o f th e new b e tte r o r w orse th an th e fam iliarp a in fu l-co m fo rtab le-b o rin g o f th e old? H ow much b e tte r o r w orse? W h ere is th e o p tim u m p o in t? T h e org an ism has to keep c o m p arin g th e ex p e rie n c es to find o u t. " a n underreaching.” they have to keep feeling th e ir way. T h e p o in t is sim ply th a t w ith o u t th e se successive trials an d relap ses we have n o th in g to c o m p a re o u r e x p erien c e with. an d su ddenly o n e day e x p erien ce w hat it’s like to b e at 17. “ 100” is total ab stin en ce. and in a b u rst o f e n th u siasm sh o o t ah e a d to 39. T h is is th e way a h a n d reach es— it m ay look like a stra ig h t line. Now w e’re g e ttin g u se d to th e ch an g es. S u p p o sin g we a re feeling o u r way a lo n g a co n tin u u m from 1 to 100. o r 20. R e m e m b erin g 17. T h e s e zigzags a re n o t only from side to side b u t also forw ard an d back— th e h a n d o v erreach es. th e re fe re n ce p o in ts keep ch an g in g . Som e p e o p le take wild leaps an d fall back freq u en tly . u n d e rre a ch e s. W e sta rt at 1. S ince they c a n ’t “ se e .

All o f th e m in o r injuries I ’ve suffered have o c c u rre d u n d e r th o se co n d itio n s. I t’s the w orst. N o n e o f this sh o u ld be taken as fav o rin g a g rad u al ap p ro a ch to w ithdraw al. a n o th e r p a rt h a n g in g back. fo r exam ple. if you fly frantically from o n e e x tre m e to a n o th e r. C u rin g add ictio n re ­ qu ires b o th e x p e rim e n tin g a n d listen in g an d if e ith e r is scrim p ed n o c h an g e will take place. in o th e r w ords. teach in g th e ir C o n stitu e n ts how u n c o m fo rtab le it is even to approach a cu re. I have fo u n d . (A p u lled m u s­ cle. M ost sev ere body ad d ic­ tions have to b e tre a te d w ith cold -tu rk ey cu res. re co v erin g yo u r sen se o f sm ell. T h e p ro b le m w ith th e wild leap s is th at yo u r reactions are so d ram atic a n d noisy th a t you c a n ’t h e a r th e fine tu n in g an d d o n ’t learn an y th in g very p recise from th e ex p erien ce.) Yet at o th e r tim es I find th a t w hen I actually g et in to th e situ atio n my body . th e feelin g o f lig h tn ess in th e chest. If y o u ’re to o g rad u al. a re m erely k eep in g th e craving alive. b u t b ecau se you n e e d so m eth in g this d ram atic to give th e C o n stitu e n ts e n o u g h in fo rm atio n to change. fo r ex am p le. fo r ex am p le. b u t y o u r behavior has to b e d ram atic e n o u g h to p rovide you with a truly new ex p erien ce. th e C o n stitu en ts d o n ’t have e n o u g h in fo rm a tio n to w ork with. C h an g e involves tw o p arts: b eh av in g ex p erim en tally and d ig estin g th e feedback.T H E CURE □ 173 be 87. an d so on. n o t b ecause th e “ d e m o n ” is so stro n g . M aking to o sm all a shift o r to o m uch n o ise a re te c h n iq u e s th e E go u ses to keep its C o n stitu e n ts weak an d p ow erless. M ost p e o p le w ho “ cut d o w n ” o n cig arettes. the p ro b le m w ith th e cau tio u s a p p ro a c h is th at you may n ev er reach y o u r o p tim u m in y o u r lifetim e. o f b o th w orlds. O n th e o th e r h an d . w ith o u t ev er rev ealin g th e p leasu res o f b ein g ad d ic tio n -fre e — ta stin g fo o d . is a pushed m uscle— p a rt o f th e o rganism stra in in g forw ard. th a t it’s usually a m istake to force m yself to d o any kind o f physical ex ercise w hen my body is feeling sluggish a n d re sista n t. T h e u n d e rly in g p ro cess o f cu re is always g ra d ­ ual. your E go is p ro v id in g lots o f in fo rm a tio n b u t n o t giving the C o n ­ stitu en ts an o p p o rtu n ity to a b so rb it.

in stead o f w allow ing in self-disgust (so long. T h e p o in t is th at you have to d o both: to e x p e rim e n t again st y o u r im p u lse o fte n en o u g h to discover that it can ch ange. In a sense C o n stitu e n t learn in g is th e only learn in g : d e sp ite th e E g o ’s p o sin g an d p re te n tio u sn e ss it c a n n o t by itse lf m ake us learn. T h is will give you m o re en erg y for trying again. it’s b e tte r to p raise y o u rse lf for lasting as lo n g as you did. “ If th e fool w ould p ersist in his folly h e w ould b eco m e w ise. as you really listen to th e new feedback). fu rth e r self-castigation an d guilt a re sim ply self-in d ulgent. an d I stressed th e g rad u al. an d th e n listen carefully en o u g h to be able to sen se th e d ifference b etw een th e sluggish feeling that ev ap o rates u n d e r stim u latio n an d th e o n e th at persists an d leads to injuries. A ddictions can be cu red only by m aking co n ta ct w ith in n e r so urces o f stre n g th . T h is is dem o cratic learn in g — w hat W illiam Blake m ean t w hen he said. A nd som etim es we a d d u n n ecessarily to that suffering by trash in g ourselves fo r b ein g stu p id .1 7 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION com es alive an d 1 enjoy myself. an d self-recrim in atio n is a g rea t im p ed i­ m ent to this p rocess. T h e E go likes to look at th e glass as h a lf em pty ra th e r th an h a lf full b ecause it d o e s n ’t w ant to reco g n ize th e s tre n g th o f its C o n stitu en ts. S om etim es we have to m ake o u rselves suffer a lo n g tim e b efo re th at le a rn ­ ing takes place. It can ran t an d rave at us for years w ith o u t having any effect except to d e e p e n o u r co m m itm en t to ad d ictio n . 1 said that cu rin g ad d ictio n was a m a tte r o f (1) e x p e rim e n t­ ing with le ttin g go an d (2) listen in g inten sely to th e feedback. I t’s im p o rta n t to face th e fact th at you are ad d icted . b u t o n ce th at criticism has b e en m ade. o f co u rse. zigzag n a tu re o f ch a n g e— n o t to en co u ra g e h alf-h earted e x p e rim e n ta tio n b u t to rem o v e the stigm a from relap se an d th u s avoid th e d estru ctiv e self-trash ­ ing th at so o ften goes with it an d h elp s rein fo rce th e addiction. In stea d o f trash in g y o u rself for relap sin g .” T h e Ego som etim es tells us to sto p d o in g so m e th in g b e fo re o u r C o n ­ stitu en ts have really le a rn e d how u n p ro fita b le it is. M ost o f u$ have to listen continually to o u r E gos tellin g us to sh ap e u p in . T h is is th e way y o u r C o n stitu e n ts learn .

p u n ish . Always. “ You still a r e n ’t co m p lete. b ecause . they p raise th e ir E gos. U sually th e se kinds o f “ ex -ad d ic ts” get ad d icted to so m e th in g else— so m e th in g less visible. it is the C o n stitu e n ts w ho b rin g it ab o u t.” T h e natu ral re sp o n se to th a t m essag e is ad d ictio n : I have a h ole. to n o avail. c o u ld n ’t g et a lo n g o r fu n ctio n in th e w orld at all. backslide a lto g e th e r. it’s fair to say th ey ’re still a d ­ d icted. helpless. it e n co u rag es. backslide a lto ­ geth er. always an a d d ic t” is th e E g o ’s way o f k eepin g d esp o tic co n tro l. is not fighting addiction but sustaining it.” T h e y m ake su d d e n vows. Every criticism by th e E go carries the secret m essag e “ w ith o u t m e y o u ’re n o th in g — weak. An E go th a t is w illing to give “ pow er-toth e -C o n stitu e n ts” d o e s n ’t criticize. The critical Ego. in such a case.T H E CURE □ 175 som e way o r a n o th e r. b u t this ju s t confirm s o u r sense o f having a ho le in o u r psyche. M ost p e o p le d o n ’t see it this way. P eo p le “ fig h t” ad d ictio n with an in cred ib le am o u n t o f Ego-noise: th e g rad u al scen ario I d escrib ed ea rlie r is m asked by th e E g o ’s fanfare. w ithout having any secu re aw areness o f th a t fact. a n d criticize th em selves an d m ake reso lu tio n s. T h e w orld is full o f alcoholics an d o th e r add icts w ho co n ­ tinually b e ra te . an d p e rh a p s eventually sw ear off a lto g e th e r— n ev er to u ch in g th e o ffen d in g su b sta n c e again a n d insisting th at if they ever to o k so m uch as a d ro p o r a p u ff th e y ’d be rig h t back at the b eg in n in g again. A ctually. “ O n c e an ad d ict. I m u st fill it. sw ear o ff a lto g e th e r. T h e y see “ h ig h e r m o ­ tives” c o n q u e rin g “ low er n a tu re . th e C o n stitu ­ en ts a re at a p o in t so m ew h ere a ro u n d 55 o r 60. P eo p le sw ear off alto g e th er. an d w hen every o n ce in a w hile c h an g e d o es occur. Even w hen th e c u re is real an d co m p lete th e Ego ten d s to take cred it fo r it. W hen ad d ictio n is cu red . ig n o rin g th e d o zen s o f tim es th e vows fail to have any effect. Since they have n o clear aw areness o f w h ere they are. C riticalness betrays th e d e sp o t. since th e E go is forcing them to p re te n d they have re a c h e d 100. k eep in g th e o rg an ism feeling it has a hole in its psyche. therefore. m o re so ­ cially acceptable. It says. since it p u ts all th e em p h asis on w h at’s missing in th e o rg an ism .

R e m e m b e r th at y our E go has b e e n criticizing you fo r years (and criticizes so m e p e o p le all th e ir lives) w ithout having the slightest im pact. W hen th e p e o p le a re s tro n g an d vigilant they can tell th e differ­ ence— su p p o rt th e le a d e r w hen h e o r she is helpful. T h e re a so n ad d ictio n s a re so difficult to cure. an d it is usually q u ite tru e th at th e E g o ’s c o n trib u tio n is fo r th e m o st p a rt negative. T h e tru th is th a t you couldn Vpossibly have given up an addiction unless you yourself— your Constituents— spontaneously wanted to.1 7 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION / m ade you well. T h e cred it b elo n g s solely to you a n d is testi­ m ony to y o u r in creasin g w holeness. U ntil th e o rg an ism has actually experienced th e altern ativ e n o m o v em en t o r choice by th e C o n stitu e n ts is p ossible. Y ou still want to be an ad d ict b u t I ’ve saved y o u . / o v ercam e y o u r w eakness.” for exam ple). o p p o se . T h e C o n stitu e n ts can n o t envision a h y p o th etical possibility. Like every le a d e r w ho ever lived. u p to this p o in t I have assig n ed th e E go th e ro le o f the heavy in o u r d ram a o f h u m a n re d e m p tio n . it acts som etim es fo r th e g o o d o f th e w hole and som etim es selfishly. to p re se rv e its ow n p o w er p o sitio n . is b e ­ cause th e Ego.” In this way m uch o f the b enefit o f th e cu re is lost. T h e reaso n for this is very sim ple: o u r C o n stitu e n ts learn by feeling th e ir way. tow ard an optim u m p o sitio n b etw een known altern ativ es. th ro u g h trial an d e rro r. F u rth e rm o re . as I su g g e ste d in C h a p te r 5: th e E go can b e d e m o c ra tiz ed a n d ta u g h t to play a helpful role. O nly th e Ego can d o this. is b o th essen tial fo r g e ttin g th ings m oving an d a m ajo r o b stacle o n ce w e’re u n d e r way. which we alm o st invariably rely on to get us o u t o f tro u b le . thus p ro v id in g a new o p tio n for th e C o n stitu e n ts to u se in th e ir g ro p in g to w ard h ealth . D o n ’t give cred it w h ere cred it isn ’t due. Now. th e n . an d b ecau se o f th at can e x p e ri­ m entally place th e o rg an ism in a new situ atio n (“ cold tu rk e y . Yet this n e e d n o t be th e case. in o n e im p o rta n t re sp e c t th e Ego has a fu n ctio n th at is n o t only p ositive b u t essential. M ost ad d ictio n cures w ould n o t even b eg in w ith out th e E g o ’s in te r­ vention. T h e Ego can see altern ativ es.

T h e d e s p o t’s h an d is revealed by th e individualistic style: th e co m m itm en t is to “m y” p leasure. v en tu reso m e. It p u sh es you w hen you feel weakest. T h e y have d ev e lo p e d a rigid ru le o f “ d o in g w hat I feel like” o r “ g o in g with th e flow ” which som ehow m anages to be com pletely m echanical a n d dev o id o f sp o n ta n e ity d e sp ite the surface in te n t. an d a g o o d Ego is the servant o f its C o n stitu e n ts. It doesn V matter whether the principle is ascetic or hedonistic. o u r Egos are am bivalent— co m b in in g criticism a n d e n c o u ra g e m en t. It loves “ always” an d “ n e v e r.T H E CURE □ 177 an d co rre c t th e le a d e r w hen h e o r sh e is a rro g a n t. cu rio u s. the despotic Ego is guided by a rule rather than a flexible response to the situation. to Constituents. H e d o n ism is ju s t a “ b re a d an d circu ses” a p ­ p ro ach to th e C o n stitu e n ts— th e E go m akes co n tro lled gifts to them w ithout in any way sh a rin g pow er. A d em ocratic E go is ex p erim en tal. to others. T h e E go th at b e ra te s an d criti­ cizes you all th e tim e w ants prim arily to m ain tain its own d esp o tism . “ T ry it n o w !” It isn ’t th e c o n te n t o f w hat th e E go says b u t the style: a d esp o tic E go is always o p e ra tin g o n so m e kind o f rigid p rin ci­ ple. A g o o d crite rio n to u se in assessing your E g o ’s p e rfo rm a n c e is rigidity. sever­ ity and flexibility. F or m ost o f us. it isn ’t as clear-cu t as that.” re g a rd le ss o f w h e th e r it w ants o r d o e s n ’t w ant at any given m o m en t. A d esp o tic E go takes a harsh m oral stance. An E go-d riv en o rganism is b u reau cratic— it has rules th at it ap p lies to every occasion. o f co u rse. It d o e s n ’t take g re a t cleverness to tell w h e th e r yo u r Ego is being helpful o r self-serving.” It e ith e r “ d o e s n ’t to u c h ” o r “ c an ’t refu se. It sp o u ts ideology an d talks o f purity an d a b sti­ n en ce an d ab so lu tes. It catches you w hen y o u ’re s tro n g an d says. and th o u g h tfu l. A good lea d er is th e serv an t o f th e p e o p le . But C o n stitu e n ts a re p a rt o f a u niversal com m unity— . T h e E go th a t en c o u ra g e s you to try new b eh avior and take re a so n a b le risks is a g o o d se rv an t-o f-th e-p eo p le. S o m etim es this can b e a little tricky: m any d esp o tic Egos have le a rn e d a little G estalt psychology o r p artak en o f so m e o f th e b o u rg e o is spiritu alism so p o p u la r today.

1 7 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION they d o n ’t see th e w orld in term s o f “ m in e ” a n d “ th in e . Yet to take th e tra d itio n a l M arxist p o sitio n an d say they are n o t also p e rso n a l is to m ake exactly th e sam e e rro r. is only a p o se. T h is. It is only th e m o st d esp o tic Egos th at a re o b sessed w ith sta n d in g a p a rt in isolated pom posity. psychiatry. d e sp e ra te for love an d appro v al. a n d law— th at o u r difficulties in life a re m erely p erso n al. th e ir arro g an ce. But o u r A ddict eco n o m y d e p e n d s u p o n o u r see­ ing ourselves as h ero ic isolates an d tells us every day th at we a re se p a ra te a n d alo n e (“ divide an d c o n q u e r” )— c o m p e tin g in a m illion ways w ith each o th e r. It insists— th ro u g h m ass m edia.” Any “ m in e n e ss” in b eh av io r show s th a t th e E go is still d ictator. F o r since th e C o n stitu en ts a re universal a n d in te rc o n n e c ted . o f course. SWAMI VIVEKANANDA I have tried to show . th e E go is still e n th ro n e d . T h e sam e hold s fo r b o u rg e o is spiritualism : if a p e rso n is p re o c c u p ie d with his o r h e r ow n individual e n lig h te n m e n t o r sp iritual d ev e lo p m e n t. an d th e ir denial o f that d e p e n d e n c e . th e p e r ­ sonal an d th e political are o n e a n d th e sam e. consistency. m edicine. still d e te r­ m in ed to achieve “ sp ecialn ess” by b e in g less th a n hu m an . th e ir parasitic d e p e n d e n c e o n th e ir C o n stitu e n ts. in a d e q u a te in all o f them . Its rigidity. th at a dem ocratic. flexible o rg an ism d o e s n ’t w aste tim e try in g to set itself ap art from o th e r o rg an ism s— th at th e C o n stitu e n ts o f o n e o rganism a re aw are th at they a re in dissolubly linked with th e C o n stitu ­ e n ts o f all o th e r org an ism s. in a variety o f ways. WEALTH AND SIM PLICITY Any attempt at poverty which is not voluntary defeats the end which is freedom—freedom from the slavery o f matter. an d ind ifferen ce to o th e rs reveal that so m e o f its C o n stitu e n ts a re b ein g d e n ie d aw areness. Y our in tern al . fo r in fact all E g o -d esp o ts are p retty m uch alike in th e ir fears.

in fact. my in te rn a l p ro b le m s. it isn ’ t genuinely attending to its own. m ake any g reat d istin ctio n . a n d so on. I f the Ego does not attend to other Constituents. B oth a p p ro a c h e s a re ho ax es. T h e h e ro o f a H ollyw ood film. O u r society train s us to b e ad d icts— to deal w ith stresses and strains by buying o r in g e stin g so m eth in g . says. the first in assu m in g th a t in te rd e p e n d e n c e m u st b e c reate d by an act o f will. “ I n e e d a d rin k . O th e rs m ake self-in d u lg en ce a m a tte r o f ideology. . C h ild re n a re ta u g h t very y o ung— an d n o t m erely by ad v ertisin g — th a t th e a p p ro p ria te re sp o n se to “ th e first sign o f s tre ss” is to take so m e th in g in— to drink o r take pills w hen u p se t. Som e Egos assu m e th e p o s tu re o f “ u n selfish n ess. A d ra g o n a c ig a re tte h elp s him stall fo r tim e so h e can falsify his re sp o n se to a q u e stio n . and vice versa. ra th e r th an by ex ­ p re ssin g o r b alan cin g ourselv es. a n d th e first duty o f an E go is to its C o n stitu e n ts. a n d o u r social p ro b le m s are all o n e p ro b lem . O nly a d em o cratic Ego. fo r only th e E go is p re o c c u p ie d w ith such d istin c­ tions. fla tte rin g th e ir ow n C o n ­ stitu en ts an d sp ittin g o n ev ery o n e e lse ’s— as if o b n o x io u sn ess w ere in itse lf p r o o f o f e n lig h te n m e n t. get a car w hen feeling in ferio r. The fa ct that so sharp a demarcation is made between one's own Constituents and all others betrays the influence o f a despotic Ego. how ever. the E g o ’s service is p ro p e rly d ire c te d to all C o n stitu e n ts every­ w here. o r T V series.” ig n o rin g th eir ow n C o n stitu e n ts to serve o th e r p e o p le .THE cu re D 179 p ro b lem s. A tru e td e m o c rad c sp o n ­ taneity an d g en ero sity o f sp irit w ould n o t ex clu d e e ith e r o n e ’s ow n C o n stitu e n ts o r th o se o f o th e rs — w ould n o t. Y et every tim e we follow this advice th e conviction th a t we have h o les in o u rselves d ee p en s. is equally g en ero u s an d p ro tectiv e to its ow n C o n stitu e n ts a n d th o se o f o th ers. buy cosm etics w hen shy. c o n fro n te d w ith an u p se ttin g situ atio n .” ra th e r th a n ex p re ssin g w hat h e feels a b o u t it. T h e first d u ty o f a le a d e r is to th e p e o p le . B ut sin ce th e re is no difference betw een “ its” C o n stitu e n ts a n d all o th e r C o n stitu en ts. fo r in b o th cases the E go m erely serves an d inflates itself. T h e seco n d g ro u p is a rro g a n t in assu m in g th a t e n lig h te n m e n t is a p rivate affair.

1 8 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

Every year psychiatrists w rite articles a b o u t why p e o p le b e ­ com e d e p re sse d an d suicidal a ro u n d C h ristm as tim e. T h e y talk a b o u t m em o ries o f c h ild h o o d an d d isa p p o in te d ex p ectatio n s, a n d o th e r th in g s th a t leave u n sc a th e d th e basic te n ets o f o u r addictive cu ltu re. B ut it sh o u ld be obvious by now th at p e o p le get m iserab le at C hristm as b ecau se it’s a tim e w hen they are fo rced to co n c e rn th em selves w ith (1) w hat they d o n ’t have a n d (2) w hat they will give to o th e rs. “ W hat d o you w ant (lack) for C h ristm a s? ” P eo p le m ake jo k e s a ro u n d this: “ my two fro n t te e th ,” “ a h ap p y family, n o q u a rre lin g fo r o n c e ,” “ my y o u th ,” an d so on . T h e w o rd “ w a n t” m eans b o th d e sire a n d poverty: p e o p le at C h ristm astim e co u ld reaso n ab ly b e said to b e “ in w an t.” C h ristm as is th e b ig g est holiday m ost A m ericans cele­ b ra te , a very a p p ro p ria te holiday (in th e form it now takes, at least) fo r a society b ased o n w ealth ad d iction. M any p e o p le have tro u b le seein g w ealth add ictio n th e sam e way they see alcoholism o r d ru g ad d ictio n . F o r them add ictio n is w eakness an d in d u lg e n c e an d w hile b u y ing a n d sp e n d in g can be fitted in to th a t fram ew ork, o th e r asp ects o f w ealth a d ­ d ictio n — th e p lan n in g , th e cau tio u s accu m u latio n , th e drive to achieve, th e discipline— seem very d ifferen t from alcoholism o r h e ro in ad d ictio n . M any a p o o r a lco h o lic’s wife has w ished for n o th in g so fervently as th at h e w ould tu rn o v e rn ig h t into a w ealth addict. Every ad d ictio n has its ow n side effects, b u t w h e th e r they give o ff th e a p p e a ra n ce o f w eakness o r stre n g th , discipline o r in d u lg en ce, is q u ite irrelev an t to th e in ten sity o f th e ad d ictio n itself. W h e th e r a p e rso n is u n a b le to w ork h ard at an y th in g o r u n a b le to stop w orking, h e o r she is still ad d icted . As I p o in te d o u t in C h a p te r 3, th e Ego may insist that safety lies in always b e in g sloppy o r in always b ein g tidy. I t ’s the “ alw ays” that betrays th e d ictato r, a n d it’s th e “ alw ays” th at reveals an ad d ic­ tion. W h e th e r it is alcohol, o r p raise, o r m oney, o r status, if a p e rso n m ust have it to feel w hole, th e n h e o r she is ad d icted . T o th e p e rso n w ho enjoys life th e a p p a re n t self-discipline o f th e “ w orkaholic” seem s very im pressive. S peaking as an e x ­

THE C U R E D 1 8 1

w orkaholic, I can a ssu re th e n o n a d d ic t re a d e r th a t no g reat “ stre n g th o f c h a ra c te r” is involved. W ork can b e an escap e and an in d u lg en ce like an y th in g else, an d I fo u n d th a t I u sed it th at way for m any years. Picking u p an u n c o m p le te d task involved no m o re s tre n g th o f ch a ra c ter th a n tu rn in g o n th e television. T h ro u g h c o n sta n t w ork I was ab le to ev ad e difficult decisions, com plex in te rp e rso n a l e n c o u n te rs, a n d myself. It was like rea d in g an en d less a n d en jo y ab le novel w ith o u t having to feel guilty. G iving it u p re q u ire d m uch m o re stre n g th since I had to face u p to w ho I was an d w hat I w an ted , how I was c o n ­ n ec te d with o th e rs an d w hat I was d o in g w ith my tim e. As I beg an to deal w ith th e se issues I realized th a t 90 p e rc e n t o f my co n sta n t w ork h a d b e e n w aste m o tio n , useful only to keep m e in th e essentially d ru g g e d co n d itio n o f b e in g “ h a rd at w ork.” W ork can still b e very en jo y ab le to m e. I like challen g e and like to feel useful. B ut to b e en jo y ab le it has to take its p ro p e r place a m o n g m any o th e r activities an d in te re sts. A large p ro ­ je c t, like a b o o k w ith a d ead lin e, can trip m e in to my old habits o n occasion, b u t I n o lo n g e r find it p leasu rab le. I have th e m o st p ro fo u n d conviction, as I ’m slaving frantically away, th at to a larg e e x te n t I ’m w asting tim e. A nd w hen I look back over w hat I ’ve p ro d u c e d o n th o se occasions o f h ero ic effort, even my critical E go is fo rced to a g re e w ith th a t intuitive ju d g m e n t, and I sp e n d h o u rs u n d o in g w hat I sp e n t w eeks doing. P eop le like to d o w hat they d o w ith so m e d e g re e o f skill. T hey w ant to g et g o o d a t it. T h is m ay involve a c ertain d e g re e o f passio n an d c o m m itm en t h a rd to d iscrim in ate from ad d ic­ tive am b itio n . W e can d istin g u ish b etw een th em by looking at th e goal: is th e e n erg y in v ested in th e activity b ecau se it’s an e n d in itse lf o r a m ean s to an e n d ? Do I d o it b ecause I love do in g it well an d have an im age in my m in d o f w hat it w ould feel like to d o it even b e tte r? O r d o I d o it b ecau se I have an im age o f th e m o n ey I ’ll m ake o r th e re c o g n itio n an d ap p la u se I ’ll receive? I f my fantasies revolve a ro u n d b e in g a sta r o r g ettin g rich, th e n th e activity is m erely in th e service o f ad d ic ­ tion.

1 8 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION

M ost p eo p le, o f co u rse, have to stru g g le ju s t to survive. T h e y w ork b ecau se they have to, a n d th e ir lab o rs are relieved n e ith e r by satisfaction w ith w hat they d o n o r with im ages o f fu tu re success. T h e y d o n ’t enjoy th e luxury o f ch o o sin g b e ­ tw een w ork th a t is in h eren tly satisfying a n d work th at is ju s t a m eans to an en d . B ut even m iddle-class p e o p le w ho have such choices o ften feel as if they w ere c o m p elled from o u tsid e, an d it is th ese driv en , com pulsive w ealth ad dicts w ho c re ate a w orld in which n o n a d d ic ts m u st slave to survive. M isery loves com pany. Like all ad d ictio n s, w ealth ad d ictio n is self-reinforcing. It creates habits o f m ind an d h ab its o f b eh a v io r th a t keep us from seein g th e way o u t. By em p h asizin g o u r d e p e n d e n c e o n e x te r­ nals, for exam ple, it w eakens o u r self-respect. W e lose the feeling th at we co u ld survive o r care fo r o u rselves w ithout the tra p p in g s o f civilization— we feel in c o m p e te n t, helpless, and th en have to u se m oney a n d statu s to p ro p ourselves up. F u r­ th e rm o re , by locking us in to o w n ersh ip , d istrac tin g us and k eep in g us busy w ith ja n ito ria l services fo r o u r p o ssessions, w ealth ad d ictio n m akes it h a rd e r an d h a rd e r fo r us to see o u r lives in p ersp ectiv e— see th a t we actually have choices. P o sses­ sions m ultiply: each o n e re q u ire s accessories fo r m ain ten an ce, e n h a n c e m en t, p ro te c tio n , an d so on , so th at each p u rch a se trap s us in to fu rth e r o n es. W e b eg in to see o u r lives as a m a tte r o f necessity an d co m p u lsio n r a th e r th a n choice— we feel we have to w ork an d scram b le ju s t to “ k eep u p ” (som etim es lite r­ ally in th e form o f cre d it paym en ts). A nd finally, w ealth ad d ic­ tio n , w ith its co m p etitiv en ess, its co n c e rn with surfaces— with a p p e a ra n ce , statu s, p re stig e — p ro d u c e s a less o p e n , m ore m asked life-style, w hich in tu rn fo sters lo n elin ess a n d su spi­ cion. T h e fact th at we have to h id e p a rts o f ourselves m akes us feel em pty an d u n lo v ed a n d we seek m o re w ealth to fill this hole. B ut I d o n ’t w ant to c re a te an im p ressio n o f an overw helm ing m o n o lith ic force (an o ld E go Mafia trick to d isco u rag e change). Like every system , o u r w ealth-addictive society is

THE cure D 183
b o th self-rein fo rcin g an d self-u n d erm in in g . W e can see this by looking at advertising: e v ery o n e know s th a t co m m ercials fos­ te r addiction; w hat is less obvio u s is th a t they also ten d to cut th e g ro u n d from u n d e r th e system th a t c re a te d them . A com m ercial c ap tu re s o u r in te re st by asso ciatin g its p ro d u c t with so m e th in g d esirab le— beau ty , success, health, sex. But w ith so m any c o m p e tin g bids fo r o u r a tte n tio n , successful ads have to to u ch d e e p e r an d d e e p e r n eed s and desires in o rd e r to sta n d o u t. U ltim ately they have to tap in to th o se h u n g e rs th at a re c re a te d by th e addictive e c o n ­ om y itself, an d at th a t p o in t th e w hole p ro cess begins to backfire. Every ad th a t tries to asso ciate a p ro d u c t o r com pany with so m eth in g th e view er feels is d e sira b le carries a d o u b le m es­ sage: (1) th at th e p ro d u c t can b e asso ciated w ith X (so m eth in g desirab le) an d (2) th a t X is, in fact, d esirab le. T h is may seem harm less e n o u g h — p resu m ab ly th e view er alread y know s X is desirab le o r th e a d v e rtise r w o u ld n ’t b e u sin g it to sell his p ro d u c t. Yet it o fte n has su b tle co n se q u e n c e s. S u p p o se, for exam p le, a c o rp o ra tio n tries to asso ciate itse lf w ith ecological consciousness, as m any o f th e m a jo r c o rp o ra tio n s (usually the w orst p o llu ters) a re now d o in g . Initially th e m essage is a b o ld ­ faced lie. Y et it re p re se n ts a sh arp d e p a rtu re from th e p o sitio n c o rp o ra tio n s u sed to take, th a t they w ere in b u sin ess solely to m ake a profit. T h e seco n d m essag e in such an ad is th a t “ it is a d esirab le th in g fo r a c o rp o ra tio n to b e ecologically c o n ­ scious.” C o rp o ra tio n s now b eg in to c o m p e te in p re se n tin g them selves in this way. As th e c o m p e titio n escalates, c o rp o ra ­ tions b eg in se ttin g u p little d e m o n stra tio n p ro je cts they can show o ff to th e pub lic a n d p h o to g ra p h fo r th e ir ads. E xecutives in ch arg e o f such p ro je c ts a re p u t in th e p o sitio n o f having to m ake th e ir re p u ta tio n s as m an ag ers by b e in g m o re ecologi­ cally so p h isticated an d creativ e th an an y o n e else, an d so on. T h e re is always a certain p re s s u re o n an o ft-to ld lie to m ake it com e tru e retroactively, an d in th e m ean tim e th e public is bein g e d u c a te d to ex p ect ecological resp o n sib ility from c o rp o ­

” All p e rso n a l so lu tio n s to w ealth a d d ic tio n involve o n e form o r a n o th e r o f w hat has co m e to b e called V oluntary Sim plicity. o r to play inform al gam es in g ro u p s. . au to m o b ile s. B ut in fact Ja m e s fo u n d th e “ m o ral eq u iv alen t o f w ar” a n d had q u ite a b it to say a b o u t it: “ May n o t v o lu n tarily acc ep ted p o v ­ erty b e ‘th e s tre n u o u s life. is th e stre n u o u s life— w ith­ o u t brass b an d s o r u n ifo rm s o r hysteric p o p u la r a p p lau se o r lies o r circum locutions. b eer. T V ads have co n stantly trie d to associate cig arettes. T h is d o e s n ’t m ean we can all lie d o w n an d let n a tu re take its course.1 8 4 □ W EALTH ADDICTION ratio n s. th e seco n d m essag e— “ it’s g o o d to b e in th e co u n try . in d e e d .” I t’s fascinat­ ing to m e how o fte n this p h ra se is q u o te d by new s c o m m e n ta ­ to rs a n d academ ics as if Ja m e s h a d m erely e x p re sse d a y ea rn ­ ing fo r such an eq u iv alen t— as if th e search w ere still on.’ w ith o u t th e n e e d o f cru sh in g w eaker p eo p les? Poverty. T h e re su lt o f th e se c o n sta n t re m in d e rs has b e e n n o t only to sell a lo t o f b e e r a n d cola b u t also to rem in d p e o p le th a t th e re a re a lo t n icer th in g s to d o th a n sit in fro n t o f a T V set. A n o th e r exam p le has to d o w ith b e in g in n a tu re a n d en jo y ­ ing inform al g ro u p activities. an d o th e r p ro d u c ts w ith th e se “ n a tu ra l” p u rsu its. th e ad v ertisin g in­ d u stry may have stu m b le d o n to th e very th ings th at will begin to free view ers from ad d ictio n . W e all reco g n ize th e n e e d fo r so m e kind o f p e rso n al h u m an co m m itm en t in d e a lin g w ith w ealth a d d ic tio n — w hat W illiam Ja m e s called a “ m o ral e q u iv alen t o f w ar. o n e w o n d ers w h e th e r a revival o f th e b e lie f th at poverty is a w orthy relig io u s v ocation may n o t be ‘th e tra n sfo rm a tio n o f m ilitary c o u ra g e .) In its d e s p e ra te search fo r u n satisfied lo n g in g s.’ a n d th e sp iritual r e ­ form which o u r tim e stan d s m o st in n e e d o f. (Viewers m ay have g o tte n th e m essag e. o r ju s t to h a n g o u t with p e o p le ”—can backfire. B ut again. soft drinks. fo r T V view ing has d ro p p e d m easu rab ly fo r th e first tim e in its history. a n d w h en o n e sees th e way in which w ealth -g ettin g e n te rs as an ideal in to th e very b o n e a n d m a r­ row o f o u r g e n e ra tio n . w hich is p resu m ab ly th e last th in g th e co rp o ra tio n s want.

com m unity w ell-being. only th o se w ho have e x p e rie n c ed affluence are in a p o sitio n to have a “ choice d iv o rced from n e e d . T h e w ord “ sim plicity” may have o v e rto n es th at aro u se o u r suspicions: a vaguely p u rita n ring. self-rig h teo u sn ess. fo r to d e ­ prive y o u rse lf o u t o f so m e ideological conviction is m erely to feed th e Ego Mafia. a lth o u g h som e p e o p le may elect form s o f sim plicity th a t w ould be highly un c o m fo rta b le to th e rest o f us.” which m eans th at th e giving u p o f m aterial c lu tte r is n o t coerced e ith e r from th e o u tsid e o r from th e inside. A bove all. “ I p u t h e r dow n tw o h o u rs ago. an d flagellation. O n e o f them carries h e r across. Y ou’re still carrying h e r . m uch to th e c o n ste rn a tio n o f th e o th er. It involves re a rra n g ­ ing o u r lives to a m o re h u m an scale an d ad ju stin g o u r eco lo g i­ cal fine tun in g . play.” . co n ju rin g up im ages o f d ra b sm ocks. T h e re is an old Zen story a b o u t tw o m onks trav elin g to g e th e r w ho e n ­ c o u n te r a n u d e w om an try in g to cross a stream . “ could you ex p o se y o u rse lf to such te m p ta tio n ? ” T h e first m onk replies. “ H o w . It involves u n h o o k in g ourselves from th e E go Mafia— from th e h u g e b u reau cracies th at co n tro l so m uch o f o u r lives— an d c e le b ra tin g o u r co n n ec tio n with o th e r living th in g s.” V o lu n ­ tary Sim plicity m erely m eans trying to rid o n e ’s life as m uch as possible o f m aterial c lu tte r so as to c o n c e n tra te on m o re im p o rta n t things: creativity. T h ey c o n tin u e in silence for a co u p le o f h o u rs until th e seco n d m onk can sta n d it n o lo n g er. o u t o f som e pio u s conviction th at it’s th e “ rig h t th in g to d o . h u m a n survival an d d e v elo p m en t. T h e key w ord in V olu n tary Sim plicity is “ v o lu n ta ry . it d o e s n ’t m ean forcing y o u rse lf to give u p so m e th in g you really enjoy. But if this is th e spirit in which V o lu n tary Sim plicity is e m ­ braced th e resu lt will m ost certainly b e n o x io u s. N o r is V olu n tary Sim plicity c o erced from w ithin. As A n d re V anden Broeck o b serv es.” h e asks. especially each o th e r.THE c u r e D 185 T h is d o es n o t n ecessarily m ean g o in g “ back to n a tu re .” and it does n o t m ean living in poverty a n d d isco m fo rt.” T h e p o o r a re n ’t in a p o sitio n to m ake such a choice— they a re stuck with a scarcity th at is n e ith e r sim ple n o r voluntary.

w ho co in ed th e te rm in 1936. T o talk o f “ d en y in g o n e s e lf ’ is to u se th e lan g u ag e o f d e s p o ­ tism . “ M oney isn ’t ev ery th in g b u t lack o f m oney isn ’t a n y th in g ” ). p o ssessions. n o t a d enial o f oneself. Sim plicity is an affirm ation. W e d o n ’t think o f th em as p u rita n s b u t as b o ld seekers an d risk takers. P eople a re always asking “ W hy c a n ’t life b e sim p le?” o r “ W hy is my life so c lu tte re d ? ” o r “ W hy c a n ’t I find a little p e ace ?” T his y earn in g is w hat V o lu n tary Sim plicity is all ab o u t. P eo p le have always resisted this idea. R ichard G reg g . y o u r sim plicity is a frau d an d you m ight ju s t as well go back to p u rsu in g w ealth u n til y o u ’ve h ad y o u r fill o f it.” H e p o in te d o u t th a t if you give things up o u t o f a sen se o f duty o r self-sacrifice they co n tin u e to p re o c ­ cupy you an d c lu tte r y o u r m ind. a fte r all. V olu n tary Sim plicity m u st b e u n d e r­ taken in th e spirit.” H u m o r is a g o o d a n tid o te to th e p rig g ish n ess o f th o se w ho em b race p o v erty o u t o f so m e ideological fervor. W e n e e d to re m e m b e r th at w ealth ad d ictio n exists only b ecause th e E go has d e n ie d p a rts o f th e se lf an d trie d to fill th e gap with m oney. Sim plicity n e e d n o t b e S p a rta n o r self-denying. and security to seek new e x p erien ces in faraw ay places. T o let go o f any p iece o f y o u r m o n ey h ab it is to affirm an d lib erate th o se p a rts o f yourself. you sh o u ld keep it. b e e n p e o p le w ho a b a n d o n e d co m fo rts. o n ce com p lain ed to G an d h i th at while h e h a d n o tro u b le giving u p m o st th in g s he c o u ld n ’t let go o f his books. partly th ro u g h h u m o r (“ T h e b e st th in g s in life a re free b u t I ’ll settle for seco n d b e s t” . b u t o f ad v e n tu re . All a d v e n tu re rs th ro u g h o u t h istory have. an d th e im m ed iate re sp o n se o f 9 o u t o f 10 p e o p le w hen they first h e a r th e title o f this book is som e version of: “ I only wish th e y ’d give m e e n o u g h to get m e h o o k e d .1 8 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION A ddictio n is in tern al: if you e x p e rim e n t sincerely with V o lu n ­ tary Sim plicity an d find y o u rse lf still th in k in g o f m oney an d p o ssessio n s. . an d th e sam e spirit o fte n infuses th o se w ho em b race Sim plicity today. G an d h i to ld him h e sh o u ld n ’t try: “ As lo n g as you d erive in n e r h e lp an d co m fo rt from anything. T o achieve its goal. love. n o t o f p u rita n ism o r self-flagellation.

th e E go gives th e push th at sets th e w hole th in g in m o tio n . e ith e r fo r th e g o o d o f y o u r p riv ate soul o r . I f it’s in sistin g th a t you m ake som e permanent sacrifice. th e re w ould b e n o p o in t in w riting this book.” T h e seco n d answ er is th a t p e o p le d o n ’t really know how it will feel to give so m e th in g u p u n til they try. since it p re d ic te d th at “ th e fastest g ro w in g se c to r o f th e m arket is p e o p le w ho d o n ’t w ant very m u c h . p e rh a p s n o t to o surprisingly. A re p o rt from th e S tan fo rd R e­ search In s titu te e stim ated th a t 5 m illion A m ericans are e n ­ gaged in V oluntary Sim plicity a n d p re d ic te d th a t th e n u m b e r w ould reach 35 m illion by 1985. o r like d iscard in g a w in ter g a rm e n t w hen sp rin g com es. a lot o f w eighing o f altern ativ es. B ut m o re o fte n th e r e ’s a lo t o f th o u g h t involved. m o re o fte n th a n n o t. to try it. like a snake slo u g h in g its skin. In sh o rt. T h e first is th a t p e o p le are giving it u p sp o n tan eo u sly .THE cu re D 187 b u t it clo u d s th e fact th a t V o lu n tary Sim plicity is ju s t a way o f having a h a p p ie r. and w ealth ad d ictio n so fran tic an d crip p lin g . as we have seen . why d o n ’t p e o p le give it u p sp o n tan eo u sly ? W hy d o p e o p le cling to it? W hy do we n e e d to talk a b o u t it at all if th e r e ’s n o n e e d to push ourselves? T h e re a re two answ ers to this. T h e p ro p e r ro le o f th e E go. an d (like the m an clinging d esp erately to th e ro p e w ith his feet only a few inches from th e g ro u n d ) th in g s look very d ifferen t o n o n e side o f th at ex p erim e n t th a n they d o o n th e o th e r. B ut if V olu n tary Sim plicity is so en jo y ab le a n d n a tu ra l. I said e a rlier th at the Ego plays an im p o rta n t ro le in b e in g ab le to co n sid e r h y p o ­ thetical altern ativ es an d set th e n a tu ra l p ro cess in m o tio n — if this w e re n ’t tru e . is to get you to experiment. a lo t o f in te rn a l dialo g u e a b o u t it. T h is re p o rt a ro u se d m o re in te re st a m o n g co r­ p o ra te lead ers th a n any p rev io u s re p o rt o f S ta n fo rd ’s B usiness In tellig en ce P ro g ram . fre e r life. T h e y also e stim a ted th a t from o n e -th ird to o n e -h a lf o f th e p o p u la tio n was “ sy m p ath etic” to th e m o v em en t. S om etim es giving u p w ealth a d d ic tio n a n d m oving tow ard V oluntary Sim plicity occu rs q u ite sp o n ta n e o u sly .

At first it’s h a rd to h e a r o v er th e n o ise o f y o u r anxiety. th e n it’s p ro b ab ly trying subtly to scare you o ff a n d m ain tain th e addictive statu s quo. Since you already feel te n se try in g to fill th at em p tin ess. so m e like to feel virtuous. the m o re y o u r E go relaxes. th e im p o rta n t th in g is to listen to how it feels. A nd th e m o re o f y o u r in n e r se lf you can h ear. like le ttin g go o f any o th e r addiction. T h e m ost co n firm ed alcoholic has m o m e n ts w hen he d o e s n ’t really feel like d rinking. S om etim es th e d rin k in g itse lf serves to d ro w n o u t th at la te n t d isin te re st in d rin k in g. an d th a t in itself is stre n g th e n in g . T h is is why alco- . V olu n tary Sim plicity. O n c e you try giving u p so m e th in g . It d o e s n ’t really m a tte r why p e o p le try it. You b eg in to feel th a t you have a choice to b e a d d ic te d o r n o t. his d esire to b e d ru n k . th e n y o u ’re n o t ready to start). an d his b e lie f in his ad d ictio n d ro w n o u t th at in n e r sen satio n . yo u r E g o ’s lo u d alarm -system . it seem s positively rep u lsiv e to thin k o f try in g to get a lo n g w ith­ o u t th o se p ro p s. T h e key is e x p e rim e n ta tio n . T h e m o re you e x p e rim e n t th e m ore y o u r E go relax es an d th e m o re you can h e a r o f yo u r in n e r self. m uch m o re aw are o f flu ctu atio n s in m o o d an d taste. som e w ant to feel m o re in d e p e n d e n t. T his d o e s n ’t m ean y o u r d e sire fo r it has necessarily d ec rea sed — m erely th a t y o u r Ego is m uch m o re tu n e d in to its C o n stitu ­ e n ts. so y o u r E go can pro cess th e in fo r­ m atio n an d w ork w ith you ra th e r th a n ag ainst you. b u t drinks anyway b ecau se his anxiety.1 8 8 □ WEALTH ADDICTION fo r th e benefit o f hum anity. M any try it o u t o f so m e ideological conviction an d only la te r discover th a t it’s enjoyable. seem s frig h te n in g an d re p e lle n t at first b ecause you im agine y o u rse lf taking y o u r h u n g e r w ith you in to an em pty situation. som e a re p u sh e d in to it by th e ir E gos. B ut o n e o f th e very first things th a t h ap p e n s as you e x p e rim e n t is th at you disco v er u n su sp e c te d stre n g th s (if you d o n ’t. som e d o it for fun. S om e p e o p le like to take risks. T h e n ex t th in g th at h a p p e n s is th a t you find y o u rself at tim es n o t even w an tin g w hatever it is y o u ’re ad d ic ted to.

co n stan tly d rain in g . b u t a fte r a tim e they usually find th a t the m o re they exercise th e less they feel a co m p u lsio n to eat. B ut som ehow this has never b een p re s e n te d in a very a p p e a lin g way. W h at h a p p e n s w hen you b eg in to let go o f an ad d ictio n is th at you find th a t so m e o f th e tim e you d o n ’t w ant w hatever it is th at hooks you. It obviously to u c h e d a c h o rd o f som e kind in th e A m erican psyche— o n e w hich at th e tim e could be d ealt with only th ro u g h h u m o r. . T h is ch o rd is sim ply th at add ictio n is n o t really satisfying. an d enjoy it m o re. A c ig a re tte com m ercial so m e years ag o asked. T h is is b ecau se th e exercise activates a n d e n erg izes th e w hole body. this ad was th e subject o f en d less p aro d y . th a t may b e a p p e a lin g to him. I t’s a b it like w hat h a p p e n s w hen p e o p le sta rt ex ercis­ ing w ith an eye to h o ld in g dow n th e ir w eight. a n d th a t if you avoid it at th o se tim es you enjoy it m o re w hen you do in d u lg e. “ A re you sm oking m o re lately a n d en jo y in g it less?” D esigned m erely to p e rsu a d e sm okers to sw itch th e ir b ra n d . T h e obvio u s (th o u g h u tterly un-A m erican) so lu tio n to “ sm oking m o re an d en jo y in g it le ss” is to sm oke less . w elcom ing th em as full p a rtic ip a n ts in th a t chaotic co m ­ m unity we call a h u m a n bein g . It is usually said in th e c o n te x t o f such e x tre m e sp iritu al d e ta c h m e n t th at o n e feels. a n d m akes th e p e rso n aw are th a t th e b o d y is w hole a n d com r p le te an d fu n ctio n s well— ra th e r th an b e in g an em pty sack with a h o le in it. . T h is is all a p a rt o f tu n in g into th o se h e re to fo re stifled C o n stitu e n ts. if it’s d o n e in a n o n p u ritan ical way. b u t I ’m ju s t an . ab so rb in g th eir in p u t. W ise m en an d w o m en in every m ajo r cu ltu re th ro u g h o u t history have m ain tain ed th at th e secret o f h a p p in ess was n o t in g e ttin g m o re b u t in w an tin g less. At first they may actually eat m o re. “ W ell. te n d s to c re a te p le a su re a n d a feeling o f fullness.THE C U R E D 1 8 9 hoi is such a p o p u la r a d d ic tio n — it n u m b s you to y o u r m o ­ m en ts o f health . T h is is why th e w ean in g from a d d ictio n . P leasu re a n d co m p u lsio n may n o t be m utually exclusive b u t th e y ’re q u ite in cap ab le o f a lengthy m arriag e.

an d jo y : as yo u r p o sse s­ sions g et sm aller. as in ev ery th in g else. th e satisfactions o f my life w ere so g re a t th a t I n e v er gave it serio u s th o u g h t. com es from nothingness. My ow n lim ited foray in to V o lu n tary Sim plicity has b een o n e o f th e h a p p ie st e x p erien ces o f my life.1 9 0 □ WEALTH ADDICTION e a rth ie r p e rso n th a n th a t.” B ut in fact this p rin cip le has n o th ­ ing to d o w ith b e in g spiritual. I c a n ’t claim th at all o f this was by my ow n d oing. I live now o n less th a n o n e -fo u rth o f w hat I lived o n a few years ago. o r u n d e rb id a c o m p e tito r on a co n tract. an d th e n try m o re w hen yo u ’re ready. O n o n e occasion my p ro g re ss was given a c o n sid e ra b le n u d g e by an u n e x p e c te d an d severe financial setback. At so m e p o in t you have to take a leap an d find o u t w hat it’s like to d o things very differently from w hat you w ould have p lan n ed . b u t a g re a t a b u n d a n c e. Now th at I have very little I live like a king (at least in my ow n eyes) an d it’s a ra re day th a t I’m n o t consciously gratefu l for my g o o d fo rtu n e. I also d o n ’t w ant to give th e im p ressio n th a t I’m living in a . W h en I w orked h a rd a n d had a larg e in co m e I felt d e p riv e d o f m any things. co m ­ p lete. an d this d o e s n ’t take infla­ tion in to acco u n t. Yet I feel th a t my life is n o t only sim p ler and fre e r b u t also m o re lu x u rio u s. in o th e r w ords. F o r w hile I am certainly a lo n g way from D iogenes. Jo y . ch allen g e. W hen p e o p le feel really jo y fu l—ju s t glad to b e alive— it isn ’t b ecau se th ey ’ve w on a w ashing m ach in e o n a quiz show . T h e reaso n for e x p e rim e n tin g w ith V o lu ntary Sim plicity is th a t it brings ex citem en t. b u t. I t’s b ecau se they feel g o o d a b o u t b ein g w ho they are— as is. B ut even at th a t p o in t th e o p tio n to trip le o r q u a d ru p le my in co m e was o p e n to m e. it has to d o with b e in g happy. in th e sen se th at I sp e n d m oney freely o n th e th in g s I enjoy an d feel as if I have n o t only e n o u g h o f w hat I w ant. o r b een p ro m o te d . th ere p ro b ab ly w o n ’t b e m uch payoff. if th e re is n o risk at all. you g et big g er. I t ’s p ro b ab ly wise to give up only as m uch as feels g o o d . a n d alth o u g h I h ad a very difficult tim e o f it fo r several m o n th s. not wanting anything.

B ut I ’m n o t at all ascetic by n a tu re . T ak e. No o n e can tell an y o n e else where o r when to cut dow n. T h e e x p e rim e n t is v o lu n tary a n d th e te c h n iq u e s m u st b e d e ­ v elop ed by trial a n d e rro r. which is usually tw o o r th re e tim es a week. h o w ev er lu x u rio u s. fo r only you know w h a t’s easy an d w h at’s h ard . o r sh e lte r. T h is has b e e n p o ssib le fo r several reaso n s. I rid e a bike o r walk— n o t to save m oney b u t b ecause I enjoy it. F o r th e last several years I have lived o n an incom e th a t m o st m iddle-class A m ericans w ould classify as “ p o o r . an d th e re fo re always feel co m fo rta b le re n tin g a car o r taking a taxi w hen it seem s co n v en ien t. rid in g in a car on . N ot o w n in g a car has given m e m o re fre e d o m th an any o th e r single form o f “ re n u n c ia tio n . c h o p p in g my ow n w ood a n d living on b erries.” It has also saved m e m o re m oney. cloth in g . an d th in g s th a t I cling to. a n d I find I’m fre e r to sp e n d m oney w ith o u t th in k in g th an I was w hen I m ade th re e tim es as m uch. O n c e I g o t accu sto m e d to biking. I eat in g o o d (th o u g h m ostly in expensive) re sta u ra n ts w h en ev er I feel like it. drink. I live in a sm all b u t p le a sa n t a p a rtm e n t in a sm all city. th e au to m o b ile. a lth o u g h I ’ve lived fo r a b o u t h a lf o f th a t tim e with p e o p le w ho did. an d th a t I ’m n o t a ttra c te d to en v iro n m e n ts w h ere p e o p le go to p a ra d e th eir w ealth o r statu s. I ow n tw o o r th re e th in g s w o rth stealin g . o th e rs a re ab le to relin q u ish w ithout stress. T h e goal is to find y o u r ow n ways o f sim plifying and freein g y o u r life. S om e o f th e tim e I have sh ared living space w ith o th e rs.” yet I can recall very few tim es d u rin g th at p e rio d w hen I d e n ie d m y self any kind o f food. T h in g s th a t a re easy fo r m e to d o w ith o u t a re h a rd for o th ers. how ever. I have a g o o d m em ory fo r w hat c a r o w n ersh ip u sed to cost m e. I am n o t o ffering my ow n e x p e rie n c e as a m o d el to read ers: my tastes a n d my circu m stan ces a re d ifferen t from yours. I t ’s also tru e th a t ex p ensive clothes a n d h o tels d o n ’t in te re s t m e very m uch.THE C U R E D 1 9 1 h u t in th e m o u n ta in s. M ost o f th e tim e. I have n o t ow ned a car fo r eig h t years. I d o n ’t ow n a car o r any m a jo r ap p lian ces. for exam p le. b e c a u se o f lack o f funds. a n d th e re fo re h a d so m e access to one.

C lo se y o u r eyes every now and th e n an d listen to th e so u n d s a ro u n d you. after all. d estru ctiv e. H ow d o you feel a fter y o u ’ve b o u g h t so m eth in g ? Is it really satisfying? D oes it m ake you feel g o o d ? H ow d o es y o u r w ork m ake you feel? W ould you d o it if you w e re n ’t g ettin g p aid an d h a d e n o u g h to live on? Pay a tte n tio n to th e tim es w hen you feel happy.600 h o u rs a year to his o r h e r car— sitting in it. since o u r c u ltu re tells us so co n stan tly (th ro u g h gam e show s a n d lo ttery w inner in te r­ views. In m any places living w ith o u t a car is a g re a t h ard sh ip . e a rn in g th e m oney to pay fo r it—forty fu ll work weeks a year. w hich is a b o u t w hat can be d o n e w alking o r biking. a n d ultim ately futile th a n th e au to m o b ile. confined. Y et m any p e o p le w ould ra th e r driv e to a h u t th a n walk to a m an sio n . T h is. My goal is only to p ersu a d e p e o p le to e x p e rim e n t w ith w hat feels p o ssib le for them . like to su g g est fo u r b ro a d gu id elin es th at m ig h t h elp in th o se e x p lo ratio n s. 1. in w hat way? T u n in g in to o u r feelings a ro u n d m oney is h a rd e r th an it so u n d s. p a rt o f th e sam e fabric. Yet in th a t tim e h e o r sh e travels only a b o u t 7. an d find o u t ju s t how .500 m iles. Ivan Illich calculates th a t th e av erag e A m erican devotes m o re th an 1. takes no a cc o u n t o f th e e n v iro n m e n ta l cost o r th e d a m ag e an a u to m o b ile d o es to o u r h ealth an d th e g o o d d o n e by w alking o r biking. L istening to th e insid e is a skill th a t can also b e sh a rp e n e d by listen in g m o re carefully to th e o u tsid e . taking care o f it. how ever. since they are. an d o u r e n tire society is stru c tu re d to fit th at p re fe r­ ence. o f co u rse. I w ould. W as m oney involved? I f so. It w ould be h a rd to find a m ass c o n su m e r item in o u r society m o re ex pensive.1 9 2 □ WEALTH ADDICTION a nice day felt to m e ju s t like b e in g inside: c o o p e d up. I ’m n o t in te re ste d in p e o p le a d o p tin g any particular form o f V olu n tary Sim plicity: so m e p e o p le have tw o pickups a n d no electricity o r in d o o r p lu m b in g . so th a t th e n e t re su lt o f all th a t effort is th e ability to go five m iles fo r every h o u r o f effort. w asteful. Listen to w h a t’ s going on inside. for exam ple) how w e’re supposed to feel.

THE cu re D 193 stro n g a ro le th e E go Mafia plays in y o u r ow n life. vice versa. . gas. . It m ight m ean buying g o o d s a n d services only from sm all firms know n to you. an d a significant fractio n o f th e se p e o p le a re happily “ ro u g h in g it. m aking y o u r com m unity sm all e n o u g h to co m p re h e n d an d deal w ith effectively. O n e o f th e definitions o f V olu n tary Sim plicity is try in g to live yo u r life on a h u m an scale. In stead o f w atching th e b o o b tu b e all n ig h t. n o t o w ning an y th in g th at you c o u ld n ’t re p a ir y o u r­ self. T h is m ig ht m ean. b u t it isn ’t as o u tla n d ish as it so u n d s. o f co urse. ca n ­ dles. impersonal bureaucratic systems over which you have no control. o f course. M igration back to the land is a m ajo r p o p u la tio n tre n d in every p a rt o f the country. . cam p in g stoves. “ W e ’re all talking to each o th e r m o re a n d I have . o r th at c o u ld n ’t be re p a ire d by a frien d o r n e ig h b o r th at you tru st. a n d so on. It m ig h t even m ean d isc o n ­ nectin g y o u rse lf a lto g e th e r from larg e utilities— from electric­ ity. A lm ost ev ery o n e ex­ p erien c e d th e se very real d isco m fo rts as a p ositive event. an d p e o p le sh a re d m akeshift facilities. Try to minimize your dependence on large. te le p h o n e s. H ow m uch o f w hat you h e a r is w ind a n d b ird so n g an d how m uch is the buzz o f m o to rs a n d th e clash o f m etal? H ow m uch celeb rates life an d n a tu re .5 0 0 p e o p le in n o rth e rn C alifornia w ent o n a volu n tary w eek-long to tal p o w er blackout to p ro te st th e ir high utility bills— sw itching to oil lam ps. T h e blackout “ b ro u g h t everybody in tow n c lo ser to g e th e r. 2. be difficult fo r all b u t th e m o st a rd e n t “ b a c k -to -n a tu re ” e n ­ thusiasts. for exam ple. oil. A nd p e o p le a re h e lp in g p e o p le . w e’re g ettin g o u t an d visiting each o th e r.” Early in 1978 a sm all tow n o f 2.” T h e re w ere fre q u e n t potlucks. T h is w ould. an d how m uch m erely ad v ertises so m e o n e ’s p ow er o r glorifies so m e b o d y ’s Ego? A m o re a c u te aw areness o f the e x tern al so u n d s th a t im p in g e u p o n you will h eig h ten your aw areness o f yo u r ow n C o n stitu e n ts an d . It m ig h t m ean avoid in g any form o f in stitu tio n al in d e b te d n e ss o r cred it. w hich ties you in to an en o rm o u s b u re a u c ratic system . an d ice chests.

F o r exam ple. it seem s p o in tle ss to w orry a b o u t losing so m eth in g th a t’s rapidly b eco m in g w orth less anyway. W hen you let yo u r th o u g h ts d rift in to co n cern a b o u t w hat th e “ b est d e a l” is. I sh o u ld p e rh a p s re e m p h a siz e th a t th e se g u id elines are in ­ te n d e d to h elp free you from a d d ic tio n to m oney. b rim m in g with high sp irits an d frien d lin ess. colu m ns. 3. T h e y a re in no way to be taken as g o o d financial advice.1 9 4 □ WEALTH ADDICTION n ev er seen things so g o o d in W e stw o o d . A void Moneythink: buy things only because you want or need them. g u lp in g lead . an d a r­ ticles co m m en tin g o n how blissful th e city was w ithout cars. never because they are cheap. w h ere p e o p le a re so in love with th e ir au to m o b iles th a t th e y ’ll drive a few blocks th ro u g h c o n ­ tin u o u s traffic ja m s an d th e n circle irritably fo r fifteen m inutes loo k in g for a p ark in g space. b u t this sh o u ld be d o n e in full k now ledge th a t an y o n e w ho d o e s n ’t b o rro w in a tim e o f in flation is losing m oney. M assachusetts. an d d e s p e ra te econom y seem s to d e p e n d o n p e rsu a d in g p e o p le to keep a m o n etary n e e d le d a n ­ gling from th e ir arm s at all tim es. failing. especially w hen an e n tire sick. P eo p le w ere so happy in th e em pty stre e ts th a t w hen th e first cars b e g an to a p p e a r they w ere b o o e d an d even occasionally sto n e d . to take off th e fat this puts on . O n th e o th e r h an d . they jo g th ro u g h th e city. an d c o u ld n ’t we som ehow m an ag e to c reate th e sam e effect w ith o u t a blizzard? B ut o ld h ab its a re h a rd to break. I su g g ested u n h o o k in g y o u rse lf from cred it system s. a lth o u g h they may tu rn o u t to b e g o o d survival advice.” b u t “ now th a t n o b o d y is u sin g th em — o r television sets— we d o n ’t m iss th em a n y m o re . N ew spapers for m o n th s afterw ards carried ed ito rials. S treets in paralyzed cities w ere filled w ith p e o p le as if o n a holiday. c arb o n m o n oxide. letters. an d su lfu r d io x id e in to th e ir lungs).” T h e g reat blizzards th at hit New E n g lan d th e sam e w inter seem ed to have h ad th e sam e effect. .” An a d o le sc en t girl ob serv ed th a t at first “ a lot o f kids like m e m issed things like th e h air d ry e rs. r a th e r th a n su b ject them selves to a peacefu l five-m inute walk (th en . T h is was p articu larly n o tic ea b le in C am b rid g e. as I o b serv ed e arlier.

4. An ad d ict is a p e rs o n w ho takes a pain k iller to start th e day.TH E CURE □ 195 yo u ’re slid in g in to M oneythink. M oneythink tells you th a t w ho you think you a re an d w hat you w ant is o f n o im p o rta n c e — th a t you a re sim ply p a rt o f a hu g e m ach in e a n d m o tiv ated solely. show ed a m id d le-ag ed co u p le o n a beach b u n ­ dled u p in fur coats. th e m an is saying “ D o n ’t think o f the d isco m fo rt— thin k o f th e low ra te s . W hat th e w ealth ad d ict w ants to d o is c o n ­ tro lled by th e m oney itse lf o r th e lack o f it. T h e w ealth ad d ict thinks a b o u t th e m oney first: w hat to buy o r ow n. I f l w ant a re d coat. a n d is n o t d e sig n ed to b en efit you o r to m ake you happy. w hat does it m a tte r to m e th a t th e “ b e st b u y ” is a g re e n one? In fo rm atio n is useful. T h e m oney is in his th o u g h ts from th e very start. y o u ’re p ro b ab ly unw ise to w ant to ow n it in the first place. how to u se th e m oney h e already has. A re c e n t New Yorker carto o n . clo th es fo r “ special occa­ sio n s. m ost o f . by a d esire to m axim ize y o u r m oney.” New p ro d u c ts a re in v en ted literally every day. W e like to fill o u r dw ell­ ings with objects th a t “ m ig h t com e in h a n d y . for exam ple. Y ou a re le ttin g yo u r spirit be d o m in a te d by a system th at has n o th in g to d o with you as a p e rso n — th at d o e s n ’t care w hat you w ant.” e q u ip m e n t for events th a t o ccu r a few tim es a year. T h is q u e stio n o f se q u e n c e is vital. A healthy p e rs o n w ould tre a t m oney th e sam e way. how to g et m o re. like all th e o th e r p arts. M oney is su p p o sed ly a tool: you d o n ’t walk th ro u g h life with a w rench in y o u r h a n d look in g fo r n u ts an d bolts to twist— you leave it in a to o lb o x u n til you n e e d it. o f co u rse. A m an w ho takes a p a in ­ killer b ecau se o f an acu te injury is n o t at th a t p o in t an addict. b u t if you c a n ’t u n d e rsta n d w hat y o u ’re buying w ith o u t re a d in g a lot o f m anuals an d r e ­ search re p o rts. a n d otherw ise nev er think a b o u t it. N ever own w hat you rarely use.” W h en m oney is u se d m erely as a to o l it com es in only at the end o f a train o f th o u g h t: you think how you w ant to sp e n d your day— w hat you w ant to do— then you think w h e th er any m oney is re q u ire d to d o it.

T h e re a re few p e o p le w ho can s u rro u n d th em selves with m a te ­ rial p o ssessio n s an d n o t b e b o u n d by th em . an d so on. food. to avoid hassle a n d disco m fo rt. it isn ’t to o likely th at y o u ’ll b e able to walk away from your p o ssessio n s o r tre a t th em lightly. H u g h H efn er. o r re n t it (for you can re n t virtually an ything today). o r bo rro w it. H aving ch o sen rep eated ly to p re p a re y o u rse lf ag ain st all fu tu re co n tin g en cies. and if y o u ’re e a g e r to serve.1 9 6 □ WEALTH ADDICTION them ab su rd ly specific. In any case th e tro u b le w ould be confined to the day it aro se in stead o f perv a d in g every day o f yo u r life. why n o t serve living things? T h e re is evidence th at A m ericans a re o n th e brink o f radical changes in life-style. fo r exam ple. an d lift your spirits. M ost o f th e “jo y s o f o w n e rsh ip ” tu rn o u t to b e a tireso m e b o th e r. Y our life b ecom es tied to m a tte r— a wall o f p o ssessio n s b arricad es you against the kinds o f ex p erien ces th at ch allen g e you. as I said b efo re. Yet th e pro cess o f avoid­ ing som e hypo thetical future d isco m fo rt ties you to a chronic n ag g in g level o f real present disco m fo rt. You have all th e se p o ssessio n s to avoid b ein g caught sh o rt. ow ns his own private DC-9. is to b e a servant. T o b e an ow ner. It m ight even p ro v id e you with an in te re stin g ex p erience. W hat w ould h a p p e n if you w ere cau g h t n o t ow ning so m e­ th in g w hen you w an ted to u se it? Y ou co u ld buy it th en . A H arris poll in 1975 show ed th at 90 . c h an g e you. B ut w hat h arm is th e re in b e in g thus p re p a re d fo r every conceivable eventuality? It may m ake fo r a lot o f clu tte r (so m uch so th at p e o p le o fte n e ith e r fo rg et w here th ey ’ve p u t things o r fo rg et they even have them an d buy m ore) b u t w hat difference d o es th a t m ake if p e o p le like living th at way? T h e p ro b le m is th at th e choice is n o t always a free one. w hose p assio n for p o sse s­ sion has m an ag ed to m ake even sex b o rin g . H e has to p lan every trip several days in advance— a rra n g e for p ilots. o r d o w ith o u t it. flight schedules. O n e o f his associates p o in ts o u t that b ecause o f this “ co n v e n ie n c e ” H e fn e r c a n ’t ju s t h o p o n a p lan e an d go w here he feels like going.

” Yet at th e sam e tim e a Harvard Business Review study show ed th at executives still p re fe r th e tra d itio n a l ideo logy o f ru g g ed individualism o v er a m o re c o m m u n ity -o rie n te d philo so p h y by two an d o n e -h a lf to o n e . H e is th e m an w ho c a n ’t fully enjoy a m ovie b ecau se h e thinks it sh o u ld have b e en filmed differently. so m e u n p leasa n t. even th o u g h creative so lu tio n s to th re a t alm o st always entail relin­ quishing co n tro l. In fact. in 1977. p e o p le w ho a p ­ p ro a c h life as a stre a m o f events. A m ericans o p t fo r life-style c h an g e by a ten -to -o n e m argin. all valuable.T H E CURE □ 197 p e rc e n t o f th e p o p u la tio n w ould happily elim inate an n u al changes in clo th in g fashions a n d car d esig n an d o th e r “ giv­ e n s” o f o u r way o f life. T h e y fear th e a p p a re n t loss o f p e rso n al c o n tro l th a t they im ag in e this w ould b rin g . w hich show s how m uch o u r culturally in d o c trin a te d fears block th e ro u te to ch ange. A su rp risin g 76 p e rc e n t w anted less em ­ phasis o n new g o o d s an d services. given a choice b etw een c o n tin u ­ ing inflation a n d a basic a lte ra tio n o f o u r “ w aste an d g ro w th ” life-style. F or such p e o p le . te n d to have a rich a n d in te re stin g tim e o f it. A n o th e r H arris po ll. ev ery th in g th a t com es a lo n g is a p o ten tial pathw ay to be e x p lo re d — so m e p leasan t. yet they them selves fo u n d it re p u g n a n t. sho w ed m o st A m ericans th o ro u g h ly d isillu sio n ed w ith g ro w th an d m aterialism . an d m o re em phasis on “ le arn in g to g et p le a su re o u t o f n o n -m a te ria l e x p e rie n c e s. T h e E g o -d o m in a te d w ealth ad d ict rejects w hat is offered by life in favor o f th e im age h e has in his h ead o f the reality he w ants to b rin g ab o u t. n o t to b e m an ip u late d b u t only co n fro n te d . W hen p e o p le are th re a te n e d they cling to c o n tro l m o re violently th an ever. P eo p le w ho try to c o n tro l a n d c o erce reality to co n fo rm to th eir goals a n d p re c o n c e p tio n s usually find it’s a full-tim e jo b an d n o t very enjoyable. o r w ho c a n ’t fully enjoy a sexual p a rtn e r b ecause . O n th e o th e r h an d . A lm ost th reeq u a rte rs o f th e re s p o n d e n ts th o u g h t a m o re “ c o m m u n al” id e­ ology w ould d o m in a te th e n a tio n by 1985. A lm ost 80 p e rc e n t w an ted less em p h asis in o u r society on reach in g a h ig h e r sta n d a rd o f living a n d m o re em p h asis on le arn in g to live with essen tials.

B ut th e ship still h a sn ’t em b ark ed . o r w ho c a n ’t enjoy a beach b ecau se h e d o e s n ’t ow n p ro p e rty o n it. T h e w ealth ad d ict has tro u b le en jo y in g an y th in g th at h e c a n ’t be su re will b e th e re to m o rro w .1 9 8 □ W EALTH ADDICTION sh e d o e s n ’t co n fo rm to so m e ideal in his h e a d a b o u t how the ideal w om an sh o u ld look o r act. F or a healthy. . I have em p hasized c h an g in g th e co n sciousness o f w ealth ad d icts— n o t b ecau se 1 think this is th e m ost im p o rta n t th in g to do . m o st A m ericans today a re frantically e n g a g e d in fighting fo r first-class cabin space o n th e T itan ic. b u t have lacked th e will to d o it. I d o n ’t m ean by this th a t C lo set A ddicts w ho a re p o o r sh o u ld b e c o n te n t w ith th e ir lot. A life-loving p e rso n can sh are d u rin g a sh o rta g e b ecau se th e re a re always so m any o th e r things in g reat supply. o r w ho c a n ’t enjoy a su n set b ecau se h e d id n ’t b rin g a cam era. ex ­ clusive. H e h o ard s d u rin g a sh o rta g e b ecau se h e w ants to m ake su re h e gets his sh are b e fo re it ru n s o u t. b u t b ecau se it’s th e th in g I can d o best. T h e w ealth ad d ict c a n ’t sto p looking at w h at’s m issing an d h en ce n e v e r sees all th e o th e r things th at have arrived. d em o c ra tic o rg an ism every day brings so m any d elig h ts an d challen g es th at th e re is hardly any reaso n to p o ssess anything. I have n o t p ro p o s e d an e la b o ra te set o f p ro g ra m s fo r in stitu tio n al ch an g e b ecau se we already have such p ro p o sa ls. As H azel H e n d e rs o n o b serv es. I believe th e re is still tim e to re d ire c t o u r e n erg ies as a p e o ­ p le— to build a society to g e th e r th at will be a so u rce o f en jo y ­ m en t a n d p rid e fo r all o f us. u n sh a re d w ealth. b u t ra th e r th at th e ir stru g g le fo r a b e tte r life will b e successful only inso far as it is collective. O u r efforts to tra n sfo rm o u r c o n d itio n contin u ally fo u n d e r o n the g arish d re a m o f th e C lo set A ddict— th e d re am o f private. My goal is to p e rsu a d e A m ericans to re p u d ia te th a t d ream . W e know perfectly well w hat we n e e d to do .

” They are only the most recent entries in a long tradition that begins with Cou6ism.: The Ralston Society. Clement Stone.: Prentice-Hall. See Dale Carnegie. Napoleon Hill. 1976). Norman Vincent Peale. How to Win Friends and Influence People (New York: Simon and Schuster. 1975). N. Conn. 1975) are good examples of the more general treatises on how to “make it. Norman Vincent Peale.K o te s CHAPTER 1 PAGE 2 Michael Korda’s Success. Ego. and Leonard Orr. 1937). Napoleon Hill and W.J. 1960). Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude (Englewood Cliffs. and Robert Ringer’s Looking Out fo r #1 (New York: Fawcett Crest. The Power o f Positive 199 . and continues through Dale Carnegie.' (New York: Random House. Napoleon Hill. Power: A ManualJor WouldBe Wheeler-Dealers (Chicago: Playboy Press. 1977) and Power! How to Get It. Think and Grow Rich (Meriden. 1947). Clement Stone. 1978) and Winning Through Intimidation (New York: Fawcett Crest. Martin and Diane Ackerman’s Money. How to Use It (New York: Random House.

19 C. 1978) for an excellent compen­ dium of ancient and modern wisdom about money. T he thrust of all these books—that success comes to those who commit themselves totally to these goals —is quite correct. 1948). too numerous. W. Nothing seems to be more lucrative today than telling other people how to get rich—an irony that seems to be lost on gullible readers. 6 For a good discussion of the impact of this homogenizing.: Pren­ tice-Hall. Clement Stone. The Power Elite (New York: Oxford. CHAPTER 2 PACE 17-18 See. and Ernest Jones. See also Ron Kistler. 31-38. Wright Mills. see Robert L.: Celestial Arts. and Leonard O rr and Sondra Ray. 4 /9/78). Rebirthing in the New Age (Millbrae.2 0 0 □ NOTES Thinking (Englewood Cliffs. “Character and Anal Erot­ ism. 1953). II (London: Hogarth. An Ohio man. observed that after six years of constant inquiry and feedback from readers he has never heard of a single case of anyone making money from such schemes (Seattle Times. Less Is More: The Art o f Voluntary Poverty (New York: Harper & Row. They all rely heavily on autosuggestion. 15 See Goldian VandenBroeck (ed. L. Heilbroner. N. 103- . especially. 261. undistinguished. Calif. The swindle is that those who are willing to do this don’t need the advice. 203. 10/3/76. Sigmund Freud. 1977).: Prentice-Hall.J. 148. 13 (1918). and undistinguishable to list here. I Caught Flies fo r Howard Hughes (New York: Playboy Press. 1956). “Anal-Erotic Character Traits. who publishes a newsletter on magazine and newspaper ads selling moneymaking ideas. The Success System That Never Fails (Englewood Cliffs. while those who might “profit” from the advice aren’t warped enough to take it. 1956). “Just Plain H. 1976).J. The Quest fo r Wealth (New York: Simon and Schuster.” Esquire (January 1967).” Journal o f Abnormal Psychology.” Collected Papers. N. Books on how to get rich on the stock market are more often of the mail-order variety. 4 Tom Buckley. and the newer ones of the Korda and Ringer ilk differ only in placing a strong emphasis on ruthless self-centeredness. 8 San Francisco Chronicle. 1962).). H unt.

Politics. 45 Thorndike.J. 53-76. 110139. 1 ff. 1951). N. 27 Edmund Bergler. 58 San Francisco Chronicle. 1953).: Prentice-Hall. “ Daddy’s Money. 40-41 Phillips. and its dangers.NOTES □ 201 117.” Texas Monthly (April 1978). Wealth and Power in America (New York: Praeger.Y. The Temporary Society (New York: Harper & Row. 1975). N. 27 ff. 1-19. 1974). 95. Bennis and Philip E. The Seven Laws of Money (New York: Random House. p. see Michael Phillips.. 12/29/78. 40 Joseph S. 1968). William Domhoff. 1970) and Who Rules America? (Englewood Cliffs. 1968). Thorndike. Slater.Y. Holbrook. 24 San Francisco Chronicle. 138. 1976). CHAPTER 4 PAGE 66 Stewart H. . Jr. 12/27/78. 49 Thorndike. 184.Y. 222. 1963).: Dou­ bleday. N.: Doubleday. 71. 302. its uses. 1967). 40 For a good discussion of Moneythink. and People (New York: Oxford. Money Book (Garden City. The Higher Circles (New York: Random House. and G. 317-318. The I’ ery Rich: A History o f Wealth (New York: Crown.: Doubleday. 1963). and Sylvia Porter. The Money Xfotive (New York: Random House.. 1974). and Power. 21. 61 See Warren G. Gabriel Kolko. 43 See below. 356 ff. The Age o f the Moguls (Garden City. 35-36 Harry Hurt III. Money and Emotional Conflicts (Garden City. The Rich and the Super-Rich (New York: Lyle Stuart. see also Ferdinand Lundberg. 13. CHAPTER 3 PAGE 34 Thomas Wiseman. N.

Stanley H. 16. III. The Mellon Family. Collier and Horowitz. Lewis Beman. 1960). L. 1943). 135. 74-75. His Genius (New York: Bobbs-Merrill.2 0 2 □ NOTES 66-67 Arthur M. 15. 1978) and David E. “The Wide Oceans of D. 29 ff. Louis. Very Rich and How They Got That Way (Chicago: Playboy Press. 55-56.. 1976). Rinehart and Winston. 42. 1933). Brown. 41-44. A Fortune in History (New York: Morrow. William Adams Simonds. 68 Peter Collier and David Horowitz. Saunders. Cyril Caldwell. 172.. Bashful Billionaire: The Story o f Howard Hughes (New York: Lyle Stuart. 69 Collier and Horowitz. 1967). 1976). 132. 294-295. 21-22. 69 Collier and Horowitz. 52.” For­ tune (May 1957). 68 Pitirim Sorokin. Mellon (New York: Blue Ribbon Books. 32-35. 71 Thorndike. Lamott. . 1969).” Fortune (November 1976). 1978). The Very. 169. Ludwig. His Work. 254. The Moneymakers: The Great Big New Rich in America (Boston: Little. 12. 6-7. Judge Mellon's Sons (privately printed. Brown. Ford: The Times. Saunders. Allan Nevins.” Journal o f Social Forces. “The Last Billionaires. The Company (New York: Scribner. K. Henry Ford: His Life. My Life and Fortunes (New York: Duell. 70 Lamott. 4 (May 1925). 8-13. 225 ff. For more recent biographies of the Mellon family. Simonds.” Fortune (May 1968). 294-295. Harvey O ’­ Connor. The Man. 1954). “America’s Centimillionaires. 9. 36 ff. Henry Ford (New York: Julian Messner. 53. 70 Jean Paul Getty. 1947). Ralph Hewins. Max Gunther. Paul Getty (New York: Dutton. Koskoff. “American Millionaires and Multi-Millionaires: A Comparative Statistical Study. see Burton Hersh. Mellon Is Millions: The Life and Times o f Andrew W. 68 Kenneth Lamott. Hunt (Chicago: Play­ boy Press. 11. 13. 69-70 Dero A. 22-23.. Brown. 56. 1972). 633-637. 1948) 18. Gerber. H. 1963). 26 ff. Albert B. Sloan and Pearce. 115-116. 294-295. Holbrook. Lamott. The Richest American: J. William Larimer Mellon and Boyden Sparkes. 265. 169. 226. The Mellons: The Chronicle of America s Richest Family (New York: Crowell. 155. The Rockefellers (New York: Holt. 172. 11. 19.. 26-30.

The First Henry Ford (Cambridge. Hewins. Rees. 75 Kistler. 69. 27-30. 294-295. 214. 212. 99.). 37. 35. 79 Wiseman. 72 Thorndike. 174. 7-8. 79-80 Gunther. 124. 228. 78 Rees. 14-15. 115 ff. 187. 125. Buckley. 26. 227-228. 72 Brown. 108. 92. Lamott. 152-154. 45. Phelan. 134. 39. Brown. Howard Hughes: The Hidden Years (New York: Random House. 18. 76 Lamott. 199 ff. 23-24. 221.T. 151-152.: M. Mayer and Annabel Bentley. 191-192. 8. Time (6/13/77). San Francisco Chronicle. AllanJ. 16. 50. 49-50. 132. Goronwy Rees. 32-34. passim. 1970). 206. 1/6/78. Holbrook. N. 56-57. 81-82 Phelan. Beman. 182. 74 Brown. Rae. 19. 69. 78 Phelan. Kistler. 115-116. 16. 44-49. 1969).” Newsweek (8/2/76). Lamott. 76-77 Collier and Horowitz. 61-63. 35. 80. 57.J. Hewins. 52. The M ul­ timillionaires: Six Studies in Wealth (New York: Macmillan. 31. Brown. 89-90. 115. 97-98.. 79 O ’Connor. 75 See Thorndike. 127. 15. John B.. 105107. 80-81 Lamott. Rees. 40 ff. 15. “The Richest Men in America. 77-78 Caldwell. 22. 113-114. 14. Beman. 226. 106 ff.I. 199 (ital­ ics added). 26-27. Henry Ford (Englewood Cliffs. Holbrook. 16-18.: Prentice-Hall. 80 Collier and Horowitz. 74 Kistler. 108. Lamott. Mayer and Bentley. . 168. See also Anne Jardim.NOTES □ 203 71-72 Wiseman. 66. 70. Saunders. 75 Saunders. Thorndike.. Brown. 28-29. 66 ff. Lamott. 80 Rees. 40-43.. 81 Lamott. Press. Kistler. James Phelan. 108 ff. 226. Mass. 32-33. 82-83. Gerber. 1961). 14. 149. 139 ff„ 147. 1976). 11-12. 51-52. 176. 78-79 Gunther. Rae (ed.

88 Lamott. Lamott. Howard Hughes (New York: Random House. 419 ff. 412-413. 89 Collier and Horowitz. 75-78.. 80. 240. 82-83 O ’Connor. 273-277. 204-205. 99. 566. 43 ff. 96 ff. 43-47. 60-63. 85 Phelan. 19. 83-84 Beman. 176-182. Matthew Josephson. 89-90 Buckley. 8. 90 Collier and Horowitz.. 33-38. Perhaps the best treatment of this issue can be found in Philip M. Business Week (3/21/77). 84 Holbrook. 588-589. 119-123. 1964) and The Rape o f the Taxpayer (New York: Random House. 207-208. 154.2 0 4 □ NOTES 82 Hewins. History o f the Great American Fortunes (New York: Mod­ ern Library. 93-94. 1936). 83 Beman. 90 Collier and Horowitz. 103. See also John Keats.. 69. 91 Holbrook.. 75. for example. 84-85 Holbrook. Saunders. 132-133. 67-70. Forbes (4/15/75). 85-86 Lamott.. 9-10. 120. 255-264. . Kistler. 67-74. 215-224. 90 I won’t attempt here to summarize the volumes that have been written on the subject of “ taking it from the poor. 123. 78. 85 Lamott. 101-102. Phelan ix ff. 83 Rees. 226. Stern’s two books: The Great Treasury Raid (New York: Ran­ dom House. 85 Brown. 49-56. 68. 1962). 36-37. Holbrook. Gustavus Myers. 402. Mayer and Bentley. 1973). 32-34. 57. 282.” See. see also Rae. 29-32. The Robber Barons (New York: Harvest Books. 89 Beman. 86 Lamott. 109-115. Lamott. I l l ff. 1966). 135-137. Collier and Horowitz. 28-42. 56 ff. 126. 9-10. 24. 109-125. 41. 176. 174 ff.

Gunther. 176-177. See also Beman. 17. Holbrook. 152.. 56. Rees. 148. Wiseman. 100 Wiseman. 146. 16. 238. 145-146. TIME. 20-21. 64. 32. Caldwell. 97 Louis. 97-98 T. 92 Lamott. 227. 56-57. Collier and Horowitz. Thorndike. Wise. “The Incorrigiblejohn MacArthur. 78-79. Lamott. 77. 5. Buckley. 93 Holbrook. 96-123. 175. 134. 12. Lamott. Rees. O ’­ Connor 24. 128-129. 48. A.. Lamott. Rees. 107. 186. 58 ff. Phelan. 187. 45. 6 /1 3 /7 7 . 8. 71. 192-195. San Francisco Chronicle. 6/13/77. Lamott. 102 ff. 98-99 Thorndike. 104. 27-28. 10. 237. 619-620. 95-96 Holbrook. 19. 5-6. 113-114. Thorndike. 305-306. 92 Lamott. 19-20. 6/13/77. 340-343. 104. Rae. 215. Hurt. 4/13/79. Lamott. 100-101 Phelan. 99 TIME.NOTES □ 205 91-92 Wiseman. 180. 94-95. Holbrook. 330. Collier and Horowitz. Rees. 175. Brown. Thorndike.Kistler. 72-74. 92-93 Wiseman. 101 Gunther. 206. 44. 14. 154-155. 110. Fortune. 4/17/79. 96 Boston Globe. 99. Collier and Horowitz. Caldwell. 196. Collier and Horowitz. 84-85. . 117 ff. 100 Holbrook. 129. 271. 69-70. 13. 198. 98 Bergler. 471-474. Buckley.. 93-94 Holbrook. 108. 212-213. 110.” Fortune (July 1958). 45-46. 95 Gunther. 349. 114-122. Thorndike. 185. TIME. 243-245. 19. Lamott. 94 Wall Street Journal. 215. 5/30/78. 121. 91-92. 204 ff. Lamott. 4 /22 /7 9 through 4/27/79. 115. Rae. Rees. 11. 95 Rees. 55— 57. 76-77. Lamott. 4-5. 175-179. Collier and Horowitz. 120-121. 294-295. 9-10. 114-119. 96-97 Brown.. 127. 12/13/76. 24. 232-233. ix-xiii. 17. Hewins. 71. 31 ff. Simonds. 94-95 TIME.

1978). 508. 251-266. 591-593. The Inheritors: A Study of America s Great For­ tunes and What Happened to Them (New York: Putnam.. 216. 134. 96. 63-64. 221. Sex and the Significant Americans (Baltimore. 1962). 303. 181-182. John Cuber and Peggy Harroff. 92. Thorndike. Holbrook. Caldwell.” Atlantic Monthly (September 1977). 116-118. Grinker. Grinker. 26-28. 1-2. Collier and Horowitz. 111. 97-99. 104 See John W.42. 32. 196-202. 6/13/77. Phil­ lips. Atlantic.. 103 Thorndike. 20. “Treating the Wealthy and T heir Chil­ dren. Buckley. Stone.” Psychology Today (October 1977). 8. Brown. 8/29/77. and Robert Coles. Md. See also Alvin Moscow. Buck­ ley. 187. 1977). 160. Roy R. 101 TIME. Saunders. 10 ff.” International Journal of Child Psychotherapy I. 615. 81. N. 525-529. Allan Nevins and Frank Ernest Hill. . 103-104 Coles. 95 ff. 74 ff.. 106 Hurt. 106 Rae.” History of Childhood Quarterly (Summer 1974). 1965).2 0 6 □ NOTES See also Mayer and Bentley. 15-46. 8/29/77. Jr. Michael H. Kistler. “Maternal Deprivation in Children of the Wealthy. Lamott. 57. Kestenbaum. 41. 58-59.: Penguin Books. 56. 103 Newsweek. 639-640. 105 Hurt. O ’Connor.. Stone and Clarice J. 181-182. 226. Hewins. Louis. 3. 104 Collier and Horowitz. 66. 331. Phelan. Coles. 535. Brown. 126. Mellon and Sparkes. 1933-1962 (New York: Scribner. 96-98. 214-215. Tebbel. Newsweek. “Children of Affluence. Phelan. 181-182. Ford: Decline and Rebirth. 240-248. 104-105 Grinker. Michael H. see also Brown. 88 ff. 75. 55. 115-117. Atlantic.. The Rockefel­ ler Inheritance (Garden City. see also 505 ff. Sorokin. 105-106 Grinker. 105 Holbrook. 55 ff. 142. 1962). 195. 525. lb . Privileged Ones: The Well-Offand the Rich in America (Bos­ ton: Little. 335. see also Stone and Kestenbaum. 172-180. 131133.Y. 102-103 Robert Coles.: Doubleday. 102 Gunther. 53-54. “The Poor Rich. 96.

47. 161.. 43. Home Inc. 38-45. As I See It (Englewood Cliffs. Drummond on the Big Casino. 124-125 San Francisco Chronicle. Hugh Drummond. 16. 38 ff. 7/14/76. 42 ff. . N. 109 Phelan. 125-126 San Francisco Chronicle.” Mother Jones (January 1978). Wiseman. 5. 150. CHAPTER 5 PAGE 123 Scott Bums. Nevins. 223-224. 158-180.: Prentice-Hall. 78-81. 1955). 232. 113 Bergler. esp.: Doubleday. 111-112 Simonds. Big Business Leaders in America (New York: Harper. 1976). 149-150. 143-144. Bergler.. and Madness of Howard Hughes (New York: Norton. 109 Phelan. 32-34. Caldwell. 39. Holbrook. San Francisco Chronicle.. 17 ff. 49-51. Thorndike. 112 Brown. Nevins and Hill. Donald L.NOTES □ 207 106-107 Hurt. 64-83. “ Dr. Empire: The Life. 1975). See also Jean Paul Getty. 58. 110-112. 289 ff. Hewins. 12. 109-110 Phelan. 12. 1979). 108 Phelan. 129.. 11. 11/15/78. Lloyd W arner and James Abegglen. Rae. 154. 304 ff. Steele. Keats. 43. Wiseman. 24. 338. 62. 103-105. 108 Louis. 134. 50. 107-108 Lamott. 202. Jardim. O ’Connor. 23. Brown. 56-57. 38. 177. 195. Phelan. 111 W. 88. see also. 12/27/78. 89. 76. Bartlett and James B.Y. Hewins. 231239. see also Gunther. Legend. 125-137.. 182-184. 11/15/78. 110 Rees. 125 San Francisco Chronicle. (Garden City.” Mother Jones (December 1977) and “ Pocketa Pocketa Machines. 91-92. 84. 226. 108 Collier and Horowitz. 17-19.J. N. 109 Phelan. 102-104. 110 Rae.

144 Thorndike.” CoEvolution Quarterly (Summer 1975). 66 ff. esp. Holbrook. Lamott. Collier and H oro­ witz. 58-61. 5/5/76. CHAPTER 6 PAGE 131 Lamott. 13. 1966). 11/14/78. “ Perspectives in Ecological Theory. 141 See. 665-667. 335. 100 ff. 133 Boston Globe. 11/22/78. 143 Collier and Horowitz. David Caplovitz. 129.... 24.. 52. 3/29/79. The Poor Pay More: Consumer Practices of Low-Income Families (New York: Free Press. for example. 129 Collier and Horowitz. 13. 62-63. 272 ff. 104 ff. 10/24/78. 271. 661663. 144-145 See Thorndike. 137 San Francisco Examiner. 5/7 /7 8 . for example. and Sigmund Diamond.” Mother Jones (May 1977). 13-14. 234-323. 418-420. 273. for example. . Ram6n Margalef. 1975). San Francisco Chronicle. 339. 137-138 San Francisco Chronicle.2 0 8 □ NOTES 128-129 See. 343-344. 7/6/78. 142 Jack Anderson. 294 ff. Mother Jones (April 1977) and (August 1977). 54-66. 2/13/78. 3/27/78. and 326 ff. La­ mott. 402. The Reputation of the American Businessman (New York: H arper & Row. San Francisco Chronicle. Penn. 198. 142 Lundberg. 615. San Francisco Chronicle. 143. Omni (March 1979) 40. Wiseman. 141 Mother Jones (November 1978). 140 San Francisco Chronicle. 133-134. 146 See. 138 Hurt.. 2/7 /7 6 . 17. Illusions of Success (Valley Forge.. 102 ff. 132 Lundberg. 136 Hugh Drummond. Collier and Horowitz. San Francisco Chronicle.. 17. 132-133 Boston Globe. 1967).: Judson Press. 490-492. John Curtis Raines. “Your Health at Too High a Premium. 143. 288. 7/8/78.

Y. rev. painting the Constitu­ ents in dark and frightening colors and offering only the minimum degree of democratic reform necessary to solidify the Ego’s rigid control. N. passim. 45-56. 109 If. 123. 160-161 See. (Boston: Beacon Press. and I don’t want my remarks on hedonism to be taken as an attempt to join the horde. CHAPTER 7 PAGE 156-157 Lamott.” I regard the “ superego” as a conceptual red herring invented by the Ego Mafia to make the despotic Ego appear more benign than it really is. ed. 1-39. 161-162 Marshall Sahlins. 1974]) and this affects even attempts to change it. 1978] and Peter Marin. see also Nevins and Hill. VandenBroeck.NOTES □ 209 147 Collier and Horowitz. 133— 167. 147 O ’Connor. 168-202. 1960). but I find it highly suspicious when people attack as “narcissistic” a sincere and often successful attempt at democratization of the organism. “The New Narcissism. 1976). 188-194. 114-115. 207-226. Communitas (New York: Vintage Books. for example. Stone Age Economics (Chicago: Aldine. Less Is More. It surprises me that people who could swallow the kind of narcis­ sism that created the horrors of modern warfare. 1972). T here are many flaws and absurdities in any new movement. 177 It has become fashionable in the last few years to trash the Human Potential Movement (see Christopher Lasch. 111-115. Psychoanalysis as a movement has always been fundamentally on the side of the Ego-despot.. as I have tried to show elsewhere (See Earthwalk [Garden City. 175 Psychoanalysts like to refer to this aspect of the despotic Ego as the “superego. The Culture o f Narcissism [New York: Norton. 157 For more detail on this point. 162 Percival Goodman and Paul Goodman. for the most serious of these efforts). 11/30/78." Harper's [October 1975]. 162 San Francisco Chronicle. see The Pursuit o f Loneliness. O ur whole culture rests on narcis­ sism. the monstrosities of . 283-286.: Anchor Press.

The Varieties of Religious Experience (quoted in VandenBroeck. 193 Elgin and Mitchell. but is he sneering at the part that’s still enslaved or at the part that’s free? 184 James.” The Futurist [August 1977]. “Voluntary Simplicity: Life-Style of the Future?” The Futurist (August 1977).” CoEvolution Quarterly (Summer 1977). 187 Elgin and Mitchell. 11. . The efforts of the Human Potential Movement to reduce the despotism of the Ego and give more power to the Constitutents are often confused. and the gross inequities in wealth and power that domi­ nate our society. 4. 4. 192 Illich. Energy and Equity (quoted in Tom Bender. 5-8. In all this anxiety about the “ new” narcissism it isn’t hard to detect the Ego’s fear that the old narcissism might be abandoned. 10-12. 7. CQ.2 1 0 □ NOTES technology. “Voluntary Simplicity (3). “Why We Need to Get Poor Quick. “Voluntary Simplicity (1). 5-8. 1978). 186 Richard Gregg. 185 Y'andenBroeck. 53-54. 27. 198 Hazel Henderson. 184-185 Duane Elgin and Arnold Mitchell.” CoEvolution Quarterly (Summer 1977). 196 Wiseman. 209. Creating Alternative Futures (New York: Berkley Windhover. 193-194 San Francisco Chronicle. could strain at the gnat of Esalen or est. 2/15/78. 212). The slave may sneer when he sees the freedman showing remnants of his old habits of deference. 197 Elgin and Mitchell. but they are attempts. 84). muddleheaded and self-defeating. 196-197 Duane Elgin and Arnold Mitchell. This book does a superb job of exposing the absurd premises and fundamental vacuity of most current economic thinking.