consumerism poverty religion wealth

wealth is not the enemy

There’s a great comment on the ‘What do we mean?‘ page that’s raising some important questions about limited and unlimited resources, and about what does and doesn’t need to be conserved. Check it out if you’re interested. It includes a story and everything. You’ll need to click here and scroll to the bottom.

One thing its made me think about is that wealth itself is not the enemy. I know we’ve chosen the pretty brash Make Wealth History as our name, mainly because it’s bold and memorable. It gets an immediate reaction and catches people’s imagination, but it does slightly overstate our case. There’s nothing wrong with wealth per se. In the right hands wealth can be a real power for good. ‘Money is the root of all evil’ is, after all, a common misquote. It’s derived from something the Apostle Paul said in the Bible, but what he actually said was ‘the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil’. I agree with that. It’s that ‘love’ that makes the difference – greed, avarice, the compulsion to aqcuire – that’s where wealth becomes harmful.

We’re not really against wealth. We want to see equality and justice, and an end to poverty and the abuse of the environment. In order for that to happen, we’re going to have to fight greed, unsustainable consumer habits, and wealth that is generated by exploiting others. And we’re not all negative either. We need to learn and promote new ways of using wealth well, to redistribute it, give it away, invest it in sustainable development and job creation, find ways to make that money go further and do more good. When we find examples of this kind of best practice, we’ll share them. (There’s one here already on the post ‘the opposite of stealing‘) I’ve got a few more I need to find time to post about. If you know of others, leave a comment and let’s get the word out.

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