We have discussed the role of the creator versus the role of the speculator. Let’s also discuss what are the outcomes of compensating creators over speculators. I would submit, speculators tend to have a less than compelling vision about what to do with wealth, whereas creators often have equally creative ideas about how to continue to create more value. While speculators gravitate toward excess and hedonism, creators gravitate toward further creativity.
Here’s Ayn Rand’s writing on Hedonism: “I am profoundly opposed to the philosophy of hedonism. Hedonism is the doctrine which holds that the good is whatever gives you pleasure and, therefore, pleasure is the standard of morality. Objectivism holds that the good must be defined by a rational standard of value, that pleasure is not a first cause, but only a consequence, that only the pleasure which proceeds from a rational value judgment can be regarded as moral, that pleasure, as such, is not a guide to action nor a standard of morality. To say that pleasure should be the standard of morality simply means that whichever values you happen to have chosen, consciously or subconsciously, rationally or irrationally, are right and moral. This means that you are to be guided by chance feelings, emotions and whims, not by your mind. My philosophy is the opposite of hedonism. I hold that one cannot achieve happiness by random, arbitrary or subjective means. One can achieve happiness only on the basis of rational values. By rational values, I do not mean anything that a man may arbitrarily or blindly declare to be rational. It is the province of morality, of the science of ethics, to define for men what is a rational standard and what are the rational values to pursue.”
The lack of deep thinking and the non-desire for value creation has become deep-seated in our culture today because of the screwed up compensation structure that has been systematically rewarding speculators over creators.
As a result, our youth want to become speculators. They want to amass as much money as possible. The defining value is greed, with no real attention to the method of acquiring wealth. The content of their days. The sum of their production.
For creators, wealth is a bi-product. May be, a score-card. For speculators, wealth is the end, not a means to the end. And they, therefore, often do not know what to do with wealth other than buying 18 houses, $15,000 bottles of wine, and other equally mindless activities.
An example from my personal experience. I have been asked by Hedge Fund managers if I could become a “source” of bad news for them. Intellectually, I possibly could. I certainly have a deep network in Silicon Valley. But how would I wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror if that became my business, my ‘means’ of acquiring wealth, the content of my days?
You see, those who are in the business of “building” don’t like this destructive component of the financial market, and it triggers some visceral nauseating reaction in us.
I prefer to live with less, but stay consistent with my intrinsic sense of value creation.
And for the moment, one of those intrinsic senses has driven me to writing (including about philosophy), an activity that pays very little in dollar terms!
This segment is a part in the series : Capitalism 2.0