With all this talk recently about capitalism and socialism, which is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about, there is another component to the puzzle for which nobody ever speaks about, and that is the driving force of ambition. What makes a society better or worse than some other is the amount of people who exhibit, and act upon their ambitions. And for that I would argue that a capitalist society has more people in it who are ambitious which drive it forward, and are therefore critical to the success of any culture. To that sentiment, there is a good way to measure that type of health and that is in how people spend money and how they measure themselves against the value of money.
When a person says, “well, that’s too expensive” what they are really saying is that they lack the confidence or gusto to step up and put forth the ambition to gain access to something of value. What I’m not saying is that you should spend yourself into oblivion to have something just so you can show off and pretend that you have value among your peers, and that you fake ambition with credit. But when it comes to a house, a certain car, a vacation—or in my case guns that you may want to get where the temptation is to say that the item is too expensive and not worth the effort, what you are announcing to the world is that you do not have the ambition or desire to obtain that object.
To me nothing is too expensive in the world. The question is, do I really want to put forth the ambition to obtain it? It’s not whether or not the object is out of my reach. The question of whether it is or isn’t is the path to the socialist side of things because it assumes that only certain classes of people can have the wealth to buy that certain house, or certain car. But in the capitalist society if I want to buy a golf course or a skyscraper, I should be able to, and have the freedom to. So when I hear that someone thinks something is too expensive what they are really saying is that they lack the will to do the work necessary to obtain the goal.
I have heard really good people I’ve known all my life say these kinds of things. I come from a family of farmers on both sides, and that is to say people of humble means. They said all the time that this little thing or that little thing was too expensive. Much of that came from their Christian backgrounds where meekness, and humble recognitions are traits to pursue so by saying that a new Mercedes is too expensive for them to drive they are really trying to advocate what good people they are in Biblical value, compared to the materialist who works all day and night just to have a fancy car. A lot of the values we have about material wealth and the acquisition to it come from these types of beliefs, and socialism is always there like a lusting demon to siren song all of society into the crashed rocks of a lack of ambition. By saying something isn’t worth the money even if an individual yearns for it, is to declare that they do not have the value or confidence to pursue the object. The object only represents pent-up desire. The effort to obtain it is the fuel that drives culture. And when a society functions after such pursuits then we can say that we have a society of values because the material objects then represent effort.
When we rob ourselves of such value as a civilization, we are then declaring that the here and now is a transitory phase and that death is our ultimate goal. Such people say, “why bother, you can’t take it with you.” That is a person and a society that is on the decline and often they try to mask such efforts behind their religious beliefs aimed at the afterlife. After all, how can they be penitent if they are working their fingers to the bone to have a new 85” flat screen television? They may want the object but in all reality they like thinking about death more so their aim is to dig one more shovel full of dirt closer to their own grave to hide their inherit laziness. And that is the way of things.
I don’t buy things for status symbols and most of what I do spend money on is for things that I do with my family. But the things I do spend money on, that have value to me I never say it’s too expensive and let that be the guide that drives me away from an object. There are of course times where things are too expensive because the seller is trying to rip you off, which is a different discussion. But in planning a big trip with a family, or buying that new gun, which are the types of things that I personally value, cost never enters into the picture. I’ll do whatever I have to do to get what I want. I’ll work any amount of hours so that I can have the privilege of obtaining the object. I never see something as too expensive, even if its millions of dollars. If I want it, it’s up to me to get it. Not some excuse like religious meekness, or social structure assumptions. Capitalism frees us of these limits and those who are scared to have their laziness revealed are the same ones who decry capitalism—because of it. There is no class structure limiting us under the flag of capitalism.
In American culture even if your father was a loser and your grandparents were idiots, you are not confined to follow in their path. If you want you can work hard, gain some money, and buy an SUV decked out with all the goodies, the same way that a top executive for a big company can. The question is do you want to match the efforts it takes to obtain such a thing. In my personal life as much as I talk about individualism, I pour a lot of that effort into my family, because ultimately if you really care about them, your influence leadership is to their benefit and that makes me happy. I don’t care what others think of me, but I care what I think of me. So when it comes to family I spare no expense. Not at all, because my value for them far exceeds any limits of effort on my part. There simply is no limit and it shows the way I live and spend money. Of course you have to decide if you want to spend money on this thing or that thing because money isn’t infinite. But if you focus your efforts, you should be able to buy anything, nothing should ever be considered too expensive.
It’s just a little thing to consider but I hear it all the time and it’s always wrong in the context of the individual pursuit of obtaining material objects. When people say something is too expensive what they are really saying is that they don’t think themselves worthy of that effort and their own ingrained meekness is speaking as an excuse not to even try. And that is how you get a declining culture, when people stop trying.
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