Some Robert T. Kivosaki (or, maybe, Robert Kiyosaki *
) once wrote a book titled You Can Choose To Be Rich
where he proposed the following synopsis:
- Go to school and make good grades.
- Get a safe, secure job.
- Work hard and save.
- Work for money.
- Pay your creditors first.
- Save money by shopping for bargains.
- Don't buy something you can't afford.
- Investing is risky.
- Your house is an asset
- The rich are greedy.
- Money is a necessary evil.
- Become financially literate.
- Build business.
- Don't save, invest.
- Let money work for you.
- Pay yourself first.
- Make money by shopping for investments that will go up in value.
- Ask yourself how you can afford it.
- Not investing is risky.
- Your house is a liability
- The rich are generous.
- Money is power.
Now, what kind of reflections this sort of structural anthropology of money may suggest to us today?
The main reason persons do not start their own business is probably that one's own business needs the uncertainties of the starting-up
stage, whereas hired jobs need either the uncertainties of endless interviews or the certainties of a recommendation: and in a world where the Heisenberg indetermination principle *
predominates, would anyone in his good wits trade a certainty for a billion?
Humiliations as a factor of discouragement are not a chip thrown in the dish, for both characters appear bound to have to cope with them: the former to escalate in an environment where everybody will tell him or her that he or she is doomed to failure, the latter to remain in an environment where everybody will demand your recurrent token of abasement that reassures them of your submission to your status of obscure clerk: or of a brilliant one - but still a clerk you are supposed to accept of being, patiently awaiting for a promotion that never really
rests upon what you do or what you don't.
Eventually, it may all boil down to this: choosing between chasing everyday for your own game of clients with the perspective of getting no gazelle at all or a big one, or cashing every month the secure inflow of a wage that most of the times will be barely sufficient to go to the market.
Then, also: if you run your own business, you may end broken; and if you are hired, you may end fired.
Eventually, both types are animated by their own set of illusions: poor dad with the delusion that a life of honest work will lead you somewhere; rich dad with the delusion that talent for money and entrepreneurial spirit will pay to you money even in a world of persons that understand nothing about innovation and great ideas and who, when they understand them, just get scared by them a little harder.
Therefore, under the point of view of the involved emotional strains, both alternatives appear equivalent: both import their own risks, their own trials and ordeals of humiliations, their own potential miseries, their own potentially endless starting phase (in the case of the hired profession this is called: "send to us your resume - we will let you know"), and their own sudden downfalls as well.
So, why the morale of poor dad
invariably seems to be the most popular one?
I was raised in a contradictory environment.
My parents were intellectually anti-conformists; yet when it came to choose which school their son had to attend, they choose a school of rich guys where none of us, evidently, ever belonged.
Of course, maybe this is basically the old pattern of the theoretical revolutionist that none the less nurtures as his or her greatest aspiration that of being exactly like the rich he or she professes to despise. But this is of no particular concern now.
Being educated in a school of rich guys without having had even a trifle of their dough, good sense would have suggested to provide me, at home, with the teachings fit to turn me into a regular sycophant: for if you haven't the monetary status of the other guys you have been dispatched to deal with, your only residual path to make your own way amidst their ranks, is that of becoming a diligent feet licker.
But providing your son at home with the teachings of anti-conformism and then sending him to apply these teachings in a school of rich guys who, evidently enough, were all deeply conformists to the bone, was a sure recipe for failure; and for a failure whose implications could escape only the minds of two self delusional folks who, probably, never managed to work out and to clarify to themselves their own expectations and ethics, implacably torn for a lifetime between a fantasized social utopia and an unconscious deep rooted social envy.
Eventually I made my own choice: I chose anti conformism, without the disguised admiration for the rich and, therefore, also without the insurrectionist streak that envy imported - books of Karl Marx could be found in my parents' car.
But in the throes of these decisions, I had to work out everything all by myself: and not only entirely on my own, but also whilst being constantly besieged by contradictory alternatives that were unceasingly contending my person as if I would have been the evidence, and my conscience the prize, that was necessary to secure in order to claim victory, checking through my own disputed flesh which of the struggling alternatives would have won by collecting the biggest bundle of fragments of myself, as all parties were impartially intent on tearing me into pieces and letting me go asunder.
Having to work out everything entirely by myself as I was being battled, took ages. So I came to similar
conclusions like those of rich dad
not only without having a rich dad or mummy, but also at an age where others are already busy thinking about their retirement - perhaps not imminent, yet they may be old enough
to start casting an eye to it too, whereas at their very same temporal station I had to start thinking how to make my own
The good thing with being an outcast of the islands, is that once you have understood you are in the Robinson Crusoe's mold, there is no troubled sea that may truly worry you any more: once understood that the world is an immense conspiracy to persuade you that you are a born loser, it doesn't matter any longer which tools it will wield or which shapes it will don in order to accomplish its job; so also this eventual avatar of its mundane incarnations, age, gains no other significance than just another one of its innumerable travesties. Same foe, different mask.
Dealing in this manner with all controversies is, I deem, the quintessence of entrepreneurial spirit meant in its more general sense.
My dad still hopes that one day, maybe at fifty, I will become a good and devoted clerk somewhere, hopefully in some governmental department, spending there the last ten years or so of my life. As if there would exist places that he would have seen or known of, where a guy who starts being their clerk at fifty may be wanted without immediately sensing he is going be a troublemaker by predisposition and a permanent challenge to the system by his mere being there; but this is of no concern to me: for wherever I may go and whatever may happen, I now know that I must and that I will keep my eyes fixed day and night on how to use everything that lands in my courtyard, and whatever flings and arrows destiny may hurl at me, so to eventually make my own
business out of them all.
At any rate, there is something that rings hopelessly false in the paradigm of rich dad; and I think this is why it never managed to become as popular as the paradigm of poor dad is.
What rings false is, I think, this: poor dad's paradigm certainly implies an ethic, but rich dad's paradigm seems the certain formula for no ethics.
If rich dad is preaching that whatever you do must be finalized to raise money, what he is surreptitiously implying, without probably noticing it, is this question: what safety bolt is to be found in such a device, that will prevent it from turning the man or woman who professes it into a mere instrument and chattel of an unprincipled endeavour to raise money for the sake of money itself?
If everything has the purpose of "building business" and in this process I must abdicate almost
any restraint, what is there that may refrain me from dropping that "almost
" too, and draw the eventual and extreme conclusion that revolves in the distance and that beckons, namely that I may use everything without qualms of any sort, as long as the end is attained - included assassinating my own rich dad?
When rich dad's paradigm arrives at its eventual point, that of assessing that "money is power", it is confirming that its own possible wreckage is more than a possibility, it may become a self imposing induction of its own acolytes: because with that conclusion namely that "money is power", we have already entered the fetishism of power worship regardless of what this power stands for.
What the rich dad paradigm doesn't stress enough is that what makes the value of something in your own business is not that you immolate yourself on the altars of success, but that you became master
of success in the process.
Eventually, it's always battling for the salvation of one's soul. A man or a woman who doesn't believe in an ontological need for redemption, is ready to commit whatever more than invest whatever.
Poor dad with his frugal morale, to some degree, seemed to be aware of this implication more keenly and more painstakingly than rich dad, didn't he?
Success is an impostor, that as such doesn't deserve of being treated well in the least. Revering success is for losers, precisely.
Success is a whore, we all know this very well. You can buy success, and also a scion who never had to work out anything but who had just to count how much he or she inherited, can be an utter social success.
And who is more early successful than a rockstar, before (s)he goes to an asylum?
The repute and quality of The Pursuit of Happyness
did not rest in the money raised, but in the way this money was raised; and the distinction and the eminence of the outcome wasn't in the build-up of a patrimony, but in the edification of a meaning that goes beyond failure and success, beyond man and his money.
So, in my humble opinion, rich dad has to correct his two ending lines.
"The rich are greedy" ought not to be compared to "The rich are generous" - which certainly they are not by natural disposition in the least, but rather to: "the rich are sons of a bitch, but you shouldn't care less: for, thanks God, you've not
raised money to be one of them".
And the last point namely "Money is a necessary evil", ought not to be compared to "Money is power", but to: and when you make money, money will do its best to corrupt you; but you will dominate it, because you preexist it: because you will remember that it is not money what made you, but you who made it.