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December 1 2006 at 11:26 AM
jtbradley  (Login jtbradley)
PP Discussion Group


Response to Does money give you good taste?

First, Moss is right on when he says that taste is subjective and that someone else's "good" taste really means agreeing with one's own sensibilities.

Having "good" taste is, IMO, a state of mind rather than, e.g., an outward expression evidenced by material acquisitions, and I believe that in some cases, having money impedes having "good" taste. Instead of having to make hard choices based on values and true appreciation, many wealthy collectors seem to engage in the musical chairs approach to watch collecting. And the mere acquisition of high priced objects seems to be the goal, rather than an appreciation of the *objets d'art* themselves. Having the financial means to play this game can therefore sometimes impede true appreciation and understanding of watches (or art, wine, etc.). And let's be honest, to some collectors (and the public), having "good" taste simply means acquiring very expensive items and showing them off. And IMO, this is a very un-Purist attitude.

But this is all part and parcel of the wealthy being worshipped by the public, just as royalty in the past was worshipped merely for winning the lottery of genetics.

As to responsibilities to the world, this question likely exceeds the boundaries of proper discussion for this website, but I'll add my two cents: tell the world that freedom and capitalism is the best and only true method of progress for the world's poor. Charitable contributions are good, but even if all the wealth was redistributed equally among the world's 6 billion + inhabitants, it wouldn't be enough and would not provide a lasting means of support. A proper system of politics and economics (in both cases, ideally, liberalism in the classical sense of the term) is essential.

John

 
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