St Paul said that the labourer is worthy of their hire. And I, as a mere philosopher, dealing in higher things, always insist that I be paid for my work, and I get the highest fee I can get.
People say ‘You’re just out for money’, and I tell them it’s none of their business, because I give most of it away; my own needs being extremely simple. Although I enjoy good food, I don’t even own a TV. It’s a very simple life, but I’ve got enough, and enough is as good as a feast.
You see, a lot of people don’t feel happy unless they have another thing beyond money, called status. And status to a very large extent in our economy exists in conspicuous consumption; in having this thing, and that thing and the other thing, and having a swimming pool, having a Ferrari, a certain kind of clothes, a certain kind of house, and so on and so on and so on.
And we think we need all that because we’ve been persuaded by a certain kind of propaganda, that that’s how we ought to live. Because we haven’t asked ourselves whether that’s what we really wanted. In other words, we’ve been propagandised.
I remember when my daughter was in high school, insisted that she had to have a certain number of cashmere sweaters. In those days I couldn’t afford them. I said, my dear do you really want these? Or have you just been reading ads in the magazine, or listening to the other children?
Because, you see, schools are places where you send your child to be brought up by other children; therefore, they get a kind of lowest common denominator of culture.
They all think they got to have this, you’ve got to have that, and they don’t really want it. If they sat back and considered: Do I need all that, is this trip really necessary? They would come to the conclusion that it wasn’t and that would be very important because they would save energy. You all know, of course, that we are nearing an energy crisis, that there is not enough physical energy going to be available for all the things we think we’re supposed to do to, go rushing around, and so on …
So, we need to take towards commerce a more relaxed attitude.