The Wealthy Have Less Empathy

By Leo Gura - April 13, 2023

Interesting studies show that rich people have less empathy and compassion than poor people:

How Wealth Reduces Compassion

This shouldn’t be surprising. Rich and powerful people require less empathy and more selfishness in order to achieve their ambitious goals. There is a tradeoff between empathy and effectiveness. Generally speaking, you do not become highly successful and powerful by being honest, empathetic, and kind. You do it through ruthless manipulation of everyone and everything.

Don’t think of this as a moral judgment against the rich. Think of it as a structural requirement of wealth-generation. How do you think wealth is made? It isn’t done by shoveling shit from dawn to dusk. It’s primarily done by screwing people over. It’s hard to screw someone over if you’re highly empathetic. This isn’t rocket science.

What’s galling is when wealthy people act like they are not professionals at screwing people over. Wealthy people are masters at screwing people over, and masters at denying it. Don’t take this as a demonization of wealthy people. I’m not interested in that. It’s just mechanically how wealth has always worked. Just look at the history of where massive wealth comes from. It does NOT come from honest labor or fair dealings. Of course there are exceptions. But one of the key skills of the wealthy is that they are really good at doing unfair dealings but then justifying it to themselves and everyone else as fair. This is quite a skill. Which is why wealthy people are full of shit at their core. They are professional bullshit artists.

Wealthy people work really, really hard. At bullshit. In this way they make billions. I’m not judging it per se, I’m just revealing some of the bullshit. Because if you ask a wealthy person point-blank if he does this, he will deny it. Because he had to deceive himself long ago to pull it off. He couldn’t live with himself otherwise. Which is one of the reasons why wealthy people surround themselves with other wealthy people, because it is easier to bullshit yourself as a group. The entire upper class of society has designed elaborate social systems to blow smoke up each others asses to maintain their sense of entitlement to their wealth. Country clubs, galas, parties, exclusive nightclubs, private clubs, yachts, networking events, retreats, mastermind groups, etc. What function do you think these primarily serve? It’s not just entertainment and luxury for its own sake. It’s ways to socialize to bullshit each other to maintain a sense of entitlement to unearned wealth. Every rich person has to invent a story for himself for why he deserves his wealth and why it is fair.

This isn’t some new phenomenon. It’s been going on for all of human history. Every society, in every era, had their own version of this. You could write a 1000-page history book just documenting all the ways rich people invented to bullshit themselves. That would be quite the study in self-deception.

Of course, don’t get too self-righteous if you’re poor. Poor people have also invented some elaborate ways to bullshit themselves. One of which is Marxism/socialism/Communism. Yes! Of course socialism is bullshit. Did you really think you would escape self-deception so easily? Ha! Don’t be a fool. This is way more complicated than anyone understands.

Warning: If you are looking to build financial independence and success for yourself, do not take what I said here as a prohibition against that. There are honorable ways to make money in the world. I am not telling you to remain a humble, poor, wage slave for the rest of your life. Please learn to create some success for yourself. Earning a few million dollars is not the kind of wealth I was criticizing here. Most normies don’t even understand what wealth is. A few million hardly deserves to be called wealth. I am reminded of the opening chapter of Maxim Magazine founder Felix Dennis’s book, in which he says, If you have $100 million, you’re basically broke.

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