Saturday, January 05, 2013
Mark Twain in an open letter to Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1869:
"you seem to be the idol of only a crawling swarm of small souls, who love to glorify your most flagrant unworthiness in print; or praise your vast possessions worshippingly; or sing of your unimportant private habits and sayings and doings, as if your millions gave them dignity; friends who applaud your superhuman stinginess with the same gusto that they do your most magnificent displays of commercial genius and daring, and likewise your most lawless violation of commercial honor - for these infatuated worshippers of dollars not their own seem to make no distinctions, but swing their hats and shout hallelujah every time you do anything, no matter what it is. I do pity you."Twain liked having money, appreciated living well, feared destitution (He went broke & had to lecture around the world to pay his debts), but he didn't believe it required him to be the lapdog of avaricious, heartless capitalists.