Were they always evil?

I watch a lot of documentaries, and I take them, as I do everything presented as “fact” with a grain of salt. I thoroughly cross-check things before committing them to belief. Failing that, it goes in the “might be true” until I know for sure.

“Facts” standing on my front porch trying to sell themselves door-to-door get the “What do you want” shotgun-in-the-face greeting, from me.

All that being said, I think some clichés are so pervasive that no amount of media bias could’ve manufactured them.

Have you ever heard of a CEO, or founder of some mega-corporation with humble beginnings in someone’s garage not becoming pure evil?

The old “chicken or the egg” debate comes to mind. Were they always heartless, greedy billionaires with dollar signs glowing in their beady little eyes? Did they sit around in that garage thinking Someday I’ll be a billionaire, but it won’t be enough. I’ll want more, more, MORE until I’m so far removed from the rest of humanity that I look like a creepy cult leader when I try to have a “cookout” with my “friends” and broadcast it live like people won’t rip it to shreds immediately.


I realize that Mark Zuckerberg is the low-hanging fruit for this kind of criticism, as he’s not the worst offender by a long shot. Frankly, I don’t even think of him as evil. But damn, that video gives me the heebie jeebies.

Here was once a human being, a person who got out of bed in the morning and picked up a pair of crumpled jeans off the floor of his dorm room, sniffed a dirty Hollister t-shirt to test its wearability, scraped together enough change for Starbucks, drove a car, and went to the movies, etc etc etc. I guess. I mean, that’s what I’m picturing.

But now look at him. He’s trying to tell us he’s one of us because he likes Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce. “Just like all of you peasants out there! I am one of you!”

None of the misguided people who think Sweet Baby Ray’s is anything other than sugary ketchup with liquid smoke are going to relate to this nonsense. But he thought they would, because he’s lost touch with reality.

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs… I have to wonder if these were ever “normal” human beings. They say money and power lead to corruption, does correlation equal causation or are they simply predisposed to being that way? Does the money and power trigger and amplify a preexisting impulse to be evil, like a drop of water on an expandable foam dinosaur, or is it a gradual personality change? Maybe it varies from case to case, I don’t know.

Two bible verses come to mind:

The universal truth of the first is undeniable. Every bad thing in the world can eventually be traced back to greed. The love of money and the power it brings.

The second verse would seem to indicate that the acquisition of wealth can(not necessarily will, but its likely)negatively alter one’s character to the point of utter irredeemability.

So clearly we’ve been observing this phenomenon for some time, now. And we’ve become used to and accepting of the idea of the masses wallowing in squalor while the select chosen few exploit them and try their damndest to squeeze even more money out of them.

I firmly believe that without laws to prevent it, these corporations would be beating their employees. They already screw them over almost as much as the law does allow, stopping just short of fully screwing them over so that they can brag about what generous employers they are.

I don’t think mankind was meant to live like that, and there’s no better illustration of this than these CEO guys turning into soulless monsters once they achieve a certain level of wealth and power. I think it’d be difficult to resist. I’m pretty sure I’d be a total dick, myself.

And I’m not bashing rich people, not saying it’s bad to make lots of money, because I don’t believe it is. But these people I’m speaking of essentially run our lives via the dependency we’ve developed on their goods and services. I’m not entirely comfortable with that.


  1. Steve Jobs (perhaps to his credit) never really tried to pretend to be normal. He was an abrasive asshole in public and in private, with a small lid kept on it by others when needed to keep potential investors from murdering him. The others? Perhaps Zuck was always the awkward dude in the corner of the party, and that’s why he built a website to let him stare wistfully at the girls who attended his school.

  2. To be perfectly fair, I don’t really know what I’m talking about, it’s all just idle late night musings, prompted by something I saw on TV about Bill Gates. Made me wonder how I’d change in their positions. And of course I understand that operating on such a large scale requires one to be kind of a ruthless asshole and people are going to rail against them regardless of what they do, just like a president or some other position of power like that. As an outsider it just seems like a strange existence to me. I picture them almost like Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi, when Luke Removes his helmet. But again, all idle speculation.

  3. A lot of it is also being the guy who got lucky or made one good bet, and being treated like a God for the next forty years. You’re surrounded by suck-ups and yes men trying to get your money, and no one will tell you when your ideas suck.

  4. That’s another thing, being so insulated with the yes-men and all that. I had a woman tell me I was “yummy” the other day and that went straight to my head as such things usually do. I can only imagine how my ego would react to being surrounded by people all day who tell me I can do no wrong.

  5. I think probably one of the most extreme examples of fame and wealth going to someone’s head is Michael Jackson. Talk about living on another planet entirely.

  6. I think you’d still have fear… it just might alter a bit. IMO I have lived where I had a LOT more money (and things) than I have now. It didn’t make me happier or less anxious or less fearful…. I DO miss my motorcycle though *sigh*

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