The Path To Increased Wealth and Power: What Path Did You Take?

Posted on February 4, 2011


We are, each of us, born into a community that controls a certain quantity of resources, which are distributed in accordance with the community’s internal rules and criteria.

If a person wants to increase her wealth or power, there seems to be only three paths.

First, she can learn and then play by the rules of the community in which she finds herself. The amount of wealth and power available to her will be constrained by the wealth and power controlled by her community and the rules and criteria used to distribute it. If she becomes sufficiently wealthy and powerful, she may be able to change the rules and criteria for her benefit.

Alternatively, she can join a community which controls more resources and/or distributes them in a way which makes her better off. In order to join a different community, in most circumstances, she must demonstrate to the gate keepers that she is like them and like the other members of the community for whom they keep the gate. Once accepted into the community, the path forward is much like the first option.

Finally, she can try to create a new community which distributes the resources it controls in a way which makes her better off. To create a new community, she must attract new members either by acquiring resources and distributing them in an attractive fashion or she must create a new kind of resource and distribute it in an attractive fashion. Moreover, she must also convince those she attracts to accept and abide by the rules and criteria of distribution which make her better off than she was before. Eventually, as her influence over those she has attracted wanes, this third path also become much like the first.

What path did you take?