Pop Quiz: Who has done more for world peace, Bill Gates or Mother Teresa?
Let’s see what you’ve learned so far. If you think the answer is Mother Teresa, shame on you, Normie. If you think I’m going to say Bill Gates because most people would say Mother Teresa, you’re a gullible Normie. Now think really, really hard about your answer, because it’s a trick question.
The right answer is: Abso-fucking-lutely Bill Gates, and we are all considerably dumber for even having considered the alternative as a viable option.
See, Mother Teresa liked to have Good Feels, and that gave other people Good Feels. Good Feels are that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you do something genuinely nice (which she often did!) and you think that you have made a difference to the world. Good Feels make it seem inevitable that the niceness you’ve started will snowball and be passed on to the next person and the next person forever and ever, just because you have been the shining example of Light amongst Darkness. But like rolling snowballs lose momentum, stop rolling, and sit waiting for the blazing heat of the sun to bring it sweet, sweet death, so do Good Feels somehow fizzle out after a generation or two of being passed on – sometimes being replaced by anger, jealousy, or resentment toward the person or institution who originated the Good Feels in the first place.1
A lack of desire to feel Good Feels doesn’t cause suffering and wars. A lack of shining examples of goodness like Mother Teresa isn’t causing them, either. In fact, before you use religious figures as such examples, you should probably recognize that religious conflict is the only form of human violence that is on the rise right now. I repeat: THE ONLY ONE. Wars between nations, violent crimes, domestic abuse – all have been on the decline for decades or centuries. Wars between nations with strong economic ties to one another have been reduced to just about zero since World War II. Violence just feels more and more common because each type is such a significant news event every time it happens – which is partially a byproduct of how rare it really is!
Unpopular Conclusion: People like Bill Gates prevent war.
For the entirety of human history, meeting another human being has meant two things: another mouth to feed and another potential source of conflict if scarce resources proved to be a little too scarce. Now, another person is another potential trading partner to help you efficiently exploit those same scarce resources to each party’s mutual gain. Another person, now, is an ally – a source or strength rather than strife.
Provided we don’t all eventually reside in some future virtual-reality utopia, resources will always be scarce. The default position is for that to create suspicion and resentment between haves and have-nots; only trade turns that on it’s head and makes other people useful. This is why free economies have ushered in the longest continuing period of peace for the greatest portion of the human population since…ever. We have the traders of the world to thank for making fellow humans valuable to our selfish desires that we both suffer from squabbles (rather than pure “to the victor go the spoils”), and therefore we actively seek to avoid conflict (rather than the previous state of avoiding sharing precious resources with outsiders).
Trade accomplished, in decades, what no amount of religion, racial and/or ethnic tradition, ideology, and forced state behavior could do for millions of years. Trade brought humanity lasting peace.2
Bill Gates was an international trade behemoth in his prime. His corporation spanned the globe – he bought parts that were made from precious metals purchased from suppliers on one continent, shipped to another with shippers foreign to both lands, with basic parts assembled on another continent, and combined into complex machines on yet another, and he developed his software here on another continent.3 It sold the software (and later its own machines) on a global market.
The software and machines made every single transaction they were involved in more efficient, and they helped expand the number and complexity of transactions occurring worldwide. His work had a terribly obvious trickle-down4 effect, and that trickle-down meant that his company helped bring trade to places that otherwise wouldn’t have seen nearly as much, based on the volume of trade possible with the aid of computing power.
Bill Gates as head of Microsoft touched billions of lives through trade and helped bring the pipe dream of world peace to reality.
Now he hands out malaria vaccines.5
Saving a life through a vaccine is admirable. It’s a great, Good Feel-y moment, and every life is valuable. But the man who can save billions of lives is a rare man; the man who can hand out vaccines is every man. Luckily for Bill, it is his choice what to do with his life – he has no duty to continue saving billions…or even one. But it is our duty as thoughtful Vigilantes to recognize which Bill Gates was more valuable.
Bill Gates handing out malaria vaccine might give you Good Feels. It gives me Good Feels, too. But this Mother Teresa act can’t hold a candle to the Ghost-of-Industrialists-Past Bill Gates. That is why Bill Gates is in the wrong business, and it’s literally6 killing people.
- Think of how many Good Feels were had by Christians throughout the Crusades, or how many times foreign aid is met with a “You can’t do anything more?” scowl.
- Obviously not all of humanity. But there’s a strong correlation between the level of freedom of trade and the level of peace.
- This supply chain may or may not be exaggerated.
- Although the term has been abandoned since the Raegan administration due to political disfavor in a stupidly politically reactive nation, the concept remains true. See the political correctness fallacy.
- This is not the true extent of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which I truly admire for their work. But the Foundation is not Microsoft. And some of the more important goals of the Foundation, such as increased education in remote parts of the globe, are only possible through the excess productive power that stemmed from advances made by companies like Microsoft!