In Defense of the Rentier Class

It’s not very hard to become rich quickly. It just requires sacrificing your integrity. What I notice about people who struggle to make ends meet is that they tend to be surprisingly innocent about how the world actually works.

You won’t earn a lot of money doing honest work. Don’t set up a restaurant, don’t become a teacher or a nurse. Anything that corrupts the world and makes it a worse place to live tends to be an easy way to earn a lot of money.

Look at how people earn money rapidly these days. I’m referring here to people like me, who start out with zero. Some of them are “done” before thirty. The way they generally do it is by sacrificing a portion of their soul.

Easy ways to accomplish it are to delve into cryptocurrency, drugs, gambling or porn. There’s a guy who set up onlyfans, he earns 20% commission off every woman who sells her body on the internet. He’s in his mid thirties and his net worth is estimated at 120 million.

The young women earn far more money than you ever could with a honest job at their age. To maximize their earnings and to make sure they’re “done” early, they tend to seek out ridiculous cosmetic surgery. All sorts of body parts are inflated to ridiculous proportions, to satiate the out of control fetish of a couple of porn addicts. It’s over when they’re thirty (generally earlier to be honest), so they have to maximize their income as rapidly as possible.

The reason costume dramas are so popular is because most of us (particularly women) deep down just want to live the comfortable existence of what we once knew as the rentier class. You have some property, which produces interest every year. It could be rent from some real estate, it could be dividends from your stock. You and your nuclear family live off this interest, thereby ensuring you don’t have to work. If your ancestors have been doing this since the 19th century or later, you’re a rentier. If your family has been doing this since before the French revolution, you’re an aristocrat as well as a rentier.

If you’re part of the rentier class, then you generally married and had children young. The wife was a socialite, she spent her days entertaining the family friends and upholding the family’s position. Her husband spent his days managing his property, his responsibility is to ensure the family never ends up forced to take on a job that is below their social status. In Victorian England, there were a handful of jobs an unmarried woman could occupy. You could teach children, or you could work as a governess. That’s about it. If you took on an improper job, you essentially fell out of your social class. Men from the rentier class would not marry you.

Keynes declared that he was going to euthanize the rentier class, because human beings are jealous and can’t accept the existence of a demographic of people who are not forced to work, so now we have the Only Fans class: The new socialites are those who can monetize their presence on the Internet.

Imagine having to explain to your children one day that mommy used to earn a living taking photos of herself. I’m a reluctant conservative, because I think children are happiest and healthiest when they grow up in conservative families. People should do what they want when it doesn’t hurt someone else, but I think most “modern” lifestyles are hard to reconcile with children who grow up in stable conditions.

Women want to marry rich men. You’ve heard this everywhere because it’s true, life isn’t fair. Every girl grows up listening to fairy tales about virtuous peasant women who end up marrying princes. “Sure, but what about intelligent wholesome women?” They want it even more badly. “Alright, so what about a really intelligent likeable woman? Surely she doesn’t mind that I work in retail/customer support/a warehouse?” She spends her days wishing she was born 250 years earlier.

Of course women don’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves: “I’m going to find myself a rich man to marry today.” This happens at a subconscious level, just as guys don’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves: “I’m going to impregnate a young woman with wide hips and a narrow waist today.” These are processes that are active somewhere in the back of our minds.

As human beings, we tend to like equality. We’ve never had a society where we accomplished this, so we accept the second best thing, meritocracy. “Everyone has the same chances, so the good skilled people end up on top.” We can be content with that idea, because we all think that refers to us, or at least to our children. Nobody is going to march under a banner that says “ugly dumb people with no clear skills should be able to make ends meet too”. No, we believe that our children are smart, so we want college to be free.

Of course meritocracy isn’t truly fair. Now the real inequality just becomes that some won the genetic lottery and others didn’t. If you’re smart, you’re lucky and get to graduate college, if you’re dumb you’re forced to live in poverty. Meritocracy thus evolves into a system that rewards effort, rather than talent. In practice, this leads to a society where people spend their days, signaling loyalty to the system. Why do people virtue-signal on Twitter? If you have no useful skills, the only way to get a decent position in our society is to show your loyalty to the system.

If you believe that the circumstances of your birth are a coincidence without deeper meaning, then this tends to be the scenario you end up with. It’s very hard for an atheistic society not to end up as some sort of technocratic Marxist dystopia. You end up wanting government to make society more fair, but “somewhat fair” can never be fair enough.

Smart people tend to become wealthy and give birth to other smart people, so you end up with a group of people who are “privileged” and you end up with a group of people who are “marginalized” and need assistance from the government to overcome their marginalized position. As an example, the government gave me free money as a young adult, because my parents were poor. But this is of course never enough to end inequality. If you allow people to move from one social class to another, based on their skills, then you end up with an elite of highly skilled people and a hereditary underclass of people without any real skills.

Maybe you think there is no link between your genes and your level of intelligence. You’re wrong, but let’s pretend you’re right. Poor people smoke more cigarettes. Cigarette exposure during pregnancy reduces a child’s intelligence. Poor people are more obese. Diabetes during pregnancy also reduces a child’s intelligence. It seems inevitable that a meritocratic system will end up with an underclass of poor dumb people with no real skills.

The way we used to solve this problem, before the French revolution, is by believing in God: God has a reason for placing us in one social class or another. God decided the king would be the king and you would be the peasant. Joseph de Maistre figured out that this idea has a big advantage: It allows people to have peace with how society is ordered. If you wish to base social hierarchies on reason, then it turns into endless conflicts and struggle, with misery for everyone. Look at the 20th century and the evidence for this idea is clear. Tens of millions of people were murdered by marxists and fascists, because they happened to be wealthy or disobedient.

I think we would be best off if we just accepted the existence of inequality and trusted that some higher divine principle decides what sort of situation we are born into. I say this as someone who was born in poverty, to parents who were unemployed. It caused me difficulties, but I think the biggest difficulty I encountered was the severe pressure to escape poverty. I love my parents dearly, so I don’t blame them for that, but it was a difficult experience. If your social class is something you live in for the rest of your life, then society becomes forced to make sure every social class has a basic state of dignity. Medieval Europe for example, didn’t have slavery: People would simply not put up with that.

Over the years I have earned some money, I am now relatively affluent for my age. People tend to tell me to go out there and life a wild life. Of course, that is what most people do: They travel around the world, they sleep with random people on Tinder, they check a bunch of old buildings off their bucket list and then they move back home without any money left.

I’m not morally opposed to this. The reality is more that it simply doesn’t appeal to me. I think the world outside of Europe sucks and I think I’m incapable of being promiscuous, not from a low libido, but from the simple fact that I find other human beings very intimidating when I don’t know them very well. “What about India? Surely you wish to see India?” You might say, but the sad truth is that even India has been going downhill ever since the demise of the Gupta dynasty.

I think what I truly desire in life, is just a simple rentier existence. Two adorable children, a boy and a girl. If finances allow it, there would be three children. A lovely wife, who knows how to keep our guests entertained. She likes children, gardening and reading literature. My wife is somewhat innocent and naive about how the world works. For my generation of men that means she never earned any money through onlyfans and she never watched beheading videos on gore sites where you can hear the death rattle.

We would live on the outskirts of a small town, in a house with a huge garden, where we grow most of our own food. My children would be allowed to use the computer two hours per day and porn websites would be blocked. My children would play with the Lego they inherited from their grandparents and we would go on camping trips in the forest. I would have a small boat you can live in, occasionally the whole family would go on long journeys through Europe with it.

My wife would never have to work a day in her life. I would hang out with my male friends regularly, we would go to the gym together and we would advice each other on which stocks to buy. I would stop taking psychedelics because I would have seen everything they have to teach me and my wife wants me to uphold a responsible image to my children. If I were to go to a concert with a friend or watch a Gaspar Noe movie together, I might still smoke some weed. Of course the paradox is that my ideal wife loves to smoke Salvia Divinorum. The only thing sexier than a girl who smokes Salvia, is a mother who stopped smoking Salvia because she has responsibilities now.

My children would be mostly homeschooled, my wife and I would make sure that we discover at an early age what their passion is, we would help them to develop it. My son would probably want to become a zoologist or a historian. My daughter would be a poet or a painter. As teenagers, my son would be into heavy metal, my daughter would be into goth rock.

When I become an old man, I would have enough money to ensure my children don’t have to get an actual job when I die. My son would work, because he wants to ensure his own children will have the same luxury. When he becomes a young man, I would take him apart when the wife and daughter aren’t home, pour him a glass of whiskey and then I would explain to him how his old man pulled it all off.

In short, my life would be a high-tech costume drama, but without the drama and cheating.

6 Comments

    • Hovering around 30k euro in profit right now. I was planning on doing a post about it, it’s mostly finished, but I kind of have a desire to move away from writing about factoids and numbers towards ideas and entertainment.

  1. >If you believe that the circumstances of your birth are a coincidence without deeper meaning, then this tends to be the scenario you end up with. It’s very hard for an atheistic society not to end up as some sort of technocratic Marxist dystopia. You end up wanting government to make society more fair, but “somewhat fair” can never be fair enough.

    Anti-meritocracy is interesting but how does this resolve in a hyper-darwinian geopolitical competition between countries? IMO leaders benefit from meritocracies because once the system is mature, it rewards obedience and long hours. It is one of the dimensions of human capital. I’m not really sure how to resolve this, but I would also like to see a meritocracy die off since it is corrosive to mental health.

    The other goals you have are very nice, maybe you can write about your garden, similar to this guy: https://old.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/9uecgb/what_small_crime_do_you_commit_the_most/e93x5r2/

    • >Anti-meritocracy is interesting but how does this resolve in a hyper-darwinian geopolitical competition between countries? IMO leaders benefit from meritocracies because once the system is mature, it rewards obedience and long hours.

      You make a good point, I have no answer. There’s an argument to be made that meritocracy is an inevitably outgrowth of our level of technological complexity.

  2. I like your writings. I’m not sure this is really “In Defense of the Rentier Class” though, more “Why I would like to be of the Rentier Class”.

    I’m not sure, tbh, it’s the solution for everyone. A certain amount of lesiure propped up by unearned income is definitely enjoyable, but all the time? Your wife who you’ve so generously enabled to live without a job for the rest of her life… what if she’d actually like to work? What if it would do her more good than shopping and looking after your kids? Sounds potentially like a gilded cage.

    I think that work provides a lot of people with meaning and purpose in their life. Even poorly paid work without a lot of merit. Even grubby jobs. Women may not always have shared the workplace as we know it with men, but for all except the richest they always worked, historically.

    The key to it not going all Dickensian is that people aren’t ground into the dirt without prospect of improvement. That they can have a break when needed. That they can have something to show for their efforts, besides simply the time having been filled. That they aren’t bound without relief to unscrupulous employers and landlords. Or, even, those with scruples. That there is some kind of compassion to it, that the discrepancies aren’t allowed to become ludicrous.

    I agree that meritocracy has inherent flaws. And that without religion it is becoming increasingly hard to explain the unfairness of life. We fall back instead on time-honoured scapegoating and red-herrings.

    The shibboleth we can’t seem to question is the pay scale, or lack of it. Socially purposeful jobs, as you say, are poorly paid in comparison to your onlyfans, your financial skulduggery, your rentiers. It’s an economic order that seems to endorse a Biblical worldview of sin and sacrifice, power and powerlessness, even if at the state level few Western societies actually claim to believe in that stuff anymore. We might not insist you believe, but look! The sinners take home their fat purses, while the virtuous struggle in penury.

Leave a Reply to Edgepuss Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.


*