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Rich is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence

Rich is beautiful cover
Richard D. North, 2005
ISBN 1 904863 02 7

In the last ten years there has been a torrent of writing which deplores the Western economic model and the Consumer Society. Will Hutton, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, Joseph Stiglitz and many others have made their names accusing the neo-liberal world of brutalising the well-off and poor alike.

In Rich Is Beautiful: A very personal defence of Mass Affluence, Richard D North takes on this assault and – drawing on a huge range of material – defends Western life. Where it fails, he says, it is because citizens fail in their manners and morals - they are not sufficiently grateful for the great advantages capitalism, industry, science and democracy have brought them.

With great wit, North argues that we fail ‘the system’, ‘the system’ doesn't fail us.

What's more, the Third World needs lots more ‘neo-liberal’ capitalism.

This book also addresses the latest complaints from soft-left ‘liberals’:

  • That we are getting less happy as we get richer;
  • That we are suffering from ‘Status Anxiety’;
  • That we have too much choice.

Richard D. North says this is all nonsense. In the modern world, almost everyone has unparalleled opportunities to live the ‘deliberate’ or the ‘examined’ life, just as philosophers down the ages have hoped we might.

Drawing on movies, TV shows and popular culture - and much hard data too, North powerfully argues that the soft-left ‘liberal’ world of media, academia and politics have created much of the misery they blame on capitalism.

“This book takes on an impossible task. It defends the greed and materialism of the present age and says that it is good - for everybody (what people used to call the Trickle Down Effect, or what I called the ‘Champagne Fountain Effect!’). If you want to see the indefensible argued with vigour, Richard D. North is your man. And he’s funny. He is our very own P J O'Rourke.”

Peter York, co-author, The Sloane Ranger Handbook.

"Logical yet impassioned, utterly politically incorrect yet splendidly right, Richard D. North has broken one of the great taboos of modern society in this inspiring, liberating book."

Andrew Roberts

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Category: Modern society & cultural change