And more clearly here.
Many people are rightly appalled at what he says in these two videos. The controversy he kicked up in the top video where he claims that having the top eighty-five wealthiest people in the world own more than the bottom three and a half billion is fantastic news has reached his wikipedia page.
As for me, I don't agree with that, obviously, but I have always believed in the elephant and the blind men story, and I believe that the curious things people sometimes say is not, strictly speaking, due to the fact that they are wrong but due to the fact that they have seen a different part of the elephant than myself. In these two short videos he tells us that the price of success is everything we have. All our time, our energy, our family, our friends, our very life must serve the pursuit of money if we are to have any hope of getting filthy rich. In this he is true. I have never achieved success because I have split myself. I pursue music and woodworking and literature and occasionally writing and drives in the countryside and fishing trips with the family and looking after older members of the family and raising the young ones and being a husband to my wife and a believer of my faith as well as working at a job I despise.
Obviously I am not a success at business or at most of the things on the list because I have not given everything I have to the pursuit of any one of them, and have fractured my efforts and doomed them all to failure because I have failed to pick one of them and abandon all others..
So O'Leary has seen the truth, or more accurately a truth. In that he is not wrong. What makes him monstrous is that he rejects any and all other truths but this. Most people, even those who envy his wealth but not enough to be his ape in the pursuit of it, shake their heads at what he says in bewilderment, rather like we would shake our heads at a man who is certain an Elephant is a snake.
There are days when I idly wish for the wealth of Croesus or Crassus, and the freedom it brings, but if it comes at the cost of everything, the cost is too high. The freedom is an illusion, or so it seems to me just from watching these videos. O'Leary worships two gods: money, and O'Leary. Neither are kind and forgiving. If money is his true love, his mistress, it is a harsh and demanding one. If he truly has forsaken family and friends for his money, he is to be pitied, not envied, and we should pray for all who fall into this trap, and be grateful for what we don't have as much as for what we do, and perhaps I should remind myself to rejoice that I am a failure with a wife and children, and clothes, and food, and shelter against the wind. Though I may have but little else, with this much I am as rich as any king, and more so.