In his essay, In Praise of Idleness, Bertrand Russell opens up by introducing the idea which opposes the common ideology that we see in todays society that saving money is good and spending money is bad. While our culture promotes the saving of money and often criticizes those who are seen spending money on leisure activities such as going to the movie theater, Russell’s claim is that “The real villain…is the man who saves.”
He says this in the point of view which sees the type of person to spend their money as those who are helping to give to the economy and help others earn their income while those who save are taking money away from the economy, making it more difficult for businesses to grow. Not only did it urge me to evaluate my own perception on saving and spending money, but it made me question our society’s perspective on the matter.
In today’s culture, we are taught growing up that for the most part, spending is bad and saving is good. We are taught this however, from personal success perspective. As humans, most people instinctively want more money in their possession and the easiest way seems to be to save it and build up their personal funds. These people are viewed as smart and cautious, when in Russell’s view, they would be seen as selfish or foolish. I found it really interesting to hear this different perspective and compare it to what I was taught growing up.