There is all too often a false dichotomy between the aesthete and the investor, or the environmentalist and the entrepreneur. But it does not have to be so.
Art does not have to be for money, but an artist will struggle to live without a paying audience. And business does not have to be for a good cause, but any decent business-person should strive to fund what is worthy, not just what is profitable.
Ethical Investing dates back to at leat the 1700’s when the Quaker’s in England found neither investing in slavery, nor selling its produce, to be compatible with their religious belief that we are all equal. While those views seemed, at the time, to be radical, it is now near universally accepted that the Quaker’s were right. Their ethical investing has now become law: worldwide those who would seek to profit from slavery run the risk of severe punishment. And rightly so.
Today, the contention of many capitalists is that they must invest in firearms, coal, tobacco and all manner of harmful activities in order to drive investment returns. Greed often motivates these people just as, when they invest in art, they often do so for social status rather than the love of it.
A Rich Life stands in opposition to this profanity. We celebrate profit where it causes no major harm (and preferably when it benefits stakeholders). We celebrate art for what it can gift all of us, rich and poor, and we celebrate literature for the knowledge it can give us, as well as the pleasure.
The aesthete need not eschew wealth, and indeed we would prefer see wealth accumulate in the hands of those who care about beauty, not the crass.
And the environmentalist need not eschew profit. Indeed, we would prefer see capital (and the power it brings) accumulate in the hands of those who would act rapidly to reduce the environmental strain our pollution is causing.