Viral Twitter Thread Discusses How ‘Self-Made’ Billionaires Really Got Their Start

“Self-made millionaire” (or, I guess, billionaire, to adjust for inflation) is one of those kind of gross, vaguely harmful tropes that seems rooted in social Darwinism. If you just work hard enough, you too can be a billionaire!

Can we, though? I think we’ve seen enough billionaires by now to know, uh, no. Probably not.

Last year, @aidan_smx posted a thread on Twitter that showed the real history of our current crop of ultra-wealthy. Did they have the sweet pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps stories we think they do?

I think we all know that answer.

1. Bezos

@Aidan_smx / Twitter

2. Gates

@Aidan_smx / Twitter
@Aidan_smx / Twitter

3. Buffett

@Aidan_smx / Twitter

4. Zuckerberg

@Aidan_smx / Twitter

5. Kylie Jenner

@Aidan_smx / Twitter

The responses were roughly what you’d expect: a lot of “ugh, rich people” and a fair number of “well that’s just how it is”.

@landoooo15 + @tamitao2 / Twitter
@GDGivens / @jlindy77 / Twitter

And a fair number saw this for what it is: propaganda and lies.

@FWPlayboy / twitter
@urbanbohemian / Twitter
@ocgeorge_ / FurryMcMemes / Twitter

Billionaires never started from “nothing” and that myth isn’t necessary for us to find their success something worthy of attention. Instead, this myth reminds us of the sour conditions with which they maintain their mountains of money, of corporate greed, and of our own failures within this system.