When ex-hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli's start-up Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired HIV medication Daraprim, he promptly raised the price from $13.50 per pill $750.00 per pill. Everyone denounced him; Hillary Clinton called on him to "do the right thing" and lower the price; Collect Records, in which was a silent investor, cut all ties with him.

Now, as Bloomberg reports, it seems that Shkreli was the buyer of Wu-Tang Clan's ridiculous One Upon A Time In Shaolin, billed by RZA as equivalent to "having the scepter of an Egyptian king." At the end of last month, it was announced that the leather-bound, Cher-featuring album, which is protected by a fan-alienating 88-year copyright, was sold for "millions" on auction site Paddle8. Bloomberg shoos away the Shkreli's despicable aura as a human being, preferring to give him a sense of celebrity and calling him "pharma's bad boy."

Yes, good idea Bloomberg, play to the ego of an already megalomaniacal person who later in the article claims that he loves the idea of having private albums made for him:

"It’s almost like the instructions to the band are, ‘Do your best work, however much time it takes, and never compromise anything for me. I just want to hear what you’ve got.’ "

Who talks about artists in terms of their price, not their worth as people or cultural icons:

"Typically you would say, ‘As an average fan, I can’t get Fetty Wap to give me a personal concert.' The reality is, sure you could. You know, at the right price these guys basically will do anything."

In some ways, all he is doing is cutting open the belly of capitalism and letting rancid truth spill out: popstars do perform for questionable offspring of questionable royals and governments around the world for questionable sums of money; the truth that everybody has a price, and that he is nothing more than a product of unbridled greed.

And like any good profiteer, he has the ability to dehumanise his work, simplify by many magnitudes, and turn it into an easily digestible epithet:

"What’s escaped the conversation is, hey, how about the fact that this is actually what I’ve been hired to do. It’s like someone criticizing a basketball player for scoring too many points."

This practically unthinking greed and profiteering - arguably shrouded with the tenets of "capitalism" itself as a value and quality of society - seems to have little in common with a civilised society in which people look after each other, and more in common with humanity's basic animal instinct to survive and thrive no matter what the cost.

RZA sought to distance Wu-Tang from the buyer with the following statement:

"The sale of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was agreed upon in May, well before Martin Skhreli’s [sic] business practices came to light. We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity."

Sadly, it's exclusivity like this that gets madmen like Shkreli crawling out of the woodwork to spend their millions on something that nobody else can ever own. They love that sort of thing.