Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Souless Greed" - by Charlotte Baltus

“Greed is no good and does no good”. "They simply have to give up mindless and soulless greed." The article implies that this needs to happen somehow voluntarily. That if we just had some stronger cultural bias against greed, we'd solve that particular problem. Ridiculous. Two points in this regard:

1 -- A system was concocted in which unbridled greed was allowed to run rampant, and lo and behold, unbridled greed ran rampant. It is idiocy to suppose that ANY system that does not curb this kind of greed, through regulations with real teeth as well as social expectations and sanctions, will ever see this sort of greed held in check.

2 -- Greed has many manifestations. As a progressive, I am one of the greediest people I know. I consider that progressive policies ARE quite greedy, although I would dub it "enlightened greed". Why do I advocate for a fair distribution of income and wealth? That health care is a basic human right? For a healthy environment? For sustainable living habits? Because that's the kind of society I personally want to live in. Even if I get to be one of the "haves" under the current regime (which I most certainly am), this is not the kind of society I want to live in. It turns my stomach. It is terrifically myopic, a burn-the-seed-corn strategy that strips hope from our future prospects. A squandering of nature's bounty as well as human capacity on a massive scale. An impoverished culture of acquisition that yields a throng of depressed, screen-addled marketing targets cohabitating with countless "have nots" lacking the basic wherewithal to live life with dignity. I say what we need is MORE greed – greed informed by perspective and a vision of a better way to live for all of us. So let’s worry less about greed per se and more about idiotic ideologies such as “the church of the invisible hand”.

This is the article I was replying to:
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/11/29-0#comment-1085341

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