Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Greed and its many manifestations....

This is an interesting little essay-style article about Greed, as seen on Common Dreams:

America's Disease is Greed

I generally agree with most of the points made, albeit I was a bit chagrined to see his mentioning of the Catholic Church's definition of the "four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance" ... as if the Catholic Church should point its wealthy finger?!

I had a discussion with someone about greed and whether or not it is a part of human nature: that drive to want more. Personally, I would like to believe that little over-touted thing we call "reason," which is supposed to make us shine above other animals, gives us the ability to control our desire(s). However, why is it so many people find this an impossible task? Could it be, we are taught that it is our right to demand more for ourselves and our family?

Certainly the concept of "winner takes all" is very important to the functionality of capitalism. And as powerful a figurehead as Reagan was/is, he certainly cannot be held accountable for the greed of the United States. Last I checked, we had the desire for "a chicken in every pot" before Reagan was on the scene.

Still, I don't believe Socialism, or its demonized counterpart, Communism works. Due to many years of brainwashing in the US and my personal experiences with the unbridled greed of others, I was taught that a purely egalitarian world, where food and shelter is shared and evenly dispersed, is a mirage. I was taught that those who believe in such a bullshit utopia don't have a firm grasp on reality. Yet here I am, wanting to believe that cooperative communities can and do work.

Do I believe nurturing, communal societies can exist? Yes, but on micro-scales. There are numerous projects that have cropped up in inner cities which give people the opportunity to serve their neighborhoods by helping to create homes and jobs for those without. These include projects to build affordable housing and create employment opportunities -- all producing great results -- and gives good argument as to why municipalities should have more control over the governing and financing of their jurisdictions.

So perhaps rampant greed can be abolished, not rewarded. Perhaps we are best suited for small communities, where global borders are eradicated, and self governance becomes necessary, only to be questioned if and when a community takes negative action against its own or other communities. Smacks of Star Trek, doesn't it? Maybe I shouldn't be teasing my Trekky friends after all?




Blogger Loreley said...

I always thought that the desire to own something that is just ours is a very human need. Owning can give comfort in many ways. The familiarity with objects, the ability to rely on them for various purposes. The problem begins when one tries to own X to compensate for not having Y. That's when, in my opinion, a healthy human need becomes "greed".

11:15 AM  

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