NOTICE

NOTICE

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Greed Fall before the feet of Mammon


Source Wikipedia, from the Movie "Wall Street".

"Gordon Gekko: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book, you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pre-tax profit of 12 billion dollars. [applause] Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms: greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much. "

The system of Capitalism has existed, more or less, since the advent of money.  When barter and trade and all other forms of distribution of wealth and commerce were used the idea of greed surely existed.  But the idea of making a killing in profit has a the quality about it that only money in purchase can relate, otherwise the deal is seen not as "the way it goes" but a bad deal.  The origins of the market have deep long buried roots.  As long as Caveman Ogg had something that Caveman Zig wanted, they would decide a price in goods or labor, and the transaction would be done.  But when manufacturing and money are involved, all the areas of cost, labor, time, investment are brought out in full view.

This is not saying anything is wrong.  I do not seek to gain knowledge only by moralizing it and casting it aside.  Capitalism is a system.  It has potential to enrich the wealthy further, and steal from the laborers or others in inequitable dealings, but, it is also a means by allowing simple, untrained individuals to utilize their labors to bring back more than they put into it.

"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."  Matthew 6:24 ESV


The concepts of the path of evolution, as laid out by Charles Darwin were taken up by social and economic thinkers.  By applying them to the market, the term survival of the fittest rightly suggests that it is a natural and organic response to the market, that making the most money is the best way to remain healthy.  This could also include how good quality of work is valuable, and that treatment of workers is important to have a healthy and productive work force.  Survival of the fittest can be aimed in many directions.  Some of these approach racism, and others talk about how those who do not strive do not deserve a safety net, that any government support weakens the group.

There are, of course, numerous views on this.

Adam Smith explained that when all have a desire to advance, capitalism allows all to invest energy into a plan, and make a better life for all by the mutual desire to succeed.

Fernand Braudel suggested that capitalism is not a fair exchange, but rather, the means by which people gain by deception.  He said it was the weakness of capitalism to assume it moves without distinct winners and losers in the exchange.

Since my goal is not to find a way to criticize Capitalism or those who partake in it, I want to say that there are many areas of truth to both arguments.  But those concepts are by no means fully true.   It might be true to say that people can be dishonest when money is involved.  But I've lost my wallet a couple times and when returned every cent remained in my wallet.  I think some people have no honor, but I doubt it is the majority of people.  And it would be true to say that people value their labor more than those responsible for the payment of money.  This doesn't constitute theft or cheating.

"But even a medicine man like myself has to have some money, because you force me to live in your make-believe world where I can't get along without it.” John Lame Deer


I attend comic and book shows.  If I see a price that is too high I have a right and responsibility to my personal budget, to not buy it.  Or, I could barter with the sales person.  But if I buy a comic that is over priced, it is not the seller's fault, as an informed buyer I should be willing to say no, if the book is overpriced.  Also, there are instances of fraud.  In the comic book world there are counterfeit works, and being unaware of them might get you paying 300 dollars for a comic that is photocopied. While this suggests that the seller is cheating, it might not be the case.  Many sellers have no idea whether their comic in hand is genuine or counterfeit. That can be the nature of collectibles and the buyer should make himself aware, or it is his fault for not doing what is best for him.

From a personal perspective I am well aware that not everyone has extra money to spend.  Many people, similarly to me, are not motivated by money as a means of liberation or success.  Society and governments are often pushed to create social safety nets for the people who fail in the world of making money.  I write books.  I make very little money.  I write from home, I get paid for my sales, but if it weren't for my wife's success in the world, I'd starve.  Not every job equals payment. Not said with pride but totally accurate, I am unsuccessful in many different areas, and my work history is cluttered with failure.  When becoming a writer that changed.  I work, tirelessly, often performing 80 hours of writing every week.  My goal is different than most, I would be content to die, so long as I've written and made my vision known.

"Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare, And Mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair." Lord Byron




My point is, money does motivate some, but, despite the offerings of the world, not everyone is motivated by a need to consume.  Materialism, more than Capitalism is the road to hell.  Anyone with a 120 inch television and sends pics of that to family at Christmas instead of the kids and the dog, is a Materialist, and they worship the god Mammon.

“He beheld Lourdes, contaminated by Mammon, turned into a spot of abomination and perdition, transformed into a huge bazaar, where everything was sold, masses and souls alike!”  Ă‰mile Zola

I am a Christian.  My point is not about the world's love of money, as opposed to the love of God, but that we should be clear what we are attempting, in life, to do.  Is it to love others?  Is it to own shit? Is it to work, sleep, enjoy yourself while being kind to other?  Or do you see kindness as weakness and steal your grandmother's social security check?

“It was not curiosity that killed the goose who laid the golden egg, but an insatiable greed that devoured common sense.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri  Gordon


Now that I've made my point I want to say, to know who is your master is vital.  It guides your existence.  Written eloquently, and disturbing is the song Head Like A Hole by Trent Reznor


God money I'll do anything for you.
God money just tell me what you want me to.
God money nail me up against the wall.
God money don't want everything he wants it all.
No you can't take it
No you can't take it
No you can't take that away from me
No you can't take it
No you can't take it
No you can't take that away from me
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
God money's not looking for the cure.
God money's not concerned with the sick among the pure.
God money let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised.
God money's not one to choose
No you can't take it
No you can't take it
No you can't take that away from me
No you can't take it
No you can't take it
No you can't take that away from me
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You're going to get what you deserve.
You know who you are.
Songwriters: MICHAEL REZNOR

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