There is an interesting article published earlier this week in The New York Times, an op-ed piece by columnist David Brooks titled “What the Words Tell Us”, where he analyses the shift in the usage of words over the last century and tries to understand what this implies with respect to social behavior. He writes, “Over the past half-century, society has become more individualistic. As it has become more individualistic, it has also become less morally aware, because social and moral fabrics are inextricably linked. The atomization and demoralization of society have led to certain forms of social breakdown…”
We can see moral values across the world deteriorating with each passing year. Increasing individualism and a singular focus on the self, cause people to think only about themselves and not of the society at large, this increasing narcissism fostering greed…of all kinds!
Beyond a certain level in the corporate world, people truly believe they are God’s gift to mankind. Which is perhaps why Mr. Phaneesh Murthy couldn’t keep it inside his pants. And while most people’s sexual dalliances don’t become public fodder, he has turned out to be twice unlucky. Which is what happens when you become greedy.
When someone promises a 24-36% return on investment, he is obviously smoking weed. I am happy if I see a 12% yearly return and if this happens to be post-tax, that’s cherry on top. And yet, year after year, whether it is the Saradha group or other similar companies that start pyramid schemes, people in their greed fall prey to promises of quick returns. The first few probably get their money back while the rest are then left holding lemons. The liars are clearly greedy wanting to make a fast buck by exploiting others…but those who get conned are equally at fault…and equally greedy.
People gamble all the time. It may be the addiction, the adrenaline, or the greed of wanting to make quick money with the least effort.
Currently, the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal has all of us riveted, especially since it is so well played out. Even the police and those involved in finding the truth make sure that there is just one new story that comes out everyday, so that it makes the front page of the newspapers and keeps the news-channels busy and holds our attention.
The show is better than any soap currently on television and feeds our greed as voyeurs wanting to know all the gory details day after day about those who were greedy…and stupid enough to get caught.
Those following the Cobrapost exposures will have seen how easy it is to manipulate banks and financial institutions especially if you want to bring unaccounted money into the system. It is as if the entire system is greedy, wanting to make money for itself, by helping other greedy people find avenues to manage their concealed income, whatever its source may be.
And it goes on. It is greed that makes a pharmaceutical company churn out substandard and adulterated generic drugs and fool the regulatory authorities consistently. The same greed makes building owners cut corners leading to a collapse, killing over a 1000 sweat-shop workers. And the same greed makes builders build extra floors when the FSI does not exist.
All of this, bit by bit, tears away at the fabric that holds our society together. With each passing year, this rent only keeps growing bigger…one day it will become impossible to stitch it back and then we will have nothing but anarchy!