A Society of Greed?
Is this the era of greed or has it always had such popularity? We have widespread corporate political, personal and consumer greed and it is well presented in government and in our shopping environment - on both sides. We only need to turn on the TV to see it in the programs, advertising, sports and the news. It is also scattered throughout our social lives as we share experiences and increase possessions.
Whoever originally said "Greed is good" was pretty narrow minded and, well, greedy. It is not good for the victim of a greedy transaction. Nor is it good to be greedy if over years it returns distrust, anger and personal value lost.
We of the affluent societies seem to have our share of social stress as we work harder to be able to purchase that next thing. Perhaps giving our families what we have left over of ourselves and the only to have a new 'need'. We have been directed into this undesirable life style by shrewd and constant corporate marketing which is also shaping life and society for the next generation.
And with the new global economy Mahatma Gandhi's worse fears may be materializing; "God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts."
The drive for greater profits and personal compensation is behind most of the marketing pressures convincing us to acquire more. Faced with dishonest promotions, false advertising and labeling and a steady dose of intense marketing it has been very difficult to avoid contracting some form of this virus-like craving and indulgence. We have been programmed as a society where we cannot acquire and consume enough to be totally satisfied.
From An all-consuming greed by William Bowles ... "The problem that confronts us is that once created, undoing it is virtually impossible; who could deny working people the ‘right’ to a cheap holiday in Ibiza or Buenes Aires or the ‘right’ to own a car regardless of the damage it does to our environment (or impinge on the ‘rights’ of those who do not own a car).
And herein lies the rub as they say, we’re all along for the ride whether we want to be or not and regardless of the consequences, but the reality is that if it were not for the control of resources and markets that the capitalist world has, none of these ‘rights’ would exist in the first place."
Defined in Wikipedia
Greed is a desire to obtain more money or material possessions or bodily satisfaction than one is considered to need. A more religious term for greed is avarice, which is listed as one of the Catholic Seven Deadly Sins.
Greedy individuals are often believed to be harmful to society as their motives often appear to disregard the welfare of others: if one person is to increase in wealth, somebody else must be decreasing in wealth (assuming, of course, that a market economy is a zero sum game). However, greed has become more acceptable (and the word less frequent) in Western culture, where the desire to acquire wealth is an important part of capitalism.
When greed is applied to the subject of the excessive consumption of food or drink the term gluttony is often used, another of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Buddhists believe greed is based on incorrectly connecting material wealth with happiness. This is caused by a deluded view that exaggerates the positive aspects of an object.
Read more on Greed Defined.
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