"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Our flawed economy - our flawed behaviour

The other day I wrote about why we need money, and said I would return to look at the flaws in our economy. But first we need to look at our own flawed behavior.

Some while ago a series of bank advertisements on the management of wealth appeared in the glossy weekend media. One of these featured a lone and pretty girl cantering away on a lovely white stallion into the beautiful and totally unblemished distance. ‘What...[is wealth]…to you?’ the headline asked. ‘It’s being able to tell the world to get lost.’
That's so awful!
How can any single one of us afford to turn our back on the world in this way in any sense. How can any of us ride away to an unblemished horizon while so many basic human rights are not available to so many? That surely diminishes us as human beings. But someone, indeed a team of people, wrote that advertisement.

In our materially rich Western society it is too easy to be wooed by the power of marketing and advertising. Psychological insights developed to help us understand the healing needs of our souls are instead cynically used for marketing purposes. The advertisers play on our feelings of guilt or fear and our need for love and comfort, which often reflect in some of the worst aspects of human behavior, our insecurity, envy and discontent. These traits fuel our over-consumption and greed for material possessions.

If we would only understand such faults in our nature and allow them to be healed rather than exploited, there may yet be hope for the plight of our global brothers and sisters who through accident of birth are far less privileged than ourselves. Then we can hope to build an economy that is globally just and contributes to a healing world.

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